The Great Awakening of the 1730's and 1740's greatly affected colonial society prior to the American Revolution. In Robert Gross's novel The Minutemen and Their World these changes are stated specifically for the town of Concord. These changes are also contributed to helping lead the town to support the revolution. But, in the same sense, the American Revolution helped to remove the changes set to the town by the Great Awakening.
Concord's population was spread out over many farms and much land around the center of the town. The families who lived far from town, sometimes called the "outlivers", had too far to travel to the school and church in Concord to attend theses on a regular basis. This problem and the coming of the Great Awakening both pushed the dividing of opinions throughout Concord. The first issue was in 1738, when Concord was forced to fire their current minister because he drank too much. He was then succeeded by a man named Daniel Bliss. He revived the towns' religion, more then doubling the attendance in two years. But, his way of preaching was a new way brought by the Great Awakening and he had to deal with the "old lights", men who believed in the older ways of the church and who were against the new loud, emotional ceremonies. This was a beginning of the separation of ideas in the town.
As the church attendance grew and more citizens became interested in the church, more "outlivers" began to notice "that the Sabbath journey was long and hard."(20) A southeastern group petitioned the General Court on this basis and in 1754 became a part of Lincoln, then a new town. Another group, a fifth of the population of Concord, had seceded from the church in 1745 and formed the West Church. This church never had a regular minister and only lasted for fourteen years. A few of the men against the Great Awakening came over to Bliss' side but most remained bitter against the pastor, as well as the town. These issues would soon carry over to the town's...
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