The Impact of Religion on the Development of Colonial America

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Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions: New England Chesapeake Middle Atlantic

The Impact of Religion on the Development of Colonial America

During the seventeenth century, colonial America was welcoming many newcomers, several from England. Quantities of these newcomers were seeking land for economic purposes as others were longing for religious toleration. Many of the English colonists settled in the New England region for religious freedoms, to escape the English king, and leave adversaries of other religions behind. Settlers who resided in the Middle Atlantic region were affected differently. Although the Middle Atlantic was more religiously tolerant, religion was not the key motive to settle in this area. During the development of Colonial America, the New England region was affected socially, politically, and economically, however religion in the Middle Atlantic was not as much of a necessity therefore had less of an overall effect on society.

The New England region settlers were escaping England’s unification of religion and government. King James I of England forced all of his people to attend the Church of England, a Protestant Church, to reconcile the Puritan clergy. Led by Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformation produced Puritanism. Unhappy Englishmen, known as separatist who broke away from the Church of England, came to America for religious freedom, meaning they could practice what religion they believed in, uncontrolled by the government. Pilgrims, separatists from Holland, also were longing for a place to live happily as purified Protestants. These separatists, from both England and Holland, traveled together in families, generally to Massachusetts, to practice Puritanism. During the mid 1600’s approximately 20,000 colonists settled in the New England region. This religious driven movement was called, the Great Migration. The...
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