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The Great Awakening was the first real event in America that did not include any other country The Great Awakening was a revivalism of religion and the purpose of going to church Many ministers in congregations of different religions caused the people of their churches to fall to their knees to obey God in fear of hell These events led to the realization of the need to go to church in many of the colonists in the 1730s and 1740s The Great Awakening began among Dutch settlers around New Brunswick in Northern New Jersey in the 1720s The growth of towns the increase of commerce and the expansion of overseas trading caused new distractions from church It spread in the 1730s to the Congregationalists under Jonathan Edwards in the Connecticut valley and to Presbyterian revivalists who had come directly from Northern Ireland to eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New York These Scottish-Irish carried the movement with them wherever they settled mostly along the frontier from Maine to Georgia Garraty 95 In America the Awakening signaled the coming of an encircling evangelicalism which is the belief that the core of religious occurrence was the new birth inspired by the preaching of the Word It invigorated even as it divided churches wwwlocgovexhibitsreligionrel02html 1 One of the earliest of the revivalists to make a stir was Theodorus J Frelinghuysen a New Jersey preacher of the Dutch Reformed Church He preached up and down the Raritan valley and other areas in that region He preached a doctrine of hellfire and damnation He worked his congregations into a fever of excitement More conventional preachers of the Reformed Church objected to Frelinghuysens methods and by 1726 he had already brought about a split in the Reformed Church Wright 91-92 Gilbert Tennent also had a major influence on the Great Awakening He led the Scottish-Irish Presbyterians Gilbert Tennent had became a minister at a church at New Brunswick
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