From Puritan To Yankee / Edition 1

From Puritan To Yankee / Edition 1

by Richard Lyman Bushman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674325516

ISBN-13: 9780674325517

Pub. Date: 09/22/2005

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

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674325517
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/22/2005
Series:
Center for the Study of the History of Liberty in America Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
1,265,170
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)

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

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