What Were the Major Religions in the Northern Colonies?

The New England colonies were settled by Puritans and Pilgrims who left England to escape government interference with their desire to worship as they pleased. They were soon joined by evangelical Christians such as Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists, who followed the principles of the Great Awakening. According to the Library of Congress, this movement was centered around a belief in "new birth" as inspired by preaching the Word.

The Puritans ruled Massachusetts Bay Colony from its inception in 1620. However, there were dissenters among the populace. Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams and Thomas Hooker were among those who rebelled and eventually founded their own brands of protestantism. Williams established the Baptist religion. UShistory.org states that Hutchinson and Hooker were instrumental in establishing states such as Rhode Island and Connecticut where they could practice what they felt was a truer version of puritanism.

The New England colonies flourished under puritan rule. Literacy rates were high because parents wanted their children to be able to read the Bible. Life expectancy was greater than it was in old England. The population grew at twice the rate of the southern colonies, as is shown in data collected on UShistory.org. A claim made on its behalf is that New England invented grandparents because people began to live long enough to know their children's children.