What was religion tied to in England that people wanted to get away from and create a new life?

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unlike the United States and some other countries, England had and still has an official state religion. Depending on the period in question, England was either Catholic or Anglican, until it finally stabilized under Anglicanism.  The Anglican Church is the official church of England, and even the prime minister must be Anglican to serve in that position. (In the United States, Anglicans are called Episcopalians, and the Episcopalian Church is not an "official" church because we have none.)

Given that England had an official religion, everyone who was in charge of anything was Anglican. The king or queen was always Anglican, for example, as were most royalty and members of Parliament. You can imagine that people who were not Anglican did not fare very well.  This religious intolerance set the stage for English settlement of the America.

When it came time to establish a government of the United States, the founding fathers of the country realized what a bad idea it was to have an official religion.  Some of the colonies had had official religions, while others had made a point of religious tolerance.  After the United States Constitution was passed by the colonies, the next step was the Bill of Rights, which has an amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion.  In fact, it is the First Amendment, demonstrating how important freedom of religion, among other freedoms, was to the people. 

In countries that have an official state religion, religious intolerance is more likely to occur.  The religious intolerance experienced by our ancestors in England (and in other countries) led to what I believe is a great American principle. 


reedchar | Student

The constitution says Congress can not make a law in respect of any establishment of religion, which means no religion. No religion is called Atheist which believes in no God, but it is still a religion. So how can Congress get around establishing a law without some form of religion being established. The definition of religion is that which a person or persons do on a ritual basises, laws are passed so that the people will have a guide line to do on a ritual basses, so how can Congress not establish a law without the establishment of some form of religion. To lead me to the conclusion (but not to rejoin England), that since Congress is establishing laws of the religion of Atheist, then these laws are effecting the structure of America, for if the foundation is not secured, then the structure will be messed up as well. Remember when they took prayer out of schools, all types of problems begin, now most schools have police officers to try and control the problems, when they should be controlling problems some where else. 

teddifisher | Student

I believe that  a group devoted their lives to leaving England and the  Puritans during the 17th century. As a result they set sail in search of America inorder to have independence for their desired  church and church congrigations.