TeacherServe Essays

Religious Pluralism in the Middle Colonies

Author: Bonomi, Patricia U.

If the American experiment in pluralism at times suggests the metaphor of a pressure cooker rather than a melting pot, this should come as no suprise to observers of the Middle Colonies. The Middle Colonies of British North America—comprised of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware—became a stage for the western world’s most complex experience with religious pluralism. The mid-Atlantic region, unlike either New England or the South, drew many of its initial settlers from European states that had been deeply disrupted by the Protestant Reformation and the religious wars that followed in its wake. Historians conventionally note that early New England’s religious character was shaped primarily by English Puritans, and the religious character of the South by English Anglicans. But no two-word phrase can capture the essence of those who set the mold for Middle Colony religious culture.

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Subjects
History / Education Studies / American History / Christianity / Thirteen Colonies / Religious Pluralism / Puritans /