« ZurückWeiter »
of the study. A convenient starting-point is had in a group of selections discussing the predominant characteristics of the American people. Next, to make this study of American characteristics more concrete, come selections dealing with a few great Americans who seem to exemplify the special make-up of mind and faculties that is the specific product of American democracy. The third group is composed of epoch-making addresses and state papers which every young American should know at first hand. These are followed by a group of selections discussing in a general way the aims and tendencies of American democracy. The next two groups present the closely related topics of the citizen's part in government and the especial responsibilities that rest upon the college-trained. After these comes a section devoted to a discussion of the principles that must be adhered to in making such changes and adjustments as the future may require. The last division contains selections discussing how and why America became a participant in the world war, and what she desires the outcome of the struggle to be.
In order to keep the book of moderate size, much important material had to be omitted. At no point was it harder to make rejections than in the second division, Patterns of Americanism. Jefferson, Jackson, Grant, Lee, Lowell, and many others, representative of Americanism in one way or another, seemed to demand inclusion, but finally the list was left with but four upon whom there would be almost universal agreement.
A word of explanation seems needed regarding the absence of selections from Bryce's The American Commonwealth. My first intention was to include several chapters from this source. But when it became possible for me to prepare for the moderate-priced English and American classics series of the Macmillan Company a volume including some twelve or fifteen of the most significant chapters of Bryce's book, under the title American Democracy, I thought it advisable to use all the space in this book for material from other quarters, and to suggest to those who may desire material from The American Common wealth that they may find it in the collection referred to.
I take this opportunity of recording in a general way grate
ful thanks to those writers who have generously permitted me to use their work and to those publishers who have courteously dismissed copyright restrictions in my favor. Specific acknowledgements have been made at appropriate places throughout the book.
M. G. F.