9780393035841 / 0393035840

Creating the Commonwealth: The Economic Culture of Puritan New England


Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company



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About the book:

This ambitious history offers a sweeping reinterpretation of America's cultural roots in the colonial past.

Marshaling rich new evidence, Innes focuses on enterprise in early New England and its relation to the prevailing culture of Puritanism. He finds in our beginnings at Massachusetts Bay a fierce devotion to God that fed a social commitment to engage the world and prosper. The result was a thriving capitalism and a diminishing devotion which alarmed Puritan leaders in the late seventeenth century. While telling the story of Massachusetts Bay's transformation from a resource-poor perch on the continent to an active international economy, Innes supplies wonderful detail on early New England's ironworks, fisheries, shipyards, and the "Scums and dreggs" who provided the labor for Puritan enterprise.

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