Page images

roads and industries. The forming of trusts and combinations called attention to the dangers of unrestrained capitalistic control. President Roosevelt led in the movement for reforming railroad management and for controlling trusts. In the working out of these problems of "big business," there were new alignments, and the President's strongest support came from quarters which had once looked upon him with suspicion as the special protégé of the circles of wealth and privilege.

Everybody, however, came to see that his sole object was to build public policy upon sound principles of justice, with a "square deal" for all men alike. He was a life-long exponent of right-mindedness in public affairs; and the processes of reform which were set in motion while he occupied the White House will have accomplished results of profound importance for more than one generation.

[ocr errors]





HRISTOPHER COLUMBUS started with the Cross of Christ for India, by a new route, and headed straight from Spain toward India. He did not know that a hemisphere was between him and the Far East, and in his voyage westward struck the island of San Salvador and revealed a new world. Had it not been that God had hung two continents by a narrow strip of land he could have gone straight through the Atlantic into the Pacific and to India. Ever since that time men have tried to cut a canal across that strip at the Isthmus of Panama, making the Atlantic and the Pacific one.

Four hundred years ago Spain felt that there ought to be such a passageway opened that she might have access to the gold and the rich agricultural products of Peru, and her kings and engineers undertook to set in motion such plans, but they found that the difficulties were so insurmountable that the proposition was abandoned. The United States, feeling the importance of such a trans-Isthmian route in the promotion of its commercial and military interests, turned its attention to the building of such a canal. About

« PreviousContinue »