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 New England colonies were best known for being the place where Puritan religious reformers and their followers settled. The Puritans were a Protestant Christian group that believed in strict moral and religious codes and the reform of the Church of England. Due to the strict laws put into place in England, the Puritans were unable to follow through their efforts to reform the Church and many faced oppression and discrimination during that time. The Puritans saw an irredeemably corrupt Church of England so many followed John Winthrop to Massachusetts to establish their own community. On the other hand, New France was known for its fur trading and missionary work. To the French, they saw the Canadian territories of North America as a place
The Puritans first set sailed and started their journey to America in 1630. Not like other groups who were around at the time, the Puritans did not break from the church but decided to change it to there liking instead. They seek to comfort in the bible by re-enacting stories in the Bible. They feel as if they were chosen by God to make new history and establish a new Christian way. John Winthrop was the man in charge and the man who started this whole movement. If as a Puritan you honoured your obligation to God, they would be one with God and if they failed, would be punished. As they arrived in New England they set up in Massachusetts in a place they named Boston. There was a lot of tough work and chores to be done in Boston. But there were
The New England had very little fertile land, with extreme weather and rocks frozen to the dirt making agriculture hard. In time, they would create a diverse agricultural system to create food for its inhabitants which included fishing as the citizens became top notch shipwrights. So, it turned to industrial endeavours due to the high number of raw resources in the region. The higher population, due to the fertile nature of the inhabitants, could easily support the growing industry of New England. Due to its isolated location with possible enemies surrounding them, the Puritan beliefs tied the families of New England together and united them. This unity under Puritan beliefs is one of the reasons why much of New England called for an end to
Puritans living in early America Life in the early 1600’s is a big contrast to the way we live in American in present day times. Back then America was just starting out as there were no official towns yet because not many Europeans lived here. All of that changed in the year 1607 when the first English settlement was built. Years later more came to America for different reasons; some came to have better opportunities and make a decent living but another big reason was to escape religious persecution.
The relationship between Britain and its American colonies was civil at first but began to strain in the mid-1700’s. In the beginning, Britain ruled colonies with little involvement because they were busy dealing with the French and Indian War among other things. As a result of this, the colonies were typically left in charge of themselves with little interference from British authorities. After years of being left alone, the colonists had developed a feeling of freedom and independence. When the war ended there was a significant change in the relations between England and the colonies.
The Original Puritan vision of having of doing everything as a collective effort for the eyes of England, with almost no aspect of individualism, as seen with John Winthrop, morphed into the Puritans displaying “The Other” theme through King Phillip’s war and finding an enemy and try to define themselves, away from the church, and also there is change with the Nature theme and the Salem Witch Trials which shows the Puritan Dilemma and how it secularized the second and third generation Puritans. Firstly, the original Puritan Errand had little individualism and called for a collective effort for their society to be an example for England. In John Winthrop’s, A Model of Christian Charity, he explains how the Puritans’ original goal is to be a
Puritans, were a group of English reformed protestants in the 16th and 17th century New England colonies. Their main objective was to “purify” the church of England from Catholicism. Puritanism didn’t just define the religion of the New England colonies, it was something that flowed through every aspect life. Religion was seen as the basis and foundation for everything. For every action, there was a religious justification. Their art, literature, and culture, was always inspired by, and made for God. There was little focus on the self with Puritan beliefs, everything was done for the glory of God, so they could honor him in every part of life. They believed that all people were meant to sin naturally, but by adhering to the divine
People often dislike someone because they are different. This then leads to outrage and confusion when the person makes a stand that changes the way of life. In the Witch of Blackbird Pond, a novel by Elizabeth George Spear, Puritans in the 1600s were similar in this way. Puritans do not understand people who were different from their religion. The Puritans do not understand Katherine Tyler, who goes by the name Kit, a girl from Barbados, who has moved to Connecticut to live with her Aunt Rachel, Uncle Matthew, and Cousins Judith and Mercy. On the Voyage from Barbados, A Puritan girl named Prudence Cruff drops her doll into the ocean. Puritans think that every event that occurs was controlled by God. Therefore, none of the Puritans on the boat make an effort to save the
John Winthrop acknowledged the land of the Native Americans to be possessed by the English Puritans. Through his beliefs, he justifies that the land was meant to be used by the puritans because of his interpretation of “God’s word”, which proceeded them to capture the land from the Native Americans. Winthrop’s consideration of God’s word was to use the land for natural and civil rights to benefit their neighbors with the good of their Christian intent. He believed that the natives had no existing system or bringing forth anything good for the land, which gave him a clear thought that he can make the land better. Furthermore, he also uses an example of biblical references to justify his reasoning for taking the land of the Natives because there
People in our current time generation like to complain about how difficult life is without a simple item. One might say that in 2017 people cannot live without their cellphones and or internet. But life was never that simple. In the time of the Puritans arriving to America, they did not have internet or cell phones to help them. In fact, they struggled at the beginning of their arrival. The greatest challenges the Puritans had to face were the lack of medical supplies for illness, shelter, and food.
In the spring of 1692, Salem Massachusetts, the famous Salem Witch Trials begins after a group of girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused a group of women of witchcraft and using the so called “devil’s magic.” As the hysteria spread through the small colonies in Massachusetts a panic began to form as the innocent puritan lifestyle was threatened. In the end, 18 were sent to Salem’s Gallow Hill, and over 200 convicted of witchcraft, the known tradition of the Salem Witch Trials would undergo for years. The Salem Witch Trials grabbed American History by the neck and is not one of our most prideful moments.
Fear is the most terrifying thing in this world and the Puritan society had used this fear for so long against their people, government, and everyday life. There are many things that they can use fear in everyday life no matter who you are. The most common fear they used is one of many things that many people know today and that is hell. So come and learn a little bit about how fear was used in Puritan society.
The Puritan’s voyage to the New World was recorded in “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford. The Puritans made this voyage to escape the persecution they were facing in Europe and in hopes of starting a new life that would exert their right to religious freedom. The Puritans believed God’s active and persistent “hand” was present in all aspects of their lives. It was the grace of God that was the sole explanation of every daily occurrence or event. God created everything and therefore he played a significant role in the lives of the Puritans.