Catalogue


These daring disturbers of the public peace : the struggle for property and power in early New Jersey /
Brendan McConville.
imprint
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1999.
description
xiv, 318 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0801433894 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1999.
isbn
0801433894 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
3054126
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Brendan McConville is Associate Professor of History at Binghamton University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-04:
McConville (SUNY Binghamton) offers a provocative reinterpretation of early US political culture. He regards yeoman squatters' refusal to pay quitrents and their challenge to the land titles claimed by East Jersey proprietors as an effective grassroots movement that led ultimately to rejection of elites' legitimacy as arbiters of justice. How and why the yeomanry in this little-populated colony could successfully stymie the forces of order and how this relates to the coming of the American Revolution is a fascinating story. McConville offers a fresh (and occasionally brash) reassessment of the question of transition to capitalism, Anglicization, and the meaning of deference in pre-Revolutionary America. His analysis of Governor Jonathan Belcher's efforts to calm the waters in New Jersey, in part by favoring squatter interests over those of the Colonial grandees, is interesting and plausible, as is his discussion of the links between land disputes and the Great Awakening. His description of the limits (and resonance) of deference in a multiethnic political culture is fascinating. McConville seems to have read every possible source, and he finds patterns in the evidence that have eluded previous scholars. There is no book on early US history quite like this. A major achievement. Graduate, faculty. M. J. Birkner; Gettysburg College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
During the century preceding the American Revolution, bitter conflicts raged in New Jersey over control of the land tenure system. This book examines how the struggle between yeoman farmers and landed gentry shaped public life in the colony. At once a cultural, political, and social history, it carefully delineates the beliefs of rioters and upholders of order, both of whom wanted control over land. Brendan J. McConville describes how changes in provincial society--affecting politics and government, religious life, economic conditions, gender relations, and ethnic composition--led farmers to resort to violence as a means of settling property disputes. He examines the disagreements in light of competing conceptions of property held by separate landowning classes, differences in the legal and political traditions of British and Dutch colonists, and local conditions unique to New Jersey. He also considers the ways in which the lack of a shared perception of deference among Puritan, Dutch, and multi-ethnic farmers helped foster insurrection. According to McConville, the social transformations brought into sharp focus by the agrarian unrest ultimately undermined imperial control and encouraged the creation of a new American identity. His book--the recipient of the Driscoll Prize from the New Jersey Historical Commission prior to its publication--is an eagerly awaited account of a colony that has seldom been seriously examined by colonial historians and a challenge to those scholars to rethink commonly accepted arguments about the development of the United States.
Unpaid Annotation
Brendan J. McConville describes how changes in provincial society -- affecting politics and government, religious life, economic conditions, gender relations, and ethnic composition -- led farmers to resort to violence as a means of settling property disputes. He examines the disagreements in light of competing conceptions of property held by separate landowning classes, differences in the legal and political traditions of British and Dutch colonists, and local conditions unique to New Jersey. He also considers the ways in which the lack of a shared perception of deference among Puritan, Dutch, and multi-ethnic farmers helped foster insurrection.According to McConville, the social transformations brought into sharp focus by the agrarian unrest ultimately undermined imperial control and encouraged the creation of a new American identity. His book -- the recipient of the Driscoll Prize from the New Jersey Historical Commission prior to its publication -- is an eagerly awaited account of a colony that has seldom been seriously examined by colonial historians and a challenge to those scholars to rethink commonly accepted arguments abou
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
A Note on Termsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introduction: These Daring Disturbers of the Public Peacep. 1
Origins
Violent Originsp. 11
The Problems of the Lawp. 12
In Search of Freeholds, In Search of Estatesp. 20
An Engine of Discontentp. 27
The Enlightenment's First Offensive: The Eighteenth-Century Proprietors and the Intellectual Origins of Their Land Claimsp. 28
The New Knowledgep. 28
The Enlightenment's First Offensivep. 31
The Failed Aristocratp. 41
The Burgess Shalesp. 45
Communities and Cultures: A Portraitp. 47
Ethnodeferencep. 47
New Jersey's New Englandp. 50
In Dutch Waysp. 58
Mixed Multitudesp. 64
The Faith of the Peoplep. 67
The Rise of the Anglican Churchp. 68
A Change in Sentimentsp. 73
Anxiety Ennobledp. 79
The Message Appliedp. 87
Snakes and Ladders: The Competition for New Jersey's Resourcesp. 90
Population Growthp. 90
A New World of Woodp. 94
Fetters of Ironp. 98
Snakes and Laddersp. 103
Conflict
A Cage without Bars: Anglicization and the Breakdown of Order, 1730-1745p. 107
The Cage: Royal Institutions and Provincial Societyp. 107
Patronage and the Rise of Factionp. 111
Anglicization Revisitedp. 116
The People Come Out of Doorsp. 120
Gender, Ethnicity, and Popular Powerp. 124
Momentous Decisionsp. 129
The People against the Governmentp. 137
The Rise of the Committeesp. 138
The Coalitionp. 144
The People against the Governmentp. 156
A Colony Asunderp. 163
The Problem with Propertyp. 164
Royal Authority and Proprietary Propertyp. 164
Just Contract and Laborp. 167
Natural Lawp. 170
The Social Contractp. 171
Agrarian Unrest in Late Colonial Americap. 174
Deference and Defiance: A Tale of Two Menp. 177
Reality and Counterrealityp. 178
Ethnodeference Restoredp. 180
Amos Roberts and the Plebeianization of the Clubmen's Movementp. 187
Bitter Tears: Gender and Propertyp. 196
The End of the Riotsp. 200
The Problems of Social Healingp. 202
Contested Electionsp. 202
Trial by Jury in a Troubled Countyp. 206
The Minister's Wifep. 209
From Kinship to Contractp. 214
Popular Royalismp. 217
To the Revolution
Refinement and Resentment: The Transformations of the 1760sp. 223
A Gentleman's Worldp. 223
Rituals of Powerp. 228
The People Besiegedp. 232
"These Audacious Insults to Government": From Rioters to Revolutionariesp. 238
A Whig Riot, A Land Riotp. 239
The Radicalization of Abraham Clarkp. 245
Postscript: The Squatters' Republicp. 250
Notesp. 257
Essay on Manuscript Sourcesp. 307
Indexp. 311
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem