They believed that reading the Bible was the best way to understand God.
The Puritans were stereotyped as dour killjoys by their enemies.
The Puritans' disdain for excess and opposition to many holidays popular in Europe lent themselves to caricature.
Puritans believed in a middle path in a corrupt world.
Puritans advocated a simpler worship service, the abolition of ornate churches, and other reforms in the first century after the English Reformation.
The Puritans gained an implacable foe that cast English Puritans as excessive and dangerous after King Charles I was crowned.
Between 1630 and 1640, twenty thousand people traveled to New England to escape persecution.
The Puritans decamped to North America to reform the Church of England, unlike the small band of "Pilgrims" who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620.
The Puritans formed a community in America that would be a "City on a Hill" and an example for reformers back home.
The Puritans did not succeed in building a utopia in New England, but a combination of Puritan characteristics and external factors created a different region.
Unlike those heading to Virginia, New England colonists arrived in family groups.
When they arrived in New England, they tended to recreate their home environments.
The system of large landholders using slaves or indentured servants to grow labor-intensive crops never took off because of the impracticality of large-scale plantation agriculture.
There is no evidence that the New England Puritans would have posed such a system, other Puritans made their fortunes on the Caribbean sugar islands, and New England merchants profited as suppliers of provisions and slaves to those colonies.
New England society was less divided than any of Britain's other colonies because of geography.
Although New England colonies could boast wealthy landholding elites, the disparity of wealth in the region remained narrow.
Small farms, shops, fishing, lumber, shipbuilding, and trade with the Atlantic World made New England a broadly shared modest prosperity in the 17th century.
The region of remarkable health and stability was produced by a combination of environmental factors.
New England immigrants avoided the disease that turned the colonies into graveyards.
English settlement and relations to Native Americans were aided by disease.
The Puritans confronted the stunned survivors of a biological catastrophe, unlike other English colonists who had to contend with powerful Native American neighbors.
As much as 90 percent of the region's Native American population was wiped out by a deadly outbreak of smallpox in the 1610s.
Many survivors welcomed the English as potential allies against their rivals.
By 1700, the New England population had grown to 91,000 people from only 21,000 immigrants because of the relatively healthy environment, political stability and predominance of family groups among early immigrants.
The New England Puritans set out to build their utopia by creating communities of the godly.
Groups of men from the same region of England applied to the colony's General Court for land grants, which they divided into parts for immediate use and the rest for future generations.
The inhabitants of the town decided the size of each home lot on the basis of their current wealth and status.
The town restricted membership and new arrivals needed to apply for admission.
Town governments that were not democratic by modern standards, but still had broad popular involvement, could be participated in by those who gained admittance.
All male property holders could vote in town meetings and choose their own officials to conduct the daily affairs of government.
The Puritans believed in a God's covenant with his people.
The Church and Towns sought to resolve disputes.
People were persuaded, corrected, or coerced.
People who did not conform to community standards were punished or removed.
Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams, and other religious dissenters were banned from Massachusetts.
Although colonization in New England succeeded, its Puritan leaders failed to create a utopian community that would inspire their fellows back in England.
They focused on the younger generation.
The jeremiad, a sermon about the fallen state of New England, became a staple of Puritan literature.
The effects of prosperity were not stopped by the jeremiad.
The popula tion spread and became more diverse.
The Puritans struggled against a rising tide of religious pluralism, but many New Englanders retained strong ties to their Calvinist roots.
On December 25, 1727, Judge Samuel Sewell noted in his diary that a new Anglican minister kept the day in his new Church at Braintrey.
Previously forbidden holidays like Christmas were celebrated privately in homes.
A number of young people of both sexes, belonging to many of them, to my flock, had had.
The sugar colonies of the Caribbean were more important than the settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts.
These colonies created a foothold for Britain on a vast North American continent because of their value as marginal investments and social safety valves where the poor could be released.
In the 17th century, religious, social, and political upheavals would behead one king and force another to flee his throne, but settlers in Massachusetts and Virginia were still tied together by the emerging Atlantic economy.
The economy grew more dependent on slave labor as a result of commodities such as tobacco and sugar.
The collision of cultures in the Americas would be complicated by slaves being transported across the Atlantic.
New understandings of human difference and new modes of social control would be sparked by the creation and maintenance of a slave system.
New cultural systems and new identities for the inhabitants of at least four continents would be created by the economic exchanges of the new Atlantic economy.
The chapter was edited by Ben Wright and Joseph Locke.