The Impact of Religion on the Development of Colonial America

1030 Words Aug 19th, 2011 5 Pages
Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions: New England Chesapeake Middle Atlantic

The Impact of Religion on the Development of Colonial America

During the seventeenth century, colonial America was welcoming many newcomers, several from England. Quantities of these newcomers were seeking land for economic purposes as others were longing for religious toleration. Many of the English colonists settled in the New England region for religious freedoms, to escape the English king, and leave adversaries of other religions behind. Settlers who resided in the Middle Atlantic region were affected differently. Although the Middle Atlantic was more
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Economically, a large amount of money was spent on building new churches and financial aid was given to ministers. Massachusetts was the first colony to tax residents to support the Congressionalist Church. Also, during the Great Awakening, churches were making attempts to return those individuals who roamed away from the church. The Great Awakening was a revival caused by Jonathon Edwards during the enlightenment time period. The purpose of this revival was to inspire communities to become more religiously involved as pastors were feeling distant from god because of the lack of interest in religion at the time. The Great Awakening undermined the Old Clergy and increased both the number and competiveness of churches. Thousands of books were published and sold to bring the churches profit and therefore allowed more money to aid in the churches construction. Socially, religion brought people together. People of the same religion often worked better together which resulted in a stronger and closer community. Schools were developed for children to learn to read the bible and to teach young men leadership. In the New England region, dominance was shown with an impressive number of graduates, greatly excelling the southern colonies. Religion was so vital to these early colonists that it greatly affected social development, schooling, and even various basic rights we take for granted today. In Colonial America, one must have been a member
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