Curtain rises of election year 1876

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The year begins on a Saturday. Around the world, leaders include Queen Victoria of Great Britain, age 56, reigning since 1837; her current prime minister is Benjamin Disraeli, age 71, in office since 1874 (for his second time) ; King William III of Netherlands, age58, ruling since 1849; King Christian IX of Denmark, age 57, ruling since 1863; King George I of Greece, age 30, ruling since 1863; King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy, age 55, ruling since 1861; King Alfonso XII of Spain, age 18, reigning since December, 1874; King Oscar II of the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway, age 47, ruling since 1872; Prince Charles III of Monaco, age 57, ruling since 1856; Emperor Wilhelm I, age 78, Emperor of Germany, ruling since 1871; his chancellor is Otto von Bismarck, age 60, in office since 1871; Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, age 38, ruling since 1871; Emperor Meiji of Japan, age 23, ruling since 1867; Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, age 45, ruling since 1848; Emperor Guangxu of China, age 3, reigning since 1875 under the Dowager Empress Cixi, age 40, who rules de facto; Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam, age 46, ruling since 1847; Czar Alexander II of Russia, age 57, ruling since 1855;Sultan Abdulaziz of the Ottoman Empire, age 45, ruling since 1861; Sultan Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar, age 39, ruling since 1870; President Patrice de Mac-Mahon of France, age 67, in office since 1873; President Joseph Jenkins Roberts of Liberia, age 64, in office since 1872 (for his second time).

Benjamin_Disraeli_by_Cornelius_Jabez_Hughes,_1878

Prime Minister Disraeli

 

There has been rebellion in the Balkans against Turkish rule which will boil over into major warfare this year. Periodic unrest in Cuba against Spanish rule percolates to the top. In Europe, Russia has a standing army of 3,360,000 soldiers; Germany, 2,800,000 soldiers; France, 412,000 soldiers; Great Britain, 113,000 soldiers. However, Britain has the most powerful navy in the world, with 248 warships and 54,400 sailors. In November, 1875, Britain obtained control of the Suez Canal by purchasing all the shares owned by the Khedive of Egypt who was deeply in debt.

The population of the United States is approximately 46,107,000 people. Less than 30% live in urban areas. Children age 14 and under constitute approximately 4.5% of the population and 0.5% of the population are age 60 and older. Women account for 49.4% of the population. Over 16% of the total population earn their living on farms while only 5.8% of the total population earn a living in manufacturing. The six New England states hold 8.8% of the population; New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania combined have 22.1% of the population; 10.3% live in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida combined; Texas has 2.0%; the three states of the Pacific coast combined have 1.7% of the total population.

According to the census of 1870, the ten largest cities are New York City, population 942,292; Philadelphia, population 674,022; Brooklyn City, population 396,099; St Louis, Missouri, population 310,864; Chicago, population 298,977; Baltimore, Maryland, population 267,354; Boston, population 250,526; Cincinnati, Ohio, population 216,239; New Orleans, population 191,418 and San Francisco, population 149,473. Richmond, Virginia, is the 24th largest city with 51,038 people; Memphis, Tennessee the 32nd with 40,226; Savannah, Georgia, the 48th with 28,235; Atlanta the 61st with 21,789; Sacramento, California, the 89th largest with a population of 16,283.

Public school attendance is 8,869,115 children; 64.7% of all school age children attend school; this year 20,448 will graduate from high school. Public elementary and high schools will spend $83,000,000 to operate. Colleges and universities will award 12,005 bachelor degrees, 17.4% of them to women, 835 masters degrees and 31 doctoral degrees, none of these last two to women. Harvard has become the first American university to create a professorship of music, bestowing the position on John Knowles Paine, age 37, a composer who will teach there for a total of 43 years.

Railroads operate on 76,808 miles of track, 2,575 of those miles added during this year; 15,618 locomotives pull 14,621 passenger cars and 384,903 freight cars. Last year railroads earned $503,066,000.

train

Telegraph offices number 7,072 and utilize 184,000 miles of wire, sending 18.7 million messages and bringing in revenues of $9,100,000. There are over 1,500 newspapers issuing daily editions with approximately 8.1 million in daily circulation. There are 36,383 post offices which will sell 698,799,000 stamps and generate $28,644,000 in revenue but $33,263,000 in expenditures. Postage rates are 3 cents per ½ ounce and 1 cent for a post card. There are 3,000 telephones in operation or approximately 1 for every 15,000 people

The U S exports $597,000,000 worth of goods and materials while importing $477,000,000 of goods and materials, creating a surplus balance of trade of $120,000,000. Major exports include $193,000,000 of cotton, $68,000,000 of wheat and $23,000,000 of leaf tobacco. Major imports include $58,000,000 of sugar, $57,000,000 of coffee, $20,000,000 of tea, $5,000,000 of raw silk and $4,000,000 of rubber. Of U S exports, 56.3% goes to the United Kingdom, 8.5% to Germany, 6.7% to France, 5.5% to Canada, 2.2% to Cuba, 1.2% to Brazil and the remaining 19.6% to other nations around the world. Of U S imports, 25.8% come from the United Kingdom, 11.7% from Cuba, 10.7% from France, 9.4% from Brazil, 7.3% from Germany, 6.0% from Canada, 3.1% from Japan, 2.5% from China and the remaining 23.5% from other nations around the world.

The federal government will issue 15,393 copyrights and 15,758 patents.

The government will take $294,096,000 while spending $265,101,000, leaving a budget surplus of $28,995,000; however the national debt is $2,130,846,000.

black veteran & family

Union veteran & family

 

Military personnel on active duty include 28,565 in the Army, 10,046 in the Navy and 1,980 in the Marine Corps. There are over 1.6 million Union veterans of the Civil War now in civilian life. In the South there are probably 750,000 Confederate veterans in civilian life, of whom better than 10% have missing limbs or are blinded. Confederate veterans are disqualified from federal government benefits. Somewhere between 7500 and 11,000 Confederate veterans have left the United States for Latin America or Europe.

In Washington, D.C., the 44th Congress began its first session on December 6, 1875 with Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats in control of the House of Representatives. In the Senate there are 45 Republicans and 26 Democrats with 1 vacancy while in the House there 178 Democrats, 104 Republicans and 4 Independents. The Speaker of the House is Michael C Kerr, age 48, a Democrat from Indiana. The mid-term elections gave control of the House to Democrats for the first time in twenty years, increasing Democratic hopes to win the presidency, a feat they last accomplished in 1856.

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President Grant

 

The administration of President Ulysses S Grant has been tarnished by corruption scandals. Grant is 53 years old and apparently would like to serve a third term, although publicly he has declared that he will not run again. However key people in the Republican Party are turning against him because of the scandals, the effects of the economic depression of 1873 still hurting the country and debates about currency. White men in the South are calling for a return to “Home Rule” which means the removal of federal troops from the states of the former Confederacy, finding ways to disenfranchise black men and exercise control over former slaves. The Ku Klux Klan is increasing in numbers.

Prices for food, clothes and heating fuel continue to rise. In the year just ended 768 businesses failed. Oranges and bing cherries are increasing in popularity. Milk chocolate for eating has just been introduced and is considered a novelty.

Americans look forward to celebrating the centennial of the country’s birth. P.T. Barnum continues to make his traveling circus an extremely popular form of entertainment. Evangelist Dwight L Moody prepares to begin his second year of preaching religious revivals. Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health, published last year, causes some ripples in religious circles.

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