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Puritanism. Puritanism was a religious reform movement that arose within the Church of England in the late 1500’s. Under attack from the king and church, it sent offshoots to the New World- a migration that set the foundation for the religious, social, and intellectual order of America.
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Puritanism • Puritanism was a religious reform movement that arose within the Church of England in the late 1500’s. • Under attack from the king and church, it sent offshoots to the New World- a migration that set the foundation for the religious, social, and intellectual order of America.
Puritanism • The Puritans wanted to “purify” themselves of ceremony and vestiges of the Church of England and the Catholic Church. • Two important settlements were the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Plymouth Colony • Mayflower arrives in 1620. • William Bradford is the leader. • Settlers known as Pilgrims and Separatists. • Mayflower Compact establishes social, religious, and economic freedom, while keeping ties to England.
Massachusetts Bay Colony • Arbella arrives in 1630. • Leader is John Winthrop. • Settlers are mostly Puritans. • The Arbella Covenant establishes a religious and theocratic settlement, free of ties to England.
Puritan Doctrine • Puritans adhered to the Five Points of Calvinism. • 1. Unconditional election (elect and reprobate). • 2. Limited atonement (Christ died only for the elect). • 3. The total depravity of man because of original sin.
Puritan Doctrine • 4. Irresistible grace (entirely the work of God that cannot be resisted and the sinner contributes nothing). • 5. The perseverance of the saints (the elect, despite some backsliding, cannot fall away from grace). • Other Puritan beliefs: • 1. God’s intentions are present in human action and natural phenomena.
Puritan Doctrine • 2. Manifest Destiny- Puritans (Americans) were to carry out God’s mission and spread His word in the new world. They were God’s “Chosen.” • 3. John Winthrop expressed this idea when he said,”…for we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.” • 4. Backsliding: the belief that some of the elect could succumb to temptation.
Puritan Beliefs • 5. To prevent “backsliding,” believers were not to become smug, do constant soul searching, be introspective, and pray constantly. • 6. Satan was always eager to snare one of the elect.
Puritan Writing • Puritan writers were to: • 1. Transform a mysterious God. • 2. Make God more relevant to the Universe. • 3. Glorify God. • Puritan authors used a plain style of writing devoid of ornamentation.
Puritan Writing • The purpose of their writing was to glorify God. • The writing reflected the character, scope, and education of the settlers. • Puritan literary dominance over the Virginians results from their high literacy, attachment literature, and their determination to write to spread God’s word. • Common themes were religious, political, and practical.
Forces Undermining Puritanism • A person’s natural desire to do good works against predestination. • Dislike of provincial life. • Resentment of the power of a few over many. • A growing diversified economy. • The presence of dissenting voices like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams
Forces Undermining Puritanism • The presence of the frontier- the concepts of self-reliance, individualism, and optimism. • Political change- Massachusetts became a Crown colony. • The Theocracy lacked flexibility. • Growth of rationality- world becomes man centered, not based on revealed word of God from Bible. • Diversity of new immigrants.
Visible Signs of Decay • Decline of godliness • Displays of pride and “hubris.” • Presence of “heretics”- Quakers and Anabaptists. • Violations of the Sabbath. • Decay in family government.
Puritan Decay • Contentious people – a rise in lawsuits and lawyers. • Increase in sins of the flesh. • Decay in business morality • No desire to reform. • Decline in proper social behavior.
The Great Awakening • The Great Awakening was a revival of religious fervor that swept the colonies from about 1735- 1742. • Leaders such as Jonathon Edwards and George Whitefield wanted to turn people back to God. • Edward’s “Sinner’s in the Hands of an Angry God” is the most famous sermon of the period. • It help to create the “hellfire and brimstone” image of the Puritan’s concept of salvation.
Results of the Great Awakening • It united 80% of Americans in a common understanding of Christian life and faith. • Dissent and dissenters gained more respect. All non-established groups grew and prospered. • Great emphasis came to be placed on education. If all people now had an equal chance at salvation, education should also be available for all. • A greater responsibility for the lives of Indians and Slaves.
Results of The Great Awakening • Man came to understand that he, not God, was responsible for his salvation. • The Theocracy completely dissolved. • It served to a revived sense of religious mission. Everyone believed that there was some greater purpose to the revivals.
The Puritan Legacy • The need for moral justification for private, public, and governmental action. • The Questing for freedom- personal, political, economic, and social. • The Puritan work ethic./ • Elegiac verse- morbid fascination with death. • The concept of Manifest Destiny.
Puritan Vestiges • Puritan attitudes about family values and sex. • Puritanism is represented today in the secular forms of self-reliance, individualism, and is responsible for the genesis of American democracy.
Sources • “The Great Awakening,Lecture Four.” http://www.wfu.edu. • “Puritanism.” Reader’s Guide to American History. Houghton-Mifflin. http://college.hmco.com • Reuben, Paul P. “Chapter 1: Early American Literature to 1700- A Brief Introduction.”