The spirit of the Renaissance and the Reformation helped much toward the colonization of America. Men awoke from the lethargy of the middle ages and became conscious that they could improve upon past conditions, and that the laws of nature, instead of repressing change, encouraged progress. Men no longer felt the restrictions of tradition, nor the old time reverence for locality and ancestral customs. The desire for better things became a controlling impulse, and that, which they could not obtain in Europe, they sought in America.
Clarke, Perley Lamont, "Progressive Secularization of the Public School" (1898). University Libraries Digitized Theses 189x-20xx. 80.