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John Winthrop's Life And Accomplishments Essay

797 words - 4 pages

John Winthrop came to America to avoid the depression in England and escape oppression from Charles I, a king who was impatient with Puritan reformers. Though Winthrop wasn’t a separatist, he embraced Puritan ideas and “wished to reform the national church from within, purging it of everything that harked back to Rome, especially the hierarchy of the clergy and all the traditional Catholic rituals”. He left England for his own self-interests rather than embarking to create a colony independent of England; he was not in the presence of the other founding fathers when they signed the declaration, nor he did not fight in the revolution.
Winthrop is not considered a founding father because he only founded the Massachusetts Bay colony in New England. “Winthrop was chosen governor in October 1629; for the next twenty years most of the responsibility for the colony rested in his hands”. He shouldn’t be considered a founding father because he merely raised a colony, while others fought for the birth of America and its independence from England. In his sermons, “A Model of Christian Charity”, he preaches the message to “love thy neighbor” and the expectations to bear the burden and grace of making a “covenant with God”. Winthrop is not considered a founding father because his works deal with the recurring theme of “love is the bond of perfection”. He is not fueled by revolutionary spirit, but he simply desires to change the church.
Essay Two
Before his departure to New England, John Winthrop prepared a speech where he preaches of loving thy neighbor and the loss of the individual for the good of the whole. Throughout his speech, he references many biblical verses that emphasize those ideas and presents them to a large assembly of those traveling to New England, revealing his desires for the ideal society; hinted by the title “A Model of Christian Charity”. It is important to Winthrop because he believes that his colony will embody the “city on a hill”, the “model”, the image of a perfect society of which to strive for. He is very sure his colony succeed and others will look to its example for guidance. “The eyes of all the people are upon us”.
This selective image of “a city on a hill” is still used today to show what someone should strive for, placing the model in at a far...

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