In a literary review by Wilde, originally uncredited.
'Australian Poets' in Pall Mall Gazette, Vol. XLVIII, No. 7409, December, 14th, 1888, PP 2-3
In the play:
A Woman of No Importance, 1894. Act 1.
KELVIL. I am afraid you don't appreciate America, Lord Illingworth. It is a very remarkable country, especially considering its youth.
LORD ILLINGWORTH. The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years. To hear them talk one would imagine they were in their first childhood. As far as civilisation goes they are in their second.
Bibliography of Oscar Wilde
by Stuart Mason, 1914
LONDON | T. WERNER LAURIE LTD.
‘Youth’ refers to the age of the country not its young people.