Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 180
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 180
disaster. The outbreak of armed rebellion in Massachusetts and North Carolina, the general lawlessness, the low tone of commercial honor, the bankruptcy of the States and their loss of credit at home and abroad, the contempt with which the confederation was treated by European nations, and the jarring interests of the different commonwealths themselves, which threatened at any moment to break out into actual civil war,—all these combined with the wisdom and eloquence of the ablest statesmen in the land, and the vast weight of Washington’s character were needed to convince an obstinate, suspicious, and narrow-minded, though essentially brave, intelligent, and patriotic people that they must cast aside their prejudices and jealousies and unite to form a stable and powerful government. Had they not thus united, their triumph in the Revolutionary War would have been a calamity for America instead of a blessing. Freedom without unity, freedom with anarchy, would have been worse than useless. The men who opposed the adoption of the present constitution of the United States committed an error to the full as great as that of the Tories themselves; and they strove quite as hard, and fortunately quite as unsuccessfully, to damage their country. The adoption of the constitution was the completion of the work begun by the War of Independence. This work had two stages, each



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