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.