William Penn, in converting a personal belief in religious freedom into the basis for governing a colony and in time for the nation, proved that religious diversity was beneficial not detrimental to faiths, colonies, and countries.
Penn voluntarily converted from Anglicanism to Quakerism at the ripe age of 22. His father being a highly decorated and wealthy English Admiral, Penn left behind when he became a Quaker and was punished with stints in prison multiple times for his beliefs. Having been a member of both the Anglican Church and the Society of Friends, Penn experienced the majority and repressed religious groups of his country. This duality of experience inspired a belief in freedom of conscience and the futility of the use of coercion to rouse true religious belief. Penn refused to accept the points of view provided by the Erastians and Latitudinarians, in which they touted freedom of religious belief was allowed but government sponsored religious practices must still be upheld. He felt that practice and belief are inextricably linked and true religious freedom couldn’t exist without being able to practice one’s faith.
Penn created a connection between the argument for religious freedom to his belief in the impossibility of compelling a man’s conscience. In his “Address to Protestants,” Penn poses a theoretical argument about the impossible task of restraining true religious belief, stating, “It is not in the Power of any Man or Men in the World, to sway or compel the Mind in Matters of Worship to God.” In a better-known writing, “The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience,” which was written by Penn in Ireland 1670, he argues man should not be “so ignorant as to think it is within the reach of human Pow...
... middle of paper ...
...nable to swear to something, believing oaths to be territory only God can tread, lead Penn to allow officeholders in Pennsylvania to perform an affirmation. The constitution uses the phrases “oath or affirmation” three times. This pairing not only represents the conscious decision by the Founders, but also gives a nod to Quaker beliefs in a document that has few mentions of religious freedom. The complex issues that led to the Pennsylvania colony opposing the requirement to take oaths may have led to the Founders leaving God and a requirement of religious oath out of the Constitution. Although Quakers seem to be the most obvious party benefitted by allowing affirmations, the clause in a broad manner allows all who are uncomfortable with swearing oaths to choose an affirmation instead, including agnostics, atheists, and people of faiths against the swearing of oaths.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- William Penn, an English entrepreneur, had an unforeseen impact on the history of the United States of America. In the late 1600’s and early 1700’s, Penn was already a champion for democracy, religious freedom, and anti-slavery movements. Through his good relations both the nobility of England, and the Indians of Pennsylvania, Penn was able to secure an entire state for many years to come. Credited with establishing the city of Philadelphia, name after his ideal of ‘brotherly love’, William Penn left a lasting impression on the United States of America.... [tags: English Entrepeneur, Quaker]
1104 words (3.2 pages)
- Roger Williams, William Penn, the Maryland Assembly and Liberty Conscience The New England colonies of Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Maryland [Pa. and Md.are not in New England] were founded with the express purpose of dispensing of with a statechurch [not exactly. Rhode Island was “put together.” Maryland did not have a single statechurch, but the Calverts did not intend to dispense with state support of a church]. In this theydeviated not only from the other British coloes in the New World but also from their Motherlandand indeed all the civilizations of western Christendom to date.... [tags: History Historical Papers]
1628 words (4.7 pages)
- ... King Charles II of England had a large loan with Penn's father, after whose death, King Charles settled by granting Penn a large area west and south of New Jersey on March 4, 1681. Penn called the area Sylvania, Latin for woods, which Charles changed to Pennsylvania in honor of the elder Penn. Perhaps the king was glad to have a place where religious and political outsiders could have their own place, far away from England. One of the first counties of Pennsylvania was called Bucks County, named after Buckinghamshire in England, where the Penn's family seat was, and from whence many of the first settlers came.... [tags: debt, agreements, freedom, america]
1313 words (3.8 pages)
- The importance of a college degree and a good education remains indisputable, yet college carries a secondary purpose in providing an experience full of freedom and opportunities. The nation recognizes Penn State University for not only its academic excellence, but also for the “college experience” that accompanies the education. When older adults look back on their own college experiences, many think back on the “stupid things they did” with endearing feelings and refer to them as “good times” or “golden days”.... [tags: Penn State Essays]
1440 words (4.1 pages)
- William Penn was a great individual who contributed tremendously to this nation. John Moretta’s “William Penn and the Quaker Legacy” talks about the courageous efforts by Penn and his perspectives on things. Penn was a spiritual human being who believed in god and wanted a peaceful society for one to live in. He was a brave individual who wanted everyone to be equal and was democratic. Religious tolerance alleged by Penn changed the views of many individuals who lived in that era. The importance of Penn’s background, Quakerism and the development of his society due to his view on religious tolerance will be discussed in this paper.... [tags: Biography, Quakers, Church]
930 words (2.7 pages)
- You’re in an unstable bunker that goes to only the top of your shoulders. You’re in Iraq, a land you have studied yet still feel as unfamiliar with as a never-ending desert. Your drill sergeant is screaming at you to fire at your enemies. You freeze. This was not what you remember signing up for. You came to this foreign land because you wanted to defend yourself and because you love America. When aiming at stationary targets not firing back, you felt in control. You didn’t really think about what you are doing then.... [tags: war, Conscience, Iraq, ]
861 words (2.5 pages)
- In "A Charter of Privileges, “William Penn, the Governor, was writing a firsthand account about how he wanted his state to be governed. His purpose was to give the people a doctrine that they could look up to and realize what rights they had and what rules were in place. Penn allowed the citizens to worship without fear of religious persecution. He writes that the people shall.. [not] be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious worship place or ministry" (1). Penn talked about property rights, the process of forming an Assembly, how to appoint vacancies, and the rights of criminals.... [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, History of slavery]
1369 words (3.9 pages)
- William Penn and the Quakers The Quakers, also known as the Society of Friends was religious group that founded Pennsylvania. William Penn, one of the leaders, worked with the Quakers, Indians and the other population to make an ideal world for him, his followers, and the other people in his environment. With his efforts, and the help of others, the Quakers left a huge impact on Pennsylvania and the entire nation. The Quakers are a religion that originated in England in protest of the Anglican Church's practices.... [tags: essays research papers]
1275 words (3.6 pages)
- William Penn he was alive in the 18th century.(4) William Penn was born October 14, 1644 to Sir William Penn and Margaret Penn. His father was a landowner and mother was the daughter of a merchant. William Penn was baptized at All Hallows church in London. He was born in London,United Kingdom. He was famous as a Quaker and the leader of the Pennsylvania colony. Penn was a lot of things in his life he was a land investor,Philosopher,lawyer,Minister,Missionary,and a Journalist. (1)William Penn had four kids Thomas Penn,Richard Penn,Sr.,William Penn Jr.,and John Penn.... [tags: biography, religious groups]
1094 words (3.1 pages)
- William Penn William Penn was born and raised in England, but he is well known for what he did in the Americas. First and foremost, William Penn was a religious nonconformist and writer: he wrote numerous religious books over his lifetime. Second, Penn is responsible for the “holy experiment”: the colony of Pennsylvania. He was a Quaker advocate, and as a proprietor had the opportunity to practice the Quaker Peace testimony. Penn was interested in religion from the time he was a child. When he was twelve years old he had the opportunity to hear testimony from a traveling Quaker minister, Thomas Loe.... [tags: essays research papers]
731 words (2.1 pages)