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growth. The educational forces are more democratic than in the East, and the Middle West has twice as many students (if we count together the common school, secondary, and collegiate attendance), as have New England and the Middle States combined. Nor is this educational system, as a whole, inferior to that of the Eastern States. State universities crown the public school system in every one of these States of the Middle West, and rank with the universities of the seaboard, while private munificence has furnished others on an unexampled scale. The public and private art collections of Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Paul, and other cities vie with those of the seaboard. "World's fairs," with their important popular educational influences, have been held at Chicago, Omaha, and Buffalo; and the next of these national gatherings is to be at St. Louis. There is throughout the Middle West a vigor and a mental activity among the common people that bode well for its future. If the task of reducing the Province of the Lake and Prairie Plains to the uses of civilization should for a time overweigh art and literature, and even high political and social ideals, it would not be surprising. But if the ideals of the pioneers shall survive the inundation of material suc cess, we may expect to see in the Middle West the rise of a highly intelligent society where culture shall be reconciled with democracy in the large.
THE OHIO VALLEY IN AMERICAN HISTORY 1
In a notable essay Professor Josiah Royce has asserted the salutary influence of a highly organized provincial life in order to counteract certain evils arising from the tremendous development of nationalism in our own day. Among these evils he enumerates: first, the frequent changes of dwelling place, whereby the community is in danger of losing the well-knit organization of a common life; second, the tendency to reduce variety in national civilization, to assimilate all to a common type and thus to discourage individuality, and produce a "remorseless mechanism - vast, irrational;" third, the evils arising from the fact that waves of emotion, the passion of the mob, tend in our day to sweep across the nation.
Against these surges of national feeling Professor Royce would erect dikes in the form of provincialism, the resistance of separate sections each with its own traditions, beliefs and aspirations. "Our national unities have grown so vast, our forces of social consolidation so paramount, the resulting problems, conflicts, evils, have become so intensified," he says, that we must seek in the province renewed strength, usefulness and beauty of American life.
Whatever may be thought of this philosopher's appeal for a revival of sectionalism, on a higher level, in order to check the tendencies to a deadening uniformity of national con
1 An address before the Ohio Valley Historical Association, October 16, 1909.
solidation (and to me this appeal, under the limitations which he gives it, seems warranted by the conditions) — it is certainly true that in the history of the United States sectionalism holds a place too little recognized by the historians.
By sectionalism I do not mean the struggle between North and South which culminated in the Civil War. That extreme and tragic form of sectionalism indeed has almost engrossed the attention of historians, and it is, no doubt, the most striking and painful example of the phenomenon in our history. But there are older, and perhaps in the long run more enduring examples of the play of sectional forces than the slavery struggle, and there are various sections besides North and South.
Indeed, the United States is, in size and natural resources, an empire, a collection of potential nations, rather than a single nation. It is comparable in area to Europe. If the coast of California be placed along the coast of Spain, Charleston, South Carolina, would fall near Constantinople; the northern shores of Lake Superior would touch the Baltic, and New Orleans would lie in southern Italy. Within this vast empire there are geographic provinces, separate in physical conditions, into which American colonization has flowed, and in each of which a special society has developed, with an economic, political and social life of its own. Each of these provinces, or sections, has developed its own leaders, who in the public life of the nation have voiced the needs of their section, contended with the representatives of other sections, and arranged compromises between sections in national legislation and policy, almost as ambassadors from separate countries in a European congress might make treaties.
Between these sections commercial relations have sprung up, and economic combinations and contests may be traced by the student who looks beneath the surface of our national
life to the actual grouping of States in congressional votes on tariff, internal improvement, currency and banking, and all the varied legislation in the field of commerce. American industrial life is the outcome of the combinations and contests of groups of States in sections. And the intellectual, the spiritual life of the nation is the result of the interplay of the sectional ideals, fundamental assumptions and emotions.
In short, the real federal aspect of the nation, if we penetrate beneath constitutional forms to the deeper currents of social, economic and political life, will be found to lie in the relation of sections and nation, rather than in the relation of States and nation. Recently ex-secretary Root emphasized the danger that the States, by neglecting to fulfil their duties, might fall into decay, while the national government engrossed their former power. But even if the States disappeared altogether as effective factors in our national life, the sections might, in my opinion, gain from that very disappearance a strength and activity that would prove effective limitations upon the nationalizing process.
Without pursuing the interesting speculation, I may note as evidence of the development of sectionalism, the various gatherings of business men, religious denominations and educational organizations in groups of States. Among the signs of growth of a healthy provincialism is the formation of sectional historical societies. While the American Historical Association has been growing vigorously and becoming a genuine gathering of historical students from all parts of the nation, there have also arisen societies in various sections to deal with the particular history of the groups of States. In part this is due to the great distances which render attendance difficult upon the meetings of the national body to-day, but we would be short-sighted, indeed, who failed to perceive in the formation of the Pacific Coast Historical Association, the
Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the Ohio Valley Historical Association, for example, genuine and spontaneous manifestations of a sectional consciousness.
These associations spring in large part from the recognition in each of a common past, a common body of experi ences, traditions, institutions and ideals. It is not necessary now to raise the question whether all of these associations are based on a real community of historical interest, whether there are overlapping areas, whether new combinations may not be made? They are at least substantial attempts to find a common sectional unity, and out of their interest in the past of the section, increasing tendencies to common sectional ideas and policies are certain to follow. I do not mean to prophesy any disruptive tendency in American life by the rejuvenation of sectional self-consciousness; but I do mean to assert that American life will be enriched and safe-guarded by the development of the greater variety of interest, purposes and ideals which seem to be arising. A measure of local concentration seems necessary to produce healthy, intellectual and moral life. The spread of social forces over too vast an area makes for monotony and stagnation.
Let us, then, raise the question of how far the Ohio Valley has had a part of its own in the making of the nation. I have not the temerity to attempt a history of the Valley in the brief compass of this address. Nor am I confident of my ability even to pick out the more important features of its history in our common national life. But I venture to put the problem, to state some familiar facts from the special point of view, with the hope of arousing interest in the theme among the many students who are advancing the science of history in this section.
To the physiographer the section is made up of the province of the Alleghany Plateaus and the southern portion of the