Origins of Revolution:
Old Question: When did US history start?
New Question: Build up to American Revolution: Why did it happen? What caused it?
Everything was built on English assumptions, Colonists used to believe they were all English, but somewhere along the line, began to see
themselves as Americans.
Adaptation in diverse environment (filled with English, Indian, French, etc) leads to a new sense of identity for the
Same class issues exist: back country vs. coastal elite
But the big issue is really related to the decline of religion, political power of
church decreases as church attendance decreases because there are more
immigrants with different kinds of worship with economic growth.
The decline leads to a religious revival, the
which really was a series of revivals between 1720s-1760s, slowly
spreading from town to town, colony to colony (Connecticut
was a rebirth and revision of religion.
A new idea of religion developed, with different form and content.
Jonathon Edwards and George Whitefield were both traveling preachers.
Involved in “barn storming” tours
Major players in bringing religion to the people, traveling from town to town
73 towns, 100 sermons, 800 miles
What they say:
Vengeful God- not loving God no mention of Elect, but other than that, very Calvinist
viewpoint, but no sign of predestination.
Rather, “REPENT AND BE FEARFUL”
How they say it:
Itinerant preachers: traveling preachers
Appeals to poor, who now have a chance to be save, as opposed to before when
had no chance, because Elect were always rich.
Great Awakening exposes class difference to religious rhetoric challenges, elect, and idea that poor should be
subordinate and “know your place.”
Gone is elitism of education and notion of sacred spaces = they will preach anywhere: it’s not the building,
it’s the message.
Conversion in Calvinism is a process, long and drawn out, guided by minister-
But with Awakening comes new different style:
Preachers used to be:
Wrote out hours long sermons
Moved by faith, not focused on order
Loud, wild body movements
Exaggerated speech patterns
Preacher and crowd are equal
Whipped crowd into fervor by playing on emotions
Fundamentally challenges everything
Religious pluralism (no longer just one church)
Separation of church and state necessary
Common folk development sense of self worth, learn to challenge authority
Meanwhile in England in 1707 is the
creation of Great Britain, the unification
of Scotland, Wales, and England.
British, before this point,