Accidental Pluralism

America and the Religious Politics of English Expansion, 1497-1662

Evan Haefeli

Accidental Pluralism

Evan Haefeli

384 pages | 11 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2021
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226742618 Will Publish March 2021
The United States has long been defined by its religious diversity and recurrent public arguments over the religious and political values that define it. In Accidental Pluralism, Evan Haefeli argues that America did not begin as a religiously diverse and tolerant society. It became so only because England's religious unity collapsed just as America was being colonized. By tying the emergence of American religious toleration to global events, Haefeli creates a true transnationalist history that links developing American realities to political and social conflicts and resolutions in Europe, showing how the relationships among states, churches, and publics was contested from the beginning of the colonial era and produced a society that no one had anticipated. Accidental Pluralism is an ambitious and comprehensive new account of the origins of American religious life that compels us to refine our narratives about what came to be seen as American values and their distinct relationship to religion and politics.

Part 1: Tudor-Stuart Foundations, 1497–ca. 1607

1. Colonization: Religion, Expansion, Guiana, and Slavery
2. Conformity: Religious Change, Obedience, and Virginia
3. Jurisdiction: Ireland, Scotland, and the Limits of Authority
4. Dissent: English Papists, Puritans, and Others

Part 2: Jacobean Balance, ca. 1607–1625

5. Balance: Virginia, Bermuda, Newfoundland, ca. 1607–1618
6. Polarization: Plymouth, Avalon, Nova Scotia, New England, 1618–1625

Part 3: Caroline Transformation, 1625–1638

7. Favorites: Saint Christopher, Barbados, Maryland, 1624–1632
8. Puritans: New England, Providence Island, the Leewards, 1629–1638
9. Catholics: Montserrat, New Albion, Maryland, 1632–1638

Part 4: Civil Wars, 1638–1649

10. Fragmentation: Rhode Island, Madras, Trinidad, 1638–1643
11. Toleration: New England, Bermuda, Madagascar, 1643–1646
12. Revolution: New England, the Bahamas, Barbados, the Leewards, 1647–1649

Part 5: Commonwealth, 1649–1660

13. Republic: New England, the Caribbean, Acadia, 1649–1654
14. Empire: Surinam, Barbados, Jamaica, Dunkirk, 1654–1660
Note on Transcriptions, Dates, Sources, and Terminology
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