Puritan Quotes: "A puritan is a person who pours righteous indignation into the wrong things." - Gilbert K. Chesterton"The puritan through life's sweet garden goes to pluck the thorn and cast away the rose." - Kenneth Hare"The puritan hated bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators." - Thomas B. Macaulay "Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." - H. L. Mencken"What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action." - Wendell Phillips
John Calvin • The Puritans were a group of people who felt the Church of England and her priests had become corrupt and worked towards religious, moral and societal reforms. • The writings and ideas of John Calvin, a leader in the Reformation, gave rise to the Protestant movement and were very important to the Christian revolt.
Church of England • The Puritans believed that The Church of England had gone away from God and become a product of political struggles and man-made doctrines. They felt the church served its own needs and not the spiritual needs of its people. • The Puritans were one branch of dissenters who decided that the Church of England was beyond help and the people needed to start over with a new way of worshiping God. Escaping persecution from church leadership and the King, the Puritans came to America.
Pilgrims on the Mayflower • After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. • Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government.
Pilgrims in the new world • The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor
Puritan beliefs: • Puritans believed in an emphasis on private study of the Bible • They also had a desire to see education and enlightenment for the masses (especially so they could read the Bible for themselves) • They wanted simplicity in worship, the exclusion of fancy robes, images, candles, etc. • They did not celebrate traditional holidays. • They believed the Sabbath was still required for Christians, although they believe the Sabbath had been changed to Sunday from Saturday.
The Bible • The Puritans believed that the Bible was God's true law, and that it provided a plan for living. • Any member of the church could have a direct relationship with God. • The Church of England felt that access to God was only possible within the confines of "church authority". In other words if you didn’t follow all steps set up by the church, you wouldn’t be able to speak with God.
Purification of the Church • Puritans stripped away the traditional trappings and formalities of Christianity which had been slowly building throughout the previous 1500 years. • Some examples of this were gold threaded robes for priests, elaborately decorated churches, stained glass windows, and having to go through saints and priests to get to God. • Theirs was an attempt to "purify" the church and their own lives. Oldest Puritan Church in New England
Location • Most of the Puritans settled in New England. • Their numbers rose from 17,800 in 1640 to 106,000 in 1700.
Behavior • Religious prejudice was the foremost principle of their society. This meant that if a person didn’t follow the Puritan beliefs, they could be driven . If you didn’t believe in the “Puritan Way” it was the HIGH WAY! • This included community laws and customs. • Since God was at the forefront of their minds, He was to motivate all of their actions.
Each church congregation was to be individually responsible to God, as was each person. • The New Testament was their model and their devotion so great that it was how they set up their entire society. • People of opposing theological views were asked to leave the community or to be converted. Jailer's house and pillory There were many punishments for disobeying puritan laws.
Predestination • Puritans believed that God had already chosen who would be in heaven or hell, and each believer had no way of knowing which group they were in. • However, those who were wealthy were obviously blessed by God and were in good standing with Him. • The Protestant work ethic was the belief that hard work was an honor to God which would lead to a prosperous reward.
Heaven or Hell? • Any deviations from the normal way of Puritan life met with strict disapproval and discipline. • Since the church elders were also political leaders, any church infraction was also a social one. • There was no margin for error.
View Marta S. Gufstasson's map Taken in a place with no name (See more photos or videos here) • The devil was behind every evil deed. Constant watch needed to be kept in order to stay away from his clutches. • Words of hell fire and brimstone flowed from the mouths of eloquent ministers as they warned of the persuasiveness of the devil's power.
Their interpretation of scriptures was a harsh one. God could forgive anything, but man could forgive only by seeing a change in behavior. Actions spoke louder than words, so actions had to be constantly controlled.
Jonathan Edwards The sermons of Jonathan Edwards, a Puritan minister, show that delivery of these sermons became an art form. They were elegant, well formed renditions of scriptures... with a healthy dose of fear woven throughout the fabric of the literary construction.
Education • Great pains were taken to warn their children of the dangers of the world. • For the first time in history, free schooling was offered for all children. • Reading of the Bible was necessary to living a pious and religious life. Children aged 6-8 attended a "Dame school" where the teacher, who was usually a widow, taught reading. Teaching "Ciphering" (math) and writing were low on the school’s agenda.
Puritans formed the first formal school in 1635, called the Roxbury Latin School. • Four years later, the first American College was established; Harvard in Cambridge. • The education of the next generation was important to further "purify" the church and perfect social living. Roxbury Latin School. Harvard in Cambridge.
Puritan influences • In 1638, the first printing press arrived. • By 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English Empire. • The Puritans were the first to write books for children, and to discuss the difficulties in communicating with them.
New England Primer – Used to teach children the alphabet and their religious lessons.
New England Primer – Used to teach children the alphabet and their religious lessons.
At a time when other Americans were busy blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans were busy advancing our country intellectually. • Religion provided a stimulus for scientific thought. • Of those Americans who were admitted into the scientific "Royal Society of London," the vast majority were New England Puritans.
Salem Witch Trials: • Puritans are often associated with the Salem Witch trials and burning of both men and women at the stake.
Puritans did much to firmly establish a presence on American soil. • Bound together, they established a community that maintained a healthy economy, established a school system, and kept an efficient eye on political concerns. The moral character of England and America were shaped in part by the words and actions of this strong group of Christian believers called the Puritans.
The Salem Witch Trials (1690s) • Several young Puritan girls accuse a servant, Tituba, of being a witch • To protect herself, Tituba implicates other members of the community • A chain reaction ensues and 27 people are convicted of practicing witchcraft • 50 others “confess” and 100 others are imprisoned to await trial • In the end 19 people are executed (hanged) for being witches
1692 Salem • Since Puritans were expected to live by a rigid moral code, they believed that all sins—from sleeping in church to stealing food—should be punished. • They also believed God would punish sinful behavior. • When a neighbor would suffer misfortune, such as a sick child or a failed crop, Puritans saw it as God’s will and did not help.
1692 Salem • Puritans also believed the Devil was as real as God. • Everyone was faced with the struggle between the powers of good and evil, but Satan would select the weakest individuals—women, children, the insane—to carry out his work. • Those who followed Satan were considered witches. • Witchcraft was one of the greatest crimes a person could commit, punishable by death.
1692 Salem • In keeping with the Puritan code of conformity, the first women to be accused of witchcraft in Salem were seen as different and as social outcasts: Tituba, a slave; Sarah Good, a homeless beggar; and Sarah Osborne, a sickly old woman who married her servant.
1692 Salem • Fear of magic and witchcraft was common in New England, as it had been in Europe for centuries. • Over 100 alleged witches had been tried and hanged in New England during the 1600s. • But the hangings in 1692 Salem would be the last ones in America
Witches or Not? • To “prove” that someone was a witch, church officials sometimes poked him or her with pins, searching for a so-called devil’s mark, a spot where no pain was felt. • Another test involved tying together the hands and feet of the accused and throwing him or her into water. Those who floated were declared witches; those who drowned were declared innocent.
Spectral Evidence • In the Salem witch trials, spectral evidence – the testimony of a church member who claimed to have seen a person’s spirit performing witchcraft – was enough to sentence the accused to death.
The Examination of Sarah Good • 1692: The Massachusetts Bay Colony of Salem was gripped by panic after a group of adolescent girls suffered mysterious symptoms such as convulsive fits, hallucinations, loss of appetite, and the temporary loss of hearing, sight & speech. • Diagnosed as being victims of witchcraft, the girls denounced certain townspeople for this crime, including a woman named Sarah Good.
The Examination of Sarah Good • Sarah Good was one of the first to be accused of witchcraft by the circle of young girls in Salem. • She was a likely witch in the eyes of many townspeople—an odd homeless woman who did not fit the Puritan mold.
The people of Salem were very familiar with Sarah Good. • She often begged door-to-door with her children. • If she were refused, she would walk away mumbling. • Many claimed these “curses” were responsible for failed crops and death of livestock.
Then on March 24, Ann Putnam accused Sarah’s five-year-old daughter, Dorcas, of witchcraft. • When examined, the imaginative young child confessed that she and her mother were witches. • She showed the magistrates a red spot on her finger—most likely a flea bite—claiming it was from a snake her mother had given her. • Little Dorcas was put in prison, chained to a wall.
The Poems of Anne Bradstreet Puritan Poetry
Puritan Poetry • Poetry in 17th century New England was almost exclusively devotional in nature and, as such, was highly recommended reading for the Puritan community.
Anne Bradstreet • Like any conscientious Puritan, Anne Bradstreet always viewed her life within a spiritual context; every event, no matter how trivial, bore a divine message; every misfortune served to remind her of God’s will and the path to salvation.
Anne Bradstreet • The first notable American poet • What sets her poems apart from other Puritan verse is their personal subject matter: her family, her children, her home.
Anne Bradstreet • Bradstreet’s poems are important because they provide an insight into the daily lives of Puritans • Her poems also show a more human side of the stereotypical stern Puritans
“To My Dear and Loving Husband” • Reflects a happy marriage/domestic life • Written during one of the frequent absences of her husband, Simon • Expresses her love for her husband • Written in iambic pentameter.
“Upon the Burning of Our House” • “Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just.” (God’s providence) • “Then straight I ‘gin my heart to chide/And did they wealth on earth abide?...Raise up thy thoughts above the sky…” (rhetorical question; chides herself) • “A price so vast as is unknown/Yet by His gift is made thine own;/There’s wealth enough, I need no more…The world no longer let me love,/My hope and treasure lies above.” (metaphor) • “Thou hast an house on high erect/Framed by that mighty Architect..” (metaphor)
“Upon the Burning of Our House” • Stresses the idea that worldly goods/material possessions should not be loved too dearly, for these things are a distraction from God • In the poem, she chides herself for expressing sadness at the loss of her home and its contents • Written in iambic tetrameter; contains couplets
Jonathon Edwards “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” The Great Awakening
The Great Awakening • One hundred years after a group of Puritans came to colonial America for religious freedom, some Puritans felt that their congregations had grown too complacent, or self-satisfied. • To rekindle the fervor that the early settlers had, Jonathon Edwards and other Puritan ministers led the Great Awakening.
Jonathon Edwards • A forceful preacher & speaker • Founded the College of New Jersey (later became Princeton) • Leader of “The Great Awakening,” a religious revival that swept through New England from 1734-1750.
Jonathan Edwards • He believed that he had experienced grace as one of God’s elect and refused to serve communion to the non-elect; this upset many in his congregation • In 1750 he was dismissed as a minister after he publicly named those who had lapsed in their devotion, including influential members of the community