An essay on the wonders of Puritanism. Deals with how Puritans set a precedent in American Life

Essay by Trojan24A+, December 2002

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American Society today is the result of many influences of the past dating all the way back to the first Asians crossing into Alaska from Siberia via the land bridge. Reformations, revelations, conflicts and wars, mass movements, and religious groups have all helped develop our society into what it is today. Religious groups have played one of the most important roles in establishing American civilization. Probably the most important of these groups are the Puritans, who first set foot in America in 1620. Escaping persecution in England, this large congregation landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Puritan way of life not only set the precedent for early American settlements, but their accomplishments can also be seen in today's society.

The Puritan religion originated in England, but after countless years of religious repression under King Charles I and sustained economic depression, they decided it was time to leave England. The first flock of Puritans, also known as Separatists, landed in Plymouth in 1620 aboard the Mayflower.

Before disembarking into settlement, the Pilgrim leaders drew up the Mayflower Compact. This "constitution" was a simple agreement to form a political body and to submit to the will of the majority. This pact was a hopeful step toward self-government. After surviving their first harsh winter, the Pilgrims soon grew prosperous and discovered many economic supports. After a bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims proved to themselves that they could maintain this colony.

Back in England, an energetic group of Puritans was gathering support in reforming the Church of England. However, when Charles I dismissed Parliament in 1629, many of these same Puritans saw catastrophe in the making. They decided to secure a charter and form the Massachusetts Bay Company. They proposed a sizable settlement in the Massachusetts area. In 1930, eleven vessels carrying...