The Pilgrims' Landing

Pilgrims landing

Imported Intolerance...

AN INTRODUCTION FOR TEACHERS

Religious tolerance was an important but often misunderstood contribution of the colonial era. Tolerance developed only after time. Groups such as the Pilgrims and Puritans who left Europe to escape religious persecution often were intolerant of religious diversity themselves once they established themselves in the New World.

It was a long road from Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the First Amendment of the Constitution. Religion and government, far from being separate, were viewed as intrinsically connected by the early colonists.

The Pilgrims were Separatists and radical Puritans who sailed aboard the Mayflower in 1620 and founded Plymouth Colony near what is now Provincetown Massachusetts. They had originally left England for the religiously tolerant Netherlands, but left there for economic reasons and because their children were becoming more Dutch than English.

Thanksgiving: The other side...

A Children's Thanksgiving Story

The Wampanoag Tribe

Intolerance: The Salem Witch Trials

National Geographic Virtual Witch Trial

National Geographic has put together an unusual online tour, Salem Witchcraft Hysteria, which allows you to interactively "experience the trials." As you move through the exhibit, you are accused, jailed, tried, condemned, and executed.

Additional Links for in-depth information on the Salem Witch Trials

Recommended Reading

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