Question 3: How Did Religion Influence Colonial Society

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Looking Ahead Question 3: How did religion shape and influence colonial society? Religion was a major factor of colonial societies in North America, and religion influenced such colonies by their lifestyle choices, and can cause hysteria. Brinkley states, “The religious dissenters who formed the bulk of the population of early New England, for example were men and women of modest means who arranged their own passage, brought their families with them, and established themselves immediately on their own land” (66). Settlers to the “New World” wished to have their own land, and live independently away from colonial society. An example of hysteria is the Salem Witch Trials. During the 1680s-1690s, adolescent women accused that Native Americas, who were slaves, practiced Witchcraft. This was a fragile time for the colony, and caused for many people, especially the adolescent women, to be accused of such practice. If people were…show more content…
Mather’s believed in the natural law theory. This theory is based on the idea that an individual is born with rights. For example, these rights can be freedom of religion, a right to have a say in the type of government, etc. Natural law is seen as natural rights, or given at birth. On the other side, Jonathan Edwards believed in, “intellectual weapons of the Enlightenment in an attempt to restore the primacy of religion.” Edwards did believe religion was an important element in one’s life, but natural law allows one to have natural born rights, and can choose what he/she desires. Edward’s strategy only focuses on religion, and the Enlightenment era was not just about religious freedom, but freedom of monarchy, or a type of democratic/self-rule government. Mather’s strategy of natural law allows one to have their own natural laws, and focuses on a wider range of natural laws than the primacy of

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