The Puritans believed that God had commanded the reform of both church and society. They condemned drunkenness, gambling, theatergoing, and Sabbath-breaking and denounced popular practices rooted in pagan custom, like the celebration of Christmas. They deplored the "corruptions" of Roman Catholicism that still pervaded the Church of England - churches and ceremonies they thought too elaborate, clergymen who were poorly educated.
The refusal of English monarchs to attack these "besetting evils" turned the Puritans into outspoken critics of the government. This King James I would not endure: he decided to rid England of these malcontents. With some of the Puritans, known as the Separatists, he seemed to have succeeded.
The Separatists, a tiny minority within the Puritan movement, were pious people from humble backgrounds who concluded that the Church of England was too corrupt to be reformed from within. In 1608 one Separatist congregation at Scrooby decided to flee to Holland. That move afforded them religious freedom, but they found only low-paying jobs and were distressed by desertions from within their ranks to other religions.
Some decided to move again, this time to North America. In December of 1620, eighty-eight Separatist "Pilgrims" disembarked from the Mayflower at a place they called Plymouth on the coast of present-day southeastern Massachusetts. But misfortune followed the Separatists to the New World. The hardships of the crossing and inadequate provisions left many vulnerable to a "starving time" during the winter. The Plymouth colony would have failed entirelyif the Pilgrims had not received assistance from local Indian tribes.
The Pilgrims had received permission from England to settle farther south in the New World, but they had sailed off course and lacked any legal sanction for their land claims or their government in Plymouth. English authorities, however, distracted by ...
... middle of paper ...
...regationalism fostered a growing diversity of opinion and practice, because each local church was free to go its own way. By the end of the seventeenth century, many churches had adopted more liberal standards for admission to membership or to the sacraments of baptism and communion. Divisions among New England's Congregationalists became even more pronounced after the 1730s because of the first Great Awakening, a major religious revival. Some welcomed it, but others disliked the emotionalism and disorder that attended the new religious enthusiasm. Competing denominations gained from the Congregationalists' disputes: disgruntled conservatives deserted to the Anglicans and Quakers, and the most radical advocates of revivalism formed "Separate" churches or joined the Baptists.
By the middle of the eighteenth century, New England had become a more mobile, commercialized, stratified, and diverse society. But for most of the region's inhabitants, earlier patterns of life persisted. The majority remained an insular, rural folk, their lives defined by the seasonal rhythms of agriculture, the bonds of family, church, and local community, and a fundamentally religious outlook.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Puritans I. The history of the Puritans The Puritans didn't give themself this name. At first it was used to humiliate the Puritans. But after a while they adopt the name for themselves. The name comes from the word pure and has the meaning "clean", "unspoiled", "proper". The Puritans origins are in England during the early 16th Century. The Puritanism was a form of protestantism in England. The Puritans are people, who believes in predestination, because of their religious conflict with the church of England and as a result of the persecution they were forced to leave England.... [tags: History Puritans Research Paper]
950 words (2.7 pages)
- The Puritans of Today The show Portlandia is about the interesting lifestyles of the great people of portland oregon. In the first episode of this popular comedy we are introduced to a couple going out to dinner, they sit down at their table ready to eat a great meal. Before ordering the couple must know if the chicken is organic and if what the chicken ate was organic. Instead of just ordering a lovely meal and enjoy themselves they spend the whole time worrying. They worry about where their food came from, they worry how it was treated and they worry about what affect it may have on their bodies.... [tags: Puritan, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
929 words (2.7 pages)
- The Puritans were a religious group that came to North America in search of religious freedom, and, in the process, greatly impacted the North American church, government, education, social mores, and economy. Many of the things that they implemented in the first colonies are still seen today in the social and governmental structures of the United States. Their beliefs and traditions are still practiced today and many social mores are still being adhered to, even now. The Puritans first became a sect in England, where they became dissatisfied with the Church of England and sought reform.... [tags: Religion Christian Christianity]
1151 words (3.3 pages)
- The Enlightenment period, also known as The Age of Reason, was a period of social, religious, and political revolution throughout the 18th century which changed the thoughts of man during this “awakening” time. It was a liberation of ignorant thoughts, ideas, and actions that had broken away from the ignorant perception of how society was to be kept and obeyed thus giving little room for new ideas about the world. Puritan society found these new ideas of thought to be extremely radical in comparison to what they believed which was a belief of strong rational religion and morality.... [tags: Age of Reason, Revolution]
796 words (2.3 pages)
- The Puritans: Fanatic or not. A religious fanatic is someone who takes his or her religion to the extreme, letting it control everything in his or her day to day life. The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony are a prime example of this extremist view of religion. They had com plete religion based lives including the laws that they wrote, the way they treated outspoken women, and the way they treated people of other religions. The Puritans, for the most part, were good people, they just went way too far when it came to their r eligious beliefs.... [tags: essays paper]
540 words (1.5 pages)
- The Virginians were better off than the Puritans were, because they had tobacco for a cash crop, they had a longer growing season, and they could trade and sell to England easier than the Puritans could. The Virginians were also more loosely structured than the Puritans, and were allowed to be individual people instead of one large mass. Smith and Bradford’s ways of leading their colonies were similar, yet so very different. Smith’s main concern was to make money and be famous. Bradford’s concept was to start a new life, and preach his own, new religion.... [tags: essays research papers]
513 words (1.5 pages)
- “Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar.” “God is Great. God is Great”. These are the words which every Muslim is required to chant several times a day. The same notion of God’s greatness is also portrayed in Puritan life. The Puritans are a people of religious fervor and strict adherence to the Bible who, without doubt, looked to God in every facet of their life. It is human nature to relate to things we know in order to make sense of the topic at hand. After recently studying Puritan texts, I feel that they express some of the same ideas as the Muslims.... [tags: Religion Islam Puritan Compare Contrast]
1377 words (3.9 pages)
- Puritans and Puritanism This essay addresses the questions: What is Puritanism. What is the meaning of puritanism in American history. What is the Covenant as Puritans understood it. How were their ideas about the Covenant applied to their experience in America. Puritanism is one of the most important aspects of the American culture. Many of this country’s beliefs come from puritanism background. What is Puritanism and the meaning of it in American history. Puritanism is a term that originates from the religious group called the Puritans.... [tags: American History]
765 words (2.2 pages)
- Puritan ideas on religion and Native Americans The Puritan belief structure was built around the idea of treating one another as brothers, loving one another and having compassion. The Puritans also believed everyone should be virtuous to one another. The Puritans themselves did not treat the Native Americans this way. The Puritans look at themselves as the better group of people. It did not matter who someone was or what type of skin color one had, if one did not have the same beliefs as the Puritans he or she was considered an outcast in their society.... [tags: essays research papers]
1610 words (4.6 pages)
- Their opponents ridiculed them as "Puritans," but these radical reformers, the English followers of John Calvin, came to embrace that name as an emblem of honor. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, England faced a gathering storm in religious life - the Puritan movement. Before the storm abated, the Puritans had founded the first permanent European settlements in a region that came to be known as New England. The Puritans believed that God had commanded the reform of both church and society.... [tags: essays research papers]
2048 words (5.9 pages)