Зображення сторінки

be divided between that city and Toledo, distributing benefits according to the degree of proximity.

If we had no foreign commerce, and all other circumstances were equal, the greatest cities would grow up along the line of the central industrial power, in its westward progress, each new city becoming greater than its predecessor, by the amount of power accumulated on the continent, for concentration from point to point of its progress. But as there are points from one resting place to another, possessing greatly superior advantages for commerce over all others, and near enough the center line of industrial power to appropriate the commerce which it offers, to these points we must look for our future great cities. To become chief of these, there must be united in them the best facilities for transport, by water and by land. It is too plain to need proof, that these positions are occupied by Cleveland, Toledo and Chicago.

But we have a foreign commerce beyond the continent of North America, by means of the Atlantic Ocean, bearing the proportion, we will allow, of one to twenty of the domestic commerce within the continent. This proportion will seem small to persons who have not directed particular attention to the subject. It is, nevertheless, within the truth. The proof of this is difficult, only because we can not get the figures that represent the numberless exchanges and equivalents among each other, in such a community as


If we suppose ten of the twenty-nine millions of our North American community to earn, on an average, $1.25 per day, 312 days in the year, it will make an aggregate of nearly four thousand millions of dollars. If we divide the yearly profits of industry equally between capital and labor, the proportion of labor would be but $1.25 per day, for five millions of the twenty-nine millions. The average earnings of the twenty-nine millions, men, women and children, to produce two thousand millions yearly, would be 22 cents a day, for 312 working days. This is rather under than over the true amount; for it would furnish less than $70 each for yearly support, without allowing anything for accumulation.

Of the four thousand millions of yearly production, we can not suppose that more than one thousand millions is consumed by the producers, without being made the subject of exchange. This will leave three thousand millions as the subjects of commerce, internal and external. Of this, all must be set down for internal commerce, inasmuch as most of that which enters the channel of external commerce, first passes through several hands, between the producer and exporter. Foreign commerce represents but one transaction. The export is sold, and the import is bought with the means the export furnishes. Not so with domestic commerce. Most of the products which are its subjects, are bought and sold many times between the producer and ultimate consumer. Let us state a case :

I purchase a pair of bcots from a boot dealer in Toledo. He has purchased them from a wholesale dealer in New York, who has bought them of the manufacturer in Newark. Tke wanufacturer has bought the chief material


[ocr errors]

of a leather dealer in New-York, who has made the purchases which fill his large establishment from small dealers in hides. These have received their supply from butchers. The butchers have bought of the drovers, and the drovers of the farmers. If the boots purchased are of French manufacture, they have been the subject of one transaction represented in foreign trade, to-wit: their purchase in Paris by the American importer; whereas, they they are the subject of several transactions in our domestic trade. The importer sells them to the jobber in New-York; the jobber sells them to the Toledo dealer, who sells them to me.

It can scarcely admit of a doubt, that the domestic commerce of North America bears a proportion as large as twenty to one of its foreign commerce. Has internal commerce a tendency to concentrate in few points, like foreign commerce ? its tendency to concentration less than that of foreign commerce? No difference, in this respect, can be perceived. All commerce develops that law of its nature, to the extent of its means. Foreign commerce concentrates chiefly at those ports where it meets the greatest internal commerce. The domestic commerce being the great body, draws to it the smaller body of foreign commerce. New York, by her canals, her railroads, and her superior position for coastwise navigation, has drawn to herself most of our foreign commerce, because she has become the most convenient point for the concentration of our domestic trade. It is absurd to suppose she can always, or even for half a century, remain the best point for the concentration of domestic trade; and, as the foreign commerce will every year bear a less and less proportion to the domestic commerce, it can hardly be doubted that, before the end of one century from this time, the great center of commerce of all kinds, for North America, will be on a lake harbor. Supposing the center of population (now west of Pittsburg) shall average a yearly movement westward, for the next fifty years, of twenty miles; this would carry it one thousand miles northwestward from Pittsburg, and some five hundred or more miles beyond the central point of the natural resources of the country. It would pass Cleveland in five years, and Toledo in eleven years, reaching Chicago, or some point south of it, in less than twenty-five years. The geographical center of industrial power is probably now in north-eastern Pennsylvania, having but recently left the city of New York, where it partially now for a time remains.. This center will move at a somewhat slower rate than the center of population. Supposing its movement to be fifteen miles a year, it will reach Cleveland in twenty years, Toledo in twenty-seven years, and Chicago in forty-five years. If ten years be the measure of the annual movement northwestward of the industrial central point of the continent, Cleveland would be reached in thirty years, Toledo in forty, and Chicago in sixty-three years. It is well known, that the rate at which the center of population in the United States is now moving westward, is over fifteen miles a year, and that it is moving with an accelerated speed. It is obvious that the center of population, and the center of industrial power, now widely separated, by the nature of the country between New York and Cleveland, by the super


iority in productive power of the old Northern and Middle States over the Northwest; and still more, by the inferiority of industrial power of the plantation States, compared with the region lying north of them, will have a constant tendency to approximate, but can never become identical. The constant tendency of the center of industrial power will be northward, as well as westward. This will be determined by the superiority of natural resources of the Northwest over the Southwestern section, by the use of a far greater proportion of machine labor, in substitution for muscular labor, in the northern region, and also by the superior muscular and mental power of the inhabitants of the colder climate. To these might be added the immense advantage of a vastly greater accumulated industrial power, in every branch of industry, and the tendency of the superabundant capital of the Old world to flow into the free States, and the country north of them.

In the view of the subject which has been taken here, it will be seen that the trade of the British provinces north of us has been considered a portion of our domestic trade, and that Mexico and California have been left out of our calculation. These may be allowed to balance each other. But, together or apart, they will not be of sufficient importance to our continental commerce, to vary materially the results of its future for the next fifty years, as developed in this paper.

At their present rates of increase, the United States and the Canadas, fifty years from this time, will contain over one hundred and twenty millions of people. If we suppose it to be one hundred and five millions, and that these shall be distributed so that the Pacific States shall have ten millions, and the Atlantic border twenty-five millions, there will be left for the great interior plain seventy millions. These seventy millions will have twenty times as much commercial intercourse with each other, as with all the world beside. It is obvious, then, that there must be built up in their midst the great city of the continent; and not only so, but that they will sustain several cities greater than those which can be sustained on the ocean border.

This is the era of great cities. London has nearly trebled in numbers and business since the commencement of the current century. The augmentation of her population in that time, has been a million and a half. This increase is equal to the whole population of New-York and Philadelphia; and yet it is probable that New-York will be as populous as London in about fifty years. A liberal but not improbable estimate of the period of duplication of the numbers of these great cities would be, for London, thirty years, and for New-York fifteen years. At this rate, London will have four millions and seven hundred thousand, and New York three millions four hundred thousand, at the end of thirty years. At the end of the third duplication of New York—that is, in forty-five years, she will have become more populous than London, and number nearly seven millions. This is beyond belief, but it shows the probability of New York overtaking London in about fifty years.

A similar comparison of New York and the leading interior city-Chicago —will show a like result in favor of Chicago. The census returns show the average period of duplication to be fifteen years for New York, and less than four years for Chicago. Suppose that of New-York for the future should be sixteen years, and that of Chicago eight years, and that New York has now, with her suburbs, nine hundred thousand, and Chicago one hundred thousand people. In three duplications, New York would contain six millions, two hundred thousand, and Chicago, in six duplications, occupying the same length of time, would have six millions four hundred thousand. It is not asserted as probable, that either city will be swelled to such an extraordinary size in forty-eight years, if ever ; but it is more than probable that the leading interior city will be greater than New York fifty years from this time.

A few words as to the estimation in which such anticipations are held. The general mind is faithless of what goes much beyond its own experience. It refuses to receive, or it receives with distrust, conclusions, however strongly sustained by facts and fair deductions, which go much beyond its ordinary range of thought. It is especially skeptical and intolerant towards the avowal of opinions, however well founded, which are sanguine of great future changes. It does not comprehend them, and therefore refuses to believe; but it sometimes goes further, and, without examination, scornfully rejects. To seek for the truth, is the proper object of those who, from the past and present, undertake to say what will be in the future, and when the truth is found, to express it with as little reference to what will be thought of it, as if putting forth the solution of a mathematical problem.

If it were asked, whose anticipations of what has been done to advance civilization, for the past fifty years, have come nearest the truth—those of the sanguine and hopeful, or those of the cautious and fearful-must it not be answered that no one of the former class had been sanguine and hopeful enough to anticipate the full measure of human progress, since the opening of the present century? May it not be the most sanguine and hopeful only, who, in anticipation, can attain a due estimation of the measure of future change and improvement, in the grand march of society and civilization westward over our continent?—Hunt's Merchants' Magazine.


The following practical suggestions to teachers, for the cultivation of a correct literary taste, are taken from an essay read before a Teachers' Institute in Ohio: * We are a reading people; and writers are as numerous as forest leaves.

* After our school days are over, general reading becomes a principal source of mental improvement; therefore it is important that we should know what to select and how to read. But what is the present state of the public mind in this respect? How many adults, intelligent, too, in some sense, who can not name a dozen standard authors, with the time they flourished, and the nation to which they belonged. If it be true that our literary taste, as well as character, is formed in youth, how can teachers best succeed in so moulding the mental habits of pupils, that they inay not waste precious hours, all through life, in the perusal of worthless books? How train them to discern what is valuable and what is not-to know why one book should be preferred to another?

“To commence, we would assign to a class, in addition to the lesson they are to read, an account of some popular standard author-say Longfellow or Bryant. Let each pupil prepare a brief biographical sketch, drawing materials from any and all available sources. You have no idea, if you never tried it, of the number of interesting facts that will thus be accumulated. For example, if the lesson be on Bryant, one will tell you where he was born and when, and the profession of his immediate ancestors; another that

published a volume of poems at the early age of fourteen; another that he practiced law for some time, and afterwards travelled through Europe, &c. The statement of these facts will be intensely interesting to the class, and they will wish to learn more of him. You might now tell the class to read all the articles in their book which were written by Bryant, and request each one to select the paragraph he or she thinks the best. Here you will test the inclinations of the different minds.

At the next recitation have the selected passages read, and ask each pupil the reason for his choice. Compare and analyze each sentence, and bring out beauties and faults; thus you will begin to form taste. Our mind may be different from others, but we have found more delight in conducting such exercises than any other within the range of the profession. It is a joy to see their minds awake to the appreciation of the beautiful and true. Instead of drawling listlessly through the thirty-two stanzas of Gray's Elegy, without acquiring two definite ideas, they will soon learn to drink in the exhaustless richness of the verse. Every line will fill the mind with vivid pictures. When they read

“Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight," the imagination sees the hills and valleys reposing in the mellow twilight, and the pleasure felt is increased by reading

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,

Save where the beetle wheels bis droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds." “Solemn stillness"—they can almost feel its magic charm, and hear those

drowsy tinklings.” It were worth a day of toil to read these four lines with a full appreciation.

“Having studied the passages selected from one author, take another, and investigate his compositions in the same manner. Then compare the two, and note the points of agreement and difference in style. See which excels in imagery or in any other respect. Soon the pupil will learn to observe

« НазадПродовжити »