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The Great Awakening

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Courtney Hughes

Mr. Robinson

The Great Awakening was a time in the mid-1700's in which certain social events allowed for a change in some religious practices. The occurrence of this event allowed for the separations of different types of Christianity, new forms of preaching, and changes in the structure of worship.

Jonathan Edwards, Theodore J. Frelinghuysen, Gilbert Tennent, and George Whitefield were all leaders of the Great Awakening. Their influence was affected by the states they lived in and the religions they where representing. Their ways of teaching where very different but they all expressed Revivalism. Revivalism puts strong emphasizes on individual religious experiences rather then church doctrines.

Edwards claimed that having this experience was necessary but still defended some church doctrines while Tennent opposed church doctrines out right and attacked ministers who favored them. Whitefield was known more for his powerful preaching which was very often dramatic. Many ministers didn't want him preaching in their church so he was known to preach outdoors. Frelinghuysen was also very passionate with his sermons and preached that his listeners should be more involved with the sermon.

The Great Awakening was important because it united some colonies through a common basis of faith. It also helped education because all of schools where built to help young men study for ministry. It led to more guilt over slavery and the mistreatment of Indians because many evangelical spoke out against it. It changed how some thought of our relationship with God. They went from thinking about what God had done for us to what can we do with God's gift. It ended the monarchy in church because it made the religion more accessible to the people so ministers couldn't control the direction of religious life.

This movement that swept through the colonies was caused by the social changes caused more people to find more comfort in religion. The things that colonists faced where rough and their faith brought them peace.



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