Like the formation of most societies, people moved from one area to another because of differences with the controlling ideas or beliefs of political authorities. They came to America with new ideas to form an ideal society where everyone could participate.
Many scholars have argued that various elements of Puritanism persisted in the culture and society of the United States long after the New England Puritanism discussed in the following pages was recognizable. However, many of the verbal formulations that the early Congregational and Presbyterian clergy devised as ways to imagine themselves as a special people on a sacred errand into the wilderness of a New World have been sustained in the social, political, economic, and religious thinking of Americans even to the present.
Two leading literary and cultural scholars of New England Puritanism and its legacy, Harvard Professors Perry Miller in the s and 50s and, more recently, Sacvan Bercovitch, the studied the rhetorical strategies of the New England Puritans and demonstrated the remarkable extent to which the leaders and clergy created a rich American Christian mythology to describe their Providential role as the new Chosen People in world history.
After severe hardships during their first few years, the community of survivors became so successful that beginning in John Winthrop led thirty thousand more to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony in what became Boston.
With Winthrop as Governor, the Puritans, as they were called by their enemies, established a government and churches and initially negotiated with the local tribes for land; later they would decide that God had intended for the land to be freely taken by the English.
Winthrop thought of himself as creating a Christian utopia where they could practice their religion in peace with each congregation having its own elected minister and its own covenant with God.
Because Winthrop and most of his fellow Puritans had previously experienced a religious conversion experience, they were able to become church members, vote, and own property. Their form of government had elected leaders such as Winthrop himself who made decisions with the advice of magistrates and the clergy.
Some scholars have called this form of government a theocracy. To understand the Puritans and the nature of their society, it is necessary to grasp some of the theological principles of Calvinism. He reasoned that since God has infinite power and knowledge He knows everything that has ever occurred in the universe and everything that will occur.
Thus, since God knows what every human on earth has done and will do, He already knows who is predestined to receive His grace, have a conversion experience, and spend eternity in heaven.
No person can change what is predestined so free will plays no role in the process of salvation. The clergy advised their church members that they should pray, study the Bible, and hope to receive grace, but they also must accept that if an individual is not predestined to be saved, there is nothing that he or she can do to save themselves.
When a person receives grace, he or she is quiet aware of the powerful experience, and a congregation is made up of those joyful converted souls whom they call saints. Many may have lived very virtuous lives, but if they do not experience grace and conversion, they will not be saved.
|Get Full Essay||Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Get Access The Effects of Puritanism and the Great Awakening Upon American Society Essay Sample During the seventeenth and eighteenth century, both Puritanism and the Great Awakening played crucial roles in developing American society by paving the way to the development of democracy, by establishing a culture governed by ethics and morals, and by creating a united and independent society.|
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While a large percentage of the first arrivals were saints, many of their children were not. To be sure that the church leaders were not fooled into admitting hypocrites who give false testimony of their conversion, the clergy required applicants for membership to give a detailed personal narrative of their conversion experience before the congregation and answer questions.
Because many who did not experience grace became discouraged, the clergy tried to find ways to encourage good behavior even as they knew that only the few were predestined for salvation.
This problem of controlling the disgruntled and unconverted produced many problems for the colony.
Although most of those who migrated to America in shared a common Calvinist theology and the experience of having been persecuted in England for their faith, there was by no means unanimity regarding how they would practice their religion.
Each congregation was autonomous and followed the rules of its own written covenant, and each minister had his own ideas on how to apply the various doctrines of Calvinism.
As the colony grew, increasing numbers did not embrace Calvinism at all or even Christianity. Different dissenting groups and sects arose including Quakers, Anabaptists, Millenarians, Baptists, Familists, Enthusiasts, and Antinomians.During the seventeenth and eighteenth century, both Puritanism and the Great Awakening played crucial roles in developing American society by paving the way to the development of democracy, by establishing a culture governed by ethics and morals, and by creating a united and independent society.5/5(1).
Director, Center for Ideas and Society ©National Humanities Center. Introduction. The purpose of this essay is to trace the effects of seventeenth-century New England Puritanism upon the development of the United States of America.
The Effects of Puritanism and the Great Awakening Upon American Society English Revolution, English migrations to New England in the early seventeenth century, and the transformation of the Puritan settlements into a unified and theocratic state (34). The Effects of Puritanism and the Great Awakening Upon American Society Essay eighteenth century, both Puritanism and the Great Awakening played crucial roles in developing American society by paving the way to the development of democracy, by establishing a culture governed by ethics and morals, and by creating a united and .
The American Revolution had significant effects on American society as a whole radically changing certain aspects including its social, political, economic, and religious contexts. Also, the status of women, slaves, and Loyalists were radically changed through this .
Essay on The People, Words and Effects of the Great Awakening - The Great Awakening was an event that occurred in the early 18th century characterized by fervent and enthusiastic worship in a series of revivals that spread throughout the American .