« AnteriorContinuar »
ence to the question in their platform. hear from the Democrats many references in terms of glittering generality to their party principles, and it is not always easy to find out just what they really have in mind as fundamentally distinguishing them from the Republican party. But we think they might fairly claim a higher faith than the party now in power in the good sense and wisdom of the plain people, and particularly in the superior usefulness of a direct resort to the ballot box.
Another difficult problem that relates and Their to the United States Senate has to do Senate Seats. with the equal representation of growingly unequal States. As a condition upon which to get the Constitution adopted at all it was necessary, in the convention of 1787, to remove the opposition of small States by recognizing the principle of equal State sovereignty. And so the Senate was shaped somewhat on the analogy of a congress of ambassadors. However true it may have been that the Union as originally formed was a federation of separate States, it is far less true of the country as it stands to-day. Two-thirds of the existing States never had any rights at all of separate sovereignty, but were parts of the common national domain, rather carelessly and unscientifically divided off into administrative provinces called by us Territories, and then singly or in groups erected into States, and admitted on equal terms to participation in the federal Government. The earlier admissions have almost invariably been justified by subsequent results, this being particularly true of the great series of States lying in the Mississippi Valley. Texas and California were above ordinary rules. Each was an imperial acquisition, and there could be no question about prompt admission to statehood, and about the moral, as well as the legal, title of each to equal rank in the United States Senate.
But the later admission of a number Admissions of States lying on either side of the to the Union. Rocky Mountain zone was imprudent, because experimental. There was a chance, to be sure, that these great areas would acquire population rapidly, and become the actual equals of Mississippi Valley and Eastern States. But since the scattered inhabitants of these areas were comfortable and well off under their territorial governments, there was no proper reason for making haste to admit them to the Union. Most of the undue and undignified precipitancy that was shown was the result of supposed political necessity and sheer moral weakness in the Republican party. The party had its lesson
There were ample reasons of a difSome Useful ferent sort why Utah should not have been admitted with its present boundaries seven years ago; yet its deficiency of population alone gave reason enough why it should have been kept on the waiting list for a good while to come, inasmuch as it has not even at this moment one-sixth of the average population of the forty-five States of the Union. To put it differently, the average citizen of the United States, in admitting a State like Utah, so far as the Senate is concerned, waives in favor of the Rocky Mountain man five-sixths of his own representation. Montana still has population enough for only one member of the House
Hon. De Forest Richards, of Wyoming.
Hon. Charles N. Herreid,
of Representatives in the newly elected Con-
For example, the two Dakotas, taken Areas and together, have now about 700,000 people. North Dakota has a population equivalent to one-fifth of the average of all the States, and South Dakota's people are about one-fourth as many as those of the average State. Texas, on the other hand, gets along very well as a single State with an area almost twice as great as that of the Dakotas combined. Washington and Oregon might well have been united, -again with the understanding that if they so desired they should constitute two States at such a time in the future as they had reached the average development of their sister commonwealths. Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho should have been kept in the territorial stage for another decade, and then should have been admitted as one large State. Taken together, they have a population of about 500,000 in an area somewhat exceeding 300,000 square miles. Texas already has a population of more than 3,000,000 in an
Hon. John T. Morrison, of Idaho.
area somewhat less than 300,000 square miles. With its smaller area, Texas gained more than 813,000 people in the last decade, while with their considerably larger area this group of three States-Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho-altogether added only 220,000. Little New Jersey alone, meanwhile, had added nearly 440,000 in the same period, while Minnesota had added 450,000. These new Rocky Mountain States have not in rapidity of growth justified those glowing promises made for them at the time of their admission twelve and thirteen years ago. The two Dakotas, Montana, and Washington, were admitted in November, 1889, while Idaho and Wyoming won their statehood in the next year.
Utah as the
It is, of course, the merest nonsense Latest Mis- to say that presentation of these plain facts involves any unfriendliness toward the States thus mentioned. The land speculators and ambitious politicians of those Territories, rather than the ordinary citizens, were the people who urged what they called their claims" to statehood, and they are not to be censured for presenting their case to the best of their ability. All fault-finding should be reserved for the statesmen at Washington, who, for immediate party reasons, conferred the irrevocable rank and authority of statehood upon mere casual divisions of the public domain which had scarcely begun to grow into any or ganic unity as bodies politic. More recently, at the beginning of 1896, the Territory of Utah was admitted. Utah, as a Mormon center, had indeed become a distinct social and political organism; but its population was too far below the average in numbers, and its civilization was too defective in important respects, to justify its
being made one of the system of States. It should have been kept indefinitely in the territorial rank, with a view to annexing it ultimately to Nevada. But the merits of the case were ignored.
This whole question of the Territories and their admission now comes up in the most concrete and urgent form, because the House of Representatives last winter passed an omnibus bill" to admit to the Union the Territories of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona, while the question was only prevented from being acted upon in the Senate by a prom ise which Senator Quay, of Pennsylvania, was in position to exact, that the measure should be given a leading place on the calendar of the new session, and should be taken up in the very first week of December. Both parties inserted in their last national platforms planks favoring the admission of these three Territories. Undoubtedly, the Democrats are deliberately committed to the policy. The Dakotas and other new Northwestern States were admitted by the Republicans with distinct reference to the possible need of their electoral votes in the Presidential election of 1892. The Democrats have ever since demanded the admission of Arizona and New Mexico on the theory of party compensation, believing, as they do, that in the long run these Southwestern sisters would be Democratic both in the Senate and in the Electoral College.
The Pending "Omnibus Bill."
part of the old Indian Territory, through the extinction of Indian titles and the successive opening up of several tribal reservations. Okla homa has an area of 38,958 square miles. This includes 5,000 or 6,000 square miles of the long, narrow No-man's Land" strip, which ought to be added to Texas, as a glance at the map will readily enough show. With that strip detached, and the 31,000 square miles of the present Indian Territory added, Oklahoma would have permanent and scientific boundaries, and a suitable size and shape. It should remain, by all means, in the territorial condition until the process of opening up what remains of the Indian Territory shall have been completed. Oklahoma, as it now exists, merely represents a temporary internal division of the Indian Territory made for the purpose of providing a way to govern that portion which was fully opened up to white settlement. When the full dimensions of the old Indian Territory are restored, the whole region thrown open, and all conditions duly and deliberately considered, the time will have come for taking up seriously the question of admission under the name of Oklahoma, or any other name that the people may choose and Congress may accept. The facts are too plain to be denied,
To admit Oklahoma now, with its Oklahoma's irregular and accidental boundaries, -and its area only half that of the neighboring States of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas, would be a scandalously unstatesmanlike thing for Congress to do. With all party considerations laid aside, and with patient, intelligent, and honest study given to the question, Congress could not possibly at this time admit Oklahoma. Furthermore, the best people of Oklahoma know that this is true, and that the present statehood movement is one of boomers and politicians. for merely local and temporary ends. The admission of new States to our federal Union is one that involves history of an important sense for centuries to come. Shame upon alleged statesmen at Washington who will not allow such a question to come up for dignified and mature consideration, but who try to settle it upon snap votes, in utter disregard of all the motives that should actuate the national lawmaking body. Oklahoma is making admi rable progress as a farm
community. Its people are quite like the people of the farming States lying to the north and east of it, and when its boundaries have been fixed as they ought to be, with the opening of the Indian country completed, it will be welcomed by everybody as a splendid accession to the Union, a State which will soon take fine rank, and rapidly forge ahead to a position where it will have almost or quite the average population of the rest of the Union.
both Arizona and New Mexico. According to the latest available statistics, Arizona has 16,500 pupils enrolled in common schools, as against more than 1,200,000 in the State of New York, and more than 1,150,000 in the State of Pennsylvania. Yet Senator Quay, of Pennsylvania, proposes to give the adjacent States of Arizona and New Mexico the same voting power in the United States Senate as that which is held by the adjacent States of New York and Pennsylvania. We have no reason to underestimate all that is excellent in the Spanish-speaking element which forms so large a part of the population of New Mexico; but no one will pretend that this population, largely illiterate and scarcely at all acquainted with our principles and methods of government, is at present fit for statehood.
Let the If Congress shall vote to admit it Consider His now, in the wrong shape and at the Geography. wrong time, let us hope that President Roosevelt will intervene with a prompt veto. Such an action would be commended by the whole country; for every sensible citizen would appreciate the reasons, and no man would believe in his heart that the President was in the slightest degree affected by the question whether or not Oklahoma, at the next Presidential election, would stand in the Republican or the Democratic column. If participating in the Presidential election, it would in all probability give its vote for Roosevelt; but that is an argument that cannot properly be taken into account. It is a question of our permanent political geography, and of Oklahoma's own best destiny and true glory as a State.
Of all the States and Territories in Population the Union, New Mexico and Arizona have the largest proportion of inhabitants who cannot speak English. The current language of the masses in New Mexico is Spanish, and even the children who learn English in the schools revert to the parent language in later years. New Mexico, also, leads the list of States and Territories, by a large percentage, as respects the proportion of illiteracy among the native white population. Furthermore, in all the inhabited spots of Arizona and New Mexico male population is greatly in excess of female, showing wholly unsettled conditions of society. It
As for Arizona and New Mexico, Arizona and they certainly are not deficient in area. Arizona has nearly 114,000 square miles, and New Mexico nearly 123,000. Taken together, however, they are considerably smaller than Texas, and they have nothing like the prospect of population growth that Oklahoma possesses. At the last census Arizona had nearly 123,000 people, and New Mexico just over 195,000. At its present rate of growth it will take New Mexico several hundred years to catch up with the average population of the existing States. Arizona has only a little more than half the population of an ordinary Congressional district. Oklahoma, with its boundaries properly extended to include the whole of the Indian Territory, would have already a good deal more than twice the population of
MAP TO SHOW INHABITED PARTS OF ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO.
(Outside of the shaded areas, the two Territories are practically without population. These inhabited parts have the low average of only from two to six per square mile, excepting the more heavily-shaded districts around the capitals, Phoenix and Santa Fé, in which the population averages, according to the census, from six to eighteen per square mile.)
nevertheless be quite impossible for the chairman and the committee to prevent action in the Senate unless supported by newspapers and citizens who believe that such issues should be decided upon their true merits, and quite apart from private scheming, political log-rolling, and party exigencies. The work of Mr. Beveridge's committee in the Southwest last month was businesslike and thorough beyond all precedents.
means mining camps and cowboys, rather than
Committee on Beveridge,
Meaning of pal results the Elections. of the elections last month show that the period of Republican dominance in the affairs of the nation is reasonably likely to continue at least until the year 1908. This may not prove to be the case, inasmuch as events may greatly accelerate the recovery of the Democratic party, so that it may make a formidable showing two years hence. But, in so far as this year's election may be taken as a prognostic, it points to the election of Mr. Roosevelt as President two years hence. According to normal precedents, a strong reaction was due last month. That the reaction as a whole was only slight,
and in some States not visible at all, is regarded by authorities in both parties as due to the confidence of the people in President Roosevelt more than to any other factor. Not a single State was completely carried by the Democrats last month outside of the former slaveholding group, with the sole exception of Nevada, where results never have any outside significance. In addition to carrying all the Northern States except Nevada, the Republicans also prevailed in Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. Thirty-one States were carried by the Republicans, and fourteen by the Democrats. If the Presidency of the United States were to be determined by last month's voting, it has been estimated that the Republican candidate would have 322 electoral votes, as against 154 for the Democratic candi