Monday, September 13, 2010

Puritan Influence in Colonial America, 1630-1660


During the first thirty years of settlement, the puritans developed very elaborate villages and towns. Politics in Puritan colonies were very well tied to their church and beliefs often leading to some forms of civil unrest. The Colonies were more of a patriarchy rather than an equal society, their court system was modeled very much like its English counterpart and towns and villages were very small and tightly knitted communities.

In the documents provided by the College Board of A.P. American History, a typical Puritan town looked like this (see photo above). As shown in the photo above, schools, town halls, and churches were all at the center while houses, farms, and pastures are towards the outer edge of the township. Basically, everyone knew who everybody was, even to the tiniest detail. During the Salem witch trials, everybody knew who Sarah Good was, and she was accused and executed during the trials which made them even more close to their beliefs and further cementing the union of church and state in colonial times.

Even after the time of construction (1630-1660), the law was very united to the Puritan Church. During the trial of The Bay Colony vs. Goold, Osburne, and George was one of many trials concerning the Church. During the testimonies of all three, they say that they do go to church, but to the ones that corresponded to them in beliefs. Eventually, they were sent off to prison, but basically, the colonies were more or less shadows of the Old Country.

Puritan Colonies were ruled by men and by men only. It is said that women should stay at home in the kitchen and have no say in what happens. This type of thinking is called misogyny meaning a hatred of women. As time went by women were allowed to attend certain town gatherings in which they were able to say their side of the story. All in all these events led to a very well organized and successful town and colony.

Throughout the time of construction (1630-1660) the Puritans had made a very well-organized civilization just as the one they had back in Europe. If it wasn't for them, the country of The Unites States of America would not exist. Their political, social, and economical development were the foundations for a new country, a country where all men are created equal.

-Martin Chiquete

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