Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Review: New England and the Bavarian Illuminati by Dr. Vernon Stauffer

Originally written as a doctoral dissertation in 1918 , author of New England and the Bavarian Illuminati, Dr Vernon Stauffer took the political temperature of the day and found a slackening of the strictness of Puritanism. The author’s brief history of the state of affairs before the American revolution gives the reader an understanding of the numerous legislative acts regarding church and state and how the attitudes of the people of New England were in a state of flux. With the waning of the clergy’s influence and the acceptance of foreign ideas,the clergy found themselves in the midst of political discussions. Ministers railed against the spread of atheistical anarchy in France.

This book is an in depth scholarly look at how the sermon of one Jedediah Morse, pastor of Charlestown, set off a spate of debates in newspapers and pamphlets about the proliferation of secret societies or Democratic clubs in New England. The Federalist Clergy were afraid that these societies would foster the ideals of the French Revolution: destruction of church and government. Dr. Stauffer includes a brief history of the beginnings of Illuminism , it’s place in Bavaria and how it spread its influence to many other places , some thought through Masonic Lodges and other secret societies. As fear of the existence of these clubs spread, New England was ripe for the acceptance of a conspiracy theory.

If you are a scholar of history or have a deep abiding interest in early American politics, this extremely well researched book is for you. With a plethora of footnotes, the reader can expand their knowledge of the subject in many ways. If you are just looking to read a conspiracy theory book, this is quite dry and not easily read. 3*** Published by The Invisible College Press,LLC
Thank you to Mini-Bloggers for a copy of this book

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