Personally, I think that the New England Puritans did live up to their vision of a community for a certain amount of time. I feel this way because they did in fact have a set of rules that mostly everyone followed. Also, they had a set form of government to follow, and over time they realized what it took to survive in the Chesapeake area. The Puritans had a very specific opinion on what they valued. This happened to be religion, and they agreed to live in a community that had those values in common. So, they started a colony that followed this example. However, if you are going to have a community, you must have leaders to make decisions. These were the religious leaders, who were also the political leaders. In this new government that they had created, they needed a set of rules that everyone must abide by. The religious leaders were very well respected, as well as listened to, so, therefore, this situation created a Theocracy (a government in which religion is the main motivation, and the religious leaders are also political leaders). This is very important because most colonies that were attempted at this time ended up failing due a lack of a set of rules. These colonies did not have a structured government! An example, in Jamestown, (the suggested destination of the Puritans), starved to death because they had no source of food. There was no leader to make decisions or create rules. The Puritans had a set form of rules that mostly everyone followed. This made sure to keep organization, arrangement and order in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The people of this colony understood what was necessary to make everything flow, and what they should do to avoid catastrophe. One member of the colony said, “We shall be as a city on a hill” The people thought this meant that they had to spread His word and become the best and most powerful colony in the world if they wanted to make Him glorified. These set rules kept a structure to the colony. All these rules were successful until Roger Williams wrote “The Bloody Tenet of Christian Persecution” in 1644. This document caused people in the colony to question the set rules. Lastly, the Puritans’ work ethic was successful for the first four years. They had established peace and organization for the most part. Other colonies expected the work that the Puritans were doing to be done for them. Sure, they got riches and power, but the Puritans’ learned the more difficult way. These reasons prove that the Puritans lived up to their idealized vision of community and why they were successful.
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