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States failed to adopt these policies. the people that the failure of the Says one writer of authority:

States to curb predatory wealth would “The exceptions to this general principle are

result in the continuous strengthening significant. Eight Cordillieran States and two and centralization of power in the territories, where the need of transportation facilities overrides every other consideration, and

Nation. Presently, however, the five Eastern States, where the Railroad interests pendulum began to swing in the other control the legislatures, have as yet provided no

direction. Several of the Western supervision commission.”

States, notably Nebraska and MichiCoincident with the period of estab- gan, took vigorous action against the lishing railroad commissions was the railroads on rate questions, and when Granger movement of the West in

the protection of the United States 1870–1877, directed almost entirely courts was sought the State authoragainst the railroads of the country. ities denounced this as subverting the One immediate result of this move

powers and the rights of their comment was anti-railroad legislation in monwealths. The historic State several Western and Southern States, rights principle was awakened again principally in the direction of fixing after its long slumber. rates. Illinois passed the first law of Several pieces of legislation in New this kind in 1871 (amended in 1873); York in this period show the growing afterward similar laws were passed popular demand for some sort of State by Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin,

Wisconsin, supervision of corporate business. Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, These included the new corporation Tennessee and other States. Al

act of 1897, a scientific, conservative though the constitutionality of these and powerful statute, probably unlaws was affirmed by the Supreme surpassed as a whole by any similar Court of the United States in 1877, measure of any State in the Union, the they did not always work so well in- establishment of the principle of a dustrially as their promoters had ex- franchise tax upon corporations enpected. They were most successful gaged in the public service; and the in some Southern States.

creation of the two Public Service For a few years after 1900, there Commissions in 1907. The commiswas a decided disposition to leave to sions thus created succeeded the railthe National Government the duty of road, gas and electricity and rapid regulating and controlling the large transit commissions with increased corporations engaged in inter-state

powers that gave them almost arbicommerce. So far had this gone that trary control of the corporate manageSecretary of State Root, in a notable

ment and public service of the steam speech in December of 1906, warned and electric railroads, gas, telephone,

telegraph and electric light companies. * Katherine Coman, Industrial History of the I'nited States, p. 324.

The act was the most advanced legis



lation for State control of public util- success of the New York idea influities that had ever been enacted any- enced New Jersey to create a similar where in the country. The general commission."




Esrly 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.

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tions as well as the quicker service rendered by rail, even though at

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,

everywhere against the canals, and the political power exercised by those corpora

* Charles Fisk Beach, Sr., A Treatise on the Law of Monopolies and Industrial Trusts in Eng. land 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, * Transportation by water, 1906 Census Report.


greater cost, very nearly brought Another canal enterprise of vast about the complete destruction of the importance was the Chicago Drainage canals. For example, the costly and Canal, intended chiefly to carry off the useful Erie Canal across the State of sewage of the city of Chicago, but New York was transformed into an available also for commercial puralmost worthless ditch by the insidi- poses. It was begun in 1902 and comous influences of the railroads which pleted several years later at a cost of paralleled it. Not until the opening $45,000,000. The main channel (29 of the Twentieth century was there miles long, 22 feet minimum depth, a general revival of interest in water- and 160 feet wide at the bottom) is way transportation and a general the largest artificial channel in the recognition of the value of the canals world. and rivers of the country, both as

In 1880 the canals and canalized supplementary to, and as salutary re

rivers operated by the Federal govstraints upon, the monopolistic tend

ernment, State governments and corencies of the railroads.

porations were 62 in number, with a The principal canals completed in mileage of 3,325 and a total construcand after 1860, their cost, and their

tion cost of $183,952,302. In 1889 the mileage were:

number was 67, the mileage 3,383, and

the cost $188,185,880; in 1906 it ran Albemarle and Chesapeake, 1860-$1,641,363 44 Des Moines Rapids, 1877.


— number, 64, mileage, 3,644, and cost, Illinois and Mississippi, 1895. Louisville and Portland, 1872... 15,578,631 23

$233,208,863. Between 1880 and 1906 Muscle Shoals

887 miles had been abandoned and Shoals, 1889

3,156,919 16 Portage Lake and Lake Superior,

there were additions of 1,296 miles, Port Arthur, 1889.

leaving a net increase of 409 miles and Sante Fé, 1880..

an increase in cost of $49,256,561, or Sault Ste. Marie, 1895.

4,000,000 3 Sturgeon Bay and Lake Michigan,

nearly 27 per cent. in a quarter of a

99,661 St. Mary's Falls, 1896.


century. In 1906 the canals and

canalized rivers in the different States 1899); William D. P. Bliss (ed.), Encyclopedia were: New York and Illinois, 6 each; of Social Reform (New York, 1897); United States Industrial Commission, Trusts and In

Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Louisidustrial Combinations, vol. ii. of the commission's ana, 5 each; Texas and Oregon, 4 each; reports (Washington, 1900); Revised Statutes of

Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina and the several States; William Wilson Cook, The Corporation Problem (New York, 1891); Lionel

West Virginia, 3 each; New Jersey, Norman, Legal Restraints on Modern Industrial Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Combinations and Monopolies in the United

Tennessee and Alabama, 2 each; States (St. Louis, 1899); J. J. Lalor (ed.), Cyclopedia of Political Science, Political Economy Maryland, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa and of the Political History of the United States

and Arkansas, 1 each.* (3 vols., Chicago, 1881); Katherine Coman, Industrial History of the United States (New York, 1905).


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The history of the Erie Canal pre- far exceeding those of the Suez Canal. sents a striking illustration of the rise, Although extra-territorial, the Pandecadence, and rejuvenation of canal ama Canal is a government enterfacilities. From its completion in prise which politically and economi1825 it was the source of almost un- cally is destined to have a profound told commercial advantage to the effect upon the future of the United West of the Great Lake region, to States. In its engineering magnitude, New York City, and to our foreign its cost, its ultimate commercial and trade. After the middle of the cent.

industrial influences and its internaury the influence of the railroads tional bearings, no single work has crossing central New York State al- ever been undertaken by the Nation most succeeded in destroying it. Op- that is at all comparable with it. A position to it was at times sufficiently canal across the Isthmus of Panama strong to have the question of its en- to connect the Atlantic and Pacific tire abandonment seriously consid- Oceans was thought of as far back as ered. Changes in the methods of 1513, and from that time until the modern transportation, demanding latter part of the Nineteenth centwaterways adapted to large tonnage ury the project was considered again and using steam or electricity in place and again and several surveys were of the old-time horse-drawn canal made. The canal was finally begun boats, also lessened its usefulness. in 1881 by a French company under But general confidence in its commer- the direction of Ferdinand de Lesseps, cial utility ultimately prevailed and constructing engineer of the Suez in 1903, after years of public agita- Canal. The enterprise was a colossal tion, the people of the State, in a gen- failure and, after millions of dollars eral election, approved a legislative had been lost in it, was finally abanenactment to expend $101,000,000 for doned. In 1904, after several years its enlargement and improvement, to-' of engineering investigation, political gether with improvements of the controversy, diplomatic negotiations Oswego and Champlain canals. Up to with Great Britain and the Republic 1904 the cost of the Erie's construc- of Colombia, and the revolutionary tion, enlargement and maintenance erection of Panama into an independwas $52,540,800, less than one-half the ent state, the United States puramount required after that date to chased from the French Company make it a modern waterway. The what existed of the canal for $40,Sault Ste. Marie ship canal, 63 000,000 and paid Panama $10,000,000 miles in length and connecting Lakes for canal zone rights. Under the Superior and Huron, is another of direction of the Isthmian Canal Comthe great canals of the world, with an mission, work was begun in 1905, acannual tonnage and freight movement cording to plans which contemplated

Vol. X - 33


the completion of the structure by third of a century. It was in subJanuary 1, 1915. The canal will be stance reaffirmed by the National 50 miles long from deep water to deep Reclamation Act of 1902, but in this water, of a minimum depth of 41 feet, later period the Federal Government of surface widths from 300 to 1000 began gradually to exercise a large feet, of average bottom width of 649 and increasing control over irrigation, feet, and have six locks.

the subject finally becoming one of the In the middle of the Nineteenth most important demanding National century the Great American Desert consideration and legislation. was accepted as an undisputed fact. Prior to 1880 most of the irrigation Time demonstrated that it was less a was done by the coöperative efforts of desert than had been supposed, while those specially interested in their modern methods of land improvement home localities. Many of these early made clear the possible fertility and enterprises were the outcome of the usefulness of territory seemingly workings of the Desert Land Act of most unpromising. Irrigation has 1877 allowing settlers to take up 640 been the principal means by which acres of land for irrigation and imthis land has been recovered for agri- provement, but very little of percultural purposes, a thing scarcely manent value

accomplished thought of before 1860. In some sec- thereby. In the years following 1880 tions of the country local and State commercial enterprise entered the laws and customs had been applied to field and investment companies were regulate the use of water for irriga- organized to carry on

on the work. tion, mining and other purposes, but Eventually most of the States felt imthis was done in a comparatively small pelled to exercise supervisory powers way and in widely separated localities. over these corporations to remedy National attention was given to the abuses and impotency. subject after the close of the war, A more decided step was taken by when the necessity of systematic the Federal Government in 1892, plans to increase the productivity of when the National Irrigation Act was poor land came more and more to be passed. This provided for governrealized. In 1866 Congress passed a ment and private coöperation in the law recognizing the existing local laws field of irrigation finance. Under its and customs in regard to the matter, provisions receipts from the sale of and under this encouragement water public lands were advanced for irrirights were established in several of gation works in those States where the Western States. This policy of the land lay and was sold. A great leaving to the States control of water deal was accomplished by this law in projects was continued, without im- the years immediately following its portant modification, for more than a enactment. In 1889 the land under

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