|This research examines religion in English colonial life in North America. The research will set forth the context in which colonial religious practice evolved and then discuss the shape that it took prior to the American Revolution.
The fact that English colonial life in North America was in significant part a product of the impulse toward religious freedom unavailable in the mother country is difficult to overstate. The entire period of New World exploration was exactly contemporaneous with a tradition in English history of making religion a determinant of politics and vice versa. To the degree, as Becker says, Protestantism in England “was the result of a middle-class revolt against the existing regime” (81), there was bound to be little sympathy for the outmoded “ideal of a single Christian community” symbolized by the Church of England (Becker 48).