Prior to the War for American Independence, the colonial mentality was one of bereaved British citizens, not revolutionaries. The people and the founders approached legal, political, and religious issues with a very European mind-set and experience. Penning the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson listed the liberties withheld or suspended from the colonists by the British government. . . .
After their long journey aboard the Mayflower, the Pilgrims (Puritans) arrived in the Massachusetts Bay knowing that they would now have freedom of religion. However, as they established their settlements, churches, and governments, they held to the governing principles of the ordinances written by John Calvin in Geneva. One of the more notable precepts was the suppression of opposing religiou . . .
As the king of Scotland, King James VI was all too familiar with the Calvinist (Presbyterian and Puritan) demands for autonomy. An unwavering devotee to the divine right of kings, upon his ascension to the throne of England as King James I of the entire British Isle, he not only united England and Scotland into a single United Kingdom, but also guarded against the anti-monarchial i . . .
The reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary I left England in religious and political turmoil. As Elizabeth I ascended to the throne, discord between Calvinized Anglicans, Lutherans, and other Calvinist sects deeply divided the nation. However, the binding tie between these three religious groups was their regard for Catholics as the true enemies of England. Recognizing the international haz . . .