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The Beautiful Luneta, Manila's Fashionable Promenade and Drive opp. 620
The Shipyard and Arsenal at Cavite, Philippine Islands opp. 629
Raising the Flag on Fort San Antonio de Abad, Malate opp. 630
Scenes from the Philippine Islands opp. 639
The Mouth of the Pasig River opp. 640




Author's introduction.


The annals of the world contain no more impressive example of the birth
and growth of a nation than may be seen in the case of that which has
been aptly termed the Greater Republic, whose story from its feeble
childhood to its grand maturity it is the purpose of this work to set
forth. Three hundred years is a brief interval in the long epoch of
human history, yet within that short period the United States has
developed from a handful of hardy men and women, thinly scattered along
our Atlantic coast, into a vast and mighty country, peopled by not less
than seventy-five millions of human beings, the freest, richest, most
industrious, and most enterprising of any people upon the face of the
earth. It began as a dwarf; it has grown into a giant. It was despised
by the proud nations of Europe; it has become feared and respected by
the proudest of these nations. For a long time they have claimed the
right to settle among themselves the affairs of the world; they have now
to deal with the United States in this self-imposed duty. And it is
significant of the high moral attitude occupied by this country, that
one of the first enterprises in which it is asked to join these ancient
nations has for its end to do away with the horrors of war, and
substitute for the drawn sword in the settlement of national disputes a
great Supreme Court of arbitration.

This is but one of the lessons to be drawn from the history of the great
republic of the West. It has long been claimed that this history lacks
interest, that it is devoid of the romance which we find in that of the
Eastern world, has nothing in it of the striking and dramatic, and is
too young and new to be worth men's attention when compared with that of
the ancient nations, which has come down from the mists of prehistoric
time. Yet we think that those who read the following pages will not be
ready to admit this claim. They will find in the history of the United
States an abundance of the elements of romance. It has, besides, the
merit of being a complete and fully rounded history. We can trace it
from its birth, and put upon record the entire story of the evolution of
a nation, a fact which it would be difficult to affirm of any of the
older nations of the world.

If we go back to the origin of our country, it is to find it made up of
a singular mixture of the best people of Europe. The word best is used
here in a special sense. The settlers in this country were not the rich
and titled. They came not from that proud nobility which claims to
possess bluer blood than the common herd, but from the plain people of
Europe, from the workers, not the idlers, and this rare distinction they
have kept up until the present day. But of this class of the world's
workers, they were the best and noblest. They were men who thought for
themselves, and refused to be bound in the trammels of a State religion;
men who were ready to dare the perils of the sea and the hardships of a
barren shore for the blessings of liberty and free-thought; men of
sturdy thrift, unflinching energy, daring enterprise, the true stuff out
of which alone a nation like ours could be built.

Such was the character of the Pilgrims and the Puritans, the hardy
empire-builders of New England, of the Quakers of New Jersey and
Pennsylvania, the Catholics of Maryland, the Huguenots of the South, the
Moravians and other German Protestants, the sturdy Scotch-Irish, and the
others who sought this country as a haven of refuge for free-thought. We
cannot say the same for the Hollanders of New Amsterdam, the Swedes of
Delaware, and the English of Virginia, so far as their purpose is
concerned, yet they too proved hardy and industrious settlers, and the
Cavaliers whom the troubles in England drove to Virginia showed their
good blood by the prominent part which their descendants played in the
winning of our independence and the making of our government. While the
various peoples named took part in the settlement of the colonies, the
bulk of the settlers were of English birth, and Anglo-Saxon thrift and
energy became the foundation stones upon which our nation has been
built. Of the others, nearly the whole of them were of Teutonic origin,
while the Huguenots, whom oppression drove from France, were of the very
bone and sinew of that despot-ridden land. It may fairly be said, then,
that the founders of our nation came from the cream of the populations
of Europe, born of sturdy Teutonic stock, and comprising thrift, energy,
endurance, love of liberty, and freedom of thought to a degree never
equaled in the makers of any other nation upon the earth. They were of
solid oak in mind and frame, and the edifice they built had for its
foundation the natural rights of man, and for its super-structure that
spirit of liberty which has ever since throbbed warmly in the American
heart.

It was well for the colonies that this underlying unity of aim existed,
for aside from this they were strikingly distinct in character and
aspirations. Sparsely settled, strung at intervals along the
far-extended Atlantic coast, silhouetted against a stern background of
wilderness and mountain range, their sole bond of brotherhood was their
common aspiration for liberty, while in all other respects they were
unlike in aims and purposes. The spirit of political liberty was
strongest in the New England colonies, and these held their own against
every effort to rob them of their rights with an unflinching boldness
which is worthy of the highest praise, and which set a noble example for
the remaining colonists. Next to them in bold opposition to tyranny were
the people of the Carolinas, who sturdily resisted an effort to make
them the enslaved subjects of a land-holding nobility. In Pennsylvania
and Maryland political rights were granted by high-minded proprietors,
and in these colonies no struggle for self-government was necessary.
Only in Virginia and New York was autocratic rule established, and in
both of these it gradually yielded to the steady demand for
self-government.

On the other hand, New England, while politically the freest, was
religiously the most autocratic. The Puritans, who had crossed the ocean
in search of freedom of thought, refused to grant a similar freedom to
those who came later, and sought to found a system as intolerant as that
from which they had fled. A natural revulsion from their oppressive
measures gave rise in Rhode Island to the first government on the face
of the earth in which absolute religious liberty was established. Among
the more southern colonies, a similar freedom, so far as liberty of
Christian worship is concerned, was granted by William Penn and Lord
Baltimore. But this freedom was maintained only in Rhode Island and
Pennsylvania, religious intolerance being the rule, to a greater or less
degree, in all the other colonies; the Puritanism of New England being
replaced elsewhere by a Church of England autocracy.

The diversity in political condition, religion, and character of the
settlers tended to keep the colonies separate, while a like diversity of
commercial interests created jealousies which built up new barriers
between them. The unity that might have been looked for between these
feeble and remote communities, spread like links of a broken chain far
along an ocean coast, had these and other diverse conditions to contend
with, and they promised to develop into a series of weak and separate
nations rather than into a strong and single commonwealth.

The influences that overcame this tendency to disunion were many and
important. We can only glance at them here. They may be divided into two
classes, warlike hostility and industrial oppression. The first step
towards union was taken in 1643, when four of the New England colonies
formed a confederation for defense against the Dutch and Indians. "The
United Colonies of New England" constituted in its way a federal
republic, the prototype of that of the United States. The second step of
importance in this connection was taken in 1754, when a convention was
held at Albany to devise measures of defense against the French.
Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan of colonial union, which was accepted
by the convention. But the jealousy of the colonies prevented its
adoption. They had grown into communities of some strength and with a
degree of pride in their separate freedom, and were not ready to yield
to a central authority. The British Government also opposed it, not
wishing to see the colonies gain the strength which would have come to
them from political union. As a result, the plan fell to the ground.

The next important influence tending towards union was the oppressive
policy of Great Britain. The industries and commerce of the colonies had
long been seriously restricted by the measures of the mother-country,
and after the war with France an attempt was made to tax the colonists,
though they were sternly refused representation in Parliament, the
tax-laying body. Community in oppression produced unity in feeling; the
colonies joined hands, and in 1765 a congress of their representatives
was held in New York, which appealed to the King for their just
political rights. Nine years afterwards, in 1774, a second congress was
held, brought together by much more imminent common dangers. In the
following year a third congress was convened. This continued in session
for years, its two most important acts being the Declaration of
Independence from Great Britain and the Confederation of the States, the
first form of union which the colonies adopted. This Confederation was
in no true sense a Union. The jealousies and fears of the colonies made
themselves apparent, and the central government was given so little
power that it threatened to fall to pieces of its own weight.



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