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William Penn and the Quaker Legacy by John Moretta, Book Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 598

Book Review

Exactly who and what kind of man William Penn was has been the subject of debate by scholars for many years.  Penn has often been criticized by some as being a greedy capitalist. However, the book by John Moretta describes William Penn as an honorable historical figure.  Rather, it presents him as an idealist who is believed to have founded the colony of Pennsylvania on his deeply valued Christian principles. There is some historical evidence to suggest a possibility that William Penn may have hoped to make money from owning the vast land that was given him by Charles 11 as a form of repayment of the money that Charles’ father borrowed from William Penn.  Contrary, the author argues that William Penn was a man who was true to his passion of striving for ethnic and religious coexistence of the people who lived in his colonies, both in America and in England.

The book is a comprehensive biography that has a consistent type of unity when viewed from the perspective of evaluating the book by each of its parts. Basically, all the parts of the book come together to make a convincing argument that sheds light on just what exactly influenced the glorious historical figure of William Penn.  The book also helps to explain what caused Penn to take the course of action that he did. In his ideologies and decisions, Penn was very much influenced by the Old and New World. However, the author also questions why there is so little focus on non-Quaker factions, which were also influential in Penn’s creation of the new government.

John Moretta’a book is important because it draws focus on the historical milestone of the William Penn founding the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 when he was 35 years old.  It is generally agreed upon by historical scholars that Penn lived yet another 36 years.  Surprisingly, of those 36 years, he actually spent only four years in the actual state of Pennsylvania.  Of the 36 years, he also spent 15 years in England, working relentlessly in the pursuit of his Quaker responsibilities.  The author questions, whether or not, based on his long absence from America, Penn can be truly considered an American.  Penn himself did not believe that he earned the honor because he was a humble individual.  He also felt that he did not accomplish as much as his father did when it came to serving the nation of America.

Moretta presents a strong argument that Penn had done quite a lot for the State of Pennsylvania. His accomplishments include but are not limited to the following: religious toleration, representative democracy and equality between the sexes. In addition, Penn was able to get his way through his subtle manipulating ways. Penn was a master at negotiating and persuading others into complying with his wishes.

The book asks the readers whether Penn was as loyal to the Monarchy as he was to his idealistic pursuit of creating a harmonious and peace loving government in the state of Pennsylvania. In fact, Penn showed his allegiance to the Monarchy by performing the role of the absolute ruler in the state of Pennsylvania. By doing so, Penn faced opposition fromsome influential people who were advocates of his peace loving democracy strategies that he tried his hand at implementing earlier on.

Finally, the book presents Penn as an idealist who was willing to take huge sacrifices for the good of the colony of Pennsylvania, including going to debtor’s prison. It also presents Penn as a ruler who, despite being an advocate of Monarchy, still played with the principles of democracy.

 

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