Importance of Religion in the Creation of the 13 Colonies

Topics: Roman Catholic Church, Thirteen Colonies, Catholic Church Pages: 11 (4550 words) Published: October 29, 2012
APUSH 1st Quarter Paper Research

Many religious groups journeyed to America to form one of the original thirteen colonies on the basis of their religious beliefs.  Although the plan was to escape persecution, there was some amount of persecution happening in the colonies as they brought the circle of hatred back round – one gets hurt so they hurt another. In this paper I will discuss the religions that came out of the three main sects: Judaism, Roman Catholic and Protestants; and how act as individual entities, how they influenced each other and how they influenced the creation of America as a whole. The Roman Catholics originally came to America in 1492 on Norse expeditions and monks spread it to the Spanish who settled in present day Florida in 1513 and later into Georgia from 1568 to 1684. The fist catholic mass was held in the United States in 1526 by catholic missionaries. They were mostly found in the colony of Maryland which was there save haven from the other colonies which, all but the Quakers, had a hatred of the roman catholic religion. Settlers from England called Jesuits, or the Society of Jesus founded Maryland in 1634. Maryland was actually a very religiously tolerant colony, though almost every other religious sect disliked the Catholics; they accepted other religions. Maryland passed an act called the Maryland toleration act in 1649, which was one of the first laws that officially defined tolerance of varieties of Christianity. In many ways it is considered to be a precursor to the first amendment to the constitution. The Catholics believe the authority of the church lies within the hierarchy of the church; that truth is found in the Bible, as interpreted by the church; and that forgiveness of sin is achieved through church ritual, with the assistance of a priest in confession. The Protestants are not one religion but an umbrella faith to encompass all faiths other than the Roman Catholics. If you break down the word Protestant it says Protest- ants. It was created for people who protested the Catholic Church. Protestantism marked colonial America forever by providing a jumping off point for shaping a new society and imploring individualistic religion. Protestantism became what it is because a man named Martin Luther refused to accept what the Church of England had to offer. The Protestants in colonial America came from 1607 to 1789. Protestants believe the authority of the church lies within the believer; also that truth is found in Scripture, as interpreted by the individual, and that forgiveness of sin is received through repentance and confession to God directly without any human mediator. There are many branches of Protestantism including Puritans, Anglicans, Quakers, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Dutch Reform, German Piestists and Baptists. The puritan religion is based on the theology of the bible written by god and interpreted by the religious leaders. They placed the church and God at the center of their daily lives so therefore the ministers were very influential people in the puritan communities. The puritans originally traveled to America starting in the 1630’s to escape religious persecution but they ended up persecuting other religious sects just as they had been, so they came full circle. Most puritans were middle class businessmen from England who were upset by the deep social changes and higher costs of living. The puritan family was run in a patriarchal style, where the husband was the head of the household and the woman ran the house and took care of the children. The woman’s main responsibility was to make sure the children grew up into good puritan adults. A daily life in the puritan colonies were busy, they worked from dawn to dusk every day trying to follow gods plan, because they believed that idle hands were the devils play things so they had to always be doing something. Puritanical parents used mental discipline and love to mold their children but if that...
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