Death and Divides: From Religion to War

I think that an interesting connection can be made between the Great Awakening and the content of the second reading (American Colonies, ch 18). AJ said in his post, ”┬áit was becoming clear that the British would dominate the majority of the North America region of the New World,” referring to the British victory over the French and Indians. I find this ironic, because as we know, the end of the Seven Years War is often seen as the beginning of the revolution. The war actually renewed long-waning British involvement in the colonies, and the tightening hold of the British government post-war made colonists realize that they had become their own entity, separate from British rule. This concept, which Taylor invokes in his introduction to the chapter, referencing “shift in imperial policy” as “shocking” to the colonists (421), can be linked back to Chapter 15 in Taylor, in which he discusses the Great Awakening.

The Great Awakening was very complex, and as we discussed in class, there are many different derivations of Protestants beyond that, Evangelists. We could go into even more detail and discuss the differences between Old Light and New Light Evangelists, but my point is this: they’re all the same to the British government–not Anglican. Taylor discusses the misreading of American history as a quest for religious freedom (339), but it is important to note that these separate religious institutions represent a more fundamental split from the British government than the original Protestant/Puritan one. The extent of the multifaceted religious life in colonial America serves to indicate that ties and times were changing long before 1776.