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The Puritans: Purity and Problems. New England Colonies.

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Presentation on theme: "The Puritans: Purity and Problems. New England Colonies."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Puritans: Purity and Problems

2 New England Colonies

3 George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867 Brainstorming

4 Differences between Chesapeake and Puritan settlements? –Religious focus – freedom? –Came as families –Close knit, family and community centered –Literate –Middling sort –Longer life span –Better conditions: willing and able farmers –Better conditions: better environment

5 Thoughts on the Painting? What message was the artist trying to convey about the Puritans? Does the painting contain any indication of problems or conflicts in Puritan life?

6 Thoughts on the Painting? What message was the artist trying to convey about the Puritans? –Positive portrayal; tight-knit community; religious devotion; families; male leaders; religious leadership; belief despite harsh environment Does the painting contain any indication of problems or conflicts in Puritan life? –Look unhappy; have to carry guns for protection on way to church; fear of attack?; bad relations with Indians

7 Major Themes & Questions Who were the Puritans? What did they believe? Why did they come to North America? Differences from Chesapeake settlers? The Puritan Covenants – Inclusion and Exclusion Conflicts between purity and living in the “real world” –Religious conflicts – inclusion and exclusion –Land Hunger & Conflicts with Native Americans –Economic issues and problems –Conflicts with England

8 Puritan Religious Beliefs

9 Christianity in England Catholic Church Church of England (Henry VIII) AnglicansPuritans (Non-separatists) Pilgrims (Separatists)

10 Goals of Purification Puritans part of longer Protestant Reformation Puritans wanted to apply John Calvin’s principles to purify Anglican Church –More Biblical, literal interpretation of Bible –Rejected hierarchy of Catholic Church – “popish” – no one should get between individual and God –Rejected rituals –Rejected trends in English society – crime, commerce, lack of tradition –They liked Anglican break with Catholic Church, but believed A.C. was corrupt – thought they could reform A.C. from within –Charles I & Anglicans persecuted Puritans for criticisms – pushed them to North America and Europe

11 First Euro Settlers in MA Colony Comparing Pilgrims and Puritans Pilgrims (separatists) first settlers in 1620, but few in number Plymouth Plantation was a backwater Puritan Great Migration began in ,000 colonists in decade, so dominated colony Puritans formed a joint stock company – Massachusetts Bay Co. Left meeting place blank, so held meetings in New England to get away from English control

12 Puritan Beliefs Original sin – humans born sinful – “In Adam’s Fall, We Sinned All” in N.E. schoolbooks Predestination – John Calvin – God had plan for all humans, but it was unknown to all –God only chose some people to be saved from Hell –One could live well, have revelatory experience (God revealed), then prob. going to heaven – but still up to God Puritans adapted Calvin’s beliefs – God was rational – one could be pretty sure of salvation Life on earth would be good indicator of salvation – live religious life, work hard Puritan diaries filled with angst about whether they would be chosen for heaven

13 Puritans vs. Chesapeake: Based on what you learned about the Chesapeake colonies, how would you compare Puritan MA? Puritans Chesapeake

14 Puritans vs. Chesapeake: Based on what you learned about the Chesapeake colonies, how would you compare Puritan MA? Puritans Puritans focused on controlling behavior while on earth – punishment on earth for bad behavior Puritans more religiously motivated Required to go to Church No separation of Church and state Migrated as families and lived longer More healthy enviro. Chesapeake Profit motive Individualism Religion not as central Dispersed settlements Majority of population were indentured servants Free-wheeling in first generations Gender imbalance Unhealthy enviro., death normal thing

15 Puritan Migration Puritans came as families, multiple generations More balanced sex ratio than Chesapeake Lower mortality rates – 1 st generation = 72 yrs old Healthier environment, less disease 7/8 of children reached adulthood Compare to Chesapeake migration and settlement

16 Puritan Settlement and the Land John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 –Compares Puritans to Israelites – chosen by God –Old Testament rationale –Right to make war on N.A. –Duty to spread religion Thoughts? Criticisms?

17 Puritan Settlement and the Land John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 –God gives land to chosen people –People placed on land – passive –Justified war against heathens –Vacant land or unused can be taken –Migration and settlement justified to ‘gain knowledge’, profit economically, use talents, or plant a colony/church –To flee persecution or debts Thoughts? Criticisms?

18 Covenant: Puritan Migration, Settlement, and Leadership John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630 Covenants on diff. levels: bound family, community, group, classes, and God together Different forms of covenantal bonds in Winthrop’s “Modell”?

19 Covenant: Puritan Migration, Settlement, and Leadership John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630 Covenants on diff. levels: bound family, community, group, classes, and God together Different forms of covenantal bonds in Winthrop’s “Modell”? –Between Puritans and God – success = God’s approval –Covenant between individual and God – Christian life, belief = good hope for salvation (heaven) –Covenant of settlement and migration –City Upon a Hill – symbol to Europe –Covenant between leaders and led; wealthy and poor

20 Family Covenant Family Life –Patriarchal family – man was head of household; women expected to marry and have children; unmarried looked down upon or spurned –Relationships between husband and wife? (Bradstreet poems) Loving, companionate marriage Focus on earthly love and devotion Women’s role = family, home, religious devotion Pride in children and growth of family –Conflicts between love and patriarchy?

21 Covenant & The Land Relationship between covenant and settlement on land: –Puritans wanted competency – enough land to live on – focus on subsistence at first, not as much on profits for self or king –But not equality – prominent deserved more land –Focus on community – town decided which land would be used, worked on what day –Town meeting – at first, only elect (saved) voted, had best interests of community –Covenant bound church and community members to town and land –Focus on benefits to included members – keeping out excluded “others” –Different methods of settlement than Chesapeake

22 Trouble in the City on a Hill Religious dissenters – problems of inclusion and exclusion, purity and tolerance Land Hunger – conflicts with Native Americans Economic problems Relations with England/Crown Question: What issues or problems strengthened the Puritan covenant? Which weakened it?

23 George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867 Puritan Religious Problems Angst

24 Roger Williams Roger Williams – critical of Puritan leadership and values – raised issues of P exclusion and intolerance –Believed to be more dangerous b/c he was a minister –Disagreed with church leadership on relationship between church and state –Believed in toleration – people shouldn’t be forced to join or attend church –Exclusion was wrong –Disagreed on treatment and relations with Native Americans –Williams believed N.A. deserved respect; relations of peace; bargaining or buying of land –Williams banished from MA in 1636; founded R.I. in 1644

25 Anne Hutchinson Came to MA in 1634, was a midwife and educated by father Held religious meetings in her home and discussed sermons of ministers Accused of heresies: teaching men, evaluating ministers’ beliefs, antinomianism (belief that God was talking directly to her) Banished from MA

26 Anne Hutchinson Trial transcript Major issues?

27 Anne Hutchinson Trial transcript Major issues? –Women’s role in church –Male dominated –Who has right to relate to God? Interpret God’s will or message? –Tradition vs. change –Maintaining purity through exclusion –Can community or covenant remain strong with dissent?

28 Salem Witch Trials, 1692 Combination of social, economic, religious, and cultural factors led to witch hunt and trials Puritan belief in witches not unique, but heightened focus on outcasts, women, poor – exclusionary tendency in Puritan life Focus on conformity, correct women’s roles in society Heightened surveillance of others b/c of frontier Indian war and commercial development – suspicion of others, constant rumors Tituba, a slave, crystal ball, hysterical young women accused T of being witch Two Sarahs (Goode and Osgoode) accused of casting spells, one typical outcast, the other an argumentative woman - outsiders Tituba confessed and accused dozens of others 48 people claimed spells put on them 200 accused; 50 confessed – why? -- Confessors wouldn’t be executed, but had to rat out teachers of witchcraft

29 Religious Change Problem of declension – 2nd and 3rd generations not as religious –What could be done to increase membership and those saved? – worry that children wouldn’t go to heaven –Halfway covenant, 1662 – children of members could participate in church – way of appealing to younger generations to become involved Problem of religious schism – search for purity of experience led to divisions, criticism of leaders –1 st and 2 nd Great Awakening –Reform movements – perfection on earth

30 Puritans: Problems of “Real Life” Main Topics: –Puritan Land Hunger –Relations with Native Americans –Wars –Economic problems and issues –Relations with England Question: What issues or problems strengthened the Puritan covenant? Which weakened it? Or, put another way: What issues of “real life” challenged or changed Puritan beliefs?

31 Covenant & The Land (Review) Relationship between covenant and settlement on land: –Puritans wanted competency – enough land to live on – focus on subsistence at first, not as much on profits for self or king –But not equality – prominent deserved more land –Focus on community – town decided which land would be used, worked on what day –Town meeting – only elect (saved) voted, had best interests of community –Covenant bound church and community members to town and land –Focus on benefits to included – keeping out excluded –Different methods of settlement than Chesapeake

32 Puritans and the Land (Review) John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 –God gives land to chosen people –People placed on land – passive –Justified war against heathens –Vacant land or unused can be taken –Migration and settlement justified to ‘gain knowledge’, profit economically, use talents, or plant a colony/church –To flee persecution or debts Thoughts? Criticisms?

33 The Land: N.A.s vs. Puritans N.A.s and Puritans thought about and used the land differently They formed diff. economies and had diff. environmental impacts N.A. practices had less impact on enviro. Puritans brought attitude toward enviro. from England But N.A. did actively change enviro. to live N.A. land practices benefited Puritans Puritans and N.A. had diff. definitions of property Puritan def. of property required N.A. exclusion, brought about greater enviro. change

34 Native American Power and Influence Native American traditions of power and influence – tactics? –Intermarriage with other clans –Ability to muster support, respect –Reciprocal gift giving and exchange –Cementing of alliances –War as one option –Use of captives to replace those lost in war Pequot War and King Philip’s War show breakdown of traditional tactics

35 Pequot War, 1637 Context: prior diseases decimated tribes, power vacuum Relations between tribes and clans threatened by European settlement - competition among tribes for influence with Europeans for fur trade Mohegans allied with English; Pequots with Dutch Attacks on Pequot traders; predatory Euro. traders broke rules of reciprocity: gifts between groups sign of respect, alliance, rather than just commercial transaction Competition and attacks between Indians and allies Conflict over land in CT river valley Pequots already had more positive relationships with Dutch and French fur traders – D & F were willing to engage in reciprocal relations of trade

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37 Pequot War (continued) Difference between fur trade and settled farmers Puritans wanted land and permanent settlement Pequots preferred reciprocity of fur trade Narragansetts and Puritans had close relations, so Puritans got Ns to attack Pequots Puritans not happy with progress of war, so wiped out Pequots Used Bible to justify war; test of their will; Bible justified Israel’s decimation of other tribes too

38 Pequots caught between expanding Puritan settlements

39 Pequot War, Mystic Massacre Puritan leaders called out the militia and enlisted dissident Pequots and some 500 Narragansetts to help attack a Pequot fort on the Mystic River Shelter for Pequot women and children English surrounded the fort, set fire to it, and killed many of the Pequot people who tried to escape Between 400 and 700 died Puritans hunted down Pequot men Few survivors were handed over to the native allies of the English as payment for their services or were sold into slavery to other colonies Question: Were Pequots victims?

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41 Pequot village near present-day Mystic, CT – site of massacre

42 George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867 Puritans and Indians

43 King Philip’s War, Wampanoags had been decimated by disease early in century; had used whites for protection King Philip, or Metacomet, Chief of Wampanoags – unhappy with treatment of N.A.: punishment for crimes; land-hungry expansion; bad treaties that ripped-off N.A. K.P. convinced Ws and Narragansetts to unite to fight whites Got within 20 miles of Boston; defeated several towns Of 90 Puritan towns, 52 attacked 1/7 of Puritan towns destroyed - took 40 years to rebuild and resettle lands Puritans had before war Insecurity created by war had impact on Puritan mentality and religious belief –Suspicion and paranoia contributed to Salem witch hunt –Puritans questioned why God had punished them

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45 King Philip’s War (continued) Philip reached out to Mohawks to join war against Puritans Instead, Mohawks attacked and defeated Wampanoags and Narragansetts King Philip/Metacomet killed by musket fire in whites and 8000 Native Americans killed Whites gained control of land area Mohawks and Iroquois became leading intermediaries in trade with whites and Native Americans Question: Did King Philip have power? Lesson: Europeans affected Native American politics and power relations; played tribes against one another; certain tribes took advantage of situation for increase power

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47 Democracy in MA? Based on what you now know, do you think MA was a democracy? Why or why not?

48 Challenges to Puritan Life? Future problems?


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