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The First Frontier Life in Colonial America John C Miller Lanham University Press of America 1966 In his historical novel The First Frontier Life in Colonial America John C Miller tells of the taming of a harsh frontier He tackles such topics as Puritans versus Quakers southern plantation versus cities and everyday life in the colonial period Most people do not realize how similar Quakers and Puritans really are Both came to the new world to escape persecution The Puritans planned to create a Heaven on Earth The Quakers desired a fresh start in order to create an apostolic church The main difference in belief between the two consisted of timing The Puritans believed that God changed people slowly into what he desired them to be The Quakers expected a sudden spark of inner light which signaled contact with the Almighty p 74 However both groups promoted high standards of moral behavior inflicted harsh punishments and discouraged outsiders from trying to enter their settlement Most recreational activities in which Englishmen participated were considered shameful in the eyes of these strict religious societies In addition to religion Miller speaks of the differences between southern plantations and cities The majority of the population resided in rural areas because farming proved necessitous Due to the large number of people required to operate a plantation jobs were plentiful and plantation owners typically had large numbers of children Philadelphia the largest city topped all others in traffic control street cleaning and lighting On the other hand some disliked it due to William Penns severely rectangular city plan p 124 Cities had perks like the theater which rural areas lacked however the Puritans were not concerned with this because they disapproved of theater as they did of many things Southern Plantations were renowned for their hospitality to travelers In fact hotels complained that they could not make a living because plantation owners took in travelers without charge Also
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