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"No newe enterprize"

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TitleInfo
Title
"No newe enterprize"
SubTitle
empirical political science and the problem of innovation in the colonial English Americas
Name (type = personal)
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Mazzaferro
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Alexander McLean
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Alexander McLean Mazzaferro
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author
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Iannini
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Christopher
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Christopher Iannini
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chair
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McGill
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Meredith
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Meredith McGill
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Jones
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Douglas
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Douglas Jones
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Hickman
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Jared
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Jared Hickman
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
Role
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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Text
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theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (qualifier = exact)
2017
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2017-10
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2017
Place
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xx
Language
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eng
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation offers a literary history of rebellion in England’s seventeenth-century American colonies informed by two understudied aspects of early modern political thought. First, it recovers the prohibition on what writers in the period pejoratively called “innovation,” a synonym for revolt reflective of the widespread assumption that any form of change, however small or ostensibly apolitical, was guaranteed to be politically disruptive. Second, it charts the rise of an empirical approach to political knowledge grounded in the eyewitness report genre and focused on the threat of political innovation: a particularizing, inductive alternative to the abstract, deductive discourse of “political philosophy” that I call “Atlantic political science.” In the absence of modern disciplinary distinctions, elites throughout English North America and the Caribbean adapted representational strategies from an emergent natural science in order to make sense of unfamiliar situations, for which the inherited axioms of classical and scriptural political thought failed to prepare them. These scientific techniques helped them to predict, narrate, and thwart the various forms of political innovation threatening their fledgling settlements: from mutiny and heresy to Native American warfare and slave insurrection. But if empiricism fortified the colonial project at a crucial moment, when it still seemed deeply transgressive and entirely unforeordained, it also made inadvertently “audible” the very anticolonial critique it was meant to overcome. Articulated by underclass “innovators,” this critique emphasized the incriminating novelty of colonialism’s elite-sponsored institutions, including repressive new forms of governance, new theologies, and new economic regimes like slavery. Political innovation was not so much prohibited as monopolized by various constituencies in the period because it was not only a pervasive polemical term for rebellion but also a key aspect of modern sovereignty. Appropriating the divine right to enact change, colonial leaders insisted that observably exceptional New World circumstances authorized certain departures from precedent. Rereading political-scientific reports by writers like William Strachey, John Winthrop, and Richard Ligon thus allows us to recast anticolonial rebellion not as a form of “radicalism”—an unabashedly pro-change ethos that only emerges in the late eighteenth century—but rather as resistance to change. Charting the successive emergence of colonies in the greater Chesapeake, New England, and the Caribbean, the dissertation reframes the settlement period as an extended conflict between innovation and “counter-innovation,” that is, between top-down change and restorative underclass rebellion. Ultimately, the project expands our narrow definition of political thought beyond the Eurocentric canon of political philosophy, demonstrates colonialism’s centrality to innovation’s positive transvaluation in the late eighteenth century, and recovers from the history of anticolonial resistance a concept of salutary political change liberated from the hubris of Euro-Christian absolutism and sorely needed in our own innovation-obsessed moment.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Literatures in English
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
American literature--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
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Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_8265
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electronic resource
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application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (x, 299 p.)
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Alexander McLean Mazzaferro
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Title
School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/T38W3HFQ
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
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Name
FamilyName
Mazzaferro
GivenName
Alexander
MiddleName
McLean
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RightsEvent
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Permission or license
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2017-07-27 22:37:12
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Alexander Mazzaferro
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Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
Detail
I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
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2019-07-29
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (point = end); (qualifier = exact)
2021-10-31
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Access to this PDF has been restricted at the author's request. It will be publicly available after October 31st, 2021.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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