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The Diplomacy of the United States ; being an Account of the
Foreign Relations of the Country, from the First Treaty with France in 1778, to the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, with Great Britain. Boston. Wells & Lilly. 1826. pp.
381. When we read the political writings, in which the question of our independence was originally discussed, they appear to be still a contemporary matter. We recur to the pages of Adam Smith, for example; we ponder the observations of the cool, calculating economist, where he sets a value on the fame and character of the founders of our political greatness, as phlegmatically as he would appraise a bale of cotton; and we ask ourselves, Can it be, that all this has ceased to be speculation, and has now become history? “The persons,” he says, “who now govern the resolutions of what they call their Continental Congress, feel in themselves at this moment a degree of importance, which, perhaps, the greatest subjects in Europe scarce feel. From shopkeepers, tradesmen, and attorneys, they are become statesmen and legislators, and are employed in contriving a new form of government for an extensive empire, which, they flatter themselves, will become, and which, indeed, seems very likely to become, one of the greatest and most formidable that ever was in the world.”