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CHAPTER 1.

A SPIRIT of commercial enterprise led to the discovery and settlement of America-Policy of the European nations with respect to their American Colonies-Trade of the Colonies restricted at different periods-Report of the Board of Trade, concerning the trade and manufactures of the Co. fonists, in the year 1731 and 1732-Colonies restricted in some manufactures-Bounties given on the importation of certain articles into England, the produce of the Colonies-Population, exports, and imports at different periods-Plan of union agreed upon, by Commissioners from several Colonies-Tonnage and vessels built in the Colonies about the year 1770.

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SPIRIT of commercial enterprise, which prevailed in the 14th century, and a desire to find a new route to the wealth of India, led to the important discovery of the western Continent. The new race of beings which inhabited the new world, as it was called, excited the curiosity of all Europe; and the valuable productions found there, particularly the vast quantities of the precious metals. soon interested most of the commercial nations in that quarter of the old world. Individuals, as well as governments, were solicitous to share in the advantages of this discovery; and numerous adventures, both public and private, were set on foot, some for the purpose of further discoveries and conquest, and others for the purpose of trade and commerce. The Spaniards, the English, the French, the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the Danes and Swedes, at different periods, in consequence of prior discoveries or settlements, had claims, more or less extensive, to different parts of the western Continent. The avarice of Henry VII. of England prompted him to employ the Cabots, in the discovery of the northern part of the Continent, which was afterwards called North-America.

In consequence of the discoveries made by these bold navigators, almost the whole of North-America was claimed by him, and at subse

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