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LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
118,000,000, as compared with a total of 101,100,000 reported by the Census of 1910. This makes our continental growth about 14,000,000 and our total growth over 16,000,000.
450. Summary. The most important points in President Wilson's administration were: (1) the ratification of three new amendments to the Constitution, -- namely, the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth (the first declared that members of the United States Senate must be elected by the direct vote of the people; the second declared Prohibition in force in all parts of the country; the third established Woman Suffrage throughout the United States); (2) a new tariff was adopted, admitting many articles free of duty, and reducing the duty on others; (3) this new tariff included a National Income Tax; (4) a new system of National Banks called Federal Reserve Banks was established; (5) the Panama Canal was opened and we purchased the Virgin Islands in the West Indies; (6) in 1917 we entered the Great War and did our part toward winning the final victory; (7) the Presidential Election of 1920; (8) the Census Report of 1920 showing the growth of the country in population.
WARREN G. HARDING (REPUBLICAN)1
451. Harding's Administration (Thirtieth President, 1921 the Inauguration. Standing at the top of the east steps of the main entrance of the National Capitol, President Harding took the same oath of office that Washington took on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City more than a hundred and thirty years before (§ 199). He also made use of the same copy of the Bible that our first President did.
1 Warren G. Harding was born on a farm at Blooming Grove, Ohio, in 1865. As a boy he did his share of work on the farm; as he grew older he learned to set type in a village printing-office, and when the opportunity came he entered the Ohio Central College to complete his education. When he reached manhood he became the editor and later on the owner of the Marion "Star," a newspaper to which he devoted a large part of his time, on which he did much excellent work, and which he still continues to publish. In 1915 he was elected to the United States Senate -- as a preparation, it would seem, for his election in 1920 to the highest office in the gift of the American people. In our long list of Presidents he is the first newspaper man and the first employer of labor who has risen to that position. His record shows that he believes in doing things as they should be done and that he puts his heart into what he believes.
When this brief ceremony was over, President Harding delivered his inaugural address to the assembled members of Congress, judges of the Supreme Court, and other distinguished men present, and to the people collected in the great square.
He expressed his deep, abiding faith in America and in all that America has stood for in the past and stands for now. He declared his belief that we are entering upon an "era of the Golden Rule," provided the people accept it and do their work bravely and efficiently; for without their help the government can do but little.
452. Interesting Events. On Armistice Day, which we always celebrate (see page 430), President Harding moved the hearts of many thousands. They joined him in paying honor to an unknown American soldier who had been killed in battle and who was now laid to rest in the National Cemetery within sight of the Capitol.
On the next day the President, at the request of Congress, opened a very important Conference, or meeting, at Washington. He appointed a number of our public men to take part in it, and he invited a group of statesmen, representing Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, to come over and act with us who had sent armies to help win the Great War. On their arrival we gave them a hearty welcome. When Secretary Hughes addressed the assembly he said, above all things let us cease to spend hundreds of millions in extending our navies. We, as a people, stand ready to agree not to build another war ship for ten years. Then he added words which mean just this: join us and we shall save money and save life; thereby we shall hope to preserve peace and prevent war, both East and West, for years to come.
LEADING FACTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
The proposition made by Secretary Hughes impressed the members of the Conference. Later they spent many weeks in drawing up agreements, or treaties, which they signed.1 The President, expressing his approval of what had been accomplished, sent their treaties to the Senate, which in time voted for them.
453. General Summary. In this book we have traced the progress of our country down to this time. We have seen it grow from a few colonies on the Atlantic coast to thirteen independent states. We have followed the development of that commonwealth into a prosperous and powerful nation, which numbered in 1920 nearly 118,000,000 people, and which extends from ocean to ocean and embraces important islands in both the Atlantic and the Pacific. The total continental area of the United States comprises the chief part of the land of North America. It is considerably greater than the area of Continental Europe, and, with the possible exception of the Republic of Siberia,3 it covers the largest portion of the earth's surface4 under the control of any one government on any one of the grand divisions of the globe.
1 The first treaty proposed that the three principal navies of the world should stand as follows: The United States could retain eighteen of her best war ships, with other vessels of her fleet, not exceeding 500,000 tons in all. Great Britain, as finally agreed upon, would have about the same number of ships and tons. Japan, with 300,000 tons, would have ten ships.
All other vessels of the three fleets made a total of sixty-eight, embracing nearly 1,900,000 tons, which were to be broken up, or otherwise disposed of. Finally, it was settled that no war ship should be built within the next ten years.
Later, treaties were adopted which upheld the maintenance of peace in the Pacific, and of good terms with China. It was agreed that if a submarine attacked an unarmed merchant ship, it should be dealt with as a pirate. Furthermore, poison gas should not be used in war.
2 It has been suggested that the nation should erect this arch in Washington.
3 The Chinese Republic is not mentioned, since its territory is more or less divided.
4 The United States, including Alaska, has 3,616,484 square miles, or, with islands, 3,743,448 miles. The land area of Canada is much smaller than ours
Here every advantage is open. Education is absolutely free. Millions of acres of Western lands still invite industrious settlers. Here, and here only, among the leading civilized nations of the world, no immense standing army eats up a big slice of the daily earnings of the people.1 Here all men and all women now have an equal right to vote. Here every law springs, or may spring, directly from the will of the majority.
Here men coming from all parts of the world have made their home. Here they have learned to dwell together, work together, and stand together, in peace and in war, loyal to the flag and to the government which they have created and which they uphold by their own free will.
These facts prove the truth of the motto chosen for this book. They show that America means Opportunity. In closing this brief history can we do better than ask, each one of himself, What use do I intend to make of this opportunity? The whole future of the Republic, for good or ill, for growth or decay, for glory or shame, depends on the way in which we individually answer this question.
1 The "standing army" of the United States is at present less than 150,000.