Ohio History Journal

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The last decades of our century bristle with centennial

anniversaries; the landmarks of human progress in the

free institutions of a Christian civilization.

The Old World, with its crowded populations, with its

social orders and castes, and its despotic forms of govern-

ment was stagnant and unhealthful. Commerce reached

forth its bold and eager arms for new fields for human

enterprise and a larger and freer civilization.

Motives of gain mingled with religious fervor to plant

the standard of European polity and the emblem of the

cross on the soil of a new world.

We are near the anniversary of that great 1492, which

turned the world upside down and doubled the domain of

civilized life among men. Columbia opened her doors to

European emigration. The glitter of the precious metals

first fascinated the vulgar; but now millions of men with

teeming golden harvests, and with fields white with their

myriad bales of cotton, and with minerals and forests for

light, heat and all the arts of life, feed a hungry, clothe a

naked, and house a homeless world.

Three centuries ago the Spanish Armada sank under

the storm of God into the British waters in sight of the

reefs of Albion; and left England mistress of the seas.

In 1584 Edmund Spenser dedicated the "Faerie Queen"

to "Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queen of England,

France, and Ireland and Virginia;" and in the same year

the Virgin Queen gave to Sir Walter Raleigh the charter

to take and possess Virginia in her royal name. Virginia

was rocked in her infant cradle to the sweet song of the

master of English poetry.

But it was reserved for another reign to plant an English

colony securely on American soil. During the memorable

seventeenth century, when the conflict of prerogative and