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John Bach McMaster

BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. - When Howe sailed from Boston (in March, 1776), he went to Halifax in Nova Scotia. But Washington was sure New York would be attacked, so he moved the Continental army to that city and took position on the hills back of Brooklyn on Long Island.

THE SOUTHERN COAST BLOCKADE. - The naval war began with a proclamation of Davis offering commissions to privateers, [1] and two by Lincoln (April 19 and 27, 1861), declaring the coast blockaded from Virginia to Texas.

THE WEST. - After Great Britain obtained from France the country between the mountains and the Mississippi, the British king, as we have seen (p. 143), forbade settlement west of the mountains. But the westward movement of population was not to be stopped by a proclamation. The hardy frontiersmen gave it no heed, and, passing over the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, they hunted, trapped, and made settlements in the forbidden land.

THREE ISSUES. - After the collapse of the Confederacy, our countrymen were called on to meet three issues arising directly from the war: -

1. The first was, What shall be done to destroy the institution of slavery? [1]

2. The second was, What shall be done with the late Confederate states? [2]

3. The third had to do with the national debt and the currency.

OUR BOUNDARIES. - By the treaty of 1783 our country was bounded on the north by a line (very much as at present) from the mouth of the St. Croix River in Maine to the Lake of the Woods; on the west by the Mississippi River; and on the south by the parallel of 31° north latitude from the Mississippi to the Apalachicola, and then by the present south boundary of Georgia to the sea. [1]

THE WEST. - In 1860 the great West bore little resemblance to its present appearance. The only states wholly or partly west of the Mississippi River were Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas. Louisiana, Texas, California, and Oregon. Kansas territory extended from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains. Nebraska territory included the region from Kansas to the British possessions, and from Minnesota and Iowa to the Rocky Mountains.

THE STATES. - When Washington became President, the thirteen original states of the Union [1] were in many respects very unlike the same states in our day. In some the executive was called president; in others governor. In some he had a veto; in others he had not. In some there was no senate. To be a voter in those days a man had to have an estate worth a certain sum of money, [2] or a specified annual income, or own a certain number of acres. [3]

THE NATIONAL LABOR PARTY. - The changed industrial conditions of the period 1860-80 affected politics, and after 1868 the questions which divided parties became more and more industrial and financial. The rise of the national labor party and its demands shows this very strongly. Ever since 1829 the workingman had been in politics in some of the states, and had secured many reforms. But no national labor congress was held till 1865, after which like congresses were held each year till 1870, when a national convention was called to form a "National Labor-Reform Party."

The New World, of which our country is the most important part, was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492. When that great man set sail from Spain on his voyage of discovery, he was seeking not only unknown lands, but a new way to eastern Asia. Such a new way was badly needed.

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