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The story of Concord has been told many times by countless authors; this story is one that has inhabited a special place in the hearts of Americans. Tales of heroism by the typically unnoted country farmers inspired not only the revolutionaries of the time, but also inspired Americans thereafter to have pride in their ancestors and fellow countrymen. The Minutemen and Their World, by Robert A. Gross, tells this same story. However, this book takes a different approach. According to the author’s own words, this book, “sets the Concord fight… in the contexts of the townspeople’s ordinary lives, before and after April 19, 1775” (Gross, 1971 pg. xv). The Minutemen and Their World is part of a, “new social history” (Gross, 1971 pg. xvi). Gross deviates from the popular, dominative narrative of the United States to, “telling the story of failure” (Gross, 1971 pg. ) as he puts it.
In the early 1700’s, Concord was a fairly prosperous rural town, and as the name implies, sought social harmony. Existing about 20 miles outside of Boston between major roads, Concord well-located, agrarian society with a rapidly increasing population. This increase in population caused significant problems for the populace of Concord. With the population increases, there were more and more sons demanding an inheritance. Because of this chronic land shortage, sons were being forced into a precarious future on the frontier. As sons grew more restless in their predicament, the daughters were also asserting their independence from their parents. They were increasingly circumventing their parents authority to wed them off however they pleased through prenuptial pregnancies.
The generations were also separated in politics. The leaders of the community of Concord were repeatedly chosen from the same pool of candidates for decades before the American Revolution. The richest, most successful men in were chosen as their selectmen and militia leaders. Even church membership was exclusive. Religion served as another point of contention among the people of Concord. In the early 18th century, the Great Awakening, a protestant revival movement, was in full swing. When ministers who subscribed to the philosophies of the Great Awakening became the towns principal ministers, many of townspeople, “Old lights,” as some called them, were appalled. They considered the abandonment of tradition and emotional sermons to be an, “outright disgrace” (Gross, 1971 pg. 19).
Because the people of Concord had a strong desire for social harmony, they were considered, “reluctant revolutionaries”. They mostly ignored legislature, and only opposed that which directly affected them.

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