Society's Role In Puritan Society

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The Puritan society was shaped by their beliefs and cultural values. The Calvinistic view of hardship for the reward of God’s grace helped their economy prosper. The New England colonies developed quickly and rapidly through the early 1600s. The political, economic, and social developments of New England colonies evolved from Puritan Calvinistic beliefs. By the 1660s, other New England colonies such as Rhode island no longer had the same political and social structure nor the same Calvinistic view as the Puritans. They developed a sense of self government as well as a similar work mentality. Some colonies had a strong sense of religion while others promoted religious freedom. The 1630’s through the 1660s was a time of change for the New England…show more content…
Many Puritans believed the government should get its power from the people as well as God. They developed a theocratic government. John Cotton addresses the settlers of Puritan colonies stating that the power of the government should be limited so that man does not abuse the power. The oldest and most notable saints along with the town elders, had the most control over the colony’s politics. They swore to do what is right by God along with teach what is right. Not only did they know and follow the rules, but they did it willingly, as stated by “The Enlarged Salem Covenant of 1636.” Political disagreements arose in Massachusetts Bay. In Massachusetts Bay, only men who owned land and were a member of the Church could vote. Thomas Hooker believed that all men should have the right to vote, regardless of their religious status. Thomas Hooker and his followers left Massachusetts Bay and colonized Connecticut which developed a direct democracy. The religiously influenced government of Massachusetts influenced the other colonies of New England to develop governments such as direct democracies and self…show more content…
The Calvinistic view of hard work for the reward of God’s grace helped the economy of the Puritans to prosper. Idleness was seen as a sin. Robert Keayne proudly announces in his last will and testament “I have not lived an idle, lazie or dronish life…”. His will provides insight on the effect the Protestant work ethic had on the Puritan society. The belief that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”influenced Puritans to work hard in order to please God. By the year of 1662, economics had not only change in other New England colonies, but also in Massachusetts Bay. The Half-Way Covenant was promoted by Reverend Solomon Stoddard who felt like the second generation Puritans lacked commitment to their religion and were more on materialistic items. John Higginson addresses the conflict of religion and profit by reminding the remaining Puritans that their purpose for settling was religion, not making profits from trade. Their lectures made little change. New Hampshire was settled for the purpose of farming and making a profit from farming. Settlers of New England colonies were no longer working hard to receive God’s grace. They were working hard in order to
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