Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
The people of highly progressive countries are energetic enough 
to carry out improvements. If a town in the United States 
grows up away from the railroad it tries to persuade the near- 
est railroad to build a branch line for it, and perhaps gives land 
for tracks, freight yard, and station. In Sweden many small 
railways are actually financed and managed by the local farmers. 
In backward countries, on the other hand, the people wait and 
wait, hoping perhaps that some one will build a railroad, but 
doing little to help get it. 
Progressive countries need many railroads because their peo- 
ple wish to move around a great deal and like to go rapidly. A 
business man in Chicago thinks little of a trip to Philadelphia, 
while most of the business men in Chungking rarely go outside 
their own city. 
In progressive countries, not only do people wish to travel rap- 
idly, but they work rapidly, use much machinery, and produce 
large quantities of goods to be transported. One man’s work 
mn a cutlery factory in Leeds, for example, may produce as many 
knives and hence require as much freight business as the work 
of a hundred men in the old-fashioned shops of Damascus. 
Again, since the most progressive people generally work hardest 
and use the greatest intelligence in their work, they have far 
more money than those of other countries. Where a mechanic 
in Buffalo gets seven dollars a day, a man of corresponding 
position in Delhi may get only fifty cents. Such large earnings 
not only provide capital for railroad building, but enable peo- 
ple to buy a great many articles which must be transported by 
the railways. All the savings of a whole year in a city like Can- 
ton, China, would build only a few dozen miles of railways. 
But the savings of an equally large American city, such as Cleve- 
land. would build hundreds of miles. 
Why densely populated countries have many railroads. Suppose 
you were to motor around the city of Boston at a distance of twenty- 
five miles from the center. You would cross between twenty-five 
and thirty railroads, the number depending on which roads you took. 
On a similar ride around Chicago you would cross almost the same 
number of tracks, but you would see more freight trains and fewer 
passenger trains. On the same kind of ride around New York you 
would have to cross Long Island Sound and the broad Hudson River, 
but you would see an even larger number of railroads, more than thirty 
in all, and the trains would be even more numerous than around 
Boston and Chicago. 
Suppose now that you were to take a similar ride in northern Maine, 
or the western part of South Dakota. Not a single railroad would you

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