In the seventeenth century, New England Puritans:
As the Puritans left England to escape religious persecution, they established a thriving society in New England,
based around puritan doctrine, virtue, and the church. They had intended to create a utopian society that would thrive
because it honored God's laws. They intended this utopia to be an example to the world. However, as religious
dissenters gained a voice, Puritanism seemed to splinter and secular concerns became more important to the citizens of
the New England area, the region lost the homogenous culture it once had. The founders of New England had one
major benefit when they were settling. The charter given to their company, the Massachusetts Bay Company, contained
a provision that allowed the government of the colony to be located in the colony itself. This allowed the like minded
individuals who settled the colony to begin with, to set their own laws, and elect their own government officals. These
founders did not want the church to be controlled by the State, as they felt it was in England, so they made it illegal for
Ministers and Preachers to hold Public office. They did however, expect the community to live up to certain religious
standards. They wanted to live as saintly as possible to prove they were members of the elect, destined for heaven, and
they wanted to uphold Gods Laws so that God would prevent great hardship and disaster from befalling the colony.
These standards were enforced with the power of Law, and intense peer pressure. All people were required to
attend church, or pay a fine, as well as a number of other laws such as the illegality of sex outside of marrage, and
working on the sabbath. Everything was strictly watched by the church, and by each man watching his neighbor, since
New England towns were desgined so that everyone was in a proximity to one another, able to observe and pry. And
why should a good puritan have cause to complain about a lack of privacy? Surely he wouldn't need it unless he had
something to hide. This was probably not a problem for New Englanders. Being puritans, they all enjoyed the
knowledge that they were probably among God's Elect, and thus better than the vast majority of people, and therefore
very eager to display their piety to others and please the church.
The people were generally satisfied and soon dispersed–but many of those of inferior Sort, who delight in
mischief merely for its own sake, or for plunder, seem yet to be in such a turbulent Disposition that the two mortified
Gentlemen are still in some Danger, but the Sons of Liberty intend to Exert themselves in their Defense.
While there are many influential years in American history, it is rare to have a dramatic turning point. A turning point
is a time in which the policies and events of that year cause a radical change in the feelings and views of the people.
Such is the case with the year 1763. 1763 was a dramatic turning point in American history because it was a time that