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Features of Society

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" Ancient and Medieval Republics.'



Providence :




OP Swindon, Wilts, England, and formerly of
Aberdeen, Scotland,
These Thoughts are Inscribed,

By His Son,


Copyright, 1885, by Henry Mann.


Of British birth and training, I began to reside
in New England at an age sufficiently mature for
the memories of the Old World to be enduring,
while my mind was yet plastic enough to receive
fair and unprejudiced impressions of the New.
The following pages, therefore, so far as they
apply to New England, are not the crude com-
ments of a sojourner, or the hasty observations
of a traveler. They are the fruit of thought and
of experience, on the farm, in the office, in the
court, in all the varied phases of life of which
an employe in journalism is a witness, and often
a part. The articles in reply to Mr. Mallock's
work on Property and Progress appeared origi-
nally as editorial contributions in the columns of
the Providence yoiirnaL

iv Preface.

I take the opportunity to thank the critics of
the press, at home and abroad, who reviewed
my former work on Ancient and Medimval Re-
-publics^ and I think it due to myself to add a
brief explanation. The writer of the very cour-
teous and intelligent criticism in the New York
Star did me the honor to suggest that I had
consulted Mr. Lecky's History of European
Morals, I simply reply that I never read a line
of Mr. Lecky's most interesting volumes until
after my own book was in type. I make the
same answer to the suggestion of the World in
regard to Sir Henry Sumner Maine. This con-
fession is perhaps not to my credit ; but it is none
the less true. Whether the ideas in Ancient and
MedicBval Refuhlics were valuable or poor, they
were at least original ; and I can say the same

of this little book.

The Author.

North Providence, R. I., May 15, A. D. 1885.



Communism not an American Question,

An Exotic in England,

Weakness of Mr. Mallock's Case,

Labor and Capital,

Population and Subsistence,

Motives for Emigration, .

The English Food Supply,

Property and Poverty,

The State as Landlord,







The Owners of the Land, i?

Interesting Figures, 19

Aristocratic Incomes, ....... 21

Advantages of Land-Ownership, 22

The Throne and the People, 24

Comparison of Incomes, ....••• 25

The Question at Issue, . . . . . • .26

Popular Sentiment, ......•• 28

Primogeniture and Entail, ...... 29

Comfort and Agitation, 3^




Office Open to All, ....

Native Dislike of the Irish,

The English in New England, .

English Labor Agitators, .

Native Prejudice against the English,

The Scotch in New England, .

The Germans, .....

The French-Canadians — The Negro,

New England Impressions of the Negro,

Discrimination against the Colored Race,

Morality among the Negroes, .

An Aristocracy of Workers,

Gold not Alone a Key, . . . ,

American Exclusiveness, . . . .






Pride of Ancestry,
The Farming Influence,
Individuality and Self-Reliance,
Gnarled and Knotty Families, .
The Farmer's Dwelling,
How Farmers Live, .
A Darker Phase of Country Life,
Out-of-the-way Homes,
Causes of Degradation,


Private Graveyards, ....... 64

History in Headstones, ....... 67




A Delicate Subject, 69

Social Sentiment, 70

Motives for Prevention, . 71

An Injury to the State, 72

No Prospect of Reform, 73


The Domestic Equality of Woman,
Abuse of the Divorce Laws,
Benefits of Liberal Divorce,
Drunkenness and Divorce,
Crusade against Divorce, .
Baneful Effects of Divorce,
Evils and Proposed Remedies,
A Flagrant Instance,
Room for Improvement, .





Hell an Obsolete Terror,
The Clergy and Politics,
How Pulpits are Filled,
Moulders of Education,
Church Association, .
Influence of the Church,
Hypocrites and Iconoclasts,







Pretended Mediums, .
Advanced Spiritualists,
Origin of Spiritualism,
Yearning for the Unseen, .
Skepticism and Spiritualism,


1 02

A Reply to Mr. Mallock;

Communism can hardly be called an American
question. No sentiment is more deepl}^ im-
planted in the native American breast than re-
spect for the rights of property. The leveling
philosophy of Hegel, and the Utopian dreams of
Bakunin find but fev^ disciples among the de-
scendants of the Pilgrims, and it is not difficult
to account for this healthy state of public opin-
ion. There can be no doubt here about the title
of the freeholder to his estate. Here there are
no abject and subordinate cultivators, with the
w^rongs of centuries rankling in their hearts, and
w^ith the ever-present know^ledge that the earn-
ings of their labor go to support an idle landlord

* Property and Progress, or a Brief Inquiry into Contemporary Social
Agitation in England. By W. H. Mallock. New York: G. P. Put-
nam's Sons.

2 Comniunisjii N^ot aii American Question.

in baronial splendor. The man who tills the
soil owns the soil, and every stone which he ex-
tracts from the field, every stump which his oxen
uproot, represents an addition to his personal
wealth. The idea that he should share his es-
tate with others seems to him too absurd for ar-
gument, and the advocate of such a revolution
he regards as either mildly insane or wittingly
dishonest. Communism can take no hold upon
a people whose possessions have been acquired
and developed by centuries of rugged toil, who
call no man master, and whose happy mediocrity
of condition induces contentment and stability, as
well as a wholesome distrust of novelty. It is
in this deeply implanted New England rever-
ence for established institutions that the hope for
the future of America rests. Before it the pesti-
lential vapor of socialism, borne across the At-
lantic from the squirming and steaming masses
of Europe, disappears like a plague befoi'e a puri-
fying flame, and, whatever may be the outcome
of the struggle, in its various forms, now going
on between the upper and lower orders in the
mother continent, in the United States the found-

An Exotic in England.

ations of society are likely to remain firm and

The subject of Mr. Mallock's work may there-
fore be regarded as strictly foreign. In conti-
nental Europe, communism is a reality, formid-
able to the aged Emperor of Germany, notwith-
standing his chancellor and his armies ; terrible
in the form of Nihilism to the Czar of Russia,
not safe from its machinations in the palace or
on the public street, and, it may be said, holding
his life and his crown by the forbearance of the
conspirators who deprived his father of both. In
England, communism is an exotic ; but, accord-
ing to Mr. Mallock, it is taking root, and Mr.
George's work, on Progress and Poverty., is
becoming the social gospel of multitudes of the
working classes. Mr. Mallock attempts to re-
fute the theories of Mr. George with cold, analyt-
ical reasoning, and he refines to absurdity, in
the crucible of accomplished criticism, the broad
and brilliant assertions of the socialistic aposde.
But, unfortunately for the effect of Mr. Mallock's
well-rounded and euphonious periods, the fact
that Mr. George's arguments may be ill-founded

Weakness of Mr. Matlock's Case.

and untenable does not establish a sound defence
for his clients, the property -holding nobility and
gentry of England. When he quotes,to prove what
he calls the grotesque character of the socialistic
doctrine of the inalienable right of the people to
the land, the case of the island of Rum, whose
three hundred inhabitants — all but twelve —
were expelled in order that the island might be
turned into a deer forest for an Englishman, to
prove that, if the expulsion had never taken
place, the inhabitants would have multiplied, in
the course of 3'ears, to such an extent that the
surplus would have had to emigrate, and that,
therefore, the right to their native shore could
not have been inalienable, he brings the more
vividly to mind the atrocious manner in which
British land-owners have in the past abused the
right of property, which, largely in consequence
of such abuse, is now questioned and assailed.
" Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just,"
says England's greatest poet, and the weakness of
Mr. Mallock's plea is not in its ingenuity or
ability so much as in the iniquity of the English
tenure of land, and of the methods by which a

Weakness of Mr. Mallock's Case.

very large proportion of the land was acquired
by the ancestors of the proprietors, and in the
game laws which still debar the English work-
ingman from the invigorating sport of the chase
in the forest which adjoins his village, and from
adding to his larder a rabbit or a hare, under
penalty of arrest as a criminal ; and, on the other
hand, the influence of the teachings of Mr.
George and of Mr. Hyndman on the lower
classes of the Enghsh people, is not because the
latter have not the intelligence and discernment
to appreciate the fallacy of the theories pro-
pounded, but because they keenly feel the injus-
tice of the existing system, and are ready to ac-
cept the panacea of the quack, when they cannot
obtain the prescription of a regular doctor.
When an advocate deliberately waives, as Mr.
Mallock does, the issues of fact and of equity,
and bases his argument on abstract reasoning,
he may convince the head, but he cannot the
heart, of the judicial tribunal of the world's
opinion, and in the mighty impulses which
cruide the destiny of nations, the heart is above
the head.

Labor a7id Capital.

Mr. Mallock shows wisdom in recognizing the
strength of the enemy, because, as he states,
*' since action in modern poHtics so largely de-
pends on the people, the mildest errors are grave,
if they are only sufficiently popular. For prac-
tical purposes no proposals are ridiculous unless
they are ridiculous to the mass of those who act
upon them ; in any question in which the people
are powerful, no fallacy is refuted, if the people
still believe in it," and Mr. Mallock admits the
widespread and spreading popularity of Mr.
George's proposal for the confiscation of landed
estates. He first takes up Mr. George's proposi-
tion that *' the laboring class creates its own wages
as it receives them ; it being wholly false that
wages are drawn from capital." This proposi-
tion hardly needs the elaborate and finical refu-
tation which Mr. Mallock devotes to it. It is
evident that in New England, for instance, the
capital of the manufacturer is invested in his fac-
tory of cotton or wool, the machinery which it
contains, and the material with which to begin
manufacture. The skill and labor of the oper-
atives convert that material into an article for

Labor and Capital. 7

sale, and the money received for it comes back
to pay the wages of the operatives, the other
running expenses, and, if anything is left over,
the profits of the manufactm-er on his invested
capital. It is not, therefore, wholly false, as
Mr. George asserts, that wages are drawn from
capital ; for, while the laboring class by its
own labor creates its own wages as it receives
them, it does so with the aid of capital, in the
form of the tools with which the wage-produc-
ing material is manufactured. It is true that
the village blacksmith, making his own horse-
shoes with iron bought with his own money,
and receiving into his hands the price of his
labor, creates his own earnings as he receives
them, and to him Mr. George's proposition would
correctly apply ; but it would not apply to the
great multitude of workers, employed in aggre-
gated masses in the manufacturing establish-
ments of New and Old England. Labor is the
vitalizing principle ; without it, capital would be
inert and non-productive : but without capital,
also, the labor and skill of the vast majority of
men and women who depend for their bread and

Popiytlatioji arzd Subsistence.

clothing on wages to be earned, would be equally
non-productive .

The next proposition, that "population does
not increase faster than do the means of subsist-
ence, and thus the current explanations of pov-
erty are no explanations at all," is the more
plausible because it is partly true. It is true
that a few colonists starting in a new^ country
would not be able to produce the same propor-
tion of the necessaries of life for their subsist-
ence that their more numerous descendants,
with increased facilities and diversity of industry
and of commerce, would be able to obtain and
enjoy. The history of all colonial enterprises
goes to prove this. It is also true, as Mr. George
avers, that " while all through the vegetable and
animal kingdoms the limit of subsistence is inde-
pendent of the thing subsisted, with man the
limit of subsistence is, within the final limits of
earth, air, water, and sunshine, dependent upon
man himself," but it is not true that as men mul-
tiply they widen, -pari fassii^ the limits of their
subsistence, and will continue to do so until
every mile of the earth is peopled. Mr. Mallock

]\Iotives for Emigration.

points out that it by no means follows, because
the limits of subsistence are elastic, that very
great pressure may not be required to stretch
them ; but he fails to point out the also evident
fact that with the majority of mankind, as in
India and China, the tendency of the people is
not to press beyond the bounds within which
comfortable subsistence has ceased to be possible,
but to remain and grovel upon the soil which
hardly yields them a daily morsel, and where
frequent famines, claiming victims by the thou-
sands, and sometimes by millions, attest the inad-
equacy of nature to provide for the wants of the
children of earth. Where population has sprea^,
it has ordinarily been attributable to other causes
than a seeking for mere subsistence. The pil-
grim could have lived in England, the Huguenot
in France, the Spaniard and Portuguese in their
native peninsula, had their remaining been only
a question of food, but religious belief compelled
the former, as a thirst for riches impelled the
latter, to seek in strange lands that which they
could not enjoy at home. Indeed, the history of
civilization nowhere contains a record of the ex-

lo Motives for Emigration.

pulsion or emigration of any large body of peo-
ple on account of inability to obtain enough to
eat in the countr}" of their origin, while among
the barbarous tribes in the period of the Roman
republic and empire, before capital and private
proprietorship of land were known to the ances-
tors of English-speaking races, such emigrations
were frequent, and sometimes resulted in the
destruction of the emigrants by the inhabitants
of the more fortunate countries invaded by the
savage communists, and sometimes in victory for
the invaders, whereupon the communists from
the forests soon developed into landed proprie-
tors, as jealous of their rights and privileges as
the people whom they had conquered.

Mr. Mallock, in endeavoring to show the fal-
lacious character of Mr. George's implied asser-
tion that want cannot be caused by the pressure
of population, appears to err as much on one
side as Mr. George on the other. He says :

** Of all other countries, England and America
are, perhaps, the two which are now most
closel}^ connected ; but the connection was not
established without infinite pain and effort, and

The Ejiglish Food Supply. 1 1

it costs constant effort every day to maintain it.
All we need here speak of is the question of the
American food supply. This reaches England
only through the most complex and delicate
machinery, which was slow in construction,
which is easy to derange, which it is possible
to ruin, and which it is difficult to add to. Eng-
land only gets from America because it gives to
America, and what it gets depends, not on what
America grows, but on what Americans desire
of the things that England makes. Thus, so
far as Englishmen subsist on the produce of
American corn-fields, it is not the extent of the
corn-fields that forms the limit of this existence,
but the wants and the tastes of the Americans,
as related to England's powers of supplj^ing
them. Now, such wants and tastes are of all
things the most liable to vary. There may be a
point beyond which they cannot shrink, as there
is certainly a point beyond which they cannot
expand ; but though they may never entirely
disappear, yet any day they might dwindle, and
did they dwindle, what w^ould happen is obvious.
The limits of subsistence for England would be

1 2 Property and Poverty.

suddenly narrowed, and the population of Eng-
land would at once be pressing against them."

All of which may be agreed to, with the quali-
fication that, but for the reservation of large
tracts of land from cultivation and from cattle-
raising in northern as well as southern Britain,
and but for the laws which prevent the soil from
being cut up, as in France, into numerous small
proprietorships, the population of the British Isles
would be, if not independent as to food supply,
at least very near to independence, and would
not be in peril of " pressing against the limits of
subsistence " upon every mutation of taste or
tariff in America.

And this brings us to the most important of
Mr. George's propositions, and Mr. Mallock's
form of refuting it — that private property in
land causes poverty, and that therefore the land
should be confiscated for the public benefit by
taxation that would leave to the nominal proprie-
tor only a sufficient amount to compensate him
as an agent of the state, in the collection
of rents for the state. As I have indicated in
my introductory remarks, it is difficult for an

Property and Poverty. 13

American to appreciate the force with which this
proposition presents itself to the minds of the
Enghsh working classes, for the reason that the
conditions here and there are so ditierent. Here
ownership is almost uniformly coupled with occu-
pation, and, in the rural districts, with cultiva-
tion ; there it is not. The owner receives and
enjoys, and expends but little in proportion in the
locality from whence he drawls his income. Ab-
sentee landlordism is not confined to Ireland, and
not infrequently an English squire has owed his
defeat for Parliament to his neglect of the local
tradesmen. The sweeping evictions in Scotland,
immortalized in the pathetic strains of " Locha-
ber no more," have left a brand upon the popu-
lar memory that ages will not efface, while the
existence of almost impassable barriers between
title and wealth on the one side, and respectable
labor on the other, causes an irritation which is
growing more inflammatory with years. Not
that the English workingman is disloyal to his
country or his sovereign, but he can see no rea-
son why the space between the throne and the
people should be fllled with an aristocracy?

14 The State as Landlord,

with coronets and titles, and vested privileges,
and extensive landed possessions, instead of, as
in America, the higher positions in life being oc-
cupied by men who have earned their promotion
by their toil, by their energy and by their excep-
tional ability. It is not strange, therefore, that
Mr. George's assaults upon property, which
seem to us here so absurd as to be unworthy of
refutation, are regarded as dangerous by one of
the most accomplished of critics, and that the
valuable pages of the ^tarterly Review are de-
voted to his reply. Mr. Mallock demonstrates
very clearly that Mr. George's scheme to make
the landlords middlemen for the state, by taxing
them up to, or nearly up to, the rentable value
of their estates, would not benefit the general
public, for the state would simply take the place
of the landlord, and, it may be added, would
probably be more severe in the collection of
rents, for it is admitted in a quotation by Mr.
George himself from Miss C. G. O'Brien's article
on "The Irish Land Qiiestion'' in the nine-
teenth Century^ that " an aristocracy, such as
that of Ireland, has its virtues as well as its

The State as Landlord. 15

vices, and is influenced by sentiments which do
not enter into mere business transactions — sen-
timents which must often modify and soften
the calculations of cold self-interest." The
same may be said of the English aristocracy,
and while there may be instances of harshness
and oppression, the tenant of the English land-
owner is doubtless more pleasantly situated than
he would be as tenant of the soulless and inexor-
able state. Besides, it is impossible to see how
the poor would be helped by such a change of
tenure ; for, as Mr. George proposes that the
property should be let to the highest bidder, the
man without a shilling, or a. hundred shillings,
would be as much shut out from competition as
he is to-day.


From Abstract Reasoning to Facts,

When Mr. Mallock leaves the domain of ab-
stract and speculative reasoning in his confuta-
tion of Mr. George to try issues of fact with Mr.
Hyndman, he appears at once at a serious disad-
vantage, for it is manifest that he is either igno-
rant of the subject with which he is dealing, or
presumes ignorance in his readers, and delib-
erately endeavors to deceive them. Mr. Mallock
quotes from the New Domesday Book to prove
that the agricultural soil of Great Britain is not
practically owned by 30,000 persons, as Mr.
Hyndman asserts, and to show that " the classes
of smaller land-owners are not far off from a mil-
lion." We will give his own words and figures :
''The landed aristocracy, all told," he says,
" number about five thousand. Just below them
come 4,800 owners with estates that average

The Owners of the Land. 17

700 acres; then come 32,000, with estates that
average 300 acres; then come 32,000, with es-
tates that average 200 acres; then 25,000, with
estates that average seventy acres ; and then
72,000 with estates that average forty acres, the
total number of the smaller rural proprietors
being thus not less than 133,000. Finally, there
come the urban and suburban proprietors — the
latter with their four acres, the former with their
fourth of an acre — and the number of these is
820,000." Now, in this list of proprietors no
distinction is drawn between copy-holders and
free-holders, or between these and lease-holders,
and any one acquainted with the conditions on
which English urban and suburban property is
usually held, cannot doubt that the large major-
ity of possessors are not free-holders, or owners
in the real sense, but lease-holders, the fee re-
maining in the landlord. Again, it has been
demonstrated that the New Domesday Book is
untrustworthy in other important statements.
An extent of 2,781,063 acres, a very large pro-
portion belonging, it is reasonably certain, to
great land-owners, is not included in its tables.

i8 The Owners of the Lajid.

while the whole metropolis, with its enormous
rentals and vast estates, is also excluded.
Again, church lands are entered as the property
of individuals in occupancy, and the names of
large land-owners are multiplied according to the
counties in which they happen to own property,
the 525 members of the peerage standing, ac-
cording to Mr. Arthur Arnold, for upwards of
1,500 owners. Making due allowance for these
errors, the Hon. George C. Brodrick, in his
work on English Land and English Land-
lords^ estimates that "not more than 4,000
persons, and probably considerably less than
4,000 persons, owning estates of 1,000 acres and
upwards, possess in the aggregate an extent of
nearly 19,000,000 acres, or about four-sevenths
of the whole area included in the Domesday
Book returns. If we now subtract the owners of
between 1,000 and 2,000 acres, who ostensibly
number 2,719, and must really number as much
as 1,750, we find that a landed aristocracy
consisting of about 2,250 persons own together

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