Early New England: A Covenanted Society

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Unmatched in the breadth of its scope, this study takes into account all of the surviving covenants in all of the New England colonies. Weir's comprehensive survey of seventeenth-century covenants leads to a more complex picture of early New England than what emerges from looking at only a few famous civil covenants like the Mayflower Compact. His work shows covenant theology being transformed into a covenantal vision for society but also reveals the stress and strains on church-state relationships that eventually led to more secularized colonial governments in eighteenth-century New England. He concludes that New England colonial society was much more English and much less American than has often been thought, and that the New England colonies substantially mirrored religious and social change in Old England.