A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony

Overview


The year 2000 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of A Little Commonwealth by Bancroft Prize-winning scholar John Demos. This groundbreaking study examines the family in the context of the colony founded by the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. Basing his work on physical artifacts, wills, estate inventories, and a variety of legal and official enactments, Demos portrays the family as a structure of roles and relationships, emphasizing those of husband and wife, parent and child, and master...
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A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony

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Overview


The year 2000 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of A Little Commonwealth by Bancroft Prize-winning scholar John Demos. This groundbreaking study examines the family in the context of the colony founded by the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower. Basing his work on physical artifacts, wills, estate inventories, and a variety of legal and official enactments, Demos portrays the family as a structure of roles and relationships, emphasizing those of husband and wife, parent and child, and master and servant. The book's most startling insights come from a reconsideration of commonly-held views of American Puritans and of the ways in which they dealt with one another. Demos concludes that Puritan "repression" was not as strongly directed against sexuality as against the expression of hostile and aggressive impulses, and he shows how this pattern reflected prevalent modes of family life and child-rearing. The result is an in-depth study of the ordinary life of a colonial community, located in the broader environment of seventeenth-century America.
Demos has provided a new foreword and a list of further reading for this second edition, which will offer a new generation of readers access to this classic study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195128901
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/9/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 527,887
  • Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.78 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

John Demos is Samuel Knight Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Entertaining Satan, winner of the Bancroft Prize, and The Unredeemed Capture

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Second Edition
Foreword to the First Edition
Introduction: An Historical Survey of Plymouth Colony 1
Pt. 1 The Physical Setting 19
Ch. 1 Housing 24
Ch. 2 Furnishings 36
Ch. 3 Clothing 52
Pt. 2 The Structure of the Household 59
Ch. 4 Membership 62
Ch. 5 Husbands and Wives 82
Ch. 6 Parents and Children 100
Ch. 7 Masters and Servants 107
Ch. 8 Wider Kin Connections 118
Pt. 3 Themes of Individual Development 127
Ch. 9 Infanacy and Childhood 131
Ch. 10 Coming of Age 145
Ch. 11 Later Years 171
Conclusion: The Family in Comparative Perspective 179
App Demographic Tables 191
Index 195
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