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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The connection between the American Revolution and Puritanism

Everything About Puritanism isn't bad, but I just wanted to show the influence they had on the founding fathers of this great Nation.

Interesting. It is always good to gain new
information. Could you please give some links or information on these groups?
Thank you in advance.

I said I know conservative Prespyterians that still call themselves "puritan". We are not allowed to post other forum links on this board. but there is an infamous conservative Calvinistic & Reformed board called "the puritan board". It is a mixture of conservative Calvinists from different denominations. Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Low church Anglican, Prespyterian, Dutch Reformed, Congregational, Evangelical Free, and some independant Calvinistic Fundementalist type churches.

They have a rule that only those who agree with Calvinism are allowed to post on that board. Everyone else can only read what they say, but they can't respond. But I personally know people that call themself "Puritan". You will just have to meet different kinds of American conservative Protestants. Eventially you will find some.

Then we will have to agree to disagree. Would you
please give some historical references for the Congregationalists and are they
the same as the Congregationalist churches of today?

I shouldn't have to give internet historical references. I learned this stuff in history class in middle school, and high school. I also learned it from reading various books.

The Puritans that came to America didn't vanish into thin air.

This book will give you a short history of Congregationalism as well as a host of other groups.

Also if you buy a few Church history books, then you will see a connection.....especially in regards to American church history.

Well, I know of the phrase "Protestant work ethic"
which was coined by the German sociologist Max Weber. He wrote a book on it that
was published in 1905

I looked your "cliche" as you called it up and it is equated
with Weber's idea.

I always knew it as "the Puritan work ethic". Sometimes people confuse the Pilgrims with the Puritans, they do overlap, but in middleschool my history teacher mentioned their "Work Ethic".......the more you work, the less time you have to sin.

But the work ethic stereotype comes from the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. I maybe wrong, but I think Rome use to call the Lutherians "Protestants" while calling the Geneva camp "Reformed".

Now she calls them all by the name "Protestant". But the Work Ethic stereotype would stem from the Reformed Tradition.....not the Lutherian one. And as we all know, the Puritans were "Reformed" in doctrine.

I know of Harvard and Yale (though one source of
information says that it was founded by "Congregationalists" rather then
"Puritans". You appear to think that they are the same, but there seems to be
some difference of opinion.) I beg your pardon, "HBCU"? Would you please post
what those letters mean?

The Pilgrims were eventually absorbed by the Puritans, but both the Pilgrims and a good portion of the Puritans were "Congregationalist" in Church Government.

The other batch of Puritans were Prespyterian in Church government and they hooked up with the Church of Scotland. And this is why the Prespyterian denomination is seen as the "Church of Scotland" today.

And this is why I keep saying "Congregationalist, Prespyterian, and low church Anglican".....not to mention the "Baptists" for they too were heavily influenced by the Puritan Congregationalists & their close cousins the English Separatists.....which is what the Pilgrims were....they were English Separatists....but anyway.

HBCU means "Historic Black Colleges & Universities". Some of the New England Puritans (Congregationalists) were also Abolitionists.

My Mother school was started by them "Hampton University". Hampton University sent the founder of my school to Alabama to start what is now "Tuskegee University".

But they started a whole bunch of HBCU' Howard....ect.

You have asserted that there is a "Puritan
Influence" on the American Revolution, but you have not provided any sources or
documentation to back this up. Would you please provide some support for this
claim. What people or movements in the time leading up to the American
Revolution are you thinking of when you write this, please? Also, the phrase "No
king but Christ" was not, from all of my reading, a rallying cry of the American
Colonists. I have found a reference to a biography of a Donald Cargill with that
title for example (Scots and during the reign of Charles II apparently). But no
reference to the American Colonies and the politics and economics that were
motivating forces for the Revolution.

Some of these for people to look
up were the Navigation Acts:

The Stamp

What are
termed the "Coercive Acts"

You've asserted this before. On what evidence and documentation do you
base this claim please? Have you read the Declaration of Independence which lays
out the reasons for seeking to be a separate nation?


There were alot of things that influenced them. You had the first great awakening that was an influence, You had King George's Lineancy with the Canadian French Roman Catholics, that was a major influence....especially in New England.

And yes I read the declaration of independence. The Puritan mindset always wanted independence from the English King.

Do you really think the Puritans had amnesia? Do you think they forgot what happened in the British civil war?

Another influence were the works by early Puritans that gave them the "BIBLICAL" right to revolt against a "tyrannical king"!

This is a website that lists some of the books that influenced the founding fathers of this great Nation of ours.

Some of the links don't work anymore, but most of them should work.

All comments in quotes takin from the "American Colonists's Library". [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23],[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30],[31],[32],[33],[34]

"A Short Treatise on Political Power, John Ponet, D.D. (1556) President John Adams credited this Calvinist document as being at the root of the theory of government adopted by the the Americans. According to Adams, Ponet's work contained "all the essential principles of liberty, which were afterward dilated on by Sidney and Locke" including the idea of a three-branched government. (Adams, Works, vol. 6, pg. 4). Published in Strassbourg in 1556, it is the first work out of the Reformation to advocate active resistance to tyrannical magistrates, after the Magdeburg Bekenntnis (the Magdeburg Confession)."

as takin from ther "American Colonists Library"

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, John Knox (1558). A vigorous critique of the tyranny of "Bloody Mary's" reign in England, and a call to resist. A large portion of the Americans who fought in the American Revolution were adherents to Knox's doctrines as set forth in this document.

as takin from the "American Colonist's Library"

The Right of Magistrates Over Their Subjects, Theodore Beza (1574). Expanding upon Calvin's political resistance theory set forth in the final chapters of his Institutes, this work by Calvin's successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, was published in response to the growing tensions between Protestant and Catholic in France, which culminated in the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572. This text suggests that it is the right of a Christian to revolt against a tyrannical King: a principle central to the American colonists' cause.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

"the rule of law."
Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, or, A Vindication Against Tyrants (1579). This Calvinist document is one of the first to set forth the theory of "social contract" upon which the United States was founded. The idea was disseminated through the English Calvinists to the pen of John Locke, and eventually into the Declaration of Independence. John Adams reported the relevance of this document to the American struggle.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The Dutch Declaration of Independence (1581); This Calvinistic document served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence. In his Autobiography, Jefferson indicated that the "Dutch Revolution" gave evidence and confidence to the Second Continental Congress that the American Revolution could likewise commence and succeed. Recent scholarship has has suggested that Jefferson may have consciously drawn on this document. John Adams said that the Dutch charters had "been particularly studied, admired, and imitated in every State" in America, and he stated that "the analogy between the means by which the two republics [Holland and U.S.A.] arrived at independency... will infallibly draw them together."

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The Puritan Influence

1599 update of the translation made by the Puritans in Geneva 1560. This was the Bible of choice in New England. These are the footnotes which provide a Calvinistic theological interpretation of the Bible.

As takin from the "American Colonists' Library"

The First Part of the Institutes of the Laws of England, Sir Edward Coke (1628) Written by a Puritan leader of Parliament, this document was almost the only textbook for lawyers (e.g., Jefferson) during the American Colonial Period. Coke's influence over the minds of American politicians is inestimable. Clear traces between Coke and the U.S. Constitution are apparent in this work.


The Petition of Right, Sir Edward Coke (1628). This document set forth complaints of the members of Parliament to King Charles I regarding rights of due process. Charles did not receive this complaint warmly. As a result, Charles I shut down Parliament, which ultimately culminated in the English Civil War, and contributed to the exodus of 20,000 Puritans to New England.


Protests of the House of Commons, Documents showing the growth of Parliament's hatred for King Charles I, first complaining against his closet Catholicism, his Arminianism, and his presumptuousness in levying taxes without the consent of Parliament.


(1629). This document sets forth the Puritans' commission in New England.


Medulla Theologica (The Marrow of Theology), William Ames (1629). The Medulla was the principal required textbook in the Ivy League in the American Colonial Period. One cannot adequately grasp the intellectual climate of New England without understanding the concepts in this book. The following two sections on the Decrees of God and Predestination highlight the central peculiarities of Puritan theology. Ames was unequivocal in stating that God controls the universe and that humans do not "change" or "determine" God's behavior in any way.


John Winthrop, Esq. (1637) A treatise indicating an early desire among the Puritans to keep church and state separate.


The first written history regarding the founding of Harvard College (@1640)


including many other political writings the 17th century Englishmen.


(1641) An oath taken by British citizens loyal to the Puritan interests in Parliament.


Declaration to Justify Their Proceedings and Resolutions to Take Up Arms (1642) Thomas Jefferson, in his Autobiography,said that this Puritan "precedent" was an inspiration to the American cause.


Massachusetts Bay School Laws (1642) Requiring that every father teach his children the Catechism; if not, the children shall be taken from the home.


The Establishment of the United Colonies of New England (1643) The first attempt at a union of colonies, foreshadowing the United States. This document combines several colonies together for the primary purpose of national defense. This is the first document resembling a federal constitution in America.


Letter of Oliver Cromwell (1644)


Lex Rex This treatise systematized the Calvinistic political theories which had developed over the previous century. Rutherford was a colleague of John Locke's parents. Most of John Locke's Second Treatise on Government is reflective of Lex Rex. From Rutherford and other Commonwealthmen such as George Lawson, through Locke, these theorists provided the roots of the Declaration of Independence. This page provides the list of questions Lex Rex addresses.


Lex, Rex, Samuel Rutherford (1644). This excerpt shows Rutherford's social contract theory and includes the Puritan theory of resistance to a tyrant.


The Character of A Puritan, John Geree (1646)


The Westminster Catechism (1646) Second only to the Bible, the "Shorter Catechism" of the Westminster Confession was the most widely published piece of literature in the pre-revolutionary era in America. It is estimated that some five million copies were available in the colonies. With a total population of only four million people in America at the time of the Revolution, the number is staggering. The Westminster Catechism was not only a central part of the colonial educational curriculum, learning it was required by law. Each town employed an officer whose duty was to visit homes to hear the children recite the Catechism. The primary schoolbook for children, the New England Primer, included the Catechism. Daily recitations of it were required at these schools. Their curriculum included memorization of the Westminster Confession and the Westminster Larger Catechism. There was not a person at Independence Hall in 1776 who had not been exposed to it, and most of them had it spoon fed to them before they could walk.


An Agreement of the People (1647) A proposal for a republican government in England


King Charles I's Speech at His Trial (1649); Including Judge Bradshaw's response appealing to social contract theory.


An Agreement of the Free People of England (1649) The manifesto of the Levellers, the leaders of the 1649 English Civil War that deposed Charles I and brought a period of parliamentary rule. It expresses many of the ideals that later inspired the American Revolution.


The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1650) by John Milton in defense of the execution of Charles I by the British Parliament a few days after its occurance. It includes an excellent evaluation and summation of the political literature produced on the Continent in the 16th Century. Charles I was the first monarch executed in Europe by his subjects, setting the stage for a religious struggle which would grip Britain for several decades to come. The language and spelling of this edition has been done directly from the 1650 edition


(1653); The Constitution of the English Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. Many of the founders, such as Samuel Adams, considered Oliver Cromwell their hero, and considered the Commonwealth as the glory years of England.

Excerpts from the Navigation Acts, 1660-1696, The first Parliamentary legislation toward the colonies which would lead to the colonial rebellion of the eighteenth century. [27]

Theopolis Americana ("God's City: America"), Cotton Mather (1709) This excerpt from Mather's sermon shows how Mather, with other Puritans, believed that America was truly the "Promised Land." This thinking led ultimately to the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, whereby Anglo-Americans believed that it was their divine commission to spread their culture from Atlantic to Pacific.


Vindication of the Government of New England Churches, John Wise (1717) A Puritan political sermon which included most of the principles of government embraced by the founders of the U.S.


Intentions of the SPG (Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) (1740) The desire of this group to land an Anglican Bishop in the American colonies ignited the American Revolution.


A Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers, Jonathan Mayhew (1750) About this document, John Adams wrote, "It was read by everybody; celebrated by friends, and abused by enemies... It spread an universal alarm against the authority of Parliament. It excited a general and just apprehension, that bishops, and dioceses, and churches, and priests, and tithes, were to be imposed on us by Parliament." This sermon has been called the spark which ignited the American Revolution. This illustrates that the Revolution was not only about stamps and taxes but also about religious liberty.


Resolution of the House of Burgesses in Virginia (1774) This resolution was inspired by similar resolutions made in the Puritan Revolution of 1641; the Burgesses resolved to commit their crisis to prayer and fasting.


Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, Jefferson and Dickinson, July 6, 1775. This document was inspired by the Puritan Declaration of August, 1642, "Declaration of the Lords and Commons to Justify Their Taking Up Arms," available in John Rushworth, ed., Historical Collections of Private Passages of State, Weighty Matters in Law, Remarkable Proceedings in Five Parliaments (1680-1722),vol. 4, pp. 761-768.


Sources of the Declaration of Independence (1776) Documents which prove that Jefferson modeled the Declaration largely upon the 1689 Declaration of Rights.




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