Roger Williams Banishment

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Roger Williams was one of the first Puritans in the New World to truly seek religious freedoms for all. Roger Williams had several issues with the power that the Church had over its subjects and the way in which they would impose their views onto others, even when the Puritans themselves had fled England to avoid religious persecution. Williams made many claims that upset those in power in the colonies, one of which being that the English had no claim to the land and that the charter granted by King James did not give them the authority to take the land away from the Native Americans. Williams saw that the Church should stay away from the civil matters of the State, removing the justification that God granted the King the authority for a charter.…show more content…
Williams had established a relationship with the Natives, specifically the Narragansett, who at first granted him land on the Seekonk River, but the Governor of Plymouth claimed that land belonged to Plymouth. The Narragansett, along with two other tribes, then granted him the land that would become Providence, Rhode Island, with Williams going on to write that Rhode Island was not bought by money but by love. Of course, it did not hurt for the Natives to have friendly relations with a white settler who would become an intermediary for the Natives. Williams views are rooted in his concept of the separation between Church and State, which led Williams to place importance on property. Williams believed that property rights were sustained by natural law and advocated liberty and equality both in land and government, and that the English were not landowners, but trespassers and if the English felt strongly about property rights then so did the Native Americans. Williams concepts fit into John Locke's ideas on property that would be written in 1689, when more people would question the power of the king. Locke held that it is those the work the land and put in the labor that have the ability to claim ownership of the property. Under Locke's concept, if the land is being put to use then the person who has labored the land that is not being put to use, in the state of nature this would grant them ownership. This puts a hole into the ability of the English to claim the land because Natives had been living and farming the land for generations before the English ever arrived. It was the claim of the English monarchy that they were given the authority by God to claim the territory, but under their claims and law, that once one settles the land and has proper towns that gives a country final authority in the area. While such claims would have worked as a manner of deterrence
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