New England Colonies Dbq Analysis

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In the 1500s, the Protestant Reformation swept through England and caused people like John Calvin to make up their own religions. Henry VIII made the Anglicanism the official religion of England, and any dissenters, even dissenters who belonged to the Church of England, were persecuted. Puritans were some of these dissenters, and they migrated to the New World seeking religious freedom, a place to live the way they believed was pleasing to God. As the Puritans' lives were shaped by their religion, so too did their religious values and ideas influence the political, social, and economic development of the New England colonies. That their belief that people should obey religious authority and their value of unity shaped the northern colonies'…show more content…
Document B shows how dense New England's towns were. The houses were very close together, and church and school were in the center of town. Their religious convictions influenced this structure because church was a central part of their lives, so they all needed to live close to a church. Because of their religious devotion, education was also important to the Puritans. Schools were founded much faster than in the southern colonies, because the Puritans "dread[ed] to leave an illiterate Ministery to the Churches" (Document E). This point of view, that education was important, is significant because it was unique to the New England colonies. The southern colonies had no need for education because all they came to the New World to do was farm and get rich. As a result, New Englanders were better educated than the other colonies. Document A explains from a Puritan point of view how much community was valued. Their desire for togetherness influenced the way their towns were organized, and, in turn, how close the colonists were to one another. Puritans' value of closeness and community also led to stable families. Family closeness was evidenced by Puritans traveling as whole families, unlike colonists in the Chesapeake, who were mostly single males. Divorce was basically illegal in New England, except under two circumstances: adultery and outright abandonment. Puritan kids usually grew up in…show more content…
Document I shows a Puritan testifying that he had "not lived an idle, lazie or dronish life," but rather he spent his time well to redeem himself in heaven. This distaste of laziness led to hard-working societies in New England. The Puritans did not believe that "worldly gain was not the end and designe of the people of New England" (Document J). John Higginson also explains in Document J that New England was a "plantation of Religion, not a Plantation of Trade." In this document, Higginson calls out merchants who are only looking for money. He insists the Puritans' religion was more important than all other things. Unlike the merchants, who were willing to cheat people so they could get more money, Puritans worked hard to please God. The Puritans influenced economic development in New England by instigating a "Yankee
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