What two ideas from the Great Awakening contributed to the American Revolution?

2 Answers | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are at least two ways in which (we can argue) the Great Awakening helped prepare the way for the American Revolution. The Great Awakening was a major religious revival that began in the 1730s.  It encouraged people to renew their religious fervor and to develop a greater appreciation for God’s mercy in their lives. Although this was a religious movement, it had two important impacts that helped lead to the Revolution.

First, the Great Awakening encouraged people to think for themselves.  The Great Awakening made people think about what they wanted to get from religion and what kind of relationship they wanted with God.  It also forced them to choose between churches because the Great Awakening led to splits within many of the sects that existed at the time. By making people think for themselves, the Great Awakening may have helped people move towards the idea of democracy.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, the Great Awakening can be seen as an anti-authority movement.  The preachers of the Great Awakening were going against the religious doctrines of the established leaders of their churches.  They were arguing that uneducated preachers knew as much about the word of God as church leaders who had been to college and who held high positions of authority.  By encouraging Americans to think in this way, the Great Awakening encouraged them to challenge authority, something which could have easily helped lead to the Revolution.

Sources:
annawielinski's profile pic

annawielinski | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

The Great Awakening was the first spontaneous mass movement of the American people and it grew their sense as a single people. This prepared them for the American Revolution because before the Great Awakening took place, there was not a sense of unity among the American people. Unity was needed for America to defend their country and fight back against Britain. 

We’ve answered 318,972 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question