History of religion in American Colonies

Topics: Christianity, Religion, Congregational church Pages: 26 (8615 words) Published: September 22, 2013
The religious history of the United States before the colonial period was dominated by Native American religions. These religions exhibit much diversity and are often characterized by animism or panentheism. While there are many different Native American religious practices, most address the following areas of supernatural concern: an omnipresent, invisible universal force, pertaining to the "three 'life crises' of birth, puberty, and death", spirits, visions, the shaman and communal ceremony.[1] After European settlement, religious history began more than a century before the British colonies became the United States of America in 1776. Some of the original settlers were men and women of deep religious convictions. The religious intensity of the original settlers diminished to some extent over time but new waves of 18th-century immigrants brought their own religious fervor across the Atlantic. In addition, the nation's first major religious revival in the middle of the 18th century injected new vigor into American religion. Wave after wave of ethnic groups from Europe (as well as other parts of the globe) brought along their traditional churches—some, especially the English and the German Americans brought along multiple Protestant denominations, as well as Catholicism. Several colonies had an "established" church, which meant that local tax money went to the established denomination. In general, the colonial governments were little involved in religion, and many denominations and sects flourished. Freedom of religion became a basic American principle, and numerous new movements emerged, many of which became established denominations in their own right. The heavy influx of immigration in the 19th and 20th century reinvigorated religion; in many cases, the immigrants became much more religious than they had been in the old country in order to assert their new complex identity. As Europe secularized in the 20th century, the Americans largely resisted the trend, so that by the 21st century it had become perhaps the most religious of all major nations, with religiously based moral issues (such as abortion) occupying a major role in American politics.[citation needed] Contents [hide]

1 North America as a religious refuge: 17th century
1.1 Puritans
1.2 Persecution in America
1.2.1 Founding of Rhode Island
1.3 Jewish refuge in America
1.4 Quakers
1.5 Pennsylvania Germans
1.6 Roman Catholics in Maryland
1.7 Virginia and the Church of England
2 Eighteenth century
2.1 Deism
2.2 Great Awakening: emergence of evangelicalism
2.3 Evangelicals in the South
2.3.1 Baptists
2.3.2 Methodists
2.3.3 Masculinity and morality
3 American Revolution
3.1 Church of England
4 Great Awakenings and Evangelicalism
4.1 Second Great Awakening
4.2 Third Great Awakening
5 Emergence of African American churches
5.1 Restorationism
6 Denominations and sects founded in the U.S.
6.1 Mormonism
6.2 Jehovah's Witnesses
6.3 Church of Christ, Scientist
6.4 Other denominations founded in U.S.
7 Benevolent societies
8 Roman Catholicism
9 Eastern Orthodoxy
10 Judaism
11 Church and state issues
11.1 Establishment in colonial era
11.2 Establishment Clause
11.2.1 Jefferson, Madison, and the "wall of separation"
11.2.2 Test acts
11.3 First Amendment
11.4 Supreme Court since 1947
12 See also
13 References
14 Bibliography
14.1 Historiography
14.2 Before 1800
14.3 1800-1900
14.4 Since 1900
14.5 Primary sources
15 Sources
16 External links
North America as a religious refuge: 17th century[edit source | editbeta]

Many of the British North American colonies that eventually formed the United States of America were settled in the 17th century by men and women, who, in the face of European religious persecution, refused to compromise passionately held religious convictions and fled Europe.[2] The Middle Atlantic colonies of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, were conceived and established "as plantations of religion." Some...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • American History Essay
  • American History Essay
  • American History Essay
  • Essay on Types of American Colonies
  • Economics vs Religion American Colonies Essay
  • American History 1940s-1960s Essay
  • Midterm American History Essay
  • ap american history essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free