Religious Freedom Before 1750 in the New World

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Nick Loughlin
AP US History

The New World started for many reasons. Some of those reasons are for religious freedom, overpopulation in places like England, and for people hopeful to find gold and become wealthy. Religious freedom existed in the New England colonies prior to 1750. The New World was thought to be a religious haven but not all colonies allowed certain religious freedom. Some colonies had complete religious freedom such as Pennsylvania. Others had limited religious freedom such as Massachusetts.

In 1682, William Penn founded his holy experiment in Pennsylvania, based on the belief that a province that had no army, treated Native Americans as equals, and offered religious liberty could make the Peace Testimony a living reality. The Quakers were the main people in Pennsylvania because their founder William Penn was a Quaker himself. William Penn Received this land from the Royal family of England. Quakers were extremely against going to war and fighting. The Quakers believed that women were equal to men so they treated women fairly which was not normal back in the 1600 and 1700’s. In Massachusetts the puritans did not believe in religious freedom. If you didn’t go with the beliefs of the puritans than they would banish people or imprison them. John Winthrop was leader and governor of the puritans. The Puritans were a group of English men who disagreed with how the Church of England was ran. The extreme Puritans were known as Separatists in England. Finally, these extreme Puritans left for the New World in 1620. The Puritans set up a way of government. It said, "The whole purpose of government was to enforce God's laws." Only the Puritans, the only one's eligible for church membership, could be freemen. The believers and nonbelievers had to pay taxes on the government-supported church. The puritans were very boring people. They thought they were “God’s children”. The first Europeans to settle in the middle colonies during...
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