WHEN the Pacific Coast "looks abroad" it does so in the first instance from its own position on the final frontier of the white man's world, as the ultimate outpost of Occidental institutions. Its view is naturally from its own windows. These, like the one before which I write, face out through the Golden Gate onto the greatest of oceans, toward another world beyond.
But this is the case only in part. A survey of any regional outlook, whether Far Western or otherwise, must also recognize how relatively minor a rôle sectionalism plays in forming American opinion on all but local matters. Whatever our sectional differences, our major interests are -- more than those of perhaps any other people -- national.
Thus there may be a prevailing Rocky Mountain attitude on silver and a Southern one toward the Negro, just as there was a Pacific Coast attitude on Oriental immigration when that question was open. There is one approach to the protective tariff in Pittsburgh and another in Detroit. It is good politics in New York City to seek the favor of foreign-born groups and in Alabama to reckon with a tradition of prejudice against them. People in the Middle West, many of whom never saw the ocean, are more amenable to isolationist propaganda than people on either Coast. But even these generalizations have many exceptions, especially among the professionally intellectual groups. Everywhere we tend to divide more along economic or educational than along geographic lines.
A poll, for instance, of the faculties of history, economics and political and social sciences at Harvard and the University of Chicago and the University of California would reveal about the same agreements and divergencies, none of them sectional. Chambers of Commerce and labor unions might be affected by local industrial conditions, but the agreements of each with the corresponding organizations elsewhere would exceed any regional differences. A recent report of discussion groups on American foreign policy held in several widely distributed key cities
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