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).
The New England colonies were first founded in the last 16th to 17th century as a sanctuary for differing religious groups. New England was made up of the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. New Hampshire, however, was formed for economic reasons instead of religious ones. The Chesapeake region, which is made up of the colonies of Maryland and Virginia, was founded by the British colonies for the purpose of farming. However, by the 1700’s, despite both being settled by Englishmen, New England and the Chesapeake region had developed differently.
Hatred was brewing within Virginia, but nothing major broke out until a violent fight spread in the middle of Jamestown between a group of Native Americans and English Settlers. This fight, which was said to have killed 2 settlers and injured many more, was the moment the rebellion truly started (Charles II.). Although the fight was between something small, Bacon used the tension and vulnerability in the colony to spread his message and
In search of religious freedom a group of devout Christians sailed across the ocean only to come across a new land, radically different from the one they left behind. From the initial journey, to the formation of the colonies, and finally their complicated relationship with “non-believers” Puritans strongly held religious convictions has played a key role in all of this. The Puritans were a group of reformed Protestants seeking to reform the English Church. After the fall of the Roman Catholic Church, a new church was established “The English Anglican Church”. While most Puritans sought to reform the church others wanted nothing to do with it these Puritans would eventually be known as Separatists.
In Bacon’s “Manifesto” where he justifies his rebellion against Governor Berkeley, he says, “Let truth be bold and all the world know the real foundations of pretended guilt… Let us trace… [the] men in authority and favor to whose hands the dispensation of the countr[y’s] wealth has been committed.” (Document H) All-in-all, Bacon was dissatisfied with Governor
The colony most fitting to my given situation between Virginian, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, would be Pennsylvania in the late 1680s. Pennsylvania was becoming well established due to it’s powerful economic growth, cultural diversity and religion, and change in slavery.
The New Englanders took religion seriously, making unitary laws according to Puritan standards. John Winthrop, later chosen as the first Massachusetts Bay Colony governor, was seeking religious freedom. Wishing to inspire the colonists to dwell in brotherly unity, he summoned them together to remind them “that if we [colonists] shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world.” On the other hand, those in the Chesapeake region came for the wealth that America promised. They were there to become prosperous or die trying.
In July 1676, Bacon issued the Declaration of the People of Virginia, a list of complaints against Berkeley. Berkeley tried to rally public support by holding new assembly elections and extending the vote to all freemen, but the new assembly went against the governor, instead passing laws to make government more responsive to the common people and to end greedy office holding (Nash 59). In September 1676, Bacon’s men drove the governor and his supporters across Chesapeake Bay to refuge on the eastern shore and burned Jamestown to the ground to discourage their return. A few weeks later, Bacon suddenly died of dysentery, leaving the movement leaderless. Soon thereafter, an English naval squadron arrived to restore order (Garraty 43).
They based their community around the puritan church with strict guidelines and rules (Doc J). The church of Salem had a goal of pleasing God by any means (Doc F). Overall, the New England Colony was based off a plantation of religion and not of trade(Doc B). This shows just how devoutly the people of the New England Colony practiced religion and how much they differed from the
The Puritans’ strong views on religion affected how political, and social life developed. For example, the Puritan group believed that everyone were equal in the eyes of God. Their view on God, is believed to lead to the idea of a government where everyone is equal, that later formed in many parts of New England, a democracy. “Document C” states that the people of Salem, developed a covenant. This largely reflects the views, and morals that the people of New England lived by.
The Henrico farmer by the name of Nathaniel Bacon led a series of expeditions to defend the frontier against Indian attack. Gathering his own militia, he acted in defiance of the colonial governor, Sir William Berkeley, who preferred to deal with the Indians more diplomatically. Bacon accused Berkeley of raising unjust taxes, elevating his cronies to positions of high office, exercising a monopoly in the beaver trade and interfering with his campaigns against the Indians. The power struggle between Bacon and Berkeley led to a series of armed fighting and the burning of Jamestown, the colonial capital. Bacon’s death of “bloodied flux” and “lousy” disease put an end to the first rebellion against English authority in the North American colonies.
In 1676 an uprising occurred known as Bacon’s Rebellion. This Rebellion was lead by Nathaniel Bacon. Virginians who resented Governor William Berkley’s friendly policies towards the Native Americans rose against him by joining the rebellion. “.. For then having expressly countermanded and sent back our army by passing his word for the peaceable demeanor of the said Indians, who immediately prosecuted their evil intentions, committing horrid murders and robberies in all places, being protected by the said engagement and word past of him the said Sir William Berkeley.” (Bacon’s Rebellion: The Declaration)
In 1676, almost a hundred years prior to the revolution, the farmers gathered and attacked the Indians. Consequently, this lead to the farmers rebellion against the colony, the farmers believed that the governor wasn't trying to protect the people of the colony, the government was betraying its peoples trust. As a result, Bacon and his followers raided
Bacon and his men destroyed an Occaneechi village, killing men, women, and children. The Occaneechi had always been friendly to the settlers. Friendly enough to agree to fight against the Susquehannocks tribe. Governor Berkley believed that his actions would make the relationship with the Indians worse and also disrupt his fur trade. Bacon’s rebellion also occurred to question Berkeley’s rule as a governor.