Rise and Fall of Puritanism
Strengths of the Faith
1. Believed in the right to govern itself
2. Held open meetings of stockholders and free men
3. Set up a democratic organization of the church (Congregationalism); Mayflower
set in place rule by the governed for the "civic
body politik." Theocracy --state and church governed hand in hand
4. Moved to governance in which purifying became rigid way of life
5. Valued education (allotted land for school; emphasized literacy to
read the Scriptures, for
example the "Old Deluder Satan Act")
6. Worked "unto the Lord" valuing all professions and calling for
working hard and
purposeful "for His glory" (Puritan Work Ethic)
7. Dreamed of a better life with freedom to worship, speak, and provide for
Decline of Puritanism
1. More non-Puritans, not seeking salvation arrived as immigrants.
2. Descendants began to question the rigidity of the faith.
3. They began to pursue worldly goods.
4. The inflexibility of the faith was its strength and its weakness.
5. A middle class of ambitious merchants, partisans , and indentured
The Great Awakening called for a revival of the faith of the founding fathers.
II. Puritans'' Beliefs versus Beliefs in the Age of Enlightenment
|Nature of Man||natural depravity||moral perfection|
|Universe||mysteries, God's providence||rationally understandable, natural laws|
|Authority||Bible||reason and science|
|Interest||works of God||man and natural universe|
|Responsibility||glorification of God's ways||perfection of man's possibilities, humanism|
|Hope, salvation||God's grace||worldly success|