Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/195

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184
Ch. 6.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

five hundred million people the America of thought and art which alone could satisfy their omnivorous ambition.

Whether the illusions, so often affirmed and so often denied to the American people, took such forms or not, these were in effect the problems that lay be­fore American society: Could it transmute its so­cial power into the higher forms of thought? Could it provide for the moral and intellectual needs of mankind? Could it take permanent political shape? Could it give new life to religion and art? Could it create and maintain in the mass of mankind those habits of mind which had hitherto belonged to men of science alone? Could it physically develop the convolutions of the human brain? Could it pro­duce, or was it compatible with, the differentiation of a higher variety of the human race? Nothing less than this was necessary for its complete success.