Skip to content


Choose a Chapter | Purchase the eBook

1 The Collision Of Cultures
2 Britain And Its Colonies
3 Colonial Ways Of Life
4 The Imperial Perspective
5 From Empire To Independence
6 The American Revolution
7 Shaping A Federal Union
8 The Federalist Era
9 The Early Republic
10 Nationalism And Sectionalism
11 The Jacksonian Impulse
12 The Dynamics Of Growth
13 An American Renaissance: Religion, Romanticism, And Reform
14 Manifest Destiny
15 The Old South
16 The Crisis Of Union
17 The War Of The Union
18 Reconstruction: North And South
19 New Frontiers: South And West
20 Big Business And Organized Labor
21 The Emergence Of Urban America
22 Gilded-age Politics And Agrarian Revolt
23 An American Empire
24 The Progressive Era
25 America And The Great War
26 The Modern Temper
27 Republican Resurgence And Decline
28 New Deal America
29 From Isolation To Global War
30 The Second World War
31 The Fair Deal And Containment
32 Through The Picture Window: Society And Culture, 19451960
33 Conflict And Deadlock: The Eisenhower Years
34 New Frontiers: Politics And Social Change In The 1960s
35 Rebellion And Reaction In The 1960s And 1970s
36 A Conservative Insurgency
37 Triumph And Tragedy: America At The Turn Of The Century

"Wall Street and the House of Dollars" (1906)

» Return to Document Reader
» Worksheet

This is the situation. Here we are, a great and vigorous people, generating power enough to run a dozen governments and our government has got away from us, and switched us off, and our nominal representatives are getting their motive power elsewhere. There in the Senate Chamber is the center of the conspiracy which has defrauded us of our rights. It will soon be with us as it was with the Roman oligarchy. "Senatus Populusque Romanus," they used to say, when they spoke of the state. "S.P.Q.R."—"The Senate and the Roman People," and the Senate came first. It is "The Senate and the American People" to-day, and we may soon improve on the Roman legend and drop the "People" altogether, and then, politically speaking, the Senate will be the Whole Thing. But they tempered the asperities of oligarchy in Rome by naming tribunes of the people who had the courage to call a halt when the Senate went too far, and to maintain the rights of the people against their rulers. We need such tribunes in this country, and their aim should be to bring the senators back to their allegiance. Legislative elections have proved to be almost invariably corrupt and the sure means of handing over the selection to the money power. The senators as a rule are either direct representatives of the trusts or political bosses by the grace of the trusts. The problem before us is to select our own bosses for ourselves and make the senators our representatives, and to cut off the connection which binds them to interests which are diametrically opposed to ours. Popular election seems to be the obvious reform. The electors of a whole state cannot be handled as a legislature can be. The people should rise in their wrath and demand this change. The world of finance has its own proper functions to accomplish, but it should have no place in the management of our government. Let the people once more become the Real Thing.


[From Ernest Crosby, "Wall Street and the House of Dollars," Cosmopolitan, April 1906, p. 610.]

Section Menu

Organize

Learn

Connect

Multimedia

Norton Gradebook

Instructors now have an easy way to collect students’ online quizzes with the Norton Gradebook without flooding their inboxes with e-mails.

Students can track their online quiz scores by setting up their own Student Gradebook.