These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace: The Struggle for Property and Power in Early New Jersey / Edition 1

These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace: The Struggle for Property and Power in Early New Jersey / Edition 1

by Brendan McConville
     
 

ISBN-10: 0812218590

ISBN-13: 9780812218596

Pub. Date: 10/28/2003

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.

During the century preceding the American Revolution, bitter conflicts raged in New Jersey over control of the land tenure system. This book examines how the struggle between yeoman farmers and landed gentry shaped public life in the colony. At once a cultural, political, and social history, it carefully delineates the beliefs of rioters and upholders of order,

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Overview

During the century preceding the American Revolution, bitter conflicts raged in New Jersey over control of the land tenure system. This book examines how the struggle between yeoman farmers and landed gentry shaped public life in the colony. At once a cultural, political, and social history, it carefully delineates the beliefs of rioters and upholders of order, both of whom wanted control over the land.

Brendan McConville describes how changes in provincial society—affecting politics and government, religious life, economic conditions, gender relations, and ethnic composition—led farmers to resort to violence as a means of settling property disputes. He examines the disagreements in light of competing conceptions of property held by separate landowning classes, differences in the legal and political traditions of British and Dutch colonists, and local conditions unique to New Jersey. He also considers the ways in which the lack of a shared perception of deference to authority among Puritan, Dutch, and multi-ethnic communities helped foster insurrection.

According to McConville, the social transformations brought into sharp focus by the agrarian unrest ultimately undermined imperial control and encouraged the creation of a new American identity. His book is a careful account of a colony that has seldom been seriously examined by colonial historians and a challenge to those scholars to rethink commonly accepted arguments about the development of the United States.

Winner of the Driscoll Prize from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812218596
Publisher:
University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
792,115
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
A Note on Terms
Abbreviations
Introduction: These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace1
Pt. 1Origins
1Violent Origins11
2The Enlightenment's First Offensive: The Eighteenth-Century Proprietors and the Intellectual Origins of Their Land Claims28
3Communities and Cultures: A Portrait47
4The Faith of the People67
5Snakes and Ladders: The Competition for New Jersey's Resources90
Pt. 2Conflict
6A Cage without Bars: Anglicization and the Breakdown of Order, 1730-1745107
7The People against the Government137
8The Problem with Property164
9Deference and Defiance: A Tale of Two Men177
10The Problems of Social Healing202
Pt. 3To the Revolution
11Refinement and Resentment: The Transformations of the 1760s223
12"These Audacious Insults to Government": From Rioters to Revolutionaries238
Notes257
Essay on Manuscript Sources307
Index311

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