Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 4
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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

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good chance that even the Spaniards would hold their own, and that temperate North America, like temperate Europe, would be held by many nations, differing one from the other in speech, in religion, and in blood. We have grown so accustomed to regarding America north of the Rio Grande as the natural heritage of the English-speaking peoples that we find it hard to realize how uncertain seemed the prospect at the period when colonization began. None could foretell which power would win in the struggle; and the fate of America was bound up in wars in which her future was hardly, if at all, considered. If Gustavus Adolphus had not fallen on the field of Lützen, and had he founded, as he hoped, a great Scandinavian kingdom encircling the Baltic, and with fleets as powerful as her armies, it may well be that the fame and terror of the Swedish name would have insured peace and prosperity to the transatlantic Swedish colonists. Had the Dutch fleets been but a trifle stronger, and had the Dutch diplomats prized Manhattan as they prized Java, the New Netherlands might never have become New YorkIt seemed, and was, perfectly possible in the seventeenth century, that the nineteenth would see flourishing Dutch and Swedish states firmly seated along the Hudson and the Delaware, exactly as a thriving French commonwealth actually is seated along the lower St. Lawrence.

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