There are 3 groups of puritans:
1)English Puritans- wanted to remove all catholic rituals from the church and they placed emphasize to Bible and sermons
2)Presbyterians- wanted to remove offices in the church which they did not find anywhere in the Bible, cancel all those offices with no example in Bible
3)Separatists- wanted to give all authority to congregations, not to Church, all decisions should make congregations themselves
Two important puritan colonies:
I.Pilgrims established in 1620 the Plymouth colony formed by those eho came form Netherlands (Britain-Netherlands- America)
II.More influential was Massachusetts colony established in 1628
The first did not prosper because of the strictness of Puritans, they were too strict, religious and the soil was not of a good quality, very poor and the whole colony was not growing. The Massachusetts prospered a lot; it was established by wealthy and educated people. In 1636 Harvard College was established.
Basic puritan convictions:
a)Personal salvation is only chosen by God
b)Bible provides example, guide to life, not only for a good Christian life but also for governmental system
c)Church should reflect the teaching of the Bible, they were against all things which did not occur in the Bible (decorations in churches,...)
d)Society is a unify hole, if an individual person did wrong, the whole society should be punished
Toward the end of 17th century the impact of Puritanism started declining due to the cruelty of puritan people and leaders which resulted in 1692 with Salem trials with witches when 22 people were hanged and 2 died before this trial. The impact of other people who were not so strictly religious caused the Puritanism fade away.
Thanks to the impact of philosophy of enlightenment the viewing of the society changed. No more it was a contract between people and God, but rather the contract between people themselves. Also important was the philosophy of deism- God did create the world but he does not interfere any more, he is not in the centre because man replaced him in the reception of the world.
1734 -1750 – the period of GREAT AWAKING characteristic by many conversions.