US History Essay
During the seventeenth century, the Puritans landed in New England to form the Massachusetts Bay colony. John Winthrop, the first Governor of the colony, saw the place as a political and religious refuge. He described it as “a city upon a hill.” In England, the Puritans were not free to practice their faith and were persecuted by the Anglican Church. The Puritans wanted to create an ideal society where they could practice religion at will. These people risked everything just so they could freely practice their faith. Their sole purpose in settling in America was to sustain and practice their religion.
The Massachusetts Bay colony was very different from their counterpart, Jamestown. Jamestown colonists consisted of mainly single men who came to the New World to merely make money. These money-hungry profiteers were interested in milking the land for cash crops and other sources of revenue. The Puritans, on the other hand, formed communities where they could closely practice their faith together. They had a big focus on families and community worship. The Puritans also created a government, which was based on the idea of the rule of the majority. The Jamestown colony was not interested in making communities.
The Puritans’ priorities were centered on their religion and the teaching of it. This is clearly shown in their focus of education. The purpose of education to them was to teach the children religious and moral values. This would prove to be a very good way to. Every community of 50 families had a teacher and every community of 100 families had a school. The Puritans emphasis on religious education supports the fact that they had moralistic plans for the New World. The Jamestown colonists, however, were not as concerned with education.
Although the Puritans came to the New World for religious freedom, they did not accept people whose religious beliefs differed from those of the Puritans in the community. Anne Hutchinson, a religious reformer, held meetings at her house to read the Bible to puritan men and women. John Winthrop thought that these meetings were an attack on the moral codes of the Puritan society. As a result, Hutchinson was banned from Boston in 1638. This event proved that the Puritans did not create the “perfect model society” they had hoped for.
The Puritans came to the New World hoping to run away from the strict laws that the British put on them. They mostly achieved what they were looking for except for the fact that they put restriction on some of the laws.