The ministers of the Great Awakening certainly account for the tremendous success that the movement attained. George Whitefield is the primary figure in this group of men. In John Gillies introduction to Memoirs of Rev. George Whitefield, he states of Whitefield that “no individual . . . has so identified himself with the growth and spread of practical religion, in England and America” (iii). In this text as well as in Frank Lambert’ s “ ‘Pedlar in Divinity’: George Whitefield and the Great Awakening, 1737-1745,” George Whitefield is recognized as the catalyst behind the success of the movement. Lambert argues that Whitefield’s success was anchored in his ability to market the revival. He gives an account of the cartons full of literature that Whitefield brings to the colonies with hopes of elevating the movement to great le...
In the New World, colonies of Europeans were forming rapidly across the east coast. These colonies were seemingly founded on the ideas of oppression as well as dreams of wealth and glory, except for one particular group of religious colonists who dreamed of creating“the city upon the hill”. But who were these people and how did their ideas and beliefs affect Early America? In England a religious group of people known as the Puritans were finding themselves unhappy with the Anglican Church. The Puritans, numbered 102 men women and children, found themselves relocating to America and settling near Cape Cod in southeastern Massachusetts to escape the church and practice their own religion. Their mission was to build a society of independent farm
As slavery grew in the American Colonies, the purposes for its increased interest for free labor developed regionally. The Northern Colonies, shifting crops and investing in various commercial trades, forced African slaves to work along side indentures servants and provide domestic services. Reliance upon agricultural growth and the want for increased wealth, Southern plantation owners deemed slave labor more prosperous, thereby cementing the “peculiar institution” into the fabric of Southern aristocratical society. Much as Colonists attempted to convert the American Indians to Christianity, the same such tactic was employed upon the African slaves. The treatment of slaves in the North and the South, differed in some instances, however, the relationship between the North and South provided a relationship between the regions which depended greatly among each other. During the era of the Great Awakening, evangelist, George Whitefield mustered great desegregated congregations in an effort to spread Christianity throughout the Colonies.
Although some churches had splits after the Great Awakening, most had the same idea of resistance against the British. Many of these men were united in their opposition to the Church and Government of England. Some men’s feelings may have been for religious conviction; others’ reasoning may have been avoiding more taxes (Galloway). Through this common opposition there was a unity “of the congregational and presbyterian [interest] throughout the colonies” (Galloway). This shared resistance meant two denominations of significant membership were now united against the British. Unification would turn out to be extremely significant approaching the Revolutionary War. If religious groups could be united headed into a war that largely opposed the English Church, American churches could “[turn] colonial resistance into a righteous case” (“Religion”). Throughout all of the colonies other resistances were occuring. In Maryland, the Maryland Convention voted for the revision of The Book of Common Prayer (“Religion”). They wanted all parts revised having to do with “prayer and petition for the King’s majesty” (Religion and the American Revolution). Revision of The Book of Common Prayer would not have been a severely rash action on the Americans part. However with the revision, the general trend of moving away from the mother country can be seen. The Great Awakening had a significant impact on the outlook of the American people before and during the American Revolution. The literature coming out of The Great Awakening had a theme of liberation people were seeking with their new found American
Prominent and influential among the colonies, mainly Massachusetts, Puritanism was not only a religion, but a lifestyle. Puritans left England in 1630, with the intent to reform the Church of England. These English Protestants were discontent on how the Church of England was run and they made it their mission to “purify” and eliminate the church of Catholic influences, as well as “invigorate daily practices of religion.” Overall, Puritans desired “England to be reformed as John Calvin (1509-1564) had reformed Geneva (Hall, 21).” By moving to New England, Puritans had the freedom to establish their own religious authority. Puritanism controlled every activity in order to maintain a constant unity between people and Go...
The colonies’ ability to embrace different religious denominations marked a significant separation from the English church, and thus from the English way of thinking. Throughout the 1700's, the ethnic homogeneity within the colonies was shattered;
When viewing the history of the United States of America and that of its revolution, it is plain to see that the United States owes a large amount of credence to its religious aspirations. The colonies were vibrant in religious practices. Some were more fundamentalist and some were more lax in their convictions. The one thing that was common though is that there was dissention and rebellion in their roots.
The Puritan society was shaped by their beliefs and cultural values. The Calvinistic view of hardship for the reward of God’s grace helped their economy prosper. The New England colonies developed quickly and rapidly through the early 1600s. The political, economic, and social developments of New England colonies evolved from Puritan Calvinistic beliefs. By the 1660s, other New England colonies such as Rhode island no longer had the same political and social structure nor the same Calvinistic view as the Puritans. They developed a sense of self government as well as a similar work mentality. Some colonies had a strong sense of religion while others promoted religious freedom. The 1630’s through the 1660s was a time of change for the New England
Many of the British North Americans who settled faced religious persecution in Europe. They refused to conform to the teaching of the Church of England and fled Europe. Among those who fled were the Quakers and Puritans, two large religious groups in Britain. However, not everyone was willing to accept these religious groups in America either. Many of the Europeans already living there were of the Christian faith. They didn’t want these groups corrupting the minds of the people in their town. Because of this several religious groups started their own colonies. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland were founded by the Puritans, and Pennsylvania was founded by the Quakers. The Age of Enlightenment also contributed to religious toleration. The Maryland Act Concerning Religion (1644) was a breakthrough in the early history of religious freedom in America. According to Maryland Act Concerning Religion “matters concerning religion and the honor of God ought in the first place be taken into serious consideration and endeavored to be settled” (Maryland Act 28). Many colonies, however claimed to practice religious freedom, but still had an official state religion. Freedom of religion is considered to be a fundamental right. People are now able to worship whatever and whoever they choose as long as they do transgress on public
...l to England (Kennedy, p.96). Congregationalism, which was the dominant religion in New England at the time (having derived from Puritanism), seemed to be malleable, if reluctantly. “Liberal ideas began to challenge old-time religion.” (Kennedy, p. 96) From this atmosphere came the Great Awakening, a religious revival of evangelical nature. This began with the stern sermons of Jonathan Edwards, and then continued with the great orator George Whitefield.