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thrown away its grand opportunity of reviving the glory of the old organization, when campaigns of principle were fought by men of less ability than she now reckons among her leaders.
There is, however, one criticism upon the policy of the Republican party which deserves extended notice. It is thus embodied in a plank of the Democratic platform:
“ Under a quarter century of Republican rule and policy, despite our manifest advantage over all other nations in high-paid labor, favorable climates, and teeming soils; despite freedom of trade among all these United States; despite their population by the foremost races of men, and an annual immigration of the young, thrifty and adventurous of all nations; despite our freedom here from the inherited burdens of life and industry in Old World monarchies—their costly war navies, their vast tax-consuming, non-producing standing armies; despite twenty years of peace—that Republican rule and policy have managed to surrender to Great Britain, along with our commerce, the control of the markets of the world."
As all Americans ought to fully realize, in comparison with England we have ceased to be a great commercial nation, and are rapidly being degraded from our once proud position of food supplier to the world. The assertion is ventured that should a high tariff and grain gambling be continued in this country for the next ten years, there will go up a universal cry of distress from the producers of cereals in the West. Even now Chicago does not control the wheat market of the world, and America is no longer indispensable as a feeder to England and Europe. The former is tired of having her manufactures restricted by us, while at the same time she buys freely of our grain. India and Russia together nearly equal the United States in wheat-producing capacity, and year by year Europe and Asia are being bound with railroads. Into these countries and into the prolific territory of Australia, into Argentine Republic and South Africa, improved machinery is being introduced, and upon their products Great Britain and Europe are depending more and more. That the policy of the party which has been in power for the past quarter of a century is responsible for this decadence in commerce and agriculture no one can deny. As a consequence the agricultural West is being firmly set against the manufacturing East. Farmers look upon manufacturers as a class favored at their expense, and ere long may consider them as enemies. The troubles of 1833 may repeat themselves, except that the West instead of the South will be arrayed against the East. The responsibility for this sectional and class antagonism rests with the Republican party.
The two great parties must crumble unless they fairly meet the industrial and commercial problems which are forced upon them. For the past
few years each has attempted to smother these issues under an avalanche of honeyed words cast upon capitalist and laborer alike. But, as in the case of slavery, the time will come when there can be no more compromises; when morality and humanity will force themselves into politics, and voters must advance like men and declare plainly where they stand. Among these issues free trade and protection will soon appear as paramount. The elements are combining into bodies of nearly equal strength, and within a decade the decisive battle will be fought. Already are grouped in sentiment, as they will soon be in action, the free workingmen, the broad-minded and patriotic thinkers of the East, and the farmers of the West, with their political representatives; on the other hand appear the powerful manufactories, corporations and monopolies-agricultural and otherwise—with the many voters and able minds which they control.
The time is coming when a man will be ashamed to say that he is a free trader in theory, but that the country is too much of an infant yet to put his principles into practice. The Carey philosophy, which looks upon free trade as the ideal, and protection the means of arriving at it, does not now apply to our stalwart manhood. Even the Massachusetts school of free traders, the members of which take their position more as anti-protectionists than as positivists, will give place to those who stand for the abolition of all burdens upon trade, commerce and manufactures, and for the imposition of taxes for revenue upon articles of luxury, upon gigantic incomes, upon hoarded and unimproved lands, upon stocks and bonds, and all idle capital.
COLONIAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT IN VIRGINIA
In the second charter to the Virginia Company the Governor was authorized “to use and exercise martial law in cases of rebellion or mutiny in as large and ample manner as our lieutenants in our counties within this realm of England.” This sentence calls attention to the difference be. tween the settlement of New England and that of Virginia. Many of the early settlers of New England had been townsfolk, or easily adapted their mode of living to the township idea, which was necessary among so few to insure mutual protection and assistance. The transfer of the governing power to the colony and the nature of the country still further strengthened the natural tendency to reproduce the older and smaller local independencies of the homeland. The settlement of Virginia, however, seems to have been conducted upon another principle. The clause in the charter which conferred upon the governor the powers of a county lieutenant indicates that it was designed for the colony to become in course of time a kind of county dependent, through the Company in London, upon the Crown. From certain circumstances, similar in many respects to those which later affected the northern colonists, a small local life was absolutely required in Virginia, but this did not continue for any great length of time. As more colonists arrived, they extended their settlements over the fertile country by means of its natural highways—the rivers, that had for ages been preparing the soil for easy cultivation by rich alluvial deposits. Little by little the new comers subdued or pacified by force or policy the original proprietors, and, encroaching upon the wilderness, amassed large estates, which were destined to become greater on account of the system of entail and primogeniture that, as some writers assert, was developed in Virginia to a higher degree than in England itself. With the retreat or extermination of the Indians disappeared the necessity of living in or near small fortified hamlets, and as population spread over wider territory the town broadened into the county, and people, institutions, soil, and climate began to exercise upon each other a modifying influence, the result of which was Virginia of the Revolution. Imbued by birth or training with aristocratic notions, Virginia's founders allowed them full play in the land of their adoption, where there was no controlling class above or below them, and where every circumstance favored them. Where almost every
* Hening's Statutes, i., p. 96.
extensive plantation had its own “landing,” and the planter was his own factor and possessed and trained his artizans, there was no reason why towns should be built. Even when attempts to lay off towns in every county were made, they were delayed and resisted upon the plea that tobacco culture would be hindered. The consequence of a small population scattered over a large area was that the county obtained predominance as a political unit, though smaller divisions retained a quasi recognition. A brief review of the history of the first fifteen years of the colony will show in some degree the causes of the origin and growth of the county system.
When one considers the relation of Virginia to the English Crown after the dissolution of the Company, that had controlled their affairs for economic purposes, he sees the Governor representing the King, the law, and to all intents the Church. This was a great advance beyond the idea of an agent for a company, or of a county lieutenant, and the change in the attributes of the governor had been brought about by the increase of population and wealth in the colony, and the consequent subdivisions of power all concentrated into the Governor's hands.
After a few years' experience the mere merchant venture, with its servants, tools and provisions in common, was found to be impracticable. Community of goods under most favorable circumstances has resulted in poverty or disintegration. What was true about many later pure communistic experiments was equally true in regard to the attempt in Virginia. Many of the adventurers unused to manual labor took it for granted that they would be fed from the common store; consequently they were not incited to make very great efforts for their own support, but were glad of any opportunity that might enable them to shirk work. The result was that they not only did not produce enough to repay the outlay of the Company, but were often hard put to provide food for themselves. Sir Thomas Dale hit upon a half plan to remedy this evil, i.e. granting, to each man three acres of land, which he could cultivate one month in the year for himself and devote the other eleven months to the service of the colony, receiving for the same corn from the common store. At Henrico a more liberal arrangement was made, for a man was allowed to work eleven months for himself upon the payment of a certain amount of corn into the store, and was liable to be called on for one month's service to the colony at any time except in planting or harvesting seasons. The institution of private property in land, however greatly it may be deplored by modern socialists of the Henry George stripe, gave the colonists a feeling of permanence suited to their English instincts, and encouraged a man to depend upon his own resources. A man could thus see his labor affecting directly himself, and, as land may be justly considered the basis of all property, it is not surprising that there soon began to be material comfort and a degree of prosperity which, in spite of set-backs from Indian wars and internal struggles, caused Virginia to be regarded as the granary of the North. The allotment of fifty acres for each person brought into the colony gave it greater stability, and the people having obtained a basis for operations, began to be restless under military rule, and, true to education, to desire a government more akin to English law and practice.* The Company thought fit to acquiesce in this desire, and accordingly sent back as Governor Sir George Yeardley, with instructions to summon a body to make laws for the colony. In answer to his summons there assembled in the church at Jamestown, July 30, 1619, the first English legislative body in America. The members of the Assembly, as it was afterward called, sat together in the church, the Governor and Council occupying the choir or chancel. The larger portion was composed of twenty-two burgesses—two elected from each of the various hundreds, plantations or corporations situated along the Powhatan or James River from Henrico to the Bay, and even from the small settlement in Accomac. † The represent
*“The earliest mode of acquiring land in the colony was in virtue of five years' service to the London Company, at the expiration of which the adventurer was ‘set free' and entitled to a 'divident' of one hundred acres, which, if planted and seated by the building of a house upon it within three years, entitled the planter to an additional hundred acres; if not, it reverted to the crown. Later each one coming into the colony, or transporting thither or paying the passage of others, was entitled for himself, each member of his family, or other person thus transported, to fifty acres of land, which was called a “head right,' and was transferable. Still later lands were granted upon the condition of paying an annual “quit rent 'of one shilling for every fifty acres, and of planting and seating within three years." R. A. Brock, The Spotswood Letters, vol. i, p. 23. Virginia Historical Register, vol. ii., p. 190. Jefferson's Works, vol. i., p. 138.
+ By hundreds must not be understood a definite amount of territory inhabited by a body of persons represented originally by a hundred men or families. The term was used loosely in Maryland, but more loosely in Virginia. In 1609 Captain Francis West led a hundred and odd men up the James river and settled near the Falls, while Captain John Martin was in command of a hundred men on the south side of the river in the Nansemond country (Force's Tracts, vol. iii., p. 14]. When this fact is connected with the instructions to Governor Wyatt in 1621 to allow none but heads of hundreds to wear gold in their clothes, it seems to give the hundred a personal charac
In the first Assembly there were representatives from Martin's Brandon and Martin's Hundred, the former the plantation of Captain Martin, the latter evidently the place of his original settlement, which had been abandoned after a few months' occupation, but had afterward been revived. If this be so, the place took its name no doubt from the number of men who first seated there. But the territorial idea absorbed the personal, for Sir Thomas Dale "laid oute and annexed to be belonging to the freedom and corporation (of New Bermudas) for ever many miles of Champion and woodlar.d in severall Hundreds, as the upper and nether hundreds, Rochdale hundred, West's Sherly hundred. Diggs his hundred.” [Hamor's Narrative, pp. 31-32.] Other hundreds were afterward laid off with no apparent regard to uniformity, and the name was gradually re