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Establishing Excellence

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The year 1620 marked the beginning of a new nation. Regardless of where they lived, the early colonists seemed to have one thing in common a tough, rugged individualism characterized by an independent nature and a desire for self-government Emigrants from England set forth across the Atlantic Ocean, on the Mayflower, embarked on their quest for better life. The Pilgrims founded the Plymouth colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts in December of that year. Fear and danger masked their hopes and dreams while conquering obstacles such as starvation, disease, and harsh winters. Despite the fatalities at sea, the unexpected dangers of the new land killed nearly half of the original crew. The 53 who remained witnessed the first ever Thanksgiving the following autumn in 1621. William Bradford succeeded John Carver in 1622 as governor of Plymouth Colony. Finding themselves in an intolerable circumstance, some members separated from the Church of England and sought reform. The groups, known as the Pilgrims and Puritans soon found their way into the New World. The ostensible Puritans wished to purify their faith by applying the principles set by the Protestant Reformation (Settling for determinism, 2011, para. 1). They chose to remain within the Church of England and work for reform, and supported the belief of setting an example of biblical righteousness in and out of church. Their leaders, highly trained scholars knowledgeable of the Scriptures, sought to bring the Church of England to a state of purity that matched Christianity in the same way Christ had (Settling for determinism, 2011, para. 3). The Puritans strongly emphasized the communal righteousness of their entire congregation before God. Although the Puritans came to America for relig... ... middle of paper ... ...dom he longs for. Irving’s piece incorporates many elements of the new American romanticism: an emphasis on imaginations and emotions, an exultation of the common man, and an appreciation for external nature. “The Declaration of Independence” focuses on the oppressions of the tyrannical king. Through the whimsical and fictionist tale, Irving parallels the real struggles of the American Revolution. This found freedom accentuates the maturing and development of America whereas Rip stays the same good-natured, whimsical fellow. Oliver Wendell Holmes' figurative poem entitled "Old Ironsides", written in 1830, strikes a chord with the patriotic masses of a young America. Within this poem, Holmes patriotically protests the decision of the Secretary of Navy to destroy the fighting ship the USS Constitution, popularly known as Old Ironsides.
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