Puritanism emerged in the 16th ”“ 17th century, in England. Initially, it was a religious movement advocating for more purity. In actuality, Puritanism was a response to the dramatic change of the traditional lifestyle and the substitution of the dominant religious view on humans and life, by new, humanistic and scientific view, which emerged in the result of the Renaissance and the following Enlightenment.
The gradual decline of the Catholic Church, the emerging reformation movement contributed to the development of Puritanism which stood for the protection of basic Christian principles and total elimination of sinful inclinations, habits and lifestyle at large (Mead, 124). In fact, puritans were quite radical in their views since they believed in the God’s supreme authority, while human beings were too weak and unable to live a good and virtuous life, especially if their faith is weak. In such a context, they promoted worshiping of God, but, unlike the Catholic Church, they insisted on the simplicity of worshipping. Moreover, they aimed at the wide spread of education, though the accessibility of education for all people was closely associated with the “proper”ť religious education of new generations.
Puritanism grew more and more popular in England and overseas since the morale’s decline resulted in the dissatisfaction of people with their spiritual life and they looked for alternative teaching, which could guide them on their way to God (Mead, 193). In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that religion was still very important for people in England and America.
As a result, Puritanism produced a profound impact on the development of English and American culture, which was perceived by other people as the culture which tends to simplicity, even asceticism, and, simultaneously, this culture was rather democratic since one of its milestones was the priesthood of all believers. Thus, Puritanism became one of the basic religious and ideological movements which shaped English and American cultures.