Page images

Published By

235 East 44th St.
New York, N.Y. 10017



Printed in U.S.A.




General and preliminary Observations.

SIR, I HAVE just read, with all the attention which it was in my power to pay the subject, the different constitutions formed by the United States of America for their respective uses; and, in obedience to your desire, I do myself the honor to submit to your perusal my sentiments concerning them; but not without expressing my hopes that you will obligingly point out to me the light in which I ought to view them,

Whilft alınost every European nation remains plunged in ignorance respecting the conftitutive principles of society, and only regards the people who compose it as cattle upon a farm managed for the particular and exclusive benefit of the owner, we become at once astonished and instructed by the circumstance that your thirteen republics have, in the fame moment, discovered the real dignity of man, and proceeded to draw from the sources of the most enlightened philosophy those humane principles on which they mean to build their forms of government.

Happily for you, the kings of England, when granting to your ancestors charters. for the establishment of your colonies, suf


fered themselves to be guided by their. prejudices and their passions; and were actuated solely by ideas which sprang from avarice and ambition *. By disengaging themselves from a multitude of citizens, who hung upon them like a dead weight, they saw before them the rise and establishment of new provinces destined to increase the majesty of the British empire. At the same time, they flattered themselves with the prospect of opening a fresh fource of riches for the commerce of the mothercountry; and felt a desire to lead


forward to prosperity, in order that they might enjoy even more than yourselves the benefits attendant on its progress. You must have been lost beyond redemption, had these

* We doubtless, should allow too much to this remark by calling it indisputable. The original charters granted to the American colonists, far from being dictated by the prejudices, passions, ainbition and avarice of kings, were congenial with the pure spirit of the British conflitution. Nor do the Americans appear to have complained of their primitive nature and vicws, but of their subsequent violation, K.

princes princes proved sufficiently converfant with the baneful politics of a Machiaval to impose laws upon you of fervice to the purposes of their ambition. Their ignorance was your singular advantage. Not wandering from the track of government in England, they introduced, amongst your ancestors, rules and laws of administration, which, by perpetually keeping alive your recollection that you were the descendants of a free people, invited you to become busied in a close attention to your common interefts. During a long period, you were sacrificed to the interests of the parent-state, and you regarded this offering as a tribute of which juftice demanded the payment, in return for an extended and (to yourselves) a necessary protection. Subsequent to the last war, during the course of which the French loft their whole possessions on your continent, you discovered that your masters were be

. come enfeebled even by their victories; you felt, at length, your own powers; whilst


« PreviousContinue »