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REGISTER OF IMPORTANT EVENTS
OF THE YEAR
EMBRACING POLITICAL, MILITARY, AND ECCLESIASTICAL AFFAIRS; PUBLIC
TURE, SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE, AND MECHANICAL INDUSTRY.
NEW SERIES, VOL. XIV.
WHOLE SERIES, VOL. XXIX.
1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET.
The year 1889, of which this volume attempts to give a succinct history, witnessed important political changes in three widely separated quarters of the globe. A new constitution was promulgated in Japan, which makes the government of that country a limited monarchy, with popular representation, so that the liberties of the people no longer depend upon the oath of the Mikado. In the United States, the control of the Executive branch of the Government and the national House of Representatives passed from one of the great political parties to the other, and four new States were admitted to the Union. In Brazil, the only imperial government in America was overthrown, and a republic took its place. The details of all these changes may be found in the appropriate articles. Unfortunately, not all revolutions are so bloodless, and Europe seems to be on the eve of a great war, perhaps of a general upheaval. One of the most significant of the symptoms is found in the fact that nearly every government on that continent is eagerly adopting the latest improvements in firearms and spending millions of dollars in altering old rifles or making new ones. The latest information on this subject, fully illustrated, may be found in the article on “ Military Rifles," by Capt. Philip Reade, of the United States Army. The new navy that we are building for our own defense was described and illustrated in the “ Annual Cyclopædia” for 1888; and that article is supplemented by one in the present volume, contributed by Lieut. Arthur P. Nazro, U. S. N., which contains a full description of the navy, brought down to date. The affairs of the new States, both in the last days of their Territorial condition and in the first of their Statehood, will prove interesting to every American citizen who takes pride in the growth of his country; and the dramatic story of how a new Territory was peopled in an hour, to the sound of the bugle, may be read under “Oklahoma." Closely related to this is the subject of “Irrigation,” which is fully treated by Ernest Ingersoll, who is very familiar with our great Western plains, where only water is needed to make the desert blossom as the rose. sistent effort to secure universal temperance through political means is another significant movement, the progress of which may be traced by means of the sub heads “ Prohibition,” “Local Option,” and “ High License ” in the various articles on the States and Territories. And another moral question that forms a subject of legislation is treated in the article on “ Divorce.” The growth of our cities is recorded in a continuation of a series of articles—“ Cities, American, Recent Growth of”—which was begun in the volume for 1886. Forty-four
cities are treated in the present article, and the subject will be continued next year. Most of these are written by local authorities.
The greatest feat of recent times in the way of exploration is probably Stanley's march across central Africa, which is fully described, largely in his own language, in the articles “ Stanley” and “Geographical Progress and Discovery," with a portrait of the explorer, a map of Africa, and other illustrations. The progress of peaceful industry is indicated in the articles “ Fraternal Congress," “ International Congress," “ Marine Congress,” “Maritime Exhibition,” and
" “Paris Exposition,” the last of which is illustrated with a colored chart; while great movements of capital and resulting legislation are set forth to some extent in the articles “Investments, English, in the United States," and “Trust." Sources of material wealth are described in “ Apatite,” “ Cattle, Improved Breeds of,” “ Cotton-Seed Products,” and several paragraphs on phosphate deposits in State articles ; while Prof. John D. Quackenbos describes a new and valuable species of trout, with illustrations. The article on “Elections,” in the volume for 1887, which described the various forms of balloting, including the Australian and other systems, is supplemented in the present volume by an exhaustive one on “Registry Laws,” and in connection with that the reader should look at the State articles for a record of recent enactments in ballot reform. The subject of executions by electricity is treated in the article on New York State; and a great many curious and useful suggestions as to subjects of recent legislation may
be found in the lists of bills passed by the State legislatures, as well as in the article on “Congress.” The disasters of the year are briefly recounted under that title, and two of the greatest—the Johnstown flood and the epidemic of influenza-are treated in special articles. On the other hand, the munificent provision made for sufferers by a disaster of the last generation is described under the title “ Soldiers' Homes.” Interesting discoveries regarding ancient peoples in one of the oldest and one of the newest countries on the globe are set forth in “ Archæology” and “Cave-Drawings.”
Among our regular articles, Dr. William J. Youmans, as usual, furnishes “ Chemistry,” “Meteorology,” “Mineralogy," and “Physiology”; Mr. James P. Carey, of the “Journal of Commerce," writes the “Financial Review"; Mr. William C. Winlock, of the Smithsonian Institution, gives us “Astronomical Progress and Discovery"; Mr. Henry Dalby, of the Montreal "Star," contributes Canadian articles; Rev. Dr. Spencer writes of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and Prof. Egan of the Roman Catholic Church; and John D. Champlin, editor of the “Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings,” reviews the year's progress in the fine arts. From more distant quarters, we have an article from Prof. Brown on New Zealand, and one from Consul Hastings on Hawaii. To our list of regular titles we add this year “ Physics,” by Arthur E. Bostwick, Ph. D.
The eminent living men of whom we present sketches and portraits are: Pope Leo XIII, Henry M. Stanley, the deposed Emperor of Brazil and his successor President Fonseca, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Thomas B. Reed, and the members of President Harrison's Cabinet.