Puritan Essay

1474 Words Mar 2nd, 2014 6 Pages
Puritan and Powhatan Dilemmas

In the story of John Winthrop by Edmund Morgan and Pocahontas by Camilla Townsend, the word dilemma is thrust at the center and is the driving force for these biographies. Using the word dilemma suggests there is a conflict and one must make decisions and/or choose a particular side. This most certainly is the case for both John Winthrop’s Puritans and Powhatan. Edmund Morgan uses the title The Puritan Dilemma because the whole idea of the Puritans establishing themselves in America is itself a dilemma. Dilemma is used in Camilla Townsend’s title Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma because the situation that Pocahontas’s people, the Powhatan, are forced into is very much so a dilemma. The word was
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It would mean that anything not done in God’s favor is opposed to England and God himself. In fact, this idea was put to use when the colony was established and rules were set forth by the governing body and church. Winthrop and the Puritans struggled to determine who would run the church and government and who would make laws since “power lay unchallenged in their hands (Morgan, 81)” and all had to be done according to the bible. Morgan urges us to go inside the mind of John Winthrop when making governing decisions. He says “There was no doubt in Winthrop’s mind that God intended civil governments to be in the hands of men like himself (Morgan, 81).” Winthrop most certainly juggled with the idea of doing what was right in God’s eyes and whether or not abuse power. The fact that Winthrop had to find a neutral place to identify right from wrong governing powers is most definitely the epitome of a dilemma and is justified with the examples of struggle and conflict Morgan presents. However, almost all of the conflict Morgan presents occurs within the mind of John Winthrop. Since there was no template for the Puritans before Winthrop, almost everything that the colony established was new; and Winthrop made decisions throughout his career as a governor nearly

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