February 16, 2015
Religion in Colonial American Literature
Religion played a huge part in the lives of the early American Colonists. In early colonial literature we can see that religion not only kept the colonist in order, but it bonded them together as a community.
The early american colonist came from England in the year 1620 in search of religious freedom. In England the state was in control of religion, so their religious beliefs had to be the same as King James’s. (Snyder, 2013) The people who disagreed with King James and the way he was interpreting the bible are the people who came to America. They all wanted to continue their normal way of life but ensure that they would not be punished for having their own religious beliefs. (Snyder, 2013)
Religion had a huge influence on a lot of works that were written in the Puritan time era. Not only on the content of the works but on the way they were written as well. (Baym, The Norton Anthology of American Literature 7thEd.) The works were written in a way that was supposed to show that they truly did worship God. They memorized scriptures at a young age and always knew the 10 commandments to prove that everything they do, they did it in the name of God. The events that happened to them, personally or as a community, were the will of God and nobody would question it. (Baym, The Norton Anthology of American Literature 7thEd.)Every single aspect of their lives was based off of their religion. Those who followed it were content knowing that they were pleasing their God and that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. Those who went against their religion or were accused of going against their religion were punished, excommunicated, and/or executed. (Baym, The Norton Anthology of American Literature 7thEd.)
One of the earliest, most famous writings from that time is “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford. (Snyder, 2013) He wrote about the journey to...
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