In the middle of the 1600’s, from around the 1630’s to about the 1660’s the Puritans were fleeing to America for mostly religious reasons. Many of them came to set up what is called the Massachusetts Bay colony. John Winthrop was the leader of this colony. They believed religion was the key to the perfect community. Puritans had many influences on the political, economic, and social development of the New England colonies using their religious values. Puritans had so many influences on the political outcome of the New England colonies. The form of government they had created was almost like a theocracy, where God’s law is law. A lot of the New England colonies didn’t want this at all. Nathaniel Ward (doc G) was trying to tell them that the state laws needed to go along with the morals of the church, or a lot of bad things might happen. Even though Ward stated this, a lot of the colonies already had religious tolerance so they didn’t base the laws from the church morals. In “Limitation of Government,” John Cotton (doc H) is saying that the government shouldn’t be all that good because any ‘mortal’ man will abuse it. This is sort of like a democracy, which the New England colonies will develop a government almost like this. Roger Williams (doc F) says that states should only have one religion each. If they acquire more than one religion, it could only begin a war. This basically shows that puritans were not very tolerant of other religions. Quite a few people believed there should be religious tolerance, people like Roger Williams, who was sent to Rhode Island by the Puritans. Then Rhode Island became one of the first colonies to obtain a separation of religion and state, which made it a colony for freedom of religion.
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