A people of vitality, deprived, will find compensations. The Scots, contemptible to the English even to Dr. Johnson's time, the Armenians, persecuted by the Turks for hundreds of years,--both in turn have come to positions of influence in British trade and empire.
Alertness, acute discernment, quick response are qualities that we find alike in the rat, the cur, and virile peoples like the Irish that have been downtrodden. We New England Yankees, regarded by those left behind in England as non-conforming outcasts, owe something of our thrift and shrewdness perhaps to that British despiciency, to which we still respond, as well as to the lack of lushness of the land we love. Dr. Holmes grossly attributed this to the east wind and our diet of salt cod.
The German people, divided for centuries under hundreds of petty governments, reduced to a hundred by Napoleon, to forty by Bismarck, only within a few years have become one and felt the strength of national unity. Impoverished, their country ravaged by wars which made possible the survival of Protestantism at the time the Pope had declared a holy war against England and excommunicated her queen, Germany came too late to national maturity to share in the age of discovery and the plunder of the world.(22)
To this still immature and retarded ugly duckling among the nations the industrial revolution and the thrill of national feeling came late. The advance in technology has since been rapid. But still deep in the unconscious there lingers the memory of suffering and the sense of long-standing resentment. A disciplined people, with habits of work, they have the 'will to win' in workshop or laboratory. Encircled, they have adapted their technology to the immediate national need of a state besieged, and savage have been their sallies into trade, industry or buffer states.(23) If we don't like the result, Carl Dreher advises, "the thing to do is to see how it was accomplished. The process had a history, and the technological and economic phases of that concern us first of all."
January 30, 1941