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[122] to poverty. No one of his possible occupations appears degrading to him or makes him lose caste; and poverty itself appears to him as inconvenient and disagreeable rather than as humiliating. When the immigrant from Europe strikes root in his new home, he becomes as the American.

It may be said that the Americans, when they attained their independence, had not the elements for a division into classes, and that they deserve no praise for not having invented one. But I am not now contending that they deserve praise for their institutions, I am saying how well their institutions work. Considering, indeed, how rife are distinctions of rank and class in the world, how prone men in general are to adopt them, how much the Americans themselves, beyond doubt, are capable of feeling their attraction, it shows, I think, at least strong good sense in the Americans to have forborne from all attempt to invent them at the outset, and to have escaped or resisted any fancy for inventing them since. But evidently the United States constituted themselves, not amid the circumstances of a feudal age, but in a modern age; not under the conditions of an epoch favorable to subordination, but under those of an epoch of expansion. Their institutions

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