The Making of America
The Enlightenment was a great period in the United States as people chose to look at things different from what they knew them to be. It is because of the enlightenment that Americans now enjoy the constitution and the Declaration of independence. In this time era, science was developed and since then America has been on the quest to learn as much as they can about human nature and the world around them and explain it through science. The Enlightenment provoked people to think for themselves and question even the simple things and in the process gain more knowledge. Some of the notable contributors to the Enlightenment were Thomas Jefferson and his work in the Declaration of independence and James Madison in his work on the constitution. It is also because of great people like Diderot those decades later, a book called the encyclopedia is used to understand the systems of the world.
The Enlightenment was so huge in America and the literary works so inspiring that the French took it up in the French Revolution. This would not have been possible had great people like Adam Smith and Voltaire had not taken the first steps towards a more knowledgeable America in the 18th century. It is because of this era that America further enjoys liberty, toleration of different people and ideas as well and the reason that America is the super power of the world because it has progressed greatly. The average American will not do something just because it is always being done but they are trained to use reason and make good conclusions about a topic. Americans today will exercise good judgment and use rationality to solve their problems in order to have better lives.
The First Great Awakening also occurred in the 18th century and one of the first contributors was Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts. John Wesley led the awakening around England. Scotland and Germany also experienced the Great Awakening. This Awakening was a major step in influencing the way Americans viewed religion as a whole. It is because of this event that Americans stopped believing that religion was only for institutions to control but that they could make individual contributions in the spread of religion. The Awakening helped people to cross over established class lines and realize that everyone was important. It was often characterized by revivals led by great men who amassed a large number of believers of the cause.The Making of America
The advantages of the First Great Awakening were the realization that America was the place for all and thus the American identity was formed. Americans became more spiritual and more aware of themselves. In this great event, Americans realized that the social orders they were used to were not as straightforward and needed to be checked and not just blindly followed. People got the revelation that they were their own help and not the set social orders. People became more independent and this continues to be seen today. Religion stopped being a preserve of particular people like church ministers alone as people realized that whether they were old or young that they were properly equipped to spread the gospel themselves. The first great awakening challenged people to think rationally by challenging all their previous practices. Parents for example were challenged to be the head of the families and keep their children at home away from the outside sin. Young people also accepted free advice to question some of the activities they normally participated in by thinking if they were right for them and make the choice to stay away.
Britain and its colonies almost descended to war in 1774 due to various events. The Boston massacre was a problem that people had not been forgotten. The colonies also had duties they felt were unfair to pay. The colonies no longer wanted to pay taxes to the British government. Heavy enforcement of the Navigation Acts was not very popular and the army was also not popular. The Tea Act was frowned upon and led to a boycott of tea. Soon people were fed up with government decisions and the colonies began resisting directly the influence of the government. The isolation of Boston was a big problem.
All these problems were partly because of poor leadership on the part of the British. The leaders did not know how to manage their money problems and passed them on to the colonies in form of taxes. The leaders also did not know how to solve problems the right way thus causing friction. For example, the leaders thought that regulating trade would help them and did not consider what the colonies felt about the issue. The leaders were also tyrannical and denied the colonies proper representation and on most times were corrupt. The leadership did not see it fit to involve the colonies in major decisions such as taxations and did not care what the people felt.
Differing theories of government such as navigation acts, the tea act and monopoly of the East India Company was not very popular among the colonists. The government kept making decisions that did not involve the colonies people or their opinions but greatly affected them directly and their businesses suffered as a result.The Making of America
Different social experiences were causing major fallouts between the leadership and the colonies. The colonists felt that they needed to be represented in taxation something that the colonialists did not see as important. The colonies talked about their problems with Britain in local newspapers and yet the leadership was so ignorant that they did not notice it or try to solve the problems. The British colonies found ways to respond to wrong by resisting the government in various ways like resisting tea. The government way of dealing with this problem caused more trouble by designing more acts to punish the colonists. This was a poor move that could not bring the two sides to one experience. The government and poor representation of Americans almost caused war in 1774.The Making of America