Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century (1853)



The revolutionary war was now ended, and the independence of the United States acknowledged by England, and some of the

1783 rightbracket great powers on the Eastern continent. The transition from a state of provincial vassalage and colonial dependence to self government, was sudden, and in some of the states almost imperceptible. The change from a monarchy to a

republic, brought with it, here and there over the country, a little of the spirit of insubordination, but to a much more limited extent than, under existing circumstances, might have been expected.

 The boundary between liberty and licentiousness, has at no time and in no place, been better understood and more strictly observed, than at the close of the American Revolution, and by the people of the new republics then entering upon a new theatre of national existence. Still, under the recent order of things, it is not matter of wonder that there should be immature conceptions of the nature of government and mistaken views of public policy, and that even lawlessness and violence should result from error and inexperience. To a limited extent it was so. The wonder rather is, that so little anarchy, misrule and insubordination existed amid the chaos, convulsions and up-turnings of society, which the separation of the colonies from the parent government produced, and where the rights of the people were substituted for the prerogatives of sovereignty.

Apart from these considerations, there was a further difficulty involving the honour, the stability and almost the existence, of the United States government.

1784 rightbracket In achieving their independence, the states had each contracted a large debt upon its own treasury, for expenses incurred during the war. In addition to this, Congress had created a heavy liability upon the general treasury for

advances made by American citizens and foreigners,

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