Effects puritanism and great awakening upon american society
Puritan values in american society
Two leading literary and cultural scholars of New England Puritanism and its legacy, Harvard Professors Perry Miller in the s and 50s and, more recently, Sacvan Bercovitch, the studied the rhetorical strategies of the New England Puritans and demonstrated the remarkable extent to which the leaders and clergy created a rich American Christian mythology to describe their Providential role as the new Chosen People in world history. While some moderates did not support church-state separation, they were willing to relinquish some church authority in society to purify the state churches. Another shared sentiment of the chiefly Protestant nation was a fear of Catholic domination. This war with the Wampanoag people, whose leader, Metacomet, was known as Philip to the English, resulted in the loss of ten percent of the soldiers on each side as well as the loss of many civilians, making it one of the bloodiest wars ever in North America. Many early American religious groups in the Calvinist tradition had emphasized the deep depravity of human beings and believed they could only be saved through the grace of God. When the Reverend John Wilson, who was the pastor of the congregation in which Cotton was the teacher, seemed to go too far in the direction of suggesting that good works might lead to salvation, the Hutchinsons were disturbed. Thus, they could afford to make sacrifices for their land in times of need. In the s and s, the vision of the sacred destiny depicted in the Puritan idiom became part of the political tracts and speeches during and after the war and even in the writing of Thomas Paine. As people grew weary of not receiving grace and others faked conversion experiences, all the clergy could do was to encourage people to pray, study the scriptures, and await grace and conversion. These issues should generate much discussion about patriotism, American wars and imperialism.
New, independent churches grew alongside state churches, and many denominations expanded without government support. Old Lights believed, as the early colonies, that national or state churches are necessary to promote faith, religion, and morality in society.
The Puritan idea of Americans as the second Chosen People of God has played an important and lasting role in the views of Americans about their own country and the views of those abroad about the way in which the United States has employed the idea of the City on the Hill.
Bythere was little left of the Puritan society that had been the City on the Hill, the Beacon to the World of the world to emulate. Two leading literary and cultural scholars of New England Puritanism and its legacy, Harvard Professors Perry Miller in the s and 50s and, more recently, Sacvan Bercovitch, the studied the rhetorical strategies of the New England Puritans and demonstrated the remarkable extent to which the leaders and clergy created a rich American Christian mythology to describe their Providential role as the new Chosen People in world history.
What caused the great awakening
Unlike England, which after the Glorious Revolution of had become spiritually stagnant under the Church of England, the colonists adhered to no single denomination. In an unprecedented move, the magistrates had excluded the clergy, who had always handed witchcraft charges, from participating in the investigation. Whitefield toured the colonies up and down the Atlantic coast, preaching his message. One effect of this event was the creation of a new church landscape in America. Those who appeared to be genuinely pious seemed to be the same people who grew wealthy. Also that these economic development fostered the development of permanent settlements. A Third Great Awakening was said to span from the late s to the early 20th century. As this quotation suggests, evangelical ministers reached their audience at an emotional level that powerfully moved large crowds. Faith gave hope to slaves, some of whom found spiritual liberation even while in slavery. Most difficult is the doctrine of predestination which most find downright absurd.
In spite of their reassurances at the end of their jeremiads, the clergy and the older church members began to lament the continuing decline of fervor within the congregations. In the s and s, the American Jonathan Edwards and the English minister George Whitefield led the first religious revivals during what came to be called the Great Awakening.
The great awakening
No person can change what is predestined so free will plays no role in the process of salvation. The Great Awakening led to many positive and lasting effects in American society and culture, many of which are apparent in our time. My heart beat tumultuously, my knees trembled, my lips quivered, and I felt as though I must fall to the ground. They saw unregulated religion as divisive, undermining order and stability in society. Their form of government had elected leaders such as Winthrop himself who made decisions with the advice of magistrates and the clergy. The first execution occurred in June and by the end of September twenty had been hung, one pressed to death, and at least four others died in prison. After severe hardships during their first few years, the community of survivors became so successful that beginning in John Winthrop led thirty thousand more to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony in what became Boston. During these intervals, the accusers often reconsidered their accusations that most often stemmed from personal or financial conflicts. Known today as the Second Great Awakening, this spiritual resurgence fundamentally altered the character of American religion.
Many American writers of the last hundred years adopted the jeremiad pattern to compose such works as The Great Gatsby and to examine the failures of the nation, symbolized in that novel by the Chicago Black Sox scandal in baseball.
In their writings, Franklin and Crevecoeur make use of several examples of what an American is.
Puritanism in american literature pdf
Many may have lived very virtuous lives, but if they do not experience grace and conversion, they will not be saved. As such, New England in the late s had one of the highest literacy rates in the world at that time. The state has no jurisdiction over religious matters but should only enforce civil laws in society to maintain peace and order. Disturbed by what she heard as heresy, Anne began to hold weekly meetings in her home to discuss theology. Many American writers of the last hundred years adopted the jeremiad pattern to compose such works as The Great Gatsby and to examine the failures of the nation, symbolized in that novel by the Chicago Black Sox scandal in baseball. Certainly, the many problems of the previous two decades produced a charged atmosphere that generated extraordinary fear and paranoia. The most serious and destructive case of dissent arose from within the original group of settlers and involved a very prominent family. Citation Information. As increasing numbers of those emigrating from England were not joining the churches, Boston and many other communities were becoming more secular and the people more materialistic. Their uses of the imagery, myths, and verbal structures of the Puritan sermon kept the jeremiad alive. The clergy advised their church members that they should pray, study the Bible, and hope to receive grace, but they also must accept that if an individual is not predestined to be saved, there is nothing that he or she can do to save themselves. Nevertheless, the Awakening, which supported human dignity and the idea that all men are equal before God, opened the Bible and Gospel to many African-Americans and helped to pave the way for freedom for all men. Whitefield would often shout the word of God and tremble during his sermons. The Second Great Awakening was more than just a religious movement; it provided a new social outlet.
Perhaps it would help to have student discuss similar kinds of situations that cause such distress and self-loathing today.
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