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Converging Worlds by Louise A. Breen

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Part III

THEMES

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This section examines themes that had a direct bearing on individual and collective identity. The need to make spiritual sense of the world, to organize productive labor, to construct and support families capable of transmitting whatever legacies or lessons were deemed to be of value to future generations, and to determine who could be trusted and who could not, were felt keenly by all denizens of early America. These needs generated conflict and competition as different groups of people struggled to create the best possible lives—and infuse them with meaning—no matter what their situation. Voluntarily or under severe duress, countless ...

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