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Puritan New England The World of the Puritans Who were the Puritans? Religious “dissenters” Protestant Reformation spreads to England in the 1530s Church of England (Anglican Church) formed Puritans want Church of England to eliminate all traces of Catholicism

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puritan new england

Puritan New England

The World of the Puritans

who were the puritans
Who were the Puritans?
  • Religious “dissenters”
    • Protestant Reformation spreads to England in the 1530s
    • Church of England (Anglican Church) formed
    • Puritans want Church of England to eliminate all traces of Catholicism
      • Hierarchy (priests, bishops, etc).
      • Vestments
      • Incense, statuary, etc.
    • Individual “congregations” should be able to hire/fire ministers.
    • Two groups:
      • Puritans  stay within Church of England and want to reform it
      • Separatists  form separate congregations
new england colonies
New England Colonies
  • Plymouth Colony
    • Founded 1620 by a group of Separatists fleeing England
    • Mayflower Compact –
      • Agreement in which all males agree to form a gov’t and obey the laws
    • William Bradford
      • First governor of Plymouth
      • Author of history “Of Plymouth Plantation”
the new england colonies
The New England Colonies
  • Massachusetts Bay Colony
    • Founded 1630
    • John Winthrop
    • Self-Government
      • Massachusetts Bay Company headquarters are in Massachusetts, making it virtually independent of ties to England
    • Great Puritan Migration
      • 1630-1640: 20,000 English emigrate to New England
the puritan worldview
The Puritan Worldview
  • Goals of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
    • “A City Upon a Hill”
      • A holy commonwealth
      • Goal is a Puritan colony…therefore not tolerant of other religious expressions
      • Roger Williams
        • exiled for questioning “forced religion” & taking of native American lands.
        • Founds Providence, Rhode Island.
      • Anne Hutchinson
        • began preaching that Puritans did not need the church or its ministers.
        • Real crime? A woman challenging authority…
        • “You have rather bine a Husband than a Wife, a Preacher than a Hearer, and a Magistrate than a Subject” – John Winthrop to Anne Hutchinson.
        • Banished and goes to Rhode Island.
the puritan way of life
The Puritan Way of Life
  • Democracy
    • All adult male church members may vote
    • 40% of the colony…larger percentage of voters than anywhere in the world
    • “Freemen” elect members to a General Court, which then elected the Governor.
    • Town Meetings…
  • Education
    • Literacy was critical
    • “Old Deluder Law” 1647 –
      • Required all towns to provide for a public school
      • Purpose?
    • Harvard College 1636
the puritan way of life10
The Puritan Way of Life
  • Theocracy
    • Church and state are heavily intertwined
    • Laws enforced morality – Blue Laws
    • Laws against idleness…
      • “Puritan Work Ethic”
the puritan worldview12
The Puritan Worldview
  • Both the Separatists and the Puritans were steeped in Calvinist theology. In specific, they believed:
      • God is omniscient and omnipresent, and “Divine Providence” directly intervenes in the affairs of everyday life.
      • Death is inevitable and is God’s punishment for original sin.
      • Some (“the elect”) will receive eternal salvation as a gift from God, but all deserve eternal damnation and most will receive it.
      • Evil spirits and evil men occupy the earth and are seeking to interfere with the Puritan’s godly community.
      • The invisible world is real.