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A Perfect Babel of Confusion : Dutch Religion and English Culture In The Middle Colonies - Randall Balmer

A Perfect Babel of Confusion

Dutch Religion and English Culture In The Middle Colonies

Paperback Published: 1st February 2002
ISBN: 9780195152654
Number Of Pages: 272

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Examining the interaction of the Dutch and the English in colonial New York and New Jersey, this study charts the decline of European culture in North America. Balmer argues that the combination of political intrigue, English cultural imperialism, and internal socio-economic tensions eventually drove the Dutch away from their hereditary customs, language, and culture. He shows how this process, which played itself out most visibly and poignantly in the Dutch Reformed Church between 1664 and the American Revolution, illustrates the difficulty of maintaining non-English cultures and institutions in an increasingly English world. A Perfect Babel of Confusion redresses some of the historiographical neglect of the Middle Colonies and, in the process, sheds new light on Dutch colonial culture.

"Balmer has mastered the relevant sources, and he provides a new look at the role of religious controversy in the acculturation of the large Dutch-speaking population of the middle colonies."--Choice "A welcome addition to the scholarship....Balmer's narrative of the little-known Dutch experience in the Middle Colonies renders this book a useful addition to the literature....Raises questions and suggests patterns that specialists in the colonial period cannot afford to ignore."--American Historical Review "[T]his book stands as an important contribution to the history of American ethnic assimilation. Its provocative thesis and impressive documentation willpresent a formidable target for some and an authoritative explanation for others. Scholars interested in the interplay of ethnicity, religion, and culture in colonial America will welcome this book."--Journal of American Ethnic History "Advances our understanding markedly of just what happens to Dutch religion after the 1664 conquest. The book will be extraordinarily useful to all students of the Middle Colonies, especially New York and New Jersey. It will also fascinate students of ethnicity and religion, and of course all who have an interest in Dutch immigration, religion, family, and culture."--Jon Butler, Yale University "His extensive documentation leaves no doubt about how thoroughly he has saturated himself in the sources, and how skillfull he is in making his way smoothly and authoritatively through them. Cultural history at its finest; in no sense can the book be regarded as a parochial chapter in history."--Edwin S. Gaustad, University of California, Riverside "Balmer has mastered the relevant sources, and he provides a new look at the role of religious controversy in the acculturation of the large Dutch-speaking population of the middle colonies."--Choice "A welcome addition to the scholarship....Balmer's narrative of the little-known Dutch experience in the Middle Colonies renders this book a useful addition to the literature....Raises questions and suggests patterns that specialists in the colonial period cannot afford to ignore."--American Historical Review "[T]his book stands as an important contribution to the history of American ethnic assimilation. Its provocative thesis and impressive documentation willpresent a formidable target for some and an authoritative explanation for others. Scholars interested in the interplay of ethnicity, religion, and culture in colonial America will welcome this book."--Journal of American Ethnic History "Advances our understanding markedly of just what happens to Dutch religion after the 1664 conquest. The book will be extraordinarily useful to all students of the Middle Colonies, especially New York and New Jersey. It will also fascinate students of ethnicity and religion, and of course all who have an interest in Dutch immigration, religion, family, and culture."--Jon Butler, Yale University "His extensive documentation leaves no doubt about how thoroughly he has saturated himself in the sources, and how skillfull he is in making his way smoothly and authoritatively through them. Cultural history at its finest; in no sense can the book be regarded as a parochial chapter in history."--Edwin S. Gaustad, University of California, Riverside "Because it provides a fresh approach for interpreting the Middle Colonies, this book is a valuable addition to colonial studies."--William & Mary Quarterly "An area that once seemed important only because it divided New England from the South now is gaining the scholarly prominence that it deserves. Randall Balmer has contributed significantly to this development."--Journal of American History "The strength of this book lies in its examination of the ways in which economic and social issues influencced developments within the colonial Dutch Calvinist culture."--Journal of British Studies "Fresh research and a fresh interpretation of a neglected subject--the rise of the distinct religious ethos of the middle colonies/states. A remarkably clear and very well-written book."--Mark Noll, Wheaton College "Randall Balmer is an excellent story teller....This is an important skill for anyone writing about religion in the Middle Colonies for confusion was abundant in this region. The real contribution of this book is the clarity with which it traces a path through this confusion, making this particular tributary of the American religious experience more accessible than it has been before....Balmer has articulated this story with more finesse than any of his predecessors and he has deftly woven social analysis into the text along with concern for the socio-economic status of the actors in this drama....Balmer's book fills an important niche in contemporary scholarship dealing with the Middle Colonies....An important source for the comparative study of immigrant religion. The cleanness of the book's thesis and the readibility of Balmer's style will make it an excellent introductory text, while the bibliography will serve as a valuable guide for more advanced study."--Church History

Confusion and Scattering: Anglo-Dutch Wars and the Demise of Reformed Hegemonyp. 3
Religion in Great Danger: Leisler's Rebellion and Its Repercussionsp. 28
A Most Unhappy Division: The Ministry Act, Demographic Changes, and the Rise of Frontier Pietismp. 51
Fit for Catechizing: The Long Island Schism and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospelp. 72
Flames of Contention: The Raritan Dispute and the Spread of Pietismp. 99
Peculiar Conversions: Revival and Reaction in New Jersey and New Yorkp. 117
Consumed by Quarrels: Dutch Religion in the Revolutionary Erap. 141
Chronology of Dutch Reformed Churchesp. 157
Prosopography of Colonial Dutch Clergyp. 160
New York City Property Valuations, 1674p. 165
Consistory Members of New York City Church, 1689-1701p. 167
Dutch Reformed Polityp. 172
Notesp. 173
Bibliographyp. 227
Indexp. 246
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195152654
ISBN-10: 0195152654
Series: Religion in America
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st February 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.96 x 13.97  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.79