What did the Puritans and Pilgrims hoped to have in America?
Known as “separatists,” these Puritans left their homeland and in 1609 moved to Leiden, Holland, where they hoped to worship freely, without harassment from church authorities. Some members of the Leiden church returned to England, and on Aug. 5, 1620, they sailed for America on the ship the Mayflower.
Unlike the Pilgrims who had left 10 years earlier, the Puritans did not break with the Church of England, but instead sought to reform it. Seeking comfort and reassurance in the Bible, they imagined themselves re-enacting the story of the Exodus.
In 1630, the Puritans set sail for America. Unlike the Pilgrims who had left 10 years earlier, the Puritans did not break with the Church of England, but instead sought to reform it.
Over time, the Pilgrims who clung to Plymouth’s rocky shores were absorbed into the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Like the Pilgrims, the Puritans believed that the Church of England needed to be reformed, but they elected to remain within the church, rather than separate from it.
The Pilgrims opposed mass, and considered marriage a civil affair to be handled by the State (not a religious sacrament). Icons and religious symbols such as crosses, statues, stain-glass windows, fancy architecture, and other worldly manifestations of religion were rejected as a form of idolatry.
The pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were religious separatists from the Church of England. They were a part of the Puritan movement which began in the 16th century with the goal to “purify” the Church of England of its corrupt doctrine and practices.
Although both were strict Calvinists, they differed in approaches to reforming the Church of England. The Pilgrims were more inclined to separate from the church, while the Puritans wanted to reform the church from within. The Pilgrims were the first group of Puritans to seek religious freedom in the New World.
The Pilgrims and Puritans came to America to practice religious freedom. In the 1500s England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and created a new church called the Church of England. The Virginia Company agreed, so the Pilgrims set sail on the Mayflower in September 1620 towards Virginia.