A Constitutional Culture: New England and the Struggle Against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire

Adrian C. Weimer
Promotional graphic for the event, featuring the image from the cover of "A Constitutional Culture."

1-2 pm EDT


This event will be held live on Zoom with an interactive Q&A



Join us for a virtual discussion with author Adrian Chastain Weimer to celebrate the release of A Constitutional Culture: New England and the Struggle Against Arbitrary Rule in the Restoration Empire.

In A Constitutional Culture, Weimer uncovers the story of how, more than a hundred years before the American Revolution, colonists pledged their lives and livelihoods to the defense of local political institutions against arbitrary rule.

With the return of Charles II to the English throne in 1660, the puritan-led colonies faced enormous pressure to conform to the crown’s priorities. Charles demanded that puritans change voting practices, baptismal policies, and laws, and he also cast an eye on local resources such as forests, a valuable source of masts for the English navy. In the face of this threat to local rule, colonists had to decide whether they would submit to the commissioners’ authority, which they viewed as arbitrary because it was not accountable to the people, or whether they would mobilize to defy the crown.

Those resisting the crown included not just freemen (voters) but also people often seen as excluded or marginalized such as non-freemen, indentured servants, and women. Together they crafted a potent regional constitutional culture in defiance of Charles II that was characterized by a skepticism of metropolitan ambition, a defense of civil and religious liberties, and a conviction that self-government was divinely sanctioned.

The event is free to all, but registration is required via this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FXyxEovIRASqkdZXmkR5Mg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information, please email info@14beacon.org.


Adrian Chastain Weimer is Professor of History at Providence College. Her first book, Martyrs' Mirror: Persecution and Holiness in Early New England (Oxford, 2011) explores how puritans, Baptists, and Quakers imagined themselves within historical narratives of persecution, especially the stories in John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs.” Weimer's work has been honored with the Jane Dempsey Douglass Prize and the Michael Kennedy Prize, and has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Young Scholars in American Religion program, and through National Endowment for the Humanities Long-term Research Fellowships at the Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society.