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The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture, 1570-1700

The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture, 1570-1700 (Paperback)

£42.50
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Synopsis

In this wide-ranging study Stephen Foster explores Puritanism in England and America from its roots in the Elizabethan era to the end of the seventeenth century. Focusing on Puritanism as a cultural and political phenomenon as well as a religious movement, Foster addresses parallel developments on both sides of the Atlantic and firmly embeds New England Puritanism within its English context. He provides not only an elaborate critque of current interpretations of Puritan ideology but also an original and insightful portrayal of its dynamism. According to Foster, Puritanism represented a loose and incomplete alliance of progressive Protestants, lay and clerical, aristocratic and humble, who never decided whether they were the vanguard or the remnant. Indeed, in Foster's analysis, changes in New England Puritanism after the first decades of settlement did not indicate secularization and decline but instead were part of a pattern of change, conflict, and accomodation that had begun in England. He views the Puritans' own claims of declension as partisan propositions in an internal controversy as old as the Puritan movement itself. The result of these stresses and adaptations, he argues, was continued vitality in American Puritanism during the second half of the seventeenth century. Foster draws insights from a broad range of souces in England and America, including sermons, diaries, spiritual autobiographies, and colony, town, and court records. Moreover, his presentation of the history of the English and American Puritan movements in tandem brings out the fatal flaws of the former as well as the modest but essential strengths of the latter. |Despite almost four centuries of black independent self-help enterprises, the agency of African Americans in attempting to forge their own economic liberation through business activities and entrepreneurship has remained noticeably absent from the historical record. Juliet Walker's award-winning book is the only source that provides a detailed study of the continuity, diversity, and multiplicity of independent self-help economic activities among African Americans. This new, updated edition divides the original work into two volumes. This first volume covers African American business history through the end of the Civil War and features the first comprehensive account of black business during the Civil War.

Stephen Foster, Presidential Research Professor of history at Northern Illinois University, is author of Their Solitary Way: The Puritan Social Ethic in the First Century of Settlement in New England and Notes from the Caroline Underground: Alexander Leighton, the Puritan Triumvirate, and the Laudian Reaction to Nonconformity.

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