I read it anyway on the advice of people who kept telling me it explains everything about America.
And it sort of does. Different parts of the country were settled by very different groups of Englishmen with different regional backgrounds, religions, social classes, and philosophies. The colonization process essentially extracted a single stratum of English society, isolated it from all the others, and then plunked it down on its own somewhere in the Eastern US. I used to play Alpha Centauria computer game about the colonization of its namesake star system.
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One of the dynamics that made it so interesting was its backstory, where a Puerto Rican survivalist, an African plutocrat, and other colorful characters organized their own colonial expeditions and competed to seize territory and resources.
You got to explore not only the settlement of a new world, here the settlement of a new world by societies dominated by extreme founder effects. What kind of weird pathologies and wonderful innovations do you get when a group of overly romantic Scottish environmentalists is allowed to develop on its own trajectory free of all non-overly-romantic-Scottish-environmentalist influences?
Fischer describes four of these migrations: I hear about these people every Thanksgiving, then never think about them again for the next days. They were a Calvinist sect that dissented against the Church of England and followed their own brand of dour, industrious, fun-hating Christianity. Most of them were from East Anglia, the part of England just northeast of London. I knew about the Mayflower, I knew about the black hats and silly shoes, I even knew about the time Squanto threatened to release a bioweapon buried under Plymouth Rock that would bring about the apocalypse.
Much like eg Unitarians More info, the Puritans were a religious group that drew disproportionately from the most educated and education-obsessed parts of the English populace.
Literacy among immigrants to Massachusetts was twice as high as the English average, and in an age when the vast majority of Europeans were farmers most immigrants to Massachusetts were skilled craftsmen or scholars. The Puritans tried to import African slaves, but they all died of the cold. The average family size go here Waltham, Massachusetts in the s was 9.
Everyone was compelled by law to live in families. Town officials would search the town for single people and, if found, order them to join a family; if they refused, they were sent to jail.
Some Puritans took pride in their learning by giving their children obscure Biblical names they would expect nobody else to have heard of, like Mahershalalhasbaz. Still others chose Biblical words completely at random and named their children things like Maybe or Notwithstanding.
Along with the famous scarlet A for adultery, Puritans could be forced to wear a B for blasphemy, C for counterfeiting, D for drunkenness, and so on. Wasting time in Massachusetts was literally a criminal offense, listed in the law code, and several people were in fact prosecuted for it.
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote of Massachusetts Puritanism: A typical Massachusetts week would begin in the church, which doubled as the town meeting hall. Visit web page were no decorations except a giant staring eye on the pulpit to remind churchgoers that God was watching them.
Townspeople would stand up before their and declare their shame and misdeeds, sometimes being forced to literally crawl before the other worshippers begging for forgiveness.
THen the minister would give two two-hour sermons back to back. The entire affair would take up to six hours, and the church was unheated for some reason they stored all their gunpowder there, so no one was allowed to light a fireand this was Massachusetts, and it was How To Write A Book Review Junior High in those days than it is now, so that during winter some people would literally lose fingers to frostbite Fischer: Everyone would stand there with their guns they were legally required to bring guns, in case Indians attacked during the sermon and hear about how they were going to Hell, all while the giant staring eye looked at them.
So life as a Puritan was pretty terrible. On the other hand, their society was impressively well-ordered. Teenage pregnancy rates were the lowest in the Western world and in some areas literally zero. Murder rates were half those in other American colonies. Government was conducted through town meetings in which everyone had a say. Women had more equality than in most parts of the world, and domestic abuse was punished brutally. In some ways the Puritans seem to have taken the classic dystopian bargain — give up all freedom and individuality and art, and you can have a perfect society without crime or violence or inequality.
That was going too far. The Massachusetts Puritans fled England in the s partly How To Write A Book Review Junior High the king and nobles were oppressing them.
In the s, English Puritans under Oliver Cromwell rebelled, took over the government, and killed the king. The nobles not unreasonably here looking to get the heck out.
Virginia had been kind of a wreck ever since most of the original Jamestown settlers had mostly died of disease. Governor William Berkeley, a noble himself, decided the colony could reinvent itself as a destination for refugee nobles, and told them it would do everything possible to help them maintain the position of oppressive supremacy to which they were accustomed.
The British nobility was sold. They were overwhelming Anglican, mostly from agrarian southern How To Write A Book Review Junior High, and all related to each other in the incestuous way of nobility everywhere: Some of these people came willingly on a system where their master paid their passage over and they would be free after a certain number of years; others were sent by the courts as punishments; still others were just plain kidnapped.
The gender ratio was 4: Needless to say, these people came from a very different stratum than their masters or the Puritans. People who came to Virginia mostly died. This web page died of malaria, typhoid fever, amoebiasis, and dysentery.
Unlike in New England, where Europeans were better adapted to the cold climate than Africans, in Virginia it was Europeans who had the higher disease-related mortality rate. The Virginians tried their best to oppress white people. The depths to which they sank in trying to oppress white people almost boggle the imagination.
Virginian aristocrats would rape their own female servantsthen add a penalty term on to their indenture for becoming pregnant. That is an impressive level of chutzpah. But despite these efforts, eventually all the white people either died, or became too sluggish to be useful, or worst of all just finished up their indentures and became legally free. The aristocrats started importing black slaves as per the model that had sprung up in the Caribbean, and so the stage was set for the antebellum South we read about in history classes.
Virginian cavalier speech patterns sound a lot like modern African-American dialects. Three-quarters of 17th-century Virginian children lost at least one parent before turning Instead, the unit of settlement was the plantation, Trigonometry Essay Writers Site consisted of an aristocratic planter, his wife and family, his servants, his slaves, and a bunch of guests who hung around and mooched off him in accordance with the ancient custom of hospitality.
God keep us from both! Virginian recreation mostly revolved around hunting and bloodsports. Thus, every red-blooded male in Virginia was permitted to slaughter some animal or other, and the size of his victim was proportioned to his social rank. The planter took it personally and sent his [relations] and ordered them to nail up the doors and windows of all the churches in which Kay preached. Originally condescension was supposed to be a polite way of showing respect those who were socially inferior to you; our modern use of the term probably says a lot about what Virginians actually did with it.
In a lot of ways, Virginia was the opposite of Massachusetts. Their homicide rate was sky-high, and people were actively encouraged to respond to slights against their honor with duels for the rich and violence for the poor. Their cuisine focused on gigantic sumptuous feasts of animals killed in horrible ways. There were no witchcraft trials, but there were people who were fined for disrupting the peace by accusing their neighbors of witchcraft.
Their church sermons were twenty minutes long on the dot. The Puritans naturally thought of the Virginians as completely lawless reprobate sinners, but this is not entirely true.
Virginian church sermons might have been twenty minutes long, but Virginian ballroom dance lessons could last nine hours. They would encourage and reward children for being loud and temperamental, on the grounds that this indicated a strong personality and having a strong personality was fitting of a noble. When this worked, it worked really How To Write A Book Review Junior High — witness natural leaders and self-driven polymaths like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
More often it failed catastrophically — the rate of sex predation and rape in Virginia was at least as high as anywhere else in North America. The Virginian Cavaliers had an obsession with liberty, but needless to say it was not exactly a sort of liberty of which the ACLU would approve. see more
I once heard someone argue against libertarians like so: If we had to work, we would be subject to the whim of bosses. The Virginians took this idea and ran with it — in the wrong direction. Needless to say, this conception of freedom required first indentured servitude and later slavery to make it work, but the Virginians never claimed that the servants or slaves were free. Freedom, like wealth, was properly distributed according to rank; nobles had as much as they wanted, the middle-class enough to get by on, and everyone else none at all.
And a Virginian noble would have gone to his grave insisting that a civilization without slavery could never have citizens who were truly free. Where the Puritans seem like a dystopian caricature of virtue and the Cavaliers like link dystopian caricature of vice, the Quakers just seem ordinary.
He believed people were basically good and had an Inner Light that connected them directly to God without a need for priesthood, ritual, Bible study, or self-denial; mostly people just needed to listen to their consciences and be nice. Since everyone was equal before God, there was no point in holding up distinctions between lords and commoners: And since the Quakers were among the most persecuted sects at the time, they developed an insistence on tolerance and freedom of religion which unlike the Puritans they stuck to even when shifting fortunes put them on top.
They believed in pacificism, equality of the sexes, racial harmony, and a bunch of other things which seem pretty hippy-ish even today let alone in Born to the nobility, Penn distinguished himself early on as a military officer; he was known for beating legendary duelists in single combat and then How To Write A Book Review Junior High their lives with sermons about how murder was wrong.
He gradually started having mystical visions, quit the military, and converted to Quakerism. Upon his release the King liked him so much that he gave him a large chunk of the Eastern United States on a flimsy pretext of repaying a family debt.
His recruits — about 20, people in total — http://cocktail24.info/blog/thesis-on-management-pdf.php Quakers from the north of England, many of them minor merchants and traders. They disproportionately included the Britons of Norse descent common in that region, who formed a separate stratum and had never really gotten along with the rest of the British population.
They were joined by several German sects close enough to Quakers that they felt at home there; these became the ancestors of among other groups the How To Write A Book Review Junior High Dutch, Amish, and Mennonites.
In a gang of pirates stole a ship in Philadelphia and went up and down the Delaware River stealing and plundering.
The Quakers got in a heated but brotherly debate about whether it was morally permissible to use violence to stop them.
When the government finally decided to take action, contrarian minister George Keith dissented and caused a major schism in the faith. Fischer argues that the Quaker ban on military activity within their territory would have doomed them in most other American regions, but by extreme good luck the Indians in the Delaware Valley were almost as peaceful as the Quakers.
Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey + Some Junior High Fanfiction
As usual, at least some credit goes to William Penn, who taught himself Algonquin so he could negotiate with the Indians in their own language. But they were such prudes about sex that even the Puritans thought they went too far.