A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of - download pdf or read online

By David D. Hall

ISBN-10: 080787311X

ISBN-13: 9780807873113

During this revelatory account of the folk who based the recent England colonies, historian David D. corridor compares the reforms they enacted with these tried in England through the interval of the English Revolution. Bringing with them a deep worry of arbitrary, limitless authority, those settlers dependent their church buildings at the participation of laypeople and insisted on "consent" as a premise of all civil governance. Puritans additionally remodeled civil and legal legislation and the workings of courts with the goal of building fairness. during this political and social historical past of the 5 New England colonies, corridor presents a masterful re-examination of the earliest moments of latest England's historical past, revealing the colonists to be the simplest and bold reformers in their day.

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Extra resources for A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England

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39 Otherwise, we run the risk of substituting modern usage for nuances of meaning and practice in the seventeenth century. 40 Re-entering the seventeenth century, we must be prepared for improvisation, uncertainty, and rhetorical excess. II The colonists brought some elements of this political culture with them to New England, but only some. Not only were their aspirations for religion at odds with how the Church of England was organized, they had become wary of the Crown and the policies it was pursuing.

Early and late, some were also insisting on rotation in office. The starting point for these disputes was the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, which laid out a structure of governance based on a “General Court” of freemen (stockholders, who in 1629 numbered about 125), a smaller group of eighteen “Assistants” to be elected out of the freemen, and a governor and deputy governor. As was typical of such charters, it specified four meetings a year of the General Court, one of them for the purpose of electing officers and the others for doing Company business.

For many English people, the most deeply felt political principle may have been the rule of law, an aspect of the “ancient liberties” much extolled by Edward Coke, the great jurist of the day and member of Parliament during these early decades. 25 Most of his contemporaries understood the law as protecting their bodies and their property unless the state had the warrant of law and the consent of Parliament to tax or imprison them. So both houses of Parliament asserted in the Petition of Right, directed at Charles I, and in “The Form of an Apology and Satisfaction” (1604), directed at his father, James.

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A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England by David D. Hall


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