Puritanism and the American Great Awakening of the 18th century
The Great Awakening refers to the period of religious restoration that spanned across the 18th century. During that period, there was increased enthusiasm towards religious beliefs caused by evangelical ministries that protested against the early Roman Catholic Church and repressive colonial regime (Tracey 18). As a result, there was deep conviction and revival for the affected groups with a boom in church membership. The First Great Awakening is reported to have occurred between 1730s and 1760s leading to the growth of religious movements that constructed America’s national identity during the colonial era. This piece of work is aimed at examining the role of religion in colonial America.
2.0 Puritanism in the 17th century
The development of Puritanism in the 17th century together with the 18th century Great Awakening influenced the revolution of America greatly. Puritans had left England in the early 17th century to seek for refuge in America in fear of being persecuted following their faith that contravened the beliefs of the English government of the day (Cragg 3). What’s more, they shifted to America with the zeal to develop a society that was habitable. Puritans first occupied New England and preached their beliefs that disagreements in the society were caused by political, economic, and religious divergence. The Puritans strongly believed that the Church of England was the true church though they acknowledged that it required many transformations. Puritans believed that aggrieved God was powerful and disastrous and could bring destruction to humankind (Kang 150). What is more, Puritans cited repressive monarchies as being opposed to the will of God. The English civil war of 1640s was in a clash with Puritans, and this culminated to the Oliver Cromwell rule that was a threat to the Puritans. His government was tyrannical and threatened the survival of Puritanism in the colonial America. The Puritans endeavored to purify the sinful practices of the day government and to instill morality in individuals. The clerical leadership of the Puritans was under John cotton and Richard Mather who maintained the Puritans standards. In most cases, Puritans disagreed with the authorities over issues of church and human freedom. By 1700, a new dawn of Puritanism was drawn with Puritans such as Jonathan Edwards starting their fight for Puritanism in 1703 (Conforti 1). Puritans believed that God gives salvation and that the bible was the true guide to life. In this respect, both the church and the society were required to obey the teachings of the bible. According to Kang (149), Puritans laid the foundation for individualism and democracy in America.
2.1 How Puritanism informed American Great Awakening and Revolution
The First Great Awakening is very momentous since it prepared the Americans to stage the independence war. Revivalism informed Americans that they could be...