Global Christianity Colonial settlement of the United States
Global Christianity

European expansion, including the planting of Christianity, strongly influenced by Puritanism.

Several Protestant countries laid claim to parts of the eastern seaboard in the seventeenth century; all claimed an interest in evangelizing Native Americans, but in this none were very successful. England consolidated the area into 13 English Colonies. In the south, the first permanent English settlement was founded at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Soon the slave trade brought Africans, whose descendants formed the African-American churches. Anglicanism was the established religion of southern colonies, including Maryland, despite its beginnings as a haven for Roman Catholics. In New England, Puritans held sway; their legacy, shaped American life through congregationalism, social reform, literacy and representative government. The middle colonies had a mixture of Christian groups. Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, in particular, set precedents for religious pluralism. In the mid eighteenth-century, a religious revival called the Great Awakening swept through the colonies. It set the stage for Methodists and Baptists to become the largest Protestant denominations. After the American Revolution, the constitutional settlement guaranteed religious freedom. By the mid to late nineteenth century immigration made Roman Catholicism the largest expression of Christianity in the United States.

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