Although the colonies established before the 1700s were formed by people who emigrated from countries of strict Christianity, many colonies developed their own religious beliefs. By the year 1700, there was a scale of religious freedom ranging from high tolerance to low tolerance. Groups of strict, accepting, and very liberal religions were spread throughout the colonies. Thus, among the British North American colonies, several differences formed in relation to religious freedom.
In the late 1620s, a group of wealthy Puritans immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony. This particular group of Puritans stressed a well-ordered community. They were very involved in their social hierarchy, believing that a person's social status was ordained by God. The Puritans had very little religious tolerance. In the case of Roger Williams, the Puritan colonists became very uncomfortable. When he arrived in 1631, he preached religious tolerance and separation of church and state. In 1636, Williams was banished from the colony. He went on to found Rhode Island, which was given a royal charter guaranteeing self-government and complete religious liberty. Thomas Hooker was a minister that disagreed with the policy of restricting suffrage to male church members. He led his followers to the Conneticut River and founded Hartford in 1636. Both men were looked down on by the Puritan society, The Puritans wanted to reform and purify traditional Catholicism. Thus, they turned away from and punished tolerant ideas of religious liberty.
Quakers were nearly completely opposite of the Puritans. In 1676 the English Quakers bought proprietary rights to a western part of New Jersey. They developed ith into a haven for the Society of Friends, a group that the Puritans rejected. The Quakers were devoted to religious toleration and pacifism. William Penn, an English Quaker, had been imprisoned four times for his religious views, but he soon was granted a colony west of the Delaware River where he set up Pennsylvania.