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The Puritans' New England

by: Mary Jo Davison Gould

The Puritans' New England HIS 315K

Marketplace > University of Texas at Austin > HIS 315K > The Puritans New England
Mary Jo Davison Gould

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About this Document

Learn about why they moved over into the new world and how they lived in the new world. Reach a deeper understanding about them and why they made the decisions they did.
Robert olwell
Class Notes
puritans, newengland, NewWorld, history, 1600s, ushisotry14921865, USHistory, olwell, ut, WeberThesis, earlymodern, neworder, jeancalvin
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mary Jo Davison Gould on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIS 315K at University of Texas at Austin taught by Robert olwell in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views.


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Date Created: 09/13/16
Date: 9/13 The Puritans’ New England  The term Puritan was originally an insult …. Important … Definition/terms Who were the puritans?  Ultra-Protestants  Sought to “Purify” the church of England of its remaining Catholic elements (sacraments, ceremony, and music)  No church or clergy intermediary between and individual and God  Distrusted individual judgement, so the ‘Godly” must come together in a church (to avoid error)  Each congregation would govern itself (elect its own minister), but meet with others in synod. Church and state, but no Hierarchy Religious and political radicals.  “No Bishop, No King!” – conflict with King James because of this and he tosses their idea aside Why become a “Puritan”  Mixed motives: o Intellectual/Religious reasons  They loved to get into religious arguments and read pamphlets, they enjoyed the subject. o Social/Political  Desire for order in a Catholic World  Dislike of beggars – dislike of charities because they encourage them  Self-disciple  Collective regulation o Economic/Psychological  Protestantism and Capitalism  Weber Thesis   Calling – moral duty to work  Economic success = spiritual grace  Did Puritanism help justify “selfish” acts (market based acts)?  Changed the way they were seen in the market because of their ‘one on one’ relationship with God. Why did the Puritans hate Players? (and vice-versa)  Their hatred of theater, after they cut off the kings head they closed down all of the theaters  Opposite responses to the same Phenomenon o Success in the Marketplace requires a ‘second self” o (What I really thing vs. What I tell you – Caveat Emptor) Date: 9/13  Through intense self-evaluation, and public testimony as to their ‘state of grace’, Puritans sought to expose their real, ‘inner self’, to the world: Visible Saints  Elizabethan Playwrights were fascinated by the possibilities of acting and imposture (“All the worlds a stage...” the aside) mocked puritans as busybodies and hypocrites Puritans and Progress (A matter of speaking)  In old England, puritans are: Radicals and Revolutionaries o Overthrow the old order (kill the king)  Once in the England, puritans become: Conservatives and Authoritarians o Build a new order (Kill Witches)  Puritans as “Early Modern” o Half-way stage between old and new  Freed from the chains of the old order puritans sought to bind themselves anew into a ‘new order’ (close-knit community)  Ying-Yang of freedom and authority in Puritan ideas Puritan Theology: A Primer  Jean Calvin, Geneva (Marian Exiles, 1553-58) - Geneva Bible  Calvinism: Five Key Tenets (T.U.L.I.P) o T= Total Depravity  Everyone is a hopeless sinner who deserves to go to hell o U=Unconditional Salvation  Salvation is a gift that no one deserves o L= Limited Atonement  Heaven is only for a select few o I= Irresistible Grace  If you are chosen for heaven you cannot resist, you’re going to heaven no matter what you ‘want’ o P= Predestination  God already knows who is going to heaven, even before you are born  IF god’s grace is within you then it would change the way you would act. Although you are predestined and you could act however you want because it would not change anything, people would take note of all the good they did because it could be a sign that they were going to be saved. o “Are you one of the saints” – people would ask if they believed you were one of the ones to be saved The Puritans’ “Errand into the Wilderness”  Immediate Incentives: o Economic Depression, 1620s  Collapse of the Wool Trades  God is destroying our trade to tell us to put away our business for something else o Political Frustration, 1628  Charles I’s “Personal rule” Date: 9/13  Gets rid of the parliament because he was tired of arguing with them about matters such as the Puritans  Went around checking ministers to see if they were who they were supposed to be – Catholic or Protestant (Not puritans) o Used the way they dressed to gage this because puritans were simple dressers (Black Robes) o Religious Harassment  “High Church vs. “Low Church”  High Church are the non-puritans who used music, candles and other things to dress up worship  Archbishop Laud and “through”  People aren’t allowing them to practice, although they are not really being killed, they are being harassed The Great Migration (A Select Few)  25,000 people traveled to New England in 12 years (1628-40)  Compared to: o Virginia 50000 o Caribbean 50000 o Ireland 125000  1600-1650  New England was the destination of only 10% of all English migrants, 1600- 1650  As a group, migrants to New England were older, wealthier, and had a more balanced sex ration A model of Christian Charity  Winthrop Fleet – 1630 o 11 Ships with 1000 people  Goals: o Build a New England – or “City upon a hill”  “City upon a hill” – They are the center of human history. All the eyes are on them to see their new society; they are on a hill.  The term today has become a ‘pat on the back’ phrase o Return, reform, and redeem Old England o Reform and redeem the whole world o End of Time (Last Judgement)  Typology o New England = Ancient Israel  A Modell of Christian Charitie – John Winthrop o ‘Printed on the ship and then passes around o God has created a variety of people (poor and rich, weak and strong)  So they have a ‘need’ for each other  Causes there to be a community  You require your neighbors for help o Community comes before the individual Date: 9/13  Not communist, they just believed that in the end the community is what matters most. Personal interest is still important, just not as important o Public vs. Private interest o Contract with God for this work  Go to America and build a model community  To show England what they meant all of these years. Prove themselves to the king  “New Model England”  Ultimate goal was to be invited back to England to build the same society there  Would hopefully reform the world.  If they fail, they will become notorious Creating Order in a Disorder World  Covenant Theology  Authority had to be communally constructed  Men could only be bound by their own consent  Example: Mayflower Compact  “we all agree to abide by the laws we make together’ The New England Town: a closed corporate community  Government (Town meeting) o All male property holders had a vote o Conformity (Consensus) rather than democracy was the goal  Economics (Land Distribution) o All married men got a share, but not all shares were equal balance between individual and community o Land was spread out. You could have land miles apart from each other o Everyone had a house lot in the center of town to keep everyone together  Newcomers were “warned out” o No share in land, no claim on town charity The Church: A fellowship of Saints  Only ‘Saints’ – those deemed to be in a state of grace – could be full of members of the church (but all had to attend) o The members of the church said they were saints because of their dedication. They say only about 1 In 100 (or 1,000) are saints and they proved they were because they left everything in old England  To join the church, one had to testify before the congregation, and face the judgement of the community o Talk about their relationship about God and then the town testifies against them  Politics and were religion were closely related but separate Date: 9/13  Fun Story: A person walked around with a pole with on one end a feather and the other end had a block of food. When a woman fell asleep they used the feather, when it was a man they used the piece of wood. How did the Puritans become Yankees?  English Civil War. 1640 – “Great Migration” stops and some people go back  Others expect New England to be the template for a post-war “New model England”- get their house in order for inspection  The Cambridge Platform, 1648: Purity (intolerance) is the key  Instead, to win the war, Puritans in England forge a united front, embrace toleration (of protestants), afterwards they ignore (and even rebuke) New England for its narrow-mindedness.  So what was the point (Cod instead of God?) o Cod (fish) – economic reason to stay


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