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Does America Feel the Influence of Puritanism Today?

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Erika Chavez

on 2 June 2014

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Transcript of Does America Feel the Influence of Puritanism Today?

Does America Feel the Influence of Puritanism Today?
They established a form of theocracy.
Mayflower Compact of 1620
-Important because it stated, "the just and equal laws for the general good...of the colony" would not be made by a majority rule, but by a group of elected leaders.
It led to idea of popular sovereignty which still exists today
The Puritans were the first to elect their own leaders and establish the democratic institution, the town meeting.

Bible = central theme to education. Everyone should be able to read and interpret the Bible.
For the first time in American history, free schooling was offered for all children.
Liberal arts education
They founded Harvard College in 1636
They worked carefully to keep the church and state separate in order to create an efficient community.
Puritan religious ideas are what allow freedom and different ideals, such as voting rights and how no one can be above the law.
In a study, Americans and Canadians were asked to solve puzzles with anagrams. The researchers found that the Americans — but not the Canadians — solved more anagrams with salvation on the mind. They worked harder. This shows how Puritans influenced the way Americans think and react to religion.
The Puritans were important people who created a basis of what America consists of today.
Within a democracy, there is not a simply majority, nor does one person control all Americans’ lives.
The importance of education is traced back to the Puritans and their belief in being able to read and write. They were able to create the first schools in America, some which are still running today.
Their religious views have allowed Americans to expand their knowledge about God and
create a diverse religious culture among themselves.
Puritan work ethic remains a model of American work ethic and it became a staple of American idealism.
Thesis Statement
Although the Puritans ideas of self-government, education, religion, and self-reliance have been modified since the 1600s, they influenced and helped shape American culture in a positive way.
Self Reliance and Work Ethic
Work habits of today's Americans reflect so-called Protestant work ethic.
Their dedication to self reliance led to the rise of a capitalist America.
Because of the example the Puritans set, “To most Americans, material achievements are the mark of one’s success, the manifestations of their personal values, and the symbol of one’s independence” (Kang).
The Puritans had a strict way of living.
-They believed that no one should question what they believed in or what they did in order to reach salvation.
-They didn't allow dancing, reading, reading fiction, performing drama, or singing because they were considered "vain enjoyment".
The Salem Witch Trials
-“Beginning as a trial of one or several self-avowed witches who admitted to practicing voodoo-type rituals with malicious intent, the trials ended with a number of innocent people being falsely accused, found guilty, and executed”
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