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the military power and political influence of the Government, and opening a new era of prosperity to the traders and the cultivating millions of our Eastern empire, and hardly less so to the mercantile and manufacturing classes of our own islands.
We now come to the latest or most recent stage of this rapid progress in the developement of the means of travel and conveyance. Canalisation on a grand scale—the uniting of seas and oceans by navigable canals-had been in the 'air' ever since the middle of the century. The canalisation of the Isthmus of Darien was a favoured project in the mind of Napoleon III., and the discovery of the rich gold fields of California gave a great impulse in that direction; but the result of the surveys then made at various points across the American isthmus presented greater engineering difficulties than the financial world was at that time willing to encounter, and the energies of France, directed by the indomitable genius of Lesseps, turned to the more hopeful project of canalising the great Isthmus of the Old World. But American enterprise quickly constructed the Panama railway, the opening of which, in 1855, terminated the state of isolation which had previously existed between California and the other States of the American Union. The subsequent civil war in the United States, and the apprehension that California might fall away from the Union, and perhaps unite her fortunes to those of the adjoining British provinces on the Pacific, hastened the construction of the Central Pacific railway, which, traversing the western prairies and the desert of Utah, and also piercing or surmounting both the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, completed a continuous railway route from New York to San Francisco, making the Golden Gate' the western outlet of the North American continent, and placing San Francisco upon one of the great highways of trade and travel around the world. Within the past year the Canadian Dominion, with far inferior resources, has completed a similar enterprise and a still longer line of railway, extending from the open Atlantic at Portland to the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver's Island.
Meanwhile M. de Lesseps had accomplished the great enterprise of canalising the Isthmus of Suez, and the extraordinary commercial and financial success which quickly attended that costly work prepared the world for further enterprises of an analogous character. Opened in 1870, when 486 vessels (steamers) passed through, the gross tonnage in the first whole year (1871) amounted to 761,467; and
jerveen Gay mi the vasta of the Egua del the romJUMA JOTUN Í engnessing and faunee tuve been sorressmarge de cuivi værk of vaneling the momain gomas if Empe, valch of oud were the rear bumers of racons iglast hostile in ragion, but which ime now recorded goped” is 20stractions to trade and m Here grain, we
beheld the mucus Restadle of trade retning into its gidest cores or channel. The Mont Cenis tunnel, br writing the French and Italian railway systems, has served to mercen the old Roman route to the East by Brindisi; and Bush ers and merchants bound for India or Australia now embark from Europe by the same seaport from which Luenius. Fimper, and Cæsar sailed in their galleys to their memorable careers of victory in Anatolia, Syria, and Egypt -the fits of which first made Rome rich and luxurious through the golden spoils of the East. The St. Gothard tunnel, through another part of the Alpine chain, has opened a direct and swift route between Germany and Italy, reviving in improved form the old trade route between the
German Ocean and the Mediterranean, which once enriched Nuremberg and other German cities in mediæval times, before the Thirty Years' War wrought havoc and desolation upon that region, and drove commerce into other channels. The Arlberg tunnel, in a lesser degree, works towards the same end; and Venice, of old the Queen of the Adriatic, bids fair to flourish anew as one of the chief emporiums, alike as an outlet and as an inlet, of the now restored overland route between Europe and the East. Nevertheless, just as the City of the Doges only rose to commercial sovereignty after and in consequence of the Ottoman conquest of Byzantium, is not Venice Revived destined to be supplanted in turn by the new railway route which is to have its eastern terminus at Salonica ?-the vast geographical importance of which place already concentrates upon it the hostile rivalry of two of the greatest military Powers of the continent, each longing to seize it from its present possessor. Or, finally, will not Constantinople itself acquire a new and perilous value when a railway is carried through Asia Minor to the Persian Gulf, and the commercial glories of Byzantium are re-established along with the still more ancient ones of Babylon itself?
At home we have been working on the same line. We have seen the completion of the Severn and the Mersey tunnels, connecting railway systems, and cheapening conveyance, not only by shorter routes, but also by avoiding a break of journey and the expense of shifting the goods from one set of trucks to another. The Liverpool and Manchester Ship Canal is another project of this kind, supplanting or assisting the railway by the cheaper agency of water carriage. It will also mitigate, although it cannot remove, the disadvantage of Manchester as a manufacturing seat or commercial emporium which happens to be situated inland. Birmingham is bestirring itself with a similar motive. A project is on foot to make the capital of the Midland counties a shipping port of the Bristol Channel by means of a navigable waterway, to be formed out of the existing Birmingham and Gloucester canal; and it is possible that coasting vessels will load and unload alongside the Birmingham quays before the more ambitious scheme of the Cotton Metropolis has surmounted its initial difficulties. In truth, every seat of industry connected with foreign trade (as almost all our great industries are) desires to establish itself on the sea coast, where its products can be exported and its raw materials received directly by or from that system of
4. La Question du Latin. Par M. Raoul Frary. Paris:
4. Speech of the Right Hen. John Bright at Birming-
CONTENTS OF No. 336.