The early English settlers in the United States were driven to establish a new society in the New World mainly for freedom of religion. During the 17th century, many European separatists seek for a new land to establish a colony. They settled into the New World where they can practice their worships freely. The Pilgrims are the first settlers arrived in the Plymouth Colony (Plymouth, Massachusetts). Since the political cloud of forbidding the kind of religion the pilgrims practice in the East Midlands of England (Netherlands), the religious worshippers was forced to settle outside their home (New World).
The pilgrims arranged a voyage from the English investors to travel in the New World, establishing a new colony in North America. During their settlement in Plymouth, the early pilgrims experienced starvation, disasters and diseases. The pilgrims also experienced internal conflicts with the indigenous people. In 1607 and 1620, the English settlers were successful in establishing new colonies in United States, Jamestown, Virginia. It was through the Pilgrim Fathers which most of the United States culture has been derived.
The Thanksgiving occasion, started from the early festivity of the pilgrims to give thanks for the things that one has at the conclusion of the harvest season (English Settlements 2007). The State Church During the (series of) settlements in the New World, England permitted only one church. Everyone was required to attend that church – if the English ruler is a protestant, then its citizens must be all protestant. The state church describes the government directs dictation of the kingdom’s religion (Cline 1). There was no freedom of religion in England in which, the ruler and the archbishop direct orders to every church in the kingdom.
In return, any objections, questions and protests against the ruler and the state church, they were arrested, imprisoned and in extreme cases, killed. In those days, many people were tortured to give-up their religion, many died. Two major groups of believers (Puritan and Separatist) protested with the beliefs and practices of the state church. Puritan wanted reside in the church but wanted to reform its structure. Separatist wanted a total change in the state church. When James I (a Protestant and a Separatist) in the 1600s became the English ruler, opposed religious views was not permitted under the new king.
Religious Tolerance In the United States (historically), religious toleration is permitted. Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, Quakers in Pennsylvania, and Roman Catholic settling in Maryland. In the New World, religious groups accept other forms of worship even they do not believed in it. The country does not persecute people from worshipping other beliefs aside from the state religion. Separatist Unlike in the Anglican Church (Church of England), separatist/pilgrims wanted to worship in a simple manner without any rituals. They believed there are so many things that must be changed in the Anglican Church.
Therefore, the only possible way they can satisfy their beliefs is to separate from the Church of England. They consider other points of view, decide through the majority and believe in equal rights and responsibilities of each separatist. Their religion reflects the present democratic system of government practice in the United States. During their arrival in North America, the pilgrims were warmhearted, munificent, considerate and kind to the American Indians. In establishing their colony in Plymouth, they encourage the American Indians to settle in their colony.
In return, the Indians help the early English (pilgrims) settlers on how to strive in the changing environment in that (Plymouth) place. The Indians taught the settlers how to hunt food, live in the cold environment of Plymouth and treat some of the illness present in the place. The pilgrims in return taught the Indians how to read, write, taught the English literatures, art, science and their religion (The Pilgrims 2007). Puritans Like the Pilgrims, puritans settled in Americas. They established a colony with schools, hospitals, government and churches.
Puritans considered religion as complex and cerebral. Their form of government reflects authoritarianism. Unlike the pilgrims where they equally treat each individual, the puritans have a hierarchical perspective. They encourage the importance of education among children. Quakers The religious Society of Friends was a sect branching from Christianity. Like the other sects of Roman Catholic, Quakers disagreed to some of the practices in the religion. They separate from the old traditional religion and arrived in the Americas seeking for freedom of religion.
Quakers believed in religious tolerance (Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS): Quaker history 2007). Roman Catholics Roman Catholics believed in religious tolerance. Like the pilgrims, early Roman Catholics settling in England was force to establish a colony in the New World. Aside from gaining religious freedom in the New World the early Roman Catholics interests for economic opportunity and expansion of Christianity in Americas. The settlers were Spaniard colonists seeking for wealth, in vision of conquering vast lands in Americas as well as introducing Christian religion among the natives.