THE FORMATIVE YEARS: 1607-1763 by Clarence L. er Steeg


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Professor Ver Steeg (Northwestern Univ.) has produced an interpretive and ecorously contentious history-book about the Colonial era in this country. His analysis of how the Colonist changed his spots starts with the earliest settlements, clinging like limpets to the shores of North America, and ends with the momentous Battle of Quebec, the outcome of which released the land-hungry colonists from their strip along the Atlantic seaboard and sent them ranging West, spreading a vigorous provincial society based on British institutions. Unlike many historians, Professor er Steeg does not believe it was primarily the forces of environment which transformed the sturdy English yeoman into the red-blooded American. He gives more credit to the social, cultural, legal and religious heritage brought from Europe which, when broken up here by abundant land, expanding trade and immigration, re-formed to produce ""a new provincial American synthesis, distinctive in institutions, in social and economic patterns and in its intellectual attitudes"". Readers will detect that the author is prepared to give the British their due and that he will take sides over the nature of the dissenters of Massachusetts Bay Colony, the influence of the ""Great Awakening"" on the American Revolution and Frederick Jackson Turner's theory of the old Frontier.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1964
Publisher: ill & Wang