— Anne Robert Jacques Turgot
Context: The fate of America is already decided — Behold her independent beyond recovery. — But will She be free and happy? — Can this new people, so advantageously placed for giving an example to the world of a constitution under which man may enjoy his rights, freely exercise all his faculties, and be governed only by nature, reason and justice — Can they form such a Constitution? — Can they establish it upon a never failing foundation, and guard against every source of division and corruption which may gradually undermine and destroy it? … It is impossible not to wish ardently that this people may attain to all the prosperity of which they are capable. They are the hope of the world. They may become a model to it. They may prove by fact that men can be free and yet tranquil; and that it is in their power to rescue themselves from the chains in which tyrants and knaves of all descriptions have presumed to bind them under the pretence of the public good. They may exhibit an example of political liberty, of religious liberty, of commercial liberty, and of industry. The Asylum they open to the oppressed of all nations should console the earth. The case with which the injured may escape from oppressive governments, will compel Princes to become just and cautious; and the rest of the world will gradually open their eyes upon the empty illusions with which they have been hitherto cheated by politicians. But for this purpose America must preserve herself from these illusions; and take care to avoid being what your ministerial writers are frequently saying She will be — an image of our Europe — a mass of divided powers contending for territory and commerce, and continually cementing the slavery of the people with their own blood.
Letter to Richard Price (22 March 1778) regarding Price's pamphlet, Observations on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War with America (1776).