William Penn and the Quaker Legacy essay

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The claim by the author, John Moretta that Quakers had the most significant impact and enduring legacy among the European immigrants to North America is because of many changes and impacts. The Quakers had major influence on the religion, agriculture, and the development of arts and learning in the North America. They also led to increased role of women in economic and social activities due to their conviction on equality. The main reason for development of art and learning in Pennsylvania was presence of freedom of expression and principles of liberty that translated to the development of the best institutions of learning in North America. Pennsylvania boosts of the first American University, Hospital, and Insurance Company, hence depicting influence and legacy of the Quakers.

The historical justification for the claim that the Quakers had significant impact and enduring legacy in North America is that they were the first group in history to denounce slavery. This led to movements against slavery and the ultimate abolition of slavery, hence a historical influence. Other areas where the Quakers had considerable influence include education development, industry, and participation in social and policy issues.

Penn’s vision for his colony was the formation of a state whereby the people had responsibility and at liberty. His vision embraced the need to have religious freedom, peace, and equality. This led to formation of a democratic, liberal, and harmonious state in form of the Pennsylvania that would later form the basis for the development of the design of American government. Once in North America, the native community accepted the Quakers, which led to the flourishing of Quakerism due to religious tolerance and liberty advocated by Penn. The main reasons for the change from hatred to acceptance were due to their simple way of living and honesty in business.

Reasons for the migration of the Quakers to United States were persecution, imprisonment, and intolerance from the Puritans.  Persecution in England by the Puritans made the Quakers’ lives at risk. Signing of the decree by Charles II allocating Pennsylvania to Penn for the formation of the colony to protect the rights and liberal democracy of the Quakers resulted to the migration. Search for better economic opportunities also led to the migration.

As a proprietor, Penn was a visionary proprietor who had a clear ambition of how he wanted Pennsylvania in terms of prosperity and liberal democracy. Penn envisaged a place free for all, religious toleration and equality. He had an ambitious holiness project for Pennsylvania based on religious practices. Like all proprietors, he also aimed at making profits from the state and he laments at the end that the project was a $30,000 loss.  

Penn’s main purpose of establishing Pennsylvania was to improve liberty by ensuring a free society for all the people. He envisaged freedom for all the people through ensuring equality in passing and enforcement affecting all the people irrespective of religion or ethnic background. This formed the main aim of his life to fight for liberty through ensuring trial in front of a jury, religious toleration, and generation of a free and liberal society for all the people in Pennsylvania. The use of his personal income for the acquisition of the state and the development of liberal rights for all forms evidence that fight for liberty was his main life goal.   

Penn had a vision to serve England in a greater, righteous cause as a governor of the Pennsylvania. In this position, he would be able to serve the Quakers by fighting for equality and the creation of liberty. He advocated for religious tolerance, fairness, and abolition of slavery, hence his purpose was not that he be an England citizen but to serve in a greater, more-righteous cause.

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