Yet there has been a period between the two dates when no such extreme disproportion existed.
In the American
colonial period, for instance, or during the early days of the republic, there was nothing like this vast remoteness between poverty and wealth.
It all illustrates what has often been pointed out — the human life does not move in a straight line, nor yet in a circle, but in a spiral, which reproduces the old position, but on a higher plane.
In another form we find a seeming reversion, as our society advances, towards the earlier social structure from which we thought ourselves freed forever.
If there was anything which seemed distinctively American, it was the local ownership which almost universally prevailed in our farming regions.
So marked was this, that the old manor system, which prevailed along the banks of the Hudson
, collapsed almost of itself at last, giving way to the general demand for personal proprietorship.
But recent statistics furnished by the Census Bureau to the Springfield Republican
show the gradual change going on in all parts of the country, by which the holdings of land are increasing, and with them the proportion of tenant occupation.
, where the alteration