National Geographic : 1899 Mar
76 ORIGINAL TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES Considering the map alone, it would seem as if the French power was so intrenched upon this continent as to possess the keys of its destiny. But there are many factors which enter into the problem of nation-building, and the first of these is the temper and quality of men. The French colonies were a nursery, presided over by paternalism. The English threw their offspring out into the wilderness to fight their way for themselves, with no other heritage than liberty. In Canada the French colonist could not build his own house or sow his own seed or reap his own grain or raise his own cattle without the supervision of public officers receiving minute instructions from the home government. No farmer could visit the towns without permission or leave the colony without royal authorization. Public meetings were pro hibited, initiative of every kind was forbidden, and the expres sion of opinion was repressed. Petted, pampered, and protected by royal authority, the French colonies were stricken with paraly sis, and instead of looking to themselves became wholly helpless and dependent. When, at last, the death-struggle came in the battle for empire, the result was inevitable. Self-government, self-reliance, and freedom were foredoomed to win. The map of 1763, 5 before the Peace of Paris, is the record of a hundred and twenty years of struggle and development,in which, with heroism, persistence, and patience the English-speaking col onists fought for and conquered space. The Dutch, tenacious of their speech and manners, having themselves absorbed the Swedes, were in turn engulfed in the English expansion, but not without leaving a deep and lasting impress upon the communi ties that overbore them. Brave little Holland, the first exchange in Europe for the commerce of the world, a cradle of art and science, a power upon the ocean, and an asylum and school of liberty when England sent her great thinkers across the North sea to sit at the feet of her worthy masters, has always lived, and still lives, in the Empire State and the nation. Her influence, even upon New England, is confessed by John Adams, when he says, " of all the countries of Europe, Holland seems to me the most like home." New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware com pleted the unbroken chain of English colonies from the lawless fishing villages of Maine to the broad plantations of Georgia. Between the sea and the mountains had grown up a solid pha lanx of self-governing colonies as jealous of the French and as 5See map of English Colonies, 1763.