The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Dr. Webb takes a dim view of the rain makers, which is difficult
to understand. Pioneers, successful or unsuccessful, contribute
something to the world's progress, and a nation that could spend
five billion dollars in atomic research can certainly spend a few
million trying to do something about the weather.
For many Dr. Webb's strictly utilitarian treatment may prove
to be a happy introduction to the physics, chemistry, and geology
of what a scientist has called 'ordinary water substance.' Water
in the air, in the sea, on the land, and in the subterranean rocks
is a fascinating subject.
DAVID DONOGHUE
Seedtime of the Republic. By Clinton Rossiter. New York (Har-
court, Brace and Company), 1953. Pp. xiv+558. $7.50.
This is one of the most important and most satisfying publi-
cations that has crossed my desk for many a moon. Very fre-
quently the title of a book has no relation to its contents. Every
paragraph of this book directly relates to its major thesis-the
foundation of the Republic. Its discussion is fresh, thorough, and
penetrating and supported by widely and carefully selected quo-
tations from the most authoritative sources of the colonial period
of our history. Its purpose is to lay the foundation of the revolu-
tion by showing that the concepts of liberty, rights of man, fed-
eralism, and a fundamental law all had their birth prior to 1776.
It is the most adequate and thoroughly integrated treatment of
the evolution of our social, economic, educational, religious, po-
litical, and constitutional institutions which has yet been pub-
lished.
Colonial Protestantism is shown to have possessed in addition
to its austerity and religious tyranny the elements of liberty, in-
dividualism, and fundamental law. Puritanism stressed (1) the
idea of covenant or contract or the idea of consent as the basis
of both the church and government, (2) the concept of a higher
law which it claimed could be written out-a written constitu-
tion, (3) the doctrine of individualism in both economics and
government, (4) dependence of liberty on education, and (5)
morality as a basis of democracy. By 1765 the religious sects of
Colonial America were preaching that resistance to oppression
was obedience to God and economic individualism was clashing

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/. Accessed October 21, 2014.