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
A Life of Horace Bushnell
Author: Robert Bruce Mullin
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Horace Bushnell (1802-1876) is one of the most studied figures innineteenth-century American religious history, but there has beenno major biography of him for almost fifty years. "The Puritan asYankee provides a much-needed -- and provocatively new -- lookat this famous American Christian thinker. Based on a close reading of Bushnell's writings and unpublishedsources as well as careful attention to how contemporaries saw him, Robert Bruce Mullin's book throws fresh light on its subject. Breakingfrom the long tradition of portraying Bushnell as the father ofAmerican liberal Christianity, Mullin offers a fundamentally new picture ofBushnell as a man deeply concerned with the questions of his age, and a far more interesting figure than previously thought. Bushnellemerges here as an innovator, a Yankee tinkerer in the field of religion, and a profoundly conservative figure. Expertly researched and enjoyable to read, this volume tells animportant chapter in American religious history.
Documents on the Revival of Religion, 1740-1745
Author: Richard L. Bushman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Most twentieth-century Americans fail to appreciate the power of Christian conversion that characterized the eighteenth-century revivals, especially the Great Awakening of the 1740s. The common disdain in this secular age for impassioned religious emotion and language is merely symptomatic of the shift in values that has shunted revivals to the sidelines. The very magnitude of the previous revivals is one indication of their importance. Between 1740 and 1745 literally thousands were converted. From New England to the southern colonies, people of all ages and all ranks of society underwent the New Birth. Virtually every New England congregation was touched. It is safe to say that most of the colonists in the 1740s, if not converted themselves, knew someone who was, or at least heard revival preaching. The Awakening was a critical event in the intellectual and ecclesiastical life of the colonies. The colonists' view of the world placed much importance on conversion. Particularly, Calvinist theology viewed the bestowal of divine grace as the most crucial occurrence in human life. Besides assuring admission to God's presence in the hereafter, divine grace prepared a person for a fullness of life on earth. In the 1740s the colonists, in overwhelming numbers, laid claim to the divine power which their theology offered them. Many experienced the moral transformatoin as promised. In the Awakening the clergy's pleas of half a century came to dramatic fulfillment. Not everyone agreed that God was working in the Awakening. Many believed preachers to be demagogues, stirring up animal spirits. The revival was looked on as an emotional orgy that needlessly disturbed the churches and frustrated the true work of God. But from 1740 to 1745 no other subject received more attention in books and pamphlets. Through the stirring rhetoric of the sermons, theological treatises, and correspondence presented in this collection, readers can vicariously participate in the ecstasy as well as in the rage generated by America's first national revival.
Explorations of Regional Identity from the Pilgrims to the Mid-twentieth Century
Author: Joseph A. Conforti
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Say "New England" and you likely conjure up an image in the mind of your listener: the snowy woods or stone wall of a Robert Frost poem, perhaps, or that quintessential icon of the region--the idyllic white village. Such images remind us that, as Joseph C
A History of American Literature
Author: Richard Ruland,Malcolm Bradbury
Category: Literary Criticism
Widely acknowledged as a contemporary classic that has introduced thousands of readers to American literature, From Puritanism to Postmodernism: A History of American Literature brilliantly charts the fascinating story of American literature from the Puritan legacy to the advent of postmodernism. From realism and romanticism to modernism and postmodernism it examines and reflects on the work of a rich panoply of writers, including Poe, Melville, Fitzgerald, Pound, Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks and Thomas Pynchon. Characterised throughout by a vibrant and engaging style it is a superb introduction to American literature, placing it thoughtfully in its rich social, ideological and historical context. A tour de force of both literary and historical writing, this Routledge Classics edition includes a new preface by co-author Richard Ruland, a new foreword by Linda Wagner-Martin and a fascinating interview with Richard Ruland, in which he reflects on the nature of American fiction and his collaboration with Malclolm Bradbury. It is published here for the first time.
Persons, Houses, Cities
Author: Richard Lyman Bushman
This lively and authoritative volume makes clear that the quest for taste and manners in America has been essential to the serious pursuit of a democratic culture. Spanning the material world from mansions and silverware to etiquette books, city planning, and sentimental novels, Richard L. Bushman shows how a set of values originating in aristocratic court culture gradually permeated almost every stratum of American society and served to prevent the hardening of class consciousness. A work of immense and richly nuanced learning, The Refinement of America newly illuminates every facet of both our artifacts and our values. From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Great Awakening to the Revolution
Author: Alan Heimert
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Exploring the richness of American thought and experience in the mid-eighteenth century, Alan Heimert develops the intellectual and cultural significance of the religious divisions and debates engendered by one of the most critical episodes in American intellectual history, the Great Awakening of the 1740's. The author's concern throughout is to discover what were the essential issues in a dispute that was not so much a controversy between theologians as a vital competition for the ideological allegiance of the American people. This is not a standard history of any one area of ideas. Mr. Heimert's sources include nearly everything published in America from 1735. His study, in its range and conception, is an original contribution to an understanding of the relationship between colonial religious thought and the evolution of American history.
Author: Richard L. Bushman
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Focuses on the first twenty-five years of Smith's life, describes his visions, and recounts how he established the Church of the Latter-day Saints
The Old South and American National Character
Author: William Robert Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
William Taylor's Cavalier and Yankee was one of the most famous works of American history written in the 1960s. The book is an intellectual history of the South before the Civil War, the perception of it in the North, and the effect it had upon the nation in the years from 1800 to 1860. First published in 1961 and out of print for several years, Taylor's classic study remains essential to the study of the pre-Civil War South.
Author: Richard Lyman Bushman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Beginning with a handful of members in 1830, the church that Joseph Smith founded has grown into a world-wide organization with over 12 million adherents, playing prominent roles in politics, sports, entertainment, and business. Yet they are an oddity. They are considered wholesome, conservative, and friendly on one hand, and clannish, weird, and self-righteous on the other. Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction explains who Mormons are: what they believe and how they live their lives. Written by Richard Lyman Bushman, an eminent historian and practicing Mormon, this compact, informative volume ranges from the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the contentious issues of contemporary Mormonism. Bushman argues that Joseph Smith still serves as the Mormons' Moses. Their everyday religious lives are still rooted in his conceptions of true Christianity. They seek revelation to solve life's problems just as he did. They believe the authority to seal families together for eternity was restored through him. They understand their lives as part of a spiritual journey that started in a "council in heaven" before the world began just as he taught. Bushman's account also describes the tensions and sorrows of Mormon life. How are Mormons to hold on to their children in a world of declining moral standards and rampant disbelief? How do rational, educated Mormons stand up to criticisms of their faith? How do single Mormons fare in a church that emphasizes family life? The book also examines polygamy, the various Mormon scriptures, and the renegade fundamentalists who tarnish the LDS image when in fact they're not members. In a time when Mormons such as Mitt Romney and Harry Reid are playing prominent roles in American society, this engaging introduction enables readers to judge for themselves how Mormon teachings shape the character of believers. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
American Dream. American Nightmare
Author: MacDonald King Aston
Secularised and hidden away in a thousand useless history books, brimming with the Big Lie of the Yankee Myth, the myth of Lincoln, of perpetual war, of the holy dollar, and of the Puritans' City upon a Hill, is a real America. You won't find the real America in your history books, for those books are filled with the propaganda of the Yankee and his mythology. Casting a cold eye on the "Evil Twins" of the 1860s and 1960s, Yankee Babylon ruthlessly exposes the truth of both who we are and how we got here: not to a free republic of free men and women, but to an American Empire. To a Yankee Babylon.
Author: Richard L. Bushman
Publisher: UNC Press Books
The American revolutionaries themselves believed the change from monarchy to republic was the essence of the Revolution. King and People in Provincial Massachusetts explores what monarchy meant to Massachusetts under its second charter and why the momentous change to republican government came about. Richard L. Bushman argues that monarchy entailed more than having a king as head of state: it was an elaborate political culture with implications for social organization as well. Massachusetts, moreover, was entirely loyal to the king and thoroughly imbued with that culture. Why then did the colonies become republican in 1776? The change cannot be attributed to a single thinker such as John Locke or to a strain of political thought such as English country party rhetoric. Instead, it was the result of tensions ingrained in the colonial political system that surfaced with the invasion of parliamentary power into colonial affairs after 1763. The underlying weakness of monarchical government in Massachusetts was the absence of monarchical society -- the intricate web of patronage and dependence that existed in England. But the conflict came from the colonists' conception of rulers as an alien class of exploiters whose interest was the plundering of the colonies. In large part, colonial politics was the effort to restrain official avarice. The author explicates the meaning of "interest" in political discourse to show how that conception was central in the thinking of both the popular party and the British ministry. Management of the interest of royal officials was a problem that continually bedeviled both the colonists and the crown. Conflict was perennial because the colonists and the ministry pursued diverging objectives in regulating colonial officialdom. Ultimately the colonists came to see that safety against exploitation by self-interested rulers would be assured only by republican government.
The Winthrop Dynasty of New England
Author: Richard S. Dunn
Publisher: Princeton University Press
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.
Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England
Author: Douglas L. Winiarski
Publisher: UNC Press Books
This sweeping history of popular religion in eighteenth-century New England examines the experiences of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Drawing on an unprecedented quantity of letters, diaries, and testimonies, Douglas Winiarski recovers the pervasive and vigorous lay piety of the early eighteenth century. George Whitefield's preaching tour of 1740 called into question the fundamental assumptions of this thriving religious culture. Incited by Whitefield and fascinated by miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit--visions, bodily fits, and sudden conversions--countless New Englanders broke ranks with family, neighbors, and ministers who dismissed their religious experiences as delusive enthusiasm. These new converts, the progenitors of today's evangelical movement, bitterly assaulted the Congregational establishment. The 1740s and 1750s were the dark night of the New England soul, as men and women groped toward a restructured religious order. Conflict transformed inclusive parishes into exclusive networks of combative spiritual seekers. Then as now, evangelicalism emboldened ordinary people to question traditional authorities. Their challenge shattered whole communities.
The South Seas and the Discovery of American Identity
Author: Dane A. Morrison
Publisher: JHU Press
With American independence came the freedom to sail anywhere in the world under a new flag. During the years between the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Wangxi, Americans first voyaged past the Cape of Good Hope, reaching the ports of Algiers and the bazaars of Arabia, the markets of India and the beaches of Sumatra, the villages of Cochin, China, and the factories of Canton. Their South Seas voyages of commerce and discovery introduced the infant nation to the world and the world to what the Chinese, Turks, and others dubbed the "new people." Drawing on private journals, letters, ships’ logs, memoirs, and newspaper accounts, True Yankees traces America’s earliest encounters on a global stage through the exhilarating experiences of five Yankee seafarers. Merchant Samuel Shaw spent a decade scouring the marts of China and India for goods that would captivate the imaginations of his countrymen. Mariner Amasa Delano toured much of the Pacific hunting seals. Explorer Edmund Fanning circumnavigated the globe, touching at various Pacific and Indian Ocean ports of call. In 1829, twenty-year-old Harriett Low reluctantly accompanied her merchant uncle and ailing aunt to Macao, where she recorded trenchant observations of expatriate life. And sea captain Robert Bennet Forbes’s last sojourn in Canton coincided with the eruption of the First Opium War. How did these bold voyagers approach and do business with the people in the region, whose physical appearance, practices, and culture seemed so strange? And how did native men and women—not to mention the European traders who were in direct competition with the Americans—regard these upstarts who had fought off British rule? The accounts of these adventurous travelers reveal how they and hundreds of other mariners and expatriates influenced the ways in which Americans defined themselves, thereby creating a genuinely brash national character—the "true Yankee." Readers who love history and stories of exploration on the high seas will devour this gripping tale. -- Eric Jay Dolan
A Historical Introduction
Author: John Fea
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Fea offers an even-handed primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title's question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. Readers on both sides of the issues will appreciate that this book occupies a middle ground, noting the good points and the less-nuanced arguments of both sides and leading us always back to the primary sources that our shared American history comprises.
Four British Folkways in America
Author: David Hackett Fischer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This fascinating book is the first volume in a projected cultural history of the United States, from the earliest English settlements to our own time. It is a history of American folkways as they have changed through time, and it argues a thesis about the importance for the United States of having been British in its cultural origins. While most people in the United States today have no British ancestors, they have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time. In this sense, nearly all Americans are "Albion's Seed," no matter what their ethnicity may be. The concluding section of this remarkable book explores the ways that regional cultures have continued to dominate national politics from 1789 to 1988, and still help to shape attitudes toward education, government, gender, and violence, on which differences between American regions are greater than between European nations.