Read a letter than answer 3 questions. All the information is on the picture. No requirement for the length.IN NORTH AMERICA IN
AND 1828 (1829)
In 1829, Basil Hall, a British naval officer from a Scottish aristocratic family, published a book
recounting his travels in North America in the previous two years. In this selection, Hall describes
parts of upstate New York and western Massachusetts, where he met people with many ideas about
how to improve American transportation and trade.
n the 3d of October, 1827, we left Stockbridge, redeem, in the course of one morning, all the flatness
and proceeded across the country to Northamp- and insipidity of our previous journey. The greater
ton, another of those beautiful New England villages, part, indeed, of the country which we had yet seen
which it is impossible to overpraise. Our road was always, of course, excepting the beautiful Lake George
conducted through ravines, over mountain passes, and and delightful Hudson-consisted either of ploughed
occasionally along the very summit of ridges, from fields, or impenetrable forests, or it was spotted over
whence we commanded a view of sufficient beauty to with new villages, as raw and unpicturesque as if
Source: Basil Hall, Travels in North America in the Years 1827 and 1828, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: Cadell and Co., 1829), 93-94,
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Travels in North America
they had just stepped out of a saw-pit. The towns of The same reasoning might be applied to a hundred
Massachusetts, on the contrary, were embellished other projects in the United States, many of them not
with ornamental trees and flower gardens, while the less impracticable, but which, although existing only on
larger features of the landscape owed their interest to paper, are, nevertheless assumed completed, and cast
the more vigorous accompaniments of rocks, moun- into the balance of American greatness, till the imagi-
tains, waterfalls, and all the varied lights and shades of nary scale, loaded with anticipated magnificence, makes
the Old World kick the beam, to the great satisfaction
In the course of this agreeable day’s journey, we tra- of the inhabitants of this country, and the admiration
versed a considerable portion of the route over which of distant lands, who know nothing of the matter….
it has been seriously proposed, I was assured, to carry a
At Worcester I met a remarkably intelligent person,
rail-road between the cities of Boston and Albany. No with whom I fell into conversation on the subject of
single State, still less any Section of the Union, it seems, manufactures, and the measure which was then in agi-
likes to be outdone by any other State; and this feel- tation, and has since been carried, of protecting, as it is
ing of rivalry, stimulated by the success of the great Erie called, the domestic industry of that country by a new
Canal—is an undertaking highly favoured by nature, Tariff, or higher scale of duties on imported goods.
has, I supposed suggested the visionary project in ques- He contended that the manufactures of New Eng-
tion. In answer to the appeals frequently made to my land in particular, but also those of other parts of the
admiration of this scheme, I was compelled to admit, Union, had grown up during the late war, when for-
that there was much boldness in the conception; but I eign goods were excluded, and had been enabled to
took the liberty of adding, that I conceived the bold- flourish, more or less, ever since, in consequence of the
ness lay in the conception alone; for, if it were executed, protecting duties laid on foreign articles by the Gen-
its character would be changed into madness.
Albany and Boston lie nearly east and west of each
other; while much of the intermediate space is so com-
pletely ribbed over by a series of high ridges running
north and south, that the rail-way in question would 1. Hall claims that Europeans exaggerate the great-
have to pass along a sort of gigantic corduroy road, ness of American transportation and manufactur-
over a country altogether unsuited for such an under- ing, yet he seems impressed himself. Why?
taking. Besides which, several navigable rivers, and 2. How do Hall’s observations offer evidence both of
more than one canal, lying along the intermediate val- states working together to implement internal im-
leys, connect the interior with the sea, and thus afford
provements and of jealousies between states?
far readier means of exporting or importing goods to 3. What is the relationship between nature and tech-
or from New York, Albany, or Boston, than any rail- nological improvement in Hall’s description of the
way san eyer furnish.
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