Analyze the Extent to Which Religious Freedom Existed in the North American Colonies Prior to 1700.

Topics: Thirteen Colonies, Massachusetts, Freedom of religion Pages: 2 (599 words) Published: October 6, 2010
Religious freedom is being allowed to believe in anything you like, and not be victimized by the people around you. Prior to 1700, the British North American colonies had conflicting outlooks on the extent of religious freedom in the new world based on the different acts of the British Empire and by the English origin of most of the settlers. New England was mostly comprised of Puritans, the Middle Colonies consisted of Quakers, and the South was more concerned about using the land to make money and didn’t emphasize on religion.

The Southern Mainland colonies considered the Church of England as their dominant faith although there was some religion freedom offered. North Carolina was the most open-minded in this region because of the fact that they were non-religious as well as resistant to authority and regarded as “poor” by Virginia standards. In general perception, this area was more concerned in acquiring slaves for producing tobacco and rice as exports and had a tough time establishing churches or schools since all the plantations were scattered and there were no cities in the area. The vicinity was also more ethnically mixed in places such as Virginia and therefore, made more accepting because of the different cultures and frankly, because they had nowhere to attend mass. Also the colonies of Florida, owned by the Spaniards, and Louisiana, controlled by the French, were mainly established for the purpose of making a fortune only.

New England colonies such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire were mostly Puritans although Scot Irish were Presbyterians and the French were Huguenots. The main reason this region was more religious than the others is that the area was infertile. Therefore, New England had more area to build churches and was more capable of being controlled than the other settlements by England. Rhode Island was the distinctive colony of this group though because it was utilized for the outcasts which were usually...
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