Extreme reform movements
Scotland: The doctrines of the Frenchman Jean Calvin were widespread. Calvinism was known in Scotland as Presbyterianism. It became the national church.
England: There were a certain number of extreme reform movements collectively called Puritan. The word first appeared in 1567. Only after the1660's they were formally excluded from the Church of England and obliged to form Dissenting or Nonconformist churches of their own.
- Emphasis on the extreme sinfulness of all men; all men are born in sin.
- Doctrine of predestination: a man's fate after his death is already decided at his birth.
- The clergy is made of shepherds ("pastors"): they can be recognised by the strictness of their lives, by the avoidance of all mortal pleasures, by the austerity and sincerity of their forms of worship. Against superstition there should be no altars in churches, or holy images, for God must be worshipped in the spirit and not through concrete symbols; the clergy must not wear costly vestments.
- Belief in their duty to purify society of its sinfulness and to guide it into the right paths of government. They believed in elected authority, not in anointed sovereigns
- The "saint" predestined to salvation demonstrated this by the course of its life: God's favour would show itself in earthly prosperity. Thus they were encouraged to a life of industry which was especially conducted in trade and commerce. Above all, the middle-classes of the town were Puritan. Thus the doctrine of predestination and the economic fact of capitalism have an intimate relationship.
- A certain hostility to the arts, even if part of the opposition of the Puritan government of the City of London to the theatres was prudential: the theatres easily became centres of disorder, and in times of plague they were dangerous centres of infection.