National Geographic : 1899 Mar
ORIGINAL TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES 79 hazards of a rude existence, while they themselves moved on in the path of adventure. It was the compactness of the English colonies, their industry, their frugality, and their prolific rate of increase, under the influence of home, which decided the fate of North America and made the triumph of Wolfe " the greatest turning point as yet discernible in modern history." France emerged from the Seven Years' War defeated, humbled, and overwhelmed, her armies beaten, her navies shattered, her possessions overrun throughout the world. The purpose of the war was colonial supremacy, and it left the map of Europe prac tically unaltered, but the map of America was totally changed by the Treaty of Paris.' France was driven from the continent, and there remained to her, of all her vast possessions in America, only a few scattered islands. Spain relinquished Florida and retired behind the Mississippi. The whole area east of that great waterway, and the entire territory north of the fiftieth parallel, were united under the dominion of the British Crown. By the Peace of Paris the American continent was thus divided be tween England and Spain, the work of territorial consolidation under a single power between the Atlantic and the Mississippi was completed, the conditions for the development of one great nation in this vast area were supplied, and there was required to effect its formation only those measures of political reorganiza tion which the genius of the people could not fail to accomplish. But the chief result of the war was the birth of an American people, a distinct nationality, brought to a consciousness of itself by common interests and common sufferings. It was already a composite fabric, whose warp was of English origin, but whose woof was borrowed from every European country. The indus trious German, the thrifty Swede, the sturdy Hollander, the virtuous Huguenot, the frugal Scotchman, and the generous but turbulent Irishman were already here, and all had acquired the qualities of a new and independent race. It has been said that " God sifted three kingdoms to send forth choice grain into the wilderness," but the statement is inadequate. The true mother land of America is not England, it is the whole of Europe. II. THE TERRITORIAL CLAIMS AND CESSIONS OF THE STATES It is an interesting fact that the year 1763, the date of the Treaty of Paris, marks also the beginning of that movement 7 See map of the territory of the present United States after February 10, 1763. Re sult of the French and Indian wars.