From Puritan to Yankee

Character and the Social Order in Connecticut, 1690–1765



Too frequently authors and teachers consider the history of early America by discussing the original settlements of the thirteen colonies and then turn abruptly to the end of the colonial era to consider the prelude to the Revolution. The period from 1690 to 1765 is undoubtedly the most neglected era of American history. This neglect is especially evident when historians refer to these years as the waiting period before the Revolution.

While some historians overlook this period as one of important developments, Dr. Richard L. Bushman of the history department of Brigham Young University has advanced the thesis that between the Glorious Revolution and the conclusion of the French and Indian war Connecticut society was transformed significantly. “By the eve of the revolution,” Professor Bushman writes “Connecticut was moving toward a new social order, toward the republican pluralism of the nineteenth century. With the death of old institutions had come the birth of a new freedom.” (p. ix) Law and authority, he averred, embodied in government institutions transformed first because of economic ambitions and later as a consequence of the Great Awakening.


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