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  1. The Puritans - HISTORY

    www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/puritanism
    • Puritans: A Definition
    • The Church of England
    • Puritans in New England
    • Differences Between Pilgrims and Puritans
    • Who Were The Puritans?
    • Puritanism in American Life

    The roots of Puritanism are to be found in the beginnings of the English Reformation. The name “Puritans” (they were sometimes called “precisionists”) was a term of contempt assigned to the movement by its enemies. Although the epithet first emerged in the 1560s, the movement began in the 1530s, when King Henry VIII repudiated papal authority and transformed the Church of Rome into a state Church of England. To Puritans, the Church of England retained too much of the liturgy and ritual of Rom...

    Through the reigns of the Protestant King Edward VI (1547-1553), who introduced the first vernacular prayer book, and the Catholic (1553-1558), who sent some dissenting clergymen to their deaths and others into exile, the Puritan movement–whether tolerated or suppressed–continued to grow. Some Puritans favored a presbyterian form of church organization; others, more radical, began to claim autonomy for individual congregations. Still others were content to remain within the structure of the n...

    In the early decades of the 17th century, some groups of worshipers began to separate themselves from the main body of their local parish church where preaching was inadequate and to engage an energetic “lecturer,” typically a young man with a fresh Cambridge degree, who was a lively speaker and steeped in reform theology. Some congregations went further, declared themselves separated from the national church, and remade themselves into communities of “visible saints,” withdrawn from the Engl...

    The main difference between the Pilgrims and the Puritans is that the Puritans did not consider themselves separatists. They called themselves “nonseparating congregationalists,” by which they meant that they had not repudiated the Church of England as a false church. But in practice they acted–from the point of view of Episcopalians and even Presbyterians at home–exactly as the separatists were acting. By the 1640s, their enterprise at Massachusetts Bay had grown to about 10,000 people. They...

    The Puritan migration was overwhelmingly a migration of families (unlike other migrations to early America, which were composed largely of young unattached men). The literacy rate was high, and the intensity of devotional life, as recorded in the many surviving diaries, sermon notes, poems, and letters, was seldom to be matched in American life. The Puritans’ ecclesiastical order was as intolerant as the one they had fled. Yet, as a loosely confederated collection of gathered churches, Purita...

    Puritanism gave Americans a sense of history as a progressive drama under the direction of God, in which they played a role akin to, if not prophetically aligned with, that of the Old Testament Jews as a new chosen people. Perhaps most important, as Max Weber profoundly understood, was the strength of Puritanism as a way of coping with the contradictory requirements of Christian ethics in a world on the verge of modernity. It supplied an ethics that somehow balanced charity and self-disciplin...

  2. This Wealthy Woman Was Hanged as a Witch for Speaking Her ...

    www.history.com/news/witch-trial-execution-anne...

    Oct 24, 2018 · Hibbins came to Boston from Shropshire, England, with her second husband, William, who became a deputy for Boston to the General Court. ... the hypocritical judgment of the Puritans in favor of ...

    • John Seven
    • 3 min
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  4. First Quaker colonists land at Boston - HISTORY

    www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-quaker...

    Jul 08, 2020 · Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, become the first Quakers to immigrate to the American colonies when the ship carrying them lands at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The pair ...

  5. Salem Witch Trials - Events, Facts & Victims - HISTORY

    www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/salem...

    Oct 23, 2020 · The infamous Salem witch trials were a series of prosecutions for witchcraft starting in 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts. Learn about what led to the allegations and the hundreds of people ...

  6. Plymouth Colony - HISTORY

    www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/plymouth
    • Journey to The New World
    • Surviving The First Year in Plymouth Colony
    • The First Thanksgiving
    • The Mayflower Compact
    • Governor William
    • Growth and Decline of The Plymouth Colony
    • Plymouth Plantation

    Among the group traveling on the Mayflower in 1620 were close to 40 members of a radical Puritan faction known as the English Separatist Church. Feeling that the Church of England had not sufficiently completed the necessary work of the Protestant Reformation, the group had chosen to break with the church altogether. The Separatists had sought religious freedom before, fleeing England in 1607 and 1608 to settle in the Netherlands, first in Amsterdam and later in the town of Leiden, where they...

    For the next few months, many of the settlers stayed on the Mayflower while ferrying back and forth to shore to build their new settlement. In March, they began moving ashore permanently. More than half the settlers fell ill and died that first winter, victims of an epidemic of disease that swept the new colony. Soon after they moved ashore, the Pilgrims were introduced to a Native American man named Tisquantum, or Squanto, who would become a member of the colony. A member of the Pawtuxet tri...

    In the Fall of 1621, the Pilgrims famously shared a harvest feast with the Pokanokets; the meal is now considered the basis for the Thanksgiving holiday. It took place over three days between late September and mid-November and included feasting as well as games and military exercises. Most of the attendees at the first Thanksgiving were men; 78 percent of the women who traveled on the Mayflower perished over the preceding winter. Of the 50 colonists who celebrated the harvest (and their surv...

    All the adult males aboard the Mayflower had signed the so-called Mayflower Compact, a document that would become the foundation of Plymouth’s government. It was written after a near mutiny on board the Mayflower. Forty-one of the Mayflower’s 102 passengers were Pilgrims, separatists seeking religious freedom who referred to the rest of the travelers as “strangers.” The strangers argued that since the Mayflower did not land in Virginia, as originally planned, the contract with the Virginia Co...

    William Bradford (1590-1657) was a leader of the Separatist congregation, a key framer of the Mayflower Compact, and Plymouth’s governor for 30 years after its founding. He is credited with drafting major parts of Plymouth’s legal code and creating a community focused on religious tolerance and an economy centered on private agriculture. READ MORE: 7 Famous Mayflower DescendantsBorn in England, he escaped with the Separatists to the Netherlands in 1609 when he was still a teenager to avoid pe...

    With peace secured thanks to Squanto, the colonists in Plymouth were able to concentrate on building a viable settlement for themselves rather than spend their time and resources guarding themselves against attack. Squanto taught them how to plant corn, which became an important crop, as well as where to fish and hunt beaver. Though Plymouth would never develop as robust an economy as later settlements—such as Massachusetts Bay Colony—agriculture, fishing and trading made the colony self-suff...

    Today, the original colony of Plymouth is a living museum, a recreation of the original seventeenth-century village. Visitors can taste colonial food, see a restored Mayflower II, and attend reenactments of the first Thanksgiving, when the Wampanaogs joined the settlers to celebrate the autumn harvest.

  7. Mayflower departs England - HISTORY

    www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mayflower...
    • Plot summary
    • Background
    • Discovery
    • Aftermath
    • Demography
    • Terminology

    The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonistshalf religious dissenters and half entrepreneurshad been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course, and on November 21 the Pilgrims reached Massachusetts, where they founded the first permanent European settlement in New England in late December.

    Thirty-five of the Pilgrims were members of the radical English Separatist Church, who traveled to America to escape the jurisdiction of the Church of England, which they found corrupt. Ten years earlier, English persecution had led a group of Separatists to flee to Holland in search of religious freedom. However, many were dissatisfied with economic opportunities in the Netherlands, and under the direction of William Bradford they decided to immigrate to Virginia, where an English colony had been founded at Jamestown in 1607.

    After coming to anchor in Provincetown harbor, a party of armed men under the command of Captain Myles Standish was sent out to explore the area and find a location suitable for settlement. While they were gone, Susanna White gave birth to a son, Peregrine, aboard the Mayflower. He was the first English child born in New England. In mid-December, the explorers went ashore at a location across Cape Cod Bay where they found cleared fields and plentiful running water and named the site Plymouth.

    The expedition returned to Provincetown, and on December 21 the Mayflower came to anchor in Plymouth harbor. Just after Christmas, the pilgrims began work on dwellings that would shelter them through their difficult first winter in America.

    In the first year of settlement, half the colonists died of disease. In 1621, the health and economic condition of the colonists improved, and that autumn Governor William Bradford invited neighboring Indians to Plymouth to celebrate the bounty of that years harvest season. Plymouth soon secured treaties with most local Indian tribes, and the economy steadily grew, and more colonists were attracted to the settlement. By the mid 1640s, Plymouths population numbered 3,000 people, but by then the settlement had been overshadowed by the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north, settled by Puritans in 1629.

    The term Pilgrim was not used to describe the Plymouth colonists until the early 19th century and was derived from a manuscript in which Governor Bradford spoke of the saints who left Holland as pilgrimes. The orator Daniel Webster spoke of Pilgrim Fathers at a bicentennial celebration of Plymouths founding in 1820, and thereafter the term entered common usage.

  8. When Massachusetts Banned Christmas - HISTORY

    www.history.com/news/when-massachusetts-banned...

    Dec 21, 2020 · Even worse for the Puritans were the pagan roots of Christmas. Not until the fourth century A.D. did the church in Rome ordain the celebration of the Nativity on December 25, and that was done by ...

  9. CSI Boston: DNA Provides New Clues in Strangler Case, 50 ...

    www.history.com/news/csi-boston-dna-provides-new...

    In October 1964, 33-year-old Massachusetts native Albert DeSalvo was arrested for a series of rapes in the Boston area. Police did not consider him a suspect in the Strangler murders, and were ...

  10. Boston - HISTORY

    www.history.com/topics/us-states/boston...

    Mar 13, 2019 · A fleet of ships helmed by Puritans left England in 1630, settling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Led by John Winthrop, the group soon merged with the Pilgrims ’ Plymouth Colony, located about 40...