Pilgrims (Puritans) go to the New World and start the Plymouth colony after trying to settle
with the Dutch. But the Dutch seemed hostile towards them so they left. The pilgrims
arrived on the Mayflower, and before setting foot on the ground they drew up a Mayflower
Compact. This established a legislature in the form of a general court. The men were to be
elected by "free men" (own stock in the company and have been "born again"). The company
appointed a Governor and a council was formed to help him.
Massachusetts Bay colonists eventually absorbs the Plymouth
Now talking about the Massachusetts bay colonists:
In 1630 establishment begins - Boston, Charlestown, Watertown, etc. and within twelve years
twenty thousand colonists are in Massachusetts. Like the Plymouth colonists, an organized
court is made with "free men" voting. The company appointed a Governor and a council was
formed to help him. The colonists arrived in families so right off the bat it was a
family based society. The Puritan church established the settlement in an orderly manner.
The church was the put in the center of the town and political offices were held there.
The land a family recieved was based on status in the church and the size of the family.
One could sell the land only with permission by the church.
The church started a rule that it was important to keep an eye on everybody else. To make
sure that the kids are being raised right, the husband and wife are happy, that their land
was being taken care of, etc.
In the Southern colonies there were more men than women, so if a woman was single and
looking for a husband, there would be the perfect place to find one. The Puritans were
merchants and traders and as one gained wealth, it was a "sign" that one had gained
salvation. Sort of as though God was showing that that family was doing better in his eye
than yours was because they were wealthier or happier than your family.
With them, the Puritans brought non-Puritans who worked on things that the town needed, an
example would be construction workers. These non-Puritans could not own land and had
to live with a family where they rented their space. They also could not express their
religion publicly and continued offenders were pillared. While pillared, people would spit
on you or throw rotten food at you.
There were problems with the settlement because of non-Puritans and dissenters. One of the
dissenters was Roger Williams. He had conflicts with the Puritan church and would not
recant his beliefs. He was banished in 1635. To understand why this was the highest punishment
one could receive, you must know that the Puritans saw the forests around them as extremely
dark, and therefore because it was so dark, the Devil resided there. And when one was
banished, it was as if they were going to stay with the Devil. That's why being banished
was the highest punishment one could receive. Roger Williams went to Rhode Island and formed his
own colony. Another dissenter was Ann Hutchinson, she would hold prayer meetings where she
preached, and in Puritan religion, only men were to be the preacher. She would
not stop her meetings and was banished in 1637. She didn't have as bright a a future as Roger Williams did because
she was later killed in an Indian raid. There was also a population increase within the
settlement because people saw it as a better place to live.