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Withces Wife Beaters And Whores

Author: Elaine Forman Crane
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801462746
Size: 19.49 MB
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The early American legal system permeated the lives of colonists and reflected their sense of what was right and wrong, honorable and dishonorable, moral and immoral. In a compelling book full of the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, Elaine Forman Crane reveals the ways in which early Americans clashed with or conformed to the social norms established by the law. As trials throughout the country reveal, alleged malefactors such as witches, wife beaters, and whores, as well as debtors, rapists, and fornicators, were as much a part of the social landscape as farmers, merchants, and ministers. Ordinary people "made" law by establishing and enforcing informal rules of conduct. Codified by a handshake or over a mug of ale, such agreements became custom and custom became "law." Furthermore, by submitting to formal laws initiated from above, common folk legitimized a government that depended on popular consent to rule with authority. In this book we meet Marretie Joris, a New Amsterdam entrepreneur who sues Gabriel de Haes for calling her a whore; peer cautiously at Christian Stevenson, a Bermudian witch as bad "as any in the world;" and learn that Hannah Dyre feared to be alone with her husband-and subsequently died after a beating. We travel with Comfort Taylor as she crosses Narragansett Bay with Cuff, an enslaved ferry captain, whom she accuses of attempted rape, and watch as Samuel Banister pulls the trigger of a gun that kills the sheriff's deputy who tried to evict Banister from his home. And finally, we consider the promiscuous Marylanders Thomas Harris and Ann Goldsborough, who parented four illegitimate children, ran afoul of inheritance laws, and resolved matters only with the assistance of a ghost. Through the six trials she skillfully reconstructs here, Crane offers a surprising new look at how early American society defined and punished aberrant behavior, even as it defined itself through its legal system.

Switching Sides

Author: Tony Fels
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421424371
Size: 35.24 MB
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For most historians living through the fascist and communist tyrannies that culminated in World War II and the Cold War, the Salem witch trials signified the threat to truth and individual integrity posed by mass ideological movements. Work on the trials produced in this era, including Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and Marion L. Starkey’s The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry into the Salem Witch Trials, left little doubt that most intellectuals’ sympathies lay with the twenty innocent victims who stood up to Puritan intolerance by choosing to go to their deaths rather than confess to crimes they had never committed. In Switching Sides, Tony Fels traces a remarkable shift in scholarly interpretations of the Salem witch hunt from the post–World War II era up through the present. Fels explains that for a new generation of historians influenced by the radicalism of the New Left in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Salem panic acquired a startlingly different meaning. Determined to champion the common people of colonial New England, dismissive toward liberal values, and no longer instinctively wary of utopian belief systems, the leading works on the subject to emerge from 1969 through the early 2000s highlighted economic changes, social tensions, racial conflicts, and political developments that served to unsettle the accusers in the witchcraft proceedings. These interpretations, still dominant in the academic world, encourage readers to sympathize with the perpetrators of the witch hunt, while at the same time showing indifference or even hostility toward the accused. Switching Sides is meticulously documented, but its comparatively short text aims broadly at an educated American public, for whom the Salem witch hunt has long occupied an iconic place in the nation’s conscience. Readers will come away from the book with a sound knowledge of what is currently known about the Salem witch hunt—and pondering the relationship between works of history and the ideological influences on the historians who write them.

A Companion To American Legal History

Author: Sally E. Hadden
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118533763
Size: 14.26 MB
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A Companion to American Legal History presents a compilation of the most recent writings from leading scholars on American legal history from the colonial era through the late twentieth century. Presents up-to-date research describing the key debates in American legal history Reflects the current state of American legal history research and points readers in the direction of future research Represents an ideal companion for graduate and law students seeking an introduction to the field, the key questions, and future research ideas

Faithful Bodies

Author: Heather Miyano Kopelson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479852341
Size: 66.18 MB
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In the seventeenth-century English Atlantic, religious beliefs and practices played a central role in creating racial identity. English Protestantism provided a vocabulary and structure to describe and maintain boundaries between insider and outsider. In this path-breaking study, Heather Miyano Kopelson peels back the layers of conflicting definitions of bodies and competing practices of faith in the puritan Atlantic, demonstrating how the categories of “white,” “black,” and “Indian” developed alongside religious boundaries between “Christian” and “heathen” and between “Catholic” and “Protestant.” Faithful Bodies focuses on three communities of Protestant dissent in the Atlantic World: Bermuda, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In this “puritan Atlantic,” religion determined insider and outsider status: at times Africans and Natives could belong as long as they embraced the Protestant faith, while Irish Catholics and English Quakers remained suspect. Colonists’ interactions with indigenous peoples of the Americas and with West Central Africans shaped their understandings of human difference and its acceptable boundaries. Prayer, religious instruction, sexual behavior, and other public and private acts became markers of whether or not blacks and Indians were sinning Christians or godless heathens. As slavery became law, transgressing people of color counted less and less as sinners in English puritans’ eyes, even as some of them made Christianity an integral part of their communities. As Kopelson shows, this transformation proceeded unevenly but inexorably during the long seventeenth century.

Sensory Worlds In Early America

Author: Peter Charles Hoffer
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801883927
Size: 33.84 MB
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Over the past half-century, historians have greatly enriched our understanding of America's past, broadening their fields of inquiry from such traditional topics as politics and war to include the agency of class, race, ethnicity, and gender and to focus on the lives of ordinary men and women. We now know that homes and workplaces form a part of our history as important as battlefields and the corridors of power. Only recently, however, have historians begun to examine the fundamentals of lived experience and how people perceive the world through the five senses. In this ambitious work, Peter Charles Hoffer presents a "sensory history" of early North America, offering a bold new understanding of the role that sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch played in shaping the lives of Europeans, Indians, and Africans in the New World. Reconstructing the most ephemeral aspects of America's colonial past—the choking stench of black powder, the cacophony of unfamiliar languages, the taste of fresh water and new foods, the first sight of strange peoples and foreign landscapes, the rough texture of homespun, the clumsy weight of a hoe—Hoffer explores the impact of sensuous experiences on human thought and action. He traces the effect sensation and perception had on the cause and course of events conventionally attributed to deeper cultural and material circumstances. Hoffer revisits select key events, encounters, and writings from America's colonial past to uncover the sensory elements in each and decipher the ways in which sensual data were mediated by prevailing and often conflicting cultural norms. Among the episodes he reexamines are the first meetings of Europeans and Native Americans; belief in and encounters with the supernatural; the experience of slavery and slave revolts; the physical and emotional fervor of the Great Awakening; and the feelings that prompted the Revolution. Imaginatively conceived, deeply informed, and elegantly written, Sensory Worlds of Early America convincingly establishes sensory experience as a legitimate object of historical inquiry and vividly brings America's colonial era to life. -- Richard Godbeer, author of Sexual Revolution in Early America

The Poison Plot

Author: Elaine Forman Crane
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 150172133X
Size: 35.78 MB
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"Explores in colonial Newport, Rhode Island, the tumultuous marriage of Benedict and Mary Arnold in the 1720s and 1730s. In and through their sordid and possibly criminal marital story, in which Mary is accused of poisoning Benedict, Crane sheds light on the liabilities and possibilities for women under couverture, the complex social and economic networks that bound together the elite and laboring classes of Newport, and the trans-oceanic cultures of trade, consumption, and sociability that came to shape expectations for marital satisfaction on both sides of the Atlantic"--

Murdered By His Wife

Author: Deborah Navas
Publisher: Univ of Massachusetts Press
ISBN: 9781558493346
Size: 45.98 MB
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An in-depth exploration of the nation's first sensational murder trial revisits the murder Joshua Spooner in Brookfield, Massachusetts, in 1778 and the subsequent execution of his wife and three accomplices. Reprint.

Killed Strangely

Author: Elaine Forman Crane
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801440021
Size: 72.68 MB
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"Killed Strangely is an engaging read that will entrance and inform readers who are at once murder mystery and history buffs."—Common-Place

The Poison Plot

Author: Elaine Forman Crane
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781501721311
Size: 24.23 MB
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View: 4484
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"Explores in colonial Newport, Rhode Island, the tumultuous marriage of Benedict and Mary Arnold in the 1720s and 1730s. In and through their sordid and possibly criminal marital story, in which Mary is accused of poisoning Benedict, Crane sheds light on the liabilities and possibilities for women under couverture, the complex social and economic networks that bound together the elite and laboring classes of Newport, and the trans-oceanic cultures of trade, consumption, and sociability that came to shape expectations for marital satisfaction on both sides of the Atlantic"--