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Great Awakening

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The first Great Awakening was a religious movement among the colonies in the 1730's and the 1740's. The movement was needed because of the substantial decrease in the amount of members in the church. The Puritans had "lost its grip" on society. When the New Massachusetts law of 1691 allowed colonial Americans to worship freely and the right to vote, colonist were overwhelmed that they discarded what might be in store for them in the future. The Puritans lost faith developing a taste for material possessions and sensual pleasures.

It was Jonathon Edwards of Northampton, Mass. who wanted to find the passion of the original Puritan vision. He preached on how you must repent your send to God, and others joined. Traveling place to place reviving colonist back to there origin of faith. This huge, sudden appeal to religion was called the Great Awakening.

The colonial society listened to the preaching and where compelled to take it upon them to read the Bible at home, which was usually read by the religious official. The Great Awakening was a ground breaker for the Christian churches, drawing Native Americans, as well as African Americans. As the Christians, many other independent denominations gained more interest, such as the Baptists. Along side with religious profusion, education took a giant step, with Protestant denominations founding such colleges as Princeton (Originally the College Of New Jersey) and Brown.

This sort of gave a boost of confidence and pride to the colonist, making them feel as if they could actually like it here and prosper. It also made the colonist question, who really had authority over them? "The Great Awakening was perhaps the first truly (American) event that at least showed some sign of them unifying.

With the colonies starting to put their heads together, it would eventually lead to them rebelling against Britain and realizing that they had control of this land. In short hand, the Great Awakening would contribute the confidence needed to claim independence from Britain.



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