A TUMULTUOUS PEOPLE: THE RAGE FOR LIBERTY AND THE AMBIANCE OF VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE COLONIES IN THE YEARS PRECEDING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION1 Joseph S. Tiedemann Loyola Marymount University t is a daunting task to make sense of the Middle Colonies Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delawarein the period before the American Revolution.2 More than elsewhere in British North America, these four colonies were a discordant medley of peoples of different ethnicities, religions, values, and economic interests, who often viewed government, whether local or imperial, as an intrusive force.3 They were a region with two competing, contrasting focal points: New York City and Philadelphia. They were a land where Quaker pacifists crossed paths with the combative Scots Irish; where large, wealthy landowners, who craved tenants, fought against poorer people, who yearned to own their own small farms; and where colonial governors and provincial assemblies repeatedly vied for power.4 Although it sometimes appeared as if all that united the region's peoples was that they inhabited a territory that bisected New England and the South, the reality was much more complicated. If scholars heed Wayne Bodle and view the Middle Colonies as pennsylvania history: a journal of mid-atlantic studies,
Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Nov 3, 2010
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