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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/349

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TRANSPORTATION—THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

very high authority says it is the "carnal mind which is enmity against God," and "out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries." Man is not more of a "brute" for cultivating his body, but a better man if he cultivate both body and mind: body, first in the order of development; mind, second in order of time, but the crown and king of the whole.

 

TRANSPORTATION AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
By JOHN C. WELCH.

MOST of the great fortunes of the United States—those that are unduly great—are ascribed to the rapid development of the means of transportation and the facility with which those means have been centered in comparatively few hands. The general sense of the nation is that this concentration of power, of wealth, is an evil, and that it would be much better if we could have had the development of the transportation interests that we have had with a greater diffusion of the power and wealth that have attended them. The founders of our republic thought they were establishing civil institutions where enormous fortunes would be comparatively unknown. A hundred years have hardly passed—certainly not a long time in national life—when the largest individual fortune of the world is accredited to the United States, and there are others that approximate this in magnitude, and many of them dating back to less than one fifth of a century. In the matter of private wealth, we have clearly departed from the ideas of our fathers. In this departure is there adherence to the stern principles of republicanism with which our country started out, and have these growths been fortuitous, exceptional, easily swallowed up in the general growth and prosperity of the country, so that the spirit of our institutions is unchanged, and are these fortunes to be dissipated in an early succeeding generation, and not to be replaced by others of equal or greater magnitude and greater in number? The instincts of the nation are that danger lurks in any other solution of these inquiries than in the line of suppression of causes that have made these fortunes possible. Nor can the subject be dismissed on the ground that, in the development of the use of the physical forces of steam and electricity that this generation has seen, there is inherent this aggregation of wealth in few hands. The disproof of this is that in European countries that have enjoyed a like favorable development with ourselves in wealth, barring that which came from our virgin territory, such developments of the physical forces in their administration and the accompanying emoluments have not been centralized upon a few.