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Early American Literature

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Early American Literature

(1620-1820)

In the first half of the 17th century the New World found two groups of people

colonizing. The first group, the Puritans, had left England after years of exile due to

their lack of faith in the Church of England. With the reading and understanding of the

Bible almost completely laid in the hands of the preacher, the congregation was forced

to believe all the words that the preacher said. This all came to an end with John

Calvin.


His ideas were that God likes certain people better than others and those "chosen"

ones would get more land and more money. This idea took off with the Puritans as they

seeked religious freedom, a chance to start new churches and purification of the Church

of England. As life moved on in the New World for the Puritans they seemed

overwhelmed with the fact that they were the chosen ones and proceeded to act out life

and every aspect of it for God and God only. The other group was far more open minded.

The Enlightenment that swept the world impacted these people greatly and caused them

to question the acts of the Puritans.


Puritan life in the New World seemed only to consist of Church and all daily

life outside the Church was to be done in the name of the Lord. There are countless

quotes throughout the text of "God's will" in reaction to everything from the death of a

child to the lack of food or water. "If excellence abide below, How excellent is He that

dwells on high,". With this quote one can see the presence that God has in the life of a

Puritan. They believed that everything that we on the Earth was God's will. If

a tree fell on their house killing all insid...


... middle of paper ...


...and through eduction

answered those questions forming a foundation for their beliefs. Upon that we see many

different branches of the many different religions that make up the country today. With

this reasoning present people seemed to build off the Puritan ideas and make these

churches. In the event that the Puritans were the only religious colony to settle in

America then what happened in England would most definitly happen here. The Puritan

Church would be roughly the same as the Church of England and those that didn't believe

in it would have to move elsewhere seeking religious freedom, the cycle would repeat

itself. Thus, both groups of settlers complimented each other and made the foundation

of modern American religion. Although those that did this may not be able to see it

today, they found their religious freedom.

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