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American Leaders

If we look at the backgrounds and careers of three American leaders, we find many differences but also similarities in the lives and careers of John Winthrop, James Madison and Andrew Jackson. John Winthrop was the American colonial administrator of Massachusetts, eventually becoming the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a position he would occupy for 12 terms between 1630-1649 (Schafer 1). James Madison, often referred to as the “Father” of the U.S. Constitution, was one of the founding fathers of the United States in its bid for independence and served as its fourth president. Andrew Jackson, became the first “Westerner” to be elected president of the United States, and though he was aristocratic in origin he formed a bond with and became a champion of the common people.

John Winthrop was born in West Suffolk, England in 1588 (Schafer 1). The only child, Winthrop was educated by private tutors and attended Cambridge. After school, Winthrop married Mary Worth and over the course of ten years they had six children before she died unexpectedly. He remarried but his second wife died one year later. He then married his third wife, Margaret, considered “one of the most appealing women in all of American history” (Schafer 1).

Winthrop’s father tried to raise his son to be a country gentleman, but while away at school Winthrop was swept away by a fever known as Puritanism. Puritans were a sect of Protestants who took exception to the abuses and injustice they perceived as being perpetrated by the Church of England. Puritans were also extremely devoted to God and His worship. The main purpose of mankind to the Puritans was to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Schafer 2). The promises of the Old Testament were not just for the children of Israel to Puritans, but for all mankind. Winthrop soon realized reforming the Church of England ...

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American Leaders. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:12, May 31, 2020, from