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By Philip Gould

Covenant and Republic investigates the cultural politics of old reminiscence within the early American republic, particularly the historic literature of Puritanism. by way of situating ancient writing approximately Puritanism within the context of the cultural forces of Republicanism and liberalism, this research reconsiders the emergence of the historic romance within the 1820s, sooner than the paintings of Nathaniel Hawthorne. This ebook not just aids the Americanist restoration of this literary interval, but additionally brings jointly literary reports of old fiction and old scholarship of early Republican political tradition; in doing so, it bargains a persuasive new account of simply what's at stake whilst one reads literature of and concerning the previous.

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7 Republican language here is imbedded with newer, liberal meanings. " However, in the context of New England's presumably communal values, there would seem to be something troublingly incongruous about the mere suggestion of, much less effusive praise for, competition and acquisitiveness. "8 This is the myth of America, as we know it today; this is the free-wheeling and unfettered promised land that has produced the representative likes of Benjamin Franklin, Horatio Alger, and H. Ross Perot - and, in the 1820s, Salma Hale's Puritans.

For Belknap, the Antinomian crisis of 1637 unmistakably appeared as a case study in demagoguery. Anne Hutchinson, we might recall, avowed a highly spiritualized form of grace that forsook preparationist schemes and the patriarchal authority from which they derived. "62 At the ensuing church synod, only Win throp's "wisdom and gravity" manage to control the "heat and passion" of the opposition. 63 Here, then, lie the natural affinities between commonwealth and republic. From Winthrop's own "A Defense of an Order of Court" (1637), which defends the exclusion of English Antinomians in the name of "the welfare of the body," to the Magnalia's defense of Winthrop's handling of the Antinomian crisis, to its ventriloquized expression in Belknap, Puritan fears for a Bible commonwealth have been translated into early national ones for a consensual order of politics.

Hale's "virtue" lay in both his capitalist and his civic energies. The capacity of his History to teach "virtue," in other words, was complicated during this transitional era by the kinetic instability of the word itself. Cultural change in early national America tellingly leaves its mark on the narrative of Puritan New England. Consider, for example, Hale's praise for his industrious forebears, for it shows an irrepressible fascination with a freely competitive arena describing his own era: Such .

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