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242                               POLITICAL
It is hot enough fok- a pebble' to form political unions by
getting constitutions made to order, and by copying approved
models ; there must be something for national feeling and a
sense of unity to rest upon. The revolutionary war created
a common history, of which no state needed to be ashamed,
and prepared the way for union^ not merely by the necessities
of the times but by exertions and sufferings in a common
cause; and the feeling of unity thus enkindled could over-
come, for the time at least, all causes of divisioh. Hence in
more ways than one the war made iis a nation.
Of still more importance waŁ it that the old confederation
was formed, tried, land found wanting ; that it was found to
be unsuited for the times of peace, which ought to occupy-
nearly the whole of a nation's existence.
The preparations for the confederation were briefly these :
after the passage of the Boston port bill, which took effect
June i, 1774, the colonies regarded parliament as aiming not
at one colony only, but at all; and Virginia recommended a
general congress, which Should meet annually for the protec-
tion of the common interests. A resolution of the same im-
port came from Massachusetts, and was at once seconded by
every colony except Georgia, from which colony a delegate
was sent by only a single parish in March, 1775 ; while the
colony soon afterwards acceded to the measures of the more
northern ones. The first general or continental congress
from eleven states met in Sept. 4, 1774, with no powers ex-
cept those of giving advice, making protests, and the like,
or, in general, of directing public sentiment. Every colony
represented was to have one vote, and their recommendations
were adopted everywhere except in the colony of New York,
where the royalist party was strong. A second congress
from eleven states, appointed before the battle of Lexington,
April 19, 1775, met at Philadelphia, petitioned the king,
voted that twenty thousand men should be raised and equipped,
appointed Washington commahder-in^chief, emitted bills of
credit, and apportioned them among the twelve united colo-
nies ; and, ere the year had expired, resolved t<3 fit out a