History of the United States eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 731 pages of information about History of the United States.

=Abuses in Political Life.=—­Dunning, Reconstruction, pp. 281-293; see criticisms in party platforms in Stanwood, History of the Presidency, Vol.  I; Bryce, American Commonwealth (1910 ed.), Vol.  II, pp. 379-448; 136-167.

=Studies of Presidential Administrations.=—­(a) Grant, (b) Hayes, (c) Garfield-Arthur, (d) Cleveland, and (e) Harrison, in Haworth, The United States in Our Own Time, or in Paxson, The New Nation (Riverside Series), or still more briefly in Elson.

=Cleveland Democracy.=—­Haworth, The United States, pp. 164-183; Rhodes, History of the United States, Vol.  VIII, pp. 240-327; Elson, pp. 857-887.

=Analysis of Modern Immigration Problems.=—­Syllabus in History (New York State, 1919), pp. 110-112.

CHAPTER XVIII

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GREAT WEST

At the close of the Civil War, Kansas and Texas were sentinel states on the middle border.  Beyond the Rockies, California, Oregon, and Nevada stood guard, the last of them having been just admitted to furnish another vote for the fifteenth amendment abolishing slavery.  Between the near and far frontiers lay a vast reach of plain, desert, plateau, and mountain, almost wholly undeveloped.  A broad domain, extending from Canada to Mexico, and embracing the regions now included in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, the Dakotas, and Oklahoma, had fewer than half a million inhabitants.  It was laid out into territories, each administered under a governor appointed by the President and Senate and, as soon as there was the requisite number of inhabitants, a legislature elected by the voters.  No railway line stretched across the desert.  St. Joseph on the Missouri was the terminus of the Eastern lines.  It required twenty-five days for a passenger to make the overland journey to California by the stagecoach system, established in 1858, and more than ten days for the swift pony express, organized in 1860, to carry a letter to San Francisco.  Indians still roamed the plain and desert and more than one powerful tribe disputed the white man’s title to the soil.

THE RAILWAYS AS TRAIL BLAZERS

=Opening Railways to the Pacific.=—­A decade before the Civil War the importance of rail connection between the East and the Pacific Coast had been recognized.  Pressure had already been brought to bear on Congress to authorize the construction of a line and to grant land and money in its aid.  Both the Democrats and Republicans approved the idea, but it was involved in the slavery controversy.  Indeed it was submerged in it.  Southern statesmen wanted connections between the Gulf and the Pacific through Texas, while Northerners stood out for a central route.

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History of the United States from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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