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and social interests, having passed from the task of filling up the vacant spaces of the continent, is now thrown back upon itself, and is seeking an equilibrium. The diverse elements are being fused into national unity. The forces of reorganization are turbulent and the nation seems like a witches' kettle.
But the West has its own centers of industrial life and culture not unlike those of the East. It has State universities, rivaling in conservative and scientific economic instruction those of any other part of the Union, and its citizens more often visit the East, than do Eastern men the West. As time goes on, its industrial development will bring it more into harmony with the East.
Moreover, the Old Northwest holds the balance of power, and is the battlefield on which these issues of American development are to be settled. It has more in common with all parts of the nation than has any other region. It understands the East, as the East does not understand the West. The White City which recently rose on the shores of Lake Michigan fitly typified its growing culture as well as its capacity for great achievement. Its complex and representative industrial organization and business ties, its determination to hold fast to what is original and good in its Western experience, and its readiness to learn and receive the results of the experience of other sections and nations, make it an open-minded and safe arbiter of the American destiny.
In the long run the "Center of the Republic" may be trusted to strike a wise balance between the contending ideals. But she does not deceive herself; she knows that the problem of the West means nothing less than the problem of working out original social ideals and social adjustments for the Amer ican nation.
DOMINANT FORCES IN WESTERN LIFE1
The Old Northwest is a name which tells of the vestiges which the march of settlement across the American continent has left behind it. The New Northwest fronts the watery labyrinth of Puget Sound and awaits its destiny upon the Pacific. The Old Northwest, the historic Northwest Territory, is now the new Middle Region of the United States. A century ago it was a wilderness, broken only by a few French settlements and the straggling American hamlets along the Ohio and its tributaries, while, on the shore of Lake Erie, Moses Cleaveland had just led a handful of men to the Connecticut Reserve. To-day it is the keystone of the American Commonwealth. Since 1860 the center of population of the United States has rested within its limits, and the center of manufacturing in the nation lies eight miles from President McKinley's Ohio home. Of the seven men who have been elected to the presidency of the United States since 1860, six have come from the Old Northwest, and the seventh came from the kindred region of western New York. The congressional Representatives from these five States of the Old Northwest already outnumber those from the old Middle States, and are three times as numerous as those from New England.
The elements that have contributed to the civilization of this region are therefore well worth consideration. To know the States that make up the Old Northwest Ohio, Indiana,
1 Atlantic Monthly, April, 1897. Published by permission.
Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin-one must understand their social origins.
Eldest in this sisterhood was Ohio. New England gave the formative impulses to this State by the part which the Ohio Company played in securing the Ordinance of 1787, and at Marietta and Cleveland Massachusetts and Connecticut planted enduring centers of Puritan influence. During the same period New Jersey and Pennsylvania sent their colonists to the Symmes Purchase, in which Cincinnati was the rallying-point, while Virginians sought the Military Bounty Lands in the region of Chillicothe. The Middle States and the South, with their democratic ideas, constituted the dominant element in Ohio politics in the early part of her history. This dominance is shown by the nativity of the members of the Ohio legislature elected in 1820: New England furnished nine Senators and sixteen Representatives, chiefly from Connecticut; New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, seventeen Senators and twentyone Representatives, mostly from Pennsylvania; while the South furnished nine Senators and twenty-seven Representatives, of whom the majority came from Virginia. Five of the Representatives were native of Ireland, presumably ScotchIrishmen. In the Ohio Senate, therefore, the Middle States had as many representatives as had New England and the South together, while the Southern men slightly outnumbered the Middle States men in the Assembly. Together, the emigrants from the Democratic South and Middle Region outnumbered the Federalist New Englanders three to one. Although Ohio is popularly considered a child of New England, it is clear that in these formative years of her statehood the commonwealth was dominated by other forces.
By the close of this early period, in 1820, the settlement in Ohio had covered more or less fully all except the northwest corner of the State, and Indiana's formative period was well
started. Here, as in Ohio, there was a large Southern element. But while the Southern stream that flowed into Ohio had its sources in Virginia, the main current that sought Indiana came from North Carolina; and these settlers were for the most part from the humbler classes. In the settlement of Indiana from the South two separate elements are distinguishable: the Quaker migration from North Carolina, moving chiefly because of anti-slavery convictions; the "poor white" stream, made up in part of restless hunters and thriftless pioneers moving without definite ambitions, and in part of other classes, such as former overseers, migrating to the new country with definite purpose of improving their fortunes.
These elements constituted well-marked features in the Southern contribution to Indiana, and they explain why she has been named the Hoosier State; but it should by no means be thought that all of the Southern immigrants came under these classes, nor that these have been the normal elements in the development of the Indiana of to-day. In the Northwest, where interstate migration has been so continuous and widespread, the lack of typical State peculiarities is obvious, and the student of society, like the traveler, is tempted, in his effort to distinguish the community from its neighbors, to exaggerate the odd and exceptional elements which give a particular flavor to the State. Indiana has suffered somewhat from this tendency; but it is undoubted that these peculiarities of origin left deep and abiding influences upon the State. In 1820 her settlement was chiefly in the southern counties, where Southern and Middle States influence was dominant. Her two United States Senators were Virginians by birth, while her Representative was from Pennsylvania. The Southern element continued so powerful that one student of Indiana origins has estimated that in 1850 one-third of the population of the State were native Carolinians and their children
in the first generation. Not until a few years before the Civil War did the Northern current exert a decisive influence upon Indiana. She had no such lake ports as had her sister States, and extension of settlement into the State from ports like Chicago was interrupted by the less attractive area of the northwestern part of Indiana. Add to this the geological fact that the limestone ridges and the best soils ran in nearly perpendicular belts northward from the Ohio, and it will be seen how circumstances combined to diminish Northern and to facilitate Southern influences in the State prior to the railroad development.
In Illinois, also, the current of migration was at first preponderantly Southern, but the settlers were less often from the Atlantic coast. Kentucky and Tennessee were generous contributors, but many of the distinguished leaders came from Virginia, and it is worthy of note that in 1820 the two United States Senators of Illinois were of Maryland ancestry, while her Representative was of Kentucky origin. The swarms of land-seekers between 1820 and 1830 ascended the Illinois river, and spread out between that river and the Mississippi. It was in this period that Abraham Lincoln's father, who had come from Kentucky to Indiana, again left his log cabin and traveled by ox-team with his family to the popular Illinois county of Sangamon. Here Lincoln split his famous rails to fence their land, and grew up under the influences of this migration of the Southern pioneers to the prairies. They were not predominantly of the planter class; but the fierce contest in 1824 over the proposition to open Illinois to slavery was won for freedom by a narrow majority.
Looking at the three States, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, prior to 1850, we perceive how important was the voice of the South here, and we can the more easily understand the early affiliation of the Northwest with her sister States to the south