Puritan Values Essay

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Danielle Rassi Mr. Battersby APUSH 11 September 2011 DBQ 1: The Influence of Puritan Values The Puritans were a diverse group of people who stood for religious purity. They believed that the English Reformation had not gone far enough in disposing similarities with the Church of Rome, such as hierarchy. Throughout the 1630s to the 1660s the Puritan’s valued religion and their beliefs were displayed in their life style, from the layout of their church centered town to their idea of salvation. Despite the religious rules, “brethren” community, and Puritan work ethic that influenced their social way of life and produced economic success in businesses, their utopian government fell apart at the rise of conflict between religious and profit motives as well as the clash of opposing ideas to their Puritan political system. The social structure of the New England Puritans was a brotherhood. As the leader of the Puritans, John Winthrop, Governor of Massachusetts, believes that they should be an example of the purest religion, free from prosecution which he expresses in his essay, “A Modell of Christian Charity” (Doc A). The puritans had a powerful sense of purpose; to build a Christian theocracy. The community of the Puritans was tightly woven and centered on the church and town hall with a strong relationship between church and state (Doc B). The people believed in the necessity of education and a trained and educated ministry. The use the New England Primer and hornbook was used in public education and in Dame schools. They founded Harvard College in 1636 and Yale College to ensure the adequate supply of ministers (Doc E). The Puritan life was to work and pray at all times because idleness was sin (Doc I). Although the Puritans were strong in their faith, respected and feared God, kept the Sabbath Holy, and exercised their freedom of religion, not all people believed

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