The Puritans were a group of people who wanted to reform the English Church and came to America in the late sixteenth century. They settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629. The puritans believed in God, and all the things that the Bible preaches. They though salvation was only to chosen people and heaven or hell were real; they also believed that every person was born a sinner. It was in God’s hands to save a soul and grace it. Their society was well formed and the structure of their laws had to be obeyed. They had a strong willing to learn from the bible and study it.
This allowed the following generations to be more educated and learn how to read and write in order to teach the community. How did the Puritans contributed to the American community? The Puritans had a lot of characteristics that allowed them to teach the rest of the community. They had a peaceful relationship with each other and that allowed them to settle in America more easily. They brought with them this thirst for learning. Instead of wanting to take all the money, gold and silver they made a pacific relationship with the Indians because they only wanted to share the word of God.
They did not exclude women or children from learning about the Bible and that is a positive aspect America learned. Everybody had to be taught about the Bible and this created schools and a more organized community. When the puritans came to establish in America they had certain beliefs that were their most strong laws. The puritans worked to fix the religious moral of people and the honesty in society. Kay Kizer explains how the puritans’ structure was all about the Bible and what God wanted for us as individuals. The Bible was their true and absolute law.
Their community was formed successfully because everybody had to follow the same. They were provided a plan for living. They had to have a strong belief, love each other, love and be thankful for what was given to them and try their best to be respectful humans. The puritans believed in heaven and hell as the bible preaches. Only certain people was worthy of salvation. They were called the “chosen ones” and God selected them for eternal salvation, they were either redeemed or condemned. In the research done by Paul Reuben he summarizes five beliefs the Puritans had.
The first one was since Adam and Eve were sinners and the first humans on Earth. Everybody is born a sinner and only God can save them. The second is that the chosen ones are the only ones on the list for salvation. Third, Jesus died for the chosen only and not for everybody. Fourth says that grace is freely saving given by God, it cannot be earned or denied. The last belief is the perseverance of the “saints”; those elected by God have full power to interpret the will of God. All these beliefs had to be followed and transmitted to the next generations.
In their community everybody had to follow the same pattern, it was easier for the puritans to be given tasks and follow them. These beliefs gave the puritans strong laws and it made everybody in their community respectful towards them. When the puritans came to America they brought the same social structure they had in England. Education was necessary for the next generations. On the essay written by Kizer we can see that the puritans were determined to teach and learn from God. Education was necessary for their and the following generations.
For the first time in history school was free for children. “The puritans formed the first formal school in 1635 and four year later the first American college, Harvard in Cambridge”. They established a good community and had a healthy economy system. The moral characters of England and America were shaped by the Christians. The essay Puritanism, Puritans talks about how the puritans negotiated with the local tribes for land and how they shared their ideas of God with these tribes. The church leaders had to give full narrative testimony about their lives in order to be able to teach the Bible.
The puritans had a good social structure that was good in America because it allowed schools and Universities to be formed. Thus, this country had a better education system. Even thought the puritans didn’t have as much of influence in Massachusetts. They settled a good social structure in America. Their beliefs weren’t followed as they wished and this is why they vanished after some years. They tried to share their beliefs and taught community how a school or a university has to be structured. The whole point of believing in God and the Bible was to be a good and honorable human.
This is something good to bring to a foreign country. There is always something more powerful than us and that is why they were humble and they were not interested in money as other colonists were. A positive aspect the puritans held was to be honest with themselves and their community. It was not all about power, money or land. The puritans showed America that education and respectful individuals who follow their laws is important for a community. If a group of individuals have these characteristics and are open to teach them to following generations, a community can grow prosper, strong and healthy.
Courtney from Study Moose
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