Religion in the Early Colonies.

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Religion in the Early Colonies Religion served as a motive for colonization, as well as a form of government, and a reason for conflict. Colonies like Plymouth, Maryland, and Massachusetts were dominated by religion and were established solely for that purpose. Other colonies were more liberal. Nonetheless, their establishment was triggered by religion. Maryland was founded in 1634. It was a place for Catholics to freely practice Catholicism. In 1649 Maryland passed the Maryland Toleration Act, also known as the Act Concerning Religion, a law mandating religious tolerance for Trinitarian Christians. Passed on September 21, 1649 by the assembly of the Maryland Colony, it was the first law requiring religious tolerance in the British North American Colonies. Although Maryland was an early pioneer of religious toleration in the English colonies, religious strife among Anglicans, Puritans, Catholics, and Quakers was common in the early years. Plymouth was founded in 1623 by a group of Separatists initially known as the Brownist Emigration and Anglicans, who together later came to be known as the Pilgrims. The separatists disagreed with the Church of England, and instead of trying to reform it, they left. Plymouth Colony was, along with Jamestown and other settlements in Virginia, one of the earliest successful colonies to be founded by the English in North America. A significant proportion of the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship as they saw fit. The social and legal systems of the colony became closely tied to their religious beliefs, as well as English custom. In contrast to the Pilgrims, the Puritans did not want to separate from the church but rather reform it. However, the persecution of many Puritans in England in the 1620's led them to believe religious reform would not be possible while Charles was
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