Puritan Argumentative Essay

Decent Essays

The Puritan settler’s beliefs in the relationship between individuals, God, and the community during the seventeenth century in New England created a sense of us (the Puritans) vs. them (the Native Americans and non-Puritan colonists), who hindered the idea of a city upon a hill, the perfect Christian community. From John Winthrop’s sermon warning the first settlers of New England about the retributions God would bring to the community if individuals broke there covenant with God (Winthrop 17-20). To the way, those same beliefs, brought over by the first Puritan settlers, affected the future interactions Puritans would have with Native Americans during the times of declension, and their views towards them as seen in Mary Rowlandson’s narrative. …show more content…

Casper and Richard O. Davies “Individuals could do nothing about their predestination: God’s grace alone, not good deeds, determined their fates” (Casper and Davies, 17). This relationship between God and the individual would affect the way Puritan colonists’ interpreted individual success as a way of knowing their fate, which separated the rich from the poor, who would not be saved (Winthrop, 18). This idea of individualism would help create the mentality of us vs them, as seen in Mary Rowlandson’s narrative where she views the behavior of the Native Americans as savagery and describes them as “heathens” as lesser beings than herself (Rowlandson, 19). The idea of individualism allows the Puritan colonists to view the Native American behaviors as uncivilized compared to their own, which then they use to interpret their behaviors as favorable to God and the behavior of the Native Americans as demonized or against God. Which then begins to create a view of Native Americans as enemies that hinder the idea of a city upon a hill or a barrier in creating the perfect Christian community. Which in turn creates the conflicts between the colonists and the Native Americans as they attempt to convert them into Christianity as seen with the praying Indians in Rowlandson’s narrative

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