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States - Territorial Expansion United States - Commercial Development

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STATES - TERRITORIAL EXPANSION ; UNITED STATES - COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT.

Anti-Trust Legislation.— The Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 had led to a number of secret agreements between interested parties which sought to evade the provisions of the act, while still dominating the various markets. When Colonel Roosevelt became President, he resolutely instituted an investi gation of these evils, and in 1903 the Attorney General was instructed to bring suit to dis solve the recently-formed Northern Securities Company, as a combination in restraint of trade with interests which would permit into control of the nation's railways passing Into the hands of three or four persons. In 1904 the combination was declared illegal by the Supreme Court. The Railway Rate Regula tion Act of 1906 made concessions to the railroads, but President Roosevelt's attitude antagonized large banking, corporationand other commercial interests. Under President Taft, regulation of railways and corporations was not favorably looked upon, and this with further leniency toward moneyed interests, led to the formation of the Progressive Republi can party, which joined with the Democrats, when opportunity offered, to promote legisla tion favorable to their views. This movement created opposition, led by ex-President Roose velt, to President Taft's re-election. The re sult was a Democratic party victory with the election of Woodrow Wilson by a minority vote-2,500,000 less than the com bined votes of his Republican opponents. President Wilson was not in sympathy with consolidated business interests, which he described as ixso great that it is almost an open question whether the government of the United States can dominate them or and he proposed that Congress should pass new laws curbing monopoly. In 1914, the Ray burn Bill, an anti-stock watering measure, was introduced and passed the House, but was stopped in the Senate as it was discovered that the financial condition of railroads made it inadvisable to press further legislation. The Federal Trade Commission Bill and the Clay ton Anti-Trust Act, however, became law; the first to deal with corporations not engaged in transportation but carrying on interstate busi ness or with a foreign country; the second to Jneet difficulties that had arisen through efforts of corporations to create monopolies by in direct dealing, such as offering their products at special low prices until their competitors were driven out of business.

Income When in 1895 the Supreme Court set aside the Income Tax Law of the previous year, on the ground that it was a direct tax, and therefore must be apportioned among the States according to population, an amendment to the Federal Constitution seemed the only remedy. On recommendation of President Taft, both Houses of Congress, with almost no opposition, submitted such an amendment to the States in 1909, allowing an income tax without proportional distribution.

It was ratified by the necessary 36 States— to which six others were promptly added and became a part of the Constitution, 25 Feb. 1913.

Senatorial Election by Popular Vote.— During the first decade of the 20th century there was constant agitation for an amend ment providing that senators should be elected by popular vote. Such an amend ment was submitted 15 May 1912 and it went through with such rapidity that it was put in force 31 May 1913. From that time all va cancies as they occurred were filled by pop ular election. The result was that many senators who had never been chosen to any office by popular vote found that they could not meet that test and dropped out. By 4 March 1919, this amendment had its full effect, every senator thereafter being chosen by di rect popular vote.

Liquor In recent years the liquor question has grown into an issue of vast national importance. Prohibition and local option have made great strides across the continent, though it cannot be said that the consumption of intoxicating beverages has fallen off in proportion, the per capita figures for 1916 being slightly greater than those for 1902. Whereas prior to 1 Jan. 1915 there were only nine States which had adopted prohibi tion, on 1 March 1917 there were 25 States on the ((dry)) list, with an aggregate population of 05,380,568 (1910 census). In 19 States pro hibition laws were effective while in the other six the law became operative at different dates during 1917 and 1918. Hence it was estimated at the time that more than 55,000,000 of the population of the United States were living under prohibition and more than 60 per cent of the entire area of the nation was prohibi tion territory. In the Presidential election of 1916 the Prohibitionist candidate, Mr. J. F. Hanly of Missouri, received little over 221,000 votes, about 13,000 more than the candidate in the previous (1912) election, but considerably less than were obtained by the Prohibition can didates in the elections of 1888, 1892, 1904 and 1908. But if the party prohibitionists were not supported in the popular voting, their cause was greatly advanced in the referendum voting on liquor laws and prohibition amend ments. Though the joint resolution providing for the submission of a prohibitory amendment to the Constitution was not voted upon during the 64th Congress, the consideration which was given the measure in both Houses indicated a strong sentiment in its favor. Enormous changes were wrought by the Food Control Act of 1917 as a war measure, and further modifications were introduced by the November elections of that year. See LIQUOR