Puritan Migration to the New World

Puritan Migration to the New World

1.The Puritan migration to the New World found this new group challenged at almost every turn. Discuss the essential argument in Edmund Morgan’s The Puritan Dilemma and be sure to include specific characters he uses to make his case.The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop is a book written by renowned American historian Edmund Morgan which gives a factual account of the earlier days of colonization in America. The book presents the biography of John Winthrop, a leading figure in the setting up of Massachusetts Bay Colony, and an account of the establishment of New England¬†(Morgan, 1958). The book, whose first publication was in 1958, has risen to become a classic reading material in many history classes both in college and high school. The central argument in the book is based on how man can lead a righteous life in the much sinful and fallen world.

In the book, Morgan speaks of the Puritan dilemma experienced by Winthrop. Morgan claims that the Puritan dilemma was a paradox that demanded that man lives in the world without necessarily being of the world (Morgan, 1958). The Puritans fully believed in total depravity, which held that human beings are born with the inherent corruption and brokenness of sin. This belief implies that all human beings are naturally aligned towards self and turn away from God. According to the Puritans, human beings were totally inclined towards sin and could hardly abandon their sinful ways. It was only through the intervention of the Holy hand of God that one could be good. Therefore, if a society willed to be good, it had to be Godly, worship Him, and live within His laws.

Following his settlement in Massachusetts, Winthrop consequently became the governor and faced various challenges in line with the Puritan dilemma. Chief among them was the question of governorship. He was torn between spearheading a democratic leadership and upholding the covenant with God. Upholding the covenant meant strict adherence to the laws of God and even establishing a covenant among the people on how best to enforce the laws. Winthrop developed different ideas from those of Roger Williams who alleged that the congregation was supposed to declare its repentance publicly following its closeness with the churches of England. Winthrop thought that this opinion was misguided since it would only work best in withdrawing further from the world. This ideology, according to Winthrop, would ultimately lead to a mistaken belief that only an individual’s vision of God was pure.Unfortunately, America still has to face the challenges that Winthrop did. The fact that the country does not solve them as well as Winthrop did is even more disdainful. Even though America still represents a shining nation, the efforts to bring it closer to God have not borne much fruits. Winthrop’s story, following its wide readability, ought to remind the Americans that they ought to be closer to God even more.


2. The issues that confronted American during the years leading up and to during the American Revolution were many. Talk about the specific events that led to the Revolution and be sure to include examples from the lives of Benjamin and William Franklin in your answer. 

3. Louis Masur’s book 1831: Year of Eclipse focuses on several pivotal events which effected America in 1831 and the decades that followed. Discuss at least three (3) of these events Masur describes in the book and make an argument either why his assessment is correct or where his argument comes up short. : New York 2001

4. The westward expansion of the United States took several geographic steps, which included: The Northwest Ordinance, The Louisiana Purchase, and the Mexican War. Discuss how each of these steps played a role in westward expansion and be sure to include examples from “The Donner Party” video.

5. The War of 1812 is considered by many as a major factor in the solidification of the United States into a truly independent nation. Discuss whether or not you believe that argument is credible. Make sure to use specific examples to buttress your argument.

6. The Civil War called for the ultimate sacrifice of more than 620,000 Americans. Using James McPherson’s book, What They Fought For as a guide, choose at least two (2) reasons each the North and South to explain why soldiers from each were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice.

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