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No event in the history of the civilized world, is so pregnant with important results, or destined to exercise so great an influence on the present and future destinies of nations, as the American Revolution.
By this act, thirteen colonies, separated from the mother-country by a vast ocean, hitherto dependant on it for rulers, laws, and lawgivers, boldly took their destiny into their own hands, and proclaimed to the world that they regarded themselves as competent to manage their own affairs--that they believed that man was capable of self-government—and that they were prepared to struggle in support of this truth; to pour out their blood in its defence; and to die, if necessary, in a sacred contest for liberty. The war began : a mother-country, unwilling to yield up a prosperous foreign establishment without à struggle—a king fearful of seeing trial made of a republican form of government, lest it should be successful-a people ground down with taxes, which they were anxious for Americans to pay—these circumstances combined to render the battle a desperate one. But, thanks to an overruling Providence for once, right triumphed over might! In the dark days of the American Republic, unexpected friends gathered around her standard : noble and brave spirits, from all quarters of the world, flocked to her aid: and American liberty and independence were established, and acknowledged even by Great Britain. The declaration was written on the fields of Bennington, Trenton, Saratoga, Yorktown, and Bunker's hill; and it was sealed by the blood of tens of thousands, to whose memories new monuments are constantly rising, in the hearts of the growing youth of this country.
The experiment, thus far, has been successful; and the republicans in Europe turn to this country as the ancient Peruvian did to the god of his idolatry. .
Although many works have appeared upon the American Revolution, yet it was thought that a PICTORIAL HISTORY, in which the principal events and actors should be accurately and faithfully delineated, was much wanted. With this view the present book has been prepared. It contains, also, an Introductory chapter, giving a brief sketch of the early history of the country, from its discovery to the period of the Revolution ; aud an Appendix, containing the Declaration of Independence, with fac-simile signatures of the signers, and the Constitution of the United States.
· New York, February, 1845.