The Mayflower Compact III

Lead: In the movement toward representative government in the English and American experience there bumps in the road. Despite their intentions as expressed in the Mayflower Compact the Pilgrims’ settlement in Massachusetts did not lead to greater democracy.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The main problem for the Pilgrims, the first of the puritan sects to immigrate to Massachusetts Bay after 1620, was that they needed the talents and participation of all who settled there. Originally the voters in town meetings and eventually the General Court of the colony were called freeman, but being a freeman carried important obligations. You had to show up at the annual meeting of the Court to vote. To miss this resulted in a heavy fine. As the colony spread out and distance became an issue, it became clear that many settlers could not or would become freeman. Anxious to hold the loyalty of all colonists, in 1638 The General Court voted to allow communities to elect representatives or deputies to conduct the business of the colony. Though only freemen could serve as deputies or colonial officials, all male colonials who had taken a loyalty oath and were head of a family could vote.

The Mayflower Compact II

Lead: The Mayflower Compact of 1620 committed the Pilgrims to a just and equal government in their new colony on Massachusetts Bay. Its roots can be traced in surprising directions, but its legacy probably did not lead to increased democracy.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the fascinating characteristics of democracy as it developed in England and the United States is that democratic institutions resist ideology and tend to promote consensus. Among the early proponents of freer representative government were religious ideologues such as the puritans. They championed the parliamentary cause in two civil wars against King Charles I in the 1640s and many fled to the colonies of Massachusetts Bay after 1620. Their purpose was to secure the right to worship as they chose and to create a godly commonwealth.

The Mayflower Compact I

Lead: One of the icons of American democracy is the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrim’s signed commitment in November 1620 to justice and equality in local government. The chance to govern themselves and pursue their religious impulses was a long time coming.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When the tiny square-rigged Mayflower delivered its human cargo of 102 settlers out of their long, difficult Atlantic crossing into what would become the Cape Cod harbor of Provincetown in late 1620, the leaders of the expedition, later called Pilgrims, were nearing the end of a long sojourn. They were Separatists and represented a tiny radical outgrowth of the English puritan movement, an informal network mostly worshipping within the Church of England. Puritans were vigorous proponents of the doctrines articulated by John Calvin and wished to “purify” and remove all remaining vestiges of Roman Catholicism within the Anglican structure.

Trial of Henry Ward Beecher II

Lead: Part of a famous family of educators, clergymen and activists, Henry Ward Beecher was charged with adultery in 1875.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Henry Ward Beecher was perhaps the most famous American clergyman of his generation. After pastorates in the Midwest, he served as minister of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York for twenty-five years. Employing a casual, yet animated preaching style that drew large crowds to the church week after week, Beecher built a reputation as a powerful advocate of liberal causes such as opposition to liquor and slavery and the advocacy of women's rights.

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Trial of Henry Ward Beecher I

Lead: Religion was important in nineteenth-century America. Its influence was in no way better demonstrated than in the prominence of the Beecher family.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Religion has played a vital role in the shaping of the American experience. While the Founders created a secular state, it was in many ways the only choice they had. So prevalent was religion in its various forms that only a government that was neutral could possibly deal fairly with all the churches and sects that had established themselves in America even by the 1780s. The Founders were determined that no state church would encumber the tender consciences or drain the pocketbooks of those of the unwilling. The Founders were also painfully aware of the scars that remained on the European landscape after three centuries of religious warfare and intolerance. However, this official secular bias or lack of bias did not mean Americans were irreligious. In fact, the history of the United States is replete with examples of the powerful influence of religion over political, social, and economic life. Even in the late twentieth century church attendance and participation in America outstripped that of any other developed country.

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Anatomy of a Presidential Scandal (Cleveland) II

Lead: After being nominated for President by the Democrats in the summer of 1884, Grover Cleveland was publicly accused of fathering an illegitimate child.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Cleveland was able to negotiate the shoals of scandal for several reasons. First, from the beginning, he told the truth. About 1871, widow Maria Halpin came from Jersey City to Buffalo where she found work in the retail clothing trade. She was a tall, stunning beauty, spoke French and soon was seen in the company of several men, one of whom was Grover Cleveland. Their relationship was intimate and sexual. When her son was born in the fall of 1874, she named him Oscar Folsom Cleveland, in honor of Cleveland and his law partner. Cleveland accepted responsibility and provided for both mother and child. When the scandal broke, he confided the truth to a number of prominent clergy and political leaders.

Anatomy of a Presidential Scandal (Cleveland) I

Lead: It is difficult to keep perspective at a time when passions are engaged and salacious revelations stir the body politic. Yet, such a time is the perfect occasion to examine the past to gain perspective by looking at the anatomy of a Presidential scandal.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Oh, to be a Democrat in the summer of 1884. Victory was in the air. For the first time since the nomination of James Buchanan in 1856 the Party had a real chance to take the White House. Every four years this ragtag collection of yellow dog dixiecrats and immigrant Yankees would drink and party their way to the nomination of a pair of political nonentities, who would then promptly go out and lose. Not this time. This time they had a winner.

The Conciliar Movement II

Lead: With the Church split into factions, with three popes claiming the obedience of Roman Catholics the leaders of Christian Europe met in the Swiss village of Constance to clean up the mess.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1409 at the Council of Pisa, the leaders of the church met to bring some kind of order out of the chaos that grew from having rival popes one in Rome the other in Avignon in the south of France. They were also trying to come up with way of governing the Church that broadened its leadership base. Many in the church led by Pierre D'Ailly of Bishop of Cambrai in France advocated a change in Church government that would retain the office of Pope but place him under a General Council of Bishops which would be the ultimate authority in the Church. At Pisa the Council deposed the rival popes and appointed one of their own. He soon died and his successor took the name John XXIII. The other popes refused to go, that meant there were three.

 

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