Religion in the New England and Chesapeake Colonies

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Europeans came to the American colonies for many things. One of the main reasons for immigrating was for their freedom from religious persecution. Ironically, when they came they were not tolerant of other religions for the most part. The two main regions, New England and the Chesapeake, differed in the importance of religion, how it affected their government, and how they tolerated it. Most the New England colonies took religion very seriously. One of the most extreme was the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The puritans came to America to flee from the growing feud with the Anglican Church. They had strict rules to obey the puritan religion otherwise facing the penalty of being fined, banished, whipped or even imprisoned. Also in Massachusetts, in order to take part in office it was required to follow the puritan faith. When William Penn was given a large amount of land as a form of payment for the Kings debt towards his father, he established the colony Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania unlike other colonies was considered a safe haven for Quakers and other religious groups. However in the Chesapeake colonies did not focus much on religion because it was mostly populated by business men trying to make a living in the New World. There were also more Atheists in the Chesapeake because of the low life expectancy causing people to not believe in God as a savior. In the government, religion was also a factor of many laws and the way settlers interacted. Laws called blue laws were made to enforce morals. Blue laws mainly existed in Massachusetts because of their high moral living. Failure to anide by these rules were sometimes regarded the same as disobeying regular laws. Politically, Catholics and the Protestants held most of the office in new England. They made rules based on their own religion for their people. In the Chesapeake there was an absence of many

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