A School History of the United States
John Bach McMaster
Part 8 out of 10
the old Chinese treaty of 1858. Henceforth it was to be a penal offense
to take Chinamen to the United States without their free consent. This
was not enough, and in order to force Congress to act, the question was
made a political issue.
%505. The Prohibition Party.%--The temperance cause in the United
States dates back to 1810. But it was not till Maine passed a law
forbidding the sale of liquor, in 1851, and her example was followed by
Vermont and Rhode Island in 1852, by Connecticut in 1854, and by New
York, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Iowa, in 1855, that prohibition
became an issue. The war turned the thoughts of people to other things.
But after the war, prohibition parties began to appear in several
states, and in 1869 steps were taken to unite and found a national
party. In that year, the Grand Lodges of Good Templars held a convention
at Oswego, N.Y., and by these men a call was issued for a national
convention of prohibitionists to form a political party. The delegates
thus summoned met at Chicago in September, 1869, and there founded the
"National Prohibition Reform party." The first national nominating
convention was held at Columbus, O., in 1872, when James Black of
Pennsylvania was nominated for President, and John Russell of Michigan
for Vice President.
%506. Campaign of 1872.%--At the beginning of the campaign there were
thus seven presidential candidates before the people. But some refused
to run, and others had no chance, so that the contest was really between
General Grant and Horace Greeley, who was caricatured unmercifully. The
benevolent face of the great editor, spectacled, and fringed with a
snow-white beard, appeared on fans, on posters, on showcards, where, as
a setting sun, it might be seen going down behind the western hills. "Go
west," his famous advice to young men, became the slang phrase of the
hour. He was defeated, for Grant carried thirty-one states, and
In many respects this was a most interesting election. For the first
time in our history the freedmen voted for presidential electors. For
the first time since 1860 the people of all the states took part in the
election of a President of the United States, while the number of
candidates, Labor, Prohibition, Liberal Republican, Democratic, and
Republican, showed that the old issues which caused the war or were
caused by the war were dead or dying, and that new ones were
%507. Panic of 1873.%--Now, all these things, the immense expansion
of the railroads, and the great outlay necessary for rebuilding Chicago,
much of which had been burned in 1871, and Boston, which suffered from a
great fire in 1872, absorbed money and made it difficult to get. Just in
the midst of the stringency a quarrel arose between the farmers and the
railroads in the West, and made matters worse. It stopped the sale of
railroad bonds, and crippled the enterprises that depended on such sale
for funds. It impaired the credit of bankers concerned in railroad
building, and in September, 1873, a run on them for deposits began till
one of them, Jay Cooke & Co., failed, and at once a panic swept over the
business world. Country depositors demanded their money; the country
banks therefore withdrew their deposits with the city banks, which in
turn called in their loans, and industry of every kind stopped. In 1873
there were 5000 failures, and in 1874 there were 5800. Hours of labor
were reduced, wages were cut down, workingmen were discharged by
%508. The Inflation Bill.%--In hope of relieving this distress by
making money easier to get, a demand was now made that Congress should
issue more greenbacks. To this Congress, in 1874, responded by passing
the "Inflation Bill," declaring that there should be $400,000,000 in
greenbacks, no more, no less. As the limit fixed in 1868 was
$356,000,000, the bill tended to "inflate" or add to the paper currency
$44,000,000. Grant vetoed the bill.
%509. Resumption of Specie Payments.%--What shall be done with the
currency? now became the question of the hour, and at the next session
of Congress (1874-75) another effort was made to answer it, and "an act
to provide for the resumption of specie payments" was passed.
1. Under this law, silver 10, 25, and 50 cent pieces were to be
exchanged through the post offices and subtreasuries for fractional
currency till it was all redeemed.
2. Surplus revenue might be used and bonds issued for the purchase of
3. That part of an act of 1870 which limited the amount of national bank
notes to $354,000,000 was repealed.
4. The banks could now put out more bills; but for each $100 they put
out the Secretary of the Treasury must call in $80 of greenbacks, till
but $300,000,000 of them remained.
5. After January 1,1879, he must redeem them all on demand.
%510. The Political Issues of 1876.%--The currency question, the hard
times which had continued since 1873, the rise of the Labor and
Prohibition parties, the reports of shameful corruption and dishonesty
in every branch of the public service, the dissatisfaction of a large
part of the Republican party with the way affairs were managed by the
administration, combined to make the election of 1876 very doubtful. The
general displeasure was so great that the Democratic party not only
carried state elections in the North in 1874 and 1875, but secured a
majority of the House of Representatives.
%511. Nomination of Presidential Candidates.%--When the time came to
make nominations for the presidency, the Prohibition party was first to
act. It selected Green Clay Smith of Kentucky and G.T. Stewart of Ohio
as its candidates, and demanded that in all the territories and the
District of Columbia, the importation, exportation, manufacture, and
sale of alcoholic beverages should be stopped. Two other demands--the
abolition of polygamy (which was practiced by the Mormons in Utah), and
the closing of the mails to the advertisements of gambling and lottery
schemes--have since been secured.
Next came the Greenback or Independent National party, which nominated
Peter Cooper of New York and Samuel F. Cary of Ohio, and called for the
repeal of the Resumption of Specie Payment Act, and the issue of paper
notes bearing a low rate of interest.
In June, the Republicans met in Cincinnati, and nominated Rutherford B.
Hayes of Ohio, and William A. Wheeler of New York. They endorsed the
financial policy of the party, demanded civil service reform, protection
to American industries, no more land grants to corporations, an
investigation of the effect of Chinese immigration, and "respectful
consideration" of the woman's rights question.
The Democrats nominated Samuel J. Tilden and Thomas A. Hendricks, and
called for reforms of every kind--in the civil service, in the
administration, in expenditures, in the internal revenue system, in the
currency, in the tariff, in the use of public lands, in the treatment of
%512. Result of the Election.%--While the campaign was going on,
Colorado was admitted (in August, 1876) as a state. There were then
thirty-eight states in the Union, casting 369 electoral votes. This made
185 necessary for a choice; and when the returns were all in, it
appeared that, if the Republicans could secure the electoral votes of
South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Oregon, they would have exactly
185. In these states, however, a dispute was raging as to which set of
electors, Republican or Democratic, was elected. Each claimed to be;
and, as the result depended on them, each set met and voted. It was then
for Congress to decide which should be counted.
Now, the framers of the Constitution had never thought of such a
condition of affairs, and had made no provisions to meet it. Congress
therefore provided for an
%513. "Electoral Commission,"% to decide which of the conflicting
returns should be accepted. This commission was to be composed of five
senators, five representatives, and five justices of the Supreme Court.
The Senate chose three Republicans and two Democrats; the House, three
Democrats and two Republicans. Congress appointed two Democratic and
two Republican justices, who chose the fifth justice, who was a
Republican. The Commission thus consisted of eight Republicans and seven
Democrats. The decision as to each of the disputed states was in favor
of the Republican electors, and as it could not be reversed unless both
houses of Congress consented, and as both would not consent, Hayes was
declared elected, over Tilden, by one electoral vote; namely, Hayes,
185; Tilden, 184.
[Illustration: Rutherford B. Hayes]
%514. Financial Policy of Grant's Administration.%--The inauguration
of Hayes was followed by a special session of Congress. In the House was
a great Democratic majority, pledged to a new financial measure--a
pledge which it soon made good.
The financial policy of Grant's eight years may be summed up briefly:
1. (1869) The "Credit Strengthening Act," declaring that 5-20 bonds of
the United States should be paid "in coin."
2. (1870) The Refunding Act, by which $1,500,000,000 in bonds bearing
five and six per cent interest were ordered to be replaced by other
bonds at four, four and a half, and five per cent. In this refunding,
the 5-20's, whose principal was payable in greenbacks, were replaced by
others whose principal was payable "in coin."
3. (1873) The act of 1873, by stopping the coinage of silver dollars,
and taking away the legal tender quality of those in circulation, made
the words "in coin" mean gold.
4. (1875) All greenbacks were to become redeemable in specie on January
5. To get specie, bonds might be issued.
%515. Bland Silver Bill; Silver remonetized.%--Against the
continuance of this policy the majority of the House stood pledged.
Before the session closed, therefore, two bills passed the House. One
repealed so much of the act of 1875 as provided for the retirement of
greenbacks and the issue of bonds. The second was brought in by Mr.
Bland of Missouri, and is still known by his name. It provided
1. That the silver dollar should again be coined, and at the ratio of 16
to 1; that is, that the same number of dollars should be made out of
sixteen pounds of silver as out of one pound of gold.
2. That silver should be a legal tender, at face value, for all debts,
public and private.
3. That all silver bullion brought to the mints should be coined into
dollars without cost to the bringer. This was "free coinage of silver."
The House passed the bill, but the Senate rejected the "free coinage"
provision and substituted the "Allison" amendment. Under this, the
Secretary of the Treasury was to _buy_ not less than $2,000,000, nor
more than $4,000,000, worth of silver bullion each month, and coin it
The House accepted the Senate amendment, and when Hayes vetoed the bill
Congress passed it over his veto and the "Bland-Allison Bill" became a
law in 1878.
%516. Silver Certificates.%--Now this return to the coinage of the
silver dollar was open to the objection that large sums in silver would
be troublesome because of the weight. It was therefore provided that the
coins might be deposited in the Treasury, and paper "silver
certificates" issued against them.
A few months later, January 1, 1879, the government returned to specie
payment, and ever since has redeemed greenbacks in gold, on demand.
%517. Foreign Relations; the French in Mexico.%--The statement was
made that with the exception of Russia the great powers of Europe
sympathized with the South during the Civil War. Two of them, France and
Great Britain, were openly hostile. The French Emperor allowed
Confederate agents to contract for the construction of war vessels in
French ports, and sent an army into Mexico to overturn that republic
and establish an empire. Mexico owed the subjects of Great Britain,
France, and Spain large sums of money, and as she would not pay, these
three powers in 1861 sent a combined army to hold her seaports till the
debts were paid. But it soon became clear that Napoleon had designs
against the republic, whereupon Great Britain and Spain withdrew.
Napoleon, however, seeing that the United States was unable to interfere
because of the Civil War, went on alone, destroyed the Mexican republic
and made Maximilian (a brother of the Emperor of Austria) Emperor of
Mexico. This was in open defiance of the Monroe Doctrine, and though the
United States protested, Napoleon paid no attention till 1865. Then, the
Civil War having ended, and Sheridan with 50,000 veteran troops having
been sent to the Rio Grande, the French soldiers were withdrawn (1867),
and the Mexican republican party captured Maximilian, shot him, and
reestablished the republic.
[Footnote 1: See Bullock's _Secret Service of the Confederate States in
%518. The Alabama Claims; Geneva Award.%--The hostility of Great
Britain was more serious than that of France. As we have seen, the
cruisers (_Alabama, Shenandoah, Florida_) built in her shipyards went to
sea and inflicted great injury on our commerce. Although she was well
aware of this, she for a long time refused to make good the damage done.
But wiser counsel in the end prevailed, and in 1871, by the treaty of
Washington, all disputed questions were submitted to arbitration.
The Alabama claims, as they were called, were sent to a board of five
arbitrators who met at Geneva (1872) and awarded the United States
$15,500,000 to be distributed among our citizens whose ships and
property had been destroyed by the cruisers.
%519. Other International Disputes; the Alaska Purchase.%--To the
Emperor of Germany was submitted the question of the true water boundary
between Washington Territory and British Columbia. He decided in favor
of the United States (1872).
To a board of Fish Commissioners was referred the claim of Canada that
the citizens of the United States derived more benefit from the fishing
in Canadian waters than did the Canadians from using the coast waters of
the United States. The award made to Great Britain was $5,500,000
In 1867, we purchased Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000.
_Financial History, 1868-1880_
1. When the war ended, the national debt consisted of two parts: the
bonded, and the unbonded or floating.
2. As public sentiment demanded the reduction of the debt, it was
decided to pay the bonds as fast as possible, and contract the currency
by canceling the greenbacks.
3. Contraction went on till 1868, when Congress ordered it stopped.
4. The payment of the bonds brought up the question, Shall the 5-20's be
paid in coin or greenbacks?
5. The Democrats in 1868 insisted that the bonds should be redeemed in
greenbacks; the Republicans that they should be paid in coin,--and when
they won, they passed the "Credit Strengthening Act" of 1869, and in
1870 refunded the bonds at lower rates.
6. In the process of refunding, the 5-20's, whose principal was payable
in greenbacks, were replaced by others payable "in coin." In 1873, the
coinage of the silver dollar was stopped, and the legal-tender quality
of silver was taken away. The words "in coin" therefore meant "in gold."
7. In 1875 it was ordered that all greenbacks should be redeemed in
specie after January 1, 1879 (resumption of specie payment).
8. In 1878 silver was made legal tender, and given limited coinage.
_The South and the Negro_
9. In 1869, three states still refused to comply with the Reconstruction
Act of 1867 and had no representatives in Congress.
10. Such states as had complied and given the negro the right to vote
were under "carpetbag" rule.
11. This rule became so unbearable that the Ku Klux Klan was organized
to terrify the negroes and keep them from the polls.
12. Congress in consequence sent out the Fifteenth Amendment to the
Constitution, and in 1871 enacted the Force Act.
13. These and other issues, as that of amnesty, split the Republican
party and led to the appearance of the Liberal Republicans in 1872.
14. In general, however, party differences turned almost entirely on
financial and industrial issues.
[Illustration: INDUSTRIAL AND RAILROAD MAP OF THE UNITED STATES]
GROWTH OF THE NORTHWEST
%520. Results of the War.%--The Civil War was fought by the North for
the preservation of the Union and by the South for the destruction of
the Union. But we who, after more than thirty years, look back on the
results of that struggle, can see that they did not stop with the
preservation of the Union. Both in the North and in the South the war
produced a great industrial revolution.
%521. Effect on the South.%--In the South, in the first place, it
changed the system of labor from slave to free. While the South was a
slave-owning country free labor would not come in. Without free labor
there could be no mills, no factories, no mechanical industries. The
South raised cotton, tobacco, sugar, and left her great resources
undeveloped. After slavery was abolished, the South was on the same
footing as the North, and her splendid resources began at once to be
It was found that her rich deposits of iron ore were second to none in
the world. It was found that beneath her soil lay an unbroken coal
field, 39,000 square miles in extent. It was found that cotton, instead
of being raised in less quantity under a system of free labor, was more
widely cultivated than ever. In 1860, 4,670,000 bales were grown; but in
1894 the number produced was 9,500,000. The result has been the rise of
a New South, and the growth of such manufacturing centers as Birmingham
in Alabama and Chattanooga in Tennessee, and of that center of commerce,
Atlanta, in Georgia.
%522. Rise of New Industries in the North.%--Much the same industrial
revolution has taken place in the North. The list of industries well
known to us, but unknown in 1860, is a long one. The production of
petroleum for commercial purposes began in 1859, when Mr. Drake drilled
his well near Titusville, in Pennsylvania. In 1860 the daily yield of
all the wells in existence was not 200 barrels. But by 1891 this
industry had so developed that 54,300,000 barrels were produced in that
year, or 14,900 a day.
[Illustration: Scene in the oil regions of Pennsylvania]
The last thirty years have seen the rise of cheese making as a
distinctive factory industry; of the manufacture of oleo-margarine, wire
nails, Bessemer steel, cotton-seed oil, coke, canned goods; of the
immense mills of Minneapolis, where 10,000,000 barrels of flour are made
annually, and of the meat dressing and packing business for which
Chicago and Kansas City are famous.
%523. The New Northwest.%--When the census was taken in 1860, so few
people were living in what are now Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho that
they were not counted. In Dakota there were less than 5000 inhabitants.
The discovery of gold and silver did for these territories what it had
done for Colorado. It brought into them so many miners that in 1870 the
population of these four territories amounted to 59,000. Between Lake
Superior (where in the midst of a vast wilderness Duluth had just been
laid out on the lake shore) and the mining camps in the mountains of
Montana, there was not a town nor a hamlet. (There were indeed a few
forts and Indian agencies and a few trading posts.) Northern Minnesota
was a forest, into which even the lumbermen had not gone. The region
from the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains was the hunting ground of the
Sioux, and was roamed over by enormous herds of buffalo.
%524. The Northern Pacific Railroad.%--But this great wilderness was
soon to be crossed by one of the civilizers of the age. After years of
vain effort, the promoters of the Northern Pacific began the building of
their road in 1870, and pushed it across the plains till Duluth and St.
Paul were joined with Puget Sound. As it went further and further
westward, emigrants followed it, towns sprang up, and cities grew with
%525. The New States.%--Idaho, which had no white inhabitants in
1860, had 32,000 in 1880; Montana had 39,000 in 1880, as against none in
1860. Kansas in twenty years increased her population four fold, and
Nebraska eight fold. This was extraordinary; but it was surpassed by
Dakota, whose population increased nearly ten fold in ten years
(1870-1880), and in 1889 was half a million. The time had now come to
form a state government. But as most of the people lived in the south
end of the territory, it was cut in two, and North and South Dakota were
admitted into the Union as states on the same day (November 2, 1889);
Montana followed within a fortnight, and Idaho and Wyoming within a year
(July, 1890). The four territories, in which in 1860 there were but 5000
white settlers, had thus by 1890 become the five states of North and
South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, with a population of
[Footnote 1: Colorado was admitted to the Union in 1876, Washington in
1889 (November 11); and Utah, the forty-fifth state, in 1896, under a
constitution forever prohibiting polygamy.]
%526. Wheat Farms and Cattle Ranches.%--Such a rush of people
completely transformed the country. The "Great American Desert" was made
productive. The buffaloes were almost exterminated, and one now is as
great a curiosity in the West as in the East. More than 7,000,000 were
slaughtered in 1871-1872. In lieu of them countless herds of cattle and
sheep, and fields of wheat and corn, cover the plains and hills of the
Northwest. In 1896 Montana contained 3,000,000 sheep, and Wyoming and
Idaho each over 1,000,000. In the two Dakotas 60,000,000 bushels of
wheat and 30,000,000 of corn were harvested. Many of the farms are of
enormous size. Ten, twenty, thirty thousand acre farms are not unknown.
One contains 75,000 acres.
[Illustration: A typical prairie sod house]
Over this region, the Dakotas, Montana, Kansas, and Nebraska, wander
herds of cattle, the slaughtering and packing of which have founded new
branches of industry. The stockyards at Chicago make a city.
[Footnote 1: Read "Dakota Wheat-Fields," _Harper's Magazine,_ March,
1880. Also a series of papers in _Harper's Magazine _for 1888.]
%527. Oklahoma.%--The eagerness of the "cattle kings" to get more
land for these herds to graze over had much to do with the opening of
Oklahoma for settlement. Originally it was part of Indian Territory, and
was sold by the Seminole Indians with the express condition that none
but Indians and freedmen should settle there. But the cattle kings, in
defiance of the government, went in and inclosed immense tracts. Many
were driven out, only to come in again. Their expulsion, with that of
small proprietors called "boomers," caused much agitation. Congress
bought a release from the condition, and in 1889 opened Oklahoma to
%528. The Boom Towns.%--A proclamation that a part of Oklahoma would
be opened April 22, caused a wild rush from every part of the West, till
five times as many settlers as could possibly obtain land were lined up
on the borders waiting for the signal to cross. Precisely at noon on
April 22, a bugle sounded, a wild yell answered, a cloud of dust filled
the air, and an army of men on foot, on horseback, in wagons, rushed
into the promised land. That morning Guthrie was a piece of prairie
land. That night it was a city of 10,000 souls. Before the end of the
year 60,000 people were in Oklahoma, building towns and cities of no
Within fifteen years Oklahoma had a population of over half a million;
and Congress provided (1906) for the admission, in 1907, of a new
forty-sixth state, including both Oklahoma and what was left of the old
1. One important result of the Civil War was a great industrial
2. Mining for precious metals, the Northern Pacific Railroad, and other
causes led to the admission into the Union of Colorado (1876), North and
South Dakota, Montana, Washington (1889), Idaho, Wyoming (1890), Utah
(1896), and Oklahoma (1907).
MECHANICAL AND INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS
%529. Mechanical Progress.%--The mechanical progress made by our
countrymen since the war surpasses that of any previous period. In 1866
another cable was laid across the bed of the Atlantic Ocean, and worked
successfully. Before 1876 the Gatling gun, dynamite, and the barbed-wire
fence were introduced; the compressed-air rock drill, the typewriter,
the Westinghouse air brake, the Janney car coupler, the cable-car
system, the self-binding reaper and harvester, the cash carrier for
stores, water gas, and the tin-can-making machine were invented, and
Brush gave the world the first successful electric light.
%530. Uses of Electricity.%--Till Brush invented his arc light and
dynamo, the sole practical use made of electricity was in the field of
telegraphy. But now in rapid succession came the many forms of electric
lights and electric motors; the electric railway, the search light;
photography by electric light; the welding of metals by electricity; the
phonograph and the telephone. In the decade between 1876 and 1886 came
also the hydraulic dredger, the gas engine, the enameling of sheet-iron
ware for kitchen use, the bicycle, and the passenger elevator, which has
transformed city life and dotted our great cities with buildings fifteen
and twenty stories high.
The decade 1886-1896 gave us the graphophone, the kinetoscope, the
horseless carriage, the vestibuled train, the cash register, the
perfected typewriter; the modern bicycle, which has deeply affected the
life of the people; and a great development in photography.
%531. Rise of Great Corporations.%--That mechanical progress so
astonishing should powerfully affect the business and industrial world
was inevitable. Trades, occupations, industries of all sorts, began to
concentrate and combine, and corporations took the place of individuals
and small companies. In place of the forty little telegraph companies of
1856, there was the great Western Union Company. In place of many petty
railroads, there were a few trunk lines. In place of a hundred producers
and refiners of petroleum, there was the one Standard Oil Company. These
are but a few of many; for the rapid growth of corporations was a
characteristic of the period.
%532. Millionaires and "Captains of Industry."%--As old lines of
industry were expanded and new ones were created, the opportunities for
money-getting were vastly increased. Men now began to amass immense
fortunes in gold and silver mining; by dealing in coal, in grain, in
cattle, in oil; by speculation in stocks; in iron and steel making; in
railroading,--millionaires and multi-millionaires became numerous, and
were often called "captains of industry," as an indication of the power
they held in the industrial world.
%533. Condition of Labor.%--Meanwhile, the conditions of the
workingman were also changing rapidly: 1. The chief employers of labor
were corporations and great capitalists. 2. The short voyage and low
fare from Europe, the efforts made by steamship companies to secure
passengers, the immense business activity in the country from 1867 to
1872, and the opportunities afforded by the rapidly growing West,
brought over each year hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe
to swell the ranks of labor. Between 1867 and 1873 the number was
2,500,000. 3. Bad management on the part of some corporations;
"watering" or unnecessarily increasing their stock on the part of
others, combined with sharp competition, began, especially after the
panic of 1873, to cut down dividends. This was followed by reduction of
wages, or by an increase in the duties of employees, and sometimes
%534. Labor Organizations; the Knights of Labor.%--Trades unions
existed in our country before the Constitution; but it was at the time
of the great industrial development during and after the war, that the
era of unions opened. At first that of each trade had no connection
with that of any other. But in 1869 an effort was made to unite all
workingmen on the broad basis of labor, and "The Noble Order of Knights
of Labor" was founded. For a while it was a secret order; but in 1878 a
declaration of principles was made, which began with the statement that
the alarming development and aggressiveness of great capitalists and
corporations, unless checked, "would degrade the toiling masses," and
announced that the only way to check this evil was to unite "all
laborers into one great body." The knights were in favor of
1. The creation of bureaus of labor for the collection and spread of
2. Arbitration between employers and employed.
3. Government ownership of telegraphs, telephones, railroads.
4. The reduction of the working day to eight hours.
They were opposed
1. To the hiring out of convict labor.
2. To the importation of foreign labor under contract.
3. To interest-bearing government bonds, and in favor of a national
currency issued directly to the people without the intervention
%535. The Workingman in Politics%.--As these ends could be secured
only by legislation, they very quickly became political issues and
brought up a new set of economic questions for settlement. From 1865 to
1870 the matters of public concern were the reconstruction measures and
the public debt. From 1870 to 1878 they were currency questions, civil
service reform, and land grants to railroads. From 1878 to 1888 almost
every one of them was in some way directly connected with labor.
1. Great inventions founded and developed new industries.
2. These in turn expanded the ranks of labor, and led to the rise of
corporations and labor organizations, and a demand for a long series
POLITICS SINCE 1880
%536. Candidates in 1880.%--The campaign of 1880 was opened by the
meeting of the Republican national convention at Chicago, where a long
and desperate effort was made to nominate General Grant for a third
term. But James Abram Garfield and Chester A. Arthur were finally
chosen. The platform called for national aid to state education, for
protection to American labor, for the suppression of polygamy in Utah,
for "a thorough, radical, and complete" reform of the civil service, and
for no more land grants to railroads or corporations.
The Greenback-Labor party nominated James B. Weaver and B.J. Chambers,
1. That all money should be issued by the government and not by banking
2. That the public domain must be kept for actual settlers and not given
3. That Congress must regulate commerce between the states, and secure
fair, moderate, and uniform rates for passengers and freight.
Next came the Prohibition party convention, and the nomination of Neal
Dow and Henry Adams Thompson.
Last of all was the Democratic convention, which nominated General
Winfield S. Hancock and William H. English. The platform called for
1. Honest money, consisting of gold and silver and paper convertible
into coin on demand.
2. A tariff for revenue only.
3. Public lands for actual settlers.
%537. Election and Death of Garfield.%--The campaign was remarkable
for several reasons:
1. Every presidential elector was chosen by popular vote; and every
electoral vote was counted as it was cast. This was the first
presidential election in our country of which both these statements
could be made.
2. For the first time since 1844 there was no agitation of a Southern
3. All parties agreed in calling for anti-Chinese legislation.
Garfield and Arthur were elected, and inaugurated on March 4, 1881. But
on July 2, 1881, as Garfield stood in a railway station at Washington, a
disappointed office seeker came up behind and shot him in the back. A
long and painful illness followed, till he died on September 19, 1881.
[Illustration: James A. Garfield]
[Illustration: Chester A. Arthur]
%538. Presidential Succession%--The death of Garfield and the
succession of Arthur to the presidential office left the country in a
peculiar situation. An act of Congress passed in 1792 provided that if
both the presidency and vice presidency were vacant at the same time,
the President _pro tempore_ of the Senate, or if there were none, the
Speaker of the House of Representatives, should act as President, till a
new one was elected. But in September, 1881, there was neither a
President _pro tempore_ of the Senate nor a Speaker of the House of
Representatives, as the Forty-sixth Congress ceased to exist on March 4,
and the Forty-seventh was not to meet till December. Had Arthur died or
been killed, there would therefore have been no President. It was not
likely that such a condition would happen again; but attention was
called to the necessity of providing for succession to the presidency,
and in 1886 a new law was enacted. Now, should the presidency and vice
presidency both become vacant, the presidency passes to members of the
Cabinet in the order of the establishment of their departments,
beginning with the Secretary of State. Should he die, be impeached and
removed, or become disabled, it would go to the Secretary of the
Treasury, and then, if necessary, to the Secretary of War, the
Attorney-general, the Postmaster-general, the Secretary of the Navy, the
Secretary of the Interior.
%539. Party Pledges redeemed.%--Since the Republican party was in
power, a redemption of the pledges in their platform was necessary, and
three laws of great importance were enacted. One, the Edmunds law
(1882), was intended to suppress polygamy in Utah and the neighboring
territories. Another (1882) stopped the immigration of Chinese laborers
for ten years. The third, the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883), was
designed to secure appointment to public office on the ground of
fitness, and not for political service.
%540. Corporations.%--These measures were all good enough in their
way; but they left untouched grievances which the workingmen and a great
part of the people felt were unbearable. That the development of the
wealth and resources of our country is chiefly due to great corporations
and great capitalists is strictly true. But that many of them abused the
power their wealth gave them cannot be denied. They were accused of
buying legislatures, securing special privileges, fixing prices to suit
themselves, importing foreign laborers under contract in order to
depress wages, and favoring some customers more than others.
%541. The Anti-monopoly and Labor Parties.%--Out of this condition of
affairs grew the Anti-monopoly party, which held a convention in 1884
and demanded that the Federal government should regulate commerce
between the states; that it should therefore control the railroads and
the telegraphs; that Congress should enact an interstate commerce law;
and that the importation of foreign laborers under contract should be
This platform was so fully in accordance with the views of the Greenback
or National party, that Benjamin F. Butler, the candidate of the
Anti-monopolists, was endorsed and so practically united the
[Illustration: Grover Cleveland]
%542. The Republican and Democratic Parties%.--The Republicans
nominated James G. Blaine and John A. Logan, and the Democrats Stephen
Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks. The Prohibitionists put up
John P. St. John and William Daniel. The nomination of Blaine was the
signal for the revolt of a wing of the Republicans, which took the name
of Independents, and received the nickname of "Mugwumps." The revolt was
serious in its consequences, and after the most exciting contest since
1876, Cleveland was elected.
%543. Public Measures adopted during 1885-1889.%--Widely as the
parties differed on many questions, Democrats, Republicans, and
Nationalists agreed in demanding certain reform measures which were now
carried out. In 1885 an Anti-Contract-Labor law was enacted, forbidding
any person, company, or corporation to bring any aliens into the United
States under contract to perform labor or service. In 1887 came the
Interstate Commerce Act, placing the railroads under the supervision of
commissioners whose duty it is to see that all charges for the
transportation of passengers and freight are "reasonable and just," and
that no special rates, rebates, drawbacks, or unjust discriminations are
made for one shipper over another. In 1888 a second Chinese Exclusion
Act prohibited the return of any Chinese laborer who had once left the
country. That same year a Department of Labor was established and put in
charge of a commissioner. His duty is to "diffuse among the people of
the United States useful information on subjects connected with labor."
%544. Political Issues since 1888%.--Thus by the end of Mr.
Cleveland's first term many of the demands of the workingmen had been
granted, and laws enacted for their relief. These issues disposed of, a
new set arose, and after 1888 financial questions took the place of
%545. The Surplus and the Tariff.%--These financial problems were
brought up by the condition of the public debt. For twenty years past
the debt had been rapidly growing less and less, till on December 1,
1887, it was $1,665,000,000, a reduction of more than $1,100,000,000 in
twenty-one years. By that time every bond of the United States that
could be called in and paid at its face value had been canceled. As all
the other bonds fell due, some in 1891 and others in 1907, the
government must either buy them at high rates, or suffer them to run. If
it suffered them to run, a great surplus would pile up in the Treasury.
Thus on December 1, 1887, after every possible debt of the government
was met, there was a surplus of $50,000,000. Six months later (June 1,
1888) the sum had increased to $103,000,000.
Unless this was to go on, and the money of the country be locked up in
the Treasury, one of three things must be done:
1. More bonds must be bought at high rates.
2. Or the revenue must be reduced by reducing taxation.
3. Or the surplus must be distributed among the states as in 1837, or
%546. The Mills Tariff Bill.%--Each plan had its advocates. But the
Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives, attempted to
solve the problem by cutting down the revenue, and passed a tariff bill,
called the Mills Bill, after its chief author, Mr. R. Q. Mills of Texas.
The Republicans declared it was a free-trade measure and defeated it in
%547. The Campaign of 1888; Benjamin Harrison, Twenty-third
President.%--In the party platforms of 1888 we find, therefore, that
three issues are prominent: (1) taxation, (2) tariff reform, (3) the
surplus. The Democrats nominated Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman,
and demanded frugality in public expenses, no more revenue than was
needed to pay the necessary cost of government, and a tariff for revenue
only. The Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton,
and demanded a tariff for protection, a reduction of the revenue by the
repeal of taxes on tobacco and on spirits used in the arts, and by the
admission free of duty of foreign-made articles the like of which are
not produced at home.
[Illustration: Benjamin Harrison]
The Prohibitionists, the Union Labor party, and the United Labor party
also placed candidates in the field. Harrison and Morton were elected,
and inaugurated March 4, 1889.
%548. The Republicans in Control.%--The Republican party not only
regained the presidency, but was once more in control of the House and
Senate. Thus free to carry out its pledges, it passed the McKinley
Tariff Act (1890); a new pension bill, which raised the number of
pensioners to 970,000, and the sum annually spent on pensions from
$106,000,000 to $150,000,000; and a new financial measure, known as
%549. The Sherman Act.%--You remember that the attempt to enact a law
for the free coinage of silver in 1878 led to the Bland-Allison Act, for
the purchase of bullion and the coinage of at least $2,000,000 worth of
silver each month. As this was not free coinage, the friends of silver
made a second attempt, in 1886, to secure the desired legislation. This
also failed. But in the summer of 1890, the silver men, having a
majority of the Senate, passed a free-coinage bill (June 17), which the
House rejected (June 25). A conference followed, and from this
conference came a bill which was quickly enacted into a law and called
the Sherman Act. It provided
1. That the Secretary of the Treasury should buy 4,500,000 ounces of
silver each month.
2. That he should pay for the bullion with paper money called treasury
3. That on demand of the holder the Secretary must redeem these notes in
gold or silver.
4. After July 1, 1891, the silver need not be coined, but might be
stored in the Treasury, and silver certificates issued.
%550. The Farmers' Alliance%.--This legislation, combined with an
agricultural depression and widespread discontent in the agricultural
states, caused the defeat of the Republicans in the elections of 1890.
The Democratic minority of 21 in the House of Representatives of the
Fifty-first Congress was turned into a Democratic majority of 135 in the
Fifty-second. Eight other members were elected by the Farmers' Alliance.
For twenty years past the farmers in every great agricultural state had
been organizing, under such names as Patrons of Husbandry, Farmers'
League, the Grange, Patrons of Industry, Agricultural Wheel, Farmers'
Alliance. Their object was to promote sociability, spread information
concerning agriculture and the price of grain and cattle, and guard the
interests and welfare of the farmer generally. By 1886 many of these
began to unite, and the National Agricultural Wheel of the United
States, the Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, and
several more came into existence. In 1889 the amalgamation was carried
further still, and at a convention in St. Louis they were all
practically united in the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.
The purpose of this alliance was political, and as its stronghold was
Kansas, the contest began in that state in 1890. At a convention of
Alliance men and Knights of Labor, a "People's Party" was formed, which
elected a majority of the state legislature. Five out of seven
Congressmen were secured, and one United States senator. Before Congress
met (in December, 1891), another member of the House was elected
elsewhere, and three more senators. The support of fifty other
representatives was claimed. Greatly elated over this important footing,
the Alliance men marked out a plan for congressional legislation.
1. A bill for the free and unlimited coinage of silver.
2. The subtreasury scheme.
3. A Land Mortgage Bill.
%551. The Subtreasury Plan of the Alliance Party.%--The idea at the
base of these demands was that the amount of money in circulation must
be increased, and loaned to the people without the aid of banks or
capitalists. It was proposed, therefore, that the government should
establish a number of subtreasury or money-loaning stations in each
state, at which the farmers could borrow money from the government (at
two per cent interest), giving as security non-perishable farm produce.
%552. The Land Mortgage Scheme% provided that any owner of from 10 to
320 acres of land, at least half of which was under cultivation, might
borrow from the government treasury notes equal to half the assessed
value of the land and buildings.
%553. The People's Party organized.%--That either of the old parties
would further such schemes was far from likely. A cry was therefore
raised by the most ardent Alliance men for a third party, and at a
conference of Alliance and Labor leaders in May, 1891, a new national
party was founded, and named "The People's Party of the United States
%554. Party Candidates in 1892.%--When the campaign opened in 1892
there were thus four parties in the field. The People's party nominated
James B. Weaver and James G. Field. The platform called for
1. The free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the ratio of 16
2. A graduated income tax.
3. Government ownership of railroads, telegraphs, and telephones.
4. The restriction of immigration.
5. A national currency to be loaned to the people at two per cent
interest per annum, secured by land or produce.
6. All land held by aliens, or by railroads in excess of their actual
needs, to be reclaimed and held for actual settlers.
The Prohibitionists nominated John Bidwell and J. B. Cranfill, and
declared "anew for the entire suppression of the manufacture, sale,
importation, exportation, and transportation of alcoholic liquors as a
The Democratic party selected Grover Cleveland for the third time and
chose Adlai E. Stevenson for Vice President. The platform condemned
trusts and combines, advocated the reclamation of the public lands from
corporations and syndicates, the exclusion of the Chinese and of the
criminals and paupers of Europe, denounced "the Sherman Act of 1890,"
and called for "the coinage of both gold and silver without
discriminating against either metal or charge for mintage," with "the
dollar unit of coinage of both metals" "of equal intrinsic and
The Republicans nominated Benjamin Harrison and Whitelaw Reid, expressed
their sympathy with the cause of temperance, their opposition to trusts,
and called for the coinage of both gold and silver in such way that "the
debt-paying power of the dollar, whether silver, gold, or paper, shall
be at all times equal."
%555. Grover Cleveland reelected.%--The election was a complete
triumph for the Democratic party. Mr. Cleveland was again elected, and
for the first time since 1861 the House, Senate, and President were all
Mr. Cleveland was inaugurated March 4,1893. Never in its history had the
country been seemingly more prosperous; the crops were bountiful;
business was flourishing, manufactures were thriving. But the prosperity
was not real. Business was inflated, and during the following summer an
industrial and financial panic which had long been brewing swept over
the business world, wrecking banks and destroying industrial and
To understand what now happened, two facts must be remembered:
1. Under the Resumption of Specie Payment Act of 1875, the Secretary of
the Treasury was authorized to buy specie by the issue of bonds and keep
it to redeem United States notes.
2. In May, 1878, it was ordered that when a greenback was redeemed in
specie, it should "not be retired, canceled, or destroyed, but shall be
reissued and paid out again and kept in circulation." There were then
$346,681,000 in greenbacks unredeemed.
%556. The Gold Reserve.%--Meantime, under the law of 1875, and before
January 1, 1879, the secretary issued $95,500,000 in bonds, the proceeds
of which, with other gold then in the Treasury, made a fund deemed
sufficient to redeem such notes as were likely to be presented. This has
since been called our gold reserve, and has been fixed by the
secretaries at $100,000,000. January 1, 1879, the reserve was
$114,000,000, and though it often rose and fell, it never went below
that amount till July, 1892. By that time there were other gold
obligations. The silver purchased under the law of 1890 was paid for
with notes exchangeable for "coin"; but as the secretaries always
construed "coin" to mean gold, and as by 1893 these notes amounted to
$150,000,000, our gold obligations--that is, notes exchangeable for
gold--were nearly $500,000,000 (greenbacks, $346,000,000; silver
purchase notes, $150,000,000). This immense and steadily increasing sum
caused a doubt of our ability to pay in gold, and a fear that we might
be forced to pay in silver. Now silver, since 1873, had fallen steadily
in value from $1.30 an ounce to $0.81 an ounce in 1893, so that the
bullion value of a silver dollar was about 67 cents. The fear, then,
that our debts might be paid in silver (1) led foreigners to cease
investing money in this country, and to send our stocks and bonds home
to be sold, and (2) led people in this country to draw gold out of the
banks and the Treasury and hoard it, so that in April, 1893, the gold
reserve, for the first time since it was created, fell below
$100,000,000 (to $97,000,000).
%557. The Panic of 1893.%--Business depression and "tight money"
followed. Over three hundred banks suspended or failed, manufactories
all over the country shut down, and a period of great distress set in.
People, alarmed at the condition of the banks, began to draw their
deposits and hoard them, thereby causing such a scarcity of bills of
small denominations that a "currency famine" was threatened.
%558. The Purchase of Silver stopped.%--Believing that the fear that
we should soon be "on a silver basis" had much to do with this state of
affairs, and that the compulsory purchase of silver each month had much
to do with the fear, the President assembled Congress in special
session, August 7, and asked for the repeal of that clause of the
Sherman Act of 1890 which required a monthly purchase of silver. After a
struggle in which both of the old parties were split, the compulsory
purchase clause was repealed, November 1, 1893.
%559. The Silver Movement.%--The steady fall in the bullion value of
silver was a serious blow to the prosperity of the great
silver-producing states,--Colorado, Montana, Idaho, South Dakota,
Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and the territories of Arizona and New
Mexico,--where silver mining was "the very heart from which every other
industry receives support." In Colorado alone 15,000 miners were made
idle. To the people of this section, some 2,000,000 in number, the
silver question was of vital importance; and, alarmed at the call for
the special session of Congress and the possible repeal of the
silver-purchase clause, they held a convention at Denver, with a view to
affecting public sentiment. A few weeks after, the National Bimetallic
League met at Chicago. Both opposed the repeal, and demanded that if the
government ceased to buy silver, the mints should be opened to free
coinage. This the friends of silver in the Senate attempted in vain to
%560. The Industrial Depression; the Wilson Bill.%--The industrial
revival which it was hoped would follow the repeal of the
silver-purchase law did not take place. Prices did not rise; failures
continued; the long-silent mills did not reopen; gold continued to leave
the country, imports fell off, and, when the year ended, the receipts of
the government were $34,000,000 behind the expenditures. With this
condition of the Treasury facing it, Congress met in December, 1893. The
Democrats were in control, and pledged to revise the tariff; and true to
the pledge, William L. Wilson of West Virginia, Chairman of the House
Committee on Ways and Means, presented a new tariff bill (the Wilson
Bill) which after prolonged debate passed both Houses and became a law
at midnight, August 27, 1894, without the President's signature. As it
was expected that the revenue yielded would not be sufficient to meet
the expenses of government, one section of the law provided for a tax of
two per cent on all incomes above $4000. This the Supreme Court
afterwards declared unconstitutional.
%561. The Bond Issues.%--We have seen that in April, 1893, the gold
reserve fell to $97,000,000. But it did not stop there; for, the
business depression and the demand for the free and unlimited coinage of
silver continuing, the withdrawal of gold went on, till the reserve was
so low that bonds were repeatedly sold for gold wherewith to maintain
it. In this wise, during 1894-95, $262,000,000 were added to our
%562. Foreign Relations; the Hawaiian Revolution.%--when Cleveland
took office, a treaty providing for the annexation of the Hawaiian
Islands was pending in the Senate. In January, 1983, these islands were
the scene of a revolution, which deposed the Queen and set up a
"provisional government." Commissioners were then dispatched to
Washington, where a treaty of annexation was negotiated and (February
15) sent to the Senate for approval. In the course of the revolution, a
force of men from the United States steamer _Boston_ was landed at the
request of the revolutionary leaders, and our flag was raised over some
of the buildings. When these facts became known, the President, fearing
that the presence of United States marines might have contributed much
to the success of the revolution, recalled the treaty from the Senate,
and sent an agent to the islands to investigate. His report set forth in
substance that the revolution would never have taken place had it not
been for the presence and aid of United States marines, and that the
Queen had practically been deposed by United States officials. A new
minister was thereupon sent, with instructions to announce that the
treaty of annexation would not be confirmed, and to seek for the
restoration of the Queen on certain conditions. But President Dole of
the Hawaiian republic denied the right of Cleveland to impose
conditions, or in any way interfere in the domestic concerns of Hawaii,
and refused to surrender to the Queen.
%563. The Venezuelan Boundary Dispute.%--During 1895, the boundary
dispute which had been dragging on for more than half a century between
Great Britain and Venezuela, reached what the President called "an acute
stage," and made necessary a statement of the position of the United
States under the Monroe Doctrine. Great Britain was therefore informed
"that the established policy of the United States is against a forcible
increase of any territory of a European power" in the New World, and
"that the United States is bound to protest against the enlargement of
the area of British Guiana against the will of Venezuela"; and she was
invited to submit her claims to arbitration. Her answer was that the
Monroe Doctrine was "inapplicable to the state of things in which we
live at the present day" and a refusal to submit her claims to
arbitration. The President then asked and received authority to appoint
a commission to examine the boundary and report. "When such report is
made and accepted," said Cleveland, "it will in my opinion be the duty
of the United States 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 any governmental jurisdiction,
over any territory which after investigation we have determined of right
belongs to Venezuela." For a time the excitement this message aroused in
Great Britain and our own country was extreme. But it soon subsided, and
on February 2, 1897, a treaty of arbitration was signed at Washington
between Great Britain and Venezuela.
%564. The Election of 1896%.--By that time the presidential election
was over. When in the spring the time came to choose delegates to the
party nominating conventions, the drift of public sentiment was so
strong against the administration, that it seemed certain that the
Republicans would "sweep the country." Little interest, therefore, was
taken by the Democrats, while the Republicans were most concerned in the
question whether Mr. McKinley or Mr. Reed should be their presidential
candidate. But as delegates were chosen by the Democrats in the Western
and Southern States, it became certain that the issue was to be the free
and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the ratio of 16 to 1.
The Republican convention met in June, nominated William McKinley and
Garret A Hobart, and declared the party "opposed to the free coinage of
silver except by international agreement," whereupon thirty-four
delegates representing the silver states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, South Dakota, and Utah) seceded from the party. The Democratic
convention assembled early in July, and after a most exciting convention
chose William J. Bryan and Arthur Sewall, and declared for "the free and
unlimited coinage of both silver and gold at the present legal ration of
16 to 1, without waiting for the aid and consent of any other nation." A
great defection followed this declaration, scores of newspapers refused
to support the candidates, and in September a convention of "gold
Democrats," taking the name of the National Democratic party, nominated
John M. Palmer and Simon B. Buckner, on a "gold standard" platform.
Meanwhile, the Prohibitionists, the National party (declaring for woman
suffrage, prohibition, government ownership of railroads and telegraphs,
an income tax, and the election of the President, Vice President, and
senators by direct vote of the people), the Socialist Labor party, the
Silver party, and the Populists, had all put candidates in the field.
The Silver party indorsed Bryan and Sewall; the Populists nominated
Bryan and Thomas E. Watson.
[Illustration: William McKinley]
%565. McKinley, President.%--An "educational campaign" was carried on
with a seriousness never before approached in our history, and resulted
in the election of Mr. McKinley. He was inaugurated on March 4, and
immediately called a special session of Congress to revise the tariff, a
work which ended in the enactment of the "Dingley Tariff," on July
%566. The Cuban Question.%--Absorbing as were the election and the
tariff, there was another matter, which for two years past had steadily
grown more and more serious. In February, 1895, the natives of Cuba for
the sixth time in fifty years rebelled against the misrule of Spain and
founded a republic. A cruel, bloody, and ruinous war followed, and as it
progressed, deeply interested the people of our country. The island lay
at our very doors. Upwards of $50,000,000 of American money were
invested in mines, railroads, and plantations there. Our yearly trade
with Cuba was valued at $96,000,000. Our ports were used by Cubans in
fitting out military expeditions, which the government was forced to
stop at great expense.
%567. Shall Cuba be given Belligerent Rights?%--These matters were
serious, and when to them was added the sympathy we always feel for any
people struggling for the liberty we enjoy, there seemed to be ample
reason for our insisting that Spain should govern Cuba better or set her
free. Some thought we should buy Cuba; some that we should recognize the
Republic of Cuba; others that we should intervene even at the risk of
war. Thus urged on, Congress in 1896 declared that the Cubans were
entitled to belligerent rights in our ports, and asked the President to
endeavor to persuade Spain to recognize the independence of Cuba; and
the House in 1897 recommended that the independence of Cuba be
recognized. But nothing came of either recommendation, and so the matter
stood when McKinley was inaugurated.
During the summer of 1897 matters grew worse. A large part of the island
became a wilderness. The people who had been driven into the towns by
order of Captain General Weyler, the "reconcentrados," were dying of
starvation, and our countrymen, deeply moved at their suffering, began
to send them food and medical aid.
%568. The Maine destroyed.%--While engaged in this humane work they were
horrified to hear that on the night of February 15, 1898, our battleship
_Maine_ was blown up in the harbor of Havana, and 260 of her sailors
killed. Although our Court of Inquiry was unable to fix the
responsibility for the explosion, many people believed that it had been
perpetrated by Spaniards, and the hope of a peaceable settlement of the
Cuban question rapidly waned. The sum of $50,000,000 was voted to the
President for strengthening our defenses and buying ships and munitions
of war. After declining to recognize the Cuban Republic, Congress
adopted a resolution, on April 19, declaring for the freedom of Cuba,
demanding that Spain should withdraw from the island, and authorizing
the President to compel her withdrawal, if necessary, by means of our
army and navy. Spain severed diplomatic relations with us on April 21,
and the war began on that date, as declared by an Act of Congress a few
days later. Two hundred thousand volunteers were quickly enlisted, out
of the much larger number that wished to serve.
%569. War with Spain.%--The Battle of Manila.--While one fleet which
had long been gathering at Key West went off and blockaded Havana and
other parts of the coast of Cuba, another, under Commodore George
Dewey, sailed from Hong-kong to attack the Spanish fleet at the
Philippine Islands. Dewey found it in the Bay of Manila, where, on May
1, 1898, he fought and won the most brilliant naval battle in the
world's history. Passing the forts at the entrance, he entered the bay,
and, without the loss of a man or a ship, he destroyed the entire
Spanish fleet of ten vessels, killed and wounded over 600 men, and
captured the arsenal at Cavite (cah-ve-ta') and the forts at the
entrance to the bay. The city of Manila was then blockaded by Dewey's
fleet, and General Merritt with 20,000 troops was sent across the
Pacific to take possession of the Philippines, which had long been
Spain's most important possession in the East. For his great victory
Dewey received the thanks of Congress and was promoted to be
Rear-Admiral, and later was given for life the full rank of Admiral.
[Illustration: Admiral Dewey]
[Illustration Rear-Admiral Sampson]
%570. The Destruction of Cervera's Fleet--Capture of
Santiago.%--Meantime a second Spanish fleet, under Admiral Cervera,
sailed from the Cape Verde Islands. Acting Rear-Admiral Sampson, with
ships which had been blockading Havana, and Commodore Schley, with a
Flying Squadron, went in search of Cervera, and after a long hunt he was
found in the harbor of Santiago de Cuba (sahn-te-ah'go da coo'bah),
which was promptly blockaded by the ships of both squadrons, with
Sampson in command. The narrow entrance to the harbor was so well
defended by forts and submarine mines that a direct attack on Cervera
was impossible. In an attempt to complete the blockade, Naval
Constructor R. P. Hobson and a volunteer crew of seven men took the
collier _Merrimac_ to the harbor entrance, and, amid a rain of shot and
shell, sank her in the channel (June 3). The gallant little band escaped
with life, but were made prisoners of war, and in time were exchanged.
[Illustration: General Shafter]
[Illustration: Rear-Admiral Schley]
The capture of Santiago was decided upon when Cervera sought refuge in
its harbor, and about 18,000 men (mostly of the regular army), under
General Shafter, were hurried to Cuba and landed a few miles from the
city. On July 1 the enemy's outer line of defenses were taken, after
severe fighting at El Caney (ca-na') and San Juan (sahn hoo-ahn'); and
on the next day the Spaniards failed in an attempt to retake them. So
certain was it that the city must soon surrender, that Cervera was
ordered to dash from the harbor, break through the American fleet, and
put to sea. On Sunday morning, July 3, the attempt was made; a desperate
sea fight followed, and, in a few hours, all six of the Spanish vessels
were sunk or stranded, shattered wrecks, on the coast of Cuba. The
Spanish loss in killed and wounded was heavy, while Admiral Cervera and
about 1800 of his men were taken prisoners. Not one of our vessels was
seriously damaged, and but one of our men was killed. When the battle
began, the American war ships were in their usual positions before the
harbor, as assigned them by Admiral Sampson; but Sampson himself, in his
flagship, was several miles to the east on his way to a conference with
General Shafter. Commodore Schley's flagship, the _Brooklyn_, was at the
west end of the line, and as the enemy tried to escape in that
direction, she was in the thickest of the fight. Another war ship which
especially distinguished herself was the _Oregon_, a Western-built
ship, which had sailed from San Francisco all the way around Cape Horn
in order to reach the seat of war.
[Illustration: General Miles]
After the naval battle of July 3, all hope of successful resistance by
the Spaniards vanished, and on July 17, General Toral surrendered
Santiago, the eastern end of Cuba, and an army of nearly 25,000 men. A
week later General Miles set off to seize the island of Porto Rico. He
landed on the southern coast, and had occupied much of the island when
hostilities came to an end.
571. Peace.--On August 12, 1898, a protocol was signed by
representatives of the two nations, providing for the immediate
cessation of hostilities, the withdrawal of Spain from the West Indies,
and the occupation of Manila by the United States till the conclusion of
a treaty of peace, which was to be negotiated by a commission meeting in
Paris, and which was to provide for the disposition of the Philippines.
News of the cessation of hostilities was instantly sent to all our
fleets and armies. But, on August 13, before word could reach the
Philippines, Manila was attacked by General Merritt's army and Dewey's
fleet, whereupon the Spanish general surrendered the city and about
A formal treaty of peace was signed at Paris December 10, 1898,
providing that Spain should relinquish her title to Cuba, and cede Porto
Rico, Guam (one of the Ladrones), and the Philippines to the United
States; and that the United States should pay $20,000,000 to Spain. The
treaty was then submitted to the governments of the United States and
Spain for ratification; but in both countries it met some opposition. In
our country objections were made especially to the taking of the
Philippines without the consent of their inhabitants, many of whom,
under the leadership of Aguinaldo, had previously rebelled against Spain
and were now demanding complete independence; but the prevailing view
was that our immediate control was necessary to prevent civil war,
anarchy, and foreign complications there. Accordingly, on February 6,
1899, the treaty was ratified by the Senate by a vote of 57 to 27. Spain
also accepted the treaty, which was formally proclaimed April 11. The
$20,000,000 was promptly paid to Spain, and ordinary diplomatic
relations were resumed.
%572. The War Bonds and War Taxes.%--For the expenses of the war with
Spain Congress made ample provision. The Secretary of the Treasury was
authorized to issue $400,000,000 in 3 per cent bonds, and borrow
$100,000,000 upon temporary certificates of indebtedness. Stamp taxes,
an inheritance tax, and a duty on tea were laid, and the silver in the
Treasury was ordered to be coined at the rate of $1,500,000 a month.
[Footnote 1: $200,000,000 of the war bonds were offered for popular
subscription, and $109,000,000 were subscribed in sums under $500. All
was taken in sums under $5000.]
%573. Hawaii annexed.%--But in few respects was the effect of the war
so marked as in the changed sentiment of the people toward Hawaii.
During five years the little republic had been steadily seeking
annexation to the United States, and seeking in vain. But with the
partial occupation of the Philippines, and the impending acquisition of
Porto Rico, and perhaps Cuba, the policy of territorial expansion lost
many of its terrors, and the Hawaiian Islands were annexed by joint
resolution of Congress, signed by the President July 7, 1898. The formal
transfer of sovereignty took place August 12. The islands continued
temporarily under their existing form of government, with slight
modifications, till June 14, 1900, when they were organized as a
[Illustration: (World Map)]
[Illustration: General Otis]
%574. The War in the Philippines.%--While the treaty with Spain was
under consideration, the city of Manila was held by General Otis,
Merritt's successor; but native troops, under Aguinaldo, were in control
of most of Luzon and several other islands. On the night of February 4,
1899, the long-threatened conflict between them was begun by Aguinaldo's
unsuccessful attack on the Americans at Manila. War now followed; but in
battle after battle the natives were beaten and scattered, till by the
beginning of the year 1900 the main army of the Filipinos had been
completely broken up, and the only forces still opposing American
authority were small bodies of bandits and guerrillas. These held out
persistently, and continued the warfare for more than a year. In 1900
the President sent a commission to the Philippines to organize civil
government in such localities and in such degree as it should deem
advisable; and in 1902 Congress enacted a plan of government under which
the Philippines are constituted a partly self-governing dependency.
%575. Porto Rico and Cuba.%--After the close of the Spanish war, both
Porto Rico and Cuba remained under the military control of the United
States for many months. For Porto Rico, which had been ceded to our
country, Congress provided a system of civil government which went into
effect May 1, 1900. This organized Porto Rico as a dependency.
Cuba, however, had not been ceded to the United States. It had passed
under our control only for the restoration of peace and the
establishment of a stable government there; for Congress, in its
resolution of April 19, 1898, asserted its determination, after the
pacification of Cuba, "to leave the government and control of the island
to its people." In June, 1900, the local city governments were turned
over to municipal officers that had been elected by the people. In the
following winter a constitution was framed by a convention of delegates
elected by the Cubans. Then, after certain provisions had been added to
this, to govern the future relations between Cuba and the United States,
and after the first officers of the Cuban Republic had been elected, the
United States troops were withdrawn and the new government took charge
of the island, May 20, 1902.
%576. Disorders in China.%--Early in 1900 a patriotic society of
Chinese, called the Boxers, began to massacre native Christians in the
north of China, and to drive out or kill all missionaries and other
foreigners. The disorder soon spread to Pekin, where the foreign
ministers and their countrymen (including some Americans) were besieged
in their quarter of the city by Boxers and regular Chinese troops; for
the Chinese government, instead of suppressing the Boxers, acted in
sympathy with them.
President McKinley sent warships and soldiers to China, where they
cooeperated with the forces of Japan and the European powers in rescuing
the imperiled foreigners in Pekin. War was not declared against China,
though she resisted the invading troops, making it necessary for them to
capture several towns and to fight several battles before Pekin was
taken. A treaty was then negotiated with the United States, Japan, and
the European powers, providing for the restoration of order and a
settlement of the various claims against China.
%577%. At home during 1900 our population was counted; a President
was elected; and a currency law of much importance was enacted. In the
United States and the territories there were found to be about
76,000,000 people, and in the one state of New York more inhabitants
than there were in all the United States in 1810.
By the currency law, known as the Gold Standard Act, it is provided:--
1. That the gold dollar shall be the standard unit of value.
2. That all forms of money issued or coined shall be kept "at a parity
of value" with this gold standard.
3. That United States notes and Treasury notes shall be redeemed in gold
coin. For this purpose $150,000,000 of gold coin or bullion is set apart
in the Treasury.
%578%. When the time came to prepare for the election of a President
and Vice President, eleven conventions were held, as many platforms were
framed, and eight pairs of candidates were nominated. There were the
Democratic and Republican parties; the People's Party (Fusionists) and
the People's Party (Middle of the Road Anti-Fusionists); the
Prohibition, United Christian, Silver Republican, Socialist Labor,
Social Democratic, and National parties; and the Anti-Imperialist
League. The things opposed, approved of, or demanded by these parties
were many and various; but a few should be stated as showing what the
people were thinking about: Trusts, the gold standard, the free coinage
of silver, a canal across Nicaragua or the isthmus of Panama, election
of United States senators by the people, repeal of the war taxes,
statehood for the territories, independence for the Filipinos, aid to
American shipping, irrigation of the arid lands in the West, public
ownership of railways and telegraphs, desecration of the Sabbath,
equality of men and women, exclusion of the Asiatics, the
%579. McKinley Reelected.%--The Populist (Fusionist) convention
nominated William J. Bryan and Charles A. Towne. But the Democrats named
Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson. Thereupon Towne withdrew, and Bryan and
Stevenson were made the candidates of the Populists and the Silver party
as well as of the Democrats. The Democratic platform denounced
imperialism and trusts, and reiterated the demand for the free coinage
of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1. The Republicans renominated
President McKinley, and nominated Theodore Roosevelt for Vice President,
on a platform indorsing McKinley's administration and favoring the gold
standard of money. McKinley and Roosevelt were elected.
%580. McKinley Assassinated.% On March 4, 1901, the President began
his second term, which six months later came to a dreadful end. In May a
great fair--the Pan-American Exposition--was opened at Buffalo, and to
this exposition the President came as a guest early in September, and
was holding a public reception on the afternoon of the 6th, when an
anarchist who approached as if to shake hands, suddenly shot him twice.
For several days it was thought that the wounds would not prove fatal;
but early on the morning of the 14th, the President died, and that
afternoon Mr. Roosevelt took the oath of office required by the
Constitution and became President.
[Illustration: Theodore Roosevelt]
%581. Public Measures adopted in 1901-1904.%--The events connected
with our large island possessions had directed much attention to our
military and naval forces. As a result, Congress passed several measures
to increase the efficiency of the army, and appropriated large sums for
additions to the navy. For the reclamation of the arid parts of the Far
West an important law was enacted (1902), setting aside the money
received from the sales of public land in that part of the country and
appropriating it for the planning and construction of irrigation works.
In 1903 a ninth member was added to the President's cabinet in the
person of the Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The new department was
made to include the Department of Labor established fifteen years
before, and a number of other bureaus already existing; at the same time
the Bureau of Corporations was newly established, and was given the
power to investigate the organization and workings of any trust or
corporation (except railroads) engaged in interstate or foreign
commerce, and, with the President's approval, to publish the
information so obtained.
A long-standing dispute as to the eastern boundary of southern Alaska
was referred to a British-American tribunal, which decided chiefly in
favor of the United States (1903). By a reciprocity treaty with Cuba
which went into effect in 1904, the duties on Cuban trade were
%582. The Isthmian Canal.%--A French company many years ago began to dig
a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama, but it failed through bad
management before the work was half done. A United States commission
made a survey of this route and also of the Nicaragua route across
Central America, estimated the cost of building each canal, and gave
careful consideration to the advantages of each route. The owners of the
French canal having offered to sell for $40,000,000, Congress in 1902
authorized the President to buy and complete it, provided satisfactory
title and permanent control of the route could be secured. In all, about
$200,000,000 was provided for this work. In 1903 a treaty was negotiated
with Colombia, giving the United States a permanent lease of a six-mile
strip across the isthmus, for an annual rental of $250,000 and the
payment of $10,000,000, but Colombia rejected the treaty. The Colombian
province of Panama thereupon seceded (November 3), and its independence
was recognized by the United States and other nations. A treaty was soon
made whereby the United States guaranteed the independence of Panama,
and Panama ceded to the United States a ten-mile strip across the
isthmus for the sums rejected by Colombia. The rights of the French
company were then bought, and a United States commission began the work
of completing the canal (1904).
%583. Election of Roosevelt.%--There were almost as many parties as ever
in the campaign of 1904. The Republicans indorsed the existing
administration, demanded the continuance of the protective tariff and
the gold standard, and nominated Roosevelt for President and Charles W.
Fairbanks for Vice President. The Democrats nominated Alton B. Parker
and Henry G. Davis, and declared for a reduction of the tariff and
against militarism and trusts, but were silent on the money question.
Roosevelt and Fairbanks were elected by a large majority.
%584. Interstate Commerce.%--In spite of the act of 1887 and some
later laws, favored shippers were still given various unfair advantages
in the service and charges of railroads. In 1906 Congress greatly
enlarged the power of the Interstate Commerce Commission to supervise
railroads, express companies, and other common carriers operating in
more than one state, and even authorized it to fix new freight and
passenger rates in place of any it deemed to be unjust or unreasonable.
Besides this law to regulate interstate transportation, Congress passed
several acts to regulate the quality of goods entering into interstate
commerce. Efficient inspection of meat-packing establishments was
provided, at a cost of $3,000,000 a year. Adulteration or misbranding of
any foods, drugs, medicines, or liquors manufactured anywhere for sale
in another state, was forbidden under heavy penalties.
%585. Intervention in Cuba.%--One of the provisions added to the
Cuban constitution gave the United States the right to intervene "for
the maintenance of a government adequate for the protection of life,
property, and individual liberty." This right was first exercised in the
autumn of 1906, when the Cuban government failed to suppress an
insurrection in the island. Efforts were first made, in vain, to bring
about peace in Cuba without armed intervention; then the Cuban president
resigned, our envoy Secretary Taft proclaimed himself provisional
governor of Cuba, United States troops were stationed at various points,
and the insurgents peacefully disbanded. The work of completing the
restoration of order and confidence, preparatory to the holding of a new
election under the Cuban constitution, was intrusted by the President to
Charles E. Magoon, who became provisional governor in October.
%586. The Panic of 1907.%--For several years our country had enjoyed
unusual prosperity. Never had the business of the country been better. A
distrust of banks and banking institutions, however, was suddenly
developed. Belief that the money of depositors was being used in a
reckless way became widespread, and when a run on some banks in New York
city forced them to suspend, a panic swept over the country. People
everywhere made haste to withdraw their deposits, and the banks for a
time were forced to refuse to cash checks for large sums. Business
depression and hard times followed.
%587. The Currency Law.%--In the midst of the panic the Sixtieth
Congress met and in the course of its session enacted (for six years) a
currency law. This is an emergency measure by which the national banks,
when currency is scarce, may issue more under certain conditions. The
total amount put out by all the national banks must not be greater than
$500,000,000. Those using this currency must pay a heavy tax, which it
is believed will lead to its prompt recall as soon as the emergency
%588. Election of Taft.%--For the thirty-first time in our history
electors of President and Vice President were chosen in 1908. Seven
parties placed candidates in the field. The Republicans nominated
William H. Taft and James S. Sherman; the Democrats named William J.
Bryan and John W. Kern. Candidates were also presented by the
Prohibition, Populist, Socialist Labor, Socialist, and Independence
parties. In many respects the Republican and Democratic platforms were
alike. Both declared for revision of the tariff, postal savings banks, a
bureau of mines and mining, protection of our citizens abroad, a better
civil service, improvement of our inland waterways, preservation of our
forests, and the admission of Arizona and New Mexico as separate states.
The Democratic platform called for an income tax, the publication of the
names of contributors to national campaign funds, legislation against
private monopolies, and full control of interstate railways. Taft and
Sherman were elected.
One of Taft's first acts as President was to call a special session of
Congress, which met March 15 to frame a new tariff act.
[Illustration: William H. Taft]
1. The political issues before the country since 1880 have been of two
general classes--industrial and financial.
2. The industrial issues led to the formation of certain great
organizations, as the Farmers' Alliance, Knights of Labor, Patrons of
Industry, etc.; and to the enactment of certain important laws, as the
Interstate Commerce Acts, the Anti-Chinese laws, the Anti-Contract Labor
law, and the establishment of the Labor Bureau.
3. The financial issues were in general connected in some way with the
agitation for free coinage of silver.
4. These issues seriously affected both the old parties and produced
others, as the Anti-monopoly party, the People's party, the Silver
party, the National, the Socialist.
5. In 1893 financial questions became so serious that a panic occurred,
which forced the repeal of the purchase clause of the Sherman Act. In
1907 there was another panic.
6. Among our foreign complications during this period were the question
of the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands, the Venezuela boundary
dispute, the Cuban question, which finally involved us in a war with
Spain, and the trouble with China arising from the Boxer outbreak.
7. The chief events of the war with Spain were Dewey's naval victory in
Manila Bay, May 1; the battles of El Caney and San Juan, near Santiago,
July 1; the naval battle of July 3 off Santiago; the surrender of
Santiago, July 14; the invasion of Porto Rico, near the end of July; and
the capture of Manila, August 13.
8. The war resulted in the cession of Porto Rico and the Philippines to
our country, and in Spain's withdrawal from Cuba.
9. The withdrawal of Spain from the Philippines was followed by an
uprising of natives led by Aguinaldo; but the insurrection was soon
suppressed and a system of civil government established.
10. By peaceful negotiation a treaty was perfected giving the United
States control of the route for the Panama Canal.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE--1776
* * * * *
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776.
THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF THE THIRTEEN UNITED STATES OF
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal
station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a
decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal;
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That,
to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving
their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any
form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of
the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government,
laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in
such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and
happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long
established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and,
accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed
to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long
train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object,
evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their
right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide
new guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient
sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which
constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history
of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries
and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an
absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be
submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and necessary for
the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should
be obtained; and, when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to
attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of
representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and
formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records,
for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing, with
manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused, for a long time after such dissolutions, to cause others
to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of
annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise;
the State remaining, in the meantime, exposed to all the dangers of
invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that
purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing
to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the
conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent
to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their
offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of
officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us in times of peace, standing armies, without the
consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to,
the civil power.
He has combined, with others, to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to
their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock trial, from punishment for any murders
which they should commit on the inhabitants of these States:
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES--1787
[Footnote 1: This reprint of the Constitution exactly follows the text
of that in the Department of State in Washington, save in the spelling
of a few words.]
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.
SECTION 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House
SECTION 2. 1 The House of Representatives shall be composed of members
chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the
electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for
electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.
2 No person shall be a representative who shall not have attained to the
age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United
States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State
in which he shall be chosen.
3 Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the
several States which may be included within this Union, according to
their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the
whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a
term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all
other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three
years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and
within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall
by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for
every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one
representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of
New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight,
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York
six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six,
Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and
[Footnote 2: The last half of this sentence was superseded by the 13th
and 14th Amendments. (See p.16 following.)]
4 When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the
executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such
5 The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other
officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
SECTION 3. 1 The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two
senators from each State, chosen by the legislature thereof for six
years; and each senator shall have one vote.
2 Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first
election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes.
The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the
expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of
the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth
year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if
vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the
legislature of any State, the executive thereof may make temporary
appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then
fill such vacancies.
3 No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained to the age of
thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and
who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he
shall be chosen.
4 The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the
Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
5 The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president
_pro tempore_, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall
exercise the office of President of the United States.
6 The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When
sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the
President of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall
preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two
thirds of the members present.
7 Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to
removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office
of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party
convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial,
judgment and punishment, according to law.
SECTION 4. 1 The times, places, and manner of holding elections for
senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the
legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or
alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.
2 The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such
meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by
law appoint a different day.
SECTION 5. 1 Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and
qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall
constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn
from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of
absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House
2 Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its
members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two
thirds, expel a member.
3 Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to
time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment
require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on
any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be
entered on the journal.
4 Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the
consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other
place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
We have seen (page 155), that in 1776 the Continental Congress advised
the people of the colonies to form governments for themselves, and that
the people of the colonies accordingly adopted constitutions and became
sovereign and independent states. Of the thirteen original state
constitutions, none save that of Massachusetts is now in force, and even
that has been amended. Changes in political ideas, changes in the
conditions of life due to the wonderful progress of our country, have
forced the people to alter, amend, and often remake their state
All our state constitutions now in force divide the powers of government
among three departments,--legislative, executive, and judicial.
_The Legislative Department_--called in some states the Legislature, in
others the General Assembly, and in still others the General Court--
consists in every state of two branches or houses, usually known as the
Senate and House of Representatives. In six states the legislature meets
annually, and in all the rest biennially; the members of both branches
are everywhere elected by the people, and serve from one to four years.
In most states a session of the legislature is limited to a period of
from forty to ninety days. The legislature enacts the laws (which must
not conflict with the Constitution of the United States, the treaties,
the acts of Congress, or the constitution of the state); but the powers
of the two houses are not equal in all the states. In some the House of
Representatives has the sole right to originate bills for the raising
and the expenditure of money, and in some the Senate confirms or rejects
appointments to office made by the Governor.
_The Governor_ is the executive; is elected for a term of years varying
from one to four; and is in duty bound to see that the laws are
enforced. To him, in nearly all the states, are sent the acts of the
legislature to be signed if he approves, or vetoed if he disapproves. In
some states the Governor may veto parts or items of an act and approve
the rest. He is commander in chief of the militia; commissions all
officers whom he appoints; and in most of the states may pardon
_The Judicial Branch_ of government is composed of the state courts,
whose judges are appointed, or elected for a long term of years.
These three branches of government--the executive, the legislative, and
the judicial--are distinct and separate, and none can exercise the
powers of the others. No judge can enact a law; no legislature can try a
suit; no executive can perform the duties of a judge or a legislature.
When the thirteen colonies threw off their allegiance to the British
Crown, the government set up by each was supreme within the limits of
the state. Each could coin money, impose duties on goods imported from
abroad or from other states, fix the legal rate of interest, make laws
regulating marriage and divorce and the descent of property, and do
anything else that any supreme government could do.
But when the states united in forming a strong general government by
adopting the Constitution, they did not give up all their powers of
government. They intrusted part of them to the Federal government, and
retained the rest as before. In other words, the people of each state,
instead of continuing to have one government, adopted a double
government, state and Federal, according to the plan laid down in the
Constitution. It is the Federal Constitution that makes the division of
powers between the nation and the separate states. The Constitution, for
instance, gives the Federal government the powers of coining money and
laying import duties, and forbids these powers to the states; but the
rate of interest, marriage and divorce, and the descent of property are
matters not mentioned in the Constitution, and concerning which the
states retain the power to make laws.
In many cases it is hard to decide whether a state has power to do a
certain thing. Whenever the question turns on the interpretation of the
Federal Constitution, it is decided by the United States courts. The
Federal Constitution and the laws and treaties made in accordance with
it are supreme in case of any conflict with a state constitution or law.
The powers of government exercised by the states are more numerous, and
affect the individual citizen in more ways, than those of the nation.
The force of contracts; the relations of employer and employed, husband
and wife, parent and child; the administration of schools; and the
punishment of most crimes, are matters controlled by the state. A much
larger amount of taxes is imposed by the states than by the nation.
_Local Governments._--Moreover, the local government of counties, towns,
and cities is entirely under the control of the state. State
constitutions contain many provisions in regard to this local
government, but the legislature can make laws affecting it more or less
greatly in the various states. In the local government of a city, town,
or county there is to some extent a distribution of powers among
legislative, executive, and judicial officers. The legislative function
is exercised by the city council or board of aldermen, the town trustees
(or by the whole body of voters), and the county board of supervisors or
commissioners; the executive, by the city mayor, the county sheriff, and
other officers; and the judicial, by various city courts, justices of
the peace, and county courts.
_Political Rights and Duties._--The political rights and duties of
citizens depend chiefly on the state constitutions and laws. Elections,
both state and national, are conducted by state officers. The state
prescribes who shall have the right to vote, and the various states
differ greatly in this respect. Congress grants citizenship by a uniform
rule of naturalization; but some states allow aliens to vote (on certain
conditions), and some provide that a naturalized citizen can not vote
until a certain period has elapsed after his naturalization. In some
states women may vote; in some only those men who have certain property
or educational qualifications.
The right to vote is the qualification for holding most offices;
additional qualifications are prescribed for very important offices, in
the Federal and state constitutions. Thus, none but a native may be a
President or Vice President of the United States, nor may a citizen
under thirty years of age be a member of the United States Senate.
Besides voting and office holding, the most important political rights
and duties of citizens are to sit on juries and to serve in the army.
The qualifications of jurors in state courts are prescribed by state
authority, and in national courts by national authority. Congress has
the exclusive power to raise armies, and in the Civil War hundreds of
thousands of citizens came under national authority in connection with
the duty to bear arms. The militia, however, is commanded by state
officers, and in time of peace is under the control of the
issue of Civil War.
Acadia, extent of;
Act, of 1870;
Adams, Charles F.
Adams, John, defends soldiers;
Declaration of Independence;
Adams, John Quincy, opposes European colonization;
opposed to slavery.
Adams, John Q., vice-pres. nominee.
Adams Express Company.
Albany, Dutch at;
colonial congress at.
Alien and Sedition laws.
Allegheny River, French on.
Amendments to Constitution, ten;
America, discovery of;
American Antislavery Society.
American Fur Trading Company.
American Republican party;
Amnesty, proclamation issued;
Andre, Major John.
Annapolis, Md., founded; riot at;
trade convention at.
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