What was the Great Awakening and how did it influence colonial independence?
The Great Awakening was a religious revival based on individual freedom and democracy that set a standard for political individual freedom and democracy.
The Great Awakening called on people as individuals to establish a relationship with God and live more moral lives. Before the Great Awakening the church leaders and hierarchy controlled the churches of America.
After the Great Awakening the common people controlled many of the churches of America. Voting on who should be the elders and pastors of the local churches became common place. There were less differences between the leaders and the common people. In fact often the common people became the leaders of the church.
The common people of America having experience democracy and equality in the churches began to demand democracy and equality in the political life of the nation. The New England Town Meetings were a manifestation of this desire for a greater voice in politics.
After the French and Indian Wars the British started to exert more control over the local politics of the American Colonies. Elected leaders were replaced with appointed Govenors from England. Local Legislative Bodies were dissolved and taxes were imposed from England.
The desire for more freedom and independence created by the Great Awakening went directly against the direction of the British
Government. The conflict between the religious based desire for freedom and the desire for more money and control by the British was one of the basic causes of the American War for Independence.