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REL 455: American Catholicism 1775-1881: Colonial America

Theology, Spirituality, Culture and History


American Religion in 1776: A Statistical Primer


  • Puritans
  • Anglicans
  • Quakers
  • Baptists
  • Presbyterians
  • Catholics

Germany and the Netherlands

  • Reformed Protestants

Exploring Maryland's Roots: an interactive History website


Religion by Region

The New England colonies were dominated by the Puritans.  Puritans followed strict rules and were intolerant of other religions, eventually absorbing the separatist Pilgrims in Massachusetts by 1629.

Religion in the Middle Colonies was varied as no single religion seemed to dominate the entire region. Religious tolerance attracted immigrants from a wide-range of foreign countries who practiced many different religions. Quakers, Catholics, Jews, Lutherans and Presbyterians were among those religious groups that had significant numbers in the middle colonies.

Most people in the Southern Colonies were Anglican (Baptist or Presbyterian), though most of the original settlers from the Maryland colony were Catholic, as Lord Baltimore founded it as a refuge for English Catholics. Religion did not have the same impact on communities as in the New England colonies or the Mid-Atlantic colonies because people lived on plantations that were often distant and spread out from one another.