Major Paper 1
Bradford vs Columbus Two men entrusted with enormous responsibilities sail away from the world they know to a land called the New World. William Bradford and Columbus both play pivotal points in American history, but how do they differ? One would be wise to weigh their very words against them to come to a conclusion. “For some were taken and clapped up in prison, others had their houses beset and watched night and day, and hardly escaped their hands; and the most were fain to fly and leave their houses and habitations, and the means of their livelihood. Yet these and many other sharper things which afterward befell them, were no other than they looked for, and therefore were the better prepared to bear them by the assistance of God’s grace and spirit. Yet seeing themselves thus molested, and that there was no hop of their continuance there, by a joint consent they resolved to go into the Low Countries, where they heard was freedom of religion for all men; as also how sundry from London, and other parts of the land, had been exiled and persecuted for the same cause, and were gone thither, and lived at Amsterdam…” (Bradford, pp 123).
As clearly indicated by Bradford, his people were clearly being heavily discriminated against. Therefore, at the behest of their very survival they fled to Holland. However, their continued prosperity and wellbeing was not guaranteed.
“After they had lived in this city about some eleven or twelve years (which is the more observable being the whole time of that famous truce between that state and the Spaniards) and sundry of them were taken away by death, and many others began to be well stricken in years, the grave mistress Experience their present dangers, and wisely to foresee the future, and think of timely remedy.” (Bradford, pp 124).
As annotated by Bradford, the Pilgrim communities older and wiser leaders began to fade away taking with them much needed insight required for any truly, meaningful solution to their plight. However, other problems existed for Bradford’s people.
“…as necessity was a taskmaster over them, so they were forced to be such, not only to their servants, but in a sort, to their dearest children; the which as it did not little wound the tender hearts of many a loving father and mother, so it produced likewise sundry sad and sorrowful effects. For many of their children, that were of best dispositions and gracious inclinations, having learned to bear the yoke in their youth, and [being] willing to bear part of their parents’ burden, were, oftentimes, so oppressed with their heavy labors, that though their minds were free and willing, yet their bodies bowed under the weight of the same, and became decrepit in their early youth; the vigor of nature being consumed in the very bud as it were. But that which was more lamentable, and of all sorrows most heavy to be borne, was that many of their children, by these occasions, and the great licentiousness of youth in that country, and the manifold temptations of the place, were drawn away by evil examples into extravagant and dangerous courses, getting the reins off their necks, and departing from their parents. Some became soldiers, others took upon them far voyages by sea, and others some worse courses, tending to dissoluteness and the danger of their souls, to the great grief of their parents and dishonor of God. So that they saw their posterity would be in danger to degenerate and be corrupted.” (Bradford, pp 125).
It was apparent to the Pilgrims that the younger members of their society were dying on the vine, getting worn out before due time, or running off to pursue interests contrary to Pilgrims’ interests. With the exodus to Holland a price was to be had: assimilation. This proved to be something that the Pilgrims found would be the death of their community. However, yet another threat remained. “They lived here but as men in exile, and in a