He was first chosen by the investors of the Massachusetts Bay Company in and after the settlement of the colony in was selected by the freemen to serve as governor in annual elections through and then again in —, —, and until his death in Winthrop is considered the central figure in shaping Massachusetts and more broadly New England society in the 17th century.
It has been quoted by numerous politicians, most notably Ronald Reagan in his inaugural address, to signify America as a beacon of civilization responsible for guiding the rest of the world into the future.
John Winthrop was selected as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company inand he was given the task of leading a fleet of Puritan settlers to establish a community of their own in New England the following year.
The speech was given to his fellow travelers on board the Arbella, the flagship of this fleet, as they prepared to sail from their native England.
Winthrop also cautioned that the world would be watching them, and that failure to fulfill their duty to God would not only ruin their chances of prosperity, but would also disgrace like-minded Christians across the globe. Though Puritans are often depicted in popular American culture as cold and unemotional, "A Model of Christian Charity" provides insight into the warmth and depth with which Winthrop and other Puritans sought to form bonds of community among themselves.
Winthrop states to the gathered congregation that "we must love one another with a pure heart fervently," and details the ways in which each member should exhibit charity and mercy to all other members of the community.
He emphasizes communal living, with the wealthiest and most prosperous members of society freely giving to the poorest members, as well as charitable lending principles that would require a lender to simply forgive a debt if the borrower had no means of repayment.
It is the final section of "A Model of Christian Charity," however, that has received the most attention. In it, Winthrop compares their new Massachusetts Bay colony to "a city upon a hill": Like a city rising above the surrounding land, it is visible to all, and surely will be subjected to careful scrutiny.
Winthrop suggests that if he and his fellow Puritans succeed, they will serve as a shining example for others to follow. However, if they fail, their failure will bring disgrace to all Christians everywhere.
This "city upon a hill" passage is often cited by those who support the notion of American exceptionalism. In the most general sense, exceptionalism is the belief that a certain thing is not bound by established rules or patterns.
American exceptionalism is the idea that the United Stateswith its unique formation and development, is fundamentally different from any other country in the world. The notion of American exceptionalism has been used to hold the United States to higher standards than other countries; it has also been used to justify actions that might otherwise be viewed negatively, such as the appropriation of land from Native American tribes.
Joining with other like-minded men of wealth and influence, Winthrop became a part of the Massachusetts Bay Companythe goal of which was to establish a Puritan community in New England.
Before embarking on the trip, Winthrop was selected as governor for this new venture. Winthrop went on to serve as governor for nearly twenty years, though he was voted out of office and re-elected numerous times during that period. He oversaw the establishment of a democratic governing body that served in conjunction with community church leaders.
These journals have proven to be an invaluable record of early American life.
He died on March 26, Introduction. John Winthrop (b. –d. ) was the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Learn about John Winthrop, a religious leader who oversaw a Puritan colony in Massachusetts Bay.
Find out about his famous sermon, 'A Modell of Christian Charity,' and discover why Winthrop wrote. Life in England. John Winthrop was born on 12 January /8 to Adam and Anne (née Browne) Winthrop in Edwardstone, Suffolk, England.
His birth was recorded in the parish register at Groton. Beecher Stowe Queen Victoria George Washington Woodrow Wilson John Winthrop Virginia Woolf Follow Us Facebook Tumblr Twitter Geoffrey Chaucer Coleridge’s Poetry Samuel Taylor Coleridge Dickinson’s Poetry Emily Dickinson Donne’s Poetry John Donne Eliot’s Poetry T.
S. Eliot The Faerie Queene Edmund Spenser An Introduction. John Winthrop British-born American writer of sermons, diarist, speechwriter, chronicler and epistler.
The following entry presents criticism on John Winthrop . John Winthrop (), American educator and scientist, helped liberalize the curriculum of Harvard College and received English recognition as America's leading astronomer. John Winthrop was born in Boston, Mass., on Dec. 19, , the great-great-grandson of Massachusetts Bay's first governor.