The differential cross sections for the elastic scattering of π+, π−, K+, K−, p, and p¯ on protons have been measured in the t interval -0.04 to -0.75 GeV2 at five momenta: 50, 70, 100, 140, and 175 GeV/c. The t distributions have been parametrized by the quadratic exponential form dσdt=Aexp(B|t|+C|t|2) and the energy dependence has been described in terms of a single-pole Regge model. The pp and K+p diffraction peaks are found to shrink with α′∼0.20 and ∼0.15 GeV−2, respectively. The p¯p diffraction peak is antishrinking while π±p and K−p are relatively energy-independent. Total elastic cross sections are calculated by integrating the differential cross sections. The rapid decline in σel observed at low energies has stopped and all six reactions approach relatively constant values of σel. The ratio of σelσtot approaches a constant value for all six reactions by 100 GeV, consistent with the predictions of the geometric-scaling hypothesis. This ratio is ∼0.18 for pp and p¯p, and ∼0.12-0.14 for π±p and K±p. A crossover is observed between K+p and K−p scattering at |t|∼0.19 GeV2, and between pp and p¯p at |t|∼0.11 GeV2. Inversion of the cross sections into impact-parameter space shows that protons are quite transparent to mesons even in head-on collisions. The probability for a meson to pass through a proton head-on without interaction inelastically is ∼20% while it is only ∼6% for an incident proton or antiproton. Finally, the results are compared with various quark-model predictions.