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The American Nation - Christianized or Enlightened - Term Paper Example

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This paper "The American Nation - Christianized or Enlightened" focuses on the fact that between 1607-1733, inhabitants from England instituted 13 colonies on the Atlantic Coast of North America. These immigrants carried with them ideas of political freedom which were deeply embedded in the colonies. …
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The American Nation: Christianized or Enlightened
Between 1607 and 1733, inhabitants from England instituted thirteen colonies on the Atlantic Coast of North America. These immigrants carried with them ideas of political freedom which were deeply embedded in the colonies. Later on, in the advent of an imperialistic awakening of a future superpower, America will propel into a war of independence to put an end to British rule. This crucial period in history was the infamous American Revolution which became the driving force of the establishment of the American nation. However, the foundation of the hardly-earned American nation is contested between religion and the influence of secular ideas from the Enlightenment movement.
In 1776 the colonies that became the United States of America were peopled by groups of individuals possessed with religious fervor who traversed the Atlantic to search for a place where they can practice their faith unadulterated. The migration would be assumed to lessen the religious zeal of the original inhabitants of the colonies and yet the reverse occurred. The religious conviction in America intensified because of the religious resurgence stimulated by the people from across the Atlantic in the midway of the eighteenth century. These religious people were the courageous individuals who will stand against Great Britain in 1776 and oppose colonial rule. The constituents of the revolutionary generation made significant individual decisions about their deep-seated religious beliefs and fidelity and this pressure mounted within them the ability to make political choices. Even the Founding Fathers of the American Nation commenced on building strong governments carrying the credence that religion is a requisite component of a republican institution for its preservation. John W. Thornton summarized that the relationship of politics and religion in America lies on the sermons of the founding fathers. They summoned God in their civil congregations, appealed to the teachers of religion for counsel from the Bible, and identified its principles as the decree of their civic demeanor. The Fathers abhorred the separation of politics and religion. In combats and warfare, they did not push on luck but instead relied on the Word of God etched in their hearts and mind. This moral articulation of the Fathers was the clandestine element that upheld the Republic against its material backdrop, against the enemies’ impenetrable numbers, and against the dominance of England.
Nevertheless, despite the religious background of the American nation, developments in England such as the new scientific methods and the initiation of the Parliamentary government were likewise absorbed into the nation’s milieu. The exporting of scientific, social, and political treatises from Britain contributed much to the American enlightenment. The Protestantism or Puritanism that reigned in the colonies of America began to take a new secularize form due to the entrance of the liberalized ideas from the Old World. In politics, America seized hold of the Two Treatises on Government by John Locke who is a radical political theorist; they supposed that Britain’s debilitating decision to strip away the God-given gift liberties of the American people consumed the mutual bond that ties Americans and British together. The Americans became great believer of radical ideas of representation, contractual government, and natural rights. The political thought that emerged in America at that period became a melting pot of Enlightenment thought, Puritan theology, common sense philosophy, English common law, and their distinctive colonial experiences. Consequently, the concept of a representative government or democracy that will advance individual freedom and liberty was borne out of the secular ideas from England. The foundation of the American nation is neither religious alone nor secular alone. The American Revolution that germinated to a Declaration of Independence put forth the concepts of freedom and democracy laden with both influence from theocracy and the material.
Works Cited
Mitchell, Joseph R. World History: Volume 2- 1500 to Present. Dubuque: McGraw Hill/ Dushkin, 2005.
Perry, Marvin. A History of the World. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1988. Read More
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