The association movement and the politics of church settlement during the interregnum
in Church polity and politics in the British Atlantic world, c. 1635–66
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This chapter presents a fresh analysis of the nature of the Association Movement in interregnum England and Ireland. It surveys the various local associations, using their constitutions and position statements to modify the long-held view that the association movement was an outgrowth of Richard Baxter’s drive for Christian unity. The chapter argues that the associations in general had a presbyterian basis, looking back to the Westminster assembly’s project as the foundation of local unity. The chapter then focuses on the political status of the associations in the interregnum, arguing that in the later years of the 1650s, the associations were eclipsed by a renewal of the struggle between congregationalists and presbyterians for control of religious policy in government.

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