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of the family over another, have their origin and inspiration, in the government which such nation adopts, and in the character of their freedom, and the moral efficacy and utility of the institutions which they erect. In this respect, no example of ancient or modern times compares with our own—which incontestibly proves, that the true theory of human happiness and success, consists in the liberty of physical pursuits, and the imposition of only such laws as are calculated to promote and consecrate our freedom.. ,
The contest of progressive rivalry in the nineteenth century, has been confined to the United States, France and Great Britain. But both France and Great Britain had passed through almost every political stage toward the attainment of a perfect state of government, before the birth of the American Union. Both had invoked the philosophy and experience of twenty centuries to aid in constructing their social fabrics, and to vindicate every resort to revolution, to bloodshed, to tyranny, or to anarchy. They had built upon the splendid sites, vacated alternately by barbaric and civilized monarchies or commonwealths; and had endeavoured, by cautious diplomacy and rigid discipline, to avoid encountering those fearful disasters which had befallen those cities and empires, which had crumbled and strewn Europe and Asia with their ruins. The people of the United States, on the contrary, had come hither, not only actuated by various and opposite motives, but from countries recognising conflicting systems of government, and severally imbued with antagonistical feelings and prejudices—some seeking an asylum from oppression-some led by a spirit of adventure; some to expiate crimes in banishment; some to better their fortunes; and some, who preferred hardships and exile, with freedom of conscience, to ease and luxury with a trammelled conscience. And of this people-strangers to each other, strangers in their intercourse, and strangers in their sympathies - it was expected to make a nation, unanimous in sentiment, harmonious in action, and concurrent in popular suffrage! How could it be believed, that these adverse and diverse elements should co-operate, fraternize and counsel together, and, as by a word, put all the wheels of a civil and practical government in motion? The leading nations of Europe, of which France and Great Britain were the eminent representatives, had been influenced by circumstances, and tutored by expediencies, until the population of each had been moulded to a unity, and the bond of sympathy, superadded to that of interest, was made complete. They had reached, at the time of the American revolution, that social condition which is wanting in none of the essential qualities of a united family, nor of the filial instincts which become potriotism or martyrdom, in the devotion with which the subject serves his king. But it was a happy coincidence that brought a union among the American colonies ; for otherwise, being in the social condition we have described, without any political organization, whatever, as a whole, a hundred years
labouto in vene, nments." had a
elsewhere, to any logic which might have fallen from lips merely trained to declaim. muiden
England and France, as representatives of civilization in Europe, be it remembered, had not yet exhausted the list of purely doctrinal governments. They continued (they have since continued] to invent, after the fathers of the revolution pronounced their labours complete. The wide difference was, and is, that the latter brought to bear the fruits of practical experience from every portion of Europe, and incorporated that experience in the instrument which they framed. The former, who have had no such fountain of information whence to draw supplies, have merely discarded one theory for another, and are, consequently, behind us nearly eighty years in liberty and legitimate legislation. Having attained the primary object of human welfare-the establishment of civil institutions — we have had little to exercise our thoughts but to develop our genius, and push our enterprise to the extent of our ambition. This must account for our unrivalled progress
-the realization of that greatness which is as astounding to the rotten despotisms of Europe, as it is gratifying to every well-wisher of the Union..
In order to comprehend fully this greatness, we have combined with the census statistics that follow, official data relative to the external commerce of the country,
One hundred and fifty years ago, the colonies contained a little over 260,000 white inhabitants, scattered throughout eleven of the now states of the Union. In 1790, the population was 3,929,827; and it is now, (1850,] 23,191,876. Our territorial acquisitions
and original possessions extend over an area of nearly 2,000,000,· 000 acres, or over 2,900,000 square miles. The slopes, or those
portions of the United States and territories, which are watered by rivers falling respectively into the two oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, are as follows :
Square miles. . Pacific slope..........
778,266 Atlantic slope........
967.576 Mississippi valley.
..................... 2,983,153 Territorial surface of Europe,.............3,684,832
Square miles. Viz:--Russia and Poland............1,999,783
Rest of Europe...............1,026,984—3,684,832
Europe, has its extreme length from north to south. Europe and Asia have their extreme lengths from east to west, and their river basins and river courses slope toward the Arctic and Antarctic regions, or in directions opposite to the great maritime and commercial markets of the world. The United States can have intercourse, by a near route either with India, by the Cape of Good Hope, or the Islands of the Pacific and China, without conferring any transit benefits on either Europe or Central Asia; but Europe and Asia, trading from the Atlantic or Mediterranean, must cross our continent to reach the Pacific seas by a short route, and, of course, contribute, by the intertransit trade, to the welfare of the people of the continent. Nature has also graduated the great slopes of America, that even the principal products of South America, and of Central America, must seek'a market outlet in the Gulf of Mexico, which we virtually command, and there mix with the products of the Mississippi valley, which are brought from the region of fur and peltries, to where the sugar-cane introduces us to the climate of the tropics and their fruits. The great basing of both hemispheres measure nearly 9,000,000 square miles, of which Europe, Asia and Africa, have something over one half, and the United States enjoys the control and advantages of the remaining 3,600,000 square miles. The basins of the old world are separated by immense deserts, irreclaimable plateaus and chains of impassable mountains, and their rivers flow in adverse channels to each other, and in directions unfavourable to the changes and wants of commerce. The basins of America concentrate their waters and their products in the Gulf of Mexico, in the bays of the Atlantic coast, or in the harbours of California or Oregon. We have not yet learned to appreciate the value of these bounties, Dor can we justly estimate them while a drain upon the productive capacity of our soil, and a limit to the rise of our rivers, remain to be ascertained by the hundreds of millions who may follow us.
But important as rivers are to the hygiene of a country, and essential to its soil, man bas invented a substitute for the natural canal, in the railroad, which begins to interlace and connect continent with continent. In this, as in other respccts, the American people seem to have taken the lead, as the subjoined authentic record will show.
Railroads of the United States, December, 1854. .
* Miles. Miles. Dollars. Maine ............ .......... 11 417. 90 12,662,645 New Hamphire............
512: 34 16,185,250, Vermont.
410 : 5913,866,190 Massachusetts,
1,283 ... 48. 55,602,687 Rhode Island,
50 0 0 2,614,484 Connecticut...
: 669..' 83 20,857,357 New York..
2,382 564 94,361,262 Jersey................
437 00 12,736,505
58,494,675 Delaware ......
43 600,000 Maryland.......
26,024,620 Virginia ..............
673 1,180 12,720,213 North Carolina....
359 243 6,947,421 South Carolina.....
884 445 16,084,872 Alabama ..
221 659 3,636,203 Mississippi
155 436 3,070,000 Louisiana.....
1,661,000 Texas ....
2,609 1,582 50,775,344 Indiana ..
868 22,400,000 Illinois...........
1,262 2,017 29,581,204 Michigan ....
570 41 16,559,000 Wisconsin
178 200 3,800,000 Iowa..............
00 250,000 *Missouri ...................
50 963 1,000,000 Total
398 17,811 17,898 508,588 03 At this moment we have in operation in the United States 18,000 miles of railroad, over which, it is computed, cars of all kinds pass 216,000 miles daily, or 67,578,000 (Sundays excluded] annually, and over which 10,800,000 passengers are carried daily, or [Sundays excepted] 3,333,450,000 annually. This estimate may appear high; but when we come to consider that a large interest is annually paid on $509,000,000 first required to build these roads; that heavy outlays are constantly incurred for machinery, to supply losses by wear and tear, to meet salaries, rents, &c., and that railroad companies make money by their operations, it will not appear so extravagant as at first glance it may seem.
And these railroads, which are but one of the means of intercourse employed by commerce, and in other relations of life, convey to the sea-board those products and manufactures which principally go to make up the maritime and commercial wealth of the nation, and, by their exchanges, the revenues which support the government. Our imports and exports now exceed $430,000,000 per annum; and add to this our lake and river trade, amounting to $586,780,131, which is demestic mostly, but for promoting which the railroad is an indispensable agent, and we have an aggregate trade conducted in our waters of $1,016,780,131. The internal and external trade of Great Britain and Ireland does not exceed six hundred millions of dollars per annum, while ours amounts to more than a thousand millions — and all this accomplished in the lapse of seventy-six years !
. We have taken the liberty of correcting the above items relating to Missouri, as follows: No. of roads, 5. Miles in operation, 38. Miles constructing 1,200. Cost in dollars, $1,700,000.--EDITOR,