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The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison

by James Madison Edward J. Larson Michael P. Winship

In 1787, the American union was in disarray. The incompatible demands of the separate states threatened its existence; some states were even in danger of turning into the kind of tyranny they had so recently deposed. A truly national government was needed, one that could raise money, regulate commerce, and defend the states against foreign threats--without becoming as overbearing as England. So thirty-six-year-old James Madison believed. That summer, the Virginian was instrumental in organizing the Constitutional Convention, in which one of the world's greatest documents would be debated, created, and signed. Inspired by a sense of history in the making, he kept the most extensive notes of any attendee. Now two esteemed scholars have made these minutes accessible to everyone. Presented with modern punctuation and spelling, judicious cuts, and helpful notes--plus fascinating background information on every delegate and an overview of the tumultuous times--here is the great drama of how the Constitution came to be, from the opening statements to the final votes. This Modern Library Paperback Classic also includes an Introduction and appendices from the authors.

Godly Republicanism

by Michael P. Winship

Puritans did not find a life free from tyranny in the New World-they created it there. Massachusetts emerged a republic as they hammered out a vision of popular participation and limited government in church and state, spurred by Plymouth Pilgrims. "Godly Republicanism" underscores how pathbreaking yet rooted in puritanisms history the project was. Michael Winship takes us first to England, where he uncovers the roots of the puritans republican ideals in the aspirations and struggles of Elizabethan Presbyterians. Faced with the twin tyrannies of Catholicism and the crown, Presbyterians turned to the ancient New Testament churches for guidance. What they discovered there-whether it existed or not-was a republican structure that suggested better models for governing than monarchy. The puritans took their ideals to Massachusetts, but they did not forge their godly republic alone. In this book, for the first time, the separatists contentious, creative interaction with the puritans is given its due. Winship looks at the emergence of separatism and puritanism from shared origins in Elizabethan England, considers their split, and narrates the story of their reunion in Massachusetts. Out of the encounter between the separatist Plymouth Pilgrims and the puritans of Massachusetts Bay arose Massachusetts Congregationalism.

Making Heretics

by Michael P. Winship

Making Heretics is a major new narrative of the famous Massachusetts disputes of the late 1630s misleadingly labeled the "antinomian controversy" by later historians. Drawing on an unprecedented range of sources, Michael Winship fundamentally recasts these interlocked religious and political struggles as a complex ongoing interaction of personalities and personal agendas and as a succession of short-term events with cumulative results.Previously neglected figures like Sir Henry Vane and John Wheelwright assume leading roles in the processes that nearly ended Massachusetts, while more familiar "hot Protestants" like John Cotton and Anne Hutchinson are relocated in larger frameworks. The book features a striking portrayal of the minister Thomas Shepard as an angry heresy-hunting militant, helping to set the volatile terms on which the disputes were conducted and keeping the flames of contention stoked even as he ostensibly attempted to quell them.The first book-length treatment in forty years, Making Heretics locates its story in rich contexts, ranging from ministerial quarrels and negotiations over fine but bitterly contested theological points to the shadowy worlds of orthodox and unorthodox lay piety, and from the transatlantic struggles over the Massachusetts Bay Company's charter to the fraught apocalyptic geopolitics of the Reformation itself. An object study in the ways that puritanism generated, managed, and failed to manage diversity, Making Heretics carries its account on into England in the 1640s and 1650s and helps explain the differing fortunes of puritanism in the Old and New Worlds.

Making Heretics: Militant Protestantism and Free Grace in Massachusetts, 1636-1641

by Michael P. Winship

Making Heretics is a major new narrative of the famous Massachusetts disputes of the late 1630s misleadingly labeled the "antinomian controversy" by later historians. Drawing on an unprecedented range of sources, Michael Winship fundamentally recasts these interlocked religious and political struggles as a complex ongoing interaction of personalities and personal agendas and as a succession of short-term events with cumulative results. Previously neglected figures like Sir Henry Vane and John Wheelwright assume leading roles in the processes that nearly ended Massachusetts, while more familiar "hot Protestants" like John Cotton and Anne Hutchinson are relocated in larger frameworks. The book features a striking portrayal of the minister Thomas Shepard as an angry heresy-hunting militant, helping to set the volatile terms on which the disputes were conducted and keeping the flames of contention stoked even as he ostensibly attempted to quell them. The first book-length treatment in forty years, Making Heretics locates its story in rich contexts, ranging from ministerial quarrels and negotiations over fine but bitterly contested theological points to the shadowy worlds of orthodox and unorthodox lay piety, and from the transatlantic struggles over the Massachusetts Bay Company's charter to the fraught apocalyptic geopolitics of the Reformation itself. An object study in the ways that puritanism generated, managed, and failed to manage diversity, Making Heretics carries its account on into England in the 1640s and 1650s and helps explain the differing fortunes of puritanism in the Old and New Worlds.

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