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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/540

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Their peculiar but perfectly intelligible speech began a degradation into a puzzling jargon. African superstitions, little if any trace of which remained among their kindred in Virginia and Kentucky, regained their hold. Marriage and a respect therefor, which had been tolerably well affirmed, tended to disappear. All trace of good thus vanished from the system.

Although the great plantation, of the Mississippi type, was a relatively novel feature in American slaveholding, it was evidently the only largely profitable method of using slave labor. In the household system the care of the children, the aged, and the infirm, the unbusinesslike management of the labor, and the tendency to slipshod methods which with negroes can only be corrected by strict discipline, made ordinary farming unremunerative. It is evident that the profit, other than that in mere money, which the institution in the earlier state had brought to master and slave was rapidly diminishing, and that any further maintenance of it would have been calamitous. Though we may regret that it was ended by the civil war, it is difficult to see any other way in which it could have been terminated, or any profit which could have been gained by postponing the crisis.




ONE of the conspicuous results of cheapened transportation and the facility with which the products of field, forest, mine, and factory can be transferred to the consumer has been the rapid increase in population of all our cities. In 1890 over forty-five per cent of the population of New York State (nearly six millions) was concentrated in four cities, while it is estimated that the greater city of New York contains at present not less and probably more than fifty per cent of the State's population. Nor is this tendency characteristic only of American cities, though the general impression seems to be that it is more conspicuous with us. In fact, many European cities (notably those of Germany) have outstripped ours in growth. In 1870 Berlin had about 150,000 less people than New York; in 1890 it had over 73,000 more. In 1875 Hamburg exceeded Boston in population by but 6,000, while in 1890 the German city was more than 121,000 ahead.

Meanwhile the rural population the world over has increased very slowly, or has positively decreased. The massing together of large numbers of people, without proper regard to sanitary con-