The title of this volume must be regarded as suggestive rather than as strictly accurate, for the beginnings of union are to be found farther back than 1783, and democracy in its largest sense has even yet been only imperfectly realized.
erence of the English Ministry, Adams wrote home in despair that there was not the slightest prospect of relief for American commerce unless the States would confer the power of passing navigation laws upon Congress or themselves pass retaliatory acts against Great Britain.
Congress had, indeed, already urged upon the States the necessity of yielding the power to enact navigation laws; but they had replied with such deliberation and with so many conditions that Congress was as powerless as ever. Meantime, each State struck blindly at the common enemy with little or no regard for its neighbors. "The States are every day giving proofs," wrote Madison, "that separate regulations are more likely to set them by the ears than to attain the common object." When the other New England States closed their ports to British shipping, Connecticut hastened to profit at their expense by throwing her ports wide open. New Jersey, with New York on one side and Pennsylvania on the other, was likened to a cask tapped at b
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