A Puritan Colony in Maryland

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    Storia, Saggistica

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While native and foreign historians have carefully narrated the history of the Puritans of New England, hardly any notice has been taken of another Puritan band that colonized the southern provinces, a band fewer indeed in numbers but no less zealous than their New England brethren. Sufferings and trials the northern colonists doubtless had, but to those of the southern brethren must be added religious persecution, unknown to the Puritans of New England. Popular ignorance of the story of the Southern Puritans may to a degree be explained by the impossibility to most minds of associating severe, stern, blue-law Puritanism, with the loose, high-living qualities ascribed to the average Virginian or Maryland settler. To this incongruity of temperament the historian gladly leaves much of the unexplained history of the Southern Puritans; yet in the very bosom of Virginia a Puritan colony existed and waxed strong, until its very strength necessitated expulsion. The great struggle of English nonconformists for purity in the church seemed, in the early years of James I., a failure. Though spurred on and encouraged by zealous workers like Milton, who could not fail to see the evil that was creeping into the church and society at large, they yearly found their mother-country becoming more oppressive. To them the newly-found land in the west seemed to open her arms and to invite the oppressed to a refuge for religious freedom.

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