Controversy over slavery hit most American churches particularly hard. Many white colonists obtained passage to America by coming as indentured servants, thus making it acceptable to employ both Caucasians and Negroes as such. Slavery quickly became important to southern agriculture.
In the early years of what later became the United States, Christian religious groups played an influential role in each of the British colonies, and most attempted to enforce strict religious observance through both colony governments and local town rules.
Most attempted to enforce strict religious observance. Laws mandated that everyone attend a house of worship and pay taxes that funded the salaries of ministers.
Although most colonists considered themselves Christians, this did not mean that they lived in a culture of religious unity.
Instead, differing Christian groups often believed that their own practices and faiths provided unique values that needed protection against those who disagreed, driving a need for rule and regulation.
In Great Britain, the Protestant Anglican church had split into bitter divisions among traditional Anglicans and the reforming Puritans, contributing to an English civil war in the s. In the British colonies, differences among Puritan and Anglican remained.
Between and Anglicanism and Congregationalism, an offshoot of the English Puritan movement, established themselves as the main organized denominations in the majority of the colonies. In some areas, women accounted for no more than a quarter of the population, and given the relatively small number of conventional households and the chronic shortage of clergymen, religious life was haphazard and irregular for most.
The fear of such practices can by gauged by the famous trials held in Salem, Massachusetts, in and As we might expect, established clergy discouraged these explorations. In turn, as the colonies became more settled, the influence of the clergy and their churches grew.
Slavery—which was also firmly established and institutionalized between the s and the s—was also shaped by religion. If they received any Christian religious instructions, it was, more often than not, from their owners rather than in Sunday school. Local variations in Protestant practices and ethnic differences among the white settlers did foster a religious diversity.
Wide distances, poor communication and transportation, bad weather, and the clerical shortage dictated religious variety from town to town and from region to region. With French Huguenots, Catholics, Jews, Dutch Calvinists, German Reformed pietists, Scottish Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, and other denominations arriving in growing numbers, most colonies with Anglican or Congregational establishments had little choice but to display some degree of religious tolerance.
Only in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania was toleration rooted in principle rather than expedience. The meetinghouse, which served secular functions as well as religious, was a small wood building located in the center of town.
People sat on hard wooden benches for most of the day, which was how long the church services usually lasted. These meeting houses became bigger and much less crude as the population grew after the s.
Steeples grew, bells were introduced, and some churches grew big enough to host as many as one thousand worshippers.
After the s, with many more churches and clerical bodies emerging, religion in New England became more organized and attendance more uniformly enforced.
In even sharper contrast to the other colonies, in New England most newborns were baptized by the church, and church attendance rose in some areas to 70 percent of the adult population. The New England colonists—with the exception of Rhode Island—were predominantly Puritans, who, by and large, led strict religious lives.Early colonial era orientalists proposed that the Puranas were religious texts of medieval Hinduism.
However, modern era scholars, such as Urs App, Ronald Inden and Ludo Rocher state that this is highly misleading because these texts were continuously revised, exist in numerous very different versions and are too inconsistent to be religious texts.
Which colonial section was the most educated, religiously intolerant, populous, egalitarian, and commercial? Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire Describe the seven realities shared by all three major colonial sections.
Inconsistent Roles The Colonial era spans nearly two hundred years with each settlement in the New World containing distinctive characteristics. Location in the new world is one factor that shaped women’s lives but religion and economics also .
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Growing egalitarianism in gender roles (D) Development of public works as a once-prominent city from the pre-Columbian era upon whose location colonial and modern urban settlement has flourished. Was the Colonial Period a Golden Age for Women? - The Colonial Period was partially a "golden age" for women, for, although it did possess some qualities of a golden age, it also had aspects that held it back from fully being a time of prosperity for women.
- what strategies does Mani propose for a critical, subversive, against-the-grain reading of colonial (male) texts in order to recuperate "the possibility of a female subjectivity that is shifting, contradictory, inconsistent" (p.