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Title: History of the United States
Author: Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958, Beard, Charles A. (Charles Austin), 1874-1948
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United States" ***

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New York



_All rights reserved_



Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1921.

Norwood Press

J.S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.



As things now stand, the course of instruction in American history in
our public schools embraces three distinct treatments of the subject.
Three separate books are used. First, there is the primary book, which
is usually a very condensed narrative with emphasis on biographies and
anecdotes. Second, there is the advanced text for the seventh or eighth
grade, generally speaking, an expansion of the elementary book by the
addition of forty or fifty thousand words. Finally, there is the high
school manual. This, too, ordinarily follows the beaten path, giving
fuller accounts of the same events and characters. To put it bluntly, we
do not assume that our children obtain permanent possessions from their
study of history in the lower grades. If mathematicians followed the
same method, high school texts on algebra and geometry would include the
multiplication table and fractions.

There is, of course, a ready answer to the criticism advanced above. It
is that teachers have learned from bitter experience how little history
their pupils retain as they pass along the regular route. No teacher of
history will deny this. Still it is a standing challenge to existing
methods of historical instruction. If the study of history cannot be
made truly progressive like the study of mathematics, science, and
languages, then the historians assume a grave responsibility in adding
their subject to the already overloaded curriculum. If the successive
historical texts are only enlarged editions of the first text--more
facts, more dates, more words--then history deserves most of the sharp
criticism which it is receiving from teachers of science, civics, and

In this condition of affairs we find our justification for offering a
new high school text in American history. Our first contribution is one
of omission. The time-honored stories of exploration and the
biographies of heroes are left out. We frankly hold that, if pupils know
little or nothing about Columbus, Cortes, Magellan, or Captain John
Smith by the time they reach the high school, it is useless to tell the
same stories for perhaps the fourth time. It is worse than useless. It
is an offense against the teachers of those subjects that are
demonstrated to be progressive in character.

In the next place we have omitted all descriptions of battles. Our
reasons for this are simple. The strategy of a campaign or of a single
battle is a highly technical, and usually a highly controversial, matter
about which experts differ widely. In the field of military and naval
operations most writers and teachers of history are mere novices. To
dispose of Gettysburg or the Wilderness in ten lines or ten pages is
equally absurd to the serious student of military affairs. Any one who
compares the ordinary textbook account of a single Civil War campaign
with the account given by Ropes, for instance, will ask for no further
comment. No youth called upon to serve our country in arms would think
of turning to a high school manual for information about the art of
warfare. The dramatic scene or episode, so useful in arousing the
interest of the immature pupil, seems out of place in a book that
deliberately appeals to boys and girls on the very threshold of life's
serious responsibilities.

It is not upon negative features, however, that we rest our case. It is
rather upon constructive features.

_First._ We have written a topical, not a narrative, history. We have
tried to set forth the important aspects, problems, and movements of
each period, bringing in the narrative rather by way of illustration.

_Second._ We have emphasized those historical topics which help to
explain how our nation has come to be what it is to-day.

_Third._ We have dwelt fully upon the social and economic aspects of our
history, especially in relation to the politics of each period.

_Fourth._ We have treated the causes and results of wars, the problems
of financing and sustaining armed forces, rather than military strategy.
These are the subjects which belong to a history for civilians. These
are matters which civilians can understand--matters which they must
understand, if they are to play well their part in war and peace.

_Fifth._ By omitting the period of exploration, we have been able to
enlarge the treatment of our own time. We have given special attention
to the history of those current questions which must form the subject
matter of sound instruction in citizenship.

_Sixth._ We have borne in mind that America, with all her unique
characteristics, is a part of a general civilization. Accordingly we
have given diplomacy, foreign affairs, world relations, and the
reciprocal influences of nations their appropriate place.

_Seventh._ We have deliberately aimed at standards of maturity. The
study of a mere narrative calls mainly for the use of the memory. We
have aimed to stimulate habits of analysis, comparison, association,
reflection, and generalization--habits calculated to enlarge as well as
inform the mind. We have been at great pains to make our text clear,
simple, and direct; but we have earnestly sought to stretch the
intellects of our readers--to put them upon their mettle. Most of them
will receive the last of their formal instruction in the high school.
The world will soon expect maturity from them. Their achievements will
depend upon the possession of other powers than memory alone. The
effectiveness of their citizenship in our republic will be measured by
the excellence of their judgment as well as the fullness of their


     February 8, 1921.



BASSETT, J.S. _A Short History of the United States_
ELSON, H.W. _History of the United States of America_



HART, A.B. _Formation of the Union_
THWAITES, R.G. _The Colonies_
WILSON, WOODROW. _Division and Reunion_


BECKER, C.L. _Beginnings of the American People_
DODD, W.E. _Expansion and Conflict_
JOHNSON, A. _Union and Democracy_
PAXSON, F.L. _The New Nation_



CHAPTER                                                           PAGE
    I.  THE GREAT MIGRATION TO AMERICA                               1
          The Agencies of American Colonization                      2
          The Colonial Peoples                                       6
          The Process of Colonization                               12

          The Land and the Westward Movement                        20
          Industrial and Commercial Development                     28

  III.  SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PROGRESS                               38
          The Leadership of the Churches                            39
          Schools and Colleges                                      43
          The Colonial Press                                        46
          The Evolution in Political Institutions                   48

          Relations with the Indians and the French                 57
          The Effects of Warfare on the Colonies                    61
          Colonial Relations with the British Government            64
          Summary of Colonial Period                                73


          George III and His System                                 77
          George III's Ministers and Their Colonial Policies        79
          Colonial Resistance Forces Repeal                         83
          Resumption of British Revenue and Commercial Policies     87
          Renewed Resistance in America                             90
          Retaliation by the British Government                     93
          From Reform to Revolution in America                      95

   VI.  THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION                                     99
          Resistance and Retaliation                                99
          American Independence                                    101
          The Establishment of Government and the New Allegiance   108
          Military Affairs                                         116
          The Finances of the Revolution                           125
          The Diplomacy of the Revolution                          127
          Peace at Last                                            132
          Summary of the Revolutionary Period                      135


  VII.  THE FORMATION OF THE CONSTITUTION                          139
          The Promise and the Difficulties of America              139
          The Calling of a Constitutional Convention               143
          The Framing of the Constitution                          146
          The Struggle over Ratification                           157

 VIII.  THE CLASH OF POLITICAL PARTIES                             162
          The Men and Measures of the New Government               162
          The Rise of Political Parties                            168
          Foreign Influences and Domestic Politics                 171

   IX.  THE JEFFERSONIAN REPUBLICANS IN POWER                      186
          Republican Principles and Policies                       186
          The Republicans and the Great West                       188
          The Republican War for Commercial Independence           193
          The Republicans Nationalized                             201
          The National Decisions of Chief Justice Marshall         208
          Summary of Union and National Politics                   212


    X.  THE FARMERS BEYOND THE APPALACHIANS                        217
          Preparation for Western Settlement                       217
          The Western Migration and New States                     221
          The Spirit of the Frontier                               228
          The West and the East Meet                               230

   XI.  JACKSONIAN DEMOCRACY                                       238
          The Democratic Movement in the East                      238
          The New Democracy Enters the Arena                       244
          The New Democracy at Washington                          250
          The Rise of the Whigs                                    260
          The Interaction of American and European Opinion         265

  XII.  THE MIDDLE BORDER AND THE GREAT WEST                       271
          The Advance of the Middle Border                         271
          On to the Pacific--Texas and the Mexican War             276
          The Pacific Coast and Utah                               284
          Summary of Western Development and National Politics     292


 XIII.  THE RISE OF THE INDUSTRIAL SYSTEM                          295
          The Industrial Revolution                                296
          The Industrial Revolution and National Politics          307

          Slavery--North and South                                 316
          Slavery in National Politics                             324
          The Drift of Events toward the Irrepressible Conflict    332

   XV.  THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION                           344
          The Southern Confederacy                                 344
          The War Measures of the Federal Government               350
          The Results of the Civil War                             365
          Reconstruction in the South                              370
          Summary of the Sectional Conflict                        375


          The South at the Close of the War                        379
          The Restoration of White Supremacy                       382
          The Economic Advance of the South                        389

          Railways and Industry                                    401
          The Supremacy of the Republican Party (1861-1885)        412
          The Growth of Opposition to Republican Rule              417

XVIII.  THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GREAT WEST                          425
          The Railways as Trail Blazers                            425
          The Evolution of Grazing and Agriculture                 431
          Mining and Manufacturing in the West                     436
          The Admission of New States                              440
          The Influence of the Far West on National Life           443

  XIX.  DOMESTIC ISSUES BEFORE THE COUNTRY (1865-1897)             451
          The Currency Question                                    452
          The Protective Tariff and Taxation                       459
          The Railways and Trusts                                  460
          The Minor Parties and Unrest                             462
          The Sound Money Battle of 1896                           466
          Republican Measures and Results                          472

   XX.  AMERICA A WORLD POWER (1865-1900)                          477
          American Foreign Relations (1865-1898)                   478
          Cuba and the Spanish War                                 485
          American Policies in the Philippines and the Orient      497
          Summary of National Growth and World Politics            504


  XXI.  THE EVOLUTION OF REPUBLICAN POLICIES (1901-1913)           507
          Foreign Affairs                                          508
          Colonial Administration                                  515
          The Roosevelt Domestic Policies                          519
          Legislative and Executive Activities                     523
          The Administration of President Taft                     527
          Progressive Insurgency and the Election of 1912          530

 XXII.  THE SPIRIT OF REFORM IN AMERICA                            536
          An Age of Criticism                                      536
          Political Reforms                                        538
          Measures of Economic Reform                              546

XXIII.  THE NEW POLITICAL DEMOCRACY                                554
          The Rise of the Woman Movement                           555
          The National Struggle for Woman Suffrage                 562

 XXIV.  INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY                                       570
          Coöperation between Employers and Employees              571
          The Rise and Growth of Organized Labor                   575
          The Wider Relations of Organized Labor                   577
          Immigration and Americanization                          582

  XXV.  PRESIDENT WILSON AND THE WORLD WAR                         588
          Domestic Legislation                                     588
          Colonial and Foreign Policies                            592
          The United States and the European War                   596
          The United States at War                                 604
          The Settlement at Paris                                  612
          Summary of Democracy and the World War                   620

APPENDIX                                                           627

A TOPICAL SYLLABUS                                                 645

INDEX                                                              655


The Original Grants (color map)                         _Facing_     4

German and Scotch-Irish Settlements                                  8

Distribution of Population in 1790                                  27

English, French, and Spanish Possessions in America, 1750
      (color map)                                      _Facing_     59

The Colonies at the Time of the Declaration of Independence
      (color map)                                     _Facing_     108

North America according to the Treaty of 1783
      (color map)                                     _Facing_     134

The United States in 1805 (color map)                 _Facing_     193

Roads and Trails into Western Territory (color map)   _Facing_     224

The Cumberland Road                                                233

Distribution of Population in 1830                                 235

Texas and the Territory in Dispute                                 282

The Oregon Country and the Disputed Boundary                       285

The Overland Trails                                                287

Distribution of Slaves in Southern States                          323

The Missouri Compromise                                            326

Slave and Free Soil on the Eve of the Civil War                    335

The United States in 1861 (color map)                 _Facing_     345

Railroads of the United States in 1918                             405

The United States in 1870 (color map)                _Facing_      427

The United States in 1912 (color map)                _Facing_      443

American Dominions in the Pacific (color map)        _Facing_      500

The Caribbean Region (color map)                     _Facing_      592

Battle Lines of the Various Years of the World War                 613

Europe in 1919 (color map)                         _Between_   618-619

     "THE NATIONS OF THE WEST" (popularly called "The
     Pioneers"), designed by A. Stirling Calder and modeled by
     Mr. Calder, F.G.R. Roth, and Leo Lentelli, topped the Arch
     of the Setting Sun at the Panama-Pacific Exposition held at
     San Francisco in 1915. Facing the Court of the Universe
     moves a group of men and women typical of those who have
     made our civilization. From left to right appear the
     French-Canadian, the Alaskan, the Latin-American, the
     German, the Italian, the Anglo-American, and the American
     Indian, squaw and warrior. In the place of honor in the
     center of the group, standing between the oxen on the tongue
     of the prairie schooner, is a figure, beautiful and almost
     girlish, but strong, dignified, and womanly, the Mother of
     To-morrow. Above the group rides the Spirit of Enterprise,
     flanked right and left by the Hopes of the Future in the
     person of two boys. The group as a whole is beautifully
     symbolic of the westward march of American civilization.

[Illustration: _Photograph by Cardinell-Vincent Co., San Francisco_






The tide of migration that set in toward the shores of North America
during the early years of the seventeenth century was but one phase in
the restless and eternal movement of mankind upon the surface of the
earth. The ancient Greeks flung out their colonies in every direction,
westward as far as Gaul, across the Mediterranean, and eastward into
Asia Minor, perhaps to the very confines of India. The Romans, supported
by their armies and their government, spread their dominion beyond the
narrow lands of Italy until it stretched from the heather of Scotland to
the sands of Arabia. The Teutonic tribes, from their home beyond the
Danube and the Rhine, poured into the empire of the Cæsars and made the
beginnings of modern Europe. Of this great sweep of races and empires
the settlement of America was merely a part. And it was, moreover, only
one aspect of the expansion which finally carried the peoples, the
institutions, and the trade of Europe to the very ends of the earth.

In one vital point, it must be noted, American colonization differed
from that of the ancients. The Greeks usually carried with them
affection for the government they left behind and sacred fire from the
altar of the parent city; but thousands of the immigrants who came to
America disliked the state and disowned the church of the mother
country. They established compacts of government for themselves and set
up altars of their own. They sought not only new soil to till but also
political and religious liberty for themselves and their children.


It was no light matter for the English to cross three thousand miles of
water and found homes in the American wilderness at the opening of the
seventeenth century. Ships, tools, and supplies called for huge outlays
of money. Stores had to be furnished in quantities sufficient to sustain
the life of the settlers until they could gather harvests of their own.
Artisans and laborers of skill and industry had to be induced to risk
the hazards of the new world. Soldiers were required for defense and
mariners for the exploration of inland waters. Leaders of good judgment,
adept in managing men, had to be discovered. Altogether such an
enterprise demanded capital larger than the ordinary merchant or
gentleman could amass and involved risks more imminent than he dared to
assume. Though in later days, after initial tests had been made, wealthy
proprietors were able to establish colonies on their own account, it was
the corporation that furnished the capital and leadership in the

=The Trading Company.=--English pioneers in exploration found an
instrument for colonization in companies of merchant adventurers, which
had long been employed in carrying on commerce with foreign countries.
Such a corporation was composed of many persons of different ranks of
society--noblemen, merchants, and gentlemen--who banded together for a
particular undertaking, each contributing a sum of money and sharing in
the profits of the venture. It was organized under royal authority; it
received its charter, its grant of land, and its trading privileges from
the king and carried on its operations under his supervision and
control. The charter named all the persons originally included in the
corporation and gave them certain powers in the management of its
affairs, including the right to admit new members. The company was in
fact a little government set up by the king. When the members of the
corporation remained in England, as in the case of the Virginia Company,
they operated through agents sent to the colony. When they came over the
seas themselves and settled in America, as in the case of Massachusetts,
they became the direct government of the country they possessed. The
stockholders in that instance became the voters and the governor, the
chief magistrate.


Four of the thirteen colonies in America owed their origins to the
trading corporation. It was the London Company, created by King James I,
in 1606, that laid during the following year the foundations of Virginia
at Jamestown. It was under the auspices of their West India Company,
chartered in 1621, that the Dutch planted the settlements of the New
Netherland in the valley of the Hudson. The founders of Massachusetts
were Puritan leaders and men of affairs whom King Charles I incorporated
in 1629 under the title: "The governor and company of the Massachusetts
Bay in New England." In this case the law did but incorporate a group
drawn together by religious ties. "We must be knit together as one man,"
wrote John Winthrop, the first Puritan governor in America. Far to the
south, on the banks of the Delaware River, a Swedish commercial company
in 1638 made the beginnings of a settlement, christened New Sweden; it
was destined to pass under the rule of the Dutch, and finally under the
rule of William Penn as the proprietary colony of Delaware.

In a certain sense, Georgia may be included among the "company
colonies." It was, however, originally conceived by the moving spirit,
James Oglethorpe, as an asylum for poor men, especially those imprisoned
for debt. To realize this humane purpose, he secured from King George
II, in 1732, a royal charter uniting several gentlemen, including
himself, into "one body politic and corporate," known as the "Trustees
for establishing the colony of Georgia in America." In the structure of
their organization and their methods of government, the trustees did not
differ materially from the regular companies created for trade and
colonization. Though their purposes were benevolent, their transactions
had to be under the forms of law and according to the rules of business.

=The Religious Congregation.=--A second agency which figured largely in
the settlement of America was the religious brotherhood, or
congregation, of men and women brought together in the bonds of a common
religious faith. By one of the strange fortunes of history, this
institution, founded in the early days of Christianity, proved to be a
potent force in the origin and growth of self-government in a land far
away from Galilee. "And the multitude of them that believed were of one
heart and of one soul," we are told in the Acts describing the Church at
Jerusalem. "We are knit together as a body in a most sacred covenant of
the Lord ... by virtue of which we hold ourselves strictly tied to all
care of each other's good and of the whole," wrote John Robinson, a
leader among the Pilgrims who founded their tiny colony of Plymouth in
1620. The Mayflower Compact, so famous in American history, was but a
written and signed agreement, incorporating the spirit of obedience to
the common good, which served as a guide to self-government until
Plymouth was annexed to Massachusetts in 1691.


Three other colonies, all of which retained their identity until the eve
of the American Revolution, likewise sprang directly from the
congregations of the faithful: Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New
Hampshire, mainly offshoots from Massachusetts. They were founded by
small bodies of men and women, "united in solemn covenants with the
Lord," who planted their settlements in the wilderness. Not until many a
year after Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson conducted their followers
to the Narragansett country was Rhode Island granted a charter of
incorporation (1663) by the crown. Not until long after the congregation
of Thomas Hooker from Newtown blazed the way into the Connecticut River
Valley did the king of England give Connecticut a charter of its own
(1662) and a place among the colonies. Half a century elapsed before the
towns laid out beyond the Merrimac River by emigrants from Massachusetts
were formed into the royal province of New Hampshire in 1679.

Even when Connecticut was chartered, the parchment and sealing wax of
the royal lawyers did but confirm rights and habits of self-government
and obedience to law previously established by the congregations. The
towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield had long lived happily
under their "Fundamental Orders" drawn up by themselves in 1639; so had
the settlers dwelt peacefully at New Haven under their "Fundamental
Articles" drafted in the same year. The pioneers on the Connecticut
shore had no difficulty in agreeing that "the Scriptures do hold forth a
perfect rule for the direction and government of all men."

=The Proprietor.=--A third and very important colonial agency was the
proprietor, or proprietary. As the name, associated with the word
"property," implies, the proprietor was a person to whom the king
granted property in lands in North America to have, hold, use, and enjoy
for his own benefit and profit, with the right to hand the estate down
to his heirs in perpetual succession. The proprietor was a rich and
powerful person, prepared to furnish or secure the capital, collect the
ships, supply the stores, and assemble the settlers necessary to found
and sustain a plantation beyond the seas. Sometimes the proprietor
worked alone. Sometimes two or more were associated like partners in the
common undertaking.

Five colonies, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Carolinas,
owe their formal origins, though not always their first settlements, nor
in most cases their prosperity, to the proprietary system. Maryland,
established in 1634 under a Catholic nobleman, Lord Baltimore, and
blessed with religious toleration by the act of 1649, flourished under
the mild rule of proprietors until it became a state in the American
union. New Jersey, beginning its career under two proprietors, Berkeley
and Carteret, in 1664, passed under the direct government of the crown
in 1702. Pennsylvania was, in a very large measure, the product of the
generous spirit and tireless labors of its first proprietor, the leader
of the Friends, William Penn, to whom it was granted in 1681 and in
whose family it remained until 1776. The two Carolinas were first
organized as one colony in 1663 under the government and patronage of
eight proprietors, including Lord Clarendon; but after more than half a
century both became royal provinces governed by the king.



=The English.=--In leadership and origin the thirteen colonies, except
New York and Delaware, were English. During the early days of all, save
these two, the main, if not the sole, current of immigration was from
England. The colonists came from every walk of life. They were men,
women, and children of "all sorts and conditions." The major portion
were yeomen, or small land owners, farm laborers, and artisans. With
them were merchants and gentlemen who brought their stocks of goods or
their fortunes to the New World. Scholars came from Oxford and
Cambridge to preach the gospel or to teach. Now and then the son of an
English nobleman left his baronial hall behind and cast his lot with
America. The people represented every religious faith--members of the
Established Church of England; Puritans who had labored to reform that
church; Separatists, Baptists, and Friends, who had left it altogether;
and Catholics, who clung to the religion of their fathers.

New England was almost purely English. During the years between 1629 and
1640, the period of arbitrary Stuart government, about twenty thousand
Puritans emigrated to America, settling in the colonies of the far
North. Although minor additions were made from time to time, the greater
portion of the New England people sprang from this original stock.
Virginia, too, for a long time drew nearly all her immigrants from
England alone. Not until the eve of the Revolution did other
nationalities, mainly the Scotch-Irish and Germans, rival the English in

The populations of later English colonies--the Carolinas, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Georgia--while receiving a steady stream of
immigration from England, were constantly augmented by wanderers from
the older settlements. New York was invaded by Puritans from New England
in such numbers as to cause the Anglican clergymen there to lament that
"free thinking spreads almost as fast as the Church." North Carolina was
first settled toward the northern border by immigrants from Virginia.
Some of the North Carolinians, particularly the Quakers, came all the
way from New England, tarrying in Virginia only long enough to learn how
little they were wanted in that Anglican colony.

=The Scotch-Irish.=--Next to the English in numbers and influence were
the Scotch-Irish, Presbyterians in belief, English in tongue. Both
religious and economic reasons sent them across the sea. Their Scotch
ancestors, in the days of Cromwell, had settled in the north of Ireland
whence the native Irish had been driven by the conqueror's sword. There
the Scotch nourished for many years enjoying in peace their own form of
religion and growing prosperous in the manufacture of fine linen and
woolen cloth. Then the blow fell. Toward the end of the seventeenth
century their religious worship was put under the ban and the export of
their cloth was forbidden by the English Parliament. Within two decades
twenty thousand Scotch-Irish left Ulster alone, for America; and all
during the eighteenth century the migration continued to be heavy.
Although no exact record was kept, it is reckoned that the Scotch-Irish
and the Scotch who came directly from Scotland, composed one-sixth of
the entire American population on the eve of the Revolution.


These newcomers in America made their homes chiefly in New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Coming late upon
the scene, they found much of the land immediately upon the seaboard
already taken up. For this reason most of them became frontier people
settling the interior and upland regions. There they cleared the land,
laid out their small farms, and worked as "sturdy yeomen on the soil,"
hardy, industrious, and independent in spirit, sharing neither the
luxuries of the rich planters nor the easy life of the leisurely
merchants. To their agriculture they added woolen and linen
manufactures, which, flourishing in the supple fingers of their tireless
women, made heavy inroads upon the trade of the English merchants in
the colonies. Of their labors a poet has sung:

        "O, willing hands to toil;
    Strong natures tuned to the harvest-song and bound to the kindly soil;
    Bold pioneers for the wilderness, defenders in the field."

=The Germans.=--Third among the colonists in order of numerical
importance were the Germans. From the very beginning, they appeared in
colonial records. A number of the artisans and carpenters in the first
Jamestown colony were of German descent. Peter Minuit, the famous
governor of New Motherland, was a German from Wesel on the Rhine, and
Jacob Leisler, leader of a popular uprising against the provincial
administration of New York, was a German from Frankfort-on-Main. The
wholesale migration of Germans began with the founding of Pennsylvania.
Penn was diligent in searching for thrifty farmers to cultivate his
lands and he made a special effort to attract peasants from the Rhine
country. A great association, known as the Frankfort Company, bought
more than twenty thousand acres from him and in 1684 established a
center at Germantown for the distribution of German immigrants. In old
New York, Rhinebeck-on-the-Hudson became a similar center for
distribution. All the way from Maine to Georgia inducements were offered
to the German farmers and in nearly every colony were to be found, in
time, German settlements. In fact the migration became so large that
German princes were frightened at the loss of so many subjects and
England was alarmed by the influx of foreigners into her overseas
dominions. Yet nothing could stop the movement. By the end of the
colonial period, the number of Germans had risen to more than two
hundred thousand.

The majority of them were Protestants from the Rhine region, and South
Germany. Wars, religious controversies, oppression, and poverty drove
them forth to America. Though most of them were farmers, there were also
among them skilled artisans who contributed to the rapid growth of
industries in Pennsylvania. Their iron, glass, paper, and woolen mills,
dotted here and there among the thickly settled regions, added to the
wealth and independence of the province.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


Unlike the Scotch-Irish, the Germans did not speak the language of the
original colonists or mingle freely with them. They kept to themselves,
built their own schools, founded their own newspapers, and published
their own books. Their clannish habits often irritated their neighbors
and led to occasional agitations against "foreigners." However, no
serious collisions seem to have occurred; and in the days of the
Revolution, German soldiers from Pennsylvania fought in the patriot
armies side by side with soldiers from the English and Scotch-Irish

=Other Nationalities.=--Though the English, the Scotch-Irish, and the
Germans made up the bulk of the colonial population, there were other
racial strains as well, varying in numerical importance but contributing
their share to colonial life.

From France came the Huguenots fleeing from the decree of the king which
inflicted terrible penalties upon Protestants.

From "Old Ireland" came thousands of native Irish, Celtic in race and
Catholic in religion. Like their Scotch-Irish neighbors to the north,
they revered neither the government nor the church of England imposed
upon them by the sword. How many came we do not know, but shipping
records of the colonial period show that boatload after boatload left
the southern and eastern shores of Ireland for the New World.
Undoubtedly thousands of their passengers were Irish of the native
stock. This surmise is well sustained by the constant appearance of
Celtic names in the records of various colonies.

[Illustration:_From an old print_


The Jews, then as ever engaged in their age-long battle for religious
and economic toleration, found in the American colonies, not complete
liberty, but certainly more freedom than they enjoyed in England,
France, Spain, or Portugal. The English law did not actually recognize
their right to live in any of the dominions, but owing to the easy-going
habits of the Americans they were allowed to filter into the seaboard
towns. The treatment they received there varied. On one occasion the
mayor and council of New York forbade them to sell by retail and on
another prohibited the exercise of their religious worship. Newport,
Philadelphia, and Charleston were more hospitable, and there large
Jewish colonies, consisting principally of merchants and their families,
flourished in spite of nominal prohibitions of the law.

Though the small Swedish colony in Delaware was quickly submerged
beneath the tide of English migration, the Dutch in New York continued
to hold their own for more than a hundred years after the English
conquest in 1664. At the end of the colonial period over one-half of the
170,000 inhabitants of the province were descendants of the original
Dutch--still distinct enough to give a decided cast to the life and
manners of New York. Many of them clung as tenaciously to their mother
tongue as they did to their capacious farmhouses or their Dutch ovens;
but they were slowly losing their identity as the English pressed in
beside them to farm and trade.

The melting pot had begun its historic mission.


Considered from one side, colonization, whatever the motives of the
emigrants, was an economic matter. It involved the use of capital to pay
for their passage, to sustain them on the voyage, and to start them on
the way of production. Under this stern economic necessity, Puritans,
Scotch-Irish, Germans, and all were alike laid.

=Immigrants Who Paid Their Own Way.=--Many of the immigrants to America
in colonial days were capitalists themselves, in a small or a large way,
and paid their own passage. What proportion of the colonists were able
to finance their voyage across the sea is a matter of pure conjecture.
Undoubtedly a very considerable number could do so, for we can trace the
family fortunes of many early settlers. Henry Cabot Lodge is authority
for the statement that "the settlers of New England were drawn from the
country gentlemen, small farmers, and yeomanry of the mother
country.... Many of the emigrants were men of wealth, as the old lists
show, and all of them, with few exceptions, were men of property and
good standing. They did not belong to the classes from which emigration
is usually supplied, for they all had a stake in the country they left
behind." Though it would be interesting to know how accurate this
statement is or how applicable to the other colonies, no study has as
yet been made to gratify that interest. For the present it is an
unsolved problem just how many of the colonists were able to bear the
cost of their own transfer to the New World.

=Indentured Servants.=--That at least tens of thousands of immigrants
were unable to pay for their passage is established beyond the shadow of
a doubt by the shipping records that have come down to us. The great
barrier in the way of the poor who wanted to go to America was the cost
of the sea voyage. To overcome this difficulty a plan was worked out
whereby shipowners and other persons of means furnished the passage
money to immigrants in return for their promise, or bond, to work for a
term of years to repay the sum advanced. This system was called
indentured servitude.

It is probable that the number of bond servants exceeded the original
twenty thousand Puritans, the yeomen, the Virginia gentlemen, and the
Huguenots combined. All the way down the coast from Massachusetts to
Georgia were to be found in the fields, kitchens, and workshops, men,
women, and children serving out terms of bondage generally ranging from
five to seven years. In the proprietary colonies the proportion of bond
servants was very high. The Baltimores, Penns, Carterets, and other
promoters anxiously sought for workers of every nationality to till
their fields, for land without labor was worth no more than land in the
moon. Hence the gates of the proprietary colonies were flung wide open.
Every inducement was offered to immigrants in the form of cheap land,
and special efforts were made to increase the population by importing
servants. In Pennsylvania, it was not uncommon to find a master with
fifty bond servants on his estate. It has been estimated that two-thirds
of all the immigrants into Pennsylvania between the opening of the
eighteenth century and the outbreak of the Revolution were in bondage.
In the other Middle colonies the number was doubtless not so large; but
it formed a considerable part of the population.

The story of this traffic in white servants is one of the most striking
things in the history of labor. Bondmen differed from the serfs of the
feudal age in that they were not bound to the soil but to the master.
They likewise differed from the negro slaves in that their servitude had
a time limit. Still they were subject to many special disabilities. It
was, for instance, a common practice to impose on them penalties far
heavier than were imposed upon freemen for the same offense. A free
citizen of Pennsylvania who indulged in horse racing and gambling was
let off with a fine; a white servant guilty of the same unlawful conduct
was whipped at the post and fined as well.

The ordinary life of the white servant was also severely restricted. A
bondman could not marry without his master's consent; nor engage in
trade; nor refuse work assigned to him. For an attempt to escape or
indeed for any infraction of the law, the term of service was extended.
The condition of white bondmen in Virginia, according to Lodge, "was
little better than that of slaves. Loose indentures and harsh laws put
them at the mercy of their masters." It would not be unfair to add that
such was their lot in all other colonies. Their fate depended upon the
temper of their masters.

Cruel as was the system in many ways, it gave thousands of people in the
Old World a chance to reach the New--an opportunity to wrestle with fate
for freedom and a home of their own. When their weary years of servitude
were over, if they survived, they might obtain land of their own or
settle as free mechanics in the towns. For many a bondman the gamble
proved to be a losing venture because he found himself unable to rise
out of the state of poverty and dependence into which his servitude
carried him. For thousands, on the contrary, bondage proved to be a real
avenue to freedom and prosperity. Some of the best citizens of America
have the blood of indentured servants in their veins.

=The Transported--Involuntary Servitude.=--In their anxiety to secure
settlers, the companies and proprietors having colonies in America
either resorted to or connived at the practice of kidnapping men, women,
and children from the streets of English cities. In 1680 it was
officially estimated that "ten thousand persons were spirited away" to
America. Many of the victims of the practice were young children, for
the traffic in them was highly profitable. Orphans and dependents were
sometimes disposed of in America by relatives unwilling to support them.
In a single year, 1627, about fifteen hundred children were shipped to

In this gruesome business there lurked many tragedies, and very few
romances. Parents were separated from their children and husbands from
their wives. Hundreds of skilled artisans--carpenters, smiths, and
weavers--utterly disappeared as if swallowed up by death. A few thus
dragged off to the New World to be sold into servitude for a term of
five or seven years later became prosperous and returned home with
fortunes. In one case a young man who was forcibly carried over the sea
lived to make his way back to England and establish his claim to a

Akin to the kidnapped, at least in economic position, were convicts
deported to the colonies for life in lieu of fines and imprisonment. The
Americans protested vigorously but ineffectually against this practice.
Indeed, they exaggerated its evils, for many of the "criminals" were
only mild offenders against unduly harsh and cruel laws. A peasant
caught shooting a rabbit on a lord's estate or a luckless servant girl
who purloined a pocket handkerchief was branded as a criminal along with
sturdy thieves and incorrigible rascals. Other transported offenders
were "political criminals"; that is, persons who criticized or opposed
the government. This class included now Irish who revolted against
British rule in Ireland; now Cavaliers who championed the king against
the Puritan revolutionists; Puritans, in turn, dispatched after the
monarchy was restored; and Scotch and English subjects in general who
joined in political uprisings against the king.

=The African Slaves.=--Rivaling in numbers, in the course of time, the
indentured servants and whites carried to America against their will
were the African negroes brought to America and sold into slavery. When
this form of bondage was first introduced into Virginia in 1619, it was
looked upon as a temporary necessity to be discarded with the increase
of the white population. Moreover it does not appear that those planters
who first bought negroes at the auction block intended to establish a
system of permanent bondage. Only by a slow process did chattel slavery
take firm root and become recognized as the leading source of the labor
supply. In 1650, thirty years after the introduction of slavery, there
were only three hundred Africans in Virginia.

The great increase in later years was due in no small measure to the
inordinate zeal for profits that seized slave traders both in Old and in
New England. Finding it relatively easy to secure negroes in Africa,
they crowded the Southern ports with their vessels. The English Royal
African Company sent to America annually between 1713 and 1743 from five
to ten thousand slaves. The ship owners of New England were not far
behind their English brethren in pushing this extraordinary traffic.

As the proportion of the negroes to the free white population steadily
rose, and as whole sections were overrun with slaves and slave traders,
the Southern colonies grew alarmed. In 1710, Virginia sought to curtail
the importation by placing a duty of £5 on each slave. This effort was
futile, for the royal governor promptly vetoed it. From time to time
similar bills were passed, only to meet with royal disapproval. South
Carolina, in 1760, absolutely prohibited importation; but the measure
was killed by the British crown. As late as 1772, Virginia, not daunted
by a century of rebuffs, sent to George III a petition in this vein:
"The importation of slaves into the colonies from the coast of Africa
hath long been considered as a trade of great inhumanity and under its
present encouragement, we have too much reason to fear, will endanger
the very existence of Your Majesty's American dominions.... Deeply
impressed with these sentiments, we most humbly beseech Your Majesty to
remove all those restraints on Your Majesty's governors of this colony
which inhibit their assenting to such laws as might check so very
pernicious a commerce."

All such protests were without avail. The negro population grew by leaps
and bounds, until on the eve of the Revolution it amounted to more than
half a million. In five states--Maryland, Virginia, the two Carolinas,
and Georgia--the slaves nearly equalled or actually exceeded the whites
in number. In South Carolina they formed almost two-thirds of the
population. Even in the Middle colonies of Delaware and Pennsylvania
about one-fifth of the inhabitants were from Africa. To the North, the
proportion of slaves steadily diminished although chattel servitude was
on the same legal footing as in the South. In New York approximately one
in six and in New England one in fifty were negroes, including a few

The climate, the soil, the commerce, and the industry of the North were
all unfavorable to the growth of a servile population. Still, slavery,
though sectional, was a part of the national system of economy. Northern
ships carried slaves to the Southern colonies and the produce of the
plantations to Europe. "If the Northern states will consult their
interest, they will not oppose the increase in slaves which will
increase the commodities of which they will become the carriers," said
John Rutledge, of South Carolina, in the convention which framed the
Constitution of the United States. "What enriches a part enriches the
whole and the states are the best judges of their particular interest,"
responded Oliver Ellsworth, the distinguished spokesman of Connecticut.


E. Charming, _History of the United States_, Vols. I and II.

J.A. Doyle, _The English Colonies in America_ (5 vols.).

J. Fiske, _Old Virginia and Her Neighbors_ (2 vols.).

A.B. Faust, _The German Element in the United States_ (2 vols.).

H.J. Ford, _The Scotch-Irish in America_.

L. Tyler, _England in America_ (American Nation Series).

R. Usher, _The Pilgrims and Their History_.


1. America has been called a nation of immigrants. Explain why.

2. Why were individuals unable to go alone to America in the beginning?
What agencies made colonization possible? Discuss each of them.

3. Make a table of the colonies, showing the methods employed in their

4. Why were capital and leadership so very important in early

5. What is meant by the "melting pot"? What nationalities were
represented among the early colonists?

6. Compare the way immigrants come to-day with the way they came in
colonial times.

7. Contrast indentured servitude with slavery and serfdom.

8. Account for the anxiety of companies and proprietors to secure

9. What forces favored the heavy importation of slaves?

10. In what way did the North derive advantages from slavery?

=Research Topics=

=The Chartered Company.=--Compare the first and third charters of
Virginia in Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book of American History_,
1606-1898, pp. 1-14. Analyze the first and second Massachusetts charters
in Macdonald, pp. 22-84. Special reference: W.A.S. Hewins, _English
Trading Companies_.

=Congregations and Compacts for Self-government.=--A study of the
Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and the
Fundamental Articles of New Haven in Macdonald, pp. 19, 36, 39.
Reference: Charles Borgeaud, _Rise of Modern Democracy_, and C.S.
Lobingier, _The People's Law_, Chaps. I-VII.

=The Proprietary System.=--Analysis of Penn's charter of 1681, in
Macdonald, p. 80. Reference: Lodge, _Short History of the English
Colonies in America_, p. 211.

=Studies of Individual Colonies.=--Review of outstanding events in
history of each colony, using Elson, _History of the United States_, pp.
55-159, as the basis.

=Biographical Studies.=--John Smith, John Winthrop, William Penn, Lord
Baltimore, William Bradford, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson, Thomas
Hooker, and Peter Stuyvesant, using any good encyclopedia.

=Indentured Servitude.=--In Virginia, Lodge, _Short History_, pp. 69-72;
in Pennsylvania, pp. 242-244. Contemporary account in Callender,
_Economic History of the United States_, pp. 44-51. Special reference:
Karl Geiser, _Redemptioners and Indentured Servants_ (Yale Review, X,
No. 2 Supplement).

=Slavery.=--In Virginia, Lodge, _Short History_, pp. 67-69; in the
Northern colonies, pp. 241, 275, 322, 408, 442.

=The People of the Colonies.=--Virginia, Lodge, _Short History_, pp.
67-73; New England, pp. 406-409, 441-450; Pennsylvania, pp. 227-229,
240-250; New York, pp. 312-313, 322-335.




=The Significance of Land Tenure.=--The way in which land may be
acquired, held, divided among heirs, and bought and sold exercises a
deep influence on the life and culture of a people. The feudal and
aristocratic societies of Europe were founded on a system of landlordism
which was characterized by two distinct features. In the first place,
the land was nearly all held in great estates, each owned by a single
proprietor. In the second place, every estate was kept intact under the
law of primogeniture, which at the death of a lord transferred all his
landed property to his eldest son. This prevented the subdivision of
estates and the growth of a large body of small farmers or freeholders
owning their own land. It made a form of tenantry or servitude
inevitable for the mass of those who labored on the land. It also
enabled the landlords to maintain themselves in power as a governing
class and kept the tenants and laborers subject to their economic and
political control. If land tenure was so significant in Europe, it was
equally important in the development of America, where practically all
the first immigrants were forced by circumstances to derive their
livelihood from the soil.

=Experiments in Common Tillage.=--In the New World, with its broad
extent of land awaiting the white man's plow, it was impossible to
introduce in its entirety and over the whole area the system of lords
and tenants that existed across the sea. So it happened that almost
every kind of experiment in land tenure, from communism to feudalism,
was tried. In the early days of the Jamestown colony, the land, though
owned by the London Company, was tilled in common by the settlers. No
man had a separate plot of his own. The motto of the community was:
"Labor and share alike." All were supposed to work in the fields and
receive an equal share of the produce. At Plymouth, the Pilgrims
attempted a similar experiment, laying out the fields in common and
distributing the joint produce of their labor with rough equality among
the workers.

In both colonies the communistic experiments were failures. Angry at the
lazy men in Jamestown who idled their time away and yet expected regular
meals, Captain John Smith issued a manifesto: "Everyone that gathereth
not every day as much as I do, the next day shall be set beyond the
river and forever banished from the fort and live there or starve." Even
this terrible threat did not bring a change in production. Not until
each man was given a plot of his own to till, not until each gathered
the fruits of his own labor, did the colony prosper. In Plymouth, where
the communal experiment lasted for five years, the results were similar
to those in Virginia, and the system was given up for one of separate
fields in which every person could "set corn for his own particular."
Some other New England towns, refusing to profit by the experience of
their Plymouth neighbor, also made excursions into common ownership and
labor, only to abandon the idea and go in for individual ownership of
the land. "By degrees it was seen that even the Lord's people could not
carry the complicated communist legislation into perfect and wholesome

=Feudal Elements in the Colonies--Quit Rents, Manors, and
Plantations.=--At the other end of the scale were the feudal elements of
land tenure found in the proprietary colonies, in the seaboard regions
of the South, and to some extent in New York. The proprietor was in fact
a powerful feudal lord, owning land granted to him by royal charter. He
could retain any part of it for his personal use or dispose of it all in
large or small lots. While he generally kept for himself an estate of
baronial proportions, it was impossible for him to manage directly any
considerable part of the land in his dominion. Consequently he either
sold it in parcels for lump sums or granted it to individuals on
condition that they make to him an annual payment in money, known as
"quit rent." In Maryland, the proprietor sometimes collected as high as
£9000 (equal to about $500,000 to-day) in a single year from this
source. In Pennsylvania, the quit rents brought a handsome annual
tribute into the exchequer of the Penn family. In the royal provinces,
the king of England claimed all revenues collected in this form from the
land, a sum amounting to £19,000 at the time of the Revolution. The quit
rent,--"really a feudal payment from freeholders,"--was thus a material
source of income for the crown as well as for the proprietors. Wherever
it was laid, however, it proved to be a burden, a source of constant
irritation; and it became a formidable item in the long list of
grievances which led to the American Revolution.

Something still more like the feudal system of the Old World appeared in
the numerous manors or the huge landed estates granted by the crown, the
companies, or the proprietors. In the colony of Maryland alone there
were sixty manors of three thousand acres each, owned by wealthy men and
tilled by tenants holding small plots under certain restrictions of
tenure. In New York also there were many manors of wide extent, most of
which originated in the days of the Dutch West India Company, when
extensive concessions were made to patroons to induce them to bring over
settlers. The Van Rensselaer, the Van Cortlandt, and the Livingston
manors were so large and populous that each was entitled to send a
representative to the provincial legislature. The tenants on the New
York manors were in somewhat the same position as serfs on old European
estates. They were bound to pay the owner a rent in money and kind; they
ground their grain at his mill; and they were subject to his judicial
power because he held court and meted out justice, in some instances
extending to capital punishment.

The manors of New York or Maryland were, however, of slight consequence
as compared with the vast plantations of the Southern seaboard--huge
estates, far wider in expanse than many a European barony and tilled by
slaves more servile than any feudal tenants. It must not be forgotten
that this system of land tenure became the dominant feature of a large
section and gave a decided bent to the economic and political life of


=The Small Freehold.=--In the upland regions of the South, however, and
throughout most of the North, the drift was against all forms of
servitude and tenantry and in the direction of the freehold; that is,
the small farm owned outright and tilled by the possessor and his
family. This was favored by natural circumstances and the spirit of the
immigrants. For one thing, the abundance of land and the scarcity of
labor made it impossible for the companies, the proprietors, or the
crown to develop over the whole continent a network of vast estates. In
many sections, particularly in New England, the climate, the stony soil,
the hills, and the narrow valleys conspired to keep the farms within a
moderate compass. For another thing, the English, Scotch-Irish, and
German peasants, even if they had been tenants in the Old World, did not
propose to accept permanent dependency of any kind in the New. If they
could not get freeholds, they would not settle at all; thus they forced
proprietors and companies to bid for their enterprise by selling land in
small lots. So it happened that the freehold of modest proportions
became the cherished unit of American farmers. The people who tilled the
farms were drawn from every quarter of western Europe; but the freehold
system gave a uniform cast to their economic and social life in America.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=Social Effects of Land Tenure.=--Land tenure and the process of western
settlement thus developed two distinct types of people engaged in the
same pursuit--agriculture. They had a common tie in that they both
cultivated the soil and possessed the local interest and independence
which arise from that occupation. Their methods and their culture,
however, differed widely.

The Southern planter, on his broad acres tilled by slaves, resembled the
English landlord on his estates more than he did the colonial farmer who
labored with his own hands in the fields and forests. He sold his rice
and tobacco in large amounts directly to English factors, who took his
entire crop in exchange for goods and cash. His fine clothes,
silverware, china, and cutlery he bought in English markets. Loving the
ripe old culture of the mother country, he often sent his sons to Oxford
or Cambridge for their education. In short, he depended very largely for
his prosperity and his enjoyment of life upon close relations with the
Old World. He did not even need market towns in which to buy native
goods, for they were made on his own plantation by his own artisans who
were usually gifted slaves.

The economic condition of the small farmer was totally different. His
crops were not big enough to warrant direct connection with English
factors or the personal maintenance of a corps of artisans. He needed
local markets, and they sprang up to meet the need. Smiths, hatters,
weavers, wagon-makers, and potters at neighboring towns supplied him
with the rough products of their native skill. The finer goods, bought
by the rich planter in England, the small farmer ordinarily could not
buy. His wants were restricted to staples like tea and sugar, and
between him and the European market stood the merchant. His community
was therefore more self-sufficient than the seaboard line of great
plantations. It was more isolated, more provincial, more independent,
more American. The planter faced the Old East. The farmer faced the New

=The Westward Movement.=--Yeoman and planter nevertheless were alike in
one respect. Their land hunger was never appeased. Each had the eye of
an expert for new and fertile soil; and so, north and south, as soon as
a foothold was secured on the Atlantic coast, the current of migration
set in westward, creeping through forests, across rivers, and over
mountains. Many of the later immigrants, in their search for cheap
lands, were compelled to go to the border; but in a large part the path
breakers to the West were native Americans of the second and third
generations. Explorers, fired by curiosity and the lure of the
mysterious unknown, and hunters, fur traders, and squatters, following
their own sweet wills, blazed the trail, opening paths and sending back
stories of the new regions they traversed. Then came the regular
settlers with lawful titles to the lands they had purchased, sometimes
singly and sometimes in companies.

In Massachusetts, the westward movement is recorded in the founding of
Springfield in 1636 and Great Barrington in 1725. By the opening of the
eighteenth century the pioneers of Connecticut had pushed north and west
until their outpost towns adjoined the Hudson Valley settlements. In New
York, the inland movement was directed by the Hudson River to Albany,
and from that old Dutch center it radiated in every direction,
particularly westward through the Mohawk Valley. New Jersey was early
filled to its borders, the beginnings of the present city of New
Brunswick being made in 1681 and those of Trenton in 1685. In
Pennsylvania, as in New York, the waterways determined the main lines of
advance. Pioneers, pushing up through the valley of the Schuylkill,
spread over the fertile lands of Berks and Lancaster counties, laying
out Reading in 1748. Another current of migration was directed by the
Susquehanna, and, in 1726, the first farmhouse was built on the bank
where Harrisburg was later founded. Along the southern tier of counties
a thin line of settlements stretched westward to Pittsburgh, reaching
the upper waters of the Ohio while the colony was still under the Penn

In the South the westward march was equally swift. The seaboard was
quickly occupied by large planters and their slaves engaged in the
cultivation of tobacco and rice. The Piedmont Plateau, lying back from
the coast all the way from Maryland to Georgia, was fed by two streams
of migration, one westward from the sea and the other southward from the
other colonies--Germans from Pennsylvania and Scotch-Irish furnishing
the main supply. "By 1770, tide-water Virginia was full to overflowing
and the 'back country' of the Blue Ridge and the Shenandoah was fully
occupied. Even the mountain valleys ... were claimed by sturdy pioneers.
Before the Declaration of Independence, the oncoming tide of
home-seekers had reached the crest of the Alleghanies."


Beyond the mountains pioneers had already ventured, harbingers of an
invasion that was about to break in upon Kentucky and Tennessee. As
early as 1769 that mighty Nimrod, Daniel Boone, curious to hunt
buffaloes, of which he had heard weird reports, passed through the
Cumberland Gap and brought back news of a wonderful country awaiting the
plow. A hint was sufficient. Singly, in pairs, and in groups, settlers
followed the trail he had blazed. A great land corporation, the
Transylvania Company, emulating the merchant adventurers of earlier
times, secured a huge grant of territory and sought profits in quit
rents from lands sold to farmers. By the outbreak of the Revolution
there were several hundred people in the Kentucky region. Like the older
colonists, they did not relish quit rents, and their opposition wrecked
the Transylvania Company. They even carried their protests into the
Continental Congress in 1776, for by that time they were our "embryo
fourteenth colony."


Though the labor of the colonists was mainly spent in farming, there was
a steady growth in industrial and commercial pursuits. Most of the
staple industries of to-day, not omitting iron and textiles, have their
beginnings in colonial times. Manufacturing and trade soon gave rise to
towns which enjoyed an importance all out of proportion to their
numbers. The great centers of commerce and finance on the seaboard
originated in the days when the king of England was "lord of these


=Textile Manufacture as a Domestic Industry.=--Colonial women, in
addition to sharing every hardship of pioneering, often the heavy labor
of the open field, developed in the course of time a national industry
which was almost exclusively their own. Wool and flax were raised in
abundance in the North and South. "Every farm house," says Coman, the
economic historian, "was a workshop where the women spun and wove the
serges, kerseys, and linsey-woolseys which served for the common wear."
By the close of the seventeenth century, New England manufactured cloth
in sufficient quantities to export it to the Southern colonies and to
the West Indies. As the industry developed, mills were erected for the
more difficult process of dyeing, weaving, and fulling, but carding and
spinning continued to be done in the home. The Dutch of New Netherland,
the Swedes of Delaware, and the Scotch-Irish of the interior "were not
one whit behind their Yankee neighbors."

The importance of this enterprise to British economic life can hardly be
overestimated. For many a century the English had employed their fine
woolen cloth as the chief staple in a lucrative foreign trade, and the
government had come to look upon it as an object of special interest and
protection. When the colonies were established, both merchants and
statesmen naturally expected to maintain a monopoly of increasing value;
but before long the Americans, instead of buying cloth, especially of
the coarser varieties, were making it to sell. In the place of
customers, here were rivals. In the place of helpless reliance upon
English markets, here was the germ of economic independence.

If British merchants had not discovered it in the ordinary course of
trade, observant officers in the provinces would have conveyed the news
to them. Even in the early years of the eighteenth century the royal
governor of New York wrote of the industrious Americans to his home
government: "The consequence will be that if they can clothe themselves
once, not only comfortably, but handsomely too, without the help of
England, they who already are not very fond of submitting to government
will soon think of putting in execution designs they have long harboured
in their breasts. This will not seem strange when you consider what sort
of people this country is inhabited by."

=The Iron Industry.=--Almost equally widespread was the art of iron
working--one of the earliest and most picturesque of colonial
industries. Lynn, Massachusetts, had a forge and skilled artisans within
fifteen years after the founding of Boston. The smelting of iron began
at New London and New Haven about 1658; in Litchfield county,
Connecticut, a few years later; at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in
1731; and near by at Lenox some thirty years after that. New Jersey had
iron works at Shrewsbury within ten years after the founding of the
colony in 1665. Iron forges appeared in the valleys of the Delaware and
the Susquehanna early in the following century, and iron masters then
laid the foundations of fortunes in a region destined to become one of
the great iron centers of the world. Virginia began iron working in the
year that saw the introduction of slavery. Although the industry soon
lapsed, it was renewed and flourished in the eighteenth century.
Governor Spotswood was called the "Tubal Cain" of the Old Dominion
because he placed the industry on a firm foundation. Indeed it seems
that every colony, except Georgia, had its iron foundry. Nails, wire,
metallic ware, chains, anchors, bar and pig iron were made in large
quantities; and Great Britain, by an act in 1750, encouraged the
colonists to export rough iron to the British Islands.

=Shipbuilding.=--Of all the specialized industries in the colonies,
shipbuilding was the most important. The abundance of fir for masts, oak
for timbers and boards, pitch for tar and turpentine, and hemp for rope
made the way of the shipbuilder easy. Early in the seventeenth century a
ship was built at New Amsterdam, and by the middle of that century
shipyards were scattered along the New England coast at Newburyport,
Salem, New Bedford, Newport, Providence, New London, and New Haven.
Yards at Albany and Poughkeepsie in New York built ships for the trade
of that colony with England and the Indies. Wilmington and Philadelphia
soon entered the race and outdistanced New York, though unable to equal
the pace set by New England. While Maryland, Virginia, and South
Carolina also built ships, Southern interest was mainly confined to the
lucrative business of producing ship materials: fir, cedar, hemp, and

=Fishing.=--The greatest single economic resource of New England outside
of agriculture was the fisheries. This industry, started by hardy
sailors from Europe, long before the landing of the Pilgrims, flourished
under the indomitable seamanship of the Puritans, who labored with the
net and the harpoon in almost every quarter of the Atlantic. "Look,"
exclaimed Edmund Burke, in the House of Commons, "at the manner in
which the people of New England have of late carried on the whale
fishery. Whilst we follow them among the tumbling mountains of ice and
behold them penetrating into the deepest frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay
and Davis's Straits, while we are looking for them beneath the arctic
circle, we hear that they have pierced into the opposite region of polar
cold, that they are at the antipodes and engaged under the frozen
serpent of the south.... Nor is the equinoctial heat more discouraging
to them than the accumulated winter of both poles. We know that, whilst
some of them draw the line and strike the harpoon on the coast of
Africa, others run the longitude and pursue their gigantic game along
the coast of Brazil. No sea but what is vexed by their fisheries. No
climate that is not witness to their toils. Neither the perseverance of
Holland nor the activity of France nor the dexterous and firm sagacity
of English enterprise ever carried this most perilous mode of hard
industry to the extent to which it has been pushed by this recent

The influence of the business was widespread. A large and lucrative
European trade was built upon it. The better quality of the fish caught
for food was sold in the markets of Spain, Portugal, and Italy, or
exchanged for salt, lemons, and raisins for the American market. The
lower grades of fish were carried to the West Indies for slave
consumption, and in part traded for sugar and molasses, which furnished
the raw materials for the thriving rum industry of New England. These
activities, in turn, stimulated shipbuilding, steadily enlarging the
demand for fishing and merchant craft of every kind and thus keeping the
shipwrights, calkers, rope makers, and other artisans of the seaport
towns rushed with work. They also increased trade with the mother
country for, out of the cash collected in the fish markets of Europe and
the West Indies, the colonists paid for English manufactures. So an
ever-widening circle of American enterprise centered around this single
industry, the nursery of seamanship and the maritime spirit.

=Oceanic Commerce and American Merchants.=--All through the eighteenth
century, the commerce of the American colonies spread in every direction
until it rivaled in the number of people employed, the capital engaged,
and the profits gleaned, the commerce of European nations. A modern
historian has said: "The enterprising merchants of New England developed
a network of trade routes that covered well-nigh half the world." This
commerce, destined to be of such significance in the conflict with the
mother country, presented, broadly speaking, two aspects.

On the one side, it involved the export of raw materials and
agricultural produce. The Southern colonies produced for shipping,
tobacco, rice, tar, pitch, and pine; the Middle colonies, grain, flour,
furs, lumber, and salt pork; New England, fish, flour, rum, furs, shoes,
and small articles of manufacture. The variety of products was in fact
astounding. A sarcastic writer, while sneering at the idea of an
American union, once remarked of colonial trade: "What sort of dish will
you make? New England will throw in fish and onions. The middle states,
flax-seed and flour. Maryland and Virginia will add tobacco. North
Carolina, pitch, tar, and turpentine. South Carolina, rice and indigo,
and Georgia will sprinkle the whole composition with sawdust. Such an
absurd jumble will you make if you attempt to form a union among such
discordant materials as the thirteen British provinces."

On the other side, American commerce involved the import trade,
consisting principally of English and continental manufactures, tea, and
"India goods." Sugar and molasses, brought from the West Indies,
supplied the flourishing distilleries of Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and Connecticut. The carriage of slaves from Africa to the Southern
colonies engaged hundreds of New England's sailors and thousands of
pounds of her capital.

The disposition of imported goods in the colonies, though in part
controlled by English factors located in America, employed also a large
and important body of American merchants like the Willings and Morrises
of Philadelphia; the Amorys, Hancocks, and Faneuils of Boston; and the
Livingstons and Lows of New York. In their zeal and enterprise, they
were worthy rivals of their English competitors, so celebrated for
world-wide commercial operations. Though fully aware of the advantages
they enjoyed in British markets and under the protection of the British
navy, the American merchants were high-spirited and mettlesome, ready to
contend with royal officers in order to shield American interests
against outside interference.


Measured against the immense business of modern times, colonial commerce
seems perhaps trivial. That, however, is not the test of its
significance. It must be considered in relation to the growth of English
colonial trade in its entirety--a relation which can be shown by a few
startling figures. The whole export trade of England, including that to
the colonies, was, in 1704, £6,509,000. On the eve of the American
Revolution, namely, in 1772, English exports to the American colonies
alone amounted to £6,024,000; in other words, almost as much as the
whole foreign business of England two generations before. At the first
date, colonial trade was but one-twelfth of the English export business;
at the second date, it was considerably more than one-third. In 1704,
Pennsylvania bought in English markets goods to the value of £11,459; in
1772 the purchases of the same colony amounted to £507,909. In short,
Pennsylvania imports increased fifty times within sixty-eight years,
amounting in 1772 to almost the entire export trade of England to the
colonies at the opening of the century. The American colonies were
indeed a great source of wealth to English merchants.

=Intercolonial Commerce.=--Although the bad roads of colonial times made
overland transportation difficult and costly, the many rivers and
harbors along the coast favored a lively water-borne trade among the
colonies. The Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna rivers in
the North and the many smaller rivers in the South made it possible for
goods to be brought from, and carried to, the interior regions in little
sailing vessels with comparative ease. Sloops laden with manufactures,
domestic and foreign, collected at some city like Providence, New York,
or Philadelphia, skirted the coasts, visited small ports, and sailed up
the navigable rivers to trade with local merchants who had for exchange
the raw materials which they had gathered in from neighboring farms.
Larger ships carried the grain, live stock, cloth, and hardware of New
England to the Southern colonies, where they were traded for tobacco,
leather, tar, and ship timber. From the harbors along the Connecticut
shores there were frequent sailings down through Long Island Sound to
Maryland, Virginia, and the distant Carolinas.

=Growth of Towns.=--In connection with this thriving trade and industry
there grew up along the coast a number of prosperous commercial centers
which were soon reckoned among the first commercial towns of the whole
British empire, comparing favorably in numbers and wealth with such
ports as Liverpool and Bristol. The statistical records of that time are
mainly guesses; but we know that Philadelphia stood first in size among
these towns. Serving as the port of entry for Pennsylvania, Delaware,
and western Jersey, it had drawn within its borders, just before the
Revolution, about 25,000 inhabitants. Boston was second in rank, with
somewhat more than 20,000 people. New York, the "commercial capital of
Connecticut and old East Jersey," was slightly smaller than Boston, but
growing at a steady rate. The fourth town in size was Charleston, South
Carolina, with about 10,000 inhabitants. Newport in Rhode Island, a
center of rum manufacture and shipping, stood fifth, with a population
of about 7000. Baltimore and Norfolk were counted as "considerable
towns." In the interior, Hartford in Connecticut, Lancaster and York in
Pennsylvania, and Albany in New York, with growing populations and
increasing trade, gave prophecy of an urban America away from the
seaboard. The other towns were straggling villages. Williamsburg,
Virginia, for example, had about two hundred houses, in which dwelt a
dozen families of the gentry and a few score of tradesmen. Inland county
seats often consisted of nothing more than a log courthouse, a prison,
and one wretched inn to house judges, lawyers, and litigants during the
sessions of the court.

The leading towns exercised an influence on colonial opinion all out of
proportion to their population. They were the centers of wealth, for one
thing; of the press and political activity, for another. Merchants and
artisans could readily take concerted action on public questions arising
from their commercial operations. The towns were also centers for news,
gossip, religious controversy, and political discussion. In the market
places the farmers from the countryside learned of British policies and
laws, and so, mingling with the townsmen, were drawn into the main
currents of opinion which set in toward colonial nationalism and


J. Bishop, _History of American Manufactures_ (2 vols.).

E.L. Bogart, _Economic History of the United States_.

P.A. Bruce, _Economic History of Virginia_ (2 vols.).

E. Semple, _American History and Its Geographical Conditions_.

W. Weeden, _Economic and Social History of New England_. (2 vols.).


1. Is land in your community parceled out into small farms? Contrast the
system in your community with the feudal system of land tenure.

2. Are any things owned and used in common in your community? Why did
common tillage fail in colonial times?

3. Describe the elements akin to feudalism which were introduced in the

4. Explain the success of freehold tillage.

5. Compare the life of the planter with that of the farmer.

6. How far had the western frontier advanced by 1776?

7. What colonial industry was mainly developed by women? Why was it very
important both to the Americans and to the English?

8. What were the centers for iron working? Ship building?

9. Explain how the fisheries affected many branches of trade and

10. Show how American trade formed a vital part of English business.

11. How was interstate commerce mainly carried on?

12. What were the leading towns? Did they compare in importance with
British towns of the same period?

=Research Topics=

=Land Tenure.=--Coman, _Industrial History_ (rev. ed.), pp. 32-38.
Special reference: Bruce, _Economic History of Virginia_, Vol. I, Chap.

=Tobacco Planting in Virginia.=--Callender, _Economic History of the
United States_, pp. 22-28.

=Colonial Agriculture.=--Coman, pp. 48-63. Callender, pp. 69-74.
Reference: J.R.H. Moore, _Industrial History of the American People_,
pp. 131-162.

=Colonial Manufactures.=--Coman, pp. 63-73. Callender, pp. 29-44.
Special reference: Weeden, _Economic and Social History of New England_.

=Colonial Commerce.=--Coman, pp. 73-85. Callender, pp. 51-63, 78-84.
Moore, pp. 163-208. Lodge, _Short History of the English Colonies_, pp.
409-412, 229-231, 312-314.

Chapter III


Colonial life, crowded as it was with hard and unremitting toil, left
scant leisure for the cultivation of the arts and sciences. There was
little money in private purses or public treasuries to be dedicated to
schools, libraries, and museums. Few there were with time to read long
and widely, and fewer still who could devote their lives to things that
delight the eye and the mind. And yet, poor and meager as the
intellectual life of the colonists may seem by way of comparison, heroic
efforts were made in every community to lift the people above the plane
of mere existence. After the first clearings were opened in the forests
those efforts were redoubled, and with lengthening years told upon the
thought and spirit of the land. The appearance, during the struggle with
England, of an extraordinary group of leaders familiar with history,
political philosophy, and the arts of war, government, and diplomacy
itself bore eloquent testimony to the high quality of the American
intellect. No one, not even the most critical, can run through the
writings of distinguished Americans scattered from Massachusetts to
Georgia--the Adamses, Ellsworth, the Morrises, the Livingstons,
Hamilton, Franklin, Washington, Madison, Marshall, Henry, the Randolphs,
and the Pinckneys--without coming to the conclusion that there was
something in American colonial life which fostered minds of depth and
power. Women surmounted even greater difficulties than the men in the
process of self-education, and their keen interest in public issues is
evident in many a record like the _Letters_ of Mrs. John Adams to her
husband during the Revolution; the writings of Mrs. Mercy Otis Warren,
the sister of James Otis, who measured her pen with the British
propagandists; and the patriot newspapers founded and managed by women.


In the intellectual life of America, the churches assumed a rôle of high
importance. There were abundant reasons for this. In many of the
colonies--Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New England--the religious impulse
had been one of the impelling motives in stimulating immigration. In all
the colonies, the clergy, at least in the beginning, formed the only
class with any leisure to devote to matters of the spirit. They preached
on Sundays and taught school on week days. They led in the discussion of
local problems and in the formation of political opinion, so much of
which was concerned with the relation between church and state. They
wrote books and pamphlets. They filled most of the chairs in the
colleges; under clerical guidance, intellectual and spiritual, the
Americans received their formal education. In several of the provinces
the Anglican Church was established by law. In New England the Puritans
were supreme, notwithstanding the efforts of the crown to overbear their
authority. In the Middle colonies, particularly, the multiplication of
sects made the dominance of any single denomination impossible; and in
all of them there was a growing diversity of faith, which promised in
time a separation of church and state and freedom of opinion.

=The Church of England.=--Virginia was the stronghold of the English
system of church and state. The Anglican faith and worship were
prescribed by law, sustained by taxes imposed on all, and favored by the
governor, the provincial councilors, and the richest planters. "The
Established Church," says Lodge, "was one of the appendages of the
Virginia aristocracy. They controlled the vestries and the ministers,
and the parish church stood not infrequently on the estate of the
planter who built and managed it." As in England, Catholics and
Protestant Dissenters were at first laid under heavy disabilities. Only
slowly and on sufferance were they admitted to the province; but when
once they were even covertly tolerated, they pressed steadily in, until,
by the Revolution, they outnumbered the adherents of the established

The Church was also sanctioned by law and supported by taxes in the
Carolinas after 1704, and in Georgia after that colony passed directly
under the crown in 1754--this in spite of the fact that the majority of
the inhabitants were Dissenters. Against the protests of the Catholics
it was likewise established in Maryland. In New York, too,
notwithstanding the resistance of the Dutch, the Established Church was
fostered by the provincial officials, and the Anglicans, embracing about
one-fifteenth of the population, exerted an influence all out of
proportion to their numbers.

Many factors helped to enhance the power of the English Church in the
colonies. It was supported by the British government and the official
class sent out to the provinces. Its bishops and archbishops in England
were appointed by the king, and its faith and service were set forth by
acts of Parliament. Having its seat of power in the English monarchy, it
could hold its clergy and missionaries loyal to the crown and so
counteract to some extent the independent spirit that was growing up in
America. The Church, always a strong bulwark of the state, therefore had
a political rôle to play here as in England. Able bishops and far-seeing
leaders firmly grasped this fact about the middle of the eighteenth
century and redoubled their efforts to augment the influence of the
Church in provincial affairs. Unhappily for their plans they failed to
calculate in advance the effect of their methods upon dissenting
Protestants, who still cherished memories of bitter religious conflicts
in the mother country.

=Puritanism in New England.=--If the established faith made for imperial
unity, the same could not be said of Puritanism. The Plymouth Pilgrims
had cast off all allegiance to the Anglican Church and established a
separate and independent congregation before they came to America. The
Puritans, essaying at first the task of reformers within the Church,
soon after their arrival in Massachusetts, likewise flung off their yoke
of union with the Anglicans. In each town a separate congregation was
organized, the male members choosing the pastor, the teachers, and the
other officers. They also composed the voters in the town meeting, where
secular matters were determined. The union of church and government was
thus complete, and uniformity of faith and life prescribed by law and
enforced by civil authorities; but this worked for local autonomy
instead of imperial unity.

The clergy became a powerful class, dominant through their learning and
their fearful denunciations of the faithless. They wrote the books for
the people to read--the famous Cotton Mather having three hundred and
eighty-three books and pamphlets to his credit. In coöperation with the
civil officers they enforced a strict observance of the Puritan
Sabbath--a day of rest that began at six o'clock on Saturday evening and
lasted until sunset on Sunday. All work, all trading, all amusement, and
all worldly conversation were absolutely prohibited during those hours.
A thoughtless maid servant who for some earthly reason smiled in church
was in danger of being banished as a vagabond. Robert Pike, a devout
Puritan, thinking the sun had gone to rest, ventured forth on horseback
one Sunday evening and was luckless enough to have a ray of light strike
him through a rift in the clouds. The next day he was brought into court
and fined for "his ungodly conduct." With persons accused of witchcraft
the Puritans were still more ruthless. When a mania of persecution swept
over Massachusetts in 1692, eighteen people were hanged, one was pressed
to death, many suffered imprisonment, and two died in jail.

Just about this time, however, there came a break in the uniformity of
Puritan rule. The crown and church in England had long looked upon it
with disfavor, and in 1684 King Charles II annulled the old charter of
the Massachusetts Bay Company. A new document issued seven years later
wrested from the Puritans of the colony the right to elect their own
governor and reserved the power of appointment to the king. It also
abolished the rule limiting the suffrage to church members, substituting
for it a simple property qualification. Thus a royal governor and an
official family, certain to be Episcopalian in faith and monarchist in
sympathies, were forced upon Massachusetts; and members of all religious
denominations, if they had the required amount of property, were
permitted to take part in elections. By this act in the name of the
crown, the Puritan monopoly was broken down in Massachusetts, and that
province was brought into line with Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New
Hampshire, where property, not religious faith, was the test for the

=Growth of Religious Toleration.=--Though neither the Anglicans of
Virginia nor the Puritans of Massachusetts believed in toleration for
other denominations, that principle was strictly applied in Rhode
Island. There, under the leadership of Roger Williams, liberty in
matters of conscience was established in the beginning. Maryland, by
granting in 1649 freedom to those who professed to believe in Jesus
Christ, opened its gates to all Christians; and Pennsylvania, true to
the tenets of the Friends, gave freedom of conscience to those "who
confess and acknowledge the one Almighty and Eternal God to be the
creator, upholder, and ruler of the World." By one circumstance or
another, the Middle colonies were thus early characterized by diversity
rather than uniformity of opinion. Dutch Protestants, Huguenots,
Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians, New Lights, Moravians, Lutherans,
Catholics, and other denominations became too strongly intrenched and
too widely scattered to permit any one of them to rule, if it had
desired to do so. There were communities and indeed whole sections where
one or another church prevailed, but in no colony was a legislature
steadily controlled by a single group. Toleration encouraged diversity,
and diversity, in turn, worked for greater toleration.

The government and faith of the dissenting denominations conspired with
economic and political tendencies to draw America away from the English
state. Presbyterians, Quakers, Baptists, and Puritans had no hierarchy
of bishops and archbishops to bind them to the seat of power in London.
Neither did they look to that metropolis for guidance in interpreting
articles of faith. Local self-government in matters ecclesiastical
helped to train them for local self-government in matters political. The
spirit of independence which led Dissenters to revolt in the Old World,
nourished as it was amid favorable circumstances in the New World, made
them all the more zealous in the defense of every right against
authority imposed from without.


=Religion and Local Schools.=--One of the first cares of each Protestant
denomination was the education of the children in the faith. In this
work the Bible became the center of interest. The English version was
indeed the one book of the people. Farmers, shopkeepers, and artisans,
whose life had once been bounded by the daily routine of labor, found in
the Scriptures not only an inspiration to religious conduct, but also a
book of romance, travel, and history. "Legend and annal," says John
Richard Green, "war-song and psalm, state-roll and biography, the mighty
voices of prophets, the parables of Evangelists, stories of mission
journeys, of perils by sea and among the heathen, philosophic arguments,
apocalyptic visions, all were flung broadcast over minds unoccupied for
the most part by any rival learning.... As a mere literary monument, the
English version of the Bible remains the noblest example of the English
tongue." It was the King James version just from the press that the
Pilgrims brought across the sea with them.

For the authority of the Established Church was substituted the
authority of the Scriptures. The Puritans devised a catechism based upon
their interpretation of the Bible, and, very soon after their arrival in
America, they ordered all parents and masters of servants to be diligent
in seeing that their children and wards were taught to read religious
works and give answers to the religious questions. Massachusetts was
scarcely twenty years old before education of this character was
declared to be compulsory, and provision was made for public schools
where those not taught at home could receive instruction in reading and


     A In ADAM'S Fall
       We sinned all.

     B Heaven to find,
       The Bible Mind.

     C Christ crucify'd
       For sinners dy'd.

     D The Deluge drown'd
       The Earth around.

     E ELIJAH hid
       by Ravens fed.

     F The judgment made
       FELIX afraid.]

Outside of New England the idea of compulsory education was not regarded
with the same favor; but the whole land was nevertheless dotted with
little schools kept by "dames, itinerant teachers, or local parsons."
Whether we turn to the life of Franklin in the North or Washington in
the South, we read of tiny schoolhouses, where boys, and sometimes
girls, were taught to read and write. Where there were no schools,
fathers and mothers of the better kind gave their children the rudiments
of learning. Though illiteracy was widespread, there is evidence to show
that the diffusion of knowledge among the masses was making steady
progress all through the eighteenth century.

=Religion and Higher Learning.=--Religious motives entered into the
establishment of colleges as well as local schools. Harvard, founded in
1636, and Yale, opened in 1718, were intended primarily to train
"learned and godly ministers" for the Puritan churches of New England.
To the far North, Dartmouth, chartered in 1769, was designed first as a
mission to the Indians and then as a college for the sons of New England
farmers preparing to preach, teach, or practice law. The College of New
Jersey, organized in 1746 and removed to Princeton eleven years later,
was sustained by the Presbyterians. Two colleges looked to the
Established Church as their source of inspiration and support: William
and Mary, founded in Virginia in 1693, and King's College, now Columbia
University, chartered by King George II in 1754, on an appeal from the
New York Anglicans, alarmed at the growth of religious dissent and the
"republican tendencies" of the age. Two colleges revealed a drift away
from sectarianism. Brown, established in Rhode Island in 1764, and the
Philadelphia Academy, forerunner of the University of Pennsylvania,
organized by Benjamin Franklin, reflected the spirit of toleration by
giving representation on the board of trustees to several religious
sects. It was Franklin's idea that his college should prepare young men
to serve in public office as leaders of the people and ornaments to
their country.

=Self-education in America.=--Important as were these institutions of
learning, higher education was by no means confined within their walls.
Many well-to-do families sent their sons to Oxford or Cambridge in
England. Private tutoring in the home was common. In still more families
there were intelligent children who grew up in the great colonial school
of adversity and who trained themselves until, in every contest of mind
and wit, they could vie with the sons of Harvard or William and Mary or
any other college. Such, for example, was Benjamin Franklin, whose
charming autobiography, in addition to being an American classic, is a
fine record of self-education. His formal training in the classroom was
limited to a few years at a local school in Boston; but his
self-education continued throughout his life. He early manifested a zeal
for reading, and devoured, he tells us, his father's dry library on
theology, Bunyan's works, Defoe's writings, Plutarch's _Lives_, Locke's
_On the Human Understanding_, and innumerable volumes dealing with
secular subjects. His literary style, perhaps the best of his time,
Franklin acquired by the diligent and repeated analysis of the
_Spectator_. In a life crowded with labors, he found time to read widely
in natural science and to win single-handed recognition at the hands of
European savants for his discoveries in electricity. By his own efforts
he "attained an acquaintance" with Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish,
thus unconsciously preparing himself for the day when he was to speak
for all America at the court of the king of France.

Lesser lights than Franklin, educated by the same process, were found
all over colonial America. From this fruitful source of native ability,
self-educated, the American cause drew great strength in the trials of
the Revolution.


=The Rise of the Newspaper.=--The evolution of American democracy into a
government by public opinion, enlightened by the open discussion of
political questions, was in no small measure aided by a free press. That
too, like education, was a matter of slow growth. A printing press was
brought to Massachusetts in 1639, but it was put in charge of an
official censor and limited to the publication of religious works. Forty
years elapsed before the first newspaper appeared, bearing the curious
title, _Public Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestic_, and it had not
been running very long before the government of Massachusetts suppressed
it for discussing a political question.

Publishing, indeed, seemed to be a precarious business; but in 1704
there came a second venture in journalism, _The Boston News-Letter_,
which proved to be a more lasting enterprise because it refrained from
criticizing the authorities. Still the public interest languished. When
Franklin's brother, James, began to issue his _New England Courant_
about 1720, his friends sought to dissuade him, saying that one
newspaper was enough for America. Nevertheless he continued it; and his
confidence in the future was rewarded. In nearly every colony a gazette
or chronicle appeared within the next thirty years or more. Benjamin
Franklin was able to record in 1771 that America had twenty-five
newspapers. Boston led with five. Philadelphia had three: two in English
and one in German.

=Censorship and Restraints on the Press.=--The idea of printing,
unlicensed by the government and uncontrolled by the church, was,
however, slow in taking form. The founders of the American colonies had
never known what it was to have the free and open publication of books,
pamphlets, broadsides, and newspapers. When the art of printing was
first discovered, the control of publishing was vested in clerical
authorities. After the establishment of the State Church in England in
the reign of Elizabeth, censorship of the press became a part of royal
prerogative. Printing was restricted to Oxford, Cambridge, and London;
and no one could publish anything without previous approval of the
official censor. When the Puritans were in power, the popular party,
with a zeal which rivaled that of the crown, sought, in turn, to silence
royalist and clerical writers by a vigorous censorship. After the
restoration of the monarchy, control of the press was once more placed
in royal hands, where it remained until 1695, when Parliament, by
failing to renew the licensing act, did away entirely with the official
censorship. By that time political parties were so powerful and so
active and printing presses were so numerous that official review of all
published matter became a sheer impossibility.

In America, likewise, some troublesome questions arose in connection
with freedom of the press. The Puritans of Massachusetts were no less
anxious than King Charles or the Archbishop of London to shut out from
the prying eyes of the people all literature "not mete for them to
read"; and so they established a system of official licensing for
presses, which lasted until 1755. In the other colonies where there was
more diversity of opinion and publishers could set up in business with
impunity, they were nevertheless constantly liable to arrest for
printing anything displeasing to the colonial governments. In 1721 the
editor of the _Mercury_ in Philadelphia was called before the
proprietary council and ordered to apologize for a political article,
and for a later offense of a similar character he was thrown into jail.
A still more famous case was that of Peter Zenger, a New York publisher,
who was arrested in 1735 for criticising the administration. Lawyers who
ventured to defend the unlucky editor were deprived of their licenses to
practice, and it became necessary to bring an attorney all the way from
Philadelphia. By this time the tension of feeling was high, and the
approbation of the public was forthcoming when the lawyer for the
defense exclaimed to the jury that the very cause of liberty itself, not
that of the poor printer, was on trial! The verdict for Zenger, when it
finally came, was the signal for an outburst of popular rejoicing.
Already the people of King George's province knew how precious a thing
is the freedom of the press.

Thanks to the schools, few and scattered as they were, and to the
vigilance of parents, a very large portion, perhaps nearly one-half, of
the colonists could read. Through the newspapers, pamphlets, and
almanacs that streamed from the types, the people could follow the
course of public events and grasp the significance of political
arguments. An American opinion was in the process of making--an
independent opinion nourished by the press and enriched by discussions
around the fireside and at the taverns. When the day of resistance to
British rule came, government by opinion was at hand. For every person
who could hear the voice of Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams, there were a
thousand who could see their appeals on the printed page. Men who had
spelled out their letters while poring over Franklin's _Poor Richard's
Almanac_ lived to read Thomas Paine's thrilling call to arms.


Two very distinct lines of development appeared in colonial politics.
The one, exalting royal rights and aristocratic privileges, was the
drift toward provincial government through royal officers appointed in
England. The other, leading toward democracy and self-government, was
the growth in the power of the popular legislative assembly. Each
movement gave impetus to the other, with increasing force during the
passing years, until at last the final collision between the two ideals
of government came in the war of independence.

=The Royal Provinces.=--Of the thirteen English colonies eight were
royal provinces in 1776, with governors appointed by the king. Virginia
passed under the direct rule of the crown in 1624, when the charter of
the London Company was annulled. The Massachusetts Bay corporation lost
its charter in 1684, and the new instrument granted seven years later
stripped the colonists of the right to choose their chief executive. In
the early decades of the eighteenth century both the Carolinas were
given the provincial instead of the proprietary form. New Hampshire,
severed from Massachusetts in 1679, and Georgia, surrendered by the
trustees in 1752, went into the hands of the crown. New York,
transferred to the Duke of York on its capture from the Dutch in 1664,
became a province when he took the title of James II in 1685. New
Jersey, after remaining for nearly forty years under proprietors, was
brought directly under the king in 1702. Maryland, Pennsylvania, and
Delaware, although they retained their proprietary character until the
Revolution, were in some respects like the royal colonies, for their
governors were as independent of popular choice as were the appointees
of King George. Only two colonies, Rhode Island and Connecticut,
retained full self-government on the eve of the Revolution. They alone
had governors and legislatures entirely of their own choosing.

The chief officer of the royal province was the governor, who enjoyed
high and important powers which he naturally sought to augment at every
turn. He enforced the laws and, usually with the consent of a council,
appointed the civil and military officers. He granted pardons and
reprieves; he was head of the highest court; he was commander-in-chief
of the militia; he levied troops for defense and enforced martial law in
time of invasion, war, and rebellion. In all the provinces, except
Massachusetts, he named the councilors who composed the upper house of
the legislature and was likely to choose those who favored his claims.
He summoned, adjourned, and dissolved the popular assembly, or the lower
house; he laid before it the projects of law desired by the crown; and
he vetoed measures which he thought objectionable. Here were in America
all the elements of royal prerogative against which Hampden had
protested and Cromwell had battled in England.


The colonial governors were generally surrounded by a body of
office-seekers and hunters for land grants. Some of them were noblemen
of broken estates who had come to America to improve their fortunes. The
pretensions of this circle grated on colonial nerves, and privileges
granted to them, often at the expense of colonists, did much to deepen
popular antipathy to the British government. Favors extended to
adherents of the Established Church displeased Dissenters. The
reappearance of this formidable union of church and state, from which
they had fled, stirred anew the ancient wrath against that combination.

=The Colonial Assembly.=--Coincident with the drift toward
administration through royal governors was the second and opposite
tendency, namely, a steady growth in the practice of self-government.
The voters of England had long been accustomed to share in taxation and
law-making through representatives in Parliament, and the idea was early
introduced in America. Virginia was only twelve years old (1619) when
its first representative assembly appeared. As the towns of
Massachusetts multiplied and it became impossible for all the members of
the corporation to meet at one place, the representative idea was
adopted, in 1633. The river towns of Connecticut formed a representative
system under their "Fundamental Orders" of 1639, and the entire colony
was given a royal charter in 1662. Generosity, as well as practical
considerations, induced such proprietors as Lord Baltimore and William
Penn to invite their colonists to share in the government as soon as any
considerable settlements were made. Thus by one process or another every
one of the colonies secured a popular assembly.

It is true that in the provision for popular elections, the suffrage was
finally restricted to property owners or taxpayers, with a leaning
toward the freehold qualification. In Virginia, the rural voter had to
be a freeholder owning at least fifty acres of land, if there was no
house on it, or twenty-five acres with a house twenty-five feet square.
In Massachusetts, the voter for member of the assembly under the charter
of 1691 had to be a freeholder of an estate worth forty shillings a year
at least or of other property to the value of forty pounds sterling. In
Pennsylvania, the suffrage was granted to freeholders owning fifty acres
or more of land well seated, twelve acres cleared, and to other persons
worth at least fifty pounds in lawful money.

Restrictions like these undoubtedly excluded from the suffrage a very
considerable number of men, particularly the mechanics and artisans of
the towns, who were by no means content with their position.
Nevertheless, it was relatively easy for any man to acquire a small
freehold, so cheap and abundant was land; and in fact a large proportion
of the colonists were land owners. Thus the assemblies, in spite of the
limited suffrage, acquired a democratic tone.

The popular character of the assemblies increased as they became engaged
in battles with the royal and proprietary governors. When called upon by
the executive to make provision for the support of the administration,
the legislature took advantage of the opportunity to make terms in the
interest of the taxpayers. It made annual, not permanent, grants of
money to pay official salaries and then insisted upon electing a
treasurer to dole it out. Thus the colonists learned some of the
mysteries of public finance, as well as the management of rapacious
officials. The legislature also used its power over money grants to
force the governor to sign bills which he would otherwise have vetoed.

=Contests between Legislatures and Governors.=--As may be imagined, many
and bitter were the contests between the royal and proprietary governors
and the colonial assemblies. Franklin relates an amusing story of how
the Pennsylvania assembly held in one hand a bill for the executive to
sign and, in the other hand, the money to pay his salary. Then, with sly
humor, Franklin adds: "Do not, my courteous reader, take pet at our
proprietary constitution for these our bargain and sale proceedings in
legislation. It is a happy country where justice and what was your own
before can be had for ready money. It is another addition to the value
of money and of course another spur to industry. Every land is not so

It must not be thought, however, that every governor got off as easily
as Franklin's tale implies. On the contrary, the legislatures, like
Cæsar, fed upon meat that made them great and steadily encroached upon
executive prerogatives as they tried out and found their strength. If
we may believe contemporary laments, the power of the crown in America
was diminishing when it was struck down altogether. In New York, the
friends of the governor complained in 1747 that "the inhabitants of
plantations are generally educated in republican principles; upon
republican principles all is conducted. Little more than a shadow of
royal authority remains in the Northern colonies." "Here," echoed the
governor of South Carolina, the following year, "levelling principles
prevail; the frame of the civil government is unhinged; a governor, if
he would be idolized, must betray his trust; the people have got their
whole administration in their hands; the election of the members of the
assembly is by ballot; not civil posts only, but all ecclesiastical
preferments, are in the disposal or election of the people."

Though baffled by the "levelling principles" of the colonial assemblies,
the governors did not give up the case as hopeless. Instead they evolved
a system of policy and action which they thought could bring the
obstinate provincials to terms. That system, traceable in their letters
to the government in London, consisted of three parts: (1) the royal
officers in the colonies were to be made independent of the legislatures
by taxes imposed by acts of Parliament; (2) a British standing army was
to be maintained in America; (3) the remaining colonial charters were to
be revoked and government by direct royal authority was to be enlarged.

Such a system seemed plausible enough to King George III and to many
ministers of the crown in London. With governors, courts, and an army
independent of the colonists, they imagined it would be easy to carry
out both royal orders and acts of Parliament. This reasoning seemed both
practical and logical. Nor was it founded on theory, for it came fresh
from the governors themselves. It was wanting in one respect only. It
failed to take account of the fact that the American people were growing
strong in the practice of self-government and could dispense with the
tutelage of the British ministry, no matter how excellent it might be or
how benevolent its intentions.


A.M. Earle, _Home Life in Colonial Days_.

A.L. Cross, _The Anglican Episcopate and the American Colonies_ (Harvard

E.G. Dexter, _History of Education in the United States_.

C.A. Duniway, _Freedom of the Press in Massachusetts_.

Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_.

E.B. Greene, _The Provincial Governor_ (Harvard Studies).

A.E. McKinley, _The Suffrage Franchise in the Thirteen English Colonies_
(Pennsylvania University Studies).

M.C. Tyler, _History of American Literature during the Colonial Times_
(2 vols.).


1. Why is leisure necessary for the production of art and literature?
How may leisure be secured?

2. Explain the position of the church in colonial life.

3. Contrast the political rôles of Puritanism and the Established

4. How did diversity of opinion work for toleration?

5. Show the connection between religion and learning in colonial times.

6. Why is a "free press" such an important thing to American democracy?

7. Relate some of the troubles of early American publishers.

8. Give the undemocratic features of provincial government.

9. How did the colonial assemblies help to create an independent
American spirit, in spite of a restricted suffrage?

10. Explain the nature of the contests between the governors and the

=Research Topics=

=Religious and Intellectual Life.=--Lodge, _Short History of the English
Colonies_: (1) in New England, pp. 418-438, 465-475; (2) in Virginia,
pp. 54-61, 87-89; (3) in Pennsylvania, pp. 232-237, 253-257; (4) in New
York, pp. 316-321. Interesting source materials in Hart, _American
History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. II, pp. 255-275, 276-290.

=The Government of a Royal Province, Virginia.=--Lodge, pp. 43-50.
Special Reference: E.B. Greene, _The Provincial Governor_ (Harvard

=The Government of a Proprietary Colony, Pennsylvania.=--Lodge, pp.

=Government in New England.=--Lodge, pp. 412-417.

=The Colonial Press.=--Special Reference: G.H. Payne, _History of
Journalism in the United States_ (1920).

=Colonial Life in General.=--John Fiske, _Old Virginia and Her
Neighbors_, Vol. II, pp. 174-269; Elson, _History of the United States_,
pp. 197-210.

=Colonial Government in General.=--Elson, pp. 210-216.



It is one of the well-known facts of history that a people loosely
united by domestic ties of a political and economic nature, even a
people torn by domestic strife, may be welded into a solid and compact
body by an attack from a foreign power. The imperative call to common
defense, the habit of sharing common burdens, the fusing force of common
service--these things, induced by the necessity of resisting outside
interference, act as an amalgam drawing together all elements, except,
perhaps, the most discordant. The presence of the enemy allays the most
virulent of quarrels, temporarily at least. "Politics," runs an old
saying, "stops at the water's edge."

This ancient political principle, so well understood in diplomatic
circles, applied nearly as well to the original thirteen American
colonies as to the countries of Europe. The necessity for common
defense, if not equally great, was certainly always pressing. Though it
has long been the practice to speak of the early settlements as founded
in "a wilderness," this was not actually the case. From the earliest
days of Jamestown on through the years, the American people were
confronted by dangers from without. All about their tiny settlements
were Indians, growing more and more hostile as the frontier advanced and
as sharp conflicts over land aroused angry passions. To the south and
west was the power of Spain, humiliated, it is true, by the disaster to
the Armada, but still presenting an imposing front to the British
empire. To the north and west were the French, ambitious, energetic,
imperial in temper, and prepared to contest on land and water the
advance of British dominion in America.


=Indian Affairs.=--It is difficult to make general statements about the
relations of the colonists to the Indians. The problem was presented in
different shape in different sections of America. It was not handled
according to any coherent or uniform plan by the British government,
which alone could speak for all the provinces at the same time. Neither
did the proprietors and the governors who succeeded one another, in an
irregular train, have the consistent policy or the matured experience
necessary for dealing wisely with Indian matters. As the difficulties
arose mainly on the frontiers, where the restless and pushing pioneers
were making their way with gun and ax, nearly everything that happened
was the result of chance rather than of calculation. A personal quarrel
between traders and an Indian, a jug of whisky, a keg of gunpowder, the
exchange of guns for furs, personal treachery, or a flash of bad temper
often set in motion destructive forces of the most terrible character.

On one side of the ledger may be set innumerable generous records--of
Squanto and Samoset teaching the Pilgrims the ways of the wilds; of
Roger Williams buying his lands from the friendly natives; or of William
Penn treating with them on his arrival in America. On the other side of
the ledger must be recorded many a cruel and bloody conflict as the
frontier rolled westward with deadly precision. The Pequots on the
Connecticut border, sensing their doom, fell upon the tiny settlements
with awful fury in 1637 only to meet with equally terrible punishment. A
generation later, King Philip, son of Massasoit, the friend of the
Pilgrims, called his tribesmen to a war of extermination which brought
the strength of all New England to the field and ended in his own
destruction. In New York, the relations with the Indians, especially
with the Algonquins and the Mohawks, were marked by periodic and
desperate wars. Virginia and her Southern neighbors suffered as did New
England. In 1622 Opecacano, a brother of Powhatan, the friend of the
Jamestown settlers, launched a general massacre; and in 1644 he
attempted a war of extermination. In 1675 the whole frontier was ablaze.
Nathaniel Bacon vainly attempted to stir the colonial governor to put up
an adequate defense and, failing in that plea, himself headed a revolt
and a successful expedition against the Indians. As the Virginia
outposts advanced into the Kentucky country, the strife with the natives
was transferred to that "dark and bloody ground"; while to the
southeast, a desperate struggle with the Tuscaroras called forth the
combined forces of the two Carolinas and Virginia.

[Illustration: _From an old print._


From such horrors New Jersey and Delaware were saved on account of their
geographical location. Pennsylvania, consistently following a policy of
conciliation, was likewise spared until her western vanguard came into
full conflict with the allied French and Indians. Georgia, by clever
negotiations and treaties of alliance, managed to keep on fair terms
with her belligerent Cherokees and Creeks. But neither diplomacy nor
generosity could stay the inevitable conflict as the frontier advanced,
especially after the French soldiers enlisted the Indians in their
imperial enterprises. It was then that desultory fighting became general


=Early Relations with the French.=--During the first decades of French
exploration and settlement in the St. Lawrence country, the English
colonies, engrossed with their own problems, gave little or no thought
to their distant neighbors. Quebec, founded in 1608, and Montreal, in
1642, were too far away, too small in population, and too slight in
strength to be much of a menace to Boston, Hartford, or New York. It was
the statesmen in France and England, rather than the colonists in
America, who first grasped the significance of the slowly converging
empires in North America. It was the ambition of Louis XIV of France,
rather than the labors of Jesuit missionaries and French rangers, that
sounded the first note of colonial alarm.

Evidence of this lies in the fact that three conflicts between the
English and the French occurred before their advancing frontiers met on
the Pennsylvania border. King William's War (1689-1697), Queen Anne's
War (1701-1713), and King George's War (1744-1748) owed their origins
and their endings mainly to the intrigues and rivalries of European
powers, although they all involved the American colonies in struggles
with the French and their savage allies.

=The Clash in the Ohio Valley.=--The second of these wars had hardly
closed, however, before the English colonists themselves began to be
seriously alarmed about the rapidly expanding French dominion in the
West. Marquette and Joliet, who opened the Lake region, and La Salle,
who in 1682 had gone down the Mississippi to the Gulf, had been followed
by the builders of forts. In 1718, the French founded New Orleans, thus
taking possession of the gateway to the Mississippi as well as the St.
Lawrence. A few years later they built Fort Niagara; in 1731 they
occupied Crown Point; in 1749 they formally announced their dominion
over all the territory drained by the Ohio River. Having asserted this
lofty claim, they set out to make it good by constructing in the years
1752-1754 Fort Le Boeuf near Lake Erie, Fort Venango on the upper
waters of the Allegheny, and Fort Duquesne at the junction of the
streams forming the Ohio. Though they were warned by George Washington,
in the name of the governor of Virginia, to keep out of territory "so
notoriously known to be property of the crown of Great Britain," the
French showed no signs of relinquishing their pretensions.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=The Final Phase--the French and Indian War.=--Thus it happened that the
shot which opened the Seven Years' War, known in America as the French
and Indian War, was fired in the wilds of Pennsylvania. There began the
conflict that spread to Europe and even Asia and finally involved
England and Prussia, on the one side, and France, Austria, Spain, and
minor powers on the other. On American soil, the defeat of Braddock in
1755 and Wolfe's exploit in capturing Quebec four years later were the
dramatic features. On the continent of Europe, England subsidized
Prussian arms to hold France at bay. In India, on the banks of the
Ganges, as on the banks of the St. Lawrence, British arms were
triumphant. Well could the historian write: "Conquests equaling in
rapidity and far surpassing in magnitude those of Cortes and Pizarro had
been achieved in the East." Well could the merchants of London declare
that under the administration of William Pitt, the imperial genius of
this world-wide conflict, commerce had been "united with and made to
flourish by war."

From the point of view of the British empire, the results of the war
were momentous. By the peace of 1763, Canada and the territory east of
the Mississippi, except New Orleans, passed under the British flag. The
remainder of the Louisiana territory was transferred to Spain and French
imperial ambitions on the American continent were laid to rest. In
exchange for Havana, which the British had seized during the war, Spain
ceded to King George the colony of Florida. Not without warrant did
Macaulay write in after years that Pitt "was the first Englishman of his
time; and he had made England the first country in the world."


The various wars with the French and the Indians, trivial in detail as
they seem to-day, had a profound influence on colonial life and on the
destiny of America. Circumstances beyond the control of popular
assemblies, jealous of their individual powers, compelled coöperation
among them, grudging and stingy no doubt, but still coöperation. The
American people, more eager to be busy in their fields or at their
trades, were simply forced to raise and support armies, to learn the
arts of warfare, and to practice, if in a small theater, the science of
statecraft. These forces, all cumulative, drove the colonists, so
tenaciously provincial in their habits, in the direction of nationalism.

=The New England Confederation.=--It was in their efforts to deal with
the problems presented by the Indian and French menace that the
Americans took the first steps toward union. Though there were many
common ties among the settlers of New England, it required a deadly
fear of the Indians to produce in 1643 the New England Confederation,
composed of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. The
colonies so united were bound together in "a firm and perpetual league
of friendship and amity for offense and defense, mutual service and
succor, upon all just occasions." They made provision for distributing
the burdens of wars among the members and provided for a congress of
commissioners from each colony to determine upon common policies. For
some twenty years the Confederation was active and it continued to hold
meetings until after the extinction of the Indian peril on the immediate

Virginia, no less than Massachusetts, was aware of the importance of
intercolonial coöperation. In the middle of the seventeenth century, the
Old Dominion began treaties of commerce and amity with New York and the
colonies of New England. In 1684 delegates from Virginia met at Albany
with the agents of New York and Massachusetts to discuss problems of
mutual defense. A few years later the Old Dominion coöperated loyally
with the Carolinas in defending their borders against Indian forays.

=The Albany Plan of Union.=--An attempt at a general colonial union was
made in 1754. On the suggestion of the Lords of Trade in England, a
conference was held at Albany to consider Indian relations, to devise
measures of defense against the French, and to enter into "articles of
union and confederation for the general defense of his Majesty's
subjects and interests in North America as well in time of peace as of
war." New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Maryland were represented. After a long discussion, a
plan of union, drafted mainly, it seems, by Benjamin Franklin, was
adopted and sent to the colonies and the crown for approval. The
colonies, jealous of their individual rights, refused to accept the
scheme and the king disapproved it for the reason, Franklin said, that
it had "too much weight in the democratic part of the constitution."
Though the Albany union failed, the document is still worthy of study
because it forecast many of the perplexing problems that were not solved
until thirty-three years afterward, when another convention of which
also Franklin was a member drafted the Constitution of the United


=The Military Education of the Colonists.=--The same wars that showed
the provincials the meaning of union likewise instructed them in the art
of defending their institutions. Particularly was this true of the last
French and Indian conflict, which stretched all the way from Maine to
the Carolinas and made heavy calls upon them all for troops. The answer,
it is admitted, was far from satisfactory to the British government and
the conduct of the militiamen was far from professional; but thousands
of Americans got a taste, a strong taste, of actual fighting in the
field. Men like George Washington and Daniel Morgan learned lessons that
were not forgotten in after years. They saw what American militiamen
could do under favorable circumstances and they watched British regulars
operating on American soil. "This whole transaction," shrewdly remarked
Franklin of Braddock's campaign, "gave us Americans the first suspicion
that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regular troops had not
been well founded." It was no mere accident that the Virginia colonel
who drew his sword under the elm at Cambridge and took command of the
army of the Revolution was the brave officer who had "spurned the
whistle of bullets" at the memorable battle in western Pennsylvania.

=Financial Burdens and Commercial Disorder.=--While the provincials were
learning lessons in warfare they were also paying the bills. All the
conflicts were costly in treasure as in blood. King Philip's war left
New England weak and almost bankrupt. The French and Indian struggle was
especially expensive. The twenty-five thousand men put in the field by
the colonies were sustained only by huge outlays of money. Paper
currency streamed from the press and debts were accumulated. Commerce
was driven from its usual channels and prices were enhanced. When the
end came, both England and America were staggering under heavy
liabilities, and to make matters worse there was a fall of prices
accompanied by a commercial depression which extended over a period of
ten years. It was in the midst of this crisis that measures of taxation
had to be devised to pay the cost of the war, precipitating the quarrel
which led to American independence.

=The Expulsion of French Power from North America.=--The effects of the
defeat administered to France, as time proved, were difficult to
estimate. Some British statesmen regarded it as a happy circumstance
that the colonists, already restive under their administration, had no
foreign power at hand to aid them in case they struck for independence.
American leaders, on the other hand, now that the soldiers of King Louis
were driven from the continent, thought that they had no other country
to fear if they cast off British sovereignty. At all events, France,
though defeated, was not out of the sphere of American influence; for,
as events proved, it was the fortunate French alliance negotiated by
Franklin that assured the triumph of American arms in the War of the


It was neither the Indian wars nor the French wars that finally brought
forth American nationality. That was the product of the long strife
with the mother country which culminated in union for the war of
independence. The forces that created this nation did not operate in the
colonies alone. The character of the English sovereigns, the course of
events in English domestic politics, and English measures of control
over the colonies--executive, legislative, and judicial--must all be
taken into account.

=The Last of the Stuarts.=--The struggles between Charles I (1625-49)
and the parliamentary party and the turmoil of the Puritan régime
(1649-60) so engrossed the attention of Englishmen at home that they had
little time to think of colonial policies or to interfere with colonial
affairs. The restoration of the monarchy in 1660, accompanied by
internal peace and the increasing power of the mercantile classes in the
House of Commons, changed all that. In the reign of Charles II
(1660-85), himself an easy-going person, the policy of regulating trade
by act of Parliament was developed into a closely knit system and
powerful agencies to supervise the colonies were created. At the same
time a system of stricter control over the dominions was ushered in by
the annulment of the old charter of Massachusetts which conferred so
much self-government on the Puritans.

Charles' successor, James II, a man of sterner stuff and jealous of his
authority in the colonies as well as at home, continued the policy thus
inaugurated and enlarged upon it. If he could have kept his throne, he
would have bent the Americans under a harsh rule or brought on in his
dominions a revolution like that which he precipitated at home in 1688.
He determined to unite the Northern colonies and introduce a more
efficient administration based on the pattern of the royal provinces. He
made a martinet, Sir Edmund Andros, governor of all New England, New
York, and New Jersey. The charter of Massachusetts, annulled in the last
days of his brother's reign, he continued to ignore, and that of
Connecticut would have been seized if it had not been spirited away and
hidden, according to tradition, in a hollow oak.

For several months, Andros gave the Northern colonies a taste of
ill-tempered despotism. He wrung quit rents from land owners not
accustomed to feudal dues; he abrogated titles to land where, in his
opinion, they were unlawful; he forced the Episcopal service upon the
Old South Church in Boston; and he denied the writ of _habeas corpus_ to
a preacher who denounced taxation without representation. In the middle
of his arbitrary course, however, his hand was stayed. The news came
that King James had been dethroned by his angry subjects, and the people
of Boston, kindling a fire on Beacon Hill, summoned the countryside to
dispose of Andros. The response was prompt and hearty. The hated
governor was arrested, imprisoned, and sent back across the sea under

The overthrow of James, followed by the accession of William and Mary
and by assured parliamentary supremacy, had an immediate effect in the
colonies. The new order was greeted with thanksgiving. Massachusetts was
given another charter which, though not so liberal as the first,
restored the spirit if not the entire letter of self-government. In the
other colonies where Andros had been operating, the old course of
affairs was resumed.

=The Indifference of the First Two Georges.=--On the death in 1714 of
Queen Anne, the successor of King William, the throne passed to a
Hanoverian prince who, though grateful for English honors and revenues,
was more interested in Hanover than in England. George I and George II,
whose combined reigns extended from 1714 to 1760, never even learned to
speak the English language, at least without an accent. The necessity of
taking thought about colonial affairs bored both of them so that the
stoutest defender of popular privileges in Boston or Charleston had no
ground to complain of the exercise of personal prerogatives by the king.
Moreover, during a large part of this period, the direction of affairs
was in the hands of an astute leader, Sir Robert Walpole, who betrayed
his somewhat cynical view of politics by adopting as his motto: "Let
sleeping dogs lie." He revealed his appreciation of popular sentiment
by exclaiming: "I will not be the minister to enforce taxes at the
expense of blood." Such kings and such ministers were not likely to
arouse the slumbering resistance of the thirteen colonies across the

=Control of the Crown over the Colonies.=--While no English ruler from
James II to George III ventured to interfere with colonial matters
personally, constant control over the colonies was exercised by royal
officers acting under the authority of the crown. Systematic supervision
began in 1660, when there was created by royal order a committee of the
king's council to meet on Mondays and Thursdays of each week to consider
petitions, memorials, and addresses respecting the plantations. In 1696
a regular board was established, known as the "Lords of Trade and
Plantations," which continued, until the American Revolution, to
scrutinize closely colonial business. The chief duties of the board were
to examine acts of colonial legislatures, to recommend measures to those
assemblies for adoption, and to hear memorials and petitions from the
colonies relative to their affairs.

The methods employed by this board were varied. All laws passed by
American legislatures came before it for review as a matter of routine.
If it found an act unsatisfactory, it recommended to the king the
exercise of his veto power, known as the royal disallowance. Any person
who believed his personal or property rights injured by a colonial law
could be heard by the board in person or by attorney; in such cases it
was the practice to hear at the same time the agent of the colony so
involved. The royal veto power over colonial legislation was not,
therefore, a formal affair, but was constantly employed on the
suggestion of a highly efficient agency of the crown. All this was in
addition to the powers exercised by the governors in the royal

=Judicial Control.=--Supplementing this administrative control over the
colonies was a constant supervision by the English courts of law. The
king, by virtue of his inherent authority, claimed and exercised high
appellate powers over all judicial tribunals in the empire. The right
of appeal from local courts, expressly set forth in some charters, was,
on the eve of the Revolution, maintained in every colony. Any subject in
England or America, who, in the regular legal course, was aggrieved by
any act of a colonial legislature or any decision of a colonial court,
had the right, subject to certain regulations, to carry his case to the
king in council, forcing his opponent to follow him across the sea. In
the exercise of appellate power, the king in council acting as a court
could, and frequently did, declare acts of colonial legislatures duly
enacted and approved, null and void, on the ground that they were
contrary to English law.

=Imperial Control in Operation.=--Day after day, week after week, year
after year, the machinery for political and judicial control over
colonial affairs was in operation. At one time the British governors in
the colonies were ordered not to approve any colonial law imposing a
duty on European goods imported in English vessels. Again, when North
Carolina laid a tax on peddlers, the council objected to it as
"restrictive upon the trade and dispersion of English manufactures
throughout the continent." At other times, Indian trade was regulated in
the interests of the whole empire or grants of lands by a colonial
legislature were set aside. Virginia was forbidden to close her ports to
North Carolina lest there should be retaliation.

In short, foreign and intercolonial trade were subjected to a control
higher than that of the colony, foreshadowing a day when the
Constitution of the United States was to commit to Congress the power to
regulate interstate and foreign commerce and commerce with the Indians.
A superior judicial power, towering above that of the colonies, as the
Supreme Court at Washington now towers above the states, kept the
colonial legislatures within the metes and bounds of established law. In
the thousands of appeals, memorials, petitions, and complaints, and the
rulings and decisions upon them, were written the real history of
British imperial control over the American colonies.

So great was the business before the Lords of Trade that the colonies
had to keep skilled agents in London to protect their interests. As
common grievances against the operation of this machinery of control
arose, there appeared in each colony a considerable body of men, with
the merchants in the lead, who chafed at the restraints imposed on their
enterprise. Only a powerful blow was needed to weld these bodies into a
common mass nourishing the spirit of colonial nationalism. When to the
repeated minor irritations were added general and sweeping measures of
Parliament applying to every colony, the rebound came in the Revolution.

=Parliamentary Control over Colonial Affairs.=--As soon as Parliament
gained in power at the expense of the king, it reached out to bring the
American colonies under its sway as well. Between the execution of
Charles I and the accession of George III, there was enacted an immense
body of legislation regulating the shipping, trade, and manufactures of
America. All of it, based on the "mercantile" theory then prevalent in
all countries of Europe, was designed to control the overseas
plantations in such a way as to foster the commercial and business
interests of the mother country, where merchants and men of finance had
got the upper hand. According to this theory, the colonies of the
British empire should be confined to agriculture and the production of
raw materials, and forced to buy their manufactured goods of England.

_The Navigation Acts._--In the first rank among these measures of
British colonial policy must be placed the navigation laws framed for
the purpose of building up the British merchant marine and navy--arms so
essential in defending the colonies against the Spanish, Dutch, and
French. The beginning of this type of legislation was made in 1651 and
it was worked out into a system early in the reign of Charles II

The Navigation Acts, in effect, gave a monopoly of colonial commerce to
British ships. No trade could be carried on between Great Britain and
her dominions save in vessels built and manned by British subjects. No
European goods could be brought to America save in the ships of the
country that produced them or in English ships. These laws, which were
almost fatal to Dutch shipping in America, fell with severity upon the
colonists, compelling them to pay higher freight rates. The adverse
effect, however, was short-lived, for the measures stimulated
shipbuilding in the colonies, where the abundance of raw materials gave
the master builders of America an advantage over those of the mother
country. Thus the colonists in the end profited from the restrictive
policy written into the Navigation Acts.

_The Acts against Manufactures._--The second group of laws was
deliberately aimed to prevent colonial industries from competing too
sharply with those of England. Among the earliest of these measures may
be counted the Woolen Act of 1699, forbidding the exportation of woolen
goods from the colonies and even the woolen trade between towns and
colonies. When Parliament learned, as the result of an inquiry, that New
England and New York were making thousands of hats a year and sending
large numbers annually to the Southern colonies and to Ireland, Spain,
and Portugal, it enacted in 1732 a law declaring that "no hats or felts,
dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished" should be "put upon any vessel
or laden upon any horse or cart with intent to export to any place
whatever." The effect of this measure upon the hat industry was almost
ruinous. A few years later a similar blow was given to the iron
industry. By an act of 1750, pig and bar iron from the colonies were
given free entry to England to encourage the production of the raw
material; but at the same time the law provided that "no mill or other
engine for slitting or rolling of iron, no plating forge to work with a
tilt hammer, and no furnace for making steel" should be built in the
colonies. As for those already built, they were declared public
nuisances and ordered closed. Thus three important economic interests of
the colonists, the woolen, hat, and iron industries, were laid under the

_The Trade Laws._--The third group of restrictive measures passed by the
British Parliament related to the sale of colonial produce. An act of
1663 required the colonies to export certain articles to Great Britain
or to her dominions alone; while sugar, tobacco, and ginger consigned to
the continent of Europe had to pass through a British port paying custom
duties and through a British merchant's hands paying the usual
commission. At first tobacco was the only one of the "enumerated
articles" which seriously concerned the American colonies, the rest
coming mainly from the British West Indies. In the course of time,
however, other commodities were added to the list of enumerated
articles, until by 1764 it embraced rice, naval stores, copper, furs,
hides, iron, lumber, and pearl ashes. This was not all. The colonies
were compelled to bring their European purchases back through English
ports, paying duties to the government and commissions to merchants

_The Molasses Act._--Not content with laws enacted in the interest of
English merchants and manufacturers, Parliament sought to protect the
British West Indies against competition from their French and Dutch
neighbors. New England merchants had long carried on a lucrative trade
with the French islands in the West Indies and Dutch Guiana, where sugar
and molasses could be obtained in large quantities at low prices. Acting
on the protests of English planters in the Barbadoes and Jamaica,
Parliament, in 1733, passed the famous Molasses Act imposing duties on
sugar and molasses imported into the colonies from foreign
countries--rates which would have destroyed the American trade with the
French and Dutch if the law had been enforced. The duties, however, were
not collected. The molasses and sugar trade with the foreigners went on
merrily, smuggling taking the place of lawful traffic.

=Effect of the Laws in America.=--As compared with the strict monopoly
of her colonial trade which Spain consistently sought to maintain, the
policy of England was both moderate and liberal. Furthermore, the
restrictive laws were supplemented by many measures intended to be
favorable to colonial prosperity. The Navigation Acts, for example,
redounded to the advantage of American shipbuilders and the producers
of hemp, tar, lumber, and ship stores in general. Favors in British
ports were granted to colonial producers as against foreign competitors
and in some instances bounties were paid by England to encourage
colonial enterprise. Taken all in all, there is much justification in
the argument advanced by some modern scholars to the effect that the
colonists gained more than they lost by British trade and industrial
legislation. Certainly after the establishment of independence, when
free from these old restrictions, the Americans found themselves
handicapped by being treated as foreigners rather than favored traders
and the recipients of bounties in English markets.

Be that as it may, it appears that the colonists felt little irritation
against the mother country on account of the trade and navigation laws
enacted previous to the close of the French and Indian war. Relatively
few were engaged in the hat and iron industries as compared with those
in farming and planting, so that England's policy of restricting America
to agriculture did not conflict with the interests of the majority of
the inhabitants. The woolen industry was largely in the hands of women
and carried on in connection with their domestic duties, so that it was
not the sole support of any considerable number of people.

As a matter of fact, moreover, the restrictive laws, especially those
relating to trade, were not rigidly enforced. Cargoes of tobacco were
boldly sent to continental ports without even so much as a bow to the
English government, to which duties should have been paid. Sugar and
molasses from the French and Dutch colonies were shipped into New
England in spite of the law. Royal officers sometimes protested against
smuggling and sometimes connived at it; but at no time did they succeed
in stopping it. Taken all in all, very little was heard of "the galling
restraints of trade" until after the French war, when the British
government suddenly entered upon a new course.


In the period between the landing of the English at Jamestown, Virginia,
in 1607, and the close of the French and Indian war in 1763--a period of
a century and a half--a new nation was being prepared on this continent
to take its place among the powers of the earth. It was an epoch of
migration. Western Europe contributed emigrants of many races and
nationalities. The English led the way. Next to them in numerical
importance were the Scotch-Irish and the Germans. Into the melting pot
were also cast Dutch, Swedes, French, Jews, Welsh, and Irish. Thousands
of negroes were brought from Africa to till Southern fields or labor as
domestic servants in the North.

Why did they come? The reasons are various. Some of them, the Pilgrims
and Puritans of New England, the French Huguenots, Scotch-Irish and
Irish, and the Catholics of Maryland, fled from intolerant governments
that denied them the right to worship God according to the dictates of
their consciences. Thousands came to escape the bondage of poverty in
the Old World and to find free homes in America. Thousands, like the
negroes from Africa, were dragged here against their will. The lure of
adventure appealed to the restless and the lure of profits to the
enterprising merchants.

How did they come? In some cases religious brotherhoods banded together
and borrowed or furnished the funds necessary to pay the way. In other
cases great trading companies were organized to found colonies. Again it
was the wealthy proprietor, like Lord Baltimore or William Penn, who
undertook to plant settlements. Many immigrants were able to pay their
own way across the sea. Others bound themselves out for a term of years
in exchange for the cost of the passage. Negroes were brought on account
of the profits derived from their sale as slaves.

Whatever the motive for their coming, however, they managed to get
across the sea. The immigrants set to work with a will. They cut down
forests, built houses, and laid out fields. They founded churches,
schools, and colleges. They set up forges and workshops. They spun and
wove. They fashioned ships and sailed the seas. They bartered and
traded. Here and there on favorable harbors they established centers of
commerce--Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and
Charleston. As soon as a firm foothold was secured on the shore line
they pressed westward until, by the close of the colonial period, they
were already on the crest of the Alleghanies.

Though they were widely scattered along a thousand miles of seacoast,
the colonists were united in spirit by many common ties. The major
portion of them were Protestants. The language, the law, and the
literature of England furnished the basis of national unity. Most of the
colonists were engaged in the same hard task; that of conquering a
wilderness. To ties of kinship and language were added ties created by
necessity. They had to unite in defense; first, against the Indians and
later against the French. They were all subjects of the same
sovereign--the king of England. The English Parliament made laws for
them and the English government supervised their local affairs, their
trade, and their manufactures. Common forces assailed them. Common
grievances vexed them. Common hopes inspired them.

Many of the things which tended to unite them likewise tended to throw
them into opposition to the British Crown and Parliament. Most of them
were freeholders; that is, farmers who owned their own land and tilled
it with their own hands. A free soil nourished the spirit of freedom.
The majority of them were Dissenters, critics, not friends, of the
Church of England, that stanch defender of the British monarchy. Each
colony in time developed its own legislature elected by the voters; it
grew accustomed to making laws and laying taxes for itself. Here was a
people learning self-reliance and self-government. The attempts to
strengthen the Church of England in America and the transformation of
colonies into royal provinces only fanned the spirit of independence
which they were designed to quench.

Nevertheless, the Americans owed much of their prosperity to the
assistance of the government that irritated them. It was the protection
of the British navy that prevented Holland, Spain, and France from
wiping out their settlements. Though their manufacture and trade were
controlled in the interests of the mother country, they also enjoyed
great advantages in her markets. Free trade existed nowhere upon the
earth; but the broad empire of Britain was open to American ships and
merchandise. It could be said, with good reason, that the disadvantages
which the colonists suffered through British regulation of their
industry and trade were more than offset by the privileges they enjoyed.
Still that is somewhat beside the point, for mere economic advantage is
not necessarily the determining factor in the fate of peoples. A
thousand circumstances had helped to develop on this continent a nation,
to inspire it with a passion for independence, and to prepare it for a
destiny greater than that of a prosperous dominion of the British
empire. The economists, who tried to prove by logic unassailable that
America would be richer under the British flag, could not change the
spirit of Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, or George


G.L. Beer, _Origin of the British Colonial System_ and _The Old Colonial

A. Bradley, _The Fight for Canada in North America_.

C.M. Andrews, _Colonial Self-Government_ (American Nation Series).

H. Egerton, _Short History of British Colonial Policy_.

F. Parkman, _France and England in North America_ (12 vols.).

R. Thwaites, _France in America_ (American Nation Series).

J. Winsor, _The Mississippi Valley_ and _Cartier to Frontenac_.


1. How would you define "nationalism"?

2. Can you give any illustrations of the way that war promotes

3. Why was it impossible to establish and maintain a uniform policy in
dealing with the Indians?

4. What was the outcome of the final clash with the French?

5. Enumerate the five chief results of the wars with the French and the
Indians. Discuss each in detail.

6. Explain why it was that the character of the English king mattered to
the colonists.

7. Contrast England under the Stuarts with England under the

8. Explain how the English Crown, Courts, and Parliament controlled the

9. Name the three important classes of English legislation affecting the
colonies. Explain each.

10. Do you think the English legislation was beneficial or injurious to
the colonies? Why?

=Research Topics=

=Rise of French Power in North America.=--Special reference: Francis
Parkman, _Struggle for a Continent_.

=The French and Indian Wars.=--Special reference: W.M. Sloane, _French
War and the Revolution_, Chaps. VI-IX. Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_,
Vol. II, pp. 195-299. Elson, _History of the United States_, pp.

=English Navigation Acts.=--Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp.
55, 72, 78, 90, 103. Coman, _Industrial History_, pp. 79-85.

=British Colonial Policy.=--Callender, _Economic History of the United
States_, pp. 102-108.

=The New England Confederation.=--Analyze the document in Macdonald,
_Source Book_, p. 45. Special reference: Fiske, _Beginnings of New
England_, pp. 140-198.

=The Administration of Andros.=--Fiske, _Beginnings_, pp. 242-278.

=Biographical Studies.=--William Pitt and Sir Robert Walpole. Consult
Green, _Short History of England_, on their policies, using the index.




On October 25, 1760, King George II died and the British crown passed to
his young grandson. The first George, the son of the Elector of Hanover
and Sophia the granddaughter of James I, was a thorough German who never
even learned to speak the language of the land over which he reigned.
The second George never saw England until he was a man. He spoke English
with an accent and until his death preferred his German home. During
their reign, the principle had become well established that the king did
not govern but acted only through ministers representing the majority in


=The Character of the New King.=--The third George rudely broke the
German tradition of his family. He resented the imputation that he was a
foreigner and on all occasions made a display of his British sympathies.
To the draft of his first speech to Parliament, he added the popular
phrase: "Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of
Briton." Macaulay, the English historian, certainly of no liking for
high royal prerogative, said of George: "The young king was a born
Englishman. All his tastes and habits, good and bad, were English. No
portion of his subjects had anything to reproach him with.... His age,
his appearance, and all that was known of his character conciliated
public favor. He was in the bloom of youth; his person and address were
pleasing; scandal imputed to him no vice; and flattery might without
glaring absurdity ascribe to him many princely virtues."

Nevertheless George III had been spoiled by his mother, his tutors, and
his courtiers. Under their influence he developed high and mighty
notions about the sacredness of royal authority and his duty to check
the pretensions of Parliament and the ministers dependent upon it. His
mother had dinned into his ears the slogan: "George, be king!" Lord
Bute, his teacher and adviser, had told him that his honor required him
to take an active part in the shaping of public policy and the making of
laws. Thus educated, he surrounded himself with courtiers who encouraged
him in the determination to rule as well as reign, to subdue all
parties, and to place himself at the head of the nation and empire.

[Illustration: _From an old print._


=Political Parties and George III.=--The state of the political parties
favored the plans of the king to restore some of the ancient luster of
the crown. The Whigs, who were composed mainly of the smaller
freeholders, merchants, inhabitants of towns, and Protestant
non-conformists, had grown haughty and overbearing through long
continuance in power and had as a consequence raised up many enemies in
their own ranks. Their opponents, the Tories, had by this time given up
all hope of restoring to the throne the direct Stuart line; but they
still cherished their old notions about divine right. With the
accession of George III the coveted opportunity came to them to rally
around the throne again. George received his Tory friends with open
arms, gave them offices, and bought them seats in the House of Commons.

=The British Parliamentary System.=--The peculiarities of the British
Parliament at the time made smooth the way for the king and his allies
with their designs for controlling the entire government. In the first
place, the House of Lords was composed mainly of hereditary nobles whose
number the king could increase by the appointment of his favorites, as
of old. Though the members of the House of Commons were elected by
popular vote, they did not speak for the mass of English people. Great
towns like Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham, for example, had no
representatives at all. While there were about eight million inhabitants
in Great Britain, there were in 1768 only about 160,000 voters; that is
to say, only about one in every ten adult males had a voice in the
government. Many boroughs returned one or more members to the Commons
although they had merely a handful of voters or in some instances no
voters at all. Furthermore, these tiny boroughs were often controlled by
lords who openly sold the right of representation to the highest bidder.
The "rotten-boroughs," as they were called by reformers, were a public
scandal, but George III readily made use of them to get his friends into
the House of Commons.


=Grenville and the War Debt.=--Within a year after the accession of
George III, William Pitt was turned out of office, the king treating him
with "gross incivility" and the crowds shouting "Pitt forever!" The
direction of affairs was entrusted to men enjoying the king's
confidence. Leadership in the House of Commons fell to George Grenville,
a grave and laborious man who for years had groaned over the increasing
cost of government.

The first task after the conclusion of peace in 1763 was the adjustment
of the disordered finances of the kingdom. The debt stood at the highest
point in the history of the country. More revenue was absolutely
necessary and Grenville began to search for it, turning his attention
finally to the American colonies. In this quest he had the aid of a
zealous colleague, Charles Townshend, who had long been in public
service and was familiar with the difficulties encountered by royal
governors in America. These two men, with the support of the entire
ministry, inaugurated in February, 1763, "a new system of colonial
government. It was announced by authority that there were to be no more
requisitions from the king to the colonial assemblies for supplies, but
that the colonies were to be taxed instead by act of Parliament.
Colonial governors and judges were to be paid by the Crown; they were to
be supported by a standing army of twenty regiments; and all the
expenses of this force were to be met by parliamentary taxation."

=Restriction of Paper Money (1763).=--Among the many complaints filed
before the board of trade were vigorous protests against the issuance of
paper money by the colonial legislatures. The new ministry provided a
remedy in the act of 1763, which declared void all colonial laws
authorizing paper money or extending the life of outstanding bills. This
law was aimed at the "cheap money" which the Americans were fond of
making when specie was scarce--money which they tried to force on their
English creditors in return for goods and in payment of the interest and
principal of debts. Thus the first chapter was written in the long
battle over sound money on this continent.

=Limitation on Western Land Sales.=--Later in the same year (1763)
George III issued a royal proclamation providing, among other things,
for the government of the territory recently acquired by the treaty of
Paris from the French. One of the provisions in this royal decree
touched frontiersmen to the quick. The contests between the king's
officers and the colonists over the disposition of western lands had
been long and sharp. The Americans chafed at restrictions on
settlement. The more adventurous were continually moving west and
"squatting" on land purchased from the Indians or simply seized without
authority. To put an end to this, the king forbade all further purchases
from the Indians, reserving to the crown the right to acquire such lands
and dispose of them for settlement. A second provision in the same
proclamation vested the power of licensing trade with the Indians,
including the lucrative fur business, in the hands of royal officers in
the colonies. These two limitations on American freedom and enterprise
were declared to be in the interest of the crown and for the
preservation of the rights of the Indians against fraud and abuses.

=The Sugar Act of 1764.=--King George's ministers next turned their
attention to measures of taxation and trade. Since the heavy debt under
which England was laboring had been largely incurred in the defense of
America, nothing seemed more reasonable to them than the proposition
that the colonies should help to bear the burden which fell so heavily
upon the English taxpayer. The Sugar Act of 1764 was the result of this
reasoning. There was no doubt about the purpose of this law, for it was
set forth clearly in the title: "An act for granting certain duties in
the British colonies and plantations in America ... for applying the
produce of such duties ... towards defraying the expenses of defending,
protecting and securing the said colonies and plantations ... and for
more effectually preventing the clandestine conveyance of goods to and
from the said colonies and plantations and improving and securing the
trade between the same and Great Britain." The old Molasses Act had been
prohibitive; the Sugar Act of 1764 was clearly intended as a revenue
measure. Specified duties were laid upon sugar, indigo, calico, silks,
and many other commodities imported into the colonies. The enforcement
of the Molasses Act had been utterly neglected; but this Sugar Act had
"teeth in it." Special precautions as to bonds, security, and
registration of ship masters, accompanied by heavy penalties, promised
a vigorous execution of the new revenue law.

The strict terms of the Sugar Act were strengthened by administrative
measures. Under a law of the previous year the commanders of armed
vessels stationed along the American coast were authorized to stop,
search, and, on suspicion, seize merchant ships approaching colonial
ports. By supplementary orders, the entire British official force in
America was instructed to be diligent in the execution of all trade and
navigation laws. Revenue collectors, officers of the army and navy, and
royal governors were curtly ordered to the front to do their full duty
in the matter of law enforcement. The ordinary motives for the discharge
of official obligations were sharpened by an appeal to avarice, for
naval officers who seized offenders against the law were rewarded by
large prizes out of the forfeitures and penalties.

=The Stamp Act (1765).=--The Grenville-Townshend combination moved
steadily towards its goal. While the Sugar Act was under consideration
in Parliament, Grenville announced a plan for a stamp bill. The next
year it went through both Houses with a speed that must have astounded
its authors. The vote in the Commons stood 205 in favor to 49 against;
while in the Lords it was not even necessary to go through the formality
of a count. As George III was temporarily insane, the measure received
royal assent by a commission acting as a board of regency. Protests of
colonial agents in London were futile. "We might as well have hindered
the sun's progress!" exclaimed Franklin. Protests of a few opponents in
the Commons were equally vain. The ministry was firm in its course and
from all appearances the Stamp Act hardly roused as much as a languid
interest in the city of London. In fact, it is recorded that the fateful
measure attracted less notice than a bill providing for a commission to
act for the king when he was incapacitated.

The Stamp Act, like the Sugar Act, declared the purpose of the British
government to raise revenue in America "towards defraying the expenses
of defending, protecting, and securing the British colonies and
plantations in America." It was a long measure of more than fifty
sections, carefully planned and skillfully drawn. By its provisions
duties were imposed on practically all papers used in legal
transactions,--deeds, mortgages, inventories, writs, bail bonds,--on
licenses to practice law and sell liquor, on college diplomas, playing
cards, dice, pamphlets, newspapers, almanacs, calendars, and
advertisements. The drag net was closely knit, for scarcely anything

=The Quartering Act (1765).=--The ministers were aware that the Stamp
Act would rouse opposition in America--how great they could not
conjecture. While the measure was being debated, a friend of General
Wolfe, Colonel Barré, who knew America well, gave them an ominous
warning in the Commons. "Believe me--remember I this day told you so--"
he exclaimed, "the same spirit of freedom which actuated that people at
first will accompany them still ... a people jealous of their liberties
and who will vindicate them, if ever they should be violated." The
answer of the ministry to a prophecy of force was a threat of force.
Preparations were accordingly made to dispatch a larger number of
soldiers than usual to the colonies, and the ink was hardly dry on the
Stamp Act when Parliament passed the Quartering Act ordering the
colonists to provide accommodations for the soldiers who were to enforce
the new laws. "We have the power to tax them," said one of the ministry,
"and we will tax them."


=Popular Opposition.=--The Stamp Act was greeted in America by an
outburst of denunciation. The merchants of the seaboard cities took the
lead in making a dignified but unmistakable protest, agreeing not to
import British goods while the hated law stood upon the books. Lawyers,
some of them incensed at the heavy taxes on their operations and others
intimidated by patriots who refused to permit them to use stamped
papers, joined with the merchants. Aristocratic colonial Whigs, who had
long grumbled at the administration of royal governors, protested
against taxation without their consent, as the Whigs had done in old
England. There were Tories, however, in the colonies as in England--many
of them of the official class--who denounced the merchants, lawyers, and
Whig aristocrats as "seditious, factious and republican." Yet the
opposition to the Stamp Act and its accompanying measure, the Quartering
Act, grew steadily all through the summer of 1765.

In a little while it was taken up in the streets and along the
countryside. All through the North and in some of the Southern colonies,
there sprang up, as if by magic, committees and societies pledged to
resist the Stamp Act to the bitter end. These popular societies were
known as Sons of Liberty and Daughters of Liberty: the former including
artisans, mechanics, and laborers; and the latter, patriotic women. Both
groups were alike in that they had as yet taken little part in public
affairs. Many artisans, as well as all the women, were excluded from the
right to vote for colonial assemblymen.

While the merchants and Whig gentlemen confined their efforts chiefly to
drafting well-phrased protests against British measures, the Sons of
Liberty operated in the streets and chose rougher measures. They stirred
up riots in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston when attempts
were made to sell the stamps. They sacked and burned the residences of
high royal officers. They organized committees of inquisition who by
threats and intimidation curtailed the sale of British goods and the use
of stamped papers. In fact, the Sons of Liberty carried their operations
to such excesses that many mild opponents of the stamp tax were
frightened and drew back in astonishment at the forces they had
unloosed. The Daughters of Liberty in a quieter way were making a very
effective resistance to the sale of the hated goods by spurring on
domestic industries, their own particular province being the manufacture
of clothing, and devising substitutes for taxed foods. They helped to
feed and clothe their families without buying British goods.

=Legislative Action against the Stamp Act.=--Leaders in the colonial
assemblies, accustomed to battle against British policies, supported the
popular protest. The Stamp Act was signed on March 22, 1765. On May 30,
the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a set of resolutions declaring
that the General Assembly of the colony alone had the right to lay taxes
upon the inhabitants and that attempts to impose them otherwise were
"illegal, unconstitutional, and unjust." It was in support of these
resolutions that Patrick Henry uttered the immortal challenge: "Cæsar
had his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell, and George III...." Cries of
"Treason" were calmly met by the orator who finished: "George III may
profit by their example. If that be treason, make the most of it."

[Illustration: PATRICK HENRY]

=The Stamp Act Congress.=--The Massachusetts Assembly answered the call
of Virginia by inviting the colonies to elect delegates to a Congress to
be held in New York to discuss the situation. Nine colonies responded
and sent representatives. The delegates, while professing the warmest
affection for the king's person and government, firmly spread on record
a series of resolutions that admitted of no double meaning. They
declared that taxes could not be imposed without their consent, given
through their respective colonial assemblies; that the Stamp Act showed
a tendency to subvert their rights and liberties; that the recent trade
acts were burdensome and grievous; and that the right to petition the
king and Parliament was their heritage. They thereupon made "humble
supplication" for the repeal of the Stamp Act.

The Stamp Act Congress was more than an assembly of protest. It marked
the rise of a new agency of government to express the will of America.
It was the germ of a government which in time was to supersede the
government of George III in the colonies. It foreshadowed the Congress
of the United States under the Constitution. It was a successful attempt
at union. "There ought to be no New England men," declared Christopher
Gadsden, in the Stamp Act Congress, "no New Yorkers known on the
Continent, but all of us Americans."

=The Repeal of the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act.=--The effect of American
resistance on opinion in England was telling. Commerce with the colonies
had been effectively boycotted by the Americans; ships lay idly swinging
at the wharves; bankruptcy threatened hundreds of merchants in London,
Bristol, and Liverpool. Workingmen in the manufacturing towns of England
were thrown out of employment. The government had sown folly and was
reaping, in place of the coveted revenue, rebellion.

Perplexed by the storm they had raised, the ministers summoned to the
bar of the House of Commons, Benjamin Franklin, the agent for
Pennsylvania, who was in London. "Do you think it right," asked
Grenville, "that America should be protected by this country and pay no
part of the expenses?" The answer was brief: "That is not the case; the
colonies raised, clothed, and paid during the last war twenty-five
thousand men and spent many millions." Then came an inquiry whether the
colonists would accept a modified stamp act. "No, never," replied
Franklin, "never! They will never submit to it!" It was next suggested
that military force might compel obedience to law. Franklin had a ready
answer. "They cannot force a man to take stamps.... They may not find a
rebellion; they may, indeed, make one."

The repeal of the Stamp Act was moved in the House of Commons a few days
later. The sponsor for the repeal spoke of commerce interrupted, debts
due British merchants placed in jeopardy, Manchester industries closed,
workingmen unemployed, oppression instituted, and the loss of the
colonies threatened. Pitt and Edmund Burke, the former near the close
of his career, the latter just beginning his, argued cogently in favor
of retracing the steps taken the year before. Grenville refused.
"America must learn," he wailed, "that prayers are not to be brought to
Cæsar through riot and sedition." His protests were idle. The Commons
agreed to the repeal on February 22, 1766, amid the cheers of the
victorious majority. It was carried through the Lords in the face of
strong opposition and, on March 18, reluctantly signed by the king, now
restored to his right mind.

In rescinding the Stamp Act, Parliament did not admit the contention of
the Americans that it was without power to tax them. On the contrary, it
accompanied the repeal with a Declaratory Act. It announced that the
colonies were subordinate to the crown and Parliament of Great Britain;
that the king and Parliament therefore had undoubted authority to make
laws binding the colonies in all cases whatsoever; and that the
resolutions and proceedings of the colonists denying such authority were
null and void.

The repeal was greeted by the colonists with great popular
demonstrations. Bells were rung; toasts to the king were drunk; and
trade resumed its normal course. The Declaratory Act, as a mere paper
resolution, did not disturb the good humor of those who again cheered
the name of King George. Their confidence was soon strengthened by the
news that even the Sugar Act had been repealed, thus practically
restoring the condition of affairs before Grenville and Townshend
inaugurated their policy of "thoroughness."


=The Townshend Acts (1767).=--The triumph of the colonists was brief.
Though Pitt, the friend of America, was once more prime minister, and
seated in the House of Lords as the Earl of Chatham, his severe illness
gave to Townshend and the Tory party practical control over Parliament.
Unconvinced by the experience with the Stamp Act, Townshend brought
forward and pushed through both Houses of Parliament three measures,
which to this day are associated with his name. First among his
restrictive laws was that of June 29, 1767, which placed the enforcement
of the collection of duties and customs on colonial imports and exports
in the hands of British commissioners appointed by the king, resident in
the colonies, paid from the British treasury, and independent of all
control by the colonists. The second measure of the same date imposed a
tax on lead, glass, paint, tea, and a few other articles imported into
the colonies, the revenue derived from the duties to be applied toward
the payment of the salaries and other expenses of royal colonial
officials. A third measure was the Tea Act of July 2, 1767, aimed at the
tea trade which the Americans carried on illegally with foreigners. This
law abolished the duty which the East India Company had to pay in
England on tea exported to America, for it was thought that English tea
merchants might thus find it possible to undersell American tea

=Writs of Assistance Legalized by Parliament.=--Had Parliament been
content with laying duties, just as a manifestation of power and right,
and neglected their collection, perhaps little would have been heard of
the Townshend Acts. It provided, however, for the strict, even the
harsh, enforcement of the law. It ordered customs officers to remain at
their posts and put an end to smuggling. In the revenue act of June 29,
1767, it expressly authorized the superior courts of the colonies to
issue "writs of assistance," empowering customs officers to enter "any
house, warehouse, shop, cellar, or other place in the British colonies
or plantations in America to search for and seize" prohibited or
smuggled goods.

The writ of assistance, which was a general search warrant issued to
revenue officers, was an ancient device hateful to a people who
cherished the spirit of personal independence and who had made actual
gains in the practice of civil liberty. To allow a "minion of the law"
to enter a man's house and search his papers and premises, was too much
for the emotions of people who had fled to America in a quest for
self-government and free homes, who had braved such hardships to
establish them, and who wanted to trade without official interference.

The writ of assistance had been used in Massachusetts in 1755 to prevent
illicit trade with Canada and had aroused a violent hostility at that
time. In 1761 it was again the subject of a bitter controversy which
arose in connection with the application of a customs officer to a
Massachusetts court for writs of assistance "as usual." This application
was vainly opposed by James Otis in a speech of five hours' duration--a
speech of such fire and eloquence that it sent every man who heard it
away "ready to take up arms against writs of assistance." Otis denounced
the practice as an exercise of arbitrary power which had cost one king
his head and another his throne, a tyrant's device which placed the
liberty of every man in jeopardy, enabling any petty officer to work
possible malice on any innocent citizen on the merest suspicion, and to
spread terror and desolation through the land. "What a scene," he
exclaimed, "does this open! Every man, prompted by revenge, ill-humor,
or wantonness to inspect the inside of his neighbor's house, may get a
writ of assistance. Others will ask it from self-defense; one arbitrary
exertion will provoke another until society is involved in tumult and
blood." He did more than attack the writ itself. He said that Parliament
could not establish it because it was against the British constitution.
This was an assertion resting on slender foundation, but it was quickly
echoed by the people. Then and there James Otis sounded the call to
America to resist the exercise of arbitrary power by royal officers.
"Then and there," wrote John Adams, "the child Independence was born."
Such was the hated writ that Townshend proposed to put into the hands of
customs officers in his grim determination to enforce the law.

=The New York Assembly Suspended.=--In the very month that Townshend's
Acts were signed by the king, Parliament took a still more drastic step.
The assembly of New York, protesting against the "ruinous and
insupportable" expense involved, had failed to make provision for the
care of British troops in accordance with the terms of the Quartering
Act. Parliament therefore suspended the assembly until it promised to
obey the law. It was not until a third election was held that compliance
with the Quartering Act was wrung from the reluctant province. In the
meantime, all the colonies had learned on how frail a foundation their
representative bodies rested.


=The Massachusetts Circular (1768).=--Massachusetts, under the
leadership of Samuel Adams, resolved to resist the policy of renewed
intervention in America. At his suggestion the assembly adopted a
Circular Letter addressed to the assemblies of the other colonies
informing them of the state of affairs in Massachusetts and roundly
condemning the whole British program. The Circular Letter declared that
Parliament had no right to lay taxes on Americans without their consent
and that the colonists could not, from the nature of the case, be
represented in Parliament. It went on shrewdly to submit to
consideration the question as to whether any people could be called free
who were subjected to governors and judges appointed by the crown and
paid out of funds raised independently. It invited the other colonies,
in the most temperate tones, to take thought about the common
predicament in which they were all placed.

[Illustration: _From an old print._


=The Dissolution of Assemblies.=--The governor of Massachusetts, hearing
of the Circular Letter, ordered the assembly to rescind its appeal. On
meeting refusal, he promptly dissolved it. The Maryland, Georgia, and
South Carolina assemblies indorsed the Circular Letter and were also
dissolved at once. The Virginia House of Burgesses, thoroughly aroused,
passed resolutions on May 16, 1769, declaring that the sole right of
imposing taxes in Virginia was vested in its legislature, asserting anew
the right of petition to the crown, condemning the transportation of
persons accused of crimes or trial beyond the seas, and beseeching the
king for a redress of the general grievances. The immediate dissolution
of the Virginia assembly, in its turn, was the answer of the royal

=The Boston Massacre.=--American opposition to the British authorities
kept steadily rising as assemblies were dissolved, the houses of
citizens searched, and troops distributed in increasing numbers among
the centers of discontent. Merchants again agreed not to import British
goods, the Sons of Liberty renewed their agitation, and women set about
the patronage of home products still more loyally.

On the night of March 5, 1770, a crowd on the streets of Boston began to
jostle and tease some British regulars stationed in the town. Things
went from bad to worse until some "boys and young fellows" began to
throw snowballs and stones. Then the exasperated soldiers fired into the
crowd, killing five and wounding half a dozen more. The day after the
"massacre," a mass meeting was held in the town and Samuel Adams was
sent to demand the withdrawal of the soldiers. The governor hesitated
and tried to compromise. Finding Adams relentless, the governor yielded
and ordered the regulars away.

The Boston Massacre stirred the country from New Hampshire to Georgia.
Popular passions ran high. The guilty soldiers were charged with murder.
Their defense was undertaken, in spite of the wrath of the populace, by
John Adams and Josiah Quincy, who as lawyers thought even the worst
offenders entitled to their full rights in law. In his speech to the
jury, however, Adams warned the British government against its course,
saying, that "from the nature of things soldiers quartered in a populous
town will always occasion two mobs where they will prevent one." Two of
the soldiers were convicted and lightly punished.

=Resistance in the South.=--The year following the Boston Massacre some
citizens of North Carolina, goaded by the conduct of the royal governor,
openly resisted his authority. Many were killed as a result and seven
who were taken prisoners were hanged as traitors. A little later royal
troops and local militia met in a pitched battle near Alamance River,
called the "Lexington of the South."

=The _Gaspee_ Affair and the Virginia Resolutions of 1773.=--On sea as
well as on land, friction between the royal officers and the colonists
broke out into overt acts. While patrolling Narragansett Bay looking for
smugglers one day in 1772, the armed ship, _Gaspee_, ran ashore and was
caught fast. During the night several men from Providence boarded the
vessel and, after seizing the crew, set it on fire. A royal commission,
sent to Rhode Island to discover the offenders and bring them to
account, failed because it could not find a single informer. The very
appointment of such a commission aroused the patriots of Virginia to
action; and in March, 1773, the House of Burgesses passed a resolution
creating a standing committee of correspondence to develop coöperation
among the colonies in resistance to British measures.

=The Boston Tea Party.=--Although the British government, finding the
Townshend revenue act a failure, repealed in 1770 all the duties except
that on tea, it in no way relaxed its resolve to enforce the other
commercial regulations it had imposed on the colonies. Moreover,
Parliament decided to relieve the British East India Company of the
financial difficulties into which it had fallen partly by reason of the
Tea Act and the colonial boycott that followed. In 1773 it agreed to
return to the Company the regular import duties, levied in England, on
all tea transshipped to America. A small impost of three pence, to be
collected in America, was left as a reminder of the principle laid down
in the Declaratory Act that Parliament had the right to tax the

This arrangement with the East India Company was obnoxious to the
colonists for several reasons. It was an act of favoritism for one
thing, in the interest of a great monopoly. For another thing, it
promised to dump on the American market, suddenly, an immense amount of
cheap tea and so cause heavy losses to American merchants who had large
stocks on hand. It threatened with ruin the business of all those who
were engaged in clandestine trade with the Dutch. It carried with it an
irritating tax of three pence on imports. In Charleston, Annapolis, New
York, and Boston, captains of ships who brought tea under this act were
roughly handled. One night in December, 1773, a band of Boston citizens,
disguised as Indians, boarded the hated tea ships and dumped the cargo
into the harbor. This was serious business, for it was open, flagrant,
determined violation of the law. As such the British government viewed


=Reception of the News of the Tea Riot.=--The news of the tea riot in
Boston confirmed King George in his conviction that there should be no
soft policy in dealing with his American subjects. "The die is cast," he
stated with evident satisfaction. "The colonies must either triumph or
submit.... If we take the resolute part, they will undoubtedly be very
meek." Lord George Germain characterized the tea party as "the
proceedings of a tumultuous and riotous rabble who ought, if they had
the least prudence, to follow their mercantile employments and not
trouble themselves with politics and government, which they do not
understand." This expressed, in concise form, exactly the sentiments of
Lord North, who had then for three years been the king's chief minister.
Even Pitt, Lord Chatham, was prepared to support the government in
upholding its authority.

=The Five Intolerable Acts.=--Parliament, beginning on March 31, 1774,
passed five stringent measures, known in American history as the five
"intolerable acts." They were aimed at curing the unrest in America. The
_first_ of them was a bill absolutely shutting the port of Boston to
commerce with the outside world. The _second_, following closely,
revoked the Massachusetts charter of 1691 and provided furthermore that
the councilors should be appointed by the king, that all judges should
be named by the royal governor, and that town meetings (except to elect
certain officers) could not be held without the governor's consent. A
_third_ measure, after denouncing the "utter subversion of all lawful
government" in the provinces, authorized royal agents to transfer to
Great Britain or to other colonies the trials of officers or other
persons accused of murder in connection with the enforcement of the law.
The _fourth_ act legalized the quartering of troops in Massachusetts
towns. The _fifth_ of the measures was the Quebec Act, which granted
religious toleration to the Catholics in Canada, extended the boundaries
of Quebec southward to the Ohio River, and established, in this western
region, government by a viceroy.

The intolerable acts went through Parliament with extraordinary
celerity. There was an opposition, alert and informed; but it was
ineffective. Burke spoke eloquently against the Boston port bill,
condemning it roundly for punishing the innocent with the guilty, and
showing how likely it was to bring grave consequences in its train. He
was heard with respect and his pleas were rejected. The bill passed both
houses without a division, the entry "unanimous" being made upon their
journals although it did not accurately represent the state of opinion.
The law destroying the charter of Massachusetts passed the Commons by a
vote of three to one; and the third intolerable act by a vote of four to
one. The triumph of the ministry was complete. "What passed in Boston,"
exclaimed the great jurist, Lord Mansfield, "is the overt act of High
Treason proceeding from our over lenity and want of foresight." The
crown and Parliament were united in resorting to punitive measures.

In the colonies the laws were received with consternation. To the
American Protestants, the Quebec Act was the most offensive. That
project they viewed not as an act of grace or of mercy but as a direct
attempt to enlist French Canadians on the side of Great Britain. The
British government did not grant religious toleration to Catholics
either at home or in Ireland and the Americans could see no good motive
in granting it in North America. The act was also offensive because
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia had, under their charters,
large claims in the territory thus annexed to Quebec.

To enforce these intolerable acts the military arm of the British
government was brought into play. The commander-in-chief of the armed
forces in America, General Gage, was appointed governor of
Massachusetts. Reinforcements were brought to the colonies, for now King
George was to give "the rebels," as he called them, a taste of strong
medicine. The majesty of his law was to be vindicated by force.


=The Doctrine of Natural Rights.=--The dissolution of assemblies, the
destruction of charters, and the use of troops produced in the colonies
a new phase in the struggle. In the early days of the contest with the
British ministry, the Americans spoke of their "rights as Englishmen"
and condemned the acts of Parliament as unlawful, as violating the
principles of the English constitution under which they all lived. When
they saw that such arguments had no effect on Parliament, they turned
for support to their "natural rights." The latter doctrine, in the form
in which it was employed by the colonists, was as English as the
constitutional argument. John Locke had used it with good effect in
defense of the English revolution in the seventeenth century. American
leaders, familiar with the writings of Locke, also took up his thesis in
the hour of their distress. They openly declared that their rights did
not rest after all upon the English constitution or a charter from the
crown. "Old Magna Carta was not the beginning of all things," retorted
Otis when the constitutional argument failed. "A time may come when
Parliament shall declare every American charter void, but the natural,
inherent, and inseparable rights of the colonists as men and as citizens
would remain and whatever became of charters can never be abolished
until the general conflagration." Of the same opinion was the young and
impetuous Alexander Hamilton. "The sacred rights of mankind," he
exclaimed, "are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty
records. They are written as with a sunbeam in the whole volume of human
destiny by the hand of divinity itself, and can never be erased or
obscured by mortal power."

Firm as the American leaders were in the statement and defense of their
rights, there is every reason for believing that in the beginning they
hoped to confine the conflict to the realm of opinion. They constantly
avowed that they were loyal to the king when protesting in the strongest
language against his policies. Even Otis, regarded by the loyalists as a
firebrand, was in fact attempting to avert revolution by winning
concessions from England. "I argue this cause with the greater
pleasure," he solemnly urged in his speech against the writs of
assistance, "as it is in favor of British liberty ... and as it is in
opposition to a kind of power, the exercise of which in former periods
cost one king of England his head and another his throne."

=Burke Offers the Doctrine of Conciliation.=--The flooding tide of
American sentiment was correctly measured by one Englishman at least,
Edmund Burke, who quickly saw that attempts to restrain the rise of
American democracy were efforts to reverse the processes of nature. He
saw how fixed and rooted in the nature of things was the American
spirit--how inevitable, how irresistible. He warned his countrymen that
there were three ways of handling the delicate situation--and only
three. One was to remove the cause of friction by changing the spirit of
the colonists--an utter impossibility because that spirit was grounded
in the essential circumstances of American life. The second was to
prosecute American leaders as criminals; of this he begged his
countrymen to beware lest the colonists declare that "a government
against which a claim of liberty is tantamount to high treason is a
government to which submission is equivalent to slavery." The third and
right way to meet the problem, Burke concluded, was to accept the
American spirit, repeal the obnoxious measures, and receive the colonies
into equal partnership.

=Events Produce the Great Decision.=--The right way, indicated by Burke,
was equally impossible to George III and the majority in Parliament. To
their narrow minds, American opinion was contemptible and American
resistance unlawful, riotous, and treasonable. The correct way, in their
view, was to dispatch more troops to crush the "rebels"; and that very
act took the contest from the realm of opinion. As John Adams said:
"Facts are stubborn things." Opinions were unseen, but marching soldiers
were visible to the veriest street urchin. "Now," said Gouverneur
Morris, "the sheep, simple as they are, cannot be gulled as heretofore."
It was too late to talk about the excellence of the British
constitution. If any one is bewildered by the controversies of modern
historians as to why the crisis came at last, he can clarify his
understanding by reading again Edmund Burke's stately oration, _On
Conciliation with America_.


G.L. Beer, _British Colonial Policy_ (1754-63).

E. Channing, _History of the United States_, Vol. III.

R. Frothingham, _Rise of the Republic_.

G.E. Howard, _Preliminaries of the Revolution_ (American Nation Series).

J.K. Hosmer, _Samuel Adams_.

J.T. Morse, _Benjamin Franklin_.

M.C. Tyler, _Patrick Henry_.

J.A. Woodburn (editor), _The American Revolution_ (Selections from the
English work by Lecky).


1. Show how the character of George III made for trouble with the

2. Explain why the party and parliamentary systems of England favored
the plans of George III.

3. How did the state of English finances affect English policy?

4. Enumerate five important measures of the English government affecting
the colonies between 1763 and 1765. Explain each in detail.

5. Describe American resistance to the Stamp Act. What was the outcome?

6. Show how England renewed her policy of regulation in 1767.

7. Summarize the events connected with American resistance.

8. With what measures did Great Britain retaliate?

9. Contrast "constitutional" with "natural" rights.

10. What solution did Burke offer? Why was it rejected?

=Research Topics=

=Powers Conferred on Revenue Officers by Writs of Assistance.=--See a
writ in Macdonald, _Source Book_, p. 109.

=The Acts of Parliament Respecting America.=--Macdonald, pp. 117-146.
Assign one to each student for report and comment.

=Source Studies on the Stamp Act.=--Hart, _American History Told by
Contemporaries_, Vol. II, pp. 394-412.

=Source Studies of the Townshend Acts.=--Hart, Vol. II, pp. 413-433.

=American Principles.=--Prepare a table of them from the Resolutions of
the Stamp Act Congress and the Massachusetts Circular. Macdonald, pp.

=An English Historian's View of the Period.=--Green, _Short History of
England_, Chap. X.

=English Policy Not Injurious to America.=--Callender, _Economic
History_, pp. 85-121.

=A Review of English Policy.=--Woodrow Wilson, _History of the American
People_, Vol. II, pp. 129-170.

=The Opening of the Revolution.=--Elson, _History of the United States_,
pp. 220-235.




=The Continental Congress.=--When the news of the "intolerable acts"
reached America, every one knew what strong medicine Parliament was
prepared to administer to all those who resisted its authority. The
cause of Massachusetts became the cause of all the colonies. Opposition
to British policy, hitherto local and spasmodic, now took on a national
character. To local committees and provincial conventions was added a
Continental Congress, appropriately called by Massachusetts on June 17,
1774, at the instigation of Samuel Adams. The response to the summons
was electric. By hurried and irregular methods delegates were elected
during the summer, and on September 5 the Congress duly assembled in
Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. Many of the greatest men in America
were there--George Washington and Patrick Henry from Virginia and John
and Samuel Adams from Massachusetts. Every shade of opinion was
represented. Some were impatient with mild devices; the majority favored

The Congress drew up a declaration of American rights and stated in
clear and dignified language the grievances of the colonists. It
approved the resistance to British measures offered by Massachusetts and
promised the united support of all sections. It prepared an address to
King George and another to the people of England, disavowing the idea of
independence but firmly attacking the policies pursued by the British

=The Non-Importation Agreement.=--The Congress was not content, however,
with professions of faith and with petitions. It took one revolutionary
step. It agreed to stop the importation of British goods into America,
and the enforcement of this agreement it placed in the hands of local
"committees of safety and inspection," to be elected by the qualified
voters. The significance of this action is obvious. Congress threw
itself athwart British law. It made a rule to bind American citizens and
to be carried into effect by American officers. It set up a state within
the British state and laid down a test of allegiance to the new order.
The colonists, who up to this moment had been wavering, had to choose
one authority or the other. They were for the enforcement of the
non-importation agreement or they were against it. They either bought
English goods or they did not. In the spirit of the toast--"May Britain
be wise and America be free"--the first Continental Congress adjourned
in October, having appointed the tenth of May following for the meeting
of a second Congress, should necessity require.

=Lord North's "Olive Branch."=--When the news of the action of the
American Congress reached England, Pitt and Burke warmly urged a repeal
of the obnoxious laws, but in vain. All they could wring from the prime
minister, Lord North, was a set of "conciliatory resolutions" proposing
to relieve from taxation any colony that would assume its share of
imperial defense and make provision for supporting the local officers of
the crown. This "olive branch" was accompanied by a resolution assuring
the king of support at all hazards in suppressing the rebellion and by
the restraining act of March 30, 1775, which in effect destroyed the
commerce of New England.

=Bloodshed at Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1775).=--Meanwhile the
British authorities in Massachusetts relaxed none of their efforts in
upholding British sovereignty. General Gage, hearing that military
stores had been collected at Concord, dispatched a small force to seize
them. By this act he precipitated the conflict he had sought to avoid.
At Lexington, on the road to Concord, occurred "the little thing" that
produced "the great event." An unexpected collision beyond the thought
or purpose of any man had transferred the contest from the forum to the
battle field.

=The Second Continental Congress.=--Though blood had been shed and war
was actually at hand, the second Continental Congress, which met at
Philadelphia in May, 1775, was not yet convinced that conciliation was
beyond human power. It petitioned the king to interpose on behalf of the
colonists in order that the empire might avoid the calamities of civil
war. On the last day of July, it made a temperate but firm answer to
Lord North's offer of conciliation, stating that the proposal was
unsatisfactory because it did not renounce the right to tax or repeal
the offensive acts of Parliament.

=Force, the British Answer.=--Just as the representatives of America
were about to present the last petition of Congress to the king on
August 23, 1775, George III issued a proclamation of rebellion. This
announcement declared that the colonists, "misled by dangerous and
ill-designing men," were in a state of insurrection; it called on the
civil and military powers to bring "the traitors to justice"; and it
threatened with "condign punishment the authors, perpetrators, and
abettors of such traitorous designs." It closed with the usual prayer:
"God, save the king." Later in the year, Parliament passed a sweeping
act destroying all trade and intercourse with America. Congress was
silent at last. Force was also America's answer.


=Drifting into War.=--Although the Congress had not given up all hope of
reconciliation in the spring and summer of 1775, it had firmly resolved
to defend American rights by arms if necessary. It transformed the
militiamen who had assembled near Boston, after the battle of Lexington,
into a Continental army and selected Washington as commander-in-chief.
It assumed the powers of a government and prepared to raise money, wage
war, and carry on diplomatic relations with foreign countries.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


Events followed thick and fast. On June 17, the American militia, by
the stubborn defense of Bunker Hill, showed that it could make British
regulars pay dearly for all they got. On July 3, Washington took command
of the army at Cambridge. In January, 1776, after bitter disappointments
in drumming up recruits for its army in England, Scotland, and Ireland,
the British government concluded a treaty with the Landgrave of
Hesse-Cassel in Germany contracting, at a handsome figure, for thousands
of soldiers and many pieces of cannon. This was the crowning insult to
America. Such was the view of all friends of the colonies on both sides
of the water. Such was, long afterward, the judgment of the conservative
historian Lecky: "The conduct of England in hiring German mercenaries to
subdue the essentially English population beyond the Atlantic made
reconciliation hopeless and independence inevitable." The news of this
wretched transaction in German soldiers had hardly reached America
before there ran all down the coast the thrilling story that Washington
had taken Boston, on March 17, 1776, compelling Lord Howe to sail with
his entire army for Halifax.

=The Growth of Public Sentiment in Favor of Independence.=--Events were
bearing the Americans away from their old position under the British
constitution toward a final separation. Slowly and against their
desires, prudent and honorable men, who cherished the ties that united
them to the old order and dreaded with genuine horror all thought of
revolution, were drawn into the path that led to the great decision. In
all parts of the country and among all classes, the question of the hour
was being debated. "American independence," as the historian Bancroft
says, "was not an act of sudden passion nor the work of one man or one
assembly. It had been discussed in every part of the country by farmers
and merchants, by mechanics and planters, by the fishermen along the
coast and the backwoodsmen of the West; in town meetings and from the
pulpit; at social gatherings and around the camp fires; in county
conventions and conferences or committees; in colonial congresses and

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=Paine's "Commonsense."=--In the midst of this ferment of American
opinion, a bold and eloquent pamphleteer broke in upon the hesitating
public with a program for absolute independence, without fears and
without apologies. In the early days of 1776, Thomas Paine issued the
first of his famous tracts, "Commonsense," a passionate attack upon the
British monarchy and an equally passionate plea for American liberty.
Casting aside the language of petition with which Americans had hitherto
addressed George III, Paine went to the other extreme and assailed him
with many a violent epithet. He condemned monarchy itself as a system
which had laid the world "in blood and ashes." Instead of praising the
British constitution under which colonists had been claiming their
rights, he brushed it aside as ridiculous, protesting that it was "owing
to the constitution of the people, not to the constitution of the
government, that the Crown is not as oppressive in England as in

Having thus summarily swept away the grounds of allegiance to the old
order, Paine proceeded relentlessly to an argument for immediate
separation from Great Britain. There was nothing in the sphere of
practical interest, he insisted, which should bind the colonies to the
mother country. Allegiance to her had been responsible for the many wars
in which they had been involved. Reasons of trade were not less weighty
in behalf of independence. "Our corn will fetch its price in any market
in Europe and our imported goods must be paid for, buy them where we
will." As to matters of government, "it is not in the power of Britain
to do this continent justice; the business of it will soon be too
weighty and intricate to be managed with any tolerable degree of
convenience by a power so distant from us and so very ignorant of us."

There is accordingly no alternative to independence for America.
"Everything that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of
the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries ''tis time to part.' ...
Arms, the last resort, must decide the contest; the appeal was the
choice of the king and the continent hath accepted the challenge.... The
sun never shone on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a
city, a county, a province or a kingdom, but of a continent.... 'Tis not
the concern of a day, a year or an age; posterity is involved in the
contest and will be more or less affected to the end of time by the
proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith, and
honor.... O! ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose not only the
tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth.... Let names of Whig and Tory be
extinct. Let none other be heard among us than those of a good citizen,
an open and resolute friend, and a virtuous supporter of the rights of
mankind and of the free and independent states of America." As more than
100,000 copies were scattered broadcast over the country, patriots
exclaimed with Washington: "Sound doctrine and unanswerable reason!"

=The Drift of Events toward Independence.=--Official support for the
idea of independence began to come from many quarters. On the tenth of
February, 1776, Gadsden, in the provincial convention of South Carolina,
advocated a new constitution for the colony and absolute independence
for all America. The convention balked at the latter but went half way
by abolishing the system of royal administration and establishing a
complete plan of self-government. A month later, on April 12, the
neighboring state of North Carolina uttered the daring phrase from which
others shrank. It empowered its representatives in the Congress to
concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring
independence. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia quickly
responded to the challenge. The convention of the Old Dominion, on May
15, instructed its delegates at Philadelphia to propose the independence
of the United Colonies and to give the assent of Virginia to the act of
separation. When the resolution was carried the British flag on the
state house was lowered for all time.

Meanwhile the Continental Congress was alive to the course of events
outside. The subject of independence was constantly being raised. "Are
we rebels?" exclaimed Wyeth of Virginia during a debate in February.
"No: we must declare ourselves a free people." Others hesitated and
spoke of waiting for the arrival of commissioners of conciliation. "Is
not America already independent?" asked Samuel Adams a few weeks later.
"Why not then declare it?" Still there was uncertainty and delegates
avoided the direct word. A few more weeks elapsed. At last, on May 10,
Congress declared that the authority of the British crown in America
must be suppressed and advised the colonies to set up governments of
their own.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=Independence Declared.=--The way was fully prepared, therefore, when,
on June 7, the Virginia delegation in the Congress moved that "these
united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent
states." A committee was immediately appointed to draft a formal
document setting forth the reasons for the act, and on July 2 all the
states save New York went on record in favor of severing their political
connection with Great Britain. Two days later, July 4, Jefferson's draft
of the Declaration of Independence, changed in some slight particulars,
was adopted. The old bell in Independence Hall, as it is now known, rang
out the glad tidings; couriers swiftly carried the news to the uttermost
hamlet and farm. A new nation announced its will to have a place among
the powers of the world.

To some documents is given immortality. The Declaration of Independence
is one of them. American patriotism is forever associated with it; but
patriotism alone does not make it immortal. Neither does the vigor of
its language or the severity of its indictment give it a secure place in
the records of time. The secret of its greatness lies in the simple fact
that it is one of the memorable landmarks in the history of a political
ideal which for three centuries has been taking form and spreading
throughout the earth, challenging kings and potentates, shaking down
thrones and aristocracies, breaking the armies of irresponsible power on
battle fields as far apart as Marston Moor and Château-Thierry. That
ideal, now so familiar, then so novel, is summed up in the simple
sentence: "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the

Written in a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind," to set forth
the causes which impelled the American colonists to separate from
Britain, the Declaration contained a long list of "abuses and
usurpations" which had induced them to throw off the government of King
George. That section of the Declaration has passed into "ancient"
history and is seldom read. It is the part laying down a new basis for
government and giving a new dignity to the common man that has become a
household phrase in the Old World as in the New.

In the more enduring passages there are four fundamental ideas which,
from the standpoint of the old system of government, were the essence of
revolution: (1) all men are created equal and are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; (2) the purpose of government is to secure these
rights; (3) governments derive their just powers from the consent of the
governed; (4) whenever any form of government becomes destructive of
these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and
institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles and
organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness. Here was the prelude to the historic
drama of democracy--a challenge to every form of government and every
privilege not founded on popular assent.


=The Committees of Correspondence.=--As soon as debate had passed into
armed resistance, the patriots found it necessary to consolidate their
forces by organizing civil government. This was readily effected, for
the means were at hand in town meetings, provincial legislatures, and
committees of correspondence. The working tools of the Revolution were
in fact the committees of correspondence--small, local, unofficial
groups of patriots formed to exchange views and create public sentiment.
As early as November, 1772, such a committee had been created in Boston
under the leadership of Samuel Adams. It held regular meetings, sent
emissaries to neighboring towns, and carried on a campaign of education
in the doctrines of liberty.


Upon local organizations similar in character to the Boston committee
were built county committees and then the larger colonial committees,
congresses, and conventions, all unofficial and representing the
revolutionary elements. Ordinarily the provincial convention was merely
the old legislative assembly freed from all royalist sympathizers and
controlled by patriots. Finally, upon these colonial assemblies was
built the Continental Congress, the precursor of union under the
Articles of Confederation and ultimately under the Constitution of the
United States. This was the revolutionary government set up within the
British empire in America.

=State Constitutions Framed.=--With the rise of these new assemblies of
the people, the old colonial governments broke down. From the royal
provinces the governor, the judges, and the high officers fled in haste,
and it became necessary to substitute patriot authorities. The appeal to
the colonies advising them to adopt a new form of government for
themselves, issued by the Congress in May, 1776, was quickly acted upon.
Before the expiration of a year, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, and New York had drafted new constitutions
as states, not as colonies uncertain of their destinies. Connecticut and
Rhode Island, holding that their ancient charters were equal to their
needs, merely renounced their allegiance to the king and went on as
before so far as the form of government was concerned. South Carolina,
which had drafted a temporary plan early in 1776, drew up a new and more
complete constitution in 1778. Two years later Massachusetts with much
deliberation put into force its fundamental law, which in most of its
essential features remains unchanged to-day.

The new state constitutions in their broad outlines followed colonial
models. For the royal governor was substituted a governor or president
chosen usually by the legislature; but in two instances, New York and
Massachusetts, by popular vote. For the provincial council there was
substituted, except in Georgia, a senate; while the lower house, or
assembly, was continued virtually without change. The old property
restriction on the suffrage, though lowered slightly in some states, was
continued in full force to the great discontent of the mechanics thus
deprived of the ballot. The special qualifications, laid down in several
constitutions, for governors, senators, and representatives, indicated
that the revolutionary leaders were not prepared for any radical
experiments in democracy. The protests of a few women, like Mrs. John
Adams of Massachusetts and Mrs. Henry Corbin of Virginia, against a
government which excluded them from political rights were treated as
mild curiosities of no significance, although in New Jersey women were
allowed to vote for many years on the same terms as men.

By the new state constitutions the signs and symbols of royal power, of
authority derived from any source save "the people," were swept aside
and republican governments on an imposing scale presented for the first
time to the modern world. Copies of these remarkable documents prepared
by plain citizens were translated into French and widely circulated in
Europe. There they were destined to serve as a guide and inspiration to
a generation of constitution-makers whose mission it was to begin the
democratic revolution in the Old World.

=The Articles of Confederation.=--The formation of state constitutions
was an easy task for the revolutionary leaders. They had only to build
on foundations already laid. The establishment of a national system of
government was another matter. There had always been, it must be
remembered, a system of central control over the colonies, but Americans
had had little experience in its operation. When the supervision of the
crown of Great Britain was suddenly broken, the patriot leaders,
accustomed merely to provincial statesmanship, were poorly trained for
action on a national stage.

Many forces worked against those who, like Franklin, had a vision of
national destiny. There were differences in economic interest--commerce
and industry in the North and the planting system of the South. There
were contests over the apportionment of taxes and the quotas of troops
for common defense. To these practical difficulties were added local
pride, the vested rights of state and village politicians in their
provincial dignity, and the scarcity of men with a large outlook upon
the common enterprise.

Nevertheless, necessity compelled them to consider some sort of
federation. The second Continental Congress had hardly opened its work
before the most sagacious leaders began to urge the desirability of a
permanent connection. As early as July, 1775, Congress resolved to go
into a committee of the whole on the state of the union, and Franklin,
undaunted by the fate of his Albany plan of twenty years before, again
presented a draft of a constitution. Long and desultory debates followed
and it was not until late in 1777 that Congress presented to the states
the Articles of Confederation. Provincial jealousies delayed
ratification, and it was the spring of 1781, a few months before the
surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, when Maryland, the last of the
states, approved the Articles. This plan of union, though it was all
that could be wrung from the reluctant states, provided for neither a
chief executive nor a system of federal courts. It created simply a
Congress of delegates in which each state had an equal voice and gave it
the right to call upon the state legislatures for the sinews of
government--money and soldiers.

=The Application of Tests of Allegiance.=--As the successive steps were
taken in the direction of independent government, the patriots devised
and applied tests designed to discover who were for and who were against
the new nation in the process of making. When the first Continental
Congress agreed not to allow the importation of British goods, it
provided for the creation of local committees to enforce the rules. Such
agencies were duly formed by the choice of men favoring the scheme, all
opponents being excluded from the elections. Before these bodies those
who persisted in buying British goods were summoned and warned or
punished according to circumstances. As soon as the new state
constitutions were put into effect, local committees set to work in the
same way to ferret out all who were not outspoken in their support of
the new order of things.

[Illustration: MOBBING THE TORIES]

These patriot agencies, bearing different names in different sections,
were sometimes ruthless in their methods. They called upon all men to
sign the test of loyalty, frequently known as the "association test."
Those who refused were promptly branded as outlaws, while some of the
more dangerous were thrown into jail. The prison camp in Connecticut at
one time held the former governor of New Jersey and the mayor of New
York. Thousands were black-listed and subjected to espionage. The
black-list of Pennsylvania contained the names of nearly five hundred
persons of prominence who were under suspicion. Loyalists or Tories who
were bold enough to speak and write against the Revolution were
suppressed and their pamphlets burned. In many places, particularly in
the North, the property of the loyalists was confiscated and the
proceeds applied to the cause of the Revolution.

The work of the official agencies for suppression of opposition was
sometimes supplemented by mob violence. A few Tories were hanged without
trial, and others were tarred and feathered. One was placed upon a cake
of ice and held there "until his loyalty to King George might cool."
Whole families were driven out of their homes to find their way as best
they could within the British lines or into Canada, where the British
government gave them lands. Such excesses were deplored by Washington,
but they were defended on the ground that in effect a civil war, as well
as a war for independence, was being waged.

=The Patriots and Tories.=--Thus, by one process or another, those who
were to be citizens of the new republic were separated from those who
preferred to be subjects of King George. Just what proportion of the
Americans favored independence and what share remained loyal to the
British monarchy there is no way of knowing. The question of revolution
was not submitted to popular vote, and on the point of numbers we have
conflicting evidence. On the patriot side, there is the testimony of a
careful and informed observer, John Adams, who asserted that two-thirds
of the people were for the American cause and not more than one-third
opposed the Revolution at all stages.

On behalf of the loyalists, or Tories as they were popularly known,
extravagant claims were made. Joseph Galloway, who had been a member of
the first Continental Congress and had fled to England when he saw its
temper, testified before a committee of Parliament in 1779 that not
one-fifth of the American people supported the insurrection and that
"many more than four-fifths of the people prefer a union with Great
Britain upon constitutional principles to independence." At the same
time General Robertson, who had lived in America twenty-four years,
declared that "more than two-thirds of the people would prefer the
king's government to the Congress' tyranny." In an address to the king
in that year a committee of American loyalists asserted that "the number
of Americans in his Majesty's army exceeded the number of troops
enlisted by Congress to oppose them."

=The Character of the Loyalists.=--When General Howe evacuated Boston,
more than a thousand people fled with him. This great company, according
to a careful historian, "formed the aristocracy of the province by
virtue of their official rank; of their dignified callings and
professions; of their hereditary wealth and of their culture." The act
of banishment passed by Massachusetts in 1778, listing over 300 Tories,
"reads like the social register of the oldest and noblest families of
New England," more than one out of five being graduates of Harvard
College. The same was true of New York and Philadelphia; namely, that
the leading loyalists were prominent officials of the old order,
clergymen and wealthy merchants. With passion the loyalists fought
against the inevitable or with anguish of heart they left as refugees
for a life of uncertainty in Canada or the mother country.

=Tories Assail the Patriots.=--The Tories who remained in America joined
the British army by the thousands or in other ways aided the royal
cause. Those who were skillful with the pen assailed the patriots in
editorials, rhymes, satires, and political catechisms. They declared
that the members of Congress were "obscure, pettifogging attorneys,
bankrupt shopkeepers, outlawed smugglers, etc." The people and their
leaders they characterized as "wretched banditti ... the refuse and
dregs of mankind." The generals in the army they sneered at as "men of
rank and honor nearly on a par with those of the Congress."

=Patriot Writers Arouse the National Spirit.=--Stung by Tory taunts,
patriot writers devoted themselves to creating and sustaining a public
opinion favorable to the American cause. Moreover, they had to combat
the depression that grew out of the misfortunes in the early days of the
war. A terrible disaster befell Generals Arnold and Montgomery in the
winter of 1775 as they attempted to bring Canada into the revolution--a
disaster that cost 5000 men; repeated calamities harassed Washington in
1776 as he was defeated on Long Island, driven out of New York City, and
beaten at Harlem Heights and White Plains. These reverses were almost
too great for the stoutest patriots.

Pamphleteers, preachers, and publicists rose, however, to meet the needs
of the hour. John Witherspoon, provost of the College of New Jersey,
forsook the classroom for the field of political controversy. The poet,
Philip Freneau, flung taunts of cowardice at the Tories and celebrated
the spirit of liberty in many a stirring poem. Songs, ballads, plays,
and satires flowed from the press in an unending stream. Fast days,
battle anniversaries, celebrations of important steps taken by Congress
afforded to patriotic clergymen abundant opportunities for sermons.
"Does Mr. Wiberd preach against oppression?" anxiously inquired John
Adams in a letter to his wife. The answer was decisive. "The clergy of
every denomination, not excepting the Episcopalian, thunder and lighten
every Sabbath. They pray for Boston and Massachusetts. They thank God
most explicitly and fervently for our remarkable successes. They pray
for the American army."

Thomas Paine never let his pen rest. He had been with the forces of
Washington when they retreated from Fort Lee and were harried from New
Jersey into Pennsylvania. He knew the effect of such reverses on the
army as well as on the public. In December, 1776, he made a second great
appeal to his countrymen in his pamphlet, "The Crisis," the first part
of which he had written while defeat and gloom were all about him. This
tract was a cry for continued support of the Revolution. "These are the
times that try men's souls," he opened. "The summer soldier and the
sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his
country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of men
and women." Paine laid his lash fiercely on the Tories, branding every
one as a coward grounded in "servile, slavish, self-interested fear." He
deplored the inadequacy of the militia and called for a real army. He
refuted the charge that the retreat through New Jersey was a disaster
and he promised victory soon. "By perseverance and fortitude," he
concluded, "we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and
submission the sad choice of a variety of evils--a ravaged country, a
depopulated city, habitations without safety and slavery without
hope.... Look on this picture and weep over it." His ringing call to
arms was followed by another and another until the long contest was


=The Two Phases of the War.=--The war which opened with the battle of
Lexington, on April 19, 1775, and closed with the surrender of
Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, passed through two distinct
phases--the first lasting until the treaty of alliance with France, in
1778, and the second until the end of the struggle. During the first
phase, the war was confined mainly to the North. The outstanding
features of the contest were the evacuation of Boston by the British,
the expulsion of American forces from New York and their retreat through
New Jersey, the battle of Trenton, the seizure of Philadelphia by the
British (September, 1777), the invasion of New York by Burgoyne and his
capture at Saratoga in October, 1777, and the encampment of American
forces at Valley Forge for the terrible winter of 1777-78.

The final phase of the war, opening with the treaty of alliance with
France on February 6, 1778, was confined mainly to the Middle states,
the West, and the South. In the first sphere of action the chief events
were the withdrawal of the British from Philadelphia, the battle of
Monmouth, and the inclosure of the British in New York by deploying
American forces from Morristown, New Jersey, up to West Point. In the
West, George Rogers Clark, by his famous march into the Illinois
country, secured Kaskaskia and Vincennes and laid a firm grip on the
country between the Ohio and the Great Lakes. In the South, the second
period opened with successes for the British. They captured Savannah,
conquered Georgia, and restored the royal governor. In 1780 they seized
Charleston, administered a crushing defeat to the American forces under
Gates at Camden, and overran South Carolina, though meeting reverses at
Cowpens and King's Mountain. Then came the closing scenes. Cornwallis
began the last of his operations. He pursued General Greene far into
North Carolina, clashed with him at Guilford Court House, retired to the
coast, took charge of British forces engaged in plundering Virginia, and
fortified Yorktown, where he was penned up by the French fleet from the
sea and the combined French and American forces on land.

=The Geographical Aspects of the War.=--For the British the theater of
the war offered many problems. From first to last it extended from
Massachusetts to Georgia, a distance of almost a thousand miles. It was
nearly three thousand miles from the main base of supplies and, though
the British navy kept the channel open, transports were constantly
falling prey to daring privateers and fleet American war vessels. The
sea, on the other hand, offered an easy means of transportation between
points along the coast and gave ready access to the American centers of
wealth and population. Of this the British made good use. Though early
forced to give up Boston, they seized New York and kept it until the end
of the war; they took Philadelphia and retained it until threatened by
the approach of the French fleet; and they captured and held both
Savannah and Charleston. Wars, however, are seldom won by the conquest
of cities.

Particularly was this true in the case of the Revolution. Only a small
portion of the American people lived in towns. Countrymen back from the
coast were in no way dependent upon them for a livelihood. They lived on
the produce of the soil, not upon the profits of trade. This very fact
gave strength to them in the contest. Whenever the British ventured far
from the ports of entry, they encountered reverses. Burgoyne was forced
to surrender at Saratoga because he was surrounded and cut off from his
base of supplies. As soon as the British got away from Charleston, they
were harassed and worried by the guerrilla warriors of Marion, Sumter,
and Pickens. Cornwallis could technically defeat Greene at Guilford far
in the interior; but he could not hold the inland region he had invaded.
Sustained by their own labor, possessing the interior to which their
armies could readily retreat, supplied mainly from native resources, the
Americans could not be hemmed in, penned up, and destroyed at one fell

=The Sea Power.=--The British made good use of their fleet in cutting
off American trade, but control of the sea did not seriously affect the
United States. As an agricultural country, the ruin of its commerce was
not such a vital matter. All the materials for a comfortable though
somewhat rude life were right at hand. It made little difference to a
nation fighting for existence, if silks, fine linens, and chinaware were
cut off. This was an evil to which submission was necessary.

Nor did the brilliant exploits of John Paul Jones and Captain John Barry
materially change the situation. They demonstrated the skill of American
seamen and their courage as fighting men. They raised the rates of
British marine insurance, but they did not dethrone the mistress of the
seas. Less spectacular, and more distinctive, were the deeds of the
hundreds of privateers and minor captains who overhauled British supply
ships and kept British merchantmen in constant anxiety. Not until the
French fleet was thrown into the scale, were the British compelled to
reckon seriously with the enemy on the sea and make plans based upon the
possibilities of a maritime disaster.

=Commanding Officers.=--On the score of military leadership it is
difficult to compare the contending forces in the revolutionary contest.
There is no doubt that all the British commanders were men of experience
in the art of warfare. Sir William Howe had served in America during the
French War and was accounted an excellent officer, a strict
disciplinarian, and a gallant gentleman. Nevertheless he loved ease,
society, and good living, and his expulsion from Boston, his failure to
overwhelm Washington by sallies from his comfortable bases at New York
and Philadelphia, destroyed every shred of his military reputation. John
Burgoyne, to whom was given the task of penetrating New York from
Canada, had likewise seen service in the French War both in America and
Europe. He had, however, a touch of the theatrical in his nature and
after the collapse of his plans and the surrender of his army in 1777,
he devoted his time mainly to light literature. Sir Henry Clinton, who
directed the movement which ended in the capture of Charleston in 1780,
had "learned his trade on the continent," and was regarded as a man of
discretion and understanding in military matters. Lord Cornwallis, whose
achievements at Camden and Guilford were blotted out by his surrender at
Yorktown, had seen service in the Seven Years' War and had undoubted
talents which he afterward displayed with great credit to himself in
India. Though none of them, perhaps, were men of first-rate ability,
they all had training and experience to guide them.


The Americans had a host in Washington himself. He had long been
interested in military strategy and had tested his coolness under fire
during the first clashes with the French nearly twenty years before. He
had no doubts about the justice of his cause, such as plagued some of
the British generals. He was a stern but reasonable disciplinarian. He
was reserved and patient, little given to exaltation at success or
depression at reverses. In the dark hour of the Revolution, "what held
the patriot forces together?" asks Beveridge in his _Life of John
Marshall_. Then he answers: "George Washington and he alone. Had he
died or been seriously disabled, the Revolution would have ended....
Washington was the soul of the American cause. Washington was the
government. Washington was the Revolution." The weakness of Congress in
furnishing men and supplies, the indolence of civilians, who lived at
ease while the army starved, the intrigues of army officers against him
such as the "Conway cabal," the cowardice of Lee at Monmouth, even the
treason of Benedict Arnold, while they stirred deep emotions in his
breast and aroused him to make passionate pleas to his countrymen, did
not shake his iron will or his firm determination to see the war through
to the bitter end. The weight of Washington's moral force was

Of the generals who served under him, none can really be said to have
been experienced military men when the war opened. Benedict Arnold, the
unhappy traitor but brave and daring soldier, was a druggist, book
seller, and ship owner at New Haven when the news of Lexington called
him to battle. Horatio Gates was looked upon as a "seasoned soldier"
because he had entered the British army as a youth, had been wounded at
Braddock's memorable defeat, and had served with credit during the Seven
Years' War; but he was the most conspicuous failure of the Revolution.
The triumph over Burgoyne was the work of other men; and his crushing
defeat at Camden put an end to his military pretensions. Nathanael
Greene was a Rhode Island farmer and smith without military experience
who, when convinced that war was coming, read Cæsar's _Commentaries_ and
took up the sword. Francis Marion was a shy and modest planter of South
Carolina whose sole passage at arms had been a brief but desperate brush
with the Indians ten or twelve years earlier. Daniel Morgan, one of the
heroes of Cowpens, had been a teamster with Braddock's army and had seen
some fighting during the French and Indian War, but his military
knowledge, from the point of view of a trained British officer, was
negligible. John Sullivan was a successful lawyer at Durham, New
Hampshire, and a major in the local militia when duty summoned him to
lay down his briefs and take up the sword. Anthony Wayne was a
Pennsylvania farmer and land surveyor who, on hearing the clash of arms,
read a few books on war, raised a regiment, and offered himself for
service. Such is the story of the chief American military leaders, and
it is typical of them all. Some had seen fighting with the French and
Indians, but none of them had seen warfare on a large scale with regular
troops commanded according to the strategy evolved in European
experience. Courage, native ability, quickness of mind, and knowledge of
the country they had in abundance, and in battles such as were fought
during the Revolution all those qualities counted heavily in the

=Foreign Officers in American Service.=--To native genius was added
military talent from beyond the seas. Baron Steuben, well schooled in
the iron régime of Frederick the Great, came over from Prussia, joined
Washington at Valley Forge, and day after day drilled and manoeuvered the
men, laughing and cursing as he turned raw countrymen into regular
soldiers. From France came young Lafayette and the stern De Kalb, from
Poland came Pulaski and Kosciusko;--all acquainted with the arts of war
as waged in Europe and fitted for leadership as well as teaching.
Lafayette came early, in 1776, in a ship of his own, accompanied by
several officers of wide experience, and remained loyally throughout the
war sharing the hardships of American army life. Pulaski fell at the
siege of Savannah and De Kalb at Camden. Kosciusko survived the American
war to defend in vain the independence of his native land. To these
distinguished foreigners, who freely threw in their lot with American
revolutionary fortunes, was due much of that spirit and discipline which
fitted raw recruits and temperamental militiamen to cope with a military
power of the first rank.

=The Soldiers.=--As far as the British soldiers were concerned their
annals are short and simple. The regulars from the standing army who
were sent over at the opening of the contest, the recruits drummed up
by special efforts at home, and the thousands of Hessians bought
outright by King George presented few problems of management to the
British officers. These common soldiers were far away from home and
enlisted for the war. Nearly all of them were well disciplined and many
of them experienced in actual campaigns. The armies of King George
fought bravely, as the records of Bunker Hill, Brandywine, and Monmouth
demonstrate. Many a man and subordinate officer and, for that matter,
some of the high officers expressed a reluctance at fighting against
their own kin; but they obeyed orders.

The Americans, on the other hand, while they fought with grim
determination, as men fighting for their homes, were lacking in
discipline and in the experience of regular troops. When the war broke
in upon them, there were no common preparations for it. There was no
continental army; there were only local bands of militiamen, many of
them experienced in fighting but few of them "regulars" in the military
sense. Moreover they were volunteers serving for a short time,
unaccustomed to severe discipline, and impatient at the restraints
imposed on them by long and arduous campaigns. They were continually
leaving the service just at the most critical moments. "The militia,"
lamented Washington, "come in, you cannot tell how; go, you cannot tell
where; consume your provisions; exhaust your stores; and leave you at
last at a critical moment."

Again and again Washington begged Congress to provide for an army of
regulars enlisted for the war, thoroughly trained and paid according to
some definite plan. At last he was able to overcome, in part at least,
the chronic fear of civilians in Congress and to wring from that
reluctant body an agreement to grant half pay to all officers and a
bonus to all privates who served until the end of the war. Even this
scheme, which Washington regarded as far short of justice to the
soldiers, did not produce quick results. It was near the close of the
conflict before he had an army of well-disciplined veterans capable of
meeting British regulars on equal terms.

Though there were times when militiamen and frontiersmen did valiant and
effective work, it is due to historical accuracy to deny the
time-honored tradition that a few minutemen overwhelmed more numerous
forces of regulars in a seven years' war for independence. They did
nothing of the sort. For the victories of Bennington, Trenton, Saratoga,
and Yorktown there were the defeats of Bunker Hill, Long Island, White
Plains, Germantown, and Camden. Not once did an army of militiamen
overcome an equal number of British regulars in an open trial by battle.
"To bring men to be well acquainted with the duties of a soldier," wrote
Washington, "requires time.... To expect the same service from raw and
undisciplined recruits as from veteran soldiers is to expect what never
did and perhaps never will happen."

=How the War Was Won.=--Then how did the American army win the war? For
one thing there were delays and blunders on the part of the British
generals who, in 1775 and 1776, dallied in Boston and New York with
large bodies of regular troops when they might have been dealing
paralyzing blows at the scattered bands that constituted the American
army. "Nothing but the supineness or folly of the enemy could have saved
us," solemnly averred Washington in 1780. Still it is fair to say that
this apparent supineness was not all due to the British generals. The
ministers behind them believed that a large part of the colonists were
loyal and that compromise would be promoted by inaction rather than by a
war vigorously prosecuted. Victory by masterly inactivity was obviously
better than conquest, and the slighter the wounds the quicker the
healing. Later in the conflict when the seasoned forces of France were
thrown into the scale, the Americans themselves had learned many things
about the practical conduct of campaigns. All along, the British were
embarrassed by the problem of supplies. Their troops could not forage
with the skill of militiamen, as they were in unfamiliar territory. The
long oversea voyages were uncertain at best and doubly so when the
warships of France joined the American privateers in preying on supply

The British were in fact battered and worn down by a guerrilla war and
outdone on two important occasions by superior forces--at Saratoga and
Yorktown. Stern facts convinced them finally that an immense army, which
could be raised only by a supreme effort, would be necessary to subdue
the colonies if that hazardous enterprise could be accomplished at all.
They learned also that America would then be alienated, fretful, and the
scene of endless uprisings calling for an army of occupation. That was a
price which staggered even Lord North and George III. Moreover, there
were forces of opposition at home with which they had to reckon.

=Women and the War.=--At no time were the women of America indifferent
to the struggle for independence. When it was confined to the realm of
opinion they did their part in creating public sentiment. Mrs. Elizabeth
Timothee, for example, founded in Charleston, in 1773, a newspaper to
espouse the cause of the province. Far to the north the sister of James
Otis, Mrs. Mercy Warren, early begged her countrymen to rest their case
upon their natural rights, and in influential circles she urged the
leaders to stand fast by their principles. While John Adams was tossing
about with uncertainty at the Continental Congress, his wife was writing
letters to him declaring her faith in "independency."

When the war came down upon the country, women helped in every field. In
sustaining public sentiment they were active. Mrs. Warren with a
tireless pen combatted loyalist propaganda in many a drama and satire.
Almost every revolutionary leader had a wife or daughter who rendered
service in the "second line of defense." Mrs. Washington managed the
plantation while the General was at the front and went north to face the
rigors of the awful winter at Valley Forge--an inspiration to her
husband and his men. The daughter of Benjamin Franklin, Mrs. Sarah
Bache, while her father was pleading the American cause in France, set
the women of Pennsylvania to work sewing and collecting supplies. Even
near the firing line women were to be found, aiding the wounded, hauling
powder to the front, and carrying dispatches at the peril of their

In the economic sphere, the work of women was invaluable. They harvested
crops without enjoying the picturesque title of "farmerettes" and they
canned and preserved for the wounded and the prisoners of war. Of their
labor in spinning and weaving it is recorded: "Immediately on being cut
off from the use of English manufactures, the women engaged within their
own families in manufacturing various kinds of cloth for domestic use.
They thus kept their households decently clad and the surplus of their
labors they sold to such as chose to buy rather than make for
themselves. In this way the female part of families by their industry
and strict economy frequently supported the whole domestic circle,
evincing the strength of their attachment and the value of their

For their war work, women were commended by high authorities on more
than one occasion. They were given medals and public testimonials even
as in our own day. Washington thanked them for their labors and paid
tribute to them for the inspiration and material aid which they had
given to the cause of independence.


When the Revolution opened, there were thirteen little treasuries in
America but no common treasury, and from first to last the Congress was
in the position of a beggar rather than a sovereign. Having no authority
to lay and collect taxes directly and knowing the hatred of the
provincials for taxation, it resorted mainly to loans and paper money to
finance the war. "Do you think," boldly inquired one of the delegates,
"that I will consent to load my constituents with taxes when we can send
to the printer and get a wagon load of money, one quire of which will
pay for the whole?"

=Paper Money and Loans.=--Acting on this curious but appealing political
economy, Congress issued in June, 1776, two million dollars in bills of
credit to be redeemed by the states on the basis of their respective
populations. Other issues followed in quick succession. In all about
$241,000,000 of continental paper was printed, to which the several
states added nearly $210,000,000 of their own notes. Then came
interest-bearing bonds in ever increasing quantities. Several millions
were also borrowed from France and small sums from Holland and Spain. In
desperation a national lottery was held, producing meager results. The
property of Tories was confiscated and sold, bringing in about
$16,000,000. Begging letters were sent to the states asking them to
raise revenues for the continental treasury, but the states, burdened
with their own affairs, gave little heed.

=Inflation and Depreciation.=--As paper money flowed from the press, it
rapidly declined in purchasing power until in 1779 a dollar was worth
only two or three cents in gold or silver. Attempts were made by
Congress and the states to compel people to accept the notes at face
value; but these were like attempts to make water flow uphill.
Speculators collected at once to fatten on the calamities of the
republic. Fortunes were made and lost gambling on the prices of public
securities while the patriot army, half clothed, was freezing at Valley
Forge. "Speculation, peculation, engrossing, forestalling," exclaimed
Washington, "afford too many melancholy proofs of the decay of public
virtue. Nothing, I am convinced, but the depreciation of our currency
... aided by stock jobbing and party dissensions has fed the hopes of
the enemy."

=The Patriot Financiers.=--To the efforts of Congress in financing the
war were added the labors of private citizens. Hayn Solomon, a merchant
of Philadelphia, supplied members of Congress, including Madison,
Jefferson, and Monroe, and army officers, like Lee and Steuben, with
money for their daily needs. All together he contributed the huge sum of
half a million dollars to the American cause and died broken in purse,
if not in spirit, a British prisoner of war. Another Philadelphia
merchant, Robert Morris, won for himself the name of the "patriot
financier" because he labored night and day to find the money to meet
the bills which poured in upon the bankrupt government. When his own
funds were exhausted, he borrowed from his friends. Experienced in the
handling of merchandise, he created agencies at important points to
distribute supplies to the troops, thus displaying administrative as
well as financial talents.

[Illustration: ROBERT MORRIS]

Women organized "drives" for money, contributed their plate and their
jewels, and collected from door to door. Farmers took worthless paper in
return for their produce, and soldiers saw many a pay day pass without
yielding them a penny. Thus by the labors and sacrifices of citizens,
the issuance of paper money, lotteries, the floating of loans,
borrowings in Europe, and the impressment of supplies, the Congress
staggered through the Revolution like a pauper who knows not how his
next meal is to be secured but is continuously relieved at a crisis by a
kindly fate.


When the full measure of honor is given to the soldiers and sailors and
their commanding officers, the civilians who managed finances and
supplies, the writers who sustained the American spirit, and the women
who did well their part, there yet remains the duty of recognizing the
achievements of diplomacy. The importance of this field of activity was
keenly appreciated by the leaders in the Continental Congress. They were
fairly well versed in European history. They knew of the balance of
power and the sympathies, interests, and prejudices of nations and their
rulers. All this information they turned to good account, in opening
relations with continental countries and seeking money, supplies, and
even military assistance. For the transaction of this delicate business,
they created a secret committee on foreign correspondence as early as
1775 and prepared to send agents abroad.

=American Agents Sent Abroad.=--Having heard that France was inclining a
friendly ear to the American cause, the Congress, in March, 1776, sent a
commissioner to Paris, Silas Deane of Connecticut, often styled the
"first American diplomat." Later in the year a form of treaty to be
presented to foreign powers was drawn up, and Franklin, Arthur Lee, and
Deane were selected as American representatives at the court of "His
Most Christian Majesty the King of France." John Jay of New York was
chosen minister to Spain in 1779; John Adams was sent to Holland the
same year; and other agents were dispatched to Florence, Vienna, and
Berlin. The representative selected for St. Petersburg spent two
fruitless years there, "ignored by the court, living in obscurity and
experiencing nothing but humiliation and failure." Frederick the Great,
king of Prussia, expressed a desire to find in America a market for
Silesian linens and woolens, but, fearing England's command of the sea,
he refused to give direct aid to the Revolutionary cause.

=Early French Interest.=--The great diplomatic triumph of the Revolution
was won at Paris, and Benjamin Franklin was the hero of the occasion,
although many circumstances prepared the way for his success. Louis
XVI's foreign minister, Count de Vergennes, before the arrival of any
American representative, had brought to the attention of the king the
opportunity offered by the outbreak of the war between England and her
colonies. He showed him how France could redress her grievances and
"reduce the power and greatness of England"--the empire that in 1763 had
forced upon her a humiliating peace "at the price of our possessions,
of our commerce, and our credit in the Indies, at the price of Canada,
Louisiana, Isle Royale, Acadia, and Senegal." Equally successful in
gaining the king's interest was a curious French adventurer,
Beaumarchais, a man of wealth, a lover of music, and the author of two
popular plays, "Figaro" and "The Barber of Seville." These two men had
already urged upon the king secret aid for America before Deane appeared
on the scene. Shortly after his arrival they made confidential
arrangements to furnish money, clothing, powder, and other supplies to
the struggling colonies, although official requests for them were
officially refused by the French government.

=Franklin at Paris.=--When Franklin reached Paris, he was received only
in private by the king's minister, Vergennes. The French people,
however, made manifest their affection for the "plain republican" in
"his full dress suit of spotted Manchester velvet." He was known among
men of letters as an author, a scientist, and a philosopher of
extraordinary ability. His "Poor Richard" had thrice been translated
into French and was scattered in numerous editions throughout the
kingdom. People of all ranks--ministers, ladies at court, philosophers,
peasants, and stable boys--knew of Franklin and wished him success in
his mission. The queen, Marie Antoinette, fated to lose her head in a
revolution soon to follow, played with fire by encouraging "our dear

For the king of France, however, this was more serious business. England
resented the presence of this "traitor" in Paris, and Louis had to be
cautious about plunging into another war that might also end
disastrously. Moreover, the early period of Franklin's sojourn in Paris
was a dark hour for the American Revolution. Washington's brilliant
exploit at Trenton on Christmas night, 1776, and the battle with
Cornwallis at Princeton had been followed by the disaster at Brandywine,
the loss of Philadelphia, the defeat at Germantown, and the retirement
to Valley Forge for the winter of 1777-78. New York City and
Philadelphia--two strategic ports--were in British hands; the Hudson
and Delaware rivers were blocked; and General Burgoyne with his British
troops was on his way down through the heart of northern New York,
cutting New England off from the rest of the colonies. No wonder the
king was cautious. Then the unexpected happened. Burgoyne, hemmed in
from all sides by the American forces, his flanks harried, his foraging
parties beaten back, his supplies cut off, surrendered on October 17,
1777, to General Gates, who had superseded General Schuyler in time to
receive the honor.

=Treaties of Alliance and Commerce (1778).=--News of this victory,
placed by historians among the fifteen decisive battles of the world,
reached Franklin one night early in December while he and some friends
sat gloomily at dinner. Beaumarchais, who was with him, grasped at once
the meaning of the situation and set off to the court at Versailles with
such haste that he upset his coach and dislocated his arm. The king and
his ministers were at last convinced that the hour had come to aid the
Revolution. Treaties of commerce and alliance were drawn up and signed
in February, 1778. The independence of the United States was recognized
by France and an alliance was formed to guarantee that independence.
Combined military action was agreed upon and Louis then formally
declared war on England. Men who had, a few short years before, fought
one another in the wilderness of Pennsylvania or on the Plains of
Abraham, were now ranged side by side in a war on the Empire that Pitt
had erected and that George III was pulling down.

=Spain and Holland Involved.=--Within a few months, Spain, remembering
the steady decline of her sea power since the days of the Armada and
hoping to drive the British out of Gibraltar, once more joined the
concert of nations against England. Holland, a member of a league of
armed neutrals formed in protest against British searches on the high
seas, sent her fleet to unite with the forces of Spain, France, and
America to prey upon British commerce. To all this trouble for England
was added the danger of a possible revolt in Ireland, where the spirit
of independence was flaming up.

=The British Offer Terms to America.=--Seeing the colonists about to be
joined by France in a common war on the English empire, Lord North
proposed, in February, 1778, a renewal of negotiations. By solemn
enactment, Parliament declared its intention not to exercise the right
of imposing taxes within the colonies; at the same time it authorized
the opening of negotiations through commissioners to be sent to America.
A truce was to be established, pardons granted, objectionable laws
suspended, and the old imperial constitution, as it stood before the
opening of hostilities, restored to full vigor. It was too late. Events
had taken the affairs of America out of the hands of British
commissioners and diplomats.

=Effects of French Aid.=--The French alliance brought ships of war,
large sums of gold and silver, loads of supplies, and a considerable
body of trained soldiers to the aid of the Americans. Timely as was this
help, it meant no sudden change in the fortunes of war. The British
evacuated Philadelphia in the summer following the alliance, and
Washington's troops were encouraged to come out of Valley Forge. They
inflicted a heavy blow on the British at Monmouth, but the treasonable
conduct of General Charles Lee prevented a triumph. The recovery of
Philadelphia was offset by the treason of Benedict Arnold, the loss of
Savannah and Charleston (1780), and the defeat of Gates at Camden.

The full effect of the French alliance was not felt until 1781, when
Cornwallis went into Virginia and settled at Yorktown. Accompanied by
French troops Washington swept rapidly southward and penned the British
to the shore while a powerful French fleet shut off their escape by sea.
It was this movement, which certainly could not have been executed
without French aid, that put an end to all chance of restoring British
dominion in America. It was the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown that
caused Lord North to pace the floor and cry out: "It is all over! It is
all over!" What might have been done without the French alliance lies
hidden from mankind. What was accomplished with the help of French
soldiers, sailors, officers, money, and supplies, is known to all the
earth. "All the world agree," exultantly wrote Franklin from Paris to
General Washington, "that no expedition was ever better planned or
better executed. It brightens the glory that must accompany your name to
the latest posterity." Diplomacy as well as martial valor had its


=British Opposition to the War.=--In measuring the forces that led to
the final discomfiture of King George and Lord North, it is necessary to
remember that from the beginning to the end the British ministry at home
faced a powerful, informed, and relentless opposition. There were
vigorous protests, first against the obnoxious acts which precipitated
the unhappy quarrel, then against the way in which the war was waged,
and finally against the futile struggle to retain a hold upon the
American dominions. Among the members of Parliament who thundered
against the government were the first statesmen and orators of the land.
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, though he deplored the idea of American
independence, denounced the government as the aggressor and rejoiced in
American resistance. Edmund Burke leveled his heavy batteries against
every measure of coercion and at last strove for a peace which, while
giving independence to America, would work for reconciliation rather
than estrangement. Charles James Fox gave the colonies his generous
sympathy and warmly championed their rights. Outside of the circle of
statesmen there were stout friends of the American cause like David
Hume, the philosopher and historian, and Catherine Macaulay, an author
of wide fame and a republican bold enough to encourage Washington in
seeing it through.

Against this powerful opposition, the government enlisted a whole army
of scribes and journalists to pour out criticism on the Americans and
their friends. Dr. Samuel Johnson, whom it employed in this business,
was so savage that even the ministers had to tone down his pamphlets
before printing them. Far more weighty was Edward Gibbon, who was in
time to win fame as the historian of the _Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire_. He had at first opposed the government; but, on being given a
lucrative post, he used his sharp pen in its support, causing his
friends to ridicule him in these lines:

    "King George, in a fright
     Lest Gibbon should write
       The story of England's disgrace,
     Thought no way so sure
     His pen to secure
       As to give the historian a place."

=Lord North Yields.=--As time wore on, events bore heavily on the side
of the opponents of the government's measures. They had predicted that
conquest was impossible, and they had urged the advantages of a peace
which would in some measure restore the affections of the Americans.
Every day's news confirmed their predictions and lent support to their
arguments. Moreover, the war, which sprang out of an effort to relieve
English burdens, made those burdens heavier than ever. Military expenses
were daily increasing. Trade with the colonies, the greatest single
outlet for British goods and capital, was paralyzed. The heavy debts due
British merchants in America were not only unpaid but postponed into an
indefinite future. Ireland was on the verge of revolution. The French
had a dangerous fleet on the high seas. In vain did the king assert in
December, 1781, that no difficulties would ever make him consent to a
peace that meant American independence. Parliament knew better, and on
February 27, 1782, in the House of Commons was carried an address to the
throne against continuing the war. Burke, Fox, the younger Pitt, Barré,
and other friends of the colonies voted in the affirmative. Lord North
gave notice then that his ministry was at an end. The king moaned:
"Necessity made me yield."

In April, 1782, Franklin received word from the English government that
it was prepared to enter into negotiations leading to a settlement. This
was embarrassing. In the treaty of alliance with France, the United
States had promised that peace should be a joint affair agreed to by
both nations in open conference. Finding France, however, opposed to
some of their claims respecting boundaries and fisheries, the American
commissioners conferred with the British agents at Paris without
consulting the French minister. They actually signed a preliminary peace
draft before they informed him of their operations. When Vergennes
reproached him, Franklin replied that they "had been guilty of
neglecting _bienséance_ [good manners] but hoped that the great work
would not be ruined by a single indiscretion."

=The Terms of Peace (1783).=--The general settlement at Paris in 1783
was a triumph for America. England recognized the independence of the
United States, naming each state specifically, and agreed to boundaries
extending from the Atlantic to the Mississippi and from the Great Lakes
to the Floridas. England held Canada, Newfoundland, and the West Indies
intact, made gains in India, and maintained her supremacy on the seas.
Spain won Florida and Minorca but not the coveted Gibraltar. France
gained nothing important save the satisfaction of seeing England humbled
and the colonies independent.

The generous terms secured by the American commission at Paris called
forth surprise and gratitude in the United States and smoothed the way
for a renewal of commercial relations with the mother country. At the
same time they gave genuine anxiety to European diplomats. "This federal
republic is born a pigmy," wrote the Spanish ambassador to his royal
master. "A day will come when it will be a giant; even a colossus
formidable to these countries. Liberty of conscience and the facility
for establishing a new population on immense lands, as well as the
advantages of the new government, will draw thither farmers and artisans
from all the nations. In a few years we shall watch with grief the
tyrannical existence of the same colossus."



The independence of the American colonies was foreseen by many European
statesmen as they watched the growth of their population, wealth, and
power; but no one could fix the hour of the great event. Until 1763 the
American colonists lived fairly happily under British dominion. There
were collisions from time to time, of course. Royal governors clashed
with stiff-necked colonial legislatures. There were protests against the
exercise of the king's veto power in specific cases. Nevertheless, on
the whole, the relations between America and the mother country were
more amicable in 1763 than at any period under the Stuart régime which
closed in 1688.

The crash, when it came, was not deliberately willed by any one. It was
the product of a number of forces that happened to converge about 1763.
Three years before, there had come to the throne George III, a young,
proud, inexperienced, and stubborn king. For nearly fifty years his
predecessors, Germans as they were in language and interest, had allowed
things to drift in England and America. George III decided that he would
be king in fact as well as in name. About the same time England brought
to a close the long and costly French and Indian War and was staggering
under a heavy burden of debt and taxes. The war had been fought partly
in defense of the American colonies and nothing seemed more reasonable
to English statesmen than the idea that the colonies should bear part of
the cost of their own defense. At this juncture there came into
prominence, in royal councils, two men bent on taxing America and
controlling her trade, Grenville and Townshend. The king was willing,
the English taxpayers were thankful for any promise of relief, and
statesmen were found to undertake the experiment. England therefore set
out upon a new course. She imposed taxes upon the colonists, regulated
their trade and set royal officers upon them to enforce the law. This
action evoked protests from the colonists. They held a Stamp Act
Congress to declare their rights and petition for a redress of
grievances. Some of the more restless spirits rioted in the streets,
sacked the houses of the king's officers, and tore up the stamped paper.

Frightened by uprising, the English government drew back and repealed
the Stamp Act. Then it veered again and renewed its policy of
interference. Interference again called forth American protests.
Protests aroused sharper retaliation. More British regulars were sent
over to keep order. More irritating laws were passed by Parliament.
Rioting again appeared: tea was dumped in the harbor of Boston and
seized in the harbor of Charleston. The British answer was more force.
The response of the colonists was a Continental Congress for defense. An
unexpected and unintended clash of arms at Lexington and Concord in the
spring of 1775 brought forth from the king of England a proclamation:
"The Americans are rebels!"

The die was cast. The American Revolution had begun. Washington was made
commander-in-chief. Armies were raised, money was borrowed, a huge
volume of paper currency was issued, and foreign aid was summoned.
Franklin plied his diplomatic arts at Paris until in 1778 he induced
France to throw her sword into the balance. Three years later,
Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown. In 1783, by the formal treaty of
peace, George III acknowledged the independence of the United States.
The new nation, endowed with an imperial domain stretching from the
Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, began its career among the
sovereign powers of the earth.

In the sphere of civil government, the results of the Revolution were
equally remarkable. Royal officers and royal authorities were driven
from the former dominions. All power was declared to be in the people.
All the colonies became states, each with its own constitution or plan
of government. The thirteen states were united in common bonds under the
Articles of Confederation. A republic on a large scale was instituted.
Thus there was begun an adventure in popular government such as the
world had never seen. Could it succeed or was it destined to break down
and be supplanted by a monarchy? The fate of whole continents hung upon
the answer.


J. Fiske, _The American Revolution_ (2 vols.).

H. Lodge, _Life of Washington_ (2 vols.).

W. Sumner, _The Financier and the Finances of the American Revolution_.

O. Trevelyan, _The American Revolution_ (4 vols.). A sympathetic account
by an English historian.

M.C. Tyler, _Literary History of the American Revolution_ (2 vols.).

C.H. Van Tyne, _The American Revolution_ (American Nation Series) and
_The Loyalists in the American Revolution_.


1. What was the non-importation agreement? By what body was it adopted?
Why was it revolutionary in character?

2. Contrast the work of the first and second Continental Congresses.

3. Why did efforts at conciliation fail?

4. Trace the growth of American independence from opinion to the sphere
of action.

5. Why is the Declaration of Independence an "immortal" document?

6. What was the effect of the Revolution on colonial governments? On
national union?

7. Describe the contest between "Patriots" and "Tories."

8. What topics are considered under "military affairs"? Discuss each in

9. Contrast the American forces with the British forces and show how the
war was won.

10. Compare the work of women in the Revolutionary War with their labors
in the World War (1917-18).

11. How was the Revolution financed?

12. Why is diplomacy important in war? Describe the diplomatic triumph
of the Revolution.

13. What was the nature of the opposition in England to the war?

14. Give the events connected with the peace settlement; the terms of

=Research Topics=

=The Spirit of America.=--Woodrow Wilson, _History of the American
People_, Vol. II, pp. 98-126.

=American Rights.=--Draw up a table showing all the principles laid down
by American leaders in (1) the Resolves of the First Continental
Congress, Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp. 162-166; (2) the
Declaration of the Causes and the Necessity of Taking Up Arms,
Macdonald, pp. 176-183; and (3) the Declaration of Independence.

=The Declaration of Independence.=--Fiske, _The American Revolution_,
Vol. I, pp. 147-197. Elson, _History of the United States_, pp. 250-254.

=Diplomacy and the French Alliance.=--Hart, _American History Told by
Contemporaries_, Vol. II, pp. 574-590. Fiske, Vol. II, pp. 1-24.
Callender, _Economic History of the United States_, pp. 159-168; Elson,
pp. 275-280.

=Biographical Studies.=--Washington, Franklin, Samuel Adams, Patrick
Henry, Thomas Jefferson--emphasizing the peculiar services of each.

=The Tories.=--Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. II, pp. 470-480.

=Valley Forge.=--Fiske, Vol. II, pp. 25-49.

=The Battles of the Revolution.=--Elson, pp. 235-317.

=An English View of the Revolution.=--Green, _Short History of England_,
Chap. X, Sect. 2.

=English Opinion and the Revolution.=--Trevelyan, _The American
Revolution_, Vol. III (or Part 2, Vol. II), Chaps. XXIV-XXVII.





The rise of a young republic composed of thirteen states, each governed
by officials popularly elected under constitutions drafted by "the plain
people," was the most significant feature of the eighteenth century. The
majority of the patriots whose labors and sacrifices had made this
possible naturally looked upon their work and pronounced it good. Those
Americans, however, who peered beneath the surface of things, saw that
the Declaration of Independence, even if splendidly phrased, and paper
constitutions, drawn by finest enthusiasm "uninstructed by experience,"
could not alone make the republic great and prosperous or even free. All
around them they saw chaos in finance and in industry and perils for the
immediate future.

=The Weakness of the Articles of Confederation.=--The government under
the Articles of Confederation had neither the strength nor the resources
necessary to cope with the problems of reconstruction left by the war.
The sole organ of government was a Congress composed of from two to
seven members from each state chosen as the legislature might direct and
paid by the state. In determining all questions, each state had one
vote--Delaware thus enjoying the same weight as Virginia. There was no
president to enforce the laws. Congress was given power to select a
committee of thirteen--one from each state--to act as an executive body
when it was not in session; but this device, on being tried out, proved
a failure. There was no system of national courts to which citizens and
states could appeal for the protection of their rights or through which
they could compel obedience to law. The two great powers of government,
military and financial, were withheld. Congress, it is true, could
authorize expenditures but had to rely upon the states for the payment
of contributions to meet its bills. It could also order the
establishment of an army, but it could only request the states to supply
their respective quotas of soldiers. It could not lay taxes nor bring
any pressure to bear upon a single citizen in the whole country. It
could act only through the medium of the state governments.

=Financial and Commercial Disorders.=--In the field of public finance,
the disorders were pronounced. The huge debt incurred during the war was
still outstanding. Congress was unable to pay either the interest or the
principal. Public creditors were in despair, as the market value of
their bonds sank to twenty-five or even ten cents on the dollar. The
current bills of Congress were unpaid. As some one complained, there was
not enough money in the treasury to buy pen and ink with which to record
the transactions of the shadow legislature. The currency was in utter
chaos. Millions of dollars in notes issued by Congress had become mere
trash worth a cent or two on the dollar. There was no other expression
of contempt so forceful as the popular saying: "not worth a
Continental." To make matters worse, several of the states were pouring
new streams of paper money from the press. Almost the only good money in
circulation consisted of English, French, and Spanish coins, and the
public was even defrauded by them because money changers were busy
clipping and filing away the metal. Foreign commerce was unsettled. The
entire British system of trade discrimination was turned against the
Americans, and Congress, having no power to regulate foreign commerce,
was unable to retaliate or to negotiate treaties which it could enforce.
Domestic commerce was impeded by the jealousies of the states, which
erected tariff barriers against their neighbors. The condition of the
currency made the exchange of money and goods extremely difficult, and,
as if to increase the confusion, backward states enacted laws hindering
the prompt collection of debts within their borders--an evil which
nothing but a national system of courts could cure.

=Congress in Disrepute.=--With treaties set at naught by the states, the
laws unenforced, the treasury empty, and the public credit gone, the
Congress of the United States fell into utter disrepute. It called upon
the states to pay their quotas of money into the treasury, only to be
treated with contempt. Even its own members looked upon it as a solemn
futility. Some of the ablest men refused to accept election to it, and
many who did take the doubtful honor failed to attend the sessions.
Again and again it was impossible to secure a quorum for the transaction
of business.

=Troubles of the State Governments.=--The state governments, free to
pursue their own course with no interference from without, had almost as
many difficulties as the Congress. They too were loaded with
revolutionary debts calling for heavy taxes upon an already restive
population. Oppressed by their financial burdens and discouraged by the
fall in prices which followed the return of peace, the farmers of
several states joined in a concerted effort and compelled their
legislatures to issue large sums of paper money. The currency fell in
value, but nevertheless it was forced on unwilling creditors to square
old accounts.

In every part of the country legislative action fluctuated violently.
Laws were made one year only to be repealed the next and reënacted the
third year. Lands were sold by one legislature and the sales were
canceled by its successor. Uncertainty and distrust were the natural
consequences. Men of substance longed for some power that would forbid
states to issue bills of credit, to make paper money legal tender in
payment of debts, or to impair the obligation of contracts. Men heavily
in debt, on the other hand, urged even more drastic action against

So great did the discontent of the farmers in New Hampshire become in
1786 that a mob surrounded the legislature, demanding a repeal of the
taxes and the issuance of paper money. It was with difficulty that an
armed rebellion was avoided. In Massachusetts the malcontents, under the
leadership of Daniel Shays, a captain in the Revolutionary army,
organized that same year open resistance to the government of the state.
Shays and his followers protested against the conduct of creditors in
foreclosing mortgages upon the debt-burdened farmers, against the
lawyers for increasing the costs of legal proceedings, against the
senate of the state the members of which were apportioned among the
towns on the basis of the amount of taxes paid, against heavy taxes, and
against the refusal of the legislature to issue paper money. They seized
the towns of Worcester and Springfield and broke up the courts of
justice. All through the western part of the state the revolt spread,
sending a shock of alarm to every center and section of the young
republic. Only by the most vigorous action was Governor Bowdoin able to
quell the uprising; and when that task was accomplished, the state
government did not dare to execute any of the prisoners because they had
so many sympathizers. Moreover, Bowdoin and several members of the
legislature who had been most zealous in their attacks on the insurgents
were defeated at the ensuing election. The need of national assistance
for state governments in times of domestic violence was everywhere
emphasized by men who were opposed to revolutionary acts.

=Alarm over Dangers to the Republic.=--Leading American citizens,
watching the drift of affairs, were slowly driven to the conclusion that
the new ship of state so proudly launched a few years before was
careening into anarchy. "The facts of our peace and independence," wrote
a friend of Washington, "do not at present wear so promising an
appearance as I had fondly painted in my mind. The prejudices,
jealousies, and turbulence of the people at times almost stagger my
confidence in our political establishments; and almost occasion me to
think that they will show themselves unworthy of the noble prize for
which we have contended."

Washington himself was profoundly discouraged. On hearing of Shays's
rebellion, he exclaimed: "What, gracious God, is man that there should
be such inconsistency and perfidiousness in his conduct! It is but the
other day that we were shedding our blood to obtain the constitutions
under which we now live--constitutions of our own choice and making--and
now we are unsheathing our sword to overturn them." The same year he
burst out in a lament over rumors of restoring royal government. "I am
told that even respectable characters speak of a monarchical government
without horror. From thinking proceeds speaking. Hence to acting is
often but a single step. But how irresistible and tremendous! What a
triumph for our enemies to verify their predictions! What a triumph for
the advocates of despotism to find that we are incapable of governing

=Congress Attempts Some Reforms.=--The Congress was not indifferent to
the events that disturbed Washington. On the contrary it put forth many
efforts to check tendencies so dangerous to finance, commerce,
industries, and the Confederation itself. In 1781, even before the
treaty of peace was signed, the Congress, having found out how futile
were its taxing powers, carried a resolution of amendment to the
Articles of Confederation, authorizing the levy of a moderate duty on
imports. Yet this mild measure was rejected by the states. Two years
later the Congress prepared another amendment sanctioning the levy of
duties on imports, to be collected this time by state officers and
applied to the payment of the public debt. This more limited proposal,
designed to save public credit, likewise failed. In 1786, the Congress
made a third appeal to the states for help, declaring that they had been
so irregular and so negligent in paying their quotas that further
reliance upon that mode of raising revenues was dishonorable and


=Hamilton and Washington Urge Reform.=--The attempts at reform by the
Congress were accompanied by demand for, both within and without that
body, a convention to frame a new plan of government. In 1780, the
youthful Alexander Hamilton, realizing the weakness of the Articles, so
widely discussed, proposed a general convention for the purpose of
drafting a new constitution on entirely different principles. With
tireless energy he strove to bring his countrymen to his view.
Washington, agreeing with him on every point, declared, in a circular
letter to the governors, that the duration of the union would be short
unless there was lodged somewhere a supreme power "to regulate and
govern the general concerns of the confederated republic." The governor
of Massachusetts, disturbed by the growth of discontent all about him,
suggested to the state legislature in 1785 the advisability of a
national convention to enlarge the powers of the Congress. The
legislature approved the plan, but did not press it to a conclusion.


=The Annapolis Convention.=--Action finally came from the South. The
Virginia legislature, taking things into its own hands, called a
conference of delegates at Annapolis to consider matters of taxation and
commerce. When the convention assembled in 1786, it was found that only
five states had taken the trouble to send representatives. The leaders
were deeply discouraged, but the resourceful Hamilton, a delegate from
New York, turned the affair to good account. He secured the adoption of
a resolution, calling upon the Congress itself to summon another
convention, to meet at Philadelphia.

=A National Convention Called (1787).=--The Congress, as tardy as ever,
at last decided in February, 1787, to issue the call. Fearing drastic
changes, however, it restricted the convention to "the sole and express
purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation." Jealous of its own
powers, it added that any alterations proposed should be referred to the
Congress and the states for their approval.

Every state in the union, except Rhode Island, responded to this call.
Indeed some of the states, having the Annapolis resolution before them,
had already anticipated the Congress by selecting delegates before the
formal summons came. Thus, by the persistence of governors,
legislatures, and private citizens, there was brought about the
long-desired national convention. In May, 1787, it assembled in

=The Eminent Men of the Convention.=--On the roll of that memorable
convention were fifty-five men, at least half of whom were acknowledged
to be among the foremost statesmen and thinkers in America. Every field
of statecraft was represented by them: war and practical management in
Washington, who was chosen president of the convention; diplomacy in
Franklin, now old and full of honor in his own land as well as abroad;
finance in Alexander Hamilton and Robert Morris; law in James Wilson of
Pennsylvania; the philosophy of government in James Madison, called the
"father of the Constitution." They were not theorists but practical men,
rich in political experience and endowed with deep insight into the
springs of human action. Three of them had served in the Stamp Act
Congress: Dickinson of Delaware, William Samuel Johnson of Connecticut,
and John Rutledge of South Carolina. Eight had been signers of the
Declaration of Independence: Read of Delaware, Sherman of Connecticut,
Wythe of Virginia, Gerry of Massachusetts, Franklin, Robert Morris,
George Clymer, and James Wilson of Pennsylvania. All but twelve had at
some time served in the Continental Congress and eighteen were members
of that body in the spring of 1787. Washington, Hamilton, Mifflin, and
Charles Pinckney had been officers in the Revolutionary army. Seven of
the delegates had gained political experience as governors of states.
"The convention as a whole," according to the historian Hildreth,
"represented in a marked manner the talent, intelligence, and
especially the conservative sentiment of the country."


=Problems Involved.=--The great problems before the convention were nine
in number: (1) Shall the Articles of Confederation be revised or a new
system of government constructed? (2) Shall the government be founded on
states equal in power as under the Articles or on the broader and deeper
foundation of population? (3) What direct share shall the people have in
the election of national officers? (4) What shall be the qualifications
for the suffrage? (5) How shall the conflicting interests of the
commercial and the planting states be balanced so as to safeguard the
essential rights of each? (6) What shall be the form of the new
government? (7) What powers shall be conferred on it? (8) How shall the
state legislatures be restrained from their attacks on property rights
such as the issuance of paper money? (9) Shall the approval of all the
states be necessary, as under the Articles, for the adoption and
amendment of the Constitution?

=Revision of the Articles or a New Government?=--The moment the first
problem was raised, representatives of the small states, led by William
Paterson of New Jersey, were on their feet. They feared that, if the
Articles were overthrown, the equality and rights of the states would be
put in jeopardy. Their protest was therefore vigorous. They cited the
call issued by the Congress in summoning the convention which
specifically stated that they were assembled for "the sole and express
purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation." They cited also
their instructions from their state legislatures, which authorized them
to "revise and amend" the existing scheme of government, not to make a
revolution in it. To depart from the authorization laid down by the
Congress and the legislatures would be to exceed their powers, they
argued, and to betray the trust reposed in them by their countrymen.

To their contentions, Randolph of Virginia replied: "When the salvation
of the republic is at stake, it would be treason to our trust not to
propose what we find necessary." Hamilton, reminding the delegates that
their work was still subject to the approval of the states, frankly said
that on the point of their powers he had no scruples. With the issue
clear, the convention cast aside the Articles as if they did not exist
and proceeded to the work of drawing up a new constitution, "laying its
foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form"
as to the delegates seemed "most likely to affect their safety and

=A Government Founded on States or on People?--The
Compromise.=--Defeated in their attempt to limit the convention to a
mere revision of the Articles, the spokesmen of the smaller states
redoubled their efforts to preserve the equality of the states. The
signal for a radical departure from the Articles on this point was given
early in the sessions when Randolph presented "the Virginia plan." He
proposed that the new national legislature consist of two houses, the
members of which were to be apportioned among the states according to
their wealth or free white population, as the convention might decide.
This plan was vehemently challenged. Paterson of New Jersey flatly
avowed that neither he nor his state would ever bow to such tyranny. As
an alternative, he presented "the New Jersey plan" calling for a
national legislature of one house representing states as such, not
wealth or people--a legislature in which all states, large or small,
would have equal voice. Wilson of Pennsylvania, on behalf of the more
populous states, took up the gauntlet which Paterson had thrown down. It
was absurd, he urged, for 180,000 men in one state to have the same
weight in national counsels as 750,000 men in another state. "The
gentleman from New Jersey," he said, "is candid. He declares his opinion
boldly.... I will be equally candid.... I will never confederate on his
principles." So the bitter controversy ran on through many exciting

Greek had met Greek. The convention was hopelessly deadlocked and on the
verge of dissolution, "scarce held together by the strength of a hair,"
as one of the delegates remarked. A crash was averted only by a
compromise. Instead of a Congress of one house as provided by the
Articles, the convention agreed upon a legislature of two houses. In the
Senate, the aspirations of the small states were to be satisfied, for
each state was given two members in that body. In the formation of the
House of Representatives, the larger states were placated, for it was
agreed that the members of that chamber were to be apportioned among the
states on the basis of population, counting three-fifths of the slaves.

=The Question of Popular Election.=--The method of selecting federal
officers and members of Congress also produced an acrimonious debate
which revealed how deep-seated was the distrust of the capacity of the
people to govern themselves. Few there were who believed that no branch
of the government should be elected directly by the voters; still fewer
were there, however, who desired to see all branches so chosen. One or
two even expressed a desire for a monarchy. The dangers of democracy
were stressed by Gerry of Massachusetts: "All the evils we experience
flow from an excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue but are
the dupes of pretended patriots.... I have been too republican
heretofore but have been taught by experience the danger of a leveling
spirit." To the "democratic licentiousness of the state legislatures,"
Randolph sought to oppose a "firm senate." To check the excesses of
popular government Charles Pinckney of South Carolina declared that no
one should be elected President who was not worth $100,000 and that high
property qualifications should be placed on members of Congress and
judges. Other members of the convention were stoutly opposed to such
"high-toned notions of government." Franklin and Wilson, both from
Pennsylvania, vigorously championed popular election; while men like
Madison insisted that at least one part of the government should rest on
the broad foundation of the people.

Out of this clash of opinion also came compromise. One branch, the House
of Representatives, it was agreed, was to be elected directly by the
voters, while the Senators were to be elected indirectly by the state
legislatures. The President was to be chosen by electors selected as the
legislatures of the states might determine, and the judges of the
federal courts, supreme and inferior, by the President and the Senate.

=The Question of the Suffrage.=--The battle over the suffrage was sharp
but brief. Gouverneur Morris proposed that only land owners should be
permitted to vote. Madison replied that the state legislatures, which
had made so much trouble with radical laws, were elected by freeholders.
After the debate, the delegates, unable to agree on any property
limitations on the suffrage, decided that the House of Representatives
should be elected by voters having the "qualifications requisite for
electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." Thus
they accepted the suffrage provisions of the states.

=The Balance between the Planting and the Commercial States.=--After the
debates had gone on for a few weeks, Madison came to the conclusion that
the real division in the convention was not between the large and the
small states but between the planting section founded on slave labor and
the commercial North. Thus he anticipated by nearly three-quarters of a
century "the irrepressible conflict." The planting states had neither
the free white population nor the wealth of the North. There were,
counting Delaware, six of them as against seven commercial states.
Dependent for their prosperity mainly upon the sale of tobacco, rice,
and other staples abroad, they feared that Congress might impose
restraints upon their enterprise. Being weaker in numbers, they were
afraid that the majority might lay an unfair burden of taxes upon them.

_Representation and Taxation._--The Southern members of the convention
were therefore very anxious to secure for their section the largest
possible representation in Congress, and at the same time to restrain
the taxing power of that body. Two devices were thought adapted to these
ends. One was to count the slaves as people when apportioning
representatives among the states according to their respective
populations; the other was to provide that direct taxes should be
apportioned among the states, in proportion not to their wealth but to
the number of their free white inhabitants. For obvious reasons the
Northern delegates objected to these proposals. Once more a compromise
proved to be the solution. It was agreed that not all the slaves but
three-fifths of them should be counted for both purposes--representation
and direct taxation.

_Commerce and the Slave Trade._--Southern interests were also involved
in the project to confer upon Congress the power to regulate interstate
and foreign commerce. To the manufacturing and trading states this was
essential. It would prevent interstate tariffs and trade jealousies; it
would enable Congress to protect American manufactures and to break
down, by appropriate retaliations, foreign discriminations against
American commerce. To the South the proposal was menacing because
tariffs might interfere with the free exchange of the produce of
plantations in European markets, and navigation acts might confine the
carrying trade to American, that is Northern, ships. The importation of
slaves, moreover, it was feared might be heavily taxed or immediately
prohibited altogether.

The result of this and related controversies was a debate on the merits
of slavery. Gouverneur Morris delivered his mind and heart on that
subject, denouncing slavery as a nefarious institution and the curse of
heaven on the states in which it prevailed. Mason of Virginia, a
slaveholder himself, was hardly less outspoken, saying: "Slavery
discourages arts and manufactures. The poor despise labor when performed
by slaves. They prevent the migration of whites who really strengthen
and enrich a country."

The system, however, had its defenders. Representatives from South
Carolina argued that their entire economic life rested on slave labor
and that the high death rate in the rice swamps made continuous
importation necessary. Ellsworth of Connecticut took the ground that
the convention should not meddle with slavery. "The morality or wisdom
of slavery," he said, "are considerations belonging to the states. What
enriches a part enriches the whole." To the future he turned an
untroubled face: "As population increases, poor laborers will be so
plenty as to render slaves useless. Slavery in time will not be a speck
in our country." Virginia and North Carolina, already overstocked with
slaves, favored prohibiting the traffic in them; but South Carolina was
adamant. She must have fresh supplies of slaves or she would not

So it was agreed that, while Congress might regulate foreign trade by
majority vote, the importation of slaves should not be forbidden before
the lapse of twenty years, and that any import tax should not exceed $10
a head. At the same time, in connection with the regulation of foreign
trade, it was stipulated that a two-thirds vote in the Senate should be
necessary in the ratification of treaties. A further concession to the
South was made in the provision for the return of runaway slaves--a
provision also useful in the North, where indentured servants were about
as troublesome as slaves in escaping from their masters.

=The Form of the Government.=--As to the details of the frame of
government and the grand principles involved, the opinion of the
convention ebbed and flowed, decisions being taken in the heat of
debate, only to be revoked and taken again.

_The Executive._--There was general agreement that there should be an
executive branch; for reliance upon Congress to enforce its own laws and
treaties had been a broken reed. On the character and functions of the
executive, however, there were many views. The New Jersey plan called
for a council selected by the Congress; the Virginia plan provided that
the executive branch should be chosen by the Congress but did not state
whether it should be composed of one or several persons. On this matter
the convention voted first one way and then another; finally it agreed
on a single executive chosen indirectly by electors selected as the
state legislatures might decide, serving for four years, subject to
impeachment, and endowed with regal powers in the command of the army
and the navy and in the enforcement of the laws.

_The Legislative Branch--Congress._--After the convention had made the
great compromise between the large and small commonwealths by giving
representation to states in the Senate and to population in the House,
the question of methods of election had to be decided. As to the House
of Representatives it was readily agreed that the members should be
elected by direct popular vote. There was also easy agreement on the
proposition that a strong Senate was needed to check the "turbulence" of
the lower house. Four devices were finally selected to accomplish this
purpose. In the first place, the Senators were not to be chosen directly
by the voters but by the legislatures of the states, thus removing their
election one degree from the populace. In the second place, their term
was fixed at six years instead of two, as in the case of the House. In
the third place, provision was made for continuity by having only
one-third of the members go out at a time while two-thirds remained in
service. Finally, it was provided that Senators must be at least thirty
years old while Representatives need be only twenty-five.

_The Judiciary._--The need for federal courts to carry out the law was
hardly open to debate. The feebleness of the Articles of Confederation
was, in a large measure, attributed to the want of a judiciary to hold
states and individuals in obedience to the laws and treaties of the
union. Nevertheless on this point the advocates of states' rights were
extremely sensitive. They looked with distrust upon judges appointed at
the national capital and emancipated from local interests and
traditions; they remembered with what insistence they had claimed
against Britain the right of local trial by jury and with what
consternation they had viewed the proposal to make colonial judges
independent of the assemblies in the matter of their salaries.
Reluctantly they yielded to the demand for federal courts, consenting at
first only to a supreme court to review cases heard in lower state
courts and finally to such additional inferior courts as Congress might
deem necessary.

_The System of Checks and Balances._--It is thus apparent that the
framers of the Constitution, in shaping the form of government, arranged
for a distribution of power among three branches, executive,
legislative, and judicial. Strictly speaking we might say four branches,
for the legislature, or Congress, was composed of two houses, elected in
different ways, and one of them, the Senate, was made a check on the
President through its power of ratifying treaties and appointments. "The
accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judicial, in the
same hands," wrote Madison, "whether of one, a few, or many, and whether
hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the
very definition of tyranny." The devices which the convention adopted to
prevent such a centralization of authority were exceedingly ingenious
and well calculated to accomplish the purposes of the authors.

The legislature consisted of two houses, the members of which were to be
apportioned on a different basis, elected in different ways, and to
serve for different terms. A veto on all its acts was vested in a
President elected in a manner not employed in the choice of either
branch of the legislature, serving for four years, and subject to
removal only by the difficult process of impeachment. After a law had
run the gantlet of both houses and the executive, it was subject to
interpretation and annulment by the judiciary, appointed by the
President with the consent of the Senate and serving for life. Thus it
was made almost impossible for any political party to get possession of
all branches of the government at a single popular election. As Hamilton
remarked, the friends of good government considered "every institution
calculated to restrain the excess of law making and to keep things in
the same state in which they happen to be at any given period as more
likely to do good than harm."

=The Powers of the Federal Government.=--On the question of the powers
to be conferred upon the new government there was less occasion for a
serious dispute. Even the delegates from the small states agreed with
those from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia that new powers
should be added to those intrusted to Congress by the Articles of
Confederation. The New Jersey plan as well as the Virginia plan
recognized this fact. Some of the delegates, like Hamilton and Madison,
even proposed to give Congress a general legislative authority covering
all national matters; but others, frightened by the specter of
nationalism, insisted on specifying each power to be conferred and
finally carried the day.

_Taxation and Commerce._--There were none bold enough to dissent from
the proposition that revenue must be provided to pay current expenses
and discharge the public debt. When once the dispute over the
apportionment of direct taxes among the slave states was settled, it was
an easy matter to decide that Congress should have power to lay and
collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises. In this way the national
government was freed from dependence upon stubborn and tardy
legislatures and enabled to collect funds directly from citizens. There
were likewise none bold enough to contend that the anarchy of state
tariffs and trade discriminations should be longer endured. When the
fears of the planting states were allayed and the "bargain" over the
importation of slaves was reached, the convention vested in Congress the
power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce.

_National Defense._--The necessity for national defense was realized,
though the fear of huge military establishments was equally present. The
old practice of relying on quotas furnished by the state legislatures
was completely discredited. As in the case of taxes a direct authority
over citizens was demanded. Congress was therefore given full power to
raise and support armies and a navy. It could employ the state militia
when desirable; but it could at the same time maintain a regular army
and call directly upon all able-bodied males if the nature of a crisis
was thought to require it.

_The "Necessary and Proper" Clause._--To the specified power vested in
Congress by the Constitution, the advocates of a strong national
government added a general clause authorizing it to make all laws
"necessary and proper" for carrying into effect any and all of the
enumerated powers. This clause, interpreted by that master mind, Chief
Justice Marshall, was later construed to confer powers as wide as the
requirements of a vast country spanning a continent and taking its place
among the mighty nations of the earth.

=Restraints on the States.=--Framing a government and endowing it with
large powers were by no means the sole concern of the convention. Its
very existence had been due quite as much to the conduct of the state
legislatures as to the futilities of a paralyzed Continental Congress.
In every state, explains Marshall in his _Life of Washington_, there was
a party of men who had "marked out for themselves a more indulgent
course. Viewing with extreme tenderness the case of the debtor, their
efforts were unceasingly directed to his relief. To exact a faithful
compliance with contracts was, in their opinion, a harsh measure which
the people could not bear. They were uniformly in favor of relaxing the
administration of justice, of affording facilities for the payment of
debts, or of suspending their collection, and remitting taxes."

The legislatures under the dominance of these men had enacted paper
money laws enabling debtors to discharge their obligations more easily.
The convention put an end to such practices by providing that no state
should emit bills of credit or make anything but gold or silver legal
tender in the payment of debts. The state legislatures had enacted laws
allowing men to pay their debts by turning over to creditors land or
personal property; they had repealed the charter of an endowed college
and taken the management from the hands of the lawful trustees; and they
had otherwise interfered with the enforcement of private agreements. The
convention, taking notice of such matters, inserted a clause forbidding
states "to impair the obligation of contracts." The more venturous of
the radicals had in Massachusetts raised the standard of revolt against
the authorities of the state. The convention answered by a brief
sentence to the effect that the President of the United States, to be
equipped with a regular army, would send troops to suppress domestic
insurrections whenever called upon by the legislature or, if it was not
in session, by the governor of the state. To make sure that the
restrictions on the states would not be dead letters, the federal
Constitution, laws, and treaties were made the supreme law of the land,
to be enforced whenever necessary by a national judiciary and executive
against violations on the part of any state authorities.

=Provisions for Ratification and Amendment.=--When the frame of
government had been determined, the powers to be vested in it had been
enumerated, and the restrictions upon the states had been written into
the bond, there remained three final questions. How shall the
Constitution be ratified? What number of states shall be necessary to
put it into effect? How shall it be amended in the future?

On the first point, the mandate under which the convention was sitting
seemed positive. The Articles of Confederation were still in effect.
They provided that amendments could be made only by unanimous adoption
in Congress and the approval of all the states. As if to give force to
this provision of law, the call for the convention had expressly stated
that all alterations and revisions should be reported to Congress for
adoption or rejection, Congress itself to transmit the document
thereafter to the states for their review.

To have observed the strict letter of the law would have defeated the
purposes of the delegates, because Congress and the state legislatures
were openly hostile to such drastic changes as had been made. Unanimous
ratification, as events proved, would have been impossible. Therefore
the delegates decided that the Constitution should be sent to Congress
with the recommendation that it, in turn, transmit the document, not to
the state legislatures, but to conventions held in the states for the
special object of deciding upon ratification. This process was followed.
It was their belief that special conventions would be more friendly than
the state legislatures.

The convention was equally positive in dealing with the problem of the
number of states necessary to establish the new Constitution. Attempts
to change the Articles had failed because amendment required the
approval of every state and there was always at least one recalcitrant
member of the union. The opposition to a new Constitution was
undoubtedly formidable. Rhode Island had even refused to take part in
framing it, and her hostility was deep and open. So the convention cast
aside the provision of the Articles of Confederation which required
unanimous approval for any change in the plan of government; it decreed
that the new Constitution should go into effect when ratified by nine

In providing for future changes in the Constitution itself the
convention also thrust aside the old rule of unanimous approval, and
decided that an amendment could be made on a two-thirds vote in both
houses of Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states. This
change was of profound significance. Every state agreed to be bound in
the future by amendments duly adopted even in case it did not approve
them itself. America in this way set out upon the high road that led
from a league of states to a nation.


On September 17, 1787, the Constitution, having been finally drafted in
clear and simple language, a model to all makers of fundamental law, was
adopted. The convention, after nearly four months of debate in secret
session, flung open the doors and presented to the Americans the
finished plan for the new government. Then the great debate passed to
the people.

=The Opposition.=--Storms of criticism at once descended upon the
Constitution. "Fraudulent usurpation!" exclaimed Gerry, who had refused
to sign it. "A monster" out of the "thick veil of secrecy," declaimed a
Pennsylvania newspaper. "An iron-handed despotism will be the result,"
protested a third. "We, 'the low-born,'" sarcastically wrote a fourth,
"will now admit the 'six hundred well-born' immediately to establish
this most noble, most excellent, and truly divine constitution." The
President will become a king; Congress will be as tyrannical as
Parliament in the old days; the states will be swallowed up; the rights
of the people will be trampled upon; the poor man's justice will be lost
in the endless delays of the federal courts--such was the strain of the
protests against ratification.

[Illustration: AN ADVERTISEMENT OF _The Federalist_]

=Defense of the Constitution.=--Moved by the tempest of opposition,
Hamilton, Madison, and Jay took up their pens in defense of the
Constitution. In a series of newspaper articles they discussed and
expounded with eloquence, learning, and dignity every important clause
and provision of the proposed plan. These papers, afterwards collected
and published in a volume known as _The Federalist_, form the finest
textbook on the Constitution that has ever been printed. It takes its
place, moreover, among the wisest and weightiest treatises on government
ever written in any language in any time. Other men, not so gifted, were
no less earnest in their support of ratification. In private
correspondence, editorials, pamphlets, and letters to the newspapers,
they urged their countrymen to forget their partisanship and accept a
Constitution which, in spite of any defects great or small, was the
only guarantee against dissolution and warfare at home and dishonor and
weakness abroad.


=The Action of the State Conventions.=--Before the end of the year,
1787, three states had ratified the Constitution: Delaware and New
Jersey unanimously and Pennsylvania after a short, though savage,
contest. Connecticut and Georgia followed early the next year. Then came
the battle royal in Massachusetts, ending in ratification in February by
the narrow margin of 187 votes to 168. In the spring came the news that
Maryland and South Carolina were "under the new roof." On June 21, New
Hampshire, where the sentiment was at first strong enough to defeat the
Constitution, joined the new republic, influenced by the favorable
decision in Massachusetts. Swift couriers were sent to carry the news to
New York and Virginia, where the question of ratification was still
undecided. Nine states had accepted it and were united, whether more saw
fit to join or not.

Meanwhile, however, Virginia, after a long and searching debate, had
given her approval by a narrow margin, leaving New York as the next seat
of anxiety. In that state the popular vote for the delegates to the
convention had been clearly and heavily against ratification. Events
finally demonstrated the futility of resistance, and Hamilton by good
judgment and masterly arguments was at last able to marshal a majority
of thirty to twenty-seven votes in favor of ratification.

The great contest was over. All the states, except North Carolina and
Rhode Island, had ratified. "The sloop Anarchy," wrote an ebullient
journalist, "when last heard from was ashore on Union rocks."

=The First Election.=--In the autumn of 1788, elections were held to
fill the places in the new government. Public opinion was overwhelmingly
in favor of Washington as the first President. Yielding to the
importunities of friends, he accepted the post in the spirit of public
service. On April 30, 1789, he took the oath of office at Federal Hall
in New York City. "Long live George Washington, President of the United
States!" cried Chancellor Livingston as soon as the General had kissed
the Bible. The cry was caught by the assembled multitude and given back.
A new experiment in popular government was launched.


M. Farrand, _The Framing of the Constitution of the United States_.

P.L. Ford, _Essays on the Constitution of the United States_.

_The Federalist_ (in many editions).

G. Hunt, _Life of James Madison_.

A.C. McLaughlin, _The Confederation and the Constitution_ (American
Nation Series).


1. Account for the failure of the Articles of Confederation.

2. Explain the domestic difficulties of the individual states.

3. Why did efforts at reform by the Congress come to naught?

4. Narrate the events leading up to the constitutional convention.

5. Who were some of the leading men in the convention? What had been
their previous training?

6. State the great problems before the convention.

7. In what respects were the planting and commercial states opposed?
What compromises were reached?

8. Show how the "check and balance" system is embodied in our form of

9. How did the powers conferred upon the federal government help cure
the defects of the Articles of Confederation?

10. In what way did the provisions for ratifying and amending the
Constitution depart from the old system?

11. What was the nature of the conflict over ratification?

=Research Topics=

=English Treatment of American Commerce.=--Callender, _Economic History
of the United States_, pp. 210-220.

=Financial Condition of the United States.=--Fiske, _Critical Period of
American History_, pp. 163-186.

=Disordered Commerce.=--Fiske, pp. 134-162.

=Selfish Conduct of the States.=--Callender, pp. 185-191.

=The Failure of the Confederation.=--Elson, _History of the United
States_, pp. 318-326.

=Formation of the Constitution.=--(1) The plans before the convention,
Fiske, pp. 236-249; (2) the great compromise, Fiske, pp. 250-255; (3)
slavery and the convention, Fiske, pp. 256-266; and (4) the frame of
government, Fiske, pp. 275-301; Elson, pp. 328-334.

=Biographical Studies.=--Look up the history and services of the leaders
in the convention in any good encyclopedia.

=Ratification of the Constitution.=--Hart, _History Told by
Contemporaries_, Vol. III, pp. 233-254; Elson, pp. 334-340.

=Source Study.=--Compare the Constitution and Articles of Confederation
under the following heads: (1) frame of government; (2) powers of
Congress; (3) limits on states; and (4) methods of amendment. Every line
of the Constitution should be read and re-read in the light of the
historical circumstances set forth in this chapter.




=Friends of the Constitution in Power.=--In the first Congress that
assembled after the adoption of the Constitution, there were eleven
Senators, led by Robert Morris, the financier, who had been delegates to
the national convention. Several members of the House of
Representatives, headed by James Madison, had also been at Philadelphia
in 1787. In making his appointments, Washington strengthened the new
system of government still further by a judicious selection of
officials. He chose as Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton,
who had been the most zealous for its success; General Knox, head of the
War Department, and Edmund Randolph, the Attorney-General, were likewise
conspicuous friends of the experiment. Every member of the federal
judiciary whom Washington appointed, from the Chief Justice, John Jay,
down to the justices of the district courts, had favored the
ratification of the Constitution; and a majority of them had served as
members of the national convention that framed the document or of the
state ratifying conventions. Only one man of influence in the new
government, Thomas Jefferson, the Secretary of State, was reckoned as a
doubter in the house of the faithful. He had expressed opinions both for
and against the Constitution; but he had been out of the country acting
as the minister at Paris when the Constitution was drafted and ratified.

=An Opposition to Conciliate.=--The inauguration of Washington amid the
plaudits of his countrymen did not set at rest all the political turmoil
which had been aroused by the angry contest over ratification. "The
interesting nature of the question," wrote John Marshall, "the equality
of the parties, the animation produced inevitably by ardent debate had a
necessary tendency to embitter the dispositions of the vanquished and to
fix more deeply in many bosoms their prejudices against a plan of
government in opposition to which all their passions were enlisted." The
leaders gathered around Washington were well aware of the excited state
of the country. They saw Rhode Island and North Carolina still outside
of the union.[1] They knew by what small margins the Constitution had
been approved in the great states of Massachusetts, Virginia, and New
York. They were equally aware that a majority of the state conventions,
in yielding reluctant approval to the Constitution, had drawn a number
of amendments for immediate submission to the states.

=The First Amendments--a Bill of Rights.=--To meet the opposition,
Madison proposed, and the first Congress adopted, a series of amendments
to the Constitution. Ten of them were soon ratified and became in 1791 a
part of the law of the land. These amendments provided, among other
things, that Congress could make no law respecting the establishment of
religion, abridging the freedom of speech or of the press or the right
of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for a
redress of grievances. They also guaranteed indictment by grand jury and
trial by jury for all persons charged by federal officers with serious
crimes. To reassure those who still feared that local rights might be
invaded by the federal government, the tenth amendment expressly
provided that the powers not delegated to the United States by the
Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the
states respectively or to the people. Seven years later, the eleventh
amendment was written in the same spirit as the first ten, after a
heated debate over the action of the Supreme Court in permitting a
citizen to bring a suit against "the sovereign state" of Georgia. The
new amendment was designed to protect states against the federal
judiciary by forbidding it to hear any case in which a state was sued by
a citizen.

=Funding the National Debt.=--Paper declarations of rights, however,
paid no bills. To this task Hamilton turned all his splendid genius. At
the very outset he addressed himself to the problem of the huge public
debt, daily mounting as the unpaid interest accumulated. In a _Report on
Public Credit_ under date of January 9, 1790, one of the first and
greatest of American state papers, he laid before Congress the outlines
of his plan. He proposed that the federal government should call in all
the old bonds, certificates of indebtedness, and other promises to pay
which had been issued by the Congress since the beginning of the
Revolution. These national obligations, he urged, should be put into one
consolidated debt resting on the credit of the United States; to the
holders of the old paper should be issued new bonds drawing interest at
fixed rates. This process was called "funding the debt." Such a
provision for the support of public credit, Hamilton insisted, would
satisfy creditors, restore landed property to its former value, and
furnish new resources to agriculture and commerce in the form of credit
and capital.

=Assumption and Funding of State Debts.=--Hamilton then turned to the
obligations incurred by the several states in support of the Revolution.
These debts he proposed to add to the national debt. They were to be
"assumed" by the United States government and placed on the same secure
foundation as the continental debt. This measure he defended not merely
on grounds of national honor. It would, as he foresaw, give strength to
the new national government by making all public creditors, men of
substance in their several communities, look to the federal, rather than
the state government, for the satisfaction of their claims.

=Funding at Face Value.=--On the question of the terms of consolidation,
assumption, and funding, Hamilton had a firm conviction. That millions
of dollars' worth of the continental and state bonds had passed out of
the hands of those who had originally subscribed their funds to the
support of the government or had sold supplies for the Revolutionary
army was well known. It was also a matter of common knowledge that a
very large part of these bonds had been bought by speculators at ruinous
figures--ten, twenty, and thirty cents on the dollar. Accordingly, it
had been suggested, even in very respectable quarters, that a
discrimination should be made between original holders and speculative
purchasers. Some who held this opinion urged that the speculators who
had paid nominal sums for their bonds should be reimbursed for their
outlays and the original holders paid the difference; others said that
the government should "scale the debt" by redeeming, not at full value
but at a figure reasonably above the market price. Against the
proposition Hamilton set his face like flint. He maintained that the
government was honestly bound to redeem every bond at its face value,
although the difficulty of securing revenue made necessary a lower rate
of interest on a part of the bonds and the deferring of interest on
another part.

=Funding and Assumption Carried.=--There was little difficulty in
securing the approval of both houses of Congress for the funding of the
national debt at full value. The bill for the assumption of state debts,
however, brought the sharpest division of opinions. To the Southern
members of Congress assumption was a gross violation of states' rights,
without any warrant in the Constitution and devised in the interest of
Northern speculators who, anticipating assumption and funding, had
bought up at low prices the Southern bonds and other promises to pay.
New England, on the other hand, was strongly in favor of assumption;
several representatives from that section were rash enough to threaten a
dissolution of the union if the bill was defeated. To this dispute was
added an equally bitter quarrel over the location of the national
capital, then temporarily at New York City.


A deadlock, accompanied by the most surly feelings on both sides,
threatened the very existence of the young government. Washington and
Hamilton were thoroughly alarmed. Hearing of the extremity to which the
contest had been carried and acting on the appeal from the Secretary of
the Treasury, Jefferson intervened at this point. By skillful management
at a good dinner he brought the opposing leaders together; and thus once
more, as on many other occasions, peace was purchased and the union
saved by compromise. The bargain this time consisted of an exchange of
votes for assumption in return for votes for the capital. Enough
Southern members voted for assumption to pass the bill, and a majority
was mustered in favor of building the capital on the banks of the
Potomac, after locating it for a ten-year period at Philadelphia to
satisfy Pennsylvania members.

=The United States Bank.=--Encouraged by the success of his funding and
assumption measures, Hamilton laid before Congress a project for a great
United States Bank. He proposed that a private corporation be chartered
by Congress, authorized to raise a capital stock of $10,000,000
(three-fourths in new six per cent federal bonds and one-fourth in
specie) and empowered to issue paper currency under proper safeguards.
Many advantages, Hamilton contended, would accrue to the government from
this institution. The price of the government bonds would be increased,
thus enhancing public credit. A national currency would be created of
uniform value from one end of the land to the other. The branches of the
bank in various cities would make easy the exchange of funds so vital to
commercial transactions on a national scale. Finally, through the issue
of bank notes, the money capital available for agriculture and industry
would be increased, thus stimulating business enterprise. Jefferson
hotly attacked the bank on the ground that Congress had no power
whatever under the Constitution to charter such a private corporation.
Hamilton defended it with great cogency. Washington, after weighing all
opinions, decided in favor of the proposal. In 1791 the bill
establishing the first United States Bank for a period of twenty years
became a law.

=The Protective Tariff.=--A third part of Hamilton's program was the
protection of American industries. The first revenue act of 1789, though
designed primarily to bring money into the empty treasury, declared in
favor of the principle. The following year Washington referred to the
subject in his address to Congress. Thereupon Hamilton was instructed to
prepare recommendations for legislative action. The result, after a
delay of more than a year, was his _Report on Manufactures_, another
state paper worthy, in closeness of reasoning and keenness of
understanding, of a place beside his report on public credit. Hamilton
based his argument on the broadest national grounds: the protective
tariff would, by encouraging the building of factories, create a home
market for the produce of farms and plantations; by making the United
States independent of other countries in times of peace, it would double
its security in time of war; by making use of the labor of women and
children, it would turn to the production of goods persons otherwise
idle or only partly employed; by increasing the trade between the North
and South it would strengthen the links of union and add to political
ties those of commerce and intercourse. The revenue measure of 1792 bore
the impress of these arguments.


=Dissensions over Hamilton's Measures.=--Hamilton's plans, touching
deeply as they did the resources of individuals and the interests of the
states, awakened alarm and opposition. Funding at face value, said his
critics, was a government favor to speculators; the assumption of state
debts was a deep design to undermine the state governments; Congress had
no constitutional power to create a bank; the law creating the bank
merely allowed a private corporation to make paper money and lend it at
a high rate of interest; and the tariff was a tax on land and labor for
the benefit of manufacturers.

Hamilton's reply to this bill of indictment was simple and
straightforward. Some rascally speculators had profited from the funding
of the debt at face value, but that was only an incident in the
restoration of public credit. In view of the jealousies of the states it
was a good thing to reduce their powers and pretensions. The
Constitution was not to be interpreted narrowly but in the full light of
national needs. The bank would enlarge the amount of capital so sorely
needed to start up American industries, giving markets to farmers and
planters. The tariff by creating a home market and increasing
opportunities for employment would benefit both land and labor. Out of
such wise policies firmly pursued by the government, he concluded, were
bound to come strength and prosperity for the new government at home,
credit and power abroad. This view Washington fully indorsed, adding
the weight of his great name to the inherent merits of the measures
adopted under his administration.

=The Sharpness of the Partisan Conflict.=--As a result of the clash of
opinion, the people of the country gradually divided into two parties:
Federalists and Anti-Federalists, the former led by Hamilton, the latter
by Jefferson. The strength of the Federalists lay in the cities--Boston,
Providence, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Charleston--among the
manufacturing, financial, and commercial groups of the population who
were eager to extend their business operations. The strength of the
Anti-Federalists lay mainly among the debt-burdened farmers who feared
the growth of what they called "a money power" and planters in all
sections who feared the dominance of commercial and manufacturing
interests. The farming and planting South, outside of the few towns,
finally presented an almost solid front against assumption, the bank,
and the tariff. The conflict between the parties grew steadily in
bitterness, despite the conciliatory and engaging manner in which
Hamilton presented his cause in his state papers and despite the
constant efforts of Washington to soften the asperity of the

=The Leadership and Doctrines of Jefferson.=--The party dispute had not
gone far before the opponents of the administration began to look to
Jefferson as their leader. Some of Hamilton's measures he had approved,
declaring afterward that he did not at the time understand their
significance. Others, particularly the bank, he fiercely assailed. More
than once, he and Hamilton, shaking violently with anger, attacked each
other at cabinet meetings, and nothing short of the grave and dignified
pleas of Washington prevented an early and open break between them. In
1794 it finally came. Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State and
retired to his home in Virginia to assume, through correspondence and
negotiation, the leadership of the steadily growing party of opposition.

Shy and modest in manner, halting in speech, disliking the turmoil of
public debate, and deeply interested in science and philosophy,
Jefferson was not very well fitted for the strenuous life of political
contest. Nevertheless, he was an ambitious and shrewd negotiator. He was
also by honest opinion and matured conviction the exact opposite of
Hamilton. The latter believed in a strong, active, "high-toned"
government, vigorously compelling in all its branches. Jefferson looked
upon such government as dangerous to the liberties of citizens and
openly avowed his faith in the desirability of occasional popular
uprisings. Hamilton distrusted the people. "Your people is a great
beast," he is reported to have said. Jefferson professed his faith in
the people with an abandon that was considered reckless in his time.

On economic matters, the opinions of the two leaders were also
hopelessly at variance. Hamilton, while cherishing agriculture, desired
to see America a great commercial and industrial nation. Jefferson was
equally set against this course for his country. He feared the
accumulation of riches and the growth of a large urban working class.
The mobs of great cities, he said, are sores on the body politic;
artisans are usually the dangerous element that make revolutions;
workshops should be kept in Europe and with them the artisans with their
insidious morals and manners. The only substantial foundation for a
republic, Jefferson believed to be agriculture. The spirit of
independence could be kept alive only by free farmers, owning the land
they tilled and looking to the sun in heaven and the labor of their
hands for their sustenance. Trusting as he did in the innate goodness of
human nature when nourished on a free soil, Jefferson advocated those
measures calculated to favor agriculture and to enlarge the rights of
persons rather than the powers of government. Thus he became the
champion of the individual against the interference of the government,
and an ardent advocate of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and
freedom of scientific inquiry. It was, accordingly, no mere factious
spirit that drove him into opposition to Hamilton.

=The Whisky Rebellion.=--The political agitation of the Anti-Federalists
was accompanied by an armed revolt against the government in 1794. The
occasion for this uprising was another of Hamilton's measures, a law
laying an excise tax on distilled spirits, for the purpose of increasing
the revenue needed to pay the interest on the funded debt. It so
happened that a very considerable part of the whisky manufactured in the
country was made by the farmers, especially on the frontier, in their
own stills. The new revenue law meant that federal officers would now
come into the homes of the people, measure their liquor, and take the
tax out of their pockets. All the bitterness which farmers felt against
the fiscal measures of the government was redoubled. In the western
districts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina, they refused to
pay the tax. In Pennsylvania, some of them sacked and burned the houses
of the tax collectors, as the Revolutionists thirty years before had
mobbed the agents of King George sent over to sell stamps. They were in
a fair way to nullify the law in whole districts when Washington called
out the troops to suppress "the Whisky Rebellion." Then the movement
collapsed; but it left behind a deep-seated resentment which flared up
in the election of several obdurate Anti-Federalist Congressmen from the
disaffected regions.


=The French Revolution.=--In this exciting period, when all America was
distracted by partisan disputes, a storm broke in Europe--the
epoch-making French Revolution--which not only shook the thrones of the
Old World but stirred to its depths the young republic of the New World.
The first scene in this dramatic affair occurred in the spring of 1789,
a few days after Washington was inaugurated. The king of France, Louis
XVI, driven into bankruptcy by extravagance and costly wars, was forced
to resort to his people for financial help. Accordingly he called, for
the first time in more than one hundred fifty years, a meeting of the
national parliament, the "Estates General," composed of representatives
of the "three estates"--the clergy, nobility, and commoners. Acting
under powerful leaders, the commoners, or "third estate," swept aside
the clergy and nobility and resolved themselves into a national
assembly. This stirred the country to its depths.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


Great events followed in swift succession. On July 14, 1789, the
Bastille, an old royal prison, symbol of the king's absolutism, was
stormed by a Paris crowd and destroyed. On the night of August 4, the
feudal privileges of the nobility were abolished by the national
assembly amid great excitement. A few days later came the famous
Declaration of the Rights of Man, proclaiming the sovereignty of the
people and the privileges of citizens. In the autumn of 1791, Louis XVI
was forced to accept a new constitution for France vesting the
legislative power in a popular assembly. Little disorder accompanied
these startling changes. To all appearances a peaceful revolution had
stripped the French king of his royal prerogatives and based the
government of his country on the consent of the governed.

=American Influence in France.=--In undertaking their great political
revolt the French had been encouraged by the outcome of the American
Revolution. Officers and soldiers, who had served in the American war,
reported to their French countrymen marvelous tales. At the frugal table
of General Washington, in council with the unpretentious Franklin, or at
conferences over the strategy of war, French noblemen of ancient lineage
learned to respect both the talents and the simple character of the
leaders in the great republican commonwealth beyond the seas. Travelers,
who had gone to see the experiment in republicanism with their own eyes,
carried home to the king and ruling class stories of an astounding
system of popular government.

On the other hand the dalliance with American democracy was regarded by
French conservatives as playing with fire. "When we think of the false
ideas of government and philanthropy," wrote one of Lafayette's aides,
"which these youths acquired in America and propagated in France with so
much enthusiasm and such deplorable success--for this mania of imitation
powerfully aided the Revolution, though it was not the sole cause of
it--we are bound to confess that it would have been better, both for
themselves and for us, if these young philosophers in red-heeled shoes
had stayed at home in attendance on the court."

=Early American Opinion of the French Revolution.=--So close were the
ties between the two nations that it is not surprising to find every
step in the first stages of the French Revolution greeted with applause
in the United States. "Liberty will have another feather in her cap,"
exultantly wrote a Boston editor. "In no part of the globe," soberly
wrote John Marshall, "was this revolution hailed with more joy than in
America.... But one sentiment existed." The main key to the Bastille,
sent to Washington as a memento, was accepted as "a token of the
victory gained by liberty." Thomas Paine saw in the great event "the
first ripe fruits of American principles transplanted into Europe."
Federalists and Anti-Federalists regarded the new constitution of France
as another vindication of American ideals.

=The Reign of Terror.=--While profuse congratulations were being
exchanged, rumors began to come that all was not well in France. Many
noblemen, enraged at the loss of their special privileges, fled into
Germany and plotted an invasion of France to overthrow the new system of
government. Louis XVI entered into negotiations with his brother
monarchs on the continent to secure their help in the same enterprise,
and he finally betrayed to the French people his true sentiments by
attempting to escape from his kingdom, only to be captured and taken
back to Paris in disgrace.

A new phase of the revolution now opened. The working people, excluded
from all share in the government by the first French constitution,
became restless, especially in Paris. Assembling on the Champs de Mars,
a great open field, they signed a petition calling for another
constitution giving them the suffrage. When told to disperse, they
refused and were fired upon by the national guard. This "massacre," as
it was called, enraged the populace. A radical party, known as
"Jacobins," then sprang up, taking its name from a Jacobin monastery in
which it held its sessions. In a little while it became the master of
the popular convention convoked in September, 1792. The monarchy was
immediately abolished and a republic established. On January 21, 1793,
Louis was sent to the scaffold. To the war on Austria, already raging,
was added a war on England. Then came the Reign of Terror, during which
radicals in possession of the convention executed in large numbers
counter-revolutionists and those suspected of sympathy with the
monarchy. They shot down peasants who rose in insurrection against their
rule and established a relentless dictatorship. Civil war followed.
Terrible atrocities were committed on both sides in the name of liberty,
and in the name of monarchy. To Americans of conservative temper it now
seemed that the Revolution, so auspiciously begun, had degenerated into
anarchy and mere bloodthirsty strife.

=Burke Summons the World to War on France.=--In England, Edmund Burke
led the fight against the new French principles which he feared might
spread to all Europe. In his _Reflections on the French Revolution_,
written in 1790, he attacked with terrible wrath the whole program of
popular government; he called for war, relentless war, upon the French
as monsters and outlaws; he demanded that they be reduced to order by
the restoration of the king to full power under the protection of the
arms of European nations.

=Paine's Defense of the French Revolution.=--To counteract the campaign
of hate against the French, Thomas Paine replied to Burke in another of
his famous tracts, _The Rights of Man_, which was given to the American
public in an edition containing a letter of approval from Jefferson.
Burke, said Paine, had been mourning about the glories of the French
monarchy and aristocracy but had forgotten the starving peasants and the
oppressed people; had wept over the plumage and neglected the dying
bird. Burke had denied the right of the French people to choose their
own governors, blandly forgetting that the English government in which
he saw final perfection itself rested on two revolutions. He had boasted
that the king of England held his crown in contempt of the democratic
societies. Paine answered: "If I ask a man in America if he wants a
king, he retorts and asks me if I take him for an idiot." To the charge
that the doctrines of the rights of man were "new fangled," Paine
replied that the question was not whether they were new or old but
whether they were right or wrong. As to the French disorders and
difficulties, he bade the world wait to see what would be brought forth
in due time.

=The Effect of the French Revolution on American Politics.=--The course
of the French Revolution and the controversies accompanying it,
exercised a profound influence on the formation of the first political
parties in America. The followers of Hamilton, now proud of the name
"Federalists," drew back in fright as they heard of the cruel deeds
committed during the Reign of Terror. They turned savagely upon the
revolutionists and their friends in America, denouncing as "Jacobin"
everybody who did not condemn loudly enough the proceedings of the
French Republic. A Massachusetts preacher roundly assailed "the
atheistical, anarchical, and in other respects immoral principles of the
French Republicans"; he then proceeded with equal passion to attack
Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists, whom he charged with spreading false
French propaganda and betraying America. "The editors, patrons, and
abettors of these vehicles of slander," he exclaimed, "ought to be
considered and treated as enemies to their country.... Of all traitors
they are the most aggravatedly criminal; of all villains, they are the
most infamous and detestable."

The Anti-Federalists, as a matter of fact, were generally favorable to
the Revolution although they deplored many of the events associated with
it. Paine's pamphlet, indorsed by Jefferson, was widely read. Democratic
societies, after the fashion of French political clubs, arose in the
cities; the coalition of European monarchs against France was denounced
as a coalition against the very principles of republicanism; and the
execution of Louis XVI was openly celebrated at a banquet in
Philadelphia. Harmless titles, such as "Sir," "the Honorable," and "His
Excellency," were decried as aristocratic and some of the more excited
insisted on adopting the French title, "Citizen," speaking, for example,
of "Citizen Judge" and "Citizen Toastmaster." Pamphlets in defense of
the French streamed from the press, while subsidized newspapers kept the
propaganda in full swing.

=The European War Disturbs American Commerce.=--This battle of wits, or
rather contest in calumny, might have gone on indefinitely in America
without producing any serious results, had it not been for the war
between England and France, then raging. The English, having command of
the seas, claimed the right to seize American produce bound for French
ports and to confiscate American ships engaged in carrying French goods.
Adding fuel to a fire already hot enough, they began to search American
ships and to carry off British-born sailors found on board American

=The French Appeal for Help.=--At the same time the French Republic
turned to the United States for aid in its war on England and sent over
as its diplomatic representative "Citizen" Genêt, an ardent supporter of
the new order. On his arrival at Charleston, he was greeted with fervor
by the Anti-Federalists. As he made his way North, he was wined and
dined and given popular ovations that turned his head. He thought the
whole country was ready to join the French Republic in its contest with
England. Genêt therefore attempted to use the American ports as the base
of operations for French privateers preying on British merchant ships;
and he insisted that the United States was in honor bound to help France
under the treaty of 1778.

=The Proclamation of Neutrality and the Jay Treaty.=--Unmoved by the
rising tide of popular sympathy for France, Washington took a firm
course. He received Genêt coldly. The demand that the United States aid
France under the old treaty of alliance he answered by proclaiming the
neutrality of America and warning American citizens against hostile acts
toward either France or England. When Genêt continued to hold meetings,
issue manifestoes, and stir up the people against England, Washington
asked the French government to recall him. This act he followed up by
sending the Chief Justice, John Jay, on a pacific mission to England.

The result was the celebrated Jay treaty of 1794. By its terms Great
Britain agreed to withdraw her troops from the western forts where they
had been since the war for independence and to grant certain slight
trade concessions. The chief sources of bitterness--the failure of the
British to return slaves carried off during the Revolution, the seizure
of American ships, and the impressment of sailors--were not touched,
much to the distress of everybody in America, including loyal
Federalists. Nevertheless, Washington, dreading an armed conflict with
England, urged the Senate to ratify the treaty. The weight of his
influence carried the day.

At this, the hostility of the Anti-Federalists knew no bounds. Jefferson
declared the Jay treaty "an infamous act which is really nothing more
than an alliance between England and the Anglo-men of this country,
against the legislature and the people of the United States." Hamilton,
defending it with his usual courage, was stoned by a mob in New York and
driven from the platform with blood streaming from his face. Jay was
burned in effigy. Even Washington was not spared. The House of
Representatives was openly hostile. To display its feelings, it called
upon the President for the papers relative to the treaty negotiations,
only to be more highly incensed by his flat refusal to present them, on
the ground that the House did not share in the treaty-making power.

=Washington Retires from Politics.=--Such angry contests confirmed the
President in his slowly maturing determination to retire at the end of
his second term in office. He did not believe that a third term was
unconstitutional or improper; but, worn out by his long and arduous
labors in war and in peace and wounded by harsh attacks from former
friends, he longed for the quiet of his beautiful estate at Mount

In September, 1796, on the eve of the presidential election, Washington
issued his Farewell Address, another state paper to be treasured and
read by generations of Americans to come. In this address he directed
the attention of the people to three subjects of lasting interest. He
warned them against sectional jealousies. He remonstrated against the
spirit of partisanship, saying that in government "of the popular
character, in government purely elective, it is a spirit not to be
encouraged." He likewise cautioned the people against "the insidious
wiles of foreign influence," saying: "Europe has a set of primary
interests which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she
must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are
essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it would be
unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary
vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions
of her friendships or enmities.... Why forego the advantages of so
peculiar a situation?... It is our true policy to steer clear of
permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.... Taking
care always to keep ourselves, by suitable establishments, on a
respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary
alliances for extraordinary emergencies."

=The Campaign of 1796--Adams Elected.=--On hearing of the retirement of
Washington, the Anti-Federalists cast off all restraints. In honor of
France and in opposition to what they were pleased to call the
monarchical tendencies of the Federalists, they boldly assumed the name
"Republican"; the term "Democrat," then applied only to obscure and
despised radicals, had not come into general use. They selected
Jefferson as their candidate for President against John Adams, the
Federalist nominee, and carried on such a spirited campaign that they
came within four votes of electing him.

The successful candidate, Adams, was not fitted by training or opinion
for conciliating a determined opposition. He was a reserved and studious
man. He was neither a good speaker nor a skillful negotiator. In one of
his books he had declared himself in favor of "government by an
aristocracy of talents and wealth"--an offense which the Republicans
never forgave. While John Marshall found him "a sensible, plain, candid,
good-tempered man," Jefferson could see in him nothing but a "monocrat"
and "Anglo-man." Had it not been for the conduct of the French
government, Adams would hardly have enjoyed a moment's genuine
popularity during his administration.

=The Quarrel with France.=--The French Directory, the executive
department established under the constitution of 1795, managed, however,
to stir the anger of Republicans and Federalists alike. It regarded the
Jay treaty as a rebuke to France and a flagrant violation of obligations
solemnly registered in the treaty of 1778. Accordingly it refused to
receive the American minister, treated him in a humiliating way, and
finally told him to leave the country. Overlooking this affront in his
anxiety to maintain peace, Adams dispatched to France a commission of
eminent men with instructions to reach an understanding with the French
Republic. On their arrival, they were chagrined to find, instead of a
decent reception, an indirect demand for an apology respecting the past
conduct of the American government, a payment in cash, and an annual
tribute as the price of continued friendship. When the news of this
affair reached President Adams, he promptly laid it before Congress,
referring to the Frenchmen who had made the demands as "Mr. X, Mr. Y,
and Mr. Z."

This insult, coupled with the fact that French privateers, like the
British, were preying upon American commerce, enraged even the
Republicans who had been loudest in the profession of their French
sympathies. They forgot their wrath over the Jay treaty and joined with
the Federalists in shouting: "Millions for defense, not a cent for
tribute!" Preparations for war were made on every hand. Washington was
once more called from Mount Vernon to take his old position at the head
of the army. Indeed, fighting actually began upon the high seas and went
on without a formal declaration of war until the year 1800. By that time
the Directory had been overthrown. A treaty was readily made with
Napoleon, the First Consul, who was beginning his remarkable career as
chief of the French Republic, soon to be turned into an empire.

=Alien and Sedition Laws.=--Flushed with success, the Federalists
determined, if possible, to put an end to radical French influence in
America and to silence Republican opposition. They therefore passed two
drastic laws in the summer of 1798: the Alien and Sedition Acts.

The first of these measures empowered the President to expel from the
country or to imprison any alien whom he regarded as "dangerous" or "had
reasonable grounds to suspect" of "any treasonable or secret
machinations against the government."

The second of the measures, the Sedition Act, penalized not only those
who attempted to stir up unlawful combinations against the government
but also every one who wrote, uttered, or published "any false,
scandalous, and malicious writing ... against the government of the
United States or either House of Congress, or the President of the
United States, with intent to defame said government ... or to bring
them or either of them into contempt or disrepute." This measure was
hurried through Congress in spite of the opposition and the clear
provision in the Constitution that Congress shall make no law abridging
the freedom of speech or of the press. Even many Federalists feared the
consequences of the action. Hamilton was alarmed when he read the bill,
exclaiming: "Let us not establish a tyranny. Energy is a very different
thing from violence." John Marshall told his friends in Virginia that,
had he been in Congress, he would have opposed the two bills because he
thought them "useless" and "calculated to create unnecessary discontents
and jealousies."

The Alien law was not enforced; but it gave great offense to the Irish
and French whose activities against the American government's policy
respecting Great Britain put them in danger of prison. The Sedition law,
on the other hand, was vigorously applied. Several editors of Republican
newspapers soon found themselves in jail or broken by ruinous fines for
their caustic criticisms of the Federalist President and his policies.
Bystanders at political meetings, who uttered sentiments which, though
ungenerous and severe, seem harmless enough now, were hurried before
Federalist judges and promptly fined and imprisoned. Although the
prosecutions were not numerous, they aroused a keen resentment. The
Republicans were convinced that their political opponents, having
saddled upon the country Hamilton's fiscal system and the British
treaty, were bent on silencing all censure. The measures therefore had
exactly the opposite effect from that which their authors intended.
Instead of helping the Federalist party, they made criticism of it more
bitter than ever.

=The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.=--Jefferson was quick to take
advantage of the discontent. He drafted a set of resolutions declaring
the Sedition law null and void, as violating the federal Constitution.
His resolutions were passed by the Kentucky legislature late in 1798,
signed by the governor, and transmitted to the other states for their
consideration. Though receiving unfavorable replies from a number of
Northern states, Kentucky the following year reaffirmed its position and
declared that the nullification of all unconstitutional acts of Congress
was the rightful remedy to be used by the states in the redress of
grievances. It thus defied the federal government and announced a
doctrine hostile to nationality and fraught with terrible meaning for
the future. In the neighboring state of Virginia, Madison led a movement
against the Alien and Sedition laws. He induced the legislature to pass
resolutions condemning the acts as unconstitutional and calling upon the
other states to take proper means to preserve their rights and the
rights of the people.

=The Republican Triumph in 1800.=--Thus the way was prepared for the
election of 1800. The Republicans left no stone unturned in their
efforts to place on the Federalist candidate, President Adams, all the
odium of the Alien and Sedition laws, in addition to responsibility for
approving Hamilton's measures and policies. The Federalists, divided in
councils and cold in their affection for Adams, made a poor campaign.
They tried to discredit their opponents with epithets of "Jacobins" and
"Anarchists"--terms which had been weakened by excessive use. When the
vote was counted, it was found that Adams had been defeated; while the
Republicans had carried the entire South and New York also and secured
eight of the fifteen electoral votes cast by Pennsylvania. "Our beloved
Adams will now close his bright career," lamented a Federalist
newspaper. "Sons of faction, demagogues and high priests of anarchy, now
you have cause to triumph!"

[Illustration: _An old cartoon_


Jefferson's election, however, was still uncertain. By a curious
provision in the Constitution, presidential electors were required to
vote for two persons without indicating which office each was to fill,
the one receiving the highest number of votes to be President and the
candidate standing next to be Vice President. It so happened that Aaron
Burr, the Republican candidate for Vice President, had received the same
number of votes as Jefferson; as neither had a majority the election was
thrown into the House of Representatives, where the Federalists held the
balance of power. Although it was well known that Burr was not even a
candidate for President, his friends and many Federalists began
intriguing for his election to that high office. Had it not been for the
vigorous action of Hamilton the prize might have been snatched out of
Jefferson's hands. Not until the thirty-sixth ballot on February 17,
1801, was the great issue decided in his favor.[2]


J.S. Bassett, _The Federalist System_ (American Nation Series).

C.A. Beard, _Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy_.

H. Lodge, _Alexander Hamilton_.

J.T. Morse, _Thomas Jefferson_.


1. Who were the leaders in the first administration under the

2. What step was taken to appease the opposition?

3. Enumerate Hamilton's great measures and explain each in detail.

4. Show the connection between the parts of Hamilton's system.

5. Contrast the general political views of Hamilton and Jefferson.

6. What were the important results of the "peaceful" French Revolution

7. Explain the interaction of opinion between France and the United

8. How did the "Reign of Terror" change American opinion?

9. What was the Burke-Paine controversy?

10. Show how the war in Europe affected American commerce and involved
America with England and France.

11. What were American policies with regard to each of those countries?

12. What was the outcome of the Alien and Sedition Acts?

=Research Topics=

=Early Federal Legislation.=--Coman, _Industrial History of the United
States_, pp. 133-156; Elson, _History of the United States_, pp.

=Hamilton's Report on Public Credit.=--Macdonald, _Documentary Source
Book_, pp. 233-243.

=The French Revolution.=--Robinson and Beard, _Development of Modern
Europe_, Vol. I, pp. 224-282; Elson, pp. 351-354.

=The Burke-Paine Controversy.=--Make an analysis of Burke's _Reflections
on the French Revolution_ and Paine's _Rights of Man_.

=The Alien and Sedition Acts.=--Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_,
pp. 259-267; Elson, pp. 367-375.

=Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.=--Macdonald, pp. 267-278.

=Source Studies.=--Materials in Hart, _American History Told by
Contemporaries_, Vol. III, pp. 255-343.

=Biographical Studies.=--Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas
Jefferson, and Albert Gallatin.

=The Twelfth Amendment.=--Contrast the provision in the original
Constitution with the terms of the Amendment. _See_ Appendix.


[1] North Carolina ratified in November, 1789, and Rhode Island in May,

[2] To prevent a repetition of such an unfortunate affair, the twelfth
amendment of the Constitution was adopted in 1804, changing slightly the
method of electing the President.




=Opposition to Strong Central Government.=--Cherishing especially the
agricultural interest, as Jefferson said, the Republicans were in the
beginning provincial in their concern and outlook. Their attachment to
America was, certainly, as strong as that of Hamilton; but they regarded
the state, rather than the national government, as the proper center of
power and affection. Indeed, a large part of the rank and file had been
among the opponents of the Constitution in the days of its adoption.
Jefferson had entertained doubts about it and Monroe, destined to be the
fifth President, had been one of the bitter foes of ratification. The
former went so far in the direction of local autonomy that he exalted
the state above the nation in the Kentucky resolutions of 1798,
declaring the Constitution to be a mere compact and the states competent
to interpret and nullify federal law. This was provincialism with a
vengeance. "It is jealousy, not confidence, which prescribes limited
constitutions," wrote Jefferson for the Kentucky legislature. Jealousy
of the national government, not confidence in it--this is the ideal that
reflected the provincial and agricultural interest.

=Republican Simplicity.=--Every act of the Jeffersonian party during its
early days of power was in accord with the ideals of government which it
professed. It had opposed all pomp and ceremony, calculated to give
weight and dignity to the chief executive of the nation, as symbols of
monarchy and high prerogative. Appropriately, therefore, Jefferson's
inauguration on March 4, 1801, the first at the new capital at
Washington, was marked by extreme simplicity. In keeping with this
procedure he quit the practice, followed by Washington and Adams, of
reading presidential addresses to Congress in joint assembly and adopted
in its stead the plan of sending his messages in writing--a custom that
was continued unbroken until 1913 when President Wilson returned to the
example set by the first chief magistrate.

=Republican Measures.=--The Republicans had complained of a great
national debt as the source of a dangerous "money power," giving
strength to the federal government; accordingly they began to pay it off
as rapidly as possible. They had held commerce in low esteem and looked
upon a large navy as a mere device to protect it; consequently they
reduced the number of warships. They had objected to excise taxes,
particularly on whisky; these they quickly abolished, to the intense
satisfaction of the farmers. They had protested against the heavy cost
of the federal government; they reduced expenses by discharging hundreds
of men from the army and abolishing many offices.

They had savagely criticized the Sedition law and Jefferson refused to
enforce it. They had been deeply offended by the assault on freedom of
speech and press and they promptly impeached Samuel Chase, a justice of
the Supreme Court, who had been especially severe in his attacks upon
offenders under the Sedition Act. Their failure to convict Justice Chase
by a narrow margin was due to no lack of zeal on their part but to the
Federalist strength in the Senate where the trial was held. They had
regarded the appointment of a large number of federal judges during the
last hours of Adams' administration as an attempt to intrench
Federalists in the judiciary and to enlarge the sphere of the national
government. Accordingly, they at once repealed the act creating the new
judgeships, thus depriving the "midnight appointees" of their posts.
They had considered the federal offices, civil and military, as sources
of great strength to the Federalists and Jefferson, though committed to
the principle that offices should be open to all and distributed
according to merit, was careful to fill most of the vacancies as they
occurred with trusted Republicans. To his credit, however, it must be
said that he did not make wholesale removals to find room for party

The Republicans thus hewed to the line of their general policy of
restricting the weight, dignity, and activity of the national
government. Yet there were no Republicans, as the Federalists asserted,
prepared to urge serious modifications in the Constitution. "If there be
any among us who wish to dissolve this union or to change its republican
form," wrote Jefferson in his first inaugural, "let them stand
undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may
be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it." After reciting the
fortunate circumstances of climate, soil, and isolation which made the
future of America so full of promise, Jefferson concluded: "A wise and
frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another,
shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of
industry and improvement and shall not take from the mouth of labour the
bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government; and this is
necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

In all this the Republicans had not reckoned with destiny. In a few
short years that lay ahead it was their fate to double the territory of
the country, making inevitable a continental nation; to give the
Constitution a generous interpretation that shocked many a Federalist;
to wage war on behalf of American commerce; to reëstablish the hated
United States Bank; to enact a high protective tariff; to see their
Federalist opponents in their turn discredited as nullifiers and
provincials; to announce high national doctrines in foreign affairs; and
to behold the Constitution exalted and defended against the pretensions
of states by a son of old Virginia, John Marshall, Chief Justice of the
Supreme Court of the United States.


=Expansion and Land Hunger.=--The first of the great measures which
drove the Republicans out upon this new national course--the purchase
of the Louisiana territory--was the product of circumstances rather than
of their deliberate choosing. It was not the lack of land for his
cherished farmers that led Jefferson to add such an immense domain to
the original possessions of the United States. In the Northwest
territory, now embracing Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin,
and a portion of Minnesota, settlements were mainly confined to the
north bank of the Ohio River. To the south, in Kentucky and Tennessee,
where there were more than one hundred thousand white people who had
pushed over the mountains from Virginia and the Carolinas, there were
still wide reaches of untilled soil. The Alabama and Mississippi regions
were vast Indian frontiers of the state of Georgia, unsettled and almost
unexplored. Even to the wildest imagination there seemed to be territory
enough to satisfy the land hunger of the American people for a century
to come.

=The Significance of the Mississippi River.=--At all events the East,
then the center of power, saw no good reason for expansion. The planters
of the Carolinas, the manufacturers of Pennsylvania, the importers of
New York, the shipbuilders of New England, looking to the seaboard and
to Europe for trade, refinements, and sometimes their ideas of
government, were slow to appreciate the place of the West in national
economy. The better educated the Easterners were, the less, it seems,
they comprehended the destiny of the nation. Sons of Federalist fathers
at Williams College, after a long debate decided by a vote of fifteen to
one that the purchase of Louisiana was undesirable.

On the other hand, the pioneers of Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee,
unlearned in books, saw with their own eyes the resources of the
wilderness. Many of them had been across the Mississippi and had beheld
the rich lands awaiting the plow of the white man. Down the great river
they floated their wheat, corn, and bacon to ocean-going ships bound for
the ports of the seaboard or for Europe. The land journeys over the
mountain barriers with bulky farm produce, they knew from experience,
were almost impossible, and costly at best. Nails, bolts of cloth, tea,
and coffee could go or come that way, but not corn and bacon. A free
outlet to the sea by the Mississippi was as essential to the pioneers of
the Kentucky region as the harbor of Boston to the merchant princes of
that metropolis.

=Louisiana under Spanish Rule.=--For this reason they watched with deep
solicitude the fortunes of the Spanish king to whom, at the close of the
Seven Years' War, had fallen the Louisiana territory stretching from New
Orleans to the Rocky Mountains. While he controlled the mouth of the
Mississippi there was little to fear, for he had neither the army nor
the navy necessary to resist any invasion of American trade. Moreover,
Washington had been able, by the exercise of great tact, to secure from
Spain in 1795 a trading privilege through New Orleans which satisfied
the present requirements of the frontiersmen even if it did not allay
their fears for the future. So things stood when a swift succession of
events altered the whole situation.

=Louisiana Transferred to France.=--In July, 1802, a royal order from
Spain instructed the officials at New Orleans to close the port to
American produce. About the same time a disturbing rumor, long current,
was confirmed--Napoleon had coerced Spain into returning Louisiana to
France by a secret treaty signed in 1800. "The scalers of the Alps and
conquerors of Venice" now looked across the sea for new scenes of
adventure. The West was ablaze with excitement. A call for war ran
through the frontier; expeditions were organized to prevent the landing
of the French; and petitions for instant action flooded in upon

=Jefferson Sees the Danger.=--Jefferson, the friend of France and sworn
enemy of England, compelled to choose in the interest of America, never
winced. "The cession of Louisiana and the Floridas by Spain to France,"
he wrote to Livingston, the American minister in Paris, "works sorely on
the United States. It completely reverses all the political relations of
the United States and will form a new epoch in our political course....
There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of which is our
natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans through which the produce
of three-eighths of our territory must pass to market.... France,
placing herself in that door, assumes to us an attitude of defiance.
Spain might have retained it quietly for years. Her pacific
dispositions, her feeble state would induce her to increase our
facilities there.... Not so can it ever be in the hands of France....
The day that France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence
which is to restrain her forever within her low water mark.... It seals
the union of the two nations who in conjunction can maintain exclusive
possession of the ocean. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the
British fleet and nation.... This is not a state of things we seek or
desire. It is one which this measure, if adopted by France, forces on us
as necessarily as any other cause by the laws of nature brings on its
necessary effect."

=Louisiana Purchased.=--Acting on this belief, but apparently seeing
only the Mississippi outlet at stake, Jefferson sent his friend, James
Monroe, to France with the power to buy New Orleans and West Florida.
Before Monroe arrived, the regular minister, Livingston, had already
convinced Napoleon that it would be well to sell territory which might
be wrested from him at any moment by the British sea power, especially
as the war, temporarily stopped by the peace of Amiens, was once more
raging in Europe. Wise as he was in his day, Livingston had at first no
thought of buying the whole Louisiana country. He was simply dazed when
Napoleon offered to sell the entire domain and get rid of the business
altogether. Though staggered by the proposal, he and Monroe decided to
accept. On April 30, they signed the treaty of cession, agreeing to pay
$11,250,000 in six per cent bonds and to discharge certain debts due
French citizens, making in all approximately fifteen millions. Spain
protested, Napoleon's brother fumed, French newspapers objected; but the
deed was done.

=Jefferson and His Constitutional Scruples.=--When the news of this
extraordinary event reached the United States, the people were filled
with astonishment, and no one was more surprised than Jefferson himself.
He had thought of buying New Orleans and West Florida for a small sum,
and now a vast domain had been dumped into the lap of the nation. He was
puzzled. On looking into the Constitution he found not a line
authorizing the purchase of more territory and so he drafted an
amendment declaring "Louisiana, as ceded by France,--a part of the
United States." He had belabored the Federalists for piling up a big
national debt and he could hardly endure the thought of issuing more
bonds himself.

In the midst of his doubts came the news that Napoleon might withdraw
from the bargain. Thoroughly alarmed by that, Jefferson pressed the
Senate for a ratification of the treaty. He still clung to his original
idea that the Constitution did not warrant the purchase; but he lamely
concluded: "If our friends shall think differently, I shall certainly
acquiesce with satisfaction; confident that the good sense of our
country will correct the evil of construction when it shall produce ill
effects." Thus the stanch advocate of "strict interpretation" cut loose
from his own doctrine and intrusted the construction of the Constitution
to "the good sense" of his countrymen.

=The Treaty Ratified.=--This unusual transaction, so favorable to the
West, aroused the ire of the seaboard Federalists. Some denounced it as
unconstitutional, easily forgetting Hamilton's masterly defense of the
bank, also not mentioned in the Constitution. Others urged that, if "the
howling wilderness" ever should be settled, it would turn against the
East, form new commercial connections, and escape from federal control.
Still others protested that the purchase would lead inevitably to the
dominance of a "hotch potch of wild men from the Far West." Federalists,
who thought "the broad back of America" could readily bear Hamilton's
consolidated debt, now went into agonies over a bond issue of less than
one-sixth of that amount. But in vain. Jefferson's party with a high
hand carried the day. The Senate, after hearing the Federalist protest,
ratified the treaty. In December, 1803, the French flag was hauled down
from the old government buildings in New Orleans and the Stars and
Stripes were hoisted as a sign that the land of Coronado, De Soto,
Marquette, and La Salle had passed forever to the United States.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1805]

By a single stroke, the original territory of the United States was more
than doubled. While the boundaries of the purchase were uncertain, it is
safe to say that the Louisiana territory included what is now Arkansas,
Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and large
portions of Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, Montana, and
Wyoming. The farm lands that the friends of "a little America" on the
seacoast declared a hopeless wilderness were, within a hundred years,
fully occupied and valued at nearly seven billion dollars--almost five
hundred times the price paid to Napoleon.

=Western Explorations.=--Having taken the fateful step, Jefferson wisely
began to make the most of it. He prepared for the opening of the new
country by sending the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore it,
discover its resources, and lay out an overland route through the
Missouri Valley and across the Great Divide to the Pacific. The story of
this mighty exploit, which began in the spring of 1804 and ended in the
autumn of 1806, was set down with skill and pains in the journal of
Lewis and Clark; when published even in a short form, it invited the
forward-looking men of the East to take thought about the western
empire. At the same time Zebulon Pike, in a series of journeys, explored
the sources of the Mississippi River and penetrated the Spanish
territories of the far Southwest. Thus scouts and pioneers continued the
work of diplomats.


=The English and French Blockades.=--In addition to bringing Louisiana
to the United States, the reopening of the European War in 1803, after a
short lull, renewed in an acute form the commercial difficulties that
had plagued the country all during the administrations of Washington and
Adams. The Republicans were now plunged into the hornets' nest. The
party whose ardent spirits had burned Jay in effigy, stoned Hamilton for
defending his treaty, jeered Washington's proclamation of neutrality,
and spoken bitterly of "timid traders," could no longer take refuge in
criticism. It had to act.

Its troubles took a serious turn in 1806. England, in a determined
effort to bring France to her knees by starvation, declared the coast of
Europe blockaded from Brest to the mouth of the Elbe River. Napoleon
retaliated by his Berlin Decree of November, 1806, blockading the
British Isles--a measure terrifying to American ship owners whose
vessels were liable to seizure by any French rover, though Napoleon had
no navy to make good his proclamation. Great Britain countered with a
still more irritating decree--the Orders in Council of 1807. It modified
its blockade, but in so doing merely authorized American ships not
carrying munitions of war to complete their voyage to the Continent, on
condition of their stopping at a British port, securing a license, and
paying a tax. This, responded Napoleon, was the height of insolence, and
he denounced it as a gross violation of international law. He then
closed the circle of American troubles by issuing his Milan Decree of
December, 1807. This order declared that any ship which complied with
the British rules would be subject to seizure and confiscation by French

=The Impressment of Seamen.=--That was not all. Great Britain, in dire
need of men for her navy, adopted the practice of stopping American
ships, searching them, and carrying away British-born sailors found on
board. British sailors were so badly treated, so cruelly flogged for
trivial causes, and so meanly fed that they fled in crowds to the
American marine. In many cases it was difficult to tell whether seamen
were English or American. They spoke the same language, so that language
was no test. Rovers on the deep and stragglers in the ports of both
countries, they frequently had no papers to show their nativity.
Moreover, Great Britain held to the old rule--"Once an Englishman,
always an Englishman"--a doctrine rejected by the United States in
favor of the principle that a man could choose the nation to which he
would give allegiance. British sea captains, sometimes by mistake, and
often enough with reckless indifference, carried away into servitude in
their own navy genuine American citizens. The process itself, even when
executed with all the civilities of law, was painful enough, for it
meant that American ships were forced to "come to," and compelled to
rest submissively under British guns until the searching party had pried
into records, questioned seamen, seized and handcuffed victims. Saints
could not have done this work without raising angry passions, and only
saints could have endured it with patience and fortitude.

Had the enactment of the scenes been confined to the high seas and
knowledge of them to rumors and newspaper stories, American resentment
might not have been so intense; but many a search and seizure was made
in sight of land. British and French vessels patrolled the coasts,
firing on one another and chasing one another in American waters within
the three-mile limit. When, in the summer of 1807, the American frigate
_Chesapeake_ refused to surrender men alleged to be deserters from King
George's navy, the British warship _Leopard_ opened fire, killing three
men and wounding eighteen more--an act which even the British ministry
could hardly excuse. If the French were less frequently the offenders,
it was not because of their tenderness about American rights but because
so few of their ships escaped the hawk-eyed British navy to operate in
American waters.

=The Losses in American Commerce.=--This high-handed conduct on the part
of European belligerents was very injurious to American trade. By their
enterprise, American shippers had become the foremost carriers on the
Atlantic Ocean. In a decade they had doubled the tonnage of American
merchant ships under the American flag, taking the place of the French
marine when Britain swept that from the seas, and supplying Britain with
the sinews of war for the contest with the Napoleonic empire. The
American shipping engaged in foreign trade embraced 363,110 tons in
1791; 669,921 tons in 1800; and almost 1,000,000 tons in 1810. Such was
the enterprise attacked by the British and French decrees. American
ships bound for Great Britain were liable to be captured by French
privateers which, in spite of the disasters of the Nile and Trafalgar,
ranged the seas. American ships destined for the Continent, if they
failed to stop at British ports and pay tribute, were in great danger of
capture by the sleepless British navy and its swarm of auxiliaries.
American sea captains who, in fear of British vengeance, heeded the
Orders in Council and paid the tax were almost certain to fall a prey to
French vengeance, for the French were vigorous in executing the Milan

=Jefferson's Policy.=--The President's dilemma was distressing. Both the
belligerents in Europe were guilty of depredations on American commerce.
War on both of them was out of the question. War on France was
impossible because she had no territory on this side of the water which
could be reached by American troops and her naval forces had been
shattered at the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar. War on Great
Britain, a power which Jefferson's followers feared and distrusted, was
possible but not inviting. Jefferson shrank from it. A man of peace, he
disliked war's brazen clamor; a man of kindly spirit, he was startled at
the death and destruction which it brought in its train. So for the
eight years Jefferson steered an even course, suggesting measure after
measure with a view to avoiding bloodshed. He sent, it is true,
Commodore Preble in 1803 to punish Mediterranean pirates preying upon
American commerce; but a great war he evaded with passionate
earnestness, trying in its place every other expedient to protect
American rights.

=The Embargo and Non-intercourse Acts.=--In 1806, Congress passed and
Jefferson approved a non-importation act closing American ports to
certain products from British dominions--a measure intended as a club
over the British government's head. This law, failing in its purpose,
Jefferson proposed and Congress adopted in December, 1807, the Embargo
Act forbidding all vessels to leave American harbors for foreign ports.
France and England were to be brought to terms by cutting off their

The result of the embargo was pathetic. England and France refused to
give up search and seizure. American ship owners who, lured by huge
profits, had formerly been willing to take the risk were now restrained
by law to their home ports. Every section suffered. The South and West
found their markets for cotton, rice, tobacco, corn, and bacon
curtailed. Thus they learned by bitter experience the national
significance of commerce. Ship masters, ship builders, longshoremen, and
sailors were thrown out of employment while the prices of foreign goods
doubled. Those who obeyed the law were ruined; violators of the law
smuggled goods into Canada and Florida for shipment abroad.

Jefferson's friends accepted the medicine with a wry face as the only
alternative to supine submission or open war. His opponents, without
offering any solution of their own, denounced it as a contemptible plan
that brought neither relief nor honor. Beset by the clamor that arose on
all sides, Congress, in the closing days of Jefferson's administration,
repealed the Embargo law and substituted a Non-intercourse act
forbidding trade with England and France while permitting it with other
countries--a measure equally futile in staying the depredations on
American shipping.

=Jefferson Retires in Favor of Madison.=--Jefferson, exhausted by
endless wrangling and wounded, as Washington had been, by savage
criticism, welcomed March 4, 1809. His friends urged him to "stay by the
ship" and accept a third term. He declined, saying that election for
life might result from repeated reëlection. In following Washington's
course and defending it on principle, he set an example to all his
successors, making the "third term doctrine" a part of American
unwritten law.

His intimate friend, James Madison, to whom he turned over the burdens
of his high office was, like himself, a man of peace. Madison had been a
leader since the days of the Revolution, but in legislative halls and
council chambers, not on the field of battle. Small in stature,
sensitive in feelings, studious in habits, he was no man for the rough
and tumble of practical politics. He had taken a prominent and
distinguished part in the framing and the adoption of the Constitution.
He had served in the first Congress as a friend of Hamilton's measures.
Later he attached himself to Jefferson's fortunes and served for eight
years as his first counselor, the Secretary of State. The principles of
the Constitution, which he had helped to make and interpret, he was now
as President called upon to apply in one of the most perplexing moments
in all American history. In keeping with his own traditions and
following in the footsteps of Jefferson, he vainly tried to solve the
foreign problem by negotiation.

=The Trend of Events.=--Whatever difficulties Madison had in making up
his mind on war and peace were settled by events beyond his own control.
In the spring of 1811, a British frigate held up an American ship near
the harbor of New York and impressed a seaman alleged to be an American
citizen. Burning with resentment, the captain of the _President_, an
American warship, acting under orders, poured several broadsides into
the _Little Belt_, a British sloop, suspected of being the guilty party.
The British also encouraged the Indian chief Tecumseh, who welded
together the Indians of the Northwest under British protection and gave
signs of restlessness presaging a revolt. This sent a note of alarm
along the frontier that was not checked even when, in November,
Tecumseh's men were badly beaten at Tippecanoe by William Henry
Harrison. The Indians stood in the way of the advancing frontier, and it
seemed to the pioneers that, without support from the British in Canada,
the Red Men would soon be subdued.

=Clay and Calhoun.=--While events were moving swiftly and rumors were
flying thick and fast, the mastery of the government passed from the
uncertain hands of Madison to a party of ardent young men in Congress,
dubbed "Young Republicans," under the leadership of two members destined
to be mighty figures in American history: Henry Clay of Kentucky and
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. The former contended, in a flair of
folly, that "the militia of Kentucky alone are competent to place
Montreal and Upper Canada at your feet." The latter with a light heart
spoke of conquering Canada in a four weeks' campaign. "It must not be
inferred," says Channing, "that in advocating conquest, the Westerners
were actuated merely by desire for land; they welcomed war because they
thought it would be the easiest way to abate Indian troubles. The
savages were supported by the fur-trading interests that centred at
Quebec and London.... The Southerners on their part wished for Florida
and they thought that the conquest of Canada would obviate some Northern
opposition to this acquisition of slave territory." While Clay and
Calhoun, spokesmen of the West and South, were not unmindful of what
Napoleon had done to American commerce, they knew that their followers
still remembered with deep gratitude the aid of the French in the war
for independence and that the embers of the old hatred for George III,
still on the throne, could be readily blown into flame.

=Madison Accepts War as Inevitable.=--The conduct of the British
ministers with whom Madison had to deal did little to encourage him in
adhering to the policy of "watchful waiting." One of them, a high Tory,
believed that all Americans were alike "except that a few are less
knaves than others" and his methods were colored by his belief. On the
recall of this minister the British government selected another no less
high and mighty in his principles and opinions. So Madison became
thoroughly discouraged about the outcome of pacific measures. When the
pressure from Congress upon him became too heavy, he gave way, signing
on June 18, 1812, the declaration of war on Great Britain. In
proclaiming hostilities, the administration set forth the causes which
justified the declaration; namely, the British had been encouraging the
Indians to attack American citizens on the frontier; they had ruined
American trade by blockades; they had insulted the American flag by
stopping and searching our ships; they had illegally seized American
sailors and driven them into the British navy.

=The Course of the War.=--The war lasted for nearly three years without
bringing victory to either side. The surrender of Detroit by General
Hull to the British and the failure of the American invasion of Canada
were offset by Perry's victory on Lake Erie and a decisive blow
administered to British designs for an invasion of New York by way of
Plattsburgh. The triumph of Jackson at New Orleans helped to atone for
the humiliation suffered in the burning of the Capitol by the British.
The stirring deeds of the _Constitution_, the _United States_, and the
_Argus_ on the seas, the heroic death of Lawrence and the victories of a
hundred privateers furnished consolation for those who suffered from the
iron blockade finally established by the British government when it came
to appreciate the gravity of the situation. While men love the annals of
the sea, they will turn to the running battles, the narrow escapes, and
the reckless daring of American sailors in that naval contest with Great

All this was exciting but it was inconclusive. In fact, never was a
government less prepared than was that of the United States in 1812. It
had neither the disciplined troops, the ships of war, nor the supplies
required by the magnitude of the military task. It was fortune that
favored the American cause. Great Britain, harassed, worn, and
financially embarrassed by nearly twenty years of fighting in Europe,
was in no mood to gather her forces for a titanic effort in America even
after Napoleon was overthrown and sent into exile at Elba in the spring
of 1814. War clouds still hung on the European horizon and the conflict
temporarily halted did again break out. To be rid of American anxieties
and free for European eventualities, England was ready to settle with
the United States, especially as that could be done without conceding
anything or surrendering any claims.

=The Treaty of Peace.=--Both countries were in truth sick of a war that
offered neither glory nor profit. Having indulged in the usual
diplomatic skirmishing, they sent representatives to Ghent to discuss
terms of peace. After long negotiations an agreement was reached on
Christmas eve, 1814, a few days before Jackson's victory at New Orleans.
When the treaty reached America the people were surprised to find that
it said nothing about the seizure of American sailors, the destruction
of American trade, the searching of American ships, or the support of
Indians on the frontier. Nevertheless, we are told, the people "passed
from gloom to glory" when the news of peace arrived. The bells were
rung; schools were closed; flags were displayed; and many a rousing
toast was drunk in tavern and private home. The rejoicing could
continue. With Napoleon definitely beaten at Waterloo in June, 1815,
Great Britain had no need to impress sailors, search ships, and
confiscate American goods bound to the Continent. Once more the terrible
sea power sank into the background and the ocean was again white with
the sails of merchantmen.


=The Federalists Discredited.=--By a strange turn of fortune's wheel,
the party of Hamilton, Washington, Adams, the party of the grand nation,
became the party of provincialism and nullification. New England,
finding its shipping interests crippled in the European conflict and
then penalized by embargoes, opposed the declaration of war on Great
Britain, which meant the completion of the ruin already begun. In the
course of the struggle, the Federalist leaders came perilously near to
treason in their efforts to hamper the government of the United States;
and in their desperation they fell back upon the doctrine of
nullification so recently condemned by them when it came from Kentucky.
The Senate of Massachusetts, while the war was in progress, resolved
that it was waged "without justifiable cause," and refused to approve
military and naval projects not connected with "the defense of our
seacoast and soil." A Boston newspaper declared that the union was
nothing but a treaty among sovereign states, that states could decide
for themselves the question of obeying federal law, and that armed
resistance under the banner of a state would not be rebellion or
treason. The general assembly of Connecticut reminded the administration
at Washington that "the state of Connecticut is a free, sovereign, and
independent state." Gouverneur Morris, a member of the convention which
had drafted the Constitution, suggested the holding of another
conference to consider whether the Northern states should remain in the

[Illustration: _From an old cartoon_


In October, 1814, a convention of delegates from Connecticut,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and certain counties of New Hampshire and
Vermont was held at Hartford, on the call of Massachusetts. The counsels
of the extremists were rejected but the convention solemnly went on
record to the effect that acts of Congress in violation of the
Constitution are void; that in cases of deliberate, dangerous, and
palpable infractions the state is duty bound to interpose its authority
for the protection of its citizens; and that when emergencies occur the
states must be their own judges and execute their own decisions. Thus
New England answered the challenge of Calhoun and Clay. Fortunately its
actions were not as rash as its words. The Hartford convention merely
proposed certain amendments to the Constitution and adjourned. At the
close of the war, its proposals vanished harmlessly; but the men who
made them were hopelessly discredited.

=The Second United States Bank.=--In driving the Federalists towards
nullification and waging a national war themselves, the Republicans lost
all their old taint of provincialism. Moreover, in turning to measures
of reconstruction called forth by the war, they resorted to the national
devices of the Federalists. In 1816, they chartered for a period of
twenty years a second United States Bank--the institution which
Jefferson and Madison once had condemned as unsound and
unconstitutional. The Constitution remained unchanged; times and
circumstances had changed. Calhoun dismissed the vexed question of
constitutionality with a scant reference to an ancient dispute, while
Madison set aside his scruples and signed the bill.

=The Protective Tariff of 1816.=--The Republicans supplemented the Bank
by another Federalist measure--a high protective tariff. Clay viewed it
as the beginning of his "American system" of protection. Calhoun
defended it on national principles. For this sudden reversal of policy
the young Republicans were taunted by some of their older party
colleagues with betraying the "agricultural interest" that Jefferson had
fostered; but Calhoun refused to listen to their criticisms. "When the
seas are open," he said, "the produce of the South may pour anywhere
into the markets of the Old World.... What are the effects of a war with
a maritime power--with England? Our commerce annihilated ... our
agriculture cut off from its accustomed markets, the surplus of the
farmer perishes on his hands.... The recent war fell with peculiar
pressure on the growers of cotton and tobacco and the other great
staples of the country; and the same state of things will recur in the
event of another war unless prevented by the foresight of this body....
When our manufactures are grown to a certain perfection, as they soon
will be under the fostering care of the government, we shall no longer
experience these evils." With the Republicans nationalized, the
Federalist party, as an organization, disappeared after a crushing
defeat in the presidential campaign of 1816.

=Monroe and the Florida Purchase.=--To the victor in that political
contest, James Monroe of Virginia, fell two tasks of national
importance, adding to the prestige of the whole country and deepening
the sense of patriotism that weaned men away from mere allegiance to
states. The first of these was the purchase of Florida from Spain. The
acquisition of Louisiana let the Mississippi flow "unvexed to the sea";
but it left all the states east of the river cut off from the Gulf,
affording them ground for discontent akin to that which had moved the
pioneers of Kentucky to action a generation earlier. The uncertainty as
to the boundaries of Louisiana gave the United States a claim to West
Florida, setting on foot a movement for occupation. The Florida swamps
were a basis for Indian marauders who periodically swept into the
frontier settlements, and hiding places for runaway slaves. Thus the
sanction of international law was given to punitive expeditions into
alien territory.

The pioneer leaders stood waiting for the signal. It came. President
Monroe, on the occasion of an Indian outbreak, ordered General Jackson
to seize the offenders, in the Floridas, if necessary. The high-spirited
warrior, taking this as a hint that he was to occupy the coveted region,
replied that, if possession was the object of the invasion, he could
occupy the Floridas within sixty days. Without waiting for an answer to
this letter, he launched his expedition, and in the spring of 1818 was
master of the Spanish king's domain to the south.

There was nothing for the king to do but to make the best of the
inevitable by ceding the Floridas to the United States in return for
five million dollars to be paid to American citizens having claims
against Spain. On Washington's birthday, 1819, the treaty was signed. It
ceded the Floridas to the United States and defined the boundary between
Mexico and the United States by drawing a line from the mouth of the
Sabine River in a northwesterly direction to the Pacific. On this
occasion even Monroe, former opponent of the Constitution, forgot to
inquire whether new territory could be constitutionally acquired and
incorporated into the American union. The Republicans seemed far away
from the days of "strict construction." And Jefferson still lived!

=The Monroe Doctrine.=--Even more effective in fashioning the national
idea was Monroe's enunciation of the famous doctrine that bears his
name. The occasion was another European crisis. During the Napoleonic
upheaval and the years of dissolution that ensued, the Spanish colonies
in America, following the example set by their English neighbors in
1776, declared their independence. Unable to conquer them alone, the
king of Spain turned for help to the friendly powers of Europe that
looked upon revolution and republics with undisguised horror.

_The Holy Alliance._--He found them prepared to view his case with
sympathy. Three of them, Austria, Prussia, and Russia, under the
leadership of the Czar, Alexander I, in the autumn of 1815, had entered
into a Holy Alliance to sustain by reciprocal service the autocratic
principle in government. Although the effusive, almost maudlin, language
of the treaty did not express their purpose explicitly, the Alliance was
later regarded as a mere union of monarchs to prevent the rise and
growth of popular government.

The American people thought their worst fears confirmed when, in 1822, a
conference of delegates from Russia, Austria, Prussia, and France met at
Verona to consider, among other things, revolutions that had just broken
out in Spain and Italy. The spirit of the conference is reflected in the
first article of the agreement reached by the delegates: "The high
contracting powers, being convinced that the system of representative
government is equally incompatible with the monarchical principle and
the maxim of the sovereignty of the people with the divine right,
mutually engage in the most solemn manner to use all their efforts to
put an end to the system of representative government in whatever
country it may exist in Europe and to prevent its being introduced in
those countries where it is not yet known." The Czar, who incidentally
coveted the west coast of North America, proposed to send an army to aid
the king of Spain in his troubles at home, thus preparing the way for
intervention in Spanish America. It was material weakness not want of
spirit, that prevented the grand union of monarchs from making open war
on popular government.

_The Position of England._--Unfortunately, too, for the Holy Alliance,
England refused to coöperate. English merchants had built up a large
trade with the independent Latin-American colonies and they protested
against the restoration of Spanish sovereignty, which meant a renewal of
Spain's former trade monopoly. Moreover, divine right doctrines had been
laid to rest in England and the representative principle thoroughly
established. Already there were signs of the coming democratic flood
which was soon to carry the first reform bill of 1832, extending the
suffrage, and sweep on to even greater achievements. British statesmen,
therefore, had to be cautious. In such circumstances, instead of
coöperating with the autocrats of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, they
turned to the minister of the United States in London. The British prime
minister, Canning, proposed that the two countries join in declaring
their unwillingness to see the Spanish colonies transferred to any other

_Jefferson's Advice._--The proposal was rejected; but President Monroe
took up the suggestion with Madison and Jefferson as well as with his
Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams. They favored the plan. Jefferson
said: "One nation, most of all, could disturb us in this pursuit [of
freedom]; she now offers to lead, aid, and accompany us in it. By
acceding to her proposition we detach her from the bands, bring her
mighty weight into the scale of free government and emancipate a
continent at one stroke.... With her on our side we need not fear the
whole world. With her then we should most sedulously cherish a cordial

_Monroe's Statement of the Doctrine._--Acting on the advice of trusted
friends, President Monroe embodied in his message to Congress, on
December 2, 1823, a statement of principles now famous throughout the
world as the Monroe Doctrine. To the autocrats of Europe he announced
that he would regard "any attempt on their part to extend their system
to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety."
While he did not propose to interfere with existing colonies dependent
on European powers, he ranged himself squarely on the side of those that
had declared their independence. Any attempt by a European power to
oppress them or control their destiny in any manner he characterized as
"a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States."
Referring in another part of his message to a recent claim which the
Czar had made to the Pacific coast, President Monroe warned the Old
World that "the American continents, by the free and independent
condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to
be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European
powers." The effect of this declaration was immediate and profound. Men
whose political horizon had been limited to a community or state were
led to consider their nation as a great power among the sovereignties of
the earth, taking its part in shaping their international relations.

=The Missouri Compromise.=--Respecting one other important measure of
this period, the Republicans also took a broad view of their obligations
under the Constitution; namely, the Missouri Compromise. It is true,
they insisted on the admission of Missouri as a slave state, balanced
against the free state of Maine; but at the same time they assented to
the prohibition of slavery in the Louisiana territory north of the line
36° 30'. During the debate on the subject an extreme view had been
presented, to the effect that Congress had no constitutional warrant for
abolishing slavery in the territories. The precedent of the Northwest
Ordinance, ratified by Congress in 1789, seemed a conclusive answer from
practice to this contention; but Monroe submitted the issue to his
cabinet, which included Calhoun of South Carolina, Crawford of Georgia,
and Wirt of Virginia, all presumably adherents to the Jeffersonian
principle of strict construction. He received in reply a unanimous
verdict to the effect that Congress did have the power to prohibit
slavery in the territories governed by it. Acting on this advice he
approved, on March 6, 1820, the bill establishing freedom north of the
compromise line. This generous interpretation of the powers of Congress
stood for nearly forty years, until repudiated by the Supreme Court in
the Dred Scott case.


=John Marshall, the Nationalist.=--The Republicans in the lower ranges
of state politics, who did not catch the grand national style of their
leaders charged with responsibilities in the national field, were
assisted in their education by a Federalist from the Old Dominion, John
Marshall, who, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
States from 1801 to 1835, lost no occasion to exalt the Constitution
above the claims of the provinces. No differences of opinion as to his
political views have ever led even his warmest opponents to deny his
superb abilities or his sincere devotion to the national idea. All will
likewise agree that for talents, native and acquired, he was an ornament
to the humble democracy that brought him forth. His whole career was
American. Born on the frontier of Virginia, reared in a log cabin,
granted only the barest rudiments of education, inured to hardship and
rough life, he rose by masterly efforts to the highest judicial honor
America can bestow.

On him the bitter experience of the Revolution and of later days made a
lasting impression. He was no "summer patriot." He had been a soldier in
the Revolutionary army. He had suffered with Washington at Valley Forge.
He had seen his comrades in arms starving and freezing because the
Continental Congress had neither the power nor the inclination to force
the states to do their full duty. To him the Articles of Confederation
were the symbol of futility. Into the struggle for the formation of the
Constitution and its ratification in Virginia he had thrown himself with
the ardor of a soldier. Later, as a member of Congress, a representative
to France, and Secretary of State, he had aided the Federalists in
establishing the new government. When at length they were driven from
power in the executive and legislative branches of the government, he
was chosen for their last stronghold, the Supreme Court. By historic
irony he administered the oath of office to his bitterest enemy, Thomas
Jefferson; and, long after the author of the Declaration of Independence
had retired to private life, the stern Chief Justice continued to
announce the old Federalist principles from the Supreme Bench.

[Illustration: JOHN MARSHALL]

=Marbury _vs._ Madison--An Act of Congress Annulled.=--He had been in
his high office only two years when he laid down for the first time in
the name of the entire Court the doctrine that the judges have the power
to declare an act of Congress null and void when in their opinion it
violates the Constitution. This power was not expressly conferred on the
Court. Though many able men held that the judicial branch of the
government enjoyed it, the principle was not positively established
until 1803 when the case of Marbury _vs._ Madison was decided. In
rendering the opinion of the Court, Marshall cited no precedents. He
sought no foundations for his argument in ancient history. He rested it
on the general nature of the American system. The Constitution, ran his
reasoning, is the supreme law of the land; it limits and binds all who
act in the name of the United States; it limits the powers of Congress
and defines the rights of citizens. If Congress can ignore its
limitations and trespass upon the rights of citizens, Marshall argued,
then the Constitution disappears and Congress is supreme. Since,
however, the Constitution is supreme and superior to Congress, it is the
duty of judges, under their oath of office, to sustain it against
measures which violate it. Therefore, from the nature of the American
constitutional system the courts must declare null and void all acts
which are not authorized. "A law repugnant to the Constitution," he
closed, "is void and the courts as well as other departments are bound
by that instrument." From that day to this the practice of federal and
state courts in passing upon the constitutionality of laws has remained

This doctrine was received by Jefferson and many of his followers with
consternation. If the idea was sound, he exclaimed, "then indeed is our
Constitution a complete _felo de se_ [legally, a suicide]. For,
intending to establish three departments, coördinate and independent
that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according
to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for
the government of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected
by and independent of the nation.... The Constitution, on this
hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which
they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be
remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth in politics, that whatever
power in any government is independent, is absolute also.... A judiciary
independent of a king or executive alone is a good thing; but
independence of the will of the nation is a solecism, at least in a
republican government." But Marshall was mighty and his view prevailed,
though from time to time other men, clinging to Jefferson's opinion,
likewise opposed the exercise by the Courts of the high power of passing
upon the constitutionality of acts of Congress.

=Acts of State Legislatures Declared Unconstitutional.=--Had Marshall
stopped with annulling an act of Congress, he would have heard less
criticism from Republican quarters; but, with the same firmness, he set
aside acts of state legislatures as well, whenever, in his opinion, they
violated the federal Constitution. In 1810, in the case of Fletcher
_vs._ Peck, he annulled an act of the Georgia legislature, informing the
state that it was not sovereign, but "a part of a large empire, ... a
member of the American union; and that union has a constitution ...
which imposes limits to the legislatures of the several states." In the
case of McCulloch _vs._ Maryland, decided in 1819, he declared void an
act of the Maryland legislature designed to paralyze the branches of the
United States Bank established in that state. In the same year, in the
still more memorable Dartmouth College case, he annulled an act of the
New Hampshire legislature which infringed upon the charter received by
the college from King George long before. That charter, he declared, was
a contract between the state and the college, which the legislature
under the federal Constitution could not impair. Two years later he
stirred the wrath of Virginia by summoning her to the bar of the Supreme
Court to answer in a case in which the validity of one of her laws was
involved and then justified his action in a powerful opinion rendered in
the case of Cohens _vs._ Virginia.

All these decisions aroused the legislatures of the states. They passed
sheaves of resolutions protesting and condemning; but Marshall never
turned and never stayed. The Constitution of the United States, he
fairly thundered at them, is the supreme law of the land; the Supreme
Court is the proper tribunal to pass finally upon the validity of the
laws of the states; and "those sovereignties," far from possessing the
right of review and nullification, are irrevocably bound by the
decisions of that Court. This was strong medicine for the authors of the
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and for the members of the Hartford
convention; but they had to take it.

=The Doctrine of Implied Powers.=--While restraining Congress in the
Marbury case and the state legislatures in a score of cases, Marshall
also laid the judicial foundation for a broad and liberal view of the
Constitution as opposed to narrow and strict construction. In McCulloch
_vs._ Maryland, he construed generously the words "necessary and proper"
in such a way as to confer upon Congress a wide range of "implied
powers" in addition to their express powers. That case involved, among
other things, the question whether the act establishing the second
United States Bank was authorized by the Constitution. Marshall answered
in the affirmative. Congress, ran his reasoning, has large powers over
taxation and the currency; a bank is of appropriate use in the exercise
of these enumerated powers; and therefore, though not absolutely
necessary, a bank is entirely proper and constitutional. "With respect
to the means by which the powers that the Constitution confers are to be
carried into execution," he said, Congress must be allowed the
discretion which "will enable that body to perform the high duties
assigned to it, in the manner most beneficial to the people." In short,
the Constitution of the United States is not a strait jacket but a
flexible instrument vesting in Congress the powers necessary to meet
national problems as they arise. In delivering this opinion Marshall
used language almost identical with that employed by Lincoln when,
standing on the battle field of a war waged to preserve the nation, he
said that "a government of the people, by the people, for the people
shall not perish from the earth."


During the strenuous period between the establishment of American
independence and the advent of Jacksonian democracy the great American
experiment was under the direction of the men who had launched it. All
the Presidents in that period, except John Quincy Adams, had taken part
in the Revolution. James Madison, the chief author of the Constitution,
lived until 1836. This age, therefore, was the "age of the fathers." It
saw the threatened ruin of the country under the Articles of
Confederation, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of political
parties, the growth of the West, the second war with England, and the
apparent triumph of the national spirit over sectionalism.

The new republic had hardly been started in 1783 before its troubles
began. The government could not raise money to pay its debts or running
expenses; it could not protect American commerce and manufactures
against European competition; it could not stop the continual issues of
paper money by the states; it could not intervene to put down domestic
uprisings that threatened the existence of the state governments.
Without money, without an army, without courts of law, the union under
the Articles of Confederation was drifting into dissolution. Patriots,
who had risked their lives for independence, began to talk of monarchy
again. Washington, Hamilton, and Madison insisted that a new
constitution alone could save America from disaster.

By dint of much labor the friends of a new form of government induced
the Congress to call a national convention to take into account the
state of America. In May, 1787, it assembled at Philadelphia and for
months it debated and wrangled over plans for a constitution. The small
states clamored for equal rights in the union. The large states vowed
that they would never grant it. A spirit of conciliation, fair play, and
compromise saved the convention from breaking up. In addition, there
were jealousies between the planting states and the commercial states.
Here, too, compromises had to be worked out. Some of the delegates
feared the growth of democracy and others cherished it. These factions
also had to be placated. At last a plan of government was drafted--the
Constitution of the United States--and submitted to the states for
approval. Only after a long and acrimonious debate did enough states
ratify the instrument to put it into effect. On April 30, 1789, George
Washington was inaugurated first President.

The new government proceeded to fund the old debt of the nation, assume
the debts of the states, found a national bank, lay heavy taxes to pay
the bills, and enact laws protecting American industry and commerce.
Hamilton led the way, but he had not gone far before he encountered
opposition. He found a formidable antagonist in Jefferson. In time two
political parties appeared full armed upon the scene: the Federalists
and the Republicans. For ten years they filled the country with
political debate. In 1800 the Federalists were utterly vanquished by the
Republicans with Jefferson in the lead.

By their proclamations of faith the Republicans favored the states
rather than the new national government, but in practice they added
immensely to the prestige and power of the nation. They purchased
Louisiana from France, they waged a war for commercial independence
against England, they created a second United States Bank, they enacted
the protective tariff of 1816, they declared that Congress had power to
abolish slavery north of the Missouri Compromise line, and they spread
the shield of the Monroe Doctrine between the Western Hemisphere and

Still America was a part of European civilization. Currents of opinion
flowed to and fro across the Atlantic. Friends of popular government in
Europe looked to America as the great exemplar of their ideals. Events
in Europe reacted upon thought in the United States. The French
Revolution exerted a profound influence on the course of political
debate. While it was in the stage of mere reform all Americans favored
it. When the king was executed and a radical democracy set up, American
opinion was divided. When France fell under the military dominion of
Napoleon and preyed upon American commerce, the United States made ready
for war.

The conduct of England likewise affected American affairs. In 1793 war
broke out between England and France and raged with only a slight
intermission until 1815. England and France both ravaged American
commerce, but England was the more serious offender because she had
command of the seas. Though Jefferson and Madison strove for peace, the
country was swept into war by the vehemence of the "Young Republicans,"
headed by Clay and Calhoun.

When the armed conflict was closed, one in diplomacy opened. The
autocratic powers of Europe threatened to intervene on behalf of Spain
in her attempt to recover possession of her Latin-American colonies.
Their challenge to America brought forth the Monroe Doctrine. The powers
of Europe were warned not to interfere with the independence or the
republican policies of this hemisphere or to attempt any new
colonization in it. It seemed that nationalism was to have a peaceful
triumph over sectionalism.


H. Adams, _History of the United States, 1800-1817_ (9 vols.).

K.C. Babcock, _Rise of American Nationality_ (American Nation Series).

E. Channing, _The Jeffersonian System_ (Same Series).

D.C. Gilman, _James Monroe_.

W. Reddaway, _The Monroe Doctrine_.

T. Roosevelt, _Naval War of 1812_.


1. What was the leading feature of Jefferson's political theory?

2. Enumerate the chief measures of his administration.

3. Were the Jeffersonians able to apply their theories? Give the

4. Explain the importance of the Mississippi River to Western farmers.

5. Show how events in Europe forced the Louisiana Purchase.

6. State the constitutional question involved in the Louisiana Purchase.

7. Show how American trade was affected by the European war.

8. Compare the policies of Jefferson and Madison.

9. Why did the United States become involved with England rather than
with France?

10. Contrast the causes of the War of 1812 with the results.

11. Give the economic reasons for the attitude of New England.

12. Give five "nationalist" measures of the Republicans. Discuss each in

13. Sketch the career of John Marshall.

14. Discuss the case of Marbury _vs._ Madison.

15. Summarize Marshall's views on: (_a_) states' rights; and (_b_) a
liberal interpretation of the Constitution.

=Research Topics=

=The Louisiana Purchase.=--Text of Treaty in Macdonald, _Documentary
Source Book_, pp. 279-282. Source materials in Hart, _American History
Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. III, pp. 363-384. Narrative, Henry Adams,
_History of the United States_, Vol. II, pp. 25-115; Elson, _History of
the United States_, pp. 383-388.

=The Embargo and Non-Intercourse Acts.=--Macdonald, pp. 282-288; Adams,
Vol. IV, pp. 152-177; Elson, pp. 394-405.

=Congress and the War of 1812.=--Adams, Vol. VI, pp. 113-198; Elson, pp.

=Proposals of the Hartford Convention.=--Macdonald, pp. 293-302.

=Manufactures and the Tariff of 1816.=--Coman, _Industrial History of
the United States_, pp. 184-194.

=The Second United States Bank.=--Macdonald, pp. 302-306.

=Effect of European War on American Trade.=--Callender, _Economic
History of the United States_, pp. 240-250.

=The Monroe Message.=--Macdonald, pp. 318-320.

=Lewis and Clark Expedition.=--R.G. Thwaites, _Rocky Mountain
Explorations_, pp. 92-187. Schafer, _A History of the Pacific Northwest_
(rev. ed.), pp. 29-61.




The nationalism of Hamilton was undemocratic. The democracy of Jefferson
was, in the beginning, provincial. The historic mission of uniting
nationalism and democracy was in the course of time given to new leaders
from a region beyond the mountains, peopled by men and women from all
sections and free from those state traditions which ran back to the
early days of colonization. The voice of the democratic nationalism
nourished in the West was heard when Clay of Kentucky advocated his
American system of protection for industries; when Jackson of Tennessee
condemned nullification in a ringing proclamation that has taken its
place among the great American state papers; and when Lincoln of
Illinois, in a fateful hour, called upon a bewildered people to meet the
supreme test whether this was a nation destined to survive or to perish.
And it will be remembered that Lincoln's party chose for its banner that
earlier device--Republican--which Jefferson had made a sign of power.
The "rail splitter" from Illinois united the nationalism of Hamilton
with the democracy of Jefferson, and his appeal was clothed in the
simple language of the people, not in the sonorous rhetoric which
Webster learned in the schools.


=The West and the American Revolution.=--The excessive attention devoted
by historians to the military operations along the coast has obscured
the rôle played by the frontier in the American Revolution. The action
of Great Britain in closing western land to easy settlement in 1763 was
more than an incident in precipitating the war for independence.
Americans on the frontier did not forget it; when Indians were employed
by England to defend that land, zeal for the patriot cause set the
interior aflame. It was the members of the western vanguard, like Daniel
Boone, John Sevier, and George Rogers Clark, who first understood the
value of the far-away country under the guns of the English forts, where
the Red Men still wielded the tomahawk and the scalping knife. It was
they who gave the East no rest until their vision was seen by the
leaders on the seaboard who directed the course of national policy. It
was one of their number, a seasoned Indian fighter, George Rogers Clark,
who with aid from Virginia seized Kaskaskia and Vincennes and secured
the whole Northwest to the union while the fate of Washington's army was
still hanging in the balance.

=Western Problems at the End of the Revolution.=--The treaty of peace,
signed with Great Britain in 1783, brought the definite cession of the
coveted territory west to the Mississippi River, but it left unsolved
many problems. In the first place, tribes of resentful Indians in the
Ohio region, even though British support was withdrawn at last, had to
be reckoned with; and it was not until after the establishment of the
federal Constitution that a well-equipped army could be provided to
guarantee peace on the border. In the second place, British garrisons
still occupied forts on Lake Erie pending the execution of the terms of
the treaty of 1783--terms which were not fulfilled until after the
ratification of the Jay treaty twelve years later. In the third place,
Virginia, Connecticut, and Massachusetts had conflicting claims to the
land in the Northwest based on old English charters and Indian treaties.
It was only after a bitter contest that the states reached an agreement
to transfer their rights to the government of the United States,
Virginia executing her deed of cession on March 1, 1784. In the fourth
place, titles to lands bought by individuals remained uncertain in the
absence of official maps and records. To meet this last situation,
Congress instituted a systematic survey of the Ohio country, laying it
out into townships, sections of 640 acres each, and quarter sections. In
every township one section of land was set aside for the support of
public schools.

=The Northwest Ordinance.=--The final problem which had to be solved
before settlement on a large scale could be begun was that of governing
the territory. Pioneers who looked with hungry eyes on the fertile
valley of the Ohio could hardly restrain their impatience. Soldiers of
the Revolution, who had been paid for their services in land warrants
entitling them to make entries in the West, called for action.

Congress answered by passing in 1787 the famous Northwest Ordinance
providing for temporary territorial government to be followed by the
creation of a popular assembly as soon as there were five thousand free
males in any district. Eventual admission to the union on an equal
footing with the original states was promised to the new territories.
Religious freedom was guaranteed. The safeguards of trial by jury,
regular judicial procedure, and _habeas corpus_ were established, in order
that the methods of civilized life might take the place of the
rough-and-ready justice of lynch law. During the course of the debate on
the Ordinance, Congress added the sixth article forbidding slavery and
involuntary servitude.

This Charter of the Northwest, so well planned by the Congress under the
Articles of Confederation, was continued in force by the first Congress
under the Constitution in 1789. The following year its essential
provisions, except the ban on slavery, were applied to the territory
south of the Ohio, ceded by North Carolina to the national government,
and in 1798 to the Mississippi territory, once held by Georgia. Thus it
was settled for all time that "the new colonies were not to be exploited
for the benefit of the parent states (any more than for the benefit of
England) but were to be autonomous and coördinate commonwealths." This
outcome, bitterly opposed by some Eastern leaders who feared the triumph
of Western states over the seaboard, completed the legal steps necessary
by way of preparation for the flood of settlers.

=The Land Companies, Speculators, and Western Land Tenure.=--As in the
original settlement of America, so in the opening of the West, great
companies and single proprietors of large grants early figured. In 1787
the Ohio Land Company, a New England concern, acquired a million and a
half acres on the Ohio and began operations by planting the town of
Marietta. A professional land speculator, J.C. Symmes, secured a million
acres lower down where the city of Cincinnati was founded. Other
individuals bought up soldiers' claims and so acquired enormous holdings
for speculative purposes. Indeed, there was such a rush to make fortunes
quickly through the rise in land values that Washington was moved to cry
out against the "rage for speculating in and forestalling of land on the
North West of the Ohio," protesting that "scarce a valuable spot within
any tolerable distance of it is left without a claimant." He therefore
urged Congress to fix a reasonable price for the land, not "too
exorbitant and burdensome for real occupiers, but high enough to
discourage monopolizers."

Congress, however, was not prepared to use the public domain for the
sole purpose of developing a body of small freeholders in the West. It
still looked upon the sale of public lands as an important source of
revenue with which to pay off the public debt; consequently it thought
more of instant income than of ultimate results. It placed no limit on
the amount which could be bought when it fixed the price at $2 an acre
in 1796, and it encouraged the professional land operator by making the
first installment only twenty cents an acre in addition to the small
registration and survey fee. On such terms a speculator with a few
thousand dollars could get possession of an enormous plot of land. If he
was fortunate in disposing of it, he could meet the installments, which
were spread over a period of four years, and make a handsome profit for
himself. Even when the credit or installment feature was abolished in
1821 and the price of the land lowered to a cash price of $1.75 an acre,
the opportunity for large speculative purchases continued to attract
capital to land ventures.

=The Development of the Small Freehold.=--The cheapness of land and the
scarcity of labor, nevertheless, made impossible the triumph of the huge
estate with its semi-servile tenantry. For about $45 a man could get a
farm of 160 acres on the installment plan; another payment of $80 was
due in forty days; but a four-year term was allowed for the discharge of
the balance. With a capital of from two to three hundred dollars a
family could embark on a land venture. If it had good crops, it could
meet the deferred payments. It was, however, a hard battle at best. Many
a man forfeited his land through failure to pay the final installment;
yet in the end, in spite of all the handicaps, the small freehold of a
few hundred acres at most became the typical unit of Western
agriculture, except in the planting states of the Gulf. Even the lands
of the great companies were generally broken up and sold in small lots.

The tendency toward moderate holdings, so favored by Western conditions,
was also promoted by a clause in the Northwest Ordinance declaring that
the land of any person dying intestate--that is, without any will
disposing of it--should be divided equally among his descendants.
Hildreth says of this provision: "It established the important
republican principle, not then introduced into all the states, of the
equal distribution of landed as well as personal property." All these
forces combined made the wide dispersion of wealth, in the early days of
the nineteenth century, an American characteristic, in marked contrast
with the European system of family prestige and vast estates based on
the law of primogeniture.


=The People.=--With government established, federal arms victorious over
the Indians, and the lands surveyed for sale, the way was prepared for
the immigrants. They came with a rush. Young New Englanders, weary of
tilling the stony soil of their native states, poured through New York
and Pennsylvania, some settling on the northern bank of the Ohio but
most of them in the Lake region. Sons and daughters of German farmers in
Pennsylvania and many a redemptioner who had discharged his bond of
servitude pressed out into Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, or beyond. From
the exhausted fields and the clay hills of the Southern states came
pioneers of English and Scotch-Irish descent, the latter in great
numbers. Indeed one historian of high authority has ventured to say that
"the rapid expansion of the United States from a coast strip to a
continental area is largely a Scotch-Irish achievement." While native
Americans of mixed stocks led the way into the West, it was not long
before immigrants direct from Europe, under the stimulus of company
enterprise, began to filter into the new settlements in increasing

The types of people were as various as the nations they represented.
Timothy Flint, who published his entertaining _Recollections_ in 1826,
found the West a strange mixture of all sorts and conditions of people.
Some of them, he relates, had been hunters in the upper world of the
Mississippi, above the falls of St. Anthony. Some had been still farther
north, in Canada. Still others had wandered from the South--the Gulf of
Mexico, the Red River, and the Spanish country. French boatmen and
trappers, Spanish traders from the Southwest, Virginia planters with
their droves of slaves mingled with English, German, and Scotch-Irish
farmers. Hunters, forest rangers, restless bordermen, and squatters,
like the foaming combers of an advancing tide, went first. Then followed
the farmers, masters of the ax and plow, with their wives who shared
every burden and hardship and introduced some of the features of
civilized life. The hunters and rangers passed on to new scenes; the
home makers built for all time.

=The Number of Immigrants.=--There were no official stations on the
frontier to record the number of immigrants who entered the West during
the decades following the American Revolution. But travelers of the time
record that every road was "crowded" with pioneers and their families,
their wagons and cattle; and that they were seldom out of the sound of
the snapping whip of the teamster urging forward his horses or the crack
of the hunter's rifle as he brought down his evening meal. "During the
latter half of 1787," says Coman, "more than nine hundred boats floated
down the Ohio carrying eighteen thousand men, women, and children, and
twelve thousand horses, sheep, and cattle, and six hundred and fifty
wagons." Other lines of travel were also crowded and with the passing
years the flooding tide of home seekers rose higher and higher.

=The Western Routes.=--Four main routes led into the country beyond the
Appalachians. The Genesee road, beginning at Albany, ran almost due west
to the present site of Buffalo on Lake Erie, through a level country. In
the dry season, wagons laden with goods could easily pass along it into
northern Ohio. A second route, through Pittsburgh, was fed by three
eastern branches, one starting at Philadelphia, one at Baltimore, and
another at Alexandria. A third main route wound through the mountains
from Alexandria to Boonesboro in Kentucky and then westward across the
Ohio to St. Louis. A fourth, the most famous of them all, passed through
the Cumberland Gap and by branches extended into the Cumberland valley
and the Kentucky country.

Of these four lines of travel, the Pittsburgh route offered the most
advantages. Pioneers, no matter from what section they came, when once
they were on the headwaters of the Ohio and in possession of a flatboat,
could find a quick and easy passage into all parts of the West and
Southwest. Whether they wanted to settle in Ohio, Kentucky, or western
Tennessee they could find their way down the drifting flood to their
destination or at least to some spot near it. Many people from the South
as well as the Northern and Middle states chose this route; so it came
about that the sons and daughters of Virginia and the Carolinas mingled
with those of New York, Pennsylvania, and New England in the settlement
of the Northwest territory.

=The Methods of Travel into the West.=--Many stories giving exact
descriptions of methods of travel into the West in the early days have
been preserved. The country was hardly opened before visitors from the
Old World and from the Eastern states, impelled by curiosity, made their
way to the very frontier of civilization and wrote books to inform or
amuse the public. One of them, Gilbert Imlay, an English traveler, has
given us an account of the Pittsburgh route as he found it in 1791. "If
a man ... " he writes, "has a family or goods of any sort to remove, his
best way, then, would be to purchase a waggon and team of horses to
carry his property to Redstone Old Fort or to Pittsburgh, according as
he may come from the Northern or Southern states. A good waggon will
cost, at Philadelphia, about £10 ... and the horses about £12 each; they
would cost something more both at Baltimore and Alexandria. The waggon
may be covered with canvass, and if it is the choice of the people, they
may sleep in it of nights with the greatest safety. But if they dislike
that, there are inns of accommodation the whole distance on the
different roads.... The provisions I would purchase in the same manner
[that is, from the farmers along the road]; and by having two or three
camp kettles and stopping every evening when the weather is fine upon
the brink of some rivulet and by kindling a fire they may soon dress
their own food.... This manner of journeying is so far from being
disagreeable that in a fine season it is extremely pleasant." The
immigrant once at Pittsburgh or Wheeling could then buy a flatboat of a
size required for his goods and stock, and drift down the current to his
journey's end.


=The Admission of Kentucky and Tennessee.=--When the eighteenth century
drew to a close, Kentucky had a population larger than Delaware, Rhode
Island, or New Hampshire. Tennessee claimed 60,000 inhabitants. In 1792
Kentucky took her place as a state beside her none too kindly parent,
Virginia. The Eastern Federalists resented her intrusion; but they took
some consolation in the admission of Vermont because the balance of
Eastern power was still retained.

As if to assert their independence of old homes and conservative ideas
the makers of Kentucky's first constitution swept aside the landed
qualification on the suffrage and gave the vote to all free white males.
Four years later, Kentucky's neighbor to the south, Tennessee, followed
this step toward a wider democracy. After encountering fierce opposition
from the Federalists, Tennessee was accepted as the sixteenth state.

=Ohio.=--The door of the union had hardly opened for Tennessee when
another appeal was made to Congress, this time from the pioneers in
Ohio. The little posts founded at Marietta and Cincinnati had grown into
flourishing centers of trade. The stream of immigrants, flowing down the
river, added daily to their numbers and the growing settlements all
around poured produce into their markets to be exchanged for "store
goods." After the Indians were disposed of in 1794 and the last British
soldier left the frontier forts under the terms of the Jay treaty of
1795, tiny settlements of families appeared on Lake Erie in the "Western
Reserve," a region that had been retained by Connecticut when she
surrendered her other rights in the Northwest.

At the close of the century, Ohio, claiming a population of more than
50,000, grew discontented with its territorial status. Indeed, two years
before the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance, squatters in that
region had been invited by one John Emerson to hold a convention after
the fashion of the men of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield in old
Connecticut and draft a frame of government for themselves. This true
son of New England declared that men "have an undoubted right to pass
into every vacant country and there to form their constitution and that
from the confederation of the whole United States Congress is not
empowered to forbid them." This grand convention was never held because
the heavy hand of the government fell upon the leaders; but the spirit
of John Emerson did not perish. In November, 1802, a convention chosen
by voters, assembled under the authority of Congress at Chillicothe,
drew up a constitution. It went into force after a popular ratification.
The roll of the convention bore such names as Abbot, Baldwin, Cutler,
Huntington, Putnam, and Sargent, and the list of counties from which
they came included Adams, Fairfield, Hamilton, Jefferson, Trumbull, and
Washington, showing that the new America in the West was peopled and led
by the old stock. In 1803 Ohio was admitted to the union.

=Indiana and Illinois.=--As in the neighboring state, the frontier in
Indiana advanced northward from the Ohio, mainly under the leadership,
however, of settlers from the South--restless Kentuckians hoping for
better luck in a newer country and pioneers from the far frontiers of
Virginia and North Carolina. As soon as a tier of counties swinging
upward like the horns of the moon against Ohio on the east and in the
Wabash Valley on the west was fairly settled, a clamor went up for
statehood. Under the authority of an act of Congress in 1816 the
Indianians drafted a constitution and inaugurated their government at
Corydon. "The majority of the members of the convention," we are told by
a local historian, "were frontier farmers who had a general idea of what
they wanted and had sense enough to let their more erudite colleagues
put it into shape."

Two years later, the pioneers of Illinois, also settled upward from the
Ohio, like Indiana, elected their delegates to draft a constitution.
Leadership in the convention, quite properly, was taken by a man born in
New York and reared in Tennessee; and the constitution as finally
drafted "was in its principal provisions a copy of the then existing
constitutions of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.... Many of the articles
are exact copies in wording although differently arranged and

=Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.=--Across the Mississippi to the
far south, clearing and planting had gone on with much bustle and
enterprise. The cotton and sugar lands of Louisiana, opened by French
and Spanish settlers, were widened in every direction by planters with
their armies of slaves from the older states. New Orleans, a good market
and a center of culture not despised even by the pioneer, grew apace. In
1810 the population of lower Louisiana was over 75,000. The time had
come, said the leaders of the people, to fulfill the promise made to
France in the treaty of cession; namely, to grant to the inhabitants of
the territory statehood and the rights of American citizens. Federalists
from New England still having a voice in Congress, if somewhat weaker,
still protested in tones of horror. "I am compelled to declare it as my
deliberate opinion," pronounced Josiah Quincy in the House of
Representatives, "that if this bill [to admit Louisiana] passes, the
bonds of this Union are virtually dissolved ... that as it will be the
right of all, so it will be the duty of some [states] to prepare
definitely for a separation; amicably if they can, violently if they
must.... It is a death blow to the Constitution. It may afterwards
linger; but lingering, its fate will, at no very distant period, be
consummated." Federalists from New York like those from New England had
their doubts about the wisdom of admitting Western states; but the party
of Jefferson and Madison, having the necessary majority, granted the
coveted statehood to Louisiana in 1812.

When, a few years later, Mississippi and Alabama knocked at the doors of
the union, the Federalists had so little influence, on account of their
conduct during the second war with England, that spokesmen from the
Southwest met a kindlier reception at Washington. Mississippi, in 1817,
and Alabama, in 1819, took their places among the United States of
America. Both of them, while granting white manhood suffrage, gave their
constitutions the tone of the old East by providing landed
qualifications for the governor and members of the legislature.

=Missouri.=--Far to the north in the Louisiana purchase, a new
commonwealth was rising to power. It was peopled by immigrants who came
down the Ohio in fleets of boats or crossed the Mississippi from
Kentucky and Tennessee. Thrifty Germans from Pennsylvania, hardy farmers
from Virginia ready to work with their own hands, freemen seeking
freemen's homes, planters with their slaves moving on from worn-out
fields on the seaboard, came together in the widening settlements of the
Missouri country. Peoples from the North and South flowed together,
small farmers and big planters mingling in one community. When their
numbers had reached sixty thousand or more, they precipitated a contest
over their admission to the union, "ringing an alarm bell in the night,"
as Jefferson phrased it. The favorite expedient of compromise with
slavery was brought forth in Congress once more. Maine consequently was
brought into the union without slavery and Missouri with slavery. At the
same time there was drawn westward through the rest of the Louisiana
territory a line separating servitude from slavery.


=Land Tenure and Liberty.=--Over an immense western area there developed
an unbroken system of freehold farms. In the Gulf states and the lower
Mississippi Valley, it is true, the planter with his many slaves even
led in the pioneer movement; but through large sections of Tennessee and
Kentucky, as well as upper Georgia and Alabama, and all throughout the
Northwest territory the small farmer reigned supreme. In this immense
dominion there sprang up a civilization without caste or class--a body
of people all having about the same amount of this world's goods and
deriving their livelihood from one source: the labor of their own hands
on the soil. The Northwest territory alone almost equaled in area all
the original thirteen states combined, except Georgia, and its system of
agricultural economy was unbroken by plantations and feudal estates. "In
the subdivision of the soil and the great equality of condition," as
Webster said on more than one occasion, "lay the true basis, most
certainly, of popular government." There was the undoubted source of
Jacksonian democracy.


=The Characteristics of the Western People.=--Travelers into the
Northwest during the early years of the nineteenth century were agreed
that the people of that region were almost uniformly marked by the
characteristics common to an independent yeomanry. A close observer thus
recorded his impressions: "A spirit of adventurous enterprise, a
willingness to go through any hardship to accomplish an object....
Independence of thought and action. They have felt the influence of
these principles from their childhood. Men who can endure anything; that
have lived almost without restraint, free as the mountain air or as the
deer and the buffalo of their forests, and who know they are Americans
all.... An apparent roughness which some would deem rudeness of
manner.... Where there is perfect equality in a neighborhood of people
who know little about each other's previous history or ancestry but
where each is lord of the soil he cultivates. Where a log cabin is all
that the best of families can expect to have for years and of course can
possess few of the external decorations which have so much influence in
creating a diversity of rank in society. These circumstances have laid
the foundation for that equality of intercourse, simplicity of manners,
want of deference, want of reserve, great readiness to make
acquaintances, freedom of speech, indisposition to brook real or
imaginary insults which one witnesses among people of the West."

This equality, this independence, this rudeness so often described by
the traveler as marking a new country, were all accentuated by the
character of the settlers themselves. Traces of the fierce, unsociable,
eagle-eyed, hard-drinking hunter remained. The settlers who followed the
hunter were, with some exceptions, soldiers of the Revolutionary army,
farmers of the "middling order," and mechanics from the towns,--English,
Scotch-Irish, Germans,--poor in possessions and thrown upon the labor of
their own hands for support. Sons and daughters from well-to-do Eastern
homes sometimes brought softer manners; but the equality of life and the
leveling force of labor in forest and field soon made them one in spirit
with their struggling neighbors. Even the preachers and teachers, who
came when the cabins were raised in the clearings and rude churches and
schoolhouses were built, preached sermons and taught lessons that
savored of the frontier, as any one may know who reads Peter
Cartwright's _A Muscular Christian_ or Eggleston's _The Hoosier


=The East Alarmed.=--A people so independent as the Westerners and so
attached to local self-government gave the conservative East many a rude
shock, setting gentlemen in powdered wigs and knee breeches agog with
the idea that terrible things might happen in the Mississippi Valley.
Not without good grounds did Washington fear that "a touch of a feather
would turn" the Western settlers away from the seaboard to the
Spaniards; and seriously did he urge the East not to neglect them, lest
they be "drawn into the arms of, or be dependent upon foreigners."
Taking advantage of the restless spirit in the Southwest, Aaron Burr,
having disgraced himself by killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel, laid
wild plans, if not to bring about a secession in that region, at least
to build a state of some kind out of the Spanish dominions adjoining
Louisiana. Frightened at such enterprises and fearing the dominance of
the West, the Federalists, with a few conspicuous exceptions, opposed
equality between the sections. Had their narrow views prevailed, the
West, with its new democracy, would have been held in perpetual tutelage
to the seaboard or perhaps been driven into independence as the thirteen
colonies had been not long before.

=Eastern Friends of the West.=--Fortunately for the nation, there were
many Eastern leaders, particularly from the South, who understood the
West, approved its spirit, and sought to bring the two sections together
by common bonds. Washington kept alive and keen the zeal for Western
advancement which he acquired in his youth as a surveyor. He never grew
tired of urging upon his Eastern friends the importance of the lands
beyond the mountains. He pressed upon the governor of Virginia a project
for a wagon road connecting the seaboard with the Ohio country and was
active in a movement to improve the navigation of the Potomac. He
advocated strengthening the ties of commerce. "Smooth the roads," he
said, "and make easy the way for them, and then see what an influx of
articles will be poured upon us; how amazingly our exports will be
increased by them; and how amply we shall be compensated for any trouble
and expense we may encounter to effect it." Jefferson, too, was
interested in every phase of Western development--the survey of lands,
the exploration of waterways, the opening of trade, and even the
discovery of the bones of prehistoric animals. Robert Fulton, the
inventor of the steamboat, was another man of vision who for many years
pressed upon his countrymen the necessity of uniting East and West by a
canal which would cement the union, raise the value of the public lands,
and extend the principles of confederate and republican government.

=The Difficulties of Early Transportation.=--Means of communication
played an important part in the strategy of all those who sought to
bring together the seaboard and the frontier. The produce of the
West--wheat, corn, bacon, hemp, cattle, and tobacco--was bulky and the
cost of overland transportation was prohibitive. In the Eastern market,
"a cow and her calf were given for a bushel of salt, while a suit of
'store clothes' cost as much as a farm." In such circumstances, the
inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley were forced to ship their produce
over a long route by way of New Orleans and to pay high freight rates
for everything that was brought across the mountains. Scows of from five
to fifty tons were built at the towns along the rivers and piloted down
the stream to the Crescent City. In a few cases small ocean-going
vessels were built to transport goods to the West Indies or to the
Eastern coast towns. Salt, iron, guns, powder, and the absolute
essentials which the pioneers had to buy mainly in Eastern markets were
carried over narrow wagon trails that were almost impassable in the
rainy season.

=The National Road.=--To far-sighted men, like Albert Gallatin, "the
father of internal improvements," the solution of this problem was the
construction of roads and canals. Early in Jefferson's administration,
Congress dedicated a part of the proceeds from the sale of lands to
building highways from the headwaters of the navigable waters emptying
into the Atlantic to the Ohio River and beyond into the Northwest
territory. In 1806, after many misgivings, it authorized a great
national highway binding the East and the West. The Cumberland Road, as
it was called, began in northwestern Maryland, wound through southern
Pennsylvania, crossed the narrow neck of Virginia at Wheeling, and then
shot almost straight across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, into Missouri.
By 1817, stagecoaches were running between Washington and Wheeling; by
1833 contractors had carried their work to Columbus, Ohio, and by 1852,
to Vandalia, Illinois. Over this ballasted road mail and passenger
coaches could go at high speed, and heavy freight wagons proceed in
safety at a steady pace.


=Canals and Steamboats.=--A second epoch in the economic union of the
East and West was reached with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825,
offering an all-water route from New York City to the Great Lakes and
the Mississippi Valley. Pennsylvania, alarmed by the advantages
conferred on New York by this enterprise, began her system of canals and
portages from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, completing the last link in
1834. In the South, the Chesapeake and Ohio Company, chartered in 1825,
was busy with a project to connect Georgetown and Cumberland when
railways broke in upon the undertaking before it was half finished.
About the same time, Ohio built a canal across the state, affording
water communication between Lake Erie and the Ohio River through a rich
wheat belt. Passengers could now travel by canal boat into the West with
comparative ease and comfort, if not at a rapid speed, and the bulkiest
of freight could be easily handled. Moreover, the rate charged for
carrying goods was cut by the Erie Canal from $32 a ton per hundred
miles to $1. New Orleans was destined to lose her primacy in the
Mississippi Valley.

The diversion of traffic to Eastern markets was also stimulated by
steamboats which appeared on the Ohio about 1810, three years after
Fulton had made his famous trip on the Hudson. It took twenty men to
sail and row a five-ton scow up the river at a speed of from ten to
twenty miles a day. In 1825, Timothy Flint traveled a hundred miles a
day on the new steamer _Grecian_ "against the whole weight of the
Mississippi current." Three years later the round trip from Louisville
to New Orleans was cut to eight days. Heavy produce that once had to
float down to New Orleans could be carried upstream and sent to the East
by way of the canal systems.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


Thus the far country was brought near. The timid no longer hesitated at
the thought of the perilous journey. All routes were crowded with
Western immigrants. The forests fell before the ax like grain before the
sickle. Clearings scattered through the woods spread out into a great
mosaic of farms stretching from the Southern Appalachians to Lake
Michigan. The national census of 1830 gave 937,000 inhabitants to Ohio;
343,000 to Indiana; 157,000 to Illinois; 687,000 to Kentucky; and
681,000 to Tennessee.


With the increase in population and the growth of agriculture came
political influence. People who had once petitioned Congress now sent
their own representatives. Men who had hitherto accepted without
protests Presidents from the seaboard expressed a new spirit of dissent
in 1824 by giving only three electoral votes for John Quincy Adams; and
four years later they sent a son of the soil from Tennessee, Andrew
Jackson, to take Washington's chair as chief executive of the
nation--the first of a long line of Presidents from the Mississippi


W.G. Brown, _The Lower South in American History_.

B.A. Hinsdale, _The Old North West_ (2 vols.).

A.B. Hulbert, _Great American Canals_ and _The Cumberland Road_.

T. Roosevelt, _Thomas H. Benton_.

P.J. Treat, _The National Land System_ (1785-1820).

F.J. Turner, _Rise of the New West_ (American Nation Series).

J. Winsor, _The Westward Movement_.


1. How did the West come to play a rôle in the Revolution?

2. What preparations were necessary to settlement?

3. Give the principal provisions of the Northwest Ordinance.

4. Explain how freehold land tenure happened to predominate in the West.

5. Who were the early settlers in the West? What routes did they take?
How did they travel?

6. Explain the Eastern opposition to the admission of new Western
states. Show how it was overcome.

7. Trace a connection between the economic system of the West and the
spirit of the people.

8. Who were among the early friends of Western development?

9. Describe the difficulties of trade between the East and the West.

10. Show how trade was promoted.

=Research Topics=

=Northwest Ordinance.=--Analysis of text in Macdonald, _Documentary
Source Book_. Roosevelt, _Winning of the West_, Vol. V, pp. 5-57.

=The West before the Revolution.=--Roosevelt, Vol. I.

=The West during the Revolution.=--Roosevelt, Vols. II and III.

=Tennessee.=--Roosevelt, Vol. V, pp. 95-119 and Vol. VI, pp. 9-87.

=The Cumberland Road.=--A.B. Hulbert, _The Cumberland Road_.

=Early Life in the Middle West.=--Callender, _Economic History of the
United States_, pp. 617-633; 636-641.

=Slavery in the Southwest.=--Callender, pp. 641-652.

=Early Land Policy.=--Callender, pp. 668-680.

=Westward Movement of Peoples.=--Roosevelt, Vol. IV, pp. 7-39.

Lists of books dealing with the early history of Western states are
given in Hart, Channing, and Turner, _Guide to the Study and Reading of
American History_ (rev. ed.), pp. 62-89.

=Kentucky.=--Roosevelt, Vol. IV, pp. 176-263.



The New England Federalists, at the Hartford convention, prophesied that
in time the West would dominate the East. "At the adoption of the
Constitution," they said, "a certain balance of power among the original
states was considered to exist, and there was at that time and yet is
among those parties a strong affinity between their great and general
interests. By the admission of these [new] states that balance has been
materially affected and unless the practice be modified must ultimately
be destroyed. The Southern states will first avail themselves of their
new confederates to govern the East, and finally the Western states,
multiplied in number, and augmented in population, will control the
interests of the whole." Strangely enough the fulfillment of this
prophecy was being prepared even in Federalist strongholds by the rise
of a new urban democracy that was to make common cause with the farmers
beyond the mountains.


=The Aristocratic Features of the Old Order.=--The Revolutionary
fathers, in setting up their first state constitutions, although they
often spoke of government as founded on the consent of the governed, did
not think that consistency required giving the vote to all adult males.
On the contrary they looked upon property owners as the only safe
"depositary" of political power. They went back to the colonial
tradition that related taxation and representation. This, they argued,
was not only just but a safeguard against the "excesses of democracy."

In carrying their theory into execution they placed taxpaying or
property qualifications on the right to vote. Broadly speaking, these
limitations fell into three classes. Three states, Pennsylvania (1776),
New Hampshire (1784), and Georgia (1798), gave the ballot to all who
paid taxes, without reference to the value of their property. Three,
Virginia, Delaware, and Rhode Island, clung firmly to the ancient
principles that only freeholders could be intrusted with electoral
rights. Still other states, while closely restricting the suffrage,
accepted the ownership of other things as well as land in fulfillment of
the requirements. In Massachusetts, for instance, the vote was granted
to all men who held land yielding an annual income of three pounds or
possessed other property worth sixty pounds.

The electors thus enfranchised, numerous as they were, owing to the wide
distribution of land, often suffered from a very onerous disability. In
many states they were able to vote only for persons of wealth because
heavy property qualifications were imposed on public officers. In New
Hampshire, the governor had to be worth five hundred pounds, one-half in
land; in Massachusetts, one thousand pounds, all freehold; in Maryland,
five thousand pounds, one thousand of which was freehold; in North
Carolina, one thousand pounds freehold; and in South Carolina, ten
thousand pounds freehold. A state senator in Massachusetts had to be the
owner of a freehold worth three hundred pounds or personal property
worth six hundred pounds; in New Jersey, one thousand pounds' worth of
property; in North Carolina, three hundred acres of land; in South
Carolina, two thousand pounds freehold. For members of the lower house
of the legislature lower qualifications were required.

In most of the states the suffrage or office holding or both were
further restricted by religious provisions. No single sect was powerful
enough to dominate after the Revolution, but, for the most part,
Catholics and Jews were either disfranchised or excluded from office.
North Carolina and Georgia denied the ballot to any one who was not a
Protestant. Delaware withheld it from all who did not believe in the
Trinity and the inspiration of the Scriptures. Massachusetts and
Maryland limited it to Christians. Virginia and New York, advanced for
their day, made no discrimination in government on account of religious

=The Defense of the Old Order.=--It must not be supposed that property
qualifications were thoughtlessly imposed at the outset or considered of
little consequence in practice. In the beginning they were viewed as
fundamental. As towns grew in size and the number of landless citizens
increased, the restrictions were defended with even more vigor. In
Massachusetts, the great Webster upheld the rights of property in
government, saying: "It is entirely just that property should have its
due weight and consideration in political arrangements.... The
disastrous revolutions which the world has witnessed, those political
thunderstorms and earthquakes which have shaken the pillars of society
to their deepest foundations, have been revolutions against property."
In Pennsylvania, a leader in local affairs cried out against a plan to
remove the taxpaying limitation on the suffrage: "What does the delegate
propose? To place the vicious vagrant, the wandering Arabs, the Tartar
hordes of our large cities on the level with the virtuous and good man?"
In Virginia, Jefferson himself had first believed in property
qualifications and had feared with genuine alarm the "mobs of the great
cities." It was near the end of the eighteenth century before he
accepted the idea of manhood suffrage. Even then he was unable to
convince the constitution-makers of his own state. "It is not an idle
chimera of the brain," urged one of them, "that the possession of land
furnishes the strongest evidence of permanent, common interest with, and
attachment to, the community.... It is upon this foundation I wish to
place the right of suffrage. This is the best general standard which can
be resorted to for the purpose of determining whether the persons to be
invested with the right of suffrage are such persons as could be,
consistently with the safety and well-being of the community, intrusted
with the exercise of that right."

=Attacks on the Restricted Suffrage.=--The changing circumstances of
American life, however, soon challenged the rule of those with property.
Prominent among the new forces were the rising mercantile and business
interests. Where the freehold qualification was applied, business men
who did not own land were deprived of the vote and excluded from office.
In New York, for example, the most illiterate farmer who had one hundred
pounds' worth of land could vote for state senator and governor, while
the landless banker or merchant could not. It is not surprising,
therefore, to find business men taking the lead in breaking down
freehold limitations on the suffrage. The professional classes also were
interested in removing the barriers which excluded many of them from
public affairs. It was a schoolmaster, Thomas Dorr, who led the popular
uprising in Rhode Island which brought the exclusive rule by freeholders
to an end.

In addition to the business and professional classes, the mechanics of
the towns showed a growing hostility to a system of government that
generally barred them from voting or holding office. Though not
numerous, they had early begun to exercise an influence on the course of
public affairs. They had led the riots against the Stamp Act, overturned
King George's statue, and "crammed stamps down the throats of
collectors." When the state constitutions were framed they took a lively
interest, particularly in New York City and Philadelphia. In June, 1776,
the "mechanicks in union" in New York protested against putting the new
state constitution into effect without their approval, declaring that
the right to vote on the acceptance or rejection of a fundamental law
"is the birthright of every man to whatever state he may belong." Though
their petition was rejected, their spirit remained. When, a few years
later, the federal Constitution was being framed, the mechanics watched
the process with deep concern; they knew that one of its main objects
was to promote trade and commerce, affecting directly their daily bread.
During the struggle over ratification, they passed resolutions approving
its provisions and they often joined in parades organized to stir up
sentiment for the Constitution, even though they could not vote for
members of the state conventions and so express their will directly.
After the organization of trade unions they collided with the courts of
law and thus became interested in the election of judges and lawmakers.

Those who attacked the old system of class rule found a strong moral
support in the Declaration of Independence. Was it not said that all men
are created equal? Whoever runs may read. Was it not declared that
governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed?
That doctrine was applied with effect to George III and seemed
appropriate for use against the privileged classes of Massachusetts or
Virginia. "How do the principles thus proclaimed," asked the
non-freeholders of Richmond, in petitioning for the ballot, "accord with
the existing regulation of the suffrage? A regulation which, instead of
the equality nature ordains, creates an odious distinction between
members of the same community ... and vests in a favored class, not in
consideration of their public services but of their private possessions,
the highest of all privileges."

=Abolition of Property Qualifications.=--By many minor victories rather
than by any spectacular triumphs did the advocates of manhood suffrage
carry the day. Slight gains were made even during the Revolution or
shortly afterward. In Pennsylvania, the mechanics, by taking an active
part in the contest over the Constitution of 1776, were able to force
the qualification down to the payment of a small tax. Vermont came into
the union in 1792 without any property restrictions. In the same year
Delaware gave the vote to all men who paid taxes. Maryland, reckoned one
of the most conservative of states, embarked on the experiment of
manhood suffrage in 1809; and nine years later, Connecticut, equally
conservative, decided that all taxpayers were worthy of the ballot.

Five states, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Rhode Island, and North
Carolina, remained obdurate while these changes were going on around
them; finally they had to yield themselves. The last struggle in
Massachusetts took place in the constitutional convention of 1820. There
Webster, in the prime of his manhood, and John Adams, in the closing
years of his old age, alike protested against such radical innovations
as manhood suffrage. Their protests were futile. The property test was
abolished and a small tax-paying qualification was substituted. New York
surrendered the next year and, after trying some minor restrictions for
five years, went completely over to white manhood suffrage in 1826.
Rhode Island clung to her freehold qualification through thirty years of
agitation. Then Dorr's Rebellion, almost culminating in bloodshed,
brought about a reform in 1843 which introduced a slight tax-paying
qualification as an alternative to the freehold. Virginia and North
Carolina were still unconvinced. The former refused to abandon ownership
of land as the test for political rights until 1850 and the latter until
1856. Although religious discriminations and property qualifications for
office holders were sometimes retained after the establishment of
manhood suffrage, they were usually abolished along with the monopoly of
government enjoyed by property owners and taxpayers.


At the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the white
male industrial workers and the mechanics of the Northern cities, at
least, could lay aside the petition for the ballot and enjoy with the
free farmer a voice in the government of their common country.
"Universal democracy," sighed Carlyle, who was widely read in the United
States, "whatever we may think of it has declared itself the inevitable
fact of the days in which we live; and he who has any chance to instruct
or lead in these days must begin by admitting that ... Where no
government is wanted, save that of the parish constable, as in America
with its boundless soil, every man being able to find work and
recompense for himself, democracy may subsist; not elsewhere." Amid the
grave misgivings of the first generation of statesmen, America was
committed to the great adventure, in the populous towns of the East as
well as in the forests and fields of the West.


The spirit of the new order soon had a pronounced effect on the
machinery of government and the practice of politics. The enfranchised
electors were not long in demanding for themselves a larger share in

=The Spoils System and Rotation in Office.=--First of all they wanted
office for themselves, regardless of their fitness. They therefore
extended the system of rewarding party workers with government
positions--a system early established in several states, notably New
York and Pennsylvania. Closely connected with it was the practice of
fixing short terms for officers and making frequent changes in
personnel. "Long continuance in office," explained a champion of this
idea in Pennsylvania in 1837, "unfits a man for the discharge of its
duties, by rendering him arbitrary and aristocratic, and tends to beget,
first life office, and then hereditary office, which leads to the
destruction of free government." The solution offered was the historic
doctrine of "rotation in office." At the same time the principle of
popular election was extended to an increasing number of officials who
had once been appointed either by the governor or the legislature. Even
geologists, veterinarians, surveyors, and other technical officers were
declared elective on the theory that their appointment "smacked of

=Popular Election of Presidential Electors.=--In a short time the spirit
of democracy, while playing havoc with the old order in state
government, made its way upward into the federal system. The framers of
the Constitution, bewildered by many proposals and unable to agree on
any single plan, had committed the choice of presidential electors to
the discretion of the state legislatures. The legislatures, in turn,
greedy of power, early adopted the practice of choosing the electors
themselves; but they did not enjoy it long undisturbed. Democracy,
thundering at their doors, demanded that they surrender the privilege to
the people. Reluctantly they yielded, sometimes granting popular
election and then withdrawing it. The drift was inevitable, and the
climax came with the advent of Jacksonian democracy. In 1824, Vermont,
New York, Delaware, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana, though some
had experimented with popular election, still left the choice of
electors with the legislature. Eight years later South Carolina alone
held to the old practice. Popular election had become the final word.
The fanciful idea of an electoral college of "good and wise men,"
selected without passion or partisanship by state legislatures acting as
deliberative bodies, was exploded for all time; the election of the
nation's chief magistrate was committed to the tempestuous methods of

=The Nominating Convention.=--As the suffrage was widened and the
popular choice of presidential electors extended, there arose a violent
protest against the methods used by the political parties in nominating
candidates. After the retirement of Washington, both the Republicans and
the Federalists found it necessary to agree upon their favorites before
the election, and they adopted a colonial device--the pre-election
caucus. The Federalist members of Congress held a conference and
selected their candidate, and the Republicans followed the example. In
a short time the practice of nominating by a "congressional caucus"
became a recognized institution. The election still remained with the
people; but the power of picking candidates for their approval passed
into the hands of a small body of Senators and Representatives.

A reaction against this was unavoidable. To friends of "the plain
people," like Andrew Jackson, it was intolerable, all the more so
because the caucus never favored him with the nomination. More
conservative men also found grave objections to it. They pointed out
that, whereas the Constitution intended the President to be an
independent officer, he had now fallen under the control of a caucus of
congressmen. The supremacy of the legislative branch had been obtained
by an extra-legal political device. To such objections were added
practical considerations. In 1824, when personal rivalry had taken the
place of party conflicts, the congressional caucus selected as the
candidate, William H. Crawford, of Georgia, a man of distinction but no
great popularity, passing by such an obvious hero as General Jackson.
The followers of the General were enraged and demanded nothing short of
the death of "King Caucus." Their clamor was effective. Under their
attacks, the caucus came to an ignominious end.

In place of it there arose in 1831 a new device, the national nominating
convention, composed of delegates elected by party voters for the sole
purpose of nominating candidates. Senators and Representatives were
still prominent in the party councils, but they were swamped by hundreds
of delegates "fresh from the people," as Jackson was wont to say. In
fact, each convention was made up mainly of office holders and office
seekers, and the new institution was soon denounced as vigorously as
King Caucus had been, particularly by statesmen who failed to obtain a
nomination. Still it grew in strength and by 1840 was firmly

=The End of the Old Generation.=--In the election of 1824, the
representatives of the "aristocracy" made their last successful stand.
Until then the leadership by men of "wealth and talents" had been
undisputed. There had been five Presidents--Washington, John Adams,
Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe--all Eastern men brought up in prosperous
families with the advantages of culture which come from leisure and the
possession of life's refinements. None of them had ever been compelled
to work with his hands for a livelihood. Four of them had been
slaveholders. Jefferson was a philosopher, learned in natural science, a
master of foreign languages, a gentleman of dignity and grace of manner,
notwithstanding his studied simplicity. Madison, it was said, was armed
"with all the culture of his century." Monroe was a graduate of William
and Mary, a gentleman of the old school. Jefferson and his three
successors called themselves Republicans and professed a genuine faith
in the people but they were not "of the people" themselves; they were
not sons of the soil or the workshop. They were all men of "the grand
old order of society" who gave finish and style even to popular

Monroe was the last of the Presidents belonging to the heroic epoch of
the Revolution. He had served in the war for independence, in the
Congress under the Articles of Confederation, and in official capacity
after the adoption of the Constitution. In short, he was of the age that
had wrought American independence and set the government afloat. With
his passing, leadership went to a new generation; but his successor,
John Quincy Adams, formed a bridge between the old and the new in that
he combined a high degree of culture with democratic sympathies.
Washington had died in 1799, preceded but a few months by Patrick Henry
and followed in four years by Samuel Adams. Hamilton had been killed in
a duel with Burr in 1804. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were yet alive
in 1824 but they were soon to pass from the scene, reconciled at last,
full of years and honors. Madison was in dignified retirement, destined
to live long enough to protest against the doctrine of nullification
proclaimed by South Carolina before death carried him away at the ripe
old age of eighty-five.

=The Election of John Quincy Adams (1824).=--The campaign of 1824 marked
the end of the "era of good feeling" inaugurated by the collapse of the
Federalist party after the election of 1816. There were four leading
candidates, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and W.H.
Crawford. The result of the election was a division of the electoral
votes into four parts and no one received a majority. Under the
Constitution, therefore, the selection of President passed to the House
of Representatives. Clay, who stood at the bottom of the poll, threw his
weight to Adams and assured his triumph, much to the chagrin of
Jackson's friends. They thought, with a certain justification, that
inasmuch as the hero of New Orleans had received the largest electoral
vote, the House was morally bound to accept the popular judgment and
make him President. Jackson shook hands cordially with Adams on the day
of the inauguration, but never forgave him for being elected.

While Adams called himself a Republican in politics and often spoke of
"the rule of the people," he was regarded by Jackson's followers as "an
aristocrat." He was not a son of the soil. Neither was he acquainted at
first hand with the labor of farmers and mechanics. He had been educated
at Harvard and in Europe. Like his illustrious father, John Adams, he
was a stern and reserved man, little given to seeking popularity.
Moreover, he was from the East and the frontiersmen of the West regarded
him as a man "born with a silver spoon in his mouth." Jackson's
supporters especially disliked him because they thought their hero
entitled to the presidency. Their anger was deepened when Adams
appointed Clay to the office of Secretary of State; and they set up a
cry that there had been a "deal" by which Clay had helped to elect Adams
to get office for himself.

Though Adams conducted his administration with great dignity and in a
fine spirit of public service, he was unable to overcome the opposition
which he encountered on his election to office or to win popularity in
the West and South. On the contrary, by advocating government assistance
in building roads and canals and public grants in aid of education,
arts, and sciences, he ran counter to the current which had set in
against appropriations of federal funds for internal improvements. By
signing the Tariff Bill of 1828, soon known as the "Tariff of
Abominations," he made new enemies without adding to his friends in New
York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio where he sorely needed them. Handicapped by
the false charge that he had been a party to a "corrupt bargain" with
Clay to secure his first election; attacked for his advocacy of a high
protective tariff; charged with favoring an "aristocracy of
office-holders" in Washington on account of his refusal to discharge
government clerks by the wholesale, Adams was retired from the White
House after he had served four years.

=The Triumph of Jackson in 1828.=--Probably no candidate for the
presidency ever had such passionate popular support as Andrew Jackson
had in 1828. He was truly a man of the people. Born of poor parents in
the upland region of South Carolina, schooled in poverty and adversity,
without the advantages of education or the refinements of cultivated
leisure, he seemed the embodiment of the spirit of the new American
democracy. Early in his youth he had gone into the frontier of Tennessee
where he soon won a name as a fearless and intrepid Indian fighter. On
the march and in camp, he endeared himself to his men by sharing their
hardships, sleeping on the ground with them, and eating parched corn
when nothing better could be found for the privates. From local
prominence he sprang into national fame by his exploit at the battle of
New Orleans. His reputation as a military hero was enhanced by the
feeling that he had been a martyr to political treachery in 1824. The
farmers of the West and South claimed him as their own. The mechanics of
the Eastern cities, newly enfranchised, also looked upon him as their
friend. Though his views on the tariff, internal improvements, and other
issues before the country were either vague or unknown, he was readily
elected President.

The returns of the electoral vote in 1828 revealed the sources of
Jackson's power. In New England, he received but one ballot, from
Maine; he had a majority of the electors in New York and all of them in
Pennsylvania; and he carried every state south of Maryland and beyond
the Appalachians. Adams did not get a single electoral vote in the South
and West. The prophecy of the Hartford convention had been fulfilled.

[Illustration: ANDREW JACKSON]

When Jackson took the oath of office on March 4, 1829, the government of
the United States entered into a new era. Until this time the
inauguration of a President--even that of Jefferson, the apostle of
simplicity--had brought no rude shock to the course of affairs at the
capital. Hitherto the installation of a President meant that an
old-fashioned gentleman, accompanied by a few servants, had driven to
the White House in his own coach, taken the oath with quiet dignity,
appointed a few new men to the higher posts, continued in office the
long list of regular civil employees, and begun his administration with
respectable decorum. Jackson changed all this. When he was inaugurated,
men and women journeyed hundreds of miles to witness the ceremony. Great
throngs pressed into the White House, "upset the bowls of punch, broke
the glasses, and stood with their muddy boots on the satin-covered
chairs to see the people's President." If Jefferson's inauguration was,
as he called it, the "great revolution," Jackson's inauguration was a


=The Spoils System.=--The staid and respectable society of Washington
was disturbed by this influx of farmers and frontiersmen. To speak of
politics became "bad form" among fashionable women. The clerks and
civil servants of the government who had enjoyed long and secure tenure
of office became alarmed at the clamor of new men for their positions.
Doubtless the major portion of them had opposed the election of Jackson
and looked with feelings akin to contempt upon him and his followers.
With a hunter's instinct, Jackson scented his prey. Determined to have
none but his friends in office, he made a clean sweep, expelling old
employees to make room for men "fresh from the people." This was a new
custom. Other Presidents had discharged a few officers for engaging in
opposition politics. They had been careful in making appointments not to
choose inveterate enemies; but they discharged relatively few men on
account of their political views and partisan activities.

By wholesale removals and the frank selection of officers on party
grounds--a practice already well intrenched in New York--Jackson
established the "spoils system" at Washington. The famous slogan, "to
the victor belong the spoils of victory," became the avowed principle of
the national government. Statesmen like Calhoun denounced it; poets like
James Russell Lowell ridiculed it; faithful servants of the government
suffered under it; but it held undisturbed sway for half a century
thereafter, each succeeding generation outdoing, if possible, its
predecessor in the use of public office for political purposes. If any
one remarked that training and experience were necessary qualifications
for important public positions, he met Jackson's own profession of
faith: "The duties of any public office are so simple or admit of being
made so simple that any man can in a short time become master of them."

=The Tariff and Nullification.=--Jackson had not been installed in power
very long before he was compelled to choose between states' rights and
nationalism. The immediate occasion of the trouble was the tariff--a
matter on which Jackson did not have any very decided views. His mind
did not run naturally to abstruse economic questions; and owing to the
divided opinion of the country it was "good politics" to be vague and
ambiguous in the controversy. Especially was this true, because the
tariff issue was threatening to split the country into parties again.

_The Development of the Policy of "Protection."_--The war of 1812 and
the commercial policies of England which followed it had accentuated the
need for American economic independence. During that conflict, the
United States, cut off from English manufactures as during the
Revolution, built up home industries to meet the unusual call for iron,
steel, cloth, and other military and naval supplies as well as the
demands from ordinary markets. Iron foundries and textile mills sprang
up as in the night; hundreds of business men invested fortunes in
industrial enterprises so essential to the military needs of the
government; and the people at large fell into the habit of buying
American-made goods again. As the London _Times_ tersely observed of the
Americans, "their first war with England made them independent; their
second war made them formidable."

In recognition of this state of affairs, the tariff of 1816 was
designed: _first_, to prevent England from ruining these "infant
industries" by dumping the accumulated stores of years suddenly upon
American markets; and, _secondly_, to enlarge in the manufacturing
centers the demand for American agricultural produce. It accomplished
the purposes of its framers. It kept in operation the mills and furnaces
so recently built. It multiplied the number of industrial workers and
enhanced the demand for the produce of the soil. It brought about
another very important result. It turned the capital and enterprise of
New England from shipping to manufacturing, and converted her statesmen,
once friends of low tariffs, into ardent advocates of protection.

In the early years of the nineteenth century, the Yankees had bent their
energies toward building and operating ships to carry produce from
America to Europe and manufactures from Europe to America. For this
reason, they had opposed the tariff of 1816 calculated to increase
domestic production and cut down the carrying trade. Defeated in their
efforts, they accepted the inevitable and turned to manufacturing. Soon
they were powerful friends of protection for American enterprise. As the
money invested and the labor employed in the favored industries
increased, the demand for continued and heavier protection grew apace.
Even the farmers who furnished raw materials, like wool, flax, and hemp,
began to see eye to eye with the manufacturers. So the textile interests
of New England, the iron masters of Connecticut, New Jersey, and
Pennsylvania, the wool, hemp, and flax growers of Ohio, Kentucky, and
Tennessee, and the sugar planters of Louisiana developed into a
formidable combination in support of a high protective tariff.

_The Planting States Oppose the Tariff._--In the meantime, the cotton
states on the seaboard had forgotten about the havoc wrought during the
Napoleonic wars when their produce rotted because there were no ships to
carry it to Europe. The seas were now open. The area devoted to cotton
had swiftly expanded as Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana were opened
up. Cotton had in fact become "king" and the planters depended for their
prosperity, as they thought, upon the sale of their staple to English
manufacturers whose spinning and weaving mills were the wonder of the
world. Manufacturing nothing and having to buy nearly everything except
farm produce and even much of that for slaves, the planters naturally
wanted to purchase manufactures in the cheapest market, England, where
they sold most of their cotton. The tariff, they contended, raised the
price of the goods they had to buy and was thus in fact a tribute laid
on them for the benefit of the Northern mill owners.

_The Tariff of Abominations._--They were overborne, however, in 1824 and
again in 1828 when Northern manufacturers and Western farmers forced
Congress to make an upward revision of the tariff. The Act of 1828 known
as "the Tariff of Abominations," though slightly modified in 1832, was
"the straw which broke the camel's back." Southern leaders turned in
rage against the whole system. The legislatures of Virginia, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama denounced it; a general
convention of delegates held at Augusta issued a protest of defiance
against it; and South Carolina, weary of verbal battles, decided to
prevent its enforcement.

_South Carolina Nullifies the Tariff._--The legislature of that state,
on October 26, 1832, passed a bill calling for a state convention which
duly assembled in the following month. In no mood for compromise, it
adopted the famous Ordinance of Nullification after a few days' debate.
Every line of this document was clear and firm. The tariff, it opened,
gives "bounties to classes and individuals ... at the expense and to the
injury and oppression of other classes and individuals"; it is a
violation of the Constitution of the United States and therefore null
and void; its enforcement in South Carolina is unlawful; if the federal
government attempts to coerce the state into obeying the law, "the
people of this state will thenceforth hold themselves absolved from all
further obligations to maintain or preserve their political connection
with the people of the other states and will forthwith proceed to
organize a separate government and do all other acts and things which
sovereign and independent states may of right do."

_Southern States Condemn Nullification._--The answer of the country to
this note of defiance, couched in the language used in the Kentucky
resolutions and by the New England Federalists during the war of 1812,
was quick and positive. The legislatures of the Southern states, while
condemning the tariff, repudiated the step which South Carolina had
taken. Georgia responded: "We abhor the doctrine of nullification as
neither a peaceful nor a constitutional remedy." Alabama found it
"unsound in theory and dangerous in practice." North Carolina replied
that it was "revolutionary in character, subversive of the Constitution
of the United States." Mississippi answered: "It is disunion by
force--it is civil war." Virginia spoke more softly, condemning the
tariff and sustaining the principle of the Virginia resolutions but
denying that South Carolina could find in them any sanction for her

_Jackson Firmly Upholds the Union._--The eyes of the country were turned
upon Andrew Jackson. It was known that he looked with no friendly
feelings upon nullification, for, at a Jefferson dinner in the spring of
1830 while the subject was in the air, he had with laconic firmness
announced a toast: "Our federal union; it must be preserved." When two
years later the open challenge came from South Carolina, he replied that
he would enforce the law, saying with his frontier directness: "If a
single drop of blood shall be shed there in opposition to the laws of
the United States, I will hang the first man I can lay my hands on
engaged in such conduct upon the first tree that I can reach." He made
ready to keep his word by preparing for the use of military and naval
forces in sustaining the authority of the federal government. Then in a
long and impassioned proclamation to the people of South Carolina he
pointed out the national character of the union, and announced his
solemn resolve to preserve it by all constitutional means. Nullification
he branded as "incompatible with the existence of the union,
contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized
by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was
founded, and destructive of the great objects for which it was formed."

_A Compromise._--In his messages to Congress, however, Jackson spoke the
language of conciliation. A few days before issuing his proclamation he
suggested that protection should be limited to the articles of domestic
manufacture indispensable to safety in war time, and shortly afterward
he asked for new legislation to aid him in enforcing the laws. With two
propositions before it, one to remove the chief grounds for South
Carolina's resistance and the other to apply force if it was continued,
Congress bent its efforts to avoid a crisis. On February 12, 1833,
Henry Clay laid before the Senate a compromise tariff bill providing for
the gradual reduction of the duties until by 1842 they would reach the
level of the law which Calhoun had supported in 1816. About the same
time the "force bill," designed to give the President ample authority in
executing the law in South Carolina, was taken up. After a short but
acrimonious debate, both measures were passed and signed by President
Jackson on the same day, March 2. Looking upon the reduction of the
tariff as a complete vindication of her policy and an undoubted victory,
South Carolina rescinded her ordinance and enacted another nullifying
the force bill.

[Illustration: _From an old print._


_The Webster-Hayne Debate._--Where the actual victory lay in this
quarrel, long the subject of high dispute, need not concern us to-day.
Perhaps the chief result of the whole affair was a clarification of the
issue between the North and the South--a definite statement of the
principles for which men on both sides were years afterward to lay down
their lives. On behalf of nationalism and a perpetual union, the stanch
old Democrat from Tennessee had, in his proclamation on nullification,
spoken a language that admitted of only one meaning. On behalf of
nullification, Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, a skilled lawyer and
courtly orator, had in a great speech delivered in the Senate in
January, 1830, set forth clearly and cogently the doctrine that the
union is a compact among sovereign states from which the parties may
lawfully withdraw. It was this address that called into the arena
Daniel Webster, Senator from Massachusetts, who, spreading the mantle
of oblivion over the Hartford convention, delivered a reply to Hayne
that has been reckoned among the powerful orations of all time--a plea
for the supremacy of the Constitution and the national character of the

=The War on the United States Bank.=--If events forced the issue of
nationalism and nullification upon Jackson, the same could not be said
of his attack on the bank. That institution, once denounced by every
true Jeffersonian, had been reëstablished in 1816 under the
administration of Jefferson's disciple, James Madison. It had not been
in operation very long, however, before it aroused bitter opposition,
especially in the South and the West. Its notes drove out of circulation
the paper currency of unsound banks chartered by the states, to the
great anger of local financiers. It was accused of favoritism in making
loans, of conferring special privileges upon politicians in return for
their support at Washington. To all Jackson's followers it was "an
insidious money power." One of them openly denounced it as an
institution designed "to strengthen the arm of wealth and counterpoise
the influence of extended suffrage in the disposition of public

This sentiment President Jackson fully shared. In his first message to
Congress he assailed the bank in vigorous language. He declared that its
constitutionality was in doubt and alleged that it had failed to
establish a sound and uniform currency. If such an institution was
necessary, he continued, it should be a public bank, owned and managed
by the government, not a private concern endowed with special privileges
by it. In his second and third messages, Jackson came back to the
subject, leaving the decision, however, to "an enlightened people and
their representatives."

Moved by this frank hostility and anxious for the future, the bank
applied to Congress for a renewal of its charter in 1832, four years
before the expiration of its life. Clay, with his eye upon the
presidency and an issue for the campaign, warmly supported the
application. Congress, deeply impressed by his leadership, passed the
bill granting the new charter, and sent the open defiance to Jackson.
His response was an instant veto. The battle was on and it raged with
fury until the close of his second administration, ending in the
destruction of the bank, a disordered currency, and a national panic.

In his veto message, Jackson attacked the bank as unconstitutional and
even hinted at corruption. He refused to assent to the proposition that
the Supreme Court had settled the question of constitutionality by the
decision in the McCulloch case. "Each public officer," he argued, "who
takes an oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will support
it as he understands it, not as it is understood by others."

Not satisfied with his veto and his declaration against the bank,
Jackson ordered the Secretary of the Treasury to withdraw the government
deposits which formed a large part of the institution's funds. This
action he followed up by an open charge that the bank had used money
shamefully to secure the return of its supporters to Congress. The
Senate, stung by this charge, solemnly resolved that Jackson had
"assumed upon himself authority and power not conferred by the
Constitution and laws, but in derogation of both."

The effects of the destruction of the bank were widespread. When its
charter expired in 1836, banking was once more committed to the control
of the states. The state legislatures, under a decision rendered by the
Supreme Court after the death of Marshall, began to charter banks under
state ownership and control, with full power to issue paper money--this
in spite of the provision in the Constitution that states shall not
issue bills of credit or make anything but gold and silver coin legal
tender in the payment of debts. Once more the country was flooded by
paper currency of uncertain value. To make matters worse, Jackson
adopted the practice of depositing huge amounts of government funds in
these banks, not forgetting to render favors to those institutions which
supported him in politics--"pet banks," as they were styled at the
time. In 1837, partially, though by no means entirely, as a result of
the abolition of the bank, the country was plunged into one of the most
disastrous panics which it ever experienced.

=Internal Improvements Checked.=--The bank had presented to Jackson a
very clear problem--one of destruction. Other questions were not so
simple, particularly the subject of federal appropriations in aid of
roads and other internal improvements. Jefferson had strongly favored
government assistance in such matters, but his administration was
followed by a reaction. Both Madison and Monroe vetoed acts of Congress
appropriating public funds for public roads, advancing as their reason
the argument that the Constitution authorized no such laws. Jackson,
puzzled by the clamor on both sides, followed their example without
making the constitutional bar absolute. Congress, he thought, might
lawfully build highways of a national and military value, but he
strongly deprecated attacks by local interests on the federal treasury.

=The Triumph of the Executive Branch.=--Jackson's reëlection in 1832
served to confirm his opinion that he was the chosen leader of the
people, freed and instructed to ride rough shod over Congress and even
the courts. No President before or since ever entertained in times of
peace such lofty notions of executive prerogative. The entire body of
federal employees he transformed into obedient servants of his wishes, a
sign or a nod from him making and undoing the fortunes of the humble and
the mighty. His lawful cabinet of advisers, filling all of the high
posts in the government, he treated with scant courtesy, preferring
rather to secure his counsel and advice from an unofficial body of
friends and dependents who, owing to their secret methods and back
stairs arrangements, became known as "the kitchen cabinet." Under the
leadership of a silent, astute, and resourceful politician, Amos
Kendall, this informal gathering of the faithful both gave and carried
out decrees and orders, communicating the President's lightest wish or
strictest command to the uttermost part of the country. Resolutely and
in the face of bitter opposition Jackson had removed the deposits from
the United States Bank. When the Senate protested against this arbitrary
conduct, he did not rest until it was forced to expunge the resolution
of condemnation; in time one of his lieutenants with his own hands was
able to tear the censure from the records. When Chief Justice Marshall
issued a decree against Georgia which did not suit him, Jackson,
according to tradition, blurted out that Marshall could go ahead and
enforce his own orders. To the end he pursued his willful way, finally
even choosing his own successor.


=Jackson's Measures Arouse Opposition.=--Measures so decided, policies
so radical, and conduct so high-handed could not fail to arouse against
Jackson a deep and exasperated opposition. The truth is the conduct of
his entire administration profoundly disturbed the business and finances
of the country. It was accompanied by conditions similar to those which
existed under the Articles of Confederation. A paper currency, almost as
unstable and irritating as the worthless notes of revolutionary days,
flooded the country, hindering the easy transaction of business. The use
of federal funds for internal improvements, so vital to the exchange of
commodities which is the very life of industry, was blocked by executive
vetoes. The Supreme Court, which, under Marshall, had held refractory
states to their obligations under the Constitution, was flouted; states'
rights judges, deliberately selected by Jackson for the bench, began to
sap and undermine the rulings of Marshall. The protective tariff, under
which the textile industry of New England, the iron mills of
Pennsylvania, and the wool, flax, and hemp farms of the West had
flourished, had received a severe blow in the compromise of 1833 which
promised a steady reduction of duties. To cap the climax, Jackson's
party, casting aside the old and reputable name of Republican, boldly
chose for its title the term "Democrat," throwing down the gauntlet to
every conservative who doubted the omniscience of the people. All these
things worked together to evoke an opposition that was sharp and


=Clay and the National Republicans.=--In this opposition movement,
leadership fell to Henry Clay, a son of Kentucky, rather than to Daniel
Webster of Massachusetts. Like Jackson, Clay was born in a home haunted
by poverty. Left fatherless early and thrown upon his own resources, he
went from Virginia into Kentucky where by sheer force of intellect he
rose to eminence in the profession of law. Without the martial gifts or
the martial spirit of Jackson, he slipped more easily into the social
habits of the East at the same time that he retained his hold on the
affections of the boisterous West. Farmers of Ohio, Indiana, and
Kentucky loved him; financiers of New York and Philadelphia trusted him.
He was thus a leader well fitted to gather the forces of opposition
into union against Jackson.

Around Clay's standard assembled a motley collection, representing every
species of political opinion, united by one tie only--hatred for "Old
Hickory." Nullifiers and less strenuous advocates of states' rights were
yoked with nationalists of Webster's school; ardent protectionists were
bound together with equally ardent free traders, all fraternizing in one
grand confusion of ideas under the title of "National Republicans." Thus
the ancient and honorable term selected by Jefferson and his party, now
abandoned by Jacksonian Democracy, was adroitly adopted to cover the
supporters of Clay. The platform of the party, however, embraced all the
old Federalist principles: protection for American industry; internal
improvements; respect for the Supreme Court; resistance to executive
tyranny; and denunciation of the spoils system. Though Jackson was
easily victorious in 1832, the popular vote cast for Clay should have
given him some doubts about the faith of "the whole people" in the
wisdom of his "reign."

=Van Buren and the Panic of 1837.=--Nothing could shake the General's
superb confidence. At the end of his second term he insisted on
selecting his own successor; at a national convention, chosen by party
voters, but packed with his office holders and friends, he nominated
Martin Van Buren of New York. Once more he proved his strength by
carrying the country for the Democrats. With a fine flourish, he
attended the inauguration of Van Buren and then retired, amid the
applause and tears of his devotees, to the Hermitage, his home in

Fortunately for him, Jackson escaped the odium of a disastrous panic
which struck the country with terrible force in the following summer.
Among the contributory causes of this crisis, no doubt, were the
destruction of the bank and the issuance of the "specie circular" of
1836 which required the purchasers of public lands to pay for them in
coin, instead of the paper notes of state banks. Whatever the dominating
cause, the ruin was widespread. Bank after bank went under; boom towns
in the West collapsed; Eastern mills shut down; and working people in
the industrial centers, starving from unemployment, begged for relief.
Van Buren braved the storm, offering no measure of reform or assistance
to the distracted people. He did seek security for government funds by
suggesting the removal of deposits from private banks and the
establishment of an independent treasury system, with government
depositaries for public funds, in several leading cities. This plan was
finally accepted by Congress in 1840.

Had Van Buren been a captivating figure he might have lived down the
discredit of the panic unjustly laid at his door; but he was far from
being a favorite with the populace. Though a man of many talents, he
owed his position to the quiet and adept management of Jackson rather
than to his own personal qualities. The men of the frontier did not care
for him. They suspected that he ate from "gold plate" and they could not
forgive him for being an astute politician from New York. Still the
Democratic party, remembering Jackson's wishes, renominated him
unanimously in 1840 and saw him go down to utter defeat.

=The Whigs and General Harrison.=--By this time, the National
Republicans, now known as Whigs--a title taken from the party of
opposition to the Crown in England, had learned many lessons. Taking a
leaf out of the Democratic book, they nominated, not Clay of Kentucky,
well known for his views on the bank, the tariff, and internal
improvements, but a military hero, General William Henry Harrison, a man
of uncertain political opinions. Harrison, a son of a Virginia signer of
the Declaration of Independence, sprang into public view by winning a
battle more famous than important, "Tippecanoe"--a brush with the
Indians in Indiana. He added to his laurels by rendering praiseworthy
services during the war of 1812. When days of peace returned he was
rewarded by a grateful people with a seat in Congress. Then he retired
to quiet life in a little village near Cincinnati. Like Jackson he was
held to be a son of the South and the West. Like Jackson he was a
military hero, a lesser light, but still a light. Like Old Hickory he
rode into office on a tide of popular feeling against an Eastern man
accused of being something of an aristocrat. His personal popularity was
sufficient. The Whigs who nominated him shrewdly refused to adopt a
platform or declare their belief in anything. When some Democrat
asserted that Harrison was a backwoodsman whose sole wants were a jug of
hard cider and a log cabin, the Whigs treated the remark not as an
insult but as proof positive that Harrison deserved the votes of Jackson
men. The jug and the cabin they proudly transformed into symbols of the
campaign, and won for their chieftain 234 electoral votes, while Van
Buren got only sixty.

=Harrison and Tyler.=--The Hero of Tippecanoe was not long to enjoy the
fruits of his victory. The hungry horde of Whig office seekers descended
upon him like wolves upon the fold. If he went out they waylaid him; if
he stayed indoors, he was besieged; not even his bed chamber was spared.
He was none too strong at best and he took a deep cold on the day of his
inauguration. Between driving out Democrats and appeasing Whigs, he fell
mortally ill. Before the end of a month he lay dead at the capitol.

Harrison's successor, John Tyler, the Vice President, whom the Whigs had
nominated to catch votes in Virginia, was more of a Democrat than
anything else, though he was not partisan enough to please anybody. The
Whigs railed at him because he would not approve the founding of another
United States Bank. The Democrats stormed at him for refusing, until
near the end of his term, to sanction the annexation of Texas, which had
declared its independence of Mexico in 1836. His entire administration,
marked by unseemly wrangling, produced only two measures of importance.
The Whigs, flushed by victory, with the aid of a few protectionist
Democrats, enacted, in 1842, a new tariff law destroying the compromise
which had brought about the truce between the North and the South, in
the days of nullification. The distinguished leader of the Whigs, Daniel
Webster, as Secretary of State, in negotiation with Lord Ashburton
representing Great Britain, settled the long-standing dispute between
the two countries over the Maine boundary. A year after closing this
chapter in American diplomacy, Webster withdrew to private life, leaving
the President to endure alone the buffets of political fortune.

To the end, the Whigs regarded Tyler as a traitor to their cause; but
the judgment of history is that it was a case of the biter bitten. They
had nominated him for the vice presidency as a man of views acceptable
to Southern Democrats in order to catch their votes, little reckoning
with the chances of his becoming President. Tyler had not deceived them
and, thoroughly soured, he left the White House in 1845 not to appear in
public life again until the days of secession, when he espoused the
Southern confederacy. Jacksonian Democracy, with new leadership, serving
a new cause--slavery--was returned to power under James K. Polk, a
friend of the General from Tennessee. A few grains of sand were to run
through the hour glass before the Whig party was to be broken and
scattered as the Federalists had been more than a generation before.


=Democracy in England and France.=--During the period of Jacksonian
Democracy, as in all epochs of ferment, there was a close relation
between the thought of the New World and the Old. In England, the
successes of the American experiment were used as arguments in favor of
overthrowing the aristocracy which George III had manipulated with such
effect against America half a century before. In the United States, on
the other hand, conservatives like Chancellor Kent, the stout opponent
of manhood suffrage in New York, cited the riots of the British working
classes as a warning against admitting the same classes to a share in
the government of the United States. Along with the agitation of opinion
went epoch-making events. In 1832, the year of Jackson's second
triumph, the British Parliament passed its first reform bill, which
conferred the ballot--not on workingmen as yet--but on mill owners and
shopkeepers whom the landlords regarded with genuine horror. The initial
step was thus taken in breaking down the privileges of the landed
aristocracy and the rich merchants of England.

About the same time a popular revolution occurred in France. The Bourbon
family, restored to the throne of France by the allied powers after
their victory over Napoleon in 1815, had embarked upon a policy of
arbitrary government. To use the familiar phrase, they had learned
nothing and forgotten nothing. Charles X, who came to the throne in
1824, set to work with zeal to undo the results of the French
Revolution, to stifle the press, restrict the suffrage, and restore the
clergy and the nobility to their ancient rights. His policy encountered
equally zealous opposition and in 1830 he was overthrown. The popular
party, under the leadership of Lafayette, established, not a republic as
some of the radicals had hoped, but a "liberal" middle-class monarchy
under Louis Philippe. This second French Revolution made a profound
impression on Americans, convincing them that the whole world was moving
toward democracy. The mayor, aldermen, and citizens of New York City
joined in a great parade to celebrate the fall of the Bourbons. Mingled
with cheers for the new order in France were hurrahs for "the people's
own, Andrew Jackson, the Hero of New Orleans and President of the United

=European Interest in America.=--To the older and more settled
Europeans, the democratic experiment in America was either a menace or
an inspiration. Conservatives viewed it with anxiety; liberals with
optimism. Far-sighted leaders could see that the tide of democracy was
rising all over the world and could not be stayed. Naturally the country
that had advanced furthest along the new course was the place in which
to find arguments for and against proposals that Europe should make
experiments of the same character.

=De Tocqueville's _Democracy in America_.=--In addition to the casual
traveler there began to visit the United States the thoughtful observer
bent on finding out what manner of nation this was springing up in the
wilderness. Those who looked with sympathy upon the growing popular
forces of England and France found in the United States, in spite of
many blemishes and defects, a guarantee for the future of the people's
rule in the Old World. One of these, Alexis de Tocqueville, a French
liberal of mildly democratic sympathies, made a journey to this country
in 1831; he described in a very remarkable volume, _Democracy in
America_, the grand experiment as he saw it. On the whole he was
convinced. After examining with a critical eye the life and labor of the
American people, as well as the constitutions of the states and the
nation, he came to the conclusion that democracy with all its faults was
both inevitable and successful. Slavery he thought was a painful
contrast to the other features of American life, and he foresaw what
proved to be the irrepressible conflict over it. He believed that
through blundering the people were destined to learn the highest of all
arts, self-government on a grand scale. The absence of a leisure class,
devoted to no calling or profession, merely enjoying the refinements of
life and adding to its graces--the flaw in American culture that gave
deep distress to many a European leader--de Tocqueville thought a
necessary virtue in the republic. "Amongst a democratic people where
there is no hereditary wealth, every man works to earn a living, or has
worked, or is born of parents who have worked. A notion of labor is
therefore presented to the mind on every side as the necessary, natural,
and honest condition of human existence." It was this notion of a
government in the hands of people who labored that struck the French
publicist as the most significant fact in the modern world.

=Harriet Martineau's Visit to America.=--This phase of American life
also profoundly impressed the brilliant English writer, Harriet
Martineau. She saw all parts of the country, the homes of the rich and
the log cabins of the frontier; she traveled in stagecoaches, canal
boats, and on horseback; and visited sessions of Congress and auctions
at slave markets. She tried to view the country impartially and the
thing that left the deepest mark on her mind was the solidarity of the
people in one great political body. "However various may be the tribes
of inhabitants in those states, whatever part of the world may have been
their birthplace, or that of their fathers, however broken may be their
language, however servile or noble their employments, however exalted or
despised their state, all are declared to be bound together by equal
political obligations.... In that self-governing country all are held to
have an equal interest in the principles of its institutions and to be
bound in equal duty to watch their workings." Miss Martineau was also
impressed with the passion of Americans for land ownership and
contrasted the United States favorably with England where the tillers of
the soil were either tenants or laborers for wages.

=Adverse Criticism.=--By no means all observers and writers were
convinced that America was a success. The fastidious traveler, Mrs.
Trollope, who thought the English system of church and state was ideal,
saw in the United States only roughness and ignorance. She lamented the
"total and universal want of manners both in males and females," adding
that while "they appear to have clear heads and active intellects,"
there was "no charm, no grace in their conversation." She found
everywhere a lack of reverence for kings, learning, and rank. Other
critics were even more savage. The editor of the _Foreign Quarterly_
petulantly exclaimed that the United States was "a brigand
confederation." Charles Dickens declared the country to be "so maimed
and lame, so full of sores and ulcers that her best friends turn from
the loathsome creature in disgust." Sydney Smith, editor of the
_Edinburgh Review_, was never tired of trying his caustic wit at the
expense of America. "Their Franklins and Washingtons and all the other
sages and heroes of their revolution were born and bred subjects of the
king of England," he observed in 1820. "During the thirty or forty
years of their independence they have done absolutely nothing for the
sciences, for the arts, for literature, or even for the statesmanlike
studies of politics or political economy.... In the four quarters of the
globe who reads an American book? Or goes to an American play? Or looks
at an American picture or statue?" To put a sharp sting into his taunt
he added, forgetting by whose authority slavery was introduced and
fostered: "Under which of the old tyrannical governments of Europe is
every sixth man a slave whom his fellow creatures may buy and sell?"

Some Americans, while resenting the hasty and often superficial
judgments of European writers, winced under their satire and took
thought about certain particulars in the indictments brought against
them. The mass of the people, however, bent on the great experiment,
gave little heed to carping critics who saw the flaws and not the
achievements of our country--critics who were in fact less interested in
America than in preventing the rise and growth of democracy in Europe.


J.S. Bassett, _Life of Andrew Jackson_.

J.W. Burgess, _The Middle Period_.

H. Lodge, _Daniel Webster_.

W. Macdonald, _Jacksonian Democracy_ (American Nation Series).

Ostrogorski, _Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties_, Vol.

C.H. Peck, _The Jacksonian Epoch_.

C. Schurz, _Henry Clay_.


1. By what devices was democracy limited in the first days of our

2. On what grounds were the limitations defended? Attacked?

3. Outline the rise of political democracy in the United States.

4. Describe three important changes in our political system.

5. Contrast the Presidents of the old and the new generations.

6. Account for the unpopularity of John Adams' administration.

7. What had been the career of Andrew Jackson before 1829?

8. Sketch the history of the protective tariff and explain the theory
underlying it.

9. Explain the growth of Southern opposition to the tariff.

10. Relate the leading events connected with nullification in South

11. State Jackson's views and tell the outcome of the controversy.

12. Why was Jackson opposed to the bank? How did he finally destroy it?

13. The Whigs complained of Jackson's "executive tyranny." What did they

14. Give some of the leading events in Clay's career.

15. How do you account for the triumph of Harrison in 1840?

16. Why was Europe especially interested in America at this period? Who
were some of the European writers on American affairs?

=Research Topics=

=Jackson's Criticisms of the Bank.=--Macdonald, _Documentary Source
Book_, pp. 320-329.

=Financial Aspects of the Bank Controversy.=--Dewey, _Financial History
of the United States_, Sections 86-87; Elson, _History of the United
States_, pp. 492-496.

=Jackson's View of the Union.=--See his proclamation on nullification in
Macdonald, pp. 333-340.

=Nullification.=--McMaster, _History of the People of the United
States_, Vol. VI, pp. 153-182; Elson, pp. 487-492.

=The Webster-Hayne Debate.=--Analyze the arguments. Extensive extracts
are given in Macdonald's larger three-volume work, _Select Documents of
United States History, 1776-1761_, pp. 239-260.

=The Character of Jackson's Administration.=--Woodrow Wilson, _History
of the American People_, Vol. IV, pp. 1-87; Elson, pp. 498-501.

=The People in 1830.=--From contemporary writings in Hart, _American
History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. III, pp. 509-530.

=Biographical Studies.=--Andrew Jackson, J.Q. Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel
Webster, J.C. Calhoun, and W.H. Harrison.



"We shall not send an emigrant beyond the Mississippi in a hundred
years," exclaimed Livingston, the principal author of the Louisiana
purchase. When he made this astounding declaration, he doubtless had
before his mind's eye the great stretches of unoccupied lands between
the Appalachians and the Mississippi. He also had before him the history
of the English colonies, which told him of the two centuries required to
settle the seaboard region. To practical men, his prophecy did not seem
far wrong; but before the lapse of half that time there appeared beyond
the Mississippi a tier of new states, reaching from the Gulf of Mexico
to the southern boundary of Minnesota, and a new commonwealth on the
Pacific Ocean where American emigrants had raised the Bear flag of


=Missouri.=--When the middle of the nineteenth century had been reached,
the Mississippi River, which Daniel Boone, the intrepid hunter, had
crossed during Washington's administration "to escape from civilization"
in Kentucky, had become the waterway for a vast empire. The center of
population of the United States had passed to the Ohio Valley. Missouri,
with its wide reaches of rich lands, low-lying, level, and fertile, well
adapted to hemp raising, had drawn to its borders thousands of planters
from the old Southern states--from Virginia and the Carolinas as well as
from Kentucky and Tennessee. When the great compromise of 1820-21
admitted her to the union, wearing "every jewel of sovereignty," as a
florid orator announced, migratory slave owners were assured that their
property would be safe in Missouri. Along the western shore of the
Mississippi and on both banks of the Missouri to the uttermost limits of
the state, plantations tilled by bondmen spread out in broad expanses.
In the neighborhood of Jefferson City the slaves numbered more than a
fourth of the population.

Into this stream of migration from the planting South flowed another
current of land-tilling farmers; some from Kentucky, Tennessee, and
Mississippi, driven out by the onrush of the planters buying and
consolidating small farms into vast estates; and still more from the
East and the Old World. To the northwest over against Iowa and to the
southwest against Arkansas, these yeomen laid out farms to be tilled by
their own labor. In those regions the number of slaves seldom rose above
five or six per cent of the population. The old French post, St. Louis,
enriched by the fur trade of the Far West and the steamboat traffic of
the river, grew into a thriving commercial city, including among its
seventy-five thousand inhabitants in 1850 nearly forty thousand
foreigners, German immigrants from Pennsylvania and Europe being the
largest single element.

=Arkansas.=--Below Missouri lay the territory of Arkansas, which had
long been the paradise of the swarthy hunter and the restless
frontiersman fleeing from the advancing borders of farm and town. In
search of the life, wild and free, where the rifle supplied the game and
a few acres of ground the corn and potatoes, they had filtered into the
territory in an unending drift, "squatting" on the land. Without so much
as asking the leave of any government, territorial or national, they
claimed as their own the soil on which they first planted their feet.
Like the Cherokee Indians, whom they had as neighbors, whose very
customs and dress they sometimes adopted, the squatters spent their days
in the midst of rough plenty, beset by chills, fevers, and the ills of
the flesh, but for many years unvexed by political troubles or the
restrictions of civilized life.

Unfortunately for them, however, the fertile valleys of the Mississippi
and Arkansas were well adapted to the cultivation of cotton and tobacco
and their sylvan peace was soon broken by an invasion of planters. The
newcomers, with their servile workers, spread upward in the valley
toward Missouri and along the southern border westward to the Red River.
In time the slaves in the tier of counties against Louisiana ranged from
thirty to seventy per cent of the population. This marked the doom of
the small farmer, swept Arkansas into the main current of planting
politics, and led to a powerful lobby at Washington in favor of
admission to the union, a boon granted in 1836.

=Michigan.=--In accordance with a well-established custom, a free state
was admitted to the union to balance a slave state. In 1833, the people
of Michigan, a territory ten times the size of Connecticut, announced
that the time had come for them to enjoy the privileges of a
commonwealth. All along the southern border the land had been occupied
largely by pioneers from New England, who built prim farmhouses and
adopted the town-meeting plan of self-government after the fashion of
the old home. The famous post of Detroit was growing into a flourishing
city as the boats plying on the Great Lakes carried travelers, settlers,
and freight through the narrows. In all, according to the census, there
were more than ninety thousand inhabitants in the territory; so it was
not without warrant that they clamored for statehood. Congress, busy as
ever with politics, delayed; and the inhabitants of Michigan, unable to
restrain their impatience, called a convention, drew up a constitution,
and started a lively quarrel with Ohio over the southern boundary. The
hand of Congress was now forced. Objections were made to the new
constitution on the ground that it gave the ballot to all free white
males, including aliens not yet naturalized; but the protests were
overborne in a long debate. The boundary was fixed, and Michigan, though
shorn of some of the land she claimed, came into the union in 1837.

=Wisconsin.=--Across Lake Michigan to the west lay the territory of
Wisconsin, which shared with Michigan the interesting history of the
Northwest, running back into the heroic days when French hunters and
missionaries were planning a French empire for the great monarch, Louis
XIV. It will not be forgotten that the French rangers of the woods, the
black-robed priests, prepared for sacrifice, even to death, the trappers
of the French agencies, and the French explorers--Marquette, Joliet, and
Menard--were the first white men to paddle their frail barks through the
northern waters. They first blazed their trails into the black forests
and left traces of their work in the names of portages and little
villages. It was from these forests that Red Men in full war paint
journeyed far to fight under the _fleur-de-lis_ of France when the
soldiers of King Louis made their last stand at Quebec and Montreal
against the imperial arms of Britain. It was here that the British flag
was planted in 1761 and that the great Pontiac conspiracy was formed two
years later to overthrow British dominion.

When, a generation afterward, the Stars and Stripes supplanted the Union
Jack, the French were still almost the only white men in the region.
They were soon joined by hustling Yankee fur traders who did battle
royal against British interlopers. The traders cut their way through
forest trails and laid out the routes through lake and stream and over
portages for the settlers and their families from the states "back
East." It was the forest ranger who discovered the water power later
used to turn the busy mills grinding the grain from the spreading farm
lands. In the wake of the fur hunters, forest men, and farmers came
miners from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri crowding in to exploit the
lead ores of the northwest, some of them bringing slaves to work their
claims. Had it not been for the gold fever of 1849 that drew the
wielders of pick and shovel to the Far West, Wisconsin would early have
taken high rank among the mining regions of the country.

From a favorable point of vantage on Lake Michigan, the village of
Milwaukee, a center for lumber and grain transport and a place of entry
for Eastern goods, grew into a thriving city. It claimed twenty thousand
inhabitants, when in 1848 Congress admitted Wisconsin to the union.
Already the Germans, Irish, and Scandinavians had found their way into
the territory. They joined Americans from the older states in clearing
forests, building roads, transforming trails into highways, erecting
mills, and connecting streams with canals to make a network of routes
for the traffic that poured to and from the Great Lakes.

=Iowa and Minnesota.=--To the southwest of Wisconsin beyond the
Mississippi, where the tall grass of the prairies waved like the sea,
farmers from New England, New York, and Ohio had prepared Iowa for
statehood. A tide of immigration that might have flowed into Missouri
went northward; for freemen, unaccustomed to slavery and slave markets,
preferred the open country above the compromise line. With incredible
swiftness, they spread farms westward from the Mississippi. With Yankee
ingenuity they turned to trading on the river, building before 1836
three prosperous centers of traffic: Dubuque, Davenport, and Burlington.
True to their old traditions, they founded colleges and academies that
religion and learning might be cherished on the frontier as in the
states from which they came. Prepared for self-government, the Iowans
laid siege to the door of Congress and were admitted to the union in

Above Iowa, on the Mississippi, lay the territory of Minnesota--the home
of the Dakotas, the Ojibways, and the Sioux. Like Michigan and
Wisconsin, it had been explored early by the French scouts, and the
first white settlement was the little French village of Mendota. To the
people of the United States, the resources of the country were first
revealed by the historic journey of Zebulon Pike in 1805 and by American
fur traders who were quick to take advantage of the opportunity to ply
their arts of hunting and bartering in fresh fields. In 1839 an
American settlement was planted at Marina on the St. Croix, the outpost
of advancing civilization. Within twenty years, the territory, boasting
a population of 150,000, asked for admission to the union. In 1858 the
plea was granted and Minnesota showed her gratitude three years later by
being first among the states to offer troops to Lincoln in the hour of


=The Uniformity of the Middle West.=--There was a certain monotony about
pioneering in the Northwest and on the middle border. As the long
stretches of land were cleared or prepared for the plow, they were laid
out like checkerboards into squares of forty, eighty, one hundred sixty,
or more acres, each the seat of a homestead. There was a striking
uniformity also about the endless succession of fertile fields spreading
far and wide under the hot summer sun. No majestic mountains relieved
the sweep of the prairie. Few monuments of other races and antiquity
were there to awaken curiosity about the region. No sonorous bells in
old missions rang out the time of day. The chaffering Red Man bartering
blankets and furs for powder and whisky had passed farther on. The
population was made up of plain farmers and their families engaged in
severe and unbroken labor, chopping down trees, draining fever-breeding
swamps, breaking new ground, and planting from year to year the same
rotation of crops. Nearly all the settlers were of native American stock
into whose frugal and industrious lives the later Irish and German
immigrants fitted, on the whole, with little friction. Even the Dutch
oven fell before the cast-iron cooking stove. Happiness and sorrow,
despair and hope were there, but all encompassed by the heavy tedium of
prosaic sameness.


=A Contrast in the Far West and Southwest.=--As George Rogers Clark and
Daniel Boone had stirred the snug Americans of the seaboard to seek
their fortunes beyond the Appalachians, so now Kit Carson, James Bowie,
Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, and John C. Frémont were to lead the way
into a new land, only a part of which was under the American flag. The
setting for this new scene in the westward movement was thrown out in a
wide sweep from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the banks of the
Rio Grande; from the valleys of the Sabine and Red rivers to Montana and
the Pacific slope. In comparison with the middle border, this region
presented such startling diversities that only the eye of faith could
foresee the unifying power of nationalism binding its communities with
the older sections of the country. What contrasts indeed! The blue grass
region of Kentucky or the rich, black soil of Illinois--the painted
desert, the home of the sage brush and the coyote! The level prairies of
Iowa--the mighty Rockies shouldering themselves high against the
horizon! The long bleak winters of Wisconsin--California of endless
summer! The log churches of Indiana or Illinois--the quaint missions of
San Antonio, Tucson, and Santa Barbara! The little state of
Delaware--the empire of Texas, one hundred and twenty times its area!
And scattered about through the Southwest were signs of an ancient
civilization--fragments of four-and five-story dwellings, ruined dams,
aqueducts, and broken canals, which told of once prosperous peoples
who, by art and science, had conquered the aridity of the desert and
lifted themselves in the scale of culture above the savages of the

The settlers of this vast empire were to be as diverse in their origins
and habits as those of the colonies on the coast had been. Americans of
English, Irish, and Scotch-Irish descent came as usual from the Eastern
states. To them were added the migratory Germans as well. Now for the
first time came throngs of Scandinavians. Some were to make their homes
on quiet farms as the border advanced against the setting sun. Others
were to be Indian scouts, trappers, fur hunters, miners, cowboys, Texas
planters, keepers of lonely posts on the plain and the desert, stage
drivers, pilots of wagon trains, pony riders, fruit growers, "lumber
jacks," and smelter workers. One common bond united them--a passion for
the self-government accorded to states. As soon as a few thousand
settlers came together in a single territory, there arose a mighty shout
for a position beside the staid commonwealths of the East and the South.
Statehood meant to the pioneers self-government, dignity, and the right
to dispose of land, minerals, and timber in their own way. In the quest
for this local autonomy there arose many a wordy contest in Congress,
each of the political parties lending a helping hand in the admission of
a state when it gave promise of adding new congressmen of the "right
political persuasion," to use the current phrase.

=Southern Planters and Texas.=--While the farmers of the North found the
broad acres of the Western prairies stretching on before them apparently
in endless expanse, it was far different with the Southern planters.
Ever active in their search for new fields as they exhausted the virgin
soil of the older states, the restless subjects of King Cotton quickly
reached the frontier of Louisiana. There they paused; but only for a
moment. The fertile land of Texas just across the boundary lured them on
and the Mexican republic to which it belonged extended to them a more
than generous welcome. Little realizing the perils lurking in a
"peaceful penetration," the authorities at Mexico City opened wide the
doors and made large grants of land to American contractors, who agreed
to bring a number of families into Texas. The omnipresent Yankee, in the
person of Moses Austin of Connecticut, hearing of this good news in the
Southwest, obtained a grant in 1820 to settle three hundred Americans
near Bexar--a commission finally carried out to the letter by his son
and celebrated in the name given to the present capital of the state of
Texas. Within a decade some twenty thousand Americans had crossed the

=Mexico Closes the Door.=--The government of Mexico, unaccustomed to
such enterprise and thoroughly frightened by its extent, drew back in
dismay. Its fears were increased as quarrels broke out between the
Americans and the natives in Texas. Fear grew into consternation when
efforts were made by President Jackson to buy the territory for the
United States. Mexico then sought to close the flood gates. It stopped
all American colonization schemes, canceled many of the land grants, put
a tariff on farming implements, and abolished slavery. These barriers
were raised too late. A call for help ran through the western border of
the United States. The sentinels of the frontier answered. Davy
Crockett, the noted frontiersman, bear hunter, and backwoods politician;
James Bowie, the dexterous wielder of the knife that to this day bears
his name; and Sam Houston, warrior and pioneer, rushed to the aid of
their countrymen in Texas. Unacquainted with the niceties of diplomacy,
impatient at the formalities of international law, they soon made it
known that in spite of Mexican sovereignty they would be their own

=The Independence of Texas Declared.=--Numbering only about one-fourth
of the population in Texas, they raised the standard of revolt in 1836
and summoned a convention. Following in the footsteps of their
ancestors, they issued a declaration of independence signed mainly by
Americans from the slave states. Anticipating that the government of
Mexico would not quietly accept their word of defiance as final, they
dispatched a force to repel "the invading army," as General Houston
called the troops advancing under the command of Santa Ana, the Mexican
president. A portion of the Texan soldiers took their stand in the
Alamo, an old Spanish mission in the cottonwood trees in the town of San
Antonio. Instead of obeying the order to blow up the mission and retire,
they held their ground until they were completely surrounded and cut off
from all help. Refusing to surrender, they fought to the bitter end, the
last man falling a victim to the sword. Vengeance was swift. Within
three months General Houston overwhelmed Santa Ana at the San Jacinto,
taking him prisoner of war and putting an end to all hopes for the
restoration of Mexican sovereignty over Texas.

The Lone Star Republic, with Houston at the head, then sought admission
to the United States. This seemed at first an easy matter. All that was
required to bring it about appeared to be a treaty annexing Texas to the
union. Moreover, President Jackson, at the height of his popularity, had
a warm regard for General Houston and, with his usual sympathy for rough
and ready ways of doing things, approved the transaction. Through an
American representative in Mexico, Jackson had long and anxiously
labored, by means none too nice, to wring from the Mexican republic the
cession of the coveted territory. When the Texans took matters into
their own hands, he was more than pleased; but he could not marshal the
approval of two-thirds of the Senators required for a treaty of
annexation. Cautious as well as impetuous, Jackson did not press the
issue; he went out of office in 1837 with Texas uncertain as to her

=Northern Opposition to Annexation.=--All through the North the
opposition to annexation was clear and strong. Anti-slavery agitators
could hardly find words savage enough to express their feelings.
"Texas," exclaimed Channing in a letter to Clay, "is but the first step
of aggression. I trust indeed that Providence will beat back and humble
our cupidity and ambition. I now ask whether as a people we are
prepared to seize on a neighboring territory for the end of extending
slavery? I ask whether as a people we can stand forth in the sight of
God, in the sight of nations, and adopt this atrocious policy? Sooner
perish! Sooner be our name blotted out from the record of nations!"
William Lloyd Garrison called for the secession of the Northern states
if Texas was brought into the union with slavery. John Quincy Adams
warned his countrymen that they were treading in the path of the
imperialism that had brought the nations of antiquity to judgment and
destruction. Henry Clay, the Whig candidate for President, taking into
account changing public sentiment, blew hot and cold, losing the state
of New York and the election of 1844 by giving a qualified approval of
annexation. In the same campaign, the Democrats boldly demanded the
"Reannexation of Texas," based on claims which the United States once
had to Spanish territory beyond the Sabine River.

=Annexation.=--The politicians were disposed to walk very warily. Van
Buren, at heart opposed to slavery extension, refused to press the issue
of annexation. Tyler, a pro-slavery Democrat from Virginia, by a strange
fling of fortune carried into office as a nominal Whig, kept his mind
firmly fixed on the idea of reëlection and let the troublesome matter
rest until the end of his administration was in sight. He then listened
with favor to the voice of the South. Calhoun stated what seemed to be a
convincing argument: All good Americans have their hearts set on the
Constitution; the admission of Texas is absolutely essential to the
preservation of the union; it will give a balance of power to the South
as against the North growing with incredible swiftness in wealth and
population. Tyler, impressed by the plea, appointed Calhoun to the
office of Secretary of State in 1844, authorizing him to negotiate the
treaty of annexation--a commission at once executed. This scheme was
blocked in the Senate where the necessary two-thirds vote could not be
secured. Balked but not defeated, the advocates of annexation drew up a
joint resolution which required only a majority vote in both houses,
and in February of the next year, just before Tyler gave way to Polk,
they pushed it through Congress. So Texas, amid the groans of Boston and
the hurrahs of Charleston, folded up her flag and came into the union.


=The Mexican War.=--The inevitable war with Mexico, foretold by the
abolitionists and feared by Henry Clay, ensued, the ostensible cause
being a dispute over the boundaries of the new state. The Texans claimed
all the lands down to the Rio Grande. The Mexicans placed the border of
Texas at the Nueces River and a line drawn thence in a northerly
direction. President Polk, accepting the Texan view of the controversy,
ordered General Zachary Taylor to move beyond the Nueces in defense of
American sovereignty. This act of power, deemed by the Mexicans an
invasion of their territory, was followed by an attack on our troops.

President Polk, not displeased with the turn of events, announced that
American blood had been "spilled on American soil" and that war existed
"by the act of Mexico." Congress, in a burst of patriotic fervor,
brushed aside the protests of those who deplored the conduct of the
government as wanton aggression on a weaker nation and granted money and
supplies to prosecute the war. The few Whigs in the House of
Representatives, who refused to vote in favor of taking up arms,
accepted the inevitable with such good grace as they could command. All
through the South and the West the war was popular. New England
grumbled, but gave loyal, if not enthusiastic, support to a conflict
precipitated by policies not of its own choosing. Only a handful of firm
objectors held out. James Russell Lowell, in his _Biglow Papers_, flung
scorn and sarcasm to the bitter end.

=The Outcome of the War.=--The foregone conclusion was soon reached.
General Taylor might have delivered the fatal thrust from northern
Mexico if politics had not intervened. Polk, anxious to avoid raising up
another military hero for the Whigs to nominate for President, decided
to divide the honors by sending General Scott to strike a blow at the
capital, Mexico City. The deed was done with speed and pomp and two
heroes were lifted into presidential possibilities. In the Far West a
third candidate was made, John C. Frémont, who, in coöperation with
Commodores Sloat and Stockton and General Kearney, planted the Stars and
Stripes on the Pacific slope.

In February, 1848, the Mexicans came to terms, ceding to the victor
California, Arizona, New Mexico, and more--a domain greater in extent
than the combined areas of France and Germany. As a salve to the wound,
the vanquished received fifteen million dollars in cash and the
cancellation of many claims held by American citizens. Five years later,
through the negotiations of James Gadsden, a further cession of lands
along the southern border of Arizona and New Mexico was secured on
payment of ten million dollars.

=General Taylor Elected President.=--The ink was hardly dry upon the
treaty that closed the war before "rough and ready" General Taylor, a
slave owner from Louisiana, "a Whig," as he said, "but not an ultra
Whig," was put forward as the Whig candidate for President. He himself
had not voted for years and he was fairly innocent in matters political.
The tariff, the currency, and internal improvements, with a magnificent
gesture he referred to the people's representatives in Congress,
offering to enforce the laws as made, if elected. Clay's followers
mourned. Polk stormed but could not win even a renomination at the hands
of the Democrats. So it came about that the hero of Buena Vista,
celebrated for his laconic order, "Give 'em a little more grape, Captain
Bragg," became President of the United States.


=Oregon.=--Closely associated in the popular mind with the contest about
the affairs of Texas was a dispute with Great Britain over the
possession of territory in Oregon. In their presidential campaign of
1844, the Democrats had coupled with the slogan, "The Reannexation of
Texas," two other cries, "The Reoccupation of Oregon," and "Fifty-four
Forty or Fight." The last two slogans were founded on American
discoveries and explorations in the Far Northwest. Their appearance in
politics showed that the distant Oregon country, larger in area than New
England, New York, and Pennsylvania combined, was at last receiving from
the nation the attention which its importance warranted.

_Joint Occupation and Settlement._--Both England and the United States
had long laid claim to Oregon and in 1818 they had agreed to occupy the
territory jointly--a contract which was renewed ten years later for an
indefinite period. Under this plan, citizens of both countries were free
to hunt and settle anywhere in the region. The vanguard of British fur
traders and Canadian priests was enlarged by many new recruits, with
Americans not far behind them. John Jacob Astor, the resourceful New
York merchant, sent out trappers and hunters who established a trading
post at Astoria in 1811. Some twenty years later, American
missionaries--among them two very remarkable men, Jason Lee and Marcus
Whitman--were preaching the gospel to the Indians.

Through news from the fur traders and missionaries, Eastern farmers
heard of the fertile lands awaiting their plows on the Pacific slope;
those with the pioneering spirit made ready to take possession of the
new country. In 1839 a band went around by Cape Horn. Four years later a
great expedition went overland. The way once broken, others followed
rapidly. As soon as a few settlements were well established, the
pioneers held a mass meeting and agreed upon a plan of government. "We,
the people of Oregon territory," runs the preamble to their compact,
"for the purposes of mutual protection and to secure peace and
prosperity among ourselves, agree to adopt the following laws and
regulations until such time as the United States of America extend their
jurisdiction over us." Thus self-government made its way across the
Rocky Mountains.


_The Boundary Dispute with England Adjusted._--By this time it was
evident that the boundaries of Oregon must be fixed. Having made the
question an issue in his campaign, Polk, after his election in 1844,
pressed it upon the attention of the country. In his inaugural address
and his first message to Congress he reiterated the claim of the
Democratic platform that "our title to the whole territory of Oregon is
clear and unquestionable." This pretension Great Britain firmly
rejected, leaving the President a choice between war and compromise.

Polk, already having the contest with Mexico on his hands, sought and
obtained a compromise. The British government, moved by a hint from the
American minister, offered a settlement which would fix the boundary at
the forty-ninth parallel instead of "fifty-four forty," and give it
Vancouver Island. Polk speedily chose this way out of the dilemma.
Instead of making the decision himself, however, and drawing up a
treaty, he turned to the Senate for "counsel." As prearranged with party
leaders, the advice was favorable to the plan. The treaty, duly drawn in
1846, was ratified by the Senate after an acrimonious debate. "Oh!
mountain that was delivered of a mouse," exclaimed Senator Benton, "thy
name shall be fifty-four forty!" Thirteen years later, the southern part
of the territory was admitted to the union as the state of Oregon,
leaving the northern and eastern sections in the status of a territory.

=California.=--With the growth of the northwestern empire, dedicated by
nature to freedom, the planting interests might have been content, had
fortune not wrested from them the fair country of California. Upon this
huge territory they had set their hearts. The mild climate and fertile
soil seemed well suited to slavery and the planters expected to extend
their sway to the entire domain. California was a state of more than
155,000 square miles--about seventy times the size of the state of
Delaware. It could readily be divided into five or six large states, if
that became necessary to preserve the Southern balance of power.

_Early American Relations with California._--Time and tide, it seems,
were not on the side of the planters. Already Americans of a far
different type were invading the Pacific slope. Long before Polk ever
dreamed of California, the Yankee with his cargo of notions had been
around the Horn. Daring skippers had sailed out of New England harbors
with a variety of goods, bent their course around South America to
California, on to China and around the world, trading as they went and
leaving pots, pans, woolen cloth, guns, boots, shoes, salt fish, naval
stores, and rum in their wake. "Home from Californy!" rang the cry in
many a New England port as a good captain let go his anchor on his
return from the long trading voyage in the Pacific.


_The Overland Trails._--Not to be outdone by the mariners of the deep,
western scouts searched for overland routes to the Pacific. Zebulon
Pike, explorer and pathfinder, by his expedition into the Southwest
during Jefferson's administration, had discovered the resources of New
Spain and had shown his countrymen how easy it was to reach Santa Fé
from the upper waters of the Arkansas River. Not long afterward, traders
laid open the route, making Franklin, Missouri, and later Fort
Leavenworth the starting point. Along the trail, once surveyed, poured
caravans heavily guarded by armed men against marauding Indians. Sand
storms often wiped out all signs of the route; hunger and thirst did
many a band of wagoners to death; but the lure of the game and the
profits at the end kept the business thriving. Huge stocks of cottons,
glass, hardware, and ammunition were drawn almost across the continent
to be exchanged at Santa Fé for furs, Indian blankets, silver, and
mules; and many a fortune was made out of the traffic.

_Americans in California._--Why stop at Santa Fé? The question did not
long remain unanswered. In 1829, Ewing Young broke the path to Los
Angeles. Thirteen years later Frémont made the first of his celebrated
expeditions across plain, desert, and mountain, arousing the interest of
the entire country in the Far West. In the wake of the pathfinders went
adventurers, settlers, and artisans. By 1847, more than one-fifth of the
inhabitants in the little post of two thousand on San Francisco Bay were
from the United States. The Mexican War, therefore, was not the
beginning but the end of the American conquest of California--a conquest
initiated by Americans who went to till the soil, to trade, or to follow
some mechanical pursuit.

_The Discovery of Gold._--As if to clinch the hold on California already
secured by the friends of free soil, there came in 1848 the sudden
discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in the Sacramento Valley. When this
exciting news reached the East, a mighty rush began to California, over
the trails, across the Isthmus of Panama, and around Cape Horn. Before
two years had passed, it is estimated that a hundred thousand people, in
search of fortunes, had arrived in California--mechanics, teachers,
doctors, lawyers, farmers, miners, and laborers from the four corners of
the earth.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


_California a Free State._--With this increase in population there
naturally resulted the usual demand for admission to the union. Instead
of waiting for authority from Washington, the Californians held a
convention in 1849 and framed their constitution. With impatience, the
delegates brushed aside the plea that "the balance of power between the
North and South" required the admission of their state as a slave
commonwealth. Without a dissenting voice, they voted in favor of freedom
and boldly made their request for inclusion among the United States.
President Taylor, though a Southern man, advised Congress to admit the
applicant. Robert Toombs of Georgia vowed to God that he preferred
secession. Henry Clay, the great compromiser, came to the rescue and in
1850 California was admitted as a free state.

=Utah.=--On the long road to California, in the midst of forbidding and
barren wastes, a religious sect, the Mormons, had planted a colony
destined to a stormy career. Founded in 1830 under the leadership of
Joseph Smith of New York, the sect had suffered from many cruel buffets
of fortune. From Ohio they had migrated into Missouri where they were
set upon and beaten. Some of them were murdered by indignant neighbors.
Harried out of Missouri, they went into Illinois only to see their
director and prophet, Smith, first imprisoned by the authorities and
then shot by a mob. Having raised up a cloud of enemies on account of
both their religious faith and their practice of allowing a man to have
more than one wife, they fell in heartily with the suggestion of a new
leader, Brigham Young, that they go into the Far West beyond the plains
of Kansas--into the forlorn desert where the wicked would cease from
troubling and the weary could be at rest, as they read in the Bible. In
1847, Young, with a company of picked men, searched far and wide until
he found a suitable spot overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. Returning to
Illinois, he gathered up his followers, now numbering several thousand,
and in one mighty wagon caravan they all went to their distant haven.

_Brigham Young and His Economic System._--In Brigham Young the Mormons
had a leader of remarkable power who gave direction to the redemption of
the arid soil, the management of property, and the upbuilding of
industry. He promised them to make the desert blossom as the rose, and
verily he did it. He firmly shaped the enterprise of the colony along
co-operative lines, holding down the speculator and profiteer with one
hand and giving encouragement to the industrious poor with the other.
With the shrewdness befitting a good business man, he knew how to draw
the line between public and private interest. Land was given outright to
each family, but great care was exercised in the distribution so that
none should have great advantage over another. The purchase of supplies
and the sale of produce were carried on through a coöperative store, the
profits of which went to the common good. Encountering for the first
time in the history of the Anglo-Saxon race the problem of aridity, the
Mormons surmounted the most perplexing obstacles with astounding skill.
They built irrigation works by coöperative labor and granted water
rights to all families on equitable terms.

_The Growth of Industries._--Though farming long remained the major
interest of the colony, the Mormons, eager to be self-supporting in
every possible way, bent their efforts also to manufacturing and later
to mining. Their missionaries, who hunted in the highways and byways of
Europe for converts, never failed to stress the economic advantages of
the sect. "We want," proclaimed President Young to all the earth, "a
company of woolen manufacturers to come with machinery and take the wool
from the sheep and convert it into the best clothes. We want a company
of potters; we need them; the clay is ready and the dishes wanted.... We
want some men to start a furnace forthwith; the iron, coal, and molders
are waiting.... We have a printing press and any one who can take good
printing and writing paper to the Valley will be a blessing to
themselves and the church." Roads and bridges were built; millions were
spent in experiments in agriculture and manufacturing; missionaries at a
huge cost were maintained in the East and in Europe; an army was kept
for defense against the Indians; and colonies were planted in the
outlying regions. A historian of Deseret, as the colony was called by
the Mormons, estimated in 1895 that by the labor of their hands the
people had produced nearly half a billion dollars in wealth since the
coming of the vanguard.

_Polygamy Forbidden._--The hope of the Mormons that they might forever
remain undisturbed by outsiders was soon dashed to earth, for hundreds
of farmers and artisans belonging to other religious sects came to
settle among them. In 1850 the colony was so populous and prosperous
that it was organized into a territory of the United States and brought
under the supervision of the federal government. Protests against
polygamy were raised in the colony and at the seat of authority three
thousand miles away at Washington. The new Republican party in 1856
proclaimed it "the right and duty of Congress to prohibit in the
Territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slavery." In
due time the Mormons had to give up their marriage practices which were
condemned by the common opinion of all western civilization; but they
kept their religious faith. Monuments to their early enterprise are seen
in the Temple and the Tabernacle, the irrigation works, and the great
wealth of the Church.


While the statesmen of the old generation were solving the problems of
their age, hunters, pioneers, and home seekers were preparing new
problems beyond the Alleghanies. The West was rising in population and
wealth. Between 1783 and 1829, eleven states were added to the original
thirteen. All but two were in the West. Two of them were in the
Louisiana territory beyond the Mississippi. Here the process of
colonization was repeated. Hardy frontier people cut down the forests,
built log cabins, laid out farms, and cut roads through the wilderness.
They began a new civilization just as the immigrants to Virginia or
Massachusetts had done two centuries earlier.

Like the seaboard colonists before them, they too cherished the spirit
of independence and power. They had not gone far upon their course
before they resented the monopoly of the presidency by the East. In 1829
they actually sent one of their own cherished leaders, Andrew Jackson,
to the White House. Again in 1840, in 1844, in 1848, and in 1860, the
Mississippi Valley could boast that one of its sons had been chosen for
the seat of power at Washington. Its democratic temper evoked a cordial
response in the towns of the East where the old aristocracy had been put
aside and artisans had been given the ballot.

For three decades the West occupied the interest of the nation. Under
Jackson's leadership, it destroyed the second United States Bank. When
he smote nullification in South Carolina, it gave him cordial support.
It approved his policy of parceling out government offices among party
workers--"the spoils system" in all its fullness. On only one point did
it really dissent. The West heartily favored internal improvements, the
appropriation of federal funds for highways, canals, and railways.
Jackson had misgivings on this question and awakened sharp criticism by
vetoing a road improvement bill.

From their point of vantage on the frontier, the pioneers pressed on
westward. They pushed into Texas, created a state, declared their
independence, demanded a place in the union, and precipitated a war with
Mexico. They crossed the trackless plain and desert, laying out trails
to Santa Fé, to Oregon, and to California. They were upon the scene when
the Mexican War brought California under the Stars and Stripes. They had
laid out their farms in the Willamette Valley when the slogan
"Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" forced a settlement of the Oregon boundary.
California and Oregon were already in the union when there arose the
Great Civil War testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived
and so dedicated could long endure.


G.P. Brown, _Westward Expansion_ (American Nation Series).

K. Coman, _Economic Beginnings of the Far West_ (2 vols.).

F. Parkman, _California and the Oregon Trail_.

R.S. Ripley, _The War with Mexico_.

W.C. Rives, _The United States and Mexico, 1821-48_ (2 vols.).


1. Give some of the special features in the history of Missouri,
Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota.

2. Contrast the climate and soil of the Middle West and the Far West.

3. How did Mexico at first encourage American immigration?

4. What produced the revolution in Texas? Who led in it?

5. Narrate some of the leading events in the struggle over annexation to
the United States.

6. What action by President Polk precipitated war?

7. Give the details of the peace settlement with Mexico.

8. What is meant by the "joint occupation" of Oregon?

9. How was the Oregon boundary dispute finally settled?

10. Compare the American "invasion" of California with the migration
into Texas.

11. Explain how California became a free state.

12. Describe the early economic policy of the Mormons.

=Research Topics=

=The Independence of Texas.=--McMaster, _History of the People of the
United States_, Vol. VI, pp. 251-270. Woodrow Wilson, _History of the
American People_, Vol. IV, pp. 102-126.

=The Annexation of Texas.=--McMaster, Vol. VII. The passages on
annexation are scattered through this volume and it is an exercise in
ingenuity to make a connected story of them. Source materials in Hart,
_American History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. III, pp. 637-655; Elson,
_History of the United States_, pp. 516-521, 526-527.

=The War with Mexico.=--Elson, pp. 526-538.

=The Oregon Boundary Dispute.=--Schafer, _History of the Pacific
Northwest_ (rev. ed.), pp. 88-104; 173-185.

=The Migration to Oregon.=--Schafer, pp. 105-172. Coman, _Economic
Beginnings of the Far West_, Vol. II, pp. 113-166.

=The Santa Fé Trail.=--Coman, _Economic Beginnings_, Vol. II, pp. 75-93.

=The Conquest of California.=--Coman, Vol. II, pp. 297-319.

=Gold in California.=--McMaster, Vol. VII, pp. 585-614.

=The Mormon Migration.=--Coman, Vol. II, pp. 167-206.

=Biographical Studies.=--Frémont, Generals Scott and Taylor, Sam
Houston, and David Crockett.

=The Romance of Western Exploration.=--J.G. Neihardt, _The Splendid
Wayfaring_. J.G. Neihardt, _The Song of Hugh Glass_.




If Jefferson could have lived to see the Stars and Stripes planted on
the Pacific Coast, the broad empire of Texas added to the planting
states, and the valley of the Willamette waving with wheat sown by
farmers from New England, he would have been more than fortified in his
faith that the future of America lay in agriculture. Even a stanch old
Federalist like Gouverneur Morris or Josiah Quincy would have mournfully
conceded both the prophecy and the claim. Manifest destiny never seemed
more clearly written in the stars.

As the farmers from the Northwest and planters from the Southwest poured
in upon the floor of Congress, the party of Jefferson, christened anew
by Jackson, grew stronger year by year. Opponents there were, no doubt,
disgruntled critics and Whigs by conviction; but in 1852 Franklin
Pierce, the Democratic candidate for President, carried every state in
the union except Massachusetts, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee. This
victory, a triumph under ordinary circumstances, was all the more
significant in that Pierce was pitted against a hero of the Mexican War,
General Scott, whom the Whigs, hoping to win by rousing the martial
ardor of the voters, had nominated. On looking at the election returns,
the new President calmly assured the planters that "the general
principle of reduction of duties with a view to revenue may now be
regarded as the settled policy of the country." With equal confidence,
he waved aside those agitators who devoted themselves "to the supposed
interests of the relatively few Africans in the United States." Like a
watchman in the night he called to the country: "All's well."

The party of Hamilton and Clay lay in the dust.


As pride often goeth before a fall, so sanguine expectation is sometimes
the symbol of defeat. Jackson destroyed the bank. Polk signed the tariff
bill of 1846 striking an effective blow at the principle of protection
for manufactures. Pierce promised to silence the abolitionists. His
successor was to approve a drastic step in the direction of free trade.
Nevertheless all these things left untouched the springs of power that
were in due time to make America the greatest industrial nation on the
earth; namely, vast national resources, business enterprise, inventive
genius, and the free labor supply of Europe. Unseen by the thoughtless,
unrecorded in the diaries of wiseacres, rarely mentioned in the speeches
of statesmen, there was swiftly rising such a tide in the affairs of
America as Jefferson and Hamilton never dreamed of in their little

=The Inventors.=--Watt and Boulton experimenting with steam in England,
Whitney combining wood and steel into a cotton gin, Fulton and Fitch
applying the steam engine to navigation, Stevens and Peter Cooper trying
out the "iron horse" on "iron highways," Slater building spinning mills
in Pawtucket, Howe attaching the needle to the flying wheel, Morse
spanning a continent with the telegraph, Cyrus Field linking the markets
of the new world with the old along the bed of the Atlantic, McCormick
breaking the sickle under the reaper--these men and a thousand more were
destroying in a mighty revolution of industry the world of the
stagecoach and the tallow candle which Washington and Franklin had
inherited little changed from the age of Cæsar. Whitney was to make
cotton king. Watt and Fulton were to make steel and steam masters of the
world. Agriculture was to fall behind in the race for supremacy.

=Industry Outstrips Planting.=--The story of invention, that tribute to
the triumph of mind over matter, fascinating as a romance, need not be
treated in detail here. The effects of invention on social and political
life, multitudinous and never-ending, form the very warp and woof of
American progress from the days of Andrew Jackson to the latest hour.
Neither the great civil conflict--the clash of two systems--nor the
problems of the modern age can be approached without an understanding of
the striking phases of industrialism.

[Illustration: A NEW ENGLAND MILL BUILT IN 1793]

First and foremost among them was the uprush of mills managed by
captains of industry and manned by labor drawn from farms, cities, and
foreign lands. For every planter who cleared a domain in the Southwest
and gathered his army of bondmen about him, there rose in the North a
magician of steam and steel who collected under his roof an army of free

In seven league boots this new giant strode ahead of the Southern giant.
Between 1850 and 1859, to use dollars and cents as the measure of
progress, the value of domestic manufactures including mines and
fisheries rose from $1,019,106,616 to $1,900,000,000, an increase of
eighty-six per cent in ten years. In this same period the total
production of naval stores, rice, sugar, tobacco, and cotton, the
staples of the South, went only from $165,000,000, in round figures, to
$204,000,000. At the halfway point of the century, the capital invested
in industry, commerce, and cities far exceeded the value of all the farm
land between the Atlantic and the Pacific; thus the course of economy
had been reversed in fifty years. Tested by figures of production, King
Cotton had shriveled by 1860 to a petty prince in comparison, for each
year the captains of industry turned out goods worth nearly twenty times
all the bales of cotton picked on Southern plantations. Iron, boots and
shoes, and leather goods pouring from Northern mills surpassed in value
the entire cotton output.

=The Agrarian West Turns to Industry.=--Nor was this vast enterprise
confined to the old Northeast where, as Madison had sagely remarked,
commerce was early dominant. "Cincinnati," runs an official report in
1854, "appears to be a great central depot for ready-made clothing and
its manufacture for the Western markets may be said to be one of the
great trades of that city." There, wrote another traveler, "I heard the
crack of the cattle driver's whip and the hum of the factory: the West
and the East meeting." Louisville and St. Louis were already famous for
their clothing trades and the manufacture of cotton bagging. Five
hundred of the two thousand woolen mills in the country in 1860 were in
the Western states. Of the output of flour and grist mills, which almost
reached in value the cotton crop of 1850, the Ohio Valley furnished a
rapidly growing share. The old home of Jacksonian democracy, where
Federalists had been almost as scarce as monarchists, turned slowly
backward, as the needle to the pole, toward the principle of protection
for domestic industry, espoused by Hamilton and defended by Clay.

=The Extension of Canals and Railways.=--As necessary to mechanical
industry as steel and steam power was the great market, spread over a
wide and diversified area and knit together by efficient means of
transportation. This service was supplied to industry by the steamship,
which began its career on the Hudson in 1807; by the canals, of which
the Erie opened in 1825 was the most noteworthy; and by the railways,
which came into practical operation about 1830.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


With sure instinct the Eastern manufacturer reached out for the markets
of the Northwest territory where free farmers were producing annually
staggering crops of corn, wheat, bacon, and wool. The two great canal
systems--the Erie connecting New York City with the waterways of the
Great Lakes and the Pennsylvania chain linking Philadelphia with the
headwaters of the Ohio--gradually turned the tide of trade from New
Orleans to the Eastern seaboard. The railways followed the same paths.
By 1860, New York had rail connections with Chicago and St. Louis, one
of the routes running through the Hudson and Mohawk valleys and along
the Great Lakes, the other through Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and
across the rich wheat fields of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Baltimore,
not to be outdone by her two rivals, reached out over the mountains for
the Western trade and in 1857 had trains running into St. Louis.

In railway enterprise the South took more interest than in canals, and
the friends of that section came to its aid. To offset the magnet
drawing trade away from the Mississippi Valley, lines were built from
the Gulf to Chicago, the Illinois Central part of the project being a
monument to the zeal and industry of a Democrat, better known in
politics than in business, Stephen A. Douglas. The swift movement of
cotton and tobacco to the North or to seaports was of common concern to
planters and manufacturers. Accordingly lines were flung down along the
Southern coast, linking Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah with the
Northern markets. Other lines struck inland from the coast, giving a
rail outlet to the sea for Raleigh, Columbia, Atlanta, Chattanooga,
Nashville, and Montgomery. Nevertheless, in spite of this enterprise,
the mileage of all the Southern states in 1860 did not equal that of
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois combined.

=Banking and Finance.=--Out of commerce and manufactures and the
construction and operation of railways came such an accumulation of
capital in the Northern states as merchants of old never imagined. The
banks of the four industrial states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New
York, and Pennsylvania in 1860 had funds greater than the banks in all
the other states combined. New York City had become the money market of
America, the center to which industrial companies, railway promoters,
farmers, and planters turned for capital to initiate and carry on their
operations. The banks of Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and
Virginia, it is true, had capital far in excess of the banks of the
Northwest; but still they were relatively small compared with the
financial institutions of the East.

=The Growth of the Industrial Population.=--A revolution of such
magnitude in industry, transport, and finance, overturning as it did the
agrarian civilization of the old Northwest and reaching out to the very
borders of the country, could not fail to bring in its train
consequences of a striking character. Some were immediate and obvious.
Others require a fullness of time not yet reached to reveal their
complete significance. Outstanding among them was the growth of an
industrial population, detached from the land, concentrated in cities,
and, to use Jefferson's phrase, dependent upon "the caprices and
casualties of trade" for a livelihood. This was a result, as the great
Virginian had foreseen, which flowed inevitably from public and private
efforts to stimulate industry as against agriculture.


It was estimated in 1860, on the basis of the census figures, that
mechanical production gave employment to 1,100,000 men and 285,000
women, making, if the average number of dependents upon them be
reckoned, nearly six million people or about one-sixth of the population
of the country sustained from manufactures. "This," runs the official
record, "was exclusive of the number engaged in the production of many
of the raw materials and of the food for manufacturers; in the
distribution of their products, such as merchants, clerks, draymen,
mariners, the employees of railroads, expresses, and steamboats; of
capitalists, various artistic and professional classes, as well as
carpenters, bricklayers, painters, and the members of other mechanical
trades not classed as manufactures. It is safe to assume, then, that
one-third of the whole population is supported, directly, or indirectly,
by manufacturing industry." Taking, however, the number of persons
directly supported by manufactures, namely about six millions, reveals
the astounding fact that the white laboring population, divorced from
the soil, already exceeded the number of slaves on Southern farms and

_Immigration._--The more carefully the rapid growth of the industrial
population is examined, the more surprising is the fact that such an
immense body of free laborers could be found, particularly when it is
recalled to what desperate straits the colonial leaders were put in
securing immigrants,--slavery, indentured servitude, and kidnapping
being the fruits of their necessities. The answer to the enigma is to be
found partly in European conditions and partly in the cheapness of
transportation after the opening of the era of steam navigation. Shrewd
observers of the course of events had long foreseen that a flood of
cheap labor was bound to come when the way was made easy. Some, among
them Chief Justice Ellsworth, went so far as to prophesy that white
labor would in time be so abundant that slavery would disappear as the
more costly of the two labor systems. The processes of nature were aided
by the policies of government in England and Germany.

_The Coming of the Irish._--The opposition of the Irish people to the
English government, ever furious and irrepressible, was increased in the
mid forties by an almost total failure of the potato crop, the main
support of the peasants. Catholic in religion, they had been compelled
to support a Protestant church. Tillers of the soil by necessity, they
were forced to pay enormous tributes to absentee landlords in England
whose claim to their estates rested upon the title of conquest and
confiscation. Intensely loyal to their race, the Irish were subjected in
all things to the Parliament at London, in which their small minority of
representatives had little influence save in holding a balance of power
between the two contending English parties. To the constant political
irritation, the potato famine added physical distress beyond
description. In cottages and fields and along the highways the victims
of starvation lay dead by the hundreds, the relief which charity
afforded only bringing misery more sharply to the foreground. Those who
were fortunate enough to secure passage money sought escape to America.
In 1844 the total immigration into the United States was less than
eighty thousand; in 1850 it had risen by leaps and bounds to more than
three hundred thousand. Between 1820 and 1860 the immigrants from the
United Kingdom numbered 2,750,000, of whom more than one-half were
Irish. It has been said with a touch of exaggeration that the American
canals and railways of those days were built by the labor of Irishmen.

_The German Migration._--To political discontent and economic distress,
such as was responsible for the coming of the Irish, may likewise be
traced the source of the Germanic migration. The potato blight that fell
upon Ireland visited the Rhine Valley and Southern Germany at the same
time with results as pitiful, if less extensive. The calamity inflicted
by nature was followed shortly by another inflicted by the despotic
conduct of German kings and princes. In 1848 there had occurred
throughout Europe a popular uprising in behalf of republics and
democratic government. For a time it rode on a full tide of success.
Kings were overthrown, or compelled to promise constitutional
government, and tyrannical ministers fled from their palaces. Then came
reaction. Those who had championed the popular cause were imprisoned,
shot, or driven out of the land. Men of attainments and distinction,
whose sole offense was opposition to the government of kings and
princes, sought an asylum in America, carrying with them to the land of
their adoption the spirit of liberty and democracy. In 1847 over fifty
thousand Germans came to America, the forerunners of a migration that
increased, almost steadily, for many years. The record of 1860 showed
that in the previous twenty years nearly a million and a half had found
homes in the United States. Far and wide they scattered, from the mills
and shops of the seacoast towns to the uttermost frontiers of Wisconsin
and Minnesota.

_The Labor of Women and Children._--If the industries, canals, and
railways of the country were largely manned by foreign labor, still
important native sources must not be overlooked; above all, the women
and children of the New England textile districts. Spinning and weaving,
by a tradition that runs far beyond the written records of mankind,
belonged to women. Indeed it was the dexterous housewives, spinsters,
and boys and girls that laid the foundations of the textile industry in
America, foundations upon which the mechanical revolution was built. As
the wheel and loom were taken out of the homes to the factories operated
by water power or the steam engine, the women and, to use Hamilton's
phrase, "the children of tender years," followed as a matter of course.
"The cotton manufacture alone employs six thousand persons in Lowell,"
wrote a French observer in 1836; "of this number nearly five thousand
are young women from seventeen to twenty-four years of age, the
daughters of farmers from the different New England states." It was not
until after the middle of the century that foreign lands proved to be
the chief source from which workers were recruited for the factories of
New England. It was then that the daughters of the Puritans, outdone by
the competition of foreign labor, both of men and women, left the
spinning jenny and the loom to other hands.

=The Rise of Organized Labor.=--The changing conditions of American
life, marked by the spreading mill towns of New England, New York, and
Pennsylvania and the growth of cities like Buffalo, Cincinnati,
Louisville, St. Louis, Detroit, and Chicago in the West, naturally
brought changes, as Jefferson had prophesied, in "manners and morals." A
few mechanics, smiths, carpenters, and masons, widely scattered through
farming regions and rural villages, raise no such problems as tens of
thousands of workers collected in one center in daily intercourse,
learning the power of coöperation and union.

Even before the coming of steam and machinery, in the "good old days" of
handicrafts, laborers in many trades--printers, shoemakers, carpenters,
for example--had begun to draw together in the towns for the advancement
of their interests in the form of higher wages, shorter days, and
milder laws. The shoemakers of Philadelphia, organized in 1794,
conducted a strike in 1799 and held together until indicted seven years
later for conspiracy. During the twenties and thirties, local labor
unions sprang up in all industrial centers and they led almost
immediately to city federations of the several crafts.

As the thousands who were dependent upon their daily labor for their
livelihood mounted into the millions and industries spread across the
continent, the local unions of craftsmen grew into national craft
organizations bound together by the newspapers, the telegraph, and the
railways. Before 1860 there were several such national trade unions,
including the plumbers, printers, mule spinners, iron molders, and stone
cutters. All over the North labor leaders arose--men unknown to general
history but forceful and resourceful characters who forged links binding
scattered and individual workers into a common brotherhood. An attempt
was even made in 1834 to federate all the crafts into a permanent
national organization; but it perished within three years through lack
of support. Half a century had to elapse before the American Federation
of Labor was to accomplish this task.

All the manifestations of the modern labor movement had appeared, in
germ at least, by the time the mid-century was reached: unions, labor
leaders, strikes, a labor press, a labor political program, and a labor
political party. In every great city industrial disputes were a common
occurrence. The papers recorded about four hundred in two years,
1853-54, local affairs but forecasting economic struggles in a larger
field. The labor press seems to have begun with the founding of the
_Mechanics' Free Press_ in Philadelphia in 1828 and the establishment of
the New York _Workingman's Advocate_ shortly afterward. These
semi-political papers were in later years followed by regular trade
papers designed to weld together and advance the interests of particular
crafts. Edited by able leaders, these little sheets with limited
circulation wielded an enormous influence in the ranks of the workers.

=Labor and Politics.=--As for the political program of labor, the main
planks were clear and specific: the abolition of imprisonment for debt,
manhood suffrage in states where property qualifications still
prevailed, free and universal education, laws protecting the safety and
health of workers in mills and factories, abolition of lotteries, repeal
of laws requiring militia service, and free land in the West.

Into the labor papers and platforms there sometimes crept a note of
hostility to the masters of industry, a sign of bitterness that excited
little alarm while cheap land in the West was open to the discontented.
The Philadelphia workmen, in issuing a call for a local convention,
invited "all those of our fellow citizens who live by their own labor
and none other." In Newcastle county, Delaware, the association of
working people complained in 1830: "The poor have no laws; the laws are
made by the rich and of course for the rich." Here and there an
extremist went to the length of advocating an equal division of wealth
among all the people--the crudest kind of communism.

Agitation of this character produced in labor circles profound distrust
of both Whigs and Democrats who talked principally about tariffs and
banks; it resulted in attempts to found independent labor parties. In
Philadelphia, Albany, New York City, and New England, labor candidates
were put up for elections in the early thirties and in a few cases were
victorious at the polls. "The balance of power has at length got into
the hands of the working people, where it properly belongs,"
triumphantly exclaimed the _Mechanics' Free Press_ of Philadelphia in
1829. But the triumph was illusory. Dissensions appeared in the labor
ranks. The old party leaders, particularly of Tammany Hall, the
Democratic party organization in New York City, offered concessions to
labor in return for votes. Newspapers unsparingly denounced "trade union
politicians" as "demagogues," "levellers," and "rag, tag, and bobtail";
and some of them, deeming labor unrest the sour fruit of manhood
suffrage, suggested disfranchisement as a remedy. Under the influence
of concessions and attacks the political fever quickly died away, and
the end of the decade left no remnant of the labor political parties.
Labor leaders turned to a task which seemed more substantial and
practical, that of organizing workingmen into craft unions for the
definite purpose of raising wages and reducing hours.


=Southern Plans for Union with the West.=--It was long the design of
Southern statesmen like Calhoun to hold the West and the South together
in one political party. The theory on which they based their hope was
simple. Both sections were agricultural--the producers of raw materials
and the buyers of manufactured goods. The planters were heavy purchasers
of Western bacon, pork, mules, and grain. The Mississippi River and its
tributaries formed the natural channel for the transportation of heavy
produce southward to the plantations and outward to Europe. Therefore,
ran their political reasoning, the interests of the two sections were
one. By standing together in favor of low tariffs, they could buy their
manufactures cheaply in Europe and pay for them in cotton, tobacco, and
grain. The union of the two sections under Jackson's management seemed

=The East Forms Ties with the West.=--Eastern leaders were not blind to
the ambitions of Southern statesmen. On the contrary, they also
recognized the importance of forming strong ties with the agrarian West
and drawing the produce of the Ohio Valley to Philadelphia and New York.
The canals and railways were the physical signs of this economic union,
and the results, commercial and political, were soon evident. By the
middle of the century, Southern economists noted the change, one of
them, De Bow, lamenting that "the great cities of the North have
severally penetrated the interior with artificial lines until they have
taken from the open and untaxed current of the Mississippi the commerce
produced on its borders." To this writer it was an astounding thing to
behold "the number of steamers that now descend the upper Mississippi
River, loaded to the guards with produce, as far as the mouth of the
Illinois River and then turn up that stream with their cargoes to be
shipped to New York _via_ Chicago. The Illinois canal has not only swept
the whole produce along the line of the Illinois River to the East, but
it is drawing the products of the upper Mississippi through the same
channel; thus depriving New Orleans and St. Louis of a rich portion of
their former trade."

If to any shippers the broad current of the great river sweeping down to
New Orleans offered easier means of physical communication to the sea
than the canals and railways, the difference could be overcome by the
credit which Eastern bankers were able to extend to the grain and
produce buyers, in the first instance, and through them to the farmers
on the soil. The acute Southern observer just quoted, De Bow, admitted
with evident regret, in 1852, that "last autumn, the rich regions of
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were flooded with the local bank notes of
the Eastern States, advanced by the New York houses on produce to be
shipped by way of the canals in the spring.... These moneyed facilities
enable the packer, miller, and speculator to hold on to their produce
until the opening of navigation in the spring and they are no longer
obliged, as formerly, to hurry off their shipments during the winter by
the way of New Orleans in order to realize funds by drafts on their
shipments. The banking facilities at the East are doing as much to draw
trade from us as the canals and railways which Eastern capital is
constructing." Thus canals, railways, and financial credit were swiftly
forging bonds of union between the old home of Jacksonian Democracy in
the West and the older home of Federalism in the East. The nationalism
to which Webster paid eloquent tribute became more and more real with
the passing of time. The self-sufficiency of the pioneer was broken down
as he began to watch the produce markets of New York and Philadelphia
where the prices of corn and hogs fixed his earnings for the year.

=The West and Manufactures.=--In addition to the commercial bonds
between the East and the West there was growing up a common interest in
manufactures. As skilled white labor increased in the Ohio Valley, the
industries springing up in the new cities made Western life more like
that of the industrial East than like that of the planting South.
Moreover, the Western states produced some important raw materials for
American factories, which called for protection against foreign
competition, notably, wool, hemp, and flax. As the South had little or
no foreign competition in cotton and tobacco, the East could not offer
protection for her raw materials in exchange for protection for
industries. With the West, however, it became possible to establish
reciprocity in tariffs; that is, for example, to trade a high rate on
wool for a high rate on textiles or iron.

=The South Dependent on the North.=--While East and West were drawing
together, the distinctions between North and South were becoming more
marked; the latter, having few industries and producing little save raw
materials, was being forced into the position of a dependent section. As
a result of the protective tariff, Southern planters were compelled to
turn more and more to Northern mills for their cloth, shoes, hats, hoes,
plows, and machinery. Nearly all the goods which they bought in Europe
in exchange for their produce came overseas to Northern ports, whence
transshipments were made by rail and water to Southern points of
distribution. Their rice, cotton, and tobacco, in as far as they were
not carried to Europe in British bottoms, were transported by Northern
masters. In these ways, a large part of the financial operations
connected with the sale of Southern produce and the purchase of goods in
exchange passed into the hands of Northern merchants and bankers who,
naturally, made profits from their transactions. Finally, Southern
planters who wanted to buy more land and more slaves on credit borrowed
heavily in the North where huge accumulations made the rates of interest
lower than the smaller banks of the South could afford.

=The South Reckons the Cost of Economic Dependence.=--As Southern
dependence upon Northern capital became more and more marked, Southern
leaders began to chafe at what they regarded as restraints laid upon
their enterprise. In a word, they came to look upon the planter as a
tribute-bearer to the manufacturer and financier. "The South,"
expostulated De Bow, "stands in the attitude of feeding ... a vast
population of [Northern] merchants, shipowners, capitalists, and others
who, without claims on her progeny, drink up the life blood of her
trade.... Where goes the value of our labor but to those who, taking
advantage of our folly, ship for us, buy for us, sell to us, and, after
turning our own capital to their profitable account, return laden with
our money to enjoy their easily earned opulence at home."

Southern statisticians, not satisfied with generalities, attempted to
figure out how great was this tribute in dollars and cents. They
estimated that the planters annually lent to Northern merchants the full
value of their exports, a hundred millions or more, "to be used in the
manipulation of foreign imports." They calculated that no less than
forty millions all told had been paid to shipowners in profits. They
reckoned that, if the South were to work up her own cotton, she would
realize from seventy to one hundred millions a year that otherwise went
North. Finally, to cap the climax, they regretted that planters spent
some fifteen millions a year pleasure-seeking in the alluring cities and
summer resorts of the North.

=Southern Opposition to Northern Policies.=--Proceeding from these
premises, Southern leaders drew the logical conclusion that the entire
program of economic measures demanded in the North was without exception
adverse to Southern interests and, by a similar chain of reasoning,
injurious to the corn and wheat producers of the West. Cheap labor
afforded by free immigration, a protective tariff raising prices of
manufactures for the tiller of the soil, ship subsidies increasing the
tonnage of carrying trade in Northern hands, internal improvements
forging new economic bonds between the East and the West, a national
banking system giving strict national control over the currency as a
safeguard against paper inflation--all these devices were regarded in
the South as contrary to the planting interest. They were constantly
compared with the restrictive measures by which Great Britain more than
half a century before had sought to bind American interests.

As oppression justified a war for independence once, statesmen argued,
so it can justify it again. "It is curious as it is melancholy and
distressing," came a broad hint from South Carolina, "to see how
striking is the analogy between the colonial vassalage to which the
manufacturing states have reduced the planting states and that which
formerly bound the Anglo-American colonies to the British empire....
England said to her American colonies: 'You shall not trade with the
rest of the world for such manufactures as are produced in the mother
country.' The manufacturing states say to their Southern colonies: 'You
shall not trade with the rest of the world for such manufactures as we
produce.'" The conclusion was inexorable: either the South must control
the national government and its economic measures, or it must declare,
as America had done four score years before, its political and economic
independence. As Northern mills multiplied, as railways spun their
mighty web over the face of the North, and as accumulated capital rose
into the hundreds of millions, the conviction of the planters and their
statesmen deepened into desperation.

=Efforts to Start Southern Industries Fail.=--A few of them, seeing the
predominance of the North, made determined efforts to introduce
manufactures into the South. To the leaders who were averse to secession
and nullification this seemed the only remedy for the growing disparity
in the power of the two sections. Societies for the encouragement of
mechanical industries were formed, the investment of capital was sought,
and indeed a few mills were built on Southern soil. The results were
meager. The natural resources, coal and water power, were abundant; but
the enterprise for direction and the skilled labor were wanting. The
stream of European immigration flowed North and West, not South. The
Irish or German laborer, even if he finally made his home in a city, had
before him, while in the North, the alternative of a homestead on
Western land. To him slavery was a strange, if not a repelling,
institution. He did not take to it kindly nor care to fix his home where
it flourished. While slavery lasted, the economy of the South was
inevitably agricultural. While agriculture predominated, leadership with
equal necessity fell to the planting interest. While the planting
interest ruled, political opposition to Northern economy was destined to
grow in strength.

=The Southern Theory of Sectionalism.=--In the opinion of the statesmen
who frankly represented the planting interest, the industrial system was
its deadly enemy. Their entire philosophy of American politics was
summed up in a single paragraph by McDuffie, a spokesman for South
Carolina: "Owing to the federative character of our government, the
great geographical extent of our territory, and the diversity of the
pursuits of our citizens in different parts of the union, it has so
happened that two great interests have sprung up, standing directly
opposed to each other. One of these consists of those manufactures which
the Northern and Middle states are capable of producing but which, owing
to the high price of labor and the high profits of capital in those
states, cannot hold competition with foreign manufactures without the
aid of bounties, directly or indirectly given, either by the general
government or by the state governments. The other of these interests
consists of the great agricultural staples of the Southern states which
can find a market only in foreign countries and which can be
advantageously sold only in exchange for foreign manufactures which come
in competition with those of the Northern and Middle states.... These
interests then stand diametrically and irreconcilably opposed to each
other. The interest, the pecuniary interest of the Northern
manufacturer, is directly promoted by every increase of the taxes
imposed upon Southern commerce; and it is unnecessary to add that the
interest of the Southern planter is promoted by every diminution of
taxes imposed upon the productions of their industry. If, under these
circumstances, the manufacturers were clothed with the power of imposing
taxes, at their pleasure, upon the foreign imports of the planter, no
doubt would exist in the mind of any man that it would have all the
characteristics of an absolute and unqualified despotism." The economic
soundness of this reasoning, a subject of interesting speculation for
the economist, is of little concern to the historian. The historical
point is that this opinion was widely held in the South and with the
progress of time became the prevailing doctrine of the planting

Their antagonism was deepened because they also became convinced, on
what grounds it is not necessary to inquire, that the leaders of the
industrial interest thus opposed to planting formed a consolidated
"aristocracy of wealth," bent upon the pursuit and attainment of
political power at Washington. "By the aid of various associated
interests," continued McDuffie, "the manufacturing capitalists have
obtained a complete and permanent control over the legislation of
Congress on this subject [the tariff].... Men confederated together upon
selfish and interested principles, whether in pursuit of the offices or
the bounties of the government, are ever more active and vigilant than
the great majority who act from disinterested and patriotic impulses.
Have we not witnessed it on this floor, sir? Who ever knew the tariff
men to divide on any question affecting their confederated interests?...
The watchword is, stick together, right or wrong upon every question
affecting the common cause. Such, sir, is the concert and vigilance and
such the combinations by which the manufacturing party, acting upon the
interests of some and the prejudices of others, have obtained a decided
and permanent control over public opinion in all the tariff states."
Thus, as the Southern statesman would have it, the North, in matters
affecting national policies, was ruled by a "confederated interest"
which menaced the planting interest. As the former grew in magnitude and
attached to itself the free farmers of the West through channels of
trade and credit, it followed as night the day that in time the planters
would be overshadowed and at length overborne in the struggle of giants.
Whether the theory was sound or not, Southern statesmen believed it and
acted upon it.


M. Beard, _Short History of the American Labor Movement_.

E.L. Bogart, _Economic History of the United States_.

J.R. Commons, _History of Labour in the United States_ (2 vols.).

E.R. Johnson, _American Railway Transportation_.

C.D. Wright, _Industrial Evolution of the United States_.


1. What signs pointed to a complete Democratic triumph in 1852?

2. What is the explanation of the extraordinary industrial progress of

3. Compare the planting system with the factory system.

4. In what sections did industry flourish before the Civil War? Why?

5. Show why transportation is so vital to modern industry and

6. Explain how it was possible to secure so many people to labor in
American industries.

7. Trace the steps in the rise of organized labor before 1860.

8. What political and economic reforms did labor demand?

9. Why did the East and the South seek closer ties with the West?

10. Describe the economic forces which were drawing the East and the
West together.

11. In what way was the South economically dependent upon the North?

12 State the national policies generally favored in the North and
condemned in the South.

13. Show how economic conditions in the South were unfavorable to

14. Give the Southern explanation of the antagonism between the North
and the South.

=Research Topics=

=The Inventions.=--Assign one to each student. Satisfactory accounts are
to be found in any good encyclopedia, especially the Britannica.

=River and Lake Commerce.=--Callender, _Economic History of the United
States_, pp. 313-326.

=Railways and Canals.=--Callender, pp. 326-344; 359-387. Coman,
_Industrial History of the United States_, pp. 216-225.

=The Growth of Industry, 1815-1840.=--Callender, pp. 459-471. From 1850
to 1860, Callender, pp. 471-486.

=Early Labor Conditions.=--Callender, pp. 701-718.

=Early Immigration.=--Callender, pp. 719-732.

=Clay's Home Market Theory of the Tariff.=--Callender, pp. 498-503.

=The New England View of the Tariff.=--Callender, pp. 503-514.



James Madison, the father of the federal Constitution, after he had
watched for many days the battle royal in the national convention of
1787, exclaimed that the contest was not between the large and the small
states, but between the commercial North and the planting South. From
the inauguration of Washington to the election of Lincoln the sectional
conflict, discerned by this penetrating thinker, exercised a profound
influence on the course of American politics. It was latent during the
"era of good feeling" when the Jeffersonian Republicans adopted
Federalist policies; it flamed up in the contest between the Democrats
and Whigs. Finally it raged in the angry political quarrel which
culminated in the Civil War.


=The Decline of Slavery in the North.=--At the time of the adoption of
the Constitution, slavery was lawful in all the Northern states except
Massachusetts. There were almost as many bondmen in New York as in
Georgia. New Jersey had more than Delaware or Tennessee, indeed nearly
as many as both combined. All told, however, there were only about forty
thousand in the North as against nearly seven hundred thousand in the
South. Moreover, most of the Northern slaves were domestic servants, not
laborers necessary to keep mills going or fields under cultivation.

There was, in the North, a steadily growing moral sentiment against the
system. Massachusetts abandoned it in 1780. In the same year,
Pennsylvania provided for gradual emancipation. New Hampshire, where
there had been only a handful, Connecticut with a few thousand
domestics, and New Jersey early followed these examples. New York, in
1799, declared that all children born of slaves after July 4 of that
year should be free, though held for a term as apprentices; and in 1827
it swept away the last vestiges of slavery. So with the passing of the
generation that had framed the Constitution, chattel servitude
disappeared in the commercial states, leaving behind only such
discriminations as disfranchisement or high property qualifications on
colored voters.

=The Growth of Northern Sentiment against Slavery.=--In both sections of
the country there early existed, among those more or less
philosophically inclined, a strong opposition to slavery on moral as
well as economic grounds. In the constitutional convention of 1787,
Gouverneur Morris had vigorously condemned it and proposed that the
whole country should bear the cost of abolishing it. About the same time
a society for promoting the abolition of slavery, under the presidency
of Benjamin Franklin, laid before Congress a petition that serious
attention be given to the emancipation of "those unhappy men who alone
in this land of freedom are degraded into perpetual bondage." When
Congress, acting on the recommendations of President Jefferson, provided
for the abolition of the foreign slave trade on January 1, 1808, several
Northern members joined with Southern members in condemning the system
as well as the trade. Later, colonization societies were formed to
encourage the emancipation of slaves and their return to Africa. James
Madison was president and Henry Clay vice president of such an

The anti-slavery sentiment of which these were the signs was
nevertheless confined to narrow circles and bore no trace of bitterness.
"We consider slavery your calamity, not your crime," wrote a
distinguished Boston clergyman to his Southern brethren, "and we will
share with you the burden of putting an end to it. We will consent that
the public lands shall be appropriated to this object.... I deprecate
everything which sows discord and exasperating sectional animosities."

=Uncompromising Abolition.=--In a little while the spirit of generosity
was gone. Just as Jacksonian Democracy rose to power there appeared a
new kind of anti-slavery doctrine--the dogmatism of the abolition
agitator. For mild speculation on the evils of the system was
substituted an imperious and belligerent demand for instant
emancipation. If a date must be fixed for its appearance, the year 1831
may be taken when William Lloyd Garrison founded in Boston his
anti-slavery paper, _The Liberator_. With singleness of purpose and
utter contempt for all opposing opinions and arguments, he pursued his
course of passionate denunciation. He apologized for having ever
"assented to the popular but pernicious doctrine of gradual abolition."
He chose for his motto: "Immediate and unconditional emancipation!" He
promised his readers that he would be "harsh as truth and uncompromising
as justice"; that he would not "think or speak or write with
moderation." Then he flung out his defiant call: "I am in earnest--I
will not equivocate--I will not excuse--I will not retreat a single
inch--and I will be heard....

     'Such is the vow I take, so help me God.'"

Though Garrison complained that "the apathy of the people is enough to
make every statue leap from its pedestal," he soon learned how alive the
masses were to the meaning of his propaganda. Abolition orators were
stoned in the street and hissed from the platform. Their meeting places
were often attacked and sometimes burned to the ground. Garrison himself
was assaulted in the streets of Boston, finding refuge from the angry
mob behind prison bars. Lovejoy, a publisher in Alton, Illinois, for his
willingness to give abolition a fair hearing, was brutally murdered; his
printing press was broken to pieces as a warning to all those who
disturbed the nation's peace of mind. The South, doubly frightened by a
slave revolt in 1831 which ended in the murder of a number of men,
women, and children, closed all discussion of slavery in that section.
"Now," exclaimed Calhoun, "it is a question which admits of neither
concession nor compromise."

As the opposition hardened, the anti-slavery agitation gathered in force
and intensity. Whittier blew his blast from the New England hills:

    "No slave-hunt in our borders--no pirate on our strand;
     No fetters in the Bay State--no slave upon our land."

Lowell, looking upon the espousal of a great cause as the noblest aim of
his art, ridiculed and excoriated bondage in the South. Those
abolitionists, not gifted as speakers or writers, signed petitions
against slavery and poured them in upon Congress. The flood of them was
so continuous that the House of Representatives, forgetting its
traditions, adopted in 1836 a "gag rule" which prevented the reading of
appeals and consigned them to the waste basket. Not until the Whigs were
in power nearly ten years later was John Quincy Adams able, after a
relentless campaign, to carry a motion rescinding the rule.

How deep was the impression made upon the country by this agitation for
immediate and unconditional emancipation cannot be measured. If the
popular vote for those candidates who opposed not slavery, but its
extension to the territories, be taken as a standard, it was slight
indeed. In 1844, the Free Soil candidate, Birney, polled 62,000 votes
out of over a million and a half; the Free Soil vote of the next
campaign went beyond a quarter of a million, but the increase was due to
the strength of the leader, Martin Van Buren; four years afterward it
receded to 156,000, affording all the outward signs for the belief that
the pleas of the abolitionist found no widespread response among the
people. Yet the agitation undoubtedly ran deeper than the ballot box.
Young statesmen of the North, in whose hands the destiny of frightful
years was to lie, found their indifference to slavery broken and their
consciences stirred by the unending appeal and the tireless reiteration.
Charles Sumner afterward boasted that he read the _Liberator_ two years
before Wendell Phillips, the young Boston lawyer who cast aside his
profession to take up the dangerous cause.

=Early Southern Opposition to Slavery.=--In the South, the sentiment
against slavery was strong; it led some to believe that it would also
come to an end there in due time. Washington disliked it and directed in
his will that his own slaves should be set free after the death of his
wife. Jefferson, looking into the future, condemned the system by which
he also lived, saying: "Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure
when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of
the people that their liberties are the gift of God? Are they not to be
violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I
reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." Nor
did Southern men confine their sentiments to expressions of academic
opinion. They accepted in 1787 the Ordinance which excluded slavery from
the Northwest territory forever and also the Missouri Compromise, which
shut it out of a vast section of the Louisiana territory.

=The Revolution in the Slave System.=--Among the representatives of
South Carolina and Georgia, however, the anti-slavery views of
Washington and Jefferson were by no means approved; and the drift of
Southern economy was decidedly in favor of extending and perpetuating,
rather than abolishing, the system of chattel servitude. The invention
of the cotton gin and textile machinery created a market for cotton
which the planters, with all their skill and energy, could hardly
supply. Almost every available acre was brought under cotton culture as
the small farmers were driven steadily from the seaboard into the
uplands or to the Northwest.

The demand for slaves to till the swiftly expanding fields was enormous.
The number of bondmen rose from 700,000 in Washington's day to more than
three millions in 1850. At the same time slavery itself was transformed.
Instead of the homestead where the same family of masters kept the same
families of slaves from generation to generation, came the plantation
system of the Far South and Southwest where masters were ever moving and
ever extending their holdings of lands and slaves. This in turn reacted
on the older South where the raising of slaves for the market became a
regular and highly profitable business.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=Slavery Defended as a Positive Good.=--As the abolition agitation
increased and the planting system expanded, apologies for slavery became
fainter and fainter in the South. Then apologies were superseded by
claims that slavery was a beneficial scheme of labor control. Calhoun,
in a famous speech in the Senate in 1837, sounded the new note by
declaring slavery "instead of an evil, a good--a positive good." His
reasoning was as follows: in every civilized society one portion of the
community must live on the labor of another; learning, science, and the
arts are built upon leisure; the African slave, kindly treated by his
master and mistress and looked after in his old age, is better off than
the free laborers of Europe; and under the slave system conflicts
between capital and labor are avoided. The advantages of slavery in this
respect, he concluded, "will become more and more manifest, if left
undisturbed by interference from without, as the country advances in
wealth and numbers."

=Slave Owners Dominate Politics.=--The new doctrine of Calhoun was
eagerly seized by the planters as they came more and more to overshadow
the small farmers of the South and as they beheld the menace of
abolition growing upon the horizon. It formed, as they viewed matters, a
moral defense for their labor system--sound, logical, invincible. It
warranted them in drawing together for the protection of an institution
so necessary, so inevitable, so beneficent.

Though in 1850 the slave owners were only about three hundred and fifty
thousand in a national population of nearly twenty million whites, they
had an influence all out of proportion to their numbers. They were knit
together by the bonds of a common interest. They had leisure and wealth.
They could travel and attend conferences and conventions. Throughout the
South and largely in the North, they had the press, the schools, and the
pulpits on their side. They formed, as it were, a mighty union for the
protection and advancement of their common cause. Aided by those
mechanics and farmers of the North who stuck by Jacksonian Democracy
through thick and thin, the planters became a power in the federal
government. "We nominate Presidents," exultantly boasted a Richmond
newspaper; "the North elects them."

This jubilant Southern claim was conceded by William H. Seward, a
Republican Senator from New York, in a speech describing the power of
slavery in the national government. "A party," he said, "is in one sense
a joint stock association, in which those who contribute most direct the
action and management of the concern.... The slaveholders, contributing
in an overwhelming proportion to the strength of the Democratic party,
necessarily dictate and prescribe its policy." He went on: "The
slaveholding class has become the governing power in each of the
slaveholding states and it practically chooses thirty of the sixty-two
members of the Senate, ninety of the two hundred and thirty-three
members of the House of Representatives, and one hundred and five of the
two hundred and ninety-five electors of President and Vice-President of
the United States." Then he considered the slave power in the Supreme
Court. "That tribunal," he exclaimed, "consists of a chief justice and
eight associate justices. Of these, five were called from slave states
and four from free states. The opinions and bias of each of them were
carefully considered by the President and Senate when he was appointed.
Not one of them was found wanting in soundness of politics, according to
the slaveholder's exposition of the Constitution." Such was the Northern
view of the planting interest that, from the arena of national politics,
challenged the whole country in 1860.



=National Aspects of Slavery.=--It may be asked why it was that slavery,
founded originally on state law and subject to state government, was
drawn into the current of national affairs. The answer is simple. There
were, in the first place, constitutional reasons. The Congress of the
United States had to make all needful rules for the government of the
territories, the District of Columbia, the forts and other property
under national authority; so it was compelled to determine whether
slavery should exist in the places subject to its jurisdiction. Upon
Congress was also conferred the power of admitting new states; whenever
a territory asked for admission, the issue could be raised as to whether
slavery should be sanctioned or excluded. Under the Constitution,
provision was made for the return of runaway slaves; Congress had the
power to enforce this clause by appropriate legislation. Since the
control of the post office was vested in the federal government, it had
to face the problem raised by the transmission of abolition literature
through the mails. Finally citizens had the right of petition; it
inheres in all free government and it is expressly guaranteed by the
first amendment to the Constitution. It was therefore legal for
abolitionists to present to Congress their petitions, even if they asked
for something which it had no right to grant. It was thus impossible,
constitutionally, to draw a cordon around the slavery issue and confine
the discussion of it to state politics.

There were, in the second place, economic reasons why slavery was
inevitably drawn into the national sphere. It was the basis of the
planting system which had direct commercial relations with the North and
European countries; it was affected by federal laws respecting tariffs,
bounties, ship subsidies, banking, and kindred matters. The planters of
the South, almost without exception, looked upon the protective tariff
as a tribute laid upon them for the benefit of Northern industries. As
heavy borrowers of money in the North, they were generally in favor of
"easy money," if not paper currency, as an aid in the repayment of their
debts. This threw most of them into opposition to the Whig program for a
United States Bank. All financial aids to American shipping they stoutly
resisted, preferring to rely upon the cheaper service rendered by
English shippers. Internal improvements, those substantial ties that
were binding the West to the East and turning the traffic from New
Orleans to Philadelphia and New York, they viewed with alarm. Free
homesteads from the public lands, which tended to overbalance the South
by building free states, became to them a measure dangerous to their
interests. Thus national economic policies, which could not by any twist
or turn be confined to state control, drew the slave system and its
defenders into the political conflict that centered at Washington.

=Slavery and the Territories--the Missouri Compromise (1820).=--Though
men continually talked about "taking slavery out of politics," it could
not be done. By 1818 slavery had become so entrenched and the
anti-slavery sentiment so strong, that Missouri's quest for admission
brought both houses of Congress into a deadlock that was broken only by
compromise. The South, having half the Senators, could prevent the
admission of Missouri stripped of slavery; and the North, powerful in
the House of Representatives, could keep Missouri with slavery out of
the union indefinitely. An adjustment of pretensions was the last
resort. Maine, separated from the parent state of Massachusetts, was
brought into the union with freedom and Missouri with bondage. At the
same time it was agreed that the remainder of the vast Louisiana
territory north of the parallel of 36° 30' should be, like the old
Northwest, forever free; while the southern portion was left to slavery.
In reality this was an immense gain for liberty. The area dedicated to
free farmers was many times greater than that left to the planters. The
principle was once more asserted that Congress had full power to prevent
slavery in the territories.


=The Territorial Question Reopened by the Wilmot Proviso.=--To the
Southern leaders, the annexation of Texas and the conquest of Mexico
meant renewed security to the planting interest against the increasing
wealth and population of the North. Texas, it was said, could be divided
into four slave states. The new territories secured by the treaty of
peace with Mexico contained the promise of at least three more. Thus, as
each new free soil state knocked for admission into the union, the
South could demand as the price of its consent a new slave state. No
wonder Southern statesmen saw, in the annexation of Texas and the
conquest of Mexico, slavery and King Cotton triumphant--secure for all
time against adverse legislation. Northern leaders were equally
convinced that the Southern prophecy was true. Abolitionists and
moderate opponents of slavery alike were in despair. Texas, they
lamented, would fasten slavery upon the country forevermore. "No living
man," cried one, "will see the end of slavery in the United States!"

It so happened, however, that the events which, it was thought, would
secure slavery let loose a storm against it. A sign appeared first on
August 6, 1846, only a few months after war was declared on Mexico. On
that day, David Wilmot, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, introduced into
the House of Representatives a resolution to the effect that, as an
express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory
from the republic of Mexico, slavery should be forever excluded from
every part of it. "The Wilmot Proviso," as the resolution was popularly
called, though defeated on that occasion, was a challenge to the South.

The South answered the challenge. Speaking in the House of
Representatives, Robert Toombs of Georgia boldly declared: "In the
presence of the living God, if by your legislation you seek to drive us
from the territories of California and New Mexico ... I am for
disunion." South Carolina announced that the day for talk had passed and
the time had come to join her sister states "in resisting the
application of the Wilmot Proviso at any and all hazards." A conference,
assembled at Jackson, Mississippi, in the autumn of 1849, called a
general convention of Southern states to meet at Nashville the following
summer. The avowed purpose was to arrest "the course of aggression" and,
if that was not possible, to provide "in the last resort for their
separate welfare by the formation of a compact and union that will
afford protection to their liberties and rights." States that had
spurned South Carolina's plea for nullification in 1832 responded to
this new appeal with alacrity--an augury of the secession to come.

[Illustration: _From an old print._


=The Great Debate of 1850.=--The temper of the country was white hot
when Congress convened in December, 1849. It was a memorable session,
memorable for the great men who took part in the debates and memorable
for the grand Compromise of 1850 which it produced. In the Senate sat
for the last time three heroic figures: Webster from the North, Calhoun
from the South, and Clay from a border state. For nearly forty years
these three had been leaders of men. All had grown old and gray in
service. Calhoun was already broken in health and in a few months was to
be borne from the political arena forever. Clay and Webster had but two
more years in their allotted span.

Experience, learning, statecraft--all these things they now marshaled in
a mighty effort to solve the slavery problem. On January 29, 1850, Clay
offered to the Senate a compromise granting concessions to both sides;
and a few days later, in a powerful oration, he made a passionate appeal
for a union of hearts through mutual sacrifices. Calhoun relentlessly
demanded the full measure of justice for the South: equal rights in the
territories bought by common blood; the return of runaway slaves as
required by the Constitution; the suppression of the abolitionists; and
the restoration of the balance of power between the North and the South.
Webster, in his notable "Seventh of March speech," condemned the Wilmot
Proviso, advocated a strict enforcement of the fugitive slave law,
denounced the abolitionists, and made a final plea for the Constitution,
union, and liberty. This was the address which called forth from
Whittier the poem, "Ichabod," deploring the fall of the mighty one whom
he thought lost to all sense of faith and honor.

=The Terms of the Compromise of 1850.=--When the debates were closed,
the results were totaled in a series of compromise measures, all of
which were signed in September, 1850, by the new President, Millard
Fillmore, who had taken office two months before on the death of Zachary
Taylor. By these acts the boundaries of Texas were adjusted and the
territory of New Mexico created, subject to the provision that all or
any part of it might be admitted to the union "with or without slavery
as their constitution may provide at the time of their admission." The
Territory of Utah was similarly organized with the same conditions as to
slavery, thus repudiating the Wilmot Proviso without guaranteeing
slavery to the planters. California was admitted as a free state under a
constitution in which the people of the territory had themselves
prohibited slavery.

The slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia, but slavery
itself existed as before at the capital of the nation. This concession
to anti-slavery sentiment was more than offset by a fugitive slave law,
drastic in spirit and in letter. It placed the enforcement of its terms
in the hands of federal officers appointed from Washington and so
removed it from the control of authorities locally elected. It provided
that masters or their agents, on filing claims in due form, might
summarily remove their escaped slaves without affording their "alleged
fugitives" the right of trial by jury, the right to witness, the right
to offer any testimony in evidence. Finally, to "put teeth" into the
act, heavy penalties were prescribed for all who obstructed or assisted
in obstructing the enforcement of the law. Such was the Great Compromise
of 1850.


=The Pro-slavery Triumph in the Election of 1852.=--The results of the
election of 1852 seemed to show conclusively that the nation was weary
of slavery agitation and wanted peace. Both parties, Whigs and
Democrats, endorsed the fugitive slave law and approved the Great
Compromise. The Democrats, with Franklin Pierce as their leader, swept
the country against the war hero, General Winfield Scott, on whom the
Whigs had staked their hopes. Even Webster, broken with grief at his
failure to receive the nomination, advised his friends to vote for
Pierce and turned away from politics to meditate upon approaching death.
The verdict of the voters would seem to indicate that for the time
everybody, save a handful of disgruntled agitators, looked upon Clay's
settlement as the last word. "The people, especially the business men of
the country," says Elson, "were utterly weary of the agitation and they
gave their suffrages to the party that promised them rest." The Free
Soil party, condemning slavery as "a sin against God and a crime against
man," and advocating freedom for the territories, failed to carry a
single state. In fact it polled fewer votes than it had four years
earlier--156,000 as against nearly 3,000,000, the combined vote of the
Whigs and Democrats. It is not surprising, therefore, that President
Pierce, surrounded in his cabinet by strong Southern sympathizers, could
promise to put an end to slavery agitation and to crush the abolition
movement in the bud.

=Anti-slavery Agitation Continued.=--The promise was more difficult to
fulfill than to utter. In fact, the vigorous execution of one measure
included in the Compromise--the fugitive slave law--only made matters
worse. Designed as security for the planters, it proved a powerful
instrument in their undoing. Slavery five hundred miles away on a
Louisiana plantation was so remote from the North that only the
strongest imagination could maintain a constant rage against it. "Slave
catching," "man hunting" by federal officers on the streets of
Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, or Milwaukee and in the hamlets
and villages of the wide-stretching farm lands of the North was another
matter. It brought the most odious aspects of slavery home to thousands
of men and women who would otherwise have been indifferent to the
system. Law-abiding business men, mechanics, farmers, and women, when
they saw peaceful negroes, who had resided in their neighborhoods
perhaps for years, torn away by federal officers and carried back to
bondage, were transformed into enemies of the law. They helped slaves to
escape; they snatched them away from officers who had captured them;
they broke open jails and carried fugitives off to Canada.

Assistance to runaway slaves, always more or less common in the North,
was by this time organized into a system. Regular routes, known as
"underground railways," were laid out across the free states into
Canada, and trusted friends of freedom maintained "underground stations"
where fugitives were concealed in the daytime between their long night
journeys. Funds were raised and secret agents sent into the South to
help negroes to flee. One negro woman, Harriet Tubman, "the Moses of her
people," with headquarters at Philadelphia, is accredited with nineteen
invasions into slave territory and the emancipation of three hundred
negroes. Those who worked at this business were in constant peril. One
underground operator, Calvin Fairbank, spent nearly twenty years in
prison for aiding fugitives from justice. Yet perils and prisons did not
stay those determined men and women who, in obedience to their
consciences, set themselves to this lawless work.


From thrilling stories of adventure along the underground railways came
some of the scenes and themes of the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe,
"Uncle Tom's Cabin," published two years after the Compromise of 1850.
Her stirring tale set forth the worst features of slavery in vivid word
pictures that caught and held the attention of millions of readers.
Though the book was unfair to the South and was denounced as a hideous
distortion of the truth, it was quickly dramatized and played in every
city and town throughout the North. Topsy, Little Eva, Uncle Tom, the
fleeing slave, Eliza Harris, and the cruel slave driver, Simon Legree,
with his baying blood hounds, became living specters in many a home that
sought to bar the door to the "unpleasant and irritating business of
slavery agitation."


=Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.=--To practical men, after all, the
"rub-a-dub" agitation of a few abolitionists, an occasional riot over
fugitive slaves, and the vogue of a popular novel seemed of slight or
transient importance. They could point with satisfaction to the election
returns of 1852; but their very security was founded upon shifting
sands. The magnificent triumph of the pro-slavery Democrats in 1852
brought a turn in affairs that destroyed the foundations under their
feet. Emboldened by their own strength and the weakness of their
opponents, they now dared to repeal the Missouri Compromise. The leader
in this fateful enterprise was Stephen A. Douglas, Senator from
Illinois, and the occasion for the deed was the demand for the
organization of territorial government in the regions west of Iowa and

Douglas, like Clay and Webster before him, was consumed by a strong
passion for the presidency, and, to reach his goal, it was necessary to
win the support of the South. This he undoubtedly sought to do when he
introduced on January 4, 1854, a bill organizing the Nebraska territory
on the principle of the Compromise of 1850; namely, that the people in
the territory might themselves decide whether they would have slavery or
not. Unwittingly the avalanche was started.

After a stormy debate, in which important amendments were forced on
Douglas, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill became a law on May 30, 1854. The
measure created two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and provided that
they, or territories organized out of them, could come into the union as
states "with or without slavery as their constitutions may prescribe at
the time of their admission." Not content with this, the law went on to
declare the Missouri Compromise null and void as being inconsistent with
the principle of non-intervention by Congress with slavery in the states
and territories. Thus by a single blow the very heart of the continent,
dedicated to freedom by solemn agreement, was thrown open to slavery. A
desperate struggle between slave owners and the advocates of freedom was
the outcome in Kansas.

If Douglas fancied that the North would receive the overthrow of the
Missouri Compromise in the same temper that it greeted Clay's
settlement, he was rapidly disillusioned. A blast of rage, terrific in
its fury, swept from Maine to Iowa. Staid old Boston hanged him in
effigy with an inscription--"Stephen A. Douglas, author of the infamous
Nebraska bill: the Benedict Arnold of 1854." City after city burned him
in effigy until, as he himself said, he could travel from the Atlantic
coast to Chicago in the light of the fires. Thousands of Whigs and
Free-soil Democrats deserted their parties which had sanctioned or at
least tolerated the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, declaring that the startling
measure showed an evident resolve on the part of the planters to rule
the whole country. A gage of defiance was thrown down to the
abolitionists. An issue was set even for the moderate and timid who had
been unmoved by the agitation over slavery in the Far South. That issue
was whether slavery was to be confined within its existing boundaries or
be allowed to spread without interference, thereby placing the free
states in the minority and surrendering the federal government wholly to
the slave power.

=The Rise of the Republican Party.=--Events of terrible significance,
swiftly following, drove the country like a ship before a gale straight
into civil war. The Kansas-Nebraska Bill rent the old parties asunder
and called into being the Republican party. While that bill was pending
in Congress, many Northern Whigs and Democrats had come to the
conclusion that a new party dedicated to freedom in the territories must
follow the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Several places claim to be
the original home of the Republican party; but historians generally
yield it to Wisconsin. At Ripon in that state, a mass meeting of Whigs
and Democrats assembled in February, 1854, and resolved to form a new
party if the Kansas-Nebraska Bill should pass. At a second meeting a
fusion committee representing Whigs, Free Soilers, and Democrats was
formed and the name Republican--the name of Jefferson's old party--was
selected. All over the country similar meetings were held and political
committees were organized.

When the presidential campaign of 1856 began the Republicans entered the
contest. After a preliminary conference in Pittsburgh in February, they
held a convention in Philadelphia at which was drawn up a platform
opposing the extension of slavery to the territories. John C. Frémont,
the distinguished explorer, was named for the presidency. The results
of the election were astounding as compared with the Free-soil failure
of the preceding election. Prominent men like Longfellow, Washington
Irving, William Cullen Bryant, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and George William
Curtis went over to the new party and 1,341,264 votes were rolled up for
"free labor, free speech, free men, free Kansas, and Frémont."
Nevertheless the victory of the Democrats was decisive. Their candidate,
James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, was elected by a majority of 174 to 114
electoral votes.


=The Dred Scott Decision (1857).=--In his inaugural, Buchanan vaguely
hinted that in a forthcoming decision the Supreme Court would settle one
of the vital questions of the day. This was a reference to the Dred
Scott case then pending. Scott was a slave who had been taken by his
master into the upper Louisiana territory, where freedom had been
established by the Missouri Compromise, and then carried back into his
old state of Missouri. He brought suit for his liberty on the ground
that his residence in the free territory made him free. This raised the
question whether the law of Congress prohibiting slavery north of 36°
30' was authorized by the federal Constitution or not. The Court might
have avoided answering it by saying that even though Scott was free in
the territory, he became a slave again in Missouri by virtue of the law
of that state. The Court, however, faced the issue squarely. It held
that Scott had not been free anywhere and that, besides, the Missouri
Compromise violated the Constitution and was null and void.

The decision was a triumph for the South. It meant that Congress after
all had no power to abolish slavery in the territories. Under the decree
of the highest court in the land, that could be done only by an
amendment to the Constitution which required a two-thirds vote in
Congress and the approval of three-fourths of the states. Such an
amendment was obviously impossible--the Southern states were too
numerous; but the Republicans were not daunted. "We know," said Lincoln,
"the Court that made it has often overruled its own decisions and we
shall do what we can to have it overrule this." Legislatures of Northern
states passed resolutions condemning the decision and the Republican
platform of 1860 characterized the dogma that the Constitution carried
slavery into the territories as "a dangerous political heresy at
variance with the explicit provisions of that instrument itself ... with
legislative and judicial precedent ... revolutionary in tendency and
subversive of the peace and harmony of the country."

=The Panic of 1857.=--In the midst of the acrimonious dispute over the
Dred Scott decision, came one of the worst business panics which ever
afflicted the country. In the spring and summer of 1857, fourteen
railroad corporations, including the Erie, Michigan Central, and the
Illinois Central, failed to meet their obligations; banks and insurance
companies, some of them the largest and strongest institutions in the
North, closed their doors; stocks and bonds came down in a crash on the
markets; manufacturing was paralyzed; tens of thousands of working
people were thrown out of employment; "hunger meetings" of idle men were
held in the cities and banners bearing the inscription, "We want
bread," were flung out. In New York, working men threatened to invade
the Council Chamber to demand "work or bread," and the frightened mayor
called for the police and soldiers. For this distressing state of
affairs many remedies were offered; none with more zeal and persistence
than the proposal for a higher tariff to take the place of the law of
March, 1857, a Democratic measure making drastic reductions in the rates
of duty. In the manufacturing districts of the North, the panic was
ascribed to the "Democratic assault on business." So an old issue was
again vigorously advanced, preparatory to the next presidential

=The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.=--The following year the interest of the
whole country was drawn to a series of debates held in Illinois by
Lincoln and Douglas, both candidates for the United States Senate. In
the course of his campaign Lincoln had uttered his trenchant saying that
"a house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." At the same time he
had accused Douglas, Buchanan, and the Supreme Court of acting in
concert to make slavery national. This daring statement arrested the
attention of Douglas, who was making his campaign on the doctrine of
"squatter sovereignty;" that is, the right of the people of each
territory "to vote slavery up or down." After a few long-distance shots
at each other, the candidates agreed to meet face to face and discuss
the issues of the day. Never had such crowds been seen at political
meetings in Illinois. Farmers deserted their plows, smiths their forges,
and housewives their baking to hear "Honest Abe" and "the Little Giant."

The results of the series of debates were momentous. Lincoln clearly
defined his position. The South, he admitted, was entitled under the
Constitution to a fair, fugitive slave law. He hoped that there might be
no new slave states; but he did not see how Congress could exclude the
people of a territory from admission as a state if they saw fit to adopt
a constitution legalizing the ownership of slaves. He favored the
gradual abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and the total
exclusion of it from the territories of the United States by act of

Moreover, he drove Douglas into a hole by asking how he squared
"squatter sovereignty" with the Dred Scott decision; how, in other
words, the people of a territory could abolish slavery when the Court
had declared that Congress, the superior power, could not do it under
the Constitution? To this baffling question Douglas lamely replied that
the inhabitants of a territory, by "unfriendly legislation," might make
property in slaves insecure and thus destroy the institution. This
answer to Lincoln's query alienated many Southern Democrats who believed
that the Dred Scott decision settled the question of slavery in the
territories for all time. Douglas won the election to the Senate; but
Lincoln, lifted into national fame by the debates, beat him in the
campaign for President two years later.

=John Brown's Raid.=--To the abolitionists the line of argument pursued
by Lincoln, including his proposal to leave slavery untouched in the
states where it existed, was wholly unsatisfactory. One of them, a grim
and resolute man, inflamed by a hatred for slavery in itself, turned
from agitation to violence. "These men are all talk; what is needed is
action--action!" So spoke John Brown of New York. During the sanguinary
struggle in Kansas he hurried to the frontier, gun and dagger in hand,
to help drive slave owners from the free soil of the West. There he
committed deeds of such daring and cruelty that he was outlawed and a
price put upon his head. Still he kept on the path of "action." Aided by
funds from Northern friends, he gathered a small band of his followers
around him, saying to them: "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
He went into Virginia in the autumn of 1859, hoping, as he explained,
"to effect a mighty conquest even though it be like the last victory of
Samson." He seized the government armory at Harper's Ferry, declared
free the slaves whom he found, and called upon them to take up arms in
defense of their liberty. His was a hope as forlorn as it was desperate.
Armed forces came down upon him and, after a hard battle, captured him.
Tried for treason, Brown was condemned to death. The governor of
Virginia turned a deaf ear to pleas for clemency based on the ground
that the prisoner was simply a lunatic. "This is a beautiful country,"
said the stern old Brown glancing upward to the eternal hills on his way
to the gallows, as calmly as if he were returning home from a long
journey. "So perish all such enemies of Virginia. All such enemies of
the Union. All such foes of the human race," solemnly announced the
executioner as he fulfilled the judgment of the law.

The raid and its grim ending deeply moved the country. Abolitionists
looked upon Brown as a martyr and tolled funeral bells on the day of his
execution. Longfellow wrote in his diary: "This will be a great day in
our history; the date of a new revolution as much needed as the old
one." Jefferson Davis saw in the affair "the invasion of a state by a
murderous gang of abolitionists bent on inciting slaves to murder
helpless women and children"--a crime for which the leader had met a
felon's death. Lincoln spoke of the raid as absurd, the deed of an
enthusiast who had brooded over the oppression of a people until he
fancied himself commissioned by heaven to liberate them--an attempt
which ended in "little else than his own execution." To Republican
leaders as a whole, the event was very embarrassing. They were taunted
by the Democrats with responsibility for the deed. Douglas declared his
"firm and deliberate conviction that the Harper's Ferry crime was the
natural, logical, inevitable result of the doctrines and teachings of
the Republican party." So persistent were such attacks that the
Republicans felt called upon in 1860 to denounce Brown's raid "as among
the gravest of crimes."

=The Democrats Divided.=--When the Democratic convention met at
Charleston in the spring of 1860, a few months after Brown's execution,
it soon became clear that there was danger ahead. Between the extreme
slavery advocates of the Far South and the so-called pro-slavery
Democrats of the Douglas type, there was a chasm which no appeals to
party loyalty could bridge. As the spokesman of the West, Douglas knew
that, while the North was not abolitionist, it was passionately set
against an extension of slavery into the territories by act of Congress;
that squatter sovereignty was the mildest kind of compromise acceptable
to the farmers whose votes would determine the fate of the election.
Southern leaders would not accept his opinion. Yancey, speaking for
Alabama, refused to palter with any plan not built on the proposition
that slavery was in itself right. He taunted the Northern Democrats with
taking the view that slavery was wrong, but that they could not do
anything about it. That, he said, was the fatal error--the cause of all
discord, the source of "Black Republicanism," as well as squatter
sovereignty. The gauntlet was thus thrown down at the feet of the
Northern delegates: "You must not apologize for slavery; you must
declare it right; you must advocate its extension." The challenge, so
bluntly put, was as bluntly answered. "Gentlemen of the South,"
responded a delegate from Ohio, "you mistake us. You mistake us. We will
not do it."

For ten days the Charleston convention wrangled over the platform and
balloted for the nomination of a candidate. Douglas, though in the lead,
could not get the two-thirds vote required for victory. For more than
fifty times the roll of the convention was called without a decision.
Then in sheer desperation the convention adjourned to meet later at
Baltimore. When the delegates again assembled, their passions ran as
high as ever. The division into two irreconcilable factions was
unchanged. Uncompromising delegates from the South withdrew to Richmond,
nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for President, and put forth
a platform asserting the rights of slave owners in the territories and
the duty of the federal government to protect them. The delegates who
remained at Baltimore nominated Douglas and endorsed his doctrine of
squatter sovereignty.

=The Constitutional Union Party.=--While the Democratic party was being
disrupted, a fragment of the former Whig party, known as the
Constitutional Unionists, held a convention at Baltimore and selected
national candidates: John Bell from Tennessee and Edward Everett from
Massachusetts. A melancholy interest attached to this assembly. It was
mainly composed of old men whose political views were those of Clay and
Webster, cherished leaders now dead and gone. In their platform they
sought to exorcise the evil spirit of partisanship by inviting their
fellow citizens to "support the Constitution of the country, the union
of the states, and the enforcement of the laws." The party that
campaigned on this grand sentiment only drew laughter from the Democrats
and derision from the Republicans and polled less than one-fourth the

=The Republican Convention.=--With the Whigs definitely forced into a
separate group, the Republican convention at Chicago was fated to be
sectional in character, although five slave states did send delegates.
As the Democrats were split, the party that had led a forlorn hope four
years before was on the high road to success at last. New and powerful
recruits were found. The advocates of a high protective tariff and the
friends of free homesteads for farmers and workingmen mingled with
enthusiastic foes of slavery. While still firm in their opposition to
slavery in the territories, the Republicans went on record in favor of a
homestead law granting free lands to settlers and approved customs
duties designed "to encourage the development of the industrial
interests of the whole country." The platform was greeted with cheers
which, according to the stenographic report of the convention, became
loud and prolonged as the protective tariff and homestead planks were

Having skillfully drawn a platform to unite the North in opposition to
slavery and the planting system, the Republicans were also adroit in
their selection of a candidate. The tariff plank might carry
Pennsylvania, a Democratic state; but Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were
equally essential to success at the polls. The southern counties of
these states were filled with settlers from Virginia, North Carolina,
and Kentucky who, even if they had no love for slavery, were no friends
of abolition. Moreover, remembering the old fight on the United States
Bank in Andrew Jackson's day, they were suspicious of men from the East.
Accordingly, they did not favor the candidacy of Seward, the leading
Republican statesman and "favorite son" of New York.

After much trading and discussing, the convention came to the conclusion
that Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was the most "available" candidate. He
was of Southern origin, born in Kentucky in 1809, a fact that told
heavily in the campaign in the Ohio Valley. He was a man of the soil,
the son of poor frontier parents, a pioneer who in his youth had labored
in the fields and forests, celebrated far and wide as "honest Abe, the
rail-splitter." It was well-known that he disliked slavery, but was no
abolitionist. He had come dangerously near to Seward's radicalism in his
"house-divided-against-itself" speech but he had never committed himself
to the reckless doctrine that there was a "higher law" than the
Constitution. Slavery in the South he tolerated as a bitter fact;
slavery in the territories he opposed with all his strength. Of his
sincerity there could be no doubt. He was a speaker and writer of
singular power, commanding, by the use of simple and homely language,
the hearts and minds of those who heard him speak or read his printed
words. He had gone far enough in his opposition to slavery; but not too
far. He was the man of the hour! Amid lusty cheers from ten thousand
throats, Lincoln was nominated for the presidency by the Republicans. In
the ensuing election, he carried all the free states except New Jersey.


P.E. Chadwick, _Causes of the Civil War_ (American Nation Series).

W.E. Dodd, _Statesmen of the Old South_.

E. Engle, _Southern Sidelights_ (Sympathetic account of the Old South).

A.B. Hart, _Slavery and Abolition_ (American Nation Series).

J.F. Rhodes, _History of the United States_, Vols. I and II.

T.C. Smith, _Parties and Slavery_ (American Nation Series).


1. Trace the decline of slavery in the North and explain it.

2. Describe the character of early opposition to slavery.

3. What was the effect of abolition agitation?

4. Why did anti-slavery sentiment practically disappear in the South?

5. On what grounds did Calhoun defend slavery?

6. Explain how slave owners became powerful in politics.

7. Why was it impossible to keep the slavery issue out of national

8. Give the leading steps in the long controversy over slavery in the

9. State the terms of the Compromise of 1850 and explain its failure.

10. What were the startling events between 1850 and 1860?

11. Account for the rise of the Republican party. What party had used
the title before?

12. How did the Dred Scott decision become a political issue?

13. What were some of the points brought out in the Lincoln-Douglas

14. Describe the party division in 1860.

15. What were the main planks in the Republican platform?

=Research Topics=

=The Extension of Cotton Planting.=--Callender, _Economic History of the
United States_, pp. 760-768.

=Abolition Agitation.=--McMaster, _History of the People of the United
States_, Vol. VI, pp. 271-298.

=Calhoun's Defense of Slavery.=--Harding, _Select Orations Illustrating
American History_, pp. 247-257.

=The Compromise of 1850.=--Clay's speech in Harding, _Select Orations_,
pp. 267-289. The compromise laws in Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book
of American History_, pp. 383-394. Narrative account in McMaster, Vol.
VIII, pp. 1-55; Elson, _History of the United States_, pp. 540-548.

=The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise.=--McMaster, Vol. VIII, pp.
192-231; Elson, pp. 571-582.

=The Dred Scott Case.=--McMaster, Vol. VIII, pp. 278-282. Compare the
opinion of Taney and the dissent of Curtis in Macdonald, _Documentary
Source Book_, pp. 405-420; Elson, pp. 595-598.

=The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.=--Analysis of original speeches in
Harding, _Select Orations_ pp. 309-341; Elson, pp. 598-604.

=Biographical Studies.=--Calhoun, Clay, Webster, A.H. Stephens, Douglas,
W.H. Seward, William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, and Harriet
Beecher Stowe.



"The irrepressible conflict is about to be visited upon us through the
Black Republican nominee and his fanatical, diabolical Republican
party," ran an appeal to the voters of South Carolina during the
campaign of 1860. If that calamity comes to pass, responded the governor
of the state, the answer should be a declaration of independence. In a
few days the suspense was over. The news of Lincoln's election came
speeding along the wires. Prepared for the event, the editor of the
Charleston _Mercury_ unfurled the flag of his state amid wild cheers
from an excited throng in the streets. Then he seized his pen and wrote:
"The tea has been thrown overboard; the revolution of 1860 has been
initiated." The issue was submitted to the voters in the choice of
delegates to a state convention called to cast off the yoke of the


=Secession.=--As arranged, the convention of South Carolina assembled in
December and without a dissenting voice passed the ordinance of
secession withdrawing from the union. Bells were rung exultantly, the
roar of cannon carried the news to outlying counties, fireworks lighted
up the heavens, and champagne flowed. The crisis so long expected had
come at last; even the conservatives who had prayed that they might
escape the dreadful crash greeted it with a sigh of relief.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1861

The border states (in purple) remained loyal.]

South Carolina now sent forth an appeal to her sister states--states
that had in Jackson's day repudiated nullification as leading to "the
dissolution of the union." The answer that came this time was in a
different vein. A month had hardly elapsed before five other
states--Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana--had
withdrawn from the union. In February, Texas followed. Virginia,
hesitating until the bombardment of Fort Sumter forced a conclusion,
seceded in April; but fifty-five of the one hundred and forty-three
delegates dissented, foreshadowing the creation of the new state of West
Virginia which Congress admitted to the union in 1863. In May, North
Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee announced their independence.

=Secession and the Theories of the Union.=--In severing their relations
with the union, the seceding states denied every point in the Northern
theory of the Constitution. That theory, as every one knows, was
carefully formulated by Webster and elaborated by Lincoln. According to
it, the union was older than the states; it was created before the
Declaration of Independence for the purpose of common defense. The
Articles of Confederation did but strengthen this national bond and the
Constitution sealed it forever. The federal government was not a
creature of state governments. It was erected by the people and derived
its powers directly from them. "It is," said Webster, "the people's
Constitution, the people's government; made for the people; made by the
people; and answerable to the people. The people of the United States
have declared that this Constitution shall be the supreme law." When a
state questions the lawfulness of any act of the federal government, it
cannot nullify that act or withdraw from the union; it must abide by the
decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. The union of these
states is perpetual, ran Lincoln's simple argument in the first
inaugural; the federal Constitution has no provision for its own
termination; it can be destroyed only by some action not provided for in
the instrument itself; even if it is a compact among all the states the
consent of all must be necessary to its dissolution; therefore no state
can lawfully get out of the union and acts of violence against the
United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary. This was the system
which he believed himself bound to defend by his oath of office
"registered in heaven."

All this reasoning Southern statesmen utterly rejected. In their opinion
the thirteen original states won their independence as separate and
sovereign powers. The treaty of peace with Great Britain named them all
and acknowledged them "to be free, sovereign, and independent states."
The Articles of Confederation very explicitly declared that "each state
retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence." The Constitution
was a "league of nations" formed by an alliance of thirteen separate
powers, each one of which ratified the instrument before it was put into
effect. They voluntarily entered the union under the Constitution and
voluntarily they could leave it. Such was the constitutional doctrine of
Hayne, Calhoun, and Jefferson Davis. In seceding, the Southern states
had only to follow legal methods, and the transaction would be correct
in every particular. So conventions were summoned, elections were held,
and "sovereign assemblies of the people" set aside the Constitution in
the same manner as it had been ratified nearly four score years before.
Thus, said the Southern people, the moral judgment was fulfilled and the
letter of the law carried into effect.

[Illustration: JEFFERSON DAVIS]

=The Formation of the Confederacy.=--Acting on the call of Mississippi,
a congress of delegates from the seceded states met at Montgomery,
Alabama, and on February 8, 1861, adopted a temporary plan of union. It
selected, as provisional president, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, a
man well fitted by experience and moderation for leadership, a graduate
of West Point, who had rendered distinguished service on the field of
battle in the Mexican War, in public office, and as a member of

In March, a permanent constitution of the Confederate states was
drafted. It was quickly ratified by the states; elections were held in
November; and the government under it went into effect the next year.
This new constitution, in form, was very much like the famous instrument
drafted at Philadelphia in 1787. It provided for a President, a Senate,
and a House of Representatives along almost identical lines. In the
powers conferred upon them, however, there were striking differences.
The right to appropriate money for internal improvements was expressly
withheld; bounties were not to be granted from the treasury nor import
duties so laid as to promote or foster any branch of industry. The
dignity of the state, if any might be bold enough to question it, was
safeguarded in the opening line by the declaration that each acted "in
its sovereign and independent character" in forming the Southern union.

=Financing the Confederacy.=--No government ever set out upon its career
with more perplexing tasks in front of it. The North had a monetary
system; the South had to create one. The North had a scheme of taxation
that produced large revenues from numerous sources; the South had to
formulate and carry out a financial plan. Like the North, the
Confederacy expected to secure a large revenue from customs duties,
easily collected and little felt among the masses. To this expectation
the blockade of Southern ports inaugurated by Lincoln in April, 1861,
soon put an end. Following the precedent set by Congress under the
Articles of Confederation, the Southern Congress resorted to a direct
property tax apportioned among the states, only to meet the failure that
might have been foretold.

The Confederacy also sold bonds, the first issue bringing into the
treasury nearly all the specie available in the Southern banks. This
specie by unhappy management was early sent abroad to pay for supplies,
sapping the foundations of a sound currency system. Large amounts of
bonds were sold overseas, commanding at first better terms than those
of the North in the markets of London, Paris, and Amsterdam, many an
English lord and statesman buying with enthusiasm and confidence to
lament within a few years the proofs of his folly. The difficulties of
bringing through the blockade any supplies purchased by foreign bond
issues, however, nullified the effect of foreign credit and forced the
Confederacy back upon the device of paper money. In all approximately
one billion dollars streamed from the printing presses, to fall in value
at an alarming rate, reaching in January, 1863, the astounding figure of
fifty dollars in paper money for one in gold. Every known device was
used to prevent its depreciation, without result. To the issues of the
Confederate Congress were added untold millions poured out by the states
and by private banks.

=Human and Material Resources.=--When we measure strength for strength
in those signs of power--men, money, and supplies--it is difficult to
see how the South was able to embark on secession and war with such
confidence in the outcome. In the Confederacy at the final reckoning
there were eleven states in all, to be pitted against twenty-two; a
population of nine millions, nearly one-half servile, to be pitted
against twenty-two millions; a land without great industries to produce
war supplies and without vast capital to furnish war finances, joined in
battle with a nation already industrial and fortified by property worth
eleven billion dollars. Even after the Confederate Congress authorized
conscription in 1862, Southern man power, measured in numbers, was
wholly inadequate to uphold the independence which had been declared.
How, therefore, could the Confederacy hope to sustain itself against
such a combination of men, money, and materials as the North could

=Southern Expectations.=--The answer to this question is to be found in
the ideas that prevailed among Southern leaders. First of all, they
hoped, in vain, to carry the Confederacy up to the Ohio River; and, with
the aid of Missouri, to gain possession of the Mississippi Valley, the
granary of the nation. In the second place, they reckoned upon a large
and continuous trade with Great Britain--the exchange of cotton for war
materials. They likewise expected to receive recognition and open aid
from European powers that looked with satisfaction upon the breakup of
the great American republic. In the third place, they believed that
their control over several staples so essential to Northern industry
would enable them to bring on an industrial crisis in the manufacturing
states. "I firmly believe," wrote Senator Hammond, of South Carolina, in
1860, "that the slave-holding South is now the controlling power of the
world; that no other power would face us in hostility. Cotton, rice,
tobacco, and naval stores command the world; and we have the sense to
know it and are sufficiently Teutonic to carry it out successfully. The
North without us would be a motherless calf, bleating about, and die of
mange and starvation."

There were other grounds for confidence. Having seized all of the
federal military and naval supplies in the South, and having left the
national government weak in armed power during their possession of the
presidency, Southern leaders looked to a swift war, if it came at all,
to put the finishing stroke to independence. "The greasy mechanics of
the North," it was repeatedly said, "will not fight." As to disparity in
numbers they drew historic parallels. "Our fathers, a mere handful,
overcame the enormous power of Great Britain," a saying of ex-President
Tyler, ran current to reassure the doubtful. Finally, and this point
cannot be too strongly emphasized, the South expected to see a weakened
and divided North. It knew that the abolitionists and the Southern
sympathizers were ready to let the Confederate states go in peace; that
Lincoln represented only a little more than one-third the voters of the
country; and that the vote for Douglas, Bell, and Breckinridge meant a
decided opposition to the Republicans and their policies.

=Efforts at Compromise.=--Republican leaders, on reviewing the same
facts, were themselves uncertain as to the outcome of a civil war and
made many efforts to avoid a crisis. Thurlow Weed, an Albany journalist
and politician who had done much to carry New York for Lincoln, proposed
a plan for extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific.
Jefferson Davis, warning his followers that a war if it came would be
terrible, was prepared to accept the offer; but Lincoln, remembering his
campaign pledges, stood firm as a rock against it. His followers in
Congress took the same position with regard to a similar settlement
suggested by Senator Crittenden of Kentucky.

Though unwilling to surrender his solemn promises respecting slavery in
the territories, Lincoln was prepared to give to Southern leaders a
strong guarantee that his administration would not interfere directly or
indirectly with slavery in the states. Anxious to reassure the South on
this point, the Republicans in Congress proposed to write into the
Constitution a declaration that no amendment should ever be made
authorizing the abolition of or interference with slavery in any state.
The resolution, duly passed, was sent forth on March 4, 1861, with the
approval of Lincoln; it was actually ratified by three states before the
storm of war destroyed it. By the irony of fate the thirteenth amendment
was to abolish, not guarantee, slavery.


=Raising the Armies.=--The crisis at Fort Sumter, on April 12-14, 1861,
forced the President and Congress to turn from negotiations to problems
of warfare. Little did they realize the magnitude of the task before
them. Lincoln's first call for volunteers, issued on April 15, 1861,
limited the number to 75,000, put their term of service at three months,
and prescribed their duty as the enforcement of the law against
combinations too powerful to be overcome by ordinary judicial process.
Disillusionment swiftly followed. The terrible defeat of the Federals at
Bull Run on July 21 revealed the serious character of the task before
them; and by a series of measures Congress put the entire man power of
the country at the President's command. Under these acts, he issued new
calls for volunteers. Early in August, 1862, he ordered a draft of
militiamen numbering 300,000 for nine months' service. The results were
disappointing--ominous--for only about 87,000 soldiers were added to the
army. Something more drastic was clearly necessary.

In March, 1863, Lincoln signed the inevitable draft law; it enrolled in
the national forces liable to military duty all able-bodied male
citizens and persons of foreign birth who had declared their intention
to become citizens, between the ages of twenty and forty-five
years--with exemptions on grounds of physical weakness and dependency.
From the men enrolled were drawn by lot those destined to active
service. Unhappily the measure struck a mortal blow at the principle of
universal liability by excusing any person who found a substitute for
himself or paid into the war office a sum, not exceeding three hundred
dollars, to be fixed by general order. This provision, so crass and so
obviously favoring the well-to-do, sowed seeds of bitterness which
sprang up a hundredfold in the North.


The beginning of the drawings under the draft act in New York City, on
Monday, July 13, 1863, was the signal for four days of rioting. In the
course of this uprising, draft headquarters were destroyed; the office
of the _Tribune_ was gutted; negroes were seized, hanged, and shot; the
homes of obnoxious Unionists were burned down; the residence of the
mayor of the city was attacked; and regular battles were fought in the
streets between the rioters and the police. Business stopped and a large
part of the city passed absolutely into the control of the mob. Not
until late the following Wednesday did enough troops arrive to restore
order and enable the residents of the city to resume their daily
activities. At least a thousand people had been killed or wounded and
more than a million dollars' worth of damage done to property. The draft
temporarily interrupted by this outbreak was then resumed and carried
out without further trouble.

The results of the draft were in the end distinctly disappointing to the
government. The exemptions were numerous and the number who preferred
and were able to pay $300 rather than serve exceeded all expectations.
Volunteering, it is true, was stimulated, but even that resource could
hardly keep the thinning ranks of the army filled. With reluctance
Congress struck out the $300 exemption clause, but still favored the
well-to-do by allowing them to hire substitutes if they could find them.
With all this power in its hands the administration was able by January,
1865, to construct a union army that outnumbered the Confederates two to

=War Finance.=--In the financial sphere the North faced immense
difficulties. The surplus in the treasury had been dissipated by 1861
and the tariff of 1857 had failed to produce an income sufficient to
meet the ordinary expenses of the government. Confronted by military and
naval expenditures of appalling magnitude, rising from $35,000,000 in
the first year of the war to $1,153,000,000 in the last year, the
administration had to tap every available source of income. The duties
on imports were increased, not once but many times, producing huge
revenues and also meeting the most extravagant demands of the
manufacturers for protection. Direct taxes were imposed on the states
according to their respective populations, but the returns were
meager--all out of proportion to the irritation involved. Stamp taxes
and taxes on luxuries, occupations, and the earnings of corporations
were laid with a weight that, in ordinary times, would have drawn forth
opposition of ominous strength. The whole gamut of taxation was run.
Even a tax on incomes and gains by the year, the first in the history of
the federal government, was included in the long list.

Revenues were supplemented by bond issues, mounting in size and interest
rate, until in October, at the end of the war, the debt stood at
$2,208,000,000. The total cost of the war was many times the money value
of all the slaves in the Southern states. To the debt must be added
nearly half a billion dollars in "greenbacks"--paper money issued by
Congress in desperation as bond sales and revenues from taxes failed to
meet the rising expenditures. This currency issued at par on
questionable warrant from the Constitution, like all such paper, quickly
began to decline until in the worst fortunes of 1864 one dollar in gold
was worth nearly three in greenbacks.

=The Blockade of Southern Ports.=--Four days after his call for
volunteers, April 19, 1861, President Lincoln issued a proclamation
blockading the ports of the Southern Confederacy. Later the blockade was
extended to Virginia and North Carolina, as they withdrew from the
union. Vessels attempting to enter or leave these ports, if they
disregarded the warnings of a blockading ship, were to be captured and
brought as prizes to the nearest convenient port. To make the order
effective, immediate steps were taken to increase the naval forces,
depleted by neglect, until the entire coast line was patrolled with such
a number of ships that it was a rare captain who ventured to run the
gantlet. The collision between the _Merrimac_ and the _Monitor_ in
March, 1862, sealed the fate of the Confederacy. The exploits of the
union navy are recorded in the falling export of cotton: $202,000,000 in
1860; $42,000,000 in 1861; and $4,000,000 in 1862.

The deadly effect of this paralysis of trade upon Southern war power may
be readily imagined. Foreign loans, payable in cotton, could be
negotiated but not paid off. Supplies could be purchased on credit but
not brought through the drag net. With extreme difficulty could the
Confederate government secure even paper for the issue of money and
bonds. Publishers, in despair at the loss of supplies, were finally
driven to the use of brown wrapping paper and wall paper. As the
railways and rolling stock wore out, it became impossible to renew them
from England or France. Unable to export their cotton, planters on the
seaboard burned it in what were called "fires of patriotism." In their
lurid light the fatal weakness of Southern economy stood revealed.

[Illustration: A BLOCKADE RUNNER]

=Diplomacy.=--The war had not advanced far before the federal government
became involved in many perplexing problems of diplomacy in Europe. The
Confederacy early turned to England and France for financial aid and for
recognition as an independent power. Davis believed that the industrial
crisis created by the cotton blockade would in time literally compel
Europe to intervene in order to get this essential staple. The crisis
came as he expected but not the result. Thousands of English textile
workers were thrown out of employment; and yet, while on the point of
starvation, they adopted resolutions favoring the North instead of
petitioning their government to aid the South by breaking the blockade.

With the ruling classes it was far otherwise. Napoleon III, the Emperor
of the French, was eager to help in disrupting the American republic; if
he could have won England's support, he would have carried out his
designs. As it turned out he found plenty of sympathy across the Channel
but not open and official coöperation. According to the eminent
historian, Rhodes, "four-fifths of the British House of Lords and most
members of the House of Commons were favorable to the Confederacy and
anxious for its triumph." Late in 1862 the British ministers, thus
sustained, were on the point of recognizing the independence of the
Confederacy. Had it not been for their extreme caution, for the constant
and harassing criticism by English friends of the United States--like
John Bright--and for the victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, both
England and France would have doubtless declared the Confederacy to be
one of the independent powers of the earth.

[Illustration: JOHN BRIGHT]

While stopping short of recognizing its independence, England and France
took several steps that were in favor of the South. In proclaiming
neutrality, they early accepted the Confederates as "belligerents" and
accorded them the rights of people at war--a measure which aroused anger
in the North at first but was later admitted to be sound. Otherwise
Confederates taken in battle would have been regarded as "rebels" or
"traitors" to be hanged or shot. Napoleon III proposed to Russia in 1861
a coalition of powers against the North, only to meet a firm refusal.
The next year he suggested intervention to Great Britain, encountering
this time a conditional rejection of his plans. In 1863, not daunted by
rebuffs, he offered his services to Lincoln as a mediator, receiving in
reply a polite letter declining his proposal and a sharp resolution from
Congress suggesting that he attend to his own affairs.

In both England and France the governments pursued a policy of
friendliness to the Confederate agents. The British ministry, with
indifference if not connivance, permitted rams and ships to be built in
British docks and allowed them to escape to play havoc under the
Confederate flag with American commerce. One of them, the _Alabama_,
built in Liverpool by a British firm and paid for by bonds sold in
England, ran an extraordinary career and threatened to break the
blockade. The course followed by the British government, against the
protests of the American minister in London, was later regretted. By an
award of a tribunal of arbitration at Geneva in 1872, Great Britain was
required to pay the huge sum of $15,500,000 to cover the damages wrought
by Confederate cruisers fitted out in England.

[Illustration: WILLIAM H. SEWARD]

In all fairness it should be said that the conduct of the North
contributed to the irritation between the two countries. Seward, the
Secretary of State, was vindictive in dealing with Great Britain; had it
not been for the moderation of Lincoln, he would have pursued a course
verging in the direction of open war. The New York and Boston papers
were severe in their attacks on England. Words were, on one occasion at
least, accompanied by an act savoring of open hostility. In November,
1861, Captain Wilkes, commanding a union vessel, overhauled the British
steamer _Trent_, and carried off by force two Confederate agents, Mason
and Slidell, sent by President Davis to represent the Confederacy at
London and Paris respectively. This was a clear violation of the right
of merchant vessels to be immune from search and impressment; and, in
answer to the demand of Great Britain for the release of the two men,
the United States conceded that it was in the wrong. It surrendered the
two Confederate agents to a British vessel for safe conduct abroad, and
made appropriate apologies.

=Emancipation.=--Among the extreme war measures adopted by the Northern
government must be counted the emancipation of the slaves in the states
in arms against the union. This step was early and repeatedly suggested
to Lincoln by the abolitionists; but was steadily put aside. He knew
that the abolitionists were a mere handful, that emancipation might
drive the border states into secession, and that the Northern soldiers
had enlisted to save the union. Moreover, he had before him a solemn
resolution passed by Congress on July 22, 1861, declaring the sole
purpose of the war to be the salvation of the union and disavowing any
intention of interfering with slavery.

The federal government, though pledged to the preservation of slavery,
soon found itself beaten back upon its course and out upon a new tack.
Before a year had elapsed, namely on April 10, 1862, Congress resolved
that financial aid should be given to any state that might adopt gradual
emancipation. Six days later it abolished slavery in the District of
Columbia. Two short months elapsed. On June 19, 1862, it swept slavery
forever from the territories of the United States. Chief Justice Taney
still lived, the Dred Scott decision stood as written in the book, but
the Constitution had been re-read in the light of the Civil War. The
drift of public sentiment in the North was being revealed.

While these measures were pending in Congress, Lincoln was slowly making
up his mind. By July of that year he had come to his great decision.
Near the end of that month he read to his cabinet the draft of a
proclamation of emancipation; but he laid it aside until a military
achievement would make it something more than an idle gesture. In
September, the severe check administered to Lee at Antietam seemed to
offer the golden opportunity. On the 22d, the immortal document was
given to the world announcing that, unless the states in arms returned
to the union by January 1, 1863, the fatal blow at their "peculiar
institution" would be delivered. Southern leaders treated it with slight
regard, and so on the date set the promise was fulfilled. The
proclamation was issued as a war measure, adopted by the President as
commander-in-chief of the armed forces, on grounds of military
necessity. It did not abolish slavery. It simply emancipated slaves in
places then in arms against federal authority. Everywhere else slavery,
as far as the Proclamation was concerned, remained lawful.

[Illustration: ABRAHAM LINCOLN]

To seal forever the proclamation of emancipation, and to extend freedom
to the whole country, Congress, in January, 1865, on the urgent
recommendation of Lincoln, transmitted to the states the thirteenth
amendment, abolishing slavery throughout the United States. By the end
of 1865 the amendment was ratified. The house was not divided against
itself; it did not fall; it was all free.

=The Restraint of Civil Liberty.=--As in all great wars, particularly
those in the nature of a civil strife, it was found necessary to use
strong measures to sustain opinion favorable to the administration's
military policies and to frustrate the designs of those who sought to
hamper its action. Within two weeks of his first call for volunteers,
Lincoln empowered General Scott to suspend the writ of _habeas corpus_
along the line of march between Philadelphia and Washington and thus to
arrest and hold without interference from civil courts any one whom he
deemed a menace to the union. At a later date the area thus ruled by
military officers was extended by executive proclamation. By an act of
March 3, 1863, Congress, desiring to lay all doubts about the
President's power, authorized him to suspend the writ throughout the
United States or in any part thereof. It also freed military officers
from the necessity of surrendering to civil courts persons arrested
under their orders, or even making answers to writs issued from such
courts. In the autumn of that year the President, acting under the terms
of this law, declared this ancient and honorable instrument for the
protection of civil liberties, the _habeas corpus_, suspended throughout
the length and breadth of the land. The power of the government was also
strengthened by an act defining and punishing certain conspiracies,
passed on July 31, 1861--a measure which imposed heavy penalties on
those who by force, intimidation, or threat interfered with the
execution of the law.

Thus doubly armed, the military authorities spared no one suspected of
active sympathy with the Southern cause. Editors were arrested and
imprisoned, their papers suspended, and their newsboys locked up. Those
who organized "peace meetings" soon found themselves in the toils of the
law. Members of the Maryland legislature, the mayor of Baltimore, and
local editors suspected of entertaining secessionist opinions, were
imprisoned on military orders although charged with no offense, and were
denied the privilege of examination before a civil magistrate. A Vermont
farmer, too outspoken in his criticism of the government, found himself
behind the bars until the government, in its good pleasure, saw fit to
release him. These measures were not confined to the theater of war nor
to the border states where the spirit of secession was strong enough to
endanger the cause of union. They were applied all through the Northern
states up to the very boundaries of Canada. Zeal for the national cause,
too often supplemented by a zeal for persecution, spread terror among
those who wavered in the singleness of their devotion to the union.

These drastic operations on the part of military authorities, so foreign
to the normal course of civilized life, naturally aroused intense and
bitter hostility. Meetings of protest were held throughout the country.
Thirty-six members of the House of Representatives sought to put on
record their condemnation of the suspension of the _habeas corpus_ act,
only to meet a firm denial by the supporters of the act. Chief Justice
Taney, before whom the case of a man arrested under the President's
military authority was brought, emphatically declared, in a long and
learned opinion bristling with historical examples, that the President
had no power to suspend the writ of _habeas corpus_. In Congress and
out, Democrats, abolitionists, and champions of civil liberty denounced
Lincoln and his Cabinet in unsparing terms. Vallandigham, a Democratic
leader of Ohio, afterward banished to the South for his opposition to
the war, constantly applied to Lincoln the epithet of "Cæsar." Wendell
Phillips saw in him "a more unlimited despot than the world knows this
side of China."

Sensitive to such stinging thrusts and no friend of wanton persecution,
Lincoln attempted to mitigate the rigors of the law by paroling many
political prisoners. The general policy, however, he defended in homely
language, very different in tone and meaning from the involved reasoning
of the lawyers. "Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts,
while I must not touch a hair of the wily agitator who induces him to
desert?" he asked in a quiet way of some spokesmen for those who
protested against arresting people for "talking against the war." This
summed up his philosophy. He was engaged in a war to save the union, and
all measures necessary and proper to accomplish that purpose were
warranted by the Constitution which he had sworn to uphold.

=Military Strategy--North and South.=--The broad outlines of military
strategy followed by the commanders of the opposing forces are clear
even to the layman who cannot be expected to master the details of a
campaign or, for that matter, the maneuvers of a single great battle.
The problem for the South was one of defense mainly, though even for
defense swift and paralyzing strokes at the North were later deemed
imperative measures. The problem of the North was, to put it baldly, one
of invasion and conquest. Southern territory had to be invaded and
Southern armies beaten on their own ground or worn down to exhaustion

In the execution of this undertaking, geography, as usual, played a
significant part in the disposition of forces. The Appalachian ranges,
stretching through the Confederacy to Northern Alabama, divided the
campaigns into Eastern and Western enterprises. Both were of signal
importance. Victory in the East promised the capture of the Confederate
capital of Richmond, a stroke of moral worth, hardly to be
overestimated. Victory in the West meant severing the Confederacy and
opening the Mississippi Valley down to the Gulf.

As it turned out, the Western forces accomplished their task first,
vindicating the military powers of union soldiers and shaking the
confidence of opposing commanders. In February, 1862, Grant captured
Fort Donelson on the Tennessee River, rallied wavering unionists in
Kentucky, forced the evacuation of Nashville, and opened the way for two
hundred miles into the Confederacy. At Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Vicksburg,
Chickamauga, Chattanooga, desperate fighting followed and, in spite of
varying fortunes, it resulted in the discomfiture and retirement of
Confederate forces to the Southeast into Georgia. By the middle of 1863,
the Mississippi Valley was open to the Gulf, the initiative taken out of
the hands of Southern commanders in the West, and the way prepared for
Sherman's final stroke--the march from Atlanta to the sea--a maneuver
executed with needless severity in the autumn of 1864.


[Illustration: GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE]

For the almost unbroken succession of achievements in the West by
Generals Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and Hooker against Albert Sidney
Johnston, Bragg, Pemberton, and Hood, the union forces in the East
offered at first an almost equally unbroken series of misfortunes and
disasters. Far from capturing Richmond, they had been thrown on the
defensive. General after general--McClellan, Pope, Burnside, Hooker, and
Meade--was tried and found wanting. None of them could administer a
crushing defeat to the Confederate troops and more than once the union
soldiers were beaten in a fair battle. They did succeed, however, in
delivering a severe check to advancing Confederates under General Robert
E. Lee, first at Antietam in September, 1862, and then at Gettysburg in
July, 1863--checks reckoned as victories though in each instance the
Confederates escaped without demoralization. Not until the beginning of
the next year, when General Grant, supplied with almost unlimited men
and munitions, began his irresistible hammering at Lee's army, did the
final phase of the war commence. The pitiless drive told at last.
General Lee, on April 9, 1865, seeing the futility of further conflict,
surrendered an army still capable of hard fighting, at Appomattox, not
far from the capital of the Confederacy.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=Abraham Lincoln.=--The services of Lincoln to the cause of union defy
description. A judicial scrutiny of the war reveals his thought and
planning in every part of the varied activity that finally crowned
Northern arms with victory. Is it in the field of diplomacy? Does
Seward, the Secretary of State, propose harsh and caustic measures
likely to draw England's sword into the scale? Lincoln counsels
moderation. He takes the irritating message and with his own hand
strikes out, erases, tones down, and interlines, exchanging for words
that sting and burn the language of prudence and caution. Is it a matter
of compromise with the South, so often proposed by men on both sides
sick of carnage? Lincoln is always ready to listen and turns away only
when he is invited to surrender principles essential to the safety of
the union. Is it high strategy of war, a question of the general best
fitted to win Gettysburg--Hooker, Sedgwick, or Meade? Lincoln goes in
person to the War Department in the dead of night to take counsel with
his Secretary and to make the fateful choice.

Is it a complaint from a citizen, deprived, as he believes, of his civil
liberties unjustly or in violation of the Constitution? Lincoln is ready
to hear it and anxious to afford relief, if warrant can be found for it.
Is a mother begging for the life of a son sentenced to be shot as a
deserter? Lincoln hears her petition, and grants it even against the
protests made by his generals in the name of military discipline. Do
politicians sow dissensions in the army and among civilians? Lincoln
grandly waves aside their petty personalities and invites them to think
of the greater cause. Is it a question of securing votes to ratify the
thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery? Lincoln thinks it not beneath
his dignity to traffic and huckster with politicians over the trifling
jobs asked in return by the members who hold out against him. Does a New
York newspaper call him an ignorant Western boor? Lincoln's reply is a
letter to a mother who has given her all--her sons on the field of
battle--and an address at Gettysburg, both of which will live as long as
the tongue in which they were written. These are tributes not only to
his mastery of the English language but also to his mastery of all those
sentiments of sweetness and strength which are the finest flowers of

Throughout the entire span of service, however, Lincoln was beset by
merciless critics. The fiery apostles of abolition accused him of
cowardice when he delayed the bold stroke at slavery. Anti-war Democrats
lashed out at every step he took. Even in his own party he found no
peace. Charles Sumner complained: "Our President is now dictator,
_imperator_--whichever you like; but how vain to have the power of a
god and not to use it godlike." Leaders among the Republicans sought to
put him aside in 1864 and place Chase in his chair. "I hope we may never
have a worse man," was Lincoln's quiet answer.

Wide were the dissensions in the North during that year and the
Republicans, while selecting Lincoln as their candidate again, cast off
their old name and chose the simple title of the "Union party."
Moreover, they selected a Southern man, Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, to
be associated with him as candidate for Vice President. This combination
the Northern Democrats boldly confronted with a platform declaring that
"after four years of failure to restore the union by the experiment of
war, during which, under the pretence of military necessity or war power
higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been
disregarded in every part and public liberty and private right alike
trodden down ... justice, humanity, liberty, and public welfare demand
that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, to the
end that peace may be restored on the basis of the federal union of the
states." It is true that the Democratic candidate, General McClellan,
sought to break the yoke imposed upon him by the platform, saying that
he could not look his old comrades in the face and pronounce their
efforts vain; but the party call to the nation to repudiate Lincoln and
his works had gone forth. The response came, giving Lincoln 2,200,000
votes against 1,800,000 for his opponent. The bitter things said about
him during the campaign, he forgot and forgave. When in April, 1865, he
was struck down by the assassin's hand, he above all others in
Washington was planning measures of moderation and healing.


There is a strong and natural tendency on the part of writers to stress
the dramatic and heroic aspects of war; but the long judgment of history
requires us to include all other significant phases as well. Like every
great armed conflict, the Civil War outran the purposes of those who
took part in it. Waged over the nature of the union, it made a
revolution in the union, changing public policies and constitutional
principles and giving a new direction to agriculture and industry.

=The Supremacy of the Union.=--First and foremost, the war settled for
all time the long dispute as to the nature of the federal system. The
doctrine of state sovereignty was laid to rest. Men might still speak of
the rights of states and think of their commonwealths with affection,
but nullification and secession were destroyed. The nation was supreme.

=The Destruction of the Slave Power.=--Next to the vindication of
national supremacy was the destruction of the planting aristocracy of
the South--that great power which had furnished leadership of undoubted
ability and had so long contested with the industrial and commercial
interests of the North. The first paralyzing blow at the planters was
struck by the abolition of slavery. The second and third came with the
fourteenth (1868) and fifteenth (1870) amendments, giving the ballot to
freedmen and excluding from public office the Confederate
leaders--driving from the work of reconstruction the finest talents of
the South. As if to add bitterness to gall and wormwood, the fourteenth
amendment forbade the United States or any state to pay any debts
incurred in aid of the Confederacy or in the emancipation of the
slaves--plunging into utter bankruptcy the Southern financiers who had
stripped their section of capital to support their cause. So the
Southern planters found themselves excluded from public office and ruled
over by their former bondmen under the tutelage of Republican leaders.
Their labor system was wrecked and their money and bonds were as
worthless as waste paper. The South was subject to the North. That which
neither the Federalists nor the Whigs had been able to accomplish in the
realm of statecraft was accomplished on the field of battle.

=The Triumph of Industry.=--The wreck of the planting system was
accompanied by a mighty upswing of Northern industry which made the old
Whigs of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania stare in wonderment. The demands
of the federal government for manufactured goods at unrestricted prices
gave a stimulus to business which more than replaced the lost markets of
the South. Between 1860 and 1870 the number of manufacturing
establishments increased 79.6 per cent as against 14.2 for the previous
decade; while the number of persons employed almost doubled. There was
no doubt about the future of American industry.

=The Victory for the Protective Tariff.=--Moreover, it was henceforth to
be well protected. For many years before the war the friends of
protection had been on the defensive. The tariff act of 1857 imposed
duties so low as to presage a tariff for revenue only. The war changed
all that. The extraordinary military expenditures, requiring heavy taxes
on all sources, justified tariffs so high that a follower of Clay or
Webster might well have gasped with astonishment. After the war was over
the debt remained and both interest and principal had to be paid.
Protective arguments based on economic reasoning were supported by a
plain necessity for revenue which admitted no dispute.

=A Liberal Immigration Policy.=--Linked with industry was the labor
supply. The problem of manning industries became a pressing matter, and
Republican leaders grappled with it. In the platform of the Union party
adopted in 1864 it was declared "that foreign immigration, which in the
past has added so much to the wealth, the development of resources, and
the increase of power to this nation--the asylum of the oppressed of all
nations--should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just
policy." In that very year Congress, recognizing the importance of the
problem, passed a measure of high significance, creating a bureau of
immigration, and authorizing a modified form of indentured labor, by
making it legal for immigrants to pledge their wages in advance to pay
their passage over. Though the bill was soon repealed, the practice
authorized by it was long continued. The cheapness of the passage
shortened the term of service; but the principle was older than the
days of William Penn.

=The Homestead Act of 1862.=--In the immigration measure guaranteeing a
continuous and adequate labor supply, the manufacturers saw an offset to
the Homestead Act of 1862 granting free lands to settlers. The Homestead
law they had resisted in a long and bitter congressional battle.
Naturally, they had not taken kindly to a scheme which lured men away
from the factories or enabled them to make unlimited demands for higher
wages as the price of remaining. Southern planters likewise had feared
free homesteads for the very good reason that they only promised to add
to the overbalancing power of the North.

In spite of the opposition, supporters of a liberal land policy made
steady gains. Free-soil Democrats,--Jacksonian farmers and
mechanics,--labor reformers, and political leaders, like Stephen A.
Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, kept up the
agitation in season and out. More than once were they able to force a
homestead bill through the House of Representatives only to have it
blocked in the Senate where Southern interests were intrenched. Then,
after the Senate was won over, a Democratic President, James Buchanan,
vetoed the bill. Still the issue lived. The Republicans, strong among
the farmers of the Northwest, favored it from the beginning and pressed
it upon the attention of the country. Finally the manufacturers yielded;
they received their compensation in the contract labor law. In 1862
Congress provided for the free distribution of land in 160-acre lots
among men and women of strong arms and willing hearts ready to build
their serried lines of homesteads to the Rockies and beyond.

=Internal Improvements.=--If farmers and manufacturers were early
divided on the matter of free homesteads, the same could hardly be said
of internal improvements. The Western tiller of the soil was as eager
for some easy way of sending his produce to market as the manufacturer
was for the same means to transport his goods to the consumer on the
farm. While the Confederate leaders were writing into their
constitution a clause forbidding all appropriations for internal
improvements, the Republican leaders at Washington were planning such
expenditures from the treasury in the form of public land grants to
railways as would have dazed the authors of the national road bill half
a century earlier.

=Sound Finance--National Banking.=--From Hamilton's day to Lincoln's,
business men in the East had contended for a sound system of national
currency. The experience of the states with paper money, painfully
impressive in the years before the framing of the Constitution, had been
convincing to those who understood the economy of business. The
Constitution, as we have seen, bore the signs of this experience. States
were forbidden to emit bills of credit: paper money, in short. This
provision stood clear in the document; but judicial ingenuity had
circumvented it in the age of Jacksonian Democracy. The states had
enacted and the Supreme Court, after the death of John Marshall, had
sustained laws chartering banking companies and authorizing them to
issue paper money. So the country was beset by the old curse, the banks
of Western and Southern states issuing reams of paper notes to help
borrowers pay their debts.

In dealing with war finances, the Republicans attacked this ancient
evil. By act of Congress in 1864, they authorized a series of national
banks founded on the credit of government bonds and empowered to issue
notes. The next year they stopped all bank paper sent forth under the
authority of the states by means of a prohibitive tax. In this way, by
two measures Congress restored federal control over the monetary system
although it did not reëstablish the United States Bank so hated by
Jacksonian Democracy.

=Destruction of States' Rights by Fourteenth Amendment.=--These acts and
others not cited here were measures of centralization and consolidation
at the expense of the powers and dignity of the states. They were all of
high import, but the crowning act of nationalism was the fourteenth
amendment which, among other things, forbade states to "deprive any
person of life, liberty or property without due process of law." The
immediate occasion, though not the actual cause of this provision, was
the need for protecting the rights of freedmen against hostile
legislatures in the South. The result of the amendment, as was
prophesied in protests loud and long from every quarter of the
Democratic party, was the subjection of every act of state, municipal,
and county authorities to possible annulment by the Supreme Court at
Washington. The expected happened.

Few negroes ever brought cases under the fourteenth amendment to the
attention of the courts; but thousands of state laws, municipal
ordinances, and acts of local authorities were set aside as null and
void under it. Laws of states regulating railway rates, fixing hours of
labor in bakeshops, and taxing corporations were in due time to be
annulled as conflicting with an amendment erroneously supposed to be
designed solely for the protection of negroes. As centralized power over
tariffs, railways, public lands, and other national concerns went to
Congress, so centralized power over the acts of state and local
authorities involving an infringement of personal and property rights
was conferred on the federal judiciary, the apex of which was the
Supreme Court at Washington. Thus the old federation of "independent
states," all equal in rights and dignity, each wearing the "jewel of
sovereignty" so celebrated in Southern oratory, had gone the way of all
flesh under the withering blasts of Civil War.


=Theories about the Position of the Seceded States.=--On the morning of
April 9, 1865, when General Lee surrendered his army to General Grant,
eleven states stood in a peculiar relation to the union now declared
perpetual. Lawyers and political philosophers were much perturbed and
had been for some time as to what should be done with the members of the
former Confederacy. Radical Republicans held that they were "conquered
provinces" at the mercy of Congress, to be governed under such laws as
it saw fit to enact and until in its wisdom it decided to readmit any or
all of them to the union. Men of more conservative views held that, as
the war had been waged by the North on the theory that no state could
secede from the union, the Confederate states had merely attempted to
withdraw and had failed. The corollary of this latter line of argument
was simple: "The Southern states are still in the union and it is the
duty of the President, as commander-in-chief, to remove the federal
troops as soon as order is restored and the state governments ready to
function once more as usual."

=Lincoln's Proposal.=--Some such simple and conservative form of
reconstruction had been suggested by Lincoln in a proclamation of
December 8, 1863. He proposed pardon and a restoration of property,
except in slaves, to nearly all who had "directly or by implication
participated in the existing rebellion," on condition that they take an
oath of loyalty to the union. He then announced that when, in any of the
states named, a body of voters, qualified under the law as it stood
before secession and equal in number to one-tenth the votes cast in
1860, took the oath of allegiance, they should be permitted to
reëstablish a state government. Such a government, he added, should be
recognized as a lawful authority and entitled to protection under the
federal Constitution. With reference to the status of the former slaves
Lincoln made it clear that, while their freedom must be recognized, he
would not object to any legislation "which may yet be consistent as a
temporary arrangement with their present condition as a laboring,
landless, and homeless class."

=Andrew Johnson's Plan--His Impeachment.=--Lincoln's successor, Andrew
Johnson, the Vice President, soon after taking office, proposed to
pursue a somewhat similar course. In a number of states he appointed
military governors, instructing them at the earliest possible moment to
assemble conventions, chosen "by that portion of the people of the said
states who are loyal to the United States," and proceed to the
organization of regular civil government. Johnson, a Southern man and a
Democrat, was immediately charged by the Republicans with being too
ready to restore the Southern states. As the months went by, the
opposition to his measures and policies in Congress grew in size and
bitterness. The contest resulted in the impeachment of Johnson by the
House of Representatives in March, 1868, and his acquittal by the Senate
merely because his opponents lacked one vote of the two-thirds required
for conviction.

=Congress Enacts "Reconstruction Laws."=--In fact, Congress was in a
strategic position. It was the law-making body, and it could, moreover,
determine the conditions under which Senators and Representatives from
the South were to be readmitted. It therefore proceeded to pass a series
of reconstruction acts--carrying all of them over Johnson's veto. These
measures, the first of which became a law on March 2, 1867, betrayed an
animus not found anywhere in Lincoln's plans or Johnson's proclamations.

They laid off the ten states--the whole Confederacy with the exception
of Tennessee--still outside the pale, into five military districts, each
commanded by a military officer appointed by the President. They ordered
the commanding general to prepare a register of voters for the election
of delegates to conventions chosen for the purpose of drafting new
constitutions. Such voters, however, were not to be, as Lincoln had
suggested, loyal persons duly qualified under the law existing before
secession but "the male citizens of said state, twenty-one years old and
upward, of whatever race, color, or previous condition, ... except such
as may be disfranchised for participation in the rebellion or for felony
at common law." This was the death knell to the idea that the leaders of
the Confederacy and their white supporters might be permitted to share
in the establishment of the new order. Power was thus arbitrarily thrust
into the hands of the newly emancipated male negroes and the handful of
whites who could show a record of loyalty. That was not all. Each state
was, under the reconstruction acts, compelled to ratify the fourteenth
amendment to the federal Constitution as a price of restoration to the

The composition of the conventions thus authorized may be imagined.
Bondmen without the asking and without preparation found themselves the
governing power. An army of adventurers from the North, "carpet baggers"
as they were called, poured in upon the scene to aid in
"reconstruction." Undoubtedly many men of honor and fine intentions gave
unstinted service, but the results of their deliberations only
aggravated the open wound left by the war. Any number of political
doctors offered their prescriptions; but no effective remedy could be
found. Under measures admittedly open to grave objections, the Southern
states were one after another restored to the union by the grace of
Congress, the last one in 1870. Even this grudging concession of the
formalities of statehood did not mean a full restoration of honors and
privileges. The last soldier was not withdrawn from the last Southern
capital until 1877, and federal control over elections long remained as
a sign of congressional supremacy.

=The Status of the Freedmen.=--Even more intricate than the issues
involved in restoring the seceded states to the union was the question
of what to do with the newly emancipated slaves. That problem, often put
to abolitionists before the war, had become at last a real concern. The
thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery had not touched it at all. It
declared bondmen free, but did nothing to provide them with work or
homes and did not mention the subject of political rights. All these
matters were left to the states, and the legislatures of some of them,
by their famous "black codes," restored a form of servitude under the
guise of vagrancy and apprentice laws. Such methods were in fact partly
responsible for the reaction that led Congress to abandon Lincoln's
policies and undertake its own program of reconstruction.

Still no extensive effort was made to solve by law the economic problems
of the bondmen. Radical abolitionists had advocated that the slaves when
emancipated should be given outright the fields of their former
masters; but Congress steadily rejected the very idea of confiscation.
The necessity of immediate assistance it recognized by creating in 1865
the Freedmen's Bureau to take care of refugees. It authorized the issue
of food and clothing to the destitute and the renting of abandoned and
certain other lands under federal control to former slaves at reasonable
rates. But the larger problem of the relation of the freedmen to the
land, it left to the slow working of time.

Against sharp protests from conservative men, particularly among the
Democrats, Congress did insist, however, on conferring upon the freedmen
certain rights by national law. These rights fell into broad divisions,
civil and political. By an act passed in 1866, Congress gave to former
slaves the rights of white citizens in the matter of making contracts,
giving testimony in courts, and purchasing, selling, and leasing
property. As it was doubtful whether Congress had the power to enact
this law, there was passed and submitted to the states the fourteenth
amendment which gave citizenship to the freedmen, assured them of the
privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States, and declared
that no state should deprive any person of his life, liberty, or
property without due process of law. Not yet satisfied, Congress
attempted to give social equality to negroes by the second civil rights
bill of 1875 which promised to them, among other things, the full and
equal enjoyment of inns, theaters, public conveyances, and places of
amusement--a law later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

The matter of political rights was even more hotly contested; but the
radical Republicans, like Charles Sumner, asserted that civil rights
were not secure unless supported by the suffrage. In this same
fourteenth amendment they attempted to guarantee the ballot to all negro
men, leaving the women to take care of themselves. The amendment
declared in effect that when any state deprived adult male citizens of
the right to vote, its representation in Congress should be reduced in
the proportion such persons bore to the voting population.

This provision having failed to accomplish its purpose, the fifteenth
amendment was passed and ratified, expressly declaring that no citizen
should be deprived of the right to vote "on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude." To make assurance doubly secure,
Congress enacted in 1870, 1872, and 1873 three drastic laws, sometimes
known as "force bills," providing for the use of federal authorities,
civil and military, in supervising elections in all parts of the Union.
So the federal government, having destroyed chattel slavery, sought by
legal decree to sweep away all its signs and badges, civil, social, and
political. Never, save perhaps in some of the civil conflicts of Greece
or Rome, had there occurred in the affairs of a nation a social
revolution so complete, so drastic, and far-reaching in its results.


Just as the United States, under the impetus of Western enterprise,
rounded out the continental domain, its very existence as a nation was
challenged by a fratricidal conflict between two sections. This storm
had been long gathering upon the horizon. From the very beginning in
colonial times there had been a marked difference between the South and
the North. The former by climate and soil was dedicated to a planting
system--the cultivation of tobacco, rice, cotton, and sugar cane--and in
the course of time slave labor became the foundation of the system. The
North, on the other hand, supplemented agriculture by commerce, trade,
and manufacturing. Slavery, though lawful, did not flourish there. An
abundant supply of free labor kept the Northern wheels turning.

This difference between the two sections, early noted by close
observers, was increased with the advent of the steam engine and the
factory system. Between 1815 and 1860 an industrial revolution took
place in the North. Its signs were gigantic factories, huge aggregations
of industrial workers, immense cities, a flourishing commerce, and
prosperous banks. Finding an unfavorable reception in the South, the new
industrial system was confined mainly to the North. By canals and
railways New York, Boston, and Philadelphia were linked with the
wheatfields of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. A steel net wove North and
Northwest together. A commercial net supplemented it. Western trade was
diverted from New Orleans to the East and Eastern credit sustained
Western enterprise.

In time, the industrial North and the planting South evolved different
ideas of political policy. The former looked with favor on protective
tariffs, ship subsidies, a sound national banking system, and internal
improvements. The farmers of the West demanded that the public domain be
divided up into free homesteads for farmers. The South steadily swung
around to the opposite view. Its spokesmen came to regard most of these
policies as injurious to the planting interests.

The economic questions were all involved in a moral issue. The Northern
states, in which slavery was of slight consequence, had early abolished
the institution. In the course of a few years there appeared
uncompromising advocates of universal emancipation. Far and wide the
agitation spread. The South was thoroughly frightened. It demanded
protection against the agitators, the enforcement of its rights in the
case of runaway slaves, and equal privileges for slavery in the new

With the passing years the conflict between the two sections increased
in bitterness. It flamed up in 1820 and was allayed by the Missouri
compromise. It took on the form of a tariff controversy and
nullification in 1832. It appeared again after the Mexican war when the
question of slavery in the new territories was raised. Again
compromise--the great settlement of 1850--seemed to restore peace, only
to prove an illusion. A series of startling events swept the country
into war: the repeal of the Missouri compromise in 1854, the rise of the
Republican party pledged to the prohibition of slavery in the
territories, the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Lincoln-Douglas
debates, John Brown's raid, the election of Lincoln, and secession.

The Civil War, lasting for four years, tested the strength of both North
and South, in leadership, in finance, in diplomatic skill, in material
resources, in industry, and in armed forces. By the blockade of Southern
ports, by an overwhelming weight of men and materials, and by relentless
hammering on the field of battle, the North was victorious.

The results of the war were revolutionary in character. Slavery was
abolished and the freedmen given the ballot. The Southern planters who
had been the leaders of their section were ruined financially and almost
to a man excluded from taking part in political affairs. The union was
declared to be perpetual and the right of a state to secede settled by
the judgment of battle. Federal control over the affairs of states,
counties, and cities was established by the fourteenth amendment. The
power and prestige of the federal government were enhanced beyond
imagination. The North was now free to pursue its economic policies: a
protective tariff, a national banking system, land grants for railways,
free lands for farmers. Planting had dominated the country for nearly a
generation. Business enterprise was to take its place.



J.K. Hosmer, _The Appeal to Arms_ and _The Outcome of the Civil War_
(American Nation Series).

J. Ropes, _History of the Civil War_ (best account of military

J.F. Rhodes, _History of the United States_, Vols. III, IV, and V.

J.T. Morse, _Abraham Lincoln_ (2 vols.).


W.E. Dodd, _Jefferson Davis_.

Jefferson Davis, _Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government_.

E. Pollard, _The Lost Cause_.

A.H. Stephens, _The War between the States_.


1. Contrast the reception of secession in 1860 with that given to
nullification in 1832.

2. Compare the Northern and Southern views of the union.

3. What were the peculiar features of the Confederate constitution?

4. How was the Confederacy financed?

5. Compare the resources of the two sections.

6. On what foundations did Southern hopes rest?

7. Describe the attempts at a peaceful settlement.

8. Compare the raising of armies for the Civil War with the methods
employed in the World War. (See below, chapter XXV.)

9. Compare the financial methods of the government in the two wars.

10. Explain why the blockade was such a deadly weapon.

11. Give the leading diplomatic events of the war.

12. Trace the growth of anti-slavery sentiment.

13. What measures were taken to restrain criticism of the government?

14. What part did Lincoln play in all phases of the war?

15. State the principal results of the war.

16. Compare Lincoln's plan of reconstruction with that adopted by

17. What rights did Congress attempt to confer upon the former slaves?

=Research Topics=

=Was Secession Lawful?=--The Southern view by Jefferson Davis in
Harding, _Select Orations Illustrating American History_, pp. 364-369.
Lincoln's view, Harding, pp. 371-381.

=The Confederate Constitution.=--Compare with the federal Constitution
in Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp. 424-433 and pp. 271-279.

=Federal Legislative Measures.=--Prepare a table and brief digest of the
important laws relating to the war. Macdonald, pp. 433-482.

=Economic Aspects of the War.=--Coman, _Industrial History of the United
States_, pp. 279-301. Dewey, _Financial History of the United States_,
Chaps. XII and XIII. Tabulate the economic measures of Congress in

=Military Campaigns.=--The great battles are fully treated in Rhodes,
_History of the Civil War_, and teachers desiring to emphasize military
affairs may assign campaigns to members of the class for study and
report. A briefer treatment in Elson, _History of the United States_,
pp. 641-785.

=Biographical Studies.=--Lincoln, Davis, Lee, Grant, Sherman, and other
leaders in civil and military affairs, with reference to local "war

=English and French Opinion of the War.=--Rhodes, _History of the United
States_, Vol. IV, pp. 337-394.

=The South during the War.=--Rhodes, Vol. V, pp. 343-382.

=The North during the War.=--Rhodes, Vol. V, pp. 189-342.

=Reconstruction Measures.=--Macdonald, _Source Book_, pp. 500-511;
514-518; 529-530; Elson, pp. 786-799.

=The Force Bills.=--Macdonald, pp. 547-551; 554-564.




The outcome of the Civil War in the South was nothing short of a
revolution. The ruling class, the law, and the government of the old
order had been subverted. To political chaos was added the havoc wrought
in agriculture, business, and transportation by military operations. And
as if to fill the cup to the brim, the task of reconstruction was
committed to political leaders from another section of the country,
strangers to the life and traditions of the South.


=A Ruling Class Disfranchised.=--As the sovereignty of the planters had
been the striking feature of the old régime, so their ruin was the
outstanding fact of the new. The situation was extraordinary. The
American Revolution was carried out by people experienced in the arts of
self-government, and at its close they were free to follow the general
course to which they had long been accustomed. The French Revolution
witnessed the overthrow of the clergy and the nobility; but middle
classes who took their places had been steadily rising in intelligence
and wealth.

The Southern Revolution was unlike either of these cataclysms. It was
not brought about by a social upheaval, but by an external crisis. It
did not enfranchise a class that sought and understood power, but
bondmen who had played no part in the struggle. Moreover it struck down
a class equipped to rule. The leading planters were almost to a man
excluded from state and federal offices, and the fourteenth amendment
was a bar to their return. All civil and military places under the
authority of the United States and of the states were closed to every
man who had taken an oath to support the Constitution as a member of
Congress, as a state legislator, or as a state or federal officer, and
afterward engaged in "insurrection or rebellion," or "given aid and
comfort to the enemies" of the United States. This sweeping provision,
supplemented by the reconstruction acts, laid under the ban most of the
talent, energy, and spirit of the South.

=The Condition of the State Governments.=--The legislative, executive,
and judicial branches of the state governments thus passed into the
control of former slaves, led principally by Northern adventurers or
Southern novices, known as "Scalawags." The result was a carnival of
waste, folly, and corruption. The "reconstruction" assembly of South
Carolina bought clocks at $480 apiece and chandeliers at $650. To
purchase land for former bondmen the sum of $800,000 was appropriated;
and swamps bought at seventy-five cents an acre were sold to the state
at five times the cost. In the years between 1868 and 1873, the debt of
the state rose from about $5,800,000 to $24,000,000, and millions of the
increase could not be accounted for by the authorities responsible for

=Economic Ruin--Urban and Rural.=--No matter where Southern men turned
in 1865 they found devastation--in the towns, in the country, and along
the highways. Atlanta, the city to which Sherman applied the torch, lay
in ashes; Nashville and Chattanooga had been partially wrecked; Richmond
and Augusta had suffered severely from fires. Charleston was described
by a visitor as "a city of ruins, of desolation, of vacant houses, of
rotten wharves, of deserted warehouses, of weed gardens, of miles of
grass-grown streets.... How few young men there are, how generally the
young women are dressed in black! The flower of their proud aristocracy
is buried on scores of battle fields."

Those who journeyed through the country about the same time reported
desolation equally widespread and equally pathetic. An English traveler
who made his way along the course of the Tennessee River in 1870 wrote:
"The trail of war is visible throughout the valley in burnt-up gin
houses, ruined bridges, mills, and factories ... and large tracts of
once cultivated land are stripped of every vestige of fencing. The
roads, long neglected, are in disorder and, having in many places become
impassable, new tracks have been made through the woods and fields
without much respect to boundaries." Many a great plantation had been
confiscated by the federal authorities while the owner was in
Confederate service. Many more lay in waste. In the wake of the armies
the homes of rich and poor alike, if spared the torch, had been
despoiled of the stock and seeds necessary to renew agriculture.

=Railways Dilapidated.=--Transportation was still more demoralized. This
is revealed in the pages of congressional reports based upon first-hand
investigations. One eloquent passage illustrates all the rest. From
Pocahontas to Decatur, Alabama, a distance of 114 miles, we are told,
the railroad was "almost entirely destroyed, except the road bed and
iron rails, and they were in a very bad condition--every bridge and
trestle destroyed, cross-ties rotten, buildings burned, water tanks
gone, tracks grown up in weeds and bushes, not a saw mill near the line
and the labor system of the country gone. About forty miles of the track
were burned, the cross-ties entirely destroyed, and the rails bent and
twisted in such a manner as to require great labor to straighten and a
large portion of them requiring renewal."

=Capital and Credit Destroyed.=--The fluid capital of the South, money
and credit, was in the same prostrate condition as the material capital.
The Confederate currency, inflated to the bursting point, had utterly
collapsed and was as worthless as waste paper. The bonds of the
Confederate government were equally valueless. Specie had nearly
disappeared from circulation. The fourteenth amendment to the federal
Constitution had made all "debts, obligations, and claims" incurred in
aid of the Confederate cause "illegal and void." Millions of dollars
owed to Northern creditors before the war were overdue and payment was
pressed upon the debtors. Where such debts were secured by mortgages on
land, executions against the property could be obtained in federal


=Intimidation.=--In both politics and economics, the process of
reconstruction in the South was slow and arduous. The first battle in
the political contest for white supremacy was won outside the halls of
legislatures and the courts of law. It was waged, in the main, by secret
organizations, among which the Ku Klux Klan and the White Camelia were
the most prominent. The first of these societies appeared in Tennessee
in 1866 and held its first national convention the following year. It
was in origin a social club. According to its announcement, its objects
were "to protect the weak, the innocent, and the defenceless from the
indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the lawless, the violent, and the
brutal; and to succor the suffering, especially the widows and orphans
of the Confederate soldiers." The whole South was called "the Empire"
and was ruled by a "Grand Wizard." Each state was a realm and each
county a province. In the secret orders there were enrolled over half a
million men.

The methods of the Ku Klux and the White Camelia were similar. Solemn
parades of masked men on horses decked in long robes were held,
sometimes in the daytime and sometimes at the dead of night. Notices
were sent to obnoxious persons warning them to stop certain practices.
If warning failed, something more convincing was tried. Fright was the
emotion most commonly stirred. A horseman, at the witching hour of
midnight, would ride up to the house of some offender, lift his head
gear, take off a skull, and hand it to the trembling victim with the
request that he hold it for a few minutes. Frequently violence was
employed either officially or unofficially by members of the Klan. Tar
and feathers were freely applied; the whip was sometimes laid on
unmercifully, and occasionally a brutal murder was committed. Often the
members were fired upon from bushes or behind trees, and swift
retaliation followed. So alarming did the clashes become that in 1870
Congress forbade interference with electors or going in disguise for the
purpose of obstructing the exercise of the rights enjoyed under federal

In anticipation of such a step on the part of the federal government,
the Ku Klux was officially dissolved by the "Grand Wizard" in 1869.
Nevertheless, the local societies continued their organization and
methods. The spirit survived the national association. "On the whole,"
says a Southern writer, "it is not easy to see what other course was
open to the South.... Armed resistance was out of the question. And yet
there must be some control had of the situation.... If force was denied,
craft was inevitable."

=The Struggle for the Ballot Box.=--The effects of intimidation were
soon seen at elections. The freedman, into whose inexperienced hand the
ballot had been thrust, was ordinarily loath to risk his head by the
exercise of his new rights. He had not attained them by a long and
laborious contest of his own and he saw no urgent reason why he should
battle for the privilege of using them. The mere show of force, the mere
existence of a threat, deterred thousands of ex-slaves from appearing at
the polls. Thus the whites steadily recovered their dominance. Nothing
could prevent it. Congress enacted force bills establishing federal
supervision of elections and the Northern politicians protested against
the return of former Confederates to practical, if not official, power;
but all such opposition was like resistance to the course of nature.

=Amnesty for Southerners.=--The recovery of white supremacy in this way
was quickly felt in national councils. The Democratic party in the North
welcomed it as a sign of its return to power. The more moderate
Republicans, anxious to heal the breach in American unity, sought to
encourage rather than to repress it. So it came about that amnesty for
Confederates was widely advocated. Yet it must be said that the struggle
for the removal of disabilities was stubborn and bitter. Lincoln, with
characteristic generosity, in the midst of the war had issued a general
proclamation of amnesty to nearly all who had been in arms against the
Union, on condition that they take an oath of loyalty; but Johnson,
vindictive toward Southern leaders and determined to make "treason
infamous," had extended the list of exceptions. Congress, even more
relentless in its pursuit of Confederates, pushed through the fourteenth
amendment which worked the sweeping disabilities we have just described.

To appeals for comprehensive clemency, Congress was at first adamant. In
vain did men like Carl Schurz exhort their colleagues to crown their
victory in battle with a noble act of universal pardon and oblivion.
Congress would not yield. It would grant amnesty in individual cases;
for the principle of proscription it stood fast. When finally in 1872,
seven years after the surrender at Appomattox, it did pass the general
amnesty bill, it insisted on certain exceptions. Confederates who had
been members of Congress just before the war, or had served in other
high posts, civil or military, under the federal government, were still
excluded from important offices. Not until the summer of 1898, when the
war with Spain produced once more a union of hearts, did Congress relent
and abolish the last of the disabilities imposed on the Confederates.

=The Force Bills Attacked and Nullified.=--The granting of amnesty
encouraged the Democrats to redouble their efforts all along the line.
In 1874 they captured the House of Representatives and declared war on
the "force bills." As a Republican Senate blocked immediate repeal, they
resorted to an ingenious parliamentary trick. To the appropriation bill
for the support of the army they attached a "rider," or condition, to
the effect that no troops should be used to sustain the Republican
government in Louisiana. The Senate rejected the proposal. A deadlock
ensued and Congress adjourned without making provision for the army.
Satisfied with the technical victory, the Democrats let the army bill
pass the next session, but kept up their fight on the force laws until
they wrung from President Hayes a measure forbidding the use of United
States troops in supervising elections. The following year they again
had recourse to a rider on the army bill and carried it through, putting
an end to the use of money for military control of elections. The
reconstruction program was clearly going to pieces, and the Supreme
Court helped along the process of dissolution by declaring parts of the
laws invalid. In 1878 the Democrats even won a majority in the Senate
and returned to power a large number of men once prominent in the
Confederate cause.

The passions of the war by this time were evidently cooling. A new
generation of men was coming on the scene. The supremacy of the whites
in the South, if not yet complete, was at least assured. Federal
marshals, their deputies, and supervisors of elections still possessed
authority over the polls, but their strength had been shorn by the
withdrawal of United States troops. The war on the remaining remnants of
the "force bills" lapsed into desultory skirmishing. When in 1894 the
last fragment was swept away, the country took little note of the fact.
The only task that lay before the Southern leaders was to write in the
constitutions of their respective states the provisions of law which
would clinch the gains so far secured and establish white supremacy
beyond the reach of outside intervention.

=White Supremacy Sealed by New State Constitutions.=--The impetus to
this final step was given by the rise of the Populist movement in the
South, which sharply divided the whites and in many communities threw
the balance of power into the hands of the few colored voters who
survived the process of intimidation. Southern leaders now devised new
constitutions so constructed as to deprive negroes of the ballot by law.
Mississippi took the lead in 1890; South Carolina followed five years
later; Louisiana, in 1898; North Carolina, in 1900; Alabama and
Maryland, in 1901; and Virginia, in 1902.

The authors of these measures made no attempt to conceal their purposes.
"The intelligent white men of the South," said Governor Tillman, "intend
to govern here." The fifteenth amendment to the federal Constitution,
however, forbade them to deprive any citizen of the right to vote on
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This made
necessary the devices of indirection. They were few, simple, and
effective. The first and most easily administered was the ingenious
provision requiring each prospective voter to read a section of the
state constitution or "understand and explain it" when read to him by
the election officers. As an alternative, the payment of taxes or the
ownership of a small amount of property was accepted as a qualification
for voting. Southern leaders, unwilling to disfranchise any of the poor
white men who had stood side by side with them "in the dark days of
reconstruction," also resorted to a famous provision known as "the
grandfather clause." This plan admitted to the suffrage any man who did
not have either property or educational qualifications, provided he had
voted on or before 1867 or was the son or grandson of any such person.

The devices worked effectively. Of the 147,000 negroes in Mississippi
above the age of twenty-one, only about 8600 registered under the
constitution of 1890. Louisiana had 127,000 colored voters enrolled in
1896; under the constitution drafted two years later the registration
fell to 5300. An analysis of the figures for South Carolina in 1900
indicates that only about one negro out of every hundred adult males of
that race took part in elections. Thus was closed this chapter of

=The Supreme Court Refuses to Intervene.=--Numerous efforts were made to
prevail upon the Supreme Court of the United States to declare such laws
unconstitutional; but the Court, usually on technical grounds, avoided
coming to a direct decision on the merits of the matter. In one case
the Court remarked that it could not take charge of and operate the
election machinery of Alabama; it concluded that "relief from a great
political wrong, if done as alleged, by the people of a state and by the
state itself, must be given by them, or by the legislative and executive
departments of the government of the United States." Only one of the
several schemes employed, namely, the "grandfather clause," was held to
be a violation of the federal Constitution. This blow, effected in 1915
by the decision in the Oklahoma and Maryland cases, left, however, the
main structure of disfranchisement unimpaired.

=Proposals to Reduce Southern Representation in Congress.=--These
provisions excluding thousands of male citizens from the ballot did not,
in express terms, deprive any one of the vote on account of race or
color. They did not, therefore, run counter to the letter of the
fifteenth amendment; but they did unquestionably make the states which
adopted them liable to the operations of the fourteenth amendment. The
latter very explicitly provides that whenever any state deprives adult
male citizens of the right to vote (except in certain minor cases) the
representation of the state in Congress shall be reduced in the
proportion which such number of disfranchised citizens bears to the
whole number of male citizens over twenty-one years of age.

Mindful of this provision, those who protested against disfranchisement
in the South turned to the Republican party for relief, asking for
action by the political branches of the federal government as the
Supreme Court had suggested. The Republicans responded in their platform
of 1908 by condemning all devices designed to deprive any one of the
ballot for reasons of color alone; they demanded the enforcement in
letter and spirit of the fourteenth as well as all other amendments.
Though victorious in the election, the Republicans refrained from
reopening the ancient contest; they made no attempt to reduce Southern
representation in the House. Southern leaders, while protesting against
the declarations of their opponents, were able to view them as idle
threats in no way endangering the security of the measures by which
political reconstruction had been undone.

=The Solid South.=--Out of the thirty-year conflict against "carpet-bag
rule" there emerged what was long known as the "solid South"--a South
that, except occasionally in the border states, never gave an electoral
vote to a Republican candidate for President. Before the Civil War, the
Southern people had been divided on political questions. Take, for
example, the election of 1860. In all the fifteen slave states the
variety of opinion was marked. In nine of them--Delaware, Virginia,
Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana, Kentucky, Georgia, and
Arkansas--the combined vote against the representative of the extreme
Southern point of view, Breckinridge, constituted a safe majority. In
each of the six states which were carried by Breckinridge, there was a
large and powerful minority. In North Carolina Breckinridge's majority
over Bell and Douglas was only 849 votes. Equally astounding to those
who imagine the South united in defense of extreme views in 1860 was the
vote for Bell, the Unionist candidate, who stood firmly for the
Constitution and silence on slavery. In every Southern state Bell's vote
was large. In Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee it was greater
than that received by Breckinridge; in Georgia, it was 42,000 against
51,000; in Louisiana, 20,000 against 22,000; in Mississippi, 25,000
against 40,000.

The effect of the Civil War upon these divisions was immediate and
decisive, save in the border states where thousands of men continued to
adhere to the cause of Union. In the Confederacy itself nearly all
dissent was silenced by war. Men who had been bitter opponents joined
hands in defense of their homes; when the armed conflict was over they
remained side by side working against "Republican misrule and negro
domination." By 1890, after Northern supremacy was definitely broken,
they boasted that there were at least twelve Southern states in which no
Republican candidate for President could win a single electoral vote.

=Dissent in the Solid South.=--Though every one grew accustomed to speak
of the South as "solid," it did not escape close observers that in a
number of Southern states there appeared from time to time a fairly
large body of dissenters. In 1892 the Populists made heavy inroads upon
the Democratic ranks. On other occasions, the contests between factions
within the Democratic party over the nomination of candidates revealed
sharp differences of opinion. In some places, moreover, there grew up a
Republican minority of respectable size. For example, in Georgia, Mr.
Taft in 1908 polled 41,000 votes against 72,000 for Mr. Bryan; in North
Carolina, 114,000 against 136,000; in Tennessee, 118,000 against
135,000; in Kentucky, 235,000 against 244,000. In 1920, Senator Harding,
the Republican candidate, broke the record by carrying Tennessee as well
as Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Maryland.


=The Break-up of the Great Estates.=--In the dissolution of chattel
slavery it was inevitable that the great estate should give way before
the small farm. The plantation was in fact founded on slavery. It was
continued and expanded by slavery. Before the war the prosperous
planter, either by inclination or necessity, invested his surplus in
more land to add to his original domain. As his slaves increased in
number, he was forced to increase his acreage or sell them, and he
usually preferred the former, especially in the Far South. Still another
element favored the large estate. Slave labor quickly exhausted the soil
and of its own force compelled the cutting of the forests and the
extension of the area under cultivation. Finally, the planter took a
natural pride in his great estate; it was a sign of his prowess and his
social prestige.

In 1865 the foundations of the planting system were gone. It was
difficult to get efficient labor to till the vast plantations. The
planters themselves were burdened with debts and handicapped by lack of
capital. Negroes commonly preferred tilling plots of their own, rented
or bought under mortgage, to the more irksome wage labor under white
supervision. The land hunger of the white farmer, once checked by the
planting system, reasserted itself. Before these forces the plantation
broke up. The small farm became the unit of cultivation in the South as
in the North. Between 1870 and 1900 the number of farms doubled in every
state south of the line of the Potomac and Ohio rivers, except in
Arkansas and Louisiana. From year to year the process of breaking up
continued, with all that it implied in the creation of land-owning

=The Diversification of Crops.=--No less significant was the concurrent
diversification of crops. Under slavery, tobacco, rice, and sugar were
staples and "cotton was king." These were standard crops. The methods of
cultivation were simple and easily learned. They tested neither the
skill nor the ingenuity of the slaves. As the returns were quick, they
did not call for long-time investments of capital. After slavery was
abolished, they still remained the staples, but far-sighted
agriculturists saw the dangers of depending upon a few crops. The mild
climate all the way around the coast from Virginia to Texas and the
character of the alluvial soil invited the exercise of more imagination.
Peaches, oranges, peanuts, and other fruits and vegetables were found to
grow luxuriantly. Refrigeration for steamships and freight cars put the
markets of great cities at the doors of Southern fruit and vegetable
gardeners. The South, which in planting days had relied so heavily upon
the Northwest for its foodstuffs, began to battle for independence.
Between 1880 and the close of the century the value of its farm crops
increased from $660,000,000 to $1,270,000,000.

=The Industrial and Commercial Revolution.=--On top of the radical
changes in agriculture came an industrial and commercial revolution. The
South had long been rich in natural resources, but the slave system had
been unfavorable to their development. Rivers that would have turned
millions of spindles tumbled unheeded to the seas. Coal and iron beds
lay unopened. Timber was largely sacrificed in clearing lands for
planting, or fell to earth in decay. Southern enterprise was consumed in
planting. Slavery kept out the white immigrants who might have supplied
the skilled labor for industry.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


After 1865, achievement and fortune no longer lay on the land alone. As
soon as the paralysis of the war was over, the South caught the
industrial spirit that had conquered feudal Europe and the agricultural
North. In the development of mineral wealth, enormous strides were
taken. Iron ore of every quality was found, the chief beds being in
Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia,
Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas. Five important coal basins were uncovered:
in Virginia, North Carolina, the Appalachian chain from Maryland to
Northern Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Texas. Oil pools were found
in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas. Within two decades, 1880 to 1900, the
output of mineral wealth multiplied tenfold: from ten millions a year to
one hundred millions. The iron industries of West Virginia and Alabama
began to rival those of Pennsylvania. Birmingham became the Pittsburgh
and Atlanta the Chicago of the South.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


In other lines of industry, lumbering and cotton manufacturing took a
high rank. The development of Southern timber resources was in every
respect remarkable, particularly in Louisiana, Arkansas, and
Mississippi. At the end of the first decade of the twentieth century,
primacy in lumber had passed from the Great Lakes region to the South.
In 1913 eight Southern states produced nearly four times as much lumber
as the Lake states and twice as much as the vast forests of Washington
and Oregon.

The development of the cotton industry, in the meantime, was similarly
astounding. In 1865 cotton spinning was a negligible matter in the
Southern states. In 1880 they had one-fourth of the mills of the
country. At the end of the century they had one-half the mills, the two
Carolinas taking the lead by consuming more than one-third of their
entire cotton crop. Having both the raw materials and the power at hand,
they enjoyed many advantages over the New England rivals, and at the
opening of the new century were outstripping the latter in the
proportion of spindles annually put into operation. Moreover, the cotton
planters, finding a market at the neighboring mills, began to look
forward to a day when they would be somewhat emancipated from absolute
dependence upon the cotton exchanges of New York, New Orleans, and

Transportation kept pace with industry. In 1860, the South had about ten
thousand miles of railway. By 1880 the figure had doubled. During the
next twenty years over thirty thousand miles were added, most of the
increase being in Texas. About 1898 there opened a period of
consolidation in which scores of short lines were united, mainly under
the leadership of Northern capitalists, and new through service opened
to the North and West. Thus Southern industries were given easy outlets
to the markets of the nation and brought within the main currents of
national business enterprise.

=The Social Effects of the Economic Changes.=--As long as the slave
system lasted and planting was the major interest, the South was bound
to be sectional in character. With slavery gone, crops diversified,
natural resources developed, and industries promoted, the social order
of the ante-bellum days inevitably dissolved; the South became more and
more assimilated to the system of the North. In this process several
lines of development are evident.

In the first place we see the steady rise of the small farmer. Even in
the old days there had been a large class of white yeomen who owned no
slaves and tilled the soil with their own hands, but they labored under
severe handicaps. They found the fertile lands of the coast and river
valleys nearly all monopolized by planters, and they were by the force
of circumstances driven into the uplands where the soil was thin and the
crops were light. Still they increased in numbers and zealously worked
their freeholds.

The war proved to be their opportunity. With the break-up of the
plantations, they managed to buy land more worthy of their plows. By
intelligent labor and intensive cultivation they were able to restore
much of the worn-out soil to its original fertility. In the meantime
they rose with their prosperity in the social and political scale. It
became common for the sons of white farmers to enter the professions,
while their daughters went away to college and prepared for teaching.
Thus a more democratic tone was given to the white society of the South.
Moreover the migration to the North and West, which had formerly carried
thousands of energetic sons and daughters to search for new homesteads,
was materially reduced. The energy of the agricultural population went
into rehabilitation.

The increase in the number of independent farmers was accompanied by the
rise of small towns and villages which gave diversity to the life of the
South. Before 1860 it was possible to travel through endless stretches
of cotton and tobacco. The social affairs of the planter's family
centered in the homestead even if they were occasionally interrupted by
trips to distant cities or abroad. Carpentry, bricklaying, and
blacksmithing were usually done by slaves skilled in simple handicrafts.
Supplies were bought wholesale. In this way there was little place in
plantation economy for villages and towns with their stores and

The abolition of slavery altered this. Small farms spread out where
plantations had once stood. The skilled freedmen turned to agriculture
rather than to handicrafts; white men of a business or mechanical bent
found an opportunity to serve the needs of their communities. So local
merchants and mechanics became an important element in the social
system. In the county seats, once dominated by the planters, business
and professional men assumed the leadership.

Another vital outcome of this revolution was the transference of a large
part of planting enterprise to business. Mr. Bruce, a Southern historian
of fine scholarship, has summed up this process in a single telling
paragraph: "The higher planting class that under the old system gave so
much distinction to rural life has, so far as it has survived at all,
been concentrated in the cities. The families that in the time of
slavery would have been found only in the country are now found, with a
few exceptions, in the towns. The transplantation has been practically
universal. The talent, the energy, the ambition that formerly sought
expression in the management of great estates and the control of hosts
of slaves, now seek a field of action in trade, in manufacturing
enterprises, or in the general enterprises of development. This was for
the ruling class of the South the natural outcome of the great economic
revolution that followed the war."

As in all other parts of the world, the mechanical revolution was
attended by the growth of a population of industrial workers dependent
not upon the soil but upon wages for their livelihood. When Jefferson
Davis was inaugurated President of the Southern Confederacy, there were
approximately only one hundred thousand persons employed in Southern
manufactures as against more than a million in Northern mills. Fifty
years later, Georgia and Alabama alone had more than one hundred and
fifty thousand wage-earners. Necessarily this meant also a material
increase in urban population, although the wide dispersion of cotton
spinning among small centers prevented the congestion that had
accompanied the rise of the textile industry in New England. In 1910,
New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, and Houston stood in the same
relation to the New South that Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, and
Detroit had stood to the New West fifty years before. The problems of
labor and capital and municipal administration, which the earlier
writers boasted would never perplex the planting South, had come in full

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=The Revolution in the Status of the Slaves.=--No part of Southern
society was so profoundly affected by the Civil War and economic
reconstruction as the former slaves. On the day of emancipation, they
stood free, but empty-handed, the owners of no tools or property, the
masters of no trade and wholly inexperienced in the arts of self-help
that characterized the whites in general. They had never been accustomed
to looking out for themselves. The plantation bell had called them to
labor and released them. Doles of food and clothing had been regularly
made in given quantities. They did not understand wages, ownership,
renting, contracts, mortgages, leases, bills, or accounts.

When they were emancipated, four courses were open to them. They could
flee from the plantation to the nearest town or city, or to the distant
North, to seek a livelihood. Thousands of them chose this way,
overcrowding cities where disease mowed them down. They could remain
where they, were in their cabins and work for daily wages instead of
food, clothing, and shelter. This second course the major portion of
them chose; but, as few masters had cash to dispense, the new relation
was much like the old, in fact. It was still one of barter. The planter
offered food, clothing, and shelter; the former slaves gave their labor
in return. That was the best that many of them could do.

A third course open to freedmen was that of renting from the former
master, paying him usually with a share of the produce of the land. This
way a large number of them chose. It offered them a chance to become
land owners in time and it afforded an easier life, the renter being, to
a certain extent at least, master of his own hours of labor. The final
and most difficult path was that to ownership of land. Many a master
helped his former slaves to acquire small holdings by offering easy
terms. The more enterprising and the more fortunate who started life as
renters or wage-earners made their way upward to ownership in so many
cases that by the end of the century, one-fourth of the colored laborers
on the land owned the soil they tilled.

In the meantime, the South, though relatively poor, made relatively
large expenditures for the education of the colored population. By the
opening of the twentieth century, facilities were provided for more than
one-half of the colored children of school age. While in many respects
this progress was disappointing, its significance, to be appreciated,
must be derived from a comparison with the total illiteracy which
prevailed under slavery.

In spite of all that happened, however, the status of the negroes in the
South continued to give a peculiar character to that section of the
country. They were almost entirely excluded from the exercise of the
suffrage, especially in the Far South. Special rooms were set aside for
them at the railway stations and special cars on the railway lines. In
the field of industry calling for technical skill, it appears, from the
census figures, that they lost ground between 1890 and 1900--a condition
which their friends ascribed to discriminations against them in law and
in labor organizations and their critics ascribed to their lack of
aptitude. Whatever may be the truth, the fact remained that at the
opening of the twentieth century neither the hopes of the emancipators
nor the fears of their opponents were realized. The marks of the
"peculiar institution" were still largely impressed upon Southern

The situation, however, was by no means unchanging. On the contrary
there was a decided drift in affairs. For one thing, the proportion of
negroes in the South had slowly declined. By 1900 they were in a
majority in only two states, South Carolina and Mississippi. In
Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina the proportion of
the white population was steadily growing. The colored migration
northward increased while the westward movement of white farmers which
characterized pioneer days declined. At the same time a part of the
foreign immigration into the United States was diverted southward. As
the years passed these tendencies gained momentum. The already huge
colored quarters in some Northern cities were widely expanded, as whole
counties in the South were stripped of their colored laborers. The race
question, in its political and economic aspects, became less and less
sectional, more and more national. The South was drawn into the main
stream of national life. The separatist forces which produced the
cataclysm of 1861 sank irresistibly into the background.


H.W. Grady, _The New South_ (1890).

H.A. Herbert, _Why the Solid South_.

W.G. Brown, _The Lower South_.

E.G. Murphy, _Problems of the Present South_.

B.T. Washington, _The Negro Problem_; _The Story of the Negro_; _The
Future of the Negro_.

A.B. Hart, _The Southern South_ and R.S. Baker, _Following the Color
Line_ (two works by Northern writers).

T.N. Page, _The Negro, the Southerner's Problem_.


1. Give the three main subdivisions of the chapter.

2. Compare the condition of the South in 1865 with that of the North.
Compare with the condition of the United States at the close of the
Revolutionary War. At the close of the World War in 1918.

3. Contrast the enfranchisement of the slaves with the enfranchisement
of white men fifty years earlier.

4. What was the condition of the planters as compared with that of the
Northern manufacturers?

5. How does money capital contribute to prosperity? Describe the plight
of Southern finance.

6. Give the chief steps in the restoration of white supremacy.

7. Do you know of any other societies to compare with the Ku Klux Klan?

8. Give Lincoln's plan for amnesty. What principles do you think should
govern the granting of amnesty?

9. How were the "Force bills" overcome?

10. Compare the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments with regard to the
suffrage provisions.

11. Explain how they may be circumvented.

12. Account for the Solid South. What was the situation before 1860?

13. In what ways did Southern agriculture tend to become like that of
the North? What were the social results?

14. Name the chief results of an "industrial revolution" in general. In
the South, in particular.

15. What courses were open to freedmen in 1865?

16. Give the main features in the economic and social status of the
colored population in the South.

17. Explain why the race question is national now, rather than

=Research Topics=

=Amnesty for Confederates.=--Study carefully the provisions of the
fourteenth amendment in the Appendix. Macdonald, _Documentary Source
Book of American History_, pp. 470 and 564. A plea for amnesty in
Harding, _Select Orations Illustrating American History_, pp. 467-488.

=Political Conditions in the South in 1868.=--Dunning, _Reconstruction,
Political and Economic_ (American Nation Series), pp. 109-123; Hart,
_American History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 445-458,
497-500; Elson, _History of the United States_, pp. 799-805.

=Movement for White Supremacy.=--Dunning, _Reconstruction_, pp. 266-280;
Paxson, _The New Nation_ (Riverside Series), pp. 39-58; Beard, _American
Government and Politics_, pp. 454-457.

=The Withdrawal of Federal Troops from the South.=--Sparks, _National
Development_ (American Nation Series), pp. 84-102; Rhodes, _History of
the United States_, Vol. VIII, pp. 1-12.

=Southern Industry.=--Paxson, _The New Nation_, pp. 192-207; T.M. Young,
_The American Cotton Industry_, pp. 54-99.

=The Race Question.=--B.T. Washington, _Up From Slavery_ (sympathetic
presentation); A.H. Stone, _Studies in the American Race Problem_
(coldly analytical); Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 647-649,
652-654, 663-669.



If a single phrase be chosen to characterize American life during the
generation that followed the age of Douglas and Lincoln, it must be
"business enterprise"--the tremendous, irresistible energy of a virile
people, mounting in numbers toward a hundred million and applied without
let or hindrance to the developing of natural resources of unparalleled
richness. The chief goal of this effort was high profits for the
captains of industry, on the one hand; and high wages for the workers,
on the other. Its signs, to use the language of a Republican orator in
1876, were golden harvest fields, whirling spindles, turning wheels,
open furnace doors, flaming forges, and chimneys filled with eager fire.
The device blazoned on its shield and written over its factory doors was
"prosperity." A Republican President was its "advance agent." Released
from the hampering interference of the Southern planters and the
confusing issues of the slavery controversy, business enterprise sprang
forward to the task of winning the entire country. Then it flung its
outposts to the uttermost parts of the earth--Europe, Africa, and the
Orient--where were to be found markets for American goods and natural
resources for American capital to develop.


=The Outward Signs of Enterprise.=--It is difficult to comprehend all
the multitudinous activities of American business energy or to appraise
its effects upon the life and destiny of the American people; for beyond
the horizon of the twentieth century lie consequences as yet undreamed
of in our poor philosophy. Statisticians attempt to record its
achievements in terms of miles of railways built, factories opened, men
and women employed, fortunes made, wages paid, cities founded, rivers
spanned, boxes, bales, and tons produced. Historians apply standards of
comparison with the past. Against the slow and leisurely stagecoach,
they set the swift express, rushing from New York to San Francisco in
less time than Washington consumed in his triumphal tour from Mt. Vernon
to New York for his first inaugural. Against the lazy sailing vessel
drifting before a genial breeze, they place the turbine steamer crossing
the Atlantic in five days or the still swifter airplane, in fifteen
hours. For the old workshop where a master and a dozen workmen and
apprentices wrought by hand, they offer the giant factory where ten
thousand persons attend the whirling wheels driven by steam. They write
of the "romance of invention" and the "captains of industry."

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=The Service of the Railway.=--All this is fitting in its way. Figures
and contrasts cannot, however, tell the whole story. Take, for example,
the extension of railways. It is easy to relate that there were 30,000
miles in 1860; 166,000 in 1890; and 242,000 in 1910. It is easy to show
upon the map how a few straggling lines became a perfect mesh of closely
knitted railways; or how, like the tentacles of a great monster, the few
roads ending in the Mississippi Valley in 1860 were extended and
multiplied until they tapped every wheat field, mine, and forest beyond
the valley. All this, eloquent of enterprise as it truly is, does not
reveal the significance of railways for American life. It does not
indicate how railways made a continental market for American goods; nor
how they standardized the whole country, giving to cities on the
advancing frontier the leading features of cities in the old East; nor
how they carried to the pioneer the comforts of civilization; nor yet
how in the West they were the forerunners of civilization, the makers of
homesteads, the builders of states.

=Government Aid for Railways.=--Still the story is not ended. The
significant relation between railways and politics must not be
overlooked. The bounty of a lavish government, for example, made
possible the work of railway promoters. By the year 1872 the Federal
government had granted in aid of railways 155,000,000 acres of land--an
area estimated as almost equal to Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut,
Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The
Union Pacific Company alone secured from the federal government a free
right of way through the public domain, twenty sections of land with
each mile of railway, and a loan up to fifty millions of dollars secured
by a second mortgage on the company's property. More than half of the
northern tier of states lying against Canada from Lake Michigan to the
Pacific was granted to private companies in aid of railways and wagon
roads. About half of New Mexico, Arizona, and California was also given
outright to railway companies. These vast grants from the federal
government were supplemented by gifts from the states in land and by
subscriptions amounting to more than two hundred million dollars. The
history of these gifts and their relation to the political leaders that
engineered them would alone fill a large and interesting volume.

=Railway Fortunes and Capital.=--Out of this gigantic railway promotion,
the first really immense American fortunes were made. Henry Adams, the
grandson of John Quincy Adams, related that his grandfather on his
mother's side, Peter Brooks, on his death in 1849, left a fortune of two
million dollars, "supposed to be the largest estate in Boston," then one
of the few centers of great riches. Compared with the opulence that
sprang out of the Union Pacific, the Northern Pacific, the Southern
Pacific, with their subsidiary and component lines, the estate of Peter
Brooks was a poor man's heritage.

The capital invested in these railways was enormous beyond the
imagination of the men of the stagecoach generation. The total debt of
the United States incurred in the Revolutionary War--a debt which those
of little faith thought the country could never pay--was reckoned at a
figure well under $75,000,000. When the Union Pacific Railroad was
completed, there were outstanding against it $27,000,000 in first
mortgage bonds, $27,000,000 in second mortgage bonds held by the
government, $10,000,000 in income bonds, $10,000,000 in land grant
bonds, and, on top of that huge bonded indebtedness, $36,000,000 in
stock--making $110,000,000 in all. If the amount due the United States
government be subtracted, still there remained, in private hands, stocks
and bonds exceeding in value the whole national debt of Hamilton's
day--a debt that strained all the resources of the Federal government in
1790. Such was the financial significance of the railways.


=Growth and Extension of Industry.=--In the field of manufacturing,
mining, and metal working, the results of business enterprise far
outstripped, if measured in mere dollars, the results of railway
construction. By the end of the century there were about ten billion
dollars invested in factories alone and five million wage-earners
employed in them; while the total value of the output, fourteen billion
dollars, was fifteen times the figure for 1860. In the Eastern states
industries multiplied. In the Northwest territory, the old home of
Jacksonian Democracy, they overtopped agriculture. By the end of the
century, Ohio had almost reached and Illinois had surpassed
Massachusetts in the annual value of manufacturing output.

That was not all. Untold wealth in the form of natural resources was
discovered in the South and West. Coal deposits were found in the
Appalachians stretching from Pennsylvania down to Alabama, in Michigan,
in the Mississippi Valley, and in the Western mountains from North
Dakota to New Mexico. In nearly every coal-bearing region, iron was also
discovered and the great fields of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota
soon rivaled those of the Appalachian area. Copper, lead, gold, and
silver in fabulous quantities were unearthed by the restless prospectors
who left no plain or mountain fastness unexplored. Petroleum, first
pumped from the wells of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1859, made new
fortunes equaling those of trade, railways, and land speculation. It
scattered its riches with an especially lavish hand through Oklahoma,
Texas, and California.

=The Trust--an Instrument of Industrial Progress.=--Business enterprise,
under the direction of powerful men working single-handed, or of small
groups of men pooling their capital for one or more undertakings, had
not advanced far before there appeared upon the scene still mightier
leaders of even greater imagination. New constructive genius now brought
together and combined under one management hundreds of concerns or
thousands of miles of railways, revealing the magic strength of
coöperation on a national scale. Price-cutting in oil, threatening ruin
to those engaged in the industry, as early as 1879, led a number of
companies in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia to unite in
price-fixing. Three years later a group of oil interests formed a close
organization, placing all their stocks in the hands of trustees, among
whom was John D. Rockefeller. The trustees, in turn, issued
certificates representing the share to which each participant was
entitled; and took over the management of the entire business. Such was
the nature of the "trust," which was to play such an unique rôle in the
progress of America.

The idea of combination was applied in time to iron and steel, copper,
lead, sugar, cordage, coal, and other commodities, until in each field
there loomed a giant trust or corporation, controlling, if not most of
the output, at least enough to determine in a large measure the prices
charged to consumers. With the passing years, the railways, mills,
mines, and other business concerns were transferred from individual
owners to corporations. At the end of the nineteenth century, the whole
face of American business was changed. Three-fourths of the output from
industries came from factories under corporate management and only
one-fourth from individual and partnership undertakings.

[Illustration: JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER]

=The Banking Corporation.=--Very closely related to the growth of
business enterprise on a large scale was the system of banking. In the
old days before banks, a person with savings either employed them in his
own undertakings, lent them to a neighbor, or hid them away where they
set no industry in motion. Even in the early stages of modern business,
it was common for a manufacturer to rise from small beginnings by
financing extensions out of his own earnings and profits. This state of
affairs was profoundly altered by the growth of the huge corporations
requiring millions and even billions of capital. The banks, once an
adjunct to business, became the leaders in business.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


It was the banks that undertook to sell the stocks and bonds issued by
new corporations and trusts and to supply them with credit to carry on
their operations. Indeed, many of the great mergers or combinations in
business were initiated by magnates in the banking world with millions
and billions under their control. Through their connections with one
another, the banks formed a perfect network of agencies gathering up the
pennies and dollars of the masses as well as the thousands of the rich
and pouring them all into the channels of business and manufacturing.
In this growth of banking on a national scale, it was inevitable that a
few great centers, like Wall Street in New York or State Street in
Boston, should rise to a position of dominance both in concentrating the
savings and profits of the nation and in financing new as well as old

=The Significance of the Corporation.=--The corporation, in fact, became
the striking feature of American business life, one of the most
marvelous institutions of all time, comparable in wealth and power and
the number of its servants with kingdoms and states of old. The effect
of its rise and growth cannot be summarily estimated; but some special
facts are obvious. It made possible gigantic enterprises once entirely
beyond the reach of any individual, no matter how rich. It eliminated
many of the futile and costly wastes of competition in connection with
manufacture, advertising, and selling. It studied the cheapest methods
of production and shut down mills that were poorly equipped or
disadvantageously located. It established laboratories for research in
industry, chemistry, and mechanical inventions. Through the sale of
stocks and bonds, it enabled tens of thousands of people to become
capitalists, if only in a small way. The corporation made it possible
for one person to own, for instance, a $50 share in a million dollar
business concern--a thing entirely impossible under a régime of
individual owners and partnerships.

There was, of course, another side to the picture. Many of the
corporations sought to become monopolies and to make profits, not by
economies and good management, but by extortion from purchasers.
Sometimes they mercilessly crushed small business men, their
competitors, bribed members of legislatures to secure favorable laws,
and contributed to the campaign funds of both leading parties. Wherever
a trust approached the position of a monopoly, it acquired a dominion
over the labor market which enabled it to break even the strongest trade
unions. In short, the power of the trust in finance, in manufacturing,
in politics, and in the field of labor control can hardly be measured.

=The Corporation and Labor.=--In the development of the corporation
there was to be observed a distinct severing of the old ties between
master and workmen, which existed in the days of small industries. For
the personal bond between the owner and the employees was substituted a
new relation. "In most parts of our country," as President Wilson once
said, "men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in
which they used to work, but generally as employees--in a higher or
lower grade--of great corporations." The owner disappeared from the
factory and in his place came the manager, representing the usually
invisible stockholders and dependent for his success upon his ability to
make profits for the owners. Hence the term "soulless corporation,"
which was to exert such a deep influence on American thinking about
industrial relations.

=Cities and Immigration.=--Expressed in terms of human life, this era of
unprecedented enterprise meant huge industrial cities and an immense
labor supply, derived mainly from European immigration. Here, too,
figures tell only a part of the story. In Washington's day nine-tenths
of the American people were engaged in agriculture and lived in the
country; in 1890 more than one-third of the population dwelt in towns of
2500 and over; in 1920 more than half of the population lived in towns
of over 2500. In forty years, between 1860 and 1900, Greater New York
had grown from 1,174,000 to 3,437,000; San Francisco from 56,000 to
342,000; Chicago from 109,000 to 1,698,000. The miles of city tenements
began to rival, in the number of their residents, the farm homesteads of
the West. The time so dreaded by Jefferson had arrived. People were
"piled upon one another in great cities" and the republic of small
farmers had passed away.

To these industrial centers flowed annually an ever-increasing tide of
immigration, reaching the half million point in 1880; rising to
three-quarters of a million three years later; and passing the million
mark in a single year at the opening of the new century. Immigration was
as old as America but new elements now entered the situation. In the
first place, there were radical changes in the nationality of the
newcomers. The migration from Northern Europe--England, Ireland,
Germany, and Scandinavia--diminished; that from Italy, Russia, and
Austria-Hungary increased, more than three-fourths of the entire number
coming from these three lands between the years 1900 and 1910. These
later immigrants were Italians, Poles, Magyars, Czechs, Slovaks,
Russians, and Jews, who came from countries far removed from the
language and the traditions of England whence came the founders of

In the second place, the reception accorded the newcomers differed from
that given to the immigrants in the early days. By 1890 all the free
land was gone. They could not, therefore, be dispersed widely among the
native Americans to assimilate quickly and unconsciously the habits and
ideas of American life. On the contrary, they were diverted mainly to
the industrial centers. There they crowded--nay, overcrowded--into
colonies of their own where they preserved their languages, their
newspapers, and their old-world customs and views.

So eager were American business men to get an enormous labor supply that
they asked few questions about the effect of this "alien invasion" upon
the old America inherited from the fathers. They even stimulated the
invasion artificially by importing huge armies of foreigners under
contract to work in specified mines and mills. There seemed to be no
limit to the factories, forges, refineries, and railways that could be
built, to the multitudes that could be employed in conquering a
continent. As for the future, that was in the hands of Providence!

=Business Theories of Politics.=--As the statesmen of Hamilton's school
and the planters of Calhoun's had their theories of government and
politics, so the leaders in business enterprise had theirs. It was
simple and easily stated. "It is the duty of the government," they
urged, "to protect American industry against foreign competition by
means of high tariffs on imported goods, to aid railways by generous
grants of land, to sell mineral and timber lands at low prices to
energetic men ready to develop them, and then to leave the rest to the
initiative and drive of individuals and companies." All government
interference with the management, prices, rates, charges, and conduct of
private business they held to be either wholly pernicious or intolerably
impertinent. Judging from their speeches and writings, they conceived
the nation as a great collection of individuals, companies, and labor
unions all struggling for profits or high wages and held together by a
government whose principal duty was to keep the peace among them and
protect industry against the foreign manufacturer. Such was the
political theory of business during the generation that followed the
Civil War.


=Business Men and Republican Policies.=--Most of the leaders in industry
gravitated to the Republican ranks. They worked in the North and the
Republican party was essentially Northern. It was moreover--at least so
far as the majority of its members were concerned--committed to
protective tariffs, a sound monetary and banking system, the promotion
of railways and industry by land grants, and the development of internal
improvements. It was furthermore generous in its immigration policy. It
proclaimed America to be an asylum for the oppressed of all countries
and flung wide the doors for immigrants eager to fill the factories, man
the mines, and settle upon Western lands. In a word the Republicans
stood for all those specific measures which favored the enlargement and
prosperity of business. At the same time they resisted government
interference with private enterprise. They did not regulate railway
rates, prosecute trusts for forming combinations, or prevent railway
companies from giving lower rates to some shippers than to others. To
sum it up, the political theories of the Republican party for three
decades after the Civil War were the theories of American
business--prosperous and profitable industries for the owners and "the
full dinner pail" for the workmen. Naturally a large portion of those
who flourished under its policies gave their support to it, voted for
its candidates, and subscribed to its campaign funds.

=Sources of Republican Strength in the North.=--The Republican party was
in fact a political organization of singular power. It originated in a
wave of moral enthusiasm, having attracted to itself, if not the
abolitionists, certainly all those idealists, like James Russell Lowell
and George William Curtis, who had opposed slavery when opposition was
neither safe nor popular. To moral principles it added practical
considerations. Business men had confidence in it. Workingmen, who
longed for the independence of the farmer, owed to its indulgent land
policy the opportunity of securing free homesteads in the West. The
immigrant, landing penniless on these shores, as a result of the same
beneficent system, often found himself in a little while with an estate
as large as many a baronial domain in the Old World. Under a Republican
administration, the union had been saved. To it the veterans of the war
could turn with confidence for those rewards of service which the
government could bestow: pensions surpassing in liberality anything that
the world had ever seen. Under a Republican administration also the
great debt had been created in the defense of the union, and to the
Republican party every investor in government bonds could look for the
full and honorable discharge of the interest and principal. The spoils
system, inaugurated by Jacksonian Democracy, in turn placed all the
federal offices in Republican hands, furnishing an army of party workers
to be counted on for loyal service in every campaign.

Of all these things Republican leaders made full and vigorous use,
sometimes ascribing to the party, in accordance with ancient political
usage, merits and achievements not wholly its own. Particularly was this
true in the case of saving the union. "When in the economy of
Providence, this land was to be purged of human slavery ... the
Republican party came into power," ran a declaration in one platform.
"The Republican party suppressed a gigantic rebellion, emancipated four
million slaves, decreed the equal citizenship of all, and established
universal suffrage," ran another. As for the aid rendered by the
millions of Northern Democrats who stood by the union and the tens of
thousands of them who actually fought in the union army, the Republicans
in their zeal were inclined to be oblivious. They repeatedly charged the
Democratic party "with being the same in character and spirit as when it
sympathized with treason."

=Republican Control of the South.=--To the strength enjoyed in the
North, the Republicans for a long time added the advantages that came
from control over the former Confederate states where the newly
enfranchised negroes, under white leadership, gave a grateful support to
the party responsible for their freedom. In this branch of politics,
motives were so mixed that no historian can hope to appraise them all at
their proper values. On the one side of the ledger must be set the
vigorous efforts of the honest and sincere friends of the freedmen to
win for them complete civil and political equality, wiping out not only
slavery but all its badges of misery and servitude. On the same side
must be placed the labor of those who had valiantly fought in forum and
field to save the union and who regarded continued Republican supremacy
after the war as absolutely necessary to prevent the former leaders in
secession from coming back to power. At the same time there were
undoubtedly some men of the baser sort who looked on politics as a game
and who made use of "carpet-bagging" in the South to win the spoils that
might result from it. At all events, both by laws and presidential acts,
the Republicans for many years kept a keen eye upon the maintenance of
their dominion in the South. Their declaration that neither the law nor
its administration should admit any discrimination in respect of
citizens by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
appealed to idealists and brought results in elections. Even South
Carolina, where reposed the ashes of John C. Calhoun, went Republican in
1872 by a vote of three to one!

Republican control was made easy by the force bills described in a
previous chapter--measures which vested the supervision of elections in
federal officers appointed by Republican Presidents. These drastic
measures, departing from American tradition, the Republican authors
urged, were necessary to safeguard the purity of the ballot, not merely
in the South where the timid freedman might readily be frightened from
using it; but also in the North, particularly in New York City, where it
was claimed that fraud was regularly practiced by Democratic leaders.

The Democrats, on their side, indignantly denied the charges, replying
that the force bills were nothing but devices created by the Republicans
for the purpose of securing their continued rule through systematic
interference with elections. Even the measures of reconstruction were
deemed by Democratic leaders as thinly veiled schemes to establish
Republican power throughout the country. "Nor is there the slightest
doubt," exclaimed Samuel J. Tilden, spokesman of the Democrats in New
York and candidate for President in 1876, "that the paramount object and
motive of the Republican party is by these means to secure itself
against a reaction of opinion adverse to it in our great populous
Northern commonwealths.... When the Republican party resolved to
establish negro supremacy in the ten states in order to gain to itself
the representation of those states in Congress, it had to begin by
governing the people of those states by the sword.... The next was the
creation of new electoral bodies for those ten states, in which, by
exclusions, by disfranchisements and proscriptions, by control over
registration, by applying test oaths ... by intimidation and by every
form of influence, three million negroes are made to predominate over
four and a half million whites."

=The War as a Campaign Issue.=--Even the repeal of force bills could not
allay the sectional feelings engendered by the war. The Republicans
could not forgive the men who had so recently been in arms against the
union and insisted on calling them "traitors" and "rebels." The
Southerners, smarting under the reconstruction acts, could regard the
Republicans only as political oppressors. The passions of the war had
been too strong; the distress too deep to be soon forgotten. The
generation that went through it all remembered it all. For twenty
years, the Republicans, in their speeches and platforms, made "a
straight appeal to the patriotism of the Northern voters." They
maintained that their party, which had saved the union and emancipated
the slaves, was alone worthy of protecting the union and uplifting the

Though the Democrats, especially in the North, resented this policy and
dubbed it with the expressive but inelegant phrase, "waving the bloody
shirt," the Republicans refused to surrender a slogan which made such a
ready popular appeal. As late as 1884, a leader expressed the hope that
they might "wring one more President from the bloody shirt." They
refused to let the country forget that the Democratic candidate, Grover
Cleveland, had escaped military service by hiring a substitute; and they
made political capital out of the fact that he had "insulted the
veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic" by going fishing on
Decoration Day.

=Three Republican Presidents.=--Fortified by all these elements of
strength, the Republicans held the presidency from 1869 to 1885. The
three Presidents elected in this period, Grant, Hayes, and Garfield, had
certain striking characteristics in common. They were all of origin
humble enough to please the most exacting Jacksonian Democrat. They had
been generals in the union army. Grant, next to Lincoln, was regarded as
the savior of the Constitution. Hayes and Garfield, though lesser lights
in the military firmament, had honorable records duly appreciated by
veterans of the war, now thoroughly organized into the Grand Army of the
Republic. It is true that Grant was not a politician and had never voted
the Republican ticket; but this was readily overlooked. Hayes and
Garfield on the other hand were loyal party men. The former had served
in Congress and for three terms as governor of his state. The latter had
long been a member of the House of Representatives and was Senator-elect
when he received the nomination for President.

All of them possessed, moreover, another important asset, which was not
forgotten by the astute managers who led in selecting candidates. All
of them were from Ohio--though Grant had been in Illinois when the
summons to military duties came--and Ohio was a strategic state. It lay
between the manufacturing East and the agrarian country to the West.
Having growing industries and wool to sell it benefited from the
protective tariff. Yet being mainly agricultural still, it was not
without sympathy for the farmers who showed low tariff or free trade
tendencies. Whatever share the East had in shaping laws and framing
policies, it was clear that the West was to have the candidates. This
division in privileges--not uncommon in political management--was always
accompanied by a judicious selection of the candidate for Vice
President. With Garfield, for example, was associated a prominent New
York politician, Chester A. Arthur, who, as fate decreed, was destined
to more than three years' service as chief magistrate, on the
assassination of his superior in office.

=The Disputed Election of 1876.=--While taking note of the long years of
Republican supremacy, it must be recorded that grave doubts exist in the
minds of many historians as to whether one of the three Presidents,
Hayes, was actually the victor in 1876 or not. His Democratic opponent,
Samuel J. Tilden, received a popular plurality of a quarter of a million
and had a plausible claim to a majority of the electoral vote. At all
events, four states sent in double returns, one set for Tilden and
another for Hayes; and a deadlock ensued. Both parties vehemently
claimed the election and the passions ran so high that sober men did not
shrink from speaking of civil war again. Fortunately, in the end, the
counsels of peace prevailed. Congress provided for an electoral
commission of fifteen men to review the contested returns. The
Democrats, inspired by Tilden's moderation, accepted the judgment in
favor of Hayes even though they were not convinced that he was really
entitled to the office.


=Abuses in American Political Life.=--During their long tenure of
office, the Republicans could not escape the inevitable consequences of
power; that is, evil practices and corrupt conduct on the part of some
who found shelter within the party. For that matter neither did the
Democrats manage to avoid such difficulties in those states and cities
where they had the majority. In New York City, for instance, the local
Democratic organization, known as Tammany Hall, passed under the sway of
a group of politicians headed by "Boss" Tweed. He plundered the city
treasury until public-spirited citizens, supported by Samuel J. Tilden,
the Democratic leader of the state, rose in revolt, drove the ringleader
from power, and sent him to jail. In Philadelphia, the local Republican
bosses were guilty of offenses as odious as those committed by New York
politicians. Indeed, the decade that followed the Civil War was marred
by so many scandals in public life that one acute editor was moved to
inquire: "Are not all the great communities of the Western World growing
more corrupt as they grow in wealth?"

In the sphere of national politics, where the opportunities were
greater, betrayals of public trust were even more flagrant. One
revelation after another showed officers, high and low, possessed with
the spirit of peculation. Members of Congress, it was found, accepted
railway stock in exchange for votes in favor of land grants and other
concessions to the companies. In the administration as well as the
legislature the disease was rife. Revenue officers permitted whisky
distillers to evade their taxes and received heavy bribes in return. A
probe into the post-office department revealed the malodorous "star
route frauds"--the deliberate overpayment of certain mail carriers whose
lines were indicated in the official record by asterisks or stars. Even
cabinet officers did not escape suspicion, for the trail of the serpent
led straight to the door of one of them.

In the lower ranges of official life, the spoils system became more
virulent as the number of federal employees increased. The holders of
offices and the seekers after them constituted a veritable political
army. They crowded into Republican councils, for the Republicans, being
in power, could alone dispense federal favors. They filled positions in
the party ranging from the lowest township committee to the national
convention. They helped to nominate candidates and draft platforms and
elbowed to one side the busy citizen, not conversant with party
intrigues, who could only give an occasional day to political matters.
Even the Civil Service Act of 1883, wrung from a reluctant Congress two
years after the assassination of Garfield, made little change for a long
time. It took away from the spoilsmen a few thousand government
positions, but it formed no check on the practice of rewarding party
workers from the public treasury.

On viewing this state of affairs, many a distinguished citizen became
profoundly discouraged. James Russell Lowell, for example, thought he
saw a steady decline in public morals. In 1865, hearing of Lee's
surrender, he had exclaimed: "There is something magnificent in having a
country to love!" Ten years later, when asked to write an ode for the
centennial at Philadelphia in 1876, he could think only of a biting
satire on the nation:

    "Show your state legislatures; show your Rings;
     And challenge Europe to produce such things
     As high officials sitting half in sight
     To share the plunder and fix things right.
     If that don't fetch her, why, you need only
     To show your latest style in martyrs,--Tweed:
     She'll find it hard to hide her spiteful tears
     At such advance in one poor hundred years."

When his critics condemned him for this "attack upon his native land,"
Lowell replied in sadness: "These fellows have no notion of what love of
country means. It was in my very blood and bones. If I am not an
American who ever was?... What fills me with doubt and dismay is the
degradation of the moral tone. Is it or is it not a result of democracy?
Is ours a 'government of the people, by the people, for the people,' or
a Kakistocracy [a government of the worst], rather for the benefit of
knaves at the cost of fools?"

=The Reform Movement in Republican Ranks.=--The sentiments expressed by
Lowell, himself a Republican and for a time American ambassador to
England, were shared by many men in his party. Very soon after the close
of the Civil War some of them began to protest vigorously against the
policies and conduct of their leaders. In 1872, the dissenters, calling
themselves Liberal Republicans, broke away altogether, nominated a
candidate of their own, Horace Greeley, and put forward a platform
indicting the Republican President fiercely enough to please the most
uncompromising Democrat. They accused Grant of using "the powers and
opportunities of his high office for the promotion of personal ends."
They charged him with retaining "notoriously corrupt and unworthy men in
places of power and responsibility." They alleged that the Republican
party kept "alive the passions and resentments of the late civil war to
use them for their own advantages," and employed the "public service of
the government as a machinery of corruption and personal influence."

It was not apparent, however, from the ensuing election that any
considerable number of Republicans accepted the views of the Liberals.
Greeley, though indorsed by the Democrats, was utterly routed and died
of a broken heart. The lesson of his discomfiture seemed to be that
independent action was futile. So, at least, it was regarded by most men
of the rising generation like Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, and
Theodore Roosevelt, of New York. Profiting by the experience of Greeley
they insisted in season and out that reformers who desired to rid the
party of abuses should remain loyal to it and do their work "on the

=The Mugwumps and Cleveland Democracy in 1884.=--Though aided by
Republican dissensions, the Democrats were slow in making headway
against the political current. They were deprived of the energetic and
capable leadership once afforded by the planters, like Calhoun, Davis,
and Toombs; they were saddled by their opponents with responsibility for
secession; and they were stripped of the support of the prostrate
South. Not until the last Southern state was restored to the union, not
until a general amnesty was wrung from Congress, not until white
supremacy was established at the polls, and the last federal soldier
withdrawn from Southern capitals did they succeed in capturing the

The opportune moment for them came in 1884 when a number of
circumstances favored their aspirations. The Republicans, leaving the
Ohio Valley in their search for a candidate, nominated James G. Blaine
of Maine, a vigorous and popular leader but a man under fire from the
reformers in his own party. The Democrats on their side were able to
find at this juncture an able candidate who had no political enemies in
the sphere of national politics, Grover Cleveland, then governor of New
York and widely celebrated as a man of "sterling honesty." At the same
time a number of dissatisfied Republicans openly espoused the Democratic
cause,--among them Carl Schurz, George William Curtis, Henry Ward
Beecher, and William Everett, men of fine ideals and undoubted
integrity. Though the "regular" Republicans called them "Mugwumps" and
laughed at them as the "men milliners, the dilettanti, and carpet
knights of politics," they had a following that was not to be despised.

The campaign which took place that year was one of the most savage in
American history. Issues were thrust into the background. The tariff,
though mentioned, was not taken seriously. Abuse of the opposition was
the favorite resource of party orators. The Democrats insisted that "the
Republican party so far as principle is concerned is a reminiscence. In
practice it is an organization for enriching those who control its
machinery." For the Republican candidate, Blaine, they could hardly find
words to express their contempt. The Republicans retaliated in kind.
They praised their own good works, as of old, in saving the union, and
denounced the "fraud and violence practiced by the Democracy in the
Southern states." Seeing little objectionable in the public record of
Cleveland as mayor of Buffalo and governor of New York, they attacked
his personal character. Perhaps never in the history of political
campaigns did the discussions on the platform and in the press sink to
so low a level. Decent people were sickened. Even hot partisans shrank
from their own words when, after the election, they had time to reflect
on their heedless passions. Moreover, nothing was decided by the
balloting. Cleveland was elected, but his victory was a narrow one. A
change of a few hundred votes in New York would have sent his opponent
to the White House instead.

=Changing Political Fortunes (1888-96).=--After the Democrats had
settled down to the enjoyment of their hard-earned victory, President
Cleveland in his message of 1887 attacked the tariff as "vicious,
inequitable, and illogical"; as a system of taxation that laid a burden
upon "every consumer in the land for the benefit of our manufacturers."
Business enterprise was thoroughly alarmed. The Republicans
characterized the tariff message as a free-trade assault upon the
industries of the country. Mainly on that issue they elected in 1888
Benjamin Harrison of Indiana, a shrewd lawyer, a reticent politician, a
descendant of the hero of Tippecanoe, and a son of the old Northwest.
Accepting the outcome of the election as a vindication of their
principles, the Republicans, under the leadership of William McKinley in
the House of Representatives, enacted in 1890 a tariff law imposing the
highest duties yet laid in our history. To their utter surprise,
however, they were instantly informed by the country that their program
was not approved. That very autumn they lost in the congressional
elections, and two years later they were decisively beaten in the
presidential campaign, Cleveland once more leading his party to victory.


L.H. Haney, _Congressional History of Railways_ (2 vols.).

J.P. Davis, _Union Pacific Railway_.

J.M. Swank, _History of the Manufacture of Iron_.

M.T. Copeland, _The Cotton Manufacturing Industry in the United States_
(Harvard Studies).

E.W. Bryce, _Progress of Invention in the Nineteenth Century_.

Ida Tarbell, _History of the Standard Oil Company_ (Critical).

G.H. Montague, _Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company_

H.P. Fairchild, _Immigration_, and F.J. Warne, _The Immigrant Invasion_
(Both works favor exclusion).

I.A. Hourwich, _Immigration_ (Against exclusionist policies).

J.F. Rhodes, _History of the United States, 1877-1896_, Vol. VIII.

Edward Stanwood, _A History of the Presidency_, Vol. I, for the
presidential elections of the period.


1. Contrast the state of industry and commerce at the close of the Civil
War with its condition at the close of the Revolutionary War.

2. Enumerate the services rendered to the nation by the railways.

3. Explain the peculiar relation of railways to government.

4. What sections of the country have been industrialized?

5. How do you account for the rise and growth of the trusts? Explain
some of the economic advantages of the trust.

6. Are the people in cities more or less independent than the farmers?
What was Jefferson's view?

7. State some of the problems raised by unrestricted immigration.

8. What was the theory of the relation of government to business in this
period? Has it changed in recent times?

9. State the leading economic policies sponsored by the Republican

10. Why were the Republicans especially strong immediately after the
Civil War?

11. What illustrations can you give showing the influence of war in
American political campaigns?

12. Account for the strength of middle-western candidates.

13. Enumerate some of the abuses that appeared in American political
life after 1865.

14. Sketch the rise and growth of the reform movement.

15. How is the fluctuating state of public opinion reflected in the
elections from 1880 to 1896?

=Research Topics=

=Invention, Discovery, and Transportation.=--Sparks, _National
Development_ (American Nation Series), pp. 37-67; Bogart, _Economic
History of the United States_, Chaps. XXI, XXII, and XXIII.

=Business and Politics.=--Paxson, _The New Nation_ (Riverside Series),
pp. 92-107; Rhodes, _History of the United States_, Vol. VII, pp. 1-29,
64-73, 175-206; Wilson, _History of the American People_, Vol. IV, pp.

=Immigration.=--Coman, _Industrial History of the United States_ (2d
ed.), pp. 369-374; E.L. Bogart, _Economic History of the United States_,
pp. 420-422, 434-437; Jenks and Lauck, _Immigration Problems_, Commons,
_Races and Immigrants_.

=The Disputed Election of 1876.=--Haworth, _The United States in Our Own
Time_, pp. 82-94; Dunning, _Reconstruction, Political and Economic_
(American Nation Series), pp. 294-341; Elson, _History of the United
States_, pp. 835-841.

=Abuses in Political Life.=--Dunning, _Reconstruction_, pp. 281-293; see
criticisms in party platforms in Stanwood, _History of the Presidency_,
Vol. I; Bryce, _American Commonwealth_ (1910 ed.), Vol. II, pp. 379-448;

=Studies of Presidential Administrations.=--(_a_) Grant, (_b_) Hayes,
(_c_) Garfield-Arthur, (_d_) Cleveland, and (_e_) Harrison, in Haworth,
_The United States in Our Own Time_, or in Paxson, _The New Nation_
(Riverside Series), or still more briefly in Elson.

=Cleveland Democracy.=--Haworth, _The United States_, pp. 164-183;
Rhodes, _History of the United States_, Vol. VIII, pp. 240-327; Elson,
pp. 857-887.

=Analysis of Modern Immigration Problems.=--_Syllabus in History_ (New
York State, 1919), pp. 110-112.



At the close of the Civil War, Kansas and Texas were sentinel states on
the middle border. Beyond the Rockies, California, Oregon, and Nevada
stood guard, the last of them having been just admitted to furnish
another vote for the fifteenth amendment abolishing slavery. Between the
near and far frontiers lay a vast reach of plain, desert, plateau, and
mountain, almost wholly undeveloped. A broad domain, extending from
Canada to Mexico, and embracing the regions now included in Washington,
Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, the Dakotas, and
Oklahoma, had fewer than half a million inhabitants. It was laid out
into territories, each administered under a governor appointed by the
President and Senate and, as soon as there was the requisite number of
inhabitants, a legislature elected by the voters. No railway line
stretched across the desert. St. Joseph on the Missouri was the terminus
of the Eastern lines. It required twenty-five days for a passenger to
make the overland journey to California by the stagecoach system,
established in 1858, and more than ten days for the swift pony express,
organized in 1860, to carry a letter to San Francisco. Indians still
roamed the plain and desert and more than one powerful tribe disputed
the white man's title to the soil.


=Opening Railways to the Pacific.=--A decade before the Civil War the
importance of rail connection between the East and the Pacific Coast had
been recognized. Pressure had already been brought to bear on Congress
to authorize the construction of a line and to grant land and money in
its aid. Both the Democrats and Republicans approved the idea, but it
was involved in the slavery controversy. Indeed it was submerged in it.
Southern statesmen wanted connections between the Gulf and the Pacific
through Texas, while Northerners stood out for a central route.

The North had its way during the war. Congress, by legislation initiated
in 1862, provided for the immediate organization of companies to build a
line from the Missouri River to California and made grants of land and
loans of money to aid in the enterprise. The Western end, the Central
Pacific, was laid out under the supervision of Leland Stanford. It was
heavily financed by the Mormons of Utah and also by the state
government, the ranchmen, miners, and business men of California; and it
was built principally by Chinese labor. The Eastern end, the Union
Pacific, starting at Omaha, was constructed mainly by veterans of the
Civil War and immigrants from Ireland and Germany. In 1869 the two
companies met near Ogden in Utah and the driving of the last spike,
uniting the Atlantic and the Pacific, was the occasion of a great

Other lines to the Pacific were projected at the same time; but the
panic of 1873 checked railway enterprise for a while. With the revival
of prosperity at the end of that decade, construction was renewed with
vigor and the year 1883 marked a series of railway triumphs. In February
trains were running from New Orleans through Houston, San Antonio, and
Yuma to San Francisco, as a result of a union of the Texas Pacific with
the Southern Pacific and its subsidiary corporations. In September the
last spike was driven in the Northern Pacific at Helena, Montana. Lake
Superior was connected with Puget Sound. The waters explored by Joliet
and Marquette were joined to the waters plowed by Sir Francis Drake
while he was searching for a route around the world. That same year also
a third line was opened to the Pacific by way of the Atchison, Topeka
and Santa Fé, making connections through Albuquerque and Needles with
San Francisco. The fondest hopes of railway promoters seemed to be

[Illustration: UNITED STATES IN 1870]

=Western Railways Precede Settlement.=--In the Old World and on our
Atlantic seaboard, railways followed population and markets. In the Far
West, railways usually preceded the people. Railway builders planned
cities on paper before they laid tracks connecting them. They sent
missionaries to spread the gospel of "Western opportunity" to people in
the Middle West, in the Eastern cities, and in Southern states. Then
they carried their enthusiastic converts bag and baggage in long trains
to the distant Dakotas and still farther afield. So the development of
the Far West was not left to the tedious processes of time. It was
pushed by men of imagination--adventurers who made a romance of
money-making and who had dreams of empire unequaled by many kings of the

These empire builders bought railway lands in huge tracts; they got more
from the government; they overcame every obstacle of cañon, mountain,
and stream with the aid of science; they built cities according to the
plans made by the engineers. Having the towns ready and railway and
steamboat connections formed with the rest of the world, they carried
out the people to use the railways, the steamships, the houses, and the
land. It was in this way that "the frontier speculator paved the way for
the frontier agriculturalist who had to be near a market before he could
farm." The spirit of this imaginative enterprise, which laid out
railways and towns in advance of the people, is seen in an advertisement
of that day: "This extension will run 42 miles from York, northeast
through the Island Lake country, and will have five good North Dakota
towns. The stations on the line will be well equipped with elevators and
will be constructed and ready for operation at the commencement of the
grain season. Prospective merchants have been active in securing
desirable locations at the different towns on the line. There are still
opportunities for hotels, general merchandise, hardware, furniture, and
drug stores, etc."

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


Among the railway promoters and builders in the West, James J. Hill,
of the Great Northern and allied lines, was one of the most forceful
figures. He knew that tracks and trains were useless without passengers
and freight; without a population of farmers and town dwellers. He
therefore organized publicity in the Virginias, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana,
Illinois, Wisconsin, and Nebraska especially. He sent out agents to tell
the story of Western opportunity in this vein: "You see your children
come out of school with no chance to get farms of their own because the
cost of land in your older part of the country is so high that you can't
afford to buy land to start your sons out in life around you. They have
to go to the cities to make a living or become laborers in the mills or
hire out as farm hands. There is no future for them there. If you are
doing well where you are and can safeguard the future of your children
and see them prosper around you, don't leave here. But if you want
independence, if you are renting your land, if the money-lender is
carrying you along and you are running behind year after year, you can
do no worse by moving.... You farmers talk of free trade and protection
and what this or that political party will do for you. Why don't you
vote a homestead for yourself? That is the only thing Uncle Sam will
ever give you. Jim Hill hasn't an acre of land to sell you. We are not
in the real estate business. We don't want you to go out West and make a
failure of it because the rates at which we haul you and your goods make
the first transaction a loss.... We must have landless men for a manless

Unlike steamship companies stimulating immigration to get the fares,
Hill was seeking permanent settlers who would produce, manufacture, and
use the railways as the means of exchange. Consequently he fixed low
rates and let his passengers take a good deal of live stock and
household furniture free. By doing this he made an appeal that was
answered by eager families. In 1894 the vanguard of home seekers left
Indiana in fourteen passenger coaches, filled with men, women, and
children, and forty-eight freight cars carrying their household goods
and live stock. In the ten years that followed, 100,000 people from the
Middle West and the South, responding to his call, went to the Western
country where they brought eight million acres of prairie land under

When Hill got his people on the land, he took an interest in everything
that increased the productivity of their labor. Was the output of food
for his freight cars limited by bad drainage on the farms? Hill then
interested himself in practical ways of ditching and tiling. Were
farmers hampered in hauling their goods to his trains by bad roads? In
that case, he urged upon the states the improvement of highways. Did the
traffic slacken because the food shipped was not of the best quality?
Then live stock must be improved and scientific farming promoted. Did
the farmers need credit? Banks must be established close at hand to
advance it. In all conferences on scientific farm management,
conservation of natural resources, banking and credit in relation to
agriculture and industry, Hill was an active participant. His was the
long vision, seeing in conservation and permanent improvements the
foundation of prosperity for the railways and the people.

Indeed, he neglected no opportunity to increase the traffic on the
lines. He wanted no empty cars running in either direction and no wheat
stored in warehouses for the lack of markets. So he looked to the Orient
as well as to Europe as an outlet for the surplus of the farms. He sent
agents to China and Japan to discover what American goods and produce
those countries would consume and what manufactures they had to offer to
Americans in exchange. To open the Pacific trade he bought two ocean
monsters, the _Minnesota_ and the _Dakota_, thus preparing for
emergencies West as well as East. When some Japanese came to the United
States on their way to Europe to buy steel rails, Hill showed them how
easy it was for them to make their purchase in this country and ship by
way of American railways and American vessels. So the railway builder
and promoter, who helped to break the virgin soil of the prairies, lived
through the pioneer epoch and into the age of great finance. Before he
died he saw the wheat fields of North Dakota linked with the spinning
jennies of Manchester and the docks of Yokohama.


=The Removal of the Indians.=--Unlike the frontier of New England in
colonial days or that of Kentucky later, the advancing lines of home
builders in the Far West had little difficulty with warlike natives.
Indian attacks were made on the railway construction gangs; General
Custer had his fatal battle with the Sioux in 1876 and there were minor
brushes; but they were all of relatively slight consequence. The former
practice of treating with the Indians as independent nations was
abandoned in 1871 and most of them were concentrated in reservations
where they were mainly supported by the government. The supervision of
their affairs was vested in a board of commissioners created in 1869 and
instructed to treat them as wards of the nation--a trust which
unfortunately was often betrayed. A further step in Indian policy was
taken in 1887 when provision was made for issuing lands to individual
Indians, thus permitting them to become citizens and settle down among
their white neighbors as farmers or cattle raisers. The disappearance of
the buffalo, the main food supply of the wild Indians, had made them
more tractable and more willing to surrender the freedom of the hunter
for the routine of the reservation, ranch, or wheat field.

=The Cowboy and Cattle Ranger.=--Between the frontier of farms and the
mountains were plains and semi-arid regions in vast reaches suitable for
grazing. As soon as the railways were open into the Missouri Valley,
affording an outlet for stock, there sprang up to the westward cattle
and sheep raising on an immense scale. The far-famed American cowboy was
the hero in this scene. Great herds of cattle were bred in Texas; with
the advancing spring and summer seasons, they were driven northward
across the plains and over the buffalo trails. In a single year, 1884,
it is estimated that nearly one million head of cattle were moved out of
Texas to the North by four thousand cowboys, supplied with 30,000
horses and ponies.

During the two decades from 1870 to 1890 both the cattle men and the
sheep raisers had an almost free run of the plains, using public lands
without paying for the privilege and waging war on one another over the
possession of ranges. At length, however, both had to go, as the
homesteaders and land companies came and fenced in the plain and desert
with endless lines of barbed wire. Already in 1893 a writer familiar
with the frontier lamented the passing of the picturesque days: "The
unique position of the cowboys among the Americans is jeopardized in a
thousand ways. Towns are growing up on their pasture lands; irrigation
schemes of a dozen sorts threaten to turn bunch-grass scenery into
farm-land views; farmers are pre-empting valleys and the sides of
waterways; and the day is not far distant when stock-raising must be
done mainly in small herds, with winter corrals, and then the cowboy's
days will end. Even now his condition disappoints those who knew him
only half a dozen years ago. His breed seems to have deteriorated and
his ranks are filling with men who work for wages rather than for the
love of the free life and bold companionship that once tempted men into
that calling. Splendid Cheyenne saddles are less and less numerous in
the outfits; the distinctive hat that made its way up from Mexico may or
may not be worn; all the civil authorities in nearly all towns in the
grazing country forbid the wearing of side arms; nobody shoots up these
towns any more. The fact is the old simon-pure cowboy days are gone

=Settlement under the Homestead Act of 1862.=--Two factors gave a
special stimulus to the rapid settlement of Western lands which swept
away the Indians and the cattle rangers. The first was the policy of the
railway companies in selling large blocks of land received from the
government at low prices to induce immigration. The second was the
operation of the Homestead law passed in 1862. This measure practically
closed the long controversy over the disposition of the public domain
that was suitable for agriculture. It provided for granting, without any
cost save a small registration fee, public lands in lots of 160 acres
each to citizens and aliens who declared their intention of becoming
citizens. The one important condition attached was that the settler
should occupy the farm for five years before his title was finally
confirmed. Even this stipulation was waived in the case of the Civil War
veterans who were allowed to count their term of military service as a
part of the five years' occupancy required. As the soldiers of the
Revolutionary and Mexican wars had advanced in great numbers to the
frontier in earlier days, so now veterans led in the settlement of the
middle border. Along with them went thousands of German, Irish, and
Scandinavian immigrants, fresh from the Old World. Between 1867 and
1874, 27,000,000 acres were staked out in quarter-section farms. In
twenty years (1860-80), the population of Nebraska leaped from 28,000 to
almost half a million; Kansas from 100,000 to a million; Iowa from
600,000 to 1,600,000; and the Dakotas from 5000 to 140,000.

=The Diversity of Western Agriculture.=--In soil, produce, and
management, Western agriculture presented many contrasts to that of the
East and South. In the region of arable and watered lands the typical
American unit--the small farm tilled by the owner--appeared as usual;
but by the side of it many a huge domain owned by foreign or Eastern
companies and tilled by hired labor. Sometimes the great estate took the
shape of the "bonanza farm" devoted mainly to wheat and corn and
cultivated on a large scale by machinery. Again it assumed the form of
the cattle ranch embracing tens of thousands of acres. Again it was a
vast holding of diversified interest, such as the Santa Anita ranch near
Los Angeles, a domain of 60,000 acres "cultivated in a glorious sweep of
vineyards and orange and olive orchards, rich sheep and cattle pastures
and horse ranches, their life and customs handed down from the Spanish
owners of the various ranches which were swept into one estate."

=Irrigation.=--In one respect agriculture in the Far West was unique. In
a large area spreading through eight states, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming,
Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of adjoining
states, the rainfall was so slight that the ordinary crops to which the
American farmer was accustomed could not be grown at all. The Mormons
were the first Anglo-Saxons to encounter aridity, and they were baffled
at first; but they studied it and mastered it by magnificent irrigation
systems. As other settlers poured into the West the problem of the
desert was attacked with a will, some of them replying to the
commiseration of Eastern farmers by saying that it was easier to scoop
out an irrigation ditch than to cut forests and wrestle with stumps and
stones. Private companies bought immense areas at low prices, built
irrigation works, and disposed of their lands in small plots. Some
ranchers with an instinct for water, like that of the miner for metal,
sank wells into the dry sand and were rewarded with gushers that "soused
the thirsty desert and turned its good-for-nothing sand into
good-for-anything loam." The federal government came to the aid of the
arid regions in 1894 by granting lands to the states to be used for
irrigation purposes. In this work Wyoming took the lead with a law which
induced capitalists to invest in irrigation and at the same time
provided for the sale of the redeemed lands to actual settlers. Finally
in 1902 the federal government by its liberal Reclamation Act added its
strength to that of individuals, companies, and states in conquering
"arid America."

"Nowhere," writes Powell, a historian of the West, in his picturesque
_End of the Trail_, "has the white man fought a more courageous fight or
won a more brilliant victory than in Arizona. His weapons have been the
transit and the level, the drill and the dredge, the pick and the spade;
and the enemy which he has conquered has been the most stubborn of all
foes--the hostile forces of Nature.... The story of how the white man
within the space of less than thirty years penetrated, explored, and
mapped this almost unknown region; of how he carried law, order, and
justice into a section which had never had so much as a speaking
acquaintance with any one of the three before; of how, realizing the
necessity for means of communication, he built highways of steel across
this territory from east to west and from north to south; of how,
undismayed by the savageness of the countenance which the desert turned
upon him, he laughed and rolled up his sleeves, and spat upon his hands,
and slashed the face of the desert with canals and irrigating ditches,
and filled those ditches with water brought from deep in the earth or
high in the mountains; and of how, in the conquered and submissive soil,
he replaced the aloe with alfalfa, the mesquite with maize, the cactus
with cotton, forms one of the most inspiring chapters in our history. It
is one of the epics of civilization, this reclamation of the Southwest,
and its heroes, thank God, are Americans.

"Other desert regions have been redeemed by irrigation--Egypt, for
example, and Mesopotamia and parts of the Sudan--but the people of all
those regions lay stretched out in the shade of a convenient palm,
metaphorically speaking, and waited for some one with more energy than
themselves to come along and do the work. But the Arizonians, mindful of
the fact that God, the government, and Carnegie help those who help
themselves, spent their days wielding the pick and shovel, and their
evenings in writing letters to Washington with toil-hardened hands.
After a time the government was prodded into action and the great dams
at Laguna and Roosevelt are the result. Then the people, organizing
themselves into coöperative leagues and water-users' associations, took
up the work of reclamation where the government left off; it is to these
energetic, persevering men who have drilled wells, plowed fields, and
dug ditches through the length and breadth of that great region which
stretches from Yuma to Tucson, that the metamorphosis of Arizona is

The effect of irrigation wherever introduced was amazing. Stretches of
sand and sagebrush gave way to fertile fields bearing crops of wheat,
corn, fruits, vegetables, and grass. Huge ranches grazed by browsing
sheep were broken up into small plots. The cowboy and ranchman vanished.
In their place rose the prosperous community--a community unlike the
township of Iowa or the industrial center of the East. Its intensive
tillage left little room for hired labor. Its small holdings drew
families together in village life rather than dispersing them on the
lonely plain. Often the development of water power in connection with
irrigation afforded electricity for labor-saving devices and lifted many
a burden that in other days fell heavily upon the shoulders of the
farmer and his family.


=Mineral Resources.=--In another important particular the Far West
differed from the Mississippi Valley states. That was in the
predominance of mining over agriculture throughout a vast section.
Indeed it was the minerals rather than the land that attracted the
pioneers who first opened the country. The discovery of gold in
California in 1848 was the signal for the great rush of prospectors,
miners, and promoters who explored the valleys, climbed the hills,
washed the sands, and dug up the soil in their feverish search for gold,
silver, copper, coal, and other minerals. In Nevada and Montana the
development of mineral resources went on all during the Civil War. Alder
Gulch became Virginia City in 1863; Last Chance Gulch was named Helena
in 1864; and Confederate Gulch was christened Diamond City in 1865. At
Butte the miners began operations in 1864 and within five years had
washed out eight million dollars' worth of gold. Under the gold they
found silver; under silver they found copper.

Even at the end of the nineteenth century, after agriculture was well
advanced and stock and sheep raising introduced on a large scale,
minerals continued to be the chief source of wealth in a number of
states. This was revealed by the figures for 1910. The gold, silver,
iron, and copper of Colorado were worth more than the wheat, corn, and
oats combined; the copper of Montana sold for more than all the cereals
and four times the price of the wheat. The interest of Nevada was also
mainly mining, the receipts from the mineral output being $43,000,000 or
more than one-half the national debt of Hamilton's day. The yield of the
mines of Utah was worth four or five times the wheat crop; the coal of
Wyoming brought twice as much as the great wool clip; the minerals of
Arizona were totaled at $43,000,000 as against a wool clip reckoned at
$1,200,000; while in Idaho alone of this group of states did the wheat
crop exceed in value the output of the mines.

[Illustration: _Photograph from Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=Timber Resources.=--The forests of the great West, unlike those of the
Ohio Valley, proved a boon to the pioneers rather than a foe to be
attacked. In Ohio and Indiana, for example, the frontier line of
homemakers had to cut, roll, and burn thousands of trees before they
could put out a crop of any size. Beyond the Mississippi, however,
there were all ready for the breaking plow great reaches of almost
treeless prairie, where every stick of timber was precious. In the other
parts, often rough and mountainous, where stood primeval forests of the
finest woods, the railroads made good use of the timber. They consumed
acres of forests themselves in making ties, bridge timbers, and
telegraph poles, and they laid a heavy tribute upon the forests for
their annual upkeep. The surplus trees, such as had burdened the
pioneers of the Northwest Territory a hundred years before, they carried
off to markets on the east and west coasts.

=Western Industries.=--The peculiar conditions of the Far West
stimulated a rise of industries more rapid than is usual in new country.
The mining activities which in many sections preceded agriculture called
for sawmills to furnish timber for the mines and smelters to reduce and
refine ores. The ranches supplied sheep and cattle for the packing
houses of Kansas City as well as Chicago. The waters of the Northwest
afforded salmon for 4000 cases in 1866 and for 1,400,000 cases in 1916.
The fruits and vegetables of California brought into existence
innumerable canneries. The lumber industry, starting with crude sawmills
to furnish rough timbers for railways and mines, ended in specialized
factories for paper, boxes, and furniture. As the railways preceded
settlement and furnished a ready outlet for local manufactures, so they
encouraged the early establishment of varied industries, thus creating a
state of affairs quite unlike that which obtained in the Ohio Valley in
the early days before the opening of the Erie Canal.

=Social Effects of Economic Activities.=--In many respects the social
life of the Far West also differed from that of the Ohio Valley. The
treeless prairies, though open to homesteads, favored the great estate
tilled in part by tenant labor and in part by migratory seasonal labor,
summoned from all sections of the country for the harvests. The mineral
resources created hundreds of huge fortunes which made the accumulations
of eastern mercantile families look trivial by comparison. Other
millionaires won their fortunes in the railway business and still more
from the cattle and sheep ranges. In many sections the "cattle king," as
he was called, was as dominant as the planter had been in the old South.
Everywhere in the grazing country he was a conspicuous and important
person. He "sometimes invested money in banks, in railroad stocks, or in
city property.... He had his rating in the commercial reviews and could
hobnob with bankers, railroad presidents, and metropolitan merchants....
He attended party caucuses and conventions, ran for the state
legislature, and sometimes defeated a lawyer or metropolitan 'business
man' in the race for a seat in Congress. In proportion to their numbers,
the ranchers ... have constituted a highly impressive class."

Although many of the early capitalists of the great West, especially
from Nevada, spent their money principally in the East, others took
leadership in promoting the sections in which they had made their
fortunes. A railroad pioneer, General Palmer, built his home at Colorado
Springs, founded the town, and encouraged local improvements. Denver
owed its first impressive buildings to the civic patriotism of Horace
Tabor, a wealthy mine owner. Leland Stanford paid his tribute to
California in the endowment of a large university. Colonel W.F. Cody,
better known as "Buffalo Bill," started his career by building a "boom
town" which collapsed, and made a large sum of money supplying buffalo
meat to construction hands (hence his popular name). By his famous Wild
West Show, he increased it to a fortune which he devoted mainly to the
promotion of a western reclamation scheme.

While the Far West was developing this vigorous, aggressive leadership
in business, a considerable industrial population was springing up. Even
the cattle ranges and hundreds of farms were conducted like factories in
that they were managed through overseers who hired plowmen, harvesters,
and cattlemen at regular wages. At the same time there appeared other
peculiar features which made a lasting impression on western economic
life. Mining, lumbering, and fruit growing, for instance, employed
thousands of workers during the rush months and turned them out at other
times. The inevitable result was an army of migratory laborers wandering
from camp to camp, from town to town, and from ranch to ranch, without
fixed homes or established habits of life. From this extraordinary
condition there issued many a long and lawless conflict between capital
and labor, giving a distinct color to the labor movement in whole
sections of the mountain and coast states.


=The Spirit of Self-Government.=--The instinct of self-government was
strong in the western communities. In the very beginning, it led to the
organization of volunteer committees, known as "vigilantes," to suppress
crime and punish criminals. As soon as enough people were settled
permanently in a region, they took care to form a more stable kind of
government. An illustration of this process is found in the Oregon
compact made by the pioneers in 1843, the spirit of which is reflected
in an editorial in an old copy of the _Rocky Mountain News_: "We claim
that any body or community of American citizens which from any cause or
under any circumstances is cut off from or from isolation is so situated
as not to be under any active and protecting branch of the central
government, have a right, if on American soil, to frame a government and
enact such laws and regulations as may be necessary for their own
safety, protection, and happiness, always with the condition precedent,
that they shall, at the earliest moment when the central government
shall extend an effective organization and laws over them, give it their
unqualified support and obedience."

People who turned so naturally to the organization of local
administration were equally eager for admission to the union as soon as
any shadow of a claim to statehood could be advanced. As long as a
region was merely one of the territories of the United States, the
appointment of the governor and other officers was controlled by
politics at Washington. Moreover the disposition of land, mineral
rights, forests, and water power was also in the hands of national
leaders. Thus practical considerations were united with the spirit of
independence in the quest for local autonomy.

=Nebraska and Colorado.=--Two states, Nebraska and Colorado, had little
difficulty in securing admission to the union. The first, Nebraska, had
been organized as a territory by the famous Kansas-Nebraska bill which
did so much to precipitate the Civil War. Lying to the north of Kansas,
which had been admitted in 1861, it escaped the invasion of slave owners
from Missouri and was settled mainly by farmers from the North. Though
it claimed a population of only 67,000, it was regarded with kindly
interest by the Republican Congress at Washington and, reduced to its
present boundaries, it received the coveted statehood in 1867.

This was hardly accomplished before the people of Colorado to the
southwest began to make known their demands. They had been organized
under territorial government in 1861 when they numbered only a handful;
but within ten years the aspect of their affairs had completely changed.
The silver and gold deposits of the Leadville and Cripple Creek regions
had attracted an army of miners and prospectors. The city of Denver,
founded in 1858 and named after the governor of Kansas whence came many
of the early settlers, had grown from a straggling camp of log huts into
a prosperous center of trade. By 1875 it was reckoned that the
population of the territory was not less than one hundred thousand; the
following year Congress, yielding to the popular appeal, made Colorado a
member of the American union.

=Six New States (1889-1890).=--For many years there was a deadlock in
Congress over the admission of new states. The spell was broken in 1889
under the leadership of the Dakotas. For a long time the Dakota
territory, organized in 1861, had been looked upon as the home of the
powerful Sioux Indians whose enormous reservation blocked the advance of
the frontier. The discovery of gold in the Black Hills, however, marked
their doom. Even before Congress could open their lands to prospectors,
pioneers were swarming over the country. Farmers from the adjoining
Minnesota and the Eastern states, Scandinavians, Germans, and Canadians,
came in swelling waves to occupy the fertile Dakota lands, now famous
even as far away as the fjords of Norway. Seldom had the plow of man cut
through richer soil than was found in the bottoms of the Red River
Valley, and it became all the more precious when the opening of the
Northern Pacific in 1883 afforded a means of transportation east and
west. The population, which had numbered 135,000 in 1880, passed the
half million mark before ten years had elapsed.

Remembering that Nebraska had been admitted with only 67,000
inhabitants, the Dakotans could not see why they should be kept under
federal tutelage. At the same time Washington, far away on the Pacific
Coast, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, boasting of their populations and
their riches, put in their own eloquent pleas. But the members of
Congress were busy with politics. The Democrats saw no good reason for
admitting new Republican states until after their defeat in 1888. Near
the end of their term the next year they opened the door for North and
South Dakota, Washington, and Montana. In 1890, a Republican Congress
brought Idaho and Wyoming into the union, the latter with woman
suffrage, which had been granted twenty-one years before.

=Utah.=--Although Utah had long presented all the elements of a
well-settled and industrious community, its admission to the union was
delayed on account of popular hostility to the practice of polygamy. The
custom, it is true, had been prohibited by act of Congress in 1862; but
the law had been systematically evaded. In 1882 Congress made another
and more effective effort to stamp out polygamy. Five years later it
even went so far as to authorize the confiscation of the property of the
Mormon Church in case the practice of plural marriages was not stopped.
Meanwhile the Gentile or non-Mormon population was steadily increasing
and the leaders in the Church became convinced that the battle
against the sentiment of the country was futile. At last in 1896 Utah
was admitted as a state under a constitution which forbade plural
marriages absolutely and forever. Horace Greeley, who visited Utah in
1859, had prophesied that the Pacific Railroad would work a revolution
in the land of Brigham Young. His prophecy had come true.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES IN 1912]

=Rounding out the Continent.=--Three more territories now remained out
of the Union. Oklahoma, long an Indian reservation, had been opened for
settlement to white men in 1889. The rush upon the fertile lands of this
region, the last in the history of America, was marked by all the frenzy
of the final, desperate chance. At a signal from a bugle an army of men
with families in wagons, men and women on horseback and on foot, burst
into the territory. During the first night a city of tents was raised at
Guthrie and Oklahoma City. In ten days wooden houses rose on the plains.
In a single year there were schools, churches, business blocks, and
newspapers. Within fifteen years there was a population of more than
half a million. To the west, Arizona with a population of about 125,000
and New Mexico with 200,000 inhabitants joined Oklahoma in asking for
statehood. Congress, then Republican, looked with reluctance upon the
addition of more Democratic states; but in 1907 it was literally
compelled by public sentiment and a sense of justice to admit Oklahoma.
In 1910 the House of Representatives went to the Democrats and within
two years Arizona and New Mexico were "under the roof." So the
continental domain was rounded out.


=The Last of the Frontier.=--When Horace Greeley made his trip west in
1859 he thus recorded the progress of civilization in his journal:

     "May 12th, Chicago.--Chocolate and morning journals last
     seen on the hotel breakfast table.

     23rd, Leavenworth (Kansas).--Room bells and bath tubs make
     their final appearance.

     26th, Manhattan.--Potatoes and eggs last recognized among
     the blessings that 'brighten as they take their flight.'

     27th, Junction City.--Last visitation of a boot-black, with
     dissolving views of a board bedroom. Beds bid us good-by."

[Illustration: _Copyright by Panama-California Exposition_


Within thirty years travelers were riding across that country in Pullman
cars and enjoying at the hotels all the comforts of a standardized
civilization. The "wild west" was gone, and with it that frontier of
pioneers and settlers who had long given such a bent and tone to
American life and had "poured in upon the floor of Congress" such a long
line of "backwoods politicians," as they were scornfully styled.

=Free Land and Eastern Labor.=--It was not only the picturesque features
of the frontier that were gone. Of far more consequence was the
disappearance of free lands with all that meant for American labor. For
more than a hundred years, any man of even moderate means had been able
to secure a homestead of his own and an independent livelihood. For a
hundred years America had been able to supply farms to as many
immigrants as cared to till the soil. Every new pair of strong arms
meant more farms and more wealth. Workmen in Eastern factories, mines,
or mills who did not like their hours, wages, or conditions of labor,
could readily find an outlet to the land. Now all that was over. By
about 1890 most of the desirable land available under the Homestead act
had disappeared. American industrial workers confronted a new situation.

=Grain Supplants King Cotton.=--In the meantime a revolution was taking
place in agriculture. Until 1860 the chief staples sold by America were
cotton and tobacco. With the advance of the frontier, corn and wheat
supplanted them both in agrarian economy. The West became the granary of
the East and of Western Europe. The scoop shovel once used to handle
grain was superseded by the towering elevator, loading and unloading
thousands of bushels every hour. The refrigerator car and ship made the
packing industry as stable as the production of cotton or corn, and gave
an immense impetus to cattle raising and sheep farming. So the meat of
the West took its place on the English dinner table by the side of bread
baked from Dakotan wheat.

=Aid in American Economic Independence.=--The effects of this economic
movement were manifold and striking. Billions of dollars' worth of
American grain, dairy produce, and meat were poured into European
markets where they paid off debts due money lenders and acquired
capital to develop American resources. Thus they accelerated the
progress of American financiers toward national independence. The
country, which had timidly turned to the Old World for capital in
Hamilton's day and had borrowed at high rates of interest in London in
Lincoln's day, moved swiftly toward the time when it would be among the
world's first bankers and money lenders itself. Every grain of wheat and
corn pulled the balance down on the American side of the scale.

=Eastern Agriculture Affected.=--In the East as well as abroad the
opening of the western granary produced momentous results. The
agricultural economy of that part of the country was changed in many
respects. Whole sections of the poorest land went almost out of
cultivation, the abandoned farms of the New England hills bearing solemn
witness to the competing power of western wheat fields. Sheep and cattle
raising, as well as wheat and corn production, suffered at least a
relative decline. Thousands of farmers cultivating land of the lower
grade were forced to go West or were driven to the margin of
subsistence. Even the herds that supplied Eastern cities with milk were
fed upon grain brought halfway across the continent.

=The Expansion of the American Market.=--Upon industry as well as
agriculture, the opening of vast food-producing regions told in a
thousand ways. The demand for farm machinery, clothing, boots, shoes,
and other manufactures gave to American industries such a market as even
Hamilton had never foreseen. Moreover it helped to expand far into the
Mississippi Valley the industrial area once confined to the Northern
seaboard states and to transform the region of the Great Lakes into an
industrial empire. Herein lies the explanation of the growth of
mid-western cities after 1865. Chicago, with its thirty-five railways,
tapped every locality of the West and South. To the railways were added
the water routes of the Lakes, thus creating a strategic center for
industries. Long foresight carried the McCormick reaper works to
Chicago before 1860. From Troy, New York, went a large stove plant. That
was followed by a shoe factory from Massachusetts. The packing industry
rose as a matter of course at a point so advantageous for cattle raisers
and shippers and so well connected with Eastern markets.

To the opening of the Far West also the Lake region was indebted for a
large part of that water-borne traffic which made it "the Mediterranean
basin of North America." The produce of the West and the manufactures of
the East poured through it in an endless stream. The swift growth of
shipbuilding on the Great Lakes helped to compensate for the decline of
the American marine on the high seas. In response to this stimulus
Detroit could boast that her shipwrights were able to turn out a ten
thousand ton Leviathan for ore or grain about "as quickly as carpenters
could put up an eight-room house." Thus in relation to the Far West the
old Northwest territory--the wilderness of Jefferson's time--had taken
the position formerly occupied by New England alone. It was supplying
capital and manufactures for a vast agricultural empire West and South.

=America on the Pacific.=--It has been said that the Mediterranean Sea
was the center of ancient civilization; that modern civilization has
developed on the shores of the Atlantic; and that the future belongs to
the Pacific. At any rate, the sweep of the United States to the shores
of the Pacific quickly exercised a powerful influence on world affairs
and it undoubtedly has a still greater significance for the future.

Very early regular traffic sprang up between the Pacific ports and the
Hawaiian Islands, China, and Japan. Two years before the adjustment of
the Oregon controversy with England, namely in 1844, the United States
had established official and trading relations with China. Ten years
later, four years after the admission of California to the union, the
barred door of Japan was forced open by Commodore Perry. The commerce
which had long before developed between the Pacific ports and Hawaii,
China, and Japan now flourished under official care. In 1865 a ship
from Honolulu carried sugar, molasses, and fruits from Hawaii to the
Oregon port of Astoria. The next year a vessel from Hongkong brought
rice, mats, and tea from China. An era of lucrative trade was opened.
The annexation of Hawaii in 1898, the addition of the Philippines at the
same time, and the participation of American troops in the suppression
of the Boxer rebellion in Peking in 1900, were but signs and symbols of
American power on the Pacific.

[Illustration: _From an old print_


=Conservation and the Land Problem.=--The disappearance of the frontier
also brought new and serious problems to the governments of the states
and the nation. The people of the whole United States suddenly were
forced to realize that there was a limit to the rich, new land to
exploit and to the forests and minerals awaiting the ax and the pick.
Then arose in America the questions which had long perplexed the
countries of the Old World--the scientific use of the soils and
conservation of natural resources. Hitherto the government had followed
the easy path of giving away arable land and selling forest and mineral
lands at low prices. Now it had to face far more difficult and complex
problems. It also had to consider questions of land tenure again,
especially if the ideal of a nation of home-owning farmers was to be
maintained. While there was plenty of land for every man or woman who
wanted a home on the soil, it made little difference if single landlords
or companies got possession of millions of acres, if a hundred men in
one western river valley owned 17,000,000 acres; but when the good land
for small homesteads was all gone, then was raised the real issue. At
the opening of the twentieth century the nation, which a hundred years
before had land and natural resources apparently without limit, was
compelled to enact law after law conserving its forests and minerals.
Then it was that the great state of California, on the very border of
the continent, felt constrained to enact a land settlement measure
providing government assistance in an effort to break up large holdings
into small lots and to make it easy for actual settlers to acquire small
farms. America was passing into a new epoch.


Henry Inman, _The Old Santa Fé Trail_.

R.I. Dodge, _The Plains of the Great West_ (1877).

C.H. Shinn, _The Story of the Mine_.

Cy Warman, _The Story of the Railroad_.

Emerson Hough, _The Story of the Cowboy_.

H.H. Bancroft is the author of many works on the West but his writings
will be found only in the larger libraries.

Joseph Schafer, _History of the Pacific Northwest_ (ed. 1918).

T.H. Hittel, _History of California_ (4 vols.).

W.H. Olin, _American Irrigation Farming_.

W.E. Smythe, _The Conquest of Arid America_.

H.A. Millis, _The American-Japanese Problem_.

E.S. Meany, _History of the State of Washington_.

H.K. Norton, _The Story of California_.


1. Name the states west of the Mississippi in 1865.

2. In what manner was the rest of the western region governed?

3. How far had settlement been carried?

4. What were the striking physical features of the West?

5. How was settlement promoted after 1865?

6. Why was admission to the union so eagerly sought?

7. Explain how politics became involved in the creation of new states.

8. Did the West rapidly become like the older sections of the country?

9. What economic peculiarities did it retain or develop?

10. How did the federal government aid in western agriculture?

11. How did the development of the West affect the East? The South?

12. What relation did the opening of the great grain areas of the West
bear to the growth of America's commercial and financial power?

13. State some of the new problems of the West.

14. Discuss the significance of American expansion to the Pacific Ocean.

=Research Topics=

=The Passing of the Wild West.=--Haworth, _The United States in Our Own
Times_, pp. 100-124.

=The Indian Question.=--Sparks, _National Development_ (American Nation
Series), pp. 265-281.

=The Chinese Question.=--Sparks, _National Development_, pp. 229-250;
Rhodes, _History of the United States_, Vol. VIII, pp. 180-196.

=The Railway Age.=--Schafer, _History of the Pacific Northwest_, pp.
230-245; E.V. Smalley, _The Northern Pacific Railroad_; Paxson, _The New
Nation_ (Riverside Series), pp. 20-26, especially the map on p. 23, and
pp. 142-148.

=Agriculture and Business.=--Schafer, _Pacific Northwest_, pp. 246-289.

=Ranching in the Northwest.=--Theodore Roosevelt, _Ranch Life_, and
_Autobiography_, pp. 103-143.

=The Conquest of the Desert.=--W.E. Smythe, _The Conquest of Arid

=Studies of Individual Western States.=--Consult any good encyclopedia.



For thirty years after the Civil War the leading political parties,
although they engaged in heated presidential campaigns, were not sharply
and clearly opposed on many matters of vital significance. During none
of that time was there a clash of opinion over specific issues such as
rent the country in 1800 when Jefferson rode a popular wave to victory,
or again in 1828 when Jackson's western hordes came sweeping into power.
The Democrats, who before 1860 definitely opposed protective tariffs,
federal banking, internal improvements, and heavy taxes, now spoke
cautiously on all these points. The Republicans, conscious of the fact
that they had been a minority of the voters in 1860 and warned by the
early loss of the House of Representatives in 1874, also moved with
considerable prudence among the perplexing problems of the day. Again
and again the votes in Congress showed that no clear line separated all
the Democrats from all the Republicans. There were Republicans who
favored tariff reductions and "cheap money." There were Democrats who
looked with partiality upon high protection or with indulgence upon the
contraction of the currency. Only on matters relating to the coercion of
the South was the division between the parties fairly definite; this
could be readily accounted for on practical as well as sentimental

After all, the vague criticisms and proposals that found their way into
the political platforms did but reflect the confusion of mind prevailing
in the country. The fact that, out of the eighteen years between 1875
and 1893, the Democrats held the House of Representatives for fourteen
years while the Republicans had every President but one showed that the
voters, like the politicians, were in a state of indecision. Hayes had a
Democratic House during his entire term and a Democratic Senate for two
years of the four. Cleveland was confronted by a belligerent Republican
majority in the Senate during his first administration; and at the same
time was supported by a Democratic majority in the House. Harrison was
sustained by continuous Republican successes in Senatorial elections;
but in the House he had the barest majority from 1889 to 1891 and lost
that altogether at the election held in the middle of his term. The
opinion of the country was evidently unsettled and fluctuating. It was
still distracted by memories of the dead past and uncertain as to the
trend of the future.


Nevertheless these years of muddled politics and nebulous issues proved
to be a period in which social forces were gathering for the great
campaign of 1896. Except for three new features--the railways, the
trusts, and the trade unions--the subjects of debate among the people
were the same as those that had engaged their attention since the
foundation of the republic: the currency, the national debt, banking,
the tariff, and taxation.

=Debtors and the Fall in Prices.=--For many reasons the currency
question occupied the center of interest. As of old, the farmers and
planters of the West and South were heavily in debt to the East for
borrowed money secured by farm mortgages; and they counted upon the sale
of cotton, corn, wheat, and hogs to meet interest and principal when
due. During the war, the Western farmers had been able to dispose of
their produce at high prices and thus discharge their debts with
comparative ease; but after the war prices declined. Wheat that sold at
two dollars a bushel in 1865 brought sixty-four cents twenty years
later. The meaning of this for the farmers in debt--and nearly
three-fourths of them were in that class--can be shown by a single
illustration. A thousand-dollar mortgage on a Western farm could be paid
off by five hundred bushels of wheat when prices were high; whereas it
took about fifteen hundred bushels to pay the same debt when wheat was
at the bottom of the scale. For the farmer, it must be remembered, wheat
was the measure of his labor, the product of his toil under the summer
sun; and in its price he found the test of his prosperity.

=Creditors and Falling Prices.=--To the bondholders or creditors, on the
other hand, falling prices were clear gain. If a fifty-dollar coupon on
a bond bought seventy or eighty bushels of wheat instead of twenty or
thirty, the advantage to the owner of the coupon was obvious. Moreover
the advantage seemed to him entirely just. Creditors had suffered heavy
losses when the Civil War carried prices skyward while the interest
rates on their old bonds remained stationary. For example, if a man had
a $1000 bond issued before 1860 and paying interest at five per cent, he
received fifty dollars a year from it. Before the war each dollar would
buy a bushel of wheat; in 1865 it would only buy half a bushel. When
prices--that is, the cost of living--began to go down, creditors
therefore generally regarded the change with satisfaction as a return to
normal conditions.

=The Cause of Falling Prices.=--The fall in prices was due, no doubt, to
many factors. Among them must be reckoned the discontinuance of
government buying for war purposes, labor-saving farm machinery,
immigration, and the opening of new wheat-growing regions. The currency,
too, was an element in the situation. Whatever the cause, the
discontented farmers believed that the way to raise prices was to issue
more money. They viewed it as a case of supply and demand. If there was
a small volume of currency in circulation, prices would be low; if there
was a large volume, prices would be high. Hence they looked with favor
upon all plans to increase the amount of money in circulation. First
they advocated more paper notes--greenbacks--and then they turned to
silver as the remedy. The creditors, on the other hand, naturally
approved the reduction of the volume of currency. They wished to see the
greenbacks withdrawn from circulation and gold--a metal more limited in
volume than silver--made the sole basis of the national monetary system.

=The Battle over the Greenbacks.=--The contest between these factions
began as early as 1866. In that year, Congress enacted a law authorizing
the Treasury to withdraw the greenbacks from circulation. The paper
money party set up a shrill cry of protest, and kept up the fight until,
in 1878, it forced Congress to provide for the continuous re-issue of
the legal tender notes as they came into the Treasury in payment of
taxes and other dues. Then could the friends of easy money rejoice:

    "Thou, Greenback, 'tis of thee
     Fair money of the free,
      Of thee we sing."

=Resumption of Specie Payment.=--There was, however, another side to
this victory. The opponents of the greenbacks, unable to stop the
circulation of paper, induced Congress to pass a law in 1875 providing
that on and after January 1, 1879, "the Secretary of the Treasury shall
redeem in coin the United States legal tender notes then outstanding on
their presentation at the office of the Assistant Treasurer of the
United States in the City of New York in sums of not less than fifty
dollars." "The way to resume," John Sherman had said, "is to resume."
When the hour for redemption arrived, the Treasury was prepared with a
large hoard of gold. "On the appointed day," wrote the assistant
secretary, "anxiety reigned in the office of the Treasury. Hour after
hour passed; no news from New York. Inquiry by wire showed that all was
quiet. At the close of the day this message came: '$135,000 of notes
presented for coin--$400,000 of gold for notes.' That was all.
Resumption was accomplished with no disturbance. By five o'clock the
news was all over the land, and the New York bankers were sipping their
tea in absolute safety."

=The Specie Problem--the Parity of Gold and Silver.=--Defeated in their
efforts to stop "the present suicidal and destructive policy of
contraction," the advocates of an abundant currency demanded an increase
in the volume of silver in circulation. This precipitated one of the
sharpest political battles in American history. The issue turned on
legal as well as economic points. The Constitution gave Congress the
power to coin money and it forbade the states to make anything but gold
and silver legal tender in the payment of debts. It evidently
contemplated the use of both metals in the currency system. Such, at
least, was the view of many eminent statesmen, including no less a
personage than James G. Blaine. The difficulty, however, lay in
maintaining gold and silver coins on a level which would permit them to
circulate with equal facility. Obviously, if the gold in a gold dollar
exceeds the value of the silver in a silver dollar on the open market,
men will hoard gold money and leave silver money in circulation. When,
for example, Congress in 1792 fixed the ratio of the two metals at one
to fifteen--one ounce of gold declared worth fifteen of silver--it was
soon found that gold had been undervalued. When again in 1834 the ratio
was put at one to sixteen, it was found that silver was undervalued.
Consequently the latter metal was not brought in for coinage and silver
almost dropped out of circulation. Many a silver dollar was melted down
by silverware factories.

=Silver Demonetized in 1873.=--So things stood in 1873. At that time,
Congress, in enacting a mintage law, discontinued the coinage of the
standard silver dollar, then practically out of circulation. This act
was denounced later by the friends of silver as "the crime of '73," a
conspiracy devised by the money power and secretly carried out. This
contention the debates in Congress do not seem to sustain. In the course
of the argument on the mint law it was distinctly said by one speaker at
least: "This bill provides for the making of changes in the legal tender
coin of the country and for substituting as legal tender, coin of only
one metal instead of two as heretofore."

=The Decline in the Value of Silver.=--Absorbed in the greenback
controversy, the people apparently did not appreciate, at the time, the
significance of the "demonetization" of silver; but within a few years
several events united in making it the center of a political storm.
Germany, having abandoned silver in 1871, steadily increased her demand
for gold. Three years later, the countries of the Latin Union followed
this example, thus helping to enhance the price of the yellow metal. All
the while, new silver lodes, discovered in the Far West, were pouring
into the market great streams of the white metal, bearing down the
price. Then came the resumption of specie payment, which, in effect,
placed the paper money on a gold basis. Within twenty years silver was
worth in gold only about half the price of 1870.

That there had been a real decline in silver was denied by the friends
of that metal. They alleged that gold had gone up because it had been
given a monopoly in the coinage markets of civilized governments. This
monopoly, they continued, was the fruit of a conspiracy against the
people conceived by the bankers of the world. Moreover, they went on,
the placing of the greenbacks on a gold basis had itself worked a
contraction of the currency; it lowered the prices of labor and produce
to the advantage of the holders of long-term investments bearing a fixed
rate of interest. When wheat sold at sixty-four cents a bushel, their
search for relief became desperate, and they at last concentrated their
efforts on opening the mints of the government for the free coinage of
silver at the ratio of sixteen to one.

=Republicans and Democrats Divided.=--On this question both Republicans
and Democrats were divided, the line being drawn between the East on the
one hand and the South and West on the other, rather than between the
two leading parties. So trusted a leader as James G. Blaine avowed, in a
speech delivered in the Senate in 1878, that, as the Constitution
required Congress to make both gold and silver the money of the land,
the only question left was that of fixing the ratio between them. He
affirmed, moreover, the main contention of the silver faction that a
reopening of the government mints of the world to silver would bring it
up to its old relation with gold. He admitted also that their most
ominous warnings were well founded, saying: "I believe the struggle now
going on in this country and in other countries for a single gold
standard would, if successful, produce widespread disaster throughout
the commercial world. The destruction of silver as money and the
establishment of gold as the sole unit of value must have a ruinous
effect on all forms of property, except those investments which yield a
fixed return."

This was exactly the concession that the silver party wanted.
"Three-fourths of the business enterprises of this country are conducted
on borrowed capital," said Senator Jones, of Nevada. "Three-fourths of
the homes and farms that stand in the names of the actual occupants have
been bought on time and a very large proportion of them are mortgaged
for the payment of some part of the purchase money. Under the operation
of a shrinkage in the volume of money, this enormous mass of borrowers,
at the maturity of their respective debts, though nominally paying no
more than the amount borrowed, with interest, are in reality, in the
amount of the principal alone, returning a percentage of value greater
than they received--more in equity than they contracted to pay.... In
all discussions of the subject the creditors attempt to brush aside the
equities involved by sneering at the debtors."

=The Silver Purchase Act (1878).=--Even before the actual resumption of
specie payment, the advocates of free silver were a power to be reckoned
with, particularly in the Democratic party. They had a majority in the
House of Representatives in 1878 and they carried a silver bill through
that chamber. Blocked by the Republican Senate they accepted a
compromise in the Bland-Allison bill, which provided for huge monthly
purchases of silver by the government for coinage into dollars. So
strong was the sentiment that a two-thirds majority was mustered after
President Hayes vetoed the measure.

The effect of this act, as some had anticipated, was disappointing. It
did not stay silver on its downward course. Thereupon the silver faction
pressed through Congress in 1886 a bill providing for the issue of paper
certificates based on the silver accumulated in the Treasury. Still
silver continued to fall. Then the advocates of inflation declared that
they would be content with nothing short of free coinage at the ratio of
sixteen to one. If the issue had been squarely presented in 1890, there
is good reason for believing that free silver would have received a
majority in both houses of Congress; but it was not presented.

=The Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the Bond Sales.=--Republican
leaders, particularly from the East, stemmed the silver tide by a
diversion of forces. They passed the Sherman Act of 1890 providing for
large monthly purchases of silver and for the issue of notes redeemable
in gold or silver at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury. In
a clause of superb ambiguity they announced that it was "the established
policy of the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity with
each other upon the present legal ratio or such other ratio as may be
provided by law." For a while silver was buoyed up. Then it turned once
more on its downward course. In the meantime the Treasury was in a sad
plight. To maintain the gold reserve, President Cleveland felt compelled
to sell government bonds; and to his dismay he found that as soon as the
gold was brought in at the front door of the Treasury, notes were
presented for redemption and the gold was quickly carried out at the
back door. Alarmed at the vicious circle thus created, he urged upon
Congress the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. For this he was
roundly condemned by many of his own followers who branded his conduct
as "treason to the party"; but the Republicans, especially from the
East, came to his rescue and in 1893 swept the troublesome sections of
the law from the statute book. The anger of the silver faction knew no
bounds, and the leaders made ready for the approaching presidential


=Fluctuation in Tariff Policy.=--As each of the old parties was divided
on the currency question, it is not surprising that there was some
confusion in their ranks over the tariff. Like the silver issue, the
tariff tended to align the manufacturing East against the agricultural
West and South rather than to cut directly between the two parties.
Still the Republicans on the whole stood firmly by the rates imposed
during the Civil War. If we except the reductions of 1872 which were
soon offset by increases, we may say that those rates were substantially
unchanged for nearly twenty years. When a revision was brought about,
however, it was initiated by Republican leaders. Seeing a huge surplus
of revenue in the Treasury in 1883, they anticipated popular clamor by
revising the tariff on the theory that it ought to be reformed by its
friends rather than by its enemies. On the other hand, it was the
Republicans also who enacted the McKinley tariff bill of 1890, which
carried protection to its highest point up to that time.

The Democrats on their part were not all confirmed free traders or even
advocates of tariff for revenue only. In Cleveland's first
administration they did attack the protective system in the House, where
they had a majority, and in this they were vigorously supported by the
President. The assault, however, proved to be a futile gesture for it
was blocked by the Republicans in the Senate. When, after the sweeping
victory of 1892, the Democrats in the House again attempted to bring
down the tariff by the Wilson bill of 1894, they were checkmated by
their own party colleagues in the upper chamber. In the end they were
driven into a compromise that looked more like a McKinley than a Calhoun
tariff. The Republicans taunted them with being "babes in the woods."
President Cleveland was so dissatisfied with the bill that he refused to
sign it, allowing it to become a law, on the lapse of ten days, without
his approval.

=The Income Tax of 1894.=--The advocates of tariff reduction usually
associated with their proposal a tax on incomes. The argument which
they advanced in support of their program was simple. Most of the
industries, they said, are in the East and the protective tariff which
taxes consumers for the benefit of manufacturers is, in effect, a
tribute laid upon the rest of the country. As an offset they offered a
tax on large incomes; this owing to the heavy concentration of rich
people in the East, would fall mainly upon the beneficiaries of
protection. "We propose," said one of them, "to place a part of the
burden upon the accumulated wealth of the country instead of placing it
all upon the consumption of the people." In this spirit the sponsors of
the Wilson tariff bill laid a tax upon all incomes of $4000 a year or

In taking this step, the Democrats encountered opposition in their own
party. Senator Hill, of New York, turned fiercely upon them, exclaiming:
"The professors with their books, the socialists with their schemes, the
anarchists with their bombs are all instructing the people in the ...
principles of taxation." Even the Eastern Republicans were hardly as
savage in their denunciation of the tax. But all this labor was wasted.
The next year the Supreme Court of the United States declared the income
tax to be a direct tax, and therefore null and void because it was laid
on incomes wherever found and not apportioned among the states according
to population. The fact that four of the nine judges dissented from this
decision was also an index to the diversity of opinion that divided both


=The Grangers and State Regulation.=--The same uncertainty about the
railways and trusts pervaded the ranks of the Republicans and Democrats.
As to the railways, the first firm and consistent demand for their
regulation came from the West. There the farmers, in the early
seventies, having got control in state legislatures, particularly in
Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois, enacted drastic laws prescribing the
maximum charges which companies could make for carrying freight and
passengers. The application of these measures, however, was limited
because the state could not fix the rates for transporting goods and
passengers beyond its own borders. The power of regulating interstate
commerce, under the Constitution, belonged to Congress.

=The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887.=--Within a few years, the movement
which had been so effective in western legislatures appeared at
Washington in the form of demands for the federal regulation of
interstate rates. In 1887, the pressure became so strong that Congress
created the interstate commerce commission and forbade many abuses on
the part of railways; such as discriminating in charges between one
shipper and another and granting secret rebates to favored persons. This
law was a significant beginning; but it left the main question of
rate-fixing untouched, much to the discontent of farmers and shippers.

=The Sherman Anti-Trust Law of 1890.=--As in the case of the railways,
attacks upon the trusts were first made in state legislatures, where it
became the fashion to provide severe penalties for those who formed
monopolies and "conspired to enhance prices." Republicans and Democrats
united in the promotion of measures of this kind. As in the case of the
railways also, the movement to curb the trusts soon had spokesmen at
Washington. Though Blaine had declared that "trusts were largely a
private affair with which neither the President nor any private citizen
had any particular right to interfere," it was a Republican Congress
that enacted in 1890 the first measure--the Sherman Anti-Trust
Law--directed against great combinations in business. This act declared
illegal "every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise,
or conspiracy in restraint of trade and commerce among the several
states or with foreign nations."

=The Futility of the Anti-Trust Law.=--Whether the Sherman law was
directed against all combinations or merely those which placed an
"unreasonable restraint" on trade and competition was not apparent.
Senator Platt of Connecticut, a careful statesman of the old school,
averred: "The questions of whether the bill would be operative, of how
it would operate, or whether it was within the power of Congress to
enact it, have been whistled down the wind in this Senate as idle talk
and the whole effort has been to get some bill headed: 'A bill to punish
trusts,' with which to go to the country." Whatever its purpose, its
effect upon existing trusts and upon the formation of new combinations
was negligible. It was practically unenforced by President Harrison and
President Cleveland, in spite of the constant demand for harsh action
against "monopolies." It was patent that neither the Republicans nor the
Democrats were prepared for a war on the trusts to the bitter end.


=The Demands of Dissenting Parties.=--From the election of 1872, when
Horace Greeley made his ill-fated excursion into politics, onward, there
appeared in each presidential campaign one, and sometimes two or more
parties, stressing issues that appealed mainly to wage-earners and
farmers. Whether they chose to call themselves Labor Reformers,
Greenbackers, or Anti-monopolists, their slogans and their platforms all
pointed in one direction. Even the Prohibitionists, who in 1872 started
on their career with a single issue, the abolition of the liquor
traffic, found themselves making declarations of faith on other matters
and hopelessly split over the money question in 1896.

A composite view of the platforms put forth by the dissenting parties
from the administration of Grant to the close of Cleveland's second term
reveals certain notions common to them all. These included among many
others: the earliest possible payment of the national debt; regulation
of the rates of railways and telegraph companies; repeal of the specie
resumption act of 1875; the issue of legal tender notes by the
government convertible into interest-bearing obligations on demand;
unlimited coinage of silver as well as gold; a graduated inheritance
tax; legislation to take from "land, railroad, money, and other gigantic
corporate monopolies ... the powers they have so corruptly and unjustly
usurped"; popular or direct election of United States Senators; woman
suffrage; and a graduated income tax, "placing the burden of government
on those who can best afford to pay instead of laying it on the farmers
and producers."

=Criticism of the Old Parties.=--To this long program of measures the
reformers added harsh and acrid criticism of the old parties and
sometimes, it must be said, of established institutions of government.
"We denounce," exclaimed the Labor party in 1888, "the Democratic and
Republican parties as hopelessly and shamelessly corrupt and by reason
of their affiliation with monopolies equally unworthy of the suffrages
of those who do not live upon public plunder." "The United States
Senate," insisted the Greenbackers, "is a body composed largely of
aristocratic millionaires who according to their own party papers
generally purchased their elections in order to protect the great
monopolies which they represent." Indeed, if their platforms are to be
accepted at face value, the Greenbackers believed that the entire
government had passed out of the hands of the people.

=The Grangers.=--This unsparing, not to say revolutionary, criticism of
American political life, appealed, it seems, mainly to farmers in the
Middle West. Always active in politics, they had, before the Civil War,
cast their lot as a rule with one or the other of the leading parties.
In 1867, however, there grew up among them an association known as the
"Patrons of Husbandry," which was destined to play a large rôle in the
partisan contests of the succeeding decades. This society, which
organized local lodges or "granges" on principles of secrecy and
fraternity, was originally designed to promote in a general way the
interests of the farmers. Its political bearings were apparently not
grasped at first by its promoters. Yet, appealing as it did to the most
active and independent spirits among the farmers and gathering to itself
the strength that always comes from organization, it soon found itself
in the hands of leaders more or less involved in politics. Where a few
votes are marshaled together in a democracy, there is power.

=The Greenback Party.=--The first extensive activity of the Grangers was
connected with the attack on the railways in the Middle West which
forced several state legislatures to reduce freight and passenger rates
by law. At the same time, some leaders in the movement, no doubt
emboldened by this success, launched in 1876 a new political party,
popularly known as the Greenbackers, favoring a continued re-issue of
the legal tenders. The beginnings were disappointing; but two years
later, in the congressional elections, the Greenbackers swept whole
sections of the country. Their candidates polled more than a million
votes and fourteen of them were returned to the House of
Representatives. To all outward signs a new and formidable party had
entered the lists.

The sanguine hopes of the leaders proved to be illusory. The quiet
operations of the resumption act the following year, a revival of
industry from a severe panic which had set in during 1873, the Silver
Purchase Act, and the re-issue of Greenbacks cut away some of the
grounds of agitation. There was also a diversion of forces to the silver
faction which had a substantial support in the silver mine owners of the
West. At all events the Greenback vote fell to about 300,000 in the
election of 1880. A still greater drop came four years later and the
party gave up the ghost, its sponsors returning to their former
allegiance or sulking in their tents.

=The Rise of the Populist Party.=--Those leaders of the old parties who
now looked for a happy future unvexed by new factions were doomed to
disappointment. The funeral of the Greenback party was hardly over
before there arose two other political specters in the agrarian
sections: the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union,
particularly strong in the South and West; and the Farmers' Alliance,
operating in the North. By 1890 the two orders claimed over three
million members. As in the case of the Grangers many years before, the
leaders among them found an easy way into politics. In 1892 they held a
convention, nominated a candidate for President, and adopted the name of
"People's Party," from which they were known as Populists. Their
platform, in every line, breathed a spirit of radicalism. They declared
that "the newspapers are largely subsidized or muzzled; public opinion
silenced; business prostrate; our homes covered with mortgages; and the
land concentrating in the hands of capitalists.... The fruits of the
toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a
few." Having delivered this sweeping indictment, the Populists put
forward their remedies: the free coinage of silver, a graduated income
tax, postal savings banks, and government ownership of railways and
telegraphs. At the same time they approved the initiative, referendum,
and popular election of Senators, and condemned the use of federal
troops in labor disputes. On this platform, the Populists polled over a
million votes, captured twenty-two presidential electors, and sent a
powerful delegation to Congress.

=Industrial Distress Augments Unrest.=--The four years intervening
between the campaign of 1892 and the next presidential election brought
forth many events which aggravated the ill-feeling expressed in the
portentous platform of Populism. Cleveland, a consistent enemy of free
silver, gave his powerful support to the gold standard and insisted on
the repeal of the Silver Purchase Act, thus alienating an increasing
number of his own party. In 1893 a grave industrial crisis fell upon the
land: banks and business houses went into bankruptcy with startling
rapidity; factories were closed; idle men thronged the streets hunting
for work; and the prices of wheat and corn dropped to a ruinous level.
Labor disputes also filled the crowded record. A strike at the Pullman
car works in Chicago spread to the railways. Disorders ensued. President
Cleveland, against the protests of the governor of Illinois, John P.
Altgeld, dispatched troops to the scene of action. The United States
district court at Chicago issued an injunction forbidding the president
of the Railway Union, Eugene V. Debs, or his assistants to interfere
with the transmission of the mails or interstate commerce in any form.
For refusing to obey the order, Debs was arrested and imprisoned. With
federal troops in possession of the field, with their leader in jail,
the strikers gave up the battle, defeated but not subdued. To cap the
climax the Supreme Court of the United States, the following year (1895)
declared null and void the income tax law just enacted by Congress, thus
fanning the flames of Populist discontent all over the West and South.


=Conservative Men Alarmed.=--Men of conservative thought and leaning in
both parties were by this time thoroughly disturbed. They looked upon
the rise of Populism and the growth of labor disputes as the signs of a
revolutionary spirit, indeed nothing short of a menace to American
institutions and ideals. The income tax law of 1894, exclaimed the
distinguished New York advocate, Joseph H. Choate, in an impassioned
speech before the Supreme Court, "is communistic in its purposes and
tendencies and is defended here upon principles as communistic,
socialistic--what shall I call them--populistic as ever have been
addressed to any political assembly in the world." Mr. Justice Field in
the name of the Court replied: "The present assault upon capital is but
the beginning. It will be but the stepping stone to others larger and
more sweeping till our political conditions will become a war of the
poor against the rich." In declaring the income tax unconstitutional, he
believed that he was but averting greater evils lurking under its guise.
As for free silver, nearly all conservative men were united in calling
it a measure of confiscation and repudiation; an effort of the debtors
to pay their obligations with money worth fifty cents on the dollar; the
climax of villainies openly defended; a challenge to law, order, and

=The Republicans Come Out for the Gold Standard.=--It was among the
Republicans that this opinion was most widely shared and firmly held. It
was they who picked up the gauge thrown down by the Populists, though a
host of Democrats, like Cleveland and Hill of New York, also battled
against the growing Populist defection in Democratic ranks. When the
Republican national convention assembled in 1896, the die was soon
cast; a declaration of opposition to free silver save by international
agreement was carried by a vote of eight to one. The Republican party,
to use the vigorous language of Mr. Lodge, arrayed itself against "not
only that organized failure, the Democratic party, but all the wandering
forces of political chaos and social disorder ... in these bitter times
when the forces of disorder are loose and the wreckers with their false
lights gather at the shore to lure the ship of state upon the rocks."
Yet it is due to historic truth to state that McKinley, whom the
Republicans nominated, had voted in Congress for the free coinage of
silver, was widely known as a bimetallist, and was only with difficulty
persuaded to accept the unequivocal indorsement of the gold standard
which was pressed upon him by his counselors. Having accepted it,
however, he proved to be a valiant champion, though his major interest
was undoubtedly in the protective tariff. To him nothing was more
reprehensible than attempts "to array class against class, 'the classes
against the masses,' section against section, labor against capital,
'the poor against the rich,' or interest against interest." Such was the
language of his acceptance speech. The whole program of Populism he now
viewed as a "sudden, dangerous, and revolutionary assault upon law and

=The Democratic Convention at Chicago.=--Never, save at the great
disruption on the eve of the Civil War, did a Democratic national
convention display more feeling than at Chicago in 1896. From the
opening prayer to the last motion before the house, every act, every
speech, every scene, every resolution evoked passions and sowed
dissensions. Departing from long party custom, it voted down in anger a
proposal to praise the administration of the Democratic President,
Cleveland. When the platform with its radical planks, including free
silver, was reported, a veritable storm broke. Senator Hill, trembling
with emotion, protested against the departure from old tests of
Democratic allegiance; against principles that must drive out of the
party men who had grown gray in its service; against revolutionary,
unwise, and unprecedented steps in the history of the party. Senator
Vilas of Wisconsin, in great fervor, avowed that there was no difference
in principle between the free coinage of silver--"the confiscation of
one-half of the credits of the nation for the benefit of debtors"--and
communism itself--"a universal distribution of property." In the triumph
of that cause he saw the beginning of "the overthrow of all law, all
justice, all security and repose in the social order."

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=The Crown of Thorns Speech.=--The champions of free silver replied in
strident tones. They accused the gold advocates of being the aggressors
who had assailed the labor and the homes of the people. William Jennings
Bryan, of Nebraska, voiced their sentiments in a memorable oration. He
declared that their cause "was as holy as the cause of liberty--the
cause of humanity." He exclaimed that the contest was between the idle
holders of idle capital and the toiling millions. Then he named those
for whom he spoke--the wage-earner, the country lawyer, the small
merchant, the farmer, and the miner. "The man who is employed for wages
is as much a business man as his employer. The attorney in a country
town is as much a business man as the corporation counsel in a great
metropolis. The merchant at the cross roads store is as much a business
man as the merchant of New York. The farmer ... is as much a business
man as the man who goes upon the board of trade and bets upon the price
of grain. The miners who go a thousand feet into the earth or climb two
thousand feet upon the cliffs ... are as much business men as the few
financial magnates who in a back room corner the money of the world....
It is for these that we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Ours is not
a war of conquest. We are fighting in defense of our homes, our
families, and our posterity. We have petitioned and our petitions have
been scorned. We have entreated and our entreaties have been
disregarded. We have begged and they have mocked when our calamity came.
We beg no longer; we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy
them.... We shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to
them, 'You shall not press upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns.
You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.'"

=Bryan Nominated.=--In all the history of national conventions never had
an orator so completely swayed a multitude; not even Yancey in his
memorable plea in the Charleston convention of 1860 when, with grave and
moving eloquence, he espoused the Southern cause against the impending
fates. The delegates, after cheering Mr. Bryan until they could cheer no
more, tore the standards from the floor and gathered around the Nebraska
delegation to renew the deafening applause. The platform as reported was
carried by a vote of two to one and the young orator from the West,
hailed as America's Tiberius Gracchus, was nominated as the Democratic
candidate for President. The South and West had triumphed over the East.
The division was sectional, admittedly sectional--the old combination of
power which Calhoun had so anxiously labored to build up a century
earlier. The Gold Democrats were repudiated in terms which were clear to
all. A few, unable to endure the thought of voting the Republican
ticket, held a convention at Indianapolis where, with the sanction of
Cleveland, they nominated candidates of their own and endorsed the gold
standard in a forlorn hope.

=The Democratic Platform.=--It was to the call from Chicago that the
Democrats gave heed and the Republicans made answer. The platform on
which Mr. Bryan stood, unlike most party manifestoes, was explicit in
its language and its appeal. It denounced the practice of allowing
national banks to issue notes intended to circulate as money on the
ground that it was "in derogation of the Constitution," recalling
Jackson's famous attack on the Bank in 1832. It declared that tariff
duties should be laid "for the purpose of revenue"--Calhoun's doctrine.
In demanding the free coinage of silver, it recurred to the practice
abandoned in 1873. The income tax came next on the program. The platform
alleged that the law of 1894, passed by a Democratic Congress, was "in
strict pursuance of the uniform decisions of the Supreme Court for
nearly a hundred years," and then hinted that the decision annulling the
law might be reversed by the same body "as it may hereafter be

The appeal to labor voiced by Mr. Bryan in his "crown of thorns" speech
was reinforced in the platform. "As labor creates the wealth of the
country," ran one plank, "we demand the passage of such laws as may be
necessary to protect it in all its rights." Referring to the recent
Pullman strike, the passions of which had not yet died away, the
platform denounced "arbitrary interference by federal authorities in
local affairs as a violation of the Constitution of the United States
and a crime against free institutions." A special objection was lodged
against "government by injunction as a new and highly dangerous form of
oppression by which federal judges, in contempt of the laws of states
and rights of citizens, become at once legislators, judges, and
executioners." The remedy advanced was a federal law assuring trial by
jury in all cases of contempt in labor disputes. Having made this
declaration of faith, the Democrats, with Mr. Bryan at the head, raised
their standard of battle.

=The Heated Campaign.=--The campaign which ensued outrivaled in the
range of its educational activities and the bitterness of its tone all
other political conflicts in American history, not excepting the fateful
struggle of 1860. Immense sums of money were contributed to the funds of
both parties. Railway, banking, and other corporations gave generously
to the Republicans; the silver miners, less lavishly but with the same
anxiety, supported the Democrats. The country was flooded with
pamphlets, posters, and handbills. Every public forum, from the great
auditoriums of the cities to the "red schoolhouses" on the countryside,
was occupied by the opposing forces.

Mr. Bryan took the stump himself, visiting all parts of the country in
special trains and addressing literally millions of people in the open
air. Mr. McKinley chose the older and more formal plan. He received
delegations at his home in Canton and discussed the issues of the
campaign from his front porch, leaving to an army of well-organized
orators the task of reaching the people in their home towns. Parades,
processions, and monster demonstrations filled the land with politics.
Whole states were polled in advance by the Republicans and the doubtful
voters personally visited by men equipped with arguments and literature.
Manufacturers, frightened at the possibility of disordered public
credit, announced that they would close their doors if the Democrats won
the election. Men were dismissed from public and private places on
account of their political views, one eminent college president being
forced out for advocating free silver. The language employed by
impassioned and embittered speakers on both sides roused the public to a
state of frenzy, once more showing the lengths to which men could go in
personal and political abuse.

=The Republican Victory.=--The verdict of the nation was decisive.
McKinley received 271 of the 447 electoral votes, and 7,111,000 popular
votes as against Bryan's 6,509,000. The congressional elections were
equally positive although, on account of the composition of the Senate,
the "hold-over" Democrats and Populists still enjoyed a power out of
proportion to their strength as measured at the polls. Even as it was,
the Republicans got full control of both houses--a dominion of the
entire government which they were to hold for fourteen years--until the
second half of Mr. Taft's administration, when they lost possession of
the House of Representatives. The yoke of indecision was broken. The
party of sound finance and protective tariffs set out upon its lease of
power with untroubled assurance.


=The Gold Standard and the Tariff.=--Yet strange as it may seem, the
Republicans did not at once enact legislation making the gold dollar the
standard for the national currency. Not until 1900 did they take that
positive step. In his first inaugural President McKinley, as if still
uncertain in his own mind or fearing a revival of the contest just
closed, placed the tariff, not the money question, in the forefront.
"The people have decided," he said, "that such legislation should be had
as will give ample protection and encouragement to the industries and
development of our country." Protection for American industries,
therefore, he urged, is the task before Congress. "With adequate revenue
secured, but not until then, we can enter upon changes in our fiscal
laws." As the Republicans had only forty-six of the ninety Senators, and
at least four of them were known advocates of free silver, the
discretion exercised by the President in selecting the tariff for
congressional debate was the better part of valor.

Congress gave heed to the warning. Under the direction of Nelson P.
Dingley, whose name was given to the bill, a tariff measure levying the
highest rates yet laid in the history of American imposts was prepared
and driven through the House of Representatives. The opposition
encountered in the Senate, especially from the West, was overcome by
concessions in favor of that section; but the duties on sugar, tin,
steel, lumber, hemp, and in fact all of the essential commodities
handled by combinations and trusts, were materially raised.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=Growth of Combinations.=--The years that followed the enactment of the
Dingley law were, whatever the cause, the most prosperous the country
had witnessed for many a decade. Industries of every kind were soon
running full blast; labor was employed; commerce spread more swiftly
than ever to the markets of the world. Coincident with this progress was
the organization of the greatest combinations and trusts the world had
yet seen. In 1899 the smelters formed a trust with a capital of
$65,000,000; in the same year the Standard Oil Company with a capital of
over one hundred millions took the place of the old trust; and the
Copper Trust was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey, its par
value capital being fixed shortly afterward at $175,000,000. A year
later the National Sugar Refining Company, of New Jersey, started with a
capital of $90,000,000, adopting the policy of issuing to the
stockholders no public statement of its earnings or financial condition.
Before another twelvemonth had elapsed all previous corporate financing
was reduced to small proportions by the flotation of the United States
Steel Corporation with a capital of more than a billion dollars, an
enterprise set in motion by the famous Morgan banking house of New York.

In nearly all these gigantic undertakings, the same great leaders in
finance were more or less intimately associated. To use the language of
an eminent authority: "They are all allied and intertwined by their
various mutual interests. For instance, the Pennsylvania Railroad
interests are on the one hand allied with the Vanderbilts and on the
other with the Rockefellers. The Vanderbilts are closely allied with the
Morgan group.... Viewed as a whole we find the dominating influences in
the trusts to be made up of a network of large and small capitalists,
many allied to one another by ties of more or less importance, but all
being appendages to or parts of the greater groups which are themselves
dependent on and allied with the two mammoth or Rockefeller and Morgan
groups. These two mammoth groups jointly ... constitute the heart of the
business and commercial life of the nation." Such was the picture of
triumphant business enterprise drawn by a financier within a few years
after the memorable campaign of 1896.

America had become one of the first workshops of the world. It was, by
virtue of the closely knit organization of its business and finance, one
of the most powerful and energetic leaders in the struggle of the giants
for the business of the earth. The capital of the Steel Corporation
alone was more than ten times the total national debt which the apostles
of calamity in the days of Washington and Hamilton declared the nation
could never pay. American industry, filling domestic markets to
overflowing, was ready for new worlds to conquer.


F.W. Taussig, _Tariff History of the United States_.

J.L. Laughlin, _Bimetallism in the United States_.

A.B. Hepburn, _History of Coinage and Currency in the United States_.

E.R.A. Seligman, _The Income Tax_.

S.J. Buck, _The Granger Movement_ (Harvard Studies).

F.H. Dixon, _State Railroad Control_.

H.R. Meyer, _Government Regulation of Railway Rates_.

W.Z. Ripley (editor), _Trusts, Pools, and Corporations_.

R.T. Ely, _Monopolies and Trusts_.

J.B. Clark, _The Control of Trusts_.


1. What proof have we that the political parties were not clearly
divided over issues between 1865 and 1896?

2. Why is a fall in prices a loss to farmers and a gain to holders of
fixed investments?

3. Explain the theory that the quantity of money determines the prices
of commodities.

4. Why was it difficult, if not impossible, to keep gold and silver at a

5. What special conditions favored a fall in silver between 1870 and

6. Describe some of the measures taken to raise the value of silver.

7. Explain the relation between the tariff and the income tax in 1894.

8. How did it happen that the farmers led in regulating railway rates?

9. Give the terms of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. What was its immediate

10. Name some of the minor parties. Enumerate the reforms they

11. Describe briefly the experiments of the farmers in politics.

12. How did industrial conditions increase unrest?

13. Why were conservative men disturbed in the early nineties?

14. Explain the Republican position in 1896.

15. Give Mr. Bryan's doctrines in 1896. Enumerate the chief features of
the Democratic platform.

16. What were the leading measures adopted by the Republicans after
their victory in 1896?

=Research Topics=

=Greenbacks and Resumption.=--Dewey, _Financial History of the United
States_ (6th ed.), Sections 122-125, 154, and 378; MacDonald,
_Documentary Source Book of American History_, pp. 446, 566; Hart,
_American History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 531-533; Rhodes,
_History of the United States_, Vol. VIII, pp. 97-101.

=Demonetization and Coinage of Silver.=--Dewey, _Financial History_,
Sections 170-173, 186, 189, 194; MacDonald, _Documentary Source Book_,
pp. 174, 573, 593, 595; Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 529-531;
Rhodes, _History_, Vol. VIII, pp. 93-97.

=Free Silver and the Campaign of 1896.=--Dewey, _National Problems_
(American Nation Series), pp. 220-237, 314-328; Hart, _Contemporaries_,
Vol. IV, pp. 533-538.

=Tariff Revision.=--Dewey, _Financial History_, Sections 167, 180, 181,
187, 192, 196; Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 518-525; Rhodes,
_History_, Vol. VIII, pp. 168-179, 346-351, 418-422.

=Federal Regulation of Railways.=--Dewey, _National Problems_, pp.
91-111; MacDonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp. 581-590; Hart,
_Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 521-523; Rhodes, _History_, Vol. VIII,
pp. 288-292.

=The Rise and Regulation of Trusts.=--Dewey, _National Problems_, pp.
188-202; MacDonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp. 591-593.

=The Grangers and Populism.=--Paxson, _The New Nation_ (Riverside
Series), pp. 20-37, 177-191, 208-223.

=General Analysis of Domestic Problems.=--_Syllabus in History_ (New
York State, 1920), pp. 137-142.



It has now become a fashion, sanctioned by wide usage and by eminent
historians, to speak of America, triumphant over Spain and possessed of
new colonies, as entering the twentieth century in the rôle of "a world
power," for the first time. Perhaps at this late day, it is useless to
protest against the currency of the idea. Nevertheless, the truth is
that from the fateful moment in March, 1775, when Edmund Burke unfolded
to his colleagues in the British Parliament the resources of an
invincible America, down to the settlement at Versailles in 1919 closing
the drama of the World War, this nation has been a world power,
influencing by its example, by its institutions, by its wealth, trade,
and arms the course of international affairs. And it should be said also
that neither in the field of commercial enterprise nor in that of
diplomacy has it been wanting in spirit or ingenuity.

When John Hay, Secretary of State, heard that an American citizen,
Perdicaris, had been seized by Raisuli, a Moroccan bandit, in 1904, he
wired his brusque message: "We want Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead."
This was but an echo of Commodore Decatur's equally characteristic
answer, "Not a minute," given nearly a hundred years before to the
pirates of Algiers begging for time to consider whether they would cease
preying upon American merchantmen. Was it not as early as 1844 that the
American commissioner, Caleb Cushing, taking advantage of the British
Opium War on China, negotiated with the Celestial Empire a successful
commercial treaty? Did he not then exultantly exclaim: "The laws of the
Union follow its citizens and its banner protects them even within the
domain of the Chinese Empire"? Was it not almost half a century before
the battle of Manila Bay in 1898, that Commodore Perry with an adequate
naval force "gently coerced Japan into friendship with us," leading all
the nations of the earth in the opening of that empire to the trade of
the Occident? Nor is it inappropriate in this connection to recall the
fact that the Monroe Doctrine celebrates in 1923 its hundredth


=French Intrigues in Mexico Blocked.=--Between the war for the union and
the war with Spain, the Department of State had many an occasion to
present the rights of America among the powers of the world. Only a
little while after the civil conflict came to a close, it was called
upon to deal with a dangerous situation created in Mexico by the
ambitions of Napoleon III. During the administration of Buchanan, Mexico
had fallen into disorder through the strife of the Liberal and the
Clerical parties; the President asked for authority to use American
troops to bring to a peaceful haven "a wreck upon the ocean, drifting
about as she is impelled by different factions." Our own domestic crisis
then intervened.

Observing the United States heavily involved in its own problems, the
great powers, England, France, and Spain, decided in the autumn of 1861
to take a hand themselves in restoring order in Mexico. They entered
into an agreement to enforce the claims of their citizens against Mexico
and to protect their subjects residing in that republic. They invited
the United States to join them, and, on meeting a polite refusal, they
prepared for a combined military and naval demonstration on their own
account. In the midst of this action England and Spain, discovering the
sinister purposes of Napoleon, withdrew their troops and left the field
to him.

The French Emperor, it was well known, looked with jealousy upon the
growth of the United States and dreamed of establishing in the Western
hemisphere an imperial power to offset the American republic.
Intervention to collect debts was only a cloak for his deeper designs.
Throwing off that guise in due time, he made the Archduke Maximilian, a
brother of the ruler of Austria, emperor in Mexico, and surrounded his
throne by French soldiers, in spite of all protests.

This insolent attack upon the Mexican republic, deeply resented in the
United States, was allowed to drift in its course until 1865. At that
juncture General Sheridan was dispatched to the Mexican border with a
large armed force; General Grant urged the use of the American army to
expel the French from this continent. The Secretary of State, Seward,
counseled negotiation first, and, applying the Monroe Doctrine, was able
to prevail upon Napoleon III to withdraw his troops. Without the support
of French arms, the sham empire in Mexico collapsed like a house of
cards and the unhappy Maximilian, the victim of French ambition and
intrigue, met his death at the hands of a Mexican firing squad.

=Alaska Purchased.=--The Mexican affair had not been brought to a close
before the Department of State was busy with negotiations which resulted
in the purchase of Alaska from Russia. The treaty of cession, signed on
March 30, 1867, added to the United States a domain of nearly six
hundred thousand square miles, a territory larger than Texas and nearly
three-fourths the size of the Louisiana purchase. Though it was a
distant colony separated from our continental domain by a thousand miles
of water, no question of "imperialism" or "colonization foreign to
American doctrines" seems to have been raised at the time. The treaty
was ratified promptly by the Senate. The purchase price, $7,200,000, was
voted by the House of Representatives after the display of some
resentment against a system that compelled it to appropriate money to
fulfill an obligation which it had no part in making. Seward, who
formulated the treaty, rejoiced, as he afterwards said, that he had kept
Alaska out of the hands of England.

=American Interest in the Caribbean.=--Having achieved this diplomatic
triumph, Seward turned to the increase of American power in another
direction. He negotiated, with Denmark, a treaty providing for the
purchase of the islands of St. John and St. Thomas in the West Indies,
strategic points in the Caribbean for sea power. This project, long
afterward brought to fruition by other men, was defeated on this
occasion by the refusal of the Senate to ratify the treaty. Evidently it
was not yet prepared to exercise colonial dominion over other races.

Undaunted by the misadventure in Caribbean policies, President Grant
warmly advocated the acquisition of Santo Domingo. This little republic
had long been in a state of general disorder. In 1869 a treaty of
annexation was concluded with its president. The document Grant
transmitted to the Senate with his cordial approval, only to have it
rejected. Not at all changed in his opinion by the outcome of his
effort, he continued to urge the subject of annexation. Even in his last
message to Congress he referred to it, saying that time had only proved
the wisdom of his early course. The addition of Santo Domingo to the
American sphere of protection was the work of a later generation. The
State Department, temporarily checked, had to bide its time.

=The _Alabama_ Claims Arbitrated.=--Indeed, it had in hand a far more
serious matter, a vexing issue that grew out of Civil War diplomacy. The
British government, as already pointed out in other connections, had
permitted Confederate cruisers, including the famous _Alabama_, built in
British ports, to escape and prey upon the commerce of the Northern
states. This action, denounced at the time by our government as a grave
breach of neutrality as well as a grievous injury to American citizens,
led first to remonstrances and finally to repeated claims for damages
done to American ships and goods. For a long time Great Britain was
firm. Her foreign secretary denied all obligations in the premises,
adding somewhat curtly that "he wished to say once for all that Her
Majesty's government disclaimed any responsibility for the losses and
hoped that they had made their position perfectly clear." Still
President Grant was not persuaded that the door of diplomacy, though
closed, was barred. Hamilton Fish, his Secretary of State, renewed the
demand. Finally he secured from the British government in 1871 the
treaty of Washington providing for the arbitration not merely of the
_Alabama_ and other claims but also all points of serious controversy
between the two countries.

The tribunal of arbitration thus authorized sat at Geneva in
Switzerland, and after a long and careful review of the arguments on
both sides awarded to the United States the lump sum of $15,500,000 to
be distributed among the American claimants. The damages thus allowed
were large, unquestionably larger than strict justice required and it is
not surprising that the decision excited much adverse comment in
England. Nevertheless, the prompt payment by the British government
swept away at once a great cloud of ill-feeling in America. Moreover,
the spectacle of two powerful nations choosing the way of peaceful
arbitration to settle an angry dispute seemed a happy, if illusory, omen
of a modern method for avoiding the arbitrament of war.

=Samoa.=--If the Senate had its doubts at first about the wisdom of
acquiring strategic points for naval power in distant seas, the same
could not be said of the State Department or naval officers. In 1872
Commander Meade, of the United States navy, alive to the importance of
coaling stations even in mid-ocean, made a commercial agreement with the
chief of Tutuila, one of the Samoan Islands, far below the equator, in
the southern Pacific, nearer to Australia than to California. This
agreement, providing among other things for our use of the harbor of
Pago Pago as a naval base, was six years later changed into a formal
treaty ratified by the Senate.

Such enterprise could not escape the vigilant eyes of England and
Germany, both mindful of the course of the sea power in history. The
German emperor, seizing as a pretext a quarrel between his consul in the
islands and a native king, laid claim to an interest in the Samoan
group. England, aware of the dangers arising from German outposts in the
southern seas so near to Australia, was not content to stand aside. So
it happened that all three countries sent battleships to the Samoan
waters, threatening a crisis that was fortunately averted by friendly
settlement. If, as is alleged, Germany entertained a notion of
challenging American sea power then and there, the presence of British
ships must have dispelled that dream.

The result of the affair was a tripartite agreement by which the three
powers in 1889 undertook a protectorate over the islands. But joint
control proved unsatisfactory. There was constant friction between the
Germans and the English. The spheres of authority being vague and open
to dispute, the plan had to be abandoned at the end of ten years.
England withdrew altogether, leaving to Germany all the islands except
Tutuila, which was ceded outright to the United States. Thus one of the
finest harbors in the Pacific, to the intense delight of the American
navy, passed permanently under American dominion. Another triumph in
diplomacy was set down to the credit of the State Department.

=Cleveland and the Venezuela Affair.=--In the relations with South
America, as well as in those with the distant Pacific, the diplomacy of
the government at Washington was put to the test. For some time it had
been watching a dispute between England and Venezuela over the western
boundary of British Guiana and, on an appeal from Venezuela, it had
taken a lively interest in the contest. In 1895 President Cleveland saw
that Great Britain would yield none of her claims. After hearing the
arguments of Venezuela, his Secretary of State, Richard T. Olney, in a
note none too conciliatory, asked the British government whether it was
willing to arbitrate the points in controversy. This inquiry he
accompanied by a warning to the effect that the United States could not
permit any European power to contest its mastery in this hemisphere.
"The United States," said the Secretary, "is practically sovereign on
this continent and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it
confines its interposition.... Its infinite resources, combined with its
isolated position, render it master of the situation and practically
invulnerable against any or all other powers."

The reply evoked from the British government by this strong statement
was firm and clear. The Monroe Doctrine, it said, even if not so widely
stretched by interpretation, was not binding in international law; the
dispute with Venezuela was a matter of interest merely to the parties
involved; and arbitration of the question was impossible. This response
called forth President Cleveland's startling message of 1895. He asked
Congress to create a commission authorized to ascertain by researches
the true boundary between Venezuela and British Guiana. He added that it
would be the duty of this country "to resist by every means in its
power, as a willful aggression upon its rights and interests, the
appropriation by Great Britain of any lands or the exercise of
governmental jurisdiction over any territory which, after investigation,
we have determined of right belongs to Venezuela." The serious character
of this statement he thoroughly understood. He declared that he was
conscious of his responsibilities, intimating that war, much as it was
to be deplored, was not comparable to "a supine submission to wrong and
injustice and the consequent loss of national self-respect and honor."

[Illustration: GROVER CLEVELAND]

The note of defiance which ran through this message, greeted by shrill
cries of enthusiasm in many circles, was viewed in other quarters as a
portent of war. Responsible newspapers in both countries spoke of an
armed settlement of the dispute as inevitable. Congress created the
commission and appropriated money for the investigation; a body of
learned men was appointed to determine the merits of the conflicting
boundary claims. The British government, deaf to the clamor of the
bellicose section of the London press, deplored the incident,
courteously replied in the affirmative to a request for assistance in
the search for evidence, and finally agreed to the proposition that the
issue be submitted to arbitration. The outcome of this somewhat perilous
dispute contributed not a little to Cleveland's reputation as "a
sterling representative of the true American spirit." This was not
diminished when the tribunal of arbitration found that Great Britain was
on the whole right in her territorial claims against Venezuela.

=The Annexation of Hawaii.=--While engaged in the dangerous Venezuela
controversy, President Cleveland was compelled by a strange turn in
events to consider the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands in the
mid-Pacific. For more than half a century American missionaries had been
active in converting the natives to the Christian faith and enterprising
American business men had been developing the fertile sugar plantations.
Both the Department of State and the Navy Department were fully
conscious of the strategic relation of the islands to the growth of sea
power and watched with anxiety any developments likely to bring them
under some other Dominion.

The country at large was indifferent, however, until 1893, when a
revolution, headed by Americans, broke out, ending in the overthrow of
the native government, the abolition of the primitive monarchy, and the
retirement of Queen Liliuokalani to private life. This crisis, a
repetition of the Texas affair in a small theater, was immediately
followed by a demand from the new Hawaiian government for annexation to
the United States. President Harrison looked with favor on the proposal,
negotiated the treaty of annexation, and laid it before the Senate for
approval. There it still rested when his term of office was brought to a

Harrison's successor, Cleveland, it was well known, had doubts about the
propriety of American action in Hawaii. For the purpose of making an
inquiry into the matter, he sent a special commissioner to the islands.
On the basis of the report of his agent, Cleveland came to the
conclusion that "the revolution in the island kingdom had been
accomplished by the improper use of the armed forces of the United
States and that the wrong should be righted by a restoration of the
queen to her throne." Such being his matured conviction, though the
facts upon which he rested it were warmly controverted, he could do
nothing but withdraw the treaty from the Senate and close the incident.

To the Republicans this sharp and cavalier disposal of their plans,
carried out in a way that impugned the motives of a Republican
President, was nothing less than "a betrayal of American interests." In
their platform of 1896 they made clear their position: "Our foreign
policy should be at all times firm, vigorous, and dignified and all our
interests in the Western hemisphere carefully watched and guarded. The
Hawaiian Islands should be controlled by the United States and no
foreign power should be permitted to interfere with them." There was no
mistaking this view of the issue. As the vote in the election gave
popular sanction to Republican policies, Congress by a joint resolution,
passed on July 6, 1898, annexed the islands to the United States and
later conferred upon them the ordinary territorial form of government.


=Early American Relations with Cuba.=--The year that brought Hawaii
finally under the American flag likewise drew to a conclusion another
long controversy over a similar outpost in the Atlantic, one of the last
remnants of the once glorious Spanish empire--the island of Cuba.

For a century the Department of State had kept an anxious eye upon this
base of power, knowing full well that both France and England, already
well established in the West Indies, had their attention also fixed upon
Cuba. In the administration of President Fillmore they had united in
proposing to the United States a tripartite treaty guaranteeing Spain in
her none too certain ownership. This proposal, squarely rejected,
furnished the occasion for a statement of American policy which stood
the test of all the years that followed; namely, that the affair was one
between Spain and the United States alone.

In that long contest in the United States for the balance of power
between the North and South, leaders in the latter section often thought
of bringing Cuba into the union to offset the free states. An
opportunity to announce their purposes publicly was afforded in 1854 by
a controversy over the seizure of an American ship by Cuban authorities.
On that occasion three American ministers abroad, stationed at Madrid,
Paris, and London respectively, held a conference and issued the
celebrated "Ostend Manifesto." They united in declaring that Cuba, by
her geographical position, formed a part of the United States, that
possession by a foreign power was inimical to American interests, and
that an effort should be made to purchase the island from Spain. In case
the owner refused to sell, they concluded, with a menacing flourish, "by
every law, human and divine, we shall be justified in wresting it from
Spain if we possess the power." This startling proclamation to the world
was promptly disowned by the United States government.

[Illustration: _=An old cartoon.=_


_Struggling Cuba._ "You must be awfully near-sighted, Mr. President, not
to recognize me." _U.S.G._ "No, I am far-sighted: for I can recognize

=Revolutions in Cuba.=--For nearly twenty years afterwards the Cuban
question rested. Then it was revived in another form during President
Grant's administrations, when the natives became engaged in a
destructive revolt against Spanish officials. For ten years--1868-78--a
guerrilla warfare raged in the island. American citizens, by virtue of
their ancient traditions of democracy, naturally sympathized with a war
for independence and self-government. Expeditions to help the insurgents
were fitted out secretly in American ports. Arms and supplies were
smuggled into Cuba. American soldiers of fortune joined their ranks. The
enforcement of neutrality against the friends of Cuban independence, no
pleasing task for a sympathetic President, the protection of American
lives and property in the revolutionary area, and similar matters kept
our government busy with Cuba for a whole decade.

A brief lull in Cuban disorders was followed in 1895 by a renewal of the
revolutionary movement. The contest between the rebels and the Spanish
troops, marked by extreme cruelty and a total disregard for life and
property, exceeded all bounds of decency, and once more raised the old
questions that had tormented Grant's administration. Gomez, the leader
of the revolt, intent upon provoking American interference, laid waste
the land with fire and sword. By a proclamation of November 6, 1895, he
ordered the destruction of sugar plantations and railway connections and
the closure of all sugar factories. The work of ruin was completed by
the ruthless Spanish general, Weyler, who concentrated the inhabitants
from rural regions into military camps, where they died by the hundreds
of disease and starvation. Stories of the atrocities, bad enough in
simple form, became lurid when transmuted into American news and deeply
moved the sympathies of the American people. Sermons were preached about
Spanish misdeeds; orators demanded that the Cubans be sustained "in
their heroic struggle for independence"; newspapers, scouting the
ordinary forms of diplomatic negotiation, spurned mediation and demanded
intervention and war if necessary.

[Illustration: _Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=President Cleveland's Policy.=--Cleveland chose the way of peace. He
ordered the observance of the rule of neutrality. He declined to act on
a resolution of Congress in favor of giving to the Cubans the rights of
belligerents. Anxious to bring order to the distracted island, he
tendered to Spain the good offices of the United States as mediator in
the contest--a tender rejected by the Spanish government with the broad
hint that President Cleveland might be more vigorous in putting a stop
to the unlawful aid in money, arms, and supplies, afforded to the
insurgents by American sympathizers. Thereupon the President returned to
the course he had marked out for himself, leaving "the public nuisance"
to his successor, President McKinley.

=Republican Policies.=--The Republicans in 1897 found themselves in a
position to employ that "firm, vigorous, and dignified" foreign policy
which they had approved in their platform. They had declared: "The
government of Spain having lost control of Cuba and being unable to
protect the property or lives of resident American citizens or to comply
with its treaty obligations, we believe that the government of the
United States should actively use its influence and good offices to
restore peace and give independence to the island." The American
property in Cuba to which the Republicans referred in their platform
amounted by this time to more than fifty million dollars; the commerce
with the island reached more than one hundred millions annually; and the
claims of American citizens against Spain for property destroyed totaled
sixteen millions. To the pleas of humanity which made such an effective
appeal to the hearts of the American people, there were thus added
practical considerations of great weight.

=President McKinley Negotiates.=--In the face of the swelling tide of
popular opinion in favor of quick, drastic, and positive action,
McKinley chose first the way of diplomacy. A short time after his
inauguration he lodged with the Spanish government a dignified protest
against its policies in Cuba, thus opening a game of thrust and parry
with the suave ministers at Madrid. The results of the exchange of
notes were the recall of the obnoxious General Weyler, the appointment
of a governor-general less bloodthirsty in his methods, a change in the
policy of concentrating civilians in military camps, and finally a
promise of "home rule" for Cuba. There is no doubt that the Spanish
government was eager to avoid a war that could have but one outcome. The
American minister at Madrid, General Woodford, was convinced that firm
and patient pressure would have resulted in the final surrender of Cuba
by the Spanish government.

=The De Lome and the _Maine_ Incidents.=--Such a policy was defeated by
events. In February, 1898, a private letter written by Señor de Lome,
the Spanish ambassador at Washington, expressing contempt for the
President of the United States, was filched from the mails and passed
into the hands of a journalist, William R. Hearst, who published it to
the world. In the excited state of American opinion, few gave heed to
the grave breach of diplomatic courtesy committed by breaking open
private correspondence. The Spanish government was compelled to recall
De Lome, thus officially condemning his conduct.

At this point a far more serious crisis put the pacific relations of the
two negotiating countries in dire peril. On February 15, the battleship
_Maine_, riding in the harbor of Havana, was blown up and sunk, carrying
to death two officers and two hundred and fifty-eight members of the
crew. This tragedy, ascribed by the American public to the malevolence
of Spanish officials, profoundly stirred an already furious nation.
When, on March 21, a commission of inquiry reported that the ill-fated
ship had been blown up by a submarine mine which had in turn set off
some of the ship's magazines, the worst suspicions seemed confirmed. If
any one was inclined to be indifferent to the Cuban war for
independence, he was now met by the vehement cry: "Remember the

=Spanish Concessions.=--Still the State Department, under McKinley's
steady hand, pursued the path of negotiation, Spain proving more pliable
and more ready with promises of reform in the island. Early in April,
however, there came a decided change in the tenor of American diplomacy.
On the 4th, McKinley, evidently convinced that promises did not mean
performances, instructed our minister at Madrid to warn the Spanish
government that as no effective armistice had been offered to the
Cubans, he would lay the whole matter before Congress. This decision,
every one knew, from the temper of Congress, meant war--a prospect which
excited all the European powers. The Pope took an active interest in the
crisis. France and Germany, foreseeing from long experience in world
politics an increase of American power and prestige through war, sought
to prevent it. Spain, hopeless and conscious of her weakness, at last
dispatched to the President a note promising to suspend hostilities, to
call a Cuban parliament, and to grant all the autonomy that could be
reasonably asked.

=President McKinley Calls for War.=--For reasons of his own--reasons
which have never yet been fully explained--McKinley ignored the final
program of concessions presented by Spain. At the very moment when his
patient negotiations seemed to bear full fruit, he veered sharply from
his course and launched the country into the war by sending to Congress
his militant message of April 11, 1898. Without making public the last
note he had received from Spain, he declared that he was brought to the
end of his effort and the cause was in the hands of Congress. Humanity,
the protection of American citizens and property, the injuries to
American commerce and business, the inability of Spain to bring about
permanent peace in the island--these were the grounds for action that
induced him to ask for authority to employ military and naval forces in
establishing a stable government in Cuba. They were sufficient for a
public already straining at the leash.

=The Resolution of Congress.=--There was no doubt of the outcome when
the issue was withdrawn from diplomacy and placed in charge of Congress.
Resolutions were soon introduced into the House of Representatives
authorizing the President to employ armed force in securing peace and
order in the island and "establishing by the free action of the people
thereof a stable and independent government of their own." To the form
and spirit of this proposal the Democrats and Populists took exception.
In the Senate, where they were stronger, their position had to be
reckoned with by the narrow Republican majority. As the resolution
finally read, the independence of Cuba was recognized; Spain was called
upon to relinquish her authority and withdraw from the island; and the
President was empowered to use force to the extent necessary to carry
the resolutions into effect. Furthermore the United States disclaimed
"any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or
control over said island except for the pacification thereof." Final
action was taken by Congress on April 19, 1898, and approved by the
President on the following day.

=War and Victory.=--Startling events then followed in swift succession.
The navy, as a result in no small measure of the alertness of Theodore
Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the Department, was ready for the
trial by battle. On May 1, Commodore Dewey at Manila Bay shattered the
Spanish fleet, marking the doom of Spanish dominion in the Philippines.
On July 3, the Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera, in attempting to
escape from Havana, was utterly destroyed by American forces under
Commodore Schley. On July 17, Santiago, invested by American troops
under General Shafter and shelled by the American ships, gave up the
struggle. On July 25 General Miles landed in Porto Rico. On August 13,
General Merritt and Admiral Dewey carried Manila by storm. The war was

=The Peace Protocol.=--Spain had already taken cognizance of stern
facts. As early as July 26, 1898, acting through the French ambassador,
M. Cambon, the Madrid government approached President McKinley for a
statement of the terms on which hostilities could be brought to a close.
After some skirmishing Spain yielded reluctantly to the ultimatum. On
August 12, the preliminary peace protocol was signed, stipulating that
Cuba should be free, Porto Rico ceded to the United States, and Manila
occupied by American troops pending the formal treaty of peace. On
October 1, the commissioners of the two countries met at Paris to bring
about the final settlement.

=Peace Negotiations.=--When the day for the first session of the
conference arrived, the government at Washington apparently had not made
up its mind on the final disposition of the Philippines. Perhaps, before
the battle of Manila Bay, not ten thousand people in the United States
knew or cared where the Philippines were. Certainly there was in the
autumn of 1898 no decided opinion as to what should be done with the
fruits of Dewey's victory. President McKinley doubtless voiced the
sentiment of the people when he stated to the peace commissioners on the
eve of their departure that there had originally been no thought of
conquest in the Pacific.

The march of events, he added, had imposed new duties on the country.
"Incidental to our tenure in the Philippines," he said, "is the
commercial opportunity to which American statesmanship cannot be
indifferent. It is just to use every legitimate means for the
enlargement of American trade." On this ground he directed the
commissioners to accept not less than the cession of the island of
Luzon, the chief of the Philippine group, with its harbor of Manila. It
was not until the latter part of October that he definitely instructed
them to demand the entire archipelago, on the theory that the occupation
of Luzon alone could not be justified "on political, commercial, or
humanitarian grounds." This departure from the letter of the peace
protocol was bitterly resented by the Spanish agents. It was with
heaviness of heart that they surrendered the last sign of Spain's
ancient dominion in the far Pacific.

=The Final Terms of Peace.=--The treaty of peace, as finally agreed
upon, embraced the following terms: the independence of Cuba; the
cession of Porto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States;
the settlement of claims filed by the citizens of both countries; the
payment of twenty million dollars to Spain by the United States for the
Philippines; and the determination of the status of the inhabitants of
the ceded territories by Congress. The great decision had been made. Its
issue was in the hands of the Senate where the Democrats and the
Populists held the balance of power under the requirement of the
two-thirds vote for ratification.

=The Contest in America over the Treaty of Peace.=--The publication of
the treaty committing the United States to the administration of distant
colonies directed the shifting tides of public opinion into two distinct
channels: support of the policy and opposition to it. The trend in
Republican leadership, long in the direction marked out by the treaty,
now came into the open. Perhaps a majority of the men highest in the
councils of that party had undergone the change of heart reflected in
the letters of John Hay, Secretary of State. In August of 1898 he had
hinted, in a friendly letter to Andrew Carnegie, that he sympathized
with the latter's opposition to "imperialism"; but he had added quickly:
"The only question in my mind is how far it is now possible for us to
withdraw from the Philippines." In November of the same year he wrote to
Whitelaw Reid, one of the peace commissioners at Paris: "There is a wild
and frantic attack now going on in the press against the whole
Philippine transaction. Andrew Carnegie really seems to be off his
head.... But all this confusion of tongues will go its way. The country
will applaud the resolution that has been reached and you will return in
the rôle of conquering heroes with your 'brows bound with oak.'"

Senator Beveridge of Indiana and Senator Platt of Connecticut, accepting
the verdict of history as the proof of manifest destiny, called for
unquestioning support of the administration in its final step. "Every
expansion of our territory," said the latter, "has been in accordance
with the irresistible law of growth. We could no more resist the
successive expansions by which we have grown to be the strongest nation
on earth than a tree can resist its growth. The history of territorial
expansion is the history of our nation's progress and glory. It is a
matter to be proud of, not to lament. We should rejoice that Providence
has given us the opportunity to extend our influence, our institutions,
and our civilization into regions hitherto closed to us, rather than
contrive how we can thwart its designs."

This doctrine was savagely attacked by opponents of McKinley's policy,
many a stanch Republican joining with the majority of Democrats in
denouncing the treaty as a departure from the ideals of the republic.
Senator Vest introduced in the Senate a resolution that "under the
Constitution of the United States, no power is given to the federal
Government to acquire territory to be held and governed permanently as
colonies." Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, whose long and honorable
career gave weight to his lightest words, inveighed against the whole
procedure and to the end of his days believed that the new drift into
rivalry with European nations as a colonial power was fraught with
genuine danger. "Our imperialistic friends," he said, "seem to have
forgotten the use of the vocabulary of liberty. They talk about giving
good government. 'We shall give them such a government as we think they
are fitted for.' 'We shall give them a better government than they had
before.' Why, Mr. President, that one phrase conveys to a free man and a
free people the most stinging of insults. In that little phrase, as in a
seed, is contained the germ of all despotism and of all tyranny.
Government is not a gift. Free government is not to be given by all the
blended powers of earth and heaven. It is a birthright. It belongs, as
our fathers said, and as their children said, as Jefferson said, and as
President McKinley said, to human nature itself."

The Senate, more conservative on the question of annexation than the
House of Representatives composed of men freshly elected in the stirring
campaign of 1896, was deliberate about ratification of the treaty. The
Democrats and Populists were especially recalcitrant. Mr. Bryan hurried
to Washington and brought his personal influence to bear in favor of
speedy action. Patriotism required ratification, it was said in one
quarter. The country desires peace and the Senate ought not to delay, it
was urged in another. Finally, on February 6, 1899, the requisite
majority of two-thirds was mustered, many a Senator who voted for the
treaty, however, sharing the misgivings of Senator Hoar as to the
"dangers of imperialism." Indeed at the time, the Senators passed a
resolution declaring that the policy to be adopted in the Philippines
was still an open question, leaving to the future, in this way, the
possibility of retracing their steps.

=The Attitude of England.=--The Spanish war, while accomplishing the
simple objects of those who launched the nation on that course, like all
other wars, produced results wholly unforeseen. In the first place, it
exercised a profound influence on the drift of opinion among European
powers. In England, sympathy with the United States was from the first
positive and outspoken. "The state of feeling here," wrote Mr. Hay, then
ambassador in London, "is the best I have ever known. From every quarter
the evidences of it come to me. The royal family by habit and tradition
are most careful not to break the rules of strict neutrality, but even
among them I find nothing but hearty kindness and--so far as is
consistent with propriety--sympathy. Among the political leaders on both
sides I find not only sympathy but a somewhat eager desire that 'the
other fellows' shall not seem more friendly."

Joseph Chamberlain, the distinguished Liberal statesman, thinking no
doubt of the continental situation, said in a political address at the
very opening of the war that the next duty of Englishmen "is to
establish and maintain bonds of permanent unity with our kinsmen across
the Atlantic.... I even go so far as to say that, terrible as war may
be, even war would be cheaply purchased if, in a great and noble cause,
the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack should wave together over an
Anglo-Saxon alliance." To the American ambassador he added
significantly that he did not "care a hang what they say about it on the
continent," which was another way of expressing the hope that the
warning to Germany and France was sufficient. This friendly English
opinion, so useful to the United States when a combination of powers to
support Spain was more than possible, removed all fears as to the
consequences of the war. Henry Adams, recalling days of humiliation in
London during the Civil War, when his father was the American
ambassador, coolly remarked that it was "the sudden appearance of
Germany as the grizzly terror" that "frightened England into America's
arms"; but the net result in keeping the field free for an easy triumph
of American arms was none the less appreciated in Washington where,
despite outward calm, fears of European complications were never absent.


=The Filipino Revolt against American Rule.=--In the sphere of domestic
politics, as well as in the field of foreign relations, the outcome of
the Spanish war exercised a marked influence. It introduced at once
problems of colonial administration and difficulties in adjusting trade
relations with the outlying dominions. These were furthermore
complicated in the very beginning by the outbreak of an insurrection
against American sovereignty in the Philippines. The leader of the
revolt, Aguinaldo, had been invited to join the American forces in
overthrowing Spanish dominion, and he had assumed, apparently without
warrant, that independence would be the result of the joint operations.
When the news reached him that the American flag had been substituted
for the Spanish flag, his resentment was keen. In February, 1899, there
occurred a slight collision between his men and some American soldiers.
The conflict thus begun was followed by serious fighting which finally
dwindled into a vexatious guerrilla warfare lasting three years and
costing heavily in men and money. Atrocities were committed by the
native insurrectionists and, sad to relate, they were repaid in kind;
it was argued in defense of the army that the ordinary rules of warfare
were without terror to men accustomed to fighting like savages. In vain
did McKinley assure the Filipinos that the institutions and laws
established in the islands would be designed "not for our satisfaction
or for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happiness,
peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine Islands." Nothing
short of military pressure could bring the warring revolutionists to

=Attacks on Republican "Imperialism."=--The Filipino insurrection,
following so quickly upon the ratification of the treaty with Spain,
moved the American opponents of McKinley's colonial policies to redouble
their denunciation of what they were pleased to call "imperialism."
Senator Hoar was more than usually caustic in his indictment of the new
course. The revolt against American rule did but convince him of the
folly hidden in the first fateful measures. Everywhere he saw a
conspiracy of silence and injustice. "I have failed to discover in the
speeches, public or private, of the advocates of this war," he contended
in the Senate, "or in the press which supports it and them, a single
expression anywhere of a desire to do justice to the people of the
Philippine Islands, or of a desire to make known to the people of the
United States the truth of the case.... The catchwords, the cries, the
pithy and pregnant phrases of which their speech is full, all mean
dominion. They mean perpetual dominion.... There is not one of these
gentlemen who will rise in his place and affirm that if he were a
Filipino he would not do exactly as the Filipinos are doing; that he
would not despise them if they were to do otherwise. So much at least
they owe of respect to the dead and buried history--the dead and buried
history so far as they can slay and bury it--of their country." In the
way of practical suggestions, the Senator offered as a solution of the
problem: the recognition of independence, assistance in establishing
self-government, and an invitation to all powers to join in a guarantee
of freedom to the islands.

=The Republican Answer.=--To McKinley and his supporters, engaged in a
sanguinary struggle to maintain American supremacy, such talk was more
than quixotic; it was scarcely short of treasonable. They pointed out
the practical obstacles in the way of uniform self-government for a
collection of seven million people ranging in civilization from the most
ignorant hill men to the highly cultivated inhabitants of Manila. The
incidents of the revolt and its repression, they admitted, were painful
enough; but still nothing as compared with the chaos that would follow
the attempt of a people who had never had experience in such matters to
set up and sustain democratic institutions. They preferred rather the
gradual process of fitting the inhabitants of the islands for
self-government. This course, in their eyes, though less poetic, was
more in harmony with the ideals of humanity. Having set out upon it,
they pursued it steadfastly to the end. First, they applied force
without stint to the suppression of the revolt. Then they devoted such
genius for colonial administration as they could command to the
development of civil government, commerce, and industry.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=The Boxer Rebellion in China.=--For a nation with a world-wide trade,
steadily growing, as the progress of home industries redoubled the zeal
for new markets, isolation was obviously impossible. Never was this
clearer than in 1900 when a native revolt against foreigners in China,
known as the Boxer uprising, compelled the United States to join with
the powers of Europe in a military expedition and a diplomatic
settlement. The Boxers, a Chinese association, had for some time carried
on a campaign of hatred against all aliens in the Celestial empire,
calling upon the natives to rise in patriotic wrath and drive out the
foreigners who, they said, "were lacerating China like tigers." In the
summer of 1900 the revolt flamed up in deeds of cruelty. Missionaries
and traders were murdered in the provinces; foreign legations were
stoned; the German ambassador, one of the most cordially despised
foreigners, was killed in the streets of Peking; and to all appearances
a frightful war of extermination had begun. In the month of June nearly
five hundred men, women, and children, representing all nations, were
besieged in the British quarters in Peking under constant fire of
Chinese guns and in peril of a terrible death.

=Intervention in China.=--Nothing but the arrival of armed forces, made
up of Japanese, Russian, British, American, French, and German soldiers
and marines, prevented the destruction of the beleaguered aliens. When
once the foreign troops were in possession of the Chinese capital,
diplomatic questions of the most delicate character arose. For more than
half a century, the imperial powers of Europe had been carving up the
Chinese empire, taking to themselves territory, railway concessions,
mining rights, ports, and commercial privileges at the expense of the
huge but helpless victim. The United States alone among the great
nations, while as zealous as any in the pursuit of peaceful trade, had
refrained from seizing Chinese territory or ports. Moreover, the
Department of State had been urging European countries to treat China
with fairness, to respect her territorial integrity, and to give her
equal trading privileges with all nations.

=The American Policy of the "Open Door."=--In the autumn of 1899,
Secretary Hay had addressed to London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, and
St. Petersburg his famous note on the "open door" policy in China. In
this document he proposed that existing treaty ports and vested
interests of the several foreign countries should be respected; that
the Chinese government should be permitted to extend its tariffs to all
ports held by alien powers except the few free ports; and that there
should be no discrimination in railway and port charges among the
citizens of foreign countries operating in the empire. To these
principles the governments addressed by Mr. Hay, finally acceded with
evident reluctance.


On this basis he then proposed the settlement that had to follow the
Boxer uprising. "The policy of the Government of the United States," he
said to the great powers, in the summer of 1900, "is to seek a solution
which may bring about permanent safety and peace to China, preserve
Chinese territorial and administrative entity, protect all rights
guaranteed to friendly powers by treaty and international law, and
safeguard for the world the principle of equal and impartial trade with
all parts of the Chinese empire." This was a friendly warning to the
world that the United States would not join in a scramble to punish the
Chinese by carving out more territory. "The moment we acted," said Mr.
Hay, "the rest of the world paused and finally came over to our ground;
and the German government, which is generally brutal but seldom silly,
recovered its senses, and climbed down off its perch."

In taking this position, the Secretary of State did but reflect the
common sense of America. "We are, of course," he explained, "opposed to
the dismemberment of that empire and we do not think that the public
opinion of the United States would justify this government in taking
part in the great game of spoliation now going on." Heavy damages were
collected by the European powers from China for the injuries inflicted
upon their citizens by the Boxers; but the United States, finding the
sum awarded in excess of the legitimate claims, returned the balance in
the form of a fund to be applied to the education of Chinese students in
American universities. "I would rather be, I think," said Mr. Hay, "the
dupe of China than the chum of the Kaiser." By pursuing a liberal
policy, he strengthened the hold of the United States upon the
affections of the Chinese people and, in the long run, as he remarked
himself, safeguarded "our great commercial interests in that Empire."

=Imperialism in the Presidential Campaign of 1900.=--It is not strange
that the policy pursued by the Republican administration in disposing of
the questions raised by the Spanish War became one of the first issues
in the presidential campaign of 1900. Anticipating attacks from every
quarter, the Republicans, in renominating McKinley, set forth their
position in clear and ringing phrases: "In accepting by the treaty of
Paris the just responsibility of our victories in the Spanish War the
President and Senate won the undoubted approval of the American people.
No other course was possible than to destroy Spain's sovereignty
throughout the West Indies and in the Philippine Islands. That course
created our responsibility, before the world and with the unorganized
population whom our intervention had freed from Spain, to provide for
the maintenance of law and order, and for the establishment of good
government and for the performance of international obligations. Our
authority could not be less than our responsibility, and wherever
sovereign rights were extended it became the high duty of the government
to maintain its authority, to put down armed insurrection, and to confer
the blessings of liberty and civilization upon all the rescued peoples.
The largest measure of self-government consistent with their welfare and
our duties shall be secured to them by law." To give more strength to
their ticket, the Republican convention, in a whirlwind of enthusiasm,
nominated for the vice presidency, against his protest, Theodore
Roosevelt, the governor of New York and the hero of the Rough Riders, so
popular on account of their Cuban campaign.

The Democrats, as expected, picked up the gauntlet thrown down with such
defiance by the Republicans. Mr. Bryan, whom they selected as their
candidate, still clung to the currency issue; but the main emphasis,
both of the platform and the appeal for votes, was on the "imperialistic
program" of the Republican administration. The Democrats denounced the
treatment of Cuba and Porto Rico and condemned the Philippine policy in
sharp and vigorous terms. "As we are not willing," ran the platform, "to
surrender our civilization or to convert the Republic into an empire, we
favor an immediate declaration of the Nation's purpose to give to the
Filipinos, first, a stable form of government; second, independence;
third, protection from outside interference.... The greedy commercialism
which dictated the Philippine policy of the Republican administration
attempts to justify it with the plea that it will pay, but even this
sordid and unworthy plea fails when brought to the test of facts. The
war of 'criminal aggression' against the Filipinos entailing an annual
expense of many millions has already cost more than any possible profit
that could accrue from the entire Philippine trade for years to come....
We oppose militarism. It means conquest abroad and intimidation and
oppression at home. It means the strong arm which has ever been fatal to
free institutions. It is what millions of our citizens have fled from in
Europe. It will impose upon our peace-loving people a large standing
army, an unnecessary burden of taxation, and would be a constant menace
to their liberties." Such was the tenor of their appeal to the voters.

With the issues clearly joined, the country rejected the Democratic
candidate even more positively than four years before. The popular vote
cast for McKinley was larger and that cast for Bryan smaller than in the
silver election. Thus vindicated at the polls, McKinley turned with
renewed confidence to the development of the policies he had so far
advanced. But fate cut short his designs. In the September following his
second inauguration, he was shot by an anarchist while attending the
Buffalo exposition. "What a strange and tragic fate it has been of
mine," wrote the Secretary of State, John Hay, on the day of the
President's death, "to stand by the bier of three of my dearest friends,
Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, three of the gentlest of men, all risen
to the head of the state and all done to death by assassins." On
September 14, 1901, the Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt, took up the
lines of power that had fallen from the hands of his distinguished
chief, promising to continue "absolutely unbroken" the policies he had


The economic aspects of the period between 1865 and 1900 may be readily
summed up: the recovery of the South from the ruin of the Civil War, the
extension of the railways, the development of the Great West, and the
triumph of industry and business enterprise. In the South many of the
great plantations were broken up and sold in small farms, crops were
diversified, the small farming class was raised in the scale of social
importance, the cotton industry was launched, and the coal, iron,
timber, and other resources were brought into use. In the West the free
arable land was practically exhausted by 1890 under the terms of the
Homestead Act; gold, silver, copper, coal and other minerals were
discovered in abundance; numerous rail connections were formed with the
Atlantic seaboard; the cowboy and the Indian were swept away before a
standardized civilization of electric lights and bathtubs. By the end of
the century the American frontier had disappeared. The wild, primitive
life so long associated with America was gone. The unity of the nation
was established.

In the field of business enterprise, progress was most marked. The
industrial system, which had risen and flourished before the Civil War,
grew into immense proportions and the industrial area was extended from
the Northeast into all parts of the country. Small business concerns
were transformed into huge corporations. Individual plants were merged
under the management of gigantic trusts. Short railway lines were
consolidated into national systems. The industrial population of
wage-earners rose into the tens of millions. The immigration of aliens
increased by leaps and bounds. The cities overshadowed the country. The
nation that had once depended upon Europe for most of its manufactured
goods became a competitor of Europe in the markets of the earth.

In the sphere of politics, the period witnessed the recovery of white
supremacy in the South; the continued discussion of the old questions,
such as the currency, the tariff, and national banking; and the
injection of new issues like the trusts and labor problems. As of old,
foreign affairs were kept well at the front. Alaska was purchased from
Russia; attempts were made to extend American influence in the Caribbean
region; a Samoan island was brought under the flag; and the Hawaiian
islands were annexed. The Monroe Doctrine was applied with vigor in the
dispute between Venezuela and Great Britain.

Assistance was given to the Cubans in their revolutionary struggle
against Spain and thus there was precipitated a war which ended in the
annexation of Porto Rico and the Philippines. American influence in the
Pacific and the Orient was so enlarged as to be a factor of great weight
in world affairs. Thus questions connected with foreign and "imperial"
policies were united with domestic issues to make up the warp and woof
of politics. In the direction of affairs, the Republicans took the
leadership, for they held the presidency during all the years, except
eight, between 1865 and 1900.


J.W. Foster, _A Century of American Diplomacy_; _American Diplomacy in
the Orient_.

W.F. Reddaway, _The Monroe Doctrine_.

J.H. Latané, _The United States and Spanish America_.

A.C. Coolidge, _United States as a World Power_.

A.T. Mahan, _Interest of the United States in the Sea Power_.

F.E. Chadwick, _Spanish-American War_.

D.C. Worcester, _The Philippine Islands and Their People_.

M.M. Kalaw, _Self-Government in the Philippines_.

L.S. Rowe, _The United States and Porto Rico_.

F.E. Chadwick, _The Relations of the United States and Spain_.

W.R. Shepherd, _Latin America_; _Central and South America_.


1. Tell the story of the international crisis that developed soon after
the Civil War with regard to Mexico.

2. Give the essential facts relating to the purchase of Alaska.

3. Review the early history of our interest in the Caribbean.

4. Amid what circumstances was the Monroe Doctrine applied in
Cleveland's administration?

5. Give the causes that led to the war with Spain.

6. Tell the leading events in that war.

7. What was the outcome as far as Cuba was concerned? The outcome for
the United States?

8. Discuss the attitude of the Filipinos toward American sovereignty in
the islands.

9. Describe McKinley's colonial policy.

10. How was the Spanish War viewed in England? On the Continent?

11. Was there a unified American opinion on American expansion?

12. Was this expansion a departure from our traditions?

13. What events led to foreign intervention in China?

14. Explain the policy of the "open door."

=Research Topics=

=Hawaii and Venezuela.=--Dewey, _National Problems_ (American Nation
Series), pp. 279-313; Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp. 600-602;
Hart, _American History Told by Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 612-616.

=Intervention in Cuba.=--Latané, _America as a World Power_ (American
Nation Series), pp. 3-28; Macdonald, _Documentary Source Book_, pp.
597-598; Roosevelt, _Autobiography_, pp. 223-277; Haworth, _The United
States in Our Own Time_, pp. 232-256; Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV,
pp. 573-578.

=The War with Spain.=--Elson, _History of the United States_, pp.

=Terms of Peace with Spain.=--Latané, pp. 63-81; Macdonald, pp. 602-608;
Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 588-590.

=The Philippine Insurrection.=--Latané, pp. 82-99.

=Imperialism as a Campaign Issue.=--Latané, pp. 120-132; Haworth, pp.
257-277; Hart, _Contemporaries_, Vol. IV, pp. 604-611.

=Biographical Studies.=--William McKinley, M.A. Hanna, John Hay;
Admirals, George Dewey, W.T. Sampson, and W.S. Schley; and Generals,
W.R. Shafter, Joseph Wheeler, and H.W. Lawton.

=General Analysis of American Expansion.=--_Syllabus in History_ (New
York State, 1920), pp. 142-147.




=The Personality and Early Career of Roosevelt.=--On September 14, 1901,
when Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office, the presidency passed
to a new generation and a leader of a new type recalling, if comparisons
must be made, Andrew Jackson rather than any Republican predecessor.
Roosevelt was brusque, hearty, restless, and fond of action--"a young
fellow of infinite dash and originality," as John Hay remarked of him;
combining the spirit of his old college, Harvard, with the breezy
freedom of the plains; interested in everything--a new species of game,
a new book, a diplomatic riddle, or a novel theory of history or
biology. Though only forty-three years old he was well versed in the art
of practical politics. Coming upon the political scene in the early
eighties, he had associated himself with the reformers in the Republican
party; but he was no Mugwump. From the first he vehemently preached the
doctrine of party loyalty; if beaten in the convention, he voted the
straight ticket in the election. For twenty years he adhered to this
rule and during a considerable portion of that period he held office as
a spokesman of his party. He served in the New York legislature, as head
of the metropolitan police force, as federal civil service commissioner
under President Harrison, as assistant secretary of the navy under
President McKinley, and as governor of the Empire state. Political
managers of the old school spoke of him as "brilliant but erratic"; they
soon found him equal to the shrewdest in negotiation and action.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._



=The Panama Canal.=--The most important foreign question confronting
President Roosevelt on the day of his inauguration, that of the Panama
Canal, was a heritage from his predecessor. The idea of a water route
across the isthmus, long a dream of navigators, had become a living
issue after the historic voyage of the battleship _Oregon_ around South
America during the Spanish War. But before the United States could act
it had to undo the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, made with Great Britain in
1850, providing for the construction of the canal under joint
supervision. This was finally effected by the Hay-Pauncefote treaty of
1901 authorizing the United States to proceed alone, on condition that
there should be no discriminations against other nations in the matter
of rates and charges.

This accomplished, it was necessary to decide just where the canal
should be built. One group in Congress favored the route through
Nicaragua; in fact, two official commissions had already approved that
location. Another group favored cutting the way through Panama after
purchasing the rights of the old French company which, under the
direction of De Lesseps, the hero of the Suez Canal, had made a costly
failure some twenty years before. After a heated argument over the
merits of the two plans, preference was given to the Panama route. As
the isthmus was then a part of Colombia, President Roosevelt proceeded
to negotiate with the government at Bogota a treaty authorizing the
United States to cut a canal through its territory. The treaty was
easily framed, but it was rejected by the Colombian senate, much to the
President's exasperation. "You could no more make an agreement with the
Colombian rulers," he exclaimed, "than you could nail jelly to a wall."
He was spared the necessity by a timely revolution. On November 3, 1903,
Panama renounced its allegiance to Colombia and three days later the
United States recognized its independence.

[Illustration: _Courtesy of Panama Canal, Washington, D.C._


This amazing incident was followed shortly by the signature of a treaty
between Panama and the United States in which the latter secured the
right to construct the long-discussed canal, in return for a guarantee
of independence and certain cash payments. The rights and property of
the French concern were then bought, and the final details settled. A
lock rather than a sea-level canal was agreed upon. Construction by the
government directly instead of by private contractors was adopted.
Scientific medicine was summoned to stamp out the tropical diseases
that had made Panama a plague spot. Finally, in 1904, as the President
said, "the dirt began to fly." After surmounting formidable
difficulties--engineering, labor, and sanitary--the American forces in
1913 joined the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific. Nearly eight
thousand miles were cut off the sea voyage from New York to San
Francisco. If any were inclined to criticize President Roosevelt for
the way in which he snapped off negotiations with Colombia and
recognized the Panama revolutionists, their attention was drawn to the
magnificent outcome of the affair. Notwithstanding the treaty with Great
Britain, Congress passed a tolls bill discriminating in rates in favor
of American ships. It was only on the urgent insistence of President
Wilson that the measure was later repealed.

=The Conclusion of the Russo-Japanese War.=--The applause which greeted
the President's next diplomatic stroke was unmarred by censure of any
kind. In the winter of 1904 there broke out between Japan and Russia a
terrible conflict over the division of spoils in Manchuria. The fortunes
of war were with the agile forces of Nippon. In this struggle, it seems,
President Roosevelt's sympathies were mainly with the Japanese, although
he observed the proprieties of neutrality. At all events, Secretary Hay
wrote in his diary on New Year's Day, 1905, that the President was
"quite firm in his view that we cannot permit Japan to be robbed a
second time of her victory," referring to the fact that Japan, ten years
before, after defeating China on the field of battle, had been forced by
Russia, Germany, and France to forego the fruits of conquest.

Whatever the President's personal feelings may have been, he was aware
that Japan, despite her triumphs over Russia, was staggering under a
heavy burden of debt. At a suggestion from Tokyo, he invited both
belligerents in the summer of 1905 to join in a peace conference. The
celerity of their reply was aided by the pressure of European bankers,
who had already come to a substantial agreement that the war must stop.
After some delay, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was chosen as the meeting
place for the spokesmen of the two warring powers. Roosevelt presided
over the opening ceremonies with fine urbanity, thoroughly enjoying the
justly earned honor of being for the moment at the center of the world's
interest. He had the satisfaction of seeing the conference end in a
treaty of peace and amity.

=The Monroe Doctrine Applied to Germany.=--Less spectacular than the
Russo-Japanese settlement but not less important was a diplomatic
passage-at-arms with Germany over the Monroe Doctrine. This clash grew
out of the inability or unwillingness of the Venezuelan government to
pay debts due foreign creditors. Having exhausted their patience in
negotiations, England and Germany, in December 1901, sent battleships to
establish what they characterized as "a peaceful blockade" of Venezuelan
ports. Their action was followed by the rupture of diplomatic relations;
there was a possibility that war and the occupation of Venezuelan
territory might result.

While unwilling to stand between a Latin-American country and its
creditors, President Roosevelt was determined that debt collecting
should not be made an excuse for European countries to seize territory.
He therefore urged arbitration of the dispute, winning the assent of
England and Italy. Germany, with a somewhat haughty air, refused to take
the milder course. The President, learning of this refusal, called the
German ambassador to the White House and informed him in very precise
terms that, unless the Imperial German Government consented to
arbitrate, Admiral Dewey would be ordered to the scene with instructions
to prevent Germany from seizing any Venezuelan territory. A week passed
and no answer came from Berlin. Not baffled, the President again took
the matter up with the ambassador, this time with even more firmness; he
stated in language admitting of but one meaning that, unless within
forty-eight hours the Emperor consented to arbitration, American
battleships, already coaled and cleared, would sail for Venezuelan
waters. The hint was sufficient. The Kaiser accepted the proposal and
the President, with the fine irony of diplomacy, complimented him
publicly on "being so stanch an advocate of arbitration." In terms of
the Monroe Doctrine this action meant that the United States, while not
denying the obligations of debtors, would not permit any move on the
part of European powers that might easily lead to the temporary or
permanent occupation of Latin-American territory.

=The Santo Domingo Affair.=--The same issue was involved in a
controversy over Santo Domingo which arose in 1904. The Dominican
republic, like Venezuela, was heavily in debt, and certain European
countries declared that, unless the United States undertook to look
after the finances of the embarrassed debtor, they would resort to armed
coercion. What was the United States to do? The danger of having some
European power strongly intrenched in Santo Domingo was too imminent to
be denied. President Roosevelt acted with characteristic speed, and
notwithstanding strong opposition in the Senate was able, in 1907, to
effect a treaty arrangement which placed Dominican finances under
American supervision.

In the course of the debate over this settlement, a number of
interesting questions arose. It was pertinently asked whether the
American navy should be used to help creditors collect their debts
anywhere in Latin-America. It was suggested also that no sanction should
be given to the practice among European governments of using armed force
to collect private claims. Opponents of President Roosevelt's policy,
and they were neither few nor insignificant, urged that such matters
should be referred to the Hague Court or to special international
commissions for arbitration. To this the answer was made that the United
States could not surrender any question coming under the terms of the
Monroe Doctrine to the decision of an international tribunal. The
position of the administration was very clearly stated by President
Roosevelt himself. "The country," he said, "would certainly decline to
go to war to prevent a foreign government from collecting a just debt;
on the other hand, it is very inadvisable to permit any foreign power to
take possession, even temporarily, of the customs houses of an American
republic in order to enforce the payment of its obligations; for such a
temporary occupation might turn into a permanent occupation. The only
escape from these alternatives may at any time be that we must
ourselves undertake to bring about some arrangement by which so much as
possible of a just obligation shall be paid." The Monroe Doctrine was
negative. It denied to European powers a certain liberty of operation in
this hemisphere. The positive obligations resulting from its application
by the United States were points now emphasized and developed.

=The Hague Conference.=--The controversies over Latin-American relations
and his part in bringing the Russo-Japanese War to a close naturally
made a deep impression upon Roosevelt, turning his mind in the direction
of the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The subject was
moreover in the air. As if conscious of impending calamity, the
statesmen of the Old World, to all outward signs at least, seemed
searching for a way to reduce armaments and avoid the bloody and costly
trial of international causes by the ancient process of battle. It was
the Czar, Nicholas II, fated to die in one of the terrible holocausts
which he helped to bring upon mankind, who summoned the delegates of the
nations in the first Hague Peace Conference in 1899. The conference did
nothing to reduce military burdens or avoid wars but it did recognize
the right of friendly nations to offer the services of mediation to
countries at war and did establish a Court at the Hague for the
arbitration of international disputes.

Encouraged by this experiment, feeble as it was, President Roosevelt in
1904 proposed a second conference, yielding to the Czar the honor of
issuing the call. At this great international assembly, held at the
Hague in 1907, the representatives of the United States proposed a plan
for the compulsory arbitration of certain matters of international
dispute. This was rejected with contempt by Germany. Reduction of
armaments, likewise proposed in the conference, was again deferred. In
fact, nothing was accomplished beyond agreement upon certain rules for
the conduct of "civilized warfare," casting a somewhat lurid light upon
the "pacific" intentions of most of the powers assembled.

=The World Tour of the Fleet.=--As if to assure the world then that the
United States placed little reliance upon the frail reed of peace
conferences, Roosevelt the following year (1908) made an imposing
display of American naval power by sending a fleet of sixteen
battleships on a tour around the globe. On his own authority, he ordered
the ships to sail out of Hampton Roads and circle the earth by way of
the Straits of Magellan, San Francisco, Australia, the Philippines,
China, Japan, and the Suez Canal. This enterprise was not, as some
critics claimed, a "mere boyish flourish." President Roosevelt knew how
deep was the influence of sea power on the fate of nations. He was aware
that no country could have a wide empire of trade and dominion without
force adequate to sustain it. The voyage around the world therefore
served a double purpose. It interested his own country in the naval
program of the government, and it reminded other powers that the
American giant, though quiet, was not sleeping in the midst of
international rivalries.


=A Constitutional Question Settled.=--In colonial administration, as in
foreign policy, President Roosevelt advanced with firm step in a path
already marked out. President McKinley had defined the principles that
were to control the development of Porto Rico and the Philippines. The
Republican party had announced a program of pacification, gradual
self-government, and commercial improvement. The only remaining question
of importance, to use the popular phrase,--"Does the Constitution follow
the flag?"--had been answered by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Although it was well known that the Constitution did not contemplate the
government of dependencies, such as the Philippines and Porto Rico, the
Court, by generous and ingenious interpretations, found a way for
Congress to apply any reasonable rules required by the occasion.

=Porto Rico.=--The government of Porto Rico was a relatively simple
matter. It was a single island with a fairly homogeneous population
apart from the Spanish upper class. For a time after military occupation
in 1898, it was administered under military rule. This was succeeded by
the establishment of civil government under the "organic act" passed by
Congress in 1900. The law assured to the Porto Ricans American
protection but withheld American citizenship--a boon finally granted in
1917. It provided for a governor and six executive secretaries appointed
by the President with the approval of the Senate; and for a legislature
of two houses--one elected by popular native vote, and an upper chamber
composed of the executive secretaries and five other persons appointed
in the same manner. Thus the United States turned back to the provincial
system maintained by England in Virginia or New York in old colonial
days. The natives were given a voice in their government and the power
of initiating laws; but the final word both in law-making and
administration was vested in officers appointed in Washington. Such was
the plan under which the affairs of Porto Rico were conducted by
President Roosevelt. It lasted until the new organic act of 1917.

[Illustration: _Photograph from Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=The Philippines.=--The administration of the Philippines presented far
more difficult questions. The number of islands, the variety of
languages and races, the differences in civilization all combined to
challenge the skill of the government. Moreover, there was raging in
1901 a stubborn revolt against American authority, which had to be
faced. Following the lines laid down by President McKinley, the
evolution of American policy fell into three stages. At first the
islands were governed directly by the President under his supreme
military power. In 1901 a civilian commission, headed by William Howard
Taft, was selected by the President and charged with the government of
the provinces in which order had been restored. Six years later, under
the terms of an organic act, passed by Congress in 1902, the third stage
was reached. The local government passed into the hands of a governor
and commission, appointed by the President and Senate, and a
legislature--one house elected by popular vote and an upper chamber
composed of the commission. This scheme, like that obtaining in Porto
Rico, remained intact until a Democratic Congress under President
Wilson's leadership carried the colonial administration into its fourth
phase by making both houses elective. Thus, by the steady pursuit of a
liberal policy, self-government was extended to the dependencies; but it
encouraged rather than extinguished the vigorous movement among the
Philippine natives for independence.

[Illustration: _Copyright by Underwood and Underwood, N.Y._


=Cuban Relations.=--Within the sphere of colonial affairs, Cuba, though
nominally independent, also presented problems to the government at
Washington. In the fine enthusiasm that accompanied the declaration of
war on Spain, Congress, unmindful of practical considerations,
recognized the independence of Cuba and disclaimed "any disposition or
intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said
island except for the pacification thereof." In the settlement that
followed the war, however, it was deemed undesirable to set the young
republic adrift upon the stormy sea of international politics without a
guiding hand. Before withdrawing American troops from the island,
Congress, in March, 1901, enacted, and required Cuba to approve, a
series of restrictions known as the Platt amendment, limiting her power
to incur indebtedness, securing the right of the United States to
intervene whenever necessary to protect life and property, and reserving
to the United States coaling stations at certain points to be agreed
upon. The Cubans made strong protests against what they deemed
"infringements of their sovereignty"; but finally with good grace
accepted their fate. Even when in 1906 President Roosevelt landed
American troops in the island to quell a domestic dissension, they
acquiesced in the action, evidently regarding it as a distinct warning
that they should learn to manage their elections in an orderly manner.


=Social Questions to the Front.=--From the day of his inauguration to
the close of his service in 1909, President Roosevelt, in messages,
speeches, and interviews, kept up a lively and interesting discussion of
trusts, capital, labor, poverty, riches, lawbreaking, good citizenship,
and kindred themes. Many a subject previously touched upon only by
representatives of the minor and dissenting parties, he dignified by a
careful examination. That he did this with any fixed design or policy in
mind does not seem to be the case. He admitted himself that when he
became President he did not have in hand any settled or far-reaching
plan of social betterment. He did have, however, serious convictions on
general principles. "I was bent upon making the government," he wrote,
"the most efficient possible instrument in helping the people of the
United States to better themselves in every way, politically, socially,
and industrially. I believed with all my heart in real and
thorough-going democracy and I wished to make the democracy industrial
as well as political, although I had only partially formulated the
method I believed we should follow." It is thus evident at least that he
had departed a long way from the old idea of the government as nothing
but a great policeman keeping order among the people in a struggle over
the distribution of the nation's wealth and resources.

=Roosevelt's View of the Constitution.=--Equally significant was
Roosevelt's attitude toward the Constitution and the office of
President. He utterly repudiated the narrow construction of our national
charter. He held that the Constitution "should be treated as the
greatest document ever devised by the wit of man to aid a people in
exercising every power necessary for its own betterment, not as a
strait-jacket cunningly fashioned to strangle growth." He viewed the
presidency as he did the Constitution. Strict constructionists of the
Jeffersonian school, of whom there were many on occasion even in the
Republican party, had taken a view that the President could do nothing
that he was not specifically authorized by the Constitution to do.
Roosevelt took exactly the opposite position. It was his opinion that it
was not only the President's right but his duty "to do anything that the
needs of the nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the
Constitution or the laws." He went on to say that he acted "for the
common well-being of all our people whenever and in whatever manner was
necessary, unless prevented by direct constitutional or legislative

=The Trusts and Railways.=--To the trust question, Roosevelt devoted
especial attention. This was unavoidable. By far the larger part of the
business of the country was done by corporations as distinguished from
partnerships and individual owners. The growth of these gigantic
aggregations of capital had been the leading feature in American
industrial development during the last two decades of the nineteenth
century. In the conquest of business by trusts and "the resulting
private fortunes of great magnitude," the Populists and the Democrats
had seen a grievous danger to the republic. "Plutocracy has taken the
place of democracy; the tariff breeds trusts; let us destroy therefore
the tariff and the trusts"--such was the battle cry which had been taken
up by Bryan and his followers.

President Roosevelt countered vigorously. He rejected the idea that the
trusts were the product of the tariff or of governmental action of any
kind. He insisted that they were the outcome of "natural economic
forces": (1) destructive competition among business men compelling them
to avoid ruin by coöperation in fixing prices; (2) the growth of markets
on a national scale and even international scale calling for vast
accumulations of capital to carry on such business; (3) the possibility
of immense savings by the union of many plants under one management. In
the corporation he saw a new stage in the development of American
industry. Unregulated competition he regarded as "the source of evils
which all men concede must be remedied if this civilization of ours is
to survive." The notion, therefore, that these immense business concerns
should be or could be broken up by a decree of law, Roosevelt considered

At the same time he proposed that "evil trusts" should be prevented from
"wrong-doing of any kind"; that is, punished for plain swindling, for
making agreements to limit output, for refusing to sell to customers who
dealt with rival firms, and for conspiracies with railways to ruin
competitors by charging high freight rates and for similar abuses.
Accordingly, he proposed, not the destruction of the trusts, but their
regulation by the government. This, he contended, would preserve the
advantages of business on a national scale while preventing the evils
that accompanied it. The railway company he declared to be a public
servant. "Its rates should be just to and open to all shippers alike."
So he answered those who thought that trusts and railway combinations
were private concerns to be managed solely by their owners without let
or hindrance and also those who thought trusts and railway combinations
could be abolished by tariff reduction or criminal prosecution.

=The Labor Question.=--On the labor question, then pressing to the front
in public interest, President Roosevelt took advanced ground for his
time. He declared that the working-man, single-handed and empty-handed,
threatened with starvation if unemployed, was no match for the employer
who was able to bargain and wait. This led him, accordingly, to accept
the principle of the trade union; namely, that only by collective
bargaining can labor be put on a footing to measure its strength equally
with capital. While he severely arraigned labor leaders who advocated
violence and destructive doctrines, he held that "the organization of
labor into trade unions and federations is necessary, is beneficent, and
is one of the greatest possible agencies in the attainment of a true
industrial, as well as a true political, democracy in the United
States." The last resort of trade unions in labor disputes, the strike,
he approved in case negotiations failed to secure "a fair deal."

He thought, however, that labor organizations, even if wisely managed,
could not solve all the pressing social questions of the time. The aid
of the government at many points he believed to be necessary to
eliminate undeserved poverty, industrial diseases, unemployment, and the
unfortunate consequences of industrial accidents. In his first message
of 1901, for instance, he urged that workers injured in industry should
have certain and ample compensation. From time to time he advocated
other legislation to obtain what he called "a larger measure of social
and industrial justice."

=Great Riches and Taxation.=--Even the challenge of the radicals, such
as the Populists, who alleged that "the toil of millions is boldly
stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few"--challenges which his
predecessors did not consider worthy of notice--President Roosevelt
refused to let pass without an answer. In his first message he denied
the truth of the common saying that the rich were growing richer and the
poor were growing poorer. He asserted that, on the contrary, the average
man, wage worker, farmer, and small business man, was better off than
ever before in the history of our country. That there had been abuses in
the accumulation of wealth he did not pretend to ignore, but he believed
that even immense fortunes, on the whole, represented positive benefits
conferred upon the country. Nevertheless he felt that grave dangers to
the safety and the happiness of the people lurked in great inequalities
of wealth. In 1906 he wrote that he wished it were in his power to
prevent the heaping up of enormous fortunes. The next year, to the
astonishment of many leaders in his own party, he boldly announced in a
message to Congress that he approved both income and inheritance taxes,
then generally viewed as Populist or Democratic measures. He even took
the stand that such taxes should be laid in order to bring about a more
equitable distribution of wealth and greater equality of opportunity
among citizens.


=Economic Legislation.=--When President Roosevelt turned from the field
of opinion he found himself in a different sphere. Many of his views
were too advanced for the members of his party in Congress, and where
results depended upon the making of new laws, his progress was slow.
Nevertheless, in his administrations several measures were enacted that
bore the stamp of his theories, though it could hardly be said that he
dominated Congress to the same degree as did some other Presidents. The
Hepburn Railway Act of 1906 enlarged the interstate commerce commission;
it extended the commission's power over oil pipe lines, express
companies, and other interstate carriers; it gave the commission the
right to reduce rates found to be unreasonable and discriminatory; it
forbade "midnight tariffs," that is, sudden changes in rates favoring
certain shippers; and it prohibited common carriers from transporting
goods owned by themselves, especially coal, except for their own proper
use. Two important pure food and drug laws, enacted during the same
year, were designed to protect the public against diseased meats and
deleterious foods and drugs. A significant piece of labor legislation
was an act of the same Congress making interstate railways liable to
damages for injuries sustained by their employees. When this measure was
declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court it was reënacted with the
objectionable clauses removed. A second installment of labor legislation
was offered in the law of 1908 limiting the hours of railway employees
engaged as trainmen or telegraph operators.

[Illustration: _Courtesy United States Reclamation Service._


=Reclamation and Conservation.=--The open country--the deserts, the
forests, waterways, and the public lands--interested President Roosevelt
no less than railway and industrial questions. Indeed, in his first
message to Congress he placed the conservation of natural resources
among "the most vital internal problems" of the age, and forcibly
emphasized an issue that had been discussed in a casual way since
Cleveland's first administration. The suggestion evoked an immediate
response in Congress. Under the leadership of Senator Newlands, of
Nevada, the Reclamation Act of 1902 was passed, providing for the
redemption of the desert areas of the West. The proceeds from the sale
of public lands were dedicated to the construction of storage dams and
sluiceways to hold water and divert it as needed to the thirsty sands.
Furthermore it was stipulated that the rents paid by water users should
go into a reclamation fund to continue the good work forever.
Construction was started immediately under the terms of the law. Within
seventeen years about 1,600,000 acres had been reclaimed and more than a
million were actually irrigated. In the single year 1918, the crops of
the irrigated districts were valued at approximately $100,000,000.

In his first message, also, President Roosevelt urged the transfer of
all control over national forests to trained men in the Bureau of
Forestry--a recommendation carried out in 1907 when the Forestry Service
was created. In every direction noteworthy advances were made in the
administration of the national domain. The science of forestry was
improved and knowledge of the subject spread among the people. Lands in
the national forest available for agriculture were opened to settlers.
Water power sites on the public domain were leased for a term of years
to private companies instead of being sold outright. The area of the
national forests was enlarged from 43 million acres to 194 million acres
by presidential proclamation--more than 43 million acres being added in
one year, 1907. The men who turned sheep and cattle to graze on the
public lands were compelled to pay a fair rental, much to their
dissatisfaction. Fire prevention work was undertaken in the forests on a
large scale, reducing the appalling, annual destruction of timber.
Millions of acres of coal land, such as the government had been
carelessly selling to mining companies at low figures, were withdrawn
from sale and held until Congress was prepared to enact laws for the
disposition of them in the public interest. Prosecutions were
instituted against men who had obtained public lands by fraud and vast
tracts were recovered for the national domain. An agitation was begun
which bore fruit under the administrations of Taft and Wilson in laws
reserving to the federal government the ownership of coal, water power,
phosphates, and other natural resources while authorizing corporations
to develop them under leases for a period of years.

=The Prosecution of the Trusts.=--As an executive, President Roosevelt
was also a distinct "personality." His discrimination between "good" and
"bad" trusts led him to prosecute some of them with vigor. On his
initiative, the Northern Securities Company, formed to obtain control of
certain great western railways, was dissolved by order of the Supreme
Court. Proceedings were instituted against the American Tobacco Company
and the Standard Oil Company as monopolies in violation of the Sherman
Anti-Trust law. The Sugar Trust was found guilty of cheating the New
York customs house and some of the minor officers were sent to prison.
Frauds in the Post-office Department were uncovered and the offenders
brought to book. In fact hardly a week passed without stirring news of
"wrong doers" and "malefactors" haled into federal courts.

=The Great Coal Strike.=--The Roosevelt theory that the President could
do anything for public welfare not forbidden by the Constitution and the
laws was put to a severe test in 1902. A strike of the anthracite coal
miners, which started in the summer, ran late into the autumn.
Industries were paralyzed for the want of coal; cities were threatened
with the appalling menace of a winter without heat. Governors and mayors
were powerless and appealed for aid. The mine owners rejected the
demands of the men and refused to permit the arbitration of the points
in dispute, although John Mitchell, the leader of the miners, repeatedly
urged it. After observing closely the course affairs, President
Roosevelt made up his mind that the situation was intolerable. He
arranged to have the federal troops, if necessary, take possession of
the mines and operate them until the strike could be settled. He then
invited the contestants to the White House and by dint of hard labor
induced them to accept, as a substitute or compromise, arbitration by a
commission which he appointed. Thus, by stepping outside the
Constitution and acting as the first citizen of the land, President
Roosevelt averted a crisis of great magnitude.

=The Election of 1904.=--The views and measures which he advocated with
such vigor aroused deep hostility within as well as without his party.
There were rumors of a Republican movement to defeat his nomination in
1904 and it was said that the "financial and corporation interests" were
in arms against him. A prominent Republican paper in New York City
accused him of having "stolen Mr. Bryan's thunder," by harrying the
trusts and favoring labor unions. When the Republican convention
assembled in Chicago, however, the opposition disappeared and Roosevelt
was nominated by acclamation.

This was the signal for a change on the part of Democratic leaders. They
denounced the President as erratic, dangerous, and radical and decided
to assume the moderate rôle themselves. They put aside Mr. Bryan and
selected as their candidate, Judge Alton B. Parker, of New York, a man
who repudiated free silver and made a direct appeal for the conservative
vote. The outcome of the reversal was astounding. Judge Parker's vote
fell more than a million below that cast for Bryan in 1900; of the 476
electoral votes he received only 140. Roosevelt, in addition to sweeping
the Republican sections, even invaded Democratic territory, carrying the
state of Missouri. Thus vindicated at the polls, he became more
outspoken than ever. His leadership in the party was so widely
recognized that he virtually selected his own successor.


=The Campaign of 1908.=--Long before the end of his elective term,
President Roosevelt let it be known that he favored as his successor,
William Howard Taft, of Ohio, his Secretary of War. To attain this end
he used every shred of his powerful influence. When the Republican
convention assembled, Mr. Taft easily won the nomination. Though the
party platform was conservative in tone, he gave it a progressive tinge
by expressing his personal belief in the popular election of United
States Senators, an income tax, and other liberal measures. President
Roosevelt announced his faith in the Republican candidate and appealed
to the country for his election.

The turn in Republican affairs now convinced Mr. Bryan that the signs
were propitious for a third attempt to win the presidency. The disaster
to Judge Parker had taught the party that victory did not lie in a
conservative policy. With little difficulty, therefore, the veteran
leader from Nebraska once more rallied the Democrats around his
standard, won the nomination, and wrote a platform vigorously attacking
the tariff, trusts, and monopolies. Supported by a loyal following, he
entered the lists, only to meet another defeat. Though he polled almost
a million and a half more votes than did Judge Parker in 1904, the palm
went to Mr. Taft.

=The Tariff Revision and Party Dissensions.=--At the very beginning of
his term, President Taft had to face the tariff issue. He had met it in
the campaign. Moved by the Democratic demand for a drastic reduction, he
had expressed opinions which were thought to imply a "downward
revision." The Democrats made much of the implication and the
Republicans from the Middle West rejoiced in it. Pressure was coming
from all sides. More than ten years had elapsed since the enactment of
the Dingley bill and the position of many industries had been altered
with the course of time. Evidently the day for revision--at best a
thankless task--had arrived. Taft accepted the inevitable and called
Congress in a special session. Until the midsummer of 1909, Republican
Senators and Representatives wrangled over tariff schedules, the
President making little effort to influence their decisions. When on
August 5 the Payne-Aldrich bill became a law, a breach had been made in
Republican ranks. Powerful Senators from the Middle West had spoken
angrily against many of the high rates imposed by the bill. They had
even broken with their party colleagues to vote against the entire
scheme of tariff revision.

=The Income Tax Amendment.=--The rift in party harmony was widened by
another serious difference of opinion. During the debate on the tariff
bill, there was a concerted movement to include in it an income tax
provision--this in spite of the decision of the Supreme Court in 1895
declaring it unconstitutional. Conservative men were alarmed by the
evident willingness of some members to flout a solemn decree of that
eminent tribunal. At the same time they saw a powerful combination of
Republicans and Democrats determined upon shifting some of the burden of
taxation to large incomes. In the press of circumstances, a compromise
was reached. The income tax bill was dropped for the present; but
Congress passed the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution, authorizing
taxes upon incomes from whatever source they might be derived, without
reference to any apportionment among the states on the basis of
population. The states ratified the amendment and early in 1913 it was

=President Taft's Policies.=--After the enactment of the tariff bill,
Taft continued to push forward with his legislative program. He
recommended, and Congress created, a special court of commerce with
jurisdiction, among other things, over appeals from the interstate
commerce commission, thus facilitating judicial review of the railway
rates fixed and the orders issued by that body. This measure was quickly
followed by an act establishing a system of postal savings banks in
connection with the post office--a scheme which had long been opposed by
private banks. Two years later, Congress defied the lobby of the express
companies and supplemented the savings banks with a parcels post system,
thus enabling the American postal service to catch up with that of other
progressive nations. With a view to improving the business
administration of the federal government, the President obtained from
Congress a large appropriation for an economy and efficiency commission
charged with the duty of inquiring into wasteful and obsolete methods
and recommending improved devices and practices. The chief result of
this investigation was a vigorous report in favor of a national budget
system, which soon found public backing.

President Taft negotiated with England and France general treaties
providing for the arbitration of disputes which were "justiciable" in
character even though they might involve questions of "vital interest
and national honor." They were coldly received in the Senate and so
amended that Taft abandoned them altogether. A tariff reciprocity
agreement with Canada, however, he forced through Congress in the face
of strong opposition from his own party. After making a serious breach
in Republican ranks, he was chagrined to see the whole scheme come to
naught by the overthrow of the Liberals in the Canadian elections of

=Prosecution of the Trusts.=--The party schism was even enlarged by what
appeared to be the successful prosecution of several gr