AN ASSESSMENT OF PRIMARY SOURCES OF PURITAN HISTORY HOW PURITANISM

PRIMARY SOURCES OF PURITAN HISTORY 4

ANASSESSMENT OF PRIMARY SOURCES OF PURITAN HISTORY: HOW PURITANISMMIGHT HAVE BEEN ALTERED BY CONTINGENCIES IN THE NEW ENGLAND

JohnWinthrop, a Puritan, led a group of followers out of England to formthe Massachusetts Bay Colony in a bid to form a new world that wasguided by Christian principles (Wood, 2009). The broke out from thechurch in England on grounds that the church was being misused by afew corrupt individuals whose main interest was to enrich themselves.John Winthrop, being the governor, put forth three prime principlesto guide his people into living harmoniously and avoiding conflicts.The principles stipulated that people ought to understand that thediversity that existed among them allowed for God to be honoredthere had to be continual acts of kindness from the rich towards thepoor (obedience was expected of the poor in return) and that thereexisted common needs among people with varied qualities (Cobbs etal., 2012, p. 70).The Puritan culture of social peace was howeverthreatened by various factors towards the end of the 17thCentury. This was the time around which the New England was beingformed.

Thisessay focuses on several works that are cited as primary sources ofthe Puritan history. The input of Puritan women such as MaryRowlandson and Anne Bradstreet is of great significance as they painta picture of how it was like being female in Puritanism. The essayalso looks at other works of authors: “Major Problems in AmericanHistory,” by Elizabeth Cobbs-Hoffman et al, “The Two Princess ofCalabar” by Randy J. Sparks and “Out of Many” by John MackFaragher et al. This works reflect on the happenings as theyunfolded, majorly in the 17thCentury.

Cobbset al., (2012) document a chronological order of events from when thePuritans begin formulating their strategy for leaving to establish anew world for themselves, when their leader drafts the Modelsof Christian Charity, andmost of the challenges they faced during their reign (Cobbs et al.,2012, p. 71). Their guiding principles and model were oftenchallenged.The establishment of the New England caused mayhem andstruggle between the Indians and adversely affected the socialstructure of the Puritans (Cobbs et al., 2012, p. 72).

Faragheret al., (2000) also looks into the formation and the challengesencountered by the Massachusetts Colony. The authors recount when theRoyal Charterwas granted in 1629 to the Massachusetts Bay Company.This was the first milestone to the establishment of the colony asthe company sent 200settlers but the number increased dramatically tomore than 20,000 in the 14years that followed (Faragher et al., 2000,p. 64). The Puritans were later endangered by the encroachment ofother whites who arrived to form New England. The New EnglandMerchants had stronger economic and financial base than the Puritansand hence easily overpowered them. The War of King Philip was a greatdeterrent to the organization of the Puritans (Faragher et al., 2000,p. 69). The war saw most of them taken hostage. The invaders wereless considerate of the inhabitants’ religions including theChristian Indians. The mere fact that slavery due to war was presentbroke the three guiding codes of the Puritans.

Thethree primary works are written in various different contexts and areorganized in chapters and subchapters that make it easy to read andunderstand. The chronology of events and establishment of facts makethe sources valuable assets to historians of the American History.

References

CobbsHoffman, E., Blum, E., &amp Gjerde, J. (2012). Majorproblems in American history.Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Faragher,J. (2000). Outof many.Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Sparks,R. (2001). TheTwo Princes of Calabar.GoogleBooks.Retrieved 21 January 2015, from https://books.google.com/books/

Wood,A. (2009). COMM149 – Summary.Sjsu.edu.Retrieved 21 January 2015, fromhttp://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/s149/149syllabus5summary.html