Great awakening

The several periods of religious revival

British colonies rejoice


The term Great Awakening can refer to several periods of religious revival in American religious history. Historians and theologians identify three or four waves of increased religious enthusiasm occurring between the early 18th century and the late 19th century. Each of these "Great Awakenings" was characterized by widespread revivals led by evangelical Protestant ministers, a sharp increase of interest in religion, a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected, an increase in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations.

The first great awakening

Second great awakening

Additionally, pastoral styles began to change. In the late colonial period, most pastors read their sermons, which were theologically dense and advanced a particular theological argument or interpretation. The leaders of the Great Awakening, such as James Davenport, Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennent and George Whitefield, had little interest in merely engaging parishioners' intellects; rather, they sought a strong emotional response from their congregations that might yield the workings and experiential evidence of saving grace. Nathan Hatch argues that the evangelical movement of the 1740s played a key role in the development of democratic thought.[6][disputed ], as well as the belief of the free press and the belief that information should be shared and completely unbiased and uncontrolled.[7] These concepts ushered in the period of the American Revolution. This contributed to create a demand for religious freedom.[8] The Great Awakening represented the first time African Americans embraced Christianity in large numbers.[9]

In the later part of the 1700s the Revival came to the English colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, primarily through the efforts of Henry Alline and his New Light movement