Puritans - The New England Way
Utopia was a word and place coined by Sir Thomas More in his book called 'Utopia', which was published in 1516. In More's Utopia an ideal community was created with a perfect social and religious structure. The Puritans dominated New England and their desire to create a Utopian society, based on their religious doctrine, created a distinct society in New England, referred to as the New England Way. Unlike other colonies, New England and its Puritans were guided by their religion and created a government and society tied to the church. The Puritans had migrated to American seeking religious freedom. The Puritans had a strong work ethic which enabled them to achieve a success not seen in other colonies - in comparison with some other colonies the Puritans had achieved their own Utopia - the New England Way.
Puritans - The Cambridge Agreement
John Winthrop was keen on emigrating to the New World colonies. He was instrumental in developing the Cambridge Agreement. The Cambridge Agreement was signed 26 August 1629, just before he left for America, and provided means for emigrating shareholders to buy out non-emigrating shareholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company. The Cambridge Agreement was a plan to colonize America by allowing the immigration of Puritans, who would control the government and the charter of the Massachusetts Bay company and its trading potential. The Cambridge Agreement was based on the creation of a market for trade but instead developed a religion based government.
Puritans - The Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was created by the Massachusetts Bay Company. Under the leadership of John Winthrop, the Massachusetts Bay colony was created to provide the world with a model Christian society. The Massachusetts Bay colony was created in 1630 and it was governed through a General Court selected by church members. There were Puritans who were deemed as 'dissenters' and included Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson who were banished from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The Puritans also played a significant part in the Salem Witchcraft Trials in 1692.
Salem Witchcraft Trials - Examination of a Witch by Puritans
Puritans - Congregationalism - Local Independence
Congregationalism was the word used to describe the religion based government and organizational system operated in New England by the Puritans. The system of Congregationalism was based on the freedom of each church to control its own affairs and maintain local independence.
Puritans - The Saints
The saints is the word used to describe the Puritans that were members of the council that governed the congregation. The saints consisted of male-only Puritans who were held in high esteem within the community and were chosen by the church council. The New England puritans developed a democratic system of government that gave the power to elect the governor to all male saints. The democratic system of government was furthered in 1644 when it adopted a bicameral court with elected delegates. Town meetings were the center of the Puritans political life in New England. Town Meetings were gatherings in which all of the voters in the area would all congregate and discuss issues that interested them, such as town officers and taxes for the following season.