In the first half of the 17th Century the second major area which was colonized by the English was New England, it differed markedly in its founding principle from the commercial oriented Chesapeake tobacco colonies.
The New England had a religious orientation from the beginning. In 1630 settled largely by the waves of Puritan families. Many believed that the Church of England had been insufficiently reformed, retaining too much of its Roman Catholic doctrine and wished to separate from the church called separatists. These pilgrims established the Plymouth Colony in 1620.
The reform-minded men and women in England had been calling for the greater changes to the English National Church since the 1580s. The English Protestants who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic and practices the catholic elements that lingered in the institutions by the teachings of John Calvin and other Protestants, were called the Puritans.
The people who provided leadership in the early New England were the educated ministers who had studied at the Oxford or the Cambridge universities. However, the who they had led to questioned about the practices of the Church of England, were deprived of careers by the king and his officials in an effort to silence all dissenting voices.
John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony came from the privileged class of English gentry. The Puritans left their English homes to avoid a land of religious freedom but rather they began to practice their own religion without persecution. They believed they have got the opportunity to live the way in the land of New England as demanded by the Bible. In New England they created a model of reformed Protestantism as New English Israel.
However, the bible itself became the part of conflict and struggle between the Puritans and the James I, the king of England was head of the Church of England. After ascending the throne James I commissioned a new bible for the Puritans to stifle Puritans on the Geneva Bible, which includes the teachings of John Calvin and placed the authority of God above the monarch’s. The new version of the Bible which was published by the King James I was released in 1611 and gave a special importance to the majesty of kings in written.
The conflict increased rapidly when the state Church prohibited the Puritans ministers from delivering moral advice during the 1620’s and 1630’s. The demands of the Puritans for culture, social and religious reforms damaged the King’s authority and hence they were declared as the security threat for the nation. The conflict generated by the Puritanism which had divided the English society because the Puritans demanded to reform the undermined traditional festive culture. Unwilling to comply the new laws and standards with the Church of England, several Puritans was found refuge in their new world.
People were not united who have immigrated to America. However, many of the Puritans called for a complete break down with the Church of England while several others remained committed to reconstruct the National Church.
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