1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/United States, The
UNITED STATES, THE (see 27.612). This article describes the development of the United States from the close of the first decade of the 20th century, as shown roughly by the census of 1910 and the Congressional elections of that year, to the close of the Washington Conference early in 1922. This period of 12 years, covering the World War and America's part in it, the shifting of the United States from the position of a debtor to that of a creditor nation, a vast increase in wealth and world influence, and many other changes scarcely less important, is from an international as well as a domestic point of view one of the most important in American history. The main facts of the period are outlined in this article, but for many of the details other articles must be consulted; and the reader who would consider the full perspective should read those as well as this, as should also the reader who desires detailed information on any one point. The articles on the various states contain details of their respective population, agriculture, manufactures, education and political history; data more local appear in articles on the more important cities. A full list of the articles relating to the United States will be found in the Classified Table of Articles which precedes the List of Contributors at the end of Vol. XXXII., but we may name here the leading articles in the more important divisions of the subject. Details of population, supplementing the various summaries contained in the first section, Statistics, of the present article, will be found in the articles on separate states and in the articles Negro and Public Assistance. Many economic questions are treated fully in such articles as Banking, Federal Reserve Banking System, Federal Farm Loan Board, Excess Profits Duty, Income Tax, City Government, Interstate Commerce, Conservation Policy, Insurance, Cost of Living, Food Supply, Rationing, Marketing, Price Control, Profiteering, Profit-Sharing, Savings Movement, ETC. For industrial development see also the articles Shipping, Railways, Telegraph, Telephone, and Electricity Supply, as well as those on important industries such as Coal, Copper, Cotton and Cotton Industry, Dyeing, Petroleum, Iron and Steel. Various phases of labour are discussed under Arbitration and Conciliation in Labour Disputes, Labour Legislation, Labour Supply and Demand, Strikes and Lockouts, Trade Unions, Unemployment and Wages. For social and welfare work, read also Housing; Hospitals; Juvenile Employment; Children, Laws Relating to; Liquor Laws; Prohibition; and Public Assistance. For recent developments in education, arts and letters, see besides the articles on Harvard, Yale, Princeton, ETC., the articles Education, Medical Education, Architecture, Arts and Crafts, Painting, Sculpture, American Literature. For recent changes in the status of women, see further Woman Suffrage; Women; Women's Employment; Women Police; Women, Legal Status of. The section History of the present article may be supplemented by articles such as Army, Ship and Shipbuilding, World War, Liberty Loan Publicity Campaigns, Munitions of War, Women's War Work, Washington Conference, and by the biographies of political leaders and public officials. The present article has eight sections: Statistics, Agriculture, Finance, Taxation, Social and Welfare Work, The American Labour Movement, Military Law, and History, in the order named.
In 1920 the pop. of the United States (excluding all outlying possessions) was 105,710,620, as compared with 91,972,266 in 1910. The rate of increase between these two dates, 14.9%, was considerably less than in the preceding decades. Never before in a 10-year period had the rate of increase fallen below 20 per cent. The decline was due to the large falling off of immigration in the last half of the decade, and in some slight degree to the epidemic of influenza in 1918, as well as to the casualties resulting from the World War. It was estimated that the pop. of the outlying possessions was 12,148,875, of which the Philippine Is. furnished more than 10,000,000. The total pop. of the United States with its outlying possessions in 1920, therefore, numbered 117,859,495. Excluding the outlying possessions, the total addition to the pop. in the decade 1910-20 was 13,738,354 as compared with nearly 16,000,000 in the previous decade.
The accompanying table shows the pop. by territorial divisions and component states, with changes between 1910 and 1920.
Increase of Population
|EAST NORTH CENTRAL|
|WEST NORTH CENTRAL|
|District of Columbia||437,571||331,069||106,502||32.2|
|EAST SOUTH CENTRAL|
|WEST SOUTH CENTRAL|
There was no change beween 1910 and 1920 in the relative rank of the territorial divisions, and only minor shiftings for most of the states, California rising from 12th to 8th place. The territorial divisions may be further condensed into geographic sections north (comprising New England, Middle Atlantic states, and the two North Central divisions), south (comprising the South Atlantic and South Central divisions) and west (including the Mountain and Pacific states). This gives the following distribution:—
|1920|| Per cent
More than one-half the increase in pop. was found in the north, and the rate of gain in this section was greater than in the south, but less than in the west represented by the Mountain and Pacific Coast states.
Sex.—By sex the pop. in 1920 was divided: males 53,900,376; females, 51,810,244. This gives 104 males to 100 females. The excess of males is attributable in part to immigration, for in the foreign-born pop. the males greatly outnumber the females. In a few states the females are in excess of males; in Massachusetts the number of males was 96.3 to 100 females; in Rhode Island, 97. This is probably due to the inflow of female operatives to the textile factories. In some of the far-western states the proportion of males to females runs very high, as in Nevada, 148.4; Wyoming, 131.3; Arizona, 121.9. The mining industry accounts for these differences. The two sexes in these sections, however, are nearer in numbers than in 1910. In the earlier year the ratio of males for the Mountain states was 128 to 100 females, while in 1920 it fell to 115.7. In the Pacific states the ratio dropped from 130 to 114. This is evidence that these sections are rapidly approaching the standard forms of family life which obtain in the older portions of the country.
Negroes.—The negro pop. in 1920 was nearly 10% of the total pop.—10,463,131 in a total of 105,710,620. This was an increase of 635,368 or 6.5% since 1910, as compared with 11.4% in the previous decade, and 13.8% between 1890 and 1900. The percentage of negroes in the total pop. is diminishing; in 1900 it was 11.6%; in 1910, 10.7% and in 1920, 9.9%. The number of negroes per 1,000 whites was 132 in 1900; 120 in 1910 and 110 in 1920. Although complete data are not available, it is believed that the birth-rate of negroes declined between 1900 and 1920 while the death-rate did not greatly change. The negro element in the south barely held its own in the 10 years 1910-20, numbering 8,912,259 in 1920 as compared with 8,749,427 in 1910. This was a gain for this section of less than 2 per cent. In the south as a whole the percentage of negroes in the total pop. declined from 29.8 to 26.6. In 1920, in South Carolina and Mississippi the negroes still outnumbered the whites; in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, however, there was an actual falling off in the negro population. There was a marked gain in the number of negroes in the north, 9.43%, showing that negroes were migrating in considerable numbers to the industrial centres of that section. The negro pop. of Michigan increased from 17,000 in 1910 to over 60,000 in 1920. (See Negro.)
The number of Indians declined from 265,683 in 1910 to 242,959 in 1920. This apparent decrease, however, is probably due to the fact that in 1910 persons with only slight traces of Indian blood were enumerated as Indians, and in 1920 were classified as whites.
The Chinese also decreased in number, as might be expected from the policy of exclusion; in 1910 there were 71,531 and in 1920 61,686. The number of Japanese, however, increased from 72,157 to 111,025, or 53.86 per cent. About 30,000 of this increase is credited to California and a little over 4,000 to the state of Washington.
Foreign-born.—The foreign-born white pop., owing to the check in immigration resulting from the World War, increased but slightly, from 13,345,545 to 13,712,754, or 2.7% between 1910 and 1920, as against an increase of 30.7% between 1900 and 1910. The numerical increase in this group of the pop., 367,209, was much smaller than in any preceding decade since 1850. This element increased between 1910 and 1920 in 20 states and the District of Columbia, and decreased in 28 states: in the previous decade there was a gain in every state except five. Arizona and Texas showed the largest rate of increase, 67% and 50% respectively, due to Mexican immigration. Table 1 shows the foreign-born whites for the four states having over 1,000,000 of this element in 1920. In 1910 the foreign-born whites constituted 14.5% of the total pop. of the United States and in 1920, 13 per cent. The nativity of the white pop. in 1920 is shown in Table 2. Little over one-half of the total white pop., 55.3%, was native-born with native-born parents. In New England only 30.8% were in this group; and in Massachusetts less than one-third, 31.9%. According to the post-war map, the countries from which had come the largest numbers of foreign-born whites who were in the United States in 1920, were Germany, 1,686,102; Italy, 1,610,109; Russia, 1,400,489; Poland, 1,139,978; Canada, 1,117,878; Ireland, 1,037,233; England, 812,828; Sweden, 625,580; Austria, 575,625.
Table 1. Foreign-born Whites.
|State||1920||1910||1900|| Per cent
| Per cent |
Table 2. Nativity of Whites, 1920.
|Other non-white races||426,574||0.4|
The following figures show the total number of foreign-born whites in certain states, with the foreign country which had furnished the largest number in that state: California, 681,662 (Italy, 88,502); Illinois, 1,204,403 (Germany, 205,491); Massachusetts, 1,077,534 (Ireland, 183,171); Michigan, 726,635 (Canada, 164,502); Minnesota, 486,164 (Sweden, 112,117); New Jersey, 738,613 (Italy, 157,285); New York, 2,786,112 (Italy 545,713); Ohio, 678,697 (Germany, 111,893); Pennsylvania, 1,387,850 (Italy, 222,764); Texas, 360,519 (Mexico, 249,652); Wisconsin, 460,128 (Germany, 151,250).
In connexion with the problems of Americanization the statistics of citizenship of the foreign-born whites are of interest. In 1920 12,498,334, or 94% of this element, were 21 years of age and over; 6,928,027 were men and 5,570,307 were women. Table 3 shows the number in 1920 naturalized, those who had taken out first papers, aliens and those for whom no reports were obtained.
Table 3. Naturalizations, 1920.
|Number||Per cent||Number||Per cent|
In 1910, 45.61% of the men were naturalized as compared with 47.8% in 1920, and only 8.6% had taken out first papers, as compared with 16.1% in 1920.
Statistics of immigration are often inaccurately used, no allowance being made for departures. Increasing facilities in ocean transportation, and the higher wages received by immigrants, enabling them to travel, led to a constant stream of departures in the decade 1910-20. In order to determine the net increase of pop. by immigration, it is necessary, therefore, to determine both arrivals and departures. Table 4 compiled by the Bureau of Immigration, shows the changes for the 11 years 1910-20.
Table 4. Immigrants, in thousands.
Beginning with 1915 there was a marked decline in immigration, due to the World War. In the five years 1910-4, the total number of immigrants was 5,174,000, and in the succeeding five years ending in 1919, only 1,173,000.
Immigrants may be classified (1) as to race or people and (2) as to country of last residence. The first is of importance as an index of the contribution of ethnic traits and characteristics; and the second as throwing light upon previous training of immigrants in social and political institutions. Tables 5 and 6 show immigration by race and by countries, for a few of the most important groups, for the years 1910 and 1920.
Table 5. Immigrant Aliens, by Race.
|Race or people||1920||1910|
|Number|| Per cent
|Number|| Per cent |
|Croatian and Slovenian||493||—||39,562||4|
|Dutch and Flemish||12,730||3||13,012||1|
Table 6. Immigrant Aliens, by Country.
|Number|| Per cent
|Number|| Per cent |
|Turkey in Europe||1,933||—||18,405||2|
|Turkey in Asia||5,033||1||15,212||1|
|British North America||90,025||21||56,555||5|
It will be observed that in 1920 there was a change in the racial composition of immigration as compared with 1910. The proportion of Italians was about the same, but immigration from eastern European stocks fell off. Immigration from Austria, Hungary, Germany and Russia practically stopped after 1917. Immigration from the northern border, of both English and French Canadians, and from the southern part of Mexico, had greatly increased. Until the World War, Europe was the chief source of immigration to the United States, furnishing 90% of the total. The percentage coming from Europe fell, however, to 60% in 1915, 50% in 1916, 45% in 1917, 28% in 1918 and 17% in 1919. In 1920 it rose to 57%. After the war the return movement to Europe increased, and in 1920 emigration to that continent was in excess of immigration from it. This excess was due to emigration to south-eastern Europe rather than to the northern and western sections. The proportion of females among the immigrant aliens in 1920 was 42.4%, as compared with 33.4% in the years 1910-4. For Greeks the female percentage increased from 9 to 20, and for Italians from 5 to 48. This suggests that the immigration of these peoples might prove to be more permanent than in the past.
In 1917 a literacy test was imposed upon immigrants, exemptions being made in certain cases, as for example, to those who came to the United States to join relatives or who would have been subject to religious persecution at home. As a result only 15,094 illiterate immigrants 16 years of age and over, or 4.4%, were admitted in 1920. During the years 1908-17, 1,617,000 illiterate immigrants 14 years of age and over were admitted. Undoubtedly the new restriction should show in the course of the decade 1920-30 a marked effect upon the degree of illiteracy in the United States. By the Immigration Act passed in 1921 the number of immigrants admitted from any one country in the year July 1 1921 to June 20 1922, was restricted to 3% of the persons of that nationality resident in the United States in 1910. Only 358,000 immigrants, therefore, could be eligible for admittance during the year 1921-2. The United Kingdom was limited to 77,200; Germany to 68,000; Italy to 42,000; Russia to 34,200 and Poland to 25,800.
Urban and Rural Population.—The tendency of the population to concentrate in towns and cities continued unabated. In 1910 the percentage of the pop. living in urban territory (that is, in cities and other incorporated places of 2,500 inhabitants or more, and in towns of that size in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island) was 46.3 per cent. In 1920 the percentage was 51.4, showing that more than one-half of the pop. was then living in urban territory as defined by the Census Bureau.
Table 7 shows the pop. of cities having 50,000 inhabitants or more in 1920 with comparison for 1910.
Table 7. Cities with 50,000 Inhabitants or More.
|Rank||1920||1910|| Percentage |
|1||New York, N. Y.||5,620,048||4,766,883||17.9|
|6||St. Louis, Mo.||772,897||687,029||12.5|
|10||Los Angeles, Cal.||576,673||319,198||80.7|
|11||Buffalo, N. Y.||506,775||423,715||19.6|
|12||San Francisco, Cal.||506,676||416,912||21.5|
|14||Washington, D. C.||437,571||331,069||32.2|
|15||Newark, N. J.||414,524||347,469||19.3|
|17||New Orleans, La.||387,219||339,075||14.2|
|19||Kansas City, Mo.||324,410||248,381||30.6|
|22||Jersey City, N. J.||298,103||267,779||11.3|
|23||Rochester, N. Y.||295,750||218,149||35.6|
|27||Providence, R. I.||237,595||224,326||5.9|
|30||St. Paul, Minn.||234,698||214,744||9.3|
|37||Syracuse, N. Y.||171,717||137,249||25.1|
|39||New Haven, Conn.||l62,537||133,605||21.7|
|41||San Antonio, Tex.||161,379||96,614||67.0|
|48||Grand Rapids, Mich.||137,634||112,571||22.3|
|49||Paterson, N. J.||135,875||125,600||8.2|
|52||Des Moines, Ia.||126,468||86,368||46.4|
|53||New Bedford, Mass.||121,217||96,652||25.4|
|54||Fall River, Mass.||120,485||119,295||1.0|
|55||Trenton, N. J.||119,289||96,815||23.2|
|57||Salt Lake City, Utah||118,110||92,777||27.3|
|58||Camden, N. J.||116,309||94,538||23.0|
|60||Albany, N. Y.||113,344||100,253||13.1|
|65||Fort Worth, Tex.||106,482||73,312||45.2|
|67||Kansas City, Kan.||101,177||82,331||22.9|
|68||Yonkers, N. Y.||100,176||79,803||25.5|
|72||Elizabeth, N. J.||95,783||73,409||30.5|
|74||Utica, N. Y.||94,156||74,419||26.5|
|80||Oklahoma City, Okla.||91,295||64,205||42.2|
|81||Schenectady, N. Y.||88,723||72,826||21.8|
|83||Fort Wayne, Ind.||86,549||65,933||35.4|
|86||Manchester, N. H.||78,384||70,063||11.9|
|87||St. Joseph, Mo.||77,939||77,403||0.7|
|89||El Paso, Tex.||77,560||39,279||97.5|
|90||Bayonne, N. J.||76,754||55,545||38.2|
|93||San Diego, Cal.||74,683||39,578||88.7|
|98||Troy, N. Y.||72,013||76,813||−6.2|
|99||Sioux City, Ia.||71,227||47,828||48.9|
|100||South Bend, Ind.||70,983||53,684||32.2|
|102||Hoboken, N. J.||68,166||70,324||−3.1|
|103||Charleston, S. C.||67,957||58,833||15.5|
|105||Binghamton, N. Y.||66,800||48,443||37.9|
|106||East St. Louis, Ill.||66,767||58,547||14.0|
|108||Terre Haute, Ind.||66,083||58,157||13.6|
|111||Little Rock, Ark.||65,142||45,941||41.8|
|112||Pawtucket, R. I.||64,248||51,622||24.5|
|113||Passaic, N. J.||63,841||54,773||16.6|
|119||New Britain, Conn.||59,316||43,916||35.1|
|127||Wheeling, W. Va.||56,208||41,641||35.0|
|129||Long Beach, Cal.||55,593||17,809||212.2|
|139||Niagara Falls, N. Y.||50,760||30,445||66.7|
|140||East Orange, N. J.||50,710||34,371||47.5|
|141||Atlantic City, N. J.||50,707||46,150||9.9|
|143||Huntington, W. Va.||50,177||31,161||61.0|
The cities with increases of over 100% were Detroit, Mich., due to the development of the automobile industry; Akron, O., the home of several large rubber factories which manufacture tires for automobiles; Flint, Mich., also an automobile city; Tulsa, Okla., a centre of oil activity; Gary, Ind., a city recently built up by the U. S. Steel Corp.; Bethlehem, Pa., also a steel city; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Long Beach, Cal. With the exception of Bethlehem, no one of these cities is in the east.
Nearly one-fourth of the gain in the total pop. was due to the growth of the 12 largest cities, which in 1920 all had more than 500,000 inhabitants each. In 1910 there were only eight cities with a pop. of 500,000 or over. In the earlier year 12.5%, or one-eighth of the total pop., lived in cities of this size; in 1920 the proportion was 15.5%. In 1910 there were 42 cities with a pop. between 100,000 and 500,000; in 1920 there were 56.
Occupations.—The proportion of the pop. engaged in gainful occupations increased from 38.3% of the total pop. in 1900 to 41.5% in 1910. This was largely due to the greater number of females receiving wages. In 1900 the percentage of females 10 years of age and over in gainful occupations was 18.8; in 1910, 23.4, a gain of 4.6 per cent. The percentages for males for the two dates respectively were 80 and 81.3, a gain of only 1.3 per cent. Table 8 classifies those engaged in industry according to the principal divisions of occupations.
Table 8. Industrial Occupations.
|Domestic and personal service||2,740,176||3,485,208||9.1||14.7|
|Trade and transportation||6,403,378||4,263,617||21.3||17.9|
|Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits||9,035,426||5,772,641||30.0||24.3|
|All occupations (male)||30,091,564||23,753,836||100.0||100.0|
|Domestic and personal service||2,620,857||2,095,449||32.5||39.4|
|Trade and transportation||1,202,352||503,347||14.9||9.5|
|Manufacturing and mechanical pursuits||1,772,095||1,312,668||21.9||24.7|
|All occupations (female)||8,075,772||5,319,397||100.0||100.0|
Table 8 does not include all those engaged in economic services. Many children and wives work for their parents or husbands; technically they do not receive wages and consequently are not recorded as engaged in gainful occupations, but in reality they contribute to the household economy. If these be included, approximately two-thirds of the pop. was engaged in some degree of creating wealth or in services which might be valued in economic terms. Nearly one-third of all the workers were engaged in agricultural and allied industries, and a little over one-fourth in manufacturing and in tool industries. If we divide the pop. of the United States into groups according to age, the following were the percentages of each age-group engaged in gainful occupation in 1910:—10 to 13 years, males 16.6% and females 8.0%; 14 to 15, 41.4% and 19.8%; 16 to 20, 79.2% and 39.9%; 21 to 44, 96.7% and 26.3%; 45 years and over, 85.9% and 15.7%; 10 years and over, 81.3% and 23.4%. There was a slight decrease between 1900 and 1910 in the two lower age-groups for males and a slight increase for females. More than 8 out of 10 of the gainful workers in the United States as a whole in 1910 were 21 years of age and over, and about 95 out of 100 were 16 years of age and over.
Education.—In 1918 there were 20,853,516 children enrolled in the public schools, constituting 70% of the pop. from 5 to 18 years of age. There were 650,709 teachers in the public schools, or one to every 32 pupils. Of the teachers 16% were males. The total expenditure for public schools was $763,678,089 or about $37 per pupil. The above enrolment of pupils includes 1,735,619 attending public high schools. In addition there were 158,745 pupils in private high schools and academies. There were over 300 public and private normal schools with an enrolment of nearly 140,000. Universities, colleges and schools of technology numbered 672 in 1918, having 44,600 students of preparatory grade, 239,707 students of collegiate grade, and 14,406 graduate students. Nearly one-half of the students of collegiate grade were female. Professional schools in 1918 numbered 424, as follows: theology 141, with 9,354 students; law 101, with 11,820 students; medicine 72, with 13,802 students; dentistry 37, with 8,314 students; pharmacy 54, with 4,053 students; and veterinary medicine 19, with 1,250 students. (See Education, section United States.)
The statistics of illiteracy for 1920 showed a diminution compared with those for 1910. The Census Bureau classifies as illiterate any person 10 years of age or over who is unable to write in any language, regardless of ability to read. Illiterates in 1920 numbered 4,931,905, or 6% of the pop. at least 10 years of age, as compared with 7.7% in 1910. The proportion of illiteracy for the individual states in 1920 ranged from 1.1% in Iowa to 21.9% for Louisiana. Illiteracy is very marked in those states in which the colored pop. or the foreign-born pop. is relatively large. In 1910 nearly one-third (30.4%) of the negroes were recorded as illiterate, but this showed a marked decrease from 44.5% in 1900. Of the native whites of native parentage only 3.7% in 1910 were illiterate, but in six of the southern states the percentage ran over 10%.
Vital Statistics.—In 1915 the Census Bureau began the annual analysis and publication of birth statistics based upon data obtained from state registration records. In 1919 the birth registration area covered nearly three-fifths (58.6%) of the total population. The birth-rate varied in the five-year period 1915-9 from 25.1 per 1,000 in 1915 to 22.3 per 1,000 in 1919. The ratio of male births was 1,057 to 1,000 female births. The fecundity of foreign-born mothers was much greater than that of native mothers. For example, in Connecticut, although the white married women of foreign birth, age 15 to 42, constituted only 46% of the total pop. of white married women of that age group, they gave birth to 57% of the children. In Massachusetts 49% of foreign-born mothers gave birth to 53% of the children; and in New York 43% of foreign-born mothers gave birth to 49% of the children. The first and second children formed 50% of all children born to native white mothers, while only 34% born to foreign-born mothers were first and second children.
The registration area for mortality statistics covers more than three-fourths of the population. Between 1900 and 1921 the death-rate varied from a minimum of 13.5 per 1,000 in 1915 to 18 per 1,000 in 1918. This latter high rate was due largely to the great influenza pandemic. The rate of infant mortality (the number of deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 born alive) for the registration area in 1918 was 83 for the white pop.; for negro pop., 131; and for the total pop., 87.
A third nation-wide compilation of statistics of marriage and divorce was made by the Bureau of Census, covering the year 1916. There were 1,040,778 marriages, or 10.5 per 1,000 of the population. In some of the southern states the rate ran as high as 11.9 per 1,000. There were 112,036 divorces. The statistics were not analyzed to show ratios of divorce to marriage, but only the ratios to population. For the whole country the ratio of divorce was 112 per 100,000 population. In New England the ratio was 80, Middle Atlantic states 43, Southern states 59, and Pacific states 210. Of the divorces 31.1% were granted to the husband and 68.9% to the wife.
Religious Bodies.—For statistics of Christian churches, see the article Church History: section United States. Statistics of membership in Jewish churches are unsatisfactory for purpose of comparison with other denominations, for they are restricted to heads of families. In 1920, according to returns published in the Year Book of Churches by the Federal Council of Churches, there were 2,960 Jewish congregations with a membership of 260,000; 784 Sunday-schools with a membership of 108,534. These figures may be compared with the report of the Bureau of Census which gives 1,901 congregations and 357,135 members for the year 1916. According to the American Jewish Year Book for 1920 there were in 1918 3,390,300 Jews as against 1,777,185 in 1907. According to the same authority nearly one-half, or 48.6%, of the Jews resided in the state of New York in 1918, and 45% in New York City. It is estimated that 26% of the total pop. of New York City is Jewish. Between 1907 and 1918 the Jewish pop. of New York state increased from 905,000 to 1,603,923; Pennsylvania, from 150,000 to 322,406; and Illinois, from 110,000 to 246,637. It was also estimated that the Jewish pop. constituted about 3.2% of the total pop. of the United States; in New York it was 15%; in Connecticut and Massachusetts 5% and in Maryland 4.5%. Jewish immigration 1899-1919 numbered 1,551,315, or 10.4% of the total number of immigrants.
Agriculture.—During the decade 1910-20, the number of farms showed a slight gain, 1.4%. In 1920 there were 6,448,343 as compared with 6,361,502 in 1910. A comparison of these numbers with the total pop. shows that in 1910 there was one farm for every 14 of the pop., and in 1920 one farm for every 16. The decrease in the number of farms was particularly marked in states east of the Mississippi; for example, in Connecticut 15.5%; Massachusetts 13.4%; New York 10.5%; Ohio 5.6%; and Illinois 5.8%. In New England the number of farms decreased by 32,238, giving in 1920 one farm for every 47 persons. The total farm acreage increased somewhat more rapidly than the number of farms, from 878,798,325 ac. to 955,883,715 ac., nearly 8.8%. The greater portion of this increase was due to the use of land for dry farming in the arid states of the Rocky Mountain section and also to the enclosure of large areas for grazing. In 1919 there were 507,000,000 ac. under cultivation. One half of the total land area of the United States was in 1920 included in farms, as compared with 46.2% in 1910. Of the 956,000,000 ac. included in farms, 88,000,000 in 1919 was devoted to corn; 73,000,000 to wheat; 73,000,000 to hay; 38,000,000 to oats; and 33,000,000 to cotton. Nearly one-third of the farm area and nearly one-sixth of the total land area is used for the growing of these five products. The average size of farms slightly increased between 1910-20, from 138.1 ac. to 148.2 acres. Notwithstanding the small increase in the number of farms, and of acreage in farms, the value of all farms, lands and buildings increased from $35,000,000,000 in 1910 to $66,000,000,000 in 1920, or 90%. This increase, however, was due largely to the abnormally high prices prevailing in 1920, rather than to new investments and improvement of property. For the same reason the average value of land and buildings per farm for the United States as a whole greatly increased, rising from $5,471 in 1910 to $10,284 in 1920. In 1910 62.1% of farms were owned by their cultivators and in 1920 60.9%. In New England, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, there was a decline in tenancy but there was a marked increase in the Mountain and Pacific states. During the decade 1910-20 native white farmers increased from 4,721,063 to 4,917,386; foreign-born white farmers decreased from 669,556 to 581,068; coloured farmers increased from 920,883 to 949,889. The countries furnishing the greater number of foreign-born farmers were, in 1920, Germany (140,667), Sweden (60,461), Norway (51,999), Canada (48,688), Russia (32,388), Austria (30,172), England (26,614), Denmark (25,565), Italy (18,267), Poland (17,352), Ireland (16,562), Holland (15,589), Finland (14,988), Switzerland (13,051), Mexico (12,142), Scotland (7,605), Hungary (7,122), France (6,119).
The United States is an agricultural country, but the question is frequently asked whether agriculture is keeping pace with the growth of the population. A comparison of the annual crop for the three-year period 1907-9 with that for the period 1917-9 for corn, wheat, and oats gives the following:—
| Average 1917-9
| Average 1907-9 |
A comparison of these figures with the population at the respective dates shows that the per capita product of corn is slightly less, that of wheat and oats greater.
Table 9 shows the estimated annual crop of some of the most important agricultural staples for each of the 10 years, 1910-9.
Table 9. Annual Crops; in millions.
| Wool |
The annual production of cotton did not greatly change in the 10 years 1910-9, running about 11,000,000 bales (500 lb.). Domestic consumption, however, slowly increased, leaving a smaller amount for export. During the five-year period, 1910-4, the average annual export was 8,811,000 bales, and in the five years 1915-9, 6,310,000 bales, a decline of 28 per cent. The production of wool also remained fairly constant, approximating 300,000,000 lb. annually. Imports in the years 1915-9 were greater than ever before and the total consumption therefore larger, as exports were insignificant. The average annual consumption, domestic and foreign, 1910-4, was 509,000,000 lb., and 1915-9 690,000,000 lb. Since 1914 the United States has been dependent upon foreign countries for more than one-half its wool consumption as compared with two-fifths, or even only one-third in the earlier years of the century.
Strenuous efforts were made during the World War period, even before the entry of the United States, to increase the production of wheat. In 1916 the average farm value per bus. for the first time since the decade following the Civil War, was above $1. A record crop was produced in 1915, amounting to over a thousand million bushels. The average annual production for the five years 1910-4 was 697,000,000 bus., and in the succeeding five years 1915-9, 822,000,000, giving an average annual increase of 125,000,000; on the basis of an annual per capita consumption of five bus. this provided bread for 25,000,000 people. In the years 1910-4 the average annual export was 125,000,000 bus., and in 1915-9, 240,000,000 bushels.
The domestic beet-sugar industry during the 10 years 1910-9 became firmly established. Until 1907 the volume of beet-sugar production was less than that of cane sugar; in later years it has been far in excess. The production, in millions of pounds, was 1,775 in 1910 (cane 750, beet 1,025); 1,937 in 1915 (cane 493, beet 1,444); and 2,091 in 1919 (cane 569, beet 1,522). The outlying possessions of the United States (Porto Rico, Hawaii and the Philippine Is.) provide an amount of sugar approximately equal to that produced at home. This, however, does not meet the demands of domestic consumption, and the United States is still dependent upon foreign countries for half its needs. The annual per capita production of sugar was approximately 80 lb. in 1920 as compared with 70 lb. in 1900.
The crops of hay, sweet potatoes, rye, barley, and rice, as estimated by the Department of Agriculture for 1910 and 1919, are seen in Table 10.
Table 10. Hay and other Crops.
|Amount||Farm Value||Amount||Farm Value|
|Hay (short tons)||91,326,000||$1,839,967,000||60,978,000||$747,769,000|
|Sweet potatoes (bus.)||78,091,000||124,844,000||59,938,000||40,216,000|
In 1919 the production of apples was 26,174,000 bar., of which one state, Washington, yielded one-fourth (6,440,000 bar.). The peach crop amounted to 50,690,000 bus. valued at a little over $100,000,000. In 1918 1,525,792 ac. were devoted to truck crops.
The number of cattle on farms in 1920 was 66,652,559, as compared with 61,803,866 in 1910. This increase did not keep pace with the growth in population. The number of swine was 59,346,409 as compared with 58,185,676 in 1910, and again the increase was not in proportion to population. The number of sheep as estimated by the Department of Agriculture in 1920 was 48,615,000 as against 52,447,861 in 1910. The wool product in 1919 was 307,459,000 lb. as compared with 321,363,000 lb. in 1910. In 1919 the product of Wyoming was 33,415,000 lb.; Idaho, 22,145,000 lb.; Montana, 17,750,000 lb.; Utah, 15,800,000 lb.; New Mexico, 15,076,000 lb.
The Department of Agriculture in its Year Book of 1918 estimates that 350,000,000 ac., or nearly one-fifth of the land area of the United States, is too rough or hilly for the successful cultivation of crops. It may, however, be adapted to the growth of forests or used for grazing purposes. Nearly one-third of the land area, or 600,000,000 ac., receives insufficient rainfall for the profitable production of crops at normal prices and affords no possibility of irrigation. A total of 40,000,000 ac. is absolute desert. It is estimated that 200,000,000 ac. of forest, “cut-over” land, and woodland including that in farms, could be used for crops after clearing. This, if divided into farms averaging 160 ac., would provide 1,250,000 farms, or an addition of about 20% to the number of farms in the country. Moreover, 60,000,000 ac. of swamp land can be drained, and 30,000,000 ac. of potentially irrigable land can be converted into farms if available sources of water supply are fully utilized. In all there are about 850,000,000 ac. of land at present in crops and potentially available. A little over 1,000,000,000 ac. of non-arable land consist of 360,000,000 ac. of absolute forest land, 615,000,000 ac. of grazing land, 40,000,000 ac. desert land and 40,000,000 ac. in cities, roads and railway rights of way. It is also estimated that 360,000,000 ac. of forests will not be sufficient to supply a population of 150,000,000, but that 450,000,000 ac. will be needed for that number. To provide food, therefore, more intensive methods of farming will be required. For corn the average yield per ac. in the five years 1900-4 was 24.2 bus., and in 1915-9, 26.3 bushels. The yields for wheat were 13.4 and 14.3 bus.; for oats 31 and 33.7 bus.; and for barley 25.7 and 25.6 bus., respectively, for the two periods. (See also the section Agriculture.)
Manufactures.—A census of manufactures was taken for 1914 and another for 1919. The results of the latter had not been fully published by Jan. 1922. The manufacturing industries as a whole did not increase so rapidly in the five-year period 190914 as in the previous five years, but showed great increase in the next five, ending in 1919 (preliminary figures). This is seen from Table 11.
Table 11. Manufactures.
|Establishments||Wage-earners|| Value of
| Value added by |
Arranged by the 14 general groups of industries according to the classification of the Bureau of Census, Table 12 shows numbers of wage-earners and capital invested.
Table 12. Groups of Industries.
millions of dollars
|Food and kindred products||496,234||411,575||2,174||1,697|
|Textiles and their products||1,498,664||1,438,446||2,811||2,488|
|Iron and steel and their products||1,061,058||1,026,553||4,282||3,579|
|Lumber and its remanufactures||833,529||911,593||1,723||1,570|
|Leather and its finished products||307,060||309,766||743||659|
|Paper and printing||452,900||415,990||1,433||1,134|
|Liquors and beverages||88,152||77,827||1,016||874|
|Chemicals and allied products||299,569||267,261||3,034||2,167|
|Stone, clay and glass products||334,702||342,827||987||858|
|Metals and metal products other than iron and steel||262,154||249,607||1,014||867|
|Vehicles for land transportation||263,076||202,719||803||521|
|Railway repair shops||365,902||304,592||418||277|
The industrial group having the largest number of wage-earners in 1914 was the textile, but the iron and steel was first in capital invested; although the chemicals and allied products group had only 4% of the wage-earners, it was credited with 13% of the total capital; leather and its finished products, which employed 4% of the wage-earners, had less than 4% of the capital.
Table 13 shows the distribution of manufactures in 1909 and 1914 by the three geographic divisions—North (New England, Middle Atlantic, and East and West North Central states), South (South Atlantic, and East and West South Central states), and West (Mountain and Pacific states).
Table 13. Geography of Industries.
| Per cent |
In 1914 the North manufactured 81.2% of the product according to value; the South, 12.8%; and the West, 5.9%. New York retained in 1914 first place among the states in manufactures, producing 15.7% of the total value of the product; Pennsylvania was second with 11.7%, followed by Ohio and Massachusetts. Manufacturing establishments as a rule are in large cities. In 1914 cities with a pop. of 100,000 and over, having 24% of the total pop., had 40% of the wage-earners who manufactured 43% of the value of the total production. Ten cities, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee, with a combined pop. of approximately 13,473,000, or nearly 14% of the total pop., manufactured 25% of the total product value. Districts outside cities having a pop. of 10,000 or over and having 61% of the total pop., had only 33% of the wage-earners, and manufactured only 30% of the total production. Some manufacturing industries tend toward local concentration: for example in 1914, measured by value of product, Michigan produced 62.9% of all the products of the automobile industry in the United States; Massachusetts 43% of the boot and shoe industry; Connecticut 43% of brass, bronze and copper products, and 62% of fire-arms and ammunition; California 25% of canning and preserving products; Illinois 40% of the agricultural implement industry; New York 43% of men's clothing, 73% of women's clothing, 96% of men's collars and cuffs, and 59% of leather gloves and mittens.
Preliminary figures for the census of 1919 showed for value of product an increase of nearly 160% over 1914. This remarkable gain is far in excess of that of any previous five-year or even that of any 10-year period. Table 14 shows the specific industries, which in 1919 manufactured a product valued at more than $500,000,000.
Complete data were not yet available in Jan. 1922 to show how far the increases shown in Table 14 were due to higher prices and how far due to greater volume of production. To illustrate this distinction the following figures are taken from the preliminary bulletins of the Bureau of Census, to show quantity production in 1914 and 1919 with respective values at each date. In the silk industry there was manufactured in 1914 242,000,000 yd. of broad silk, and in 1919, 307,000,000 yd.; the value more than trebled in the period, from $137,720,000 to $435,935,000. Pig-iron production increased in quantity from 23,269,000 tons to 30,543,000 tons, or 31%, and in value 151%; coke from 22,788,000 tons to 30,097,000 tons and in value more than doubled, from $304,234,000 to $770,101,000; window glass decreased in quantity from 401,000,000 sq. ft. to 369,000,000 sq. ft., but the value more than doubled, increasing from $17,496,000 to $41,106,000. Oil-cloth and linoleum also decreased in quantity from 127,038,000 sq. yd. to 125,448,000 sq. yd., but increased in value from $25,598,000 to $68,110,000. Fertilizers decreased in quantity from 8,432,000 tons to 8,291,000 tons, but gained in value from $153,000,000 to $280,000,000. In quantity, sole leather increased from 18,075,500 sides to 19,715,800 sides, and in value from $116,188,000 to $218,830,000. In food products lard increased in quantity from 1,119,189,000 lb. to 1,372,550,000 lb., and in value more than trebled, $120,414,000 to $415,817,000; condensed and evaporated milk increased from 884,647,000 lb. to 2,096,973,000 lb., and in value from $59,375,000 to $293,569,000; beet sugar decreased in quantity from 1,486,948,000 lb. to 1,426,890,000 lb., but increased in value from $58,590,000 to $138,100,000; cleaned rice increased in quantity from 674,872,000 lb. to 1,062,813,000 lb. and in value from $21,655,000 to $83,462,000; wheat flour increased from 116,403,770 bar. to 132,478,513 bar. and in value from $543,840,000 to $1,436,589,000. The growing demand for automobiles greatly expanded not only their manufacture but also the refining of petroleum, and the rubber industry. The number of passenger cars manufactured in 1919 was 1,657,000 as compared with 569,000 in 1914 for all motor vehicles. The petroleum refining industry showed a phenomenal development. The output of gasoline increased in five years from 1,195,000,000 gal. to 3,637,000,000 gallons. The increase in quantity was 204% and in value 540%. In 1919 the refineries used 358,000,000 bar. of crude petroleum of which 38,000,000 was of foreign origin and 320,000,000 domestic. The manufacture of rubber goods greatly expanded. Two-thirds of the value in 1919 was represented by tires. The maximum production of lumber was reached in 1908, 42,000,000,000 ft.; in 1918 it was 32,000,000,000 ft., the decline being due to the fact that readily available timber was becoming less and less accessible. Portland cement is manufactured in larger amounts and has a wide use in the building industry. During the years 1900-9 the average production was 33,000,000 bar.; in 1916 it reached 95,000,000 barrels. The production of tin plates, terne plates, and taggers tin showed a steady development; in 1910 the production amounted to 1,370,788,000 lb. and in 1919 to 3,301,624,000 lb. An export trade was developed, the export of domestic product rising from 26,168,000 lb. to 527,462,000 lb.; import of this product has practically disappeared.
Table 14. Individual Industries; dollars in millions.
|1919||1914|| Per cent. |
|Automobile bodies and parts||674||130||418|
|Boots and shoes||1,152||502||129|
|Bread and other bakery products||1,406||492||186|
|Cars and general shop construction and repairs|
|by steam railway companies||1,278||514||149|
|Cars, steam railway, not including|
|operations of railway companies||540||195||176|
|Confectionery and ice cream||637||210||203|
|Electrical machinery, apparatus and supplies||1,014||335||203|
|Flour-mill and grist-mill products||2,193||878||152|
|Food preparations not elsewhere specified||663||219||203|
|Foundry and machine-shop products||2,321||867||167|
|Iron and steel, blast furnaces||794||318||118|
|Iron and steel, steel works and rolling-mills||2,813||919||206|
|Leather, tanned, curried and finished||929||367||150|
|Lumber and timber products||1,401||715||96|
|Lumber, planing-mill products, not including|
|planing-mills connected with saw-mills||561||308||82|
|Oil and cake, cottonseed||570||212||169|
|Paper and wood pulp||794||332||139|
|Printing and publishing, book and job||601||307||96|
|Printing and publishing, newspapers and periodicals||892||496||80|
|Rubber goods, not elsewhere specified||980||224||338|
|Slaughtering and meat-packing, wholesale||3,714||1,454||155|
|Smelting and refining, copper||633||444||42|
|Sugar, refining, not including beet sugar||731||289||153|
|Tobacco, cigars and cigarettes||886||315||181|
The cost of new buildings in the principal cities is estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey as follows:— 1910, $726,437,000; 1911, $687,507,000; 1912, $738,990,000; 1913, $673,221,000; 1914, $619,752,000; 1915, $700,413,000; 1916, $839,706,000; 1917, $569,011,000; 1918, $344,622,000; 1919, $1,019,491,000. The figures show that, although the war checked building, the total value of the buildings constructed in 1919 was much greater than in any preceding year; the cost for 1919 was swollen by high prices and does not accurately represent the volume of new building, measured by physical units.
After 1909 there was but a slight increase in the number of manufacturing establishments, notwithstanding the gain in the number of wage-earners and value of product. In 1914 there were 275,791 establishments, with 7,036,337 wage-earners, and products valued at $24,246,000,000, or $87,916 per establishment; in 1919, 288,376 establishments with $62,588,000,000, or $217,000 per establishment. In 1914, 2,476,006 wage-earners, or more than one-third (35.2%), were in 3,819 establishments, an average of nearly 650 workers per establishment; nearly one-half (48.6%) of the value of the product was manufactured in this small group of establishments. Of the 8,263,153 persons engaged in manufactures in 1914, 6,613,466, or 80%, were males, and 1,649,687, or 20%, were females.
Minerals.—The value of mineral products, as estimated by the U.S. Geological Survey, increased from $1,992,406,000 in 1910 to $5,543,456,000 in 1918. Nearly three-fourths was represented in 1918 by five products, as follows (in millions of dollars):—pig-iron 1,181 (412 in 1910); bituminous coal 1,492 (469 in 1910); anthracite 336 (160 in 1910); copper 471 (137 in 1910); petroleum 704 (128 in 1910). Lead increased in value from $30,855,000 in 1910 to $76,667,000 in 1918; zinc from $27,268,000 to $89,618,000; aluminum from $8,956,000 to $41,159,000; natural gas from $70,756,000 to $157,000,000; and cement from $68,752,000 to $113,555,000. Platinum had a remarkable development, the product increasing from 8,665 oz., valued at $478,688, in 1915 to 59,753 oz., valued at $6,417,980, in 1918.
The production of iron ore increased from 56,889,734 long tons in 1910 to a maximum record of 77,870,553 tons in 1916. In 1918 the production was slightly less, 72,021,202 tons. In the latter year this was manufactured into 39,054,644 tons of pig-iron. More than half of the iron ore produced is mined in Minnesota amounting to 43,263,240 tons, followed by Michigan 17,587,416 tons; Alabama mined 6,121,087 tons. In 1912 the National Conservation Commission estimated the total supply of iron ore profitable to mine at 4,784,930,000 long tons, and 75,000,000,000 tons not worth mining. According to this estimate the profitable ore deposits might be exhausted in 60 years, allowing for no increase in annual rate of production. The ore deposits being worked in 1921 were for the most part on the surface in the region of the Great Lakes. (See Iron and Steel.)
The production of anthracite coal in 1910 was 75,433,246 tons (of 2,240 lb.); in 1919 78,653,751 tons, an increase of 4 per cent. The bituminous coal production in 1910 was 417,111,142 short tons as compared with 459,971,070 tons in 1919 (preliminary estimate of the Geological Survey), a gain of 52 per cent. About two-thirds of the coal consumed goes into the production of power, about equally divided between the industries and transportation; about one-sixth is used as a raw material, for making products employed industrially, as coke, gas, and coal-tar products; and about one-sixth for heating homes and other buildings. (See Coal.)
The mining of copper does not follow a regular ascending curve of production. It reached the high point in 1906, 409,735 long tons; declined in 1907; rose to 487,925 tons in 1909; again declined in 1910; rose to 555,031 tons in 1912; fell to 513,454 in 1914; and again advanced to 860,648 tons in 1916. In 1916 more than one-third was produced in Arizona, which has become the principal producing state. In the same year it was estimated by The Mineral Industry that the world's production was 1,373,200 long tons. After 1916 there was a marked decline in production. (See Copper.)
The increased demand for gasoline for automobiles raised the price and led to vigorous efforts to discover new supplies of petroleum. During 1908-19 the production in California more than doubled; in Texas trebled; in Oklahoma more than doubled; in Wyoming new oil-fields were opened. The total production in 1920 was 443 million barrels, as against 281 millions in 1915 and 179 millions in 1908. For details see Petroleum. The Director of the U.S. Geological Survey estimated in 1920 that the country's oil resources were over 40% exhausted, and that the supply at the existing rate of consumption would be exhausted within 20 years (see Fuel). Between 1908 and 1916, when active exploration was carried on, the reserve was enlarged by only 1,200 million barrels. Attention has been turned to the possibility of extracting petroleum from the oil shales of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.
The volume of natural gas produced has risen steadily since the beginning of the century. In 1910 the production was 509,000 million cub. ft., and in 1919, 1,726,000 million cubic feet. Natural gas is found in 23 states, but chiefly in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, and California. Some 2,100 cities and towns are supplied. One-third is used for domestic purposes and two-thirds for industrial plants. The production in 1910 and 1918 is shown in Table 15. The average value in 1910 was 13.9 cents per 1,000 ft. giving a total value of the product, $70,800,000; in 1918, 21.3 cents per 1,000 ft. and $154,000,000 total value. About 15,444,000 ac. of land were controlled by natural gas producers in 1917.
Table 15. Natural Gas Production; in million cub. ft.
|Louisiana and Texas||49,000||8,000|
The production of gold reached its maximum in 1915, valued at $101,035,700; during the war it declined owing to advancing prices of materials and labour and the decreased purchasing power of gold (see Gold). In 1919 the production was valued at $58,488,800, less than in any year since 1897. California furnished $17,398,000; Colorado $9,736,400; Alaska $9,036,000. Silver likewise reached its maximum in 1915, amounting to 74,961,075 fine Troy oz., valued at $37,397,300. In 1919 the bullion produced was less, 55,285,196 oz., but owing to the high price the production was worth $61,966,412. Montana and Utah seemed to be forging ahead as the great silver-producing states, Nevada remaining stationary.
Fisheries.—According to an estimate made by the Bureau of Fisheries the annual fishery product during the decade 1910-9 amounted to 2,500,000,000 lb., for which about $80,000,000 was paid to the fishermen. The industry employs about 200,000 persons. The total quantity of fish landed at Boston and Gloucester, Mass., and Portland, Me., the three principal fishing ports in New England, amounted in 1919 to 196,481,000 lb. having a value to the fishermen of $7,548,000. Cod represented $2,332,000 and haddock $2,788,000. The product of the fisheries of the Great Lakes in 1917 was 104,269,000 lb., valued at $6,295,000. One-half of the product, 53,529,000 lb., was ciscoes (whitefish). The product of the fisheries of the Gulf states in 1918 was 130,924,000 lb., valued at $6,510,000. The principal products were: mullet, 28,641,000 lb.; shrimp, 27,143,000 lb.; and oysters, 23,754,000 lb. At Seattle, Wash., the fishing fleet landed in 1919 13,651,000 lb., valued at $1,530,000. The principal product was halibut. The total catch of salmon and steelhead trout on the Pacific coast in 1919 including Alaska was 767,000,000 pounds. It is estimated that the annual yield of oysters for the whole United States is about 30,000,000 bus. giving a return to the fishermen of nearly $15,000,000. About one-sixth, 5,942,000 bus., come from the New England coast, and over one-half, 18,906,000 bus., from the coast of the Middle Atlantic states.
Production.—Professor Edmund E. Day of Harvard has made an ingenious statistical study of the physical volume of production in the United States for the period 1888-1919, published in The Review of Economic Statistics (Harvard University, Sept. 1920-Jan. 1921). His conclusions are shown in Table 16. With 1899 as the base (100) index numbers for subsequent years were calculated for agriculture, representing 12 important crops; for mining, representing 10 minerals; and for manufacturing, representing 12 groups, covering 34 branches of manufacture. The indices for pop. are added in order to compare the growth of production.
Table 16. Index Numbers of Production.
Table 16 shows that the physical volume of agricultural production has closely followed the growth of population. As Prof. Day points out, “Mining output, on the other hand, completely out-distanced population growth. Since 1897 the development of mining has been phenomenal. . . . Crops are an annual harvest from a soil the fertility of which scientific cultivation carefully preserves; mineral production is a continuing exhaustion of irreplaceable natural deposit. Mining typically lives upon its capital; agriculture upon its income. The rate of production in mining is consequently open to an acceleration which in agriculture is altogether impossible. . . .The fluctuations of manufacturing output appear to be much more cyclical than the variations in agricultural production. In general the fluctuations of production in manufacture resemble closely those in mining.”
Commerce, Foreign and Domestic.—Extraordinary movements in foreign commerce, due to the World War, began with 1915. During the years 1900-9, inclusive, the excess of exports over imports of merchandise varied in value from a maximum of $666,000,000 in 1908 to a minimum of $351,000,000 in 1909. Beginning with 1915 the annual excess was over a thousand million dollars, reaching in 1919, $4,016,000,000. Table 17 shows the movement by years, and the excess of exports over imports in each year. The excess of exports over imports in trade with European countries was even greater than the balance from total trade with all countries, amounting in 1919 to $4,437,000,000. Trade with South America uniformly showed an excess of imports over exports, ranging from $66,000,000 in 1911 to $308,000,000 in 1918; and trade with Asia also gave adverse balances ranging from $121,000,000 in 1911 to $408,000,000 in 1918. The figures given here relate to values of exports and imports, and do not, even approximately, reflect the changes in the physical volume of foreign commerce. For some of the commodities recorded in official statistics of exports and imports it is possible to give quantities as well as values; for others only values. In order to illustrate the influence of prices on abnormal values of commodities entering into foreign trade, quantities are given in Table 18 of exports for five commodities: wheat, cotton, bacon, mineral oil and tobacco; for other principal commodities only values are stated.
Table 17. Foreign Trade; in millions of dollars.
It will be observed from Table 18 that the quantity of wheat increased six times, while the value increased nearly fifteen times, and the quantity of cotton was less in 1919 than in 1910, but its value more than doubled. High prices also influenced imports, as seen in Table 19. The quantity of coffee imported increased a little over 50%, while the value more than trebled; and the quantity of sugar 67%, but its value 245%.
The enormous excess of exports of merchandise over imports, which began to be so marked in 1915, resulted in unprecedented gold transfers to the United States. In 1916 the import of gold exceeded the export by $403,760,000, and in 1919 by $685,255,000. Thus in two years the gold holdings were increased by $1,089,000,000. In the years 1918-9 $366,000,000 of this gold was exported, leaving a net additional balance of $723,000,000. This was in large part reflected in the increase of gold money in circulation, which rose from $590,000,000 in 1915 to $1,112,000,000 in 1919.
Railways and Canals.—There was but little new railway construction in the years 1910-21. In the five years 1915-9 less than 5,000 m. of new railway was built, not as much as was constructed in one year in the period 1902-7. In 1919 the miles of track in operation were 253,350 as compared with 242,107 in 1910, a gain of less than 5 per cent. The railways, however, did more work. Passenger-miles increased from 32,338 millions in 1910 to 39,477 millions in 1917, or 22%, and freight-ton-miles from 255,017 millions in 1910 to 394,465 millions in 1917, or 54 per cent. The average tons per freight train increased from 380 to 597. In 1917 1,264 million tons of freight (excluding duplications) were moved by the railways as against 968 millions in 1910. More than one-half of the tonnage carried was the products of mines, coal being by far the largest item. The average number of passengers carried per train rose from 56 to 65. The number of railway employees increased but slightly, from 1,699,420 in 1910 to 1,833,732 in 1917. Electric railways, mostly used for passenger service, have been extended more rapidly than steam railways. In 1907 there were 25,547 m. of electric line and in 1917, 32,548. The number of employees rose from 221,429 to 294,826 and the number of revenue passengers from 7,441 millions to 11,305 millions. (See Railways.)
In 1916 the Bureau of Census made a study of transportation by water. According to this report the tonnage employed on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence river in 1916 was 2,737,491 tons as compared with 2,392,863 tons in 1906, a gain of 14.4 per cent. The freight carried was 125,384,000 tons as against 75,610,000 tons in 1906, a gain of 65.8 per cent. Of this, 73,000,000 tons was iron ore, 30,000,000 tons coal, and 6,000,000 tons grain. The freight handled by the Lakes fleet represented nearly one-half, 48.6%, of the water-borne freight shipments reported for the United States as a whole in 1916 as against 42.6% in 1906. Tonnage on the Mississippi river and tributaries declined greatly, from 4,412,000 tons in 1906 to 1,621,000 tons in 1916. Vessels operating on canals declined both in number and in tonnage. In 1906 the number of such vessels was 2,140 with a tonnage of 259,491; in 1916 the number was 2,049 with a tonnage of 196,426. The decline was on the canals of New York state, where the tonnage dropped from 209,152 tons in 1906 to 115,290 in 1916, showing that the efforts to develop canal transportation in that state had not been successful. The freight carried on the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, connecting lakes Superior and Huron, fluctuated during the decade 1910-9, between 53,477,000 tons in 1911 and 91,888,000 tons in 1915; in 1919 it was 68,236,000 tons.
Mails, Telephone and Telegraph.—Postal statistics show a slight extension of post routes, exclusive of rural delivery routes, from 435,488 m. in 1910 to 455,498 m. in 1919; the number of city carriers from 29,168 to 35,024; the mileage of rural delivery service from 993,068 to 1,143,467; and the number employed in railway mail service from 16,795 to 19,683. The telephone was rapidly extended. In 1917 there were 28,827,000 m. of single wire in this service as compared with 12,999,000 in 1907. The number of employees nearly doubled during this period, increasing from 144,000 to 244,000. The Bell telephone system operated in 1919 23,281,000 m. of wire, of which 3,334,000 was for long-distance toll service. The number of daily exchange messages of this system alone was 30 millions and of toll messages one million. The telegraph systems made but little extension between 1907 and 1917. In the former year there were 239,646 m. of pole line and in the latter year 241,012. The number of messages sent increased over 50%, from 101 millions to 155 millions; and the number of employees from 26,827 to 49,608. (See Telegraph and Telephone.)
Table 18. Exports of Principal Commodities, 1910-9.
| Leather, |
| Dollars |
Table 19. Imports of Principal Commodities, 1910-9.
|Silk, manuf.||Sugar||Wool, manuf.|| India-Rubber,
| Dollars |
The automobile became an important factor in terminal transportation. Motor-car registration increased nine times between 1912 and 1920, numbering (not allowing for duplicate registration) in the latter year 9,211,295. This represents a motor car for approximately every 11 of the population. (See Motor Vehicles.)
Shipping.—Owing to the great activity in shipbuilding during the World War the tonnage of the American merchant marine showed a marked increase between 1910 and 1919, rising from 7,508,100 tons in 1910 to 16,324,000 tons in 1920. Nearly one-fifth, or 3,138,700 tons, was employed on the Great Lakes. The tonnage on the western rivers continued to decline, being only 120,230 tons in 1920. Sailing vessels decreased both in number and tonnage, and steam vessels declined in number from 12,452 to 8,103, but increased in size. The average tonnage of a steam vessel in 1910 was 394 tons, and in 1919, 1,359 tons. During the five years, 1910-4, the tonnage of new steam vessels built was 1,106,000 tons; and in the next five years ending in 1919, 4,948,400 tons, or more than four times as much. In 1920 new construction amounted to 3,880,639 tons. American shipping is engaged in two distinct branches of trade: coastwise trade between domestic points, and foreign trade. The tonnage in foreign trade increased from 1,076,152 tons in 1914 to 9,928,595 tons in 1920. Coasting tonnage remained about the same. It is estimated that the new tonnage, constructed under the emergency of the war, represented an expenditure of $3,000,000,000, a sum greater than the book value of all the world's merchant shipping in 1914, aggregating 49,000,000 tons. (See Shipping.)
A notable change has taken place in the nationality of shipping entering and clearing from American seaports. Until 1916 the tonnage of vessels sailing under foreign flags for many years was approximately three times as great as that under U.S. registry; in 1920 U.S. tonnage (26,242,332) equalled foreign tonnage (26,178,328).
The total tonnage of vessels entering at all ports from foreign countries increased from 40,235,800 tons in 1910 to 52,420,600 tons in 1920, and the tonnage cleared from 39,705,900 tons to 56,072,300 tons. The tonnage of British shipping entering at seaports of the United States fell from a maximum of 20,416,000 tons in 1914 to 11,237,000 tons in 1919. German tonnage entering in 1915 was 5,035,000 tons, and in the years 1916-9 was practically nil.
National Wealth.—In 1912 the Bureau of Census made an estimate of the wealth of the United States shown in Table 20, amounting to $187,700,000,000.
This gave an average of $1,965 for each person as compared with $1,165 in 1900. More than one-half the wealth consisted of real estate and improvement, largely due to the increase in value of urban real estate. In 1916 the value of taxable real estate in New York City alone was nearly $8,000,000,000.
Unofficial estimates of the national wealth have been made by statistical experts for dates later than 1912. That of W. R. Ingalls, of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, published in the Annalist, Sept. 13 1920, gives $216,600,000,000 for the year 1916. Other estimates run as high as $400,000,000,000. These figures, however, have little significance as evidence of domestic welfare. High prices increased appraised valuation; and high valuation, e.g. of real estate, may be a burden upon the productive efforts of the community.
The income-tax statistics published by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue throw light upon the distribution of wealth. In 1918 the number of personal income-tax returns was 4,425,114. The net income reported was $15,924,639,000; the tax collected on this income was $1,127,722,000; 34.3% of those making returns reported an income of from $1,000 to $2,000; 33.8% an income of $2,000 to $3,000; 21.1% an income from $3,000 to $5,000; and 7.2% an income of from $5,000 to $10,000. Incomes of $1,000,000 or more were reported by 67 persons. Of the total tax, New York state paid $354,000,000, or 31.4%; Pennsylvania, $138,000,000, or 12.2%; Illinois, $85,000,000, or 7.5%; and Massachusetts paid $81,000,000, or 7.2%. Of the personal income, 73% was from personal service and 27% from property. Corporations reported a net income of $8,362,000,000, of which those connected with metals and metal products returned $2,053,000,000 and those connected with transportation and other public utilities $1,054,000,000. The income, war profits and excess-profits taxes from corporations amounted to $3,159,000,000 of which those connected with metals and metal products paid 31.76%, or $1,003,000,000. (See Income Tax and Excess Profits Tax.)
Table 20. National Wealth, 1912.
|Items of Wealth||Total Value
| Per cent
|Real property and improvements||110.7||59.0||1,150|
|Farm implements and machinery, etc.||1.4||0.7||14|
|Manufacturing machinery, tools|
|Gold and silver coin and bullion||2.6||1.4||27|
|Railway and equipment including|
|Pullman and private cars||16.2||8.7||171|
|Shipping and canals||1.5||.8||16|
|Privately owned waterworks||.3||.1||3|
|Privately owned electric light|
|and power stations||2.1||1.1||22|
|Clothing and personal adornments||4.3||2.3||45|
|Furniture, carriages, etc.||8.5||4.5||88|
Public Finance.—The two main sources of Federal revenue are customs duties and internal revenue duties. Revenue from customs although nearly as large in 1920 as in 1910 was relatively unimportant; in 1910 it yielded $333,683,000 as compared with $289,934,000 from internal revenue. After that year internal revenue was the larger. Receipts were as follows:—
On account of the war new taxes were levied, the personal income tax was increased, and excess-profits tax added. The income from these two sources was, in 1918, $2,839,028,000; in 1919, $2,600,784,000; and in 1920, $3,958,000,000. Transportation taxes in 1919 yielded $238,000,000. Tobacco duties yielded in 1910 $58,118,000 and in 1919 $206,003,000; spirits and fermented liquors in 1910, $209,000,000 and in 1918, $483,000,000. The total ordinary receipts in 1910 were $675,512,000, or $7.48 per capita, and in 1919 $4,647,604,000, or $43.79 per capita. Total ordinary expenditures increased from $660,000,000 in 1910 to $15,365,000,000 in 1919, a per capita increase from $7.30 to $144.77. Expenditures for the War Department increased from $158,000,000 in 1910 to $9,273,000,000 in 1919; for the Navy Department from $124,000,000 to $2,019,000,000. The interest on the public debt increased from $24,742,000 in 1917 to $1,024,024,000 in 1920. Until 1917 the net public debt remained fairly stationary for many years. In 1916 it was about $1,000,000,000; in 1917 it rose to $1,909,000,000; in 1918 $10,924,000,000, and in 1919 $24,331,000,000. For the Fourth Liberty Loan, the subscriptions were $6,959,000,000 from 22,777,680 subscribers, or 21.9% of the total population. Of the subscriptions 53% were for $50, the total in this class making 10% of the total amount subscribed.
The net cost of government, distinguishing between the United States, states, and cities having a pop. of over 30,000, as tabulated by the Bureau of Census for 1919, was:—United States, $15,740,133,000 ($149.78 per capita); states, $635,370,000 ($6.05 per capita); cities over 30,000 $1,202,324,000. Of the $635,000,000 representing the cost of state Governments, $543,000,000 was devoted to current expenses of the general departments, the balance representing payments for outlays and interest on state debts. Of the $543,000,000 for general departmental services, $183,000,000 was expended for schools, $134,000,000 for charities, hospitals and corrections, and $62,000,000 for highways. The revenue receipts of states were $675,000,000, of which $237,000,000 came from the general property tax; $104,000,000 from special property taxes, as $46,000,000 inheritance tax, and $43,000,000 corporation stock taxes; $123,000,000 was derived from business taxes; and $48,000,000 from licences other than business, for the most part from the use of motor vehicles. The net indebtedness of states in 1919 was $520,000,000 or $4.95 per capita. With this may be compared the net indebtedness of the Federal Government amounting to $24,331,000,000, or $232.95 per capita, and for cities having a pop. of over 30,000, $2,698,000,000.
Of the total governmental-cost payments for cities having a pop. of over 30,000, 754 millions was for current expenses of general departments; 238 millions was expended for schools, 72 millions for highways; 61 millions for sanitation, 65 millions for fire departments, 81 millions for police departments, and 65 millions for charities, hospitals and corrections. In addition 67 millions was expended for public service enterprises, two-thirds of which was for water-supply systems; 157 millions for interest on debt; and 256 millions for outlays; representing costs of new property and equipment. The governmental-cost payments of 10 large cities for 1919 were as follows:—New York, $232,061,926 (per capita, $42.28); Chicago, $93,515,758 (p.c., $35.66); Philadelphia, $67,027,257 (p.c., $37.64); Detroit, $34,738,091 (p.c., $36.86); Cleveland, $29,617,643 (p.c., $38.84); St. Louis, $24,188,963 (p.c., $31.75); Boston, $37,042,131 (p.c., $50.13); Baltimore, $16,372,941 (p.c., $25.12); Pittsburgh, $25,527,430 (p.c., $44.09); Los Angeles, $24,716,666 (p.c., $44.81). (See also the section Finance.)
Army.—On June 30 1920 the enlisted strength of the army was composed of 15,451 officers and 184,904 men, making a total of 200,355. Of the total 149,869 were on duty in the United States, 19,319 in the Philippine Department, 4,519 in Hawaii, and the remainder were scattered in China, Panama, Alaska, Porto Rico, and Siberia, with the U.S. army in Europe, and at sea. By branches of service the army was composed of Infantry, 52,560; Cavalry, 16,777; Coast Artillery, 16,145; Field Artillery, 15,757; Air Service, 9,358; Corps of Engineers, 4,877; Signal Corps, 4,948; Staff Corps and Departments, 47,165; General Officers and aids, 195; Philippine Scouts, 7,149; and miscellaneous, 25,368. As a result of service in the World War it was estimated by the Chief of Staff of the War Department in 1919 that there were nearly 4,000,000 men and 200,000 officers fit and trained for war. (See Army.)
Navy..—Owing to the war with Germany, the navy, both in vessels and men, was greatly increased. In 1912 there were 323 vessels fit for service, and 42 under construction; in 1920 the respective numbers were 795 and 165. The principal classes of vessels in 1920, fit for service, were:—battleships 37, armoured cruisers 8, cruisers 26, destroyers 249, submarines 98. In addition there were under construction, 11 battleships, 24 cruisers, 70 destroyers and 50 submarines. In 1910 the number of officers in the regular service was 2,645 and enlisted men 45,076; in 1920 the respective numbers were 8,765 and 116,760. In addition the marine corps contained in 1910 9,659 and in 1920 19,685. (See Ship and Shipbuilding.)
Bibliography.—Relating to the Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 are the following volumes: I. Population, General Report and Analysis (1913); II-III. Population, Reports by States (1913); IV. Occupation Statistics (1914); V. Agriculture, General Report and Analysis (1913); VI-VII. Agriculture, Reports by States (1913); VIII. Manufactures, General Report and Analysis (1913); IX. Manufactures, Reports by States (1912); X. Manufactures, Reports for Principal Industries (1913); XI. Mines and Quarries, 1909 (1913). Much of the material in these volumes is summarized in the Abstract (1913), and is graphically represented in the Statistical Atlas of the U.S., 1914.
The Census of Manufactures, 1914, appeared in 2 vols. in 1918-9. Important volumes on special topics have been recently published by the Bureau of the Census: Negro Population 1790-1915 (1918); Indian Population in the United States and Alaska, 1910 (1915); Religious Bodies, 1916: part I, Summary and General Tables (1919), part II, Separate Denominations (1919); Insane and Feeble-Minded in Institutions, 1910 (1914); Benevolent Institutions, 1910 (1913); Deaf Mutes in the United States, 1910 (1918); Paupers in Almshouses, 1910 (1915); Prisoners and Juvenile Delinquents, 1910 (1918); Statistical Directory of State Institutions for Defective, Dependent and Delinquent Classes (1919); Wealth, Debt and Taxation, 1913 (3 vols. 1915); Central Electric Light and Power Stations and Street and Electric Railways 1912 (1915); Telephones and Telegraphs, 1912 (1915); Transportation by Water, 1916 (1920). The Bureau of the Census has also published a series of volumes on Financial Statistics of Cities and on Financial Statistics of States and continues the annual compilation on Mortality Statistics, begun in 1900. As the registration area is constantly enlarged, these latter statistics are of increasing value.
The Federal Department of Agriculture issues many statistical bulletins relating to crops, supplies and stocks of staple commodities. The most important of these are summarized in the Year Book of the Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Geological Survey of the Department of the Interior issues frequent bulletins on mineral products and stocks which are annually gathered together in the volume Mineral Resources of the United States. Statistics of commerce are compiled by the Department of Commerce and published in an annual volume, Foreign Commerce and Navigation.
The U.S. Tariff Commission has also published several volumes in which commercial statistics are rearranged for use in tariff discussion, as The Wool-Growing Industry. Price statistics both for retail and wholesale trade are gathered and published by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. A valuable series of studies on price statistics of different groups of commodities during the World War was published under the editorship of W. C. Mitchell by the War Industries Board, under the titles History of Prices during the War and Government Control over Prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also issues frequent bulletins showing wages in different trades in different parts of the country. The Interstate Commerce Commission issues an annual report, Statistics of Railways. Shipping statistics are published in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Navigation. Immigration statistics are published in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Immigration. Statistical tables in regard to the Federal finances are to be found in the Annual Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, sometimes known as the Finance Report. This contains abstracts of the reports of the Comptroller, Treasurer, Commissioner of Internal Revenue and Director of the Mint. Of especial value for recent years are the annual reports and the monthly bulletins of the Federal Reserve Board. The bulletins contain a great variety of commercial and trade statistics collected by the 12 different reserve banks. More detailed statistical data may be found in the monthly bulletins issued by the several district banks.
The most serviceable single source-book is the annual volume, Statistical Abstract of the United States, first issued in 1878, published by the Department of Commerce. This assembles data on area and population, including census returns, immigration, and vital statistics; education and school statistics; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; manufactures and mines; occupations, labour, and wages; internal communication and transportation; merchant marine and shipping; foreign commerce; consumption estimates; prices; money, banking, and insurance; public finance and national wealth; army, navy, civil service, pensions, and election statistics. Most of the statistics are derived from official publications, but when they are wanting, reliance is placed upon private statistical agencies.
A useful statistical handbook relating to finance, crops, railways, trade and commerce is The Financial Review, an annual published by the Commercial and Financial Chronicle (New York).
In addition to Government statistics the following volumes should be noted: W. I. King, The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States (1917), a scholarly analysis and interpretation of official statistics; Raymond Pearl, The Nation's Food (1920), a volume growing out of the author's work as chief of the Statistical Division of the U.S. Food Commission during the war. The Committee on Economic Research of Harvard University has published an important work, Indices of General Business Conditions, by W. M. Persons (1919).
- (D. R. D.)
For the conditions of agriculture in the United States before 1910 see 1.414; for recent statistics see the section Statistics of the present article; for general progress since 1909 in biological, chemical and bacteriological research see article Agriculture 30.71; for development in any one state see the article on that state. For various aspects of progress see also, in vol. 32, the index-heading Agriculture and the other index-headings naming the various crops, products, processes, machines, etc.
The main characteristics—economic rather than technical—of agricultural activities in the United States during 1910-20 were the result of significant changes which must be traced through a period of more than one decade. The ten years ending with 1920 witnessed the close of an important epoch and the opening of a new epoch in the agricultural history of the United States. The closing epoch might well be called the pioneer epoch, that of agricultural expansion, or of agricultural exploitation. The new epoch might be called that of agricultural readjustment, development, or utilization. The names by which these two epochs are known are of little importance, but it is of great importance that all who are interested in the development of American agriculture get clearly in mind the fact to which all other facts in this connexion are subsidiary, namely, that ever since the beginning of American agriculture and down to the decade 1910-20 there was ample and fertile field in the West for the expansion of agriculture, but that during 1910-20 virtually the last of the arable part of the public domain passed into private ownership. There was no longer land available for homes for the surplus population from the older portions of the country. The western agricultural migration, which began almost with the first settlements on the Atlantic coast, was, owing to natural barriers and the absence of adequate transportation systems and other causes, more or less sporadic and irregular until about 1860.
The Agricultural Frontier in 1859.—In 1859 the frontier of agricultural development as determined by density of population of 6 or more to the sq. m., or the production of 100,000 bus. of wheat per county per annum had been pushed westward to include portions, varying in size, of the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. For the next 50 years there was a steady western and northern agricultural movement, until in 1910 virtually the only agriculturally unoccupied territory in the great plains was in Montana, Wyoming, western South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska, southwestern Kansas, New Mexico and western Texas. During the following decade 1910-20 virtually all the agricultural land that remained in the above described regions went into private ownership. By 1921 all the public domain suited to agriculture without irrigation, east of the Rocky Mountains, had ceased to be open to homestead claims and was undergoing agricultural development.
The Agricultural Frontier in 1920.—The 5,000-ft. contour on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains is generally considered the western boundary of the great plains, but to simplify computation the great plains may be regarded as including four-fifths of the area of Montana, one-third of Wyoming, one-half of Colorado, one-half of New Mexico, and all of Texas. The tract which came into agricultural production during 1860-1920 includes four-fifths of Montana; one-third of Wyoming; one-half each of Colorado and New Mexico; all of North and South Dakota, and Oklahoma; about seven-eighths of Minnesota; over one-half of Wisconsin; over two-thirds of Michigan; nearly one-half of Iowa; all but six counties (2,494 sq. m.) of Nebraska; all but 10 counties (4,684 sq. m.) of Kansas; all but 25 counties (19,356 sq. m.) of Texas; 14 counties (10,607 sq. m.) in Missouri; 28 counties (20,939 sq. m.) in Arkansas, and all but 27 counties (16,212 sq. m.) of Louisiana; the entire area amounting to no less than 1,096,607 sq. m., or 701,828,480 acres. Not all of this is arable land, but a higher percentage of it is arable than that of any other equal area on the North American continent, and contains at least 250,000 sq. m. of the richest agricultural land on the continent. More than half the total wheat crop of the United States for 1920 was grown in this area.
Coincident with the settlement of this plains region east of the Rocky Mountains was that of the inter-mountain and basin region and of much of the Pacific slope. The percentage of arable land west of the Rocky Mountains is much less than in the plains of the Mississippi Valley and the Lake region, but in the aggregate an immense area of land was brought into cultivation west of the Rockies during 1860-1920. There, as in the plains, practically all the land suitable for agriculture was appropriated and developed. There remained only small valleys and isolated areas and some Indian reservations that were to be soon thrown open to settlement. New reclamation projects were expected to develop, but if all the potentially agricultural land west of the Rocky Mountains were to be developed during 1920-30 the area would be small in comparison with that developed in each decade during 1860-1920. And it is probable that during 1920-30 as much land classed as farm land may be found unfit for that purpose and be devoted to other purposes, such as grazing and forestry, as will be brought into cultivation.
The significance of these facts does not seem to impress as it should either the public or the farmers. The habit of western migration, bred into the American people, during three centuries of practice is about to be broken.
The exhaustion of the public domain means that there is no longer available each year, as there was during 1860-1920, an area of virgin land in the Mississippi Valley, averaging 18,277 sq. m., or 11,697,280 ac., that is to say an area equal to one-third of the state of Iowa. It means that increased agricultural production by the simple process of breaking up virgin prairie is virtually at an end, so that future increases in food production must be attained by a more effective utilization of the land already occupied as farms.
The Increase of Agricultural Production and of Population for 60 Years.—The accompanying tables have been prepared from data contained in the 1920 Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture and the 1920 Census Reports. The yields of grain stated in these tables are not those of the Census Reports, but are the averages of the yields given in the Yearbook for each of the 10 years in each decade, except those for 1860 which represent the single year 1859, and for 1870 which represents the average for four years, 1866-9 inclusive. It is believed that this gives a better expression of the facts than using for each decade a single year's yield, such as is given in the Census Reports.
The two crops, wheat and corn, are chosen as an index of the general agricultural production for each decade since 1860. It is believed that they will serve the purposes of this discussion as well as or better than the more complex indexes used for more detailed investigation.
It will be seen that the proportionate increase by decades in population has been declining, having been 26.6% for 1860 and 14.9% for 1920, the greatest decrease in any decade having been between 1910 and 1920. There has been no such progressive decrease in production of either wheat or corn. The highest proportionate increase in the production of wheat was in 1880, when it was 49.3% over that of 1870. The highest proportionate increase in the yield of corn was also in 1880, when there was an increase of 41.9% over 1870. The percentages of increase of both wheat and corn for 1870 are not very trustworthy, because, as has been said, the yields used in the census of 1860 were the yields of the single year 1859 and those for the year 1870 were the averages of four years—1866-9 inclusive. From 1880 to 1920 there was a general decline in the average increase in production of wheat. In the case of corn its regularity was broken by reason of the very low rates of increase for the decade reported in the census of 1900. This was due to a succession of crop years with unfavourable weather conditions and to a general business depression. The production in bushels per capita of both wheat and corn has been quite constant. There has, therefore, been a regular increase in the bushels per capita of wheat from 5.5 bus. in 1870 to 7.4 bus. in 1920, and an increase in corn from 22.2 bus. in 1870 to 26.2 bus. in 1920. Dividing the percentages of increases for decades by 10 to give the annual percentage of increase shows that the average annual increase in the production of wheat in the United States for a period of 60 years (from 1860-1920) is to the annual increase in population as 2.91 is to 2.25 and that of corn for the same period is as 2.28 is to 2.25.
Both population and production have been increasing at a lessening rate. The retardation in the increase in population has been somewhat greater than that of production, as is indicated by the increase in the per capita production of wheat from 5.5 bus. to 7.4 bus. and of corn from 22.2 to 26.2 bus.
The proportionate rate of increase in production of wheat for the decade ending with 1920 was 13.9% and for corn 11.2%, and for population 14.9%.
Table I.—Wheat Production and Population.
|Years.||Population.||Production.|| Increase in
| Bushels |
|1866 to 1869||38,558,371||212,156,000||39,051,000||22.6||26.6||5.5|
|1870 to 1879||50,155,783||316,820,000||104,664,000||49.3||26.0||6.3|
|1880 to 1889||62,947,714||444,078,000||127,258,000||40.2||25.5||7.1|
|1890 to 1899||91,972,266||684,434,000||127,760,000||23.0||21.0||7.4|
|1900 to 1909||91,972,266||684,434,000||127,760,000||23.0||21.0||7.4|
|1910 to 1919||105,710,620||779,560,000||95,126,000||13.9||14.9||7.4|
Table II.—Corn Production and Population.
|Years.||Population.||Production.|| Increase in
| Bushels |
|1866 to 1869||38,558,371||854,278,000||15,485,250||1.8||26.6||22.2|
|1870 to 1879||50,155,783||1,212,013,000||357,735,000||41.9||26.0||24.2|
|1880 to 1889||62,947,714||1,692,019,000||480,006,000||39.6||25.5||26.9|
|1890 to 1899||75,994,575||1,995,190,000||303,171,000||17.9||20.7||26.3|
|1900 to 1909||91,972,266||2,486,274,000||491,084,000||24.6||21.0||27.0|
|1910 to 1919||105,710,620||2,765,041,000||278,767,000||11.2||14.9||26.2|
It becomes evident that the record of the annual production of wheat and corn through a period of 60 years, and its relation to the increase in population as indicated by the figures given in the accompanying tables, is a safe index of the agricultural requirements for the future, the conclusion is that if the general agricultural production of the country can be increased at the rate of 2% per annum for the future, the per capita production of wheat and corn, and probably of most other staple agricultural products, can at least be maintained at the ratio of the decade 1910-19.
The Agricultural Problem of the Future.—Had conditions in all parts of the world remained substantially as they were in 1914, the chief problem in 1921 would have been how to maintain in later years an increase of 2% per annum in the agricultural production of the United States, notwithstanding that virgin land could no longer be counted upon. This is a problem that prior to the World War would have engaged the most earnest effort of American farmers and the various agricultural agencies and organizations, both Federal and state. It would have presented difficulties of adaptation, adjustment, and development. The question of actual field production would have been a minor one as compared with such questions as transportation and distribution, the securing of efficient farm labourers at reasonable wages, and the opportunity for the farmers to purchase at prices comparable with the prices of farm products the things that a farmer has to buy to conduct his business and to live in comfort. Given conditions favourable in these respects, agricultural production undoubtedly could have been increased for many years after 1921 at a rate of 2% per annum. There are many ways in which this increased production could have been brought about: by clearing and bringing into cultivation waste land already included in farms; by draining swamps, and by developing water to enlarge existing irrigation projects; probably most of all by more intensive methods of agriculture. The agriculture of the United States had been and in 1921 still was an extensive, rather than an intensive, agriculture, and properly so. So long as land was plentiful and men were scarce the extensive system was to be encouraged. But as land began to become scarce and men plentiful there came almost unlimited opportunities for the intensifying of agriculture. While this need for closer farming was being discussed the World War brought with it a new set of problems that engaged the attention of the farmers as well as other citizens.
Prices of Farmer's Products and of Commodities He Buys.—The most pressing problem in 1921 was the disproportion between the prices of those things the farmer has to buy and those he has to sell. This difficulty was as great when he paid for labour as when he bought commodities.
Wages of Farm Labour.—The Bureau of Crop Estimates of the Department of Agriculture published in the Yearbook for 1920 a table giving the wages paid farm labourers from 1866 to 1920. Arranging these figures for the different classes of farm labourers as index numbers, and calling the wages of 1913 100 as a base, gives the following results:
|A By the month|
|B By the month|
|C Day labourer at harvest,|
|D Day labourer at harvest,|
|E Day labourer, not harvest,|
|F Day labourer, not harvest,|
Farm wages declined during 1921. The best information available, Nov. 20 1921, was that wages were about as follows (A) $29.48, (B) $42.65, (C) $2.12, (D) $2.80, (E) $1.60, (F) $2.17. These figures would give an index number about 145, or an increase of about 45% for 1921 over the wages of 1913. In the diagram, fig. 1, the figures for “Day labour, not harvest, without board” have been used as they are considered the most trustworthy. Men of this class are usually married men who either own their own homes or rent them from their employers. They are less inclined to drift than those who are boarded by their employers, and who are usually single and “footloose.” The married man who works by the month and boards himself frequently has house, garden, firewood and sometimes milk and pork provided by his employer. This is probably the most stable class of farm labour. It does not, however, yield a conclusive index of the changes in wages because changes in the value of the perquisites above mentioned tend to complicate the calculation.
The index number for the wages of day labourers, not for harvest, without board were as follows:
Discussion of Diagram.—Fig. 1 (p. 864) shows the index numbers of farm crops, live stock, commodities and farm labour for each year from 1913 to 1921, inclusive.
Index Numbers of Farm Crops, Live Stock, Commodities and Farm Labour Each Year from 1913 to 1921 Inclusive.
The two outstanding facts are that in every year from 1913 to 1919 the farm crops index stood higher than any of the others, and that from 1913 to 1918 the farm wage index stood as low as or lower than any other.
Tables III., IV., and V. are based upon data prepared by the Bureau of Crop Estimates, and published by authority of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Table III.—Index Numbers of Farm Prices of Crops.
The index numbers of average prices to farmers of the United States of 10 leading crops (wheat, corn, oats, barley, rye, buckwheat, potatoes, hay, cotton, and flax) represent about four-fifths of the value of all crops and may be regarded as representing the trend of all crop prices. (Base 100 = average for 12 months of 1913.)
Table IV.—Index Numbers of Farm Prices for Live Stock.
Index numbers of average prices to farmers of the United States, for live stock. (Base 100 = average for 12 months of 1913.)
Table V.—Index Numbers of Commodity Prices, Excluding Farm and Food Products.
Based upon the Bureau of Labor index numbers of wholesale prices of all commodities from which were deducted the commodities representing the foods, and farm products group. (Base 100 = average for 1913.)
A study of the diagram (fig. 1) confirms the evidence from many other sources that farmers engaged primarily in crop production were reasonably prosperous from 1913 to 1916 inclusive, and that during 1917, 1918 and 1919 they enjoyed unprecedented prosperity followed by two years of heavy losses; the high prices of the early months of 1920 having broken before the products could be marketed and the cost of commodities and farm wages remaining high. It also shows that the live stock grower was only just able to keep pace with the increasing cost of necessary commodities, and but little ahead of the steadily rising farm wages that he had to pay. The conditions of agriculture on Dec. 1 1921, as shown by Tables I., II., III. and V., and fig. 1, indicate that never before in the history of American agriculture had the farmers been confronted with so serious a situation. Unless the prices of what the farmer must sell could be brought into proper relation with prices of what he must buy—commodities and labour—agricultural production would necessarily be so greatly reduced as to bring about a serious shortage of food and textile products, for farmers cannot continue to produce crops at a loss not only of their time, but also of their money.
When, however, the agricultural situation is more closely studied it becomes apparent that even though a proper relation could be restored between the prices of farm products, farm labour, and the commodities the farmer has to buy, many of the farmers would be still unable to operate their farms profitably.
During the decade 1910-20, throughout the first half of which the farmers enjoyed normal prosperity and throughout the latter half of which their prosperity was the greatest ever enjoyed by American farmers, the rural population increased only 5.4% while the urban population increased at the rate of 25.7%. That is to say urban population increased nearly five times as rapidly as the rural population, increased movement to centres showing that farm life and farming had come to be disliked, notwithstanding their new advantages: improved roads, rural free mail delivery, telephones, automobiles, farm electric lighting plants and modern water and heating systems, all developed rapidly during the ten years in question.
Although there were 86,864 or 1.4% more farms in the United States in 1920 than in 1910, there were 23,627 or .6% fewer farm owners. Of the 3,925,090 farms operated by their owners in 1920, 41.3% were mortgaged as against only 33.6% in 1910.
The value of the land and buildings of mortgaged farms was $6,330,236,951 in 1910, and in 1920 $13,772,729,610, an increase of 117.6%. In 1910 the mortgaged indebtedness was $1,726,172,851; in 1920 $4,012,711,213, an increase of 132.5%. The increase in value ranged from 21% in New Jersey to 480% in Arizona. The increase in mortgaged indebtedness ranged from 10.2% in Rhode Island to 625.7% in Montana. The increase per cent in mortgaged indebtedness by geographical divisions was as follows: New England 56.8; Middle Atlantic 45.5; East North Central 101.0; West North Central 136.3; South Atlantic 161.8; East South Central 194.6; West South Central 154.0; Mountain 379.4; Pacific 215.6.
The average value of land and buildings on all mortgaged farms in 1910 was $6,289, and in 1920 it was $11,536, an increase of 117.6%. The average debt per farm was $1,715 in 1910 and $3,361 in 1920, an increase of 132.5%. The debt per cent value was 27.3 in 1910 and 29.1 in 1920, the figures being based on 1919 values. These declined and debts increased during 1920 and 1921, and at the end of 1921 it was believed that changes would continue in the same direction, until a shortage of food should increase prices.
There was difference of opinion as to the significance of the heavy increase in mortgaged indebtedness. The published reports of the Bureau of Census do not indicate at what time during the decade this increase took place, nor the purposes for which the money represented by the mortgages was used: whether as purchase money for the land upon which it was placed, for buildings, or other improvements upon the land, for farm equipment, or for the purchase, operation, and the incidental expenses pertaining to the ownership of an automobile.
Conditions during 1910-5, unforeseen in the beginning of that period, favoured investors in agricultural land and in farm improvements. Values doubled and in some instances quadrupled during 1910-20. And many of those who borrowed to make such investments were enabled during 1915-20 to repay in what were called “thirty cent dollars,” because inflated prices made currency redeemable in gold seem worth less than before. Indeed many farmers thus repaid not only the capital they had borrowed, but also their small floating debts, so that when deflation began in the summer of 1920 they could face without fear the inevitable hard times, in which economic readjustments must be made.
Unfortunately not all farmers were safe. Some, because of local crop failures or other unavoidable circumstances—and others, more numerous, because they had yielded to the spending craze that swept the country in 1918 and 1919—found themselves in the summer of 1920 possessed of much property, both real and personal, some of which had been acquired at war-time prices, but heavily indebted and with credit exhausted. It was largely owing to their difficulties that during the decade the mortgaged indebtedness of farmers so largely increased.
The Internal-Combustion Engine as an Agricultural Factor.—In the decade ending with 1919 there was a great development of the internal-combustion engine and adaptation of it not only to the labour, but also to the health, comfort and enjoyment of the American farmer. (See articles: Internal-Combustion Engines; Tractors; and Motor Vehicles.) It came to be used directly in the automobile, truck, tractor, pumping plant, electric lighting plant; for cutting silage, grinding feed, shelling corn, threshing grain, sawing wood, operating spraying machines and fruit-grading machines; and for many other power purposes. The internal-combustion engine, generating current, also indirectly operates the washing machine, the electric iron, electric fans, the vacuum cleaner, electric heating pads, and (through small portable motors) serves for separating milk, churning, meat grinding and many other household purposes.
A general farm of 150 to 200 ac. growing fruit, a small dairy herd, some truck and general farm crops, was no longer considered well equipped unless it had all the facilities above mentioned and perhaps a milking machine also, if the dairy herd was large. Seven separate internal-combustion engines and an equal number of small electric motors probably would be needed for all these purposes. Such a plant undoubtedly would be a good investment if it were judiciously selected and bought at a fair price, provided always that (1) the farm and the system of farming were adapted to the use of a tractor, (2) that the farmer or some member of his family had the necessary mechanical skill to see that this equipment were properly operated and kept in repair, (3) that the capital of the farmer was sufficient to provide such a plant, and (4) that the income of the farm was sufficient to support such a plant without seriously interfering with the other requirements of the family and the farm business.
Seldom, if ever, are all the above-mentioned conditions fulfilled, but the measure in which they can be approximated will determine the advisability of the purchase of all the above-mentioned equipment, except the automobile. This must be considered apart, for, although any part of a full farm equipment may be misused, the extent to which the privileges conferred by the automobile may be abused is almost without limit. The choice of the make of automobile is a simple matter, so far as mechanical construction is concerned. The buyer gets about what he pays for in any standard make. It is the use to which the car is put rather than its quality which makes it advantageous or harmful. Whether it will contribute to the efficient handling of the farm is not the only question. If the car is used chiefly to take the family away from home and to encourage waste of time and money, then it is a poor investment.
Automotive Statistics, for 1921, published by the Motor List Company of Des Moines, Iowa, states that 3,243,051 automobiles are owned by farmers in the United States. As already mentioned, the increase in the mortgaged indebtedness of the farmer-owned farms of the United States from 1910 to 1920 was $2,286,538,362. If those 3,243,051 automobiles cost $705.06 each, which is a fair estimate, they would nearly equal in value the amount of the increase in mortgaged indebtedness between 1910 and 1920. This correlation is accidental; no one believes that those 3,243,051 automobiles were bought with money secured by executing mortgages aggregating $2,286,538,362 upon farm property. It is nevertheless probable that some of the purchase money would have been better used to pay off mortgages.
Farm Labour.—Mention has been made of the changes in farm wages during and since the World War. The changes in the price paid per day or per month, or in the index numbers, ought to, but do not, fully represent the changes in the costs of units of labour performed. Before the war most farm labourers were willing to give 10 hours of faithful work for a day's pay. The migration of labour during and after the war, by reason of enlistment or employment in cities or in large manufacturing plants, brought many farm labourers into contact with men who preach inadequate work as a duty. Many of the farm labourers were demoralized, and near large cities it became almost impossible to get an honest day's work at any price. For this reason although the figures in the present article indicate that the price of labour is about 50% more than before the war, the actual cost of labour is from two to three times as much as it was. This is a factor of great importance in all readjustments of the cost of farm products.
Farmers and Consumers.—There was little in the agricultural outlook in Dec. 1921 to encourage the farmers to plan even normal production in 1922, for corn was then selling at from 19 to 28 cents on the farms of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas; much of the 1920 crop remained unsold; and nearly all farm products were selling at much lower prices than in 1913, although both labour and the commodities the farmer had to buy were much higher. It was evident that farmers must retrench in every practicable way, hiring as little labour as possible; reducing the scale of farm operations as nearly as possible to the point where the farmer and his family could do all the work. They must burn corn or any other agricultural product for fuel, whenever the farm price of that product fell below the cost of equivalent coal, wood, gas, or oil—after adding to the price of such fuel, at the railway station or waterside, the cost of hauling the fuel to the farm and the agricultural products from the farm.
Much could be done toward reducing cash outlay by making each farm produce as much as possible of the food for the family. Much, also, might be accomplished by a system of community exchange. With good roads, automobiles and trucks every farm family should be provided with virtually all necessary food products without expenditure for products, freight or middleman's profit.
In respect of food this generation by reason of the ease and rapidity of communications and country road transportation is better able to develop community self-sufficiency than any previous generation. If there were a demand for home spinning and weaving machinery on a large scale, as there is on a small scale, for home knitting machines throughout the country, homespun clothing again would take its place on the farm. As has been said already, good roads, rural mail delivery, the telephone and the internal-combustion engine have removed practically all but one of the objectionable features which drove many from farm life. That objection is that farming does not yield as large a revenue in proportion to the capital invested and the intelligence, business ability, and enterprise possessed by the farmer, as do other business or professional careers. This must cease to be the case, or American farmers will not continue to produce food and clothing for the rest of the population.
There has been and will continue to be much discussion and agitation of this subject in the public press and on the floors of Congress. Some legislation had already been enacted by 1922 for the purpose of helping the farmer, and further measures were in prospect. It is doubtful whether any real headway can be made in solving the producers' problem until there is an actual and very severe shortage of food in the country. When this occurs, the farmers will obtain fair prices for their products, and may then be able to resume the operation of their farms at full capacity, and to take up the great agricultural problem of the future, which is the adaptation, adjustment and development of the fixed agricultural area of the United States, so that it may continue indefinitely to meet the constantly increasing demands of an increasing population.
- (E. C. C.)
The movement of public expenditures and receipts in the United States during the decade 1910-20 presents as its most important aspect an instructive contrast between conditions of peace and those of war and readjustment. When the decade opened, education was the largest expenditure, taking all divisions of Government into account; and the financial operations of the state and local Governments were twice as large as those of the national Government. Expenditures, taxes and public debt, it is true, had all been increasing for some time both in the aggregate and per capita; but the wealth (expressed in money) of the country had more than doubled between 1900 and 1912, the average rate of the general property tax had decreased between 1902 and 1912, the Federal debt per capita was decreasing, and Federal expenditures per capita were lower between 1910 and 1914 than in 1908 and 1909. There was, of course, constant protest against rising taxes and “extravagant public expenditures,” but the total tax burden was probably increasing less rapidly than wealth or income, and this was certainly true of Federal taxes. War changed all this. Education and the developmental functions yielded first place to military activities; Federal finance threw into the background state and city finance; reduction of the aggregate debt ceased and in less than two years of war the interest charge of the Federal Government alone had become greater than the entire cost of running the Federal Government before the war. The Federal Government's expenditures and revenues in peace, war and reconstruction are presented in Table I., in which it should be noted that the figures represent net expenditures and net revenues, the expenditures of each department being credited with the earnings of that department and the tax receipts being similarly reduced by the refunds allowed during the same period.
From 1910 to 1916, inclusive, the net expenditures of the Federal Government showed no striking tendency to increase, being only $35,000,000 greater in 1916 than in 1910. The net expenditures for the army and navy were only $23,000,000 greater in the fiscal year 1916 than in the fiscal year 1914, which closed so far as Americans knew to the contrary amid conditions of secure peace—a striking commentary upon the attitude of the Administration in power toward preparedness. Between 1917 and 1919, however, the net expenditures of the army and navy rose from $668,852,948 to $11,192,817,468. It is needless to add that this expansion checked the development of the civil functions. Even before the World War, expenditures for the army, navy, pensions and interest upon old war debt absorbed about two-thirds of the Federal expenditures, leaving less than one-third for the civil functions. But in 1920, at the close of the decade, the expenditures chargeable to war consumed three-fourths of the very much greater aggregate. The total expenditures for primary governmental functions, research, education and development, and for public works, representing the civil functions, were actually less per capita in 1919 ($2.21) than in 1910 ($2.24), the principal reductions coming in the expenditures for public works which amounted to $54,332,139 in 1919 as contrasted with $79,503,701 in 1910. In 1920, after the war, the expenditures for civil purposes rose materially; but considering the fall in the purchasing power of money, even the later and higher figures suggest decrease in the equipment, personnel and efficiency of the civil branches of the Government.
The cost of the war may be estimated with rough accuracy, defining such cost as the excess of the expenditures which actually occurred over the amounts which probably would have been expended had the war not taken place. The Secretary of the Treasury (Annual Report, 1920, p. 105), assuming that expenditures on a peace basis during the three fiscal years 1917-9, would have been $1,000,000,000 a year and during the following fiscal year $1,500,000,000, estimated the net war expenditure to June 30 1920 at $33,455,000,000, and the net war-tax receipts, i.e. the excess of the annual tax revenue over the normal tax revenue of peace-times, at $10,703,000,000. On this basis, 32 per cent of the special war expense was paid from special war taxes. Mr. E. B. Rosa, in his authoritative analysis, Expenditures and Revenues of the Federal Government, makes a more careful estimate, for the four years 1917-20, of the “excess of expenditures over the estimated normal expenditures on a pre-war basis,” and reaches a figure of $35,427,730,074, against which he places an estimate of the special war revenue, i.e. “the excess of revenue over the estimated cost of government on pre-war basis,” $11,818,699,300. Mr. Rosa's estimate agrees with that of the Secretary of the Treasury in indicating that one-third of the special war costs were paid from special war revenues. In both cases loans to foreign Governments, $9,500,000,000 in round figures, are included in the war costs.
Table I. Average Annual Net Expenditures and Revenues of U.S. Government for 7 Pre-War Years, 3 War Years, and in 1920.
|Primary governmental functions||$ 97,718,290||$ 124,509,073||$ 224,110,594|
|Research, education and development||25,329,328||33,692,610||57,368,774|
|Army and navy||256,971,389||6,302,322,105||1,348,892,747|
|Pensions and care of soldiers||165,439,944||236,816,982||329,261,746|
|Obligations arising from World War||1,205,255,174||1,634,695,094|
|Total expenditures (net)||654,473,074||8,078,306,564||4,599,531,125|
|Tax on bank circulation||3,690,489||4,036,586||7,172,598|
|Post-office war revenue||55,489,500||4,913,000|
|Total revenue (net)||645,502,171||2,997,218,016||5,687,712,848|
|Public Debt, Loans and Trust Funds|
|Public debt transactions||−11,401,317||−8,085,631,219||1,184,098,321|
|Loans and trusts||− 4,982,411||3,210,794,518||513,885,254|
Federal revenues during the decade were revolutionized. At its beginning in 1910, customs supplied more than one-half the total receipts; and customs together with the duties on distilled spirits, beverages and tobacco produced more than 95% of their total net revenues. The income tax (special corporation excise tax) was then in the first year of its collection and yielded less than 4% of the total. By the end of the decade, customs and the old duties on alcoholic beverages were subordinate. In the year 1920 customs yielded less than 6%, and the combined duties on imports, distilled spirits, beverages and tobacco yielded only 14% of the total tax revenue; while the income and profits taxes produced $3,956,936,003 or nearly 70% of the total net tax revenue, which was large enough in this year of readjustment to meet the entire current cost of the Government and to create a surplus of more than $1,000,000,000. Other noteworthy developments of this decade from the viewpoint of revenue are found in the introduction in 1916 of the Federal estate or inheritance tax, the development of the excess-profits tax, the loss of one of the most important of the older taxes through the adoption of Federal prohibition, and the reëstablishment of the Tariff Commission. The most significant change, however, was the revolutionary readjustment of taxes by which a system of taxation, predominantly indirect and regressive, gave way to a system predominantly direct and progressive.
Public credit supplied during the war two-thirds of the revenue or receipts. Details concerning the management and yield of the huge war loans are given in the article Liberty Loan Publicity Campaigns. Here the subject can only be briefly treated in its connexion with the plan of the Government for the financial management of the war. That plan was based upon the policy of sedulously avoiding the use of Government paper money; of raising at least one-third (and, if possible, one-half) of the necessary revenue by taxation; of keeping the inflation which inevitably accompanies war to a minimum, by restricting “non-essential” commercial credit, encouraging subscribers to the Liberty and Victory loans to pay for them from current savings; and (in minor degree) by repressing unnecessary consumption through the adequate taxation of personal incomes and the use of luxury taxes. Financial preparation for a long war, perhaps of three years, was made, with due appreciation of the fact that in the early months the most effective contribution of the United States would take the form of generous supplies of goods and credit to the Allies. As stated by R. C. Leffingwell, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, who more than any other one man guided the credit operations of the Government during the war:—
“The Treasury's war problem was to meet the financial requirements of the Governments of the United States and the Allies promptly and without stint, and to meet them so far as possible from the saved incomes of the people, avoiding avoidable inflation. These objectives must be pursued in such ways as would not interfere with, but on the contrary facilitate, the mobilization of the Nation for war purposes and the production and transportation of munitions.”
As the principal credit instrument with which to achieve these ends, the Government used, for the most part, terminable bonds with moderate but adjustable maturities (in no case exceeding 30 years), partially subject to taxation, issued every six months from the beginning of the war to May 1919, at interest rates which because of the conversion privilege varied with the changing credit conditions but were always high enough to stimulate the instinct of saving, yet low enough to utilize fully the patriotic fervour of the people.
In order to avoid credit strain, with its demoralizing effects upon interest rates and business, the huge bond issues were preceded by practically monthly issues of short-dated tax and loan certificates, to be taken up by the payments for taxes or by the subscriptions to Liberty Bonds. When the war debt was at its peak, at the close of Aug. 1919, the gross debt amounted to $26,596,701,648 (or to $25,478,392,113, deducting the net balance in the general fund); of which short-time Treasury certificates constituted $4,201,139,050. As an essential part of the credit machinery, the Treasury adopted as particularly suited to the decentralized character of the country's banking system, upon which the burden of distributing the war loans fell, the device of “payment by credit,” by which banks subscribing for Government loans held their subscriptions as a credit to the account of the Government until the Government called for the funds. This reduced the credit strain by preventing the concentration of funds in the Government coffers, and “developed the further advantage that in the difference between the rate borne by the securities and the rate charged on the deposit, banks found some compensation for their time, trouble and the loss of deposits, resulting from the sale of securities to investors” (Leffingwell). This method of payment by credit has been criticized both as paying huge sums to the banks for creating credit which could have been as easily manufactured by the Government itself; and also as productive of inflation. Neither charge will bear analysis. The banks lost rather than gained by the Government's absorption of the investment resources of the people and by the repression of “non-essential industry”; and the device checked rather than stimulated inflation. If the Treasury had actually drawn into the reserve banks and its own offices the proceeds of these great loans, not only would it have demoralized the money market and increased money rates, but after a period of agitation perhaps panic there would have been heavy calls for discounts upon the reserve banks and “upon the re-deposit of the proceeds of certificates, depositary banks would be put in possession of loanable funds. . . . It was better to make one bite of the cherry and to avoid the money strain and inflation which would have been inevitable if the money had been first drawn out of the banks and then re-deposited with them” (Leffingwell).
In its decision of the momentous credit questions arising during the war, the Government steered a middle course, avoiding the mistakes which characterized the Civil War financing in the United States and much of the European financing during the World War. One set of critics urged much greater reliance upon short-time debt. Another set urged long-time bonds, “sold over the counter,” at interest rates high enough to keep the bonds at par when the inevitable post-war reaction set in. The Government took the intermediate course, utilizing but not abusing the patriotism of the people on the sound assumption that no rate of interest could have been sufficiently high to float these huge issues on a commercial basis alone. And its use of anticipatory short-time certificates was designed not only to prevent money stringency during the war, but to keep some pressing war debt current for extinguishment in the prosperous time which usually follows the termination of a great war. “No administration could have resisted the pressure for reduction of taxes and increase of expenditures if the war debt at its maximum of $25,300,000,000 had been funded, and it had subsequently appeared that taxes and salvage would more than meet current expenditures. The time to pay down a war debt is immediately after the war” (Leffingwell). With the depression that set in in 1921, the Government introduced successfully the device of selling notes running from three to five years along with the more temporary Treasury certificates. And the same middle course was taken, with the results already stated, between the proposals to exempt Government obligations entirely from taxation and to subject them to all Federal taxes at full rates; between those who counselled “conscription of wealth” and those who would have paid practically the whole cost of the war with credit devices of one kind or another. One mistake, the issue of Government paper money, was wholly avoided, and bank credit utilized in its place. But every effort was employed to draw the borrowings from actual savings and to get Government securities as rapidly as possible out of the banks into the hands of investors. These efforts succeeded; on June 1 1921 (according to reports from banks transacting over 40% of the commercial banking business of the country), less than $600,000,000 of the long-time debt of $15,271,000,000 outstanding, only $186,412,000 Victory notes (out of $4,022,000,000 outstanding) and $184,086,000 Treasury certificates (out of $2,572,000,000 outstanding) were pledged with these banks as security for loans and discounts.
The management of the credit operations of the war was not without its shortcomings. The preferential discount rate for loans secured by Government obligations may have been a mistake; perhaps, too, much use may have been made of bank credit and not enough use of taxation particularly of taxes on the consumption of luxuries and on incomes of the moderately rich; and it seems unquestionable that, owing to inability to gauge the exact time and amount in which the subscriptions to the Liberty loans would be paid, there was an overlapping of Treasury certificates and of bond subscriptions, with the result that the Treasury balance throughout the war was unnecessarily large. But these errors and defects were of secondary importance. The smoothness and efficiency with which the credit machinery worked during the World War particularly in contrast with its inefficient management during the Civil War indicate that in essentials the credit policy of the Government was sound and its administration remarkably efficient. The response of the people to the call for bond subscriptions, the cheerfulness with which the heavy war taxes were borne, and the absence of even a temporary breakdown in the credit mechanism with which the war was financed, were all admirable.
State and local finance were affected in unexpected ways by the war. At the beginning of the decade under review, state Government in particular was undergoing an unusually rapid expansion; and both state and municipal expenditures were increasing nearly twice as rapidly as those of the Federal Government. The tax burden, in the case of the state and local Governments, was increasing but not so rapidly as expenditures; increasing deficits were the rule; and the public debt both in total amount and per capita was increasing. The situation at the beginning of the decade and the principal financial movements throughout the decade are suggested in Tables II. and III. It should be noted that the Federal expenses or cost payments in Table II. do not include payments made for the purchase of obligations of foreign Governments; and that the per capita statistics quoted in Table III. represent net expenditures and revenues after deduction of working credits and tax refunds.
Table II. Governmental Cost Payments
|Year||States||United States||Cities having a pop.|
of over 30,000
Table III. Net Expense and Tax Revenue, Per Capita,
for All State Governments and
for Municipalities Having a Population of over 30,000; 1910-9.
|Year||States||Municipalities having a|
pop. of over 30,000
It is evident from the tables that the financial operations of the state and local Governments were affected by the events of the war. That the expansion of their activities would be checked, was to be expected; but that the state and local Governments in the face of the heavy Federal war taxes should seize the occasion to adopt or approach the policy of “pay as you go” was, perhaps, not to be expected. Nevertheless this has taken place. City expenditures per capita were not only less in 1919 than in 1915, but the tax revenue which was seriously deficient in the earlier year had in the later year increased almost to the point of meeting governmental costs. And beginning with 1917, the receipts of the state Governments as a whole have exceeded their expenses. In 1919, for instance, 31 states “realized enough from revenue to meet all their payments for expenses, interest and outlays and to have a balance of $50,192,314 for paying debt” (U.S. Census Bureau, Financial Statistics of States 1919, p. 30). In 17 states there was a deficit aggregating $15,378,246. Much of the economy has been achieved by discontinuing public works or improvements or refraining from those contemplated, and the cost of those public works which have been undertaken has in increasing degree been met from tax revenue rather than the proceeds of loans. In 146 of the principal cities, for instance, the per-capita payment for capital outlays in 1918 was only $7.51 as contrasted with $10.18 in 1909. Despite opinion to the contrary, Government ownership by states and cities has not expanded during recent years. Public-utility enterprises have developed less rapidly than other branches of the Government and far less rapidly than private business. According to official statistics, these public enterprises yield a substantial profit over the costs incurred, more than three-fourths of the net earnings from these sources being credited to the water departments owned by municipal Governments.
Looking to the revenues of the state and local Governments, the general property tax was still preëminent in 1921. Nearly one-half of the total tax receipts of the states and nearly nine-tenths of those of the cities, were derived from this source. Among the states, the relative importance of the property tax was slowly declining; but among the cities, in recent years it had slightly increased. Among the state Governments, taxes on business had been rapidly increasing and yielded more than half as much as the property tax itself. With the repression of public improvements, due to the war, both the absolute and relative yield of special assessments had fallen off. In general, the drain upon the national income created by Federal taxes and loans had forced upon the state and local Governments measures not only of economy but of parsimony, and it is probable that their efficiency had correspondingly suffered.
Budget Procedure.—Methods of financial administration made substantial progress during the decade under review. The old and generally inefficient “state boards of equalization” had in many states given way to central tax commissions charged with the power and duty not only of securing greater equality in the distribution of the tax burden but of supervising the work of local assessors, administering the more important corporation taxes and usually also the state inheritance taxes. The work of the property assessors had noticeably improved in recent years, particularly in the cities. In a majority of the states, some more or less effective budgetary system had been introduced; and in an increasing number of commonwealths the county and local divisions were being required to follow a prescribed budgetary procedure. Tax limit laws, designed to check local expenditures, had in several states been adopted or revived in improved form; and their effectiveness was being studied with great interest by those interested in governmental economy and efficiency. In the state Governments administrative progress had temporarily taken the path of centralization, and the events of the war had greatly centralized the fiscal machinery of the Federal Government. So far as the tax machinery of the Federal Government is concerned, it is apparent that despite heroic efforts the burden of the war taxes had been too heavy to permit its work to be kept current; and here, at least, it was generally conceded that the path of improvement lay in decentralization. The crowning administrative events of recent years had been the self-denying ordinance adopted by the House of Representatives, by which in the future the old appropriation committees would be combined in a single committee on appropriations, and the introduction of a national budget system, by the passage of the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.
Bibliography.—Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Treasury on the State of the Finances, particularly those for 1919 and 1920; Taxation and Public Expenditures, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. xcv. (particularly noteworthy as containing E. B. Rosa's Expenditures and Revenues of the Federal Government); Financial Statistics of Cities and Financial Statistics of States, published annually by the Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce; R. C. Leffingwell, The Treasury's War Problem (Senate Document No. 301, 66th Congress 2nd Session); E. L. Bogart, Direct and Indirect Costs of the Great World War (Pub. of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace); E. R. A. Seligman, “The Cost of the War and How It Was Met” (Amer. Econ. Review, vol. ix., No. 4).
- (T. S. A.)
The movement by which taxation has supplied, with the passage of time, an increasing share of the public revenue of the United States, was accelerated by the events of the decade 1910-20. At its beginning, according to the general financial survey of the national, state and local governments made by the Bureau of the Census for the year 1912-3, public expenditures were met to the extent of approximately 5% from loans, 70% from taxes, 4% from special assessments, and 21% from interest, rentals, departmental or commercial earnings, and miscellaneous sources. During the World War, borrowing took first place, and probably not more than one-half of the aggregate public expenditure was met by taxes. But in the fiscal year 1920, the Federal Government began actively to reduce its short-dated debt; and in that year Federal, state and local revenues were larger than expenditures. Of these revenues (despite the large amounts realized by the Federal Government from salvage and other non-tax sources) taxes supplied over 80% of the total. From the financial standpoint—as a source of revenue compared with taxation—Government ownership is not gaining in importance. In the states and cities, the earnings of public service enterprises shrank in relative, though not in absolute, importance during the decade; and in the national budget, postal earnings, Panama Canal tolls and similar receipts have been dwarfed by the huge tax levies necessitated by the war. Federal taxes, which before the war were of smaller amount than city taxes, became after it larger than all state and local taxes combined; and the leading Federal tax, the income tax, displaced the property tax from its old position at the top of American public receipts. In the fiscal year 1913, property taxes supplied over one-half of the revenue receipts of all divisions of Government, while the yield of income taxes was comparatively insignificant. In the fiscal year 1920 property taxes produced less than one-sixth, while income and profits taxes produced at least one-third and possibly as much as 40% of the total taxes collected in the United States.
Federal taxes at the beginning and end of the decade 1910-20 are contrasted in Table I. which portrays statistically the supersession of customs duties by the income and profits taxes; the beginning of the decline of the tax on alcoholic beverages caused by prohibition legislation a decline which is disguised in the table by the inclusion of new taxes on non-alcoholic beverages, introduced since the beginning of the World War; the introduction of the Federal estate or inheritance tax; and the multiplication of internal taxes on articles of common consumption. In the past it has been customary to contrast “direct taxes” such as income and inheritance taxes, which are supposed to rest in the main where first imposed, with “indirect taxes” such as those on tobacco and beverages, which, however collected in the first instance, are supposed to be paid eventually by the producer or consumer. Interpreted with reservations, the distinction is serviceable. It will be noted that in 1910 customs, liquor and tobacco taxes regressive taxes on consumers yielded over 95% of the total tax revenue; while in 1920 the same taxes augmented by similar taxes on “luxuries,” attendance at amusements, and transportation and insurance, produced only 25% of the total. Progressive income, profits and inheritance or estate taxes produced over 70% of the total in 1920. It is obvious that the war revolutionized the character of the Federal tax system in the direction of what has been called “liberal democratic finance.” However, in July 1921 the income and profits taxes were falling off more rapidly than the indirect taxes on consumption, owing to business depression; there was a recrudescence of protectionism, and a strong movement to introduce a general sales tax. It seemed probable, at that time, that for the fiscal year ending June 30 1922 indirect taxes would supply from 30% to 40% of the total tax collections. The “consumer” would be thus paying no small share of the national tax bill.
Table I.—Tax revenues of Federal Government: 1920 and 1910.
(From E. B. Rosa, Expenditures and Revenues of the Federal Government.)
|Income and excess profits||$3,956,936,003||$20,959,958|
|Distilled spirits and beverages||197,332,105||208,601,600|
|Transportation, insurance, etc.||307,769,841||—|
|Luxuries, automobiles, candy, furs, etc.||270,971,064||—|
|Estate or inheritance||103,635,563||—|
|Capital stock of corporations, brokers, etc.||95,141,732||—|
|Stamps on legal documents||81,259,365||—|
|Admissions to amusements||89,710,525||—|
|Total internal revenue||$5,407,580,251||$289,957,220|
|Customs—net revenue after refunds, etc.||296,274,230||323,519,307|
|Tax on national bank circulation, net||7,172,598||3,333,011|
|Postal war revenue||4,913,000||—|
|Total tax revenue||$5,715,940,080||$616,809,538|
State taxes and other receipts during the period 1915-9 for which general statistics could be obtained are analyzed in Table II. The net revenue receipts of all states for the year 1919 amounted to $670,183,918, and the net governmental-cost payments to $635,370,153, from which figures the general meaning of the percentages given in the table may be inferred. In arriving at the “net revenue receipts,” there have been excluded the proceeds of bond issues and of sale of investments or supplies, refunds returned by reason of error or otherwise, and bookkeeping items representing transfers between governmental departments. The term “net governmental-cost payments” is applied to actual payments for expenses, interest and outlays, less counterbalancing payments and receipts, refunds received on account of error or otherwise, and departmental transfers. By “outlays” is meant capital outlays for permanent property. With these explanations, the more important developments in the field of state taxation and finance during the latter half of the decade may be inferred from Table II. Taxes increased in the aggregate from $364,543,797 in 1915 to $527,819,167 in 1919, but the relative importance of taxes among the total receipts decreased slightly. As a source of state revenue, property taxes were declining in importance, while business and other licence taxes were increasing. Earnings of public enterprises, together with rents, interest and charges for highway privileges—commercial earnings in their general character—were comparatively speaking stationary. For the three years 1917-9 state receipts exceeded state expenses by a substantial margin.
Table II.—Relative importance (percentage distribution) of net revenue receipts and net governmental cost payments of all states:
(From Bureau of the Census, Financial Statistics of States, 1919, p. 33.)
|Net revenue receipts||Per cent. of net governmental|
|Year||Per cent. obtained from:—||Per cent.
|Property||Special||Poll|| Business and
City taxes and the relative importance of other classes of municipal receipts are analyzed in Table III., which is based upon the revenue receipts of 146 of the larger cities of the United States for which comparative statistics are available for a period of 17 years. The net revenue receipts of these cities increased from $439,126,723 in 1903 to $1,103,665,750 in 1919; and the net governmental cost payments increased from $514,189,206 to $1,113,599,879 in the same interval. The net revenue receipts thus increased 151% while the cost payments increased less than 117%. In 1903 the receipts constituted only 85.4% of the expenditures, but in 1919 the receipts amounted to more than 99% of the expenditures. There is thus no foundation for the current statement that because they may issue bonds “free from taxation,” American cities have been led in recent years to borrow unduly.
Table III. describes in figures the more significant movements among city taxes and receipts during recent years; the material increase in the relative importance of the general property tax, the decline of the liquor taxes, the shrinkage in the use of the special assessment since the outbreak of the war, and the slight decrease in the importance of earnings of public service enterprises. Expressed in absolute figures, the total net revenue receipts rose from $21.14 per capita in 1903 to $35.26 in 1919; receipts from the general property tax increased from $12.98 per capita in 1903 to $23.29 in 1919; and the earnings of public service enterprises rose from $2.42 per capita in 1903 to $3.61 per capita in 1919. As stated above, the relative importance of the last class of receipts declined slightly during the period under review.
Table III. Relative importance (percentage distribution)
of net revenue receipts of 146 cities for specific years: 1903-19.
(From Bureau of the Census, Financial Statistics of Cities, 1919, p. 55.)
The most important aspects of American taxation during the decade 1910-20 are those connected with the rates and the aggregate burden of taxation. Direct taxes were pushed to a height thought to be impossible before the war. The maximum rate under the Federal income tax is 73%, and this is supplemented in some places by a state income tax which, in Wisconsin for instance, exceeds at the maximum 13 per cent. Corporations have been subject to equally drastic taxes. The war profits tax for 1918 was 80% on profits in excess of a deduction which in the average case only slightly exceeded 10% of the invested capital; and corporations paid in addition a 12% income tax, a capital stock tax, and state or local taxes which frequently exceeded (in theory, at least) 2% of the capital value of the property of the corporation.
In addition there were miscellaneous Federal taxes important enough to have produced over fifteen hundred millions of dollars in the year 1920. This unprecedented taxation placed upon business a serious burden, brought about a complexity of law and procedure hitherto unknown in the United States, and threw upon the administrative machinery tasks difficult enough to cause grave congestion and delay. In July 1921 there was a systematic effort, particularly among business men, to replace the direct taxes in large part by a flat tax at a low rate (1% was usually recommended) upon all sales of goods, wares and merchandise. It was urged primarily in order to “simplify” the tax system, to take the place of the excess profits tax and reduce the rates of the income tax. Its opponents attacked it as an attempt to shift the burden of taxation from those who had income or profits, and were thus “able to pay,” to the general class of consumers; and asserted that it would discriminate in favour of the “combination” and against the independent or single-process business. In the United States this controversy assumed an importance worthy of historical record. It marked a reaction from the high tide of direct taxation which during the war supplied more than three-quarters of the entire tax revenue. It was also worthy of record that in the midst of the industrial depression prevailing in 1921 there was no discernible movement in favour of meeting the expenses of Government by the issue of paper money or by borrowing.
In state and local taxation real progress toward the solution of the more important problems was made during the decade. The gradual abrogation of the old “iron rule of constitutional uniformity” (taxation of all classes of property at the same rate) continued. Gradually, but without material setback, law and practice were being modified so as to adapt the general property tax to the peculiar needs of the different classes of property or business, such as forest land, the mining industry, and public service enterprises. Low rates were in a constantly increasing number of jurisdictions applied to money and securities, which go into hiding if an attempt is made to tax them at the rate applicable to real estate and tangible property; or this class of intangible property was exempted from the property tax and subjected to special taxes such as the mortgage registry tax, or the income tax. With three exceptions all American states employ some form of the inheritance tax. With the Federal Government imposing an estate tax which rises to 25% where the net estate exceeds $10,000,000; and the state Governments employing several mutually inconsistent bases of taxation, for example, taxing the transfer of all corporate shares owned by resident decedents and the transfer of all corporate shares in domestic corporations owned by non-resident decedents, problems of double or multiple taxation were becoming particularly serious; and an almost unbearable situation promised to arise unless in some manner state and Federal laws could be made both uniform and consistent. Automobile and hunting licence taxes were rapidly increasing in importance, and together yielded approximately as much as the state inheritance taxes (about fifty million dollars a year). In recent years there has been a marked improvement in the administration of state and local taxes, particularly in the work of assessment. Much of this is attributable to the development of state tax commissions charged usually with the assessment of state-wide corporations, the administration of the income tax where such a tax is in force, the equalization of assessments among local districts, and the supervision of the work of the county or local assessors. It is worthy of note that in recent years the movement for the segregation or separation of state and local taxes has abated. In 1921 there was a marked tendency towards centralization of administration and the collections by state officials or under state supervision of taxes which are later returned in part to the local divisions of government.
Bibliography.—See H. C. Adams, Science of Finance; C. C. Plehn, Introduction to Public Finance; E. R. A. Seligman, Essays in Taxation; Bureau of the Census, Wealth, Debt and Taxation (1913); and the annual publications Financial Statistics of States and Financial Statistics of Cities. For state and local taxation, see in particular the annual Proceedings and the monthly Bulletin of the National Tax Association. (T. S. A.)
V. Social and Welfare Work
The 20th century has seen an extraordinary development in the field of social-welfare work in the United States. The number of persons interested—whether as volunteers, serving on boards and committees, or as contributors of financial support, or as salaried employees—has multiplied manyfold. Appropriations from taxes, annual contributions for the current work of privately supported organizations, and endowments by men and women of wealth, have increased enormously. New forms of social work have come into existence, and the older forms have improved their methods, as well as extended their scope. Principles have been formulated; standards have been set up; training courses have been established; general instruction has been introduced into the colleges and universities, and even to some extent into the secondary schools; a technical literature has been produced; intelligent discussion of social problems in the popular periodicals and the daily press has become common.
Social work in the United States displays certain marked characteristics which distinguish it from corresponding activities in other countries. (1) There is greater variety. In the field of private charity individual initiative has had free play, little hampered by legislative restrictions or by precedents, and comparatively little by the control of church authorities. The administration of public charitable and correctional institutions and welfare legislation are not, as in England or France, national undertakings, but for the most part fall under the jurisdiction of the states, and even within the states the bulk of responsibility lies with local authorities of city, town or county. This situation has favoured experimentation. (2) The relative amount of social work undertaken on private initiative, as compared with that done by the State, is far greater than elsewhere. (3) In private philanthropy, the relative amount carried on under religious auspices is far less. (4) Throughout the whole system of charity and correction, both public and private, there is more hope. In comparison with older countries, there has been little poverty and degeneracy in America at any period. Even in the oldest cities there is no pauper class. (5) In the United States public and private relief, charity and correction, the care of sick, criminal or indigent individuals, and the efforts to improve housing, to provide facilities for recreation, and so on, are coming to be regarded as component parts of a complicated system, not as separate and distinct departments in the economy of the nation. (6) Finally, there is in American social work something of the readiness to “scrap” machinery, processes and plants, which is characteristic of American industry. Indeed, the ultimate object of all social work, from the American point of view, is to make social work unnecessary; and every social agency which is efficiently accomplishing its immediate purpose is more or less consciously working for its own extinction. Social work, therefore, is constantly changing.
Legally, the responsibility for the relief of the poor in America rests ordinarily upon their immediate relatives. Children and in some states grandchildren, parents and in some states grandparents, even brothers and sisters, may be compelled by law to furnish, if able, the necessaries of life to the indigent. The laws in American states do not uniformly recognize what in England is called the “right to relief.” In New York, for example, an able-bodied man who has no visible means of support and no regular occupation is not, under the law, a “poor person,” but is a “vagrant.” On his own confession before a magistrate he may be accepted as a public charge, but technically he is punished, not “supported.” Harsh as the law sounds when thus stated, it corresponds to the fact that for able-bodied adults in America there is always practically some alternative to starvation besides vagrancy.
Public Relief.—Although a legal right to relief is not formally recognized, there is a tacit assumption that any kind of misfortune which threatens life or physical well-being should be provided for; and that if relatives, friends, or voluntary agencies do not make such provision, the State must, or at least should, do so in some way (see Public Assistance: section United States).
By the end of the 19th century public opinion had recognized that the almshouse was not a suitable place for tramps, vagrants, and disorderly persons; for children; for the insane, feeble-minded, epileptic, blind, and deaf; for confinement cases; cases of acute illness and contagious disease; but that these should be provided for in special institutions. These theoretical conclusions, however, were by no means completely or uniformly embodied in practice. In many of the newer states, with no correctional institutions except gaols and State prisons, the courts still habitually committed certain minor offenders to the almshouse. Seventeen states in 1900 still maintained their dependent children in almshouses. The greatest progress towards specialized care had been made in the case of the insane, but in most of the states institutions for them were overcrowded, while in many a certain number of insane were still to be found in the county poorhouses or even in the gaols; and the horsewhip was still advocated by some of their official guardians for quieting the violent. State schools for blind and deaf children had been generally established, but there was practically no provision for the instruction of persons who became blind, or deaf, or otherwise disabled in adult life. There were only 26 public institutions for the feeble-minded in the country, and special provision for epileptics was rare. Even in so advanced a state as New York there were about as many “idiots,” feeble-minded, and epileptic in the almshouses as in the special institutions for their care. There were still many large cities and towns which had no general public hospitals; confinement cases were generally admitted to the almshouse, and as there was almost no public provision, and little under private auspices, for the care of consumptives, many of these also were found in the almshouses. Except in certain northern cities and in some of the southern states, outdoor relief was generally given by local public officials in the form of groceries, fuel, clothing, and sometimes in money. This and the undifferentiated almshouse were still the public provision available for the majority of dependents.
Private Philanthropy.—Parallel with the various public agencies were many which had been established, and were conducted, under church auspices, or by incorporated societies or less formal associations of private individuals. The private institutions which existed in 1900 were chiefly orphan asylums, hospitals, and homes for the aged. Most churches gave charitable assistance on occasion to their own members, and the larger ones had a Ladies' Aid Society, or a St. Vincent de Paul Society, or some other agency for the purpose. In the cities there were “bread lines” and “soup kitchens” and temporary shelters for the homeless. In many places there were non-sectarian general relief societies, such as the New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and in about 100 cities there was a Charity Organization Society, or Associated Charities, or United Charities. There were also many societies for assisting certain classes in their own homes—widows, for example, or members of a particular nationality; or for giving some particular kind of help, such as legal aid. There were 161 societies for the protection of children from cruelty and neglect; and a considerable number of societies performing one or more of the functions of the pioneer Children's Aid Society of New York to find homes in families for homeless children, to conduct lodging-houses and reading-rooms for newsboys, and in other ways to promote the welfare of city “waifs.” “Fresh-air societies” existed to provide outings for city children. “Visiting nursing associations” had demonstrated the value of such service, and some 40 to 50 had been organized, with an aggregate force of not more than 140 nurses for the entire country. In the larger cities and industrial centres day nurseries had been established for the convenience of wage-earning mothers and to reduce the number of children who were candidates for institutional care.
Treatment of Criminals.—Reformatory schools for juvenile delinquents, which had naturally come into existence much earlier than reformatories for adults, were to be found by 1900 in four-fifths of the states—more of them for boys than for girls, even in proportion to their numbers as delinquents. Juvenile courts were at the beginning of their development. Probation also was only beginning to receive attention. Growing out of the privilege of the court to suspend sentence after conviction, it had been the practice in connexion with adult offenders throughout Massachusetts for 20 years, and was established by statute in New Jersey in 1899, but had not spread farther. As applied to children, it had not yet been tried. Probation, indeterminate sentence, reformatory institutions, special courts for children, and even specialized treatment for women and children offenders, were still novelties. Fixed sentences, determined by the nature of the offence, without reference to the needs of the offender, were the rule; and they were served for the most part under conditions dictated by the theory of retribution rather than of reformation. As the characteristic charitable institution of America is the town or county almshouse, so the characteristic correctional institution was and is the county gaol and town “lock-up.” Generally small, with poor sanitation, frequently “fire-traps,” they are described by a committee of the National Conference of Charities and Correction in 1900 as “foul dens, infested with vermin, reeking with dirt and filth.” Boys and girls arrested for a trivial first offence, professional criminals, prostitutes and innocent persons awaiting trial were “herded together” in idleness, dirt, and bad air.
State Supervision.—To insure a certain standard in the conduct of public charitable and correctional institutions, state boards had been established in over half the states. These were of two main types: (1) advisory boards, with authority to inspect, report, and make recommendations, relying for their influence chiefly on the power of publicity; and (2) boards of control, with full executive powers and executive responsibility. The former type was considerably in the majority.
Preventive Philanthropy.—Of “preventive philanthropy” or “constructive social work” there was very little at the beginning of the 20th century. Interest in providing playgrounds and small parks in congested districts and public baths had been growing for several years. The New York Tenement House Committee had begun work in 1899, and was laying the foundations of the modern housing movement. The Consumers' League had exposed the horrors of sweat-shop work, and was preparing the way for a general concern about industrial conditions. But the conspicuous educational agency at this period was the social settlement. Beginning with the Neighborhood Guild on the lower east side of New York City, the number of settlements had increased to over one hundred.
Twentieth-Century Developments.—One of the ideas which became dominant among social workers early in the 20th century was that “prevention is better than relief.” A second, in the picturesque phrase of Jacob A. Riis, was that “a man cannot live like a pig and act and vote like a man.” Both these ideas grew out of the experiences of men and women who were engaged in work for the relief or the reformation of individuals, or who were living among the poor in social settlements. Out of these ideas naturally developed the organized social movements which are characteristic of contemporary American philanthropy. Conspicuous among them are the movements for the prevention of tuberculosis, for the diminution of infant mortality, to promote the health of children, for the control of cancer, for the reduction of venereal disease, for the prevention of blindness, to abolish extortionate charges for loans secured by salaries and pawnable property, to promote wholesome recreation, to diminish child labour, to further industrial education, to advance the interests of the negro, to reform criminal law and procedure, to prevent insanity, to improve housing conditions, to improve and standardize labour legislation.
Each of these movements is represented by a national organization—some of them by several—and in most of the cases a large number of local societies or committees also exist, more or less closely affiliated with the national body. Their central feature is educational propaganda, based on the study of facts. Millions of dollars were spent to this end in the two decades, 1900-20, and remarkable ingenuity was used in devising effective methods. Simple “literature,” presenting clearly the essential facts (about the nature of tuberculosis, for example, and the precautions which should be taken), printed in alluring style and translated into many languages, photographs, lantern slides, posters, motion pictures, standardized exhibits; monologues by clowns, plays, lectures to use on the phonograph; Christmas seals; a press service supplying material to newspapers all over the country; a “tuberculosis day” or a “child labour day” in the churches and in the schools; lectures and motion pictures at county fairs; travelling exhibits touring the countryside—such are some of the methods in use.
Research and Surveys.—Another result of the interest in prevention and in underlying causes was to stimulate research into social conditions. The new organizations which have just been mentioned were obliged to begin operations by collecting data. Charity organization societies, settlements, and others among the older philanthropic agencies, began to delve into their records, or into their unrecorded experiences, for knowledge about social conditions. Several heavily endowed “Foundations” were established—notably the Russell Sage, the Rockefeller, and the Carnegie—with research as one, if not the primary, object. For about a decade, beginning about 1902-4, many studies were made. In 1907 the “Pittsburgh Survey” was undertaken by the committee in charge of the publication then known as Charities and the Commons (now The Survey), with financial support from the Russell Sage Foundation, and with coöperation from many of the social and sanitary movements of the country and from many citizens and organizations of Pittsburgh. It was an attempt to present a bird's-eye view of the conditions in an industrial wage-earning centre. This survey, published later in six volumes, had immediate practical results in Pittsburgh itself. It had a wider influence—because of the dramatic prominence assumed in it by industrial accidents, the twelve-hour day and the seven-day week—in impressing on America the evils of overwork and of the outworn theory of employers' liability. It also established the “social survey” as a method of research. There have been only one or two other surveys equally ambitious, notably one of Springfield, Ill., conducted by the Russell Sage Foundation's Department of Surveys and Exhibits; but less comprehensive surveys have been made under various auspices in many cities, and although this method has at times been absurdly applied, it has done a great deal to establish the sound principle that plans for improvement should be based on an understanding of actual conditions.
Reaction on Relief and Correction.—The New York Charity Organization Society enlarged its activities (1897-1905) by establishing a Tenement House Committee, a committee on the prevention of tuberculosis, a committee on criminal courts, a school for the training of social workers, and the weekly journal already mentioned, The Survey. Other societies created similar committees, or undertook other educational work as an adjunct to their original function. All these new activities, in turn, had a reflex influence on the older forms of social work. As the idea of prevention gained ground, those who were engaged in the relief of the poor found their task growing more complex. In particular, they found themselves obliged by the logic of their new knowledge to examine into the health of each member of the family, to see that physical defects in children were corrected, that the family diet was suitable and sufficient, that the home was decently sanitary, that incipient physical and mental troubles were properly treated; to make it possible for children to stay in school at least as long as the law required, and preferably beyond that age; for mothers and fathers who were ill to have adequate medical treatment and convalescent care; and to supplement the income, if necessary, sufficiently to secure these essential conditions. Hospitals and dispensaries came to see the connexion of their institutions with the homes of their patients, and “hospital social service” was devised. Provision for the insane, for the tuberculous, for delinquent children and adults, was extended in both directions—to reach them at an earlier stage of their difficulties and to watch over them after discharge. Prevention of infant mortality led back to prenatal care and instruction of mothers. Rehabilitation became the conscious goal in philanthropy and correction.
Training Schools.—The Summer School of Philanthropy, begun in 1898 by the Charity Organization Society of New York, was expanded in 1903-4 into a two-year course of special training for graduate students and persons who had had the equivalent of a college course, with instruction which included both study of principles and practice and which was recognized by Columbia University as of graduate standard. Within a few years similar schools, affiliated more or less closely with educational institutions, but, like the New York school, owing their existence to social workers, were established in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Richmond, while instruction on the same general plan was introduced in a considerable number of colleges and universities. By 1920 such training was offered by most of the leading educational institutions of the country, either as graduate or undergraduate work in the departments of the social sciences. No new independent schools have been established for a decade or more, and one of the most important of them (the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy) has recently (1920) been discontinued on the creation of a Graduate School of Social Service Administration in the university of Chicago. Whether or not social work has become a “profession” is a question of merely academic interest, but it has become a recognized occupation, engaging large numbers of men and women with high qualifications, and offering salaries which compare favourably with those available in the teaching profession and the ministry.
Formulation of Standards.—From their study of methods social workers were led to formulate standards, and this has been done with special success in matters of legislation. The Uniform Child Labor law, prepared by the Commissioners on Uniform State laws of the American Bar Association and adopted by the National Child Labor Committee, and the essential features of a Workmen's Compensation law as advocated by the American Association for Labor Legislation, are conspicuous examples, to the influence of which the statute books of most of the states bear witness. National leagues of societies engaged in similar work have been organized and have promoted uniformity of methods in their several fields. Aside from those which are purely legislative, the standards which have had the greatest influence are those formulated by the White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children, held by invitation of President Roosevelt Jan. 25-6 1909, and by the Conference on Child Welfare Standards, held under the auspices of the Federal Children's Bureau 10 years later. The unanimous recommendations of the White House Conference were adopted as a quasi creed or constitution by the child-welfare workers of the country. The Children's Bureau Conference, held in 1919, at the close of the “Children's Year,” had a far wider scope. It considered the essentials to child-welfare from every point of view, and drew up minimum standards for children entering employment; for the protection of the health of children and mothers and for the protection of “children in need of special care.”
Coördination.—In recent years social workers have developed a new sense of the interrelations of social agencies. As affecting case-work, this has showed in an increased appreciation of the idea of registration which had been one of the cardinal principles of the charity organization movement. Under the new name of “confidential exchange” or “social service exchange,” there has been established in the leading cities a central record of the families known to the various social agencies, so that each society may learn which other agencies may be, or have been, interested in any particular family and may consult with them. Furthermore, social workers began to think of particular agencies and particular methods as elements in the community's equipment, to consider what place each one should occupy, what its appropriate function was, and what was needed to supplement it. In other words, they began to make “programmes”: for a comprehensive campaign against tuberculosis; for a charity organization society in a small town; for an adequate system of care for the insane; for State legislation on behalf of children—“children's codes,” as they are called, presenting a harmonized plan of desirable laws; and so on. The national associations in the different educational movements not only outlined in a general way the elements in a “campaign” against the particular evil of their concern, but also suggested concrete programmes for local organizations. Councils of social agencies have been organized in some cities to promote mutual understanding and the development of a community programme, while the financial federations which have been developed for joint raising of funds have, as an incident to their main purpose, perhaps been the strongest influence of all in this direction. Since the World War it has become obvious that there is need for coördinating the work of the national agencies also.
Financial Federations.—The financial federations bid fair to establish themselves as an integral feature of social work in America. Before the end of the 19th century bureaux of advice and information had been created by the charity organization societies in several of the large cities, supplying information about organizations and individuals and appealing for contributions. Beginning with Cleveland about 1900, the chamber of commerce in various cities had established a “charity endorsement committee,” which made up a list of approved agencies for the convenience of its members, who, with their families, constituted a large part of the giving public. As social agencies multiplied, competition became so intense that protests from harassed contributors led to the idea of financial federation, viz. that all the agencies in a community which depended on voluntary contributions for their support should form an association, agree on a joint budget for the next year, throw into a common pool their contributors' lists and other information about sources of income, present their united needs to the public in a single campaign, and share in the results in proportion to their budgets. Jewish charities were the first to do this successfully, but by 1917 there were general federations in several cities. When the war brought demands from a host of new and old organizations, in sums that had never before even been imagined, a development of the fundamental idea in federations was forced. “War chests” were set up in some 300 cities by the summer of 1918, to raise the money asked for by the American Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A., the War Camp Community Service, and other “war work” agencies, and in some places the local charities also were included in the chest. The general satisfaction felt with the experiment led a number of the cities to convert their war chests into “peace chests” or “community funds,” and by March 1921 at least 30 important cities had adopted this method of raising their funds. A great deal more money is secured in this way than by separate competitive appeals; a much larger proportion of the population contributes (20-30% instead of an estimated 2-10%); less expense is involved and less annoyance to contributors. The strongest argument in favour of financial federations, however, is that through joint budget-making, joint study of community needs, joint planning for community welfare, they tend to dissipate the narrow institutionalism of the agencies concerned; while, on the other hand, they increase the public interest in the social work of the community, and provide a channel through which the public may register its judgments of the social agencies and share in directing their development.
Increased Reliance on Government.—Even before the war there was a noticeable tendency away from the old American individualism and distrust of government. Supervision over private social work has been extended, and there has even been a tendency towards some degree of public control. Recourse has been had to legislation to establish minimum standards of housing, of working conditions, even of wages, to protect women and children in industry, and otherwise to promote social welfare; and such legislation has been increasingly sustained by the courts. The great cost of adequate provision for the sick and adequate hygienic education of the well, together with the growing recognition that, to be adequate, such measures must reach all citizens, have made it inevitable that they should be undertaken largely by public authorities. Boards of health have accordingly extended their control over infectious diseases, established sanatoria and all sorts of clinics, distributed much information, and maintained nurses and physicians to visit the poor in their homes and give them oral instruction. Public schools have added physicians, nurses, psychiatrists, dentists and “visiting teachers” to their staffs, have offered evening classes and vocation schools and public lectures and opened their buildings as “community centres,” as well as admitted into the curriculum new subjects. Three-fourths of the states have established bureaux of child welfare or child hygiene.
There has even been an extension of public out-door relief, which had fallen into disrepute during the 19th century. Partly as a result of the new conviction that children were better off with their mothers than in institutions or in foster homes, partly from a sudden appreciation of the service performed to the State in the bearing of children and a determination that the State should recognize this service, most of the states of the Union (beginning with Missouri in 1911) made special provision for payments of “widows' pensions” or “mothers' allowances,” “mothers' aid,” “funds to parents,” or “mothers' compensation,” to mothers who without this assistance might be obliged to place their children in institutions.
Reliance on the State has gone so far as to demand assistance in promoting social welfare from the Federal Government. Its taxing power has been invoked to discourage the employment of children in factories, mines and quarries, in order to extend some protection to the children in the more backward states. Financial aid for vocational education and (by a measure passed in 1920) for the reëducation of industrial cripples, has been granted by the Federal Government to the states in proportion to their population and their own appropriations. The Department of Agriculture has done social work on a substantial scale in rural districts. The Bureau of Labor has been erected into a separate department, with corresponding increase in importance. A children's bureau, placed almost by chance in the Department of Labor, was created in 1912, at the instance of the social workers of the country.
The World War and Social Work.—The first effect of the war on social work in America, while the United States was still neutral, was to strengthen and improve it. Sympathy for sufferings in Europe quickened sensitiveness to social problems at home. A little later the appeals for war relief tended to drown those of the familiar everyday agencies at home. This was not an unmixed evil, for it compelled scrutiny of plans within each organization to determine what could be spared with least disadvantage. When the United States entered the war, in April 1917, social work leaped into unprecedented prominence. Many of the wonted social problems were intensified and some new ones created, especially by the operation of the draft and the establishment of training camps; while a new demand for persons with experience in human problems sprang up in government departments and war industries. A fervour developed for service, especially for service to American soldiers and sailors and to the civilian sufferers in the Allied countries. The Red Cross organized its Home Service Sections to minister to the needs of the families of men in service; its Bureau of Refugees and Relief in France and other activities on behalf of the civilian populations in European countries. With official encouragement, the seven “moral-making agencies,” as they were called—Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A., Knights of Columbus, Jewish Welfare Board, Salvation Army, American Library Association, War Camp Community Service—undertook to occupy the leisure of the soldiers and sailors, in training at home or on duty abroad. They provided physical, social, and spiritual comforts, mental diversion and entertainment.
The Federal Government, through the system it adopted of allotments and allowances to the families of men in service, compensation for death and disability, reëducation of the disabled, and war-risk insurance; through the Housing Corporation; the Federal Employment Service; the Division of Venereal Disease in the Public Health Service; the thrift campaign of the Treasury Department; the educational work of the Food Administration; and other undertakings, plunged into social work on a gigantic scale. Much of it, unfortunately, though wisely conceived, was badly executed, but it strengthened the demand that the Federal Government should in the future make more substantial direct contributions to social welfare.
The established forms of social work fared badly under the competition of these new activities. Financial support was difficult to secure, and what was more serious many agencies saw their staffs sadly depleted by the superior appeal of war work. Young, inexperienced persons were frequently the only ones available for positions of responsibility. On the other hand, many capable men and women who would not otherwise have been attracted to social work have entered it permanently, and many more have had experiences which cannot fail to be of advantage to social work in the future because of the interest and knowledge acquired. Aside from this increase in the popularity of social work and in the general understanding of social problems, a conspicuous effect of the war was to hasten the process of nationalization which had been going on for half a century. This is shown not only in the disposition to expect more active participation by the Federal Government, but in a consciousness of the national character of the problems of education, health, and adequate income; in a prominence accorded to certain elements of the national life, hitherto comparatively neglected, such as the rural population, the negro, the foreign-born. Topics in which interest has been intensified are education, recreation, physical efficiency, venereal disease, mental defects, “community organization,” retraining of cripples and other handicapped adults and their restoration to a place of usefulness and self-support in the community.
In general, the effect of the war has been to confirm the principles of social work and to commend them to a larger public. In the treatment of criminals, however, it has been the opposite. For the moment, at least, it seems that much of the progress painfully made in the course of the 19th century has been brushed away. There has been a reversion to the principles of vengeance and retribution in dealing with civilian lawbreakers. A reaction in favour of the death penalty and of severe and even brutal sentences has displaced the sentiment that certainty of punishment is more efficacious as a deterrent than severity.
Practical Advance.—In these 20 years of the 20th century, ideas have far outstripped practice. Both ideals and practice have made great strides in advance, but the gap between generally accepted theories and actual provision is as wide as it was in 1900. By way of summary: what difference have the 20 years made to the individuals whose welfare is at stake?
The task of helping those who are in economic difficulty is done more thoroughly. A larger proportion of those who need assistance receive it; a larger proportion receive a kind and an amount adapted to their needs; individual and family situations likely to produce dependence later are more frequently recognized and corrected. There were in 1920 over 300 “family social work societies,” as compared with 100 at the beginning of the century. The home service sections of the Red Cross, continued in many small towns and rural communities after the World War, supply something corresponding to the general relief society or family society in the cities. Public relief has been extended by the all-but-universal provision of “mothers' allowances,” which, however, are generally inadequate in amount or incompetently supervised. An organized system for assuring prompt relief in any community visited by a disaster has existed since 1906 under the auspices of the Red Cross. In theory rehabilitation is accepted as the object of the social agencies which have to do with children or with family groups or individuals capable of ultimate self-support, including the public departments which administer outdoor relief. Available resources for recreation and education, for physical and mental examination and treatment, are utilized more fully. Money is spent more freely, especially to ensure adequate food, sanitary homes, the recovery or preservation of health, to keep families together, and to keep children in school. In public institutions diet has improved, and in general the physical conditions are better. Here and there the almshouse has been transformed in accordance with the theories of the 20th century, and through the continued growth of specialized institutions its population is gradually decreasing and it is losing its place of preeminence among the social agencies of the country. It is still, however, much the same institution that it was 20 years ago, and it still affects far too many persons to justify the indifference still shown it. In other respects, too, there has been little advance in provision for those who reach old age without resources and without relatives who can take care of them: accommodations in private homes for the aged have not increased substantially; the plan of placing them in families under supervision has nowhere had much attention; and thus far there has not been much sentiment in any state in favour of old-age pensions, nor much evidence brought forward that they are needed.
Children (the other class of natural dependents), in their character as the most responsive subjects for both preventive and constructive efforts, have aroused a new and scientific interest. The case of the child who must be supported wholly or in part by other than his parents or near relatives has improved more than that of the aged. There are more chances than there were 20 years ago that arrangements will be made for him to stay with his own mother or that he will be placed in some family where he will at least have the training of family life; if the latter, that the home will be chosen with reference to his particular requirements, and that in case of mistake it will be discovered before his future is jeopardized. If he goes to an institution, it is more likely to be one in which he is regarded as an individual, and in which the life is organized for the benefit of the children rather than primarily for ease and economy of administration. The capital invested in old-style congregate institutions and the initial cost of replacing them by a plant on the cottage plan retards the tendency in this direction. Few institutions of the old type have been constructed in recent years, and some old institutions have moved out from the city into a colony of small home-like buildings, permitting better classification of the children and a more nearly normal life, but the process of displacement is slow, the 19th-century city institution still predominates. While in the best institutions, and the best placing-out agencies, physical and mental examinations are given to the children and more careful attention is paid to the correction of defects than in the average family, such skilled professional care is still the exception rather than the rule.
In provision for the cure and prevention of disease and for the promotion of health these 20 years have seen the most marked advance. Ill health as a cause of individual inefficiency, poverty, and even crime; good health as the foundation of individual welfare and happiness; preventable disease as one of the greatest and least excusable social evils; physical efficiency as a national ideal—these ideas have created a large proportion of our current social work, and materially modified most of the rest. General hospital accommodations and dispensary service have increased at a rapid rate, considering the investment required. Although there is not yet suitable provision for more than 20% of the tuberculous in need of institutional care, still nearly all of the 60,000 beds in the 689 sanatoria and special hospitals, day camps and preventoria (Jan. 1 1921) have been provided since 1900. This is true also of most of the convalescent homes, the many specialized clinics prenatal, “baby,” dental, venereal disease, psychiatric, etc. the medical examination of school children, the nursing service of schools and health departments. The level of knowledge about tuberculosis and other preventable diseases and about personal hygiene has risen perceptibly. A new type of agency is now becoming prominent “health centres” and “well-baby clinics,” for example directed towards the preservation of the health of those who are well.
Provision for the treatment of mental disease also has continued to increase, until in 1920 there were 232,680 patients in institutions; and the tendency already well established in the 19th century towards public care, by the state rather than by local units, has progressed until, in all but 8 states, all insane who are public charges are in state hospitals (i.e. not in almshouses or other county or city institutions). In 12 states there were, in 1921, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric wards in general hospitals, detention hospitals, or other provision for the temporary care of mental cases. The corollary, however, is that in 36 states there is no such provision and in these 12 only a fraction of the population is thus served. The hospitals in most states are sadly overcrowded. Notwithstanding this pressure, the Scotch plan of boarding out selected cases of certain types, which has long been followed with success in Massachusetts, has not been adopted elsewhere. National prohibition, however, has already cut down the number of admissions to the alcoholic wards, and it may be that this influence will enable the states within the next few years to match accommodation with applications. A few institutions undertake to keep watch over the patients discharged as cured or improved, and a few private organizations supplement the work of the public institutions in this way, and also try to avert the development of insanity in incipient or suspected cases brought to their attention. In New York a state system of clinics has been organized under the joint auspices of the state hospitals, the state Department of Health, and the Committee on Mental Hygiene. In general, however, the prevention of mental disease and the promotion of mental hygiene are comparatively rare.
For mental defectives provision has increased rapidly as compared with that at the beginning of the century, but slowly as compared with the need. There were about 40,000 feeble-minded in institutions in 1920, which was twice as many as in 1910, but not more than 6% of the estimated total in the country. There were still, in 1921, 14 states which had no separate institution for such patients. In the conduct of the institutions the tendency is towards making them less custodial in their atmosphere, more medical and educational, less like a poorhouse, more like a combination of hospital and school. Special classes for backward children were maintained in 1921 in over a hundred cities, but the aggregate enrolment of over 20,000 represents only a small portion of such children even in these cities.
In connexion with crime the greatest advance has been made in the case of juvenile delinquents, who are now treated rather like neglected children than like criminals. Nearly three-fourths now come before courts intended especially for children's cases, the best of which have facilities for thorough physical and mental examinations and social investigation, and before judges who are expert in this work. All the states except Wyoming had made by 1919 some provision for probation for juvenile offenders, and about half the juvenile courts had a probation service in operation. Children in small villages and the country are hardly touched by these new methods. The proportion of juvenile delinquents sent to institutions is smaller than 20 years ago, and these institutions have become in some instances excellent schools. They have made more progress than those for dependent children in transforming their plants and their methods to correspond with current theories. The interests of adult criminals have not advanced so much. It is more generally admitted, however, that every correctional institution should be a “reformatory,” and more of them are than formerly. There is increased attention to physical conditions and needs, better ventilation, improved sanitation, more physical exercise, and in the reformatories some use is made of psychological tests and some attention paid to the correction of physical defects. The value of academic instruction and of productive occupation is more generally realized in the state prisons, and the reformatories also provide vocational training. The old perplexity of how to prevent prison labour from competing with free labour has ceased to be a practical problem, with the general acquiescence of organized labour on the “state use” system. Contract labour, however, is still found in many state prisons, and there has been little progress in making the work of the man in prison contribute to the support of his family at home. The convict lease system in the South has almost disappeared. A few county gaols have been remodelled, and a few others have been replaced by farm colonies. The use of probation for adult offenders has increased, though less rapidly for juvenile delinquents.
Private enterprise in the field of correction has concerned itself chiefly with furthering the movement for juvenile courts and probation; promoting specialized provision for women offenders, including policewomen and separate detention houses; developing protective work, especially for girls; securing the establishment of night courts and special courts for cases involving family desertion and other domestic relations; and in a few places, intermittent efforts to secure a rational treatment of beggars, drunkards, and other misdemeanants. Interest in 1921 seemed to centre round protective work for young offenders; the need of separating the feeble-minded from those of normal mental powers in reformatories and of distinguishing between them throughout the correctional system; problems of court organization and procedure, including the proposal for merging juvenile courts and the so-called domestic relations courts into “family courts,” to deal with all cases involving family life.
While it would be out of the question to review in this place the progress which has been made during the 20th century in the general standard of living and the conditions under which the mass of Americans live and work, still so large a part of the social work of these 20 years has been consciously directed towards this object that it would be equally impossible to omit all reference to it. The contribution of organized social work cannot be definitely disentangled from that of any of the other factors which have been influential in bringing about these improvements, but it is patent to any student of the period that it has been an important factor. The educational social movements, through their research, their programmes, their publicity and their propaganda, have to a large extent enlisted the interest of the other factors, determining which questions should have precedence, and how they should be presented to the public.
“Welfare work” in mercantile and industrial establishments has an obvious historical association with those kinds of social work which deal with health, housing, recreation, and the standard of living. In America, however, it is now generally conceived, not as an expression of altruistic interest on the part of the employer, but rather as a subdivision of personnel administration. Scientific management, industrial medicine, vocational guidance and other factors have influenced its development.
In many instances welfare activities have begun with a restroom, a lunch-room, first-aid appliances. From these modest beginnings they have expanded to include everything which might directly or indirectly increase the efficiency of the workers. Their home life, savings, investments, education of children, and social opportunities have been included. Industrial goodwill between the management and the workers has come to be looked upon as an asset to be cultivated. The Y.M.C.A., and other agencies which prefer to avoid industrial controversies and to operate within the “zone of agreement,” have found here a useful and congenial field. (L. Br.; E. T. D.)
VI. The American Labour Movement
The labour movement in the United States has been distinguished from that in other countries by being less class-conscious, more individualistic and opportunist. Although there are Socialist factions, and some leaders favour industrial unionism, the majority of organized labour clings to the tactics of federated crafts, and does not aim further than to increase wages, decrease hours and improve the conditions of employment through agreement with the employer. The American labour movement has not been led by “intellectuals.” The leaders have come from the ranks—one explanation of the characteristic opportunism and lack of a social philosophy. The great majority of American working men do not want a Labour party in politics; they do not consider themselves a separate class in the body politic. The American political parties antedate the formation of modern economic classes. Class parties are discountenanced as “un-American.” A politician in any party may present himself as a “friend of labour.” Moreover, the system of checks and balances of the Government offers resistance to change, and the division of sovereignty between state and Federal Government makes legislative reform measures difficult of passage. More can be accomplished with equal effort by trade-union methods. What part the American Federation of Labor has taken in politics has been to advise the working men to reward their friends and punish their enemies at the polls.
During the World War an attempt was made, without success, by the machinists of Connecticut to form a Labor party. In Nov. 1918 leaders of the Chicago Federation of Labor proposed a Labor party, and suggested 14 planks for the platform, which ranged from the right of labour to organize and bargain collectively to representation of labour as such in all Government departments. Eleven of the planks closely resembled the reconstruction programme of the American Federation of Labor. In Jan. 1919 the Labor party of Cook county (Chicago) was formed, with an official organ The New Majority. In April an Illinois state Labor party was formed at the convention of the state Federation of Labor. It elected several mayors and other officials. The same year there sprang up also a Pennsylvania state Labor party, the American Labor party of Greater New York and the Working People's Non-Partisan Political League of Minnesota, which last had the object of coöperating with the farmers' Non-Partisan League. In Nov. a national Farmer-Labor party was organized in Chicago, which aimed to draw together the working man and the farmer. This party nominated a president for the national election; 272,514 votes were polled for him, or 1% of the total votes cast. Other political parties, having as their aim better conditions of labour, are the Socialist party, the Communist party and the Communist Labor party, both of which latter split off from the Socialist party in Aug. 1919, and the Socialist Labor party (organs, The Socialist, the Weekly People). In the spring of 1920 the Michigan branch of the Communist party became the Proletarian party.
Labour and the World War.—In 1916 when President Wilson established the Council of National Defense he appointed Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor, one of the seven members composing the advisory commission, to be in charge of all policies affecting labour. As chairman of a labour committee Gompers appointed about 350 persons, representatives of capital and labour, Government officials and others with technical qualifications, who effected a permanent organization as the full Committee on Labor of the Council of National Defense, April 2 1917. This committee early urged that legislation protecting labourers be not weakened during the war. Such was the sentiment also of labour organizations and civic associations generally. When, in the early spring of 1917, it appeared that the United States would enter the war, Gompers called a conference of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor with the presidents of international and national unions, heads of industrial departments and representatives of the railway brotherhoods. Those present at this conference, March 12, offered their services to the country in the event of war, and issued a call to members of their organizations to follow this lead. In order to secure the constant support of the Government by American wage-earners, the conference urged the adoption of trade-union standards for all war work, equal pay for equal work regardless of sex, the representation of organized labour on all committees which fixed policies for war work, and provision that special exertion of workers in war emergencies should not benefit chiefly the employers by increased profits. On April 17, at a meeting of the Council of National Defense and its Advisory Committee, Gompers gave his pledge that organized labour would support the Government to win the war. In the summer of 1917 the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy was formed by trade unionists, social reformers and non-pacifist socialists to counteract the pacifist propaganda of the People's Council of America. But some members of the trade unions opposed the pro-war stand of the leaders, and formed the Workmen's Council for Maintenance of Labor's Rights; this died out during the next year.
In Nov. the national convention of the American Federation of Labor passed a resolution that the United States was in the war for democracy against autocracy. The convention urged that organized labour be represented at the Peace Conference; that there be no reprisals against conquered nations; the independence of all nationalities; a league of free nations to maintain peace; certain labour standards to be accepted by international agreement as a part of the Peace Treaty and a plan for controlling employment during demobilization. In Feb. 1918 the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor issued a statement that “this is labor's war.”
Early in 1918 the War Labor Policies Board was created, to administer the relations with labour of the Federal Government in its capacity as employer. It aimed to secure uniformity of conditions in all Government work and to stabilize the working force. It took a stand for prohibition of child labour and prison labour, in favour of the right of labourers to organize, a living wage, equal pay for equal work, the basic eight-hour day, and some definite system of settling labour disputes. To meet the grievances of employees on Government work, the National War Labor Board was established in April 1918 to serve as a final court of voluntary arbitration. The American Federation of Labor was given representation on the Emergency Construction Board, on the Fuel Administration Board (the president of the United Mine Workers was assistant to the Fuel Administrator), on the Woman's Board, on the Food Administration Board, and on the War Industries Board. In connexion with the administration of the Military Conscription Law organized labour was given representation on each District Exemption Board. Trade unionists were sent to Russia on the Commission of Investigation in the spring of 1917.
The Mooney Case.—Thomas Mooney, a labour organizer, was accused of having placed the bomb which exploded in the street of San Francisco during the “Preparedness Day” parade, July 22 1916, killing six persons instantly, mortally wounding four more, and injuring 40 others. Mooney pleaded not guilty, but he was sentenced to death. Many organizations of labour protested that the trial was not a fair one. Execution was postponed several times. It then appeared that much of the testimony on which he had been convicted was perjured. This was substantiated by the report of the investigation of the U.S. Department of Labor in July 1919, which condemned the conduct of the trial. Request for retrial, however, was refused, as not provided for by the constitution of California. Radical labour urged a general strike May 1 1918, to protest against letting the verdict stand. At Mooney's request the plan was dropped. In Nov. the governor of California commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. A plan for a general strike July 4 1919, to demand a new trial, was not taken up by the conservative unions.
International Relations.—During the war American labour awoke to an interest in international affairs. The American trade unions sent no delegate to the Inter-Allied Labour Conference in London in 1918, but that year the American Federation of Labor sent three small groups to Europe to confer unofficially with trade unionists in the Allied countries. The American Federation of Labor refused to be represented at the international labour conference in Berne held after the signing of the Armistice, on the ground that the conference would not express fairly the opinion of labour in the Allied countries. The proposal of American labour for an inter-Allied labour conference at Paris was not accepted. In July 1919, American delegates were present at the International Trade Union Conference in Amsterdam, at which they took issue with the German delegates, and opposed the resolutions passed for the lifting of the Allied blockade of Germany and Russia and those criticizing the labour sections of the League of Nations. Since the United States had not ratified the Peace Treaty, American labour could not be officially represented at the meeting of the Labour Department of the League of Nations held in Washington in the autumn of 1919. The American Federation of Labor Convention of 1919 by a large majority endorsed the labour clauses in the Peace Treaty. The Convention also passed resolutions asking that immigration be stopped for two years, to prevent the underbidding of American labour in the home market.
In 1918 the American Federation of Labor took steps to establish friendly relations with organized labour in Mexico. A conference of trade unionists of the two countries in June urged a conference on the question of the Mexican frontier and a federation of the labour movements of both countries for the protection of workers employed across the border from their homes. In Nov. the conference was held at Laredo, Tex.; 150 delegates were present, representing the United States, Mexico, Central America and Colombia. The U.S. Secretary of Labor was present. A permanent organization was launched. A second conference was held the next year in July in New York.
Reconstruction Programmes.—In July 1919, the national convention of the American Federation of Labor endorsed a programme for reconstruction which advocated first “democracy in industry,” that is, workers to have a voice in determining the conditions under which they work “equivalent to the voice which they have as citizens in determining the legislative enactments which shall govern them.” The corollary is seen as the right to organize in trade unions. The programme urged better wages to prevent “underconsumption” and consequent unemployment, and to make possible the maintenance and improvement of the American standard of life; the 8-hour day and the 44-hour week; equal pay for equal work regardless of sex; special protection of the health of women; prohibition of labour by children under 16, and compulsory part-time school attendance until the age of 18; the elimination of the middleman; curtailment of the power of the U.S. Supreme Court; Federal supervision and control of corporations; Government ownership or regulation of public utilities; development of waterways and waterpower; a graduated land tax; a special tax on idle lands; progressive taxes on incomes and inheritances; assistance to farmers; the development of Government experiment farms; municipal aid to home-building; workmen's compensation with state insurance; better educational advantages for children and adults; establishment of public employment agencies controlled jointly by capital and labour; and the regulation of immigration so as to facilitate Americanization and to prevent flooding of the labour market in periods of unemployment. The Federation reaffirmed its non-partizan political policy, urged the restoration of freedom of speech and assembly and went on record as opposed to a standing army. At the 1919 convention the Federation voted its support to the “Plumb plan” for Government ownership of the railways and their operation by a board representing equally the executives, the other employees, and the public. The United Mine Workers at their convention in 1919 passed a resolution favouring public ownership of the mines.
Since 1917 the general public has had, as never before, a definite conception of “American” labour standards, endorsed by such Government agencies as the wartime labour boards, the Council of National Defense, and by the consensus of opinion of certain groups in the industrial relations conferences, and of leaders in the national life. These standards include, in general, safety and sanitation in the shop and the home, accident, and health insurance, special protection of women and children, abolition of “home work,” the eight-hour day and the six-day week, the “living wage,” industrial training and a public employment service. The majority of American working men and women have as their aim the attainment of these standards: not ownership or control of business. The labour movement is a struggle for power to gain control of the “job” not the business adequate wages, short hours, security of employment, and sufficient responsibility to command respect and sustain interest in the work to be done.
Education in the Labour Movement..—In recent years there has been developed in the United States a movement on the part of working people to further their education, with a double aim: to give to working people a share in the culture which has been largely the possession of the propertied classes, and to fit them to understand and meet the problems of the modern industrial order. The leaders are trade unionists and socialists who resent the control of education by the class that also controls industry, and who wish to teach their own view of society; also impartial educators, idealists, eager to bring to the many the culture of the few, and to extend to adults educational advantages now provided generally for children. The Rand School of Social Science in New York City, established in 1906 by private gifts, is owned by the American Socialist Society. In 1918-9 the enrolment, including correspondence students, was over 5,000. The school has some five or six regularly appointed instructors. Courses are also given by teachers from colleges near by and by trade-union leaders. The Workers' Training Course, from Nov. to May, prepares leaders for the socialist and labour movements. The Department of Labor Research publishes the American Labor Year Book. The school maintains also a reference library and reading rooms and a book store. In 1914 the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union took up educational work for its members, in cooperation with the Rand School. About 150 members attended classes at the school. Later classes were held in public-school buildings under the auspices of the union. More advanced classes were given under the name of the Workers' University of the I.L.G.W., especially for business agents and union officials. In 1918 under the leadership of the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers the United Labor Education Committee was organized in New York City by six labour organizations for the promotion of education among their members, about 200,000 in that city. This committee has conducted weekly courses, in different parts of the city, in art, labour, history, science and elementary English and physical training, and has also provided concerts and motion pictures. It has introduced lectures and musical programmes in connexion with the trade-union shop meetings. The committee planned a workmen's theatre where for popular prices a higher class drama will be presented than can be found in the majority of the theatres of the city. In April 1919 the Trade Union College organized by the Boston Central Labor Union opened with 160 students. Courses, open to all members of the American Federation of Labor and their families, are given in the evening in one of the public schools by members of the faculty of Harvard University and other institutions.
Other labour colleges, under the control of local trade or industrial unions or local federations of unions, are: The Workers' Institute, Chicago; The Workpeople's College, Duluth; The Workers' University, Philadelphia; The People's Lyceum, Philadelphia; Trade Union College, Washington, D.C.; The Women's Trade Union College, Chicago; Hobo College, Chicago; Trade Union College, Minneapolis; People's College, Fort Scott, Kan.; The People's Institute, San Francisco; The Proletarian University, Detroit and other cities; Workers' College, Seattle, Wash.; The Amalgamated Textile Workers' School, Paterson, N. J.; Labor College, Tacoma, Wash. The Trade Union College of Pittsburgh has been organized. The Clothing Workers of Rochester maintain an educational director. The Labor Temple at Los Angeles is under the control of the school-board, and the Community School, Baltimore, has a private management.
All these colleges are financed by small tuition fees, by contributions and by guarantee funds. As a rule the teaching force is not permanent, but the courses depend on volunteers from neighbouring colleges or from the labour movement. Classes are usually in the evening, one hour of lecture followed by one of discussion. The subjects taught are various phases of economics: law, civics, history, English, public speaking, psychology, sociology, biology, hygiene, art, music. In connexion with the colleges plays and motion pictures are shown. The Waistmakers' Union of New York City has purchased a summer camp near the Delaware Water Gap where members may spend their vacations. The Boston local has built a vacation house on Cape Cod. Bryn Mawr College held a two months' summer school for wage-earning women, which opened in June 1921. Students are supported on scholarships raised by trade unions and other groups of industrial women. It is probable that the education of working men and women will be carried on through coöperation with the extension work of the state universities. Teachers are now sent out from the universities to conduct classes where they have been organized in a community. Correspondence courses offer advantages to isolated students. There has been some public opposition to the labour colleges, where these have been suspected of radical propaganda. In 1918 the Department of Justice conducted raids on the Rand School and on the Proletarian University of Detroit.
The reconstruction programme of the American Federation of Labor included actual universal education, for all ages, in all communities, for which public schools and universities were to be developed. The programme stated: “It is also important that the industrial education which is being fostered and developed should have for its purpose not so much training for efficiency in industry as training for life in an industrial society.”
The American Labour Press.—The growth of the American labour press has been rapid. Each international and national union has its official organ, and the trade unions of most large cities publish their local labour papers. Well known are the Cleveland Citizen, the Denver Labor Bulletin and the Seattle Union Record. Some state federations of labour publish bulletins. The monthly American Federationist of the American Federation of Labor had a circulation (1920) of 100,000. Among the more important trade union papers are: The Bricklayer, Mason and Plasterer; Carpenter; Cigarmakers' Journal; Justice (Ladies' Garment Workers); Garment Worker; Machinists' Journal; Miners' Magazine; International Molders' Journal; Plumbers, Gas and Steam Fitters' Journal; Seamen's Journal; Shoe Workers' Journal; Textile Worker; Federal Employee, and the periodicals of the railway brotherhoods. The Chicago Federation of Labor publishes the New Majority (circulation 15,000), as national official organ of the Farmer-Labor party. Jewish workers have the Freie Arbeiter Stimme, New York, and Vorwaerts, of New York, daily circulation about 158,000. The Chicagoer Arbeiterzeitung is a German socialist paper. Zukunft, a Jewish socialist monthly paper, New York, has a circulation of 65,000. The Amalgamated Clothing Workers publish weekly papers in six languages: English, Yiddish, Italian, Polish, Bohemian and Lithuanian. The Industrial Workers of the World publish the One Big Union Monthly, and New Solidarity (circulation 10,000), both of Chicago. The Socialist Labor party publishes The Socialist and the Weekly People, New York, and the Industrial Worker, Seattle. The New York Call, a socialist daily, has a circulation of 21,800. Radical labour and socialist groups have published many short-lived periodicals of small circulation. During the war the Post Office Department revoked the second-class mail privileges of 25 papers, and held up one or more editions of a number of others.
References.—J. R. Commons, Trade Unionism and Labor Problems (Second Series, 1921); S. Gompers, Labor in Europe and America (1910); U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review; American Labor Year Book (Rand School); Government Reports, especially that of Industrial Relations Commission, 1914-6. (J. R. Co.)
VII. Military Law
The U.S. army is subject to a system of military law which had its origin in, and was at first the same as that of, Great Britain. In the French and Indian Wars the colonists had fought side by side with British regulars and under the same rules and regulations. When they revolted they continued the system of military law with which they were already familiar. So little necessity for change existed that even the antiquated language of the British Articles of War was retained and some of it is still found in the American code. Passing over the earlier enactments of separate American colonies for the government of their respective contingents, such as those adopted in 1775 by the local Legislative Assemblies of Massachusetts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, we find that the Second Continental Congress in 1775 adopted practically the whole British Code of 1774 and furnished the foundation for the Articles of War as they have been known since then in the United States. Reënacted, with enlargements and modifications, in 1776 and amended in 1786, this code survived the adoption of the Federal Constitution and was continued in force by successive enactments until 1806.
In the United States, under the Constitution, the power of establishing military law rests with Congress. It was not, however, until 1806 that Congress concerned itself much with the military code, the Articles of War. In that year the Articles were redrafted and reënacted though there were no material changes from the Articles as they had existed during the Revolution. Nor did the next large redraft in 1874 include any great changes. Occasionally an Act of Congress would make some change, sometimes, but more frequently not, specifically amending an Article of War. If the effect was that of an amendment the Article was considered as changed. Such Acts were those of 1890 and 1898 establishing the summary court and abolishing the field-officers court; and finally the summary court supplanted the two remaining inferior courts, the garrison court and the regimental court.
In 1910 the Judge-Advocate-General undertook the systematic and logical arrangement of the Articles of War. In 1916 he presented his project to Congress and it became a law. This draft presented no fundamental changes; it was rather a compilation made with the idea of bringing the code to date by incorporating late statutes, by deleting obsolete material and dropping quaint phraseology, and by systematizing the presentation. In short it was a logical up-to-date statement of the greater part of the military law of the nation, rendering it quickly accessible. Not all the statutes, customs or regulations governing rights and procedure were placed in the new code, but by it the President was authorized to prescribe by regulations the procedure, including modes of proof, in cases before military tribunals, so long as such regulations were not inconsistent with the new Articles; and all such prescribed regulations were required to be laid annually before Congress. Under this authority a new manual for courts martial was published by the authority of the President, and in this was embodied so much of custom and regulation that it became a complete exposition of the military laws.
This was the code in effect when the United States entered the World War, and by it its armies were governed during that conflict. Only one important addition was made before the Armistice, and that was by an executive order establishing in fuller detail the power of review of the records and proceedings of general courts martial. Shortly after the Armistice a bill was introduced in the Senate (Sen. 64, 66th Congress, 1st Sess.) which, if enacted, would have made many and vital changes in the administration of military law. Chief among the radical changes proposed were those of making enlisted men members of general courts martial; of establishing a civilian court of military appeals; and of injecting into the principal courts martial a new functionary with powers so extensive and of such a kind as to constitute him the administrator of discipline. At the time the Senate was considering this bill a board of officers was convened by the War Department to recommend any changes it believed to be necessary in the Articles of War and in the methods of procedure which then obtained in the administration of military justice. After considering numerous recommendations from the army at large the board submitted a detailed report accompanied by a redraft of the Articles of War.
At the same time General Crowder, the Judge-Advocate-General, redrafted the Articles of War upon lines that he thought advisable in view of the experience gained during the war. The draft prepared by him was accepted by Congress with little change and became a law June 4 1920, though most of its provisions did not go into effect until six months later. The radical views as expressed in the Senate bill were rejected and the administration of military discipline was left to the military authorities.
This new code contains 122 Articles. In 85 Articles there are no changes except the formal variations made necessary by the creation of grades before unknown, such as warrant officers and nurses, and other analogous alterations. This leaves 37 Articles, a little more than one-fourth, in which there have been substantial changes. Many of these, however, are only statutory enactments of rules already established by administrative interpretation, orders, or customs of the service. Only about 20 Articles contain really new matter and of these it will be necessary to consider here only the more important.
Probably the most important of the changes is that effected by Article 50½ which creates a Board of Review in the office of the Judge-Advocate-General. Until Jan. 1918 the reviewing authority acted upon a court-martial sentence and immediately ordered it executed if he did not disapprove. By an order of Jan. 1918, it was directed that no sentence of death or of dismissal or dishonourable discharge not suspended should be executed until the record of proceedings of trial had been reviewed in the office of the Judge-Advocate-General or branch thereof. The effect of the new article was to establish by statute much the same procedure. The Board of Review consists of three or more officers in the office of the Judge-Advocate-General, and functions in the following classes of cases:
(a) Where the President is reviewing or confirming authority or where he has ordered a rehearing.
(b) Where the sentence does not require approval or confirmation by the President, but involves death, dismissal or dishonourable discharge not suspended or confinement in a penitentiary, unless, in the two latter cases, the sentence is based upon a plea of guilty.
All other general court-martial records are examined in the office of the Judge-Advocate-General, but do not go to the Board of Review unless found insufficient to sustain the findings and sentence, in which case the record is submitted to the Board of Review. When the Board of Review has acted, its action is submitted to the Judge- Advocate-General. If there be an agreement between the Board of Review and the Judge-Advocate-General that the record is legally sufficient to sustain the finding and sentence, the reviewing authority is notified and the sentence is forthwith ordered executed. If the Board and Judge-Advocate-General agree that the record is not sufficient to sustain the findings and sentence, the findings and sentence are by virtue of the statute vacated and the record is returned to the reviewing authority for action. In case of disagreement between the Board and the Judge-Advocate-General the record is transmitted to the Secretary of War for the action of the President. Provision is made for more than one Board of Review if business requires such and for a branch of the Judge-Advocate-General's office like that in France during the World War.
Another change is that in connexion with a rehearing of a case. In civil cases the defendant asks for a new trial and by so doing is held to waive the guarantee against repeated jeopardy. In the military procedure, if on examining a record prejudicial error be found, the accused receives the benefit of it without any affirmative act on his part. In other words, the appellate review is automatic. This requires some modification of the rules governing new trials before civil courts. It is accordingly provided that no proceedings shall be deemed a trial until final action by the reviewing authority. When a hearing is ordered it is to take place before a different court and the accused cannot be tried for any offence of which he was found not guilty by the first court nor can a sentence be imposed more severe than that of the first court.
Still another change is that which forbids the reviewing authority to return a record to the court for increase of sentence or reconsideration of an acquittal. And the reviewing authority is not permitted to act upon a record until he has referred it to his staff judge-advocate, but this reference was always customary. The prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments is broadened but not more than the customs of the service have already broadened it, and the President is authorized to set limits of punishment in time of war as well as in time of peace. Under the new code voting upon challenges and upon the findings and sentence is by secret ballot, and the majority ballot has been extended, so that a death sentence must be by unanimous vote, sentence to imprisonment for life or over 10 years by three-quarters vote and all other sentences by two-thirds vote.
The new Articles provide for the appointment on each general court martial of a law member who rules upon all objections to the admissibility of evidence and, subject to reversal by the court, rules upon other interlocutory matters except challenges. The investigation of charges before reference to trial has been extended and possibly to an extent such that resulting delay prevents the swift application of justice. But a large part of this procedure is ruled by regulation and can be changed when found necessary.
Another innovation is that of peremptory challenges, each side being allowed one, except that the law member can be challenged only for cause; and the trial judge-advocate's right to challenge is made statutory. The punishing power of summary courts is reduced. The disciplinary powers of commanding officers to handle offences without trial has been somewhat extended, but yet not made so extensive as to lead to unreasonable punishment; and this power extends to junior officers in time of war, but no officer shall be subjected to a forfeiture of more than one-half of one month's pay.
Under the new code there are three classes of courts—the summary, special and the general courts. The summary court consists of one officer and the limits of punishment are one month's confinement and forfeiture of two-thirds of one month's pay. The limits of punishment of the special court are six months' confinement and forfeiture of two-thirds pay per month for six months. The limits of punishment of the general court are established by the President under his statutory power to fix such limits both in peace and war, except where a specific punishment is made mandatory by the particular Article of War, as is dismissal under the 95th Article.
In 1913 the Judge-Advocate-General succeeded in establishing a method of restoration to the colours of men who had been sentenced to severe punishment. This included the establishment of detention barracks, called disciplinary barracks, and a system of drills and vocational training, by means of which a prisoner could earn honourable restoration to his position lost by his offence and sentence therefor. This procedure received Congressional sanction in 1915 and the process of reclaiming those who have made mistakes is probably the most enlightened of all systems of modern penology.
In addition to the foregoing there are many laws, statutory in character as well as those of regulation and custom, that could be properly classed as military laws. But as these are mostly administrative in character they are not usually considered in a brief account of military laws. Among these are the Acts of Congress reorganizing the army, establishing the pay of grades, and making appropriations for the expenses of the army. These laws are administrative and only incidentally affect military justice, but the organization of the army in 1921 was to a great extent covered by the Act of June 4 1920, the Act which also contains the Articles of War already described. (H. A. W.*)
Conditions in 1908.—The year 1908 seemed one of the quietest in recent American history. The seven previous years of President Roosevelt's administration had been marked by lively contests between the executive and Congress, and also between the Government as a whole and the railways and other strong financial and industrial organizations; but the President possessed the fullest authority and influence. He had established a supremacy in many legislative matters, had carried out a vigorous foreign policy, and might have gone on to a third term had he wished. Instead, he chose to put forward William H. Taft, Secretary of War in his Cabinet, and previously head of the Government of the Philippine Is., as his choice for the Republican candidate in the impending presidential election. With that powerful backing Taft was nominated, and in the election of Nov. 1908 easily defeated William J. Bryan, for the third time the Democratic candidate. The Republican party cast 7,700,000 votes against the Democrats' 6,400,000 and secured 321 of the 483 electoral votes. The Republicans also had a clear majority in both Houses of Congress. The country was prosperous, contented, and aroused by the positive and constructive policies of President Roosevelt and of several state governors, who had furnished the country an example of the possibility of personal leadership by state and national executives, as against the leadership of self-constituted groups which had been usual in both state and national Legislatures.
The people of the United States were much more conscious of themselves in 1908 than in recent periods, because they had come to recognize the variety of their make-up. The total pop. in 1910 in the continental United States was 92,000,000. Of these, only 50,000,000 were native whites of native parentage; while 13,000,000 were foreign-born and 19,000,000 others were of foreign-born or mixed parentage. The negroes and Indians were 10,000,000. This meant that out of the white pop., three-eighths were substantially foreign, and nearly one-half went back to a foreign ancestor not more than two generations behind them. Nearly one-half of this half came from S. or E. Europe. The urban pop. (in places having more than 2,500 inhabitants) was 43,000,000, or 46% of the whole. Here were elements of greatness and also of dissension and bitterness. Race riots, except where the negro was concerned, were very infrequent, because the non-English-speaking groups tended to establish “islands” of population in the great cities and manufacturing towns and live by themselves. Their children, however, went to public schools, learned English, and began to consider themselves Americans.
Americans were of various kinds. Everybody in the United States except the American Indian is an immigrant from some other country or a descendant of an immigrant. The main race groups were, first, the descendants of the colonists, who were mainly Anglo-Saxons with some Germans and Scotch-Irish and small elements of other races. The descendants of that ante-Revolutionary population naturally thought of themselves as the preëminently American-born Americans. Next in the account were descendants of the foreigners who began to come over in great numbers about 1820. Lastly came the large number of recent immigrants and their children. In 1910 there were in the United States, 2,266,535 unnaturalized aliens, many of whom expected to return to their native country; or if they remained, to cleave to their own kind, use their native language and keep up their own schools, language press, and home connexions.
The country was not yet aroused to the dangers arising from this mixture of unassimilated races. The theory was that in the 20th century, as in the 18th and 19th, all comers would find the United States the great “melting pot.” The process was one in which the public schools were supposed to play, and did play, an important part. Few voices were raised against admitting not only western Europeans, whose languages and customs were much like those of the United States, but men and women from E. and S.E. Europe and from W. Asia Russians, Poles, Jews, Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks, Serbians and many other races. The only bar to immigration based on race in 1908 was the prohibition of Chinese immigration and the practical exclusion of Japanese labourers by a “gentlemen's agreement” with the Japanese Government (1907), which undertook to refuse passports to Japanese labourers intending to come to the United States. There was as yet no organization, public or private, to aid the in-comer in acquiring the language and knowledge of the Government of his adopted country. There was no intelligence qualification, no provision that a man who sought naturalization should be able to read, write, or understand the language of the nation he wished to join. Some of the states permitted an alien to vote if he had filed a declaration of intention to become a citizen, without even troubling themselves to see that he carried out that intention. The undigested load was becoming heavy.
The immigrants were not the only burden on the State. Millions of American-born, many of them descended from the old colonial stock, were poor and ignorant and criminal. The southern mountaineers, the frontier farmers, the loggers and the miners, included a host of men and families who lived a rough life. Parts of the rich United States were infested by tramps and vagabonds. In the wealthiest cities there was grinding poverty and degradation in the slums. The situation was saved by general prosperity and the American spirit of cheerfulness, and of confident waiting for things to come right. Furthermore, out of the most unpromising conditions arose some of the strongest figures in American history. Presidents Jackson, Lincoln, Johnson and Grant were all children of the rude frontier. Two other race problems complicated the social and political life of the country. The American Indians were a small group of only about 250,000, most of them living in tribes on Government reservations. The problem was to make them individuals; but in 1908 they were still a race group. The negroes, about 10,000,000 in number, were unorganized as a race, and were scattered over a large area, mostly in the South. Descendants of forced immigrants, they had no culture and no traditions but those of the United States. The results of their former servitude still clung about them; they were shut out from their constitutional suffrage in some of the southern states. Legally equals of the whites, they were subject to humiliating discriminations, and both in N. and S. were held in an inferior social position from which there was no escape.
Defects in Government.—The units of American society were held together by a complicated, but strong, democratic Government, well fitted to rule a diverse population. The political forms were familiar to every schoolboy—a group of (in 1908) 46 states, each with its own government, rigidly cast by the traditional principle of “checks and balances” into three departments; legislative, executive, and judicial. A national Government, also balanced, had under the Federal Constitution large powers in national affairs. A widely distributed franchise was almost equivalent to universal suffrage for adult males. There was a belief that the courts were the highest authority, not only as to questions of personal rights and duties, but as to the validity of the laws and acts of the other two departments. In addition a third type of government in the city, town and county, set up by the states, was considered to be an essential part of the system. This combination of governments governed reasonably well. It was expensive, it was not highly skilled, but it performed its tasks to the general satisfaction of most of the people. It was supported by the conviction of a large part of the population that it was the “best Government on earth.”
The boast of the United States was its equal opportunity; the pride of the United States was its popular government, in which the will of the people was the only ultimate force. As a nation, Americans believed that they had, more than any other country in the world, the blessings of personal liberty, of free public education, of sharing in their government, of impartial judges. Everybody was supposed to have a fair chance in life. Few Americans could bring themselves to realize that equal opportunity was denied to those who chanced to be outside the advantages of education and of contact with their fellows; that the personal liberty of workers in mills, mines, or cotton-fields was much restricted; that some 10,000,000 negroes were subject to legal and social discrimination; that the public schools failed to reach at least one-fourth of the children who needed enlightenment and instruction; that the actual government of the country was in many communities carried on by a self-selected group of men who dictated nominations, controlled legislation and decided policies; that in matters of property or even personal rights, court proceedings were long, expensive and uncertain.
In the organization and conditions of business could be traced another startling contradiction between the word and the fact. Nominally all kinds of business not prohibited by law were open to all comers in free and honourable competition. In reality, by 1908 a great number of both employers and employees were engaged in a combat outside the laws, constant and conscienceless. Although the country grew wealthy fast, and commercial transactions increased, the small dealer or manufacturer or miner found himself shut in by a thick growth of corporations which had the great advantage of limited liability and the privilege of operating through the country under the legal fiction that a corporation was a “citizen” in the constitutional sense of the word. It was hard for individuals and firms to compete with corporations, and hard for small corporations to compete with large ones in the same line of business. For many years the steady accumulation of capital tended to flow into these expanding units, a process veiled by the use of parallel and “holding” corporations. The railways were among the most conspicuous of the large corporations, because everybody used them and because they, too, tended to combine into larger and more powerful units. The whole system was under suspicion, because railways and some other large corporations made it their business to get control of majorities in city and state Legislatures, and of party management. For example, the governors of California were in effect designated by the heads of a railway company. The states could not deal adequately with these powerful bodies because most of the railways and many of the other corporations operated from state to state, and could not be controlled at either end by anything short of Federal power.
The appeal to Congress for action, first against railways and then against other corporations, had led to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. It was a centralizing process; the more Congress did, the more eager became the desire to push Congress to restrict, and then to make restrictions still closer. The U.S. Supreme Court fell in with this process more readily than could have been expected of a body so conservative and so withdrawn from the arena of dubious business methods. Yet, notwithstanding a few decisions against railways and “trusts,” the powerful corporations prospered and increased. They were bound to live, because they were economically effective; they found means of carrying on immense lines of business in an orderly manner; they supplied the demand. Their profits were large, but they gave employment to multitudes of every degree of skill.
Political organizations were on nearly the same basis as business companies—they also grew bigger and more powerful and gathered into fewer groups. Nominally, parties are simply associations of voters for common ends. Actually, they are armies acting under commanding leaders who in many cases hold no offices. The evils of this “invisible government” were apparent. Many states and cities were badly governed by unscrupulous men who were tools of the leaders, or by too competent men who plundered their fellow citizens. The average voter was honest, but stood by his party. Committees of voters, non-partisan leagues and citizens' parties tried to organize the voters for reform, but no permanent improvement was made. The political philosophy of the Americans was based on the belief that mankind was steadily growing better. Hence a tendency to look to laws and political devices to correct the ills of popular government. Millions of voters believed that if they could only get laws enough, they could break the power of the “bosses” and chain the corporations. They overlooked the fact that the real evil was the party managed by men who made politics a business, who were responsible for “getting out the vote,” and always got out the votes of their friends, who knew from long experience that the weary and listless voter at last would cease to protest. On the other hand, the pressure of the trusts on small corporations and individuals was felt by masses of voters who protested against the corporations that felt strong enough to break the law and defy the voters. There was a glacier-like force of public opinion that could break down all opposition. What was most needed was the leadership of bold and far-seeing men. Roosevelt, a man of the type needed, retired to private life when President Taft was inaugurated, March 4 1909.
Political Reform.—When Roosevelt left the presidency the position of President was at the highest point of authority that it had ever known. Most Presidents are obliged to strive with Congress in behalf of their policies, inasmuch as their only means of officially proposing legislation is through public messages, and their heads of departments work directly only through Congressional committee hearings; American tradition is against the framing of bills by the executive, and the President's initiative is limited. Most Presidents have found their principal legislative influence in the veto, by which they have the weight of one-sixth of both Houses. President Roosevelt followed the McKinley method of emphasizing his wishes by personal discussion with members of Congress. He did more; he revived the Jacksonian method of announcing a legislative plan, and if Congressmen hung back, of appealing over their heads to the country at large.
This policy was adopted by President Taft, who was not afraid of a fight and who saw the advantage of assuming that the President was the natural party leader. William H. Taft had many of the qualities of leadership. He was large, happy, genial, fond of his many friends; a cheerful, balanced man. He was also experienced in the public service. Born in 1857, he graduated at Yale, and became a lawyer and a state judge in Ohio. In 1890 he was made solicitor-general of the United States and thus introduced into the Federal service. He was then selected as a Federal circuit judge and his decisions were valued. In 1891 he was appointed chairman of the Philippine Commission and was the first civil governor of the Islands. From 1904 to 1909 he was Secretary of War in Roosevelt's Cabinet, and proved himself an excellent executive. He made few enemies and had a most powerful friend in the President, who selected him as his successor. Throughout his career, including the presidency, he was an easy and popular speaker, a head of the Government who worked well with his associates and subordinates. Nevertheless, from the beginning of his term he found obstacles in his way. As an avowed successor to Roosevelt's policies he drew upon himself the opposition of Roosevelt's enemies. At the same time it soon became apparent that he was not relying on Roosevelt's friends.
President Taft's Cabinet was as follows: Secretary of State, Philander C. Knox of Pennsylvania, a man by experience and temperament, allied with the “stand pat” element of the Republican party; Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, of Illinois, a business man of large experience; Secretary of War, Jacob M. Dickinson of Tennessee, succeeded in 1911 by Henry L. Stimson of New York; Attorney-General, George W. Wickersham of New York; Postmaster-General, Frank H. Hitchcock of Massachusetts; Secretary of the Navy, George von Lengerke Meyer of Massachusetts; Secretary of the Interior, Richard A. Ballinger of the state of Washington; Secretary of Agriculture, James Wilson of Iowa, remaining from the time of McKinley; Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Charles Nagel of Missouri. In the building of the Panama Canal Colonel Goethals continued as chief engineer. Maj.-Gen. Leonard Wood, as chief of the general staff, urged reform in the organization of the army, and the training of additional officers. Ballinger very soon involved himself in a bitter controversy with Pinchot, a warm personal friend of Roosevelt, over alleged irregularities in the disposal of public lands in Alaska. Ballinger was sustained by the President and a committee of Congress; but public pressure was such that he was obliged to resign, March 6 1911, and was succeeded by Walter L. Fisher of Illinois.
Taft's appointments were in the main good, including the elevation of Justice White to the chief justiceship of the Supreme Court, and the appointment as a justice of Charles E. Hughes, previously governor of New York. Nevertheless, a few months after the President's inauguration, his influence on Congress declined and he lost his hold on two powerful elements in his own party. The important business men—capitalists, bankers, managers of corporations, commonly called the “interests”—thought him disposed to interfere with them; while he found himself out of accord with the rising spirit of reform which aimed to give better expression to the will of the voters as a whole as against party leaders and. political organizations.
Here was a critical point in popular government; for in practice it was almost impossible to elect a candidate unless he was on some party ticket. A small group of men, politely called the “organization,” or more harshly the “bosses,” in many states and cities had control of the machinery of the nominating conventions. Where they could not dictate a candidate, they could usually defeat the selection of any man whom they disliked or distrusted. Their power extended to national nominating conventions, particularly in the Republican party, because the Republican delegates from southern states, which almost always voted Democratic, were elected to national conventions by a handful of Federal office-holders and other professional politicians. Complaints were abundant everywhere of “hand-picked conventions,” of delegates who sat silently in their seats until informed by their “organization” for what men they must vote. The solidifying principle was that the bosses' candidate could usually count upon the steady, regular members of the party.
A method of selecting candidates long practised in some parts of the country now spread rapidly through the Union; this was the primary, under which candidates were selected for each party by the ballots of the members of the party. The primary undermined the convention system, which in some states was even prohibited. From nominations for local officers it spread by 1911 to state officers in two-thirds of the states; and after 1910 began to be applied to the choice of delegates to the national conventions. For a time the system seemed a great success; it opened opportunities to enter public life, and killed off unpopular leaders. An unforeseen effect was that the official ballots were made upon the basis of party nominations, with an opportunity for independent voting. The primary was therefore a public and effective election, which practically brought the party system into the domain of public law, as a part of the Government.
The distrust of conventions and controlled elections extended to the numerous and powerful bosses in city and state Legislatures. Three new devices were set at work to curb them and to interest the electors in public measures. The first of these, the referendum, was by 1909 spreading rapidly through the western states. It was a means of checking legislative action contrary to public sentiment. The system, both in local and state government, can be traced from colonial times; and most 19th century state constitutions were submitted to a popular vote, and also many statutes, if the Legislatures so directed. The referendum system furnished a mechanism, usually imbedded in state constitutions, by which a statute on the demand of a sufficient number of voters could be held back from effect until submitted to a vote of the electors. The state of Oregon was one of the earliest and most thorough-going in this reform.
What was to be done if the Legislature refused to enact a statute demanded by the people? How could this negative force be overcome? By the initiative, through which a designated number of voters could unite on a measure, which must then be submitted to the electors for their suffrages. Both the initiative and referendum were attacked on the ground that they were contrary to republican government, inasmuch as they substituted direct action for representation. The referendum had been so long and widely used that it was hard to make out a case against it. The initiative was based on the general principle that the ultimate source of authority is not the Legislature or any public officer, but the people at large. In a test case (Feb. 1912) the Federal Supreme Court declined to rule that the initiative and referendum were contrary to a “republican form of government”; and no further attempts were made to upset them on constitutional grounds.
A third branch of this system of appeal to the people was the recall, under which a public officer chosen by popular vote, and in a few cases those who were appointed in some other way, could be subjected to an election; and, if the majority decided against them, they would be thereby removed from office. The system began in the far western states and never spread so widely as the other two methods mentioned. In 1911-2 the recall came before Congress in connexion with the proposed constitution of the new state of Arizona, which included a provision for the recall of judges. President Taft vetoed the Act of admission because of this provision. The state therefore withdrew the clause, was duly admitted in 1912, and thereupon proceeded to reinsert the recall. In practice, recalls proved to be few, and recalls of judges very few. A still wider application of the principle of responsibility of functionaries to the voters was the recall of judicial decisions, which was advocated by Roosevelt in 1912 and was applied in one state, Colorado.
Popular elections were applied to the choice of Federal senators, first by an indirect method of pledging members of the Legislature, invented in the state of Oregon. The Senate contained some members who could never have passed the ordeal of popular election, yet were frequently re-elected by the Legislature. The result was the 17th Amendment, submitted by Congress June 12 1912, and added to the Constitution May 31 1913, under which all elections to the Senate from that time were to be made by direct popular vote. Another evidence of a rising feeling of responsibility in Congress was a statute (Aug. 7 1911) requiring candidates for the House and Senate to submit statements of the money raised and expended in their behalf and limiting the amount that they might themselves spend. One purpose of both these measures was to make it difficult for men to purchase their way into the Senate. On July 13 1912 Senator Lorimer of Illinois was practically expelled from the U.S. Senate for buying legislative votes.
Experience has shown that the load of responsibility placed upon the voters by these new measures was sometimes more than they were willing to bear. The scanty primary votes, and the inattention to some of the referendum and initiative questions put on the ballots, were seized upon as showing that the voter was interested only in men. On the other hand, the ballots of most cities, towns and states were loaded down with long lists of officers to be chosen at each election, so that the “vote for men” was in many cases a vote in the dark. The result was an agitation for the reform commonly known as the “short ballot,” by reducing the number of elective officers and increasing the officers to be appointed by the few elective officials. Working difficulties were found in many of these reforms, and it was hard to keep the public keyed up to the necessary pitch of thought and attention at every election. It was evident, however, that the American people intended to free themselves from the shackles of what Elihu Root styled “invisible government.”
Social Questions.—The spirit of discontent extended to many questions outside of politics. Throughout Taft's administration there was an increasing pressure for “equal suffrage” that is, woman suffrage which was introduced in the territory of Wyoming in 1869, gradually spread among the far western states, and then worked its way eastward. Inasmuch as the voters for the more numerous branch of the state Legislature are also voters for members of Congress and for presidential electors, women began to take part in national affairs, and one of them was a delegate in the Republican National Convention of 1908. As the number of suffrage states increased, it was natural to look forward to a constitutional amendment which would abolish sex distinction for voting and indirectly for office-holding.
Both state and national Governments were compelled to deal with the question of alcoholic beverages. From the earliest times there had been some restriction on liquor selling and liquor sellers as well as punishment for undue use of intoxicants. By 1909 in almost all states there was some form of general legal restriction: prohibition or local option or high licence or a state dispensary system. These laws were enforced more or less strictly within the state or communities to which they applied. The question became national, however, because the liquor trade transported its wares from one state to another; and that brought it within the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution and the Interstate Commerce Act. There was a long, running fight between the opponents of the liquor trade, Congress, the state Legislatures, and the Federal courts, which finally passed upon the validity of various Acts passed by the Federal Government regulating transportation. Eventually Congress adopted the policy, by the Original Package Act of 1890, of prohibiting shipments of liquor into prohibition states; and this law sustained the test of the U.S. Supreme Court. Pure food laws in force before 1909 were supplemented by the Drug Label Act (Aug. 23 1912), which greatly aided in preventing the adulteration of drugs.
Many questions arose out of immigration. The laws forbade the entry of labourers under a contract to work in the United States, of convicts, insane persons, and (after 1907) diseased persons; but the execution of such laws was slack. The first statute looking toward decided control of immigration was that of Feb. 1907, which increased the grounds of exclusion, and at the same time provided a plan to help the immigrants to find work. It also created an Immigration Commission, which in 1910 made a report in 41 volumes, strongly recommending the sifting of immigrants by testing their ability to read and write some language; but bills to that effect were twice vetoed by President Taft. Meanwhile, the number of immigrants rose in the decade 1901-10 to an average of a million a year. New machinery for registering departures brought out the fact that from 300,000 to 500,000 annually returned to their old homes, so that the rate of increase of population by immigration was no larger than it had been for 50 years. The alarming fact was that the immigration from W. Europe fell off, while great numbers of ignorant and unskilled people crowded in from Russia, Austria-Hungary, and other parts of E. Europe. Still, the newcomers found work and their employers found a profit in employing them.
Finances and the Tariff, 1908-13.—Every growing unit in the country—from a small school district to New York State—was harassed by questions of taxation and expenditure. The U.S. Government also searched for new resources, and found them in the income-tax, a method familiar in European countries and open to the individual American states. An income-tax had been levied by Congress during the Civil War, and again in 1884, when it was set aside by the odd decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that it was a direct tax which could be levied among the states only in proportion to their representation in Congress. Successful agitation brought about, July 13 1909, the submission of a 16th Amendment, to remove the restriction, and it was declared adopted by the necessary three-fourths majority of states, Feb. 25 1913.
June 25 1910 a postal deposit Act was passed which created a vast savings bank, of which many post-offices were the local branches. The new form of savings attracted foreigners who were accustomed to a similar system in their own countries; and in 1920 the deposits had risen to $157,276,322. Another new resource of the Federal Government was a tax upon corporations levied on net income (Aug. 5 1909). The immediate proceeds were small—only about $30,000,000 a year; but corporations were obliged to file accounts which showed their net income, and thus to give access to facts about their profits and methods. The more important question of reorganizing the national banking system so as to furnish a strong national institution was debated from 1908 to 1912, and was the subject of an elaborate report by a National Monetary Commission; but no action was taken at that time. The net Federal debt was $1,000,000,000, which was only about $11 per head of the population.
A financial resource as to which Congress had sole authority was the tariff. Under strong pressure from members of the party to carry out the promises of the Republican Convention of 1908, President Taft, a few days after his inauguration, summoned Congress to meet in special session, for a “revision.” As usual there was a long controversy which resulted, Aug. 5 1909, in the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act. The administrative features were good. The act created a permanent court of customs appeals, with power to determine finally all questions as to the value of imports; and also a Tariff Board, expected to make investigations and recommend specific measures which Congress would adopt. As to rates, the Act was not very different from its predecessor, except for a decided increase of duties on cotton and silk manufactures. There was a loud outcry that the “revision” called for by the party platform was plainly a revision downward and not upward. President Taft argued against the textile schedules, but signed the bill and in a speech at Winona, Minn., Sept. 17 1909, surprised the country by declaring that it was the “best tariff bill that the Republican party has ever passed.” When in the next Congress the Democrats had a majority of the House, they passed a series of bills, covering a farmers' free list, woollens and cottons, which were carried also in the Senate by the aid of low-tariff Republicans; all these were vetoed by President Taft. In the campaign of 1912 the tariff played very little part. It was accepted that a considerable revenue must be raised by import duties; and the large import trade showed that the existing tariff was not prohibitive.
Trusts and Transportation.—During the 20 years ending with 1910 it had become clear that the most difficult question before the U.S. Government was the regulation of the vast aggregates of capital, commonly called trusts, which were combined into corporations and aimed at the control of particular lines of business, and also of the railways, which, as general transportation agencies, were of great importance in connexion with every kind of industry and trade. For many years Congress had been struggling with this question, and the result was two lines of restrictive statutes, headed by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 and the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890. Upon these and the amendments to the Interstate Commerce Act was built a structure of decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, sometimes annulling provisions of the statutes, more often altering decisions by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Partly to carry out and partly to avoid these decisions, the Mann-Elkins Act of June 18 1910 widely extended the Interstate Commerce Acts by including telephones, telegraphs, express and sleeping-car companies, and setting up a Commerce Court which was to hasten decisions on transportation questions. Armed with these new powers the Commission reduced some freight rates and raised others. December 2 1910, the Supreme Court dissolved the combination of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railways as contrary to the laws against mergers. The Commerce Court proved a failure; its decisions were received by the public as an unreasonable attempt to control the Commission; and in 1914 Congress refused appropriations, and the President was obliged to abandon it.
Federal control of railways on the whole worked well. It secured uniform appliances and a system of rates based on successive decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission. This Commission was a striking example of disregard of the great principle of separation of powers inasmuch as it was a rule-making body, an executive body, and a court which interpreted its own rules, subject as to some questions to appeal to the Federal Courts. The great problem of the trusts was much farther from a solution than that of the railways, because the large corporations were linked together through the holding and manipulation of stocks by capitalists and banks, and through the so-called “interlocking of interests.” Furthermore, except for Treasury processes for collecting taxes, there was no public agency other than the Department of Justice to call into action the anti-trust laws in specific cases and exact penalties for their violation.
The process of forming new and powerful corporations, frequently by the union of previous companies or firms, grew more active from year to year. Capital was abundant, vast riches lay in the development of mines and oil-wells and in manufactures and trade. The constant tendency was to combine and systematize so that such large lines of business as the production and manufacture of oil, the mining of iron ore and the manufacture of steel, the weaving of cotton, woollen and other textiles, the manufacture of tobacco, packing of meat, making of cordage, were rolling up into larger and larger corporate units. Above all, the railways which stretched throughout the country and were indispensable to business of every kind had consolidated into great systems which destroyed competition.
The only effective way of dealing with large corporations whose activities extended from state to state was to bring suit against them for monopolizing or conspiring to monopolize in their lines of trade. These were difficult matters to prove against corporations of great resources. Hence it was considered a triumph when, May 9 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered decisions against two of the most powerful trusts, the Standard Oil Co. and the American Tobacco Co., the latter on an issue which had been pending since 1906. The minds of a majority of the Court worked in a roundabout way. It held that the anti-trust legislation must be interpreted by the “standard of reason” namely, that a combination was not unlawful or against the public interest unless it actually caused a restraint of trade and commerce among the Federal states or with foreign nations. Having thus set up a “rule of reason” which Congress had refused to enact, and created an example of judicial legislation, the Court proceeded in both the pending cases to hold that the companies were guilty of attempts to monopolize their lines of trade, and had tried to cloak their monopoly by setting up a variety of intertwined companies, thus concealing their transactions. The Court, therefore, upheld the justice and constitutionality of the Sherman Act, but as to penalties, the Court contented itself with ordering the offenders to disintegrate. The companies reluctantly and slowly went through the process of reorganization, but their stocks immediately rose on the market a sufficient proof that the court decisions were more favourable than had been expected. Thenceforth the “rule of reason” required that positive proof must be adduced that a great combination was doing harm before it could be touched; the general danger of vast aggregations of capital was left out of account.
Another form of unlawful behaviour by trusts was their misuse of the patent laws. The question arose whether the maker of a patented device could insist that the purchaser must use also the seller's unpatented appliances in connexion with the materials employed. On this point the Supreme Court went through various stages of opinion. In the Dick case (March 1912) it held that such restrictions on the purchaser were legal. About two months later it held, in the “Bathtub Trust” case, that there could not be a monopoly of the product of patented machinery.
Labour Questions.—A long time was needed to make the discovery that closely connected with the railway question and the trust question was the legal and economic status of those who labour. Beginning in the 18th century with the English legal principle that a combination of labourers to raise their wages was unlawful, the United States changed its position and early accepted and for many years acted on the counter principle that strikes were lawful. No legal obstacle was put in the way of the organization, first, of local trade unions, then of nation-wide unions for single trades, and finally of national unions combining many trades. To this was slowly added by the unions the principle of the “right to labour,” which means both that it is the duty of the community to see that the worker has a job, and also that at least the skilled workers have a kind of title in their employment, so that it is contrary to good morals for a “scab” to take the place of a striker. When the railways came under Federal supervision and control, the railway employees, especially the skilled workers, began to feel that they, as well as the shipping and travelling public, were entitled to protection by the Government. When, during Roosevelt's administration, the President designated an informal commission to negotiate a settlement of a wage dispute in the anthracite coal-mines in Pennsylvania, he made almost the first acknowledgment that such industries as fuel production and steel-making were national in their character and required national regulation.
The legal position of labour unions in these controversies was brought to a head by suits of national importance against unions.
The first test case was that of the Buck Stove and Range Co. against the American Federation of Labor, which was really a suit between a national labour union and a national organization of manufacturers. The charge was that the Federation, by posting the Company in its publications as “unfair” to labour, was boycotting and thus infringing legal rights. In its evolution the case turned into long-drawn-out proceedings against Samuel Gompers, president of the Federation, for contempt of court, on the ground that he had refused to obey a court order to abandon the boycott. After seven years of shifting of the case from one court to another, Gompers escaped the 12 months' imprisonment to which he had been sentenced. In 1910 a suit was decided against a union of the Danbury (Conn.) hatters, who had attempted to boycott the products of a local hat manufacturer. The jury found a verdict of $74,000 damages, part of which was eventually collected from members of the local union who had property, and refunded by the general trades union.
These court trials accented the labour controversy and led to violent strikes. In the midst of them sprang up a new labour organization, the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), which was an attempt on a large scale to organize the unskilled labourers, and also to reach the goal of one big union for all trades. The movement was unwelcome to the unions of skilled labour, because the unskilled were so much more numerous that they could always outvote the skilled, and were sure to insist on an equalization of wages, which would reduce the rates of the highly paid. For several years, strikes were frequent and often accompanied by acts of violence. In several instances labour unions supported their leaders in arson and murder. One such case was the blowing up of the Los Angeles Times building in Oct. 1910, for which two brothers named McNamara, one of them secretary of the International Association of Bridge and Constructional Iron Workers, were convicted and sentenced.
Another phase of the labour situation was the spread of employers' liability laws through various states, and an Act of Congress of April 22 1908 for the protection of employees of interstate railways. Minimum Wage Acts also were passed in a few states with the purpose of protecting the employees in industries that required chiefly unskilled or slightly skilled women. In June 1912 Congress added to its previous enactment of an eight-hour maximum regular day for public employees, by providing that all contract work for the Federal Government must also be on the eight-hour basis. The effect of these movements was that labour came to be recognized as one of the elements of production that must be considered; as most of the labourers were voters they brought to bear powerful influences on state Legislatures and Congress in favour of labour. On the other hand, the courts, particularly those of the states, were slow to recognize the changes in industrial conditions which made protection of wage earners necessary, and many statutes intended for the betterment of labour conditions were held invalid.
In addition, the courts began to use a system of labour injunctions; workmen, labour unions and members were forbidden to perform acts, which if performed would presumably be a violation of a statute and would therefore lead to prosecution, in which the question of guilt or innocence would be settled by a jury. If the offense were transformed by the injunction into a defiance of the Court, then the Court itself would decide on the responsibility and affix a penalty not specifically laid down in any statute. Labour was opposed to unlimited immigration, and nearly all the measures for restricting immigration were originally proposed by labour unions, particularly the convict and contract labour Acts. For many years there was a Labor or Socialist Labor national party, which regularly nominated a candidate for the presidency and cast a small popular vote. It did not succeed because there was a standing Socialist party which cast from half a million to a million votes and absorbed the Socialist vote; while the labour leaders saw that if they withdrew from the main political parties they would set the farmers and traders and professional men against them. Hence, in all the shifts of politics very few avowed Labour candidates were elected to the state Legislatures or Congress. Labour agents and agitators failed therefore, to influence the public at large—their speeches and literature were little regarded outside their own constituencies. Furthermore, the members of the labour unions, about 5,000,000 all told, were not more than one-eighth of those men and women in the United States who worked with their hands.
Foreign Relations, 1907-13.—In the pressure for action on social and political matters, foreign affairs received even less than the usual meagre attention given them by the American people. The tradition of isolation was a strong force in the public mind, notwithstanding the rapidly growing foreign trade and the influence of the great number of immigrants. The thing that brought the United States closest to European complications was the possession of the Philippine Is., which made the United States an Asiatic power, and compelled it to be interested in the fiscal and territorial conditions of China on the basis of the “open door” system proposed by Secretary Hay in 1901. In the western hemisphere the Americans upheld the Monroe Doctrine as applied by Roosevelt to prevent the use of force by European countries to collect debts and claims from delinquent American powers. Three steps had already been taken in pursuit of the Caribbean policy: the protectorate of Cuba, the Panama Canal undertaking, and the lodgment in San Domingo.
In the Hague conference of 1907 the U.S. delegates urged arbitration; and in accordance with the general principles put forth at that conference, Secretary Root in 1908 secured 25 arbitration treaties with as many countries. The United States and Great Britain arranged (Jan. 27 1909) to refer to the Hague tribunal their long-standing dispute on the Newfoundland fisheries, the first really important case brought before the tribunal. The result was a decision (Sept. 7 1910), which brought to a satisfactory termination the difficulty. President Taft, through Secretary Knox, secured in 1911 arbitration treaties with Great Britain and France. The Senate insisted on inserting in these documents a reservation of all questions involving what Roosevelt called the “vital interest, the independence or honour of the nation,” and in 1912 it refused to approve them. A long-standing difficulty with Russia caused by the refusal of the Russian Government to recognize passports issued to Jews and some other people, was suddenly accentuated when, on Dec. 18 1911, the commercial treaty with Russia was abrogated. Trade relations went on for the time, however, without a treaty.
In 1911 the Republican majority under President Taft's leadership proceeded to a policy of commercial reciprocity with Canada, thus reviving the principle of the treaty of 1854 which went out of effect in 1865. An agreement was made with the Canadian Government by which each side should reduce or abolish duties on certain raw products and manufactures. For the first time in American history such an international arrangement was to be brought about by legislation on both sides, instead of by a formal treaty. With great difficulty the necessary bill was pushed through Congress (July 1911); but two months later the Canadian electors refused to support the Liberal Government which had negotiated the reciprocity agreement, and the plan broke down with the refusal of Canada.
Conditions in the Latin-American states did not remain harmonious. The United States ever since the Spanish war had been gaining territory and power to the southward. The arrangements of 1902 made Cuba practically a dependency; and from 1906 to 1909 it was found necessary to resort to those treaty rights and set up a provisional Government, supported by American troops. The Panama Canal was now approaching completion and the little republic of Panama, which it bisected, nominally an independent state, was in fact under complete American control. President Taft continued the occupation of San Domingo, the consent of the Senate to a treaty to that effect having been obtained in 1907. In 1911 he secured a convention by which Nicaragua ceded certain small islands on its Atlantic and Pacific coasts and gave exclusive canal privileges to the United States. Although the Senate did not ratify the treaty, President Taft practically took possession of Nicaragua and this occupation continued throughout his term. Another foreign question arose out of the possession of the Panama Canal. As the Canal approached completion, an Act of Congress was passed Aug. 27 1912 for laying tolls on shipping, from which American ships engaged in coastwise trade were to be relieved. The British Government lodged a protest (Dec. 9) on the ground that by its treaty with the United States the Canal was to be opened on equal terms to the ships of “all nations”; President Taft, however, stood by the Act, and the question was passed on to the next Administration (see Panama Canal).
Still more serious were the relations with Mexico, where, in 1910, a revolution headed by Madero, assailed the presumedly solid Government of Dictator Diaz and drove the latter after a few months out of the country. Mexico was thrown into confusion, and President Taft found it necessary to place troops on the border; in 1912 he proclaimed an embargo on the export of arms or military supplies to Mexico. Meanwhile the concessions and property of Americans in Mexico were threatened or destroyed, and there were many cases of robbery, forced loans and murder. The Americans who had interests in Mexico began a steady pressure for intervention by the United States. The nationals of other countries were suffering from the same disorder and violence; but the temper of the United States was strongly against any show of force by other Governments, because it might be a direct or indirect violation of the Monroe Doctrine.
Across the Pacific, clouds rose on the diplomatic horizon. Chinese immigration had long been prohibited, but the commercial treaties with Japan allowed a reciprocal freedom of residence and trade to the nationals of the two countries. The immigration of Japanese was very distasteful to the people of California, who undertook to restrict Japanese children to separate schools. Behind this difficulty was the rising power of the Japanese and their national spirit, greatly enhanced by their victory over the Russians in 1905. In 1908 Roosevelt sent around the world a powerful naval fleet which visited Japan and was received with elaborate courtesy by a welcoming Japanese squadron exactly equal in number, ship for ship. In the Root-Takahira reciprocal note of Dec. 1 1908 (which was never submitted to the Senate), the United States practically admitted Japan's special interest in Asiatic affairs. In Dec. 1909, Secretary Knox suggested the nationalization of the Manchurian railways by China, which proved to be unacceptable both to Japan and Russia. The Japanese were evidently acquiring a sense of their special and almost exclusive rights to influence on the Asiatic mainland. The question of immigration was settled for the time being by renewal of the commercial treaty, July 24 1911; the previous “gentlemen's agreement” was continued, according to which, while not yielding its claim to a right of immigration into the United States, the Japanese Government pledged itself not to issue passports to labourers. There still seemed to be a feeling in the United States that the Japanese had in mind an imperial policy, and when in 1912 it was rumoured that they were trying to get possession of Magdalena Bay in Mexico, the Senate adopted the Lodge resolution against foreign occupation of territory near by which might be a point of vantage against the United States.
Politics, 1909-12.—In the action of Congress on many important issues as above described no party lines were drawn; though such measures as the tariff and the new taxes were distinctly Republican. As often happens when a party is firmly seated in power, the Republicans began to divide. On the tariff, some members from middle western states, particularly Minnesota, voted against the Payne-Aldrich measure because their constituents could see in it no advantage to themselves. Another influence which tended to divide the Republican party was resentment against the Speaker of the House, Cannon of Illinois, who exercised the powers that had been accumulating in the hands of Speakers for a hundred years. By his control of the proceedings of the House, by his appointments of committees, and by his power to refuse recognition of members who desired to take part in debate or submit proposals, he was practically the legislative premier. Through the combining of these powers the Speaker virtually had a veto on any measure or proceeding which he did not like. This concentration of authority in the Speaker, and a few chairmen of committees whom he designated, in many ways tended to unity and responsibility in legislation; but Cannon kept too tight a hand; hence, March 19 1910, a group of Republican “insurgents” joined hands with the Democrats of the House to reduce his power. By these and later changes in the rules, the power to appoint committees and to direct legislation was taken from the Speaker and never restored. The Speaker became simply a partisan moderator.
A new issue upon which both parties were divided was covered by the general term “conservation.” The United States, though most of the arable land had passed out of its possession, was still, as owner of a vast area of public lands, the possessor of great tracts of forest, of mineral lands, and of water power. President Roosevelt became interested in stopping the waste of timber and minerals, in preserving part of the gifts of nature for future generations, and in retaining public ownership of the utilities of the country, particularly the forests and streams. The policy of conservation had hardly gone further than the reservation of large areas of forest land until 1910, when statutes provided for a new classification of land and for the reservation of coal by the Government. Congress in 1902 had provided for a system of irrigation, the cost to be advanced by the Government and repaid in instalments by the users of the water. This statute underwent various amendments so as to give greater encouragement to settlers. In 1910 large areas, previously held as forest lands, were thrown open to settlement. Under a statute of March 1911, considerable areas of mountain land were purchased in the Appalachians on the theory that their control would protect the watersheds of navigable rivers. Congress also reserved forever several scenic areas, particularly Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Glacier Park in Montana, and later the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.
The Progressive Movement.—In the confusion of statutes, executive orders, proceedings of the Interstate Commerce Commission and Supreme Court decisions, it was difficult to see how far the country was really advancing in its attempt to control capital and satisfy labour. The only clear result was that the Republican party was weakening, and that President Taft's popularity and influence were lessening. The diminution of power vested in the Speaker was an evidence both of discontent and of willingness to disregard party lines; and the State and Congressional elections of 1910 were unfavourable to the Republicans. The insurgents, who soon came to be called Progressives, gained most of the Republican districts in the west; and the Democrats gained about 50 seats in Congress, which transferred to them the control of the House; while in the Senate they had 41 of the 92 members.
The dissatisfied Republicans began to look forward to the presidential election of 1912, and a group of them gathered about Senator La Follette of Wisconsin as a leader and presumptive candidate. Meanwhile the state Legislatures were passing primary laws some of which included the choice of delegates to national nominating conventions. La Follette had broken into the Republican party organization in his own state, secured the governorship, and entered the U.S. Senate, where he violated the traditions of that conservative body by making speeches without waiting the usual length of time. Taft's friends and supporters naturally expected that the President would be renominated.
All these calculations were upset by the greatest personality in the country, Theodore Roosevelt. A few weeks after leaving the White House (1909) he undertook an expedition to Central Africa, and before returning made a series of visits to the countries of W. Europe. He was received as the ex-President of the most important of republics and as a commanding personage; immense crowds greeted him as a world celebrity. He returned to the United States June 18 1910 to find political conditions little to his liking. Most of his friends had disappeared from the Administration; his policies, particularly as to conservation and the more rigorous control of the trusts, seemed to him to have been slighted. Without any open breach of personal friendship Taft did not satisfy the ex-President, and the two drifted apart. On the other hand, the insurgent Republicans included some of Roosevelt's warm friends. It was impossible for him to remain silent, for he was called upon to speak in all parts of the country. Aug. 31 1910 at Osawatomie, Kan., he set forth a programme which he called “the new Nationalism,” favouring publicity of the accounts and proceedings of trusts, a tariff commission, a graduated income-tax, a proper army and navy, conservation, protection of labour, and the direct primary with the recall of elective officers. This was a programme which could not be accepted by the conservative or “stand-pat” Republicans, with whom, by this time, President Taft, was included.
Nevertheless, throughout 1911 Roosevelt made no direct movement towards standing for the presidency. He publicly attacked Taft's position on the trusts in the columns of The Outlook of which he had become an editor, and openly classed himself as a Progressive. Meanwhile several of the western states, particularly California under the guidance of Gov. Hiram Johnson, had accepted a radical programme of political and social reform. A formal breach with Taft and the open candidacy of Roosevelt seemed inevitable. The crisis came when, Feb. 2 1912, La Follette suffered a physical and mental collapse which put him out of consideration; and on Feb. 12 President Taft in a speech alluded to the Progressives (evidently having Roosevelt in mind) as “Extremists not Progressives; they are political emotionaries, or neurotics.” This was taken as a challenge and a few days later Roosevelt openly declared himself a candidate, adding, “My hat is in the ring.” Primaries or conventions had already been held in several states which would have instructed their delegations to support Roosevelt if they had known his purposes; in another large group of states, and those for the most part states that formed the backbone of the party, there was still time to organize and select delegates favouring Roosevelt.
Election of 1912.—As the convention held at Chicago approached, the lines of battle were developed. Behind Taft were Barnes of New York, Penrose of Pennsylvania, Crane of Massachusetts, and other “stand-pat” leaders. Among those in favour of Roosevelt were Garfield of Ohio, Pinchot of Pennsylvania and a strong body of Republican governors. Roosevelt himself had come to Chicago, established headquarters there, and thrown his immense energy and enthusiasm into the campaign. The convention was a scene of unusual excitement. Out of the 1,076 delegates something near 400 were pledged to Roosevelt, and there seemed a good chance of gaining for him some of the southern delegates, of whom a large number were negroes who recognized Roosevelt as favourable to their race. The decision was not made in open convention, but in the preliminary meetings of the national committee (chosen in 1908), which was strongly “stand-pat”; for that committee had to decide upon the right of claimants to be inscribed in the preliminary roll of delegates. The Roosevelt managers entered contests for many seats and had an especially strong case as to Missouri, Washington and two seats for California. In the end, every contest except that of Missouri was settled in favour of the Taft claimants. Even then the combination was almost broken. Notwithstanding the fact that the temporary organization was in the hands of Roosevelt's enemies, among them Elihu Root, his former Secretary of State, a test vote for temporary chairman showed 558 votes for Root against 502 for the anti-Taft forces. The shifting of 30 delegates from one side to the other in all probability would have brought about a “stampede” to Roosevelt; and those delegates Roosevelt would have had if he had thrown his “hat into the ring” two months earlier.
The conservative Republicans being thus in control, there was nothing for the Roosevelt men to do but to protest to the last. Roosevelt advised his delegates to take no further part in the proceedings. At the final roll-call, June 22, there were 561 votes for Taft, 58 scattering, and 107 for Roosevelt, besides 344 Roosevelt men not voting. In the last issue, therefore, Taft had a majority of 50 votes out of 1,070. Fairbanks of Indiana was nominated for Vice-President. In the minds of the conservative Republicans Roosevelt was extinct. He had entered the convention, been defeated, and he must bow to the will of the majority. In the minds of Roosevelt and most of his followers the nomination was a violation of the principles of popular government. At a great meeting held the same night Roosevelt openly advised a bolt. This was duly accomplished by a formal Progressive Convention which met in Chicago in Aug. and nominated Roosevelt for president and Hiram Johnson, of California, for vice-president.
Meanwhile the Democratic Convention at Baltimore met under the guidance of William J. Bryan, who had no hope of being the candidate himself but proved to be in a position to dictate the choice. He declared open war upon the capitalistic delegates, one of whom was sitting on the platform. The apparently sure candidate was Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri, who received a majority of the votes, but under the rules of the Democratic Convention requiring a two-thirds majority, he was finally defeated by Woodrow Wilson, governor of New Jersey, owing to the vigorous support of Bryan. Gov. Marshall of Indiana was nominated for vice-president. The platforms of the two old parties were of an usual type. The Republicans as usual declared for protective duties. The Democrats stood by their platform of a tariff for revenue only, additional regulation of the railways and presidential preference primaries. The Progressive platform was a general programme of political reform and “an enlarged measure of social and industrial justice.”
It was not the platform, however, but men that appealed to the voters. The issue was really Roosevelt, Taft, or Wilson. Not for 50 years had there been so stirring a campaign. All three candidates took the field; and for the first time in presidential campaigns “soap-box” speakers appeared in large numbers on the streets of the cities. From the first it was clear that the real fight was between Roosevelt and Wilson, since Taft had to bear the unpopularity of the Republican party and also the Progressive charge that the Chicago Convention had given him a stolen nomination. The Progressives were well organized and their convention and campaign included many women. The final question was whether Roosevelt could draw to himself a sufficient number of Democrats to reduce the Democratic vote below the winning point. He was hopeful as to some of the southern states in which he had many warm friends and supporters.
The result in Nov. showed that the voters in the main stood by their regular candidates. The total popular Democratic vote, more than six and a quarter million, was only about 120,000 less than in 1908. The total Taft and Roosevelt vote combined was almost exactly the same as that of the Republicans in 1900. Roosevelt polled about four million popular votes to two and one half millions for Taft; but he carried only six states with 88 electoral votes against 40 states and 435 votes for Wilson. The only Taft states were Utah and Vermont with a total of eight electoral votes. Notwithstanding the ignominious defeat of their candidate, the Republican party was still intact with its “stand-pat” leaders, its “organization,” and its control of state and local politics. On the other hand, Roosevelt had built up what seemed to be a new national party controlling four million votes, and he hoped for a continuation of that party as a power in the individual states and in national politics.
Woodrow Wilson.—The centre and soul of the Progressive movement was Theodore Roosevelt because of his ardent habit of mind; he felt intensely; he spoke with tremendous energy and deep conviction; he was accused by his critics of “inventing the Ten Commandments”; he was not only the head of a party, he was the head of a political cult (see Roosevelt, Theodore). In that respect he was closely paralleled by Woodrow Wilson, who, on March 4 1913, was inaugurated as President. Wilson's life had been much less adventurous and varied than that of Roosevelt. Born in Staunton, Va., in 1856, of Scotch Presbyterian ancestry, son of a minister, he graduated from Princeton in 1879, essayed the practice of law in which he made no success, then studied political science and was a professor in several colleges, finally returning to Princeton. From 1902 to 1910, he was president of that university. In 1885 he published his first and most remarkable book, Congressional Government, which was a searching criticism of the weaknesses of the American legislative committee system and the separation of executive officials from legislation. He was an easy and attractive speaker, and had a remarkable literary style shown in several books on government and in an elaborate history of the United States. He moved much about the world, and mixed freely with people in and out of his profession, in which he was a leading figure. As administrator of a great university he chafed against the conservatism of his colleagues, and found he could not bring himself to share the responsibilities of direction with others (see Wilson, Woodrow). In 1910, a favourable year for the Democratic party, of which he had always been a member, he was put forward for the governorship of New Jersey by friends who looked farther than that office, particularly the journalist, George Harvey. New Jersey went Democratic, and during 1911 and 1912 Gov. Wilson had opportunity to show his skill as a party leader and his interest in reform. He made himself responsible for the “seven sisters,” a group of measures dealing with direct primaries, corrupt practices, workmen's protection and control of trusts, and especially public service corporations, somewhat on the plan of the Federal Interstate Commerce Commission.
In 1912 when the Democratic party was looking for a candidate, Woodrow Wilson was put forward against Champ Clark, the experienced political chieftain. He was taken up by Bryan who saw in him first of all, an exponent of the political principles for which Bryan had stood for many years. He was wise enough to see that the party needed a leader and a President who could meet the Progressives on their own ground. He persuaded the Democratic Convention to nominate Wilson, who had a special advantage in his southern birth but was little known among the ranks of the party. Bryan also aided him by drafting a platform hardly less progressive than that of the Progressive party. The split in the Republican party rendered Wilson's election inevitable. On the eve of his inauguration he published a collection of his speeches, chiefly delivered in the preceding campaign, under the title of The New Freedom. It was in effect a confession of political faith, a forecast of what the President intended, a summing up of the fundamentals of American government. He protests against the political conditions and methods of the time, finds economic conditions even worse, and points out the baleful influence of corporations and trusts on parties and Governments. The book advocates publicity and action by popular vote as the remedy for the ills which the writer so clearly sees.
On entering office the first duty of the President was to select his Cabinet. It was only reasonable that Bryan, the most prominent man in the party, who had been three times its candidate for presidency, should enter it; but not that he should be made Secretary of State, an office for which he had little training and as little adaptation. A new Cabinet office had just been created by Congress, the secretaryship of the Department of Labor, to which was appointed W.B. Wilson, a former member of Congress and a strict labour organization man. Lindley M. Garrison, Secretary of War, and Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, were strong men. Albert S. Burleson, Postmaster-General, and Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, had no adequate training for their duties. David F. Houston of Missouri was made Secretary of Agriculture, William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, and James C. McReynolds, Attorney-General. Most of the members of the Cabinet were men who could be trusted to follow the President's lead. One remarkable figure, not included in this list, was Col. E. M. House of Texas, who for six years was the President's most trusted counsellor and political friend without holding any political office. The President's judicial appointments were good, including one man, Louis D. Brandeis, as justice of the Supreme Court, against whom a propaganda was raised because he was supposed to be unduly radical and favourable to labour. In the minor civil service Wilson carried out his principles by enlarging the classified list of posts which could be entered only by competitive examinations.
Although a genial man, who could be a delightful companion, full of experience and of Scotch Presbyterian humour, President Wilson from his first day in the White House cut himself off from most of his countrymen. There were none of those receptions open to all, which had delighted President Roosevelt; none of those sessions with newspaper correspondents that Taft had thought not beneath his dignity. The President's theory was that he must husband his time so as to consider his views upon public questions; nor did he expect the members of his Cabinet to act as antennae for him, to test the currents of public sentiment. He gauged the public mind for himself. He had a powerful mind, an amazing skill of expression, and an intense belief in the power of ideals to arouse and inspire a people. Furthermore, he stood by the political programme indicated in his book The New Freedom. He thought he had no need of conferences, of feeling the public pulse, of mixing with members of Congress and party leaders, of personally greeting the average voter who so much appreciates a word from the President.
Finance and Tariff.—The election of 1912 carried with it a safe Democratic majority in the Senate and a two-to-one majority in the House, so that the responsibility for legislation was clear. Champ Clark again had the empty honour of the Speakership. April 8 1913, the President created a surprise by appearing in person to address the two Houses of Congress jointly at the opening of a special session, instead of sending the written message which had been invariable since 1800. This practice he followed throughout his administration, with great effect. It was part of his conception of the presidency. He was not only chief magistrate of the nation, but head of the Democratic party, and practically the premier of the Government from whom ought to proceed plans for important legislation. May 26 1913 he publicly denounced the lobbyists in Congress who he declared, were endeavouring to control tariff legislation; and Congress accepted the rebuke. He disdained the arts of Jefferson or McKinley in soothing individual congressmen; he revived and enlarged Roosevelt's practice of telling the country what Congress ought to do. Furthermore, he had in his mind a sheaf of statutes which he believed the country needed.
The special session was called particularly to frame a tariff Act, the outline of which was contained in his first address. Representative Underwood, chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, gave to the new measure his name and large experience. The purpose of the statute was to enlarge the free list of raw materials, foodstuffs, and some manufactures, to make a moderate reduction of the protective duties, and to correct some of the things which made the Payne-Aldrich Act unpopular. It was with but one exception the first measure for tariff reduction enacted since the Civil War. Included in the statute was an income-tax, at last made possible by the adoption of the 16th Amendment (Feb. 25 1913), which was expected to supply any revenue which might be lost by the reduction of duties (see Income Tax, United States). The tax was low: 1% on incomes from $3,000 to $20,000 a year, and a sliding scale on larger incomes, with 6% as a maximum. A Tariff Commission was created to make researches into the workings of the Act and try to find out what was the actual difference between the cost of labour in the United States and in foreign countries. The Republicans naturally fought the bill throughout, but it became a law, Oct. 3 1913.
The powerful influence of the President was again exerted to secure a systematic banking system, with the result that (Dec. 23 1913) the Owen-Glass Federal Reserve Bank Act was added to the statutes (see Federal Reserve Banking System). The principle was no longer to rely on separate national banks, each chartered as a separate entity and having no official connexion with other banks, but to create a national institution, which was to be divided into 12 regional banks, in each of which was a body of directors, besides the central organization in Washington. In these 12 subdivisions clustered such banks, whether national or state-chartered, as chose to accept; but pressure was put upon national banks to go into the new system. The Federal Reserve banks were authorized and expected to rediscount commercial paper discounted by the local banks. The new institution was also to issue a new form of paper money. Federal Reserve banks were authorized to act as depositories and fiscal agents for the Government. It was about a year before the system could be put into operation, but it was from the start recognized as a great improvement and a large national asset. At the same time a Rural Credits Act was passed (July 17 1916), which created a special group of banks to lend money to farmers on the security of their farms. Both banking systems worked smoothly. The Federal Reserve banks greatly increased the elasticity of the currency; the effect of their operations up to 1920 was virtually to add an immense sum to the circulating medium of the country.
Transportation, 1914-6.—Experience showed that it was much easier to secure regulation of the railways than of other corporations. In 1914 the Interstate Commerce Commission began for the first time to sanction small increases in rates. Under a statute of March 1 1913 the Commission was authorized to enter on an elaborate valuation of the railway property throughout the country as the basis of a judgment as to what was a reasonable profit (see Railways: United States). The Supreme Court supported recent legislation by compelling the pipe-lines to accept the status of common carriers, and by breaking up some of the railway combinations, particularly that of the New York, New Haven and Hartford, which had tried to monopolize the steam, trolley, and steamship lines in southern New England. Down to the middle of 1916 the railways were doing well on the prevailing low rates for passengers and freight.
A new transportation problem developed as the Panama Canal approached completion; for this was the first great agency of transportation which was owned and managed by the U.S. Government. President Wilson undid the work of the previous Congress so far as it gave special privileges in the canal to American vessels. He used to the utmost his personal influence in supporting a bill repealing the discrimination in favour of American-owned vessels, of which the British Government had complained; it became an Act, June 15 1914. On Aug. 15 the first steamer passed through the Canal from sea to sea and in a few months the Canal was paying its own way. Temporary slides closed it for a few months; but in 1916 traffic was resumed and by the close of the fiscal year 7,046,407 tons of shipping had made use of the new international waterway since its completion. The success of the Panama Canal called attention to the possibilities of water transportation. A canal across Cape Cod, constructed by private capital, was opened July 29 1914. The state of New York spent a hundred million dollars in enlarging the Erie Canal which was then allowed to remain almost unused. Various plans were urged for an artificial waterway from the Great Lakes to the Gulf, ignoring the fact that the Ohio and Mississippi rivers had almost ceased to be used for traffic. Internal canals were all subject to the difficulty that they could not compete with the railways which received freight at any place in the United States for delivery at any other place; while in the northern part of the country ice prevented winter traffic on canals.
A new question of transportation was arising through the rapid development of motor vehicles. At first a plaything, then a luxury, by 1908 they were spreading throughout the country, for pleasure, for convenience, for professional work; then, as the motor-truck developed, for general transportation. These machines could not well be operated on the ordinary country roads or on some of the city streets; and the attention of the whole country was called to the absolute necessity of good roads. The old system of privately owned toll roads and bridges had almost disappeared, and the only way to accommodate this new traffic was to build roads at the public expense. Some of the states had for years been aiding the rural localities in this process. As soon as good roads were built, however, the public discovered to its consternation that they would soon wear out unless kept in order at great expense. In 1916 Congress passed an Act appropriating approximately $85,000,000 to be paid in about five years to such states as would contribute equal sums for good roads.
The Trusts, 1914.—Just before President Wilson took office, an investigation was begun of the so-called shipping trust, composed of some American and various foreign companies, which was charged with a monopoly of a large part of the business of marine transportation by steamers. A few hours before the end of President Taft's term a congressional committee reported against the “great and rapidly growing concentration of the money control and credit in the hands of a few men.” The Supreme Court in its decisions followed this spirit of opposition to the growth of combinations. President Wilson urged successfully a radical amendment of the Sherman Act and the result was the Clayton Anti-Trust Act (Oct. 15 1914) against discriminating freight agreements, interlocking directorates and holding corporations. The field of governmental action was thereby very much enlarged. In June 1914 in a suit involving the International Harvester Company, one of the largest of the manufacturing corporations, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld state anti-trust laws. The ring of law and justice seemed to be drawing closer round the great offenders; yet these offenders still flourished, and huge corporations, such as the U.S. Steel Corp., paid dividends on thousands of millions in stock and bonds.
Another branch of the same attack on the money power was the Federal Trade Commission, created Sept. 26 1914, which was an attempt to find means of dealing with corporations engaged in interstate commerce other than banks and common carriers. It received large powers of investigation, and the very important authority to institute hearings as a preliminary to suits. In the same direction were the “blue sky laws” passed in this period by many states, to break up the practice of floating the stock of companies which had no property more substantial than the atmosphere. By these statutes and active prosecutions the Democratic party was put on record as the enemy of the enemies of the people. Unfortunately, the more the laws, the more the need for laws; while there was still what Roosevelt called the “twilight zone” of business action, an area in which neither state nor national laws were operative.
Labour 1913-7. The example of capital, in rolling itself into masses too great to be controlled by ordinary means, was followed by labour, which during this period took the field most successfully. The American Federation of Labor was a loosely woven council of representatives from the great trade organizations; it did not undertake to call strikes, though it was likely to support them. Its agitation and its publications were lively; and it had great effect in bringing about combined and simultaneous demands for the various items in the labour programme. The leaders fixed upon an eight-hour day (commonly interpreted as 48 hours a week) as the basic working time; by which they meant that any work beyond the eight hours was overtime, to be paid for at extra rates. The eventual demand was for a “time and a half” rate (each hour to be counted as an hour and a half) for ordinary overtime, and “double time” for Sundays and holidays. The next item was the minimum wage, which made its way slowly and was not altogether acceptable to labour, since it tended to end the employment of feeble and old persons who could not earn even the minimum wage. Another demand was that American citizens should have the preference over aliens in employment. The Supreme Court set aside an Arizona statute in that direction, and affirmed a somewhat similar New York statute. Labour in general was unfriendly to child labour and was, therefore, interested in a Federal statute of Sept. 1 1916. Since Congress had no right to regulate child labour directly, it stretched the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution to cover the prohibition of the transport of products made by child labour under specified conditions. This Act was afterwards set aside by the Supreme Court. Some of the states set up public employment bureaus. Many labour acts were contested and nullified by the state courts; but there was an unmistakable gain in public sentiment favouring protection of labour.
As the labour unions gained in numbers and strength they used their energies in favour of the “closed shop,” that is, a system by which union men refused to work in any establishment where men not members of the union were also employed. Their object was to bring everybody in that particular trade into the union so as to form a firm front. From this idea rapidly developed the system of sympathetic strikes, in which members of one union back up another union by refusing to handle or use or transport products of non-union labour. Thus a factory employing a thousand hands might be compelled to stop work because it directed two or three non-union men to clean a truck, or because it bought machinery built by non-union labour hence boycotts and perhaps ruin for employers who had no difficulty or quarrel with their own workmen.
Never in the history of the United States had there been so many and so violent strikes as from 1913 to 1917. In New York 150,000 garment workers were unionized and they struck. In May 1916 nearly a million men in various states were out of work because they or some other union had struck. The I.W.W. organized long and tumultuous strikes among the silk weavers of Paterson, N.J., and the textile workers of Lawrence, Mass. More than half of these strikes were attempts to get higher wages; many of them aimed at new working conditions, and very often sought working rules which would add to the wages without increasing the service. In the trying years of 1916-7 there were violent strikes directed not only against non-striking workmen, but against the public peace for instance, among the Michigan ironworkers and the Spokane lumbermen. In 1913 there were armed conflicts in Colorado. In July 1917 at Bisbee, Ariz., the tables were turned. A kind of vigilance committee seized and carried out of town, with orders not to return, about 1,200 striking miners and their friends. When after many months a trial was obtained in the state courts for those responsible for this illegal action, it was found that no jury would convict.
The most serious of all these labour struggles was the threatened strike in 1916 of the large and very powerful unions of railway employees. A day was set for a general strike all over the country. The companies refused to make further concessions, believing that a few days of strike would bring the public to their side. President Wilson intervened and all but compelled Congress to pass (Sept. 3 1916) the Adamson Act by which a basic eight-hour day was secured with pro-rata for overtime. This turned out to be in effect a large increase of wages. The Supreme Court upheld this statute, which went to the furthest verge of the Federal Government's authority over labour matters, and formed a basis for the increases of following years.
Social Movements, 1913-7.—These struggles between the railways and the courts, between the trusts and Congress, between labour and state Governments, between strikers and the President of the United States, are part of American history, because they were vital to the welfare of the country. Combinations, both of capital and labour, were too large to be dealt with by any kind of private organization, or by the local and state Governments. Neither the capitalist nor the labourer respected the restraint of state legislation. It was apparent that in the long run the country would go back to the “might makes right” of the middle ages, unless some peaceful settlement could be made by a force that must be respected. Yet the ordinary plain citizen was not much disturbed by these contests, unless he held stock in a trust or his son was a member of a trade union. The first concern of most people is their bread-getting, and the greater part of the population was earning its bread daily. The farmers everywhere were aroused, for they looked on railways as hostile to their interests, by overcharging for carrying their products, and they resented the trusts which they believed raised prices. The storm centre was in Washington, where President Wilson stood intent on finding the remedy for these difficulties.
The anti-liquor forces steadily developed strength. They
urged out-and-out prohibition and secured it in more than half
the states. At the end of 1917 war prohibition was enacted by
the Federal Government and also prohibition in the district of
Columbia. December 19 1917 a two-thirds majority was secured
in Congress for a prohibition constitutional amendment—the
18th amendment—which was at once submitted to the states.
Woman suffrage also advanced steadily. When it appeared in
1915 that a third of the male voters in the con
states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts
favoured woman suffrage, the result was beyond doubt.
Congress submitted an amendment in 1919. Thus changes that
had been 50 years on the way finally were brought about by the
force of public opinion.
A change was also visible in the attitude of the country toward immigration which Congress was determined to reduce by an intelligence qualification. Wilson followed the example of Taft by vetoing the new bill not once but twice; yet on Feb. 5 1917 it was passed over his veto. Besides a literacy test it raised the head-tax to $8 and excluded oriental labourers coming from certain geographical areas which did not include Japan but did apply to Hindus and Malays. Causes connected with the World War at the same time brought about a reduction in the number of immigrants.
Educational Progress, 1909-21.—The decade following 1909 was marked by a new sense of the possibility of general education, and the responsibility of the various governments within the United States for a more direct, searching and practical type of education. The country was accustomed to a system of graded public schools, offering the “common school education,” and leading up to the few surviving endowed academies, and the thousands of public high schools, which were expected to “prepare” the small proportion of young men who went on to institutions of higher education. This system had been enriched in various ways.
By 1910 girls were given about an equal chance in the public elementary and secondary schools, and in a large number of coeducational colleges and universities, besides a small group of high-class colleges open to women only. Secondary education was subdivided into literary, commercial and industrial schools. The institutions of higher learning set up new professional departments including the intensive study of education and separate schools of science, engineering, agriculture and other specialties. Private enterprise created a great number of so-called business colleges, and a few very efficient trade schools. The prestige of the classics and of the so-called culture courses was declining; and the most conservative universities moderated their requirements for entrance and offered degrees to men and women on a variety of specialized and technical courses. The number of students in the higher institutions increased to 355,131 in 1918.
Nevertheless there was general complaint that the schools did not relate themselves to the life of the community in which the children were to pass their later lives. It was a common experience that the numerous boys and girls who left school at from 12 to 16 years of age, and even the graduates of the secondary schools, did not take hold readily of trades or business, and were hard to “break” to new tasks. For many years a remedy had been sought in manual-training schools, mostly secondary, which undertook to help the boy and girl to meet the manufacturer and employer by specific training in shop practice. The new steel town of Gary, Ind., introduced a general system of industrial schools, in which the pupils in the lower grades took various kinds of shop work. A National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education became the focus of a movement to organize what now became generally known as vocational education throughout the country.
A national commission was appointed by President Wilson, in 1914, to consider the whole subject. The Federal Government was making annual grants to the state agricultural and mechanical colleges, founded by the Morrill Land Grant of 1862. This idea of grants-in-aid was incorporated into the report of the commission, and into the resulting Smith-Hughes Act, Feb. 22 1917, which provided the machinery and laid out the outlines of plans for action throughout the Union. It created a Federal Board for Vocational Education which framed an elaborate plan for instruction in the four vocational fields of agriculture, commerce, industry and home-making. The Act promised to appropriate Federal funds rising to about $7,000,000 in 1925 and thereafter, to be paid to such states as would match these funds dollar for dollar.
The underlying idea was that training for life-tasks was to be carried on in regular public schools alongside the usual culture studies; that it ought to begin in the lower grades and run all the way through; that it ought to apply to girls, particularly in the fields of home life and women's industries; and that it ought to offer facilities for those already employed, through continuation and part-time schools.
Private enterprise went alongside this movement by building up advanced engineering and trade schools of a high type, such as the Carnegie Institute at Pittsburgh; by improving the private commercial schools, and establishing advanced schools of business training in colleges. Some of the great manufacturers, especially in the automobile trade, set up schools within their own works.
When the United States plunged into the World War in 1917, and it was discovered that a vast number of young men were physically and intellectually unfitted for military service, a new influence was brought to bear in favour of a type of public education which would help to make citizens. The Government established a variety of vocational schools to train men for the numerous specialties of military service. It made great use of the shops and other vocational facilities of the existing schools and colleges. When the war was over, those institutions were used by the Government for “rehabilitation,” preparing partially disabled soldiers for self-support. At the same time the schools and colleges of the traditional cultural type advanced in resources and efficiency, many of them taking on vocational subjects as suitable for higher education. Great sums were raised by special “drives” among the alumni and friends of the endowed institutions, and the state universities were allotted hitherto unheard-of grants. The strictly vocational schools were admitted into fellowship with the other institutions. The students fraternized, joined in athletic contests and alumni associations and university clubs. There seemed room for both the old and the new types of national education. (See Education: section United States.)
Foreign Policy, 1913-7.—Woodrow Wilson was naturally a man of peace, and so was Secretary Bryan. At the outset of the administration they set themselves to aid the cause of general peace by enlarging the plan of arbitration treaties which had been urged by Root and Taft. Secretary Bryan prepared a definite project for treaties by which the parties should pledge themselves in case of difficulties to submit their grievances and claims to a special arbitration commission; and to abstain from war or preparations for war until the commission should have had time to report. This method avoided the difficulty which had either wrecked or weakened previous arbitration treaties, namely the exclusion of certain matters from arbitration. On the other hand, under such treaties no country would be bound to accept the finding of a commission. The presumption was that a sensible nation would submit to the judgment of an impartial tribunal. There was little difficulty in concluding more than 30 treaties upon this basis in the course of a year. They were never effective, and they disregarded the fact that since the first suggestion of general arbitration on a large scale by the Hague Conference of 1899, there had been five important wars, in not one of which had any contestant expressed a desire for arbitration by an impartial tribunal. The truth was that the American people as a whole had been little accustomed to international questions and had no definite foreign policy.
The Government of the Philippine Is. was altered by setting up the first Filipino Assembly in 1908. Under President Wilson, Gov.-Gen. Cameron Forbes was withdrawn and Burton Harrison was appointed his successor, to carry out a policy of liberalization and preparation for independence. The Filipinos were allowed to hold a majority of the seats in the Commission, which was a kind of administrative upper House. Natives were substituted for Americans in many of the civil offices. The Filipinos were thus given a definite opportunity to govern themselves. In response to the pleading of President Taft, Congress in 1909 grudgingly included them within the customs boundary of the United States and thus in practice abandoned duties on goods arriving in the United States from the islands. The Jones bill proposed even greater local powers. As enacted Aug. 29 1916, it greatly enlarged the power of the popular part of the Government, and the Commission ceased to exist. The bill promised that the Filipinos should be given their independence when their ability to govern themselves should be demonstrated. In April 1919 President Wilson publicly declared that he was ready to grant complete independence. There was no answering sentiment in the United States, perhaps because the World War had made it clear that so feeble and unarmed a state could not hope to live without the continued protection of the United States.
At the other end of the American empire, Cuba, while nominally independent, remained a protectorate of the United States. March 2 1917 the Porto Ricans were for the first time made American citizens and received a popular Government of two elected Houses, possibly a preparation for statehood. President Wilson continued the practical administration of San Domingo which dated back to Roosevelt. He also took military control of Haiti in 1914 and followed it by a treaty which was ratified by the Senate Feb. 28 1916. He carried even farther Taft's policy in Nicaragua by a treaty (ratified by the Senate Aug. 14 1914) which converted that State into a virtual protectorate. Another area came under control of the United States by a treaty for the annexation of the Danish West Indies (Aug. 4 1916); these islands were duly organized under the title Virgin Is. of the United States. Little opposition was made to this creation of a virtual empire, including dependent provinces. No reluctance was shown by the American people in extending their borders, their influence and their naval stations, so as to include portions of the West Indies. They were unconsciously preparing the way for a policy of Caribbean activity, under which the United States would take that predominance in the West Indies which Great Britain had held for over a hundred years.
Latin America and the Orient, 1913-7.—The peaceful policy of the United States towards its neighbours was severely tested by disturbances in Mexico. Soon after Wilson's inauguration in 1913 Madero, president of that turbulent republic, was murdered and Gen. Huerta, an insurgent officer, thereupon declared himself the head of the State. The almost invariable policy of the United States had been to recognize any de facto head of any Latin-American Government, without inquiring into the source of justice of his title. To President Wilson and to many others it seemed an iniquity to recognize murder as a proper means of changing a Government. He therefore adopted what he called a policy of “watchful waiting.” He steadily refused to recognize Huerta, who was compelled to battle for his dictatorship against Carranza, the bandit Villa and other rival revolutionists. Not having recognized Huerta, Wilson was not in a position to protect American rights of life and property in Mexico. Some years later a record was published of 112 murders or violent deaths of Americans. All Wilson could do was to declare neutrality as between Huerta and his rivals. In April 1914 a trifling dispute arose as to a salute of the American flag and Wilson, apparently yielding to strong public sentiment, ordered the navy to attack and capture Vera Cruz, of which the United States remained in possession for some months. The real object appears to have been to discomfit Huerta, who was compelled to flee the country. Two years later, further and more serious trouble arose when the brigand Villa raided the town of Columbus, N.M., and killed several soldiers and civilians. The Government of Mexico had no control over Villa, and President Wilson ordered a military expedition under Gen. Pershing to advance into the interior of Mexico, which remained about eight months, without capturing Villa or accomplishing any other definite result. The three friendly nations of Argentina, Brazil and Chile commonly known as the “A B C Powers” offered a kind of mediation; and after many months of delay, at their suggestion Carranza was recognized as president by the United States. But disorder continued; neither life nor property was safe. Not till 1921, after 11 years of civil war and immense destruction of life and wealth, did Mexico emerge from the state of revolution which had been its chronic condition before the time of President Diaz.
The long controversy with Mexico was highly disturbing to the intention of the Administration to cultivate close relations with Latin-America in general. In spite of four pan-American congresses and several scientific congresses, in spite of the visits of Roosevelt and Secretary Root and Secretary Knox to S. America, and the opening of the short route to the W. coast through the Panama Canal—there could be no harmony if the United States were to continue annexing small and defenceless Latin-American nations and engaging in undeclared wars with Mexico. President Wilson sought to relieve apprehensions in this regard, and in a speech at Mobile Oct. 27 1913 declared that the United States had no designs on the territory or independence of its Latin-American neighbours. Colombia, too, had a grievance arising out of the loss of the isthmus when the Panama Canal Zone was annexed in 1904. Wilson gave his approval to a treaty to pay $25,000,000 to Colombia and to include an apology for the disagreeable events of 1904; but he could not push his measures through the Senate, though a similar treaty, minus the apology, was ratified by the succeeding Administration in 1921.
In regard to the Far East, Wilson had little opportunity to develop a policy. He began by disavowing the plans made under the advice of President Taft for a concert of American bankers with those of other countries to lend money to China. He continued, on the same lines as the Taft Administration, to argue with the people of California because they insisted on passing a statute restricting alien ownership of lands by Japanese residents. The World War soon made the United States and Japan temporary allies, and on Nov. 2 1917 the Lansing-Ishii note, on the same plan as the Root-Takahira note of 1908, set forth that the United States recognized Japan's “special interests in China.” In the deeper currents of East Asiatic diplomacy the United States did not enter until after the war.
Outbreak of the World War, 1914.—Long before the domestic and foreign policies of the United States reached the results described in the preceding sections, the United States was brought face to face with new and vital problems arising out of the war. That the country was peaceful in 1914, and expected to remain indefinitely at peace, is shown by the lack of anything that could be considered national military preparation in the terms of modern warfare. When on Aug. 4 1914 President Wilson issued a proclamation of neutrality as between the two groups of European nations just engaging in a gigantic struggle, the authorized military establishment was about 107,000 men of whom some 87,000 were enrolled. The United States had not one military aeroplane of approved type; had only four modern heavy field guns and no transport for them; had not a trench bomb nor a mine-thrower; nor considerable supplies of any weapons or equipment except 800,000 excellent rifles; nor any officers experienced in the kind of warfare used in the recent South African, Manchurian, Balkan and Tripolitan campaigns; nor any instruction camps for officers or men. The navy included a fleet of battleships recently built, but was weak in small and swift vessels and particularly in submarines, though it had the great advantage of trained crews accustomed to the strategic units of sea warfare. For the protection of the Texas border, and as a second line in case of an invasion of Mexico, militia was available, but when called out later proved to be of little service. The tradition of a hundred years led the American people to expect no wars and in case of danger to rely on hasty volunteer enlistments. Bryan, in many respects a far-sighted man, publicly declared that the nation needed no preparation, for it could raise a million men between sunrise and sunset.
The foreign policy and the diplomatic organization of the United States were not fitted for such a crisis. Apparently not one of the American ambassadors realized the imminence of war in Europe or warned the Department of State of trouble; although Theodore Roosevelt as far back as 1909 had detected the hostile attitude of Germany toward the United States. The traditional diplomacy of America was based on the Monroe Doctrine as a principle that would keep European Powers out of the Americas, and therefore out of dangerous controversies with the United States. On the other hand, the principle of isolation forbade the United States to take any part in European crises or wars. Friendship with all nations had been the avowed policy of many successive presidents. If nations fought among themselves, the United States expected to remain neutral. As a neutral it stood by the principle of “freedom of the seas,” by which was meant in particular the right to carry on commerce with all belligerents, in case of war, subject to the limitations of the then acknowledged international law as to contraband and blockade. Moreover, the United States during the Civil War had laid down principles of “continuous voyages,” which it could not refuse to accept so far as its own commerce was concerned. Yet probably not one voter in ten had any clear notion of the external policy and principles of his Government, or understood that such a war as broke out in 1914 must deeply affect the United States, and might at last draw it into the struggle.
The diplomatic activities of the United States at the beginning of the war created no difficulties. Thousands of American tourists and residents were caught in the mobilization of the great European armies, and on Aug. 8 1914 $5,500,000 was sent over by the Government on a U.S. steamer to aid in bringing them home. A few weeks later relief was organized on a large scale for the Belgian people, most of whose country was overrun and held by the Germans. From year to year this system of relief was enlarged, so as to include French refugees as well as those who were still in the devastated portions of France, the unhappy peoples of Serbia and Asia Minor and other non-combatant sufferers, besides the sick and wounded of the contending armies. The agents of the American Red Cross and similar organizations were received in most parts of the war area, and privileged to work at the front and to carry on their operations within the warring countries. Supplies costing more than $1,500,000 were sent to Europe by the American Red Cross before the United States entered the war. This work of mercy put these unofficial representatives of the United States in the position of exponents of American neutrality.
Difficulties of Neutrality, 1914-7.—From another point of view the United States was compelled at once to take into account the relation between the war and American industries, commerce and finance. Very soon after hostilities began, loans were sought by most of the belligerent Governments. Large amounts were placed in the United States by Great Britain, France and Russia. The German Government floated several small loans, chiefly among their nationals and former nationals. President Wilson for a time advised Americans against aiding either side in that way and issued a proclamation (Aug. 18 1914) advising that the people remain neutral “not only in act but in word and in thought.” Such neutrality was impossible, because the natural course of neutral trade put the United States at once in the position of a source of supplies of every kind for any belligerent that could transport them. Probably not a dollar of the loans placed in America ever crossed the Atlantic in cash; as fast as the money was borrowed it was spent in the United States for the purchase of food, clothing, animals and especially munitions. Though the privileges of this trade were in theory equal, in practice it was decidedly unfavourable to the Central Powers. In the first weeks of, the war German commerce was driven from the seas' and more than 80 German steamers took refuge in ports of the United States. The Allied command of the sea very nearly cut off trade of any kind between the United States and Germany and her allies; while commerce continued in ever-increasing volume with England and France. This disparity led to violent protests on the part of the German Government, supported by Germans and pro-Germans in the United States, and also to lawless acts perpetrated or directed by agents dispatched by the German Government for the purpose of buying up or paralysing the munition factories.
In addition to this controversy as to munitions and other supplies there was the question of the German methods of carrying on war, and particularly of the treatment of the occupied areas of Belgium and France. Neither the State Department nor any considerable number of American statesmen saw any obligation under the Hague neutrality treaties of 1907 to go to war for the defence of Belgian neutrality; nevertheless the German policy aroused deep and lasting resentment. Within a few weeks after the war broke out the United States realized for the first time that its population included hundreds of thousands of citizens of the belligerent countries, many of whom were liable to military service and attempted to return to their homes in order to serve. The road for recruits was blocked for the Germans and their allies, but open for the English, French and later for the Italians, Serbians, Greeks and Armenians. No neutrality proclamation could prevent these men from believing in their native countries, defending them by argument, and going over to fight for them if possible. For the first time in a hundred years the United States found within its own borders the sharpest division on questions of foreign policy.
On the other hand, the war trade brought immense profits. The favourable balance of trade rose from $691,000,000 in 1913 to $1,768,000,000 in 1915 and $3,000,000,000 in 1916. This prodigious debit was balanced by about $3,000,000,000 sent to the United States in securities and gold, besides $2,000,000,000 in foreign war bonds. Under these circumstances genuine neutrality was out of the question; and while direct commerce with Germany and Austria was almost cut off, enormous shipments continued to the western Allies. A decided preponderance of sympathy developed toward these countries which were profitable customers and also were in close and almost undisturbed intercourse with the United States, and, as time went on, seemed to be fighting against a ruthless, arrogant and dangerous autocracy.
International Controversies, 1914-7.—The internal tension of the United States was tightened by the incidents of the war and especially by the controversy over submarine warfare. The practical issue was the insistence of Germany on the right to use new weapons, tactics and procedures of war, without submitting to the limitations supposed to be provided by international law, without mercy to non-combatants, on the basis of a law of necessity, and supported by all the physical and political force of the German Empire engaged in war. No able-bodied German man or woman was really a non-combatant; all Germans insisted that they must regard all civilian enemies as combatants. In so far as contact in the field was concerned they carried out their theory unhesitatingly. They introduced the use of poison gas and bombing aeroplanes; they murdered civilians and practically enslaved Belgian men and women. There was no way to stop them except by conquest, and conquest was impossible without using these new methods of warfare. On the sea their principle was the same, but the execution was different because it brought them into controversy with neutrals and especially with the United States.
Great Britain, which in the London Maritime Conference of 1912 had shown some disposition to enlarge the privileges of neutral commerce, seized American ships and shipments, and arbitrarily extended the list of contraband, until (Dec. 26 1914) a dispatch signed by Secretary Bryan, but known to be the work of President Wilson, made a protest. Some of the incidents of the British practice as to neutral vessels were given up; but in the course of 1915 the British Government took up the American principle of “continuous voyages,” and eventually extended it so as to cover shipments to neutral ports in cases where those shipments were likely ultimately to reach Germany, or would replace products of the neutral countries that could thus be spared to Germany eventually, or if the neutral countries declined to make a hard and fast agreement not to reship. In 1916 the British were practically blockading neutral ports and capturing vessels, American and other, wherever they liked. The Central Powers, which were in no position to interfere with neutral trade by ordinary cruising, as an offset to this very effective system set up a new war practice, on principles never before asserted, by using submarines as commerce destroyers. On Feb. 4 1915 this practice was asserted as a right. The American Government at once protested, and President Wilson at one time declared that any use of submarines against merchant ships was contrary to international law. He based his protest chiefly on the failure of the Germans to observe the usual rules as to safety of life for ships' crews and passengers, when submarines sank merchant vessels. The fact was, and it was perfectly clear to the large majority of thinking Americans, that whatever the state of international law on that subject, belligerent or neutral vessels carrying Americans and American property, and also American merchant ships, were sunk by the Germans whenever they felt so disposed.
The crisis came through the destruction of the British passenger liner “Lusitania” May 7 1915, with the loss of 113 American lives—all neutral in the war, all non-combatant. That sinking was a deliberate act of the Germans to test the temper of the United States. Apparently they were greatly surprised when the people of the United States rose in resentment. President Wilson, who had months before notified Germany that “strict accountability” would be demanded, insisted on a protest such as could not be ignored. Mr. Bryan thought milder measures sufficient, and on that issue resigned the Secretaryship of State, June 8 1915, and was succeeded by Robert M. Lansing. The correspondence went on for months until, after the sinking of the British steamer “Sussex,” while plying across the English Channel, and the killing of more Americans, on May 4 1916 Germany informed the American Government that merchant ships would not be sunk without warning and the opportunity to save non-combatant lives. Meanwhile, throughout 1915 and 1916, a constant series of attacks was made on the United States or its citizens within the boundaries of the country through systematic violations of the neutrality laws of the United States by Germans and Austrians. These acts caused the dismissal of the Austrian ambassador to the United States and of the two most obnoxious members of the German ambassador's staff. The whole status of neutral trade was changed by the ruthlessness of the Germans, who drew upon themselves the belief that they would hesitate at nothing during the war.
“Preparedness.”—By the end of 1915 it became clear that the war would be long and destructive; and that, with or without their own desire, the people of the United States might find themselves involved. The whole world was taken by surprise by the new methods of warfare, and the United States was visibly in no position to attack across the sea or to defend itself against the kind of warfare which was by this time going on all over the world. President Wilson desired peace. As late as a day or two after the sinking of the “Lusitania” he spoke of there being such a thing as “a nation that was too proud to fight.” The speech containing these words was, however, prepared before the sinking of the “Lusitania,” and in his message of Dec. 1915 he urged national defence and the protection of American shipping by placing it all in the hands of the Government. The movement in favour of preparedness grew, and the President in Feb. 1916 favoured a bill for concentrating the national forces, and abandoning the idea of a Federalized army composed of state militia contingents. Because the President refused to use upon Congress the influence that had carried through so many measures, Garrison, Secretary of War, resigned and Newton D. Baker of Ohio succeeded him. The only result was the passage of a weak and inadequate bill.
Long before this time the war had brought about a violent change in the economic conditions of the country. The great demand for foodstuffs raised the price of grain and other farm products. “The high cost of living” became a political issue. The munition factories offered unheard-of wages and drew hundreds of thousands into improvised towns, thus inaugurating a movement for the increase of wages in other industries. One of the unexpected effects of the war was a great change in immigration. Hundreds of thousands of men left the United States for Europe to join the various armies; and the countries at war were not likely to allow anybody to evade military service by going to America. Net immigration fell from 1,218,480 in 1914 to 298,826 in 1916.
Election of 1916.—In the midst of the turmoil and confusion of business and public policy caused by the war came the preliminaries of the Presidential election of 1916. The sharp difference of opinion as to the responsibility for, and the conduct of, the war was reflected in Congress, which included many ardent friends of the western Allies, others without a doubt pro-Germans, and a much larger number who desired to keep the United States out of war, no matter what happened overseas. President Wilson, though of Scotch-Irish descent and much inspired by English law and history, carefully abstained from taking sides; but the aggressive submarine policy of Germany made necessary a much sharper tone toward, and much more direct and insistent demands on, the Germans than in the case of the English. He was not only President with complete control of all diplomatic negotiations, he was the acknowledged head of the Democratic party; he was also commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. He felt the need of caution, particularly because a growing group of men inside and outside Congress, among them Roosevelt, were coming to the conclusion that eventually the United States would have to go into the war.
During the early part of 1916 the President was studiously neutral and careful. In April the little force under Pershing was withdrawn from Mexico. May 4 the President succeeded in securing from Germany the promise to refrain from submarine warfare on neutrals. In June the great national nominating conventions met, in which the attitudes of the President and his opponents upon the war were issues. As usual the Republican Convention came first, and was called in Chicago for June 7. A strong effort was made by those friends of Roosevelt who had returned to their relations with the Republican party to make him the Republican candidate. One result of the complaints regarding the Convention of 1912 was that the Republican National Committee recommended a change in the basis of representation in the Convention, which reduced the representation of those southern states in which the Republican vote was very small. Such a reduction, if made four years earlier, would have brought about Roosevelt's nomination. Nevertheless, in most of the states the “stand-pat” Republicans had control of the party machinery including the primaries, and Roosevelt showed little strength in the Convention. The Progressives, who in Nov. 1914 had cast 1,800,000 votes for Congressional and state candidates, met in convention in Chicago side by side with the Republicans. Their purpose was to make such a demonstration of strength as would compel the Republicans to nominate Roosevelt as the only means of healing the breach. That effort failed because it became evident that a large number of the Progressives throughout the country would vote for any candidate nominated by the Republican Convention who seemed likely to carry out the Progressive principles, and they gave up all hope of electing Roosevelt on a third-party ticket. The Republicans nominated Justice Hughes of the Supreme Court who had been a reform governor of New York State. No course was left to Roosevelt but to refuse the nomination offered by the Progressive Convention. The days of the Progressive party were numbered.
In the Democratic Convention, June 14, there was practically no opposition to Wilson and his running-mate Marshall. The platform in many respects was similar to that of the Republicans. Both favoured woman suffrage, conservation of national resources, and national enforcement of child-labour laws; both approved the Monroe Doctrine. But in opposition to the Republicans the Democrats upheld tariff for revenue only; they endorsed the promise of ultimate independence to the Filipinos; they commended the establishment of a Federal trade commission; and they approved a merchant marine owned and operated by the Federal Government. In the campaign Roosevelt publicly supported Hughes, though he felt no enthusiasm for him. He was more interested in questions of neutrality and in the moral support of the hard-pressed Allies than in the election. Hughes and Wilson, especially the former, canvassed the country, which was not interested in the questions of tariff and immigration but was eager to know what would be the effect of the victory of one party or another on foreign relations. The only “slogan” that caught the public ear was favourable to Wilson: “He kept us out of war.” The result was the reëlection of Wilson, who received about 9,000,000 popular votes against 8,500,000 for Hughes. The electoral vote, however, was very close and was finally decided by majorities of a few hundred in New Hampshire, Minnesota and especially California.
Peace or War, 1917.—Although the election had been so close, President Wilson stood in a very strong position in the United States and in the world. He was reëlected. His policy, whatever it was, was approved. He felt that he had the nation politically united. The Administration soon began to take a firmer tone in protesting against the Allied system of neutral blockade. Meanwhile the Allies were hard pressed. During the summer of 1916 the Russians made their last aggressive campaign against Austria-Hungary. Rumania entered the contest Aug. 28 1916 but was defeated by the Germans by the close of the year. England, France and Italy were holding the western lines with difficulty. It seemed to President Wilson that only the one great neutral nation could bring about peace. Dec. 18 1916, six weeks after the election, he sent an appeal to the warring Powers to take some steps to come to an understanding of each other's demands. In a later document, Jan. 27 1917, he suggested a “peace without victory,” which should give the right of self-determination to the different national units. The western Allies responded courteously. The practical German answer was a brief note communicated by Ambassador Bernstorff to Secretary Lansing Jan. 31 1917, announcing that the Germans would shortly resume submarine warfare without mercy. High military authority in Germany had decreed that this was the way to win. They were convinced that the Americans would never sacrifice the large profits of export trade and incur the huge expenses of war merely for the sake of a question of neutral maritime rights.
Nevertheless it was announced Feb. 4 that the United States was using its influence to persuade other neutrals to sever diplomatic relations with Germany, and immediate steps were taken to make the navy ready for war. Unfortunately, the United States at that moment was not in a position to assemble even so small a land force as 30,000 men and send it abroad. It had no organized transport service to carry numbers of troops or their supplies. For a time the President dallied with a plan of maintaining official neutrality while arming merchant ships and authorizing them to defend themselves. This measure, proposed to Congress Feb. 26, certainly would have brought about war in a few days, by an engagement between some American merchant ships and a submarine. Although Congress was ready to grant to the President almost any power, this armed ship bill was killed by a filibuster in the Senate, which the President characterized as the act of “a little group of wilful men representing no opinion but their own.” The Administration then took steps to arm merchant ships without Congressional authority. One result of the controversy was the adoption by the Senate March 8 of a mild and cumbrous method of cutting short debate by closure.
During Feb. and March 1917 a few American vessels and one belligerent vessel having Americans on board were torpedoed by German submarines. It was apparent, therefore, that Germany would not desist from these atrocities, and that the United States must resort to war. The President called Congress in special session for April 2. Congress, elected the previous Nov., contained a small Democratic majority in both Houses and welcomed the first woman representative in the person of Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana. On Feb. 8 the Government published an intercepted German despatch to the Mexican Government asking the Mexicans to join in the war, promising them the “former Mexican provinces,” long incorporated in the United States. This so-called “Zimmerman Note” further suggested that Mexico induce Japan to desert the Allies and join her in war on America. The participation of the United States in the war was now inevitable. A formal declaration signed by the President April 6 after a House vote of 373 to 50 and a Senate vote of 82 to 6, stated that war had been already begun by Germany. Relations with Austria and Turkey were at once broken off, but the declaration of war with Austria was delayed until Dec. 17 and no declaration was ever made against Turkey.
Though the breach with Germany was initiated by a Democratic President and passed by a Congress in which the Democrats had a small majority, it was a spontaneous national action representing the practically universal belief that the United States could no longer live in peace with such a nation as Germany had become. In a succession of brilliant speeches President Wilson had developed the idea that it was the duty of the American people to make the world “safe for democracy.” Moreover, there was widespread sympathy with the three western Powers closest to the United States in their political principles and system of government. Righteous wrath was aroused by the German treatment of the people of Belgium and other conquered countries. In some minds existed a genuine and well-grounded fear of a future attack upon the United States by Germany if the resistance of the Allies should be destroyed. Amid all the motives for the war, the one thing clear was that the American people recognized Germany as an enemy, and the enemies of Germany as natural friends and partners in the great enterprise of subduing “the Hun.” (See also World War.)
War Measures.—Passionate national spirit, patriotism, and urgent reasons for war were all useless unless the United States could enroll, train, equip, convey, and continuously supply an immense army. By improved methods of coping with submarines the British were giving such protection to their merchantmen as to keep up their connexions with the centres of food, raw materials and munitions. The American navy, though the vessels were good and the crews skilled and well commanded, was in no position to give direct aid in the process of destroying the German army and still less the German navy. The main service to be rendered by the United States must clearly be to raise and convey to the fighting front a large force of American troops. Under the Act of 1916 nothing had been done toward organizing an efficient expeditionary force—a real army was still to be made.
One saving service the United States was able to do at once: it could help the western Allies in their pressing financial difficulties. Besides the immense industrial production of military and other supplies, the country was blessed with an abundant surplus of foodstuffs. The main crops of 1915 and 1916 were large and prices high. The U.S. Treasury and banks were holding about $3,000,000,000 in gold, which was one-third of the world's supply. Federal taxes were low and little felt. The new income-tax was just beginning to be significant. The total Government income for the fiscal year 1916-7 was $1,118,182,978.
Soon after the declaration of war by the United States, missions from the various Allied countries were sent to America to suggest from their experience plans for coöperation. The British Mission, headed by Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, and including military and naval officers as well as financiers, reached Halifax April 20 and proceeded to Washington. The French Mission, headed by René Viviani, the former Premier, and including Marshal Joffre, landed at Hampton Roads April 24. Other missions came from Italy, Belgium, Russia, Rumania and Japan. Conferences were held with officials of the U.S. army and navy departments with regard to the prosecution of the war. Afterwards the French Mission travelled through the eastern and middle western states, visiting Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield (Ill.), Philadelphia, New York, and Boston; it was everywhere welcomed with enthusiasm, Marshal Joffre being hailed as a hero. With the Japanese Mission an important agreement was signed (the so-called Lansing-Ishii Agreement), which recognized Japan's special interests in China, but provided for a continuance of the “open door” policy for commerce in that country. The commissioners from the European Allies asked for immediate financial assistance. Under Acts of Congress beginning Oct. 17 1917, the Allies received credits which amounted eventually to $9,500,000,000: this was supplied to take up the floating debts held in the United States and to purchase more supplies. This material support, backed by the moral support given by America, was a great encouragement to the Allies through the winter campaign of 1917-8.
These enormous payments were among the results of the so-called Liberty loans. April 24 1917 was passed the first loan Act, under which some 4,000,000 people joined in offering in June $3,000,000,000 to the Government. Three later issues of Liberty bonds followed, and in 1919 an issue of Victory notes. The result was an increase of the interest-bearing debt from $972,469,290 on Dec. 31 1916 to $25,234,496,000 in 1919. These loans were supplemented by the War Revenue Act of Oct. 17 1917, which laid a variety of new taxes, increased the income-tax heavily, and combined with it an excess-profits tax, the purpose of which was to bring into the Treasury unreasonable profits likely to be made in the war industries.
All limitations on raising an army were discarded. Volunteers were authorized as in previous wars. Ex-President Roosevelt asked permission to raise a division of which he might take command, and Congress gave its authority for such a special force, but the President refused him a commission. It was soon seen, however, that the only fair and helpful method was to call out all able-bodied men within certain ages. May 18 the Selective Service Act was passed, which provided for raising the regular army and National Guard to authorized strength, and also the enlistment of 1,000,000 men by “selective draft.” There was abundant raw material, but it took time and energy to make it available. A system was provided for registering all men of military age. When they were compelled to appear for physical and mental examination the astounding facts were revealed that one-fourth were illiterate, one-fifth were physically unfit for military service, and another fifth defective but not enough so to prevent their serving. (See the table below.) When called up, the men had to be clothed, housed, fed and drilled. Thousands of officers were necessary, and training camps, both for men and officers, were established on a vast scale. Eventually about 4,000,000 men out of 11,000,000 registrants were inducted into the service.
Table Showing Rejections of Draftees for Physical Defects by Local
and Camp Boards, Compiled by Maj. Albert G. Love,
Office of the Surgeon-General.
|1.||Infectious diseases (excluding tuberculous and venereal)||1,415||351||1,766|
|7.||Eyes and their annexa||91,755||25,531||117,286|
|14.||Genito-urinary system (non-venereal)||7,186||1,843||9,029|
|15.||Skin and cellular tissue||5,949||2,535||8,484|
|16.||Bones and organs of locomotion||113,287||58,533||171,820|
|17.||Congenital malformations and ill-defined||97,889||20,864||118,753|
|Cases with two defects in one man (rejected men only)||149,619||55,865||205,484|
|Total men rejected for above causes||549,099||206,622||755,721|
|Total men examined, not defective in those respects||3,215,002||2,538,451|
|Total men examined||3,764,101||2,745,073|
|Total number of men in Class 1 available who were not inducted||469,929|
|Total number of defective men included in the 2,745,073 who were not rejected, but accepted for military service||848,482|
Nothing could conceal the hard fact that no considerable force could be made ready in less than about a year from the declaration of war. In May 1917 a few American destroyers reached England. June 8 Gen. Pershing, who had been selected as commander-in-chief, arrived in England. June 26 a small detachment of U.S. troops reached France. From that time contingents continued to arrive, thus giving to the Allies the assurance that succour on a vast scale was being organized. New branches of military service were established, among them the Chemical Warfare Service which provided materials for lethal gases and for gas-masks and other means of resisting the enemy attacks. Congress, July 24, appropriated $640,000,000 for aviation. The whole land was full of unwonted and startling preparations. By Aug. about 700,000 men were enrolled in the army and 230,000 in the navy. Nevertheless, on Dec. 31 1917 the total number of troops in France was only 176,665.
Control of Industry and Transportation.—The establishment of huge war industries for making guns, munitions, clothing, and the varied supplies for a vast army put a great strain on the industry and transportation of the United States. The country was called upon to feed its own people, the army that was preparing to go abroad and, in considerable part, the Allied armies. Aug. 10 1917 a Food Control Act gave the President powers never before conferred with regard to food and fuel (see Food Supply). Herbert C. Hoover, of California, who had distinguished himself in the management of the Red Cross in Europe and especially in Belgium, was made Food Administrator with large powers. Before the war ended he had established “meatless days,” “wheatless days,” and “porkless days”; the price of grain was fixed; eventually the farmers were assured $2.20 a bushel for their wheat crops, which was more than twice what had been considered a good price before the war. The winter of 1917-8 was very severe and coal shipments were delayed both by storms and by pressure of war industries; so that even New York City was for a few days almost without fuel. The warming of buildings and houses was cut to the lowest point. Dr. Harry A. Garfield, president of Williams College, was made Fuel Administrator, and carried through drastic measures for stimulating production, regulating shipments and distributing the supply.
During 1918 these sweeping war powers were rigorously applied. In the food bill was a provision against the use of grain for the manufacture of liquor. Later, manufacture for sale was entirely prohibited by Congress as a war measure. On March 19 1918 Congress passed a Daylight Saving law, for putting the clocks one hour ahead of Standard time from March to October. On March 21 the Federal Control Act placed the management of all the railways in the country in the hands of the Government during the war, and for a period after its close (see Railways). Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo was made director-general of the railways; later Walker D. Hines, an experienced railwayman, succeeded him. President Wilson declared all telephone and telegraph wires to be under the control of the Government and appointed Postmaster-General Burleson to take charge.
One of the most serious needs of the time was a fleet adequate to carry across the Atlantic the army and its supplies and then keep up the shipments of reserves and munitions. The merchant marine of the United States registered for foreign trade was in 1914 only 1,066,288 gross tons. Most of the food and munition tonnage, which was immense, was carried up to 1917 in British or neutral ships, some in French and Italian. The Government then undertook the great task of improvising a merchant fleet (see Shipping). After a contest between those who insisted on steel ships and those who thought they could be supplemented by wooden vessels, construction was authorized in both materials. But the war was over before any considerable number of new ships were completed, and the wooden ones were a failure.
The Army and Navy at the Front.—The sea duty was strenuous but less dangerous than army service at the front. Beginning with patrol work on the American coast as soon as war was declared, the activities of the U.S. navy extended to coöperation with the British and French in the hunting down of submarines and the protection of convoys. No German fleet gained access to the high seas, but in 1918 one or two commerce destroyers succeeded in doing a little damage to Allied commerce. In the laying of the North Sea mine barrage, extending from the Orkneys to Norway and completed by July 29 1918, the U.S. minelayers placed 56,611 out of a total of 70,263 mines. The American navy had some part in blockading the Austrian coast of the Adriatic, and participated in maintaining that Allied command of the sea which in the end was fatal to Germany. One of the most remarkable feats accomplished by the United States during the war was the development of a convoy system whereby over 2,000,000 troops were carried safely 3,000 m. overseas to France. In this work the utmost secrecy was necessary and there was little to appeal to the public mind. On entering the war the United States was wholly unprepared to transport a large expeditionary force; but in June 1917 a few cruisers and transports were provided and the first troops sent across. This convoy was attacked by submarines, but no boat was damaged and no lives were lost. The convoy system was generally adopted. At intervals vessels assembled and sailed on definite routes under the protection of destroyers. Under Rear-Adml. Albert Cleaves the cruiser and transport service was rapidly increased, eventually comprising 24 cruisers and 42 transports, besides 4 French men-of-war and 13 foreign merchant vessels, manned by 3,000 officers and 41,000 men. By a system of zigzag courses, camouflage and protection by swift destroyers the German submarines were rendered almost powerless. Of the escort protecting the convoys up to the Armistice the United States furnished about 83% (Great Britain 14% and France 3%). Of American troops, according to the report of the Secretary of the Navy (1920), 911,047, or 43.75%, were carried on U.S. navy transports, and 41,534, or 2.5% on other U.S. ships. The rest were carried chiefly in British ships. The peak of movement for any one day was reached on July 9 1918 when 75 transports, carrying 171,630 men, were on the high seas. The record month also was that of July, during which 306,350 troops were embarked. So successful was the convoy system that not one east-bound American transport was torpedoed by the German submarines; only three were sunk on their return voyage—the “Antilles” (Oct. 17 1917, 70 lives lost), the “President Lincoln” (May 31 1918, 26 lives lost), and the “Covington” (July 1 1918, 6 lives lost). The “Mount Vernon,” returning from France, was torpedoed Sept. 5 1918, but made port; 36 lives were lost. Only three fighting ships were destroyed by the enemy—the patrol-boat “Alcedo,” a converted yacht (Nov. 5 1917, off the French coast, 20 lives lost), the torpedo-boat destroyer “Jacob Jones” (Dec. 6 1917, off the British coast, 62 lives lost), and the cruiser “San Diego” (July 19 1918, sunk by a mine off the New York coast, 6 lives lost). Interned German vessels were used as transports, the “Leviathan” alone (the former “Vaterland”) making ten voyages to France and carrying almost 100,000 troops. Other large U.S. transports were the “President Grant,” 9 voyages, carrying all told about 80,000 men; the “George Washington,” 9 voyages, about 46,000 men; the “America,” 9 voyages, about 37,000 men; the “Agamemnon,” 10 voyages, about 35,000 men.
The first notable appearance of American troops was at Cantigny May 28 1918. On June 6 there was a fierce engagement between the Americans and the Germans at Belleau Wood. During July 15-18 American troops, posted at Chateau-Thierry, desperately and successfully held the German forward movement. By Aug. about 1,500,000 soldiers had reached France. During Sept. 11-13 the Americans were given the task of clearing the Germans out of the St. Mihiel salient, their first independent action. From Sept. 26 to Nov. 11 the American army was engaged in the sanguinary Meuse-Argonne campaign, finally capturing Sedan and breaking the German lines. In these brief and territorially limited operations the American army, of which not more than 600,000 actually came within reach of the enemy, lost through casualties about one-third of those engaged.
The work of frenzied preparation and the steady drives on land and sea would have been impossible but for a new kind of organization of the War Department and other parts of the Government machinery at Washington. Under the Overman Act of May 20 1918 the President was authorized to rearrange the departmental work and to transfer bureaux according to his discretion. Large numbers of civilian men and women were brought into the War, Navy and other departments, some on salaries, others as “dollar-a-year men”—that is, men who for one reason or another could not enter the army but desired to serve their country at their own cost. The pace was severe, the administration complicated. The main object was to start things moving, without due regard, at times, to immediate results or costs. Plans were made with a view to a prolonged war. The sudden cessation of hostilities found the Government in possession of vast stores of supplies, now unneeded and inviting waste. There was a large accumulation of raw materials but comparatively little of finished product. The most glaring contrast between expenditures and results was in the construction of aircraft. In April 1918 Gutzon Borglum, the distinguished sculptor, and other civilians charged that the aircraft production was extravagant and inefficient. Charles E. Hughes was appointed by the President to make an investigation; he later reported that waste and confusion and inefficiency existed but that there was no wilful plunder of the Government on the part of anyone. Notwithstanding such errors large armies were speedily raised, dispatched and reached the front in time to give decisive aid to the Allies.
During the campaign of 1918 efforts were made to extend the possible field of enlistment by the passage of the Man Power bill of Aug. 27. All men between 18 and 45 were required to register with a view to service if needed, and 11,000,000 were registered. On Aug. 17 it was reported that some 3,000,000 men were with the colours at home and abroad. By a statute of Oct. 6 1917 provision was made for a system of military and naval insurance available for all men in the service. General Pershing officially reported that at the date of the Armistice, Nov. 11 1918, there were in Europe 2,071,463 American officers and men (approximately 82,000 officers). Only about 15,000 soldiers had returned to the United States. On the same date, according to figures compiled by the War Department, the number of troops encamped in the United States was 1,634,499, including 104,155 officers. The casualties up to Nov. 18 1918 were: killed in action, 35,556; died of battle wounds, 15,130; died of other wounds, 5,669; died of disease, 24,786; total deaths, 81,141; wounded 179,625; missing, 1,160; prisoners, 2,163; total casualties, 264,089.
War Activities at Home.—Immediately after the declaration of war the American people through official and unofficial channels made preparations to give support by civilian service and money contribution. One of the first war measures of President Wilson was to designate, April 14 1917, a Committee on Public Information, composed of the Secretaries of State, War and Navy, and one civilian, George Creel, journalist, as chairman. It was designed to be the official source of news relating to Allied war activities and issued a daily Bulletin, widely distributed for the special use of the press. Newspapers were requested to coöperate and to refrain from publishing unauthorized war news. The Committee kept up a lively system of publicity throughout the war, and at times was accused of providing favourable information even when things did not go altogether well. Its publicity work was aided by the National Board for Historical Service, created April 28 1918 at a conference of historians at Washington. Numerous pamphlets, maps and moving pictures were prepared and a nation-wide organization effected for furnishing a patriotic speaking service of “four-minute men,” who by arrangement with the purveyors of public amusements made brief talks before their audiences. By an executive Act of Oct. 12 1917 a Censorship Board was established for censoring all communications mail, cable, radio passing between the United States and foreign countries. Its members consisted of representatives of the Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy, Postmaster-General, War Trade Board, and the chairman of the Committee on Public Information. Control of all radio stations within the jurisdiction of the United States had been placed under the Secretary of the Navy April 6 1917; on April 28 the transmission of cable messages between the United States and foreign countries had been placed under the same supervision and international telephone and telegraph messages under the Secretary of War; censorship of the mails began Nov. 2, under the direction of the Post Office Department. This last provision was of great service in enforcing the Trading with the Enemy Act, in suppressing enemy propaganda, and in preventing the disclosure of military information to the enemy.
As early as Aug. 29 1916 a Council of National Defense, created by Act of Congress, had been approved and on March 3 1917 was fully organized. Its duty was the “coördination of industries and resources for the national security and welfare” and the “creation of relations which render possible in time of need the immediate concentration and utilization of the resources of the nation.” Composed of the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce and Labor, it utilized the counsel of an Advisory Commission of seven persons, each one a specialist in one branch of industry. After America entered the war this Council devised the ways and means for efficient production and transportation of the essentials of war. Under it were later created several special organizations such as the War Industries Board (succeeding the earlier General Munitions Board), created July 28 1917, for assuring the prompt equipping and arming, with the least possible disadjustment of normal industrial conditions, of whatsoever forces might be called into the service of the country; the Purchasing Commission, formed Aug. 28 1917, for coördinating the purchases in America of supplies for the Allies; the Emergency Fleet Corp. of the Shipping Board, incorporated April 16 1917 for the purchase, construction, equipment, lease, charter, maintenance, and operation of merchant vessels in the commerce of the United States (see Munitions). Early steps were taken also to conserve the supply of food and fuel. At the request of the Secretary of War (April 9 1917) the various states also organized State Councils of Defense, which supervised such matters as the conservation of food, sale of Liberty bonds and draft registration.
On April 21 1917 the Council of National Defense appointed a Woman's Committee, with Dr. Anna Howard Shaw as chairman, to coördinate the patriotic work of the women throughout the country. Divisions were organized in every state, and within a year four-fifths of all counties had subdivisions. Through these organizations the country's needs were promptly reported and all households mobilized for thrift. On April 2 1917 a General Medical Board was established under the Council. Through its aid medical officers were recruited, various committees were appointed and advice given in the interest of camp sanitation and health of the soldiers.
Hardly less important than production was transportation. The Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense created a Committee on Transportation and Communication, with Daniel Willard, president of the Baltimore & Ohio railway, as chairman. Already in Feb. 1917 a Special Committee on National Defense had been appointed by the American Railway Association. Railways were requested to adopt measures for the most efficient handling of freight. At a meeting of the presidents of the important railways, held in Washington, April 11, plans were made for organizing an executive committee, composed of the presidents of five railways and of two ex-officio members one each from the Council of National Defense and the Interstate Commerce Commission, with Fairfax Harrison as chairman. This Committee, popularly known as the Railroad War Board, undertook to secure unity of operation among all railways, to subordinate private interests, and to eliminate competition. It continued to work until Dec. 28 1917, when the President placed all railways under Government control. William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, was named as Director-General of Railroads, and under him was organized the U.S. Railroad Administration. By an Act approved March 21 1918 each railway, during the period of Federal control, was allowed compensation equivalent to its average income during the year ending June 30 1917; it was further provided that the roads should be kept in good repair and with equipment equal to that assumed by the Government. It was an emergency war measure and Federal control was not to last longer than 21 months after the end of the war. The country was divided into regions, each under a regional director, and methods were devised for rapid transportation of troops and supplies. The roads were returned to private ownership on March 1 1920. On April 11 1918 the important coastwise steamship lines also were placed under control of the Director-General of Railroads. At the latter's suggestion the four large express companies had combined in May 1918 under the name American Railway Express Co. which on Nov. 16 was placed wholly under control of the Railroad Administration.
Authorized by a joint resolution of Congress, dated July 10 1918, the Government assumed control of telegraph, telephone and marine cable systems, under the U.S. Telegraph and Telephone Administration, directed by Postmaster-General Albert S. Burleson. Radio control was already under the Navy Department. The telegraphs and telephones were taken over Aug. 1 1918. Contracts as to compensation were made with various companies, including the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., and the Western Union Telegraph Company. The Postal Telegraph-Cable Co. refused to enter into a contract, but was given compensation. There was considerable opposition to the taking over of the wires, due to the fact that the Postmaster-General was an avowed advocate of Government ownership, and it was surmised that he would use his influence for permanent Federal control. The cables were not taken over until Nov. 16 1918, five days after the signing of the Armistice, an action which aroused much criticism. They were returned to their owners May 3 1919. The telegraphs and telephones were returned Aug. 1 1919.
On Oct. 6 1915 a Naval Consulting Board had been organized, with Thomas A. Edison as president, and after the outbreak of the war it was associated with the Council of National Defense. Through various committees it studied such questions as those connected with life-saving appliances, explosives, mines and torpedos. At the same time many scientists were engaged in research throughout the country under the National Research Council, organized by the National Academy of Sciences with the support of President Wilson.
In order that available capital might be turned into channels contributing to the successful prosecution of the war, two agencies were devised. In Jan. 1918 the Secretary of the Treasury asked the Federal Reserve Board to pass upon all proposed issues of securities that should be referred to it. The Board formed a Capital Issues Committee for this purpose, and all banking institutions were asked to refrain from assisting in the floating of new securities until passed upon by the Committee. In general, approval was given only to such issues as contributed to the winning of the war or to the promoting of national welfare. This committee, however, had no legal status. Accordingly by Act of Congress, April 5 1918, there was created a Capital Issues Committee of the same nature, with authority to investigate and pass upon all issues, with certain specified exceptions, of securities of $100,000 or more. However, it was not empowered to require the submission of such securities to its investigation or to impose acceptance of its decision. The production of non-essentials was discouraged and many doubtful enterprises were repressed. The committee became inactive after Dec. 31 1918. It had investigated issues totalling about $3,800,000,000, of which amount about $900,000,000 had been disapproved. The same Act that created the Capital Issues Committee also created the War Finance Corp., the purpose of which was to encourage production of war essentials by providing funds for approved enterprises. With authorized capital of $500,000,000 furnished by the Government, it was placed under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury and four associates. Up to Oct. 31 1918, requests for loans had been made amounting to $323,329,000 and loans amounting to $67,716,000 granted. At that time the net earnings of the Corporation had reached $2,169,000. A special War Credits Board was created Nov. 20 1917 for supplying loans to producers of munitions of war, its policy being to supply funds when not available elsewhere. Up to May 1919 loans of about $248,000,000 had been made, of which sum $163,000,000 had been repaid.
By the Espionage Act of June 15 1917 the President was empowered to control exports. A Bureau of Export Licenses was created through which were issued permits for shipments to foreign countries. The object was to prevent, so far as possible, American goods from reaching the enemy. Later this Bureau was placed under the Exports Administrative Board, created Aug. 21 1917. After the passage of the Trading with the Enemy Act of Oct. 6 1917 this Board in turn was merged with the War Trade Board, organized by executive order of Oct. 12 1917, and consisting of representatives of the Departments of State, Treasury, Agriculture, and Commerce; the Shipping Board, and the Food Administration, with Vance McCormick as chairman. The War Trade Board undertook the control of imports as well as exports, and aimed to strengthen the blockade and to injure Germany's trade. With the aid of a Bureau of Enemy Trade a list was prepared of firms throughout the world with whom Americans should not trade. This Enemy Trading List was distributed for guidance among Americans engaged in foreign trade. Trade agreements were made with neutral countries, allowing them to receive American goods under conditions intended to prevent their reëxport to the enemy.
The importance of securing the coöperation of labour was recognized from the first. One of the six members appointed on the Advisory Commission of the Council of National Defense was Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor. On April 2 1917 Gompers called a conference at Washington, which was attended by representatives of labour, employers, and social workers. The result was the organization of a Committee on Labor of the Council of National Defense, designed to advise as to the relations between labour and employers during the war. Suggestions were issued through the Council of National Defense and requests made that no changes in existing standards be made without the Council's approval. Labour conditions were investigated, information published, and efforts made to settle disputes without interruption of work. During the summer of 1917 serious labour trouble arose in the west in connexion with the production of such important war materials as copper, lumber, and oil. A special commission, popularly known as the President's Mediation Commission, was appointed by the President, Sept. 19 1917, with William B. Wilson, Secretary of Labor, as chairman, and Prof. Felix Frankfurter, of the Harvard Law School, as secretary and counsel. A thorough study of labour conditions was made and many disputes settled. A report made Jan. 9 1918 formed the basis of all subsequent labour adjustments. In Jan. 1919 the Secretary of Labor called a conference, inviting employers and labour to send five representatives, each side to choose a chairman to preside on alternate days. Plans were formulated for governing relations between employers and employees, recommending, among other things, that the right of collective bargaining should be conceded on both sides; that no change should be made in existing conditions as to the “open” and “closed” shop; that women replacing men should be paid on an equal basis; and that the minimum wage should insure reasonable comfort for the worker's family.
Following a suggestion of the conference there was created, April 9 1918, a National War Labor Board, whose membership, chosen by the Secretary of Labor, was identical with that of the labour conference, and consisted of 12 members. It acted throughout the war as a “supreme court” in settling labour disputes. To supplement the work of this Board there was appointed, May 13 1918, a War Labor Policies Board, intended to be representative of all the Governmental producing agencies, for the purpose of standardizing wages, hours of labour, housing conditions, draft exemption, and employment of women.
A matter of great importance was the recruiting of labour and its directing into necessary industries. After America's entrance into the war several existing services under the Department of Labor were enlarged and new ones created. The U.S. Employment Service, under the Bureau of Immigration, with offices throughout the country, assumed Aug. 1 1917 the task of recruiting unskilled labour for all war industries, excepting farms and railways. Private employment bureaux were closed. Much skilled labour, also, was secured for shipyards and camp construction. From Jan. 1 1918 up to the signing of the Armistice, about 2,400,000 workers had been placed in essential industries. Later this Service undertook to find employment for ex-servicemen; and from Dec. 1 1918 to Sept. 27 1919 out of 758,474 registrants, 474,085 were duly placed (see Demobilization and Resettlement). The influx of labour in the industrial centres created a serious housing problem. In Feb. 1918 in the Department of Labor there was organized a Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation. On May 16 Congress appropriated $60,000,000 (later increased to $100,000,000) for providing adequate housing facilities for labourers and their families. By Act of June 4 1918 the President was authorized to form a corporation for carrying on this work. Accordingly, on July 10 1918 the U.S. Housing Corporation was incorporated under the laws of New York. The personnel was the same as that of the Bureau of Industrial Housing and Transportation. Elaborate preparations were made for erecting dwellings, dormitories, and cafeterias, but actual construction had not proceeded far before the Armistice.
In addition to these and other official organizations several private agencies were established which had the goodwill and aid of the authorities and raised large sums for the comfort and health of the soldiers in the service, the care of the sick and wounded and aid to refugees and non-combatants in the war zones. Chief among these was the American National Red Cross, which during a single drive raised $100,000,000 and was to be found wherever there was fighting, sickness, suffering, or starvation. At the date of the Armistice its total membership was 19,928,022; the number of women giving their services in Red Cross workrooms was 8,000,000; supplies had been furnished to the amount of almost $76,000,000. Special attention to the social welfare of soldiers in camps both in America and overseas was given by the Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A., Knights of Columbus, Salvation Army, Jewish Welfare Board, American Library Association, and War Camp Community Service. An attempt was made to coördinate the work of these various organizations through the War Department Commission on Training Camp Activities, which also acted in an advisory capacity in connexion with the prevention of the sale of intoxicating liquor and the discouragement of brothels near the camps.
The Government formally took charge of all foreign trade Feb. 15 1918, and seized not only all German ships interned in U.S. ports since the war broke out, but also ships under the Dutch and other neutral flags, and impressed them into war service. Under the Webb Act of April 10 1918 the Government went to the extent of permitting combinations for foreign trade, which would otherwise have been in violation of the anti-trust Acts.
Enemies in the United States.—While the people of the United States were practically a unit in favour of a vigorous prosecution of the war, there were a few, chiefly foreign-born or sons of foreign-born, who were opposed to the war or more often to the nations in concert with which and partly for whose salvation the United States was fighting. Ever since 1914 the country had been irritated and aroused by a series of illegal, violent and often murderous acts which were traced to German and Austrian agents. For example, determined efforts were made to blow up the international bridge at Vassalboro, Me., and the locks of the Welland Canal, by men acting within the boundaries of the United States. Bopp, German consul-general at San Francisco, was convicted and imprisoned for aiding German vessels in the Pacific in defiance of neutrality laws. Rintelen (after the war specially rewarded by the German Government) was sent to the Federal prison at Atlanta for aiding in placing bombs on outgoing vessels with intent to destroy them. In 1910 Eugene V. Debs, Presidential candidate four times of the Socialist party, was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for advising men not to enlist in the army. Victor Berger, member of Congress from Wisconsin, was convicted and sentenced for disloyalty, then reëlected to Congress, which refused to seat him.
The I.W.W. took advantage of the general confusion to engage in a campaign of disturbance and violence in the west; as many as 97 leaders of that order, including William Haywood, were convicted of disloyal conduct by one court at one time. These prosecutions were supported by the Trading with the Enemy Act of Oct. 6 1917, the Espionage Act of June 15 1917, and the Act of April 18 1918 as to alien enemies. Several thousand German and Austrian citizens who were believed to be dangerous were interned. On Dec. 19 1918 two pro-German editors were punished for disloyal utterances in a German-American paper. These prosecutions against American-born citizens, naturalized citizens and unnaturalized foreigners continued for two years after the end of hostilities. The authorities were particularly incensed by an open propaganda carried on by Russians and others in favour of Bolshevism as a principle of Government and a substitute for the institutions of the United States. In Dec. 1919 some 250 alien anarchists were placed on a Government transport and taken to Russia. On Dec. 25 1921 President Harding commuted the sentences of Debs and 23 others who had been convicted under the Espionage Act, but a number of persons remained in jail under sentences for disloyal action.
The Armistice and the 1918 Elections.—All at once this tremendous energy, these costly preparations, this enrolling of millions of men, this unceasing action of the great national relief societies, were interrupted by the end of the war in western Europe. The fierce campaign of 1918 was the final effort of the Germans. For the second time in the war they came almost within striking distance of Paris, but were repelled by the bravery of the French and British combined with the new armies from America. No one can say positively that the American army in the field was the chief element that insured victory; but there is not a doubt that the triumphant success in raising, drilling and transporting incessantly provisions and supplies, was to the German mind convincing and disheartening evidence that the Government and the people of the United States, with all their power and potentiality, would stand by the Allies indefinitely. November 11 1918, by the Armistice in which the American armies shared, the Germans admitted their defeat and at once began to evacuate the occupied regions and also portions of their own national territory.
This climax came a few days after the state and Congressional elections of the autumn of 1918. The war was a national war. Enlistments, whether volunteer or by draft, had no relation to politics. Nobody paid any attention to the party affiliations of officers or men or civilian administrators and aids. Nevertheless, Oct. 15, a few days before the elections, President Wilson took the strange course of issuing a circular letter urging the voters to return a Democratic majority to the Senate and the House, because, if the Republicans were successful, it would be considered an imputation upon the President. The warning was in vain; in fact, it probably helped the Republicans materially. The result of the election made the new House decidedly Republican and the Senate Republican by two votes. It was apparent, therefore, that the Administration in making the necessary adjustments after the war must take into account the preponderance of the opposition in both Houses of Congress. Several changes came about in the Cabinet at the end of 1918. McAdoo resigned and was followed in the Treasury by Carter Glass, a representative from Virginia, who gave way in turn to Houston, transferred from the Department of Agriculture, where he was succeeded by Meredith. February 13 1920 Secretary Lansing was practically removed by President Wilson for “insubordination,” and was succeeded in the State Department by Bainbridge Colby.
Throughout the year 1918 the influence of Theodore Roosevelt was steadily growing. He was by his whole nature a supporter of the war. He and his four sons volunteered for service, though, as he put it with plaintive humour: “Wilson has kept me out of the war.” He was recognized as a Republican and the most powerful Republican. Even his strongest political enemies admitted that the party must reckon with him. As the months passed it became clear that he would be nominated by the Republican Convention of 1920 and in all probability would be elected President. But he died suddenly, Jan. 6 1919, leaving behind him a long roll of achievements and a place among the greatest of American statesmen and world figures.
Peace and the Treaty.—Two great tasks remained when active war ceased. The first was to secure a settlement and register it in a treaty or series of treaties, thus returning so far as possible to normal international relations. The second was to reconstitute the world and to protect it, if possible, against future wars. A third task for the United States was its internal reconstruction by putting an end to the special war laws and conditions and by readjusting business, transportation and labour.
The first two of these tasks are described in detail elsewhere (see Peace Conference and League of Nations). In addition to the suggestions made in the winter of 1916-7 President Wilson put forward on Jan. 9 1918, during the height of the war, “fourteen points” (see Wilson, Woodrow) which he considered a necessary basis for the peace of the nations and a subsequent world agreement. These points he enlarged in later addresses to twenty-seven. The Germans afterwards asserted that the points were an essential part of the Armistice. One week after the signature of that document President Wilson decided that he would attend the necessary Peace Conference in person. As soon as Congress assembled he announced that purpose and designated as peace commissioners with himself four others Secretary Lansing, Col. House of Texas, his most intimate friend and political adviser, Gen. Bliss of the army, and Mr. White, formerly minister to France. These commissioners were not passed upon by the Senate, only one of them was a Republican, and not one was a member of either the Senate or the House. To Republicans it seemed that the President meant it to be a Democratic peace as well as a Democratic war. In the Peace Conference President Wilson, as representative of the richest and most powerful nation in the world, became one of the four representatives of the four Great Powers Great Britain, France, Italy and the United States who engineered the Treaty.
President Wilson was deeply interested in the League of Nations; and, when he found that the French were not ready to adopt such a plan without some guarantee of protection, he signed a treaty of alliance between the United States, France and Great Britain pledging the United States to join in war in case of the invasion of France by Germany. No one familiar with the temper of Congress and of the American people should have supposed that such a treaty would be ratified. President Wilson returned home for a short stay (Feb. 24-March 4), defending the general terms of the Treaty and the Covenant of the League of Nations, of which he was the most significant draftsman. He returned to Paris and on June 28 1919, he and the four commissioners signed for the United States the formal Treaty of Versailles, including the Covenant of the League of Nations, which was interwoven into the text of the Treaty. Upon one of the subjects covered by the territorial adjustments of the Treaty in which the people of the United States felt a deep national interest—the continued occupation of Shantung by the Japanese—the President reluctantly gave way and consented to its retention by the Japanese, in spite of the general adverse opinion in the United States.
The Treaty had many powerful supporters in the United States among all parties, particularly ex-President Taft, the League of Free Nations and the League to Enforce Peace, in which A. Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University, was the leading spirit. The Senate, which had the constitutional right to pass upon the Treaty by a two-thirds majority, was divided into strongly opposed groups. Most of the Democrats, under the lead of Senator Hitchcock, followed the President in favouring the Treaty with the Covenant as it stood. A group of Republicans, headed by Senator Lodge of Massachusetts, favoured “amendments” to the Treaty and “reservations” as to the League which would have maimed but not killed the two projects. The contest ostensibly centred about Art. X. of the Treaty, under which the members of the League undertook “to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all members of the League,” and agreed that in case of need the Council should “advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.” This group expressed fear lest the United States be drawn into foreign wars and insisted that “no American soldiers or sailors must be sent to fight in other lands at the bidding of the League of Nations.” The President, on the other hand, regarded Art. X. as the heart of the whole Treaty. Another group wished reservations that would practically destroy the document. A small but implacable junto, headed by Borah of Idaho and Johnson of California, were against both the Treaty and the Covenant in any form or with any reservations.
The President declined at the critical moment to accept either amendments or reservations, except certain minor alterations approved by himself. Senator Knox of Pennsylvania proposed a resolution intended to put an end to the fictitious state of war with Germany. It was passed by both Houses, but was vetoed by the President (May 27 1920). After strenuous debate and by a test vote, Nov. 19 1919, the Senate refused to ratify the Peace Treaty with reservations the vote being 55 to 39 in favour, but not the necessary two-thirds. Thus after five months' discussion the Treaty was rejected, and the United States was left in the absurd situation of remaining at war with Germany and Austria though all hostilities had ceased a year before.
President Wilson until the last moment believed that he could force ratification of the Treaty by his logic and influence. September 26, while on a speaking trip through the country in favour of the Treaty, he was struck down by paralysis; when he rallied sufficiently to think of public business he continued to hope that he would recover. His Cabinet and closest friends joined in an attempt to minimize the extent of the President's illness, though for months he was unable to see even members of his Cabinet. Had he possessed his usual mental force, the result would probably have been the same. The difficulty with the Treaty and the League was that both were signed by a body of so-called commissioners who represented no lawful authority except that of the President. The only one who held public office or responsibility was Lansing, who by his own account fundamentally differed from the President at Paris but always surrendered his convictions. Whether President Wilson, or the statesmen who opposed him in the Senate, had the clearer view of the state of the world and the duties of the United States, whether the opposition could have been avoided by taking counsel with a larger group of competent men, cannot now be decided. The fundamental fact is that the opposition to the Covenant was strong enough to prevent the ratification of the Treaty even with serious reservations: the representatives of the United States at Paris were out of accord with the constitutional treaty-making power of the nation. Since the President had the last word in framing treaties, nothing could be done.
Rehabilitation.—The task of post bellum economic adjustment was entirely within the control of the people of the United States, except so far as foreign trade was involved. The census of 1920 showed a pop. of 105,000,000 in the continental area and 12,000,000 more in the dependencies. At the end of the war the Federal Government by war statutes was controlling the food supply and its distribution, manufactures, the coal supply and shipments, railways, telegraphs and telephones, foreign commerce and shipping, the care of the property of aliens through an Alien Property Custodian, as well as the conditions of interstate labour and of labour in other fields, through a War Labor Administrator, and a National War Labor Board. For foreign commerce there was still a Shipping Board, an Emergency Fleet Board, a War Trade Board and a War Finance Board. Two million American soldiers were overseas and wanted to come home as soon as possible. The average cost of living was about 80% higher than in 1914. The United States had spent on the war about $35,500,000,000, including $9,500,000,000 loaned to the Allies. Congress was willing enough to impose high taxes, and the people were ready to pay them; but expenditures after peace came continued on a scale far beyond any previous experience of the country. This complicated condition was to be readjusted by a Government made up of a President physically unable to perform his duties, a Senate and a House opposed to him in politics, and a group of abnormal war agencies. No swift or judicious result could be expected.
In the course of six months after the Armistice, about two-thirds of the troops were brought back, leaving behind them enormous stores, large parts of which were sold at heavy discounts to European Governments. General Pershing, the only military man of high rank whose achievements caught the public eye, received the reward of the permanent rank of general. By 1920 the only American troops left in Europe were an Army of Occupation of about 17,000. In Sept. 1919 the American Legion incorporated by Act of Congress was formed to look after the interests of the ex-soldiers.
Two constitutional amendments crystallized some of the results of the war. The various prohibition measures passed by Congress, on the ground that the use of liquor impeded the success of the war, were powerful aids to the general arguments against liquor. Many of the states had absolutely prohibited the sale of liquor and on Jan. 16 1919 the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the manufacture, sale, transportation or gift of intoxicants (submitted in 1917) was ratified by 36 states (eventually 45 states). It went into final effect Jan. 15 1920, enforced by the Volstead Act (passed Oct. 28 1919, over the President's veto), which declared all liquors containing more than one-half of 1% of alcohol to be intoxicating and therefore prohibited (see Prohibition).
The active war patriotism and service of women, together with the votes they already enjoyed, caused Congress June 1919 to submit the 19th Constitutional Amendment, annulling all sex restrictions of suffrage. It was warmly supported by the former Progressives and by President Wilson, received its 36th ratification Aug. 24 1920, and went into force August 26.
Railways and telephones were restored to their owners. Federal control over fuel stopped; but the abnormal number of executives and clerks in Washington and elsewhere remained under pay. Congress provided for the men disabled in the war by establishing hospitals and by giving to the weak and maimed an opportunity to acquire some trade or calling by which they could make a living. This system enlarged the functions of the Federal Vocation Board created by the Vocational Education Act of Feb. 23 1917. Trade and oversea transportation were discouraged by the financial conditions of the European nations that had been accustomed to trade with the United States. All the war countries in Europe except Great Britain were on a paper-money basis, and a dollar in gold in Oct. 1920 would buy 15 French francs, 26 Italian lire or 71 German marks; even the English sovereign was as compared with the dollar at a discount of 25%. These conditions demoralized international exchange. Transportation in the United States was much disturbed because of the great increase in the money cost of labour and supplies. Feb. 28 1920 Congress passed the Esch-Cummins Transportation Act for the return of the railways to their owners, with certain guarantees of compensation for a period of six months and a stipulation directing the Interstate Commerce Commission to make rates yielding a return of 5½% to 6% for a period of two years. Sea traffic was confused, and in 1921 became almost profitless because of the increased number of ships which were competing for a decreasing amount of business.
The most serious trouble was with labour. Railwaymen and many other skilled employees received wages amounting in some cases to more than double the figures of 1914, and naturally were unwilling to relinquish their advantages. Whenever there was an attempt to reduce wages there was a strike. New York and other ports were several times almost paralysed by strikes of longshoremen or officers and crews of ships. In Aug. 1919, under President Wilson's direction, the Government threatened to use military force to break a railway strike. The police force of Boston struck Sept. 9 1919 as a protest against an order not to join the American Federation of Labor. The strikers stood by and saw without protest scenes of riot and pillage. They were all dismissed and Governor Coolidge of Massachusetts, in replying to a telegram from Samuel Gompers, declared that “there is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.” In 1916 there was a strike of 600,000 bituminous coal-miners in the west. Notwithstanding conferences and boards and mutual understanding there was no national or state machinery that could effectively deal with these troubles.
Political Overturn of 1920.—As the months passed, dissatisfaction grew. The soldiers received in many states a money bonus varying in amount, and demanded a similar bonus from Congress. The general public complained bitterly against the “high cost of living,” while many corporations continued to make war profits in time of peace. Salaried men, people living on investments, holders of life-insurance policies and depositors in savings banks, saw their incomes and expectations reduced by the fall in the purchasing power of the dollar. The Democratic party was paralysed by internal difficulties over the Peace Treaty and by lack of the trusted leadership of the President. The Republicans had broken the foreign policy of the Administration and were in possession of a majority of both Houses, but had no fixed policy of foreign relations or reconstruction.
In the winter and spring of 1920 Presidential candidates began to develop. General Leonard Wood, formerly chief-of-staff of the army, who had been refused a foreign command during the war, was put forward by a large group of Republicans. Governor Lowden of Illinois had a considerable following. A movement was made in favour of Hoover, well known for his services on the Commission for Relief in Belgium and other relief agencies and also as Federal Food Administrator. When the Convention assembled at Chicago June 9 1920, it proved to be impossible to nominate any of the three, and Senator Harding of Ohio received the nomination backed by a strong group of stand-patters to whom, however, he seems to have made no pledges as to policy or appointment. Governor Coolidge of Massachusetts was put on the ticket as vice-president.
The Democratic Convention held at San Francisco was confronted with a similar difficulty. Woodrow Wilson had already served two terms and was known to be physically unable to perform the duties of the office. The leading candidates were McAdoo of New York, formerly Secretary of the Treasury, and Attorney-General Palmer of Pennsylvania; but after many ballots the nomination went to Governor Cox of Ohio, a man little known in national affairs, with Franklin D. Roosevelt, a cousin of the former president, as vice-president. The Republicans had the lead in the campaign, in which for the first time women were eligible to vote in every state. The result was a complete triumph for the Republicans, who elected Harding by a popular majority of about seven million and an electoral majority of 404 against 127 for Cox, besides securing solid majorities in both Houses of Congress.
March 4 1921 Woodrow Wilson accompanied the President-Elect to the Capitol as the last act of his official life. He had been president for eight years, during six of which he was the undisputed leader of his party and of the nation. Except for a few not very important measures passed over his veto, up to the summer of 1919 he had his way with Congress and with the people. He was responsible for a group of important revenue, banking and labour laws. He had a great hold on the affections and opinions of millions of his fellow citizens, and maintained the country's dignity in war and peace. He had the people behind him in entering the war. He stood behind the measures for organizing and transporting millions of American soldiers. For a time in Paris he was the foremost man in the world, and he succeeded in inducing foreign statesmen, not much interested in, and at heart disliking, the project, to accept a League of Nations. At the height of his career he suddenly lost control as war president of the whole country, was no longer accepted as unquestioned head of his party, and ceased to be the one man who could appeal from Congress to the people. Before illness disabled him, he had already lost his hold upon the minds of the majority of his fellow countrymen.
His work was transferred to a new man less experienced in politics, for a short time a quiet member of the U.S. Senate whose task it was to take over the discordant elements and build out of them a national policy. President Harding accepted this new responsibility and began his administration under favouring auspices. An excellent impression was created through out the country by his choice of a Cabinet above the average, several members being chosen in the face of strong opposition from the professional politicians. The members were: Charles E. Hughes, State; Andrew W. Mellon, Treasury; John W. Weeks, War; Harry M. Daugherty, Attorney-General; Will H. Hays, Postmaster-General; Edwin Denby, Navy; Albert B. Fall, Interior; Henry C. Wallace, Agriculture; Herbert C. Hoover, Commerce; James J. Davis, Labor. The new President early showed tact and ability in leading his party in favour of constructive action. Within four months the epoch-making bill providing for a Federal budget system was passed by Congress and approved (June 9 1921). This was in line with the President's constant appeal for economy, which led him also to urge postponement of legislation for the grant of a Federal bonus to ex-service men in view of the existing burden of taxation. He displayed keen interest in all attempts to restore, business to a sound basis and urged prompt action in the assistance of the railways. By nature conservative, he laboured to bring the country back to a state of “normalcy,” to use a favourite word of his own. Treaties of peace negotiated with Germany, Austria and Hungary were ratified by the U.S. Senate Oct. 18 1921.
Of world-wide importance was his call for a conference of the different Powers bordering on and interested in the Pacific Ocean, to be held in Washington and to discuss both Pacific questions and the question of limitation of armament.
The conference assembled Nov. 11 1921, “Armistice Day,” and closed Feb. 6 1922. The participants were the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, China and Japan. Important agreements were signed:—to limit construction of capital warships; against improper use of submarines, and against gas warfare; for maintenance of Pacific insular possessions; and on other questions involving relations with Japan and China (see Washington Conference).
Authorities.—I. Bibliographies:—For general works and specific references see: Channing, Hart and Turner, Guide to American History (1912); and the footnotes and Critical Essay in F. A. Ogg, National Progress, 1907-17 (1918). For the World War: H. H. B. Meyer, The United States at War; Organizations and Literature (1917); and A Check List of the Literature and other Material in the Library of Congress on the European War (1918); A. B. Hart, America at War (1918); C. M. Dutcher, A Selected Critical Bibliography of Publications in English Relating to the World War (1918); S. B. Harding, The Study of the Great War (1918); A. B. Hart and A. O. Lovejoy, Handbook of the War for Public Speakers (4th ed. 1919); N. M. Trenholme, A Syllabus of the Historical Background and Issues (1919).
II. General Histories:—The New York Times Current History (1914-); Charles A. Beard, Contemporary American History, 1877-1913 (1914); F. A. Ogg, National Progress, 1907-17 (1918); P. L. Haworth, The United States in Our Own Time (1920); F. L. Paxson, Recent History of the United States (1921).
III. World War Histories:—H. H. Powers, America among the Nations (1917); John S. Bassett, Our War with Germany: A History (1919); F. W. Halsey, The Literary Digest History of the World War Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources (10 vols., 1919-20); Frank H. Simonds, History of the World War (5 vols., 1917-20) ; Harpers' Pictorial Library of the World War (12 vols., 1920); J. B. McMaster, The United States in the World War (2 vols., 1918-20); Brig-Gen. Charles G. Dawes, A Journal of the Great War (1922).
IV. World War Diplomacy:—C. Seymour, The Diplomatic Background of the War (1916); Munroe Smith, American Diplomacy in the European War (1916); Lindsay Rogers, America's Case Against Germany (1917) and The War Aims of the United States (1918); James W. Gerard, My Four Years in Germany (1917) and Face to Face with Kaiserism (1918); E. E. Robinson and V. J. West, The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1917 (1917); Brand Whitlock, Belgium; a Personal Narrative (2 vols., 1918); Elihu Root, The United States and the War (1918); Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (1918); James B. Scott, Diplomatic Correspondence Between the United States and Germany 1914-1917 (1918); Carl R. Fish, American Diplomacy (3rd ed., 1919); David J. Hill, Present Problems in Foreign Policy (1919); Bernard M. Baruch, The Making of the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty (1920); Adml. William S. Sims, The Victory at Sea (1920); Johann H. von Bernstorff, My Three Years in America (1920); Robert Lansing, The Peace Negotiations (1921) and The Big Four (1921).
V. Biographies:—W. R. Thayer, Theodore Roosevelt; an Intimate Biography (1919); J. B. Bishop, Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters (2 vols., 1920); H. J. Ford, Woodrow Wilson: the Man and His Work (1916); W. E. Dodd, Woodrow Wilson and His Work (1920); Joseph Tumulty, Woodrow Wilson as I Know Him (1921); C. Seymour, Woodrow Wilson and the World War (1921).
VI. Works of Public Men:—William H. Taft, Presidential Addresses and State Papers, 1900-1910 (1910); Tom L. Johnson, My Story (1911); Robert M. La Follette, La Follette's Autobiography (1913); Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom (1913); also Selected Addresses and Public Papers, ed. by A. B. Hart (1918) and State Papers and Addresses (Review of Reviews, 1918); Theodore Roosevelt, America and the World War (1915), The Foes of Our Own Household (1916), Fear God and Take Your Own Part (1916), and National Strength and International Duty (1917); H. C. Lodge, War Addresses, 1915-1917 (1917); E. J. David, Leonard Wood on National Issues (1920); Champ Clark, My Quarter Century of American Politics (1920); Warren G. Harding, Rededicating America (1920) and Our Common Country (1921).
VII. Special Topics:—C. R. Van Hise, The Conservation of Natural Resources in the United States (1910); S. J. Duncan-Clark, The Progressive Movement; its Principles and its Programme (1913); B. P. De Witt, The Progressive Movement (1915); A. B. Hart, The Monroe Doctrine: an Interpretation (1916); W. R. Castle, Jr., Wake Up, America: A Plea for the Recognition of our Individual and National Responsibilities (1916); Theodore Roosevelt, The Great Adventure: Present-Day Studies in American Nationalism (1918); F. A. Cleveland and J. Shafer, Democracy in Reconstruction (1919); Guy Emerson, The New Frontier: A Study of the American Liberal Spirit (1920); J. H. Hammond, and J. W. Jenks, Great American Issues (1921); Vice-Adml. Cleaves, A History of the Transport-Service (1921).
VIII. Compendiums, Documents and Chronology:—American Year Book (1910-19); New International Year Book (1909-); New York Times Current History (1914-); Literary Digest (1910-); McLaughlin and Hart, Cyclopaedia of American Government (3 vols., 1916); Committee on Public Information, War Information Series; Political Science Quarterly, Supplements; Record of Political Events (Annual); American Journal of International Law (Quarterly). (A. B. H.)
- These figures indicate the volume and page number of the previous article.
- Table adapted from E. B. Rosa, Expenditures and Revenues of the Federal Government, Table 14.
- Expenses of Railroad and Administration, Shipping Board and other special war activities.
- Post-office war revenue given as annual average for the two years collected, but averaged over three years, 1917-9, in computing the total.
- The minus sign indicates an excess of public debt receipts over public debt disbursements.
- Consists principally of seignorage in 1910-6; and of loans to European Governments in 1917-9 and in 1920.
- Bureau of Census, Financial Statistics of States, 1919, p. 30.
- Amounts for the United States represent the total payments of the United States less payments for investments (consisting principally of obligations of foreign Governments), payments for reduction of the public debt, and the excess of national bank-notes retired over deposits for their retirement.
- From E. B. Rosa, Expenditures and Revenues of the Federal Government. Tables 18, 19.
- Data not available.
- Computed and inserted by the writer of this article.
- Corporations only—excess tax measured by net income.