Colonial New England And The Middle Colonies In British America History Essay

800 words - 4 pages

History 130

In chapter 3 of our text it talks about colonial New England and the middle colonies in the British America and how the colonies transformed from religious colonies to secular colonies. There were religious and economic forces that played a part in these societies. In the beginning the colonial societies were barely starting off and trying to figure out how to grow and once they started they then had to face the materialistic things in life. In this chapter there are two essays, the first one is written by David D. Hall, a harvard historian, and he focuses on the religious views of the settlers and the layered complexity of colonial religious life. He focuses on the importance within the colonies of traditions that stayed with them from the Old World. Then there is T. H. Breen’s essay, a historian at Northwestern University, where he sort of introduces the idea of pre-capitalism and how the colonial Americans were very concerned of being part of an “empire of goods.” [footnoteRef:0] Both Hall and Breen talked about the ways that the colonies opened themselves to other worlds. Breens essay gives us a more understanding of how the world we live in now came to be. [0: Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs, and Jon Gjerde. Major problems in American history: documents and essays, (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), pg. 82]

Starting with David H. Hall’s essay, the Puritans had left England in order to get away from all of the religious persecution, but in the “New World” they forced their own version of religious persecution on those who did not want to follow their own church's teachings. The settlers were all about their religion and their bible, they feared natural phenomenon such as rainbows and earthquakes and saw them as "signs" of the coming judgment. [footnoteRef:1] This illustrates the relationship that existed between religion and magic in seventeenth century Puritanism. They believed that even though they tried to purify the churches of pagan rituals they still felt a bit of curiosity towards it. [1: Hoffman, Elizabeth Cobbs, and Jon Gjerde. Major problems in American history: documents and essays, (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), pg. 83]

During the Salem Witch trials many people were falsely accused of witchcraft. Salem's mass hysteria over witchcraft led to the loss of many innocent...

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