17th Century America

Back in the 17th century, the area that would eventually become the United States of America was still just the "New World." Native Americans and European settlers lived side-by-side, but populations were small and there wasn't a whole lot going on besides bare survival. Modern historians like to picture white people stepping ashore with guns blazing, when in fact early relations between European settlers and Indians was often peaceful and cooperative.

The South American scene was considerably different. Most of the first European visitors weren't there for primarily religious reasons (as was true of the Pilgrims and Puritans in North America), and the natives they encountered were more violent than their northern counterparts. The result was a lot of bloodshed and fire, and names like Cortes and Columbus are still bad words in many South American countries.

In the New England colonies, however, God was uppermost in the minds of most people. Jamestown was the first English colony in the New World, and it wasn't particularly religious, but the second one was Plymouth and it was the first American home of the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims were Puritan in doctrine but Seperatist in practice, believing that the Church of England was beyond repair and that dedicated Christians had no choice but to leave it. They did, settling first in Holland, and in 1620 founding Plymouth Plantation in what would become Massachusetts.

The Puritans came not much later. Their intention was a little more ambitious than the Pilgrim project: not content with simply fleeing the shadow of a state church, they intended to build a Christian community in which the Law of God determined the civic laws, and where there was little distinction between sacred and secular law. Modern Americans often balk at this, but the Puritans weren't concerned with human wisdom, they were wholly informed by a desire to practice holiness and godly devotion.

Don't think they were allwitch-hunters and dour black-clad killjoys, either. The Puritans enjoyed life as much as the next person, and while they were susceptible to ignorance and sin just like any other group of human beings, they were continually given to thanking God for the material and spiritual blessings He'd bestowed on them.

Their influence was largely responsible for the inclusion of Christian moral standards within the U.S. Constitution, for while the Enlightenment humanism of Franklin and Jefferson is clearly present, so too is the Puritan heritage of many of the Founding Fathers. As Christians, we also can thank God and praise Him for providing such forefathers for His children in the New World.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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184 Items found Print
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by Catherine O'Neill Grace
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in Pilgrims at Plymouth (Location: HISA-17PIL)
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Biography for 10th-Adult
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Biography for
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by Anne Price-Hardister, illustrated by Ruby Gardner
from Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation
for 2nd-6th grade
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Leaders in Action Series
by Doug Wilson
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Biography for
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in Vintage History & Biographies (Location: VIN-HIS)
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Dover Coloring Books
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from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
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American History Reference for 9th-Adult
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$16.00
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1st edition from Chicago Review Press
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3rd edition from Beautiful Feet Books
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2nd edition from Beautiful Feet Books
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1st edition from Simon and Schuster
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from Dover Publications
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American History Reference for 5th-9th grade
in History of US (Location: HISRF-US)
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Non-Fiction for 2nd-5th grade
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First Edition from Scholastic Press
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Biography for 4th-6th grade
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from Avyx, Inc.
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from Beautiful Feet Books
Non-fiction for Kindergarten-3rd grade
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from Sterling Publishing Co.
Historical Non-fiction for 3rd-7th
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from Thomas Publications
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by Judith Edwards
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in Biographies (Location: BIO)
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by Kathryn, Lasky
from Scholastic Inc.
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from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
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Landmark Series
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from Random House
Historical Non-Fiction for 5th-8th grade
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Landing of the Pilgrims
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by James Daugherty
from Spencer Press
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in American Landmark Books (Location: VIN-LAND)
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Landmark Series
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from Scholastic Inc.
Historical Non-Fiction for 5th-8th grade
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from Banner of Truth Trust
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$9.00
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Puritan Paperbacks
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Historical Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
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Dover Coloring Books
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from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
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in Clearance: History & Geography (Location: ZCLE-HIS)
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Realistic Fiction for 2nd-6th grade
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from A Beka Books
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Mayflower Pilgrims
by Edmund J. Carpenter
2nd edition from Christian Liberty Press
Biography for 7th-10th grade
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$7.50
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Trailblazer Books
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from Bethany House
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2022 Reprint from Knowledge Keepers
for Adult
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$9.00 (1 in stock)
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by Dwight B. Heath, editor
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Primary Source Document for 8th-12th grade
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N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims
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N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims
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American History Reference for 8th-10th grade
in To Pledge Allegiance (Location: HISCUR-US)
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from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
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by William Bradford
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Historical Non-Fiction for 9th-Adult
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Non-fiction for 1st-3rd grade
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