Early American History Seminar Colonial Proprieties: Atlantic Possession in England’s Restoration Era 2 October 2012.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Daniel K. Richter, University of Pennsylvania Comment: Steven Pincus, Yale University

A century ago, historians of the “imperial school” were fascinated by the fact that every new English colony established during the Restoration period took the form of a proprietorship, that is that they were the personal property of one or a few great men enjoying neo-feudal privileges. This paper suggests that, despite its fusty fixation on constitutional forms, the imperial school was on to something. Proprietaries were not mere institutional devices but central to the kind of empire Charles II and his courtiers thought they were creating.