California And The Californians By David Starr Jordan

 -  A knowledge of his own
country is a matter of course. He has no sympathy with the essential
provinciality of - Page 9
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A Knowledge Of His Own Country Is A Matter Of Course.

He has no sympathy with "the essential provinciality of the mind which knows the Eastern seaboard, and has some

Measure of acquaintance with countries and cities, and with men from Ireland to Italy, but which is densely ignorant of our own vast domain, and thinks that all which lies beyond Philadelphia belongs to the West." Not that provincialism is unknown in California, or that its occasional exhibition is any less absurd or offensive here than elsewhere. For example, one may note a tendency to set up local standards for literary work done in California. Another more harmful idea is to insist that methods outworn in the schools elsewhere are good because they are Californian. This is the usual provincialism of ignorance, and it is found the world over. Especially is it characteristic of centers of population. When men come into contact with men instead of with the forces of nature, they mistake their own conventionalities for the facts of existence. It is not what life is, but what "the singular mess we agree to call life" is, that interests them. In this fashion they lose their real understanding of affairs, become the toys of their local environment, and are marked as provincials or tenderfeet when they stray away from home.

California is emphatically one of "earth's male lands," to accept Browning's classification. The first Saxon settlers were men, and in their rude civilization women had little part. For years women in California were objects of curiosity or of chivalry, disturbing rather than cementing influences in society.

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