The Puritans rise to power in Parliament.
     This image is from the video 'Cromwell'. This frame is from the video "Cromwell". Puritans were the movers and shakers who rose to prominence and set forth policy in English Parliament during the 1600's. Their power struggle with the king over the issue of "no taxation without representation" led on to the English Civil War. Were the English Puritans actually Americans in embryonic form? Here we see them stirring in the womb of England and expressing the true spirit of America 130 years before the nation was born.

By Gavin Finley -

1. Puritan History, Past, Present and Future. An Introduction to this study.
2. John Winthrop and the Puritan dream of a shining 'city upon a hill'.
3. 'Manifest Destiny' is rooted in the Puritan dream of a 'nation under God'.
4. The Puritan belief in a 'Nation Under God' goes back to ancient Israel.
5. Gutenberg, Bibles and the Reformation bring in the Pilgrims and Puritans.
6. The Puritans rise up in the 1600's to dominate English Parliament.
7. The Puritan Army goes to battle against the king in the English Civil War.
8. The Puritan Army wears yellow ribbons and sashes in the English Civil War.
9. The Puritan Religion supports Parliament in the English Civil War.
10. Puritans vs. Pilgrims. Similarities and differences.
11. The Puritans in the New World and the signing of the Mayflower Compact.
12. Puritan belief and the American Revolution vs. the French Revolution.
13. America's Puritans today and the 'Religious Right'
14. The abortion issue and America's Puritans today
15. Today's Puritans and the expansion of America's global peacemaking role.
16. Today's American Puritans and the rise of Dominion Theology
17. Puritan belief and the future history of America.


In the early 1600's the Puritans were still just a small minority in English society. Nevertheless due to continued persecution by the Crown, the aristocracy and their own established Church of England they were becoming very restive and discontented. In the halls of English Parliament the Puritans were highly motivated to seek change in the whole church-state equation. They wanted to see the Reformation in England move forward at more than just the snail's pace that they had been seeing.

The Puritans soon became the main movers and shakers in the political arena. During the 1630's they began to dominate English Parliament. This was a time when the middle class in England was starting to prosper and assert itself. On the economic front the freemen wanted to see a system where the advancement of Englishmen would be based on merit rather than class privilege. The aristocracy, not expectantly, stood squarely in their way. So did the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Church of England. In the 1630's they even began to have a contentious time with the king of all people. Under the emerging leadership of Oliver Cromwell the Puritans in Parliament went head to head against King Charles I over issues of taxation and the representation of the people. (Interestingly, these very same issues of taxation and representation came up again in the following century in the New World as the American colonies approached their War of Independence.) The King had wanted Parliament to raise the money to finance a war. The Puritans took this opportunity to bring to the table the important matter of Parliament's power as representatives of the English people. King Charles responded. He dissolved Parliament!

The bitter feud between King Charles and the Puritan leaders in Parliament got progressively worse. Finally it erupted into the awful English Civil War.

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