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Puritanism and American and British Culture

The control of one’s thoughts and deeds leads to a state of purity in one’s heart, this purity of the heart is what forms the basis of the religious ideology of Puritanism as proclaimed by John Calvin. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] Puritanism ideologies embraced the tenets of high standards of morality and “hard work and clean living,” Puritans were also revolutionists, aggressive, expansionists and economically minded. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007]

Puritanism promoted internalized discipline whereby those who went astray were persecuted played a core role in the shaping Britain and the United States of America theologically, culturally, economically and politically, as a matter of fact societies that are today modernized, industrialized and democratically developed once underwent a period of intense repression. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] For instance the execution of King Charles I by puritans led by Oliver Cromwell marked the England’s turning point for great things.

[Walter Russell Mead, 2007] Under Cromwell’s puritan leadership, England amassed great economic power through promotion of hard work and strict adherence to Christian teachings. Again, under Cromwell puritan leadership England was able to expand its territorial boundaries to far areas e. g. Jamaica was taken from Spain. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] In America, Puritans laid a lot of emphasis on education, to them literate people were more economically empowered than the illiterate ones, through their efforts the Harvard College was opened in 1936.

[Walter Russell Mead, 2007] The puritans also fought and won the English civil war of 1651, they also participated in expansionist moves by spreading education and trade to other areas of the American colonies. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] Areas that practiced Puritanism were more democratically and economically developed as they desisted from social ills, followed the established order and practiced trade and commerce.

[Walter Russell Mead, 2007] Puritanism as a religious ideology was fundamental in shaping the American culture by helping the Americans to understand their lives better in respect to what God require them to live, to lead a sinless life while embracing divinity and hard work as God gifts for a positive and purposeful life. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] Due to the moral uprightness, strictness and the alienation from the Roman Catholics practices, puritans were largely hated in England, for instance, they were persecuted in England and as a result there emerged wrangles which led to the assassination of King Charles I by the Puritans.

[Walter Russell Mead, 2007] The resultant Puritan leadership helped to build a new British Empire; other Puritans migrated to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other neighboring American areas where they helped form the American empire. [Walter Russell Mead, 2007] References: • Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World; New York; Alfred A. Knopf, 2007, ISBN-13:978-0375713736.

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