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Word Count: 806
The seventeenth century in American history witnessed the arrival of a devout religious group known as the Puritans to the New England area Whether unsatisfied with the seemingly slow progress of the Protestant Reformation in their home country of England or fearing for their lives because of anti-Puritan persecutions they eventually made their way to the New World with the goal of living and worshipping freely for God Though the Puritan settlement at Massachusetts Bay in 1630 was started off at a larger scale than any others in colonial America the faith managed to fully lose its dominant cultural impact in these settlements in the nineteenth century Essentially this demise was the result of Puritanisms own strict social political and religious doctrines Though the Puritans were essentially supporters of liberty they were restrained in social conduct to a degree incomparable to any contemporary standards The idea of religion and government as one functioning system or paternalism was at the heart of their colonial settlements It was mutually agreed upon by the Puritans that the purpose of government was to enforce the will of God Therefore social aspects like dress and family were considered within the jurisdiction of the system and an extensive and outrageous list of laws called the sumptuary laws was created concerning communal behavior For women lace was not considered an acceptable article of clothing in Puritan society and their attire had to have acceptable sleeve measurements At the same time a man was subject to prosecution if he wore long hair and men were not even allowed to kiss their wives in public situations One man was forced to spend hours in the stocks for kissing his in front of his home after returning from three years at sea In all actuality such harsh social policies could have done nothing more effectively than bread dissenters over time The political outlook of the Puritan faith was very similar to the social mindset
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