A discourse concerning the influence of America on the mind: being the annual oration delivered before the American Philosophical Society, at the University in Philadelphia, on the 18th October, 1823, by their appointment, and published by their order

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Published by Abraham Small, 1823 - United States - 62 pages
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Page 49 - That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to -the dictates of their own consciences ; that no man can, of right, be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; that no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience ; and that no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishments or modes of worship.
Page 6 - ... schools, academies, colleges, and universities. In most of the original states large sums in money are appropriated to education, and they claim a share in the great landed investments, which are mortgaged to it in the new states. Reckoning all those contributions federal and local, it may be asserted, that nearly as much as the whole national expenditure of the United States is set apart by laws to enlighten the people.
Page 17 - Britain, that neaily all we use are American editions. According to reports from the Custom-houses made under a resolution of the Senate in 1822, it appears that the importation of books bears an extremely small proportion to the American editions. The imported books are the mere seed. It is estimated that between two and three millions of dollars worth of books are annually published in the United States.
Page 39 - The jurisdiction of the courts is far more extensive and elevated than that of the mother country. They exercise among other high political functions, the original and remarkable power of invalidating statutes, by declaring them unconstitutional ; an ascendancy over politics never before, or elsewhere asserted by jurisprudence, which authorises the weakest branch of a popular government to annul the measures of the strongest. If popular indignation sometimes assails this authority, it has seldom,...
Page 19 - States, although they have to cope with a larger field of newspapers than elsewhere. The North American Review, of which about four thousand copies are circulated, is not surpassed in knowledge or learning, is not equalled in liberal and judicious criticism, by its great British models, the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, of which about four thousand copies are also published in the United States. Written in a pure, old English style, and...
Page 36 - Colonial acquiescence in which they are adopted too often without probation or fitness. The use and respect of American jurisprudence in Great Britain, will begin only when we cease to prefer their adjudications to our own. By the same means we shall be relieved from disadvantageous restrictions on our use of British wisdom ; and our system will acquire that level to which it is entitled by the education, learning, and purity of those, by whose administration it is formed.
Page 7 - ... States is set apart by laws to enlighten the people. The public patronage of learning in this country, adverting to what the value of these donations will be before the close of the present century, equals at least the ostentatious bounties conferred on it in Europe. In one state alone, with but 275 000 inhabitants, more than forty thousand pupils are instructed at the public schools. I believe we may compute the number of such pupils throughout the United States at more than half a million....
Page 32 - ... for legislatures, consisting of single assemblies ; a constitution, which, in America, would not be thought worth so much bloodshed. ' The much abused French revolution has given to that country a Legislature of two houses, and a press of considerable freedom. But the peers are lost in the secresy of their sessions ; and the deputies can hardly be called a deliberative assembly. Few speak, inasmuch as most of the orations are read from a pulpit ; and still fewer listen, amidst the tumults that...
Page 38 - The brutal, ferocious, and inhuman laws of the feudists, as they were termed by the civilians, (I use their own phrase,) the arbitrary rescripts of the civil law, and the harsh doctrines of the common law, have all been melted down by the genial mildness of American institutions. Most of the feudal distinctions between real and personal property, complicated tenures and primogeniture, the salique exclusion of females, the unnatural rejection of the half-blood, and ante-nuptial offspring, forfeitures...
Page 61 - Emmitsburg in that state, consisi3 of fifty nine sisters, including novices, with fifty two young ladies under their tuition, and upwards of forty poor children. A convent of Ursulines, at Boston, is yet in its infancy, consisting of a prioress, six sisters, and two novices, who undertake to instruct those committed to their charge in every polite accomplishment, in addition to the useful branches of female education. The Emmitsburg Sisters of Charity have a branch of their convent for the benefit...

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