Essay on Puritans in New England
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Puritans in New England
Raised during the aftermath of the fall of the Spanish Armada to England, the Puritan generation they were children and grandchildren of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. An idealistic generation of the Colonial Cycle, the Puritans came to America seeking freedom, to practice religion in a manner different than that of the English. Puritans regarded New England as a place to establish a "visible" kingdom of God, a society where outward conduct would be according to God's laws. Puritanism is defined by…: "the intensity of the Puritan's commitment to a morality, a form of worship, and a civil society strictly conforming to God's commandments. ...[in colonial America] Puritanism meant the…show more content…
Puritanism became a way of life and a way of religion.
The severe restrictions and demands of the Puritan religion can be viewed as their weakness. Masses were forced to follow the rigorous demands of their religion. There was no room for religious freedom or tolerance. Examples of their strict enforcement of values upon the general public follow:
May 24, 1610, Jamestown:
Sir Thomas Gates institutes "Laws Divine, Morall and Martial", a harsh, religion-based civil code
Governor decrees that those who miss church will be jailed "lying neck and heels in the Corps of Gard ye night following and be a slave ye week following"
August 14, 1619, Jamestown:
The first general assembly (the House of Burgesses) passes in six days a series of harsh laws, including ones making the wearing of "excessive apparel" illegal and requiring attendance at two church services every Sunday. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
"These pressures placed upon the people by strict religious practices led them to take a stand in a direction that helped found today's society and values. Puritanism was carried into our form of civil government. "The First Great Awakening" (1730s -- 1770s) produced a general discussion of the principles of freedom and human rights, the habit of contending for rights with religious zeal, and the preparation of the mind for all questions pertaining to civil government
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