Ethical Decision Making In American History

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There are many examples of ethical decisions throughout American history yet few have had a more profound impact on shaping our country then the paths chosen by the American Revolutionaries. Let’s face it, had it not been for their actions our country would probably look much different today. If it were not for the foresight of our founding fathers, men like Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, or Thomas Paine (1776), who authored arguably the most compelling piece of political propaganda the world had seen to date, Common Sense. After reading Paine’s work I believe that many of the ideals and philosophies are still relevant in modern society, so much so that I was drawn into the relevance and found myself pondering the moral palaver which …show more content…

Representative James Warren wore a toga while orating for the Boston Massacre, still others such as Joseph Hawley declared he would not accept a governmental appointment. These examples pale in comparison to that of Samuel Adams. A Harvard graduate, Adams ardent public servant with few independent interests and no desire for personal achievement or prosperity. “The Revolution became a test of the Americans’ capacity for virtue” (Wood, 204). Revolutionary leaders showed several times over their objective was federal development, not personal achievement. Applying my own ethical philosophy to historical events, I find myself with the same mindset as our forefathers. Colonists found themselves in the gravest of circumstances and while the situation was not at the cusp of catastrophe per se, the British Crowns purpose was clear. With the implementation of the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and other duties coupled with sustained occupational constraints such as Quartering and Impressments, it’s simple to see how colonists likened the British Crown as masters with the colonists as

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