An important aspect of history is the beliefs of individuals. It is because of the beliefs of people that they choose to do something that impacts many other things. An example of this is religion with the Puritans. The Puritans were the individuals who created the Thirteen Colonies during the 1600s. Religion is the reason for many things the Puritans did when establishing the thirteen colonies. Religion impacted the way English colonies were created in North America by being the reason for Puritans to leave Europe, the structure of which the colonies were built around, and the reasoning behind their actions.
The original thirteen colonies were founded by the Puritans. The Puritans left England in hope to begin a new life away from the control of the King and his strict laws regarding religion. The King of England imposed many laws on his people, one specifically being that the people of England had to follow his religion. In the article “Church and Religion”, it explains how “King James I tried to have them arrested and thrown to jail for refusing to participate in church rituals. This meaning he would not want anyone to believe in anything else but his religion and created laws that prohibited anything other than it. They did not want to follow the King’s religion because their beliefs were: only believing in two sacraments that are explained in the bible, the Roman Catholic Church had many sacraments that the puritans felt as if were man made and not part of the bible. With these differences in beliefs, this created problems. The Puritans were rejected in society, and ultimately breaking the law.
These conditions that lead them to think of new life. This is when they decided the travel to the New World and create their own country where they have new freedoms, specifically their own religious freedoms. The Puritans then felt religious rejection in England, therefore the idea of leaving was brought up and was when the start of the English colonies were being established. Once the Puritans landed in North America, they began making their new country. At first, they created the Articles of Confederation.
The written document that established the functions of the national government of the United States after it declared independence from Great Britain. For example, it explains the forming of the government and whether or not they are going to let the states vote or how the people would represent themselves. This document was shown to be the basic structure of the American government. Under this legislation, the colonies were able to govern themselves, for it was up to the states to create their own laws under the condition at they come together when in need.
It is because of this that states were allowed to create their own religious laws, an example being Virginia. Virginia ratified the Articles of Confederation, and created it’s own draft of Bill of Rights. Their document it stated, “all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. ” This quote means that religious freedom was allowed in Virginia, for the state leaders believed that it was a fundamental right for all their people.
Another state expressed religious laws as well, such as South Carolina. Unlike Virginia, South Carolina chose to declare a state religion. In their own state Constitution, South Carolina declared, “All persons and religious societies who acknowledge that there is one God, and a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is publicly to be worshiped, shall be freely tolerated. The Christian Protestant religion shall be deemed … the established religion of this State. ” This shows that the state still had religious freedom, if the religion was Christian.
This shows the states were able to choose their own religious laws. By doing this, the colonists were allowed the freedom to choose religious rights within the colonies, but when specific laws came into view, it lead to the original problem of having the freedom to express religion throughout all the colonies. Although the Articles of Confederation allowed states to choose their own religious laws, other problems arose such as taxes and division between the states’ wants and needs. This lead Congress to create and attend the Constitutional convention.
The Constitutional convention was where members from all colonies came together to create a new Constitution. They did this, and created the Bill of Rights. The first Amendment stated everyone has the right to the freedom of speech, assembly, press, petition, and religion. The first amendment does not allow the government to create a church and it also allows everyone to believe in what they want. It was the most important part of the Amendment at the time because of them wanting Freedom of Religion because they did not want what was happening in England to happen in the New World.
Religion was included in this amendment because of how they did not have their own freedom of religion in England, and they wished to do this for their own people. This all shows how religion played a role in the structure of government for the colonies. Lastly, religion impacted the population of the thirteen colonies. Religion was an important factor in determining where the colonists lived. Several colonies were created because of difference in religion. One example is Pennsylvania. This colony was founded as a safe place for Quakers. While other religions were present, they weren’t as accepted compared to others.
Quakers were discriminated against in other colonies, so the founder of Pennsylvania founded the colony as a safe haven. Pennsylvanians government was based on religious freedom for the Quakers. Which they believed in strict rules from the puritan church. They believe in many different ways of practicing their beliefs. For example, they see heaven and hell as the same thing because it is the person’s afterlife. They also see men and women as spiritual equals, meaning the man nor the woman is more important than the other when practicing their religion.
Another example is Maryland, a colony that was created by and for Catholics. The majority of the Southern colonies took the religion of England with them, and felt that it was the proper religion. That is why the Quakers and Catholics were pushed out of other colonies, since it wasn’t the preferred religion. Maryland was then created, and like Pennsylvania, a safe haven was created. Lord Baltimore founded Maryland mainly for the Catholics because there were disagreements between the Catholics and the Protestants causing a rebellion.
Roman Catholics believe that both the bible and Sacred Roman Catholic tradition are necessary for salvation, while the protestants believe that in the faith of Christ alone, believers are absolved of all their sins. ” Therefore being the reason why they both did not agree with everything was because of their different beliefs. “In 1649, Maryland governor William Stone responded by passing an act ensuring religious liberty and justice to all who believed in Jesus Christ”. This allowed the Puritans and Catholics to coexist in the state.
However, the Puritans took control, and the problems of having laws on religion arose. Once the Puritans took control of the colony the Toleration Act was made because of the way Lord Baltimore was unfair over the way he wanted to control freedom of religion, which is why the Baltimore family lost its proprietary rights. This is when they gained their freedom of religion and was no longer controlled by him. Although the freedom of religion brought many problems on the colonists, it allowed them to believe in what they wanted and not have to follow a religion that they did not support.
Overall, religion impacted the thirteen colonies greatly. It was one of the original reasons why the Puritans chose to leave England and create new lives for themselves. By leaving, the Thirteen colonies were created. This then lead to the legislative structure of the colonies, where the Articles of Confederation were first used to allow the states to choose their own religious laws. The states chose their own laws, and resulted in problems of religious freedom for the people within the states, such as South Carolina. This showed the colonists that the Articles of
Confederation needed to be changed. This lead to the creation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, where freedom of religion was included as a sure way for the colonists and future generations to have religious freedom throughout all the states Lastly, religion was the reason to expand the thirteen colonies, that is why many different colonies were established based on many different religions.. In the few original colonies, religions such as the Quakers and Catholics were not as popular, and so they were discriminated against.
This lead them to expand the colonies and create new ones to suit their religious needs. By expanding to new states, it brought upon problems of controlling which religions were allowed and which were not. However, it also lead to an overall freedom of religion in the states where religious freedom was not already present. Religion impacted essentially the entire creation of the English colonies, and so it played a vital role in the structure of the colonial government and upbringing of the new country.