250Brief 1 - Dr. Welch Political Thought in America...

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Dr. Welch Political Thought in America 5/4/2007 Important Ideas Emanating from the Colonial Period 1620-1776 Coming from the earliest period in the United States’ history, a mix of ideas were circulating around. This was due in large part to the early colonies not have a history of their own. With the exception of the native population, the American colonies were settlements of migrants, bringing their culture from the countries of origin. Sifting through these ideas, America began to form. Upon first setting foot in the New England area, the settlers had to decide how to conduct themselves. Facing a new environment with an entirely new wildlife, with hostile natives, they were on their own. One thing the early leaders could definitely agree on was a Commonwealth idea of government; the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. When the first settlers landed in New England, they immediately saw the need for some form of government. Coming over on the Mayflower, they realized that a state of nature was not preferable to living in a state of man. In the Mayflower Compact , the writers believed that binding people into “submission and obedience” was the best course of action, because they believed that people were not inherently good. The same could be said of John Winthrop. Ten years after the Mayflower landed, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was established. Like the earlier Pilgrims, the Puritans also believed that the community as a whole was more important than the individual. In his words in A Modell of Christian Charity , “wee must be knit together in this worke as
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one man.” Much like the Pilgrims, the Puritans were wary of giving too many rights to the individual, because their new settlement’s safety was priority number one. These ideas about government and how societies should be don’t necessarily
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250Brief 1 - Dr. Welch Political Thought in America...

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