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Nevertheless most of the evergreen forests of the north must always remain the home of wild animals and trappers, a backward region in which it is easy for a great fur company to maintain a practical monopoly.
Man could not stay there forever. He was bound to spread to new regions, partly because of his innate migratory tendency and partly because of Nature's stern urgency.
It seems strange that almost no other traces of the strong vikings are found in America.
In fact, the history of North America has been perhaps more profoundly influenced by man's inheritance from his past homes than by the physical features of his present home.
In America the most widespread type of forest is the evergreen coniferous woodland of the north.
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.
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