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whole edifice at once, to the astonishment and joy of man. kind.
All the institutions and civilizations of the past may be considered temporary, erected in haste from the materials nearest at hand, not for permanence, but to serve the present turn while the special task of the nation or age was being performed. The races and ages nearer the birth of mankind worked on rougher parts of the edifice, that entered into the foundations; those grand races, the Greek and the Roman, furnished the noble outline which the nations of modern Europe perfected while they supplied what was still lacking for use and adornment.
America was reserved, designedly, for so many ages, to furnish a suitable and unencumbered location for the central halls and mightiest pillars of the completed structure. Our fathers cleared the ground and laid the foundation deep down on the living rock, that is to say, on Human Rights. That they seldom failed to place stone, pillar and column in just position the work, as we find it, proves, and we have little to do but to clear away the rubbish, beautify the grounds, and put the whole to its proper use.
We begin to see that Time, Thought and Experience have not wrought in vain, that Progress is not a phantom of the imagination, that the human race is essentially a Unit, that it has been growing through all the centuries and is now approaching the prime of its manhood, just ready to enter on its special career with its grandest work still to do. The energies of all the races are preparing for unheard of achievements. The world was never so completely and so wisely busy as now, and America stands between modern Europe and ancient Asia, receiving from, and giving to, both. Her institutions are founded on principles 80 just and so humane that, when administered with due wisdom and skill, they will embarrass and restrain the proper activities of men at no point. America stands a model which other nations will carefully copy, in due time, as they can adapt themselves and change their institu
tions. There may be no literal copy or close formal imitation; but there is little doubt that the spirit and true sense of our Declaration of Independence will finally mould the structure and control the workings of all governments.
It is the Course of Human Progress, and the important elements that were successively added as each leading phase of civilization appeared, that is endeavored to be traced in the Historical Review of the First Part of this book. While fol. lowing the general march of events chronologically, we have stopped here and there to take a general survey, in order the better to understand the significance of detached facts, or to examine a new influence that enters among the forces mould. ing the future. Our space did not allow an exhaustive process; nor was it desirable. We have taken note of only the more important landmarks of Progress. Too much detail wonld confuse the mind by engaging it in an intricate mass of facts. It is the thread of events, that joins the nations and ages together, or the channel by which they sent down to our day — froin Asia to Europe, and from Europe to America each their special contribution to the political wisdom and the free institutions of America, that we have endeavored to find.
We hope we have not underrated any people or any time, and that we have not overrated the value and glory of America. America is yet young. Its founders, the authors of its Constitution, were unaware of the singular excellence and nobility of their work. Like all other people, they built according to their genius and instincts. Time only could show whether they built for immortality. They feared and trembled over their work; but Time has set on it his seal of approval. Our people are busy using their liberties and energies, each for his individual benefit, as is quite right and proper; since the welfare of individuals makes the prosperity of the community. But a government left to take care of itself is prone to do that work only too well. We have done well and wisely in important crises; but a more intelligent and constant watchfulness
over the ordinary course of public affairs would have been still better.
It is plain that the general mind among us has grown clearer and more accurate in its judgments as experience has accumulated, for the original direction toward popular freedom has not changed. Various incongruities have been laid aside and oversights corrected, the severe strain of civil war and an unheard of rapidity of growth have not shaken, but more clearly revealed the strength and unity of the nation. Yet, more intelligence and more care would have saved us many shocks and made our success more pronounced and more brilliant. “ Knowledge is power,” when wisely applied; and a more accurate acquaintance with their government and its history will enable American Citizens to mould it more wisely still, to correct all defects of administration, and to speedily reach that minimum of governmental interference with the efforts and interests of the citizens which shall give them the fullest liberty consistent with security and surrender the whole round of human life, as completely as possible, to the beneficent action of natural law..
HISTORICAL PROGRESS IN THE OLD WORLD
SECTION I. The Dawn of History – Uncertainty of Tradition - Aid
afforded by recent studies — Ethnology, Philology, etc.-- Primitive
Home of Mankind — The three great races — The first Migrations –
Commencement of Civilization - China – The Euphrates — The Ham.
ites in Egypt.
SECTION II. Direction of Pre-historic Growth – Rudeness of early races
- Character of the Primitive Man – Testimony of language — Imper.
tablishment of the Family - Patriarchal Authority — The Growth of
dea and Egypt — Influence of War and Commerce.
Section IV. Ancient Monarchies — Five Monarchies on the Euphrates
and Tigris — The Scythian, the two Hamitic, the Assyrian and the
Medo-Persian Monarchies - Testimony of the ruins — Mysterious and
Singular character of Egypt - Moses and the Jewish State - Tyre
and its Commerce.
SECTION V. The Grecian States - Origin, intelligence and vigor of the
Greek race – Their Mythology and Heroic History – Their opposition
to the dangerous centralizing tendencies of Monarchy – Greek Repub-
lics — Colonization - Sparta and Athens Commencement of Au-
thentic History – Foundation of Rome - Chronological review during
the time of the Roman Kings.
SECTION VI. The Roman Republic - Character of the Romans - Greeks
and Romans compared -- Roman constancy.
of mankind - Chronological history from B. C. 500 to B. C. 133 -— The
great career of the Roman Republic.
SECTION VIII. Decay of the Republic - Unhappy effects of conquest
and wealth on Roman character — Death of the Gracchi - The Civil
Wars — Marius, Sylla, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Cæsar — The Senate
Suspends the Constitution and ends the Republic -- Death of Cæsar.
SECTION X. Influence of Christianity - The Jewish State — Influence on
it of Egypt, Asia and Greece - The New Morality of Christianity –
ners — Unhappy effect of state patronage.
progress among the Ancients — Assistance rendered by Great Men -
-The elements of greatness in all men-- Jesus Christ the Perfect Man.
SECTION XIII. Rise of Modern Nations - Incursions of Barbarians -
Their settlement in Gaul - Spain, Africa, Italy and Britain - Mahomet
Failure to found a Western Empire.
SECTION XV. The Liberties of the People - Influence of the Crusades,
Revival of Commerce and Learning.
SECTION XVII. Conclusion — Summary of Progress — The work assigned
Various Discoveries — Sir Humphrey Gilbert fails twice to establish a Col.
ony-Sir Walter Raleigh – Settlements in Florida--Jamestown-Land.