The Greater Republic - Charles Morris - ebook

The Greater Republic ebook

Charles Morris



This book contains a complete, accurate, and graphic history of our country from the first visit of the Northmen, a thousand years ago, to the opening of its new destiny, through the late struggle, resulting in the freeing of Cuba, the wresting of the Philippines, Porto Rico, and the Ladrones from the tyranny of the most cruel of modern nations, and the addition of Hawaii to our domain. The Greater United States, at one bound, assumes its place in the van of nations, and becomes the foremost agent in civilizing and christianizing the world. Table Of Contents: Chapter I. Discovery And Exploration. Chapter II. Settlement Of The Thirteen Original States. Chapter III. The Intercolonial Wars And The French And Indian War. Chapter IV. The Revolution-The War In New England. Chapter V. The Revolution (Continued).-The War In The Middle States And On The Sea. Chapter VI The Revolution In The South (Concluded). Chapter VII. Organization Of The United States. Chapter VIII. Administrations Of Washington, John Adams, And Jefferson-1789-1809. Chapter IX. Administrations Of Madison, 1809-1817. Chapter X. Administrations Of James Monroe And John Quincy Adams, 1817-1829. Chapter XI. Administrations Of Jackson, Van Buren, W.H. Harrison, And Tyler, 1829-1845. Chapter XII. Famous Presidential Campaigns Previous To 1840. Chapter XIII. Administration Of Polk, 1845-1849. Chapter XIV. Administrations Of Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, And Buchanan, 1849-1857. Chapter XV. Administration Of Lincoln, 1861-1865. Chapter XVI. Administration Of Lincoln (Continued), 1861-1865. Chapter XVII. Administration Of Lincoln (Continued), 1861-1865. Chapter XVIIIi. Administration Of Lincoln (Concluded), 1861-1865. Chapter XIX. Administrations Of Johnson And Grant 1865-1877. Chapter XX. Administrations Of Hayes, Garfield, And Arthur, 1877-1885. Chapter XXI. Administration Of Cleveland (First) And Of Harrison, 1885-1893. Chapter XXII.

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The Greater Republic

A New History Of The United States

Charles Morris, Ll.D.

Table Of Contents:

Chapter I. Discovery And Exploration.

Chapter II. Settlement Of The Thirteen Original States.

Chapter III. The Intercolonial Wars And The French And Indian War.

Chapter IV. The Revolution—The War In New England.

Chapter V. The Revolution (Continued).—The War In The Middle States And On The Sea.

Chapter VI The Revolution In The South (Concluded).

Chapter VII. Organization Of The United States.

Chapter VIII. Administrations Of Washington, John Adams, And Jefferson—1789-1809.

Chapter IX. Administrations Of Madison, 1809-1817.

Chapter X. Administrations Of James Monroe And John Quincy Adams, 1817-1829.

Chapter XI. Administrations Of Jackson, Van Buren, W.H. Harrison, And Tyler, 1829-1845.

Chapter XII. Famous Presidential Campaigns Previous To 1840.

Chapter XIII. Administration Of Polk, 1845-1849.

Chapter XIV. Administrations Of Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, And Buchanan, 1849-1857.

Chapter XV. Administration Of Lincoln, 1861-1865.

Chapter XVI. Administration Of Lincoln (Continued), 1861-1865.

Chapter XVII. Administration Of Lincoln (Continued), 1861-1865.

Chapter XVIIIi. Administration Of Lincoln (Concluded), 1861-1865.

Chapter XIX. Administrations Of Johnson And Grant 1865-1877.

Chapter XX. Administrations Of Hayes, Garfield, And Arthur, 1877-1885.

Chapter XXI. Administration Of Cleveland (First) And Of Harrison, 1885-1893.

Chapter XXII. Administration Of Cleveland (Second), 1893-1897.

Chapter XXIII. Administration Of Cleveland (Second-Concluded), 1893-1897.

Chapter XXIV. Administration Of Mckinley, 1897-1901.

Chapter XXV. Administration Of Mckinley (Continued), 1897-1901.

Chapter XXVI. Administration Of Mckinley (Continued) 1897-1901.

The Greater Republic, Charles Morris

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Germany


[email protected]



The late war with Spain marks a momentous epoch in the progress of our country, whose history, stretching through the centuries of discovery, exploration, settlement, the struggle for independence, foreign and domestic war, lofty achievement in all departments of knowledge and progress, is the most interesting in human annals. It is a record full of instruction and incitement to endeavor, which must fill every American with pride in his birthright, and with gratitude to Him who holds the earth and the sea in the hollow of His hand.

The following pages contain a complete, accurate, and graphic history of our country from the first visit of the Northmen, a thousand years ago, to the opening of its new destiny, through the late struggle, resulting in the freeing of Cuba, the wresting of the Philippines, Porto Rico, and the Ladrones from the tyranny of the most cruel of modern nations, and the addition of Hawaii to our domain. The Greater United States, at one bound, assumes its place in the van of nations, and becomes the foremost agent in civilizing and christianizing the world.

The task, long committed to England, Germany, France, Russia, and later to Japan, must henceforth be shared with us, whose glowing future gives promise of the crowning achievement of the ages. With a fervent trust in a guiding Providence, and an abiding confidence in our ability, we enter upon the new and grander career, as in obedience to the divine behest that the Latin race must decrease and the Anglo-Saxon increase, and that the latter, in a human sense, must be the regenerator of all who are groping in the night of ignorance and barbarism.

It is a wonderful story that is traced in the pages that follow. A comprehension of the present and of the promise of the future necessitates an understanding of the past. The history of the Greater United States, therefore, is complete, from the first glimpse, in the early morning of October 12, 1492, of San Salvador by Columbus, through the settlement of the colonies, their struggles for existence, the colonial wars, the supreme contest between England and France for mastery in the New World, the long gloom of the Revolution that brought independence, the founding of the Republic, in 1787, the growth and expansion of the nation, the mighty War for the Union that united the divided house and planted it upon a rock, and the later "war for humanity," when the perishing islands, stretching their hands to us in helpless anguish, were gathered under the flag of freedom, there to remain through all time to come.

There have been many leaders in this great work. Not the story of the deeds alone, but of those who performed them is told. History, biography, and all that is interesting and profitable to know are here truthfully set forth, for their lesson is one whose value is beyond measurement.

In addition to the history of that which was simply the United States, a complete account is given of our new colonial possessions, Hawaii, Porto Rico, the Philippines, the Ladrones, and of Cuba, the child of our adoption. Their geography, their soil, climate, productions, inhabitants, and capabilities are set forth with fullness and accuracy.

In conclusion, the publishers confidently claim that "The Greater Republic" is the fullest, most interesting, reliable, and instructive work of the kind ever offered the public.


In 1798 our Government was about to declare war against France. Congress appointed Washington Commander-in-chief of the American Army. The Secretary of War carried the commission in person to Mt. Vernon. The old hero, sitting on his horse in the harvest field, accepted in the above patriotic words.

Author's introduction.

The annals of the world contain no more impressive example of the birth and growth of a nation than may be seen in the case of that which has been aptly termed the Greater Republic, whose story from its feeble childhood to its grand maturity it is the purpose of this work to set forth. Three hundred years is a brief interval in the long epoch of human history, yet within that short period the United States has developed from a handful of hardy men and women, thinly scattered along our Atlantic coast, into a vast and mighty country, peopled by not less than seventy-five millions of human beings, the freest, richest, most industrious, and most enterprising of any people upon the face of the earth. It began as a dwarf; it has grown into a giant. It was despised by the proud nations of Europe; it has become feared and respected by the proudest of these nations. For a long time they have claimed the right to settle among themselves the affairs of the world; they have now to deal with the United States in this self-imposed duty. And it is significant of the high moral attitude occupied by this country, that one of the first enterprises in which it is asked to join these ancient nations has for its end to do away with the horrors of war, and substitute for the drawn sword in the settlement of national disputes a great Supreme Court of arbitration.

This is but one of the lessons to be drawn from the history of the great republic of the West. It has long been claimed that this history lacks interest, that it is devoid of the romance which we find in that of the Eastern world, has nothing in it of the striking and dramatic, and is too young and new to be worth men's attention when compared with that of the ancient nations, which has come down from the mists of prehistoric time. Yet we think that those who read the following pages will not be ready to admit this claim. They will find in the history of the United States an abundance of the elements of romance. It has, besides, the merit of being a complete and fully rounded history. We can trace it from its birth, and put upon record the entire story of the evolution of a nation, a fact which it would be difficult to affirm of any of the older nations of the world.

If we go back to the origin of our country, it is to find it made up of a singular mixture of the best people of Europe. The word best is used here in a special sense. The settlers in this country were not the rich and titled. They came not from that proud nobility which claims to possess bluer blood than the common herd, but from the plain people of Europe, from the workers, not the idlers, and this rare distinction they have kept up until the present day. But of this class of the world's workers, they were the best and noblest. They were men who thought for themselves, and refused to be bound in the trammels of a State religion; men who were ready to dare the perils of the sea and the hardships of a barren shore for the blessings of liberty and free-thought; men of sturdy thrift, unflinching energy, daring enterprise, the true stuff out of which alone a nation like ours could be built.

Such was the character of the Pilgrims and the Puritans, the hardy empire-builders of New England, of the Quakers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the Catholics of Maryland, the Huguenots of the South, the Moravians and other German Protestants, the sturdy Scotch-Irish, and the others who sought this country as a haven of refuge for free-thought. We cannot say the same for the Hollanders of New Amsterdam, the Swedes of Delaware, and the English of Virginia, so far as their purpose is concerned, yet they too proved hardy and industrious settlers, and the Cavaliers whom the troubles in England drove to Virginia showed their good blood by the prominent part which their descendants played in the winning of our independence and the making of our government. While the various peoples named took part in the settlement of the colonies, the bulk of the settlers were of English birth, and Anglo-Saxon thrift and energy became the foundation stones upon which our nation has been built. Of the others, nearly the whole of them were of Teutonic origin, while the Huguenots, whom oppression drove from France, were of the very bone and sinew of that despot-ridden land. It may fairly be said, then, that the founders of our nation came from the cream of the populations of Europe, born of sturdy Teutonic stock, and comprising thrift, energy, endurance, love of liberty, and freedom of thought to a degree never equaled in the makers of any other nation upon the earth. They were of solid oak in mind and frame, and the edifice they built had for its foundation the natural rights of man, and for its super-structure that spirit of liberty which has ever since throbbed warmly in the American heart.

It was well for the colonies that this underlying unity of aim existed, for aside from this they were strikingly distinct in character and aspirations. Sparsely settled, strung at intervals along the far-extended Atlantic coast, silhouetted against a stern background of wilderness and mountain range, their sole bond of brotherhood was their common aspiration for liberty, while in all other respects they were unlike in aims and purposes. The spirit of political liberty was strongest in the New England colonies, and these held their own against every effort to rob them of their rights with an unflinching boldness which is worthy of the highest praise, and which set a noble example for the remaining colonists. Next to them in bold opposition to tyranny were the people of the Carolinas, who sturdily resisted an effort to make them the enslaved subjects of a land-holding nobility. In Pennsylvania and Maryland political rights were granted by high-minded proprietors, and in these colonies no struggle for self-government was necessary. Only in Virginia and New York was autocratic rule established, and in both of these it gradually yielded to the steady demand for self-government.

On the other hand, New England, while politically the freest, was religiously the most autocratic. The Puritans, who had crossed the ocean in search of freedom of thought, refused to grant a similar freedom to those who came later, and sought to found a system as intolerant as that from which they had fled. A natural revulsion from their oppressive measures gave rise in Rhode Island to the first government on the face of the earth in which absolute religious liberty was established. Among the more southern colonies, a similar freedom, so far as liberty of Christian worship is concerned, was granted by William Penn and Lord Baltimore. But this freedom was maintained only in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, religious intolerance being the rule, to a greater or less degree, in all the other colonies; the Puritanism of New England being replaced elsewhere by a Church of England autocracy.

The diversity in political condition, religion, and character of the settlers tended to keep the colonies separate, while a like diversity of commercial interests created jealousies which built up new barriers between them. The unity that might have been looked for between these feeble and remote communities, spread like links of a broken chain far along an ocean coast, had these and other diverse conditions to contend with, and they promised to develop into a series of weak and separate nations rather than into a strong and single commonwealth.

The influences that overcame this tendency to disunion were many and important. We can only glance at them here. They may be divided into two classes, warlike hostility and industrial oppression. The first step towards union was taken in 1643, when four of the New England colonies formed a confederation for defense against the Dutch and Indians. "The United Colonies of New England" constituted in its way a federal republic, the prototype of that of the United States. The second step of importance in this connection was taken in 1754, when a convention was held at Albany to devise measures of defense against the French. Benjamin Franklin proposed a plan of colonial union, which was accepted by the convention. But the jealousy of the colonies prevented its adoption. They had grown into communities of some strength and with a degree of pride in their separate freedom, and were not ready to yield to a central authority. The British Government also opposed it, not wishing to see the colonies gain the strength which would have come to them from political union. As a result, the plan fell to the ground.

The next important influence tending towards union was the oppressive policy of Great Britain. The industries and commerce of the colonies had long been seriously restricted by the measures of the mother-country, and after the war with France an attempt was made to tax the colonists, though they were sternly refused representation in Parliament, the tax-laying body. Community in oppression produced unity in feeling; the colonies joined hands, and in 1765 a congress of their representatives was held in New York, which appealed to the King for their just political rights. Nine years afterwards, in 1774, a second congress was held, brought together by much more imminent common dangers. In the following year a third congress was convened. This continued in session for years, its two most important acts being the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and the Confederation of the States, the first form of union which the colonies adopted. This Confederation was in no true sense a Union. The jealousies and fears of the colonies made themselves apparent, and the central government was given so little power that it threatened to fall to pieces of its own weight. It could pass laws, but could not make the people obey them. It could incur debts, but could not raise money by taxation to pay them. The States kept nearly all the power to themselves, and each acted almost as if it were an independent nation, while the Congress of the Confederation was left without money and almost without authority.

This state of affairs soon grew intolerable. "We are," said Washington, "one nation to-day, and thirteen to-morrow." Such a union it was impossible to maintain. It was evident that the compact must give way; that there must be one strong government or thirteen weak ones. This last alternative frightened the States. None of them was strong enough to hold its own against foreign governments. They must form a strong union or leave themselves at the mercy of ambitious foes. It was this state of affairs that led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, by whose wisdom the National Union which has proved so solid a bond was organized. The Constitution made by this body gave rise to the Republic of the United States. A subsequent act, which in 1898 added a number of distant island possessions to our Union, and vastly widened its interests and its importance in the world's councils, made of it a "Greater Republic," a mighty dominion whose possessions extended half round the globe.

While the changes here briefly outlined were taking place, the country was growing with phenomenal rapidity. From all parts of northern and western Europe, and above all from Great Britain, new settlers were crowding to our shores, while the descendants of the original settlers were increasing in numbers. How many people there were here is in doubt, but it is thought that in 1700 there were more than 200,000, in 1750 about 1,100,000, and in 1776 about 2,500,000. The first census, taken in 1790, just after the Federal Union was formed, gave a population of nearly 4,000,000.

A people growing at this rate could not be long confined to the narrow ocean border of the early settlements. A rich and fertile country lay back, extending how far no one knew, and soon there was a movement to the West, which carried the people over the mountains and into the broad plains beyond. A war was fought with France for the possession of the Ohio country. Boone and other bold pioneers led hardy settlers into Kentucky and Tennessee, and George Rogers Clark descended the Ohio and drove the British troops from the northwest territory, gaining that vast region for the new Union.

After the War for Independence the movement westward went on with rapidity. The first settlement in Ohio was made at Marietta in 1788; Cincinnati was founded in 1790; in 1803 St. Louis was a little village of log-cabins; and in 1831 the site of Chicago was occupied by a dozen settlers gathered round Fort Dearborn. But while the cities were thus slow in starting, the country between them was rapidly filling up, the Indians giving way step by step as the vanguard of the great march pressed upon them; here down the Ohio in bullet-proof boats, there across the mountains on foot or in wagons. A great national road stretched westward from Cumberland, Maryland, which in time reached the Mississippi, and over whose broad and solid surface a steady stream of emigrant wagons poured into the great West. At the same time steamboats were beginning to run on the Eastern waters, and soon these were carrying the increasing multitude down the Ohio and the Mississippi into the vast Western realm. Later came the railroad to complete this phase of our history, and provide a means of transportation by whose aid millions could travel with ease where a bare handful had made their way with peril and hardship of old.

Up to 1803 our national domain was bounded on the west by the Mississippi, but in that year the vast territory of Louisiana was purchased from France and the United States was extended to the summit of the Rocky Mountains, its territory being more than doubled in area. Here was a mighty domain for future settlement, across which two daring travelers, Lewis and Clark, journeyed through tribes of Indians never before heard of, not ending their long route until they had passed down the broad Columbia to the waters of the Pacific.

From time to time new domains were added to the great republic. In 1819 Florida was purchased from Spain. In 1845 Texas was added to the Union. In 1846 the Oregon country was made part of the United States. In 1848, as a result of the Mexican War, an immense tract extending from Texas to the Pacific was acquired, and the land of gold became part of the republic. In 1853 another tract was purchased from Mexico, and the domain of the United States, as it existed at the beginning of the Civil War, was completed. It constituted a great section of the North American continent, extending across it from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and north and south from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a fertile, well-watered, and prolific land, capable of becoming the nursery of one of the greatest nations on the earth. Beginning, at the close of the Revolution, with an area of 827,844 square miles, it now embraced 3,026,484 square miles of territory, having increased within a century to nearly four times its original size.

In 1867 a new step was taken, in the addition to this country of a region of land separated from its immediate domain. This was the territory of Alaska, of more than 577,000 square miles in extent, and whose natural wealth has made it a far more valuable acquisition than was originally dreamed of. In 1898 the Greater Republic, as it at present exists, was completed by the acquisition of the island of Porto Rico in the West Indies, and the Hawaiian and Philippine Island groups in the Pacific Ocean. These, while adding not greatly to our territory, may prove to possess a value in their products fully justifying their acquisition. At present, however, their value is political rather than industrial, as bringing the United States into new and important relations with the other great nations of the earth.

The growth of population in this country is shown strikingly in the remarkable development of its cities. In 1790 the three largest cities were not larger than many of our minor cities to-day. Philadelphia had forty-two thousand population, New York thirty-three thousand, and Boston eighteen thousand. Charleston and Baltimore were still smaller, and Savannah was quite small. There were only five cities with over ten thousand population. Of inland towns, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with something over six thousand population, was the largest. In 1890, one hundred years afterwards, New York and Philadelphia had over one million each, and Chicago, a city not sixty years old, shared with them this honor. As for cities surpassing those of a century before, they were hundreds in number. A similar great growth has taken place in the States. From the original thirteen, hugging closely the Atlantic coast, we now possess forty-five, crossing the continent from ocean to ocean, and have besides a vast territorial area.

The thirteen original States, sparsely peopled, poor and struggling for existence, have expanded into a great galaxy of States, rich, powerful, and prosperous, with grand cities, flourishing rural communities, measureless resources, and an enterprise which no difficulty can baffle and no hardship can check. Our territory could support hundreds of millions of population, and still be much less crowded than some of the countries of Europe. Its products include those of every zone; hundreds of thousands of square miles of its soil are of virgin richness; its mineral wealth is so great that its precious metals have affected the monetary standards of the world, and its vast mineral and agricultural wealth is as yet only partly developed. Vast as has been the production of gold in California, its annual output is of less value than that of wheat. In wheat, corn, and cotton, indeed, the product of this country is simply stupendous; while, in addition to its gold and silver, it is a mighty storehouse of coal, iron, copper, lead, petroleum, and many other products of nature that are of high value to mankind.

In its progress towards its present condition, our country has been markedly successful in two great fields of human effort, in war and in peace. A brief preliminary statement of its success in the first of these, and of the causes of its several wars, may be desirable here, as introductory to their more extended consideration in the body of the work. The early colonists had three enemies to contend with: the original inhabitants of the land, the Spanish settlers in the South, and the French in the North and West. Its dealings with the aborigines has been one continuous series of conflicts, the red man being driven back step by step until to-day he holds but a small fraction of his once great territory. Yet the Indians are probably as numerous to-day as they were originally, and are certainly better off in their present peaceful and partly civilized condition than they were in their former savage and warlike state.

The Spaniards were never numerous in this country, and were forced to retire after a few conflicts of no special importance. Such was not the case with the French, who were numerous and aggressive, and with whom the colonists were at war on four successive occasions, the last being that fierce conflict in which it was decided whether the Anglo-Saxon or the French race should be dominant in this country. The famous battle on the Plains of Abraham settled the question, and with the fall of Quebec the power of France in America fell never to rise again.

A direct and almost an immediate consequence of this struggle for dominion was the struggle for liberty between the colonists and the mother-country. The oppressive measures of Great Britain led to a war of seven years' duration, in which more clearly and decisively than ever before the colonists showed their warlike spirit and political genius, and whose outcome was the independence of this country. At its conclusion the United States stepped into line with the nations of the world, a free community, with a mission to fulfill and a destiny to accomplish—a mission and a destiny which are still in process of development, and whose final outcome no man can foresee.

The next series of events in the history of our wars arose from the mighty struggle in Europe between France and Great Britain and the piratical activity of the Barbary States. The latter were forced to respect the power of the United States by several naval demonstrations and conflicts; and a naval war with France, in which our ships were strikingly successful, induced that country to show us greater respect. But the wrongs which we suffered from Great Britain were not to be so easily settled, and led to a war of three years' continuance, in which the honors were fairly divided on land, but in which our sailors surprised the world by their prowess in naval conflict. The proud boast that "Britannia rules the waves" lost its pertinence after our two striking victories on Lake Erie and Lake Champlain, and our remarkable success in a dozen conflicts at sea. Alike in this war and in the Revolution the United States showed that skill and courage in naval warfare which has recently been repeated in the Spanish War.

The wars of which we have spoken had a warrant for their being. They were largely unavoidable results of existing conditions. This cannot justly be said of the next struggle upon which the United States entered, the Mexican War, since this was a politician's war pure and simple, one which could easily have been avoided, and which was entered into with the avowed purpose of acquiring territory. In this it succeeded, the country gaining a great and highly valuable tract, whose wealth in the precious metals is unsurpassed by any equal section of the earth, and which is still richer in agricultural than in mineral wealth.

The next conflict that arose was the most vital and important of all our wars, with the exception of that by which we gained our independence. The Constitution of 1787 did not succeed in forming a perfect Union between the States. An element of dissension was left, a "rift within the lute," then seemingly small and unimportant, but destined to grow to dangerous proportions. This was the slavery question, disposed of in the Constitution by a compromise, which, like every compromise with evil, failed in its purpose. The question continued to exist. It grew threatening, portentous, and finally overshadowed the whole political domain. Every effort to settle it peacefully only added to the strain; the union between the States weakened as this mighty hammer of discord struck down their combining links; finally the bonds yielded, the slavery question thrust itself like a great wedge between, and a mighty struggle began to decide whether the Union should stand or fall. With the events of this struggle we are not here concerned. They are told at length in their special place. All that we shall here say is this: While the war was fought for the preservation of the Union, it was clearly perceived that this union could never be stable while the disorganizing element remained, and the war led inevitably to the abolition of slavery, the apple of discord which had been thrown between the States. The greatness of the result was adequate to the greatness of the conflict. With the end of the Civil War, for the first time in their history, an actual and stable Union was established between the States.

We have one more war to record, the brief but important struggle of 1898, entered into by the United States under the double impulse of indignation against the barbarous destruction of the Maine and of sympathy for the starving and oppressed people of Cuba. It yielded results undreamed of in its origin. Not only was Cuba wrested from the feeble and inhuman hands of Spain, but new possessions in the oceans of the east and west were added to the United States, and for the first time this country took its predestined place among the nations engaged in shaping the destiny of the world, rose to imperial dignity in the estimation of the rulers of Europe, and fairly won that title of the Greater Republic which this work is written to commemorate.

Such has been the record of this country in war. Its record in peace has been marked by as steady a career of victory, and with results stupendous almost beyond the conception of man, when we consider that the most of them have been achieved within little more than a century. During the colonial period the energies of the American people were confined largely to agriculture, Great Britain sternly prohibiting any progress in manufacture and any important development of commerce. It need hardly be said that the restless and active spirit of the colonists chafed under these restrictions, and that the attempt to clip the expanding wings of the American eagle had as much to do with bringing on the war of the Revolution as had Great Britain's futile efforts at taxation. The genius of a great people cannot thus be cribbed and confined, and American enterprise was bound to find a way or carve itself a way through the barriers raised by British avarice and tyranny.

It was after the Revolution that the progress of this country first fairly began. The fetters which bound its hands thrown off, it entered upon a career of prosperity which broadened with the years, and extended until not only the whole continent but the whole world felt its influence and was embraced by its results. Manufacture, no longer held in check, sprang up and spread with marvelous rapidity. Commerce, now gaining access to all seas and all lands, expanded with equal speed. Enterprise everywhere made itself manifest, and invention began its long and wonderful career.

In fact, freedom was barely won before our inventors were actively at work. Before the Constitution was formed John Fitch was experimenting with his steamboat on the Delaware, and Oliver Evans was seeking to move wagons by steam in the streets of Philadelphia. Not many years elapsed before both were successful, and Eli Whitney with his cotton-gin had set free the leading industry of the South and enabled it to begin that remarkable career which proved so momentous in American history, since to it we owe the Civil War with all its great results.

With the opening of the nineteenth century the development of the industries and of the inventive faculty of the Americans went on with enhanced rapidity. The century was but a few years old when Fulton, with his improved steamboat, solved the question of inland water transportation. By the end of the first quarter of the century this was solved in another way by the completion of the Erie Canal, the longest and hitherto the most valuable of artificial water-ways. The railroad locomotive, though invented in England, was prefigured when Oliver Evans' steam road-wagon ran sturdily through the streets of Philadelphia. To the same inventor we owe another triumph of American genius, the grain elevator, which the development of agriculture has rendered of incomparable value. The railroad, though not native here, has had here its greatest development, and with its more than one hundred and eighty thousand miles of length has no rival in any country upon the earth. To it may be added the Morse system of telegraphy, the telephone and phonograph, the electric light and electric motor, and all that wonderful series of inventions in electrical science which has been due to American genius.

We cannot begin to name the multitude of inventions in the mechanical industries which have raised manufacture from an art to a science and filled the world with the multitude of its products. It will suffice to name among them the steam hammer, the sewing machine, the cylinder printing-press, the type-setting machine, the rubber vulcanizer, and the innumerable improvements in steam engines and labor-saving apparatus of all kinds. These manufacturing expedients have been equaled in number and importance by those applied to agriculture, including machines for plowing, reaping, sowing the seed, threshing the grain, cutting the grass, and a hundred other valuable processes, which have fairly revolutionized the art of tilling the earth, and enabled our farmers to feed not only our own population but to send millions of bushels of grain annually abroad.

In truth, we have entered here upon an interminable field, so full of triumphs of invention and ingenuity, and so stupendous in its results, as to form one of the chief marvels of this wonderful century, and to place our nation, in the field of human industry and mechanical achievement, foremost among the nations of the world. Its triumphs have not been confined to manufacture and agriculture; it has been as active in commerce, and now stands first in the bulk of its exports and imports. In every other direction of industry it has been as active, as in fisheries, in forestry, in great works of engineering, in vast mining operations; and from the seas, the earth, the mountain sides, our laborers are wresting annually from nature a stupendous return in wealth.

Our progress in the industries has been aided and inspired by an equal progress in educational facilities, and the intellectual development of our people has kept pace with their material advance. The United States spends more money for the education of its youth than any other country in the world, and among her institutions the school-house and the college stand most prominent. While the lower education has been abundantly attended to, the higher education has been by no means neglected, and amply endowed colleges and universities are found in every State and in almost every city of the land. In addition to the school-house, libraries are multiplying with rapidity, art galleries and museums of science are rising everywhere, temples to music and the drama are found in all our cities, the press is turning out books and newspapers with almost abnormal energy, and in everything calculated to enhance the intelligence of the people the United States has no superior, if any equal, among the nations of the earth.

It may seem unnecessary to tell the people of the United States the story of their growth. The greatness to which this nation has attained is too evident to need to be put in words. It has, in fact, been made evident in two great and a multitude of smaller exhibitions in which the marvels of American progress have been shown, either by themselves or in contrast with those of foreign lands. The first of these, the Centennial Exposition of 1876, had a double effect: it opened our eyes at once to our triumphs and our deficiencies, to the particulars in which we excelled and those in which we were inferior to foreign peoples. In the next great exhibition, that at Chicago in 1893, we had the satisfaction to perceive, not only that we had made great progress in our points of superiority, but had worked nobly and heartily to overcome our defects, and were able to show ourselves the equal of Europe in almost every field of human thought and skill. In architecture a vision of beauty was shown such as the world had never before seen, and in the general domain of art the United States no longer had need to be ashamed of what it had to show.

And now, having briefly summed up the steps of progress of the United States, I may close with some consideration of the problem which we confront in our new position as the Greater Republic, the lord of islands spread widely over the seas. Down to the year 1898 this country held a position of isolation, so far as its political interests were concerned. Although the sails of its merchant ships whitened every sea and its commerce extended to all lands, its boundaries were confined to the North American continent, its political activities largely to American interests. Jealous of any intrusion by foreign nations upon this hemisphere, it warned them off, while still in its feeble youth, by the stern words of the Monroe doctrine, and has since shown France and England, by decisive measures, that this doctrine is more than an empty form of words.

Such was our position at the beginning of 1898. At the opening of 1899 we had entered into new relations with the world. The conclusion of the war with Spain had left in our hands the island of Porto Rico in the West Indies and the great group of the Philippines in the waters of Asia, while the Hawaiian Islands had became ours by peaceful annexation. What shall we do with them? is the question that follows. We have taken hold of them in a way in which it is impossible, without defeat and disgrace, to let go. Whatever the ethics of the question, the Philippine problem has assumed a shape which admits of but one solution. These islands will inevitably become ours, to hold, to develop, to control, and to give their people an opportunity to attain civilization, prosperity, and political manumission which they have never yet possessed. That they will be a material benefit to us is doubtful. That they will give us a new position among the nations of the earth is beyond doubt. We have entered formally into that Eastern question which in the years to come promises to be the leading question before the world, and which can no longer be settled by the nations of Europe as an affair of their own, with which the United States has no concern.

This new position taken by the United States promises to be succeeded by new alliances, a grand union of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, which will give them a dominant position among the powers of the world. In truth, it may not cease with the union of the Anglo-Saxons. The ambition and vast designs of Russia are forcing the other nations to combine for protection, and a close alliance of all the Teutonic peoples is possible, combined to resist the Slavic outgrowth, and eventually perhaps to place the destinies of the world in the hands of these two great races, the Teutonic and the Slavic.

All this may be looking overfar into the future. All that can be said now is that our new possessions have placed upon us new duties and new responsibilities, and may effectually break that policy of political isolation which we have so long maintained, and throw us into the caldron of world politics to take our part in shaping the future of the uncivilized races. For this we are surely strong enough, enterprising enough, and moral enough; and whatever our record, it is not likely to be one of defeat, of injustice and oppression, or of forgetfulness of the duty of nations and the rights of man.


July, 1899.


The Visits of the Northmen to the New World—The Indians and Mound Builders—Christopher Columbus—His Discovery of America—Amerigo Vespucci—John Cabot—Spanish Explorers—Balboa—His Discovery of the Pacific—Magellan—Ponce de Leon—De Narvaez—De Soto—Menendez—French Explorers—Verrazzani—Cartier—Ribault—Laudonnière—Champlain—La Salle—English Explorers—Sir Hugh Willoughby—Martin Frobisher—Sir Humphrey Gilbert—Sir Walter Raleigh—The Lost Colony—Dutch Explorer—Henry Hudson.


Amerigo Vespucci

It has been established beyond question that the first white visitors to the New World were Northmen, as the inhabitants of Norway and Sweden were called. They were bold and hardy sailors, who ventured further out upon the unknown sea than any other people. It was about the year 1000 that Biorn, who was driven far from his course by a tempest, sighted the northern part of the continent. Other adventurers followed him and planted a few settlements, which, however, lasted but a few years. Snorri, son of one of these settlers, was the first child born of European parents on this side of the Atlantic. Soon all traces of these early discoverers vanished, and the New World lay slumbering in loneliness for nearly five hundred years.


Nevertheless, the country was peopled with savages, who lived by hunting and fishing and were scattered over the vast area from the Pacific to the Atlantic and from the Arctic zone to the southernmost point of South America. No one knows where these people came from; but it is probable that at a remote period they crossed Bering Strait, from Asia, which was the birthplace of man, and gradually spread over the continents to the south. There are found scattered over many parts of our country immense mounds of earth, which were the work of the Mound Builders. These people were long believed to have been a race that preceded the Indians, and were distinct from them, but the best authorities now agree that they were the Indians themselves, who constructed these enormous burial-places and were engaged in the work as late as the fifteenth century. It is strange that they attained a fair degree of civilization. They builded cities, wove cotton, labored in the fields, worked gold, silver, and copper, and formed regular governments, only to give way in time to the barbarism of their descendants, who, though a contrary impression prevails, are more numerous to-day than at the time of the discovery of America.



The real discoverer of America was Christopher Columbus, an Italian, born in Genoa, about 1435. He was trained to the sea from early boyhood, and formed the belief, which nothing could shake, that the earth was round, and that by sailing westward a navigator would reach the coast of eastern Asia. The mistake of Columbus was in supposing the earth much smaller than it is, and of never suspecting that a continent lay between his home and Asia.

He was too poor to fit out an expedition himself, and the kings and rulers to whom he applied for help laughed him to scorn. He persevered for years, and finally King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain were won over to his views. They and some wealthy friends of Columbus furnished the needed funds, and on August 3, 1492, he sailed from Palos, Spain, in command of three small vessels, the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina.

As the voyage progressed, the sailors became terrified and several times were on the point of mutiny; but Columbus by threats and promises held them to their work, and on Friday, October 12, 1492, land was sighted. He was rowed ashore and took possession of the new country in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella. While it is not known with certainty where he landed, it was probably Watling Island, one of the Bahamas. He named it San Salvador, and, believing it to be a part of India, called the natives Indians, by which name they will always be known. He afterward visited Cuba and Haiti, and returned to Palos on the 15th of March, 1493.

Columbus was received with the highest honors, and, as the news of his great discovery spread, it caused a profound sensation throughout Europe. He made three other voyages, but did not add greatly to his discoveries. He died, neglected and in poverty, May 20, 1506, without suspecting the grandeur of his work, which marked an era in the history of the world.



Another famous Italian navigator and friend of Columbus was Amerigo Vespucci, who, fired by the success of the great navigator, made several voyages westward. He claimed to have seen South America in May, 1497, which, if true, made him the first man to look upon the American continent. Late investigations tend to show that Vespucci was correct in his claim. At any rate, his was the honor of having the country named for him.

John Cabot, also an Italian, but sailing under the flag of England, discovered the continent of North America, in the spring of 1497. A year later, Sebastian, son of John, explored the coast from Nova Scotia as far south as Cape Hatteras. It was the work of the elder Cabot that gave England a valid claim to the northern continent.

From what has been stated, it will be seen that Spain, now decrepit and decayed, was one of the most powerful of all nations four hundred years ago. Other leading powers were England, France, and Holland, and all of them soon began a scramble for new lands on the other side of the Atlantic. Spain, having been the first, had a great advantage, and she was wise enough to use all the means at her command. We will first trace the explorations made by that nation.

In 1513, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, a lawless rogue, hid himself in a cask on board of a vessel in order to escape his creditors, and was not discovered by the angry captain until so far from land that he could not be taken back again. As it turned out, this was a fortunate thing for the captain and crew, for Balboa was a good sailor, and when the ship was wrecked on the coast of Darien he led the men through many dangers to an Indian village, where they were saved from starvation. Balboa had been in the country before and acquired a knowledge of it, which now proved helpful.

The story of Spain in America is one long, frightful record of massacre, cruelty, greed, and rapine. Ferocious by nature, her explorers had not sufficient sense to see that it was to their interest to treat the Indians justly. These people, although armed only with bows and arrows, at which the Spaniards laughed, still outnumbered them a thousandfold and could crush them by the simple force of numbers. Besides, they were always provided with food, which they were eager to give to their pale-faced brothers, who were often unable to obtain it, but whose vicious nature would not permit them to be manly and just.

CARAVELS OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS. (After an engraving published in 1584.)

Moreover, the Spaniards were crazy after gold, which they believed existed in many places in prodigious quantities. The sight of the yellow ornaments worn by the natives fired their cupidity, and they inquired eagerly in the sign language where the precious metal could be found. One of the Indians replied that six days' travel westward would bring them to the shores of a great sea, where gold was as plentiful as the pebbles on the beach.


This information, as may be believed, set the Spaniards wild, and, engaging a number of the natives as guides, they plunged into the hot, steaming forests, and pressed on until one day they came to the base of a mountain, from the top of which the guides said the great sea could be seen. Balboa made his men stay where they were while he climbed to the crest of the mountain alone. This was on the 26th of September, 1513, and, as Balboa looked off to the westward, his eyes rested upon the Pacific Ocean, the mightiest body of water on the globe.

He had made a grand discovery, and one which led to the conquest of Mexico and Peru and the colonization of the western coast of our country. Spain sent her armed expeditions thither, and in time they overran the sections named, their footprints marked everywhere by fire and blood. Many remains exist to-day in the Southwest of the early visits of those rapacious adventurers, during the first half of the sixteenth century. In Santa Fé, New Mexico, is a building made of adobe or sun-dried clay which was built in 1582.


In 1519 Ferdinand Magellan coasted South America to the strait named in his honor, and, passing through it, entered upon the vast body of water discovered six years before by Balboa. Magellan gave it the name of Pacific Ocean, and, sailing westward, discovered the Philippine Islands, which have lately acquired such importance in our history. There Magellan died. Several of his ships were lost, but one of them succeeded in reaching Spain after an absence of two years. This was the first circumnavigation of the globe and demonstrated the grandeur of the discovery made by Columbus.

COLUMBUS AND THE EGG. At a dinner the Spanish courtiers, jealous of Columbus, said anyone could discover the Indies. When, at Columbus' request, they failed to make an egg stand on its end, he showed them how to do it by flattening the end of it. "Anyone could do that," remarked a courtier. "So anyone can discover the Indies, after I have shown the way."

One of the companions of Columbus on his second voyage was Ponce de Leon. He was well on in years, and became deeply interested in a story told by the Indians of a wonderful land to the north of Cuba, where there was a marvelous spring, which would bring back youth to any who drank from its waters. De Leon set out to hunt for the land and discovered it in Florida on Easter Sunday, in 1513. He drank to repletion again and again from the springs he found, but without restoring his youth, and he was killed by Indians in 1521, while trying to form a settlement on the coast.

De Narvaez visited Florida, in 1528, in charge of a large expedition, with the intention of marching into the interior, but the Spaniards were so brutal to the Indians that they fought them step by step, until only four wretched beings were left alive. They lived a long time with the natives, but gradually worked their way across the continent to California, where they found some of their countrymen, who took care of them.


One of the best-equipped expeditions ever sent out was that of Hernando de Soto, which landed at Tampa Bay in May, 1539. Although the intention was to penetrate far into the interior, the Spaniards had no sooner set foot on land than they began their outrages against the Indians, who, as in the case of De Narvaez, turned upon them and slew large numbers. The explorers, however, pushed on and passed over a large section of country, though the precise course taken is not known. In the summer of 1541 they crossed the present State of Mississippi and thus discovered the Father of Waters. Three years were spent in wandering through the South, during which one-third of the number were killed or died and all the property destroyed. Losing heart at last, De Soto turned about, in May, 1542, and started for the sea with the intention of returning home. He was worn and weakened from fever, and he expired on the 21st of the month. Fearful that the news of his death would incite the Indians to attack them, his survivors wrapped the body in blankets, weighted it with stones, and at midnight rowed stealthily out into the river and let it sink from sight. There was something fitting in the fact that the Mississippi should prove the last resting-place of its discoverer.

Pedro Menendez was one of the most execrable miscreants that ever lived. He arrived off the coast of Florida with a large expedition and at the mouth of the St. John's saw a number of ships flying the flag of France. He furiously attacked them and drove them to sea. Then he returned to a fine harbor which he had discovered and began the town of St. Augustine. This was in 1565, and St. Augustine is, therefore, the oldest settlement within the present limits of the United States, excluding those founded in some of our colonial possessions.

Let us now turn attention to the French explorations. France in those days was a spirited rival of Spain, and, in 1524, she sent out a fleet of four vessels under the command of Verrazzani, who, strange as it may seem, was also an Italian. Two months later, with only a single ship remaining, he sighted the mainland of America, it is believed near North Carolina, from which point he coasted northward along New England. He gave the name of New France to all the countries he visited, but his account of his explorations is so vague that it is uncertain what lands he saw. Verrazzani, however, seems to have been the first navigator who formed a correct idea of the size of the globe.


In 1534 Jacques Cartier, with two ships, entered the mouth of the St. Lawrence. He was so impressed by the desolation of the shores of Newfoundland that he declared his belief that it was the land to which God had banished Cain. Nevertheless, he took possession of the country in the name of France and then returned home.

Cartier visited the country the following year with a larger expedition and sailed up the St. Lawrence to the sites of Quebec and Montreal. He was not successful in his attempts to found colonies, but his discovery gave France a title to the immense region which she held with a firm grasp for more than a hundred years.

Failing to establish colonies in the North, France now directed her efforts to the south. The Huguenots suffered so much persecution in the Old World that they sought a home in the New. Captain John Ribault, sailing from Havre with two ships, sighted Florida on the last day of April, 1562. The Indians were friendly and the explorers were charmed with the country. Ribault took possession of it in the name of France and gave French names to various places. Finally he dropped anchor in the harbor of Port Royal and began founding a settlement.

All were in good spirits and wished to remain, but Ribault sailed for France, leaving thirty men behind. After a time they quarreled and rigged up a worthless boat with which they set sail for home. All would have perished, had they not been picked up by an English vessel, which humanely landed the feeblest on the coast of France, while the strong men were taken to England as prisoners of war.

It was the intention of Ribault to return to America, but civil war was raging in France, and for a time he was prevented. In April, 1564, three more ships set sail to repeat the attempt at colonization. They were under the command of Captain Laudonnière, who had been a member of the former expedition. He began a settlement at what is now known as St. John's Bluff. The friendly Indians helped and all promised well, but unfortunately the colonists became dissatisfied and rebelled against the strict rule of Laudonnière. Some of the men stole two small vessels and set sail for the West Indies on a piratical expedition. Laudonnière hurriedly prepared two larger vessels to pursue them. When they were ready, the malcontents stole them and followed their comrades. Three of the buccaneers were captured by the Spanish, while the pilot of the fourth, who had been pressed into service, steered the vessel back to the colony before the rogues suspected what he was doing.Laudonnière made them prisoners and hanged the ringleaders.


At the time when utter ruin impended, Ribault arrived with seven ships and plenty of supplies. It was at this juncture, when everything promised well, that Menendez, the Spanish miscreant, as already stated, appeared with his powerful fleet and attacked the French ships. Three were up the river, and the four, being no match for the Spaniards, escaped by putting to sea. Menendez landed men and supplies further south, learning which Ribault prepared to attack them. Before he could do so, a violent tempest scattered his ships. By a laborious march through swamps and thickets, amid a driving storm, Menendez descended like a cyclone upon the unprotected French and massacred them all, including the women and children. Another force of French, under solemn promise of protection, surrendered, but they, too, were put to death. They were afterwards avenged by an expedition from France.

Samuel de Champlain proved himself one of the greatest of French explorers. He left the banks of the St. Lawrence at the beginning of the seventeenth century, and discovered the lake which bears his name. His numerous excellent maps added much to the knowledge of the country. Joining De Monts, another explorer, he founded the colony of Port Royal in Nova Scotia in 1605. This settlement, afterward named Annapolis, was the first permanent French colony planted in America. Quebec was founded by Champlain in 1608.

The greatest French explorer, however, was Sieur de la Salle, who was hardly twenty-three years old when he first visited Canada in 1666. Leading an expedition westward, he fell ill while in the country of the Seneca Indians and was forced to part with his companions near the head of Lake Ontario. When he regained his strength he pressed on to the Ohio River, down which he descended to the falls opposite the present city of Louisville. Returning to France, he was made a nobleman and appointed governor of the country around Fort Frontenac, which he had planted on the shore of Lake Ontario. He demolished the fort and erected a much stronger one, built four small vessels, and established a thriving trade with the Indians.

In August, 1679, La Salle launched a vessel at the port of Niagara, with which he sailed the length of Lake Erie, across Lakes St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan to Green Bay. He then sent back his vessel for supplies and crossed the lake in canoes to the mouth of the St. Joseph, where he built a fort. He visited the Indian tribes in the neighborhood and made treaties with the chiefs.

On the present site of Peoria, he erected a fort in 1680. Then, sending Father Hennepin to explore the country to the northward, La Salle made the entire journey of several hundred miles, alone and on foot, to Fort Frontenac, where he learned that the vessel he had sent back for supplies was lost.