• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Radicals in the Wilderness

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Radicals in the Wilderness - Pilgrims, Puritans and a City on a Hill

The desire to create a godly community revolutionized  settlement patterns in the New England colonies.









KEY POINT: While the southern colonies were being established mostly for the sake of profit, a group of northern colonies was founded mostly for the sake of ideas.    The New England Settlement was purposely founded for English radical Protestant refugees.


Pre-Settlement Developments

Protestant Reformation and the rise of Puritanism. 1517, Martin Luther begins break from Catholic church; birth of Protestantism John Calvin elaborated on Luther's ideas and founded Calvinism in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536)


The Church of England and the Puritans



King Henry VIII broke ties with Roman Catholic Church in 1530's and became  head of the newly formed Church of England or Anglican Church.


Pilgrims:  Extreme group of radical Separatist Puritans who wanted to break from the Anglican Church altogether


Puritans: Protestants seeking to reform the Anglican Church by removing its Catholic elements and excluding people who were not  committed.   Restoration Reset



Historical Context - English Settlement - Part I











The Pilgrims 

                "Pilgrims end their Pilgrimage at Plymouth"                                           

The Puritans 
Extreme group of Protestants who wanted to break from the Anglican Church altogether. The first wave of Separatists  left Britain for Holland for freedom to practice Calvinism.   the group secured rights with Virginia Company to settle within its jurisdiction  in Virginia. 
Puritans were radical Protestants seeking to reform the Anglican Church by removing its Catholic elements and excluding people who were not  committed. They became refugees from the English government’s demands for conformity to a single mainstream, state-established church. They left England of deliberate dissent = treason                                                                                                          





Ideological Problems and Developments

Communal organizations broke down over the need for more land New England grew into
six separately organized settlements. 
Puritans had difficulty maintaining a consensus


Quakers (the Society of Friends)  Followers believed in an inner light and not in theology, flouted the  authority of the Puritan clergy and were persecuted.  CASE STUDY: Mary Dyer 



Anne Hutchinson (antinomianism Christian theology that faith alone, not obedience to religious law, is necessary for salvation) and the "elect" didn’t need to obey God's or man's law because they were predestined for salvation. Antinomianism is the polar opposite of legalism, the notion that obedience to a code of religious law is necessary for salvation.



Roger Williams ("liberty of conscience") used "wall of separation" metaphor for church and state separation. Williams settles Rhode Island (1644) Complete freedom of religion, even for Jews, Catholics and  Quakers. No oaths required regarding one's religious beliefs, no compulsory attendance at worship, no taxes to support a state church!




Thomas Hooker believed MBC gov't was too arbitrary and oppressive. His congregation also wanted more lands that MBC was unwilling grant. Connecticut (founded in 1636)


The evolution of representative democracy  


1619 (House of Burgesses)


1620 (Mayflower Compact)


1639 Fundamental Orders of Connecticut



Fundamental Orders drafted in 1639 by new Connecticut River colony (First modern constitution in American history)
1. Established a democracy controlled by "substantial" citizens
2.  Gov’t should be based on consent of the people.
3.  Patterned Massachusetts’ gov’t.
4.  Foundation for Connecticut’s colonial charter and later, its state constitution.






How did the Puritans deal with these waves of dissention?



After the wave of dissention in the 1630s and 1640s (e.g. Hutchinson and Williams) conversions decreased dramatically.  The enthusiasm for undergoing church membership diminished the eagerness of second and third generation Puritans.


As first-generation settlers were beginning to die out, their children and grandchildren often expressed less religious piety, and more desire for material wealth.    



The "Half-Way Covenant" (1662) 

The Half-Way Covenant was designed to respond to the decline of religious zeal among second generation Puritans.


 Sought to attract more members by giving partial membership to the unconverted(those who had not been baptized as children). The children of these Half-Way members were allowed to be baptized.                                                                                                                                                                                  






SALEM WITCH TRIALS, 1692 -- Symbolized the decline of Puritan clergy Massachusetts suffered political, religious, and military upheaval that led to widespread paranoia and unrest.







The Crucible is a 1953 play by American playwright Arthur Miller. It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Massachusetts Bay Colony during 1692/93. Miller wrote the play as an allegory for McCarthyism, when the United States government persecuted people accused of being communists. Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended.













Colonial Timeline 1620-1692



Plymouth- (1620) Founded by separatist Pilgrims


Massachusetts Bay (1629) founded by non-Separatist Puritans out of fear for their faith and England's future. Maine absorbed by MBC in 1677 after purchase from the heirs of its founders remained part of Massachusetts for nearly 150 years until Compromise of 1820.


Connecticut (1636) Founded by Thomas Hooker


Rhode Island (1644) Founded by Roger Williams on freedom of religion, even for Jews and Catholics. Also Quakers


New Haven (1638) - Founded by Puritans wanting stricter and closer church-gov't alliance than Massachusetts (in contrast to Hooker’s ideas)

New Hampshire (1679) -- absorbed in 1641 by Massachusetts Bay colony




Assessment of Puritan Community 


Predestination -  Chosen, or "elect"  were saved


Community vs. Colony   “Shining City on a hill”


Bible is a guide for life: Education is essential for understanding the Bible and conducting business


Patriarchal family structure: Family played a critical role in the community by transmitting religious beliefs and maintaining order; Women played a subordinate role


Passion for rightlessness: Desire to know and do God’s will


Protestant Work Ethic:   Idleness is sin; idle hands are the devil’s workshop


Conformity: The Church occupied a central position in Puritans society. Convinced that they were undertaking God’s work, the Puritans emphasized religious conformity. Although the Puritans came to Americans for religious freedom, they did not tolerate dissent




















Roger Williams


Anne Hutchinson


Mary Dyer/quakers



Toleration – The Puritans were unable to stamp out religious dissent. Ironically, religious intolerance in Massachusetts promoted religious tolerance in Rhode Island 






Case Study: The Salem Witch Trials

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town.








The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered to be his magnum opus.Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.







The Crucible is a 1953 play is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists.Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives'Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. 



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.