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HE following compilation of the national debts of all countries was made mainly to show the general increase of that class of indebtedness in the last twenty-five years. It is, however, impossible

to ascertain in all cases the amounts for 1850. In most of the instances where no amount is given at as early a date as that there was no debt, and the amounts given for years subsequent to that are intended only to show the increase in the latter part of the period. The amounts are given in each case in their equivalent in United States money:

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+ This includes all the non-interest-bearing debt and the Pacific Railroad



The next most important class of funded debts is that created in the construction of railways, nearly the whole of which has been the growth of the last twentyfive years. It was only as far back as 1814 that George Stephenson constructed his first locomotive, and the first railroad ever constructed with a view to carrying passengers was the Stockton and Darlington road, opened September 27, 1825. The Liverpool and Manchester was opened in 1830. The first road opened in the United States was from Quincy, Mass., to tide-water, four miles, in 1826. The first important road begun in the United States was the Baltimore and Ohio, in 1828. In 1829-30 roads were begun in nearly all the Atlantic States. So great was the activity that in 1836-7 the railroad mileage of the United States exceeded that of any other country in the world, a position which the United States continues to hold, as will be seen by the fact that her

railroad mileage is about 40 per cent of the whole amount in the world. In 1850 the total mileage of the United States was 9,021. By 1860 it had increased 300 per cent; by 1870, 500 per cent, and at the close of 1875, 800 per cent. This may be taken as the general measure of the advance of that agency which has revolutionized the commerce of the world in the brief space of twenty-five or thirty years.

Poor's Railroad Manual states the aggregate of funded and floating debts of railroads in the United States at the close of 1875 at $2,459,607,349, or at the average rate of $31,600 per mile of the 74,658 miles of road. If $30,000 per mile were taken as the average indebtedness of the 182,699 miles of railways in the world at the close of 1875, it would give an aggregate of, say, $5,481,000,000.* But in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Sweden the governments have constructed an aggregate of about 9,500 miles. In Rus

*The following table of the railroad mileage of the world at the close of 1875 is condensed from Poor's Railroad Manual:

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sia, also, the government has aided the construction of railways something after the plan upon which government aid was extended to the Pacific railways in the United States. In these cases the railroad debt has been counted as part of the national debt, and included in the debts of that class in the table of national debts. We must, therefore, deduct about $500,000,000 for these and the floating debts, thus leaving the aggregate of funded railroad debts in 1875 about $5,000,000,000. Measured by the mileage, the aggregate of these debts was probably about as follows, in round numbers, viz.: $3,500,000,000 in 1870; $2,000,000,000 in 1860, and $700,000,000 in 1850.

Municipal debts come next in point of magnitude, and in these as they relate to American cities we find an increase exceeding that of any other class of funded debts, except those of the railroads, the aggregate at the close of 1875, as indicated in various compilations, was about $700,000,000.* As regards a similar class of debts

*The most comprehensive summary I have seen of these was printed in the Public (New York), as follows:

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in Europe, there is no satisfactory source of information. In some of the capitals the debts properly chargeable to

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(a) Census statement of county debt given for 1870.

(b) In this table, under 1870 are placed, not the debts of cities at that date, but the debts of all municipalities in the counties in which those cities are located, as given in the census report. When there are several cities in the same county, the name of the county is given against each city after the first named, in place of repeating the total indebtedness of municipalities in that county. Thus the first column gives an indebtedness larger than was reported to the census marshals for the cities named, and as no city debt was then reported for Philadelphia or San Francisco, the amounts then reported as county debt are inserted.

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