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What effect did the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening have on life in British North America - Essay Example

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This essay aims to answer what effect the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening had on life in British North America. During the seventeenth century native inhabitants of America were uncivilized and they used to wear small skirts made up of leaves just covering their loins and they used bows and arrows for hunting and fighting purpose…
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What effect did the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening have on life in British North America
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Download file to see previous pages The natives were also very much concerned with their beliefs, authority of their tribal chiefs, the traditional responsibilities for an individual’s clan and their close relationship with the nature (Demos, 4). The English were trying to bring these natives from “darkness of heathenism” to Protestant Christianity, which could fill the savagery lives of these natives with bright light of English “civility”. However the transformation in the form of an awakening did not happen overnight.
The English started to build villages, started plantation, trees were cut down and sawed to build houses, barns, furnishings, etc. They also built special places called “praying towns” for the inhabitants who converted to Protestants. But the British faced many natural hindrances like winter cold, crop blights, droughts and storms. Then there were epidemic diseases like small pox, measles, respiratory illnesses and typhus, which were brought by the European colonizers themselves also acted as crippling influence to their plans for creating a new civilization. It also created demographic losses and complications brewed up with ethnic, linguistic and religious differences. (Demos, 3) After much struggle when they finally built the colony, during the late 17th and 18th centuries, different cities of colonial America played a pivotal role as many of them were seaports and it enabled the Enlightenment movement of Europe to reach American soil....
The theory of Rational Christianity also emerged during this period. This Enlightenment process reached the American colonists a century later and during the late 1700 and early 1800 century the American colonists saw a key change. The British colonies were liberal in their outlook in dealing with different intellectual and religious challenges. During this period America saw many spiritual and religious revitalizations. It also challenged the divine right and role of religion. It enabled the American colonists to challenge the King as well as the divine right. This helped to raise common views between the North and South and this belief was preached across the races through North and South of the colonial America. It also stated that slavery is similar to sin. The people began to develop belief in themselves and the importance of the church and the clergymen diminished. Changes were observed with respect to the reducing significance of the sects. (The Great Awakening And Enlightenment In Colonial America). The period saw a growth in literacy and witnessed an increase in number of colleges. The impact of the Great Awakening in colonial America led to creation of many new colleges in order to educate “new light” ministers like – Princeton, Rutgers, Brown, etc. This enabled to create a rift between believes of the thinkers and it resulted in formation of two cults namely, “old lights” who believed in rational process and “new lights” who focused on the experience gathered from life. These religious challenges also strengthened political challenges to the authorities (CHAPTER FIVE: THE CULTURES OF COLONIAL NORTH AMERICA, 1700—1780). Many soldiers those who took part in the revolutionary war were “new light” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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