Progressivism in the United States
Progressivism in the United States is a broadly based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century. It was middle reformist in nature, it arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century, progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism and social justice. Much of the movement has been energized by religion. Historian Alonzo Hamby defined American progressivism as the "political movement that addresses ideas and issues stemming from modernization of American society. Emerging at the end of the nineteenth century, it established much of the tone of American politics throughout the first half of the century." Historians debate the exact contours, but date the "Progressive Era" from the 1890s to either World War I or the onset of the Great Depression, in response to the perceived excesses of the Gilded Age. Many of the core principles of the Progressive Movement focused on the need for efficiency in all areas of society.
Purification to eliminate waste and corruption was a powerful element, as well as the Progressives' support of worker compensation, improved child labor laws, minimum wage legislation, a support for a maximum hours that workers could work for, graduated income tax and allowed women the right to vote. According to historian William Leuchtenburg: The Progressives believed in the Hamiltonian concept of positive government, of a national government directing the destinies of the nation at home and abroad, they had little but contempt for the strict construction of the Constitution by conservative judges, who would restrict the power of the national government to act against social evils and to extend the blessings of democracy to less favored lands. The real enemy was state rights, limited government. Progressives warned that illegal voting was corrupting the political system, they identified big-city bosses, working with saloon keepers and precinct workers, as the culprits who stuffed the ballot boxes.
The solution to purifying the vote included prohibition, voter registration requirements, literacy tests. All of the Southern states used devices to disenfranchise black voters during the Progressive Era; the progressive elements in those states pushed for disenfranchisement fighting against the conservatism of the Black Belt whites. A major reason given was that whites purchased black votes to control elections, it was easier to disenfranchise blacks than to go after powerful white men. In the North, Progressives such as William U'Ren and Robert La Follette argued that the average citizen should have more control over his government; the Oregon System of "Initiative and Recall" was exported to many states, including Idaho and Wisconsin. Many progressives, such as George M. Forbes, president of Rochester's Board of Education, hoped to make government in the U. S. more responsive to the direct voice of the American people when he said: e are now intensely occupied in forging the tools of democracy, the direct primary, the initiative, the referendum, the recall, the short ballot, commission government.
But in our enthusiasm we do not seem to be aware that these tools will be worthless unless they are used by those who are aflame with the sense of brotherhood... The idea to establish in each community an institution having a direct and vital relation to the welfare of the neighborhood, ward, or district, to the city as a whole Philip J. Ethington seconds this high view of direct democracy saying: initiatives and recalls, along with direct primaries and the direct election of US Senators, were the core achievements of'direct democracy' by the Progressive generation during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Progressives fought for women's suffrage to purify the elections using purer female voters. Progressives in the South supported the elimination of corrupt black voters from the election booth. Historian Michael Perman says that in both Texas and Georgia, "disfranchisement was the weapon as well as the rallying cry in the fight for reform". Democracy or elitism? Social justice or social control?
Small entrepreneurship or concentrated capitalism? And what was the impact of American foreign policy? Were the progressives isolationists or interventionists? Imperialists or advocates of national self-determination? And whatever they were, what was their motivation? Moralistic utopianism? Muddled relativistic pragmatism? Hegemonic capitalism? Not many battered scholars began to shout'no mas!' In 1970, Peter Filene declared. The Progressives concentrated on city and state government, looking for waste and better ways to provide services as the cities grew rapidly; these changes led to a more structured system, power, centralized within the legislature would now be more locally focused. The changes were made to the system to make legal processes, market transactions, bureaucratic administration, democracy easier to manage, thus putting them under the classification of "Municipal Administration". There was a change
Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, messages, writings and sounds or information of any nature by wire, optical or other electromagnetic systems. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology, it is transmitted either electrically over physical media, such as cables, or via electromagnetic radiation. Such transmission paths are divided into communication channels which afford the advantages of multiplexing. Since the Latin term communicatio is considered the social process of information exchange, the term telecommunications is used in its plural form because it involves many different technologies. Early means of communicating over a distance included visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, optical heliographs. Other examples of pre-modern long-distance communication included audio messages such as coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, loud whistles. 20th- and 21st-century technologies for long-distance communication involve electrical and electromagnetic technologies, such as telegraph and teleprinter, radio, microwave transmission, fiber optics, communications satellites.
A revolution in wireless communication began in the first decade of the 20th century with the pioneering developments in radio communications by Guglielmo Marconi, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909, other notable pioneering inventors and developers in the field of electrical and electronic telecommunications. These included Charles Wheatstone and Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Edwin Armstrong and Lee de Forest, as well as Vladimir K. Zworykin, John Logie Baird and Philo Farnsworth; the word telecommunication is a compound of the Greek prefix tele, meaning distant, far off, or afar, the Latin communicare, meaning to share. Its modern use is adapted from the French, because its written use was recorded in 1904 by the French engineer and novelist Édouard Estaunié. Communication was first used as an English word in the late 14th century, it comes from Old French comunicacion, from Latin communicationem, noun of action from past participle stem of communicare "to share, divide out.
Homing pigeons have been used throughout history by different cultures. Pigeon post had Persian roots, was used by the Romans to aid their military. Frontinus said; the Greeks conveyed the names of the victors at the Olympic Games to various cities using homing pigeons. In the early 19th century, the Dutch government used the system in Sumatra, and in 1849, Paul Julius Reuter started a pigeon service to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, a service that operated for a year until the gap in the telegraph link was closed. In the Middle Ages, chains of beacons were used on hilltops as a means of relaying a signal. Beacon chains suffered the drawback that they could only pass a single bit of information, so the meaning of the message such as "the enemy has been sighted" had to be agreed upon in advance. One notable instance of their use was during the Spanish Armada, when a beacon chain relayed a signal from Plymouth to London. In 1792, Claude Chappe, a French engineer, built the first fixed visual telegraphy system between Lille and Paris.
However semaphore suffered from the need for skilled operators and expensive towers at intervals of ten to thirty kilometres. As a result of competition from the electrical telegraph, the last commercial line was abandoned in 1880. On 25 July 1837 the first commercial electrical telegraph was demonstrated by English inventor Sir William Fothergill Cooke, English scientist Sir Charles Wheatstone. Both inventors viewed their device as "an improvement to the electromagnetic telegraph" not as a new device. Samuel Morse independently developed a version of the electrical telegraph that he unsuccessfully demonstrated on 2 September 1837, his code was an important advance over Wheatstone's signaling method. The first transatlantic telegraph cable was completed on 27 July 1866, allowing transatlantic telecommunication for the first time; the conventional telephone was invented independently by Alexander Bell and Elisha Gray in 1876. Antonio Meucci invented the first device that allowed the electrical transmission of voice over a line in 1849.
However Meucci's device was of little practical value because it relied upon the electrophonic effect and thus required users to place the receiver in their mouth to "hear" what was being said. The first commercial telephone services were set-up in 1878 and 1879 on both sides of the Atlantic in the cities of New Haven and London. Starting in 1894, Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi began developing a wireless communication using the newly discovered phenomenon of radio waves, showing by 1901 that they could be transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean; this was the start of wireless telegraphy by radio. Voice and music had little early success. World War I accelerated the development of radio for military communications. After the war, commercial radio AM broadcasting began in the 1920s and became an important mass medium for entertainment and news. World War II again accelerated development of radio for the wartime purposes of aircraft and land communication, radio navigation and radar. Development of stereo FM broadcasting of radio
History of rail transport in the United States
This article is part of the history of rail transport by country series. Wooden railroads, called wagonways, were built in the United States starting from the 1720s. A railroad was used in the construction of the French fortress at Louisburg, Nova Scotia, in New France in 1720. Between 1762 and 1764, at the close of the French and Indian War, a gravity railroad is built by British military engineers up the steep riverside terrain near the Niagara River waterfall's escarpment at the Niagara Portage in Lewiston, New York. Railroads played a large role in the development of the United States from the industrial revolution in the North-east to the settlement of the West; the American railroad mania began with the founding of the first passenger and freight line in the nation of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in 1827 and the "Laying of the First Stone" ceremonies and beginning of its long construction heading westward over the obstacles of the Appalachian Mountains eastern chain the following year of 1828, flourished with continuous railway building projects for the next 45 years until the financial Panic of 1873 followed by a major economic depression bankrupted many companies and temporarily stymied and ended growth.
Although the antebellum South started early to build railways, it concentrated on short lines linking cotton regions to oceanic or river ports, the absence of an interconnected network was a major handicap during the Civil War. The North and Midwest constructed networks. In the settled Midwestern Corn Belt, over 80 percent of farms were within 5 miles of a railway, facilitating the shipment of grain and cattle to national and international markets. A large number of short lines were built, but thanks to a fast developing financial system based on Wall Street and oriented to railway bonds, the majority were consolidated into 20 trunk lines by 1890. State and local governments subsidized lines, but owned them; the system was built by 1910, but trucks arrived to eat away the freight traffic, automobiles to devour the passenger traffic. After 1940, the use of diesel electric locomotives made for much more efficient operations that needed fewer workers on the road and in repair shops. A series of bankruptcies and consolidations left the rail system in the hands of a few large operations by the 1980s.
All long-distance passenger traffic was shifted to Amtrak in 1971, a government-owned operation. Commuter rail service is provided near a few major cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia and the District of Columbia. Computerization and improved equipment reduced employment, which peaked at 2.1 million in 1920, falling to 1.2 million in 1950 and 215,000 in 2010. Route mileage peaked at 254,251 miles in 1916 and fell to 139,679 miles in 2011. Freight railroads continue to play an important role in the United States' economy for moving imports and exports using containers, for shipments of coal and, since 2010, of oil. According to the British news magazine The Economist, "They are universally recognized in the industry as the best in the world." Productivity rose 172% between 1981 and 2000, while rates rose 55%. Rail's share of the American freight market rose to the highest for any rich country. A railroad was used in the construction of the French fortress at Louisburg, Nova Scotia in 1720.
Between 1762 and 1764, at the close of the French and Indian War, a gravity railroad is built by British military engineers up the steep riverside terrain near the Niagara River waterfall's escarpment at the Niagara Portage in Lewiston, New York. The animal powered Leiper Railroad followed in 1810 after the preceding successful experiment—designed and built by merchant Thomas Leiper, the railway connects Crum Creek to Ridley Creek, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, it was used until 1829, when it was temporarily replaced by the Leiper Canal is reopened to replace the canal in 1852. This became the Crum Creek Branch of the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad in 1887; this is the first railroad meant to be permanent, the first to evolve into trackage of a common carrier after an intervening closure. In 1826 Massachusetts incorporated the Granite Railway as a common freight carrier to haul granite for the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument. Other railroads authorized by states in 1826 and constructed in the following years included the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's gravity railroad.
To link the port of Baltimore to the Ohio River, the state of Maryland in 1827 chartered the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first section of which opened in 1830. The South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company was chartered in 1827 to connect Charleston to the Savannah River, Pennsylvania built the Main Line of Public Works between Philadelphia and the Ohio River; the Americans followed and copied British railroad technology. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the first common carrier and started passenger train service in May 1830 using horses to pull train cars; the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company was the first to use steam locomotives beginning with the Best Friend of Charleston, the first American-built locomotive intended for
Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act
The Payne–Aldrich Tariff Act of 1909, named for Representative Sereno E. Payne and Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, began in the United States House of Representatives as a bill raising certain tariffs on goods entering the United States; the high rates angered Republican reformers, led to a deep split in the Republican Party. President William Howard Taft called Congress into a special session in 1909 shortly after his inauguration to discuss the issue. Thus, the House of Representatives passed a tariff bill sponsored by Payne, calling for reduced tariffs. However, the United States Senate speedily substituted a bill written by Aldrich, calling for fewer reductions and more increases in tariffs, it was the first change in tariff laws since the Dingley Act of 1897. An additional provision of the bill provided for the creation of a tariff board to study the problem of tariff modification in full and to collect information on the subject for the use of Congress and the President in future tariff considerations.
Another provision allowed for free trade with the Philippines under American control. Congress passed the bill on April 9, 1909; the Payne Act, in its essence a compromise bill, had the immediate effect of frustrating both proponents and opponents of reducing tariffs. In particular, the bill angered Progressives, who began to withdraw support from President Taft; because it increased the duty on print paper used by publishers, the publishing industry viciously criticized the President, further tarnishing his image. Although Taft met and consulted with Congress during its deliberations on the bill, critics charged that he ought to have imposed more of his own recommendations on the bill such as that of a slower schedule. However, unlike his predecessor, Taft felt that the president should not dictate lawmaking and should leave Congress free to act as it saw fit. Taft signed the bill; the debate over the tariff split the Republican Party into Progressives and Old Guards and led the split party to lose the 1910 congressional election.
The bill enacted a small income tax on the privilege of conducting business as a corporation, affirmed in the Supreme Court decision Flint v. Stone Tracy Co.. Aldrich, Mark. "Tariffs and Trusts and Middlemen: Popular Explanations for the High Cost of Living, 1897–1920." History of Political Economy 45.4: 693–746. Barfield, Claude E. "" Our Share of the Booty": The Democratic Party Cannonism, the Payne–Aldrich Tariff." Journal of American History 57#2 pp. 308–23. in JSTOR Coletta, Paolo Enrico. The Presidency of William Howard Taft Detzer, David W. "Businessmen and Tariff Revision: The Payne–Aldrich Tariff of 1909." Historian 35#2 pp. 196–204. Fisk, George. "The Payne-Aldrich Tariff," Political Science Quarterly 25#1 pp. 35–68. "Western Range Senators and the Payne–Aldrich Tariff." Pacific Northwest Quarterly: 49–56. in JSTOR Gould, Lewis L. "New Perspectives on the Republican Party, 1877–1913," American Historical Review 77#4 pp. 1074–82 in JSTOR Solvick, Stanley D. "William Howard Taft and the Payne-Aldrich Tariff."
Mississippi Valley Historical Review pp. 424–42 in JSTOR. Taussig, Frank W; the Tariff History of the United States, pp. 361–408
Insular Government of the Philippine Islands
The Insular Government of the Philippine Islands was a territorial government of the United States, established in 1901 and was dissolved in 1935. The Insular Government was preceded by the United States Military Government of the Philippine Islands and was followed by the Commonwealth of the Philippines; the Philippines were acquired by the United States in 1898 as a result of the Spanish–American War. In 1902, the United States Congress passed the Philippine Organic Act, which organized the government and served as its basic law; this act provided for a governor-general appointed by the president of the United States, as well as a bicameral Philippine Legislature with the appointed Philippine Commission as the upper house and a elected Filipino elected lower house, the Philippine Assembly. The term "insular" refers to the fact that the government operated under the authority of the U. S. Bureau of Insular Affairs. Puerto Rico and Guam had insular governments at this time. From 1901 to 1922, the U.
S. Supreme Court wrestled with the constitutional status of these governments in the Insular Cases. In Dorr v. United States, the court ruled that Filipinos did not have a constitutional right to trial by jury. In the Philippines itself, the term "insular" had limited usage. On banknotes, postage stamps, the coat of arms, the government referred to itself as the "Philippine Islands." In 1916, Philippine Organic Act was replaced by the Jones Law, which ended the Philippine Commission and provided for both houses of the Philippine Legislature to be elected. In 1935, the Insular Government was replaced by the Commonwealth. Commonwealth status was intended to last ten years and was designed to prepare the country for independence; the Insular Government evolved from the Taft Commission, or Second Philippine Commission, appointed on March 16, 1900. This group was headed by William Howard Taft, was granted legislative powers by President William McKinley in September 1900; the commission created a judicial system, an educational system, a civil service, a legal code.
The legality of these actions was contested until the passage of the Spooner Amendment in 1901, which granted the U. S. president authority to govern the Philippines. The Insular Government saw its mission as one of tutelage, preparing the Philippines for eventual independence. On July 4, 1901, Taft was appointed "civil governor", who named his cabinet at his inaugural address. Military Governor Adna Chaffee retained authority in disturbed areas. On July 4, 1902, the office of military governor was abolished, Taft became the first U. S. governor-general of the Philippine Islands. The Philippine Organic Act disestablished the Catholic Church as the state religion. In 1904, Taft negotiated the purchase of 390,000 acres of church property for $7.5 million. Despite this, the Insular Government failed to investigate the land titles of the friars' and restore them to the patrimony of the Filipinos; the Insular Government established a land titling system for these lands, but due to a small surveyor staff, a lot of parcels of land remained untitled.
Two years after the completion and publication of a census, a general election was conducted for the choice of delegates to a popular assembly. An elected Philippine Assembly was convened in 1907 as the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the Philippine Commission as the upper house; every year from 1907, the Philippine Assembly passed resolutions expressing the Filipino desire for independence. Philippine nationalists led by Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmeña enthusiastically endorsed the draft Jones Bill of 1912, which provided for Philippine independence after eight years, but changed their views, opting for a bill which focused less on time than on the conditions of independence; the nationalists demanded complete and absolute independence to be guaranteed by the United States, since they feared that too-rapid independence from American rule without such guarantees might cause the Philippines to fall into Japanese hands. The Jones Bill was rewritten and passed Congress in 1916 with a date of independence.
The Jones Law, or Philippine Autonomy Act, replaced the Organic Act. Its preamble stated that the eventual independence of the Philippines would be American policy, subject to the establishment of a stable government; the law maintained an appointed governor-general, but established a bicameral Philippine Legislature to replace the elected Philippine Assembly. Filipinos suspended the independence campaign during the First World War and supported the United States and the Entente Powers against the German Empire. After the war they resumed their independence drive with great vigour. On March 17, 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed a "Declaration of Purposes", which stated the inflexible desire of the Filipino people to be free and sovereign. A Commission of Independence was created to study means of attaining liberation ideal; this commission recommended the sending of an independence mission to the United States. The "Declaration of Purposes" referred to the Jones Law as a veritable pact, or covenant, between the American and Filipino peoples whereby the United States promised to recognize the independence of the Philippines as soon as a stable government should be established.
American Governor-General of the Philippines Francis Burton Harrison had concurred in the report of the Philippine Legislature as to a stable government. The Philippine Legislature funded an independence mission to the United States in 1919; the mission departed Manila on February 28 and met in America with and presented their case to Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. U. S. President Woodro
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U. S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors, it has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction; the court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.
According to federal statute, the court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, all of whom are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have lifetime tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed from office; each justice has a single vote in deciding. When the chief justice is in the majority, he decides. In modern discourse, justices are categorized as having conservative, moderate, or liberal philosophies of law and of judicial interpretation. While a far greater number of cases in recent history have been decided unanimously, decisions in cases of the highest profile have come down to just one single vote, exemplifying the justices' alignment according to these categories; the Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D. C, its law enforcement arm is the Supreme Court of the United States Police. It was while debating the division of powers between the legislative and executive departments that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention established the parameters for the national judiciary.
Creating a "third branch" of government was a novel idea. Early on, some delegates argued that national laws could be enforced by state courts, while others, including James Madison, advocated for a national judicial authority consisting of various tribunals chosen by the national legislature, it was proposed that the judiciary should have a role in checking the executive power to veto or revise laws. In the end, the Framers compromised by sketching only a general outline of the judiciary, vesting federal judicial power in "one supreme Court, in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish", they delineated neither the exact powers and prerogatives of the Supreme Court nor the organization of the Template:Judicial branch as a whole. The 1st United States Congress provided the detailed organization of a federal judiciary through the Judiciary Act of 1789; the Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial tribunal, was to sit in the nation's Capital and would be composed of a chief justice and five associate justices.
The act divided the country into judicial districts, which were in turn organized into circuits. Justices were required to "ride circuit" and hold circuit court twice a year in their assigned judicial district. After signing the act into law, President George Washington nominated the following people to serve on the court: John Jay for chief justice and John Rutledge, William Cushing, Robert H. Harrison, James Wilson, John Blair Jr. as associate justices. All six were confirmed by the Senate on September 26, 1789. Harrison, declined to serve. In his place, Washington nominated James Iredell; the Supreme Court held its inaugural session from February 2 through February 10, 1790, at the Royal Exchange in New York City the U. S. capital. A second session was held there in August 1790; the earliest sessions of the court were devoted to organizational proceedings, as the first cases did not reach it until 1791. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia in 1790, the Supreme Court did so as well.
After meeting at Independence Hall, the Court established its chambers at City Hall. Under Chief Justices Jay and Ellsworth, the Court heard few cases; as the Court had only six members, every decision that it made by a majority was made by two-thirds. However, Congress has always allowed less than the court's full membership to make decisions, starting with a quorum of four justices in 1789; the court lacked a home of its own and had little prestige, a situation not helped by the era's highest-profile case, Chisholm v. Georgia, reversed within two years by the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment; the court's power and prestige grew during the Marshall Court. Under Marshall, the court established the power of judicial review over acts of Congress, including specifying itself as the supreme expositor of the Constitution and making several important constitutional rulings that gave shape and substance to the balance of power between the federal government and states; the Marshall Court ended the practice of each justice issuin
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of textual or symbolic messages without the physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus semaphore is a method of telegraphy. Telegraphy requires that the method used for encoding the message be known to both sender and receiver. Many methods are designed according to the limits of the signalling medium used; the use of smoke signals, reflected light signals, flag semaphore signals are early examples. In the 19th century, the harnessing of electricity led to the invention of electrical telegraphy; the advent of radio in the early 20th century brought about radiotelegraphy and other forms of wireless telegraphy. In the Internet age, telegraphic means developed in sophistication and ease of use, with natural language interfaces that hide the underlying code, allowing such technologies as electronic mail and instant messaging; the word "telegraph" was first coined by the French inventor of the Semaphore telegraph, Claude Chappe, who coined the word "semaphore".
A "telegraph" is a device for transmitting and receiving messages over long distances, i.e. for telegraphy. The word "telegraph" alone now refers to an electrical telegraph. Wireless telegraphy, transmission of messages over radio with telegraphic codes. Contrary to the extensive definition used by Chappe, Morse argued that the term telegraph can be applied only to systems that transmit and record messages at a distance; this is to be distinguished from semaphore, which transmits messages. Smoke signals, for instance, are to be considered semaphore, not telegraph. According to Morse, telegraph dates only from 1832 when Pavel Schilling invented one of the earliest electrical telegraphs. A telegraph message sent by an electrical telegraph operator or telegrapher using Morse code was known as a telegram. A cablegram was a message sent by a submarine telegraph cable shortened to a cable or a wire. A Telex was a message sent by a Telex network, a switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network.
A wire picture or wire photo was a newspaper picture, sent from a remote location by a facsimile telegraph. A diplomatic telegram known as a diplomatic cable, is the term given to a confidential communication between a diplomatic mission and the foreign ministry of its parent country; these continue to be called cables regardless of the method used for transmission. Passing messages by signalling over distance is an ancient practice. One of the oldest examples is the signal towers of the Great Wall of China. In 400 BC, signals could drum beats. By 200 BC complex flag signalling had developed, by the Han dynasty signallers had a choice of lights, flags, or gunshots to send signals. By the Tang dynasty a message could be sent 700 miles in 24 hours; the Ming dynasty added artillery to the possible signals. While the signalling was complex, only predetermined messages could be sent; the Chinese signalling system extended well beyond the Great Wall. Signal towers away from the wall were used to give early warning of an attack.
Others were built further out as part of the protection of trade routes the Silk Road. Signal fires were used in Europe and elsewhere for military purposes; the Roman army made frequent use of them, as did their enemies, the remains of some of the stations still exist. Few details have been recorded of European/Mediterranean signalling systems and the possible messages. One of the few for which details are known is a system invented by Aeneas Tacticus. Tacitus's system had water filled pots at the two signal stations which were drained in synchronisation. Annotation on a floating scale indicated which message was being received. Signals sent by means of torches indicated when to start and stop draining to keep the synchronisation. None of the signalling systems discussed above are true telegraphs in the sense of a system that can transmit arbitrary messages over arbitrary distances. Lines of signalling relay stations can send messages to any required distance, but all these systems are limited to one extent or another in the range of messages that they can send.
A system like flag semaphore, with an alphabetic code, can send any given message, but the system is designed for short-range communication between two persons. An engine order telegraph, used to send instructions from the bridge of a ship to the engine room, fails to meet both criteria. There was only one ancient signalling system described; that was a system using the Polybius square to encode an alphabet. Polybius suggested using two successive groups of torches to identify the coordinates of the letter of the alphabet being transmitted; the number of said torches held up signalled the grid square. The system would have been slow for military purposes and there is no record of it being used. An optical telegraph, or semaphore telegraph is a telegraph consisting of a line of stations in towers or natural high points which signal to each other by means of shutters or paddles. Early proposals for an optical telegraph system were made to the Royal Society by Robert Hooke in 1684 and were first implemented on an experimental level by Sir Richard Lovell Edgeworth in 1767.
The first successful optical telegraph network was invented by Claude Chappe and operated in France from 1