grance and the nightingale the air with song. These set-
tlements were scattered thinly along this long coast by the
banks of the rivers-a mere skein of population.
  The boundless continent behind held the implacable In-
dian, who had been driven slowly back by the combined
power of colonist and British. The Spaniard and French
had foothold on the Gulf and on the Pacific, holding the
mouth of the Mississippi, and a ready ally to the Indian.
So that the narrow strip between the Appalachian range
and the sea was all that would, in fact, constitute the United
States of America when success made them free. Impov-
erished by such a war as would follow; with no accumulated
wealth; with so sparse a population; with the British in
Canada, the Indian behind them, the Spaniard and French
holding Florida, the Gulf, and the Mississippi, national ex-
istence, much less national expansion, seemed indeed almost
hopeless; and the political difficulties added to the dark
forecastings. It was not one Colony, homogeneous and
unique. The political factors were thirteen, with different
charters, with diverse traditions, with diverse interests, and
every possible jealousy that can be generated in human
breasts; and all history told how fierce and cruel and un-
reasoning these jealousies could be.  Grecian Leagues,
Italian Confederacies, German Federations, had been con-
stant causes of fraternal strife and savage massacre. Why
should not Virginia hate as Sparta hated, or Massachusetts
make terms with a foreign foe against her sisters, as heroic
but misguided patriots had often done  Some of the
wisest saw another cloud, then no larger than a man's hand,
on the horizon-the cloud of African slavery-and foretold
the storm which would thence fall.
  It was clear to our far-sighted sires that in the end suc-
cess required the conquest of the continent; that the subtle
force which would give us life would not be confined within
these narrow limits. Nay! that our existence would depend
on that expansion. War with Great Britain meant far more