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AMERICAN UNITED STATES,
AND OF THE
AMERICA AND THE WEST-INDIES.
IN FOUR VOLUMES.
PRINTED FOR THE COMPILER;
J. RIDGWAY, YORK STREET.
PRE FAC E.
TVO event ever proyed so interesting, to mankind in general and to the inhabitants of Europe in particular, as the discovery 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 com merce 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 vas transplanted to the south ; and the inhabitants of the west were clothed with the manufactures of the east ; in short, a general intercourse of opinions, laws and customs, diseases and remedies, virtues and vices, were established amongst men.
In Europe, in particular, every thing has been changed in consequence of its commerce and connection with the American continent; but the changes which took place prior to the late revolution, (which established the liberties of the United States, and transformed the dependent colonies of Britain into an independent commonwealth, or rather a society of commonwealths) only served to increase the misery of mankind, adding to the power of despotism, and rivetting faster the shackles of oppression ; the commerce of Spain, in particular, with the new world, has been supported by a system of rapine,
murder and oppression ; a system that has spread desolation and distress not only in America, but in Europe and Africa. She has, however, benefitted but little by it, for her strength, commerce and industry, have evidently declined in proportion to the influx of the gold of the new continent. With GreatBritain, for a considerable period, things appeared somewhat different; 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 ravaged 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 slavery 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 canvassed with a freedom before unknown, and their influence has extended itself from the palace to the cottage: in short, the revolution in the late British American 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 liave already seen a patriot king, aided by a hero who fought for the cause of freedoin under Washington, struggling to render his people free and happy ; and we liave witnefled a perjured despot expiating his crimes on the scaffold, at the command of a people roused to a sense of their injuries and rights, by men who had aslifted 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