Effects Of Religion In Early America

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The Effect of Religion in the Early United States Religion has been a part of America from the start. Years before the country was even born people used the land in North America to escape strict religious laws and regulations in England. Religion had much to do with the shaping of the United States, and not always in the best way. Puritans were a religious group that sought to purify the Church of England (Foner Give me liberty!: an American history A-94). The Puritans themselves did not agree on everything, but what they did all concede that the Church of England, despite supposedly being its own religion, resembled the Catholic Church far too much. Ornate church decorations, elaborate ceremonies, and the doctrine that priests could not …show more content…
Puritans, like most people in that day and age, believed that men held more authority than women. A man’s authority was very important in America because it was a farming community, and it was expected of the man to take care of his families finances. Spiritually, men and women were believed to be equal, and women were deemed worthy to become complete church members. Because of the belief that believers had the ability to understand and interpret the Bible, it was possible for some women to have positions of religious leaderships. Despite this, all ministers had to be men. Divorce was legal in the Puritan religion, but the man of the house held full and absolute authority over his household (Foner Give me liberty!: an American history …show more content…
After America was discovered, the English Christians assumed the Natives would be easy to convert to Christianity. They believed that by converting them to Christianity, they would become civilized (Corrigan Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History 127). Despite what they thought, the Natives did not readily convert. They began to kill missionaries and burn down missions and churches in the year 1680 (Corrigan Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History 126). A large amount of missionaries came to America and were determined to convert the Natives. In some circumstances, if a Native refused the Gospel, they could be tortured. Even some whole groups were subject to genocidal murder (Corrigan Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History 128). In some instances, the Natives did convert and ended up living peaceful lives alongside the English colonists. Although in many instances the conversions didn’t last long. This led many people to believe that the Natives were too stupid and unintelligent to fully understand the religion of Christianity, or they lied about converting to avoid torture or to gain something (Corrigan Religious Intolerance in America: A Documentary History 128). Government policy then began to change towards the Native Americans. Natives were forced to recognize white superiority and embrace the white culture. If

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