Posted by: Write My Essay on: July 11, 2017
When glancing at the history of early colonies in the United States, it is not hard to realize that people discriminated based on the culture from which a person originated. The brutal conflicts between colonists and Native Americans; the unrested souls during the Salem witch trials; the enslaved victims of poverty and dangers — all portrayed a society of prejudice, skepticism and difficulties. Yet, among colonies, there were significant differences of treatment toward different people, including to Native Americans, Africans and colonists.
Think about Virginia colonists, which used those differences to earn a financial profit. Virginia is a colony founded by the Virginia stock company, which primarily focused on finding gold and other profitable materials. Those who landed were composed of laborers and gentlemen who either worked to death, or did not work at all. As the colonists searched for instant wealth, they neglected planting corn and other work necessary to make their colony self-sufficient. It was their goals that determined their development, which switched from gold prospecting to agricultural, and then to slavery. Their treatments toward those who were different depended on how much profit they could garner from them.
Compared to the Virginia colony, the New England colony was more complicated. New England is a religion-based colony. Pilgrims first came to be independent from the Church of England. They wanted to practice their religions without being controlled by anyone, including natives. Then puritans came to build a model of Christianity. They imagined that everyone should welcome their arrivals because they are God’s chosen people; they were privileged and blessed.
It is inevitable to mention this influential person when talking about “a model of Christianity:” Winthrop was a famous reverenced politician. He is recognized as one of the most esteemed leaders of America. Yet, his policies were exceedingly authoritarian: he resisted attempts to broaden voting and other civil rights beyond a small amount of religiously approved individuals; he and his colleagues expelled those different nonconformists who were considered to be “political threats,” such as Roger Williams, who was speaking the “truth” and Ann Hutchinson, who criticized the sermons and has too much influence on the colonists. He also opposed unconstrained democracy, calling it “The meanest and worst of all forms of government.” These examples make it evident that the New England government was so obsessed with authority that it did not want to share it with anybody, including its citizens. To the governors, conformity is more important than fairness.
Furthermore, the puritans even tried to convince Indians to become Christians. John Eliot converted 200 Indians to Christians. This piece of information shows that the puritans tried not only to control people within the community, but also to expand it. Massacres took place as well. Think about the Pequot war, when innocent people were murdered indifferently. Watching corpses piled up like hills, these so called “puritans” even considered it a sign that God was on their side. They treated non-puritans as beasts, without realizing that the blood that is being shed will splatter across their own faces and consciences.
But do they have consciences? Did they agree that those who were different are equal to them? Why was the Virginia colony so different from the New England colony? One of the crucial factors is religion. The famous “a city upon a hill” sermon is a prototype of propaganda. The speech strongly influenced all the colonists, who came as families to settle there. The idea of being a model society, gives people the idea that they ought to be superior and exemplary, which effectively bonds everyone into unity. On the other hand, it did not give any reason for them to be a Christian model. In other words, it did not tell them why they are, or should be, superior. It simply told them that they are. As a matter of fact, the sermon explained that everyone is born unequal. Some ought to be rich and some ought to be poor. The point of view triggered later events – some people are born superior and some are not. It is the nature of the superiors (puritans) to dominate those who are different. This principle can explain almost every significant event that happened to the New England colony. ”A city upon a hill,” is just an excuse of ambition, an exercise of Totalitarianism.