Puritanism was a religious reform movement in England and New England in the late 16th and 17th centuries that sought to “purify” the Church of England of what were perceived as remnants of the Roman Catholic Church. Holidays such as Christmas and Easter were not celebrated as these had pagan origins. Puritans believed in pre-destination, meaning God alone determined who would receive salvation. Separating themselves from mainstream Anglicans, they were called “Puritans” as an insult. This separation between the two groups culminated in the English Civil War, the beheading of King Charles I and Cromwell’s tenure as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Restrictions on English citizens increased drastically under Cromwell’s tenure, and by his death the English citizenry welcomed the return to monarchy under Charles II. Today, more than 350 years later Puritan precepts still shape the United States. Join us to learn of this period and its lasting effects.