The Enlightenment and Great Awakening

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The Enlightenment and Great
Awakening
The Enlightenment

Enlightenment-philosophers valued
reason and scientific methods. During the
Renaissance in Europe scientists began
looking beyond religious beliefs and
traditional assumptions for answers about
how the world worked. Careful
observations and reason, or rational
thought, led to the discovery of some of
the natural laws and principles governing
the world and human behavior.
Enlightenment

The work of Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo
Galilei, and Sir Isaac Newton established
that the earth revolved around the sun
and not vice versa.
Enlightenment


Benjamin Franklin- helped to bring
Enlightenment ideas from Europe to the
colonies.
The Enlightenment had a profound effect on
political thought in the colonies. Colonial
leaders such as Thomas Jefferson reasoned
that human beings are born with natural
rights that government must respect.
Enlightenment principles eventually would
lead many colonists to question the
authority of the British monarchy.
Great Awakening

Great Awakening-In the early 1700s, the
Puritans had lost some of their influence.
Under the new Massachusetts charter of
1691, Puritans were required to practice
religious tolerance and could no longer
limit voting privileges to members of their
own church. As Puritan merchants
prospered, they developed a taste for fine
houses, stylish clothes, and good food and
wine.
Great Awakening

As a result, their interest in maintaining
the strict Puritan code declined. A series
of religious revivals aimed at restoring the
intensity and dedication of the early
Puritan church swept through the
colonies. These came to be known as the
Great Awakening.

Enlightenment –
an 18th century
intellectual
movement that
emphasized the use
of reason and the
scientific method as
means of obtaining
knowledge

Great Awakening
– a revival of
religious feelings
in the American
colonies during
the 1730s and
1750s
What kind of movement was it?
ENLIGHTENMENT
 intellectual
GREAT AWAKENING
 religious
Who were its key figures in the
colonies?
ENLIGHTENMENT
 Ben Franklin
 Thomas Jefferson
GREAT AWAKENING
 Jonathan Edwards
 George Whitefield
What ideas did it stress?
ENLIGHTENMENT
 Natural world governed
by fixed mathematical
laws not miracles or
chance
 Truth can be found by
using reason,
observation, and
experimentation
 Individuals have natural
rights
GREAT AWAKENING
 People should return to
Puritan values and
rededicate themselves to
God
 People need salvation
 People can experience
God directly
 Education is important
 Individuals can question
authority
What did it encourage people to do?
ENLIGHTENMENT
 To use experimentation
and observation as tools
to make discoveries
about the natural world
 To rely on reason
 To read and learn
 To question traditional
authority including that
of the British monarchy
GREAT AWAKENING
 To rededicate
themselves to God
 To join organized
churches
 To found colleges for
training ministers
 To read the Bible
 To question traditional
authority
Effects of Great Awakening and
Enlightenment

Although the Great Awakening
emphasized emotionalism and the
Enlightenment emphasized reason, the
two movements had similar
consequences. Both caused people to
question traditional authority. Both
stressed the importance of the individual:
the Enlightenment by emphasizing human
reason, and the Great Awakening by deemphasizing the role of church authority.
Effects of the Great Awakening and
Enlightenment

These movements helped lead the
colonists to question Britain’s authority
over their lives, they were important in
creating intellectual and social
atmosphere that eventually led to the
American Revolution.

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