What were the key characteristics of religion in colonial America? Focus on the motives for settlement, the Puritan influence, and the union of church and state.
Although the colonists moved to America for religious freedom, the Puritans had a strong influence on their religious views.
The colonists moved to America because they believed that the Church of England was corrupt in persecuting them, and not allowing freedom of religion, but some still did not get freedom of religion in America and were persecuted by the Puritans, who set up a union of church and state.
I Motives for settlement
A. Many people came to America in search for religious freedom.
1. Colonists wanted a chance to worship freely.
a. Some of the colonists were in search of the perfect religion.
B. They hoped to escape the religious persecution in the Old World.
C. They didn’t want to establish a church like the Church of England.
1. Believed the Church of England was corrupt.
II The Puritan influence
A. The Puritan bay colonists believed they had a covenant with God.
1. They would build a holy society
2. Wanted to be a model to everyone
B. They had an influence on much of society.
1. The only “freemen” in society were adult males who belonged to the Puritan congregations and were also the only ones able to vote.
2. Influenced admission to church membership.
a. Conducted public interrogations to make sure people claiming to have experienced conversion were telling the truth.
C. Many people came to America for religious freedom but some didn’t receive it because of the Puritans.
1. Puritans wanted everybody to worship the Puritan way.
2. Nonconformists were fined, banished, whipped, or imprisoned for not following the way of the Puritans.
a. An example would be Anne Hutchinson....