The role of virtues in my life

The role of virtues in my life
The virtues of prudence, justice, benevolence, and self –command
According to the Theory of Moral Sentiments By Adam Smith, pursuing prudence, benevolence, justice, and self-command leads to a happy and virtuous life. Smith defines Prudence as simple frugality. He adds that a prudent individual never obtrudes his/her opinion over anybody. Smith regards the lack of prudence as unnecessarily uncivilized. He refers to cautious individuals as having developed cold self-esteem from the practice of prudence. Smith’s argument states that prudence is a virtue that requires constant practising to emulate. Attaining happiness and praise via prudence not only commands self-esteem in someone but is also augmented by virtues aiming at helping mothers. Smith stresses contentment by saying that the virtues of justice and benevolence restrain one from hurting others hence promoting happiness. Smith also places value in the virtue of benevolence and warns that one should not feel much benevolent for others while little for themselves. He adds that benevolence is supplemented by justice which is the central pillar.
The virtues of prudence, justice, and benevolence are rooted in self-command. According to Adam Smith in his book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, other virtues derive their principality from self-command. He adds that Self-command is simpler than self-control and guides one towards the ungovernable passions of human nature. Besides, Self-command is acquired and developed by making it a daily habit. Self-command also helps in coping with difficult and disturbing situations. Smith’s argument on the role of virtues in life acknowledges that punishments and rewards are also part of a functional society. He, therefore, highlights the significance of self-command by referencing the two probabilities that emerge from developing self-command; a self-commanded society approves and rewards acts of positive virtues and condemns harmful ones.
Smith defines justice as a set of codes of conduct and rules that enhance a society’s survival by creating an order. He urges his audience to observe justice, for, without justice, society cannot exist. According to him, justice entails charitability, gratefulness, and good deeds for one another. His ideal perspective of justice contradicts the reality of punishment, hate, and finger-pointing that comes with one’s failure to observe justice—Smith champions for letting someone experience inner discipline or self-criticism as their conscience dictates. Self-command also moulds one’s moral values and rules. The values are an embodiment of justice and benevolence and help someone formulating his/her management of conduct. Smith also adds that prudence moderates an individual’s excesses to create a state of balance amongst relationships.
On the other hand, justice limits the wrongs done to each other in the relationships, and goodwill improves the social life in the relationships. The three virtues are interdependent enhances the quality of life both psychologically and emotionally by promoting the happiness of others. Smith also states that Self-command moderates one’s passion and neutralizes destructive motives. He concludes by saying that the virtues create harmony, enhance a society’s functioning, and open the door to freedom. Smith summarizes the significance of morality in the community. He concludes that character is incalculable but natural and requires training and discipline to develop.
Smith believes that everyone seeks love and is worthy of love and praise. He adds that moral development begins when people seek love, approval, and attention by pleasing others. Morals are thus used to please people who approve of them as fit or not. Good morals are approved by families, friends, and other acquaintances, and bad morals disapproved. One of the characters, Mr Knightley, criticizes Emma for complicating the engagement of Harriet and Robert. Emma is, however, convinced that she is right and the critics she is receiving are undeserved. Throughout the novel, Emma is embarrassed by Mr Knightley, but she constantly seeks his approval. Smith also acknowledges that it is difficult for people to beyond their biases and deception when he highlights that Mr. Knightley’s love for Emma is biased. He, therefore, intends that the virtues of prudence, benevolence, justice, and self-command cannot govern someone’s behaviour.

Smith adds that the constancy of moral values is beneficial to the social order. By following our conscience, we end up, indeed but unintentionally, promoting the happiness of humanity. Human laws, with their punishments and rewards, may aim at the same results. Still, they can never be as consistent, immediate, or effective as conscience and the rules of morality engineered by nature. Smith ends The Theory Of Moral Sentiments by defining the character of a truly virtuous person. He suggests that such a person would embody the qualities of prudence, justice, benevolence, and self-command. The virtues of prudence, justice, and benevolence are rooted in self-command. According to Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, virtues derive their principality from self-command. He adds that Self-command is simpler than self-control and guides one towards the ungovernable passions of human nature. Besides, Self-command is acquired and developed by making it a daily habit. Self-command also helps in coping with difficult and disturbing situations. Smith’s argument on the role of virtues in life acknowledges that punishments and rewards are also part of a functional society. He, therefore, highlights the significance of self-command by referencing the two probabilities that emerge from developing self-command; a self-commanded society approves and rewards acts of positive virtues and condemns harmful ones.
Smith defines justice as a set of codes of conduct and rules that enhance a society’s survival by creating an order. He urges his audience to observe justice, for, without justice, humanity cannot exist. According to him, justice entails charitability, gratefulness, and good deeds for one another. His ideal perspective of justice contradicts the reality of punishment, hate, and finger-pointing that comes with one’s failure to observe justice. Smith champions letting someone experience inner punishment or self-criticism as their conscience dictates. Self-command also moulds one’s moral values and rules. The values are an embodiment of justice and benevolence and help someone formulating his/her rules of conduct. Smith also adds that prudence moderates an individual’s excesses to create a state of balance amongst relationships.
On the other hand, justice limits the wrongs done to each other in the relationships, and goodwill improves the social life in the relationships. The three virtues are interdependent enhances the quality of life both psychologically and emotionally by promoting the happiness of others. Smith also states that Self-command moderates one’s passion and neutralizes destructive motives. He concludes by saying that the virtues create harmony, enhances a society’s functioning, and opens the door to freedom. Smith summarizes the significance of morality in the community. He concludes that character is incalculable but natural and requires training and discipline to develop.

 

In what ways did political and religious liberties expand after the revolution?

Question 1
In what ways did political and religious liberties expand after the revolution?
After the revolution, religious and political tolerance was emphasized. Religious istoturions were supported with public funds; however, dissenting protestants, jews, and catholic were discriminated against holding offices and voting. This would ensure that radical individuals that do not tolerate other’s religion or political views do not use public offices to enforce their agendas and rhetorics. Individuals who refused to pay taxes based on religious reasons were jailed in states such as Massachusetts. (218) After the independence, the founding fathers wanted o separate the state from religion. This was so since the Anglican church had many privileges during colonial America. This had led to conflicts due to religious differences, and citizens wanted the liberty to do things of their own free will without being held back by religion. Thomas Jefferson, a deist, proposed a proverbial erection of a ‘wall of separation that would enable politics to be exercised without the interference of religion. The Anglican church had a lot of control over the colonies, where the government was used to enforce the church’s doctrines over other religious groups. Baptist leader Isaack Backus also advocated the separation of state and religion. He argued that religious leaders should detach themselves from the government and adhere to the traditional Christian liberty of submitting to God’s will and leading a moral life. He felt enforcement of church doctrines by the state was not right and could not be achieved; it only led to religious conflicts. (220)
This led to the diversity of American Christianity and the expansion of religious liberty. The separation of state and church led to the flourish of political and social space. It gave the citizens the right to be heard and freedom of expression, which was highly curtailed in Anglican America before the independence.
Question 2
How did the revolution affect the status of women?
After attaining independence, every American wanted their rights as humans to be protected by the government. Women also wanted to be heard and contribute to the new nation. In 1790, Judith Sargent Murray of Massachusetts, a prominent writer of plays, novels, and poetry, demanded equal rights to women to access education. (287) She wrote a poem on the equality of sexes. This inspired a public debate on women’s rights. Mary Wollstonecraft asserted that the ‘rights of humanity’ should not be ‘confined to the male line.’ She wrote a pamphlet called A ‘Vindication of the Rights of Woman,’ which advocated greater access to education to the female gender and employment into positions with good wages. This would enable single mothers to support themselves, and married women can be good wives and mothers who supplement their husbands` income. (289) Though Wollstonecraft did not directly challenge gender roles, she thought women should also represent the government. This elicited both praise and attack in equal measure. It was unheard of when a woman occupied a seat in the government since women were not allowed to vote and politics was a male-dominated male-dominated field.
There was a public dissent, and women wanted to be included in all spheres of the new nation. In 1975, a women’s magazine was published in Newyork city 1975. It was a public outcry to equal rights to women though it was short-lived. Women began expressing themselves in prints, such as Hannah Adams, who became the first American author. Publishing ceased to be a male realm as more women joined to write stories on different aspects such as politics, religion, and the new nation’s history.

Question 3
What events and ideas led to the belief in 1786 and 1787 that the Articles of Confederation were not working well?
Article of Confederation was drafted to ensure national coordination of war of independence. It took four years to ratify the Article since most states feared a central power that could curtail their liberty. States wanted to retain their freedom, sovereignty, and independence(247). The lack of a central power such as the judiciary or the presidency under the Article of independence made it difficult to enforce the laws and interpret them. Approvals of any decision affecting the confederates were to be agreed upon between the states. The major decision required a vote of nine states since every state had one vote no matter the size of the population.
Under the Article of Confederate, the national government had minimal power and were restricted to foreign affairs, declaring war and making treaties with other governments. The government and congress mainly depended on states’ contributions to fund their activities since they did not have the powers to levy taxes.
These power limitations made the confederate government fail due to worsening economic problems. Congress had issued war bonds to finance the wages and supplies for the troops; since they were no sufficient revenue income, the congress was unable to pay back. American ship merchants were barred from trade since it ceased being a British colony. Congress failed to act, and hence the states took upon them to levy taxes on imported goods flooded by the foreign ships. The states also passed legislation to restrict creditors from collecting debts from farmers and craftsmen who had defaulted on their loan repayment. The officeholders rebuked importers of foreign products and creditors for not have the virtues of the republic. (253).
Question 4
What were the major arguments in support of the Constitution given by the Federalists? What were the principal arguments against the Constitution put forth by the Anti-Federalists?
Federalist Arguments
The Federalists argued that the Constitution protected the liberties of the Americans. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison had composed a series of 85 essays that aimed to disabuse Americans of their fear of central political power. The federalists argued that with checks and balances, a government could not become oppressive. They proposed for the division of power, which led to the formation of a three-arms government: judiciary, legislature, and the executive. (261) “Hamilton insisted that he was “as zealous an advocate for liberty as any man whatever.” But “want of power” had been the fatal flaw of the Articles.” (261)
Anti-federalist Arguments
Anti-federalists argued that the Constitution would shift the balance giving the central government more power and curtail the liberty of state governments. Historians believed the anti-federalists were against the Constitution for fear of their influence diminishing. (262). Another point of contention was slavery, where the opponents viewed the document will eventually lead to the abolition of slavery. The anti-federalist campaign was not well managed as the federalists; hence the Constitution was eventually ratified. The organization of their arguments was not coordinated, and it was more of rhetorics. They even brought the idea that a powerful individual in the nation could hoodwink congress. Popular self-government can only flourish in a small community but not a populous country like the USA. They believed the government would be controlled by influential individuals who have the resources to win an election.
Question 5
In what ways did democracy expand in America in the early 19th century? In what ways was it still limited?
In the 19th century, when Andrew Jackson was elected as the United States president, it was the dawn of a new era. The previous presidents were from the rich and upper class of American society. Jackson was a commoner, and it gave hope to society and democracy. Twenty thousand people attended his inauguration; it was the first event of such magnitude in presidential inauguration history.
Voting was a right reserved only to the property owners. This brought many protests since the 19th century was the dawn of the industrial revolution, and the number of wage employees who did not have properties outweighed the free-holders. Eventually, they were allowed to vote.” Owning property, declared a petition by “Non-Freeholders” [landless men] of Richmond to the Virginia constitutional convention of 1829, did not necessarily mean the possession of “moral or intellectual endowments “superior to those of the poor. “They alone deserve to be called free,” they continued, “who participate in the formation of their political institutions.” (253)
The original 13 states had preserved the right to vote to the landowners only, while the other states joining the Union did not have such restrictions. Americans identify themselves with political institutions since they did not have a common background, religion, or race. It was a country of multi-culturalism with a lot of discrimination. Political institutions were the only factor that was holding them together.
Question 6
Describe how the North’s war aims evolved between 1861 and 1863, changing from simply preserving the Union to ending slavery. What role did blacks play in winning the Civil War?
At first, Lincoln wanted to maintain the border slave states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. He feared abolishing slavery will push the 2.6 million whites and 500,000 slaves into the confederacy. Lincoln wanted to maintain the Union, and hence he knew he needed the resources from the slave border states; therefore, he could not rattle them. The slaves how were captured escaping into the North by the Union forces were repatriated to their owners. As the war progressed, the confederates recruited slaves as military laborers; this resulted in the change of perception by the Union forces on captured slaves. By the end of 1861, the military had adopted the plan, begun in Virginia by General Benjamin F. Butler, of treating escaped blacks as contraband of war—that is, property of military value subject to confiscation. Butler’s
order added a word to the war’s vocabulary. Escaping slaves became known as “the contrabands.” They were housed by the army in “contraband camps” and educated in new “contraband schools.” (515). Meanwhile, slaves themselves took actions that helped propel a reluctant white America down the road to emancipation. Whatever the policies of the
administration, blacks saw the outbreak of fighting as heralding the long-awaited
end of bondage. Before Lincoln made emancipation a war aim, blacks in the North and the South were calling the conflict the “freedom war.” In 1861 and 1862, as the federal army occupied Confederate territory, slaves by the thousands headed for Union lines.

 

Reference
Forner, E. Give Me Liberty! An American History. (2004).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steps to writing a good abstract for your essay

                                       Steps to writing a good abstract for your essay

A good essay must have an abstract. The abstract summarizes the entire essay and gives the reader an overview of the essay. Generally, an abstract has the purpose of the essay, and the research problem that has been identified and needs to be addressed, and the findings. A good abstract must have a paragraph of 300 words or less. One of the major mistakes students do in writing an abstract is writing it before writing the essay. A good abstract needs to be written after the essay so that all the ideas from the objectives or hypothesis, introduction, and conclusion can be captured. This also helps in selecting key sentences and phrases from the sections identified in writing the essay.

Table of content

  • Start by writing your essay
  • Check all requirements
  • Know your audience
  • Determine the type of abstract
  • Explain the problem to be addressed
  • Explain the methods used
  • Discuss the results
  • Conclude

Start by writing your essay

A good abstract will be generated by writing the essay. The abstract carries the summary of the entire essay and writing it first before plotting an abstract will provide a good abstract that will not confuse the readers. A good essay has an introduction with having thesis statement, body, and conclusion. These parts form the requirements of a good abstract. When you are writing your essay, it is important to ensure all information has been captured in your essay to build a strong abstract. In writing your essay paper, ensure you prepare an outline of the essay content; this outline will also help in writing the abstract.

Check all requirements

Checking all the requirements that will be included in the abstract is very important. The requirements are based on what you have written in the essay. It starts from introduction requirements, and in this part, you must ask yourself if the introduction has the thesis statement. The next part is the body of the essay, and you should ask yourself if the body has addressed the thesis statement, the problem, and the findings. Also, it is important to check if the conclusion has also addressed the thesis statement fully. All these requirements will form the basis of a good abstract if followed carefully. The requirements can also be based on the style suggested and the length recommended. It is important to review these before beginning to write you’re abstract.

Know your audience

In writing a good abstract, you need to ask yourself who is your target audience. The abstract determines whether the reader will continue reading the essay or not. If the essay is about academics, the abstract should maintain an academic language so that the target audience won’t be confused and stop reading. If the essay is about the medical industry, it is important to maintain medical language so that the target readers’ attention will be caught. Know your audience before you start writing your abstract to decide on the language that will be used.

Determine the type of abstract

It is important to determine the type of abstract before you begin writing. Your essay can be in many forms either descriptive or informative. Sometimes the instructor might specify the type of abstract that is required and at times you as a student decide on the type of abstract. A descriptive abstract will require description and not just simple writings and informative abstract will require the student to write an informative abstract that will provide enough information to the reader.

Explain the problem to be addressed

It is important to address the problem that the essay is trying to solve. Explain the problem clearly because the reader will want to see the problem and how it is been addressed in the essay. The abstract must contain a well-explained problem that needs to be solved. The explanation must state whether the problem is specific or general.

Explain the methods used

The abstract must have the methods that were used to conduct the study. The essay must have the methods that brought all the information together, it will help to explain these methods so that the reader will not struggle to understand how things came to happen. The methods should show the evidence and it should be direct and to the point.

Discuss the results

A good abstract must have well-explained results that will show the reader what was discovered in the problem. The results should be directly related to the problem. Though in many cases, results are only included in an informative essay so that the reader will understand the information provided and will seek more in the essay itself. The results in the abstract show that the student had greatly researched the essay and this will accelerate the urge for reading. The results can either be in mathematical expression or words, what should be considered here is the target audience and how they will understand the results. The results of the abstract need to be specific, measurable, accurate, reliable, and time-bound, this will help the reader get the exact information.

Conclude

This is the last part that should be included in the abstract. It provides a summary of the problem and the findings. The summary will talk of the results and how it is related to the findings of the problem. This is the overview of what has been concluded in the essay. If the reader reads the abstract and sees how the conclusion is perfectly indicated he or she will have a high urge to know more about the entire essay. The conclusion also addresses the thesis statement and clarifies it in a way that the reader will be able to compare the essay introduction. It is important as a student to have a good abstract conclusion, this carries the weight of whether you did enough research or it was just simple research on the topic. The reader must see the relationship of the topic with the conclusion; avoid confusing your readers with some information not related to the findings.