American Presidents

Essay by williocomHigh School, 11th gradeA+, June 2005

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There have been many noticeable religious influences on the US in its growth during the past 250 years. None has been more prevalent than the presence of religion in the US government. The Presidents of the US have always used and respected religion to gain voter approval, connect with voters and for varying other reasons. Whether this use be in their written documents, speeches or private work, it has had an effect on American society.

The foundations of American religious government can be seen in many early movements; the one of these most relevant to modern American society is the Puritan movement. The Puritans were mostly influenced by John Calvin and traditional Christian teachings. In the early 1600's the Puritans were Separatists who had mostly moved from England to Holland because of Holland's lack of restrictions on the religions of it's citizens. (pg.50, "The Religious History Of America", Gaustad & Schmidt) After waiting for England to change its policies to no avail, the Puritans sought out a land that "they knew not but by hearsay, where they must learn a new language, and get their livings they knew not how, it being a dear place and subject to the miseries of war, it was by many thought to an adventure almost desperate...".

(Chapter II, "Of Plymouth Plantation", William Bradford) In 1620 they journeyed across the Atlantic, looking for Virginia but landing at Cape Cod, where they settled. Their way of life was similar to modern day America, as they valued hard work, sanctity and community.

The governor of the settlement at Cape Cod was William Bradford, one of the first American religious leaders. He wrote much about the voyage to Plymouth, the arrival and life at the settlement. (pg. 51, The Religious History of America") He was a very...



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