KINDLE [A Reforming People]

  • Hardcover
  • 288
  • A Reforming People
  • David D. Hall
  • English
  • 18 July 2020
  • 9780679441175

David D. Hall ↠ 6 summary

A Reforming People free read ä 106 free download â PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ David D. Hall David D. Hall ↠ 6 summary S 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 soAs Puritans the colonists also hoped to exemplify a social ethics of euity peace and the common good In a case study of a single town Hall fo. I arrived at this book after reading Marilynne Robinson s What Are We Doing Here In her speeches and essays Robinson consistently contends that Calvinists and Puritans deserve a new hearing in the twenty first century as they their theology and their ideas have been thoroughly misrepresented over the last four hundred years After all HL Mencken famously defined Puritanism as the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happyMencken s thesis was the one presented to me in my history classes In my junior year APUSH class we had a memorable Puritan Day where our history teacher had us dress up in bland black or grey garb forced us to memorize Bible or other religious text verses and was uncompromisingly and unreasonably harsh Puritan became synonymous with authoritarian fundamentalist and superstitious This perspective was the one I came to accept and internalized as received wisdom from on highThings began to change a few years later In college I was introduced to the writings and teachings of Jonathan Edwards and other Puritan writers To be sure the Puritans were exacting people who held to high standards for morality and living At the same time as Edwards demonstrated they were capable and indeed prone to startlingly beautiful meditations on the nature of reality and aesthetics For example Edwards writes that God is constantly involved in the intimate act of creation such that the image constantly renewed by new successive rays is no numerically the same than if it were by some artist put on anew with a pencil and the colors constantly vanishing as fast as put on The image that exists this moment is not at all derived from the image which existed the last preceding moment So it s fair to say that I came to A Reforming People hoping to gain further insights into Puritanism and precisely who was correct my high school APUSH teacherHL Mencken or Marilynne RobinsonI m siding with Robinson but I m also biased so whatever Hall painstakingly argues that New England Puritanism contrary to modern historians had a liberal and pragmatic side when it came to political governance and social ethics Specifically the 1641 Massachusetts Charter of Liberties was an astonishingly liberal document First it renounced the law of primogeniture whereby the eldest son would inherit the entire estate and instead apportioned inheritances such that the eldest son would receive double what the other children would but also permitted daughters to inherit property Second it drastically reduced the number of capital crimes from what was then prevailing in England For example stealing was a capital punishment in England at the time but in New England the punishment was restitution Further the Puritans only permitted capital punishments upon the testimony of 2 3 witnesses and even then for many crimes such as adultery capital punishments were rarely or never carried out even upon a finding of guilt Finally many congregations released congregants from compulsory tithing which was reuired in the Church of England and specifically set aside donations and land grants to impoverished members of their communities To the Puritans such practices were mandated by Scripture and its commands for charity love and euityTo be fair this is not to say that the Puritans would have recognized or accepted modern American invocations of liberty or that we would necessarily have felt at home in 17th century New England The Puritan colonists project was a political one but fundamentally it was a religious one to inaugurate the Kingdom of God and permit true practice of purified religion and specifically their Congregational Reformed practice of Protestantism But at the same time I think there s much to learn from the Puritans attempt to create a beautiful and harmonious society and that we should perhaps recognize that we have inherited much good from New England Puritans Hall perhaps put it best at the end of the book Seventeenth century New England becomes a place where ever present greed and self interest were mediated and sometimes held in check by ethical values and social practices As well it was a place where the figure of the saint became blurred and several versions of status participation and community met and coexisted saints and strangers full church members and those who entered via baptism the core group that came initially but also those who arrived without this affiliation outliers and those with house lots in the historic center the better off and the people who needed economic assistance freeman and nonfreemen women and men town and gown officers of the church and officers of the town all of them wanting fairness and euity though not always able to live up to these rules Would that the workings of capitalism and the diminished form of democracy in twenty first century America gave us as much

read & download A Reforming PeopleA Reforming People

A Reforming People free read ä 106 free download â PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ David D. Hall David D. Hall ↠ 6 summary A revelatory 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 Distinguished historian David D Hall 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” a. Liked it I wasn t completely enthralled the whole time but Hall has an interesting argument here Basically he is saying that the Puritans of early New England were very conservative by our standards but they were really not the excessively theocratic authoritarian controlling prigs that we tend to accuse them of being To Hall they were the most advanced reformers of the Anglo Colonial world They instituted reforms in Massachusetts and Connecticut and Rhode Island that people talked about instituting in England but never managed to implement Of course part of this was because towns were spread out and it was hard to exercise control over them and they had a lot of land to give away so local government ended up pretty democratic pretty fast But just because it was all wrapped up in conditions on the ground doesn t mean the Puritans weren t reformers I was getting a little bored with the book until Hall caught my attention again in the last chapter which is a case study of sorts of Cambridge Mass That was a little particular and I thought interesting

free download â PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ David D. Hall

A Reforming People free read ä 106 free download â PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ David D. Hall David D. Hall ↠ 6 summary Llows 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 Hall demonstrates exactly the opposite Here we watch the colonists as they insist on aligning institutions and social practice with euity and libertyA stunning re evaluation of the earliest moments of New England’s history revealing the colonists to be the most effective and daring reformers of their d. Not the most accessible monograph David Hall nevertheless clearly achieves his aim in convincing the reader that contrary to popular belief propagated in part by authors of fiction in the 19th and 20th centuries the Puritans were not at all authoritarian in fact their civil government and religious institutions were extremely participatory They accomplished much of the reform only dreamed of in contemporary England and in examining their society we need to look at it through a contemporary rather than modern context