05 May 2013

Two Years Old--Thoughts on Gilded Age/Progressive Era Baptists

I just thought that I would note that this blog is turning two years old today. Over the past two years, I've posted 126 posts. This one makes the 127th. I have had over 27,000 page views according to the on-site stats.

Some of the things that I've found most interesting are the things that other people are searching for on the internet. Surprisingly, the most popular post that I've had is related to the Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647. I would not have figured that nearly 1,600 people would have an interest in this relatively narrow topic, although it is pretty interesting because of the fact that it shows that the Puritans were very interested in education and were actually willing to levy taxes to pay for it.

Much of my work on this site has focused on Puritans. I have other interests, and my recently-approved dissertation actually focused upon Gilded Age/Progressive Era North Dakota Baptists. These folks tended to emphasize many of the same things that the general Protestant establishment did. Prohibition, a Progressive Era reform (in spite of the idea that it was a conservative concept), showed up in the minutes of just about annual meeting of the North Dakota Baptist State Convention--even after Prohibition became the law of the land in 1918.

The North Dakota Baptists would have agreed largely with Rudyard Kipling's idea of the "White Man's Burden" as the idea of evangelizing and civilizing seemed to come together and get conflated at the time. Of course, it is interesting to note that Jesus said to make disciples, not Anglo-Americans, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many believed that these two ideas were one and the same. Some would still seem to think that this is the case.

I'll be interested to see what the next two years has in store as I begin the transition from full-time grad student to full-time instructor.