America forms the longest and straightest bone in the earth's skeleton.
The Negro, however, has been tested on an extensive scale.
The Indians could not undertake any widespread cultivation of the plains not only because they lacked iron tools but also because they had no draft animals.
According to the now almost universally accepted theory, all the races of mankind had a common origin.
Although mountains may guide migrations, the plains are the regions where people dwell in greatest numbers.
It seems strange that almost no other traces of the strong vikings are found in America.
The human organism inherits so delicate an adjustment to climate that, in spite of man's boasted ability to live anywhere, the strain of the frozen North eliminates the more nervous and active types of mind.
The buffalo is a surprisingly stupid animal.
The geysers and hot springs of the Yellowstone are another proof of recent volcanic activity.
America is the last great goal of these migrations.
No part of the world can be truly understood without a knowledge of its garment of vegetation, for this determines not only the nature of the animal inhabitants but also the occupations of the majority of human beings.
Thus the races, though alike in their physical response to climate, may possibly be different in their mental response because they have approached America by different paths.
Man could not stay there forever. He was bound to spread to new regions, partly because of his innate migratory tendency and partly because of Nature's stern urgency.
Except on their southern borders the great northern forests are not good as a permanent home for man.
After washing there was no place to pour the water except out of the window onto the heads of the people in the streets, which is the proper place to throw everything that is not wanted.
In America the most widespread type of forest is the evergreen coniferous woodland of the north.
Curiously enough man's body and his mind appear to differ in their climatic adaptations.
History in its broadest aspect is a record of man's migrations from one environment to another.
Today, no less than in the past, the tetrahedral form of the earth and the relation of the tetrahedron to the poles and to the equator preserve the conditions that favor rapid evolution.
Fertile soil, level plains, easy passage across the mountains, coal, iron, and other metals imbedded in the rocks, and a stimulating climate, all shower their blessings upon man.
From first to last the civilization of America has been bound up with its physical environment.
As a matter of fact, an ordinary desert supports a much greater variety of plants than does either a forest or a prairie.
Geologists are rapidly becoming convinced that the mammals spread from their central Asian point of origin largely because of great variations in climate.
Although farming of any sort was almost as impossible in the plains as in the dry regions of winter rains farther west, the abundance of buffaloes made life much easier in many respects.
The evidence points to central Asia as man's original home, for the general movement of human migrations has been outward from that region and not inward.
A journey of four hundred and thirty miles can be made in any part of the United States, but in Turkey it takes as many days.
Again and again, to be sure, on the way to America, and under many other circumstances, man has passed through the most adverse climates and has survived, but he has flourished and waxed strong only in certain zones.
The coast of British Columbia was one of the three chief centers of aboriginal America.
We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature's greatest healers.
Nevertheless most of the evergreen forests of the north must always remain the home of wild animals and trappers, a backward region in which it is easy for a great fur company to maintain a practical monopoly.
For the source of any characteristic so widespread and uniform as this adaptation to environment we must go back to the very beginning of the human race.
In fact, the history of North America has been perhaps more profoundly influenced by man's inheritance from his past homes than by the physical features of his present home.
Year by year we are learning that in this restless, strenuous American life of ours vacations are essential.
Surprising as it may seem, this study indicates that similar conditions are best for all sorts of races.
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