In some ways, the Puritans preserved attitudes that went back to medieval times before the Reformation. As we all know, these attitudes included belief in the reality of witches and witchcraft—but the colony also opposed lending money at interest, or raising the price of a commodity like wheat above its “natural price” when it was scarce. (If there’s any truth in the theory that the Reformation paved the way to market capitalism and laissez-faire economics, the way it paved must have taken a detour around Massachusetts Bay.)
Colonial Puritan society, though less stratified than what its members left behind in England, was not without social levels. Only well-to-do gentry could be addressed as Master or Mistress, while respectable common folk were Goodman or Goodwife (the latter commonly shortened to Goody). Only commoners were subject to the legal punishment of whipping—gentlefolk (unless they preached heresy and refused to be silenced) paid penalties more in keeping with their position. “Sumptuary laws,” specifying the kind and quality of clothing a person of this or that economic class was allowed to wear, tried to prevent the lower class from looking upper-class—another legacy from the Middle Ages.
And, yes, many men did, in the early years at least, wear tall, tapered hats. Called capotains, these were in fashion in England and elsewhere from the 1590s at least up to 1620. (The favored height seems to have increased annually.) Puritans, in England as well as the colonies, apparently hung onto the fashion—and the tallest hats—somewhat longer. The “steeple-crowned hat” has become so thoroughly associated with Massachusetts Puritans that it seems to have found its way into every artist’s conception of the way they dressed. In fashion or out, it’s likely that this headgear wasn’t quite as universal as many illustrations suggest. (According to a note in Wikipedia, artists added the big straps and buckles to the hats in the 19th century—no doubt they would have baffled respectable citizens of Plymouth or Massachusetts Bay.)
The picture shows the Geneva Bible, produced by exiled English Protestant scholars in 1560. It was first printed in England during the 1570s, and was the version used by most Puritans until after the English Civil War.