THE LAMP OF EXPERIENCE by H. Trevor Colbourn


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In a well documented, carefully footnoted book, H. Trevor Colbourn has explored the sources for the colonial concepts of the rights of Englishmen. The study of history was the colonial leaders' major intellectual interest, and though it was not the prime cause of their actions, it helped influence their thinking and ultimate decisions. In its exaltation of Parliament's antiquity, the Whig interpretation of history helped support Parliament's claims against royal prerogative and proved most useful to colonial leaders in their polemics against English rule. It demonstrated to Americans that they were entitled to all the rights of Englishmen and that their liberties were deeply entrenched in English history.... The author has written a book which contributes substantially to historical knowledge and makes few concessions to popular appeal. He succeeds very well in further illuminating the intellectual foundations of the American Revolution. Limited.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1965
Publisher: Univ. of North Carolina