Puritan Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

The Puritan Generation (Prophet, born 1588–1617) basked as children in the post-Armada peace. Overcome by spiritual “conversions,” many came of age zealously denouncing the spiritual emptiness of their elders’ Jacobean achievements. While some later led England through a civil war that culminated in the beheading of King Charles I, others were called by God to lead a Great Migration to America. These young-adult “Puritans” established church-centered towns from Long Island to Maine. In midlife, fearing the corrupting influence of the Old World on their own unconverted children, they turned from the “law of love” to the love of law. Their moral authority remained unchallenged through old age, as they provided the elder die-hards of the great Indian Wars and the Glorious Revolution. (COLONIAL: Anne Hutchinson, John Winthrop, Simon Bradstreet, Roger Williams, John Harvard, William Berkeley; FOREIGN: Oliver Cromwell, René Descartes)

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