Americanhistory

Americanhistory - The Great Awakening(1730-1770 Mike Coover...

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The Great Awakening (1730-1770) Mike Coover June 22 nd , 2007 American History 1 Prof. Lemon
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The first “Great Awakening" is what historian’s best described as the renewal of religious faithfulness which swept through the American colonies between the 1730s and the 1770s. This resurgence was part of a much broader movement taking place concurrently on the other side of the Atlantic, particularly in England, Scotland, and Germany. During the middle of the eighteenth century, a new Age of Faith began to rise to counter the presence of the Age of Enlightenment and a confirmation that being truly religious meant trusting the heart rather than the head, honoring feeling over thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason. Before it was over, it had swept all the Eastern colonies, transforming the social and religious life of the land. The Great Awakening did not happen in one continuous restoration, but rather several smaller revivals in a variety of places made up the Awakening. The reality on the frontier proved difficulty in establishing a parish system of England. The new world, unlike the old, had small farms and plantations spread out into the wilderness, making both communication and religious discipline difficult. In addition, there was more of a concern for survival and grappling a living from a hard, difficult, and unexplored land. By the second and third generations, the majority of people were vastly outside the membership of the church. All that was required was a spark of restoration to ignited the landscape with passionate religious interest. (Heyrman) The earliest demonstration of this American phenomenon is said to have appeared in Solomon Stoddard's sermons in Northampton, Massachusetts as early as 1679 (Matthews). Later, among Presbyterians in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Reverend William Tennent, a Scots-Irish immigrant, and his four sons, all clergymen, led in those
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colonies during the 1730’s (Heyrman). Presbyterians not only commenced religious revivals in this time, but they also established an institution, originally called "the Log College", now known as Princeton University, to train clergymen whose earnest preaching would bring sinners to experience evangelical conversion.
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