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Viktoriya Kuz September 29, 2013

AP US History Essay

The Great Awakening

Question: What were the long-term effects of the Great Awakening? You can include the themes of the Enlightenment and effects on religious movements today. Answer: The Great Awakening was essentially a spiritual awakening of different religious groups in the thirteen colonies of America in the 18th century. While before the people were more static and somber in their approach to religion, when the Awakening began they started to be more emotional, so they they could feel a greater connection to God. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Church of England suppressed Catholicism, Puritanism, and Judaism, and this suppression eventually led to the Great Awakening in America. During this religious revival, the people realized that power of religion was in their hands, not in the Church of England. A major effect of the First Great Awakening was the American Revolution. During the Awakening, people realized they could control their own religion, instead of the Church controlling it. A few generations later, the American Revolution came about. Based on the Declaration of Independence, it is obvious that many of the ideas during the Revolution came from the Great Awakening, like the fact that the colonists had their own will for self-governance. The colonists, although of different religious groups, shared the same hope for freedom from Britain. Without the Great Awakening, the colonists might not have been so strong in their belief in freedom. There were a few minor long-term effects of the Great Awakening. For example, there was more involvement of women in church, and more participation in general from then on. Another effect was the growth in the Baptist Church. The first black Baptist church was formed because of the Awakening, actually. The Methodist Church was born as well, started by John Wesley. Because of the rise of these two churches, the Anglican Church decreased in power and participation in the colonies. As a result of this, there was less royal authority to intervene in religious matters, leading to less authority during the Revolution. The Quakers and Congregationalists also declined. A major long-term effect that still exists today is religious toleration. During the Awakening, the many religious groups in the colonies had their own leaders who adhered to the Great Awakening's theme of emotional awakening and preached in different manners than before. Religions became more acceptable, and even black Baptist churches were created, showing a sense of grater religious approval for different Christian faiths. Today, we see that not just Christian faiths are respected and allowed to be practiced. We have so many different religions around the world that include greater emotional

attachment, which comes from the Great Awakening. In addition, a grater inner thinking and intuition derived from the Awakening, which can be seen in religion and everyday life today. For example, Buddhism has many "inner" self principles that apply to all Buddhists. Christianity has the same ideas. Finally, a long-term effect of the Awakening that was not entirely religious was the increase in education through the establishment of such colleges as Princeton University, Brown University and Rutgers University. These universities were founded to train ministers, priests, and other religious authorities. Later, however, they became more secularized and people began to apply for regular college education in these schools. Now, Princeton and Brown are two Ivy League colleges of the East Coast, which are considered the best colleges in America and even in a wider range. The history that is left in these colleges of the Great Awakening lies there to remind educators, students, and people outside the universities of how these ideas began.