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1866]

RECONSTRUCTION.

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and ratify the amendment which Congress had proposed for the abolition of slavery.

With these conditions most of the states in question complied, but Congress would not recognize them as reconstructed without further guarantees. Accordingly, it proposed a fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, providing, among other things, that, when the right of voting is denied by a state to any citizens, the basis of representation in such state shall be reduced in the proportion which the number thus excluded shall bear to the whole number of citizens in the state. This amendment became a part of the Constitution in 1868.

700. Tennessee, having promptly ratified' this amendment, was, in July, 1866, restored to her relations in the Union. Two years later, after a long and bitter struggle between Congress and the president on this and other questions, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North and South Carolina, were also readmitted, their senators and representatives having been absent from their seats in Congress over seven years.

701. On the 1st of March, 1867, Nebraska was admitted into the Union,—the 37th state. In October of the same year, Russian America was transferred to the United States government, having been purchased of Russia for $7,200,000 in gold. This immense territory, consisting of nearly 500,000 square miles, is valuable chiefly for its harbors on the Pacific coast, its furs and fisheries.

702. The difficulties between the president and Congress were aggravated by the attempt of the former in February, 1868, to remove Mr. Stanton, the secretary of war, from his position. This the majority in Congress deemed a violation of the Tenure-of-Office Bill, passed shortly before, which made the consent of the senate necessary to such removals. Great political excitement prevailed

proposed by Congress. 700. Which of the states was restored to its relations in the Union in 1866 ? Which were restored in 1868 ? 701. What state was admitted in 1867 ? What purchase was made, the same year? For what is this territory chiefly valuable? 702. What aggravated the difficulties between the president and Congress ? Give an account of the impeachment and trial of the

throughout the country; and on the 24th of February the house of representatives resolved to impeach the president of “high crimes and misdemeanors”. He was tried by the senate, according to the provision made by the Constitution for such cases. A vote having been taken on three of the articles of impeachment, and two-thirds of the senate not having pronounced the president guilty, he was acquitted on those articles; the court then adjourned, and the impeachment trial came to an end.

703. In the summer of 1868, an important treaty with the Chinese Empire was ratified by the United States senate. By this treaty liberty of conscience is guaranteed to citizens of the United States in China, and permission to attend all public educational institutions, without being subjected to any religious or political test, is extended to Chinese residents of the United States. The arrival on the shores of the United States of the first Chinese embassy to the west must be regarded as one of the great events of the age. It shows that this vast empire of four hundred millions of people is awakening to the importance of closer relations with the outer world, and will soon be open to the march of improvement and Christian civilization.

704. Conventions of the republican and the democratic party having been held in 1868, to nominate candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency, General Ulysses S. Grant, of Illinois, and Schuyler Colfax, of Indiana, were the choice of the former; Horatio Seymour, of New York, and Gen. Francis P. Blair, jr., of Missouri, were nominated by the latter. · The republican candidates were successful, and on the 4th of March, 1869, Gen. Grant was inaugurated.

president. 703. What treaty was ratified in the summer of 1868 ? Mention two of the provisions of this treaty. What is shown by the arrival of the Chinese embassy? 704. Name the republican nominees for the presidency and vicepresidency, in 1868. Name the democratic nominees. What was the result of the election ? When was Gen. Grant inaugurated ?

PRESENT CONDITION OF THE UNITED STATES.

It may not be uninteresting, in conclusion, to glance at the present condition of our country, its growth in population, and its advance in art, science, and internal improvements.

The first census was taken in 1790; at which time the whole population was found to be 3,929,827. In 1860 it had increased to 31,443,321. Our commerce has expanded at a still more surprising rate, our exports in the same space of time having increased from twenty to four hundred millions of dollars. In 1850, the tonnage of the United States was 3,535,454 tons; in 1861, it had increased to over five and a half millions.

To the United States belongs the honor not only of first employing steam as a motive-power in boats, but also of first using it in ships for ocean navigation. The first steamer that ever crossed the Atlantic was the Savannah, launched at New York in 1818. She proceeded to Savannah, made her way safely to Europe in 1819, and visited various ports, in all of which she was an object of general interest. Notwithstanding the success of this experiment, it was not till 1838 that a regular line of steamers commenced crossing the Atlantic. Previous to that time, sailing packets alone were used, and the average length of a trip from Liverpool to New York was thirty-three days, the shortest time ever made being twenty-two. The first trip of the British steamer Great Western (April, 1838) was performed in fourteen days; and since then, by successive improvements, the running time in favorable weather has been reduced to eleven, and even less than ten, days. U. S. ship-builders have produced some of the finest models afloat; in no department of industry have our enterprising mechanics been more successful.

The first railroad in the United States was completed in 1827. Since then, the work of internal improvement has been prosecuted so vigorously that iron roads thread the Union in every direction and bind together its principal cities and towns. In 1868, nearly 40,000 miles of railroad were in operation. The great Pacific Railroad, which (in

connection with lines already built) will connect the Pacific with the Atlantic, is rapidly progressing, and will be completed before 1870. It will be not far from 1,800 miles in length, and will cost, it is estimated, $100,000,000.

In no country is labor so highly respected and so well remunerated as in the U. S.; and in none, therefore, are the working-classes so happy, and we may add enlightened. No restrictions are laid on industry; political privileges are extended to all; and the humblest citizen may raise himself to the proudest position in the republic. Our mechanics have brought a high degree of ingenuity as well as skill to their work; and through their means America has become justly famous for her inventions and improvements. Among a host of things that might be mentioned, it is undeniable that the best locks, life-boats, printing-presses, and agricultural implements, come from America.

The labor of opening up the resources of a new country has as yet left the people of the United States little time and opportunity for cultivating literature and the arts. Yet we point with pride to our metaphysician, Edwards; our lexicographer, Noah Webster; our mathematicians, Bowditch and Rittenhouse; our naturalists, the Audubons; our novelists, Irving and Cooper; our historians, Prescott, Bancroft, and Motley; our poets, Bryant and Longfellow; our sculptors, Powers and Greenough; our painters, Copley, Stuart, Trumbull, Vanderlyn, Allston, Peale, and Sully.

If there is one thing, on which, more than all others, America may pride herself and found high hopes of stability for her glorious institutions, it is her system of common schools. She offers the advantages of education to the young without

money and without price, convinced that their enlightenment is her best safeguard. She seeks, as Webster has said, “by general instruction to turn the strong current of feeling and opinion, as well as the censures of the law and the denunciations of religion, against immorality and crime”. That she may succeed in thus making her institutions eternal, is the prayer of every friend of liberty. .

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE,

PASSED JULY 4th, 1776.

A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in

Congress assembled.

WHEN, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes ; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having, in direct object, the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world :

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