Differences between 17th and 18th centuries Essay
Before the Revolutionary period of politics and patriotism began in the 18th century, the last thing on the minds of the colonists of the new world was politics.These colonists of the 17th century were more concerned with their religion, religious revival, and reasonable thought.They were far more theological.
Many of thefirst settlers of the new world made the dangerous journey to the new world to escape religious persecution.Puritans, Pilgrims, and Catholics, as well as some Jewish and Muslim peoples, came to America to flee the maltreatment that they were faced with in their homeland England, or, for the Pilgrims, Holland.The politics of England were of no concern to them.England was not yet unjustly taxing them or placing unrelenting restrictions upon them.They wanted to escape the ways of societies that did not agree with their beliefs, societies that they felt were corrupt.While the Pilgrims did draft the Mayflower Compact before disembarking, this was about as far as the concept of politics went in the 17th century.
The early 18th century brought about the Great Awakening.As religious zest and appeal began to fade, some ministers strove to revive the spirit in their parishioners.
"Churchgoers increasingly complained about the'dead dogs' who droned out tedious, over eruditesermons from Puritan pulpits.Some ministers, on the other hand, worried that many of their parishioners had gone soft and that their souls were no longer kindled by the hellfire of orthodox Calvinism" (The American Pageant, page 94).
Puritan ministers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield attempted to revitalize the spirits of their followers.Edwards most famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," helped in his cause.It scared many of his followers into believing that one false move on their part would result in eternal damnation because they upset God.