By Raymond Betts
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As he looked eastward across the Atlantic, he saw nothing to excite: France was in the process of decay, while Great Britain suffered from social inertia. " His chief concern, it is obvious, was with the environment, with the manner in which social energies were either mobilized and displaced or adapted to the ever-changing conditions and locales in which men live. Much of the appeal of Adams's thought, however, derived from the simple frontier thesis upon which it partially rested. , 3:496--523 (1894).
Sir Charles Dilke, author of the popular Greater Britain, suggested this mood as early as the 1860s. " Two decades later, the conservative and militant German nationalist Heinrich von Treitschke equally extolled the grandness of scale that large countries enjoyed. "Their citizens' outlook upon the world will be freer and greater. The command of the sea especially promotes it. . " 17 By the 1890s, this particular expansive mood was but one aspect of a shift in western thought from the positivist and the rational to the idealist and the romantic.
2312. 4 a Monypenny, "The Imperial Ideal," p. 6. · AN AGE OF EXPANSION 31 moving swiftly and comfortably toward the future. Most people would still have agreed with him. The century's emphasis on power, both industrial and metaphysical, seemed well placed, and empire therefore fit in effectively, if not perfectly. Few, however, imagined how fragile and artificial the European imperial systems were. Like the bronze statues of rulers standing in colonial squares around the world, empire was much larger than life, but it also rang hollow.