The Puritan’s goal of coming to the New World was not to create a new life, but to create the ideal model of living for the “corrupt” inhabitants of England. This was coined “The Errand”, the Puritans desire to establish a City Upon a Hill that others could look up to and imitate in order to receive God’s grace. The Puritans failed at building their City Upon a Hill (creating a perfect religious, economic, and political community), however the long-term effects of their efforts have influenced American moral politics throughout its history. The Puritans forever had the attitude of a community that had successfully established a City Upon a Hill. The Puritan lifestyle was heavily influenced not only by religion, but also inside of that, morality.
Puritans thought that the Devil was about as real as God is. It is said that they believed Satan would select the weakest out of them all, which was mostly women, children, the insane and punish them. The ones that followed Satan were considered witches. This was one of the greatest crimes say the Puritans. These kind of things truly shape how the religion is now.
Puritans are a people with a very strong belief in both God and the power of God. When people see power, they interpret it in different ways. Some know of power through anger and impulse, while others see power through the goodness the powerful one shows. Although Anne Bradstreet and Jonathan Edwards are both puritan poets, their writings convey mainly different, though sometimes similar, views on God because they have different perceptions of His will and the use of His power. Anne Bradstreet listens to and accepts anything that God wishes, and that is shown through her poem Upon the Burning of my House.
They wanted to create pure, moral Christian society based on moral living. By hard working, integration of religion in politics, and social development of certain lifestyle practices, Puritans had a large influence on the development of the New England colonies from 1630s through the 1660s. Puritans believed in hard work as the pathway of success since they thought they were favored by God to succeed (Doc I). They tried to shun idleness and believed that being lazy is not profitable (Doc C).
Evidence shows that the Puritans had politically influenced their colonies with their religious values. In the New World, a group of Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. There, the Puritans would create a government that would revolve around their covenant with God. On the way to the New World, John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, led a sermon, titled “A Model of Christian Charity”, about Puritan ideals (Winthrop). As well as determining Puritan ideals, the sermon urges colonists to unite as a “city on a hill” for others to look up to (Winthrop).
Religion was very important to the Puritans in the 1600s. John Winthrop a member of the Puritans gentry, wrote to his wife the ‘I am verily persuaded God will bring some heavy affliction upon this land.” A year later he went and lead a group of a group of puritans to New England. By the 1630s another twenty thousand Puritans would come to America. When John became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, he told immigrants that will have to guide people toward this holy ideal or they were not welcomed.
The arrival of the first Europeans in the Americas is dramatically captured through the many writers who attempted to communicate what they saw, experienced and felt. What is more, the very purposes of their treacherous travel and colonization are clearly seen in their writings; whether it is poetry, history or sermons. Of the many literary pieces available today, William Bradford and John Winthrop’s writings, even though vary because the first is a historical account and the second is a sermon, stand out as presenting a clear trust in God, the rules that would govern them and the reason they have arrived in the Americas. First of all, William Bradford provides an in-depth look into the first moment when the Puritans arrived in the Americas. In fact, he chronicles the hardships they face on their way to Plymouth, yet he includes God’s provision every step of the way.
When King Charles I nullified the Puritans further by the dissolution of Parliament, all the tentative notions they had thought up regarding escaping to the Americas were validated. Earlier, the Puritans “were drawn into uneasy complicity in a regime they considered no more than half right” (page 17). In other words, as discussed previously, the Puritans felt as though the beliefs of the government they lived under did not align with their own. Naturally, as God’s servants the Puritans were unable to escape England until they were positive that it was what God himself would want. The Puritans tried to rationalize this theory by deciding whether they could be the salvation of the Anglican Church, “If, as all Protestants maintained, the Roman Church was incurable in the sixteenth century, perhaps the Anglican Church would prove so in the seventeenth.
The Puritans in the 1600s had a very important influence in the development of the New England colonies through the 1660s their ideas, values; political, economic and social development would have a lasting effect on the region. The values of the Puritans were greatly rooted in the idea that man was evil and that God alone would save us. By creating this town upon the hill God will reward them for their efforts for trying to reform the Anglican Church. Politically the Puritans were a semi-theocracy that would only allow those who were part of the church to vote. Economically they brought a lasting effect based on their hard work ethic.
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'
They also gathered that God had chosen a few people, "the elect," for salvation. Some knew they were saved if they testified their personal experience of God in the form of autobiographical conversion narratives. However most did not know if they were saved or not, so Puritans lived in a constant state of spiritual anxiety. While the puritans coming to America may not seem as a big deal to some, it was in fact a horrible situation. The
Historical Puritans The puritans created the Puritans religion were created to cleanse the corrupt and sinful practices in England and enforce public morality. The puritans believed that churches specifically Roman Catholic were full of hierarchies and so the Puritans escaped England and to gain religious freedom “They [puritans] contended that The Church of England had become a product of political struggles and man-made doctrines. The Puritans were one branch of dissenters who decided that the Church of England was beyond reform”(Kiser). The Puritans headed for america and created a “pure” religion and lifestyle. They strictly followed the bible and were calvinist.
Puritanism was a religious reform movement that wished to purify the Church of England of the remnants of the Roman Catholic faith. The Puritans were persecuted by many denominations across Europe and around 1620, King James I, a member of the Church of England, began oppressing the Puritan community as well. This led the Puritans to flee England and come to the New World where in the words of John Winthrop they were to build a “city upon a hill”. The Puritans settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colonies, more specifically just north of Boston. The most prominent members of this time were John Winthrop.
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”).