Puritans Research Article from The Way People Live

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Religion was ever present in the lives of the Puritans. The location of the meetinghouse at the center of town was symbolic of the place of the church in Puritan society. A desire to scrutinize one another's behavior was one reason why the Puritans built their homes close together around their town center. An equally important reason was so that every townsperson would live within walking distance of the meetinghouse.

The Meetinghouse

Most seventeenth-century New England meetinghouses were constructed according to the same basic design. The typical meetinghouse was a simple, square, one-room building. It did not have a steeple or bell tower, which the Puritans regarded as "popish." Also reflecting the Puritans' disdain for what they considered to be the "Catholic pomp" of the Anglican churches, their meetinghouses omitted stained-glass windows, statues, or ornaments of any sort. The focal point of the entire building was...

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This section contains 4,456 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Puritans Encyclopedia Article
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Puritans from The Way People Live. ©2002-2006 by Lucent Books, an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.