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The New England Colonies

The New England settlers were motivated by religions, unlike the Jamestown settlers who were motivated by economic prosperity. The New England colonists were unhappy with the Church of England, and the Pilgrims and the Puritans sought to recreate society in the manner they believed God truly intended it to be.

In the 1500s, British King Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church of Rome. The new Church of England, under the king’s leadership, was not accepted by all the people of England. At first, the battles were waged between English Catholics and the followers of the new church, the Anglicans. England became a nation of many traditional faiths.

The Pilgrims, called the Separatists in England because of their desire to separate from the Anglican Church, were persecuted by agents of the throne. The Puritans, so named for their desire to purify the Church of England, experienced the same degree of harassment. Each group decided that England was no place to put their controversial beliefs into practice.

Catholics and the Puritans felt the New World was the place to raise children without the corruption of old English religious ideas. The chance to create a perfect society was there for the taking. The Stuart kings saw America as a means to get rid of troublemakers. Everything was falling into place. By 1620, the seeds for a new society, quite different from the one already established at Jamestown, were planted deeply within the souls of a few brave pioneers. Their quest would form the basis of New England society.


Source: The New England Colonies
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