It is impossible to understand the historical significance and importance of any country as long as we consider that country only by itself. In order to determine its true place in the scheme of things we have to consider its connection with the general stream of historical tendencies. It is needless to say that a purely partisan outlook-the so-called "patriotic" outlook, for instance-is a hopeless handicap to the finding of the truth. In the study of history as in the investigations of natural science, the truth is arrived at only after an impartial and dispassionate inquiry.
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