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By John Kekes

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These debates enjoyed a long afterlife in American religious history, and most denominations were affected to some extent. Should preference be given to ministers who were EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT, 1492-1765 37 godly and zealous, or to the properly trained and ordained? The class implications were obvious, and some evangelicals were willing to ask whether God had specifically prohibited the prophetic spirit from descending on African slaves? The Baptists, typically, were split between Old Light Regulars, who were suspicious of enthusiasm, and New Light Separates, who wanted a reborn membership.

At the southern extreme of the British lands were the Carolinas, which in 1712 were formally divided between north and south. North Carolina, together with Southern Virginia, was the core of a new tobacco region, but the colony diversified its economy through timber and naval stores. The southern third of this territory was not settled until 1733, when it became the colony of Georgia. By the middle of the century the rice and indigo plantations of South Carolina and Georgia supported a rich trade, reflected in the urban development of Charleston (then, correctly, 'Charles Town') and Savannah.

A claim that her actions were inspired by direct revelation sealed her fate, and she was exiled the following year. She naturally found her way to the new colony in Narragansett Bay. Other dissidents followed. Antinomian exiles from Massachusetts were also among the first colonists of New Hampshire, though the settlement there was far more diverse in motive. From about 1640 Rhode Island represented a liberal phenomenon unique in the Christian world and possibly on the planet, all the more remarkable for its establishment at a time of such violent strife between and among the various Christian denominations: this was after all the height of the Thirty Year War in Europe and the worst period of the German witch-craze.

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