Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States of America delivered his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861. In this address the president spoke to the South about his proposed policies. He expressed his plans to "hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government", he called the Union "indissolvable" to prove that secession was impossible, and he promised never to be the first to attack but to only defend the country against enemies.Lincoln's deepest desire was to see the Union as a whole, rather than seeing it torn apart by the people within it.

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Davis's Message To Congress

On April 29, 1861, Jefferson Davis called the Confederate Congress together for a meeting in which he discusses the reasons for secession and the theory of the Union. He also asks for permission to ready the defenses of the country after Abraham Lincoln had declared war. His main reasons are based on the North's attempts to abolish slavery and having power in Congress. After the war with Great Britain, he says the states made a compact that said "each State retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right to which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled." The Articles of Confederation contained a clause that prohibited changes unless the Legislatures of every State agreed to it, but then the Constitution was ratified on the grounds that only nine states ratified it. Davis thinks the "creature has been exalted above its creators", with the national government being the creature and the States being the creators. He then goes on to defend slavery by saying that "In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with religious instruction."

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Black Code of St. Landry's Parish, 1865

When the slaves were emancipated after the civil war, Southern communities were discontent with this, so they passed "black codes" in order to maintain control of black citizens. Mississippi and South Carolina were the first states to pass these regulations. Later, other states followed.

"Section 2. Be it further ordained, That every negro who shall be found absent from the residence of his employer after 10 o'clock at night, without a written permit from his employer, shall pay a fine of five dollars, or in default thereof, shall be compelled to work five days on the public road, or suffer corporeal punishment as hereinafter provided."

The quote is important because it shows that these regulations did not allow freedmen to move around freely as they please. They were subject to as much oversight, authority, and supervision as possible.

"Section 13. Be it further ordained, That all sums collected from the aforesaid fines shall be immediately handed over to the parish treasurer."

This is an important quote because these regulations tried to limit freedmen's not only physical limitations, but economical limitations as well.

"Section 5. Be it further ordained, That no public meetings or congregations of negroes shall be allowed within said parish after sunset;" and Section 6 prohibited "declaim to congregation fo colored people."

These are important parts of quotes because they showed that African American social and political organizations were feared. When united, they posed as a threat to White authority and order.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Dred Scott Decision

In the vein of a southern controlled federal government, the case of Dred Scott V. Sanford resulted in a decision against the slave Dred Scott, and set a precedent later overturned by the 14th Amendment. Dred Scott, was a slave who attempted to sue his master for his own freedom but the vote resulted in a 7 to 2 tally, against Scott. The precedent stated that Congress has no authority to prohibit slavery in Federal territories and by extension, no slaves have the right to sue due to their not being citizens of the United States. This concept of Dred Scott not being a citizen was derived from the Constitution, specifically, the 3/5th's clause or compromise. This case was one of the many events that created tension between abolitionists and slave owners, which eventually lead to the Civil War.

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation was a document written by Abraham Lincoln along with the consent of his cabinet. The main point of the Emancipation Proclamation was the freedom of slaves in Confederate States. This document also allowed freed slaves to enlist in the Union's military causing up to 200,000 former slaves to enlist. Lincoln wanted to cause an uprising of slaves in Confederate States in hopes that many slaves would run away to the North and join in the Union's cause. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation put the abolition of slavery as the primary goal of the Union's objectives. One of the more important reasons why Lincoln created this document was to keep Britain from aiding the Confederate States. If the British decided to aid the Confederate States, after Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation, than Britain would be aiding slavery which they had already abolished.

The Drummer of Antietam

The ballad speaks about a drummer boy who meets his fate with death, among hundreds of soldiers who are dead as well, at the battle of Antietam. The Battle of Antietam was a 2 day long fight that occurred between the days of September 16 and September 18, 1862, although most of the battle took place on September 17th. It is considered one of the bloodiest single-day battles of the Civil War because no matter how hard the Union attacked,the Confederates would match their attacks equally even though the ratio of the troops were about two to one; there were about 23,000 casualties. As close as the battle seemed, the Union won the battle.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"The Wound Dresser" by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman was known as the "Poet of Democracy." In 1855 he published his first edition of Leaves of Grass, a book of poems; he continued to publish throughout 1892, completing nine successive editions.

"During 1862 Whitman left Brooklyn to search for his brother George who was listed as missing after the Battle of Fredericksburg. Shocked by the plight of the wounded in Washington’s military hospitals, Walt secured a Civil Service post and, in his spare time, made nearly 600 hospital visits. These visits provided ample material for The Wound Dresser."

[Excerpt for The Wound Dresser by Walt Whitman]

Bearing the bandages, water and sponge,
Straight and swift to my wounded I go,
Where they lie on the ground, after the battle brought in;
Where their priceless blood reddens the grass, the ground;
Or to the rows of the hospital tent, or under the roof'd hospital;
To the long rows of cots, up and down, each side, I return;
To each and all, one after another, I draw near--not one do I miss;
An attendant follows, holding a tray--he carries a refuse pail,
Soon to be fill'd with clotted rags and blood, emptied and fill'd

I onward go, I stop,
With hinged knees and steady hand, to dress wounds;
I am firm with each--the pangs are sharp, yet unavoidable;
One turns to me his appealing eyes--(poor boy! I never knew you,
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that
would save you.)

Walt Whitman decided to write his poem on the Civil war, from the perspective of a wound dresser; this aspect of the poem is very important. Because he does this, he shifts the focus from the heroic and courageous aspects of war to the suffering of the wounded. This shift of focus is evident in the second stanza, which states "many the hardships, few the joys, yet I was content." This focus on the less courageous aspects of war substantiates Whitman's determination to confront poetry with a "rude American tongue." He is not afraid to delve into war's horrific aspects such as the "amputated hand" or the "putrid gangrene." We clearly see Whitman's social democrat traits in this poem.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"I Sing the Body Electric," by Walt Whitman

-Brian Hanley

“I Sing the Body Electric,” is a poem written by Walt Whitman. The poem is a celebration of the human body. It breaks away from the Christian notion of dualism where the body and soul are separate and the body is the source of corruption for the mind. In his work Whitman celebrates the very essence of bodily flesh and declares its beauty. This poem is a response to those who doubt the body. In the second section of the poem Whitman claims that the human body, female and male, is perfect. He expresses his sensual desire for the human body in this section. “I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother’s breast with the little child, Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with the wrestlers, march in line with the firemen.” Whitman in his poem is able to find a link between the body politic and the erotic body; “the man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,” which means all bodies, everyone, is sacred, even the “dull-faced immigrants [who] just landed on the wharf.” Everyone has a place in the great democratic scheme.
Whitman’s poem is a justification for his own bodily yearnings. In his poem his does not overcome his sexual appetites but he legitimatizes them. Whitman says the body is electric and filled with energies and desires and they are a current of emotion and humanity that make up the body of the soul and the soul of the body, making them one.
Walt Whitman is exclaiming the harmony and perfection of the oneness of body and soul. The ending or climax of the poem is a listing of the wonders of the body, moving from top to bottom, head to toe and then inside and how they work. At the end he says the body and soul are one, or the body is soul actually.

Walt Whitman: I Sing the Body Electric, 1855

Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric" from Leaves of Grass
Verses 7 & 8


A man's body at auction,

(For before the war I often go to the slave-mart and watch the sale,)

I help the auctioneer, the sloven does not half know his business. Gentlemen look on this wonder,

Whatever the bids of the bidders they cannot be high enough for it, For it the globe lay preparing quintillions of years without one

animal or plant, For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll'd.

In this head the all-baffling brain,

In it and below it the makings of heroes.

Examine these limbs, red, black, or white, they are cunning in

tendon and nerve, They shall be stript that you may see them.

Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,

Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant backbone and neck, flesh not

flabby, good-sized arms and legs, And wonders within there yet.

Within there runs blood,

The same old blood ! the same red-running blood! There swells and jets a heart, there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations,

(Do you think they are not there because they are not express'd in parlors and lecture-rooms?)

This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be

fathers in their turns, In him the start of populous states and rich republics, Of him countless immortal lives with countless embodiments and


How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring through the centuries?

(Who might you find you have come from yourself, if you could trace back through the centuries ?)


A woman's body at auction,

She too is not only herself, she is the teeming mother of mothers, She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the mothers.

Have you ever loved the body of a woman?

Have you ever loved the body of a man ?

Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations and times all over the earth ?

If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred, And the glory and sweet of a man is the token of manhood untainted,

And in man or woman a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is more beautiful than the most beautiful face.

Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body? or the

fool that corrupted her own live body? For they do not conceal themselves, and cannot conceal themselves.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Abolition Mail

Amos Kendall was an American journalist who wrote the most influential western papers such as Abolition Mail. In this piece he writes about how the fact that Anti-slavery publications are being rejected in the south. He also believed that the post master general has no right to "exclude from the mails any species of newspaper, magazines, or pamphlets." He also states that the newspapers produced in the south are pure propaganda and he encourages those papers to be stopped.
One interesting quote
When states become independent "they acquired a right to prohibit the circulation of papers within their territory; and their power over the subject of slavery and all its incidents, was in no degree diminished by the adoption of the federal constitution."

The Ripley Anti-Slavery Society

When we analyze the transcript of the Ripley Anti-Slavery society meetings, we see that this abolitionist group has many elements that make it a prime example of anti slavery groups from this time. We know that many of the anti slavery groups were supported by those who attended church, and used the Bible as a piece that condemns the act of slavery. We see the faithfulness reflected in how the meetings in this group begin with a prayer, and how they incorporate the bible into their anti slavery politics. What's also interesting about this piece is how we see foreshadowing for the years to come and the eventual secession of the southern states, despite the anti slavery group's attempts to avoid such an event.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?
Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was a famous 19th century abolitionist writer who escaped from slavery and lived to speak about his experiences. In his piece, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July", Douglass is explaining that the Fourth of July was by no means a positive and productive day for the slaves. In his opinion, America was not free because if this was true, there would be no more slavery, prejudice, or discrimination against African Americans. The quote that I picked out was the last few words in the document stating "America reigns without a rival". Basically, this quote is saying that no matter who you compare America to, the practices of this nation are far worse. This quote is interesting to me because Fredrick Douglass is expressing his anger towards America.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Case For Salvery

The Fallacy of the Bible Argument:
Christianity forbids Slavery

  • There is no rule of conscience or revealed law of God which can condemn us.
  • Society would stand guilty of a high offense in the sight of both god and man, if we rashly end slavery.
  • The Original sin of introduction of slavery does not rest on our heads. The world will not end, if slavery continues.
  • Yes, we admit that slavery is goes against the spirit of Christianity:

o But, there is nothing in the Old or New Testament that which would go to show that slavery, when once introduced, ought to all events to be abrogated, or that the master commits any offense in holding slaves.

o But, the children of Israel themselves were slave holders , and were nver condemned for it

  • Christ came to save a fallen world, and not to excite black passions of men and array them in deadly hostility against each other.
  • Christ was born in a world, in which the most galling slavery existed, 1000x more cruel than today. Yet, he no where encourages insurrection - he nowhere fosters discontent, - but exhorts always to implicit obedience and fidelity
The Fallacy of the Moral Argument:
moral effects of slavery are of the most deleterious and the hurtful kind
  • The Master is kind and indulgent to his slaves. (i.e. slave girl narrative)
  • He metes out to them, for faithful service, the reward of his cordial approbation
  • The relationships between the slave and his master is a good way to teach children how to treat others.
  • The slaveholders are characterized by noble and elevated sentiment, by humane and virtuous feelings. We cannot find ones that are: cold, contracted, and/or selfish.
  • The most cruel masters are those who are unaccustomed to slavery.
  • Northern gentlemen, who marry southern southern mistress, are much severer masters than southern gentlemen
  • Being a master and wielding authority, humanizes and softens the heart
  • Yes, there are cruel masters, but there are also cruel fathers. Both make people around them shudder with horror.
  • The relationship of master & slave is more close than any other.
  • The slaves of a good master, are his warmest, most constant and most devoted friends; they have been accustomed to look up to him as their supporter, director, and defender
  • A slave rejoices rejoices in the elevation and prosperity of his master
  • Judge Smith, in an emergency he would rely upon his own slaves for his defense - he put arms into their hands, and he had no doubt they would defend him faithfully
  • In the Southampton insurrection, many masters armed their slaves to quell the insurrection
  • A slave is happy where he/she is, the idea of liberty would just dry up the very sources of his happiness
The Fallacy of the Anti-Republican Argument:
slavery is unfavorable to the republican spirit
  • The ancient republics of Greece and Rome, where spirit of liberty glowed with most intensity, the slaves were numerous than freemen
  • Liberty has always been more ardently desired by slave holding communities
  • The man to the north will not shake hands familiar with his servant, and converse, and laugh, and dine with him. But go to the south, and you will find that no white man feels such inferiority of rank as to be unworthy of association with those around him.
The Fallacy of a Revolt:
insecurity of the whites, arising from plots, insurrections, among blacks
  • This evil has been most strangely and causelessly exaggerated
  • The slave loves his mater and his family
  • Blacks are as much civilized as they are in the United States
  • If the salve revolts, the slave risks his education, happiness, and life
  • If slaves do revolt, the revolt would be unorganized and easy to quell. (i.e Nat Turner's Rebellion)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

South Carolina Resolutions on Abolitionist Propaganda

During the 1830’s abolitionists strived to influence all Americans into ending slavery. A large part of their influence was gained through propaganda, which was visible throughout the country. The South Carolina Resolutions on Abolitionist Propaganda was written December 16, 1835 and it lists the various acts and resolutions established in the state of South Carolina to eliminate the abolitionist’s propaganda. “…most of the states south of Virginia provided severe penalties for printing or speaking anything that might incite insurrection among the slaves, or even for arguing against the institution of slavery.” (280)

The first resolution states that any formation of abolition societies, and acts and doings by abolitionists are “in direct violation of the obligations of the compact of the union”.

The second resolution asserts that a country with true concern for its peace and security will not accept abolition societies without either protesting, surrendering or compromising its rights.

The third resolution requests that the Legislature of South Caroline will suppress all abolition associations and neighboring abolitionist states by penalizing them when propaganda is printed, published, or distributed to newspapers, in order to “excite the slaves of the southern states to insurrection and revolt.”

The fourth resolution emphasizes that each southern state has exclusive control over domestic slavery, and thus no state should interfere by creating propaganda.

The fifth resolution reasserts that “non-slaveholding states are requested to disclaim by legislative declaration, to interfere in any manner with domestic slavery, either in the states, or in territories where it exists.”

The sixth resolution solicits abolition of slavery in the District of Colombia as “a violation of the rights of the citizens in that District”. This resolution invites the citizens of South Caroline to be careful with its government leaders in order for their rights to not be violated.

The last resolution affirms that the legislature of South Carolina has increased its measures of security in the Post Office Department of the United States in order to prevent the United States mail to become a “vehicle for the transmission of the mischievous documents [propaganda]” If this resolution is not fulfilled, Chief Magistrate of the state affirms measures will be taken to “prevent [propaganda] traversing the territory”

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Liberator

William Lloyd Garrison published The Liberator at the age of twenty six and wrote a cover page on the first edition of the paper to state its purpose. He speaks with determination and resilience. The author portrays his energy and the efforts he is going to put forth to end slavery. Garrison also cited the Declaration of Independence and the hypocrisy of its equality of all people.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"The Spirit of Discontent"

The Lowell Offering was a magazine established by working women in textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts during the Industrial Revolution. This piece defends the way of life of factory workers and in several ways also defends the growing industrialization of Northern society.

Ellen Collins are her co-worker/friends are having a debate over factory life. Ellen argues that the environment and hours of the factory are unjust. She states "I am going home, where I shall not be obliged to rise so early in the morning, nor be dragged about by the ringing of a bell, nor confined in a close noisy room from morning till night. I will not stay here; I am determined to go home in a fortnight. . . .” . Another argument she brings up "“As to the morality of the place,” returned Ellen, “I have no fault to find. I object to the constant hurry of every thing. We cannot have time to eat, drink, or sleep; we have only thirty minutes, or at most three quarters of an hour, allowed us to go from our work, partake of our food, and return to the noisy clatter of machinery. Up before day, at the clang of the bell—and out of the mill by the clang of the bell—into the mill, and at work, in obedience to that ding-dung of a bell—just as though we were so many living machines. I will give my notice tomorrow: go, I will—I won’t stay here and be a white slave.” Therefore, Collins is discontent with the factory life.

On the contrary, her friends agrees with the factory life. she states "We are very busily engaged during the day; but then we have the evening to ourselves, with no one to dictate to or control us. I have frequently heard you say, that you would not be confined to household duties, and that you disliked the millinery business altogether, because you could not have your evenings, for leisure. You know that in Lowell we have schools, lectures, and meetings of every description, for moral and intellectual improvement.”

Whitman's Ode to the Working Class

"(Because you are greasy or pimpled, or were once drunk, or a thief, Or that you are diseas'd, or rheumatic, or a prostitute, Or from frivolity or impotence, or that you are no scholar and never saw your name in print, Do you give in that you are any less immortal?)"

While not done so intentionally, the piece "A Song for Occupations" by Walt Whitman can be seen in some respects as a counter-point to the cynicism and disdain for the Industrial Revolution, as felt by those like William Blake. Blake condemned the changes in society, whereas, Whitman embraced them to an extent, in his glorification of the role of the working man in this new world. Whitman was renown for the radical nature of his writings, in the subject matter involved and his view of the world. The poem was addressed to the laborers in the various fields of physical labor that had just been created, and stressed the importance of these people to the extent that he claims they are in fact just as important as the many elites of America, including the President himself. This also shows why Whitman is a Romantic writer, in his disregard for the conventions of Aristocracy and by extension his regard for the class systems.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Factory Girls Reverie (1845)

This Letter was included in a magazine called The Lowell Offering, written by working women. In it Elizabeth E. Turner discusses her outlook on factory life. She says that she doesnt like the term "factory girl" because it is so degrading, and she doesnt feel as if her life should be looked down upon. She has lost her family to death and says that she has no home and now the factory serves that purpose for her. Turner sympathizes with other women in her situation who are unhappy with their lives but she chooses not to be gloomy. Although she does miss her family and childhood dearly, as oppose to complaining or feeling sorry for herself, she does her best to make a living and be independent. She continues to improve herself by educating herself by reading books and staying positive.

Factory Life 1845

Women were forced to live a very strict and harsh life while they were working in a factory. An excerpt from "Factory Tracts" describes working conditions for the operatives and urged everyone to help change them. The excerpt says the work day begins before the sun rises, even in winter. The average work day was 12 hours and the wages they were paid were horrible. The were only given one lunch break which was half hour, and when they finally got off work they had to live in a boarding house.

In our article called "Factory life", a woman called Julianna wrote a letter addressing the harsh conditions that she was forced to live through. The Lowell Offering, which was an owner influenced paper, refused to publish her letter because factory owners felt the letter was a threat. Instead the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association printed it as a pamphlet instead.

Marx of America

Orestes Brownson was a man who always stated his opinion in a radical and liberal way. To be specific he had a lot to say during the time of the Industrial Revolution in America. He complained that the rich becomes richer at little expense while the working class, the proletariat, is being screwed over. He also adds that the slaves, who do not have to work for wages, has it easier than the laboring class because the slaveholders puts more money into dressing, feeding, and keeping the slave than into the people that work for him. They are just left with daily exhaustion, bad working conditions and a couple of cents to last an hour. He can be compared to Karl Marx because they both address the same issues that wages has brought to the working class.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Song of Occupations, 1855

Walt Whitman's "Song of Occupations" from the first edition of Leaves of Grass, 1855.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Gold Watches"

1. "A gentleman may receive a thousand dollars per annum, and have half a dozen daughters, who all think they should dress in a style superior to that of the factory girl, who receives one or two hundred dollars per year."

From the perspective of the factory, women factory workers were ideal because they received lower wages than male laborers.

2. "We are fatherless and motherless: we are alone and surrounded by temptation. Let us caution each other; let us watch over and endeavor to improve each other; and both at our boarding-houses and in the mill, let us strive to promote each other's comfort and happiness."

The quote implies that the factory girls probably weren't married until after they were finished working in factories. They also were responsible of earning their own income and gained independence from their parents.

3. "I pity the girl who cannot take pleasure in wearing the new and beautiful bonnet which her father has presented her, because for sooth, she sees that some factory girl has, with her hard-won earnings, procured one just like it."

Since the lower-class women had the freedom of having their own money they were able to spend it on anything they wanted.

"A New Society"

Tabitha "A New Society" (1841) is a dream vision about all the equal rights and freedom, such as wages for laborers, equal pay, equality between men and women, eight- hour workday, equal educational opportunities, etc.

"2. Resolved, That no member of this society shall exact more than eight hours of labour, out of every twenty-four, of any person in his or her employment."

"4. Resolved, That the wages of females shall be equal to the wages of males, that they may be enabled to maintain proper independence of character, and virtuous deportment."

"…I ran up stairs to ascertain if any of our girls would become subscribers; but before reaching the chambers, I stumbled, and awoke."

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reign of King Mob

During the Revolution in the New World, there was a group of people of did not agree with the loyalist. There were mobs throughout the colonies. "At Worchester, a mob of about five thousand collected, prevented the court of Common Pleas from sitting and all drawn up in two files, compelled the judges, sheriffs, and gentlemen of the bar, passed them with cap in hand, and read their disavowal of holding courts under the new acts of parliament, not less than thirty times in their procession." People who were loyal to the King and obeyed his laws, have behaved in such a manner of quietness and peace. And for that exact reason that have been deprived of their rights and liberties. Because of their loyalty to the King they were targeted by the mob and riots. These people wanted to become a new nation of its own not apart of the British colonies.

Declaration of The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms

The Declaration of The Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms was drawn up by Jefferson and Dickinson in 1775. It justifies as to why the colonies had fought against them in The American Revolutionary War and their complaints on how the colonies are treated. It goes into detail to remark the forceful and ruthless manner Great Britain rules as a sovereign and issues such as taxation wihtout representation and the intolerable acts. Dickinson and Jefferson explain that they do not wish to separate from Great Britain yet, but that the lack of representation in parliament the colonies have is not going to be tolerated any longer. It also depicts the colonies readiness to fight for their freedom and voice in parliament as well as take up arms once more if this issue is not resolved soon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Puritan and Quaker Women

Men and women were also viewed unequal in the Puritan society. As quoted, "Puritans shared the patriarchal assumptions of all early settlers that men were superior to women and that property-owning men should exercise authority over the members of their families, which included their wives, children, and any servants or other dependents living with them" (Who Built America, 116). This means that men were considered above women and had more rights. This is important because women who tried to speak their thoughts about society and unequally were thrown out of Massachusetts. As stated in wikipedia, The words of the Bible, as they interpreted them, were the origin of many Puritan cultural ideals, especially regarding the roles of men and women in the community. While both sexes carried the stain of original sin, for a girl, original sin suggested more than the roster of Puritan character flaws."

The Quakers were also mistreated, yet admired. Such as Mary Dyer, who was hanged on Boston Common in 1660 for her faith, gave witness to the religious activism of that newly developed seventeenth-century sect (New England Judged by the Spirit of the Lord, 1703). Quaker women traveled all around the colonies and were known as "witnesses." The authority of such callings enabled them to become leaders within a strong group of believers (New England Judged by the Spirit of the Lord, 1703). Several Quakers preached and organized countless meetings. They also traveled alone and published books.


Mary Dyer

Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Thomas Paine was a moral philosopher who wrote "Common sense" which was the most popular publication of the 18th Century and the theory that fueled the American War of Independence. In his work, he explains that America should be independent against British rule and all men are equal at creation and therefore there should be no distinction between kings and subjects. He also states limiting the powers of the king sufficiently would ensure that the realm would remain lawful rather than easily become tyrannical. He ultimately wanted America to become a free nation.

Two quotes that were interesting:

-"Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other."

-"In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) but the world in blood and ashes. 'Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mayhew and Natural Law

As time progressed, thoughts of the Enlightenment became more widespread. As a result, human beings were seen in a more positive light, and the idea of natural law became more and more popular. Algernon Sidney, a philosopher of the late 1600's wrote in his Discourses Concerning Government that "man is naturally free; that he connot justly be deprived of that liberty without cause, and that he doth not resign it, or any part of it, unless it be in consideration of a greater good, which he proposes to himself." This is basically saying that all humans are born with certain rights. Nobody and nothing has the right to violate them, unless for the greater good of the society, as agreed upon by the individual himself. Jonathan Mayhew was a miniter in Massachusetts. His sermon entitled "Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to High Power", delivered in 1750, futher elaborated upon these points, in addition, he linked them to the church. He basically stated that everything done by the government should be for the good of the people that they govern. If this is not the case, the people then have the right to rebel or object their authority. He also makes mention of the fact that God doesn't prohibit opposition to those with authority who don't govern with the general welfare of their people in mind.