Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
Display paragraphs in this book containing:
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Pub. Date
Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
1051 of 1105



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, The. —I. COLONIAL HISTORY. 1. Discovery. It is unnecessary to consider here the controversy in regard to the discoveries of the Northmen, for the existence of the United States is due, in the first place, to the discovery of the new world by Columbus (See AMERICA), and, in the second place, and yet much more directly, to the discoveries of John and Sebastian Cabot in 1497 and 1498. There are but scanty records of their voyages; but it is quite certain that Sebastian sailed along the coast of what is now the United States from parallel 38° (Virginia) to its northern limit. As both were in the service of the English king, and Sebastian was probably born in Bristol, England, their discoveries were the foundation of the English claims in North America.


—The discovery of the coast further south was mainly due to voyages from the Spanish West Indies. Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, on the eastern side, in 1512; and in 1528 Narvacz secured a temporary foothold on its northwest coast. In 1520 Ayllon discovered the coast of what is now South Carolina; and in 1524 Verrazzani, an independent voyager in the service of France, filled up most of the gaps by exploring the coast from the southern border of North Carolina to Nova Scotia. It is thus quite certain that the coast of the Atlantic and gulf of Mexico was fairly well known in 1524. There has always been a strong suspicion, however, that the Atlantic coast was just as well known years before 1524, by the voyages of Cortereal in 1500, and of other forgotten sailors before and after him. It is asserted, for example, that a planisphere, dating from 1502, has been discovered (1883) at Modena, in the archives of the Este family, and that it gives the outline of the whole Atlantic coast of the United States, including Florida. There has even been a disposition, in some quarters, to deny the claims of Columbus as a discoverer, and to make him also a mere reproducer of the work of unknown predecessors. However this may be, the political history of the United States can not look back further than Columbus' discovery for the causes of the country's existence. The discovery of the Pacific coast is elsewhere treated. (See NORTHWEST BOUNDARY.)


—All this work was confined to the seacoast, and no attempt was made upon the interior for nearly a century, with a single remarkable exception, the most extraordinary episode in this part of the history of the United States. In 1539 Ferdinand de Soto, with a Spanish force, landed at Tampa bay, marched north into what is now northern Georgia, thence back to Mobile, and thence northwest into Arkansas, discovering and crossing the Mississippi, in April, 1541, near the present southerly boundary of Tennessee. After nearly crossing Arkansas, he moved down the Washita river to the Mississippi. Here he died, in May, 1542, and the remnants of his force built boats, in which they reached Mexico. With the exception of this quixotic affair, and a few expeditions sent northward by the Spanish governors of Mexico into what is now New Mexico and California, the interior of North America was for a long time untouched: the ocean was the base of operations for all the early discoverers.


—2. Colonization. The colonization of the central belt of North America, now covered by the United States, was essayed at different times by five nations of Europe, England, France, Spain, Holland and Sweden. The details of these attempts will be found under the names of the various colonies referred to below. It is intended here only to show the manner in which Great Britain gradually ousted the other sovereignties from this particular territory, and formed here a chain of thirteen homogeneous colonies of her own, fitted for subsequent coalescence into a nation.


—The claim of Spain to the whole of the two Americas, confirmed by a papal bull in 1493, was respected by other nations until they were touched by the influences of the reformation. In 1562 an unsuccessful colony of French Huguenots was planted at Port Royal, and this part of the continent was named Carolina, in honor of Charles IX. of France. In 1564 a more successful colony was planted on the St. John's river, in northern Florida; but this was extirpated by the Spaniards under circumstances of great atrocity. There were no further attempts at colonization by French Protestants; and the energies of Spain were bent toward the richer regions of Mexico and South America; so that central North America remained uncolonized.


—England was now controlled by the reformation; a new era of mental and physical activity was opening; and her policy was taking a line of pronounced opposition to Spain. Her connection with the new world had been kept up by a vigorous prosecution of the Newfoundland fisheries; and in 1578 her preliminary failures in the process of colonization were begun. In that year, and in 1583, two unsuccessful voyages were made to North America by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Sir Walter Raleigh's half-brother, under patent from Queen Elizabeth. In 1584, under a new patent, Raleigh sent out two small vessels under Amidas and Barlow. They explored the coast of North Carolina, and reported so favorably that Queen Elizabeth named the country Virginia, as a token of the favor of the virgin queen. In 1585 Raleigh fixed the first English colony in America on Roanoke island, in North Carolina: it was starved out in a year. In 1587 he established another at the same place: it had disappeared, when it was searched for three years afterward, and has never since been heard of. Raleigh's ill success discouraged him and others, and there were no further individual efforts at English colonization. English voyagers still skirted the coast and trafficked with the Indians, but at the beginning of the seventeenth century there was not an English colonist in North America.


—English colonization was forced by the general poverty and discontent of the English lower classes; but English statesmen wisely intrusted the execution of the work to joint-stock companies. Two companies were formed, and were chartered by one patent of James I., dated April 10, 1606. To the London company, composed of merchants and gentlemen in and near London, was granted the Atlantic coast between north latitude 34° and 41°, that is, from about Cape Fear to Long Island. To the Plymouth company, whose members lived in the west of England, was granted the coast between north latitude 38° and 45°, that is, from the mouth of the Potomac to the eastern boundary of Maine. From the Potomac to Long Island, where the two grants conflicted, neither company was to plant a settlement within 100 miles of a settlement previously planted by the other. The western extent of both grants was indefinite.


—The patent practically reserved to the crown all powers of legislation, and gave the nominal ruling bodies, the councils, little or no power. But it contained the following important clause, which was always rated as more significant by the colonists than by the crown: "And we do, for us, our heirs and successors, declare by these presents that all and every the persons, being our subjects, which shall dwell and inhabit within every or any of the said several colonies and plantations, and every of their children, which shall happen to be born within any of the limits and precincts of the said several colonies and plantations, shall have and enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities, within any of our other dominions, to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within this our realm of England, or any other of our said dominions." The intention of this royal advertisement and contract for the encouragement of emigration always seemed to the colonists too plain for argument. The ingenuity of crown lawyers was easily able to convince the crown, in after years, that there were many "liberties, franchises and immunities," extorted from the crown by English subjects, which did not extend to the colonists. But the colonists were never convinced, and it is difficult to see any reason why they should have been convinced.


—The patent also contained a provision, that, if any resident of the colonies should trade with foreign countries, without first obtaining a license from the crown, his ship and "all his goods and chattels" should be forfeited to the crown. It was evident from this that the British government had no higher conception of colonization than the other governments of the time, and that its purpose was "to monopolize the consumption of the colonies, and the carriage of their produce." (This branch of the subject is fully treated under NAVIGATION LAWS.)


—The Plymouth company, after an unsuccessful attempt to fix a colony at the mouth of the Kennebec river in 1607, did no colonizing for itself, and in 1620 received a new charter, covering the territory between north latitude 40° and 48°, that is from about Philadelphia to Cape Breton island. This charter was also surrendered to the crown in 1635; but, before the surrender, the company had made the grants which resulted in the formation of the several colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut (see their names), and the unauthorized settlement had been begun, which became the colony of Rhode Island. (See its name.) Massachusetts was at first two colonies, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay; and Connecticut, in like manner, was dual, Connecticut and New Haven. It is notable that only two of these six colonies, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, were founded under the auspices of the company. The first settlement in the company's territory, at Plymouth, Dec. 21, 1620, was made without the company's permission or knowledge, and the two Connecticut colonies and Rhode Island were equally unauthorized. After the dissolution of the company, the crown reduced the number of colonies to four, by consolidation, and chartered these at various times.


—The London company was more active and successful. Its first expedition fixed the first permanent English colony in North America at Jamestown, in the present state of Virginia, May 13, 1607. In 1609 it received a new charter, limiting its territory to the present states of Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. By the subsequent creation of the colonies of Maryland and Carolina the jurisdiction of Virginia was reduced to the area which it covered as a state. (See VIRGINIA, TERRITORIES:) In 1624 the London company was deprived of its charter, and Virginia became a royal province; but the inhabitants were not deprived of the privileges which the company had granted them.


—The grant of land for the new colony of Maryland in 1632 was carved out of the Virginia jurisdiction, and so was the northern half of the grant of Carolina in 1663. (See NORTH CAROLINA.) But, in the latter case, the grant extended far to the south of the original grant to the London company, covering the old French claims to "Carolina." The Spaniards felt no more amicably toward the new than toward the old intruders but were unable to get rid of them in the same summary fashion, and submitted to the intrusion. In 1732 the last of the original thirteen colonies, Georgia, was carved out of South Carolina as a barrier against the Spaniards in Florida; and at the peace of 1763 it was extended a little further south, to its present southern boundary.


—Holland and Sweden were the only powers which disputed the territory of the inchoate nation with England, and their attempts were confined to the region of three degrees between the specific grants to the two English companies, from about Philadelphia to Long Island. The attempt of the Swedes may be briefly dismissed: it was never supported earnestly by the mother country, and fell like an unsupported forlorn hope after the first assault. It was located in the present state of Delaware, but with efficient support from home would have grounded a fair claim to the whole of the present state of Pennsylvania. Unsupported, it was unable to resist the Dutch to the north, who conquered and annexed it in 1655. All the present middle states thus became Dutch.


—Holland claimed the coast line explored in 1609 by Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the service of the Dutch East India company. It extended from Chesapeake bay to the Hudson river, and up that river to where Albany now stands. To this they added claims, by exploration or conquest from the Indians or Swedes, to Long Island, the territory west and northwest of the coast line, and the territory between the Hudson and the Connecticut rivers. In 1621 all this territory, under the name of New Netherlands, was granted by Holland to the Dutch West India company, which colonized and governed it for forty years. In 1664, Charles II. granted the territory comprised in New Netherlands to his brother, duke of York, who took possession at once by force. New York and New Jersey were made separate colonies. (See their names.) In 1681 Pennsylvania was made a separate colony, and Delaware remained united with it, by very loose ties, until the revolution. (See their names.)


—The central zone of North America seems made for a great nation, and the English people had thus seized the whole of its vantage ground, the Atlantic coast. At first the seizure was made almost at one blow and without opposition, so far as regarded the northern and southern portions of the coast; and the natural pressure of these upon the centre had begun the last stage of the work, when it was hastened by force in 1664. The last rival then disappeared from the coast, and the whole gateway to an imperial domain was in English hands.


—3. Colonial Development. The disturbed state of England during the forty years following the landing of the settlers at Plymouth, undoubtedly contributed very essentially to the growth of the colonies. At first, while the high church party controlled the administration of affairs in England, dissenters of every grade of intensity, from the low church puritan to the independent, found safe refuge in New England, and increased the population of this section. In this manner about 20,000 persons emigrated in the eleven years, 1630-41. When the high church party went down, and when the Presbyterians suffered a like misfortune, their adherents found refuge in the colonies to the southward. In either case the emigration was itself a protest against the existing order of things in England, which came little short of rebellion: it was the only substitute for force.


—It is certain, however, that the wonderful increase in the population of the colonies was due to the natural vis generandi of the race, set loose in a boundless and fertile territory, rather than to persecution and immigration. As soon as statistics began to make any approach to accuracy, it became evident that the population of the colonies was doubling steadily once in twenty-five years. And yet Franklin, a man of cautious estimate, could write as follows, in 1751: "There are supposed to be now upward of one million English souls in North America, though it is thought scarce eighty thousand have been brought over sea. Whether this estimate be well or ill founded, it shows the belief at the time that the old English people had not been transferred to America, but that a new English people had grown up there from a small seed.


—But, in spite of the comparative smallness of the seed, its peculiar character, and the reasons for its transfer, were of enormous weight in the history of the United States, and have colored all the subsequent order of events. The original settlers were to frame the institutions of the new nation, to cast the mould in which their descendants were to be developed. In doing the work, they were controlled by the lurking and generally unconscious feeling of incipient rebellion under which they had emigrated. Their minds naturally reverted to the traditions of their race; they rejected most of the forms of class supremacy which they had found so troublesome at home; and in each of the thirteen colonies they established as near an approach to democracy as circumstances would allow. It is a mistake to suppose that the privileges of the people were secure only under the charter governments of New England. In what might be called the palatine governments, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and (at first) New Jersey and North and South Carolina, in which the crown resigned the dominion of the colony to a palatine, or proprietor, the patents were very full and liberal in enumerating the privileges of the people, and the people were always more ready to assert them against a proprietor than against the king. In the Carolinas (See NORTH CAROLINA) the proprietors attempted to establish a privileged aristocracy, but were defeated by popular opposition. In the royal colonies, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, in which any struggle had to be leveled at the king's vicegerent, the tender plant of popular privilege was effectually shielded by the distance of the colonies from the mother country, and by the uniform contempt of the mother country for the colonies. The former furnished special safeguards, but the latter was a general safeguard. A timely creation of a number of American peerages, with grants of land, and with hereditary privileges, even if only in the royal colonies, would have vitally altered the conditions of the new country and would have immensely increased the difficulties of the final revolution. It must be evident that this was the only policy which could have prevented or checked the establishment of democracy in America, but it had an implacable opponent in the prejudices of the ruling class in England. Thus, from various influences the thirteen commonwealths which grew up on the Atlantic coast of North America were of a generally democratic character. They varied only in degree, from the highly democratic charter commonwealths, through the scarcely less democratic palatine commonwealths, to the royal commonwealths, in which democracy maintained itself successfully against the feeble opposition of a distant king. There were some limitations on the elective franchise; there were, in most of the colonies, attempts to establish an ecclesiastical order; but hereditary privilege, with all its powerful influences on politics, was a complete blank in the colonies. The unwisdom of the English ruling class, its disdainful refusal to recognize any equal class in the new country, had resulted in the spread of democracy over all America—During the first period of their development, the colonies had little or no political connection with one another, but were loosely united by a common allegiance to the crown. Each colony lived its own life, uncontrolled by any or by all of the other colonies. These are the circumstances on which has been built the theory of "state sovereignty." (See that title.) They are admitted, but not the consequences which are sought to be drawn from them. On the contrary, it must be evident that all the materials for a new nation were here present in chaos, waiting for the blow which should crystallize them into permanent form. (See NATION.) So long as there were no controlling common interests, the repelling force between individual colonies showed itself rather in inaction than in action, rather by a negation of union than by positive and individual commonwealth assertion. Just as rapidly as the importance of public action increased, just so surely did the signs of union multiply. They were naturally confined at first to the homogeneous New England colonies, which united for a time in 1643. (See NEW ENGLAND UNION.) When the French wars fairly opened, after 1689, the middle colonies began to take part with the New England colonies in their expeditions against the Canadian strongholds. Finally, when the great French and Indian war broke out, common interests brought all the colonies into something like common action. (See WARS, I.) South Carolina troops were with Washington at Fort Necessity; and wherever troops from different colonies came together, as they frequently did thereafter, they learned to use the common name "provincials" to distinguish themselves from the British troops. There was even a promising but unsuccessful attempt at a formal union of the colonies in 1754. (See ALBANY PLAN OF UNION.)


—A more successful attempt to unite the colonies was made in 1765. (See STAMP ACT CONGRESS.) It was due to the first attempt of the home government to impose internal taxes on the colonies by acts of parliament. Against this attempt there was one general plea, the original promise of the crown to all emigrants to America, that they should "enjoy all liberties, franchises and immunities," "to all intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within this our realm of England." Certainly the people of England had secured, as at least one of their "liberties, franchises and immunities," the right to be taxed by their own parliaments, not by a foreign parliament or by the crown. The colonies accordingly claimed the same for themselves; none of them was able to maintain it individually; and they drifted together in common action.


—The action of the congress of 1765 was altogether advisory and deliberative, not legislative, and had only the effect of accustoming the colonists to the idea of union. The case was much the same with the first continental congress of 1774. But events were moving rapidly. It has been stated that the rights of the colonists were not guaranteed at all in the royal colonies, except by the original promise of the crown; that they were considerably better secured in the palatine, or proprietary, colonies; and that they were best secured in the charter colonies of New England. When, therefore, the crown and parliament chose, or were forced, to attack the rights of Massachusetts, one of the charter colonies, the attack was felt by all, and all united to resist it. When the second continental congress met, in 1775, the struggle had taken the shape of force, and the congress was compelled to resort to action, not to deliberation. (See CONGRESS, CONTINENTAL; REVOLUTION; FLAG)


—In theory, the second congress was exactly like the first, a meeting of committees from thirteen independent commonwealths, without any authority to act except what was formally given to each delegation by its own commonwealth. But in practice the case was radically different. The congress became a revolutionary national assembly, and seized all the powers of national government; and the authority for the seizure was not in any grant of power by the states, but in the acquiescence and support of the people at large. It is true that the people universally desired the retention of state lines in the organization of the new nation; but the retention was due to the will of the mass of the people, not to the will of any or all of the states. If the mass of the people had desired it, congress would have blotted out or ignored state lines, as it did in the case of Vermont, and any individual state would have been as powerless against congress as against the crown. The states, then, owe their existence as states, originally and continuously, to the will of a people practically unanimous on that subject. It is very true that this national people can express its will only with the very greatest difficulty, and then mainly by acquiescence or resistance; but it is equally true, that, when it has been necessary, as in 1775 and 1787-9, when the usual machinery of state government has failed, the national people has found a way to express its will, and its will has been obeyed. The statement of conflicting views in regard to the ultimate "sovereignty" of the United States is necessarily reserved to a subsequent section of this article: but the reasons above assigned will explain why this series of articles holds that the ultimate sovereignty of the United States is in the mass of the people; and that state and national governments and constitutions owe their existence to the will of the ultimate sovereignty, and hold from it. This has seemed to the writer the only theory which can account in an orderly manner for the successive changes of national government: it makes the continental congress a legal, even if revolutionary, exponent of the general popular will; the articles of confederation a valid system for its time, even if unnecessarily ratified by the state legislatures; and the convention of 1787 a legitimate exponent of the general popular will to have a change of government, in spite of the state legislatures, but without sacrificing the states. Any other theory makes the continental congress a clique of daring usurpers, seizing national power in defiance of the de jure sovereignties, the states; the articles of confederation a similar successful usurpation by the state legislatures, to which their commonwealths had granted no powers to make any such league; and the constitution itself a contra usurpation by an illegal convention, condoned by the tardy ratifications of state conventions. (See CONGRESS, CONTINENTAL; CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF; CONVENTION OF 1787.) Either the sovereignty of the United States is in the mass of the people, divided into states by its own will; or the political history of the United States must be abandoned as only a labyrinth without a clue.


—II. NATIONAL HISTORY. 1. 1775-89. If we take the first instance of the use of force in the struggle between the colonies and the mother country, the fight at Lexington, April 19, 1775, as the signal for the transformation of congress into a revolutionary national assembly, the people of the "United Colonies" were still nominally under the rule of George III. for more than a year thereafter. Congress still addressed them and spoke of them as "his majesty's most faithful subjects in these colonies," even while it was exhorting them to kill the soldiers sent to America by his majesty. When the royal proclamation of Aug. 23, 1775, charged them with "forgetting the allegiance which they owed to the power that had protected and sustained them," the congress, in its answer of the following Dec. 6, defined its position thus skillfully: "What allegiance is it that we forget? Allegiance to parliament? We never owed—we never owned it. Allegiance to our king? Our words have ever avowed it, our conduct has ever been consistent with it." When, however, it was found that the king was irrevocably committed to the enemies of the United Colonies, the congress, July 4, 1776, abolished the royal authority forever. (See DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, ALLEGIANCE.) In 1778 the new nation was recognized by France, and in 1783, by the definitive treaty of peace which closed the struggle, it was recognized by the king of Great Britain. (See REVOLUTION, AMERICAN, and, for the terms of the recognition, STATE SOVEREIGNTY.)


—The congress retained its position as a revolutionary government for six years, 1775-81, though its power was constantly decreasing during the last half of the period. In 1781 it passed, without a jar, into the new government under the articles of confederation. This purported to be a pure federation, a league of sovereign states, and it was soon found to be useless and dangerous. In 1787 a federal convention was extorted from the state legislatures and congress by a general concurrence of the popular will. It framed the constitution, which was ratified by state conventions and became the basis of a new national government. (See CONGRESS, CONTINENTAL; CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF, and TERRITORIES for the delay in ratifying them; CONVENTION OF 1787; CONSTITUTION.)


—2. The Federalists, 1789-1801. At the time of the organization of the new government, parties had already been developed, though the line of division was not permanently preserved. All who had supported the new constitution took the name of federalists, as those who opposed it took the name of anti-federalists. The anti-federalists, as a distinct party, disappeared as soon as the new government was fairly organized, and the federalists were left in undisputed control of national affairs. But the latter party contained many members, particularly in Virginia, who were opposed to the growth of national power at the expense of state power, and to strong government or class government at the expense of the individual. These coalesced into a new party of constitutional opposition, the democratic-republican party, which grew stronger all through this period, until, in 1801, it finally overthrew the federal party. (See ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY; FEDERAL PARTY, I.; DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY, I., II.; CONSTRUCTION; HAMILTON; JEFFERSON.)


—In July, 1788, when the ninth state had ratified the constitution, the congress of the confederation had named New York city as the place, and March 4, 1789, as the time, for the organization of the new government. Difficulty of travel, and the slovenly habits learned under the confederacy, delayed the organization until April 6, when a quorum of both houses was obtained to count the electoral votes. Until 1804 the electors simply voted for two persons, without specifying the vote for president and vice-president. (See ELECTORS.) In this case, Washington was found to have a unanimous vote, and became president, and John Adams, having the next largest vote, became vice-president. (In all cases under this article, for electoral votes see the article ELECTORAL VOTES; for cabinets, See ADMINISTRATIONS; for brief biographies, see the names of the persons mentioned.)


—The federalists, with very little opposition, proceeded to organize the new government by acts defining the powers of the various departments, and organizing inferior courts and territories. Their work was so well done that it still forms the skeleton of the government of the United States. Two other measures, involving the first broad construction of the powers of congress, provoked a warmer opposition. The organization of a national bank (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, II.), and the assumption of state debts (See FINANCE; CAPITAL, NATIONAL), resulted in the rise of the republican party, under Jefferson. Nevertheless, the result of the presidential election of 1792 was the same as that of 1789.


—Foreign affairs now began to control American politics, for the French revolution had begun its destructive course, and the republicans, and still more the democrats, were in pronounced sympathy with it. (See GENET, CITIZEN; DEMOCRATIC CLUBS.) England had begun a systematic effort to drive American commerce into her own harbors, and the republicans were anxious to begin a war of commercial restrictions against her (See EMBARGO, I.); but this question was put to rest for ten years by a treaty concluded in 1794-5. (See JAY'S TREATY.) French agents, however, continued to interfere in American politics, and diplomatic difficulties with France continued through the following term.


—Vermont was admitted as a state in 1791, Kentucky in 1792, and Tennessee in 1796. (See their names.) The rest of the western border was the occasion of more difficulty. Travel was exceedingly difficult, for the roads were so bad as to be almost worse than no roads; internal migration was slow; the Indian title to lands west of Pennsylvania was not extinguished; and border lawlessness was as ready to oppose national laws as to attack the Indians. In 1794 it became necessary to march a militia force into western Pennsylvania to suppress disorders. (See WHISKY INSURRECTION.) A war with the Miamis resulted in their defeat and their cession of nearly the whole of Ohio in 1795; and in the same year, by Jay's treaty, the British gave up the forts in the northwest territory, which they had held for twelve years in violation of the treaty of 1783. Emigration to Ohio increased at once, and the movement of American population was turned finally toward the northwest territory.


—During Washington's second term, party division advanced so far that the republican members of the cabinet successively retired, and the administration became altogether federalist. In 1796 Washington refused to be a candidate for a third term (See FAREWELL ADDRESSES), and John Adams was elected president. Jefferson, however, ran ahead of the other federalists, and became vice-president. Adams' single term was one of great difficulty at home and abroad. The United States came to the verge of war with France (See X Y Z MISSION), and the federal majority in congress seized the opportunity to enact dangerous laws for their own partisan advantage. (See ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS.) Opposition in congress was so evidently hopeless that the republican leaders at first attempted to use the state legislatures as instruments of resistance. (See KENTUCKY AND VIRGINIA RESOLUTIONS, NULLIFICATION.) But the presidential election of 1800 proved to be a surer instrument: the federal party was defeated, and fell, never to rise again. There were some points which were settled with great difficulty (See DISPUTED ELECTIONS, I.; ELECTORS, VI), but the main question had been settled for the time: the people, as yet, preferred that power should not be granted to the federal government at the expense of the states. (In general, See FEDERAL PARTY, I., DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY, I., II.).


—3. The Republicans, 1801-29. The methods of the government of the United States were altogether the same after 1801 as before; the constructive skill of the federalists had planned them so wisely that it would have been worse than folly to drop them. But its spirit had changed, and the change was quickly reflected by the states. Democracy had got the bit in its teeth; the hand of the federalists had not been heavy enough to control it. In every state outside of New England, all restrictions upon the right of white males over the age of twenty-one to vote were gradually swept away, with the exception of residence qualifications; and all connection between state and church was severed. It became the fashion to think, talk and act more freely, and with less subservience to the prejudices of the individual's class or creed. In this sense the "revolution of 1800" has never gone backward, every party, court, church and person in the United States feels the influence of the force which was then loosed.


—In foreign affairs, Jefferson's administrations were marked by a war with Tripoli (See ALGERINE WAR), and a revival of the commercial difficulties with Great Britain. (See EMBARGO.) These latter continued through Jefferson's administrations, and into those of his successor, and culminated in the war of 1812. (See WARS, IV.; CONVENTION, HARTFORD.) No part of the political history of the United States is so weak as this period, for the negation of national sovereignty in internal affairs carried with it impotence in foreign intercourse. (See NATION.) In 1807 the British frigate "Leopard" stopped and searched the United States frigate "Chesapeake," and took from her four seamen, claimed to be deserters; and the only retaliation was a proclamation ordering British armed vessels to quit the waters of the United States.


—In domestic affairs, Jefferson's first administration was marked by the annexation of Louisiana, in 1803 (See ANNEXATIONS, I.), which more than doubled the territory of the United States. Four years afterward, in 1807, Fulton produced a usable steamboat, and within four years the building of steamboats on western waters had begun. Fulton's invention carried emigration far more rapidly into the northwest territory, and through it to Louisiana. But Jefferson's second term, said John Randolph, was like the lean kine, and ate up the fatness of the first. It was disturbed, to a dangerous extent, by the distress and discontent produced in New England by the restrictive system. (See EMBARGO, II.; SECESSION, I.; HENRY DOCUMENTS.) The newly acquired Mississippi river became the route of a mysterious expedition, under the late vice-president, Burr, which excited general fears for the safety of Louisiana. (See BURR.) Jefferson's second term ended unhappily, with a general suspension of commerce, discontent, distrust and uncertainty, and he was succeeded by Madison.


—During Madison's first term the embargo system passed by successive stages into open war against Great Britain. (See EMBARGO, III.-V.; WARS, IV.) The war achieved none of the objects for which it was begun, but it served a greater purpose by hardening the gristle of the young nation into something like bone. No test could be so severe, for a nation which still considered itself a "voluntary confederation," as a war to which one of its most influential sections was conscientiously and angrily opposed; but the test was endured successfully. (See CONVENTION, HARTFORD; DRAFTS, I.; NATION, III.) With the close of the war a new era began, which only waited for the introduction of the railroad in 1830 to develop into the full life of the United States. Commerce revived. Manufactures, fostered by the restrictive system and the war, demanded and received protection; and in the process they destroyed the remnants of the federal party. (See TARIFF; FEDERAL PARTY, II.) The war, especially on the northern and southwestern frontier, had forced upon the attention of the people the danger of their shocking lack of good roads, and there was a general movement toward an improvement in some shape. The energies of the national government were at first turned to the construction of roads. (See CUMBERLAND ROAD.) But the state of New York had the enterprise to open a new vein by the construction of the Erie canal, and this turned other states and the national government to a general system of public improvements. (See NEW YORK, INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.) A new national bank was created. (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, IV.) All these measures were opposed to that strict construction of the constitution, and that complete supremacy of state life and action, which were the formal basis of the dominant party; but the drift of the party to their support could not be checked. It was aided by the supreme court, whose influence as a nationalizing factor now first became apparent. (See JUDICIARY, II.) The whole change reconciled the federalists to their absorption into the republican party. Indeed, they claimed, with considerable show of justice, that the absorption was in the other direction: that the republicans had recanted; and that the "Washington-Monroe policy," as they termed it after 1820, was all that federalists had ever desired.


—This was an era of state making. Louisiana was admitted in 1812, Indiana in 1816, Mississippi in 1817, Illinois in 1818, Alabama in 1819, Maine in 1820, and Missouri in 1821. (See their names.) In the admission of Missouri there was a series of difficulties which showed that the two sections, the north and the south, were drifting dangerously far apart on the subject of slavery; but these difficulties were settled in a manner sufficiently satisfactory to both sections to quiet the question for nearly thirty years. (See COMPROMISES, IV.; SLAVERY, V.) State admissions ceased for fifteen years after the admission of Missouri; but the organization of territories, and the continued movement of population to the west, were guarantees that state formation had not ceased altogether.


—At the end of Madison's second term, in 1817, Monroe became president with hardly any opposition, except in the matter of his nomination. In 1821 he was reelected without opposition. The federal party had disappeared in national politics, and, during the next three years, it disappeared in state politics also. (See ERA OF GOOD FEELING.) In the all-absorbing republican party, four distinct geographical sections had been developed; the northern, headed by John Quincy Adams, wished for protection to manufactures; the northwestern, headed by Clay, wished for internal improvements; the southwestern, headed by Jackson, without defined economic principles, had a general fondness for democracy; and the southern, headed by Crawford, wished for none of these things, but cared only for state independence. In the presidential election of 1824, all these four leaders were candidates, and the result was that Adams was elected by the house of representatives. (See DISPUTED ELECTIONS, II.) During his single term the Clay and Adams factions united in a common policy as to a protective tariff and internal improvements. (See TARIFF, INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.) On the other hand, the Jackson and Crawford factions also drew nearer together; Crawford's severe illness made Jackson the recognized leader of a united opposition; and in 1828 he was elected president over Adams.


—From the close of the war until the end of this period, democracy was assailing the original spirit of the federal government at every vulnerable point. The old federalist system of leaving nominations to conferences and correspondence of leaders had long been abandoned in favor of caucuses of congressmen, as more directly representing the people. Now, this was not democratic enough, and the people began to take the matter of nominations into their own hands. (See CAUCUS SYSTEM; CAUCUS, CONGRESSIONAL; NOMINATING CONVENTIONS.) The electors had long ceased to be anything more than automata; but now congress began to assert a revisory power over their action, which has proved more dangerous as it has grown more complete. (See ELECTORS.) Jackson's election in 1828 was generally demanded as a rebuke to the house of representatives, which had disregarded the wish of a plurality of the people, while it followed the forms and spirit of the constitution, in electing Adams in 1824. About the same time began the long list of attempts, as yet unsuccessful, to make the electoral system still more democratic, or to do away with it altogether. (See ELECTORS, VI.) In one point the movement was more successful: in all the states, excepting South Carolina, the choice of electors was abandoned by the state legislatures, and given to the people.


—In foreign affairs, the most noteworthy event was the formulation of the "Monroe doctrine." This is fully treated elsewhere. (See MONROE DOCTRINE.)—(In general, See FEDERAL PARTY, II.; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, III.; WHIG PARTY, I.)


—4. The Democrats, 1829-49. Since the beginning of Jackson's first term democracy has held social and political control of the United States. It showed itself first in a blind and unhesitating support of Jackson, as the exponent of democracy. To his opponents this seemed like the establishment of a popular tyranny, a Cæsarism. They, therefore, took the party name of whigs, as the opponents of a would-be king, and were joined, after the failure of nullification, by most of the extreme state rights republicans of the south. (See WHIG PARTY, II.) Jackson's supporters very naturally took the name of democrats, though they still asserted a sole right to the name of republicans, when they chose to use it. (See DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IV.) Under the lead of Jackson and the new school of politicians which surrounded him, the democrats attacked the national bank, drove it into politics, and, after a struggle of about five years, destroyed it. (See BANK CONTROVERSIES, III.; DEPOSITS, REMOVAL OF.) They broke up, not without much rebellion in their own ranks, the Adams system of internal improvements. (See that title.) They obtained a gradual reduction of the protective tariff (See TARIFF), while they suppressed the attempt of the South Carolina nullificationists to abolish it suddenly and by revolutionary means. (See NULLIFICATION.) They gave the people a nominal control over the appointing power by introducing the practice of "rotation in office": its real effects are fully treated in a distinct series of articles. (See SPOILS SYSTEM, REMOVALS.) At the same time they gave the people, or rather the politicians who represented the people, full control over nominations by the creation of the modern machinery of a national party. (See NOMINATING CONVENTIONS.) Finally, under Van Buren, Jackson's successor, they completed the "divorce of bank and state," by introducing the sub-treasury system. (See INDEPENDENT TREASURY.)


—All these changes are credited to the democratic party: in reality, most of them were due to Jackson, who toned up and re-enforced any wavering energy in his party by an abundant use of his veto power. (See VETO.) By whatever means accomplished, they still further changed toward democracy the feelings of the people; and the introduction of the railroad in 1830, and the telegraph in 1844, into the vast territory of the United States, fixed the character of its political and social life, particularly in the north and west. The south did not feel the change so much (See SLAVERY, IV.); and from this time the drift of the two great sections apart became more rapid. (See NATION, III.)


—In foreign affairs, the policy of the new leaders was as vigorous as in domestic affairs. Claims for depredations on American commerce during the Napoleonic wars had long been urged against France, Spain, Naples, Portugal and Denmark, Jackson collected them. (See EXECUTIVE, III.) There was much popular sympathy with the Canadian revolt of 1837, but the government suppressed any active interference with its course. (See MCLEOD CASE)


—This whole period, 1829-49, has been assigned to the democrats, in spite of the whig success in the presidential election of 1840. Harrison, the whig president, died after serving but one month, and the new president, Tyler, was a natural democrat. His use of the veto power neutralized the whig majority in congress during the first half of his term; and during the second half he was supported by a democratic majority in the house. In 1844 the democrats returned to the full enjoyment of their temporarily suspended power, by the election of Polk and a democratic congress. As a consequence of the election, Texas was annexed (See ANNEXATIONS, III.); the war with Mexico followed (See WARS, V.); and this was followed by a still larger acquisition of territory. (See ANNEXATIONS, IV., V.) While this was going on, the territory of Oregon was secured by treaty with the only other claimant, Great Britain. (See NORTHWEST BOUNDARY.) By all these changes, the area of the United States took on the rounded and complete form which has not since been altered, except by the later acquisition of Alaska. Six new states were admitted: Arkansas in 1836, Michigan in 1837, Florida and Texas in 1845, Iowa in 1846, and Wisconsin in 1848. (See their names.) The agency of the railroad in hastening the westward movement of population had now become more evident, and several other incipient states were developing. Foreign immigration had not yet swelled to the enormous proportions which it was soon to take; but the population had grown about 600 per cent. larger in sixty years, from 3,900,000 in 1790 to 23,000,000 in 1850. A little people had become a great people. (See, in general, DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IV.; WHIG PARTY, II.)


—5. Sectional Conflict, 1849-61. Southern leaders always blamed the growing spirit of democracy in the north and west for the anti-slavery agitation which began about 1830. (See ABOLITION, II.; PETITION.) There was, no doubt, very much truth in the assertion: Garrison, Wendell Phillips and other abolitionists were the product of the modern democratic spirit, not of the temper of colonial or earlier constitutional times. The spirit which moved them was one which cared more for the equal rights of all mankind than for political theories, nationality, state rights on constitutions, and they became the Ishmaelites of politics. They have claimed and received a large share of the credit for the final overthrow of slavery; and yet it is very difficult to locate the reasons for their claim, unless he who provokes a wild beast to such frenzy that his neighbors have to kill it may justly claim the credit for its death. Most of them were absolute impracticables, unable to suggest a policy or a remedy for slavery, except, possibly, the forcible expulsion of slave-holding states from the Union. The liberty party of 1840 and 1844 had neither growth nor effects; and the free-soil party (see its name) of 1848 and 1852 was hardly an improvement on the liberty party, if we leave out its mere political allies. From 1830 until 1848 it can hardly be said that the real abolitionist feeling or influence increased even in proportion to the growth of population. The only real result of the twenty-years anti-slavery agitation was to exasperate the slaveholders, to convince them that the north was against slavery, instead of against slavery extension, and thus to embitter the conflict of the sections over the territory wrested from Mexico. Anti-slavery agitation never had the faintest prospect of success by its own exertions: its first chance of life came from the Mexican annexations, its first prospect of success from the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and its final victory from the civil war; and each of these events took place against the will of the abolitionists. Slavery was destroyed by no human skill or foresight.


—In 1846, when the first indication appeared of a purpose to acquire territory from Mexico, outside of Texas, as "indemnity for the past, and security for the future," it was proposed to add a proviso forbidding slavery in any such acquisition. (See WILMOT PROVISO.) For four years this was the controlling question of national politics. At first the proviso did not seem to be very objectionable to the south or to the dominant party: its proposer was a democrat, and it was favored by the Polk administration. As the discussion went on, the south came to consider the proposal as an attack upon slavery; and when the proviso failed in 1850 several southern states had on record declarations of their intention to secede if it was adopted. The governing purpose of the democratic party was to preserve its national organization intact. It succeeded in so doing by evolving the idea that the question was to be settled, for each territory, by its own people (See POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY): this was acceptable to the northern wing, and was not as yet repudiated by the southern wing. Nevertheless, its inevitable result was to make the former somewhat smaller than the latter, and thus to begin to unbalance the party. The whigs proposed no solution of the great question, and thus their two wings, while maintaining their relative strength, were steadily drifting away from one another. In 1848 they succeeded in electing Taylor president and Fillmore vice-president, by means of nominating a popular and successful general, without a platform; but the success was deceptive. All through the administration of Taylor and Fillmore the two great parties were shifting their material. In the south, pro-slavery whigs went into the democratic party; in the north, anti-slavery democrats went into the free-soil party. Thus the democratic party, while remaining national, was becoming unbalanced, and stronger in the south than in the north. The northern whigs, abandoned by all the factions, were the only stationary feature in the political kaleidoscope; and in the presidential election of 1852 they were left completely in the lurch by their former southern associates.


—The Taylor administration proposed, as a solution of the territorial question, the immediate erection of the territories into states, with full power to govern their own affairs. This was followed out in the case of California, because of the discovery of gold in it and the consequent increase of population. In the other territories, Utah and New Mexico, both sections were content, in 1850, to ignore the Wilmot proviso and leave the question untouched. (See COMPROMISES, V.) The whole difficulty was thus covered out of sight for a time. But there was an uneasy feeling that further difficulties were not far off, and that the country was in worse shape to meet them, not only from the shifting of parties, but from the changes of leaders. In the four years before 1853, Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Polk and Taylor had died; and the new men who took their places can hardly be ranked as first-class men. Most of them had laid the foundations of their political characters in the belief that the great business of politics was to evade and ignore slavery. The abler men were those who had an active programme to offer, the radicals of both sections; Jefferson Davis in the south, and Seward, Sumner and Chase in the north. Thus all the ability in politics was a sign of disunion. The same tendency was shown in every direction. Calhoun's speech of March 4, 1850, is a clear statement of the manner in which the political, ecclesiastical and social cords that held the Union together were being snapped in every direction. Even the churches obeyed the general impulse, and divided into churches "north" and "south": only the Roman Catholic and Episcopal organizations, of those which had a national extent, were able to resist it. When the whig party succumbed to it, after the presidential election of 1852, there was no great tie left, except the national organization of the democratic party, and that had lost much of its spirit. It is a remarkable evidence of the innate strength of the American Union that the two fragments of the planet, thus rent asunder by slavery before 1852, should for nine years longer have gone in close and parallel courses, held by such weak ties, before the force of repulsion finally mastered them.


—In spite of the general uneasiness in respect to the future, the first four years after the compromise of 1850 passed quietly, except for the excitement attending the execution of the new fugitive slave law, and the opening movements of the attempts to obtain new slave territory by "filibustering." (See FUGITIVE SLAVE LAW, FILIBUSTERS, OSTEND MANIFESTO.) In 1854 the slavery question was again brought on the political field in larger proportions than ever by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which virtually repealed the Missouri compromise. (See KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL.) The passage of the law not only provoked but compelled a struggle between the sections, for it threw between them the territory of Kansas, as a prize for the more active. Slave state immigrants and free state immigrants were at once arrayed against one another; and the struggle continued for more than four years, marked by all sorts of fraud and violence, and most of the characteristics of civil war. (See KANSAS.) The struggle, at any rate, cut away the dead material from politics. It put an end to the whig party. Many of its members endeavored to galvanize its corpse, and reunite its southern and northern portions, by introducing opposition to foreigners as an issue paramount to slavery; but the attempt was a failure. (See AMERICAN PARTY.) In 1856 the American party nominated presidential candidates, Fillmore and Donelson; and their defeat put an end to their party. When the boards were cleared, it was found that there were but two rivals in politics: the democratic party, having a national organization, strong in the south, and weaker in the north; and the republican party, sectional of necessity, and confined to the north. (See DEMOCRATIC PARTY, V.; REPUBLICAN PARTY, I.) This division made the election of 1856 almost entirely sectional, Fremont, the republican candidate, carrying most of the northern states, and Buchanan, the democratic candidate, carrying the southern states, with enough northern states to elect him. (See ELECTORAL VOTES, XVIII.) But Fremont's defeat was a Pyrrhic victory for slavery. For the first time in our history an electoral vote had been east for a candidate pledged against the extension of slavery; and his party had so nearly united the free states that he was defeated only by the failure of Pennsylvania and Illinois to vote for him. Both these states were evidently drifting straight to the republican party, and it was not difficult to forecast the result of the next election, unless some great change of policy took place in one section or the other.


—No such change took place: on the contrary, both sections became more aggressive. The administration, since 1852, had steadily sustained the southern view, that the constitution protected property, recognized slaves as property, and therefore protected slavery in the territories, while they were territories. In 1857 the supreme court also sustained the southern view. (See DRED SCOTT CASE.) This was the last re-enforcement which the south could hope for, and it was a failure. The dominant party of the north received it with more wrath than respect, and answered it with an increase of state laws to nullify or modify the fugitive slave law. (See PERSONAL LIBERTY LAWS.) A few of the bolder advanced the skirmish line of the war which was to follow, and attempted a fugitive slave migration on a grand scale. (See BROWN, JOHN.) Kansas had achieved her destiny, and had really become a free state; there was little on the surface to fight about; and yet the wider divergence of the sections was yearly becoming more apparent.


—During Buchanan's administration the first conflict took place with the Mormons in Utah, and they made a nominal submission. (See MORMONS.) The admission of California in 1850, Minnesota in 1858, and Oregon in 1859, increased the number of states to 33; but the increase was a new danger to slavery. The south had always abandoned the control of the house of representatives to the superior numbers of the north, while the admission of states had been calculated as carefully as possible to secure to the south an equal share in the senate, without whose assent no law could be passed. For the first sixty years after 1789, each new free state was balanced by a new slave state; but this process had now ceased to be possible. Texas was the last slave state that ever was admitted; and since its admission five new free states had come in, Kansas was in readiness, and the germs of others had appeared. If this majority of free states was to continue the previous drift to the republican party, that party would soon control both houses of congress, elect the president, and pass such laws as it pleased. Nor was the supreme court safe from it: if the natural change in its personnel by death and appointments to fill vacancies should prove too slow a process, a law to increase the number of justices would quicken it and put the Dred Scott decision at the mercy of a republican majority. This was the underlying danger, seldom referred to but often thought of, which compelled slavery to strike for its life while it yet had time.


—In 1860 the last of the old natural cords which held the Union together was snapped by the disruption of the democratic party. (See DEMOCRATIC PARTY, V.) There were now four parties in the political field, a northern democratic party, a southern democratic party, a republican party, and a "constitutional union" party. (See the names of the two latter.) In the election the free states at last became practically unanimous, and Abraham Lincoln was elected president by the republicans. It should be noted, however, that in the congress which was to make the laws during the first half of his administration, the republicans were in a decided minority. Nevertheless, his election by a union of the free states against the slave states offered a casus belli which southern leaders were not disposed to neglect. Secession was begun by South Carolina; the six other gulf states followed at once; and in February, 1861, the seceding states formed a new government under the name of the "Confederate States of America." The forts, custom houses, mints, navy yards, and public buildings of the United States within the seceding states were seized, and the few regular soldiers were compelled to surrender, except at the forts near Key West, Fort Pickens, at Pensacola, and Fort Sumter, in Charleston harbor; and the two latter were closely invested. Buchanan was successful in keeping the peace until the end of his term; but, when Lincoln was inaugurated, the authority of the United States was suspended in the gulf states, from South Carolina to Texas. (See, in general,SECESSION; CONFERENCE, PEACE; CONFEDERATE STATES; BUCHANAN.)


—6. The Rebellion, 1861-5. Early in April, President Lincoln decided to put an end to the almost successful process of starving out Fort Sumter, and sent a provision fleet to supply it. The batteries around it at once opened fire on the fort, and it surrendered April 14. Then followed a call for troops to suppress the rebellion, and a declaration of war by the confederate states, early in May, against the United States. The first attempt at "coercing" the seceding states was followed by the secession of the southern tier of border states, North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas, and of Virginia in the northern tier. Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri refused to secede. (See BORDER STATES, and the names of the states). These secessions brought the area of the confederacy to its maximum.


—The financial history of the war is fully given elsewhere. (See FINANCE, BANKING IN THE UNITED STATES, INTERNAL REVENUE, DISTILLED SPIRITS, INCOME TAX, TARIFF.) An outline of its military and naval history is elsewhere given. (See REBELLION, ALABAMA CLAIMS, GENEVA AWARD.) Its political history is also given elsewhere. (See ABOLITION, III, EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION; HABEAS CORPUS; REPUBLICAN PARTY, II.; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, VI.; DRAFTS; RECONSTRUCTION, I.) At the close of the rebellion no one was criminally punished for participation in it. (See TREASON, AMNESTY.) Almost the only civil victim was President Lincoln, who was assassinated just after the fall of Richmond. (See his name).


—Three states were admitted during this period: Kansas in 1861, West Virginia in 1863, and Nevada in 1864.


—7. Reconstruction, 1865-70. The war of the rebellion and its result are usually regarded as the decisive proofs of the stability of the American form of government. And yet the five years following were, for it, a still more crucial test. The formation of the confederacy made the theatre of war pseudo foreign soil during the rebellion; and the territory remaining under the direct control of the United States government was spared many of those effects of war which are most evil to a republic. And those evils which were felt were met with the reserve power arising from years of peaceful constitutional discussion and long settled habits of political thinking. The difficulties of reconstructing the Union were to be met without any such reserve power, and even with the counteracting influences of the passion of war and victory. That the reconstruction should have been accomplished under such difficulties, and yet with so little alteration of the spirit of the system, is the most decisive proof that the American system is impregnably fixed in the affections of the people. It is easy to find blunders and contradictions in the process: it is far harder to find any difference in the status of New York and Mississippi, now that the smoke has cleared away.


—When the war began, there was a general idea that any seceding state might again secure its former privileges in the Union on the simple conditions of ceasing hostilities and organizing a loyal state government. Under this theory the so-called "Pierpont" government of Virginia was recognized as the government of the state; its consent to the organization of the new state of West Virginia was accepted as valid; and its senators and representatives were admitted to congress. As the war grew warmer, and slavery was attacked, the original simple plan of reconstruction was necessarily modified. The executive President Lincoln, first, and afterward President Johnson, only modified it so far as to require an assent to the abolition of slavery as an additional requisite: the repudiation of the ordinances of secession and of the state war debts seems to have been required only as an evidence of loyalty and good faith. In congress there was a growing belief after 1862, that the national government, by legislation and its execution, should supervise the process of reconstruction, fix the qualifications of voters, and decide on its satisfactory completion. As this belief grew stronger, the southern members admitted under the influence of the original theory were excluded from congress; the reconstructed governments of Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana were carefully ignored; and, as far as possible, all evidences of the original theory were wiped out. President Johnson still held fast to it, and in 1865 the remaining states of the defunct confederacy were reconstructed under his leadership. This reconstruction was still ignored by congress, which proposed, officially and unofficially, terms of its own. These became harder as the resistance of the southern people, backed by President Johnson and the democratic party of the north, was overcome, until in 1867 negro suffrage and the disfranchisement of leading confederates became a part of the terms. Reconstruction was then carried out under military supervision; most of the seceding states were readmitted in 1868; and in February, 1871, all the states were represented in congress, for the first time since December, 1860. (See, in general,RECONSTRUCTION.) During this period three amendments to the constitution were ratified (See CONSTITUTION, III.); Nebraska was admitted as a state; and Alaska was purchased. (See ANNEXATIONS, VI.)


—During the struggle between congress and the president over reconstruction, other acts were passed over his veto (See FREEDMEN'S BUREAU, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL, TENURE OF OFFICE, VETO, JOHNSON); and the struggle ended in an unsuccessful impeachment of the president in 1868. See IMPEACHMENTS, VI.) In the presidential election of 1868 the republicans were successful in electing Gen. Grant.


—8. The Republicans, 1870-84. The congressional plan of reconstruction had undoubtedly had a view to the party advantage which would come from a unanimous negro vote for the republican party in the south. But, during Grant's two terms of office, this advantage almost entirely disappeared. One after another, the reconstructed governments of the south passed under the control of the white voters, until the last of them, South Carolina and Louisiana, followed the others in the opening months of the Hayes administration, in 1877, and the so-called "solid south" was formed. (See, in general,KU-KLUX KLAN; INSURRECTION, II; RECONSTRUCTION, III.) As one result of the struggle to maintain the reconstructed governments, there was a secession from the republican party in 1872, under the name of "liberal republicans"; but its only immediate result was the re-election of Grant, and the defeat of the democrats and liberals. An indirect result was the reinstatement of the democrats as a national party, by their abandonment of their opposition to the consequences of the war. (See LIBERAL REPUBLICAN PARTY; DEMOCRATIC PARTY, VI.)


—The loose methods of dealing with large amounts, which had grown up during the war, became more noticeable as the expenses of the government decreased, and the inevitable result, during Grant's two terms, was a great crop of public scandals. (See CRÉDIT MOBILIER; WHISKY RING; IMPEACHMENTS, VII.; SALARY GRAB.) An effort was made to reform the civil service, but it was a failure for the time. (See CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.) In 1873 a period of financial depression set in; it continued for several years, and had considerable influence on politics. It helped to give the democrats a majority in the house of representatives which met in 1875, and it brought to the surface of politics a struggle between "hard money" and "soft money," between a resumption of specie payments and a continuance of paper emissions. The republican party was first brought under control, and, before it lost the house of representatives in 1875, it had passed an act to resume specie payments Jan. 1, 1879. The democrats opposed the act, and, in their national platform of 1876, demanded its repeal on the ground that it was premature and an impediment to resumption. A third party grew up rapidly, which opposed resumption altogether. (See GREENBACK PARTY.) In spite of the opposition, the republican support of the act was successful, and resumption took place on the date assigned.


—In foreign affairs, the great interest of Grant's two terms was in the treaty of Washington of 1871. It submitted to arbitration the various unsettled questions pending between the United States and Great Britain. (See ALABAMA CLAIMS; GENEVA ARBITRATION; TREATIES, FISHERY; NORTHWEST BOUNDARY.) There was an unsuccessful attempt to annex San Domingo. (See SAN DOMINGO.) In October, 1873, a Spanish vessel captured the "Virginius," which was carrying recruits and supplies to the insurgents in Cuba, and a number of those on board were shot. For a time there was a probability of war, for the "Virginius" was sailing under the United States flag; but it was shown clearly that she had forfeited her right to carry it.


—Indian affairs were much disturbed. An attempt in 1873 to remove the little tribe of Modocs from southern Oregon to a reservation was only successful after a war which was made difficult by the character of the country, a region of extinct volcanoes, abounding in hiding places. In 1876 the Sioux Indians in Montana left their agencies: Gen. Custer attacked the whole tribe with but five companies, and was killed with his whole party. The Sioux were then driven into British America.


—The presidential election of 1876 fell into complete confusion, but ended in the success of the republicans, and the inauguration of President Hayes. (See DISPUTED ELECTIONS, IV.; RETURNING BOARDS; ELECTORAL COMMISSION; ELECTORS.) He withdrew the troops which had been supporting the reconstructed governments of Louisiana and South Carolina, and these also passed under the control of the white voters. The whole administration was a welcome period of unwonted calm in politics. Its only serious breaks were the attempts of the democratic majority in the house to repeal some of the war legislation (See RIDERS, VETO), and the transfer of public interest to silver. An act of 1870 had made the bonds of the United States payable in "coin"; and, as silver was falling in price, the act of Feb. 12, 1873, dropped the silver dollar from the list of United States coins. In 1878 a general vote of both parties passed the "Bland silver bill" over the veto. It made the silver dollar a legal tender for public and private debts, and directed its recoinage at the rate of not less than $2,000,000 a month. (See COINAGE, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE.) In the close of this and the beginning of the following terms the national debt was refunded, its term lengthened, and its interest charges largely decreased. (See FINANCE.)


—In the presidential election of 1880 the republicans were successful, and Garfield was elected president. His death, in September, 1881, left his office to President Arthur. (See both names, and EXECUTIVE, IV.) In the domestic politics of the country the controlling interest of his term has centred upon the tariff. (See that article.) There have also been efforts in various southern states to form third parties, under various names, in which both whites and blacks could join, in order to break up the "color line" in politics. These have been supported by the administration, but have not been successful, except in Virginia, and, in part, in Tennessee. (See those states.) In the inevitable reform of the civil service a great step in advance has been taken, and for the first time the public sentiment of the country has supported it strongly (See SPOILS SYSTEM, REMOVALS.)


—In foreign affairs, Chinese immigration has been restricted in accordance with the terms of a treaty negotiated under the preceding administration. (See CHINESE IMMIGRATION.) The proposed cutting of a canal through the isthmus of Panama, under French control, brought up the idea that the Monroe doctrine (see that article) required the control of the canal to be in the United States. The Garfield administration began a diplomatic correspondence to that end with Great Britain, which was dropped by its successor. Peru had begun a war against Chili, and had been completely conquered; and the United States interfered to prevent the extreme spollation of the conquered nation. But, as Chili refused to yield to moral force, and the United States was not disposed to use physical force, the interference came to nothing. There was some fear of difficulty with Great Britain on the question of extradition, which had long been troublesome. (See EXTRADITION.) There had been for years an enormous immigration from Ireland to the United States. (See EMIGRATION.) A very large part of it was the real or imagined result of former English misgovernment in Ireland. As might have been expected, this class of immigrants gave a warm support to revolutionary movements in Ireland, but there was no remedy for it, since their support did not pass beyond legitimate bounds. The further question whether refugees charged with violence are subject to extradition, or are insured against it by the political purpose and character of their acts, has not yet been formally and officially raised (1884).—(See, in general, the names of the various persons and political parties mentioned; ADMINISTRATIONS, for the presidents, vice-presidents and cabinet officers; CONGRESS, SESSIONS OF, for the duration of congresses, the speakers of the house, and their parties; JUDICIARY, II., for justices of the supreme courts; the names of the various states for their political leaders; ELECTORAL VOTES.)


—Presidential electors are chosen in such manner as the legislature of each state shall direct. Until about 1824 the general rule was that electors were chosen directly by the state legislatures, and choice by popular vote was exceptional. Since 1824 choice by popular vote has been the rule, except in South Carolina until 1868. (See ELECTORS.) The electoral votes for all the elections are elsewhere given. (See ELECTORAL VOTES.) The popular votes at the elections since 1824 are given in the tables shown on pages 1001, 1002. In each election the name of the successful candidate for president is placed first. (For full names, and names of candidates for vice-president, see the names of the parties under the year.)

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.




—1. General Character of the Union. The Union is an anomaly in at least one respect: it is the only great nation in which the location of sovereign power is, and has always been, a fairly disputed point. No one has any doubt as to the location of sovereign power in Russia, France or Great Britain; but in regard to the United States there are almost as many opinions as there are commentators. There is a general agreement that sovereign power is in "the people of the United States," by whose will the constitution, which governs the government, was established; but this only pushes back the difficulty one step further to an equally general disagreement about this "people of the United States." In this general disagreement there are three great divisions of opinion, as follows: 1st. The people of the United States is the people of the several states, each having sovereign control over its own life and action, its entrance to the Union, its continuance therein, and its departure therefrom. (See STATE SOVEREIGNTY, and the authorities under it.) This would make the Union continuously voluntary on the part of each state, and would make each state the sovereign and protector not only of its own life, but of the life of the Union within its borders. It is contradicted by the facts of our history, and fell at the first attempt to enforce it in practice. (See SECESSION.) 2d. The people of the United States is the people of the several states, holding sovereignty only as a unit, the people of those states which voluntarily remain united (including the doctrine of possible state-lapse); and the possession of sovereignty by the people as a mass is nothing but an hypothesis, and has no political consequences whatever, except as some person or persons may succeed in using sovereign power in the name of such people. This has been best elaborated by J. C. Hurd, as cited below. It is objectionable because, as Mr. Hurd not only acknowledges, but maintains, it makes the national government really sovereign. "Sovereign governments" are the very things to escape which the American people was organized; and if it should ever unwittingly become subject to one, it would very soon provide a new means of escape. 3d. The people of the United States is the national people, organized by its own general will into a nation, and divided by its own general will into states. The existence of nation and states alike is bottomed on the same foundation, the ultimate sovereignty of the whole people, which has as yet shown itself only in this attitude of protection. In other respects it rules only through its ministers, the state and national governments, and no crisis has yet proved too great to be met through one or other of these agencies. This view has been best elaborated by Jameson, as cited below. The objection to it is that the national people has never yet acted politically as a unit, but always under the state formation. Nevertheless, it has been adopted in this series of articles as apparently the least objectionable of all. If it is correct, the sovereign power of the United States depends for its strength upon its unanimity, and is least palpable when it is most nearly unanimous, and, consequently, strongest. As it is now practically unanimous on the questions of state and national existence, it is wholly impalpable, and agencies or ministers only are visible. Of course, so distant a sovereignty will appear to many to be worse than no sovereignty at all; but it seems to the writer that its distance is just the reason that the American people has always been satisfied with it, and that there is as yet no symptom of a desire to replace king Log by king Stork. At any rate, enough has been said to call attention to one of the most curious features of the American Union. (See STATE SOVEREIGNTY, NATION.)


—In its first form the government of the United Colonies, or United States, was revolutionary, depending for its powers solely on the general obedience of the national people. It received no powers from state governments or state peoples, and asked for none; on the contrary, the states were at first consciously and confessedly dependent on it even for their existence and defense. As the danger from the enemy became less urgent, the authority of the revolutionary government waned, and that of the state legislatures increased, until they assumed the ungranted power to frame a national government by the articles of confederation. As no such power had been granted to them by their state peoples, it also could have been valid only by the general acquiescence of the national people in the surrender of power by their revolutionary government. The same objection holds good to the convention of 1787, as bottomed on the sovereign power of the states, either separately or collectively: there was no warrant in any state constitution or in the articles of confederation for the selection of delegates by the state legislatures, or for the action of congress in standing sponsor to the convention. It seems to have represented only the universal, and, consequently, sovereign, will of the people of the whole country, that the form of government should be changed, but that the change should impair state rights as little as possible. Even in the ratifications, the same quiet pressure of the national will was the controlling factor. Without it, if the consideration and decision of each state had really been entirely autonomous, as it purported to be, the present constitution would never have gone into effect, for it would have been rejected by at least six states, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Virginia. All these states ratified only in deference to the general will, as represented by heavy minorities in their own states and heavy majorities in the others. In this case, as in all others, the sovereign power avoided the use, or suggestion, of force, and only materialized itself so far as was absolutely necessary. If the constitution had been rejected, the sovereign power would have materialized itself further; very few men at the time doubted that, or wished to make the step necessary. That the states yielded to this sovereign power without the employment of force is no impeachment of the power of the sovereign. If that were so, every peaceful presidential election would make the sovereign power more doubtful. (See CONGRESS, CONTINENTAL; CONFEDERATION, ARTICLES OF; CONVENTION OF 1787; CONSTITUTION; STATE SOVEREIGNTY.)


—Under this third form of government, the constitution of the United States, the country still continues. It restricts the power of the states in many points, and it grants many powers to the national government; and by one of the amendments, but still more by the whole spirit of the instrument, it maintains the states in all powers not forbidden, and forbids to the national government the exercise of all powers not granted by it. (See CONSTRUCTION.) The operation of its provision for admitting new states, with the successive acquisitions of new territory, has given the country for which the constitution was made its present shape. There are now (1883) thirty-eight states, eight organized territories, two unorganized territories, and a federal district. The states are self-governing commonwealths in all points reserved to them by the federal constitution, and their state governments take cognizance of everything not forbidden to them by the federal constitution or by their state constitutions. The territories are theoretically in absolute subjection to the federal government; but the consistent policy of the federal government has always been to grant self-government to them as rapidly as possible, in order to encourage their conversion into states. (See TERRITORIES; ANNEXATIONS; and the names and admissions of the states under CONSTITUTION, I.)


—All through the state and territorial organizations runs the national organization, acting on individuals, however, not on states, with the exception of the judicial veto referred to hereafter. It is limited by the oath of its members to respect and obey the federal constitution, by the power of the judiciary to nullify or veto those of its acts which are unwarranted by the constitution, and by the general disposition of the people to punish by the ballot any unwarranted assumption of power. The last is incomparably the most important safeguard, without which the others would be worthless; and it is the only form in which the ultimate sovereignty of the United States exhibits itself. Attempts have been made to substitute for it the will of an individual state, but they have been failures (See NULLIFICATION); and it is now settled that the individual owes his privileges as a state citizen to the will of the whole people, not to that of his state. If the federal government assumes ungranted powers, its acts are void. The final decision upon their validity is entrusted to the supreme court in matters on which a case can be made up; in other matters, the decision is left to the voters in the presidential and congressional elections. It is, therefore, but partly true, that the supreme court is the arbiter of disputed constitutional questions. If a state government assumes ungranted powers, or if a state people in forming a state constitution, insert a provision in conflict with the federal constitution, these acts are also void; but in these cases the supreme court is the sole final arbiter. (See JUDICIARY.)


—As a general rule, then, it must be admitted that the state must yield, in a conflict with the federal government, when the federal judiciary has finally pronounced against her, and that the state is subordinate, though not subject. But every unprejudiced observer must admit, that, in any such conflict, the state has a greater prospect of success than the federal government, even in the federal supreme court. (See State Rights, under STATE SOVEREIGNTY.) Even in the matter of the last two amendments to the federal constitution, carefully drawn for the express purpose of curbing state action, the federal judiciary in 1883 is interpreting them far more favorably to the states than any state court would have done in 1873. If the state should choose to carry the conflict further, into forcible resistance, her citizens are bound to take sides against her, and with the more direct representative of the general will. (See TREASON, ALLEGIANCE.)


Division of Powers. The federal government has been proved by experience to be an exceedingly simple and effective piece of machinery. It has served as a model for the constitutions of new states, and the constitutions of the original states have been so changed as to follow it. Its leading characteristic is its careful division of the powers of government into three departments. The power of legislation is given to two houses, co-ordinate in rank and power, but with different constituencies. The executive power is given to a single person, with a limited veto on the legislative: he is responsible to the legislative department by impeachment, but is not elected by it. The power to interpret the laws, and to veto such as are in conflict with the will of the people, as expressed in the constitution, is given to an organized judiciary. Most of the state constitutions follow this division of powers exactly, except for their restrictions on the powers of the legislative. (See RIDERS.) Where they differ from it, it is mainly on three points: the election of the executive by the legislative, in default of a choice by popular vote; the greater or less limitation of the executive veto power (See VETO); or the election of judges by popular vote or by the legislative, and for a term of years, while the federal judges hold by appointment of the executive, and during good behavior. (See JUDICIARY, ELECTIVE; STATE CONSTITUTIONS.)


Amendments. Amendments are made in the same manner as the original constitution, by convention and ratification (See this subject fully treated under CONVENTION, CONSTITUTIONAL): or by proposition of congress and ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. In the states the same is true, except that the proposition is by the legislature or convention, and the ratification is by popular vote. There is no point in the state constitutions in which amendment is forbidden, and but one (Art. V.) in the federal constitution: "no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the senate." (See also COMPROMISES, III., VI.) Its terms forbid the passage of any amendment to strike out this prohibition. It must be confessed that the terms of the articles of confederation, forbidding any amendment not ratified by all the state legislatures, were still more sweeping, and yet that a way was found to override their letter and spirit by the adoption of the constitution. But the single prohibition of the constitution has a far stronger safeguard in the universal will that it shall be maintained. (See, for amendments ratified and for amendments proposed, CONSTITUTION, III.)


Citizenship. From the beginning the constitution took citizens as it found them, made so by state laws, and only interfered to secure to the citizens of each state the privileges and immunities of citizens in the other states. It was and is possible, for example, for a person who has only declared his intention to become naturalized, to be a state citizen by state laws, and thus to vote at congressional and presidential elections. When the abolition of slavery had been accomplished, the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments were made parts of the constitution. There was at first a strong disposition to take them as having transferred from the states to the federal government the whole control of citizenship and suffrage. But the authoritative interpretation of them by the supreme court has since shown that they are exactly in the line of the original interference of the constitution; that they are restrictive, not constructive; and that they are to prevent unjust discrimination by the state, not to assume the state's former functions. (For a full discussion of this subject, (See NATIONALITY, LAW OF; SUFFRAGE.)—2.The Federal Legislative; the Congress. Congress, or "the congress," as it is properly called, is made up of two houses, the house of representatives and the senate. The house of representatives has (1883-5) 325 members, elected by the states in proportion to population. (See APPORTIONMENT.) The senate has 76 members, two from each state. Laws must be passed by a majority vote of both houses, and approved by the president, though the disapproval of the latter may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses. (See VETO.) The legislative powers of congress are considered elsewhere. (See CONGRESS, POWERS OF.) The house has the sole power to prefer, and the senate to try, impeachments. (See IMPEACHMENTS.) The senate is an executive council in the matters of treaties and appointments. (See TREATIES, JAY'S TREATY, CONFIRMATION BY THE SENATE.) Each house has its own officers and rules, and its own distinctive features. (See, in general, CONGRESS; SENATE; HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES; CONGRESS, SESSIONS OF; PARLIAMENTARY LAW.)


—3. The Federal Executive; the President. The executive power is given to a president, elected by electors for a term of four years. (See ELECTORS AND ELECTORAL SYSTEM.) He is commander-in-chief of the army and navy; he has power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment; he makes appointments, and concludes treaties, with the concurrence of the senate; he takes care that the laws are faithfully executed, and is responsible to congress by impeachment. (See EXECUTIVE, MESSAGE, IMPEACHMENT, CONFIRMATION BY THE SENATE, TREATIES, JAY'S TREATY, TENURE OF OFFICE.) With him is elected a vice-president, who presides over the senate, and succeeds to the presidency in case of the death, resignation, removal or inability of the president. (See EXECUTIVE, V.) The list of presidents and vice-presidents is given elsewhere. (See ADMINISTRATIONS.)


Departments. The subordinates of the executive are divided into seven departments—the departments of state, the treasury, war, the navy, the interior, justice, and the postoffice. The heads of these departments form what is called the cabinet, though that title is wholly extra-constitutional. The cabinet functions of the heads of departments depend entirely on the right given to the president by the constitution to "require the opinion in writing of the principal officer in each of the executive departments upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices"; and "cabinet meetings," in the form which they have taken, depend on the president's will. The functions of the various departments and their heads are strictly defined by law (See ADMINISTRATIONS, and the articles on the various departments.) One department, that of agriculture, has been so constituted by law, while its head is not recognized as a cabinet officer. Each department has its own building at the national capital, the city of Washington, where its business is transacted and its records are kept. (See CAPITAL, NATIONAL.) Each department has its subdivisions, called bureaus. The most numerous are those of the department of the interior, as follows: Indian affairs, pensions, patents, public lands, census and education. In like manner customs, internal revenue, the currency, the coast survey, the lighthouses, and statistics, are under control of the treasury department.


—The appointment and removal of the subordinate officials of the departments is, in general, the province of the president. (See TENURE OF OFFICE, CONFIRMATION BY THE SENATE.) In the practical execution of his powers, the president has come to rely upon the advice of heads of departments, members of congress, and leading politicians of his own party in the various states. The public service has thus come to be the cement for party organizations (See NOMINATING CONVENTIONS); and its efficiency has been seriously injured. (See SPOILS SYSTEM, PATRONAGE.) In 1883 the passage of the so-called Pendleton bill made a serious inroad into the system which had controlled appointments and removals for the preceding half century. It authorized the application, after July 16, 1883, of the system of appointments and promotions by examination to public offices in which there are fifty or more employés. (See CIVIL SERVICE REFORM.)


—4. The Federal Judiciary. The organization and powers of the supreme court, the circuit courts, the district courts and the territorial courts of the United States are given elsewhere. (See JUDICIARY.) The judges hold office during good behavior, and are responsible only through the long and doubtful process of impeachment. There is also a court of claims, which deals with claims against the United States; with an appeal to the supreme court.


—5. The State Legislatures. The organization of these bodies is given elsewhere. (See ASSEMBLY.) Their powers of legislation cover the whole field of subjects not prohibited to them by the federal constitution or their several state constitutions, so that, in general terms, they control all matters pertaining peculiarly and exclusively to their several states. They regulate the right of suffrage within their states, under certain limitations. (See SUFFRAGE.) They elect United States senators, and prescribe the manner of the election of presidential electors, and, in default of action by congress, of representatives also. (See ELECTORS, APPORTIONMENT, GERRYMANDER, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.) It is, therefore, not an uncommon event for the elections in a few doubtful legislative districts to rise to a national importance, since their result may decide the political complexion of a legislature which is to choose a United States senator, and his election may decide the political complexion of the United States senate and the general character of United States laws. A minor local election may thus be of the very greatest moment to the country at large. In matters which are peculiarly of state interest, the tendency is to limit both the duration and the powers of the legislature: the former by making sessions biennial; the latter by requiring general, instead of special, legislation. (See RIDERS; and, in general, see CAUCUS SYSTEM, PRIMARY ELECTIONS.)


—6. The State Executive; the Governor. When the colonies were transformed into states, at the beginning of the revolution, their executive was regularly styled president. The appropriation of this title to the national executive by the constitution led to the universal adoption of the title of governor for the state executives. At present all the state constitutions provide that "the executive power of the state shall be vested in a governor": some of them vary it by calling it the "supreme" or "chief" executive power; and two, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, give the governor the title of "his excellency." Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island elect the governor for one year; New Jersey and Pennsylvania, for three years; and the other states, for either two or four years. (See the names of the several states and STATE CONSTITUTIONS.) The only qualifications are those of age (usually thirty years), residence and citizenship. The chief executive officers, under the governor, are the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, auditor or comptroller, treasurer and attorney general, regularly chosen by election, though some of them are appointed in some of the states. To these offices are frequently added others, such as superintendent of public instruction or public works, inspector of prisons, etc. In Florida and North Carolina these subordinate officers are the governor's cabinet, or council of state; in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, an advisory body, called a council, is elected by the people; in the other states there is no council, but in most of them the governor may call for his subordinates' opinions or advice in writing. A vacancy in the governor's office is generally filled by the lieutenant governor, president of the senate, and speaker of the house, in the order named.


—The governor, as the representative of the state's physical force, has power to execute the laws, preserve the peace, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion. In this capacity he is given various titles, from the simple title of "commander-in-chief" to the higher distinction (in Rhode Island) of "captain-general and commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state." He has the power of pardon or reprieve, though in many of the states the council, or a special board of pardons, shares the power with him. In most of the states he has a more or less limited veto power. (See VETO.)


—7. The State Judiciaries. The state constitutions agree in giving judicial powers to justices of the peace, to a supreme (or superior) court, and to such inferior courts as may be established by the constitution in some states, or by law in others. The inferior courts are usually circuit or district courts, county or parish courts under various names, probate, orphans', surrogate's or prerogative courts, and a great variety of minor criminal and city courts. A few states retain the court of chancery, together with a court of errors and appeals from both common law and equity courts; but in most of the states the supreme court has also equity jurisdiction. In Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the supreme court is to give its opinion on constitutional questions whenever requested to do so by the executive or legislative.


—The most marked tendencies in the historical development of the state judiciaries have been toward a codification of the statutes, and an elective judiciary. (See JUDICIARY, ELECTIVE.) The former tendency has been formally resisted by a few states, but even in these it has had great influence upon the practice in the courts; while, in those states which have fully yielded to it, it has radically altered the practice. The latter tendency, to an elective judiciary, seems to be in some manner akin to the former, for the states which have resisted or succumbed to the one have generally done the same with the other. Both innovations are due to the advancing spirit of democracy, and it therefore seems probable that all the states will finally yield to both, though at different times and in different degrees. Codification has been adopted in part by congress for the federal judiciary, but the constitution has as yet proved an insuperable barrier to an elective federal judiciary. (See JUDICIARY, VII.)


—The reader's attention has been directed, in another article (See State Rights, under STATE SOVEREIGNTY), to the vigorous individuality of life which characterizes the states, and which does not need the stimulant of a delusive "sovereignty." The American federal system has certainly proved a very powerful check to the tendency of a democracy to reduce all men to uniformity as well as political equality; and it can hardly be said that any part of the federal system has contributed more largely to state individuality than the state judiciaries. State constitutions have come to look somewhat as if they were cast in one mould, and state laws as if they were made after one pattern; but the state judiciary, which finally and authoritatively interprets both, retains and gives full force in the interpretation to every tradition, prejudice and peculiarity of the state life. State legislatures are naturally very prone to enact innovations only on the strength of their success in other states, and, perhaps, under very dissimilar circumstances; but that must be a very reasonable innovation indeed which can pass unscathed the gauntlet of the state courts, and make for itself a permanent place in its new location. The divergences of form are no less marked than the divergences in spirit. However similar the forms of the states may be in other respects, their courts exhibit the most bewildering diversity of form, name and jurisdiction. Lawyers are apt to complain of such a diversity, and to wish that courts and practice were uniform throughout the states. It is to be feared that the wish, if it were granted, would bring far more serious and pregnant evils in its train than those of the present diversity.


—IV. STATISTICS. 1. Area and Population. Exclusive of Alaska, the land area of the United States is 2,970,000 square miles, and the water area 55,600 square miles; total, 3,025,600 square miles. Until 1880 the census made the total area 3,026,494 square miles; but careful remeasurements have altered the recorded areas of all the states and territories, and fixed the total as above. The most striking result of the remeasurement is the reduction of the area of California from 188,981 to 158,360 square miles. The area of Alaska can not be considered as even approximately ascertained. It has always been placed at 577,390 square miles, and is so given elsewhere (See ANNEXATIONS); but the areas of its six subdivisions, as estimated by the special agent for the census of 1880, make a total of but 531,409 square miles. The total area of the United States, on the first estimate of Alaska, is 3,602,990 square miles; on the second estimate of Alaska, 3,557,009 square miles.


—The population in 1880 was 50,155,783, excluding Alaska, and was divided as follows: male, 25,518,820; female, 24,636,963—native, 43,475,840; foreign, 6,679,943—white, 43,402,970; colored, 6,580,793; Chinese, 105,465; Japanese, 148; Indians, 66,407. The population of Alaska is given by the special agent as 33,426: 430 white, 1,756 creole, and the rest Innuit and kindred tribes. The ratio of population to square miles of area was 17.29 in 1880; 13.3 in 1870; 10.84 in 1860; and 7.93 in 1850. The number of families in 1880 was 9,945,916, a ratio of 5.04 persons to a family. In 1870 the ratio was 5.09; in 1860 it was 5.28; in 1850 it was 5.56. The territories and Pacific states (except Oregon) have an excess of single men, and low family ratio. In the more eastern states, the lowest ratios of persons to a family are: New Hampshire, 4.32; Connecticut, 4.55; Vermont, 4.55; Maine, 4.58; Rhode Island, 4.59; Massachusetts, 4.70; and New York, 4.71; and the highest, West Virginia, 5.54; Minnesota, 5.45; Kentucky, 5.45; Tennessee, 5.38; Missouri, 5.38; Virginia, 5.36; and Texas, 5.35. There were 8,955,812 dwellings in 1880, or 5.6 persons to a dwelling. The densest urban population was in New York city, where there were 16.37 persons to a dwelling. The five cities which led in population were: New York city (1,206,299), Philadelphia (847,170), Brooklyn, N. Y. (566,663); Chicago, Ill. (503,185), Boston, Mass. (362,839). The one hundredth in rank was Springfield, Ill. (19,743).


—The following table gives the land areas in square miles, the population, the ratio of population to square miles of land area, and the gross land and water areas, in the several states and territories in 1880 (territories in italics). The unorganized Alaska and Indian territories are not included in the ratio, and Alaska is not included in the areas.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Increase of Population. The decennial census has been a feature of the United States government since the establishment of the constitution. (See CENSUS, APPORTIONMENT.) Mr. Bancroft, taking the ground that the ratio of increase was about as constant before the year 1790 as after it, estimates the population of the colonies in the years 1750-90, as follows: 1780, 2,945,000; 1770, 2,312,000; 1760, 2,195,000; 1750, 1,260,000. The census records give the population, at intervals of ten years, and the increase per cent., as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Immigration. No authentic record of immigration is available before 1819. Contemporary writers estimate immigration at 4,000 per annum up to 1794; and Dr. Adam Seybert, in 1818, considered 6,000 per annum, or 180,000 for the whole period 1788-1818, a liberal estimate. The act of March 2, 1819, required quarterly reports of immigrants by collectors of customs, and these have been brought together in the annual reports of the secretaries of state. (See EMIGRATION.)


Centre of Population. This is defined, in Walker's "Statistical Atlas," (1874), as "the point at which equilibrium would be reached were the country taken as a plane surface, itself without weight, but capable of sustaining weight, and loaded with its inhabitants, in number and position as they are found at the period under consideration, each individual being assumed to be of the same gravity as every other, and consequently to exert pressure on the pivotal point directly proportioned to his distance therefrom." On this basis the census bureau has calculated the position of the centre of population, at intervals of ten years, as follows. Its approximate location by important towns, and its westward movement during the preceding ten years, are also given.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


It was, in 1880, in Kentucky, one mile from the Ohio, and one and a half miles southeast of the village of Taylorsville.


Urban Population. The following table shows the growth of the urban population of the United States: it gives, at intervals of ten years, the number of cities of 8,000 or more inhabitants, total population, and its percentage of the total population of the country:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


School, Military and Voting Population. The following table gives the population of school age (male and female, 5 to 17), military age (male, 18 to 44), and voting age (male, 21 and over), in the several states and territories. (Territories are given in italics.)


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Education and Illiteracy. The census of 1880 reports 225,880 public schools in the United States, including 16,800 separate schools for colored children, and 5,430 high schools or high school departments. Pennsylvania stands first with 18,616 schools, New York second with 18,615, Ohio third with 16,473, and Wyoming lowest with 55. The school buildings number 164,832. Pennsylvania stands first in this respect with 12,857 buildings, Ohio second with 12,224, New York third with 11,927, and Wyoming lowest with 29. The total number of teachers is 236,019; white male 96,099, white female 124,086, colored male 10,520, colored female 5,314. The aggregate of months of teachers' service was 1,539,303, at an average monthly salary of $36.21. The monthly average is highest in California ($76.54), and lowest in North Carolina ($21.27). The total number of pupils is 9,090,248: white male 4,687,530, white female 4,402,718, colored male 433,329, colored female 422,583; and the average daily attendance is 6,276,398, 5,715,914 white, and 560,484 colored. The receipts of the public schools, mainly derived from taxation, were $96,857,534; and the value of their school property was $211,411,540. (See, in general,EDUCATION AND THE STATE; EDUCATION, BUREAU OF.)


—The following abstracts are from the report of the commissioner of education for 1880:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The newspapers and periodicals number 11,314, of which 971 are issued daily, 8,633 weekly, and 1,167 monthly. The aggregate circulation per issue is 3,566,395 for the dailies, and 28,213,291 for the others. English is the language of 10,515 of them, and the others range from 641 in German to three in Indian, two each in Chinese, Polish, and Portuguese, and one each in Catalan and Irish.


—Out of a total population of 36,761,607, of ten years old and upward, 4,923,451, or 13.4 per cent., are returned as unable to read, and 6,239,958, or 17 per cent., as unable to write. It must be confessed that these are uncomfortable figures for a republic based on manhood suffrage, but it must be taken into account that they are abnormally increased by the still prevailing illiteracy of the colored race. Of the 32,160,400 white persons of ten years old and upward, the number unable to write is 3,019,080, or 9.4 per cent.; while the corresponding figures for the colored race are a total of 4,601,207, of whom 3,220,878, or 70 per cent., are unable to write. There are 11,343,005 white males of twenty-one years old and upward (voters), and 886,659, or 7.8 per cent., of these are unable to write. There are 1,487,344 colored voters, and 1,022,151, or 68.7 per cent., of these are unable to write. These terrible percentages of colored illiteracy can only be regarded as survivals of antebellum conditions, and private benevolence is supplementing public energy in the effort to reduce them. The Peabody fund distributed $1,191,700 among the southern states for educational purposes during the years 1868-80, and the various missionary associations probably increased the amount to about $10,000,000. The following is a summary of the higher educational institutions in the southern states for the colored race.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.




Agriculture. The total number of farms was 4,008,907 in 1880, against 2,659,985 in 1870, an increase of 50 per cent. The increase was altogether in farms of fifty acres and over; farms of less than fifty acres show a decrease, as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


It will be noticed that the changes for 1870-80 are in exactly the opposite direction to those of 1860-70. The average size of farms was 134 acres in 1880, against 153 acres in 1870, and 199 acres in 1860. The total number of acres in farms was 536,081,835 in 1880 (284,771,042 acres improved), against 407,735,041 in 1870 (188,921,099 improved), and 407,212,538 in 1860 (163,110,720 improved). The value of farms is put at $10,197,096,776 in 1880, $9,262,803,861 in 1870, and $6,645,045,007 in 1860. The value of farming implements and machinery is put at $406,520,055 in 1880, $336,878,429 in 1870, and $246,118,141 in 1860. Production of leading crops was as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


There should be added to the wool production in 1880 about 85,000,000 pounds for the wool of "ranch" and slaughtered sheep, as estimated after special investigation. The value of live stock in 1880 was $1,500,464,609, against $1,525,276,457 in 1870 (the average value of the paper dollar in 1869-70 being 81 cents in gold), and $1,089,329,915 in 1860. The total number of animals was as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


There should be added to the number of sheep in 1880 about 7,000,000 on ranches and public lands, as estimated after special investigation.


Manufactures. The general results of the census in 1880, 1870, and 1860, are as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Out of the 332 manufacturing and mechanical industries specified in the census report of 1880, the following are selected:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


The seven leading states are as follows, arranged according to capital:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


These seven states lead in product also. For other aspects of this branch of the subject See CUSTOMS DUTIES, TARIFF, DISTILLED SPIRITS, EXCISE LAW, INTERNAL REVENUE.




Commerce. The following table gives the specie value of imports and exports of merchandise, 1861-83, each year ending June 30, and the excess of imports or exports:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


The percentage of the total exports and imports of all kinds carried by American vessels (See AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE) was as follows: 1861, 65.2 per cent.; 1862, 50 per cent.; 1863, 41.4 per cent.; 1864, 27.5 per cent.; 1865, 27.7 per cent.; 1866, 32.2 per cent.; 1867, 33.9 per cent.; 1868, 35.1 per cent.; 1869, 33.1 per cent.; 1870, 35.6 per cent.; 1871, 31.8 per cent.; 1872, 29.1 per cent.; 1873, 26.4 per cent.; 1874, 27.2 per cent.; 1875, 26.2 per cent.; 1876, 27.7 per cent.; 1877, 26.9 per cent.; 1878, 26.3 per cent.; 1879, 22.9 per cent.; 1880, 17.6 per cent.; 1881, 16.2 per cent.; 1882, 15.5 per cent.; 1883, 16.3 per cent.


—The following are the exports and imports of merchandise to and from the various countries of the world, for the year ending June 30, 1883:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The following table gives the quantity or value of imported merchandise for the year ending June 30, 1883, by classes, free and dutiable, ordinary duty received, and average rate of duty:


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The following table gives the values of merchandise imported for consumption since 1867, the ordinary duty received, average rate, and consumption and duty per capita of estimated population:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The following table gives the values of the principal classes of exports of domestic merchandise for the year ending June 30, 1883, and the percentage of each to the total:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—The following are the exports and imports of gold and silver bullion since 1860, and the excess of exports or of imports:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—Mr. Mulhall estimates the earnings or income of the world and leading nations for 1880 as follows, in millions of pounds sterling: World, 6,773; United States, 1,406; Great Britain, 1,156; France, 927; Germany, 851; Russia, 632; Austria, 460; Italy, 252; Spain, 186; Holland, 104. In his "Balance Sheet of the World for 1870-80," he gives the following estimates of the capital or wealth of the nations named, and the increase for ten years. The figures are millions of pounds sterling:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Railroads. Following tables are from census report of 1880. The respective groups are composed of the following states and territories: (group I.) Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut; (group II.) New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and District of Columbia; (group III.) Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina; (group IV.) Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota; (group V.) Louisiana, Arkansas and Indian Territory; (group VI.) Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming. Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Miles under construction are included in miles projected.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


The total amount of permanent investments above is made up as follows: construction of roads, $4,112,367,176; equipment, $418,043,458; lands, $103,319,845; stock of other companies, $184,866,527; bonds of other companies, $158,933,605; telegraph lines and miscellaneous, $204,913,196; total, $5,182,445,807. The average per cent. profit upon the capital stock was as follows: Group I., 6.16; Group II., 6.92; Group III., 4.84; Group IV., 7.02; Group V., 5.91; Group VI., 4.86; general average for the United States, 6.32.


—The summary of accidents includes 364 killed and 1,438 injured through causes beyond their own control, and 2,174 killed and 4,174 injured through their own carelessness (For a fuller treatment of the whole subject, See RAILROADS.)


Canals. The canals of the United States in operation in 1880 had a length of 2,515.04 miles, with 411.14 miles of slack water. Their cost of construction was $170,028,636; their gross income was $4,538,620; their total of expenses was $2,954,156; and their freight traffic amounted to 21,044,292 tons. The abandoned canals made up a total length of 1,953.56 miles, constructed at a cost of $44,013,166.


Telegraphs and Telephones. There were, in 1880, 110,726.65 miles of telegraph lines, 291,212.9 miles of wire, and 12,510 stations, employing 14,928 persons in all, 9,661 of whom were operators. The messages sent numbered 31,703,181, of which 3,154,398 were for the press, and 28,548,783 were for the public. Their gross receipts were $16,696,623.38, of which $13,312,116.17 came from messages; and the expenses were $10,218,281, leaving net receipts of $6,573,843.04, including deficits of some companies. Deducting charges of $604,341.27, there was a net income of $5,969,501.77, of which $4,136,749.75 went to dividends. The stock issued for cash was reported at $66,529,200. The total length of telegraph lines in 1883 is probably over 144,000 miles, not including private, railway, government, and other lines, as to which statistics are not obtainable. The telephone statistics were not complete in 1880: they aggregated 148 companies and private concerns, with 34,305 miles of wire, 54,319 receiving telephones, 48,414 subscribers' stations, and 3,338 employés. The total capital stock issued was reported at $13,358,720; debt, $1,247,067; receipts, $3,098,081; expenses, $2,373,703; net income, $770,516; and dividends, $302,730. The length of telephone wires in 1883 is estimated at about 100,000 miles. One company, the American Bell company, with a capital stock of $5,950,000, had in use by license. Jan. 1, 1883, 245,000 telephones, with 69,000 miles of wire.


Tonnage. Full statistics of the merchant service are given elsewhere. (See AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE.) It seems proper to add here the figures for the three years following the close of that article, as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


This was distributed as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


The new vessels built in 1882 and 1883 were as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Occupations. The following table is from the census report of 1880:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


The census report concludes that the figures for the first two classes are to some extent confused by reporting as "laborers" persons who should have been reported as "agricultural laborers." It has thus resulted that the second class shows much the greatest increase of the four classes since 1870. The number of farmers and planters is reported as 4,225,945; of "agricultural laborers," 3,323,876; of "laborers," 1,859,223. The particulars of some of the occupations under the various classes are as follows: clergymen, 64,698; domestic servants, 1,075,655; hotel and restaurant keepers and employés, 133,856; lawyers, 64,137; army and navy, 26,761; civil service, 115,531; physicians and surgeons, 85,671; teachers, 227,710; saloon keepers and bartenders, 68,461; bakers, 41,309; blacksmiths, 172,726; shoemakers, 194,079; butchers, 76,241; cabinet makers, 61,097; carpenters, 373,143; fishermen, 41,352; lumbermen, 43,382; printers, 72,726; tailors and milliners, 419,157; tobacco workers, 77,045.


Valuation and Taxation. The following table presents a summary of the census report on these subjects for 1880:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Maryland and the District of Columbia are placed in the middle states, and Missouri and the Pacific states in the western states.


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


There should be added to the taxation of minor civil divisions of the western states $10,457,783, the estimated amount of taxation so indefinitely reported as to be useless. The total taxation for the western states would then be $129,117,979, and for the United States $312,750,721.


Debt. This subject is fully discussed elsewhere. (See DEBTS, NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL.)




Army. In November, 1882, the army of the United States numbered 25,186, as follows:

Cavalry (ten regiments) 431 6,383
Artillery (five regiments) 280 2,493
Infantry (twenty five regiments) 877 10,767
Miscellaneous 574 3,381
Total 2,162 23,024


The last class included the engineer battalion, recruiting parties, ordnance department, hospital service, Indian scouts, West Point signal detachment, and general service. The force was commanded by one general, William T. Sherman, one lieutenant general, Philip H. Sheridan, three major generals, Winfield S. Hancock, John M. Schofield and John Pope, and six brigadier generals, O. O. Howard, Alfred H. Terry, C. C. Augur, George Crooke, Nelson A. Miles and Ranald S. Mackenzie. Gen. Sherman retired in November, 1883, and was succeeded by Gen. Sheridan. There were 66 colonels, 85 lieutenant colonels, 242 majors, 607 captains, 570 first lieutenants and 448 second lieutenants. The country is divided into three military divisions, each of which is divided into departments. The military division of the Missouri (Sheridan commanding) included the departments of the Missouri (Pope), Texas (Augur), Dakota (Terry), and the Platte (Howard). Its headquarters were at Chicago; its force was eight regiments of cavalry and twenty of infantry. The division of the Atlantic (Hancock) included the departments of the east (Hancock) and of the south (Col. H. J. Hunt). Its headquarters were at New York; its force was four regiments of artillery and two of infantry. The division of the Pacific (Schofield), included the departments of California (Schofield), the Columbia (Miles), and Arizona (Crooke). Its headquarters were at San Francisco; its force was one regiment of artillery, three of cavalry, and four of infantry. The assignments vary from time to time, and are only given in order to show the organization of the army. The pay of officers and men is increased according to their years of active service. The men receive from $13 a month and rations (first two years) to $21 a month and rations (after twenty years' service). The maximum pay of the principal classes of officers is as follows: general, $18,900; lieutenant general, $15,400; major general $10,500; brigadier general, $7,700; colonel, $4,500; lieutenant colonel, $4,000; major, $3,500; captain $2,800; first lieutenant, $2,240; second lieutenant, $2,100. A deduction of two-sevenths will regularly give the pay for the first five years of service. The expenditures for the army, 1860-83, have been as follows:

1860... $ 16,472,202.72
1861... 23,001,530.67
1862... 389,173,562.29
1863... 603,314,411.82
1864... 1,690,391,048.66
1865... 1,030,690,400.06
1866... 283,154,676.06
1867... 95,224,415.63
1868... 123,246,648.62
1869... 78,501,990.61
1870... 57,655,675.40
1871... 85,799,991.82
1872... 35,372,157.20
1873... 46,323,138.31
1874... 42,313,927.22
1875... 41,120,645.98
1876... 38,070,888.64
1877... 37,082,735.90
1878... 32,154,147.85
1879... 40,425,660.73
1880... 38,116,916.22
1881... 40,466,460.55
1882... 43,570,494.19
1883... 48,911,382.93


—West Point, where the United States military academy is located, was a department of the division of the Atlantic until Sept. 1, 1882. The military academy was founded by act of March 16, 1802, and various subsequent acts have established professorships, and made the academy subject to the articles of war. In 1843 the present system of appointment was begun: it assigns one cadetship to each congressional district and territory, with ten appointments by the president. The number of cadets is limited to 312. There were, in 1882, seven professors, 145 cadets, and 204 enlisted men at West Point.


Navy. The navy of the United States is the subject of a separate article, in which the reader will find full statistics. (See NAVY.)


Pensions. Payments on this account were never large until the war of the rebellion. They never rose to more than $1,000,000 per annum until 1819, and from that time until 1865 they remained below $5,000,000 per annum. Since that time they have increased, particularly since the passage of the act of Jan. 25, 1879, for paying arrears of pensions to persons whose claims were barred by failure to apply within five years. The following are the payments for pensions, 1865-83:

1865... $16,347,621.34
1866... 15,605,549.88
1867... 20,936,551.71
1868... 23,782,386.78
1869... 28,476,621.78
1870... 28,340,202.17
1871... 34,443,894.88
1872... 28,533,402.76
1873... 29,359,426.86
1874... 29,038,414.66
1875... 29,456,216.22
1876... 28,257,395.69
1877... 27,963,752.27
1878... 27,137,019.08
1879... 35,121,482.39
1880... 56,777,174.44
1881... 50,059,279.62
1882... 61,345,193.95
1883... 66,012,573.64


The number of pensioners on the rolls, June 30, 1883, (increase for year, 17,961), is shown in the table at the top of the opposite column:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Patents. The number of patents issued has steadily increased since 1837. The most prolific year was 1876, when there were 21,425 applications, 2,697 caveats and 17,026 patents issued. The following table gives the applications, caveats and issues since 1840, at intervals of ten years:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Postoffice. In June, 1883, out of the whole length of 353,166 miles of postoffice routes in operation, 110,208 miles were by railroad, 16,093 by steamboat, and 226,865 by other conveyances. The whole number of domestic letters mailed during the year 1882 was estimated at 1,046,107,348; the whole number of foreign letters, 43,632,547. The dead letters and parcels numbered 4,440,822. The domestic money orders numbered 8,807,556, for $117,329,406; and the foreign money orders 466,326, for $7,717,832. The business of the postoffice department since 1790, at intervals of ten years, has been as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


Debt. The history, growth and decrease of the national debt, are elsewhere considered. (See DEBTS, FINANCE.) The following is a somewhat detailed statement of the public debt, as given by the treasury department, Dec. 1, 1883:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.

Total principal and interest $1,874,551,574.69
Less cash in treasury 364,766,513.84
Debt, Dec. 1, 1883 $1,509,785,060.85


The non-interest bearing debt was as follows:

Old demand notes: acts of 1861 and 1862 $ 58,800.00
Legal tender notes: acts of 1862 and 1863 346,681,016.00
Certificates of deposit: act of 1872 14,465,000.00
Gold certificates: acts of 1863 and 1882 85,932,920.00
Silver certificates: act of 1878 101,782,811.00
Fractional currency 6,990,303.31
Total $ 555,910,850.31


This statement of net debt shows a reduction of $41,306,146.63 since June 30, 1883, and of $179,129,399.87 since June 30, 1882. The highest point touched by the debt was on August 31, 1865, when the interest-bearing debt was $2,381,530,294, with annual interest of $150,977,697 ($4.29 per capita); and the debt, less cash in the treasury, was $2,756,431,571 ($78.25 per capita). The table at the top of the opposite column gives the net debt for preceding years since 1860, the debt per capita, the annual interest, and interest per capita. (Under the article DEBTS will be found the gross debt for corresponding years.)


Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


—Receipts and expenditures of the United States, excluding loans and interest on debt, for the six years ending June 30, 1883, have been as follows:

Table.  Click to enlarge in new window.


To these items of ordinary expenditure is to be added the interest on the public debt, which was $59,160,131 for 1883, making a total expenditure of $265,408,137. This, with $1,299,312 from the treasury accounts of 1882, left a surplus revenue of $134,178,756, which was applied to the redemption of the public debt.


—The principal officers of the United States government were as follows, July 1, 1883: President, Chester A. Arthur, of New York; president of the senate, and acting vice-president, George F. Edmunds, of Vermont; secretary of state, F. T. Frelinghuysen, of New Jersey; secretary of the treasury, Charles J. Folger, of New York; secretary of the interior, Henry M. Teller, of Colorado; secretary of war, Robert T. Lincoln, of Illinois; secretary of the navy, William E. Chandler, of New Hampshire; postmaster general, Walter Q. Gresham, of Indiana; attorney general, Benjamin H. Brewster, of Pennsylvania; commissioner of agriculture, George B. Loring, of Massachusetts. All these belong to the republican party. In the congress of 1883-5 the relative strength of political parties is as follows: In the senate there are thirty-eight republicans, thirty-six democrats, and two "readjusters" (from Virginia), who will regularly act with the republicans. In the house of representatives there are 194 democrats and one independent democrat, 120 republicans and two independent republicans, six readjusters, one greenbacker, and one vacancy (July 1, 1883). If a vote for president should devolve on the house of representatives, voting by states, in 1885, there would be twenty-two democratic states, fourteen republican states, one (Virginia) readjuster, and one (Florida) divided.


—It is hoped that the bibliographies under the articles referred to above will be sufficient to give the reader a guide to both sides of political questions, and that these articles, with the subsidiary articles referred to under them, will cover the field of American political history. Reference is particularly suggested to the following articles: ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY, DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN PARTY, FEDERAL PARTY, WHIG PARTY. REPUBLICAN PARTY, ANTI-MASONRY, AMERICAN PARTY, LIBERAL REPUBLICAN PARTY, GREENBACK PARTY, the names of the presidents, and the names of the states. In the following list it is only intended to give the general authorities, and the special authorities for the last section of the article. The latter, government publications, are obtainable on application to the proper officer at Washington. (I.) 1-6 Bancroft's History of the United States; 1, 2 Hildreth's History of the United States; 1, 2 Bryant and Gay's History of the United States; Force's Tracts relating to the Colonies, and American Archives; Hazard's Historical Collections; Anderson's Discovery by the Norsemen; Kohl's Discovery of America; Da Costa's Northmen in Maine; Hakheyt's Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America; Helps' Spanish Conquest of America; Robertson's History of America; Parkman's France and England in America; Neill's English Colonization in America; Burke's European Settlements in America; Nicholls' Life of Cabot; Edwards' Life of Raleigh; Lodge's English Colonies in America; Doyle's English Colonies in America; Holmes' Annals of America; Grahame's History of the United States (to 1783); Palfrey's History of New England; Marshall's History of the Colonies; Chalmers' Annals of the Colonies, and Revolt of the Colonies; Walsh's Appeal from the Judgments of Great Britain; Gordon's History of the Independence of the United States; 1 Pitkin's History of the United States; Frothingham's Rise of the Republic; Scott's Constitutional Liberty in the Colonies; Pownall's Administration of the Colonies; 1 Story's Commentaries; H. Sherman's Governmental History of the United States; Poore's Federal and State Constitutions (for charters). (II.) 7-10 Bancroft's History of the United States; 3-6 Hildreth's History of the United States (to 1820); von Holst's Constitutional History of the United States; 2 Pitkin's History of the United States (to 1797); Ramsay's History of the United States (to 1814); Schouler's History of the United States (to 1820); 3, 4 Bryant and Gay's History of the United States; McMaster's History of the American People; J. C. Hamilton's History of the Republic of the United States; Tyler's History of American Literature; Holmes' Annals of America; Bradford's History of the Federal Government (to 1840); Tucker's History of the United States (to 1840); Spencer's History of the United States (to 1857); Statesman's Manual; Sumner's Politics in the United States, 1776-1876 (N. A. Rev., Jan. 1876); Bishop's History of American Manufactures; Journals of Congress (1774-89); Annals of Congress (1789-1824); Register of Debates in Congress (1824-37); Congressional Globe (1833-72); Congressional Record (1872-83); Benton's Abridged Debates of Congress (1789-1850); Statutes at Large; Revised Statutes of the United States; Niles' Weekly Register (1811-36); Porter's Outlines of the Constitutional History of the United States; Sterne's Constitutional History of the United States; Johnston's History of American Politics; Tribune Almanac (1838-83); Appleton's Annual Cyclopædia (1861-83); Spofford's American Almanac (1878-83); McPherson's Political Manuals; Greeley's Political Text Book (1860), and American Conflict; Cluskey's Political Cyclopædia (1860); Benton's Thirty Years View; Young's American Statesman; Stephens' War Between the States; Democratic Review (1841-52); Whig Review (1844-52); Skinner's Issues of American Politics; Winsor's Reader's Hand-Book of the Revolution; Foster's Monthly Reference Lists (1883); C. K. Adams' Manual of Historical Literature. (III.) Story's Commentaries; Kent's Commentaries; Duer's Constitutional Jurisprudence; Hurd's Law of Freedom and Bondage, and Theory of our National Existènce; Brownson's American Republic; Mulford's The Nation; Jameson's Constitutional Convention; "Centz"'s Republic of Republics; Tucker's Blackstone's Commentaries; Curtis' History of the Constitution; Bancroft's History of the Constitution; Elliot's Debates; De Tocqueville's Democracy in America; Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, Treatise on Taxation, and Constitutional Law; Sedgwick's Statutory and Constitutional Law; Pomeroy's Constitutional Law; Bump's Notes of Constitutional Decisions; Farrar's Manual of the Constitution: The Federalist; Paschal's Annotated Constitution; Desty's Federal Citations; Abbott's Digest of United States Statutes and Reports, and United States Digest; Brightly's Digest of Federal Decisions; Myer's Inder to Supreme Court Reports: Rapalje's Federal Reference Digest; McCrary's Law of Elections; Brightly's Election Cases; Rorer's Inter-State Law; Dillon's Municipal Corporations; The Municipalist (1869); Morse's Citizenship; Ford's American Citizen's Manual; Lamphere's United States Government; Seaman's American System of Government; Hough's American Constitution; Poore's Federal and State Constitutions; Barnes' Ante-bellum Constitutions (with post-bellum changes); Bowen's Constitutions of England and America. (IV.) In general, Compendium of the Tenth Census (1880); ib., 1850, 1860, 1870; in particular, Walker's Statistical Atlas of the United States (1874); Annual Report of the Commissioner of Education (1880); Report of the Department of Agriculture; issues of the Bureau of Statistics for 1882 and 1883, particularly Statistical Abstract of the United States, and Reports on Foreign Commerce, Imported Merchandise, and Imports, Exports, Immigration and Navigation; Poor's Railroad Manual (1882); Report of the Register of the Treasury (for tonnage); Reports of the General of the Army, and Secretary of War; Official Army Register; Reports of Commissioner of Pensions, Commissioner of Patents, Postmaster General, and Secretary of the Treasury (1883).


1051 of 1105

Return to top