The Role of Religion in the Formation of America

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The Role of Religion in the Formation of America Religion has played a large role throughout History. Entire nations have been founded on the ideals of one religion or another, and many wars have been fought purely for religious reasons. In fact there are wars still going on that are almost completely religiously motivated. New Religions may form, old religions may die or change, but they will always be a part of our culture and society. Religion always seems to play a large role in the formation of societies and cultures, and the history of the United States is no different from that of the rest of the world. Religion played a major role in the formation of the United States of America. More specifically between 1607 when American was first settled as British Colonies and the 1850’s. In the United States religion has indirectly caused two wars and been the reason for many reforms. Additionally, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was one of the earliest colonies created, was started as a religious haven for the Puritans. This in turn led to other colonies in the north being formed for religious reasons as well. The Early Northern Colonies were founded exclusively for religious reasons. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, which was the first Northern Colony created, was created so that the Puritans could escape the religious turmoil in Britain at the time. As James A. Henretta, David Brody, and Lynn Dumenil point out in America a Concise History, the Puritans believed that religion should have more power over the government. In other words the laws of the bible were more important then the laws of the state (45). In John Winthrop’s famous speech, “The Modell of Christian Charity,” he speaks of a few ideals, which sha... ... middle of paper ... ...American’s lives today has diminished, but I disagree. Religion still does play a large role in our lives, but it has gone through many reforms as it has many times in the past. People need something to believe in, whether it is Christianity, Judaism, Muslim or Science, and those beliefs have and always will influence the path that our society takes. Works Cited Henretta, James A, David Brody, Lynn Dumenil. America A Concise History Volume 1: To 1877. New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 1999. Mangus, Michael, ed. Retrieving the American Past. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing, 2001. Boyer, Paul, Stephen Nissenbaum, “Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft.” Mangus 73-81 Boyer, Paul, Stephen Nissenbaum, ed. “The Salem Witchcraft Papers: Verbatim Transcripts of the Legal Documents of the Salem Witchcraft Outbreak.” Mangus 94-98.

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