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[458] uniting beyond all others celerity with courage, knew
chap. XX.} 1763.
best how to endure the hardships of forest life and to triumph in forest warfare. Its ocean chivalry had given a name and a colony to Carolina, and its merchants a people to Acadia. The French discovered the basin of the St. Lawrence; were the first to explore and possess the banks of the Mississippi, and planned an American empire that should unite the widest valleys and most copious inland waters of the world.

But New France was governed exclusively by the monarchy of its metropolis; and was shut against the intellectual daring of its philosophy, the liberality of its political economists, the movements of its industrial genius, its legal skill, and its infusion of protestant freedom. Nothing representing the new activity of thought in Modern France, went to America. Nothing had leave to go there, but what was old and worn out. The government thought only to transmit to its American empire, the exhausted polity of the Middle Ages; the castes of feudal Europe; its monarchy, its hierarchy, its nobility, and its dependent peasantry; while commerce was enfeebled by protection, stifled under the weight of inconvenient regulations, and fettered by exclusive grants. The land was parcelled out in seignories; and though quitrents were moderate, transfers and sales of leases were burdened with restrictions and heavy fines. The men who held the plough were tenants and vassals, of whom few could either write or read. No village school was open for their instruction; nor was there one printing press in either Canada1 or Louisiana.

1 General Murray to the Earl of Egremont, Quebec, 5 June, 1762: ‘The former government would never suffer a printing press in the country.’ And again Gen. Murray to Secretary Shelburne, 30 August, 1766: ‘They are very ignorant, and it was the policy of the French government to keep them so; few or none can read; printing was never permitted in Canada, till we got possession of it.’

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