Who Are the Puritans?

The Puritans were a 16th- and 17th-century English Protestant group influenced by the teachings of Calvinism to a degree. The group was unhappy with the scope of the English Reformation that saw the formation of the Anglican Church, deeming it ineffective in ending practices similar to the Catholic Church.

A large number of Puritans left the country in the early 17th century for the Netherlands and North America, pursuing freedom to worship as they chose. The remaining English Puritans joined forces with the Scottish Presbyterians in the three English Civil Wars of 1642 to 1651. The defeat of the monarchy saw the Puritans come to power in Cromwell's Protectorate. The restoration of the English monarchy in 1660 saw the remaining Puritans persecuted and out of power.