Divisions throughout the Whole

Politics and Society in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, 1740–1775

Divisions throughout the Whole

This book explores the connection between the changing social context of colonial New England and the emergence of political unrest in the years before the American Revolution. Unlike studies that have examined revolutionary activity in major colonial towns, where it was most visible, Professor Nobles's study focuses on the sources of revolutionary behavior in the countryside. He examines the social and political development of Hampshire County from the seventeenth through the eighteenth century and seeks to explain why people who had remained apparently indifferent to the political crisis developing before 1774 became such active participants in a violent political struggle against the established government. In his discussion of a variety of local controversies, the author shows how common people repeatedly mobilized to act on their own terms for their own concerns, and how this served to prepare them for radical activity in the Revolutionary era.

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