Religious Concerns During Colonial Period

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"Throughout the colonial period, economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns." According to this statement, both economic and religious reasons contributed to the founding of the thirteen colonies by the British in North America. The many people who settled in New England came there in search of religious freedom. Their hope was to escape the religious persecution they were facing in England, worship freely, and have the opportunity to choose which religion they wanted to take part in. The Southern colonies were developed for economic motives. They had goals for mercantilism and increasing the prosperity of England. Finally, the Middle colonies were founded upon diverse religions because their primary focus and purpose was to make money or to populate the country. Overall, every colony was colonized due to specific reasons or concerns. However, England's religious conflicts had grown full-blown, resulting in the colonization of nearly all the American colonies. During the religious upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one group of radical Protestants was known as Puritans because they wanted to "purify" the established Church of England. Essentially, their program called for a more complete protestantization of the national church, particularly insofar as church responsibility for individual conduct was concerned. Their reformist ideas threatened to divide the people and to undermine royal authority by destroying the unity of the state church. A radical sect, known as Separatists, believed the established church could never be reformed to their liking. During the reign of James I, a small group of these humble country folk left for Leyden, Holland, where they were allowed to practice their religion as they wished. Some years later, a part of this Leyden congregation decided to immigrate to the New World where, in 1620, they founded the "Pilgrim" colony of Plymouth. Soon...
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