William Penn Essay

2985 Words Dec 21st, 2010 12 Pages
William Penn and the Quaker Legacy

For many Americans, William Penn is just known as the Quaker leader who founded Pennsylvania and for his ‘Holy Experiment’. Penn’s achievements were far greater than just the founding of a colony. He had devotion and spirit and love for the Quaker sect and in turn spent his whole life trying to get others to see the good in Quakerism and create toleration for the religion. In the biography of William Penn and the Quaker Legacy, John Moretta asserts that William Penn is one of the most significant figures of American History and many of America’s principles were created in his time.
On October 14, 1644 William Penn was born in London, England. His parents were Sir William Penn, an Admiral, and Margaret
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Englishmen were dismayed that the Quakers would not follow the rules, and thus saw them as threats. Many Englishmen were hostile to the Quakers and treated them cruelly, from their bodies being whipped to tongues bored to being put in jail, and in most cases result was death. Although Cromwell had granted religious toleration for the Protestant sects, Quakerism was the most pestered religion out of them all.
Cromwell died, and so the Penn family returned to England. William Penn missed his life back in Ireland, but his father saw the move back as an opportunity for William Penn to become a man. Charles II became king and Sir William Penn was determined to make sure his sons became an interest in the king. Penn later attended Oxford, as most English gentleman did. Sir William Penn believed that Penn attending this college would complete the phase of him becoming a man. Penn, although, did not enjoy it as much as his father did. He referred to his college life as “hellish darkness and debauchery” (Pg. 22). He refused to associate with what he thought were troublemakers. His father on the other hand believed hanging around those people would make his son more of the kind of person he wanted him to be. His father wanted him to be involved in politics and business and have the lifestyle that he is has now. Sir William Penn discovered early on that his son was not going to grow up to be like him or maintain the family’s status. However,
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