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shores of the Old and New World apart, on the usual routes of travel, are brothers and fellow-citizens under common laws and with a common destiny. It is as though the Shetland islands and the Bosphorus, Siberia and the gates of Hercules, were made the outports of an empire which embraced the whole of Europe. For such an empire Alexander and Caesar sighed in vain, and Napoleon deluged Europe in blood.
Viewed in its great geographical divisions, the pdrtions which are watered by rivers falling into the Atlantic and the Pacific are respectively of very nearly equal areas; whilst the great interior valley has an extent but little less than the Pacific and Atlantic regions combined.
Considered in less geographical divisions, the area of the northwestern States is nearly two and a half times as large as that of the northern—twice as large as the southwestern:—four times as large as the southern—eight times as large as the middle States—fifteen times as large as New England.
Divided as slave territory and free territory, exclusive of unformed territorial governments, the slave States have one and a third times the territory of the free States.
The shore line of this great empire, including the indentures of bays, &c, is 12,609 miles, equal to one-half the circumference of the earth; or if we follow the irregularities of islands and enter the rivers as far as tide extends, the total shore line of the United States will be found to be 33,069 miles, or one and one-third the circumference of the earth.
The area of the great western valley has been calculated as follows:
Ohio valley . . . 200,000 square miles.
Missouri .... 500,000"
Lower Mississippi . . 330,000"
Total . . 1,210,000"
Its outline is 6,100 miles, and this portion of the Union included, embraces western New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri; Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio; Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin, whose total population may be estimated at 10,000,000 or 12,000,000. From 1800 to 1810 the population of the valley doubled. In half a century its popution has increased twenty-fold—an average duplication every 12 years. The average density to the square mile is now but 10 or 12. If as densely populous as Britain, there is space enough in our interior empire for 300,000,000 of people.
Mr. Calhoun, in his great report on the Memphis contention (1846), kindled with the magnificent theme which was presented hefore him—a population pressing upon the limits of the Rocky mountains—a tonnage augmented thirty-fold in thirty years—a trade already equalling the whole foreign exports and imports of the United States together—three hundred millions of dollars—and this but in the beginning:
"Looking beyond to a not very distant future, when thi8 immense valley, containing within its limits one million two hundred thousand square miles, lying in its whole extent in the temperate zone, and occupying a position midway between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, unequalled in fertility and the diversity of its productions, intersected in every direction by the mighty stream, including its tributaries, by which it is drained, and which supply a continuous navigation of upwards of ten thousand miles, with a coast, including both banks, of twice that length, shall be crowded with population, and its resources fully developed; imagination itself is taxed in the attempt to realize the magnitude of its commerce."
After these tedious details, let us rise to some calculation which must become of exciting interest. What may we reasonably calculate as the increase of the population of the United States in the next hundred years? If its increase be as great as in the last sixty years, we shall have 497,000,000; if as great as between 1840 and 1850, deducting foreigners that have come in and formed a part of the population, it would be 252,000,000; if it were no greater than the increase of Delaware, which has increased the least of all the States, it would be 48,000,000. At a mean of this ratio and that of the Union in sixty years, we shall have in 1900, 75,000,000, and in 1950, 125,000,000. This calculation will no doubt be nearer the truth than any other.
A probable distribution of the population of the United States in 1950 would be, the Atlantic States 30,000,000, the Mississippi valley 75,000,000, the Pacific coast 20,000,000.
But these are idle dreamings. Those who have prophesied before have proved such indifferent prophets that we cannot but be considered on dangerous ground. Who shall dare to compute what waves from the ocean of eternity shall come rolling in year, and year, and year again, in a whole century which is before us? What wars, what pestilences, what famine, what social or political convulsions, what breaking up and building up of dynasties, what territories gained, what territories lost! Will the liberties of our people subsist then, and their vital energies be preserved? In a hundred years nations have risen to glory, or have perished and been lost. In a hundred years the whole face of the earth has heen changed. Sweeping over this great continent, and over the neighboring isles from the Northern ocean to the southern seas, under the flag of the great republic, will these hundred millions of human beings assert their liberties, as we are doing to-day, or, corrupted aDd broken, up into factions, will they present to the world a second Rome in ruins, whose decline and fall it will be the melancholy part of another Gibbon to indite? God protect and watch over us as a people, keep for us our liberties and our national honor, aid and sustain us in our amazing progress, and let a hundred years to come produce the great results indicated for them by the past, and such as were the object of the prayers of the wise and good fathers of the republic.
Let us pass in rapid review some of the evidences of the industrial progress of the United States which are displayed in its commerce, agriculture, and manufactures.
In the five years which preceded the adoption of the federal constitution, the exports and imports of the country did not exceed together fifty-five millions of dollars annually—being about one-sixth as much as the commerce of Great Britain, and one-third as much as that of France. In the last year the same commerce has reached $500,000,000—a ten-fold increase— being considerably more than that of France, and three-fifths of that of Great Britain. Eight or ten years ago the commerce of Great Britain was not larger than ours at the present time, and her trade with all the world nearxthe close of the last century did not exceed her present trade with us.
What shall be the future of our commercial empire is more than the mind of man can now conceive. It has been gaining annually 7 or 8 per cent, on that of Great Britain, and even at this ratio, in twelve or fifteen years the two countries will share equally of the empire of the seas. But there is every reason to expect a larger ratio of increase when the great fields of the West are entirely opened and developed, when the South shall be stimulated to her utmost powers of production, when the shores of the Pacific shall be as populous as those of the Atlantic, and the commercial empire of the Indies be opened to us by a great overland railroad, and fleets of steamships— when all of our mineral and manufacturing resources shall be brought into full development—then shall open to us a com. merce which the world has never paralleled in any single nation, and which will be as considerable as that of all the combined powers of the world. Great and benignant are the results of commerce upon the families of men. Let us take the extremest limits of the ocean, the stormiest islet of the deep, struggling against the thousand billows, and what do we find? The sailor and the trader have been there, and the return of the white wings is hailed by anxious multitudes, who bring out their richest treasures to be bartered for the veriest trifles of civilization. From the intercourse which arises, new wants are stimulated in their bosoms. They begin to think with the new objects which occasion thought; their views and ideas are naturally expanded to a wider compass, and they are insensibly moulded in the type of those who have excited their highest admiration and wonder. Mysterious, beneficent, and wise are the ways of Providence, when even the interests of men are called into requisition to work out the great problem of their existence.
The tonnage of the United States is 4,500,000 tons, as large as that of Great Britain five or six years ago, if, indeed, upon a close calculation, the two countries do not already vie with each other. At all events, the ratio of increase of our tonnage is twice as great as that of Britain. Nearly 2,000,000 tons have been built by us in the last five years, which is four times as much as in the five years preceding 1820. The North controls this tonnage, and it is calculated by Mr. Kettell realizes fifty millions a year out of the carrying trade which she is permitted to conduct for the South. The steam marine of the Union is 600,000 tons, being four times as great as in 1840.
The home or inter-State trade of the country, under the influence of perfect freedom, and without the restraint of the revenue laws, may be estimated at $1,000,000,000. The commerce which floats oh western waters is estimated at $400,000,000; and the commerce of the Great Lakes at $300,000,000.
During the war of Napoleon, the carrying trade of the world was in our hands, and produced an amount of prosperity in the country which was unexampled. In the event of another general war in Europe, were it possible for us to be kept out of the fray, an extension of our commerce would result which even figures might refuse to express.
The manufacturing progress of the United States is scarcely less marvellous than the commercial. We have invested in them $600,000,000 or $700,000,000, and our manufacturing produce reaches $1,000,000,000. In 1807, we manufactured but 800 bales of cotton; in 1834, 216,000 bales; in 1852, over 600,000 bales, greatly more than is manufactured by France, and one-third as much as Great Britain, though twenty years ago we only manufactured one-fifth as much as she did. The South and the West, in the same period, have doubled the proportion which their cotton manufacture bears to that of the Union. Cotton goods constitute one.half of the whole exports of Great Britain, and seven-eighths of the whole amount consumed in Europe and America is the product of southern slavt? labor. In the manufacture of cotton it is computed that more than seven millions of people are immediately interested, and that $1,200,000,000 capital is invested.
I shall be brief on the subject of agriculture. In 1840 it was estimated to produce for us $600,000,000. In 1850, by" a close calculation on a deficient crop, the amount swells to $1,000,000,000, and at this moment may be taken to be $1,200,000,000. We produce $150,000,000 in cotton, against $200,000 or $300,000 at the beginning of the century. Our sugar crop is already $14,000,000 or $15,000,000. There was a third more of wheat, and double as much corn, produced in 1850 than in 1840.
We have 113,000,000 acres of land in cultivation, or 300,000,000 in occupancy, or about one-sixth part of the area of the republic. These are carved out into about 1,448,000 farms, or distinct agricultural interests, with $3,500,000,000 invested in farms, implements, &c.—an average extent to each farm of 282 acres. What other country in the world can show results like these?
The physical well-being of a people has much to do with their social advancement. In the United States, fourteen-fifteenths of the free families have houses to themselves, whilst in Great Britain only six-sevenths are so favored, or about half the proportion. Comparing the different sections of the Union, it would appear that the Territories have most houses in proportion to population; the South comes next; the Southwest next; then New England; and last, the North. The number of persons to a family is smallest in the Territories, next in New England, and largest in the North.
When we come to the education of the people, we find that 2,150,000 boys, and nearly 1,900,000 girls, are at schools and colleges—being about one-fifth of the free population. The proportion in England and Wales is 1 in 8; Spain, 1 in 17; Russia, 1 in 77. The number of white persons over twenty years of age in the United States who cannot read and write is 1,053,000, about one-twelfth of the persons of that age. In England and Wales, in three years, half the persons who registered their marriages were incapable of reading and writing.
In comparing different sections of the Union with regard to education, we find that whilst in New England only 1 adult in about 875 cannot read and write; in the middle States, 2 in 100 cannot; southern States, 9 in 100 cannot; southwestern, 8; northern, 5; northwestern, 17, growing out of the great proportion of foreign-born—fourteen out of every hundred