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[124] state, a church; and the father was both patriarch and priest. In these free and Christian families arose that intelligent and stubborn enterprise which could turn a wilderness into a garden, and barbarism into civilization. These families, unfettered and individualized, were happy to unite with all around them for the surer attainment of their common end. One principle sanctified all hearts, one aim employed all hands. Here the motto was true, E pluribus unum; “distinct like the billows, but one like the sea.”

The establishment of free schools was another most powerful cause of prosperity to New England. This original idea had potency enough to work out the highest results of private and social good; the profoundest problems of life, government, and religion. It began in the right way, at the right place; it put the lever where it could move the world. Free churches became the continuation of free schools; taking up the process of instruction just where the schools had left it. Religion gave to learning its proper polarity. What would New England have been without its churches?--a plantation without a sun.

Another cause of prosperity was the independence of towns. Each municipality felt itself to be sovereign in the ordering of its own affairs, while it was a recognized part of the body politic. A town, like an individual, must have the habit of self-government. It cannot be ruled by the militia, but only by the combined wisdom of the whole population. While a general government is almost wholly employed in averting evil, a town possesses the power of doing positive good. When our New-England towns levied taxes, opened roads, gathered a militia, founded schools, and supported churches, they did thereby manage the great interests of the colony, and in one sense became national legislatures.

Another cause of prosperity was the absence of the taxes, tolls, fees, restrictions, and monopolies of Old England. Here a man could do what he pleased in lawful work and trade, and could do as much as he wished. Here he could work at two or ten trades, if he was able. This was New-England free trade.

Another cause of prosperity, consequent in some measure on the two last noticed, was the small number of laws made by the General Court. Society here had not reached that complicated state in which powerful political parties, fierce sectional jealousies, and conflicting moneyed aristocracies, so

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