The failure of the Puritans
When the Puritans, which included my family, came to the New World in the 1600s, their goal was to create a New Jerusalem (which where the name of Salem, Massachusetts comes from). The idea was to create what we would call a Theocracy, and it failed just about right away.
The seeds of failure were sown in the way that the Puritans acted towards any type of authority, including (but not limited to) the Pope. Their religious leaders were chosen by the people in that if a congregation disliked its leader, it simply moved away and found another one. Many of the original names of the towns in the Massachusetts and Connecticut area were simply New Town. The congregation would move about thirty miles away, establish a new town around the new church, and call it New Town. Most of these towns had to be renamed later on, of course. But the real failure was called the declension.
The declension, as described by Cotton Mather in Magnalia Christi Americana (The Great Works of Christ in America) was the loss of the vision of his grandfathers by the time of his generation. So while John Cotton and Richard Mather were revered by the Puritans, the Puritans had developed some very independent thinking, which had its roots with the Protests of Martin Luther in the 1500s.
When America united into States, it did so under the new model of Humanism. Theocracy was rejected. That is, no official religion was established for the new country. The Puritans had lost.
Posted by Brad Hall