Adapting to a New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake / Edition 1

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Overview

Often compared unfavorably with colonial New England, the early Chesapeake has been portrayed as irreligious, unstable, and violent. In this important new study, James Horn challenges this conventional view and looks across the Atlantic to assess the enduring influence of English attitudes, values, and behavior on the social and cultural evolution of the early Chesapeake. Using detailed local and regional studies to compare everyday life in English provincial society and the emergent societies of the Chesapeake Bay, Horn provides a richly textured picture of the immigrants' Old World backgrounds and their adjustment to life in America. Until the end of the seventeenth century, most settlers in Virginia and Maryland were born and raised in England, a factor of enormous consequence for social development in the two colonies. By stressing the vital social and cultural connections between England and the Chesapeake during this period, Horn places the development of early America in the context of a vibrant Anglophone transatlantic world and suggests a fundamental reinterpretation of New World society.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
James Horn's excellent history of English society in the seventeenth-century Chesapeake breathes new life into a historiography.

Journal of Southern History

A work of exceptional breadth, extensive research and reading, and skillful analysis.

William and Mary Quarterly

A splendid volume.

Journal of American History

[A]n important book: a synthesis of a generation's study of the 17th-century Chesapeake world fused with his own analytic contributions.

London Review of Books

[A] deeply researched, detailed, and nuanced portrait of the Chesapeake in the seventeenth century.

Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

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Product Details

Meet the Author

James Horn is director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library in Colonial Williamsburg.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Illustrations and Tables
Introduction 1
1 The English Context of Emigration 17
1 Contrast and Diversity: The Social Origins of Chesapeake Immigrants 19
2 English Landscapes 78
2 The Formation of Chesapeake Society 121
3 The Great Bay of Chesupioc 123
4 Settling the Land 161
3 Comparative Themes 201
5 The Social Web: Family, Kinship, and Community 203
6 Adam's Curse: Working Lives 251
7 House and Home: The Domestic Environment 293
8 Order and Disorder 334
9 Inner Worlds: Religion and Popular Belief 381
10 English Society in the New World 419
Index 439
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