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A Paradise of ReasonWilliam Bentley and Enlightenment Christianity in the Early Republic$
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J. Rixey Ruffin

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326512.001.0001

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 Vox Populi, Vox Dei

 Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Chapter:
(p.153) 9 Vox Populi, Vox Dei
Source:
A Paradise of Reason
Author(s):

J. Rixey Ruffin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326512.003.0011

Bentley had led the Democratic‐Republican Party to victory, but not all of Salem's Republicans followed along for the reasons he offered. Many, perhaps most, of Salem's Republicans were evangelicals, not rationalists. They supported the party not because of its advocacy of disestablishment—at least that was not an important part of the public rhetoric—but rather because they too were economic republicans, even if of a different sort than Bentley. They brought to the party a social ideology derived from Jonathan Edwards rather than from Rousseau. Even so, both Bentley and the evangelicals—Baptists and Methodists and New Light Congregationalists—stood on the essential common ground of Christian republicanism, and if it was an awkward fit for both factions, such was the nature of oppositionalism in New England's First Party System.

Keywords:   Democratic‐Republican Party, evangelical, disestablishment, Rousseau, Jonathan Edwards, Baptists, Methodists, New Light, Christian republicanism

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