Of Plymouth Plantation

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“There is no success without hardship.” Sophocles, an ancient Greek poet, said these words between 496-406 B.C., but his words are incorporated in the Puritan society work ethic, and the American tradition. Imagine moving to an unknown place because of religious persecution. Very few people would take the risk to move from their home country, to an unknown land that is far from family and friends. However, the Puritans, a group of people who grew discontented in the Church of England, broke away by deciding to move to the New World to “purify” the church and their own lives. Even before they landed, they had to surmount to their first challenge. Sailing across a vast body of water, the Puritans faced violent storms and strong winds that rocked the Mayflower. They also faced other Mother Nature-like challenges such as finding food, water, and shelter in the New World. Besides Mother Nature, the Puritans also dealt with Human Nature dilemmas. For instance, the Puritans had many quarrels and disagreements between themselves and other Puritans or Native Americans. The Puritans must overcome great difficulties in settling New England.

One particular challenge the Puritans faced with Mother Nature was the long journey on the Mayflower to the New World with an arrogant man. The Puritans, who were already tightly packed into one ship, had to deal with a young man who mocked the sick and was eager to throw them overboard. There was a proud and very profane young man, one of the sea-men, of a lusty, able body, which made him the more haughty; he would always be condemning the poor people in their sickness, and cursing them daily with grievous execrations, and did not let to tell them, that he hoped to help to cast half of them overboard before they came to their journey's end, and to make merry with what they had; and if he were by any gently reproved, he would curse and swear most bitterly (Bradford,1).

This situation served as a challenge to the Puritans because they were treated harshly aboard the ship. Their trip to the New World was already long and arduous. Having an arrogant person aboard the same ship made matters worse. During the journey, the Puritans were probably infuriated and annoyed with this man. They had no other choice, but to deal with him until he died; he being first person to be thrown overboard.

Another challenge the Puritans faced with Mother Nature was the storms and the strong winds that caused beams to be broken. Sailing across an unknown body of water, the Puritans faced violent storms and strong winds. It challenged sailors to be weary at all times, from dawn to dusk, for fear of the boat tipping overboard. One storm was so violent that it broke the shroud of the ship, a necessary part of a sailboat that holds the mast up from side to side. After they had enjoyed fair winds and weather for a season, they were encountered many times with cross winds, and met with many fierce storms, with which the ship was shroudly shaken, and her upper works made very leaky; and one of the main beams in the mid ships was bowed and cracked, which put them in some fear that the ship could not be able to perform the voyage (Bradford, 1).

Stuck in the middle of the ocean, their main beam was broken due to strong winds from a violent storm. If the main deck of the ship had cracked, because of lightening or waves, there was always that fear that their boat was going to sink or that they would all die before reaching the New World. The Puritans were able to solve this dilemma by fixing the ship with iron screws some passengers had brought from Holland. But in examining of all opinions, the master and others affirmed they knew the ship to be strong and firm under water; and for the buckling of the main beam, there was a great iron screw the passengers brought out of Holland, which would raise the beam into his place; the which being done, the carpenter and master affirmed that with a post put under it, set firm in...
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