How were the Puritans different from the Pilgrims?  

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larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Both Puritans and Pilgrims were of British origin, were Calvinist in their theology, and shared much more in common than differences. Both objected to the "Popery" of the Church of England, which they thought contained too many elements of Roman Catholicism. The Puritans wanted to "purify" the church by eliminating these Catholic influences. They originally called themselves "the Godly;" the term "puritan" was a pejorative term used by those who mocked them. One particular Calvinist congregation in Scrooby, England, believed that the Anglican Church was so tainted that it could not be purified, and that they must separate themselves from it. They called themselves "Separatists." It was the Separatists who were later denominated "Pilgrims" by William Bradford. A pilgrim is one who engages in a long and dangerous journey for religious purposes; in fact the Crusades of the Middle Ages were classified as pilgrimages. Bradford's term was an indication of the religious nature of their travelling first to Holland and later to America.


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