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EMBRACING POLITICAL, MILITARY, AND ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS;
AND MECHANICAL INDUSTRY
It is hardly so true in our day as when the maxim was first uttered, that laws are silent amid the clash of arms. But it is still true, and perhaps always will be, that the movements of armies and navies surpass all else in immediate popular interest, and the thunder of the guns appears to render the sounds of peaceful industry tame if not silent. In this volume we record the close of one war and a large part of the causes that are likely to produce another, in which Americans have the highest interest. The article on “Greece" narrates the closing operations of the war between that country and Turkey, and gives the terms of peace. The articles on “Cuba,” “Spain," and the “United States” will enable the reader to inform himself as to the condition of things that led to the complication which will probably involve our own country in war by the time this voluine is ready for delivery. Many questions that will naturally follow can be answered by turning to the enumeration of the land and naval forces of the two countries. A full account of the National Guard of the United States” was given in the “ Annual Cyclopædia” for 1895, and later statistics (where they exist) may be found in the articles on the several States in this volume. In pursuing the subject further, the reader will be interested in the articles on the United States Naval and Military Academies, the article on “Signals," which is accompanied by a colored chart, and that on the “Revenue-Cutter Service.” If he is still further interested in the struggles for possession of territory that seem never to cease, he may turn to the articles on “India” and “West Africa,” where he can read of the frontier wars carried on by European powers against uncivilized but not easily conquered tribes. And if he is inclined to consider the subject imaginatively—to follow the poet where he “saw the heavens fill with commerce,” and heard “the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue”he may read the illustrated article on Aërial Navigation."
In studying the progress of the arts of peace, the reader will find interesting the article on the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and those on “ Associations for the Advancement of Science," “ Chemistry,” “Uses of Compressed Air," the “Fine Arts,” “Geographical Progress,” “Metallurgy,” “Railroad Service,” “Street Railways," "Tin Manufacture," and "Wire Glass.”'
The summaries of American, British, and Continental literature will be found full as usual; and for those who take an interest in the trimmings and incidents of literature there is an interesting illustrated article on “Book Plates” prepared by an expert; while the illustrated description of the new Congressional Library is a subject for bonest national pride.
To the articles on the larger religious bodies we add this year “Christian Scientists,” the “ Federation of Free Churches,” the “German Evangelical Synod,” “ Oriental Churches in the United States," and "Volunteers of America."
A survey of the mercantile and monetary movements of the year may be had by