Observations sur la Gouvernement et les Loix des Etats-Unis, 1st ed.
by Mably, Abbe de
1784. Advice for John Adams Mably, Abbe [Gabriel Bonnot] de [1709-1785]. Observations sur le Gouvernement et les Loix des Etats-Unis d'Amerique. Amsterdam: Chez J.F. Rosard & Comp., 1784. [ii], 180, 213,  pp. 12mo. (6-3/4" x 4"). Somewhat later quarter calf over paper-covered boards. Light rubbing to boards, moderate rubbing to extremities, very light toning to text, somewhat heavier in places. A handsome copy. * First edition, one of two issues from 1784, the other version, 180 pp., lacks a preface, notes and index. "In four letters dated between 24 July and 20 August 1783, the Abbe Mably comments on the American approach to government as reflected in the constitutions of the thirteen states, and, more specifically, those of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Replying to John Adams 'in accordance with your desire,' he offers advice on a national constitution, urging a loose federation rather than a strong central government and warning against excessive democracy. The book is dedicated to Adams.... Adams, in a postscript to V. 1 of his 1787 Defense of the Constitutions of the United States...minimizes his 'desire' and is less than appreciative of the advice. That work was probably designed in part as a response to Mably and other French critics" (Cohen). There is some debate about the priority of the 1784 Amsterdam imprint. Cohen, Howes and Sabin say it the first; Echeverria & Wilkie say it is the second. Most scholars agree with Cohen and Howes. This is one of two versions of this printing; page 159 is numbered 59, leaf G7 is signed C7. Howes, U.S.Iana M5, "aa." Echeverria & Wilkie, The French Image of America 784:66. Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Relating to America 42923. Cohen, Bibliography of Early American Law 2761. (Inventory #: 65812)
Law & Legal History, International Law, Trials, Americana, Criminology, Early Printed Law Books, Legal Ephemera, Manuscripts: Law, Political Science
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