George Whitefield

George Whitefield was one of the most recognized pastors during a time known as the Great Awakening. Which was the revival of religion in the early colonies; this movement began since many of the colonists said they were Christians and they went to church, but their lifestyles did not reflect their “beliefs.”

Early Life

Whitefield was born in Gloucester England, in December sixteenth, 1714. His family was not rich. His parents were innkeepers. Since his family did not have much money, he did not have the money to attend college, but that did not stop him. He attended Oxford college, and paid the fees by working as a server for the more wealthy students at Oxford. During his time at Oxford he met the Wesley brothers(they later founded the Methodist church).

Early Career and Career

The Wesley brothers and Whitefield were part of a group that initiated the legalistic side of Christianity. Whitefield prayed and did other religious things in a routine like way, but he did not feel a connection with God while doing these routines. This frustrated him to the point where he cried out the name God in prayer one day, and after this he felt a connection. 

After this moment he became very passionate about things of God, this inspired him to begin preaching. He became quite famous for his preaching and people from all over came to hear him.

After becoming a preacher Whitefield decided to visit the American colonies as a parish priest. During his visit he noticed that the colonies were in great need of an orphanage; after noticing this he decided that this orphanage and preaching for the colonists was going to be his life’s work and career.

When he returned back to England he began fundraising for the Orphanage and preached at the same time.

Whitefield was not assigned to a single church, instead he worked as a traveling minister in the colonies. His voice was said to be heard from miles away, this allowed him to preach in front of a huge group of people without being amplified. Even though he had many followers and many who repented and converted because of him, he still had many people who disliked and scorned about his preaching, sometimes it would get so bad that riots would start. 

He even had an important role in the founding of America. He warned the colonists that the King would take away their freedom.

In 1770, Whitefield passed away. He was remembered as one of the greatest figures during the Great Awakening.


The Colonies of Virginia, Rhode Island, and New York

In this week’s essay I will be talking about three of the thirteen early colonies of North America, Virgina, Rhode Island, and New York.

Virginia Colony 

The very first of the thirteen colonies was Virginia. Virginia was named after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth by a man named Sir Walter Raliegh. The colony was established by the Virginia or London Company; Virginia officially started as a colony in 1607 with the colony of Jamestown.

The first year of the settlement was not really great. Only thirty two of the original colonists survived the harsh winter, and probably more would have died if not for the Native Americans you helped them with food. The next winter was also rough, many people died from hunger and unfriendly encounters with the Native Americans;when the harsh winter was over and some ships arrived the colonists were done, they were ready to leave, but when the colonists were just going to leave a man named Lord Thomas de la Warr(Delaware is named after him), who had just arrived from England with some more settlers and supplies, refused to let the surviving colonists leave back to England. After this the colonists slowly began to thrive and prosper, they made agreements with the Native Americans and learned how to grow crops on their own. They even began growing tobacco which they exported back to Europe which improved life greatly.

Rhode Island Colony

The colony of Rhode Island was founded in the year 1636, when a man and woman, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, were banished from Massachusetts. The two founded their own separate small colonies, Rhode Island and Providence Plantation; the two colonies were combined in 1663.

Rhode Island was mostly religiously tolerant except for its not so tolerant treatment to jews and quakers, many people moved to this colony for religious freedom.

New York Colony

New York was originally a province of the Dutch, but in 1664 the Dutch surrendered the colony to the English. The colony was named after the Duke of York.

The colony supported itself by the fur trade and farming along the Hudson river. New York’s constitution benefited the colonists since it gave them more rights then most of the other colonies.


How the Divine Rights of Kings Influenced the Monarchy in England Under James 1st, Charles 1st, and Oliver Cromwell

The Divine Rights of Kings, is a philosophy first introduced by Henry the 8th, who was King of England during the 16th century. This philosophy taught that a king is only accountable to God, not any of his subjects or the people he rules. This pretty much means that a king could do pretty much anything he wanted no matter what. And of course with this power the kings abused it, which is a bad thing. In this essay I will be talking about three kings who abused this power, James the 1st, Charles the 1st, and Oliver Cromwell.

James the 1st is actually related to Henry the 8th, he was the great great nephew of Henry the 8th since his great grandmother was Henry’s sister. James was born in June 1566. He was the son of Mary Queen of Scots. He was the crown prince of Scotland.

But this changed, since he was also related to queen Elizabeth who was the daughter of King Henry the 8th. Since Elizabeth did not have any children of her own James automatically became the official heir to the English throne. He was crowned King of England in 1603.

Like past Kings, James enjoyed his new power thanks to the Divine Rights of Kings. He believed he could do anything he pleased no matter what Parliament or the people thought. Parliament on the other hand believed that the governing of England was supposed to be a

partnership between parliament and the king. This caused so much issue that a civil war began during the reign of James son Charles the 1st.

During James’s reign, he wanted the Episcopal religion to move forward; he wanted it so much that he even made it the state religion. This was problematic for England and Scotland. He ruled both of these places. The reason for these problems was because Scotland had a pretty large number of Prestbyterians and England a large group of Catholics. So a conference was held known as the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, to discuss about some of the reform ideas. One of the things that was finalized and decided was that an authorized version of the bible was to be created, for the Episcopal church. This bible is now known as the King James version.

King James passed away in 1625 thanks to a stroke.

King James son Charles the 1st was born in 1600, he was the second oldest son of James. He originally was not crown prince but after his older brother died he became the crown prince. He was crowned King after his father’s death in 1625.

Charles like his father before him strongly believed in the Divine Rights of Kings. He was an Anglican, which is very similar to Episcopal. He appointed William Laud to be the Archbishop of Canterbury. The new Archbishop of Canterbury forced the Anglican faith upon the English, Scottish, and Irish (yes Charles also ruled Ireland). The Scottish people revolted after Charles tried to force the Laudian prayer book upon them.

The revolt began when a milkmaid named Jenny Geddes, who was at church one morning. The preacher was reading some of the Anglican liturgy. Jenny realized that the Laud’s teachings went against what she had been taught growing up; when she looked around to see the other people’s reaction to this, she was shocked, the people seemed very unbothered by the false teachings they were being taught. This annoyed her so much that she stood up, grabbed her stool that she was sitting on and threw at the preacher’s head. After this more Scottish people got inspired to do things similar to what Jenny did, this began the rebellion of the Scottish people against Charles.

Charles went so far with his belief of the Divine Rights of Kings that he even sent Parliament away, and ruled on his own for eleven years! But to only call them back after those eleven years. Those eleven years were named “The Eleven Years of Tyranny.”

The English civil war started because of many uprisings and rebellions that Charles caused with his wrong discussions. During the war, Charles and his allies fought against a man named Oliver Cromwell and his group known as the Parliament Roundheads.

Oliver Cromwell was born in 1599 to a noble but poor family. Even with the lack of wealth to his family name, he still managed to get into politics. He even became a member of Parliament in 1628. He was part of a group who was against Charles’s way of ruling. Eventually Oliver gathered an army against Charles. This army he was gathering he accepted anyone no matter the station of the person, as long as the person was ready to fight. Oliver lacked in military training, but he fixed this by studying old war tactics, becoming a genius when it came to military strategy. Leading his army, the Parliament Roundheads. His army captured Charles, and he signed Charles death sentence. Charles was beheaded.

Cromwell became Lord Protector of England, this basically means he’s like a king but without the fancy title. His reign was successful. After his death his son Rhicard succeeded him. But he was not very capable at being a ruler and was removed off of the throne, the crown was then taken by Charles the 2nd, who was Charles the 1st’s son. This all happened eighteen months after Oliver died.

Oliver was not widely liked though. Few years after his death his body was dug up from the ground, hung , drawn, quartered, and then his body was thrown into a pit and his head put on a pole to de displayed. His head was displayed on a pole till 1685.

Conclusion

This is my essay on how the Divine Rights of Kings affected the reigns of James the 1st, Charles the 1st, and Oliver Cromwell.



King Louis 14th of France

King Louis the 14th was King of France for seventy-two years, and he reigned during the classical age of France.

Early Life

Louis was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, in 1638, September fifth. He was the son of a Hapsberg Spanish queen Anne of Austria and Louis the 13th, who was the King of France. Two years after his birth he had a little brother Philippe.

When Louis was only four years old and a little bit in May fourteenth, 1643 his father passed away, leaving him as the heir of the throne. Louis was crowned King of France, and his mother Anne regent, this was because he was very young.

He got a good and practical education, he was also somewhat of a neglected child since he almost drowned once thanks to not being watched.

His childhood was not exactly an easy one, when he was almost ten in 1648 the Parlement of Paris rebelled against his chief minister, Mazarin, this was an attempt to overthrow him. A civil war started called the Fonde. Louis suffered much during this time, these hardships included poverty and hunger, these suffering did help shape his personality as King though. Thankfully the civil war ended in 1653 thanks to Mazarin victory over the rebels.

Even though he was King and his mother regent, Mazarin the chief minister was the one that had the true power over France during Louis’s early years of his reign, but after Mazarin’s death in 1661 this all changed.

The Middle Years

After Mazarin’s death Louis began governing the government of France. After he began having more control he began reforming France according to what he liked. He had a goal to centralize and rein in control of France. He was able to accomplish with the help of the finance minister Jean Baptiste Colbert to get rid of the deficient financial ways and promoted industrial growth; he also improved France’s disorganized taxation, limiting the problematic borrowing ways. He created a more middle class society, and brought more Arts into France.

Louis is probably most well known for his overbearing foreign policy approach. In 1667 he invaded the Spanish Netherlands, and regarded it as his wife’s rightful inheritance, but this did not last and a conflict began known as The War of Devolution forced France to surrender the land back to Spain, except a few towns in Flanders. Louis was not happy with this so he got France to start a new war called the Franco-Dutch war, this helped France acquire more land in the Flanders region. This new position and the constant campaigns to expand the amount of

territories with the use of military force put France as a threat to other countries in Europe. In 1688 other European countries including Spain and England formed an alliance and a new war against France breaks out, this war is also known as the nine years war.

Later Years

Louis was a Catholic and he persecuted Protestants, he even went far enough to destroy Protestant churches and schools.

 After the nine years war France had managed to keep much of its original land, but financially the country was drained. His reign began to decline, especially after another war, The War of the Spanish Succession, which went on from 1701 to 1714, this war showed to many people that Louis had other interests above his country, since the war was too defend his grandson’s right to the Spanish throne. The war was long and expensive and France was financially devastated after.

Death

On September first, 1715th, right before his seventy seventh birthday Louis passed away from a disease called gangrene. After his death his five year old great-great-grandson, Louis the 15th inherited the throne.


William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was a very famous English playwright and poet during the Elizabethan era.

Early Life

Not much is known of Shakespeare’s early life. His birth date is also unknown but he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and grew up in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon . He married young at the age eighteen to a woman named Anne Hathaway, they had three children.

Career

Evidence shows that Shakespeare may have started his career in theater, in 1592 as an actor and playwright. More evidence shows that in the early 1590s he was a managing partner in The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which was an acting company. Records show that this acting company became very popular.  Shakespeare published thirty seven plays in total, and fifteen of these plays by 1597. He began his own theater known as the Globe in 1599.

His Works

Shakespeare’s plays were mostly written in these genres, comedies, histories, romance, tragedies, and tragicomedies.

Examples of his plays.

 His comedic plays are The Taming of the Shrew, A Midnight’s Summer Dream, and etc; his historic plays are Richard the 2nd, Henry the 6th and etc; his romantic plays are the Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and etc; and his tragic and tragicomedies plays, Macbeth, Cymblein, etc.

Death

Tradition says that he died on April 23, 1616, but this may not be true.

Conclusion

This is my essay on the life and works of William Shakespeare.

Plymouth Colony

Plymouth Colony was one of the early colonies in the United States. The people of Plymouth Colony also celebrated the first “Thanksgiving”.

Origins

In 1620 a group of people known as Pilgrims arrived to the New World on a ship called the Mayflower. These men, women, and children had left England to have religious freedom and start a new life. They landed on the modern day state of Massachusetts.

The First Winter

The first year for the pilgrims was not an easy one; during the first winter almost half of the pilgrims died from various illnesses, lack of food, shelter, and the cold. Because of this, the people of the colony were very weak. Things got better though after the winter.

Interaction With The Native American’s

At first the Pilgrims and the Native’s had a very tense interaction. The Pilgrims worried for their safety and organized a standing militia, to be prepared for any attack.

The tense interaction soon changed between the Pilgrims and the Native’s when the unbelievable happened. A Native named Samoset walked into Plymouth on March, 1621; and announced these words “Welcome, Englishmen!” he then explained to the rather surprised Pilgrims that he had learned English from English trappers up North.

Samoset helped the Pilgrims by introducing them to the Wampanoag tribe, the two groups agreed to live side by side without any issues. Samoset introduced them to a Native named Squanto.

  Squanto, had been kidnapped by the English. When he returned home he had discovered his family tribe had been all killed by diseases. Since he really had nowhere to go he joined the Pilgrims, and taught them how to farm, and be prosperous in the New World.

The First Thanksgiving

The first year anniversary of the pilgrims arrival in November 1621; the fifty-three surviving Pilgrims decided to hold a celebration for their success of going through this one year. This celebration of “thanking God for getting them through the first year,” lasted for three days and was also like a harvest festival. The Native’s joined in too.

Conclusion

Plymouth Colony underwent some hardship but in 1623 they were in a good place. Eventually the Colony was absorbed by a neighbouring colony called Massachusetts Bay colony.

Elizabeth The 1st

Elizabeth 1st, was a very important figure in English history. She was queen of England from 1558-1603.

Early Life

Elizabeth was the daughter of Anne Boylan who was the second wife of Elizabeth’s father, King Henry the 8th, this meant she was a princess. She was born in Greenwich England, in September 7th, 1533.

 Her mother was charged with the crime of adultery from her father, and was executed, when Elizabeth was only two years old! These charges were probably false, since Henry was displeased with Anne since she did not bear him a son, for an heir .

After this, Elizabeth and her older half sister Mary (Mary was the daughter of Henry and his first wife),were announced as illegitimate children, and were cut off from the line of heirs to the English throne. This favored her younger half brother, Edward, who was the son of Henry and his third wife Jane Seymor.

Even though Elizabeth was considered an illegitimate child she still was raised quite well; she lived with a governess, and got a pretty good education, excelling in the music and language arts.

 After her father’s death in 1547, her younger brother Edward became King. Her brother’s time as King did not last for long; Edward had always been very weak in health, his bad health eventually caught up to him and he died in 1553. His death caused much political turmoil since Edward had left no heirs of his own but had chosen his cousin Lady Jane Grey, who was a devoted Protestant, instead of his oldest half sister Mary who was a devoted Catholic. This was because Edward was a Protestant, and he did not want Mary to rule since she would probably make England a Catholic nation.

But Mary soon gained popularity with the English people, and after only nine days of ruling Jane was unseated from the English throne and was thrown into prison, and Mary was crowned queen. This was not good for Elizabeth since she was a Protestant; to make matters worse for her, plans of a rebellion against Mary was uncovered in 1554. This plan contained details, that if the rebellion succeeded Elizabeth would be crowned queen. Right after this Elizabeth was thrown into prison, even though she denied that she had anything to do with this rebellion. And she was soon released, but she was never fully free because she was under close watch.

Her Time As Queen

In 1558 Mary died, leaving no heir of her own, Elizabeth became queen. In the beginning it was not exactly easy for Elizabeth, Mary had died when a lot of political and religious issues were going on, like a war between England and France, and the increasing tension between Protestants and Catholics.

Elizabeth took action right away on these issues, and these issues soon ended, but others arose throughout her reign such as the tension between Spain and England, and then there were attempts to remove her off the throne, the greatest effort to remove her came from Mary Queen of Scots, who was Elizabeth’s cousin. In 1567 in got so out of hand that Elizabeth had to imprison Mary. Mary was executed in 1587 for treason.

Even with all these issues during her reign she proved to be a very good and just ruler, and stood strong against many suitors. She was never married and is often referred to as the “virgin queen”.

Later Years And Death

Near the end of her reign and death, England was in troubled times, there were food shortages since the crops were failing in Ireland and many rebellions and riots. Her power began to fade, but she remained close and supportive to the citizens.

Elizabeth died on March 24th, 1603.

Legacy 

Elizabeth was remembered well even though the end of her reign was not exactly the best; she was a stable ruler most of her long reign, and was a great problem solver. Her reign is often said to have been the “Golden Age”, since creativity and art bloomed thanks to her.

Lady Jane Grey

Lady Jane Grey is a mostly forgotten figure in history, but she was queen of England in the 16th century after Edward the 6th, for a very short time.

Early Life

Jane was born in Leicestershire England in 1537, Henry Grey, who was marquess of Dorset, but later on the Duke of Suffolk, and Lady Frances Brandon, who was the daughter of Princess Mary of England,  and sister of Henry the 8th. This meant that Jane was in the line of succession to the English throne, rather distantly.

She received a great education during her childhood, and learned about the Protestant faith, she soon was a committed Protestant.

She married quite young to Lord Guildford Dudley.

Crowning

Edward the 6th, who was King at the time had always had been very weak in health, and he became ill, so he had to choose an heir, since he had no children, it was assumed that he would choose his eldest sister Mary, but instead he chose Jane because she was a Protestant this was because Edward was a protestant and he did not want Mary to make England a Catholic nation again.

Four days after Edward died, Jane became queen of England in July 10th, 1553.

Time as Queen

Jane was queen for a very short time nine days to be exact! 

This was because Mary, Edward’s sister had gained support to claim the throne, since Jane had lost most of her support, and in July 19th, Mary was declared Queen of England.

Death

Jane was thrown into prison, and was executed in February 12th, 1554 along with her husband, for high treason.

Protestant Reformation Summary

The Catholic church controlled europe for many years until the 16th century, when some men discovered the false teachings of the Catholic church, and decided not to let it go on but instead to stand up and fight against it, and make a change.

The Beginning

Some people before the actual reformation started noticed the false teachings of the Catholic church but never really took action. This went on for some time until 1517, when a man named Martin Luthur published the ninety-five theses of the issues of the church, on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany. This was the jump start of this movement.

The Reformation Spread

Many people were very interested and moved by Luthur’s teachings, and began following his belief, soon the reformation had spread all over Germany, the reformation kept growing bigger and spread to different countries all over Europe, these countries included France, England, Italy, Poland, and etc.

The Beliefs

The reformers beliefs were put together into five latin phrases.

  1. Sola Scriptura- ‘Scripture Alone’
  2. Sola Fide- ‘Faith Alone’
  3. Sola Gratia- ‘Grace Alone’
  4. Sola Christus -’Through Christ Alone’
  5. Sola Deo gloria-’To God Alone Be The Glory’

The Reaction From the Catholics

The Catholics of course were not very pleased with this movement, so they tried to hire people to get rid of the reformers. This did not work since the reformers were strong in their belief, and did not give up.

The End

The end of the reformation in 1648 after a peace treaty.


Gerhard Groote

Most of you probably have never heard of the name Gerhard Groote, but now you will know. He was an early Protestant reformer before Martin Luther.

Early Life

Groote was born in the Netherlands in 1340 to a wealthy family. When he was only ten years old the black plague swept over his small town, killing many people including his parents. After his parents’ death he inherited all of his father’s wealth.

 He was very wealthy at a very young age. These riches made him grow up into a spoiled brattish young man, he wasted his life and wealth on partying and traveling. But he was very educated since he went to the best schools.

His Conversion to Christanity

Groote changed through; during one of his travels he came across an Augustinian Monk, who was preaching the bible. He stopped and listened to the preaching and his life was changed forever. He converted to Christianity that very day. His change of character from the spoiled rich guy to a man of faith was quite remarkable.

After his Conversion

He went home, and began reading through his huge library. For months he read these books extensively, doing nothing except reading. He tried to go to church many times but was disgusted by all the misteachings, heresy, and over, all corruption of the church, so he decided to stay at home and plunge into the work of God that way.

His Schools and Preaching

Around the time of his conversion, the black plague spread through his town again, he luckily did not become ill. He noticed the many now parentless boys on the streets in his town; he wanted to help them. He brought several of these boys to his home, and gave them food, water, and a roof over their heads, while doing this he kept them busy by teaching them how to read, write, and taught them the Gospel. 

Groote bought the house next door, and turned that into a similar school but for girls, he taught them the same way he did with the boys.

His schools were known as great schools of learning. Thanks to his wealth he was able to start several more schools, like his first two, he got some of his first students to help him run the new schools, he was never short of teachers because of this. His schools were somewhat unnoticed.

This is because many other events such as the Hundred Years War were going on during this time, the schools were just know, as places of learning for orphaned children

He began preaching, and traveled, gaining a large number of followers.

Death

Another wave of the Black Plague went through his town again in 1384. Groote wasn’t so lucky this time and died from the illness.

After Death

Groot’s schools did not disappear right after his death, thanks to his mission, his schools lasted for another hundred and fifty years, thanks to his system, where the older students would teach the new group of students.

Many of his students became future reformers. Men such as Martin Luther, Thomas a Kempis, Martin Bucier, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox,  and John Calvin all went to Groot’s schools.