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Coltin Daus
Mrs. Ellis
United States History 1
23 March 2014
No Settlement Can Survive on Selfish People
The definition of selfish is to be devoted to caring only for oneself or being concerned
primarily with ones own interests, benefits, and welfare. The Puritans were selfish because they
took any land they wanted, did not value the lives of others, and Puritans would not consider any
other beliefs. The Puritans acted in a single minded manner. Their extreme religious attitude
caused them to self-destruct. All of the laws in this establishment were made to set guidelines of
the ideal Puritan, but caused them to only be concerned about themselves.
Initially, the Puritans believed any piece of land was theirs. In Document B, it explains
their views on taking over territories. Where there is empty space, Puritans can form an
establishment on that piece of land (Doc. B). The title of Document B is also The Divine Right
to Occupy the Land. The words from this article explain that Puritans believed they deserved
any land in which they seek, even if it requires going to war to make that location become empty.
This is an extremely selfish act because they are not sharing land ownerships and disrespecting
the previous owners of the land. Also, Puritans thinking they deserved it because they were
above everyone else is ridiculously selfish, too. If you go back to the definition of being selfish,
this shows they are only caring about their own interest and personal welfare of taking a piece of
land.
Subsequently, Puritans did not value the lives of others because they would kill their
children just for misbehaving. Any children above sixteen years old and of a level of maturity,
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who disrespects or is stubborn to his or her parents, will be sentence to death (Doc. D). This
pretty much explains that if a child acts rebellious to their parents, it is written in a law, they
shall be executed. This is another superb example of being selfish because Puritans did not value
the lives of others. These people only focused on how others treated them. Some people may say
this is selfless because it is trying to teach the children to behave. That is completely incorrect.
One cannot learn from their mistakes when they are dead. A child acting out is just part of
growing up. Everyone makes mistakes when they are young, so we can learn from them as we
grow into adults. However, when a kid is sentenced to death, there is no learning involved.
Additionally, Puritans would not allow the people of their society to take in other beliefs.
Anne Hutchinson was a woman who spoke about the Spirit of God and was banished from the
colony. In 1638 Anne would be expelled from the church and banished from the colony for
speaking about her religious views (Doc. E). Anne took in the idea that salvation only came
when God gave it; she believed that predestination played no part in it (Doc. E). Sadly, because
Anne was a woman speaking about her views and teaching about the spirit of God, she was
banished. In continuation, this is selfish because the Puritan leaders would not allow her to speak
freely. It was not even like she was preaching about taking over this society or doing something
terrible to the community; she was just talking about a view she had on God. So when a society
will not allow women to share their religious beliefs or will only allow them to study one view of
God, it is tremendously single-minded.
Ultimately, everyone will have different views on this subject, but from the evidence that
was stated, Puritans were most definitely selfish. Puritans were so concerned about making
themselves and their families perfect. They committed self-seeking acts by taking any land they
wanted, not valuing the lives of the children that were killed, and not taking in other beliefs. The
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natives, children, Anne Hutchinson, and several others all had to endure these abhorrent acts.
Living life in a narrow-minded way affects not only yourself, but others in horrible ways. I
wonder why the whole society never noticed and made an effort to make a change. If they could
have showed respect and care for each other, the Puritan colony would have most likely
prospered substantially more.