Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

There are many circumstances, which conduce to render the Netherlands, and especially Holland, an object of interest to the American. Foremost among these, I place the agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial industry of the people, and the effects of this upon the physical exterior of the country, and its political fortunes. Its inhabitants have, by their enterprise, their diligence, and courage, recovered from the sea the very land they occupy. They have converted into a garden that which was originally a barren waste, half submerged beneath the ocean. They have covered the country with durable monuments of their enlightened skill. For a time, they succeeded in gathering to their shores the commerce of the world; and although now stripped of most of their foreign colonies, and reduced in commerce by the successful rivalry of other nations, the signs and the results of their past prosperity, and the traits of character which created it, still remain, to interest and instruct the traveller.

Next to this, in attraction to an American, is the political history of the Dutch. The Swiss Cantons and the United Provinces furnish to us the proud and glorious examples of the first great European free governments, among the men of the Germanic race. Revolting from foreign masters, and relying for success upon the elements of strength and liberty which their local institutions afforded, they waged those illustrious wars of independence, which have rendered them a name of honor in Europe and America. The United Provinces, especially, by the great achievements which illuminate their history, the triumphs they gained by sea and land, in their struggle to shake off the Spanish yoke, their speedy rise to wealth and power, by the expansive energies of civil and religious freedom, and the splendid events which signalized their subsequent conflicts, first with England, and then with France, are entitled to engage the careful study of the people of the United States, between whose history and theirs so many points of analogy occur.

Finally, Holland is the father-land of the state of New-York, which is in itself a great empire, surpassing many, and rivalling most, of the free communities of ancient or modern times, and which, in every part of it, bears witness to the peculiar qualities, and particularly to the order, industry, enterprise, and love of liberty, which charac



« ПредишнаНапред »