Individual free will allows for a variety of different beliefs to be cultivated. Unfortunately, people do not always accept a variety of ideas. One area in the human experience that has long been disputed is religion. Religion is such a controversial topic that it has been the cause of many wars such as the Crusades and the Thirty Years’ War. The people involved in these wars felt a responsibility to uphold and preserve their faith. In England, the Anglican Church and the Puritans in the first half of the 17th century are another example of peoples with religious problems. Although religion did not directly lead to a physical war, religious conflicts caused a good deal of frustration. Under James I, Charles I, and the Anglican Church, Puritans did not have complete religious autonomy because their beliefs often conflicted with those of the Anglican Church. Consequently, the Puritans felt a responsibility to uphold their practices.
The Anglican Church and the English government were closely related to each other; the king not only ruled the country, but was the head of the church as well. Therefore, disobeying the church meant that people also acted against the king[i]. Like governmental organization, the Church of England was based on a hierarchal structure. It favored powerful bishops, ornate services and liturgies, and allowed people to personally observe the religion. During King Charles I’s reign, royal and elite citizens of England largely composed the Church of England[ii]. These close connections between the church and the state allowed for much corruption to take place[iii].
The Puritans’ goals, as in the Ref...
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University Press, 1986), 69-71)
[vi] Jim Sharpe, “Scandalous and Malignant Priests in Essex: The Impact of Grassroots
Puritanism,” in Politics and People in Revolutionary England, eds Colin Jones,
Malyn Newitt, and Stephen Roberts (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1986), 258
[vii] Ashley, Maurice. “England in the Seventeenth Century.”
[viii] “The Proclamation for the Authorizing and Uniformity of the Book of Common
[x] “William Laud.” http://www.manotick.org/stjames/Archival%20pages/william_laud.htm
[xi] Hirst, 70
[xii] “Our English Heritage”
[xiii] “William Laud”
[xv] “Our English Heritage”
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