Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/126

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I think the general facts in regard to the English race in England and America and elsewhere should be referred to a history going back, not for the seven American generations, nor even for the forty British generations, but for at least a thousand generations. This great race, whose tongue is now spoken by a quarter of civilized mankind, was not made yesterday, and will not be unmade to-morrow. Its great essential lines are precisely the same in England and in America. New England in America was settled by English of picked moral and intellectual quality, and with the enormous double advantage of freedom to educate everybody and give everybody a chance, and of entire absence of the vile, pauper, and prostitute class which Old-World circumstances had created. The result has been that America, without some superlative advantages possessed by England, has on the broad level done more and done better than England in the direction of mind and quality, character and achievement—truly English in the higher sense of race; and that the British English type mainly differs from the American English by backward relation to barbarism, the Old-World use of war, monarchy and aristocracy, privilege oppressive of the people, as of lords and landlords, priests, pensioners, and publicans, and other forms of grievous denial of the rights and injury to the welfare of man as man. It would take a volume to tell the story of English barbarism. The English race has won on American soil stages of advance not yet won in England; and, when all the facts are discriminated, it will appear that climate in America is anything but unfavorable to this advance, although the opinion is a superficial error that climate has much to do with character in an age when circumstances dominate in the environment of a highly civilized race. As soon as English circumstances overtake American, there will cease to be any marked difference between the English in England and the English in America. And, when verified knowledge shall take the place of speculative, there will be no more Americo-German attempts to describe American climate as dry and damaging as compared with English. The climate of America is as much better than that of England as American civilization is more advanced on the broad level of the common people. It would double the value of England in every respect to have the climate of America. And certainly character would gain more than it would lose by the change.