Page images
[blocks in formation]

S. Hewitt, who was elected. Appointed by President Harrison to the United States Civil Service Commission in 1889, he served until 1895, being retained by President Cleveland. In May, 1895, he became president of the metropolitan police board, and proceeded with great energy to remove abuses in the police administration. In April, 1897, he became assistant secretary of the navy, and while in that office, by his quick and comprehensive grasp of detail and the unflagging energy that has always characterized him, he rendered invaluable assistance in the preparation of the navy for the war with Spain. One of his acts was the securing of large appropriations for target practice at sea, an expenditure con demned as wasteful at the time, but one that demonstrated its wisdom during actual conflict by the accurate aim of the American gunners, which surprised naval experts throughout the world. He resigned from the Navy Department in May, 1898, to organize, with Leonard Wood (afterward governor-general of Cuba), the First United States Volunteer Cavalry for service in the Spanish-American War. Feeling himself not qualified for command, Roosevelt became lieutenant-colonel, serving next to Colonel Wood; and the regiment, popularly known as “Roosevelt's Rough Riders," was among the first to be selected for the Cuban campaign under General Shafter. In the fighting at San Juan the regiment played a prominent part, and Roosevelt was promoted to colonel for gallantry in action.

After being mustered out of the United States service, Colonel Roosevelt became the Republican candidate for governor of New York, and after a vigorous campaign, in which he covered practically every part of the State on speaking tours, he was elected by a plurality of 18,079. At the outset of his administration he devoted his attention to the investigation of the State canal system, the mismanagement of which had become a public scandal. He appointed two Democratic lawyers to assist the attorney-general in the inquiry, and the commission reported that while the $9,000,000 appropriated for improvements during the preceding term had been expended in a manner deserving of public indignation, there was no basis for criminal prosecution, no collusion between the State authorities and the contractors having been established. Another commission, headed by General Francis V. Greene, appointed (March, 1899) to offer suggestions as to the best plan for improving the system, delivered a report calling for the expenditure of over $60,000,000. The legislature shelved the report; but on the last day of its 1900 session, responding to the governor's appeal, appropriated $200,000 for an engineering survey of the system and an accurate estimate of the projected improvements. Other pieces of legislation with which the governor was intimately connected by his personal supervision were the Ford bill, providing for the taxation of the franchises of gas companies, street railways, and other corporations; the Davis bill, relating to the payment of public-school teachers, placing the minimum annual salary at $600, and providing for regular advances in compensation, according to length of service; and a measure for the improvement of the civil service, removing the majority of classified positions from the domain of political appointment and placing them under the control of the bureau. The State constabulary bill, providing for State control of the police, by means of a commissioner, with chiefs under his direction in the various cities, received the support of the governor, but was defeated through the influence of representatives from the large cities as an infringement of their municipal autonomy.

As the Republican national convention of 1900 approached, the name of Governor Roosevelt was repeatedly mentioned for the vice-presidential nomination, and his candidacy was as often denied by himself. He announced his desire to remain governor and to be reelected, in order to complete the reforms he had barely begun. On the other hand, there was evidence of an intrigue among the party leaders to remove him from New York politics, where, in the event of his renomination for governor, it was feared that the antagonism aroused by him among the farming and corporate elements, for his advocacy of the canal investigation and the Ford bill, would bring disastrous results to Republican interests. In opposition, therefore, to his expressed wish, Roosevelt was nominated for the vice-presidency by acclamation, and with William McKinley was elected in November, 1900. After performing with credit the duties of the presiding officer of the Senate, he was called upon to take the oath of office as chief magistrate upon the death of President McKinley. Immediately afterward, President Roosevelt announced his intention of maintaining unbroken the policy of his predecessor, of which the principles are: The adoption of more extensive reciprocity in the commercial relations of the United States; the abolition of all tariffs on foreign productions where protection for home industries is no longer essential; the establishment of direct lines of communication between the eastern coast of the United States and the ports of Mexico, Central and South America; the encouragement of the merchant marine; the building and completion of an Isthmian canal; the construction of a cable between this country and its new possessions in the Pacific; and the use of arbitra

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

tion wherever possible in disputes with foreign governments. He requested the members of the cabinet to assist his, administration by retaining their portfolios, and they consented. At the end of 1901 the cabinet was the same as at the death of McKinley, with the exception of Henry C. Payne (q.v.), who succeeded Charles Emory Smith as postmaster-general, although it was definitely announced that Leslie M. Shaw would succeed Lyman J. Gage as secretary of the treasury.

President Roosevelt's writings include the following: The Naval War of 1812 (1882); Life of Thomas Hart Benton (1887) and Life of Gouverneur Morris (1888), in the American Statesmen series; Ranch Life and Hunting Trail (1888); History of New York City (1891), in the Historic Towns Series; Winning of the West (4 vols., 1889-96); Essays on Practical Politics (1892); The Wilderness Hunter (1892); American Political Ideals (1897); The Rough Riders (1899); Life of Oliver Cromwell (1900); and The Strenuous Life (1900).

ROPER, JESSE Mims, lieutenant-commander, U. S. N., died at Cavite, P. I., March 31, 1901. He was a native of Missouri, and was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from that State in 1868. During the Spanish-American War he commanded the converted gunboat Mayflower in the West Indian campaign. He was commissioned lieutenant-commander March 3, 1899, and in November of that year was placed in command of the gunboat Petrel, on the Asiatic station. He was suffocated while attempting to rescue a seaman in a fire on the Petrel.

ROSEBERY, Fifth Earl of, ARCHIBALD PHILIP PRIMROSE, the former Liberal premier of Great Britain, signalized his return to political life in December, 1901, by a speech outlining his idea of the policy the Liberals would be compelled to follow if they hoped to gain control of the government. (See GREAT BRITAIN, paragraph The Liberal Party.) Lord Rosebery was born May 7, 1847, and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford. His first official position was that of commissioner to inquire into Scottish endowments in 1872, and in 1878-81 he was rector of Aberdeen University. In 1881-83 he served as under-secretary in the Home Office; in 1885 he was lord privy seal and chief commissioner of works; in 1886, and again in 1892-94, when the Liberals came to power, he was secretary for foreign affairs; in 1889-90 he was chairman of the London County Council, and in 1894-95 he was prime minister. He was succeeded as premier by Lord Salisbury in 1895, and his retirement from politics was announced. In 1899 he was made lord rector of Glasgow University.

ROTHSCHILD, Baron WILHELM CARL VON, German banker, died at Frankfort, January 25, 1901. He was born at Naples, May 16, 1828. When seventeen he removed to Frankfort, and upon the death of his elder brother in 1886 succeeded him as head of the local branch of the famous banking house. Baron Rothschild was a scrupulous observer of the Mosaic law in all his actions in life and a close student of the Talmud. His munificent contributions to charitable and religious causes were due to his strict observance of the Jewish principle of tithing.

ROTHWELL, RICHARD PENNEFATHER, mining engineer and editor, died in New York, April 17, 1901. He was born May I, 1836, at Ingersoll, Ontario, and was educated at Trinity College (Toronto), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy), and the Ecole Centrale des Mines (Paris). After engaging in the manufacture of wire rope in England, he returned to America, and from 1866 to 1873 was active as an engineer in Pennsylvania, his practice including various branches of mining, civil, and mechanical engineering. Mr. Rothwell joined the staff of the Engineering and Mining Journal in 1874, and subsequently became its editor-in-chief and owner. In 1893 he founded The Mineral Industry, an annual devoted to mining and metallurgy, for which he received a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1898. He was one of the founders of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, and was at one time its president. He was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and of the geological societies of London and Paris.

ROUMANIA, a constitutional monarchy of southeastern Europe. The capital is Bucharest.

Area and Population.—The kingdom comprises the two principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia and the province of Dobruja, having a combined area of 48,307 square miles and a population (in 1899) of 5,912,600, of whom 5,469,036 are native Roumanians. Bucharest, the largest city, has 282,071 inhabitants. The predominating religion is that of the Orthodox Greek Church, whose adherents number 5,408,743. Catholics and Protestants number 168,276, and Jews (9.7'.) 269,015. Education, although nominally free and compulsory, is still in a very backward condition, and the ratio of illiteracy in 1899 was 88.4 per cent. There is a university at Bucharest, with 2,210 students, and a smaller one at Jassy. The enrollment in the primary schools is only 321,873 out of a total school population of almost 800,000.

[blocks in formation]

Government. The executive power is vested in a king and a responsible cabinet of eight ministers; the legislative in a parliament consisting of two houses—the senate and chamber of deputies. The senators, 120 in number, are elected for eight years, and the deputies, of whom there are 183, for four years. The reigning sovereign is Charles I., of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

The military service is organized on a basis of conscription, all Roumanians between 21 and 46 years of age being liable for personal service. There is a regular army, on a peace footing, of 3,280 officers and 60,000 men, and a territorial army of 70,000. The war strength is about 172,000. The regular army is said to be remarkably efficient. There is a small navy of a dozen vessels, containing one protected cruiser.

Finance.—The standard of value is the lëu, valued at 19.3 cents. The financial situation has been for some time the most perplexing of all national problems. The principal sources of revenue consist of direct and indirect taxes, the proceeds of the sale of the state domain, and the salt and tobacco monopolies. The budget estimates for 1900-01 balanced at 245,325,400 lei. The Liberal retrenchment programme for 1901-02 reduced the budget balance to 218,500,000 lei. The public debt, which has been increased rapidly in recent years from loans, amounted to 1,292,240,030 lei at the end of 1899 and 1,451,497,307 lei in 1900. The prevailing financial stringency in the country is said to be due to poor crops, and the large indebtedness at excessive interest borne by landed property. The annual interest on this indebtedness, which averages 10 per cent. and in some cases reaches 36 per cent., amounts to 26,000,000 lei. The debt itself in 1901 was estimated at 431,000,000 lei. The per cent. for ordinary loans is 24, while peasants are often compelled to pay as high as 60.

Industries, Commerce, etc.-Over 70 per cent. of the population are engaged in agriculture, and only 25 per cent. of the entire area is unproductive. Wheat is the largest crop, the production in 1900 being 19,897,406 hectolitres. The crops of maize, barley, oats, and rye are next in importance, in the order named. The Carpathian Mountains are rich in mineral deposits, which have been little worked. The total imports decreased from 389,908,439 lei in 1898 to 333,267,938 lei in 1899 and to 216,985,876 lei in 1900, and the exports, after falling from 283,181,567 lei in 1898 to 149,119,657 lei in 1899, increased to 280,000,431 lei in 1900. The falling off in exports in 1899 was due to poor crops, which resulted in a shrinkage in the cereal export from a value of 241,415,465 lei in 1898 to 97,116,900 lei in 1899. In 1900 there were 1,932 miles of state railway in operation in Roumania, and about 440 miles more in process of construction or under survey.

History.-At the opening of the year 1901 it became apparent that a complete reorganization of the government's financial policy was necessary. Loans could be raised only with the greatest difficulty, the national credit was impaired, and the revenues were becoming more and more inadequate to meet the increasing expenditure. M. P. P. Carp, who had succeeded M. George Cantacuzene, the Old Conservative leader, as the head of a coalition ministry of Old Conservatives and Junimists (or Young Conservatives), in July, 1900, prepared an elaborate scheme for financial reform, which he laid before the chamber in January, 1901. The bill presented by Premier Carp to meet the deficit provided for an increase of existing taxes so that they would produce an additional 7.500,000 lei, and establishing new imposts that would raise as much more. Opposition immediately developed, not only among the Liberals, but in the ranks of the Old Conservatives, who thought that their leaders, M. Cantacuzene and M. Take-Jonesco, his former minister of finance, had been ignored in the preparation of the bill. M. Cantacuzene had given up his place as premier in July, 1900, to M. Carp, the Junimist leader, in the hope of preventing a return of the Liberals, who had gone out of power with the fall of the Sturdza cabinet in 1899. M. Cantacuzene himself had been chosen president of the chamber, but his chief lieutenant, M. Take-Jonesco, had refused a seat in the Carp cabinet, and many of the Old Conservatives remained dissatisfied with the coalition. The situation demanded, on the part of M. Carp, the exercise of great tact, a quality that he seems to have lacked entirely. There was nothing unreasonable in the schedules of his fiscal reform bill-in fact, it was an exceedingly moderate measure; but the Old Conservatives remained obdurate, and no efforts of M. Cantacuzene-who, although he felt the action of Premier Carp to be a direct affront to his party, still clung to the hope of a continuance of the anti-Liberal coalitioncould whip them into line in support of the ministerial measure. On February 7. 1901, the financial committee of the chamber reported adversely on the premier's scheme. The following day, taking this as a practical defeat, M. Carp and his colleagues handed in their resignations. King Charles was loath to call the Liberals into power, and on February 9 asked M. Cantacuzene to undertake the task of forming a Conservative ministry. This, however, the former premier refused to do, and counseled the king to ask Carp, who had not been actually defeated, to reconsider

« PreviousContinue »