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Any inventory of the elements that have gone into the making of the "American mind" would have to commence with Puritanism.It is, indeed, only one among many: if we should attempt to enumerate these traditions, we should certainly have to mention such philosophies, such "isms," as the rational liberalism of Jeffersonian democracy, the Hamiltonian conception of conservatism and government, the Southern theory of racial aristocracy, the Transcendentalism of nineteenth-century New England, and what is generally spoken of as frontier individualism.Church attendance was to be mandatory.• The Separatists (e.g., Pilgrims of Plymouth) broke away from the Church of England to establish their own communities for worship and some fled to Holland. The Puritans were also revolutionaries who fought a Civil War from 1642-49, executed Charles I and the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1649, and established a Commonwealth, which lasted until 1660, when the monarchy was restored with Charles II.
Puritanism may perhaps best be described as that point of view, that philosophy of life, that code of values, which was carried to New England by the first settlers in the early seventeenth century.
Beginning thus, it has become one of the continuous factors in American life and American thought.
As a consequence human beings distorted the truth, even God’s revealed truth.
For this reason, Samuel Mather (1643-1671) attributed all sin and misery to “hearkening to reason against Institution.” Nevertheless, men of learning could use right reason to interpret the Bible and to direct others.
(The resulting English Protestant church is called the Church of England, the Anglican Church, and English Catholicism.) By 1560, those who wished to continue purifying the Church of England were called Puritans.
The Puritans wanted to re-establish the original simplicity of the church by eliminating practices and church hierarchy which were not mentioned in the Bible.As Uriah Oakes explained: "Wisdom lies in the Rational Application of general rules of Scripture to ourselves and our own conditions, and in the introduction of particulars, and due Reasoning from it." Christians generally accept the position that God predestines or elects the good to salvation; the fate of sinners regarding salvation and damnation is an open issue.The Puritans, however, accepted Calvin's belief in double predestination: By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every person.Among these factors Puritanism has been perhaps the most conspicuous, the most sustained, and the most fecund.Its role in American thought has been almost the dominant one, for the descendants of Puritans have carved at least some habits of the Puritan mind into a variety of pursuits, have spread across the country, and in many fields of activity have played a leading part.The King gave his permission for the migration in order for England to acquire raw materials, to check the power of Spain, to find a new route to the Orient, and to convert the Indians.The Puritans saw in the Bible a rational and consistent doctrine, the covenant, which set forth rules and regulations which covered every aspect of life [covenant: (1) a binding and solemn agreement by 2 or more people, parties, etc.(This meant that about one in five adult males could vote.Each spring, the citizens or their representatives met in Boston to elect the governor, other officials, and members of the General Court.Before the vote, a minister gave an election sermon.)1692: Plymouth Colony was absorbed into Massachusetts Bay, by royal charter.The Charter of 1692 also appointed the governor and gave the right to vote to male property holders.