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LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
early in the spring, with the horse-car drivers and conductors in New York; and they gradually extended, in one form or another, to points as far west as Nebraska and as far south as New Orleans (§ 377).
In many cases the strikers demanded that the working day be shortened to eight hours; in other cases, they asked an increase of wages. In Chicago 40,000 men left their employments, and the greater part of the factories and workshops of the city were closed. Soon the men engaged in handling freight at the different railway freight houses in the city joined their fellow-workmen, and all movement or delivery of goods came to a stop. An excited meeting was held in Haymarket Square. The police, fearing a riot, ordered the crowd to disperse. At that moment some one threw a dynamite bomb at the police, which killed or wounded a large number of them. The officers then charged on the crowd with their revolvers and arrested the ringleaders of the mob. All but one were of foreign birth. They belonged to a small but dangerous class calling themselves anarchists.1
The object of the anarchist is to overthrow all forms of government, either by peaceable means, or -- as in the case of the men arrested at Chicago -- by murder and the destruction of property. The workingmen of Chicago, and throughout the country, expressed their horror of such methods, and denounced the anarchists as enemies of the interests of labor and of society. Four of the rioters were tried, convicted of murder, and hanged.
390. Growth of Great Corporations and "Trusts." From the time of which we are speaking men engaged in every kind of work or enterprise have been more and more inclined to form associations. We have seen in a previous section (§ 388) how labor organized for self-protection and to obtain shorter hours or higher wages.
In the same way capitalists have united in forming companies for carrying on business on a scale never before attempted.
The object sought by these gigantic corporations and "trusts"2 is generally to obtain more effective results, with less competition, at smaller cost, and at larger profit to the stockholders.
1 Anarchists (an'ark-ists).
2 Trusts: companies working together for their common advantage.
THE STATUE OF LIBERTY
For instance, there were once many individual men or small companies engaged in producing coal oil. Now the Standard Oil Company (organized in 1881) controls most of the output of petroleum in the United States, and directly or indirectly influences the trade of the world in this important product.
So, too, "trusts" have been formed, having in the aggregate many hundreds of millions of capital, for the manufacture and sale of iron, steel, sugar, cotton-seed oil, tobacco, india rubber, and other staple products.
In like manner (since 1881) the Western Union Telegraph Company has absorbed, by purchase or by lease, the great majority of the telegraph lines in the United States, while the Bell Telephone Company "practically conducts the chief part of the telephone business" of the country. Again, many independent or competing railway lines have consolidated into through systems often extending across the continent.
The same movement is seen operating in a different way in the establishment of the "department stores" of our large cities. Formerly the business they conduct was in the hands of a number of small dealers, but now a customer can buy, under one roof, almost anything he wants, from a paper of pins to a barrel of flour, or a set of parlor furniture.
These changes have revolutionized business in great degree and are of deep interest to every one. Within a few years the government has taken action for the purpose of supervising and regulating the methods by which the great railways and "trusts" carry on their work.
391. The Statue of Liberty. The year after President Cleveland entered office, the colossal statue of "Liberty enlightening the World" was unveiled and lighted in the harbor of New
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
York (1886). The statue -- the largest of the kind ever made -- was presented to the United States by citizens of the Republic of France, as a memorial of their friendly feeling toward the people of this country, and as an expression of their confidence in the stability of the American government.
The statue is of bronze, and represents the goddess of Liberty holding a lighted torch, to show the way to those who are seeking the shores of the New World.
392. Three Important Laws (the Presidential Succession; Presidential Elections; Interstate Railways). During President Cleveland's administration three very important laws were passed by Congress.
The first law, the Presidential Succession Act (1886), provided, in case of the death, removal, or disability of both the President and the Vice President, that the Secretary of State (followed, if necessary, by the other six members who then constituted the Cabinet)1 should succeed to the office of President.
The second law, the Electoral Count Act (1887), laid down certain rules for counting the electoral votes, in order to prevent all uncertainty and dispute in regard to the election of the President, such as had occurred in the case of President Hayes (§ 375).
The third law (1887), the Interstate Commerce Act, was enacted for the purpose of regulating the charges made by all railways which pass from one state to another, the object being to secure fair and uniform rates both for passengers and freight. Nearly twenty years later this law was supplemented and strengthened by the Railway Rate Act (1906) (§ 431).
393. Summary. The principal events of President Cleveland's administration were (1) the widely extended labor strikes; (2) the anarchist riot in Chicago; (3) the growth of labor unions and of great corporations; (4) the passage of three important laws relating to the succession and the election of the President and to interstate commerce.
1 The Cabinet consists of (1) the Secretary of State; (2) the Secretary of the Treasury; (3) the Secretary of War; (4) the Attorney-General; (5) the Postmaster-General; (6) the Secretary of the Navy; (7) the Secretary of the Interior; (8) the Secretary of Agriculture (1889); (9) the Secretary of Commerce (1903); (10) the Secretary of Labor (1913).
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BENJAMIN HARRISON (REPUBLICAN)1
394. Harrison's Administration (Twenty-third President, 1889-1893); Opening of Oklahoma; how Cities spring up in the Far West. In the center of Indian Territory there was a large district called Oklahoma,2 noted for its natural beauty and fertility. In 1889 the United States purchased it from the Indians for the white men who desired to make homes there.
On the 22d of April of that year some fifty thousand persons were waiting impatiently on the borders of the new country for President Harrison's signal giving them permission to enter and take up lands in the coveted region. At precisely twelve o'clock on that day the blast of a bugle announced that it was open to settlement. Instantly an avalanche of "boomers" rushed wildly across the line, each one eager to get the first chance. Towns made of rough board shanties and of tents sprang up in all directions. The chief of these were Oklahoma City and Guthrie. At the end of four months the latter had a population of about 5000, with four daily papers and six banks. Since then the growth of Oklahoma has been remarkable in numbers, in wealth, and in public improvements.
395. Admission of Six New States; Our New Ships of War; Woman Suffrage. In November (1889) the President declared the four new states of Montana, Washington, North Dakota, and South Dakota admitted to the Union. The next summer (1890) Idaho and Wyoming were added, making a total at that date of forty-four.
The power of the American nation manifests itself not only on the continent but on the ocean. The old, worn-out wooden
1 Benjamin Harrison was born at North Bend, Ohio, in 1833; died in 1901. He was a grandson of President W. H. Harrison (§ 282). Mr. Harrison studied law, and opened an office at Indianapolis. In 1862 he entered the Union army as a second lieutenant of Indiana volunteers. Later he was commissioned colonel of the Seventieth Indiana Regiment. Near the close of the war he received the title of brigadier general of volunteers. In 1880 he was elected United States senator. In 1888 he was elected President by the Republicans (Levi P. Morton of New York, Vice President) over Grover Cleveland of New York and Allen G. Thurman of Ohio, the Democratic candidates. The chief political issue in the election was the question whether the United States should adopt the Democratic policy of a reduction of tariff, or that of protection advocated by the Republicans.
2 Oklahoma is an Indian name meaning the "Land of the Red Men."
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
vessels which made up a large part of our navy have been gradually replaced (since 1884) by a fleet of magnificent steel war steamers, named generally after states and cities.1 Our new navy first showed its effective fighting power (1898) in the war with Spain (§§ 415, 417). Nine years later a great fleet of these vessels started on their famous cruise round the world (§ 431).
Wyoming Territory was the first admitted to the Union, since the adoption of the Constitution, in which women could vote2 and hold office the same as men (1870). Colorado (1893) followed her example, and elected three women to the legislature. Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Kansas, Oregon, and Nevada appeared next on the list. Then came Montana which elected the first woman to Congress.3 In 1919 there were fifteen such states. Finally, on August 26, 1920, the Constitution of the United States was amended and women throughout the entire country were given the same right to vote that men have.
396. The New Pension Act; the Sherman Silver Purchase and Coinage Act; the McKinley Protective Tariff. Early in Harrison's administration Congress passed (1890) three very important laws relating directly or indirectly to getting, coining, or spending money. The first was the new Pension Act. This added nearly 480,000 names to the list of "invalid soldiers" or their widows, to whom the government pays a sum of money each year. The whole number of pensioners, including a considerable number added by our war with Spain, was (1916) about 750,000. They draw more than $165,000,000 a year, or over $450,000 a day.
Many people still thought that we were not buying silver enough (§ 379). For this reason Congress repealed the law of 1877, and passed the Sherman Silver Purchase and Coinage Act (1890). It directed the Secretary of the Treasury to buy 4,500,000 ounces of silver, or more than 150 tons, every month. Provision was
1 The total number of vessels of war in the United States navy at the close of 1911 (including 26 first-class battleships) was 214; or, including vessels of all kinds, in service, in course of construction, or authorized, it was 381, In 1919 we had over 700 warships.
2 Women voted in New Jersey from 1800 to 1807. Partial woman suffrage exists in many states. Now, 1920, all women can vote; see Nineteenth Amendment, page xxiv.
3 Miss Jeannette Rankin, Republican; she took her seat in March, 1917.
THE PATENT OFFICE CENTENNIAL
made for coining a part of this into dollars.1 These enormous purchases had the effect of raising the value of silver for a brief period. But the price of the "white metal" soon began to fall again. The government then found itself in a very unpleasant predicament, for the more silver it piled up in the Treasury vaults the more that silver shrank in value. A dollar that was worth 81 cents, by weight, in 1890, soon dropped to 61 cents.
In the autumn Congress enacted the McKinley Protective Tariff.2 Its main object was to protect American products, such as wool, for example, and American manufactures against foreign competition.
397. The Census of 1890; the Patent Office Centennial; the Homestead Strike. The Centennial census of the United States (1890) reported the total population at over 62,000,000. Since the first national census was taken in 1790 we had gained more than 58,000,000 of people, and had taken possession of the entire breadth of the continent, from ocean to ocean.
The next spring (1891) the Patent Office at Washington celebrated its hundredth birthday. It issued its first patent (for making potash for the manufacture of soap) in 1790; by 1891 it had issued more than 450,000. These patents show that American inventive genius has entered every field which thought and skill can occupy. Our labor-saving machines are the most wonderful in the world. They are driven by hand, by horse power, by wind, water, steam, gas, and electricity, and they do so many kinds
1 The Director of the Mint stated that between 1873 and 1889 the value of the silver dollar fell gradually from a fraction over 100 cents in 1873, to about 72 cents in 1889. In 1890 it rose to 81 cents; in 1891 it averaged 76 cents; in 1892, 67 cents; and in 1893, 61 cents. he attributed the fall in value first to the fact that a number of European countries, including Germany and Austria, had long since ceased coining silver except for use as "change"; but secondly and chiefly, because of the enormous increase in the amount mined. In 1873 the world's production of the "white metal" was $81,800,000; by 1892 it had risen to $196,605,000, an increase of 140 per cent. See "Report of the Director of the Mint" for 1893, pp. 21-26.
2 The McKinley Tariff contained certain provisions (called Reciprocity or "Fair Trade" Measures) which permitted some foreign articles to be admitted free of duty, provided the country from which we imported them admitted American products free. When the McKinley Tariff was repealed in 1894 the Reciprocity Measures were repealed with it, but were later reënacted. Just before his assassination in 1901, President McKinley made a speech at Buffalo (§ 427) in which he strongly advocated the policy of reciprocity.