The development of marine commerce has been retarded by unimproved harbours, but Fernandina and Pensacola harbours have always been good.
In 1908 an Income Tax and a Land Tax Act was passed; the land tax being a halfpenny in the £ " on the aggregate unimproved value " - it brought in £30,000 in 1908-1909.
The smaller size of the flocks and the breeding of sheep for meat rather than for wool, the cultivation of English grasses and of extensive crops of turnips and other roots on which to fatten sheep and lambs, all tend to change sheep-farming from the mere grazing of huge mobs on wide, unimproved runs held by pastoral licences.
In the £ on capital value, and also of a graduated-tax upon unimproved land values, and an income-tax also graduated, though less elaborately.
In 1896 municipal and rural local bodies were allowed to levy rates upon unimproved land values if authorized to do so by a vote of their electors, and by the end of 1901 some sixty bodies, amongst them the city of Wellington, had made use:of this permission.
Finally, the strain upon municipal finances incident to a realization of civic improvements has called attention to intangible wealth: street railways are no longer taxed as scrap iron but as working systems, with due attention to their franchises; and there is a beginning of the doctrine that the increase in value of unimproved realty constitutes income that should be taxed.
The reign closed with the French position unimproved in Flanders, except for the transfer to Philip by Count Robert of Lille, Douai and Bethune, and their dependencies.
The large increase in unimproved acreage in farms was principally due to the increased importance in sheep-raising.
The acreage of improved lands in 1900 was returned by the federal census as 2,273,968, three times as much being unimproved; the land improved constituted 3.4% of the state's area.
The direct taxation is represented by a tax of one penny in the pound on the unimproved value of land, sixpence in the pound on the annual income derived in the state from all sources, except the use and occupation of land and improvements thereon.
The fact that these States contain, according to the last census, over 100,000,000 acres of unimproved land, alread y enclosed in farms, suggests at once the great possibilities in wheat.
The availableness of the unimproved land in these states is chiefly a question of population and physical features.
In states like New York and Pennsylvania, which are much broken up by hills and mountains, and have already a large population, it is probable that the land available for wheat cultivation is now nearly all taken up, although they still have 30% of unimproved land in farms. In the great states of Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas there is still 40 to 50% of unimproved land in farms. There are few mountains and hills in these States, and there is still room in them for a large population.
Twelve states, in this vast cereal-growing region - Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota - still have from 20 to 40% of unimproved land in farms. The total area of these states is nearly four times that of France.
They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York.
And, by the way, who estimates the value of the crop which nature yields in the still wilder fields unimproved by man?
Ay, the deep Walden Pond and cool Brister's Spring--privilege to drink long and healthy draughts at these, all unimproved by these men but to dilute their glass.