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Religious freedom was one of the main reasons for the founding of the American colonies. Persecuted in England, Puritans sought a new land to establish their own society and government. Soon members of other religious groups fled Europe for what they hoped would be a land of toleration.
What they found when they arrived did not always meet their expectations. Many were persecuted and banished from the strict Puritan establishment of Massachusetts Bay. Rhode Island became a haven for persecuted groups. Pennsylvania was colonized as a Quaker state, providing a much-needed home for many settlers.
Learn more about the religious upheaval that swept through Europe, prompting masses of people to cross the Atlantic in search of religious freedom.