Between Two Worlds: How the English Became Americans

Between Two Worlds: How the English Became Americans

by Malcolm Gaskill


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Between Two Worlds: How the English Became Americans by Malcolm Gaskill

In the 1600s, over 350,000 intrepid English men, women, and children migrated to America, leaving behind their homeland for an uncertain future. Whether they settled in Jamestown, Salem, or Barbados, these migrants—entrepreneurs, soldiers, and pilgrims alike—faced one incontrovertible truth: England was a very, very long way away.

In Between Two Worlds, celebrated historian Malcolm Gaskill tells the sweeping story of the English experience in America during the first century of colonization. Following a large and varied cast of visionaries and heretics, merchants and warriors, and slaves and rebels, Gaskill brilliantly illuminates the often traumatic challenges the settlers faced. The first waves sought to recreate the English way of life, even to recover a society that was vanishing at home. But they were thwarted at every turn by the perils of a strange continent, unaided by monarchs who first ignored then exploited them. As these colonists strove to leave their mark on the New World, they were forced—by hardship and hunger, by illness and infighting, and by bloody and desperate battles with Indians—to innovate and adapt or perish.

As later generations acclimated to the wilderness, they recognized that they had evolved into something distinct: no longer just the English in America, they were perhaps not even English at all. These men and women were among the first white Americans, and certainly the most prolific. And as Gaskill shows, in learning to live in an unforgiving world, they had begun a long and fateful journey toward rebellion and, finally, independence

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465011117
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/11/2014
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 867,085
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Malcolm Gaskill is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of East Anglia and the author of four books, including Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Gaskill lives near Cambridge, England.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Worlds Collide

I. PLANTERS, 1607–1640
1. Brave Heroic Minds
2. Earth’s Only Paradise
3. Each Man Shall Have His Share
4. The Vast and Furious Ocean
5. Full of Wild Beasts and Wild Men
6. Projects of No Fantasy
7. To Clearer Light and More Liberty
8. In Darkness and the Shadow of Death

II. SAINTS, 1640–1675
9. The Distracted Condition of My Dear Native Soil
10. Marching Manfully On
11. Devouring Caterpillars and Gnawing Worms
12. A Heap of Troubles and Confusion
13. How is Your Beauty Become Ashes?
14. Remembrance of an Exile in a Remote Wilderness
15. The Day of Trouble Is Near

III. WARRIORS, 1675–1692
16. Exquisite Torments and Most Inhumane Barbarities
17. A People Bred Up in This Country
18. Being a Constitution Within Themselves
19. Strange Creatures in America
20. These Dark Territories
Epilogue: New Worlds

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