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History in its broadest aspect is a record of man's migrations from one environment to another.
Geologists are rapidly becoming convinced that the mammals spread from their central Asian point of origin largely because of great variations in climate.
From first to last the civilization of America has been bound up with its physical environment.
For the source of any characteristic so widespread and uniform as this adaptation to environment we must go back to the very beginning of the human race.
Fertile soil, level plains, easy passage across the mountains, coal, iron, and other metals imbedded in the rocks, and a stimulating climate, all shower their blessings upon man.
Except on their southern borders the great northern forests are not good as a permanent home for man.
Curiously enough man's body and his mind appear to differ in their climatic adaptations.
As a matter of fact, an ordinary desert supports a much greater variety of plants than does either a forest or a prairie.
America is the last great goal of these migrations.
America forms the longest and straightest bone in the earth's skeleton.
Although mountains may guide migrations, the plains are the regions where people dwell in greatest numbers.
Although farming of any sort was almost as impossible in the plains as in the dry regions of winter rains farther west, the abundance of buffaloes made life much easier in many respects.
Again and again, to be sure, on the way to America, and under many other circumstances, man has passed through the most adverse climates and has survived, but he has flourished and waxed strong only in certain zones.
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