The Enlightenment Was A Life Changing Time Period For Americans

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The Enlightenment was a life changing time period for Americans. I believe that the best definition to ascribe to the Enlightenment would be "to shed light on". Whether it is a subject, object, or opinion, all of the definitions made sense to me. One of the reoccurring themes we hear about in this era is religion. The new American religious figures of this time, like pastor/preacher Jonathon Edwards, desperately wanted to break away from the old world doctrines of Europe. In an attempt to get people on board with the new "spiritual awakening" that was taking place, Edwards used scare tactics in his sermons, that gave his followers the impression that if their souls did not become saved, and they did not dedicate their lives to their religion, they would be deemed to spend eternity in hell, paying for it. There were infinite ways a man could be sent to hell, and it was more of an effort trying constantly not to be deemed wicked or unworthy, than it was just to live your life as a good person, not worrying about the practicalities of it all, for example, when Edwards preached, "God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell". (Edwards 212) The religious followers that Edwards preached to, and the supporters of the witch trials at Salem may have at one point, even through their fear and hate, seen these experiences as spiritually enlightening, giving them a sense of purpose and direction in their lives, but I
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