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The Memory Of The Huguenots In North America: Protestant History And Polemic

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Chapter Summary

American historians, preachers and politicians from the early seventeenth century to the present have found the study of Huguenots an important element in their polemics. Most recent historiography of America Huguenots focused on the rapid nature of their assimilation into, and largely disappearance from, the religious landscape of Colonial America. Considering their relatively small impact on the demographic landscape of Colonial America, Huguenots' consistent appearance in both the political and religious rhetoric of American society well into the nineteenth century must be attributed to something other than their physical presence. Despite this relatively rapid absorption into American Protestantism, Huguenots maintained a place in the rhetoric and polemics of America which far outweighed their physical presence. This chapter focuses mainly on local and community studies of Huguenots. It argues that, contrary to Butler's thesis of assimilation, there were pockets, mainly in rural areas, where Huguenot religion and culture persisted and thrived.

Keywords:American Protestantism; American society; Colonial America; English Colonies; Huguenots; millenarian apocalypticism; nineteenth century; North America; polemics



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