American History Essay

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United States, 2006: a nation with a history of a mere 230 years, yet it stands as one of the most powerful nations in the world. Yet many of us know little about the history and cultural changes that led to the birth of this nation. We only know the bits and pieces that are taught as we sit daydreaming in our fifth grade classroom. The Puritans, the Pilgrims, Christopher Columbus, the Mayflower, we know about these people and things, yet what aspects of their lives created the change in America? The answer to this question can be found by observing the changes in religion, women's role, and colonial law as it brought about the change in the Puritan's cultural values.
In 1630, the first group of Puritans under the name of the
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Puritanism for the Massachusetts Bay Colony consisted of seeing the Bible as a guide, justifying their actions through faith, and finally believing in predestination.
However, this model that stood as the foundation for the Massachusetts Bay Colony shattered decades later after the movement which came to be known as the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening as defined by Edwin Gaustad and Mark Noll in A Documentary History of Religion in America, "In that wave of religious excitement known as the Great Awakening, many found the depths of religious feeling more meaningful than the superficiality of denomination or language or even race." This movement revived religious enthusiasm in the mass, increasing religion's role in daily lives. After generation of declination in the belief of a biblical commonwealth that the colonies' founding father had set forth, the Great Awakening revived these feelings. However, the movement did not have revert the new generation of Puritans to thinking of what their forefathers believed in. The movement encouraged people to learn the bible and interpret it on their own without the aids of the minister. Furthermore, it also brought about an increase in religious belief, played a role in decreasing prejudice and identification differences as it allowed blacks to also become Christians. All these changes in religion also brought…

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