Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

INTRODUCTION.

The study of History presents the following advantages :

1. It sets before us striking instances of virtue, cnterprise, conrage, generosity, patriotism, and, by a natural principle of emulation; incites us to copy such noble examples. History also presents us with pictures of the vicious ultimately overtaken by mnisery and shame, and thus solemnly warns us againstvice.

2. History, to use the words of Professor Tytler, is the school of politics. That is, it opens the hidden springs (of human affairs; the causes of the rise, grandeur, revolutions and fall of empires : it points out the influence which the manners of a people exert upon a government, and the influence which that government reciprocally exerts upon the manners of a people y it illustrates the blessings of political union, and the miseries of faction; the dangers of unbridled liberty, and the mischiefs of despotic power.

3. History displays the dealings of God with mankind. It calls upon us often to regard with awe his darker judgments; and again it awakens the liveliest emotions of gratitude for his kind and benignant dispensations. It cultivates a sense of dependence on him, strengthens our confidence in bis benevolence, and impresses us with a convic. tion of his justice.

4. Besides these advantages, the study of History, if properly conducted, offers others, of inferior importance, indeed, but still they are not to be disregarded. It chastens the imagination; improves the tasle ; furnishes matter for reflection; enlarges the range of thought ; strengthens and disciplines the mind.

5. To the above it may be added, that the History of the United States should be studied, 1. Because it is the history of our own country. 2. Because it is the history of the first civil government ever

stablished upon the genuine basis of freedom. 3. Because it furnishes essons upon the science of civil government, social happiness, and eligious freedom, of greater value than are to be found in the history of any other nation on the globe. 4. Because it presents uncommon examples of the influence of religious principle. 5. Because an ac. quaintance with it will enable a person better to fulfil those duties mich, in a free government, he may be called to discharge.

GENERAL DIVISION.

Te intory of the United States of America may be divided into Twelve Periods, each distinguished by some striking characteristic, or remarkable circumstance.

The First Period will extend from the Discovery of America by Columbus, 1492, to the first permanent English settlement in America, at Jamestown, Virginia, 1607, and is distinguished for DiscovERIES.

Obs. Previous to the discovery of America in 1492, the innaoitants of Europe, Asia, and Africa, were of course, ignorant of its existence. But soon after this event, several expeditions were fitted out, for the purpose of making discoveries in what was then called the “ New World.”. Accordingly, between 1492 and 1607, the principal countries lying along the eastern coast of North America, were discovered, and more or less explored. As our history, during this period, embraces little more than accounts of these expeditions, we characterize it as remarkable for discoveries.

The Second PERIOD will extend from the Settlement of Jamestown, 1607, to the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England, 1689, and is distinguished for SETTLEMENTS.

Obs. During this period our history is principally occupied in detailing the various settlements, which were either effected or attempted, within the boundaries of the United States. It includes, indeed, wars with the natives—disputes between proprietors of lands and colonies—the formation of governments, &c.

but these are circumstances which pertain to, and form a part of, the settlement of new countries. As this period embraces the setilement of most of the original states in the Union, viz. Massachusetts, including Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, North and South Carolina, and Virginia, it is therefore characterized as remarkable for settlements.

&c.;

'The Third PERIOD will extend from the accession of William and Mary to the throne of England, 1689, to the dcclaration of the war by England against France, calied “the French and Indian War,” 1756, and is remarkable for the three wars of King WILLIAM, QUEEN ANNE, and GEORGE II.

Obs. So long as the colonies remained attached to the English erown, they became involved, of course, in the wars of the mothor country. Three times, during this period, was war proclaimed between England and France; and, as the French had possession of Canada, and were leagued with several powerful tribes of In. dians, as often did the colonies become the theatre of their hostile operations. This period is therefore most remarkable for these three wars.

The FOURTH PERIOD will extend from the Declaration of war by England against France, 1756, to the commencement of hostilities by Great Britain against the American Colonies, in the battle of Lexington, 1775, and is distinguished for the FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR.

The Fifth Period will extend from the Battle of Lexington, 1775, to the disbanding of the American Army at West Point, New York, 1783, and is distinguished for the WAR OF THE REVOLUTION.

The Sixth Period will extend from the Disbanding of the Army, 1783, to the Inauguration of George Washington, as President of the United States, under the Federal Constitution, 1789, and is distinguished for the FORMATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION.

The SEVENTH PERIOD will extend from the Inauguration of President Washington, 1789, to the Inauguration of John Adams, as President of the United States, 1797. This period is distinguished for WASHINGTON's ADMINISTRATION.

The Eighth PERIOD will extend from the Inauguration of President Adams, 1797, to the Inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, as President of the United States, 1801. This period is distinguished for Adams's ADMIN

ISTRATION.

[ocr errors]

The Nintu Period will extend from the Inaug?!ration of President Jefferson, 1801, to the Inauguration of James Madison, as President of the United States, 1809. This period is distinguished for JEFFERSON'S ADMINIS

EN

TRATION.

Lisb

oth and

sion

In: tile nes

The Tenth Period will extend from the Inauguration of President Madison, 1809, to the Inauguration of James Monrce, as President of the United States, 1817. This period is distinguished for Madison's AdMINISTRATION, and the late WAR WITH GREAT BRITAIN.

The ELEVENTH Period will extend from the Inuuguration of President Monroe, 1817, to the Inauguration of John Quincy Adams, as President of the United

States, 1825. This period is distinguished for Monthe Roe's ADMINISTRATION.

The Twelftu Period will extend from the Inauguration of President Adams, 1825, to the Inauguration of Andrew Jackson, as President of the United States, 1829. This period is distinguished for Adams's Ad.

[ocr errors]

ical

MINISTRETION.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

UNITED STATES.

PERIOD I.

DISTINGUISHED FOR DISCOVERIES.

Extendling from the Discovery of San Salvador, by

Columbus, 1492, to the first permanent English Settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, 1607.

Sec. 1. The honor of first making known to the inhabitants of Europe, the existence of a Western Continunt, belongs to Spain, as a nation, and to Christopher Columbus, a native of Genoa, as an individual.

After the discovery of America by Columbus, other nations laid claim to this honor; and thus attempted to deprive the Genoese navigator, as well as the Spanish nation, of the merit to which they were justly entitled.

The only nations, however, who appear to have had even the semblance for such a claim, were the Welsh and Norwegiuns.

By the former, it was maintained, that the continent was dis covered by Madoc, son of Owen Gwynneth, who, returning to his country, again sailed for the land he had discovered, about the year 1170, taking with him ten ships, and 300 men. for the purpose of founding a colony. Of the fate of this expedition, nothing was ever known. As it is well established, however, that the first voyage of Madoc was not a long one, it is justly inferred, that the land, to which he was leading his colony, could not have been more westerly than the islands in the Atlantic, situated about half way between the Eastern and Western Continents, now known by the name of the Azores.

The pretensions of the Norwegians were founded upon the discovery of an unknown land, some time in the eleventh century, by one Biron or Biorn, an Icelander. During a voyage to Iceland, which, with Greenland, had been discovered and settled at an earlier date, Biron was driven south-east by a storm, and fell in with a country, to which, from its abounding with vines, he

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »