This first book of the sixth volume centers on the Revolutionary and Constitutional eras in early American history, while also carrying the story ahead into the early 19th century. How did the American founders adapt and utilize European thought in their political and legal ideas on sovereignty, state, and legislation? Because of the seismic impact of European thought (and classical traditions) on America's foremost founders, it should come as no surprise that some of the most basic documents in the emergent new Republic were significantly influenced by European writings. Subsequent studies will take up the same basic themes in American thought and events from the mid-19th century to the present period.
The common denominator of legislation is seen to underlie their concepts of sovereignty and the state across a diverse range of isms such as utilitarianism, positivism, idealism, socialism, and nationalism, in the 19th century and in related neo and anti-neo forms in the 20th century. The organization and classification of these and other issues is on the whole novel and comprehensive. As various reviewers have indicated, nothing of this magnitude on the subjects at hand has ever before been attempted.