Sabbatarianism followed. King James I and his son Chariesrntried to hold them off with a famous proclamation known asrnThe Book of Sports, whieh forbade the Puritans to interferernwith the people’s traditional Sunday amusements. These includedrndecorating the church before services, as well as playing,rndancing, eating, drinking, and singing afterwards. But the infuriatedrnPuritans would have their revenge: they cut offrnChades’s head, and in England under the Commonwealth, asrnin Scotland and Massachusetts, they forbade the keeping ofrnholidays in general and banned in particular recreation onrnSundays, even walking for pleasure. When the King camernhome on May 29, 1660, the people were so relieved theyrnstrewed his road from Dover to London with flowers and declaredrnthe occasion a new holy day.rnPuritanism, like communism, was an aberration that wasrnbound to disappear sooner or later. Even in Massachusettsrnand Scotland most of the “blue laws” are now repealed or inrnabeyance, although in Massachusetts one still cannot buyrnwine or beer on Sundays (unless he lives within ten miles ofrnthe New Hampshire border). Yet the effects of three hundredrnyears of Sabbatarianism linger. The capacity for joy oncernlost is not easily regained; or as someone said, a roomful of Anglo-rnSaxons trying to amuse themselves can make a curiousrnspectacle. We find it especially hard, except on rare nationalrnoccasions, to enjoy ourselves communally as our pre-Puritanrnancestors did. Worse, the pleasant habit of self-righteousnessrnis a hard one to shake. One cannot help wondering how muchrnof the sheer flapdoodle of the recent presidential campaign, especiallyrnthe humorless moral grandstanding, is a legacy of thernPuritan past.rnNonetheless, we still have our day of rest to do with as wcrnwish. In these parts a fairly typical middle-class Sunday mightrnbegin with a devout reading of the Sunday New York ‘limes,rnproceed to one of our local cathedrals of commerce—ourrnmalls—for an afternoon’s shopping, and end with MasterpiecernTheater and British sit-coms on public television forrnvespers. It would not satisfy Ruskin or the writer of Psalmrn118, but it sure beats a day confined to three sermons andrnThe Pilgrim’s Progress. crnFrank W. Brownlow is a professor of English at Mt. HolyokernCollege.rnIV. HONORING THY PARENTSrnby Allan CarlsonrnThis divine order links children’s respect for their parentsrnand the bonding of the generations to the promise ofrnlife and success on the land. In these latter days, to be sure, thernextended family stands among the most battered of traditionalrninstitutions, while the quasi-religious linkage of landrnand family has all but vanished. It is well to remember,rnthough, how recently these changes occurred.rnFar into the 19th Christian century, the ties between therngenerations in America remained firm. They defined the dutiesrnand expectations of individuals and spun a web of protectionrnagainst the ambitions of potentates, in ways that thernancient Israelites would have understood. As the new historiansrnremind us, the dominant American social pattern throughrnthe I830’s was hierarchical and patriarchal, in the YankeernNorth as well as in the Planter South. Americans gave first loyaltyrnto kin, and they organized their lives around small householdrneconomies and subsistence agriculture, viewing them asrnthe material foundations of liberty.rnUntil very recently, on the biblical scale of time, land andrnfamily formed the critical nexus. The preservation of thernfamily freehold into the future was the American preoccupation.rnFarms and families were “two halves of a corporaternwhole,” where the family served as a revolving fund, shiftingrnland resources between the generations. Family membersrnsubordinated economic gain to the extended family’s longtermrnsecurity, achieved through settling and cultivating thernsoil.rnThe Great Disorder set in after 1840, when new forces beganrnto tear families from the land and family member fromrnfamily member. The standard, Whiggish course is to point tornindustrialization, or the rise of factories as replacements forrnprimitive home economies and as liberating agents for individuals.rnBut again, the new historians offer a more telling explanation.rnIt was not industry, per se, that first disruptedrnAmerican family patterns. For several decades, in fact, familyrnand household frameworks contained the industrial impulse.rnRather, it was the inculcation of “individualistic ideals”rnthrough the state’s new “common schools” that shattered thernold system. As demographer Norman Ryder has explained,rn”education of the junior generation is a subversive influence.rnBoys who go to school distinguish between what they learnrnthere and what their fathers can teach them. . . . There is arnstruggle between the family and the state for the minds ofrnthe young,” where state schools make “a direct appeal to thernchildren over the heads of the parents.”rnFor the next one hundred years, American social historyrncould be written as the government’s steady appropriation ofrnever more family functions. Mandatory school attendancernlaws and the “protection” of children from “inadequate” parentsrncame in the late 19th century, while bans on “child labor”rn(or more aptly put, the socialization of children’s time) followedrnin the early 20th. In the I930’s, the federal governmentrnsocialized the insurance value of children through staternold-age pensions, shattering the most important economicrnbond between the generations of a single family. More recently.rnMedicare took direct responsibility for the old, thernsick, and the incontinent. All the while, farming familiesrnsteadily retreated before the terrible union of big industry andrncentralized government, with the founding vision of an agrarianrnrepublic left buried in the rubble.rnThe contemporary American landscape is littered with thernconsequences: empty farmhouses and the latifundia ofrnagribusiness and absentee owners; vast retirement cities inrnDECEMBER 1992/17rnrnrn