Summary Of William Penn's 'Letters To The Free Society Of Traders'

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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,…show more content…
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 fruitful…” (Nash et al., 2011, p. 76) The European view, and Penn’s, was that of the exportation of the America’s. The trees for building, the fertile lands for sowing natural and artificial produce, the animals for meat and fur, even the waters for fish and fuel could be exploited for purposes of growth and trade. The Europeans saw profit in all things, which is why the immigrated here in the first place. This is where the similarities ended…show more content…
William Penn demonstrated this immediately upon his arrival in the America’s. He recognized the natives as the natural owners of the land and pledged to purchase all acreage he planned to sell (Nash et al, p.79). The success in this idealism would be seen in the population growth and the immigration of even the other natives of the Americas. In fact, Pennsylvania would be much more successful that the Carolina’s in population growth and function government. The Carolina’s had a model of European idealism in that they took the land and molded it to their profitability with minimal positive interaction with the natives. The land was exploited and used, leaving more immigrants coming in to further push back the natives with zero compensation and decimating local plants and
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