Ap Advanced Placement U.S. History Dbq Essay: "During The Colonial Period, Religion Provided The Primary Rationale For The Authority Of The King." Task: Assess The Validity Of This Statement.

993 words - 4 pages

Divine Right was the concept of the unquestionable authority of monarch rule based upon the belief that their rule derived from "God's will" during the colonial period. New waves of eighteenth century immigrants brought their own religious fervor across the Atlantic and the nation's first major religious revival in the middle of the eighteenth century brought in new vigor into American religion. New groups of people migrated to the New World with ideas of a government, parallel to that of their mother country, England in which they had based their government on religious support rather than political. Colonial America began as an offspring of the English patriarchal government. The principles of Divine Right and the original beliefs of the colonists would have a strong influence on the formation of their new society.Jonathan Mayhew preached the strict unity of God, the subordinate nature of Christ, and salvation by character. He bitterly opposed the Stamp Act, and urged the requirement of colonial union to secure colonial liberties. He supported the rule of the king and respected the government based on his religious perspective that it was in fact God's will. Jonathan Boucher also believed that the people had to provide their obedience to the king and his authority from Parliament, which the colonists did. Boucher preached of the obligated respect and honor which the colonists were to show to the government because the government served as an agent to God. The New England colonies have often been called "Bible Commonwealths" because colonies sought the word of the scriptures in regulating all aspects of the lives of their citizens. Boucher justified the powers of the government with the constant reiteration that it was the work of God, so religious and pious men could not disagree.Examples of how religion served as a major factor to the governments, as did in England, can be seen in many settlements in colonial America such as the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was created with a strong foundation based upon the beliefs of Puritanism. The settlers allowed religion to play major roles in their every day lives such as the banishment of non-Puritan believers and denying political rights to men who did not attend Church. People such as Roger Williams became involved in these conflicts and were forced to leave the colony. Prior to the actual settlement of Plymouth, the settlers created a document entitled "The Mayflower Compact" in which they wrote that the highest authority belonged to that of God and sovereign. Therefore, religion also provided as a rationale to the formation of the government and the powers to which it had.Religion became a dominant part of American politics. The Cambridge Platform was established in the 1640's. This document was a part of the Puritan theology and adopted the Westminster Confession. In addition, the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 by Thomas Jefferson. It...

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