Colonial Research Paper In the 13 colonies, the crime and crimes’ punishment was very different from today. The 13 colonies had 3 regions, New England, Middle, and Southern. Religious practices in each region differed greatly. Some religions were more strict then others, and it showed in the way they made laws and wished for people to obey them. The churches reach extended beyond their congregation and into the government of the colony itself. The reason why the justice systems differed in each of the three regions in Colonial America was because they were heavily influenced by different religious beliefs. Most of the citizens in the New England Region followed the Puritan religion. The Puritan religion was one of the more rigid religions in Colonial America. The New England region’s citizens mostly originated from England and came to the “new world,” hoping for religious freedom. The New England region consists of: Massachusetts (which included what is now Maine), New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. On days of worship, people sat in the meeting houses almost all day on small, uncomfortable wooden benches. iThe growth of the Puritans' community was very important to the church. They wanted as many people as possible and considered non-followers as a threat to their community.ii The Puritans had many principles and guidelines to obey to be a part of their community. If those guidelines were not obeyed, punishment was in order. This sense of community guidelines carried over to governing the colonies. Some people who were loyal members to the church and were consistently attending religious ceremonies were a part of the government for their employment. Therefore the Puritans had a strong influence on the decisions made in punishing criminals. For example, a common punishment for more minor crimes was to wear somewhere on your body a letter identifying the crime committed.iiiNot only did the Puritans take action on their own followers and people from their own community, but they also acted against members of the religious communities around them. Protestors of the Puritans' way of life were severely punished. The Puritans would whip, crop ears, and in some situations hang people who criticized or dissented against their community.ivThe Puritans had very high expectations of their community and the people around them, and were immensely influential in deciding laws and disciplinary acts in the government.
In the Southern Region, the Anglican church was most followed. The Southern region, like the Middle region, was diverse in religion, but the Anglicans outnumbered the others. The colonies in the Southern region were: Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. The colonies in this region were very strict when it came to religion. In Virginia, it was a law that everyone had to attend Anglican worship and be a part of that faith's community. In the Southern region, the Anglican church was recognized by the state, which meant that