Considerations on Representative Government

John Stuart Mill

Chapter VIII
Footnote #01

The following ``extract from the Report of the English Commissioner to the New York Exhibition'', which I quote from Mr. Carey's Principles of Social Science bears striking testimony to one part, at least, of the assertion in the text:---

``We have a few great engineers and mechanics, and a large body of clever workmen; but the Americans seem likely to become a whole nation of such people. Already, their rivers swarm with steamboats; their valleys are becoming crowded with factories; their towns, surpassing those of every state of Europe, except Belgium, Holland, and England, are the abodes of all the skill which now distinguishes a town population; and there is scarcely an art in Europe not carried on in America with equal or greater skill than in Europe, though it has been here cultivated and improved through ages. A whole nation of Franklins, Stephensons, and Watts in prospect, is something wonderful for other nations to contemplate. In contrast with the comparative inertness and ignorance of the bulk of the people of Europe, whatever may be the superiority of a few well-instructed and gifted persons, the America is the circumstance most worthy of public attention.''

[Back to:]
REPGOV Chapter 8 Section 1