Seventeenth-Century New England: A Conference Held by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts (1982), hardcover (good/very good condition)
This collection of essays comes out of a conference held to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the founding of Massachusetts. Amongst the most significant issues addressed at the conference were issues of continuity and change in the transition from European to American societies. Work in the 60s and 70s on colonial New England pointed to discontinuities, with local studies showing changes in post-Revolutionary America which represented a break with the traditional values of rural England. For instance, one thinks of Phillip Greven's study of Andover, MA. As an outgrowth of the Revolution and the social forces unleashed society became less hierarchical. The revisionists, reacting against the "consensus history" of the 1950s, often erred on the side of over-emphasizing change and ignoring continuities. The debates seem to have stalled, become less than fruitful. We have moved on from the arguments over family structure, these debates seem dated ... The new organizing paradigm reflected in this volume is the impact of market forces on the New England Colonies. The new question is how integrated were the New England colonists in a market economy?