America’s Enlightenment and Great Awakening A period marking the contrasting ideas of intellectual reason and religious Literacy • The American Colonies were the most literate society in the world (90% of males in NE, 40% of females) • Literacy throughout varied from 35-50%. England averaged about 30%. • Despite widespread literacy books were fairly rare; people were moved by persons who had the power of the spoken word. New Ideas Great advances in Europe (Newton) moved the world as people became more dependent on reason to unlocking the laws of nature. Inspired others to search for reason. John Locke • Character of individuals was not fixed could be changed through education. • Governmental power was not derived through god to monarchs but rather was derived from the need to preserve “life, liberty, and property” of the governed. The Father of America’s Enlightenment • Franklin and the Junto a mutual improvement society, bent on debate. • Poor Richards Almanack: a collection of essays, maxims, and proverbs. – Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise – Well done is better than Well said. – A penny saved is a penny earn ed – There will be sleeping enough in the grave. Franklin’s Impact Other impacts: started volunteer fire department, first library, founded the college of Philadelphia (now Penn) which founded the first medical school. An elected political leader, judge. Led innovations in electricity, stoves Insurance Founded the Philadelphia Library The Philadelphia Hospital, the nations first—courtesy of Franklin Philadelphia Hospital • "to care for the sick-poor and insane who were wandering the streets of Philadelphia." • "a melting pot for diseases, where Europeans, Africans and Indians engaged in free exchange of their respective infections." • Franklin saved the day with a clever plan to counter the claim by challenging the Assembly that he could prove the populace supported the hospital bill by agreeing to raise 2000 pounds from private citizens. If he was able to raise the funds, Franklin proposed, the Assembly had to match the funds with an additional 2000 pounds. The Assembly agreed to Franklin's plan, thinking his task was impossible, but they were ready to receive the "credit of being charitable without the expense." • Franklin's fundraising effort brought in more than the required amount. American Philosophical Society • American Philosophical Society: 1743 (Jefferson a later president) “all philosophical experiments that let light into the nature of things tend to increase the power of man over matter, and multiply the conveniences and pleasures of life”. • Other impacts: started volunteer fire department, first library, founded the college of Philadelphia (now Penn) which founded the first medical school. Electricity, stoves, etc… Deism • Deists: rational god who created the universe not to intervene. • Religion? Viewed as valuable as it regulated morals. Writing Prompt • How does this picture represent the Great Awakening? Great Awakening • Began in the mid 1730’s, when Americans had fallen “asleep” religiously and needed awakening. • Religion was an emotionally charged matter. • Revivals were held to restore the faith. New Lights vs. Old Lights New Lights • Part of the new “revivals” • Felt that religious message had run astray. • Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians • • • • Old Lights Traditional “old” beliefs within the colonies. Congregationalists Quakers Anglicans George Whitfield • His tours inspired thousands to seek salvation, after one Connecticut tour the population of the church jumped from 630 in 1740 to 3,217 one year later! • Franklin “that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collectors dish, gold, silver, and all!” Jonathan Edwards “The god that holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider or other loathsome insect over the fire abhors you…his wrath toward you burns like a fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cat into the fire.” Revivalists • James Davenport of New York once preached to his audience for 24 straight hours. • The attacks of Gilbert Tennent and others clearly eroded the relationship between the established clergy and the new fire branders. • Old lights condemned the movement as violating the reason of the enlightenment. “sort of madness” Impacts of the Awakening • Decline of “Old light” groups such as the Quakers, Anglicans, and Congregationalists. • Increase of Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists, all revival groups of the period. (American Protestantism) Samson Occam: Mohegan Impacts of the Great Awakening • Foundation of new colleges: • • • • • Princeton (New Light Presbyterians) Kings College-Columbia (Anglicans) College of Rhode Island-Brown (Baptists) Queen’s College-Rutgers (Dutch Reformed) Dartmouth (NH) Congregationalists • Appeal to African and Native Americans, there was little racism in the movement, by 1790 most blacks were Christians • Religious toleration, the new protestant movements were very willing to work together.