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Wikipedia:
The Great Awakening was a Christian revitalization movement that swept the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American religion. It resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of personal revelation of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ. Pulling away from ritual and ceremony, the Great Awakening made Christianity intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality.
It brought Christianity to African slaves and was a monumental event in New England that challenged established authority. It incited rancor and division between old traditionalists who insisted on the continuing importance of ritual and doctrine, and the new revivalists, who encouraged emotional involvement and personal commitment. It had a major impact in reshaping the Congregational church, the Presbyterian church, the Dutch Reformed Church, and the German Reformed denomination, and strengthened the small Baptist and Methodist denominations. It had little impact on Anglicans and Quakers.
Unlike the Second Great Awakening, that began about 1800 and which reached out to the unchurched, the First Great Awakening focused on people who were already church members. It changed their rituals, their piety and their self awareness. To the evangelical imperatives of Reformation Protestantism, 18th- century American Christians added emphases on divine outpourings of the Holy Spirit and conversions that implanted within new believers an intense love for God. Revivals encapsulated those hallmarks and forwarded the newly created evangelicalism into the early republic.

The First Great Awakening led to changes in Americans' understanding of God, themselves, and the world around them. In the Middle and Southern colonies, especially in the "back country" regions, the Awakening was influential among Presbyterians. In the southern Tidewater and Low Country, northern Baptist and Methodist preachers converted both whites and blacks, enslaved and free. The Baptists especially welcomed blacks into active roles in congregations, including as preachers. Before the American Revolution, the first black Baptist churches were founded in the South in Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia; in Petersburg, Virginia, two black Baptist churches were founded.

The new style of sermons and the way people practiced their faith breathed new life into religion in America. Participants became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion, rather than passively listening to intellectual discourse in a detached manner. Ministers who used this new style of preaching were generally called "new lights", while the preachers who remained unemotional were referred to as "old lights". People affected by the revival began to study the Bible at home. The Awakening played a major role in the lives of women, especially, though rarely were they allowed to preach or take public roles.

 

The new style of sermons and the way people practiced their faith breathed new life into religion in America. Participants became passionately and emotionally involved in their religion, rather than passively listening to intellectual discourse in a detached manner. Ministers who used this new style of preaching were generally called "new lights", while the preachers who remained unemotional were referred to as "old lights". People affected by the revival began to study the Bible at home. The Awakening played a major role in the lives of women, especially, though rarely were they allowed to preach or take public roles.

 

Panel #4
The Great Awakening

Period of Religious Revival- Freedom of Expression
(1730-1740)

E Pluribus Unum
"Out of Many, One"
HISTORY in a FLAG
Fifty historical moments that defines one nation