Puritans of the 17th Century - Intro and Body #1

Topics: Sociology, Work ethic, Massachusetts Bay Colony Pages: 1 (316 words) Published: September 30, 2012
Puritans of the Mid 17th Century

The culture of New England in the early to mid 1600s was shaped by many societies. Perhaps the most influential group of immigrants were the Puritans. The ideas and values brought from the old world were given a new world spin, and adapted for smaller communities. These concept had vast effects on all aspects of New England existence. Economically, Their oppressive tendencies led to slightly less rapid growth in and around the region. Politically, The directly democratic system developed by the early Puritans became the building block for colonies throughout New England. Socially, a closely-knit, church based society became the norm for many other communities. The Puritans were some of the most politically, socially, and economically influential groups in the early 1600s

“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” was more a political tool than a simple religious saying. The founders of Puritan colonies knew that free time lead way to free thinking. As with all leaders, the Puritans wanted complete control of their people. If free thinking was possible, the working classes would doubt the integrity of their superiors, and possibly revolt. By instilling this idea into the Puritan communities, individuals were motivated to work not for personal gain, but to “keep themselves from sin”. The Puritans carried out jobs and tasks diligently, keeping themselves busy for large amounts of time. Alas, With large amounts of work came inevitable wealth. If the people could amass enough wealth they would become consumers rather than producers, and the upper class would lose money. In order to secure their well being, they did not introduce any other goods into the society besides those that were necessary. Farmers grew subsistence crops instead of cash crops and tailors made modest and regular clothing. If not for the restriction of production, the Protestant work ethic would have created a more diverse and rich economy.
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