The first Great Awakening was a religious movement that took place in the American colonies in the early part of the 1700s. Many of the leaders of this religious revival were Calvinists or followers of Calvinism, a movement started in the sixteenth century by religious reformer John Calvin. Others were budding Congregationalists who followed John Wesley, the Anglican clergyman who founded the Methodist branch of the Church of England.
The most well-known leader of the Great Awakening is perhaps Jonathan Edwards, a preacher from Massachusetts. Edwards is often studied in American literature classes, as his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" demonstrates well the intensity of religious emotion at this time in American history. Another leader is George Whitefield, an Englishman who traveled to the American colonies whose preachings excited great emotion amongst his followers.