The Puritans: Purity and Problems

New England Colonies

Brainstorming

George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867

Brainstorming

• Differences between Chesapeake and Puritan settlements?

– Religious focus – freedom?

– Came as families – Close knit, family and community centered – Literate – Middling sort – Longer life span – Better conditions: willing and able farmers – Better conditions: better environment

Thoughts on the Painting?

• What message was the artist trying to convey about the Puritans?

• Does the painting contain any indication of problems or conflicts in Puritan life?

Thoughts on the Painting?

• What message was the artist trying to convey about the Puritans?

– Positive portrayal; tight-knit community; religious devotion; families; male leaders; religious leadership; belief despite harsh environment • Does the painting contain any indication of problems or conflicts in Puritan life?

– Look unhappy; have to carry guns for protection on way to church; fear of attack?; bad relations with Indians

Major Themes & Questions

• Who were the Puritans?

• What did they believe?

• Why did they come to North America?

• Differences from Chesapeake settlers?

• The Puritan Covenants – Inclusion and Exclusion • Conflicts between purity and living in the “real world” – Religious conflicts – inclusion and exclusion – Land Hunger & Conflicts with Native Americans – Economic issues and problems – Conflicts with England

Puritan Religious Beliefs

Christianity in England

Catholic Church Church of England (Henry VIII) Pilgrims (Separatists) Puritans (Non-separatists) Anglicans

Goals of Purification

• Puritans part of longer Protestant Reformation • Puritans wanted to apply John Calvin’s principles to –

purify Rejected hierarchy

Anglican Church – More Biblical, literal interpretation of Bible of Catholic Church – “popish” – no one should get between individual and God –

Rejected rituals

Rejected trends in English society

– crime, commerce, lack of tradition – They liked Anglican break with Catholic Church, but believed A.C. was corrupt – thought they could reform A.C. from within – Charles I & Anglicans persecuted Puritans for criticisms – pushed them to North America and Europe

First Euro Settlers in MA Colony

• Comparing Pilgrims and Puritans • Pilgrims (separatists) first settlers in 1620, but few in number • • Plymouth Plantation was a backwater

Puritan Great Migration

began in 1630 • 40,000 colonists in decade, so dominated colony • Puritans formed a joint stock company – Massachusetts Bay Co.

• Left meeting place blank, so held meetings in New England

to get away from English control

Puritan Beliefs

• •

Original sin

– humans born sinful – “In Adam’s Fall, We Sinned All” in N.E. schoolbooks

Predestination

– John Calvin – God had plan for all humans, but it was unknown to all – God only chose some people to be saved from Hell – One could live well, have revelatory experience (God revealed), then prob. going to heaven – but still up to God • Puritans adapted Calvin’s beliefs – God was rational – one could be pretty sure of salvation •

Life on earth

salvation – would be good indicator of

live religious life, work hard

• Puritan diaries filled with angst about whether they would be chosen for heaven

Puritans vs. Chesapeake:

Based on what you learned about the Chesapeake colonies, how would you compare Puritan MA?

Puritans Chesapeake

Puritans vs. Chesapeake:

Based on what you learned about the Chesapeake colonies, how would you compare Puritan MA?

Puritans

• Puritans focused on controlling behavior while on earth – punishment on earth for bad behavior • Puritans more religiously motivated • Required to go to Church • No separation of Church and state • Migrated as families and lived longer • More healthy enviro.

Chesapeake

• Profit motive • Individualism • Religion not as central • Dispersed settlements • Majority of population were indentured servants • Free-wheeling in first generations • Gender imbalance • Unhealthy enviro., death normal thing

Puritan Migration

Puritans came as families

, multiple generations • More

balanced sex ratio

than Chesapeake • Lower mortality rates – 1 st old generation = 72 yrs • Healthier environment, less disease •

7/8 of children reached adulthood

• Compare to Chesapeake migration and settlement

Puritan Settlement and the Land

• John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 – Compares Puritans to Israelites – chosen by God – Old Testament rationale – Right to make war on N.A.

– Duty to spread religion • Thoughts? Criticisms?

Puritan Settlement and the Land

• John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 – God gives land to chosen people – People placed on land – passive – Justified war against heathens – Vacant land or unused can be taken – Migration and settlement justified to ‘gain knowledge’, profit economically, use talents, or plant a colony/church – To flee persecution or debts • Thoughts? Criticisms?

Covenant: Puritan Migration, Settlement, and Leadership

• John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630 •

Covenants

on diff. levels: bound family, community, group, classes, and God together • Different forms of covenantal bonds in Winthrop’s “Modell”?

Covenant: Puritan Migration, Settlement, and Leadership

• John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630 •

Covenants

on diff. levels: bound family, community, group, classes, and God together • Different forms of covenantal bonds in Winthrop’s “Modell”?

– Between Puritans and God – success = God’s approval – Covenant between individual and God – Christian life, belief = good hope for salvation (heaven) – Covenant of settlement and migration – City Upon a Hill – symbol to Europe – Covenant between leaders and led; wealthy and poor

Family Covenant

• Family Life –

Patriarchal family

– man was head of household; women expected to marry and have children; unmarried looked down upon or spurned – Relationships between husband and wife? ( Bradstreet poems ) • Loving, companionate marriage • Focus on earthly love and devotion • Women’s role = family, home, religious devotion • Pride in children and growth of family – Conflicts between love and patriarchy?

Covenant & The Land

Relationship between covenant and settlement on land:

– Puritans wanted

competency

– enough land to live on – focus on subsistence at first, not as much on profits for self or king – But

not equality

– prominent deserved more land – Focus on

community

– town decided which land would be used, worked on what day – Town meeting – at first, only elect (saved) voted, had best interests of community – Covenant bound church and community members to town and land – Focus on benefits to

included

members – keeping out

excluded

“others” – Different methods of settlement than Chesapeake

Trouble in the City on a Hill

• •

Religious dissenters

– problems of inclusion and exclusion, purity and tolerance

Land Hunger

Americans – conflicts with Native •

Economic problems

Relations with England/Crown

• Question: What issues or problems strengthened the Puritan covenant? Which weakened it?

Angst

Puritan Religious Problems

George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867

Roger Williams

• Roger Williams – critical of Puritan leadership and values – raised issues of P exclusion and intolerance – Believed to be more dangerous b/c he was a minister – Disagreed with church leadership on relationship between church and state – Believed in toleration – people shouldn’t be forced to join or attend church – Exclusion was wrong – Disagreed on treatment and relations with Native Americans – Williams believed N.A. deserved respect; relations of peace; bargaining or buying of land – Williams banished from MA in 1636; founded R.I. in 1644

Anne Hutchinson

• Came to MA in 1634, was a midwife and educated by father • Held religious meetings in her home and discussed sermons of ministers • Accused of heresies: teaching men, evaluating ministers’ beliefs, antinomianism (belief that God was talking directly to her) • Banished from MA

Anne Hutchinson

• Trial transcript • Major issues?

Anne Hutchinson

• Trial transcript • Major issues?

– Women’s role in church – Male dominated – Who has right to relate to God? Interpret God’s will or message?

– Tradition vs. change – Maintaining purity through exclusion – Can community or covenant remain strong with dissent?

Salem Witch Trials, 1692

Combination of social, economic, religious, and cultural factors led to witch hunt and trials

• Puritan belief in witches not unique, but heightened focus on

outcasts, women, poor

exclusionary tendency in Puritan life

Focus on conformity, correct women’s roles in society

• Heightened surveillance of others b/c of frontier Indian war and commercial development being witch outsiders – suspicion of others, constant rumors • Tituba, a slave, crystal ball, hysterical young women accused T of • Two Sarahs (Goode and Osgoode) accused of casting spells, one typical outcast, the other an argumentative woman • Tituba confessed and accused dozens of others • 48 people claimed spells put on them • 200 accused; 50 confessed – why? -- Confessors wouldn’t be executed, but had to rat out teachers of witchcraft

Religious Change

• Problem of

declension

– 2nd and 3rd generations not as religious – What could be done to increase membership and those saved? – worry that children wouldn’t go to heaven – Halfway covenant, 1662 – children of members could participate in church – way of appealing to younger generations to become involved • Problem of of experience led to divisions, criticism of leaders – 1 st and 2 nd

religious schism

Great Awakening – search for purity – Reform movements – perfection on earth

Puritans: Problems of “Real Life”

• Main Topics: – Puritan Land Hunger – Relations with Native Americans – Wars – Economic problems and issues – Relations with England • Question: What issues or problems strengthened the Puritan covenant? Which weakened it?

• Or, put another way: What issues of “real life” challenged or changed Puritan beliefs?

Covenant & The Land (Review)

Relationship between covenant and settlement on land:

– Puritans wanted

competency

– enough land to live on – focus on subsistence at first, not as much on profits for self or king – But

not equality

– prominent deserved more land – Focus on

community

– town decided which land would be used, worked on what day – Town meeting – only elect (saved) voted, had best interests of community – Covenant bound church and community members to town and land – Focus on benefits to

included

– keeping out

excluded

– Different methods of settlement than Chesapeake

Puritans and the Land (Review)

• John Cotton, “The Divine Right to Occupy the Land,” 1630 – God gives land to chosen people – People placed on land – passive – Justified war against heathens – Vacant land or unused can be taken – Migration and settlement justified to ‘gain knowledge’, profit economically, use talents, or plant a colony/church – To flee persecution or debts • Thoughts? Criticisms?

The Land: N.A.s vs. Puritans

• N.A.s and Puritans thought about and used the land differently • They formed diff. economies and had diff. environmental impacts • N.A. practices had less impact on enviro.

• Puritans brought attitude toward enviro. from England • But N.A. did actively change enviro. to live • N.A. land practices benefited Puritans • Puritans and N.A. had diff. definitions of property • Puritan def. of property required N.A. exclusion, brought about greater enviro. change

Native American Power and Influence

• Native American traditions of power and influence – tactics?

– Intermarriage with other clans – Ability to muster support, respect – Reciprocal gift giving and exchange – Cementing of alliances – War as one option – Use of captives to replace those lost in war • Pequot War and King Philip’s War show breakdown of traditional tactics

Pequot War, 1637

• Context: prior diseases decimated tribes, power vacuum • Relations between tribes and clans threatened by European settlement - competition among tribes for influence with Europeans for fur trade • Mohegans allied with English; Pequots with Dutch • Attacks on Pequot traders; predatory Euro. traders broke rules of reciprocity: gifts between groups sign of respect, alliance, rather than just commercial transaction • Competition and attacks between Indians and allies • Conflict over land in CT river valley • Pequots already had more positive relationships with Dutch and French fur traders – D & F were willing to engage in reciprocal relations of trade

Pequot War (continued)

• Difference between fur trade and settled farmers • Puritans wanted land and permanent settlement • Pequots preferred reciprocity of fur trade • Narragansetts and Puritans had close relations, so Puritans got Ns to attack Pequots • Puritans not happy with progress of war, so wiped out Pequots • Used Bible to justify war; test of their will; Bible justified Israel’s decimation of other tribes too

Pequots caught between expanding Puritan settlements

Pequot War, Mystic Massacre

• Puritan leaders called out the militia and enlisted dissident Pequots and some 500 Narragansetts to help attack a Pequot fort on the Mystic River • Shelter for Pequot women and children • English surrounded the fort, set fire to it, and killed many of the Pequot people who tried to escape • Between 400 and 700 died • Puritans hunted down Pequot men • • Few survivors were handed over to the native allies of the English as payment for their services or were sold into slavery to other colonies

Question: Were Pequots victims?

Pequot village near present-day Mystic, CT – site of massacre

Puritans and Indians

George Henry Boughton, “The Early Puritans of New England Going to Church,” 1867

King Philip’s War, 1675-77

• Wampanoags had been decimated by disease early in century; had used whites for protection • King Philip, or Metacomet, Chief of Wampanoags – unhappy with treatment of N.A.: punishment for crimes; land-hungry expansion; bad treaties that ripped-off N.A.

• K.P. convinced Ws and Narragansetts to unite to fight whites • Got within 20 miles of Boston; defeated several towns • Of 90 Puritan towns, 52 attacked • 1/7 of Puritan towns destroyed - took 40 years to rebuild and resettle lands Puritans had before war • Insecurity created by war had impact on Puritan mentality and religious belief – Suspicion and paranoia contributed to Salem witch hunt – Puritans questioned why God had punished them

King Philip’s War (continued)

• Philip reached out to Mohawks to join war against Puritans • Instead, Mohawks attacked and defeated Wampanoags and Narragansetts • King Philip/Metacomet killed by musket fire in 1677 • @600 whites and 8000 Native Americans killed • Whites gained control of land area • Mohawks and Iroquois became leading intermediaries in trade with whites and Native Americans •

Question: Did King Philip have power?

• Lesson: Europeans affected Native American politics and power relations; played tribes against one another; certain tribes took advantage of situation for increase power

Democracy in MA?

• Based on what you now know, do you think MA was a democracy? • Why or why not?

Challenges to Puritan Life?

• Future problems?