Religion in the Thirteen Colonies

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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...

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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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The Puritans were a group of people who wanted to reform the Church of England. They believed that the Church of England, known as the Anglican Church, didn’t go far enough in making changes. They believed the Anglican Church retained too many practices from the Roman Catholic Church. They believed the worship and ritual were not changed sufficiently. They felt more changes needed to be done.

In England, laws existed that dealt with the practice of religion. Since they opposed the practices of the Anglican Church, there wasn’t much hope of being able to freely practice their religion the way they saw fit to practice it. Thus, some people moved to Holland and then eventually to New England. The Puritans were able to freely practice their religion in the places. In what became an interesting twist, the Puritans didn’t allow for religious freedom in New England. People who had different religious views from the Puritans had to go elsewhere in the New World to freely practice their religion.

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