Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846 by Kenneth H. Winn

By Kenneth H. Winn

Utilizing the concept that of "classical republicanism" in his research, Kenneth Winn argues opposed to the typical view that the Mormon faith was once an excellent phenomenon representing a countercultural ideology essentially subversive to American society. quite, he continues, either the Saints and their enemies affirmed republican rules, yet in appreciably assorted ways.Winn identifies the 1830 founding of the Mormon church as a non secular protest opposed to the pervasive disease plaguing antebellum the US, attracting those who observed the libertarianism, spiritual pluralism, and industry capitalism of Jacksonian the US as threats to the Republic. whereas non-Mormons shared the conception that the Union used to be at risk, many observed the Mormons as one of many leader threats. basic worry of Joseph Smith and his fans ended in verbal and actual assaults at the Saints, which strengthened the Mormons' conviction that the United States had descended into anarchy. through 1846, violent competition had pushed Mormons to the uninhabited nice Salt Lake Basin.

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Sample text

I remember her and the rest of the staff fondly. At an early stage of my research I received useful advice from Linda Wilcox and Stephen C. LeSueur. Many other people have been helpful along the way. Jean Baker and Robert Shalhope gave me a number of useful comments on my third chapter. I hope they can find reason to like the rest. More generally, I would be remiss if I did not express my admiration for the practitioners of the "New Mormon History" (although, like the "New Social History," the New Mormon History is not very new anymore).

Americans constantly feared that a republic was not strong enough to defend itself. Anarchy reared its head when the rabble, generally men with no stake in society, or a set of "designing men" fractured the body politic into unrestrained factions. Republicans knew that the people would never tolerate chaos and feared they would turn to the champion on the white horse who brought the order of the sword. It was the ambitious strong man, or perhaps a "secret combination" of men, who walked the straighter road to tyranny.

The model Nephite is not the poor man, but an industrious, self-reliant, middling farmer who disdains luxury and self-seeking at the expense of others and at the same time displays a sensitive concern for his community and the poor. The political state in the Book of Mormon is not formally a republic but a theocracy, ruled first by kings and then by judges. Nevertheless, the political sentiments espoused by the Nephites rang just as familiarly in the ears of Jacksonians as did their social values.

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