The Puritan Settlers Of Massachusetts Bay Essay

The Puritan Settlers Of Massachusetts Bay Essay

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The Puritan settlers of Massachusetts Bay were among the first Europeans to take root in the new world. They carried with them not only the physical amenities that would help them survive their harsh new landscape, but also a set of values that would come to define this original settlement and America’s collective mindset for centuries to come. Through comparing the settler Puritans of The Wordy Shipmates with other accounts of the Puritans beliefs, it becomes clear that their most influential lasting legacies on America can be found through their educational values and the mindset of Puritan (and later, American) exceptionalism. While their staunch religious beliefs do not carry over into the modern religiously accepting United States, these other vastly important values do and are reflected in our collective national mindset, which illustrates the lasting legacy of the Puritans in America.
The lasting legacy of the Puritans emphasis on education is seen in both our abundance of universities and how we still hold members of our society to certain standards of education, especially our leaders. Perry Miller, a Harvard professor who was widely accepted as the 20th century 's preeminent Puritan scholar, stated that Puritanism was (and is) “a learned, scholarly movement that required on the part of its leaders, and as much possible from its followers, not only knowledge but a respect for the cultural heritage” (Vowell). A key distinction in this statement is the differing of standards between Puritanism’s “leaders” and its “followers”. This is where an obvious parallel comes to light with our modern America. While the majority of Puritan leaders attended prestigious universities in England (John Winthrop, Roger Williams and John Cott...


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...asting legacies of their beliefs and ideals clearly resonate throughout 21st century America, giving them an obvious place among our country 's most influential forebearers. Their emphasis on education furnished our modern standards of learning, while their pursuit of higher knowledge through universities has led to the founding of several of America’s most prestigious colleges. They also, for better or worse, laid out the reasoning for America’s exceptionalist mindset, which dictates not only the collective attitude of the population but also clearly impacts our government 's decision making. These legacies don’t necessarily go hand in hand in terms of their negative or positive impacts, however, it cannot be denied that they are some of the most important and lasting legacies of the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay, which clearly still affect the modern United States.

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