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A Journey in Other Worlds

"Further mechanical and scientific progress, however, such as flying machines provided
with these high explosives, and asphyxiating bombs containing compressed gas that
could be fired from guns or dropped from the air, intervened. The former would have laid
every city in the dust, and the latter might have almost exterminated the race. These
discoveries providentially prevented hostilities, so that the 'Great War,' so long expected,
never came, and the rival nations had their pains for nothing, or, rather, for others than
"Let us now examine the political and ethnological results. Hundreds of thousands, of the
flower of Continental Europe were killed by overwork and short rations, and millions of
desirable and often--unfortunately for us--undesirable people were driven to emigration,
nearly all of whom came to English-speaking territory, greatly increasing our
productiveness and power. As, we have seen, the jealousy of the Continental powers for
one another effectually prevented their extending their influence or protectorates to other
continents, which jealousy was considerably aided by the small but destructive wars that
did take place. High taxes also made it more difficult for the moneyed men to invest in
colonizing or development companies, which are so often the forerunners of absorption;
while the United States, with her coal--of which the Mediterranean states have scarcely
any--other resources, and low taxes, which, though necessary, can be nothing but an evil,
has been able to expand naturally as no other nation ever has before.
"This has given the English-speakers, especially the United States, a free hand, rendering
enforcement of the Monroe doctrine easy, and started English a long way towards
becoming the universal language, while all formerly unoccupied land is now owned by
those speaking it.
"At the close of our civil war, in 1865, we had but 3,000,000 square miles, and a
population of 34,000,000. The country staggered beneath a colossal debt of over
$4,000,000,000, had an expensive but essentially perishable navy, and there was an
ominous feeling between the sections. The purchase of Alaska in 1867, by which we
added over half a million square miles to our territory, marked the resumption of the
forward march of the United States. Twenty-five years later, at the presidential campaign
of 1892, the debt had been reduced to $900,000,000, deducting the sinking fund, and the
charge for pensions had about reached its maximum and soon began to decrease, though
no one objected to any amount of reward for bona fide soldiers who had helped to save
the country. The country's wealth had also enormously increased, while the population
had grown to 65,000,000. Our ancestors had, completed or in building, a navy of which
no nation need be ashamed; and, though occasionally marred by hard times, there was
general prosperity.
"Gradually the different States of Canada--or provinces, as they were then called--came
to realize that their future would be far grander and more glorious in union with the
United States than separated from it; and also that their sympathy was far stronger for
their nearest neighbours than for any one else. One by one these Northern States made
known their desire for consolidation with the Union, retaining complete control of their
local affairs, as have the older States. They were gladly welcomed by our Government