Puritanism in American Society Today
An examination of aspects of puritanism that still exist in American society today.
This paper discusses puritan concepts that are still inherent in American society today. On one side, there are the Pilgrims and Plymouth Rock, the blunderbuss and the turkey, and on the other there is also the commonly-held ‘dark side,’ the Massachusetts Bay Colony Puritans: witch-hunts, elitism, intolerance, narrow-minded zealotry. The former is seen to be more influential today.
“”I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” (Thomas Paine) History is primarily the history of ideas. The ideas, concepts and constructions which emerged from Europe in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had an impact on the whole of the Western world from Europe to its colonies and beyond. The faith in reason, science, technology, progress, human rights, commerce, the nation, and humanity in general, would eventually find its way into a global context. While various Puritan concepts are under fire today, the world has yet to replace them.”