A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English by Randall Balmer

By Randall Balmer

Reading the interplay of the Dutch and the English in colonial big apple and New Jersey, this research charts the decline of eu tradition in North the United States. Balmer argues that the mix of political intrigue, English cultural imperialism, and inner socio-economic tensions ultimately drove the Dutch clear of their hereditary customs, language, and tradition. He exhibits how this method, which performed itself out such a lot visibly and poignantly within the Dutch Reformed Church among 1664 and the yank Revolution, illustrates the trouble of protecting non-English cultures and associations in an more and more English international. an ideal Babel of misunderstanding redresses many of the historiographical overlook of the center Colonies and, within the approach, sheds new mild on Dutch colonial tradition.

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Extra resources for A Perfect Babel of Confusion: Dutch Religion and English Culture in the Middle Colonies (Religion in America)

Sample text

58 IV Jacob Leisler relentlessly castigated the clergy for their opposition to the rebellion. "The Dutch Ministers of the Reformed churches within this Province have not escaped the lash of his inveterate tongue," one partisan observed. 59 Because of their limited number, formal education, the extended nature of their ecclesiastical jurisdictions and responsibilities, and their social connections with the privileged, Dutch colonial dominies had claimed a higher status than their communicants. This doubtless compounded the ire felt by the Leislerians when their clergy opposed the rebellion.

Their petition, on behalf of the "most oppressed and abused subjects in this remote part of the world," complained of mistreatment at the hands of Leisler. 51 The opposition of the Dutch merchants, therefore, at least moderately wealthy by contemporary standards, is understandable; surely they had much to lose during the Leisler uncertainties. 38 A PERFECT BABEL OF CONFUSION The reactions of the clergy seem, at first glance, a bit more enigmatic. The Dutch dominies, all of them bilingual, had clearly identified themselves with the colony's elite.

They had flourished under the English. 61 They reestablished their allegiance to England in 1674 with ease and without apparent reservations. "62 III After the restoration of English rule, however, Nicholas Van Rensselaer would convince the Dutch clergy that the alliance with England was not always benign. Born in 1647, a younger son of the first patroon of Rensselaerswyck, Van Rensselaer drifted in and out of schools and apprenticeships before opting for the ministry and then embarking on a quixotic trip to Brussels.

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