Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - Failure to recognize that the American, is at heart an idealist is to lack understanding of our national character. Two of our greatest interpreters proclaimed it, Emerson and William James. In a recent address at the Paris Sorbonne on "American Idealism," M. Firmin Roz observed that a people is rarely justly estimated by its contemporaries. The French, he says, have been celebrated chiefly for the skill of their chefs and their vaudeville actors, while in the disturbed 'speculum mundi' Americans have appeared as a collection of money grabbers whose philosophy is the dollar. It remained for the war to reveal the true nature of both peoples. The American colonists, M. Roz continues, unlike other colonists, were animated not by material motives, but by the desire to safeguard and realize an ideal; our inherent characteristic today is a belief in the virtue and power of ideas, of a national, indeed, of a universal, mission. In the Eighteenth Century we proposed a Philosophy and adopted a Constitution far in advance of the political practice of the day, and set up a government of which Europe predicted the early downfall. Nevertheless, thanks partly to good fortune, and to the farseeing wisdom of our early statesmen who perceived that the success of our experiment depended upon the maintenance of an isolation from European affairs, we established democracy as a practical form of government.