In the British North American colonies religious freedoms existed before 1700, however it was limited by the dominant Protestant colonies that slowed the growth of other religions. Puritans immigrated to the New World because they thought that the Protestant Reformation in England was slow and they decided to move on. However the more extreme Separatists left because they thought the only way to become pure was to leave the church altogether. Both the Puritans and the Separatists established their colonies and their governments. The governments were based on religious laws that displayed intolerance toward other religions. They had the freedom to practice and preach their beliefs; yet, they did not allow others to do so if they practiced other creeds.
These New England colonies limited the progress of other religious people, like the Quakers, by conducting unusual punishments like stripping the women, whipping the men and starving and cutting off the ears of men and women. The Quakers received little freedom to practice their convictions due to the beliefs of the Puritans.
However, in colonies like Rhode Island, many pariahs could find peace and the freedom to practice their traditions. Rhode Island was like a sanctuary for men and women like Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams who were kicked out of their homes because of their antinomianism acts or their criticizing the form of government. .
Rhode Island also became a place filled with diverse religions and ethnicities. Roger William created a Baptist Church that established the complete freedom of religion. Here Jews, Catholics and Quakers could find shelter and tolerance. In these colonies religions of all kinds were welcomed and could openly be practiced, opposed to the colonies in the north.
In such places like Pennsylvania economic opportunities, civil liberty and religious freedom were aspects of every day life. Unlike the religious freedom in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania was Quaker dominant.