By Ken Hopper
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Additional resources for The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream Amidst Global Financial Chaos
It was followed implicitly by Hamilton and his friends when they laid the foundations of the republic. Since 1970, by way of contrast, Americans have tended to adopt the more relaxed European approach, with unfortunate consequences for the quality of decision-making in all walks of life. When one scans through the whole of history, it is difficult to find examples of mass migrations that were so totally successful – in political, economic and social terms – as that of the Puritans to New England or the Quakers to Pennsylvania.
Without the Mormons, Utah would be as sparsely populated today as are the rest of the Mountain States. Instead it is one of America’s best-settled and most prosperous provinces. Absit Young, the major contribution that the Mormons have made to the rest of the United States – not only in the effective management of manufacturing industry but also in finance, politics and in preserving a sense of spiritual direction – would not have occurred. At the mid-twentieth century, in the Golden Age of Management, the presidents of the Fortune 500 companies, calculated as a proportion of the state’s population, were more likely to come from Utah than from any other state.
The Mormon trek to Utah was a singular masterpiece of organization, a living mechanism, nourishing itself as it slowly moved some 20,000 souls across the long trail to Utah. Without such organization the Mormon pioneers doubtless could not have succeeded as they did in their efforts to build their Zion in the wilderness. They were too illequipped to have made the trek on an individual basis and to have withstood the initial rigors of life in the high deserts. 12 As an exercise in planning, it ranked alongside Winthrop’s expedition of 1630.