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Lenox, and Manchester-by-the-Sea attracts a certain class for a season, annually more extended, an increasing number of wellto-do people leave the smaller towns in which they are first in wealth and influence to engage in a doubtful struggle for recognition by people of greater wealth and social power in the great cities. One city in the Union, the most beautiful of all, and the capital of the nation, owes its growth in considerable part to its attractiveness for people who can live anywhere they like.
The importance and the beauty of Washington, however, are chiefly due to another cause of growth, the last here to be discussed. It is distinctly an artificial city, a creation rather than a growth. There have been times when the will of a despot has caused the walls of a new city to rise: Alexander built almost as many cities as he destroyed. The will of the sovereign people has also established cities, and of these Washington is the principal one. Some city was likely to grow up on the lower Potomac, but that it should be Washington rather than Alexandria is due only to the combination of political forces which determined the site of the national capital, — to the quarrel over the assumption of state debts, the arrival of the North Carolina members, and the compromise arranged between the astute Hamilton and the too-confiding Jefferson. Several considerable cities have been built up in like manner by votes of state legislatures or conventions. Harrisburg would be no more important than Lancaster but for the Pennsylvania capital; Columbus, Ohio, has few natural advantages; Jefferson City, Missouri, would be a hamlet if the legislature had never met there. The smaller centers are powerfully affected by such political distinctions. A few months ago the people of a Kansas county were seen with arms in their hands settling the location of the county seat, or bodily moving houses from one would-be metropolis to another.
The site of Indianapolis was fixed near the center of gravity of Indiana; but its growth is due to another artificial cause, peculiar to new countries like America. It is the center of a great system of radiating railroads; and it has grown, while
Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi, has decayed. To create a city by converging railroads upon a spot in the wilderness is not always possible; but when such a center is formed, it draws population to itself. There was a time when the established towns objected to the noise and bustle of railroads, and compelled them to avoid their limits ; for this reason the Boston & Lowell Railroad was obliged to steer between old towns like Woburn and Wilmington. Now towns strive, compete, and tax themselves to bring a railroad; and Woburn and Wilmington are glad to have even branch connections. The location of the first repair and construction shops makes the nucleus of a town or an addition to an existing town. A positive and even whimsical influence has been exerted by railroads in their choice of termini. But in the long run the railroads must go to the cities, and not the cities to the railroads. Racine and Superior City and Dunkirk are discouraging examples to the company which proposes to create a city by bringing the end of a line of rails to its site.
In their effect upon the older cities, possessed already of inalienable advantages, railroads have been more important than in the creation of new cities. When the Alleghenies were pierced, western commerce poured down into the termini of the railroads. The keen eye of Calhoun early saw that the ship must come to meet the car, and he earnestly advocated a great railroad from Charleston northwestward. But Baltimore, and a little later Philadelphia, had western lines years before Charleston or Mobile or Savannah or Norfolk or Richmond, and even before New York, Boston, Portland, and Montreal. The passes now occupied by the New York Central, Pennsylvania, Baltimore & Ohio, and Chesapeake & Ohio railroads are as much trade routes as the Suez canal or the Bosporus. No rival roads can compete on equal terms, and no neighboring cities can outstrip the termini of these great trunk lines.
Another form of artificial stimulus to city building has had little influence in the United States. A colonized and colonizing country, no cities have been built up by distinct, elaborate schemes of colonization. Settlements like Marietta have not
grown to the dignity of cities. Settlements like Rugby have failed for want of adaptation to the circumstances.
The principles upon which the growth of cities depends, as described in this paper, may perhaps be seen more clearly by applying them to a few specific cases. New York was first settled because it was an island, a state of things which the people have since attempted, at great cost, to remedy. It is susceptible of defense against modern forms of attack, though at present its defenses are little more substantial than that fear of torpedoes and rumor of a novel steam craft which kept the British out in 1814. It has the best deep harbor on the Atlantic coast, easy of access for the largest vessels in the world. It is the Mecca of most imports. It lies at the end of a magnificent chain of internal navigation, reaching to Chicago and Duluth, and is the center of some of the greatest railroad systems in the world. Further, it is the recognized financial center of the United States. Commercially, therefore, it has no rival in the United States, and can never have any till the hills sink down behind Boston and Philadelphia, as they do in the Mohawk valley. The nearness of coal and the abundant supply of labor of all kinds give it a great advantage as a manufacturing city. New York, with its adjuncts, Brooklyn, Jersey City, and other near cities, has nearly three million people, and is already the second center of population in the world. It has few artificial advantages: it is not the capital of the state or nation ; it is divided by arms of the sea from two of its three systems of railroads; it does not attract people by the character of its government. It is the largest city because it has the largest opportunity.
Boston, despite its great natural advantages, is a great city chiefly because of the character of its leading men. Like New York, it is defended from foreign enemies only by a sense of what is proper among gentlemen. The harbor is a fine one, though not easy to enter for large vessels. Its eminence depends less on the western business than on the fact that it is the supply point for considerable parts of New England. Indeed, it is the intimate connection with the business of all New England which makes Boston so important: as a manufacturing
center, it is first in nothing, and only third in curried leather and women's clothes. But it is the center of administration for the New England mills, and every pound of goods manufactured pays its tribute. It gets its share of immigration from abroad, and more than its share of people from other communities in the United States. The natural beauty of the city is an attraction, greatly aided by the park and other improvements. More than any other city in America, it draws people to it by the excellence of its schools and libraries, and by the public spirit of its citizens.
Chicago is great both from natural and artificial causes. It is not exposed to foreign attack. The head, in that direction, of the magnificent lake water ways, it is practically the western terminus of the Erie canal, and the most important station on the great trade route from New York to the Pacific coast and eastern Asia. Still more important, and the foundation of the wealth of Chicago, is the great valley of the upper Mississippi, the most fertile large area now occupied by man. Special manufacturing advantages it does not possess, save that Ohio and Pennsylvania coal form a return cargo for its grain fleet. These commercial reasons completely compensate for the natural disadvantages of the place, and the tremendous energy and skill of the people of Chicago will soon make it and keep it the second city in the Union. It was this energy which early caused the railroads to stretch out like antennæ to the West, and which then foresaw the necessity of a like connection with the East. It is fortunate for the people of the city, and of other cities likely to imitate it, that this restless vigor is now hastening to beautify a city of which the site has few natural advantages. Handsome houses, beautiful parks, imposing public buildings, great libraries, — in these Chicago bids fair to surpass most of her older rivals, and in the Columbian Exposition has become the teacher of the nation in architecture, as in energy.
1. The Agricultural Resources of the United States 1
The accompanying map, prepared for the summary of internal commerce, Bureau of Statistics, Treasury Department, presents at a glance the national resources of the country in their relation to agriculture.
The internal commerce in the United States may be said to be carried on between six agricultural divisions on the basis of the staple industries which are fundamental in the prosperity of the different sections :
1. In New England, dairying, trucking, and mixed farming have received their fullest development, and the same may be said of New York and parts of the other Middle States. The entire Northeast, including New England, New York, and the leading Middle States, is also so largely engaged in manufacturing as to comprise what may be called the industrial section of the United States. This group of states is, therefore, closely dependent upon the rest of the country for such raw materials as the other farming sections supply.
2. The second division is conveniently designated as the cotton belt, comprising all that country lying south of the thirty-seventh parallel of latitude and extending west as far as the western boundary of Texas. This whole territory is primarily dependent upon cotton culture for its prosperity.
3. North of this territory, lying between the thirty-fifth and forty-third parallels of latitude and extending to the western boundaries of Kansas and Nebraska, lies the third staple section, which
may be called the corn and winter-wheat belt of the
? From the Report of the Industrial Commission, XIX, 46–47 (Final Report).