A Paper on the Great Awakening and Philosophical Forces in Colonial America

A Paper on the Great Awakening and Philosophical Forces in Colonial America

Document details
Category: Philosophy Essay
Subcategory: Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
Words: 361
Pages: 1

The influence of philosophical forces in Colonial America began to take effect when Britain left the American colonies in salutary neglect. Colonial America began to take a shape of its own through new ideas concerning subjects such as economic, religious, and political views. The Great Awakening and the Enlightenment periods made individualism a priority for most Americans who realized that dependency on the crown was no longer necessary. The Great Awakening had a lasting effect upon the manner in which the people in the American colonies viewed themselves, their relationships with each other, and their faith. The movement itself was sending the message to the ordinary person that religions and all classes of people were equal, an unheard of idea to many at the time and one unpopular to the established church. The Great Awakening had brought about a change of values that effected religion, politics and daily life. The average individual was on their own and depended on himself for survival. Authority was met by great resistance. It had created within the common man a new feeling of self-worth. People assumed new responsibilities in religious affairs and became skeptical of authority. These attitudes were the beginnings of a sense of independence and equality that would set the stage for the American Revolution. The Great Awakening terrified some colonists whereas it comforted others. The Old Lights opposed the Awakening and the reactions it produced whereas the New Lights favored its stimulating effects on the churches. The Old Lights sought rationalism in theology. As the emotional excesses of the Awakening became more pronounced the New Light split into two groups the moderates and the radicals. Because the Church dominated all aspects of colonial life, the formation of separate churches posed a tremendous threat to the established order of the colony. The meeting house was both the church and the political center of the town, the location for society meetings. Regardless of whether or...

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