D. S. (David Samuel) Margoliouth.

The Popular science monthly (Volume 19) online

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10,000 (or a little more than one out of ten) have up to the present
time settled in the South. In a comparison of the white gain South ■
and the white gain North during the last decade, the disadvantage
which the former has in this element of immigration is without com-
pensation, inasmuch as the migration from South to North is probably
about equal to that from North to South, and is comparatively small
at any rate. Yet the white gain South was 32-9 per cent., and North
but 26*8 per cent. "What, then, would be the figures after making
proper allowance for the numerical effects of immigration on the popu-
lation of the two sections ? Only approximate results can be had.

The arrival of foreigners during the last decade is counted at
2,813,000. Deducting from this aggregate 60,000 Asiatics as non-pro-
lific, and also other foreigners in the Territories about 65,000 more,
there would remain 2,688,000 as the number belonging to the States.
But these- were not all counted in the census. They- were here during
an average of nearly five and a half years (the heaviest an-ivals hav-
ing taken place during the earlier years of the decade), and allowance
must be made for deaths during this peried. Few children or old per-
sons emigrate. Most are in the prime of life, and the proportion of
deaths would probably be allowed for at 12^ per cent. Making this
reduction, there would remain 2,352,000 immigrants which were added
to the population of the States during the last decade and counted in
the census.

But this result may be reached by a different route — by adding the


actual gain in our foreign white population during the decade to the
loss of the foreign white population which was here at the beginning
of the decade. There were 979,000 more white foreigners in the States
in 1880 than in 1870. According to the census of 1870, there were
5,438,000 white foreigners in the States. At 25;^ per cent, for the mor-
tality of this class in ten years, it lost 1,373,000 during the decade.
Adding this to the actual gain of foreign white population, 979,000,
we get the number of immigrants during the decade, which were still
surviving and counted in the census of 1880. The result is 2,352,000
— the same as by the other process. The eri'or in this result must be
comparatively inconsiderable.

Then, in order to ascertain the gain of Xorthern whites and of
Southern whites respectively, the numerical disturbance of this foreign
element must be got rid of by deducting it from the census figures of
1880 ; and, to this end, we must know what part of it belongs to the
Northern and what to the Southern States. The South during the
last decade did not receive its average quota of foreigners. In nine
of the Southern States there was a falling off of foreign population
amounting to 29,700. Missouri alone lost 11,000. In the other eight
there was a gain of 60,000. Texas alone gained 50,000 ; so that, but
for Texas, there would have been a loss of foreign population in the
South during the decade. The foreign gain in the South, deducting
Chinese, was 35,000 ; in the North, 944,000. Adding to the first of
these numbers the foreign loss in the Southern States during the
decade, 157,000, we have 192,000 foreign whites who settled in the
South during the decade, and were counted in 1880. By a like proc-
ess, we find the corresponding number for the Northern States to be
2,160,000, Being enabled thus to eliminate the immigration of the
decade, we find the percentage of gain in the white population of the
Southern States to be 30*8, and of the Northern States 17'7.

But this calculation does not bring out the relative increase of the
native whites North and the native whites South. It includes all the
children born of foreign parents who came to this country after the
decade commenced ; and this is a very considerable item. Of the for-
eign-bom in this country, 23 per cent, are females between the ages
of twenty and forty years. Of actual immigrants, it was formerly
somewhat less, as it is now probably somewhat more than this. As
the immigrants of the decade were here during an average of nearly
five and a half years, it would be safe to reckon one living child to
each immigrant female between the ages of twenty and forty, de-
duction having already been made for the mortality of immigrants
during the decade. Making this further correction, the ratio of in-
crease for the Northern whites would be 15'7, and for the Southern
whites 30-4.

Still we have not reached the relative increase of the native whites
North and South. Allowance should be made for the excess of pro-


lificacy of foreign-born mothers who came previous to the beginning
of the decade. The foreigners among us have larger families than
the natives of the North generally. So large a proportion of immi-
grants come in the prime of life, that, though the males predominate,
foreigners have a larger percentage of increase than natives, even if
their families were not larger. While the proportion of foreign-born
white females from twenty to forty years of age was (in 1870) 23 per
cent, of the entire foreign-born population, the proportion of native
white females of corresponding age was not quite 13 '8 per cent, of
the native w^hite population ; but, of course, this great disparity is
due in part to the fact that the American-born children of foreigners
are counted, not with the foreigners, but with the natives. It is a fact
little thought of, that the number of foreign-born white females from
twenty to forty years of age is nearly one fourth of all the white fe-
males of that age in the United States. In 1870 the number of native
white females of this age in the whole country was 3,867,617, and of
the foreign 1,260,965, the latter being 24-6 per cent, of the whole.
How is it for the Northern States alone ?

It is deducible, from the report of 1870, that the foreign-born fe-
males in the North, between the ages of twenty and forty years, num-
bered 1,119,000, while the native-born white females of like age in the
same States numbered 2,532,000, the foreign being 30*6 per cent, of
the whole. A similar calculation shows that in the South the propor-
tion of foreign-born in the period of motherhood was but 9-6 per cent.
Granted an excess of prolificacy in our foreign families over the na-
tive, the advantage thereof to the rate of increase accrues wholly to
the North. It is not probable that foreigners in this country are any
more prolific than, or, indeed, quite as prolific as, the native Southern

On the admission of greater prolificacy in immigrants generally
than in Northern natives, the points to be met are so numerous that
any arithmetical statement of them would be rather complicated and
tedious. We let that pass with the statement of an assured belief
that, if proper allowance were made for this element of the problem,
the ratio of increase in the native white population of the North would
be shown to be very little, if any, above 12 per cent. But we omit
this. The comparative rate of increase may then be recapitulated as
follows: Native whites North, 15-7 per cent.; whites South, 30-4 per
cent,; colored in the United States (allowing I'o per cent, for error in
census of 1870), 33-3 per cent.

I am aware that the division-line assumed in this statement be-
tween the North and South is quite arbitrary, and that where the bor-
der States meet there is comparatively little divergence in the char-
acteristics referred to ; but some such line had to be assumed to bring
out the lesson of this study, and that which has been used probably
involves as little disturbance of results as anv.


lu a comparison of the white and colored increase, the side of color
has no offset equivalent to the advantage of immigration for the other
side. The only thing in the form of such offset is marrying across the
color-line, already referred to. "When a white woman marries a col-
ored man, she virtually migrates as a wife and mother, and her chil-
dren and descendants for ever after count on the colored side. This is
taking place to a certain extent — to a very limited extent, it is true ;
but, as small a matter statistically as it appears to be, the census should
put it on record for comparison hereafter. Native children of foreign
parentage are designated, and colored children of white mothers should
also be designated. The prejudice is at present very strong against
such unions ; but that prejudice may gradually weaken, and cases of
the kind may multiply. This tendency is worthy of note for its sig-
nificance on the future psychology of the American people. If to the
rapid multiplication of the colored population is to be added an acces-
sion through white motherhood, the increase of the colored over the
white must be accelerated, unless prevented by counteracting influ-
ences not at present in existence. And, when in this connection we
contemplate the increasingly slow multiplication of the people of high-
est civilization in our country, the prospect for the future is not an
optimistic one.

Very great subjects can only be touched upon, not treated, here.
Why is it that the native whites of the North are multiplying so much
more slowly, not only than the colored, but even than the Southern
whites ? Simply because of the possession of greater wealth and cult-
ure. It was different early in the century, when the descendants of
the Puritans and Dutch stood on a " lower " grade in the struggle of
life. Families were larger then. The possession of wealth and educa-
tion is a surer check on population than the famous " positive checks "
of Malthus — " wars, plagues, and famine." They are surer and great-
er, because they act without intermission. I do not shrink from stat-
ing the fact, unpleasant as it may be. I am aware that Knox, Clib-
bome, Schade, Kapp, and others, refer the slow increase of American
natives — they do not discriminate between Northern and Southern — to
the effects on the European stock of an uncongenial climate. This is
an a jyriorifsLncy which is entitled to no particular consideration, since
it is as wholly without support as that other a 2>}'iori fancy, that the
descendants of Europeans in this country are gradually turning into a
sort of red Indians.

There is, perhaps, no law of human history better assured than
this : that, with high civilization and the long enjoyment of Avealth,
culture, and the luxury and dissipation which are sure to accompany
them, population increases more slowly, in time to become stationary,
and at last decline and succumb to younger and more vigorous peo-
ples, who have been hardened in the conflicts of poverty and rough
fare. Roscher, the German economist, states this profound truth :
VOL. iix. — 43


" As a rule, the influences which have accelerated a nation's progress
and brought it to the apogee of its social existence end in precipitating
its ruin by their further action. Every direction which humanity
takes has almost always something of evil in it — is limited in its very
nature, and can not stand its extreme consequences. All earthly exist-
ence bears in itself, from the first, the germs of its decay." It would
not be difticult to point to the springs of human action which must
render this necessary, except on the presumption of a revolution in
human nature itself, an event not likely to occur.

It is not always the highest that prevail, especially in the conflicts
of industry. It is the plodding, the hardy — those who have few wants
and can do with little. This is well understood by the industrial class-
es who have come into conflict with the Chinese in this country and in
Australia. And it is plain that a hardy race with moderate wants,
which increases twice as fast as a higher race in the same territory,
will contribute more and more to the psychological and social status of
the whole people. There is nothing surer than that the high-toned
Yankee is losing in his relative weight of numbers in this country, and
it is equally sure that he will lose more and more, and eventually be
absorbed. The German, the Celt, the Southerner, the colored, are all
gaining upon him. Some patriotic people deplore the incoming and
rapid multiplication of white foreigners in the North ; and yet it is
this very accession of Caucasian strength that affords the best ground
of hope for the psychological elevation of the great American type or
types which are yet to take definite form. If only Yankees were con-
tending with the colored for supremacy, it would go far worse with
the whites than it now does in the race of numbers. Allowing the in-
crease of the colored to be 33^ per cent, in ten years, they would double
four times in less than a century ; that is, the census of 1980 would
show their numbers to have increased from 6,577,000 to 117,000,000 !
Taking the increase of the Northern whites to be 15*7, as it is shown
to be for the last decade, after eliminating the obvious augmentation
due to immigration, their numbers would only double while the col-
ored quadrupled ; and the census of 1980 would show that the native
whites of the North had increased from 24,403,000 to 105,000,000.
That is, the colored race of the United States would then outnumber
the descendants of the present native Northern whites by 12,000,000,
It is, of course, not to be expected that these ratios of increase would
be maintained for that period : both would fall, and both fall, perhaps,
in about the same proportion ; and this will probably take place, not-
withstanding the accession of white mothers to the colored stock and
the infusion of foreign blood into the veins of native whites. If these
and the colored were the only contestants on American soil, the de-
spised race would make comparatively short work of it, and come to
be the prevailing people. As it is, however, with rapid increase of
whites at the South, and white immigrants pouring into the country,


the problem is a very different one. But it is still true that at last,
at however remote a period, the industrious, hardy, plodding, persist-
ent, breeding race is that which will push its way into predominance.'
What race will be our Macedonian, our barbarian, or our Turk, can
not be divined. It may still be in embryo. The conflict of races is
now less on the bloody fields of battle than on the peaceful fields of
industry, and other than martial traits of character may hereafter de-
termine who shall be the victors. Formerly the conquerors came from
without ; hereafter they may spring up within.

In the world's history peoples have risen, flourished, and declined.
How or even where they came into existence is not always known ;
but this we do know, that they came into prominence only by comply-
ing with the conditions of ethnical consequence. They were hardy,
aggressive, and prolific. And there is this paradox, that the greater
they became the surer were they to perish. Greek and Roman belong to
the irrevocable past ; and many who helped supplant them have yield-
ed in turn to others. The Vandals came like a vision into history and
then disappeared. The Thracians, a numerous people in the Eastern
Empire during the first century, have long since become extinct. The
Vallacians, from small beginnings in the eleventh century, forced their
way into history and in two or three centuries passed out of sight.
The Ottoman Turks, a small nomadic tribe of Mesopotamia — temper-
ate, hardy, warlike, pushing — rapidly grew into a great historical peo-
ple, and made a place for themselves where Christians and Greeks
once held sway ; but they have long since entered on the period of
their decline, and eventually some more vigorous people Avill take their
place. If we could know the origin of the vast Teuton family, we
should, no doubt, be astonished at its then small promise of future
greatness. The Slav is pushing his way into consequence, and we
can not appoint the limit of his capabilities. It sometimes takes an
obscure race but a little while to rise. This we may study even in our
own times. What we know as the Celtic Irish were, only two hundred
years ago, less than one million strong ; now they number many mill-
ions and are increasing with great rapidity. They are not afraid of
hardships, and their vices are not of the effeminate kinds which under-
mine the constitution. They are finding homes in many lands, and
who can forecast their destiny ? We have a still more recent instance
in the colored people of the United States. Eighty years ago they
numbered only 1,002,000, but with all their drawbacks they are now
6,577,000. With a like increase for the next eighty years, they would
be 43,000,000 strong. Even less do we know of what is in store for
this race than for almost any other. The situation is unique, and there
is little clear history to guide us ; while it is far less likely than any
of the white varieties to disappear in the universal blending of races
on American soil.



By W. H. stone,


IT is doubtful whether the generality of well-educated men fully
appreciate the great, the radical, and the almost revolutionary
change which has in the past thirty or forty years come over the
scope and spirit of English liberal education. Indeed, it can hardly be
termed a change ; but might be more correctly designated as a sub-
stitution of one branch of human knowledge for another. For, where-
as, in the first forty years of the present century, the dead languages,
especially Latin and Greek, history, logic, and metaphysics, fairly held
their own against the computative sciences of mathematics, mechanics,
physics, and chemistry, and the systematic or classificatory subjects of
botany, geology, and zoology as topics of teaching and examination,
they seem at the end of the second forty to have been all but super-
seded. No doubt in the main the revolution, great as it undoubtedly
is, has proved salutary. Englishmen, wuth their characteristic tenaci-
ty of existing forms, had retained all but unchanged in their large
public schools and in the older universities a form of intellectual cult-
ure which really originated in the middle ages, or at the latest with
the restoration of learning. This is no mere figure of speech. The
writer of the present remarks took his first childish lessons, after mas-
tering the rudimentary arts of reading and writing, from " The Boke
of Roger Ascham," and received his first rewards for saying, parrot-
like by rote, the ancient farragos now only known by their initial
words — '■^ Propria quoe niarihus,^'' "Quce gemis,'''' and ^^ As in prmsetitV
Of the present generation, not one in a thousand has ever even heard
of these mediaeval aide-memoires, or of the somewhat more useful
scholastic scheme of syllogisms, beginning with the cabalistic formula,
*' Barbara Celarent." Later on, he and his companions were expected
weekly to manufacture, nole}ites volentes, a certain quantity of poetry !
— God save the mark ! — in the Latin and Greek tongues. He can
well remember his father's remonstrance on finding him working at
" that nasty chemistry, when you have not done your Latin verses."
Perhaps the most singular travesty of teaching was the inculcation of
that laboriously useless heap of conflicting rules termed the " Greek
accents." It was well known to every scholar that they were non-
existent in classical times ; that they were probably prosodiacal ; that
they sprang up about the time when Greek was going out of use as a
spoken language ; and that, except in very few instances, they now
served no purpose whatever. In spite of this, they were steadily and
perseveringly thrust down the throats of schoolboys, insomuch that


ignorance of the hideous pedantry of a mediaeval grammarian might
involve the pain and humiliation of corporal punishment.

That all, or most, of this has been swept away is ground for un-
mixed satisfaction. But it docs not absolutely follow that what is
being substituted for it is beyond comment or improvement. There
may be errors and pedantries developing in the new as in the older
system. Nor are they difficult to point out.

The teaching of science has tended to give an impulse to the com-
putative, to the disadvantage of the judicial and appreciative func-
tions of students' minds. Indeed, the computative faculty, so highly
developed at times in men not otherwise liberally educated, is not
the widest in intellectual scope, nor the fittest preparation for some
branches of life-work. Men in after-life are called upon to use their
imaginative powers, to sift evidence, and to weigh symptoms, as well
as to solve problems. They may adopt artistic or literary pursuits,
they may choose the professions of law or of medicine. In all these,
the attempt to reduce the subject-matter laid before them to the
strict conditions of an equation or a ratio, so far from being a fruitful
mental effort, may absolutely prove a hindrance. There is a common
type of mind which fails to see a proof which is not of the character
of demonstration, and which, in its absence, neglects to use the faculty
of judgment and decision so necessary in the common affairs of busi-

The computing school, and especially those who teach its physical
branches, very correctly and consistently insist upon the solving of
problems as a test of thorough knowledge. Mr. Day, whose work
appears to be mainly performed " in the laboratory of King's College,
under the direction of Professor Adams," in an excellent collection of
questions upon electrical measurement, says, "It is now universally
admitted that numerical exercises are necessary in the study of the
experimental sciences, both as giving practice in the application of the
various theories, and as affording tests of ability to comprehend as
well as to apply that which has been learned."

It must be remembered, however, that, even among advanced and
professed mathematicians, the faculty of solving problems is very un-
equally distributed — a fact which is openly recognized at the great
mathematical University of Cambridge. The problems themselves
are often open to comment, as partaking of the nature of enigmas, or
riddles, rather than as fair tests of knowledge. Like riddles, more-
over, they exercise a kind of fascination on their concocters, and are
very liable to figure in papers of questions. The writer, for instance,
has seen in a paper on physics a question which involved an indeter-
minate equation, and of which the solutions were infinite in number.
Surely this should have been relegated to its kindred algebra. But
an instance which has occurred within the present year is so excep-
tional as to deserve quotation. It was a pass, not an honors paper,


set for matriculation — the primary and initial step of the whole uni-
versity career ; a gate to further knowledge, which should be pru-
dently left as wide open as is consistent with a reasonably high
standard. The paper consisted in all of sixteen questions, and is there-
fore too long for quotation in full. Of these, says the heading —

^^ JNot more than eight questions are to be ajisicered, of ichich at least
two must be selected from Section A.


" 1. State your reason for regarding a pound as a unit of mass and
not of force. What is the most convenient unit of force when a foot,
a pound, and a second are units of length, mass, and time, respec-
tively ?

"2. State the conditions necessary for the equilibrium of a body
free to move in one plane. To what do these conditions reduce when
one point in the body is fixed ?

"3. A solid right circular cone of homogeneous iron is 64 inches
in height, and its mass is 8,192 pounds. The cone is cut by a plan6
perpendicular to the axis, so that the mass of the small cone removed
is 686 pounds. Find the height of the center of gravity of the trun-
cated portion remaining, above the base of the cone.

" 4. A heavy body starting from rest slides down a smooth plane
inclined 30° to the horizon. How many seconds will it occupy in
sliding 240 feet down the plane, and what will be its velocity after
traversing this distance ? [g = 32,]

" 5. What is the * kinetic energy ' of a moving mechanical sys-

Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 84 of 110)