‘Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic’

"Where did the ideas come from that became the cornerstone of American democracy? America’s founders intended to liberate us not just from one king but from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion. Drawing deeply on the study of European philosophy, Matthew Stewart brilliantly tracks the ancient, pagan, and continental ideas from which America’s revolutionaries drew … Continue reading ‘Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic’

‘Jamestown’ TV Series: Silly, Or Gripping Period Drama?

A friend recommends the PBS series "Jamestown" which ran from 2017 to 2019. "Life was tough in 1619, especially if you were a woman traded to be married. But that doesn't mean you can't fight back..." It is available from PBS and from numerous streaming services. It received mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. British and Irish … Continue reading ‘Jamestown’ TV Series: Silly, Or Gripping Period Drama?

Backstory Behind Founding of the Carolina Colony in 1663, Up Until 1776

The date of the founding of North Carolina by the English is in some dispute. Some argue the birthday is July 13, 1584, when Croatan Indians first encountered English ships commissioned by Sir Walter Raleigh on Roanoke Island. Raleigh himself did not make a voyage to Carolina, despite providing the namesake for the eventual colony's … Continue reading Backstory Behind Founding of the Carolina Colony in 1663, Up Until 1776

What’s the Difference Between the Pilgrims and Puritans?

Confusion is common about the similarities and differences between the Pilgrims and the Puritans, who both immigrated to America in the 1600s seeking religious freedom because of England's rigid ideas about religious conformity. The Pilgrims were about 100 English people, primarily working-class, who quit the Church of England in 1605 to form separatist religious communities. … Continue reading What’s the Difference Between the Pilgrims and Puritans?

What If Mayflower Never Set Sail?

One of the most interesting essays in "What Ifs of American History: Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been" is by Theodore Rabb, a professor of history at Princeton University, on what if the Mayflower hadn't sailed in 1620. In the video above, Robert Cowley, editor of the collection, discusses how the Mayflower almost didn't sail. The story … Continue reading What If Mayflower Never Set Sail?