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The Battle of Saratoga

Excerpted From Creasy's Fifteen Decisive Battles (Page 2)

"The time will therefore come when one hundred and fifty millions of men will be living in North America, equal in condition, the progeny of one race, owing their origin to the same cause, and preserving the same civilization, the same language, the same religion, the same habits, the same manners, and imbued with the same opinions, propagated under the same forms. The rest is uncertain, but this is certain; and it is a fact new to the world, a fact fraught with such portentous consequences as to baffle the efforts even of the imagination."

[The original French of these passages will be found in the chapter on "Quelles sont les chances de duree de l'Union Americaine--Quels dangers la menacent." in the third volume of the first part of De Tocqueville, and in the conclusion of the first part. They are (with others) collected and translated by Mr. Alison, in his "Essays," vol. iii. p. 374.]

Let us turn from the French statesman writing in 1835, to an English statesman, who is justly regarded as the highest authority on all statistical subjects, and who described the United States only seven years ago. Macgregor [Macgregor's Commercial Statistics.] tells us--

"The States which, on the ratification of independence, formed the American Republican Union, were thirteen, viz.:"

"Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. "The foregoing thirteen states (THE WHOLE INHABITED TERRITORY OF WHICH, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A FEW SMALL SETTLEMENTS, WAS CONFINED TO THE REGION EXTENDING BETWEEN THE ALLEGHANY MOUNTAINS AND THE ATLANTIC) were those which existed at the period when they became an acknowledged separate and independent federal sovereign power. The thirteen stripes of the standard or flag of the United States, continue to represent the original number, The stars have multiplied to twenty-six, [Fresh stars have dawned since this was written.] according as the number of States have increased.

"The territory of the thirteen original States of the Union, including Maine and Vermont, comprehended a superficies of 371,124 English square miles; that of the whole United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, 120,354; that of France, including Corsica, 214,910; that of the Austrian Empire, including Hungary and all the Imperial States, 257,540 English square miles.

"The present superficies of the twenty-six constitutional States of the Anglo-American Union, and the district of Columbia, and territories of Florida, include 1,029,025 square miles; to which if we add the north-west, or Wisconsin territory, east of the Mississippi, and bounded by Lake Superior on the north, and Michigan on the east, and occupying at least 100,000 square miles, and then add the great western region, not yet well-defined territories, but at the most limited calculation comprehending 700,000 square miles, the whole unbroken in its vast length and breadth by foreign nations, comprehends a portion of the earth's surface equal to 1,729,025 English, or 1,296,770 geographical square miles."

We may add that the population of the States, when they declared their independence, was about two millions and a half; it is now twenty-three millions.

I have quoted Macgregor, not only on account of the clear and full view which he gives of the progress of America to the date when he wrote, but because his description may be contrasted with what the United States have become even since his book appeared. Only three years after the time when Macgregor thus wrote, the American President truly stated:--

"Within less than four years the annexation of Texas to the Union has been consummated; all conflicting title to the Oregon territory, south of the 49th degree of north latitude, adjusted; and New Mexico and Upper California have been acquired by treaty. The area of these several territories contains 1,193,061 square miles, or 763,559,040 acres; while the area of the remaining twenty-nine States, and the territory not yet organized into States east of the Rocky Mountains, contains 2,059,513 square miles, or 1,318,126,058 acres. These estimates show that the territories recently acquired, and over which our exclusive jurisdiction and dominion have been extended, constitute a country more than half as large as all that which was held by the United States before their acquisition. If Oregon be excluded from the estimate, there will still remain within the limits of Texas, New Mexico, and California, 851,598 square miles, or 545,012,720 acres; being an addition equal to more than one-third of all the territory owned by the United States before their acquisition; and, including Oregon, nearly as great an extent of territory as the whole of Europe, Russia only excepted. THE MISSISSIPPI, SO LATELY THE FRONTIER OF OUR COUNTRY, IS NOW ONLY ITS CENTRE. With the addition of the late acquisitions, the United States are now estimated to be nearly as large as the whole of Europe. The extent of the sea-coast of Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, is upwards of 400 miles; of the coast of Upper California, on the Pacific, of 970 miles; and of Oregon, including the Straits of Fuca, of 650 miles; MAKING THE WHOLE EXTENT OF SEA-COAST ON THE PACIFIC 1,620 MILES; and the whole extent on both the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico, 2,020 miles. The length of the coast on the Atlantic, from the northern limits of the United States, round the Capes of Florida to the Sabine on the eastern boundary of Texas, is estimated to be 3,100 miles, so that the addition of sea-coast, including Oregon, is very nearly two-thirds as great as all we possessed before; and, excluding Oregon, is an addition of 1,370 miles; being nearly equal to one-half of the extent of coast which we possessed before these acquisitions. We have now three great maritime fronts--on the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific; making, in the whole, an extent of sea-coast exceeding 5,000 miles. This is the extent of the sea-coast of the United States, not including bays, sounds, and small irregularities of the main shore, and of the sea islands. If these be included, the length of the shore line of coast, as estimated by the superintendent of the Coast Survey, in his report, would be 33,063 miles."

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From Edward J. Creasy's Fifteen Decisive Battles Of The World:

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