Evidence throughout American history, confirms religion has significantly contributed to the evolution of our culture. Multiple events have contributed, including politics, people and weather. Politics and people are widely impacted by religion. Religion is the primary cause of most wars in countries across the world. Many historians believe America was formed on the basis of religion. In this research paper, I will illustrate the impact religion had on American History to 1877. Specifically, it will examine: 1) Major events impacting traditional religious beliefs in America, 2) Religious disputes which impacted land development, and 3) The impact religion had on slavery.
Religion is closely tied to events like the Protestant Reformation and other religious movements. The Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s started a decade long battle over religion. Religious balance transferred between Protestantism and Catholicism. Spain and Ireland were dominantly Catholic. England was Protestant. The discord between religious beliefs led to confiscation of land and developed a hatred between leaders which carried over into the development of America. (Kennedy Cohen, 2013)
Spirituality of New England settlements significantly declined in the 1660’s. It was confirmed through the creation of a new formula for church membership, the Half-Way Covenant, in 1662. Events leading up to its creation were created by enormous pressure which plagued Puritan farmers, weakening their core values. Their core belief system was based on full spiritual conversion. Conversion was an intense, identifiable personal experience with God. He revealed their true heavenly destiny to believers once they were “converted”. Afterwards, they were expected to live pure lives and exhibit holy behavior at all times. Churches consisted of members who were converted, nobody else. (Wadsworth - Cengage Learning, 2013)
In the mid 1600’s, Puritan pastors began preaching a different sermon. It was based on the teachings of the biblical prophet, Jeremiah, and known as the jeremiad. An intense change in the church led to the creation of the Half-Way Covenant. It erased the segregation between the converted and non-converted members of society. Many...