New England 1621–82

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Map Code: Ax00657

The Mayflower pilgrims formed the first New England settlement at Plymouth in 1620. The colonists were strict Puritans, as were the founders of the Plymouth Colony in 1630. The doctrinaire nature of Puritan religious practice led to the formation of new colonies by settlers seeking greater religious freedom. Roger Williams, a non-conformist preacher exiled from Massachusetts, founded Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1629: it received a Royal Charter in 1663, and abolished slavery as early as 1652. Sir George Carteret established the New Jersey colony in 1664 with freedom of religion built into its constitution. To the north, Sir William Alexander was granted vast tracts of Nova Scotia by James I, founding a colony at Port Royal 1621, but lost his fortune when the territory was returned to France in 1632. Following the Restoration, there was increasing friction between colonies and Crown, culminating in the revocation of Massachusetts’ Royal Charter in 1684.

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