In 1620 the Pilgrims found Plymouth colony. In 1630 the Puritans found Massachusetts Bay colony. Both of these groups left Europe to find a place where they could practice their religion freely and still make a good wage. The Puritans lived up to their idealized vision of community to a decent extent.
In general most would say that the Puritans lived up to their idealized vision of community. They had freedom to practice their religion how they wished but they didn’t always agree in how to run their own religion. They were very strict in how they ran the colonies. You were required to go to church. Roger Williams challenged this 1636. He said, “Forced worship stinks in God’s nostrils.” Not all people liked how they ran their form of religion. This is sort of ironic because one of the reasons they left England was so they didn’t get persecuted for holding other services, not attending, or not following the rules of the church. This is sort of the same situation here.
Another reason they didn’t live up to the full extent of their vision of their community was because they faced many difficulties such as disease and the cold. During the first winter half of the colonists died from disease and the cold. This caused them to not make as good of a living as they would of hoped. They had to focus on survival more than making money. One of the only reasons they were able to grow corn was because they had the help of Squanto, one of the only surviving Patuxet. Also they were not able to pay off their charter right away because when they tried to send goods back it was captured by the French. This caused them to owe more and more to the London merchants.
Another problem was that their government was based off a lot by biblical law. This is a problem because the bible can be interpreted many different ways. This was bad because some people interpreted things one way and others another way. This created conflicts and people who were upset with the system. Another reason the government was bad was because the government official were all part of the “elect.” This made people that weren’t part of the “elect” angry, causing some to leave. This was bad for their idealized community because they were the “citty upon a hill.” They wanted to be perfect and with people leaving they didn’t look good.
*All dates and Statistics are from the text book “American Passages”
Edward L. Ayers, David M. Ochinsky, Lewis L. Gould, Jean R. Soderlund, “American Passages”