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[5] seemingly lifeless, like the dust; ready to be whirled
chap. I.} 1748.
in clouds by the tempest of public rage, with a force as deadly as that of the sand storm in the Libyan desert. The voice of reform, as it passed over the desolation, would inspire animation afresh; but in the classes whose power was crushed, as well as in the oppressed who knew not that they were redeemed, it might also awaken wild desires, which the ruins of a former world could not satiate. In America, the influences of time were moulded by the creative force of reason, sentiment, and nature. Its political edifice rose in lovely proportions, as if to the melodies of the lyre. Peacefully and without crime, humanity was to make for itself a new existence.

A few men of Anglo-Saxon descent, chiefly farmers, planters, and mechanics, with their wives and children, had crossed the Atlantic in search of freedom and fortune. They brought the civilization which the past had bequeathed to Great Britain; they were followed by the slave-ship and the African; their happiness invited emigrants from every lineage of Central and Western Europe; the mercantile system, to which they were subjected, prevailed in the councils of all metropolitan states, and extended its restrictions to every continent that allured to conquest, commerce, or colonization. The accomplishment of their independence would agitate the globe, would assert the freedom of the oceans as commercial highways, vindicate power in the commonwealth for the united judgment of its people, and assure to them the right to a self-directing vitality.

The authors of the American Revolution avowed for their object the welfare of mankind, and believed

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