put forth in the name of the ascendent people of that
Chap. LXX.} 1776. July 4.
time, it was sure to make the circuit of the world, passing everywhere through the despotic countries of Europe
; and the astonished nations as they read that all men are created equal, started out of their lethargy, like those who have been exiles from childhood, when they suddenly hear the dimly remembered accents of their mother tongue.
In the next place, the declaration, avoiding specious and vague generalities, grounds itself with anxious care upon the past, and reconciles right and fact.
Of universal principles enough is repeated to prove that America chose for her own that system of politics which recognises the rule of eternal justice; and independence is vindicated by the application of that rule to the grievous instructions, laws, and acts, proceeding from the king, in the exercise of his prerogative, or in concurrence with the lords and commons of Great Britain
The colonies professed to drive back innovations; and not, with roving zeal, to overturn all traditional inequalities; they were no rebels against the past, of which they knew the present to be the child; with all the glad anticipations of greatness that broke forth from the prophetic soul of the youthful nation, they took their point of departure from the world as it was. They did not even declare against monarchy itself; they sought no general overthrow of all kings, no universal system of republics; nor did they cherish in their hearts a lurking hatred against princes.
Loyalty to the house of Hanover
had, for sixty years, been another name for the love of civil and religious liberty; the vast majority, till within a few years or months, believed the English
constitution the best that had ever existed; neither