Laws mandated church attendance a third conviction

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Religion played an important role in the country’s early history.Laws mandated church attendance. A third conviction for blasphemy merited the death penalty.By the mid-1660s, Virginia was better known for irreligion than pietyBy 1661 only 1/5 of Virginia’s parishes had ministers.Infant baptism remained the exception rather than the rule.Church building proceeded lethargically.Religion becomes less important. Out of 130 babies born 111 were not baptized.New EnglandPuritan commitments shaped early immigration to New England.New Englanders built churches as soon as they arrived.Until 1660, church attendance and baptism in New England reached rates higher than in England.But…The Puritans felt troubled by heresy.1.Example: Anne Hutchinson trial, 1637.The children of very religious Puritans were relatively indifferent to Puritanism. After 1650, indentured servants formed an increasingly secular part of the population.Half-Way Covenant of 1662: Allowed grandchildren of Puritans who migrated as part of the Great Migration to become church member without a conversion experience.
Myth: 17th century English colonists fled from religious persecution into a land of religious freedomMany colonists came for economic reasons, not for religious ones.At the end of the 17th century, most colonies offered less religious toleration than did England.In the 18th century, some religious toleration developed, centered in the middle coloniesReligious toleration started to develop more.An American BabelThe rapid immigration of Europeans led to the proliferation of religious groups:1.Baptists2.Presbyterians3.Quakers4.Mennonites5.Lutherans6.JewsFirst Great AwakeningA revitalization of religious piety that swept through the American colonies, 1730s-1770s.Began in the middle colonies, spread to New England, and culminated in the South.Revival meetings drew large crowds.George WhitefieldEnglish Methodist preacher.Delivered fiery sermons that criticized the Anglican church and appealed to emotions.Toured the colonies many times between 1739 and 1770.Jonathan EdwardsOne of the most famous preachers of the First Great Awakening.African American religionThe destruction of African religious systems.As a result of the Great Awakening, many masters began baptizing their slaves after 1760.The EnlightenmentIntellectual movement which began in the late 17th century which emphasized science and reason.Proponents believed that human reason could be used to combat ignorance, superstition, and tyranny.Began in England but then came to the Americas.Enlightenment in AmericaEnlightenment ideas were spread through the printing press.Politics began to be debated in public.

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