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Word Count: 1,436
In order to understand the ramifications of Matthiass formation of his kingdom the socialfinancial ethnic and sexual conditions of the times must be realized as the catalysts that cause the cults to form A whole series of evangelic congregations appeared in the early decades of the nineteenth century in order to serve the poor the emotionally needy those barred from the new prosperousness hopefulness forbearance personal freedom and sensible thought of the business classes Combining good narrative skillsexcellent characterization and historic detail Johnson and Wilentz recreate the engaging tale of a hypocritical prophet and his erroneous followers in New York during the eighteen twenties and thirties The main motif that dominated Matthiass and Elijah Piersons actions involves the beliefs that were instilled in them when they were youngabout the natural order of men and women The patriarchy that ruled Matthiass kingdom originated in both mens thoughts from the Calvinism that was their first doctrine as youths around eighteen hundred Elijahs Morristown First Presbyterian Church and Mathews Coila Anti-Burhgers church enforced the dominance of men through incorporating their domestic authority into church ritual With Elijah men sat at the head of the pew and his father and uncles were church trustees Even though Robert Matthews church had an egalitarian dissolution of power and wealth patriarchal roles were reinforced by men leading their families into church and all the authority figures being male They were taught that God governed the world through fixed relationships of dominance and subordination It is because of Matthews refusal to give up his position as male leader and provider for his family even when they were destitute that led to his descent into lunacy leaving his family in eighteen thirty one This is why women and economic despair play such an important role in the history of the kingdom Margarets rejection of Matthews after his continual attempts to exert his manly dominance through beating her and punishing the children started his
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