Blue Laws

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Term applied to colonial legislation, especially in New England, which restricted personal action in order to improve community morality. A collection of such laws was made by the Rev. Samuel Peters in his derogatory General History of Connecticut (London, 1781), and he was the first to popularize the term. His hatred of republicanism and nonconformity led him to make gross misrepresentations about the stringency of these laws, but his discredited statements have generally found their way into the popular mind.

Subjects: Literature.

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