« PředchozíPokračovat »
THE GROWTH OF AMERICAN CITIES UPPER PICTURE: THE BUSINESS CENTRE OF PASADENA, CAL., IN 1888. LOWER PICTURE: THE SAME VIEW IN 1910. THE POPULATION OF PASADENA INCREASED FROM 9,117 IN 1900 10 30,291 IN 1910, OR 232 PER CENT.
THE TWO BIG TASKS OF CONGRESS tariff discussion with the status quo as the
point of departure. The status quo is, in HE tug-of-war now comes with the many respects, not a normal condition, but
reduction of the tariff. This a highly artificial condition. The manu1 difficult task is at once a great facturers that will be helped far outnumber opportunity and a difficult necessity. those that will be hurt. For, of all subjects (not excluding even the And it is encouraging to see that the making of appointments to office), this is commercial world has so far behaved with the most hazardous, politically the most great good sense, good sense that points dangerous, and, in general, the most hopefully to our weathering this tariff heavily "loaded" of all public subjects. storm without serious disturbance. This If the tariff were eliminated from our is another proof that, when we undertake political history, our political history even the most difficult tasks with reasonwould be a simple story; for it has been ableness and with honesty and with resoluthe mother of the largest brood of our tion, we can always count on the great troubles for the greater part of a century. reserves of character and even self-denial
The duty of reducing the rates equitably that distinguish the American people and - that is, substantially but not ruinously make our democracy the most reasonable - is now undertaken with intelligence, and satisfactory scheme of government with diligence, and with resolution. From that men have yet invented or evolved. whatever point of view it be regarded, mistakes will be made. There will be fierce criticism, even bitter feeling, aroused. Following the tariff, will come some The necessary effect on some branches of change in our currency and banking laws. business will be bad — for a few persons, This is another long-deferred and difficult for a short time; for some permanently; task. But we have been approaching it for old abuses yield somebody a profit. so gradually, and discussion and events The general effect will be to cause a certain have so well prepared the ground, that hesitation in commercial and financial life there is hope that this, too, may be accom- a part of it a wise hesitation, much more plished without rude shocks to the current of it mere groundless fear, the contagion business of the country. of uncertainty. The commercial world, If these two long-standing and difficult at least a part of it, must readjust itself to tasks be done with reasonable success, the new conditions.
new Administration will have passed two But the consumer, which is to say the dangers that beset it and will have done whole people, will be helped by a judicious two most serious and helpful duties to our readjustment. Commerce itself will re- commercial and financial life and to the ceive a large benefit by the substitution American people. of natural for artificial forces. Of the economic righteousness of judicious reduc- THE ORGANIZATION OF COUNTRY tions in many of the present rates, no man
LIFE who has a firm grasp on commercial facts can have a doubt.
T HE organization of country life — In discussing the disturbance that
these words have been worn so changes in duties make, it is too much the 1 threadbare that we fail to take in fashion to consider only those changes their full meaning or to be thrilled by them. that do damage to some group of manu- But, if country life can be properly facturers and too little the fashion to con- organized, the most helpful task in our world sider those changes that will be of great will have been done — or begun; for it is a benefit to a larger number of manufacturers process, like all other normal growths, that as well as to consumers. For every one will never end. man who is "hit" by reductions, there are I t is cheerful news that Secretary Houston, ten or twenty or a hundred who are helped. of the Department of Agriculture, regards We are far too likely to conduct all our this large piece of constructive work as his especial duty and opportunity; and the teacher; in others, the whole people without President, of course, is of a like mind. definite leadership — for one good purpose
When you come to think of it, the essential here, for another good purpose there. difference between the town and the country Now if the Department of Agriculture, is this: one is organized and the other is not. after it collects accurate information about The town is organization. Street-cars, the all these agencies and forces each working very streets themselves, banks, churches, in its own way but all toward the same great exchanges, clubs, libraries, sewers, water, task — if, along with this investigation, it shops — all these denote organization. It is can use the knowledge and authority of the by these that men do their business, live their Government to stimulate and to coördinate lives with the least waste of time and effort, them, a great movement toward a general and enjoy what we call “civilization.” organization of country life throughout the Everything in the town is organized, corre- United States will have been begun. lated, conducted, not on an individual but This is not spectacular work; but, if there on a community basis.
be work of greater value to the producing On the other hand, the farmer as a rule part of the population and for the building must yet do everything on an individual up of our permanent prosperity and for the basis, or too nearly on an individual basis. well-being of the people, you will find it He grows his crop, harvests it, gets it to difficult to name it. market, sells it; he buys his necessities And we have come to a time when it is individually; he does his chores individually; practicable. The people thoroughly underhe is a man far too much by himself, far too stand the necessity of making life in the much deprived of the economic and social country profitable and comfortable for the advantages of combined action. This sums mass of industrious men — the necessity of up his disadvantages. Now there are, of removing the economic and social hindrances course, in many parts of the United States, which have come, in a perfectly natural way, in spite of our backwardness in coöperation, with the rapid development of the town. many successful organizations, some for If events could have been ordered so as to selling, some for buying, some for both present an unparalleled opportunity to some for other economic duties, some for Secretary Houston they could not have been social help of many sorts. But the great better ordered. It is an opportunity for mass of our country folk are yet unorganized. constructive and permanent work in nation
The Department of Agriculture has at building. His promptness in seeing it and once set about the task of finding out what in proceeding to undertake it shows a grasp sort of organizations exist and do good on the fundamental economic tasks of our service in the several parts of the country — time and country. how they work, what they achieve, how they were begun, and how more like them may THE PASSING OF THE MORGAN be started.
EPOCH This is the first step toward encouraging the multiplication of such organizations as T HE death of J. Pierpont Morgan have grown up out of the necessities of the
removed one of the great men of people and have proven their practical worth.
our time. He was one of the In Minnesota, it is a coöperative store or a strongest characters not only of our councoöperative grain elevator; somewhere else, try but of our era, a real world-figure. it is a coöperative dairy; somewhere else, And his dominant and at times domineercoöperative selling activity by truck-growers; ing personality was the key to his character somewhere else, organizations for social and and to his career. What he did he did intellectual help and pleasure. In one com- by the force of his mind and will. munity, it may be an agricultural college It might be called an accident of birth that has led the way; in another, a grange, and of his early start in life that he entered or a farmers' union; in another, a women's the world of finance. He might conclub; in another, the Young Men's Christian ceivably have been a man of action in Association; in another, a preacher, or a some other field of large endeavor in which
he would have won eminence. Of course, had the opposite policy. It never desired he became a man of great wealth. Yet to be known as a leader of speculative his personal fortune was never as great finance. It always denied strongly that as the fortunes of several other Americans. it made or unmade markets. It drew a He did not care for money merely to sharp line between the constructive creditaccumulate it; and he always exerted a creating facilities of a banking house and power in the financial and industrial world the purely mercenary profit-seeking policies far out of proportion to his own fortune. of a brokerage house. It announced its He persuaded men; he compelled men; willingness at all times to enter into and he led men; he dominated men. There carry through to completion any great were several times in our financial history constructive plan of finance for the benefit when, by his personal influence, he pre- of the Government, city, corporation, or vented a panic. There were times when individual, if that plan and policy dehe threw his great influence to the patriotic manded simply the use of banking facilities. service of the Government. For he was Thus, early in its career, the house both a constructive and a patriotic man. undertook the task of selling in Europe II
a very large block of stock for the New
York Central Railroad, at a time when He was born in Hartford in 1837. His American markets could not have abfather was a merchant at that time, but sorbed the stock. This was probably a few years later he became a partner of one of the most important railroad transMr. George Peabody and established a actions ever carried on by Mr. Morgan banking house in London under the name both because it demonstrated the banking of J. S. Morgan & Co. It was as a result ability of his house and because it estabof this move that J. P. Morgan finished lished him definitely as the fiscal agent his education in Germany. After a few of the Vanderbilt system. years of clerical work in the banking Similarly, in the period between 1880 business, he helped to organize a small and 1890, Mr. Morgan became the prime and unimportant Wall Street house under agent in negotiations between the railroads the name of Dabney, Morgan & Co., which at that time were engaged in defounded in Civil War times. Eight years structive competition. He was the father later, he made his first public appearance of the idea of the “gentlemen's agreeas a financier and banker of importance. ment,” whereby railroads which had been It is characteristic perhaps that this first in the habit of fighting pitched battles appearance was in the nature of a cam- amongst themselves for traffic agreed to paign against Gould and Fisk, who were maintain rates and to abstain, so far as exploiting for their own purposes a small possible, from attempting to cripple or and unimportant railroad called the Albany destroy their rivals. & Susquehanna. Under the leadership In 1893, the activities of the Morgan of Mr. Morgan, this railroad was rescued house touched Government activities. In from the spoilers and sold to the Delaware that year, the treasury of the United & Hudson, where it still remains. That States was practically exhausted, on acepisode is said to have been the reason count of withdrawals of gold for domestic why the powerful banking house of Drexel purposes and for shipment. A syndicate & Company in Philadelphia sought an in which Mr. Morgan coöperated with alliance with Mr. Morgan and made him the American representatives of the Rothshead of the New York house of Drexel, childs stepped in and offered to supply Morgan & Co.
to the Government about $65,000,000 in The character of the house seems never gold, and to take in exchange about to have varied. It was founded at the $62,000,000 of Government bonds. In two end of an epoch in which the habit of months the export of gold was stopped finance was to plunder and destroy, for by the operations of this syndicate and by the personal aggrandisement of the leaders the end of four months free gold in the of the financial world. The Morgan firm treasury had reached the point of safety.
Sporgan like thoice, the Readin
A somewhat similar episode took place American Company, and half a dozen less in the next year. These two syndicate important enterprises of an industrial operations brought Mr. Morgan directly and public utility character. in contact with and made him a part of The power of the Morgan house seemed the Government finances.
to suffer a temporary eclipse in 1903 with
the apparent collapse of the United States IN
Steel Corporation, the International MerIn the seven or eight years following cantile Marine, and many other merger 1893 the constructive genius of Mr. companies. When the Steel Corporation Morgan was seen at its best. When great passed the dividends on its common stock railroads like the Atchison, the Northern and this stock dropped below $10 a share, Pacific, the Erie, the Southern Railway, many people felt that the end of J. P. the Union Pacific, the Reading, and others Morgan & Co. was not far off. The outof their type, fell into bankruptcy or ruin come proved the weakness of this theory. as the result of the great depression of The temporary eclipse of Mr. Morgan, 1893, it came to be the habit of all syn- however, brought to the front, as a leading dicates and protective committees to turn financier, the late E. H. Harriman. Mr. to Mr. Morgan. As the skies began to Harriman had confined his efforts largely clear he carried through the reorganiza- to the building up of a railroad empire tions of all these great systems with the and the creation of a great banking power. exception of the Union Pacific. His In a battle in 1901 between Mr. Morgan power and prestige grew year by year, and and Mr. Hill on one side and Mr. Harrihe seemed to be able to command unlimited man on the other, the Hill-Morgan forces amounts of cash and unlimited supplies of had retained control of the Northern credit both at home and abroad. While Pacific, but in order that this end might other bankers wrestled with one or two sys- be accomplished the financial world was tems, the Morgan house went forward with plunged into a brief but spectacular and the reorganizations of half a dozen such dangerous panic. The battle was probsystems at one time. It has often been ably a drawn battle; but out of it Mr. pointed out that in these reorganizations Harriman emerged much bigger than he a plentiful supply of water remained in had been before, and his growth from that the capital of the new companies, but the time to his death in 1909 was one of the fact also remains that almost without marvelous chapters in the annals of exception these reorganizations have American business history. weathered the storms that have since The recovery of Mr. Morgan from the intervened, and still remain solvent, if boom period of 1903 to 1907 was as specnot powerful, corporations.
tacular as his eclipse had been. The Success in the reorganization of these great expansion era culminated in a crash fallen railroads urged Mr. Morgan forward in the panic of 1907, when the credit to other accomplishments. In the Mc- facilities of the Nation broke down under Kinley Presidency, he became known as the great burden of expansion and under an organizer of great industrial enter- the action of the Government under Mr. prises; and the climax of his career as a Roosevelt. It seemed at that time as promoter and creator of corporations was though, for lack of a central controlling reached when, in 1899, he gathered to force, the banks of the United States were gether a group of competing steel com- trying to tear one another down and were panies and created and floated success- likely to bring the whole financial world fully the United States Steel Corporation, into ruin. At that moment, when all which remains to this day the largest men seemed about to start a scramble corporation in the United States, if not for their own safety without regard to in the world. He followed this success the public welfare, Mr. Morgan came to by the flotation of the securities of the the front, as he had come in 1893 and on International Harvester Company, the In- many other lesser occasions, and assumed ternational Mercantile Marine, the North the financial leadership of the country.