Life In The Eighteenth Century. INTRODUCTION. The social and political institutions of every country are the outgrowths of that countrys life conditions, except in so far as institutions may be imposed upon a people by an authority outside of themselves. In our country outside authority has never been able thus to impress itself upon the minds and lives of the people. The development of American institutions, American ideas, and American life, has been exclusively from within. Our system, from top to bottom, is the creation of the people who live under it. It is therefore peculiarly well adapted to their needs, and peculiarly an expression of their common thought and aspiration. The men and women who founded the English colonies in America, and the men and women who built those colonies up into great, self-governing commonwealths, were from the beginning men and women in revolt against the life conditions illto which they were born. They were inspired by a determined purpose to better those life conditions, to organize society and the state in accordance with their own needs and in answer to their own aspirations of liberty and self government. In this volurne and in the one preceding it, Our First Century, an effort has been made to show how the colonists and the earlier native Americans did this work of social and political construction. It is a story which every American must know thoroughly if he would understand the institutions, the ideas, and the natural impuIses of the Great Republic as they now are. Surely there could be no more enlightening story than that of our countrys beginnings and early development for out of those beginnings and through that development there has come into being the greatest, richest, freest and most potent nation that has at any time existed on the face of the earth. It is at the same time the happiest, best fed, and most prosperous of nations. It is the only civilized land in which every man has an equal share with every other man in the government, the only land in which the conditions of life are such that the poorest Iaborer may have meat on his table every day in the year, while his children, with education free, and with no barriers of caste to fix their status or to say nay to ther ambitions, may freely and hopefully aspire to the very highest achievement. It has been the authors endeavor to tell the story of all this briefly, and with only so much of detail as is necessary to a just understanding of events, while showing forth what manner of men and women the builders of the nation were, what conditions surrounded them, how they lived, what clothes they wore, what sort of habitations they built, how they cooked and ate, what schools they had, and everything else that constituted their environment, incIuding their ignorance of sanitation, their lack of pavements, sewers and water suppIy in towns, the imperfection of their means of intercommunication, their consequent isolation and the like. Attention has been given to their sports, their punishments, their methods of farming and fighting, their commerce, their manufactures, their fisheries. Their deprivation of many things that in our rime are accounted common necessaries of life, is contrasted with their indulgence in Iuxuries of dress and living which we should now regard as foolish extravagance and ostentation.