Ideas And Motiviations Behind The Enlightenment And Great Awakening

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My opinion of the main ideas and motivations behind the Enlightenment and Great Awakening is that at a time of bad economic times, unemployment, death, disease and difficult climate/land conditions, among other things, times were very hard on the colonists and they were beginning to lose hope as a result. So they turned to two things: the Great Awakening for religious/spiritual support and guidance, and the Enlightenment in order to learn to use reasoning in "finding the truth." As far as the Great Awakening is concerned, churches seemed to be the only relief for colonists from their stressful lives, and they also served as places for social meetings and gatherings among all the colonists. In that way, churches were seen almost as a necessity, like food and shelter. During church sermons, the colonists were driven over the head, again and again, on the idea that without God's forgiveness for sins in life, one would burn in Hell forever, and this for many individuals also made church the only place where they could save their souls, so to speak. One famous preacher from Enfield, Connecticut told his congregation that they hung by a thread, and that sinners would drop into the pit of Hell. So, in a way, preachers/ministers used church sermons to create a community that lived in constant fear of going to that destination. In addition, there was also George Whitfield, who had a "gift" for turning sermons into something resembling theater productions that became frenzied to the point of hysteria, which had to be quite a fearful scene. The colonists couldn't help thinking that the preachers were right, that their poor conditions were brought upon them by the "wrath of God." But this process worked, making them think, and also leading them to a renewed belief that there was light at the end of the tunnel. However, the Great Awakening had it's negative effects,
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