Q: In what ways did ideas and values held by Puritans influence the political, economic, and social development of the New England colonies from 1630 through the 1660s?
In what is known as New England, the beginnings of a singular society was becoming established
in the 1630’s-1660’s. The impetus of their migration was religious persecution in England.
Their extreme adherence to strict religious rules greatly influenced the development of their
political, economic and social aspects.
In regards, politics go, the Puritans had some interesting views. As John Winthrop, in “a modell of Christian charity” said, the Puritans believed their moral and divine cause, i.e. creating a community of righteous Christians gave them justification to defeat violent “heathens” often times without fair treaty, negotiation, or any other semblance of normal politic. Indeed, they truly believed themselves to be a model for Christianity that the whole world would watching, as is exemplified in the “modell of a Christian charity”. Leaders of the Church were given excessive power. This can be seen in John Cotton’s “Limitation of Government”. In power, magistrates would not tolerate suggestion of a separation of church and state, like Rogers Williams advocated in “A Plea for Religious Liberty”. Roger Williams was banished to Rhode Island for “heathen”. There was a synergy between politics and religion, as is evidenced in Nathaniel Ward’s “the Simple Cobbler of Aggawam”, in Puritan society.
Economics in New England were just as influenced by Puritan ideas and values. We see, in Robert Keayne in his last will, that these colonists were incredibly concerned with being perceived as hard-working industrious individuals. (“…testify to the world on my behalf that I have not lived an idle, lazie or dronish life nor spend my time wantonly, fruitlessly or in company…” Robert Keayne). In the town map we see that Puritans were farmers and they had livestock...