American Puritanism

The Puritan by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1887)
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina

I. Key Puritan Beliefs and Values

1. Rituals and sacraments administered by a powerful and complicated hierarchy
2. Insistence on Latin as the only language of religion
3. Confession only through the priest and the confessional booth

C. Election & predestination--God chooses who is saved and who is damned. No one can earn salvation through works. Yet the saints are responsible for their actions.

D. The congregation of saints chooses its members, hires and fires its ministers, and recognizes no other religious authority.

E. Worship should be plain, lack mystery,  and be focused on God, No stained glass, instrumental music, or art.

II. Puritan Political Life

A. Freemen (adult male heads of families) ruled in church meetings and town meetings.

III. Salem Witchcraft Crisis (1692)

IV. Puritan Contributions

A. Self-government and community responsibility

Please cite this source when appropriate:

Feldmeth, Greg D. "American Puritanism," U.S. History Resources. <> (Revised 21 June 2004).

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