Puritans’ Life in Europe

The Puritans were a religious movement in the 1600s in England. They were against the Roman Catholic religion but also thought that the Church of England, which was Protestant, had too many things that were like the Catholic religion.

The Puritans thought that any ceremony or practice that wasn’t from the Bible should be removed from Christian religious ceremonies.

  • The Puritans were also called “Precisionists,” by those that were against them, began their movement at the start of the English Reformation. Those that believed in the Puritans doctrine started circulating their beliefs in the 1530s, and it became more popular in the 1560s.
  • Part of the religious beliefs of the Puritans was that they had been instructed by God to make reform changes to the Crown and the Church of England. In the 1620s and 1630s, some of the Puritans decided to move to the colonies in the New World so that they could create their own religious foundation. Unlike some of the colonists from other groups, who sent mostly young, single males, the Puritans sent entire families. Many of their beliefs and social order have continued to expand throughout America, even today.
  • The Puritan movement continued to grow even when other Protestant religions were changing, and Roman Catholic Christianity was being expelled from England. Even within the Puritans, there were variations of belief. Some thought that a church organization in the Presbyterian form was preferred, while others were more radical. Some groups of Puritans wanted to remain somewhat in the national church structure but with differences from the Episcopals and Catholics.
  • The Puritans were different from the more accepted forms of Christianity at the time, and they developed enemies. Some showed Puritans as following the Bible too closely, while others referred to them as hypocrites whose actions involved cheating those around them that they thought were poor Christians.
  • The Puritan philosophies seemed to gain traction and grow, especially among the merchants and lawyers in the London area. It seemed that the professionals supported the newer ideas because they were unhappy with the hold that the church and government had on them.
  • The market economy that Queen Elizabeth I ruled with seemed to create a bit of a peace. All aspects of life were affected by the demand that every profession is solely focused on profit. This attitude pushed more people into the already overcrowded cities, and the English countryside saw an increase in highwaymen and scavengers.
  • Some of the Puritans started separating themselves from their local parishes in the early 17th The standard was to have replaced the minister with a “lecturer” that was energetic and was educated in theology. Other congregations saw the change that was even more radical as they separated themselves from any church and called their communities “visible saints” that were no longer part of the English City of Man and now instead, part of the “City of God.”
  • The anger against some of the extreme Puritans was so great that one group in the Yorkshire Village of Scrooby decided in 1608 to relocate to Holland. This is the same group that moved in 1620 to Plymouth in New England. That group is commonly called the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock. About ten years later, additional Puritans moved from East Anglia to Massachusetts Bay, where they established a church model that was similar to those that had moved to Holland involving deacons, preaching elders, and later communion ceremonies that could only be given to their own “saints” or church members.
  • Whereas the general group of Pilgrims considered themselves to be separatists, Puritans did not. Instead, they referred to themselves as “non-separating Congregationalists,” which means that they didn’t reject the Church of England as a bad church.


What two churches were the Puritans against?
Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church

What name did the Puritans call their communities?
visible saints

What country did some of the Puritans first move to when they were afraid of enemies?

What is the difference between the Puritans and the Pilgrims?
Pilgrims considered themselves as separatists/Puritans did not.

Why did some of the professionals seem to like the Puritans religion more?
they were unhappy with the hold that the church and government had on them

When the Puritans removed themselves as part of the English City of Man, why name did they assign to what they felt they belong to?
City of God