I worked on the English Puritan
case for many years, and couldn't have done the other cases, too, especially where many or most references are in languages besides English.
The American Dream, which evolved out of its author's attempt to trace the history of our nation's patriotism, is organized in rough chronological order--from the English Puritans
whose Biblical vision inspired a struggle to construct what Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop called a "city upon a hill" to contemporary citizens who yearn for an effortless existence.
For the New English Puritans
, it served as a sign of spiritual grace, or "sanctification"; for colonial and early national Americans, it helped to rationalize "civilized" claims to lands inhabited by Native Americans; for the American Revolutionaries, it served as part of the constellation of virtues that supposedly distinguished them from corrupted Britons.
The English Puritans
, in promoting their own cause, thus reproduce an essential feature of the Spanish apologetic for empire.
As a typical Victorian, Landseer shared many Victorian prejudices, including an obsession with the English Puritans
as ridiculous figures of fun," he writes.
The range of differences within the governing coalition of magistrates and ministers, of differences that reached back into the class relations and political tactics of earlier generations of English Puritans
, has begun to be appreciated.
Anyone who has not encountered the writings of the English Puritans
before will be helped by the background given in the short introduction, as well as by the thumb-nail sketches of the writers prefixed to each chapter.
By 1640, 20,000 English Puritans
had emigrated to the Bay Colony; Massachusetts residents created two offshoot colonies, Connecticut and Rhode Island; land-hungry farmers founded over thirty towns; Harvard College and a public school system were established; and the region no longer looked like a remote outpost of English civilization struggling to survive in a forbidding environment: in ten years it had become Puritan New England -- a prosperous society built on piety and plows.
No Christians, since the early ages, or only perhaps the English Puritans
in modern times, have ever stood by their Faith as the Moslem do by theirs, - believing it wholly, fronting Time with it, and Eternity with it.
Since the publication of Jonas Barish's seminal The Anti-theatrical Prejudice in 1981, it has become a truism in Renaissance studies that English Puritans
despised English theater.
Adapted by Hugh Whitemore from his hit 1987 Broadway play, this is the wry story of the gay English mathematician who broke the Germans' supposedly unbreakable Enigma code during World War II, only to be confronted with his own personal battle against prissy English puritans
American Presbyterians, largely ethnic Scots and Scotslrish, had a polity and religious platform distinct from the Congregationalists, who were the descendants of English Puritans
In addition, elite women who did choose to breastfeed themselves, as an increasing number did among seventeenth-century English Puritans
, could rely on medical advice books in the absence of personal knowledge.
A large group of English Puritans
arrived in New England in 1630.
Delbanco's scholarship itself speaks to this issue, for in his understanding of how and why English Puritans
became American, he posits a society much less self-confident--indeed, less self-cognizant--than Bercovitch's description allows.