American Lit 1
Bradford and Winthrop’s New World Coming into the new world had many challenges for the people from the distant land. One of these challenges was establishing a way to govern the people or better yet a way to live. William Bradford and John Winthrop had their own unique guidelines, although similar in many ways, I believe that Winthrop had a better chance of success then Bradford. William Bradford landed in the new world in 1620. He was among the first pilgrims who sought out an escape from English rule in order to establish their own church and beliefs. From what I could tell, the Pilgrims did not have solid guidelines to follow. They did have a letter from John Robinson that should have the set guidelines. Not only did they not have solid guidelines but, shortly after arriving in Plymouth Bradford became the governor. His life became a model for the community. John Winthrop arrived in the new land in 1630. He was a puritan who also sought an escape from an anti-puritan king. Where Bradford (a pilgrim) wanted to build a new system of church and beliefs, Winthrop wanted to reform the church from within. Winthrop gave his idea of A Model of Christian Charity before arriving to the new world, so guidelines for the puritan inhabits were acquired before even reaching the new world. Winthrop also was elected governor, just like Bradford, they were both men to be looked up to.
Both groups, pilgrims and puritans, I believe followed or tried to follow the idea of “community before the self”. In order to accomplish this, they were warned of bringing any type of mistrust because it will cause an early death of the colony. “After this heavenly peace with God and our conscience we are careful to provide for peace for all men…” Robinson said in that passage, from his letter, that after peace with God and self-consciences is met that peace with all men must be acquired (Bradford 129). Robinson goes on to warn that the men should not give or easily take offence. Later on in the letter Robinson says “with your common employments you join common affections truly bent upon the general good”, this is his statement of putting the general community before the self. I believe that, because this letter and his ideas weren’t set as the general foundation, the pilgrims where easily sunk into problems. “In these hard and difficult beginnings they found some discontent and murmuring among some, and mutinous speeches and carriages in others” (Bradford 139). While Bradford had no solid foundation, Winthrop had A Model of Christian Charity. In which were the foundation of the community based of a simple question and answer method. This model is also later looked at by others in order to base their community on when coming to the new world. The notion of “community before self” is easily seen in this work, “…more enlargement towards others and less respect towards ourselves and our own right.” (Winthrop 170) Bradford attributes everything to God where if the people are bad on the inside then God will punish them. While on the voyage to the new world many of the people fell ill and Bradford simply says that it is God’s providence. “…for they noted it to be the just hand of God upon him.” Bradford believed that all were equal under God and that God would punish those who were judged evil (pg131). I believe that his manner of thinking was a judgmental way. Since Bradford was a person to