The Historical Destiny of the United States by Emmet Fox by Emmet Fox - Read Online

About

Summary

In order to understand the special work which the United States has been called upon to do in the history of Humanity, we have first to remember that the American people are, historically, that section of the people of Europe whose task it was to explore the continent of America, to subdue it, and to develop it. It is impossible to understand the historical significance and importance of any country as long as we consider that country only by itself. In order to determine its true place in the scheme of things we have to consider its connection with the general stream of historical tendencies. It is needless to say that a purely partisan outlook-the so-called "patriotic" outlook, for instance-is a hopeless handicap to the finding of the truth. In the study of history as in the investigations of natural science, the truth is arrived at only after an impartial and dispassionate inquiry. Wilder Publications is a green publisher. All of our books are printed to order. This reduces waste and helps us keep prices low while greatly reducing our impact on the environment.
Published: Start Publishing LLC on
ISBN: 9781625587343
List price: $0.99
Availability for The Historical Destiny of the United States
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Reviews

Book Preview

The Historical Destiny of the United States - Emmet Fox

You've reached the end of this preview. Sign up to read more!
Page 1 of 1

978-1-62558-734-3

of the United States

In order to understand the special work which the United States has been called upon to do in the history of Humanity, we have first to remember that the American people are, historically, that section of the people of Europe whose task it was to explore the continent of America, to subdue it and to develop it.

It is impossible to understand the historical significance and importance of any country as long as we consider that country only by itself. In order to determine its true place in the scheme of things we have to consider its connection with the general stream of historical tendencies. It is needless to say that a purely partisan outlook—the so-called patriotic outlook, for instance—is a hopeless handicap to the finding of the truth. In the study of history as in the investigations of natural science, the truth is arrived at only after an impartial and dispassionate inquiry.

Now, the historical background out of which the United States arose was really the old Feudal civilization of Europe. All modern history grows out of the Roman Empire; all our reckonings go back to that as a kind of datum line. The ancient civilizations culminated in the Roman Empire, and the mediaeval and modern cultures and polities grew out of it. The Roman Empire gradually broke up and disappeared owing to various causes with which I am not at present concerned; it was followed by the chaotic condition that we call the Dark Ages; and then, gradually, quite without the conscious knowledge or intention of those concerned, the great Feudal civilization came into being. That Mediaeval Feudal civilization was a wonderful attainment, and for hundreds of years it provided the European Race with exactly the social and political instrument that it needed for its growth and self-expression. It furnished a body of traditions, customs, laws, and institutions, by no means perfect—no human arrangement ever is— but on the whole useful and adequate for the work that had to be done.

All good things, however, outgrow their usefulness and come to an end, and as man’s expanding knowledge and the expanding power that grows from expanding knowledge accumulated, the Feudal System gradually grew out of date, as the Roman Empire had done before it, and the imperative need arose for a new and much wider and freer state of society. Such great changes seldom come easily. The outworn thing seldom abdicates the remnants of its decaying authority without a struggle, and so Feudalism died hard and long, not succumbing finally until the end of the recent Great War. The great spiritual and intellectual movements that we call the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, and especially, as I intend to show, the Revolution of the American Colonists, were all single acts in this one great drama.

The closing of the direct route to the East led to the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, and this gave a tremendous impetus to men’s imaginations. The invention of a practicable printing-press liberated their minds and made the Reformation, which, in principle, meant the repudiation of authority in spiritual matters, inevitable; and this point once gained, political freedom could only be a matter of time and opportunity. The only question was where and how it would come about.

In spite of the revolutionary changes which had been accomplished in mental and spiritual things, Feudalism, on its political and social side, was still strongly entrenched as late as the middle of the Eighteenth Century. In spite of the Reformation, in spite of the Utopian dreams of certain bookmen and philosophers, there was nothing like political freedom, as we understand it today, anywhere in Europe. Relatively a little more free in some places, relatively a little less free in others, the hard fact was that men were afraid (however they might think) to say or do whatever they liked, as long as what they liked might be unwelcome