Civic Duty Analysis

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Roger Williams and John Eliot on Civic Duty The 1600s were a century in which most European powers seized land in the New World for economic and agricultural gain. However, for the English, their land in “New England” became a safe haven for Puritans and other (viewed) dissenters from England. Certain members of this community began to go beyond the required guidelines as a missionary of the Christian faith. These men did not only strive to better their own communities, but also to spread Christianity to the Native American communities, and establish living standards through the establishment of social responsibility. All of which conform under the overarching title of Civic Duty (the duties or obligations a person has towards his/ her society/…show more content…
Eliot (on the topic of Indian relations) wanted to maintain relations with Indians to prevent the Natives feeling isolated completely, after a large portion of the English population had built up a large distrust for them in the aftermath and during King Phillip’s War (Jarvis 65-66). It was this same failure of diplomacy that had brought about this war Eliot wanted to prevent that happening again for the sake of the English people. He did this by making regular visits to Deer Island where the Natives were kept (Jarvis 65). On these visits, he would bring them food and medicine in order to ease the hemorrhage of lives lost on that Island, due its harsh winds and terrain. Williams in his striving for Indian relations led him to become an intermediary between the two nations, he was for the English a diplomat during King Phillip’s War and the Pequot War. However, for the Native Americans, he was a trader who traded commodities of great value to them. However, on the issue of the authority of the Church Williams and Eliot’s views were greatly differed. Eliot believed that the ideals held by the church, for example (Jarvis 51) Eliot says “ I find it absolutely necessary carry on religion with civilitie”. Civility being one of the largest aspects in Eliot’s mission to bring the ideals of Civic Duty to the Indians. Thus showing a clear pairing of civic duty and religion. Williams could not be more against the thought of pairing the church with Civic
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