Two New Englanders

Submitted By Vonecia-bee
Words: 938
Pages: 4

Analysis of Two New Englanders
Different Emphasis on Religion I noticed that in the very different times in the United States, John Winthrop and Benjamin Franklin experienced religion very differently. When John Winthrop was in existence it seems to not be a separation between church and state, church was probably mandatory, and the church had just as much influence over the local people as the government did. . It appeared that every move that any citizen made was modified and scrutinized by the local government as well as the local church. For example, when a Mr. Robert Keaine who was known to be a completely dishonest businessman and, according to Winthrop, he was also known to be a fraudulent man who would scam citizen out of their money. Winthrop stated, “he was charged with many particulars; in some, for taking above six-pence in the shilling profit; in some above eight-pence; and, in some small things, above two for one,” and this means that he was a con artist. Winthrop also stated that, “For the Gsuch detestation of the corrupt practice of this man”, and this action would call for the Church to question his moral values and condemn him. This means to me that in any moral or religious violation the church would make itself known to judge. However, I observed that in the time of Benjamin Franklin religion took a totally different approach. The way it was described by Franklin, church didn’t seem to be as mandatory as it had been in the previous century. I noted that Franklin did not see the necessity in attending a church regularly in order to have a prominent relationship with God. For example Franklin stated that, “Tho' I seldom attended any public worship I had still an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia”, proving the fact that church was no longer playing the more dominant role in the colony although it was still heavily existent. The church seemed to be used as an asset to make the citizens behave.
Government Influence In the earlier era the local government system and officials in the colony seemed to be heavily concerned with private affairs of citizens. Even events that would happen within the confines of a married couple’s home were up for public discussion. According to Winthrop officials could punish you for your handling on private affairs. For Example, he shared a story stating that, “A poor man of Hingham had been scandalous and burdensome by his idle and troublesome behavior to them all, was now on the sudden turned Anabaptist, and having a child born, he would not suffer his wife to bring it to the ordinance of baptism, for she was a member of the church, though himself were not… Whereupon after much patience and clear conviction of his error, etc., because he was very poor, so as no other but corporal punishment could be fastened upon him, he was ordered to be whipped, not for his opinion, but for reproaching the Lord's ordinance, and for his bold and evil behavior both at home and in the court,”. In my interpretation he was inferring that the poor man was punished publicly for being troubled with his wife and child, which might be considered a private matter. As for experiences that Franklin would share it seemed that the well-being of society had become much more important than private affairs. The mere fact that franklin could choose when he wanted to go participate in church showed that maybe private affairs