The Golden Puritans

The Leader of the Puritans, John Winthrop lead his newly established religion to prosperity in the New English colonies

The Leader of the Puritans, John Winthrop lead his newly established religion to prosperity in the Massachusetts Bay Colony

Many aspects of early colonial history jump off of the pages in which they’re written, the one that clearly stands out is the concept that religion is the most important aspect of society.  Through their voyages to America, the Puritans wanted to “purify” the Church of England of all Christian beliefs and customs.  John Winthrop, who was put in charge of an entire colony, wanted to establish Protestant-like ground rules so that God could see his colony as the best of them all.  His experience as a well-established lawyer was a beneficiary cause for the success of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  By 1640, Winthrop had become the pinnacle of the Puritan society, and had become beloved by his colonists (Encyclopedia Britannica).  The colonists believed that round-the-clock worship meant that they would live better lives, and that God would see them as accomplished individuals.  One example of this is when many of the Puritans were dying of natural causes, and they thought that it was because they weren’t praying enough.  Their lives revolved around religion, and their colony depended on it.  Unlike the Separatists, who wanted to totally disembody from the rest of civilization and start their own independent country that had nothing to do with England.  The Puritans wanted to purify the Church of England, mainly their religion.  As their new form of Christianity evolved, so did their colony, and they became very successful in the new world.  The Puritans had a very unique outlook on life, and most people didn’t agree with it.  One of their strongest beliefs was that they didn’t want a Pope to govern their entire religion.  They felt that small, local-run churches that could reach out to individual members of society was the better way to stabilize the religion.  They thought that their style of life was more enhanced than any other lifestyle, and that theirs was the only one worth living.  They dedicated their lives to mending the English Church.  Although they were considered by most to be “extremists,” they believed that what they were doing was saving the future life of the colonies.  Throughout the two forms of Puritanism, Elizabethan and Jacobian, the goal was simple: improvement to save the lives of many.

https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Winthrop-American-colonial-governor

The source that I used for my information about John Winthrop was the Encyclopedia Britannica.  This source gave me John Winthrop’s entire life: from his birth, his early days as a lawyer, and the foundation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  They used specific years and dates to emphasize the historical impact that Winthrop made.

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This entry was posted in Colonial History Fall 2016, English III. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Golden Puritans

  1. jselbst17 says:

    Max, I found this post very interesting. Especially how you compared the Puritans to the “extremists” of today. However, throughout the writing I wondered how John Winthrop was able to pose such a strong presence through the community. As in, what tactics did he use to make him such powerful person. Besides that, I thought it was well written and very informative.

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