Reasons For and Against Leaving Massachusetts by John Winthrop

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Question 1: significance of English victory over Spanish Armada

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England had undergone different challenges especially when King Henry VIII was in charge of the country. During his time, King Henry VIII made it difficult for Protestants to enjoy their freedom of worship in England because he greatly despised the religion. However, after his death Queen Elizabeth I took over the throne and England acquired a new phase, especially on the religious context (Edmund, 1999). Elizabeth, I had a difficult time trying to reunite the country after its despair with the previous leadership. The country was divided into two major religious groups; the Protestants and the Catholics. During this period, most of the countries that advocated for Catholicism wanted to spread their ideology to other parts of the world. Spain was one of the major advocates of Catholic ideologies, and they wanted to capture England under Catholic rule (Edmund, 1999). The Spain forces of over 100 naval ships invaded England with the aim of recapturing the Catholic throne that was lost immediately after King Henry VIII died. The plan did not go well for the Spanish forces as they had wished after being beaten by England. This was a great victory for England and to them it signified Gods intervention in the war. They believed that God intervened for them to punish the Spanish force that had invaded their country. This happened only five months after the birth of John Winthrop.

Chapter 2

Question 1: The relationship between God and the governments instituted by people

Immediately after John Winthrop got married, he undertook the journey of getting cleansed and devoting his life to God. This was the beginning of his Christian life that was marked by vigorous training at Trinity (Edmund, 1999). The puritans expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the government of England was carrying out its activities especially when dealing with other churches around. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the set regulations claiming that the government should enforce more strict laws so as to crack down on the factors that affected the religious foundation of England. According to Puritans, the presence of other churches in England like Catholic contributed to the impurity of the countrys religious standards. Therefore, they felt that it would be better if the government would establish strict laws that would prevent other churches from practicing their religious activities in the country. The Puritans tried to compare the state set by human beings and that established by God. According to the Puritans, the government created by human lacks moral virtues. The presence of different denominations in England meant that there would be different religious opinions. The Puritans felt that the government should establish a standard rule that controls the religious practices. Additionally, they felt that human beings inherited sins from Adam and Eve and therefore, elected leaders are most likely to engage in evil activities. Puritans claimed that they were a pure race that God had chosen.

Chapter 3

Question 1: Reasons for and not leaving Massachusetts by John Winthrop

Three years after John Winthrops marriage it was time for him to take over the family property. His father, Adam Winthrop, Jr., wanted to prepare him for the upcoming task of taking responsibility for the family properties. Adam wanted to ensure that his son was capable of taking care of the family estate before handing them over to him (Edmund, 1999). most of his time, John Winthrop spent working on the family estate; for example, learning how to manage the family estate, collecting and levying fines against tenants. As a part time, he started to study law and later joined Grays Inn law school that prepared him for judiciary work. He began to work as presiding as a justice of the peace during trials in courts. However, in the 1620s, John Winthrop helped make various legislation reforms in the parliamentary committee. This work exposed him to influential politicians and countrymen, and in 1626, he was appointed an attorney for the court of Wards and Liveries. In the course of his work, John learned the corruption that infiltrated the justice system in England (Edmund, 1999). John Winthrop tried to assist the parliamentary committee to make various changes in the legislative policies with the aim of eradicating corruption that had become a threatening issue in England. Additionally, with the coming to power of King Charles I, corruption took another form in which the king himself led. King Charles, I fought the parliamentary committee for money that was by then controlled by the legislative committee. King Charles I ascending to power started to reduce the effectiveness of the Puritans work to spread their ideology. As an attorney, John Winthrop felt that he should stay back in the country to help fight the vice that had turned to be a threat to the development of England. On the other hand, John found himself in a dilemma when he realized that Puritans had found a land in the North America where they could practice their religious practices without hindrance from the king or other religious groups like the Catholics like was the case in England. This motivated him, and he made the decision to move to the North to settle in the new colony of the Puritans.

Chapter 4

Question 2: Why John Winthrop was elected governor of the General Court of Massachusetts Bay Company

Moving and settling in a new environment was not easy for many people who migrated from England. John Winthrop with his family moved to Massachusetts and settled there. It required a lot of persevering and determination that not anyone could do. John Winthrops hard work and dedication to make Massachusetts Bay a better and hospitable place for the newcomers in the region made him appointed the governor of the area (Edmund, 1999). John was never idle; he tried to keep himself busy and committed. This made him different from other Puritans who could not do the charitable activities that he used to do. Further, he acted as a role model for many people in the new land. This was a new land and most of them who came here were not used to working hard, and so, most of the people were idle. The idleness caused more suffering especially with the depletion of the resources that they had come with. After being appointed the governor, his first plan was to find a region to establish his colony. John Winthrop was also forced to circumstances he found himself in that made him develop the positive values that made him appointed as the governor (Edmund, 1999). Additionally, John had experience in the law while he was still working in England as an attorney in the courts. This also added him an advantage over other Puritans who went to the new land.

Chapter 5

Question 2: The problems that the settlers face in the new land

The settlers arrived in Massachusetts when winter was beginning (Edmund, 1999). This was a bad welcome to the new settlers in the new region with the little resources they carried. The new settlers who moved from England were used to drinking spring water. Therefore, exposing them to winter was not only challenging but life threatening. Some of the new settlers like Isaac Johnson and his wife died few months after arriving in the new land. When people began to get discouraged, John Winthrop though of a way to help the situation; he found a new region where he thought was appropriate for the new settlers. He moved to Boston Peninsula where they settled with the other Puritans who came from England (Edmund, 1999). John felt that it would be better to maintain good relation with the neighboring communities like the Indians. As a way to maintain this connection, John sent some of his people who went to buy foodstuffs for the neighboring people to trade with them. Enhancing trade between the new settlers and the Indians helped maintain the good relation between the two parties.

Chapter 6

Question 2: Dangers presented by separatism and how John Winthrop managed to address them

After the new settlers had settled in the new land, they began to separate based on the church backgrounds (Edmund, 1999). The Catholics were on their own side; the Protestants were also divided further. The Puritans were left on their own to continue following their ideology. The Puritan church had lost its sanctity amongst its members. As a way to bring back the sanctity that the church had lost, the General Court made laws that ensured that people were brought back to the virtues ways of the Lord. John Winthrop helped to make the legislations that guided people on how to behave. For instance, he proposed a new law that prevented other settlers from housing guests for over three weeks without permission from the General Court that acted as the government. This prevented other immigrants from England that could have caused more separation in the new land.

Chapter 7

Question 3: How Leaders ensured that the government would retain the commitment to puritan values

The General Court in Massachusetts symbolized the state. After the first group that comprised of John Winthrop arrived in Massachusetts, they settled and prepared a way for the rest of their families who were left back in England. However, the separating began when different people started to come in Massachusetts. Some of the family members who were left behind followed different denominations. Therefore, when they came to Massachusetts, they carried along their denominational practices (Edmund, 1999). Since Massachusetts was started with the primary aim of maintaining the pure race that God had chosen, the Puritans; it became a difficult situation to control the difference that emerged out of the different denominations. Various people started to come up with their ideologies that were contrary to the puritans ideology; for example, Hutchinsons family that came to the region and began spreading their ideology of Arminianism that went contrary to the Puritans ways. The General Court had to come in to keep the cohesion in the region since it was the symbol of governance in the area. The court established regulations that prevented further damage to the already existing one. The court ensured that anyone going in contrary to the puritans ideology was convicted; for example, Wheelwright was convicted of sedition.

Chapter 8

Question: How was Winthrop regarded as too lenient?

Winthrop started to experience the difficult moments of his times in Massachusetts in early 1632 when he engaged in a dispute with the Watertown citizens. In the dispute, the government wanted to increase the taxation and Winthrop stood for the people. He claimed that there were too many freemen to legislate, and therefore, his presence was not necessarily needed. When he was taken to court and the tribunal ruled for many freemen (Edmund, 1999). This was the first blow for Winthrop that ensured his step out of office. The fowling season, he was also engaged in another dispute with Dudley, who accused him of being too lenient. Complaints were raised by his administration, and two years later he was sent out of office. Even after being demoted from the governorship position, John Winthrop never showed his bitterness and he continued showing his support to the court. In spite being out of office, John Winthrop was a still a symbol of leadership to many people in the region who came for advice from him. Massachusetts began and thrived because of John Winthrop and therefore, even if he was out of office he was still a figure that stood for its development (Edmund, 1999). Additionally, when Winthrop joined an alliance with the La Tour, the other Puritans never took it simple. Most of them considered him as a traitor and too soft to handle the top leadership position like govern...

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