Godly Republicanism

Godly Republicanism

Puritans, Pilgrims, and A City on A Hill

eBook - 2012
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Harvard University Press

Puritans did not find a life free from tyranny in the New World-they created it there. Massachusetts emerged a republic as they hammered out a vision of popular participation and limited government in church and state, spurred by Plymouth Pilgrims. Godly Republicanism underscores how pathbreaking yet rooted in puritanism's history the project was.

Michael Winship takes us first to England, where he uncovers the roots of the puritans' republican ideals in the aspirations and struggles of Elizabethan Presbyterians. Faced with the twin tyrannies of Catholicism and the crown, Presbyterians turned to the ancient New Testament churches for guidance. What they discovered there-whether it existed or not-was a republican structure that suggested better models for governing than monarchy.

The puritans took their ideals to Massachusetts, but they did not forge their godly republic alone. In this book, for the first time, the separatists' contentious, creative interaction with the puritans is given its due. Winship looks at the emergence of separatism and puritanism from shared origins in Elizabethan England, considers their split, and narrates the story of their reunion in Massachusetts. Out of the encounter between the separatist Plymouth Pilgrims and the puritans of Massachusetts Bay arose Massachusetts Congregationalism.


Puritans did not find a life free from tyranny in the New World—they created it there. Massachusetts emerged a republic as they hammered out a vision of popular participation and limited government in church and state, spurred by Plymouth Pilgrims. Godly Republicanism underscores how pathbreaking yet rooted in puritanism’s history the project was.

Book News
Winship (history, U. of Georgia) explores the government and ecclesiastical republicanism, created by the Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1630s, of twinned religious and civic institutions, which were both formed in ways that were intended to invest greater power in, respectively, the laity and the people. He begins his narrative in England, presenting chapters examining the role of Elizabethan radical puritans in connecting their republican church forms to the project of national reformation, the common origins of Elizabethan separatism and Presbyterianism and their later divergence in forms of church governance, and the responses of the separatists and the Presbyterians to the hostility of James I. He then crosses the Atlantic and discusses the long-term impact of the separatist Plymouth colony on religious and civic governance in Massachusetts, before returning to England and considering the influence of this Atlantic republican tradition on mid-17th-century English religious and political upheavals. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2012
ISBN: 9780674068445
0674068440
9780674065055
0674065050
9780674063853
0674063856
Characteristics: 1 online resource (339 pages)

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