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The Impact Of Religious Settlers In Religious Times

1542 words - 6 pages

     The places where we live today have not always been here. The way we live has not always been the same. In fact, very few places that existed back in the colonial times exist today. If they still exist, it is because of the success gained over the years gone by after the settlers came to the New World. Settlers came to the New World in search of many things. They came in search of gold, they came for new lives, and they came for religious freedom.

In England, during this time period, people were being judged, separated and persecuted on the basis of their religious beliefs. There were two groups of people that were unhappy with the Church. These groups came to be known as the Puritans and the Separatists. The Puritans are the people who are known to want to make changes within the Church of England. Then there were the Separatists, who were so disgusted with the Church of England that they just wanted out. They wanted to be recognized totally
separate from it.

One group, the Separatists. “ In 1609, a group of about 125 Separatists moved from England to Holland (a part of the Netherlands) because the Dutch had a policy of religious tolerance.” They were able to practice religion how they wanted to, but they were uneasy about the thought of their children losing their English roots as time went on. So they came up with the idea of immigrating to the New World. Only about 30 wanted to voyage to Virginia, which was an unknown land to all.

The Separatists sailed from Holland in 1620. This group was also known as the Pilgrims. The pilgrims are widely known for “The First Thanksgiving” as their offertory meal with the Native Americans. The Pilgrims goal was to establish a colony “ as a distinct body by themselves.” And off they went for their voyage across sea, goals sighted for just north of Jamestown. Unfortunately, they were blown off course, so when they finally got a glimpse of land, it was Cape Cod.

It was the separatists that put together the Mayflower Compact, which was a legal basis recognizing James I as their king and it state “ that they would form a civil body politic, which would frame such just and equal laws for the good of all the people.” A solemn agreement was made to abide by the compact, and it was signed before anyone got off the ship. Only men signed the document because women of that time were not considered capable enough to take part in political affairs.

Then there is the other group, the Puritans, who looked to make changes in the Church so they could all be happy. The Puritans are known for founding the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These people of the journey also set out for their self-government to be a commonwealth, which is a community founded on law and united by an agreement that the law would serve the common good of the people.

Among these people who were busy trying to remake a remarkable Christian life, there were people who didn’t necessarily agree with the common...

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