A Rabble in Arms (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
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illustrated ed
New York University Press
17 illustrations
17 illustrations
229 x 155 x 30 mm
613 g
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7:B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm Blue Cloth on Creme
A Rabble in Arms (inbunden)

A Rabble in Arms

Massachusetts Towns and Militiamen during King Philip's War

Inbunden Engelska, 2009-04-01
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While it lasted only sixteen months, King Philip's War (1675-1676) was arguably one of the most significant of the colonial wars that wracked early America. As the first major military crisis to directly strike one of the Empire's most important possessions: the Massachusetts Bay Colony, King Philip's War marked the first time that Massachusetts had to mobilize mass numbers of ordinary, local men to fight. In this exhaustive social history and community study of Essex County, Massachusetts's militia, Kyle F. Zelner boldly challenges traditional interpretations of who was called to serve during this period. Drawing on muster and pay lists as well as countless historical records, Zelner demonstrates that Essex County's more upstanding citizens were often spared from impressments, while the "rabble" - criminals, drunkards, the poor- were forced to join active fighting units, with town militia committees selecting soldiers who would be least missed should they die in action. Enhanced by illustrations and maps, A Rabble in Arms shows that, despite heroic illusions of a universal military obligation, town fathers, to damaging effects, often placed local and personal interests above colonial military concerns.
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Zelners meticulously researched A Rabble in Arms provides an important corrective to an accepted narrative about democratic egalitarianism in New England towns. Indeed, Zelners findings on the social composition of armed forces, rural democracy and localism in colonial New England correspond with modern works on popular and political culture in early-modern England, as well as Revolutionary and early-national America. -- Guy Chet,author of Conquering the American Wilderness Zelner has done meticulous research on the social composition of the Essex men who went to war in 1675-76. He has done a model job of mining sources to show the complexity of social and economic forces at work in raising military expeditions in Essex County. * The Journal of Military History * Rock-solid research, cleanly presented, answers for one corner of early New England the timeless question: Who serves, fights, and dies? For all the scholarly attention lavished on that part of American history, Zelner is the first to discover the truth. -- John Shy,author of A People Numerous and Armed A carefully researched account of how and why certain men from Essex County, MA, were chosen to fight in King Philip's War. * Choice * Zelner provides a valuable corrective to longstanding assumptions and misunderstandings about the English soldiery in King Philip's War while shedding new light on the powers and values of the elites of the town militia committees....[He] has fundamentally altered the discussion. * New England Quarterly *

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Kyle F. Zelner is Associate Professor of History and a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of War and Society at the University of Southern Mississippi.


List of Figures, Maps, and Tables Acknowledgments Introduction A Note on Method 1 "For the best ordering of the militia": English Military Precedent and the Early Massachusetts Bay Militia 2 The Massachusetts Bay Militia and the Practice of Impressment during King Philip's War 3 Many Men, Many Choices: Impressment in Essex County's Thriving Towns 4 Few Men, Few Options: Impressment in Essex County's Small Towns 5 The Pressed Men of Essex County: The Social Identity of the Soldiers of King Philip's War 6 The Effects of Impressment: War and Peace in Essex County Afterword: Military of Massachusetts Bay Transformed Appendix 1: The Soldiers of Essex County in King Philip's War Appendix 2: Rowley's 1662 Tax List: Ranked by Family with Soldiers' Families Highlighted Appendix 3: Topsfield's 1668 Tax List: Ranked by Family with Soldiers' Families Highlighted Appendix 4: An Examination of the Age of Essex County Soldiers and Officers in King Philip's War Appendix 5: The Occupations of the Soldiers of Essex County Abbreviations Used in Notes Notes Selected Bibliography Permissions Index About the Author