English II—Pre AP
Who were the Puritans?
They were a group of people who grew
discontent in the Church of England and worked
towards religious, moral and societal reforms.
The Puritans believed that the Bible was God's
true law, and that it provided a plan for living.
Puritans stripped away the traditional trappings
and formalities of Christianity which had been
slowly building throughout the previous 1500
years. Theirs was an attempt to "purify" the
church and their own lives.
Facts about Puritans cont.
• Most of the Puritans settled in
the New England area. As they
immigrated and formed
individual colonies, their
numbers rose from 17,800 in
1640 to 106,000 in 1700.
Religious exclusiveness was
the foremost principle of their
society. The spiritual beliefs
that they held were strong.
This strength held over to
include community laws and
customs. Since God was at the
forefront of their minds, He
was to motivate all of their
actions. This premise worked
both for them and against them
CRUISE THE ATLANTIC—CRUISE SHIP REVIEWS
Travel Guide for the “PURE”
Their interpretation of scriptures
was a harsh one. They
emphasized a redemptive piety.
In principle, they emphasized
conversion and not repression.
Conversion was a rejection of the
"worldliness" of society and a
strict adherence to Biblical
principles. While repression was
not encouraged in principle, it
was evident in their actions. 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
The doctrine of predestination kept all Puritans constantly working
to do good in this life to be chosen for the next eternal one.
God had already chosen who
would be in heaven or hell, and
each believer had no way of
knowing which group they were
in. 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. 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.
The great tempter…
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
We have school, thanks to
With the Puritans, free schooling was offered for all
children. 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.
Every good puritan must read!
The motive to educate was largely religious. In
order for Puritans to become holy, they needed
to read the Scriptures. As the articles of faith
of 1549 had proclaimed, “holy Scripture
containeth all thingS neceSSary to Salvation.”
Types of Puritan
All religious and
The VIP’s of Puritan Literature
William Bradford (March 19, 1590
– May 9, 1657) was a leader of the
separatist settlers of the Plymouth
Colony in Massachusetts, and was
elected Governor of the Colony for 15
two-year terms. He was the second
signer and primary architect of the
Mayflower Compact. He also wrote
another one after the first one had
been destroyed. His journal was
published as Of Plymouth Plantation.
Bradford is credited as the first to
proclaim what popular American
culture now views as the first
Puritan or Pilgrim? Or both?
Do you know the difference?
► Puritan: A Puritan of 16th and 17th century
England was any person seeking "purity" of
worship and doctrine, especially the parties that
rejected the Protestant Reformation of the Church
► Pilgrim: A pilgrim is one who undertakes a
religious pilgrimage, literally 'far afield'. This is
traditionally a visit to a place of some religious
significance; often a considerable distance is
traveled. In the United States the word "Pilgrims"
usually refers to the first European settlers of New
England, who celebrated the "First Thanksgiving"
with the Native Americans in 1621.
HOW TO LOOK GOOD IN BLACK & WHITE: A
PURITAN DIVA’S GUIDE
Puritans wore a simply cut, plain
costume in black with white collar
and cuffs. No lace edged.
The ladies' tucked their hair away
under plain caps and the gentlemen
wore plain, high crowned hats.
Personal adornment was against
Puritan Essential Beliefs
The Puritans had two major beliefs, The Doctrine of the
Elect and Theocracy. The Doctrine of the Elect better
known as predestination or foreordination is the belief
that when a person is born or at any time later in their
life, they might be chosen by God to become one of the
Elect, which is one of the people who would receive
divine salvation. Those who were not among the select
would not receive divine salvation. There is nothing that
a person could do to be chosen, it was entirely
predestined by God. No amount of good works,
righteous living or moral behavior could help a person
achieve this status. Since no one knew if they were one
of the Elect, everyone lived a good life in order to be
prepared for being elected when the day came.
Beliefs and Ideologies cont.
The Puritans also believed that if God could elect
certain people to be saved, then the Devil could
select certain people to be bewitched. The Devil,
to the Puritans, was an active enemy to mankind
because they accepted the story that the Devil
was once one of God’s angels who had fallen from
grace, and that now the Devil’s job is to
continually try to destroy what God has made.
The Puritans had a strict view of sin and they
thought that everyone was constantly tempted by
the Devil to sin. They also believed that once
someone did sin they must openly confess, then
repent and finally do some sort of penance.
Without this open confession, there would be way
for that person to be saved.
More Puritanical thoughts…
The Puritans second belief is that of Theocracy.
Theocracy is the belief in a government that is
totally controlled by the church. If a person was
not a member of the church, they could not vote
in elections or hold offices. The ministers were
the main officers and administrators of the civil
government. If a person does not know the
beliefs or rules of the church they become a
suspect of many things. The church was very
powerful and held most of its authority.
SALVATION: IT CAN BE YOURS
THANKSGIVING: IMPRESS YOUR FAMILY WITH A TOAST
Here's to the great American bird,
Who has fettered our heart with his
'Till no Thanksgiving can seem
Without the turkey on the table
•Here's to the venturesome Puritans,
Of valiant Mayflower stock;
And here's to the good old boat that
Somewhere off Plymouth Rock.
•Then here's a health to all of you
Who're glad that you're a-living,
And may you see much cause for
To celebrate Thanksgiving.