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American Democracy

            The Puritans, who left England for their religious freedom and better lifestyle, greatly influenced New English government, because they formed the base, from which American democracy develops and enriches as early as 16th century. Despite of some of undemocratic characteristics of New England, there are many reasons why it became a nation, especially known for her democracy or rather a political and economical independence from the crown. The fact that New England is 3000 miles away from its motherland, a unique puritanical belief in self-importance and the almost universal male franchise made New England very democratic at the time period.
             First of all the important factors, America was indeed out of the Crown's reach. This gave the Puritans a new sense of religious and political freedom, which eventually made the Puritans accustomed to handling matters in to their own hands. When the first Puritan settlers arrived at Massachusetts under the leadership of John Winthrop in 1630, they installed the General Court, a representative assembly. This was the first of its kind in America; however, only the church members could join the Court, which limited the number of legitimate candidates, since it was extremely hard to become a member of the church in the early years of New England due to the strict requirements. When a number of congregations left Massachusetts for more fertile land and due to their disagreements with the Governor Winthrop, they tried to establish a new town, in which they could practice their ideas and rule it in their ways. Under the Reverend Thomas Hooker, they founded Hartford in 1636 along with the Fundamental Orders, which was the first written constitution in America. Nevertheless, all these new establishments were possible because of their political freedom.
             Second of all, the puritanical belief made the believers think that their direct connection with God made them the equal to any hierarchical officers, such as bishops and even the Pope.

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