The Emergence of Provincial New Hampshire, 1623-1741

The Emergence of Provincial New Hampshire, 1623-1741

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The Emergence of Provincial New Hampshire, 1623-1741 - David E. Van Deventer. In this text, the development of society in colonial New Hampshire is studied by examining its creation and its changing characteristics in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Part I discusses the salient features of the Piscataqua environment, the earliest settlements between the Merrimack and Piscataqua Rivers and the difficulties faced by the first settlers as they adjusted to the realities of frontier life. Part II is concerned with the colonists’ early problems and achievements as they sought to fulfill the promise of the land and its resources. It analyzes the methods of land distribution and timber utilization among the towns, the dangers posed by the Masonian proprietary controversy and the French and Indian wars, and the impact of the Massachusetts-New Hampshire boundary dispute and of land speculation upon land usage. Part III details developments in trade and commerce, particularly the extensive economic expansion that occurred during the early eighteenth century. It discusses the settlers’ responses to the internal threats of capital scarcity, labor shortages, an inadequate medium of exchange, inflation and indebtedness, and to the external threats posed by wars, the Navigation Acts, English mercantile competition and economic competition from Massachusetts merchants. Part IV analyzes the transformation of the four Piscataqua villages into a relatively mature provincial society. Preoccupied with a search for social order and stability, the settlers at first used the church, the family, the town meeting and the law within the context of an intimate community setting (the town) to perpetuate cherished values. But by the 1690s the towns as units of social organization were no longer able to resolve effectively the divisive problems and conflicting values among their inhabitants. Consequently, during the early eighteenth century the provincial government supplanted the town as the more important sociopolitical institution, and its leaders developed a more complex system of values capable of solving the problems disrupting New Hampshire’s expanding society. This book is supplemented with three maps, thirty-four tables, and a comprehensive index to full-names and subjects.

(1976, 1996), 2015, 5½x8½, paper, index, 320 pp.

101-V0504 ISBN: 0788405047