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The Great Awakening In Colonial America. In Review  Colonial America was in transition.  The communities had been established and were thriving.  Immigration.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Awakening In Colonial America. In Review  Colonial America was in transition.  The communities had been established and were thriving.  Immigration."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Awakening In Colonial America

2 In Review  Colonial America was in transition.  The communities had been established and were thriving.  Immigration from Europe was increasing day by day  Colonial America was developing it’s own leadership, in the wealthy, land owning men.  This leadership was highly educated, well read and influenced by the Enlightened mind set.  Colonial people were beginning to develop a sense of identity.  Politically speaking:  The Enlightened way of thinking caused the leadership to challenge the authority of England.  The colonies want their own identity and the right to determine their own future.  Religiously speaking:  The Great Awakening also encouraged a new way of thinking.  The religious authority was being challenged.

3 The Great Awakening  It was during this time of economic growth that America experienced a cultural philosophical shift in the way they understood authority  This can be understood in the popularity of the Enlightenment way of thinking and the religious Great Awakening.  The Great Awakening was a period of great revivalism that spread throughout the colonies in the 1700’s. It deemphasized the importance of church doctrine and put a greater importance on the individual spiritual experience.  During eighteen centuries, colonial America saw major changes as the American cities developed into major seaports  Also, the Southern plantations were bringing large amounts of money into the American economy.  Obviously, the population increased as immigrants arrived in large numbers.

4  The Great Awakening was a spiritual renewal that swept the American Colonies, particularly New England in the 1700’s.  It was a period of time that was characterized by great fervor and emotion in prayer which was a response to the general sense of complacency among believers. What was the Great Awakening  Unlike the strickt Puritan spirituality, the revivalism ushered in by the Awakening allowed people to express their emotions more overtly in order to feel a greater intimacy with God.  This new spiritual renewal began with people like the Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield (who came from England) during the early 1700’s.

5  In late 1600’s fighting between religious and political groups in England stopped with the Glorious Revolution, an event which established the Church of England as the main church.  From a political perspective, this led to stability since everyone now practiced the same religion. But instead of being a positive driving force for religious belief in general, it created complacency among believers.  It after a few decades of this kind of complacency in the American colonies that the spiritual “revival” of the Great Awakening came about.  The Great Awakening came about at a time when people in the American colonies were questioning the role of the individual in religion and society. It began at the same time as the Enlightenment which emphasized logic and reason and stressed the power of the individual to understand the universe based on scientific laws. Similarly, individuals grew to rely more on a personal approach to religion. What Caused the Great Awakening?

6  The Great Awakening’s biggest significance was the way it prepared the America people for its fight for Independence.  This form of revivalism taught people that they could be confident when confronting religious authority, and that when churches weren’t living up to the believers’ expectations, the people could break off and form new denominations or new churches. What were the effects of the Great Awakening?  Through the Awakening, the Colonists realized that religious power resided in their own hands, rather than in the hands of the religious authority.  The Colonists also came to realize that political power did not reside in the hands of the English monarch, but in their own will for self-governance.  Thus, the Great Awakening brought about a climate which made the American Revolution possible.  The Great Awakening also provided an alternative to the Enlightened philosophy of rationalism.

7  Another effect of the Great Awakening on colonial culture was this idea of state rule that would govern and set the laws for the people.  Believers had this understanding of what a covenant (agreement) meant.  Each believer understood that they owed their allegiance to their church, and their church in turn had to be faithful to the members.  Believers reserved the right to dissolve the covenant and to sever ties with the church without prior permission.  This idea of “covenant” was popular in the Puritan society and later formed the ideological basis for breaking from Great Britain.  As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the colonists were very familiar with this odea of separating themselves from authoritarian institutions. The Government as Governing Body of the People

8  It pushed individual religious experience over established church doctrine, thereby decreasing the importance of the church. What is the Significance of the Great Awakening?  It unified the American colonies as it spread through numerous preachers and revivals. This unification was greater than had ever been achieved previously in the colonies.

9  Jonathan Edwards  Jonathan Edwards was a key American revivalist during the Great Awakening who preached for close to ten years in New England. He emphasized a personal approach to religion. He also bucked the puritan tradition and called for unity amongst all Christians as opposed to intolerance. His most famous sermon was "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," delivered in In this sermon he explained that salvation was a direct result from God and could not be attained by human works as the Puritans preached.  George Whitefield  A second important figure during the Great Awakening was George Whitefield. Unlike Edwards, Whitefield was a British minister who moved to colonial America. He was known as the "Great Itinerant" because he traveled and preached all around North American and Europe between 1740 and His revivals led to many conversions and the Great Awakening spread from North America to the European continent. Significant Revivalist Preachers


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