Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/334

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the Pacific Ocean the very minute of the day announced to him by the ticket agent in New York.

If we turn our thoughts seaward the development is no less remarkable; for the long, dangerous, and uncertain voyages once made by sail to Europe are now conducted with almost equal regularity and safety, and the mammoth steamers of the Clyde accomplish in days the trips which formerly took months to perform, and, within an hour of the safe landing of the passengers, the electric telegraph through the media of lines and ocean cables discloses to friends at home the news of their safe arrival. In the political world the progress of the century has not been less marked. England, which during the reign of George III so persisted in tyrannical measures of taxation as to push its American colonies into a successful struggle for freedom, has extended the utmost liberty of action to its remaining American dependencies and Australian colonies; so, when Britain was threatened with hostilities in the East, she moved to the scene of action the dusky warriors of her Indian empire, while the impetuous youth of her distant colonies volunteered to do her service on the desert sands of Africa or in the mountain fastnesses of Asiatic Russia. "Within a generation has been witnessed the voluntary liberation of the serfs of Russia, the slaves of Cuba and South America, and in our own country chattel slavery was forever extinguished by the sword.

The growth of liberal ideas and the love of liberty have been very marked. Hungary has been granted the right to legislate upon its own affairs; a republic has been established in France, and in spite of dire forebodings and prophecies of evil it has withstood every shock and weathered every storm; while the greatest of English parliamentary leaders, in his declining years exhibiting all the ardor of youth, combined with the vigor of robust manhood and the matured wisdom of old age, has brought his fellow countrymen to a recognition of Ireland's wrongs, and is moving the English masses to extend the principles of Anglo-Saxon liberty and home rule to Ireland, which for centuries has been inthralled. But volumes would be required for the mere enumeration of the growth and development which have come with extended knowledge and the more general schooling of the people. Is it any wonder that statesmen unstintingly provide for the wants of our public schools; that divines dwell with rapture upon the blessings they have brought us; that political orators eulogize them as the foundation of our prosperity and the mainstays of our liberties; that agitators vehemently demand an extension of their benefits; or that the people feel an honest and unquestioning pride in this governmental institution of their own creation, which has promoted religious tolerance, extended the