How did the Great Awakening contribute to the colonists' desire for independence?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Great Awakening was a spiritual revival which swept the American colonies from the 1730s. Though religious in character, the Awakening represented the first time that Americans had come together in the pursuit of the same ideals. Coupled with this, the Awakening also created many new denominations, each distinct from their Anglican and Protestant ancestors. Thus, the Awakening helped to create a national consciousness, the likes of which had never before existed and which separated the colonists from their British counterparts. Furthermore, as the religious zeal of these new denominations took root, the colonists began to consider the question of self-rule. As the British statesman, William Knox, noted: "Every man being thus allowed to be his own Pope, he becomes disposed to wish to become his own King."