American expansionism and the missionary movement are closely associated. The progressive movement had energized social reformers in America, inspiring social justice, social change and moral responsibility. America was emerging as a proud, patriotic society and felt empowered by their democracy. Americans believed their nation was exceptional and that they had a “moral responsibility” to bring Christianity and democracy to the world. Encouraged by political leaders, this moral responsibility spurred the growth of missionary work around the globe.
This reflected America's future acceptance of religion in alternate races other than whites. If anything, these conflicts helped stretch the geographic and social boundaries by which religion can be practiced and valued. Religion has had an immense effect on the moral, social, and political functionality of America. The founders of religion have built rudiments that radiate the founders beliefs and morals which have spread to the modern institutions of tolerance and coexistence. Not only does religion provide a moral basis for almost all family structures of the day, it provides a safe haven for outcasted groups seen in the synthesis of the nation like African Americans, homosexuals, and others.
As we all know, colonist explored and came to America with the hope for a new beginning. Among their many goals perhaps their search for religious freedom was the most influential and morally sound reason to come to this new land. On account of England pulling away from the Roman Catholic Church and creating their own religion, The Church of England was established in the 1500s. As this new church started, many did not accept it including the Puritans and Pilgrims who fled to America because they were being persecuted. For a time, Massachusetts Bay Colony was a religious haven.
His ideas were that God likes certain people better than others and those "chosen" ones would get more land and more money. This idea took off with the Puritans as they seeked religious freedom, a chance to start new churches and purification of the Church of England. As life moved on in the New World for the Puritans they seemed overwhelmed with the fact that they were the chosen ones and proceeded to act out life and every aspect of it for God and God only. The other group was far more open minded. The Enlightenment that swept the world impacted these people greatly and caused them to question the acts of the Puritans.
THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING The First Great Awakening was an extremely important religious revival that moved through the American colonies. This spiritual revival took place in the American colonies around 1730 to 1760. The First Great Awakening was able to gain a lot of momentum because of the influential preaching that taught the citizens of these colonies that the only way to salvation was by accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Many of the colonists believed that they lived proper and just lives by attending church and doing good deeds. It was by the strong influential preaching that took place during the Great Awakening that preachers informed these believers that their works and good deeds would not save them; only salvation through
Freedom according to Kant is will independent from foreign will and therefore reason should guide to individual principles independent of outside influences. Still everything relates back to an attempt to achieve a high morality, however for Luther this idea goes completely against spiritual righteousness, for him we are seemingly free through our spiritual righteousness and moral acts which are determined by God and he alone.
They saw themselves as “a ‘saving remnant’ chosen by God to preserve the true faith in America and inspire religious change in England” (Henretta et. al. 53). To achieve these ideals the settlers must instill the same values they held true in their children so that future societies could lead faithful lives in New England. Since the children were highly educated in religion this directly affected the way they behaved.
For the Puritans in the early New England colonies life was by no means easy, but there was the possibility to expand their beliefs free from the persecution from Church of England. They had the opportunity to create their ideal society under God with the bible as their law from which they would define how to live. The Puritans set out to create their model society which could spread and cull the impurities from the church. But how did these beliefs and goals ultimately effect their society? In the book Give Me Liberty: An American History by Eric Foner he notes that: “Puritanism, however, was not simply a set of ideas but a state of mind, a zealousness in pursuing the true faith that alienated many who held differing religious views” (Foner 63).
To successfully legislate morality based laws, both sides must conform to the same view. I feel that we have no right to legislate morality, unless, it has common civil functions as well. A person's concept of morality is dependent upon their own moral and religious beliefs and the United States was founded on principles of freedom and liberty for all, regardless of religion. The foundation of liberty is that we all have the right to do whatever we want, provided what we do affects no one without his or her consent. Man has a mind in order that he may understand and make choices.
The Awakening shaped the way we view religion today, it helped people to view society as a whole instead of the separate religious groups divided by different faiths and beliefs. But the Enlightenment shaped society as a whole by introducing the core values that today still serve as the foundation of the United States government. The belief that all people are created equal and have a right to be treated as such. Those rights not only serve to protect us, but the rights of our neighbors as well, by assuring that we are all in this together. It is our duty to serve ourselves, and our country.