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“These two volumes [The Peopling Of British North America: An Introduction and Voyagers To The West] bring to a triumphant culmination not only a distinguished career but some of the best work of an entire generation of American historians …. He wants to come closer than any predecessor to a comprehensive account of immigration to British North America—the origins, the motives, the experience—and these volumes persuade me that he has succeeded….Bailyn has inaugurated one of the most important historical works of the last thirty years.” — David Levin, The Nation
Bernard Bailyn gives us a compelling account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard.
They were a mixed multitude—from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland. They moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures, and under different auspices and circumstances. Even the majority that came from England fit no distinct socioeconomic or cultural pattern. They came from all over the realm, from commercialized London and the southeast; from isolated farmlands in the north still close to their medieval origins; from towns in the Midlands, the south, and the west; from dales, fens, grasslands, and wolds. They represented the entire spectrum of religious communions from Counter-Reformation Catholicism to Puritan Calvinism and Quakerism. …[more]