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An Introduction to the Puritan Unit

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1 An Introduction to the Puritan Unit
Puritan Life An Introduction to the Puritan Unit

2 Puritans – The Facts They didn’t like the Church of England
They were a large Protestant group Beginning in 1560, they tried to “purify” themselves and the Church They held strong spiritual beliefs Puritans suffered persecution in England. They were jailed, whipped, and hanged, so they came to America for freedom of religion.

3 Puritans The Facts (cont.)
Puritan Life was strict with no margin for error Their clothing was usually black, white or gray and they lived a simple and religious life.

4 Settlement In 1624, they formed the Massachusetts Bay Company and got permission from King Charles I of England to build a colony. They settled in Massachusetts Bay and called their first settlement Boston.

5 Puritan Spiritual Beliefs
Puritans believed in the concept of Predestination Elaborated by John Calvin who taught that human beings were born sinful because they inherited the original sin of Adam and Eve The belief was that God predestined some people to go to Heaven and some to go to Hell. The “elect,” were those who were saved, and the “unregenerate,” were those who were damned Even “the elect” were born sinful, the difference is that they are saved at some point in their lives

6 Puritan Spiritual Beliefs (cont.)
Two indications that you were an “elect”: #1-you were saved by the grace of God and you could feel the grace arriving in an emotional fashion #2-the inner arrival of God’s grace was demonstrated in your outward behavior—the effect was that you behaved like a saint The American Puritans came to value self-reliance, industriousness, temperance, and simplicity No “extra credit” was given for hard workers


8 Puritan Religion and Witchcraft
Puritans also believed the Devil was as real as God. In keeping with the Puritan code of conformity, the first women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem were seen as different and as social outcasts: Tituba, a slave; Sarah Good, a homeless beggar; and Sarah Osborne, a sickly old woman who married her servant.

9 Puritan Education The Bible was believed to contain the literal word of God Education was important to “purify” the new generation Harvard College was originally established in 1636 to train Puritan ministers

10 Puritan Politics The Puritans believed that the “elect” should exert great influence on the government, thus their views tended to be rather undemocratic The Puritans also believed in the concept of Theocracy, or government ruled by God The contract, or covenant, with God enjoined them to create a society governed by the Bible Puritans demanded strict conformity: Dissenters were often beaten or in the worst cases, killed.

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