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In fact the first writings produced in America were puritan preaching's and things a person should or shouldn't do in order to be a good Christian.
The people who thought otherwise were declared snakes and were punished in different ways. During the 30th of the 17 century the Harvard University founded with money graciously given by John Harvard an emigrant from Stratford-upon Avon.
The puritans knew that the printed word could be more easily spread and soon they imported a printing press. From that time on theology text books in English and Latin were printed.
There are two sides of the strictness of puritan societies. On the one hand life was hard in the colony and around it.
Only well-organized, following the local laws people could survived the hard ships, the Indian attacks and thus could prospered. On the other hand the puritans wanted complete subordination, the leaders of the colony and the church should be abided without any discussion; no one has the right of a difference in mind. Everybody who dared to express personal opinion was considered a traitor, a snake, a heretic. No many making was allowed, no theatre, little music, no bight clothes.
At the end of the 18 century they were many young women killed because they were considered witches. The town of Salem is still famous for these trials.