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wages much lower and provisions much
higher than in Kansas. Clothing was
cheaper but boots and shoes higher and
even the wagons had a special tax.

Mr. Betton thinks the experienced com-
missioners are tending more and more to
thoroughness in the presentation of clear
cut facts for the use of others. Other
countries regard our work in this line as a
means of safety and are copying us as
shown by the fact that the French have
sent a man to America for the purpose of
investigation in this line, though no for-
eign bureau can compete with the poorest
American bureau. England and Belgium
have both made a start.

The Kansas department has published
six annual reports consisting of 2126 pages
in which "Wages," "Cost of Living,"
"Railroads," and kindred subjects are
treated. Special investigations have been
recently made concerning child labor,
railroad employes, the zinc industry, the
eight hour law, and the union as compared
with the non-union workingmen.

This information has been gleaned by
the aid of the mail and through personal
visits. The commissioner has sought
voluntary information only, though the
law empowers him to demand information
under oath. It has been his experience
and that of most of the bureaus that pre-
judice against them gradually declines.

Mr. Betton was asked if he thought
there had been any decline in Kansas
farm wages the past few years and ans-
wered no. The question was also raised
whether or not wages differed materially
in northern and southern England, but it
remained unsettled- Mr. Betton certainly



SEMINAR V NO TES.



135



gave in his, paper some good illustrations
of the proper use of statistics and it was
especially appreciated by those pursuing
statistical studies.

D. E. Potter, Reporter.



Paper' Money.

9 MY ^ ^ regular meeting of the Seminary,
V^^ on February 19th, the subject of
Paper Money was taken up and discussed
by the students.

Mr. Miller read a paper on the History
of Paper Money in the United States.
The chief points emphasized by him were:
In 1690 the colonies were preparing an
expedition against Canada, and money
was needed to carry on the campaign.
To provide the necessary funds, the issue
of ^7,000 in paper money was made, the
first bills of credit ever issued in America.
By partial redemption and by promises of
complete payment in the future, the cur-
rency was kept at par for twenty years.
Encouraged by this success, the colonies
began the issue of bills of credit in large
quantities. Depreciation set in, and the
money became worthless. In 1721 the
English Parliament passed an act prohib-
iting the further issue of paper money in
the colonies. The French and Indian war
brought more of these notes into circula-
tion, and Parliament repeated its action
in 1765.

The needs resulting from the Revolution
forced the colonies to take recourse again
to paper currency. Immense amounts of
continental money were put out, but soon
became worthless, despite the efforts of
the continental congress.

In 1862 congress again authorized the
issue of notes on the credit of the govern-
ment, and declared them legal tender.
They soon depreciated in value, but the
limited number of them put in circulation
saved them from sinking into complete
.worthlessness.
' In 1869 congress passed an act promis-
ing to pay in coin all out-standing notes.
A bill of 1874 provided that, after 1879,
all legal tender notes should be redeemed



in coin. Greenbacks soon rose to par
value, at which they have since remained.

Mr. Raymond next read a paper on the
Sub-Treasury Loan Scheme. He said
the late movement of the People's Party
has set the farmers to thinking as never
before, but it has caused them to develop
extreme ideas. It has taught them to
criticise all existing institutions. The Uni-
versity, even, has not been free from their
criticism, being actually accused of refusing
admittance to the literature of the people's
party. The University always welcomes
either party papers or documents which set
forth new ideas or theories.

The platform of the Cincinnati conven-
tion states that there is not enough money
in circulation to transact business; that
money is not a measure of value. Wheth-
er it be gold, silver or paper, it is the
stamp of the government which makes it
money; therefore congress should issue
sufficient currency to allow free transac-
tion of business. The establishment of
a bureau, under the supervision of the
Comptroller of the Treasury, is demanded.
There shall be sub-agencies in the various
states, through which money is to be loaned
on real estate, not to exceed two-thirds the
value of the property, at one per cent,
per annum. This one per cent, would be
sufficient to pay the government for the
expense of the agencies. Storehouses
shall be erected at the expense of the
government, in which non-perishable goods
may be stored and money borrowed on
them at two per cent. By this means the
government would absorb a large part of
the loan business, and would force the rate
of interest to decrease.

Mr. Noble read a paper on credit, the
substance of which is: Wealth is power
in exchange. There is no such thing as
absolute wealth, since demand alone makes
it. Credit is the belief in future ability
to pay. A debt is not money owed, but a
moral bond to pay money in the future.
It does not represent goods but obligation.
It is wealth so long as it has power in ex-
change, and when it yields profit it be-



136,



SEMINARY NOTES.



comes capital. Credit is a circulating
medium as well as money. Gold is not
wealth in the mines, but becomes wealth
only after it has been brought out and
coiiied. Credit, when it is used, is the
same as gold, and is wealth as long as it
is good.

Capital is an economic quantity used
for-profit. Value is the ratio in which
weaith exchanges. Demand for produce,
not labor, gives value; that cost of pro-
duction is the cause of value is to be re-
jected. Money represents purchase value.
It. is credit in as much as at it has pur-
chase value. That money represents com-
modities, however, has been disproven.
The issue of paper money is always dan-
gerous, and when carried to excess, is
disastrous in its results.

After the papers, a spirited discussion
took -place, in which all of the papers
received some sharp criticism. The sub-
ject was evidently one which aroused the
interest of Kansas students, and likewise
a subject upon which every student had
an opinion. At the close of hour the
Seminary adjourned to meet in one week.
Walter Truitt, Reporter.

The Geographic Distribution of
Brains.

gnpHE Seminary was called to order



February 26, by Professor Black-
mar. After the reading of the minutes of
the last meeting and a few introductory
remarks, Hon. B. W. Woodward was in-
troduced and read a paper on "The
Geographic Distribution of Brains." He
said: "The object of this paper surely comes
within the confines of the Seminary, The
' Distribution of Wealth ' has always been
a favorite topic of political economy, and
certainly brains are a more or less impor-
tant factor in the production of wealth, as
well as literature, art and a great many
other things. A great painter once ob-
served that he 'mixed his colors with
brains.' Brains, for instance, are certain-
ly, to be ranked among the three essentials
of a university. Beside the minor adjuncts
there are at least three indispensables
towards success, viz. : an endowment,
(ireek letter snciL'(ics. and brains.



"In the discussion of this theme I shall
have the advantage of the work of Henry
Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, in a
kindred topic, 'The Distribution of Abil-
ity in the United States.' The subject,
however, is not original with Mr. Lodge,
as he has followed a writer in the
nineteenth century, who estimated the
distribution of ability by counties through-
out England.

'A time there was ere England's woes began
When every rood of earth maintained its man.'

" This assertion has been controverted
and it may also be possible that Mr.
Lodge and the nineteenth century writer
may also not be infallible. Of course the
first thing that strikes me as peculiar to
this inquiry, is that ability is something
tangible, something entirely definite and
tangible, something that can be bought
and sold. Most people who possess it
have bought ability through education
and experience, and it scarce came as an
inheritance or at any stated time in their
history.

"According to Mr. Lodge there is always
a place where you can find ability, and
that is in Appleton's biographical diction-
ar)^ There are the men who possessed it
within the era of American history and
their number is just 14,243. What is
ability, anyway ? Shall we say it is capa-
city put in action? It is either native or
acquired — the result of heredity or envi-
ronment. If of heredity, then by Mr.
Lodge's definition the native state of the
forefather should own the credit thereof
rather than that of the man himself. But
which was the native state of the ancestor ?
But if the ability was acquired then the
state in which he acquired it should per-
haps have the credit rather than that of
his accidental nativity."

These quotations, taken from portions
of the paper, will suffice to indicate the
interesting manner in which the subject
matter was disposed of. The reporter
found himself unable to condense Mr.
Woodward's terse statements, and has
therefore preferred to give a few quota-
tions. The paper criticised thoroughly
the idea that there is any good statistical
proof of a marked geographic distribution
of brainSj and the speaker thoroughly con-
vinced his hearers of their own possible
greatness.

E. VV. Palmer, Reporter.



SEMINARY NOTES.



137



THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE.



rPHE approach of each presidential
SM election revives the discussion of



revives

our method of electing a president. There
is a wide-spread feeling that some change
in this matter is desirable. But we are
much like the Irishman in the story who
could not mend his roof when it rained
and would not when the weather was fine.
Every four years we discuss the necessity
of change and, as soon as an election is
over, drop the subject.

The electoral college prescribed by the
constitution was adopted after long debate.
Six methods of choosing the president were
discussed: ist, by the people at large;
2d, by the state legislatures; 3d, by the
state governors; 4th, by the national leg-
islature; 5th, by electors chosen by lot,
and 6th, by electors chosen in such manner
as the legislature of each state may direct.
Direct election by the people and election
by the legislature were the methods most
discussed, as was natural, since these were
the methods prescribed at the time by the
state constitutions for the choice of the
state governors. But neither plan satis-
fied the convention, and the suggestion of
an electoral college was adopted late in
the session as a happy solution of the
problem. In advocating the ratification
of the constitution, Hamilton remarked in
the "Federalist," that the provision for
choosing the chief magistrate was almost the
only part of the instrument favorably
received by those opposed to its adoption.
Strangely enough this provision, so favor-
ably received by all parties, proved in
practice to be its most conspicuous failure.
The idea that no one man could be well
enough known to the people was thought
to be a decisive objection to popular
election. The plan was that each state
should choose as electors men entitled to
their confidence and that they should act



upon their individual judgments in the
choice of a president. Almost from the
outset the plan failed. The electors were
expected to register the choice of the
people in their respective states and the
college became a superfluous piece of
machinery. It is as a general rule that a
constitution is to be construed with a view
to the intention of its framers. The
above facts have been recounted in sup-
port of the opinion that this rule does not
apply in the present instance. The inten-
tion of the framers cannot by any possi-
bility be carried out. It is therefore open
to us to adopt such methods as are most
expedient under our present circum-
stances. To avoid the difficult process of
amendment, it is only necessary that such
change be brought within the letter of the
law.

The constitution left many of the details
of the presidential election undecided.
The legislature of each state was to de-
termine the method of choosing the electors.
In a very few states they were elected by
the legislature itself. South Carolina
clung to this method for special reasons
until the war. Colorado exercised it in
1876 for want of time to call an election.
It was probably not the intention of the
framers, as they rejected the proposal that
the state legislature should elect directly
and it is therefore not probable that the
state legislature should elect directly and
it is therefore not probable that they
expected them to do so indirectly. The
plan has never met with popular favor.
So far as the constitution implies anything,
it implies that choice of electors shall be
by the people of each state and nearly all
the states acted upon this supposition.
More than half a dozen states provided
for elections by districts, so that the vote
of the state could be divided and the



138



SEMINAR V NO TES.



minority given a voice, and this plan was
not abandoned until 1832. Benton stren-
uously advocated general adoption of this
system. But the larger number of states
provided for choice of electors on general
ticket, so that the vote of each state i^
cast as a unit, and this plan has secured
general adoption.

The constitution made no provision for
nomination because no such thing was
contemplated. During the first decades
of the century a right to nominate was
assumed by a congressional caucus. The
system violated the spirit of the constitu-
tion, for, since senators and representatives
could not be electors, it was inconsistent
that they should name the candidates. It
was unpopular because it limited the
choice by the people. After a time the
convention system, intended to voice
the popular will, became established.
These provisions for the choice of electors
and the nomination of candidates indicate
that the people mean to secure to them-
selves the election of the president. The
problem would therefore seem to be under
what conditions can this best be done
under existing provisions of the constitu-
tion and, if it cannot be done as the consti-
tution now stands, what amendment is
desirable?

Elections, as now carried on, turn upon
the vote of a few pivotal states. Undue



importance is given these states and can-
didates are nominated solely because it is
expected they can carry them. Roughly
a vote in one state should count for as
much as a vote in another. Under the
present system, a single vote may nullify
those of half a million in one state while
in an adjoining one a majority of 100,000
counts for no more than a majority of one.
In a word, in this governmentof the people,
the nomination to the highest office is
dictated and the election decided by the
vote of a single city, mashalled by a
corrupt machine and debauched by an
immense municipal patronage.

What is the remedy? That nearest at
hand and easiest of adoption would seem
to be the return to the earlier system of
choosing electors by districts. This step
has recently been taken in Michigan.
Adopted in a single or a few states, the
effect is to divide the vote of those states
and lessen their importance in the elec-
toral college. Adopted in all the states
the effect would be to give to the same
number of votes wherever cast an equal
weight, to destroy undue importance now
attaching to particular states, to purify
elections by removing the temptation to
resort to fraud and bribery in a few places,
to elevate the presidency by calling for
nominations that would command the
respect of the whole country.



SEMINA RY NO TES.



139



- SEM INARY - NOTES. -

PUBLISHED ON THE FIRST DAY OF OCTOBER,

NOVEMBER, DECEMBER, FEBRUARY,

MARCH, APRIL AND MAY,

BY

the seminary of

Historical and Political Science.

State University, Lawrence, Kansas.

Frank W. Blackmar. \

Frank H. Hodder, C ~ ' ' Editors.

Ephraim D. Adams, j

Terms, Ten Cents a Number, - Fifty Cents a Year

^?^HE purpose of this publication is to increase the
fw) interest in the study of historical science in the
^^ University and throughout the State, to afford
means of regular communication with corresponding
members of the Seminary and with the general pub-
lic—especially with the Alumni of the University, and
to preserve at least the outlines ot carefully prepared
papers and addresses. The number of pages in each
issue will be increased as rapidly as the subscription
list will warrant. The entire revenue of the publi-
cation will be applied to its maintenance.
Address all subscriptions and communications to
F. W. BLACKMAK,

Lawrence, Kansas.

The article which appears in this num-
ber of Seminary Notes on the work of
Bureaus of Labor Statistics was read by
Hon. Frank H. Betton before the Semi-
nary, and was listened to with much
interest. Mr. Betton was the first com-
missioner of the Kansas bureau, and the
high position held by Kansas publications
on labor questions is due almost entirely
to his energy and persistence.



At a meeting of the Seminary on Feb-
ruary 26, Hon. B; W. Woodward presented
a paper on the "Geographic Distribution
of Brains," which was both entertaining
and instructive. On account of lack of
space the paper could not be printed in
full in this number. A report of it is to
be found under the heading "Seminary
Reports," and the paper itself will probably
appear in our next issue.



the Notes would be glad to hear from
any of our Kansas teachers who have
further suggestions to offer upon this
subject. At present the requirements in
history for entrance to our universities in
the United States are somewhat low, but
they must remain so just so long as our
high schools are regarded as independent
factors in education. Every year, how-
ever brings a more complete realization
of the idea that the universities hold the
same relations to the high schools which
the latter hold to the grammar schools.
The essential elements of at least general
history should be taught before entrance
into any university. The great difficulty
at present seems to be the one stated by
Mr. Johnson, of harmonizing history
courses for students who are preparing
for university work and for those who
intend to cease study upon leaving the
high school. Another difficulty, until the
last few years, lay in the fact that it was
hard to get text-books suited for high
school work. It was difficult to find a
book in which the style was simple, yet
not childish, and which presented a judi-
cious selection of important dates and
facts, while at the same time being so
written as to awaken thought in the mind
of the scholar. Most of our book firms
have, however, recognized the necessity
for such books, and have met the difficulty
in recent publications. The editors of the
Notes repeat that they will welcome any
suggestions which Kansas teachers may
make upon this subject.



The article which appears in this num-
ber on the study of history in high schools
contains many valuable suggestions, and



The latest thing in European politics
comes in the shape of reports of rioting
in the streets of Berlin and speculations
as to the probable effect these riots will
have upon the attitude of the government
toward the socialist party. The present
government, following the young Emper-
or's curious combination policy of abso-
lutism and liberalism, has been much more
lenient with the extremists than was the
government of Bismarck. It remains to
be seen whether repressive measures will



140



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



follow. From the reports in the papers it
would seem that the riots were largely the
result of a temporary unusual lack of
work in the cities, and that the regular
workingmen were not the leaders in the
trouble. Such a cause might lead to a
serious attack upon the government in
other countries perhaps, but it is hardly
to be believed that the time has come for
it in Germany. The spirit of national
pride is too strong as yet to permit
Germany as a whole to attempt the over-
throw of the institutions of the fatherland.
Of course the followers of Bismarck point
to these riots as the result of the new
policy.

The suddenness of Bismarck's fall from
power and the ease with which he seems
to have passed from our view as a political
possibility, is a curious commentary upon
the wisdom of those politico-historical
writers who are wont to decide future
history for us by an analysis of the char-
acter of individuals. Such a writer may be
successful in forecasting some unexpected
event or succession of events, or on the
other hand the probability which he, as
well as others, feel sure of, may utterly
fail to materialize. One of the most
interesting illustrations of this was Sir
Charles Dilke's estimate, as given in a
series of articles published in the Fort-
nightly Revieiii in 1887, of two noted men
in France and Germany respectively,
General Boulanger and Prince Bismarck.

Sir Charles Dilke has been regarded
for many years as one of the first author-
ities on European relations, even surpass-
ing Edward Freeman in his intimate
knowledge of men and parties of all
nations. In making a statement with
regard to the future policy and position
of France, he asserted that there was in
France no man so likely, or so able, to
assume the position of Dictator, in the
event of a successful war with Germany,
as General Boulanger, and also that, in
the event of continued peace, there was



no man so likely to attempt to defeat the
government and to establish himself in
power by constitutional means as General
Boulanger. In the latter event the pro-
phecy was made that the attempt would
fail. Now it is to be remembered that
although General Boulanger at this time
held the position of minister of war, he
was just beginning to excite attention, and
that in France, among politicians, the
mention of his name was "attended with a
smile." His attempt, his failure, and his
recent suicide are still fresh in the minds
of all, and there is no necessity for com-
ment to indicate the remarkable insight
of Sir Charles Dilke into both the char-
acter of the man, and the temper of the
French nation.

On the other hand, in discussing the
future policy of Germany, the same writer
expressed most positively the opinion that
so long as Bismarck lived the policy of
Germany would be the policy of Bismarck,
and that in the event of his death, the
power would pass into the hands of his
son. Moreover, he was of the opinion that,
in case the then ruling Emperor William
I should die, the Crown Prince, athough
generally supposed to be somewhat anti-
Bismarckian, would retain the services of
so able a minister as Bismarck, while in
the event of his death, and the accession
to the throne of his son (the present Em-
peror) Bismarck would undoubtedly be
retained in power, inasmuch as the young
Prince was his most devoted admirer.
From this Sir Charles drew the conclusion
that the policy of Germany could be
counted on as a certainty in considering
the future relations of European nations.
Just the reverse has happened. The
Prince of "pronounced Bismarckian ten-
dency" has become Emperor; Bismarck
has been deprived of power; and it is the
uncertain policy of Germany to-day that
is so anxiously watched by other nations.

That the expulsion of the Jews from
Russia is likely to have some bearing on
international relations is rapidly being



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



141



realized throughout Europe. England,
for example, although at first posing as a
haven for an oppressed race, is beginning
to feel somewhat toward the Jews as does
the United States toward the subject of
"assisted" immigration. Another phase
of the question which has just come out
is that Austria regards the expulsion of
the Jews by Russia as a possible threat
directed at her. It is a well known fact
that the Jews of the border land between
Austro-Hungarian and Russian provinces
have been the most effective of Austrian
spies upon Russian military manoeuvres,
and Russian plans for frontier protection.
Prince Bismarck once said that the Polish



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 23 of 62)