Political Morality In Colonial Times Essay

991 words - 4 pages

In Webster's dictionary, morality is defined as "principles of right and
wrong in conduct; ethics." The principles of morality have countless times
evolved over the ages. In earlier times, death was an easy penalty for many
crimes. These crimes today are considered minor and are penalized with a slap
on the hand. Is this considered wrong? Who is the correct authority to consult
on what is right or wrong? In today's society, two major factors concern how
the way members of society act and behave.
The first is our national government. Members of our government in positions
of authority decide everything in our lives in the form of laws which
determine our ...view middle of the document...

religion does not have to power to punish one physically, but rather soulfully of
one has sinned. The government has the power to sentence punishment, yet should
have no power concerning God.
Many different religions have evolved all over the world and in the process,
have people have been prosecuted in their faith. The first settlers in the new
world came here to avoid prosecution from the powerful church/government of
that time. Specifically, the Church of England headed by the king. Puritan
leaders led their followers to a place where they could express their religion
with no fear of other faiths. One such leader was John Winthrop.
John Winthrop was a powerful Puritan governor in the colony of Massachusetts
Bay. He believed that this was a calling from God for him to lead the new
religious experiment-a covenant with God to built a model for mankind. "We
shall be a city upon the hill." declared Winthrop. As governor Winthrop held
considerable power. He distrusted the commoners and thought democracy was the
"meanest and worst" forms of government. Anyone who brought trouble or had
indifferent thought were severely punished to "save their soul." As one of his
extensions of his powers he banished Roger Williams, a popular Salem minister
with radical ideas and an unrestrained tongue, and Mistress Anne Hutchinson, A strong
willed women who challenged the authority of the clergy by stating the truly
saved need not bother to obey the laws of God or man.
Several problems arise throughout this banishment. I am
for a democratic society in which one can express his or her
thoughts without the fear of prosecution. They did not have the luxury of
this. The need for the...

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