In guide of the people and a new

In order to examine why America turned into the Democratic
Republic that it did after the Revolutionary War one must first look into the
underlying elements that led to its development. Things like politics and
unique sentiments for different ideologies played a big part into leading the
country into war and shaping what the people of the country were supposed to
believe in. A main proponent and source of conflict for these new belief
systems was religion. It was a long disputed and troublesome issue that only
added to the melting pot of tensions between the British and the American
colonists. So, the role of the first great awakening in developing one of the
first modern governments based around secular values must be evaluated. Over
the course of many years and different events/ struggles the United States
would be developed into a strictly secular country protected by its own
constitution under the watchful eye of the found fathers and revolutionaries.
We had had enough and with religion as the guide of the people and a new state
was created.

            To
begin with, the Great Awakening was a revival of protestant ideologies that
came over Europe and British America during the mid-1700’s. People from all
over were sick of the corruption and abuse of power that came with the
threatening of religious liberty from the Church of England. So, the people
rose up and supported churches with pure doctrines which had yet to be
corrupted by greedy or power-hungry officials of either church or state. More
importantly though, it taught people that it was of the upmost importance to
question those in power when it seemed that what they were doing was just. It
taught them that it was okay to question the past and other belief systems even
when the whole of their society was structured up on it. The questioning of
Church Doctrine also led to the rise of new churches such as the Evangelist
movement perhaps one of the most revolutionary developments of the New World.
It was because the people chose to question their own age-old belief system
that evangelist preachers that believed and, “sought to include every
person in conversion, regardless of gender, race, and status.” were
allowed to exist in their traditionally conservative society. Radical
diversions from the norm such as these simply wouldn’t have been possible
without radical change in what was deemed acceptable in society. Thankfully,
years of corrupted officials and malpractice from not only British officials of
the Church of England, but also governmental officials had pushed the people
over the edge. The breakout of new ideological and revolutionary cultures leading
to a revolution in thought and general progressivism in the country. With these
new ideas also came a certain rejection of the old ways including a rejection
of the Church of England and the British government. People wanted change, but
most of all they wanted to be rid of British beliefs that had been forced upon
them for so long when they were being occupied. The founding fathers did not
want the same systems of oppression that the British had to come into existence
again one day in their government and so they structured things so that
religion wouldn’t play such a big role in it. Most of all they wanted to
preserve religious freedom which had been absent from their lives for so long
while under the British. So, documents like the Bill of Rights and the
Constitution were created with the belief that certain freedoms should be
secured in the pursuit of a non-suppressive government that would allow people
to pursue whatever religion that they thought was right.

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            Although,
religion wasn’t a huge cause of the Revolutionary war the lack of it did play a
part in cementing new thought structures into the culture of the people of
British America. Over the centuries the Church of England had claimed itself
infallible, but once Protestant churches rose up and out of the woodwork things
became more complicated. Now, their authority and credibility had come into
question with rebellious grassroots movements in tow. All of a sudden it had to
compete with new churches who claimed and believed that everyone had a right to
choose, distinctly challenging the church of England. Once, this became
commonly accepted in the colonies it became just another one of the many lines
on which the colonists and their rulers laid separated on. Now people were
either Congregationalists or Presbyterians meaning that the colonists and their
rulers were now distinctly different from one another. They wanted to distance
and distinguish themselves apart from them as much as possible because they
didn’t want anything to do with them. They wanted to make their own government
where people could listen to and preach any belief that they thought was
correct or that fit their own philosophy. The Great Awakening gave rise to beliefs
such as these. When the Revolutionary war finally began most churches and
religious officials chose to stay out of it although each side believed that
what they were doing was righteous in the eyes of god. The colonists believed
that it was their responsibility to stand up to tyranny as had been time so
many times before in the scriptures. The British on the other hand had their
own religious officials pledge themselves to the kinh by oath and that “the
principal Seat of the glorious Kingdom which Christ shall erect upon Earth in
the latter Days.” in the new colonies. When they did finally win it was
seen as a sign from god that he was partial towards America when forced to
decide between his children. One person who believed that this undoubtedly fit
their new theology was Jonathan Mayhew. He believed that Christian resistance
to tyranny and in this case against the British was an obligation of all
Christian people and it wasn’t that extreme during the times of the
revolutionaries. Still, they believed that it was important to preserve
religious freedoms when creating the government that they had fought so hard
for in their struggle against the British. When the British wanted to land a
Bishop here we stood steadfast and resisted their stealthy advantages because
it was under control of the revolutionaries and not the British. to had fought
so hard to see it won by the British. They were not about to expose themselves
to religious influence when the ideals of the Great Awakening had told them
that they had to distance themselves from the British and to foster ideals that
were not possible under the British. These ideals went into the founding of
American government and in the development of government after the war.
Thankfully we resisted attempts to intrude on freedoms such as these and we
rose to independence after years of struggle. We got the religious independence
that we fought so hard for.

            Furthermore,
once the American Revolution had given the American people a moral right to
stand up themselves and assurance that their cause was righteous it became much
easier for the average person to support these causes. When once they had been
seen as extremist now it could be accepted as the norm. Their new government
won credibility because victory proved to everyone that god was on their side
and during that time period it made a world of difference. Also, the culture
during this time period is characterized by the fact that there was an increase
and finally for the first time an acceptance of “secular optimism”.
This mean that man and god were distinctly different whether or not god
existed. All of these ideas culminated in a secular government in which people
were free to pursue whatever religions that they wanted to. All of this
becoming acceptable because of years of people pursuing progressive beliefs and
questioning the traditional in lieu of extenuatingly dire circumstances. So,
people stuck to their beliefs systems through war and tribulations leading to
the development of a new republic in which the common person had a chance to be
whoever they wanted to be. All the while being free from persecution and under
the protection of a new and progressive constitution with only the interests of
the people it served at heart. Today Benjamin Franklin’s, “zeal for public
good” in the face of corruption is preserved through the constitution as
it is shaped by years of struggle and deviation from what was deemed
universally acceptable in favor of pursuing the best possible basis for a
government that quite simply served the people. This was instead of outdated
beliefs that were to be forced on them if they showed any sign of rebellion in
the case of British rule. Even though during the revolutionary war religion
didn’t play a huge role it certainly did in the shaping of cultural ideologies
in the face of adversity and even ones that were deemed too controversial for
to be accepted in any other time period other than at that very time.  Religion was what shaped our country even if
the revolutionary war was more politically motivated than anything. The beliefs
that rose from rebellion are what went into establishing the ideals that we
wanted to make available to people in the country. We wanted to make sure that
every person had the right to choose for themselves instead of being forced to follow
a certain code or belief. The founding fathers wanted to prevent the oppression
that had followed the colonies for so long under the British. The establishment
of protestant churches and the beliefs that sprouted up and out of them are
what made the country what it is today. It is what made radical beliefs like
that each person should be able to pursue whatever religion they wanted to
okay. So, the great awakening fostered ideals that would not have been possible
under oppression and this effectively led to. Government became free of
religion because of the ideals that had sprouted through the Great Awakening.
They are what allowed the government to justify things such as freedom of
religion.

            Another
one of the manifestations of the progressivism that stemmed from the Great
Awakening and subsequent Protestantism was Manifest Destiny. For too long the
people of British America to the boundaries of their own subjective states
because it was simply easier to control. People were fed up with high land prices
and just how packed everyone was so many jumped at the chance to expand
westward when the time finally came. According to Historian Frederick Meyer
another one of their motivations could have come from, ” a sense of
mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the
potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”. So, we expanded
to the west developing the land as we went along and forming a better world.
One that was now free of abominations such as religious corruption, or at least
in the United States, and beginning to take its first steps towards
industrialization and meaningful progress. Factories, steamboats, and trains
sprung up across the countryside. Wealth finally became diverted from wealthy
landowners to people that were highly skilled and were capable of creating very
specialized things. All the while things like the Church of England faded out
from existence in the US and eventually were eliminated completely because the
head of the organizations was of course and English monarch. Also, another
religious group called The Quakers formed the first anti-slavery organization
in the country’s history in 1775, the year the revolution itself began. Along
with this during the revolutionary war the British freed many slaves hoping to
disrupt the American economy at some point. While this did perhaps have a very
minor effect this more importantly led to the development of black communities.
In 1807 with help with groups like the Quakers revolutionary sentiment became
plentiful enough to ban the importation of slaves into the country. Northern
states also began to either ban slavery completely or to gradually phase it
out, never granting things such as equal rights though.

            The
Declaration of Independence is important because obviously it signified the
secession of us from the British as a territory, but also because it outlines
very radical language that was uncommon for the time. First and foremost, the
Declaration of Independence was a very import legal document. So, when it stated
that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, That All Men Are Created
Equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We
quickly became one of if not the most progressive countries on the face of the
planet. Although, we still left out anyone that wasn’t a white male from
gaining power in the country this was still a big leap forward. No longer would
the country be allowed to be ruled by oligarchs or select groups of the
privileged and wealthy. Another influential and revolutionary passage from the
declarations of independence is, ” that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and The
Pursuit of Happiness.”. Again, a stunning departure from traditional
values as motivated by both religious and political values. To declare all men
equal was to give up decades of having a rigged power structure in which the
ruling class of select white men was always in power. Stating that all men had
rights meant that all men had a right to a variety of different freedoms and
power no matter the circumstances. Also, to take a look at the bigger picture,
the revolutionaries took control from a monarchy and instead established a
republic in which every single white man was equal. This drastic departure from
tradition was the result of decades long efforts to dismantle the status quo,
but also to create a future where everyone had the opportunity to make something
of themselves and that is the world that we live in today. A world defined by
the revolution in religious thought, freedom and even the lack there-of.

            Finally,
as emphasized by the principles of the declaration of independence the purpose
of any meaningful government was as interpreted by the founding fathers to
ensure the preservations of the rights of the people with their consent. Or
perhaps more specifically with their own power being derived from the people
that it serves. So, in order to do this, they embraced radical concepts such as
Republicanism, Religious Freedom, and the concept of general equality among
white men. Although, it certainly isn’t what we’re used to today it certainly
is a huge part of understanding where we come from. Over time these ideas
became the seeds for a variety of freedoms that we enjoy today and are a
testament to the genius of the founding father. Begun by the proliferation of a
new era of religious thought a chain reaction of events begun without knowing where
it would take anyone. If anything, the source of all of this can be said to be
from the people of the colonies just having enough with all of the injustice
that was being forced upon them during their own desire for freedom and
something better. Still, where all of those beliefs came from is ultimately
from the questioning of traditional and commonly accepted norms as a result of
an awakening of Protestantism.

            In
conclusion, events such as the great awakening in the United States led to a
revival of Protestantism. Along with this came a questioning of the status quo
and a new renaissance for progressive ideals along with rights for groups of
people that encompassed more of the population. Progressive movements
indirectly led to the development of the revolutionary war by allowing the
questioning of authority to become acceptable in the general population. As a
result, our country gained independence and we gained the power to govern
ourselves. Immediately we replaced our monarchy with a Republic in which our
founding fathers pledged to uphold the sanctity of government. Deriving power
from the people and dedicating themselves to making sure that above all the
development of a government where most people had a voice was always going to
be possible. They did so by explicitly saying in the declaration of
independence that all men are created equal and that everyone is entitled to
universal rights. A controversial and radically progressive ideology which came
to embody the era that came after protestant revivalism. Although the founding
fathers were somewhat shortsighted in some of their policies and meanings what
they established for the basis of the government led to some great things.
Concepts like Manifest Destiny became more appealing and the average person
finally had a chance to make it in a world characterized by the odds being
stacked against the common man. Finally, though with progressive ideals and
hope for the future religious motivations and theory inadvertently led to the
development of a more developed and overall stronger country. One in which we
had to answer to no one and we were finally free to do as we pleased. Even if
it took a whole revolution the ideals that emerged from them are what allowed
the country to move forward and to have made progress that would otherwise not
have been possible. At the core of all of these events is the Great Awakening.
The jump starts we needed for developing the progressive ideals that pushed us
out of the dreary 18th century and into the future and ultimately progress. The
revolution that came before the war was an ideological one in which we learned
what we were really fighting for and what all of that really mattered to not
only the founding fathers, but also for future generations. Progressivism
really is the source of most of the progressive that came upon the United
States before our war for Independence and our war for ideological freedom.