DOI link for Colonial Importations
Colonial Importations book
It hardly need be said that the institutional development of the seventeenth century and of the first six decades of the eighteenth century was of fundamental significance in the growth of American government. During these years the ideas and forms transplanted by the colonists from Europe were being slowly adapted to their changing desires and to the needs of a new country. The bases of our political structure are not to be understood without a careful analysis of this process, any more than they can adequately be accounted for without consideration of the English and Continental heritage of the colonists. Ordinarily political theory flourishes in periods of political controversy. During the colonial era there were no controversies comparable to the English Civil War or the American Revolution, but there were a number of struggles which produced some political writing and probably a great deal of political speech-making.