THE events, whether of a political, civil, or military character, which led to the American revolution, and the establishment of those forms of government under which the people of the United States now enjoy so much liberty and happiness, are daily becoming more and more objects of peculiar interest and inquiry.
No incident of any considerable importance, either in the cabinet, or in the field, tending to elucidate this portion of the history of the United States, and to show the sacrifices American patriots were then called upon to make, and the difficulties they had to encounter, in effecting so complete a revolution, can fail to interest every American.
With the military events of that period, the people of the United States, it is believed, are better acquainted than with those of a political or civil nature. This first suggested to us the idea, that a connected view of the political and civil transactions of our country, unmixed with military events, except so far as the latter had an influence on the former, was a desirable object.
We were induced to believe, also, that a more intimate knowledge and recollection of the difficulties which their political fathers had to overcome, not only in effecting that revolution which separated the North American colonies from Great Britain, but in establishing those civil institutions and forms of government under which, by the smiles of heaven, the Americans justly flatter themselves they now enjoy a greater share of personal and political happiness than the people of any other nation, would tend to increase the veneration of the citizens of the United States for those institutions, and induce them, with firmer purpose, to adhere to the great charter of their union, as their best and only security against domestic discord or foreign force.
With these views, we have presented to the public, the following sketches of the political and civil history of the United States, from 1763 to the close of the administration of president Washington, in March, 1797. The great political events of this interesting period, we were persuaded, however, could not be well understood, without some knowledge of the political state of the country prior to that period, of the views entertained by our ancestors respecting their rights, and of the nature of their connection with the parent state.