“The American Colonies brings the burgeoning scholarship on early America under control and provides students with a graceful, rigorous introduction to American colonial history.” Robert M. Calhoon, Journal of American History
In the following pages, Simmons combines a narrative introduction to early American history with the findings of recent scholarship. As general synthesis is bound to reflect recent scholarship as well as the interests of the author, some of the areas of early American life which seemed to Simmons of particular importance but which are only now being systematically treated are only briefly mentioned. Early American law and legal institutions; crime and punishment; treatment of the poor; and aspects of family life, of wealth distribution, and of social structure may be referred to. Simmons notes that this book was begun and written without any bicentennial expectations, and that it is published in 1976 as the result of chance, not of design.