The American revolution, towards the close of the cen tury, hastened the development of the bold social theories advanced, by showing how successfully they might be realised; so that while the philosophers interpreted the vague, ﬂoating thoughts of the people in words, the American revolution revealed them in action. The new and exciting events of that war kindled all hearts, though none saw clearly the result. Louis XVI. Himself sent troops to aid Washington; and the young nobility joined the cry of Freedom, little thinking they were aiding the destruction of their own order and building the scaffold for the king. After the puerile frivolities and degrading immoralities of Louis xv.'s court, this new drama of life, so exciting in its progress, so serious and noble in its aim, had an irresistible charm for all those earnest minds whose strong passions and enthusiasm had hitherto found no adequate sphere of action. The fundamen tal principles, also, upon which the Americans proceeded to form their government, were peculiarly attractive to that age which analysed all traditions of belief, speculated upon all, but reverenced none.