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History of Puritans


History of Puritans
Puritan Religion
Puritan Community
Puritan Literature
Puritan Influence on America
The History of Puritanism

Where the Puritans came from and why they came to America....

The Puritans were a group of people who wanted to purify the Church of England. They believe that The Church of England had become all about pageantry and pomp, rather than the word of God. A main leader in the Reformation, John Calvin, gave rise to Protestantism and the Puritan religion. The Puritans werent the only branch of religion that thought this way about the Church of England. So, in order to stop its persecution, they moved to America in search of hope and salvation. The first group of Puritans came to America in the Mayflower with the Pilgrims in 1620. Their religious ideas and principles helped give them the name, Puritan. They were trying to purify the church and their own lives. Their belief was that the Bible was God's law, and it provided a standard of life. Puritans stripped away the traditional trappings and formalities of Christianity which had been slowly building through the corrupt Church of England. Most of the Puritans settled in New England, but some ventured south. Religious exclusiveness was the foremost principle of their society. The spiritual beliefs that they held were strong. This strength held over to include community laws and customs. God was at the top priority in their minds, and the motivation of all of their actions. The Puritans feared the devil and his evil. They closely sheltered their children from the dangers of the world. Religiously motivated, they were exceptional in their time for their interest in the education of their children. Reading the Bible was necessary to living a pure life. The education of their children was important to further purify the church and perfect social living. Drama, religious music and erotic poetry were banned in the New England colonies. Music in worship created a dreamy state which was not conducive in listening to God. The Bible stimulated their intellect by promoting discussions of literature. Greek classics were taught, as well as poetry and Latin verse. They were encouraged to create their own poetry, always religious in content. For the first time, free schooling was offered for all children when the Puritans formed the first formal school in 1635, (Roxbury School). Four years later, Harvard was the first American college established. Children attended a school where the teacher, who was usually a widow, taught reading. Math and writing were low on the academic agenda, and God was their main priority.In 1638, the first printing press arrived, and by 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English. The Puritans were the first to write books for children. At a time when other Americans were physically blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans efforts in areas of study were advancing our country intellectually. The people who dedicated to the lifestyle of the Puritans did much to firmly establish a perfect community. Together, they established a community that maintained a healthy economy, established a school system, and focused an efficient eye on political concerns. Protestant churches of this century still ascribe to the simplicity of worship that they proposed back in 1620. The moral character of England and America were shaped in part by the words and actions of this strong group of Christian believers called the Puritans.