By Gary North
This is often the tale of approximately part a century of Puritan experiments with govt controls, all within the identify of Christian ethics, and why these experiments have been eventually deserted as a failure. The Puritans realized from event. This ebook comprises 3 experiences, extracted from North's Ph.D. dissertation, at the Puritan experiments with universal possession of estate, fee controls, and sumptuary laws.
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P. 55. 21. Morris, Gozwnment @ Labor, p. 72. 30 Puritan Economic Experiments 1630 and 1644 – the years of the most rigorous legislation in Massachusetts Bay Colony – less than twenty people were actually convicted for violating the wage and price guidelines. Twice as many people were convicted for speaking out against public authority in this period. 22 The most famous case was the trial of Capt. Robert Keayne, but there is good reason not to regard this as a typical case. Capt. Keayne, officer of the Artillery Company, was a zealous Puritan, a merchant of Boston, a public leader, and the subject of the most famous economic trials of New England.
Americans in peacetime would be left free to pursue their vocations as they chose, not as some governmental panel of “disinterested, distinguished persons” might choose. 3 SUMPTUARY LEGISLATION . . ORD has been pleased to afford unto us in this wilderness, and also declare our utter detestation and dislike that men or women of mean condition, educatiom, and callings should take upon them the garb of gentlemen, by the wearing of gold or silver lace, or buttons, orpointsat tlwir knees, to walk in great boots; or women of the same rank to wear tiffany hooa2 or scarves, which though allowable to persons of greater estates, or more liberal education, yet we cannot but judge it intolerable in persons of such like condition.
Cited hereafter as Ma$s. Col. ] 8. , I, p. 84. 9. , I, pp. 104, 159-60. 10. , I, pp. 159-60: the maximum rate was 4d/s, that is, 4 pence per shilling, or 4/12, or 33 percent. 26 Puritan Economic Experiments a clause which was almost calculated to drive merchants and laborers to distraction. Instead of setting forth in the statute a precise, predictable definition of what constitutes economic injustice, and therefore a breach of the written law, the magistrates chose instead to warn citizens against violating the intent of the law: Whereas the former laws, the one concerning the wages of workmen, the other concerning the prices of commodities, were for diverse good considerations repealed, this present Court, now, for avoiding such mischiefs as may follow thereupon by such ill-disposed persons as may take liberty to oppress and wrong their neighbors, by taking excessive wages for work, or unreasonable prices for such necessary merchandise or other commodities as shall pass from man to man, it is therefore now ordered, that if any man shall offend in any of the said cases against the true intent of this law, he shall be punished by fine or imprisonment, according to the quality of the offense, as the Court upon lawful trial and conviction shall adjudge.