As we celebrate Independence Day, let's remember, as Bruce Cumings points out in his seminal work A Dominion From Sea to Sea, that America is a unique place.
It is the only truly continental power in human history, with vibrant costal regions on each of the planet's biggest oceans; and, a dynamic Middle Region that houses the greatest industrial machine ever.
Cumings speaks of American Ascendancy, and argues, correctly, that we are only at the beginning stages.
The 21st Century will be the American Century, as the nation continues to expand human civilization across the Pacific: an expansion that began 6,000 years ago in the Mediterranean, migrated across Europe, then the Atlantic, and most recently, the Western U.S.
While there are many big challenges facing the Republic, the dynamic nature of our country will adapt, improvise, and ultimately, overcome - as it always has.
Happy 4th of July!