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The Fathers of New England A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths   By: (1863-1943)

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First Page:

THE FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND

TEXTBOOK EDITION

THE CHRONICLES OF AMERICA SERIES ALLEN JOHNSON EDITOR

GERHARD R. LOMER CHARLES W. JEFFERYS ASSISTANT EDITORS

THE FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND

A CHRONICLE OF THE PURITAN COMMONWEALTHS BY CHARLES M. ANDREWS

[Illustration]

NEW HAVEN: YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS TORONTO: GLASGOW, BROOK & CO. LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD OXFORD: UNIVERSITY PRESS

Copyright, 1919, by Yale University Press

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

CONTENTS

I. THE COMING OF THE PILGRIMS Page 1

II. THE BAY COLONY " 21

III. COMPLETING THE WORK OF SETTLEMENT " 45

IV. EARLY NEW ENGLAND LIFE " 72

V. AN ATTEMPT AT COLONIAL UNION " 88

VI. WINNING THE CHARTERS " 100

VII. MASSACHUSETTS DEFIANT " 116

VIII. WARS WITH THE INDIANS " 129

IX. THE BAY COLONY DISCIPLINED " 147

X. THE ANDROS RÉGIME IN NEW ENGLAND " 166

XI. THE END OF AN ERA " 194

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE " 201

INDEX " 205

THE FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND

CHAPTER I

THE COMING OF THE PILGRIMS

The Pilgrims and Puritans, whose migration to the New World marks the beginning of permanent settlement in New England, were children of the same age as the enterprising and adventurous pioneers of England in Virginia, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. It was the age in which the foundations of the British Empire were being laid in the Western Continent. The "spacious times of great Elizabeth" had passed, but the new national spirit born of those times stirred within the English people. The Kingdom had enjoyed sixty years of domestic peace and prosperity, and Englishmen were eager to enter the lists for a share in the advantages which the New World offered to those who would venture therein. Both landowning and landholding classes, gentry and tenant farmers alike, were clamoring, the one for an increase of their landed estates, the other for freedom from the feudal restraints which still legally bound them. The land hunger of neither class could be satisfied in a narrow island where the law and the lawgivers were in favor of the maintenance of feudal rights. The expectations of all were aroused by visions of wealth from the El Dorados of the West, or of profit from commercial enterprises which appealed to the cupidity of capitalists and led to investments that promised speedy and ample returns. A desire to improve social conditions and to solve the problem of the poor and the vagrant, which had become acute since the dissolution of the monasteries, was arousing the authorities to deal with the pauper and to dispose of the criminal in such a way as to yield a profitable service to the kingdom. England was full of resolute men, sea dogs and soldiers of fortune, captains on the land as well as the sea, who in times of peace were seeking employment and profit and who needed an outlet for their energies. Some of these continued in the service of kings and princes in Europe; others conducted enterprises against the Spaniards in the West Indies and along the Spanish Main; while still others, such as John Smith and Miles Standish, became pioneers in the work of English colonization.

But more important than the promptings of land hunger and the desire for wealth and adventure was the call made by a social and religious movement which was but a phase of the general restlessness and popular discontent. The Reformation, in which this movement had its origin, was more than a revolt from the organization and doctrines of the mediæval church; it voiced the yearning of the middle classes for a position commensurate with their growing prominence in the national life. Though the feudal tenantry, given over to agriculture and bound by the conventions of feudal law, were still perpetuating many of the old customs, the towns were emancipating themselves from feudal control, and by means of their wealth and industrial activities were winning recognition as independent and largely self sufficing units... Continue reading book >>




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