Opposing Views of Early Americans, Thomas Morton and John Winthrop Essay examples

Opposing Views of Early Americans, Thomas Morton and John Winthrop Essay examples

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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.
Thomas Morton was not a supporter to the Puritan cause. In fact, he was friends with many "highly placed persons" in King Charles' court that "were all unsympathetic to the Puritans" (138). In his writing he is relentless in prodding and making light of the Puritans. It is clear that he had a strong distaste for them. It is also clear that he was very well versed in the classics. He makes numerous allusions to Greek mythology that offer glimpses into his educational background. He wasn’t above cheating to get ahead. Before he came to America a business partner of his was murdered and Morton was a suspect but never arrested (138). Upon arriving in America he soon raised the ire of...


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...ton was detained and shipped back to England with John Winthrop around. Winthrop had no place in his ideal colony for a man like Morton that was interested in only partying and wealth. Winthrop wanted men that would live for Christ. Morton wanted to have a good time. These two men were polar opposites and lived in very close proximity to one another. While it made for tension and conflict between the two it also has made for an interesting time in history for the readers of present day. Each man had extreme views for what they wanted in America. Morton wanted a playground while Winthrop wanted a new religious life to live for God. In the end, they both weren’t entirely successful. America has found a middle path, where some people live for God and others for leisure. These people have also learned to live together in this wonderful free country of ours.


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