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outfit may perhaps best be gauged from the following remarkable figures :
Miles of Railway.
134,131 All Europe . .
207,432 United States . .
254,732 The World . .
It is noteworthy that the 105,000,000 Americans have more miles of railway than the 440,000,000 citizens of the British Empire and the 500,000,000 inhabitants of all Europe. Several private railway systems, such as the Pennsylvania System, the Harriman System, the Gould System, and the Moore-Reid System, have about as many miles of railway as has the whole of the United Kingdom, while the mileage of the Vanderbilt System is actually 10 per cent. larger than that of the United Kingdom. Great Britain has 780,512 telephones, while the United States have no less than 9,552,107 telephones.
National wealth is either developed or undeveloped, either exploited or latent. The statistics as to the wealth of nations given refer, of course, only to the former, not to the latter, for the latent wealth is not susceptible to statistical measurement. America owes her vast wealth not to the fact that she has exceptionally great natural resources, but to the fact that her natural resources have been exploited with the utmost energy. That may be gauged from the figures of American engine and water power and from the railway and telephone statistics given. Measured by undeveloped and unexploited resources, by latent wealth, the British Empire, Russia, and perhaps China also, are far richer than the United States. The United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, have an area of 3,574,658 square miles, while the British Empire, not including the Colonies conquered from Germany, comprises no less than 12,808,994 square miles. Providence has distributed its favours fairly evenly. There is no reason
for believing that the United States have been given an unduly great share of the good things of this world. We may therefore conclude that the British Empire, though actually much poorer, is potentially much richer than the United States.
In developed and exploited resources the United States are undoubtedly far ahead of the British Empire, but in undeveloped and unexploited resources the British Empire is undoubtedly far ahead of the United States. It is wrong to say that Great Britain is the richest country in the world, but it may safely be asserted that, by its extent and natural resources, the British Empire, which spreads through all climes, possesses the greatest potential national wealth in the world. It is therefore obvious that the incomparable latent riches of the Empire may be converted into actual wealth and power, provided they are vigorously and wisely exploited.
Wealth depends after all not so much on the possession of great natural resources as on the action of men. Two centuries ago wealthy North America nourished only a few thousand roving Indians and a small number of white settlers and traders. An Indian, a Chinaman, or a Kaffir who, engaged at his home in agriculture or in manufacturing in the literal meaning of the word, produces perhaps a shillingsworth of wealth per day, will learn in a few weeks to produce thirty or forty shillingsworth of wealth per day if transferred to Great Britain or the United States. Land and natural resources are limited, but wealth production by the employment of the most modern methods is absolutely unlimited. In certain industries a single man can produce now more wealth than could a thousand men a century ago. Yet fifty years hence men may look with the same surprise at the automatic loom or the steam-hammer with which we look now at the hand-loom and the hand-forge.
The British Empire resembles the United States in many respects. Both extend through all climes. Both possess vast and thinly populated areas endowed with
the greatest agricultural, sylvan, mineral, industrial, and commercial possibilities. In both only a few small patches are reserved to the manufacturing industries. In view of the resemblance of the United States and the British Empire it is clear that Britain may learn much from the example set by the Great Republic in the development of its natural resources. Moreover, half a century ago the United States passed through an experience similar to that through which Great Britain and the Empire are passing at present. The Civil War of 1861–1865, as I have shown in the chapter entitled “How America became a Nation in Arms,' destroyed about a million lives at a time when the United States had less than 35,000,000 white and coloured inhabitants, and cost altogether about £2,000,000,000. In 1860 the national wealth of the United States amounted, according to the Census, to only £3,231,923,214. It follows that the Civil War cost a sum equivalent to twothirds of America's national wealth. Yet the war did not impoverish the country, but, incredible as it may sound, greatly enriched it. I shall endeavour to show that the Civil War created the impetus which made the United States the richest nation in the world, and that the present War will vastly benefit the allied nations, and especially the British Empire, provided they will profit by the great and invaluable lesson furnished by the United States.
In the tenth volume of the excellent · Life of Abraham Lincoln,' written by Messrs. Nicolay and Hay, we read : * The expense of the war to the Union (the Northern States) over and above the ordinary expenditure was about $3,250,000,000; to the Confederacy (the Southern States) less than half that amount, about $1,500,000,000. According to the latest accounts the Civil War pensions, which required $164,387,941 in 1915, have hitherto absorbed $4,614,643,266, or nearly £1,000,000,000, and the payments will go on for many years to come. If we add to these gigantic figures the increased local expenditure in the United States during the war, the valuable property
destroyed in the fighting, and the financial value of almost a million lives lost, it will be seen that the war has cost the United States vastly more than £2,000,000,000. The war absolutely ruined the wealthy cotton, sugar, and tobacco industries of the South, pauperised the Southern States, led to the destruction of innumerable farms and buildings in the war zone, destroyed America's shipping, closed the Southern markets to the commerce of the North and seriously hampered agriculture throughout the Union because millions of able-bodied men were drafted into the Army. How disastrously American agriculture was affected by the Civil War can best be seen from the Livestock Statistics, which give the following picture :
Owing to the necessity of war agriculture in general had to be largely neglected. Discrimination was necessary between the essential and non-essential. The vast demand for wool for uniforms made necessary an increase in sheep. Their number grew during the war by 17,000,000. Other animals had to be neglected. Hence the number of cattle declined by 5,500,000, horses declined by 850,000, mules by 350,000, and pigs by 9,000,000. While production and trade suffered in many directions, national expenditure and taxation increased at an unprecedented and almost incredible rate. The financial burden caused by the war may be summarised in the fewest possible figures as follows :
In five short years the national expenditure of the United States increased a little more than twenty-fold, chiefly owing to the cost of the army, which increased more than sixty-fold. During the same period the public debt and the interest payable on it grew more than forty-fold. To provide for this colossal financial burden the American national revenue was increased from $41,476,299 in 1861 to $112,094,946 in 1863, to $322,031,158 in 1865, and to $519,949,564 in 1866. In five years it grew almost thirteenfold. However, notwithstanding the total ruin of the South, and the hampering influence of the war in the North, the national wealth of the United States grew at a prodigious rate between 1860 and 1870, the Census years. According to the Censuses the real and personal estate of the Americans compared in the two years as follows:
Of the ten years under consideration four years, except a few days, were occupied by the devastating war. Yet the national wealth of the United States almost doubled during the decade, and the wealth per head of population increased by almost 60 per cent. This is particularly marvellous in view of the fact that large districts of the United States were far poorer in 1870 than in 1860, for the enormous ravages caused in the South could not quickly be repaired. By 'great divisions' the wealth per head was changed. This change is shown in the tables on page 265.
It will be noticed that wealth per head increased at a