The Unjust System of New England Puritan Court System Essays

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The court system in Puritan New England was an unfair and unjust system, stemming from the general court of Massachusetts. Many of the trials and procedures were ludicrous. General life in the Puritan communities was centered around religion and the judicial system reflected this. Religion crept into laws and the courts until they were practically combined. Puritan's valued their religion zealously and it became part of everyday life in the colony. Religion was a huge part of law, the court, and the state in Puritan New England. The Puritan church was mixed with the state and often they seemed to almost combine. Laws were a combination of the state and religion (Yale 9). Referring to church and state, David Yale wrote, “The distinction …show more content…

One law states, “If any man or woeman be a witch, (that is hath or consulteth with a familiar spirit). They shall be put to death” (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Another law states that if a man worships any other god, but the lord god, after legal conviction, he would be put to death (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Even if a man did something as small as damage or ridicule the name of God, he would be put to death (Mass. Body of Lib. 10). Laws were severe and there are plenty of examples of these laws put into practice. Baptists who did not believe in infant baptism would cover their ears and turn around during the process. This could be changed in courts, the person could be banished, or the person could be imprisoned (Yale 9). Also, people who would protest against the General Court or the Puritan rule would be banished (Breen 1). Religion had colossal part to play in the laws and the consequences in Puritan New England. To understand how the Puritans influenced the court system, it is necessary to learn about the structure of the courts. The General Court was the highest body in the Puritan Court System. The General Court of Massachusetts was a legislative, administrative, and judicial body (Breen 1). An important change came when Puritan leaders shifted the government to New England from London. This caused the locals in New England to start running the government, instead of Men in England (Breen 1). The General

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