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How Did The Puritans Develop Their Religious Ideals Essay

Unhappy with the Church of England, the Puritans traveled all the way to the New World to create a society based solely on their religion. Their goals in this endeavor were to establish settlements in which they were governed by Puritanical religious scriptures and in which no other religion was practiced. As opposed to having laws and a proper Constitution as the United States now has, their law was to be strictly based upon the guidance of God. In their eyes, this would provide a safe place to practice their religion exactly as they wished and it would allow them to integrate their spirituality into the very backbone of the ociety.

Though this seemed like the perfect type of society, it was flawed in several ways. The Puritans’ plan of establishing colonies based upon their religious ideals was overall a failure because although their slavery-eliminating economic system was somewhat successful, their exclusion and poor planning made the societies ultimately dissatisfactory and the blend of church and state created a basis for an unstable government based on uncertain religious ideologies. The economy in Puritan colonies had certain revolutionary successes, but also some great failures that damaged many elements of their society.

The Puritans were able to boast that their economy ran without the use of slavery. The people did not rely on slaves to do their undesirable work. There was also a bit more creative freedom in Puritan colonies than in England as the rules imposed on their products were lesser and people henceforth were more prone to innovation. Industrial business such as factory work was encouraged and promoted, but although this was a component in the modernization of the New World, it also posed a great deal of backlash. The people who were proficient in industrial businesses also tended to bring crime to the communities.

Puritans were extremely religious people who had stricter morals than someone without a structure religion. Since their goal was to create a society that bided strictly by Puritan guidelines, this objective began to fail. Because the land they chose was not extremely fertile and the climate was quite cold, it was difficult for crops like tobacco that could generate a lot of income to grow. Since this was the case, the people relied on industry and cultivating animals. Raising animals requires a great deal of open space, so households tended to be extremely spread out.

This was damaging to social life in the colonies as it rove people apart. Though innovation was bolstered, the people were still repressed in certain ways. The trade of timber was restricted because people could use it to build boats and leave the colonies, and the leaders wanted people to stay and attempt to advance their society, even if they would rather be back in England. It is not so much that the economic system of the puritan colonies was a general failure as it was that the systems put in place damaged many other aspects of the society.

Although the Puritans could boast a somewhat modernized and polished economic system, their entire social aking went awry. The lack of discretion used in the making of the colonies as well as in their methods of farming created a uniform society with scarce diversity. As previously stated, they ended up having to foster people who were not in complete adherence with the Puritan rules, which they did not aim to do. Anyone who was different than the archetypal white Puritan male was essentially excommunicated in some way.

One example of this was with people like Anne Hutchinson. She was not necessarily anti-Puritan, but she questioned the makeup of the society and the rules imposed upon the people belonging to t. Because she had this concern that such a rigidly pious government may not be entirely beneficial, she was forced to leave her home and was ultimately killed by Native Americans when she reached New York. Although her persecution wasn’t based upon her gender, it certainly did not help her case as women were meant to keep quiet and somewhat out of the way in these societies.

Even people of similar Christian faiths were excluded from these societies as they were not purified enough. Admittedly, some credit is due in this case as the Puritans desired a cookie cutter society, but it became even more than hat. Likely due to negligence with the wheat they harvested, the mold that grew on it caused hallucinations in the people and sustained the excluding nature that most possessed. The hallucinations caused people to believe that witches were among them, and because these “witches” were strange and different from them, they were put to trial and often punished with death.

The Puritans did not fully achieve their goal of creating a strictly Puritan society as many non-puritans still came through, but where they did succeed, the excluding of people outside a specific norm was encouraged and created a ostly bland society of mostly white men. Politically, the Puritan system was meant to be formal and rigid by being based upon the Bible and the guidelines it possessed, both implied and explicit. Religious texts are often interpreted in very different ways. One may believe that a section implies one thing, and another something entirely different, or at least different in how it should be applied.

Because no religion has been proved in its entirety, there is no certainty and hence religious guidelines must not be applied on their own. Basing an entire society on a shaky and archaic ideology cannot work eamlessly. Laws are created for the betterment of the modern person’s life, and so that everyone has a clear understanding of what they should and should not do in order to, for the most part, keep order in society. Basing the government upon the Puritan beliefs was technically the goal, but it cannot have been entirely achieved when scriptures can be taken in such a multitude of ways.

This form of government that was implemented in order to maintain a strict religious society cannot have kept proper order. One example of this is in the Anne Hutchinson case. She was being tried for having held eetings in which she challenged the way the government worked. In the trial, Governor John Winthrop cited many religious passages to support their trial against her. He believed she was going against God and religious beliefs by having these meetings, but the way she saw it was that she was still a woman of faith.

She thought that it was fine to hold meetings, but he said that several parts of the bible did not condone this. She told him that if he could support why the rule she cited (“the rule in Titus”) was not concrete enough to pardon her perceived wrongdoing that she would concede. There was no absoluteness or certainty in this religious government; although they did base their societies off of religion as they’d hoped, it didn’t have the level of clarity and structure that they had hoped for.

The drawbacks of the Puritanical philosophy of governance in the New World yielded several cultural implications. Because the Puritans were so quick to exclude anyone who didn’t perfectly fit their ideals and rigidly follow their religion, there was little to no diversity. Religion is meant to serve as a moral compass, and the purpose of congregating at church is to urther faith and create a sense of community between like- minded people. In the Puritan colonies, people were forced to go to church.

It became less of a positive, community-building concept, and more of an obligation. The Puritanical religion was based on destiny and fear tactics that drove people apart and ruined communities. The society was oppressive and bland, as women were especially encouraged to keep their doubts and ideas to themselves. On the whole, though the Puritans had minor successes and somewhat achieved certain goals, they did not reach the “haven’ of a society that they aimed for.

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