Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846 / Edition 1

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Overview

Using the concept of "classical republicanism" in his analysis, Kenneth Winn argues against the common view that the Mormon religion was an exceptional phenomenon representing a countercultural ideology fundamentally subversive to American society. Rather, he maintains, both the Saints and their enemies affirmed republican principles, but in radically different ways.

Winn identifies the 1830 founding of the Mormon church as a religious protest against the pervasive disorder plaguing antebellum America, attracting people who saw the libertarianism, religious pluralism, and market capitalism of Jacksonian America as threats to the Republic. While non-Mormons shared the perception that the Union was in danger, many saw the Mormons as one of the chief threats. General fear of Joseph Smith and his followers led to verbal and physical attacks on the Saints, which reinforced the Mormons' conviction that America had descended into anarchy. By 1846, violent opposition had driven Mormons to the uninhabited Great Salt Lake Basin.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[This book] is well researched and well written.

American Historical Review

[Winn's] ability to place Mormon aspirations within different intellectual, religious and social contexts . . . underscores the importance of his volume.

Canadian Review of American Studies

A useful contribution to our understanding of a singular people and their antagonists.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A study that must be read by all students of early Mormon history.

Illinois Historical Journal

Indispensable reading on early Mormon history.

Leonard Arrington

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807843000
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/1990
  • Series: Studies in Religion Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 0.67 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1. The Origins of Mormonism 6
2. The Book of Mormon as a Republican Document 18
3. Social Disorder and the Resurrection of Communal Republicanism among the Mormons 40
4. The Rise of Anti-Mormonism 63
5. Anti-Mormonism Becomes Violent 85
6. Republican Dissent in the Kingdom of God 106
7. Republican Virtue "Exterminated" in Missouri 129
8. Anti-Mormonism Reappears in Illinois 152
9. To Redeem the Nation 182
10. America the Corrupt 208
Notes 239
Bibliography 261
Index 277
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