The start of the Great Awakening presumably begins in 1734 in Northampton, Massachusetts in Johnathan Edwards’ church. Edwards’ recounts the deaths of two young persons which initially strike the awakening. These two deaths worried their younger counterparts for their own death and salvation. In part, Edwards’ sermon spoke directly to these young adults sensing their time for God’s grace had arrived. Eventually, an elderly person’s death met with unusual circumstance, pushed the elders to emulate young adults in social religion - a task advised by Edwards. The sudden religious conscience caused many, even those who demonstrated no past interest in religion, to awaken. They experienced dreams and visions causing their body to progress into a trance. As expressed in his narrative, the revivals were restricted within Edwards’ small town but eventually spread elsewhere in accordance with his public publishing of the revival accounts. (Edwards 31-37).
As with th...
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...nthusiasm by constantly stopping by his home during their leisure time. (Whitefield 112-114) (Davis 117-119)
By the American Revolution, the hysteria of the Great Awakening mostly settled but left a legacy of radical change. The most significant change was the confidence colonists attained to challenge the church and eventually Britain. The church always centered the lives of Europeans and now colonists began to define their perception of religion even if that meant breaking from the church. Additionally, the awakening brought women, Native Americans, and slaves into a social context they were denied before. The movement displayed men’s emotions of conversion as equal to women’s defying gender boundaries. Naturally, after the excitement of the awakening subsided, these minorities secluded back into their social norms but not without leaving a penchant for equality.
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