Among the nations of the earth, none has shown such marvelous achievement within so short a time as the United States of America. One and a quarter centuries ago 3,000,000 people were struggling for their independence. At the beginning of the nineteenth century they were among the weakest of nations. At the beginning of the twentieth they were one of the strongest in war, the greatest in industrial enterprise, and by far the most progressive people of the earth.

The United States is bounded on the north by the Dominion of Canada, on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and on the south by the Republic of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. Its area is 3,602,990 square miles, and its population 76,295,220. If we add its colonial possessions of the Hawaiian Islands and those in the East and West Indies, its area will be increased over 150,000 square miles and its population augmented by 10,000,000.

The Public Domain

In 1800 the public domain consisted of 404,955 square miles. Subsequent acquisitions were the following: The first was the purchase of Louisiana from France, which took place in 1802. This purchase included portions of the States of Alabama and Mississippi south of the thirty-first parallel - the. entire surface of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and other states and territories to the Rocky Mountains, north of he boundary of Mexico.

The cost, according to the original treaty stipulations, was $15,000,000 in money and stocks. The interest on the stocks to the time of redemption was $8,529,353. The United States assumed the payment of certain claims of citizens of the United States against France, $3,738,208, making a total expenditure of $27,267,621. For this sum the Government obtained a title to 920,000 square miles of territory or 588,961,280 acres of land.

The next acquisition to the public domain (1819) was the purchase of Florida from Spain for the sum of $5,000,000. For this amount stocks were issued, and principal and interest amounted to $4,489,768. This purchase added to the public domain 59,267 square miles, which cost seventeen and one-sixteenth cents per acre.

In 1846 the Oregon country was acquired by treaty with England, adding to our territory 255,000 square miles. From it were formed the States of Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

The next acquisition to the public domain was from Mexico in 1848. By this cession the United States obtained the States of California, Nevada, and part of Colorado, also the lands in the Territories of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, which added 522,568 square miles to the public domain, at a cost of $15,000,000, or four and one-half cents per acre.

In 1850 the United States purchased of the State of Texas 96,707 square miles, or 61,892,480 acres, for the sum of $16,000,000, or 25 17-20 cents per acre. This territory is now included in Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, and embraces the "public land strip," or "No-Man's Land."

The next acquisition was in 1867, when Alaska was bought from Russia for the sum of $7,500,000.

In 1898 the Hawaiian Islands were annexed at their own request.

The same year Porto Rico was taken by conquest from Spain ; and, by the Treaty of Peace at Paris which followed, the Philippine Islands were also acquired for the sum of $20,000,000.

The United States is composed of forty-five States, six Territories, the District of Columbia and the colonial possessions of Porto Rico, with 3,600 square miles and a population of 953,243, Guam, with 8,661 inhabitants, the Philippine Islands, with 140,000 square miles and 8,000,000 inhabitants, and Tutuila, the Samoan island, with fifty-four square miles and 4,000 inhabitants, which was acquired by virtue of the tripartite treaty with Great Britain and Germany in 1899.

The following table shows the dates of admission:

Population and Growth of the Various States During the Decade

Shown by the Last Census.

Name of State

Admitted to the Union.

Population 1900

Population 1890

Increase.

Percentage of Increase.

Alabama...................................................

December 14,1819.

1,828,697

1,513,017

315,680

20.8

Arkansas...................................................

June 15,1836.

1,311,064

1,128,179

325,654

40.58

California.................................................

September 9,1850.

1,485,153

1,208,130

276,923

22.9

Colorado.....................................................

August 1,1876.

539,700

412.198

127,502

30.9

Connecticut.................................................

Original State.

908,355

746,268

162,097

21.7

Delaware....................................................

Original State.

184 735

168,493

16,242

9.6

Florida........................................................

March 3,1845.

528,542

391,422

137,120

35.

Georgia........................................................

Original State.

2,216,331

1,837,353

378,978

20.6

Idaho............................................................

July 3, 1890.

161,772

84,385

77,397

91.7

Illinois.........................................................

December 3,1818.

4,821,550

3,826,351

995,199

23.4

Indiana.........................................................

December 11,1816.

2,516,462

2,192,404

324,058

14.8

Iowa............................................................

December 28,1846.

2,231,853

1,911,896

819 957

16.2

Kansas.........................................................

January 29,1861.

1,470,495

1,427,096

43,399

3.+

Kentucky.....................................................

June 1,1792.

2,147,174

1,858,635

288,539

15.6

Louisiana....................................................

April 30,1812. .

1,381,625

1,118,587

263,038

23.5

Maine..........................................................

March 15,1820.

694.466

661,086

33,380

5.4

Maryland.....................................................

Original State.

1,190,050

1,042,390

148,660

14.2

Massachusetts..............................................

Original State.

2,805,346

2,238,943

566,403

25.2

Michigan...................................................

January 26,1837.

2,420,982

2,093,889

327,093

15.9

Minnesota....................................................

May 11,1858.

1,751,394

1,301,826

449,568

34.5

Mississippi...................................................

December 10,1817.

1,551,270

1,289,600

261,670

20.3

Missouri.......................................................

August 10,1821.

3,106,665

2,679 184

427,481

16.

Montana.......................................................

November 8,1889.

243,329

132,159

111,170

84.1

Nebraska......................................................

March 1,1867.

1,068,539

1,058,910

9,629

0.9

Nevada.........................................................

October 31,1864.

42,335

45,761

loss 3,426

loss 7.5

New Hampshire...........................................

Original State.

411,588

376,530

35,058

9.3

New Jersey...................................................

Original State.

1.883,669

1,444,933

438,736

30.3

New York...................................................

Original State.

7,268,012

5,997,853

1,270.159

21.2

North Carolina.............................................

Original State.

1,893,810

1,617,947

275.863

17.1

North Dakota..............................................

November 2,1889.

319,146

182 719

136.427

74.7

Ohio.............................................................

November 29,1802.

4,157,545

3,672,316

485.229

13.2

Oregon.........................................................

February 14,1859.

413,536

313,767

99,769

31.8

Pennsylvania................................................

Original State.

6,302,116

5,258 014

1,044,101

19.9

Rhode Island...............................................

Original State.

428,556

345,506

83,050

24.

South Carolina..............................................

Original State.

1,340 316

1,151,149

189,167

16.4

South Dakota ......................................

November 2,1889.

401,570

328,808

72,762

22.1

Tennessee .................................

June 1,1796.

2,020,616

1,767,518

253,098

14.3

Texas ........................................

December 29,1845.

3,048,710

2,235,523

813,187

36.4

Utah ......................................

January 4, 1896.

276,749

207,905

68,844

33.1

Vermont ...................................

March 4,1791.

343,641

332,422

11,219

3.3

Virginia ....................................

Original State.

1,854,184

1,655,980

198,204

12.

Washington ..........................

November 11,1889.

618,103

349,390

168,713

48.3

West virginia ........................

June 19,1863.

958,800

762,794

196,006

25.9

Wisconsin ........................

May 29,1848.

2,069 042

1,686,880

382,162

22.7

Wyoming

July 10,1890.

92 531

60,705

31,826

52.4

Alaska ............................

Territory.

63,441

32,052

31,389

97.9

Arizona ...................

Territory.

122,212

59,620

62,592

104.9

District of Columbia ............

National Capital.

278,718

230,392

48,326

20.9

Hawaii ......................

Territory.

164,001

89,990

64,011

71.1

Indian Territory

Territory.

391,960

180,182

211,778

117.5

New Mexico

Territory.

195,310

153,593

41,717

272

Oklahoma ...............................

Territory.

398,331

61,834

836,497

644.2

Inhabitants

The inhabitants of the United States are made up chiefly of English, Scotch and Irish stock, descended from the settlers from these sources during the past three hun-dred years. There has been, however, within the past fifty years a strong tide of emigration from Germany, Scandinavia and Italy. These different nationalities (with the exception of Italians) intermarry freely, and the American is therefore a combination of the best elements of the best blood of the earth. This fact, no doubt, had much to do with producing that progressive and ingeni-802 ous character which has placed the American at the front in commerce and inventions.

The 8,000,000 people of African blood are descendants of the slaves of forty years ago, and since their emancipation have shown marked advance in every line of development. The public schools of America are the best in the world and every child has the chance of a liberal education with tuition free. Colleges and universities are numerous - every State has its State university; the religious denominations support hundreds of colleges, and the public schools of the large cities provide free curriculums