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J. S. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith Co.
THE history of the United States, more than that of any. Old World country, is the record of its physical achievements. The exploitation of virgin territory by a race of extraordinary intelligence, resource, and energy is the essential theme of our national history. Political events and social changes are conditioned on industrial evolution, and the story of America can be comprehended only in the light of her material aspirations and attainments. The advance of agriculture from the pioneer farm to the bonanza ranch, the expansion of manufactures consequent on the substitution of machinery and factory organization for the domestic handicrafts, the service rendered to commerce by steam, the telegraph, electricity, these are the really potent factors in the history of the United States. The transformation of industrial institutions from indentured servants to the trade union, from the self-employed artisan to the trust, from wild-cat banking to the national bank system, has more significance than the ups and downs of parties or the result of a presidential election.
The record of our industrial progress may be rendered no less intelligible and interesting to the average student than the development of political forms. Business methods are more familiar than military tactics, and a mechanical invention is more readily
comprehended than a constitutional revision. Elaborate treatises have been written on various phases of our economic history. It is the aim of this book to bring the essential elements of that history within the grasp of the average reader. The complicated story has been told in the briefest possible fashion. Marginal references will enable the student to go into detail as fully as may be desired. Contemporary problems are treated in mere outline. The data essential to the study of each have been set forth with no expression of opinion, the best authorities, pro and con, being noted in the margin. Maps and charts and statistical tables are intended, not to duplicate, but to supplement those readily accessible in special treatises and in government publications, such as the United States Census, the Statistical Abstract, etc.