The American Sunday School Union
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Time Period
1817
Description
The American Sunday School Union promoted a model of Sunday schools which had been established in Britain during the mid-18th century. Today, the phrase "Sunday school" evokes a different meaning, but in the 18th-19th century, Sunday schools provided almost the only access to basic education for the working classes since public education was non-existent and many children worked in factories on days other than Sunday.

In the United States, the first Sunday schools were started in Northeastern textile mills in the 1790s. As Sunday schools spread, the demand for curriculum grew, a need met by the Sunday and Adult School Union, which was formed in 1817. In 1824, it changed its name to the American Sunday School Union.

With the help of evangelist Dwight L. Moody, more than 70,000 Sunday schools had been established throughout the country by the end of the 19th century. However, Sunday schools began to decline with the rise of public education.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Photographs

Alexander Henry, first president of American Sunday School Union- Hathi Trust- from The Sunday-School Movement and the American Sunday School Union by Edwin Wilbur Rice

Sunday School class- National Archives and Records Administration.gif
Book/Journal Source(s)
Ahlstrom, Sydney, 2004. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Noll, Mark, 1992. A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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