Religion and the American Revolution

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Historical Background

While the dominant narrative of the American Revolution focuses on its political causes, the factor of religion cannot be ignored. Many settlers came to the North American colonies seeking the freedom to practice their religions. For the Puritans, who established a vision for their colony, calling it a “City upon a Hill,” religion was intertwined with America’s destiny to become a beacon for the world.

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The Great Awakening

Resource type: 
Teaching Resource

Historical Background

The most important religious development in colonial America was the introduction of religious revivals known as the Great Awakening. Religious revivals first appeared in England, Scotland, and Germany, and ultimately spread to the colonies. The fervor of these revivals represented a reaction against the formality of Congregational churches. A leading figure in the Great Awakening was the clergyman Jonathan Edwards, who attempted to reconcile Calvinism and the Enlightenment.

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by Barry Levy
by Eli Faber
by Francis J. Bremer

Every society constructs what one scholar has called a “perimeter fence,” which sets theMore »