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theorizers. We have spread out in every direction and the promise of the future beggars imaginations attuned even to the key of our present and past development. We have a timber area of 560,000,000 acres, and across our Canadian border there are 900,000,000 more acres; in coal and iron production we are approaching the Old World.
miles and 12,000 tons; this has saved one-
"It is unnecessary to wire-draw statistics, but it may, as a last word, be interesting to show, with all our development, the nationality and increase of tonnage enter
Great Britain... 2,250,000 United States... 56-1,000 During these thirty-seven years the relative increase has been in coal 300 to 2,900 per cent., in iron 200 to 400 per cent., and all in our favor. But this is not enough, for England, with a coal area less than either Pennsylvania or Kentucky, has coaling stations in every part of the world and our steamers cannot reach our "The maximum tonnage of this country California ports without the consent of the at any time registered in the foreign trade English producers. Even if electricity was in 1861, and then amounted to 5,539,- takes the place of steam it must be many 813 tons; Great Britain in the same year years before the coal demand will cease, owning 5,895,369 tons, and all the other and to-day, of the 36,000,000 tons of coal nations 5,800.767 tons. Between 1855 and required by the steamers of the world, 1860 over 1,300,000 American tous in ex-three-fourths of it is obtained from Great cess of the country's needs were employed by foreigners in trades with which we had no legitimate connection save as carriers. In 1851 our registered steamships had grown from the 16,000 tons of 1848 to 63,920 tons-almost equal to the 65,920 tonsing our ports since 1856:of England, and in 1855 this had increased to 115,000 tons and reached a maximum, for in 1862 we had 1,000 tons less. In 1855 we built 388 vessels, in 1856 306 vessels and in 1880 26 vessels-all for the foreign trade. The total tonnage which entered our ports in 1856 from abroad amounted to 4,464,038, of which American built ships constituted 3,194,375 tons, and all others but 1,259,762 tons. In 1880 there entered from abroad 15,240,534 tons, of which 3,128,374 tons were American and 12,112,000 were foreign-that is, in a ratio "This," writes Lindsay, "is surely not of seventy-five to twenty-five, or actually decadence, but defeat in a far nobler con65,901 tons less than when we were twenty-flict than the wars for maritime supremacy four years younger as a nation. The grain between Rome and Carthage, consisting as fleet sailing last year from the port of New it did in the struggle between the skill and York numbered 2,897 vessels, of which industry of the people of two great na1,822 were sailing vessels carrying 59,822,- tions." 033 bushels, and 1,075 were steamers laden with 42,426,533 bushels, and among all these there were but seventy-four American sailing vessels and not one American
We have thus quoted the facts gathered from a source which has been endorsed by the higher naval authorities. Some reader will probably ask, "What relation have these facts to American politics?" We answer that the remedies proposed constitute political questions on which the great parties are very apt to divide. They have thus divided in the past, and parties have turned "about face" on similar questions.
"While this poison of decay has been eating into our vitals the possibilities of the country in nearly every other industry have reached a plane of development beyond the dreams of the most enthusiastic
Great Britain... 35,000,000 135,000,000
Increase. Decrease. ...6,977,163
Mr. Blaine would solve the problem by bounties, for this purpose enacting a general law that should ignore individuals and enforce a policy. His scheme provides that any man or company of men who will build in an American yard, with American material, by American mechanics, a steamship of 3,000 tons and sail her from any port of the United States to any foreign port, he or they shall receive for a monthly line a mail allowance of $25 per mile per annum for the sailing distance between the two ports; for a semi-monthly line $45 per mile, and for a weekly line $75 per mile. Should the steamer exceed three thousand tons, a small advance on these rates might be allowed; if less, a corresponding reduction, keeping three thousand as the average and standard. Other reformers propose a bounty to be given by the Government to the shipbuilder, so as to make the price of an American vessel the same as that of a foreign bought, equal, but presumably cheaper, ship.
Just now the Democratic party inclines to that cause, made the path of his successor "free ships" and hostility to subsidies-far more difficult than if he had been called while the Republican party as a rule favors to the succession by the operation of natusubsidies. Lieutenant Kelley summarized ral causes. That he has met these difficulhis proposed remedies in the two words: ties with rare discretion, all admit, and "free ships." at this writing partisan interest and dislike are content to "abide a' wee" before beginning an assault. He has sought no changes in the Cabinet, and thus through personal and political considerations seems for the time to have surrendered a Presidential prerogative freely admitted by all who understand the wisdom of permitting an executive officer to seek the advice of friends of his own selection. Mr. Blaine and Mr. MacVeagh, among the ablest of the late President's Cabinet, were among the most emphatic in insisting upon the earliest possible exercise of this prerogative-the latter upon its immediate exercise. Yet it has been withheld in several particulars, and the Arthur administration has sought to unite, wherever divided (and now divisions are rare), the party which called it into existence, while at the same time it has by careful management sought to check party strife at least for a time, and devoted its attention to the advancement of the material interests of the country. Appointments are fairly distributed among
Mr. Blaine represents the growing Re-party friends, not divided as between facpublican view, but the actual party views tions; for such a division systematically can only be ascertained when bills cover- made would disrupt any party. It would ing the subject come up for considera-prove but an incentive to faction for the tion. sake of a division of the spoils. No force of politics is or ought to be better understood in America than manufactured disagreements with the view to profitable compromises. Fitness, recognized ability, and adequate political service seem to constitute the reasons for Executive appointments at this time.
We shall close this written history of the political parties of the United States by a brief statement of the present condition of affairs, as generally remarked by our own people, and by quoting the views of an interesting cotemporaneous English writer.
President Arthur's administration has had many difficulties to contend with. The President himself is the legal successor of a beloved man, cruelly assassinated, whose well-rounded character and high abilities had won the respect even of those who defamed him in the heat of controversy, while they excited the highest admiration of those who shared his political views and thoughts. Stricken down before he had time to formulate a policy, if it was ever his intention to do so, he yet showed a proper appreciation of his high responsibilities, and had seeking a place in advance of the Republifrom the start won the kindly attention of cans on refunding questions-both popular the country. Gifted with the power of say-measures, as shown in all recent elections. ing just the right thing at the right mo- It claims the virtue of sympathy with the ment, and saying it with all the grace and Mormons by questioning the propriety of beauty of oratory, no President was better legal assaults upon the liberty of concalculated to make friends as he moved science, while not openly recording itself as along, than Garfield. The manifestations a defender of the crime of polygamy. As of factional feeling which immediately a solid minority it has at least in the Sepreceded his assassination, but which can- nate yielded to the appeal of the States on not for a moment be intelligently traced to the Pacific slope, and favored the abridg
The Democratic party, better equipped in the National Legisture than it has been for years-with men like Hill, Bayard, Pendleton, Brown, Voorhees, Lamar and Garland in the Senate-Stephens, Randall, Hewitt, Cox, Johnson in the House-with Tilden, Thurman, Wallace and Hancock in the background-is led with rare ability, and has the advantage of escaping responsibilities incident to a majority party. It has been observed that this party is pursuing the traditional strategy of minorities in our Republic. It has partially refused a further test on the tariff issue, and is
to-day, we shall have it to-morrow. This
"What have they done to overthrow the celebrated Jacksonian precept, to the victors belongs the spoils?' What, in fact, is it possible for them to do under the present system? The political laborer holds that he is worthy of his hire, and if nothing is given to him, nothing will he give in return. There are tens of thousands of offices at the bestowal of every administration, and the persons who have helped to bring that administration into power expect to receive them. 'In Great Britain," once remarked the American paper which enjoys the largest circulation of greater accomplishments and fitness for in the country, the ruling classes have it his office, never sat in the Presidential all to themselves, and the poor man rarely chair. His first appointments are now ador never gets a nibble at the public crib.mitted to be better than those which were Here we take our turn. We know that, made by his predecessor for the same posts. if our political rivals have the opportunity Senator Frelinghuysen, the new Secretary
ment of Chinese immigration. On this question, however, the Western Republican Senators as a rule were equally active in support of the Miller Bill, so that whatever the result, the issue can no longer be a political one in the Pacific States. The respectable support which the measure has latterly received has cast out of the struggle the Kearneys and Kallochs, and if here be demagoguery on either side, it comes in better dress than ever before.
Doubtless the parties will contest their claims to public support on their respective histories yet a while longer. Party history has served partisan purposes an average of twenty years, when with that history recollections of wars are interwoven, and the last war having been the greatest in our history, the presumption is allowable that it will be freely quoted so long as see tional or other forms of distrust are observable any where. When these recollections fail, new issues will have to be sought or accepted. In the mere search for issues the minority ought always to be the most active; but their wise appropriation, after all, depends upon the wisdom and ability of leadership. It has ever been thus, and ever will be. This is about the only political prophecy the writer is willing to risk -and in risking this he but presents a view common to all Americans who claim to be "posted" in the politics of their country.
What politicians abroad think of our "situation" is well told, though not always accurately, by a distinguished writer in the January (1882) number of "The London Quarterly Review." From this we quote some very attractive paragraphs, and at the same time escape the necessity of descriptions and predictions generally believed to be essential in rounding off a political volume, but which are always dangerous in treating of current affairs. Speak ing of the conduct of both parties on the question of Civil Service Reform, the writer says:
great ability, of most excellent judgment, and of the highest personal character. He stands far beyond the reach of all unworthy influences. Mr. Folger, the Secretary of the Treasury, possesses the confidence of the entire country, and the nomination of the new Attorney-General was received with universal satisfaction. All this little accords with the dark and forbidding descriptions of President Arthur which were placed before the public here on his accession to office. It is surely time that English writers became alive to the danger of accepting without question the distorted views which they find ready to their hands in the most bigoted or most malicious of American journals.
of State, or Foreign Secretary, is a man of digence; and it has been stated that after Andrew Johnson left the White House, he was reduced to the necessity of following his old trade. General Grant was much more fortunate; and we have recently seen that the American people have subscribed for Mrs. Garfield a sum nearly equal to £70,000. But a pension system for Civil Servants is not likely to be adopted. Permanence in office is another principle which has found no favor with the rank and file of either party in America, although it has sometimes been introduced into party platforms for the sake of producing a good effect. The plan of quick rotation' is far more attractive to the popular sense. Divide the spoils, and divide them often. It is true that the public indignation is sometimes aroused, when too eager and rapacious a spirit is exhibited. Such a feeling was displayed in 1873, in consequence of an Act passed by Congress increasing the pay of its own members and certain officers of the Government. Each member of Congress was to receive $7,500 a year, or £1,500. The sum paid before that date, down to 1865, was $5000 a year, or £1000, and 'mileage' free added that is to say, members were entitled to be paid twenty cents a mile for traveling expenses to and from Washington. This Bill soon became known as the 'Salary Grab' Act, and popular feeling against it was so great that it was repealed in the following Session, and the former pay was restored. As a general rule, however, the spoils' system has not been heartily condeinned by the nation; if it had been so condemned, it must have fallen long ago.
"Democrats and Republicans, then, alike profess to be in favor of a thorough reform in the Civil Service, and at the present moment there is no other very prominent question which could be used as a test for the admission of members into either party. The old issue, which no one could possibly mistake, is gone. How much the public really care for the new one, it would be a difficult point to decide. A Civil Service system, such as that which we have in England, would scarcely be suited to the "poor man," who, as the New York paper says, thinks he has a right occasionally to get a nibble at the public crib.' If a man has worked hard to bring his party into power, he is apt, in the United States, to think that he is entitled to some 'recognition, and neither he nor his friends would be well pleased if they were told that, before anything could be done for him, it would be necessary to examine him in modern languages and mathematics. Moreover, a service such as that which exists in England requires to be worked with a system of pensions; and pensions, it is held in America, are opposed to the Republican idea.* If it were not for this objection, it may be presumed that some provision would have been made for more than one of the ex-Presidents, whose circumstances placed them or their families much in need of it. President Monroe spent his last years in wretched circumstances, and died bankrupt. Mrs. Madison 'knew what it was to want bread.' A negro servant, who had once been a slave in the family, used furtively to give her 'small sums-they must have been very small -out of his own pocket. Mr. Pierce was, we believe, not far removed from in
* Enormous sums are, however, given to soldiers who were wounded during the war, or who pretend that they were-for jobbery on an unheard of scale is practised in connection with these pensions. It is estimated that $120,000,000 (24 000,000l.) will have to be paid during the present fiscal year, for arrears of pension, and the number of claimants is constantly increasing, [The writer evidently got these "facts" from sensational sources.] -Am. Pol.
President Arthur has been admonished by his English counsellors to take heed that he follows closely in the steps of his predecessor. General Garfield was not long enough in office to give any decided indications of the policy which he intended to pursue; but, so far as he had gone, impartial observers could detect very little difference between his course of conduct in regard to patronage and that of former Presidents. He simply preferred the friends of Mr. Blaine to the friends of Mr. Conkling; but Mr. Blaine is a politician of precisely the same class as Mr. Conkling both are men intimately versed in all the intricacies of 'primaries,' the 'caucus,' and the general working of the machine.' They are precisely the kind of men which American politics, as at present practised and understood, are adapted to produce. Mr. Conkling, however, is of more imperious a disposition than Mr. Blaine; the first disappointment or contradiction turns him from a friend into an enemy. President Garfield removed the Collector of New York-the most lucrative and most coveted post in the entire Union-and in
stead of nominating a friend of Mr. Conk- | radical of the Republicans, and the most ling's for the vacancy, he nominated a conservative of the Democrats, are of one friend of Mr. Blaine's. Now Mr. Conk- mind on this point. Mr. Wendell Philling had done much to secure New York lips, an old abolitionist and Radical, once State for the Republicans, and thus gave publicly declared that Republican governthem the victory; and he thought himself inent in cities had been a complete failentitled to better treatment than he re- uro. An equally good Radical, the late ceived. But was it in the spirit of true re- Mr. Horace Greeley, made the following form to remove the Collector, against still more candid statement: There are whom no complaint had been made, merely probably at no time less than twenty for the purpose of creating a vacancy, and thousand men in this city [New York] then of putting a friend of Mr. Blaine's who would readily commit a safe murder into it-a friend, moreover, who had been for a hundred dollars, break open a house largely instrumental in securing General for twenty, and take a false oath for five. Garfield's own nomination at Chicago? Most of these are of European birth, Is this all that is meant, when the Reform though we have also native miscreants party talk of the great changes which they who are ready for any crime that will pay.'† desire to see carried out? Again, the new Strong testimony against the working of President has been fairly warned by his the suffrage-and it must have been most advisers in this country, that he must unwilling testimony-was given in 1875 by abolish every abuse, new or old, connected a politician whose long familiarity with with the distribution of patronage. If he caucuses and wire-pulling' in every form is to execute this commission, not one term renders him an undeniable authority. of office, nor three terms, will be sufficient Let it be widely proclaimed,' he wrote, for him. Over every appointment there that the experience and teachings of a will inevitably arise a dispute; if a totally republican form of government prove untried man is chosen, he will be suspected nothing so alarmingly suggestive of and as a wolf coming in sheep's clothing; if a pregnant with danger as that cheap sufwell known partizan is nominated, he will frage involves and entails cheap represenbe denounced as a mere tool of the leaders, tation.' Another Republican, of high and there will be another outcry against character, has stated that 'the methods of 'machine politics.' 'One party or other,' politics have now become so repulsive, the said an American journal not long ago, corruption so open, the intrigues and per'must begin the work of administering sonal hostilities are so shameless, that it the Government on business principles,' is very difficult to engage in them without and the writer admitted that the work a sense of humiliation."" ? would 'cost salt tears to many a politician.' The honor of making this beginning has not yet been sought for with remarkable eagerness by either party; but seems to be deemed necessary to promise that something shall be done, and the Democrats, being out of power, are naturally in the position to bid the highest. The reform will come, as we have intimated, when the people demand it; it cannot come before, for few, indeed, are the politicians in the United States who venture to trust them-times been exposed to suspicion, and still selves far in advance of public opinion. more frequently to injustice and misrepreAnd even of that few, there are some who sentation, in consequence of the practical have found out, by hard experience, that irresponsibility of his Cabinet officers. there is little honor or profit to be gained They are his chief advisers in regard to the by undertaking to act as pioneers. distribution of places, as well as in the higher affairs of State, and the discredit of any mismanagement on their part falls upon him. It is true that he chooses them, and may dismiss them, with the concurrence of the Senate; but, when once appointed, they are beyond reach of all effective criticism-for newspaper attacks are easily explained by the suggestion of party malice. They cannot be questioned in
“It is doubtless a step in advance, that both parties now admit the absolute necessity of devising measures to elevate the character of the public service, to check the progress of corruption, and to introduce a better class of men into the offices which are held under the Government. The necessity of great reforms in these respects has been avowed over and over again by most of the leading journals and influential men in the country. The most
The undeniable facts of the case were as we have briefly indicated above. See, for example, a letter to the 'New York Nation,' Nov. 3, 1881.
Passing to another question, and one worthy of the most intelligent discussion, but which has never yet taken the shape of a political demand or issue in this country, this English writer says:
"Although corruption has been suspected at one time or other in almost every Department of the Government, the Presidential office has hitherto been kept free from its stain. And yet, by an anomaly of the Constitution, the President has some
* Speech in New York, March 7, 1881.
Mr. George William Curtis, in 'Harper's Magazine,' 1870.