Transformation of the English cultural ethos in colonial America : Maryland, 1634-1720 /
Michal J. Rozbicki.
Lanham, MD : University Press of America, c1988.
226 p.
0819170488 (alk. paper)
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Lanham, MD : University Press of America, c1988.
0819170488 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1989-03:
Rozbicki (University of Warsaw, Poland) investigates the changes that the English cultural "ethos" (attitudes, shared meanings, and values) underwent in early Colonial Maryland, and discusses how this imported ethos changed under local conditions. The author acknowledges that his opinions differ from those of current American historiography and that he has, therefore, devoted an "exceptional amount of space to polemical comments." Utilitarianism (as seen in attitudes to servants, slaves, and Indians), secularism (as seen in behavior and rhetoric), and individualism (enhanced by small estates, dispersed landholding, and weakness of central control) are the three most striking characteristics of the local culture of 17th-century Maryland. The English cultural ethos was consciously used, Rozbicki argues, to respond to the new reality, and was modified despite colonists' striving to be English and the best efforts of the residents of 17th-century Maryland to remain English. The book delivers less than promised, and suffers from spelling errors, strange idiomatic usages, and hyphenization. Although some of the more recent scholarship on the Chesapeake is ignored, this work will nevertheless be of interest to graduate students and faculty in cultural history. -G.W. Franz, Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County Campus
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 1989
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Long Description
This book identifies and interprets the changes that took place in the values and ideas brought from England by the early Maryland colonists. The author focuses on the border between social consciousness and social being, and interprets the changes from two perspectives: a genetic one, involving cultural patterns inherited from England, and a functional one, involving objective colonial conditions and social practice. Analyzes four spheres of colonial reality in which the greatest shift in values had taken place: the tobacco economy, Anglo-Indian relations, servitude, and slavery.

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