Comparing William Bradford and John Smith

Topics: Plymouth Colony, Mayflower Compact, Of Plymouth Plantation Pages: 4 (1241 words) Published: November 18, 2013
Giving Honor where Honor is due: Comparing Smith and Bradford
John Smith and William Bradford were two great leaders in the colonization of Virginia. They both give accounts of their journey and life in the new world. When comparing the two, John Smith accredits himself for the progression of Jamestown where William Bradford accredits God for the progression of Plymouth.

William Bradford comes from a heavy religious background. Bradford was deeply rooted in the puritan cause. He defined himself as “a person for study as well as action; and hence notwithstanding the difficulties which he passed in his youth.”(121-122) Also he stated “The crown of all his life was his holy, prayful, watchful and fruitful walk with God, wherein he was exemplary.” (122) Bradford did not believe in reforming the Church of England from within and there for moved and lived in the Netherlands for 12 years. Then decided to take the journey to Virginia. He believed the colony of Plymouth would be a special providence. His journey was to have religious freedom and live in a place they way God intended.

John Smith on the other hand comes from a military background in which he had earned his captaincy. “Smith next joined the Austrian army in its continuing war (1593-1606) against the Turks, and while in the Austrian service, he fought valiantly in Hungary and was promoted to captaincy.”(82) Smith was more interested in adventure than religion. Smith in ways was conceited and speaks of himself in great grander. His reputation had preceded him and the men who wanted to colonize Jamestown choose Smith to join the voyage. John Smith agreed to the journey to explore the land and possibly find economical gain. Smith is more interested in making a name for himself than serving a higher purpose.

Bradford references God throughout his book Of Plymouth Plantation for the many occurrences they endure throughout the journey. Bradford describes sickness of certain passengers, “But it...

Cited: Baym Nina. “John Smith” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol A. Ed. New York: Norton & Company, 2012. 81-83 Print.
Baym Nina. “William Bradford” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol A. Ed. New York: Norton & Company, 2012. 121-122 Print.
Bradford William.” Of Plymouth Plantation.” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol A. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: Norton & Company, 2012. 122-156 Print.
Smith John. “The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles.” The Norton Anthology American Literature. Vol A. Ed. Nina Baym. New York, Norton & Company, 2012. 83-93 Print.
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