William Penn and Toleration Essay - 298 Words

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William Penn and Toleration

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Text Preview William Penn had ideological beliefs that could provide an important foundation for the development of Pennsylvania into a tolerant society. He believed in liberty of conscience, the constraints of faith and the role of the state in religious matters. As well as his attitudes towards people of different ethnics or beliefs, and most important, he believed that people should believe in any religion they wanted to, without being persecuted, which he defined as illegal, immoral, and contrary to both reason and nature. After all, Penn attempted to convert a group of Labadist living in Herford, Germany, to Quakerism. He travelled a lot to some countries for the recruitment of German, Dutch, and French emigrants to Pennsylvania. Penn made missionary journeys to Holland and the Rhineland, in 1677 and 1686. These travels were devoted not only to preaching Quaker Doctrines and advocating religious toleration but also to recruit colonists for the Quaker provinces of East and West Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Furthermore, Penn's immediate goal was to secure the rights and privileges of Englishmen to his fellow Quakers. Establishment of freedom of conscience with equal civil rights for all, not the more limited toleration, was Penn's goal. After some colonial laws were established, Penn had finally achieved his goals and beliefs.

Although, Penn’s inconsistent beliefs had him believing that people should follow rules, like the Ten Commandments, which makes his belief of liberty of conscience inconsistent. He believed that if all people lived moral lives in accordance with such basic tenets, peace and prosperity would come to the state. He did not respect all varieties of Christianity; he suggested restricting the rights of English Catholics. In addition, a person that believes in liberty of liberty and freedom of speech should agree and respect all religions, independent of their doctrines and beliefs. Show More

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