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William bradford and gods divine providence essay

William Bradford Puritanism Puritan Ethic Mayflower Compact American History Pilgrims Dissatisfied with the results of the reformation of the Church of England, a group of extreme separatists known as the Puritans desired nothing less than the total elimination of any trace of Roman Catholicism in their church. This devotion to their religious practices and beliefs, along with escalated repression by the English government and church, ultimately led to the Puritans emigration to Holland and subsequently to the new world, where they established a colony in New England Bowden.

Born of this repression and emigration, a leader and American literary figure emerged in the personage of William Bradford.

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  2. The parties consisted of 16-20 men, including Bradford, under the command of Myles Standish.
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  5. There were plans, at first, to continue south along the coast, to Virginia. It secularized the Puritan values making moral perfection a more rational idea rather than religious.

Bradford played a role in the drafting of the Mayflower Compact, contributing to the first truly independent form of civil government in America. He went on to guide the settlement as governor or assistant governor for upwards of 30 years. The Puritan Ethic of that time, as well as the concepts forged by the Mayflower Compact, and its eventual development into a somewhat democratic form of representative government, laid the foundation for later American government and made an influential impact that can be seen even today.

Signing the Mayflower Compact 1620. Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, c.

William Bradford and God’s Divine Providence Essay Sample

Their feeling was that even after the initial reformation of the church, there still existed unacceptable traces of Roman Catholicism. This act was viewed as treasonous in the eyes of the English government Belasco, Johnson 96-97. The four main convictions of Puritanism were that personal salvation was completely dependent upon God, that the Bible was the final authority and guide to good Christian life, that the church was to be organized from the scripture and that society was a single, unified entity Bowden.

This is the Puritan Ethic: Strict self-discipline and devotion to God and church, accompanied by contempt for sinful pleasures and luxuries. It is an ethic that lends itself well to a group of settlers about to face some of the harshest living conditions of their lives Bowden. Under increasing scrutiny and repression by the government and Church of England, the Puritans sought further physical separation from their critics.

In the spring of 1609, a contingent of Puritans sought relief from the hostility and persecution of their English government by seeking refuge in Holland.

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After a number of the emigrants were arrested in Amsterdam, the group moved on to Leiden, where they assumed various occupations and formed a congregation.

Bradford, at that time, had moved with the separatists to Leiden, where he became a citizen and worked as a weaver. Bradford had already possessed strong religious convictions as early as age twelve, and in his teens he began to attend the ministry of a local Puritan separatist, Rev. Clifton, despite criticism from his family and neighbors. It was this group, which under threat and persecution, made the eventual move to Holland Leslie 1069-1070.

With this funding he was able to establish himself as a marginally successful businessman. In 1620, financing was secured through a group of English investors, and plans were made to migrate to the new world McGiffert 362. Three groups participated in the agreement for the financing of the excursion to the new world.

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The London adventurers provided the majority of the funding for the trip, while the planters and the adventurer planters possessed either one or two shares in the investment by either purchase or labor. Though the London adventurers provided much of the funding, and would hold the other two parties in servitude to repay the debt, they held no civil governing authority over the planters Magill 75. Having found some freedom to worship in their own way in Holland, the separatists still did not have an easy life there.

They longed for a place where they could not only worship as they chose, but also flourish and prosper as a unified society. The goal was to establish a trading post and fishing settlement near the mouth of the Hudson River, through which the settlers could repay their debts to the investors over the course of the following seven years Morison 55.

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The rest were strangers. They set out on two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower. The Speedwell proved to be unseaworthy, and they were forced to return to England shortly after their departure.

William bradford and gods divine providence essay

The entire group was forced to make the trip on the Mayflower, which finally cleared England in the fall of 1620 Magill 75. The ship, destined for Virginia, had landed outside the bounds of the established patent.

William bradford and god s divine providence

There were plans, at first, to continue south along the coast, to Virginia. The treacherous weather and sea conditions, however, convinced the crew otherwise.

William Bradford, The Puritan Ethic, & The Mayflower Compact

The decision was made to remain where they were, making cape Cod their harbor Magill 75. On November 11th the first of several parties was formed to go out in exploration of the land.

The parties consisted of 16-20 men, including Bradford, under the command of Myles Standish. Upon the return of the third party, it was learned by Bradford that his wife had drowned while he was away. He was sick and grief-stricken, but continued his work, further illustrating his devotion to the Puritan Ethic. A suitable place for a permanent settlement had been found, but there were matters to be resolved before the historical landing could be made Davis 8-9.

The fact that the ship had landed outside of the jurisdiction of their agreement introduced some new problems. Out of this development arose consciousness of a need for the formation of a civil and central governing body, which would provide a basis to enact laws for the common good of all the settlers, and especially the Puritans Magill 75.