Counsel of Chalcedon
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The Causes of the War of Independence Part 3, The Spiritual Issues

As important as the economic and legal issues were, they, in and of themselves, would not have brought about the War. The spiritual convictions which prevailed in 1775, were crucial in convincing the people that they must fight to preserve their independence. These convictions were present largely as a result of the Great Awakening of the 1740's.

The Great Awakening was a revival brought about by God through the preaching of such men as Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennant, and others. The spiritual foundations of Puritanism had eroded over the previous 50 years (from around 1680 to 1730) though the people still held to the same moral and ethical standards set by the Puritans (the Biblical morality and a basically Biblical world and life view). But the heart of the faith - love for the living God and His Word - had been lost. The Great Awakening changed all this.