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Articles on Puritans

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The Catholic hymn, “Te Deum” – which says, “You, God, we praise” – has been used for centuries in Catholic worship for thanksgiving. Iconotheca Valvasoriana Author Jean Marot via Wikimedia Commons.

How medieval Catholic traditions of thanksgiving prayers and feasting shaped the Protestant celebration of Plymouth’s pilgrims

The Pilgrims who started the first Thanksgiving tradition after they landed in Plymouth were following the customs they had grown up with, originating in medieval times.
The Feast of the Bean King, painted by Jacob Jordaens around 1640-1645. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The sordid underbelly of Christmas past

We tend to romanticise the Christmas season, that time of year when we gather with friends and family, feast and be merry. But for most of its history Christmas has been a time of sordid behaviour.
John Lacy, a Restoration actor and playwright, satirised puritans, including in his role as Mr Scruple in The Cheats by John Wilson (right). John Michael Wright (died 1694/National Portrait Gallery

Mayflower 400: how society feared and ridiculed puritans

Puritans were often depicted as fools until they had a shot at government, and then the humour got darker.
Principled revolutionaries: the Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown, Massachusetts. TWA Photography via Shutterstock

Mayflower 400: were the Pilgrims asylum seekers or subversives?

Puritan leaders argued vehemently for a church to be free of any higher authority – which caused problems in England and the new world.
President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, June 6, 2019. AP/Alex Brandon

Impeachment is better than exile

When the founders wrote the Constitution, they had to devise a punishment fitting for a civil servant’s impeachment. One possible punishment: banishment from the community.
People shouting and yelling slogans during a protest in front of the US Consulate to denounce Donald Trump’s immigration policies on January 30, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Shutterstock)

Quiet Canadian, ugly American: Does racism differ north of the border?

Media pundits are promoting Canada as exceptional in its tolerance and diversity but the truth is, Canadians have a tendency not to be not less racist than Americans, but to be less loud about it.

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