THE GREAT EVENTS
A COMPREHENSIVE AND READABLE ACCOUNT OF THE WORLD'S HISTORY, EMPHASIZING THE MORE IMPORTANT EVENTS, AND PRESENTING THESE AS COMPLETE NARRATIVES IN THE MASTER-WORDS OF THE MOST EMINENT HISTORIANS
NON-SECTARIAN NON-PARTISAN NON-SECTIONAL
ON THE PLAN EVOLVED FROM A CONSENSUS OF OPINIONS GATHERED FROM THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SCHOLARS OF AMERICA AND EUROPE, INCLUDING BRIEF INTRODUCTIONS BY SPECIALISTS TO CONNECT AND EXPLAIN THE CELEBRATED NARRATIVES. ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY. WITH THOROUGH INDICES. BIBLIOGRAPHIES, CHRONOLOGIES, AND COURSES OF READING
CHARLES F. HORNE, Ph.D.
Aided by a staff of specialists
An Outline Narrative of the Great Events CHARLES F. HORNE
The United States House of Governors (A.D. 1910) WILLIAM S. JORDAN THE GOVERNORS
Union of South Africa (A.D. 1910) PROF. STEPHEN LEACOCK
Portugal Becomes a Republic (A.D. 1910) WILLIAM ARCHER
The Crushing of Finland (A.D. 1910) JOHN JACKOL BARON SERGIUS WITTE BARON VON PLEHVE J.H. REUTER
Man's Fastest Mile (A.D. 1911) C.F. CARTER ISAAC MARCOSSON
The Fall of Diaz (A.D. 1911) MRS. E.A. TWEEDIE DOLORES BUTTERFIELD
_Fall of the English House of Lords_ (_A.D. 1911) ARTHUR PONSONBY SYDNEY BROOKS CAPTAIN GEORGE SWINTON
The Turkish-Italian War (A.D. 1911) WILLIAM T. ELLIS THE WAR CORRESPONDENTS
Woman Suffrage (A.D. 1911) IDA HUSTED HARPER ISRAEL ZANGWILL JANE ADDAMS DAVID LLOYD-GEORGE ELBERT HUBBARD
Militarism (A.D. 1911) NORMAN ANGELL SIR MAX WAECHTER
Persia's Loss of Liberty (A.D. 1911) W. MORGAN SHUSTER
Discovery of the South Pole (A.D. 1911) ROALD AMUNDSEN
The Chinese Revolution (A.D. 1912) ROBERT MACHRAY R.F. JOHNSTON TAI-CHI QUO
A Step Toward World Peace (A.D. 1912) HON. WILLIAM H. TAFT
Tragedy of the "Titanic" (A.D. 1912) W.A. INGLIS
Our Progressing Knowledge of Life Surgery (A.D. 1912) GENEVIEVE GRANDCOURT PROFESSOR R. LEGENDRE
Overthrow of Turkey by the Balkan States (A.D. 1912) J. ELLIS BARKER FREDERICK PALMER PROF. STEPHEN P. DUGGAN
Mexico Plunged Into Anarchy (A.D. 1913) EDWIN EMERSON WILLIAM CAROL
The New Democracy (A.D. 1913) PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON
The Income Tax in America (A.D. 1913) JOSEPH A. HILL
The Second Balkan War (A.D. 1913) PROF. STEPHEN P. DUGGAN CAPT. A.H. TRAPMANN
Opening of the Panama Canal (A.D. 1914) COL. GEORGE W. GOETHALS BAMPFYLDE FULLER
Universal Chronology (1910-1914)
AN OUTLINE NARRATIVE
TRACING BRIEFLY THE CAUSES, CONNECTIONS, AND CONSEQUENCES OF
THE GREAT EVENTS
THE RECENT DAYS (1910-1914)
CHARLES F. HORNE
The awful, soul-searing tragedy of Europe's great war of 1914 came to most men unexpectedly. The real progress of the world during the five years preceding the war had been remarkable. All thinkers saw that the course of human civilization was being changed deeply, radically; but the changes were being accomplished so successfully that men hoped that the old brutal ages of military destruction were at an end, and that we were to progress henceforth by the peaceful methods of evolution rather than the hysterical excitements and volcanic upheavals of revolution.
Yet even in the peaceful progress of the half-decade just before 1914 there were signs of approaching disaster, symptoms of hysteria. This period displayed the astonishing spectacle of an English parliament, once the high example for dignity and the model for self-control among governing bodies, turned suddenly into a howling, shrieking mob. It beheld the Japanese, supposedly the most extravagantly loyal among devotees of monarchy, unearthing among themselves a conspiracy of anarchists so wide-spread, so dangerous, that the government held their trials in secret and has never dared reveal all that was discovered. It beheld the women of Persia bursting from the secrecy of their harems and with modern revolvers forcing their own democratic leaders to stand firm in patriotic resistance to Russian tyranny. It beheld the English suffragettes.
Yet the movement toward universal Democracy which lay behind all these extravagances was upon the whole a movement borne along by calm conviction, not by burning hatreds or ecstatic devotions. A profound sense of the inevitable trend of the world's evolution seemed to have taken possession of the minds of the masses of men. They felt the uselessness of opposition to this universal progress, and they showed themselves ready, sometimes eager, to aid and direct its trend as best they might.
If, then, we seek to give a name to this particular five years, let us call it the period of humanitarianism, of man's really awakened kindliness toward his brothers of other nationalities. The universal peace movement, which was a child in 1910, had by 1914 become a far-reaching force to be reckoned with seriously in world politics. Any observer who studied the attitude of the great American people in 1898 on the eve of their war with Spain, and again in 1914 during the trouble with Mexico, must have clearly recognized the change. There was so much deeper sense of the tragedy of war, so much clearer appreciation of the gap between aggressive assault and necessary self-defense, so definite a recognition of the fact that murder remains murder, even though it be misnamed glory and committed by wholesale, and that any one who does not strive to stop it becomes a party to the crime.
While the sense of brotherhood was thus being deepened among the people of all the world, the associated cause of Democracy also advanced. The earlier years of the century had seen the awakening of this mighty force in the East; these later years saw its sudden decisive renewal of advance in the West. The center of world-progress once more shifted back from Asia to America and to England. The center of resistance to that progress continued, as it had been before, in eastern Europe.
PROGRESS OF DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
Let us note first the forward movement in the United States. The Conservation of Natural Resources, that striking step in the new patriotism, which had been begun in the preceding decade, was carried forward during these years with increasing knowledge. A new idea developed from it, that of establishing a closer harmony among the States by means of a new piece of governmental machinery, the House of Governors. This was formed in 1910.
[Footnote 1: See The United States House of Governors, page 1.]
To a nation bred as the Americans have been in an almost superstitious reverence for a particular form of government, this change or any change whatever becomes a matter of great moment. It is their final recognition that the present can not be molded to fit the machinery of the past. The nearer a Constitution comes to perfection in fitting the needs of one century, the more wholly it is likely to fail in fitting the needs of the next. The United States Government was not at its beginning a genuine Democracy, though approaching it more nearly than did any other great nation of the day. Putting aside the obvious point that the American Constitution deliberately protected slavery, which is the primal foe of all Democracy, the broader fact remains that the entire trend of the Constitution was intended to keep the educated and aristocratic classes in control and to protect them from the dangers of ignorance and rascally demagoguery.
The weapons of self-defense thus reserved by the thoughtful leaders were, in the course of generations, seized upon as the readiest tools of a shrewd plutocracy, which entrenched itself in power. Rebellion against that plutocracy long seemed almost hopeless; but at last, in the year 1912, the fight was carried to a successful issue. In both the great political parties, the progressive spirit dominated. The old party lines were violently disrupted, and President Wilson was elected as the leader of a new era seeking new ideals of universal equality.
[Footnote 2: See The New Democracy, page 323.]
Nor must we give to the President's party alone the credit of having recognized the new spirit of the people. Even before his election, his predecessor, Mr. Taft, had led the Republican party in its effort to make two amendments to the Constitution, one allowing an Income Tax, the other commanding the election of Senators by direct vote of the people. Both of these were assaults upon entrenched "Privilege." The Constitution had not been amended by peaceful means for over a century; yet both of these amendments were now put through easily. This revolt against two of the most undemocratic of the features of the ancient and honored Constitution was almost like a second declaration of American independence.
[Footnote 1: See The Income Tax in America, page 338.]
Perhaps, too, the change in the Senate may prove a help to the cause of universal peace. The governments of both Taft and Wilson were persistent in their efforts to establish arbitration treaties with other nations, and the Senate, jealous of its own treaty-making authority, had been a frequent stumbling-block in their path. Yet, despite the Senate's conservatism, arbitration treaties of ever-increasing importance have been made year after year. A war between the United States and England or France, or indeed almost any self-ruling nation, has become practically impossible.
[Footnote 2: See A Step Toward World Peace, page 259.]
In her dealing with her Spanish-American neighbors, the United States has been less fortunate. She has, indeed, achieved a labor of world-wide value by completing the "big ditch" between the Oceans. Yet her method of acquiring the Panama territory from Colombia had been arbitrary and had made all her southern neighbors jealous of her power and suspicious of her purposes. Into the midst of this era of unfriendliness was injected the Mexican trouble. Diaz, who had ruled Mexico with an iron hand for a generation, was overthrown. President Madero, who conquered him, was supported by the United States; and Spanish America began to suspect the "Western Colossus" of planning a protectorate over Mexico.
[Footnote 3: See Opening of the Panama Canal, page 374.]
[Footnote 4: See The Fall of Diaz, page 96.]
Then came a counter-revolution. Madero was betrayed and slain, and the savage and bloody Indian general, Huerta, seized the power. The antagonism of the United States Government against Huerta was so marked that at length the anxious South American Powers urged that they be allowed to mediate between the two; and the United States readily accepted this happy method of proving her real devotion to arbitration and of reestablishing the harmony of the Americas.
[Footnote 1: See Mexico Plunged into Anarchy, page 300.]
In itself the entire Mexican movement may be regarded as another great, though confused, step in the world-wide progress of Democracy. The upheaval has been repeatedly compared to the French Revolution. The rule of Diaz was really like that of King Louis XVI in France, a government by a narrow and wealthy aristocracy who had reduced the ignorant Mexican peasants or "peons" to a state of slavery. The bloody battles of all the recent warfare have been fought by these peons in a blind groping for freedom. They have disgraced their cause by excesses as barbarous as those perpetrated by the French peasantry; but they have also fought for their ideal with a heroism unsurpassed by that of any French revolutionist.
DEMOCRACY IN THE WORLD
Equally notable as forming part of this unceasing march of Democracy was the progress of both Socialism and Woman Suffrage. But with these two movements we must look beyond America; for their advance was not limited to any single country. It became world-wide. When Woman Suffrage was first established in New Zealand and Australia, the fact made little impression upon the rest of the globe; but when northern Europe accepted the idea, and Finland and Norway granted women full suffrage and Sweden and Denmark gave them almost as much, the movement was everywhere recognized as important. In Asia women took an active and heroic part in the struggles for liberty both in Persia and in China. In England the "militant" suffragists have forced Parliament to deal with their problem seriously, amid much embarrassment. In the United States, the movement, regarded rather humorously at first, became a matter of national weight and seriousness when in 1910 the great State of California enfranchised its women, half a million of them. Woman Suffrage now dominates the Western States of America and is slowly moving eastward.
[Footnote 1: See Woman Suffrage, page 156.]
Socialism, also, though some may call it a mistaken and confused dream, is yet a manifestation of Democracy and as such will have its voice along with other forms of the great world-spirit. It has made considerable advance in America, where there have recently been Socialist mayors in some cities, and even Socialist Congressmen. But its main progress has been in Europe. There it can no longer be discussed as an economic theory; it has become a stupendous and unevadable fact. It is the laboring man's protest against the tyranny of that militarism which terrorizes Europe. And since military tyranny is heaviest in Germany, Socialism has there risen to its greatest strength. The increase of the Socialist vote in German elections became perhaps the most impressive political phenomenon of the past twenty years. In 1912 this vote was more than one-third of the total vote of the Empire, and the Socialists were the largest single party in Germany. The Socialists of France are almost equally strong; and so are those in Italy. When war recently threatened Europe over the Morocco dispute, the Socialists in each of these countries made solemn protest to the world, declaring that laboring men were brothers everywhere and had no will to fight over any governmental problem. Many extremists among the brotherhood even went so far as to defy their governments openly, declaring that if forced to take up arms they would turn them against their tyrannous oppressors rather than against their helpless brothers of another nation. Thus the burden of militarism did by its own oppressive weight rouse the opposing force of Socialism to curb it.
[Footnote 2: See Militarism, page 186.]
In Italy the Socialists were growing so powerful politically that it was largely as a political move against them that the government in 1911 suddenly declared war against Turkey.
Thus was started the series of outbreaks which recently convulsed southeastern Europe. Seldom has a war been so unjustifiable, so obviously forced upon a weaker nation for the sake of aggrandizement, as that of Italy against the "Young Turks" who were struggling to reform their land. The Italians seized the last of Turkey's African possessions, with scarce a shadow of excuse. This increase of territory appealed to the pride and so-called "patriotism" of the Italian people. The easy victories in Africa gratified their love of display; and many of the ignorant poor who had been childish in their attachment to the romantic ideals of Socialism now turned with equal childishness to applaud and support their "glorious" government. Yet even here Democracy made its gain; for under shelter of this popularity the government granted a demand it had long withheld. Male suffrage, previously very limited in Italy, was made universal.
[Footnote 1: See The Turkish-Italian War, page 140.]
The humiliation of Turkey in this Italian war led to another and far larger contest, and to that practical elimination of Turkey from European affairs which had been anticipated for over a century. The Balkan peoples, half freed from Turkey in 1876, took advantage of her weakness to form a sudden alliance and attack her all together. This, also, was a Democratic movement, a people's war against their oppressors. The Bulgars, most recently freed of the victims of Turkish tyranny, hated their opponents with almost a madman's frenzy. The Servians wished to free their brother Serbs and to strengthen themselves against the persistent encroachments of Austria. The Greeks, defeated by the Turks in 1897, were eager for revenge, hopeful of drawing all their race into a single united State. Never was a war conducted with greater dash and desperation or more complete success. The Turks were swept out of all their European possessions except for Constantinople itself; and they yielded to a peace which left them nothing of Europe except the mere shore line where the continents come together.
[Footnote 2: See The Overthrow of Turkey, page 282.]
But then there followed what most of the watchers had expected, a division among the victorious allies. Most of these were still half savage, victims of centuries of barbarity. In their moment of triumph they turned upon one another, snarling like wild beasts over the spoil. Bulgaria, the largest, fiercest, and most savage of the little States, tried to fight Greece and Servia together. She failed, in a strife quite as bloody as that against Turkey. The neighboring State of Roumania also took part against the Bulgars. So did the Turks, who, seeing the helplessness of their late tigerish opponent, began snatching back the land they had ceded to Bulgaria. The exhausted Bulgars, defeated upon every side, yielded to their many foes.
[Footnote 1: See The Second Balkan War, page 350.]
Thus we face to-day a new Balkan Peninsula, consisting of half a dozen little independent nations, all thoroughly democratic, except Turkey. And even Turkey, we should remember, has made a long stride toward Democracy by substituting for the autocracy of the Sultan the constitutional rule of the "Young Turks," These still retain their political control, though sorely shaken in power by the calamities their country has undergone under their brief regime.
From this semi-barbarity of southeastern Europe, let us turn to note the more peaceful progress which seemed promising the West. Little Portugal suddenly declared herself a Republic in 1910. She had been having much anarchistic trouble before, killing of kings and hurling of bombs. Now there was a brief, almost bloodless, uprising; and the young new king fled. Prophets freely predicted that the unpractical and unpractised Republic could not last. But instead of destroying itself in petty quarrels, the new government has seemed to grow more able and assured with each passing year.
[Footnote 2: See Portugal Becomes a Republic, page 28.]
In Spain also, the party favoring a Republic grew so strong that its leaders declared openly that they could overturn the monarchy any time they wished. But they said the time was not ripe, they must wait until the people had become more educated politically, and had learned more about self-government, before they ventured to attempt it. Here, therefore, we have Democracy taking a new and important step. To man's claim of the right of self-government was subjoined the recognition of the fact that until he reaches a certain level of intelligence he is unfit to exercise that right, and with it he is likely to bring himself more harm than happiness.
Perhaps even more impressive was the struggle toward Democracy in England. Here, from the year 1905 onward, a "Liberal" government in nominal power was opposed at every turn persistently, desperately, sometimes hysterically, by a "Conservative" opposition. The Liberals, after years of worsted effort, saw that they could make no possible progress unless they broke the power of the always Conservative House of Lords. They accomplished this in 1911 amid the weeping and wailing of all Britain's aristocracy, who are thoroughly committed to the doctrine of the mighty teacher, Carlyle, that men should find out their great leaders and then follow these with reverent obedience. Of course the doctrine has in the minds of the British aristocracy the very natural addendum that they are the great leaders.
[Footnote 1: See Fall of the English House of Lords, page 133.]
With the power of the nobles thus swept aside, the British Liberals went on to that long-demanded extension of Democracy, the granting of Home Rule to Ireland. Here, too, England's Conservatives fought the Liberals desperately. And here there was a subtler issue to give the Conservatives justification. The great majority of Irish are of the Roman Catholic faith, and so would naturally set up a Catholic government; but a part of northern Ireland is Protestant and bitterly opposed to Catholic domination. These Protestants, or "Ulsterites," demanded that if the rest of Ireland got home rule, they must get it also, and be allowed to rule themselves by a separate Parliament of their own. The Conservatives accepted this democratic demand as an ally of their conservative clinging to the "good old laws." They encouraged the Ulsterites even to the point of open rebellion. But despite every obstacle, the Liberals continued their efforts until the Home Rule bill was assured in 1914.
Let us look now beyond Europe. England deserves credit for the big forward step taken by her colonies in South Africa. All of these joined in 1910 in a union intended to be as indissoluble as that of the United States. Thus to the mighty English-speaking nations developing in a united Australia and a united Canada, there was now added a third, the nation of South Africa.
[Footnote 1: See Union of South Africa, page 17.]
In Asia, too, there was a most surprising and notable democratic step. China declared itself a Republic. Considerable fighting preceded this change, warfare of a character rather vague and purposeless; for China is so huge that a harmony of understanding among her hundreds of millions is not easily attained. Yet, on the whole, with surprisingly little conflict and confusion the change was made. The oldest nation in the world joined hands with the youngest in adopting this modern form of "government by the people." The world is still watching, however, to see whether the Chinese have passed the level of political wisdom awaited by the Spanish republicans, and can successfully exercise the dangerous right they have assumed.
[Footnote 2: See The Chinese Revolution, page 238.]
Turn back, for a moment, to review all the wonderful advance in popular government these brief five years accomplished: in the United States, a political revolution with changes of the Constitution and of the machinery of government; in Britain, similar changes of government even more radical in the direction of Democracy; two wholly new Republics added to the list, one being China, the oldest and most populous country in the world, the other little Portugal, long accounted the most spiritless and unprogressive nation in Europe; a shift from autocratic British rule toward democratic home rule through all the vast region of South Africa; a similar shift in much-troubled Ireland; Socialism reaching out toward power through all central Europe; Woman Suffrage taking possession of northern Europe and western America and striding on from country to country, from state to state; a bloody and desperate people's revolution in Mexico; and a similar one of the Balkan peoples against Turkey! Individuals may possibly feel that some one or other of these steps was reckless, even perhaps that some may ultimately have to be retraced in the world's progress. But of their general glorious trend no man can doubt.
Were there no reactionary movements to warn us of the terrible reassertion of autocratic power so soon to deluge earth with horror? Yes, though there were few democratic defeats to measure against the splendid record of advance. Russia stood, as she has so long stood, the dragon of repression. In the days of danger from her own people which had followed the disastrous Japanese war, Russia had courted her subject nations by granting them every species of favor. Now with her returning strength she recommenced her unyielding purpose of "Russianizing" them. Finland was deprived of the last spark of independence; so that her own chief champions said of her sadly in 1910, "So ends Finland."
[Footnote 1: See The Crushing of Finland, page 47.]
In southern Russia the persecutions of the Jews were recommenced, with charges of "ritual murder" and other incitements of the ignorant peasantry to massacre. In Asia, Russia reached out beyond her actual territory to strangle the new-found voice of liberty in Persia. Russia coveted the Persian territory; Persia had established a constitutional government a few years before; this government, with American help, seemed likely to grow strong and assured in its independence. So Russia, in the old medieval lawlessness of power, reached out and crushed the Persian government. At this open exertion of tyranny the world looked on, disapproving, but not resisting. England, in particular, was almost forced into an attitude of partnership with Russia's crime. But she submitted sooner than precipitate that universal war the menace of which came so grimly close during the strain of the outbreaks around Turkey. The millennium of universal peace and brotherhood was obviously still far away. Not yet could the burden of fleets and armaments be cast aside; though every crisis thus overpassed without the "world war" increased our hopes of ultimately evading its unspeakable horror.
[Footnote 2: See Persia's Loss of Liberty, page 199.]
MAN'S ADVANCE IN KNOWLEDGE
Meanwhile, in the calm, enduring realm of scientific knowledge, there was progress, as there is always progress.
No matter what man's cruelty to his fellows, he has still his curiosity. Hence he continues forever gathering more and more facts explaining his environment. He continues also molding that environment to his desires. Imagination makes him a magician.
Most surprising of his recent steps in this exploration of his surroundings was the attainment of the South Pole in 1911. This came so swiftly upon the conquest of the North Pole, that it caught the world unprepared; it was an unexpected triumph. Yet it marks the closing of an era. Earth's surface has no more secrets concealed from man. For half a century past, the only remaining spaces of complete mystery, of utter blankness on our maps, were the two Poles. And now both have been attained. The gaze of man's insatiable wonderment must hereafter be turned upon the distant stars.
[Footnote 1: See Discovery of the South Pole, page 218.]
But man does not merely explore his environment; he alters it. Most widespread and important of our recent remodelings of our surroundings has been the universal adoption of the automobile. This machine has so increased in popularity and in practical utility that we may well call ours the "Automobile Age." The change is not merely that one form of vehicle is superseding another on our roads and in our streets. We face an impressive theme for meditation in the fact that up to the present generation man was still, as regarded his individual personal transit, in the same position as the Romans of two thousand years ago, dependent upon the horse as his swiftest mode of progress. With the automobile we have suddenly doubled, quadrupled the size of our "neighborhood," the space which a man may cover alone at will for a ramble or a call. As for speed, we seem to have succumbed to an actual mania for ever-increasing motion. The automobile is at present the champion speed-maker, the fastest means of propelling himself man has yet invented. But the aeroplane and the hydroplane are not far behind, and even the electric locomotive has a thrill of promise for the speed maniac.
[Footnote 2: See Man's Fastest Mile, page 73.]
In thus developing his mastery over Nature man sometimes forgets his danger, oversteps the narrow margin of safety he has left between himself and the baffled forces of his ancient tyrants, Fire and Water, Earth and Air. Then indeed, in his moments of weakness, the primordial forces turn upon him and he becomes subject to tragic and terrific punishment. Of such character was the most prominent disaster of these years, the sinking of the ocean steamer Titanic. The best talent of England and America had united to produce this monster ship, which was hailed as the last, the biggest, the most perfect thing man could do in shipbuilding. It was pronounced "unsinkable." Its captain was reckless in his confidence; and Nature reached down in menace from the regions of northern ice; and the ship perished. Since then another great ship has sunk, under almost similar conditions, and with almost equal loss of life.
[Footnote 1: See Tragedy of the Titanic, page 265.]
Oddly enough at the very moment when we have thus had reimpressed upon us the uncertainty of our outward mechanical defenses against the elements, we have been making a curious addition to our knowledge of inner means of defense. The science of medicine has taken several impressive strides in recent years, but none more suggestive of future possibilities of prolonging human life than the recent work done in preserving man's internal organs and tissues to a life of their own outside the body. Already it is possible to transfer healthy tissues thus preserved, or even some of the simpler organs, from one body to another. Men begin to talk of the probability of rejuvenating the entire physical form. Thus science may yet bring us to encounter as actual fact the deep philosophic thought of old, the thought that regards man as merely a will and a brain, and the body as but the outward clothing of these, mere drapery, capable of being changed as the spirit wills. There is no visible limit to this wondrous drama in which man's patient mastering of his immediate environment is gradually teaching him to mold to his purpose all the potent forces of the universe.
[Footnote 2: See Our Progressing Knowledge of Life Surgery, page 273.]
In this assurance of ultimate success, let us find such consolation as we may. Though world-war may continue its devastation, though its increasing horrors may shake our civilization to the deepest depths, though its wanton destruction may rob us of the hoarded wealth of generations and the art treasures of all the past, though its beastlike massacres may reduce the number of men fitted to bear onward the torch of progress until of their millions only a mere pitiable handful survive, yet the steps which science has already won cannot be lost. Knowledge survives; and a happier generation than ours standing some day secure against the monster of militarism shall continue to uplift man's understanding till he dwells habitually on heights as yet undreamed.
THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF GOVERNORS
A NEW MACHINERY ADDED TO THE FEDERAL FORM OF GOVERNMENT
WILLIAM G. JORDAN
The formal establishment of the "House of Governors," which took place in January of 1910, marked the climax of a definite movement which has swept onward through the entire history of the United States.
When in 1775 the thirteen American colonies made their first effort toward united action, they were in truth thirteen different nations, each possessed of differing traditions and a separate history, and each suspicious and jealous of all the others. Their widely diverging interests made concerted action almost impossible during the Revolutionary War. And when necessity ultimately drove them to join in the close bond of the present United States, their constitution was planned less for union than for the protection of each suspicious State against the aggressions of the others.
Gradually the spread of intercourse among the States has worn away their more marked differential points of character and purpose. Step by step the course of history has forced our people into closer harmony and union. To-day the forty-eight States look to one another in true brotherhood. And as the final bond of that brotherhood they have established a new organization, the House of Governors. This constitutes the only definite change made in the United States machinery of government since the beginning.
The House of Governors sprang first from the suggestion of William George Jordan, who was afterward appropriately selected as its permanent secretary. Hence we give here Mr. Jordan's own account of the movement, as being its clearest possible elucidation. Then we give a series of brief estimates of the importance of the new step from the pens of those Governors who themselves took part in the gathering. In their ringing utterances you hear the voice of North and South, Illinois and Florida, of East and West, Massachusetts and Oregon, and of the great central Mississippi Valley, all announcing the fraternizing influence of the new step.
Governor Willson, of Kentucky, chairman of the committee which arranged the gathering, in an earnest speech to its members declared that, "If this conference of Governors had been in existence as an institution in 1860, there would never have been a war between the States. The issues of the day would have been settled by argument, adjustment, and compromise." It would be hard to find stronger words for measuring the possible importance of the new institution.
WILLIAM G. JORDAN
The conference of the Governors at Washington this month marks the beginning of a new epoch in the political history of the nation. It is the first meeting ever held of the State Executives as a body seeking, by their united influence, to secure uniform laws on vital subjects for the welfare of the entire country. It should not be confused with the Roosevelt conferences of May and December, 1908. It is in no sense a continuation of them. It is essentially different in aim, method, and basis, and is larger, broader, and more far-reaching in its possibilities.
The nation to-day is facing a grave crisis in its history. Vital problems affecting the welfare of the whole country, remaining unsolved through the years, have at last reached an acute stage where they demand solution. This solution must come now in some form—either in harmony with the Constitution or in defiance of it. The Federal Government has been and still is absolutely powerless to act because of constitutional limitation; the State governments have the sole power, but heretofore no way has been provided for them to exercise that power.
Senator Elihu Root points out fairly, squarely, and relentlessly the two great dangers confronting the Republic: the danger of the National Government breaking down in its effective machinery through the burdens that threaten to be cast upon it; and the danger that the local self-government of the States may, through disuse, become inefficient. The House of Governors plan seems to have in it possibilities of mastering both of these evils at one stroke.
There are three basic weaknesses in the American system of government as we know it to-day. There are three insidious evils that are creeping like a blood-poison through the body politic, threatening the very life of the Republic. They are killing the soul of self-government, though perhaps not its form; destroying its essence, though perhaps not its name.
These three evils, so intertwined as to be practically one, are: the growing centralization at Washington, the shifting, undignified, uncertain status of State rights, and the lack of uniform laws.
It was to propose a possible cure for these three evils that the writer sent in February, 1907, to President Roosevelt and to the Governors of the country a pamphlet on a new idea in American politics. It was the institution of a new House, a new representation of the people and of the States to secure uniform legislation on those questions wherein the Federal Governments could not act because of Constitutional limitation. The plan proposed, so simple that it would require no Constitutional amendment to put it into effect, was the organization of the House of Governors.
More than thirty Governors responded in cordial approval of the plan. Eight months later, October, 1907, President Roosevelt invited the State Executives to a conference at Washington in May, 1908. The writer pointed out at that time what seemed an intrinsic weakness of the convention, that it could have little practical result, because it would be, after all, only a conference, where the Federal Government, by its limitations, was powerless to carry the findings of the conference into effect, and the Governors, acting not as a co-operative body, but as individuals, would be equally powerless in effecting uniform legislation. It was a conference of conflicting powers.
The Governors were then urged to meet upon their own initiative, as a body of peers, working out by united State action those problems where United States action had for more than a century proved powerless. At the close of the Roosevelt conference the Governors, at an adjourned meeting, appointed a committee to arrange time and place for a session of the Governors in a body of their own, independently of the President. This movement differentiated the proposed meeting absolutely from that with the President in every fundamental. It essentially became more than a conference; it meant a deliberative body of the Governors uniting to initiate, to inspire, and to influence uniform laws. The committee then named, consisting of three members, later increased to five, set the dates January 18, 19, and 20, 1910, for the first session of the Governors as a separate body.
WILLIAM G. JORDAN
[Footnote 1: Reproduced from The Craftsman of October, 1910, by permission of Gustav Stickley.]
When a new idea or a new institution confronts the world it must answer all challenges, show its credentials, specify its claims for usefulness, and prove its promise by its performance. As an idea the House of Governors has won the cordial approval of the American press and public; as an institution it must now justify this confidence. To grasp fully its powers and possibilities requires a clear, definite understanding of its spirit, scope, plan, and purpose, and its attitude toward the Federal Government.
The House of Governors is a union of the Governors of all the States, meeting annually in conference as a deliberative body (with no lawmaking power) for initiative, influence, and inspiration toward a better, higher, and more unified Statehood. Its organization will be simple and practical, avoiding red-tape, unnecessary formality, and elaborate rules and regulations. It will adopt the few fundamental expressions of its principles of action and the least number of rules that are absolutely essential to enunciate its plan and scope, to transmute its united wisdom into united action and to guarantee the coherence, continuity, and permanence of the organization despite the frequent changes in its membership due to the short terms of the Executives in many of the States.
With the House of Governors rests the power of securing through the cooperative action of the State legislatures uniform laws on vital questions demanded by the whole country almost since the dawn of our history, but heretofore impossible of enactment. The Federal Government is powerless to pass these laws. For many decades, tight held by the cramping bonds of Constitutional limitation, it has strained and struggled, like Samson in the temple, to find some weak spot at which it could free itself, and endangered the very supporting columns of the edifice of the Republic. It was bound in its lawmaking powers to the limitation of eighteen specific phrases, beyond which all power remained with the States and the people. In the matter of enacting uniform laws the States have been equally powerless, for, though their Constitutional right to make them was absolute and unquestioned, no way had been provided by which they could exercise that right. The States as individuals, passing their own laws, without considering their relation or harmony with the laws of other States, brought about a condition of confusion and conflict. Laws that from their very nature should be common to all of the States, in the best interests of all, are now divergent, different, and antagonistic. We have to-day the strange anomaly of forty-six States united in a union as integral parts of a single nation, yet having many laws of fundamental importance as different as though the States were forty-six distinct countries or nationalities.
Facing the duality of incapacity—that of the Government because it was not permitted to act and the States because they did not know how to exercise the power they possessed—the Federal Government sought new power for new needs through Constitutional amendments. This effort proved fruitless and despairing, for with more than two thousand attempts made in over a century only three amendments were secured, and these were merely to wind up the Civil War. The whole fifteen amendments taken together have not added the weight of a hair of permanent new power to the Federal Government. The people and the States often sleep serenely on their rights, but they never willingly surrender them, yet the surrender of a right is often the brave recognition of a higher duty, the fine assumption of a higher privilege. In many phases the need grew urgent, something had to be done. By ingeniously tapping the Constitution to find a weak place and hammering it thin by decisions, by interpretations, by liberal readings, by technical evasions and other methods, needed laws were passed in the interests of the people and the States. Many of these laws would not stand the rigid scrutiny of the Supreme Court; to many of them the Government's title may now be valid by a kind of "squatter's sovereignty" in legislation,—merely so many years of undisputed possession.
This was not the work of one administration; it ran with intermittent ebb and flow through many administrations. Then the slumbering States, turning restlessly in their complacency, at last awoke and raised a mighty cry of "Centralization." They claimed that the Government was taking away their rights, which may be correct in essence but hardly just in form; they had lost their rights, primarily, not through usurpation but through abrogation; the Government had acted because of the default of the States, it had practically been forced to exercise powers limited to the States because the States lapsed through neglect and inaction. Then the Government discovered the vulnerable spot in our great charter, the Achilles heel of the Constitution. It was just six innocent-looking words in section eight empowering Congress to "regulate commerce between the several States." It was a rubber phrase, capable of infinite stretching. It was drawn out so as to cover antitrust legislation, control and taxation of corporations, water-power, railroad rates, etc., pure-food law, white-slave traffic, and a host of others. But even with the most generous extension of this phrase, which, though it may be necessary, was surely not the original intent of the Constitution, the greatest number of the big problems affecting the welfare of the people are still outside the province of the Government and are up to the States for solution.
It was to meet this situation, wherein the Government and the States as individuals could not act, that the simple, self-evident plan of the House of Governors was proposed. It required no Constitutional amendment or a single new law passed in any State to create it or to continue it. It can not make laws; it would be unwise for it to make them even were it possible. Its sole power is as a mighty moral influence, as a focusing point for public opinion and as a body equal to its opportunity of transforming public opinion into public sentiment and inspiring legislatures to crystallize this sentiment into needed laws. It will live only as it represents the people, as it has their sympathy, support, and cooperation, as it seeks to make the will of the people prevail. But this means a longer, stronger, finer life than any mere legal authority could give it.
The House of Governors has the dignity of simplicity. It means merely the conference of the State Executives, the highest officers and truest representatives of the States, on problems that are State and Interstate, and concerted action in recommendations to their legislatures. The fullest freedom would prevail at all meetings; no majority vote would control the minority; there would have to be a quorum decided upon as the number requisite for an initial impulse toward uniform legislation. If the number approving fell below the quorum the subject would be shown as not yet ripe for action and be shelved. Members would be absolutely free to accept or reject, to do exactly as they please, so no unwilling legislation could be forced on any State. But if a sufficient number agreed these Governors would recommend the passage of the desired law to their legislatures in their next messages. The united effort would give it a greater importance, a larger dynamic force, and a stronger moral influence with each. It would be backed by the influence of the Governors, the power of public sentiment, the leverage of the press, so that the passage of the law should come easily and naturally. With a few States passing it, others would fall in line; it would be kept a live issue and followed up and in a few years we would have legislation national in scope, but not in genesis.
The House of Governors, in its attitude toward the Federal Government, is one of right and dignified non-interference. It will not use its influence with the Government, memorialize Congress, or pass resolutions on national matters. What the Governors do or say individually is, of course, their right and privilege, but as a body it took its stand squarely and positively at its first conference which met in Washington in January of this year as one of "securing greater uniformity of State action and better State Government." Governor Hughes expressed it in these words: "We are here in our own right as State Executives; we are not here to accelerate or to develop opinion with regard to matters which have been committed to Federal power." The States in their relation to the Federal Government have all needed representation in their Senators and Congressmen.
The attitude of the Governors in their conferences is one of concentration on State and Interstate problems which are outside of the domain and Constitutional rights of the Federal Government to solve. There can be no interference when each confines itself to its own duties. In keeping the time of the nation the Federal Government represents the hour-hand, the States, united, the minute-hand. There will be correct time only as each hand confines itself strictly to its own business, neither attempting to jog the other, but working in accord with the natural harmony wrapped up in the mechanism.
We need to-day to draw the sharpest clear-cut line of demarcation between Federal and State powers. This is in no spirit of antagonism, but in the truest harmony for the best interests of both. It means an illumination which will show that the "twilight zone," so called, does not exist. This dark continent of legislation belongs absolutely to the States and to the people in the unmistakable terms of the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution or prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States, respectively, and to the people." This buffer territory of legislation, the domain of needed uniform laws, belongs to the States and through the House of Governors they may enter in and possess their own. The Federal Government and the States are parts of one great organization, each having its specific duties, powers, and responsibilities, and between them should be no conflict, no inharmony.
Let the Federal Government, through Congress, make laws up to the very maximum of its rights and duties under the Constitution; let the States, taking up their neglected duties and privileges, relieve the Government of those cares and responsibilities forced upon it by the inactivity of the States and which it should never have had to assume. With the burden thus equitably readjusted, with the dignity of the two powers of Government working out their individual problems in the harmony of a fuller understanding, let us face the results. If it then seem, in the light of changed conditions from those of the time of the writing of the Constitution, that certain control now held by the States can not properly be exercised by them, that in final decision of the best wisdom of the people this power should be vested in the Federal Government, let the States not churlishly hold on to the casket of a dead right, but surrender the living body of a responsibility and a duty to the power best able to be its guardian. There are few, if any, of their neglected powers of legislation that the States and the people acting in cooperation, through the House of Governors, will not be able to handle.
Some of the subjects upon which free discussion tending toward uniform laws seems desirable are: marriage and divorce, rights of married women, corporations and trusts, insurance, child labor, capital punishment, direct primaries, convict labor and labor in general, prison reforms, automobile regulations, contracts, banking, conveyancing, inheritance tax, income tax, mortgages, initiative, referendum and recall, election reforms, tax adjustment, and similar topics. In great questions, like Conservation, the Federal Government has distinct problems it must carry out alone; there are some problems that must be solved by the States alone, some that may require to be worked out in cooperation. But the greatest part of the needed conservation is that which belongs to the States, and which they can manage better, more thoroughly, more judiciously, with stronger appeal to State pride, upbuilding, and prosperity, with less conflict and clearer recognition of local needs and conditions and harmony with them than can the Federal Government. Four-fifths of the timber standing in the country to-day is owned, not by the States or the Government, but by private interests.
The House of Governors will not seek uniformity merely for the sake of uniformity. There are many questions whereon uniform laws would be unnecessary, and others where it would be not only unwise, but inconceivably foolish. Many States have purely individual problems that do not concern the other States and do not come in conflict with them, but even in these the Governors may gain an occasional incidental sidelight of illumination from the informal discussion in a conference that may make thinking clearer and action wiser. The spirit that should inspire the States is the fullest freedom in purely State problems and the largest unity in laws that affect important questions in Interstate relations.
While uniform law is an important element in the thought of the Conference it is far from being the only one. The frank, easy interchange of view, opinion, and experience brings the Governors closely together in the fine fellowship of a common purpose and a common ideal. They are broadened, stimulated, and inspired to a keener, clearer vision on a wider outlook. The most significant, vital, and inspiring phases of these conferences, those which really count for most, and are the strongest guaranties of the permanence and power of this movement, must, however, remain intangible. This fact was manifest in every moment of that first Conference last January.
The fading of sectional prejudice in the glow of sympathetic understanding was clearly evident. Some of the Western Governors in their speeches said that their people of the West had felt that they were isolated, misrepresented, misunderstood, and misjudged; but now these Governors could go back to their States and their people with messages of good will and tell them of the identity of interest, the communion of purpose, the kinship of common citizenship, and the closer knowledge that bound them more firmly to the East, to the South, and to the North. Other Governors spoke of the facilitating of official business between the States because of these meetings. They would no longer, in correspondence, write to a State Executive as a mere name without personality, but their letters would carry with them the memories of close contact and cordial association with those whom they had learned to know. There was no faintest tinge of State jealousies or rivalry. The Governors talked frankly, freely, earnestly of their States and for them, but it was ever with the honest pride of trusteeship, never the petty vanity of proprietorship.
Patriotism seemed to throw down the walls of political party and partizanship and in the three days' session the words Republican or Democrat were never once spoken. The Governors showed themselves an able body of men keenly alive to the importance of their work and with a firm grasp on the essential issues. The meeting added a new dignity to Statehood and furnished a new revelation of the power, prestige, and possibilities of the Governor's office. The atmosphere of the session was that of States' rights, but it was a new States' rights, a purified, finer, higher recognition by the States of their individual right and duty of self-government within their Constitutional limitations. It meant no lessening of interest in the Federal Government or of respect and honor of it. It was as a family of sons growing closer together, strengthened as individuals and working to solve those problems they have in common, and to make their own way rather than to depend in weakness on the father of the household to manage all their affairs and do their thinking for them. To him should be left the watchfulness of the family as a whole, not the dictation of their individual living.
President Taft had no part in the Conference, but in an address of welcome to the Governors at the White House showed his realization of the vital possibility of the meeting in these words:
"I regard this movement as of the utmost importance. The Federal Constitution has stood the test of more than one hundred years in supplying the powers that have been needed to make the central Government as strong as it ought to be, and with this movement toward uniform legislation and agreement between the States I do not see why the Constitution may not serve our purpose always."
AUGUSTUS E. WILLSON
Governor of Kentucky
[Footnote 1: The following letters are reprinted by permission from a collection of such commentaries from Cottier's Weekly.]
President Roosevelt held two conferences of Governors, and as a member of a committee chosen to do so, I have invited the Governors of all of the States and Territories to meet at the White House in Washington, January 18th, 19th, and 20th.
The conference has no legal authority of any kind. At the previous conferences, the conservation subject was the one chiefly thought of, and it will be brought up in the next conference. The question of what the Governors will recommend on the income-tax constitutional amendment may come up. The matter of handling extradition papers is important. Uniform State laws on matters of universal interest, school laws, road laws, tax laws, commercial paper, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, etc.; the control of corporations, of which taxation is one branch, the action of the States in regard to water-powers within the States; marriage, divorce, wills, schools, roads, are all within the range of this conference, and the agreement of all of the Governors on some of these subjects, and by many of them on any, would be of useful influence.
The meeting has further interest and importance in being for two days in touch with the National Civic Federation, which will afford all of the Governors a chance to learn what that association of many of the most prominent men of this country is doing, and get the benefit of its discussions and the pleasure of being acquainted with many leaders of thought and action in the country, who will attend its sessions.
I am sure that I speak the sentiment of all of the Governors that they do not wish any legal power or any authority except that of the weight of their opinion as chosen State officers. They only wish the benefit of discussion of important subjects interesting to all of the States, and to establish kindly and mutually helpful relations between the Governors and the Governments of the States.
EBEN S. DRAPER
Governor of Massachusetts
I believe that a meeting of Governors may accomplish much good for every section of the country. They naturally can not legislate, nor should they attempt to. They can discuss and can learn many things which are now controlled by law in different States and which would be improvements to the laws of their own States; and they can recommend to the legislatures of their own States the enactment of laws which will bring about these improvements.
These Governors will be the forty-six [now forty-eight] representative units of the States of this great nation. By coming together they will be more than ever convinced that they are integral parts of one nation, and I believe their meeting will tend to remove all notions of sectionalism and will help the patriotism and solidarity of the country.
CHARLES S. DENEEN
Governor of Illinois
The conservation of natural resources often necessitates the cooperation of neighboring States. In such cases, the discussion of proposed conservation work by the representatives of the States concerned is of great importance. It brings to the consideration of these subjects the views and opinions of those most interested and best informed in regard to the questions involved.
The same is true in relation to many subjects of State legislation in which uniformity is desirable. This is especially the case with regard to industrial legislation. The great volume of domestic business is interstate, and the industrial legislation of one State frequently affects, and sometimes fixes, industrial conditions elsewhere. An example of the advantage of cooperation of States in the amendment and revision of laws affecting industry is seen in the agreement by the commissions recently appointed by New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to investigate the subjects of employers' liability and workmen's compensation to meet for the joint discussion of these matters. The General Assembly of Illinois is now convened in extraordinary session, and has under consideration the appointment of a similar commission in order that it may meet and cooperate with the commissions of the States named.
Along these and other similar lines it seems to me that the House of Governors will be of practical advantage in the beneficial influence it will exert in the promotion of joint action where that is necessary to secure desired ends.
FRANK W. BENSON Governor of Oregon
President Roosevelt rendered the American people a great service when he invited the Governors of the various States to a conference at the White House in 1908. The subject of conservation of our natural resources received such attention from the assembled Governors that the conservation movement has spread to all parts of the country, and has gained such headway that it will be of lasting benefit to our people. This one circumstance alone proves the wisdom of the conference of Governors, and it is my earnest hope that the organization be made permanent, with annual meetings at our national capital.
Such meetings can not help but have a broadening effect upon our State Executives, for, by interchanging ideas and by learning how the governments of other States are conducted, our Governors will gain experience which ought to prove of great benefit, not only to themselves, but to the commonwealths which they represent. Matters pertaining to interstate relations, taxation, education, conservation, irrigation, waterways, uniform legislation, and the management of State institutions are among the subjects that the conference of Governors will do well to discuss; and such discussions will prove of inestimable value, not only to the people of our different States, but to our country as a whole.
The West is in the front rank of all progressive movements and welcomes the conference of Governors as a step in the right direction.
ALBERT W. GILCHRIST
Governor of Florida
I can only estimate the significance and importance of this conference of Governors by my experience from such a conference in the past. It was my good fortune to be for a week last October on the steamer excursion down the Mississippi River. The Governors held daily conferences. Several elucidated the manner in which some particular governmental problems were solved in their respective States, all of which was more or less interesting. Of the several Federal matters discussed, it was specially interesting to me to hear the various Republican Governors discussing State rights, disputing the right of interference of the General Government on such lines. It "kinder" made me smile. In formal discussions of such matters in public, in Washington, it is probable that such expressions would not be made.
The result of this conference made me feel as if I knew the Governors and the people of the various States therein represented far better than I had before. Such discussions, with the attending personal intercourse, naturally tend to give those participating in them a broader nationality.
The House of Governors will convene; there will be many pleasant social functions and many pleasant associations will be formed. Some of the Governors will speak; all of them will resolute. They will behold evidences of the greatness of our common country and the evidence of the greatness of our public men, as displayed in the rollicking debates in the House, and the "knot on the log" discussions of the Senate. Everything will be as lovely as a Christmas tree. The House will then adjourn.
HERBERT S. HADLEY
Governor of Missouri
During recent years, the development of the National idea has carried with it a marked tendency on the part of the people to look to the National Government for the correction of all evils and abuses existing in commercial, industrial, and political affairs. The importance of the State Governments in the solution of such questions has been minimized, and, in some cases, entirely overlooked, although Congress has been behind, rather than in advance of, public sentiment upon many questions of national importance. The Congressmen are elected by the people of the different Congressional Districts, and regard their most important duty as looking after the interests of their respective districts. The United States Senators are elected by the legislatures of the several States, and do not feel that sense of responsibility to the people that is incident to an election by the people. The Governors of the various States are elected by all of the people of the State, and they are more directly "tribunes of the people" than any other officials, either in our National or State Governments. These officers will thus give a correct expression of the sentiment of the people of the States upon public questions.
While these expressions of opinion will naturally vary according to the sentiments and opinions of the people of the various States represented, yet, on the whole, they will represent more of progress and more of actual contact with present-day problems than could be secured from any similar number of public officials. And the addresses and discussions will also tend to mold the opinions of the people and have a marked influence not only upon State, but also upon National legislation.
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA A.D. 1910
PROF. STEPHEN LEACOCK
Few historical events have been so impressive as the sudden and complete union of the South-African States. Seldom have men's minds progressed so rapidly, their life purposes changed so completely. In 1902 England, with the aid of her African colonists in Cape Colony and Natal, was ending a bitter war, almost of extermination, against the Dutch "Boers" of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. In that year the ablest and most dreaded of England's enemies in Africa was the Dutch General, Louis Botha, leader of the fiercest and most irreconcilable Boers, who still waged a hopeless guerrilla warfare against all the might of the British Empire. As one English paper dramatically phrases it: "One used to see pictures of Botha in the illustrated papers in those days, a gaunt, bearded, formidable figure, with rifle and bandoliers—the most dangerous of our foes. To-day he is the chief servant of the King in the Federation, the loyal head of the Administration under the Crown, one of the half-dozen Prime Ministers of the Empire, the responsible representative and virtual ruler of all races, classes, and sects in South Africa, acclaimed by the men he led in the battle and the rout no less than by the men who faced him across the muzzles of the Mausers ten years ago. Was ever so strange a transformation, so swift an oblivion of old enmities and rancors, so rapid a growth of union and concord out of hatred and strife!"
Necessity has in a way compelled this harmony. The old issue of Boer independence being dead, new and equally vital issues confronted the South-Africans. The whites there are scarcely more than a million in number, and they dwell amid many times their number of savage blacks. They must unite or perish. Moreover, the folly and expense of maintaining four separate governments for so small a population were obvious. So was the need of uniform tariffs in a land where all sea-coast towns found their prosperity in forwarding supplies to the rich central mining regions of Kimberley and Johannesburg. Hence all earnest men of whatever previous opinion came to see the need of union. And when this union had been accomplished, Lord Gladstone, the British viceroy over South Africa, wisely selected as the fittest man for the land's first Prime Minister, General Botha. Botha has sought to unite all interests in the cabinet which he gathered around him.
The clear analysis of the new nation and its situation which follows is reproduced by permission from the American Political Science Review, and is from the pen of Professor Stephen Leacock, head of the department of Political Economy of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. A distinguished citizen of one great British federation may well be accepted as the ablest commentator on the foundation of another.
On May 31, 1910, the Union of South Africa became an accomplished fact. The four provinces of Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State (which bears again its old-time name), and the Transvaal are henceforth joined, one might almost say amalgamated, under a single government. They will bear to the central government of the British Empire the same relation as the other self-governing colonies—Canada, Newfoundland, Australia, and New Zealand. The Empire will thus assume the appearance of a central nucleus with four outlying parts corresponding to geographical and racial divisions, and forming in all a ground-plan that seems to invite a renewal of the efforts of the Imperial Federationist. To the scientific student of government the Union of South Africa is chiefly of interest for the sharp contrast it offers to the federal structure of the American, Canadian, and other systems of similar historical ground. It represents a reversion from the idea of State rights, and balanced indestructible powers and an attempt at organic union by which the constituent parts are to be more and more merged in the consolidated political unit which they combine to form.
But the Union and its making are of great interest also for the general student of politics and history, concerned rather with the development of a nationality than with the niceties of constitutional law. From this point of view the Union comes as the close of a century of strife, as the aftermath of a great war, and indicates the consummation, for the first time in history, of what appears as a solid basis of harmony between the two races in South Africa. In one shape or other union has always been the goal of South-African aspiration. It was "Union" which the "prancing proconsuls" of an earlier time—the Freres, the Shepstones, and the Lanyons—tried to force upon the Dutch. A united Africa was at once the dream of a Rhodes and (perhaps) the ambition of a Kruger. It is necessary to appreciate the strength of this desire for union on the part of both races and the intense South-African patriotism in which it rests in order to understand how the different sections and races of a country so recently locked in the death-struggle of a three years' war could be brought so rapidly into harmonious concert.
The point is well illustrated by looking at the composition of the convention, which, in its sessions at Durban, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein, put together the present constitution. South Africa, from its troubled history, has proved itself a land of strong men. But it was reserved for the recent convention to bring together within the compass of a single council-room the surviving leaders of the period of conflict to work together for the making of a united state. In looking over the list of them and reflecting on the part that they played toward one another in the past, one realizes that we have here a grim irony of history. Among them is General Louis Botha, Prime Minister at the moment of the Transvaal, and now the first prime minister of South Africa. Botha, in the days of Generals Buller and the Dugela, was the hardest fighter of the Boer Republic. Beside him in the convention was Dr. Jameson, whom Botha wanted to hang after the raid in 1896. Another member is Sir George Farrar, who was sentenced to death for complicity in the raid, and still another, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, once the secretary of the Reform League at Johannesburg and well known as the author of the "Transvaal from Within." One may mention in contrast General Jan Smuts, an ex-leader of the Boer forces, and since the war the organizing brain of the Het Volk party. There is also Mr. Merriman, a leader of the British party of opposition to the war in 1899 and since then a bitter enemy of Lord Milner and the new regime.
Yet strangely enough after some four months of session the convention accomplished the impossible by framing a constitution that met the approval of the united delegates. Of its proceedings no official journal was kept. The convention met first at Durban, October 12, 1908, where it remained throughout that month; after a fortnight's interval it met again at Capetown, and with a three weeks' interruption at Christmas continued and completed its work at the end of the first week of February. The constitution was then laid before the different colonial parliaments. In the Transvaal its acceptance was a matter of course, as the delegates of both parties had reached an agreement on its terms. The Cape Parliament passed amendments which involved giving up the scheme of proportional representation as adopted by the convention. Similar amendments were offered by the Orange River Colony in which the Dutch leader sympathized with the leader of the Afrikanderbond at the Cape in desiring to swamp out, rather than represent, minorities. In Natal, which as an ultra-British and ultra-loyal colony, was generally supposed to be in fear of union, many amendments were offered. The convention then met again at Bloemfontein, made certain changes in the draft of the constitution, and again submitted the document to the colonies. This time it was accepted. Only in Natal was it thought necessary to take a popular vote, and here, contrary to expectation, the people voted heavily in favor of union. The logic of the situation compelled it. In the history of the movement Natal was cast for the same role as Rhode Island in the making of the Federal Union of the United States of America. The other colonies, once brought together into a single system, with power to adopt arrangements in their own interests in regard to customs duties and transportation rates, sheer economic pressure would have compelled the adhesion of Natal. In the constitution now put in force in South Africa the central point of importance is that it established what is practically a unitary and not a federal government. The underlying reason for this is found in the economic circumstances of the country and in the situation in which the provinces found themselves during the years after the war. Till that event the discord of South Africa was generally thought of rather as a matter of racial rivalry and conflicting sovereignties than of simple questions of economic and material interests.
But after the conclusion of the compact of Vereiniging in 1902 it was found that many of the jealousies and difficulties of the respective communities had survived the war, and rested rather upon economic considerations than racial rivalries.
To begin with, there was the question of customs relations. The colonies were separate units, each jealous of its own industrial prosperity. Each had the right to make its own tariff, and yet the division of the country, with four different tariff areas, was obviously to its general disadvantage. Since 1903 the provinces had been held together under the Customs Union of South Africa—made by the governments of the Cape and Natal and the Crown Colony governments of the conquered provinces. This was but a makeshift arrangement, with a common tariff made by treaty, and hence rigidly unalterable, and with a pro-rata division of the proceeds.
Worse still was the railroad problem, which has been in South Africa a bone of contention ever since the opening of the mines of the Rand offered a rich prize to any port and railway that could capture the transit trade.
The essence of the situation is simple. The center of the wealth of South Africa is the Johannesburg mines. This may not be forever the case, but in the present undeveloped state of agriculture and industrial life, Johannesburg is the dominating factor of the country.
Now, Johannesburg can not feed and supply itself. It is too busy. Its one export is gold. Its quarter of a million people must be supplied from the outside. But the Transvaal is an inland country dependent on the seaports of other communities. In position Johannesburg is like the hub of a wheel from which the railways radiate as spokes to the seaports along the rim. The line from Cape Town to Johannesburg, a distance of over 700 miles, was the first completed, and until 1894 the Cape enjoyed a monopoly of carrying the whole trade of Johannesburg. But with the completion of the tunnel through the mountains at Laing's Nek the Natal government railway was able to connect with Johannesburg and the port of Durban entered into competition with the Cape Ports of Cape Town and East London over a line only 485 miles long.
Finally, the opening of the Delagoa Bay Railway in 1894 supplied Johannesburg with an access to the sea over a line 396 miles long, of which 341 was in the Transvaal itself. This last line, it should be noticed, led to a Portuguese seaport, and at the time of its building traversed nowhere British territory. Hence it came about that in the all-important matter of railroad communication the interests of the Transvaal and of the seaboard colonies were diametrically opposed.
To earn as large a revenue as possible it naturally adjusted the rates on its lines so as to penalize the freight from the colonies and favor the Delagoa Bay road. When the colonies tried in 1895 to haul freight by ox-team from their rail-head at the frontier to Johannesburg President Kruger "closed the drifts" and almost precipitated a conflict in arms. Since the war the same situation has persisted, aggravated by the completion of the harbor works and docks at Lorenzo Marques, which favors more than ever the Delagoa route. The Portuguese seaport at present receives some 67 per cent, of the traffic from the Rand, while the Cape ports, which in 1894 had 80 per cent, of the freight, now receive only n per cent.
Under Lord Milner's government the unification of the railways of the Transvaal and the Orange River colony with the Central South-African Railways amalgamated the interests of the inland colonies, but left them still opposed to those of the seaboard. The impossibility of harmonizing the situation under existing political conditions has been one of the most potent forces in creating a united government which alone could deal with the question.
An equally important factor has been the standing problem of the native races, which forms the background of South-African politics. In no civilized country is this question of such urgency. South Africa, with a white population of only 1,133,000 people, contains nearly 7,000,000 native and colored inhabitants, many of them, such as the Zulus and the Basutos, fierce, warlike tribes scarcely affected by European civilization, and wanting only arms and organization to offer a grave menace to the welfare of the white population. The Zulus, numbering a million, inhabiting a country of swamp and jungle impenetrable to European troops, have not forgotten the prowess of a Cetewayo and the victory of Isandhwana.
It may well be that some day they will try the fortune of one more general revolt before accepting the permanent over-lordship of their conquerors. Natal lives in apprehension of such a day. Throughout all South Africa, among both British and Dutch, there is a feeling that Great Britain knows nothing of the native question.
The British people see the native through the softly tinted spectacles of Exeter Hall. When they have given him a Bible and a breech-cloth they fondly fancy that he has become one of themselves, and urge that he shall enter upon his political rights. They do not know that to a savage, or a half-civilized black, a ballot-box and a voting-paper are about as comprehensible as a telescope or a pocket camera—it is just a part of the white man's magic, containing some particular kind of devil of its own. The South-Africans think that they understand the native. And the first tenet of their gospel is that he must be kept in his place. They have seen the hideous tortures and mutilations inflicted in every native war. If the native revolts they mean to shoot him into marmalade with machine guns. Such is their simple creed. And in this matter they want nothing of what Mr. Merriman recently called the "damnable interference" of the mother country. But to handle the native question there had to be created a single South-African Government competent to deal with it.
The constitution creates for South Africa a union entirely different from that of the provinces of Canada or the States of the American Republic. The government is not federal, but unitary. The provinces become areas of local governments, with local elected councils to administer them, but the South-African Parliament reigns supreme. It is to know nothing of the nice division of jurisdiction set up by the American constitution and by the British North America Act. There are, of course, limits to its power. In the strict sense of legal theory, the omnipotence of the British Parliament, as in the case of Canada, remains unimpaired. Nor can it alter certain things,—for example, the native franchise of the Cape, and the equal status of the two languages,—without a special majority vote. But in all the ordinary conduct of trade, industry, and economic life, its power is unhampered by constitutional limitations.
The constitution sets up as the government of South Africa a legislature of two houses—a Senate and a House of Assembly—and with it an executive of ministers on the customary tenure of cabinet government. This government, strangely enough, is to inhabit two capitals: Pretoria as the seat of the Executive Government and Cape Town as the meeting-place of the Parliament. The experiment is a novel one. The case of Simla and Calcutta, in each of which the Indian Government does its business, and on the strength of which Lord Curzon has defended the South-African plan, offers no real parallel. The truth is that in South Africa, as in Australia, it proved impossible to decide between the claims of rival cities. Cape Town is the mother city of South Africa. Pretoria may boast the memories of the fallen republic, and its old-time position as the capital of an independent state. Bloemfontein has the advantage of a central position, and even garish Johannesburg might claim the privilege of the money power. The present arrangement stands as a temporary compromise to be altered later at the will of the parliament.
The making of the Senate demanded the gravest thought. It was desired to avoid if possible the drowsy nullity of the Canadian Upper House and the preponderating "bossiness" of the American. Nor did the example of Australia, where the Senate, elected on a "general ticket" over huge provincial areas, becomes thereby a sort of National Labor Convention, give any assistance in a positive direction. The plan adopted is to cause each present provincial parliament, and later each provincial council, to elect eight senators. The plan of election is by proportional representation, into the arithmetical juggle of which it is impossible here to enter. Eight more senators will be appointed by the Governor, making forty in all. Proportional representation was applied also in the first draft of the constitution to the election of the Assembly.
It was thought that such a plan would allow for the representation of minorities, so that both Dutch and British delegates would be returned from all parts of the country. Unhappily, the Afrikanderbond—the powerful political organization supporting Mr. Merriman, and holding the bulk of the Dutch vote at the Cape—took fright at the proposal. Even Merriman and his colleagues had to vote it down.
Without this they could not have saved the principle of "equal rights," which means the more or less equal (proportionate) representation of town and country. The towns are British and the country Dutch, so the bearing of equal rights is obvious. Proportional representation and equal rights were in the end squared off against one another.
South Africa will retain duality of language, both Dutch and British being in official use. There was no other method open. The Dutch language is probably doomed to extinction within three or four generations. It is, in truth, not one linguistic form, but several: the Taal, or kitchen Dutch of daily speech, the "lingua franca" of South Africa; the School Taal, a modified form of it, and the High Dutch of the Scriptural translations brought with the Boers from Holland. Behind this there is no national literature, and the current Dutch of Holland and its books varies some from all of them. English is already the language of commerce and convenience. The only way to keep Dutch alive is to oppose its use. Already the bitterness of the war has had this effect, and language societies are doing their best to uphold and extend the use of the ancestral language. It is with a full knowledge of this that the leaders of the British parties acquiesced in the principle of duality.
The native franchise was another difficult question. At present neither natives nor "colored men" (the South-African term for men of mixed blood) can vote in the Transvaal, the Orange River, and Natal. Nor is there the faintest possibility of the suffrage being extended to them, both the Dutch and the British being convinced that such a policy is a mistake. In the Cape natives and colored men, if possessed of the necessary property and able to write their names, are allowed to vote. The name writing is said to be a farce, the native drawing a picture of his name under guidance of his political boss. Some 20,000 natives and colored people thus vote at the Cape, and neither the Progressives nor the Bond party dared to oppose the continuance of the franchise, lest the native vote should be thrown solid against them. As a result each province will retain its own suffrage, at least until the South-African Parliament by a special majority of two-thirds in a joint session shall decide otherwise.
The future conformation of parties under the union is difficult to forecast. At present the Dutch parties—they may be called so for lack of a better word—have large majorities everywhere except in Natal. In the Transvaal General Botha's party—Het Volk, the Party of the People—is greatly in the ascendant. But it must be remembered that Het Volk numbers many British adherents. For instance, Mr. Hull, Botha's treasurer in the outgoing Government, is an old Johannesburg "reformer," of the Uitlander days, and fought against the Boers in the war. In the Orange Free State the party called the Unie (or United party) has a large majority, while at the Cape Dr. Jameson's party of progressives can make no stand against Mr. Merriman, Mr. Malan, Mr. Sauer, and the powerful organization of the Afrikanderbond.
How the new Government will be formed it is impossible to say. Botha and Merriman will, of course, constitute its leading factors. But whether they will attempt a coalition by taking in with them such men as Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and Dr. Jameson, or will prefer a more united and less universal support is still a matter of conjecture. From the outsider's point of view, a coalition of British and Dutch leaders, working together for the future welfare of a common country, would seem an auspicious opening for the new era. But it must be remembered that General Botha is under no necessity whatever to form such a coalition. If he so wishes he can easily rule the country without it as far as a parliamentary majority goes. Not long since an illustrious South-African, a visitor to Montreal, voiced the opinion that Botha's party will rule South Africa for twenty years undisturbed. But it is impossible to do more than conjecture what will happen. Ex Africa semper quid novi.
Most important of all is the altered relation in which South Africa will now stand to the British Empire.
The Imperial Government may now be said to evacuate South Africa, and to leave it to the control of its own people. It is true that for the time being the Imperial Government will continue to control the native protectorates of Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. But the Constitution provides for the future transfer of these to the administration of a commission appointed by the colonial Government. Provision is also made for the future inclusion of Rhodesia within the Union. South Africa will therefore find itself on practically the same footing as Canada or Australia within the British Empire. What its future fate there will be no man can yet foretell. In South Africa, as in the other Dominions, an intense feeling of local patriotism and "colonial nationalism" will be matched against the historic force and the practical advantages of the Imperial connection. Even in Canada, there is no use in denying it, there are powerful forces which, if unchecked, would carry us to an ultimate independence. Still more is this the case in South Africa.
It is a land of bitter memories. The little people that fought for their republics against a world in arms have not so soon forgotten. It is idle for us in the other parts of the Empire to suppose that the bitter memory of the conflict has yet passed, that the Dutch have forgotten the independence for which they fought, the Vier Klur flag that is hidden in their garrets still, and the twenty thousand women and children that lie buried in South Africa as the harvest of the conqueror. If South Africa is to stay in the Empire it will have to be because the Empire will be made such that neither South Africa nor any other of the dominions would wish to leave it. For this, much has already been done. The liberation of the Transvaal and Orange River from the thraldom of their Crown Colony Government, and the frank acceptance of the Union Constitution by the British Government are the first steps in this direction. Meantime that future of South Africa, as of all the Empire, lies behind a veil.
PORTUGAL BECOMES A REPUBLIC A.D. 1910
The wave of democratic revolt which had swept over Europe during the first decade of the twentieth century was continued in 1910 by the revolution in Portugal. This, as the result of long secret planning, burst forth suddenly before dawn on the morning of October 4th. Before nightfall the revolution was accomplished and the young king, Manuel, was a fugitive from his country.
The change had been long foreseen. The selfishness and blindness of the Portuguese monarchs and their supporters had been such as to make rebellion inevitable, and its ultimate success certain. Mr. William Archer, the noted English journalist, who was sent post-haste to watch the progress of the revolution, could not reach the scene before the brief tumult was at an end; but he here gives a picture of the joyous celebration of freedom that followed, and then traces with power and historic accuracy the causes and conduct of the dramatic scene which has added Portugal to the ever-growing list of Republics.
When the poet Wordsworth and his friend Jones landed at Calais in 1790 they found
"France standing on the top of golden years And human nature seeming born again."
Not once, but fifty times, in Portugal these lines came back to my mind. The parallel, it may be said, is an ominous one, in view of subsequent manifestations of the reborn French human nature. But there is a world of difference between Portugal and France, between the House of Braganza and the House of Bourbon.
It was nearly one in the morning when my train from Badajoz drew into the Rocio station at Lisbon; yet I had no sooner passed the barrier than I heard a band in the great hall of the station strike up an unfamiliar but not unpleasing air, the rhythm of which plainly announced it to be a national anthem—a conjecture confirmed by a wild burst of cheering at the close. The reason of this midnight demonstration I never ascertained; but, indeed, no one in Lisbon asks for a reason for striking up "A Portugueza," the new patriotic song. Before twenty-four hours had passed I was perfectly familiar with its rather plaintive than martial strains, suited, no doubt, to the sentimental character of the people. An American friend, who arrived a day or two after me, made acquaintance with "A Portugueza" even more immediately than I did. Soon after passing the frontier he fell into conversation with a Portuguese fellow traveler, who, in the course of ten minutes or so, asked him whether he would like to hear the new national anthem, and then and there sang it to him, amid great applause from the other occupants of the compartment. In the cafes and theaters of Lisbon "A Portugueza" may break out at any moment, without any apparent provocation, and you must, of course, stand up and uncover; but there is in some quarters a movement of protest against these observances as savoring of monarchical flunkyism. When I left Lisbon at half-past seven A.M. there was no demonstration such as had greeted my arrival; but at the first halting-place a man stepped out from a little crowd on the platform and shouted "Viva Machado dos Santos! Viva a Republica Portugueza!"—and I found that the compartment adjoining my own was illumined by the presence of the bright particular star of the revolt. At the next station—Torres Vedras of historic fame—the platform was crowded and scores of red and green flags were waving. As the train steamed in, two bands struck up "A Portugueza," and as one had about two minutes' start of the other, the effect was more patriotic than harmonious. The hero had no sooner alighted than he was lifted shoulder-high by the crowd, and carried in triumph from the station, amid the blaring of the bands and the crackling of innumerable little detonators, which here enter freely into the ritual of rejoicing. Next morning I read in the papers a full account of the "Apoteose" of Machado dos Santos, which seems to have kept Torres Vedras busy and happy all day long.
One can not but smile at such simple-minded ebullitions of feeling; yet I would by no means be understood to laugh at them. On the contrary, they are so manifestly spontaneous and sincere as to be really touching. Whatever may be the future of the Portuguese Republic, it has given the nation some weeks of unalloyed happiness. And amid all the shouting and waving of flags, all the manifold "homages" to this hero and to that, there was not the slightest trace of rowdyism or of "mafficking." I could not think without some humiliation of the contrast between a Lisbon and a London crowd. It really seemed as though happiness had ennobled the man in the street. I am assured that on the day of the public funeral of Dr. Bombarda and Admiral dos Reis, though the crowd was enormous and the police had retired into private life, there was not the smallest approach to disorder. The police—formerly the sworn enemies of the populace—had been reinstated at the time of my visit, without their swords and pistols; but they seemed to have little to do. That Lisbon had become a strictly virtuous city it would be too much to affirm, but I believe that crime actually diminished after the revolution. It seemed as though the nation had awakened from a nightmare to a sunrise of health and hope.
And the nightmare took the form of a poor bewildered boy, guilty only of having been thrust, without a spark of genius, into a situation which only genius could have saved. In that surface aspect of the case there is an almost ludicrous disproportion between cause and effect. But it is not what the young King was that matters—it is what he stood for. Let us look a little below the surface—even, if we can, into the soul of the people.
Portugal is a small nation with a great history; and the pride of a small nation which has anything to be proud of is apt to amount to a passion. It is all the more sensitive because it can not swell and harden into arrogance. It is all the more alert because the great nations, in their arrogance, are apt to ignore it.
What are the main sources of Portugal's pride? They are two: her national independence and her achievements in discovery and colonization.
A small country, with no very clear natural frontier, she has maintained her independence under the very shadow of a far larger and at one time an enormously preponderant Power. Portugal was Portugal long before Spain was Spain. It had its Alfred the Great in Alfonso Henriques (born 1111—a memorable date in two senses), who drove back the Moors as Alfred drove back the Danes. He founded a dynasty of able and energetic kings, which, however, degenerated, as dynasties will, until a vain weakling, Ferdinand the Handsome, did his best to wreck the fortunes of the country. On his death in 1383, Portugal was within an ace of falling into the clutches of Castile, but the Cortes conferred the kingship on a bastard of the royal house, John, Master of the Knights of Aviz; and he, aided by five hundred English archers, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Spaniards at Aljubarrota, the Portuguese Bannockburn. John of Aviz, known as the Great, married Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt; and from this union sprang a line of princes and kings under whom Portugal became one of the leading nations of Europe. Prince Henry the Navigator, son of John the Great, devoted his life to the furthering of maritime adventure and discovery. Like England's First Lords of the Admiralty, he was a navigator who did not navigate; but it was unquestionably owing to the impulse he gave to Portuguese enterprise that Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India and Pedro Alvarez Cabral secured for his country the giant colony of Brazil. Angola, Mozambique, Diu, Goa, Macao—these names mean as much for Portugal as Havana, Cartagena, Mexico, and Lima, for Spain. The sixteenth century was the "heroic" age of Portuguese history, and the "heroes"—notably the Viceroys of Portuguese India—were, in fact, a race of fine soldiers and administrators. No nation, moreover, possesses more conspicuous and splendid memorials of its golden age. It was literally "golden," for Emmanuel the Fortunate, who reaped the harvest sown by Henry the Navigator, was the wealthiest monarch in Europe, and gave his name to the "Emmanueline" style of architecture, a florid Gothic which achieves miracles of ostentation and sometimes of beauty. As the glorious pile of Batalha commemorates the victory of Aljubarrota, so the splendid church and monastery of Belem mark the spot where Vasco da Gama spent the night before he sailed on his epoch-making voyage. But it was not gold that raised the noblest memorial to Portugal's greatness: it was the genius of Luis de Camoens. If Spenser, instead of losing himself in mazes of allegoric romance, had sung of Crecy and Agincourt, of Drake, Frobisher, and Raleigh, he might have given us a national epic in the same sense in which the term applies to The Lusiads. With such a history, so written in stone and song, what wonder if pride of race is one of the mainsprings of Portuguese character!