William Penn as Its Name Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

In 1682, the Quakers purchased East New Jersey. Penn then sought to extend the Quaker region. The King granted Penn a land charter, the area that is currently known as Pennsylvania, and that charter made Penn a sovereign ruler and the world's largest private landowner. Penn named the region Sylvania, but Charles II changed that to Pennsylvania, to honor Penn's father. (See Jacobson, pp. 43-55).

Pennsylvania was a very interesting colony. First, it guaranteed absolute religious freedom to its inhabitants. Second, it guaranteed the traditional rights of Englishmen. It guaranteed free elections, trial by jury, and freedom from unjust imprisonment. All of these guarantees were contained in Pennsylvania's first constitution, which was written by Penn. Penn also set about establishing a government much like the modern American government, which divided the legislature into two houses, and limited the power of the sovereign. Penn also introduced the idea of constitutional amendments, which would allow continual revision of the governing document, an idea that has continued in modern American government. Penn limited capital offenses to murder and treason, tried to establish rehabilitative prisons, established free enterprise, and the fair imposition of taxes. Penn also attempted to assure Native Americans that he sought a peaceful relationship with them (Prentzas, p.4). In fact, Beckman's compilation of the statutes of his time trace the evolution from the original draft of the Duke of York's Laws to Penn's draft of the Great Law of 1682, and focuses on the changes made by Penn which have become essential elements of American law (Beckman, see generally p. 3-68). What Beckman makes clear is that, while Pennsylvania was an English colony, from the beginning it had features that made it very unique from other English colonies. (See Jacobson, pp. 55-68)

However, it would be inappropriate to envision Penn as a liberal. On the contrary, "Penn was born a liberal and a conservative, a product of his faith as well as his upbringing as a member of the English upper class" (Moretta, p. 123). Penn kept control of the colony in the wealthy landowners, which reflected traditional English norms. Moreover, Penn also sought to establish behavioral norms for the colony, including prohibitions against swearing, lying, and drunkenness. After establishing how Pennsylvania would be run, Penn then had to find inhabitants for his colony. He attracted Quakers from London, as well as Huguenots, Mennonites, Amish, Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews from throughout Western Europe. (See Jacobson, pp. 62-76).

Penn returned to England in 1684. At the time, he was embroiled in a conflict with Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of Maryland over a tax dispute. While he was in England, the political climate was so oppressive that Penn feared the Pennsylvania charter might be rescinded and actually withheld publication of some texts because of fear of reprisal. Charles II died in 1685, and the Duke of York, James II, became the king of England. James II seemed to be an ally to Penn, but he was a troubled ruler. Meanwhile, Penn, who was not a very effective manager, faced problems in his colony. For example, one of his fellow Quakers, Philip Ford, embezzled money from Penn, and even tricked Penn into transferring the colony to him. Penn agreed to let Ford keep the rents from Penn's Irish properties in exchange for keeping the transferred ownership secret. Penn then returned to America. However, When Ford died, his widow had Penn thrown into debtor's prison, but in 1708 the Lord Chancellor ruled that the colony belonged to Penn and his heirs. (See Jacobson, pp. 77-84),

Pennsylvania did not remain the Utopia that Penn had envisioned. While Penn was in England, Pennsylvania law had evolved. Its inhabitants had restricted Penn's power, giving greater power to the people. In fact, they did away with one of the legislative houses. However, it also began to incorporate religious discrimination, preventing Jews from holding office. After Penn died, Pennsylvania became less of a religious haven and more of a secular colony. In fact, because Penn had refused to impose Quakerism as a colony-wide religion, Pennsylvania attracted people of all religious backgrounds.

Works Cited

Association of Friends for the Diffusion of Religious and Useful Knowledge. A Memoir of William Penn. Philadelphia: Association of Friends for the Diffusion of Religious and Useful Knowledge, 1858.

Beckman, Gail McKnight. The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania in the Time of William

Penn. New York: Vantage Press, 1976.

Hughes, Mary. The Life of William Penn. Philadelphia: Carey Lea & Carey, 1828.

Moretta, John. William Penn and the Quaker Legacy. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.

Jacobson, Ryan. William Penn: Founder of Pennsylvania. Mankato: Capstone Press, 2007.

Prentzas,…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"William Penn As Its Name" (2010, April 05) Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/william-penn-as-its-name-1382

"William Penn As Its Name" 05 April 2010. Web.28 November. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/william-penn-as-its-name-1382>

"William Penn As Its Name", 05 April 2010, Accessed.28 November. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/william-penn-as-its-name-1382

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • His Legacy

    William Penn and His Legacy The conventional view of political life in the American colonies prior to the Revolution is one of instability and turmoil, characterized by political infighting and conflicts over who would be dominant. Alan Tully, in his book, William Penn's Legacy, has presented a completely different view of politics in the Province of Pennsylvania. His view, based upon the study of a thirty-year period in Pennsylvania history (1726-1755),

  • Quaker Oats as a Symbol and Icon of American Colonialism

    Quaker Oats as a Symbol and Icon of American Colonialism Identity is important to everyone and everything; it is how we connect with an element in our mind. It is the identity that inspires the first impression of any object or even a person. For that matter; it is through identity that a connection is formed between the object and the subject and a strong connection in this regard can play

  • American Colonialism Opportunity in Colonial

    William Penn, a Quaker whose father had been an Admiral in the King's Royal Navy, was given a large piece of land as payment for a debt owed by the Crown to his father. Penn had suggested naming the new territory Sylvania, meaning wood, but the King added his surname, Penn, as a tribute to William's father (Uden). Penn considered his venture a "Holy Experiment" and sought to establish

  • Church of God in Christ

    Church of God in Christ: Founder -- Charles Harrison Mason (1907) The objective of this research study is to examine the Church of God in Christ, a denomination founded by Charles Harrison Mason in 1907. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) has more than six million members throughout the world and is one of the largest of all Pentecostal churches in the world. The Statement of Thesis in this work

  • Indentured Servants in 1901 Karl

    Another major cause of exodus was the decline of linen manufacturing from 1771 to 1773. Many thousands of people suddenly lost their jobs and joined the hundreds going to America. "The linen trade... had entered upon a period of stagnation, and the consequent distress gave an impetus to the emigration to the land of promise" (Dunaway, 1944, p. 30). Religious persecution suffered by the Ulster habitats was another reason

  • Ronald Reagan s Evil Empire Speech

    " (Abrogate means to "Abolish by authoritative action"). Here is a fear appeal by Reagan; in other words, if the conservative Christian movement doesn't stand up to the liberals who want progressive policies on abortion, those liberals will destroy democracy. After criticizing the people who stand for things that the Christian conservative movement opposes, and clearly staking out his position as a "good" president who opposes "evil" things in society, Reagan

  • Global Peace Movement Its Origin

    "Contradictions in a sovereign state sometimes lead to a civil war, but denying full sovereignty is not a solution. Frustrated by outside control they cannot change, Iraqis are taking out their frustrations on each other" (Grossmann, 2006). Other authors are more moderate in expressing their concerns and convictions when it comes to the global peace movements following the 9/11events. The spread of mass terror has adapted to the change of


Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved