Once the link to divine authority was broken, revolutionaries turned to Locke, Milton, and others, concluding that a government that abused its power and hurt the interests of its subjects was tyrannical and as such deserved to be replaced. The clergy was highly educated and devoted to the study and teaching of both Scripture and the natural sciences. Taken further, the logic of these arguments led them to dismiss the divine authority claimed by the English kings, as well as the blind obedience compelled by such authority. Many people believe that the piety of the Pilgrims typified early American religion. The much-ballyhooed arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans in New England in the early 1600s was indeed a response to persecution that these religious dissenters had … Religion was governed by the state, and citizens were expected to follow state religion under the rule of King James. Churches were spread apart and populations around those churches were small. The political edge of this argument was that no human institution—religious or civil—could claim divine authority. The Roman Catholic Church made its first steps in North America when the colony ships "Dove" and "Ark" arrived in Maryland with 128 Catholic colonists. Religious persecutions were more prominent in England than in colonial America. These were all Christian religions based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior. Religion in the Colonies - The American RevolutionThe American Revolutionary War ended the rule of the British and the religion in the colonies based on the practises of the Church of England. The middle colonies saw a mixture of religions, including Quakers (who founded Pennsylvania), Catholics, Lutherans, a few Jews, and others. England’s intervention in 1682 ended the corporal punishment of dissenters in New England. Religion in the ColoniesReligion in the Colonies was extremely diverse and many of the religious groups, such as the Puritans and the Quakers established the first of the 13 colonies on the basis of their religious beliefs. . The Salem Witchcraft Trials resulted in 100-200 arrests, 19 people were sentenced to death by hanging, one old man was pressed to death under heavy stones, one man was stoned to death and two dogs were executed as suspected accomplices of witches (familiars). Knowing the difference also meant that humans made free choices to sin or behave morally. The meetinghouse, which served secular functions as well as religious, was a small wood building located in the center of town. Get a verified writer to help you with Religion in Colonial America. Instead, differing Christian groups often believed that their own practices and faiths provided unique values that needed protection against those who disagreed, driving a need for rule and regulation. Learn about the struggles that religious groups faced in building places of worship in early American history, and consider the parallels to issues of religious freedom today. Their faith influenced the way they treated Indians, and they were the first to issue a public condemnation of slavery in America. A separation from the Church of England was forced because the Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. A brief definition of the different types of religion in the colonies are detailed  in the following Chart: The different types of Religion in the Colonies, Fast Facts and info about Religion in the Colonies, Religion in the Colonies is a great history resource for kids, Social Studies Homework help for kids and children - Religion in the Colonies, Religion in the Colonies - Colonial America - America - Facts - Colonies - Colonists - History - US - History - Interesting - Information - Info - Events - Kids - Religion in the Colonies - Children - Studies - Colonies - United States - America - USA - Social Studies - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Colonists - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Teaching resource - Religion in the Colonies - Social Studies - Religion in the Colonies - History - Teachers - Kids - Famous - Religious beliefs in the Colonies - Colonial America - Religion in the Colonies. In the early years of what later became the United States, Christian religious groups played an influential role in each of the British colonies, and most attempted to enforce strict religious observance through both colony governments and local town rules. The unchurched liberals. Other colonies were established where religious tolerance was exercised. The use of violence against slaves, their social inequality, together with the settlers’ contempt for all religions other than Christianity “resulted in destructiveness of extraordinary breadth, the loss of traditional religious practices among the half-millions slaves brought to the mainland colonies between 1680s and the American Revolution.”4 Even in churches which reached out to convert slaves to their congregations —the Baptists are a good example—slaves were most often a silent minority. Religious Persecution in the Colonies - the Puritans and John WinthropIt must be said that religious groups, such as the Puritans, looking to escape from religious persecution in their home country arrived in the colonies and promptly established their own form of religious persecution. The Toleration Act, passed by the English Parliament in 1689, gave Quakers and several other denominations the right to build churches and to conduct public worship in the colonies. Religion in the Colonies - Religious Tolerance and DiversityEventually this type of religious persecution ended and other religions began to appear in the Puritan based colonies. Religious Persecution in the Colonies - Anne Hutchinson and Roger WilliamsAny who did not conform to the Puritan beliefs were called Nonconformists or Dissenters and were severely punished. The religion in the colonies included Protestant, Puritan, Catholic, Anglican, Episcopalian, Congregationalists, Baptists, Evangelists and Unitarian. Religion in Colonial America, by Professor Jeffry Morrison. The members of this group had been chosen by Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore and the colony itself would be led by Leonard Calvert, Lord Baltimore's brother. Most New Englanders went to a Congregationalist meetinghouse for church services. Between 1680 and 1760 Anglicanism and Congregationalism, an offshoot of the English Puritan movement, established themselves as the main organized denominations in the majority of the colonies. Before 1700 some colonies had more religious freedom then others. Their laws assumed that citizens who strayed away from conventional religious customs were a threat to civil order and should be punished for their nonconformity. If they received any Christian religious instructions, it was, more often than not, from their owners rather than in Sunday school. Virginia imposed laws obliging all to attend Anglican public worship. . Most New Englanders went to a Congregationalist meetinghouse for church services. Many of them left Europe because they could not believe in their faith freely. Eight of the thirteen British colonies had official, or “established,” churches, and in those colonies dissenters who sought to practice or proselytize a different version of Christianity or a non-Christian faith were sometimes persecuted. Historically, women in colonial North America and the United States have been deeply influenced by their religious traditions. Religion is one cause in the way colonial America established differently than England. People sat on hard wooden benches for most of the day, which was how long the church services usually lasted. In retrospect, the Great Awakening contributed to the revolutionary movement in a number of ways: it forced Awakeners to organize, mobilize, petition, and provided them with political experience; it encouraged believers to follow their beliefs even if that meant breaking with their church; it discarded clerical authority in matters of conscience; and it questioned the right of civil authority to intervene in all matters of religion. Differences in religion, and way of life, and the lasting effects of these helped to shape The United States. Indeed, Pennsylvania’s first constitution stated that all who believed in God and agreed to live peacefully under the civil government would “in no way be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion of practice.”5  However, reality often fell short of that ideal. Much like the north, this was the result of the proliferation of churches, new clerical codes and bodies, and a religion that became more organized and uniformly enforced. King James II believed in 'the Divine Right of Kings' and tried to create religious liberty for English Roman Catholics and Protestant nonconformists against the wishes of the English Parliament which led to the Glorious Revolution in which James was replaced by King William III and Queen Mary II. According to one expert, religion was in the \"ascension rather than the declension\"; another sees a \"rising vitality in religious life\" from 1700 onward; a third finds religion in many parts of the colonies in a state of \"feve… . The New England colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were conceived and established "as plantations of religion." Rationalism also discarded many “superstitious” aspects of the Christian liturgy (although many continued to believe in the human soul and in the afterlife). They believed that all people were equal in front of God. The division in Europe relating to the Catholics and Protestants was just a recent development in a movement that had been going on for centuries in Europe. Religion in the Colonies - The Catholic Religion and the Glorious RevolutionUnder the rule of King James II of England (reigned 1685 � 11 December 1688) the American colonists were under the direct control of the monarch. In the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland (which was originally founded as a haven for Catholics), the Church of England was recognized by law as the state church, and a portion of tax revenues went to support the parish and its priest. Although it was not the first English colony in North America, Plymouth Colony was the first religious settlement. The radicalization of this position led many rational dissenters to argue that intervention in human decisions by civil authorities undermined the special covenant between God and humankind. William Penn promoted the ideals of religious tolerance. American colonists were very religious people. Even in Boston, which was more highly populated and dominated by the Congregational Church, one inhabitant complained in 1632 that the “fellows which keepe hogges all weeke preach on the Sabboth.”2. Wide distances, poor communication and transportation, bad weather, and the clerical shortage dictated religious variety from town to town and from region to region. Religion in the Colonies - Chart of Different DenominationsThe religion in the Colonies encompassed the religious practises of many denominations. Toward the end of the colonial era, churchgoing reached at least 60 percent in all the colonies. In 1691, Plymouth joined the larger Massachusetts colony. Many of the communities were populated by men with a ratio of only one woman per four men. Laws mandated that everyone attend a house of worship and pay taxes that funded the salaries of ministers. Religion in Colonial America Hardcover – January 1, 1942 by William Warren Sweet (Author) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating. The by-products of the great awakening --X. America and religious liberty --I. As the 1700s drew to a close, Baptist and Methodist influence overtook that of Anglican influence and other traditional churches. Surprisingly, alchemy and other magical practices were not altogether divorced from Christianity in the minds of many “natural philosophers” (the precursors of scientists), who sometimes thought of them as experiments that could unlock the secrets of Scripture. See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. “Religion in Colonial America” presents the religious atmosphere from the old world through the colonial period in America. Key Dates in Colonial American Religious History. Inhabitants of the middle and southern colonies went to churches whose style and decoration look more familiar to modern Americans than the plain New England meeting houses. Different denominations were therefore organized shortly after the American Revolution. The different denominations consisted of various unified religious congregations and churches. Exploration began not only because of curiosity and the search for wealth but because of the idea that everyone needed to be a Christian. After 1760, as remote outposts grew into towns and backwoods settlements became bustling commercial centers, Southern churches grew in size and splendor. This support varied from tax benefits to religious requirements for voting or serving in the legislature.” A ll colonies were predominantly Christian. Congregational churches typically owned no property (even the local meetinghouse was owned by the town and was used to conduct both town meetings and religious services), and ministers, while often called upon to advise the civil magistrates, played no official role in town or colony governments. There was no religious freedom in the areas inhabited by the Puritans as they did not tolerate any other form of religion. The colonists from different countries in Europe adhered to various religions including Roman Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Protestant, Anglican, Quakers and Presbyterians. These meeting houses became bigger and much less crude as the population grew after the 1660s. The Catholic leadership passed a law of religious toleration in 1649, only to see it repealed it when Puritans took over the colony’s assembly. While dissenters continued to endure discrimination and financial penalties well into the eighteenth century, those who did not challenge the authority of the Puritans directly were left unmolested and were not legally punished for their “heretical” beliefs. The letter exchange between George Washington and the Hebrew congregation of Newport was not the only landmark event in the early history of America that dealt with issues of religious freedom and identity. Religion in Colonial America By Lawanda Brewer, Heather Jaques, Ranada Jones, Joshua King Students, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, 2001 Many people came to America to search for religious freedom. The Protestants detested the Catholics and feared the bloody persecutions they had left behind in Europe. The meetinghouse, which served secular functions as well as religious, was a small wood building located in the center of town. Clergy and buildings belonging to both the Catholic and Puritan religions were subsidized by a general tax. His Puritan religious group believed that they would establish a pure church in New England  that would offer a model for all churches. They, too, would sit in church for most of the day on Sunday. Official persecution reached its peak between 1659 and 1661, when Massachusetts Bay’s Puritan magistrates hung four Quaker missionaries. Colonial-Era Meeting House, Sandown, New Hampshire. In Colonial America, one must have been a member of the church in order to have the right to vote. As the seventeenth and eighteenth century passed on, however, the Protestant wing of Christianity constantly gave birth to new movements, such as the Baptists, Methodists, Quakers, Unitarians and many more, sometimes referred to as “Dissenters.”  In communities where one existing faith was dominant, new congregations were often seen as unfaithful troublemakers who were upsetting the social order. In contrast to other colonies, there was a meetinghouse in every New England town.6 In 1750 Boston, a city with a population of 15000, had eighteen churches.7 In the previous century church attendance was inconsistent at best. This article on  the biography and life of Religion in the Colonies provides facts and information about: History of the first 13 Colonies and religious beliefs in the New World, Religion in the Colonies: The religious beliefs and the quest of the colonists for religious freedom. Some settlers who arrived in these areas came for secular motives--"to catch fish" as one New Englander put it--but the great majority left Europe to worship God in the way they believed to be correct. Yet, despite Puritanism’s severe reputation, the actual experience of New England dissenters varied widely, and punishment of religious difference was uneven. In some areas, women accounted for no more than a quarter of the population, and given the relatively small number of conventional households and the chronic shortage of clergymen, religious life was haphazard and irregular for most. Branches of the Puritan and Quaker faiths were the trailblazers for American … Procon.org has researched Religion in the Original 13 Colonies, and and concluded: “All 13 American colonies had some form of state-supported religion. In some circumstances those who refused to adhere to the Puritan religion were banished from the colony. Governor Peter Stuyvesant refused to accept them until the Dutch West India Company forced Stuyvesant to oblige. They also helped clarify their common objections to British civil and religious rule over the colonies, and provided both with arguments in favor of the separation of church and state. Although most colonists considered themselves Christians, this did not mean that they lived in a culture of religious unity. Despite the effort to govern society on Christian (and more specifically Protestant) principles, the first decades of colonial era in most colonies were marked by irregular religious practices, minimal communication between remote settlers, and a population of “Murtherers, Theeves, Adulterers, [and] idle persons.”1 An ordinary Anglican American parish stretched between 60 and 100 miles, and was often very sparsely populated. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Once Upon a Time in New York: A Temple Denied, Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. With few limits on the influx of new colonists, Anglican citizens in those colonies needed to accept, however grudgingly, ethnically diverse groups of Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, members of the Dutch Reformed Church, and a variety of German Pietists. The fear of such practices can be gauged by the famous trials held in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 and 1693. Within a decade, at least 20,000 separatist Puritans and non-separatist Congregationalists left England for the American colonies, primarily in Massachusetts and New England. In the British colonies, differences among Puritan and Anglican remained. The Middle colonists were a mixture of religions, including Quakers (led by William Penn), Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, and others. Shortly after the English evangelical and revivalist George Whitefield completed a tour of America, Jonathan Edwards delivered a sermon entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” stirring up a wave of religious fervor and the beginning of the Great Awakening. Religion in Colonial America: Trends, Regulations, and Beliefs To understand how America's current balance among national law, local community practice, and individual freedom of belief evolved, it's helpful to understand some of the common experiences and patterns around religion in colonial culture in the period between 1600 and 1776. However, by the 1730s Catholics, Jews, and Africans had joined Native Americans, Puritans, and numerous Protestant denominations in the colonies. Religious minorities in the colonies --III. In Great Britain, the Protestant Anglican church had split into bitter divisions among traditional Anglicans and the reforming Puritans, contributing to an English civil war in the 1600s. . The Congregational Church eventually grew out of the Puritan Church and was formally established in the Colonial New England colonies, except for Rhode Island who favored religious tolerance. Mobs physically attacked members of the sect, breaking up prayer meetings and sometimes beating participants. Most attempted to enforce strict religious observance. 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