The Revolutionary Changes Brought to America by John Winthrop
The topic and person I decided to conduct research on is John Winthrop because we learned about him in the very first week of class. I did not find a better way to introduce John Winthrop again my research paper since the class is coming to an end. As I know from class, Mr. Winthrop was born on January 12, 1588 in Edwardstone and he was best known for being the leader of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the country New England. The Puritian Revolution was a major contribute to John Winthrop because both the Puritans and Winthrop obtained a very close religion relationship.
As stated in class, the Purtian Revolution, was one of the major start to Winthrop’s theory and the Puritanism Revolution was a reform movement which began in the sixteenth century through the seventeenth century. The point of the movement was to educate citizens on planning to make changes regarding the English Church. Puritans had collected signatures and created a petition called “Millenary” to gain the attention of the King at the time which was King James I. There were about a thousand signatures on the Millenary petition which was good for the Puritans because they wanted certain traditions to end in the English church. For instance, traditions such as signing of the cross during baptism, confirmation from people, requirements for certain things to be worn to represent their religion, the use of wearing rings in marriages, and having to bow during communion. The Puritans also had refused to do certain other things such as rejecting lectures from the Book of Common Prayer. Again, the main purpose of the revolution was to get rid of certain catholicism traditions regarding the Catholic Church. The Puritans did not like the staff of the clergy and they wanted complete separation from the Church of England. Puritans believed that the English church had obtained too much power over people and some had still hoped for reform.
John Calvin had influence over the Purtian movement who was a theologian and him and Martin Luther were Protestant reformers. Calvinism was an influence on the Puritain movement and Calvinism believed in the bible and the word of God. Calvinism believe a lot in salvation and had argued that the lectures necessary to receive salvation are all directly in the word of God which is the bible. In order to be in Calvinism, it states that a priest or a person does not have to work for an individual to receive salvation. Basically salvation is free for anyone you have to go and get it.
For Puritans and Calvinism, they demanded for their bibles to be translated to latin if anyone wanted access to it. John Calvin had created a different understanding to receive salvation which is a term titled predestination. Predestination means that people who are already redeemed are already known by God. It means if a person had already received salvation is already predetermined by God which I thought was deep even though I do not believe in Calvinism. The point I am trying to make is that the two religions Calvinism and Puritanism played big roles in John Winthrop’s beliefs. Winthrop became an attorney which he completed his education at Cambridge University. In the year 1629, Winthrop was elected to run for governor and he was elected to serve for twelve years in office. I know John Winthrop to be the person known for his famous quote, “City Upon the Hill” and he was referring to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This famous quote came from a sermon when he arrived in a ship to the new world which is known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The phrase, the City Upon the Hill which I did not know came from a bible verse from Mathew chapter five versus fourteenth and it states, “You are the light of the world.” This meant that a city cannot be set on a hill and it cannot hide from the world. John Winthrop believed that this an example of what the Puritans can achieve since they were hard workers and had their religion to motivate them to be able to achieve anything in the world possible. This type of motivation gave the Puritans hope to successfully be able to operate a government and a world that would be connected to the church and their Purtian religion.
Winthrop also believed that once the whole entire society saw the new world, the world will have to follow the Puritans view on the world and will be able to create a brand new England. The point I am trying to make is that Winthrop saw the new world as being positive and a new beginning in today’s world it is not a “Shining City Upon a Hill” like Winthrop stated it to be. The world has changed tremendously since John Winthrop discovered the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The world is not really following religion and some people do not even believe in or religion or does not believe that God exists. What I want to talk about is how Winthrop’s famous quote from his sermon does not apply to America today. We have so many issues that are occurring and some of the issues are not being solved and are being ignored. America is considered to be one of the greatest countries in the world to live in and I am personally grateful to be in America. The problem with our country is that we are not considered a country that is a city upon a shining hill.
One of the issues that we face today in our country is honoring our United States Constitution. The United States Constitution was the best document that was ever created and written by Thomas Jefferson. The Federalist Papers which included Alexander Hamiltion, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Jay and this man had helped to produce what we call the United States Constitution. It took so much effort for this men to create our laws and amendments to protect all citizens of the United States of America. I am saying this because the Constitution is not a document that we should be ignoring it was produced to give us citizen’s protection against the mistreatment against government officials and from any one that holds a high position of power. There was a time in the history of America that us citizens did not hold the rights to anything. For women, we were considered powerless and we could not even vote in the United States. I give so much credit to the United States Constitution because without it, I do not think anyone could survive being in the country America and I love the fact that we have a democracy.
The issue that I have is that I admire Winthrop for having faith in his religion and believing the “New World (which was our country America) is a shining city. We do not shine so brightly because we have major issues that our affecting are country each and everyday. One issue that makes us not shine brightly is racial discrimination among black americans. I noticed that the class is almost over and we are learning about the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Movement was created between the time period of 1954 to 1968. The Movement consisted of fighting for social justice and gaining equal rights for black Americans. During the time period of Civil War, slavery had been abolished, but there was still racial dirscrimination against black Americans.
Blacks had experienced a lot of discrimnation in southern states and they were tired of violence and dicrimination towards them. Some whites and black americans begin the civil rights movement. Ever since the Civil Rights Movement,black Americans have been treated unfairly and unequal. As of today in the year 2019, black Americans are still receiving unfair treatment and being discriminated against. There have been several incidents that have resulted on racial discrimination aganist black Americans. Police and blacks do not have a good relationship with others and this is a very big issue. I think the reason for this is because the word stereotypes blacks as being dangerous, scary, and uneducated and because of this we are most likely to be criminals.
The world is wrong and not all of black americans are criminals and uneducated and scary. It is not right for anyone to be judging someone based on the color of their skin and I think our country America is still living in the dark ages. The police and blacks need to establish a better relationship with each other and the police needs to use better judgement and stop looking at the color of the skin. The last time I checked, any race or color can be a criminal not just black Americans. Also, I do think we as Americans need to definitely have a sit down and talk about the unequal justices of black Americans. I know a lot of citizens get very uncomfortable when it comes to the subject of racial discrimination, but we need to face the fact that it is still taking affect and it is still happening. It saddens me because I am a black american woman and I in the past was treated like a criminal for no apparent reason and something needs to be done about this issue.
John Winthrop believed in a world based off his Puritan religion and believed the word to be great with God by his side but our country does not live by Winthrop’s quote at all. Racial discrimination is not the only issue that applies to being in America. Another issue that occurs is poverty in the United States and that has been a major problem for a very long time. We are so focused on helping people in other countries that we forget about the people who are here struggling in America. I know some countries have worse poverty rates but America has the resources to help their citizens and we spend out of money helping other countries and the funds we spend could be used to build more shelters. We do not have enough shelters in the United States to help get the homeless off the street. According to statistics, we have a poverty rate of 43.1 million americans and a homeless population of about sixty seven percent.(National Alliance to End Homelessness. Our federal government has a budget of three point five million dollars according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. My question is where does all the money go to? If we have this much for a budget to end the homelessness population then there should not be any homelessnesss in our country. This budget is supposed to fund housing for people who do not have income or have less income but there is still homeless in our country. In Washington DC the government had cut out the hud housing program for people who have low income. If the government had not cut out the programs for the homeless population then maybe would could have reduced the homeless population and get people off of the streets. This goes back to Winthrop’s famous quote is why America is not a “Shining City Upon a Hill” because of problems like homelessness. I do not understand how our government could have the heart to have people living out on the streets like this and it is very horrible in Washington D.C.
I currently live in the District of Columbia and I see people that are sleeping in tents and nowhere to go or to turn to. America states we are about helping people but I am starting to disagree with this concept. It is so embarrassing to see people are homeless right down the street from the white House and the United States Capitol are so called laws are supposed to be made. I have to go to work every morning and see and watch how people do not have a home to go to. Citizens in the Washington DC area go to work and walk over the people who are living in tents like it is normal and have no care in the world about any body. What is America coming to in the year 2019? I will tell you what America is coming to and that is a total disaster. It is so much we as individual citizens can do to help the homeless it is up to our federal government officials.
Also regarding homelessness, we not only have regular people that are homeless but we also have to deal with the fact that we have homeless veterans. This is really insane that we have people who put their lives on the line to help protect our country and they end up homeless. People think that when someone is homeless they are automatically a drug addict or a prostitute or something of that nature but that is not the case. Anyone can become homeless someone can get laid off the job or lose their home in a natural disaster and we should not automatically assume the worst of a person who is homeless. Last but not least would need to build more homeless shelters and provide more resources to homeless people to help them to get on their feet. The poverty rates are high and the homeless rates are high because we do not give resources to people in need. I certainly understand that people do abuse the system but I think we should put certain stimulations on resources to help people to become independent and not have to depend on the government.
Another important issue that our country is currently facing is guns which are causing violence. I am going to use the state of Texas for an example because they had passed the gun law were people are permitted to open carry. People can open carry any type of gun they want to carry including hunter and shotguns. This is not a good law and sometimes I really wonder does Congress really take the time to sit and think when they are creating and passing the laws. This is not safe at all and if you are going to pass a law that permits open carry you should only be allowed to carry certain types of guns around. That is why there has been so many gun violence and gun shootings because of careless laws like the one that was passed in the state of Texas.
There was recently a deadly mass shooting that happened in El Paso, Texas on August 3, 2019 that occurred in a shopping complex. The mass shooting had left twenty people dead and there were more than a dozen people that were injured at the Walmart in the shopping complex. This is a perfect example of why are gun laws needs to be changed because people think that guns are used to just go in places and start shooting people for no apparent reason. Innocent lives are being taken away from automatic ammunition and this is not good at all. We the citizens need to demand more change when it comes to creating such laws. I do understand that we the people are entitled to our second amendment right which is the right to bear arms but there needs to be some stipulations to it. The gun violence in our country has been going on in our countries for years and this is not good. There needs to be a reform for guns and people should not be able to use certain guns such as shotguns and hunter guns. Mass shootings should be called for a state of emergency.
One more final issue that does not relate to John Winthrop’s famous sermon quote, “A Shining City Upon a Hill” is having racial hate groups. As stated before there has been massive shootings in America and it has been a total of two hundred and eight four mass shootings in America. What I cannot seem to understand is that if America is for equality and everyone being equal, then why do we still allow for individuals to have racial hate groups such as white supremacits and the Ku Klux Klan. These groups should not even exist and this is the type of issues that needs to be addressed with our government officials. I still cannot understand how our country can still allow groups of people to hate groups. These hate groups are some of the causes of mass shootings and some of the causes for racial discrimniation in our country. These groups should be abolished and taken away for good because they are committing hate crimes. The last time I checked, committing a hate crime is against the law and they should be punished.
Hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This hate groups have been around for years and are still continuing to be of existence and the only thing I can possibly suggest is our government needs to definitely come up with not only better gun laws, but with better laws period. Our country in my opinion is still living off laws from the past, especially in certain states. We need to focus on creating better laws that is going to affect citizens in a better way. Some of are laws are affecting us in a bad way and it is causing citizens to be killed because of the messed up laws that we currently have. The laws are not helping our country it is destroying our country. That is why it is so important to vote for people that are going to make our country a better place to live in. These are some of the problems that America is currently facing and now I want to presently explain how we can fix some of the issues we are having today.
One of the first things we can do to fix these issues is to first all races should come together and learn how to treat each other with respect and not disrespect one another. This country America is so divided among races it does not make any type of since at all and we may not have to like each other but we should respect one another. A lot of people are saying that the issues we are currently facing does not have to do with race but in my opinion it is certainly have to do with race. If we are currently discriminating against one another, we can never move in a positive direction. The only thing that is positive in America is once again I appreciate having a democracy.
The current President Donald Trump has a quote that states, “Make America Great Again” but as of today, America has not been very great so far. We have had multiple things happen and so far nothing has been done about it. I think every citizen in the world if possible needs to march up to the white house or the United States Capitol to protest about the different things that has happened. Another solution to our problems is that we can write our local government officials such as our mayors and local senators. Every since I have relocated to the Washington DC area, I have been writing the white house every single week until I receive a response. We the people need to demand change and stop sitting back and just let things continue to get worse The citizens make the country, and without citizens, there would be no country at all. I have never witnessed so many problems and issues in America all of the years I have been living on earth something has to change for the better. People’s lives are in danger and innocent lives and children are being taken away by gun fire. This is not making America great again, making America great is keeping citizens safe. Making America Great Again is not allowing racial discrimination to continue since slavery and also making this country great is reforming our gun laws to keep the country safe.
Now that I have explained why Winthrop’s famous quote from his sermon, “A Shining City Upon a Hill” does not relate to our country, those issues does not make up shine bright, it makes us dark. Again I admire John Winthrop because he had a complete vision of the “New World” and how it should be. I also admired how Winthrop and the Puritans came together to make a difference in the country England and their religion. Our country needs to be more like Winrhrop and the Puritans because our country would be a better place. The Puritans and Winthrop did not like certain things about the English Church and admire them because they took a stand and did something about what they did not like and what they thought was wrong in their religion.
Another thing that I admire and always will remember about John Winthrop is that he came together with the Puritans not only to change the religion of the church, but they also wanted to reform the government. Puritans and Winthrop came together to change the government and make it religious which I thought was pretty amazing. I will always admire John Wintrhop because i never heard anything bad about him and I really admire the fact that he believed in God. I think if America was more religious than we would also be a better country and treat everyone right. In my opinion, Wintrhop was someone who was positive and stood up for what he believed in. Winthrop did not believe America to have so many issues and corruption, he believed that with God’s word, anyone could have an equal opportunity. Also, he believed the city or new world would follow the example and teachings of the Puritans and himself. I learned a lot about John Winthrop and once again I believe our country to believe and be more like Winthrop and the Puritans in New England. I enjoyed learning about John Winthrop and I will never forget what I have learned about him.
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