The Puritans Essay

1566 words - 6 pages

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live amongst the Puritans? Do you think you would be able to handle it? The Puritans were a group of Englishman that journeyed to the Americans in the 16th and 17th centuries in search of religious freedom from the Church of England. They believed strictly upon religious discipline. The lives of the Puritans were difficult and very demanding. If you think that life today is complicated then think again.A group of Puritans called Separatists migrated to America in 1620, where they founded Plymouth Colony. A decade later after obtaining a charter from the English crown, another group of Puritans sailed for New England and established the Massachusetts Bay colony. A Puritan is a member of a group of English Protestants.All Puritans followed religious preachings of John Calvin. They strongly believed the absolute power of God, and the absolute sinfulness of mankind. They also believed the concept of predestination, which is the belief that from the beginning of time, God has predestined certain people for salvation and eternal life, and for other people; eternal damnation. They believed that the Bible was God's true law, and that it provided a plan for living.The main Puritan services were held on Sunday, and to be there was mandatory. It can usually last up to five hours a day with a mid day meal break between the a.m. and p.m. services. When the Puritans entered the meetinghouses (which were also the place of the church in the Puritan society), they headed straight for pre-assigned seats. Men and women sat on opposite sides, girls and young boys stayed with their mothers, and sometimes, older boys stood in the back. They took their seating arrangements quite seriously and anyone who failed to stay in their assigned seats was fined severely.Since the services were so long people became fidgety and people may fall asleep. To handle these problems many towns appointed a special official called a tithingman. He had a long stick with a rabbit foot attached to one end and a hard knob attached to the other. He would walk up and down the aisle looking for some sort of restlessness. If any young boy, girl or woman was discovered dosing off than they would be tapped with the softer end, but if an older boy or man was found asleep than he would be hit on the head with the harder end.Parents believed that their children were born sinful and that it was their duty raise them by physically punishing them. Growing up as a puritan was very harsh because there was a lot of pressure on you. ThePuritans believed that every Christian needed to know how to read. They viewed the Bible as the ultimate authority for everything that they did and believed in. When the mid-seventeenth century rolled around, Massachusetts leaders had assumed that many children were not developing satisfactory reading skills at their local dame school or at home. As a response to their belief of this they blamed it on the devil. They believed...

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