Religion in the American Colonies

Essay by i8cookiemonstrHigh School, 11th grade October 2008

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Many colonies in America were formed in order to escape persecution. People came from many places to the United States to find a safe haven from intolerance. However, only some colonies were tolerant of religions and the others kept the same customs as in Europe. Due to the religious beliefs of each colony, some denied religious freedom while others praised it.

Ironically enough, the Puritans who came to the United States for religious freedom, did not offer religious freedom. The pilgrims settled in Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies and their strong religious convictions helped them during their troubles. They were very intolerant of other religions though and would banish whoever questioned their religious teachings.

In Maryland religious freedom was limited to only those who believed in Jesus. It was supposed to be a safe haven for Catholics. The main religion was Protestant although to avoid their enemies, the Puritans, they adopted the Act of Toleration, the first colonial state granting religious freedom to all Christians.

However, this treaty also called for anyone who didn't' believe in Jesus to be killed.

Rhode Island was colonized mainly for religious freedom. This government had total religious freedom allowing the Jewish, Catholics, and Quakers all to worship as they wished. This colony served as a refuge for people of many faiths who needed a safe place to practice their religious beliefs. Pennsylvania offered a safety haven for Quakers and others. William Penn, a follower of the Quakers, who had been widely maltreated, made this new colony to provide religious refuge to all those who had been persecuted.

The type of religious freedom the colonies had was mainly based on which religion had founded it. Puritans were very close minded and didn't want to hear about other religions. The Protestants were a little better...