Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765
Author: Richard L. BUSHMAN
Publisher: Harvard University Press
The years from 1690 to 1765 in America have usually been considered a waiting period before the Revolution. Mr. Bushman, in his penetrating study of colonial Connecticut, takes another view. He shows how, during these years, economic ambition and religious ferment profoundly altered the structure of Puritan society, enlarging the bounds of liberty and inspiring resistance to established authority. This is an investigation of the strains that accompanied the growth of liberty in an authoritarian society. Mr. Bushman traces the deterioration of Puritan social institutions and the consequences for human character. He does this by focusing on day-to-day life in Connecticut--on the farms, in the churches, and in the town meetings. Controversies within the towns over property, money, and church discipline shook the "land of steady habits," and the mounting frustration of common needs compelled those in authority, in contradiction to Puritan assumptions, to become more responsive to popular demands. In the Puritan setting these tensions were inevitably given a moral significance. Integrating social and economic interpretations, Mr. Bushman explains the Great Awakening of the 1740's as an outgrowth of the stresses placed on the Puritan character. Men, plagued with guilt for pursuing their economic ambitions and resisting their rulers, became highly susceptible to revival preaching. The Awakening gave men a new vision of the good society. The party of the converted, the "New Lights," which also absorbed people with economic discontents, put unprecedented demands on civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The resulting dissension moved Connecticut, almost unawares, toward republican attitudes and practices. Disturbed by the turmoil, many observers were, by 1765, groping toward a new theory of social order that would reconcile traditional values with their eighteenth-century experiences. Vividly written, full of illustrative detail, the manuscript of this book has been called by Oscar Handlin one of the most important works of American history in recent years. Table of Contents: PART ONE: SOCIETY IN 1690 1. Law and Authority 2. The Town and the Economy PART TWO: LAND, 1690-1740 3. Proprietors 4. Outlivers 5. New Plantations 6. The Politics of Land PART THREE: MONEY, 1710-1750 7. New Traders 8. East versus West 9. Covetousness PART FOUR: CHURCHES, 1690-1765 10. Clerical Authority 11. Dissent 12. Awakening 13. The Church and Experimental Religion 14. Church and State PART FIVE: POLITICS, 1740-1765 15. New Lights in Politics 16. A New Social Order Appendixes Bibliographical Note List of Works Cited Index Illustrations Map of Connecticut in 1765 Map of hereditary Mohegan lands and Wabbaquasset lands Reviews of this book: Employing his special training in psychology to advantage, Bushman has skillfully woven into his description and analysis of Connecticut society in the process of change, a bold interpretation of the impact of change upon individual character formation...The author has made a signal contribution to the history of liberty in America. --William and Mary Quarterly Reviews of this book: At the heart of history lies a vague but undeniable substance known as 'national character' or 'social character'...Richard L. Bushman has had the courage to offer his version of the evolution of the social character of Connecticut...The boldness of the attempt alone would make Puritan to Yankee an important book, but it is the general accuracy of its author's perception of the way the mechanism of historical change operates and the specific accuracy 0f his assessment of the results that makes the book one of the most fruitful historical studies produced in the last few years in any field of history. --History and Theory Reviews of this book: Professor Bushman's study of eighteenth-century Connecticut is a first-rate job of social history. He deals with large questions in satisfying detail...Energy in research is combined with courage in writing. --New England Quarterly
When Governor John Winthrop established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, he commenced a tradition of public service in which his family would participate for almost a century. His son, John, Jr., and his grandsons, Fitz John and Wait Still, were deeply involved in the colonial government of New England, although their motives were increasingly mixed with private interest. Mr. Dunn's portrayal of this important and interesting family illuminates the two most fundamental themes in early New England history: the gradual secularization of the New England conscience, and the continuous struggle to preserve local customs and privileges within an increasingly centralized English imperial system. Originally published in 1962. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
American National Identity in Presidential Rhetoric
Author: Vanessa B. Beasley
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Category: Political Science
New in paperback As we ask anew in these troubled times what it means to be an American, You, the People provides perspective by casting its eye over the answers given by past U.S. presidents in their addresses to the public. Who is an American, and who is not? And yet, as Vanessa Beasley demonstrates in this eloquent exploration of a century of presidential speeches, the questions are not new. Since the Founders first identified the nation as “we, the people,” the faces and accents of U.S. citizens have changed dramatically due to immigration and other constitutive changes. U.S. presidents have often spoken as if there were one monolithic American people. Here Beasley traces rhetorical constructions of American national identity in presidents’ inaugural addresses and state of the union messages from 1885 through 2000. She argues convincingly that while the demographics of the voting citizenry changed rapidly during this period, presidential definitions of American national identity did not. Chief executives have consistently employed a rhetoric of American nationalism that is simultaneously inclusive and exclusive; Beasley examines both the genius and the limitations of this language.
An examination of how the New England intelligentsia set out to establish cultural independence from England through a uniquely American literature. It looks at Emerson, Lowell, Wendell Holmes and other, to show how the coherence of their voices broke when discussing slavery, abolition and war.
Fragmentation and Diversity in Jewish Religious Movements
Author: Zachary I. Heller
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
The synagogue remains a central institution in Jewish life as a place of study, worship, and assembly, but each day brings word of a new challenging development within each of the larger movements to which synagogues belong—Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Jewish religious communities today share a number of challenges, from the increase in secular or unaffiliated Jews to emerging Jewish spiritual communities forming outside the synagogue. There has never been a more compelling need for a wide-ranging discussion of the diverse issues facing American Judaism. Brought together by Zachary I. Heller, associate director of the National Center for Jewish Policy Studies, and an editorial team which included Rabbis David Gordis, Hayim Herring, and Sanford Seltzer, twenty of the leading Jewish thinkers—rabbis, scholars, authors, professors, activists, and experts in the study of the American synagogue—have contributed to this comprehensive collection of essays. Each writer brings unique expertise and perspective in describing the development of contemporary religious movements (denominations) in American Judaism, their interrelationships and tensions, and their prospects for the future. Their combined voices create a timely discussion of the many urgent issues bearing down on American synagogues. Contributors to Synagogues in a Time of Change take on the changing dynamics of synagogue life, its organization into movements, and the organic changes taking place that are causing those movements to lose their coherence and strength, both internally and as an attractive force for seekers of Jewish religious tradition and expression. They address the current fiscal issues that face the movement organizations and the broader questions of their future stability as well as their significance and continued relevance to individual congregations. Ultimately, the book is a catalyst for personal reflection and public discussion on the past, present and future of the American synagogue. The issues faced by Judaism in America are not unique to Jewish religious movements. Many of the issues facing synagogues will be familiar to those of all faiths. Indeed, the book includes an essay by Rodney L. Petersen of the Boston Theological Institute on denominationalism, nondenominationalism, and postdenominationalism in American Christian communities that helps us see these parallels. Religious groups of all kinds will find reflections of common struggles that can provide a vehicle for constructive conversations about their own pressing issues.
Indian, European, and African women of seventeenth and eighteenth-century America were defenders of their native land, pioneers on the frontier, willing immigrants, and courageous slaves. They were also - as traditional scholarship tends to omit - as important as men in shaping American culture and history. This remarkable work is a gripping portrait that gives early-American women their proper place in history.