Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 58.djvu/68

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60
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT NOW AND A HUNDRED YEARS AGO.
By CLINTON ROGERS WOODRUFF.

A HUNDRED years has wrought marvelous changes. The maps of Asia, Europe and America, of the world, have been changed. The United States of America has fought four wars and demonstrated her prowess on sea and land, at home and abroad. The country has grown from a handful of States strung along the Atlantic seaboard to a great and powerful nation, extending from sea to sea, conquering and subduing in its growth a mighty continent—the mightiest in its latent possibilities on the face of the globe. Commerce and industry and transportation have grown with equal, if not greater, strides, and the time is not far distant, if it has not already arrived, when America will dominate the world along these lines.

Our development thus far has been extensive; during the coming century it will be intensive. A few more decades and the partition of the globe among the world powers will be practically completed; then we shall be compelled to cultivate with closer attention and greater zeal and more care our resources. Intensive culture will succeed extensive cultivation. The great mechanical inventions of the nineteenth century have directly aided the extensive movement—the steam railway, the steamship, the telegraph, the cable, the telephone; the inventions of the next century will as directly aid the intensive movement—they will be designed to make the most of what we have.

Our political problems have also been problems of extension. First, the government and division of the Northwest Territory; then the acquisition and organization of the Louisiana Territory; of Florida; of Texas; of the Southwest Territory; of the Oregon country and California; then the settlement of the great question as to whether the country should be divided, and its reconstruction on the principle that it was one and indivisible; and latterly, Hawaii, Porto Rico and the Philippines. The political problems of the twentieth century will deal with questions of internal development and improvement. The government control, ownership and operation of the great natural monopolies, civil service and constitutional reforms will occupy the time and attention of our statesmen.

Our municipal growth and development during the past hundred years has likewise been along the lines of extension. Our cities have grown in numbers, population and territory. The figures are so