National Geographic : 1899 Mar
92 ORIGINAL TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES ness threaded by mighty rivers destined to bear upon their bosoms the commerce of untold millions when these trackless wilds should be peopled by the makers of the Great West. The history of the United States is the story of its continued bene dictions. Ampler vision has broadened the interpretation of its meaning, and enlarged experience has widened the application of its principles; and today, as hitherto, the Constitution is flexible enough to admit of adaptation to all the changing con ditions of our national development, yet strong enough to hold in one harmonious system forty-five great states, spanning the continent and including within their limits every diversity of nature and every variety of man. Designed for a population of three millions, it has become the fundamental law of more than seventy; ratified by a little fringe of people scattered along the Atlantic seaboard, it is accepted by a great continental nation; written in a period of legalized slavery, it has laid the founda tions of universal liberty; expressing the final goal toward which political evolution is tending-local government for local affairs and a general government for general affairs-it presents a model for the final organization of the entire human race, when some far-distant dawn shall usher in " The parliament of man, the federation of the world." IN A recent report to the Department of State, Consul-General De Leon deals at some length with the proposed railway from Guayaquil to Quito. The track is laid for the first 60 miles, but the broadening of the gauge and the laying of new ties and rails will almost amount to a new construction.. The present terminus is at the foot of the western cordillera of the Andes, at an elevation of 1,130 feet above sea-level. Between this point and Sibambe, a distance of 60 miles, there will be a gradual rise to an altitude of 8,138 feet. This is considered to be the most difficult part of the entire line, as not only does it lie for the most part on the thickly forested mountain side, but the geological formation will add greatly to the difficulty of con struction. Between Sibambe and Quito the line will have to surmount three spurs of the cordilleras, ranging from 10,000 to 12,000 feet. The road, as a whole, will be a triumph of railway construction and will open up a region of wonderful product ivity, the mountain valleys that will be rendered accessible pos sessing a fine climate and an exceedingly fertile soil.