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Who Were The Puritans?

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enotes | Valedictorian

Posted October 9, 2011 at 4:00 PM via web

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Who Were The Puritans?

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fact-finder | Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:00 PM (Answer #1)

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The Puritans were members of a religious movement that began in England in the 1500s and lasted into the first half of the 1600s, when it spread to the American colonies. The teachings of religious reformers John Wycliffe (c. 1330–1384) and John Calvin (1509–1564), had influenced the Puritans, whose name came from their desire to "purify" the Anglican Church (also known as the Church of England). The Puritans believed too much power rested with priests, bishops, and cardinals, the highest officials in the church. Stressing Bible reading and individual prayer, they wanted congregation (religious community) members to be more directly involved in church affairs; they also demanded that worship services be simplified. Puritans defied the authority of church leaders, contending that each congregation should manage its own affairs under the guidance of a council (called a presbytery) composed of members who were not church officials. The Puritans eventually fled persecution at home and went to America, where they established their religion and social beliefs in the New England colonies.

Further Information: Fire and Ice: Puritan History and Biography. [Online] Available http://www.puritan sermons.com/hist.htm, October 20, 2000; Heimert, Alan, and Andrew Delbanco, eds. The Puritans in America: A Narrative Anthology. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990. "Puritans." New Catholic Encyclopedia. [Online] Available http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12581a.htm, October 20, 2000.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 26, 2012 at 6:14 PM (Answer #1)

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The Puritans were a group of Protestants who were important to the history of both England and the English colonies in America.  The Puritans were followers of John Calvin, the Protestant leader.  They were strongly opposed to the ritualistic nature of the Church of England (along with some of its doctrines), feeling that that church was still too much like the Roman Catholic Church from which the Protestants had split.  Conflict between Anglicans and Puritans helped cause the English Civil War.  In addition, it caused many Puritans to emigrate to the American colonies, where they created a Puritan society in New England.

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Yojana_Thapa | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:31 PM (Answer #2)

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The Puritans were a group of protestants. They came to New England in family groups. They wanted to escape political repression, religious restrictions. Their leader was John Winthrop . The lived in small villages. The had immigrated to U.S for freedom.

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted January 30, 2014 at 2:56 PM (Answer #3)

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They were people who adhered strictly to the Bible, an extreme form of orthodoxy. 

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted April 30, 2014 at 3:58 AM (Answer #4)

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The Puritans were members of a group of English Protestants of the late 16th and 17th centuries who regarded the Reformation of the Church of England under Elizabeth I as incomplete and sought to simplify and regulate forms of worship.

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ik9744 | TA , Grade 9 | Valedictorian

Posted September 13, 2014 at 4:07 PM (Answer #5)

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The puritans was a religious group. They wanted religious freedom and escape from the bad treatment of King James I. So they decided to set up their own colony which leads to Massachusetts. Yet a guy named Roger Williams was still not pleased. He hated the force attendance to church, so he created led to another colony which leads to Rhode Island. John Wheelwright expanded Puritan territory and expanded the idea of representative government which lead to New Hampshire. Then there was the other colonies that was set up. It all started by the Puritans with the rebellion for religious rights.

More information:

The Puritans were a widespread and diverse group of people who took a stand for religious purity in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries in Europe. Their rise was directly related to the increased knowledge that came to the common people in the Age of Enlightenment. As people learned to read and write, and as the Bible became more accessible to commoners, many began to read the Bible for themselves (a habit that was strongly discouraged in the established church). Some Puritans were connected with Anabaptist groups in continental Europe, but the majority were connected with the Church of England. The wordPuritanwas first coined in the 1560s as a derisive term for those who advocated more purity in worship and doctrine.

The English Puritans, who are the most familiar to Americans, believed that the English Reformation had not gone far enough and that the Church of England was still tolerating too many practices that were associated with the Church of Rome (such as hierarchical leadership, clerical vestments, and the various rituals of the church). Many Puritans advocated separation from all other Christian groups, but most were “non-separating” and desired to bring cleansing and change to the church from within. Holding a high view of Scripture, and deeming it as the only true law of God, Puritans believed that each individual, as well as each congregation, was directly responsible to God, rather than answering through a mediator such as a priest, bishop, etc. The Congregational Church in America is a descendant of the early Puritan settlers, and any group that advocates congregational rule and individual piety has been impacted in some way by Puritan teaching. Even today, theologians from many church backgrounds appreciate reading the works of the old Puritan divines, even if they differ in some points of doctrine.



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