Essay about The Great Awakening And The American Enlightenment

1012 Words Feb 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
Intro/Thesis:
The Great Awakening and the American Enlightenment sparked the American Revolution by creating a revolution of ideas about equality and a common identity. The importance of oneness and an egalitarian Nation was prominent in both movements, and helped shape the American identity. Through the Great Awakening and the American Enlightenment, social barriers broke down. The common people held the power; traditional authority dissolved, and America’s society no longer resembled Great Britain’s hierarchical structure. The American people’s unity helped establish their own Nation, independent from Great Britain.

I. Great Awakening
The First Great Awakening occurred during the mid 18th century. It was a movement of religious revivals that swept the colonies. Revivals, or awakenings, were moments of religious excitement that often resulted in spiritual conversions in which individuals accepted their sins and took in God’s mercy. People who experienced these conversions, were born again. Rebirth was the main goal of Evangelical preaching. There were several famous preachers, and among them, George Whitfield was likely the most well-known. He held congregations of thousands of people, and his words led to a number of conversions. Even non-believers were convinced after listening to him speak. Whitefield supported interdenominational cooperation; his outdoor meetings allowed for anyone, of any gender or race, to listen and experience a rebirth. A farm woman named Hannah…

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