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English Settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South and Religious Diversity in the American Colonies


English Settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South and Religious Diversity in the American Colonies The Mayflower Compact (November 11, 1620 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Settlement of New England, the Mid-Atlantic region, and the South and Religious Diversity in the American Colonies

English Settlement of New England, the
Mid-Atlantic region, and the South and Religious
Diversity in the American Colonies
The Mayflower Compact (November 11, 1620)
  • On November 11, 1620, the Pilgrims got their
    first look at the New World when they saw Cape
  • The Pilgrim group had permission to settle in the
    northern part of Virginia (which in those days
    reached to present day New York).
  • When the "Mayflower" turned south, however, it
    ran into rough, shallow waters and became in
    danger of tipping over and sinking.
  • It was quickly decided to head back to the
    deeper, safer waters off the tip of Cape Cod. But
    now a decision had to be made. Was this where
    they should stay?
  • Since Cape Cod was outside the area they were
    supposed to settle in, the group agreed to write
    a "compact" or "self-governing" agreement.
  • This agreement became known as the Mayflower
  • It called for the election of a governor from
    amongst the members of their group (something
    they were already comfortable with from their
    church practices).
  • This was the first act of European
    self-government in the New World.

The Charter of New England (1620)
  • Below is a short excerpt from the Charter of New
    England issues by King James I of England in
  • This portion of the charter outlines the
    establishment of two colonies in New England,
    establishes a ruling council, and grants certain
    rights therein.JAMES, by the Grace of God,
    King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland,
    Defender of the Faith, c. to all whom these
    Presents shall come, Greeting, Whereas, upon the
    humble Petition of divers of our well disposed
    Subjects, that intended to make several
    Plantations in the Parts of America, between the
    Degrees of thirty-ffoure and ffourty-five

Plymouth Settlement c. 1630
The Migration of Massachusetts Puritans
John Winthrop City upon a Hill (1630)
  • John Winthrop was a Puritan Englishman whose
    attempts to purify the Church of England ended in
  • The Puritans felt that separating from the Church
    should be a last resort as they wanted to remain
    loyal to the crown.
  • Winthrop saw the endeavor of the Massachusetts
    Bay Company to establish a colony as an
    opportunity to leave England and worship God in a
    way that was pleasing to Him.
  • Leaving his expecting wife and his first son in
    England for the first year, Winthrop joined the
    first group of settlers on their way to the New
  • While onboard the ship, he wrote City upon a
    Hill, which was the Puritan vision of the New

Richard Mather The Cambridge Platform (1648)
  • Richard Mather (1596-1669), minister at
    Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1636-1669, was a
    principal spokesman for and defender of the
    Congregational form of church government in New
  • In 1648, he drafted the Cambridge Platform, the
    definitive description of the Congregational
    system. Mathers son, Increase (1639-1723), and
    grandson, Cotton (1663-1728), were leaders of New
    England Congregationalism in their generations.

  • The Cambridge Platform is a declaration of
    principles of church government and discipline,
    forming a constitution of the Congregational
  • It was adopted by a church synod at Cambridge,
    Mass., and remains the basis of the temporal
    government of the churches.
  • It had little to do with matters of doctrine and
    belief. The Congregationalists of Connecticut
    later subscribed (1708), in the Saybrook
    Platform, to a more centralized church
    government, resembling Presbyterianism.

Cotton Mather
The Salem Witch Trials The Case of Sarah Good
  • From June through September of 1692, nineteen men
    and women, all having been convicted of
    witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren
    slope near Salem Village, for hanging.
  • Another man of over eighty years was pressed to
    death under heavy stones for refusing to submit
    to a trial on witchcraft charges.
  • Hundreds of others faced accusations of
    witchcraft dozens languished in jail for months
    without trials until the hysteria that swept
    through Puritan Massachusetts subsided.

The Examination of Sarah Good (March 1, 1692)
  • The examination of Sarah Good before the
  • Assts John Harthorn Jonathan Curren
  • H.) Sarah Good what evil spirit have you
    familiarity with
  • (S G) none
  • (H) have you made no contract with the devil,
  • (g) good answered no
  • (H) why doe you hurt these children
  • (g) I doe not hurt them. I scorn it.
  • (H) who doe you imploy then to doe it
  • (g) no creature but I am falsely accused
  • (H) why did you go away muttering from mr Parris
    his house
  • (g) I did not mutter but I thanked him for what
    he gave my child
  • (H) have you made no contract with the devil
  • (g) no

Ergot of Rye
  • One possible explanation of the witch craze that
    led up to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 is ergot
  • Ergot is a fungus which grows on rye, which was
    commonly used for bread at that time.
  • To the untrained eye, the ergot fungus looks like
    a natural part of the plant.
  • The symptoms of ergot poisoning are similar to
    those described during the Salem Witch Trials.

Father Andrew White, S.J. On Settlement in
  • The "Apostle to Maryland," Father Andrew White
    (1579-1656), described the celebration of the
    first mass upon the arrival of the Ark and the
  • "We celebrated mass for the first time . . . .
    This had never been done before in this part of
    the world. After we had completed the sacrifice,
    we took upon our shoulders a great cross that we
    had hewn out of a tree, and advancing in order to
    the appointed place . . . we erected a trophy to
    Christ the Savior, humbly reciting, on our bended
    knees, the Litanies of the sacred Cross, with
    great emotion."

  • Maryland was the last major English colony to be
    established on the continent of North America
    before the English civil war temporarily brought
    colonization to a halt.
  • The promotional efforts leading to the
    establishment of Maryland differed significantly
    from those employed to establish Virginia or New
  • Where the promoters of Virginia had been
    merchants and the promoters of New England the
    colonists themselves, the promoter of Maryland
    was a single nobleman, Lord Baltimore.
  • The land on which Maryland took root had been
    granted by the king to Lord Baltimore to use as
    he saw fit.
  • In becoming the proprietor and organizing the
    colony as his own feudal domain, Lord Baltimore
    designated it as a refuge for Catholics, who,
    being a minority in England like the Puritans,
    also felt restricted by the Church of England.
  • The proprietor granted land to persons who would
    finance colonists to come to the New World,
    reserving for himself an annual quitrent from the
  • Like New England, Maryland held out to
    prospective colonists the prospect of wider
    freedoms than they enjoyed in England and a
    potentially higher standard of living.

The Maryland Toleration Act (1649)
  • In 1649, Catholics in the Maryland Assembly
    passed an act stipulating that no Trinitarian
    Christian "shall from henceforth be any waies
    troubled, molested, or discountenanced, for, or
    in respect of his or her religion nor in the free
    exercise thereof within this Province."
  • Though as similar ones in Rhode Island and
    Pennsylvania, which brought theists within their
    purview, it was another in a series of
    progressive measures taken by early American
    colonists to emancipate themselves from the
    European belief in enforced religious

Catholic Church at St. Mary's City, Maryland
The First Virginia Charter (April 10, 1606)
  • Virginia received three charters, one in 1606,
    another in 1609, and the third in 1612.
  • The differences among the three charters lie
    primarily in the territorial jurisdiction of the
    company, not in the right to govern the colony.
  • In 1609, the "sea to sea" provision was inserted,
    and in 1612 jurisdiction was extended eastward
    from the Virginia shores to include islands, such
    as Bermuda, in the Atlantic.
  • From the outset the Virginia Company was granted
    the authority to govern its own colony. A ruling
    council in England, composed of members of the
    joint-stock company who were usually merchants of
    great distinction, was formed immediately after
    King James I granted the charter of 1606.

  • The councilors were appointed ostensibly by the
    king, but in reality were nominated by the
    membership, or more often, by the inner executive
    group of the company.
  • The council in England issued instructions to the
    first settlers appointing a colonial council to
    make daily decisions.
  • This group proved ineffective, and a governor,
    Lord Delaware, was eventually appointed. Acting
    under the council in England, the governor had
    absolute power. The authority to establish or
    alter a government in Virginia was based upon the
    charter granted by the king in this sense, the
    king delegated some of his power to others.

King James I of England
Instructions for the Virginia Colony (1606)
  • In the first decade of the seventeenth century
    England began a second round of colonizing
  • This time joint-stock companies were used as the
    vehicle to plant settlements rather than giving
    extensive grants to a landed proprietor such as
    Gilbert or Raleigh, whose attempts at
    colonization in the 1570s and 1580s had failed.
  • The founding of Virginia marked the beginning of
    a twenty-five year period in which every colony
    in the New World was established by means of a
    joint-stock company.

Captain Christopher Newport
  • A variety of motives intensified the colonizing
    impulse - international rivalry, propagation of
    religion, enlarged opportunity for individual men
    - but none exceeded that of trade and profit.
  • The companies were created to make a profit
    their in vestments in the colonies were based on
    this assumption.
  • In these instructions for the Virginia Company,
    the power of Spain and the fear derived from past
    failures invade every line. The detail and
    precision of the instructions reflect the work of
    experienced men Richard Hakluyt, the younger,
    for example, probably had a hand in writing them.

"When it shall please God to send you on the
coast of Virginia, you shall do your best
endeavour to find out a safe port in the entrance
of some navigable river make choice of that
which bendeth most toward the North-West for that
way you shall soonest find the other sea"
Laws and Documents Relating to Religion in Early
Virginia, 1606-1660
  • When historians write about the earliest days of
    English settlement in North America, it is common
    for them to portray Puritan New England as being
    fundamentally different from Virginia.
  • The religious zeal of the New Englanders, it is
    believed, was far greater than that of the
    settlers of Virginia.
  • This is undoubtedly true to a certain extent.
    Most people emigrated to Virginia to make money
    or seek a fresh start, not to find religious

  • But it would be a mistake to conclude that
    because Virginia was more secular than New
    England that it was without significant religious
    influences and institutions.
  • From its earliest days, religion played a vital
    role in the colony of Virginia.
  • Its first charters enjoined the colonists to
    spread the Christian religion to the native
    inhabitants of the land and to remain faithful to
    it themselves, on threat of imprisonment.
  • Ministers came with the first boatloads of
    Englishmen, and based on their writings and
    actions, it is difficult to question the piety of
    the first settlers.
  • After some years, the first Virginia Assembly,
    writing that "mens affairs doe little prosper
    where Gods service is neglected," enacted a
    number of laws mandating observance of the
    Sabbath, weekly church attendance, and taxes for
    the support of church and clergy.

Religion in Early Virginia July 30 and August 4,
  • The representatives who gathered for the initial
    meetings of the first representative assembly in
    the New World dealt extensively with religion.
  • The very first order of business for this group
    of leading Virginians was a prayer.
  • Later in this session, legislation was passed
    relating to religious expression that makes clear
    the extensive ties between church and state in
    the early years of settlement.
  • According to historian Perry Miller, the assembly
    "enacted a series of religious laws that are a
    match for anything to be found in Puritan
    societies." Perry Miller, "Religion and Society
    in the Early Literature of Virginia," Errand into
    the Wilderness (Cambridge, Mass., 1956), 105.
  • These are laws describing relationship between
    church and state and regulating religious

Religion in Early Virginia March 5, 1624
October 16, 1629 February 24, 1632
  • Throughout the first half of the seventeenth
    century, many laws relating to religion, some
    quite severe, were passed by the Jamestown
  • All show clearly the extent to which religion
    played a central role in the government of
  • These are laws relating the extent to which
    religion played a central role in the government
    of Virginia.

Old Church, Jamestown, Virginia (built 1639)
Religion in Early Virginia 1640-1649
  • Laws establishing the role of Ministers in
  • Ministers of the colony are bound to "examine,
    catechise, and instruct the youth" based on the
    Book of Common Prayer, a collection of prayers
    for use in Anglican ceremonies.
  • Of course, Puritans and other dissenters in
    Virginia were unwilling to consent to such a

A Puritan worship service
Religion in Early Virginia April 10 and November
20, 1606
  • These are laws regulating basic religious
    observances, attendance, and tithing.
  • "We greatly commending , and graciously accepting
    of, their desires for the furtherance of so noble
    a work, which may, by the providence of Almighty
    God, hereafter tend to the glory of his divine
    Majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to
    such peo ple, as yet live in darkness and
    miserable ignorance of the true knowledge and
    worship of God, and may in time bring the
    infidels and savages, living in those parts, to
    human civility, and to a settled and quiet
    government. Hening, I, 58."

An early depiction of a Virginia Native American
Religion in Early Virginia March 2, 1643
  • There were numerous laws enacted by the General
    Assembly in Jamestown relating to the
    establishment of the Anglican Church.
  • In many cases, adherents to other religions were
    explicitly prohibited from worshipping.
  • Catholics were among the first to be singled out
    by the Jamestown government.
  • This law established the Anglican Church as the
    official religion of the colony and prohibiting
    other religions.
  • Although the laws against Catholics were not as
    strict in colonial Virginia as they were in
    England and Scotland (depicted at right), this
    image does show the general attitude of those
    coming from England towards Catholicism.

A Jesuit Disemboweled
Religion in Early Virginia 1643
  • In 1643, after Sir William Berkeley became
    governor of the colony, a group of Puritan
    settlers in Nansemond County petitioned the New
    England Puritans, then led by Governor John
    Winthrop, for pastors to minister to them.
  • The Puritans arrived in 1643, but the Jamestown
    government was unwilling to tolerate any
    divergence from the practices of the Church of
  • Law was passed in an attempt to expel the
    dissenting pastors from Virginia.

Sir William Berkeley
Religion in Early Virginia November 3, 1647
  • By 1647, the pastors from New England had been
    forced to leave, but the Puritan residents of
    Nansemond and Lower Norfolk Counties were still
    worshipping as they saw fit, and thereby not
    abiding by the canons of the Church of England.
  • Characteristic of their practices, the Book of
    Common Prayer was not used in religious services,
    a direct violation of Virginia law.
  • Interestingly, by this time, the Book of Common
    Prayer had been banned in England by the Puritans
    in Parliament.

Religion in Early Virginia December 1, 1656
  • Throughout the seventeenth century, there was a
    shortage of ministers in the Chesapeake region.
  • According to both contemporaries and historians,
    probably only about one in five parishes was
    supplied with a minister in the mid-seventeenth
  • In 1656, a law was passed establishing a
    financial reward for bringing a man of God into
    the colony.

An Anglican Priest's Credentials
Religion in Early Virginia March 13, 1660
  • In 1660, Sir William Berkeley regained his
    position at the head of the Jamestown government,
    having retired from political life during the
    rule of Virginia by the Commonwealth government
    appointed from England.
  • After the Restoration, Berkeley was reinstated.
  • Immediately the government began to take steps to
    eliminate the latest threat to its established
    church, the Society of Friends, better known as
    the Quakers.

A Quaker Meeting
Multimedia Citation
  • Slide 1 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc00
  • Slide 3 http//loki.stockton.edu/gilmorew/0colhi
  • Slide 4 http//www.utexas.edu/courses/his315k/lec
  • Slide 6 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc00
  • Slide 7 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/f010
  • Slide 8 http//www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/
  • Slide 10 http//www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/won
  • Slide 11 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc0
  • Slide 13 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vcj
  • Slide 15 http//www.hfac.uh.edu/gbrown/philosophe
  • Slide 16 http//oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/e
  • Slide 18 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc0
  • Slide 21 http//www.americaslibrary.gov/assets/jb
  • Slide 22 http//www.nd.edu/rbarger/www7/pur1.jpg
  • Slide 23 http//www.indiana.edu/liblilly/etexts/
  • Slide 24 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/f01
  • Slide 25 http//www.etsu.edu/cas/history/resource
  • Slide 26 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc0
  • Slide 27 http//www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/vc0
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