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History of the
Each volume is attractively bound in dark blue cloth,
with gilt top. Price of each, $2.50 net, by mail, $2.70 It should be noted that these two volumes are complete in themselves as covering the whole period of colonial history. The second volume in particular covers the most difficult period in the history of this country, the eighteenth century. The New York Sun refers to the narrative as “particularly distinguished” by “the careful attention given to such broad themes” as “ the development of Colonial industry and commerce ; the systems of labor obtaining in the colonies; the progress toward religious toleration and the march of education." The English Historical Review writes of the work :
Many as are the histories of the United States, Professor Channing has ample justification in adding another to the list, not only in his new point of view but in his exhaustive knowledge. His narrative flows on so smoothly that it is only when one realizes the immense mass of controversies which he settles with calm common sense, the thoroughness of his bibliography, the sanity of his criticisms on the hundreds of authors consulted that one grasps the fulness of his erudition . . . From the conception of his task it follows that the English background must be kept in view, and here Professor Channing treads with the same sureness. His accounts of English religious conditions and of English local government in the seventeenth century are alike excellent . . . Early colonial history is both complicated and controversial, but there are few slips either in detail or in perspective. Between the mother country and the colonies he holds the scales fair, doing justice to Great Britain without falling into the exaggerated imperialism of some recent American authors. Though his heart is with the colonists he does not fail to point out their weaknesses, and though tracing in detail the record of English mismanagement he rarely exaggerates. Yet beneath this reserve there is at times a glow of hidden fires."
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American Historical Review
SOCIAL FORCES IN AMERICAN HISTORY 1
HE transformations through which the United States is passing
in our own day are so profound, so far-reaching, that it is hardly an exaggeration to say that we are witnessing the birth of a new nation in America. The revolution in the social and economic structure of this country during the past two decades is comparable to what occurred when independence was declared and the Constitution was formed, or to the changes wrought by the era which began half a century ago, the era of Civil War and Reconstruction.
These changes have been long in preparation and are, in part, the result of world-wide forces of reorganization incident to the age of steam production and large-scale industry, and, in part, the result of the closing of the period of the colonization of the West. They have been prophesied, and the course of the movement partly described, by students of American development; but after all, it is with a shock that the people of the United States are coming to realize that the fundamental forces which have shaped their society up to the present are disappearing. Twenty years ago, as I have before had occasion to point out, the Superintendent of the Census declared that the frontier line, which its maps had depicted for decade after decade of the westward march of the nation, could no longer be described. To-day we must add that the age of free competition of individuals for the unpossessed resources of the nation is. nearing its end. It is taking less than a generation to write the chapter which began with the disappearance of the line of the frontier—the last chapter in the history of the colonization of the United States, the conclusion to the annals of its pioneer democracy.
It is a wonderful chapter, this final rush of American energy upon the remaining wilderness. Even the bare statistics become eloquent of a new era. They no longer derive their significance from
1 Annual address of the president of the American Historical Association, delivered at Indianapolis, December 28, 1910.
AM. HIST. REV., VOL. XVI. --15. (217)
the exhibit of vast portions of the public domain transferred to agriculture, of wildernesses equal to European nations changed decade after decade into the farm area of the United States. It is true there was added to the farms of the nation between 1870 and 1880 a territory equal to that of France, and between 1880 and 1900 a territory equal to the European area of France, Germany, England, and Wales combined. The records for 1910 are not yet available, but whatever they reveal they will not be so full of meaning as the figures which tell of upleaping wealth and organization and concentration of industrial power in the East in the last decade. As the final provinces of the Western empire have been subdued to the purposes of civilization and have yielded their spoils, as the spheres of operation of the great industrial corporations have extended, with the extension of American settlement, production and wealth have increased beyond all precedent.
The total deposits in all national banks have more than trebled in the present decade ; the money in circulation has doubled since 1890. The flood of gold makes it difficult to gauge the full meaning of the incredible increase in values, for in the decade ending with 1909 over 41,600,000 ounces of gold were mined in the United States alone. Over four million ounces have been produced every year since 1905, whereas between 1880 and 1894 no year showed a production of two million ounces. As a result of this swelling stream of gold, aided by a variety of other causes, prices have risen until their height has become one of the most marked features and influential factors in American life, producing social readjustments and contributing effectively to party revolutions.
But if we avoid those statistics which require analysis because of the changing standard of value, we still find that the decade occupies an exceptional place in American history. More coal was mined in the United States in the ten years after 1897 than in all the life of the nation before that time. Fifty years ago we mined less than fifteen million long tons of coal. In 1907 we mined nearly 429,000,000. At the present rate it is estimated that the supply of coal would be exhausted at a date no farther in the future than the formation of the Constitution is in the past. Iron and coal are the measures of industrial power. The nation has produced three times as much iron ore in the past two decades as in all its previous history; the production of the past ten years was more than double that of the prior decade. Pig-iron production is admitted to be an excellent barometer of manufacture and of transportation. Never until 1898