The Beginners of a Nation: A History of the Source and Rise of the Earliest English Settlements in America, with Special Reference to the Life and Character of the People

The Beginners of a Nation: A History of the Source and Rise of the Earliest English Settlements in America, with Special Reference to the Life and Character of the People

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The Beginners of a Nation: A History of the Source and Rise of the Earliest English Settlements in America, with Special Reference to the Life and Character of the People

The Beginners of a Nation: A History of the Source and Rise of the Earliest English Settlements in America, with Special Reference to the Life and Character of the People

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this work, brought to completion after many years of patient research, I have sought to trace from their source the various and often complex movements that resulted in the early English settlements in America, and in the evolution of a great nation with English speech and traditions. It has been my aim to make these pages reflect the character of the age in which the English colonies were begun, and the traits of the colonists, and to bring into relief the social, political, intellectual, and religious forces that promoted emigration. This does not pretend to be the usual account of all the events attending early colonization; it is rather a history in which the succession of cause and effect is the main topic--a history of the dynamics of colony-planting in the first half of the seventeenth century. Who were the beginners of English life in America? What propulsions sent them for refuge to a wilderness? What visions beckoned them to undertake the founding of new states? What manner of men were their leaders? And what is the story of their hopes, their experiments, and their disappointments? These are the questions I have tried to answer.

The founders of the little settlements that had the unexpected fortune to expand into an empire I have not been able to treat otherwise than unreverently. Here are no forefathers or foremothers, but simply English men and women of the seventeenth century, with the faults and fanaticisms as well as the virtues of their age. I have disregarded that convention which . . .

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