Religion has played an important role from the very beginning of American colonial history.
The Pilgrims who crossed the Atlantic ocean in the ship “Mayflower” and landed on the barren coast of cape Cod In November 1620 were English people who had first left England and gone to Holland for freedom of worship. Later they were joined by other dissenters who could not submit to the restrictions placed upon their religious beliefs by the English rulers of the time. These were the forbears of the sturdy religious minded New Englanders who, two centuries later, became leaders of the intellectual and spiritual culture of America.
Swami Vivekananda found among their descendants many of his loyal and enthusiastic Followers. ”The Transcendental Movement” of Which Emerson was the leader with Thoreau and Alcott as his associates brought spiritual India into the swift current American life.