During the early eighteenth century, some ministers in the colonies, used emotion and theatrics to persuade their audiences to turn from from "worldly matters," i.e., greed, to God. This was known as the Great Awakening. Jonathan Edwards was perhaps the most well-known minister who suggested that God was angry with humans because of their pursuit of wealth.
George Whitefield was a minister from Britain who toured the colonies, and like Edwards, drew large crowds because of his use theatrics during his speeches. He shouted, cried, and trembled as he delivered his sermons. He electrified his audiences.
As a result of the Great Awakening, parishioners accepted sermons from both unordained and ordained ministers, making churches more democratic as anyone had the right to speak freely, regardless of education, wealth, or social standing. The religious movement led to more changes in the colonies, one of which was to enhance the right of the press to print their own views. A free press was a weapon to be used in expressing dissent and exposing corruption.