The Effects of the Great Awakening

Good Essays
To compare and contrast the effects of religion, before and after the War of 1812, I would like to discuss two major events leading up to the war, as well as events that came as a result of its ending. Vast amounts of religious reform and prosecution erupted during colonial times leading up to the American Reconstruction and because of this we have, what is known as, the First and Second Great Awakenings.
The First Great Awakening was a religious revival from the 1730s-70s, where we see an increase in the importance of Christianity, in addition to a challenge to traditional authority. One of the most important causes was known as The Enlightenment. This was a movement away from religion where individuals were becoming more encouraged to make decisions based on reason and logic rather than faith. People were starting to make decisions dependent on experiences and facts, rather than the individual beliefs of their religion. This can be credited to philosophers of that time advocating that, should people want change in their society, they should rely on education and reason to do so. John Locke, an English philosopher was one of the most well known contributors to the beginning of the Enlightenment. Before the Great Awakening, there was an increase in church absenteeism and religions piety was waning, meaning that the people were becoming less pure and less religion. In order to reverse the cause of the Enlightenment, we have people like, Jonathan Edwards, a Christian preacher, who is recognized as starting the Great Awakening, along with the simultaneous migration of German settlers who ignited a spark of Pietism in some New England states.
The effects of the Great Awakening, which was definitely a huge change for early colonial...

... middle of paper ...

...on and eventually things like jobs and voting, that would ultimately lead to the entirely different American society we know today. The development of colleges and universities can even be attributed to these changing times.
The Second Great Awakening resulted in a widening between classes and regions. The more prosperous and conservative denominations in the east changed little with the spread of revivalism. Due to change in slavery laws after the War of 1812, different, new churches had different beliefs on the ideas of slavery. This varied from church to church, but Northern Methodist and Baptist churches eventually separated from their sister churches in the South due to different ideals of slave owning. The succession of these southern churches made way for the succession of the Confederate States from the Union States, ultimately leading up to the Civil War.