Title: Choose an appropriate one
Consider what ultimately happened to the Puritan era. We have to remember that theirs was a religious, not a political agenda; moral and theological principles were involved, and from their perspective, there was no compromise–God came first.
But the Puritan project could not last. Why? The irony resulting from the City on the Hill vision of Manifest Destiny is that a radical form of liberal individualism started to develop from the Puritans very thorough, intellectual readings/applications of holy scripture. Furthermore, we must not forget that as new communities sprang forth in colonial times, there was a HUGE, unacknowledged emphasis on acquiring new land and resources. (For a hint of what was to come, revisit what Bradford says about his new community on pp. 89-90.)
Your writing prompt first involves your chewing on a socio-political idea and secondly asks you to address two questions.
First the idea: Critic Perry Miller points out that it is a sort of human law that as societies push out toward exploring and conquering a new frontier, citizens are drawn away from their controlled, civilized communities. This is a frontier effect. People begin to seek material profit more than religion and salvation. As people move to a more materialistic, survivalist, me-first consciousness, they seek a simpler, less intellectualized way of expressing religion. You might even say that the simplified, unexamined sort of Christianity that flourished–especially in rural areas after Puritanisms demise–is the beginning of what we now know as the more fundamentalist strains of Christianity. What do you think about this theory?
Secondly: Think about todays brand of Christianity. How do you explain what has happened to the Christian notion of God?