School and New England Puritans

Topics: School, Puritan, 17th century Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: September 27, 2012
In the seventeenth century, New England Puritans tried to create a model society. What were their aspirations, and to what extent where those aspirations fulfilled during the seventeenth century?
The Puritans were a religious group in the 17th century that separated from the Church of England due to the corruption they saw. These Puritans planned to fix the church from the outside by becoming a sort of "City upon a Hill" and act as a model society. Their goals included creating peace among the classes, strong community, and above all glorifying the Lord. Perfection was the goal. While the Puritans achieved creating a model society, they ultimately failed in creating the utopia they strived for.

Education plays an extremely large role in any successful society and the Puritans succeeding phenomenally in this aspect. Elementary schools were set up to teach children about reading, writing, theology, and society. Most Puritans were in fact literate. Grammar schools were also set up. In grammar schools English grammar, Latin, and Greek were taught. Puritans even set up the first university in the colonies which is still here today, Harvard, to teach preachers. Much emphasis was put on Latin in grammar school because that was all that was spoken in university classrooms. Even girls were educated, a rarity in the seventeenth century.

Since the Puritans believed that God was an active part of each person's life, rather than some mysterious entity in another plane of existence, Puritans figured that if they did well in life then God himself was blessing them and that they would go to heaven. This is what is called "the Puritan work ethic", in other words, working like Hell so you don't go there. Puritans became successful businessmen, partly due to their excellent education, and partly due to this belief that worldly things could be blessings. This gave individuals extra wealth to spread around. John Winthrop, leader of the Puritans, encouraged the more fortunate to...
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