Freedom Harpers

In Thomas Moore’s Dear Harp of my Country, he discusses the condition of the harp of Ireland in the first four lines.

DEAR Harp of my Country! In darkness I found thee,

The cold chain of silence had hung o’er thee long,

When proudly, my own Island Harp, I unbound thee,

And gave all thy chords to light, freedom, and song!

After years of being ruled by the English, the harp of Ireland has disappeared and faded into darkness. In addition to that, Moore’s writing also implies how the harp has become “silent” due to the oppression of the British. The true Irish culture has been held captive and the only way to release it is to remove the English from Ireland. And according to the link provided by Professor Garcia, the harp is not much of a symbol for Gaelic culture during the 17th-18th century, as the “Winged-Maiden Harp” stands for English rule over Ireland. Thomas Moore, is regarded as “one of the champions of freedom of Ireland”. Knowing this, he is calling for a revolution. He is going back to a time where the harp was more than just a reminder of English oppression, he is trying to remind the people that the history of the harp meant so much more to their history and roots. If anything, it becomes more of a reminder and more of a warning of how the harp will lose its meaning.

The warm lay of love and the light note of gladness

Have waken’d thy fondest, thy liveliest thrill;

But, so oft hast thou echoed the deep sigh of sadness

That ev’n in thy mirth it will from thee still

As mentioned in class, the harp conveys both a positive and negative emotion when we were listening to the song. Although it may sound peaceful, it also creates a sound of sorrow and tragedy. This excerpt of the poem is a very good description of how the harp sounds and how it is heard through our ears. Furthermore, Moore could be talking about the origins of harp symbolism. In the 12th century, a Welsh cleric accompanied English Prince John to a visit to Ireland. His key observation of harp players were identified as the most remarkable characteristic out of a barbaric race. This created the foundation of what the harp symbolizes today: the freedom and true spirit of Ireland. Throughout the test of time, harp players managed to adapt to their surroundings while catering and captivating new audiences. Thus, showing the “warm lay of love and the light note of gladness”. However, there were also tragedies in Irish history, such as the Battle of Kinsale (1601). That battle could be the “deep sigh of sadness”. Because after that battle, the harp was not a symbol of freedom and Irish culture, it was a symbol for English rule. And even so, the harp might lose its Irish roots and culture if the English decides to make it their own. Moore is writing to keep the symbol of Irish identity, culture, freedom, etc. alive before it is forgotten and taken away by the English as well.

-Christopher Luong

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The Bad Middle Route: Equiano’s Grave Mistake

“Slavery is bad”, is something one is tempted to slap onto a work regarding the exposure of the cruelties of the slave trade and its participants. With a grand chunk of the text focused on depicting this unjust treatment, something slips by the text uneasily, perhaps by the conscious effort of Equiano. The freeman turns out to have owned slaves, but there is a bigger argument to be discussed rather than the simple labeling of Equiano as a hypocrite. Looking deeper, one must analyze particularly why the writer who clearly wrote his story to criticize slavery chose to include his own partaking of the same sin. It could be his simple desire to be honest, but clearly he defends his act using the same rhetoric as his white counterparts, this idea that he treats them well enough for them not to be just slaves but rather like family. There are definite holes in his argument here, especially when he selects the best slaves of “[his] own countrymen” (PDF, 138). It shows a bias for certain men, even hinting that he classifies men at different levels, just as the European owners would. But why is this relevant then? The idea can be expanded upon through the given political cartoon—

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Here one can slowly see that this work is one not blatantly screeching that slavery is good, but rather taking a stance that the abolitionist movement is exaggerating their arguments. This is specifically highlighted by the man covering the telescope with what seems to be inhumane treatment of slaves, from the happy, peaceful sight of seemingly lazy foreigners across the sea. Sadly, this is fed via the same rhetoric that Equiano is supporting by buying slaves and further by being selective with them. The suggestion that there is a right way to be slaves is the exact argument the picture is making: the ideal that if slaves are being treated ok there is no reason to worry. Equiano’s argument is problematic, specifically due to this. If he had simply said this was out of compassion, out of direct empathy, this would have been taken a different way; however, it is the fact that he declares these men above the others and the fact that he tries to defend his purchase by saying he’ll treat them right gives the impression that he wouldn’t be concerned with slavery if it was practiced in the manner of his country or through his methods. Quite the problem there, Equiano, quite the problem. It’s not mere hypocrisy at work here, rather a whole new spectrum: defining what is slavery then. What if men worked as indentured servants? Workers? Interns? Where would Equiano draw the line for black men of today’s age?

One can assume then, Equiano is speaking against slavery to a certain degree – hinting at a justification in a certain case under the right circumstances. One cannot thus merely state that he is completely for abolition, nor can one simply state that he is a complete hypocrite because this entire work is aimed to call an action against the widely practiced injustices. It is important to listen to these in-between arguments, and sometimes indeed it’s a bit questionable to take a neutral route. What to take from Equiano, is that if you wish to take a side, you have to stay firm to it, otherwise you will receive harsh criticism, as seen by the heavy amount of backlash he has received from my fellow classmates.

 

-William Fernandez

True Freedom

The art from 1832 depicts two sides of the transatlantic slave trade, those who were free and those who were slave. However, what is necessary to focus on is the fact that in this pictures the usual rules between slavery and freedom are reversed. This picture shows freedom as something that is determined by how happiness. The man on the left, who is considered the slave of this image, describes his animal type job of tugging a cart around. Downward left of him there are many tax papers piling on the floor. As for the man on the right, who is considered the free man here, he is living with his family while watching his child grow. He has no taxes, but instead has a background filled with dancers. An overall happy lifestyle.

However, what caught my attention the most are the words said by the man in the center of the image, “Think of the poor suffering African called a Slave unpossess’d of any of the rights & privileges that you enjoy, while you sit under the vine of your Reform Bill and the fig-tree of your Magna Carta – He knows nothing of such blessings” These words seem to contradict the picture portrayed as the free families are those who do not fall under the words of the Magna Carta or Reform Bill.  

-Elizabeth Dominguez

An Inexpressive Caricature

The bottom photo, belonging to McLean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricatures and drawn in 1832, shows two kinds of families, wherein one depicts a family of slaves and the other, a British family. Clearly a satirical piece, it uses irony to illustrate what was happening in the time it was drawn, how free men saw slaves and furthermore, themselves.

 The British father is under distress as he lays his head onto his arm rested upon the table; he is very thin and offered by the dialogue, we know that he is not being fed. His wife asks him the possibility of a man of his status starving in their country, and he says it is possible, and that only a slave eats well, “yes, unless I draw a cart harness’d like a beast and get fed by the Parish.” This side of the caricature is labeled “SLAVERY,” that is, they’re “living like slaves” according to the artist. The other side of the drawing is labeled “FREEDOM” while a family of slaves is shown with their baby full of food, and beyond them: a group of men and women dancing. What this image is trying to convey is that the slaves are somehow freer than perhaps a family of plantation owners, in the sense that all their expenses (those they do not have) don’t have to be taken from them due to taxation, leaving them unfed. Their message is simply this: slaves are not all that bad off, in fact, they kind of enjoy living the way they do; they get to eat and enjoy life, whereas the “the others” truly have it bad.

However, Equiano would disagree with this message early on in his narrative (Chapter 2), where he’s having dreams of becoming part of someone’s family—a free man—and then startling himself awake to the horror of his reality:

“Thus, at the very moment I dreamed of the greatest happiness, I found myself most miserable; and it seemed as if fortune wished to give me this taste of joy, only to render the reverse more poignant. The change I now experienced was as painful as it was sudden and unexpected. It was a change indeed from a state of bliss to a scene which is inexpressible by me, as it discovered to me an element I had never before beheld, and till then had no idea of, and wherein such instances of hardship and cruelty continually occurred as I can never reflect on but with horror.” (70, e-text).

Equiano sees being a free man as being in “a state of bliss” and being a slave as an inexpressible horror. This opposes the message being conveyed in the photo. The artist is trying to say that slavery can be as beautiful as a nice summer’s day, dancing around and loving life. Whereas Equiano cannot express the horrors of finding himself, yet again, not a free man. In this passage alone, not only do we get the image of a frightened, lamenting Equiano, but in a sense—through no expressions of his hardship—we can also imagine the horror one endures in being enslaved. Surely it doesn’t consist of slave families joyously living on free time, able to be a family. The photo doesn’t reflect on what Equiano would state “wherein such instances of hardship and cruelty continually occur[ed]” (Ibid).

–Daniel Lizaola Lopez

What is Happening with the Slaves?

McLean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricature shouts so many political messages. First it makes comparisons between the lives of the English in the New World with Africans living in The West Indies. In both comparisons we see a husband with his wife and kid. The English husband on the left looks miserable and sad as his wife comments on the conditions put by their country. On the other hand we see the African family that looks prosperous and happy, the father talks to the child about having a full belly, and in between them there is a man taking to the English about how they (the English) are living under protected rights and all but the slave don’t have such a luxury, but his point is refuted if you look at the African family on the right side, who even without protected rights seem to be doing just fine. I think this a anti-slavery cartoon, because the  At the bottom of the picture we see the label “Freedom” under the African family and “Slavery” under the English family and in between there are several scattered papers that say “anti-slavery report”, “brutal outrage” etc. This cartoon makes it seem that among all the outrage on the slave movement, and choosing between “anti-slavery” or “pro-slavery” many people are getting lost on what the government is doing. It is distracting the citizens on from the governments economic motives.

This cartoon gives an overall concept in humanity, Africans shouldn’t be treated the way they were because of their skin color and how they were placed in the American society. The slave trade took something that was perfectly fine and ruined for their own benefit.

“Surely the minds of the Spaniards did not change with their complexion! Are there not causes enough to which the apparent inferiority of an African may be ascribed……Let the polished and haughty European recollect that his ancestors were once, like the Africans…..” (Equiano 56).

After the Equiano talks about his cultures and custom, he concludes Chapter 1 by explaining how there is no difference between the Africans and the Europeans and that even God has his intentions on the way people are created. He seems quite aggressive about his point because he mentions how the Spaniards got away because of their skin color.

-Ravneet Dhillon

 

Global education of the English language

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Samuel Johnson took nine years to write his publication until he finally realized that the English language was impossible to “fix.” Samuel wanted to pin the definition of words as one specific meaning. However, words are always evolving and the nature of their meaning changes depending on the different context. If they are pinned down and bound together in useless pages of paper, we are just restricting the freedom of words. We are restricting communication and the ability to express ourselves.

Samuel argued that commerce corrupts language because people have sex with strangers and over time learn a mingled dialect,”[Commerce] corrupts the language; they that have frequent intercourse with strangers. . .muft in time learn a mingled dialect” (Johnson 10). He is concerned with keeping the “purity” of English when really English is as pure as a brothel.

Although Samuel would disagree, learning more than a language other than English is really beneficial. Truthfully, other countries kind of make fun of us for not learning how to speak more than one language in our education. We don’t teach our younger generation to speak more than one language. There are countries where the average person knows about five languages. The US has become a sort of melting pot because many people from all over the world immigrate to the US yet we still haven’t been able to offer bilingual education.

We make fun of people or think it’s funny when they say things with an accent which is ridiculous because Americans do not speak another language and if they do, they also have an accent. For instance, Melanie Trump gets made fun of for her accent and ‘barely’ knowing how to speak English but she knows how to speak six languages fluently: Slovene, German, Italian, English, Serbo-Croatian, and French.

We attempt to correct pronunciation of things we don’t really know how to pronounce. Ironically, we also attempt to correct people who speak the language familiarly and actually know how to pronounce the name of their capital city. Yes, Berlin is pronounced as Bearleen.

We need to be more open to people trying to speak our language.

After all, there are people who only know how to speak English but still don’t speak English good.

A german international exchange student that I spoke with told me that all academic papers are nowadays in English so that people who studied science, for example, had their lectures in their mother tongue meanwhile, their books are in English. They told me that they do this so they could work in both German and English research teams. Additionally, they would have to publish their papers in English. In Universities, English is pretty much a standard language.

 

-Ana Diaz-Galvan

Swift and Free Will

The Houyhnhnms live in a utopia. There is no disease, they live simple lifestyles, and they exist peacefully among themselves. Gulliver is so in awe of this perfect society that he wishes to stay there forever. He is repulsed by the idea of returning to live with European Yahoos. Swift suggests that the harmonious lifestyle of the Houyhnhnms should be adapted by the common man. I disagree with this notion.

Swift uses the Houyhnhnm society as a metaphor for nature. Not only are they horses but they function as a pack without harming their environment. They take what they need and nothing more, much like all species besides humans. There are many lesson to be learned from nature. Nature teaches you about balance and harmony. It teaches you about life and death. One can become a much happier and enlightened individual if they implement the lessons nature gives into their life. Despite all of the good things which come from nature, there are many things which it lacks. For example (and most importantly) love. The Houyhnhnms chose their mate solely on which partner will produce the best offspring. Imagine a world where the only point of intimacy is to produce the best product. No thank you! A society where the choice of something so personal is taken away from the individual is not just. I would want no part of that society. Think of how hard people in America have fought for the right of everyone to love whoever they please in America. Marriage between same sex couples was legalized only a few years ago. The normalization of same sex couples has been met with hate and defiance for decades. In the Houyhnhnm society same sex marriage of marriage would never exist because a man with a man or a woman with a woman cannot produce a baby. This utopian society looks enticing when you read about it. But free will must always be preserved, and this is something utopias do not have.

There is also little to no pain in this society. There is only mention of “accidental bruises and cuts”, “frog of the foot”, and “other maims and hurts”. Despite these very minor ailments there is herbal medicine to cure everything. Generally they all live to be seventy and before they die they “feel a gradual decay, but without pain”. Minimal pain your entire life and when you die you just get tired. Sounds great! Except for one thing: it is impossible to feel intense joy and happiness without feeling intense pain and sadness. Humans are deeply saddened when someone they know dies because they love that person. When humans get sick they think “I will never take for granted my health”. A life without pain and sadness sounds great, but if you live this way you will also live without joy and happiness.

At first glance the Houyhnhnm society looks amazing. Especially since it is compared to the Yahoos which represent all of the terrible characteristics humans have. Swift is clearly trying to communicate to his readers that humans would be much happier if we lived as the Houyhnhnms did. I disagree. Humans are complex creatures who love, make love, cry, laugh, get hurt, hurt others, and anything else you can imagine. To live in a society where there is no free will and no pain would be terrible. Humans are messy, therefore we live in a messy society.

-Maya Gonzales

A City upon Intolerance and Genocide

First and foremost, John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” absolutely does not carry the same context if it was used in speech today, and we can be thankful for this. I for one am certainly glad that we have overall improved our approach on human ethics to ascend beyond such an abysmal level of religious intolerance, gender inequality, and an acceptance of genocide.  The references to this model state in modern times refer to a sociopolitical transformed term. Rather than the primary focus of religion, “City upon a Hill” has become a model to represent democracy and a right to freedom for countries across the world. The reference to the term appeals to the general ignorance of the American public, where a “City upon a Hill” can be imagined as glorious and almighty, but was originally a fanatic’s fantasy of religious superiority and human inequality.

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Anne Hutchinson, who lived during Winthrop’s time, believed that it was unnecessary to strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Christian institution as she encouraged looking to one’s own intuition to find salvation, as God lived inward amongst the souls of each and other, rather than through every day practice. In “The Humble Request” we learn how devout and intolerant the Puritans could be, “The Puritans exalted preaching; they taxed themselves voluntarily to secure additional preaching on market days by evangelical clergymen, who were called lecturers.” She was met with fierce opposition from the colony’s ministers, and was directly accused by John Winthrop of troubling the peace of the churches. Winthrop described her as a demonic extremist in his journals,  “hell-spawned agent of destructive anarchy”. Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, “You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that, for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.” Hutchinson was shattering Christian ideals while paving the way for religious interpretation and women’s representation alike. Ultimately she and her family were banished from the Massachusetts “City upon a Hill”, to New Netherlands and were later murdered in a Native American raid (likely a retaliation of colonist aggression in the “Kiefts War”). New Netherlands (New York and New Jersey today) was a colony of considerable diversity, and its inhabitants carried a significant amount of war experience from Europe. The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

The most gruesome interactions between Natives and colonists in all of U.S. history probably occurred in this region between the Dutch and Algonquian peoples. “(Native) Infants were torn from their mother’s breasts, and hacked to pieces in the presence of their parents, and pieces thrown into the fire and in the water, and other sucklings, being bound to small boards, were cut, stuck, and pierced, and miserably massacred in a manner to move a heart of stone. Some were thrown into the river, and when the fathers and mothers endeavored to save them, the soldiers would not let them come on land but made both parents and children drown…”. New Netherlands was a religiously tolerant society however, and the blood-rage in many of their souls was a result of the blindness of conquest, as well as the influence of atrocities that the Massachusetts colony had committed previously. Their overall view of the Natives never fully reached the dreadful dehumanizing extent of pure genocidal intent; that the religion-imbued fanatics located on John Winthrop’s “City upon a Hill” were consumed by.

Of all the savage bloodshed between the natives and the colonists before the revolution, some of the most horrific occurrences took place by the so-called “City upon a Hill”. In perhaps the most inhumane incident of all colonist and native exchanges, a Pequot fort containing 500 men, women, and children, was encircled by troops and incinerated. Only a handful managed to escape. The captain of the forces John Mason insisted that the attack was an act of God who “laughed his Enemies and the Enemies of his People to scorn making [the Pequot fort] as a fiery Oven.” Even the Narragansett and Mohegan, the Native American allies of the English forces and also fierce enemies of the Pequot, were horrified by the brutal disregard for ethics. The colonists celebrated their victory, and affirmed their religious fanaticism, declaring the Pequot extinct, and explained their victory once again as an act of God: “Let the whole Earth be filled with his glory! Thus the lord was pleased to smite our Enemies in the hinder Parts, and to give us their Land for an Inheritance.”

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The Mystic Massacre during the Pequot War. Hundreds of men, women, and children were burned alive mercilessly. 

When John Winthrop landed alongside Arbella and its fleet, he was not focused on the presence of later dictators, globalization and trade, but rather, the establishment of Christian ideals on a clean slate. Invigorated by the lack of constraints and a dark history, he sought to create a society greater than its predecessors, “Secondly that he might haue the more occasion to manifest the work of his Spirit: first upon the wicked in [Page 34] moderating and restraining them: soe that the riche and mighty should not eate upp the poore nor the poore and dispised rise upp against and shake off theire yoake.” Winthrop wanted his city to be the most ideal place for a Christian, and one that would affect the lives of all who examined their lives. As centuries passed, and the fallacy of religion continued to be exposed, like the unraveling of the antiquated geocentric model; our concerns shifted to immediate concerns and threats. Milton writes in Areopagitica, what is far more relevant to today’s political agendas. Whereas, Winthrop focused solely on the institution of religion, Milton brings a radical concept of liberty that attempts to reverse the censorship. “While things are yet not constituted in Religion, that freedom of writing should berestrain’d by a discipline imitated from the Prelats, and learnt by them from the Inquisition to shut us up all again into the brest of a licencer, must needs give cause of doubt and discouragement to all learned and religious men. Who cannot but discern the finenes of this politic drift, and who are the contrivers; that while Bishops were to be baited down, then all Presses might be open; it was the peoples birthright and priviledge in time of Parlament, it was the breaking forth of light.” Milton references classical works in a well-thought prose that speaks to liberty and denounces the evil of tyranny.

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Ronald Reagan faced a seemingly imminent but dwindling threat during the Cold War, and mentioned a “Shining City upon a Hill” to bring the American people together under an exaggeration of success. His focus was not establishing Christian ideals, but rather uniting the dreams and hopes of a nation to unite against a common foe. Barack Obama brings up the “City upon a Hill” at U. Mass, and mentions the imperfection of the dream over centuries of human inequality, but ultimately concludes that America has made significant advancements in civil rights, while pushing the boundaries of opportunity. He expressed contentment over the transformation and abundance of diversity in a city which carried a history of discrimination, “I see students that have come here from over 100 different countries, believing like those first settlers that they too could find a home in this City on a Hill – that they too could find success in this unlikeliest of places.” Obama mentions the “City upon a Hill” in a social manner, as well as Reagan, who also puts importance on the political implications. John Winthrop envisioned a wholly righteous and ideal Christian place for all of the world to admire, and while Obama and Reagan also speak to inspire the hopes and dreams of not just Americans, but  people across the world, their focus is far more centered on the movement of civil rights and based on maintaining political structure.

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-Thomas Pham

Getting the gist of the phrase “city upon a hill”

If we trace the origins of the phrase “city upon a hill” which was taken from Matthew chapter 5 of the Bible, the connotations are made pretty evident. Jesus, the speaker, is encouraging Christians to becoming a shining example of holiness; to practice all of the admirable qualities the “blessed” have (Matthew 5:3-11). Just as a city upon a hill cannot hide, Jesus asks that Christians therefore “in the same way, let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). This request isn’t meant to be one that asks Christians to boast about their good works, in fact in the very next chapter of Matthew, Jesus admonishes: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1). The city upon a hill, in this sense, is then meant to serve as a “beacon”, and a Christian is not necessarily meant to be a flashy, pompadour, and self-righteous individual, but one that is a role model for goodness and holiness. Obviously we can’t ignore the denotative qualities of the phase “city upon a hill”. A city is a group of individuals coming under one nation; similarly, Christians recognize themselves as the people of God, and so there is a sense of nationality amongst the group. Of course, I believe that this second connotation that we may have derived from the phrase takes second chair. I say this primarily because how the metaphor was wedged in between two other metaphors (the salt and light, the candle and bowl) that were all essentially conveying the same message. This message, as we know, was summarized in Matthew 5:16.

After acknowledging that “city upon a hill” has two meanings, the latter not so important, it’s interesting that Winthrop chose to use the phrase. This isn’t to say that John Winthrop was hijacking the phrase and using it out context, only that he wasn’t using the primary metaphor. If we can recall, John Winthrop in his sermon, A Model of Christian Charity, uses “city upon a hill” to describe the colony being established in America. He asks his followers to obey certain cardinal values, for example “Justice and Mercy” (34), and treat others the way you want to be treated (35). The motive behind this sermon, is to encourage the people to work together, so that England can see that they are doing just fine on their own: “For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are upon” (47). Winthrop’s sermon is optimistic, it encourages the people that they too can be a beacon of hope to other pilgrims, provided that they follow a certain set of ideals and more importantly, get along with each other (which ties in the nationality part).

In regards to modern usage of the phrase, if we can successfully separate the fact that John Winthrop was a fervent Christian, knowingly using the phrase with religious connotations, but moreover to encourage a pride of nationality, we can see that modern usage doesn’t do justice to Winthrop’s meaning and definitely not Jesus’. Winthrop, like Jesus was arguing for sense of morality, a goodness that could bring the people together and serve as a beacon, Regan on the other hand, focuses on the city aspect of the phrase. He remarks that we’re different, coming together under the same nation, but that we are a melting pot who is open to everyone. In the speech, he makes it clear that America is a beacon of freedom and that is the only attribute, not that it’s just or that its good or that it’s moral, as Jesus and Winthrop alluded to. Similarly, Obama’s farewell speech took on the same verbiage that America was a beacon of freedom, a melting pot, etc. which changes the original meaning significantly, but not exceptionally. Obviously secular people may disagree, arguing that they’re essentially equal to each other, but as a Christian myself I can see the ways the Word of God has been augmented to fulfill a separate agenda, in the case of Regan and Obama, almost completely. Of course, there are parallels, the ones I have aforementioned, and so I can definitely see the similarities though they are broad.

 

-Sara Nuila-Chae

A City Upon a Hill: Is Still True Today

During Winthrop’s time the phrase ‘A City Upon a Hill’ meant that the Massachusetts Bay colony would be an example of Puritan perfection, and would be a holy state for others to follow. However, today America strongly believes in a separation between ‘church’ and ‘state’. There is no question that the Puritan work ethic is rich in this nation’s foundation, but as our first Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free speech” (US Const. amend. I, sect. 2). Therefore, today I think that the phrase ‘A City Upon a Hill’ means something more along the lines of a country for others to follow. The reason I say country and not city is because the U.S. has changed significantly since the Massachusetts Bay, or even the thirteen colonies for that matter in size, culture, and mentality. Although this country is very diverse, we are still one nation (under God). In John Winthrop’s A Modell for a Christian Chairty, he states “For this end, wee must be knitt together, in this worke, as one man. Wee must entertaine each other in brotherly [Page 47] affection. Wee must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of other’s necessities. Wee must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekeness, gentlenes, patience and liberality. Wee must delight in eache other; make other’s conditions our oune; rejoice together, mourne together, labour and suffer together, allwayes haueving before our eyes our commission and community in the worke, as members of the same bod” (Winthrop). This passage is significant because it conveys how Winthrop wants the community to think as one body moving in one direction, and hence, uplifting their people. In a way, that correlates to our country today, whether it’s tragic or incredible moments we stand together, and prevail, and root for one another. I think American exceptionalism was deeply influenced by Winthrop because in the founding of the U.S. our founding father agreed that we would think alike and build the new formed nation, but that this country would be like no other. In a sense, all of this is true, as the U.S. has freedoms and liberties found nowhere else in the world.

-Benjamin Montes