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Having taught the subject of American history for many years, the author believes that he has become acquainted with not a few of the difficulties of both teachers and pupils. In preparing this elementary book for Catholic schools certain conspicuous facts have been kept constantly in mind, namely, those of special interest and importance to Catholics. Thus it is made clear that Catholics discovered, and, in a large way, explored these continents, that Catholics transferred civilization hither, that they opened to the commerce of Europe the trade of the Pacific, and that they undertook the conversion of multitudes of dusky natives, of whom few had risen to the upper stages of barbarism.
Though England was Catholic when the voyages of Cabot gave her a claim to North America, that nation had become almost entirely Protestant before making any permanent settlements in the New World. Of the thirteen colonies founded or conquered by England, Maryland alone was settled by Catholic leaders. The war for independence, therefore, was begun by a people who were nearly all Protestants. However, in the course of that long struggle the assistance of Catholic nations was solicited and obtained. After February, 1778, the entire military and naval power of France was employed in the contest against Great Britain; after 1779, Spain, without becoming an ally, engaged in that war on her own account. But the Spaniards in America rendered undoubted assistance to the new Republic.
In this little volume somewhat more space has been devoted to Norse settlement and discovery than is usual in school books. The same observation is true of the Franciscan missions in China. The pages concerning Columbus are based upon researches of the author, and, among other things, aim at removing the obscurity which has surrounded