Puritanism In Colonial America

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More than 80% of Americans have Puritan ancestors who emigrated to Colonial America on the Mayflower, and other ships, in the 1630’s (“Puritanism”). Puritanism had an early start due to strong main beliefs that, when challenged, caused major conflict like the Salem Witch Trials. Puritanism had an extremely rocky beginning, starting with a separation from the Roman Catholic Church. Starting in 1606, a group of villagers in Scrooby, England left the church of England and formed a congregation called the Separatist Church, and the members were called The puritans (“Pilgrims”). Although they did not become an official religion until 1606, Puritanism can be traced all the way back to the Protestant reform in 1517, and the separation of the Church…show more content…
Puritans believed that church members should be more involved in church matters, and Catholics gave the church hierarchy, which were Priests and the Pope, the majority of the power to make decisions for the church (“Pilgrims”). Puritan churches were very basic and simple compared to Catholic churches because they aspired to be as “pure” as possible (Lowance). To uphold the simplicity, they were also against the use of stained glass windows, stone altars, candles, statues and other images that were common in Catholic churches (“Pilgrims”). Along with the simplicity in the churches, Puritans also simplified the teachings by only enforcing two of the seven very strict sacraments that the Catholic church practices; baptism and the celebration of the Lord's Supper ( “Puritanism”). They refused to make the sign of the cross, or kneel during the service along with other Catholic protocols because they believed the Bible did not command them to do so, so they should not do so (“Puritanism”). Puritans believed pleasure to be a sin and that a person's life should be spent either working or at the worship of God (“Pilgrims”). They emphasized severe punishment and public acknowledgement of sins, while Catholics believed in forgiveness and private confession of sins for God’s forgiveness (Lowance). Puritans thought pastors should be married men with families, while Catholics believed in the practice of…show more content…
A group of young girls began to behave strangely, complaining of physical maladies, visions, and trembling, and babbling uncontrollably. They blamed their behavior on three village women who, the girls believed, practiced witchcraft upon them. (“Salem Witch Trials” Gale). Women who were accused of witch crafted were imprisoned, then hanged, drowned and stoned (Karlsen). Throughout 1692, 156 women were accused of witchcraft, and 20 of them were sentenced to death (Karlsen). After the twentieth execution, the public no longer supported the trials because many did not believe that some, of those who were accused, were actually guilty (“Salem Witch Trials”). Shortly after the trials concluded, Governor Phips pardoned the remaining women who had been convicted and released them from prison (“Salem Witch Trials”
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