Profile of the New England Colonies
Many of these people fled to the new world and we know them as
Hello I'm Milo for About.com and today we're talking about the New England Colonies of Colonial America. A different hope propelled each group of people who came to the shores of the new world. In the fallout from the religious strife of England in the 1500s different faiths clamored to find a foothold in British society. Much of England was divided between the Anglicans, the new faith started by Henry the Eighth when he split from the Catholic Church, and Catholicism. However there were a number of people who followed the teachings of John Calvin and found no spiritual home in either camp. Many of these people fled to the new world and we know them as Puritans or Pilgrims.The Puritans were called that as they wanted to purify the Church of England whereas the Pilgrims simply wanted to separate from the Anglican Church. The hope of starting a new society on foreign shores drove many of these faithful to dare the crossing in 1620 aboard the Mayflower, and due to a haphazard twist of fate, they landed far north of their original destination near Jamestown in what is now known as Cape Cod near Plymouth Rock. Settling here due to circumstances of weather, resources, and timing they had the immediate need to set up a system of self governance, hence the Mayflower Compact. This spirit of independence and self-rule as well as the strong ties of a particular faith and worldview based on Calvinism and the particulars of their struggle would form the cultural direction of this area for years to come, possibly continuing till today. William Bradford was a notable figure at the time. Elected governor early on of Plymouth Colony, he was a part of tradition of electing legislatures, town hall meetings, and other practices that laid the groundwork for democratic rule in these colonies. More puritans came from England settling in Massachusetts. However not all colonists were Calvinists and some settlements were less religiously fervent. Also from this tradition came the arguments for religious freedom and the separation of church and state, tensions felt till today. In total the New England Colonies were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. From humble beginnings came not only some of the most successful settlements but also some of the main cultural and philosophical themes of what was to become the United States of America. For excellent, helpful, and interesting information on history check us out at About.com.