How did New England Puritanism affect life in Massachusetts?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Puritanism affected all parts of people's lives in early Massachusetts.  As the colony became bigger and more diverse, the Puritan influence decreased.  Even so, various historians have argued that the Puritan influence continued to have a great impact on Massachusetts.

During the height of Puritan power, the lives of people in Massachusetts were essentially run by the Puritan church.  The government enforced Puritan ways of behavior.  This meant that all people had their lives deeply influenced by Puritan beliefs.

Even after this sort of power diminshed, the Puritans influenced Massachusetts.  The belief that people should be able to read the Bible led to the creation of schools, which gave Massachusetts a very high literacy rate.  The idea that people should work hard to prove that they might be among the elect is said to have led to a strong work ethic that helped the colonial economy.

In all these ways, Puritanism affected life in Massachusetts.

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