Were the Puritans Hypocrites

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The Puritans fled from England to the New World to escape persecution. The Puritans, their name meaning to “Purify” the church urged for many reforms in the Church of England. The Puritans followed John Calvin’s vision of predestination, and believed that everyone had either two destinies- salvation or damnation. Puritans are commonly known for their quest to freedom -freedom through salvation as well as freedom of their own religious practice- and their strict hardworking lifestyle. The Puritans wanted to alter practices promoted by the Anglican Church as well as decrease the power of the discriminatory and corrupt bishops. After the death of the last Tudor, Elizabeth, King James I began to overtax the Puritans. The Puritans, persecuted by the King and angered by his favor towards the Catholics, had a falling out with England and therefore were voluntary candidates for colonists in the New World. Upon arrival in the New World; however, they preceded to practice intolerance towards others outside of their group. Puritan Massachusetts or the “city upon a hill” for example, instilled a theocratic government in which it was treason to oppose any Puritan practice. Although the Ministers had no formal political power, they held great power over the church members. The people were taxed to support the Church and rules requiring Church attendance were put in place. Known as the New England Way, the Puritans often banished religious outsiders such as the Quakers, in fear of losing political and religious control of the colony. Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, both Quakers, began preaching in the city of Boston in 1656. These two women were considered heretics and were imprisoned in brutal conditions while most of their property was destroyed or confiscated. Mary Dyer and William Robinson are examples of other martyrs, executed for defying Puritan laws and ignoring orders of
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