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Author Hall, David D

Title A reforming people : Puritanism and the transformation of public life in New England / David D. Hall

Publ Info New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
Edition First edition
 Bryant Main Stacks  F7 .H227 2011    DUE 10-05-14
 CCE Main Collection  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
 CCRI-Prov.  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
 RIC  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
 RWU Main Library  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
 Salve Main Collection  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
 Wheaton Stacks  F7 .H227 2011    AVAILABLE
Descript xvii, 255 pages ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents Arbitrary or democraticall : the making of colony governments -- Land, taxes, and participation : the making of town governments -- Godly rule: empowering the saints -- An equitable society: ethics, the law, and authority -- Already in heaven? : church and community in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Note This work is an account of the aspirations and accomplishments of the people who founded the New England colonies, comparing the reforms they enacted with those attempted in England during the period of the English Revolution. The author, a historian looks afresh at how the colonists set up churches, civil governments, and methods for distributing land. Bringing with them a deep fear of arbitrary, unlimited authority grounded in either church or state, these settlers based their churches on the participation of laypeople and insisted on consent as a premise of all civil governance. Encouraging broad participation and relying on the vigorous use of petitioning, they also transformed civil and criminal law and the workings of courts. The outcome was a civil society far less authoritarian and hierarchical than was customary in their age, indeed, a society so advanced that a few dared to describe it as "democratical." They were well ahead of their time in doing so. As Puritans, the colonists also hoped to exemplify a social ethics of equity, peace, and the common good. In a case study of a single town, the author follows a minister as he encourages the townspeople to live up to these high standards in their politics. This is a book that challenges us to discard long standing stereotypes of the Puritans as temperamentally authoritarian and their leadership as despotic. The author demonstrates exactly the opposite. Here, we watch the colonists as they insist on aligning institutions and social practice with equity and liberty. This re-evaluation of the earliest moments of New England's history, reveals the colonists to be the most effective and daring reformers of their day
LC subject New England -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
New England -- Politics and government -- To 1775
New England -- Church history -- 17th century
Puritans -- New England -- History -- 17th century
Local government -- New England -- History -- 17th century
Religion and politics -- New England -- History -- 17th century
ISBN 9780679441175