This was the anniversary address delivered before the twentieth annual meeting of the Survey Associates, in 1933. It appeared in the Survey Graphic for April, 1933.
IN 1876, the Huxley of our grandfathers ventured some general observations upon America's destiny. ". . . to an Englishman landing upon your shores for the first time," he remarked at the founding of Johns Hopkins University, "traveling for hundreds of miles through strings of great and well-ordered cities, seeing your enormous actual, and almost infinite potential, wealth in all commodities, and in the energy and ability which turns wealth to account, there is something sublime in the vista of the future. Do not suppose that I am pandering to what is commonly understood as national pride. I cannot say that I am in the slightest degree impressed by your bigness, or your material resources, as such. Size is not grandeur, and territory does not make a nation. The great issue, about which hangs a true sublimity and the terror of overhanging fate, is, What are you going to do with all these things? What is to be the end to which these are to be the means?
"You are making a novel experiment in politics on the greatest scale which the world has yet seen. Forty millions at your first centenary, it is reasonably to be expected that at the second these states will be occupied by two hundred millions of English-speaking people, spread over an area as large as that of Europe, and with climates and interests as diverse as those of Spain and Scandinavia, England, and Russia. You and your descendants have to ascertain whether this great mass will hold together under the forms of a republic and the despotic reality of universal suffrage;