Back in the seventeenth century, Puritans were raising a fuss over in jolly england
. Many ministers who were technically Church of England
in title were doing things that were rather, well, Puritan
, such as asserting that the sabbath
began on saturday night, refusing to hold religious events on days established by the Church of England
but not mentioned in the bible, and a variety of other downright smelly
actions such as telling everyone that they were being encouraged by the church to live in sin and that everyone is going to hell
. Needless to say, the higher ups in the Church of England
found this rather annoying.
We somehow got thanksgiving
from this and Lincoln
's need for a nice national holiday to build patriotism
in the north since we were having a huge clusterfuck of a Civil War
at the time.
Anyway, it all started when a group of puritans from Scrooby in Northern England decided that they didn't like it
and that they were going to leave
and show the world a thing or two John Calvin
style with a shining city on a hill mentality in 1608. Anywho, they left for Holland, where the Dutch authorities didn't mind protestant dissenters, but upon getting there they realised that this was, well, Holland
. (See: Amsterdam, Sex Shop Capital of the World
for details.) Or, as William Bradford
said, "... the manifold temptations of the place ..." So in 1620
they decided once again that they had had enough of the crap in the place where they resided and left. This time they headed for North America
VAST, UNPEOPLED, the perfect place to build an UNCORRUPTED, GODLY SOCIETY, where you could be the ONLY CIVILIZED INHABITANTS, without the vile scourges of heathenism CRIMPIN' YO STYLE, where NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO TRAVEL ON SUNDAY, where one is FREE TO PRACTICE GOOD RELIGION, where the ELECT CAN ELECT TO LIVE, a place where we can HAVE OUR CAKE AND GIVE IT TO THE INJUNS FOR CORN because we are fucking STARVING.
Concidentally, they did get permission from the good old British crown
to settle in part of the land grant given to the Virginia Company
. They formed a joint stock company with some London investors to finance the trip over there since they were a little cash poor, promising to give them whatever profits they made over the next seven years. In otherwords, they screwed the bankers.
The next part of the story is familiar enough. One hundred and two of them got on board the Mayflower
, once again led by charismatic puritan super-stah William Bradford
, who thought it a pretty good starting point for a narrative which involves the story of how only one guy died on the trip, because Bradford thought he was a little lecherous, having talked about how he would be the one to rob the first guy who died, which is of course, a sign of Divine Intervention
. Indeed, any puritan narrative will tell you that the Puritans believed god was in the profane, every day world. God was here and he was screwing with your head.
Anywho, they get over there, settle plymouth
, small unimportant town (As compared to the entire Massachusetts Bay area) etc. etc, good place for puritans to live, they meet Squanto, they learn how to farm or something, etc. etc. then they go on food rationing.
Anywho, until 1629, most Puritans thought the folks at plymouth were out of their freaking minds. But in 1629 Charles the first decided to a) Dissolve parliament, where Puritans were well represented, b) appoint William Laud as bishop of London
(a rather anti puritan guy.) making Puritans in England rather desprate for something. Luckily, right before this, a group of Puritans got a charter for the Massachusetts Bay Company. It included the present day states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and upstate New York. The odd provision of the charter was that the government of the colony would be located in the colony itself rather than in England, which was very strange. Nobody really knows how this provision came to be or if the Crown was even aware of it. So they went off and founded Massachusetts Bay, (read: Boston
) And so, we had an unprecedented migration of Puritans to Massachusetts known as THE GREAT PURITAN MIGRATION
as entire communities decided that they might as well just leave rather than deal with jolly England, which was far too jolly for their taste. (of course, a lot of them came to find New England far too unjolly for their taste, what with the high mortality rate from disease and famine and all, and went back from whence they came.)
The great migration lasted between 1630 and 1640 during which more than twenty thousand people emigrated to New England, with other large groups migrating to other places around the globe. The Great Migration came to a rather abrupt end around 1640-1642, when the English Civil War broke out, (a/k/a the "Puritan Revolution") Puritans were far too busy fighting a huge clusterfuck of a civil war (As all civil wars are) to move to New England, and were too busy running England (espically Oliver Cromwell
, Leader Dude with some crazy title that didn't have the vile "K" word in it) after they had won the war in 1649.