Values of the Times
At the beginning of time, humans have had values and morals. Different times offered different values to different people. Values have tremendously changed between different eras throughout time. Values can be anything from worship to god, to someone they truly love. These values started in the past, are currently here, and will shape the future. The earliest noted era, the puritan era, is where values will start to be noted.
The puritan era, dating back to the 1700’s, was focused on religion as the direction of the future. Anne Bradstreet talks about religious values really well and thoroughly in the puritan era. In one of her pieces, “On my Dear Grandchild, Simon Bradstreet, Who Died on 16 November 1669, Being but a Month and One Day Old,” she states that her grandchild’s death was a part of God’s plan. In another piece by Bradstreet, “Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666,” she talks about when her house burned to the ground, all the possessions in the house were not hers, but the possessions of God. She did not claim an item in the house as hers because that would not be pure towards God. Another piece from this era, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” written by Jonathan Edwards he states that no matter how often you go to church, you are not saved from hell and it is what you do that decides if you are pure or not. All three of these literary pieces show the influence of religion in the Puritan Era. From the beliefs of God, values then evolved into respect of freedom.
In the Revolutionary War Era, many people where leaving the countries with harsh rule and coming to the Americas. The people valued the freedom given in the Americas. In Michel-Guillaume Jean De Crevecoeur’s Essay, “What is an American?”, he talks about the emigrants that came over to America. He stated that when the emigrants would think of their home country they would think of hard work and starvation and ancient prejudices. They come to America to be a new man with new ideas, principles, and freedom to express opinions. Another literary piece from this era is Phillis Wheatley’s, “Letter to the Rev. Samson Occom,” she speaks out about rights for blacks and equality as they are supporters of the war. Another piece from this era, “Lecture to a Missionary,” written by Red Jacket, he talks about the freedoms the Indians had until the Englishmen came over and where given a small chunk of land. The Englishmen took advantage of the welcoming and took even more land and then soon the Indian country fell to a small percentage of land. All three of these show different types of