The New England Town Of Dedham As A Christian Utopian Closed Corporate Community

The New England Town Of Dedham As A Christian Utopian Closed Corporate Community

Length: 1005 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to popular history, democracy, acceptance and equal opportunities for all, were integral parts of society in the United States ever since the settlement of the New England colonies. In Lockridge 's book, he attempts to dispel these myths by using the New England town of Dedham as a case study showing that although Dedham had some these uniquely 'American ' aspects, the majority of them were in fact gradually developed over time.
Lockridge refers to Dedham as a “Christian Utopian Closed Corporate Community”. This statement is antonymous to what is considered ‘American’ today. The town of Dedham was strictly governed by Puritan culture and anyone who deviated from them was shunned by the community. Furthermore, when the church was formed, it created and extra level of religious separation within Dedham as becoming a ‘Visible Saint’ or a church member was an incredibly arduous task and not everyone able to achieve membership. Those who were barred slipped down the ranks within the community. It is important to note that Dedham was not a theocracy. Although town politics were heavily influenced by Puritanism, once a church was established ministers of the church were not allowed to run as selectmen in order to retain the purity of their religion.
Moreover, it was incredibly difficult to be accepted into the community in the first place as they were close minded and prejudiced against those different to them. Considering the fact that English Puritans risked their lives to migrate to North America in search of religious freedom and acceptance, many of the social pillars Dedham stood on contradicted each other.
Finally, they viewed social order as the puritan key to harmony. From previous experiences in England they believ...


... middle of paper ...


... townspeople formed committees and town officers to help selectmen make positions so more people’s points of view were taken into consideration before decisions were made.
Overall, Lockridge has shown that while the myth of the ‘all-American’ colonies was not entirely accurate, the people of Dedham escaped the restrictions and compromises of an already established culture and gave themselves a world of opportunity making them uniquely American. Furthermore, over the first 100 years Dedham progressed towards a more democratic political and social structure. Freedom of thought and expression were more accepted and no one seemed to want to go back to the extreme control of the previous ‘aristocracy’. This might have inspired the American people to refuse the British monarchy and aristocracy during the revolution, shaping the distinct modern America that we know today.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Puritan Influence On New England

- The Puritan Influence in New England The ideas and values held by the Puritans such as the separation of church and government, no toleration for other religions, the belief in high education, and a hard work ethic, influenced the political, social, and economical development of the New England Colonies from 1630 through the 1660s in many ways. These Puritan ideas and values affected the outcome of the New England colonies in several ways such as the creation of new colonies, the development of towns, the way children were raised, the right to vote, and the right to go to war....   [tags: Puritan, Massachusetts, Christianity, Puritanism]

Better Essays
1494 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Community Walk : An Intern At P.s

- Community Walk As an intern at P.S. 137, my outlook of the school and the neighborhood in which it is situated has drastically changed over the past semester. My initial commute to the school did not help me frame the community in a positive light. I found there to be too many potholes, and too much trash scattered across its streets. I was not familiar with this area, and do not recall having any preexisting biases towards the residents. I remember the first time I pulled into the school’s never-ending parking lot, and felt flutters in my stomach as I thought of how small one may feel in such a large institution....   [tags: Education, High school, Community, New York City]

Better Essays
1773 words (5.1 pages)

Chesapeake And New England Colonies Essay

- A community is a group of people who work together towards a common goal and share a common interest. Lack of such a quality can and most likely will cause a struggling town or city to fall into the extremes of poverty and wealth. The New England community was so strong and so supportive in comparison to that of the Chesapeake Bay, that it is no wonder they developed into two distinctly different cultures before the year 1700. The Chesapeake region developed into a land of plantations and money-driven owners, with the elite wealthy, almost no middle class, and those in poverty creating the population....   [tags: US History Colonies Compare Contrast]

Better Essays
1815 words (5.2 pages)

Differences in the Development of New England and the Chesapeake Region

- Differences in the Development of New England and the Chesapeake Region Question: Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. Why did this difference in development occur. By the 1700s the two regions, New England and Chesapeake varied greatly in spite of being from the same mother country, England. Physical and cultural differences separated these two regions distinctively. While religion moulded the daily life in New England, Money and tobacco farming dominated the Chesapeake....   [tags: English History England Settlement Essays]

Better Essays
797 words (2.3 pages)

New England and Chesapeake Colonization Essay

- During the 1600’s the New England and Chesapeake regions were beginning to settle and colonize. While both came from English origin and had dreams of wealth and freedom, differences began to form just as they settled and by the 1700s the two regions will have evolved into two distinct societies. Because of the exposure to different circumstances both regions developed issues that were unique from one another and caused them to construct their societies differently. Therefore, the differences socially, politically and economically in the two regions caused the divergence....   [tags: Differences, Challenges, Independence]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Puritans And The New England Essay

- The Puritans came and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1630 with the ideas to shape New England culture. The Puritans were religious separatists, which meant they had left the Church of England. King James the first threatened to push the puritans out or do worse. In reslult the puritans ended up leaving and finding their own place to settle. Their main purpose was to spread their religious beliefs and to find land for economical reason.Puritans held very strong beliefs on the way they lived their life....   [tags: Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts Bay Colony]

Better Essays
1276 words (3.6 pages)

New England Vs Chesapeake Essay

- New England Vs Chesapeake Early English colonies in America hardly resembled the union of men and women that would later fight against England and build a new country. In fact, until the mid-eighteenth century, most English colonists had very little, if anything to do with the settlers in neighboring colonies. They heard news of Indian wars and other noteworthy events, not from the colony itself, but from England. The colonies in the New World appeared completely different and the prospect of any unity between them seemed impossible....   [tags: essays papers]

Free Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on New England Colonies

- New England Colonies Motivation • By and large, the people who settled in the New England Colonies wanted to keep their family unit together and practice their own religion. • They were used to doing many things themselves and not depending on other people for much. • Some of these people came to New England to make money, but they were not the majority. Economy • The New England Colonies were largely farming and fishing communities. • The people made their own clothes and shoes. • They grew much of their own food....   [tags: American History]

Free Essays
1043 words (3 pages)

Comparing the New England and Chesapeake Regions Essay

- Comparing the New England and Chesapeake Regions The New England colonies were formed by Protestants who were escaping England. They ‘planned’ their society. When they came over they brought entire families, not just random people. The Chesapeake region colonies were formed by whoever signed up. The reasons that resulted in the differences between the New England and the Chesapeake colonies were political, social, and economic. The political reasons for the differences were that in New England there was a basic plan....   [tags: American History Compare Contrast]

Better Essays
534 words (1.5 pages)

New England Vs. Chesapeake DBQ Essay example

- New England vs. Chesapeake While both the people of the New England region and of the Chesapeake region descended from the same English origin, by 1700 both regions had traveled in two diverse directions. Since both of these groups were beset with issues that were unique to their regions and due to their exposure to different circumstances, each was forced to rethink and reconstruct their societies. As a result, the differences in the motivation, geography, and government in the New England and Chesapeake regions caused great divergence in the development of each....   [tags: American History]

Better Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)