The author of Oceana, he appears to have been a theorizing republican.
Froude, Oceana (London, 1886).
His Life of Caesar (1879), a glorification of imperialism, betrays an imperfect acquaintance with Roman politics and the life of Cicero; and of his two pleasant books of travel, The English in the West Indies (1888) shows that he made little effort to master his subject, and Oceana (1886), the record of a tour in Australia and New Zealand, among a multitude of other blunders, notes the prosperity of the working-classes in Adelaide at the date of his visit, when, in fact, owing to a failure in the wheatcrop, hundreds were then living on charity.
He believed that to look for the restoration of freedom of foreign trade in Great Britain would have been "as absurd as to expect that an Oceana or Utopia should be established in it."
In Bacon's New Atlantis (1624-29) science is the key to universal happiness; Tommaso Campanella's Civitas Solis (1623) portrays a communistic society, and is largely inspired by the Republic of Plato; James Harrington's Oceana (1656), which had a profound influence upon political thought in America, is a practical treatise rather than a romance, and is founded on the ideas that property, especially in land, is the basis of political power, and that the executive should only be controlled for a short period by the same man or men.