Reform Movements of the 19th Century

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Role of Religion in European and Colonial Society

Religion played an important role in European and Colonial Society. Religion had a major impact and influence on the family life, education and government in the European and Colonial Societies. The European and Colonial Society had dissimilar outlooks when it came to religion. While religion was the central focus in both European and Colonial society, Religion in the colonial society was more intense than Religion in the European society. For this reason, religion in the European society and Colonial Society would differ substantially.

Colonists came to America for freedom of religion. Colonists came to America to be able to express their religious beliefs more candidly. When colonists first came to America, Church services were held under trees until buildings were built. In the colonial society, everyone was expected to go to church. Colonists were very dedicated to their churches because Churches were meeting places for religious practices. In colonial societies there were preachers that preached sermons at the churches.

Colonists were strict when it came to participation at the churches. If a day of church was missed, a person would get put in stocks. If a person fell asleep in church, they would get hit on the head with a knob. There were also punishments imposed if a lie was told. If someone told a lie they would have to sit in stocks for many hours or they would have to stand on a platform with their hand and heads locked in a pillory.

In the colonists society there were many religious groups such as the Quakers and Puritans, which formed the first 13 colonies on the basis of their religious beliefs. Puritans wanted everyone to worship the Puritan way. The Puritans wanted to dominate the colonies, so the nonconformists were fined, banishes and whipped for not conforming to the Puritans way of religious beliefs. The Puritan churches only accepted members who would demonstrate a conversion...
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