Copyright
Charles Henry Ham.

Manual training : the solution of social and industrial problems online

. (page 21 of 30)
Online LibraryCharles Henry HamManual training : the solution of social and industrial problems → online text (page 21 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


what you have borrowed, and the expense of the cocked hats besides.

"That is 'financiering,' my friends, as the mob of the money-
makers understand it. And they understand it well. For that id



290 MANUAL TRAINING.

population is, therefore, its labor class. All other classes
depend upon it, and all national triumphs spring from it.
Hence a drain upon the labor class of a nation is a drain
upon its most vital resource. The nation that suffers
such a drain continuously is in its decadence. It loses
some of its vigor, some of its productive power, and the
loss is not supplied. True, the poor emigrant takes with
him no part of the splendors of the country he leaves,
but his brawny arm and skilled hand have contributed to
the support of national pomp and social elegance, and as
he steps aboard the steamer he withdraws that support
forever.

Napoleon the Infamous plundered the conquered cap-
itals of Europe to beautify and enrich the art treasuries
of Paris. The art treasures of Europe are destined to
cross the ocean, in the track of the column of emigration,
if the flower of her labor class continues to flee from her
standing armies and navies, as the statues of Rome fol-
lowed the army of the modern Caesar. For where the
flower of the world's labor class gathers, there wealth
most abounds. Labor, not gold and silver, not land, is
the source of wealth, hence it is to the laborer that art
triumphs are due, and this is the order of their devel-
opment. The laborer provides for immediate, pressing
wants; he is prudent, and accumulates a surplus; he
hungers for education ; he develops a love of the beauti-

what it always comes to, finally taking the peasant by the throat.
He must pay for he only can. Food can only be got out of the
ground, and all these devices of soldiership, and law, and arithmetic,
are but ways of getting at last down to him, the furrow-driver, and
snatching the roots from him as he digs." " Fors Clavigera," Part
II., p. 27. By John Ruskin, LL.D. New York: John Wiley &
Sons, 1882.



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 291

ful ; he seeks to dignify his life and adorn his home ; he
patronizes art ; he draws to himself the art treasures of
the world.

The standing armies and navies of Europe have cost
the European laborer the sacrifice of all these pleasing
and noble aspirations. Beyond the point of providing
for " immediate pressing wants " he has not been able
to pass. His surplus goes to the tax-gatherer, to feed
and clothe the army and the navy. His desire for edu-
cation, his love of the beautiful, his hope of a digni-
fied life, and of a home adorned by art these all are
dreams, illusions, which vanish into thin air in the pres-
ence of the substantial fact of the annual European bud-
get for the support of the standing armies and navies
$700,000,000 !

In the way of the payment of the national debts of
Europe her standing armies and navies rear themselves
like an impassable wall. Against any general education-
al system they have hitherto constituted an insurmounta-
ble barrier ; and in the future, as in the past, their main-
tenance dooms the masses to illiteracy. They stand in
the way especially of the incorporation, in the curricu-
lum of the public schools, of the manual element in edu-
cation, because it is the most expensive, as it is the most
important part of instruction.

Germany affords an admirable example of the power
of education, even though defective in character, and of
the disgust with which standing armies inspire an intel-
ligent people. The Germans are the best-educated peo-
ple in Europe. The educational system of Germany was
established by Prussia as a politico - economic measure
after the humiliation of the German States by Bona-
parte. Said Frederick "William, " Though territory, pow-

13



392 MANUAL TRAINING.

er, and prestige be lost, they can be regained by ac-
quiring intellectual and moral power." The outcome
of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 verified the truth
of this prediction. Her freedom from debt enabled
Prussia to inaugurate and carry forward a comprehen-
sive educational system, which in turn enabled her not
only to vanquish her ancient enemy, but to make France
pay the cost of her own humiliation. Thus at a single
stroke Prussia avenged the defeats suffered at the hands
of the first Napoleon, and permanently weakened France
by compelling her vastly to increase her national debt.

The alacrity with which the French people subscribed
for the new bonds was much remarked upon, at the time,
as evincing both financial soundness and patriotism. But
the really grave feature of the situation the vast aug-
mentation of the public burdens of France was scarcely
mentioned, and was, perhaps, philosophically considered
only by that astute statesman, Prince Bismarck. The
war with Germany cost France $2,000,000,000, and com-
pelled an enormous increase of taxation. The debt state-
ment for 1877 was $4,635,000,000 the expenditures
$533,000,000 ; and of this latter sum $373,000,000 were
absorbed by the army, the navy, and the national debt !

The significant feature of the European situation is
the freedom from debt of Germany. It is by virtue of
this fact that she holds the first place in Europe. Her
rate of taxation is as low as that of little Switzerland.
All the other Great Powers are hampered by great debts.
Spain is bankrupt ; she does not pay the interest on her
debt. Austria increases her debt every year ; she is prac-
tically bankrupt. It is only a question of time, if stand-
ing armies and navies continue to be maintained and
wars to occur, when all the debtor nations will be re-



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 393

duced to bankruptcy.* The nation sinks as the column
of debt rises. France cannot double her debt again and
make her people pay interest on it. England draws
from her people a larger per capita revenue than any
other nation of Europe, and she has nearly touched the
limit of their capacity to pay taxes. A sudden and con-
siderable increase of her debt would strain the Govern-
ment, and might shatter it.

Thus, the more searching the analysis of the Euro-
pean situation, the more clear does the exceptional
strength of Germany appear. But out of her abundant
strength a weakness has been evolved. The system of
education that rendered the Germans so powerful against
France as soldiers, has made them thoughtful citizens.
It has revolutionized the public sentiment of Germany
on the subject of government. In the place of passion
it has substituted reason. The Prussian "subject" for
whom the king thought, has become a German citizen
who thinks for himself, and one of his earliest reflec-
tions is that, in modern civilization, a standing army is a
solecism. The ignorant Prussian hated the French be-
cause hatred of them was enjoined upon him as the cor-
relative of the duty of blind devotion to his king. But
the educated German knows that the sole motive of the
continuance of the standing army is the maintenance of
the balance of power, which is merely a tacit agree-
ment between the European rulers, by divine right, to
perpetuate their own lease of power. Hence the "in-



* " The progress of the enormous debts which at present oppress,
and will in the long run probably ruin, all the great Nations of Eu-
rope, has been pretty uniform." " Wealth of Nations," Vol. III., p.
392. By Adam Smith, LL.D., F.R.S. Edinburgh, 1819.



294 MANUAL TRAINING.

tellectual and moral power " conferred upon the German
people, by education, reacts upon Germany in the form
of a drain of the flower of her population by emigra-
tion.

The citizenship of Germany is more valuable, in an
economic sense, than that of any other country of Eu-
rope more valuable because Germany is the most pow-
erful nation of the European family of States; more
valuable because of them all she alone is free from debt ;
more valuable by reason of her more moderate scale of
taxation. But she still furnishes the heaviest contingent
to the columns of emigration steadily moving towards
the United States. In a word, the most valuable citi-
zenship in Europe that of Germany is least regarded
and most freely surrendered. Why ? Because the Ger-
mans are the best-educated people in Europe. Poor as
the German primary school system is, it is universal, and
it has destroyed what it was founded chiefly to promote
and perpetuate, namely, reverence for, and loyalty to,
government by Divine right. German intelligence re-
volts from taxation for the support of a standing army.
It revolts from the theory and policy of hate upon which
standing armies are based. It comprehends perfectly
that the standing army is a menace to the freedom
of the citizen, at home, rather than a defence against
pretended danger from abroad. It scorns, as absurd,
the threadbare assumption that Englishmen, Frenchmen,
Italians, Russians, and Germans desire to fly at one an-
other's throats, and that they can be restrained only by
a cordon of bayonets. It realizes that the perpetuation
of the era of hate, through the standing army, retards
the mental and physical progress of the human race,
which would be greatly promoted by the free intermin-



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 295

gling of the various nationalities of Europe.* That it is
from the standing army that the emigrant flees is shown
by the records of the military department of the Ger-
man government.

In the year 1883 twenty-nine thousand men were ar-
rested for attempting to emigrate from Germany to avoid
the required military service, and more than a hundred
thousand others, from whom service was due, refused,
both to report for duty, and to furnish the required ex-
cuses for the failure to enroll themselves.

The law of Germany requires every male citizen, capa-
ble of bearing arms, to serve three years in the standing
army to devote three of the best years of his life to the
preservation of the balance of power in Europe ! In ad-
dition, he must serve four years in the reserve, and five
years in the landwehr. And this service is regarded as
a debt due the government. Every male child born in
Germany contracts this debt, in contemplation of law, in
the act of drawing his first breath, and nothing but death
releases him from the obligation. Having been taught
in the emperor's schools to love the emperor, when he
reaches the military age, a musket is placed in his hands,

* The multiplicity of languages is due to the policy of interna-
tional hate, inaugurated by the nations of Europe to promote the
selfish purposes of rulers. Barbarism is diversity; civilization is
unity. The human race is one, provided it is civilized, and it should
have but one language. Language is a tool, and time consumed in
acquiring skill in the use of more than one tool designed for the
same end, is wasted. The standing armies of Europe obstruct the
way to unity of language. The time will come when all civilized
peoples will speak one tongue. Then language will cease to be a
mere vain accomplishment, and become what it ought always to
have been, the simple means of familiarizing the mind with things,
and of the communication of knowledge.



296 MANUAL TRAINING.

and he is taught to shoot the emperor's enemies. If he
refuses to enter the army he is fined ; if he refuses to
pay the fine he is imprisoned.

The German emperor attributes the decline in the
military organization to the negligence of his military
staff, but its true cause is the German educational sys-
tem. The steady augmentation of the rolls of military
delinquents is the measure of the growth of German in-
telligence. The ease with which Germany conquered
France flattered the vanity of the educated German, but
it did not prevent him from emigrating to America. To
the cultured mind the army that wins the contest in
which no principle is involved is as odious as the army
that loses. To the cultured mind all standing armies are
odious, because they are an embodied assumption of the
barbarism of man, and a denial of the efficacy of reason.
The great stream of German emigration attests the su-
periority of German culture. The educated German de-
clines to learn the art of shooting the emperor's enemies,
but he knows that Germany is, in fact, governed by its
standing army by muskets and he quits the country.

Thus the chief power of Germany becomes her chief
weakness. A system of education which has made her
the first nation in Europe produces wide-spread discon-
tent among her people, because she is governed by obso-
lete ideas. ISTor can the loss in virile force suffered by
Germany, through emigration, be made good by a counter
movement of immigrants from the less favored countries
of Europe. The economic condition of Germany her
freedom from debt and her comparatively low rate of
taxation invite such a movement. But the European
policy of international hate, created and perpetuated by
standing armies, forbids Germany to recoup her losses of



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 297

men to America, through corresponding gains of men
from the overtaxed populations of neighboring coun-
tries. The grinning skeletons of a hundred battles in
which the rival nationalities of Europe have been pitted
against one another, rise to challenge the social inter-
mingling of peoples separated for centuries by the arts
of diplomacy, traditions of blood and flames, and the ser-
ried ranks of standing armies.

The disposition of Germans to emigrate irritates the
emperor and his prime-minister. The loss of numbers
might be borne, for notwithstanding the steady outward
flow of emigrants there is a slight increase of popula-
tion in Germany. But it is the quality of the exodus
that annoys the emperor and his chancellor. The Ger-
man emigrants are strong men and women strong men-
tally and physically. All the weaklings, all the paupers,
all the imbeciles, the aged, and the infirm remain, only
the young and vigorous go. Those who go have been
taught at the expense of the State to love the emperor
and hate his enemies, but they do neither. The German
system of education, from the point of view of rulers by
divine right, is, hence, a conspicuous failure. It makes
better men but poorer subjects. The more thoroughly
the man is educated the more valuable he is to himself
and to the community, but the less valuable to his king.
His growth in intelligence is the measure of his decline
in reverence for rulers by divine right, and the standing
armies by which they are alone supported. This is the
cause of German emigration, and its effect is to weaken
the German Empire. Germany is not so strong as she
was when her armies swept over France ; she declines in
power each year, through the loss of men the sole sup-
port of a State. They flee from her standing army to



298 MANUAL TRAINING.

the United States, a republic with only a handful of sol-
diers.

The system of education established to increase the
power of Prussia in Europe has accomplished its pur-
pose. But it has done much more something never
thought of by its founders. It has produced a wide-
spread feeling of intelligent discontent ; and discontent
is an inarticulate cry for reform. The cultured German
scorns the standing army, refuses to serve in it, protests
against its longer existence, and demands more and bet-
ter education for his children. His protest is unheeded,
and he quits the country. But the demand for higher
education is not, cannot be, disregarded. Intelligence is
contagious; it infects with a thirst for knowledge all
with whom it comes in contact. Education is the arch-
revolutionist whose onward march is irresistible. Soon
a riper culture will make the German Protestants more
courageous and more imperative in their demands, and
they will remain in the country to enforce them. Edu-
cation made Germany the first military power in Europe ;
but education could not have been put to a more ignoble
service. The desire of intelligent Germans is that Ger-
many shall become the first industrial power in Europe,
and this desire can be realized by the disbandment of her
standing army.

This review of the situation in Europe shows that it is
practicable for her to restore, at once, to productive em-
ployments three millions of men the flower of her
population now not only idle, but a public charge. It
shows, also, that it is practicable for Europe to place, at
once, at the disposal of her educators $700,000,000 per
annum instead of $70,000,000 per annum, as at present.
The corollary of these two propositions is a third, name-



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 299

ly, that it is practicable for Europe to extinguish her
national debts in fifty-four years. It follows that the
regular armies of Europe alone stand in the way of
universal education, and of universal industrial pros-
perity.

Standing armies everywhere within the lines of ad-
vanced civilization must soon disappear before the march
of education.* Social questions cannot much longer be
settled by emigration. The world's virgin soil is being
rapidly appropriated. When the surface of the whole
earth shall have become occupied, barbarisms of every
nature \vill be intolerable. Man must then be highly
civilized, and the only highly civilizing influence is edu-
cation. The age of force is passing away; the age of
science and art the age of industrial development has
begun, and standing armies are as abnormal in Europe

* "This nation to-day is in profound peace with the world; but
in my judgment it has before it a great duty, which will not only
make that profound peace permanent, but shall set such an example
as will absolutely abolish war on this continent, and by a great ex-
ample and a lofty moral precedent shall ultimately abolish it in other
continents. I am justified in saying that every one of the seventeen
independent Powers of North and South America is not only willing
but ready is not only ready but eager to enter into a solemn com-
pact in a congress that may be called in the name of peace, to agree
that if, unhappily, differences shall arise as differences will arise
between men and nations they shall be settled upon the peaceful
and Christian basis of arbitration.

"And, as I have often said before, I am glad to repeat, in this great
centre of civilization and power, that in my judgment no national
spectacle, no international spectacle, no continental spectacle, could
be more grand than that the republics of the Western world should
meet together and solemnly agree that neither the soil of North nor
that of South America shall be hereafter stained by brothers' blood."
Extract from the Speech of Hon. James G. Elaine at the Delmonico
Dinner, October 29, 1884.

13*



800 MANUAL TRAINING.

now as slavery was in the United States twenty-five years
ago.*

Standing armies are the instruments of tyranny ; they
are the last analysis of selfishness, the incarnation of de-
pravity; for they do not reason they strike. It is
worthy of note that the standing armies of Europe are
coeval with the revival of learning, and the revival of
learning was a revival of the Greco-Roman subjective
educational methods. The logical effect of those meth-
ods was the promotion of selfishness, and the standing
armies conserved the selfish designs of the rulers of the
newly-formed States. It is hence not a mere coincidence
that standing armies and the revival of learning through
subjective processes of thought are of common origin.
The Machiavellian philosophy of cruelty, duplicity, and
contempt of man sprung logically from egoism, and as
logically led to the formation of standing armies bodies
of armed men, trained, under compulsion, to kill, burn,
and destroy.

The synonyms of the standing army are selfishness
and its vile issue, feudalism, serfdom, slavery, ignorance,
and contempt of man. These conditions are passing
away, and the standing army, the worst, as it is the most
costly relic of savagery, must pass away with them. It
cannot withstand the advance of the new education,
whose mission is peace, whose quest is the truth, whose
premise is a fact, whose conclusion is a thing of use and
beauty, and whose goal is justice.

* "It is only slowly, and after having been long in contact with
society, that man becomes more indulgent towards others and more
severe towards himself." " Suicide: an Essay on Comparative Moral
Statistics," p. 226. By Henry Morselli, M.D. New York: D. Ap-
pleton& Co., 1882.



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 3Q1



CHAPTER XXV.
EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM HISTORIC.

AMERICA.

An Old Civilization in a New Country. Old Methods in a New Sys-
tem of Schools. Sordid Views of Education. The highest Aim
Money-getting. Herbert Spencer on the English Schools. Same
Defects in the American Schools. Maxims of Selfishness. The
Cultivation of Avarice. Political Incongruities. Negroes escap-
ing from Slavery called Fugitives from Justice. The Results of
Subjective Educational Processes. Climatic Influences alone saved
America from becoming a Slave Empire. Illiteracy. Abnormal
Growth of Cities. Failure of Justice. Defects of Education shown
in Reckless and Corrupt Legislation. Waste of an Empire of Pub-
lic Land. Henry D. Lloyd's History of Congressional Land Grants.
The Growth and Power of Corporations. The Origin of large
Fortunes, Speculations. Old Social Forces producing old Social
Evils. Still America is the Hope of the World. The Right of
Suffrage in the United States justifies the Sentiment of Patriotism.
Let Suffrage be made Intelligent and Virtuous, and all Social
Evils will yield to it ; and all the Wealth of the Country is subject
to the Draft of the Ballot for Education. The Hope of Social Re-
form depends upon a complete Educational Revolution.

THE discovery of America startled Europe. It was a
great blow to prevailing dogmatisms. It upset many
learned (?) theories. It swept away patristic geography.
It completed the figure of the earth, rendering it sus-
ceptible of intelligent study. The advantages of such
investigation accrued to man, to a degree, before the so-
cial and civil life of America began. In the century and
a quarter which elapsed between the landing of Colum-
bus and that of the Pilgrims, on these shores, considera-



302 MANUAL TRAINING.

ble social and political progress was made in Europe,
and especially in England. From the turbulent scenes of
the reigns of James I. and Charles I., which eventuated
in the Cromwellian rebellion and victory of the Com-
mons, the Pilgrims escaped. They not only bore with
them, to the new continent, the impress of the long
struggle for liberty waged by the English people, but
they were, in a certain sense, the product of the progress
of all the ages. But they constituted only a small part
of the column of immigrants. Detachments of the Cav-
aliers came also, and Germans, Frenchmen, and Irishmen
came with them.

The discovery of America was a sort of new creation,*
but its almost virgin soil was destined to become the
home of an old civilization. From all the nationalities of
the Old World the New World was to be peopled. The
ambitious, the restless, the adventurous, the enterprising,
and the hardy of every tongue, were gradually to assem-
ble in the new field of action. The manner in which
they treated the natives of the new country, both north
and south, showed their origin and their training. Their
determination to conquer and hold the new territory was
but thinly disguised. Their descent upon the Atlantic
coast was not the exact counterpart of that of Caesar upon
the coast of Britain, but it was the same in spirit ; and
the active trade in slaves which soon sprang up, and
which was thereafter vigorously prosecuted for two hun-
dred years, showed the taint of savagery the impress of
Roman cruelty, rapacity, and injustice.

* " The discovery of America is the greatest event which has ever
taken place in this world of ours, one half of which had hitherto
been unknown to the other. Ail that until now appeared extraordi-
nary seems to disappear before this sort of new creation." Voltaire.



EDUCATION AND THE SOCIAL PROBLEM. 303

It is evident that in its most important feature the
formation of character education had made little if any
progress at the time of the organization of civil society
in America. The democratic idea was not new. It found
expression in every form during the struggles of Greece
and Rome, and the revival of learning had led to the
discussion of governmental questions in the light of his-
tory. Besides, the reformation of Luther had opened



Online LibraryCharles Henry HamManual training : the solution of social and industrial problems → online text (page 21 of 30)