*************** Transcriber's Notes: In the Woodrow Wilson selection, the word 'altrusion' was changed to 'altruism' based on consultation with the original text from which the passage was taken for this book.
In the Jacob Riis selection, the phrase "It it none too fine yet" was replaced with "It is none too fine yet" after consultation with the original text from which the passage was taken for this book.
Other minor typos were also corrected. Hyphenation was left consistent with how it appears in the book. ***************
MODERN AMERICAN PROSE SELECTIONS
BYRON JOHNSON REES PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AT WILLIAMS COLLEGE
NEW YORK HARCOURT, BRACE AND HOWE 1920
THE PLIMPTON PRESS NORWOOD MASS U. S. A.
PAGE PREFACE vii
Abraham Lincoln Theodore Roosevelt 3
American Tradition Franklin K. Lane 8
America's Heritage Franklin K. Lane 17
Address at the College of the Holy Cross Calvin Coolidge 25
Our Future Immigration Policy Frederic C. Howe 31
A New Relationship between Capital and Labor John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 42
My Uncle Alvin Johnson 48
When a Man Comes to Himself Woodrow Wilson 53
Education through Occupations William Lowe Bryan 68
The Fallow John Agricola 81
Writing and Reading John Matthews Manly and Edith Rickert 87
James Russell Lowell Bliss Perry 94
The Education of Henry Adams Carl Becker 109
The Struggle for an Education Booker T. Washington 119
Entering Journalism Jacob A. Riis 128
Bound Coastwise Ralph D. Paine 135
The Democratization of the Automobile Burton J. Hendrick 145
Traveling Afoot John Finley 157
Old Boats Walter Prichard Eaton 165
Zeppelinitis Philip Littell 177
TO E., C., AND H. STUDENTS AND FRIENDS
As the reader, if he wishes, may discover without undue delay, the little volume of modern prose selections that he has before him is the result of no ambitious or pretentious design. It is not a collection of the best things that have lately been known and thought in the American world; it is not an anthology in which "all our best authors" are represented by striking or celebrated passages. The editor planned nothing either so precious or so eclectic. His purpose rather was to bring together some twenty examples of typical contemporary prose, in which writers who know whereof they write discuss certain present-day themes in readable fashion. In choosing material he has sought to include nothing merely because of the name of the author, and he has demanded of each selection that it should be of such a character, both in subject and style, as to impress normal and wholesome Americans as well worth reading.
The earlier selections—President Roosevelt's noble eulogy upon Lincoln, Secretary Lane's two addresses on American tradition and heritage, and Governor Coolidge's address at Holy Cross—remind the reader of the high significance of our national past and indicate the promise of a rightly apprehended future. There follow two articles—"Our Future Immigration Policy," by Commissioner Frederic C. Howe, and "A New Relationship between Capital and Labor," by Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr.—on subjects that press for earnest consideration on the part of all who are intent upon the solution of our problems. Mr. Alvin Johnson's playful yet serious essay on "the biggest, kindliest, most honest and honorable tribal head that ever lived" completes the group of what may be termed "Americanization" Papers.
Perhaps the best of the many magazine articles that President Wilson has written is that which serves as a link—for those to whom links, even in a miscellany, are a satisfaction—between the earlier selections and those that follow. "When a Man Comes to Himself," expressing as it does in English of distinction the best thought of the best Americans concerning the individual's relation to society and to the state, will probably be widely read, with attention and gratitude, for many years to come. Associated with Mr. Wilson's article are three selections presenting various aspects of self-realization in education. One of them, "The Fallow," deals in signally happy manner with the insistent and vital question of the study of the Classics.
That scholarly and competent literary criticism need not be dull or deficient in charm is obvious from an examination of Mr. Bliss Perry's masterly study of James Russell Lowell and Mr. Carl Becker's subtle and discriminating analysis of The Education of Henry Adams. Both writers attack subjects of considerable complexity and difficulty, and both succeed in clarifying the thought of the discerning reader and inducing in him an exhilarating sense of mental and spiritual enlargement.
From the many notable autobiographies that have appeared during recent years the editor has chosen two from which to reprint brief passages. The first is Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery, the simple and straightforward personal narrative of one whom all must now concede to have been a very great man; the other is that human and poignant epic of the stranger from Denmark who became one of us and of whom we as a people are tenderly proud. The Making of an American is in some ways a unique book; concrete, specific, self-revealing and yet dignified; a book that one could wish that every American might know.
Also concrete and specific are the chapters from Mr. Ralph D. Paine and Mr. Burton J. Hendrick. In "Bound Coastwise" Mr. Paine has treated, with knowledge, sympathy, and imagination, an important phase of our commercial life. As an example of narrative-exposition, matter-of-fact yet touched with the romance of those who "go down to the sea in ships," the excerpt is thoroughly admirable. Mr. Hendrick, in entertaining and profitable wise, tells the story of what he considers "probably America's greatest manufacturing exploit."
Dr. Finley "starts the imagination out upon the road" and "invites to the open spaces," especially to those undisturbed by "the flying automobile." "Walking," he says eagerly, "is not only a joy in itself, but it gives an intimacy with the sacred things and the primal things of earth that are not revealed to those who rush by on wheels."
In "Old Boats" Mr. Walter Prichard Eaton, in a manner of writing that has of late years won him a large place in the hearts of readers, thoughtfully contemplates the abandoned farmhouse, and lingers wistfully beside the beached and crumbling craft of the "unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea." Few can read, or, better, hear read, his closing paragraph without thrilling to that "other harmony of prose." That such a cadenced and haunting passage should have been published as recently as 1917 should assure the doubter that there is still amongst us a taste for the beautiful. "I live inland now, far from the smell of salt water and the sight of sails. Yet sometimes there comes over me a longing for the sea as irresistible as the lust for salt which stampedes the reindeer of the north. I must gaze on the unbroken world-rim, I must feel the sting of spray, I must hear the rhythmic crash and roar of breakers and watch the sea-weed rise and fall where the green waves lift against the rocks. Once in so often I must ride those waves with cleated sheet and tugging tiller, and hear the soft hissing song of the water on the rail. And 'my day of mercy' is not complete till I have seen some old boat, her seafaring done, heeled over on the beach or amid the fragrant sedges, a mute and wistful witness to the romance of the deep, the blue and restless deep where man has adventured in craft his hands have made since the earliest sun of history, and whereon he will adventure, ardently and insecure, till the last syllable of recorded time."
The editor's thanks are due to the holders of copyrights who have generously permitted him to include selections from books and magazines published by them. More particularly he would express his gratitude to the Yale University Press, to Harper and Brothers, to Henry Holt and Co., to Doubleday, Page and Co., to the Macmillan Company, to the Century Company, to the Frederick A. Stokes Company, to the P. F. Collier and Son Company, to the Houghton Mifflin Company, to the Outlook Company, to the Indiana University Bookstore, to the editor of the Harvard Graduates' Magazine, to the editors of the American Historical Review, and to Harcourt, Brace and Howe. Specific indications as to the extent of the editor's borrowing will be found with the selections.
Authors from whose work the editor has wished to quote have been invariably gracious. To President Wilson for his essay "When a Man Comes to Himself," to Governor Coolidge for his Holy Cross College address, to Secretary Lane for two addresses, and to Commissioner Howe for his article on immigration, he would express his gratitude. President John Finley, Mr. Walter Prichard Eaton, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., President W. L. Bryan, Mr. Alvin Johnson, Mr. John Matthews Manly, Miss Edith Rickert, Mr. Carl Becker, Mr. Ralph D. Paine, Mr. Burton J. Hendrick, Mr. Philip Littell, and Mr. Bliss Perry have freely accorded permission to reprint the selections that bear their names. Mrs. Jacob A. Riis and Mr. R. W. Riis have courteously granted the use of the excerpt from The Making of an American. The editors of The New Republic and the editors of The University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin have kindly consented to the reprinting of articles that originally appeared in their periodicals. To Mr. Will D. Howe, whose assistance has been constant and invaluable, the editor would extend his hearty thanks.
MODERN AMERICAN PROSE SELECTIONS
[Footnote 1: Address delivered at Lincoln's birthplace, Hodgenville, Ky., Feb. 12, 1909. Reprinted from Collier's Weekly, issue of Feb. 13, 1909. By permission. Copyright, 1909, P. F. Collier & Son Co.]
We have met here to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of the two greatest Americans; of one of the two or three greatest men of the nineteenth century; of one of the greatest men in the world's history. This rail-splitter, this boy who passed his ungainly youth in the dire poverty of the poorest of the frontier folk, whose rise was by weary and painful labor, lived to lead his people through the burning flames of a struggle from which the nation emerged, purified as by fire, born anew to a loftier life.
After long years of iron effort, and of failure that came more often than victory, he at last rose to the leadership of the Republic, at the moment when that leadership had become the stupendous world-task of the time. He grew to know greatness, but never ease. Success came to him, but never happiness, save that which springs from doing well a painful and a vital task. Power was his, but not pleasure. The furrows deepened on his brow, but his eyes were undimmed by either hate or fear. His gaunt shoulders were bowed, but his steel thews never faltered as he bore for a burden the destinies of his people. His great and tender heart shrank from giving pain; and the task allotted him was to pour out like water the life-blood of the young men, and to feel in his every fibre the sorrow of the women. Disaster saddened but never dismayed him.
As the red years of war went by they found him ever doing his duty in the present, ever facing the future with fearless front, high of heart, and dauntless of soul. Unbroken by hatred, unshaken by scorn, he worked and suffered for the people. Triumph was his at the last; and barely had he tasted it before murder found him, and the kindly, patient, fearless eyes were closed forever.
As a people we are indeed beyond measure fortunate in the characters of the two greatest of our public men, Washington and Lincoln. Widely though they differed in externals, the Virginia landed gentleman and the Kentucky backwoodsman, they were alike in essentials, they were alike in the great qualities which made each able to do service to his nation and to all mankind such as no other man of his generation could or did render. Each had lofty ideals, but each in striving to attain these lofty ideals was guided by the soundest common sense. Each possessed inflexible courage in adversity, and a soul wholly unspoiled by prosperity. Each possessed all the gentler virtues commonly exhibited by good men who lack rugged strength of character. Each possessed also all the strong qualities commonly exhibited by those towering masters of mankind who have too often shown themselves devoid of so much as the understanding of the words by which we signify the qualities of duty, of mercy, of devotion to the right, of lofty disinterestedness in battling for the good of others.
There have been other men as great and other men as good; but in all the history of mankind there are no other two great men as good as these, no other two good men as great. Widely though the problems of to-day differ from the problems set for solution to Washington when he founded this nation, to Lincoln when he saved it and freed the slave, yet the qualities they showed in meeting these problems are exactly the same as those we should show in doing our work to-day.
Lincoln saw into the future with the prophetic imagination usually vouchsafed only to the poet and the seer. He had in him all the lift toward greatness of the visionary, without any of the visionary's fanaticism or egotism, without any of the visionary's narrow jealousy of the practical man and inability to strive in practical fashion for the realization of an ideal. He had the practical man's hard common sense and willingness to adapt means to ends; but there was in him none of that morbid growth of mind and soul which blinds so many practical men to the higher aims of life. No more practical man ever lived than this homely backwoods idealist; but he had nothing in common with those practical men whose consciences are warped until they fail to distinguish between good and evil, fail to understand that strength, ability, shrewdness, whether in the world of business or of politics, only serve to make their possessor a more noxious, a more evil, member of the community if they are not guided and controlled by a fine and high moral sense.
We of this day must try to solve many social and industrial problems, requiring to an especial degree the combination of indomitable resolution with cool-headed sanity. We can profit by the way in which Lincoln used both these traits as he strove for reform. We can learn much of value from the very attacks which following that course brought upon his head, attacks alike by the extremists of revolution and by the extremists of reaction. He never wavered in devotion to his principles, in his love for the Union, and in his abhorrence of slavery. Timid and lukewarm people were always denouncing him because he was too extreme; but as a matter of fact he never went to extremes, he worked step by step; and because of this the extremists hated and denounced him with a fervor which now seems to us fantastic in its deification of the unreal and the impossible. At the very time when one side was holding him up as the apostle of social revolution because he was against slavery, the leading abolitionist denounced him as the "slave hound of Illinois." When he was the second time candidate for President, the majority of his opponents attacked him because of what they termed his extreme radicalism, while a minority threatened to bolt his nomination because he was not radical enough. He had continually to check those who wished to go forward too fast, at the very time that he overrode the opposition of those who wished not to go forward at all. The goal was never dim before his vision; but he picked his way cautiously, without either halt or hurry, as he strode toward it, through such a morass of difficulty that no man of less courage would have attempted it, while it would surely have overwhelmed any man of judgment less serene.
Yet perhaps the most wonderful thing of all, and, from the standpoint of the America of to-day and of the future, the most vitally important, was the extraordinary way in which Lincoln could fight valiantly against what he deemed wrong and yet preserve undiminished his love and respect for the brother from whom he differed. In the hour of a triumph that would have turned any weaker man's head, in the heat of a struggle which spurred many a good man to dreadful vindictiveness, he said truthfully that so long as he had been in his office he had never willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom, and besought his supporters to study the incidents of the trial through which they were passing as philosophy from which to learn wisdom and not as wrongs to be avenged; ending with the solemn exhortation that, as the strife was over, all should reunite in a common effort to save their common country.
He lived in days that were great and terrible, when brother fought against brother for what each sincerely deemed to be the right. In a contest so grim the strong men who alone can carry it through are rarely able to do justice to the deep convictions of those with whom they grapple in mortal strife. At such times men see through a glass darkly; to only the rarest and loftiest spirits is vouchsafed that clear vision which gradually comes to all, even the lesser, as the struggle fades into distance, and wounds are forgotten, and peace creeps back to the hearts that were hurt.
But to Lincoln was given this supreme vision. He did not hate the man from whom he differed. Weakness was as foreign as wickedness to his strong, gentle nature; but his courage was of a quality so high that it needed no bolstering of dark passion. He saw clearly that the same high qualities, the same courage, and willingness for self-sacrifice, and devotion to the right as it was given them to see the right, belonged both to the men of the North and to the men of the South. As the years roll by, and as all of us, wherever we dwell, grow to feel an equal pride in the valor and self-devotion, alike of the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray, so this whole nation will grow to feel a peculiar sense of pride in the man whose blood was shed for the union of his people and for the freedom of a race; the lover of his country and of all mankind; the mightiest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days, Abraham Lincoln.
FRANKLIN K. LANE
[Footnote 2: Address delivered by Secretary Lane at the University of Virginia, Feb. 22, 1912. Reprinted from the University of Virginia Alumni Bulletin, and from The American Spirit, by Franklin K. Lane (Copyright, 1918, by the Frederick A. Stokes Co.). By permission of the author and of the publishers.]
It has not been an easy task for me to decide upon a theme for discussion to-day. I know that I can tell you little of Washington that would be new, and the thought has come to me that perhaps you would be interested in what might be called a western view of American tradition, for I come from the other side of this continent where all of our traditions are as yet articles of transcontinental traffic, and you are here in the very heart of tradition, the sacred seat of our noblest memories.
No doubt you sometimes think that we are reckless of the wisdom of our forebears; while we at times have been heard to say that you live too securely in that passion for the past which makes men mellow but unmodern.
When you see the West adopting or urging such measures as presidential primaries, the election of United States Senators by popular vote, the initiative, the referendum and the recall as means supplementary to representative government, you shudder in your dignified way no doubt, at the audacity and irreverence of your crude countrymen. They must be in your eyes as far from grace as that American who visited one of the ancient temples of India. After a long journey through winding corridors of marble, he was brought to a single flickering light set in a jeweled recess in the wall. "And what is this?" said the tourist. "That, sir," replied the guide, "is the sacred fire which was lighted 2,000 years ago and never has been out." "Never been out? What nonsense! Poof! Well, the blamed thing's out now." This wild Westerner doubtless typifies those who without heed and in their hot-headed and fanatical worship of change would destroy the very light of our civilization. But let me remind you that all fanaticism is not radical. There is a fanaticism that is conservative, a reverence for things as they are that is no less destructive. Some years ago I visited a fishing village in Canada peopled by Scotchmen who had immigrated in the early part of the nineteenth century. It was a place named Ingonish in Cape Breton, a rugged spot that looks directly upon the Atlantic at its cruelest point. One day I fell into talk with a fisherman—a very model of a tawny-haired viking. He told me that from his fishing and his farming he made some $300 a year. "Why not come over into my country," I said, "where you may make that in a month?" There came over his face a look of humiliation as he replied, "No, I could not." "Why not?" I asked. "Because," said he, brushing his hand across his sea-burnt beard, "because I can neither read nor write." "And why," said I, "haven't you learned? There are schools here." "Yes, there are schools, but my father could not read or write, and I would have felt that I was putting a shame upon the old man if I had learned to do something he could not do." Splendid, wasn't it! He would not do what his father could not do. Fine! Fine as the spirit of any man with a sentiment which holds him back from leading a full, rich life. Yet can you conceive a nation of such men—idolizing what has been, blind to the great vision of the future, fettered by the chains of the past, gripped and held fast in the hand of the dead, a nation of traditionalists, unable to meet the needs of a new day, serene, no doubt self-sufficient, but coming how far short of realizing that ideal of those who praise their God for that they serve his world!
I have given the two extremes; now let us return to our point of departure, and the first question to be asked is, "What are the traditions of our people?" This nation is not as it was one hundred and thirty-odd years ago when we asserted the traditional right of Anglo-Saxons to rebel against injustice. We have traveled centuries and centuries since then—measured in events, in achievements, in depth of insight into the secrets of nature, in breadth of view, in sweep of sympathy, and in the rise of ennobling hope. Physically we are to-day nearer to China than we were then to Ohio. Socially, industrially, commercially the wide world is almost a unit. And these thirteen states have spread across a continent to which have been gathered the peoples of the earth. We are the "heirs of all the ages." Our inheritance of tradition is greater than that of any other people, for we trace back not alone to King John signing the Magna Charta in that little stone hut by the riverside, but to Brutus standing beside the slain Caesar, to Charles Martel with his battle-axe raised against the advancing horde of an old-world civilization, to Martin Luther declaring his square-jawed policy of religious liberty, to Columbus in the prow of his boat crying to his disheartened crew, "Sail on, sail on, and on!" Irishman, Greek, Slav, and Sicilian—all the nations of the world have poured their hopes and their history into this great melting pot, and the product will be—in fact, is—a civilization that is new in the sense that it is the blend of many, and yet is as old as the Egyptians.
Surely the real tradition of such a people is not any one way of doing a certain thing; certainly not any set and unalterable plan of procedure in affairs, nor even any fixed phrase expressive of a general philosophy unless it comes from the universal heart of this strange new people. Why are we here? What is our purpose? These questions will give you the tradition of the American people, our supreme tradition—the one into which all others fall, and a part of which they are—the right of man to oppose injustice. There follow from this the right of man to govern himself, the right of property and to personal liberty, the right to freedom of speech, the right to make of himself all that nature will permit, the right to be one of many in creating a national life that will realize those hopes which singly could not be achieved.
Is there any other tradition so sacred as this—so much a part of ourselves—this hatred of injustice? It carries in its bosom all the past that inspires our people. Their spirit of unrest under wrong has lighted the way for the nations of the world. It is not seen alone in Kansas and in California, but in England, where a Liberal Ministry has made a beginning at the restoration of the land to the people; in Germany, where the citizen is fighting his way up to power; in Portugal, where a university professor sits in the chair a king so lately occupied; in Russia, emerging from the Middle Ages, with her groping Douma; in Persia, from which young Shuster was so recently driven for trying to give to a people a sense of national self-respect; in India, where an Emperor moves a national capital to pacify submerged discontent; and even in far Cathay, the mystery land of Marco Polo, immobile, phlegmatic, individualistic China, men have been waging war for the philosophy incorporated in the first ten lines of our Declaration of Independence.
Here is the effect of a tradition that is real, not a mere group of words or a well-fashioned bit of governmental machinery—real because it is ours; it has come out of our life; for the only real traditions a people have are those beliefs that have become a part of them, like the good manners of a gentleman. They are really our sympathies—sympathies born of experience. Subjectively they give standpoint; objectively they furnish background—a rich, deep background like that of some master of light and shade, some Rembrandt, whose picture is one great glowing mystery of darkness save in a central spot of radiant light where stands a single figure or group which holds the eye and enchants the imagination. History may give to us the one bright face to look upon, but in the deep mystery of the background the real story is told; for therein, to those who can see, are the groping multitudes feeling their way blindly toward the light of self-expression.
Now, this is a western view of tradition; it is yours, too; it was yours first; it was your gift to us. And is it impertinent to ask, when your sensibilities are shocked at some departure from the conventional in our western law, that you search the tradition of your own history to know in what spirit and by what method the gods of the elder days met the wrongs they wished to right? It may be that we ask too many questions; that we are unwilling to accept anything as settled; that we are curious, distrustful, and as relentlessly logical as a child.
For what are we but creatures of the night Led forth by day, Who needs must falter, and with stammering steps Spell out our paths in syllables of pain?
There are no grown-ups in this new world of democracy. We are trying an experiment such as the world has never seen. Here we are, so many million people at work making a living as best we can; 90,000,000 people covering half a continent—rich, respected, feared. Is that all we are? Is that why we are? To be rich, respected, feared? Or have we some part to play in working out the problems of this world? Why should one man have so much and many so little? How may the many secure a larger share in the wealth which they create without destroying individual initiative or blasting individual capacity and imagination? It was inevitable that these questions should be asked when this republic was established. Man has been struggling to have the right to ask these questions for 4,000 years; and now that he has the right to ask any questions surely we may not with reason expect him to be silent. It is no answer to make that men were not asking these questions a hundred years ago. So great has been our physical endowment that until the most recent years we have been indifferent as to the share which each received of the wealth produced. We could then accept cheerfully the coldest and most logical of economic theories. But now men are wondering as to the future. There may be much of envy and more of malice in current thought; but underneath it all there is the feeling that if a nation is to have a full life it must devise methods by which its citizens shall be insured against monopoly of opportunity. This is the meaning of many policies the full philosophy of which is not generally grasped—the regulation of railroads and other public service corporations, the conservation of natural resources, the leasing of public lands and waterpowers, the control of great combinations of wealth. How these movements will eventually express themselves none can foretell, but in the process there will be some who will dogmatically contend that "Whatever is, is right," and others who will march under the red flag of revenge and exspoliation. And in that day we must look for men to meet the false cry of both sides—"gentlemen unafraid" who will neither be the money-hired butlers of the rich nor power-loving panderers to the poor.
Assume the right of self-government and society becomes the scene of an heroic struggle for the realization of justice. Take from the one strong man the right to rule and make others serve, the right to take all and hold all, the power to grant or to withhold, and you have set all men to asking, "What should I have, and what should my children have?" and with this come all the perils of innovation and the hazards of revolution.
To meet such a situation the traditionalist who believes that the last word in politics or in economics was uttered a century ago is as far from the truth as he who holds that the temporary emotion of the public is the stone-carved word from Sinai.
A railroad people are not to be controlled by ox-team theories, declaims the young enthusiast for change. An age that dares to tell of what the stars are made; that weighs the very suns in its balances; that mocks the birds in their flight through the air, and the fish in their dart through the sea; that transforms the falling stream into fire, light, and music; that embalms upon a piece of plate the tenderest tones of the human voice; that treats disease with disease; that supplies a new ear with the same facility that it replaces a blown-out tire; that reaches into the very grave itself and starts again the silent heart—surely such an age may be allowed to think for itself somewhat upon questions of politics.
Yet with our searchings and our probings, who knows more of the human heart to-day than the old Psalmist? And what is the problem of government but one of human nature? What Burbank has as yet made grapes to grow on thorns or figs on thistles? The riddle of the universe is no nearer solution than it was when the Sphinx first looked upon the Nile. The one constant and inconstant quantity with which man must deal is man. Human nature responds so far as we can see to the same magnetic pull and push that moved it in the days of Abraham and of Socrates. The foundation of government is man—changing, inert, impulsive, limited, sympathetic, selfish man. His institutions, whether social or political, must come out of his wants and out of his capacities. The problem of government, therefore, is not always what should be done but what can be done. We may not follow the supreme tradition of the race to create a newer, sweeter world unless we give heed to its complementary tradition that man's experience cautions him to make a new trail with care. He must curb courage with common-sense. He may lay his first bricks upon the twentieth story, but not until he has made sure of the solidity of the frame below. The real tradition of our people permits the mason to place brick upon brick wherever he finds it most convenient, safest and most economical; but he must not mistake thin air for structural steel.
Let me illustrate the thought that I would leave with you by the description of one of our western railroads. Your train sweeps across the desert like some bold knight in a joust, and when about to drive recklessly into a sheer cliff it turns a graceful curve and follows up the wild meanderings of a stream until it reaches a ridge along which it finds its flinty way for many miles. At length you come face to face with a great gulf, a canyon—yawning, resounding and purple in its depths. Before you lies a path, zigzagging down the canyon's side to the very bottom, and away beyond another slighter trail climbs up upon the opposite side. Which is our way? Shall we follow the old trail? The answer comes as the train shoots out across a bridge and into a tunnel on the opposite side, coming out again upon the highlands and looking into the Valley of Heart's Desire where the wistful Rasselas might have lived.
When you or I look upon that stretch of steel we wonder at the daring of its builders. Great men they were who boldly built that road—great in imagination, greater in their deeds—for they were men so great that they did not build upon a line that was without tradition. The route they followed was made by the buffalo and the elk ten thousand years ago. The bear and the deer followed it generation after generation, and after them came the trapper, and then the pioneer. It was already a trail when the railroad engineer came with transit and chain seeking a path for the great black stallion of steel.
Up beside the stream and along the ridge the track was laid. But there was no thought of following the old trail downward into the canyon. Then the spirit of the new age broke through tradition, the canyon was leaped and the mountain's heart pierced, that man might have a swifter and safer way to the Valley of Heart's Desire.
FRANKLIN K. LANE
[Footnote 3: Address at the Americanization Banquet, Washington, D. C., May 14, 1919. Reprinted by permission from Proceedings of the Americanization Conference, Government Printing Office, 1919.]
You have been in conference for the past three days, and I have greatly regretted that I could not be with you. You have been gathered together as crusaders in a great cause. You are the missionaries in a new movement. You represent millions of people in the United States who to-night believe that there is no other question of such importance before the American people as the solidifying and strengthening of true American sentiment.
I understand that your conference has been a success; and it has been a success because, unlike some other conferences, it was made up of experts who knew what they were talking about. But you know no one can give the final answer upon the question of Americanization. You may study methods, but you find yourselves foiled because there is no one method—no standardized method that can always be used to deal correctly and truly with any human problem. Bergson, the French philosopher, was here a year or two ago, and he made a suggestion to me that seemed very profound when he said that the theory of evolution could carry on as to species until it came to deal with man, and then you had to deal with each individual man upon the theory that he was a species by himself. And I think there is more than superficial significance to that. It may go to the very heart and center of what we call spirituality. It may be because of that very fact the individual is a soul by himself; and it is for that reason that there must be avenues opened into men's hearts that can not be standardized.
Man is a great moated, walled castle, with doors by the dozens, doors by the score, leading into him—but most of us keep our doors closed. It is difficult for people to gain access to us; but there are some doors that are open to the generality of mankind; and as those who are seeking to know our fellow man and to reach him, it is our place to find what those doors are and how those doors can be opened.
One of those doors might be labeled "our love for our children." That is a door common to all. Another door might be labeled "our love for a piece of land." Another door might be labeled "our common hatred of injustice." Another door might be labeled "the need for human sympathy." Another door might be labeled "fear of suffering." And another door might be labeled "the hope that we all have in our hearts that this world will turn into a better one."
Through some one of those doors every man can be reached; at least, if not every man, certainly the great mass of mankind. They are not to be reached through interest alone; they are not to be reached through mind; they are reached through instincts and impulses and through tendencies; and there is some word, some act that you or I can do or say that will get inside of that strange, strange man and reveal him to himself and reveal him to us and make him of use to the world.
We want to reach, through one of those doors, every man in the United States who does not sympathize with us in a supreme allegiance to our country. You would be amused to see some of the letters that come to me, asking almost peremptorily what methods should be adopted by which men and women can be Americanized, as if there were some one particular prescription that could be given; as if you could roll up the sleeve of a man and give him a hypodermic of some solution that would, by some strange alchemy, transform him into a good American citizen; as if you could take him water, and in it make a mixture—one part the ability to read and write and speak the English language; then another part, the Declaration of Independence; one part, the Constitution of the United States; one part, a love for apple pie; one part, a desire and a willingness to wear American shoes; and another part, a pride in using American plumbing; and take all those together and grind them up, and have a solution which you could put into a man's veins and by those superficialities, transform him into a man who loves America. No such thing can be done. We know it can not be done, because we know those who read and write and speak the language and they do not have that feeling. We know that we regard one who takes his glass of milk and his apple pie for lunch as presumably a good American. We know that there is virtue in the American bath. We know that there are principles enunciated in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution of the United States which are necessary to get into one's system before he can thoroughly understand the United States; and there are some who have those principles as a standard for their lives, who yet have never heard of the Declaration of Independence or of the Constitution of the United States. You can not make Americans that way. You have got to make them by calling upon the fine things that are within them, and by dealing with them in sympathy; by appreciating what they have to offer us, and by revealing to them what we have to offer them. And that brings to mind the thought that this work must be a human work—must be something done out of the human heart and speaking to the human heart, and must largely turn upon instrumentalities that are in no way formal, and that have no dogma and have no creed, and which can not be put into writing, and can not be set upon the press—to a thought that I have had in my mind for some time as to the advancing of a new organization in this country—and, perhaps, you will sympathize with it—I have called it, for lack of a better name, "The League of American Fellowship," and there should be no condition for membership, excepting a pledge that each one gives that each year, or for one year, the member will undertake to interpret America sympathetically to at least one foreign-born person, or one person in the United States who does not have an understanding of American institutions, American traditions, American history, American sports, American life, and the spirit that is American. If you, upon your return to your homes, could organize in the cities that you represent, throughout the breadth of this land, some such league as that, and by individual effort, and without formalism, pledge the body of those with whom you come in contact to make Americans by sympathy and by understanding, I believe we would make great progress in the solution of this problem.
I do not know what method can be adopted for the making of Americans, but I think there can be a standard test as to the result. We can tell when a man is American in his spirit. There has been a test through which the men of this country—and the women, too—have recently passed—supposed to be the greatest of all tests—the test of war. When men go forth and sacrifice their lives, then we say they believe in something as beyond anything else; and so our men in this country, boys of foreign birth, boys of foreign parentage, Greek and Dane and Italian and Russian and Polander and Frenchman and Portuguese, Irish, Scotch—all these boys have gone to France, fought their fight, given up their lives, and they have proved, all Americans that they are, that there is a power in America by which this strange conglomeration of peoples can be melted into one, and by which a common attachment can be made and a common sympathy developed. I do not know how it is done, but it is done.
I remember once, thirty years or more ago, passing through North Dakota on a Northern Pacific train. I stepped off the platform, and the thermometer was thirty or forty degrees below zero. There was no one to be seen, excepting one man, and that man, as he stood before me, had five different coats on him to keep him warm; and I looked out over that sea of snow, and then I said, "Well, this is a pretty rough country, isn't it?" He was a Dane, I think, and he looked me hard in the eye and he said, "Young fellow, I want you to understand that this is God's own country."
Every one of those boys who returned from France came back feeling that this is God's own country. He knows little of America as a whole, perhaps; he can not recite any provisions in the Constitution of the United States; it may be that he has learned his English while in the Army; but some part of this country is "God's own country" to him. And it is a good thing that we should not lose the local attachments that we have—those narrownesses, those prejudices that give point to character. There is a kind of breadth that is shallowness; there is a kind of sympathy that has no punch. We must remember that if that world across the water is to be made what it can be under democratic forms, it is to be led by Democracy; and, therefore, the supreme responsibility falls upon us to make this all that a Democracy can be. And if there is a bit of local pride attaching to one part of our soil, that gives emphasis to our intense attachment to this country, let it be. I would not remove it. I come from a part of this country that is supposed to be more prejudiced in favor of itself than any other section. I remember years ago hearing that the Commissioner of Fisheries wished to propagate and spread in these Atlantic waters the western crab—which is about four times the size of the Atlantic crab—and so they sent two carloads of those crabs to the Atlantic coast. They were dumped into the Atlantic at Woods Hole, and on each crab was a little aluminum tablet saying "When found notify Fish Commission, Washington." A year passed and no crab was found; two years passed and no crab was found. And the third year two of those crabs were found by a Buenos Aires fisherman, who reported that they evidently were going south, bound around the Cape, returning to California.
A week or two ago I was addressing a Methodist conference in Baltimore, and I told this story to a dear old gray-headed man, seated opposite me, who was eighty-six years of age, who said he had been preaching there for sixty years; and I said to him, "Do you come from Maryland?" He said, "Yes, sir." He said, "I come from the Eastern Shore. Have you ever been there?" I said, "No; I am sorry that I have never been on the Eastern Shore." He said, "Never been there? Well, I am sorry for you." He said, "You know, we are a strange people down there—a strange people." He said, "We have some peculiar legends; some stories that have come down to us, generation after generation; and while other people may not believe them, we do; and one of the stories is that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they fell sick, and the Lord was greatly concerned about them, and he called a meeting of his principal angels and consulted with them as to what to do for them by way of giving them a change of air and improving their health; and the Angel Gabriel said, 'Why not take them down to the Eastern Shore?' And the Lord said, 'Oh, no; that would not be sufficient change.'"
And so, as you go throughout the United States, you find men attached to different parts of our continent, making their homes in different places, and not thinking often about the great country to which they belong, excepting as it is represented by that flag; and every one of those local attachments is a valuable asset to our country, and nothing should be done to minimize them. When the boys come back from France, every one of them says, "The thing I most desired while I was in France was to get home, for there I first realized how splendid and beautiful and generous and rich a country America was." We want to make these men who come to us from abroad realize what those boys realized, and we want to put inside of their spirits an appreciation of those things that are noble and fine in American law and American institutions and American life; and we want them to join with us as citizens in giving to America every good thing that comes out of every foreign country.
We are a blend in sympathies and a blend in art, a blend in literature, a blend in tendencies, and that is our hope for making this the supremely great race of the world. It is not to be done mechanically; it is not to be done scientifically; it is to be done by the human touch; by reaching some door into that strange man, with some word or some act that will show to him that there is in America the kind of sentiment and sympathy that that man's soul is reaching out for.
This is God's own country. We want the boys to know that the sky is blue and big and broad with hope, and that its fields are green with promise, and that in every one of our hearts there is the desire that the land shall be better than it is—while we have no apologies to make for what it is. This is no land in which to spread any doctrine of revolution, because we have abolished revolution. When we came here we gave over the right of revolution. You can not have revolution in a land unless you have somebody to revolt against—and whom would you revolt against in the United States? And when we won our revolution 140 years ago, we then said, "We give over that inherent right of revolution because there can be no such thing as revolution against a country in which the people govern."
We have no particular social theory to advocate in Americanization; no economic system to advocate; but we can fairly and squarely demand of every man in the United States, if he is a citizen, that he shall give supreme allegiance to the flag of the United States, and swear by it—and he is not worthy to be its citizen unless it holds first place in his heart.
The best test of whether we are Americans or not will not come, nor has it come, with war. It will come when we go hand in hand together, recognizing that there are defects in our land, that there are things lacking in our system; that our programs are not perfect; that our institutions can be bettered; and we look forward constantly by cooeperation to making this a land in which there will be a minimum of fear and a maximum of hope.
ADDRESS AT THE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS
[Footnote 4: From Have Faith in Massachusetts, by Calvin Coolidge. The selection is used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, the Houghton Mifflin Co., the authorized publishers. Copyright, 1919, by Houghton Mifflin Co. The address was delivered June 25, 1919.]
To come from the press of public affairs, where the practical side of life is at its flood, into these calm and classic surroundings, where ideals are cherished for their own sake, is an intense relief and satisfaction. Even in the full flow of Commencement exercises it is apparent that here abide the truth and the servants of the truth. Here appears the fulfillment of the past in the grand company of alumni, recalling a history already so thick with laurels. Here is the hope of the future, brighter yet in the young men to-day sent forth.
The unarmed youth of heaven. But o'er their heads Celestial armory, shield, helm and spear, Hung bright, with diamond flaming and with gold.
[Footnote 5: Paradise Lost, IV, 1. 552.]
In them the dead past lives. They represent the college. They are the college. It is not in the campus with its imposing halls and temples, nor in the silent lore of the vast library or the scientific instruments of well-equipped laboratories, but in the men who are the incarnation of all these, that your college lives. It is not enough that there be knowledge, history and poetry, eloquence and art, science and mathematics, philosophy and ethics, ideas and ideals. They must be vitalized. They must be fashioned into life. To send forth men who live all these is to be a college. This temple of learning must be translated into human form if it is to exercise any influence over the affairs of mankind, or if its alumni are to wield the power of education.
A great thinker and master of the expression of thought has told us:—
It was before Deity, embodied in a human form, walking among men, partaking of their infirmities, leaning on their bosoms, weeping over their graves, slumbering in the manger, bleeding on the cross, that the prejudices of the Synagogue, and the doubts of the Academy, and the pride of the Portico, and the fasces of the Lictor, and the swords of thirty Legions, were humbled in the dust.
[Footnote 6: Macaulay's Essay on Milton.]
If college-bred men are to exercise the influence over the progress of the world which ought to be their portion, they must exhibit in their lives a knowledge and a learning which is marked with candor, humility, and the honest mind.
The present is ever influenced mightily by the past. Patrick Henry spoke with great wisdom when he declared to the Continental Congress, "I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided and that is the lamp of experience." Mankind is finite. It has the limits of all things finite. The processes of government are subject to the same limitations, and, lacking imperfections, would be something more than human. It is always easy to discover flaws, and, pointing them out, to criticize. It is not so easy to suggest substantial remedies or propose constructive policies. It is characteristic of the unlearned that they are forever proposing something which is old, and, because it has recently come to their own attention, supposing it to be new. Into this error men of liberal education ought not to fall. The forms and processes of government are not new. They have been known, discussed, and tried in all their varieties through the past ages. That which America exemplifies in her Constitution and system of representative government is the most modern, and of any yet devised gives promise of being the most substantial and enduring.
It is not unusual to hear arguments against our institutions and our government, addressed particularly to recent arrivals and the sons of recent arrivals to our shores. They sometimes take the form of a claim that our institutions were founded long ago; that changed conditions require that they now be changed. Especially is it claimed by those seeking such changes that these new arrivals and men of their race and ideas had no hand in the making of our country, and that it was formed by those who were hostile to them and therefore they owe it no support. Whatever may be the condition in relation to others, and whatever ignorance and bigotry may imagine such arguments do not apply to those of the race and blood so prominent in this assemblage. To establish this it were but necessary to cite eleven of the fifty-five signers of the Declaration of Independence, and recall that on the roll of Washington's generals were Sullivan, Knox, Wayne, and the gallant son of Trinity College, Dublin, who fell at Quebec at the head of his troops—Richard Montgomery. But scholarship has answered ignorance. The learned and patriotic research of men of the education of Dr. James J. Walsh and Michael J. O'Brien, the historian of the Irish American Society, has demonstrated that a generous portion of the rank and file of the men who fought in the Revolution and supported those who framed our institutions was not alien to those who are represented here. It is no wonder that from among such that which is American has drawn some of its most steadfast defenders.
In these days of violent agitation scholarly men should reflect that the progress of the past has been accomplished not by the total overthrow of institutions so much as by discarding that which was bad and preserving that which was good; not by revolution but by evolution has man worked out his destiny. We shall miss the central feature of all progress unless we hold to that process now. It is not a question of whether our institutions are perfect. The most beneficent of our institutions had their beginnings in forms which would be particularly odious to us now. Civilization began with war and slavery; government began in absolute despotism; and religion itself grew out of superstition which was oftentimes marked with human sacrifices. So out of our present imperfections we shall develop that which is more perfect. But the candid mind of the scholar will admit and seek to remedy all wrongs with the same zeal with which it defends all rights.
From the knowledge and the learning of the scholar there ought to be developed an abiding faith. What is the teaching of all history? That which is necessary for the welfare and progress of the human race has never been destroyed. The discoverers of truth, the teachers of science, the makers of inventions, have passed to their last rewards, but their works have survived. The Phoenician galleys and the civilization which was born of their commerce have perished, but the alphabet which that people perfected remains. The shepherd kings of Israel, the temple and empire of Solomon, have gone the way of all the earth, but the Old Testament has been preserved for the inspiration of mankind. The ark of the covenant and the seven-pronged candlestick have passed from human view; the inhabitants of Judea have been dispersed to the ends of the earth, but the New Testament has survived and increased in its influence among men. The glory of Athens and Sparta, the grandeur of the Imperial City, are a long-lost memory, but the poetry of Homer and Virgil, the oratory of Demosthenes and Cicero, the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, abide with us forevermore. Whatever America holds that may be of value to posterity will not pass away.
The long and toilsome processes which have marked the progress of the past cannot be shunned by the present generation to our advantage. We have no right to expect as our portion something substantially different from human experience in the past. The constitution of the universe does not change. Human nature remains constant. That service and sacrifice which have been the price of past progress are the price of progress now.
This is not a gospel of despair, but of hope and high expectation. Out of many tribulations mankind has pressed steadily onward. The opportunity for a rational existence was never before so great. Blessings were never so bountiful. But the evidence was never so overwhelming as now that men and nations must live rationally or perish.
The defences of our Commonwealth are not material but mental and spiritual. Her fortifications, her castles, are her institutions of learning. Those who are admitted to the college campus tread the ramparts of the State. The classic halls are the armories from which are furnished forth the knights in armor to defend and support our liberty. For such high purpose has Holy Cross been called into being. A firm foundation of the Commonwealth. A defender of righteousness. A teacher of holy men. Let her turrets continue to rise, showing forth "the way, the truth and the light"—
In thoughts sublime that pierce the night like stars, And with their mild persistence urge man's search To vaster issues.
[Footnote 7: George Eliot's "O may I join the choir invisible."]
OUR FUTURE IMMIGRATION POLICY
FREDERIC C. HOWE
[Footnote 8: From Scribner's Magazine, May, 1917. Copyright, 1917, by Charles Scribner's Sons. By permission of the author and of the publishers.]
The outstanding feature of our immigration policy has been its negative character. The immigrant is expected to look out for himself. Up to the present time legislation has been guided by conditions which prevailed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We have permitted the immigrant to come; only recently has he been examined for physical, mental, and moral defects at the port of debarkation, and then he has been permitted to land and go where he willed. This was the practice in colonial days. It has been continued without essential change down to the present time. It was a policy which worked reasonably well in earlier times, when the immigrant passed from the ship to land to be had from the Indians, or in later generations from the government.
And from generation to generation the immigrant moved westward, just beyond the line of settlement, where he found a homestead awaiting his labor. These were the years of Anglo-Saxon, of German, of Scandinavian, of north European settlement, when the immigration to this country was almost exclusively from the same stock. And so long as land was to be had for the asking there was no immigration problem. The individual States were eager for settlers to develop their resources. There were few large cities. Industry was just beginning. There was relatively little poverty, while the tenements and slums of our cities and mining districts had not yet appeared. This was the period of the "old immigration," as it is called; the immigration from the north of Europe, from the same stock that had made the original settlements in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the South; it was the same stock that settled Ohio and the Middle West, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.
The "old immigration" from northern Europe ceased to be predominant in the closing years of the last century. Then the tide shifted to southern Europe, to Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Poland, and the Balkans. A new strain was being added to our Anglo-Saxon, Germanic stock. The "new immigration" did not speak our language. It was unfamiliar with self-government. It was largely illiterate. And with this shift from the "old immigration" to the "new," immigration increased in volume. In 1892 the total immigration was 579,663; in 1894 it fell to 285,631. As late as 1900 it was but 448,572. Then it began to rise. In 1903 it was 857,046; in 1905 it reached the million mark; and from that time down to the outbreak of the war the total immigration averaged close on to a million a year, the total arrivals in 1914 being 1,218,480. Almost all of the increase came from southern Europe, over 70 per cent of the total being from the Latin and Slavic countries. In 1914 Austria contributed 134,831 people; Hungary 143,321; Italy 283,734; Russia 255,660; while the United Kingdom contributed 73,417; Germany 35,734; Norway 8,329; and Sweden 14,800.
For twenty years the predominant immigration has been from south and central Europe. And it is this "new immigration," so called, that has created the "immigration problem." It is largely responsible for the agitation for restrictive legislation on the part of persons fearful of the admixture of races, of the difficulties of assimilation, of the high illiteracy of the southern group; and most of all for the opposition on the part of organized labor to the competition of the unskilled army of men who settle in the cities, who go to the mines, and who struggle for the existing jobs in competition with those already here. For the newcomer has to find work quickly. He has exhausted what little resources he had in transportation. In the great majority of cases his transportation has been advanced by friends and relatives already here, who have lured him to this country by descriptions of better economic conditions, greater opportunities for himself, and especially the new life which opens up to his children. And this overseas competition is a serious problem to American labor, especially in the iron and steel industries, in the mining districts, in railroad and other construction work, into which employments the foreigners largely go.
How seriously the workers and our cities are burdened with this new immigration from south and central Europe is indicated by the fact that 56 per cent of the foreign-born population in this country is in the States to the east of the Mississippi and north of the Ohio Rivers, to which at least 80 per cent of the present incoming immigrants are destined. In the larger cities between 70 and 80 per cent of the population is either foreign born or immediately descended from persons of foreign birth. In New York City 78.6 per cent of the people are of foreign birth or immediate foreign extraction. In Boston the percentage is 74.2, in Cleveland 75.8, and in Chicago 77.5. In the mining districts the percentage is even higher. In other words, almost all of the immigration of the last twenty years has gone to the cities, to industry, to mining. Here the immigrant competes with organized labor. He burdens our inadequate housing accommodations. He congests the tenements. He is at least a problem for democracy.
But the effect of immigration on our life is not as simple as the advocates of restriction insist. It is probable that the struggle of the working classes to improve their conditions is rendered more difficult by the incoming tide of unskilled labor. It is probable too that wages are kept down in certain occupations and that employers are desirous of keeping open the gate as a means of securing cheap labor and labor that is difficult to organize. It is also probably true that the immigrant is a temporary burden to democracy and especially to our cities. But the subject is not nearly as simple as this. The immigrant is a consumer as well as a producer. He creates a market for the products of labor even while he competes with labor. And he creates new trades and new industries, like the clothing trades of New York, Chicago, and Cleveland, which employ hundreds of thousands of workers. And a large part of the immigrants assimilate rapidly.
In addition, the new stock from southern and central Europe brings to this country qualities of mind and of temperament that may in time greatly enrich the more severe and practical-minded races of northern Europe.
But it is not the purpose of this article to discuss the question of immigration restriction or the kinds of tests that should be applied to the incoming alien. It is rather to consider the internal or domestic policy we have thus far adopted after the immigrant has landed on our shores. And this policy has been wholly negative. Our attitude toward the immigrant has undergone little change from the very beginning, when immigration was easily absorbed by the free lands of the West. Even at the present time our legislative policy is an outgrowth of the assumption that the immigrant could go to the land and secure a homestead of his own; and of the additional assumption that he needed no assistance or direction when he reached this country any more than did the immigrants of earlier centuries.
Up to the present time, with the exception of the Oriental races, there has been no real restriction to immigration. Our policy has been selective rather than restrictive. Of those arriving certain individuals are rejected by the immigration authorities because of some defect of mind, of body, or of morals, or because of age infirmity, or some other cause by reason of which the aliens are likely to become public charges. For the official year 1914, of the 1,218,480 applying for admission 15,745 were excluded because they were likely to become a public charge; 6,537 were afflicted with physical or mental infirmities affecting their ability to earn a living; 3,257 were afflicted with tuberculosis or with contagious diseases; and 1,274 with serious mental defects. All told, in that year less than 2 per cent of the total number applying for admission were rejected and sent back to the countries from which they came.
Our immigration policy ends with the selection. From the stations the immigrants pass into the great cities, chiefly into New York, or are placed upon the trains leaving the ports of debarkation for the interior. They are not directed to any destination, and, most important of all, no effort is made to place them on the land under conditions favorable to successful agriculture. And this is the problem of the future. It is a problem far bigger than the distribution of immigration. It is a problem of our entire industrial life. For, while our immigrants are congested in the cities agriculture suffers from a lack of labor. Farms are being abandoned. Not more than one-third of the land in the United States is under cultivation. Far more important still, millions of acres are held out of use. Land monopoly prevails all over the Western States. According to the most available statistics of land ownership, approximately 200,000,000 acres are owned by less than 50,000 corporations and individual men. Many of these estates exceed 10,000 or even 50,000 acres in extent. Some exceed the million mark. States like California, Texas, Oregon, Washington, and other Western States have great manorial preserves like those of England, Prussia, and Russia which are held out of use or inadequately used, and which have increased in value a hundredfold during the last fifty years. These great estates are largely the result of the land grants given to the railroads as well as the careless policy of the government in the disposal of the public domain.
Here is one of the anomalies of the nation. Here is the real explanation of the immigration problem. Here, too, is the division between the "old immigration" and the "new immigration." For the "old immigration" from the north of Europe went to the country. The "new immigration" has gone to the cities because the land had all been given away and the only opportunity for immediate employment was to be found in the cities and mining districts. The "new immigration" from the South of Europe is as eager for home-ownership as the "old immigration" from the north of Europe. But the land is all gone, and the incoming alien is compelled to accept the first job that is offered, or starve. It is this too that has stimulated the protest on the part of labor against the incoming tide. For, so long as land was accessible for all, the incoming immigrants went to the country, where they could build their fortunes as they willed, just as they did in earlier generations.
The European War has forced many new problems upon us. And one of these is the relation of people to the land. Of one thing, at least, we may be certain—that with the ending of the war there will be a competition for men, a competition not only by the exhausted Powers of Europe but by Canada, Australia, and America as well. Europe will endeavor to keep its able-bodied men at home. They will be needed for reconstruction purposes. There will be little immigration out of France; for France is a nation of home-owning peasants and France has never contributed in material numbers to our population. The same is true of Germany. Germany is the most highly socialized state in Europe. The state owns the railways, many mines, and great stretches of land. In England too the state has been socialized to a remarkable extent as a result of the war. Russia and Austria-Hungary have undergone something of the same transformation. When the war is over these countries will probably endeavor to mobilize their men and women for industry as they previously mobilized them for war. And in so far as they are able to adjust credit and assistance to their people, they will strive to keep them at home.
But that is not all. Millions of men have been killed or incapacitated. Poland, Galicia, parts of Hungary and Russia have been devastated. Many nobles who owned the great estates have been killed. Many of them are bankrupt. Their land holdings may be broken up into small farms. The state can only go on, taxes can only be collected if industry and agriculture are brought back to life. And the nations of Europe are turning their attention to a consciously worked out agricultural programme for putting the returning soldiers back on the land. Not only that, but reports from steamship and railroad companies indicate that large numbers of men are planning to return to Europe after the war. The estimates, based upon investigation, run as high as a million men. Poles and Hungarians are imbued with the idea that land will be cheap in Europe and that the savings they have accumulated in this country can be used for the purchase of small holdings in their native country, through the possession of which their social and economic status will be materially improved.
I have no doubt but that the years which follow the ending of the war will see an exodus from this country which may be as great as the incoming tide in the years of our highest immigration. Along with this exodus to Europe, Canada will endeavor to repeople her land. Western Canada especially is working out an agricultural and land programme. Even before the war her provinces had removed taxes from houses and improvements and were increasing the taxes upon vacant land, with the aim of breaking up land speculation. And this policy will probably be largely extended after the war is over. England, too, is developing a comprehensive land policy, and is placing returning soldiers upon the land under conditions similar to those provided in the Irish Land Purchase Act. It is not improbable that the war will be followed by a breaking up of many of the great estates in England and the settlement of many men upon the land in farm colonies, such as have been worked out in Denmark and Germany. Even prior to the war Germany had placed hundreds of thousands of persons upon the state-owned farms and on private estates which had been acquired by the government for this purpose. Over $400,000,000 has been appropriated for the purpose of encouraging home-ownership in Germany during recent years.
All over the world, in fact, the necessity of a new governmental policy in regard to agriculture is being recognized. Thousands of Danish agricultural workers have been converted into home-owning farmers through the aid of the government. To-day 90 per cent of the farmers in Denmark own their own farms, while only 10 per cent are tenants. The government advances 90 per cent of the cost of a farm, the farmer being required to advance only the remaining 10 per cent. In addition, teachers and inspectors employed by the state give instruction as to farming, marketing, and the use of cooeperative agencies, while the railroads are owned by the state and operated with an eye to the development of agriculture. As a result of this, Denmark has become the world's agricultural experiment-station. The immigration from Denmark has practically ceased, as it has from other countries of Europe in which peasant proprietorship prevails.
In my opinion, immigration to the United States will be profoundly influenced by these big land-colonization projects of the European nations. It may be that large numbers of men with their savings will be lured away from the United States. As a result, agricultural produce in the United States may be materially reduced. Even now there is a great shortage of agricultural labor, while tenancy has been increasing at a very rapid rate. And America may be confronted with the immediate necessity of competing with Europe to keep people in this country. A measure is now before Congress looking to the development of farm colonies, in which the government will acquire large stretches of land to be sold on easy terms of payment to would-be farmers, who are permitted to repay the initial cost in installments covering a long period of years. Similar measures are under discussion in California, in which State a comprehensive investigation has been made of the subject of tenancy and the possibility of farm settlement. Looking in the same direction are the declarations of many farmers' organizations throughout the West for the taxing of land as a means of ending land monopoly and land speculation. This is one of the cardinal planks in the platform of the non-partisan organization of farmers of North Dakota which swept the State in the last election. Every branch of the government was captured by the farmers, whose platform declared for the untaxing of all kinds of farm-improvements and an increase in the tax rate on unimproved land as a means of developing the State and ending the idle-land speculation which prevails.
If such a policy as this were adopted for the nation as a whole; if the idle land now held out of use were opened up to settlement; if the government were to provide ready-made farms to be paid for upon easy terms, and if, along with this, facilities for marketing, for terminals, for slaughter-houses, and for agencies for bringing the produce of the farms to the markets were provided, not only would agriculture be given a fillip which it badly needs but the congestion of our cities and the immigration problem would be open to easy solution. Then for many generations to come land would be available in abundance. For America could support many times its present population if the resources of the country were opened up to use. Germany with 67,000,000 people could be placed inside of Texas. And Texas is but one of forty-eight States. Under such a policy the government could direct immigration to places of profitable settlement; it could relieve the congestion of the cities and Americanize the immigrant under conditions similar to those which prevailed from the first landing in New England down to the enclosure of the continent in the closing days of the last century. For the immigration problem is and always has been an economic problem. And back of all other conditions of national well-being is the proper relation of the people to the land.
A NEW RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CAPITAL AND LABOR
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, JR.
[Footnote 9: Address at the National Industrial Conference, Washington, D. C., Oct. 16, 1919. By permission.]
The experience through which our country has passed in the months of war, exhibiting as it has the willingness of all Americans without distinction of race, creed, or class to sacrifice personal ends for a great ideal and to work together in a spirit of brotherhood and cooeperation, has been a revelation to our own people, and a cause for congratulations to us all. Now that the stimulus of the war is over the question which confronts our nation is how can these high levels of unselfish devotion to the common good be maintained and extended to the civic life of the nation in times of peace.
We have been called together to consider the industrial problem. Only as each of us discharges his duties as a member of this conference in the same high spirit of patriotism, of unselfish allegiance to right and justice, of devotion to the principles of democracy and brotherhood with which we approached the problems of the war, can we hope for success in the solution of the industrial problem which is no less vital to the life of the nation. There are pessimists who say that there is no solution short of revolution and the overturn of the existing social order. Surely the men and women who have shown themselves capable of such lofty sacrifice, who have actually given themselves so freely, gladly, unreservedly, as the people of this great country have during these past years, will stand together as unselfishly in solving this great industrial problem as they did in dealing with the problems of the war if only right is made clear and the way to a solution pointed out.
The world position which our country holds to-day is due to the wide vision of the statesmen who founded these United States and to the daring and indomitable persistence of the great industrial leaders, together with the myriads of men who with faith in their leadership have cooeperated to rear the marvelous industrial structure of which our country is justly so proud. This result has been produced by the cooeperation of the four factors in industry, labor, capital, management and the public, the last represented by the consumer and by organized government. No one of these groups can alone claim credit for what has been accomplished. Just what is the relative importance of the contribution made to the success of industry by these several factors and what their relative rewards should be are debatable questions. But however views may differ on these questions it is clear that the common interest cannot be advanced by the effort of any one party to dominate the other, to dictate arbitrarily the terms on which alone it will cooperate, to threaten to withdraw if any attempt is made to thwart the enforcement of its will. Such a position is as un-American as it is intolerable.
Almost countless are the suggested solutions of the industrial problem which have been brought forth since industry first began to be a problem. Most of these are impracticable; some are unjust; some are selfish and therefore unworthy; some of them have merit and should be carefully studied. None can be looked to as a panacea. There are those who believe that legislation is the cure-all for every social, economic, political, and industrial ill. Much can be done by legislation to prevent injustice and encourage right tendencies, but legislation will never solve the industrial problem. Its solution can be brought about only by the introduction of a new spirit into the relationship between the parties to industry—a spirit of justice and brotherhood.
The personal relationship which existed in bygone days is essential to the development of this new spirit. It must be reestablished; if not in its original form at least as nearly so as possible. In the early days of the development of industry, the employer and capital investor were frequently one. Daily contact was had between him and his employees, who were his friends and neighbors. Any questions which arose on either side were taken up at once and readily adjusted. A feeling of genuine friendliness, mutual confidence, and stimulating interest in the common enterprise was the result. How different is the situation to-day! Because of the proportions which modern industry has attained, employers and employees are too often strangers to each other. Personal contact, so vital to the success of any enterprise, is practically unknown, and naturally, misunderstanding, suspicion, distrust, and too often hatred have developed, bringing in their train all the industrial ills which have become far too common. Where men are strangers and have no points of contact, this is the usual outcome. On the other hand, where men meet frequently about a table, rub elbows, exchange views and discuss matters of common interest, almost invariably it happens that the vast majority of their differences quickly disappear and friendly relations are established. Much of the strife and bitterness in industrial relations results from lack of ability or willingness on the part of both labor and capital to view their common problems each from the other's point of view.
A man who recently devoted some months to studying the industrial problem and who came in contact with thousands of workmen in various industries throughout the country has said that it was obvious to him from the outset that the working men were seeking for something, which at first he thought to be higher wages. As his touch with them extended, he came to the conclusion, however, that not higher wages but recognition as men was what they really sought. What joy can there be in life, what interest can a man take in his work, what enthusiasm can he be expected to develop on behalf of his employer, when he is regarded as a number on a payroll, a cog in a wheel, a mere "hand"? Who would not earnestly seek to gain recognition of his manhood and the right to be heard and treated as a human being, not as a machine?
While obviously under present conditions those who invest their capital in an industry, often numbered by the thousand, cannot have personal acquaintance with the thousands and tens of thousands of those who invest their labor, contact between these two parties in interest can and must be established, if not directly then through their respective representatives. The resumption of such personal relation through frequent conference and current meetings, held for the consideration of matters of common interest such as terms of employment, and working and living conditions, is essential in order to restore a spirit of mutual confidence, good will, and cooeperation. Personal relations can be revived under modern conditions only through the adequate representation of the employees. Representation is a principle which is fundamentally just and vital to the successful conduct of industry. This is the principle upon which the democratic government of our country is founded. On the battlefields of France this nation poured out its blood freely in order that democracy might be maintained at home and that its beneficent institutions might become available in other lands as well. Surely it is not consistent for us as Americans to demand democracy in government and practice autocracy in industry.
What can this conference do to further the establishment of democracy in industry and lay a sure and solid foundation for the permanent development of cooeperation, good-will, and industrial well being? To undertake to agree on the details of plans and methods is apt to lead to endless controversy without constructive result. Can we not, however, unite in the adoption of the principle of representation, and the agreement to make every effort to secure the endorsement and acceptance of this principle by all chambers of commerce, industrial and commercial bodies, and all organizations of labor? Such action I feel confident would be overwhelmingly backed by public opinion and cordially approved by the federal government. The assurance thus given of a closer relationship between the parties to industry would further justice, promote good-will, and help to bridge the gulf between capital and labor.
It is not for this or any other body to undertake to determine for industry at large what form representation shall take. Once having adopted the principle of representation, it is obviously wise that the method to be employed should be left in each specific instance to be determined by the parties in interest. If there is to be peace and good will between the several parties in industry, it will surely not be brought about by the enforcement upon unwilling groups of a method which in their judgment is not adapted to their peculiar needs. In this as in all else, persuasion is an essential element in bringing about conviction. With the developments in industry what they are to-day there is sure to come a progressive evolution from autocratic single control, whether by capital, labor, or the state, to democratic cooeperative control by all three. The whole movement is evolutionary. That which is fundamental is the idea of representation, and that idea must find expression in those forms which will serve it best, with conditions, forces, and times, what they are.
[Footnote 10: Reprinted from John Stuyvesant, Ancestor, by Alvin Johnson. Copyright, 1919, by Harcourt, Brace and Howe, Inc. By permission of the author and of the publishers.]
My uncle only by marriage, he is naturally the less intelligible and the more intriguing to me. I can't say with assurance whether I feel absolutely at home with him or not, but I think I do. Always he has treated me with the utmost kindness. That he regards me exactly as a nephew of the blood, he makes frequent occasion to assure me, especially on his birthday, which we all make much of, since it is about the only day when we are chartered to sentimentalize quite shamelessly over him. But behind his solemn face and straight, quizzical gaze, I often detect a lurking reservation in his judgment of me. He thinks, I believe, that I have not been altogether weaned of the potentates and powers I abjured when I crossed the water to become a member of his family. Not that he greatly cares. Potentates and powers, emperors, kings, princes, are treasured words in his oratorical vocabulary—he could not very well do without them. He is a democrat, and he declares that in the presence of hereditary majesties, he would most resolutely refuse to bend the knee. No doubt he would, and his instinct is correct aesthetically as well as morally. It's a stiff knee he wears, and you can't help smiling at the thought of the two long members of his leg, tightly cased in striped trousers, arranging themselves in an obsequious right angle. Erect and stiff, chest out, chin whiskers to front, eyes blinking independently, my uncle is superb. Or when he raises his hat with a large, outward gesture of his arm, bowing slightly from the shoulders, in affable salutation. Or most of all, when his fists clench, his jaws display big nervous knots, his eyes gleam with hard blue light in wrath over some palpable iniquity, some base cowardice, some outrageous act of cruelty or oppression.
The mood of rage is, to be sure, infrequent with him, and he prides himself in a self-control that forbids him to act upon it. Therefore, certain cocky foreign fellows, upholders of the duty of fighting at the drop of the hat, have charged that our uncle would place peace above honor. And some of us, his nephews, are not exactly easy under the charge. It seems to reflect on us. But most of us really know better. Our uncle hates trouble, and prefers argument to fists. But nobody had better presume too much upon his distaste for violence.
Pugnacity, declares my uncle, is a form of sentimentalism, and all sentimentalism is despicable. This is a practical world. Determine the value of what you are after and count the cost. And wherever you can, reduce all items to dollars and cents. "Aha!" cry the hostile critics of our house, "what a gross materialist!" And some, even of the nephews of the blood, repeat the taunt behind our good uncle's back. At first I too thought there might be something in it. But I was forced to a different view by dint of reflection on the notorious fact that my uncle is far readier in a good cause to "shell out" his dollars and cents than any of his idealistic critics. Reduction of a problem to dollars and cents, I have come to see, is just his means of arriving at definiteness. My uncle wants to do a good business, whether in the gross joys of the flesh or in the benefits of salvation. The Lord's cause, he thinks, ought to be as solvent as the world's. A naive view? To be sure, but not one that argues a base soul.
This insistence of my uncle on definiteness, on the financial solvency of every enterprise, does to be sure get on the nerves of many of us. He'll drop into your studio, dispose his long, bony body in your most comfortable chair and ruminate for hours while you work. You are immersed in a very significant problem. You are at the point, we will say, of discovering how to convey the sound of bells by pure color. "May I ask," he says finally, "what in thunder are you trying to do?" You explain at length, enthusiastically. He hears you through, with visible effort to suspend judgment. You pause and scan his face for a responsive glow. He rises, pats you gently on the shoulder. "My boy, I can put you into a good job down in the stockyards. Fine prospects, and a good salary to begin with. I ran in to see your wife and youngsters yesterday and they're looking rather peaked. Not much of a living for them in this sort of thing, you know. Of course it is mighty interesting. But don't you think you could manage to do something with it in your free time?"
It can't be denied, in the matter of the family relation my uncle is hopelessly reactionary. In his view almost the whole duty of man is to keep his wife well housed, well dressed, contented, and his children plump and rosy. To abate a tittle from this requirement my uncle regards as pure embezzlement. You try to make him see the counterclaims upon you of science, literature, art. "Yes, yes, those things are all very fine, but will you rob your own wife and children for them?"
I wonder whether this myopia of my uncle is due to the fact that he is a confirmed old bachelor, and all women and children are to him pure ideals, as much sweeter than all other ideals as they are more substantial? He poses, to be sure, as a depreciator of woman. "Just like a woman," "women's frivolity," "useless little feminine trinkets," are phrases always on his lips. But watch his caressing expression as he listens to the chatter of Cousin Thisbe, the most empty-headed little creature who ever wore glowing cheeks and bright curls. Let anybody get into trouble with his wife or sweetheart, and my uncle straightway takes up the cudgels for the lady. The merits of the case don't matter: a lady is always right, or if she isn't, it's a mighty mean man who'll insist on it.
His nephews of the blood are firmly convinced that the reason why our uncle is such a fool about women in general is because he has never been in love with any woman in particular. Thus do members of a family blind themselves with dogmas about one another. I, being more or less of an outsider, can observe without preconceptions. Now I assert, in spite of his consistent pose of serene indifference to particular charms, my uncle's temperament is that of a man forever in love with somebody or other. He is strong, he is simple, he is pure, and should he escape the dart? Depend on it, he has fallen in love not once or twice, but often and often. And the probabilities are, he has been loved, though not so often. And—this would be an impious speculation if I were nephew of the blood—how has he behaved, in the rare latter event? As a man in the presence of a miracle done for his sole benefit. He has exulted, then doubted its reality, then betaken himself to the broad prairie, where he is most at home, to cool his blood in the north wind, and restore himself to the serenity, the freedom from entanglements, befitting an uncle at the head of his tribe. This, you say, is all conjecture, deduced from the behavior of those of his nephews who most resemble him? No. Do you not recall that early affair of his, with the dark vivacious lady—Marianne, I believe, was her name? Do you not recall a later affair with a very young, cold lady from the land of the snows? Do you not recall his maturer devotion to the noble lady of the trident, his cousin? And—but I'll not descend to idle gossip.
As you can see, I do not wholly accept my uncle, as he is. I wish he weren't so insistent upon reducing everything to simple, definite terms, whether it will reduce to such terms or not. I wish he would give more thought to making his conduct correct as well as unimpeachable. I'm for him when his inferiors laugh at him, but I wish he would manage to thwart their malicious desire to laugh. I wish he were less disposed to scoff gently at my attempts to direct his education. Just the same, he is the biggest, kindliest, most honest and honorable tribal head that ever lived. And you won't find a trace of these reservations in the enthusiasm with which I shall wish him many thousands of happy returns, next Fourth of July.
WHEN A MAN COMES TO HIMSELF
[Footnote 11: From The Century Magazine, June, 1901. Copyright 1901, by Harper and Brothers, and published by them in 1915 in a volume entitled When a Man Comes to Himself. By permission of the author and of the publishers.]
It is a very wholesome and regenerating change which a man undergoes when he "comes to himself." It is not only after periods of recklessness or infatuation, when he has played the spendthrift or the fool, that a man comes to himself. He comes to himself after experiences of which he alone may be aware: when he has left off being wholly preoccupied with his own powers and interests and with every petty plan that centers in himself; when he has cleared his eyes to see the world as it is, and his own true place and function in it.
It is a process of disillusionment. The scales have fallen away. He sees himself soberly, and knows under what conditions his powers must act, as well as what his powers are. He has got rid of earlier prepossessions about the world of men and affairs, both those which were too favorable and those which were too unfavorable—both those of the nursery and those of a young man's reading. He has learned his own paces, or, at any rate, is in a fair way to learn them; has found his footing and the true nature of the "going" he must look for in the world; over what sorts of roads he must expect to make his running, and at what expenditure of effort; whither his goal lies, and what cheer he may expect by the way. It is a process of disillusionment, but it disheartens no soundly made man. It brings him into a light which guides instead of deceiving him; a light which does not make the way look cold to any man whose eyes are fit for use in the open, but which shines wholesomely, rather, upon the obvious path, like the honest rays of the frank sun, and makes traveling both safe and cheerful.
There is no fixed time in a man's life at which he comes to himself, and some men never come to themselves at all. It is a change reserved for the thoroughly sane and healthy, and for those who can detach themselves from tasks and drudgery long and often enough to get, at any rate once and again, view of the proportions of life and of the stage and plot of its action. We speak often with amusement, sometimes with distaste and uneasiness, of men who "have no sense of humor," who take themselves too seriously, who are intense, self-absorbed, over-confident in matters of opinion, or else go plumed with conceit, proud of we cannot tell what, enjoying, appreciating, thinking of nothing so much as themselves. These are men who have not suffered that wholesome change. They have not come to themselves. If they be serious men, and real forces in the world, we may conclude that they have been too much and too long absorbed; that their tasks and responsibilities long ago rose about them like a flood, and have kept them swimming with sturdy stroke the years through, their eyes level with the troubled surface—no horizon in sight, no passing fleets, no comrades but those who struggle in the flood like themselves. If they be frivolous, lightheaded, men without purpose or achievement, we may conjecture, if we do not know, that they were born so, or spoiled by fortune, or befuddled by self-indulgence. It is no great matter what we think of them.
It is enough to know that there are some laws which govern a man's awakening to know himself and the right part to play. A man is the part he plays among his fellows. He is not isolated; he cannot be. His life is made up of the relations he bears to others—is made or marred by those relations, guided by them, judged by them, expressed in them. There is nothing else upon which he can spend his spirit—nothing else that we can see. It is by these he gets his spiritual growth; it is by these we see his character revealed, his purpose, and his gifts. Some play with a certain natural passion, an unstudied directness, without grace, without modulation, with no study of the masters or consciousness of the pervading spirit of the plot; others give all their thought to their costume and think only of the audience; a few act as those who have mastered the secrets of a serious art, with deliberate subordination of themselves to the great end and motive of the play, spending themselves like good servants, indulging no wilfulness, obtruding no eccentricity, lending heart and tone and gesture to the perfect progress of the action. These have "found themselves," and have all the ease of a perfect adjustment.