Synopses & Reviews
Excerpt from A Holiday Study of Cities and Ports
North and quickly found an exciting interest in their push and energy, and in the scientific thoroughness with which they prepare easy paths for commerce, or expend the results of their industry in streets and squares and boulevards and public buildings. Such are the rivalries of trade, and so keen is the struggle for existence, if not for pre-eminence, that the seaports of Belgium, Holland, Germany and England, and, in a lesser way, of France, have been driven to vast outlays for the perfecting of their ports and of their transportation facilities. Holland built the North Sea Canal and the Rotterdam waterway and the vast docks to hold the commerce of her two ports, and she has been so abundantly rewarded that still greater docks are planned. The series of docks at Antwerp shows Belgian commercial life in great activity, and vast additions to these accommodations are in contemplation. The marvellous and sudden growth of the German ports and merchant ﬂeets, the building by Germany of the Kiel Canal, the recent great extension of German inland waterways, - all are the expression of the vigorous life of that country. Indeed, a visit to the Hamburg docks is a sight never to be forgotten. London is a larger port, but its business is scattered and its apparatus seems to a casual observer old-fashioned but at Hamburg the docks are so continuous, so systematic, so well ordered, so completely fitted with machinery and so filled with vessels from every clime, that it would be difficult to name any place that gives one a more vivid impression of the powers of humanity.
In these maritime cities commerce is naturally the foundation of prosperity; but 'hardly less interesting than the facilities afforded commerce is the way in which care and system and forethought have also been applied to the extension and beautifying of these same cities as they become prosperous. Certain general principles underlie both the development of these ports and the similar development of the increased city behind the port. Before making a review in detail of such cities as I visited, I will therefore first sketch these principles.
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