National Geographic : 1900 Jul
THE EXPANSION OF ENGLAND representatives of the English idea; that Sam Adams was a true Englishman when England set a price upon his head, and George Washington, bombarding the English army out of Boston. England lost America because England at that time had one of those spasms of folly which she has once in about so often. There are two Englands, I have said-one that always stands for that which is true and progressive and liberal, and the other which is always kicking against the pricks and standing in the way of pro gress. England has been one of the greatest of nations, the English race one of the greatest races in the history of the world ; but from the beginning down to this time England has again and again been up to her knees in wickedness. Through the efforts, the energetic criticism and rebukes of earnest Englishmen-such as, in our time, Cobden, John Bright, and Gladstone, Bryce, and Morley-there has always been reaction from the folly and always hope of progress, and so we trust it may prove today. Freeman, the great English historian, toward the end of his life wrote an essay upon George Washington as the Expander of England. It seemed to some of us here in America, at first, a rather startling designation. We had not thought of him as an expander, but rather as a contractor, of England ; but the title was correct and the histo rian's insight true. George Washington was the expander of England because he first taught England that her power, that the English em pire, could grow only as England everywhere did justice, and that everywhere when she did injustice and struck down the freedom and the rights of men, there her empire was in danger. George Washing ton drastically taught England that lesson, though she did not learn it immediately. He taught it to us, though it may take us time to learn it. He was the expander of America, and in all the talk of the expansion of the English race let us never think of this as coincident simply with the history of the British empire. We of English blood here in America are as truly a part of the English race as Canada. Our growth has been so great that perhaps we are today the more powerful part of the race. Our growth has been a part of English expansion. That expansion here went on the faster through our independence. It is a question whether the independence of Canada tomorrow might not mean the expansion of England in that quarter from that time on more rapidly and wholesomely than expansion has gone on there in the last century.