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In 1630, a group of PURITANS arrived in
MASSACHUSETTS to start their own colony. Like the
PILGRIMS, they came to escape religious persecution
The PURITANS came to America in large numbers and
were well organized. As a result, they did not
experience a prolonged early struggle to survive.
The PURITANS soon established a
COMMONWEALTH, or self-governing political unit. It
was the FIRST of its kind in America. Their colony
grew and soon became known as NEW ENGLAND.
PURITANS went to church regularly and devoted much
time to praying and studying the bible. DANCING and
GAMES were forbidden.
The PURITANS did not believe in RELIGIOUS TOLERATION--
-the acceptance of different beliefs.
In 1635, PURITAN leaders banished the minister ROGER
WILLIAMS for his beliefs. WILLIAMS called for, among other
things, a SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. This would
later become a basic principle of American GOVERNMENT.
WILLIAMS formed a new colony called RHODE ISLAND. It
welcomed people with different BELIEFS and backgrounds.
ANNE HUTCHINSON was another person banished from the
PURITAN commonwealth for her beliefs. She thought that
people should speak to God themselves, not through
ministers. HUTCHINSON found refuge in RHODE ISLAND.
The minister THOMAS HOOKER also disagreed with
many Puritan laws. In 1636, he led a congregation out
of MASSACHUSETTS and established a colony
nearby in CONNECTICUT.
HOOKER worked out a plan of government known as
the FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OF CONNECTICUT.
This document was the first American
CONSTITUTION, or written plan of government.
In 1622, several English men received a grant in the
area north of MASSACHUSETTS that is now NEW
HAMPSHIRE and MAINE. MASSACHUSETTS
eventually claimed these settled areas. NEW
HAMPSHIRE became a royal colony in 1680. MAINE
remained part of MASSACHUSETTS until 1820.
Over time, the English colonists took more and more
land. They tried to spread their RELIGION to the
Native Americans. As a result, FIGHTING erupted
between the two groups.
A fierce battle broke out between the CONNECTICUT
colonists and the PEQUOT INDIANS in 1637. The
colonists took over their land and nearly wiped out the
In 1675, Native Americans and New England colonists
clashed in KING PHILIP’S WAR. The battle was
named after the Native American chief METACOMET,
whom the English called King Philip. After three years
of fighting, the colonists emerged victorious.