The Great Awakening And Its Impact On The Religion Of The American Colonies

643 words - 3 pages

Religion has been around since the discovery of America. Many European immigrants came to America to escape the traditions of the Church of England. The people wanted religious freedom. Most, however, tried to force their religious beliefs on the people who came to settle in their colonies creating a divide. It wasn’t until The Great Awakening, which started in the New England colonies, occurred that people rose up and revolted against the norms of religion and began to worship the way they wanted to. This divisive time period greatly impacted the American colonies by allowing true religious freedom to all the people.

Prior to The Great Awakening was a period of time called The Enlightenment. During this time, prominent men believed that there was a creator of the world, but they relied on their own personal intellect and science to get through life. They didn’t feel they needed a creator to “save” them, however, the majority of people were commoners that longed for an emotional spiritual experience who needed the guidance of a “savior.” This movement lead some preachers to break from their former churches where they started revivals to preach on an emotional level in order to fulfill the needs of the people. The most famous preacher leading the revivals was George Whitefield, whose primary message was that people were saved through God’s grace. He traveled and preached to thousands of people who eventually became “saved” by God’s grace.

This period of time was very divisive because many people were influenced by the revivals, while the others were still committed to the traditional form of religion. This divided the people into two different religious groups; The New Lights, who were “saved” by the grace of God, and the Old Lights, those who kept faithful to the traditional religions. The New Lights preached...

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