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'
Essentially, Puritans are expected to follow a strict set of religious and moral guidelines from which their actions and morality are derived. According to Hall’s A Reforming People, these moral expectations first introduced by the pilgrims were the driving force behind the power that the Puritan ministry had over society: “Ministers and laypeople looked ﬁrst to congregations as the place where love, mutuality, and righteousness would ﬂourish, and second to civil society. …Alongside love, mutuality, and righteousness they placed another set of values summed up in the word “equity.” Employed in a broad array of contexts, the concept of equity conveyed the colonists’ hopes for justice and fairness in their social world.” (Hall, 127). This idea of a fair and just society was the centerpiece of Puritan society, and it subsequently led to the virtue of community over the individual which was previously discussed. When it comes to The Scarlet Letter, the ideology that Puritan morality is fundamental to everything is truly front and center.
Its punishment was to wear a big scarlet “A” on their chest for the rest of their lives or even death in some cases (Puritan Life 2). All in all, Puritan Law gave people more ways to justify abuse of others than it gave people protection from abuse of others. People that ranked highly in the social circles of Puritan towns were able to do whatever they see fit without any circumstances, leading to people with lower reputations being taken advantage of. The laws made it hard for a person accused of a crime to prove their innocence, so anyone
This was the beginning of Puritan life in America. The Puritans were strict Calvinists, followers of the reformer John Calvin. John Calvin taught that God was all-powerful and focused on God’s sovereignty, supreme power or authority. Puritans also believed that because of Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience, most of humanity would be damned for all eternity. They also gathered that God had chosen a few people, "the elect," for salvation.
The Puritans had a huge impact on New England and their way of living. Once the Puritans colonized New England, they had a huge positive influence on the political, economic, and social development of New England through their ideas. Politically, they established the form of government we have today. Economically, the Puritans helped to develop the art of shipbuilding in New England. Socially, the Puritans had certain ideals that related to the community coming together as a close family.
Puritan’s harsh beliefs represented the beginning of the Nineteenth Century in the newly colonized America. Their community ruled with an iron fist: unforgiving, pitiless, stern. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne expresses his disagreement with puritan priorities by revealing the hypocrisy widely practiced throughout their community. Hawthorne’s utilization of dim diction aids in the establishment of his scornful tone, while inclusion of symbols and intricate juxtaposition all serve to accentuate the Puritan’s duplicity. All these factors combine to develop a critical tone which rebukes puritan society.
The established church was known as the Church of England. In England, the clergy and the government mediated the relationship between God and the individual. The Puritans believed that the relationship between God and the individual should be an intense spiritual relationship. The Puritans’ goal was to “purify” the Church of England. Due to the differences in belief, the Puritans left the Old World escaping
They were strictly condensed through religious studies in order to lean how to read and write. They had no sense of privacy throughout their childhood and no freedom. Most wore the same clothes as they were portrayed as the same status of intelligence. Commonly, puritans believed that well and behaved educated children would make a connection of purification though god, themselves, their relatives and the rest of the puritan
During Samuel’s time period, puritans supported slavery just as they believe Abraham did. Samuel, on the other hand, strayed from classic puritan beliefs and found slavery to be a non-puritan practice. He equates owning slaves to man stealing which is “ranked amongst the most atrocious of capital crimes.” Being that a capital crime is punishable by death, and Samuel feels slavery is a capital crime, it is clear he against commonly held puritan beliefs. To even further digress from customary puritan stances on equality, he questions at one point if blacks will become white and women will become men after the resurrection. Additionally, Samuel differs from his puritan brethren in the fact that he was the only person to publically apologize for the Salem witch craft trials.
The Puritans were plaster saints. In other words, they considered themselves humans without failings. Puritans are primarily remembered for their devout faith, their repressive religious code, and their repressive and violent attitudes towards women and children. The Oxford English Dictionary confirms these attributes by stating, “A Puritan is a person who practices or who is characterized by extreme strictness or austerity in religion, morals.” Their extreme moral code caused the Puritans to have a sense of superiority to anyone who was not following their lifestyle. John Winthrop summarizes what he believes are the statutes of what Puritans should live by in, “A Model of Christian Charity.” Winthrop’s writings are based on his interpretation of bible scriptures.