7

In a book titled America's Providential History it states on page 84 that

The major Puritan weakness was their holding to the idea of a State Church. They saw nothing wrong with a National church.

But it doesn't give any evidence. I personally don't think that they would want a State Church, since they knew that England's church had started out good and eventually became rotten (in their minds). Is there any evidence out there that supports this idea?

  • 1
    Note that the opposing a specific state church doesn't necessarily mean opposition to the idea of a state church. – Comintern Oct 9 '14 at 0:28
  • The Puritans were definitely in favor of their colony being officially Puritan. I'll see if I can dig up some references. – Joe Oct 9 '14 at 1:14
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    @Joe - I was looking for the same references. The Wikipedia page on Separation of church and state in the United States has a table showing when the official state supported churches in all the colonies were disestablished, but unfortunately the article is horribly cited. – Comintern Oct 9 '14 at 1:24
  • @Comintern So is there no visible evidence (at least from web sources)? – Max Isom Oct 11 '14 at 19:17
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    When first starting out, Puritans and other colonists never really saw themselves as starting a continent spanning entity. They wanted their little corner of the new world to be run by themselves in their own way, because they had been shafted whenever someone else was in charge. By the time these questions came up for the US as a whole, the situation had changed and thus their feelings probably changed with it. – Oldcat Nov 12 '14 at 1:46
11

Yes, Puritans supported a state church.

A good source generally on Puritan culture is David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed. Bernard Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution has a brief but good discussion of the development of disestablishment sentiment in the years before the Revolution.

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