How did New England transition from being puritanical to being liberal?

Aug 2010
15,102
Welsh Marches
#41
There is the Church of England, which has the Archbishop of Canterbury as its senior cleric and the Monarch as its formal head, and there are the many churches in the Anglican Communion which share common ideas and work together but are in no way subject to the Church of England, or to the Archbishop of Canterbury or Monarch. Most of these churches call themselves Anglican, but some Episcopal (as in the USA) to stress that they are not English, or some after the name of the country, or whatever.

There is a good Wiki article which explains the situation much more fully:
Anglican Communion - Wikipedia
 
Jan 2014
990
Rus
#42
I know roughly modern state. But i am interesting about situation in New England after declaration of Independence.

This question appeared because Betgo said "Puritan was liberal" and was "strongly patriot". So i am interested who were they more - liberals or patriots. ))
 
Jan 2012
391
South Midlands in Britain
#43
I meant Anglican church as church, which head is English king. Was it allowed?
In 1685 the toleration of religious difference was embodied in English law. This meant that the supremacy of the Anglican church was diminished and dissenters could no longer be forced to attend Anglican services on the threat of being fined significant sums or even suffer imprisonment. By the late eighteenth century the Anglican church had refocused onto providing pastoral care. Whilst it remained the Church Established and it retained the loyalty of most people it no longer had the capability of enforcing worship and religious conformity. Some reactionary estate owners refused to employ dissenters who continued to suffer some social exclusion but because they were known to be reliable in commercial affairs exclusion gradually became irrelevant.

In the American colonies those who remained loyal to the British Crown, which usually included the Anglican Communion, largely relocated to Canada. The question as to whether or not any Anglican supporters within the United States remained loyal to their church was irrelevant. Public attitudes had moved on and whilst religious difference was socially criticised it had no legal substance. The quarrel over American Independence was about politics, not religion.
 
Likes: Slavon

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,677
#44
Puritans were patriots in that they supported the rebel side in the War of Independence. In the middle states and the deep south it was pretty even between "patriots" and "loyalists".

The Anglican Church is called the Episcopal Church. They affiliated with the Episcopal Church of Scotland, which is also not run directly by the English king. I think this occured in Scotland before the King of England and the King of Scotland were the same person. So the Episcopal Church is not run by the King of England and Archbishop of Canterbury. Not sure if it would have been legally allowed to have it run by the King. The Episopal Church had a bad reputation early on for including formal loyalists, as well being considered Catholic and elitist.
 
Jan 2014
990
Rus
#45
Thanks. I understood that like everywhere liberalism ends when talking beguns about your personal enemies )))

...Although kings was blame himself when proclaimed himself as head of Church.
 
Jan 2012
391
South Midlands in Britain
#46
Thanks. I understood that like everywhere liberalism ends when talking beguns about your personal enemies )))

...Although kings was blame himself when proclaimed himself as head of Church.
Liberalism is a label concocted by academics seeking to define peculiar structures. Such are intellectual constructs with little direct relevance to the human condition.

King Henry VIII declared himself head of the English Church around 1530. Like most tyrants he didn't understand the full implications of this action. This was long before the foundation of any English colonies in North America or even the invention of the word `puritan'.
 
Likes: Slavon

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
15,102
Welsh Marches
#47
The essential point that Henry was denying that the Pope had any authority over the chiurch in England, and the inevitable next step was to say that the English sovereign held ultimate authority (remembering that the sovereign was supposed to derive his authority from God). This has actually proved to be a flexible concept and one that makes good practical sense in the English context, since the sovereign, as ideas of monarchical authority evolved, can be regarded as governing the Church in response to advice from the church authorities (bishops, synod etc.), rather as she 'governs' the country in response to the advice of her political ministers; and although the Church of England is the established church in England, she does not claim to exercise any religious authority over noncomformists, people who follow other religions etc.

More generally, liberalism is too loose and variable a concept to be usefully employed in a discussion of this kind.
 
Likes: Slavon
Feb 2012
3,836
Portugal
#48
Early on in New England's history, there was a large Puritan influence in New England. This was especially evident in Massachusetts--which was the location of the Salem Witch Trials in 1692-1693 (which is when various people were accused of witchcraft, put on trial, and executed). However, later on, New England became very liberal. For instance, Massachusetts was one of the first U.S. states to repeal its anti-miscegenation law in 1843 and it was also the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003.

My question is this--what exactly caused New England to shift from being puritanical to being liberal?
Honest question: is "puritanical" antithetic to "liberal"?
The word liberal may have a different meaning in the US and Europe not sure if anyone addressed this in the thread. Groups from the radical reformation seem to be closer to economic liberalism, republicanism and even socialism, but from a moral point of view they are conservatives and US conservatives are closer to most of these values than modern day US liberals. However because these groups not always had doctrinal staying power it seems they could drift and eventualy even from a religious point of view become moraly and religiously more liberal than traditional religions, many years ago remember reading this was the case with English Puritans in the US. Though this is a very complex issue.
 
Likes: Slavon
Jan 2012
391
South Midlands in Britain
#50
Fundamental to the puritan belief was equality within the congregation. This egalitarian outlook varied from sect to sect making it foolish to say that all puritans were egalitarian in the modern sense. Some sects practiced general redemption whilst others believed in a particular election to eternal life. Once a division was achieved between a religious or spiritual life and a material existence the principle of equality before the law remained. The liberal idea is about equality although the social and economic implementation of such principles is more complex and open to hypocrisy.