Religion greatly changed as American colonies progress on time and it played a large role in the shaping of the settlements. Religion was the main factor that drove the Pilgrims away from England and to the New World. As Serpartists grew tired of Catholicism in England and left their county in search for religious freedom. The colonies of the New World revolved around religion and differed in levels of tolerance. Important figures like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams were banished and found religious refuge in Rhode Island. Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, otherwise known as the Religious Society of Friends. All in all America has been greatly impacted with beliefs and religious tolerance.
When Seperatists first founded the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s, religion played a huge role. The entire reason they moved to the New World was because the reformation of the Church Of England was taking too long. During the time of Plymouth in the 1600s, religion shaped the society and government. Later in the century, in Salem, a small witch hunt occurred which led to the death of 20 people. This hysteria effected the lives of many people in the area. During the century, Puritans founded the Massaschusetts Bay Colony where religion formed a strict government society. As the 1700s came along, first generation colonists died and second generation colonists weren't as interested in church membership. To arouse interest the church government formed the Half-Way Covenant, making it easier to join the Puritan Church.
One of the main reasons for the founding of Plymouth was to have the ability to practice religion without the Church of England looking over their shoulders and to develop worship better than how they were taught. They came over without that as their purpose, but as the colonies founded around them, they became a diverse system. Some settled with a very closed mind, but as more immigrants colonized places like Pennsylvania began to show up with much more tolerance than previously practiced. Their unspecified development led to acts of suspicion as they began to act more cautious for fear of the unknown. People started to find their voices to almost rebelle like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams, but that unsettled fear eventually led to more deaths as things took place such as the Salem Witch trials. They began to see that colonists needed to provide an order,so systems like the Halfway Covenant created a sense of security as immigrants and settlers evolved their ways.
For the pilgrims at Plymouth, life revolved around their religion. Religion was the very reason why they had left England to venture out into a completely unknown world. In fact religion was important in all the colonies during the seventeenth century, although most important in New England. Late in the seventeenth century, the Salem Witch Trials occurred. During this event, people were accused of being witches and executed. The blame for the trials fell partly on the dedicated Puritan religion in New England. As the eighteenth century arrived, religion was less crucial in the colonies. The very religious pilgrims that originally came to the New World had died and now the second and third generations of Americans were living their lives. The Half Way Covenant made it easier to become a church member. The covenant was created to promote religion and increase church membership. The Half Way Covenant did help increase religion a little, but it could not completely stop the downward spiral.
The role of religion has changed drastically from the seventeenth century to the eighteenth century. Since the founding of the Plymouth colony in the 1600's, to the end of the eighteenth century, religious views, beliefs, and toleration level grew much higher. A group of separatists formed the Plymouth colony because, they wanted to break away entirely from the Church of England. Their views were entirely different from the roman- catholic faith. They were a group of radical puritans. Religion had taken a prominent role in shaping their society and government. Later in the century, in the year 1692, a hysteria of witches possessing people ravaged a small town in Massachusetts. This occured in Salem, and would later be called the Salem Witch Trials. this was such a dark time for religion in American history because, religion was the most important component of life for those colonists, that they started to question their beliefs and wondered why they had been plagued by something so terrible. A little earlier than this event, other colonies started to add their own belief systems to the mix, such as the Quakers from Pennsylvania. They were persecuted for their beliefs, so one quaker, William Penn, created a colony where there was aboundant religious toleration for all. There were also a few that didn't exactly agree with the views of the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay colony. They were roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson. They were known as dissenters, and were forced out of the colony immediately.They were forced to go tho Rhode Island, and practice freely there, and they would later colonize the area. This shows how important their faith was to them in that colony, and how they applied it to every aspect of their lives. These views drastically changed into the emergence of the eighteenth century. There were many new religions in the colonies, and this made sure that most of the colonists by this time attended church. The Puritan faith was losing their numbers by this time because of all the diverse religions. So, they created the Half- Way Covenant, which made it easier to be converted and to gain church membership.
When Plymouth was founded, the main purpose of its existence was the opportunity to practice religion different than the Catholicism in England, as deemed by the separatists. Later, in 1692, came the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. This hysteria was based around the religion at the time, as people were being accused of witchcraft. People were killed because of their inability to prove their faith. Quakers, who settled in Pennsylvania, were peaceful in their religion, and were openly tolerant of other religions as well. New colonies kept popping up as varying religions wanted to openly practice, and dissenters were leaving their old settlement, like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams. They went to Rhode Island, where like Pennsylvania, varying religions were tolerated. As things started to fall apart to the settlers in the sense of religion, the Half-Way Covenant was created to create solidarity. The Covenant made it easier to become a member of the church, which made the lives of many settlers easier.
The role of religion ha changed greatly from the founding of Plymouth to the end of the 18th century. Plymouth was found upon very religious terms. The Pilgrims of Plymouth came to America to get religious freedom from the Catholics on England. They were trying to separate from the church hence, the Separatists. As time went on many other religions cam around that were more care free and accepting of others. Quakers, were peaceful and pacifists. At this time there are many problems happening with religion especially with dissenters. Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams. Roger left to start the colony of Providence which was tolerate of other religions. Anne went on to New York and would eventually die in an Indian attack, her beliefs are still remembered. Later, there were many acquisitions made about the Salem Witch Trials, in Massachusetts. The Witch Trial were derived from religion and the non toleration of religion. Eventually the Half-Way Covenant was founded. It made it much easier to be part of the church while not having a huge responsibility on a person.
An example of the change in religion in colonial society would be the beginning of the Plymouth colony. Puritanism was the established religion and was strictly enforced, if anyone did not tlike this they were exciled.For example Anne Hutchinson, she was put on trial in 1637 for challenging the Anglican Church's authority. Another example of a dissenter was Roger Williams who went on to Rhode Island to start the providence colony for religious freedom. Later on when the puritan religion was starting to lose its color, the half way covenant was founded, as a result joining the church was made more easy and in the end making the lives of the settlers more simple.
Religion was the center of life in 17th century New England. Separatists left England so they could have religious freedom. However in the late 17th century the Salem Witch Trials occurred. Women were accused of bewitching younger girls. These women were put on trial and in the end 20 women were executed. Change occurred in the 18th century New England in the way that colonists no longer had the religious zeal their parents and grandparents had. To solve this issue the Half-Way Covenant was formed to get more people to join the church. Eventually Jonathan Edwards and other ministers started the First Great Awakening which was the revitalization of the church and its members. Religion was not as important in other colonies compared to New England but over the 17th and 18th centuries religion started to become more prominent.
The idea of religious freedom drew pilgrims into Plymouth from England. Religious tolerance among the colonies began to grow due to people like Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson who spoke out about religion. They later moved to Rhode Island which was looked upon as the land of the misfits, a place for people of different denominations, as it was the most tolerant of the colonies. By the end of the 18th century, it was easier for citizens to become members of the church after the Halfway Covenent, also making lives of the colonists much easier.