Religious Freedom in colonial America
Religion was a very important part of everyday life in colonial America. Sometimes people were not allowed to question what they were taught, and if they did so they were punished accordingly. Before 1700 some colonies had more religious freedom then others. While others colonies only allowed religious freedom to a select group, others allowed religious freedom to all different kinds of religions. In the overall there was quite a bit of religious freedom in colonial America
First there is the colony or Rhode Island, which was started by a man, named Roger Williams in (1636). It did not become an official colony until (1644) when it then received a charter from Parliament. Williams welcomed every one; he guaranteed religious freedom to everyone even the Catholics and the Jews. Williams also granted religious freedom to the Quakers, even though his own views were very different from those of the Quakers. This was truly the most democratic of all of the colonies. Williams did not demand mandatory attendance at services, or oaths regarding religious beliefs. Rhode Island was truly the first example of religious tolerance and freedom of opportunity.
Second there is the colony or Pennsylvania (1681). Pennsylvania was founded by an English man named William Penn. At first, Pennsylvania guaranteed religious freedom to all residents of the colony. Later on however, London started giving William Penn severe pressure. So William Penn was forced to retract the original religious freedom laws, and then re-institute the laws with the change that all residents of Pennsylvania would have freedom of worship. These laws however were not re-instituted to the Catholics and Jews. Even though Catholics and Jews were deprived of freedom of worship. Pennsylvania was still democratic; it was founded for civil and religious freedom. People there had more freedoms in Pennsylvania then they would have if they lived in England.
Rhode Island and Pennsylvania were examples of the two most democratic colonies of colonial America. Not all of the colonies were like this. For example, in (1629) non-separatists Puritans left from England and started a new colony called the Massachusetts Bay Colony. People who did not agree with their views were often banished. Anne Hutchinson was one of these people who were banished. She was banished because she argued against the Puritan belief of predestination. She had a trial and from there was forced out of the colony. Another person that was kicked out of the colony was a man named Roger Williams. Williams was exiled from the colony because he was found to have new and dangerous opinions that disagreed with already established Puritan beliefs. Also, men that were not a part of a Puritan congregation could not vote in provincial elections. Freedom in this colony was somewhat limited.
Colonies of colonial America had different views when it came to religion, but they all had one thing in common. All of the colonies had to some extent, a certain amount of religious freedom. Some granted freedom of religion to all, while others granted religious freedom to a select group. But there was still a great deal of religious freedom in colonial America.
/ Pages : 543 / 24