We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
New England government was charged with the creation of a moral society. There was nothing that was not its business: how much did a master pay his apprentices? Who celebrated Christmas? Who was cheating on his or her spouse? The duty of government was to make society live right; the university, the pulpit, the newspaper — these were to be the allies of government in the struggle for good.
Even after the old alliance between church and state in New England was broken up for good (the establishment of religion at the state level lasted almost 50 years after the ratification of the Constitution in Massachusetts and Connecticut) the acolytes of New England righteousness worked to make the American government a force for the moral uplift of the American people. Many of their causes today look prescient: the abolition of slavery and voting rights for women. Others, prohibition, eugenics and various forms of food-nuttery matching the changing scientific fashions of the day, look weird.
Over the centuries, New England has changed its theology while remaining loyal to its cultural foundations.
Scripture was society's moral authority, and the church "society's moral agent". To say "the state was society's moral agent" may be technically correct insofar as Massachusetts was a theocracy, but the attribution gets the analysis off on the wrong foot as the eventual differentiation of sacred and secular authority historically evolved in New England.
Roger Williams and Thomas Hooker found that the state WAS "the enemy of liberty"; ergo Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Yankees did not take up arms in 1775 so "strong kings would keep their feudal oppressors in check"; but so natural law, English common law, and the Magna Carta would check an over-reaching government.
Prior to July 4, 1776, Yankees were proto-Americans. The Declaration defines Americans as "We [who] hold these truths to be self-evident (i.e. axioms)..."
Yankees as blue big-federal-nanny-statists? Not heah.
Ralph Thayer, New London