Printed for the Society,Number 3 of an edition limited to copies, signed by Charles Wetherill.
In the Mayflower Compact, the first Pilgrims had clarified their independence from the Virginia Company. In the compact, they made it clear that they recognized the higher authority of both God and sovereign, and that they, the colonists, would decide what laws were needed for the general good.
Since many early settlers came to America because they disliked the authority that had sought to control them in Europe, the question of forming new governments became a primary concern. The settlers often looked beyond the political to more philosophical reasons. It was common to call on God and religion to provide the rationale for deciding questions of authority and government.
A challenge to this view came from those who believed that it was the natural right of humanity to decide who should have authority. A close look at these early arguments over authority provides insights into what has been a continuous question in American history.
He provides a rationale for the people redressing their grievances against the authority of the king and discusses circumstances when a popular revolt is justified.
A people, really oppressed to a great degree by their sover- eign, cannot well be insensible when they are so oppressed. For a nation thus abused to arise unanimously and to resist their prince, even to dethroning him, is not criminal but a reasonable way of vindicating their liberties and just rights; it is making use of the means, and the only means, which God has put into their power for mutual and self-defense.
And it would be highly criminal in them not to make use of this means. It would be stupid tameness and unaccountable folly for whole nations to suffer one unreasonable, ambitious, and cruel man to wanton and riot in their misery.
And, in such a case, it would, of the two, be more rational to suppose that they did not resist than that they who did would receive to themselves damnation. To conclude, let us all learn to be free and to be loyal.
Let us not profess ourselves vassals to the lawless pleasure of any man on earth. But let us remember, at the same time, government is sacred and not to be trifled with. It is our happiness to live under the government of a prince who is satisfied with ruling according to law, as every other good prince will.
We enjoy under his administration all the liberty that is proper and expedient for us. It becomes us, there- fore, to be contented and dutiful subjects.
Let us prize our freedom but not use our liberty for a cloak of maliciousness. There are men who strike at liberty under the term licentiousness. There are others who aim at popularity under the disguise of patriotism.
Be aware of both. Jonathan Mayhew, sermon, Boston, Document B: He was a strong supporter of the king and Parliament and opposed the growing revolutionary spirit in America. Boucher speaks of obedience to both God and his agent, the government.
To your question, therefore, I hesitate not to answer that I wish and advise you to act the part of reasonable men and of Christians. You will be pleased to observe, however, that I am far from thinking that your virtue will ever be brought to so severe a test and trial.
The question, I am aware, was an ensnaring one, suggested to you by those who are as little solicitous about your peace as they are for my safety; the answer which, in condescension to your wishes, I have given to it is direct and plain and not more applicable to you than it is to all the people of America.
For, so is the will of God, that with well-doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; as free and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness but as servants of God.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were among many who borrowed both the spirit and words of Locke in their arguments to free Americans from the control of both king and Parliament.
To understand political power aright, and derive it from its original, we must consider what estate all men are naturally in, and that it is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.
Whosoever therefore out of a state of nature unite into a community must be understood to give up all the power necessary to the ends for which they unite into society, to the majority of the community, unless they expressly agreed in any number greater than the majority.
And this is done by barely agreeing to unite into one political society, which is all the compact that is, or needs be between the individuals that enter into or make up a commonwealth. And this is that, and that only, which did or could give beginning to any lawful government in the world. According to John Locke, what is the primary force guiding man, or humankind?HISTORY OF THE RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS CALLED BY SOME THE FREE QUAKERS, IN THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA.
INTRODUCTORY--COLONIAL PERIOD Charles Wetherill. Wetherill, Charles. there was no open organized opposition to the system during the colonial period, but with the Revolution a more aggressive spirit .
The Colonial Period Most political authority rested with governors who were appointed by the King of England -The governors exercised legislative, executive and judicial power (no need for an elaborate court system).
Resources: Historians: Authors: About the Grant: For questions regarding the grant programs please email [email protected] Resources-Religion in America During the Colonial Period-Christine Heyrman | Historical Society of DE.
Christine Heyrman From "Religion and the American Revolution" "Native American Religion in Early America". To enable our high schools to prepare their students for a competency determination in U.S. history and government based on tenth grade standards, this document provides a two-year set of continuous standards addressing the Constitutional period to the present on which to base a statewide end-of-course assessment at the end of either grade "During colonial period, religion provided the primary rationale for the authority of the king" Evaluate Religion was a primary factor in day to day life in colonial times.
Minor decisions weren't made without first thinking what God would "say". Effects of Religion During the Colonial Period. The development of a country is a complex process that can be affected by many factors, one of which is religion. Colonial America was greatly impacted by the role of religion within that society.
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