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States failed to adopt these policies. Says one writer of authority:
"The exceptions to this general principle are significant. Eight Cordillieran States and two territories, where the need of transportation facilities overrides every other consideration, and five Eastern States, where the Railroad interests control the legislatures, have as yet provided no supervision commission."*
Coincident with the period of establishing railroad commissions was the Granger movement of the West in 1870-1877, directed almost entirely against the railroads of the country. One immediate result of this movement was anti-railroad legislation in several Western and Southern States, principally in the direction of fixing rates. Illinois passed the first law of this kind in 1871 (amended in 1873); afterward similar laws were passed by Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and other States. Although the constitutionality of these laws was affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1877, they did not always work so well industrially as their promoters had expected. They were most successful in some Southern States.
For a few years after 1900, there was a decided disposition to leave to the National Government the duty of regulating and controlling the large corporations engaged in inter-state commerce. So far had this gone that Secretary of State Root, in a notable. speech in December of 1906, warned
*Katherine Coman, Industrial History of the United States, p. 324.
the people that the failure of the States to curb predatory wealth would result in the continuous strengthening and centralization of power in the Nation. Presently, however, the pendulum began to swing in the other direction. Several of the Western States, notably Nebraska and Michigan, took vigorous action against the railroads on rate questions, and when the protection of the United States courts was sought the State authorities denounced this as subverting the powers and the rights of their commonwealths. The historic State rights principle was awakened again after its long slumber.
Several pieces of legislation in New York in this period show the growing popular demand for some sort of State supervision of corporate business. These included the new corporation act of 1897, a scientific, conservative and powerful statute, probably unsurpassed as a whole by any similar measure of any State in the Union, the establishment of the principle of a franchise tax upon corporations engaged in the public service; and the creation of the two Public Service Commissions in 1907. The commissions thus created succeeded the rail
road, gas and electricity and rapid transit commissions transit commissions with increased powers that gave them almost arbitrary control of the corporate management and public service of the steam and electric railroads, gas, telephone, telegraph and electric light companies. The act was the most advanced legis
lation for State control of public utilities that had ever been enacted anywhere in the country. The general
success of the New York idea influenced New Jersey to create a similar commission.*
HISTORY OF INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.
Early opposition to water transportation Principal canals completed since 1860 Canals and rivers utilized in 1880 The Erie and other canals- The extent, importance, and history of the Panama Canal - Irrigation and land reclamation - The Desert Land Act The National Irrigation Act - River and harbor improvement by the Federal government - - Their cost and importance.
The ravages of the Civil War in the South and its repressive influences in the North had first a deterrent and next a stimulating effect upon internal improvements. What had been destroyed in the South and what had been neglected in the North called for prompt and vast undertakings after 1865. More attention than ever before was given to the canal system of the country and to the improvements of rivers and harbors.
Despite the destructive competition of railroads, there was still in many quarters a strong feeling in favor of the continuance and development of the canals of the country to meet the transportation needs of the commercial interests. That water. transportation-interstate and, to the seaboard, feeding export was cheaper than railroad transportation was not disputed. The influence of the railroads, however, was everywhere against the canals, and the political power exercised by those corpora
tions as well as the quicker service rendered by rail, even though at
* Charles Fisk Beach, Sr., A Treatise on the Law of Monopolies and Industrial Trusts in England and in the United States (St. Louis, 1898); Richard T. Ely, Monopolies and Trusts (New York, 1900); Edward W. Bemis, Municipal Monopolies (New York, 1899); Robert B. Porter, Municipal Ownership (New York, 1898); Arthur T. Hadley, Railroad Transportation (New York, 1885); A. B. Stickney, The Railway Problem (St. Paul, 1891); F. H. Dixon, State Railroad Control (New York, 1896); Frank Hendrick, Railway Control by Commission (New York, 1900); J. W. Jenks, The Trust Problem (New York, 1900); A. B. Nettleton, Trusts or Competition? (Chicago, 1900); Lyman Horace Weeks, The Other Side, A Brief Account of the Development of Industrial Organizations in the United States (New York, 1900); H. D. Lloyd, Wealth against Commonwealth (New York, 1894); William Miller Collier, The Trusts (New York, 1900); James Edward LeRossignol, Monopolies Past and Present (New York, 1901); Gilbert Holland Montague, Trusts of To-Day (New York, 1904); George L. Bolen, The Plain Facts as to the Trusts and the Tariff (New York, 1902); Albert Stickney, State Control of Trade and Commerce by National or State Authority (New York, 1897); William Hudson Harper, Restraint of Trade: Pros and Cons of Trusts in Facts and Principles (New York, 1900); Francis A. Adams, Who Rules America? (New York, 1899); Charles W. Baker, Monopolies and the People (New York,
greater cost, very nearly brought about the complete destruction of the canals. For example, the costly and useful Erie Canal across the State of New York was transformed into an almost worthless ditch by the insidious influences of the railroads which paralleled it. Not until the opening of the Twentieth century was there a general revival of interest in waterway transportation and a general recognition of the value of the canals and rivers of the country, both as supplementary to, and as salutary restraints upon, the monopolistic tendencies of the railroads.
The principal canals completed in and after 1860, their cost, and their mileage were:
1899); William D. P. Bliss (ed.), Encyclopedia of Social Reform (New York, 1897); United States Industrial Commission, Trusts and Industrial Combinations, vol. ii. of the commission's reports (Washington, 1900); Revised Statutes of the several States; William Wilson Cook, The Corporation Problem (New York, 1891); Lionel Norman, Legal Restraints on Modern Industrial Combinations and Monopolies in the United States (St. Louis, 1899); J. J. Lalor (ed.), Cyclopedia of Political Science, Political Economy and of the Political History of the United States (3 vols., Chicago, 1881); Katherine Coman, Industrial History of the United States (New York, 1905).
Another canal enterprise of vast importance was the Chicago Drainage Canal, intended chiefly to carry off the sewage of the city of Chicago, but available also for commercial purposes. It was begun in 1902 and completed several years later at a cost of $45,000,000. The main channel (29 miles long, 22 feet minimum depth, and 160 feet wide at the bottom) is the largest artificial channel in the world.
In 1880 the canals and canalized rivers operated by the Federal government, State governments and corporations were 62 in number, with a mileage of 3,325 and a total construction cost of $183,952,302. In 1889 the number was 67, the mileage 3,383, and the cost $188,185,880; in 1906 it ran -number, 64, mileage, 3,644, and cost, $233,208,863. Between 1880 and 1906 887 miles had been abandoned and there were additions of 1,296 miles, leaving a net increase of 409 miles and an increase in cost of $49,256,561, or nearly 27 per cent. in a quarter of a century. In 1906 the canals and canalized rivers in the different States were: New York and Illinois, 6 each; Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Louisiana, 5 each; Texas and Oregon, 4 each; Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina and West Virginia, 3 each; New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Alabama, 2 each; Maryland, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa and Arkansas, 1 each.*
* Transportation by water, 1906 Census Report.
The history of the Erie Canal presents a striking illustration of the rise, decadence, and rejuvenation of canal facilities. From its completion in 1825 it was the source of almost untold commercial advantage to the West of the Great Lake region, to New York City, and to our foreign trade. After the middle of the century the influence of the railroads crossing central New York State almost succeeded in destroying it. Opposition to it was at times sufficiently strong to have the question of its entire abandonment seriously considered. Changes in the methods of modern transportation, demanding waterways adapted to large tonnage and using steam or electricity in place of the old-time horse-drawn canal boats, also lessened its usefulness. But general confidence in its commercial utility ultimately prevailed and in 1903, after years of public agitation, the people of the State, in a general election, approved a legislative enactment to expend $101,000,000 for its enlargement and improvement, together with improvements of the Oswego and Champlain canals. Up to 1904 the cost of the Erie's construction, enlargement and maintenance was $52,540,800, less than one-half the amount required after that date to make it a modern waterway. The Sault Ste. Marie ship canal, 63 miles in length and connecting Lakes Superior and Huron, is another of the great canals of the world, with an annual tonnage and freight movement
far exceeding those of the Suez Canal. Although extra-territorial, the Panama Canal is a government enterprise which politically and economically is destined to have a profound effect upon the future of the United States. In its engineering magnitude, its cost, its ultimate commercial and industrial influences and its international bearings, no single work has ever been undertaken by the Nation that is at all comparable with it. A canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was thought of as far back as 1513, and from that time until the latter part of the Nineteenth century the project was considered again and again and several surveys were made. The canal was finally begun in 1881 by a French company under the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps, constructing engineer of the Suez Canal. The enterprise was a colossal failure and, after millions of dollars. had been lost in it, was finally abandoned. In 1904, after several years of engineering investigation, political controversy, diplomatic negotiations with Great Britain and the Republic of Colombia, and the revolutionary erection of Panama into an independent state, the United States purchased from the French Company what existed of the canal for $40,000,000 and paid Panama $10,000,000 for canal zone rights. Under the direction of the Isthmian Canal Commission, work was begun in 1905, according to plans which contemplated
the completion of the structure by January 1, 1915. The canal will be 50 miles long from deep water to deep water, of a minimum depth of 41 feet, of surface widths from 300 to 1000 feet, of average bottom width of 649 'feet, and have six locks.
In the middle of the Nineteenth century the Great American Desert was accepted as an undisputed fact. Time demonstrated that it was less a desert than had been supposed, while modern methods of land improvement made clear the possible fertility and usefulness of territory seemingly most unpromising. Irrigation has been the principal means by which this land has been recovered for agricultural purposes, a thing scarcely thought of before 1860. In some sections of the country local and State laws and customs had been applied to regulate the use of water for irrigation, mining and other purposes, but this was done in a comparatively small way and in widely separated localities. National attention was given to the subject after the close of the war, when the necessity of systematic plans to increase the productivity of poor land came more and more to be realized. In 1866 Congress passed a law recognizing the existing local laws and customs in regard to the matter, and under this encouragement water rights were established in several of the Western States. This policy of leaving to the States control of water projects was continued, without important modification, for more than a
third of a century. It was in substance reaffirmed by the National Reclamation Act of 1902, but in this later period the Federal Government began gradually to exercise a large and increasing control over irrigation, the subject finally becoming one of the most important demanding National consideration and legislation.
Prior to 1880 most of the irrigation was done by the coöperative efforts of those specially interested in their home localities. Many of these early enterprises were the outcome of the workings of the Desert Land Act of 1877 allowing settlers to take up 640 acres of land for irrigation and improvement, but very little of permanent value was accomplished thereby. In the years following 1880 commercial enterprise entered the field and investment companies were organized to carry on the work. Eventually most of the States felt impelled to exercise supervisory powers over these corporations to remedy abuses and impotency.
A more decided step was taken by the Federal Government in 1892, when the National Irrigation Act was passed. This provided for government and private coöperation in the field of irrigation finance. Under its provisions receipts from the sale of public lands were advanced for irrigation works in those States where the land lay and was sold. A great deal was accomplished by this law in the years immediately following its enactment. In 1889 the land under