These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace: The Struggle for Property and Power in Early New Jersey / Edition 1by Brendan McConville
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,… See more details below
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.
- University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations|
|A Note on Terms|
|Introduction: These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peace||1|
|2||The Enlightenment's First Offensive: The Eighteenth-Century Proprietors and the Intellectual Origins of Their Land Claims||28|
|3||Communities and Cultures: A Portrait||47|
|4||The Faith of the People||67|
|5||Snakes and Ladders: The Competition for New Jersey's Resources||90|
|6||A Cage without Bars: Anglicization and the Breakdown of Order, 1730-1745||107|
|7||The People against the Government||137|
|8||The Problem with Property||164|
|9||Deference and Defiance: A Tale of Two Men||177|
|10||The Problems of Social Healing||202|
|Pt. 3||To the Revolution|
|11||Refinement and Resentment: The Transformations of the 1760s||223|
|12||"These Audacious Insults to Government": From Rioters to Revolutionaries||238|
|Essay on Manuscript Sources||307|
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