Essay on the American Church History

Published: 2021/12/06
Number of words: 1546

The early modern period saw the spread of Christianity in the Americas, thanks to a previously unheard-of movement of European clergy, religious pilgrims, and explorers. There were many different reasons why Protestants and Catholics made the long voyage. Some people escaped corrupt theocracies in search of Christian ideals and old beliefs in an unpopulated area far away. Bringing new areas and subjects under the control of their rulers was another way for some to glorify their home countries and churches. Many people had the impression that the indigenous people they encountered were “savages” who needed Christ’s salvific power. No matter if they explicitly questioned and reformed European religious traditions as well as ecclesiology, these envoys had a profound impact on the practice and theology of Christianity.

Between the 1730s to the 1770s, the American colonies saw what historians call “the first Great Awakening,” a resurgence of religious devotion. There was a simultaneous evangelical upsurge on the other side of the Atlantic, particularly in Germany, England, and Scotland which was part of a much bigger movement. Over time, a new era of faith evolved to counteract the trends of the Enlightenment, reinforcing the idea that to be really religious, one must put faith in one’s heart rather than one’s mind, prioritize feeling over reason, and rely on divine revelation rather than human logic. As the First Great Awakening got underway in the United States, Presbyterians in Pennsylvania and New Jersey began to notice the phenomenon[1]. As a result of the Tennent family’s religious revival efforts in the colonies during the 1730s, the Presbyterian Church built a seminary to train ministers whose fervent, genuine preaching would help convert sinners to evangelicalism. The seminary that was built was called, “the Log College”. This college is currently known as Princeton University

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In colonial America, the First Great Awakening resurrected the spirit of Puritanism. It resulted in a revival of Reformation thought. And it was from this fountain of spiritual understanding that theological and philosophical ideas such as Covenant, Jurisdiction, Providence, and Divine Sovereignty flowed[2]. The extent to which these beliefs influenced the rising tide of American political independence in the mid-1700s is a critical subject. One that has been disregarded to the American people’s peril. As noted previously, ignoring the theological legacy of the Great Awakening limits our ability to comprehend both our history and destiny The Republican Party in the United States did not spring out of thin air. It also didn’t appear during the European Enlightenment’s so-called rationalism. The Great religious awakening helped to prepare the founding generation’s hearts and minds for revolution and nation-building.

The second great awakening what are results of a series of religious revival that swept the United States from the 1970s into the 1830s to transform the religious landscape of the country[3]. America Revolution had become more of a secular affair. The founding fathers of America wanted to separate religion and politics by establishing a separation within the church and the states in the first amendment of the constitution. The three greatest religious groups before the Revolution were Congregationalists (18th-century descendants of Puritan churches), Anglicans (later known as Episcopalians), and Quakers. The nation’s fastest-growing religions, however, were Evangelical Methodism and Baptism by 1800[4]. The second great awakening was known for its large camp meetings which is leads to a handsome number of people converting because of the enthusiasm in the preaching and audience participation. These camps were everything which resulted to individuals gravitating towards the church.

The Second Great Awakening ushered in a new era of religious freedom in the United States[5]. There were a large number of religious groups in the Christian tradition that stressed the self-destructiveness of mankind and claimed that only God’s grace could deliver them from their sins. The new evangelical movement, on the other hand, emphasized more the power of individuals to improve their lives. The Second Great Awakening adopted an upbeat view of the human situation by highlighting that individuals could express their “free will” in choosing to be rescued and by proposing that redemption was open to all people. Many different revivals over the course of several decades contributed to the development of the United States into a far more thoroughly protestant country than it had previously been. Finally, the Second Great Awakening saw the emergence of more prominent white women in public life, as well as unprecedented levels of African-American conversion to Christianity.

It is common to describe fundamentalism as a religious reaction to modernity, particularly to the theory of evolution as a way to explain human origins and the notion that issues may be solved without regard to traditional religious beliefs[6]. The Niagara Bible Conferences of 1878 and 1897 are where American Fundamentalist ideas had their start[7]. There was a strong sentiment among those in attendance for going back to more traditional social distinctions and cultural traditions. In their minds, the Bible laid forth clearly defined roles for men and women, parents and children, clergy and laity, and the process of creation was also laid out there. The publication in the mid-19th century of Charles Darwin’s on the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection contributed significantly to the growth of the Fundamentalist movement. Evangelical Christian fundamentalists viewed the findings as a direct challenge to the Bible’s account of creationism.

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At the start of the twentieth century, conservative Christian leaders were alarmed by an inflow of non-Protestant immigration. In Protestant Christian fundamentalism, Scripture, not modern scientific teaching, is the final authority on all matters. The “fundamental” tenets of the religion are unavoidable and exempt from varying interpretations by those in less authoritarian religious groups. Basic Christians are a subset of evangelicals, a Protestant sect that believes they have a divine mandate to win over nonbelievers as well as adherents of other religions, including other Christian groups. Fundamentalists feel they are obligated by God to do so. Some Protestant fundamentalists believe in a doctrine known as premillennialism, which holds that Christ will return to earth after defeating evil and degradation, usher in and reign over a span of 1,000 years of earthly peace once he has triumphed over the same forces. Even though African-American Christians have had a considerable number of biblical literalists, militant evangelicalism in Texas has most often been a result of White evangelicalism.

In conclusion, this is the true testiment that a nation cannot be built in a day. It took three centuries to change the American people and how they think.The First awakening influenced rebellion towards colonisation and courage to claim their land. The second pushed for free will as a result of domination of politics over Christianity . The fundamental were pushed by the need to prove scientists wrong by using the Bible’s creation story. Christianity has made an impact in America and without these reforms the America and American people would not be what they are today. These are an important part of history and should be always remembered for the major part they played in creating The United States of America.


Heyrman, Christine Leigh. “The First Great Awakening, Divining America, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center.”, 2019.

Kirk, Stephanie L, and Sarah Rivett. Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas. Philadelphia: University Of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
Mcmurry, Douglas. The Forgotten Awakening : How the Second Great Awakening Spread West of the Rockies : A Historical Narrative. Sisters, Oregon: Deep River Books, 2011.

Stricklin, David. “TSHA | Fundamentalism.”, 2020.

[1] Christine Leigh Heyrman, “The First Great Awakening, Divining America, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center,”, 2019,

[2] Christine Leigh Heyrman, “The First Great Awakening, Divining America, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center,”, 2019,

[3] Douglas Mcmurry, The Forgotten Awakening : How the Second Great Awakening Spread West of the Rockies : A Historical Narrative (Sisters, Oregon: Deep River Books, 2011).

[4] Douglas Mcmurry, The Forgotten Awakening : How the Second Great Awakening Spread West of the Rockies : A Historical Narrative (Sisters, Oregon: Deep River Books, 2011).

[5] Douglas Mcmurry, The Forgotten Awakening : How the Second Great Awakening Spread West of the Rockies : A Historical Narrative (Sisters, Oregon: Deep River Books, 2011).

[6]Stephanie L Kirk and Sarah Rivett, Religious Transformations in the Early Modern Americas (Philadelphia: University Of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).

There are no sources in the current document. [7] David Stricklin, “TSHA | Fundamentalism,”, 2020,

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