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Word Count: 498
Religious Intolerance In Early America It is common belief that America was founded and built as a haven for victims of religious persecution from all across Europe In the early years our country saw Puritans Quakers Baptists Catholics Jews and others flee from Europe in hope of religious tolerance in a land that would be unbiased and impartial towards their respective religions Did every religion find this highly coveted religious tolerance The answer in my opinion is no America originally viewed as a prospective religiously free land by persecuted Europeans did not convey an attitude of religious freedom in the 1600s and 1700s In reality most religious sects in Americas early years were entirely intolerant of open-minded thinking and religious views contradicting their own Each religion essentially wanted a place where they could practice their own religion impose it on others and punish those who did not see religion in the same light One such incident of religious intolerance took place in 1635 when the Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony they themselves having been victims of persecution in England banished Reverend Roger Williams from the colony for disagreeing with the Puritan Church over relations with the Church of England and the right of political authorities to coerce religious dissenters The Puritans it seems were setting a double standard after leaving England because of religious intolerance and persecution resulting from their attempts to purify the Church of England This type of double standard was commonplace among the Puritans and other religious groups during this time period The trial of Anne Hutchinson is another prime example of a Puritan attempt to force their religious ideas upon others and punish those who refused to agree Hutchinson suggested that the concept of dependence of salvation on Gods free gift versus dependence on worthy and pious deeds the original separating belief between Protestants and Catholics had been lost
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