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The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution– Edmund S. Morgan

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Edmund S. Morgan

From the article The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution by Edmund S. Morgan, I am assigned the task of trying to describe Morgan’s thesis, research question, and conclusion.

Thesis: “The movement (the American Revolution) in all its phases…was affected, not to say guided, by a sent of values inherited from the age of puritanism.”

Research question: in what ways did the remnants of Puritan ethics from the people who settled large parts of America affect the people who participated in the American Revolution?

The book in question.

Conclusion: a very large part of the Puritan outlook on life was through the idea that God punishes and rewards based on frugality and restraint of the believer.  When God is pleased He rewards, and when He is angry he takes away.  To be a good believer one must be frugal and always hard working.  Puritans distrust prosperity because it may be a test from God to see if the believer will stray from His path.  Due to this outlook, when the British government was oppressing the colonists many years after the Puritans settles America, the colonists simply reacted as if it were another test from God.  The colonists were not guided by the Puritan ideals, but affected by them through a sort of cultural legacy left by their ancestors.  The colonists had or wanted to show that they had virtue.