Essay Week 1
The Influence of our Forefathers in American Politics Today
The influences of history, culture, economics and philosophies on the drafters of the Declaration of Independence can still be seen in present day American politics. From the Magna Carta and the influence of the Catholic Church, to the Manifest Destiny and some of our Ancient Philosophers we can see how the many events and beliefs of the times shaped our political society today. There were many battles, bloodshed, and colony uprisings that led to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, this was no small feat.
The backdrop of our political history which paved the way for our founding fathers begins in the European nations when Monarchy was the rule, the Kings and Queens of England. In a time when the only two ways of becoming a King was either by the Divine right or birth and God’s will the people did not have much of a voice. The Magna Carta was the first key element to limiting the power of the King. Signed in 1215, this has been said to be one of the most important records throughout history. The Magna Carta limited the power of the King by a written grant and it held the government responsible to the people and protected their rights. A solid history of what the colonists perceived as unfair treatment would eventually lead to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
The culture of the times could be described as the Age of Enlightenment. Humanism, the autonomous self and Manifest Destiny was popular belief. People were shying away from the old practice of praying for good things to come, and instead were getting out there and using the mind God had given them to make their own dreams a reality. They believed this new land was theirs for the taking and nothing could or should stop them. They began town hall meetings modeled after the puritan church. They wanted to self-govern, sure, they had a King, but he was 3000 miles away. This evolution was two hundred years in the making, and did not only include English men, there was a strong immigrant population that consisted of many ethnicities.
The economy thrived in the new land. By 1770, the colonist’s median income was as equal to, and possibly higher than that of their counterparts in the European nations. The most prosperous market was agriculture, the land was abundant with natural resources. Other popular commerces were iron work, fishing, ship building, and trading animal furs. With all of this commerce, infrastructure was needed. However, there were no banks in the new land, and this is how England had...