Pilgrim and Puritan

Puritan Colonists

Pilgrim and Puritan

This article on the Pilgrim and Puritan describes the similarities and the differences between their beliefs and their religion

  • Definition of a Pilgrim and Puritan
  • Was a Pilgrim a Puritan?
  • Definition and explanation of the Separatists and Non-Separatists
  • Dissenters
  • Freedom of religion
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Religious Beliefs & Religions
The Pilgrims & the Mayflower

History of the first 13 Colonies and religious beliefs in the New World

Pilgrims and Puritans: The religious beliefs and the quest of the colonists for religious freedom

Pilgrim and Puritan
Pilgrim and Puritan were the names given to members of a church congregation and to describe their beliefs and religions. Refer to
Religion in the Colonies

Was a Pilgrim a Puritan?
Was a Pilgrim a Puritan? Good Question! The Pilgrim and Puritan were extremely similar in most practices and beliefs. A pilgrim was a distinct type of Puritan. A Pilgrim adhered to more extreme views than a Puritan. The Pilgrim and the Puritan were both strongly opposed to the Catholic Church. Both the Pilgrim and the Puritan colonists believed that the Church of England, the Anglican church, should make more reforms to get rid of all traces of the Roman Catholic Church. But but the Pilgrim was a member of a distinct group of puritans who were not only against the Anglican church but also called for total separation from the church, a dangerous religious belief in England.

Pilgrim and Puritan - Religious Freedom
Both the Pilgrim and the Puritan wanted religious freedom. The Pilgrim Fathers left England for America in 1620 looking for religious freedom. In 1630 another religious group left England in search of religious freedom. This group was called the
Puritans. Seeking religious freedom was a strong motivation for colonies in America.

Pilgrim and Puritan - Strictness & Austerity in Religion
The Pilgrim and Puritan practised strictness and austerity in their religion, lifestyle and conduct. A Pilgrim and Puritan was strongly opposed to sensual pleasures and strong advocates of propriety, modesty and and decorum.

Pilgrim and Puritan - Puritanism
Puritanism essentially wanted to replace Anglicanism and its ecclesiastical system with the system proposed by John Calvin. Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) held the belief that all humans were born sinful and only God s grace (not the church) could save a person from hell.

Pilgrim and Puritan - Dissenters
Dissenters were people objected to the accepted doctrine of the established church. The Pilgrim and Puritan men and women  who migrated to America were dissenters from the Church of England who wanted to create a new church in the colonies. The Pilgrim and the Puritan were both looking for religious freedom. The opportunity to worship, in the way they wanted, without fear of persecution. The Pilgrim and the Puritan were intolerant any other religions. The Pilgrim and the Puritan were dissenters.

Pilgrim and Puritan - Separatists and Non-Separatists
The Puritans were a Reform movement in the Anglican church. The Reform movement of the Puritans, aimed at purifying the church of corruption, split into separatists and non-separatists:

  • Separatists wanted to end ties with the established church
  • Non-Separatists sought to reform the Anglican Church from within

Pilgrim and Puritan

Pilgrim and Puritan

Pilgrim and Puritan - The Puritan
The Puritans wanted the Church of England to become pure by getting rid of Catholic practices. The Puritan wanted to "purify" the Church of England of its remaining Catholic influence and rituals and to return to the simple faith of the New Testament. The Puritans did not want to separate entirely from the Church of England. The Puritan wanted to make reforms or changes.

Pilgrim and Puritan - The Pilgrim
The Pilgrim believed that the Church of England was too corrupt to ever be purified, and that Puritans should completely separate from it. These people were called separatists. The group of separatists, who would became know as the Pilgrim Fathers, left their country and the Church and England behind them (after being imprisoned for their beliefs) and moved to the Netherlands (Holland) to escape religious prosecution. Their leader was William Brewster who published a number of religious pamphlets while in Leyden which were directly critical of King James I of England and opposed the main principles of the Church of England. Authorities in England go to the Netherlands to arrest Brewster but he escaped arrest. The group read a book by John Smith who had established the first colony at Jamestown in Virginia. The book was called "A Description of New England" and it inspired the extreme Puritan members of the group to undertake a perilous sea voyage to set up a colony in the New World, Plymouth. These people were the Pilgrims.

Pilgrim and Puritan

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