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frequently hurt and offended people with whom he had a difference. However, a change came over him in this respect. I remember that I was in his room in St. Louis during the Republican Convention of 1896 when a delegation of colored men, delegates representing several Southern states, came to see him. They were after money, and he knew it. In the old days he would have kicked them out of the room; but on this occasion he politely refused them without hurting their feelings." One cannot help wishing that under the circumstances he had been less diplomatic, and had ruthlessly hurt their feelings — assuming, of course, that it was their feelings which would have been chiefly hurt by the act of kicking them out of the room.
The foregoing account of Mark Hanna will, I think, justify the description of him as a business man who carried over into the period of industrial expansion the best characteristics of the pioneer. The industrial pioneer of the seventies needed qualities and methods different in certain respects from those of the early pioneers. Mr. Hanna, for instance, was a great organizer, and he could not have made his success unless he had believed both in organization and in the delegation of power and responsibility. But like them, he was an all-round man of action, whose behavior was determined chiefly by instinctive motives and external conditions, and who used his intelligence merely for the purpose of making his will effective. Like them he was performing a necessary preliminary work of economic construction, and one in which for the most part his own interest as a maker and an organizer of enterprises was coincident with the public interest. As with them, the aggressive individualism of his private business life obtained dignity from its association with an essential task of social and economic construction. And finally, as in the case of the better pioneers, he had the feelings and the outlook of a man who has done more than accumulate a fortune. His methods in business and the way in which he gave personality and humanity to his business life all tended to the fulfilment of social as well as individual purposes.
His individual social edifice had the disadvantages as well as the advantages of being wrought at the prompting of instinctive rather than conscious motives. If it had contained a larger conscious element, it probably would not have been so effective, because it would not have squared in other respects with his essentially objective disposition. But its unconsciousness always made him callous to the fact that certain phases of his business demanded essentially unsocial action — such, for instance, as influencing elections to the Common Council in the interest of his street railway company. He was, that is, a man of wholesome and varied social instincts which had a powerful and edifying effect upon his life and the life of his associates, but he was not a man of civic and social ideals — in which again he was true to his pioneer type. The fact, however, that his business methods were born of a deeply rooted American tradition and had a definite social value was salutary. It enabled him to draw for the success of his subsequent political career upon sources of energy outside of himself. In case he had become the kind of a business man that many rich Americans of his generation did become, any but an insignificant political success would have been impossible. A financier may buy or earn a politicial position, but he cannot accomplish much by means of it. Mark Hanna always remained a Cleveland merchant, and his business remained, as I have said, personal and local. He rarely, if ever, embarked in enterprises which he did not personally control. He never "set up" as a capitalist, and bought with his money other men to do his work. He put back his profits, either in the coal and iron business, or in some other local enterprise, over which he exercised personal supervision. All his enterprises were Cleveland enterprises or immediately related thereto. He was rooted in his native business soil, and his personality and his work depended for their value on local associations and responsibilities. He had too sound an instinct for the sources of his own personal dignity and power to let himself become a homeless financier. The consequence was that when he entered politics as a business man, he represented a vital and a genuinely popular American business tradition.
He never was essentially a money-maker. If he had been, he might have made very much more money than he actually did. His business life is inextricably entangled with his domestic and his social life. He never hesitated either to spend money or to sacrifice the making of it in the interest of something better worth while. As much as any very successful business man, and far more than the average, Mark Hanna earned by personal economic services his private fortune. He made a genuine contribution to the economic development of the Cleveland district at a time when such contributions were not disproportionately rewarded by any accession of scarcity values. When his political enemies stamped the sign of the dollar on Mark Hanna, they literally turned his relation to money upside down. What they should have done was to stamp on every dollar he made the initials "M. A. H." — the Hanna mark. CHAPTER XI
BEGINNINGS IN POLITICS
We have already seen that about 1880 the range of Mark Hanna's business interests began suddenly to widen. The dozen years following 1867 were spent chiefly in a laborious and enterprising effort to establish the business of Rhodes & Co. on firm and broad foundations and to expand it to the limit of its opportunities. The full fruits of this effort were not gathered until after the revival of business in 1879. Thenceforward Mark Hanna had the spare money and the leisure to undertake other enterprises. He emerges as one of a score of men who had become peculiarly prominent in Cleveland business; and almost simultaneously he began also to obtain a certain prominence in local politics. During the campaign of 1880, resulting in the election of James A. Garfield, he begins to count as a politician.
His interest in politics does not date from 1880 any more than his interest in business dates from 1867. He had always been interested in politics, although there is some conflict of testimony as to the point of departure of his earlier political activity. The statement has been made that his street railway interests first induced him to take a hand in the political game; but of all the eye-witnesses of Mr. Hanna's career only one lends any support to this explanation. Mr. Charles F. Leach, formerly Collector of Customs in Cleveland, and one of Mr. Hanna's own appointees, states that before he knew intimately his subsequent political chief, he had been prejudiced against Mr. Hanna. "I had heard of him as a local politician for what appeared to be his business interests. I had known him to stand at a corner on the West Side and peddle tickets for a candidate to the City Council who was supposed to be all right on street railroad matters or anything else that might come up." That Mr. Hanna at one time was not indifferent to the kind of men who were elected to the City Council and their attitude towards the street railway is true; but it is equally true that this was only a later and incidental phase of his political activity. The main spring thereof is to be sought in a wholly different direction.
The generation of business men to which Mr. Hanna belonged, particularly in the Middle West, took during their early lives a more earnest and innocent interest in politics than have their successors. Before the war almost all the good citizens of Ohio had been somewhat active in politics. After the war political activity became rapidly more and more professional; but the average business man still participated to a large extent in practical political work. He was likely to attend the primaries and perhaps spend the whole of election day at the polls. He did so because he was a Republican or a Democrat, not so much from inheritance, habit or interest, as from personal conviction. The memory of the war was still vivid. Republicanism was still associated with patriotic unionism, Democracy with secession. The Republican party in particular was still made up of its founders.
Mark Hanna was a primitive Republican. His family had been antislavery Whigs. His first presidential vote had been cast for Lincoln. He, his brother and most of his friends had served with the Northern forces during the war. He was a Republican up to the hilt — a Republican so black as to make him an undesirable son-in-law in the eyes of an ardent Democrat. But when a man of Mark Hanna's disposition believes in anything, he does not ruminate about it: he acts on it. Some sort of action was his essential method of personal expression. Indeed, it might be truer to put it the other way. His strong convictions were in a sense the by-products of his actions. Any conviction upon which he failed to act would have languished. He could scarcely have remained a convinced Republican unless he had actually participated in Republican party business.
That he did so from the start there is abundant proof. His wife says that ever since the beginning of their acquaintance he used to attend the primaries and perform active work at the polls on election day. As early as 1869 he was elected a