- Sep 2021
re had evolved, which the propagandists of discipline regarded with dismay. Josiah Tucker, the dean of Gloucester, declared in 1745 that "the lower class of people" were utterly degenerated. Foreigners (he sermonized) found "the common people of our populous cities to be the most abandoned, and licentious wretches on earth
Such brutality and insolence, such debauchery and extravagance, such idleness, irreligion, cursing and swearing, and contempt of all rule and authority ... Our people are drunk with the cup of liberty.
This sounds eerily like some of the same sorts of fears, uncertainties, and doubt that middle America has about our bigger cities. Though I'll note that broadly they feel like they're the party of "liberty" now.
This is an interesting data point in the long-running contention between the city and the countryside that seems to dominate large swaths of human history.