COMING TO AMERICA: A PILGRIM STORY
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Students should read the story silently,
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Excerpt from passage
In the 1500's in England there was a group of people that were called Separatists, because of their religious beliefs. At the time, King Henry VIII of England had created his own church and religion called the Church of England. The reason for this separation was mainly due to the fact that England, originally made up of Roman Catholic citizens, did not allow a man to marry multiple times unless he was a widow.
King Henry VIII had six wives. Two of his wives he divorced, two were executed, one died, and one became a widow with the King's death. The Catholic Church did not approve of anyone, especially a King, marrying and divorcing so many times so Henry created the Church of England which is very much like the Roman Catholic Church except it allows for divorce.
The Separatists were known for their opposition to the Church of England. They did not want the Catholic Church back, but they did not believe the Church of England had truly separated from the Roman Catholic Church. The beliefs between these two churches were so similar that it had seemed pointless to break away to begin with.
The Separatists were not well received within England. They were persecuted (hunted with the intent of harming) for their beliefs. So, the leader of the Separatist movement, William Bradford, decided they were going to leave England. Their new settlement would be in a place that allowed them to practice their religion however they wanted. This group would become known as the Pilgrims. The term pilgrim means someone who will travel a great distance to attain religious freedom. (continued)
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