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"The Mayflower Compact" - Accurate Essays

“The Mayflower Compact”




Word Count: 2,555

Journal # 1:

June 4, 2011: “The Mayflower Compact”

The first time I read “The Mayflower Compact,” I was reading about the history of the United States and in particular about the US constitution. At this time, I was in high school. At that time, I was reading it as a hobby so I did not consider much about the details of the document. Now that I have read the document in details, there are some things that I have noticed about the document that have made me wonder about the writers of the document. The main aim for writing this document was to govern those settlers who were going to settle in Virginia since they noticed that natives who were there did not have unity and that is why they failed. This made me to wonder why they did not include the natives of the land since they were on their land. This is because there is nowhere in the mayflower compact that is written about the natives of the land, the American Indians, and yet they were the first settlers. They were trying to survive so that they could not be colonized and yet that is what they were doing to the natives.

However, the intention of the settlers was another thing that caught my mind. It made me to ask myself the reason why they had sailed all the way from England to come and settle in Virginia. I noticed that they were men of God; therefore, their intentions were good. The document starts, “In the name of God, Amen” ( 2011). This shows that this people were God-fearing people and there intentions were not to colonize but to have peace and settle in a nice quiet place. Additionally, they sounded like people who did not want to be interfered with or interfere with other people’s business; therefore, they were not there to colonize but to find a place to settle and live in harmony.

Additionally, in accordance to the mayflower compact, I noticed that the people who wrote it were civilized men. This is because at that time, very few people only knew how to write or read. Moreover, not many people at that time would seat down and write laws that will govern them; thus, they could be said that they were civilized. Although there were no laws that were derived from the Mayflower Compact in the American constitution, the idea of writing the American constitution started from this document. I believe so because even some of the most prominent people like President Thomas Jefferson were quoted saying that the Mayflower compact was the birth of the American constitution. In conjunction to this, the Mayflower led to some principles of religion in the American constitution. In the Mayflower compact it states that, “in the name of God, amen” ( 2011). Similarly, in the American constitution it states, “God bless America” ( 2011). Although the two statements are a bit different, they have the same concept of religion where they believe in God.

Another thing that made my mind to think a lot were the different laws that were made by the settlers. In particular, they wrote that “by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal laws” ( 2011). In my own understanding of what I have read, they were creating room for implementation in the near future incase something was to come up and it needed to be included in their laws. Therefore, the US constitution could have been one of those things that were to be included in the mayflower compact; hence, it could have brought the birth of the American constitution. Additionally, they spoke about equality in the compact. This showed that these settlers did not use the word of God to colonize the natives but to preach equality among all people. This is also the same in the US constitution where it states that all the citizens of America are equal despite the race or the color.

Lastly, in the Mayflower compact they kept using the word covenant. This word was used in the bible to show the biding agreement between God and people. This could mean that the Mayflower compact was an agreement between not only the settlers themselves but also an agreement between them and God, where God could have been involved in the compact as their witness. This could have meant that incase anybody went against what they have written, he or she was not only going against themselves but also against God. Therefore, the Mayflower Compact could have been said that it was written by civilized men, who were God-fearing people. Additionally, it could have been the birth of the American constitution.


June 4, 2011 “John Locke”

John Locke was a British philosopher who was born in 1632 who developed so many theories. One of his main arguments was that people should be let to reason for themselves in order to decide what is true and not rather than having the different institution decided for them based on superstition. When I first read about Locke, I was reading about the revolution and the era in which the parliament and the House of Lords had so many arguments. Additionally, I was keen also to note that the churches especially the Anglican Church were fighting. It is at this time that I noticed the work of Locke, which was very fascinating (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007).

The first reading I read about him was the social contract theory and the different treaties. Locke at this time was saying that the government was created through force and that the people who are governed by the laws of the government were not part of the government’s creation. This meant that the governments all over the world may it be legitimate or illegitimate governments were all created through force. I totally agreed with Locke because there is not even one point when any of the government and the people at that time could come together and write laws that would help govern them. There was the use of force by trying to enforce the laws that the government had made. To this effect, I agree with Locke where he states that the people should be let to think for themselves based on the evidence and their own religious practices. This will make people to have a better judgment than when they are forced and it will reduce the conflicts (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007).

When I gained interest in reading about Locke, I noticed that he has also written four essays about his ideas. In his first essay, he wanted to gain some evidence of where these ideas came from. According to what I understood from this first essay, there is nobody who has the same knowledge of God but we have ideas, which come from God. This is true because there is no man who is equal to God. In the second essay, Locke was trying to come up with how these simple ideas are formulated by humans. When l read it, I believed his ideas because they state that people are born with a blank mind and the different events that humans encounter with are the ones that people gain knowledge through them and later they help in making ideas. In the third essay, is about the people understanding language so that they can be able to acquire knowledge. I found what he was trying to communicate in this essay to be true because people have to learn languages so that they can understand what they are reading. In the last essay, Locke has defined what knowledge is, what people can know, and what they can never know. I tend to defer because how can anyone know that he does not know something (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2007).

In the first treaty, it says that all-legitimate governments are absolute monarchy. Locke refuted this because there is no proof of this. I totally agree with this because there is nowhere that it is written that monarchies are the only legitimate governments even in the bible. Locke has even given evidence using some scriptures in the bible to show that monarchies are not the only legitimate governments. He said this was only a superstition. The second treaty is the most interesting because it states that all the governments were formed through force and violent. Therefore, these governments do not consider the natural rights and the social contract. The nature rights are those human rights that come before any government. These are the different human rights, which every man needs in order to survive in this world. This is true because, when the human rights of people are affected, that means there is the use of force (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2007).

The second right is the social contract theory where he states that legitimate governments come from a consent from those people that are governed by it. I find myself agreeing with Locke’s concept because, in reality when a government is not formed from the people concepts, most likely it is doomed to have conflicts, rebellions and civil wars as opposed to a government that has been formed from people’s consent. Additionally, those governments that are formed through people’s consents are bound by success. On the other hand, I disagree a bit because if people are not governed by the use authority, it might lead to chaos. Additionally, it is not everybody who will be in consensus with what has been agreed (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2007). Therefore, I disagree with Locke since there is nowhere he has given proof incase a situation like this was to occur.

The last theory that Locke developed was of religious tolerant. This theory was developed due to the many religious wars that were occurring at that time in England. This theory came at a better time because I believe it was this theory that solved the religious wars that were in England. Locke included three central arguments, which in reality are true. The first states that there is no judge, state or the people in general that can give a competing religious standpoint. This is true because nobody can come up and claim of a religion or give his or her own points based on religion. The second one is that even if a single religion was enforced, it will not give the desired effects. This is very true because not every body will believe in the same religion; therefore, not everybody will be satisfied with the religion. Lastly, he stated that forcing people into religion would lead to more rebellion than unity. By the use of these three arguments, I believe that is what led to the end of the religion wars in England (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007).


June 4, 2011 “The Portable Thoreau”

Civil disobedience is one of the most controversial topics because people sometimes may interpret the word wrongly and do what is not right. This misinterpretation of people in the definition of the word ‘civil disobedience’ is what made me gain interest in reading this book. At first, I had my own interpretation where I believed that civil disobedience is where anybody is against the laws of the government. After reading this book, I came to see that I was also partially wrong. Thoreau meant that civil disobedience is the resistance against the civil government. In my definition, it was to general but in Thoreau definition, it is to the civil government. He gave his evidence concerning this by using the various laws that he was against at that time (Bode & Henry 260).

He hated the model of paying tax to the government. He meant that people should not allow the government to exploit them by using the rules and regulations, which they created. According to him, people should use various means, which are not violent to express where they are being oppressed. This has given me a great deal of evidence and I think Thoreau is more acceptable because when people are performing this ‘civil disobedience’, they fail to interpret it correctly and use violence (Bode & Henry 273). On the other hand, Thoreau stated that there is no use of violence when it comes to civil disobedience. This is because when one uses violence, it stops being civil disobedience and becomes a criminal case.

In his work, Thoreau was trying to oppose what the government was doing to the misconduct of their duties. In this, he used civil disobedience. After reading it, I can say that he has used it well because of the way he was opposing the tax payment. At first, he never used violence despite the many critics who referred to him as being a rebel. Additionally, most of the elite people in history like Gandhi and Martin Luther king used his principles to express their feelings into the government. They too interpreted the government well because there is nowhere that it is written that Martin Luther king used violence when he was rebelling against the government. Additionally, I think civil disobedience can be used as means of expressing oneself against a policy or an issue that is affecting the people who are governed by that policy or issue. This is because the only thing that this people were doing is to express their feelings against a law. For instance, Thoreau was against the policy of paying tax; therefore, he expressed these issues by the use of civil disobedience (Bode & Henry 285).

At the time when Thoreau was making his expressions, it was very difficult because the governments were very strict to those people who raised questions against them. Therefore, he was thought to be a rebel who was committing crime, and yet he was only expressing himself. I believe that it is because of this times that made his words be famous and from what I have read from the book, I think his ideas about civil disobedience were helpful in distinguishing between violence and a democratic right to express the different laws that anybody feels that are oppressive. This is because, considering to what I have read in the book I do not see anywhere that states that Thoreau was involved in violent activities to expresses his democratic views.

As I was reading the book, I also noticed that, especially the ideas he was bringing forward about civil disobedience could spark or encourage a person to become an activist. From my perspective, I think that he has used the civil disobedience so cunningly that it is very difficult to notice. By the way, he has expressed his feeling was so touching that even when I was reading the book, I was so touched to the extent where if I was there at that time, I could have offered my full support. However, I wondered what about civil obedience. Is it the direct opposite of civil disobedience? This is because many times, people do not express themselves if they are satisfied with a law but they express themselves if they are oppressed by the law (Bode & Henry 330). Therefore, I think that Thoreau would have given the meaning of civil obedience so that he could have made the people understand better, what he was doing instead of calling him a rebel.


Works Cited

Bode, Carl & Henry Thoreau. The Portable Thoreau. East Rutherford, NJ: Penguin Press, 1997.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. John Locke. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. May 5, 2007. Web. June 4, 2011. The Mayflower Compact. June 4, 2011. Web. June 4, 2011.

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