The Great Awakening

In the 1730s and 1740s, a religious revival called the Great Awakening swept through the colonies. This movement, also termed Evangelical Protestantism, urged people to overcome their sins with faith, deeply emotional experiences, and divine grace.

The passion of the Awakening diverged from the rational philosophy of the Enlightenment. Yet the Evangelical emphasis on individual faith and equality within congregations fed budding democratic ideals. Use of newspapers and pamphlets to promote revival rallies would later be adopted by revolutionaries to advocate for political change.

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