Peaceable Kingdoms by Michael Zuckerman

4 April 2015
A review of “Peaceable Kingdoms” by historian Michael Zuckerman, describing the life of a community in Puritan New England in the eighteenth century.

The paper reviews “Peaceful Kingdoms” showing the importance of the town meeting and other influences of the community in Puritan New England that kept the peace and served as government, police, and voice of the community. Zuckerman first discusses the pre-eminence of the local community in provincial Massachusetts and how the community was shaped by the doctrine of congregational autonomy. He describes how these villages were settled and the form they took contributed to the development of a variety of institutions that we now identify as uniquely American, including the American version of democracy, the primacy of peace as a goal, and American capitalism. Zuckerman describes these communities, the life in them, the nature of the family, the modes of commerce of the time, and especially the decision-making processes in the community and how the people influenced one another in town meetings in order to get things done.

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