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Word Count: 1,221
Although they were victims of religious persecution in Europe the Puritans supported the Old World theory that sanctioned it the need for uniformity of religion in the state Once in control in New England they sought to break the very neck of Schism and vile opinions The business of the first settlers a Puritan minister recalled in 1681 was not Toleration but they were professed enemies of it Puritans expelled dissenters from their colonies a fate that in 1636 befell Roger Williams and in 1638 Anne Hutchinson Americas first major female religious leader Those who defied the Puritans by persistently returning to their jurisdictions risked capital punishment a penalty imposed on four Quakers between 1659 and 1661 Reflecting on the seventeenth centurys intolerance Thomas Jefferson was unwilling to concede to Virginians any moral superiority to the Puritans Beginning in 1659 Virginia enacted anti-Quaker laws including the death penalty for refractory Quakers Jefferson surmised that if no capital execution took place here as did in New England it was not owing to the moderation of the church or the spirit of the legislature For some decades Jews had flourished in Dutch-held areas of Brazil but a Portuguese conquest of the area in 1654 confronted them with the prospect of the introduction of the Inquisition which had already burned a Brazilian Jew at the stake in 1647 A shipload of twenty-three Jewish refugees from Dutch Brazil arrived in New Amsterdam soon to become New York in 1654 By the next year this small community had established religious services in the city By 1658 Jews had arrived in Newport Rhode Island also seeking religious liberty Small numbers of Jews continued to come to the British North American colonies settling mainly in the seaport towns By the time of the Declaration of Independence Jewish settlers had established several thriving synagogues The Quakers or Religious Society of Friends formed in England in 1652 around a charismatic leader
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