- Aug 2010
- Welsh Marches
Much as it was good that royal absolutism should not have established itself in England, I think it is anachronistic to regard the parliamentary side in general as being liberal, least of all the Puritans who were opposing the King for religious reasons. This is in effect trying classify people in accordance whether they were on the 'side of progress' in the long run rather than in accordance with their immediate aims. Similarly with regard to those who seem to think that the Puritans advanced freedom of religion, while the very idea was abhoorent to them.It's hard to label, but the Puritans would seem to be the more liberal or radical side in the English Civil War. They were for republican politics and radically reformed religion. In power, they did close the theaters, and try to restrict the celebration of holidays such as Christmas.
There were a few Puritans religious dissenters executed in Massachusetts. Pretty much all churches in New England were Congregationalist and you had to be Congregationalist to vote in colonial times. At the time of the American Revolution, the Anglican Church was established everywhere but New England and Pennsylvania. In Virginia, all churches had to be Anglican, and you had to go to church once a month by law. I believe there was relative freedom of religion in NY, NJ, PA, and MD. Obviously, the Spanish Empire had less freedom of religion. There wasn't really the concept of freedom of religion in the 17th century.