What idea of the Puritan world do you get from early colonial writings such as those of William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards?

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The writings of William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards all provide valuable insight into the intense religious values of the puritan world.

Consider William Bradford’s famous History Of Plymouth Plantation . This text shows how the Puritans felt it was God’s wish that they build their...

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The writings of William Bradford, Anne Bradstreet, Cotton Mather, and Jonathan Edwards all provide valuable insight into the intense religious values of the puritan world.

Consider William Bradford’s famous History Of Plymouth Plantation. This text shows how the Puritans felt it was God’s wish that they build their life in the colonies and that this new land was their promised land. This reveals the religious justification for Puritans’ actions. Similarly, Anne Bradstreet’s poetry reflects the struggles Puritans faced in the colonies and the way they used religion to give them strength through hardships.

The puritan minister Cotton Mather also wrote many texts that provide insight into puritan values. For instance, in his work Magnalia Christi Americana, he shows how the Puritans viewed the new world as a land ordained by God, and in Pillars of Salt, he shows the religious basis Puritans used to condemn crimes. Mather is also remembered for increasing superstition during the Salem Witch Trials, which shows how the Puritans’ religious beliefs influenced social conflicts.

Jonathan Edwards’ writings also demonstrate the social implications of some puritan religious beliefs. For example, Edwards taught about God’s anger and preached that humans must repent and ask for forgiveness for all of their sins. His work stimulated the Great Awakening, which changed American society by emphasizing the importance of personal relationships with God that go beyond dependence on ministers.

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