William Penn: One Man's Vision Against A World View

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One Man’s Vision Against a World’s View During the 1600’s the world changed drastically due to the widely held belief that expanding empires would lead to great fortune and world domination. William Penn, an Englishman who was inspired to build a community tailored to his Quaker beliefs (that of the “friendly neighbor), wrote an invitation to his English compatriots regarding the land he saw and his ideas of that land. In “Letters to the Free Society of Traders” (1683) Penn wrote of the land, the plants, and the people favorably. He saw a community of potential and prosperity, referring to his colony as a “holy experiment.” William Penn was relentlessly compelled to create a way of life that was tolerant of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, which drastically contrasted with the European view of imperialism, which was fraught with entitlement, intolerance, and violence. First, Penn’s view on the bounty and prosperity of the America’s was on par with the European view. Penn described the Pennsylvania area as fertile and diverse, much like some areas in England. Though he was encouraging people to immigrate to the area, it is clear by his description of the area that he thought it just as beautiful as his homeland. He goes on to describe how the land could be utilized for farming and how the native trees and animals could best be used, with regard exporting. Other European colonies reported much the same. In the Carolina’s, the “country (was) so delicious, pleasant, and

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