Featured Founding Founder Gouverneur Morristhe peg-legged, anti-slavery delegate from Pennsylvania spoke more on the floor of the Constitutional Convention than any of the other founding fathers. As Jefferson was chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence, Morris was chosen to write the first draft of the Constitution. Colonial Hall is now proud to have the first seven chapters of the full-length biography of Gouverneur Morris, by Jared Sparks.
The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history — founded as a modern republic, it was rooted in the Bible, and one of its earliest tenets was religious tolerance. This is because many of the earliest pilgrims who settled the "New England" of America in early 17th century were Puritan refugees escaping religious persecutions in Europe.
These Puritans viewed their emigration from England as a virtual re-enactment of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. They were the new Israelites, entering into a new covenant with God in a new Promised Land.
In America, however, there was far more freedom to experiment with the use of Biblical law in the legal codes of the colonies and this was exactly what these early colonists set out to do.
The earliest legislation of the colonies of New England was all determined by Scripture. At the first assembly of New Haven inJohn Davenport clearly stated the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral foundation of the colony: The Plymouth Colony had a similar law code as did the Massachusetts assembly, which, in adopted the so-called "Capitall Laws of New England" based almost entirely on Mosaic law.
Of course, without a Jewish Oral Tradition, which helped the Jews understand the Bible, the Puritans were left to their own devices and tended toward a literal interpretation.
This led in some instances to a stricter, more fundamentalist observance than Judaism had ever seen. Many of these colleges even adopted some Hebrew word or phrase as part of their official emblem or seal.
Beneath the banner containing the Latin "Lux et Veritas," the Yale seal shows an open book with the Hebrew "Urim V'Timum," which was a part of the breastplate of the High Priest in the days of the Temple. The Columbia seal has the Hebrew name for God at the top center, with the Hebrew name for one of the angels on a banner toward the middle.
Dartmouth uses the Hebrew words meaning "God Almighty" in a triangle in the upper center of its seal. So popular was the Hebrew Language in the late 16th and early 17th centuries that several students at Yale delivered their commencement orations in Hebrew. In America, Bible study and Hebrew were course requirements in virtually all these colleges and students had the option of delivering commencement speeches in either Hebrew, Latin or Greek.
Thus, we can be sure that a majority of these political leaders were not only well acquainted with the contents of both the New and Old Testaments, but also had some working knowledge of Hebrew.
We see them adopting the biblical motifs of the Puritans for political reasons. For example, the struggle of the ancient Hebrews against the wicked Pharaoh came to embody the struggle of the colonists against English tyranny.
Numerous examples can be found which clearly illustrate to what a significant extent the political struggles of the colonies were identified with the ancient Hebrews. The motto around the seal read: Even the basic framework of America clearly reflects the influence of the Bible and power of Jewish ideas in shaping the political development of America.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence: This and the other documents of early America make it clear that the concept of a God-given standard of morality is a central pillar of American democracy.
Many more things can be said about the Jewish influence on the values of America, but this is, after all, a crash course.
We next turn to the Jews themselves. The first Jews arrived in America with Columbus inand we also know that Jews newly-converted to Christianity were among the first Spaniards to arrive in Mexico with Conquistador Hernando Cortez in In fact, so many Jewish conversos came to Mexico that the Spanish made a rule precluding anyone who could not prove Catholic ancestry for four generations back from migrating there.
Needless to say, the Inquisition soon followed to make sure these Jewish conversos were not really heretics, and burnings at the stake became a regular feature of life in Mexico City. As for North America, the recorded Jewish history there begins in with the arrival in New Amsterdam later to be known as New York of 23 Jewish refugees from Recife, Brazil where the Dutch had just lost their possessions to the Portuguese.
New Amsterdam was also a Dutch possession, but the governor Peter Stuyvesant did not want them there. Jews and the American Revolution By and the War of Independence, there were an estimated 2, mostly Sephardic Jews men, women and children living in America, yet their contribution to the cause was significant.
For example, in Charleston, South Carolina, almost every adult Jewish male fought on the side of freedom. In Georgia, the first patriot to be killed was a Jew Francis Salvador. And additionally, the Jews provided significant financing for the patriots.
The most important of the financiers was Haym Salomon who lent a great deal of money to the Continental Congress. He was never paid back and died bankrupt.
President George Washington remembered the Jewish contribution when the first synagogue opened in Newport, Rhode Island in It was called the Touro Synagogue and it was Sephardic.Featured Founding Founder Gouverneur Morris, the peg-legged, anti-slavery delegate from Pennsylvania spoke more on the floor of the Constitutional Convention than any of the other founding ashio-midori.com Jefferson was chosen to draft the Declaration of Independence, Morris was chosen to write the first draft of the Constitution.
The Founding Fathers were the first politicians to produce the explosive combination of individual rights and the pursuit of happiness.
It remains equally remarkable today, still the best statement, years after it was written, of what makes America American. The American Dream today has drifted away from that envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Here's what it was, and what it should be. The American Dream today has drifted away from that envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
The pursuit of happiness became the driver of the entrepreneurial spirit that defines the American free market economy. Of.
The American Dream is the right for each person to pursue his or her own idea of happiness. The Founding Fathers put into law the revolutionary idea that each person's desire to pursue happiness was not just self-indulgence.
Acceptance of government protection of private enterprise. (Source: Emily S. Rosenberg, Spreading the American. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence.
The phrase gives three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator. Happy times are great, but happy times pass--they have to because time passes.
The pursuit of happiness is more elusive; it is life-long, and it is not goal-centered. What you are pursuing is meaning .