In the beginning of the American Experiment, the Mayflower compact and William Penn’s governorship heavily embrace independency from the King and, more importantly, the British Government. These writings thrive on the ideas of the consent of men, the rule of good men and, most importantly, the grace of God. As such, they pose the greatest threat to the British rule in North America.
There may not be two more contrasting characters of early America then Thomas Morton and John Winthrop. Morton was nicknamed, "Leader of Misrule" while Winthrop was seen as the "model of [a] perfect earthly ruler" (147). These two figures not only help settle a new land, they also had firsthand knowledge of each other. They are not two people that lived years apart from each other but rather they lived concurrently. With two such polarizing people living in a small new land, there was bound to be at least one disagreement. We are fortunate to have writings from each of these two fascinating men. One can't help but be thoroughly entertained when reading the words that each man left behind. Morton was the rebellious and raucous and Winthrop was the conservative preacher. Each had different ideas and ideals for what America was to become. Their two opinions could not differ much more from the other but they both weren't quite right. It seems that America has found a middle ground. Perhaps these two help set the path to where we stand now.
This governing belief is celebrated by liberal parts of American society. At the time of the country’s founding a huge majority of its people were followers of the Christian faith. So, while separation of church and state was accepted at a small level, there was hardly ever any need to enforce it. Since more waves of colonists arrived on the country’s shores, bringing with them their native religious and cultural inheritances, this principle found a more common application in problems of public disagreement. Although liberal politicians and reporters really appreciated this separation. Also, among the group of scholars now recognized as the founding fathers of the country, there were different opinions and disagreements. Some were pro-slavery
Quaker’s views of freedom and Puritan’s views of freedom differed in several significant ways. First of all, Freedom and liberty according to William Penn involves great religious tolerance. Penn discusses his views of the matter in the following passage, “Finding then by Sad Experience, and a long Tract of Time, That the very Remedies applied to cure Dissension increase it; and that the more Vigorously a Uniformity is coercively prosecuted, the Wider Breaches grown, the more Inflamed Persons are, and fixt in their Resolutions to stand by their Principles” (Penn). He believed in letting people worship whenever and however they pleased (within the limits of Christianity). Eric Foner explains that to Quakers, “liberty was a universal entitlement, not the possession of any single people—a position that would eventually make them the first group of whites to repudiate slavery” (Foner 95). This can be used to assume that Quakers, or the Society of Friends, were among the most liberal of
While many may enjoy pigeonholing America into the quasi-theocracy category of government, seeing as numerous federal fixtures have been injected with a healthy dose of Christianity, it may surprise John Q. Public to learn that many of our Founding Fathers envisioned no such state. Just take Thomas Jefferson’s Second Inaugural Address in which he clearly states that, “In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it,” effectively squashing this idea of a morally-grounded union. Instead, Jefferson, like Steinbeck, rests his faith on the capitalist system and the general liberty it creates for the citizens, all the while cautioning against the hazards of run-away consumerism: “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers”. Considering America is founded on the self-conflicting ideals of “mutual selfishness” capitalism and simultaneous liberty and safety, it would seem only logical that we have evolved into a land of paradoxes. A nation full of immigrants who demand equal treatment, yet wish to retain their native identities. A country in which panning the ‘fat cats in Washington’ is a national pastime, but which still beats its chest resoundingly when merely critiqued by an outsider. But, most importantly, a society that advocates fiscal moderation, as Mr. Jefferson did, but then turns around and gorges itself on frivolity. And so, in this light, John Steinbeck portrays the American way of life not as the pinnacle of human civilization or the righteous ‘city upon a hill’, as many tend to...
A reoccurring theme in studying American history is finding out exactly what were the founding fathers thinking and how their philosophies changed along with society’s as times changed. Henry Commager wrote in his essay, “… it was Americans who not only embraced the body of Enlightenment principles, but wrote them into law, crystallized them into institutions, and put them to work. That, as much as the winning of independence and the creation of the nation, was the American Revolution” (Lerner). Commager’s essay pursues its thesis relentlessly as it explored the ideas both of American and of European philosophies during the age of Enlightenment and that of international community of intellectuals: educators, revolutionaries, rationalists, Deists, men of letters, statesmen, and citizens of the world, who sought useful truths in reasoning. The underlying principle on which they all agreed was the foundation of their perceptions of human nature, God, and society, was order. They were occupied with organization, classification, codification, and systematization (Lerner). During the early American Republic Era of Enlightenment gave way into the Romantic Era. The heart of reasoning in American philosophy that led to personal and religious freedom through unity of a nation gave way to Romanticism, the individual and its rebellion against the confinement of religious tradition, perception of nature, and society. Although the two philosophies, Enlightenment and Romanticism, were different in principles, one could not exist without the other.
“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it” by William Penn. His house was Pennsbury Manor. His family was very rich, because his father was in the navy. He took a good interest in religion. In this essay, you will learn about William Penn he was popular as a Quaker and the leader of the Pennsylvania.
America’s foundation started in Puritans like John Winthrop whose religious ideals lead him to teach that the community would alway be more important that the individual, but in the eighteenth century the people’s point of view had changed dramatically, as seen in writings by Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some people may read Emerson and think he writes about the ‘common good’ of society, but truly he only looked at the good of the individual. For Emerson there was no common good, because the definition of good, in his eyes, was so different from person to person. In his essay Emerson writes, “No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.” (Emerson, 137) In this quote he reject religion as well as the laws of good and bad,
In short, religion placed limits on acceptable social and political behavior, (Bartow).” Although, then again, there is an upside to the principles being presented, such as the crucial of federalism. The fourth and final principle presents more of a convincing and appealing reason as to why there is indeed importance in it, dealing with the actual people’s community. Citizens would be capable of engaging in social problematic activity and working together, this being backed up with the author’s words of stating that, “Voters would gather several times a year to administer justice and legislate at the county court, participate in the annual militia muster, and engage in political discussion at the taverns and
The next year, he crossed the Atlantic and framed the government for Pennsylvania, in which he applied his doctrine of religious freedom. He intended it to be a holy experiment, a model that could be applied to nations around the world. The Frame of Government stated that everyone who believed in God and did not disturb the peace would “in no ways, be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion, or practice, in matters of faith and worship, nor shall they be compelled, at any time, to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place or ministry whatever.” The focus for Penn was to guarantee the people of Pennsylvania the right worship God in whatever manner each individual felt was most fitting.