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[Mentor], “How a Nation may be Ruined, and Reformed,” The Boston Gazette, and Country Journal, January 10, 1763, issue 406, p. 1.


In this letter, the author addressed what he sees as two major threats to the country and their remedies. He perceived excessive authority in the hands of kings a danger to the justness and wisdom of their rule. Such monarchs lost the affection and support of their people. The other danger lay in luxury, which had the potential to destroy the morals of an entire nation, as people turned to the vice of excessive consumption and fell into debt.

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“Thus a whole nation habituates itself to look upon the most superfluous things as the necessaries of life; and thus every day brings forth some new necessity of the same kind; and men can no longer live without things, which but thirty years ago were utterly unknown to them. This luxury is called fine taste; the perfection of arts and the politeness of a nation.”


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