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GIFT JAN 18 34
ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District
of New York.
IF the close of an internal war forms the most critical moment in the career of a nation, especially when that war has involved the nature and existence of the institutions of a country, then there can be no period so important to the people of the United States as that of the years which intervene until a final settlement of all difficulties with the Southern States. This period is the more highly important here, as it includes circumstances without a parallel in the previous history of mankind. The sudden emancipation of four millions of slaves of another race of men, their immediate investment with civil rights, their rapid elevation to the dignity and power of coequals in the Government with their former masters, is a problem full of intense interest in every step of its solution. In this view the present volume of the ANNUAL CYCLOPÆDIA CONtains all the measures proposed or adopted in Congress for the reconstruction of the Union; the reports and debates on those measures; the views of the Executive department of the Government; the conflict of opinion between the President and Congress, and the respective measures adopted by each; the change in the condition of the people of the Southern States, arising from their new civil and political relations, together with all those events which illustrate the history of this national crisis.
Scarcely less important were the events in Europe, which have so changed the political aspect of the western portion of that continent, and forebode mo mentous results in the future. The difficulties between Austria, Italy, and Prussia, are explained in these pages, with the details of their negotiations, and the military operations in that short and decisive war, accompanied by topographical and military maps and illustrations. The destruction of the old German Union by the secession of Prussia, and other States, and the formation of a northern confederation under her control and consolidation, resulting in placing her among the great powers of Europe, are fully narrated.
The details of the internal affairs of the United States embrace the financial condition of the Government; with the practical operation of its systems of taxation; its currency; debt; the banks; commerce and agriculture; the proceedings in the Southern States to reorganize their civil and social affairs; the position and rights allowed to the freedmen, with the practical operation of the Freedmen's Bureau ; the various political conventions of the year, both national and State ; the acts of State Legislatures; the results of elections; the progress of educational and charitable institutions under the care of the State governments; the debts and resources of the States, and all those facts which serve to show their growth and development.
The intercourse of the United States with foreign nations, as presented in its diplomatic correspondence, is noticed, and the civil, military, and commercial history of all the states of Europe and South America, and the more important kingdoms of Asia, with some countries of Africa, is fully brought up.
The progress and peculiar features and effective mode of treatment of those scourges known as the Asiatic Cholera and Cattle Disease, are carefully described.
The advance in the various branches of physical science, with the new applications to useful purposes which have been developed, have been extensively described.
Geographical explorations were earnestly continued in all quarters of the globe, and the discoveries which have followed are fully presented.
The record of Literature is fully as important as that of any previous year, and the works published have been extensively noticed under the various classes to which they belong.
Nearly all the religious denominations of the country, with an account of their branches, membership, views on political affairs, and the progress of distinctive opinions, from their official sources, are carefully noticed.
A brief tribute has been paid to the memory of deceased persons of note in every department of society.
All important documents, messages, orders, treaties, constitutions, and letters from official persons, have been inserted entire.