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CO N T E N T S.
P R E F A Ċ E.
O event ever proved 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 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 manufacture's. 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 hackles 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 abje& lavery 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 ultiinately 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 witneffed a perjured defpot 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 aflisted in establishing the liberties of America.
-In reflecting on those scenes as individuals, we can only lament the want of fuccess 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 wilt leave the oiher nations of Europe' at liberty to contemplate without prejudice, not only their own situation, but the tesources of France drawn forth into action under the influence of an energetic government, founded on the will of the people, and administered at an expenfe far less than what the penfioned minions of its former corrupt court alone devoured. Whenever that period arrives, and arrive it will, it needs'not a fpirit of inspiration to assert, that the other nations of Europe must submit to a thorough reformation, or be content to behold their commerce, agriculture, and population decline.
In the mean time the United States are profiting by the convulsed situation of Europe, and increasing, in a degree hitherto unparalleled in the history of nations, in population and opulence. Their power, commerce and agriculture, are rapidly on the increase, and the wisdom of the federal government has hitherto been such as to render the prospect of a settlement under its fostering influence truly inviting to the merchant, the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the industrious'labourer: nor have these alone found the United States advanlageous ; the persecuted in France or England have there found an asylum, where their lives, property and liberty are secure ; where they may almost say, the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at reft. Nor can any doubt be entertained, but in a short period the man of science, as well as the contemplative and experimental philofopher,' will find the shores of Columbia equally propitious to their wishes. Education is sending forth its illuminating “rays, and its influence on the rising generation will aid the Americans in all their other pursuits.
: The: inhabitants of Europe are not infenfible of these favoutable circumstances. The charms of civil and religious liberty, the advantages of an extensive and fertile, but onculti