Puritan immigrants arrived in New England, during the 1600s, settling and establishing in areas like Massachusetts Bay. In contrast to the Chesapeake region’s settlers, the Puritan settlers did not only come for economic interests, but rather out of aspiration to create a more pure, Christian society based on moral living and emphasis on the family and community. The Puritans had a strong impact on the development of the New England region, based on their religious emphasis and support for a theocratic political structure. By organizing their society based on their want to create a theocracy, the Puritans ensured that their values and ideas had a great impact on the political, economic, and social development of the New England colonies from 1630s through the 1660s. In the political development of New England, the Puritans influenced the region by basing the political structure on a theocratic model that enforced firm moral obedience.
DBQ ESSAY 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.
Sometimes they focused so much on right and wrong that they lost sight of what God wants them to do. This is what caused the Puritans to criticize the Enlightenment thinkers. During the Enlightenment, men were encouraged to everything to widen their knowledge. They focused on writing and sciences and just broadening their knowledge for their own benefit. The Puritans thought that you should be well educated to be ready to defend God’s Word at any time and in any area.
John Winthrop states that the Puritan goal was to form "a city upon a hill", which would represent a "pure" community, where Christianity could be pursued (Document A). In New England, religion was considered to be most important thing while the colonists that landed at Jamestown in 1607 were not as religiously inclined as the Puritans. The History of Virginia, written by the leader of the colony, John Smith in 1624, describes how hard it was in the first few years at Jamestown (Document F). There was little food, new diseases, lots of quarreling between the settlers and they had many problems with the Indians (Document H). The colony was almost devastated before it had a chance to even be settled.
Ideas and values held by the Puritans from 1630 to the 1660’s influenced the political, economic, and social development of the New England colonies in many ways. Puritans established the colony and therefore their image was cast upon all 3 divisions of colonial development. Politically, Puritans influenced the New England colonies by controlling the governments of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, and Connecticut, as well as other early northern colonies. This control meant that the Puritans only recognized Congregationalism as the official religion. As well as religious control, for most colonies church membership was required in order to vote.
The humanist movement of the Northern Renaissance, which was also referred to as: Erasmian Humanism had a long lasting impact on various areas of European intellectual and cultural life. Desiderius Erasmus became an influential figure in society by being an educational and as a religious reformer. Erasmus was influential for being an extraordinary renaissance humanist, who liberated the power of learning and pursuit of knowledge throughout the era of northern renaissance. Erasmian movement served as the continuation of beliefs towards learning which were part of Italian Renaissance as well, but in all other respects, Erasmian humanism made its own separate path, which led onto having a variety of consequences for the protestant reformation. Erasmus was a lifelong Catholic himself but had extensively written on the topic of Catholics wanting major reforms in the church way before Reformation actually occurred.
It was in fact the main reason for many people coming to the new world. Many people came to the new world just for religious freedom. An example of these people is the Puritans who practised Puritanism, a religious reform movement that arose in the church of England. Puritans were not the only ones to use their newfound religious freedom to their advantage. Lord Baltimore of England founded the colony of Maryland.
The puritan society is an orderly, tightly knitted model of a holy community. The tradition puritan village was centered around the Town Hall and the Church as religion was held on top of everything in the society (B). They believed that the limitations of themselves were determined by god, as John Cotton stated “it is therefore fit for every man to be studious of the bounds which the Lord has set” (H). The need to educate the youth and to pass on the knowledge of god was stressed in order for future generations to be included in the holy community as well (E). The community lived under a strict code where pleasure is not allowed as people were expected to put all their heart out for the Lord while working hard to gain the Lord’s approval.
European immigrants set out to British North America for either one or both of two very different reasons, the escape of religious persecution or the pursuit of improved economic opportunity. The impetus for each settler’s journey had a unique effect on the development of the new colonies socially, economically and politically. Ultimately, these combined factors determined the church state paradigm established in each of the colonies. The colonial history behind the long debated issue of separation of church and state provides a foundation for better understanding American politics today. The religious persecution settlers experienced in their homelands and, for some, again upon arrival in British North America, served to shape the cultural landscape.
In Rhode Island, people such as Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson challenged the Church of England as well as Puritan beliefs. Anne Hutchinson argues that people had the ability to talk to God, and that it was unnecessary to go to Church as well as reading the Bible. Roger Williams, also with radical ideas, questions whether the government had the right to regulate religious behavior. Also, he pursued people to make a clean break from the Church of England. In Rhode Island, Williams established a Baptist church, with freedom of religion.