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"THE METER OF CIVILIZATION" ADDRESS DELIVLRED BY :S. H. CAR.R.OLL, Jr., M. A., L. L. B., Ph. D. (:Berlin) Head of Department of History and Political Science, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, At Shreveport, Loui5iana, before the National Good R.oaCi~ Convention, April 17th, 1905. " ROADS THE METER OF CIVILIZATION." \Vhat is the mE'asuring rod of civilization and wherewithal shall it be measure-d"! History shows us that any civilization may be graduated, estimated, surveyed, and its rank and relativE' poRition determined by a study of its roads. These highways must be either of the land or the sea, and happy thP nation that had both. The thing that gave Palestine its importance among the nations was the fact that it dominatPd thP great highway between A::;ia and Africa. There i~ only onC' great highway in all the land, but it is the bridge of the world. Perhaps thcrP is no strE'tch of ground so historic as the great war road along the western coast of the "Jlediterranean. At its narrowest point Tiglath Pileser and Sargon and ~ebuehadnc7.zar and tlw great war lords of Assyria and Babylon have placed thPir tablets of intaglio carvC'd stone by the side of those of Seto and Ramcses and Pharoah ~echo and other of Egypt's grPat rul!'rs and side by side with lesser monarchs, even down to ~ apo!Pon III. Th!'re on this road wher!' the cliffs of Lebanon loom above it and the waters of the ~lrdilerranC'an sra fret their opalinP splendor~ into rainbows and foam at the mouth of the )\ahr el 1\:rlrb (the rivrr of the dog), there is an autograph album graved in ~tone wher!' the C'mpC'rors of the ancient world have cut with a pen of iron in the roc·k forever their signatur!'s, some of them more than four thousand years old. This was the highway between Egypt and Assyria, the great ancient empirE's of the East. Babylon is a ruin,· a stately and ~olitary group of palms marks where 1\femphiH :-<tood, jaekals slakE' their thirst in. the waters of the sacred lake hy thC' hall of the thousand columns at Thebes, but the road that formed the nE'xus bE'tween these \'anished eivilizatim1s remains aftE'r the ,,·ind~ of four millil'tnltns have si12:hcd thE'm~ elvcs to silence over the graves of its forgotten architects and engineers. The reason that Jerusalem has suffered sixty sieges and has each time ri~en Phoenix like from her ashes is that she dominates at a lower point this samE' road. Therefore Egypt and Assyria as they sC<'HUWf'd into predominance O\'E'r Pach otlwr must control Jerusalem, and many of its kings were shut up like Hezekiah as a bird in a eagc. Pompey and Crassus and Anthony and Titus han• been its lords just as Alcxandrr the GrC'at ancl Antiochus Epiphenes had been in thC' Greek period, the Maecabees in thP rcnais;mnee of Patriotism, or MohameL and the Caliphs, Saladin and the Turks, GodfrPy and the CrusadPrs, or .:\a poleon the Great and the French in the succeeding centuries. Because Tyre stood on this same highway Alexander the Great must takE' it, although he convert an island into an isthmus before he dare penetrate into t he !wart of India. That nation was ever in the ascendant which owned and controllE'd this road. Roads, or the lack of thE'm, controlled and measured and limited GREEK civilization and gave it its metes and bounds, f<aying thus far shalt thou come and no farther and here ::;hall thy proud waves be stayC'd. The task of the four hundrrd was to hold the road between the cliffs and the marshes. The road that was the key to GrE'eCE'. Beeause of her waterways Greece might become a complex of great colonizing nations. The islands of the Agaean, Samos and the Coa~t of Asia Minor, the Bosphurus, the coast of Macedonia, and the lands that circled thE' Black Sea might hecome tributary provinces on the east, while on the west, Corfu and Sicily, and the heel and toe of the Italian boot might play a similar role, and t he different sections of Greece might r ise each by means of her colonies and her commerce; but NO GREAT Cr~NTHAL GOVERNMENT, NO WOHLD POWEH, was pos~iblc, because the different parts of Greece were separated from E'ach other. Athens was nearer to the Black Sea than she was to Sparta and Corinth nearer to Sicily than she was to Macedonia. The mountains! tlw mountainR! the roaclless and almost pathless barriers rose ~2- between, and because of the lack of communication in Greece itself, lingual and race differ ences, variations of manners and customs and ideals, made Greece a heterogeneous miscellany of warring tribes incapable of centralization or permanent confederation and doomed her wise men to perpetuate her wisdom only as the peripatetic pedagogues and hireling tutors of that civilization which was to arise and by means of its ROADS carry its power to the uttermost parts of the earth. The greatness of Rome was not so much due to the fact that all roads led TO RoM~; but that all roads radiated OUT FROM RoME. To have been merely the receptacle of the world, like a pond in the center of a field or like a dead sea with countless inlets but no outlet would have meant stagnation and salt marshes and lethargy and leaden waved bt>ath. But the roads of Rome were both motor and sensory nerves. She received but she also gave, she was the heart of the world in whieh C<'nt<'red the veins and which radiated the arteries. She received and she disseminated. She wa~ the centre, and her roads the radii to a limitless circumference. The hub, and her road~ the spokes to the rim of the world. Above her was the Zenith and beneath her the X adir, but her glory was 'the sweep of her horizon. Rome could sit upon her seven hills and rule the world because of her GOOD ROADS. To the Danube, to the Rhine, to the Coasts of Gaul thefe roads reached, as well as to the "limes" or great \Vall that marked the Roman boundary between the Rhine and Danube. When Peutinger discoYered and published the Tafeln or tablets giving the itineraries of these JOads, or some of them, he made one of the greatest eontributions to the history of world civilization. Of the provincial roads the Via Egnatia whieh stretehed acroRs tlw breadth of Mace ·ionia, was onP of the most useful and famous. Strabo t<'lls us it was regularly made and - 3- marked out by milestones from Dyrrhacium on the coast of the Adriatic to Cypselus on the Hebrus in Thrace, a distance of five hundred miles. . Thessalonica and Philippi were two of the stations on its route and even before the close of the Republic we find Cicero speaking of "that military way of ours which connects us with the Hellespont.'' It was on this road that the forces of Anthony and Octavius on the one hand and Brutus and Cassius on the other finally met. From the east and west they came to meet on this great highway in Thrace and strive for the mastery of civilization. There the ghost of dead Caesar once more met Brutus and called him to the world of shades. The same road three hundred years later :was the highway to Byzantium, the capital built by Constantine for the Eastern Empire. At Rome itself the principal of the many roads that confluxed at her gates were the A VELIAN WA v that followed the course of the Tiber from the Sabine Hills to the "Ete1'nal City," and thence across the plains to the sea, the OsTIAN WAY that followed the lower course of the Tiber from Rome to Ostia and then southward skirting the coast, but CHIEF of all and EARLIES'r OF ALl., the APPIAN WAY, the great line of Communication between the heel of the boot and Rome. The road constructed by Appius Claudius that went forth from the Via Sacra across the Alban hills to the Anxur of Terracina, where a narrow pass between the mountains and the sea unites in modern times the Papal states with the kingdom of ~aples, thence across the Caecuban hills and the Campania to Capua and thence to Brundusium on the shores of the Adriatic. On this road world battles were fought with HANNIBAL. This road built by Appius Claudus was the oldest of the Roman roads and is called in comparison with others the QUEEN OF ROADS. This way, built in 312 B. C., was f ollowed by a network of similar roads. Good roads begat good roads. Nothing was permitted to obstruct or divert their course. Mountains were tunneled, rivers bridged, marshes spanned by miles of viaducts of masonry. Eight hundred years after it was built the astonished Procopius describes the Appian way as broad enough for two carriages to pass each other and as made of stones brought from some distant quarry and so fitted to each other (over some two feet of gravel) that they seemed to be thus formed ·by nature, rather than cemented by art. He adds that notwithstanding the traffic of so many ages the stones were not displaced, nor had they lost their original smoothness. The full course of the road is given in the Peutingerian Table and Mommsen in his <>econd volume has nearly twenty pages of description of these roads. Seutonius and Pliny have passages describing or referring to it and Milton in Paradise REgained, book four, has called us to watch flocking to the city enriched with the spoils of Nations the praetors and proconst;ls embassies, legions or turms of horse in "various habits on the Appian road." What a cosmopolitan throng must have graced that highway in the first century. Thick-lipped Ethiopians with ri~gs in noses and ears, swarthy browed turbaned Mesopotanianes, haughty Parthians, burnoosed Arabs still worshipping their polygods, hooknosed Hebrews, craven with the humility of the despised rich, Greek Pedagogues and Rhetors and Tutors. Togaed senators, white clad vestals with modest faces, and painted harlots with amber hair. Lictors clearing the way with rods for some purple clad dignitary of ~ero's court and carrying the fasces and the axe; street merchants and hawkers of small wares, slaves scantily clad, stark bemuscled gladiators, crvEs and PEHEGRJNI, citizens and strangers, displaying in varying degree, arrogance and curiosity; long yellow haired Germans, their faces smeared with ochre and their yellow hair with oil; kilted soldiers with long spears and short broad swords, beggars (tbe lazzaroni of that bygone age), pathetically sullen or volubly mendicant iu the sunshine lecticac, couches carried by bearers containing pampered nobles or highborn ladies; the cisium and the rhoda meritoria the carriage and the hack of that time crossipg each other's path in the narrow road; children naked and joyous; merchants on caparisoned asses; the swinging columns of the legionaries; brown, straight featured Egyptians. For part of the distance a canal runs parallel and travellers have their choice to take the pa~ement or to ride in state on painted barges dragged by mules; on the pavement a Pontifex in his robes of office and Augurs exchang- -4- ing cynical smiles; the rattle of chariot wheels and some haggard eyed noble, redolent from the warm and scented bath, with flower crowned brow, drives in furious guise along the Appian way, while barbarian and Scythian bond and free, yield the way before him. "'* On this road one morning in Spring, when the willows along which the Liris flows had just put forth their tender buds, there pasfed along that \my a prisoner in chains and under guard. He carried what was greater than the Wisdom of Greece or the spoils of the East that flowed into the city, .or the strength and power that flowed from it. He was the Evangel of the Gospel, Paul the Apostle. Greece ha~ given the Gospel a language for its mrssage, but Rome had given it a road, a passage. It~ roads, like giant antennae, :;tretched into the heart of heathendom and the gospel that by the Appian 'Nay enters Home, leaves it for the uttermost parts of the known world by every radius of white paving stone, and before Rome along thP~c ~ame roads, can finish the conquest of the world, the rrligion of Christ conquers Rome. Its ro;td~, the metrr and the arquPc!uct for measuring; and convPying the blrs~ings of Christianity. It would be a good thing for ~ome of you to rpad the BiblP at all, and it would be e,;pecially interesting to rPad it with a viPw to noting how much emphasis it puts on good road~. Here arr some of thr directions that the Bible gives in various places for the making of good roads. First grading, or casting up above water levels for drains. "Cast ye up, cast ye up, make ready a way.'' Second, filling up low places and leveling high places. "Every mountain shall be abased and every valley sha.ll be exalted,'' manifestly a simile taken from road making. Third, straightening the crooked placef' and making smooth tlw rough places. Fourth, taking away t~1e stumbling stones and putting sign boards at the forks. Fifth, placing houses of entertaimnent along the way and marking the road with milestones, "So that a way-faring man though a fool might not err therein.'' These thoughts are brought out anc! illustrated in the following Old Testament passages: - .'5-- 1. Good roads to the cities of refuge. For purposes of mercy. Numb. 35:6. 2. Good roads for the return of the captives. Isa. 35:8-10. "And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the way-fearing men, though fools shall not err therein. l'<o lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon; it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; · "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.'' 3. Good roads for attending great National Festivals and to reach the temple. Measures necessary to promote religious unity. 4. Good roads to the Synagogue, for religious instruc-tion. Tlw Sabbath day's journey is allowed for this purpose. ,5. Good road for sinners to come to Christ by repentance. lsa. 40 3-6: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare yc the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. Isa. 57 14: "And shall say, cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.'' Isa. 62 10: "Go through, go through the gates, prepare yc the way of the peopl<'; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones, lift up a standard for the people." 6. Good roads for Christians to Heaven. 7. The steps of the immoral "take hold ou death and hell" as a highway. The sinncr's path is an ungraded thoroughfare, a road not cast up. Isa. 18 15: "Because my people have forgotten me, they have burned their incense to vanity and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.'' In the New Testament John came preaching the gospel of repentance as a road maker for Jesus: Mark 1:2-3: "As it is written in the Prophets, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His path straight.'' And finally Christ compared himself to a way and declared himself to be the road to Heaven. "'I am the way,' no man cometh unto the Father but by me.'' But to return to our history: The Middle Ages meant that the world had lost two things: Its precious metals, gold and sih·er, and its roads. For nearly six hundred years the world was without a source of replenishment for its vanishing specie, and barter and exchange brought on the Feudal system and the seignorial lord. In the time of Charlemagne the roads, although in sad repair, were still sufficient to enable him to be in all parts of his empire from the North Sea to the Ebro and the Mediterranean and from the Atlantic to the Danube. But although he himself rode 12,000 German miles on horseback and kept the marches on his frontiers controlled by means of the Missixdominci, yet at his death the world highways fell into disuse and ruin and were untraveled, save iy the laborious journey to Rome of some of its mediaeval emperors. - 6- Not only were the roads allowed to fall to ruin but in the prevailing particularism and division of the entire country among petty princes the dangers of travel were greatly increased. The "Raubritter,'' or robber knights, sallied forth from their high_ castles and systematically robbed all traveling merchants, who became in truth the prey of all whom they might meet, subject not alone to highway robbery, but to the barbarious custom that allowed the ruler of a district to appropriate any vehicle with its contents that came to grief within his boundaries. The claim extended to any article that might chance to han fallen off. Such a Jaw was not calculated to make the ruler keep up the roads. The rougher and more dangerous they were the greater his chance of booty so long as they were used at all. The "STRAND LAW'' was just as burdensome as were the evil customs on land. According to that any ship that was wrecked upon the shore, together with its cargo and the persons and belongings of the entire crew, became the absolute property of the owner of the coast to do with exactly as he pleased. Such gains were a part of his revenue as treasure trove. Scows that temporarily ran aground on a sandbank at low tide or ebb of a river ,,·ere subject to the same rule. In Hocchstadt in 1336, A. D. a claim was entered for a whole ship's cargo because of one single cask that had floated to land. Light-houses were scarce, charts unknown, compasses imperfect and the voyaging only along the constantly changing coasts where the avaricious coast dwellers assisted the storm, the quicksand and the breakers not only by refusing to assist those in distress, but by false signals and \\T<'ckers'. lights to entice vessels onto the rocks. When later in the Middle Ages as the citi<'~ arose, the most foolitih restrictive and prohibitory legislation was passed for traffic by sea a:nd land. Inland tariffs and custom houses every few miles. The "RIGHT OF THANSFER'' which obliged merchants to transfct· their goods to municipal vehicles, wagons or ships, and to use the city porters and drivers at exorbitant prices for destructive and unnecessary labor. "The staple right,'' which forced merchants to exhibit their goods for a stipulated time in each city before carrying them further on the still more sumptuary "ius emporii'' or "market right,'' which forced the merchants to sell their goods to the citizens of the town they wished to pass through and to them alone, and often for prices fixed by the council and corporatiou. The "scales right" which forced merchants to allow their goods to be weighed on the public ~cale~ of each town they passed through and pay a large fpe therefor, and finally the "street right" or "right of the thoroughfare," which denied to travelers the privilege of going around the cities, but forced them to pass through its streets and within its limits, where all these other rights confiscatory in their character might come into effect. Because of such laws trade was so limited that not only did it often happen that one part of the country starved while in the other there was plenty a few mile~ away, but great national and international thoroughfares became a thing almost unknown. Intercommunication almost ceased. Such policies and the ceaseless wars first made the inhabitants of the various countries selfish and narrow-minded and finally barbarized them, but good roads, although they had perished in Europe and Asia and Africa, were still to be found in the world. When the Spanish Bravo and Adventurer, Pizarro, conquered Peru, he found there a nation wonderfully advanced in industry and civilization; a great centralized kingdom with mighty highways. The description of the Peruvian roads is so much like that given by old historians of the great Persian roads, commenced by Cyrus and brought to their highest point of elaboration by Darius, that I have refrained from giving a description of these Persian roads because I wanted to give a long descriptive quotation from the great historian Prescott, in his first volume of a conquest of Peru. The style is so striking and so beautiful that I have dared to change it, only by making a slight condensation at a few places. He ~ays: -7- "Those who may distrust the accounts of Peruvian industry will finrl their doubts removed on a visit to the country. The traveler still meets, especially in the central regions of the table-land, with memorials of the past, remains of temples, palaces, fortresses, terraced mountains, great mWtary roads, acquec!ucts, and other public works, which, whatever degree of science they may display in their execution, astonish him by their number, the massive character of the materials, and the grandeur of the design. Among them, perhaps the most remarkable are the great roads, the broken remains of which are still in sufficient preservation to attest their former magnificence. There were many of these roads, traversing different parts of the kingdom; but the most considerable were the two which extended from Quito to Cuzco, and, again diverging from the capital, continued in a southerly direction toward Chili. "One of these roads passed over the grand plateau, and the other along the lowlands on the borders of the ocean. The former was much the more difficult achievement, from the character of the country. It was conducted over pathle's sierras buried in snow; galleries were cut for leagues througti the living rock; rivers were crossed hy means of bridges that swung suspended in the air; precipices were scaled by stairways hewn out of the native bed: ravines of hideous depths were filled up with solid masonry: in short, all the difficulties that beset a wild and mountainous region, and which might appall the most courageous engineer of modern times, were encountered and successfully overcome. The length of the road, of which scattered fragments only remain, is variously estimated at from fifteen hundred to two thousand miles; and stone pillars, in the manner of European milestones, were erected a.t stated intervals of somewhat more than a league, all along the route. Its breadth scarcely exceeded twenty feet. It was I.Juilt of heavy flags of freestone, and, in some parts at least, covered with a bituminous cement, which time has made harder than the stone itself. In some places where the ravines had been filled up with masonry, the mountain torrents, wearing on it for ages, have gradually eaten a way through the base, and left the superincumbent mass- such is the cohesion of the materials-still spanning the valley like an arch! "Over sJme of the boldest strea.ms it was necessary to construct suspension bridges , as they are terme,l, made of tl1e tough fibers of tl1e maguey, or of the osier of the country, which has an extraordinary degree of tenacity and strength. These osiers were woven into cables of the thickness of a man's body. The huge ropes, then stretched across the water, were conducted through rings or holes cut in immense hut tresses of stone raised on the opposite banks of the river and then secured to heavy pieces of timber, Several of these enormous cables bound together formed a bridge which, covered with planks, well secured and defended by a railing of the same osier materials on the sides, afforded a safe passage for the traveller. The length of this aerial bridge, sometimes exceeded two hundred feet, caused it, confined as it was only at the extremities, to dip with an alarming inclination towards the center. while the motion given to it by the passenger occasioned an oscillation still more frightful, as his eye wandered over the dark abyss of waters that foamed and tumbled · many fathoms beneath. Yet these light and fragile fabrics were crossed without fear by the Peruvians, and are still retained by the Spaniards over those streams which, f::om the depth or impetuosity of the current, would seem impracticable for the usual modes of conYeyance. The wider and more tranquil waters were crossed on balsas- a kind of raft still much used by 1 he natives-to which sails were attached, furnishing the only instance of this higher kind of navigation among the American Indians. "The other great road of the- Incas lay through the level countr.v between the Andes and the oce<Ln. It was constructed in a different manner. as demanded by tile nature of the ground, which was for the most part low. and much of it sandy. The causeway was raised on a high embankment of earth, and defended on either side by a parapet or wall of clay; and tr<>es and odoriferous shrubs were planted along the margin, regaling the senses of the traveller with their perfumes, and refreshing him by their shades, so grateful under the burning sky of the tropics. In the strips of sandy waste which occasionally intervened, where the light and volatile soil was incapable of sustaining a. ·road, huge piles, many of them to be seen at this clay, were- rlriven into the ground to indicate the route to the traveller. ."All along these highways, caravansaries. or tambos, as they were callerl, were erected, at a distance of ten or twelve miles from each other, for tl1e accommodation, more particularly of the Inca and his suite and those \vho journeyed on the public business. There \vere few other travellers in Peru. Some of these buildings ·were on an extensive scale, consisting of a fortress. barracks and other military works, surrounded by a parapet of stone and covering a large tract of ground. These were evidently destined for the accommodation of the imperial armies ·when on their march across the country. The cars of the great roads was committed to the districts through which they passed, and under the Incas a large number of hands wtts constantly employed to keep them in repair. This was the more easily done in the country where the mode of travelling was altogether on foot; though the roads are said to be so nicely constructed that a carriage might have rolled over them as securely as on any of the great roads of Europe. Still, in a region where the elements of fire and water are both actively at work in the husiness of destruction. they must, without constant supervision. hav·e gradually gone to decay. Sc:ch has been their fate uncler the Spanish conquerors, who took no care to enforce the admirable system for their preservation adopted by the Incas. Yet the broken portions that still survive here and there, like the fragments of the great Roman roads scattered over Europe, bear e\·idence to their prirnitive grandeur, and have drawn forth the eulogium from a discriminating traveller, usually not too profuse in his panegyric, that 'the roads of the lncas were among the most useful and stupendous works ever executed by man.' "The system of communication through their dominions was still hrther improved by the Peruvian sovereigns by the introduction of posts, in the same ma.nner as was done by the Aztecs. The Peruvian riosts, however. established on all the great routes that conducted to the capital, were on a much more extended plan than those in Mexico. All along these routes, small i.Juildings were erected, at the distance of less than five miles asunder. in each of vvhich a nmnber of runners, or chasquis. as they were called, vvere stationed to carry fonvard the dispatches of government. These despatches were either verbal. or conveyed by means of qui pus, and sometimes accompanied by a thread of the crimson fringe worn round the temples of the Inca, which was regarded with the same implicit deference as the signet-ring of an Oriental despot. · "The chasquis were dressed in a peculiar livery, intimating their profession. The.v were all trained to the employment and selected for their speed and fidelity. As the distance each courier had to perform was small, and as he had ample time to refresh himsel at the 'Stations, they ran over the ground with great swiftness, and messages were carried through the whole extent of the long routes. at th.e rate of one hundred and fifty miles a day. The office of the chasquis was not limited to carrying despatches. They frequently brought various articles for the use of the court: and in this way fish from the distant ocean, fruits, game, and different commodities from the hot regions on the coast, were taken to the capital in good condition and served fresh at the royal table. It is remarkable that this important institution should have been known to both the Mexicans and the Peruvians without any correspondence with one another and that it should have been founrl among two barbarian nations of the New World long hefore i-t was introduced among the civilized nations of Europe. - 8- "By these wise contrivances of the Incas, the most distant parts of the long extended empire of Peru were brought tnto mtunate relations with each other. And while the capitals of Christendom. but a few hundred miles apart, remained as far asunder as if seas had rolled between them, the great capitals Cuzco and Quito were placed by the high roads of the Incas in immediate correspondence. Intelligence from the numerous provinces was transmitted on the wings of the wind to the Peruvian metropolis, the great focus to which all the lines of communication converged. Not an insurrectionary movement could occur, not an invasion on the remotest frontier, before the tidings were conveyed to the capital and the imperial armies were on their march across the magnificent roads of the country to suppress it. So admirable was the machinery contrived by the American despots for maintaining tranquility throughout their dominions! It ma:v remind us of t11e similar institutions of ancient Rome, when , under the Caesars, she was mistress of half the world." -,., ... -~- _,-::".-- )i"ot until the bright days of the new school of political economy opened with Adam l::lmith was it seen that not only artificial restrictions to communication must be abolished, but that also by the building of goodroads and the reopening of the highways of the nations, must prosperity be restored to the world. Following the lead of Smith and Ricardo, von Thuenen, although he had not as yet read Ricardo, became the great expounder of the economic significance of good roads and of the relationship between good roads and political economy. In 1826 he published his epoch-making work, "The Isolated State in its Relations to Agriculture and Political Economy," as its translated title would read. (So far as I know it has not been translated into English). He describes an imaginary agricultural district separated from the rest of the world by a pathless wilderness. The district is a vast fruitful plain, everywhere of an e(]ual degree of fertility and without natural obstructions. In the center of this district there is a great city which furnishes a market for the raw 8tuffs of the entire region and depends on it for the necessaries of life that come from the soil, for which it gives in return manufactured goods. The roads of equal grade radiate out in all directions and there is no means of conveyance or transportation save the vehicles on these country roads. ()l"o railroads or street cars, etc.) That done he shows that the various forms of agricultural industry would be developed around that city in successive concentric circles. The city itself would contain market, church and court house, coins, scales, hotels, and the dwellings of the professional people and those engaged in trade and manufacture, with the cultured classes occupying the suburbs. In the immediate periphary would I.Je grown those products of the soil which are easily destructible and are difficult of transportation, that is perishable produce. Truck vegetables, small fruits, flowers, straw, hay, dairies and vineyards. In the next outer circle, wood, fruits, etc., In the next extensive agriculture in cereals, corn, wheat, oats, rice, etc. Further out more land would be used for the ~ame products, but less fertilizers , manures and scientific appliances could be used. Finally, the outer circle of land that is profitable only for pasture and cattle raising and outside of that, although the land is as fertile as at the city gates, no industry is profitable. And the character of the industry is varied according to the distance and the character of the road , and it CEASES ENTIRELY PRECISELY AT THE BOU~DARY LINJD WHERE THE COST OF PRODUCTION IS ABSORBED BY THE COST OF TRANSPORTATION. -9- The fertility of the land is everywhere the same, but it increases in value according to its accessibility and its nearness to the markets. Good roads then, it is scientifically. demonstrated, annihilate distance; they are equivalent to fertile fields; -they transform the desert to the pasture, and the pasture to the field and the field to the garden, and the garden to the hothouse. Good roads multiply land and multiply its possibilities and transform the desert to the Garden of God; redolent with fragrant flowers and mellow fruits, and resonant with the songs of birds as fair as the district between the four rivers "where the first roses blew eastward in Eden." Not only that, but good roads tend to HEALTH AND MORALITY. To ' pack people in a narrow compass, makes for unhygenic conditions; it invites disease. The cities of the middle ages where the inhabitants were huddled together and the streets reeked with mud and filth, so that even an emperor going to his coronation bogged to his horses' belly, the result was the awful scourges of the cholera and the black death and the plague Where stories are piled on each other until there are fifty families in a house, and often a whole family and some times several to a room, the foundations of decency and morality are threatened , and where human beings are forced to thus rob each other of air and light and _room, all occasions for sin and friction and conflict are multiplied manifold. Good streets means that the laborer may live in the suburbs and yet be near his work. It means that every home may have a yard and little children a place to play. It means that the farmer 's boy is not shut off from contact with his fellows nor his girl from the church and the school. It means that time is multiplied as well as property and the means of education and enlightenment are put at every man's door. What shall it profit that a land will produce crisp-leaved lettuce and odoriferous onions and blithsome beans and racy radishes and tasteful turnips and succulent strawberries, if they all rot before they can be brought to market? What ir> the additional value of a sack of flour or of a piece of furniture when it has been dragged a hundred miles over sliding sand two feet deep by six yoke of oxen, or over bottomless abysses of slush or over black mud that sticks like glue and weighs like lead and whose accumulating rolls clog any wheel and stall even a twenty mule team? Where are your neighbors if a marsh or quagmire yawns between you and the man a mile away? Whe:re is your education when you have to wear rubber boots hip high to go to school; and where is your religion if a defiling loblolly of soft mud or a wilderness of tangled stumps stands between you and the church? Half of the pathos of history and romance is connected with bad roads. The long march of the Mormons from Nauvoo to Salt Lake. The prairie schooners winding over the alkali deserts; the pioneer cutting his way with hatchet and knife through thicket and canebreak. James Lane Allen writes a novel to demonstrate that it may have been the breaking of a lynchpin on some mountain road in Kentucky that stamps its differences in culture and wealth and all that makes life attractive between the barefooted denizen of the Kentucky mountains, living on taters and branch water, with occasional revivals and justifiable homicides for his relaxation and his kinsmen redolent of wealth and culture in the bluegrass valleys. One of the Psalms pictures the life of the wicked as a trail which vanishes at last in the desert. And a ruined and lost life is in all literature pictured as a taking of the wrong road since Pythagoras represented life as the letter Y, like a road which forks. The wrong road, the bad road, which leads to the arid desert, the shifting path of sand stretching out under 11 blazing copper sky through all the sordid years bordered by the skeletons of the perished, landmarked by the graves of the dead. Vultures hover over you by day and jacka~s howl around you by night and the loneliness eats like iron into your soul. "God pity those who know not touch of hands, Who dwell from all their fellows far apart, Who, isolated, in unpeopled lands, Know not a friend's communion, heart to heart.'' - 10- If good roads did nothing else than to allow those who Jiyed adjacent to each other to become so acquainted that they might be neighbors and friends, they would still deserve to be numbered among those institutions that are classed as benedictions to humanity. To summarize: Good roads are means of intercommunication and unity and commerce and postal service. They prevent those who Jive away from cities bcihg cut off from the outside world until their lives become narrow and their natures dwarfed. They are to civilization what the arterial system and the nervous sy;.tem are to the human body. If the free and rapid transit of the blood be pre\"ented, or if the nerYe wires be broken, all parts beyond become paralizcd and rot. They are the means of the rapid administration of justice and mercy, crime is rampant when it is encouraged by delay and when the criminals are inaccessible to the officers of the ia\Y because of natural barriers. 'fbe story of the Kentucky mountain feuds illustrates this truth . Bad roads mean untold suffering to the sick and to the wounded and delay in securing medicines or physicians until oftentimes death is the penalty for civic carelessness. Good roads are a means of recreation and pleasure; they give opportunitirs to picnic partie:-; from cro\Yded cities to go where the hedge rose blossoms and the flowering shrubs dispense their fragrance by running brooks in silvery dells. ·without them the poor would often have no recreation, the inexorable "Kerp off the Grm<s'' signs confront them on lawns and parks and the highways are the only free places. Good roads form the means of permitting that freedom and privacy of intercommunication rssrntial to the acquaintance necessary to blissful courtship and thoughtful marriage. An H. M. T. buggy, a trained horse and a good highway form a lover's paracli~e, Few homes, even of the wealthy have the parlors and lawns free from the im·asion of the girls' terrible kid brother. "Good highways, broad, bordered with trees and flowers,'' is the demand of the lads and lacsics. Good roads give a means of prevention of the awful eongestion in cities by promoting the locating of homes in the country for town people when' they may e~eape the dust and turmoil, the heat and noise of traffic, and rC'ar their ehildren in favorabiC' environments near to nature's heart. Good roads seeure to country people by ready acce~s the polish and soeial culture of cities and by permitting an intermingling between the inhabitantH of the town and country, help to break clown those awful class barriers that promote prejudices, em·ies, hatrs and revolutions, and that breed clemogogues in the cities, who cultivate the Prolctatiat of workingmen and dcmogogues of the country of the socklcss, one-gallus, hair trunk, cob-pipe variety. TherC' is no blessing of civilization that thry will not fostrr and no progress of civilization that thC'y do not measure. All good roads lead somewlwrc, from producer's fidel to market, from manufacturers' hall:; to consumers homes. I heard a lover complain of the worst kind of a had road as he pathetically ~ang of his beloved: "ThE' highway that leads to her hC'art Is a trail through the desert I trow, Where sighs like the fever winds, smart, And the sands of uncertainty blow. Full many a vcntursome mile Sped hope, like a Becloun Brave, To chase the mirage of. her smile And find in thE' desert a grave.'' May your road making, my patient and beloved friends, lead you rather to the kisses of recompencc and thC' flowrring and fructifing garden of Eden. - 11- ;
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|Title||1905/04/17 - Address - The Meter of Civilization by B. H. Carroll|
|Subject||Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary--History.|
|Description||An address dated April 17. 1905 titled "The Meter of Civilization" by B. H. Carroll|
|Creator||Carroll, B. H. (Benajah Harvey), 1843-1914|
|Publisher||Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary|
|Coverage||Fort Worth (Texas)--1905|
|Rights||Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary|
"THE METER OF CIVILIZATION"
ADDRESS DELIVLRED BY
:S. H. CAR.R.OLL, Jr., M. A., L. L. B., Ph. D. (:Berlin)
Head of Department of History and Political Science,
Baylor University, Waco, Texas,
At Shreveport, Loui5iana, before the National Good R.oaCi~ Convention,
April 17th, 1905.
" ROADS THE METER OF CIVILIZATION."
\Vhat is the mE'asuring rod of civilization and wherewithal shall it be measure-d"!
History shows us that any civilization may be graduated, estimated, surveyed, and
its rank and relativE' poRition determined by a study of its roads.
These highways must be either of the land or the sea, and happy thP nation that had
The thing that gave Palestine its importance among the nations was the fact that it
dominatPd thP great highway between A::;ia and Africa. There i~ only onC' great highway
in all the land, but it is the bridge of the world. Perhaps thcrP is no strE'tch of ground so
historic as the great war road along the western coast of the "Jlediterranean. At its narrowest
point Tiglath Pileser and Sargon and ~ebuehadnc7.zar and tlw great war lords of
Assyria and Babylon have placed thPir tablets of intaglio carvC'd stone by the side of those
of Seto and Ramcses and Pharoah ~echo and other of Egypt's grPat rul!'rs and side by
side with lesser monarchs, even down to ~ apo!Pon III. Th!'re on this road wher!' the
cliffs of Lebanon loom above it and the waters of the ~lrdilerranC'an sra fret their opalinP
splendor~ into rainbows and foam at the mouth of the )\ahr el 1\:rlrb (the rivrr of the dog),
there is an autograph album graved in ~tone wher!' the C'mpC'rors of the ancient world
have cut with a pen of iron in the roc·k forever their signatur!'s, some of them more than
four thousand years old. This was the highway between Egypt and Assyria, the great
ancient empirE's of the East. Babylon is a ruin,· a stately and ~olitary group of palms
marks where 1\femphiH :-|