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MACMILLAN & CO., Limitkd 








BY , 

CHARLES a! beard 





GorruGBT, 1981, 

Set up and dectrotyped. Published March, 1991. 

J. 8. Gushing Co. — Berwick A, Smith Co. 
Norwood, Mass.. U.S.A. 

1 . ^ 

y . " r St. "l W 

^ ,.. -as,*/ 


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

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

In this condition of affairs we find our justification for offer- 
ing a new high school text in American history. Our first 
contribution is one of omission. The time-honored stories of 


exploration and the biographies of heroes are left out. We 
frankly hold that, if pupils know little or nothing about Colum- 
bus, Cortea, Magellan, or Captain John Smith by the time they 
reach the high school, it is useless to tell the same stories for 
perhaps the fourth time. It is worse than useless. It is an 
offense against the teachers of those subjects that are demon- 
strated to be progressive in character. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

Fifth. By omitting the period of exploration, we have been 
able to enlarge the treatment of our own time. We have 
given special attention to the history of those current ques- 
tions which must form the subject matter of sound instruc- 
tion in citizenship. 

Sixth. We have borne in mind that America, with all her 
tmique characteristics, is a part of a general civiUzation. Ac- 
cordingly we have given diplomacy, foreign affairs, world 
relations, and the reciprocal influences of nations their ap- 
propriate place. 

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

C. A. B. 
M. R. B. 

New York Citt, 
February 8, 1921. 



BASSETT, J. S. A Short History of the United States 
ELSON, H. W. History of the United States of America 


** Epochs of American History/^ bditbd by A. B. Hart 

HART, A. B. Formation of the Union 

THWAITES, R. G. The Colonies 

WILSON, WOODROW. Division and Reunion 


BECKER, C. L. Beginnings of the American People 
DODD, W. Ei. Expansion and Conflict 
JOHNSON, A. Union Und Democracy 
PAXSON, F. L. The New Nation 




I. The Great Migration to A&ierica 

The Agencies of American Colonization 

The Colonial Peoples 

• The Process of Colonization 

II. Colonial Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce 

The Land and the Westward Movement 
Industrial and Commercial Development 

III. Social and Political Progress 

The Leadership of the Churches 
Schools and Colleges .... 
The Colonial Press .... 

The Evolution in Political Institutions 

rV. The Development op Colonial Nationalism 

Relations with the Indians and the Fi:ench 
The Effects of Warfare on the Colonicfj 
Colonial Relations with the British Government 
Summary of Colonial Period 














V. The New Course in British Imperial Policy 

George III and His System 

George Ill's Ministers and Their Colonial Policies 

Colonial Resistance Forces Repeal 

Resumption of British Revenue and Commercial Policies 

Renewed Resistance in America .... 

Retaliation by the British Government 

From Reform to Revolution in America 

VI. The American Revolution 

Resistance and Retaliation 






American Independence 

The Establishment of Govenmient and the New 

Military Affairs 

The Finances of the Revolution 
The Diplomacy of the Revolution 
Peace at Last .... 
Sunmiary of the Revolutionary Period 






VII. The Fobmation of the Constitution 

The Promise and the Difficulties of America 
The Calling of a Constitutional Convention . 
The Framing of the Constitution 
The Struggle over Ratification 

VIII. The Clash of Political Parties 

The Men and Measiires of the New Government 
The Rise of PoUtical Parties .... 
Foreign Influences and Domestic PoUtics 

IX. The Jeffersonian Republicans in Power 

RepubUcan Principles and PoUcies 

The Republicans and the Great West 

The Republican War for Commercial Independence 

The Republicans Nationalized 

The National Decisions of Chief Justice Marshall 

Summary of Union and National Politics 









The Fabbcers beyond the Appalachians 
Preparation for Western Settlement 
The Western Migration and New States 
The Spirit of the Frontier 
The West and the East Meet 

XI. Jacksgnian Democracy 

The Democratic Movement in the East 
The New Democracy Enters the Arena 






The New Democracy at Washington . 

The Rise of the Whigs 

The Interaction of American and European Opinion 

XIII. The Rise of the Industrial System 

The Industrial Revolution 

The Industrial Revolution and National Politics 

XIV. The Planting System and National Politics 

Slavery — North and South . . . . 
Slavery in National Politics . . . . 

The War Measures of the Federal Grovemment 
The Results of the Civil War 
Reconstruction in the South 
Summary of the Sectional Conflict 



XII. The Middle Border and the Great West . . 271 

The Advance of the Middle Border .271 

On to the Pacific — Texas and the Mexican War . 276 

The Pacific Coast and Utah 284 

Summary of Western Development and National 

Politics 292 






The Drift of Events toward the Irrepressible Conflict 332 

XV. The Civil War and Reconstruction .... 344 
The Southern Confederacy 




XVI. The Political and Economic Evolution op the South 379 

The South at the Close of the War . .379 

The Restoration of White Supremacy . 382 

The Economic Advance of the South .... 389 

XVII. Business Enterprise and the Republican Party . 401 

Railways and Industry 401 

The Supremacy of the Republican Party (1861-1885). 412 

The Growth of Opposition to Republican Rule . . ^VI 







The Development of the Great West . 425 

The Railways as Trail Blazers 425 

The Evolution of Grazing and Agriculture . .431 

Mining and Manufacturing in the West . 436 

The Admission of New States 440 

The Influence of the Far West on National Life . 443 

Domestic Issues before the Coxtntrt (1865-1897) . 451 

The Currency Question 452 

The Protective Tariff and Taxation .... 459 

The Railways and Trusts 460 

The Minor Parties and Unrest 462 

The Sound Money Battle of 1896 .... 466 

Republican Measures and Results .... 472 

America a World Power (1865-1900) . .477 

American Foreign Relations (1865-1898) .478 

Cuba and the Spanish War 485 

American Policies in the Philippines and the Orient 497 
Summary of National Growth and World Politics 504 



XXI. The Evolution of Republican Policies (1901-1913) . 

Foreign Affairs .... 

Colonial Administration 

The Roosevelt Domestic PoUcies 

Legislative and Executive Activities 

The Administration of President Taft 

Progressive Insurgency and the Election of 1912 

XXII. The Spirit of Reform in America 

An Age of Criticism 

PoUtical Reforms 

Measures of Economic Reform . 



The New Political Democracy . 

The Rise of the Woman Movement 

The National Struggle for Woman Suffrage 

Industrial Democracy 

Codperation between Employers and Employees 











The Rise and Growth of Organized Labor . 
The Wider Relations of Organized Labor 
Immigration and Americanization 

President Wilson and the World War 

Domestic Legislation 

Ck>lonial and Foreign Policies 
The United States and the European War . 
The United States at War .... 
The Settlement at Paris .... 
Summary of Democracy and the World War 


A Topical Syllabus 










The Original Grants (color map) Facing 4 

German and Scotch-Irish Settlements 8 

Distribution of Population in 1790 27 

English, French, and Spanish Possessions in America, 1750 (color 

map) Facing 59 

The Ck>lonies at the Time of the Declaration of Independence (color 

map) Facing 108 

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

The United States in 1805 (color map) .... Facing 193 

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

The Cumberland Road 233 

Distribution of Population in 1830 235 

Texas and the Territory in Dispute 282 

The Oregon Country and the Disputed Boundary . • . . 285 

The Overland Trails 287 

Distribution of Slaves in Southern States 323 

The Missouri Compromise 326 

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

The United States in 1861 (color map) .... Facing 345 

Railroads of the United States in 1918 405 

The United States in 1870 (color map) .... Facing 427 

The United States in 1912 (color map) .... Facing 443 

American Dominions in the Pacific (color map) Facing 500 

The Caribbean Region (color map) Facing 592 

Battle Lines of the Various Years of the World War . . 613 

Europe in 1919 (color map) Between 618-619 


"The Nations of the West" (popularly called **The 
Pioneers"), desig^ned by A. Sterling Calder and modeled 
by Mr. Calder, F. G. R. Roth, and Leo Lentelli, topped 
the Arch of the Occident at the Panama Exposition held 
at San Francisco in 1915. Into the Court of the Universe 
move men and women typical of those who have made ou^ 
civilization. From left to right in the group appear the 
French-Canadian, the Alaskan, the Latin-American, the 
Oerman, the Italian, the Anglo-American, the Squaw, and 
the American Indian. In the place of honor in the center 
of the group, standing between the oxen on the tongue of 
the prairie schooner, is a figure, beautiful and almost girl- 
ish, but strong, dignified and womanly, the Mother of the 
Future. Above the group rides the Spirit of Enterprise, 
flanked right and left by^he Heroes of the Future in the 
person of two boys. The group as a whole is beautifully 
symbolic of the westward march of American civilization. 






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

In one vital point, it must be noted, American colonization 

differed from that of the ancients. The Greeks usually carried 

with them affection for the government they left behind and 

sacred fire from the altar of the parent city ; but thousands of 

the immigrants who came to America disliked the state and 






disowned the church of the mother countrj'. They established 
compacts of government for themselvps and set up altars of \ 
their own. They sought not only new soil to till but also | 
political and religious liberty for themselves and their children. | 

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

The Trading Company. — English pioneers in exploration 
found an instrument for colonization in companies of 
merchant adventurers, which had long been employed in 
carrying on commerce with foreign countries. Such a cor- 
poration was composed of many persons of different ranks of 
society — noblemen, nipri'h:inls, and gentlemen ^ — who banded 
together for a particular undertaking, each contributing a 
sum of money and sharing in the profits of the venture. It was 
organized under royal authority; it received its charter, ila 
grant of land, and its trading privileges from the king ai^ 
carried on its operations under his supervision and contnj. 
The charter named all the persons originally included in th§ 
oorporation and gave them certain powers in the uianageme^ 


B affairs, including the right to admit new members. The 
company was in fact a little government set up by the king. 
When the members of the corporation remained in England, as 
in the case of the Vii^inia Company, they operated through 
agents sent to the colony. When they came over the seas them- 
selves and settled in America, as in the ease of Massachusett«, 
they became the direct government of the country they 
The stockholders 


in that instance became the 
voters and the governor, the 
chief magistrate. 

Four of the thirteen colonies 
in America owed their origins 
to the trading corporation. 
It was the London Company, 
created by King James I, in 
1606, that laid during the fol- 
lowing year the foundations 
of Virginia at Jamestown. It 
was under the auspices of their 
West India Company, ihur- 
tered in 1621, that the Dutch 
planted the settlements of the 
New Netherland in the valley 
of the Hudson. The founders 
of Massachusetts were Puritan leaders and men of affairs whom I 
King Charles I incorporated in 1629 under the title: "The 
governor and company of the Massachusetts Bay in New J 
England." In this case the law did hut incorporate a group J 
drawn together by religious ties. " We must be knit together I 
as one man," wrote John Winthrop, the first Puritan governor 1 
in America. Far to the south, on the bunks of the Delaware | 
River, a Swedish commercial company in 1638 made the begin- 
ning)* of a settlement, christened New Sweden ; it was destined 
to pass under the rule of the Dutch, and finally under the rule | 
of William Penn as the proprietary colony of Delaware. 


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

The Religious Congregation. — A second agency which 
figured largely in the settlement of America was the religious 
brotherhood, or congregation, of men and women brought 
^L together in Ihc bonds of a common religions faith. By ow 
^K of the strange fortunes of history, this institution, founded jl 
^B the early days of Christianity, proved to be a potent force il 
^H the origin and growth of self-government in a land far awiji 
^H from Galilee. " And the multitude of them that believed w( 
^H of one heart and of one soul," we are told in the Acts describi 
^H the Church at Jerusalem. " We are knit together as a bw^ 
^H in a most sacred covenant of the Lord ... by virtue of whidh 
^H we bold ourselves strictly tied to all care of each other's good 
^H and of the whole," wrote John Robinson, a leader among tbp 
^H Pilgrims who founded their tiny colony of Plj-mouth in 163$ 
^H The Mayflower Compact, so famous in American history, wa 
^H but a written and signed agreempnt, incorporating the spirit ol 
^H obedience to the common good, which served as a guide to 
^H Eielf-gDvernment until Plymouth was annexed to Massachusettl 
H in 1691. 

^H Three other colonies, all of which retained their identity imtQ 

^H the eve of the American Revolution, likewise sprang directly 
^H from the congregations of the faithful : Rhode Island, f Connect* 
^^^ icut, and New Hampshire, mainly offshoots from Massacho- 

? C A 

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setts. They were founded by small bodies of men and women, 
" united in solemn covenants with the Lord," who planted 
their settlements in the wilderness. Not until many a year 
after Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson conducted their 
followers to the Narragansett country was Rhode Island 
granted a charter of incorporation (1663) by the crown. Not 
imtil long after the congregation of Thomas Hooker from 
Newtown blazed the way into the Connecticut River Valley 
did the king of England give Connecticut a charter of its own 
(1662) and a place among the colonies. Half a century elapsed 
before the towns laid out beyond the Merrimac River by emi- 
grants from Massachusetts were formed into the royal province 
of New Hampshire in 1679. 

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

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



Five colonies, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the 
Carolinas, owe their formal origins, though not always their 
first settlements, nor in most cases their prosperity, to the 
proprietary system. Maryland, established in 1634 under a 
Catholic nobleman. Lord Baltimore, and blessed with rehgioua 
toleration by the act of 1G49, flourished under the mild rule of 
proprietors until it became a state 
in the American union. New 
Jersey, beginning its career under 
two proprietors, Berkeley and 
Carteret, in 1664, passed under 
the direct government of the 
crown in 1702. Pennsylvania was, 
in a very large measure, the prod- 
uct of the generous spirit and 
tireless labors of its first proprie- 
tor, the leader of the Friends, 
William Penn, to whom it was 
granted in 1681 and in whose 
family it remained until 1776. 
The two Carolinas were first or- 
ganized as one colony in 1663 
under the government and patronage of eight proprietors, in- 
cluding Lord Clarendon ; but after more than half a centuiy 
both became royal provinces governed by the king. 

The Colonial Peoples 
The English. — In leadership and origin the thirteen colonies, 
except New York and Delaware, were English. During the 
early days of all, save these two, the main, if not the sole, cur- 
rent of immigration was from England. The colonists came 
from every walk of life. They were men, women, and chil- 
dren of " all sorts and conditions." The major portion were 
yeomen, or small land owners, farm laborers, and artisans. 
With them were merchants and gentlemen who brought their 
stocks of goods or their fortunes to the New World. Scholars 


came from Oxford and Cambridge to preach the goispel or to 
teach. Now and then the son of an EngUsh nobleman left 
his baronial hall behind and cast his lot with America. The 
people represented every religious faith — members of the 
Established Church of England; Puritans who had labored 
to reform that church ; Separatists, Baptists, and Friends, 
who had left it altogether ; and Catholics, who clung to the re- 
ligion of their fathers. 

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

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

The Scotch-Irish. — Next to the English in numbers and 
influence were the Scotch-Irish, Presbyterians in belief, Eng- 
lish in tongue. Both religious and economic reasons sent them 
across the sea. Their Scotch ancestors, in the days of Crom- 
well, had settled in the north of Ireland whence the native 
Irish bad been driven by the conqueror's sword. There the 


Scotch flourished for many years enjoying in peace their own 
form of rchginn and prowinR prosperoua in t!ie manufacture of 
fine linen and woolen cloth. Then the blow fell. Toward the 
end of the seventeenth century their religious worship was put 
under the ban and the export of their cloth was forbidden by 
the English Parliament. 
Within two decades 
'twenty thousand Scotch- 
Irish left Ulster alone, for 
America; and all during 
the eighteenth century 
the migration continued 
to he heavy. Although 
no exact record was kept, 
it is reckoned that the 
Scotch-Irish and the 
Scotch who came directly 
from Scotland, composed 
one-sixth of the entire 
American population on J 
the evpof the Revolution, 1 
These newcomers in I 
America made their 
homes chiefly in New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, Virginia, and 
the Carohnas. Coming 
late upon the scene, they found much of the land immediately 
upon the seaboard already taken up. For this reason most of 
them became frontier people settling the interior and upland 
regions. There they cleared the land, laid out their small farms, 
and worked as " sturdy yeomen on the soil," hardy, industrious, 
and independent in spirit, sharing neither the luxuries of the 
rich planters nor the easy life of the leisurely merchant*. To 
their agriculture they added woolen and linen mantifactiires, 
which, flourishing in the supple fingers of their tireless women, 



made heavy inroads upon the trade of the English merchants 
in the colonies. Of their labors a poet has sung : 

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

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

The majority of them were Protestants from the Rhine region 
and South Germany. Wars, religious controversies, oppression, 
and poverty drove them forth to America. Though most of 
them were farmers, there were also among them skilled artisans 
who contributed to the rapid growth of industries in Penn- 





^B sylvania. Their iron, fi^lass, paper, and woolen mills, dotted 

^V here and there among the thickly settled regions, added to the 

^P wealth and independence of the province. 

 Unlike the Scotch-Irish, the Germans did not speak the 

language of the original colonists or mingle freely with them. 
They kept to themselves, built their own schools, founded 
their own newspapers, and puhhshed their own books. Their 
clannish habits often irritated their neighbors and led to 
occasional agitations against " foreigners." However, no 

Berious collisioas seem to have occurred ; and in the dajs of the 
Revolution, German soldiers from Pennsylvania fought in the 
patriot armies side by side with soldiers from the Enghsh and 
Scotch-Irish sections. 

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

From France came the Hugtienots fleeing from the d<;eicc of 
" D king which lod Protestants to flee from his realm. 




From " Old Ireland " came thousands of native Irish, Celtic 
in race and Catholic in religioij. Like their Scotch-Irish neigh- 
bors to the north, they revered neither llie government nor the 
church of England imposed upon them by the sword. How 

,ny came we do not know, but shipping records of the colonial 
?riod show that boatload after boatload left the southern and 

item shores of Ireland for the New World. Undoubtedly 

tusands of their passengers were Irish of the native a 

Old Dutch Four and Enui.isii Chuiich Nkak Alb; 

> is welt sustained by the constant appearance of 

B names in the records of various colonies. 

e Jews, then as ever engaged in their age-long battle for 

pous and economic toleration, found in the American 

1, not complete liberty, but certainly more freedom than 

' enjoyed in England. France, Spain, or Portugal. The 

iglish law did not actually recognize their right to live in 

f of the dominions, but owing to the easygoing habits of 

s Americans they were allowed to filter into the seaboard 


towns. The treatment they received there varied. On one 
occasion the mayor and council of New York forbade them to 
sell by retail and on another prohibited the exercise of their 
reUgious worship. Newport, Philadelphia, and Charleston were 
more hospitable, and there large Jewish colonies, consisting 
principally of merchants and their families, flomished in spite 
of nominal prohibitions of the law. 

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

The melting pot had begun its historic mission. 

The Process of Colonization 

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

Immigrants Who Paid Their Own Way. — Many of the 
immigrants to America in colonial days were capitalists them- 
selves, in a small or a large way, and paid their own passage. 
What proportion of the colonists were able to finance their 
voyage across the sea is a matter of pure conjecture. Un- 
doubtedly a very considerable number could do so, for we can 
trace the family fortunes of many early settlers. Henry Cabot 
Lodge is authority for the statement that " the settlers of 
New England were drawn from the country gentlemen, small 


farmers, and yeomanry of the mother country. . . . Many 
of the emigrants were men of wealth, as the old Usts show, and 
all of them, with few exceptions, were men of property and good 
standing. They did not belong to the classes from which emi- 
gration is usually suppUed, for they all had a stake in the coun- 
try they left behind." Though it would be interesting to 
know how accurate this statement is or how appUcable to the 
other colonies, no study has as yet been made to gratify that 
interest. For the present it is an unsolved problem just how 
many of the colonists were able to bear the cost of their own 
transfer to the New World. 

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

It is probable that the number of bond servants exceeded the 
original twenty thousand Puritans, the yeomen, the Virginia 
gentlemen, and the Huguenots combined. All the way down the 
coast from Massachusetts to Georgia were to be found in the 
fields, kitchens, and workshops, men, women, and children 
serving out terms of bondage generally ranging from five to 
seven years. In the proprietary colonies the proportion of 
bond servants was very high. The Baltimores, Penns, Carterets, 
and other promoters anxiously sought for workers of every 
nationality to till their fields, for land without labor was worth 
no more than land in the moon. Hence the gates of the 
proprietary colonies were flung wide open. Every inducement 
was offered to immigrants in the form of cheap land, and special 
efforts were made to increase the population by importing 
servants. In Pennsylvania, it was not uncommon to find a 




^H master with fifty bond servants on his estate. It has been 

^H estimated that two-thirds of all the immigrants into Pennsyl- 

^H vania between the opening of thp fighteonth century and the 

^V outbreak of the Revolution W(^re in bondage. In the other 

Middle colonies the number was doubtless not so large ; but it 

formed a considerable part of the population. 

The story of this traffic in white servants is one of the most 

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

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

Cruel as was the system in many ways, it gave thousands 
of people in the Old World a chance to reach the New — an 
opportunity to wrestle with fate for freedom and a home of 
their own. When their weary years of servitude were over, if 
they survived, they might obtain land of their own or settle 
as free mechanics in the towns. For many a l>ondman the 
gamble proved to be a losing venture t)ecause he found himself 
unable to rise out of the state of poverty and dependence into 


which his servitude carried him. For thousands, on the con- 
trary, bondage proved to be a real avenue to freedom and 
prosperity. Some of the best citizens of America have the blood 
of indentured servants in their veins. 

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

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

Akin to the kidnapped, at least in economic position, were 
convicts deported to the colonies for life in lieu of fines and 
imprisonment. The Americans protested vigorously but 
ineffectually against this practice. Indeed, they exaggerated 
its evils, for many of the " criminals *' were only mild offenders 
against unduly harsh and cruel laws. A peasant caught shoot- 
ing a rabbit on a lord's estate or a luckless servant girl who 
purloined a pocket handkerchief was branded as a criminal 
along with sturdy thieves and incorrigible rascals. Other 
transported offenders were " political criminals " ; that is, 
persons who criticized or opposed the government. This class 


included now Irish who revolted ngainst British rule in Ireland ; 
now Cavaliers who championed the king against the Puritan 
revolutionists; Puritans, in turn, dispatched after the mon- 
archy was restored ; and Scotch and English subjects in general 
who joined in political uprisings against the king. 

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

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

As the proportion of the negroes to the free white population 
Bteadilyrose.andas whole sections were overrun with slaves and 
slave traders, the Southern colonies grew alarmed. In 1710, 
Virginia sought to curtail the importation by placing a duty of 
£5 on each slave. This effort was futile, for the royal governor 
promptly vetoed it. From time to time similar bills were 
passed, only to meet with royal disapproval. South Carolina, 
in 1760, absolutely prohibited importation; but the meaaure 
was killed by the British crown. As late as 1772, Viiginia, not 


daunted by a century of rebuffs, sent to George III a petition in 
this vein : " The importation of slaves into the colonies from the 
coast of Africa hath long been considered as a trade of great 
inhumanity and under its present encouragement, we have too 
much reason to fear, will endanger the very existence of Your 
Majesty's American dominions. . . . Deeply impressed with 
these sentiments, we most humbly beseech Your Majesty to 
remove all those restraints on Your Majesty's governors of this 
colony which inhibit their assenting to such laws as might check 
so very pernicious a commerce/' 

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

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



E. Charming, History of the United Slate*. Vols. I and II, 

J. A. Doyle, The English Cohnieg in Ameriea (5 vola.)- 

J. Fiske, Old Virginia and Her ffeigkborg (2 vols.), 

A. B. Fauat, The German Element in the United Slates (2 vols.). 

H. J. Ford. The Scolch-IHah in America. 

L. Tyler, England in Ameriea (American Nation Series). 

H. Usher, The Fiigrima and Their Histon/. 


1. America lius been called a nution of immigranta. Explain 

2. Why were individuabi unable to go alone to America in the begin- 
ningT What agencies niade colonixation possible? Discuss each of them. 

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

i. Why were capital and leadership ao very important in early 

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

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

7. Contrast indentured servitude with slavery and serfdom. 

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

9. What forces favored the heavy importatioD of slaves? 
10. In what way did the North derive advantages from slavery? 

ReseaTch Topics 

The Chartered Company. — Compare the first and third chart«n 
of Virginia in Macdonald, DiKumeninry Source Book of American History, 
1606-1898, pp. 1-14, Analyze the first and second Massachusetts charten 
in Macdonald, pp, 22-84. Special reference : W. A. S. Hewina, EnQliak 
Trading Companiee. 

Cougregatioas and Compacts for Self-government. — A study of the 
Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut and the 
Fundamental Articles of New Haven in Macdonald, pp. 16, 36, 36. Refer- 
ence : Charles Borgeaud, Rise of Modem DenuicTaey, and C, S. Lobingier, 
The Peoide'» Law, Chaps. I-VII, 

The Proprietary System, ^ Analysis of Penn's charter of 1681, in 
Macdonald, p, 80, Reference : Lodge, Short History of Ike Englith 
Coionies in ArnerUa, p. 211. 

t^ I 


«f JmSn^aai Oilnnft. — Reriev of <Mrtniliiwiift|i cvmiIs m iIm 
hiBtonr of oftdi €olo^j, wii^ BboB, Hui&nf^ IM C/nilai Shrtn, |||k S$- 
159, m Ike bviL 

ITiin^ifMrri Sbifies. ~ Join SbuUi, John WmtKrofK Willmn Wnm 
Lord mtimnre, WBub Bndford, Roeer WittimiBs^ Amm HutrhinscMi, 
Thomas Hooker, and Feter S tm f wa nt^ uaiiis any good eiw y clopediau 

IwleBtHvd Scrabide. — In Ynsoiia, Lodge, SIUf< Jfutenr, pp. €8^73; 
in Pennqrhrania, pp. 242-244. Contempoiaiy aooount in Cdknder, Em^ 
namtie Hutarg ^ ike Umited iSfafes, pp. 44-^1. Special ref«rMic«: Karl 
Geiser, RtJempiwmn and IniaUMored SerwamU (Yale RoTiew, X, No. 2 

Ste^orj. — In Virginia, Lodge, Skmi iJiafory, pp. 67-69 ; in Uw Northern 
colonies, pp. 241, 275, 322, 40S, 442. 

XhePoofleof the Coloiiies.— Virginia, Lodge, Skort HMUtry, pp. 67-73; 
New En^and, pp. 406-409, 441-450 ; Penn9ylvania, pp. 227-229, 240-250 ; 
New York, pp. 312-^13, 322-335. 



The Land and the Westward Movement 

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

Experiments in Common TUlage. ^ In the New World, with 
its broad extent of land awaiting the white man's plow, it waa 
impossible to introduce in its entirety and over the whole area 
the system of lords and tenants that existed across the sea, 
So it happenetl that almost every kind of exiH-rinient in land 
tenure, from communism to feudalism, was tried. In the early 
I days of the Jamestown colony, the land, though owned by the 


London Company, was tilled in common by the settlers. No 
man had a separate plot of his own. The motto of the com- 
munity was : " Labor and share alike." All were supposed 
to work in the fields and receive an equal share of the produce. 
At Pljrmouth, the Pilgrims attempted a similar experiment, 
laying out the fields in conunon and distributing the joint 
produce of their labor with rough equaUty among the workers. 

In both colonies the communistic experiments were failures. 
Angry at the lazy men in Jamestown who idled their time away 
and yet expected regular meals, Captain John Smith issued a 
manifesto : " Everyone that gathereth not every day as much 
as I do, the next day shall be set beyond the river and forever 
banished from the fort and live there or starve." Even this 
terrible threat did not bring a change in production. Not 
until each man was given a plot of his own to till, not until each 
gathered the fruits of his own labor, did the colony prosper. 
In Plymouth, where the conmiunal experiment lasted for five 
years, the results were similar to those in Virginia, and the 
system was given up for one of separate fields in which every 
person could " set corn for his own particular." Some other 
New England towns, refusing to profit by the experience of their 
Pl3rmouth neighbor, also made excursions into common owner- 
ship and labor, only to abandon the idea and go in for indi- 
vidual ownership of the land. " By degrees it was seen that 
even the Lord's people could not carry the complicated com- 
munist l^islation into perfect and wholesome practice." 

Feudal Elements in the Colonies — Quit Rents, Manors, and 
Plantations. — At the other end of the scale were the feudal 
elements of land tenure found in the proprietary colonies, in 
the seaboard regions of the South, and to some extent in New 
York. The proprietor was in fact a powerful feudal lord, 
owning land granted to him by royal charter. He could retain 
any part of it for his personal use or dispose of it all in large or 
small lots. While he generally kept for himself an estate of 
baronial prop)ortions, it was impossible for him to manage 
directly any considerable part of the land in his dominion. 




Consequently he either sold it in parcels for lump sums i 
granted it to individuals on condition that they make to him an 
annual payment in money, known as " quit rent." In Mary- 
land, the proprietor sometimes collected as high as £9000 
(equal to ahout S500,000 to-day) in a single year from this source. 
In Pennsylvania, the quit rents brought a handsome annual 
tribute into the exchequer of the Penn family. In the royal 
provinces, the king of England claimed all revenues collected 
in this form from the land, a sum amounting to £19,000 at 
the time of the Revolution. The quit rent, — " really a feudal 
payment from freeholders," — was thus a material source of 
income for the crown as well as for the proprietors. Wherever 
it was laid, however, it proved to be a burden, a source of con- 
stant irritation ; and it became a formidable item in the long 
list of grievances which led to the American Revolution- 
Something still more like the feudal system of the Old World 
appeared in the numerous manors or the huge landed estates 
granted by the crown, the companios, or the proprietors. 
In the colony of Maryland alone there were sixty manors 
of three thousand acres each, owned by wealthy men and tilled 
by tenants holding small plots under certain restrictions of 
tenure, In New York also there were many manors of wide 
extent, most of which originated in the days of the Dutch WeA 
India Company, when extensive concessions were made to 
patroons to induce them t<t bring over settlers. The Van 
Rensselaer, the Van Cortlandt, and the Livingston manora 
were so large and populous that each was entitled to send a 
representative to the provincial legislature. The tenants on 
the New York manoi-s were in somewhat the same position 
as serfs on old European estates. They were bound to pay the 
owner a rent in money and kind; they ground their grain at 
his mill ; and they were subject to his judicial power because 
he held court and met^d out justice, in some instances extend- 
ing to capital punishment. 
The manors of New York or Maryland were, however, of 
ight consequence as compared with the vast plantations of the 


Soutbeni seaboard — huge estates, far wider in expanse tkan 
many a European barony and tilled by slaves more servile than 
any feudal tenant*. It must not be forgotten that this system 
of land tenure became the dominant feature of a large section 
and gave a decided bent to the economic and political life ai 

The Small Freehold. — In the upland regions of the South, 
however, and throughout most of the North, the drift waa 

lan \ 

em 1 


Southern Plamtation Mansion 

against all forms of servitude and tenantry and in the direction | 
of the freehold ; that is, the small farm owned outright and 
tilled by the possessor and his family. This waa favored by 
natural circumstances and the spirit of the immigrant's. For 
one thing, the abundance of land and the scarcity of labor made 
it impossible for the companies, the proprietors, or the crown to-« 
develop over the whole continent a network of vast estates. 
In many sections, particularly in New England, the cliinatej J 
the stony soil, the hills, and the narrow valleys conspired to I 
keep the farms within u moderate compass. For another thing^ 1 




the Elnglish, Scotch-Irish, and (Jprinaii peasants, even if they 
had ijeen tenants in the Old World, did not propose to accept 
permanent dependency of any kind in the New. If they could 
not get freeholds, they would not settle at all ; thus they forced 
proprietors and companies to bid for their enterprise by selling 
land in small lota. So it happened that the freehold of modest 
proportions became the cherished unit of American farmers. 
The people who tilled the farms weri> dr:iwii from ovory quarter 

of WPHtern Europe ; hut the frechnld systrm gave a uniform cast 
to their economic and social life in America, 

Social Effects of Land Tenure. — Land tenure and the pro- 
cess of wpstorn settlement thus developed two distinct types of 
people engaged in the same pursuit — agrifiulture. They had 
a conmion tie ia that thoy Ijoth cnltivatetl the soil and possessed 
the local int^ and independence vvbicli arise from that 
occupation. Their methods and their culture, however, differed 


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

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

The Westward Movement. — Yeoman and planter never- 
theless were alike in one respect. Their land hunger was never 
appeased. Each had the eye of an expert for now and fertile 
soil ; and so, north and south, as soon as a foothold was secured 
on the Atlantic coast, the current of migration set in westward, 
creeping through forests, across rivers, and over mountains. 
Many of the later immigrants, in their search for cheap lands, 
were compelled to go to the border; but in a large part the 




path breakpFH to the West were native Americans of the second 
and third generations. Explorers, fired by curiosity and the 
lure of the mysterious unknown, and hunters, fur traders, and 
squatters, following their own sweet wills, blazed the trail, 
opening paths and sending back stories of the new regions they 
traversed. Then came the r^ular settlers with lawful titles 
to the lands they had purchased, sometimes singly and some- 
times in companies. 

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

In the South the westward march was equally swift. The sea- 
board was quickly occupied by large planters and their slaves 
engaged in the cultivation of tobacco and rice. The Piedmont 
Plateau, lying back from the coast all the way from Mar>-land 
to Georgia, was fed by two streams of migration, one westward 
from the sea and the other southward from the other colonies 
— Germans from Pennsylvania and Scotch-Irish furnishing 
main supply. " By 1770, tide-water Virginia was fuU 





to overflowing and the ' back country ' of the Blue Ridge and 
the Shenandoah was fully occupied. Even the inonntain 
valleys . . . were claimed by sturdy pioneers. Beforf.' the 
Declaration of Independence, the oncoming tide of home- 
seekers had reached the crest of the AUeghanies." 

Beyond the mountains pioneers had already ventured, 
harbingers of an invasion that was about to break in upon 
Kentucky and Tennessee. As early as 1769 that iniKhty Nim- 
rod, Daniel Boone, curious to hunt buffaloes, of which he had 
heard weird reports, passed through the Cumberland Gap and 
brought back news of a wonderful country awaiting the plow. 
A hint was sufficient. Singly, in pairs, and in groups, settlers 
followed the trail he had blazed. A great land corporation, 
the Transylvania Company, emulating the merchant adven- 
turers of earlier times, secured a huge grant of territory and 
sought profits in quit rents from lands sold to farmers. By the 
outbreak of the Revolution there were several hunilred people 
in the Kentucky region. Like the older colonists, they did not 
relish quit rents, and their opposition wrecked the Transylvania 
Company, They even carried their protests into the Con- 
tinental Congress in 177G, for by that time they were our 
"embryo fourteenth colony," 

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

Textile Manufacture as a Domestic Industry. — Colonial 

women, in addition to sharing every hardship of pioneering, 

1 often the heavy labor of the open field, developed in IJie course 



of time a national industry which was almost exclusively their 
own. Wool and flax were raised in abundance in the North 
and South. " Every farm house," says Coman, the economic 
historian, "was a workshop where the women spun and wove 

i Beiges, kerseys, and linsey-woolseys which served for tbe._ 
common wejir." By the clase of the seventeenth century, New 
England manufactured cloth in sufficient quantities to expor^ 
it lo ttie Southeiri colonies and to the West Intlies. 
industry developed, mills were erected for the mure diffi 
process of dyeing, weaving, and fulling, but carding and spinni 


continued t(i lie dnnc in the home. The Dutch of New Nether- 
land, the Swedes of Delaware, and the Scotch-Irish of the 
interior " were not one whit behind their Yankee neighbors." 

The importance of this cnterprine to British economic life can 
hardly bo overestimated. For many a century the English 

I employed their fine woolen cloth as the chief staple in a 
lucrative foreign trade, and the government had come to look 
upon it aa an object of special interest and protection. When 
the colonies were established, both merchants and statesmen 
naturally expected to maintain a monopoly of increasing value ; 
but before long the Americans, instead of buying cloth, espe- 
cially of the coarser varieties, were making it to sell. In the 
place of customers, here were rivals. In the place of helpless 
rehance upon English markets, here was the germ of economic 

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

The Iron Industry. — Almtjst equally widespread was the 
art of iron working — one of the earliest and most picturesque 
of colonial industries. Lynn, Massachusetts, had a forge and 
skilled artisans within fifteen years after the founding of Boston. 
The smelting of iron iKtgan iit New London and New Haven 
about 1658; in Litchfield county, Connecticut, a few years 
later; at Oreat Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1731; and 
near by at Lenox some thirty years aft«r that. New Jersey 
had iron works at Shrewsbury within ten years after the found- 


ing of th^ colony in 1665. Iron forges appeared in the valleys 
of the Delaware and the Susquehanna early in the following 
century, and iron masters then laid the foundations of fortunes 
in a region destined to become one of the great iron centers of 
the world. Virginia began iron working in the year that saw 
the introduction of slavery. Although the industry soon 
lapsed, it was renewed and flourished in the eighteenth century. 
Governor Spotswood was called the " Tubal Cain " of the Old 
Dominion because he placed the industry on a firm foundation. 
Indeed it seems that every colony, except Ooorgia, had its iron 
foundry. Nails, wire, metallic ware, chains, anchors, bar and 
pig iron were made in large quantities ; and Great Britain, by 
an act in 1750, encouraged the colonists to export rough iron 
to the British Islands. 

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

Fishing. — The greatest single economic resource of New 
Eki^bud outside of agriculture was the fisheries. This industry, 
started by hardy sailors from Europe, long before the landing 
of the Pilgrims, flourished under the indomitable seamanship 
of the Puritans, who labored with the net and the harpoon in 
almost every quarter of the Atlantic. " Ix)ok," exclaimed 


Edmund Burke, in the House of Commons, " at the n 
which the people of New England have of late carried on the 
whale fishery. Whilst we follow them araong the tumbling 
mountains of ice and behold t.heni [lenetrating into the deepest 
frozen recesses of Hudson's Bay and Davis's Straits, while we 
are looking for them beneath the arctic circle, we hear that they 
have pierced into the opposite region of polar cold, that they 
are at the antipodes and engaged under the frozen serpent of the 
south. . . . Nor is the equinoctial heat moi-e discouraging to 
them than the accumulated winter of both poles. We know 
that, whilst some of them draw the Une and strike the hai^ 
poon on the coast of Africa, others run the longitude and pursue 
their gigantic game along the coast of Brazil. No sea but what 
is vexed by their fisheries. No climate that is not witness to 
then- toils. Neither the perseverance of Holland nor the activity 
of France nor the dexterous and firm sagacity of Enghsh enter- 
prise ever carried this most perilous mode of hard industry 
to the extent to which it has been pushed by this recent people." 
The influence of the business was widespread, A large 
and lucrative European trade was built upon it. The better 
quahty of the fish caught for focnl was sold in the markets of 
Spain, Portugal, and Italy, or exchanged for salt, lemons, and 
raisins for the American market. The lower grades of fish 
were carried to the West Indies for slave consumption, and in 
part traded for sugar and molasses, which furnished the raw 
materials for the thriving rum industry of New England. 
These activities, in turn, stimulated shipbuilding, steadily 
enlarging the demand for fishing and merchant craft of every 
kind and thus keeping the shipwrights, calkers, rope makers, 
and other artisans of the seaport towns rushed with work. 
They aiso increased trade with the mother country for, out of 
the cash collected in the dsh markets of Europe and the West 
Indies, the colonists paid for English manufactures. So an 
ever-widening circle of American enterprise centered around 
this single industry, the nursery of seamanship and the mari- 
time spirit. 


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

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

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

The disposition of imported goods in the colonies, though in 
part controlled by English factors located in America, employed 
also a large and important body of American merchants like 



the Willings and Morrises of Philadelphia ; the Amorys, Han- 
cocks, and Faneuila of Boston ; and the Livingstons and Lows 
of New York. In thpir zeal and enterprise, they were worthy 
rivab of their English competitors, so celebrated for world-wide 
commercial operations. Though fully aware of the advantages 
they enjoyed in British markets and under the protection of the 
British navj', the American merchants were high-spirited and 















W^ » 


'.".' -'-J^^^^'J 




mettlesome, ready to contend with royal officers in order to 
shield American interests against outside interference. 

Measured against the immense business of modem times, 
colonial commerce seems perhaps trivial. That, however, is not 
the test of its significance. It must be considered in relation 
to the growth of English colonial trade in its entirety — a 
relation which can be shown by a few startling figures. The 
whole export trade of England, including that \a\ the coloniflB, 


was, in 1704, £6,509,000. On the eve of the American Revolu- 
tion, namely, in 1772, English exports to the American colonies 
alone amounted to £6,024,000 ; in other words, almost as much 
as the whole foreign business of England two generations 
before. At the first date, colonial trade was but one-twelfth 
of the English export business; at the second date, it was 
considerably more than one-third. In 1704, Pennsylvania 
bought in English markets goods to the value of £11,459; 
in 1772 the purchases of the same colony amounted to £507,909. 
In short, Pennsylvania imports increased fifty times within 
dxty-eight years, amounting in 1772 to almost the entire export 
trade of England to the colonies at the opening of the century. 
Tlie American colonies were indeed a great source of wealth to 
English merchants. 

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

Growth of Towns. — In connection with tliis thriving trade 
and industry there gr(»w up along the coast a number of pros- 
perous conmiercial centers which were soon reckoned among the 



first commercial towns of the wholp British empire, comparing 
favorably in numbers and wealth with auch ports as Liverpool 
and Bristol. The statistical records of that time are mainly 
guesses ; but we know that Philadelphia stood first in size 
among these towns. Serving as the port of entry for Penn- 
sylvania, Delaware, and western Jersey, it had drawn within its 
borders, just before the Revolution, about 25,000 inhabitants, 
Boston was second in rank, with somewhat more than 20,000 
people. New York, the " commercial capital of Connecticut 
and old East Jersey," was slightly smaller than Boston, but 
growing at a steady rate. The fourth town in size was Charles- 
ton, South Carolina, with about 10,000 inhabitants. Newport 
in Rhode Island, a center of nun manufacture and shipping, 
stood fifth, with a population of about 7000. Baltimore and 
Norfolk were counted as " considerable towns." In the inte- 
rior, Hartford in Connecticut, Lancaster and York in Pennsyl- 
vania, and Albany in New York, with growing populations 
and increasing trade, gave prophecy of an urban America 
away from the seaboard- The other towns were straggUng 
villages. Williamsburg, Virginia, for example, had about two 
hundred houses, in which dwelt a do7*n families of the gentry 
and a few score of tradesmen. Inland county seats often con- 
sisted of nothing more than a log courthouse, a prison, and one 
wretched inn to house judges, lawyers, and litigants during the 
sessions of the court. 

The leading towns exercised an influence on colonial opinion 
all out of proportion to their population. They were the centers 
of wealth, for one thing ; of the press and political activity, for 
another. Merchants and artisans could readily take concert<?d 
action on pubhc questions arising from their commercial opera- 
tions. The towns were also centers for news, gossip, rehgious 
controversy, and political discussion. In the market places 
the farmers from the countryside learner! of British policies 
and laws, and so, mingUng with the townsmen, were drawn into 
the main currents of opinion which set in toward colonial 
pationalism and independence. 



J. Bishop, History of American Manufadurea (2 vols.)- 

E. L. Bogart, Economic History of the United States. 

P. A. Bruce, Economic History of Virginia (2 vols.). 

E. Semple, American History and Its Geographical Conditions. 

W. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England. (2 vols.). 


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

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

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

4. Explain the success of freehold tillage. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. How was interstate commerce mainly carried on ? 

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

Research Topics 

Lad Tenure. — Coman, Industrial History (rev. ed.), pp. 32-38. 
Specud reference : Bruce, Economic History of Virginia^ Vol. I, Chap. VIII. 

Tobttcco Planting in ^Hrginia. — Callender, Economic History of the 
Uniied States, pp. 22-28. 

Oi^?ni«| Agriculture. — Coman, pp. 48-63. Callender, pp. 69-74. 
Refeienoe: J. R. H. Moore, Industrial History of the American People, 
pp. 131-102. 

Colooial Bfanufactures. — Coman, pp. 63-73. Callender, pp. 29-44. 
Spaeial reference : Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England. 

Colooial Commerce. — Coman, pp. 73-^. Callender, pp. 51-63, 78- 
84. Motne, pp. 163-208. Lodge, Short History of the English Colonies, 
pp. 409-412, 229-231, 312-314. 



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


measured her pen with the British propagandists; and the 
patriot newspapers founded and managed by women. 

The Leadebship of the Churches 

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

The Chtirch of England. — Virginia was the stronghold of 
the finglish system of church and state. The Anglican faith 
and worship were prescribed by law, sustained by taxes im- 
posed on all, and favored by the governor, the provincial coun- 
cilors, and the richest planters. " The Established Church," 
says Lodge, " was one of the appendages of the Virginia aris- 
tocracy. They controlled the vestries and the ministers, and 
the parish church stood not infrequently on the estate of the 
planter who built and managed it." As in England, Catholics 
and Protestant Dissenters were at first laid under heavy dis- 



abilities. (>nly slowly and on auffemncc wore fhey admittod 
to the province ; but when once they were even covertly tol- 
erated, they pressed steadily in, until, by the Revolution, they 
outnumbered the adherents of the established order. 

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

Many factors helped to enhance the power of the English 
Church in the colonies. It was supported by the British gov- 
ernment and the official class sent out to the provinces, Its 
bishops and archbishops in England wore appointed by the 
king, and its faith and service were set forth by acts of Parlia- 
ment. Having its scat of power in the English monarchy, 
it could hold its clergy and niissionarics loyal to the crown and 
80 counteract to some extent the independent spirit that was 
growing up in America. Tbc Church, always a strong bul- 
wark of the state, therefore had a political r61e to play here as 
in England. Able bishops and far-seeing leaders firmly grasped 
this fact about the middle of the eighteenth century and re- 
doubled their efforts to augment the influence of the Church 
in provincial afifaira. Unhappily for their plans they failed to 
calculate in advance the effect of their methods upon dissents 
ing Protestants, who still cherished memories of bitter re- 
ligious conflicts in the mother country. 

Puritanism in New England. — If the established failh made 
for imperial unity, the same could not be said of Puritanism. 
The Plymouth Pilgrims had cast off all allegiance to the Anglican 
Church and estabhshed a separate and independent congrega- 
tion before they came to America. The Puritans, e<>saying at 


first the task of reformers within the Church, soon after thoir 
arrival in Massachusetts, Ukewise flung off their yoke of union 
with the Anglicans. In each town a separate congregation was 
organized, the male members choosing the pastor, the teachers, 
and the other officers. They also composed the voters in the 
town meeting, where secular matters were determined. The 
union of church and government was thus complete, and uni- 
formity of faith and life prescribed by law and enforced by civil 
authorities; but this worked for local autonomy instead of 
imperial unity. 

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

Just about this time, however, there came a brejik in the 
uniformity of Puritan rule. The crown and church in England 
had long looked upon it with disfavor, and in 1684 King Charles 
II annulled the old charter of the Massachusetts Bay Com- 
pany. A new document issued seven years later wrested from 
the Puritans of the colony the right to elect their own governor 


and reserved the power of appointment to the king. It also 
abolished the rule limiting the suffrage to church membere, 
substituting for it a simple property qualification. Thus a 
royal governor and an official family, certain to be Episco- 
palian in faith and monarchist in sympathies, were forced 
upon Massachusetts; and members of all religious denomina- 
tions, if they had the required amount of property, were per- 
mitted to take part in elections. By this act in the name of 
the crown, the Puritan monopoly was broken down in Massa- 
chusetts, and that province was brought into line with Connec- 
ticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire, where property, not 
religious faith, was the test for the suffrage. 

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

The government and faith of the dissenting denominations 
conspired with economic and poUtical tendencies to draw 


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

Schools and Colleges 

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

For the authority of the Established Church was substi- 
tuted the authority of the Scriptures. The Pm-itans devised a 
catechism based upon their interpretation of the Bible, and, 
very soon after their arrival in America, they ordered all par- 
ents and masters of servants to be diligent in seeing that their 




children and wards were taught to read religious works and 
give answers to the religious questions. Massachusetts was 
scarcely twenty years old before education of this character 
was declared to be compulsory, and provision was made for 
public schools where those not taught at home could receive 
instruction in reading and 

Outside of New Eng- 
land the idea of compul- 
-sory education was not 
regarded with the same 
favor; but the wholft 
land was nevertheless 
dotted with little schools 
kept by " dames, itiner- 
ant teachers, or local 
parsons." Whether we 
iuin (o the life of Frank- 
lin in the North or Wash- 
ington in the South, we 
read of tiny schoolhoiises, 
where hoys, and some- 
limes girls, were taught to 
read and writ^. Where 
there were no schools, 
fathers and mothers of 
the better kind gave their 
children the rudiments of learning. Though illiteracy was wide- 
spread, there is evidence to show that the diffusion of knowledge 
among the masses was making steady progress all through the 
eighteenth century. 

Religion and Higher Learning. ^ ReUgious motives entered 
into the estabhahment of colleges as well as local schools. Haf- 
vard, founded in 1636, and Yale, opened in 1718, were in- 
tended primarily to train " learned and godly ministers " for 
the Puritan churches of New England. To the far North, 

Hc3,ven U) find, 
The Biblfl Mind. 

Chrifl cnicify'd 
For Goners dyi. 

The Deluge drown'd 
The Earth around. 

Elijah hid 
By Ratens fed.. 

The judgment mi 
Px LIZ iinld. 

Famous SoaooiaooK 


Dartmouth, chartered in 1769, was designed first as a mission 
to the Indians and then as a college for the sons of New Eng- 
land farmers preparing to preach, teach, or practice law. The 
CoU^e of New Jersey, organized in 1746 and removed to 
Princeton eleven years later, was sustained by the Presby- 
terians. Two colleges looked to the Established Church as 
their source of inspiration and support: William and Mary, 
founded in Virginia in 1693, and King's College, now Columbia 
University, chartered by King George II in 1754, on an appeal 
from the New York Anglicans, alarmed at the growth of reUgious 
dissent and the " repubUcan tendencies *' of the age. Two 
colleges revealed a drift away from sectarianism. Brown, 
established in Rhode Island in 1764, and the Philadelphia 
Academy, forerunner of the University of Pennsylvania, or- 
ganized by Benjamin Franklin, reflected the spirit of tolera- 
tion by giving representation on the board of trustees to several 
religious sects. It was Franklin's idea that his college should 
prepare young men to serve in public office as leaders of the 
people and ornaments to their country. 

Self-education in America. — Important as were these in- 
stitutions of learning, higher education was by no means con- 
fined within their walls. Many well-to-do families sent their 
sons to Oxford or Cambridge in England. Private tutoring 
in the home was common. In still more families there were 
intelligent children who grew up in the great colonial school 
of adversity and who trained themselves until, in every con- 
test of mind and wit, they could vie with the sons of Harvard 
or William and Mary or any other college. Such, for example, 
was Benjamin Franklin, whose charming autobiography, in 
addition to being an American classic, is a fine record of 
self-education. His formal training in the classroom was 
limited to a few years at a local school in Boston ; but his self- 
education continued throughout his life. He early manifested 
a zeal for reading, i^nd devoured, he tells us, his father's dry 
library on theology, Bunyan's works, Defoe's writings, Plu- 
tarch's Lives, Locke's On the Human Understanding ^ and in- 




numerable volumes dealing with secular subjects. His literary 
style, perhaps the best of hia time, Franklin aequired by the 
dihgent and repeated analysis of the Hpectntor. In a life 
crowded with labors, he found time to read widely in natural 
science and to win single-handed recognition at the hands of 
European savants for his discoveries in electricity. By his 
own efforts he " attained an acquaintance " with Latin, Italian, 
French, and Spanish, thus unconsciously preparing himself 
for the day when he was to speak for all America at the court 
of the king of France. 

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

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

Publishing, indeed, seemed to be a precarious business ; 
but in 1704 there came a second venture in joumaUsm, The 
Boston News-Letter, which proved to be a more lasting enter- 
prise because it refrained from criticizing the authorities. 
Still the public interest languished. When Franklin's brother, 
James, began to issue his New England Courant about 1720, 
bus friends sought to di.tsuud<- him, saying that one newsptiper 
was enough for Anieriea. Nevertheless he cijntinued it ; and 
bis confidence in the future was rewarded. In nearly every 



colony a gazette or chronicle appeared within the next thirty 
years or more. Benjamin Franklin was able to record in 1771 
that America had twenty-five newspapers. Boston led with 
five. Philadelphia had three: two in English and one in 

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

In America, Ukewise, some troublesome questions arose in 
connection with freedom of the press. The Puritans of Massa- 
chusetts were no less anxious than King Charles or the Arch- 
bishop of London to shut out from the prying eyes of the people 
all literature " not mete for them to read " ; and they es- 
tablished a system of official licensing for presses,^wmch lasted 
imtil 1765. In the other colonies where there was more di- 
versity ci opinion and publishers could set up in business with 
impunity, they were nevertheless constantly Uable to arrest 



for printing anj-thing diBpleasing to the colonial governments. 
In 1721 the editor of the Mercury in Philadelphia was called 
before the proprietary council and ordered to apologize for a 
political article, and for a later offense of a similar character 
he was thrown into jail. A still more famous case was that of 
Peter Zenger, a New York publisher, who was arrested in 1735 
for criticising the administration. Lawyers who ventured to 
defend the unlucky editor were deprived of their licenses to 
practice, and it became necessary to bring an attorney all the 
way from Philadelphia. By this time the tension of feeling 
was high, and the approbation of the public was forthcoming 
when the lawyer for the defense exclaimed to the jury that the 
vejy cause of liberty itself, not that of the poor printer, was on 
trial ! The verdict for Zenger, when it finally came, was the 
signal for an outburst of popular rejoicing. Already the people 
of King George's province knew bow precious a thing is the 
freedom of the press. 

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

The Evolution in Political Institutions 

Rolnniat ' 

Two very distinct lines of development appeared in colonial 
politics. The one, exalting royal rights and aristocratic | 


leges, was the drift toward provincial Rovemment through 
royal officers appointed in Enfi^Iand. The other, loading toward 
democracy and self-government, wjis the growth in the power 
of the popular legislative assembly. Each movement gave 
impetus to the other, with incretising force during the passing 
years, until at last the final collision between the two ideals of 
government came in the war of independence. 

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

The chief officer of the royal province was the governor, who 
enjoyed high and important powers which he natm-ally sought 
to augment at every turn. He enforced the laws and, usually 
with the consent of a council, appointed the civil and military 
officers. He granted pardons and reprieves; he was head of 



the highest court; he was commander-in-chief of the militia; 
he levied troops for defense and enforced martial law in time of 
invasion, war, and rebeUion. In all the provinces, except 
Massachusetts, he named the councilors who composed the 
upper house of the legislature and was likely to choose those 
who favored his claims. He summoned, adjourned, and dis- 
solved the popular assembly, or the lower house ; he laid be- 
fore it the projects of law desired by the crown ; and he vetoed 

Thu Roial Govbrnob'b Pai^i 

measures which he thought objectionable. Here were in 
America all the elements of royal prerogative against which 
Hampden had protested and Cromwell had battled in Eng- 

The colonial governors were generally surrounded by & 
body of office-seekers and hunters for land grants. Some of 
them were noblemen of broken estates who had come to America 
to improve their fortunes. The pretensions of this circle grated 
on colonial nerves, and privileges granted to them, often at the 
expense of colonists, did much to deepen popular antipathy 


to Ar HiitiA g unqmu eBi.. Favor? mnKied to ;fti{heffvfit$ \>l 
die Fi la^ i fc i fc i i l Chorcii d is plg mw d Di»enters. Tlie (m{>|^!tir^ 
inrr oE tkK fonnidible unioii of church szKi $tAit\ trvHU vhich 
dirr had fled, sdnvd anev the ancient wmrh jmsun^l thai 

r. — Coincident with the drift lo^^urd 
idmiiiiEtimtioo througfa royal f^oTemors was the sew^mi and o|>- 
paste tendmcT. namriy. a steady crowth in the praotii.v of ^^If* 
^pTcnuDgnU The voter? of Engfand had lone been aiviisti^uxl 
toflliare in tazatioQ and law-making through rvprv^^ntatix'eti in 
Paifiament. and the idea was early introiiuced in America* 
Virgiiua was only twelve year? old (1610^ when it^t first r\^pn^ 
sentathre aasembly appeared. As the towns of Ma.«^saohus^'tts 
multiplied and it became inipo^ible for all the ineinlvrs of 
the corp or aticMi to meet at one place, the representati>T idea 
iras adopted, in 1633. The river towns of ConntH'tiout fomuxl 
a iqw eBC tt tative system under their " Fundamental Onlen^ ** of 
1639, and the entire colony was gi\Tn a royal charter in UU>2. 
G enerosity, as well as practical considerations, inductHi such 
proprietcM!8 as Lord Baltimore and William Penn to invite their 
colooists to share in the government as soi^n as any iH^nsidenible 
settleniaits were made. Thus by one process or another ever>' 
one ci the colonies secured a popular assembly. 

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



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

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

Contests between Legislatures and Governors. — As may be 
imagined, many and bitter were the contests between the royal 
and proprietary governors and the colonial assemblies. Frank- 
lin relates an amusing stoiy of how the Pennsylvania assembly 
held in one hand a bill for the executive to sign and, in the other 
hand, the money to pay his aalarj'. Then, with sly humor. 
Franklin adds : " Do not, my courteous reader, take i)Gt at our 
proprietary constitution for these our bargain and sain proceed- 
ings in legislation. It is a happy country where justice and 
what was your own befi>re can be had for ready money. It is 
another addition to the value of money and of course another 
spur to industry, Ever>- land is not so blessed." 

It must not be thought, however, that every governor got 
off as easily as Franklin's tale implies. On the contrary, the 
legislatures, like Casar, fed upon meat that made them great i 
jSjjd steadily encroached upon executive prerogatives as they I 


tried out and found their strength. If we may believe contem- 
porary laments, the power of the crown in America was diminish- 
ing when it was struck down altogether. In New York, the 
friends of the governor complained in 1747 that " the inhabit- 
ants of plantations are generally educated in repubUcan prin- 
ciples; upon repubUcan principles all is conducted. Little 
more than a shadow of royal authority remains in the Northern 
colonies." " Here," echoed the governor of South Carolina, 
the following year, " levelling principles prevail ; the frame of 
the civil government is unhinged ; a governor, if he would be 
idolized, must betray his trust ; the people have got their whole 
administration in their hands ; the election of the members of 
the assembly is by ballot ; not civil posts only, but all ecclesias- 
tical preferments, are in the disposal or election of the people." 

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

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



A. M. Earle, Horne Life in ColmiitU Days. 

A. h. Cross, The Anglican Episcopate and the ATiierican CoUmies (Harvard 


E. G. Dext«r, History of Edvcaiiim in the United Stales. ^^^ 

C. A. Duniway, Freedom of the Press in MoBsachuseUa. ^^^| 

Benjamin Franklin, Aiilobiography. \ 

E. B. Greene, The Pronncial Governor (Harvard Studies). 
A. E. McKinley, The Suffrage Franchise in the Thirteen Btigligh CoUmiex 

(Pennsylvania University Studies). 

M. C. Tyler, History of American lAterature during the Colonud Times 

(2 vols.). 


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

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

3. Contrast the political rfiles of Puritanism and the Established 

4. How did diversity of opinion work for toleration ? 

5. Show the connection between religion and learning in colonial 

6. Why is a "free press" such an important thing to American de- 

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

8. Give the undemocratic features of provincial government. 

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

10. Explain the nature of the i-ontestii l)etween the governors and the 

Research Topics 

Religious and InteUectual Life. — Lodge, Short History of the English 
Coltmiai: (1) in New England, pp. 418-438, 465-175; (2) in Virpnia, 
pp. 54-61, 87-89 ; (31 in Pennsylvania, pp. 232-237, 253-257 ; (4) in New 
York, pp. 316-321. Interesting source mftterials in Hart, American His- 
tory Told by Contemporaries. Vol. II, pp. 255-275, 276-290. 

The Oovemment of a Royal Province, Virginia. — Lodge, pp. 43-50. 
Special Reference ; E, B, Cireeiic, The Proi-incial CncerJtur (Harvard 

The Govenunent of a Proprietary Colony, Pennsylvania — Lodge, 
pp. 230-232. 


G ov er nm ent In New England. — Lodge, pp. 412-417. 

The C<toikl Press. — Special Reference: G. H. Payne, History cf 
Jowmalism in the United States (1920). 

Colonial Life In General. — John Fiske, Old Virffinia and Her Neigh' 
bore. Vol. 11, pp. 174-269 ; Elson, History of the United States, pp. 197-210. 

Colonial Govemment in General.— Elson, pp. 210-216. 



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

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



Relations with the Indians and the French 

Indian Affairs. — It is difficult to make general statements 
about the relations of the colonists to the Indians. The problem 
was presented in different shape in different sections of America. 
It was not handled according to any coherent or uniform plan 
by the British government, which alone could speak for all the 
provinces at the same time. Neither did the proprietors and 
the governors who succeeded one another, in an irregular train, 
have the consistent poUcy or the matured experience necessary 
for dealing wisely with Indian matters. As the difficulties arose 
mainly on the frontiers, where the restless and pushing pioneers 
were making their way with gun and ax, nearly everything that 
happened was the result of chance rather than of calculation. 
A personal quarrel between traders and an Indian, a jug of 
whisky, a keg of gunpowder, the exchange of guns for furs, 
personal treachery, or a flash of bad temper often set in motion 
destructive forces of ^Ihe most terrible character. 
'. On one side of the ledger may be set innumerable generous 
j^cords — of Squanto and Samoset teaching the Pilgrims the 
ways of the wilds:; of Roger Williams buying his lands from the 
friendly natives ; or of WiUiam Penn treating with them on his 
arrival in Aiinerica. On the other side of the ledger must be 
recorded foany a cruel and bloody conflict as the frontier rolled 
westward with deadly precision. The Pequots on the Connecti- 
cut border, sensing their doom, fell upon the tiny settlements 
with awful fury in 1637 only to meet with equally terrible pun- 
ishment. A generation later. King Philip, son of Massasoit, 
the friend of the Pilgrims, called his tribesmen to a war of 
extermination which brought the strength of all New England 
to the field and ended in his own destruction. In New York, 
the relations with the Indians, especially with the Algonquins 
and the Mohawks, were marked by periodic and desperate wars. 
Virginia and her Southern neighbors suffered as did New Eng- 
land. In 1622 Opecacano, a brother of Powhatan, the friend 
of the Jamestown settlers, launched a general ma.asa»cte V ^"^^ 


^H in 1644 he attempted a war of extermination. In 1675 the whole 
^H frontier was ablaze. Nathaniel Bacon vainly attempted to 
^H stir the colonial governor to put up an adequate defense and, 
^B failing in that plea, himself headed a revolt and a successful 
^V expedition against the Indians. As the Virginia outposts ad- 
^1 vanced into the Kentucky country, the strife with the natives 
^f was transferred to that " dark and bloody ground " ; while to 
the southeast, a desperate struggle with the Tuscaroras called 
forth the combined forces of the two Carolinas and Virginia. 


From such horrors New Jersey and Delaware were saved on 
account of their geographical location. Pennsylvania, consists 
ently following a policy of conciliation, was likewise spared until 
her western vanguard came into full conflict with the allied 
French and Indians. Georgia, by clever n^otiations and trea- 
ties of alliance, managed to keep on fair terms with her bel- 
hgerent Cherokees and Creeks. But neither diplomacy nor 
generosity could stay the inevitable conflict as the frontier ad- 
vanced, especially after the French soldiers enlisted the Indians 


in their imperial enterprises. It was then that ilosultor>' fight- 
ing became general warfare. 

Bailj Belations widi ttxe French. — During the first decades 
of French exidoration and settlement in the St. Lawrence coun- 
try, the l*^gii«h colonies, engrosseci with their own problems, 
gave little or no thought to their distant neighlH>rs. QuelxM^, 
founded in 1608, and Montreal, in 1G42. wert^ tix) far away, tix) 
small in population, and too slight in strength to Ix" much of 
amenaoe to Boston, Hartford, or New York. It was the static- 
men inFranoeand England, rather than the colonists in America, 
who first grasped the significance of the slowly converging em- 
pires in North America. It was the ambition of I Amis XIV of 
France, rather than the labors of Jesuit missionaries and Frt^nch 
rangers, that sounded the first note of colonial alarm. 

Evidence of this lies in the fact that thnn* conflicts In^twccn 
the F^ngliah and the French occurred Iw^forc their advancing 
frontiers met on the Pennsylvania border. King William's 
War (1689-1697), Queen Anne's War (1701-17i;i), and King 
George's War (1744-1748) owed their origiius and (heir endings 
mainly to the intrigues and rivalries of Euroixnui powei-s, al-, 
though they all involved the American colonies in struggles with 
the French and their savage allies. 

The Gash in the Ohio Valley. — The second of these wars 
had hardly closed, however, before the English colonists them- 
selves began to be seriously alanned about the rapidly expand- 
ing French dominion in the West. Marquette and Jolit»t, who 
opened the Lake region, and La Salle, who in 1GS2 had gone down 
the Mississippi to the Gulf, had be(*n followed by the builders of 
forts. In 1718, the French founded New Orleans, thus taking 
possession of the gateway to the Mississippi as well as the St. 
Lawrence. A few years later they built Fort Niagara; in 
1731 they occupied Crown Point; in 1749 they formally an- 
nounced their dominion over all the territory drained by the 
Ohio River. Having asserted this lofty claim, they set out. to 
make it good by constructing in the years 1752-1754 Fort L(5 
Bceuf near Lake Erie, Fort Venango on the upper wat(»rs of the 



Allegheny, and Fort Duquesne at the junction of the streams 
forming the Ohio. Though they were warned by George Wash- 
ington, in the name of the governor of Virginia, to keep out of 
territory " so notoriously known to be property of the crown of 
Great Britain," the French showed no signs of reUnquiahing their 

The Final Phase — the French and Indian War. — Thus it 
happened that the shot which opened the Seven Years' War, 

Bbaddock's Retheat 

known in America as the French and Indian War, was fired in 
the wilds of Pennsylvania. There began the conflict that spread 
to Europe and even Asia and finally involved England and 
Prussia, on the one side, and France, Austria, Spain, and minor 
powers on the other. On American soil, the defeat of Braddock 
in 1755 and Wolfe's exploit in capturing Quebec four years later 
were the dramatic features. On the continent of Europe, Eng- 
land subsidised Prussian arms to hold France at bay. In India, 
oa the banks of the Ganges, as on the banks of the St. Lawrence, 


British arms were triumphant. Well could the historian write : 
" Conquests equaling in rapidity and far surpassing in magni- 
tude those of Cortes and Pizarro had been achieved in the East." 
Well could the merchants of London declare that under the ad- 
ministration of William Pitt, the imperial genius of this world- 
wide conflict, conmierce had been ** united with and made to 
flourish by war." 

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

The Effects of Warfare on the Colonies 

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

The New England Confederation. — It was in their efforts 
to deal with the problems presented by the Indian and French 
menace that the Americans took the first steps toward union. 
Tliough there were many common ties amon|^ the ^\)\i\!^i:^ o^ 




New England, it required a deadly fear of the Indians to pro- 
duce in 1643 the New England Confederation, composed of 
Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven. The 
colonies so united were bound together in " a firm and perpetual 
league of friendship and amity for offense and defense, mutual 
service and succor, upon all just occasions," They made pro- 
vision for distributing the burdens of wars among the members 
and provided for a congress of commissioners from each colony 
to determine upon common policies. For some twenty years 
the Confederation was active and it continued to hold meetings 
until after the extinction of the Indian peril on the immediate 

Virginia, no less than Massachtisetts, was aware of the im- 
portance of intercolonial cooperation. In the middle of the 
seventeenth century, the Old Dominion began treaties of com- 
merce and amity with New York and the colonies of New Eng- 
land. In 1684 delegates from Virginia met at Albany with 
the agents of New York and Massachusetts to discuss problems 
of mutual defense. A few years later the Old Dominion co- 
operated loyally with the Carolinas in defending their borders 
against Indian forays. 

The Albany Plan of Union. — An attempt at a general colonial 
union was made in 1754. On the suggestion of the I^rds of 
Trade in England, a conference was held at Albany to con- 
sider Indian relations, to devise me.asures of defense against 
the French, and to enter into " articles of union and confedera- 
tion for the general defense of his Majesty's subjects and in- 
terests in North America as well in time of peace as of war." 
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, 
New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland were represented. 
After a long discussion, a plan of union, drafted mainly, it se 
by Benjamin Franklin, was adopted and sent to the colonies and 
the crown for approval. Thecolonies, jealous of their individual 
rights, refused to accept the scheme and the king disapproved 
it for the reason, Franklin said, that it had " too much weight 
in the democratic part of the constitution." Though the Albany 

imian failed, the document is stiU vrorthy of study because it 
(oncast msDy of the perptexiog problems that were not aolvi 
until thirty-three j-ears a/terward, when another con\'enti<tt1 
of which ako Franklin was a member drafted the Constitutiaali 
<i the United States. 

The MilituT Edacatioo of the Colonists. — The i^ame \ 
that showed the pro\'iiicials the meaning of union likewii! 
atmcted them in the art 
of defending their in- 
stttatioDs. Particularly 
was this true of the last 
F^mch and Indian con- 
flict, which stretched all 
the way from Maine to 
the Carolina^ and made 
heavy calls upon them 
aD for troops. The an- 
swer, it is admitted, was 
far from satisfactory to 
the British government 
and the conduct of the 
militiamen was far from 
professional ; but thou- 
sands of Americans got 
a taate, a strong taste, 
of actual fighting in the 
field. Men Uke George 

Washington and Daniel Morgan learned lessons that were not 
forgotten in after years. They saw what American militiamen 
could do under favorable circumstances and they watched- 
British regulars operating on American soil. " This whole 
transaction," shrewdly remarked Franklin of Braddock's cam- 
paign, "gave ua Americans the first suspicion that our exalted 
id^as of the prowess of British regular troops had not been well 
founded." It was no mere accident that the Virginia colond 
who drew hia aword under the elm at Cambridge and took conx 




mand of the army of the Revohition was the brave officer who 
had " spurned the whistle of bullets " at the memorable battle 
in western Pennsylvania. 

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

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

Colonial Relations with the British Government 

It was neither the Indian wars nor the French wars that 

finally brought forth American nationality. That was Uw 


product of the lon^ strife with the mother country which cuK 
miuted in union for the wnr of independence. The forr^^ 
that created this nation did not operate in the coh^nics ak^ne« 
The chancier of the Ej^jish so\-ereigns, the ci>urse i>f e\Tnt8 
in English tlomestic pohtics. and Ejiglish measures of c^>ntn.4 
over the colonies — executive, lefdslative, and judicial — must 
an be taken into account. 

The Last of the Stnarts. — The struggles between CharU>s I 
(1625-49; and the parliamentary' party and the tuniKiil of the 
Puritan regime i 16l9-€0) so engrossed the attention of English- 
men at home that they had little time to think of colonial 
poUcies or to interfere with colonial affairs. The restoration of 
the monarchy in 1660. accompanied by internal jx^act^ and the 
increaring power of the mercantile cla^^^cs in the Hous«^ of 
C<Mnmons, changed aU that. In the reign of Charli\i( II 0^>^%^ 
85), himself an easy-going person, the ix>Iicy of n^giilating 
trade by act of Parliament was developed into a cUvioly knit 
system and powerful agencies to supervise^ the colonies wen^ 
created. At the same time a svsteni of stricter contn>l over (he 


dominions was ushered in bv the annuhnent of the old charter 
of Massachusetts which conferred so much st^lf-governnient on 
the Piu-itans. 

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



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

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

The Indifference of the First Two Georges. — On the death 
in 1714 of Queen Anne, the successor of King William, the throne 
passed to a Hanoverian prince who, though grateful for English 
honors and revenues, was more interested in Hanover than in 
England. George I and George II, whose combined reigns ex- 
tended from 1714 to 1760, never even learned to speak the Eng- 
lish language, at least without an accent. The necessity of 
taking thought about colonial affairs bored both of them so 
that the stoutest defender of popular pri\'ileges in Boston or 
Charleston had no ground to complain of the exercise of per- 
sonal prerogatives by the king. Moreover, during a large part 
of this period, the direction of affairs was in the bands of an 
astute leader, Sir Robert Walpole, who betrayed his somewhat 
cynical view of pohtics by adopting as his motto : " Let sleeping 
dogs lie." He revealed his appreciation of popular sentiment 


by ezdaiming : " I will not be the minister to enforce taxes at 
the expense of blood." Such kings and such ministers were not 
likdy to arouse the slumbering resistance of the thirteen colonies 
acrosB the sea. 

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

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

Judicial Control. — Supplementing this administrative con- 
trol over the colonies was a constant supervision by the English 
courts of law. The king, by virtue of his inherent authority, 
claimed and exercised high appellate powers over all judicial 





tribunals in the empire. The right of appeal from local couiLs, 
expressly set forth in some charters, was, on the eve of the Revo- 
lution, maintained in every colony. Any subject in Enftland or 
America, who, in the regular legal course, was aggrieved by any 
act of a colonial legislature or any decision of a colonial court, 
had the right, subject to certain regulations, to carry his case 
to the king in coimcil, forcing his opponent to follow him across 
the sea. In the exercise of appellate power, the king in council 
acting aa a court could, and frequently did, declare acts of 
colonial legislatures duly enacted and approved, null and void, 
on the ground that they were contrary to English law. 

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

In short, foreign and intercolonial trade were siibjected to 
a control higher than that of the colony, foreshadowing a day 
when the Constitution of the Unifctl States was to commit to 
Congress the power t-n regulate interstate and foreign conmierce 
and commerce with the Indians. A superior judieitU power, 
towering above that of the colonies, as the Supreme Courf. at 
Washington now towers above the states, kept the colonial 
legislatures within the metes and bounds of established law. In 
the thousands of appeals, memorials, petitions, and complaints, 
and the ndings and decisions upon them, were written the real 
history of British imperial control over the Americ^an colonies. 

So great was the business before Ihe J-ords of Trade that the 
colonies bad to keep skilled agents in London to protect their 


interests. As eonunon gjievances aisiiust iho oi^erHiion i^ 
this madmienr of eontrol aiwe. iherx^ apfit^rwi in o«ich c\Jo»>' 
a eoDsideffable body of men. i^nih tho mort'liants in iho k^d« 
who chafed at the restraints imptic!^^! on thoir onterjmA\ Onl^v 
a powcfful blow vas needed to weld thos«^ Uxlit^ into a i\>nnnon 
mass nourishing the sfHrit of colonial nationalism. When to 
the repeated minor irritations were added iit^neral and swtvping 
measures of Parliament appMn^ to ever>" oolony. the r\*lxnuid 
came in the Revolution. 

Puliamentaiy Control over Colonial Affairs. — As six^n as 
Parliament gained in power at the ox}vus«^ of the king, it 
reached out to bring the American inUonit^ under its sway as 
well. Between the execution of C^harlos 1 and the aciH^on 
of George III, there was enacted an iminens*^ Innly of Ic^jis- 
lation regulating the shipping, trade, and manufacturing of 
America. All of it, based on the ** mercantile " tht\>r>- then 
prevalent in aU countries of Europe, was ilesigmnl to contn>l 
the overseas plantations in such a way as to foster the com- 
mercial and business interests of the mother country, whert^ 
merchants and men of finance had got the upiHT haml. Accord- 
ing to this theory, the colonies of the British t»inpirc should U* 
confined to agriculture and the prcnluction of raw materials, 
and forced to buy their manufactureil gmnls of Kngland. 

The Navigalion Acts, — In the first rank among tlun^e 
measures of British colonial policy must Im^ placinl the navi- 
gation laws framed for the purpose of huihling up the British 
merchant marine and nav>' — arms so essential in defending 
the colonies against the Spanish, Dutch, and French. The Ix^- 
ginning of this type of legislation was made in 105 1 and it 
was worked out into a system early in the reign of Charles 1 1 

The Navigation Acts, in effect, gave a monopoly of colonial 
commerce to British ships. No trade could he carri(»d on be- 
tween Great Britain and her dominicms sav(» in vessels built 
and manned by British subjects. No Eur()i)ean goods coul<l 
l)e brought to America save in the ships of the country that 


produced them or in Enf^lish ships. These laws, which were 
almost fatal to Dutch shipping in America, fell with severity 
upon the colonists, compelling them to pay higher freight 
rates. The adverse effect, however, was short-hved, for the 
measures stimulated shipbuilding in the colonies, where the 
abundance of raw materials gave the master builders of America 
an advantage over those of the mother country. Thus the 
colonists in the end profited from the restrictive policy written 
into the Navigation Acts. 

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

The Trade Laws. — The third group of restrictive meas- 
ures passed by the British ParUameut related to the sale of 



eoknial prodnoe. An jMt of 1663 requirKl iIk" colonm: to 
export eerlimaitides to Great Britjun or to her dc«ninion$ ak>n<^ : 
wlifle floSBT, tohacito. and pn^er consigned to the continent (^ 
Europe had to pass through a British port pa\nng custom 
duties and diroagh a British merchant's hands paying the 
usual oomimaBkm. At first tobacco was the onI>* one o( the 
" enumerated articles *' which seriouslv concerned the AnH>ri«> 
can eoknies^ the rest coming mainly fram the British We«!tt 
Indies. In the course of time, however, other comnuxlitieci 
were added to the list of enumerated articles, until by lTtV4 
it embraced rice, naval stores, copper, furs, hides, imn, hunlM>r, 
and peari ashes. This was not all. The ci>lonies wTre ci>nw 
pdled to bring their European purchases l\ack thnnigh Knglish 
ports, paying duties to the government and commissions to 
merchants again. 

Tifc« Molasses Act, — Not content with laws enacttMl in the 
interest of English merchants and manufacturers, Parliatnont 
sou^t to protect the British West Indies against com|>eti- 
tion from their French and Dutch neighlwrs. Now England 
merchants had long carried on a lucrative trade with the FrtMich 
islands in the West Indies and Dutch Guiana, whore sugar and 
molasses could be obtained in large quantities at low prices. 
Acting on the protests of Ekiglish planters in the Barhadoes 
and Jamaica, Parliament, in 1733, passed the famous Molasses 
Act imposing duties on sugar and molasses imported into the 
colonies from foreign countries — rates which would have 
destroyed the American trade with the French and Dutch if 
the law had been enforced. The duties, however, wore not col- 
lected. The molasses and sugar trade with the foreigners went 
on merrily, smuggling taking the place of lawful traffic. 

Effect of the Laws in America. — As compared with the 
strict monopoly of her colonial trade which Spain consistontly 
sought to maintain, the policy of England was both moderate 
and liberal. Furthermore, the restrictive laws were suppler 
mented by many measures intended to be favorable to colonial 
jyrosperity. The Navigation Acts, for example, redounded 



^H to the advan^KC of American shipbuilderR unci the producers 

^H of hemp, tar, himber, and ship stores in general. Favors in 

^H British ports were granted to colonial producers as against 

^* foreign competitors and in some instances bounties were paid 

by England to encourage colonial enterprise. Taken all in 

all, there is much justification in the argument advanced by 

^_ some modern scholars to the effect that the colonists gained 

^ft more than they lost by British trade and industrial legisla- 

^H tion. Certainly after the estabhshment of independence, 

^B when free from these old restrictions, the Americans found 

themselves handicapped by being treated as foreigners rather 

than favored traders and the recipients of bounties in English 

Be that as it may, it appears that the colonists felt little 
irritation against the mother country on account of the trade 
and navigation laws enacted previous to the close of the French 
and Indian war. Relatively few were engaged in the hat and 
iron industries as compared with those in farming and plant- 
ing, so that England's policy of restricting America to agri- 
culture did not conflict with the interests of the majority of 
the inhabitants. The woolen industry was largely in the 

I hands of women and carried on in connection with their do- 
mestic duties, so that it was not the sole support of any con- 
siderable number of people. 
As a matter of fact, moreover, the restrictive laws, especially 
those relating to trade, were not rigidly enforced. Cargoes 
of tobacco were boldly sent to continental ports without even 
so much as a bow to the lilnglish government, to which duties 
should have been paid. Sugar and molasses from the French 
and Dutch colonies were shipped into New England in spite of 
the law. lioyal offii^ers sometimes protested against amuR- 
gling and sometinieB connived at il ; but at no time did they 
succeed in stopping it, Taken all in all, very little was heard 
of " the galling restraints of trade " initil after lln' French 
war, when the British government suddenly entered upon a 
new c 



In the period between the landing of the English at Jame^ 
town, Virginia, in 1607, and the close of the French and Indian 
war in 1763 — a period of a centur>' and a half — a new nation 
was being prepared on this continent to take it8 place among 
the powers of the earth. It was an epockpf nugration. Western 
Europe contributed emigrants of many nices and nationalitii^. 
The F!fi gligh led the way. Next to thoni in numerical im|x>r- 
tanoe were the Scotch-Irish and the Germans. Into the molt- 
ing pot were also cast Dutch, Swedes, Fi-onch, Jews, Welsh, 
and Irish. Thousands of negroes were brought from Africa to 
till Southern fields or lalwr as domestic servants in the North. 

Why did they come? The reasons are various. S^me of 
them, the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England, the Fnnich 
Huguenots, Scotch-Irish and Irish, and the C^itholics of Mars- 
land, fled from intolerant governments that denied them the 
right to worship God according to the dictates of their con- 
sciences. Thousands came to escape the bondage of poverty 
in the Old World and to find free homes in America. Thou- 
sands, like the negroes from Africa, were dragged here against. 
their will. The lure of adventure appealed to the restless and 
the lure of profits to the enterprising merchants. 

How did they come? In some cases religious brotherhoods 
banded together and borrowed or furnished the funds ne(»essary 
to pay the way. In other cases great trading companies w(m<» 
organized to found colonies. Again it wjis the w(\'iltliy pro- 
prietor, like Lord Baltimore or William Penn, who undcMtook 
to plant settlements. Many immigrants were abh^ to pay 
their own way across the sea. Others bound themselves out 
for a term of years in exchange for the cost of the pjissage. 
Negroes were brought on account of th(» profits dtM'ived from 
their sale as shivos. 

Whatever the motive for their coming, howev(»r, th(\v man- 
aged to get across the sea. The immigrants set t) work with 
a will. They cut down forests, built houses, and laid out 



fields. They founded churches, schools, and colleges. They 
set up forges and workshops. They spun and wove. They 
fashioned ships and sailed the seas. They bartered and traded. 
Here and there on favorable harbors they established centers of 
commerce — Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia, Balti- 
more, and Charleston. As soon as a firm foothold was secured 
on the shore hne they pressed westward until, by the close of the 
colonial period, they were already on the crest of the Alleghanies. 

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

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


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


G. L. Beer, Origin of the British Colonial System and The Old Colonial 

A. Bradley, The Fight for Canada in North America. 

C. M. Andrews, Colonial Setf-OovemmerU (American Nation Series). 

H. Egerton, Short History of British Colonial Policy. 

F. Parkman, France and England in North America (12 vols.). 

R. Thwaites, France in America (American Nation Series). 

J. Winsor, The Mississippi VaUey and Cartier to Frontenac. 


1. How would you define "nationalism" ? 

2. Can you ''' *' illustral e way that war promotes 

3. Why ^ to e uniform policy 
in dealingn 


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

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

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

7. Contrast England under the Stuarts with England under the 

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

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

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

Research Topics 

Rise of French Power in North America. — Special reference : Francis 
Parkman, Struggle for a Continent. 

The French and Indian Wars. — Special reference : W. M. Sloane, 
French War and the Revolution, Chaps. VI-IX. Parkman, Montcalm and 
Wolfe, Vol. II, pp. 195-299. Elson, History of the United States, pp. 171- 

English Navigation Acts. — Macdonald, Documentary Source Book, 
pp. 55, 72, 78, 90, 103. Coman, Indmtrial Hiatory, pp. 79-85. 

British Colonial Policy. — Callender, Economic History of the United 
States, pp. 102-108. 

The New England Confederation. — Analyze the document in Mac- 
donald, Source Book, p. 45. Special reference : Fiske, Beginnings of New 
England, pp. 140-198. 

The Administration of Andros. — Fiske, Beginnings, pp. 242-278. 

Biographical Studies. — William Pitt and Sir Rol^ert Walpole. Consult 
Green, S/iort History of Englarul, on their policies, using the index. 



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

George III and His System 

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

glaring absurdity ascribe to him many princely virtues." 






Nevertheless George III had been spoiled by his mother, hia 
tutors, and his courtiers. Under their influence he developed 
high and mighty notions about the sacrednesa of royal au- 
thority and his duty to check the pretensions of Parliament 
and the ministers dependent upon it. His mother had dinned 
into his ears the slogan ; 
"George, be king!" 
Ijord Bute, his teacher 
and adviser, had told 
him that his honor re- 
quired him to take an 
active part in the shap- 
ing of public pohcy and 
the making of laws. 
Thus educated, he sur- 
rounded himself with 
courtiers who encour- 
aged him in the deter- 
nunation to rule as well 
as reign, to subdue all 
parties, and to pla<% 
himself at the head of 
the nation and empire. 
Political Parties and 
George III. — The state 
of the political parties 
favored the plans of the 
king to restore some of 
the ancient luster of the crown. The Whigs, who were com- 
posed mainly of the smaller freeholders, merchants, inhabit- 
ants of towns, and Protestant non-conformista, had grown 
haughty and overbearing through long continuance in power 
and had as a consequence raised up many enemies in their own 
ranks. Their opponents, the Tories, had by this time given 
up all hope of restoring tfl the throne the direct Stuart, line; 
but they still cherished their old notions about divine ri^t. 


YfiHi the accession of George III the coveted opportunity came 
to them to rally aromid the throne again. George received 
lus Tory friends with open arms, gave them offices, and bought 
them seats in the House of Conunons. 

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

Georoe Hi's Ministers and Their Colonial Policies 

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

The first task after the conclusion of peace in 1763 was the 



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

Restriction of Paper Money (1763). — Among the many 
complainttf fiieil brforp the board of trade were vigorous pro- 
tests against tlu' issuance of paper money by the colonial legis- 
latures. The new niinisti-y provided a remedy in the act of 
1763, which declanKl void all colonial laws authorizing paper 
money or extending the hfo of outstanding bills. This law was 
aimed at the " cheap money " which the Americans were fond 
of making when si>ecie was scarce — money which they tried 
to force on their English creditors in return for goods and in 
payment of the interest and principal of debts. Thus the first 
chapter was written in (he long battle -over sound money on 
this continent. 

Limitation on Western Land Sales. — Later in the aame 
year (1763) Geoige III issued a royal proclamation providing, 
among other things, for the government of the territory re- 
cently acquired by the treaty of Paris from the French. One 
of the provisions in this royal decree touched frontiersmen to 
the quick. The contests between the king's officers and the 
colonists over the disposition of western lands had been long 


and sharp. The Americans chafed at restrictions on settle- 
ment. The more adventurous were continually moving west 
and " squatting " on land purchased fnun the Indians or simply 
seized without authority. To put an end to this, the king 
forbade all further purchases from the Indians, reserving to the 
crown the right to acquire such lands and dispose of them for 
settlement. A second provision in the same proclamation 
vested the power of hcensing trade with the Indians, including 
the lucrative fur business, in the hands of royal officers in the 
colonies. These two Umitations on American freedom and 
enterprise were declared to be in the interest of the crown and 
for the preservation of the rights of the Indians against fraud 
and abuses. 

The Sugar Act of 1764. — King George's ministers next 
turned their attention to measures of taxation and trade. 
Since the heavy debt under which England was laboring 
had been largely incurred in the defense of America, nothing 
seemed more reasonable to them than the proposition that 
the colonies should help to bear the burden which fell so heavily 
upon the English taxpayer. The Sugar Act of 17G4 was the 
result of this reasoning. There was no doubt about the pur- 
pose of this law, for it was set forth clearly in the title : " An 
act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and 
plantations in America ... for applying the produce of such 
duties . . . towards defraying the expenses of defending, 
protecting and securing the said colonies and plantations . . . 
and for more effectually preventing the clandestine conveyance 
of goods to and from the said colonies and plantations and 
improving and securing the trade between the same and Great 
Britain." The old Molasses Act had been prohibitive; the 
Sugar Act of 1764 was clearly intended as a revenue measure. 
Specified duties were laid upon sugar, indigo, calico, silks, and 
many other commodities imported into the colonies. The en- 
forcement of the Molasses Act had been utterly neglected; 
but this Sugar Act had '' teeth in it." Special precautions 
as to bonds, security, and registration of ship masters, ac- 



companied by heavy penalties, promised a vigorous execution 
of the new revenue law. 

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

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

The Stamp Act, like the Sugar Act, declared the purpose 
of the British government to raise revenue in America " towards 


defeaying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing 
the British odonies and plantations in America." It was a 
kMig measure of more than fifty sections, carefully planned and 
skillfully drawn. By its provisions duties were imposed on 
practicany all papers used in legal transactions, — deeds, mort- 
gages, inventories, writs, bail bonds, — on licenses to practice law 
and sell liquor, on college diplomas, pla3dng cards, dice, pam- 
I^ilets, newspapers, almanacs, calendars, and advertisements. 
Hie drag net was closely knit, for scarcely anything escaped. 

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

Colonial Resistance Forces Repeal 

Popular Opposition. — The Stamp Act was greeted in Amer- 
ica by an outburst of denunciation. The merchants of the 
seaboard cities took the lead in making a dignified but unmis- 
takable protest, agreeing not to import British goods while 
the hated law stood upon the books. Lawyers, some of them 
incensed at the heavy taxes on their operations and others in- 
timidated by patriots who refused to permit them to use stamped 
papers, joined with the merchants. Aristocratic colonial Whigs, 



who had long gruiubied at the administration of royal governore, 
protested against taxation without their consent, as the Whigs 
had done in old England. There were Tories, however, in the 
colonies as in England — many of them of the official class — 
who denounced the merchants, lawyers, and Whig aristocrats 
as " seditious, factious and republican." Yet the opposition to 
the Stamp Act and its accompanying measure, the Quartering 
Aet, grew steadily all through the summer of 1765, 

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

White the merchant* and Whig gentlemen confine<i their 
efforts chiefly to drafting well-phrased protests against British 
measures, the Sons of Liberty operated in the streets and chose 
rougher measmes. They stirred up riots in Boston, New York, 
Philadelphia, and Charleston when attempts were made to sell 
the stamps. They sacked and burned the residences of high 
royal officers. They organized committees of inquisition who 
by threats and intimidation curtailed the sale of British goods 
and the use of stamped papers. In fact, the Sons of Liberty 
carried their operations to such excesses that many mild op- 
ponents of th(! stamp tax wore frightened and drew back in 
astonishment at the forces they had unloosed. The Daughters 
of Liberty in a quieter way were making a very effective imet- 
ance to the sale of the hat^d goods by spurring on domestic 
industries, their own particular province being the manufacture 
of clothing, and ilevising substitut.eR for taxi'd fomls. Tliey 
helped to feed and clothe their families without buying British 


Legislative Action against the Stamp Act. — Leaders in the 
I jlonial assemblies, accustomed to battle against British poiicies, 
upported the popular protest. The Stamp Act waa signed on 
March 22, 1765. On May 30, the Virginia of Burgesses 
passed a set of resolutions declaring that the General Assembly 
of the colony alone had the right to lay taxes upon the inhabit- 
ant and that attempts to impale them otherwise were " illegal, 
UD constitutional, and unjust." 
It was in support of (hese resolu- 
tions that Patrick Henry uttered 
tie immortal challenge : "Casar 
had his Brutus, Charles I his 
Cromwell, and George III . . ." 
Cries of "Treason" were cjdmly 
met by the orator who finished : 
"George III may profit by their 
example. If that be treason, 
make the most of it." 

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

The Stamp Act Congress was more than an a.sscinbly of pro 


the ^^ 

Patrick Hekht 


' ftx 



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

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

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

The repeal of the Stamp Act was moved in the House of 
Commons a few days later. The sponsor for the repeat spoke 
of commerce interrupted, debts due British merchants placed 
in jeopardy, Manchester industries closed, workingmen unem- 
ployed, oppression instituted, and the loss of the colonies threat- 


ened. Pitt and Edmund Burke, the former near the close of 
his career, the latter just beginning his, argued cogently in favor 
(rf retracing the steps taken the year before. Grenville refused. 
" America must learn," he wailed, '' that prayers are not to be 
brou^t to Cssar through riot and sedition." His protests 
were idle. The Conmions agreed to the repeal on February 22, 
1766, amid the cheers of the victorious majority. It was car- 
ried through the Lords in the face of strong opposition and, 
on March 18, reluctantly signed by the king, now restored to 
his right mind. 

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

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

Resumption op British Revenue and Commercial Policies 

The Townshend Acts (1767). — The triumph of the colonists 
was brief. Though Pitt, the friend of America, was once more 
prime minister, and seated in the House of Lords as the Earl 
of Chatham, his severe illness gave to Townshend and the Tory 
party practical control over Parliament. Unconvinced by the 
experience with the 9tamp Act, Townshend brought forward 


and pushed through both Houees of Parliament three n 
which to this day are associated with bis name. First among his 
restrictive laws was that of June 29, 1767, which placed the en- 
forcement of the collection of duties and customs on colonial 
imports and exports in the hands of British commissioners ap- 
pointed by the king, resident in the colonies, paid from the 
British treasury, and independent of all control by the colonists. 
The second measure of the same date imposed a tax on lead, 
glass, paint, tea, and a few other articles imported into the col- 
onies, the revenue derived from the duties to be applied toward 
the payment of the salaries and other expenses of royal colonial 
officials. A third measure was the Tea Act of July 2, 1767, 
aimed at the tea trade which the Americans carried on illegally 
with foreigners. This law abolished the duty which the East 
India Company had to pay in England on tea exported to 
America, for it was thought that English tea merchants might 
thus find it possible to undersell American tea smugglers. 

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

The writ of assistance, which was a general search warrant 
issued to revenue officers, was an ancient device hateful to a 
people who cherishtnl the spirit of personal independence and 
who had made actual gains in the practice of civil lil>prty. To 
allow a " minion of the law " to enter a man's house and search 
his papers and premises, was too much for the emotions of 
people who had fled to America in a quest for self-govenunent 


and free homes, who had braved such hardships to establish 
them, and who wanted to trade without official interference. 

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

The New York Assembly Suspended. — In the very month 
that Townshend's Acts were signed by the king, Parliament 
took a still more drastic step. The assembly of New York, pro- 
testing against the " ruinous and insupportable " expense in- 
volved, had failed to make provision for the care of British 



I troops in airoortiance with the temis of the Quartering Aot. 
. Parliament therefore suspended the assembly uotil it promised 
to obey the law. It was not until a third election was held that 
compliance with the Quartering Act was wrung from the reluc- 
tant province. In the meantime, all the colonies had learned 
on how frail a foundation their representative bodies rested. 

Renewed Resistance in America 
The Massachusetts Circular (1768). — Massachusetts, under 
the leadcisliip of Samuel Adams, resolved to resist the policy 
of renewed intervention in 
America. At his suggestion the 
as.sembly adopted a Circular 
I^'f ter addressed to the assem- 
blies of the other colonies in- 
forming them of the state of 
affairs in Massachusetts and 
roundly condemning the whole 
British program. The Circular 
Letter declared that Parliament 
had no right to lay taxes on 
Americans without their consent 
and that the colonists could not, 
from the nature of the case, be 
represented in Parhament. It 
went on shrewdly to submit to 
consideration the question as to 
whether any people could be 
called free who were subjected 
samlbl adamh to governors and judges ap- 

pointed by the crown and paid 
out of funds raised independently. It invited the other colo- 
the most temperate tones, to lake thought about the 
common predicament in which they were all placed. 

The Dissolution of Assemblies. — The governor of Massa- 
chusetts, hearing of the Circular Letter, ordered the assembly 


to resdiid its appeal. On meeting rrfusal, he promptly dis- 
aotved it. Hie Maryland, Georgia, and South Carolina assem* 
Uies indoned the Circular Letter and were abo dissolved at 
once. The Virginia House of Burgesses, thoroughly- aroused, 
passed rescduticms on May 16, 17G9, declaring that the sole 
rif^tof imposing taxes in Virginia was vested in its legislature, 
asserting anew the right of petition to the crown, condemn- 
ing the transportation of persons accused of crimes or trial be- 
ycmd the seas, and beseeching the king for a reilress of the 
general grievances. The immediate dissolution of the Virginia 
assembly, in its turn, was the answer of the royal governor. 

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

On the night of March 5, 1770, a crowd on the streets of Bos- 
ton b^^an to jostle and tease some British regulars stationed in 
the town. Things went from bad to worse until some " bo^'s 
and young fellows " began to throw snowballs and stones. 
Then the exasperated soldiers fired into the crowd, killing five 
and woimding half a dozen more. The day after the '* mas- 
sacre," a mass meeting was held in the town and Samuel Adams 
was sent to demand the withdrawal of the soldiers. The gov- 
ernor hesitated and tried to compromise. Finding Adams 
relentless, the governor yielded and ordered the regulars 

The Boston Massacre stirred the country from New Hamp- 
shire to Georgia. Popular passions ran high. The guilty 
soldiers were charged with murder. Their defense was under- 
taken, in spite of the wrath of the populace, by John Adams and 
Josiah Quincy, who as lawyers thought even the worst offenders 
entitled to their full rights in law. In his speech to the jury, 
however, Adams warned the British government against its 



course, saying, that " from the nature of things soldiers quar- 
I tered in a populous town will always occasion two mobs where 
they will prevent one." Two of the sokiiers were convicted and 
lightly punished. 

Resistance in the South. — The year following the Boston 
Massacre some citizens of North Carolina, goaded by the con- 
duct of the roj'al governor, openly resisted his authority. 
Many were killed as a result and seven wlio were taken prisoners 
were hanged as traitors. A little livt<>r royal troops and local 
I militia met in a pitched battle near jMamance River, called the 
" Lexington of tl^c South." 

The Gas^ee ■Affair and the Virginia Resolutions of 1773. — 

On sea as well as on hmd, friction between the royal officers and 

the colonists broke out into overt acts. While patrolling Nar- 

ragansett Bay looking for smugglers one- day in 1772, the armed 

ship, Gaspee, ran ashore and was caught fast. During the night - 

I several men from Providence boarded the vessel and, after 

I seizing the crew, set it on fire. A royal commission, sent to 

I Rhode Island to discover the offenders and bring them to ae- 

[ count, failed because it could not find a single inf<irraer. The 

L very appointment of such a commission aroused the patriots 

r of Virginia to action ; and in March, 1773, the House of Bur- 

I gesses passed a resolution creating a standing eonunittee of 

, correspondence to develop cooperation among the colonies in 

resistance to British measures. 

The Boston Tea Party. — Although the British government, 
finding the Townshend revenue act a faihm?, repealed in 1770 
all the duties except that on tea, it in no way relaxed its resolve 
I to enforce the other commercial regulations it had imposed on 
[ the colonies. Moreover, Parliament decided to relieve the 
British East India Company of the financial difficulties into 
which it had fallen partly by reason of the Tea Ad \iiid the 
colonial boycott that followed. In 1773 it agreed to return 
to the Company the regular import duties, levied in England, 
OD nil tea transshipped to America. A small impost of three 
pence, to be collected in America, was left as a reminder of 


the principle laid down in the Declaratory Act that ParUament 
had the right to tax the colonists. 

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

Retaliation by the British Government 

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

The Five Intolerable Acts. — Parliament, beginning on March 
31, 1774> passed five stringent measures, known in American 



hi8tory as the five " intolerable acts." They were aimed fit ' 
curing the unrest in America. The ^rs( of them was a bill ab- 
solutely shutting the port of Boston to commerce with the nut- 
side world. The second, following closely, revoked the Massa- 
chusetts charter of 1691 and provided furthermore that the 
councilors should be appointed by the king, that all judges 
should be named by the royal governor, and that town meetings 
(except to elect certain officers) could not be held without the 
governor's consent. A third measure, after denouncing the 
" utter subversion of all lawful government " in the provinces, 
authorized royal agents to transfer to Great Britain or to other 
colonies the trials of officers or other persons accused of mur- 
der in connection with the enforcement of the law. The fourth 
act legalized the quartering of troops in Massachusetts towns. 
The fifth of the measures was the Quebec Act, which granted 
religious toleration to the CathoUcs in Canada, extended the 
boundaries of Quebec southward to the Ohio River, and estab- 
lished, in this western region, government by a viceroy. 

The intolerable acts went through Parhament with extraor- 
dinary celerity. There was an opposition, alert and informed ; 
but it was ineffective. Burke spoke eloquently against the 
Boston port bill, condemning it roundly for punishing the inno- 
cent with the guilty, and showing how likely it was to bring 
grave consequences in its train. He was heard with respect 
and his pleas were rejected. The bill passed both houses with- 
out a division, the entry " unanimous " being made upon their 
journals although it did not accurately represent the state of 
opinion. The law destroying the charter of Massachusetts 
passed the Conmions by a vote of three to one ; and the third 
intolerable act by a vote of four to one. The triumph of the 
ministry was complete. " What passed in Boston," exclaimed 
the great jurist, Lord Mansfield, " is the overt act of High Trea- 
son proceeding from our over lenity and want of foresight." 
The crown and Parhament were united in resorting to punitive 

In the colonies the laws were received with consternation. 



To the Ameriean Pkotestants, the Quebec Act was the most 
offensive. Tliat project they viewed not as an act of gXBce or 
of movy but as a direct attempt to enlist French Canadians 
on the side of Great Britain. The British government did 
not grant rdigious t<^ration to CathoUcs either at home or in 
Irdaiid and the Americans could see no good motive in granting 
it in NorUi America. The act was also offensive because Massa- 
chusetts, Connecticut, and Virginia had, under their charters, 
large daims in the territor>' thus annexed to Quebec. 

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

Fbom Reform to Revolution in America 

The Doctrine of Natural Rights. — The dissolution of assem- 
blies, the destruction of charters, and the use of troops produced 
in the colonies a new phase in the struggle. In the early days of 
the contest with the British ministry, the Americans spoke of 
their *' rights as Elnglishmen " and condemned the acts of Par^ 
liament as unlawful, as violating the principles of the English 
constitution under which they all lived. When they saw that 
such arguments had no effect on Parliament, they turned for 
support to their " natural rights." The latter doctrine, in 
the form in which it was employed by the colonists, was as 
TCfiglifth as the constitutional argument. John Locke had used 
it with good effect in defense of the English revolution in the 
seventeenth century. American leaders, familiar with the 
writings of Locke, also took up his thesis in the hour of their 
distress. They openly declared that their rights did not rest 
after all upon the English constitution or a charter from the 
crown. '* Old Magna Carta was not the beginning of all things," 
retorted Otis when the constitutional argument failed. ** A time 



may come when Parliameot shall declare every American char- 
ter void, but the natural, inherent, and inseparable rights of 
the colonists as men and as citizens would remain and whatever 
became of charters can never l>e abohshed until the general 
conflagration." Of the same opinion was the young and im- 
petuous Alexander Hamilton. " The sacred rights of mankind," 
he exclaimed, " are not to be rummaged for among old parch- 
ments or musty records. They are written as with a sunbeam 
in the whole volume of human destiny by the hand of divinity 
itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power." 

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

Burke Offers the Doctrine of Conciliatiou. — The flooding 
tide of American sentiment was correctly measured by one 
Englishman at least, Edmund Burke, who quickly saw that 
attempts to restrain the rise of American democracy were efforts 
to reverse the processes of nature. He saw how fixed and rooted 
in the nature of things was the American spirit — how inevitable, 
how irresistible. He warned his countrymen that there were 
three ways of handling the delicate situation — and only 
three. One was to remove the cause of friction by changing 
the spirit of the colonists — an utter impossibility because that 
spirit was groimded in the essential circumstances of American 
life. The second was to prosecute American leaders as criminals ; 
of this he begged his countrymen to beware lest the colonists 


declare tint ^ m govemment afsainst which a claim of liberty 
is tantamomit to hi^ treason is a govemmeni lo which sulw 
nusBioiLis eqaiTalent to ^very.*' The third aiul right way to 
meet the proUem, Burke concluded^ w:is to aiwpt the American 
spirit, repeal the obnoxious measures, and receive the colonies 
into equal partn^ahip. 

Events Produce flie Great Decision. — The right way. in- 
dicated by Burke, was equaUy impossible to Ot^orgi^ III and 
the majority in Parliament. To their nam^w mimls, American 
opinion was contemptible and American n^istaiuv unlawful, 
riotous, and treasonable. The correct way, in their view» was 
to dispatch more troops to crush the " n4x»ls " ; and that verj* 
act took the contest from the realm of opinion. .\s Ji>hn Adams 
said : " Facts are stubborn things." Opinions wort* unstvn, 
but marching soldiers were visible to the vorit^t stnvt urchin. 
" Now," said Gouvemeur Morris, " the shiH^p, simple as thoy 
are, cannot be gulled as heretofore." It was tiH> late to talk 
about the excellence of the British constitution. If any one is 
bewildered by the controversies of modern historians as to why 
the crisis came at last, he can clarify his understanding by Head- 
ing again Edmund Burke's stately oration, On Coficiliation with 


G. L. Beer, Bntiah Colonial Policy (1754-63). 
K Channing, History of the United States, Vol. III. 
R. Frothingham, Rise of the Republic. 

G. E. Howard, Preliminaries of the Revolution (Aiiioriran Nation StTion). 
J. K. Hosmer, Samttel Adams. 
J. T. Morse, Benjamin Franklin. 
M. C. Tyler» Patrick Henry. 

J. A. Woodbum (editor), The American Revohiiion (Si»lortionH from tho 
English work by Lecky). 


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

2. Explain why the party and parliamentary HyHt^ms of England 
favored the plans of George 111. 


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

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

5. Describe American resistance In the Stamp Act. What was the 

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

7. Summarize the events connected with American reaistanc;. 

8. With what measures did Great Britain retaliate? 

9. Contrast "constitutional" with "natural" rights. ^^M 
10._What solution did Burke offer? Why was it rejected? ^H 

Research Topics ' 

Powers Conferred on Revenue Officers by Writs of Assistance. — See 
a writ in Macdouald, .Source Bouk, ]i. lOS. 

Tie Acts of Parliament Respecting America. — Mucdonald, pp. 117- 
146. Assign one U) each student for report and comment. 

Source Studies on the Stamp Act. — Hart, American History Told by 
Contemporaries, Vol. II, pp. 394-412, 

Source Studies of the Townsheod Acts. — Hart, Vol. II, pp. 413-433. 

American Principles. — Prepare a table of them from the Resolutions 
of the Stamp Act Congress and the MasBachusettB Circular. Macdonald, 
pp. 136-146. 

An English Historian's View of the Period. — Green, Short History oj 
England, Chap. X. 

English Policy Not Injurious to America. — Callender, Economic History, 
pp. 85-121. 

A Review of English Policy. — Woodrow Wilson, History of the Ameri- 
can People, Vol. II, pp. 120-170. 

The Opening of the Revolution. —Elson, History of the United iSfobi, 




Resistance and Retaliation 

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

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

The Non-Importation Agreement. — The Congress was not 
content, however, with professions of faith and with petitions. 



It took onr revolutionary stop. It agreed to stop the iiii- 
portation of British goods into America, and the enforcement 
of this agreement it placed in the hands of local " committees 
of safety and inspection," to be picet-ed by the qualified voters. 
The significance of this action is obvious. Congress threw 
itself athwart British law. It made a rule to bind American 
citizens and to be carried into effect by American officei-s. It 
set up a stat^" within the British state and laid down a test of 
allegiance to the new order. The foloni.sts, who up to this mo- 
ment had been wavering, had to choose one authority or the other. 
They were for the enforcement of the non-importation agree- 
ment or they were against it. They either bought English 
) or they did not. In the spirit of the toast — "May 
Britain be wise and America be free " — the first Continental 
CongreBH adjourned in October, having appointed the tenth 
of May following for the meeting of a second Congress, should 
necessity require. 

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

Bloodshed at Lexington and Concord (April 19, 1776). — 
Meanwhile the British authorities in Massachusetts relaxed 
none of their efforts in upholding British sovereignty. General 
Gage, hearing that military stores had boen collected at Con- 
cord, dispatched a small force to seize iJicm. By this act he 
precipitated the conflict he had sought to avoid. At Lexington, 
on the road to Concord, occurred "the little thing" that 
produced " the great event." An unexpected collision beyond 


the thought or piorpoee of any man had transferred the con- 
test from the forum to the battle field. 

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

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

American Independence 

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

Events followed thick and fast. On June 17, the American 


militia, by the stubborn defense of Bunker Hill, showed that it i 
could make British regulars pay dearly for all they got. On | 
July 3, Washington took command of the army at Cambridge, i 
In January, 1776, after bitter disappointments in drumming up 
recruits for its army in England, Scotland, and Ireland, the 
British government concluded a treaty with the Landgrave 
of Hesse-Cassel in Germany contracting, at a handsome figure, 


for thousands of soldiers and many pieces of cannon. This 
was the crowning insult to America. Such was the view of all 
friends of the colonies on both sides of the wat«r. Such was, 
long afterward, the judgment of the conservative historian 
Lecky : " The conduct of England in hiring German mercenaries 
to subdue the essentially English population beyond the Atlan- 
tic made reconciliation hopeless and independence inevitable." 
The news of this wretched transaction in German soldiers had 
hardly reached America before there ran all down the coast 


tbp thrOHng stonr thst WashingtoD had takrn Boston, on Miirrh 
17, 1776. compdling Lord Howe to sail with his cnliir .irmy for 

Ttae Gnnrth of Pablk Sentiment in Fitot of IndepeadeoM. 
— Events wwe bearing the Americans away from lh«r old 
podtian onder the British constitution toward n final separation. 
Sowly "nd af^&inst their desires, prudent and honorahle mrn, 
wbo cherished the ties thai 
onited them to the old onior 
and dreaded with genuine 
honor aQ thoi^Eht of revolii- 
tion, were drawn into the 
palh that led to the great 
(tecujon. In all parts of 
(he CDunIr>" and among all 
classes, the question of the 
hour was being dcbaloti. 
" American independence," 
as the historian Banerf)ft 
says, " was not. an act of 
sudden passion nor the work 
of one man or one assemHy. 
It had been discussed in 
everj" part of the country 
by farmers and merchants, 
by mechanics and planters, 

by the fishermen along the coast and the bftckwoodsinr>n of the 
West : in town meetings and from the piitpit ; at sociiil gather- 
ings and around the camp fires ; in county conventions and con- 
ferences or committops; in colonial congresses and assemblieM." 

Paine's " Commonsense." — In the midst of this ferment of 
American opinion, a bold and eloquent paitiphlett-er bioke in . 
upon the hesitating public with a program for absolute in- J 
dependence, without fears and without apologies. In thtfj 
early days of 1776, Thomas Paine issued the first of his fnmoutl 
tracts, " CommoDsense," a passionate aUack upon the Brilialki'l 


monari;hy and an equnlly passionate plea for American liberty. 
Casting aside the language of petition with which Americans 
had hitherto addressed George III, Paine went to the other 
extreme and assailed him with many a violent epithet. He 
condemned monarchy itself as a system which had laid the 
world " in blood and ashes." Instead of praising the British 
constitution under which colonists had been claiming their 
rights, he brushed it aside as ridiculous, protrating that it was 
" owing to the constitution of the people, not to the constitution 
of the government, that the Crown is not as oppressive in 
England as in Turkey." 

Having thus summarily swept away the grounds of allegiance 
t« the old order, Paine proceeded relentlessly to an argument for 
immediate separation from Great Britain. There was nothing 
in the sphere of practical interest, he insisted, which should 
bind the colonies to the mother country. Allegiance to her 
had been responsible for the many wars in which they had been 
involved. Reasons of trade were not less weighty in behalf 
of independence. " Our corn will fetch its price in any market 
in Eurofie and our imported goods must be paid for, buy them 
where we will." As to matters of government, " it is not in the 
power of Britain to do this continent justice ; the business of it 
will soon be too weighty and intricate to be managed with 
any tolerable degree of convenience by a power so distant from 
lis and 30 very ignorant of us." 

There is accordingly no alternative to independence for 
America. " Everything that is right or natural pleads for 
separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of 
nature cries ' 'tis time to part.' . . . Arras, the last resort, 
must decide the contest ; the appeal was the choice of the king 
and the continent hath accepted the challenge. . . . The sun 
never shone on a cause of greater worth. "Tis not the affair 
of a city, a county, a province or a kingdom, but of a con- 
tinent. . .  'Tis not the concern of a day, a year or an a^; 
posterity is involved in the contest and will be more or leas 
affected to the end of time by the proceedings now. Now is 


the seed-time of Continental union, faith, and honor. . . . 
! ye that love mankind ! Ye that dare oppose not only the 
tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth. . . . Let names of Whig 
and Tory be extinct. Let none other be heard among us than 
those of a good citizen, an open and resolute friend, and a 
virtuous supporter of the rights of mankind and of the free and 
independent states of America." As more than 100,000 copies 
were scattered broadcast over the country, patriots exclaimed 
with Washington : " Sound doctrine and unanswerable reason ! " 

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

Meanwhile the Continental Congress was alive to the course 
of events outside. The subject of independence was constantly 
being raised. " Are we rebels? " exclaimed Wyeth of Virginia 
during a debate in Fel)ruary. " No : wo must declare ourselves 
a free people.** Oth(»rs hesitated jind spoke of waiting for the 
arrival of conunissioners of conciliation. ** Is not America 
already independent?" asked Samuel Adams a few weeks later. 
" Why not then declare it? '* Still there was uncertainty and 
delegates avoided the diiect word. A few more weeks elapsed. 





^fe^BPMm ^H^^^l 


luamnHDEycs to tbs CoMunTEB of Conosssb 


At last, on May 10, Congress declared that the authority of the 
British crown in America must be suppressed and ad\i9ed the 
colonies to set up governments of their own. 

I nflcpeDdenc c Declared. — The way was fuUy prepared, 
thg rf o re , when, on June 7, the Virginia delegation in the 
Coog^em moved that " these united colonies are and of right 
ou^t to be free and independent states." A committee was 
immediately appointed to draft a formal document setting forth 
the reasons for the act, and on July 2 all the states save New 
York went on record in favor of severing their political con- 
nection with Great Britain. Two days later. July 4, Jeffer- 
son's draft of the Declaration of Independence* changed in 
BotDB slight particulars, was adopted. The old bell in In- 
dependence Hall, as it is now known, rang out the glad tidings ; 
courierB swiftly carried the news to the uttermost hamlet and 
farm. A new nation announced its will to have a place among 
the powers of the world. 

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

Written in a " decent respect for the opinions of mankind," 
to set forth the causes which impelled the American colonists 
to separate from Britain, the Declaration contained a long 
list of " abuses and usurpations " which had induced them to 



throw off the government of King George. That section of the 
Declaration has pussed into " ancient " history and is seldom 
read. It is tht? iHirt laying down a new basis for government 
and giving a new dignity to the common man that has become 
1 household phrase in the Old World a.f in the New. 

In the more enduring passages there are four fundamental 
ideas which, from the standpoint of the old system of govern- 
ment, were the es-sence of revolution: (I) all men are created 
equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain miahen- 
able rights including life, hberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; 

(2) the purpose of government is to secure these rights ; 

(3) governments derive their just powers from the consent of the 
governed ; (4) whenever any form of government becomes 
destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or 
abolish it and institute new government, laying its foundations 
on such principles and organizing its powers in such form aa to 
them shall seem most hkely to effect their safety and happiness. 
Here was the prehide ta the historic drama of democracy — a 
challenge to every form of government and every privil^je 
not founded on popular assent. 

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


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

State Constitutions Framed. — With the rise of these new 
assemblies of the people, the old colonial j^overnmoiits broke 
down. From the royal provinces the governor, the judges, 
and the high officers fled in haste, and it l)ec»aine necessjirj' to 
substitute patriot authorities. The appeal to the colonies 
advising them to adopt a new form of government for them- 
selves, issued by the Congress in May, 1776, was quickly acted 
upon. Before the expiration of a year, Virginia, New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, and New York 
had drafted new constitutions as states, not as colonies un- 
certain of their destinies. Connecticut and Rhwle Island, 
holding that their ancient charters were equal to their needs, 
merely renounced their allegiance to the king and went on as 
before so far as the form of government was concerned. South 
Carolina, which had drafted a temporary plan ciirly in 177(), 
drew up a new and more complete constitution in 1778. Two 
years later Massachusetts with much deliberation put into force 
its fundamental law, which in most of its essential features 
remains unchanged to-day. 

The new state constitutions in their broad outlinc^s followed 
colonial models. For the royal governor was substituted a 
governor or president chosen usually by the legislature; but 
in two instances, N(^w ^'ork and Massachusetts, by popular 
vote. For the provincial council there was substituted, excH^pt in 
Georgia, a senate; while the lower house, or assembly, was 



^H continued virtually without change. The old property reatric- 

^H tion on the suffrage, though lowered slightly in some states, 

^H was continued in full force to the great discontent of the me- 

^K chanics thus deprived of the ballot. The special qualifications, 

laid down in several constitutions, for governors, senators, and 

representatives, indicated that the revolutionary leaders were 

not prepared for any radical experiments in democracy. The 

proteatsof a few women, like Mrs, John Adams of Massachusettfl 

and Mrs. Henry Corbin of Virginia, against a government which 

excluded them from pohtical rights were treated as mild curios- 

Iities of no significance, although in New Jersey women were 
allowed to vote for many years on the same terms as men. 
By the new state fonstitutions the signs and symbols of royal 
power, of authority derived from any source save " the people," 
were swept aside and republican governments on an imposing 
scale presented for the first time to the modern world. Copies 
of these remarkable documents prepared by plain citizens were 
translated into French and widely circulated in Europe. There 
they were destined to serve as a guide and inspiration to a 
generation of constitution -makers whase mission it was to 
begin the democratic revolution in the Old World. 

The Articles of Coofederatioii. — The formation of state 

t constitutions was an easy task for the revolutionary leaders. 
They had only to build on foimdations already laid. The es- 
tablishment of a national system of government was another 
matter. There had always been, it must be remembered, a 
system of central control over the colonies, but Americans 
had had little experience in its operation. When the super- 
^L vision of the crown of Great Britain was suddenly broken, 
^M the patriot leaders, accustomed merely to provincial atat«a- 
^m manship, were poorly trained for action on a national stage. 
^M Many forces worked against those who, like Franklin, had a 

^H vision of national destiny. There were differences in cconomio 
^B interest — commerce and industry in the North and the plant- 
^f ing system of the South. There were contests over the ap- 
^K portionment of taxes and the quotas of troops for common 


defenae. To iheae practical difficulties were added local pride, 
the nested rigfitB of state and village politicians in their pit>> 
vincial dignity, and the scarcity of men with a laife out- 
Vxk. upon the eomnKm enterprise. 

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

The ^iplication of Tests of Allegiance. — As the successive 
steps were taken in the direction of independent government, 
the patriots devised and applied tests designed to discover who 
were for and who were against the new nation in the process 
of making. When the first Continental Congress agreed not 
to allow the importation of British goods, it provided for 
the creation of local committees to enforce the rules. Such 
agencies were duly formed by the choice of men favoring the 
scheme, all opponents being excluded from the elections. Be- 
fore these bodies those who persisted in buying British goods 
were sununoned and warned or punished according to cir- 
ciunstances. As soon as the new state constitutions were 
put into effect, local committees set to work in the same 





way to ferret out all who were not outspoken in their support nf 
the new order of things. 

These patriot aKcncies, bearini; different uamee in different 
sections, were sometimes mthlees in their methodfi. They 
called upon all men to sign the t«?st of loyalty, frequently known 
as the " association test," Those who refused were promptly 
branded as outlaws, while some of the more dangerous were 
thrown into jail. The 
prison camp in Connects 
icut at one time held 
the former governor of 
New Jersey and the 
mayor of New York. 
Thousands were black- 
liHted and subjected to 
espionage. The black- 
list of Pennsylvania 
contained the names of 
nearly five himdred per- 
sons of prominence who 
were under suspicion. 
Loyalists or Tories who 
were bold enough to 
speak and write against. 
the Revolution were 
sup]ires.sed and their 
pamphlets burned. In 
many phitos, p:irticuhirly In, Uie North, the property of the 
loyalists was confiscated and the proceeds applied to the cause 
of the Revolution. 

The work of the official agencies for suppression of opposi- 
tion was sometimes supplemented by mob violence. A few 
Tories were hanged without trial, and others were tarred and 
feathered. One was placed upon a cake of ice and held tliere 
" until his loyalty to King George might cool," Whole families 
were driven out of their homes to find their way as best' they 


could within the British lines or into Canada, where the British 
gpv^mment gave them lands. Such exce^ssies were deplored 
by Washingt<Ni, but they were defended on the ground that in 
effect a civil war, as well as a war for independence, was Ix^iug 

The Patriots and Tories. — Thus, by one process or another, 
those who were to be citizens of the new republic were sepa- 
rated from those who preferred to be subjects of King George, 
Just what proportion of the Americans favored independence 
and what share remained loyal to the British monarchy there 
is no way of knowing. The question of revolution was not sub- 
mitted to popular vote, and on the point of numbers we have 
conJ9icting evidence. On the patriot side, there is the testi- 
mony of a careful and informed observer, John Adams, who 
asserted that two-thirds of the people were for the American 
cause and not more than one-third opposed the Revolution at 
all stages. 

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

The Character of the Loyalists. — When General Howe 
evacuated Boston, more than a thousand people fled with 
him. This great company, according to a careful historian, 
•* formed the aristocracy of the province by virtue of tluur 




official rank; of their dignified callings and professions; of 
their hereditary wealth and of their culture." The act of 
banishment passed by Massachusetts in 1778, listing over 300 
Tories, " reads like the social register of the oldest and noblest 
families of New England," more than one out of five being 
graduates of Harvard College. The same was true of New 
York and Philadelphia ; namely, that the leading loyalists 
were prominent officials of the old order, clergymen and wealthy 
merchants. With passion the loyaUsts fought against the 
inevitable or with anguish of heart they left as refugees for a 
life of uncertainty in Canada or the mother country. 

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

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

Pamphleteers, preachers, and publicists rose, however, to 
meet the needs of the hour. John Witherspoon, provost of 


the CoOoee of New Jersey, forsook the dasBroom for the field 
of pothkal eontiOTcrBy. The poet, Philip Freneau, flung 
taunts of oovimrdiee at the Tories and celebrated the spirit of 
liberty in many a stirring poem. Songs* baDads^ {days, and 
satires flowed from the press in an unending stream. Fast 
days, battle anmrersaries, celebrations of important steps 
taken by CongresB afforded to patriotic deiigymen abundant 
opportonities for sermons. " Does Mr. Wiberd preach against 
oppreflsion? " anxiously inquired Jotm Adams in a letter to 
lus wife. The answer was decisive. " The clerg\- of even* 
denomination, not excepting the Episcopalian, thunder and 
listen every Sabbath. They pray for Boston and Massa- 
chusetts. They thank God most explicitly and fer\*ently 
for our remarkaUe successes. They pray for the American 

Thomas Paine never let his pen rest. He had been with the 
forces of Washington when they retreated from Fort Leo and 
were harried from New Jersey into Pennsylvania. He knew 
the effect of such reverses on the army as well as on the public. 
In December, 1776, he made a second great appeal to his coun- 
trymen in his pamphlet, " The Crisis," the first part of which 
he had written while defeat and gloom were all about him. 
This tract was a cry for continued support of the Revohition. 
" These are the times that try men's souls," he opened. " The 
sununer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, 
shrink from the service of his countrj' ; but he that stands 
it now deserves the love and thanks of men and womrn.** 
Paine laid his lash fiercely on the Tories, branding ovory one 
as a coward grounded in "servile, slavish, self-interested foar.*' 
He deplored the inadequacy of the militia and called for a 
reid army. He refuted the charge that the retreat through 
New Jersey was a disaster and he promised victory soon. ** By 
perseverance and fortitude," he concluded, " we have the 
prospect of a glorious issue ; by cowardice and submission t lu» 
sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged country, a d(»- 
populated city, habitations without safety and slavery with- 


out hope. , . . Look on this picture and wpcp over it," His 
ringing call to arms was followed by another and another until 
the long conteat was over. 

Military Affairs 

The Two Phases of the War. — The war which opened with 
the battle of Lexington, on April 19, 1775, and closed with the 
surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, 
ed through two distinct phases — the first lasting until 
the treaty of alliance with France, in 1778, and the second 
until the end of the struggle. During the first phase, the war 

B confined mainly to the North. The outstanding features 
of the contest, were the evacuation of Boston by the British, 
the expulsion of American forces from New York and their 
retreat through New Jersey, the battle of Trenton, the s 
of Philadelphia by the British (Sept<?ml>er, 1777), the i 
of New York by Burgoyne and his capture at Saratt^a in 
October, 1777, and the encampment of American forces at 
Valley Forge for the terrible winter of 1777-78. 

The final phase of the war, opening with the treaty of 
alliance with France on Febriiary 6, 1778, was confined mMnly 
to the Middle states, the West, and the South. In the first 
sphere of action the chief events were the withdrawal of the 
British from Philadelphia, the battle of Monmouth, and the 
inclosure of the British in New York by deploying American 
forces from Morristown, New Jersey, up to West Point. In 
the West, George Rogers Clark, by his famous march into the 
Illinois country, secured Kaskaskia and Vincennes and laid a 
firm grip on the country between the Ohio and the Great Lakes. 
In the South, the second period opened with successes for the 
British. They captured Savannah, conquered Georgia, and 
restored the royal governoi'. In 1780 they seized Charleston, 
administered a crushing defeat to the American forces under 
Gates at Camden, and overran South Carolina, though meeting 
reverses at Cowpcns and King's Mountain. Then came the 
ing scenes. CornwaUis began the last of his 


He pursued General Greene far into North Carolina, da^heil 
with him at Guilford Court House, retired to the coast, tiX)k 
charge of British forces engaged in phmdering Virginia « and 
fortified Yorktown, where he was penned up by the French 
fleet from the sea and the combined French and American 
forces on land. 

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

Particularly was this true in the case of the Revolution. 
Only a small portion of the American people lived in towns. 
Countrymen back from the coast were in no way dependent 
upon them for a Uvelihood. They lived on the produce of the 
soil, not upon the profits of trade. This very fact gave strength 
to them in the contest. Whenever the British ventured far 
from the ports of entry, they encountered reverses. Bur- 
goyne was forced to surrender at Saratoga because he was sur- 
rounded and cut oflf from his base of supplies. As soon as the 
British got away from Charleston, they were harassed and 
worried by the guerrilla warriors of Marion, Sumter, and Pickens. 
Comwallis could technically defeat Greene at Guilford far in 
the interior; but he could not hold the inland region he had 
invaded. Sustained by their own labor, possessing the interior 




to which their armies could readily retrpat, supplied mainly 
from native resources, the Americans could not be hemmed 
in, penned up, and destroyed at one fell blow. 

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

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

Commanding Officers. — On the score of mihtary leader- 
ship it is difficult to compare the contending forces in the 
revolutionary contest. There is no doubt that all the British 
commanders were men of experience in the art of warfare. 
Sir Wilham Howe had served in .\merica during the French 
War and was accounted an excellent officer, a strict disciplina- 
rian, and a gallant gentleman. Nevertheless he loved ease, 
society, and good living, and his expulsion from Boston, his 
failure to overwhelm Washington by sallies from his com- 
fortable bases at New York and Philadelphia, destroyed every 
shred of ids military reputation. John Burgoyne, to whom 
was given the task of penetrating New York from Canada, 
had likewise seen service in the French War both in America 
and Europe. He had, liowever, a touch of the theatrical in his 



*ure and after the collapse of his plans and the surrender 
of his army in 1777. he devoted his time mainly to light litera- 
ture. Sir Henry Clinton, who directed the movement which 
ended in the capture of Charleston in 1780, had " learned his 
trade on the continent," and was regarded as a man of 
discretion and under- 
standing in mililaiy 
matters. Lord C'orn- 
wallis, whose achieve- 
ments at Camden ami 
Guilford were blotted 
out by his surrender at 
Yorktown, had seen 
service in the Seven 
Years' War and had un- 
doubted talents which 
he afterward displayed 
with great credit to him- 
self in India. Though 
none of them, perhaps, 
were men of firat-rate 
ability, they all had 
training and experienop 
to guide them. 

The Americans had 
a host in Washington 
himself. He had long 
been interested in mili- 
tary strategy and had tested his coolness under fire during tha' 1 
first clashes with the French nearly twenty years before. He'1 
had no doubts about the justice of his cause, such as plagued 
some of the British generals. He was a st^rn but reasonable 
disciplinarian. He was reserved and patient, little given to ex- 
altation at success or depre.ssion at reverses. In the dark hour 
of the Revolution, "what held the patriot forces tt^ether?"'! 
asks Beveridge in his Life of John Marshall. Then he aa-J 



Hwers : " George Washington and he alone. Had he died or 
been seriously disabled, the Revolution would have ended. . . . 
Washington wa."* the soul of the American cause. Washington 
was the government. Washington was the Revolution." The 
weakness of Congress in furnishing men and supplies, the indo- 
lence of civihans, who Uved at ease while the army starved, 
the intrigues of army officers against him such as the "Conway 
cabal," the cowardice of Lee at Monmouth, even the treason of 
Benedict Arnold, while they stirred deep emotions in his breast 
and aroused him to make passionate pleas to his countrymen, 
did not shake his iron will or his firm determination to see the 
war through to the bitter end. The weight of Washington's 
moral force was immeasurable. 

Of the generals who served under him, none can really be 
said to have been experienced military men when the war 
opened. Benedict Arnold, the unhappy traitor but brave 
and daring soldier, was a druggist, book seller, and ship owner 
at New Haven when the news of Lexington called him to 
battle. Horatio Gates was looked upon as a " seawined 
soldier " because he had entered the British army as a youth, 
had been wounded at Braddock's memorable defeat, and had 
served with credit during the Seven Years' War ; but he was the 
most conspicuous failure of the Revolution. The triumph 
over Burgoyne was the work of other men ; and his crushing 
defeat at Camden put an end to his military pretensions. Na- 
thanael Greene was a Rhode Island farmer and smith without 
military experience who, when convinced that war was comii^ 
road Ciesar's Commentaries and took up the sword, Francis 
Marion was a shy and modest planter of South Carolina whose 
sole passage at arms had been a brief but desperate brush with 
the Indians ten or twelve years earlier. Daniel Morgan, one 
of the heroes of Cowpens, had been a t«amater with Bratldock's 
army and had seen some fighting during the French and Indian 
War, bnt his militarv- knowledge, from the point of view of a 
trained British officer, was negligible. John Sullivan was a 
successful lawyer at Durham, New Hampshire, and a major 


in the local mflitia when duty summoned him to lay down his 
bfie£B and take up the sword. Anthony Wayne was a Penn- 
s^dvania farmer and land surveyor who, on hearing the clash 
of arms, read a few books on war, raised a regiment, and offered 
himadf for service. Such is the story of the chief American 
military leaders, and it is t^-pical of them all. Some had 
seal fitting with the French and Indians, but none of them 
had seen warfare on a large scale with r^ular troops com- 
manded according to the strategj' evolved in European ex- 
perience. Courage, native ability, quickness of mind, and 
knowledge of the countr>' they had in abundance, and in battles 
such as were fought during the Revolution all those qualities 
counted heavily in the balance. 

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

The Soldiers. — As far as the British soldiers wore, concerned 
their annals are short and simple. The regulars from the 
standing army who were sent over at the opening of the coi^- 



teat, the recruits drummed up by special efforts at home, and 
the thousands of Hessians bought outright by King George 
presented few problems of management to the British officers. 
These common soldiers were far away from home and en- 
listed for the war. Nearly all of them were well disciplined ' 
and many of them experienced in actual campaigns. The ' 
armies of King George fought bravely, as the records of Bunker 
Hill, Brandy wine, and Monmouth demonstrate. Many a 
man and subordinate officer and, for that matter, some of the I 
high officers expressed a reluctance at fighting against their ' 
own kin ; but they obeyed orders. 

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

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


Though time were times when militiamen and frontiersmen 
did valiant and effective work, it is due to historical accuracy 
to deny the time4ionored tradition that a few minutemen over- 
whelmed more numerous forces of r^ulars in a seven years' 
war for independence. They did nothing of the sort. For 
the victories of Bennington, Trenton, Saratoga, and Yorktown 
there were the defeats of Bunker Hill, Long Island, White 
PlainSy Germantown, and Camden. Not once did an army 
of militiamen overcome an equal number of British regulars 
in an open trial by battle. " To bring men to be well ac- 
quainted with the duties of a soldier," wrote Washington, 
"requires time. ... To expect the same service from raw 
and undisciplined recruits as from veteran soldiers is to ex- 
pect what never did and perhaps never will happen." 

How tiie War Was Won. — Then how did the American 
army win the war? For one thing there were delaj's and 
blunders on the part of the British generals who, in 1775 and 
1776, dallied in Boston and New York with large bodies of 
r^ular troops when they might have been dealing paral3'zing 
blows at the scattered bands that constituted the American 
army. " Nothing but the supineness or folly of the enemy 
could have saved us," solemnly averred Washington in 1780. 
Still it is fair to say that this apparent supineness was not all 
due to the British generals. The ministers behind them be- 
lieved that a large part of the colonists were loyal and that 
compromise would be promoted by inaction rather than by a 
war vigorously prosecuted. Victory by masterly inactivity 
was obviously better than conquest, and the slighter the 
wounds the quicker the healing. Later in the conflict when 
the seasoned forces of France were thrown into the scale, 
the Americans themselves had learned many things about 
the practical conduct of campaigns. All along, the British 
were embarrassed by the problem of supplies. Their troops 
could not forage with the skill of militiamen, as they were 
in unfamiliar territory. The long oversea voyages were 
uncertain at best and doubly so when the warships of 



France joined the American privateers in preying on supply 

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

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

When the war came down upon the country, women helpetl 
in every field. In sustaining public sentiment they were 
active. Mrs. Warren with a tireless pen combatted loyalist 
propaganda in many a drama and satire. Almost every 
revolutionary leader had a wife or daughter who rendered 
service in the " second line of defense," Mrs. Washington 
managed the plantation while the General was at the front and 
went north to face the rigors of the awful at Valley 
■Forge — an inspiration to her husband and his men. The 
daughter of Benjamin Franklin, Mrs. Sarah Bache, while her 
father was pleading the American cause in France, set the 


women of Pennflylvania to work sewing and collecting sup- 
plies. Evoi near the firing line women were to be found, 
aidiiig the wounded, hauling powder to the front, and carr>'- 
ing di^Mitches at the peril of their lives. 

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

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

The Finances op the Revolution 

When the Revolution opened, there were thirteen little 
treasuries in America but no common treasury-, and from 
first to last the Congress was in the position of a beggar rather 
than a sovereign. Having no authority to lay and collect 
taxes directly and knowing the hatred of the provincials for 
taxation, it resorted mainly to loans and paper money to 
finance the war. " Do you think," boldly inquired one of the 
delefi^tes, " that I will consent to load my constituents with 
taxes when we can send to the printer and get a wagon load of 
money, one quire of which \i411 pay for the whole? " 





Paper Money and Loans. — Acting on this curious but ap- 
pealing political economy, Congress issued in June, 1776, two 
million dollars in bills of credit to be redeemed by the sta,t«6 
on the basis of their respective populations. Other issues 
followed in quick succession. In all about $241,000,000 of 
continental paper was printed, to which the several states 
added nearly $210,000,000 of their own notes. Then came 
interest-bearing bonds in ever increasing quantities. Several 
milUons were also borrowed from France and small sums from 
Holland and Spain. In desperation a national lottery was 
held, producing meager results. The property of Tories waa 
confiscated and sold, bringing in about $16,000,000. Begging 
letters were sent to the states asking them to raise revenues 
for the continental treasury, but the states, burdened with 
their own affairs, gave little heed. 

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

The Patriot Financiers. — To Ihe efforts nf Congress in 
financing the war were added the labors of private citizens. 
Hayn Solomon, a merchant of Philadelphia, supplied mem- 
bers of Congress, including Madison, Jefferson, and Monroe, 
and army officers, like Lee and Steuben, with money for their 
daily needs. AH together he contributed the huge sum of half a 
million dollars to the American cause and died broken in purse, 

I 1 1 

I Ml 



not in s|Bi^ a Bntah f i auua tt wmr. Aaekhar fjifti 
ddphia moAmMt, Bobnt SConia. «>aB for hinadf the Hun» ol 
-fi^ " paokit jnapficT " brriTwr he bhond w^t uxl day to 
:3d the moncT to meet tlie fadb wUdt pound in upon the 
-oakn^it gnrenuneBt. Whea his own funds v«r« exhausted, 
he bmiu w ud from Im frieods. Expeneoced in the hMMltit^ 
tf merduuM&Ee, he seated agencies at impoftant points to 
lEstribiite stq^iGa to the iroofB, 
ttia ^aidaying admmistratire 
aa vd as Samaaal takots. 

Women oqpuiiaed "drives" 
for monej', contriboted tbeir 
pbte and their jeireLs, sod col- 
lected frotn door to door. 
Fanners took worthless paper 
in r«tum for their produce, and 
'Jildiers saw many a pay day 
pass without yielding them a 
penny. Thus by the labors and 
-:icrific€sof citisens, the iasuanee 
if paper money, lotteries, the 
rJEiating of loans, borrowings in 
Europe, and the impressment of 
supplies, the Congress sta^ered 
through the Revolution like a 

pauper who knows not how his next meal is to be sei-urwl bul 
is continuously relieved at a crisis by a kindly fate. l 

The Diplomacy of the REVOLtrTIO^ 
When the full measure of honor is given to tho soldiers and 
sailors and their commanding officers, the civilians who niiinuip'd 
finances and supplies, the writers who sustained the Ameri- 
can spirit, and the women who did well their part, there yet 
remains the duty of recognizing the achievements of diplomacy. 
The importance of this field of activity was keenly npprecial 
hy the leaders in the Continental Congress. They were fi 




well versed in European history. They knew of the balance 
of power and the Kynipiithips, interests, and prejudices of 
nationa iind their mU^rs. All this information they turned to 
good account, in opening relations with continental countries 
and seeking money, supplies, and even military assistance. 
For the transaction of this delicate buainess, they created e 
secret committee on foreign (correspondence as early as 1775 
and prepared to send agents abroad. 

American Agents Sent Abroad. — Having heard that France 
was inehning a friendly ear to the American cause, the Con- 
gress, in March, 177(i, sent a commissioner to Paris, Silas 
Deane of Connecticut, often styled the " first American diplo- 
mat." Later in the year a form of treaty to be presented to 
foreign powers was drawn up, and Franklin, Arthur Lee, and 
Deane were selected aa American representatives at the court 
' His Most Christian Majeaty the King of France." John 
Jay of New York was chosen minister to Spain in 1779 ; John 
Adams was sent to Holland the same year ; and other agents 
were dispatched to Florence, Vienna, and Berlin. The repre- 
sentative selected for St. Petersburg spent two fruitless years 
there, " ignored by the court. living in obscurity and experi- 
encing nothing hut humiliation and failure." Frederick the 
Great, king of Prussia, expressed a desire to find in America 
a market for Silesian linens and woolens, but, fearing England's 
command of the sea, he refused to give direct aid to the Revo- 

Early French Interest. — The great diplomatic triumph of 
the Revolution was won at Paris, and Benjamin Franklin was 
the hero of the occasion, although many circumstances pre- 
pared the way for hia suecess. Louis XVI's foreign minister, 
Count de Vorgennes, before the arrival of any American repre- 
sentative, had brought to the attention of the king the op- 
portunity offered by the outbreak of the war between England 
and her colonies. He showed him how France could re- 
dress her grievances and " reduce the power and greatness of 
England " — the empire that in 1763 had forced upon her a 


"* at the price of our pc^sis^K«»oiK^ oc our cvhiv 
and oar credit in the Indies, at the {»ice of Canaila, 
laie Boyale. Acadb. and Seoefral/* Equally $ue^ 
cearfol in gaimng the king's interest was a curivHis French ad« 
Tentiucr. Bc MU ua i chais, a man of wealth, a lover \^ iuu$ii\ 
ftiid the author of two popular plays. *' Fi{8Earv " and ** The 
Barfan* of Seville-'* These two men had already uixeil uixni 
the kiDK secret aid for America In^forv Deano appt^r^nl on 
the scene. Sbortly after his arri\-al they nuide conAdeutial 
arrangements to furnish money, clothing, (x^wiior. and other 
supfdies to the struggling colonies, although ofhoial nn^uests 
for them were oflKcially reused by the French govenuncnt. 

Fianldm at Puis. — When Franklin roacheil P.nris, ho was 
received only in private by the king's minister. ^'crgtMuu^. 
The French people, however, made manifest their aiTtvtion 
for the " plain republican " in ** his full dress suit of spotttnl 
Manchester velvet." He was known among men i>f letters as 
an author, a scientist, and a phiK>sopher of extnu^rilinary 
ability. His " Poor Richard " had thrice Ihh^u tmnslatinl into 
French and was scattered in numerous eiiitions tlm>ughout the 
kingdom. People of all ranks — ministers, ladies at court. 
philosophers, peasants, and stable boys — knew of Franklin 
and wished him success in his mission. The quiH'n, Marie 
Antoinette, fated to lose her head in a revohition soon to 
follow, played with fire by encouraging *' our dear republican." 

For the king of France, however, this was more serious busi- 
ness. England resented the presence of this " traitor ** in 
Paris, and Louis had to be cautious about plunging into another 
war that might also end disastrously. Moreover, the early 
period of Franklin's sojourn in Paris was a dark hour for tin* 
American Revolution. Washington's brilliant exploit at Tren- 
ton on Christmas night, 1776, and the battle with ('ornwallis 
at Princeton had been followed by the diwister at Brandy- 
wine, the loss of Philadelphia, the defeat at Germantown, an<l 
the retirement to Valley Forge for the winter of 1777 7K. 
New York City and Philadelphia — two strategic ports — wer« in 




British hands ; the Hudson and Delaware rivers were blocked ; 
and General Burgoyne with his British troops was on his way 
down through the heart of northern New York, cutting New 
England off from the rest of the colonies. No wonder the 
king was cautious. Then the unexpected happened. Bur- 
goyne, hemmed in from all aides by the American forces, his 
flanks harried, his foraging parties beaten back, his supplies 
cut off, surrendered on October 17, 1777, to General Gates, 
who had superseded Geoeral Schuyler in time to receive the 

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

Spain and Holland Involved. — Within a few months, Spain, 
remembering the steady decline of her sea power since the 
days of the Armada and hoping to drive the British out of 
Gibraltar, once more joined the concert of nations against 
England. Holland, a member of a league of armed neutrals 
formed in protest against British searches on the high seas, 
sent her fleet to unite with the forces of Spiiin, France, and 
America to prey upon British commerce. To all this trouble 


br Eiighnd wias added the danfcer of a poss^ible revolt in 
[rdand, where the spirit of independence w!i$ flaming up. 

The Britirii Offer Tenns to America. — Seeing the colonists 
ibout to be joined by France in a common war on the EIng- 
Ssh empire. Lord North proposed, in February-. 177S, a renewal 
of negotiaticMis. By solemn enactment. Parliament declared 
its intention not to exercise the right of imposing taxes within 
the colonies: at the same time it authorized the o^x^ning of 
negotiations through conmiissioners to be sent to America. 
A truce was to be established, pardons granteii ohjei^tionable 
laws suspended, and the old imperial constitution, as it stixxl 
before the opening of hostilities, restored to full vigi^r. It 
was too late. Events had taken the affairs of America out of 
the hands of British commissioners and diplomats. 

Effects off French Aid. — The French alliance bnnight shi^is 
of war, large sums of gold and silver, lo^ids of supplies, and a 
considerable body of trained soldiers to the aid of the Americans. 
Timely as was this help, it meant no sudden change in the for* 
tunes of war. The British evacuated Philadelphia in the 
summer foUowing the alliance, and Washington's troops were 
encouraged to come out of Valley Forge. Thoy inflict oil a 
heavy blow on the British at Monmouth, hut the treasonable 
conduct of General Charles Ijcc prevented a trimnph. The 
recovery of Philadelphia was offset hv the trea^^on of Beneili(*t 
Arnold, the loss of Savannah and Charleston (1780), and the 
defeat of Gates at Camden. 

The full effect of the French alliance wa*s not felt tuitil 1781, 
when Comwallis went into Virginia and settle<l at Yorktown. 
Accompanied by French troops Washington swept rapidly 
southward and penned the British to the shore while a powerful 
French fleet shut off their escape by sea. It was this movement, 
Rrhich certainly could not have been executed without French 
udy that put an end to all chance of restoring British dominion 
in America. It was the surrender of Comwallis at Yorktown 
that caused Lord North to pace the floor and cry out : " It is 
Ul over ! It is all over ! " What mificht have been done with- 


out the P'lTnoh iilliiince lit^ hidden from inuiikiml. Whal was 
accomplished with the help of FiTiich soldiers, sailors, officers, 
money, and supplies, is known to all the earth. " All the world 
■ee," exultantly wrote Franklin from Paris to General Wash- 
ingtfin, " that no expedition was ever better planned or better 
executed. It brightens the glory that must accompany your 
name to the latest posterity." Diplomacy as well as martial 
valor had its reward. 

Peace at Last 

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

Agiiinst this powerful opposition, the govcrmncnt calistcd a 
whole iirniy of si'rihes and juurnaUstB to (xiur out criticism on 
the Americans and their friends. Dr. Samuel Johnson, whom 


it employed in this business, was so savage that even the niin- 
istefs had to tone down his pamphlets before printing them. 
Far more weighty was Edward Ciil)lK)n, who was in tune to win 
name as the historian of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Em^ 
pire. He had at first opposed the government; but, on being 
given a lucrative post, he used his sharp pen in its support, 
causing his friends to ridicule him in these lines : 

''King George, in a fright 
Lest Gibbon should wnto 

The story of England's disgrace, 
Thought no way so sure 
His pen to secure 
As to give the historian a place.*' 

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


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

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

The generous terms secured by the American commission at 
Paris called forth surprise and gratitude in the United States 
and smoothed the way for a renewal of commercial relations 
with the mother country. At the same time they gave genuine 
anxiety to European diplomats. " This federal republic is 
bom a pigmy," wrote the Spanish ambassador to hia royal 
master. "Aday will come when it will be a giant ; evenacolos- 
8U8 formidable to these countries. Liberty of conscience and 
the facility for establishing a new population on inmiense lands, 
as well as the advantages of the new goverimient, will draw 
thither farmers and artisans from all the nations. In a few' 


years we shall watch with grief the tyrannical existence of the 
same colossus." 


The independence of the American colonies was foreseen by 
many Em'opean statesmen as they watched the growth of their 
population, wealth, and power ; but no one could fix the hour 
of the great event. Until 1763 the American colonists lived 
fairly happily under British dominion. There were collisions 
from time to time, of course. Royal governors clashed with 
stiff-necked colonial legislatures. There were protests against 
the exercise of the king's veto power in specific cases. Never- 
theless, on the whole, the relations between America and the 
mother country were more amicable in 1763 than at any period 
under the Stuart r^ime which closed in 1688. 

The crash, when it came, was hot deliberately willed by 
any one. It was the product of a number of forces that hap- 
pened to converge about 1763. Three years before, there had 
come to the throne George III, a young, proud, inexperienced, 
and stubborn king. For nearly fifty years his predecessors, 
Germans as they were in language and interest, had allowed 
things to drift in England and America. George III decided 
that he would be king in fact as well as in name. About the 
same time England brought to a close the long and costly 
French and Indian War and was staggering under a heavy 
burden of debt and taxes. The war had been fought partly 
in defense of the American colonies and nothing seemed more 
reasonable to English statesmen than the idea that the colo- 
nies should bear part of the cost of their own defense. At this 
juncture there came into prominence, in royal councils, two 
men bent on taxing America and controlUng her trade, Gren- 
ville and Townshend. The king was willing, the English tax- 
payers were thankful for any promise of relief, and statesmen 
were found to undertake the experiment. England therefore 
set out upon a new course. She imposed taxes upon the colo- : .' . 
nistSy regulated their trade and set royal officers upon them to -'; 


enforce the law, This action evoked protests from the coloDists. 
They held a Stamp Act Congress to declare their rights and 
petition for a redress of grievances. Some of the more restless 
spirits rioted in the streets, sacked the houses of the king's 
officers, and tore up the stamped pa|)er. 

Frightened by uprising, the English government drew back 
and repealed the Stamp Act. Then it veered again and re- 
newed its policy of interference. Interference again called 
forth American protests. Protest'^ aroused sharper retaliation. 
More British regulai's were sent over to keep order. More 
irritatingHdws were passed by Parliament. Rioting again 
appeared : tea was dumped in the harbor of Boston and seized 
in Ihe harbor of Charleston. The British answer was more 
force. The response of the colonists was a Continental Congress 
for defense. An unexpected and unintended clash of arms at 
Lexington and Concord in the spring of 1775 brought forth 
from the king of England a proclamation: " The Americana 
are rebels t" 

The die was east. The .\mericiin Revolution had begun. 
Washington wiis made comniander-in-ehief. Armies were 
raised, money was borrowed, a huge volume of paper currency 
was issued, and foreien iiid was sununoned. Franklin plied 
his diplomatic arts atflETiKs until in 1778 he induced France to 
throw her sword into the balance. Three years lat«r, Cora- 
wallis surrendered at Yorktown, In 17S3, by the formal treaty 
of peace, George III acknowWlged the independence of the 
United States. The Tiew nation, endowed with an imperial 
domain stretching from the Atlantic Ocean U) the Miffitssippi 
River, began it-s career among the sovereign powers i»f the earth. 
In the sphere of civil government, the results of the Revolu- 
tion were equally remarkable. Royal officers and royal au- 
thorities were driven from the former dominions, ,\I1 power WM 
declared to f)e in the people. AH the colonies l)ecaine'*raR'«, 
each with its own constitiitinn or pliin of government. The 
thirteen states were united in common bonds under the Articles 
of Confederation. A republic on a large scale was insUtDted. 


Thus there was begun an adventure in popular government 
such as the world had never seen. Could it succeed or was it 
destined to break down and be supplanted by a monarchy? 
The fate of whole continents hung upon the answer. 


J. Fiske, The American Revolution (2 vols.). 

H. Lodge, L^e of Wtuhingtan (2 vols.). 

W. Sumner, The Financier and the Finances of the American Revolver 

O. Trevelyan, The American RevoluHon (4 vols.). A sympathetic ac- 
count by an -English historian. 

M. C. Tyler, LUerary History of the American Revolution (2 vols.). 

C. H. Van Tyne, T9ie American Revolution (American Nation Series) 
and The Loyalists in the American Revolution. 


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

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

3. Why did efiForts at conciliation fail ? 

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

5. Why is the Declaration of Independence an "immortal'' docu- 

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

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

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

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

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

1 1. How was the Revolution financed ? 

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

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

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


Research Topics 

The Spirit of America. — Woodrow Wilson, History of the American 
People, Vol. II, pp. 98-126. 

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

The Declaration of Independence. — Fiske, The American Revolution^ 
Vol. I, pp. 147-197. Elson, History of the United States, pp. 250-254. 

Diplomacy and the French Alliance. — Hart, American History Told by 
ContemporarieSf Vol. II, pp. 574-590. Fiske, Vol. II, pp. 1-24. Callender, 
Economic History of the United States^ pp. 159-168 ; Elson, pp. 275-280. 

Biographical Studies. — Washington, Franidin, Samuel Adams, Patrick 
Henry, Thomas Jefferson — emphasizing the peculiar services of each. 

The Tories. — Hart, ContemporarieSf Vol. II, pp. 470-480. 

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

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

An English View of the Revolution. — Green, Short History of England, 
Chap. X, Sect. 2. 

English Opinion and the Revolution. — Trevelyan, The American Revo- 
lution, Vol. Ill (or Part 2, Vol. II), Chaps. XXIV-XXVII. 



The Promise and the Difficulties of America 

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

The Weakness of the A^rticles of Confederation. — The 
government under the Articles of Confederation had neither 
the strength nor the resources necessary to cope with the prob- 
lems of reconstruction left by the war. The sole organ of gov- 
ernment was a Congress composed of from two to seven mem- 
bers from each state chosen as the legislature might direct and 
paid by the state. In determining all questions, each state had 
one vote — Delaware thus enjoying the same weight as Vir- 
ginia. There was no president to enforce the laws. Congress 
was given power to select a committee of thirteen — one from 
each state — to act as an executive body when it was not in 
session; but this device, on being tried out, proved a failure. 

There was no system of national courts to which citizens and 





statrs could appeal for the protection of their rights or through 
which thej' conid comix-l obedience to law. The two great 
powers of government, military and financial, were withheld. 
Congreas, it is true, could authorize expenditures but had to 
rely upon the states for the payment of contributions to meet 
it« bills, It could also order the establishment of an army, but 
it could only request the states to supply their respective quotas 
of soldiers. It could not lay taxes nor bring any pressure to 
bear upon a single citizen in the whole country. It could act 
only through the medium of the state governments. 

Financial and Commercial Disorders. — In the field of pub- 
lic finance, the disorders were pronounced. The huge deb t 
i ncurred dur ing t \)p wnr w ^g sti^' nutatanfiii^jr, nnn^nva was 
unable to pay either the interest or the principal. Public 

crfKJit.nrt^ were in despair, aa the market value of their bond s 
san k to twenty-five or even ten centa on the dollar. The cur- 
rent bills of Congress were unpaid. As some one comjilained, 
there was not enough money in the treasury to buy pen and ink 
with which to record the transactions of the shadow legislature. 
The currency was in utter chaos. Millions nf dollars J EUPptes 
i ssuetl by Cong ress had become ^meraJ rftwh wnrth a cen t, or two 
oi ;,the dollar. There was no other expressio n of con tempt so 
forceful as th e popular saving: " not _ffiorth- a-, Continental . ' ' 
TV^iiake matters worse, several of the states were pouring new 
streams of paper money from the press. Aln^ost the only 
good money in circulation conaiated^of English, French, and 
Spanish coins, and the public was even defrauded by them be- 
cause money changers were busy clipping and filing away the 
metal. Foreign commerce was unsettled. The entire British 
system of trade discrimination was turnetl against the Amer- 
icans, and Congress, having no power to regulate foreign com- 
merce, was unable to retaUate or to negotiate treaties which 
it could enforce. Domestic commerce was impeded by the 
jealousies of the states, which erected tariff barriers against 
their neighbors. The condition of the currency made the ex- 
change of money and g<«)ds extn^mely difficult, and. aw if to in- 


crease the confusion, backward states enacted laws hindering 
the prompt collection of debts within their borders — an evil 
which nothii^ but a national system of courts could cure. 

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

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

In every p^rt of the country legislative action fluctuated 
violent^. Laws were rd^e one year only to be repealed the 
next and reenacted the tbird year. Lands were sold by one 
legislature and the sales were canceled by its successor. Un- 
certainty and distrust were the natural consequences. Men 
of substance longed for some power that would forbid states 
to issue bills of credit, to make paper money legal tender in 
payment of debts, or to impair the obligation of contracts. 
Men heavily in debt, on the other hand, urged even more 
drastic action against creditors. 

So great did the discontent of the farmei's in New Hampshire 
become in 1786 that a mob surrounded the legislature, demand- 


ing a repeal of the taxes and the issuance of paper money. It 
was with difficulty that an armed rebellion was avoided. In 
Massachusetts the malcontents, under the leadership of Daniel 
Shays, a captain in the Revolutionary army, organized that 
same year open resistance to the government of the state. 
Shays and his followers protested against the conduct of credi- 
tors in foreclosing mortgages upon the debt^burdened farmers, 
against the lawyers for increasing the costs of legal proceedings, 
against the senate of the state the members of which were ap- 
portioned among the towns on the basis of the amount of taxes 
jMiid, against heavy taxes, and against the refusal of the legis- 
lature to issue paper money. They seized the towns of Worces- 
ter and Springfield and broke up the courts of justice. AH 
through the western part of the state the revolt spread, sending 
a shock of alarm to every center and section of the young re- 
public. Only by the most vigorous action was Governor Bow- 
doin able to quell the uprising ; and when that task was accom- 
plished, the state government did not dare to execute any of the 
^^ prisoners because they had so many sympathizers. Moreover, 
^K Bowdoin and several members of the legislature who had been 
^H most zealous in their attacks on the insurgents were defeated at 
^^B the ensuing election. The need of national assistance for state 
^H governments in timcR of domestic violence was everywhere em- 
^H phasizod iiy men who wore opposed to revolutionary acts. 
^H Alarm over Dangers to the Republic. — Leading American 
^^1 citizens, watching the drift of affairs, were slowly driven to the 
^B conclusion that the new ship of state so proudly launched a few 
^H years before was careening into anarchy. " The facts of our 
^P peace and independence," wrote a friend of Waahingt-on, " do 
H not at present wear so promising an appearance as I had fondly 
^m painted in my mind. The prejudices, jealousies, and turbu- 
^B lenoe of the people at times almost stagger ray confidence in 
^m our political establishments ; and almost occasion me to think 
^H that they will show themselves unworthy of the noble prize 
^H for which we have contended." 
^H Washington himself wa^ profoundly discouraged. On hear- 


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

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

The Calling of a Constitutional Convention 

Hamilton and Washington Urge Reform. — The attempts 
it reform by the Congress were accompanied by demand for, 



both within and without that body, a convention to frame a 
new plan of government. In 1780, the youthful Alexander 
Hamilton, realizing thu weakness of the Articles, so widely 
discussed, proposed a general convention for the purpose of 
drafting a new constitution on entirely different principles. 
With tireless energj' he strove to bring hia countrymen to his 

Washington, agreeing * 

ith him on every point, declared, 
in a circular letter to the gov- 
ernors, that the duration of the 
union would be short unless 
there was lodged somewhere a 
supreme power " to regulate and 
govern the general concerns of 
the confederated republic." 
The governor of Massachusetts, 
disturbed by the growth of dis- 
content all about him, suggested 
to the state legislature in 1785 
the advisability of a national 
convention to enlarge the powers 
of the f 'ongress. The legislature 
approved the plan, but did not 
press it to a conclusion. 
The Annapolis Convention. — Action finally came from the 
South. The Virginia legislature, taking things into its own 
bands, called a conference of delegates at Annapolis to consider 
matters of taxation and conmierce. When the convention 
assembled in 1786, it was found that only five states had taken 
the trouble to send representatives. The leaders were deeply 
discouraged, but the resourceful Hamilton, a delegate from New 
York, turned the affair to good account. He seeing the adop- 
tion of a resolution, calling upon the Congress itself to summoD 
another convention, to meet at Philadelphia. 

A National Convention Called (1787). — The Congress, as 
tardy as ever, at last decided in February. 1787, to issue the 
call. Fearing drastic changes, however, it. restricted the 

Albxandbb H\Mti/rii 


vention to " the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles 
of Confederation/' Jealous of its own powers, it added that 
any alterations proposed should be referred to the Congress 
and the states for their approval. 

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

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



in a marked manner the talent, intelligence, and especially the 
conservative sentiment of the country." 

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

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


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

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

Greek had met Greek. The convention was hopelessly 
deadlocked and on the verge of dissolution^ " scarce held 


together by the strength of a hair/' as one of the delegates 
remarked. A crash was averted only by a compromise. * In- 
stead of a Congress of one house as provided. by the Articles, 
the convention agreed upon a l^slature of two houses. In 
the Senate, the aspirations of the small states were to be satisfied, 
for each state was given two members in that body. In the 
formation of the House of Representatives, the larger states 
were placated, for it was agreed that the members of that 
chamber were to be apportioned among the states on the basis 
of population, counting three-fifths of the slaves. 

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

Out of this clash of opinion also came compromise. One 
branch, the House of Representatives, it was agreed, was to be 


elected directly by the voters, while the Senators were to be 
elected indirectly by the state legislatures. The President was 
to be chosen by electors selected as the legislatures of the states 
might determine, and the judges of the federal courts, supreme 
and inferior, by the President and the Senate. 

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

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

Bepresentation and Taxation, — The Southern members of 
the convention were therefore very anxious to secure for 
their section the largest possible representation in Congress, 
and at the same time to restrain the taxing power of that body. 
Two devices were thought adapted to these ends. One was 
to count the slaves as people when apportioning representatives 



among the states according to their respective populations; 
the other was to provide that direct taxes should be apportioned 
among the states, in proportion not to their wealth but to the 
number of their free white inhabitants. For obvious reasons 
the Northern delegates objected to these proposals. Once 
more a compromise proved to be the solution. It was 
agreed that not all the slaves but three-fifths of them should 
be counted for both purposes — representation and direct 

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

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

The system, however, had its defenders. Representatives 
from South Carolina argued that their entire economic life rested 
on slave labor and that the high death rate in the rice swamps 
made continuous importation necessary. Ellsworthof Connect- 


ieut took the ground that the convention should not meddle 
with slavery. " The morality or wisdom of slavery," he said, 
"are considerations belonging to the states. What enriches 
a part enriches the whole." To the future he turned an un- 
troubled face : '' As population increases, poor laborers will be 
BO plenty as to render slaves useless. Slavery in time will not 
be a speck in our country." Virginia and North Carolina, 
already overstocked with slaves, favored prohibiting the traffic 
in them; but South Carolina was adamant. She must have 
fresh supplies of slaves or she would not federate. 

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

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

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



for four years, subject to impeachment, and endowed with r^J^ 
powers in the command of the army and the navy and in the 
enforcement of the laws. 

The Legislative Branch — Congress. — After the convention 
had made the great compromise between the lai^e and small 
commonwealths by giving representation to states in the Senate 
and to population in the House, the question of methods of 
election had to be decided. As to the House of Representatives 
it was readily agreed that the members should be elected by 
direct popular vote. There was also easy agreement on the 
proposition that a strong Senate was needed to cheek the 
" turbulence " of the lower house. Four devices were finaUy 
selected to siccomplifh this pnrpoap. Tn \hp f\nf fi\nm, thr 
Senators wcie not to be uhoscn directly liy llio volers ijut by 
the Ipp ^iBliit.iirpR ot infi jjrotj-j ^ rr,^ ^ ^ '■f ^mavin g-tlt & ii - ( i lno ti B n P DE 
de gree from the popidac e. In the second place, their term wa3~~ 
fGted at six years in8teaH~{)f~two, as in the case of the HotLse. 
In the third place, provision was made for continuity by having 
only one-third of the members go out at a time while two-thirds 
remained in service. Finally, it was provided that Senators 
must be at least thirty years old while Representatives need 
be only twenty- five. 

The Judiciary. — The need for federal courts to carry out 
the law was hardly open to debate. The feeblenes.^ of the 
Articles of Confederation was, in a large measure, attributed 
to the want of a judiciary to hold states and inrlividimls in 
obedience 1^ the laws and treaties of tbe union. Nevertheless 
on this point the advocates of states' rights were extremely 
Bensitive. They looked with distnist upon judges appointed 
at the national capital and emancipated from local interests 
and traditions; they remembered with what insistence they 
had claimed against Britain the right of local trial by jury and 
with what consternation they had viewed the proposal to make 
colonial judges independent nf the asaemblies in the matter of 
their salaries. Reluctjintly they yielded to the demand for 
'■MlerBl courts, consenting at first only to a supreme cuurt to 


review cases heard in lower state courts and finally to such 
additional inferior courts as Congress might deem necessary. 

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

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

The Powers of the Federal Government. — On the question 
of the powers to be conferred upon the new government there 
was lees occasion for a serious dispute. Even the delegates 


from the small states agreed with those from Massachusetts, 
Pemisylvania, and Virginia that new powers should be added 
to those intrusted to Congress by the Articles of Confederation. 
The New Jersey plan as well as the Virginia plan recognised 
this fact. Some of the delegates, like Hamilton and Madison, 
even proposed to give Congress a general legislative author- 
ity covering all national matters; but others, frightened by 
the specter of nationalism, insisted on specifying each power 
to be conferred and finally carried the day. 

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

National Defense, — The necessity for national defense was 
realized, though the fear of huge military establishments was 
equally present. The old practice of relying on quotas furnished 
by the state legislatures was completely discredited. As in 
the case of taxes a direct authority over citizens was demanded. 

fVm^rrggfl jxrnsn ihf^roinrf^ pivpn full pnwPji* f,^ rajfif* RTld Wipport 

armies an d^^ navy. It could employ the state miUtia when 
desirable; but it could at the same time maintain a r^ular 
army and call directly upon all able-bodied males if the natiure 
of a crisis was thought to require it. 

The " Necessary and Proper '' Clause, — To the specified 
power vested in Congress by the Constitution, the advocates 


of a strong national government added a general clause authoriz- 
ing it to make all laws " necessary and proper " for carrying 
into effect any and all of the enumerated powers. This clause, 
interpreted by that master mind, Chief Justice Marshall, was 
later construed to confer powers as wide as the requirements 
of a vast country spanning a continent and taking its place 
among the mighty nations of the earth. 

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

The legislatures under the dominance of these men had 
enacted paper money^laws enabling debtors to discharge their 
obligations more easily. The convention put an end to such 
practices by providing that no state should emit bills of credit 
or make anything but gold or silver legal tender in the payment 
of debts. The state legislatures iad enacted laws allowing 
men to pay their debts by turning over to creditors land or 
personal property; they had repealed the charter of an en- 
dowed college and taken the management from the hands of 
the lawful trustees; and they had otherwise interfered with 
the enforcement of private agreements. The convention, tak- 
ing notice of such matters, inserted a clause forbidding states 
" to impair the obligation of contracts." The more venturous 
of the radicals had in Massachusetts raised the standard of 
revolt against the authorities of the state. The convention 


answered by a brief H«ntenoe to the effect tliat the President of 
the United States, to be equipped with a regular army, would 
send troops to suppress doiiicstio insurrections whenever called 
upon by the legislatuie or, if it was not in session, by the gov- 
ernor of the state. To make sui-e that the restrictions on the 
states Vould not be dead letters, the federal Constitution, laws, 
and treaties were made the supreme law of the land, to be 
enforced whenever neeessary by !i national judiciary and execu- 
tive against violations on the part of any state authorities. 

Provisions for Ratification and Amendment. — When the 
frame of govermnent hat! becii determined, the powers to Ix- 
vested in it ha<l been enumerated, and the restrictions upon 
the states had been written into the bond, there remained 
three final questions. How shall the Constitution be mtified? 
What number of states shaU be necessary to put it into effect? 
How shall it be amended in the future? 

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

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



The con\'ention was equally positive iu dmlitiK with thUm 
iiroblem ot the number of states necessary to establish the nei^ll 
I oastitution. Attempts to change the Articles had failed bft'l 
I'^iiiseameDdmentrequiredtheapproval of every state and theref 
i:is always at least one recalcitrant member of the union. Thtfl 
pposition to a new Constitution was undoubtedly formidable^! 
Rhode Island had even refused to take part in framing it, atM 
her hostility was deep and open. Sn the convention cast asidftl 
the provision of the Articles of Confederation which required I 
Qnanimous approval for any change in the plan of govemmentf , 
it decreed that the new Constitution should go into effeotl 
when ratified by nine states. 

In providing for future ihanEPs in the Constitution itself 
the convention also thrust a^ide the old rule of unanimous 
approval, and decid "'] th"' "" "'"'"idp"'nt' coul d he made on 
B twA-fhirdg vnte in both houses of Congress iind ratification by 

three-fourths of the statew. Thin change 

of profound 

sjgmficance. Every state a greed tn he l)ounfl m the tuture hv 
aweudiuenl-s duly adopted even in casplTdid noi appriiveThem 
ilsc lf. America in this way set o ut upon the high road th at led 
from a league of states to a nation. 

The Struggle over Ratification 
On September 17, 1787, the Constitution, having been finalljf^ I 
drafted in clejir and simple languagp, a mode! to all makers c&M 
fundamental law, was adopted. The convention, after nentlyil 
four months of debate in secret session, flung open the doors an^l 
preflcnted to the Amefrienns the finished plan for the new govern- 
ment. Then the great debate passed to the people. 

The Opposition. — Storms of criticism at once descendet 
upon the Constitution. " Fraudulent usurpation! " exclaimed 
Gerry, who had refused to sign it, "A monster" out of the 
" thick veil of wcrecy," declaimed a Pennsylvania newspaiKT. 
"An iron-handed des|Kitisni will be the remUt," protested a 
third. " We, ' the low-lwrn,' " sarcastically wrote a fourthi^ 
" will now admit the ' six hundred well-born ' immediately ( 



f . isiIk Puu, ~: 

A CotUaion of EfliTC writttn iji fa 
fWofthcNtw CboAiniiioft, 
Pf Ciii%tm »f AWr-nrJ. 

by 111* AwIht, niib AdditMM 
*> **i] AlMm)D)it> 

dctim, lOaJ JtliwrrJ M fnhjrfAtn *l lli 
IpMtMW frit ^ tm Mtar. A Jtv, t^„ 


jir/ieUt if lit Convi'nfhn, 

establish this most noble, most excpllent, and truly divine con-, 
stitution." The President will become a king; Congress will 
be &s tyrannical as Parliament in the old days ; the stat<^s will 
be swallowed up ; the rights of the people will be trampled 
upon ; the poor man's justice will be lost in the endless delays 
of the federal courts — 
snch was the strain of 
the protests against 

Defense of the Consti- 
tution. — Moved by the 
Irmpcst of opposition, 
Hiimilton, Madison, and 
iJiiy took up their pens 
in defense of the Con- 
stitution. In a series 
fif newspaper articles 
they discussed and ex- 
pounded with elo- 
quence, learning, and 
dignity every important 
rlaiise and provision of 
thr proposed plas. 
These papers, after- 
wards collected and 
published in a volume 
known as The Federal- 
ist, fomi the finest 
textbook on the Consti- 
tution that has over been printed. It takea ita place, moreover, 
among the wisest and weightiest treatises on government ever 
written in any language in any time. Other men, not 80 
gifted, were no letw earnest in their support of ratification. 
In private correspondence, editorials, pamphlets, and letters 
i newspapers, they urged their countrymen to forget their 
tanship and accept a Constitution which, in spite of uiy 


defects great or small, was the only guarantee against dissolution 
and warfare at home and dishonor and weakness abroad. 

The Action of the State Conventioas. — Before the end of the 
year, 1787, three states had ratified the Constitution : Delaware 

ion ^^M 

Lhe ' 

7 y^'i ''xvw 



c Ratification 

and New Jersey unanimously and Pennsylvania after a short, 
though savage, contest. Connecticut and Georgia followed early 
the next year. Then came the battle royal in Massachusetts, 
ending in ratification in February by the narrow margin of 187 
votes to 168. In the spring came the news that Maryland and J 

thb"IjSi6n and national 


South Carolina were " under the new roof." On June 21, New 
Hampshire, where the sentiment was at first strong enough 
to defeat the Constitution, joined the ntw republic, influenced 
by the favorable decision in Massachusetts. Swift couriers 
were sent to carry the news to New York and Virginia, where the 
question of ratification was still undecided. Nine states bad 
accepted it and were united, whether more saw fit to join or not. 

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

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

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


Ml Farrand, Th« Framing of the CoiiatUiUum of the United Stales. 

P. L. Ford, fissoiw on the Cmetiiutimi of Ihe Vniird Slalcn. 

The Federatint (in many editions). 

G. Hunt, lAfe uf James Madison. 

A, C. McLaughlin, The Cojifeilerafimi arul the VimHlUidion (.\inerKUI 



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

2. Explain the domestic difficulties of the individual states. 

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

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

5. Who were some of the leading men in the convention ? What had 
l)een their previous training? , 

G. State the great problems Ijefore the convention. 

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

8. Show how the "check and balance" system is emlx)died in our 
form of government. 

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

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

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

Research Topics 

English Treatment of American Commerce. — Callender, Economic 
History of the United States, pp. 210-220. 

Financial Condition of the United States. — Fiskc, Critical Feriod of 
American History, pp. 163-186. 

Disordered Commerce. — Fiske, pp. 134-102. 

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

The Faihixe of the Confederation. — pison, History of the United States, 
pp. 318-326. 

FormatiQn of the Constitution. — (1) The plans before the convention, 
Fiske, pp. 236-249 ; (2) the great compromise, Fiske, pp. 250-255 ; (3) slav- 
ery and the convention, Fiske, pp. 256-266 ; and (4) the frame of govern- 
ment, Fiske, pp. 275-301 ; Elson, pp. 328-334. 

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

Ratification of the Constitution. — Hart, History Told by Contemporaries, 
Vol. Ill, pp. 233-254; Elson, pp. 334-340. 

Source Study. — Compare the Constitution and Articles of Confedera- 
tion under the following heads : (1) frame of government ; (2) powers of 
Congress ; (3) limits on states ; and (4) methods of amendment. Every 
line of the Constitution should \ye read and re-read in the light of the his- 
torical circumstances set forth in this chapter. 



The Men and M 

OF THE New Government 



Friends of the Constitution in Power. — In the first Congress 
that assembled after the adoption of the Constitution, there 
were eleven Senators, led by Robert Morris, the financier, who 
had been delegates to the national convention. Several mem- 
bers of the Honae of Representatives, headed by James Madi' 
son, had also been at Philadelphia in 1787, In making hia 
appointments, Washington strengthened the new system of 
government still further by a judicious selection of officials. 
He chose as Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, 
who had been the most zealous for its success ; General 
Knox, head of the War Department, and Edmund Randolph, 
the Attorney-General, were likewise conspicuous friends of the 
experiment. Every member of the federal judiciary whom 
Washington appointed, from the Chief JusticOj John Jay, down 
to the justices of the district courts, had favored the ratifica- 
tion of the Constitution; and a majority of them had served 
as members of the national convention that framed the docu- 
ment or of the state ratifying conventions. Only one man of 
influence in the new gnvpmmpnt.,_jriifimHS .Ti'fTprson. th° «°""?- 
tfl. [y nf H lntr. wflT reckon«Hi as a doubter in the house of the 
faithful. He had expressed opinions both for and against the 
Constitution ; but he had been out of the country acting as 
the minister af Paris when the Constitution was drafted and 

An Opposition to Conciliate. — The inauguration of Washr 
ington amid the plaudits of his countrymen did not set at rest 
all the political turmoil which had been aroused by the angry 


contest over ratification. '' The interesting nature of the 
question/' wrote John Marshall, " the equality of the parties, 
the animation produced inevitably by ardent debate had a 
necessary tendency to embitter the dispositions of the van- 
quished and to fix more deeply in many bosoms their prej- 
udices against a plan of government in opposition to which 
all their passions were enlisted." The leaders gathered around 
Washington were well aware of the excited state of the coun- 
try. They saw Rhode Island and North Carolina still out- 
aide of the union.^ They knew by what small margins the 
Constitution had been approved in the great states of Massa- 
chusetts, Virginia, and New York. They were equally aware 
that a majority of the state conventions, in yielding reluctant 
approval to the Constitution, had drawn a number of amend- 
ments for inmiediate submission to the states. 

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

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



against " thp sovereign state " of Georgiji. The now amend- 
ment was designed to protect states against the federal ju- 
diciary Ijy forbidding it to hear any case in which a state was 
sued by ii citizen. 

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

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

Funding at Face Value. — t)n the question of the terms of i 
consolidation, assumption, and funding, Hamilton had a 


firm conviction. That millions of dollars' worth o f the co n* 
t inental and sfjif ^ bonds had passed mt o^ ^^^ VionH^ ^f those 
wEo had originall y subscrib ed their funds to tbp Riipport of the 

g overnment or haJ sold supplies for th^ T^-pynlnfinnary amny 

was well known. I t was also a matter of common knowledge 
that a very large part of these bonds had been bought by 
speculators at ruinous figures — ten, twenty, and thirty cents 
on the dollar. Accordingly, it had been suggested, even in 
very respectable quarters, that a discrimination should ho 
made between original holders and speculative purchasers. 
Some who held this opinion urged that the speculators who 
had paid nominal sums for their bonds should be reimbursed 
for their outlays and the original holders paid the difference ; 
others said that the government should "scale the debt'* by re- 
deeming^ not at full value but at a figure reasonably above the 
market price. Against the proposition Hamilton set his face 
like flint. He maintained that the government was honestly 
bound to redeem every bond at its face value, although the diffi- 
culty of securing revenue made necessary a lower rate of in- 
terest on a part of the bonds and the deferring of interest on 
another part. 

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



deadlock, accompanied by the most surly feeiinga on 
both aides, threatened the very existence of the young gov- 
ernment. Washington and Hamilton were thoroughly alarmed. 
Hearing of the extremity to which the contest had been carried 
and acting on the appeal from the Secretary of the Treasury, 
Jefferson intervened at this point. By skillful management 
at a good dinner he brought the opposing leaders together; and 


^1 Potoma 
^B to satisi 

thus once more, as on many other occasions, peace was pur- 
chased and the union saved by compromise. The bargfun 
this time consisted of an exchange of votes for assumption in 
return for votes for the capital. Enough Southern mem- 
bers voted for assumption to pass the bill, and a majority waa 
mustered in favor of building the capital on the banks of the 
Potomac, after locating it for a ten-year period at Philadelphia 
to satisfy Pennsylvania members. 


The Umtad Slates Bank. — Encoura^pd by the 9iircP!S(9 of 
funding and asBumpdon measurps. Hamilton laid before 
Congreaa a project for a great United States Bank. He prxv 
posed that a private ccnporation be cbarterpd by Congmv. 
anthoriaed to raise a capital stock of SIO.000.000 (thiee-foiirths 
in new six per cent federal bonds and one-fourth in specie^ 
and emp o w er ed to issue paper currency under proper safe- 
guards. Many advantages. Hamilton contended, would accnie 
to the government from this institution. The price of the 
govenimmt bonds would be increased, thus enhancing public 
credit. A national currency would Iv created of iniifomi 
vahie from one end of the land to the other. The branches 
of the bank in various cities would make eaisy the exchange 
of funds so vital to commercial transactions on a national 
Bcale. Finally, through the issue of bank notes, the money 
opital avaflable for agriculture and industry- would Ix" in- 
nnisrid, thus stimulating business enterprise. Jefferson hotly 
attaehed the bank on the ground that Congress had no power 
whatever imder the Constitution to charter such a prixTite 
eorpontion. Hamilton defended it with great cogency. Wash- 
fai^gfeoiiy after weighing all opinions, decided in favor of the 
proposal. In 1791 the bill establishing the first United States 
Bank for a period of twenty years became a law. 

The Protective Tariff. — A third part of Hamilton's pn>- 
gram was the protection of American industries. The first 
revenue act of 1780, though designed primarily to bring money 
into the empty treasury, declared in favor of the principle. 
The following year Washington referred to the subject in his 
address to Congress. Thereupon Hamilton wius instructed 
to prepare recommendations for legislative action. The n^- 
suit, after a delay of more than a year, was his Report on Mami^ 
fadurea, another state paper worthy, in closeness of reasoning 
and keenness of understanding, of a place beside his report. 
on publie credit. Hamilton based his argument on the broad- 
est national grounds : the protective tariff would, by encourag- 
ing the building of factories, create a home market for the 




produce of farms and plantations ; by making the United 
States independent of other countries in times of peace, it 
would double its security in time of war ; by making use of the 
labor of women Eind children, it would turn to the production 
of goods persons otherwise idle or only partly employed ; by 
increasing the trade between the North and South it would 
strengthen the links of union and add to political ties those of 
commerce and intercourse. The revenue measure of 1792 
bore the impress of these arguments. 

TuE Rise of Polith.'al Parties 
Dissensions over Hamiltoa's Measures. — Hamilton's 
plans, touching deeply as they did the resources of individuals 
and the interests of the stetes, awakened alarm and opposi- 
tion. Funding at face value, said his critics, was a govern- 
ment favor to speculators ; the assumption of state debts was 
a deep design to undermine the .state govermnents; Con- 
gress had no constitutional powei- to create a bank ; tJie law 
creating the bank merely allowed a private corporation to 
make paper money and lend it at a high rate of interest; 
and the tariff was a tax on land and labor for the benefit of 

Hamilton's reply to this bill of indictment was simple and 
straightforward. Some rascally speculatoi-s had profited 
from the funding of the debt at face value, but that was only an 
incident in the restoration of public, credit. In view of the 
jealousies of the states it was a Rood thing to reduce their 
powers and pretensions. The Constitution was not to !k> 
interpreted narrowly but in the full hght of national needs. 
The bank would enlarge the amount of capital so sorely needed 
to start up American industries, giving markets to farmers and 
planters. The tariff by creating a home market and increas- 
ing opportunities for employment would benefit lx»th land 
and lal>or. Out of such wise ptjlieiee firmly pui-sued by the 
government, he concluded, were hovmd to come strength and 
prosperity for the new govermneat at homo, credit and power 


ibnad. TIde t»v WmsfaincioD fully indorwd. ;jiddin|( ihc 
wagM of his grtax mme to ihe inberpnt mmi5 of iho OKti:f^ 
ares adopted under his sdministntioD. 

The ShnpaoB cC Oe B uti s m Conflict — A$ .1 ivsiUi ^^ i ho 

dadi of opinion, the people of the countrx* |cnidualt>' divided 

into two puties : Federalists and Anti-Fedendists, the former 

led by Hamihoo. the btt^ by Jeffer^^n, The strength of 

the Fedenbsts lay in the cities — Boston. Prxwidence. Hsurt- 

ford. New York. Philadelphisi. Charieston — anionie: the 

mantrfacturin^. financial, and commercial gnni|V! of the |x>(hi- 

lation who were eag^er to extend their busint^i^ o|vnitions. 

The strength of the Anti-Federalists by mainly amouit the 

debt-burdened fanners who feared the jjn^wth of what they 

called " a money power " and planters in all stations who 

feared the dominance of commercial and manufacturing in« 

terests. The farming and planting S<MUh. inits idc-ot iha few — 

towns, finally presented an almost solid fmnt again st iussimnv> 

tion. the ^"Ki ^" d the tarifF. The conflict Ix^twixn^ the jvir- 

ties grew steadily in bitterness, despite the conciliatory and 

engaging manner in which Hamilton presi^ntod his cause in his 

state papers and despite the constant efforts of Waahington 

to soften the asperity of the contestants. 

The Leadership and Doctrines of Jefiferson. — The iiarty 
dispute had not gone far before the opponents of the admin- 
istration began to look to Jefferson as their leader. Some of 
Hamilton's measures he had approved, declaring afterwanl 
that he did not at the time understand thcMr significance. 
Others, particularly the bank, he fiercely lussailed. Mon^ than 
once, he and Hamilton, shaking violently with anger, attacked 
each other at cabinet meetings, and nothing short of the grave 
and dignified pleas of Washington prevented an early and 
open break between them. In 1794 it finally cainc'. ,l<»fT<»rHon 
resigned as Secretary of State and retired to his hoiiu* in Vir- 
ginia to assume, through correspondence and negotiation, 
the leadership of the steadily growing party of opposition. 
Shy and modest in manner, halting in speech, disliking 




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

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


The Whisl^ Rebdlkm. — The political agitation of the 
Anti-Federalists was accompanied by an armed revolt against 
the government in 1794. The occasion for this uprising was 
another of Hamilton's measm-es, a law laying an excise tax 
on distilled spirits, for the purpose of increasing the revenue 
needed to pay the interest on the funded debt. It so hap- 
pened that a very considerable part of the whisky manu- 
factured in the country was made by the farmers, especially 
on the frontier, in their own stills. The new revenue law 
meant that federal officers would now come into the homes of 
the people, measure their liquor, and take the tax out of their 
pockets. All the bitterness which farmers felt against the 
fiscal measures of the government was redoubled. In the 
western districts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Caro- 
lina, they refused to pay the tax. In Pennsylvania, some of 
them sacked and burned the houses of the tax collectors, as 
the Revolutionists thirty years before had mobbed the agents 
of King George sent over to sell stamps. They were in a fair 
way to nullify the law in whole districts when Washington 
called out the troops to suppress " the Whisky Rebellion." 
Then the m ovement collapsed : but it left behind a d eep-seated 
ryse ntrnent which flarpH up in the election o f several obdurate 
Anti-Federa list Congressmen from th e disaffected regions. 

Foreign Influences and Domestic Politics 

The French Revolution. — In this exciting period, when all 
America was distracted by partisan disputes, a storm broke 
in Europe — the epoch-making French Revolution — which 
not only shook the thrones of the Old World but stirred to its 
depths the young repubUc of the New World. The first scene 
in this dramatic affair occurred in the spring of 1789, a few 
days after Washington was inaugurated. The king of France, 
Louis XVI, driven into bankruptcy by extravagance and 
costly wars, was forced to resort to his people for financial 
help. Accordingly he called, for the first time in more than 
one hundred fifty years, a meeting of the national parliament. 




^H the " Estates General," composed of representatives of the 

^H " three estates " — the clergy, nobility, and eoniinoners. Actr 

^H ing under powerful leaders, the commoners, or "third estate," 

^H swept aside the clergy and nobility and resolved themselves 

^H into a national assembly. This stirred the country to its 

^H depths. 

^" Great events folIow<><l in swift succession. On July 14, 
1789, the Bafitilli.\ an uUl rtiyal prison, symlH*! of the king's 

ubsolutism, was stormed bj' a Paris crowd and destroyed. 
On the night of August 4, the feudal privili^ea of the nobility 
were abolished by the national assembly amid great excite- 
ment. A few days later came the famous Declaration of the 
Rights of Man, proclaiming the sovereignty of the people and 
the privileges of citizens. In the autumn of 1791, Louis X\'l 
was forced f o accept a new constitution for France vesting the 
legislative power in a popular assembly. Little disorder accoto- 
panied these startling changes. To all appearances a peaceful 


revolution had stripped the French king of his royal preroga- 
tives and based the government of his country on the consent 
of the governed. 

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

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

Eariy American Opinion of the French Revolution. — So 
close were the ties between the two nations that it is not sur- 
prising to find every step in the first stages of the French Revo- 
lution greeted with applause in the United States. " Liberty 
will have another feather in her cap," exultantly wrote a Bos- 
ton editor. " In no part of the glolx»," soberly wrote John 
Marshall, " was this r(»volution hailed with more joy than in 
America. . . . But one sentiment existed." The main key 
to the Bastille, sent to Washington as a memento, was ac- 




cepted as " a token of the victory (cained by liberty." Thomas 
Paine saw in the great event " the first ripe fruits of American 
principles transplanted into Europe." Federalists and Anti- 
Federahsts regarded the new constitution of France as another 
vindication of American ideals. 

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

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


in the name of monarchy. To Americans of conservative 
temper it now seemed that the Revolution, so auspiciously 
begun, had degenerated into anarchy and mere bloodthirsty 

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

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

The Effect of the French Revolution on American Politics. 
— The course of the French Revolution and the controversies 



accompanying it, exercised a profound influence on the fnnna- 
tion of the first political partipR in America. The followers 
of Hamilton, now proud nf the namo " Federalists," drew 
back in fright aa they hoard of the cruel deeds committed 
during the Reign of Terror. They turned savagely upon the 
revolutionists and their friend.s in America, denouncing aa 
" Jacobin " everybody who tlitl not condemn loudly enough 
the proceedings of the French llepublic. A Massachusetts 
preacher roundly assaileil " the atheistical, anarchical, and 
in other respects immoral principles of the French Republi- 
cans " ; he then proceedeti with equal passion to attack Jefferson 
and the Anti-FederaUats, whom he charged with spreading 
false French propaganda and l>etraying America. " The 
editors, patrons, and abettors of these vehicles of slander," 
he exclaimed, " ought to be considered and treated as enemies 
to their country. ... Of all traitors they are the mail ag- 
gravatedly criminal ; of all villains, they are the n)r>st in- 
famous and detestable." 

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

The European War Disturbs American Commerce. — This 
battle of wits, or rather contest in calumny, might have gone 
on indefinitely in America without producing any nerioua 


lesaltSv bad it not been for the war between En^dand and France, 
then racing. The Ejiglish. ha\'ing command of the seas, 
daimed the right to seixe American produce bound for French 
porta and to confiscate American ships enga^iced in carn'ing 
IVenehgpods. A dding fuel to a fire already ^^| fnt^"y^i t^T 
bepm to search A mpripsti^ fih'pg f "^ *'^ ^nrn* off BritislHbom 

atttofS I0»U H nn hf^rd Am#>rir>ftfi vessels.. 

The Srench A|ipeal for He^. — At the same time the French 
RepuUic turned to the United States for aid in its war on Enf^ 
land and sent over as its diplomatic representative '* Citi- 
«ai " Gen£t, an ardent supporter of the new order. On his 
arrival at Charieston, he was greeted with fervor by the Anti- 
Federalists. As he made his way North « he was wineil and 
dined and given popular ovations that turneil his head. He 
thought the whole countrj* was ready to join the French Re- 
pubUe in its contest ^ith England. Gen^t therefore attempted 
to use the American ports as the base of operations for French 
privateers pre>4ng on British merchant ships ; and he insisted 
that the United States was in honor bound to help France 
under the treaty of 1778. 

The Proclamation of Neutrality and the Jay Treaty. — 
Unmoved by the rising tide of popular sympathy for France, 
Washington took a firm course. He receiveil Gen6t coldly. 
The demand that the United States aid France under the old 
treaty of alliance he answered by proclaiming the neutrality 
of America and warning American citizens against hostile 
acts toward either France or England. When Gen6t con- 
tinued to hold meetings, issue manifestoes, and stir up the 
people against England, Washington asked the French gov- 
ernment to recall him. This act he followed up by sending 
the Chief Justice, John Jay, on a pacific mission to England. 

The result was the celebrated Jay treaty of 1794. By its 
terms Great Britain agreed to withdraw her troops from the 
western forts where they had been since the war for inde- 
pendence and to grant certain slight trade concessions. The 
chief sources of bitterness — the failure of the British to return 


slaves carried off during the Revolution, the seizure of Ameri- 
can ships, and the impressment of sailors — were not touched, 
much to the distress of everybody in America, including loyal 
Federalists. Nevertheless, Washington, dreading an armed 
conflict with England, urged the Senate to ratify the treaty. 
The weight of his influence carried the day. 

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

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

In September, 1796, on the eve of the presidential election, 
Washington issued his Farewell Address, another state paper 
to be treasured and read by generations of Americans to come. 
In this address he directed the attention of the people to three 
subjects of lasting interest. He warned them against sec- 
tional jealousies. He remonstrated against the spirit erf 
partisanship, saying that in government " of the popular char- 
acter, in government purely elective, it is a spirit not to be en- 
couraged." He likewise cautioned the people against "the 


insidious wiles of foreign influence/' sa3ring : '' Europe has a 
set of primary interests which to us have none or a very remote 
rdation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent contro- 
versies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our con- 
cerns. Hence, therefore, it would be unwise in us to impUcate 
ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her 
politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her 
friendships or enmities. . . . Why forego the advantages of 
80 peculiar a situation? ... It is our true policy to steer 
clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign 
world. . . . Taking care always to keep ourselves, by suitable 
establishments, on a respectable defensive posture, we may 
safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emer- 
The Campaign of 1796 — Adams Elected. — On hearing of 
' the retirement of Washington, the Anti-Federalists cast oflF 
[ all restraints. In honor of France and in opposition to what 
Ithey were pleased to call the monarchical tendencies of the 
(Federalists, they boldly assumed the name " Republican *' ; the 
'term " Democrat," then applied only to obscure and despised 
radicals, had not come into general use. They selected JeflFer- 
son as their candidate for President against John Adams, the 
Federalist nominee, and carried on such a spirited campaign 
that they came within four votes of electing him. 

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




The Quairel with France. — The French Directory, the 

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

This insult, coupled with the fact that French privateers, 
like the British, were preying upon American commerce, en- 
raged even the Republicans who had been loudest in the pro- 
fession of their French sjTnpathies, They forgot their wrath 
over the Jay treaty and joined with the Federalists in shouting: 
" Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute ! " Preparations 
for war were made on every hand. Washington was once 
more called from Mount Vernon tn take his old position at the 
head of the army. Indeed, fighting actually began upon the 
high seas and w ent on without a formal declaration of war 
until the ye^fTSOO.^j By that t ime the Directory had been 
overthrown. A treah' was readily made with VliJa|)olTODp 
the First Consul, who was beginning his remarkable career 
as chief of the French Republic, stwn to be turned into an 

Alien and Sedition Laws. — Flu.'ihed with success, the Fed- 
eralists determined, if possible, to put an end to radical French 
influence in America and to silence Republican opposition. 


They therefore passed two drastic laws in the summer of 1798 : 
the Alien and Sedition Acts. 

The first of these measures empowered the President to ex- 
pel from the country or to imprison any alien whom he regarded 
as '* dangerous " or " had reasonable grounds to suspect " of 
*' any treasonable or secret machinations against the govern- 

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

The Alien law was not enforced ; but it gave great offense to 
the Irish and French whose activities against the American 
government's policy respecting Great Britain put them in 
danger of prison. The Sedition law, on the other hand, was 
vigorously applied. Several editors of Republican newspapers 
soon foimd themselves in jail or broken by ruinous fines for 
their caustic criticisms of the Federalist President and his 
policies. Bystanders at political meetings, who uttered senti- 
ments which, though ungenerous and severe, seem harmless 
enough now, were hurried before Federalist judges and promptly 
fined and imprisoned. Although the prosecutions were not 


numerous, they aroused a keen resentment. The Republicans 
w(.Te convinced that their political opponents, having saddled 
upon the country Hamilton's fiscal system and the British 
treaty, were bent on silencing all censure. The measures there- 
fore had exactly the opposite effect from that which their au- 
thors intended. Instead of helping the Federalist party, they 
made criticism of it more bitter than ever. 

The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. — JeiTorson was 
quick to take iid van tai£f' of thi> tliscDntent. He drafted a set of 
7 resolutions declaring the Sedition law null and void, aa violat- 

'* . 7*^ng the federal f^ His resolutions were passed by 
^^ the Kentucky legislature late in 1798, signed by the governor, 
and transmitted to the other states for their consideration. 
Though receiving unfavorable replies from a number of North- 
ern states, Kentucky the following year reaffirmed its position 
and declared that the nullification of all unconstitutional acts 
of Congress was the rightful remedy to be used by the states in 
the redress of grievances. It thus defied the federal government 
and announced a doctrine hostile to nationality and fraught 
with terrible meaning for the future. Tn tho npjghhnrinpr stjttp 
of Virginia. Madison led ;t movement atrn.inat. thp Alien B , pd 
Sedition tnwf ^ , He indn"ffl l the In gip l n turf^ Ifr — pasa. resolu- 
ti ons condemning the acts as unconstitutional and calli tie-IlpQp 
t he other states t<7 tflke prfij-ier means to preserve t.hpir t jghta 
and the rights of the people. 

"Hie Republican Triumph InTSOO. — Thus the way was pre- 
pared for the election of 1800, The Republicans left no stone 
unturned in their efforts to place on the Federalist candidate, 
President Adams, all the odium of the Alien and Sedition laws, 
in addition to responsibility for approving Hamilton's measures 
and policies. The Federalists, divided in councils and cold in 
their affection for Adams, made a poor campaign. They tried 
to discredit their opponents with epithets of " Jacobins " and 
" Anarchists " — terms which had been weakened by excessive 
use. When the vote was counted, it was found that Adams 
had been defeated ; while the Repubhcans had carried the entire 



South and New York also and secured eight of the fifteen ele©* 
Inral votes cast by Pennsylvania. " Our beloved Adams will 
now close his bright career/' lampnt«d a Federalist newspaper. 
" Sons of faction, demagogues and high priests of anarchy, 
now you have cause to triumph ! " 

Jefferson's election, however, was still uncertain. By a 
curious provision in the Constitution, presidential electors were 

required to vote for two persons without indicating wluch office 
each was to fill, the one receiving the highest number of votes 
to be President and the candidate standing next to be Vice 
President. It so happened that Aaron Burr, the Republican 
candidate for Vice President, had received the same number 
of votes as Jefferson; as neither had a majority the election 
was thrown into the House of Representatives, where the 
Federalists held the balance of pcjwor. Although it was well 



known that Burr was not even a candidate for President, his 
friends and many Federalists began intriguing for his election 
to that high office. Had it not been for the vigorous action 
of Hamilton the prize might have been snatched out of Jeffer- 
son's hands. Not until the thirty-sixth ballot on February 
17, 1801, was the great issue decided in his favor.' 

J. 8. Basaett, The Federatiel System (A; 
C, A. Be&rd, Economic Origint of Jegi 
H. Lodge, Alexander HamiUon. 
J. T. Moree. Thointis Jefferson. 


Nation Series). 


1. Who were the leaders in the first administration under the Con- 
stitution ? 

2. What step was taken to apfiease the oppoKition? 

3. Enumerate Hamilton'^ ^reat measures nnd explain each in detail. 

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

5. Contrast the general politieal viewn of Hamilton and JelTersfin, 

6. What were the important results of the "peaceful" French Itevo- 
lution (1789-62)? 

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

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

9. What was the Burke-Paine controversy? 

10. Show how the war in Europe affected American commerce and in- 
volved America with England and Franee, 

11. What were American policies with regard to «ach of those coun- 

12. What was the outeome of the Alien and Sedition Acts? ^^ 

Research Topica ^^H 

Early Federal Legislation — C'omun, liidiislrial Hixiirrs of the IMHH 
Slater, pp. IM-IM; Elaon, Hialory of Uif FniVwi AV.ilwi, pp, 341-3-tfl. 
Hamilton's Report on Public Credit, — Macd.inHld, IhKimi-i'Utry Soaret 

Uo-t, pp. 2:);)-L>4:i. 

' To [irevont a t«[ietiijnn nfauvli an uudirtiiiuile :i(T>iir. the IwrUth aniciulntriit 
of the Constitution was adopted in 1804. changing slightly tire melhiid <if elert- 
ing the Pcoaident. 


The French Revolution. — Robinson and Beard, Devehpmenlof Modern 
Europe, Vol. I, pp. 224-282 ; Elson, pp. 351-354. 

The Burke-Paine Controversy. — Make an analysis of Burke's Reflec- 
tions on ike French Revolution and Paine's Rights of Man. 

The Alien and Sedition Acts. — Macdonald, Documentary Source Book, 
pp. 259-267 ; Elson, pp. 367-375. 

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

Source Studies. — Materials in Hart, American History Told by Con- 
iemporarieSf Vol. Ill, pp. 255-343. 

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

The Twelfth Amendment. — Contrast the provision in the original Con- 
stitution with the terms of the Amendment. See Appendix. 

te jeffersohiah republicaks in power 
Republican Principles and Policies 

Opposition to Strong Central GoTemment. — Cherishing 
especially the agricultural interest, as Jefferson said, the Rp- 
publicans were in the btsginning provincial in their concern 
and outlook. Their attachment to America waa, certainly, as 
strong aa that of Hamilton ; but they regarded the state, rather 
than the national government, aa the proper center of power and 
affection. Indeed, a large part of the rank and file had been 
among the opponents of the Constitution in the days of its 
adoption. Jefferson had entertained doubts about it and 1 1 
Monroe, destined to be the fifth President, had been one of the' 
bitter foes of ratification. The former went so far in the direc- 
tion of local autonomy that he exalted the state above the nation 
in the Kentucky resolutions of 1798, declaring the Constitu- 
tion to be a mere compact and the states competent to inter- | 
pret and nullify federal law. This was provincialism with a ' 
vengeance. " It is jealousy, not confidence, which prescribes 
limited constitutions," wrote Jefferson for the Kentucky legis- 
lature. Jealousy of the national government, not confidence 
in it — this is the ideal that reflected the pnivincial and agri- 
cultural interest. 

Republican Simplicity. — Every act of the Jefferaonian party 
during its early days of power was in accord with the ideals of 
government which it professed. It had opposed all pomp and 

L ceremony, calculated to give weight and dignity to the chief 
executive of the nation, as symbols of monarchy and high pre- 
rogative. Appropriately, therefore, Jefferson's inauguration on 
March 4, 1801, the first at the new capital at Washington, was 
marked by extreme simphcitv. In keeping with this procedure 


hi' quit the practice, followed b>' Washington and Adams, t^M 
reading presidential addresses to Congress in joint assemb^fl 
mi adopted in its stead the plan of sending hLs messages iifl 
KTiting — a custom that was continued unbroken until 19 mB 
when President Wilson returned to the example set by the finfl 
cbief magistrate. fl 

Republican Measures. — TheRepubhcans hiid complainaJ'l 
of a great national debt as the 3<>urce of a dangerous " money 
nower." trivinir strenirtli to th 

tly ihpyj ^uced theH nuJiF^" 
T ol war^ips. Thev ha d objected to excise taxes, par t ic ularly 
onwhisky; these thex n^'cklv aliolJsh ed, in iho intpnsp gatis- 
faction ot ttie larinera. Thov had protested against thp hea vy 
coat of the federal go vern rncn t ; they reduced expenses by dis- 
cWging aundre dg of metTfrom the a^^y and abobshing many 

They had sa vaEeiy criticized the Sedition law and J efferson 
refused to enfor ce it. They had been doeplj- offended by the 
assault oil freedom of speech and press and they prouiptly im- 
peached Samuel Chase, a justice of the Supreme Court, who 
had been especially severe in his attacks upon offenders undenj 
the Sedition Act. Their failure to convict Justice Chase by m 
narrow margin was due to no lack of zeal on their part but tdj^ 
the Federalist strength in the Senate where the trial was held. 
They had regarded the appointment of a large number of federal 
judges during the last hours of Adams' administration as an 
attempt to intrench Federalists in the judiciary and to 
enlarge the sphere of the national government. Accordingly, 
they at onqe repealed the act creating the new judge- 
ships, thus depriving the " midnight appointees " of their 
posts. They had (considered the federal offices, civil and mili- 
tary, as sources of great strength to the Federalists and Jeffer- 
son, though committed to the principle that offices should 
open to all and distributed according to merit, was careful 





fill most of Ihp vafanfies a-s Ihey ocrurred with trustpd Rppiih- 
licans. To his crwht, hnwpver, it must, he said that ho did 
not makp wholesalr reninvals to find room for party workers. 

The Tjopiiblifgr)^ )lii|a V.»ffpd t" *h° ''"" •-.{ thi>\r jTonnrtil jwlipv 

of reatrictipg the wpight. dignity, and activity of the nationa l 
g overnment- Yet there were no Republicans, as the Federalists 
asserted, prepared to urge serioUB modifications in the Constitu- 
tion. " If there be any among us who wish to dissolve this 
union or to chaii§;c its repubUcan form," wrote Jefferson in his 
first inaugural, " let them stand undisturbed as monuments of 
the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where 
reason is left free to combat it." After reciting the fortunate 
circumstances of climate, soil, and isolation which made the 
future of America so full of promise, Jefferson concluded : " A 
wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from in- 
juring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate 
their own pursuits of industry and improvement and shall not 
take from the mouth of labour the bread it has earned. This is 
the sum of good government ; and this is necessarj' t-o close the 
circle of our fehcities." 

In all thigthp Ppp|[lilii-nrm liiiil nOt TPj'^""'"! "''*h ^^''ttiny 

In a few shortyeai-s that lay ahead it was their fate t o double 
th^lierriforv ofllip eoiint.r y^ m n V i nF i n rvit a l i l e n r n nt i nental 
naHon"; to give the Constitution a generous interpret ation that 
shoclted many a Federalist ; to wage war on behalf of Ajiieri can 
c ommerce: to ree9t .ihli'"ih thn hatod l^nilH Stntrs Hnnltj_^ 
enact a high protective tariff ; ig pge their Federalist o pponen ts 
in their turn discredited as nullifiers and provincials; to an- 
 no unce high national doc trines in foreign affaire; and to behold 
the Consti tutio n exalted and defended against th e pretensionB ol 
st ates by a son of old Virgmia, John Marstiali. Chief Justice 
the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The Republicans and the Oreat West 
Expansion and Land Hunger. ^ The fii-st i.r the great 


out upon this new national 


course — the purchase of the Louisiana territon* — was the 
product ot circumstances rather than of their deliberate choosing. 
It was not the lack of land for his cherished farmers that led 
Jeflfeison to add such an inunense domain to the original posses^- 
sioDS of the United States. In the Northwest territory, now 
embracing Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, ^lichigan, Wisconsin, and a 
portion of Minnesota, settlements were mainly confined to 
the north bank of the Ohio River. To the soiitK, in Kentucky 
and Tennessee, where there were more than one hundred 
thousand white people who had pushed over the mountains 
from Virginia and the Carolinas, there were still wide reaches 
of untilled soil. The Alabama and Mississippi regions wen* 
vast Indian frontiws of the state of Georgia, unsettled and al- 
most unexplored. Even to the wildest imagination then* 
seemed to be territory enough to satisfy the land hunger of the 
American people for a centur>' to come. 

The Significance of the Mississippi River. — At all events 
the Essty then the center of power, saw no good reason for ex- 
pansion. The planters of the Carolinas, the manufacturers of 
Pennsylvania, the importers of New York, the shipbuilders 
of New England, looking to the seaboard and to Europe for 
trade, refinements, and sometimes their ideas of government, 
were slow to appreciate the place of the W^est in national econ- 
omy. The better educated the Easterners were, the less, it 
seems, they comprehended the destiny of the nation. Sons 
of Federalist fathers at Williams College, after a long debate, 
decided by a vote of fifteen to one that the purchase of Louisi- 
ana was imdesirable. 

On the other hand, the pioneers of Kentucky, Ohio, and Ten- 
nessee, unlearned in books, saw with their own eyes the resources 
of the wilderness. Many of them had been across the Missis- 
sippi and had beheld the rich lands awaiting the plow of the 
white man. Down the great river they floated their wheat, 
com, and bacon to ocean-going ships bound for the ports of the 
seaboard or for Europe. The land journeys over the mountain 
barriers with bulky farm produce, they knew from experience, 

^F yren 



were almost impoBsible, and costly at best. Nails, bolts of 
cloth, tea, and coffee could go or come that way, but not corn 
and bacon. j\ frpp. nn Mpt t.n t he sea by the Mississip pi was as 

pqapnt.iHl t.ij t.hp pinnpprn nf t.hp ^pntiipky rpgjnn aS t he barbor 

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

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

Jefferson Sees the Danger. — Jefferson, the friend of France 
and sworn enemy of England, compelled to choose in the 
interest of America, never winced. " The cession of Louisi- 
ana and the Floridas by Spain to France," he wrote to Livingston, 
the American minister in Paris, " works sorely on the United 
States. It completely reverses all the political relations of the 
United States and will form a new epoch in our political course. 
, . . There is on the globe one single spot, the possessor of 


which 18 our natural and habitual enemy. It is New Orleans 
throu^ which the produce of three-eighths of our territory 

must pass to market France, placing herself in that door, 

assumes to us an attitude of defiance. Spain might have re- 
tained it quietly for years. Her pacific dispositions, her feeble 
state would induce her to increase our facilities there. . . . Not 
so can it ever be in the hands of France. . . . The day that 
France takes possession of New Orleans fixes the sentence which 
is to restrain her forever within her low water mark. ... It seals 
the union of the two nations who in conjunction can maintain 
exclusive possession of the ocean. From that moment we must 
marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation. . . . This is 
not a state of things we seek or desire. It is one which thih 
measure, if adopted by France, forces on us as necessarily as 
any other cause by the laws of nature brings on its necessary 

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

Jefferson and His Constitutional Scruples. — When the news 
of this extraordinary event reached the United States, the people 


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

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

The TreaQr Ratified. — This unusual transaction, so favorable 
to the West, aroused the ire of the seaboard Federalists. Some 
denounced it as unconstitutional, easily forgetting , Hamilton's 
masterly defense of the bank, also not mentioned in the Consti- 
tution. Others urgod that, if " the howling wilderness " ever 
should be settled, it would turn against the East, form new 
commercial connections, and escape from federal control. StiU 
others protested that the purchase would lead inevitably to the 
dominance of a " hotch potch of wild men from the Far West." 
Federalists, who thought " the broad back of America " could 
readily bear Hamilton's consolidated debt, now went into ago- 
niesover abond issueof less than one-sixth of thatamount. But 
in vain. Jefferson's party with a high hand carried the day. 
The Senate, after hearing the Federalist protest, ratified the 
treaty. In December, 1803, the French flag was hauled down 


from the old government buildings in New Orleans and the Stars 
and Stripes were hoisted jis a sign that the land of C^oronado, 
De Soto, Marquette, and La Salle had passed forever to the 
United States. 

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

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

The Republican War for Commercial Independence 

The English and French Blockades. — In addition to bring- 
ing Louisiana to the United States, the reopening of the Euro- 
pean War in 1803, after a short lull, renewed in an acute form 
the commercial difficulties that had plagued the country all 
during the administrations of Washington and Adams. The 




Republicana were now plunged into the hornets' nest. The 
party whose ardent spirits had burned Jay in effigy, stoned 
Hamilton for defending his tr«aty, jperod Washington's procla- 
mation of neutrality, and spoken bitterly of " timid traders," 
could no longer take refuge in critieism. It had to aet. 

Its troubles took a serious turn in 1806. Engl and, in a de- 
termined effort to bring France to her knem bv'atarvatim t^de- 
H a rr d the mmt nf F 'l r"^? '■|""It'^"H f-"ni ^rp i t to the mouthy 
o f the Elbe. Rive r. Napoleon jxtal ^ted by his Bcrhn Decree of 
Nov ember, 1 806, hlnrkjirling thp British TbIpk — fl measure terri- 
fying to American ship owners whose vessels were liable to 
seizure by any French rover, though Napoleon had no navy to 
make good his proclamation. Great Britain countered with 
a still more irritating decree — the Orders in Council of 1807. 
It modified its blockade, but in so doing merely authorized 
American ships not canying munitions of war to complete their 
voyage to the Continent, on condition of their stopping at a 
British port, securing a license, and paying a tax. This, re- 
sponded Napoleon, was the height of insolence, and he de- 
nounced it as a gross violation of international law. He then 
closed the circle of American troubles by issuing hia Milan 
Decree of December, 1807. This order declared that any ship 
which complied with the British rules would be subject to 
seizure and confiscation by French authorities. 

The Impressment of Seamen. — That was not alt. Great 
Britain, in dire need of men for her navy, adopted the practice 
of stopping American ships, searching them, and carrying away 
British-born sailors found on board. British sailors were so 
badly treated, so cruelly flogged for trivial causes, and so meanly 
fed that they fled in crowds to the American marine. In many 
cases it was difHcult to tell whether seamen were English or 
American. They spoke the same language, so that language 
was no test. Rovers on the deep and stragglers in the ports 
of both countries, they frequently had no papers to show their 
nativity. Moreover, Great Britain held to the old rule — 
" Once an Englishman, always an Englishman " — a doctrine 


rqected by tihe United States in favor of the princip^ that a 
man eonld choose the natkm to which he would give alkfmnce. 
British sea captains, sometimes by mistake, and often enouidi 
with reddesB indifference, carried away into servitude in their 
own nayy genuiiie American citii^is. The process it-self « even 
when exBciited with all the civilities of law, was painful enoughs 
for it meant that American ships were forced to ** come to/* 
and compelled to rest submissivdy under British g:uns until 
the seaidiing party had pried into records, questioned seamen, 
seised and handcuffed \'ictims. Saints could not have done 
this work without raising angry passions, and only saints could 
have endured it with patience and fortitude. 

Had the enactment of the scenes been confined to the high 
seas and knowledge of them to rumors and newspaper stories, 
American resentment might not have been so intense: but 
mai^ a search and seizure was made in sight of land. British 
and French vessels patroUed the coasts, firing on one another 
and chasing one another in American waters within the three- 
mfle limit. When, in the summer of 1807, the American frig- 
ate Chesapeake refused to surrender men alleged to be de- 
serters from King George's navy, the British warship Leopard 
opened fire, killing three men and wounding eighteen more — 
an act which even the British ministry could hardly excuse. 
If the French were less frequently the offenders, it was not bo- 
cause of their tenderness about American right.s but because 
so few of their ships escaped the hawk-eyed British navy to 
operate in American waters. 

The Losses in American Commerce. — This high-handed 
conduct on the part of European belligerents was very injurious 
to American trade. By their enterprise, American shippers 
had become the foremost carriers on the Atlantic Ocean. In 
a decade they had doubled the tonnage of American merchant 
ships under the American flag, taking the place of the French 
marine when Britain swept that from the seas, and supplying 
Britain with the sinews of war for the contest with the Napo- 
leonic empire. The American shipping engaged in foreign 



trade embraced 363,110 tons in 1791; 669,921 tons in 1800; 
and almost 1,000,000 tons in 1810. Such was the enterprise 
attacked by the British and French decrees. American ships 
bound for Great Britain were liable to be captured by French 
privateers which, in spite of the disasters of the Nile and 
Trafalgar, ranged the aeas. American ships destined for the 
Continent, if they failed to stop at British porta and pay trib- 
ute, were in great danger of capture by the sleepless British 
navy and its awann of auxiliaries. American sea captains who, 
in fear of British vengeance, heeded the Orders in Council and 
paid the tax were almost certain to fall a prey to French ven- 
geance, for the French were vigorous in executing the Milan 

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

The Embai^o and Non-intercourse Acts. — In 1806, Con- 
gress passed and .loffcrson approved a non-importation act 
dating American ports to certain products from British domin- 
ions — a measure intended as a club over the British govern- 
ment's head. This law, failit^ in its purpose, Jefferson pro- 


posed and Congress adopted in December, 1807, the Embargo 
Act forbidding all vessels to leave American harlwrs for foreign 
pcHis. France and Elngland were to be brought to terms by 
cutting off their supplies. 

The result of the embargo was pathetic. England and France 
refused to give up search and seizure. American ship owners 
who, lured by huge profits, had formerly been willing to take 
the risk were now restrained by law to their home ports. 
Every section suffered. The So uth and West found their 
markets for cottn n, nVp^ t^hAcpo^ corr)^ and baron curtaileil. 
Thus th ey learned by bitter experience the national significance 

o f COmmftr^p Ship mftsf prs, ship hiiilHors If^npslu^nmifin nfrmf- 

sailors were thrown out of employment while the prices of 
foreign goods doubled. Those who obeyed the law were ruineil ; 
violators of the law smuggled goods into Canada and Florida 
for shipment abroad. 

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

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

His intimate friend, James Madison, to whom he turned over 




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

Drifting into War. — Whatever difficulties Madison had in 
making up his mind on war and peace were settled by events 
beyond his own control. In the spring of 181], a British frigate 
held up an American ship near the harbor of New York and im- 
pressed a seaman alleged to be an American citizen. Burning 
with resentment, the captain of the President, an American 
warship, acting under orders, poured several broadsides into 
the lAUle Belt, a British sloop, suspected of being the guilty 
party. The British also encouraged the Indian chief Tecum- 
Beh, who welded together the Indiana of the Northwest undo* 
British protection and gave signs of restlessness presagii^ a 
revolt. This sent a note of alarm along the frontier that was 
not checked even when, in November, Tecumseh's men were 
badly beaten at Tippecanoe by WilUam Henry Harrison. The 
Indians stood in the way of the advancing frontier, and it 
seemed to the pioneers that, without support from the British 
in Canada, the Red Men would soon be subdued. 

Clay and Calhoun. — While events were moving swiftly and 
rumors were flying thick and, the masteiy of the govern- 
ment passed from the uncertain hands of Madison to a party of 


ardent jroung men in Congress^ dubbed " Young Republicans," 
under tlie leaderBhip of two members destined to be mighty 
figures in American history: Henry Clay of Kentucky and 
John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. The former contended, 
in a flair of foUy, that " the militia of Kentucky alone are com- 
petent to place Montreal and Upper Canada at your feet . ' ' The 
latter with a light heart spoke of conquering Canada in a four 
weeks' campaign. " It must not be inferred/* says Channing, 
" that in advocating conquest, the Westerners were actuated 
merely by desire for land; they welcomed war because they 
thought it would be the easiest way to abate Indian troubles. 
The savftgfts ly er e supported by the f uf-tn>Hing intp ypsts ihA\ 
^ntrfd sit QiiAlvy and London . . . . The Southerners on their 
part wished fot Florida and they thought that the conquest 
of Canada would obviate some Northern opposition to this 
acquisition of slave territory." While Clay and Calhoun, 
spokesmen of the West and South, were not unmindful of what 
Napoleon had done to American commerce, they knew that 
their followers still remembered with deep gratitude the aid 
of the French in the war for independence and that the embers 
of the old hatred for George III, still on the throne, could be 
readily blown into flame. 

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





citizem on the frontier; they had ruined Aniericttn trad( 

blockades; they had insulted the Anieiit-an flag by stoppii^ 
and searching our ships ; they had iUegally seized American 
sailors and driven them into the British navy. 

The Course of the War, — The war lasted for nearly three 
yeai's without liringing victory to either side. The surrender 
of Detroit by General Hull to the British and the failure of the 
American invasion of C'anada were offset by Perry's victory on 
Lake Erie and a decisive blow administered to British designs for 
an invasion of New York by way of Plattsburgh. The triumph 
of Jackson at New Orleans helped to atone for the humiliation 
suffered in the burning of the Capitol by the British. The 
stirring deeds of the Conslilution, the United SleUes, and the 
Argus on the seas, the heroic death of Lawrenee and the vic- 
tories of a hundred privateers furnished consolation for those 
who suffered from the iron bhickade finally established by the 
British government when it came to appreciate the gravity 
of the situation. While men love the annals of the sea, they 
will turn to the running battles, the narrow escapes, and the 
reckless daring of American sailors in that naval contest with 
Great Britain. 

All this was exciting but it was inconclusive. In fact, never 
was a government less prepared than was that of the United 
States in 1813, It had neither the disciplined troops, the ships 
of war, nor the supplies required by the magnitude of the mili- 
tary task. It was fortune that, favored the American cause. 
Great Britain, harassed, worn, and financially embarrassed by 
nearly twenty years of fighting in Europe, was in no mood to 
gather her forces for a titanic effort in America even after Na- 
poleon was overthrown and sent into exile at Elba in the spring 
of 1814. War clouds still hung on the European horizon and 
the conflict temporarily halted did i^ain break out. To be rid 
of American anxieties and free for European eventualities, 
England was ready to setth- with the I'nilcd Stat.c.s, espec^^r 
as that could be done without conceding anything or surre^^H 
ing any claims, _^^H 


The Treaty cf Peace. — Both rountnes wprr in tnith sick 
of ft war that offeral neither fdory nor profit. Having indul^sed 
in the usual di|domatic skirmishini^. they sent reprpsentatives 
to Ghent to dianiaB terms of peace. After long nefcotiations an 
agreonent was readied on Christmas eve, 1S14. a few da>^ 
before Jacks<Mi*s victorv at New Orleans. When the treatv 
reached America the people were surprised to find that it said 
nothing about the seizure of American sailor?, the destruction 
(rf American trade, the searehing of American ships, or the siijv 
port of Indians on the frontier. Nevertheless, we are told, 
the people " passed from pjoom to glor>* " when the nei^-s of 
peace arrived. The bells were rung : schools were closeil : flags 
were displayed ; and many a rousing toast was drunk in tavern 
and private home. The rejoicing could continue. With Najxv 
leon definitely beaten at Waterloo in June, 1815, Great Britain 
had no need to impress sailors, seareh ships, and confiscate 
American goods bound to the Continent. Once more the ter- 
rible sea power sank into the background and the ocean N\"as 
again white with the sails of merehantmen. 

The Republicans Nationalized 

The Federalists Discredited. — By a strange turn of for- 
tune's wheel, the party of Hamilton, Washington, Adams, the 
party of the grand nation, became the party of provincialism 
and nuUification. New England, finding its shipping interests 
crippled in the European conflict and then penalized by oin- 
bargoeSy opposed the declaration of war on Groat Britain, which 
meant the completion of the ruin already begun. In the cours^^ 
of the struggle, the Federalist leaders came perilously near to 
treason in their efforts to hamper the government of the Ignited 
States; and in their desperation they fell back upon the doc- 
trine of nullification so recently condenuied bv them whc»n it 
came from Kentucky. The Senate of Massachust^tts, while 
the war was in progress, resolved that it was wagcul " without 
justifiable cause," and refused to approve military and naval 
projects not connected with ** the defense of our scacoiist and 



soil." A Boston newspaper declared that the unioD was nothing 
but a treaty among sovereign states, that states could decide 
for themaelves the question of obeying federal law, and that 
armed resistance under the banner of a state would not be re- 
bellion or treason. The gpn^ral assembly of Connecticut re- 
minded the administration at Washington that " the state of 
Connecticut is a free, sovereign, and independent state," Gouv- 
erneur Morris, a member of the convention which had dr^ted 

New ENOI.-U1D Ji 

the Constitution, suggosted the holding of another conference 
to consider whether the Northern states should remain in the 

In October, 1814. a convention of delegates from ConneetiBiit, 
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and certain counties of New 
Hampshire and Vermont was held at Hartford, on the call of 
Massachusetts. The counsels of the extremists were rejected 
but the convention solemnly went on record to the effect that 
acts of Congress in violation of the Constitution are void ; tiiit 
ill cases of deliberate, dangerous, and palpable infractiona tho 

The jeppbrsonian republicans in power 203 

state is duty bound to interpose its authority for the protection 
of its citizens ; and that when emergencies occur the states must 
be their own judges and execute their own decisions.' Thus 
New England answered the challenge of Calhoun and Clay. 
Fortunately its actions were not as rash as its words. The 
Hartford convention merely proposed certain amendments to 
the Constitution and adjourned. At the close of the war, its 
proposals vanished harmlessly; but the men who made them 
were hopelessly discredited. 

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

The Protective Tariff of 1816. — The Republicans supple- 
mented the Bank by another Federalist measure — a high pro- 
tective tariff. Clay viewed it as the beginning of his " Ameri- 
can system " of protection. Calhoun defended it on national 
principles. For this sudden reversal of pohcy the young Re- 
publicans were taunted by some of their older party colleagues 
with betraying the *' agricultural interest " that Jefferson had 
fostered; but Calhoun refused to listen to their criticisms. 
"When the seas are open,'* he said, "the produce of the 
South may pour anywhere into the markets of the Old World. 
. . . What are the effects of a war with a maritime power — 
with England? Our commerce annihilated . . . our agricul- 
ture cut off from its accustomed markets, the surplus of the 
farmer perishes on his hands. . . . The recent war fell with 
peculiar pressiu^ on the growers of cotton and tobacco and the 



other grrat staples of the country ; and the saino state of Ihinga 
will recur in the event of another war unless prevented by Ihe 
foresight, of this body. . . . When our manufactures are grown 
to a certain perfection, as they soon will be under the fostering 
care of the government, we shall no longer experience these evils." 
With the Republicans nationalize<l, the Federalist party, as an 
organization, disappeared after a crushing defeat in the presi- 
dential rampajgn of 1SI6. 

Monroe and the Florida Purchase. — To the victor in that 
political contest, James Monroe of Virginia, fell two taaks of 
national importance, adding to the prestige of the whole countr>' 
and deepening the sense of patriotism that weaned men away 
from mere allegiance to states. The first of th rr r wnn thr | iiii 
chase of Flor i da from Spain. T he acquisition of Louisiana let 
the Mississippi flow " unvexed to the sea " ; but it left all the 
states east of the river cut off from the Gulf, affording them 
ground for discontent akin to that which had moved the pioneers 
of Kentucky to a<:tion a generation eailier. The uncertainty 
as to the boundaries of Louisiana gave the United States a claim 
to West Florida, setting on foot a movement for occupation. 
The Florida swamps were a. basis for Indian marauders who 
periodically swept into the frontier settlements, and hiding 
places for runaway slaves. Thus the sanction of international 
law was given to punitive expedititma into -alien territory. 

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

There was nothing for the king to do but to make the beat of 
the inevitable by ceding the Floridas to the United States in 
return for five million dollars to !»e [mid to American citisena 


having claims against Spain. On Washington's birthday, 1819, 
the treaty was signed. It ceded the Floridas to the United 
States and defined the boundary between Mexico and the 
United States by drawing a hne from the mouth of the Sabine 
River in a northwesterly du-ection to the Pacific. On this 
occasion even Monroe, former opponent of the Constitution, 
forgot to inquire whether new territory could be constitutionally 
acquired and incorporated into the American union. The 
Republicans seemed far away from the days of "strict con- 
struction." And Jefferson still lived ! 

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

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

The American people thought their worst feai*s confirmed 
when, in 1822, a conference of delegates from Russia, Austria, 
Prussia, and France met at Verona to consider, among other 
things, revolutions that had just broken out in Spain and Italy. 
The spirit of the conference is reflected in the first article of the 
agreement reached by the delegates : " The high contracting 
powers, being convinced that the system of representative 
govenunent is equally incompatible with the monarchical prin- 


 ciple and the maxim of the sovereignty of the people with Ihe 

 divine right, mutually engage in the mtst solemn manner lo 

 use all their efforts to put an end to the system of representative 
B government in whatever country it may exist in Europe and 
W to prevent its being introduced in those countries where it is 
t' not yet known." The Czar, who incidentally coveted the west 
• *» coast of North America, proposed to send an army to aid the 
I king of Spain in his troubles at home, thus preparing the way 
I for intervention in Spanish America. It was material weakness, 

 not want of spirit, that prevented the grand imion of monarchs 
I from making open war on popular government. 

I The Position of Enylattd.. — Unfortunately, too, for the Holy 
I Alliance, England refused to cooperate, English merchants had 
I built up a large trade with the independent Latin-Ameri- 
I can colonies and they protesfed against the restoration of 
I Spanish sovereignty, which meant a renewal of Spain's former 
[ trade monopoly. Moreover, divine right doctrines had been 
I laid to rest in England and the representative principle thor- 
I oughly established. Already I here were signs of the coming 
I democratic flood which was soon to carry the first reform bill 
I of 1832, extending the suffrage, and sweep on to even greater 
I achievements. British statesmen, therefore, had to be cautious. 
I In such circiunstances, instead of cooperating with the auto- 
I crats of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, they turned to the min- 
r ister of the United States in London. The British prime 
minister. Canning, proposed that the two countries join in 
declaring their unwillingness to see the Spanish colonies tram- 
f erred to any other power. 
L Jefferson's Advice.^ The proposal was rejected; but Prcsi- 
I dent Monroe took up the suggestion with Madison and Jefferson 
I as well as with his Secietary of State, John Quincy Ad&ms. 
I They favored the plan. Jefferson said ; " One nation, most of 
I all, cuuld disturb us in this pursuit |of freedom] ; she now offers 
I to load, aid, and ueennipany us in II . By acceding to her propo- 
I sition we detach her from the bands, bring her mighty weif^t 
K into the scale of free governtuent and emancipate a cootinfut 


at one stroke. . . . With her on our side we need not fear the 
whole world. With her then we should most sedulously cherish 
a cordial friendship.'' 

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

The Missouri Compromise. — Respecting one other important 
measure of this period, the RepubUcans also took a broad view 
of their obligations under the Constitution ; namely, the Mis- 
souri Compromise. It is true, they insisted on the admission 
of Missouri as a slave state, balanced against the free state of 
Maine ; but at the same time they assented to the prohibition 
of slavery in the Louisiana territory north of the line 36° 30'. 
During the debate on the subject an extreme view had been 
presented, to the effect that Congress had no constitutional 
warrant for abolishing slavery in the territories. The prece- 



dent of the Northwest Ordinance, ratified by Congress in 17S!>, 
seemed a concliisivp answer from practice tn Ihis ront<'nti(>n ; 
but Monroe submitted the issue to his cabinet , which included 
Calhoun of South Carolina, Crawford of Ueorgia, and Wirt of 
Virginia, all presumably adherents to the Jeffersoman prin- 
ciple of strict construction. He received in reply a unaninious 
verdict to the effect that Congress did have the power to 
prohibit slavery in the territories governed by it. Acting on 
this advice he approved, on March 6, 1820, the bill (stublishing 
freedom north of the compromise line. This generous inter- 
pretation of the powers of Congress stood for nearly forty years, 
until repudiated by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case. 

The National Dec is 

i OF Chief Justice Marshall 

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

On him the bitter experience of the Revolution and of later 
days made a lasting impression. He was no " summer patriot." 
He had been a soldier in the Revolutionarj- army, He had 
suffered with Washington at Valley Forge. He had seen his 
comrades in arms starving and freezing because the Cant^ 


tal Gongnw had ncitbcr the poirer nor the inoliiution to 
(one the states to do their full duty. To him the ATlirk» of 
CoofBdenticM were the symbol of futility. Inin the ^lnuE|d« 
far the fonsattoo ot the Constitution and its ratiticaiiot) in 
Viipma he bad thrown himself vith the ardor of a ^il<litf. 
Later, as a member of Congress, a representative to Frane^, 
and Secretary of State, he had aided the Fe>Ifrali:^is 
tdbliduiig the new govenunent. When at lenjiih they mer? 
driven from power in the execu- 
tive and legisbtive branches of 
the goverament, be was choeen 
for their last stronghold, tho 
Supreme Court, By historic 
irony he administered the oalh 
of office to his bitterest enemy, 
Thomas Jefferson; and, long 
after the author of the Dec- 
laration of Independence bad 
retired to private life, the stern 
Chief Justice continued to mii- 
nounce the old Federalist prin- 
ciples from the Supreme Bnifh. 
Marfouty vs. Madison — An 
Act of Congress Annulled. — 

He had been in his high office only two years whi-ii he liiiil 
down for the first time in the name of the entire ('ourt the 
doctrine that the Judges have the power to declare an act of 
Congress null and void when in their opinion it violates the 
Constitution. This power was not expressly conferred on tilt- 
Court, Though many able men held that the judicial branch] 
of the government enjoyed it, the principle was not poBitSveiy 
established imtil 1803 when the case of Marhury vn. Madixon 
was decided. In rendering the opinion of the Court, Mar- 
shall cited no precedents. He sought no fnundationa for his 
ailment in ancient history. He rested it on the general 
nattire of the American system. The Constitution, ran hit 





reasoning, is the supreme law of the land ; it UmitE and binds 
all who act in the name of the United States; it limits the 
powers of Congress and defines the rights of citizens. If Con- 
gress can ignore its limitations and trespass upon the rights 
of citizens, Marshall argued, then the Constitution disappears 
and Congress is supreme. Since, however, the Constitution is 
supreme and superior to Congress, it is the duty of judges, 
under their oath of office, to sustain it against measures which 
violate it. Therefore, from the nature of the American consti- 
tutional system the courts must declare null and void all acts 
which are not authorized. " A law repugnant to the Consti- 
tution," he closed, " is void and the courts as well as other 
departments are bound by that instrument." From that 
day to this the practice of federal and state courts in passing 
upon the constitutionahty of laws has remained unshaken. 

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


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

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


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


During the strenuous period Ijetwcen the establishment of 
American independence and the advent of Jacksonian de- 
mocracy the great .\merirnn exprriment was under the direction 
of the men who hiiii launched it. All the Prpsidcnl.s in that 
period, except John Quincy Adnnis, had taken part in the 
Revolution. James Madisiin, the chief author of the ConstJ- 
I tution, lived until 1836. This &ge, therefore, was the " age of 


the fathenL*' It saw the threatened ruin of the coiintn* under 
the Artkies of Confederation, the formation of the l\institution« 
the rise of political parties, the growth of the West, the second 
war with Enghnd, and the apparent triumph of the national 
spirit cnrer secticHialism. 

The new repuMic had hardly been started in 1783 liefore its 
troubles began. The government could not raise money to 
pay its debts or running expenses ; it could not pn>tect American 
eomiDCTve and manufactiu^ps against Euro|^)ean com()etition : 
it could not stop the continual issues of pajx^r money by the 
states : it could not inter\'ene to put down domestic uprisings 
that threatened the existence of the 8ti\te governments. With- 
out money, without an army, without courts of law. the union 
under the Articles of Confederation was drifting into dissolu- 
tion. Patriots, who had risked their lives for inde^x^ndence. 
began to talk of monarchy again. Washington, Hamilton, and 
Madison insisted that a new constitution alone could save 
America from disaster. 

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




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

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

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

The conduct of England likewise affected American affairs. 
In 1793 war broke out between England and France and raged 
only a slight intermission until IS15. England and 
ce both ravaged American commerce, but England was 


the more sprioos offender because she had command of the $<^s. 

Thoo^ JeffersoD and Madison stro\'e for peace, the count n* 

was swept into war by the vehemence of the '* Yonng Rc- 

paUicaiis/* headed b}- Clay and Calhoun. 

When the armed conflict was cloeed, one in diplomacy o^x'm^. 
The autocratic powers of Europe threatened to inter>*ene on 
bdialf of Spain in her attempt to recover possession of her 
Latin-American colonies. Their chaUenge to America broi!ght 
farth the Monroe Doctrine. The powers of Europe were 
warned not to interfere with the independence or the repul>- 
lican policies of this hemisphere or to attempt any new coloni- 
zation in it. It seemed that nationalism was to have a peace- 
ful trimni^ over sectionalism. 


H. Adams, Hiaiary of the United States, 1800-1817 (9 vols.^. 

K. C. Baboock, Ri»e of American Nationality (American Nation Series). 

El Channing, The Jeffereonian System (Same Series). 

D. C. Gilman, Jamee Monroe. 

W. Reddaway, The Monroe Doctrine. 

T. Rooeevelt, Naval War of 1812. 


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

2. Enumerate the chief measures of his administration. 

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

4. Explain the importance of the Mississippi Rivor t4) Wostorn farinors. 

5. Show how events in Europe forced the Ix)uisianA 

6. State the constitutional question involved in the Jjouisiana Pur- 

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

8. Compare the policies of Jefferson and Madison. 

9. Why did the United States l)ecome involved with Enicland rather 
than with France? 

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

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

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


13. Sketch the career of John Marshall. 

14. Discuss the case of Marbury vs. Madison. 

15. Summarize Marshall's views on: (a) states' rights; and (6) a 
liberal interpretation of the Constitution. 

Research Topics 

The Louisiana Purchase. — Text of Treaty in Macdonald, Documentary 
Source Book, pp. 279-282. Source materials in Hart, American History 
Told by Contemporaries, Vol. Ill, pp. 363-384. Narrative, Henry Adams, 
History of the United Slates, Vol. II, pp. 25-115; Elson, History of the 
United States, pp. 38^-388. 

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

Congress and the War of 1812. — Adams, Vol. VI, pp. 113-198; Elson, 
pp. 408-450. 

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

Manufactures and the Tariff of 1816. — Coman, Industrial History of 
the United States, pp. 184-194. 

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

Effect of European War on American Trade. — Callender, Economie 
History of the United States, pp. 240-250. 

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

Lewis and Clark Expedition. — R. G. Thwaites, Rocky Mountain Exr- 
plorations, pp. 92-187. Schafer, A History of the Pacific Northujest 
(rev. ed.), pp. 29-61. 




The nationalism of Hamilton was undomooratio. The 
democracy of Jefferson was, in the beginning, provincial. 
The historic mission of uniting nationalism and democracy 
was in the course of time given to new leaders from a region 
beyond the mountains, peopled by men and women from all 
sections and free from those state traditions which mn back 
to the early days of colonization. The voice of the demo- 
cratic nationalism nourished in the West was heard when 
Clay of Kentucky advocated his American system of prot ela- 
tion for industries; when Jackson of Tennessee condemned 
nullification in a ringing proclamation that has taken its place 
among the great American state papers; and when Lincohi 
of Illinois, in a fateful hour, called upon a bewildered people 
to meet the supreme test whether this was a nation destined 
to survive or to perish. And it will be remembered that Lin- 
coln's party chose for its banner that earlier device — Re- 
publican — which Jefferson had made a sign of power. The 
" rail splitter " from Illinois united the nationalism of Ham- 
ilton with the democracy of Jefferson, and his appeal was 
clothed in the simple language of the people, not in the sonorous 
rhetoric which Webster learned in the sc1uk>1s. 

Preparation for Western Settlement 

The West and the American Revolution. — The excessive 
attention devoted by historians to the military operations 




along the coast has obscured the rfile played by the frontier 
in the American Revolution. The action of Great Britain 
in closing western land to easy settlement in 1703 was more 
than an incident in precipitating the war for independence. 
Americans on the frontier did not forget it ; when Indians 
were employed by England to defend that land, zeal for the 
patriot cause set the interior aflame. It was the members 
of the western vanguard, like Daniel Boone, John Sevier, and 
George Rogers Clark, who first understood the value of the 
far-away country under the guns of the English forts, where 
the Red Men still wielded the tomahawk and the scalping 
knife. It was they who gave the East no rest until their vision 
waa seen by the leaders on the seaboard who directed the 
course of national policy. It was one of their number, a 
seasoned Indian fighter, George Rogers Clark, who with aid 
from Virginia seized Kaskaskia and Vincenncs and secured 
the whole Northwest to the union while the fate of Washing- 
ton's army was still hanging in the balance. 

Western Problems at the End of the Revolutioii. — The 
treaty of peace, signed with Great Britain in 1783, brought the 
definite cession of the coveted territory west to the MissiBsippi 
River, but it left unsolved many problems. In the first place, 
tribes of resentful Indiana in the Ohio region, even though Brit- 
ish support was withdrawn at last, had to be reckoned with; 
and it waa not until after the establishment of the federal Con- 
stitution that a well-equipped army could be provided to guai^ 
antee peace on the border. In the second place, British garri- 
sons still occupied forts on Lake Erie pending the execution of 
the terms of the treaty of 1783 — terms which were not ful- 
filled until after the ratification of the Jay treaty twelve years 
later. In the third place, Virginia. Connecticut, and Massii- 
chusetts had conflicting claims to the land in the Northwest 
based on old English charters and Indian treaties. It was 
only after a bitter contest that the states reached an agree- 
ment to transfer their rights to the government of the United 
States, Virginia executing her deed of cession on March I, 

^- Th 
Bod I 


In the fourth place, titles to lands bought by individi 
n-mained uncertain in the al»sence iif official maps and ret^ordsJ 
To meet this last tsituation, Congress instituted a systemaUB' 
survey of the Ohio country, laying it out into townships, 
tions of 640 acres each, and quarter sections. In every toi 
ship one section of land was set aside for the support of pul 

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

Congress answered by passing in 1787 the famous Noi 
west Ordinance provitling for temporary territorial goverD> 
ment to be followed ^y th" -raatinn nf n popular asHemblv 
_as soo n as th ere were five thuustind free males in any dist rict. 
Eventual adnii-ssion to the union on ;in equal footing with the 
original states was prondsed to thL- new territories. Religioua 
f reedom was gunr;^teej. The .safeguards of trial by jury , 
r egular judicial-*" procedure. " 

.were_ stabr__ 
liahfyi in nrHftr ^h"' the methods of ciy jjized life might take the 
place of the rough-and-ready justice of lynch law. During the 
course of the debate on the (Ordinance, Congress added the 
sixth article forbidding slavery and involuntary servitude. 

This Chart er of the N orthwtat, so well planned by the 
Ct mgreas under the Articles ol (Jonfede ration, was continnffd 
in force by the first Congress under the Constitution in 1788. 
Tt^a_ fQUowing year its essential provisions, except the ban oji _ 
slavery, were applied to the territory south of_the Ohio , ceded 
^»y >jnrt,h Carol ir |H *" ""' ""ti'^iiil pmfnrr^ionf " tun) ]j^_J 


to the Misaiasippi territoiT. once held bv O^ 

'^^as settled for all time that " the new 
be exploited fur the benefit of the parent states (any 
for the benefit of England) but were to be autonomous and 

^Tlms it 

'olonies were not to 



ordinate commonwealtha." This outcome, bitterly opposed 
by some Eastern leiitlers who feared llie triumph of Western 
states ovpi' the sejiboard, cornpleleil the legal steps necessary 
by way of prepariition for the flood of settlerH, 

The Land Companies, Speculators, and Western Land 
Tenure. —  Ai* in the oripinjil selllement of America, so in the 
o|}eniiiK of (he West, great companies nnd single proprietors 
of large grants early figured. In 1787 the Ohio Land Company, 
ft New England concern, acquired a niilUon and a half acres on 
Ihe Ohio and began operations by planting the town of Marietta. 
A professional land speculator, J. C'. Symmes, secured a mil- 
lion acres lower down where the city of Cincinnati was founded. 
Other individuals bought up soldiers' claims and so acquired 
enormous holdings for speculative purposes. Indeed, there 
was such a rush to make fortunes quickly through the rise in 
land values that Washington was moved to cry out against 
the " rage for speculating in and forestalhng of land on the 
North West of the Ohio," protesting that " aearce a valuable 
spot within any tolerable distiinec of it is left without a claim- 
ant." He therefore urgetl Congress Ut fix a reasonable price 
for the land, not " too exorbitant and burdeiLtHtme for real 
occupiers, but high enough to discourage monopolizers." 

(Congress, however, wa« not prepared to use the public d<t~ 
main for the sole purpose of developing a body of small free- 
holders in the West. It still looketi upon the sale of public 
lands as an important source of revenue with which to pay off 
the public debt ; consequently it thought more of instant 
income than of ultimate results. It placed no limit on the 
amount which could be bought when it fixed the price at $2 
an acre in 1796, and it encouraged the profeBsional land op- 
erator by makii^ the first installment only twenty cents an 
acre in addition to the small registration and survey fee. On 
such terms a speculator with a few thousand dollars could get 
possession of an enormous plot of land. If he was fortunate 
in disposing of it, he could meet the installments, which wvre 
spread over a period uf four years, and make a haiid»)me profit 


for himself. Even when the credit or installment feature was 
abolished in 1821 and the price of the land lowered to a cash 
price of $1.75 an acre, the opportunity for large speculative 
purchases continued to attract capital to land ventures. 

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

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

The Western Migration and New States 

The People. — With government estabUshed, federal arms 
victorious over the Indians, and the lands surveyed for sale, 


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

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

The Number of Immigrants. — There were no official sta- 
tions on the frontier to record the number of immigrants who 


"entered the West during the decades following the American" 
Revolution. But travelers of the time record that every i-oad 
was " crowded " with pioneers and their fitmilics, their wagons 
and cattle ; and that they were seldom out of the sound of 
the snapping whip of the teamster urging forward his horses 
or the crack of the hunter's rifle as he brought down his eve- 
ning meal. " During the latter half of 1787," says Coman, 
" more than nine hundred boats floated down the Ohio carry- 
ing eighteen thousand men, women, and children, and twelve 
ihousand horses, sheep, and cattle, and six himdred and fifty 
wagons." Other hnes of travel were also crowded and with 
the passing years the flooding tide of home seekers rose highof^l 
and higher. 

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

Of the«e four hnes of travel, the Pittsburgh route offered] 
the most advantages. Pioneers, no matter from what se&- 
tion they came, when once they were on the headwaters of the 
Ohio and in possession of a flatboat, could find a quick and 
ea«y passage into all parte of the West and Southwest. Whether 
they wanted t^ settle in Ohio, Kentucky, or western Tennessee 
they could find their way down the drifting flood to their des- 
tination or at least to some spot near it. Many people from 
the South as well as the Northern and Middle states chose 
this route ; eo it came about that the sons and daughters o( 


Virginia and the Carolinas mingled with those of New York, 
Pennsylvania, and New England in the settlement of the 
Northwest territorj'. 

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

The Admission of Kentucky and Tennessee. — When the 
eighteenlh century drew to a close, Kentucky had a popula- 
tion larger than Delaware, Rhode Island, or New Hampshire. 
Tennessee claimed 60,000 inhabitants. In 1792 Kentucky 


took her place as a state beside her none too kindly parent, 
Virginia. The Eastern Federalists resented her intrusion; 
but they took some consolation in the admission of Vermont 
because the balance of Eastern power was still retained. 

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

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

At the close of the century, Ohio, claiming a population of 
more than 60,000, grew discontented with its territorial status. 
Indeed, two years before the enactment of the Northwest 
Ordinance, squatters in that region had been invited by one 
John Emerson to hold a convention after the fashion of the 
men of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield in old Connecti- 
cut and draft a frame of government for themselves. This 
true son of New England declared that men " have an un- 
doubted right to pass into every vacant country and there to 
form their constitution and that from the confederation of the 
whole United States Congress is not empowered to forbid them." 


This grand convention was never held because the heavy hand 
of the government fell upon the leaders ; but the spirit of John 
Emerson did not perish. In November, 1802, a convention 
chosen by voters, assembled under the authority of Congress 
at Cbillicothe, drew up a constitution. It went into force 
after a popular ratification. The roll of the convention bore 
such names as Abbot, Baldwin, Cutler, Huntington, Putnam, 
and Sargent, and the list of counties from which they came 
included Adams, Fairfield, Hamilton, Jefferson, Trumbull, 
and Washington, showing that the new America in the West 
was people<l and led by the old stock. In 1803 Ohio was ad- 
mitted to the union. 

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

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


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

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

2'2S TIM': wii;sr and jacksontan democracy 

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

The Spirit of the Frontier 
Land Teoure and Liberty. — Over an immense western area 
there developed an unbroken system of freehold farms. In 
the Gulf states and the lower Mississipjii Valley, it is true, the 
planter with his many slaves even led in the pioneer movement ; 
but through large sections of Tennessee and Kentucky, as well 
as upper Georgia and Alabama, and all throughout the North- 
west territory the small farmer i^eigned supreme. !n this 
immense dominion there sprang up a civilization without caste 
or class — a body of people all having about the same amount 
of this world's goods aud deriving their livelihood from one 
source: the labor of their own hands on the soil. The North- 
west territory alone almast equaled in area all the original 
thirt<>on states combined, except Oorgia, and its system of 
agricultural economy was unbroken by plantations and feudal 
estates. " In the subdivision of the soil and the great equalilgr 


If condition," as Webster said on more than one occasion. ' 
the true basis, most cert.ainly,iif popular government." 'I 
was the undoubted source of Jacksonian democracy. 

The Characteristics of the Western People. — TraveleTs into ' 
the Northwest during the early years of the nineteenth century 
were agreed that the people of that region were almost uni- 
fonuly marked by the characteristics common to an independ- 
ent yeomanry. A close observer thus recorded his ii 

" A spirit of adventurous enterprise, a willingness to go throii^4 
any hardship to accomplish an object. . . , Independence of" 
thought and action. They have felt the influence of these prin- 
Hples from their childhood. Men who can endure anything; 
that havt' lived almost without restraint, free as the mountain 
air or aa the deer and the buffalo of their forests, and who know 
tbey aR> Americans all. ... An apparent roughness which 
Huuic would deem rudeness of mauuer. . . . WXiete \.\»tei;e Sa 


perfect equality in a neighborhood of people who know Uttle 
about each other's previous history or ancestry but where each 
is lord of the soil he cultivates. Where a log cabin is all that the 
best of families can expect to have for years and of course can 
possess few of the external decorations which have so much 
influence in creating a diversity of rank in society. These 
circumstances have laid the foundation for that equality of 
intercourse, sirapUcity of manners, want of deference, want 
of reserve, great readiness to make acquaintances, freedom of 
speech, indisposition to brook real or imaginary insults which 
one witnesses among people of the West." 

This equality, this independence, this rudeness so often de- 
scribed by the traveler as marking a newcoimtry, were all accen^ 
tuated by the character of the settlers themselves. Traces of 
the fierce, unsociable, eagle-eyed, hard^lrinking himter remained. 
The settlers who followed the hunter were, with some excep- 
tions, soldiers of the Revolutionary army, farmers of the " mid- 
dling order," and mechanics from the towns, — English, Scotch- 
Irish, Germans, — poor in possessions and thrown upon the 
labor of their own hands for support. Sons and daughters 
from well-to-do Eastern homes sometimes brought softer man- 
ners ; but the equality of life and the leveling force of labor 
in forest and field soon made them one in spirit with their strug- 
gling neighbors. Even the preachers and teachers, who came 
when the cabins were raised in the clearings and rude churches 
and schoolhouses were built, preached sermons and taught 
lessons that savored of the frontier, as any one may know who 
reads Peter Cartwright's A Muscvlar Christmn or Eggleston's 
The Hoosier Schoolmaster, 

The West and the East Meet 

The East Alarmed. — A people so independent as the West- 
erners and so attached to local self-government gave the con- 
servative East many a rude shock, setting gentlemen in pow- 
dered wigs and knee breeches agog with the idea that terrible 
things might happen in the Mississippi Valley. Not without 


good grounds did Washington fear that '' a touch of a feather 
would turn " the Western settlers away from the seaboard to 
the Spaniards ; and seriously did he urge the East not to neglect 
them, lest they be '' drawn into the arms of, or be dependent 
upon foreigners." Taking advantage of the restless spirit in 
the Southwest, Aaron Burr, having disgraced himself by killing 
Alexander Hamilton in a duel, laid wild plans, if not to bring 
ibout a secession in that region, at least to build a state of some 
kind out of the Spanish dominions adjoining Louisiana. Fright- 
sned at such enterprises and fearing the dominance of the West, 
the Federalists, with a few conspicuous exceptions, opposed 
squality between the sections. Had their narrow views pre- 
«railed, the West, with its new democracy, would have been 
tield in perpetual tutelage to the seaboard or perhaps been 
driven into independence as the thirteen colonies had been not 
long before. 

Eastern Friends of the West. — Fortunately for the nation, 
there were many Eastern leaders, particularly from the South, 
who understood the West, approved its spirit, and sought to 
[>ring the two sections together by common bonds. Washing- 
ton kept alive and keen the zeal for Western advancement which 
iie acquired in his youth as a surveyor. He never grew tired 
3f urging upon his Eastern friends the importance of the lands 
[)eyond the mountains. He pressed upon the governor of 
t^rginia a project for a wagon road connecting the seaboard 
inth the Ohio country and was active in a movement to im- 
[irove the navigation of the Potomac. He advocated strength- 
ening the ties of commerce. " Smooth the roads," he said, 
" and make easy the way for them, and then see what an influx 
rf articles will be poured upon us ; how amazingly our exports 
prill be increased by them ; and how amply wo shall be com- 
pensated for any trouble and (jxpense we may encounter to 
effect it." Jefferson, too, was interested in every phase of West- 
am development — the survey of lands, the exploration of 
prraterways, the opening of trade, and even the discovery of 
the bones of prehistoric animals. Robert Fulton, the inventor 



of the steamboat, was another man of vision who for many years 
pressed upon his countrymen the necessity of uniting East and 
West by a canal which would cempnt the union, raise the value 
of the public lands, and ext^?nd the principles of confederate 
and repubhcan government. 

The Difficulties of Early Transportation. — Means of com- 
munication played an important part in the strategy of all 
those who sought to bring together the seaboard and the frontier. 
The produce of the West — wheat, com, bacon, hemp, cattle, 
and tobacco — was bulky and the cost of overland transporta- 
tion was prohibitive. In the Eastern market, " a cow and her 
calf were given for a bushel of salt, while a suit of ' store clothes ' 

;t as much as a farm." In such circumstances, the inhabit- 
ants of the Mississippi Valley were forced to ship their produce 
over a long route by way of New Orleans and to pay high freight 
rates for everything that was brought across the mountains. 
Scows of from five to fifty tons were built at the towns along 
the rivers and piloted down the stream to the Crescent City. 
In a few cases small ocean-going vessels were built to transport 
goods to the West Indies or to the Eastern coast towns. Salt, 
iron, guns, powder, and the absolute essentials which the 
pioneers had to buy mainly in Eastern markets were carried 
over narrow wagon trails that were almost impassable in the 
rainy season. 

The National Road. — To far-aighted men, hke Albert Gal- 
latin, " the father of internal improvements," the solution of 
this problem was the construction of roads and canals. Early 
in JefTerson's administration, Congress dedicated a part of the 
proceeds from the sale of lands to building highways from tiio 
headwaters of the navigable waters emptying into the Atlantic 
to the Ohio River and l>eyond into the Northwest territor>'. 
In 1806, after many misgivings, it authorized a great national 
highway binthiig the I'jist and the Wesl. Tlie Cnmborlanil 
Koad, as it was called, began in northwestern Maryland, wound 
through southein Pennsylvania, crossed the narrow neck of 
Virginia at Wheeling, and then shot almost straight across Ohio, 


P&idiana, and Illinois, into Missouri. By 1817, stagecoaches 
were ru nnin g between Washington and Wheeling; by 1833 
contractors had carried their work to Columbus, Ohio, and 
by 1852, to Vandaba, Illinois. Over this ballasted road mail 
and passenger coaches could go at high speed, and heavy 
freight wagons proceed in safety at a steady pace. 

Canals and Steamboats. — A second epoch in the economic 
union of the East and West was reached with the opening of 
the Erie Canal in 1825, offering an all-water route from New 
York City to the Great Lakes and the Mist^issippi Valley. 
Pennsylvania, alarmed liy the a<lvantage8 conferred on New 
York by this enterprise, began her system of canals and portages 


from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, completing the last link in 
1834. In the South, the Chesapeake and Ohio Company, 
chartered in 182.5, was busy with a project to connect George- 
town aod Cumberland when railways broke in upon the imder- 
taking before it was half finished. About the same time, Ohio 
built a canal across the stat«, affording water communication 
between Lake Erie and the Ohio River through a rich wheat belt. 
Passengers could now travel by canal boat into the West with 
comparative ease and comfort, if not at a rapid speed, and the 
bulkiefit of freight could be easily handled. Moreover, the 
pate charged for carrying goods was cut by the Erie Canal from 
S32 a ton per hundred miles to $1. New Orleans was destined 
lose her primacy in the Mississi|)pi Valley. 
The diversion of traffic to Eastern markets was also stimulated 


^V by steamboats which appeared on the Ohio about 1810, three 

^P yeara after Fulton had made his famous trip on the Hudson. 

^1 It took twenty men to sail and row a five-ton scow up the river 

^f at a speed of from ten to twenty miles a day. In 1825, Timothy 

Flint traveled a hundred miles a day on the new steamer 

Grecian " against the whole weight of the Mississippi current." 

Three years later the round trip from Louisville to New Orleans 

I was cut to eight days. Heavy produce that once had to float 
down to New Orleans could be carried upstream and sent to 
the Elast by way of the canal systems. 


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

With the increase in population and the growth of agricul- 




ture came political influence. People who had once petitioneii 
Congress now sent their own representatives. Men who hail 
hitherto accepted without protests Presidents from the sea- 
board expressed a new spirit of dissent in 1824 by giving only 
three electoral votes for John Quincy Adams ; and four years 
later they sent a son of the soil from Tennessee, Andrew Jack- 
son, to take Washington's chair as chief executive of the nation 
— the first of a long line of Presidents from the Misaissippi 


W, G. Brown, The Louvr South in Americjin Hislnrii. 

B. A. Hinsdale, The Old North Wett (2 vols.). 

A. B. Hulbert, Great American Camtln uiid Tht Cumherlajtd / 

T. Roosevelt, Thomas H. Beaton. 

P. J, Treat, The National Latid System (1785-1820). 

F. J. Turner, Rise of the Neiit West {American Nation Series). 

J. WiiiKor, The Wealioard Moi/einenl. 


1. How did the West come to play a r6le in the Revolution T 

2. What preparatioiw were necessary la Hettlement? 

3. Give the principal proviaioos of the Northwest Ordinance. 

4. Explain how freehold land tenure happened to predominate in f 

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

6. Explain the Eastern oppoaition to the admission of new Western 
states. Show how it was overcame. 

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

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

9. Describe the difficulties of trade between the East and the West 
10. Show how trade was promoted. 

Research Topics 
Northwest Ordinance. — Analysis of text in Macdonald, Doeutm 
Source Book. Roosevelt, Wiiudug of the West, Vol. V, pp. 5-57. 
The West before the Revolution. — Roosevelt, Vol. 1. 
The West during the Revolution. — Roosevelt, Vols. H and III- 


Tennessee. — Roosevelt, Vol. V, pp. 95-110 and Vol. VI, pp. 9-87. 

The Cumberland Roed. — A. B. Hulbert, The Cumberland Road. 

Early Uf e in tiie ICiddle West. — Callender, Economic History of the 
United Stales, pp. 617-633 ; 636-641. 

Slavery in tiie Southwest — Callender, pp. 641-652. 

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

Westward Movement of Peoples. — Rooeevelt, Vol. IV, pp. 7-39. 

UstB of books dealing with the early history of Western states are given 
in Hart, Channing, and Turner, Guide to the Study and Reading of Ameri' 
can History (rev. ed.), pp. 62-89. 

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




The New En^cland Federalists, at the Hartford convention, 
prophesied that in time the West would dominate the East. 
' At the adoption of the Constitution," they said, " a wrtain 
balance of power among the original states was considered to 
exist, and there was at that time and yet is among those parties 
a strong affinity between their great and general interests. 
By the admission of these [new] stales tha) balance has been 
materially affected and unless the practice In- modified must 
ultimately be destroyer!. The Southern slates will first, avail 
themselves of their new confederates to govern the B^t, and 
finally the Western states, multiplied in number, and augmented 
in population, will control the interests of the whole," Strangely 
enough the fulfillment of this prophecy was being prepared even 
in Federahst strongholds by the rise of a new urban democracy 
that was to make common cause with the fainiers Ix'yond the 

The Democratic Movement in the East 
The Aristocratic Features of the Old Order. — The Revolu- 
tionary fathers, in setting up Iheir firai state constitntiona, 
although they often spoke of government as founded on the 
consent of the governed, did not think that consistency required 
giving the vote to all adult males. On the contrary they looked 
upon property owners as the only safe " depo.'iitan.' " of polit- 
ical power. They went back to the colonial tradition that 
related taxation and representation. This, they argued, \ 
not only just but a safeguard against the " excesses of del 



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

The electors thus enfranchised, numerous as they were, owing 
to the wide distribution of land, often suffered from a very 
onerous disability. In many states they were able to vote 
only for persons of wealth because heavy property qualifications 
were imposed on public officers. In New Hampshire, the gover- 
nor had to be worth five hundred pounds, one-half in land ; in 
Massachusetts, one thousand pounds, all freehold; in Mary- 
land, five thousand pounds, one thousand of which was free- 
hold ; in North Carolina, one thousand pounds freehold ; and 
in South Carolina, ten thousand pounds freehold. A state 
senator in Massachusetts had to be the owner of a freehold 
worth three hundred pounds or personal property worth 
six hundred pounds; in New Jersey, one thousand pounds' 
worth of property ; in North Carolina, three hundred acres of 
land ; in South Carolina, two thousand pounds freehold. For 
members of the lower house of the legislature lower qualifica- 
tions were required. 

In most of the states the suffrage or office holding or both 
were further restricted by religious provisions. No single sect 
was powerful enough to dominate after the Revolution, but, 
for the most part. Catholics and Jews were either disfranchised 
or excluded from office. North Carolina and Georgia denied the 
ballot to any one who was not a Protestant. Delaware with- 






held it from all who did not believe in the Trinity and the in- 
spiration of the Scriptures. Massachusetts and Maryland 
limited it to Christians. Virginia and New York, advanced 
for their day, made no discrimination in government on account 
of religious opinion. 

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


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

In addition to the business and professional classes, the me- 
chanics of the towns showed a growing hostility to a system of 
government that generally barred them from voting or holding 
office. Though not numerous, they had early begun to exer- 
cise an influence on the course of public affairs. They had led 
the riots against the Stamp Act, overturned King George's 
statue, and " cranuned stamps down the throats of collectors.'' 
When the state constitutions were framed they took a lively 
interest, particularly in New York City and Philadelphia. In 
June, 1776, the " mechanicks in union " in New York protested 
against putting the new state constitution into effect without 
their approval, declaring that the right to vote on the accept- 
ance or rejection of a fundamental law " is the birthright of 
every man to whatever state he may belong." Though their 
petition was rejected, their spirit remained. When, a few years 
later, tlie f^eral Constitution was being framed, the mechanics 
watched the process with deep concern ; they knew that one of 
its main objects was to promote trade and commerce, affect- 
ing directiy their daily bread. During the struggle over rati- 
leation, they passed resolutions approving its provisions and 



they often joined in parades organized to stir up sentiment 
for the Constitution, even though they could not vote for mem- 
bers of the state conventions and ao express their will directly. 
After the organization of trade unions they collided with the 
courts of law and thus became interested in the election of judges 
and lawmakers. 

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

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

Five states, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Rhode Island, 
and North Carolina, remained obdurate while these changes 
were going on around them ; finally they had to yield them- 


selves. The last struggle in Massachusetts took place in the 
constitutional convention of 1820. There Webster, in the prime 
of his manhood, and John Adams, in the closing years of his 
old age, alike protested against such radical innovations as 
manhood suffrage. Their protests were futile. The property 
test was abolished and a small tax-paying qualification was 
substituted. New York surrendered the next year and, after 
trying some minor restrictions for five years, went completely 
over to white manhood suffrage in 1S26. Rhode Island clung 


to her freehold qualification through thirty years of agitation. 
Then Dorr's Rebellion, almost culminating in bloodshed, 
brought about a reform in 1843 which introduced a slight tax- 
paying quaUfication as an alternative to the freehold. Virginia i 
and North Carolina were still unconvinced. The former re- | 
fused to abandon ownership of land as the test for political 
rights until 1850 and the latter until 1856. Although religious 
discriminations and projierty qualifications for office holders 
were sometimes retained after the establishment of nianhuod 
suffrage, they were usually abolished along with the monopoljp  
of government enjoyed by property owners and taxpayers. 


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

The New Democracy Enters the Arena 

The spirit of the new order soon had a pronoimced effect on 

the machinery of government and the practice of politics. The 

enfranchised electors were not long in demanding for themselves 

a larger share in administration. 

The Spoils System and Rotation in Office.— Fin^t of all they 
wanted office foi' themselves, regardless of their fitness. They 
therefore ejctended the system of rewarding party workers with 
government positions — a system early established in several 
states, notably New York and Pennsylvania. Closely con- 
nected with it was the practice of fixing short terms for officers 
and making frequent changes in personnel. " Long continiumee 
in office," explained a champion of this idea in Permsylvaou 
in 1837, " unfits a man for the discharge of its duties, by rca»- 
dering him arbitrary and aristocratic, and tends to beget, fint 
lite office, and then hereditary office, which leads to the destruc- 
tion of free government." Thi'Koitition offered was the historic 
doctrine of " rotation in office." At the same time the prio- 
ciple of popular election was extended to an increasing numbtl 


of officials who had once been appointed either by the governor 
or the l^slature. Even geologists, veterinarians, survey oi's, 
and other technical officei*s were declared elective on the theory 
that their appointment *' smacked of monarchy." 

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

The Nominating Convention. — As the suffrage was widened 
and the popular choice of presidential electors extended, there 
arose a violent protest against the methods used by the political 
parties in nominating candidates. After the retirement of 
Washington, both the Republicans and the Federalists found 
it necessary to agree upon their favorites before the election, 
and they adopted a colonial device — the pre-election caucus. 
The Federalist members of Congress held a conference and se- 
lected their candidate, and the Republicans followed the ex- 


ample. In a short time the practice of nominating by a 
" congressional caucus " became a recognized institution. The 
election still remained with the people ; but the power of picking 
candidates for their approval passed into the hands of a small 
body of Senators and Representatives. 

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

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

The End of the Old Generation. — In the election of 1824, 
the representatives of the "aristocracy" made their last succees- 
ful stand. Until then the leadership by men of " wealth and 


talents " had been undisputed. There had been five Presi- 
dents — Washington, John Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and 
Monroe — all Ektstem men brought up in prosperous families 
with the advantages of culture which come from leisure and 
the possession of life's refinements. None of them had ever 
been compelled to work with his hands for a livelihood. Four 
of them had been slaveholders. Jefferson was a philosopher, 
learned in natural science, a master of foreign languages, a 
gentleman of dignity and grace of manner, notwithstanding 
his studied simplicity. Madison, it was said, was armed " with 
all the culture of his century." Monroe was a graduate of 
William and Mary, a gentleman of the old school., Jefferson 
and his three successors called themselves Republicans and 
professed a genuine faith in the people but they were not " of 
the people " themselves ; they were not sons of the soil or the 
workshop. They were all men of " the grand old order of 
society " who gave finish and style even to popular govern- 

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


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

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

Though Adaiii.1 cuiKiitcteil his administration with great 
dignity and in a fine spirit of public service, he was unable to 
overtKfme the opposition which he encountered on his election 
to office or to win popularity in the We-st and South. On the 
contrary, by advocating government assistance in building , 


roads and canals and public grants in aid of education, arts, 
and sciences, he ran counter to the current which had set in 
against iippropriations of federal funds for internal improve^ 
ments. By signing the Tariff Bill of 1828, soon known as the 
" Tariff of Abominations," he made new enemies without adding 
to his friends in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio where he 
sorely needed them. Handicapped by the false charge that 
he had been a party to a " corrupt bargain *' with Clay to secure 
his first election ; attacked for his advocacy of a high protec- 
tive tariff ; charged with favoring an " aristocracy of office- 
holders " in Washington on account of his refusal to discharge 
government clerks by the wholesale, Adams was retired from 
the White House after he had served four years. 

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

The returns of the electoral vote in 1828 revealed the 
sources of Jackaou's power* In New England, he received but 



one ballot, from Maine ; he had a majority of the electors in 
New York and all of them in Pennsylvania; and he carried 
every state south of Maryland and beyond the Appalachians. 
Adams did not get a single electoral vote in the South and West. 
The prophecy of the Hartford convention had been fulfilled. 
When Jackson took the oath of office on March 4, 1829, the 
government of the United States entered into a new era. Until 
this time the mauguration of a 
President — even that of Jeffeison, 
the apostle of simplicity — had 
brought no rude shock to the cout^ 
of affairs at the capital. Hitherto 
the installation of a President 
meant that an old-fashioned gentle- 
man, accompanied by a few serv- 
ants, had driven to the White 
House in his own coach, taken tlie 
oath with quiet dignity, appoint«d 
a few new men to the higher posts, 
continued in office the long list 
of regular civil employees, and 
begun his administration with 
respectable decorum. Jackson 
Andrew Jackhon changed all this. When he was 

inaugurated, men and women 
journeyed hundreds of miles to witness the ceremony. Great 
throngs pressed into the White House, " upset the bowls of 
punch, broke the glasses, and stood with their muddy boots on 
the satin-covered chairs to see the people's President." If 
Jefferson's inauguration was, as he called it , the " great revolu- 
Jackson's inauguration was a cataclysm. 

The New Democracy at Washington 

The Spoils System. — The staid and respectable aociel 
Washington was disturbed by this influx of farmers and fron- 
tiersmen. To speak of pohtics became " bad form " among 


fftthionable women. The clerks and civil servants of the gov- 
ernment who had enjoyed long and secure tenure of office be- 
came alarmed at the clamor of new men for their positions. 
Doubtless the major portion of them had opposed the election 
of Jackson and looked with feelings akin to contempt upon him 
and his followers. With a hunter's instinct, Jackson scented 
his prey. Determined to have none but his friends in office, 
he made a clean sweep, expelling old employees to make room 
for men " fresh from the people." This was a new custom. 
Other Presidents had discharged a few officers for engaging 
in opposition politics. They had been careful in making ap- 
pointments not to choose inveterate enemies; but they dis- 
charged relatively few men on account of their political views 
and partisan activities. 

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

The Tari£F and Nullification. — Jackson had not been in- 
stalled in power very long before he was compelled to choose 
between states' rights and nationalism. The immediate occa- 
sion of the trouble was the tariff — a matter on which Jackson 
did not have any very decided views. His mind did not run 
naturally to abstruse economic questions; and owing to th^ 


divided opinion of the country it was "good politics" to be 
viigiic and ambiguous in Iho controversy. Especially was this 
tniP, because Ihc tariff issiic was threatening to spHt the coun- 
try into parties again. 

The Derelnpment of the Policy of "Protection." — The war of 
1812 and the commercial policies of England which followed 
it had accentuated the need for American economic independ- 
ence. During that conflict, the United States, cut 6ff from 
English manufactures as during the Revolution, built up 
home industries to meet the unusual call for iron, steel, cloth, 
and other military and naval supplies as well as the demands 
from ordinary markets. Iron foundries and textile mills sprang 
up as in the night ; hundreds of business men invested fortunes 
in industrial enterprises so essential to the military needs of 
the government ; and the people at large fell into the habit 
of buying American-made goods again. As the London Times 
tersely observed of the Americans, " their first war with Eng- 
land made them independent ; their second war made them 

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

In the early years of the nineteenth centiuy, the Yankees 
had bent their energies toward building and operating ships to 
carry produce from America to Europe and manufactures from 
Europe to America. For this reason, they had opposed the 


tariff of 1816 calculated to increase domestic production and 
cut down the carrying trade. Defeated in their efforts, they 
accepted the inevitable and turned to manufacturing. Soon 
they were powerful friends of protection for American enter- 
prise. As the money invested and the labor employed in the 
favored industries increased, the demand for continued and 
heavier protection grew apace. Even the farmers who fur- 
nished raw materials, like wool, flax, and hemp, began to see 
eye to eye with the manufacturers. So the textile interests of 
New England, the iron masters of Connecticut, New Jersey, 
and Pennsylvania, the wool, hemp, and flax growers of Ohio, 
Kentucky, and Tennessee, and the sugar planters of Louisiana 
developed into a formidable combination in support of a high 
protective tariff. 

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

The Tariff of Abominations, — They were overborne, how- 
ever, in 1824 and again in 1828 when Northern manufac- 
turers and Western farmers fonjed Congress to make an up- 
ward revision of the tariff. The Act of 1828 known as " the 
Tariff of Abominations/' though slightly modified in 1832^ ^^a 



" the straw which broke the camel's back." Southern leaders 
turned in rage against the whole system. The legislatures of 
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Geoi^ia, and Ala- 
banm denounced it ; a general convention of delegates held at 
Augusta issued a protest of defiance against it ; and South 
Carolina, weary of verbal battles, decided to prevent its en- 

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

S(yiithem States Condemn Nullification. — The answer of the 
country to this note of defiance, couched in the language used 
in the Kentucky resolutions and by the New England Fed- 
eralists during the war of 1812, was quick and positive. The 
legislatures of the Southern states, while condemning the 
tariff, repudiated the step which South Carolina had taken. 
Georgia responded : " We abhor the doctrine of nullification 
as neither a peaceful nor a constitutional remedy." Alabama 
found it " unsoimd in theory and dangerous in practice." 
North Carohna replied that it was " revolutionary in char- 
acter, subversive of the Constitution of the United States." 


Miflsisaippi answered : '' It is disunion by force — it is civil 
war/' '^^rginia spoke more softly, condemning the tariff 
and sustaining the principle of the Virginia resolutions but 
denying that South Carolina could find in them any sanction 
for her proceedings. 

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

A Compromise. — In his messages to Congress, however, 
Jackaon spoke the language of conciUation. A few days be- 
fore issuing his proclamation he suggested that protection 
should be limited to the articles of domestic manufacture 
indispensiable to safety in war time, and shortly afterward 
he asked for new legislation to aid him in enforcing the laws. 
With two propositions before it, one to remove the chief grounds 
for South Carolina's resistance and the other to apply force 
if it was continued, Congress bent its efforts to avoid a crisis. 



^1 On February 12, 1833, Henry Clay kid before the Senate a 
^H compromise tariff bill prrtvidiag for the gradual reduction oi 
^1 the duties until by 1842 they would reach the level of the law 
^H which Calhoun had supported in 1816. About the same time 
^H the "force bill," dosiEnnd to (five the President ample author- 
^H ity in executing the law in South Carolina, was taken up. After 
^r p. short but acrimonious debate, both measures were passed 
find signed by President 
Jackson on the same day, 
March 2. Looking upon i 
the reduction of the tariff as 
a complete vindication of 
her fK)Iicy and an undoubt^ 
victory. South Carolina re- I 
scindnd her ordinance and ] 
enacted another nuUifyiog 
the force bill. 

The Wehxter-HayTie De- 
bate. — Where the actual 
victory lay in this quarrel, 
long the subject of high dis- 
pute, need not concern us 
to-day. Perhaps the chief 
result of the whole affair was 
a clarification of the issue 
between the North and the South — a definite statement of the 
principles for which men on both sides were years afterward to 
lay down their livos. On behalf of nationalism and a perpetual 
union, the stanch old Democrat from Tennessee had, in his 
proclamation on nullification, spoken a language that admitted oi 
only one meaning. On behalf of nullification. Senator Hayoei 
of South Carolina, a skilled lawyer and courtly orator, had m » 
great speech delivered in the Senate in January, 1830, set (orlh 
clearly and cogently the tioctrine that the union is a compcv:t 
among sovereign states from which the parties may lawfully 
withdraw. It was this address that called into the arena P«uc|l 


Webster, Senator from Massachusetts, who, spreading the 
mantle of oblivion over the Hartford convention, deUvered a 
reply to Hajnie that has been reckoned among the powerful 
orations of all time — a plea for the supremacy of the Consti- 
tution and the national character of the union. 

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

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

Moved by this frank hostility and anxious for the future, 
the bank applied to Congress for a renewal of its charter in 
1832| four years before the expiration of its life. Clay, with 
his ^ye upon the presidency and an issue for the campaign, 
wannly supported the application. Congress, deeply ixn- 


pressed by his leadership, passed the bill granting the new 
charter, and sent the open defiance to Jackson. His response 
was an instant veto. The battle was on and it raged with 
fury until the close of his second administration, ending in the i 
destruction of the bank, a disordered currency, and a national 

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

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

The effects of the destruction of the bank were widespread. 
When its charter expired in 1836, banking was once mon? 
committed to the control of the states. The state legisla- 
tures, under a decision rendered by the Supreme Court after 
the death of Marshall, began to charter banks under state 
ownership and control, with full power to issue paper money 
— this in spite of the provision in the Conslitulion that states 
shall not issue bills of credit or make anything but gold 
and silver coin legal tender in the payment of debts. Once 
more the country was flooded by paper currency of imcertain 
value. To make matters worse, Jackson adopted the practice | 
of depositing huge amounts of government funds in these banks, 
not forgetting to render favors to those institutions which sup- 
ported him in pohtics — "pet banks," as they were styled 


at the time. In 1837, partially, though by no means entirely, 
as a result of the abolition of the bank, the country was plunged 
into one of the most disastrous panics which it ever experienced. 

Internal Improvements Checked. — The bank had pre- 
sented to Jackson a very clear problem — one of destruction. 
Other questions were not so simple, particularly the subject 
of federal appropriations in aid of roads and other internal im- 
provements. Jefferson had strongly favored government 
assistance in such matters, but his administration was fol- 
lowed by a reaction. Both Madison and Monroe vetoed 
acts of Congress appropriating pubUc funds for pubUc roads, 
advancing as their reason the argmnent that the Constitu- 
tion authorized no such laws. Jackson, puzzled by the clamor 
on both sides, followed their example without making the con- 
stitutional bar absolute. Congress, he thought, might law- 
fully build highways of a national and miUtary value, but he 
strongly deprecated attacks by local interests on the federal 

The Triumidi of the Executive Branch. — Jackson's re- 
election in 1832 served to confirm his opinion that he was the 
chosen leader of the people, freed and instructed to ride rough 
shod over Congress and even the courts. No President before 
or since ever entertained in times of peace such lofty notions 
of executive prerogative. The entire body of federal employees 
he transformed into obedient servants of his wishes, a sign or a 
nod from him making and imdoing the fortunes of the humble 
and the mighty. His lawful cabinet of advisers, filling all of 
the high posts in the government, he treated with scant courtesy, 
preferring rather to secure his counsel and advice from an 
unofficial body of friends and dependents who, owing to their 
secret methods and back stairs arrangements, became known 
as " the kitchen cabinet." Under the leadership of a silent, 
astute, and resourceful politician, Amos Kendall, this in- 
formal gathering of the faithful both gave and carried out de- 
crees and orders, communicating the President's Ughtest wish 
or strictest conunand to the uttermost part of the country. 


Resolutely and in the face of bitter opposition Jackson had 
removed the deposits from the United States Bank. When 
the Senate protested against this arbitrary conduct, he did 
not rest until it was forced to expunge the resolution of con- 
demnation ; in time one of his heutenanta with his own bands 
was able to tear the censure from the records. When Chief 
Justice Marshall issued a decree against Georgia which did 
not suit him, Jackson, according to tradition, blurted out that 
Marshall could go ahead and enforce his own orders. To 
the end he pursued his willful way, finally even choo»ng hie 
own successor. 

The Rise of the Whigs 
Jackson's Measures Arouse Opposition. — Measures so 
decided, policies so radical, and conduct so high-handed could 
not fail to arouse against Jackson a deep and exasperated 
opposition. The truth is the conduct of his entire adminia- 
tration profoundly disturbed the business and finances of the 
country. It was accompanied by conditions similar to those 
which existed imder the Articles of Confederation. A paper 
currency, almost as unstable and irritating as the worthless 
notes of revolutionary days, flooded the country, hindering 
the easy transaction of business. The iise of federal funds 
for internal improvements, so vital to the exchange of com- 
modities which is the very life of industry, was blocked by 
executive vetoes. The Supreme Court, which, under Mar- 
shall, had held refractory states to their obligations under the 
Constitution, was flouted ; states' rights judges, deliberately 
selected by Jackson for the bench, began to sap and under- 
mine the rulings of Marshall. The protective tariff, under which 
the textile industry of New England, the iron mills of Penn- 
sylvania, and the wool, flax, and hemp farms of the West had 
flourished, had received a severe blow in the compromise of 
1833 which promised a steady reduction of duties. To cap the 
climax, Jackson's party, casting aside the old and reputable 
Dame of Repubhcan, boldly chose for its title the term " Demt^ 


261 J 

crat," throwing down the gauntlet to every conservative whi 
doubted the omniscience of the people. All these things work* 
together to evoke an opposition that was sharp and 

Clay and the National Republicans. — In this opposition movi 
ment, leadership fell to Henry Clay, a son of Kentucky, rathi 
than to Daniel Webster of Massachusetts. Like Jackson^ 

Clay was born in a home haunted by poverty. Left father- 
less early and thrown upon his own resources, he went from 
Virginia into Kentucky where by sheer force of intellect he rose 
to eminence in the profession of law. Without the martial 
gifts or the martial spirit of Jackson, he slipped more easily into 
the social habits of the East at the same time that he retained 
his hold on the affections of the boisterous West. Farmers 
of Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky loved him ; financiers of New 
York and Philadelphia trusted him. He was thus a leader 



well fitted to gather the forces of opposition into union agtungt 

Around Clay's standard assembled a motley collection, repre- 
senting every species of political opinion, united by one tie 
only — hatred for " Old Hickoiy." Nullifiera and leas stren- 
uous advocates of states' rights were yoked with national- 
ists of Webster's school ; ardent protectionists were bound 
together with equally ardent free traders, all fraternizing id 
one grand confusion of ideas under the title of " National Re- 
publicans." Thus the ancient and honorable term selected by 
Jefferson and his party, now abandoned by Jacksonian Democ- 
racy, was adroitly adopted to cover the supporters of Clay. 
The platform of the party, however, embraced all the old Fed- 
eralist principles : protection for American industry ; internal 
improvements ; respect for the Supreme Court ; resistance 
to executive tyranny ; and denunciation of the spoils system. 
Though Jackson was easily victorious in 1832, the popular 
vote cast for Clay should have given him some doubts about 
the faith of " the whole people " in the wisdom of his " reign." 

Van Buren and the Panic of 1837. — Nothing could shake 
the General's superb confidence. At the end of his second 
term he insisted on selecting his own successor; at a na- 
tional convention, chosen by party voters, but packed with 
his office holders and friends, he nominated Martin Van Buren 
of New York. Once more he proved his strength by carrying 
the country for the Democrats. With a fine fiourish, he at- 
tended the inauguration of Van Buren and then retired, amid 
the applause and tears of his devotees, to the Hermitage, lus 
home in Tennessee. 

Fortunately for him, Jackson escaped the odium of a dis- 
astrous panic which struck the country with terrible force in 
the following summer. Among the contributory causes of 
this crisis, no doubt, were the destruction of the bank and the 
issuance of the " specie circular " of 1836 which required the 
purchasers of public lands to pay for them in coin, instead of 
the paper notes of state banks. Whatever the dominating 


cause, the ruin was widespread. Bank after bank went under ; 
boom towns in the West collapsed ; Eastern mills shut down ; 
and working people in the industrial centers, starving from 
unemployment, b^ged for relief. Van Buren braved the storm, 
offering no measure of reform or assistance to the distracted 
people. He did seek security for government fimds by sug- 
gesting the removal of deposits from private banks and the 
establishment of an independent treasury system, with gov- 
ernment depositaries for public funds, in several leading cities. 
This plan was finally accepted by Congress in 1840. 

Had Van Buren been a captivating figure he might have 
lived down the discredit of the panic unjustly laid at his door ; 
but he was far from being a favorite with the populace. Though 
a man of many talents, he owed his position to the quiet and 
adept management of Jackson rather than to his own personal 
qualities. The men of the frontier did not care for him. They 
suspected that he ate from " gold plate " and they could not 
forgive him for being an astute politician from New York. 
Still the Democratic party, remembering Jackson's wishes, 
renominated him unanimously in 1840 and saw him go down 
to utter defeat. 

The Whigs and General Harrison. — By this time, the Na- 
tional Republicans, now known as Whigs — a title taken from 
the party of opposition to the Crown in England, had learned 
many lessons. Taking a leaf out of the Democratic book, 
they nominated, not Clay of Kentucky, well known for his 
views on the bank, the tariff, and internal improvements, but 
a military hero. General William Henry Harrison, a man of 
uncertain political opinions. Harrison, a son of a Virginia 
signer of the Declaration of Independence, sprang into public 
view by winning a battle more famous than important, "Tippe- 
canoe " — a brush with the Indians in Indiana. He added to 
his laurels by rendering praiseworthy services during the war 
of 1812. When days of peace returned he was rewarded by a 
grateful people with a seat in Congress. Then he retired to 
quiet life in a little village near Cincinnati. Like Jackson 


be was held to be a son of the South and the West. Like JmV 
son he was a military hero, a leeser light, but still a 11^. 
Like Old Hickory he rode into office on a tide of popu- 
lar feeling against an Eastern iiiao accused of being something 
of an aristocrat. Hia personal popularity was sufficient. The 
Whig.s who nominated him shrewdly refused to adopt a plat- 
form or declare their belief in anything. When some Demo- 
crat asserted that Harrison was a backwoodsman whose sole 
wants were a jug of hard cider and a log cabin, the Whigs 
treated the remark not as an insult but as proof positive that 
Harrison deserved the votes of Jackson men. The jug and the 
cabin they proudly transformed into symbols of the campaign, 
and won for their chieftain 234 electoral votes, while Van Bures 
got only sixty. 

Harrison and Tyler. — The Hero of Tippecanoe was not 
long to enjoy the fruits of his victory. The himgry horde 
of Whig office seekers descended upon him like wolves upon 
the fold. If he went out they waylaid him ; if he stayed in- 
doors, he was besieged ; not even his bed chamber was spared. 
He was none too strong at best and he took a deep cold on the 
day of his inauguration. Between driving out DemocratB 
and appeasing Whigs, he fell mortally ill. Before the end of a 
month he lay dead at the capital. 

Harrison's successor, John Tyler, the Vice President, whom 
the Whigs had nominated to catch votes in Virginia, was more 
of a Democrat than anything else, though he was not partisan 
enough to please anybody. The Whigs railed at him because 
he would not approve the founding of another United States 
Bank. The Democrats stormed at him for refusing, xmtil 
near the end of his term, to sanction the annexation of Texas, 
which had declared its independence of Mexico in 1836. His 
entire administration, marked by unseemly wrangling, pro- 
duced only two measures of importance. The Whigs, flushed 
by victory, with the aid of a few protectionist Demoorate, 
enacted, in 1842, a new tariff law destroying the compromise 
which had brought about the truce between the North and the 


South, in the days of nullification. The distinguished leader 
of the Whigs. Daniel Webster, as Secretary of State, in negotia- 
tion with Lord Ashburton representing Great Britain, settled 
the long-standing dispute between the two countries over the 
Maine boundary. A year after closing this chapter in Ameri- 
can diploniacy, Webster withdrew to private life, leaving the 
President to endure alone the buffets of political fortune. 

To the end, the Whigs regarded Tyler as a traitor to their 
cause ; but the judgment of history' is that it wa.s a case of the 
biter bitten. They had nominated him for the vice presi- 
dency as a man of views acceptable to Southern Democrats 
in order to catch their votes, little reckoning with the chances 
of his becoming President. Tyler had not deceived them and, 
thoroughly soured, he left the White House in 1845 not to 
appear in pubhc life again until the days of secession, when he 
espoused the Southern confederacy. Jacksonian Democracy, 
with new leadership, serving a new cause — slaverj' — was 
returned to power under James K. Polk, a friend of the General 
from Tennessee. A few grains of sand were to run through the 
hour glass before the Whig party was to be broken and scattered . 
as the Federalists had been more than a generation before. ^h 

The Interaction of Auerican and Eohopean Opinion 
Democracy in England and France. — During the period 
of Jiicksonian Democracy, as in all epochs of ferment, there 
was a close relation between the thought of the Now World 
and the Old. In England, the successes of the American 
experiment were used as arguments in favor of overthrowing 
the aristocracy which George III had manipulated with such 
effect against America half a century before. In the United 
States, on the other hand, conservatives like Chancellor Kent, 
the 3t.<^iut opponent of manhood suffrage in New York, cited 
(h*^ riots of the British working classes as a warning against 
admitting the same classes to a share in the government of the 
United States. Along with the agitation of opinion went 
epoch-makiiig events. In 1832, the year of Jackson's aecoud 


triumph, the British Pftriiament passed its iBrst reform bill, 
which conferred the ballot — not on workingmen as jret-- 
but on mill owners and shopkeepers whom the landlords re- 
garded with genuine horror. The initial step was thus tak^ 
in breaking down the privil^ies of the landed aristocracy and 
the rich merchants of Ehigland. 

About the same time a popular revolution occurred in 
France. The Bourbon family, restored to the throne of 
France by the allied powers after their victory over Napoleon 
in 1815, had embarked upon a policy of arbitrary government 
To use the familiar phrase, they had learned nottung and for- 
gotten nothing. Charles X, who came to the throne in 1824, 
set to work with zeal to undo the results of the French Revo- 
lution, to stifle the press, restrict the suffrage, and restore 
the clergy and the nobility to their ancient rights. His pdicy 
encoimtered equally zealous opposition and in 1830 he was 
overthrown. X ^e popul ar party, under the leadership of 
L^ ayette, established, not a republic ^ atyme tTf t**^ **^^*>i«- 

hiu\ hnpoHj but, ft ** lihftrR^ '' pii'HHIft-filimfl m^TH^ rchv undef Ti^"° " 

Philippe. This second French Revolution made a profound 
impression on Americans, convincing them that the whole 
world was moving toward democracy. The mayor, alder- 
men, and citizens of New York City joined in a great parade 
to celebrate the fall of the Bourbons. Mingled with cheers 
for the new order in France were hurrahs for "the people's 
own, Andrew Jackson, the Hero of New Orleans and President 
of the United States ! " 

European Interest in America. — To the older and more 
settled Europeans, the democratic experiment in Amarica 
was either a menace or an inspiration. Conservatives viewed 
it with anxiety; liberals with optimism. Far-sighted leaden 
could see that the tide of democracy was rising all over the 
world and could not be stayed. Naturally the coimtry that 
had advanced furthest along the new course was the place in 
which to find arguments for and against proposals that Eurcqpe 
should make experiments of the same character. 

I TocqueviUe's Democracy in America. — In addition to 
i casual traveler there began to visit the United States the 
thoughtful observer bent on finding out what manner of na- 
tion this was springing up in the wilderness. Those who looked 
with sympathy upon the growing popular forces of England 
and France found in the United States, in spite of many blem- 
ishes and defects, a guarantee for the future of the people's 
rule in the Old World. One of these, Alexis de Tocqueville, 
a French liberal of mildly democratic sympathies, made a 
journey to this country in 1831; he described in a very re- 
markable volume, Democracy in ATnerica, the grand experi- 
ment as he saw it. On the whole he was convinced. After 
examining with a critical eye the life and labor of the Ameri- 
can [>eople, as well as the constitutions of the states and the 
nation, he came to the conclusion that democracy with all its 
faults was both inevitable and successful. Slavery he thought 
was a painful contrast to the other features of American life, 
and he foresaw what proved to be the irrepressible conflict 
over it. He beheved that through blundering the people 
were destined to learn the highest of all arts, self-government 
on a grand scale. The absence of a leisure class, devoted to 
no calling or profession, merely enjoying the refinements of life 
and adding to its graces — the flaw in American culture that 
gave deep distress to many a European leader — de Tocqueville 
thought a necessary virtue in the republic. " .\mongst a demo- 
cratic people where there is no hereditary wealth, every man 
works to earn a living, or has worked, or is bom of parents who 
have worked. A notion of labor is therefore presented to the 
mind on'every side as the necessary, natural, and honest condi- 
tion nf human existence." It was this notion of a government 
in the hands of people who labored that struck the French 
publicist as the mo.-it significant fact in the modern world. 

Harriet Martineau's Visit to America. — This phase of 
American life also profoundly impressed the brilliant English 
writer. Harriet Martineau, She saw all parts of the coimtry, 
the homes of the rich and the log cabins of the frontier'. 



she traveled in stagecoaches, canal boats, and on horafr- 
back ; and visited sessions of Coi^ess and auctions at slave 
markets. She tried to view the uoiintry impartially and the 
thing that left the deepest rti^k on her mind was the solidarity 
of the people in one great political body. " However vaiious 
may be the tribes of inhabitant* in those states, whatever part 
of the world may have been their birthplace, or that of their 
fathers, however broken may be their language, however servile 
or noble their employments, however exalted or despised their 
state, all are declared to be bound together by equal political 
obligations. ... In that self-governing country all are held 
to have an equal interest in the principles of its institutions 
and to be bound in equal duty to watch their workings." Misa 
Martineau was also impressed with the passion of Americans 
for land ownership and contrasted the United States favorably 
with England where the tillers of the soil were either tenants 
or laborers for wages. 

Adverse Criticism — By no means all observers and writas 
were convinced that America was a success. The fastidious 
traveler, Mrs, Trollope, who thought the English system of 
church and state was ideal, saw in the United States only 
roughness and ignorance. She lamented the " total and 
universal want of manners both in males and females," adding 
that while " they appear to have clear heads and active intel- 
lects," there was " no charm, no grace in their conversation." 
She found everywhere a lack of reverence for kings, learning, 
and rank. Other critics were even more savage. The editor 
of the Foreign Quarterly petulantly exclaimed that the United 
States was " a brigand confederation." Charles Dickens de- 
clared the country to be " so maimed and lame, so fuJI of sores 
and ulcers that her best friends turn from the loathsome crea- 
ture in disgust." Sydney Smith, editor of the Edinburgh Re- 
view, was never tired of trying his caustic wit at the expense of 
America. "Their Franklins and Wa.shingtons and all the 
other sages and heroes of their rovo'"*'"!! were born and 
bred subjects of the king of Engl' iserved in 1820. 


" During the thirty or forty years of their independence they 
have done absolutely nothing for the sciences, for the arts, for 
literature, or even for the statesmanlike studies of politics or 
political economy. ... In the four quarters of the globe 
who reads an American book? Or goes to an American play? 
Or looks at an American picture or statue? " To put a sharp 
sting into his taunt he added, forgetting by whose authority 
slavery was introduced and fostered : " Under which of the old 
tyrannical governments of Europe is every sixth man a slave 
whom his fellow creatures may buy and sell? " 

Some Americans, while resenting the hasty and often super- 
ficial judgments of European writers, winced under their satire 
and took thought about certain particulars in the indictments 
brought against them. The mass of the people, however, 
bent on the great experiment, gave little heed to carping critics 
who saw the flaws and not the achievements of our country — 
critics who were in fact les3 interested in America than in pre- 
venting the rise and growth of democracy in Europe. 


J. 8. Bassett, LiSe of Andrew Jackson, 

J. W. Burgess, The Middle Period, 

H. Lodge, Daniel Webster. 

W. Macdonald, Jacksonian Democracy (American Nation Series). 

Ostrogorski, Democracy and the Organization of Political Parties, Vol II. 

C. H. Peck, The Jacksonian Epoch. 

C. Sehun, Henry Clay. 


1. By what devices was democracy limited in the first days of our 

2. On what grounds were the limitations defended? Attacked? 

3. Outline tiie rise of political democracy in the United States. 

4. Describe three important changes in our political system. 

5. Contrast the Presidents of the old and the new generations. 

6. Acocmnt for the unpopularity of John Adams' administration. 

7. What had been the career of Andrew Jackson before 1829 7 

8. Skeidi the history of the protective tariff and explain the theory 


9. Explain the growth of Southern opposition to the tariff. 

10. Relate the leading events connerted with nuUifipatioD in South 

11. State Jackson's views and tell the outcome of the controveiBy. 

12. Why was Jackson opposed to the bank? How did he finallj' de- 
stroy it? 

13. The Whigs eomplained of Jackson's "executjve tyninny." Wh«t 
did tliey mean ? 

14. Give some of the leading eventa in Clay's career. 

16. How do you account for the triumph of Harrison in 1840? 
16. Why was Europe especiaily interested in Ameriea at this pCBOdT 
Who were some of the European writers on American affairs? "^H 

Research Topics ^^^ 

Jackson's Ciiticisms of the Bank. — Macdonald, DocumeiUary Stntm 
Book, pp. 320-329. 

Financial Aspects of the Bank Controversy. — Dewey, Financial Hittoqi 
of Ike VniUd Stales, Sections 86-87; Elson, History of the United Statei, 
pp, 492-496. 

Jackson's ^^ew of the Union. — See his proclamation on nuHifioatkoi 
in Macdonald, pp. 333-340. 

Nulliflcation. — McMaster, Histnry of the People of Ifie United StaW, 
Vol. VI, pp, 153-182 ; Elson, pp. 487-492. 

The Webster-Ha3nDe Debate. — Analyze the ai^umenta. Extensive 
extracts are given in Macdonald's larger three-volume work, Sdea Docu- 
ments of UniiedSlates HUiory. 1776-1761, pp. 239-200. 

The Character of Jackson's Administration, — Woodrow Wilson, BUaiv 
of the American PeopU, Vol. IV, pp. 1-87; Ebon, pp. 498-.501. 

The People in 1830. — From contemporary writing in Hart, Amerieat 
Hialory Told by Coidempnraries, Vol. Ill, pp. 509-530. 

Biographical Studies. ^ Andrew Jackson, J. Q. Adams, Henry Clay, 
Daniel Webster, J. C. Calhoun, and W. H. Harrison. 



** We shall not send an emigrant beyond the Mississippi 
in a hundred years," exclaimed Livingston, the principal author 
of the Louisiana purchase. When he made this astounding 
declaration, he doubtless had before his mind's eye the great 
stretches of unoccupied lands between the Appalachians and the 
Mississippi. He also had before him the history of the Eng- 
lish colonies, which told him of the two centuries required to 
settle the seaboard region. To practical men, his prophecy 
did not seem far wrong ; but before the lapse of half that time 
there appeared beyond the Mississippi a tier of new states, 
reaching from the Gulf of Mexico to the southern boundary 
of Minnesota, and a new commonwealth on the Pacific Ocean 
where American emigrants had raised the Bear flag of 

The Advance of the Middle Border 

Missouri. — When the middle of the nineteenth century had 
been reached, the Mississippi River, which Daniel Boone, the 
intrepid hunter, had crossed during Washington's adminis- 
tration " to escape from civiUzation " in Kentucky, had be- 
come the waterway for a vast empire. The center of popu- 
lation of the United States had passed to the Ohio Valley. 
Missouri, with its wide reaches of rich lands, low-lying, level, 
and fertile, well adapted to hemp raising, had drawn to its 
borders thousands of planters from the old Southern states — 
from Virginia and the Carolinas as well as from Kentucky and 
Tennessee. When the great compromise of 1820-21 admitted 
her to the union, wearing " every jewel of sovereignty,'' as a 
florid orator announced, migratory slave owners were assured 



that their property, would be safe in Missouri. Along the 
western shore of the Mississippi and on both banks of the 
Missouri to the uttermost limits of the state, plantations tilled 
by bondmen spread out in broad expanses. In the neighbor- 
hood of Jefferson City the slaves numbered more than a 
fourth of the population. 

Into this stream of migration from the planting South 
flowed another current of land-tilling farmers ; some from 
Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, ilriven out by the 
onrush of the planters buying and consohdating small farms 
into vast estates ; and still more from the East and the Old 
World. To the northwest over against Iowa and to the south- 
west against Arkansas, these yeomen laid out farms to be 
tilled by their own labor. In those regions the number of 
slaves seldom rose above five or six per cent of the popula- 
tion. The old French post, St. Louis, enriched by the fur trade 
of the Far West and the steamboat traffic of the river, grew 
into a thriving commercial city, including among its seventy- 
five thousand inhabitants in 1850 nearly forty thousand for- 
eigners, German immigrants from Pennsylvania and Europe 
being the largest single element. 

Arkansas. — Below Missouri lay the territory of Arkansas, 
which had long been the paradise of the swarthy hunter 
and the restless frontiersman fleeing from the advancing 
borders of farm and town. In search of the life, wild and free, 
where the rifle supphed the game and a few acres of ground 
the corn and potatoes, they had filtered into the territory 
in an unending drift, " squatting " on the land. Without bo 
much as asking the leave of any government, territorial or 
national, they claimed as their own the soil on which tliey first 
planted their feet. Like the Cherokee Indians, whom they 
had as neighbors, whose ver>' customs and dross they some- 
times adopted, the squatters fipent their days in the midet of 
rough plenty, beset by chills, fevers, and the ills of the &g^ 
but for many years unvexed by political troubles or tfai^H 
strictions of civilized life. ^^^| 


Unfortunately for them, however, the fertile valleys of the 
Mississippi and Arkansas were well adapted to the cultiva- 
tion of cotton and tobacco and their sylvan peace was soon 
broken by an invasion of planters. The newcomers, with 
their servile workers, spread upward in the valley toward 
Missouri and along the southern border westward to the 
Red River. In time the slaves in the tier of counties against 
Louisiana ranged from thirty to seventy per cent of the popu- 
lation. This marked the doom of the small farmer, swept 
Arkansas into the main current of planting poUtics, and led 
to a powerful lobby at Washington in favor of admission to the 
union, a boon granted in 1836. 

Michigan. — In accordance with a well-estabUshed custom, 
a free state was admitted to the union to balance a slave 
state. In 1833, the people of Michigan, a territory ten 
times the size of Connecticut, announced that the time had 
come for them to enjoy the privileges of a commonwealth. 
All along the southern border the land had been occupied 
largely by pioneers from New England, who built prim farm- 
bouses and adopted the town-meeting plan of self-govern- 
ment after the fashion of the old home. The famous post of 
Detroit was growing into a flourishing city as the boats ply- 
ing on the Great Lakes carried travelers, settlers, and freight 
through the narrows. In all, according to the census, there 
were more than ninety thousand inhabitants in the territory; 
so it was not without warrant that they clamored for state- 
hood. Congress, busy as ever with poUtics, delayed ; and the 
inhabitants of Michigan, unable to restrain their impatience, 
called a convention, drew up a constitution, and started a 
lively quarrel with Ohio over the southern boimdary. The 
hand of Congress was now forced. Objections were made 
to the new constitution on the ground that it gave the ballot 
to all free white males, including aliens not yet naturaUzed; 
but the protests were overborne in a long debate. The bound- 
ary was fibced, and Michigan, though shorn of some of the land 
she claimed, came into the union in 1837. 


Wisconsin. — Across Lake Michigan to the west lay the 
territory of Wisconsin, which shared with Michigan the in- 
teresting history of the Northwest, running back into the 
heroic days when French hunters and missionaries were 
planning a French empire for the great monarch, Louis XTV. 
It will not be forgotten that the French rangers of the 
woods, the black-robed priests, prepared for sacrifice, even 
to death, the trappers of the French agencies, and the French 
explorers — Marquette, JoUet, and Menard — were . the first 
white men to paddle their frail barks through the northern 
waters. • They first blazed their trails into the black forests 
and left traces of their work in the names of portages and little 
villages. It was from these forests that Red Men in full war 
paint journeyed far to fight under the fleur^deAia of France 
when the soldiers of King Louis made their last stand at Quebec 
and Montreal against the imperial arms of Britain. It was 
here that the British flag was planted in 1761 and that the 
great Pontiac conspiracy was formed two years later to over- 
throw British dominion. 

When, a generation afterward, the Stars and Stripes sup- 
planted the Union Jack, the French were still almost the only 
white men in the region. They were soon joined by hustling 
Yankee fur traders who did battle royal against British inter- 
lopers. The traders cut their way through forest trails and 
laid out the routes through lake and stream and over por- 
tages for the settlers and their families from the states " back 
East.^^ It was the forest ranger who discovered the water 
power later used to turn the busy mills grinding the grain from 
the spreading farm lands. In the wake of the fur hunters, 
forest men, and farmers came miners from Kentucky, Ten- 
nessee, and Missouri crowding in to exploit the lead ores of the 
northwest, some of them bringing slaves to work their claims. 
Had it not been for the gold fever of 1849 that drew the 
wielders of pick and shovel to the Far West, Wisconsin would 
early have taken high rank among the mining regions of the 


From a faToraUe point of vantage on Lake Michigan, the 
village of Mflwaukee, a center for lumber and grain trans- 
port and a place of entry for Eastern goods, grew into a thriv- 
ing city. It claimed twenty thousand inhabitants, when in 
1848 GcmgresB admitted Wisconsin to the union. Already the 
Germans, Lrish, and Scandina>4ans had found their way into the 
territory. They joined Americans from the older states in clear- 
ing forests, building roads, transforming trails into highways, 
erecting mills, and connecting streams with canals to make a 
network of routes for the traffic that poured to and from the 
Great Lakes. 

Iowa and Minnesota. — To the southwest of Wisconsin 
beyond the Mississippi, where the tall grass of the prairies 
waved Hke the sea, farmers from New England, New York, 
and Ohio had prepared Iowa for statehood. A tide of immi- 
gration that might have flowed into Missouri went north- 
ward ; for freemen, unaccustomed to slavery' and slave markets, 
preferred the open coimtry above the compromise line. With 
incredible swiftness, they spread farms westward from the 
Mississippi. With Yankee ingenuity they turned to trading 
on the river, building before 1836 three prosperous centers of 
traffic: Dubuque, Davenport, and Burlington. Tnie to 
their old traditions, they founded colleges and academies that 
religion and learning might be cherished on the frontier as in 
the states from which they came. Prepared for self-govern- 
ment, the lowans laid siege to the door of Congress and were 
admitted to the union in 1846. 

Above Iowa, on the Mississippi, lay the territory of Minne- 
sota — the home of the Dakotas, the Ojibways, and the Sioux. 
Like Michigan and Wisconsin, it had been explored early by 
the French scouts, and the first white settlement was the little 
French village of Mendota. To the people of the United 
States, the resotu'ces of the country were first revealed by the 
historic journey of Zebulon Pike in 1805 and by American fur 
traders who were quick to take advantage of the opportunity 
to ply their arts of hunting and bartering in fresh fields. In 


1839 an American settlement was planted at Marina on f^ 
St. Croix, the outpost of advancing civilization. Within 
twenty years, the territory, boasting a population of 150,000, 
asked for admission to the union. In 1858 the plea was 
granted and Minnesota showed her gratitude three years later 
by being first among the states to offer troops to Lincoln in the 
hour of peril. 

On to the Pacific — Texas and the Mexican Wah 
The Unifonnity of the Middle West. — There was a cer- 
.tain monotony about pioneering in the Northwest and on the 
middle border. As the long stretches of land were cleared or 
prepared for the plow, they were laid out like checkerboardE 
into squares of forty, eighty, one hundred sixty, or more 
acres, each the seat of a homestead. There was a striking 
uniformity also about the endless succession of fertile fields 
sading far and wide under the hot summer sun. No ma- 
jestic mountains reheved the sweep of the prairie. Few monu- 
ments of other races and antiquity were there to awaken cu- 
riosity about the region. No sonorous bells in old missions 
rang out the time of day. The chaffering Red Man bartering 
blankets and furs for powder and whisky had passed fartiier 
on. The population was made up of plain farmers and their 
families engaged in severe and unbroken labor, chopping down 
trees, draining fever-breeding swamps, breaking new ground, 
and planting from year to year the same rotation of crops. 
Nearly all the settlers were of native American stock into 
whose frugal and industrious lives the later Irish and Gennan 
immigrants fitted, on the whole, with little friction. Even 
the Dutch oven fell befoi-e the cast-iron cooking stove. Hap- 
piness and sorrow, despair and hope were there, but all encom- 
passed by the heavy tedium of prosaic sameness. 

A Contrast in the Far West and Southwest. — As Geo^ 
Rogers Clark and Daniel Boone had stirred the snug Ameri- 
cans of the seaboard to seek their fortunes beyond the Appfr- 
lachians, so now Kit Carson, James Bowie, . Sam HoustoOi 


r Crockett, and John C. Fremont were to lead the way 
into a new land, only a part of which was under the American 
flag. The setting for this new scene in the westward move- 
ment was thrown out in a wide sweep from the headwaters of 
the Mississippi to the banks of the Rio Grande ; from the 
valleys of the Sabine and Red rivers to Montana and the 
Pacific alope. In comparison with the middle border, this 
r^on presented auch startling diverajties that only the eye of 
faith could foresee the unifying power of nationalism binding 
its communities with the older sections of the country. What 


rontrasts indeed! The bliR' grasw region of Kentucky or the 
rich, black soil of Illinois — the painted desert, the home of 
the aage brush and the coyote ! The level prairies of Iowa — 
the mighty Rockies shuuldertng themselves high against the 
bomon ! The long bleak winters of Wi-sconsin — CaUfornia i 
of endless summer! The log churches of Indiana or IlUnois — ] 
the quaint missions of San Antonio, Tucson, and Santa Bar^ 
bara! The little state of Delaware — the empire of Texas, 
one hundred and twenty times its area ! And scattered about 
1 the Southwest were signs of an ancient civilization - 
!nt« of four- and five-story dwellings, ruined dams, aq- 
and broken canals, which told of once prospeioub 1 


peoples who, by art and science, had conquered the aridity 
of the desert and Ufted themselves in the scale of culture 
above the savages of the plain. 

The settlers of this vast empire were to be as diverse in their 
origins and habits as those of the colonies on the coast had 
been. Americans of English, Irish, and Scotch-Irish descent 
came as usual from the Eastern states. To them were added 
the migratory Germans as well. Now for the first time came 
throngs of Scandinavians. Some were to make their homes 
on quiet farms as the border advanced against the setting sun. 
Others were to be Indian scouts, trappers, fur hunters, miners, 
cowboys, Texas planters, keepers of lonely posts on the plain 
and the desert, stage drivers, pilots of wagon trains, pony 
riders, fruit growers, " Imnber jacks,'' and smelter workers. 
One common bond united them — a passion for the self- 
government accorded to states. As soon as a few thousand 
settlers came together in a single territory, there arose a 
mighty shout for a position beside the staid conmionwealths of 
the East and the South. Statehood meant to the pioneers self- 
government, dignity, and the right to dispose of land, minerals, 
and timber in their own way. In the quest for this local auton- 
omy there arose many a wordy contest in Congress, each of 
the political parties lending a helping hand in the admission 
of a state when it gave promise of adding new congressmen 
of the *' right political persuasion," to use the current phrase. 

Southern Planters and Texas. — While the farmers of the 
North found the broad acres of the Western prairies stretch- 
ing on before them apparently in endless expanse, it was far 
different with the Southern planters. Ever active in their 
search for new fields as they exhausted the virgin soil of the 
older states, the restless subjects of King Cotton quickly reached 
the frontier of Louisiana. There they paused^ but only for 
a moment. The fertile land of Texas just across the boundary 
lured them on and the Mexican republic to which it belonged 
extended to them a more than generous welcome. Little 
realizing the perils lurking in a '' peaceful penetration," the 


authorities at Mexico City opened wide the doors and made 
large grants of land to American eontractore, who agreed to 
bring a number of families into Texas. The omnipresent 
Yankee, in the person of Moses Austin of Connecticut, hear- 
ing of this good news in the Southwest, obtained a grant in 
1820 to settle three hundred Americans near Bexar — a com- 
mission finally carried out to (he letter by his son and cele- 
brated in the name given to the present capital of the stal 
of Texas. Within a decade some twenty thousand Ann 
cans had crossed the border, 

Mexico Closes the Door. — The government of Mexico, 
uttaccustomed lo such enterprise and thoroughly frightened 
by its extent, drew back in dismay. Its fears were increased 
afl quarrels broke out between the Americans and the natives 
in Texas, Fear grew into consternation when efforts were 
made by President Jackson to buy the territory for the Unit«d 
Stat«8. Mexico then sought to close the flood gates. It 
stopped all American colonization schemes, canceled many 
ol the land grants, put a tariff on farming implements, and 
abolished slaverj-. These barriers were raised too late. A 
call for help ran through the western border of the United 
SUtes. The sentinels of the frontier answered. Davy 
Crockett, the noted frontiersman, bear hunter, and backwoods 
politician ; James Bowie, the dexterous wielder of the knife 
that to this day bears his name; and Sam Houston, warrior 
and pioneer, ru-shed to the aid of their countrymen in Texas. 
Unacquainted with the niceties of diplomacy, impatient at the 
formalities of international law. they soon made it known that 
in spite of Mexican sovereignty I hey woulii be their own masters. 

The Independence of Texas Declared. — Niunlxring only 
about one-fourth of the population in Texa.s, they rai.sed the 
standard of revolt in 1836 and summoned a convention. FoW'i 
(owing in the footsteps of their ancestors, they issued a deWi 
laratioD of independence signed mainly by Americans from 
the slave states. -Anticipating that the government of 
would not quietly accept their word of defiance as fii 



they diapatched a force to repel "the invading army," as Gen- 
eral Houston called the troops advancing under the command of 
Santa Ana, the Mexican president. A portion of the Texan 
soldiers took their stand in the Alamo, an old Spanish mis- 
sion in the cottonwood trees in the town of San Antonio. 
Instead of obeying the order to blow up the mission and retire, 
they held their ground until they were completely surrounded 
and cut off from all help. Refusing to surrender, they fought 
to the bitter end, the last man falling a victim to the sword. 
Vengeance was swift. Within three months General Houston 
overwhelmed Santa Ana at the San Jacinto, taking him pris- 
oner of war and putting an end to all hopes for the restora- 
tion of Mexican sovereignty over Texas. 

The Lone Star Republic, with Houston at the head, then 
sought admission to the United States. This seemed at first 
an easy matter. All that was required to bring it about ap- 
peared to be a treaty annexing Texas to the union. More- 
over, President Jackson, at the height of his popularity, had a 
warm regard for General Houston and, with his usual sym- 
pathy for rough and ready ways of doing things, approved 
the transaction. Through an American reproaontative in 
Mexico, Jackson had long and anxiously labored, by means 
none too nice, to wring from the Mexican repubUc the ces- 
sion of the coveted territory. When the Texans took matters 
into their own hands, he was more than pleased ; but he could 
not marshal the approval of two-thirds of the Senators re- 
quired for a treaty of annexation. Cautious as well as im- 
petuous, Jackson did not press the issue; he went out of office 
in 1837 with Texas uncertain as to her future. 

Northern Opposition to Annexation. — All through the 
North the opposition to armexation was clear and strong. 
Anti-slavery agitators could hardly find words savage enough 
to express their feehngs. " Texas," exclaimed Channing 
in a letter to Clay, " is but the first step of aggression. I 
trust indeed that Providence will beat back and humble our 
cupidity and ambition. I now ask whether as a people we 


are 'Prepared to seize on a neighboring territory for the end of 
extending slavery? I ask whether as a people we can stand 
forth in the sight of God, in the sight of nations, and adopt 
this atrocious policy? Sooner perish! Sooner be oiu* name 
blotted out from the record of nations ! " William Lloyd 
Garrison called for the secession of the Northern states if Texas 
was brought into the union with slavery. John Quincy Adams 
warned his coimtrymen that they were treading in the path of 
the imperialism that had brought the nations of antiquity to 
judgment and destruction. Henry Clay, the Whig candi- 
date for President, taking into account changing pubUc senti- 
ment, blew hot and cold, losing the state of New York and the 
election of 1844 by giving a qualified approval of annexation. 
In the same campaign, the Democrats boldly demanded the 
" Reannexation of Texas,'' based on claims which the United 
States once had to Spanish territory beyond the Sabine River. 
Annexation. — The poUticians were disposed to walk very 
warily. Van Buren, at heart opposed to slavery extension, 
refused to press the issue of annexation. Tyler, a pro-slavery 
Democrat from Virginia, by a strange fling of fortune carried 
into oflSce as a nominal Whig, kept his mind firmly fixed on 
the idea of reflection and let the troublesome matter rest until 
the end of his administration was in sight. He then listened 
with favor to the voice of the South. Calhoun stated what 
seemed to be a convincing argument: All good Americans 
have their hearts set on the Constitution ; the admission of 
Texas is absolutely essential to the preservation of the union ; 
it will give a balance of power to the South as against the 
North growing with incredible swiftness in wealth and popu- 
lation. Tyler, impressed by the plea, appointed Calhoun to 
the oflSce of Secretary of State in 1844, authorizing him to 
negotiate the treaty of annexation — a commission at once 
executed. This scheme was blocked in the Senate where the 
neoeflsary two-thirds vote could not be secured. Balked but 
not defeated, the advocates of annexation drew up a joint 
reBolution ^iduch required only a majority vote in both houses, 




and in February of the next year, just before Tyler gave way 
to Polk, they pushed it through Congreas. So Texas, amid the 
groans of Boston and the hurrahs of Charleston, folded up her 
flag and came into the union. 

The Mexican War. — The inevitable war with Mexico, 
foretold by the abolitionists and feared by Henry Clay, ensued, 
the ostensible cause 
being a dispute over 
the boundariea of the 
new state. The Texans 
claimed all the lands 
down to the RioGrande. 
The Mexicans placed 
the border of Texas at 
the Nueces River and 
a line drawn thence in 
M northerly direction. 
President Polk, accept- 
ing thp Texan view of 
the controversy, ordered 
General Zachary Taj'- 
Ipr to move beyond the 
Nueces in defense of 
American sovereignty. 
This act of power, 
deemed by the Mexi- 
cans an invasion of their 
territory, was fotlowpcl by an attack on our troops. 

President Polk, not displeased with the turn of events, an- 
nounced that American blood had been " spilled on Ameri- 
can soil " and that war existed " by the act of Mexico." Con- 
gress, in a burst of patriotic fervor, brushed aside the protests 
of Ihose who deplored the conduct of the government as wanton 
aggression on a weaker nation and granted money and sup- 
plies to prosecute the war. The few Whi^ in the House of 
Representatives, who refused to vote in favor of taking up 


aims, accepted the inevitable with such good grace as they 
could command. All through the South and the West the 
war was popular. New England grumbled, but gave loyal, 
if not enthusiastic, support to a conflict precipitated by policies 
not of its own choosing. Only a handful of firm objectors 
held out. James Russell Lowell, in his Biglow Papers, flung 
scorn and sarcasm to the bitter end. 

The Outcome of the War. — The foregone conclusion was 
soon reached. General Taylor might have deUvered the 
fatal thrust from northern Mexico if politics had not inter- 
vened. Polk, anxious to avoid raising up another miUtary 
hero for the Whigs to nominate for President, decided to di- 
vide the honors by sending General Scott to strike a blow at 
the capital, Mexico City. The deed was done with speed and 
pomp and two heroes were lifted into presidential possibilities. 
In the Far West a third candidate was made, John C. Fremont, 
who, in codperation with Commodores Sloat and Stockton and 
General Kearney, planted the Stars and* Stripes on the Pacific 

In February, 1848, the Mexicans came to terms, ceding to 
the victor California, Arizona, New Mexico, and more — a 
domain greater in extent than the combined areas of France 
and Germany. As a salve to the wound, the vanquished 
received fifteen million dollars in cash and the cancellation of 
many claims held by American citizens. Five years later, 
through the negotiations of James Gadsden, a further ces- 
sion of lands along the southern border of Arizona and New 
Mexico was secured on payment of ten million dollars. 

General Taylor Elected President. — The ink was hardly 
dry upon the treaty that closed the war before " rough and 
ready" General Taylor, a slave owner from Louisiana, "a 
Whig," as he said, " but not an ultra Whig," was put forward 
as the Whig candidate for President. He himself had not voted 
for years and he was fairly innocent in matters poUtical. The 
tarijff, the currency, and internal improvements, with a mag- 
nifioent gesture he referred to the people's representatives in 


Congress, ofTeriiig to enforce the laws as made, if elected. 
Clay's followers mourned. Polk stormed but could not win 
even a renomination at the hands of the Democrats, So it 
came about that the hero of Buena Vista, celebrated for his 
laconic order, "Give 'em a little more grape. Captain Bragg," 
became President of the United States. 

The Pacific Coast and Utah 
Oregon. — Closely associated in the popular mind with the 
oonteEt about the aEFairs of Texas was a dispute with Great 
Britain over the poaa^-sion of territory in Oregon. In their 
presidential campaign of 1844, the Democrats had coupled 
with the slogan, " The Reannexation of Texas," two other 
cries, "The Reoccupation of Oregon," and "Fifty-four Forty 
or Fight." The last two slogans were founded on American 
discoveries and explorations in the Far Northwest. Their 
appearance in poHtics showed that the distant Oregon country, 
larger in area than New England, New York, and Pennsylvania 
combined, was at last receiving from the nation the attention 
which its importance warranted. 

Joint Occupation oW Settlement. — Both England and the 
United States had long laid claim to Oregon and in 1818 they 
had agreed to occupy the territory jointly — a contract which 
was renewed ten years later for an indefinite period. Under 
this plan, citizens of both countries were free to hunt and settle 
anywhere in the region. The vanguard of British fur tnider« 
and Canadian priests was enlarged by many new recruits, 
with Americans not far behind them, John Jacob Astor, the 
resourceful New York merchant, sent out trappers and hunters 
who established a trading post at Astoria in 1811. Some 
twenty years later, American missionaries — among them two 
very remarkable men, Jason Lee and Marcus Whitman — 
were preaching the gospel to the Indians. 

Through news from the fur traders and misaionariea, Eastern 
farmers heard of the fertile lands awaiting their plows on the 
Pacific slope ; those with the pioneering spirit made ready to 


take possession of the new country. In 1839 a band went 
around by Cape Horn. Four years later a great expedition 
went overland. The way once broken, others followed rapidly. 
As soon as a few settlements were well established, the pioneers 
held a mass meeting and agreed upon a plan of government, 
" We, the people of 
Oregon territory," 
runs the preamble 
to their compact, 
"for the purposes 
of mutual protec- 
tion and to secure 
peace and pros- 
perity among our- 
selves, agree to 
adopt the following 
laws and regula- 
tions until such 
time as the United 
States of America 
extend their juris- 
diction over us." 
Thus self -govern- 
ment made its way 
across the Rocky 

The Boundary 
Dispute with Eng- 
land Adjusted. — By this time it was evident that the boundaries 
of Oregon must be fixed. Having made the question an issue in 
his campaign, Polk, after his election in 1844, pressed it upon the 
attention of the country. In his inaugural address and his first 
message to Congress he reiterated the claim of the Democratic 
platform that " our title to the whole territory of Oregon is clear 
^^Xtd unquestionable." This pretension Great Britain firmly re- 
^^facted, leaving the President a choice between war andcompromise. 



Polk, already having the contest with Mexico o;i his ha 
sought and obtained a compromise. The British government, 
moved by a hint from the American minister, offered a settle- 
ment which would fix the boundary at the forty-ninth parallel 
instead of "fifty-four forty," and give it Vancouver Island. 
Polk speedily chose this way out of the dilemma. Instead of 
making the decision himself, however, and drawing up a treaty, 
he turned to the Senate for " counsel." As prearranged with 
party leaders, the advice was favorable to the plan. TTic 
treaty, duly drawn in 1846, waa ratified by the Senate after 
an acrimonious debate. " Oh! mountain that was delivered 
of a mouse," exclaimed Senator Benton, " thy name shall he 
fifty-four forty!" Thirteen years later, the southern part of 
the territory was admitted to the union as the state of Ore- 
gon, leaving the northern and eastern sections in the status of 
a territory'. 

California. — With the growth of the northweestem empire, 
dedicated by nature to freedom, the planting interests might 
have been content, had fortune not wrested from them the 
fair country of California. Upon this huge territory they had 
set their hearts. The mild climate and fertile soil seemed well 
siuted to slavery and the planters expected to extend their 
sway to the entire domain. California was a state of more than 
155,000 square miles^-about seventy times the size of the 
state of Delaware. It could readily be divided into five or six 
large states, if that became necessary to preserve the Southern 
balance of power. 

Early American Rehtions with California. — Time and tide, 
it seems, were not on the side of the planters. Already 
Americans of a far different type were invading the Pacific 
slope. Long before Polk ever dreamed of California, the 
Yankee with his cargo of notions had been around the Horn. 
Daring skippers had sailed out of New England harbors with 
a variety of goods, bent their course around SouthAmericato 
California, on to China and aroimd the world, trading as they 
went and leaving pots, pans, woolen cloth, guns, boots, shoes, 


salt fish, naval stores, and rum in their wake. " Home f 
Califoray ! " rang the cry in many a New England port as a I 
good captain let go his anchor on his return from the long trad- < 
ing voyage in the Pacific. 

The Overland Trails. — Not to be outdone by the mariners 
of the deep, western scouts searched for overland routes to the 
Pacific. Zebulon Pike, explorer and pathfinder, by his ex- 

-A Jp^ 



° w '■ 







•X. \ 1 





pedition into the Southwest during Jefferson's administration, 
had discovered the resources of New Spain and had shown his 
countrymen how easy it was to reach Santa F^ from the upper 
waters of the Arkansas River. Not long afterward, traders 
laid open the route, making Franklin, Missouri, and later Fort 
Leavenworth the starting point. Along the trail, once 8U> 
veyed, poured caravans heavily guarded by armed men against 
marauding Indians. Sand storms often wiped out all sigpa oC 


the route ; hunger and thirst did many a band of wagoners to 
death; but the lure of the game and the profits at the end 
kept the business thriving. Huge stocks of cottons, glass, 
hardware, and ammunition were drawn almost across the con- 
tinent to be exchanged at Santa F6 for fims, Indian blankets, 
silver, and mules ; and many a fortune was made out of the 

Americans in California. — Why stop at Santa F6? The 
question did not long remain unanswered. In 1829, Ewing 
Young broke the path to Los Angeles. Thirteen years later 
Fr&nont made the first of his celebrated expeditions across 
plain, desert, and mountain, arousing the interest of the entire 
country in the Far West. In the wake of the pathfinders went 
adventurers, settlers, and artisans. By 1847, more than one- 
fifth of the inhabitants in the Uttle post of two thousand on 
San Francisco Bay were from the United States. The Mexi- 
can War, therefore, was not the beginning but the end of the 
American conquest of California — a conquest initiated by 
Americans who went to till the soil, to trade, or to follow some 
mechanical pursuit. 

The Discovery of Gold. — As if to clinch the hold on Cali- 
fornia already secured by the friends of free soil, there came in 
1848 the sudden discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in the Sacra- 
mento Valley. When this exciting news reached the East, a 
mighty rush began to California, over the trails, across the 
Isthmus of Panama, and around Cape Horn. Before two 
years had passed, it is estimated that a hundred thou- 
sand people, in search of fortunes, had arrived in California 
— mechanics, teachers, doctors, lawyers, farmers, miners, and 
laborers from the four corners of the earth. 

California a Free State. — With this increase in population 
there naturally resulted the usual demand for admission to the 
union. Instead of waiting for authority from Washington, 
the Californians held a convention in 1849 and framed their 
constitution. With impatience, the delegates brushed aside 
the plea that '' the balance of power between the North and 


South " required the admission of their state as a slave com- 
monwealth. Without a dissenting voice, they voted in favor 
of freedom and boldly made their request for inclusion among 
the United States. President Taylor, though a Southern man, 
advised Congress to admit the applicant. Robert Toombs 
of Georgia vowed to God that he preferred secession. Henry 
Clay, the great compromiser, came to the rescue and m 1850 
California was admitted as a free state. 

Utah. — On the long road to California, in the midst of for- 
bidding and barren wastes, a rehgious sect, the Mormons, had 
planted a colony destined to a stormy career. Founded in 1830 
under the leadership of Joseph Smith of New York, the sect 
had suffered from many cruel buffets of fortune. From Ohio 
they had migrated into Missouri where they were set upon and 
beaten. Some of them were murdered by indignant neighbors. 
Harried out of Missouri, they went into Illinois only to see their 
director and prophet, Smith, first imprisoned by the authori- 
ties and then shot by a mob. Having raised up a cloud of en- 
emies on account of both their religious faith and their practice 
of allowing a man to have more than one wife, they fell in heart- 
ily with the suggestion of a new leader, Brigham Young, that 
they go into the Far West beyond the plains of Kansas — into 
the forlorn desert where the wicked would cease from troubling 
and the weary could be at rest, as they read in the Bible. In 
1847, Young, with a company of picked men, searched far and 
wide until he found a suitable spot overlooking the Salt Lake 
Valley. Returning to lUinois, he gathered up his followers, 
now numbering several thousand, and in one mighty wagon 
caravan they all went to their distant haven, 

Brigham YwiTig and His Economic System. — In Bri^uin 
Young the Mormons had a leader of remarkable power irtw 
gave direction to the redemption of the arid soil, the manage- 
ment of property, and the upbuilding of industry. He promised 
them to make the desert blossom as the rose, and verily he did 
it. He firmly shaped the enterprise of the colony along Of 
operative lines, holding down the speculator and profiteer with 


(me hand and giving encouragement to the industrious poor 
with the other. With the shrewdness befitting a good business 
man, he knew how to draw the Une between public and private 
interest. Land was given outright to each family, but great 
care was exercised in the distribution so that none should have 
great advantage over another. The purchase of suppUes and 
the sale of produce were carried on through a cooperative store, 
the profits of which went to the common good. Encountering 
for the first time in the history of the Anglo-Saxon race the 
problem of aridity, the Mormons surmounted the most perplex- 
ing obstacles with astounding skiU. They built urigation 
works by cooperative labor and granted water rights to all 
families on equitable terms. 

The Groicth of Industries. — Though farming long remained 
the major interest of the colony, the Mormons, eager to be 
selfnsupporting in every possible way, bent their efforts also to 
manufacturing and later to mining. Their missionaries, who 
hunted in the highways and byways of Europe for converts, 
never failed to stress the economic advantages of the sect. 
" We want,'' proclaimed President Young to all the earth, " a 
company of woolen manufacturers to come with machinery and 
take the wool from the sheep and convert it into the best clothes. 
We want a company of potters; we need them; the clay is 
ready and the dishes wanted. . . . We want some men to 
start a furnace forthwith ; the iron, coal, and molders are wait- 
ing. . . . We have a printing press and any one who can take 
good printing and writing paper to the Valley will be a blessing 
to themselves and the church." Roads and bridges were built ; 
millions were spent in experiments in agriculture and manufac- 
turing ; missionaries at a huge cost were maintained in the East 
and in Elurope; an army was kept for defense against the 
Indians ; and colonies were planted in the outlying regions. A 
historian of Deseret, as the colony was called by the Mormons, 
estimated in 1895 that by the labor of their hands the people 
had produced nearly half a biUion dollars in wealth since the 
ooming of the vanguard. 



Polygamy Forbidden. — The hope of the Mormons that they 
might forever remain undisturbed by outsiders was soon dashed 
to earth, for hundreds of farmers and artisans belonging to other 
religious sects came to settle among them. In 1850 the colony 
waa BO populous and prosperous that it was organized into a ter- 
ritory of the United States and brought under the supervision of 
the federal government. Protests a:gainat polygamy were raised 
in the eolony and at the seat of authority three thousand miles 
away at Washington. The new Republican party in 1856 pro- 
claimed it " the right and duty of Congress to prohibit in the 
Territories those twin relics of barbarism, polygamy and slav- 
ery." In due time the Mormons had to give up their mar- 
riage practices which were condemned by the common opinion 
of all western eivihaation ; but they kept their religious faith. 
Monuments to their early enterprise are seen in the Temple 
and the Tabernacle, the irrigation works, and the great wea^ 
of the Church. 


Summary of Western Development and Nationj 

While the statesmen of the old generation were solving the 
problems of their age, hunters, pioneers, and home seekers were 
preparing new problems beyond the Alleghanies. The West was 
rising in population and wealth. Between 1783 and 1829, 
eleven states were added to the original thirteen. AH but two 
were in the West. Two of them were in the Louisiana territorj" 
beyond the Mississippi. Here the process of colonization was 
repeated. Hardy frontier people cut down the forests, built 
log cabins, laid out farms, and cut roads through the wil- 
derness. They began a new civihzation just as the immi- 
grants to Virginia or Massachusetts had done two centuries 

Like the seaboard colonists before them, they too cherished 
the spirit of independence and power. They had not gone 
far upon their course before they resented the monopoly of the 
presidency by the East. In 1829 they actually sent one rf 


their own cherished leaders, Andrew Jackson, to the White 
House. Again in 1840, in 1844, in 1848, and in 1860, the 
Mississippi Valley could boast that one of its sons had been 
chosen for the seat of power at Washington. Its democratic 
temper evoked a cordial response in the towns of the East where 
the old aristocracy had been put aside and artisans had been 
given the ballot. 

For three decades the West occupied the interest of the 
nation. Under Jackson's leadership, it destroyed the second 
United States Bank. When he smote nullification in South 
Carolina, it gave him cordial support. It approved his policy 
of parceling out government oflSces among party workers — 
" the spoils system " in all its fullness. On only one point did 
it really dissent. The West heartily favored internal improve- 
ments, the appropriation of federal funds for highways, canals, 
and railways. Jackson had misgivings on this question and 
awakened sharp criticism by vetoing a road improvement bill. 

From their point of vantage on the frontier, the pioneers 
pressed on westward. They pushed into Texas, created a 
state, declared their indep)endence, demanded a place in the 
union, and precipitated a war with Mexico. They crossed the 
tracldess plain and desert, laying out trails to Santa F^, to 
Or^on, and to California. They were upon the scene when 
the Mexican War brought California under the Stars and Stripes. 
They had laid out their farms in the Willamette Valley when 
the slogan " Fifty-Four Forty or Fight " forced a settlement 
of the Or^on boundary. CaUfornia and Oregon were already 
in the union when there arose the Great Civil War testing 
whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated 
could long endure. 


G. P. Brown, Westward Expansion (American Nation Series). 

K. Coman, Economic Beginnings of the Far West (2 vols.)* 

F. Farkman, California and the Oregon Trail. 

R. 8. Rip^y, The War with Mexico. 

W. C. RiTee, The United SUUes and Mexico, 18ei-4S (2 vols.). 



1. Give flome of the special Features in the history of Misaouri, Ar- 
kansas, Michigan, WiscotisiD, Iowa, and Minnesota. 

2. Contrast the climate and soil of the Middle West and the Far West. 

3. How did Mexico at first encourage American immigration? 

4. What produced the revolution in Texaa? Who led in it? 

5. Narrate some of the leading events in the struggle over anne^iation 
to the United Sutes. 

6. What action by Pretiident Polk precipitat«l war? 

7. Give the details of the gieace settlement with Mexico. 

8. What is meant liy the "joint occupation" of Oregon? 

9. How was the Oregon boundary dispute finally settled? 

10. Compare the American "invasion" of California with the migra- 
tion into Texas. 

11. Explain how CaliforniH Iwcamc a free state, 

12. Describe the early economic |)oliey of the Murmoos. 

Research Topics 

The bidependence of Texas. — McMiister, Hialonj of the People qf Uu 
Unitfd State.!,. Vol, VI, pp. 251-270. « Woodrow Wilson, UUtory oj tkt 
American People. Vol, IV, pp, 102-126. 

The Annexation of Texas, — McMaster, Vol. VII. The paasagea on 
annexation are scattered through this volume and it is an exercise in in- 
genuity to make a connected !<tory of them. Source materials in Hart, 
Ameriain Hislonj Told by Cantcm-pararieB, Vol. III. pp. 637-055; EIikui, 
Hisiofii ,>f the ViUle'l Slaifn. pp, 5I6-S21, 526-527. 

The War with Mexico. — Elson, pp. 526-538. 

The Oregon Boimdar; Dispute. ^- Schafer, History of the Pacific North- 
w«( (rev. ed,), pp, 88-104; 173-1S5. 

The Migration to Oregon. — Schafer, pp. 105-172. Coman, Eeenmk 
Beginniugn of the Far Went. Vol. II, pp, 113-166. 

The Santa Fe Trail, — Coiiiaii, Economic Beginnings. Vol. II, pp. Tfi-OS- 

The Conquest of California. — Coman, Vol. II, pp. 297-319, 

Gold in Califoniia — M.Master, Vol. VII, pp. 585-614. 

The Mormon Migration — Coman, Vol. 11, pp. 167-206. 

Biographical Studies. — Fremont. Generals Scott and Taylor, StB 
Houston, and David Crockett. 




If JeflFerson could have lived to see the Stars and Stripes 
planted on the Pacific Coast, the broad empire of Texas added 
to the planting states, and the valley of the Willamette waving 
with wheat sown by farmers from New England, he would have 
been more than fortified in his faith that the future of America 
lay in agriculture. Even a stanch old Federalist like Gouver- 
neur Morris or Josiah Quincy would have mournfully conceded 
both the prophecy and the claim. Manifest destiny never 
seemed more clearly written in the stars. 

As the farmers from the Northwest and planters from the 
Southwest poured in upon the floor of Congress, the party of 
JeflFerson, christened anew by Jackson, grew stronger year by 
year. Opponents there were, no doubt, disgruntled critics and 
Whigs by conviction ; but in 1852 Franklin Pierce, the Demo- 
cratic candidate for President, carried every state in the union 
except Massachusetts, Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 
This victory, a triumph under ordinary circiunstances, was all 
the more significant in that Pierce was pitted against a hero of 
the Mexican War, Greneral Scott, whom the Whigs, hoping to 
win by rousing the martial ardor of the voters, had nomi- 
nated. On looking at the election returns, the new President 
calmly assured the planters that " the general principle of re- 
duction of duties with a view to revenue may now be regarded 
88 the settled policy of the country." With equal confidence, 
he waved aside those agitators who devoted themselve;^ " \f^ 



the supposed interests of the relatively few Airicans in the 
United States." Like a watchman in the night he called to 
the country : " All's well." 

The party of Hamitton and Clay lay in the dust. 

The Indubtriai. Revolution 

As pride often goeth before a fall, ao sanguine expectation is 
sometimes the symbol of defeat. Jackaon destroyed the bank. 
Polk signed the tariff bill of 1846 striking an effective blow at 
the principle of protection for manufactures. Pierce promised 
to silence the abolitionists. His successor was to approve a 
drastic step in the direction of free trade. Nevertheless all 
these things left untouched the springs of power that were in 
due time to make America the greatest industrial nation on the 
earth; namely, vast national resources, business enterprise, in- 
ventive genius, and the free labor supply of Europe. Unseen 
by the thoughtless, unrecorded in the diaries of wiseacres, rarely 
mentioned in the speeches of statesmen, there was swiftly rising 
such a tide in the affairs of America as Jefferson and Hamilton 
never dreamed of in their little philosophies. 

The Inventors. — Watt and Boulton experimenting with 
steam in England, Whitney combining wood and steel into a 
cotton gin, Fulton and Fitch appljTng the steam engine to 
navigation, Stevens and Peter Cooper trying out the " iron 
horse " on " iron highways," Slatf r building sp innin g mills in 
Pawtucket, Howe attaching the needle to the flying wheel, 
Morse spanning a continent with the telegraph, Cyrus Field 
linking the markets of the new world with the old along the 
bed of the Atlantic, McCormick breaking the sickle under the 
reaper — these men and a thousand more were destroying in a 
mighty revolution of industrj- the world of the stagecoBch 
and the tallow candle which Washington and Franklin had in- 
herited little changed from the age of Cssar. Whitney WM 
to make cotton king. Watt and Fulton were to make steel and 
steam masters of the world. Agriculture was to fall behind to 
the race for supremacy. 


Industry Outstrips Planting. — The story of invention, i 
tribute to the triiiraph of mind over matter, fascinating as a j 
romance, need not lie treated in detail here. The effects of I 
invention on social and pohtical life, multitudinous and never- 
ending, form the very warp and woof of American progress 
from the days of Andrew Jackson to the latest hour. Neither 
the great civil conflict — the clash of two systems — nor the 
problems of the modern age can be approached without aa- 
understanding of the striking phases of industrialism. 

I New Enoland Mil 

First and foremost among them was the upruah of mills I 
managed by captains of mdu'^try and manned bj labor drawn 
from farms cities and foreign lands For e\er\ planter who 
cleared a domain in the Southwest and gathered his army of 
bondmen about him there rose in the North a magician of 
steam and steel who collet fed under his roof an army of free  

In seven league boots this new giant strode ahead of tha | 
Southern giant Between 1S50 and 18')9 to use dollars and' J 
cents aa the measure of progress the value of domestic manUw I 







factures including mineB and fisheries roae from $1,019,106,616 
to $1,900,000,000, an increase of eighty-six per cent in ten years. 
In this same period the total production of naval stores, rice, 
sugar, tobacco, and cotton, the staples of the South, went only 
from $165,000,000, in round figures, to 1204,000.000. At the 
halfway point of the century, the capital invested in industry, 
commerce, and cities far exceeded the value of all the farm 
land between the Atlantic and the Pacific ; thus the course of 
economy had Iwtai reversed in fifty years. Tested by figures 
of production, King Cotton had shriveled by 1860 to a petty 
prince in comparison, for each year the captains of industrj' 
turned out goods worth nearly twenty times all the bales of 
cotton picked on Southern plantations. Iron, boots and shoes, 
and leather goods pouring from Northern mills surpassed in 
value the entire cotton output. 

The Agrarian West Turns to Industry. — Nor was this vast 
enterprise confined to the old Northeast where, as Madison had 
sagely remarked, commerce was early dominant. "Cincinnati," 
runs an official report in 1854, " appears to be a great central 
depot for ready-made clothing and its manufacture for the 
Western markets may be said tepfie one of the great trades of 
that city." There, wrote another traveler, " I heard the crack 
of the cattle driver's whip and the hum of the factory : the West 
and the East meeting." Louisville and St. Louis were already 
famous for their clothing trades and the manufacture of cotton 
baling. Five hundred of the two thousand woolen mills in 
the country in 1860 were in the Western states. Of the output 
of flour and grist mills, which almost reached in value the cotton 
crop of 1850, the Ohio Valley furnished a rapidly growing shaxe. 
The old home of Jacksonian democracy, where Federalists^nad 
been almost as scarce as monarchists, turned slowly backward, 
as the needle to the pole, toward the principle of protection for 
domestic industry, esptiuscd by Hamilton and defended by Clay. 

The Extension of Canals and Railways, — As neoeseary to 
mechanical industry as steel and steam power waB the great 
market, spread over a wide and diversified area and knit to- 


jther by efficient means of transportation. This service waa 
supplied to industry by the steamship, which began its career 
on the Hudson in 1807 ; by the canals, of which the Erie opened 
in 1825 was the most noteworthy ; and by the railways, which 
came into practical operation about 1830. 

With sure instinct the Eastern manufacturer reached out tar 
the markets of the Northwest territory where free farmere 
were producing annually staggering crops of corn, wheat, bacon, 
and wool. The two great canal systems — the Erie connecting 


FiBm an aid pT^at. 

New York City with the waterways of the Great Lakes and the 
Pennsylvania chain linking Philadelphia with the headwaters 
of the Ohio — gradually turned the tide of trade from New 
Orleans to the Eastern seaboard. The railways followed the 
same paths. By 1860, New York had rail connections with 
Chicago and St. Louis, one of the routes running through the 
Hudson and Mohawk valleys and along the Great Lakes, the 
other through Philadelphia and Pennsylvania and across the 
rich wheat fields of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Baltimore, 
to be outdone by her two rivals, reached out over the mountt 




for the Western trade and in 1857 had trains running into St. 

In railway enterprise the South took more intercBt than in 
canals, and the friends of that section came to its aid. To offset 
the magnet drawing trade away from the Mississippi Valley, 
lines were built from the Gulf to Chicago, the Illinois Central 
part of the project being a monument to the zeal and indus- 
try of a Democrat, better known in politics than in business, 
Stephen A. Douglas. The swift movement of cotton and to- 
bacco to the North or to seaports was of common concern to 
planters and manufacturers. Accordingly lines were flung 
down along the Southern coast, Unking Richmond, Charles- 
ton, and Savannah with the Northern markets. Other lines 
struck inland from the coast, giving a rail outlet to the sea 
for Raleigh, Columbia, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, and 
Montgomery. Nevertheless, in spite of this enterprise, the 
mileage of all the Southern states in 1860 did not equal that of 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois combined. 

Banking and Finance. — Out of commerce and manufactures 
and the construction and operation of railways came such an 
accumulation of capital in the Northern states as merchants 
of old never imagined. The banks of the four industrial states 
of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania 
in 1860 had funds greater than the banks in all the ©Aer 
states combined. New York City had become the money 
market of America, the center to which industrial companies, 
railway promoters, farmers, and planters turned for capital 
to initiate and carry on their operations. The banks of Louisi- 
ana, South Carolina, Georgia, and Vii^inia, it is true, had capi- 
tal far in excess of the banks of the Northwest ; but still they 
were relatively small compared with the financial institutions 
of the East. 

The Growth of the Industrial Population. — A revolution of 
such magnitude in industrj', transport, and finance, overturn- 
ing as it did the agrarian civilization of the old Northwest and 
reaching out to the very borders of the country, could not fail 


to bring in its train consequences of a striking character. Somftl 
were immediate and obvious. Others require a fullness of time \ 
not yet reached to reveal their complete significance. Out- I 
standing among them was the growth of an industrial popula- i 
tion, detached from the land, concentrated in cities, and, to | 
use Jefferson's phrase, dependent upon " the caprices and eaBu- 
alties of trade " for a livelihood. This was a result, as the great { 
Virginian had foreseen, which flowed inevitably from public j 
and private efforts to stimulate industry as against agriculture. I 

It was estimated in 1860, on the basis of the census figures, 
that mechanical production gave employment to 1,100,000 men 
and 28.5,000 women, making, if the average number of depend- 


enta upon them be reckoned, nearly six million people or 
about one-sixth of the population of the country sustained from 
nmuufactures. " This," runs the official record, " was exclusive 
of the number engaged in the production of many of the raw 
materials and of the food for manufacturers ; in the distribu- 
tion of their products, such as merchants, clerks, draymen, 
mariners, the employees of railroads, expresses, and steamboats ; 
of capitalists, various artistic and professional classes, as well 
as carpenters, bricklayers, painters, and the members of other 
mechanical trades not classed as manufactures. It is safe to 
assume, then, that one-third of the whole population issupported; 
directly, or indirectly, by manufacturing industry." Taking, 
however, the number of persons directly supported by maDU- 







factures, namely about six millions, reveals the astounding 
fact that the white laboring population, divorced from the 
soil, already exceeded the number of slaves on Southern farms 
and plantations. 

ImjnigToiion. — The more carefully the rapid growth of the 
industrial population is examined, the more surprising is the 
fact that such an immense body of free laborers could be found, 
particularly when it is recalled to what desperate straits the 
colonial leaders were put in securing immigrants,^ — slavery, 
indentured servitude, and kidnapping being the fruits of their 
necessities. The answer to the enigma is to be found partly 
in European conditions and partly in the cheapness of trans- 
portation after the opening of the era of steam navigation. 
Shrewd observers of th& course of events had long foreseen that 
a flood of cheap labor was bound to come when the way was 
made easy. Some, among them Chief Justice Ellsworth, went 
8o far aa to prophesy that white labor would in time be bo 
abundant that slavery would disappear as the more costly of 
the two labor systems. The processes of nature were aided 
by the policies of government in England and Germany. 

The Cominf/ of the Irish. — The opposition of the Irish people 
to the English government, ever furious and irrepressible, wa.s 
increased in the mid forties by an almost total failure of the 
potato crop, the main support of the peasants. Catholic in 
religion, they had been compelled to support a Protestant church. 
Tillers of the soil by necessity, they were forced to pay enormous 
tributes to absentee landlords in England whose claim to their 
estates rested upon the title of conquest and confiscation. In- 
tensely loyal to their race, the Irish were subjected in all thii^ 
to the Parliament at London, in which their small minority of 
representatives had little influence save in holding a balance of 
power between the two contending English parlies. To the 
constant political irritation, the potato famine added physical 
distress beyond description. In cottages and Gelds and along 
the highways the victims of starvation lay dead by the hundreds, 
the relief which charity afforded only bringing misery moie 


sharply to the for^round. Those who were fortunate enough 
to secure passage money sought escape to America. In 1844 
the total unmigration into the United States was less than 
eighty thousand ; in 1850 it had risen by leaps and bounds to 
more than three hundred thousand. Between 1820 and 1860 
the inmiigrants from the United Kingdom numbered 2^50,000, 
of whom more than one-half were Irish. It has been said with 
a touch of exaggeration that the American canals and railways 
of those days were built by the labor of Irishmen. 

The German Migration, — To political discontent and eco- 
nomic distress, such as was responsible for the coming of the 
Irish, may likewise be traced the source of the Germanic mi- 
gration. The potato blight that fell upon Ireland visited the 
Rhine Valley and Southern Germany at the same time with 
results as pitiful, if less extensive. The calamity inflicted by 
nature was followed shortly by another inflicted by the despotic 
conduct of German kings and princes. In 1848 there had oc- 
curred throughout Europe a popular uprising in behalf of re- 
publics and democratic government. For a time it rode on a 
full tide of success. Kings were overthrown, or compelled to 
promise constitutional government, and tyrannical ministers 
fled from their palaces. Then came reaction. Those who had 
championed the popular cause were imprisoned, shot, or driven 
out of the land. Men of attainments and distinction, whose 
sole offense was opposition to the government of kings and 
princes, sought an asylum in America, carrying with them to 
the land of their adoption the spirit of liberty and democracy. 
In 1847 over fifty thousand Germans came to America, the 
forerunners of a migration that increased, almost steadily, for 
many years. The record of 1860 showed that in the previous 
twenty years nearly a million and a half had found homes in 
the United States. Far and wide they scattered, from the 
mills and shops of the seacoast towns to the uttermost frontiers 
of Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The Labor of Women and Children. — If the industries, canals, 
and railways of the country were largely manned by foreign 





labor, still important native sources must not be overlooked ; 
above all, the women and children of the New England textile 
districts. Spinning and weaving, by a tradition that runs far 
beyond the written records of mankind, belonged to women. 
Indeed it was the dexterous housewives, spinsters, and boys and 
girls that laid the foundations of the textile industry in America, 
foundations upon which the mechanical revolution was built. 
As the wheel and loom were taken out of the homes to the fac- 
tories operated by water power or the steam engine, the women 
and, to use Hamilton's phrase^ " the children of tender years," 
followed asa matter of course. " The cotton manufacture alone 
employs six thousand persons in Lowell," wrote a French ob- 
server in 1836 ; " of this number nearly five thousand are young 
women from seventeen to twenty-four years of age, the daughters 
of farmers from the different New England states." It was 
not until after the middle of the century that foreign lands 
proved to be the chief source from which workers were recruited 
for the factories of New England. It was then that the daugh- 
ters of the Puritans, outdone by the competition of foreign 
labor, both of men and women, left the spinning jenny and the 
loom to other hands. 

The Rise of Organized Labor. — The changing conditions 
of American life, marked by the spreading mill towns of New 
England, New York, and Pennsylvania and the growth of cities 
like Buffalo, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Detroit, and 
Chicago in tile West, naturally brought changes, as Jefferson 
had prophesied, in "manners and morals." A few mechaniis, 
smiths, carpentetrs, and masons, widely scattered throu^ 
fanning regions and rural villages, raise no such problems 
as tens of thousands of workers collected in one center is 
daily intercourse, learning the power of cooperation and 

Even before the coming of steam and machinery, in the " good 
old days " of handicrafts, laborers in many trades — printen, 
shoemakers, carpenters, for example — had begun to draw to- 
gether in the towns for the advancement of their interests in 


the fonn of higher wages, shorter days, and milder laws. The 
shoemakers of Philadelphia, organized in 1794, conducted a 
strike in 1799 and held together until indicted seven years later 
for conspiracy. During the twenties and thirties, local labor 
unione sprang up in all industrial centers and they led almost 
immediately to city federations of the several crafts. 

As the thousands who were dependent upon their daily labor I 
for their livelihood mounted into the millions and industries [ 
spread across the continent, the local unions of craftsmen grew 
into national craft organizations bound together by the news- I 
papers, the telegraph, and the railways. Before 1S60 there | 
were several such national trade unions, including the plumbers, 
printers, mule spinners, iron molders, and stone cutters. All 
over the North labor leaders arose — men unknown to g 
history but forceful and resourceful characters who foiled links 
binding scattered and individual workers into a conunon broth- 
erhood. An attempt was even made in 1834 to federate all the 
crafts into a permanent national organization ; but it perished 
within three years through lack of support. Half a century 
had to elapse before the American Federation of Labor was to 
accomplish this task. 

All the manifestations of the modern labor movement had 
appeared, in germ at least, by the time the mid-century was 
reached : unions, labor leaders, strikes, a labor press, a labor 
political program, and a labor pohtical party. In every great 
city industrial disputes were a coimnon occurrence. The papers 
recorded about four hundred in two years, 1853-54, local 
affairs but forecasting economic struggles in a larger field. 
The labor press seems to have begun with the founding of the 
Mechanics' Free Press in Philadelphia in 1828 and the establish- 
ment of the New York Workingman's Advocate shortly after- 
ward. These semi-political papers were in later years followed 
by regular trade papers designed to weld together and advance 
the interests of particular crafts. Edited by able leaders, these 
little sheets with limited circulation wielded an t 
Suence in the ranks of the workers. 



Labor and Politics, — As for the political program of labor, 
tlie main planka were clear and specific : the abolition of im- 
prisonment for debt, manhood suffrage in states where property- 
qualifications still prevailed, free and universal education, 
lawa protecting the safety and health of workers in mills and 
factories, abolition of lotteries, repeal of lawa requiiing militia 
service, and free land in the West. 

Into the labor papers and platforms there sometimes crept 
a note of hostility to the masters of industry, a sign of bitterness 
that excited little alarm while cheap land in the West was open 
to the discontented. The Philadelphia workmen, in issuing 
a call for a local convention, invited " all those of our fellow 
citizens who hve by their own labor and none other." In New- 
castle county, Delaware, the association of working people com- 
plained in 1830 : " The poor have no laws ; the laws are made 
by the rich and of course for the rich." Here and there an 
extremist went to the length of advocating an equal division 
of wealth among all the people — the crudest kind of com- 

Agitation of this character produced in labor circles pro- 
found distrust of both Whigs and Democrats who talked prin- 
cipally about tariffs and banks ; it resulted in attempts to found 
independent labor parties. In Philadelphia, Albany, New York 
City, and New England, labor candidates were put up for 
elections in the early thirties and in a few cases were victorioua 
at the polls. " The balance of power has at length got into 
the hands of the working people, where it properly belongs," 
triumphantly exclaimed the Mechanics' Free Press of Philadel- 
phia in 1829. But the triumph was illusory. Dissensions 
appeared in the labor ranks. The old party leaders, particu- 
larly of Tammany Hall, the Democratic parly oi^anization in 
New York City, offered concessions to labor in return for votes. 
Newspapers unsparingly denounced " trade union politicians" 
as "demagogues," "levellers," and "rag, tag, and bobtaO"; 
and some of them, deeming labor unrest the sour fruit of 
manhood suffrage, suggested disfranchisement as a 


Under the influence of concessions and attacks the political 
fever quickly died away, and the end of the decade left no 
remnant of the labor political parties. Labor leaders turned to 
a task which seemed more substantial and practical, that of 
organizing workingmen into craft unions for the definite pur- 
pose of raising wages and reducing hours. 

The Industrial Revolution and National Poutics 

Souflieni Plans for Union with the West. — It was long the 
design of Southern statesmen like Calhoun to hold the West and 
the South together in one political party. The theory on which 
they based their hope was simple. Both sections were agricul- 
tural — the producers of raw materials and the buyers of manu- 
factured goods. The planters were heavy purchasers of West- 
em bacon, pork, mules, and grain. The Mississippi River 
and its tributaries formed the natural channel for the trans- 
portation of heavy produce southward to the plantations and 
outward to Europe. Therefore, ran their political reasoning, 
the interests of the two sections were one. By standing to- 
gether in favor of low tariffs, they could buy their manufac- 
tures cheaply in Europe and pay for them in cotton, tobacco, 
and grain. The union of the two sections under Jackson's 
management seemed perfect. 

The East Forms Ties with the West. — Eastern leaders were 
not blind to the ambitions of Southern statesmen. On the 
contrary, they also recognized the importance of forming strong 
ties with the agrarian West and drawing the produce of the 
Ohio Valley to Philadelphia and New York. The canals and 
railways were the physical signs of this economic union, and 
the results, conamercial and political, were soon evident. By 
the middle of the century, Southern economists noted the change, 
one of them, De Bow, lamenting that " the great cities of 
the North have severally penetrated the interior with artificial 
lines until they have taken from the open and untaxed current 
of the Mississippi the commerce produced on its borders.** To 
this writer it was an astounding thing to behold " the number 


of Bteamers that now denoend the upper Mississippi River, 
loaded to the piarda with produce, as far as the mouth of the 
Illinois River and then turn up that stream with their cargoes 
to be shipped to New York via Chicago. The Illinois canal 
has not only swept the whole produce along the line of the Illi- 
nois River to the East, but it is drawing the products of the 
upper Mississippi through the same channel ; thus deprivinc 
New Orleana and St. Louis of a rich portion of their former 

If to any shippers the broad current of the great river sweep- 
ing down to New Orleans offered easier means of physical com- 
munication to the sea than the canals and railways, the differ- 
ence could be overcome by the credit which Eastern bankers 
were able to extend to the grain and produce buyers, in the first 
instance, and through them to the farmers on the soil. The 
acute Southern observer just quoted, De Bow, admitted with 
evident regret, in 1852, that " last autumn, the rich regions of 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were flooded with the local bank 
notes of the Eastern States, advanced by the New York houses 
on produce to be shipped by way of the canals in the spring. . . . 
These moneyed facihties enable the packer, miller, and specula- 
tor to hold on to their produce until the opening of navigation 
in the spring and they are no longer obliged, as formerly, t« 
hurry off their shipments during the winter by the way of New 
Orleans in order to realize fimds by drafts on their shipments. 
The banking facihties at the East are doing as much to draw 
trade from us as the canals and railways which Eastern capital 
is constructing." Thus canals, railways, and financial credit 
were swiftly forging bonds of union between the old home of 
Jacksonian Democracy in the West and the older home of Fed- 
eralism in the East. The nationalism to which Webster paid 
eloquent tribute became more and more real with the passing 
of time. The self-sufficiency of the pioneer was broken down 
as he began to watch the produce markets of New York and 
Philadelphia where the prices of corn and hog.s fixed his earnings 
for the year. 


I The West and Manufactures. — In additiou to the com- 
mercial bonds between the East and the West there was grow- 
ing up a common interest in manuiactures. Aa skilled white 
labor increased in the Ohio Valley, the industries springing 
up in the new cities made Western hfe more like that of the 
industrial East than like that of the planting South. More- 
over, the Western states produced some important raw materials 
for American factories, which called for protection against for- 
agn competition, notably, wool, hemp, and flax. As the South 
had httle or no foreign competition in cotton and tobacco, the 
East could not offer protection for her raw materials in exchange 
for protection for industries. With the West, however, it became 
possible to establish reciprocity in tariffs ; that is, for example, 
to trade a high rate on wool for a high rate on textiles or iron. 

The South Dependent on the North. — While East anij' 
West were drawing together, the distinctions between North 
and South were becoming more marked ; the latter, having 
few industries and producing httle save raw materials, was 
being forced into the position of a dependent section. As 
a result of the protective tariff, Southern planters were com- 
pelled to turn more and more fo Northern mills for their 
cloth, shoes, hats, hoes, plows, and machinery. Nearly all 
the goods which they bought in Europe in exchange for their 
produce came oversea.s to Northern ports, whence trans- 
shipments were made by rail and water to Southern points 
of distribution. Their rice, cotton, and tobacco, in as far aa 
they were not carried to Europe in British bottoms, were trans- 
ported by Northern masters. In these ways, a large part of 
the financial operations connected with the sale of Southern 
produce and the purchase of goods in exchange passed into the 
hands of Northern merchants and bankers who, naturally, 
made profits from their transactions. Finally, Southern 
planters who wanted to buy more land and more slaves on 
credit borrowed heavily in the North where huge accumul^ 
tions made the rates of interest lower than the smaller b( 
of the South could afford. 


;om- I 


Tha South Reckons tfio Cott of Boonomic. Dependence.— 

Ab Southern dq>endeiioe upon Northern oapital became more 
and more marked, Southern leaders began to chafe. at idiat 
they regarded as restraints laid upon their enterpiiaa In a 
word, they came to look upon the planter as a tribute-bearw 
to the manufacturer and financier. " The South," enpostu- 
lated De Bow, " stands in the attitude of feeding ... a vast 
population of [Northern] merchants, shipowners, capatalists, 
and others who, without claims on her progeny, drink up the 
life blood of her trade. . . .. Where goes the value of our 
labor but to those who, taking advantage of our folly, ship 
for us, buy for us, sell to us, and, after turning our own capi- 
tal to their profitable account, return laden vrjth our mpotigr * 
to enjoy their easily earned opulence at home." 

Southern statisticians, not satisfied with generalitieB, at- 
tempted w figure out how great was this tribute in doUars and 
cents. They estimated that the planters annually lent to North- • 
ern merchants the full value of their exports, a hundred mil- 
lions or more, '' to be used in the manipulation of foreign im- 
ports." They calculated that no less than forty millions all 
told had been paid to shipowners in profits. They reckoned 
that, if the South were to work up her own cotton, she would 
realize from seventy to one hundred millions a year that other- 
wise went North. Finally, to cap the climax, they regretted 
that planters spent some fifteen millions a year pleasure-seek- 
ing in the alluring cities and summer resorts of the North. 

Southern Opposition to Northern Policies. — Proceeding 
from these premises, Southern leaders drew the logical conclu- 
sion that the entire program of economic measures demanded 
in the North was without exception adverse to Southern 
interests and, by a similar chain of reasoning, injurious to 
the corn and wheat producers of the West. Cheap labor af- 
forded by free immigration, a protective tarifiF raising prioeB 
of manufactures for the tiller of the soil, ship subsidies index- 
ing the tonnage of carrying trade in Northern hands, internal 
improvements forging new economic bonds between the Eart 


he West, & national banking system giving strict national 
ol over the currency as a safeguard against paper infla- 
— all these devices were regarded in the South as con- 
to the planting interest. They were constantly com- 
l with the restrictive measures by which Great Britain 
than half a century before had sought to bind American 

oppression justified a war for independence once, states- 
argued, so it can justify it again. " It is curious as it is 
icholy and distressing,'' came a broad hint from South 
ina, " to see how striking is the analogy between the 
ial vassalage to which the manufacturing states have 
ed the planting states and that which formerly boimd the 
KAmerican colonies to the British empire. . . . Eng- 
udd to her American colonies : * You shall not trade with 
3st of the world for such manufactures as are produced 
e mother country.' The manufacturing states say to 
Southern colonies : ' You shall not trade with the rest of 
orld for such manufactures as we produce.' " The con- 
n was inexorable: either the South must control the 
lal government and its economic measures, or it must de- 
as America had done four score years before, its politi- 
ttd economic independence. As Northern mills multi- 
as railways spun their mighty web over the face of the 
L, and as accumulated capital rose into the hundreds of 
ns, the conviction of the planters and their statesmen 
ned into desperation. 

wts to Start Southern Industries Fail. — A few of them, 
; the predominance of the North, made determined efforts 
roduce manufactures into the South. To the leaders who 
iverse to secession and nullification this seemed the only 
ly for the growing disparity in the power of the two 
Q8. Societies for the encouragement of mechanical in- 
es were formed, the investment of capital was sought, and 
1 a few mills were built on Southern soil. The results were 
sr. The natural resources, coal and water power, were 



abundant; but the enterprise for direction and the skilled i 
labor were wanting. The stream of European immigration 
flowed North and West, not South. The Irish or German 
laborer, even if he finally made his home in a city, had before 
him, while in the North, the alternative of a homestead on 
Western land. To him slavery was a strange, if not a re- 
pelling, institution. He did not take to it kindly nor care to 
fix his home where it flourished. While slavery lasted, the econ- 
omy of the South was inevitably agricultural. While agri- 
culture predominated, leadership with equal necessity fell 
to the planting interest. While the planting interest ruled, 
political opposition to Northern economy was destined to grow 
in strength. 

The Southern Theory of Sectionalism. — In the opinion of 
the statesmen who frankly represented the planting interest, 
the industrial system waa its deadly enemy, Their entire 
philosophy of American politics waa summed up in a single 
paragraph by McDuflie, a spokesman for South Carolina : 
" Owing to the federative character of our government, the 
great geographical extent of our territory, and the diversity 
of the pursuits of our citizens in different parts of the union, 
it has so happened that two great interests have sprung up, 
standing directly opposed to each other. One of these con- 
sists of those manufactures which the Northern and Middle 
states are capable of producing but which, owing to the high 
price of labor and the high profits of capital in those states, 
cannot hold competition with foreign manufacturea without 
the aid of bounties, directly or indirectly given, either by the 
general government or by the state govemraents. The other 
of these interests consists of the great agricultural staples of 
the Southern states which can find a market only in foreign 
coimtries and which can be advantageously sold only in ex- 
change for foreign manufactures which come in competition 
with those of the Northern and Middle states. . . . These 
interests then stand diametrically and irreconcilably opposed 
^o each other. The interest, the pecuniary interest of the 


Northern manufacturer, is directly promoted by every in- 
crease of the taxes imposed upon Southern commerce ; and it 
is unnecessary to add that the interest of the Southern planter 
is promoted by every diminution of taxes imposed upon the 
productions of their industry. If, under these circumstances, 
the manufacturers were clothed with the power of imposing 
taxes, at their pleasure, upon the foreign imports of the planter, 
no doubt would exist in the mind of any man that it would 
liave all the characteristics of an absolute and unqualified 
despotism." The economic soundness of this reasoning, a sub- 
ject of interesting speculation for the economist, is of little 
concern to the historian. The historical point is that this 
opinion was widely held in the South and with the progress of 
time became the prevaiUng doctrine of the planting states- 

Their antagonism was deepened because they also became 
convinced, on what grounds it is not necessary to inquire, that 
the leaders of the industrial interest thus opposed to planting 
formed a consolidated "aristocracy of wealth," bent upon 
the pursuit and attainment of political power at Washington. 
" By the aid of various associated interests," continued Mc- 
Duffie, " the manufacturing capitalists have obtained a com- 
plete and permanent control over the legislation of Congress 
on this subject [the tariff]. . . . Men confederated together 
upon selfish and interested principles, whether in pursuit of the 
offices or the bounties of the government, are ever more active 
and vigilant than the great majority who act from disinter- 
ested and patriotic impulses. Have we not witnessed it on this 
floor, sir? Who ever knew the tariff men to divide on any 
question affecting their confederated interests? . . . The 
watchword is, stick together, right or wrong upon every ques- 
tion affecting the common cause. Such, sir, is the concert 
and vigilance and such the combinations by which the manu- 
facturing party, acting upon the interests of some and the 
prejudices of others, have obtained a decided and permanent 
control over public opinion in all the tariff states." Tlv\^^ 



aa the Southern statesman would have it, the North, in matters 
affecting na^tional pohcies, was ruled by a " confederated in- 
terest " which menaced the planting interest. As the former 
grew in magnitude and attached to itself the free farmers of 
the West through channels of trade and credit, it followed 
as night the day that in time the planters would be over- 
shadowed and at length overborne in the struggle of giants. 
Whether the theory was soimd or not, Southern statesmen be- 
lieved it and actiwl upon it. 

M. Beard, Short Hinlory of Ihe American Labor Moeemenl. 
E. L. Bogort, Economic Hintury of Ike United Staler. 
3. R. Commons, HUlonj of Lohmcr in the United Stales (2 vols.]. 
E. R. Johnson, American Railway Tra'isporlalion. 
C. D. Wright, Industrial Evolution of Ihe United States. 


1. What signs pointed to a complete Democratic triumph In 1852T 

2. What is the explunation of the extraordinary industrial progress of 

. Compare the planting syat^m with the factory system. 
, 111 what sections did iiiduBtry flourish before the Civil War? WhyT 
. Show why transportation ia so vital to modem industry and agri- 

6. Explain how it was posailtle to secure so many people to labor ia 
American industries. 

7. Trace the steps in the rise of organised labor before 1S60. 

8. What political and economio refonns did labor denund? 

9. Why did the East and the South seek closer ties with the Weat? 

10. Describe the economic forces which were drawing the East and the 
J West together. 

11. In what way was the South economically dependent upon tlie 
^ North? 

12. State the iialioiial [joUties generally favored in the North and con- 
^ demned in the South. 

13. Show how wonomic conditions in the Suuth were unfavorable to 
I industry. 

14. Give the Southern explanation of the antagonism beCweea ibo 
L Korth and the South, 


Research Topics 

The Inveiitions. — Assign one to each student. Satisfactory accounts 
are to be found in any good encyclopedia, especially the Britannica. 

Rhrer and Lake Commerce. — Callender, Economic History of the 
Uniied States, pp. 313-326. 

Railways and Canals. — Callender, pp. 32&-344; 359-3S7. Coman, 
Industrial History of the United Stales^ pp. 216-225. 

The Growth of Industry, 1815-1840. — Callender, pp. 459-471. From 
1850 to I860, Callender, pp. 471-486. 

Early Labor Conditions. — Callender, pp. 701-718. 

Early Imniigration. — Callender, pp. 719-732. 

Clay's Home Market Theory of the Tariff. — Callender, pp. 498-503. 

The New England View of the Tariff. — Callender, pp. 503-514. 



Jame3 Madison, the father of the federal Constitution, after 
he had watched for many days the battle royal in the national 
convention of 1787, exclaimed that the contest was not be- 
tween the large and the aniall states, but between the com- 
mercial North and the planting South. From the inaugura- 
tion of Washington to the election of Lincoln the sectional 
conflict, discerned by this penetrating thinker, exercised a 
profound influence on the course of American politics. It was 
latent during the " era of good feeling " when the Jeffersonian 
Republicans adopted Federalist policies ; it Samcd up in the 
contest between the Democrats and Whigs. Finally it raged 
in the angry political quarrel which culminated in the Civil 

Slavert — North and South 

The Decline of Slavery in the North. — At the time of the 
adoption of the Constitution, slavery was lawful in all the 
Northern states except Massachusetts, There were almost 
as many bondmen in New York as in Georgia. New Jersey 
had more than Delaware or Tennessee, indeed nearly as many 
as both combined. All told, however, there were only about 
forty thousand in the North aa against nearly seven hundred 
thousand in the South. Moreover, most of the Northern 
slaves were domestic servants, not laborers necessary to keep 
mills going or fields under cultivation. 

There was, in the North, a steadily growing moral sentiment 
against the system. Massachusetts abandoned it in 1780. 
In the same year, Pennsylvania provided for gradual emanci- 
pation. New Hampshire, where there had been only a hatli- 
I 3^^ ^ 


il, Connecticut with a few thousand domestics, and New 
;rsej' early followed these examples. New York, in 1799, 
eelared that all children born of slaves after July 4 of that 
sar should be free, though held for a term as apprentices; 
ad in 1827 it swept away the last vestiges of slavery. So with 
le passing of the generation that had framed the Constitution, 
lattel servitude disappeared in the commercial states, leav- 
ig behind only such discriminations as disfranchisement or 
igh property qiialifications on colored voters. 

The Growth of Northern Sentiment against Slavery. — 
)th sections of the country there early existed, among those 
ore or less philosophically inclined, a strong opposition to 
avery on moral as well as economic grounds. In the con- 
itutional convention of 1787, Gouvemeur Morris had vig- 
■ously condemned it and proposed that the whole country 
lould bear the cost of abolishing it. About the same time 

society for promoting the abolition of slavery, under the 
■esidency of Benjamin Franklin, laid before Congress a pe- 
tion that serious attention be given to the emahcipation of 
those unhappy men who alone in this land of freedom are 
^aded into perpetual bondage." When Congress, acting 
1 the recommendations of President Jefferson, provided for 
le abolition of the foreign slave trade on January 1, 1808, 
veral Northern members joined vrith Southern members in 
mdemning the system as well as the trade. Later, coloniza- 
:»n societies were formed to encourage the emancipation of 
ives and their return to Africa. James Madison was presi- 
mt and Henry Clay vice president of such an organization. 

The anti-slavery sentiment of which these were the signs 
as nevertheless confined to narrow circles and bore no trace 

bitterness. " We consider slavery your calamity, not your 
ime," wrote a distinguished Boston clergj'man to his South- 
n brethren, " and we will share with you the burden of putting 
1 end to it. We will consent that the pubhc lands shall be 
ipropriatcd to this object. ... I deprecate everything 
hich sows discord and exasperating sectional animosities." 


Uncompromismg Abolition. — Id a little while the spirit 
of generosity was gone. Just as Ja^kBoniaii Democracy roae 
to power there appeared a new kind of anti-slavery doctrine 
- the dogmatism of the abolition agitator. For mild specu- 
lation on the evils of the system was substituted an imperious 
and belligerent demand for instant emancipation. If a date 
must be fixed for its appearance, the year 1831 may be taken 
when William Lloyd Garrison founded in Boston hia anti- 
slavery paper, The Liberator. With singleness of purpose and 
utter contempt for all opposing opinions and arguments, he 
pursued his course of passionate denunciation. He apologised 
for having ever " assented to the popular but pernicious doc- 
trine of gradual abolition." He chose for his motto: "Im- 
mediate and unconditional emancipation!" He promised 
his readers that he would be " harsh as truth and uncom- 
promising as justice " ; that he would not " think or speak or 
write with moderation." Then he flung out hia defiant call: 
" I ain in earnest — I will not equivocate — 1 will not excuse 
— I will not retreat a single inch — and I will be heard. ..^^ 

' Such is the vow I take, so help me God.' " ^^| 

Though Garrison complained that " the apathy of the 
people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal," 
he soon learned how aUve the masses were to the meaning of 
his propaganda. Abolition orators were stoned in the street 
and hissed from the platform. Their meeting places were often 
attacked and sometimes burned to the ground. Garrisoa 
himself was assaulted in the streets of Boston, finding refuge 
from the angry mob behind prison bars. Lovejoy, a pui^ 
Usher in Alton, Illinois, for his willingness to give abolititHi % 
fair hearing, was brutally murdered ; his printing press ms 
broken to pieces as a warning to all those who disturbed diB 
nation's peace of mind. The South, doubly frightened by s 
slave revolt in 1831 which ended in the murder of a number of 
men, women, and children, closed all discussion of elavefy ia 


b section. " Now, " exclaimed Calhoun, " it 18 a questia 
bich admits of neither concession nor compromise," 
As the opposition hardened, the anti-slavery agitation I 
gathered in force and intensity. Whittier blew his blast from. I 
^^ New England hills : 

" No slave-hunt in our borders — no pirate on our strand ; 
No fetters in the Bay State — no slave upon our land." 

LoweU, looking upon the espousal of a great cause as the 
noblest aim of his art, ridiculed and excoriated bondage in the 
South, Those abolitionists, not gifted as speakers or writers, 
signed petitions against slavery and poured them in upon Con- 
groBs. The flood of them was so continuous that the House 
of Representatives, forgetting its traditions, adopted in 1836 
a " gag rule " which prevented the reading of appeals and con- 
signed them to the waste Iiaskct. Not until the Whigs were 
in power nearly ten years later was John Quincy Adams able, 
after a relentless campaign, to carry a motion rescinding the 

How deep was the impression made upon the country by this 
agitation for immediate and unconditional emancipation can- 
not be measured. If the popular vote for those candidates 
who opposed not slavery, but its extension to the territories, 
b[> taken as a standard, it was slight indeed. In 1844, the 
Free Soil candidate. Bimey, polled 62,000 votes out of over a 
million and a half; the Free Soil vol« of the next campaign 
went beyond a quarter of a million, but the increase was due 
ta the strength of the leader, Martin Van Buren; four years 
afterward it receded to 156,000, alfnrding all the outward 
signs for the belief that the pleas of the abolitionist found no 
widespread response among the people. Yet the agitation 
UDdoubt«dly ran deeper than the ballot box. Young states- 
men of the North, in whose hands the destiny of frightful 
I was to he, found their infliffereni'e to slavery broken 

||11ieir consciences stirre<l by the unending appeal and the 
I ittteretion. Charles Sumner afterward boasted that 


he read the Liberator two years before Wendell Phillips, the 
young Boston lawyer who cast aside his profession to take up 
the dangerous cause. 

Early Southern Opposition to Slavery. — In the Soutii, 
the sentiment against slavery was strong ; it led some to be- 
lieve that it would also come to an end there in due time, 
Washington disliked it and directed in his will that his own 
slaves should be set free after the death of his wife. Jeffer- 
son, looking into the future, condemned the system by which 
he also lived, saying : " Can the liberties of a nation be thoi^ht 
secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a convic- 
tion in the minds of the people that their liberties are the gift 
of God? Are they not to be violated but with His wrath? 
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is 
just ; that His justice cannot sleep forever." Nor did South- 
ern men confine their sentiments to expressions of academic 
opinion. They accepted in 17S7 the Ordinance which excluded 
slavery from the Northwest territory forever and also the 
Missouri Compromise, which shut it out of a vast section of 
the Louisiana territory. 

The Revolution in the Slave System. — Among the repre- 
sentatives of South Carolina and Georgia, however, the anti- 
slavery views of Washington and Jefferson were by no means 
approved ; and the drift of Southern economy was decidedly 
in favor of extending and perpetuating, rather than abolishing, 
the system of chattel servitude. The invention of the cotton 
gin and textile machinery created a market for cotton which 
the planters, with aU their skill and energy, could hardly supply. 
Almost every available acre was brought under cotton cultiu« 
as the small farmers were driven steadily from the seabowd 
into the uplands or to the Northwest. 

' The demand for slaves to till the swiftly expanding Selda WW 
enormous. The number of bondmen rose from 700,000 in 
Washington's day to more than three millions in 1850. At 
the same time slavery itself was transformed. Instead of Uk 
homestead where the same family of masters kept the aune 


families of slaves from generation to generation, came the 
plantation system of the Far South and Southwest where 
masters were ever moving and ever extending their holdinge 
of lands and slaves. This in tm-n reacted on the older South 
where the raising of slaves for the market became a regular and i 
highly profitable business. I 

SUvery Defended as a Positive Good. — As the abohtion 
agitation increased and the planting system expanded, apol- 
ogies for slavery became 
fainter and fainter in the 
South. Then apologies were 
superseded by claims that 
slavery was a beneficial 
scheme of labor control, 
Calhoun, in a famous speech 
in the Senate in 1837, 
Bounded the new note by 
declaring slaverj' "insteail 
of an evil, a good — a po.-^!- 
ti\'e good." His reasoning 
was as follows: in every 
civilized society one portion 
of the community must live 
on the labor of another ; 
learning, science, and the 
arts are buUt upon leisure ; 
the African slave, kindly 

trGat«d by his master and mistress and looked after in tiis old 
age, 18 better off than the free laborers of Europe; and under 
the slave system conflicts between capital and labor are avoided. 
The ad^'antages of slavery in this respect, he concluded, " will 
beootne more and more manifest, if left undisturbed by int^w 
ference from without, as the country advances in wealth as^ 

Slave Owners Dominate Politics. — The new d^trine of 
Calhoun was eagerly seized by the planters as they came mQi:% 




and more to overshadow the small farmers of the South and as 
they beheld the menace of abolition growing upon the hori- 
zon. It formed, as they viewed matters, a moral defense for 
their labor system — sound, logical, invincible. It wai^ 
ranted them in drawing together for the protection of an in- 
stitution so necessary, so inevitable, so beneficent. 

Though in 1850 the slave owners were only about three 
hundred and fifty thousand in a national population of nearly 
twenty miUion whites, they had an influence all out of pro- 
portion to their numbers. They were knit together by the 
bonds of a conunon interest. They had leisure and wealth. 
They could travel and attend conferences and conventions. 
Throughout the South and largely in the North, they had the 
press, the schools, and the pulpits on their side. They formed, 
as it were, a mighty union for the protection and advance- 
ment of their common cause. Aided by those mechanics and 
farmers of the North who stuck by Jacksonian Democracy 
through thick and thin, the planters became a power in the 
federal government. " We nominate Presidents," exultantly 
boasted a Richmond newspaper ; " the North elects them." 

This jubilant Southern claim was conceded by William H. 
Seward, a Republican Senator from New York, in a speech 
describing the power of slavery in the national government. 
" A party," he said, " is in one sense a joint stock association, 
in which those who contribute most direct the action and 
management of the concern. . . . The slaveholders, con- 
tributing in an overwhelming proportion to the strength of 
the Democratic party, necessarily dictate and prescribe its 
policy." He went on: ^' The slaveholding class has become 
the governing power in each of the slaveholding states and it 
practically chooses thirty of the sixty-two members of the 
Senate, ninety of the two hundred and thirty-three members 
of the House of Representatives, and one hundred and five 
of the two hundred and ninety-five electors of President and 
Vice-President of the United States." Then he considered the 
slave power in the Supreme Court. ** That tribunal," he ex- 



claimed, " consists of a chief justice and eight associate jus- 
tices. Of these, five were called from slave states and four I 
from free states. The opinions and bias of each of them were 
carefully considered by the President and Senate when he was ' | 
appointed. Not one of them was found wanting in sound- 
ness of politics, according to the slaveholder's exposition of the 
Constitution." Such was the Northern view of the planting 
interest that, from the arena of national politics, challenged 
the whole country in 1860. 

Slavehy in National Politics 
National Aspects of Slavery. — It may be asked why it was 
that slavPFj', founded originally on state law and subject to 
state government, was drawn into the current of national af- 
fairs, The answer is simple. There were, in the first place, 
constitutional reasons. The Congress of the United States 
had to make all needful rules for the government of the ter- 
ritories, the District of Columbia, the forts and other prop- 
erty under national authority ; so it was compelled to deter- 
mine whether slavery should exist in the places subject to its 
jurisdiction. Upon Congress was also conferred the power of I 
admitting new states; whenever a territory asked for admis- 
sion, the issue could be raised as to whether slavery should 
be sanctioned or excluded. Under the Constitution, provision i 
was made for the return of runaway slaves ; Congress had the 
power to enforce this clause by appropriate legislation. Since 
the control of the post office was vested in the federal govern- 
ment, it had to face the problem raised by the transmission of 
abolition literature through the mails. Finally citizens had the 
right of petition ; it inheres in all free government and it is 
expressly guaranteed by the first amendment to the Constitu- 
tion. It was therefore legal for abolitionists to present to 
Congress their petitions, even if they asked for something which i 
,it had no right to grant, It was thus impossible, constitution- 
ally, to draw a cordon around the slavery issue and confine the 
discussion of it to state politics. 


There were, in the second place, economic reasons why 
slavery was inevitably drawn into the national sphere. It 
was the basis of the planting system which had direct com- 
mercial relations with the North and Emx)pean countries; 
it was affected by federal laws respecting tariffs, bomities, 
ship subsidies, banking, and kindred matters. The planters 
of the South, almost without exception, looked upon the pro- 
tective tariff as a tribute laid upon them for the benefit of 
Northern industries. As heavy borrowers of money in the 
North, they were generally in favor of " easy money," if not 
paper currency, as an aid in the repayment of their debts. This 
threw most of them into opposition to the Whig program for a 
United States Bank. All financial aids to American shipping 
they stoutly resisted, preferring to rely upon the cheaper serv- 
ice rendered by English shippers. Internal improvements, 
those substantial ties that were binding the West to the East 
and turning the traffic from New Orleans to Philadelphia and 
New York, they viewed with alarm. Free homesteads from 
the pubUc lands, which tended to overbalance the South by 
building free states, became to them a measure dangerous to 
their interests. Thus national economic policies, which could 
not by any twist or turn be confined to state control, drew the 
slave system and its defenders into the poUtical conflict that 
centered at Washington. 

Slavery and the Territories — the Missouri Compromise 
(1820). — Though men continually talked about ** taking 
slavery out of poUtics," it could not be done. By 1818 slavery 
had become so entrenched and the anti-slavery sentiment so 
strong, that Missouri's quest for admission brought both houses 
of Congress into a deadlock that was broken only by com- 
promise. The South, having half the Senators, could prevent 
the admission of Missouri stripped of slavery ; and the North, 
powerful in the House of Representatives, could keep Mis- 
souri with slavery out of the union indefinitely. An adjust-* 
ment of pretensions was the last resort. Maine, separated 
from the parent state of Massachusetts, was brought into the 


union with freedom and Missouri with bondage. At the same 
time it was agreed that the remainder of the vast Loubiana 
territory north of the parallel of 36° 30' should be, like the old 
Northwest, forever free; while the southern portion was left 
to slaverj'. In reahty this was an immense gain fur liberty. 
The area dedicated to free farmera was many times greater 
than that left to the planters. The principle was once more 

asserted that Congress had full power to prevent slavery in the 

The Territorial Question Reopened by the Wilmot Proviso.— 
To the SoutJiern leaders, the annexation of Texas and the con- 
quest of Mexico meant renewed security to the planting inter- 
est against the increasing wealth and population of the NorUw 
Texas, it was said, could be divided into four slave states. The 
new territories secured by the treaty of peace with Mexico 
contained the promise of at least three more. Thus, as e«h 
new free soil state knocked for admission into the union, thf 


ith could demand as the price of its consent a new slave 1 
stat«. No wonder Southern statesmen saw, in the annexation 
of Texas and the conqupst of Mexico, slavery and King Cot- 
ton triumphant — secure for all time against adverse legisla- 
tion. Northern leaders were equally convinced that the South- 
ern prophecy was true. Abolitionists and moderate opponents 
of slavery alike were in despair. Texas, they lamented, would 
fasten slavery upon the country forevermore. " No living 
man," cried one, " will see the end of slavery in the United 
States ! " 

It so happened, however, that the events which, it was thought, 
would secure slavery let loose a storm against it. A sign ap- 
peared first on August 6, 1846, only a few months after war 
was declared on Mexico. On that day, David Wiimot, a , 
Democrat from Pennsylvania, introduced into the House of 1 
Repreeentatives a resolution to the effect that, as an express 
and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory 
froin the republic of Mexico, slavery should be forever excluded 
from every part of it. " The Wiimot Proviso," as the reso- 
lution was popularly called, though defeated on that occasion, 
was a challongo to the South. 

The South answered the challenge. Speaking in the House 
of Representatives, Robert Toombs of Georgia boldly declared : 
" In the presence of the hving God, if by your legislation you 
seek to drive us from the territories of California and New 
Mexico ... I am for disunion." South Carolina announced 
that the day for talk had passed and the time had come to 
join her nister states " in resisting the application of the Wiimot 
Proviso at any and all hazards." A conference, assembled 
at Jackaon, Mississippi, in the autumn of 1849, called a general 
coDvention of Southern states to meet at NashviUe the followii^ 
The avowed purpose was to arrest "the course of 
I " and, if that was not possible, to provide " in the 
hat resort for their separate welfare by the formation of a 
eompact and union that will afford protection to their liberties 
and rights." States that had spurned South Carolina's ^loa. I 



for nullification in 1832 responded to this new appeal with j 
alacrity -— an augury of the secession to come. 

The Great Debate of 1850. — The temper of the country was | 
white hot when Congress convened in December, 1849. It n 
a memorable session, memorable for the great men who took I 
part in the debates and memorable for the grand Compromise I 
of 1S50 which it produced. In the Senate sat for the last | 
time three heroic figures: 
Webster from the North, 
Calhoun from the South, 
and Clay from a border 
state. For nearly forty i 
years these three had been ' 
leaders of men. All had | 
grown old and gj^y in i 
service. Calhoun was al- 
ready broken in health 
and in a few months was 
to be borne from the polit- 
ical arena forever. Clay 
and Webster had but two 
more years in their al- 
lotted span. 

Experience, leanung, 
statecraft — all these 
things they now marshaled in a mighty effort to solve the slav- 
ery problem. On January 29, 1850, Clay offered to the Senate 
a compromise granting concessions to both sides ; and a few days 
later, in a powerful oration, he made a passionate appeal for a 
union of hearts through mutual sacrifices. Calhoun relentlessly 
demanded the full measure of justice for the South : equal rights 
in the territories bought by common blood ; the return d 
runaway slaves as required by the Constitution: the aup[»ee- 
sion of the aboUtionists ; and the restoration of the balanoe 
of power between the North and the South. Webster, in bJB 
notable " Seventh of March speech," condemned the WilDwt 


i advocated a strict enforcement of the fugitive slave 
, denounced the abolitionists, and made a final plea for 
; Conetitution, union, and liberty. This was the address 
ich called forth from Whittier the poem, " Ichabod," deplor- 
ing the fall of the mighty one whom he thought lost to all sense 
of faith and honor. 

The Terms of the Compromise of 1860. — When the debates 
were closed, the reaiUta were totaled in a series of compromise 
measures, all of which were signed in September, 1850, by the 
new President, Millard Fillmore, who had taken office two 
months before on the death of Zachary Taylor. By these acts 
the boundaries of Texas were adjusted and the territory of 
New Mexico created, subject to the provision that all or any 
part of it might be admitted to the union " with or without 
slavery as their constitution may provide at the time of their 
admission." The Territory of Utah was similarly oi^anized with 
the same conditions as to slavery, thus repudiating the Wilmot 
Proviso without guaranteeing slavery to the planters. Cali- 
fornia was admitted as a free state under a constitution in which 
the people of the territory had themselves prohibited slavery. 

The slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbi 
but slavery itself existed £ia before at the capital of the nation. 
This concession to anti-«lavery sentiment was more than offset 
h\- a fugitive slave law, drastic in spirit and in letter. It placed 
the enforcement of its terms in the hands of federal officers ap- 
pointed from Washington and so removed it from the control 
of authorities locally elected. It provided that masters or 
Iheir agents, on filing claims in due form, might summarily 
remove their escaped slaves without affording their " alleged 
fi^tives " the right of trial by jury, the right to witness, t!ie 
right to offer any testimony in evidence. Finally, to " put 
teeth " into the act, heavy penalties were prescribed for all 
who obstructed or assisted in obstructing the enforcement of 
the law. Such was the Great Compromise of 1850. 

The Pro-slavery Triumph in the Election of 1862. — The 
results of the election of 1852 seemed to show conclusively 


on. 1 


that the nation waa weary of slavery agitation and wanted peace. 
Both parties, Whigs and Democrats, endorsed the fugitive slave 
law and approved the Great Compromise. The Democrats, 
with Franklin Pierce as their leader, swept the country against 
the war hero, General Winfield Scott, on whom the Whiga had 
staked their hopes. Even Webster, broken with grief at his 
failure to receive the nomination, advised his friends tg vote 
Sta Fitt«e and turned aw^ from piditiwr t 

approaching death. Tin- verdict of the voters would set-m to in- 
dicate that for the time everybody, save a handful of disgruntled 
agitators, looked upon Clay's aettlement as the last word. " The 
people, especially the business men of the country," says Elson, 
" were utterly weary of the agitation and they gave their suf- 
frages to the party that promised them rest." The Free Soil 
party, condemning slavery aa " a sin against God and a crime 
against man," and advocating freedom for the tprritories, failed 
to carry a single state. In fact it polled fewer votes than it 


years earlier — 156,000 aa against nearly 3,00C 
the combined vote of the Whigs and Democrats. It is not sur- J 
prising, therefore, that President Pierce, surrounded in hifi I 
cabinet by strong Southern sympathizers, could promise to put J 
an end to slavery agitation and to crush the abolition move^ ] 
raent in the bud. 

Anti-slavery Agitation Continued. — The promise was more i 
difficult to fulfill than to utter. In fact, the vigorous execution | 
of one measure included in the Compromise — the fugitive s' 
law — only made matters worse. Designed as security for the | 
planters, it proved a powerful instrument in their undoing. 
Slavery five hundred miles away on a Louisiana plantation i 
was so remote from the North that only the strongest imagina- 
tion could maintain a constant rage against it. " Slave catch- 
ing," "man hunting" by federal officers on the streets of Phila- 
delphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, or Milwaukee and in the 
hamlets and villages of the wide-stretching farm lands of the | 
North was another matter. It brought the moat odious aspects j 
of slavery home to thousands of men and women who would 
otherwise have been indifferent to the system. Law-abiding 
business men, mechanics, farmers, and women, when they saw 
peaceful negroes, who had resided in their neighborhoods per- 
haps for years, torn away by federal officers and carried back , 
to bondage, were transformed into enemies of the law. They ' 
helpwd slaves to escape ; they snatched them away from officers | 
who had captured them ; they broke open jails and carried I 
fugitives off to Canada. 

Assistance to runaway slaves, always more or leas common in i 
the North, was by this time organized into a system. Regular I 
routes, known as " underground railways," were laid out across ' 
the free states into Canada, and trusted friends of freedom ' 
maintained "underground stations" where fugitives were con- 
gealed in the daytime between their long night journeys. Funds 
were raised and secret agents sent into the South to help 
negroes to flee. One negro woman, Harriet Tubman, " the 
Moses of her people," with headquarters at Philadelphia, J 



is accredited with nineteen invasions into slave territory 
and the emancipation of three hundred neRroea. Those who 
worked at this business were in constant peril. One undei^round 
operator, Calvin Fairbank, spent nearly twenty years in prison 
for aidinf: fugitives from justice. Yet perils and prisons did not 
stay those dptermined men and women who, in obedience to 
their consciences, set themselves to this lawless work. 

From thrilhng stories of adventure along the undei^round 
railways came some of the scenes 
and themes of the novel by Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, " Uncle Tom's 
Cabin," published two years after 
the Compromise of 1850. Her 
stirring tale set forth the woret 
features of slavery in vivid word 
pictures that caught and held the 
attention of millions of readers. 
Though the book was unfair to the 
South and was denoimced as a hid- 
eous distortion of the truth, it was 
quickly dramatized and played in 
every city and town throughout the 
North. Topay, Little Eva. Uncle 
Tom, the fleeing slave, Eliza Har- 
ris, and the cruel slave driver, Simon Legree, with his baying 
blood hounds, became living specters in many a home that 
sought to bar the door to the " unpleasant and irritating bua- 
ness of slavery agitation." 

The Drift of Events toward the Irrepressible Conflict 
Repeal of the Missouri Compromise. — To practical men, 
after all, the " nib-a-diib " agitation of a few abolitionists, an 
occasional riot over fugitive slaves, and the vogue of a popular 
novel seemed of slight or transient importance. They could 
point with satisfaction to the election returns of 1852 ; but 
their very security was founded upon shifting sands. The 

Beecbbr Stowe 


magnificent triumph of the proHslavery Democrats in 1852 
brought a tmn in affairs that destroyed the foundations under 
thdr feet. Emboldened by their own strength and the weak- 
ness of their opponents, they now dared to repeal the Missouri 
Compromise. The leader in this fateful enterprise was Stephen 
A. Douglas, Senator from Illinois, and the occasion for the deed 
was the demand for the organization of territorial government 
in the regions west of Iowa and Missouri. 

Douglas,, like Clay and Webster before him, was consumed 
by a strong passion for the presidency, and, to reach his goal, 
it was necessary to win the support of the South. This he im- 
doubtedly sought to do when he introduced on January 4, 1854, 
a bill organizing the Nebraska territory on the principle of the 
Compromise of 1850 ; namely, that the people in the territory 
might themselves decide whether they would have slavery or 
not. Unwittingly the avalanche was started. 

After a stormy debate, in which important amendments 
were forced on Douglas, the Kansas-Nebraska Bill became a 
law on May 30, 1854. The measure created two territories, 
Kansas and Nebraska, and provided that they, or territories 
organized out of them, could come into the union as states 
" with or without slavery as their constitutions may prescribe 
at the time of their admission." Not content with this, the 
law went on to declare the Missouri Compromise null and void 
as being inconsistent with the principle of non-intervention 
by Congress with slavery in the states and territories. Thus 
by a single blow the very heart of the continent, dedicated to 
freedom by solemn agreement, was thrown open to slavery. 
A desperate struggle between slave owners and the advocates 
of freedom was the outcome in Kansas. 

If Douglas fancied that the North would receive the over- 
throw of the Missouri Compromise in the same temper that it 
greeted Clay's settlement, he was rapidly disillusioned. A blast 
of rage, terrific in its fiuy, swept from Maine to Iowa. Staid 
old Boston hanged him in effigy with an inscription — '' Stephen 
A. Dot^las, author of the infamous Nebraska bill : the Bene- 


diet Arnold of 1854." City after city burned him in effigy until, 
aa he himself said, he could travel from the Atlantic coast to 
Chicago in the light of the fires. Thousands of Whigs and Free- 
soil Democrats deserted their parties which had sanctioned 
or at least tolerated the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, declaring that 
the startling measure showed an evident resolve on the part 
of the planters to rule the whole country. A gage of defiance 
was thrown down to the abohtionists. An issue was set even 
for the moderate and timid who had been unmoved by the 
agitation over slavery in the Far South. That issue was whether 
slavery was to be confined within its existing boundaries or be 
allowed to spread without interference, thereby placing the 
free states in the minority and surrendering the federal govern- 
ment wholly to the slave power. 

The Rise of the Republican Party. — Events of terrible ag- 
nificance, swiftly following, drove the country like a ship be- 
fore a gale straight into civil war. The Kansas-Nebraska Bill 
rent the old parties asunder and called into being the Republi- 
can party. While that bill was pending in Congress, many 
Northern Whigs and Democrats had couie to the conclusion 
that a new party dedicated to freedom in the territories must 
follow the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Several places 
claim to be the original home of the Republican party; but 
historians generally yield it to Wisconsin. At Ripon in that 
state, a mass meeting of Whigs and Democrats assembled in 
February, 1854, and rf?Bolved to form a new party if the Kansas- 
Nebraska Bill should piusa. At a second meeting a fusion com- 
mittee representing Whigs, Free Soilera, and Democrats was 
formed and the name Republican — the name of Jefferson's old 
party — was selected. All over the country similar meetiDp 
were held and poUtical conunittees were organized. 

When the presidential campaign of 1856 began the Repub- 
hcans entered the contest. After a prehminary conference 
in Pittsburgh in February, they held a convention in Phila- 
delphia at which was drawn up a platform opposing the ex- 
tension of slavery to the territories. John C. Fr6mont, the 



distinguished explorer, was named for the presidency. The 
resultB of the election were astounding aa compared with the 
Free-soil failure of the preceding election. Prominent men 
like Longfellow, Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, 
Ralph Waldo Emerson, and George William Cm-tis went over  
to the new party and 1,341,264 votes were rolled up for " free | 
labor, free speech, free men, free Kansas, and Fremont." 
Nevertheless the victory of the Democrats was decisive. Their | 

candidate, James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, was elected by a J 
majority of 174 to 144 electoral votes. 

The Dred Scott Decision (1867). — In his inaugural, Bu- 
chanan vaguely hinted that in a forthcoming decision the 
Supreme Court woidd settle one of the vital questions of the 
day. This was a reference to (he Dred Scott case then pending. 
Scott was a slave who had been taken by his master into the 
upper Louisiana territory, where freedom had been established 
by the Missouri Compromise, and then carried back into his 
old state of Missouri. He brought suit for his liberty on the 
ground that his residence in the free territory made him free, i 
This raised the question whether the law of Congress prohibiting J 


slavery north of 36" 30' was authorized by the federal Constitu- 
tion or not. The Court might have avoided answering it fay 
sayii^ that even though Scott waa free in the territory, he be- 
came a slave again in Missouri by virtue of the law of that 
state. The Court, however, faced the issue squarely. It held 
that Scott had not been free anywhere and that, besides, the 
Missouri Compromise violated the Constitution and was null 
and void. 

The decision was a triumph for the South. It meant that 
Congress after all had no power to abolish slavery in tJ» 
territories. Under the decree of the highest court in the land, 
that could be done only by an amendment to the Constitution 
which required a two-thirda vote in Congress and the approval 
of three-fourths of the states. Such an amendment was ob- 
viously impossible — the Southern states were too numerous; 
but the Republicans were not daunted. " We know," said 
Lincoln, " the Court that made it has often overruled its own de- 
cisions and we shall do what we can to have it overrule this." 
Legislatures of Northern states passed resolutions condenuiing 
the decision and the Republican platform of 1860 characterized 
the dogma that the Constitution carried slavery into the terri- 
tories as " a dangerous political heresy at variance with the 
explicit provisions of that instrument itself . . . with legisla- 
tive and judicial precedent . . . revolutionary in tendency and 
subversive of the peace and harmony of the country." 

The Panic of 1857. — In the midst of the acrimonious dis- 
pute over the Dred Scott decision, came one of the worst bua- 
ness panics which ever afflicted the countrj-. In the spring and 
summer of 1857, fourteen railroad corporations, including the 
Erie, Michigan Central, and the lUinois Central, failed to meet 
their obligations ; banks and insurance companies, some cf 
them the largest and strongest institutions in the North, closed 
their doors ; stocks and bonds came down in a crash on f&e 
markets ; manufacturing was paralv os of thousands 

of working people were thrown on' nent; " hunger 

meetings " of idle men 


bearing the inscription, " We want bread," were flung out. 
In New York, working men threatened to invade the Council 
Chamber to demand " work or bread," and the frightened 
mayor called for the poUce and soldiers. For this distress- 
ing state of affairs many remedies were offered; none with 
more zeal and persistence than the proposal for a higher 
tariff to take the place of the law of March, 1857, a Demo- 
cratic measure making drastic reductions in the rates of duty. 
In the manufacturing districts of the North, the panic was as- 
cribed to the " Democratic assault on business." So an old 
issue was again vigorously advanced, preparatory to the next 
presidential campaign. 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. — The following year the 
interest of the whole country was drawn to a series of debates 
held in Illinois by Lincoln and Douglas, both candidates for 
the United States Senate. In the course of his campaign 
Lincoln had uttered his trenchant saying that '' a house di- 
vided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government 
cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." At 
the same time he had accused Douglas, Buchanan, and the Su- 
preme Court of acting in concert to make slavery national. 
This daring statement arrested the attention of Douglas, who 
was making his campaign on the doctrine of '' squatter sover- 
eignty ; " that is, the right of the people of each territory " to 
vote slavery up or down." After a few long-distance shots 
at each other, the candidates agreed to meet face to face and 
discuss the issues of the day. Never had such crowds been 
seen at political meetings in Illinois. Farmers deserted their 
plows, smiths their forges, and housewives their baking to hear 
" Honest Abe " and " the Little Giant." 

The results of the series of debates were momentous. Lin- 
coln clearly defined his position. The South, he admitted, was 
entitled under the Constitution to a fair, fugitive slave law. He 
hoped that there might be no new slave states ; but he did not 
aee how Congress could exclude the people of a territory from 
admiasion as a state if they saw fit to adopt a constitution legal- 



izing the ownership of slaves. He favored the gradual abolitJui 
of slavery in the District of Columbia and the total exclusion 
ofiit from the territories of the United States by act of Congrese. 

Moreover, he drove Douglas into a hole by asking how he 
squared " squatter sovereignty " with the Dred Scott decision; 
how, in other words, the people of a territory could abolish 
slavery when the Court had declared that Congress, the superior 
power, could not do it under the Constitution ? To this baffling 
question Douglas lamely replied that the inhabitants of a ter- 
ritory, by " unfriendly legislation," might make property in 
slaves insecure and thus destroy the institution. This answer 
to Lincoln's query alienated many Southern Democrats who 
beUeved that the Dred Scott decision settled the question of 
slavery in the territories tor all time. Douglas won the electioo 
to the Senate ; but Lincoln, lifted into national fame by the 
debates, beat hini in the campaign for President two years later. 

John Brown's Raid. — To the abolitionists the line of argu- 
ment pursued by Lincoln, including his proposal to leave slavery 
untouched in the states where it existed, was wholly unsatis- 
factory. One of them, a grim and resolute man, inflamed by a 
hatred for slavery in itself, turned from agitation to violenoe. 
" These men are all talk ; what is needed is action — acticm I " 
So spoke John Brown of New York. During the sanguinary 
struggle in Kansas he hurried to the frontier, gun and da^er in 
hand, to help drive slave owners from the free soil of the West 
There he conimitted deeds of such daring and cruelty that he 
was outlawed and a price put upon his head. Still he kept on 
the path of " action." Aided by funds from Northern friends, 
he gathered a small band of his followers around him, saying to 
them : " If God be for us, who can be against us? " He went 
into Virginia in the autumn of 1859, hoping, as he explained, "to 
effect a mighty conquest even though it be like the last victory 
of Samson." He seized the government armory at Harper's 
Ferry, declared free the slaves whom he found, and called upon 
them to take up arms in defense of t^ rty. His was a 

hope aa forlorn as it was deeperate. e down 


upon him and, after a hard battle, captured him. Tried for 
treason, Brown was condemned to death. The governor of 
Virginia tiu-ned a deaf ear to pleas for clemency based on the 
ground that the prisoner was simply a lunatic. '' This is a 
beautiful country," said the stern old Brown glancing upward 
to the eternal hills on his way to the gallows, as calmly as if he 
were retiu-ning home from a long journey. " So perish all such 
enemies of Virginia. All such enemies of the Union. All such 
foes of the human race," solemnly announced the executioner 
as he fulfilled the judgment of the law. 

The raid and its grim ending deeply moved the country. 
Abolitionists looked upon Brown as a martyr and tolled funeral 
bells on the day of his execution. Longfellow wrote in his 
diary : " This will be a great day in our history ; the date of a 
new revolution as much needed as the old one." Jefferson 
Davis saw in the affair " the invasion of a state by a murderous 
gang of abolitionists bent on inciting slaves to murder helpless 
women and children " — a crime for which the leader had met 
a felon's death. Lincoln spoke of the raid as absurd, the deed 
of an enthusiast who had brooded over the oppression of a 
people until he fancied himself commissioned by heaven to 
liberate them — an attempt which ended in " little else than 
his own execution." To Republican leaders as a whole, the 
event was very embarrassing. They were taunted by the 
Democrats with responsibility for the deed. Douglas declared 
his "firm and deliberate conviction that the Harper's Ferry 
crime was the natural, logical, inevitable result of the doctrines 
and teachings of the Republican party." So persistent were 
such attacks that the Republicans felt called upon in 1860 to 
denounce Brown's raid " as among the gravest of crimes." 

The Democrats Divided. — When the Democratic conven- 
tion met at Charleston in the spring of 1860, a few months after 
Brown's execution, it soon became clear that there was danger 
ahead. Between the extreme slavery advocates of the Far 
South and the so-called pro-slavery Democrats of the Douglas 
lype, titore was a chasm which no appeals to party loyalty 


could bridge. As the spokesman of the West, Dougliis knew 
that, while the North was not abolitionist, it was passionately ( 
set against an extension of slavery into the territories by act | 
of Congress ; that squatter sovereignty was the mildest kind ! 
of compromise acceptable to the farmers whose votes would de- ' 
termine the fate of the election. Southern leaders would not 
accept his opinion. Yancey, speaking for Alabama, refused to , 
palter with any plan not built on the proposition that slavery 
was in itself right. He taunted the Northern Democrats with i 
taking the view that slavery was wrong, but that they could not 
do anything about it. That, he said, was the fatal error — the 
cause of all discord, the source of " Black RepubUcanism," 
as well as squatter sovereignty. The gauntlet was thus thrown 
down at the feet of the Northern delegates : " You must not 
apologize for slavery ; you must declare it right ; you must 
atlvocate its extension." The challenge, bo bluntly put7"%a« 
as bluntly answered. " Gentlemen of the South," responded 
1 delegate from Ohio, " you mistake us. You mistake us. 
We will not do it." 

For ten days the Charleston convention wrangled over tbe 
platform and balloted for the nomination of a candidate. 
Douglas, though in the lead, could not get the two-thirds vote 
required for victory. For more than fifty times the roll of the 
convention was called without a decision. Then in sheer des- 
peration the convention adjourned to meet later at Baltimore, 
When the delegates again assembled, their passions ran as 
high as ever. The division into two irreconcilable factions 
was unchanged. Uncompromising delegates from the South 
withdrew to Richmond, nominated John C. Breckinridge of 
Kentucky for President, and put forth a platform asserting 
the rights of slave owners in the territories and the duty of 
the federal government to protect them. The delegates who 
remained at Baltimore nominated Douglas and endorsed his 
doctrine of squatter sovereignty. 

The Constitutional Union Party. — While the Democratic 
.party was being disrupted, a fragment of the former Whig 


party, known as the Constitutional Unionists, held a convention 
at Baltimore and selected national candidates : John Bell from 
Tennessee and Edward Everett from Massachusetts. A melan- 
choly interest attached to this assembly. It was mainly com- 
posed of old men whose political views were those of Clay and 
Webster, cherished leaders now dead and gone. In their plat- 
form they sought to exorcise the evil spirit of partisanship by 
inviting their fellow citizens to " support the Constitution 
of the country, the union of the states, and the enforcement 
of the laws." The party that campaigned on this grand senti- 
ment only drew laughter from the Democrats and derision from 
the Republicans and polled less than one-fourth the votes. 

The Republican Convention. — With the Whigs definitely 
forced into a separate group, the Republican convention at 
Chicago was fated to be sectional in character, although five 
slave states did send delegates. As the Democrats were split, 
the party that had led a forlorn hope four years before was 
on the high road to success at last. New and powerful recruits 
were found. The advocates of a high protective tariff and the 
friends of free homesteads for farmers and workingmen mingled 
with enthusiastic foes of slavery. While still firm in their 
opposition to slavery in the territories, the Republicans went 
on record in favor of a homestead law granting free lands to 
settlers and approved customs duties designed "to encour- 
age the development of the industrial interests of the whole 
country." The platform was greeted with cheers which, ac- 
cording to the stenographic report of the convention, became 
loud and prolonged as the protective tariff and homestead 
planks were read. 

Having skillfully drawn a platform to unite the North in 
opposition to slavery and the planting system, the Republicans 
were also adroit in their selection of a candidate. The tariff 
plank might carry Pennsylvania, a Democratic state; but 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois were equally essential to success at 
the polls. The southern counties of these states were filled 
with settlers from Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky who, 



even if they had no love for slavery, were no friends of abolition. 
Moreover, remembering the old fight on the United States Baok 
in Andrew Jackson's day, they were suspicious of men from the 
East. Accordingly, they did not favor the candidacy of 
Seward, the leading Republican statearaan and " favorite son " 
of New York. 

After much trading and discussing, the convention came to 
the conclusion that Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was the most 
"available" candidate. He was of Southern origin, born in 
Kentucky in 1809, a fact that told heavily in the campaign in 
the Ohio Valley. He was a man of the soil, the son of poor 
frontier parents, a pioneer who in his youth had labored in 
the fields and forests, celebrated far and wide as " honest Abe, 
the rail-sphtter." It was well-known that he diaUked slavery, 
but was no abolitionist. He had come dangerously near to 
Seward's radicalism in his " house-divided-against-itself " 
speech but he had never committed himself to the reckless 
doctrine that there was a " higher law " than the Constitution. 
Slavery in the South he tolerated as a bitter fact ; slavery in the 
territories he opposed with all hia strength. Of his sincerity 
there could be no doubt. He was a speaker and writer of singu- 
lar power, commanding, by the use of simple and homely lan- 
guage, the hearts and minds of those who heard him speak or 
read his printed words. He had gone far enough in his opposi- 
tion to slavery ; but not too far. He was the man of the hour I 
Amid lusty cheers from ten thousand throats. Lincoln was 
nominated for the presidency by the Republicans. In the en- 
suing election, he carried all the free states except New Jei 


F. E. Chftdwick, Causes qf the CivU War {Ann 

W. E, Dodd, SUUesmen of the Old South. 

E. Engle, Southern Sidelights (Sympathetic ac 

A. B. Hart, SUaiery arid Abolition (American Nation Serieal. 

J. F, Rhodes, History of the Unilnd Slates. VoIb. I and II. 

T. C. Smith, Parlies atid Slavery (American Nation Seriee), 

iei). I 

of the Old Soutfa). 



1. Trace the decline of slavery in the North and explain it. 

2. Describe the character of early opposition to slavery. 

3. What was the effect of abolition agitation? 

4. Why did anti-slavery sentiment practically disappear in the South? 

5. On what grounds did Calhoun defend slavery? 

6. Explain how slave owners became powerful in politics. 

7. Why was it impossible to keep the slavery issue out of national 

8. Give the leading steps in the long controversy over slavery in the 

9. State the terms of the Compromise of 1850 and explain its failure. 

10. What were the startling events between 1850 and 1860? 

11. Account for the rise of the Republican party. What party had 
used the title before? 

12. How did the Dred Scott decision become a political issue? 

13. What were some of the points brought out in the Lincoln-Douglas 

14. Describe the party division in 1860. 

15. What were the main planks in the Republican platform? 

Research Topics 

The Extension of Cotton Planting. — Callender, Economic History of 
the United States, pp. 760-768. 

Abolition Agitation. — McMaster, History of the People of the United 
States, Vol. VI, pp. 271-298. 

Calhoun's Defense of Slavery. — Harding, Select Orations Illustrating 
American History, pp. 247-257. 

The Compromise of 1860. — Clay's speech in Harding, Select Orations, 
pp. 267-289. The compromise laws in Macdonald, Documentary Source 
Book of American History, pp. 383-394. Narrative account in McMaster, 
Vol. VIII, pp. 1-55 ; Elson, History of the United States, pp. 540-548. 

The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise. — McMaster, Vol. VIII, 
pp. 192-231 ; Elson, pp. 571-582. 

The Dred Scott Case. — McMaster, Vol. VIII, pp. 278-282. Compare 
the opinion of Taney and the dissent of Curtis in Macdonald, Documentary 
Source Book, pp. 405-420 ; Elson, pp. 595-598. 

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. — Analysis of original speeches in Hard- 
ing, Select Orations, pp. 309-341 ; Elson, pp. 598-604. 

Biographical Studies. — Calhoun, Clay, Webster, A. H. Stephens, 
Douglas, W. H. Seward, WiUiam Lloyd Garrison, Wendell PhiUips, and 
Harriet Beecher Stowe. 



" The irrepressiblp conflict is about to be viaited upon ub 
through the Black Republican nominee and his fanatical^ 
diabolical Republioan party," ran an appeal to the voters of 
South Carolina during the campaign of 1860. If that calamity 
comes to pass, responded the governor of thf stat«, the answer 
should be a declaration of independence. In a few days the 
suspense was over. The news of Lincoln's election came speed- 
ing along the wires. Prepared for the event, the editor of the 
Charleston Mercury unfurled the flag of his state amid wild 
cheers from an excited throng in the streets. Then be seized 
his pen and wrote: "The tea has been thrown overboard; 
the revolution of 1860 has been initiated." The issue was sub- 
mitted to the voters in the choice of delegates to a state con- 
vention called to cast off the yoke of the Constitution. 

The Southern Confederacy 

Secession. — As arranged, the convention of South Carolina 
assembled in December and without a dissenting voice passed 
the ordinance of secession withdrawing from the union. Bells 
were rung exultantly, the roar of cannon carried the news to 
outlying counties, fireworks hghted up the heavens, and cham- 
pagne flowed. The crisis so long expected had come at 
last; even the conservatives who had prayed that they might 
escape the dreadful crash greeted it with a sigh of reUef. 

South Carolina now sent forth an appeal to her sister states — 
states that had in Jackson's day repudiated nullificatioD as 
leading to " the dissolution of the union," The answer that 
came this time was in a different vein. A month had hardly 
elapsed before five other states — Florida, Georgia, Alabama, 


Bfississippi, and Louisiana — had withdrawn from the union. 
In February, Texas followed. Virginia, hesitating until the 
bombardment of Fort Sumter forced a conclusion, seceded in 
April; but fifty-five of the one hundred and forty-three dele- 
gates dissented, foreshadowing the creation of the new state 
of West Virginia which Congress admitted to the union in 
1863. In May, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee 
announced their independence. 

Secession and the Theories of the Union. — In severing their 
relations with the union, the seceding states denied every point 
in the Northern theory of the Constitution. That theory, as 
every one knows, was carefully formulated by Webster and 
elaborated by Lincoln. According to it, the union was older 
than the states ; it was created before the Declaration of In- 
dependence for the purpose of common defense. The Articles 
of Confederation did but strengthen this national bond and the 
Constitution sealed it forever. The federal government was 
not a creature of state governments. It was erected by the 
people and derived its powers directly from them. " It is," 
said Webster, " the people's Constitution, the people's govern- 
ment ; made for the people ; made by the people ; and answerable 
to the people. The people of the United States have declared 
that this Constitution shall be the supreme law." When a 
state questions the lawfulness of any act of the federal 
government, it cainnot nullify that act or withdraw from the 
union ; it must abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of 
the United States. The union of these states is perpetual, 
ran Lincoln's simple argument in the first inaugural ; the federal 
Constitution has no provision for its own termination ; it can 
be destroyed only by some action not provided for in the instru- 
ment itself; even if it is a compact among all the states the 
consent of all must be necessary to its dissolution; therefore 
no state can lawfully get out of the union and acts of violence 
against the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary. 
TTiis was the system which he believed himself bound to defend 
by his oath of office ** registered in heaven." 



AU this reasoning Southern statesmen utt€rly rejected. In 
their opinion the thirteen original states won their independence 
as separate and sovereign powers. The treaty of peace with 
Great Britain named them all and acknowledged them " to 
be free, sovereign, and independent states." The Articles of 
Confederation very explicitly declared that " e-ach state re- 
tains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence." The Con- 
stitution was a " league of nations " formed by an alliance of 
thirteen separate powers, each 
one of which ratified the in- 
strument before it wan put into 
effect. They voluntarily en- 
tered the union under the Con- 
stitution and voluntarily they 
could leave it. Such was the 
constitutional doctrine of 
Hayne, Calhoun, and Jefferson 
Davis. In seceding, the South- 
ern states had only to follow 
legal methods, and the transac- 
tion would be correct in every 
particular. So conventions were 
summoned, elections were held, 
and "sovereign assemblies of 
the people " set aside the Con- 
stitution in the same manner as it had been ratified nearly four 
score years before. Thus, said the Southern people, the moral 
judgment was fulfilled and the letter of the law carried into effect. 
The Formation of the Confederacy. — Acting on the call of 
Mississippi, a congress of delegates from the seceded states met 
at Montgomery, Alabama, and on February 8. 1861, adopted a 
temporary plan of union. It selected, as provisional president, 
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, a man well fitted by experience 
and moderation for If-aderahip, a graduate of West Point, who 
had rendered distinguished service on the field of battle in the 
Mexican War, in public office, and as a member of Congress. 


In March, a permanent constitution of the Ck)nfederate 
states was drafted. It was quickly ratified by the states; 
dectioDS were held in November ; and the government under it 
went into effect the next year. This new constitution, in form, 
was very much Uke the famous instrument drafted at Phila- 
delphia in 1787. It provided for a President, a Senate, and a 
House of Representatives along almost identical lines. In the 
powers conferred upon them, however, there were striking differ- 
ences. The right to appropriate money for internal improve- 
ments was expressly withheld; bounties were not to be 
granted from the treasury nor import duties so laid as to pro- 
mote or foster any branch of industry. The dignity of the state, 
if any might be bold enough to question it, was safeguarded in 
the opening Une by the declaration that each acted ** in its 
sovereign and independent character '* in forming the Southern 

Financing the Confederacy. — No government ever set 
out upon its career with more perplexing tasks in front of it. 
The North had a monetary system ; the South had to create 
one. The North had a scheme of taxation that produced 
large revenues from numerous sources; the South had to 
formulate and carry out a financial plan. Like the North, 
the Confederacy expected to secure a large revenue from cus- 
toms duties, easily collected and little felt among the masses. 
To this expectation the blockade of Southern ports inaugu- 
rated by Lincoln in April, 1861, soon put an end. Following 
the precedent set by Congress under the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, the Southern Congress resorted to a direct property 
tax apportioned among the states, only to meet the failure 
that might have been foretold. 

The Confederacy also sold bonds, the first issue bringing 
into the treasury nearly all the specie available in the 
Southern banks. This specie by unhappy management was 
early sent abroad to pay for suppUes, sapping the founda- 
tions of a sound currency system. Large amounts of bonds 
were sold overseas, commanding at first better terms than 

W tho 



those of the North in the markets of London, Paris, and Am- 
sterdam, many an English lord and statesman buying with 
enthusiasm and confidence to lament within a few years the 
proofs of his folly. The difficulties of bringing through the 
blockade any supphes purchased by foreign bond issues, how- 
ever, nullified the effect of foreign credit and forced the Con- 
federacy back upon the device of paper money. In all ap- 
proximately one billion dollars streamed from the printing 
presses, to fall in value at an alarming rate, reaching in January, 
1863, the astounding figure of fifty dollars in paper money for 
one in gold. Every known device was used to prevent it« 
depreciation, without result. To the issues of the Confederate 
Congress were added untold millions poured out by the statee 
and by private banks. 

Human and Material Resources. — When we measiuv 
strength for strength in those signs of power — men, money, 
and supplies — it is difficult to see how the South was able to 
embark on secession and war with such confidence in the out- 
come. In the Confederacy at the final reckoning there were 
eleven states in all, to be pitted against twenty-two ; a popu- 
lation of nine millions, nearly one-half servile, to be pitt«d 
against twenty-two millions; a land without great industries 
to produce war supplies and without vast capital to furnish 
war finances, joined in battle with a nation already industrial 
and fortified by property worth eleven biUion dollars. Even 
after the Confederate Congress authorized conscription in 
1862, Southern man power, measured in numbers, was wholly 
inadequate to uphold the independence which had been de- 
clared. How, therefore, could the Confederacy hope to sus- 
tain itself against such a combination of men, money, and 
materials as the North could marshal ? 

Southern Expectations. — The answer to this question is to 
be found in the ideas that prevailed amoi^ Southern leaders. 
First of all, they hoped, in vain, to carry the Confederacy 
up to the Ohio River; and, with the aid of Missouri, to gain 
possession of the Mississippi Valley, the granary of the nation. 


In the second fdaoe, the}* reckoned upon a large and con- 
tinuous trade with Great Britain — the exchange of cotton 
for war materials. They likewise expected to receive recogni- 
tion and open aid from European powers that looked with satis- 
faction upon the breakup of the great American repubUc. 
In the third place, they believed that their control over several 
staples so essential to Northern industry would enable them 
to bring on an industrial crisis in the manufacturing states. 
" I firmly believe," wrote Senator Hanmiond, of South Caro- 
lina, in 1860, " that the slave-holding South is now the con- 
trolling power of the world; that no other power would face 
us in hostility. Cotton, rice, tobacco, and naval stores com- 
mand the world ; and we have the sense to know it and are 
sufficiently Teutonic to carry it out successfully. The North 
without us would be a motherless calf, bleating about, and die 
of mange and starvation." 

There were other grounds for confidence. Having seized 
all of the federal military and naval supplies in the South, and 
having left the national government weak in armed power 
during their possession of the presidency, Southern leaders 
looked to a swift war, if it came at all, to put the finishing 
stroke to independence. " The greasy mechanics of the 
North," it was repeatedly said, " will not fight." As to dis- 
parity in numbers they drew historic parallels. " Our fathers, 
a mere handful, overcame the enormous power of Great Britain," 
a saying of ex-President Tyler, ran current to reassure the 
doubtful. Finally, and this point cannot be too strongly 
emphasized, the South expected to see a weakened and di- 
vided North. It knew that the aboUtionists and the Southern 
sympathizers were ready to let the Confederate states go in 
peace; that Lincoln represented only a little more than one- 
third the voters of the country ; and that the vote for Doug- 
las, Bell, and Breckinridge meant a decided opposition to the 
Republicans and their policies. 

Efforts at Compromise. — Republican leaders, on reviewing 
the same facts, were themselves uncertain as to the outcome of 



a civil war and made many efforts to avoid a crisis. Thur- 
low Weed, an Albany joiirnaJist and politician who had done 
much to carry New York for Lincoln, proposed a plan for 
extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific. Jef- 
ferson Davis, warning his followers that a war if it came would 
be terrible, was prepared to accept the offer; but Lincoln, re- 
membering his campaign pledges, stood firm as a rock against 
it. His followers in Congress took the same position with re- 
gard to a similar settlement suggested by Senator Crittenden 
of Kentucky. 

Though unwilling to siu-render his solemn promises reapectr 
ing slavery in the territories, Lincoln was prepared to give to 
Southern leaders a strong guarantee that his administration 
would not interfere directly or indirectly with slavery in the 
states. Anxious to reassure the South on this point, the Re- 
pubhcans in Congress proposed to write into the Constitution 
a declaration that no amendment should ever be made author- 
izJDg the abolition of or interference with slavery in any state. 
The resolution, duly passed, was sent forth on March 4, 1861, 
with the approval of Lincoln ; it was actually ratified by three 
states before the storm of war destroyed it. By the irony of 
fate the thirteenth amendment was to abolish, not guarantee, 

The War Measures of the Federal Government 
Raising the Annies. ^ The crisis at Fort Sumter, on April 
12-14, 1861, forced the President and Congress to turn from 
negotiations to problems of warfare. Little did they realize 
the magnitude of the task before them. Lincoln's first call for 
volunteers, issued on April 15, 1861, limited the number to 
75,000, put their term of service at three months, and pre- 
scribed their duty as the enforcement of the law against com- 
binations too powerful to be overcome by ordinary judicial 
process. Disillusionment swiftly followed. The terrible dfr 
feat of the Federals at Bull Run on July 21 revealed the 
eeriouB character of the task before them ; and by a series of 


measures Congresa put the entire man power of the counti^^ 
at the President's command. Under these nets, he issued new 
calls for volunteers. Early in August, 1862, he ordered a draft 
of militiamen numbering 300,000 for nine months' service. 
The results were disappointing — ominous — for only bout 
87.000 soldiers were added to the army. Something more 
drastic was clearly necessary. 

In March, 1863, Lincoln signed the inevitable draft law ; it en- 
rolled in the national forces liable to military duty all able-bodied 
male citizens and persons of foreign birth who had declared 
their intention to become citizens, bctwocii the agos of twenty 

Trb Draft Riots 

and forty-five years — with exemptions on grounds of phys- 
ical weakness and dependency. From the men enrolled wer^' 
drawn by lot those destined to active service. Unhappily 
the measure struck a mortal blow at the principle of universal 
Uability by excusing any person who found a substitute for 
himself or paid into the war office a sum, not exceeding three 
hundred dollars, to be fixed by general order. This provision, 
so crass and so obviously favoring the well-to-do, sowed seeds 
of bitterness which sprang up a hundredfold in the North, 

The beginning of the drawings under the draft act in Nt 
York City, on Monday, July 13, 1863, was the signal for f< 
days of rioting. In the course of this uprising, draft 
quarters were destroyed ; the ofiSce of the TribuTie was gutted 






negroes were seized, hanged, and shot; the homes of ob- 
noxious Unionists were burned down ; the residence of the 
mayor of the city was attacked ; and regular battles were 
fought in the streets between the rioters and the poHce. Busi- 
ness stopped and a large part of the city passed absolutely 
into the control of the mob. Not until late the following 
Wednesday did enough troops arrive to restore order and 
enable the residents of the city to resiune their daUy activities. 
At least a thousand people had been killed or wounded and 
more than a miUion dollars' worth of damage done to property. 
The draft temporarily interrupted by this outbreak was then 
resumed and carried out without further trouble. 

The results of the draft were in the end distinctly disappointing 
to the government. The exemptions were numerous and the 
number who preferred and were able to pay S300 rather than 
serve exceeded all expectations. Volunteering, it is true, was 
stimulated, but even that resource could hardly keep the thin- 
ning ranks of the army filled. With reluctance Congress struck 
out the $300 exemption clause, but still favored the well-to-do 
by allowing them to hire substitutes if they could find them. 
With all this power in its hands the administration was able 
by January, 1865, to construct a union army that outnum- 
bered the Confederates two to one. 

War Finance. — In the financial sphere the North faced 
immense difficulties. The surplus in the treasury had been 
dissipated by 1861 and the tariff of 1S57 had failed to produce 
an income sufficient to meet the ordinary expenses of the 
government. Confronted by mihtary and naval expenditurcB 
of appalling magnitude, rising from $35,000,000 in the first 
year of the war to $1,153,000,000 in the last year, the admini^ 
tration had to tap every available source of income. The 
duties on imports were increased, not once but many times, 
producing huge revenues and also meeting the most extrava- 
gant demands of the manufacturers for protection. Direct 
taxes were imposed on the states according to their respective 
populations, but the returns were meager — all out of proportion 


to the irritation involved. Stamp taxes and taxes on luxuries, 
occupations, and the earnings of corporations were laid with a 
weight that, in ordinary times, would have drawn forth opposi- 
tion of ominous strength. The whole gamut of taxation was run. 
Even a tax on incomes and gains by the year, the first in the 
history of the federal government, was included in the long list. 

Revenues were supplemented by bond issues, mounting in 
size and interest rate, until in October, at the end of the war, 
the debt stood at $2,208,000,000. The total cost of the war 
was many times the money value of all the slaves in the 
Southern states. To the debt must be added nearly half 
a billion dollars in " greenbacks *' — paper money issued 
by Congress in desperation as bond sales and revenues from 
taxes failed to meet the rising expenditures. This currency 
issued at par on questionable warrant from the Constitution, 
like all such paper, quickly began to decline until in the worst 
fortimes of 1864 one {}ollar in gold was worth nearly three in 

The Blockade of Southern Ports. — Four days after his 
call for volunteers, April 19, 1861, President Lincoln issued 
a proclamation blockading the ports of the Southern Confed- 
eracy. Later the blockade was extended to Virginia and 
North CaroUna, as they withdrew from the union. Vessels 
attempting to enter or leave these ports, if they disregarded 
the warnings of a blockading ship, were to be captured and 
brought as prizes to the nearest convenient port. To make 
the order effective, immediate steps were taken to increase the 
naval forces, depleted by neglect, imtil the entire coast hne 
was patrolled with such a number of ships that it was a rare 
captain who ventured to run the gantlet. The collision 
between the Merrimac and the Monitor in March, 1862, sealed 
the fate of the Confederacy. The exploits of the union 
navy are recorded in the falling export of cotton : $202,000,000 
in 1860; $42,000,000 in 1861 ; and $4,000,000 in 1862. 

The deadly effect of this paralysis of trade upon Southern 
war power may be readily imagined. Foreign loans, payable 





in cotton, could be negotiated but not paid oS. Supplies 
could be purchased on credit but not brought through the 
drag net. With extreme difficulty could the Confederat* gov- 
ernment secure even paper for the issue of money and bonds. 
Publishera, in despair at the loss of supplies, wore finally 
driven to the use of brown wrapping paper and wall paper. 
As the railways and roUing stock wore out, it became impossible 
to renew them from England or France. Unable to export 
their cotton, planters on the seaboard burned it in what were 
called "fires of patriotism." 
Ill their lurid light the fatal 
wealcnesa of Southern econ- 
omy stood revealed. 

Diplomacy. — The war had 
not advanced far before the 
federal govermnent became 
._^ involved in many perplexing 
problems of diplomacy in 
Europe. The Confederacy 
early turned to England and 
France for financial aid and 
for recognition as an inde- 
pendent power. Davis believed that the industrial t^isis 
created by the cotton blockade would in time Lterally compel 
Europe to intervene in order to got this essential staple. The 
crisis came as he expected but not the result. Thousands of 
English textile workers were thrown out of employment; and 
yet, while on the point of starvation, they adopted I'esolutions 
favoring the North instead of petitioning their government to 
aid the South by breaking the blockade. 

With the ruling classes it was far otherwise. Napoleon III, 
the Emperor of the French, was eager to help in disrupting the 
American republic ; if he could have won England's support, 
he would have carried out his designs. As it turned out 
he found plenty of sympathy across the Channel but not open 
and official cooperation. According to the eminent historian, 



Rhodes, " four-fifths of the British House of Lords and most 
members of the House of Commona were favorable to the 
Confederacy and anxious for its triumph." Late in 1863 
the British ministers, thus sustained, were on the point of 
recognizing the independence of the Confederacy, Had it not 
been for their extreme caution, for the constant and harassing 
criticism by EngUsh friends of the United States — like John 
Bright — and for the victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, 
both England and France would 
have doubtless declared the Con- 
federacy to be one of the inde- 
pendent powers of the earth. 

While stopping short of recog- 
ntztog its independence, Eng- 
land and FraDce took several 
steps that were in favor of the 
South. Iti proclaiming neutral- 
ity, they early accepted the 
Confederates as " belbgcrents " 
and accorded thein the rights 
of people at war — a measure j^^^^ Bhioht 

which aroused anger iu the North 

at firet but waa later admitted to be sound. Otherwise Con- 
federates taken in battle would have been regarded as " rebels" 
or "traitors" to be hanged or shot. Napoleon III proposed 
to RusKia it) 1861 a coalition of powers against the Nortli, 
only to meet a firm refusal. The next year he su^ested 
intervention to Great Britain, encountering this time a con- 
ditional rejection of his plans. In 1863, not daunted by re- 
buffs, ho offered his services to Lincoln as a mediator, 
receiving in reply a polite letter declining his proposal and a 
sharp resolution from Congress suggesting that he attend to 
his own affairs. 

In both England and France the governments pursued s 
policy of friendliness to the Confederal* agents. The British 
ministry, with indifference if not connivance, permitted rams 



and ships to be built in British docks and allowed them to es- 
cape to play havoc under the Confederate flag with American 
One of them, the Alabama, built in Liverpool 
by a Britiah firm and paid for by bonds sold in England, ran an 
extraordinary career and threatened to break the blockade. 
The course followed by the British government, against the 
protests of the American minister in London, was later re- 
gretted. By an award of a tribunal of arbitration at Geneva 
in 1872, Great Britain was re- 
quired to pay the huge sum of 
*15,500,000 to cover the dam- 
ages wrought by Confederate 
cruisers fitted out in England. 

In all fairness it should be 
said that the conduct of the 
North contributed to the ir- 
ritation between the two coun- 
tries. Seward, the Secretarj- of 
State, was vindictive in deal- 
ing with Great Britain; had it 
not been for the moderation 
of Lincoln, he would havepur- 
HU<fl a course verging in theili- 
rection of open war. The New 
York and Boston papers were 
severe in their attacks on England. Words were, on one occa- 
sion at least, accompanied by an act savoring of open hostility- 
In November, 1861, Captain Wilkes, commanding a union 
vessel, overhauled the British steamer Trent, and carried off 
by force two Confederate agents, Mason and Slidell, sent by 
President Davis to represent, the Confederacy at Ixmdon and 
Paris respectively. This was a clear violation of the right of 
merchant vessels to be immune from search and impressment ; 
and, in answer to the demand of Great Britain for the release 
of the two men, the United States concederl that it was in 
the wrong. It surrendered the two Confederate agents to a 


British vessd for safe conduct abroad, and made appropriate 

EmancipatioiL — Among the extreme war measures adopted 
by the Northern government must be counted the emanci- 
pation of the slaves in the states in arms against the union. 
This step was eariy and repeatedly suggested to Lincoln by the 
abolitionists ; but was steadily put aside. He knew that the 
abolitionists were a mere handful, that emancipation might 
drive the border states into secession, and that the Northern 
soldiers had enlisted to save the union. Moreover, he had be- 
fore him a solenm resolution passed by Congress on July 22, 
1861, declaring the sole purpose of the war to be the salvation 
of the union and disavowing any intention of interfering with 

The federal government, though pledged to the preservation 
of slavery, soon found itself beaten back upon its course and 
out upon a new tack. Before a year had elapsed, namely on 
April 10, 1862, Congress resolved that financial aid should be 
given to any state that might adopt gradual emancipation. 
Six days later it abolished slavery in the District of Columbia. 
Two short months elapsed. On June 19, 1862, it swept slav- 
ery forever from the territories of the United States. Chief 
Justice Taney still lived, the Dred Scott decision stood as written 
in the book, but the Constitution had been re-read in the light 
of the Civil War. The drift of public sentiment in the North 
was being revealed. 

While these measures were pending in Congress, Lincoln was 
slowly making up his mind. By July of that year he had come 
to his great decision. Near the end of that month he read to 
his cabinet the draft of a proclamation of emancipation ; but 
he laid it aside until a military achievement would make it 
something more than an idle gesture. In September, the se- 
vere check administered to Lee at Antietam seemed to offer 
the golden opportunity. On the 22d, the immortal docu- 
ment was given to the world announcing that, unless the states 
in arms returned to the union by January 1, 1863, the fatal 


blow at their " peculiar institution " would be delivered. 
Southern leaders treated it with slight regard, and so on the 
date set the promise was fulfilled. The proclamation was 
issued as a war measure, adopted by the President as com- 
mander-in-chief of the armed forces, on grounds of military 
necessity. It did not abolish slavery. It simply emancipated 
slaves in places then in 
arms against federal 
authority. Eveiywhere 
else slavery, as far as 
the Proclamation was 
concerned, remained 

To seal forever the 
proclamation of eman- 
cipation, and to extend 
freedom to the whole 
country, Congress, in 
January, 1865, on the 
urgent recommendation 
of Lincoln, transmitted 
to the states the thir- 
teenth amendment, 
abolishing slavery 
throughout the United 
Statps. By the end of 
1865 the amendment 
was ratified. The house 
was not divided against itself ; it did not fall : it was all free. 
The Restraint of Civil Liberty. — As in all great wars, partic- 
ularly those in the nature of a civil strife, it was found neces- 
sary to use strong measures to sustain opinion favorable to the 
administration's niilitaiy policies and to frustrate the designs 
of those who sought to hamper its action. Within two weeks 
of his first call for volunteers, Lincoln empowered General 
Scott to suspend the writ of habeas corpus &\oit% the line of 


march between Philadelphia and Washington and thus to 
arrest and hold without interference from civil coiui» any one 
whom he deemed a menace to the union. At a later date 
the area thus ruled by military officers was extended by execu- 
tive proclamation. By an act of March 3, 1863, Congress, 
desiring to lay all doubts about the President's power, author- 
ized him to suspend the writ throughout the United States or 
in any part thereof. It also freed military officers from the 
necessity of surrendering to civil courts persons arrested under 
their orders, or even making answers to writs issued from such 
courts. In the autumn of that year the President, acting 
under the terms of this law, declared this ancient and honor- 
able instrument for the protection of civil liberties, the habeas 
carpus, suspended throughout the length and breadth of the 
land. The power of the government was also strengthened 
by an act defining and punishing certain conspiracies, passed 
on July 31, 1861 — a measure which imposed heavy penalties 
on those who by force, intimidation, or threat interfered with 
the execution of the law. 

Thus doubly armed, the military authorities spared no one 
suspected of active sympathy with the Southern cause. Editors 
were arrested and imprisoned, their papers suspended, and 
their newsboys locked up. Those who organized " peace 
meetings " soon found themselves in the toils of the law. 
Members of the Maryland legislature, the mayor of Balti- 
more, and local editors suspected of entertaining secessionist 
opinions, were imprisoned on military orders although charged 
with no offense, and were denied the privilege of examination 
before a civil magistrate. A Vermont farmer, too outspoken 
in his criticism of the government, found himself behind the 
bars until the government, in its good pleasure, saw fit to re- 
lease him. These measures were not confined to the theater 
of war nor to the border states where the spirit of secession 
was strong enough to endanger the cause of union. They were 
applied all through the Northern states up to the very bound- 
ariea of Canada. Zeal for the national cause, too often sui^^W 



mented by a zeal for persecution, spread terror among those 
who wavered in the singlenesH of their devotion to the union. 

These drastic operations on the part of military authorities, so 
foreign to the normal course of civilized life, naturally aroused 
intense and bitter hastility. Meetin^cs of protest were held 
throughout the country. Thirty-six members of the House 
of Representatives sought to put on record their condemna- 
tion of the suspension of the hnbcan corpus act, only to meet a 
firni denial by the supporters of the act. Chief Justice Tan^, 
before whom the case of a man arrested under the President's 
military authority was brought, emphatically declared, in a 
long and learned opinion bristling with historical examples, 
that the President had no power to suspend the writ of habeas 
corpus. In Congress and out. Democrats, abolitionists, and 
champions of civil Uberty denounced Lincoln and his Cabinet 
in imsparing terms. Vallandigham, a Democratic leader of 
Ohio, afterward banished to the South for his opposition to 
the war, constantly applied to Lincoln the epithet of " C«- 
sar." Wendell Phillips saw in him " a more unlimited despot 
than the world knows this side of China." 

Sensitive to such stinging thrusts and no friend of wanton 
persecution, Lincoln attempted to mitigate the rigors of the 
law by paroling many political prisoners. The general policy, 
however, he defended in homely language, very different in 
tone and meaning from the involved reasoning of the lawyers. 
" Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I 
must not touch a hair of the wily agitator who induces him to 
desert? " he asked in a quiet way of some spokesmen for 
those who protested against arresting people for " talking 
against the war." This summed up hia philosophy. He wa» 
engaged in a war to save the union, and all measures necessary 
and proper to accomplish that purpose were warranted by tlia 
Constitution which he had sworn to uphold. 

Military Strategy — North and South. — The broad out- 
lines of military strategy followed by the commanders of thfi 
opposing forces are clear even to the layman who cannot be 


expected to master the details of a rampa^a or, for that matter, 
the maneuvers of a. siDf}e great battle. The problem for the 
South naa one of defense mainly, though even for defense swift 
and paralyzing strokes at the North were later deemed im- 
perative measures. The problem of the North was, to put it 
baldly, one of invasion and conquest. Southern territory had 
to be invaded and Southern armies beaten on their own ground 
or worn down to ejdiaustion there. 

In the execution of this undertaking, geography, as usual, 
played a significant part in the disposition of forces. The 
Appalachian' TO nges, stretching through the Confederacy to 
Northern Alabama, di\'ided the campaigns into Eastern and 
Western enterprises. Both were of signal importance. Vio- 
torj' in the East promised the capture of the Confederate caph 
tal of Richmond, a stroke nf moral worth, hardly to be over- 
estimated. Victory in the West meant severing the Con- 
federacy and opening the Mississippi Valley down to tl 

As it turned out, the Western forces accomplished their 
task first, vindicating the militaty powers of union soldiers 
and shaking the confidence of opposing commanders. In 
February, 1862, Grant captured Fort Donelson on the, Ten- 
nessee River, rallied wavering unionists in Kentucky; forced 
the evacuation of Nashville, and opened the way for two 
hundred miles into the Confederacy. At Shiloh, IVlurfrees- 
boro, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, desperate fight- 
ing followed and, in spite of varying fortunes, it resulted in the 
discomfiture and retirement of Confederate forces to the South- 
east into Georgia. By the middle of 1863, the Mississippi 
Valley was open to the Gulf, the initiative taken out of the 
hands of Southern conunanders in the West, and the way pre- 
pared for Sherman's final stroke — the march from Atlanta 
to the sea — a maneuver executed with needless severity in 
the autumn of 1864. n 

For the almost-4i^broken succession of achievements in the 
Wpst by Generab Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and Hooker ^%%.\xi!^ 



eir ^^ 



Albert Sidney Johnston, Bragg, Pemberton, and Hood, the 
union forces in the E^st offered at first an almost equally 
unbroken series of misfortunes and disasters. Far from cap- 
turing Richmond, they had been thrown on the defensive. 
General after general ^ McCiellan, Pope, Buraside. Hooker, 
and Meade — was tried and found wanting. None of them 
could administer a crushing defeat to the C'onfederate troops 
and more than once the union soldiers were beaten in a fair 


battle. They did succeed, however, in delivering a severe 
check to advancing Confederates under General Robert E. 
Lee, first at Antietam in September, 1862, and then at Gettys- 
burg in July, 1863 — checks reckoned aa victories though in each 
instance the Confederates escaped without demorahzation. 
Not until the beginning of the next year, when General Grant, 
supplied with almost unlimited men and munitions, began his 
irresistible hammering at Lee's army, did the final phase of 
the war commence. The pitiless drive told at last. General 
. Jjee, on April 9, 1865, seeing the futility of further conflict, 


surreaderad an army still capable of hard Gghting. at Appe 
mattox, not far from the capital of the Confederacy. 

Abraham Lincoln. — The services of Uncoln to the cam 
of union defy description. A judicial scrutiny of the wj 
reveals his thought and planning in every part of the varifl 




^•*5, - , «^-- 








1 The Fkueilvl Miutary Hohpitai. .it Geityhbubo 

IWvity that finally crowned Northern arms with victory 
s it in the field of diplomacy? Does Seward, the Secretary o 
tate, propose hursh and caustic measures likely to drafl 
'ngland's sword into the scale? Lincoln counsels modera 
on. He takes the irritating message and with his own haw 




words that sting and burn the language of prudence and cau- 
tion. Is it a matter of compromise with the South, so often 
proposed by men on both sides sick of carnage? Lincoln is 
always ready to listen and turns away only when he is invited 
to surrender principles essential to the safety of the union. 
Is it high strategy of war, a question of the general best fitted 
to win Gettysburg — Hooker, Sedgwick, or Meade? Lincoln 
goes in person to the War Department in the dead of night to 
take counsel with his Secretary and to make the fateful choice. 

Is it a complaint from a citizen, deprived, as he believes, of 
his civil liberties unjustly or in violation of the Constitution? 
Lincoln is ready to hear it and anxious to afford relief, if war- 
rant can be found for it. Is a mother begging for the life of a 
son sentenced to be shot as a deserter? Lincoln hears her 
petition, and grants it even against the protests made by his 
generals in the name of military discipline. Do politicians 
sow dissensions in the army and among civilians? Lincoln 
grandly waves aside their petty personalities and invites them 
to think of the greater cause. Is it a question of securing 
votes to ratify the thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery? 
Lincoln thinks it not beneath his dignity to traffic and huck- 
ster with politicians over the trifling jobs asked in return by 
the members who hold out against him. Does a New York 
newspaper call him an ignorant Western boor? Lincoln's ] 
reply is a letter to a mother who has given her all -— her 
sons on the field ()f battle — and an address at Gettysburg, 
both of which will live as long as the tongue in which they were 
written. These are tributes not only to his mastery of the Eng- 
lish language but also to his mastery of all those sentiments 
of sweetness and strength which are the finest flowers of culture, i 

Throughout the entire span of service, however, Lincoln | 
was beset by merciless critics. The fiery apostles of abolition I 
accused him of cowardice when he delayed the bold stroke at ' 
slavery. Anti-war Democrats lashed out at every step he 
took. Even in his own party he found no peace. Charles 
Sunmer complained : " Our President is now dictator, imperalor J 


— whichever you like; but how vain to have the power of 
a god and not to use it godlike." Leaders among the Republi- 
cans sought to put him aside in 1864 and place Chase in his 
chair. " I hope we may never have a worse man," was Lin- 
coln's quiet answer. 

Wide were the dissensions in the North during that year 
and the Republicans, while selecting Lincoln as their candi- 
date again, cast off their old name and chose the simple title of 
the "Union party.*' Moreover, they selected a Southern man, 
Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee, to be associated with him as 
candidate for Vice President. This combination the North- 
em Democrats boldly confronted with a platform declaring 
that " after four years of failure to restore the union by the 
experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of mili- 
tary necessity or war power higher than the Constitution, the 
Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part and pub- 
lic liberty and private right alike trodden down . . . justice, 
himianity, liberty, and public welfare demand that immediate 
efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, to the end that 
peace may be restored on the basis of the federal union of the 
states." It is true that the Democratic candidate, General 
McClellan, sought to break the yoke imposed upon him by the 
platform, saying that he could not look his old comrades in the 
face and pronounce their efforts vain ; but the party call to the 
nation to repudiate Lincoln and his works had gone forth. 
The response came, giving Lincoln 2,200,000 votes against 
1,800,000 for his opponent. The bitter things said about him 
during the campaign, he forgot and forgave. When in April, 
1865, he was struck down by the assassin's hand, he above all 
others in Washington was planning measures of moderation 
and heaUng. 

The Results op the Civn^ War 

There is a strong and natural tendency on the part of writers 
to stress the dramatic and heroic aspects of war ; but the long 
judgment of history requires us to include all other significant 


phases as well. Like every ^reat armed conflict, the Civil War 
outran the purpoeea of those who took part in it. Waged over 
the nature of the union, it made a revolution in the union, 
changing public policies and constitutional principles and giviog 
a new direction to agriculture and industry. 

The Supremacy of the Union. — First and foremost, the war 
settled for all time the long dispute as to the nature of the federal 
system. The doctrine of state sovereignty was laid to rest. 
Men might still speak of the rights of states and think of their 
commonwealths with affection, hut nullification and secession 
were destroyed. The nation was supreme. 

The Destruction of the Slave Power. ^ Next to the vindi- 
cation of national supremacy waw the destruction of the planting 
aristocracy of the South — that great power which had furnished 
leadership of undoubted ability and had so long contested with 
the industrial and commercial interests of the North. The first 
paralyzing blow at the planters was struck by the abolition of 
slavery. The second and third came with the fourteenth (1868) 
and fifteenth (1870) amendments, giving the ballot tofrecdmen 
and excluding from pubhc office the Confederate leaders — 
driving from the work of reconstruction the finest talents of 
the South. As if to add bitterness to gall and wormwood, the 
fourteenth amendment forbade the United States or any state 
to pay any debts incurred in aid of the Ct»nfederacy or in the 
emancipation of the slaves — plunging into utter bankruptcy 
the Southern financiers who had stripped their section of capital 
to support their cause. So the Southern planters found them- 
selves excluded from public office and ruled over by their former 
bondmen under the tutelage of Republican leaders. Their 
labor system was wrecked and their money and bonds were afl 
worthless as waste paper. The South was sul iject to the North. 
That which neither the Federalists nor the Whigs had been 
able to accomplish in the reahn of statecraft was accomplished 
on the field of battle. 

The Triumph of Industry. — The wreck of the planting system 
was accompanied by a mighty upswing of Northern industry 


whidi made the old Whif? of Massachusetts and Pieiuis>\*lvaiua 
stare in wonderment. Hie demands of the federal gpvemment 
for mannfaftnred goods at unrestricted |vices fcave a stimulus 
to baaneas iriiich more than replaced the lost markets of the 
South. Between 1860 and 1870 the number cS manufacturing 
estabHahments increased 79.6 per cent as against 14.2 for the 
previous decade ; while the number of persons employed almost 
dcmbled. There was no doubt about the future of American 

The Vktoiy for the Protective Tariff. — Moreover, it was 
henceforth to be well protected. For many years before the 
war the friends of protection had been on the defensive. The 
tariff act of 1857 imposed duties so low as to presage a tariff 
for revenue only. The war changed all that. The oxtraordi- 
nary military expenditiu-es, requiring hea\'>' taxes on all sources, 
justified tariffs so high that a follower of Clay or Webster might 
well have gasped with astonishment. After the war was over 
the debt remained and both interest and princip^il had to be 
paid. Protective arguments based on economic reasoning were 
supported by a plain necessity for revenue which admitted no 

A Liberal Immigration Policy. — Linked with industry was 
the labor supply. The problem of manning industries became 
a pressing matter, and Republican leaders grappled with it. In 
the platform of the Union party adopted in 1864 it was declared 
" that foreign immigration, which in the past has added so 
much to the wealth, the development of resources, and the in- 
crease of power to this nation — the asylum of the oppressed 
of all nations — should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal 
and just policy." In that very year Congress, recognizing the 
importance of the problem, passed a measure of high signifi- 
cance, creating a bureau of immigration, and authorizing a 
modified form of indentured labor, by making it legal for im- 
migrants to pledge their wages in advance to pay their passage 
over. Though the bill was soon repealed, the practice author- 
ized by it was long continued. The cheapness of the passage 


shortened the term of service ; but the principle was older than 
the days of Wilhaiii Penn. 

The Homestead Act of 1862. — In the iimnigratioii measure, 
guarant(wing a continuous and adequate labor supply, the man- 
ufacturers saw an offset to the Homestead Act of 1862 grant- 
ing free lands to settlers. The Homestead law they had re- 
sisted in a long and bitter congressional battle. Naturally, 
they had not taken kindly to a scheme which lured men away 
from the factories or enabled them to make unlimited demands 
for higher wages as the price of remaining. Southern planters 
likewise had feared free homesteads for the very good reason 
that they only promised to add to the overbalancing power of 
the North. 

In spite of the opposition, supporters of a liberal land policy 
made steady gains. Free-soil Democrats, ^ Jacksonian farm- 
ers and mechanics, — labor reformers, and political leaders, 
like Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Johnson of 
Tennessee, kept up the agitation in season and out. More 
than once were they able to force a homestead bill through tlie 
House of Representatives only to have it blocked in the Senate 
where Southern interests were intrenched. Then, after the 
Senate was won over, a Democratic President , James Buchanan, 
vetoed the bill. Still the issue Uved, The Republicans, strong 
among the farmers of the Northwest, favored it from the be- 
ginning and pressed it upon the attention of the country. Fi- 
nally the manufacturers yielded ; they i-eceived their compensa- 
tion in the contract labor law. In 1862 Congress provided for 
the free distribution of land in 160-acre lots among men and 
women of strong amis and willing hearts ready to build their 
serried lines of homesteads to the Rockies and beyond. 

Internal Improvements. — If farmers and manufacturers 
were early divided on the matter of free homesteads, the same 
could hardly be said of internal improvements. The Western 
tiller of the soil was as eager for some easy way of sending 
his produce to market as the manufacturer was for the same 
means to transport his goods to the consumer on the farm. While 


the Confederate leaders were writing into their constitution a -^^ 
clause forbidding all appropriations for internal improvements, > / , 
the Republican leaders at Washington were planning such ex- 
penditures from the treasiuy in the form of public land grants w 
to raflways as would have dazed the authors of the national road 
bill half a century earlier. ^r 

Sound Finance — National Banking. — From Hamilton's 
day to Lincoln's, business men in the East had contended x. 
for a sound system of national currency. The experience of 
the states with paper money, painfully impressive in the years 
before the framing of the Constitution, had been convincing to ^ 
thoee who understood the economy of business. The Consti- '^ 
tution, as we have seen, bore the signs of this experience. States 
were forbidden to emit bills of credit : paper money, in shorts 
This provision stood clear in the document; but judicial in- 
genuity had circumvented it in the age of Jacksonian Democ- 
racy. The states had enacted and the Supreme Court, after 
the death of John Marshall, had sustained laws chartering bank- 
ing companies and authorizing them to issue paper money. 
So the coimtry was beset by the old curse, the banks of Western 
and Southern states issuing reams of paper notes to help bor^ 
rowers pay their debts. 

In dealing with war finances, the Republicans attacked this 
ancient evil. By act of Congress in 1864, they authorized a 
series of national banks founded on the credit of government 
bonds and empowered to issue notes. The next year they 
stopped all bank paper sent forth under the authority of the 
states by means of a prohibitive tax. In this way, by two 
measures Congress restored federal control over the monetary 
system although it did not reestablish the United States Bank 
so hated by Jacksonian Democracy. 

Destruction of States' Rights by Fourteenth Amendment. — 
These acts and others not cited here were measures of central- 
ization and consolidation at the expense of the powers and dig- 
nity of the states. They were all of high import, but the 
crowning act of nationalism was the fourteenth amendment 


which, among other things, forbade states to " deprive any per- 
son of life, liberty or property without due process of law." The 
immediate occasion, though not the actual cause of this pro- 
vision, was the need for protecting the rights of freedmen against 
hostile legislatures in the South, The result of the amendment, 
as was prophesied in protests loud and long fi'om every quarter 
of the Democratic party, was the subjection of every act of 
8tat«, municipal, and coimty authorities to poHsible annulment 
by the Supreme Court at Washington, The expected hap- 

Few negroes ever brought caaes mider the fourteenth amend- 
ment to the attention of the courts ; but thousands of state 
laws, municipal ordinances, and acts of local authorities were 
set aside as null and void under it. Laws of states regu- 
lating railway rates, fixing hours of labor in bakeshops, and 
taxing corporations were in due time to be annulled as conflict- 
ing with an amendment erroneously supposed to be designed 
solely for the protection of negroes. As centralized {Hiwer over 
tariffs, railways, public lands^ and other national concerns went 
to Congress, so centrahzed power over the acts of state and local 
authorities involving an infringement of personal and property 
rights was conferred on the federal judiciary, the apex of whi(^ 
was the Supreme Court at Washington, Thus the old federa- 
tion of "independent states," all equal in rights and dignity, 
each wearing the " jewel of sovereignty " so celebrated in 
Southern oratoiy, had gone the way of aU flesh under the 
withering blssts of Civil War. 

Reconstruction in the South 
Theories about the Position of the Seceded States. — On 

the morning of April 9, 1865, when Oeneral Lee surrendered 
his army to General Grant, eleven states stood in a peculiar 
relation to the union now declared perpetual. Lawyers and 
political philosophers were much perturbed and had been for 
some time as to what should be done with the members of the 
former Confederacy. Radical Republicans held that they were 


" conquered provinces " at the mercy of Congress, to- be gov- 
erned imder such laws as it saw fit to enact and until in its wis- 
dom it decided to readmit any or all of them to the imion. Men 
of more conservative views held that, as the war had been waged 
by the North on the theory that no state could secede from the 
union, the Confederate states had merely attempted to withdraw 
and had failed. The corollary of this latter line of argument 
was simple : " The Southern states are still in the imion and 
it is the duty of the President, as commander-in-chief, to re- 
move the federal troops as soon as order is restored and the 
state governments ready to fimction once more as usual." 

Lincoln's Proposal. — Some such simple and conservative 
form of reconstruction had been suggested by Lincoln in a proc- 
lamation of December 8, 1863. He proposed pardon and a 
j::@|tpration of property, except in slaves, to nearly all who had 
"directly or by implication participated in the existing re- 
bellion," on condition that they take an oath of loyalty to the 
union. He then announced that when, in any of the states 
named, a body of voters, qualified under the law as it stood 
before secession and equal in number to one-tenth the votes 
cast in 1860, took the oath of allegiance, they should be per- 
mitted to reestablish a state government. Such a govern- 
ment, he added, should be recognized as a lawful authority 
and entitled to protection under the federal Constitution. 
With reference to the status of the former slaves Lincoln made 
it clear that, while their freedom must be recognized, he would 
not object to any legislation " which may yet be consistent as 
a temporary arrangement with their present condition as a 
laboring, landless, and homeless class." 

Andrew Johnson's Plan — His Impeachment. — Lincoln's 
successor, Andrew Johnson, the Vice President, soon after tak- 
ing office, proposed to pursue a somewhat similar course. In 
a niunber of states he appointed military governors, instructing 
them^at the earliest possible moment to assemble conventions, 
chosen " by that portion of the people of the said states who are 
loyal to the United States," and proceed to the organization 



fields of their former masters; but Congress steadily rejected 
the very idea of confiscation. The necessity of immediate assist- 
it recognized by creating in 1865 the Freedmen's Bureau 
to take care' of refugees. It authorized the issue of food and 
clothing to the destitute and the renting of abandoned and 
certain other lands under federal control to former slaves at 
reasonable rates. But the larger problem of the relation of 
the freedmen to the land, it left to the slow working of tima 

Against sharp protests from conservative men, particularly 
among the Democrats, Congress did insist, however, on con- 
ferring upon the freedmen certain rights by national law. These 
rights fell into broad divisions, civil and political. By an act 
passed in 1866, Congress gave to former slaves the rights of 
white citizens ^in the matter of making contracts, giving tes- 
timony in courts, and purchasing, selling, and leasing property. 
As it was doubtful whether Congress had the power to enact 
this law, there was passed and submitted to the states the 
fourteenth amendment which gave citizenship to the freedmen, 
assured them of the privileges and immunities of citizens of 
the United States, anil declared that no state should deprive 
any person of his life, liberty, or property without due 
process of law. Not yet satisfied, Congress attempted to 
give social equality to negroes by the second civil rights bill 
of 1875 which promised to them, among other things, the 
full and equal enjoyment of inns, theaters, public con- 
veyances, and places of amusement — a law later declared 
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. 

The matter of political rights was even more hotly contested ; 
but the radical Republicans, like Charles Sumner, asserted that 
civil rights were not secure unless supported by the suffrage. 
In this same fourteenth amendment they attempted to guar- 
antee the ballot to all negro men, leaving the women to take 
care of themselves. The amendment declared in effect that 
when any state deprived adult male citizens of the right to 
vote, its representation in Congress should be reduced in the 
proportion such persons bore to the voting i>opulation. 


ds provision having failed to accomplish its purpose, the 
xith amendment was passed and ratified, expressly de- 
ig that no citizen should be deprived of the right to vote 
account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." 
oake assurance doubly secure. Congress enacted in 1870, 
, and 1873 three drastic laws, sometimes known as " force 
" providing for the use of federal authorities, civil and mili- 

in supervising elections in all parts of the Union. So 
federal government, having destroyed chattel slavery, 
dt by legal decree to sweep away all its signs and badges, 

social, and political. Never, save perhaps in some of the 
conflicts of Greece or Rome, had there occurred in the affairs 
nation a social revolution so complete, so drastic, and far- 
ting in its results. 

Summary op the Sectional Conflict 

3t as the United States, under the impetus of Western 
prise, roimded out the continental domain, its very exist- 
eis a nation was challenged by a fratricidal conflict between 
sections. This storm had been long gathering upon the 
on. From the very beginning in colonial times there had 
a marked difference between the South and the North, 
former by climate and soil was dedicated to a planting 
m — the cultivation of tobacco, rice, cotton, and sugar 
— and in the course of time slave labor became the f oun- 
n of the system. The North, on the other hand, sup- 
3nted agriculture by commerce, trade, and manufacturing, 
iry, though lawful, did not flourish there. An abundant 
y of free labor kept the Northern wheels turning, 
is difference between the two sections, early noted by close 
vers, was increased with the advent of the steam engine 
he factory system. Between 1815 and 1860 an industrial 
ution took place in the North. Its signs were gigantic 
ries, huge aggregations of industrial workers, immense 
, a flourishing commerce, and prosperous banks. Finding 
nfavorable reception in the South, the n^w industrial 


system was confined mainly to the North, By canals and rail- 
ways New York, Boston, and Philadelphia were linked with the 
wheatfields of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. A steel net wove 
North and Northwest together. A commercial net supple- 
mented it. Western trade was diverted from New Orleans to 
the E^ast and Eastern credit sustained Western enterprise. 

In time, the industrial North and the planting South evolved 
different ideas of political policy. The former looked with 
favor on protective tariffs, ship subsidies, a sound national 
hanking system, and internal improvements. The farmers of 
the West demanded that the public domain be divided up into 
free homesteads for farmers. The South steadily swung 
around to the opposite view. Its spokesmen came to regard 
most of these policies as injurious to the planting interests. 

The economic questions were all involved in a moral issue. 
The Northern states, in which slavery was of shght consequence, 
had early abolished the institution. In the course of a few yean* 
there appeared uncompromising advocates of univereal eman- 
cipation. Far and wide the agitation spread. The South was 
thorouglily frightened. It demanded protection against the 
agitators, the enforcement of its rights in the case of runaway 
slaves, and equal privileges for slavery in the new territories. 

With the passing years the conflict between the two sections 
increased in bitterness. It flamed up in 1820 and was allayed 
by the Missouri compromise. It took on the form of a tariff 
controversy and nullification in 1832. It appeared again after 
the Mexican war when the question of slavery in the new terri- 
tories was raised. Again compromise — the great settlement 
of 1850 — seemed to restore peace, only to prove an illusion. A 
series of startling events swept the country into war : the repeal 
of the Missouri compromise in 1854, the rise of the Republican | 
party pledged to the prohibition of slavery in the territories, the 
Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Lincoln- Douglas debates, John J 
Brown's raid, the election of Lincoln, and secession. 

The Civil War, lasting for four years, tested the strength of 
.both North and South, in leadership, in finance, in diplomatic 


skill, in material resources, in industry, and in armed forces. 
By the blockade of Southern ports, by an overwhelming weight 
of men and materials, and by relentless hammering on the 
field of battle, the North was victorious. 

The results of the war were revolutionary in character. 
Slavery was abolished and the freedmen given the ballot. The 
Southern planters who had been the leaders of their section were 
ruined financially and almost to a man excluded from taking 
part in political affairs. The imion was declared to be perpetual 
and the right of a state to secede settled by the judgment of 
battle. Federal control over the affairs of states, counties, 
and cities was established by the fourteenth amendment. The 
power and prestige of the federal government were enhanced 
beyond imagination. The North was now free to pursue its 
economic policies: a protective tariff, a national banking sys- 
tem, land grants for railways, free lands for farmers. Planting 
had dominated the country for nearly a generation. Business 
enterprise was to take its place. 


NoRTHBRN Accounts 

J. K. Hosmer, The Ap-peal to Anna and The OtUcame of the CivU War 
(American Nation Series). 

J. Ropes, History of the Civil War (best account of military campaigns). 
J. F. Rhodes, History of the United States, Vols. Ill, IV, and V. 
J. T. Morse, Abraham Ldncoln (2 vols.). 

Southern Accounts 

W. E. Dodd, Jefferson Davis. 

Jefferson Davis, Rise and Fall of the Confederate Chvemment, 

E. l^ollard. The Lost Cause. 

A. H. Stephens, The War between the Statee. 


1. Ck>ntrast the reception of secession in 1860 with that given to 
nullification in 1832. 

2. Compare the Northern and Southern views of the union. 

3. What were the peculiar features of the Confederate constitutioci? 


4. How wus the Confederacy financed? ^^H 

5. Cuiiipare the reaources of the two sections. ^^H 
S. On what foundationa did Southern hopes rest? ^^H 

7. Describe the atteitiptB at a penceful settlement. ^^^ 

8. Compare the raising of armies for the Civil War with the metlidS 
employed in the World War. (See below, chapter xxv.) 

9. Compare the financial methods of the government in the two ware, 
. 10. Explain why the blockade waa such a deadly weapon. 

11. Give the leading diplomatic events of the war. 

12. Trace the growth of anti-slavery sentiment. 

13. What measures were taken to restrain criticism of the govemmeni? 

14. What part did Ijncoln play in all phases of the war? 

15. State the principal results of the war. 

16. Compare Lincoln's plan of reconstruction with that adopted by 

17. What rights did Congress attempt to confer upon the former slaves? 

Research Topics 

Was Secession Lawful ? -— The Southern view by Jefferson Davis io 
Harding, Select Oralions lUuatrating American HisUtry, pp. 364-369. 
Lincoln's view, Harding, pp. 371-3S1, 

The Confederate Constitution. — Compare with the federal Constitution 
in Macdonald, DocumenlnTy Source Book, pp. 424-433 and pp. 271-279. 

Federal Legislative Measures, — Prepare a tabic and brief digest of 
the important laws relating lo the war. Macdonald, pp. 433-482, 

Bconomtc Aspects of the War. — Conian, Industrial Hittary of Iht 
United StcUa, pp. 279-301. Dewey, Financial History of the Uniltd 
Statei. Chaps. XII and XIII. Tabulate the economic measures of Congress 
in Macdonald. 

Military Campaigns, — The great battles are fully treated in Rhodes, 
History of (ke Cv/it War, and teaohera desiring t« emphasize military affairs 
may assign campaigns to members of the class for study and report. A 
briefer treatment in Elson, History of the United Slates, pp. 641-785. 

Biographical Studies. — Lincoln, Davis, Lee, Grant, Sherman, and other 
leaders in civil and military affairs, with reference t-o local " war governors." 

English and French Opinion of the War. — Rhodes. Hitlory of the 
United Stnles. Vnl. IV, pp. 337-394. 

The South during the War. — Rhodes, Vol. V, pp. 343-382. 

The North during the War. — Rhodes, Vol. V, pp. 189-342. 

Keconstruction Measures. — Macdonald, Source Book, pp. SOO~nif' 
614-518; 529-530; Elson, pp. 786-799, 

The Force Bills. — Macdonald, pp. 547-551 ; 554-664, 





The outcome of the Civil War in the South was nothing short, 
of a revolution. The ruling class, the law, and the government 
of the old order had been subverted. To political chaos wsis 
added the havoc wrought in agriculture, business, and trans- 
portation by military operations. And as if to fill the cup to 
the brim, the task of reconstruction was committed to political 
leaders from another section of the country, strangers to the 
life and traditions of the South. 

The South at the Close of the War 

A Ruling Class Disfranchised. — As the sovereignty of the 
planters had been the striking featiu-e of the old regime, so their 
ruin was the outstanding fact of the new. The situation was 
extraordinary. The American Revolution was carried out by 
people experienced in the arts of self-government, and at its 
close they were free to follow the general course to which they 
had long been accustomed. The French Revolution witnessed 
the overthrow of the clergy and the nobility ; but middle classes 
who took their places had been steadily rising in intelligence 
and wealth. 

The Southern Revolution was unlike either of these cata- 
clysms. It was not brought about by a social upheaval, but 
by an external crisis. It did not enfranchise a class that sought 
and understood power, but bondmen who had played no part 
in the struggle. Moreover it struck down a class equipped \jc^ 





rule. The leading planters were almost to a man excluded from 
state and federal offices, and the fourteenth amendment was a 
bar to their return. All civil and military places under the 
authority of the United States and of the states were closed to 
every man who had taken an oath to support the Constitution 
s a member of Congress, as a state legislator, or as a state or 
federal officer, and afterward engaged in " insurrection or re- 
bellion," or "given aid and comfort to the enemies" of the 
United States. This sweeping provision, supplemented by 
the reconstruction acts, laid under the ban most of the talent, 
energy, and spirit of the South. 

The Condition of the State Governments. — The legislative, 
executive, and judicial branches of the state governments thus 
passed into the control of former slaves, led principally by 
Northern adventurers or Southern novices, known as " Scalar 
wags." The result was a carnival of waste, folly, and corrup- 
tion. The " reconstruction " assembly of South Carolina 
bought clocks at $480 apiece and chandeliers at $650. To 
purchase land for former bondmen the sum of $800,000 was ap- 
propriated ; and swamps bought at seventy-five cents an acre 
were sold to the state at five times the cost. In the years be- 
tween 1868 and 1873, the debt of the state rose from about 
$5,800,000 to $24,000,000, and milhons of the increase could 
not be accounted for by the authorities responsible for it. 

Economic Ruin — Urban and Rural. — No matter where 
Southern men turned in 1865 they found devastation — in 
the towns, in the country, and along the highways. Atlanta, 
the city to which Sherman applied the torch, lay in ashee; 
Nashville and Chattanooga had been partially wrecked ; 
Richmond and Augusta had suffered severely from fires. 
Charleston was described by a visitor as " a city of ruins, of 
desolation, of vacant houses, of rotten wharves, of deserted 
warehouses, of weed gardens, of miles of grass-grown streets. 
. . . How few young men there are, how generally the young 
women are dressed in black ! The flower of their proud aris- 
tocracy is buried on scores of battle fields." 


Thoae iHio journeyed through the country about the same 
time rqx>rted descdation equally widespread and equally 
pathetic. An English traveler who made his way along the 
course of the Tennessee River in 1870 wrote : '' The trail of war 
is visible throu^umt the valley in bumt-up gin houses, ruined 
bridges, miQs, and factories . . . and large tracts of once culti- 
vated land are stripped of every vestige of fencing. The roads, 
long neglected, are in disorder and, having in many places be- 
come impassable, new tracks have been made through the 
woods and fields without much respect to boundaries." 
Many a great plantation had been confiscated by the federal 
authorities while the owner was in Confederate service. Many 
more lay in waste. In the wake of the armies the homes of rich 
and poor alike, if spared the torch, had been despoiled of the 
stock and seeds necessary to renew agriculture. 

Railways Diliyridated. — Transportation was still more demor- 
alized. This is revealed in the pages of congressional reports 
based upon first-hand investigations. One eloquent passage 
illustrates all the rest. From Pocahontas to Decatur, Alabama, 
a distance of 114 miles, we are told, the railroad was " almost 
entirely destroyed, except the road bed and iron rails, and they 
were in a very bad condition — every bridge and trestle de- 
stroyed, cross-ties rotten, buildings burned, water tanks gone, 
tracks grown up in weeds and bushes, not a saw mill near the 
line and the labor system of the country gone. About forty 
miles of the track were burned, the cross-ties entirely destroyed, 
and the rails bent and twisted in such a manner as to require 
great labor to straighten and a large portion of them requiring 

Capital and Credit Destroyed. — The fluid capital of the 
South, money and credit, was in the same prostrate condition 
as the material capital. The Confederate currency, inflated to 
the bursting point, had utterly collapsed and was as worthless 
as waste paper. The bonds of the Confederate government 
were equally valueless. Specie had nearly disappeared from 
circulation. The fourteenth amendment to the federal Con- 



Btitutioti had made all " debts, obligations, and claims " in- 
curred in aid of tiie Confedei'ate cause " illegal and void." 
Millions of dollars owed to Northern creditors before the war 
were overdue and payment was pressed upon the debtors. 
Where such debts were secured by mortgages on land, executions 
against the property could be obtained in federal courts. 

The Restoration of White Supremacy 
Intimidation. — In both politics and economics, the process 
of reconstruction in the South was slow and arduous. The 
first battle in the political contest for white supremacy was won 
outside the halls of legislatures and the courts of law. It was 
waged, in the main, by secret organizations, among which the 
Ku Klux Klanand the White Canielia were the most prominent. 
The first of these societies appeared in Tennessee in 1866 and 
held its first national convention the following year. It was in 
origin a social club. According to its announcement, it« ob- 
jects were " to protect the weak, the innocent, and the defence- 
less from the indignities, wrongs, and outrages of the lawless, 
the violent, and the brutal ; and to succor the suffering, es- 
pecially the widows and orphans of the Confederate soldiers." 
The whole South was called " the Empire " and was ruled by a 
" Grand Wizard." Each state was a realm and each county a 
province. In the secret orders there were enrolled over half 
a million men. 

The methods of the Ku Klux and the White Camelia were 
similar. Solemn parades of masked men on horses decked in 
long robes were held, sometimes in the daytime and sometimes 
at the dead of night. Notices were sent to obnoxious persons 
warning them to stop certain practices. If warning failed, 
something more convincing was tried. Fright was the emotion 
most commonly stirred. A horseman, at the witching hour of 
midnight, would ride up to the house of some offender, lift his 
head gear, take off a skull, and hand it to the trembling victim 
with the request that he hold it for a few minutes. Frequently 
violence was employed either officially or unofficially by mem- 


bers of the Klan. Tar and feathers were freely applied ; the 
whip was sometimes laid on unmercifully, and occasionally a 
brutal murder was conunitted. Often the members were fired 
upon from bushes or behind trees, and swift retaliation followed. 
So alarming did the clashes become that in 1870 Congress for- 
bade interference with electors or going in disguise for the pur- 
pose of obstructing the exercise of the rights enjoyed imder 
federal law. 

In anticipation of such a step on the part of the federal gov- 
ernment, the Ku Klux was officially dissolved by the ** Grand 
Wizard " in 1869. Nevertheless, the local societies continued 
their organization and methods. The spirit survived the na- 
tional association. " On the whole," says a Southern writer, 
" it is not easy to see what other course was open to the South. 
. . . Armed resistance was out of the question. And yet 
there must be some control had of the situation. ... If force 
was denied, craft was inevitable." 

The Struggle for the Ballot Box. — The effects of intimida- 
tion were soon seen at elections. The freedman, into whose 
inexperienced hand the ballot had been thrust, was ordinarily 
loath to risk his head by the exercise of his new rights. He 
had not attained them by a long and laborious contest of his 
own and he saw no urgent reason why he should battle for the 
privilege of using them. The mere show of force, the mere ex- 
istence of a threat, deterred thousands of ex-slaves from appear- 
ing at the polls. Thus the whites steadily recovered their 
dominance. Nothing could prevent it. Congress enacted 
^^^orce bills establishing federal supervision of elections and the 
Northern poUticians protested against the return of former Con- 
federates to practical, if not official, power; but all such op- 
position was like resistance to the course of nature. 

Amnesty for Southerners. — The recovery of white supremacy 
in this way was quickly felt in national councils. The Dem- 
ocratic party in the North welcomed it as a sign of its return 
to power. The more moderate Republicans, anxious to heal 
tile breach in American unity, sought to encourage rather than 



to repress it. So it came about that amnesty for Confederates 
was widely advocated. Yet it must be said that the struggle 
for the removal of disabilities was stubborn and bitter. Lincoln, 
with characterbtic generosity, in the midst of the war had 
issued a general proclamation of amnesty to nearly all who had 
been in arms against the Union, on condition that they take 
an oath of loyalty; but Johnson, vindictive toward Southern 
leaders and determined to make " treason infamous," had 
extended the list of exceptions. Congress, even more relent* 
less in its pursuit of Confederates, pushed through the four^ 
teenth amendment which worked the sweeping disabilities we 
have just described. 

To appeals for comprehensive clemency. Congress was at fint 
adamant. In vain did men like Carl Schurz exhort their coir 
leagues to crown their victory in battle with a noble act of uni- 
versal pardon and oblivion. Congress would not yield. It would 
grant amnesty in individual cases ; for the principle of proscrip- 
tion it stood fast. When finally in 1872, seven yeare after the 
surrender at Appomattox, it did pass the general amnesty bill, 
it insisted on certain exceptions. Confederates who had been 
members of Congress just before the war, or had served in other 
high posts, civil or military, under the federal government, were 
still excluded from important offices. Not until the summer of 
1898, when the war with Spain produced once more a unionof 
hearts, did Congress relent and abolish the last of the disabili- 
ties imposed on the Confederates. 

The Force Bills Attacked and Nullified. — The granting of 
amnesty encouraged the Democrats to redouble their efForte 
all along the line. In 1874 they captured thp House of Repre- 
sentatives and declared war on the " force bills." As a Re- 
publican Senate blocked immediate repeal, they resorted to 
an ingenious parliamentary trick. To the appropriation bill 
for the support of the army they attached a " rider." or con- 
dition, to the effect that no troops should be used to sustaiD 
the Republican government in Louisiana. The Senate re- 
jected the proposal. A deadlock ensued ajid Congress ad- 


joumed without making provision for the army. Satisfied 
with the technical victory, the Democrats let the army bill 
pa0B the next session, but kept up their fight on the force laws 
until they wrung from President Hayes a measure forbidding 
the use of United States troops in supervising elections. 
The following year they again had recourse to a rider on the 
army bill and carried it through, putting an end to the use of 
money for military control of elections. The reconstruction 
program was clearly going to pieces, and the Supreme Court 
helped along the process of dissolution by declaring parts of 
the laws invalid. In 1878 the Democrats even won a majority 
in the Senate and returned to power a large number of men 
once prominent in the Confederate cause. 

The passions of the war by this time were evidently cool- 
ing. A new generation of men was coming on the scene. The 
Rupiemacy of the whites in the South, if not yet complete, 
was at least assured. Federal marshals, their deputies, and 
supervisors of elections still possessed authority over the polls, 
but their strength had been shorn by the withdrawal of United 
States troops. The war on the remaining remnants of the 
" force bills " lapsed into desultory skirmishing. When in 
1894 the last fragment was swept away, the country took 
little note of the fact. The only task that lay before the 
Southern leaders was to write in the constitutions of their 
respective states the provisons of law which would clinch the 
gains so far secured and establish white supremacy beyond 
the reach of outside intervention. 

White Supremacy Sealed by New State Constitutions. — 
The impetus to this final step was given by the rise of the Popu- 
list movement in the South, which sharply divided the whites 
and in many conmiunities threw the balance of power into the 
hands of the few colored voters who smrvived the process of 
intimidation. Southern leaders now devised new constitu- 
tions so constructed as to deprive negroes of the ballot by 
law. Mississippi took the lead in 1890; South Carolina fol- 
lowed five years later; Louisiana, in 1898; North CaroUiv^^ 


in 1900 ; Alabamu and Maryland, in 1901 ; and Virginia, in 

The authors of these measures made no attempt to coo- 
ceal their purposes. " The intelligent white men of the 
South," said Governor Tillman, " intend to govern here." 
The fifteenth amendment to the federal Constitution, however, 
forbade thera to deprive any citizen of the right to vote on ac- 
count of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This 
made necessary the devices of indirection. They were few, 
simple, and effective. The first and most easily admtnistereii 
was the ingenious provision requiring each prospective voter 
to read a section of the stat* constitution or " understand and 
explain it " when read to him by the election officers. As an 
alternative, the payment of taxes or the ownership of a smalt 
amount of property was accepted as a qualification for voting. 
Southern leaders, unwilling to disfranchise any of the pooi 
white men who had stood side by side with them " in the dark 
•days of reconstruction," also resorted to a famous provision 
known as " the grandfather clause." This plan admitted 
to the suffrage any man who did not have either property 
or educational qualifications, provided he had voted on or 
before 1867 or was the sou or grandson of any such person. 

The devices worked effectively. Of the 147,000 negroes 
in Mississippi above the age of twenty-one, only about 8600 
registered under the constitution of 1890. Louisiana had 
127,000 colored voters enrolled in 1896; under the constitu- 
tion drafted two years later the registration fell to 5300. Ad 
analysis of the figures for South Carolina in 1900 indicates 
that only about one negro out of every hundred adult males 
of that race took part in elections. Thus was closed this chapter 
of reconstruction. 

The Supreme Court Refuses to Intervene. — Numerous 
efforts were made fo prevail upon the Supreme Court of thf 
United States to declare such laws unconstitutional; hut the 
Court, usually on technical grounds, avoided coming to s 
_ direct decision on the merits of the matter. In one ease tbe 


Court remarked that it could not take charge of and operate 
the election machinery of Alabama; it concluded that "reUef 
from a great political wrong, if done as alleged, by the people of 
a state and by the state itself, must be given by them, or by the 
l^islative and executive departments of the government of the 
United States." Only one of the several schemes employed, 
namely, the "grandfather clause," was held to be a violation 
of the federal Constitution. This blow, effected in 1915 by the 
decision in the Oklahoma and Maryland cases, left, however, 
the main structure of disfranchisement unimpaired. 

Proposals to Reduce Southern Representation in Con- 
gress. — These provisions excluding thousands of male citi- 
zens from the ballot did not, in express terms, deprive any one 
of the vote on account of race or color. They did not, there- 
fore, run counter to the letter of the fifteenth amendment; 
but they did unquestionably make the states which adopted 
them liable to the operations of the fourteenth amendment. 
The latter very explicitly provides that whenever any state 
deprives adult male citizens of the right to vote (except in 
certain minor cases) the representation of the state in Con- 
gress shall be reduced in the proportion which such number 
of disfranchised citizens bears to the whole number of male 
citizens over twenty-one years of age. 

Mindful of this provision, those who protested against dis- 
franchisement in the South turned to the Republican party 
for relief, asking for action by the political branches of the 
federal government as the Supreme Court had suggested. 
The Republicans responded in their platform of 1908 by con- 
demning all devices designed to deprive any one of the ballot 
for reasons of color alone ; they demanded the enforcement in 
letter and spirit of the fourteenth as well as all other amend- 
ments. Though victorious in the election, the Republicans 
refrained from reopening the ancient contest ; they made no 
attempt to reduce Southern representation in the House. 
Southern leaders, while protesting against the declarations of 
their opponents, were able to view them as idle threats in no 



way endangering the security of the meaaures by which political 
reconstruction had been undone. 

The Solid South. — Out of the thirty-year conflict against 
" carf>et-bag rule " there emerged what was long known as 
the " solid South " ^ a South that, except occasionally in 
the border states, never gave an electoral vote to a Republi- 
can candidate for President. Before the Civil War, the South- 
ern people had been divided on political questions. Talie, for 
example, the election of 1860. In all the fifteen slave states 
the variety of opinion was marked. In nine of them — Dela- 
ware, Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana, 
Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas — the combined vote against 
the representative of the extreme Southern point of view, 
Breckinridge, constituted a safe majority. In each of the 
six states which were carried by Breckinridge, there was a 
large and [wwerful minority. In North Carolina Breckin- 
ridge's majority over Bell and Douglas was only 849 votes. 
Equally astounding to those who imagine the South united in 
defense of extreme views in 1860 was the vote for Bell, the 
Unionist candidate, who stood firmly for the Constitution and 
silence on slavery. In every Southern state Bell's vote vas 
large. In Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee it 
was greater than that received by Breckinridge ; in Georgia, it 
vu 42,000 against51,000; in Louisiana, 20,000 against 22,000; 
' in Mississippi, 25,000 against 40,000. 

The effect of the Civil War upon these divisions was im- 
mediate and decisive, save in the border states where thousands 
of men continued to adhere to the cause of Union. In the 
Confederacy itself nearly all dissent was silenced by war. 
Men who had been bitter opponents joined hands in defense 
of their homes ; when the armed conflict was over they re- 
mained side by side working again.'^t " Republican misrule and 
n^ro domination." By 1890, after Northern supremacy was 
definitely broken, they boasted that there were at least tw 
Southern states in which no Republican candidate for 1 
dent could win a single electoral vote. 


Diamat m Ae Sofid Soufli. — TIioq^ ev«ry one grew »c^ 
customed to speak of the South as " solid/* it did not escape 
dose observers that in a number of Southern states there ap* 
peaied from time to time a fairly large body of dissenters^ 
In 1892 the Populists made heavy inroads upon the Demo- 
cratic ranks. On other occasions, the contests between fac- 
tions within the Democratic party over the nomination of 
candidates revealed sharp differences of opinion. In some 
places, moreover, there grew up a Republican minority of re- 
spectaUe sue. For example, in Georgia, Mr. Taft in 11H)8 
polled 41,000 votes against 72,000 for Mr. Br>^n ; in North 
Carolina, 114,000 against 136,000; in Tennessee. IKS.tXX) 
against 135,000; in Kentucky, 235,000 against 244.000. In 
1920, Senator Harding, the Republican candidate, broke the 
record by carrying Tennessee as well as Kentucky, Oklahoma, 
and Maryland. 

The Economic Advance of the South 

The Break-up of the Great Estates. — In the dissohition of 
chattel slavery it was inevitable that the great estate should 
give way before the small farm. The plantation was in fact 
founded on slavery. It was continued and expanded by slav- 
ery. Before the war the prosperous planter, either by in- 
clination or necessity, invested his surplus in more land to 
add to his original domain. As his slaves increased in munhor, 
he was forced to increase his acreage or sell them, and \\v 
usually preferred the former, especially in the Far South. 
Still another element favored the large estate. Slav(» labor 
quickly exhausted the soil and of its own force eomix^lled tho 
cutting of the forests and the extension of the area under 
cultivation. Finally, the planter took a natural pride in his 
great estate ; it was a sign of his prowess and his social prestige. 

In 1865 the foundations of the planting system were gone. 
It was diflScult to get efficient labor to till the vast plantations. 
The planters themselves were burdened with debts and handi- 
capped by lack of capital. Negroes commonly prefeTwwV VlC\- 


ing plots of their own, rented or bought under mortgrge, to the 
more irksome wage labor under white supervision. The land 
hunger of the white farmer, once checked by the planting 
system, reasserted itself. Before these forces the plantation 
broke up. The small farm became the unit of cultivation in 
the South as in the North. Between 1870 and 1900 the number 
of farms doubled in every state south of the line of the Potomac 
and Ohio rivers, except in Arkansas and Louisiana. From 
year to year the process of breaking up continued, with all that 
it implied in the creation of land-owning farmers. 

The Diversification of Crops. — No less significant was the 
concurrent diversification of crops. Under slavery, tobacco, 
rice, and sugar were staples and "cotton was king." These 
were standard crops. The methods of cultivation were simple 
and easily learned. They tested neither the skill nor the in- 
genuity of the slaves. As the returns were quick, they did not 
call foi' long-time investments of capital. After slavery was 
abolished, they still remained the staples, but far-sight#d 
agriculturists saw the dangers of depending upon a few crops. 
The mild climate all the way around the coast from Virfpnia 
to Texas and the character of the alluvial soil invited tho 
exercise of more imagination. Peaches, oranges, peanuts, 
and other fruits and vegetables were found to grow luxuriantly. 
Refrigeration for steamships and freight cai-s put the loarkelfi 
ot great cities ni the doors of Southern fruit and vegetable 
gardeners. The South, which in planting daj-s had relied so 
heavily upon the Northwest for its foodstuffs, began to battle 
for independence. Between 1880 and the close of the cen- 
tury the value cf its fann crops increased from $660,000,000 
to $1,270,000,000. 

The Industrial and Commercial Revolution. — On top of 
the radical changes in agriculture came an industrial and 
commercial revolution. The South had long been rich in 
natural resources, but the slave system had been unfavorable 
to their development. Rivers that would have turned mU- 
lions of spindles tumbled unheeded to the "eas. Coal and iroo 


beds lay unopened. Timber was largely sacrificed in cle 
lands for planting, or fell to earth in dot-ay. Southern enter- 
prise was consiiniefl in planting. Slavery kept out the white | 
immigrants who might have supplied the skilled labor for 

After 1865, achievement and fortune no longer lay on the I 
land alone. As soon as the paralysis of the war was over, 

the South caught tlip industrial spirit that had conquered , 
feudal Europe and the agricultural North. In the develop- 
ment of mineral wealth, enormous strides were taken. Iron I 
ore of every quality was found, the chief betis being in Virginia, ' 
West Virginia, Tennes.see, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, i 
Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas. Five important coal basins 
were uncovered : in Virginia. North Carolina, the Appalachian | 
chain from Maryland to Northern Alabama, Kentucky, Arkan- 



eas, and Texas. Oil pooh were found in Kentucky, Tennes- 
see, and Texas. Within two decades, 1880 to 1900, the output 
of mineral wealth multiplied tenfold; from ten millions a year to 
one hundred millions. The iron industries of West Virginia and 
Alabama began to rival those of Pennsylvania. Birmingham 
became the Pittsburgh and Atlanta the Chicago of the South. 

it ' 


In other lines of industry, lumbering and cotton manufactur- 
ing took a high rank. The development of Southern timber 
resources was in every respect remarkable, particularly in 
Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. At the end of the first 
decade of the twentieth century, primacy in Umiber had passed 
from the Great Lakes region to the South. In 1913 eight 
Southern states produced nearly four times as much lumber 
as the Lake states and twice as much as the vaat forefits of 
Washington and Oregon. 


The devdopment of the cotton industry, in the meantime, 
was similarly astounding. In 1865 cotton spinning was a 
negligible matto* in the Southern states. In 1880 they had 
one-fourth of the mills of the country. At the end of the cen- 
tury th^ had one-half the mills, the two Carolinas taking the 
lead by oonsumiog more than one-third of their entire cotton 
crop. Having both the raw materials and the power at hand, 
they enjo3red many advantages over the New England rivals, 
and at the opening of the new century were outstripping the 
latter in the proportion of spindles annually put into operas 
tion. Moreover, the cotton planters, finding a market at the 
neighboring mills, began to look forward to a day when they 
would be somewhat emancipated from absolute dependence 
upon the cotton exchanges of New York, New Orleans, and 

Transportation kept pace with industry. In 1860, the 
South had about ten thousand miles of railway. By 1880 
ibe figure had doubled. During the next twenty years over 
thirty thousand miles were added, most of the increase being 
in Texas. About 1898 there opened a period of consolidation 
in which scores of short lines were united, mainly under the 
leadership of Northern capitalists, and new through service 
opened to the North and West. Thus Southern industries 
were given easy outlets to the markets of the nation and brought 
within the main currents of national business enterprise. 

The Social Effects of the Economic Changes. — As long as 
the slave system lasted and planting was the major interest, 
the South was bound to be sectional in character. With slav- 
ery gone, crops diversified, natural resources developed, and 
industries promoted, the social order of the ante-bellum days 
inevitably dissolved ; the South became more and more assimi- 
lated to the system of the North. In this process several lines 
of development are evident. 

In the first place we see the steady rise of the small farmer. 
E!ven in the old days there had been a large class of white yeo- 
men who owned no slaves and tilled the soil with their own 



hands, but they labored under severe handicaps.. They found 
the fertile lands of the coast and river valleys nearly all monop- 
oUzed by planters, and they were by the force of circumstances 
driven into the uplands where the soil was thin and the crops 
were light. Still they increased in numbers and zealously 
worked their freeholds. 

The war proved to be their opportunity. With the break-up 
of the plantations, they managed to buy land more worthy 
of their plows. By intelligent labor and intensive cultiva- 
tion they were able to restore much of the worn-out soil to its 
original fertility. In the meantime they rose with their pros- 
perity in the social and political scale. It became common 
for the sons of white farmers to enter the professions, while their 
daughters went away to college and prepared for teaching. 
Thus a more democratic tone was given to the white society 
of the South. Moreover the migration to the North and 
West, which had formerly carried thousands of energetic sons 
and daughters to search for new homesteads, was materially 
reduced. The energy of the agricultural population went 
into rehabilitation. 

The increase in the number of independent farmers was 
accompanied by the rise of small towns and villages which 
gave diversity to the life of the South. Before 1860 it was 
possible to travel through endless stretches of cotton and 
tobacco. The social affairs of the planter's family centered 
in the homestead even if they were occasionally interrupted 
by trips to distant cities or abroad. Carpentry, bricklaying, 
and blacksmithing were usually done by slaves skilled in simple 
handicrafts. Supplies were bought wholesale. In this way 
there was little place in plantation economy for villages and 
towns with their stores and mechanics. 

The aboUtion of slaverj' altered this. Small farms spread 
out where plantations had once stood. The skilled freedmeJi 
turned to agriculture rather than to handicrafts; white meji 
of a business or mechanical bent found an opportunity to serve 
the needs of their communities. So local merchants and me- 


chanics became an important element in the social syetem. U 
the county seats, once dominated by the planters, business and 
professional men assumed the leadership. 

Another vita! outcome of this revolution waa the transfer- 
ence of a large part of planting enterprise to business. Mr. 
Bruce, a Southern historian of fine scholarship, has summed 
up this process in a single telling paragraph : " The higher 
planting class that under the old system gave so much diatino- 
tioQ to rural life has, so far as it has survived at all, been con- 
centrated in the cities. The families that in the time of slav- 
ery would have been found only in the country are now found, 
with a few exceptions, in the towns. The transplantation haa 
been practically universal. The talent, the energy, the 
bition that formerly sought expression in the management of 
great estates and the control of hosts of slaves, now seek a 
field of action in trade, in manufacturing enterprises, or in the< 
general enterprises of development. This was for the ruHng 
class of the South the natural outcome of the great eoononauj' 
revolution that followed the war." 

As in all other jiarts of the world, the mechanical revolu- 
tion was attended by the growth of a |H»pulation of industrial 
workers dependent not upon the soil but upon wages for their 
livehhood. When Jefferson Davis was inaugurated Presi- 
dent of the Southern Confederacy, there were approximately 
only one hundred thousand persons employed in Southern 
manufactures as against more than a miUion in Northern 
mills. Fifty years later, Georgia and Alabama alone had 
more than one hundred and fifty thousand wage-earners. 
Necessarily this meant abo a material increase in urban popu- 
lation, although the wide dispersion of cotton spinning among 
small centers prevented the congestion that had accompanied 
the rise of the textile industry in New England. In 1910, 
New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, and Houston stood 
in the same relation to the New South that Cincinnati, Chi- 
cago, Cleveland, and Detroit had stood to the New West fifty 
years before. The problems of labor and capital and «» 


fifty JB 


cipal administration, which the earlier writers boasted would 
never perplex the planting South, had come in full force. 

The Revolution in the Status of the Slaves. — No part of 
Southern society was so profoundly affected by the Civil 3 




Vaoirlslil Oil UTUItnsoai! and Vidtriaml, .V. 1". 

(iUMPHE OF Memphis, Tennessee 

and economic reconstruction as the former slaves. On the 
day of emancipation, they stood free, but empty-handed, the 
owners of no tools or property, the masters of no trade and 
wholly inexperienced in the arts of .self-help that characteriaed 
the whites in general. They had never been accustomed to 


looking but for themselves. The plantation bell had called 
them to labor and released them. Doles of food and clothing 
bad been regularly made in given quantities. They did not 
onderstand wages, ownership, renting, contracts, mortgages, 
[eases, bills, or accounts. 

When they were emancipated, four courses were open to 
them. They could^ flee from the plantation to the nearest 
town or city, or to the distant North, to seek a livelihood. 
Thousands of them chose this way, overcrowding cities where 
disease mowed them down. They could remain where they 
were in their cabins and work for daily wages instead of food, 
clothing, and shelter. This second course the major portion 
of them chose; but, as few masters had cash to dispense, 
the new relation was much like the old, in fact. It was still 
one of barter. The planter offered food, clothing, and shelter; 
the former slaves gave their labor in return. That was the 
best that many of them could do. 

A third course open to freedmen was that of renting from 
the former master, paying him usually with a share of the 
produce of the land. This way a large number of them chose. 
It offered them a chance to become land owners in time and it 
afforded an easier life, the renter being, to a certain extent 
at least, master of his own hours of labor. The final and 
most difficult path was that to ownership of land. Many a 
master helped his former slaves to acquire small holdings 
by offering easy terms. The more enterprising and the more 
fortunate who started life as renters or wage-earners made their 
way upward to ownership in so many cases that by the end 
of the century, one-fourth of the colored laborers on the land 
owned the soil they tilled. 

In the meantime, the South, though relatively poor, made 
relatively large expenditures for the education of the colored 
population. By the opening of the twentieth century, facilities 
were provided for more than one-half of the colored children 
of school age. While in many respects this progress was disapn 
pointingi its significance, to be appreciated, must be detv^^ 


from a comparison with the total illiteracy which prevailed 

under slavery. 

In spite of all that happened, however, -the statua of the 
negroes in the South continued to give a peculiar character to 
that section of the country. They were almost entirely ex- 
cluded from the exercise of the suffrage, especially in the Far 
South. Special rooms were set aside for them at the railway 
stations and special cars on the railway lines. In the field of 
industry calling for technical skill, it appears, from the census 
figures, that they lost ground between 1890 and 1900 — a con- 
dition which their friends ascrilwd to discriminations against 
them in law and in labor organizations and their critics ascribed 
to their lack of aptitude. Whatever may be the truth, the fact 
remained that at the opening of the twentieth. century neither 
the hopes of the emancipators nor the fears of their opponents 
were realized. The marks of the "peculiar institution" were 
still largely impressed upon Southern society. 

The situation, however, was by no means unchanging. On 
the contrary there was a decided drift in affairs. For one thing, 
the proportion of negroes in the South had slowly declined. 
By 1900 they were in a majority in only two states. South 
Carohna and Mississippi. In Arkansas, Virginia, West Vir- 
ginia, and North Carolina the proportion of the white popu- 
lation was steadily growing. The colored migration north- 
ward increased while the westward movement of white farmers 
which characterized pioneer days declined. At the same time, 
a part of the foreign inimipration into the United States wae 
diverted southward. As the years passed these tendencies 
gained momentum. The already huge colored quarters in som? 
Northern cities were widely expanded, as whole counties in the 
South were stripped of their colored laborers. The race ques- 
tion, in its political and economic aspects, became less and less 
sectional, more and more national. The South was drawn 
into the main stream of national hfe. The separatist forcfs 
which produced the cataclysm of 1861 sank irresistibly into 
the background. 



H. W. Grady, The New South (1890). 

H. A. Herbert, Why the Solid SoiUh. 

W. G. Brown, The Lower SouLh. 

E. G. Murphy, Problems of the Present South. 

B. T. Washington, The Negro Problem; The Story of the Negro; The 
Future of the Negro. 

A. B. Hart, The Southern South and R. S. Baker, Following the Color 
Line (two works by Northern writers). 

T. N. Page, The Negro, the Southerner's Problem. 


1. Give the three main subdivisions of the chapter. 

2. Compare the condition of the South in 1865 with thatof the North. 
Compare with the condition of the United States at the close of the Revo- 
lutionary War. At the close of the World War in 1918. 

3. Contrast the enfranchisement of the slaves with the enfranchise- 
ment of white men fifty years earlier. 

4. What was the condition of the planters as compared with that of 
the Northern manufacturers? 

5. How does money capital contribute to prosperity? Describe the 
plight of Southern finance. 

6. Give the chief steps in the restoration of white supremacy. 

7. Do you know of any other societies to compare with the Ku Klux 

8. Give Lincoln's plan for amnesty. What principles do you think 
should govern the granting of amnesty? 

9. How were the " Force bills " overcome? 

10. Compare the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments with regard 
to the suffrage provisions. 

11. Explain how they may be circumvented. 

12. Account for the Solid South. What was the situation before 1860? 

13. In what ways did Southern agriculture tend to become like that of 
the North? What were the social results? 

14. Name the chief results of an " industrial revolution ** in general. 
In the South, in particular. 

15. What courses were open to freedmen in 1865 ? 

16. Give the main features in the economic and social status of the 
c<^ored population in the South. 

17. Elxplain why the race question is national now, rather thaxi %)^\iQ»x^. 


AeMuch Toploi 

Amnatty for CmilMlenitas. — Study carefully the p rovirioiM of tbs 
fourteenth amendineiit in the Aiq)endix. Mecdonaki, Doeuwumiarif 8aitrm 
Book of AmenooHi History, pp. 470 and 664. A plea for amneaty in Bald- 
ing, Sekd OroHona lUuatniing Anuriean Hiatonfi PP< 487-488. 

Vtmal Condltkma in the SoaXt in 1888.— Dunning^ Rseomabruetim, 
PoUtioai and Eeonomie (American Naticm Seriea), pp. lO^lft ; Harti 
Ammrioan Hidonf Toid 6y Contemporaries, VoL IV, pp. 44&-468» 487-^SOO; 
Elaon, History cf the Untted States, pp. 799-^06. 

Morement tor White Sopfanuiey. — Dunmng^ Beconstrvdiamf pp. 906- 
280; Paaoon, The NewNaHcn (Riverside Seriea), i^. 3MS8; Beazd, Amer- 
ican Qosemment and PoUHes, pp, 454-457. 

The Withdrawal of Federal Troopa from the Sooth.— Spario, Naiiaml 
.Dev^opmerU (American Nation Serka), pp. 84-102; Bhodaa» History sf 
the United States, Vol. YIU, pp. 1-12. 

Southern Indnatry. — Paxson, The New Naiian, pp. 102-807; T. M. 
Young, The American Cotton Industry, pp. 54-00. 

The Race Qoeation. — B. T. Waahixigton, Up From Skwery (f^mgsdOMiitic 
presentation) ; A. H. Stone, Studies in the Am/sriean Roes PrMsm (ecMty 
analytical) ; Hart, Contemporaries, Vol. IV, pp. 647-640, 65^-65^ 66^-600. 


If a single phrase be chosen to characterize American life 
during the generation that followed the age of Douglas and 
Lincoln, it must be " business enterprise " — the tremendous, 
irresistible energy of a virile people, mounting in nimibers 
toward a hundred million and applied without let or hindrance 
to the developing of natural resources of unparalleled rich- 
ness. The chief goal of this efifort was high profits for the 
captains of industry, on the one hand ; and high wages for the 
workers, on the other. Its signs, to use the language of a Re- 
publican orator in 1876, were golden^ harvest fields, whirling 
spindles, turning wheels, ope^ f urna^ doors, fiaming forges, 
and chinmeys filled with eag«sr<fire. jTie device blazoned on 
its shield and written over its mctory doors was " prosperity." 
A Republican President was its " advance agent." Released 
from the hampering interference of the Southern planters and 
the confusing issues of the slavery controversy, business enter- 
prise sprang forward to the task of winning the entire coun- 
try. Then it fiung its outposts to the uttermost parts of the 
earth — Europe, Africa, and the Orient — where were to be 
found markets for American goods and natural resources for 
American capital to develop. 

Railways and Industry 

The Outward Signs of Enterprise. — It is difiScult to com- 
prehend all the multitudinous activities of American business 
energy or to appraise its effects upon the life and destiny of 
the American people; for beyond the horizon of the twenti- 
eth century lie consequences as yet undreamed of in our 
poor philosophy. Statisticians attempt to record it£ q^cViyss^- 





meotB in terms of miles of railways built, factories opened, 
men and women employed, fortunes made, wages paid, cities 
founded, rivers spanned, boxes, bales, and tons produced. 
Historians apply standards of comparison with the past. 
Against the slow and leisurely stagecoach, they set the swift 
express, rushing from New York to San Francisco in less time 
than Washington consumed in his triumphal tour from Mt. 
Vernon to New York for his first inavifi'tral. Against the lazy 

A CORNEB m THE Betbleskm Steel Wokkh 

sailing vessel drifting before a genial breeze, they place the 
turbine steamer crossing the Atlantic in five days or the still 
swifter airplane, in fifteen hours. For the old workshop where 
a master and a dozen workmen and apprentices wrought by 
hand, they offer the giant factory where ten thousand persons 
attend the whirling wheels driven by steam. They write of 
the " romance of invention " and the " captains of industry." 

The Service of the Railway. — All this is fitting in its way. 
Figures and contrasts cannot, however, tell the whole sto: 


Take, for example, the extension of railways. It is easy to 
relate that there were 30,000 miles in 1860 ; 166,000 in 1890 ; 
and 242,000 in 1910. It is easy to show upon the map how a 
few straggling lines became a perfect mesh of closely knitted 
railways; or how, like the tentacles of a great monster, the 
few roads ending in the Mississippi Valley in 1860 were ex- 
tended and multiplied until they tapped every wheat field, 
mine, and forest beyond the valley. All this, eloquent of enter- 
prise as it truly is, does not reveal the significance of railways 
for American Ufe. It does not indicate how railways made a 
continental market for American goods ; nor how they stand- 
ardiied the whole country, giving to cities on the advancing 
frontier the leading features of cities in the old East ; nor how 
they carried to the pioneer the comforts of civilization; nor 
yet how in the West they were the forerunners of civilization, 
the makers of homesteads, the builders of states. 

GofWDment Aid for Railways. — Still the story is not ended. 
The ngnificant relation between railways and politics must 
not be overlooked. The bounty of a lavish government, for 
examplei made possible the work of railway promoters. By 
the yeax 1872 the Federal government had granted in aid of 
raflways 155,000,000 acres of land — an area estimated as 
afanoet equal to Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode 
Idand, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. 
The Union Pacific Company alone secured from the federal 
government a free right of way through the public domain, 
twenty sections of land with each mile of railway, and a loan 
up to fifty millions of dollars secured by a second mortgage 
on the company's property. More than half of the northern 
tier of states lying against Canada from Lake Michigan to the 
Pacific was granted to private companies in aid of railways 
and wagon roads. About half of New Mexico, Arizona, and 
California was also given outright to railway companies. 
These vast grants from the federal government were supple- 
mented by gifts from the states in land and by subscriptions 
amounting to more than two hundred million dollars. TW 


history of these gifts and their reiatioD to the political leaders 
that engineered them would alone fill a large and interesting 

Railway Fortunes and Capital. — Out of this gigantic 
railway promotion, the first really immense American fortunes 
were made. Henrj' Adams, the grandson of John Quincy 
Adams, related that his grandfather on his mother's side, Pet«r 
Brooks, on his death in 1849, left a fortune of two million dol- 
lars, " supposed to be the largest estate in Boston," then one 
of the few centers of great riches. Compared with the opulence 
that sprang out of the Union Pacific, the Northern Pacific. 
/ tne Southern Pacific, with their subsidiary and component lines, 
the estate of Peter Brooks was a poor man's heritage. 

I The capital invested in these railways was enormous beyond 
the imagination of the men of the stagecoach generation. 
The total debt of the United States incurred in the Revo- 
lutionary War — a debt which those of little faith thought 
the country could never pay — was reckoned at a figure well 
under $75,000,000. When the Union Pacific Railroad was com- 
pleted, there were outstanding against it 827,000,000 in first 
mortgage bonds, $27,000,000 in second mortgage bonds held 
by the government, $]0,000,000 in income bonds, $10,000,000, H 
in land grant bonds, and, on top of that huge bonded indebt- 
edness, $36,000,000 in stock— making SI 10,000,000 in all. If I 
the amoimt due the United States government be subtracted, 
still there remained, in private hands, stocks and bonds stceed- 
ing in value the whole national debt of Hamilton's day — a I 
debt that strained all the resources of the Federal govemment 
in 1790. Such w:ik the financial .signifiranco of the railways. ] 
Growth and Extension of Industry. — In the field of manu- | 
facturing, raining, and metal working, the results of businees  
enterprise far outstripped, if measure^-^n mere dollars, the 
results of railway construction. Bythe end of the centurj' 
there were about ten billion dollars invested in i&ctpries alone 
and five million wage-earners employed in them ; while the 
total value of the output, fourteen billion dollars, w*b fiffcees 




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times the fipire for 1860. In the Eastern states industries 
multiphed. In the Northwest territory, the old home of Jack- 
sonian Democracy, they overtopped agriculture. By the 
end of the century, Ohio had almost reached and Illinois had 
surpassed Massachusetts in the annual value of manufactur- 
ing output. 

That was not all. Untold wealth in the form of natural 
resources was discovered in the South and West. Coal de- 
posits were found in the Appalachians stretching from Penn- 
sylvania down to Alabama, in Michigan, in the Mississippi 
Valley, and in the Western mountains from North Dakota to 
New Mexico. In neariy every coal-bearing region, iron was 
also discovered and the great fields of Michigan, Wisconsin, 
and Minnesota soon rivaled those of the Appalachian area. 
Copper, lead, gold, and silver in fabulous quantities were un- 
earthed by the restless prospectors who left no plain or moun- 
tain fastness unexplored. Petrolemn, first pumped from the 
wells of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1859, made new fortunes 
equaling those of trade, railways, and land speculation. It 
scattered its riches with an especially lavish hand through 
Oklahoma, Texas, and California. 

The Trust — an Instrument of Industrial Progress. — 
Business enterprise, under the direction of powerful men work- 
ing single-handed, or of small groups of men pooling their capi- 
tal for one or more undertakings, had not advanced far before 
there appeared upon the scene still mightier leaders of even 
greater imagination. New constructive genius now brought 
together and combined under one management hundreds of 
concerns or thousands of miles of railways, revealing the 
magic strength of cooperation on a national scale. Price- 
cutting in oil, threatening ruin to those engaged in the in- 
dustry, as early as 1879, led a number of companies in Cleve- 
land, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia to unite in price-fiidng- 
Three years later a group of oil interests formed a close or- 
ganization, placing all their stocks in the hands of trustees, 
among whom was John D. Rockefeller, The trustees, 


turn, issued certificates representing the share to which eacll 
participant was entitled ; and took over the management of 
the entire business. Such was the nature of the " trust," which 
was to play such an unique rdle in the progress of America. 

The idea of combination was applied in time to iron and steel, 
copper, lead, sugar, cordage, coal, and other commodities, 
until in each field there loomed a giant trust or corporation, 
controlling, if not most of the output, at least enough to de- 
termine in a large measure the prices charged to consumers. 
With the passing years, the rail- 
ways, mills, mines, and other busi- 
ness concerns were transferred from 
individual owners to corporations. 
At the end of the nineteenth cen- 
tuiy, the whole face of American 
business was changed. Three- 
fourths of the output from intlus- 
tries came from factories under 
corporate management and only 
one-fourth from individual and 
partnership undertakings. 

The Banking Corporatioa. — 
Vcn,' closely related to the growth 
of business enterprise on a large scale was the system of banking. 
In the old days before banks, a person with savings either em- 
ployed them in his own undertakings, lent them to a neighbor, 
or hid them away where they set no industry in motion. Even 
in the early stages of modem business, it was common for a 
manufacturer to rise from small beginnings by financing exten- 
sions out of his own earnings and profits. This state of affairs 
was profoundly altered by the growth of the huge corporations 
requiring millions and even billions of capital. The banks, 
once an adjunct to business, became the leaders in business. 

It was the banks that undertook to sell the stocks and bonds 
issued by new corporations and trusts and to supply them with 
credit to carry on their operations. Indeed, many of the gc' 


each ^H 




mergers or combinations in business were initiated by magnates 
in thf banking world witii millions and billions under their 

Wall Btrbbt, New Yoe 

control. Through their connections with one another, the banks 
formed a perfect network of agencies gathering up the pennies 
and dollars of the maases ae well as the thousaoda of the rich 


and pouring them all into the channels of business and manu- 
facturing. In this growth of banking on a national scale, it 
was inevitable that a few great centers, like Wall Street in New 
York or State Street in Boston, should rise to a position of 
dominance both in concentrating the savings and profits of the 
nation and in financing new as well as old corporations. 

The Significance of the Corporation. — The corporation, in 
fact, became the striking feature of American business Ufe, 
one of the most marvelous institutions of all time, comparable 
in wealth and power and the number of its servants with king- 
doms and states of old. The effect of its rise and growth can- 
not be summarily estimated ; but some special facts are obvious. 
It made possible gigantic enterprises once entirely beyond the 
reach of any individual, no matter how rich. It eUminated 
many of the futile and costly wastes of competition in connec- 
tion with manufacture, advertising, and selling. It studied 
the cheapest methods of production and shut down mills 
that were poorly equipped or disadvantageously located. It 
established laboratories for research in industry, chemistry, 
and mechanical inventions. Through the sale of stocks and 
bonds, it enabled tens of thousands of people to become capi- 
talists, if only in a small way. The corporation made it possible 
for one person to own, for instance, a $50 share in a million 
dollar business concern — a thing entirely impossible under a 
regime of individual owners and partnerships. 

There was, of course, another side to the picture. Many of 
the corporations sought to become monopolies and to make 
profits, not by economies and good management, but by extor- 
tion from purchasers. Sometimes they mercilessly crushed small 
business men, their competitors, bribed members of legislatures 
to secure favorable laws, and contributed to the campaign funds 
of both leading parties. Wherever a trust approached the posi- 
tion of a monopoly, it acquired a dominion over the labor market 
which enabled it to break even the strongest trade unions. In 
short, the power of the trust in finance, in manufacturing, in 
politics, and in the field of labor control can hardly be me8u&vx\^^. 


The Corporation and Labor. — In the development of the 

corporation there was to be observed a distinct severing of the 
old ties between master and workmen, which existed in the days 
of small industries. For the personal bond between the owner 
and the employees was substituted a new relation, " In most 
parts of our country," as President Wilson once said, " men 
work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which 
they used to work, but generally as employees — in a higher or 
lower grade — of great corporations," The owner disappeared 
from the factory and in his place came the manager, represent- 
ing the usually invisible stockholders and dependent for his 
success upon his ability to make profits for the owners. Hence 
the term "soulless corporation," which was to exert such a 
deep influence on American thinking about industrial relations. 

Cities and Immigration. ^ Expressed in terms of human life. 
this era of unprecedented enterprise meant huge industrial 
cities and an immense latjor supply, derived mainly from Euro- 
pean immigration. Here, too, figures tell only a part of the 
story. In Washington's day nine-tenths of the American people 
were engaged in agriculture and lived in the country; in 1890 
more than one-third of the population dwelt in towns of 2500 
and over; in 1920 more than half of the population lived in 
towns of over 25O0. In forty years, between 1860 and 1900, 
Greater New York had grown from 1,174,000 to 3,437,000: 
San Francisco from .'j6,000 to 342,000; Chicago from 109,000 
to 1,698,000. The miles of city tenements l>egan to rival, in 
the number of their residents, the farm homesteads of the West. 
The time so dreaded by Jefferson had arrived. People were 
" piled upon one another in great cities " and the republic of 
small farmers had passed away. 

To these industrial centers flowed annually an ever-increasing 
tide of immigration, reaching the half million point in 18S0; 
rising to three-quarters of a million three years later ; and pass- 
ing the million mark in a single year at the opening of the new 
century. Immigration was as old as America but new elements 
now entered the situation. In the first place, there were radical 


changes in the nationaUty of the newcomers. The migration 
from Northern Em*ope — England, Ireland, Germany, and Scan- 
dinavia — diminished; that from Italy, Russia, and Austria- 
Hungary increased, more than three-fourths of the entire num- 
ber coming from these three lands between the years 1900 and 
1910. These later immigrants were Itahans, Poles, Magyars, 
Czechs, Slovaks, Russians, and Jews, who came from countries 
far removed from the language and the traditions of England 
whence came the founders of America. 

In the second place, the reception accorded the newcomers 
differed from that given to the immigrants in the early days. 
By 1890 all the free land was gone. They could not, therefore, 
be dispersed widely among the native Americans to assimilate 
quickly and unconsciously the habits and ideas of American 
life. On the contrary, they were diverted mainly to the in- 
dustrial centers. There they crowded — nay, overcrowded — 
into colonies of their own where they preserved their languages, 
their newspapers, and their old-world customs and views. 

So eager were American business men to get an enormous 
labor supply that they asked few questions about the effect 
of this " aUen invasion " upon the old America inherited from 
the fathers. They even stimulated the invasion artificially by 
importing huge armies of foreigners under contract to work in 
specified mines and mills. There seemed to be no limit to the 
factories, forges, refineries, and railways that could be built, to 
the multitudes that could be employed in conquering a conti- 
nent. As for the future, that was in the hands of Providence ! 

Business Theories of Politics. — As the statesmen of Hamil- 
ton's school and the planters of Calhoun's had their theories 
of government and pohtics, so the leaders in business enterprise 
had theirs. It was simple and easily stated. "It is the duty 
of the government," they urged, " to protect American industry 
against foreign competition by means of high tariffs on imported 
goods, to aid railways by generous grants of land, to sell mineral 
and timber lands at low prices to enei^etic men ready to develop 
them, and then to leave the rest to the initiative and dt\N^ <A 


individuals and companies," All government interference with 
the management, prices, rates, chaises, and conduct of private 
business they held to be either wholly pernicious or intolerably 
impertinent. Judging from their speeches and writings, they 
conceived the nation as a great collection of individuals, com- 
panies, and labor unions all struggling for profits or high wages 
and held together by a government whose principal duty was 
to keep the peace among them and protect industry against 
the foreign manufacturer. Such was the political theory of 
business during the generation that followed the Civil War. 

The Supremacy of the Republican Pahty (1861-85) 
Business Men and Republican Policies. — Most of the leaders 
in industry gravitated to the Republican ranks. They worked 
in the North and the Republican party was essentially Northern. 
It was moreover — at least bo far as the majority of its members 
were concerned — committed to protective tariffs, a sound 
monetary and banking system, the promotion of railways and 
industry by land grants, and the development of internal im- 
provements. It was furtheniiore generous in its immigration 
policy. It proclaimed America to be an asylum for the oppressed 
of all countries and flunft wide the doors for immigrants eager 
to fill the factories, man the mines, and settle upon Western 
lands. In a woi-d the Republicans stood for all those specific 
measures which favored the enlargement and prosperity of 
business. At the same time they resisted government inter- 
ference with private enterprise. They diit not regulate railway 
rates, prosecute trusts for forming combinations, or prevent 
railway companies from giving lower rates tn some shippers than 
to others. To sum it up, the political theories of the Republican 
party for three decades after the Civil War were the tbecoiee 
of American business — prosperous and profitable iodustries 
for the owners and " the full dinner pail " for the workmen. - 
Naturally a large portion of those who flourished under its 
policies gave their support to it, voted for its candidates, and 
subscribed to its campaign funds. 


Sources of Republican Strength in the North. — The Re- 
publican party was in fact a political organization of singular 
power. It originated in a wave of moral enthusiasm^ having 
attracted to itself, if not the abolitionists, certainly all those 
idealists, like James Russell Lowell and George WiUiam Curtis, 
who had opposed slavery when opposition was neither safe nor 
popular. To moral principles it added practical considerations. 
Business men had confidence in it. Workingmen, who longed 
for the independence of the farmer, owed to its indulgent land 
policy the opportunity of securing free homesteads in the West. 
The immigrant, landing penniless on these shores, as a result of 
the same beneficent system, often found himself in a little while 
with an estate as large as many a baronial domain in the Old 
World. Under a Republican administration, the union had 
been saved. To it the veterans of the war could turn with 
confidence for those rewards of service which the government 
could bestow : pensions surpassing in liberality anything that 
the world had ever seen. Under a Republican administration 
also the great debt had been created in the defense of the union, 
and to the RepubUcan party every investor in government 
bonds could look for the full and honorable discharge of the 
interest and principal. The spoils system, inaugurated by 
Jacksonian Democracy, in turn placed all the federal offices in 
Republican hands, furnishing an army of party workers to be 
counted on for loyal service in every campaign. 

Of all these things Republican leaders made full and vigorous 
use, sometimes ascribing to the party, in accordance with 
ancient political usage, merits and achievements not wholly 
its own. Particularly was this true in the case of saving the 
union. " When in the economy of Providence, this land was to 
be purged of human slavery . . . the Republican party came 
into power,'* ran a declaration in one platform. " The Re- 
. publican party suppressed a gigantic rebellion, emancipated 
four million slaves, decreed the equal citizenship of all, and 
established universal suffrage," ran another. As for the aid 
rendered by the miU^'**" '^f Nortliem Democrats who stood Vs^ 



the union and the tens of thousands of them who actually fought 
in the union array, the Repubhcana in their zeal were inclined 
to be oblivious. They repeatedly charged the Democratic 
party " with being the same in character and spirit as when it 
sympathized with treftHon." 

Republican Control of the South. — To the strength enjoyed 
in the North, the Repubhcana for a long time added the ad- 
vantages that came from control over the former Confederate 
states where the newly enfranchised negroes, under white leader- 
ship, gave a grateful support to the party responsible for their 
freedom, In this branch of politics, motives were so mixed 
that no historian can hope to appraise them all at their proper 
values. On the one side of the ledger must be set the vigorous 
efforts of the honest and sincere friends of the freedmen to win 
for them complete civil and pohtical equality, wiping out not 
only slavery but all its badges of misery and servitude. On 
the same side must Ire placed the labor of those who had 
valiantly fought in forum and field to save the union and who 
regarded continued Republican supremacy after the war as 
absolutely necessary to prevent the former leaders in secession 
from coming baclt to power. At the same time there were un- 
doubtedly some men of the baser sort who looked on politics 
as a game and who made use of " carpet-bagging " in the South 
to win the spoils that might result from it. At all events, both 
by laws and presidential acts, the Republicans for many years 
kept a keen eye upon the maintenance of their dominion in 
the South. Their declaration that neither the law nor its ad- 
ministration should admit any discrimination in respect of 
citizens by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servi- 
tude appealed to idealists and brought results in elections. Even 
South Carolina, where reposed the ashes of John C. Calhoun, 
went Republican in 1872 by a vote of three to one! 

Republican control was made easy by the force bills described 
in a previous chapter — measures which vested the super- 
vision of elections in federal officers appointed by Republican 
Presidents. These drastic measures, departing from Amerieao 


tnufitKMi, the Bepublicaii authors uig^, were necessary to 
safeguard the purity erf the ballot, not merely in the South 
where the timid freedman mi^t readily be fri^tened from 
using it ; but abo in the North, particulariy in New YoiiL City, 
where it was daimed that fraud was regularly practiced by 
Democratic leaders. 

The Democrats, on their ade, indignantly denied the charges, 
relying that the force bills were nothing but devices created 
by the Republicans for the purpose of securing their continued 
rule throu^ s>'steinatic interference with elections. Even the 
measures of reconstruction were deemed by Democratic leaders 
as thinly veQed schemes to establish Republican power through- 
out the country. " Nor is there the slightest doubt," exclaimed 
Samuel J. Tilden, spokesman of the Democrats in New York 
and candidate for President in 1876, " that the paramount ob- 
ject and motive of the Republican party is by these means to 
secure itself against a reaction of opinion adverse to it in our 
great popuTous Northern commonwealths. . . . When the Re- 
publican party resolved to establish negro supremacy in the 
ten states in order to gain to itself the representation of those 
states in Congress, it had to begin by governing the people of 
those states by the sword. . . . The next was the creation of new 
electoral bodies for those ten states, in which, by exclusions, by 
disfranchisements and proscriptions, by control over registra- 
tion, by appl3dng test oaths ... by intimidation and by every 
form of influence, three million negroes are made to predominate 
over four and a half million whites." 

The War as a Campaign Issue. — Even the repeal of force 
bills could not allay the sectional feelings engendered by the 
war. The Republicans could not forgive the men who had so 
recently been in arms against the union and insisted on callins 
them " traitors " and " rebels." The Southerners, smarting 
under the reconstruction acts, could r^ard the Republicans only 
as political oppressors. The passions of the war had been too 
strong ; the distress too deep to be soon forgotten. The genera- 
tion that went through it all remembered it all. For t^^c^ 


years, the Republicans, in their speeches and platforms, made 
" a straight appeal to the patriotism of the Northern voters." 
They maintained that their party, which had saved the union 
and emancipated the slaves, was alone worthy of protecting the 
union and uplifting the freedmen. 

Though the Democrats, especially in the North, resented this 
policy and dubbed it with the expressive but inelegant phrase, 
" waving (he bloody shirt," the Republicans refused to surren- 
der a slogan which made such a ready popular appeal. As late 
as 1884, a leader expressed the hope that they might " wring 
one more President from the bloody shirt." They refused to 
let the country forget that the Democratic candidate, Grover 
Cleveland, had escaped mihtary service by hiring a substitute; 
and they made political capital out of the fact that he had " in- 
sulted the veterans of the Grand Army of the RepubUc" by 
going fishing on Decoration Day. 

Three Republican Presidents. — Fortihed by all these ele- 
ments of strength, the Republicans held the presidency from 
1869 to 1885. The three Presidents elected in this period, 
Grant, Hayes, and Garfield, had certain striking characteristics 
in common. They were all of origin humble enough to please 
the most exacting .Jacksonian Democrat. They had been 
generals in the union army. Grant, next to Lincoln, was re- 
garded as the savior of the Constitution. Hayes and Garfield, 
though lesser lights in the military firmament, had honorable 
records duly appreciated by veterans of the war, now thoroughly 
organized into the Grand Army of the Republic. It is true that 
Grant was not a politician and had never voted the R^ublican 
ticket ; but this was readily overlooked. Hayes and Garfield 
on the other hand were loyal party men. The former had served 
in Congress and for three terms as governor of his state. The 
latter had long been a member of the House of Representatives 
and was Senator-elect when he received the nomination for 

All of them possessed, moreover, another important asset, 
which was not forgotten by the astute managers who led in 


selecting candidates. All of them were from Ohio — though 
Grant had been in Illinois when the smnmons to military duties 
came — and Ohio was a strategic state. It lay between the 
manufactiuing East and the agrarian country to the West. 
Having growing industries and wool to sell it benefited from 
the protective tariff. Yet being mainly agricultural still, it 
was not without sympathy for the farmers who showed low tariff 
or free trade tendencies. Whatever share the East had in 
shaping laws and framing policies, it was clear that the West 
was to have the candidates. This division in privileges  — not 
uncommon in political management — was always accompanied 
by a judicious selection of the candidate for Vice President. 
With Garfield, for example, was associated a prominent New 
York poUtician, Chester A. Arthur, who, as fate decreed, was 
destined to more than three years' service as chief magistrate, 
on the assassination of his superior in office. 

The Disputed Election of 1876. — While taking note of the 
long years of Republican supremacy, it must be recorded that 
grave doubts exist in the minds of many historians as to whether 
one of the three Presidents, Hayes, was actually the victor in 
1876 or not. His Democratic opponent, Samuel J. Tilden, 
received a popular plurality of a quarter of a miUion and had a 
plausible claim to a majority of the electoral vote. At all events, 
four states sent in double returns, one set for Tilden and another 
for Hayes; and a deadlock ensued. Both parties vehemently 
claimed the election and the passions ran so high that sober men 
did not shrink from speaking of civil war again. Fortunately, 
in the end, the counsels of peace prevailed. Congress provided 
for an electoral commission of fifteen men to review the con- 
tested returns. The Democrats, inspired by Tilden's modera- 
tion, accepted the judgment in favor of Hayes even though they • 
were not convinced that he was really entitled to the office. 

The Growth op Opposition to Republican Rule 

Abuses in American Political Life. — During their long tenure 
of office, the Republicans could not escape the inevUAk\& ^^xl- 


sequences of power ; that is, evil practices and corrupt conduct 
on the part of some who found shelter within the ptirty. For 
that matter neither did the Democrats manage to avoid such 
difficulties in those states and cities where they had the majority. 
In New York City, for instance, the local Democratic oi^ajiiza- 
tion, known aa Tammany Hall, passed imder the sway of a 
group of politicians headed by " Boss " Tweed. He plundered 
the city treasury until public-spirited citizens, supported by 
Samuel J. Tilden, the Democratic leader of the state, rose in 
revolt, drove the ringleader from power, and sent him to jail. 
In Philadelphia, the local Republican bosses were guilty of 
offenses aa odious as those committed by New York politiciajis. 
Indeed, the decade that followed the Civil War was marred by 
BO many scandals in public life that one acute editor was moved 
to inquire : " Are not all the great communities of the Westero 
World growing more corrupt as they grow in wealth? " 

In the sphere of national politics, where the opportunities 
were greater, betrayals of public trust were even more flagrant. 
One revelation after another showed officers, high and low, 
possessed with the spirit of peculation. Members of Congress. 
it was found, accepted railway stock in exchange for votes in 
favor of land grants and other concessions to the companies. In 
the administration as well aa the legislature the disease was rife. 
- Revenue officers permitted whisky distillers to evade th«r 
taxes and received heavy bribes in return, A probe into the 
post-office department revealed the malodorous " star route 
frauds " — the deliberate overpayment of certain mail carriers 
whose lines were indicated in the official record by asterisks or 
stars. Even cabinet officere did not escape suspicion, for the 
traU of the serpent led straight to the door of one of them. 

In the lower ranges of official life, the spoils system became 
more virulent as the number of federal employees increased. 
The holders of offices and the seekers after them constituted a 
veritable political army. They crowded into Republican coun- 
cils, for the Republicans, being in power, could alone dispense 
federal favors. They filled positions in the party ranging from 


the lowest township committee to the national convention. 
They helped to nominate candidates and draft platforms and 
elbowed to one side the busy citizen, not conversant with party 
intrigues, who could only give an occasional day to poUtical 
matters. Even the Civil Service Act of 1883, wrung from a re- 
luctant Congress two years after the assassination of Garfield, 
made little change for a long time. It took away from the 
spoilsmen a few thousand government positions, but it formed 
no check on the practice of rewarding party workers from the 
public treasury. 

On viewing this state of affairs, many a distinguished citizen 
became profoundly discouraged. James Russell Lowell, for 
example, thought he saw a steady decline in public morals. In 
1865, hearing of Lee's surrender, he had exclaimed : " There 
is something magnificent in having a country to love ! " Ten 
years later, when asked to write an ode for the centennial at 
Philadelphia in 1876, he could think only of a biting satire on 
the nation : 

"Show your state legislatures ; show your Rings ; 
And challenge Europe to produce such things 
As high officials sitting half in sight 
To share the plimder and fix things right. 
If that don't fetch her, why, you need only 
To show your latest style in martyrs, — Tweed : 
She'll find it hard to hide her spiteful tears 
At such advance in one poor hundred years." 

When his critics condemned him for this " attack upon his 
native land," Lowell replied in sadness : " These fellows have 
no notion of what love of country means. It was in my very 
blood and bones. If I am not an American who ever was? . . . 
What fills me with doubt and dismay is the degradation of 
the moral tone. Is it or is it not a result of democracy? Is 
ours a ' government of the people, by the people, for the people,' 
or a Kakistocracy [a government of the worst], rather for the 
benefit of knaves at the cost of fools? " 


The Reform MoTement in Republican Ranks. — The senti- 
ments expressed by Lowell, himself a Republican and for a time 
American ambassador to England, were shared by many men in 
his party. Very soon after the close of the Civil War some 
of them began to protest vigorously against the policies and 
conduct of their leaders. In 1872, the dissenters, calling them- 
selves Liberal Republicans, broke away altogether, nominated 
a candidate of their own, Horace Greeley, and put forward a 
platform indicting the Republican President fiercely enough to 
please the most uncompromising Democrat.. They accused 
Grant of using " the powers and opportunities of his high office 
for the promotion of personal ends." They charged him with 
retaining " notoriously corrupt and unworthy men in places of 
power and responsibility," They alleged that the RepubHcan 
party kept " alive the passions and resentments of the late civil 
war to use them for their own advantages," and employed the 
" public service of the government as a machinery of corruption 
and personal influence." 

It was not apparent, however, from the ensuing election that 
any considerable number of Republicans accepted the views of 
the Liberals. Greeley, though indorsed by the Democrats, waa 
utterly routed and died of a broken heart. The lesson of his 
discomfiture seemed to be that independent action was futile. 
So, at least, it was regarded by most men of the rising generation 
like Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, and Theodore 
Roosevelt, of New York. Profiting by the experience of Greeley 
they insisted in season and out that reformers who desired to rid 
the party of abuses should remain loyal to it and do their work 
" on the inside." 

The Mugwumps and Cleveland Democracy in 1884. — Though 
aided by Republican dissensions, the Democrats were slow 
in making headway against the political current, Thay were 
deprived of the energetic and capable leadership once afforded 
by the planters, like Calhoun, Davis, and Toombs: they were 
saddled by their opponent.^ with responsibihty for secession; 
and they were stripped of the support of the prostrate South. 


Not until the last Southern state was restored to the union, 
not until a general amnesty was wrung from Congr^, not until 
white supremacy was established at the polls, and the last federal 
soldier withdrawn from Southern capitals did they succeed in 
capturing the presidency. 

The opportune moment for them came in 1884 when a number 
of circumstances favored their aspirations. The RepubUcans, 
leaving the Ohio Valley in their search for a candidate, nomi- 
nated James G. Blaine of Maine, a vigorous and popular leader 
but a man under fire from the reformers in his own party. The 
Democrats on their side were able to find at this juncture an able 
candidate who had no political enemies in the sphere of national 
poHtics, Grover Cleveland, then governor of New York and 
widely celebrated as a man of " sterling honesty. '' At the same 
time a number of dissatisfied Republicans openly espoused 
the Democratic cause, — among them Carl Schurz, George 
William Curtis, Henry Ward Beecher, and William Everett, 
men of fine ideals and undoubted integrity. Though the " regu- 
lar " Republicans called them " Mugwumps " and laughed at 
them as the " men milliners, the dilettanti, and carpet knights 
of politics," they had a following that was not to be despised. 

The campaign which took place that year was one of the most 
savage in American history. Issues were thrust into the back- 
ground. The tariff, though mentioned, was not taken seriously. 
Abuse of the opposition was the favorite resource of party ora- 
tors. The Democrats insisted that " the RepubUcan party 
so far as principle is concerned is a reminiscence. In practice 
it is an organization for enriching those who control its machin- 
ery." For the Republican candidate, Blaine, they could hardly 
find words to express their contempt. The Republicans re- 
taUated in kind. They praised their own good works, as of old, 
in saving the union, and denounced the " fraud and violence 
practiced by the Democracy in the Southern states." Seeing 
little objectionable in the pubUc record of Cleveland as mayor 
of Buffalo and governor of New York, they attacked his personal 
character. Perhaps never in the history of political cami^^v^pfik 


did the discuesions on the platform and in the press sink to so 
low a level. Decent people were sickened. Even hot partisans 
shrank from their own words when, after the election, they had 
time to reflect on their heedless passions. Moreover, nothing 
was decided by the balloting. Cleveland was elected, but his 
victory was a narrow one, A change of a few hundred votes 
in New York would have sent his opponent to the White House 

Changing Political Fortunes (1888-96). — After the Demo- 
crats had settled down to the enjoyment of their hard-earned 
victory, President Cleveland in his message of 1887 attacked the 
tariff as " vicious, inequitable, and illogical " ; as a system of 
taxation that laid a burden upon " every consumer in the land 
for the benefit of our manufacturers." Business enterprise 
was thoroughly alarmed. The Republicans characterized the 
tariff message as a free-trade assault upon the industries of the 
country. Mainly on that issue they elected in 1888 Benjamin 
Harrison of Indiana, a shrewd lawyer, a reticent politician, a de- 
scendant of the hero of Tippecanoe, and a son'of the old North- 
west. Accepting the outcome of the election as a vindication 
of their principles, the Republicans, under the leadership of 
William McKinley in the House of Representatives, enact«d 
in 1890 a tariff law imposing the highest duties yet laid in our 
history. To their utter surprise, however, they were instantly 
informed by the country that their program was not approved. 
That very autumn they lost in the congressional elections, and 
two years later thei,' were decisively beaten in the presidential 
campaign, Cleveland once more leading his party to victory. 

L. H. Haney, Congrttnonal HUtory of Railipays (2 vols.). 
J. P. Davis, Union Padfir Railieay. 
3. M. Swank, History of the Manufacture of Iron. 
M. T. Copeland, The Cotton Manufacturing Industry in the i'niledS 
(Harvard Studiea). 

E. W. Bryce, Prograa of Invention in the Nineteenth Century. 
Ida Tarbeil. History of the Standard OU Company (Criticftl). 


G. H. Montague, Rise and Progress of the Standard Oil Company 

H. P. Fairchild, Immigration, and F. J. Wame, The Immigrant Invasion 
(Both works favor exclusion). 

I. A. Hourwich, Immigration (Against exclusionist policies). 

J. F. Rhodes, History of the United States, 1877-1896, Vol. VIII. 
Edward Stanwood, A History of the Presidency, Vol. I, for the presi- 
dential elections of the period. 


1. Contrast the state of industry and commerce at the close of tho 
Civil War with its condition at the close of the Revolutionary War. 

2. Enumerate the services rendered to the nation by the railwa3rs. 

3. Explain the peculiar relation of railways to government. 

4. What sections of the country have been industrialized? 

6. How do you account for the rise and growth of the trusts? Ex- 
plain some of the economic advantages of the trust. 

6. Are the people in cities more or less independent than the farmers? 
What was Jefferson's view? 

7. State some of the problems raised by imrestricted inmiigration. 

8. What was the theory of the relation of government to business in 
this period? Has it changed in recent times? 

9. State the leading economic policies sponsored by the Republican 

10. Why were the Republicans especially strong immediately after the 
Civil War? 

II. What illustrations can you give showing the influence of war in 
American political campaigns? 

12. Account for the strength of middle-western candidates. 

13. Enimierate some of the abuses that appeared in American political 
life after 1865. 

14. Sketch the rise and growth of the reform movement. 

15 . How is the fluctuating state of public opinion reflected in the elec- 
tions from 1880 to 1896? 

Research Topics 

Invention, Discovery, and Transportation. — Sparks, National Develop- 
ment (American Nation Series), pp. 37-67 ; Bogart, Economic History of the 
United States, Chaps. XXI, XXII, and XXIII. 

Business and Politics. — Paxson, The New Nation (Riverside Series), 
pp. 92-107; Rhodes, History of the United States, Vol. VII, ^^. V-*2ft^ 


64-73, 176-206 ; Wilson, History of the American People, Vol. IV, pp. 78- 

Immigration. — Coman, Industrial History of the United States (2d ed.), 
pp. 369-374 ; E. L. Bogart, Economic History of the United States, pp. 420- 
422, 434-437 ; Jenks and Lauck, Immigraiion Problems; Commons, Races 
and Immigrants, 

The Disputed Election of 1876. — Haworth, The United States in Our 
Own Time, pp. 82-94; Dunning, Reconstruction, Political and Economic 
(American Nation Series), pp. 294-341 ; Elson, History of the United States, 
pp. 835-841. 

Abuses in Political Life. — Dunning, Reconstruction, pp. 281-293 ; see 
criticisms in party platforms in Stan wood. History of the Presidency, Vol. I; 
Bryce, American Commonwealth (1910 ed.), Vol. II, pp. 379-448; 13^167. 

Studies of Presidential Administrations. — (a) Grant, (6) Hayes, (c) Gar- 
field-Arthur, (d) Cleveland, and (e) Harrison, in Haworth, The United 
States in Our Own Time^ or in Paxson, The New Nation (Riverside Series), 
or still more briefly in Elson. 

Cleveland Democracy. — Haworth, The United States, pp. 164-183; 
Rhodes, History of the United States, Vol. VIII, pp. 240-327; Elson, pp. 

Analysis of Modem Immigration Problems. — Syllabus in History (New 
York State, 1919), pp. 110-112. 



At the close of the Civil War, Kansas and Texas were sentinel 
states on the middle border. Beyond the Rockies, California, 
Oregon, and Nevada stood guard, the last of them having been 
just admitted to furnish another vote for the fifteenth amend- 
ment abolishing slavery. Between the near and far frontiers 
lay a vast reach of plain, desert, plateau, and mountain, almost 
wholly undeveloped. A broad domain, extending from Canada 
to Mexico, and embracing the regions now included in Washing- 
ton, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, 
the Dakotas, and Oklahoma, had fewer than half a million in- 
habitants. It was laid out into territories, each administered 
under a governor appointed by the President and Senate and, 
as soon as there was the requisite number of inhabitants, a 
legislature elected by the voters. No railway line stretched 
across the desert. St. Joseph on the Mississippi was the ter- 
minus of the Eastern lines. It required twenty-five days for 
a passenger to make the overland journey to California by the 
stagecoach system, established in 1858, and more than ten days 
for the swift pony express, organized in 1860, to carry a letter 
to San Francisco. Indians still roamed the plain and desert 
and more than one powerful tribe disputed the white man's 
title to the soil. 

The Bailwats As Trail Blazers 

Opening Railways to the Pacific. — A decade before the Civil 
War the importance of rail connection between the EJast and 
the Pacific Coast had been recognized. Pressure Iv^ ^^<&j^ 




been brought to bear nn Congress to authorize the construction 
of a line and to grant land and money in ita aid. Both the 
Democrats and Republicans approved the idea, but it was in- 
volved in the slavery controversy. Indeed it was submerged 
in it. Southern statesmen wanted connections between the 
Gulf and the Pacific through Texas, while Northerners stood 
out for a central route. 

The North had its way during the war. f'ongress, by legis- 
lation initiated in 1862, provided for the immediate organization 
of companies to build aline from the Missouri River to California 
and made grants of land and loans of money to aid in the enter- 
prise. The Western end, the Central Pacific, was laid out under 
the supervision of Leiand Stanford. It was heavily financed 
by the Mormons of Utah and also by the state government, 
the ranchmen, miners, and business men of California; and it 
was built principally by Chinese labor. The Eastern end, tJie 
Union Pacific, starting at Omaha, was constructed mainly by 
veterans of the Civil War and immigrants from Ireland and 
Germany. In 1869 the two companies met near Ogden io 
Utah and the driving of the last spike, uniting the Atlantic and 
the Pacific, was the occasion of a great demonstration. 

Other lines to the Pacific were projected at the same time; 
but the panic of 1873 checked railway enterprise for a while. 
With the revival of prosperity at the end of that decade, con- 
struction was renewed with vigor and the year 1883 marked a 
series of railway triumphs. In February trains were running 
from New Orleans through Houston, San Antonio,and Yuma to 
San Francisco, as a result of a union of the Texas Pacific with 
the Southern Pacific and its subsidiary corporations. In 
September the last spike was driven in the Northern Pacific 
at Helena, Montana. Lake Superior was connected with Puget 
Sound. The waters explored by Johet and Marquette were 
joined to the waters plowed by Sir Francis Drake while he was 
searching for a route around the world. That same year also 
a third hne was opened to the Pacific by way of the Atchison, 
Topeka and Santa F^, making connections through Albuquerque 

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and Needles with San Francisco. The fondest hopes of railwa^ 
pi uiiiut<.'i-s seemed to be realized. 

Western Railways Precede Settlement. — In the Old World 
;iiid un our Atlantic seaboard, railways followed population and 
[i];irkets. In the Far West, railways usually preceded the people. 
Railway builders planned citiea on paper tieforp they laid tracks 
connecting them. They sent missionaries to spread the gospel 
of " Western opportunity " to people in the Middle West, in the 
I Eastern citiM, and in Southern states. Then they carried their 
enthusiastic converts bag and baggage in long trains to the dis- 
tant Dukotas and still farther afield. So the development of 
the Fur West was not left to the tedious processes of time. It 
was pushed by men of imagination — adventurers who made a 
r'lnijince of money-making and who had dreams of empire unJ 
equaled by many kings of the past.  

Tlii?8e empire builders bought railway lands in huge tract* ;| 
thej- got more from the government: they overcame every 
tihstftcie of cafioD, mount^ain, and stream with the aid of science ; 
they built cities according to the plans made by the engineers. 
Having the towns ready and railway and steamboat connections 
formed with the rest of the world, they carried out the people 
to use the railways, the steamships, the houses, and the land. 
It was in this way that " the frontier speculator paved the way 
for the frontier agriculturalist who had to be near a market be- 
fore be could farm." The spirit of this imaginative enter- 
prise, which laid out railways and towns in advance of they 
).N-<jple, is seen in an advertisement of that day : "This extensioa,! 
win run 42 miles from York, northeast through the Island H 
Lake country, and will have five good Nt)rth Dakota towns. 
The stations on the line will be weh equipped with elevators 
and will be constructed and ready for operation at the com- 
iuencement of the grain season. Prospective merchants have 
: H?n active in securing desirable locations at the different towns 
■ii the line. There are still opportunities for hotels, general 
merchandise, hardware, furniture, and drug stores, etc." J 

Among the railway promoters and builders in the West, Ji 















1 «K 











J. Hill, of tho Great Northern and allied lines, waa one of the 
most forceful figures. He knew that tracks and trains wore 
useless without passengers and freight; without a population 
of farmers and town dwellers. He therefore organized publicity 
in the Virginias, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and 
Nebraska especially. He sent out agents to tell the story of 
Western opportunity in this vein : " You see your children come 
out of school with no chance to get farms of their own because 
the cast of land in your older part of the country is so high that 
you can't afford to buy land to start your sons out in life around 
you. They have to go to the cities to make a living or become 
laborers in the mills or hire out as farm hands. There is no 
future for them there. If you are doing well where you are 
and can safeguard the future of your children and see them 
prosper around you, don't leave here. But if you want inde- 
pendence, if you are renting your land, if the money-lender is 
cajr^-ing you along and you are running behind year after year, 
you can do no worse by moving. . . . You farmers talk of free 
trade and protection and what this or that pohtical party will 
do for you. Why don't you vote a homestead for yourself? 
That is the only thing Uncle Sara will ever give you. Jim Hill 
hasn't an acre of land to sell you. We are not in the real estate 
business. We don't want you to go out West and make a 
failure of it because the rat«a at which we haul you and your 
goods make the first transaction a loss. . . . We must have 
landless men for a manless land." _ 

Unlike steamship companies stimulating immigration to ged^ 
the fares, Hill was seeking permanent settlers who would ' 
produce, manufacture, and use the railways as the means of 
exchange. Consequently he fixed low rates and let his passen- 
gers take a good deal of live stock and household furniture 
free. By doing this he made an appeal that was answered by 
eager families. In 1894 the vanguard of home seekers left In- " 
diana in fourteen passenger coaches, filled with men, women, 
and children, and forty-eight freight cars carrying their house*- 
hold goods and live stock. In the ten years that followeil^4 


100,000 people from the Middle West and the South, respond- 
ing to his call, went to the Western country where they brought 
eight million acres of prairie land under cultivation. 

When Hill got his people on the land, he took an interest in 
everything that increased the productivity of their labor. Was 
the output of food for his freight cars limited by bad drainage 
on the farms? Hill then interested himself in practical ways 
of ditching and tihng. Were farmers hampered in hauling 
their goods to his trains by bad roads? In that case, he 
urged upon the states the improvement of highways. Did the 
traffic slacken because the food shipped was not of the best 
quality? Then live stock must be improved and scientific 
farming promoted. Did the farmers need credit? Banks must 
be estabhshed close at hand to advance it. In all conferences 
on scientific farm management, conservation of natural re- 
sources, banking and credit in relation to agriculture and ut- 
dustry, Hill was an active participant. His was the long viaioo, 
seeing in conservation and permanent improvements the fouti- 
dation of prosperity for the railways and the people. 

Indeed, he neglected no opportunity to increase the traffic 
on the lines. He wanted no empty cars running in either direc- 
tion and no wheat stored in warehouses for the lack of markets. 

J he looked to the Orient as well as to Europe as an outlet for 
the surplus of the farms. He sent agents to China and Japan 
to discover what American goods and produce those countries 
would consume and what manufactures they had to offer to 
Americans in exchange. To open the Pacific trade he bought 
two ocean monsters, the Minnesota and the Dakota, thus pre- 
paring for emergencies West as well as East. When some Jap- 
anese came to the United States on their way to Europe to 
buy steel rails. Hill showed them how easy it was for them to 
make their purchase in this country and ship by way of Ameri- 
can railways and American vessels. So the railway builder 
and promoter, who helped to break the virgin soil of the prairies, 
Uved through the pioneer epoch and into the age of great finance. 
Before he died he saw the wheat fields of North Dakota linked 


with the spinning jennies of Manchester and the docks of Yoko- 

The Evolution op Grazing and Agriculture 

The Removal of the Indians. — Unlike the frontier of New 
E^ngland in colonial days or that of Kentucky later, the advanc- 
ing lines of home builders in the Far West had little difficulty 
with warlike natives. Indian attacks were made on the rail- 
way construction gangs; General Custer had his fatal battle 
with the Sioux in 1876 and there were minor brushes ; but they 
were all of relatively sUght consequence. The former practice 
of treating with the Indians as independent nations was aban- 
doned in 1871 and most of them were concentrated in reserva- 
tions where they were mainly supported by the government. 
The supervision of their affairs was vested in a board of com- 
missioners created in 1869 and instructed to treat them as 
wards of the nation — a trust which unfortunately was often 
betrayed. A further step in Indian policy was taken in 1887 
when provision was made for issuing lands to individual Indians, 
thus permitting them to become citizens and settle down among 
their white neighbors as farmers or cattle raisers. The dis- 
appearance of the buffalo, the main food supply of the wild 
Indians, had made them more tractable and more willing to 
surrender the freedom of the hunter for the routine of the 
reservation, ranch, or wheat field. 

The Cowboy and Cattle Ranger. — Between the frontier of 
farms and the mountains were plains and semi-arid regions in 
vast reaches suitable for grazing. As soon as the railways were 
open into the Missouri Valley, affording an outlet for stock, 
there sprang up to the westward cattle and sheep raising on 
an immense scale. The far-famed American cowboy was 
the hero in this scene. Great herds of cattle were bred in 
Texas; with the advancing spring and summer seasons, they 
were driven northward across the plains and over the buffalo 
trails. In a single year, 1884, it is estimated that nearly one 
million head of cattle were moved out of Texas to the North 


by four thousand cowboys, supplied with 30,000 horses and 

During the two decades from 1870 to 1890 both the cattle 
men and the sheep raisers had an almost free run of the plains, 
using public lands without paying for the privilege and waging 
war on one another over the pwssession of ranges. At length, 
however, both had to go, as the homesteaders and land com- 
panies came and fenced in the plain and desert with endlrss 
lines of barbed wire. Already in 1893 a writer familiar with the 
frontier lamented the passing of the picturesque days : " The 
unique position of the cowboys among the Americans is jeopard- 
ized in a thousand ways. Towns are growing up on their pas- 
ture lands ; irrigation schemes of a dozen sorts threaten to turn 
bunch-grass scenery into farm-land views; farmers are pre- 
empting valleys and the sides of waterways ; and the day is 
not far distant when stock-raising must be done mainly in small 
herds, with winter corrals, and then the cowboy's days will end. 
Even now his condition disappoints those who knew him only 
half a dozen years ago. His breed seems to have deteriorated 
and his ranks are Blling with men who work for wages rather than 
for the love of the free life and bold companionship that once 
tempted men into that calling. Splendid Cheyenne saddles are 
less and less numerous in the outfits ; the distinctive hat that 
made its way up from Mexico may or may not be worn ; all the 
civil authorities in nearly all towns in the grazing country forbid 
the wearing of side arms ; nobody shoots up these towns any 
more. The fact is the old simon-pure cowboy days are gone 

Settlement under the Homestead Act of 1862. — Two facton 
gave a special stimulus to the rapid settlement of Western lands 
which swept away the Indians and the cattle rangers. The 
first was the policy of the railway companies in selling large 
blocks of land received from the government at low prices to 
induce immigration. The second was the operation of the 
Homestead law passed in 1862. This measure practically 
closed the long controversy over the disposition of the public 


domain that was suitable for agriculture. It provided for 
granting, without any cost save a small registration fee, public 
lands in lots of 160 acres each to citizens and aliens who de- 
clared their intention of becoming citizens. The one important 
condition attached was that the settler should occupy the farm 
for five years before his title was finally confirmed. Even this 
stipulation was waived in the case of the Civil War veterans 
who were allowed to count their term of military service as a 
part of the five years' occupancy required. As the soldiers of 
the Revolutionary and Mexican wars had advanced in great 
numbers to the frontier in earlier days, so now veterans led in 
the settlement of the middle border. Along with them went 
thousands of German, Irish, and Scandinavian immigrants, 
fresh from the Old World. Between 1867 and 1874, 27,000,000 
acres were staked out in quarter-section farms. In twenty 
years (1860-80), the population of Nebraska leaped from 
28,000 to almost half a million; Kansas from 100,000 to a 
million; Iowa from 600,000 to 1,600,000; and the Dakotas 
from 5000 to 140,000. 

The Diversity of Western Agriculture. — In soil, produce, and 
management, Western agriculture presented many contrasts to 
that of the East and South. In the region of arable and watered 
lands the typical American unit — the small farm tilled by the 
owner — appeared as usual ; but by the side of it many a huge 
domain owned by foreign or Eastern companies and tilled by 
hired labor. Sometimes the great estate took the shape of the 
" bonanza farm " devoted mainly to wheat and corn and culti- 
vated on a large scale by machinery. Again it assumed the 
form of the cattle ranch embracing tens of thousands of acres. 
Again it was a vast holding of diversified interest, such as the 
Santa Anita ranch near Los Angeles, a domain of 60,000 acres 
" cultivated in a glorious sweep of vineyards and orange and 
olive orchards, rich sheep and cattle pastures and horse 
ranches, their life and customs handed down from the Spanish 
owners of the various ranches which were swept into one 



Irrigation. — In one respect agriculture in the Far West 
was unique. In a large area spreading through eight states, 
Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, 
New Mexico, and parts of adjoining states, the rainfall was so 
shght that the ordinary crops to which the American fanner 
was accustomed could not be grown at all. The Mormons wee 
the first Anglo-Saxons to encounter aridity, and they were 
baffled at first ; but they studied it and mastered it by magnifi- 
cent irrigation systems. As other settlers poured into the West 
the problem of the desert was attacked with a will, some of them 
replying to the commiseration of Eastern farmers by saying 
that it was easier to scoop out an irrigation ditch than to cut 
forests and wrestle with stumps and stones. Private com- 
panies bought immense areas at low prices, built irrigation 
works, and disposed of their lands in small plots. Some 
ranchers with an instinct for water, like that of the miner for 
metal, sank wells into the dry sand and were rewarded with I 
gushers that " soused the thirsty desert and turned its good-fo^.H 
nothing s*and into good-for-anything loam." The federal gov- \i 
emment came to the aid of the arid regions in 1894 by grantinl || 
lands to the states to be used for irrigation purposes. In tlwK 
work Wyoming took the lead with a law which induced capital-ltl 

ista to invest in irrigation and at the same time provided for tlH 
sale of the redeemed lands to actual settlers. Fmally in iSffl 
the federal government by its liberal Reclamation Act added ib 4 
strength to that of individuals, companies, and states in on nj 
quering " arid America." )fl 

" Nowhere," writes Powell, a historian of the West, in U ^ 
picturesque End of the Trail, " has the white man fought a mod b^ 
courageous fight or won a more brilliant victory than in Arizfl 
His weapons have been the transit and the level, the drill i 
the dredge, the pick a[id the spade ; and the enemy whicb ^ 
has conquered has been the most stubborn of all foes - 
hostile forces of Nature. . , . The story of how the i 
man within the space of less than thirty years penetn 
explored, and mapped thii almost unknown r^ion ; of h 


carried law, order, and justice into a section which had nnver J 
had so much as & speaking acquaintance with any one of the 1 
three before; of how, reaUzing the necessity for means of I 
commimi cation, he built highways of steel across this territory 
from east to west and from north to south ; of how, undismayed 
by the savageness of the countenance which the desert turned 
upon him, he laughed and rolled up his sleeves, and spat upon 
his hands, and slashed the fai-e of the desert with canals and 
irrigating ditches, and filled those ditches with water brought 
from deep in the earth or high in the mountains ; and of how, 
in the conquered and submissive soil, he replaced the aloe with 
alfalfa, the mesquite with maize, the cactus with cotton, forms 
one of the most inspiring chapters in our history. It is one of 
the epics of civilization, this reclamation of the Southwest, 
and its heroes, thank Cod, are Americans. 

"Other desert regions have been redeemed by irrigation — 
Egypt, forexample, and Mesopotamia and parts of the Sudan — 
but the people of all those regions lay stretched nut in the shade 
of a convenient palm, metaphorically speaking, and waited for 
some one with more ener^ than themselves to come along and 
do the work. But the Arizonians, mindful of the fact that God, 
tbc government, and Carnegie help those who help themselves, 
spent their days wielding the pick and shovel, and their evenings 
in writing letters to Washington with toil-hardened hands. 
After a time the government was pnxldcd into action and the 
great dams at Laguna and Roosevelt are the result. Then 
the people, organizing themselves into co6perative leagues and 
water-users' associations, took up the work of reclamation 
where the government left off : it is to these cncrgctii;, persever- 
ing men who have drilled wells, plowed fields, and dug ditches 
through the length and breadth of that great region which 
stretches from Yuma to Tucson, that the metamorpbosis of 
Arizona is due." 

The effect of irrigation wherever introduced was amazing. 
Stretches of sand and sagebrush gave way to fertile fields benr- 
tng crops of wheat, com, fruits, vegetables, and grass. Hug,e 



ranches grazed by browsing sheep were broken up into small 
plots. The cowboy and ranchman vanished. In their place 
rose the prosperous community — a community unlike the 
township of Iowa or the industrial center of the East. Its 
intensive tillage left little room for hired labor. Its small 
holdings drew families together in village life rather than dis- 
persing them on the lonely plain. Often the development of 
water power in connection with irrigation afforded electricity 
for labor-saving devices and lifted many a burden that in other 
days fell heavily upon the shoulders of the farmer and hie 

Mining and Manufacturing in the West 

ATfte 1 

Mineral Resources. — In another important particular 
Far Wesi differetl fiom the Mississippi Valley states. That was 
in the predominance of mining over agriculture throughout a 
vast section. Indeed it was the minerals rather than the land 
that attracted the pioneers who first opened the country. The 
discovery of gold in California in 1848 was the signal for the 
great rush of prospectors, miners, and promoters who explored 
the valleys, climbed the hills, washed the sands, and dug up 
the soil in their feverish search for gold, silver, copper, coal, and 
other minerals. In Nevada and Montana the development of 
mineral resources went on all during the Civil War. Alder 
Gulch became Virginia City in 1863; Last Chance Gulch was 
named Helena in 1S64 ; and Confederate Gulch was christened 
Diamond City in 1865. At Butte the miners began operation? 
in 1864 and within five years had washed out eight miUioD 
dollars' worth of gold. Under the gold they found silver; 
under silver they found copper. 

Even at the end of the nineteenth century, after agriculture 
was well advanced and stock and sheep raising introduced on a 
large scale, minerals continued to be the chief source of wealth 
in a number of states. This was revealed by the figures for 
i910. The gold, silver, iron, and copper of Colorado were 
worth more than the wheat, com, and oata combined ; the 


copper of Montana sold for more than all the cereals andfl 
four times the price of the wheat. The interest of Nevadsl 
was also mainly mining, the receipts from the mineral output! 
being $43,000,000 or more than one-half the national debt ofl 
Hamilton's day. The yield of the mines of Utah was worthl 
four or five times the wheat crop ; the coal of Wyoming brought J 
twice as much as the great wool clip ; the minerals of Arizona 

were totaled at $43,000,000 an against a wool clip reckoned at ,^ 
$1,200,000; while in Idaho alone of this group of states did 1 
the wheat crop exceed in value the output of the mines. 

Timber Resources. — The forests of the great West, unlike ] 
those of the Ohio Valley, proved a boon to the pioneers rather I 
than a foe to be attacked. In Ohio and Indiana, for example, I 
the frontier hne of homemakers had to cut, roll, and burn thou- 
sands of trees before they could put out a crop ol ao.'s sltk 


Beyond the Mississippi, however, there were all ready for the 
breaking plow great reaches of almost treeless prairie, where 
every stick of timber waa precious. In the other parts, often 
rough and mountainous, where stood primeval forests of the 
finest woods, the railroads made good use of the timber. 
They consumed acres of forests themselves in making ties, 
bridge timbers, and telegraph poles, and they laid a heavj- 
tribute upon the forests for their annual upkeep. The surplus 
trees, such as had burdened the pioneers of the Northwest 
Territory a hundred years before, they carried o£f to markets on 
the east and west coasts. 

Western Industries. — The peculiar conditions of the Far 
West stimulated a rise of industries more rapid than is usual 
in new country. The mining activities whit-h in many sections 
preceded agriculture called for sawmills to furnish timber for 
the mines and smelt«rs to reduce and refine ores. The ranches 
supphed sheep and cattle for the packing houses of Kansas City 
as well as Chicago. The waters of the Northwest afforded 
salmon for 4000 cases in 1866 and for 1,400,000 cases in 1916. 
The fruits and vegetables of California brought into existence 
innumerable canneries. The lumber industry, starting with 
crude sawmills to furnish rough timbers for railways and mines, 
ended in specialized factories for paper, boxes, and furniture. 
As the railways preceded settlement and furnished a ready 
outlet for local manufactures, so they encouraged the early 
establishment of varied industries, thus creating a state of 
affairs quite unlike that which obtained in the Ohio Valley in 
the early days before the opening of the Erie Canal. 

Social Effects of Economic Activities. — In many respects 
the social life of the Far West also differed from that of the Ohio 
Valley. The treeless prairies, though open to homesteads, 
favored the great estate tilled in part by tenant labor and in 
part by migratory seasonal labor, summoned from all sections 
of the country for the harvests. The mineral resources created 
hundreds of huge fortunes which made the accumulations of 
eastern mercantile families look trivial by comparison. OUl^r 


millionaires won their fortunes in the railway business and still 
more from the cattle and sheep ranges. In many sections 
the '' cattle king/' as he was called, was as dominant as the 
planter had been in the old South. Everywhere in the grazing 
country he was a conspicuous and important person. He 
" sometimes invested money in banks, in railroad stocks, or in 
city property. ... He had his rating in the conmiercial 
reviews and could hobnob with bankers, railroad presidents, and 
metropolitan merchants. ... He attended party caucuses 
and conventions, ran for the state legislature, and sometimes 
defeated a lawyer or metropoUtan ' business man ' in the race 
for a seat in Congress. In proportion to their numbers, the 
ranchers . . . have constituted a highly impressive class.*' 

Although many of the early capitalists of the great West, 
especially from Nevada, spent their money principally in the 
East, others took leadership in promoting the sections in which 
they had made their fortunes. A railroad pioneer. General 
Palmer, built his home at Colorado Springs, founded the town, 
and encouraged local improvements. Denver owed its first 
impressive buildings to the civic patriotism of Horace Tabor, 
a wealthy mine owner. Leland Stanford paid his tribute to 
California in the endowment of a large university. Colonel 
W. F. Cody, better known as "Buffalo Bill," started his career 
by building a "boom town'' which collapsed, and made a large 
sum of money supplying bufifalo meat to construction hands 
(hence his popular name). By his famous Wild West Show, he 
increased it to a fortune which he devoted mainly to the pro- 
motion of a western reclamation scheme. 

While the Far West was developing this vigorous, aggressive 
leadership in business, a considerable industrial population was 
springing up. Even the cattle ranges and hundreds of farms 
were conducted like factories in that they were managed through 
overseers who hired plowmen, harvesters, and cattlemen at 
regular wages. At the same time there appeared other peculiar 
features which made a lasting impression on western economic 
life. Mining, lumbering, and fruit growing, for instance, em- 




ployed thousands of workers durir^ the rush months and tumed 
them out at other times. The inevitable result was an army of 
migratory laborers wandering from camp to camp, from town 
to town, and from ranch to ranch, without fixed homes or eatab- 
hshed haljits of life. From this extraordinary condition there 
issued many a long and lawless conflict between capital and 
labor, giving a distinct color to the labor movement in wh<Je 
sections of the mountain and coast states. 

The Admission of New States 
The Spirit of Self-Govemment. — The instinct of self-gov- 
ernment wa.s Btrong in tJir western communities. In the 
very beginning, it led to the organization of volunteer com- 
mittees, known as " vigilantes," to suppress crime and punish 
criminals. As soon as enough people were settled perma- 
nently in a region, they took care to form a more stable kind of 
government. An illustration of this process is found in the 
Oregon compact made by the pioneers in 1843, the spirit of 
which is reflected in an editorial in an old copy of the Rocky 
Mountain News: " We claim that any body or community of 
American citizens which from any cause or under any circum- 
etances is cut off from or from isolation is so situated as not 
to be under any active and protecting branch of the central 
government, have a right, if on American soil, to frame a gov- 
ernment and enact such laws and regulations as may be neces- 
sary for their own safety, protection, and happiness, alwajre 
with the condition precedent, that they shall, at the earliest 
moment when the central government shall extend an effective 
organization and laws over them, give it their unqualified 
support and obedience." 

People who turned so naturally to the organization of local 
administration were equally eager for admission to the union 
as soon as any shadow of a claim to statehood could be 
advanced. As long as a region was merely one of the terri- 
tories of the United States, the appointment of the governor 
and other officers was controlled by politics at Washington. 


M(Mreover the disposition of land, mineral rights, forests, and 
water power was also in the hands of national leaders. Thus 
practical considerations were united with the spirit of independ- 
ence in the quest for local autonomy. 

Nebraska and Colorado. — Two states, Nebraska and 
Colorado, had little difficulty in securing admission to the 
union. The first, Nebraska, had been organized as a terri- 
tory by the famous Kansas-Nebraska bill which did so much to 
precipitate the Civil War. Lying to the north of Kansas, 
which had been admitted in 1861, it escaped the invasion of 
slave owners from Missouri and was settled mainly by farmers 
from the North. Though it claimed a population of only 
67,000, it was regarded with kindly interest by the Republi- 
can Congress at Washington and, reduced to its present boimd- 
aries, it received the coveted statehood in 1867. 

This was hardly accomplished before the people of Colorado 
to the southwest began to make known their demands. They 
had been organized under territorial government in 1861 when 
they nimibered only a handful; but within ten years the 
aspect of their affairs had completely changed. The silver 
and gold deposits of the Leadville and Cripple Creek regions 
had attracted an army of miners and prospectors. The city 
of Denver, founded in 1858 and named after the governor of 
Kansas whence came many of the early settlers, had grown 
from a straggling camp of log huts into a prosperous center of 
trade. By 1875 it was reckoned that the population of the 
territory was not less than one hundred thousand; the fol- 
lowing year Congress, yielding to the popular appeal, made 
Colorado a member of the American union. 

Six New States (1889-1890). — For many years there was 
a deadlock in Congress over the admission of new states. The 
spell was broken in 1889 imder the leadership of the Dakotas. 
For a long time the Dakota territory, organized in 1861, had 
been looked upon as the home of the powerful Sioux Indians 
whose enormous reservation blocked the advance of the fron- 
tier. The discovery of gold in the Black Hills, however, marked 


their doom. Even before C'ongress could open their lands to 
prospectora, pioneers were swarming over the countrj-. Farmers 
from the adjoining Minnesota and the Eastern states, Scan- 
dinavians, Germans, and Canadians, came in swelling waves 
to occupy the fertile Dakota lands, now famous even as far 
away as the fjords of Norway. Seldom had the plow of man 
cut through richer soil than was foimd in the bottoms of the 
Red River Valley, and it became all the more precious when 
the opening of the Northern Pacific in 1883 afforded a means 
of transportation east and west. The population, which had 
numbered 135,000 in 1880, passed the half million mark before 
ten years had elapsed. 

Remembering that Nebraska had been admitted with only 
67,000 inhabitants, the Dakotans could not see why they 
should be kept under federal tutelage. At the same time Wash- 
ington, far away on the Pacific Coast, Montana, Idaho, and 
Wyoming, boasting of their populations and their riches, put 
in their own eloquent pleas. But the members of Congress 
were busy with politics. The Democrats saw no good reason 
for admitting new Republican states until after their defeat in 
1888. Near the end of their term the next year they opened the 
door for North and South Dakota, Washington, and Mon- 
tana. In 1890, a Republican Congress brought Idaho and 
Wyoming into the union, the latter with woman suffrage, whirh 
had been granted twenty-one years before, 

Utah. — Although Utah had long presented all the elements 
of a well-settlcd and industrious community, its admission 
to the union was delayed on account of popular hostility to the 
practice of polygamy. The custom, it is true, had been pro- 
hibited by a?t of Congress in 1862 ; but the law had been 
systematically evaded. In 1882 Congress made another 
and more effective effort to stamp out polygamy. Five years 
later it even went so far as to authorize the confiscation of the 
property of the Mormon Church in case the practice of plural 
marriages was not stopped. Meanwhile the Gentile or non- 
Mormon population was steadily increasing and the leaders in 


the Church became convinced that the battle against the 
sentiment of the comitry waa futile. At last in 1896 Utah 
was admitted aa a state mider a constitution which forbade 
plural marriages absolutely and forever. Horace Greeley, who 
visited Utah in 1859, had prophesied that the Pacific Railroad 
would work a revolution in the land of Brigham Young. His 
prophecy had come true. 

Rounding out the Continent, — Three more territories 
now remained out of the Union. Oklahoma, long an Indian 
reservation, had licen opened tor settlement to white men in 
1889, The rush upon the fertile lands of this region, the last 
in the history of Ajacrica, was marked by all the frenzy of the 
final, desperate chan(;e. At a signal from a bugle an army of 
men with families in wagons, men and women on horseback 
and on foot, burst into the territory. During the first night 
a city of tents was raised at Guthrie and Oklahoma City. In 
ten days wooden houses rose on the plains. In a single year 
there were schools, churches, business blocks, and newspapers. 
Within fifteen years there was a population of more than half 
a million. To the west, Arizona with a population of about 
125,000 and New Mexico with 200,000 inhabitants joined 
Oklahoma in asking for statehood. Congress, then Republi- 
can, I-joked with reluctance upon the addition of more Demo- 
cratic states; but In 1907 it was literally compelled by public 
sentiment and a sense of justice to admit Oklahoma. In 1910 
the House of Representatives went to the Democrats anc^^ 
within two j'oars Arizona and New Mexico were " under thett 
roof," So the continental domain was rounded out. 

The Influence of the Far West on National Life 

The Last of the Frontier. — When Horace Greeley made 
his trip west in 1859 he thus recorded the progress of civiliza- 
tion in his journal : 

"May I2th, Ctiicugu. —Chocolate and moruiug juuniale 
CD the hotel breakfast table. 



23rd, Leavenworth (Kansas). — Room bells and bath tuba i 
their final appearance. 

26th, Manliattan, — Potatoes and eggs last recognized among the 
blessing that 'brighten as they take their flight.' 

27th, Junction City. — Last visitation of a boot-blaek, with dis- 
solving views of a board bedroom. Beds bid us good-by." 

THE San Francisco Exposition l 

L Within thirty years travelers were riding across that coun- 
try in Pullman cars and enjoying at the hotels all the comforts 
of a standardized civilization. The " wild west " waa gooe, 


and with it that frontier of pioneers and settlers who had long 
given such a bent and tone to American life and had '' poured 
in upon the floor of Congress " such a long line of '' backwoods 
politicians/' as they were scornfully styled. 

Free Land and Eastern Labor. — It was not only the pic- 
turesque features of the frontier that were gone. Of far more 
consequence was the disappearance of free lands with all that 
meant for American labor. For more than a hundred years, 
any man of even moderate means had been able to secure a 
homestead of his own and an independent livelihood. For a 
hundred years America had been able to supply farms to as 
many immigrants as cared to till the soil. Every new pair 
of strong arms meant more farms and more wealth. Work- 
men in Eastern factories, mines, or mills who did not like 
their hours, wages, or conditions of labor, could readily find 
an outlet to the land. Now all that was over. By about 
1890 most of the desirable land available under the Home- 
stead act had disappeared. American industrial workers con- 
fronted a new situation. 

Ondn Supplants King Cotton. — In the meantime a revo- 
lution was taking place in agriculture. Until 1860 the chief 
staples sold by America were cotton and tobacco. With the 
advance of the frontier, com and wheat supplanted them 
both in agrarian economy. The West became the gran- 
ary of the East and of Western Europe. The scoop shovel 
once used to handle grain was superseded by the towering 
elevator, loading and unloading thousands of bushels every 
hour. The refrigerator car and ship made the packing in- 
dustry as stable as the production of cotton or com, and gave 
an immense impetus to cattle raising and sheep farming. So 
the meat of the West took its place on the English dinner 
table by the side of bread baked from Dakotan wheat. 

Aid in American Economic Independence. — The effects 
of this economic movement were manifold and striking. Bil- 
hons of dollars' worth of American grain, dairy produce, and 
meat w^e poured into European markets where they paid 




ofT debts due money lenders and acquired capital to develop 
American resources. Thus they accelerated the progress of 
American financiers toward national independence. The coun- 
try, which had timidly turned to the Old World for capital b 
Hamilton's day and had borrowed at high rates of interest in 
London in Lincoln's day, moved swiftly toward the time when 
it would be among the world's first bankers and money lenders 
itself. Every grain of wheat and corn pulled the balance 
down on the American side of the scale. 

Eastern Agriculture Afifected. — In the East as well as 
abroad the opening of the western granary produced momentous 
results. The agricultural economy of that part of the country 
was changed in many respectfl. Whole sections of the poorest 
land went almost out of cultivation, the abandoned farms of 
the New England hills bearing solemn witness to the compete 
ing power of western wheat fields. Sheep and cattle raising, as 
well as wheat and com production, suffered at least a relative 
decline. Thousands of farmers cultivating land of the tower 
grade were forced to go West or were driven to the margin of 
subsistence. Even the herds that supplied Eastern cities with 
milk were fed upon grain brought halfway across the con- 

The Expansion of the American Market. — L^pon industry 
as well as agriculture, the opening of vast food-producing 
regions told in a thousand ways. The demand for farm ma- 
chinery, clothing, boots, shoes, and other manufactures gave 
to American industries such a market as even Hamilton had 
never foreseen. Moreover it helped to expand far into the 
Mississippi Valley the industrial area once confined to the 
Northern seaboard states and to transform the region of the 
Great Lakes into an industrial empire. Herein lies the ex- 
planation of the growth of raid-western cities after 1865. 
Chicago, with its thirty-five railways, tapped every locality of 
the West and South. To the railways were added the water 
routes of the Lakes, thus creating a strategic center for in- 
dustries. Long foresight carried the McCormick reaper works 


to Chicago before 1860. From Troy, New York, went a large 
stove plant. That was followed by a shoe factory from Massa- 
chusetts. The packing industry rose aa a matter of course 
at a point so advantageous for cattle raisers and shippers and 
so well connected with Eastern markets. 

To the opeuing of the Far West also the Lake region was 
indebted for a large part of that water-borne traffic which 
made it " the Mediterranean basin of North America." The 
produce of the West and the manufactures of the East poured 
through it in an endless stream. The swift growth of ship- 
building on the Great Lakes helped to compensate for the 
decline of the American marine on the high seas. In response 
to this stimulus Detroit could boast that her shipwrights were 
able to turn out a ten thousand ton Leviathan for ore or grain 
about "as quickly as carpenters could put up an ' eight-rooni 
house." Thus in relation to the Far West the old Northwest 
territory — the wilderness of Jefferson's time — had taken the 
position formerly occupied by Now Englancl alone. It was 
supplying capital and manufactures for a vast agricultural 
empire West and South. 

America on the Pacific. — It has been said that the Mediter- 
ranean Sea was the center of ancient civilization ; that modern 
civilization has developed on the shores of the Atlantic ; and 
that the future belongs to the Pacific, At any rate, the 
sweep of the United States to the shores of the Pacific quickly 
exercised a powerful influence on world affairs and it undoubt- 
edly has a still greater significance for the future. 

Very early regular traffic sprang up between the Pacific 
ports and the Hawaiian Islands, China, and Japan. Two years 
before the adjustment of the Oregon controversy with Eng- 
iund, namely in 1844, the United States had estabhshed official 
and trading relations with China. Ten years lat«r, four years 
after the admission of California to the union, the barred door 
of Japan was forced open by Commodore Perr/. The com- 
merce which had lone before developed between the Pacific 
ports and Hawaii, China, and Japan now flourished Mnsiax 





official care. In 1S65 a ship from Honolulu carried sugar, 
molasses, and fruits from Hawaii to the Oregon port of Astoria. 
The next year a vessel from Hongkong brought rice, mata, 
and tea from China. An era of lucrative trade was opened. 
The annexation of Hawaii in 1898, the addition of the Philip- 
pines at the same time, and the participation of American 
troops in the suppression of the Boxer rebellion in Peking 

Id 1900, were but signs and symbols of American power OD 
the Pacific. 
Conservation and the Land Problem. — The disappearance 

of the frontier also brought new and serious problems to the 
goverrmients of the states and the nation. The people of the 
whole United States suddenly were forced to realize that there 
was a lunit to the rich, new land to exploit and to the forests 
and minerals awaiting the ax and the pick. Then arose in 


America the questions which had long perplexed the countries 
of the Old World — the scientific use of the soils and conser- 
vation of natural resources. Hitherto the government had 
followed the easy path of giving away arable land and selling 
forest and mineral lands at low prices. Now it had to face far 
more diflBcult and complex problems. It also had to consider 
questions of land tenure again, especially if the ideal of a na- 
tion of home-owning farmers was to be maintained. While there 
was plenty of land for every man or woman who wanted a 
home on the soil, it made little difference if single landlords or 
companies got possession of millions of acres, if a hundred men 
in one western river valley owned 17,000,000 acres ; but when 
the good land for small homesteads was all gone, then was raised 
the real issue. At the opening of the twentieth century the 
nation, which a hundred years before had land and natural 
resources apparently without limit, was compelled to enact 
law after law conserving its forests and minerals. Then it was 
that the great state of California, on the very border of the 
continent, felt constrained to enact a land settlement measure 
providing government assistance in an efifort to break up large 
holdings into small lots and to make it easy for actual settlers 
to acquire small farms. America was passing into a new epoch. 


Henry Inman, The Old Santa Fi Trail. 
R. I. Dodge, The Plains of the Great West (1877). 
C. H. Shinn, The Story of the Mine. 
Cy Wannan, The Story of the Railroad. 
Emerson Hough, The Story of the Cowboy. 

H. H. Bancroft is the author of many works on the West but his writings 
will be found only in the larger libraries. 

Joseph Schafer, History of the Pacific Northwest (ed. 1918). 

T. H. Hittel, History of California (4 vols.). 

W. H. Olin, American Irrigation Farming. 

W. E. Sm3rthe, The Conquest of Arid America. 

H. A. Millis, The American^ Japanese Problem. 

E. 8. Meany, History of the State of Washington, 

H. K. Norton, The Story of California. 


1. N&me the sta^tcs west of the Mississippi in 1865. 

2. In what manner was the rest of the western region p>vemed^ 

3. How far had settlement been carried? 

4. What were the striking physical teaturea of the West? 

5. How was settlement promot«il after 1865? 

6. Why was admission to the union ao eagerly sought? 

7. Explain how politics became involved in the creation of new stalM. 

8. Did the West rapidly become like the older sections of the country? 

9. What economic peculiarities did it retain or develop? 

10. How did the federal government aid in western agriculture? 

11. How did the development of the West affect the East? The SouthT 

12. What relation did the opening of the great groin areas of the Weal 
bear to the growth of America's commercial and financial power? 

13. State some of the new problems of the West. 

14. Discuas the significance of American expansion to the Pacific Oceaij. 

Research Topics 

The Passing of the Wild West. — Haworth, The United Stales in Our 
Own Timen, pp. 10(K124. 

The Indian Question. — Spitrks, National DevelopfnenC (American Nation 
Series), pp. 265-281. 

The Chinese Quesdon. — Sparks, National Development, pp. 229-250; 
Rhodes. History of the Uniled States, Vol. VIII, pp. 180-196. 

The Railway Age. — Schafer, History of the Pacific Norlhwexl. pp. 230- 
245; E. V. Smalley, The Northern Pacijie Railroad; Paxaon, The JVnt 
Nation (Riverside Series), pp. 20-26, especially the map on p. 23, and pp. 

Agriculture and Business. — Sohafer, Pacific Northmeni, pp. 24S-289. 

Ranching in the Northwest. — Theodore Roosevelt, Ranch Lift, oA 
Autobiography, pp. 103-143, 

The Conquest of the Desert. - W. E. Smythe, The Cmqaeai of AfU 

Studies of Individual Western States, — Consult any good encycluped^ 


Fob thirty years after the Civil War the leading political 
parties, although they engaged in heated presidential cam- 
paigns, were not sharply and clearly opposed on many matters 
of vital significance. During none of that time was there a 
clash of opinion over specific issues such as rent the country in 
1800 when Jeflferson rode a popular wave to victory, or again in 
1828 when Jackson's western hordes came sweeping into power. 
The Democrats, who before 1860 definitely opposed protective 
tariffs, federal banking, internal improvements, and heavy taxes, 
now spoke cautiously on all these points. The RepubUcans, 
conscious of the fact that they had been a minority of the 
voters in 1860 and warned by the early loss of the House of 
Representatives in 1874, also moved with considerable pru- 
dence among the perplexing problems of the day. Again 
and again the votes in Congress showed that no clear line sepa- 
rated all the Democrats from all the RepubUcans. There 
were Republicans who favored tariff reductions and " cheap 
money." There were Democrats who looked with partiality 
upon high protection or with indulgence upon the contrac- 
tion of the currency. Only on matters relating to the coercion 
of the South was the division between the parties fairly def- 
inite ; this could be readily accounted for on practical as well 
as sentimental grounds. 

After all, the vague criticisms and proposals that found 
their way into the pohtical platforms did but reflect the con- 
fusion of mind prevaihng in the country. The fact that, out of 
the eighteen years between 1875 and 1893, the Democrats 
held the House of Representatives for fourteen years while the 




Republicans had every President but one showed tiiat tiie 
voters, like the politicians, were in a state of indecision. Hayes 
had a Democratic House during his entire terra and a Demo- 
cratic Senate foi' two years of the four. Cleveland was eon- 
fronted by a belligerent Republican majority in the Senate 
during his first administration ; and at the same time was 
supported by a Democratic majority in the House. Harri- 
son was sustained by continuous Republican successes in Sena- 
torial elections; but in the House he had the barest majority 
from 1889 to 1891 and lost that altogether at the election held 
in the middle of his term. The opinion of the country was 
evidently unsettled and fluctuating. It was still distracted 
by memories of the dead past and imcertain as to the trend of 
the future. 

The Currency Question 

Nevertheless these years of muddled politics and nebulous 
issues proved to be a period in which social forces were gather- 
ing for the great campaign of 1896. Except for three new 
features — the railways, the trusts, and the trade unions — 
the subjecfa of debate among the people were the same as those 
that had engaged their attention since the foundation of the 
republic : the currency, the national debt, banking, the tariff, 
and taxation. 

Debtors and the Fall in Prices. — For many reasons the 
currency question occupied the center of interest. As of old, 
the farmers and planters of the West and South were heavily 
in debt to the East for borrowed money secured by fann 
mortgages ; and they counted upon the sale of cotton, corn. 
wheat, and hogs to meet interest and principal when due. 
During the war, the Western farmei-s had been able to dispose 
of their produce at high pi-ices and thus discharge their debts 
with comparative ease ; but aft^er the war prices declined. 
Wheat that sold at two dollars a bushel in I860 brought sixty- 
four cents twenty years later. The meaning of this for the 
farmers in debt — and nearly three-fourths of them were i» 


that class — can be shown by a single illustration. A thou- 
sand-dollar mortgage on a Western farm could be paid o£F by 
five hundred bushels of wheat when prices were high ; whereas 
it took about fifteen hundred bushels to pay the same debt 
when wheat was at the bottom of the scale. For the farmer, 
it must be remembered, wheat was the measure of his labor, 
the product of his toil under the summer sun ; and in its price 
he found the test of his prosperity. 

Creditors and Falling Prices. — To the bondholders or 
creditors, on the other hand, falling prices were clear gain. 
If a fifty-dollar coupon on a bond bought seventy or eighty 
bushels of wheat instead of twenty or thirty, the advantage to 
the owner of the coupon was obvious. Moreover the advantage 
seemed to him entirely just. Creditors had suffered heavy losses , 
when the Civil War carried prices skyward while the interest 
rates on theu- old bonds remained stationary. For example, 
if a man hat! a $1000 bond issued before 1S60 and paying 
interest at five per cent, he received fifty dollars a year from it. 
Before the war each dollar would buy a bushel of wheat ; in 
1865 it would only buy half a bushel. When prices — that 
is, the cost of living — ^ began to go down, creditors therefore 
generally regarded the change with satisfaction as a return to 
normal conditions. 

The Cause of Falling Prices. — The fall in prices was due, ' 
no doubt, to many factors. Among them must be reckoned , 
the discontinuance of government buying for war purposes, 
labor-saving farm machinery, immigration, and the ojjening 
of new wheat-growing regions. The currency, too. was an 
element in the situation. Whatever the cause, the discontented 
farmers beheved that the way to prices was to issue more 
money. They viewed it as a case of supply and demand. If 
there was a small volume of currency in circulation, prices would 
be low ; if there v/m a large volume, prii^es would be high. 
Hence they looked with favor upon all plans to increase the 
amount of money in circulation. First they advocated more 
paper notes — greenbacks — and then they turned to ailvec 



as the remedy. The creditors, on the other band, natuidBF 
approved the reduction of the volume of currency. They 
wished to see the greenbacks withdrawn from circulation and 
gold — a metal more limited in volume than silver — made the 
sole basis of the national monetary system. 

The Battle over the Greenbacks. — The contest between 
these factions began as early as 1866. In that year, Con- 
gress enacted a law authorizing the Treasury to withdraw the 
greenbacks from circulation. The paper money party set 
up a shrill cry of protest, and kept up the fight until, in 1878, 
it forced Congress to provide for the continuous re-issue of the 
legal tender notes as they came into the Treasury in payment 
of taxes and other dues. Then could the friends of easy money 
rejoice : 

"Thou, Greenback, 'tia of thee 
Fair money of the free, 
Of thee we sing." 

Resumption of Specie Payment. — There was, however, an- 
other side to this victory, The opponents of the greenbacks, 
unable to stop the circulation of paper, induced Congress to pasa 
a law in 1875 providing that on and after January I, 1879, 
" the Secretary of the Treasury shall redeem in coin the United 
States legal tender notes then outstanding on their presenta- 
tion at the office of the Assistant Treasurer of the United States ' 
in the City of New York in sums of not less than fifty dollars." 
" The way to resume," John Sherman had said, " is to re- 
sume." When the hour for redemption arrived, the Treasury 
was prepared with a large hoard of gold. " On the appointed 
day," wrote the assistant secretary, " anxiety reigned in the 
office of the Treasury. Hour after hour passed ; no news 
from_ New York. Inquiry by wire showed that all was quiet. 
At the close of the day this message came : ' $135,000 of notes 
presented for coin — $400,000 of gold for notes." That w»s 
all. Resumption was accomplished with no disturbance. By 
five o'clock the news was all over the land, and the New Yoifc 
bankers were sipping their tea in absolute safety. 


The Specie Problem — the Parity of Gold and Silver. — 
Defeated in their efforts to stop ** the present suicidal and 
destructive poUcy of contraction," the advocates of an abun- 
dant ciurency demanded an increase in the volume of silver in 
circulation. This precipitated one of the sharpest political 
battles in American history. The issue turned on legal as 
well as economic points. The Constitution gave Congress the 
power to coin money and it forbade the states to make any- 
thing but gold and silver legal tender in the payment of debts. 
It evidently contemplated the use of both metals in the cur- 
rency system. Such, at least, was the view of many eminent 
statesmen, including no less a personage than James G. Blaine. 
The difficulty, however, lay in maintaining gold and silver coins 
on a level which would permit them to circulate with equal 
faciUty. Obviously, if the gold in a gold dollar exceeds the 
value of the silver in a silver dollar on the open market, men 
will hoard gold money and leave silver money in circulation. 
When, for example. Congress in 1792 fixed the ratio of the two 
metals at one to fifteen — one ounce of gold declared worth 
fifteen of silver — it was soon found that gold had been under- 
valued. When again in 1834 the ratio was put at one to six- 
teen, it was found that silver was undervalued. Consequently 
the latter metal was not brought in for coinage and silver 
almost dropped out of circulation. Many a silver dollar was 
melted down by silverware factories. 

Silver Demonetized in 1873. — So things stood in 1873. 
At that time. Congress, in enacting a mintage law, discontinued 
the coinage of the standard silver dollar, then practically out 
of circulation. This act was denounced later by the friends of 
silver as " the crime of 73," a conspiracy devised by the money 
power and secretly carried out. This contention the debates 
in Congress do not seem to sustain. In the course of the argu- 
ment on the mint law it was distinctly said by one speaker %t 
least : " This bill provides for the making of changes in the 
legal tender coin of the country and for substituting as legal 
tender, coin of only one metal instead of two as heretofore." 


The Decline in the Value of Silver. — Absorbed in the 
greenback controversy, the people apparently did not appre- 
ciate, at the time, the aigni6caace of the "demonetization" 
of silver ; but within a few years several events united in mak- 
ing it the center of a political storm. Germany, having aban- 
doned silver in 1871, steadily increased her demand for gold. 
Three years later, the countries of the Latin Union followed 
this example, thus helping to enhance the price of the yellow 
metal. All the while, new silver lodes, discovered in the Far 
West, were pouring into the market gieat streams of the white 
metal, bearing down the price. Then came the resumptioQ 
of specie payment, which, in effect, placed the paper money 
on a gold basis. Within twenty years silver was worth in gold 
only about, half the price of 1870. 

That there had been a real decline in silver was denied by the 
friends of that metal. They alleged that gold had gone up 
because it had been given a monopoly in the coinage markets 
of civilized governments. This monopoly, they continued, 
was the fruit of a conspiracy against the people conceived by 
the bankers of the world. Moreover, they went on, the plac- 
ing of the greenbacks on a gold basis had itself worked a con- 
traction of the currency ; it lowered the prices of labor and 
produce to the advantage of the holders of long-terra invest- 
ments hearing a fixed rate of interest. When wheat sold st 
sixty-four cents a bushel, their search for reUef became desperate, 
and they at last concentrated their efforts on opening the mints 
of the government for the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 
sixteen to one. 

Republicans and Democrats Divided. — On this question 
both Repubhcans and Democrats were divided, the line being 
drawn between the Ea-st on the one hand and the South and 
West on the other, rather than between the two leading parties. 
So trusted a leader as James G. Blaine avowed, in a. speech 
delivered in the Senate in 1878, that, as the Constitution re- 
quired Congress to make both gold and silver the money of the 
land, the only question left was that of fixing the ratio between 


them. He affirmed, moreovor, the main contention of the silver 1 
faction that a reopening of the government mints of the world I 
to silver would bring it up to ita old relation with gold. He ] 
admitted also that their most ominous warnings were well 
founded, saying : " I believe the struggle now going on in this 
country and in other countries for a single gold standard would, 
if successful, produce widespread disaster throughout the com- 
mercial world. The destruction of silver as money and the 
establishment of gold as the sole unit of value must have a 
ruinous effect on all forms of property, except those invest- j 
ments which yield a fixed return." 

This was exactly the concession that the silver party wanted. ] 
" Three-fourths of the business enterprises of this countr>- are | 
conducted on borrowed capital," said Senator Jones, of Nevada, i 
" Three-fourths of the homes and farms that stand in the names ( 
of the actual occupants have been bought on time and a very ' 
lai^e proportion of them are mortgaged for the payment of some j 
part of the purchase money. Under the operation of a shrink- 
age in the volume of money, this enormous mass of borrowers, 
at the maturity of their respective debts, though nominally ' 
paj-ing no more than the amount borrowed, with interest, are ' 
in reality, in the amount of the principal alone, returning a per- 
centage of value greater than they received — more in equity 
than they contracted to pay. . , . Inalldiscusaionsof the sub- 
ject the creditors attempt to brush aside the equities involved ' 
by sneering at the debtors." 

The Silver Purchase Act (1878). — Even before the actual ! 
resumption of specie payment, the advocates of free silver were 
a power to be reckoned with, particularly in the Democratic 
party. They had a majority in the House of Representatives 
in 1878 and they carried a silver bill through that chamber. 
Blocked by the Republican Senate they accepted a compromise 
in the Bland-Allison bill, which provided for huge monthly pur- 
chases of silver by the government for coinage into dollars. 
So strong was the sentiment that a two-thirds majority was . 
mustered after President Hayes vetoed the measure. 




The effect of this act, as some had anticipated, was disappoint- 
ing, It did not stay silver on its downward couree. There- 
upon the silver faction pressed through Congress in 1886 a biH 
providing for the issue of paper certificates based on the silver 
accumulated in the Treasury. Still silver continued to fall 
Then the advocates of inflation declared that they would be 
content with nothing short of free coinage at the ratio of six- 
teen to one. If the issue had been squarely presented in 1890, 
there is good reason for believing that free silver would have 
received a majority in both houses of Congress ; but it waa not 

The Sherman Silver Purchase Act and the Bond Sales. — 
Republican leaders, particularly from the E^t, stemmed the 
silver tide by a diversion of forces. They passed the Sherman 
Act of 1890 providing for large monthly purchases of silver and 
for the issue of notes redeemable in gold or silver at the discre- 
tion of the Secretary of the Treasury. In a clause of superb am- 
biguity they announced that it was " the established policy of 
the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity with 
each other upon the present legal ratio or such other ratio as 
may be provided by law." For a while silver was buoyed up. 
Then it turned once more on its downward course. In the 
meantime the Treasury was in a sad phght. To maintain the 
gold reserve, President Cleveland felt compelled to sell govern- 
ment bonds ; and to his dismay he found that as soon as the 
gold was brought in at the front door of the Treasury, notes were 
presented for redemption and the gold was quickly carried out 
at the back door. Alarmed at the vicious circle thus created, 
he urged upon Congress the repeal of the Sherman Silver Pur- 
chase Act. For this he was roundly condemned by many of 
his own followers who branded his conduct as " treason to the 
party " ; but the Republicans, especially from the E^t, came 
to bis rescue and in 1893 swept the troublesome sections of the 
law from the statute book. The anger of the silver faction 
knew no bounds, and the leaders made ready for the approach- 
ing presidential campaign. 


The Prwective Tariff and Taxation 

Fluctuation in Tariff Policy. — As each of the old parties 
was divided on the currency question, it is not surprising that 
there was some confusion in their ranks over the tariflf. Like 
the silver issue, the tariflf tended to align the manufacturing 
East against the agricultural West and South rather than to 
cut directly between the two parties. Still the RepubUcans 
on the whole stood firmly by the rates imposed during the Civil 
War. If we except the reductions of 1872 which were soon oflF- 
set by increases, we may say that those rates were substantially 
unchanged for nearly twenty years. When a revision was 
brought about, however, it was initiated by RepubUcan leaders. 
Seeing a huge surplus of revenue in the Treasury in 1883, they 
anticipated popular clamor by revising the tariflf on the theory 
that it ought to be reformed by its friends rather than by its 
enemies. On the other hand, it was the RepubUcans also who 
enacted the McKinley tariflf bill of 1890, which carried protection 
to its highest point up to that time. 

The Democrats on their part were not all confirmed free 
traders or even advocates of tariflf for revenue only. In Cleve- 
land's first administration they did attack the protective sys- 
tem in the House, where they had a majority, and in this they 
were vigorously supported by the President. The assault, 
however, proved to be a futile gesture for it was blocked by the 
Republicans in the Senate. When, after the sweeping victory 
of 1892, the Democrats in the House again attempted to bring 
down the tariflf by the Wilson bill of 1894, they were checkmated 
by their own party colleagues in the upper chamber. In the 
end they were driven into a compromise that looked more Uke 
a McKinley than a Calhoun tariflf. The RepubUcans taunted 
them with being " babes in the woods." President Cleveland 
was so dissatisfied with the bill that he refused to sign it, allowing 
it to become a law, on the lapse of ten days, without his approval. 

The Income Tax of 1894. — The advocates of tariflf reduction 
usuaUy associated with their proposal a tax on incomes. The 



argument which they advanced in support of their program tras 
simple. Most of the industries, they said, are in the East and 
the protective tariff which taxes consumers for the benefit of 
manufacturers is, in effect, a tribute hiid upon the rest of the 
country. As an offset they offered a tax on large incomes ; this, 
owing to the heavy concentration of rich people in the Bast, 
would fall mainly upon the beneficiaries of protection. " We 
propose," said one of theni, " to place a part of the burden upon 
the accumulated wealth of the countr>- instead of placing it 
all upon the consumption of the people." In this spirit tiw 
sponsors of the Wilson tariff bill laid a tax upon all incomes of 
£4000 a year or more. 

In taking this step, the Democrats encountered opposition 
in their own party. Senator Hill, of New York, turned fiercely 
upon them, exclaiming: " The professors with their books, the 
socialists with their schemes, the anarchists with their bombs 
are all instructing the people in the , . . principles of taxation," 
Even the Eastern Republicans were hardly as savage in their 
denunciation of the tax. But all this labor was wasted. 
The next year the Supreme Court of the United States de- 
clared the income tax to be a direct tax, and therefore null and 
void because it was laid on incomes wherever found and not 
apportioned among the states according to population. The 
fact that four of the nine judges dissented from this decision 
was also an index to the diversity of opinion that divided 

The Railways and Trusts 


The Grangers and State Regulation. — The same uncertainty 
about the railways and tru.sts pervaded the ranks of the Repub- 
licans and Democrats. As to the railways, the first firm and 
consistent demand for their regulation came from the West. 
There the farmers, in the early seventies, having got control in 
state legislatures, particularly in Iowa, Wisconsin, and lUinois, 
enacted drastic laws prescribing the maximimi chaises which 
companies could make for carrying freight and passengers. The 




d to I 

>deral ^^^ 

application of these measures, however, was limited because tJ 
state could not fix the rates for transporting goods and pas- 
sengers beyond its own borders. The power of regulating 
interstate commerce, under the Constitution, belonged to 

The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. — Within a few yeai 
the movement which had been so effective in western legislatui 
appeared at Washington in the form of demands for the federal 
regulation of interstate rates. In 18S7, the pressure became so 
strong that Congress created the interstate nommerce commis- 
sion and forbade many abuses on the part of railways ; such aa 
discriminating in charges between one shipper and another and 
granting secret rebates to favored persons. This law was a 
significant beginning ; but it left the main question of rate-fixing 
untouched, much to (he discontent of farmers and shippers. 

The Sherman Anti-Trust Law of 1890. — As in the case of the 
railways, attacks upon the trusts were first made in state legis- 
latures, where it became the fashion to provide severe penalties 
for those who formed monopolies and " conspired to enhance 
prices." Republicans and Democrats united in the promotion 
of measures of this kind. As in the case of the railways also, 
the movement to curb the trusts soon had spokesmen at Washing- 
ton. Though Blaine had declared that " trusts were largely a 
private affair with which neither the President nor any private 
citizen had any particular right to interfere," it was a Republi- 
can Congress that enacted in IS90 the first measure — the Sher- 
man Anti-Trust Law — directed against great combinations in 
business. Thisact declared illegal "every contract, combination 
in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint o 
trade and commerce among the several states or with foreigi 

The Futility of the Anti-Tnist Law. — Whether the Sherman ' 
law was directed against all combinations or merely those which 
placed an " unreasonable restraint " on trade and competition 
was not apparent. Senator Piatt of Connecticut, a careful! 
statesman of the old school, averred : " The questions of wbetlu 

s m 

tion I 

it (^^H 


man ^^l 


^ition I 




the bill would be operative, of how it would operate, or whether 
it was within the power of Congress to enact it, have been whis- 
tled down the wind in this Senate as idle talk and the whole 
effort has been to get some bill headed : * A bill to punish trusts,' 
with which to go to the country." Whatever its purpose, its 
effect upon existing trusts and upon the formation of new com- 
binations was negligible. It was practically unenforced by 
President Harrison and President Cleveland, in spite of the con- 
stant demand for harsh action against " monopolies." It was 
patent that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were 
prepared for a war on the trusts to the bitter end. 

The Minor Parties and Unrest 
The Demands of Dissenting Parties. — From the election 
of 1872, when Horace ('neeley made hiti ill-fated excursion into 
pohtics, onward, there appeared in each presidential campaign 
one, and sometimes two or more parties, stressing issues that 
appealed mainly to wage-earners and farmers. Whether they 
chose to call themselves Labor Reformers, Greenbaekers, or 
Anti-monopolists, their slogans and their platforms all pointed 
in one direction. Even the Prohibitionists, who in 1872 started 
on their career with a single issue, the abolition of the liquor 
traffic, found themselves making declarations of faith on other 
matters and hopelessly split over the money question in 1896, 
A composite view of the platforms put forth by the dissenting 
parties from the administration of Granl to the close of C'leve- 
land's second term reveals certain notions common to them 
all. These included among many others: the earhest possible 
payment of the national debt ; regulation of the rates of nul- 
ways and telegraph companies ; repeal of the specie resuinptioD 
act of 1875 ; the issue of legal tender notes by the government 
convertible into interest-bearing obligations on demand ; un- 
limited coinage of silver as well as gold ; a graduated inheritance 
tax ; legislation to take from " land, railroad, money, and oth« 
gigantic corporate monopolies . . . the powers they have so 
corruptly and unjustly usurped " ; popular or direct electioa 


of United States Senators ; woman suffrage ; and a graduated 
income tax, " placing the burden of government on those who 
can best afford to pay instead of laying it on the farmers and 

Criticism of the Old Parties. — To this long program of 
measures the reformers added harsh and acrid criticism of the 
old parties and sometimes, it must be said, of established in- 
stitutions of government. " We denounce," exclaimed the 
Labor party in 1888, " the Democratic and Republican parties 
as hopelessly and shamelessly corrupt and by reason of their 
aflSJiation with monopoUes equally unworthy of the suffrages 
of those who do not Uve upon pubUc plunder." " The United 
States Senate," insisted the Greenbackers, " is a body composed 
largely of aristocratic miUionaires who according to their own 
party papers generally purchased their elections in order to 
protect the great monopolies which they represent." Indeed, 
if their platforms are to be accepted at face value, the Green- 
backers beUeved that the entire government had passed out of 
the hands of the people. 

The Grangers. — This unsparing, not to say revolutionary, 
criticism of American poUtical life, appealed, it seems, mainly 
to farmers in the Middle West. Always active in politics, they 
had, before the Civil War, cast their lot as a rule with one or the 
other of the leading parties. In 1867, however, there grew up 
among them an association known as the '^ Patrons of Hus- 
bandry," which was destined to play a large r61e in the partisan 
contests of the succeeding decades. This society, which organ- 
ized local lodges or " granges " on principles of secrecy and fra- 
ternity, was originally designed to promote in a general way 
the interests of the farmers. Its poUtical bearings were appar- 
ently not grasped at first by its promoters. Yet, appealing 
as it did to the most active and independent spirits among the 
farmers and gathering to itself the strength that always comes 
from organization, it soon found itself in the hands of leaders 
more or less involved in poUtics. Where a few votes are mar- 
dbaled together in a democracy, there is power. 


The Greenback Party, — The first extensive activity of the 
Grangera was connected with the attack on the railways in the 
Middle West which forced several state legislatures to reduce 
freight and passenger rates by law. At the same tune, some 
leaders in the movement, no doubt emboldened by this success, 
launched in 1876 a new pohtical party, popularly known as the 
Greenbackers, favoring a continued re-issue of the legal tenders. 
The beginnings were disappointing ; but two years later, in the 
congressional elections, the Greenbackers swept whole sections 
of the country. Their candidates polled more than a miUion 
votes and fourteen of them were returned to the House of Repre- 
sentatives. To all outward signs a new and formidable party 
bad entered the lists. 

The sanguine hopes of the leaders proved to be illusory. 
The quiet operations of the resumption act the following year, 
a revival of industi'y from a severe panic which had set in during 
1873, the Silver Purchase Act, and the re-issue of Greenbacks 
cut away some of the grounds of agitation. There was also a 
diversion of forces to the silver faction which had a substantial 
support in the silver mine owners of the West. At all events 
the Greenback vote fell to about 300,000 in the election of 1880. 
A still greater drop came four years later and the parly gave up 
the ghost, its sponsors returning to their former allegiance or 
sulking in their tents. 

The Rise of the Populist Party. — Those leaders of the old 
parties who now looked for a happy future unvexed by new 
factions were doomed to disappointment. The funeral of the 
Greenback party was hardly over before there arose two other 
political specters in the agrarian sections : the National Farmers' 
Alliance and Industrial Union, particularly strong in the South 
and West; and the Farmers' Alliance, operating in the North. 
By 1890 the two orders claimed over three million membera. 
As in the case of the Grangers many years before, the leaders 
among them found an easy way into politics. 1 n 1892 they held 
a convention, nominated a candidate for President, and adopted 
the name of " People's Party," from which they were knoftn 


as Populiata. Their platform, in every line, breathed a spirit^ 
of radicalism. They declared that " the oewspapers are largely 
subsidized or muzzled ; public opinion silenced ; business pros- 
trate; our homes covered with mortgages; and the land ci 
tratinginthehandsof capitalists. . , . The fruits of the toil of J 
millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few.". 
Having delivered this sweeping indictment, the Populists put " 
forward their remedies : the free coinage of silver, a graduated 
income tax, postal savings banks, and government ownership 
of railways and telegraphs. At the same time they approved 
the initiative, referendum, and popular election of Senators, and j 
condemned the use of federal troops in labor disputes. On I 
this platform, the Populists polled over a million votes, cap-J 
tured twenty-two presidential electors, and sent a powerful] 
delegation to Congress. 

Industrial Distress Augments Unrest. — The four years in-' 
tervening between the campaign of 1892 and the next presiden- 
tial election brought forth many events which aggravated the 
ill-feeling expressed in the portentous platform of Populism. 
Cleveland, a consistent enemy of free silver, gave his powerful 
support to the gold standard and insisted on the repeal of the 
Silver Purchase Act, thus alienating an increasing number of 
hia own party. In 1893 a grave industrial crisis fell upon the 
land: banks and business houses went into bankruptcy with 
startling rapidity ; factories were closed ; idle men thronged 
the streets hunting for work ; and the prices of wheat and corn 
dropped to a ruinous level. Labor disputes also filled thecrowded 
record. A strike at the Pullman car works in Chicago spread 
to the railways. Disorders ensued. President Cleveland, 
against the protests of the governor of Illinois, John P. Altgeld, 
dispatched troops to the scene of action. The United States 
district court at Chicago issued an injunction forbidding the . 
president of the Railway Union, Eugene V. Debs, or his assist- | 
ants to interfere with the transmission of the mails or inter- 1 
state commerce in any form. For refusing to obey the order, , 
Debs was arrested and imprisoned. With federal troops in 1 

d 1 




possession of the field, with their leader in jail, the strikers gave 
up the battle, defeated but not subdued. To cap the climax the 
Supreme Court of the United States, the following year (iSflS), 
declared null and void the income tax law just enat^ted by Con- 
gress, thus fanning the flames of Populist discontent all over 
the West and South. 

The Sound Money Battle of 1896 
Conservative Men Alarmed. — Men of conservative thought 
and leaning in both parties were by this time thoroughly dis- 
turbed. They looked upon the rise of Populism and the growth 
of labor disputes as the signs of a revolutionary spirit, indeed 
nothing short of a menace to American institutions and ideals. 
The income tax law of 1894, exclaimed the distinguished New 
York advocate, Joseph H. Choate, in an impassioned speech 
before the Supreme Court, " is communistic in its purposes and 
tendencies and is defended here upon principles as communis- 
tic, socialistic — what shall I call them — populistic as ever 
have been addressed to any political assembly in the world." 
Mr. Justice Field in the name of the Court replied ; " The pres- 
ent assault upon capital is but the beginning. It will be 
but the stepping stone to others lai^er and more sweeping till 
our political conditions will become a war of the poor against the 
rich." In declaringthe income tax unconstitutional, he believed 
that he was but averting greater evils lurking under its guise. 
As for free silver, nearly all conservative men were united in 
calling it a measure of confiscation and repudiation ; an effort 
of the debtors to pay their obligations with money worth fifty 
cents on the dollar ; the climax of villainies openly defended ; k 
challenge to law, order, and honor, 

The Republicans Come Out for the Gold Standard. — It w«8 
among the Republicans that tliisopininn was most widely shared 
and firmly held. It was they who picked up the gauge thrown 
down by the Populists, though a host of Democrats, like Cleve- 
land and Hill of New York, also battled against the growing 
Populist defection in Democratic ranks. When the Republics 


national convention assembled in 1896, the die was soon cast 
a declaration of opposition to free silver save by international 
agreement was carried by a vote of eight to one. The Re- 
publican party, to use the vigorous language of Mr. Lodge, ar- 
rayed itself against " not only that organized failure, the Demo- 
cratic party, but all the wandering forces of political chaos andJ' 
social disorder ... in these bitter times when the forces of dis- 
order are loose and the wreckers with their false lights gather at 
the shore to lure the ship of state upon the rocks." Yet it is due 
to historic truth to state that McKinley, whom the Republicans 
nominated, had voted in Congress for the free coinage of silver, 
was widely known as a biraetallist, and was only with difficulty 
persuaded to accept the unequivocal indorsement of the gold 
standard which was pressed upon him by his counselors. Hav- 
ing accepted it, however, he proved to be a vaUant champion, 
though his major interest was undoubtedly in the protective 
tarifr. To him nothing was more reprehensible than attempts 
" to array class against class, 'the classes against the masses,' sec- 
tion against section, labor against capital, ' the poor against the 
rich,' or interest against interest." Such was the language of 
his acceptance speech. The whole program of Populism he 
now viewed as a " sudden, dangerous, and revolutionary assault 
upon law and order." 

The Democratic Convention at Chicago. — Never, save at 
the great disruption on the eve of the Civil War, did a Demo- 
cratic national convention display more feeling than at Chicago 
in 1896. From (he opening prayer to the last motion before 
the house, every act, every speech, every scene, every resolution 
evoked passions and sowed dissensions. Departing from long 
party custom, it voted down in anger a propo.'wl to praise the 
administration of the Democratic President, Cleveland, When 
the platform with its radical planks, including free silver, was 
reported, a veritable storm broke. Senator Hill, trembling with 
emotion, protested against the departure from old tests of 
Democratic allegiance; against principles that must drive out 
of the party men who had grown gray in its service 



revolutionary, unwise, and unprecedented steps in the history 
of the party. Senator Vilas of Wisconsin, in great fervor, 
avowed that there wns no difference in principle between the 
free coinage of silver ^ — " the confiscation of one-iialf of the 
credits of the nation for the benefit of debtors " — and com- 
munism itself — " a universal distribution of property." In the 
triumph of that cause hp saw the beginning of " the overthrow 
of all law, all justice, all 
security and repose in 
thp social order." 

The Crown of Thorns 
Speech. — The cham- 
pions of free silver re- 
plied in strident tones. 
They accused thp gold 
aiivocates of l)eing the 
aggressors who had as- 
sailed the labor and the 
homes of the people. 
William Jennings Bryan, 
of Nebraska, voiced their 
sentiments in a memora- 
ble oration. He de- 
clared that their causR 
" was as holy as the 
cause of liberty — the 
causeof humanity," He 
exclaimed that the content was Iwtween the idle holders of 
idle capital and the toiling millions. Then he named those 
for whom he spoke — the wage-earner, the country lawyer, the 
small merchant, the farmer, and the miner. " The man who 
is employed for wages is as much a business man as his employer. 
The attorney in a country town is as much a business man ts 
the corporation counsel in a great metropolis. The merchant 
at the cross roads store. i" ch a business man as the tne^ 

much a buanea 


man as the man who goes upon the board of trade and bets upon 
the price of grain. The miners who go a thousand feet into the 
earth or cUmb two thousand feet upon the cliffs . . . are as 
much business men as the few financial magnates who in a back 
room comer the money of the world. ... It is for these that 
we speak. We do not come as aggressors. Ours is not a war 
of conquest. We are fighting in defense of our homes, our 
families, and our posterity. We have petitioned and our peti- 
tions have been scorned. We have entreated and our en- 
treaties have been disregarded. We have begged and they 
have mocked when our calamity came. We beg no longer; 
we entreat no more; we petition no more. We defy them. 
. . . We shall answer their demands for a gold standard by 
saying to them, * You shall not press upon the brow of labor 
this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a 
cross of gold.'" 

Biyan Nominated. — In all the history of national conven- 
tions never had an orator so completely swayed a multitude ; 
not even Yancey in his memorable plea in the Charleston con- 
vention of 1860 when, with grave and moving eloquence, he 
espoused the Southern cause against the impending fates. The 
delegates, after cheering Mr. Bryan until the^ could cheer no 
more, tore the standards from the floor and gathered around 
the Nebraska delegation to renew the deafening applause. The 
platform as reported was carried by a vote of two to one and 
the young orator from the West, hailed as America's Tiberius 
Gracchus, was nominated as the Democratic candidate for 
President. The South and West had triumphed over the East. 
The division was sectional, admittedly sectional — the old 
combination of power which Calhoun had so anxiously labored 
to build up a centiuy earlier. The Gold Democrats were re- 
pudiated in terms which were clear to all. A few, unable to 
endure the thought of voting the Republican ticket, held a con- 
vention at Indianapolis where, with the sanction of Cleveland, 
they nominated candidates of their own and endorsed the gold 
standard in a forlorn hope. 


^L The 



The Democratic Platform. — It was to the call from Chicago 
that the Democrats gave heed and the Republicans made answa. 
The platform on which Mr. Bryan stood, unlike most par^ 
manifestoes, was explicit in its language and its appeal. It 
denounced the practice of allowing national banks to issue notes 
intended to circulate as money on the ground that it was " in 
derivation of the Constitution," recalling Jackson's famous 
attack on the Bank in 1832. It declared that tariff duties 
should be laid " for the purpose of revenue " — Calhoun's doc- 
trine. In demanding the free coinage of silver, it recurred to 
the practice abandoned in 1873. The income tax came next on 
the program. The platform alleged that the law of 1894, passed 
by a Democratic Congress, was " in strict pursuance of the 
uniform decisions of the Supreme Court for nearly a hundred 
years," and then hinted that the decision annulhng the law might 
be reversed by the same body " as it may hereafter be consti- 

The appeal to labor voiced by Mr. Bryan in his " crown of 
thorns " speech was reinforced in the platform. " As labor 
creates the wealth of the country," ran one plank, " we demand 
the passage of such laws as may be necessary to protect it id 
all its rights." Referring to the recent Pullman strike, the 
passions of which had not yet died away, the platform denounced 
" arbitrary interference by federal authorities in local affairs as 
a violation of the C'onstitution of the United States and a crime 
inst free institutions." A special objection was lodged 
government by injunction as a new and highly dan- 
gerous form of oppression by which federal judges, in contempt 
of the laws of states nnd rights of citizens, become at once le^ 
lators, judges, and executioners." The remedy advanced was 
a federal law assuring trial by jury in all cases of contempt 
in labor disputes. Having made this declaration of faith, the 
Democrats, with Mr. Bryan at the head, raised their standard 
of battle. 

The Heated Campaign. — The campaign which ensued out- 
rivaled in the range of its educational activities and the bitter- 


ness of its tone all other political conflicts in American history, 
not excepting the fateful stnigRle of 1860. Immense sums of 
money were contributed to thp funds of both parties. Railway, 
banking, and other corporations gave generously to the Repub- 
licans ; the silver miners, less lavishly but with the same 
anxiety, supported the Democrats. The country was flooded 
with pamphlets, posters, and handbills. Every pultlic forum, 
from the great auditoriums of the cities to the " red school- 
houses "on the countryside, was occupied by the opposing forces. 
Mr. Bryan took the stump himself, visiting all parts of the 
coimtry in special trains and addressing literally millions of 
people in the open air. Mr. McKinley chose the older and 
more formal plan. He received delegations at his home in 
Canton and discussed the issues of the campaign from his front 
porch, leaving to an army of well-organized orators the task of 
reaching the people in their home towns. Parades, processions, 
and monster demonstrations filled the land with poUtics. Whole 
states were polled in advance by the Republicans and the doubts 
ful voters personally visited by men equipped with arguments 
and hterature. Manufacturers, frightened at the possibility 
of disordered public credit, announced that they would close 
their doors if the Democrats won the election. Men were dis- 
missed from public and private places on account of their polit- 
ical views, one eminent college president being forced out for 
advocating free silver. The language employed by impas-sioned 
and embittered speakers on iKith sides roused the pubUc to a 
state of frenzy, once more showing the lengths to which mata 
could go in personal and political abuse. f 

The Republican Victory. — The verdict of the nation was de- 
cisive. McKinJoy received 271 of the 447 electoral votes, and 
7,111,000 popular votes aa against Bryan's 6,509,000. The 
congressional elections were equally positive although, on 
account of the eompt^ition of the Senate, the "hold-over" 
Democrats and Populists still enjoyed a |)ower out of proportion 
to their strength as measured at the polls. Even as it was, the 
tepublicane got full control of both houses — a dominion of tbv»J 


entire government which they were to hold for fourteen years — 
until the aecond half of Mr. Taft's administration, when they 
lost possession of the House of Representatives. The yoke of 
indecision was broken. The party of sound finance and protec- 
tive tariffs set out upon its lease of power with untroutded 

Republican Measuri 


The Gold Standard and the Tariff. — Yet strange as it may 
peein, the Republifan.s did not at untie enact legislation making 
the gold dollar the standard for the national currency. Not 
until 1900 did they take that positive step. In his first inau- 
gural President McKinley, as if still uncertain in his own mind 
or fearing a revival of the contest just closed, placed the tariff, 
not the money question, m the forefront. " The people have 
decided," he said, " that such legislation should be had as will 
give ample protection and encouragement to the industries 
and development of our country." Protection for American 
industries, therefore, he urged, is the ta.'ik before Congreea. 
" With adequate revenue secured, but not until then, we can 
enter upon changes in our fiscal laws," As the Republicans h»d 
only forty-six of the ninety Senators, and at. least fovir of them 
were known advocates of free silver, the discretion exercised 
by the President in selecting the tariff for congressional debate 
was the better part of valor. 

Congress gave heed to the warning. Under the direotioo 
of Nelson P. Dingley, whose name was given to the bill, a Uuiff 
measure levying the highest rates yet laid in the history of 
American imposts was prepared and driven through the HOQse 
of Representatives. The opposition encountered in the Senate, 
especially from the West, was overcome by concessions in favor 
of that section; but the duties on sugar, tin, steel, lumber, 
hemp, and in fact all of the essential commodities handled by 
combinations and trusts, were materially raised. 

Growth of Combinations. — The years that followed the 
enactment of the Dingley law were, whatever the cause, the 





most prospermiB the country had witneatwd for many a deeade. 
Industries of every kind were soon running full blast ; labor was 
employed ; commerce spread more swiftly than ever to the 
markets of the world. Coincident with this progress was the or- 
ganization of the greatest combinations and trusts the world 
had yet seen. In 1899 the smelters formed a trust with a ca|M- 
tal of $65,000,000 ; in the same year the Standard Oil Company 
with a capital of over one hundred millions took the place of the 
old truatu and the Copper Trust was incorporated under the 
laws of New Jersey, its par value capital being fixed shortly after- 
ward at $175,000,000. A year later the National Sugar Re- 
fining Company, of New Jersey, started with a capital of 
$90,000,000, adopting the poUcy of issuing to the stockholders 
no pubhc statement of its earnings or financial condition. Be- 
fore another twelvemonth had elapsed alt previous corporal*" 
financing was reduced to small proportions by the flotation of 
the United States Steel Corporation with a capital of more than a 
billion dollars, an enterprise set in motion by the famous Morgan 
banking house of New York. 

In nearly all these gigantic undertakings, the same great 
leaders in finance were more or less intimately associated. To 
use the language of an eminent authority : " They are all allied 
and intertwined by their various mutual interests. For in- 
stance, the Pennsylvania Railroad interests are on the one hand 
allied with the Vanderbilts and on the other with the Rocke- 
fellers. The Vanderbilts are closely allied with the Motion 
group. . . . Viewed as a whole we find the dominating in- 
fluences in the trusts to be made up of a network of lai^ and 
small capitalists, many aUied to one another by ties of more or 
less importance, but all being appendages to or parts of the 
greater groups which are themselves dependent on and allied 
with the two mammoth or Rockefeller and Morgan groups. 
These two mammoth groui>s jointly . . . constitute the heart 
of the business and commercial life of the nation." Such was 
the picture of triumphant business enterprise drawn by a flnan- 
cier within a few years after the memorable campaign of IS96. 


America had become one of the first workshops of the 
world. It was, by virtue of the fclosely knit organization of 
its business and finance, one of the most powerful and ener- 
getic leaders in the struggle of the giants for the business of the 
earth. The capital of the Steel Corporation alone was more 
than ten times the total national debt which the apostles of 
calamity in the days of Washington and Hamilton declared the 
nation could never pay. American industry, filling domestic 
markets to overflowing, was ready for new worlds to conquer. 


F. W. Taussig, Tarig History of the United States. 

J. L. Laughlin, Bimetallism in the United States. 

A. B. Hepburn, History of Coinage and Currency in the United States. 

£. R. A. Seligman, The Income Tax. 

S. J. Buck, The Granger Movement (Harvard Studies). 

F. H. Dixon, State Railroad Control. 

H. R. Meyer, Government Regidation of Railway Rates. 

W. Z. Ripley (editor), Trusts, Pools, and Corporations. 

R. T. Ely, Monopolies and Trusts. 

J. B. Clark, The Control of Trusts. 


1. What prpof have we that the political parties were not clearly 
divided over issues between 1865 and 1896? 

2. Why is a fall in prices a loss to farmers and a gain to holders of fixed 

3. Explain the theory that the quantity of money determines the 
prices of commodities. 

4. Why was it difficult, if not impossible, to keep gold and silver at a 

5. What special conditions favored a fall in silver between 1870 and 

* 6. Describe some of the measiures taken to raise the value of silver. 

7. Explain the relation between the tariff and the income tax in 1894. 

8. How did it happen that the farmers led in regulating railway rates? 

9. Give the terms of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. What was its im- 
mediate e£fect? 

10. Name some of the minor parties. Enumerate the reforms they 


11. Deecribe briefly the experiments of the fannerE in politiea. 

12. How did industrial conditions increase unreit? 

13. Why were conservative men disturlied in the early nineties? 

14. Explain the Republican position in 1896. 

15. Give Mr. Bryan's doirtrincfl in 1806. Enunieral« the chief feature* 
of the Democratic platform. 

16. What were the leading measui^ adopted by the Republicans after 
their victory in 1896? 

Research Topics 

Greenbacks and Resumption, — Dewey, Financial UiiUorg of Ou 
United Stale» (6th ed,), Sectioua 122-125. 154, and 378; MucDonaH. 
Dociimentarj/ SaiiTce Book of Ameritau Hialory, pp. 446, 566 ; Hart, 
American History Told by CmUemporaTies. Vol. IV, pp. 531-533 ; Hhodea, 
History of the United Stolen, Vol. VIII, pp. 97-101. 

Demonetization and Coinage of Silver. — Dewey, Financial HitUm, 
Sections 170-173. 186, 189, 194; MucDonald, Documentary Source Book, 
pp. 174, 573, 593, 596; Hart, Contemparanex, Vol. IV, pp. 529-531; 
Rhodes, History, Vol. VIII, pp. 93-97. 

Free Silver and the Campaign of ISflS. — Dewey, Nalvmal Prtitim* 
(American Nation SerieH), pp. 220-237, 314-328; Hart, ConlemporantM, 
Vol, IV, pp. 533-538. 

Tariff Revision. — Dewey, Financial History, SeclionB 167, 180, 181. 
187, 192. 196; Hart, Cotitemporarits, Vol. IV. pp. 518-635; Rhodo^ 
History. Vol, VIII, pp. 168-179, 346-351, 418-422. 

Federal Regulation of Railways. — Dewey, A^afumaf ProbUnu, pp. 
91-111; MacDonald, Documenlary .'iource Book. pp. 581-660; Hart. 
Contem-porarien. Vol, IV, pp. 521-523 ; Rhodes. History, Vol. VIII, pp. 78k 

The Rise and Regulation of Trufits. — Dewey, National ProhUrtU, p) 
188-202; MiicDonuld, I tMumentury Sourer Book, iip. m\-52'3. 

The Grangers and Populism. — Pux»on, The New Nation (Rivendde 
Series), pp. 20-37, 177-191, 2D8-223. 

General Analysis of Domestic Problems. — Sijllahiin in History (Nea 
York State, 1920). pp. 137-142, 



It has now become a fashion, sanctioned by wide usage and 
by eminent historians, to speak of America, triumphant over 
Spain and possessed of new colonies, as entering the twentieth 
century in the rdle of " a world power," for the first time. Per- 
haps at this late day, it is useless to protest against the currency 
of the idea. Nevertheless, the truth is that from the fateful 
moment in March, 1775, when Edmund Burke unfolded to his 
colleagues in the British Parliament the resources of an invincible 
America, down to the settlement at Versailles in 1919 closing the 
drama of the World War, this nation has been a world power, 
influencing by its example, by its institutions, by its wealth, trade, 
and arms the course of international affairs. And it should be 
said also that neither in the field of commercial enterprise nor 
in that of diplomacy has it been wanting in spirit or ingenuity. 

When John Hay, Secretary of State, heard that an American 
citizen, Perdicaris, had been seized by Raisuli, a Moroccan 
bandit, in 1904, he wired his brusque message : " We want 
Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." This was but an echo of 
Conmiodore Decatur's equally characteristic answer, " Not 
a minute," given nearly a hundred years before to the pirates of 
Algiers begging for time to consider whether they would cease 
preying upon American merchantmen. Was it not as early 
as 1844 that the American commissioner, Caleb Gushing, 
taking advantage of the British Opium War on China, nego- 
tiated with the Celestial Empire a successful commercial treaty? 
Did he not then exultantly exclaim : " The laws of the Union 
follow its citizens and its banner protects them even within the 

domain of the Chinese Empire " ? Was it not almost half a 



century before the battle of Manila. Bay in 1898, that Conif 
modore Perry with an adequate naval force " gently coerced 
Japan into friendship with us," leading all the nations of thf 
earth in the opening of that empire to the trade of the Occident? 
Nor is it inappropriate in this connection to recall the fact that 
the Monroe Doctrine celebrates in 1923 its hundredth aniveraary. 

American Foreign Relations (1865-98) 
French Intrigues in Mexico Blocked. — Between the war for 
the union and the war with Spain, the Department of Stat* 
had many an occasion to present the rights of America amonc 
the powers of the world. Only a little while after the civil 
conflict came to a close, it was called upon to deal with a danner- 
0U8 situation created in Mexico by the ambitions of Napoleon 
III. During the administration of Buchanan. Mexicn had 
fallen into disorder through the .strife of the Liberal and the 
Clerical parties; the President asked for authority to ui* 
American troops to bring ta a peaceful haven " a wreck upon 
the ocean, drifting about as she is impelled by different factionc." 
Our own domestic crisis then intervened. 

Observing the United States heavily involved in its own proh- 
lema, the great powers, England, France, and Spain, decided in 
the autumn of 1861 to take a hand themselves in restoring order 
in Mexico. They entered into an agreement to enforce the 
claims of their citizens against Mexico and to prot^'ct their 
subjects residing in that republic. They invited the United 
States to join them, and, on meeting a polite refusal, they pre- 
pared for a combined military and naval demonstration on 
their own account. In the midst of this action England and 
Spain, discovering the sinistei- purposes of Napoleon, withdie* 
their troops and left the field to him. 

The French Emperor, it was well known, looked with jeal- 
ousy upon the growth of the United States and dreamed of 
establishing in the Western hemisphere an imperial jwwer lo 
offset the American republic. Intervention to collect debts was 
only a cloak for his deeper designs. Throwing off that gtiiae in 


AMERtCA A WORLD POWER (186&-1900) 479 

due time, he made the Archduke Maximilian, a brother of the 
ruler of Austria, emperor in Mexico, and surrounded his throne 
by French soldiers, in spite of all protests. 

This insolent attack upon the Mexican republic, deeply re- 
sented in the United States, was allowed to drift in its course 
until 1865. At that juncture General Sheridan was dispatched 
to the Mexican border with a large armed force; General 
Grant urged the use of the American army to expel the French 
from this continent. The Secretary of State, Seward, coun- 
seled negotiation first, and, applying the Monroe Doctrine, 
was able to prevail upon Napoleon III to withdraw his troops. 
Without the support of French arms, the sham empire in 
Mexico collapsed like a house of cards and the unhappy Maxi- 
milian, the victim of French ambition and intrigue, met his 
death at the hands of a Mexican firing squad. 

Alaska Purchased, —The Mexican affair had not been 
brought to a close before the Department of State was busy 
with negotiations which resulted in the purchase of Alaska from 
Russia. The treaty of cession, signed on March 30, 1867, 
added to the United States a domain of nearly six hundred 
thousand square miles, a territory larger than Texas and nearly 
three-fourths the size of the Louisiana purchase. Though it 
was a distant colony separated from our continental domain by 
a thousand miles of water, no question of " imperiaUsm " or 
" colonization foreign to American doctrines " seems to have 
been raised at the time. The treaty was ratified promptly by 
the Senate. The purchase price, $7,200,000, wa.s voted by the 
House of Representatives after the display of some resentment 
against a system that compelled it to appropriate money to 
fulfill an obhgation which it had no part in making. Seward, 
who formulated the treaty, rejoiced, as he afterwards said, that 

I he had kept Alaska out of the hands of England, 
American Interest in the Caribbean. — Having achieved this 
diplomatic triumph, Seward turned to the increase of American 
power in another direction. He negotiated, with Denmark, 
ft treaty providing for the purchase of the islands of St. Jotei 




and St. Thonuis in the West Indies, strategic points id ths 
Caribbean for sea power. This project, long afterward brought 
to fruition by other men, was defeated on this occasion by the 
refusal of the Senate to ratify the treaty. Evidently it was not 
yet prepared to exercise colonial dominion over other races. 

Undaunted by the misadventure in Caribbean policiee, 
President Grant warmly advocated the acquisition of Santo 
Domingo. This little republic had long been in a state of 
general disorder. In 1869 a treaty of annexation was con- 
cluded with its president. The document Grant transmitted 
to the Senate with his cordial approval, only to have it rejected. 
Not at all changed in his opinion by the outcome of hia effort, 
he continued to urge the subject of annexation. Even in his last 
message to Congress he referred to it, saying that time had 
only proved the wisdom of his early course. The addition of 
Santo Domingo to the American sphere of protection was the 
work of a later generation. The State Department, temporarily 
checked, had to bide its time. 

The Alabama Claims Arbitrated. — Indeed, it had in hand 
a far more serious matter, a vexing issue that grew out (rf 
Civil War diplomacy. The British government, as already 
pointed out in other connections, had permitted Confederate 
cruisers, including the famous Alabama, built in British ports, 
to escape and prey upon the commerce of the Northern states- 
This action, denounced at the time by our government as » 
grave breach of neutrality as well as a grievous injury to .Ameri- 
can citizens, led first to remonstrances and finally to repeated 
claims for damages done to American ships and goods. Far * 
long time Great Britain was firm. Her foreign secretary denial 
all obligations in the premises, adding somewhat curtly that 
" he wished to say once for all that Her Majesty's govenunent 
disclaimed any responsibility for the losses and hoped that they 
had made their position perfectly clear." Still President Grant 
was not persuaded that the door of diplomacy, though closed, 
was barred. Hamilton Fish, his Secretary of State, renewed 
the demand. Finally he secured fram the British goverB- 

AmBRIOA a world power 0865-1900) 48t 

ment in 187i the treaty of Washington providing for the arbh 
tration not ri^^fc of the Alabama and other claiais but also aU 
POii^t^J#fl^H^^Kitroversy between the two countries. 

The w^^pQBrbitration thus authorized aat at Geneva ia 
Swiizi?rlana, (md ^obt a long and careful review of the argu- 
meiil^ nil iwtl, sid^Lwarded to the United States the lump 
sum ur $15,A0t],0QQ^fc be distributed among the American 
claimants. .^P^lJ^flv^ thus allowed were large, unquestion- 
ably larger HM^fnrict justice required and it is not surprising 
that the decision excited much adverse comment in England. 
Nevertheless, the orompt payment by the BritLsh govern- 
ment swept away at once a gieat cloud of ill-feeling in America. 
Moreover, the spectacle of twu powerful nations choosing the 
way of peaceful arbitration to settle an angry dispute seemed a 
happy, if illusory, omeh of a modern method for avoiding the 
arbitrament of war. 

Samoa. — If the Senal.; had its doubts at first about the 
wisdom of acquiring strategic points for naval power in distant 
seas, the same could not be said of the State Department op 
naval officers. In 1872 Comi.i^nder Meade, of the United 
Stat«3 navy, alive to the iinpi)m"i,.6_yr coahng stations even 
in mid-ocean, made a comim.;'-ial 'S(jrp^inetii--«ath the chief 
of Tutuila, one of the Samoan l^landsTnlta^w (ho ««fu&tor, in 
the southern Pacific, nearer |^Aiislra1iH^|Hyi< (California. 
This agreement, providing ill^|^^i|^^^^<V^MUr use of 
the harbor of Pago Pago as a nava^raBH^I^v^^ars later 
changed into a formal treaty ratified by the Sens 

Such enterprise could not escape the vigilant eyes of England 
and Germany, both mindful of the course of the sea power r«i 
history. The German emperor, seizing as a pretext a quarrel 
between his consul in the islands and a. native king, laid claim 
to an interest in the Samoan group. England, aware of the 
dangers arising fron'i German outposts in the southern seaa 
so near to Austraha, was not content to stand aside. So it 
happened that all three countries sent battleships to the Samoan 
waters, threatening a crisis that was fortunately averted by 




friendly settlement. If, as is alleged, Germany entertained 
a notion of challenging American sea power the** ^'^'^ there, 
the presence of British ships must have dispelled t^iat dream. 

The result of the affair was a tripartite agreement by which 
the three powers in 1889 undertook a protectorate over the 
islands. But joint control proved unsatisf-tctory. There 
was constant friction between the Germans a-tid the English. 
The spheres of authority being vague and open to dispute, 
the plan had to be abandoned at the end of teti years. England 
withdrew altogether. leaving to Germany all the islands except 
Tutuila, which was ceded outright to the U'l'ted States. Thus 
one of the finest harbors in the Pacific, to tbe intense delight 
of the American navy, passed permanei'tly under Americac 
dominion. Another triumph in diplon>acy was aet down to 
the credit of the State Department. 

Cleveland and the Venezuela Affair- — In the relations with 
South America, as well as in those with the distant Pacific, the 
diplomacy of the government at Washington was put to the 
test. For some time it had been watching a dispute between 
England and Venezuela over t^'C western boundary of Britirfi 
Guiana and, on an appeal fro*^ Venezuela, it had taken a lively 
interest in the contest. Ii-- 1895 President Cleveland saw that 
Great Britain would y'-Jld none of her claims. After hearing 
the arguments of V'""6zuela, his Secretary of State, Richard T. 
Olney, in a note -jone too eoncihatory, asked the British govern- 
ment whet*"-*'" it w^** willing to arbitrate the points in con- 
trovers-,  This inquiry he accompanied by a warning to the 
eff^t that the United States could not permit any European 
fiower to contest its mastery in this hemisphere. " The United 
States," said the Secretary, " is practically sovereign on this 
continent and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it con- 
fines its interposition. ... Its infinite resources, combined 
with its isolated position, render it master of the situation and 
practically invulnerable against any or all other powers." 

The reply evoked from the British government by this stnnc 
^ fltatement waa firm and dear. The Monroe Doctrine, it 


even if not so widely stretched by interpretation, was not bind- 
ing in international law ; the dispute with Vpnezuela was a 
matter of interest merely to the parties involved ; and arbitra- 
tion of the question was impoasible. This response called forth 
President Cleveland's startling message of 1895, He asked 
Congress to create a commission authorized to ascertain by 
researches the true bound- 
ary between Venezuela and 
British Guiana. He added 
that it would be the duty 
of this country " to resist 
by every means in its power, 
as a willful aggression upon 
it*i rights and interests, the 
appropriation hyOreat Brit- 
am of any lands or the ex- 
ercise of governmental juris- 
diction over any territory 
which, after investigation, 
we have determined of right 
)>e!ongs to Venezuela." The 
serious character of this 
statement he thoroughly 
understood. He declared 
that he was conscious of his 
responsibilities, intimating 
that war, much as it was 
to be deplored, was not 

comparable to " a supine submission to wrong and injustice and 
the consequent loss of national self-respect and honor." 

The note of defiance which ran through this message, greeted 
by shrill cries of enthusiasm in many circles, was viewed in 
other quarters as a poi-teut of war. Responsible newspapers 
in both countries spoke of an armed settlement of the dispute 
as inevitable. Congress created the commission and appropri- 
ated money for the investigation ; a body of learned men <K«kj 

ind- ^^M 
as a I 




appointed to determine the merits nf the conflicting 
elajms. The Britinb government, deaf to the damor of the 
beOicoee section of the London press, deplored the tDctdent, 
courteously replied in the affirmative to a request for asastasce 
in the search for evidence, and finally agreed to the propoeitioD 
that the issue be submitted to arbitration. The outcome of 
this somewhat perilous dispute contributed not a little to 
Cleveland's reputation as " a sterling representative of tbe true 
American spirit." This was not diminished when the tribunal 
of arbitration found that Great Britain was on the whole right 
in her territorial claims against Venezuela. 

The Annexation of Hawaii. — While engaged in the dai^i^ 
ou8 Venezuela controversy, President Cleveland was compelled 
by a strange turn in events to consider the annexation of the 
Hawaiian Islands in the mid-Pacific. For more than half a 
century American missionaries had been active in converting 
the natives to the Christian faith and enterprising American 
business men had been developing the fertile sugar plantations. 
Both the Department of State and the Navy Department were 
fully conscious of the strategic relation of the islands to the 
growth of sea power and watched with anxiety any developments 
likely to bring them under some other dominion. 

The country at large was indifferent, however, until 1893, 
when a revolution. heade<l by Americans, broke out, ending in 
the overthrow of the native government, the abolition of the 
primitive monarchy, and the retirement of Queen Liliuoka- 
lani to private life. This crisis, a repetition of the Texas affair 
in a small theater, was immediately followed by a demand from 
the new Hawaiian government for annexation to the United 
States. President Harrison looked with favor on the proposal, 
negotiated the treaty of annexation, and laid it before the 
Senate for approval. There it still rested when his term rf 
ofRce was brought to it close. 

Harrison's successor, Cleveland, it was well known, bad 
doubts about the propriety of American action in Hawau. 
Por the purpose of making an * ^nto the matter, he 

AMERICA A WORLD POWER (18e&-1900) 485 

a special commissioner to the islands. On the basis of the report 
of his agent, Cleveland came to the conclusion that " the revolu- 
tion in the island kingdom had been accomplished by the im- 
proper use of the armed forces of the United States and that the 
wrong should be righted by a restoration of the queen to her 
throne." Such being his matured conviction, though the facts 
upon which he rested it were warmly controverted, he could do 
nothing but withdraw the treaty from the Senate and close the 

To the Republicans this sharp and cavalier disposal of their 
plans, carried out in a way that impugned the motives of a 
Republican President, was nothing less than " a betrayal of 
American interests." In their platform of 1896 they made 
clear their position : " Our foreign policy should be at all times 
firm, vigorous, and dignified and all our interests in the Western 
hemisphere carefully watched and guarded. The Hawaiian 
Islands should be controlled by the United States and no foreign 
power should be permitted to interfere with them." There 
was no mistaking this view of the issue. As the vote in the 
election gave popular sanction to Republican policies. Con- 
gress by a joint resolution, passed on July 6, 1898, annexed the 
islands to the United States and later conferred upon them the 
ordinary territorial form of government. 

Cuba and the Spanish War 

Early American Relations with Cuba. — The year that 
brought Hawaii finally under the American flag likewise drew 
to a conclusion another long controversy over a similar outpost 
in the Atlantic, one of the last remnants of the once glorious 
Spanish empire — the island of Cuba. 

For a century the Department of State had kept an anxious 
^e upon this base of power, knowing full well that both France 
and Elngland, already well established in the West Indies, had 
their attention also fixed upon Cuba. In the administration 
of President Fillmore they had united in proposing to the 
United States a tripartite treaty guaranteeing Spain in hec 



none too certain ownership. This proposal, squarely rejected, 
furnished the occasion for a statement of American policy which 
stood the test of all the years that followed ; namely, that the 
affair was one between Spain and the United States alone. 

in that long contest in the United States for the balance of 
power between the North and South, leaders in the latter 
section often thought of 
bringing Cuba into the 
union to offset the free 
states. An opportunity 
to announce their pur- 
poses publicly was Bi' 
forded in 1854 by a 
controversy over the 
seizure of an American 
ship by Cuban authori- 
ties. On that occasion 
three American roinia- 
ters abroad, stationed at 
Madrid, Paris, and Lon- 
don respectively, held a 
conference and issued 
the celebrated " Os- 
tend Manifesto." They 
united in declaring tliat 
. be awfully Cuba, by her geographi- 
cal position, formed > 
part of the United 
States, that possessoo 
by a foreign power was inimical to American interests, and that 
an effort should be made to purchase the island from Spain. In 
case the owner refused to sell, they concluded, with a menacing 
flourish, " by every law, human and divine, we shall be justifie'l 
in wresting it from Spain if we possess the power." This 
startling proclamation to the world was promptly disowned bf 
^he United States government. 

Siniflofino Cuba. '■You n 
ear-dghled, Mr- President, not to reongiii 
ae." U. S. G. " No, I am fur-aighted : foi 
an recugniiG France." 

AMERICA A WORLD POWER (1865-1900) 487 

Revolutions in Cuba. — For nearly twenty years afterwards 
the Cuban question rested. Then it was revived in another 
:orm during President Grant's administrations, when the natives 
Decame engaged in a destructive revolt against Spanish officials. 
For ten years — 1868-78 — a guerrilla warfare raged in the 
sland. American citizens, by virtue of their ancient traditions 
)f democracy, naturally sympathized with a war for independ- 
mce and self-government. Expeditions to help the insurgents 
^ere fitted out secretly in Amefrican ports. Arms and supplies 
^ere smuggled into Cuba. American soldiers of fortune joined 
:heir ranks. The enforcement of neutrality against the friends 
)f Cuban independence, no pleasing task for a sympathetic 
President, the protection of American lives and property in the 
•evolutionary area, and similar matters kept our government 
>usy with Cuba for a whole decade. 

A brief lull in Cuban disorders was followed in 1895 by a 
"cnewal of the revolutionary movement. The contest between 
iie rebels and the Spanish troops, marked by extreme cruelty 
ind a total disregard for life and property, exceeded all boimds 
)f decency, and once more raised the old questions that had 
x)rmented Grant's administration. Gomez, the leader of the 
•evolt, intent upon provoking American interference, laid waste 
^he land with fire and sword. By a proclamation of November 
J, 1895, he ordered the destruction of sugar plantations and rail- 
wray connections and the closure of all sugar factories. The 
^ork of ruin was completed by the ruthless Spanish general, 
WeyleTf who concentrated the inhabitants from rural regions 
nto military camps, where they died by the hundreds of disease 
ind starvation. Stories of the atrocities, bad enough in simple 
:orm, became lurid when transmuted into American news and 
ieeply moved the sympathies of the American people. Sermons 
^ere preached about Spanish misdeeds; orators demanded 
:hat the Cubans be sustained " in their heroic struggle for 
ndependence " ; newspapers, scouting the ordinary forms of 
iiplomatic negotiation, spurned mediation and demanded 
intervention and war if necessary. 

AMERICA A WORLD POWER (1865-1900) 489 

President Cleveland's Policy. — Cleveland chose the way 
t peace. He ordered the observance of the rule of neutrality. 
e declined to act on a resolution of Congress in favor of givmg 
> the Cubans the rights of belligerents. Anxious to bring 
!der to the distracted island, he tendered to Spain the good 
I of the United States as mediator in the contest — a 
mder rejected by the Spanish Eovernment with the broad hint 
lat President Cleveland nii)(ht he more vigorous in putting 
Kstop to the unlawful aid in money, arm.s, and supplies, afforded 
^ the insurgents' By Ameriran sympathizers. Thereupon the 
sident returned to the course he had marked out for himself, 
bving " the public nuisance " to his successor, President 

I Republican Policies. — The Republicans in 1897 found them- 
BVcs in a position to employ that " firm, vigorous, and digni- 
' foreign policy which they had approved in their platform. 
They had declared : " The government of Spain having lost 
control of Cuba and being unable to protect the property or 
lives of resident American citizens or to comply with its treaty 
obligations, we believe that the government of the United 
Sfj*t«t should actively use its influence and good offices to re- 
itore peace and give independence to the island." The Ameri- 
(■;in property in Cuba in which (he RepublicanH referred in their 
platfonn amounted by this lime to more than fifly million 
dollars; the commerce with the island reached more than one 
hundred millions annually ; and the claims of American citizens 
against Spain for property destroyed totaled sixteen millions. 
To the pleas of humanity which made such an effective appeal 
to the hearts of Ihe American people, there were thus added 
practical considerations of great weight. 

Presideat McKinley Negotiates. — In the face of the swell- 
ing tide of popular opinion in favor of quick, drastic, and posi- 
tive action, McKinley chaise first the way of diplomacy. A 
short time after his inauguration he lodged with the Spanish 
government a dignified protest against its policies in Cutifk, 
thus opening a game of thrust and parry mV\i. \.\« suiaNfc \s»a.- 


istets at Madrid. The results of the exchange of notes were the 
recall of the obnoxious General Weyler, the appointment of a 
governor-general less bloodthirsty in hia methods, a change in 
the policy of concentrating civilians in mihtary camps, and 
finally a promise of " home rule " for Cuba. There is no doubt 
that the Spanish government was eager to avoid a war that 
could have but one outcome. The American minister at 
Madrid, General Woodford, was convinced that firm and 
patiect pressure would have resulted in the final surrender of 
Cuba by the Spanish government. 

The De Lome and the Maine Incidents. — Such a policy 
vas defeated by events. In February, 1898, a private letter 
written by Sefior de Lome, the Spanish ambassador at Washii^- 
ton, expressing contempt for the President of the United States, 
was filched from the mails and passed into the hands of a journal- 
ist, William R. Hearst, who published it to the world. In the 
excited state of American opinion, few gave heed to the gra\T 
breach of diplomatic courtesy committed bj' breaking open 
private correspondence. The Spanish government was com- 
pelled to recall De Lome, thus officially condenming his conduct. 

At this point a far more serious crisis put the pacific relations 
of the two negotiating countries in dire peril. On February 15, 
the battleship Maine, riding in the harbor of Havana, was 
blown up and sunk, carrjing to death two officers and two 
hundred and fifty-eight members of the crew. This tragedy, 
ascribed by the American public to the malevolence of Spanish 
officials, profoundly stirred an already furious nation. When, 
on March 21, a commission of inquiry reported that the ill- 
fated ship had been blown up by a submarine mine which had id 
turn set off .some of the ship's magazines, the worst suspicions 
seemed confirmed. If any one was inclined to be indifferent to 
the Cuban war for independence, he was now met by the 
vehement cry : " Remember the Maine! " 

Spanish Concessions. — Still the State Department, under 
McKinley's steady hand, pursued the path of negotiation, Spain 
proving more pliable and more ready with promises of reform in 


AMERICA A WORLD POWER (1885-1900) 491 

the island. Early in April, however, there came a decided 
change in the tenor of American diplomacy. On the 4th, 
McKinley, evidently convinced that promises did not mean 
performances, instructed our minister at Madrid to warn the 
Spanish government that as no effective armistice had been 
offered to the Cubans, he would lay the whole matter before 
Congress. This decision, every one knew, from the temper 
of Congress, meant war — a prospect which excited all the 
European powers. The Pope took an active interest in the 
crisis. France and Germany, foreseeing from long experience 
in world politics an increase of American power and prestige 
through war, sought to prevent it. Spain, hopeless and con- 
scious of her weakness, at last dispatched to the President a 
note promising to suspend hostilities, to call a Cuban parliae^ 
rocnt, and to grant all the autonomy that could be reasonabi 

President McKinley Calls for War. — For reasons of his 

own — reusona which have never yet been fully explained — 

McKinley ignored the final program of concessions presented 

by Spain. At the very moment when his patient negotiations 

seemed to bear full fruit, he veered sharply from his course and 

launched the country into the war by sending to Congress his 

itant message of April 11, 1898. Without making public 

last note he had received from Spain, he declared that he was 

Ight to the end of his effort and the cause was in the hands 

Congress. Humanity, the protection of American citizens 

property, the injuries to American commerce and business, 

inability of Spain to bring about permanent peace in the 

id — these were the grounds for action that induced him to 

for authority to employ military and naval forces in estab- 

ig a stable government in Cuba. They were sufficient for 

iblic already straining at the leash. 

le Resolution of Congress. — There was no doubt of the 

ime when the issue was withdrawn from diplomacy and 

in charge of Congress. Resolutions were soon in1 

into the House of Representatives authorizing the Pi 



dent to employ armed force in Becuiing peace and order in the 
island and " establiflhing by the free action of the people thenof 
a stable, and independent government of their own.'' To the 
form and spirit of this proposal the Democrats and Populiste 
took exception. In the Senate, where th^ were stronger, their 
position had to be reckoned with by the narrow RepnUicaB 
majority. As the resolution finally read, the indqwndsnee 
of Cuba was recognised ; Spain was called upon to relinquiflh her 
authority and withdraw from the island ; and the President 
was empowered to use force to the extent neeessaiy to cany 
the resolutions into effect. Furthermore the United Stales 
disclaimed " any disposition or intention to exercise sovereigatj, 
jurisdiction, or control over said island except for the paeifica- 
tion thereof." Final action was taken by Congress on April 
19, 1898, and approved by the President on the fdlowing dqr- 

War and Victory. — Startling events then followed in swtft 
succession. The navy, as a result in no small measure of the 
alertness of Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the 
Department, was ready for the trial by battle. On May 1, 
Commodore Dewey at Manila Bay shattered the Spanish fleet, 
marking the doom of Spanish dominion in the Philippines. 
On July 3, the Spanish fleet under Admiral Cervera, in at- 
tempting to escape from Havana, was utterly destroyed l^ 
American forces under Commodore Schley. On July 17, San- 
tiago, invested by American troops under General Shafter and 
shelled by the American ships, gave up the struggle. Ob 
July 25 General Miles landed in Porto Rico. On August 13, 
General Merritt and Admiral Dewey carried Manila by stonn. ' 
The war was over. 

The Peace Protocol. — Spain had already taken cognisanoe 
of stern facts. As early as July 26, 1898, acting throu^ the 
French ambassador, M. Cambon, the Madrid govemmoit 
approached President McKinley for a statement of the terntf 
on which hostilities could be brought to a close. After some 
skirmishing Spain yielded reluctantly to the ultimatum. Oa 
August 12, the pTeAimii^fiJiy pe^iX^ ^lotAOol was signed, stipulat* 

AMERICA A WORLD POWER (1865-1900) 493 

ing that Cuba should be free, Porto Rico ceded to the United 
States, and Manila occupied by American troops pending the 
formal treaty of peace. On October 1, the commissioners of 
the two countries met at Paris to bring about the final settle- 

PMce Negotiations. — When the day for the first session 
of the conference arrived, the government at Washington ap- 
parently had not made up its mind on the final disposition 
of the Philippines. Perhaps, before the battle of Manila Bay, 
not ten thousand people in the United States knew or cared 
where the Phihppines were. Certainly there was in the autumn 
of 1898 no decided opinion as to what should be done with the 
fruits of Dewey's victory. President McKinley doubtless voiced 
the sentiment of the people when he stated to the peace com- 
misaoners on the eve of their departure that there had originally 
been no thought of conquest in the Pacific. 

The march of events, he added, had imposed new duties on 
the country. " Incidental to our tenure in the Philippines," 
he said, " is the conmiercial opportunity to which American 
statesmanship cannot be indifferent. It is just to use every 
legitimate means for the enlargement of American trade.'' 
On this ground he directed the commissioners to accept not less 
than the cession of the island of Luzon, the chief of the Philip- 
IHne group, with its harbor of Manila. It was not until the 
latter psH of October that he definitely instructed them to 
demand the entire archipelago, on the theory that the occupation 
of Luson alone could not be justified '' on political, commercial, 
or humanitarian grounds." This departure from the letter of 

[ the peace protocol was bitterly resented by the Spanish agents. 

! It was with heaviness of heart that they surrendered the last 
sign of Spain's ancient dominion in the far Pacific. 

The Final Terms of Peace. — The treaty of peace, as finally 
agreed upon, embraced the following terms : the independence 
of Cuba; the cession of Porto Rico, Guam, and the Philip- 
pines to the United States ; the settlement of claims filed by the 
citisens of both countries; the payment of twenty miUion 


dollars to Spain by the United States for the Philippines : and 
the detennination of the status of the inhabitants of the ceded 
territories by Congress. The great decision had been made, 
Its issue was in the hands of the Senate where the Democrats 
and the Populists held the balance of power under the require- 
ment of the two-thirds vote for ratification. 

The Contest in America over the Treaty of Peace. — ^Thfl 
publication of the treaty committing the United States to the 
administration of distant colonies directed the shifting tides 
of public opinion into two distinct channels : support of thf 
policy and opposition to it. The trend in Republican leader- 
ship, long in the direction marked out by the treaty, now came 
into the open. Perhaps a majority of the men highest in the 
councils of that, party had undergone the change of heart re- 
flected in the letters of John Hay, Secretary of State. In 
August of 1898 he had hinted, in a friendly letter to Andrew 
Carnegie, that he sympathized with the latter's opposition 
to " imperialism " ; but he had added quickly : " The only 
question in my mind is how far it is now possible for us to 
withdraw from the Philippines." In November of the same 
year he wrote to Whitelaw Reid, one of the peace eommissionere 
at Paris : " There is a wild and frantic attack now going on in 
the press against the whole Philippine transaction. Andrew 
Carnegie really seems to be off his head. . . . But all this 
confusion of tongues will go its way. The country will ap- 
plaud the resolution that has been reached and yoii will n»- 
turn in the r61e of conquering heroes with your ' brows bound 
with oak.' " 

Senator Beveridge of Indiana and Senator Piatt of Connecti- 
cut, accepting the verdict of history as the proof of manifest 
destiny, called for unquestioning support of the administration 
in its final step. " Every expansion of our territorj-," smU 
the latter, " has been in accordance with the irresistible law 
of growth. We could no more resist the successive expansions 
by which we have grown to be the strongest nation on eartb 
than a tree can resist its growth. The history of territonBl ex* 

AMERICA A WORLD POWER (186&-1900) 495 

pansion is the history of our nation's progress and glory. It is 
i matter to be proud of, not to lament. We should rejoice 
bhat Providence has given us the opportunity to extend our 
influence, our institutions, and our civilization into regions 
tiitherto closed to us, rather than contrive how we can thwart 
its designs.'' 

This doctrine was savagely attacked by opponents of Mc- 
tOnley's poUcy, many a stanch RepubUcan joining with the 
majority of Democrats in denouncing the treaty as a departure 
From the ideals of the republic. Senator Vest introduced in the 
Senate a resolution that " under the Constitution of the United 
States, no power is given to the federal Government to acquire 
territory to be held and governed permanently as colonies." 
Senator Hoar, of Massachusetts, whose long and honorable 
5areer gave weight to his Ughtest words, inveighed against 
ihe whole procedure and to the end of his days beUeved that 
ihe new drift into rivalry with European nations as a colonial 
X)wer was fraught with genuine danger. " Our imperial- 
stic friends," he said, '* seem to have forgotten the use of the 
vocabulary of Uberty. They talk about giving good govem- 
nent. * We shall give them such a government as we think 
ihey are fitted for.' * We shall give them a better government 
ban they had before.' Why, Mr. President, that one phrase 
lonveys to a free man and a free people the most stinging of 
Dsults. In that Uttle phrase, as in a seed, is contained the 
;erm of all despotism and of all tyranny. Government is not 
t gift. Free government is not to be given by all the blended 
K)wers of earth and heaven. It is a birthright. It belongs, 
kS our fathers said, and as their children said, as Jefferson 
aid, and as President McKinley said, to human nature 

The Senate, more conservative on the question of annexa- 
ion than the House of Representatives composed of men 
rashly elected in the stirring campaign of 1896, was deUberate 
kbout ratification of the treaty. The Democrats and Popu- 
ists were especially recalcitrant. Mr. Bryan hurried to 


Washington and brought his personal influence to bear in favor 
of speedy action. Patriotism required ratification, it was 
said in one quarter. The country desires peace and the Senate 
ought not to delay, it was urged in another. Finally, on 
February 6, 1899, the requisite majority of two^thirds was 
mustered, many a Senator who voted for the treaty, however, 
sharing the misgivings of Senator Hoar as to the " dangers 
of imperialism." Indeed at the time, the Senators passed a 
resolution declaring that the poUcy to be adopted in the Phil- 
ippines was still an opf?n question, leaving to the future, in this 
way, the possibility of retracing their steps. 

The Attitude of England. — The Spanish war, while ac- 
complishing the simple objects of those who launched the 
nation on that course, like all other wars, produced results 
wholly unforeseen. In the first place, it exercised a profound 
influence on the drift of opinion among European powers. 
In England, sympathy with the United States was from the 
first positive and outspoken. " The state of feeling here," 
wrote Mr. Hay, then ambassador in London, " is the best 1 
have ever known. From every quarter the evidences of it 
come to me. The royal family by habit and tradition are most 
careful not to break the rules of strict neutrality, but even 
among them I find nothing but hearty kindness and — so far 
as is consistent with propriety — sympathy. Among the po- 
litical leaders on both sides I find not only sympathy but a 
somewhat eager desire that ' the other fellows ' shall not seein 
more friendly." 

Joseph Chamberlain, the distinguished Liberal statesman, 
thinking no doubt of the continental situation, said in > 
political address at the very opening of the war that the next 
duty of Englishmen " is to establish and maintain bonds of 
permanent unity with our kinsmen across the Atlantic. . .  
I even go so far as to say that, terrible as war may be, even 
war would be cheaply purchased if , in a great and noble cause, 
the Stars and Stripes and the Union Jack should wave together 
over an Anglo-Saxon alliance." To the American amba^ 


aador he added significantly that he did not " care a hang 
what they say about it on the continent," which was another 
way of expressing the hope that the warning to Germany and 
France was sufficient. This friendly English opinion, bo use- 
ful to the United States when a combination of powers to sup- 
port Spain was more than possible, removed all fears as to the 
consequences of the war. Henry Adams, recalling days of 
humihation in London during the Civil War, when his father 
was the American ambassador, coolly remarked that it was 
" the sudden appearance of Germany as the grizzly terror " 
that "frightened England into America's arms"; but the 
net result in keeping the field free for an easy triumph of 
American arms was none the less appreciated in Washington 
where, despite outward calm, fears of European complico' 
tions were never absent. 

American Policies is the Philippines and the Orient 
The Filipino Revolt against American Rule. — In the sphere 
of domestic politics, as well as in the field of foreign relations, 
the Outcome of the Spanish war exercised a marked influence. 
It introduced at once problems of colonial administration and 
difficulties in adjusting trade relations with the outlying do- 
minions. These were furthermore complicated in the very 
beginning by the outbreak of an insurrection against American 
sovereignty in the Philippines. The leader of the revolt, Agui- 
naldo, had been invited to join the American forces in over- 
throwing Spanish dominion, and he had assumed, apparently 
without warrant, that independence would be the result of the 
joint operations. When the news reached him that the Ameri- 
can Bag had been substituted foi' the Spanish flag, his resent- 
ment was keen. In February, 1899, there occurred a slight col- 
lision between his men and some American soldiers. The 
confiict thus begun was followed by serious fighting which 
finally dwindled into a vexatious guerrilla warfare lasting three 
years and costing heavily in men and money. Atrocities were 
committed by the native insurrectionists and, sad to relate^ 




they were repaid in kind ; it was argued in defense of the army 
that the ordinary rules of warfare were without terror to men 
accustomed to fighting hke savages. In vain did McKinlej- 
assure the Filipinos that th« institutions and laws established 
in the islands would be designed " not for our satisfaction or 
for the expression of our theoretical views, but for the happi- 
ness, peace, and prosperity of the people of the Philippine 
Islands." Nothing short of military pressure could bring the 
warring revolutionists to terms. 

Attacks on Republican " Imperialism." — The Filiirino 
insurrection, following so quickly upon the ratification of the 
treaty with Spain, moved the American opponents of Mo 
Kinley's colonial policies to redouble their denunciation of 
what they were pleased to call " imperialism." Senator Hoar 
was more than usually caustic in his indictment of the new 
course. The revolt against American rule did but convince 
him of the folly hidden in the first fateful measures. Every- 
where he saw a conspiracy of silence and injustice. " I have 
failed to discover in the speeches, pubhc or private, of the ad- 
vocates of this war," he contended in the Senate, " or in the 
press which supports it and them, a single expression anywhere 
of a desire to do justice to the people of the PhiUppine Islands, 
or of a desire to make known to the people of the United States 
the truth of the case. . . The catchwords, the cries, the 
pithy and pregnant phrases of which their speech is full, aO 
mean dominion. They mean perpetual dominion. , , . TTiere 
is not one of these gentlemen who will rise in his place and 
aflBrm that if he were a Filipino he woiUd not do exactly as the 
Filipinos are doing ; that he would not despise them if they 
were to do otherwise. So much at least they owe of respect 
to the dead and buried history — the dead and buried his- 
tory so far as they can slay and bury it — of their country." 
In the way of practical suggestions, the Senator offered as a 
solution of the problem : the recognition of independenoftt 
assistance in establishing self-government, and an invitatktt 
to aU powers to join in a guarantee of freedom to the 

AMERICA A WORuD POWER (1865-1900) 


The Republican Answer. — To McKinley and hia sup- 
porters, engaged in a sanpiinary struggle to maintain Ameri- 
can supremacy, such talk was more than quixotic; it was 
scarcely short of treasonable. Thpy pointed out the practi- 
cal obstacles in the way of uniform seK-government for a col- 
lection of seven million people ranging in civilization from 
the most ignorant hill men to thp highly cultivated inhabitants 
of Manila. The inci- 
dents of the revolt and 
its repression, they ad- 
mitted, were painful 
enough ; but still noth- 
ing as compared with 
the chaos that would 
follow the attempt of a 
people who had never 

(had experience in such 
matters to set up and 
fiUfitain democratic in- 
stitutions. They pre- 
ferred rather the grad- 
ual process of fitting (he 
inhabitants of the is- 
lands for self-government. This course, in their eyes, though 
leas poetic, was more in harmony with the ideals of humanity. 
Having set out upon it, they pursued it steadfastly to the end. 
First, they applied force without stint to the suppression of the 
revolt. Then they devoted such genius for colonial administra- 
tion as they could command to the development of civil gov- 
ernment, commerce, and indu.stry. 
The Boxer Rebellion in China. — For a nation with a world- 

Lwide trade, steadily growing, as the progress of home industries 
redoubled the zeal for new markets, isolation was obviously 
impossible. Never was this clearer than in 1900 when a 
native revolt against foreigners in China, known as the Bo3 
uprising, compelled the United States to join with the po' 




of Europe in a military expedition and a diplomatic settle- 
ment. The Boxers, a Chinese association, had for sometime 
carried on a campaign of hatred against all aliens in the Ce- 
lestial empire, calling upon the natives to rise in patriotic 
wrath and drive out the foreigners who, they said, " were 
lacerating China like tigers." In the summer of 1900 the re- 
volt flamed up in deeds of cruelty. Missionaries and traden 
were murdered in the provinces ; foreign legations were stoned; 
the German ambassador, one of the moat cordially despised 
foreigners, was killed in the streets of Peking ; and to all ap- 
pearances a frightful war of extermination had begun. In 
the month of June nearly five hundred men, women, and chil- 
dren, representing all nations, were besieged in the British quar- 
ters in Peking under constant &re of Chinese guns and in peril ol 
a terrible death. 

Intervention in China. — Nothing but the arrival of 
armed forces, made up of Japanese, Russian, British, Ameri- 
can, French, and German soldiers and marines, prevented the 
destruction of the beleaguered aliens. When once the foreign 
troops were in possession of the Chinese capital, diplomatic 
questions of the most delicate character arose. For more than 
half a century, the imperial powers of Europe had been carv- 
ing up the Chinese empire, taking to themselves territory, 
railway concessions, mining rights, ports, and commercial 
privileges at the expense of the huge but helpless victim. The 
United States alone among the great nations, while as zealous 
as any in the pursuit of peaceful trade, had refrained from 
seizing Chinese territory or ports. Moreover, the Department 
of State had been urging European countries to treat China 
with fairness, to respect her territorial integrity, and to ffn 
her equal trading privileges with all nations. 

The American Policy of the " Open Door." — In the autunm 
of 1899, Secretary Hay hail addrcswd In London, BerUn, Rome, 
Paris, Tokyo, and St. Petersburg his famous note on the 
" open door " pohcy in China. In this document he proposed 
that existing treaty ports and ves