Fear and the Shaping of Early American Societies is the first collection of essays to argue that fear permeated the colonial societies of 17th- and 18th-century America and to analyse its impact on the political decision-making processes from a variety of angles and locations.
Indeed, the thirteen essays range from Canada to the Chesapeake, from New England to the Caribbean and from the Carolina Backcountry to Dutch Brazil. This volume assesses the typically American nature of fear factors and the responses they elicited in a transatlantic context.
The essays further explore how the European colonists handled such challenges as Indian conspiracies, slave revolts, famine, “popery” and tyranny as well as werewolves and a dragon to build cohesive societies far from the metropolis.
Contributors are: Sarah Barber, Benjamin Carp, Leslie Choquette, Anne-Claire Faucquez, Lauric Henneton, Elodie Peyrol-Kleiber, Susanne Lachenicht, Bertie Mandelblatt, Mark Meuwese, L. H. Roper, David L. Smith, Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, Christopher Vernon, and David Voorhees.
Lauric Henneton, Ph.D. (2006), is Associate Professor at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France). He is the author of
Histoire religieuse des États-Unis (Flammarion, 2012), has written numerous articles and book chapters on the geopolitics of seventeenth-century New England, and coedited three volumes on commemorations (2010), American founding myths and memory (2008), and the first French edition of William Bradford's
Of Plymouth Plantation (2004).
L.H. Roper, Ph.D. (1992), is Professor of History at the State University of New York—New Paltz. He is the author of
Advancing Empire: English Interests and Overseas Expansion, 1614-1688 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming);
Conceiving Carolina: Proprietors, Planters, and Plots, 1662-1729 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004);
The English Empire in America, 1602-1658: Beyond Jamestown (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2009), and has also edited
The Torrid Zone: Colonization and Cultural Interaction in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean (University of South Carolina Press, forthcoming); Constructing Early Modern Empires: Proprietary Ventures in the Atlantic World, 1500-1750 with B. Van Ruymbeke, (Brill, 2007) and The Worlds of the Seventeenth-Century Hudson Valley with Jaap Jacobs (SUNY Press, 2014).
Table of contents
Introduction: Adjusting to Fear in Early America
1 From Sea Monsters and Savages to Sorcerers and Satan: A History of Fear in New France
2 Fortune’s Frowns and the Finger of God: Deciphering Fear in the Caribbean (c. 1600–c. 1720)
3 Fear and the Genesis of the English Empire in America
4 Fear, Uncertainty, and Violence in the Dutch Colonization of Brazil (1624–1662)
5 Rumors, Uncertainty and Decision-Making in the Greater Long Island Sound (1652–1654)
6 “Our fears surpass our hopes”: Virginian Reactions to the Execution of Charles i (1649–1652)
David L. Smith
7 “Ffourty thousand to cutt the Protestants throats”: The Irish Threat in the Chesapeake and the West Indies (1620–1700)
8 “Imprisoning Persons at their Pleasure”: The Anti-Catholic Hysteria of 1689 in the Middle Colonies
David William Voorhees
9 “A Bloody Conspiracy”: Race, Power and Religion in New York’s 1712 Slave Insurrection
10 Fear and the Making of a Huguenot Identity (1685–1750)
11 “A Land where Hunger is in Gold and Famine is in Opulence”: Plantation Slavery, Island Ecology, and the Fear of Famine in the French Caribbean
12 “The Inhabitants of the Province had been frequently Alarmed”: Fear and Rumor in the Colonial Southeastern Backcountry (1754–1765)
13 “The Unpleasing Part of the Drama”: Fear, Devastation, and the Civilian Experience of the Revolutionary War
Benjamin L. Carp
All interested in the history of early American societies and the impact of emotions in general and fear in particular on political and social construction.