Essay About Colonial Life Of Puritan Leader Essay Example For College

            I am a Puritan leader and the first governor of the colony called Plymouth Massachusetts.   I am 48 and I follow the Preaching of John Robinson who started the separatists and the movement for the congregation to move here.  I have a wife, Mary and 3 children and have very strong religious beliefs.  My beliefs are that there is inferiority and superiority, which is the servant before master, non-church member before member, idlers before the working man, wife before husband and child before adult.  Supervision is the system of my belief because the master is legally accountable for overseeing the behavior of designated subordinates.  Because I am a Puritan attention is to be especially paid to the raising of our children.  It is my belief that Godly parents are to make sure that their unstaid and young charges do not become addicted to the greasy sensuality of play.  This means there are to be no rattles, baubles, and such toyish stuff.  It is a difficult task.  Surely there is in all children stubbornness and stoutness of mind arising from natural pride, which must in the first place be broken and beaten down that, is the foundation of their education being laid in humility and tractableness, other virtues in their time be built thereon.  For the beating and keeping down of this stubbornness parents must provide carefully children should not know if it could be kept from them that they have a will i8n their own, but in their parents keeping; neither should the words be heard from them, save by way of consent, “I will” or “I will not”.  My belief is that the parent is to crush the child’s drive or desire for self assertion or independence, for such feelings might advance the child’s “natural pride”

            As parents I and Mary believe that too much doting affection distracts children from thoughts of God or led them to consider themselves their parent’s equals.  Minister Thomas Cobbett warns that fondness and familiarity breeds contempt-t and irreverence in children.  My wife must address me by my appropriate title of My Lord.  If she feels any passion against me than she is to leave it unexpressed.  My belief is that the virtuous wife is to carry her self so to her husband as not to disturb his love by her contention, nor to destroy his love by her alienation.  She is to be at my beck and calling, acting as if there was but one Mind in two bodies.  Her major purpose in life, besides working on religious salvation is to minister to my needs.  Her personal identity and social rank are derived through me.  She is my appendage and to be the best of women in the American World.  Go on to love me and to serve me and to become accessory to all the good which I may do in the world.  It is my belief that a disobedient or contentious wife become one of the world’s most despicable creatures, not only a heart-sore to me but no better than a wart, a cancer, a gangrene, or even excrement.  Sex segregation is a reminder of men’s and women’s different destinies.  This is true in the church as well as the home.  The law gives me great supervisory control over everything in property and behavior with my wife and children and it was at becoming wedded that I would gain all of her earnings and real estate.  I cannot beat my wife in order for her submission but through her obedience to God that she and my children will conform.


Cary, J.H. & Weinberg, J. (1984) The Social Fabric: American Life from 1607 to 1877.   Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Colonial Legacy Of Latin America

            There is a colonial legacy left behind from past days which Latin Americans must deal with.   One of the earliest questions that Skidmore, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Brown University, poses to his readers in “Brazil: Five Centuries of Change” concerns nation building. How is it that Brazil came to be the fifth largest country in the world? The author explains that the colonial Brazilian elite were able to maintain political legitimacy (and unity) after independence, unlike Brazil’s Spanish-speaking neighbors who fragmented into many nations.  (Skidmore, 1999)

            A colonial legacy of relations between the genders, class, race, and also Latin America’s place within the rest of the world, exists. Latin American nations share a common past of colonialism, independence wars, poverty, authoritarianism, political instability, and foreign intervention.  They differ, however, in the way they have tried to deal with this heritage.  More recently, Latin American countries have embarked with uneven success in a process of democratization.  Some countries have been quite successful in establishing stable democratic regimes (Chile, Uruguay).  A few countries suffered significant setbacks in the 1990s (Peru, Ecuador). Others faced protracted crises that seriously called into question the viability of their democratic regimes (Argentina, Paraguay, and Venezuela).   (Carrion, 2005).

            Perhaps countries which have failed should take note of what successful countries did.  What appears to be clear is that the shackles of colonialism must be broken.  Perhaps this can be accomplished by means of the individualist theory.  This is dual. One dimension is academic and intellectual, extending all the way from the School of Salamanca at the time when Latin America was an Iberian colony, to the handful of Latin American intellectuals who set out as early as the 1970s to debunk contemporary myths, among them Carlos Rangel in Venezuela and the pioneers of the Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. The other dimension is practical, with ancient roots, traceable even under the suffocating states of the pre-Columbian world, in the customary behavior of native inhabitants who sought to obtain the elements of subsistence from nature and from social cooperation of various kinds. It is the daily struggle of ordinary men and women who survive by means of clandestine property and enterprise. (Vargos Losa, 2004)


Carrion, 2005, “Latin American Political Systems”, retrieved 18 Oct 2006 from the website

Skidmore, Thomas E. Brazil: Five Centuries of Change. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 254 pp.

Vargos Losa, 2004, retrieved 18 Oct 2006 from the website

Regional Differences In Colonial American Culture

Though eventually drawn together by a common animosity toward the parent British Empire, the original thirteen U.S. colonies had relatively little in common culturally. In fact, regional differences in culture were quite pronounced. In examining the cultures of Plymouth/Massachusetts Bay Colony, New York Colony, and South Carolina colonies it is clear that while they may have some superficial similarities, the cultures of the different colonial regions were quite unique.

The culture of the Plymouth colony was rooted in the religious belief of its citizens. (Sage, 2007) The colony was founded by Puritans who valued the practice of their religion beyond anything else. (Sage, 2007)  The culture, therefore, was Church-based, with personal prosperity as a secondary concern. (Sage, 2007)  In fact, the Colony experienced very little economic success, and endured significant hardship in the early years. (Sage, 2007) Nevertheless, the colonists remained resolute in their mission to establish a society modeled after their vision of Christianity. (Sage, 2007) The resulting culture was that of obedience, hard work, and conformity. As illustrated by events such as the trial of Anne Hutchinson, dissenting opinions were not tolerated. (Sage, 2007)  Eventually, this colony, which never numbered over 7000 members, merged with the more prosperous and populous Massachusetts Bay colony. (Sage, 2007)  The Massachusetts Bay colony was founded by non-separatist puritans in 1630. It, unlike Plymouth, had a charter which stood as a government form for them, and it attracted thousands of immigrants. (Sage, 2007)  The cultural composition of Massachusetts Bay was similar to Plymouth in that the culture was rooted in religion, and the founders hoped to build an exemplary “city on a hill”. (Sage, 2007) The cultural characteristics of intolerance, and a hard-work ethic were shared by both colonies. (Sage, 2007)

The Colony of New York (originally New Amsterdam) had different origins, and consequently, different culture.( Middle and Southern, 2008) Founded as a “company town” outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company, the colony was a commercial enterprise from the start. ( Middle and Southern, 2008) As a port colony, it attracted people from varying backgrounds and cultures. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)  The resulting culture was a heterogeneous melting-pot defined by relative tolerance of religious diversity and democratic government. ( Middle and Southern, 2008) New York became the colony of the aristocracy from these various cultural contributors. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)  The main cultural characteristics of New York were intellectual independence, and  a relative ease of lifestyle that was a result of the rich natural resources of the region. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)

In the southern Colonies, a different culture arose. After early struggles for survival in relatively harsh conditions, the importation and use of slave labor engendered a stratified society of Aristocratic Plantation owners, poor white farmers, and black slaves. ( Middle and Southern, 2008) More than any other region, the South emphasized the cultural differences of the “haves” versus the “have-nots”. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)  The rich plantation owners and their families maintained a culture of exclusivity, genteel manners and a “benevolent” relationship to slaves. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)  They saw themselves as the rightful masters of both the land and the black laborers. In contrast, the poor white farmers, which represented a majority of the white southern population, were mostly defined as a close-to-the-earth, hard-working, and self-sufficient culture. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)

Each of these colonies had unique cultures, which made their banding together against the British Crown particularly remarkable. The Massachusetts Bay Colony, with it’s religious structure and culture was very different than the aristocracy of South Carolina. Despite that fact, both cultures professed a belief in Christian Principles, and both had a sense of entitlement from God. The Middle Colonies, not unlike the colonies of New England, focused on commercial gain, albeit for different reasons. While the Puritans to their north sought material gain as proof of God’s favor, the culture of the middle colonies, such as New York, sought wealth for its own sake. In all three regions, the wealthy were well-regarded, albeit for differing reasons. Wealthy individuals in the South were considered cultural elite, in the middle colonies they were commercial elite, and in the New England region, they were religious elite.

With respect to religion, the cultures of these colonies had different approaches. The Culture of Massachusetts Bay was religion-centered. It was a concerted attempt to crate a perfect Christian society. In New York, owing to the diversity of the population, and the focus on fiscal activities, religion did not have a central role. Nearly everyone practiced one form or another of Christianity, but culturally, the religion failed to produce any overweening cultural characteristics in New York. In South Carolina, the aspect of large-scale slavery had interesting implications with respect to religion. The aristocratic elite felt that it was their religious and moral responsibility to care for the “lesser beings” who worked the land for them. ( Middle and Southern, 2008) The poor farmers of South Carolina and other southern colonies clung to religion as a refuge from the hardship of their daily labor. Interestingly, many African slaves did the same thing. ( Middle and Southern, 2008)

It is clear from the examination of the cultures of Massachusetts Bay, New York, and South Carolina that the different regions of the American colonies were very diverse. Despite these differences, the colonies were able to band together to ultimately overthrow the British government and establish a single, united nation.


Sage, H. (2007) “The Puritans of New England”, Retrieved October 24th, 2008 from Academic American Website:

“The Middle and Southern Colonies.” (2008) Retrieved October 24th, 2008 from Academic American Website:


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