Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill

Godly Republicanism: Puritans, Pilgrims, and a City on a Hill

by Michael P. Winship


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Puritans did not find a life free from tyranny in the New World-they created it there. Massachusetts emerged a republic as they hammered out a vision of popular participation and limited government in church and state, spurred by Plymouth Pilgrims. Godly Republicanism underscores how pathbreaking yet rooted in puritanism's history the project was.

Michael Winship takes us first to England, where he uncovers the roots of the puritans' republican ideals in the aspirations and struggles of Elizabethan Presbyterians. Faced with the twin tyrannies of Catholicism and the crown, Presbyterians turned to the ancient New Testament churches for guidance. What they discovered there-whether it existed or not-was a republican structure that suggested better models for governing than monarchy.

The puritans took their ideals to Massachusetts, but they did not forge their godly republic alone. In this book, for the first time, the separatists' contentious, creative interaction with the puritans is given its due. Winship looks at the emergence of separatism and puritanism from shared origins in Elizabethan England, considers their split, and narrates the story of their reunion in Massachusetts. Out of the encounter between the separatist Plymouth Pilgrims and the puritans of Massachusetts Bay arose Massachusetts Congregationalism.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674063853
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/16/2012
Pages: 350
Sales rank: 969,706
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Michael P. Winship is E. Merton Coulter Professor of History at the University of Georgia.

Table of Contents

Introduction: An Old Man's Tears for Godly Republicanism 1

l The Rise and Bleeding Fall of Elizabethan Godly Republicanism 13

2 The Separatist Beginnings of Elizabethan Congregationalism and Presbyterianism 39

3 James I and a New Crisis of Antichristian Power 67

4 The Triumphs and Trials of the Lord's Free People 89

5 Christian Liberty at Plymouth Plantation 111

6 Separatism at Salem? 134

7 The Appeal of Massachusetts Congregationalism 159

8 Designing a Godly Republic 183

9 A City on a Hill 206

10 Godly Republicanism's Apocalypse 233

Note on Usage 251

Notes 253

Acknowledgments 331

Index 333

What People are Saying About This

Peter Lake

Equally at home on either side of the Atlantic, this is trans-oceanic history at its best. Winship has produced a novel account of the origins of New England congregationalism. He links the fields of English and American puritan studies with facility and authority and shows the crucial role of separatism in establishing the nature of New England puritanism. He also has important things to say about the politics of radical puritanism in England and the controverted question of English republicanism. This wonderful book will be required reading not merely for students and scholars of colonial America but also for anyone interested in the religious and political history of early modern England.
Peter Lake, Vanderbilt University

Mark A. Peterson

A fresh take on a story that historians of American puritanism thought they knew well. Winship reminds readers of the extraordinary accomplishments of Massachusetts' founders in fulfilling the anti-hierarchical dreams of the puritan movement, achieving a set of religious and social reforms in America that were ultimately stymied in England. This is an important book, the work of a mature and confident scholar, whose mastery of the source material on puritanism in England and America is unmatched.
Mark A. Peterson, University of California, Berkeley

Francis J. Bremer

A stimulating and provocative new analysis of puritan views on godly government of church and state and the significance of these beliefs for English and American history.
Francis J. Bremer, Millersville University

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