This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The difference between Puritans and Victorians

If you read *The Scarlet Letter*, like I did, to learn more about the Puritans in Colonial America, you may have been concerned that it really didn't ring true to some of the most basic facts about Puritans. And that's because Nathaniel Hawthorne wasn't writing a criticism of the Puritans, he was writing about his own time, the Victorian Era. The Scarlet Letter tells more about the attitudes of the 1850s than it does about the 1650s.

If you've read about the Victorians, you know that they were quite nervous about, uh, well, everything associated with, uh, *the birds and bees*. Yes, they covered the legs on their pianos, for modesty. Go ahead and Google the Victorians, I'll wait.

If you want to learn about Puritan life in Colonial America, you will have to travel back in time two hundred years before the Victorians. And, yes, it was a very different culture from today, but it wasn't Victorian, which has come to be synonymous with Puritanical.

Yes, the Puritans would have disapproved of a single woman becoming pregnant, and bearing a child out of wedlock. But the Puritans did something that the Victorians didn't do, they protected women as if they were children.

In the days of the Puritans, women had no social status as an adult unless they were married. A single woman living alone in the days of the Puritans would have been as improbable as a little child living alone. Yes, I know it's weird, but the Puritans simply wouldn't have allowed a woman to live all by herself. I'm not saying that the Puritans were more compassionate than the Victorians, but the one thing that they did that made them different is that they didn't do to women what Nathaniel Hawthorne was talking about in *The Scarlet Letter*. In his time, he is seeing the beginning of a situation that was absolutely condemning women to disgrace, poverty, and death, because of what no one wanted to talk about: sex.

Queen Victoria would have fainted, but the Puritans would have prayed, and looked to God for guidance.
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