Puritans were a group of people that originated in the early 16th century from the Anglican church. They believed that the church needed to be “purified” because they thought that the churches hierarchy held too much power within the church itself. They believed that the common people, who were known as laity or lay members, should have more power within the church. When King James I rose to the throne in 1603, he along with much of the rulers of the House of Stuart to which he belonged, started to persecute the Puritans in order to maintain their power within the church. This in turn caused many Puritans to seek a new life in the world, many fleeing England for other places to live, namely the Netherlands and America. Puritans’ view of god was like that of most Christians in that they believed that God had supreme authority over all human affairs, especially within the church. This led them to seek moral purity down to the smallest detail. Puritans held that the interpretation of the Bible should be on a personal level and not decided by the church or leaders of the church. They also believed that the only head of church, in Heaven or Earth, was Christ. Puritans believed that the only true law was the Bible. They believed that through the bible one could find a plan for living. Puritans were a pessimistic group of people. They believed that man was inherently evil and that in order to be in God’s grace that he would have to work at it for most of his life. Some also believed in predestination and that it was impossible to enter God’s grace unless you were already chosen. Puritans believed that hard and diligent work would benefit not only the individual, but would also benefit the society as a whole. They believed that worldly success was a result of hard work and not a cause of personnel salvation. The family was the most important part of the Puritan society and it was here that much of religious scrutiny and instruction were found. If someone in the society did not have a family they were placed in one. To the Puritans God was the ultimate authority, but in regards to general society all government was in the hands of the saints. They alone could understand the will of God. While education makes someone a better person and makes them wiser to the puritans the primary reason of education was teach people how to read the bible. Puritans believed that man was inherently evil and that he needed constant guidance throughout his life. "Puritans." American Eras. 1997. Retrieved September 28, 2011 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G22536600394.html SEAVER, PAUL S.. "Puritanism." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. 2004. Retrieved September 28, 2011 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G23404900940.html MATHER, COTTON. (1692) The Trial of Martha Carrier.