The epilogue glances forward to the imperial crisis of the 1760s when colonial politicians like the Virginian burgess Richard Bland sought to reconstruct the circumstances by which the Renaissance empire gave rise to colonies like Virginia that took for granted their substantive civil integrity in relation to the state. Bland was sufficiently a product of the Enlightenment era and its own embrace of the Hobbesian theory of state sovereignty that he struggled to understand fully how such colonial commonwealths came into being. Yet, he grasped much about the Christian humanist logic on which Virginians had defined their polity, and he had no doubt that the British American empire's current constitutional arrangements were incomprehensible except in relation to English colonization's sixteenth- and seventeenth-century beginnings.
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