Resource Center OLLibrary
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
of work that it is getting to be difficult to think of any that they cannot do.1
The following year (1892) a second great strike in our history occurred (§ 377). The workmen in the Carnegie Steel Works at Homestead, near Pittsburg, asked for higher wages and stopped work when this demand was refused. The company hired a force of detectives to protect their buildings, and fierce battles were fought between them and the strikers. Both sides used firearms and on both sides a number were killed. Eventually the governor of Pennsylvania was obliged to send a military force to occupy the town and restore order.
398. Summary. Aside from the opening of Oklahoma and the admission of six new states (in two of which women may vote and hold office the same as men), the principal events of Harrison's administration were (1) the building of many new ships of war; (2) the passage of the new Pension Act, the Sherman Silver Purchase and Coinage Act, and the McKinley Protective Tariff; (3) the Census Report, the Patent Office Celebration, and the Homestead Strike.
1 Among the inventions of the nineteenth century, not previously mentioned, attention may be called to the following: the machine gun, smokeless powder, fixed ammunition, breech-loading cannon; the Westinghouse air brake for cars, automatic electric signals, the interlocking safety switch, the automatic car coupler, vestibule trains, the Pullman and the Wagner palace cars; the compressed-air drill, the sand blast for cutting designs on glass; the electric search light, electric welding and heating; cold storage; noiseless firearms; color photography; the submarine signaling apparatus; aluminum ware; enameled kitchen ware; dyes made from coal tar; wood paper; wire nails, gimlet-pointed screws, plain and barbed wire fence; the cash carrier for stores, the passenger elevator; ocean steamers built of steel with water-tight bulkheads and twin screws; the hydraulic dredge; the gas engine, the Corliss engine; the voting machine; the tin-can-making machine; water gas; Yale, combination, and time locks; the bicycle.
Among the most noteworthy scientific discoveries of the last century (not previously mentioned) are spectrum analysis, dynamite, the use of cocaine as a local anæsthetic in producing insensibility to pain, the X or Röntgen Ray used in surgery (and, to some extent, in the arts) for seeing and photographing objects otherwise invisible to the eye, the use of antiseptics in surgical operations, and finally the discovery and treatment of disease germs, the production of liquid air, and the discovery of the properties of radium.
CLEVELAND'S (SECOND) ADMINISTRATION
GROVER CLEVELAND1 (DEMOCRAT)
399. Cleveland's (Second) Administration (Twenty-fourth President, 1893-1897); the Introduction of the Australian or Secret Ballot. Soon after Harrison became President (1889) a new kind of ballot or voting paper was used by the people of Massachusetts for the first time in the United States. It was called the Australian ballot, because it was introduced here from that country. One great fault in the old system of election was that the bystanders could see how each one voted. This often prevented a man from voting independently, and so did great harm.
The Australian method is this:
1. An officer hands the voter a printed ballot having on it the names of all the candidates of the different political parties.
2. The voter, passing behind a railing, enters a narrow booth, or stall, where no one can overlook him, and makes a cross opposite the names of such candidates as he chooses.
3. Finally, he folds his ballot so that no one can see what names he has marked, and, in the presence of an officer, deposits it in the ballot box. When Mr. Cleveland was elected to his second term of office (1892) many states had adopted the Australian ballot or one resembling it. No less than forty-four states out of forty-eight now use it.
400. The World's Columbian Exposition; Panic and "Hard Times" (1893); Repeal of an Important Act; the Bering Sea Case. In October (1892) the public schools throughout the Union celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. At the same time the magnificent buildings
1 Grover Cleveland (§ 387, note 1) was elected a second time by the Democrats (Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, Vice President) over Benjamin Harrison (§ 394, note 1), the Republican candidate for reëlection. The political question was practically the same as in the previous presidential election (§ 394, note 1). At this election a new party, calling itself the "People's Party," or "Populists," voted for James B. Weaver of Iowa for President. Out of a total of 444 "electoral votes" cast for all presidential candidates, he received 22, but none cast of Kansas, which gave him 10. The "Populists" in their platform declared themselves in favor of the union of the labor forces of the United States to secure (1) the ownership of all railway, telegraph, and telephone lines by the national government; (2) free coinage of silver in its present ratio of 16 ounces of silver to one of gold; (3) the establishment of postal savings banks; (4) the prohibition of all alien ownership of land.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
of the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago were dedicated. The next spring (1893) President Cleveland opened the great Fair to the public. It proved to be a brilliant success in every respect.
But the summer brought "hard times" to multitudes. There had been a business panic (§§ 275, 312, 373) in the spring, which was followed by many disastrous failures. Property of all kinds fell in value, and immense numbers of people who depended on the work of their hands for their daily bread were thrown out of employment. Great strikes in the coal mines and on one of the leading coal railways increased the distress.
Before the presidential election the Republicans and the Democrats had both declared themselves on the side of "honest money," and had resolved that they would make every dollar, whether silver or paper, as good as gold.
President Cleveland believed that the Sherman Silver Purchase and Coinage Act (1890) was doing harm to the country (§ 396). He called a special meeting of Congress (1893), which repealed the purchase clause in the act. This stopped the buying of silver and checked the making of silver dollars.
Meanwhile (1893), a serious dispute in regard to Bering Sea was settled. We claimed that when we bought Alaska (§ 368) we bought the right to control Bering Sea and could close it against English and other foreign seal hunters. The foreign seal hunters denied our right to shut the sea. Finally, the question was left to a commission1 to decide. They reported that Bering Sea must remain open, but that the seals should be properly protected, and not killed by everybody at all times. This protection was what we most wished to secure. We got it, as we did the damages for the destruction done by the Alabama (§ 374), by peaceful means. That bloodless victory was an advantage to us and to the world. The more such bloodless victories any nation can win, the better.
401. The Coxey "Industrial Army"; the Pullman Strike; more "Hard Times." The next spring (1894) a man named Coxey started from Ohio to lead an "army" of the unemployed
1 Bering Sea Commission: this commission consisted of seven eminent men chosen by the United States, the British Empire, France, Italy, and Norway and Sweden.
THE WILSON TARIFF
to Washington to demand relief from the government. Some of those who joined him were honest men seeking work, but many were simply "tramps" and criminals. Coxey, with a part of his "army," reached the national capital, but accomplished nothing, and his disgusted followers soon disbanded and disappeared.
Shortly after this a third historic strike occurred (§ 397). Several thousand workmen employed in building Pullman cars at Pullman, near Chicago, struck for higher wages. Next, the men on a number of western railways struck in order to stop the use of these cars until the Pullman Company should raise the rate of wages. For a time trains ceased running between Chicago and San Francisco and other points. Much railway property was destroyed, and the President felt compelled to send United States troops to Chicago and to certain points in California to protect the carrying of the mails and to maintain order. Meanwhile (1894), a new money panic (§§ 275, 312, 373, 400) did enormous damage to all kinds of business and for a time made it harder than ever for men to get work.
402. The Wilson Tariff. After a long and bitter contest Congress enacted (1894) a modified form of what was originally called the Wilson Tariff (§§ 200, 234, 266, 267, 269, 324). It reduced protective duties about one fourth, and admitted wool, salt, and lumber free. It furthermore condemned "trusts" (§ 390) and all combinations in restraint of lawful trade which affected imports in any way.
403. The Admission of Utah; the "New West." Two years later (1896) Utah -- the forty-fifth state -- was admitted to the Union. The admission of Utah naturally called attention to the marvelous growth of the "New West" in population, wealth, and industrial enterprise. Thousands of miles of railways had been constructed in that section within ten years, cities and towns had multiplied, mines of precious metals had been opened, and cattle ranches, sheep ranches, and grain farms were yielding food products on a gigantic scale.
404. The Venezuela Question. In his third annual message (1895) President Cleveland expressed the hope that the long-standing dispute between England and Venezuela respecting the boundary
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
line of British Guiana might be settled by a joint committee of arbitration (§§ 374, 400). England, however, failed to act, and the President, with the consent of Congress, appointed a commission to determine "the true divisional line between the Republic of Venezuela and British Guiana." Soon after, England and the United States settled the dispute in a friendly way (1896).
405. Summary. The chief events of Cleveland's second administration were (1) the introduction at presidential elections of the Australian or secret ballot; (2) the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition; (3) the financial panics of 1893-1894, the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act; (4) the settlement of the Bering Sea controversy and of the Venezuela boundary dispute; (5) the Coxey "Industrial Army" movement; (6) the Pullman strike; (7) the passage of the Wilson Tariff; (8) the admission of Utah.
WILLIAM McKINLEY1 AND THEODORE ROOSEVELT (REPUBLICAN)
406. McKinley's and Roosevelt's Administrations (Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Presidents, Two Terms, 1897-1905); the Dingley Tariff. When the new President entered office the government was in great need of money to meet its expenses; Congress passed the Dingley high Protective Tariff2 (§§ 200, 234, 266, 267, 269, 324, 402) "to provide revenue for the support of the government, and to encourage the industries of the United States."
1 William McKinley was born in 1843 in Niles, Ohio; died, 1901. He enlisted in the Civil War, and was promoted for gallant service to the rank of major. After the war he began the practice of law in Canton, Ohio. In 1876 the Republicans elected him to Congress. In 1890 he introduced the McKinley tariff. In 1896 the Republican vote, supplemented by the votes of many "Gold Democrats," elected him President of the United States (Garrett A. Hobart of New Jersey, Vice President) over William J. Bryan, the Democratic and Populist candidate. The great question at the election was whether the United States should adopt the free and unlimited coinage of silver advocated by the regular Democratic party and by the Populists, but opposed by the Republicans and the "Gold Democrats." Mr. McKinley was reëlected President by the Republicans in 1900 (Theodore Roosevelt of New York, Vice President) over William J. Bryan. The Democrats demanded "Free Silver" and the ultimate independence of the Philippines; the Republican platform upheld the gold standard, and pledged self-government, as far as practicable, to the Philippines.
2 The tariff got its name from Nelson Dingley, who originated the measure.
INCREASE IN EXPORTS
The Dingley Tariff made many changes:
1. It levied duties on wool and certain other raw materials, which the Wilson Tariff (§ 402) had admitted free.
2. It generally imposed higher rates on silks, woolens, and other woven fabrics.
3. It kept in force the sections of the Wilson Tariff which forbade all persons forming combinations to restrain trade in any articles imported into the United States, or to raise their market price.
407. Enormous Increase in Our Exports; Architectural Progress. One of the marked features of the period, which still continues, was the great gain in our exports. Every year we ship to Europe and to other countries breadstuffs, provisions, and cattle valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Great Britain depends on us for a large part of her food supply, American beef has crowded most of "the roast beef of Old England" off the table; and when the traveler calls for bread, the waiter will quite likely bring him a loaf made of Minnesota flour.
We also export immense quantities of cotton, petroleum, leather, and tobacco.
Within the memory of men now living we did not send any manufactured iron or steel abroad; on the contrary, we once imported most of our tools and even the locomotives and the rails for our railways. Since then we have sent American locomotives and American rails to Russia, China, Japan, and, in some cases, to Great Britain; and we have constructed steel bridges in Egypt, and electric street-car lines through Cairo to the Pyramids. Between 1910 and 1920 our exports of all kinds increased to such an extent that we reckon their yearly value not