Puritan Dbq

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Emily Morlock

The Puritan colonies of New England developed in quite a different way from the previous English colonies in Virginia. The people who settled New England led completely different lives and had entirely different values than those of other English settlers. Religion was very important to them and they emigrated from England to the colonies for entirely different reasons than previous settlers. These values and ideas led the Puritans to influence the expansion of their colonies. The Puritan’s value of hard work and education greatly shaped the political, economic, and social growth of New England from 1630 through the 1660’s, but the main contributing factor in development was the importance of religion.

The Puritan political structure was the precursor for modern American government. The Puritans, with religion on their mind, created a theocracy. But they did hold town meetings. These town meetings, though not completely democratic, offered much more political involvement by townspeople than in England. When founding Plymouth colony in 1620, Puritan men signed the Mayflower Compact stating that they would follow the laws set forth by the majority and they would establish a self-governing colony. These men did not want to create another monarchial government like the one they had just escaped in Europe and by signing this contract; they all agreed to do what was best for the community. These views appeared in many other New England communities as well. The Enlarged Salem Covenant of 1636 states that the townspeople “do hereby promise to carry our selves in all lawful obedience to those that are over us, in Church or Commonwealth, knowing how pleasing it will be to the Lord.” (Doc C) The Puritans believed that God gave power to man and man should not abuse it within the government. In “Limitation of Government”, John Cotton states that “it is therefore fit for every man to be studious of the bounds which that Lord has...
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