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History Corner





H. G. Wells On America-1933


‘The growth of the United States is a process that has no precedent in the world’s history; it is a new kind of occurrence.

Such a community could not have come into existence before, and, if it had, without railways it would certainly have dropped to pieces long before now.

Without railways or telegraph it would be far easier to administer California from Pekin than from Washington.

But this great population of the United States of America has not only grown outrageously; it has kept uniform.
Nay, it has become more uniform.

The man of San Francisco is more like the man of New York to-day than the man of Virginia was like the man of New England a century ago. And the process of assimilation goes on unimpeded. The United States is being woven by railway, by telegraph, more and more into one vast unity, speaking, thinking and acting harmoniously with itself. Soon aviation will be helping in the work.


‘This great community of the United States is an altogether new thing in history. There have been great empires before with populations exceeding 100 millions, but these were associations of divergent peoples; there has never been one single people on this scale before. We want a new term for this new thing. We call the United States a country just as we call France or Holland a country. But the two things are as different as an automobile and a one-horse shay. They are the creations of different periods and different conditions; they are going to work at a different pace and in an entirely different way. The United States in scale and possibility is halfway between a European state and a United States of all the world.’


H.G. Wells, A Short History of the World (London: William Heinemann Ltd.; 1933), p. 308.



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