Minister to France
North America is become a new primary planet in the system of the world, which while it takes its own course, in its own orbit, must have effect on the orbit of every other planet, and shift the common center of gravity of the whole system of the European world. . . . It is earth-born, and like a giant ready to run its course."
Thomas Pownall, A Memorial . . . to the Sovereigns of Europe. London, 1780.
It is not enough that the rights of man be written in the books of philosophers and inscribed in the habits of virtuous men; the weak and ignorant must be able to read them in the example of a great nation. America has given us this example.
Condorcet, The Influence of the American Revolution on Europe. Paris, 1786.
IN THE VILLAGE of Passy outside Paris the venerable Dr. Franklin still presided, as he had for eight years, over the fortunes of the American Revolution in Europe. The friends of liberty and enlightenment had beaten a path to his door, and Jefferson made haste to follow it in August. Franklin, seventy-eight years old now, surfeited with honors, worn down by the cares of his office, punished by gout and a bladder stone so painful he could not bear the joltings of a carriage or even write without discomfort, was impatient to return home, and he could muster little enthusiasm for the