Religion is the sturdy backdrop for the stages of many national civilizations. It is a subject that many toil with but it can never really be ignored. American culture was built upon this struggle and epitomizes it throughout its whole existence. The search for the “ New world” was filled with challenges and struggles and led to tremendous financial gain; but the underlining motive beside the race for wealth was to spread Christianity. The moral values in the Christian religion flowed through the decision making process when it came to the everyday running of society, all the way up to their legislation system; which is shown through the religious colony of Massachusetts Bay.
The New England colony was founded on an accidental fate which led the freedom seeking Puritans to land upon the shores of Massachusetts Bay in 1620. It was this significant miscalculation that led to the first signed document of American culture; the Mayflower Compact. This document agreed that once the puritans landed, they would form their own government that was run by the people and for the people. This idea still rules today as America allows the people to rule sovereign over any political entity as a representative democracy. After this, the people would go on to create a society where church and state were one in the same.
Puritan values were incorporated in all running and functioning aspects in early society. They were very careful about who they let into their communities and made sure that they had a godly skeleton to their newly formed body of believers. Outsider could live amongst them but they had to abide by the strict laws and were often subject to Christian conversion. The first governor of Massachusetts Bay expresses this in his sermon “...
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...f peace”. This can also be seen the contemporary formation of states to handle the affair of that state but still being a part of a greater centralized unit. This is also why religious belief can make or break a political campaign. This all starts with the New England puritans.
In conclusion, the religious structure most epitomizes the American ideals that still hold strong to this day. It was the courage of the first pilgrims and the strong religious beliefs of leader like John Winthrop that made an America culture that modeled the “City on the Hill”; which represented the idea that God made America to be the example society for the rest of the world. This is an image that is still being used to by today’s political leaders to reference the original theory; that we are God worthy servants and “the Lord our God may bless us in the land whither we go to possess it”.
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