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By Randall Balmer

Interpreting the interplay of the Dutch and the English in colonial big apple and New Jersey, this examine charts the decline of eu tradition in North the US. Balmer argues that the combo of political intrigue, English cultural imperialism, and inner socio-economic tensions finally drove the Dutch clear of their hereditary customs, language, and tradition. He indicates how this strategy, which performed itself out so much visibly and poignantly within the Dutch Reformed Church among 1664 and the yank Revolution, illustrates the trouble of keeping non-English cultures and associations in an more and more English global. an ideal Babel of misunderstanding redresses many of the historiographical forget of the center Colonies and, within the technique, sheds new mild on Dutch colonial tradition.

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Extra resources for A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies (Religion in America)

Sample text

The furor of the common people ran very high, so that every body who did not escape, was taken by the throat, or, on feigned pretexts, thrown into prison," Varick recounted in 1693. "41 What accounts for these tensions? New York had witnessed an increased social bifurcation in the years following the English Conquest, a cleavage felt nowhere more strongly than in the Dutch community. 45 The incursion of the English had effectively denied the Dutch lower classes any chance of economic advancement in New York City.

38 A PERFECT BABEL OF CONFUSION The reactions of the clergy seem, at first glance, a bit more enigmatic. The Dutch dominies, all of them bilingual, had clearly identified themselves with the colony's elite. 52 But the clergy also had other, less avaricious reasons for opposing Leisler. Earlier in the decade, they had manifested a resignation to English rule, a posture that frequently approached overt Anglicization. A quiet acquiescence to the English, they believed, ensured that the integrity of Dutch worship would continue unchallenged.

Samuel Staats, a physician and native of New Netherland, "rather than endeavor to make himself an Englishman, . . left this Province and went to Holland, where he remained till a very little time before the Revolution; then he came hither, and joyned with Mr. 47 But by and large, Leisler failed to rally the better sort to his cause. " Indeed, many of those initially inclined to support the rebellion quickly became disillusioned with Leisler and his obstreperous following. They condemned Leisler's arbitrary rule and branded him a usurper.

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