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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRESS OF JOHN WILSON AND SON.
BEYOND the information conveyed by its title-page as to the contents of the somewhat thick and perhaps heavy pamphlet which the reader now holds in his hands, the writer would state, that, while his main purpose has been to discuss the American question, - whether it is best for the United States, at the present juncture, to repeal all its neutrality laws, or " scale” them down (in General Banks's phrase) to an indefinitely low level, — he has at the same time undertaken to treat the general and scientifically important topic, of what constitutes the true duty of a neutral nation towards its belligerent neighbors and allies. As a supplementary branch of the first inquiry, and as a practical illustration of the second, he has further touched upon some general considerations of what ought to be the true future neutral policy of the people of the United States. These divisions of his subject-matter constitute, in fact, his "Honorable Past and Expedient Future of American Neutrality.”
Beyond thus much of primary intent, the writer takes advantage of the present opportunity, to further discuss, incidentally and secondarily, various great questions of the day, now pressing upon public attention, and which may, at any moment, demand the political action of the American voter or his congressional representatives. Such are the settlement of the " Alabama” and similar claims upon England for the devastations of