Religion is something that has existed for thousands of years. It is part of many people’s ideologies, and is something that humans have associated themselves with for a variety of reasons. It also affects people in many different ways. For some, it is a way of life, while for others it may be on the back burner for most of their lives. Some people dedicate their lives to it, while some ultimately give these beliefs up. The idea of religion is a fascinating concept that has shaped the line that humanity has headed in. One of many periods during which religion played a major role was during the mid-17th century, leading up to the events of the American Revolution. Religion is an extremely powerful thing, and has/continued to be a major part of human life.
One of the main reasons as to why people came to the New World in the 1600s was to escape religious persecution. English separatists, who later became known as Pilgrims, had wanted to leave England after the creation of the 1559 Act of Uniformity, which made it illegal to reject the Church of England. The rejection of these ideas by groups such as the Pilgrims is arguably one of the most crucial events in history, because without it, what later became the United States would never have had its population. The emigration of people like the Pilgrims from England to the New World also resulted in a lot of interaction with the Native peoples of the New World. This interaction was also very important, as plenty of the suffering that the Native American population would go through, would be at the hands of the descendants of these immigrants. Granted, there were people who came for other reasons as well, but a large majority came to be able to practice freely. However, religion also played a major role in the years to come, especially in the years leading to and during the Revolution.
In the later years of the 17th century leading into the 18th century, different religions were practiced in the different parts of the colonies. However, the strength of these beliefs had weakened when compared to their predecessors. However, in the 1730s and 40s, what could be considered a revival and strengthening of these beliefs came with the Great Awakening, along with people like Jonathan Edwards, who stirred up people by the thousands. Not only was this important because it gave the colonists something to believe in, and a reason to believe in it, but it helped drive the fervor that lead to the American Revolution. It made its believers get organized, and work together towards a common cause. It also gave these colonists political experience. It also allowed for colonists to collectively reject Britain’s way of doing things, to put it simply. Not everything is what it seems, and religion’s role in the formation of what is now the United States is no exception.
Religion continues to play an important role in many peoples’ day to day lives, but it very importantly lead to the development and formation of the national superpower known today as the United States of America.