America was to be the eternal land of liberty, the refuge of the world's oppressed, the mentor of Europe. According to some critics–among whom are conservative men with a statistical bent–American democracy is in process of decay. To-day, more than ever before in American history, dire prophecies gain credence. Some foretell the dissolution of the Republic and the rise under democratic forms of an absolutist empire, of a malevolent or "benevolent feudalism" of business princes. Men in the Middle West, in the Far West, in the East and South; men in the factory and on the farm; men, and also women, – are looking at America with new eyes, as though it were the morning of the first day. Protestantism, too, was at first protesting, insurgent, negative, but Protestantism to-day is positive, plenary, and protested against.