Puritan Inheritance

Topics: Puritan, United States, Bill Gates Pages: 5 (1740 words) Published: September 20, 2008
Today, people describe the Puritans with their biased point of view. It is not unfathomable why people do not like the Puritans. The Puritans’ society and today’s society are very different. Puritan society was very restrained; people could only believe in God and the Bible was the law. Unlike Puritan society, today’s society does not restrain religion. Even though Puritans had bad influences on today’s society, Puritans played a pivotal role in constructing the USA. If you look around more carefully, you will easily realize that some things that you took for granted were actually influenced by the Puritans, and they are very significant and necessary to today’s society. The Puritans’ influences on today’s United States are found in the areas of economy, government, education, church, and social mores. The Puritans’ influences on the economy are very palpable. On the US dollar you can clearly see the statement “In God we trust.” Money is the most significant tool in an economy; therefore, a statement about God on the money of the USA accentuates the Puritans’ role in determining the economy of the United States. Today, people recommend frugality. Even people like Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, and Warren Buffet do not use their money prodigally. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, only has $100,000 car; Carlos Slim, the second richest man in the world is known for his stinginess – he even checks how much he spent for his socks; lastly, Warren Buffet, the third richest man in the world, is known for his frugality and generosity. He still has his shabby car and his house is considerably smaller than other rich people. The reason all people try to avoid prodigality is also Puritan’s influence. Puritans recommended poverty: “Even though a member of the group became very poor, the Puritans did not kick him out but even extolled him for his industry and frugality” (Beeke 101). Today, the system of the United States’ economy is capitalism. The definition of capitalism is “the economy system in which businesses are owned and run for profits by individuals and not by the states” (Longman 261). This system of economy reflects the Puritans’ life in the USA. The Puritans landed on uncultivated land several centuries ago. To establish all the milieus similar to Europe, Puritans had to do a lot of things. However, they did not have a government like Europe because they did not want to be subordinated under a king’s or dictator’s power. Therefore, each Puritan ran his own business to accomplish their goal of constructing a new society, and this idea descended to us. “Calvinistic Protestantism as a theological belief system exerted an important influence on the emergence and growth of capitalism as a mode of economic organization” (Sociumas). As Puritans became more inured to the local geography and to their businesses, they began to establish new industries in America. Those industries are still influencing today’s industries. “They established fur, fishing, and shipping industries” (Wiegand 40). The USA’s system of government is a democracy. The ones who originated democracy are the ancient Greeks, but the people who firstly applied it to the government in America were the Puritans. Their church government was based on the voting system. All the officials in the church were voted in by people. Also the Puritans influenced Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the USA who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and heavily influenced the Bill of Rights. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence using the ideas of John Knox, a Scottish reformer who directly the affected Puritans. “John Knox believed that all men are born with the same right” (The rise of Puritanism 214). Based on John Knox’s idea, Jefferson wrote “All men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence. Moreover, Jefferson inspired his fellow politicians to create the Bill of Rights, which protects the rights of people. The Bill of Rights says,...
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