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THE FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, WITH ADDITIONS AND
IN FOUR VOLUMES,
* NEW YORK: PAINTED BY TIEBOUT AND O'BRIEN, FOR JOHN REID, BOOKSELLER AND STATIONER,
No. 106, WATER-STREET,
P R E F A C E.
event ever proved so interesting, to mankind in gene. sal and to the inhabitants of Europe in particular, as the dircovery of the new world, and the passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope : it at once gave rise to a revolution in the commerce and in the power of nations, as well as in the manners industry and government of almost the whole world. At this period new connections were formed by the inhabitants of the most distant regions, for the supply of wants they had never before experienced. The productions of climates situated under the equator were consumed in countries bordering on the pole ; the industry of the north was transplanted to the south; and the inhabitants of the west were clothed with the manufactures of the cast; in short, a general intercourse of opinions, laws and customs, diseases and remedies, virtues and vices, were established amongst mer.
In Europe, in particular, every thing has been changed in consequence of its commerce and conne&tion with the American continent; but the changes which took place prior to the late revolution, (which established the liberties of the United
States, and transfor ned the dependent colonies of Britain into 120 independent commonwealth, or rather a society of commonWealths) only served to increase the misery of mankind, adding to the power of despotism, and rivetting fafter the shackles
oppreffion; the commerce of Spain, in particular, with th Xpew world, has been supported by a system of rapine, mure
and oppression ; a system that has spread desolat not only in America, but in Europe and A!
however, benefitted but little by it, for her fra and industry, have evidently declined in p influx of the gold of the new continent.
tain, for a considerable period, things appeared somewhat dif. ferent; till the epoch of the revolution her commerce with America increased her national strength, and added to her own industry and wealth, while it desolated and revaged the coast of Africa.
From the period of the revolution, the influence of America on Europe has been of a different kind: the glorious struggle which the United States sustained, and the inquiries to which that eventful period gave rise, did much to raise mankind from that state of abject flavery and degradation, to which despotism, aided by superstition, had sunk them : from that period the rights of man began to be understood, and the principles of civil and religious liberty have been canvafled with a freedom before un. kuown, and their influence has extended itself from the palace to the cottage: in short, the revolution in the late British Ame. rican colonies bids fair ultimately not only to occasion the emancipation of the other European colonies on that continent, but to accomplish a complete revolution in all the old governments of Europe.
We have already seen a patriot king, aided by a hero who fought for the cause of freedom under Washington, struggling to render his people free and happy; and we have witnessed a perjured despot expiating his crimes on the scaffold, at the command of a people rouled to a sense of their injuries and rights, by men who had assisted in establishing the liberties of America, -In reflecting on those scenes as individuals, we can only lament the want of success which has attended the former, and regret the crimes of ambitious and unprincipled individuals, which have certainly tarnished, but not destroyed, the glory of the revolution, which has attended the latter. The storm will, however, ere long pass away, and returning peace will leave tlie other nations of Europe at liberty to contemplate without prejus diçe, not only their own filuation, but the resources of France drawn forth into action under the influence of an energetic government, founded on the will of the people, and administered at an expense far less than wliat the penfioned minions of its for. mer corrupt court alone devoured. Whenever that period ar. rives, and arrive it will, it needs not a spirit of inspiration ta afer, that the other nations of Europe must Tubmit to a tho
formation, or be content to lerold their conimerce, agri.
and population decline.