Monday, November 1, 2010
Before I get to John Winthrop, I need to clarify a few things. Puritans and Pilgrims...not the same. The colony established in 1620 at Plymouth was by the Pilgrims and Massachusetts Colony was established in 1630 by the Puritans, led by John Winthrop. The Pilgrims and Puritans were both seeking religious refuge from persecution in Britain. The Pilgrims were considered separatists, seeking to separate from the Church of England whereas the Puritans simply wanted to purify the customs of the Anglican church.
Winthrop landed with his fellow Puritans at Salem on the ship Arbella. Before going ashore, Winthrop gave, what is considered to be, one of the most famous sermons in American history. Winthrop's vision of a "city on a hill" quickly became a memory when word of his successful colony reached England. More immigrants began to come to Massachusetts, many of whom were not Puritans themselves. Within 100 years after the death of Winthrop in 1649, Puritanism was no longer the dominant faith in Massachusetts. This is interesting because several of the Ivy League schools started out as conservative religious institutions, but have long since lost its conservatism.
Source of picture: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/art/pic_winthrop.jpg
Source of information: The Intellectual Devotional: American History by Kidder and Oppenheim, pg. 8