The New England Colonies Questions and Answers

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Who settled in the New England colonies?

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The Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth in 1620 (the group that traveled on the Mayflower) were dissenters, or separatists, who had broken away from the Church of England and who hoped to reform the church. They were English, but many had been living in Holland because they were not able to worship in England. The Puritans who settled the Massachusetts Bay Colony starting in 1628 were also English. They were not separatists, meaning that they did not want to break away from the Church of England. They did, however, want to purify the church and hoped to establish themselves as a model to the rest of the world. The Puritan leaders did not allow the practice of other religions. Most of the settlers in New England were from England, though later there were also French Huguenots (who were Protestants) and a small number of slaves.

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