The Great Awakening was the Escape from the Burdens of Everyday Life

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Would you escape the burdens of everyday life, if only for an hour? The Great Awakening made this possible in the 18th century for many men, women, and children. Trends by definition are “to have a general tendency, as events, conditions, etc.” (Dictionary, p.1) “The Great Awakening set many social and economic trends for the 18th century as well as the world today.

The Great Awakening was a wave of revivals which historians have termed the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening was a movement that set out to revive the piety of the faithful and to convert nonbelievers. (American Promise, p.131). Influential people like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield preached powerful sermons to win the hearts of the nonbelievers and refresh the believers that were losing their faith. “Whitefield’s preaching transported many in his audience to emotion-choked states of religious ecstasy.”(American Promise, p.131).

“The revivals awakened and refreshed the spiritual energies of thousands of colonists struggling with the uncertainties and anxieties of eighteenth-century America.”(American Promise, p.131) People living in the 18th century needed a safe house. These people wanted a place to go where they would be accepted, forget their hardships, fellowship with people that were suffering like they were, and for once feel like they weren’t alone. Although no one denomination would dominate, “it was the first major event that all the colonies could share, helping to break down differences between them.”(US history, p.1).

The Great Awakening brought diversity among people. “The spread of religious indifference, of deism, of denominational rivalry and of comfortable backsliding profoundly concerned many Christians.”(American Promise, p.130). Although there was difference in beliefs there was surprisingly closeness amongst all people. Economically everyone was everyone was faced with the same sort of problems. Men were worried of how to provide for their families, women were concerned with taking care of their children, and children were just that they were children. Many people during this time were burdened with poverty, hunger, insufficient amount of clothing, and no one to rely on. When the Great Awakening swept through, this changed how people viewed their situations. They were able to lose themselves in the messages that were being delivered and fellowship with people that were just like them, once again bringing the people closer together.

I truly believe that America needs a Great Awakening. The people of this country have become so distanced from one another. I remember my grandfather telling me how he used to know everyone that lives in the city we’re he is from and now I don’t even know my neighbors first name.
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