FIRST HINTS—1740s & 1750s

1740s Great Awakening inspired by George Whitefield’s preaching spreads through colonies

1747 Jonathan Edwards’s The Visible Union of God’s People envisions Americans bound together by shared conversion experience

1750 Jonathan Mayhew’s Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance announces Christian duty to resist tyranny


1768–1769 Northern Anglicans demand appointment of a colonial bishop

1768 John Witherspoon becomes president of the College of New Jersey; unites Presbyterians and introduces Scottish Common Sense philosophy


1772 Boston Committee of Correspondence indicts British policies, including prospect of a colonial Anglican bishop; John Allen preaches on The Beauties ofLiberty

1774 May, Quebec Act condemned as extending “Papist Rule”; Sept., Baptist Isaac Backus demands that First Continental Congress, meeting in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, protect Baptists’ religious liberty

1775 July, Continental Congress calls for day of prayer and fasting; preachers debate whether to submit to British authority

1776 July, Declaration of Independence invokes “the laws of nature and of nature’s God”; Sept., New Jersey Dutch Reformed split on political lines; Dec., North Carolina constitution restricts officeholding to Protestants; Dec., Virginia disestablishes the Anglican church

WAR & AFTERMATH—1777–1789

1777 Aug., Pennsylvania officials deport 40-plus Quakers for “disloyalty;” Nov., Lutheran patriarch Henry Muhlenburg defends his neutrality

1778-1780 Henry Alline, “Nova Scotia’s Whitefield,” ignites a Canadian revival that spreads to New England

1778 South Carolina permits Anglican-like churches that meet certain criteria

1779 Virginia considers ...

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