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Puritan Ideology and the American Society - Essay Example

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Puritanism was an extreme form of Protestantism which maintained that the reformation the Anglican Church had undergone was not sufficient to make any effect. Although the Puritans migrated to different parts of the United States, Massachusetts Bay Colony constituted the main location of their activities. …
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Puritan Ideology and the American Society
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Download file to see previous pages Theoretically, the Puritans gave primary importance to purity or keeping themselves away from sinful way of life. They not only practiced moral values and holy acts by themselves but also intended to bring others to the same path. They proposed to encounter several difficulties and thorns throughout their way to salvation. The Puritans strived to proclaim a ‘True God’ to everyone even in hardest moments of persecution and exile. Undoubtedly, Puritans could influence the American society so significantly that it brought considerable level of reformation not only in faith and practice but also in every sphere of social life.
Puritans confronted numerous difficulties in the new land. First of all, the challenge of getting accustomed with environmental change was beyond imagination. Sudden climatic change had adverse effects on their survival as such changes were quite unfamiliar to them. For instance, due to the climatic changes many became the victims of various deadly diseases. Hence, the new land brought many hurdles against their missionary practices as well. Another major problem faced by the Puritans was nothing but interacting with the natives who had been following some extreme ideologies about spirituality. Moreover, the diverse tribes of the American society revolted against the Puritans and totally opposed their views, ideas and activities. According Miller (as qtd in Fischer), the voluntary following of scripture and meaningful obedience were the fundamental practices of the Puritans. Ultimately, this in turn caused a bit chaos in the state, making the lives of the Puritans uneasy and pathetic. However, they never abandoned their mission of preaching true God to the ignorant. Even today America has a sense of mission in all global issues, and this is one of the major influences of the Puritan thought. To illustrate, the community of Puritans had long cherished and well rationalized goal of spreading the gospel. Bradford said that the puritans considered themselves as chosen ones. “They believed themselves to be God’s “divinely chosen” people” and also it is well described that the focus of the puritans was individual’s personal religious experience trough purification of self and society” (as qtd in Carbone). They could not comprehend the ideology of the Church of England and hence they also strongly condemned certain religious practices and doctrines. Taking the human race to divinity was the primary goal of the community. More significantly, they took initiatives in bringing the fallen back to the true path. This ‘rise from the fall’ clearly illustrated their vision of creating a new world with authentic knowledge of God. Puritans who settled in Massachusetts Bay Colony followed their own ideology and practices in particular. The group of believers stick to their faith and followed all concerned rituals and ceremonies while neglecting or ignoring outsiders. According to Bradstreet, puritan ideology had an extraordinary or outstanding significance. “Puritanism was more than a religious belief; it was a way of life” (Parrish Co). Although Puritanism was no more a political entity after the seventeenth century, it continued to influence the social and political environment of the American life. The prominent American values like individualism, egalitarianism, and optimism are the outcome of Puritan influence during the colonial period. The Puritan ideology was acceptable to many ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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