Comparing Cato's Letters And The Idea Of A Patriot King

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Though the causes of the American Revolution are complex, numerous, and intertwined, early-eighteenth-century English radicals played a large role through their influential essays. In “Cato’s Letters, No. 17,” John Trenchard (1721) analyzed and criticized the power-hungry English court, while Henry St. John Bolingbroke (1738)’s “The Idea of a Patriot King” supported the duties of men to a free government in relation to the conditions of Great Britain. Furthermore, these radical essays have their roots in the Puritan values of hard work, self-determination, and God-mandated laws. By believing that God alone willed the success of the colonies, the Puritans detached themselves from British aid and control. Through exposing the deceptive strategies of the British court and underlining the importance of rebellion to transforming the status quo, the…show more content…
St. John Bolingbroke (1738) argued that wickedness can be easily passed on from one ruler to another through the system and culture of corruption. He said, “the greatest iniquity of the minister…is the constant endeavour he has employed to corrupt the morals of men” (St. John Bolingbroke, 1738). Such an impious powerful person would prevail because he has spread his seeds of dishonesty that bear iniquitous fruits for every generation. Instead of waiting for rulers to change (and they would not because too much power decimates morality), someone powerful and moral should break the mold and radically change leadership, “nothing less is necessary than some great, some extraordinary conjuncture of ill fortune, or of good, which may purge, yet so as by fire” (St. John Bolingbroke, 1738). St. John Bolingbroke (1738) promoted the significance of an uprising from a leader who embodies genuine nationalism because anything less than fire would be insufficient to snuffing out the systemic problems of impiety among public
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