Massachusetts Bay Colony
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English Puritans
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A group of Puritans, led by John Winthrop, established the Massachusetts Bay Colony after fleeing religious persecution in England. Since they rejected the existence of bishops and royal absolutism, they came into conflict with King Charles I. They received a charter from him to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which they settled in 1630.

These Puritans, led by Governor John Winthrop, desired for Massachusetts to be an ideal Christian community under the providence of God. They emphasized obligation to God and each other but were not a formal theocracy. In fact, ministers held less power there anywhere in Europe at the time. They did, however, establish laws enforcing social distinctions and banning excessive displays of wealth. They also restricted the franchise in civil elections to (white male) church members.

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Winthrop, John
Bradstreet, Anne

Salem, Massachusetts- Internet Archive

John Winthrop statue- Architect of the Capitol National Statuary Hall Collection

Massachusetts Bay Colony meeting- Internet Archive

Massachusetts Bay Colony puritans- US History Images

Massachusetts Bay Colony charter- Internet Archive
Queen, Edward, Stephen Prothero and Gardiner Shattuck, 1996. The Encyclopedia of American Religious History. New York: Facts on File.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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