INDEPENDENCE, CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS
ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE
Before the Declaration of Independence, American colonies enjoyed self-governance and economic autonomy. England wanted to create a large imperial economy controlled from London by integrating North American and West Indian trade. Colonies saw economic interests in local terms. Unlike England, colonies had less rigid social hierarchies. There were classes, but unlike Europe, there was higher literacy, more opportunities, and diverse religions, but fewer religious hierarchies.
WHY INDEPENDENCE? Two main ideological roots that are opposed:
1. THE GREAT AWAKENING: The 18th century marked the decline of Puritans and Anglicans. Americans started to reject the idea of the king and bishops as the only figures who interpret God's will and embraced pastors. The chain of authority no longer ran from God to ruler to people, but from God to people to ruler. This 1st Great Awakening was a religious revival, with two main preachers:
- Jonathan Edwards: the greatest theorist of revivalism. His speech