The Colonial Metamorphoses in Rhode Island: A Study of Institutions in Change

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UPNE, 2000 - History - 336 pages
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With meticulous detail, noted colonial historian Sydney V. James relates the story of the way in which Rhode Island's founders created, and then rationalized, the institutions that shaped their lives at both the local and provincial levels. He follows the tortuous and uneven path Rhode Islanders took as they developed town and colony governments, churches and private corporations, and courts and land companies that eventually gave a semblance of form and order to a fractious society. The Colonial Metamorphoses in Rhode Island brings to light new ways of looking at an often neglected period stretching from the founding to the revolutionary era. And as a study of institution building in Rhode Island, it brings a colony always viewed as "exceptional" into the mainstream of colonial history.

This, James's final book, left unpublished at the time of his death in 1993, is now brought to publication by Sheila L. Skemp and Bruce C. Daniels, two leading students of the Rhode Island colony.

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The Generall Having Life in Perticulars
Customary Ways and Radical Ideas in the Original Town
The Colonial Governments in the Seventeenth Century
Disintegration of the Communal Ideal in the Original Towns
Land Promotions and New Towns
Religious Association Replacing Secular
The Rise of the Colonial Government and
Subduing the Conflicts over Land
Town Ambitions and Town Government
Sacred Fellowship in Relation to Time and Space
Bibliographical Notes and Key to Short Citations

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About the author (2000)

SYDNEY JAMES was longtime Chair of the History Department at the University of Iowa. His books include John Clarke and His Legacies: Religion and Law in Colonial Rhode Island, 1638 - 1750 (1999, edited by Theodore Dwight Bozeman), Colonial Rhode Island (1975), and A People Among Peoples (1963).

SHEILA L. SKEMP is Professor of History at University of Mississippi and author of Judith Sargent Murray (1998) and William Franklin (1990). BRUCE C. DANIELS is Professor of History, University of Winnipeg, and author of Dissent and Conformity on Narragansett Bay (1983) and The Connecticut Town (1979).

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