Colonial Social Development

1128 Words5 Pages
“The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture.” “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with the New England Way and the word became ‘America’(p. 213).” Pursuits of Happiness, written by Jack P. Greene, scrutinizes the early American social history, and draws on virtually all the recent social-history literature produced in the early modern British colonies. It presents a summary of recent books and journal articles, as well as providing new interpretations of colonial society.It reinterprets what American social developments once meant in a spectacularly illustrative way. Its refinement and brevity makes it extraordinarily easy to understand. The most sententious re-evalution offered…show more content…
He offers us the models to illustrate British colonization in North America and its impact on the formation of culture and society.He has argued that the conventional model selected by historians to describe change in all other early British colonies or more specifically “The New England Declension Model” is indecorous. Instead, societies that first settled in The Atlantic island, The West Indies, The Middle colonies, Ireland and The Lower South followed a pattern first used in the Chesapeake. This pattern has involved a process in which the new societies slowly developed into deep embellished cultural entities, each of which had its own discrete features. He also stresses that the protruding features of the emerging American culture are not found primarily in “New England Puritanism” but in “widely manifested configurations of sociocultural behavior exhibited throughout British North America, including New…show more content…
According to him, “New England’s experience was fundamentally different from that of every other area of the early modern British world (p. 165)”. However this “normative character” of southern society’s value and behavior is hard to accept. Furthermore, his evidence and research have been conducted entirely from the colonial period and can be deemed too narrow when looking at the broadness of “American culture”. He concludes that the southern colonies epitomized the American ideal of the pursuit of happiness by an independent person in a setting, that provided significant opportunity for success.Conclusively, Jack P. Greene’s Pursuit of Happiness is at once a liberally synoptic survey of the Anglo-Atlantic colonial world and a dauntless essay. It rests at once on an unparalleled command of voguish scholarship and on a daring high-wire act of historical imagination. It achieved at once an imperative summary of past work and an indispensable agenda for the
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