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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES




NATIONAL IDEALS AND PROBLEMS



o.



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.

TORONTO



NATIONAL IDEALS
AND PROBLEMS



ESSAYS FOR COLLEGE ENGLISH



BY

MAURICE GARLAND FULTON

PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, DAVIDSON COLLEGE



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1918



COPYRIGHT, 1918
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY



Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1918.



3ln J|onor of
^atribaon College



WHO IN CHEERFUL WILLINGNESS TO

GIVE SUPREME DEVOTION JOINED THE

NATIONAL FORCES BANDED TO UPHOLD

LIBERTY, PEACE, AND JUSTICE

THROUGHOUT THE WORLD



PREFACE

In this book my purpose has been to bring together a number
of significant essays, addresses, and state papers which should
be helpful in showing students what others, chiefly their fellow-
Americans, have thought or now think about their country
its people, its ideals, and its significance both at home and abroad.

The time is opportune for seeking a more intelligent acquaint-
ance with our national ideals and problems. The war thrusts
upon the nation the need of burnishing ideals as well as weapons.
We should use this war to clarify our vision and intensify our
national purposes, and we must, in our schools and colleges,
make it a means for developing catholicity of spirit, human sym-
pathy, sacrificial devotion to convictions, and passion for truth
and justice.

Realizing the danger of doing violence in the stress of conflict
to the very ideals we seek to defend and exalt, President Wilson
early addressed a plea to the teachers in all grades of schools
urging the conservation of our ideals. Said he, "The war is
bringing to the minds of our people a new appreciation of the
problems of national life and a deeper understanding of the
meaning and aims of democracy. Matters which we have here-
tofore deemed commonplace and trivial are seen in a truer
light. . . . When the war is over we must apply the wisdom we
have acquired in purging and ennobling the life of the world."

An intelligent understanding of American democracy is not
merely a matter of interest; it is a patriotic duty for making
both better Americans and better citizens of the world. Democ-
racy is a body of ideals. Armies and navies alone cannot make
the world safe for democracy. The world must be wrought to
sympathy with democratic ideals, and, in accomplishing this,
the schools institutions devoted to the conserving of ideals and
agencies able to reach the next generation must undertake to

vii



viii PREFACE

inculcate these principles for which we are fighting. For what
shall it profit us if we gain the whole world for democracy and
thereby lose the soul of democracy?

In this work the teacher of English has a large part. Those
who teach history or political science may give the facts, but
those who handle the nation's literature impart the spirit of the
nation. Since American literature 'affords the best possible in-
terpretation of American ideals, the English teacher should have
his students give attention more largely than heretofore to the
history and progress of American thought as recorded in Ameri-
can literature.

The selections in this volume do not, of course, belong under
the classification "literature" in the narrower sense of the term.
Nevertheless they are discussions of value in reaching conclu-
sions regarding the American spirit and ideals, and as such may
be appropriately brought into the literary vista of the student.
Such study of American life and institutions as this book con-
templates may be made in connection with the course in
American literature.

But this book would seem to have its most useful place in
the so-called "thought-courses" in composition. This type of
course has become so widely popular in recent years that it
needs no defense or explanation. Its fundamental principle of
accompanying the reading of thought-provoking selections with
discussion, oral or written, upon questions and topics suggested
by the reading is a most stimulating way to come to an under-
standing of national ideals. Furthermore, this method is a
replica of the way in which definite national ideals must be
reached. Each person must reach his own independent conclu-
sions and then compound them by intelligent discussion in public
and in private. Under this natural method, the student is
brought to his own conclusions and to correcting or modifying
them in the light of those formed by his classmates.

The selections have been arranged into a rough sequence and
grouped under certain headings. Despite the fact that in some
cases positions may seem arbitrarily assigned, the arrangement
will be found of practical value in emphasizing the larger aspects



PREFACE ix

of the study. A convenient starting-point is had in a group of
selections discussing the predominant characteristics of the
American people. Next, to make this study of American char-
acteristics more concrete, come selections dealing with a few
great Americans who seem to exemplify the special make-up of
mind and faculties that is the specific product of American
democracy. The third group is composed of epoch-making
addresses and state papers which every young American should
know at first hand. These are followed by a group of selections
discussing in a general way the aims and tendencies of American
democracy. The next two groups present the closely related
topics of the citizen's part in government and the especial
responsibilities that rest upon the college-trained. After these
comes a section devoted to a discussion of the principles that
must be adhered to in making such changes and adjustments
as the future may require. The last division contains selections
discussing how and why America became a participant in the
world war, and what she desires the outcome of the struggle to be.

In order to keep the book of moderate size, much important
material had to be omitted. At no point was it harder to make
rejections than in the second division, Patterns of Americanism.
Jefferson, Jackson, Grant, Lee, Lowell, and many others, repre-
sentative of Americanism in one way or another, seemed to
demand inclusion, but finally the list was left with but four
upon whom there would be almost universal agreement.

A word of explanation seems needed regarding the absence
of selections from Bryce's The American Commonwealth. My
first intention was to include several chapters from this
source. But when it became possible for me to prepare for the
moderate-priced English and American classics series of the
Macmillan Company a volume including some twelve or fifteen
of the most significant chapters of Bryce's book, under the title
American Democracy, I thought it advisable to use all the space
in this book for material from other quarters, and to suggest to
those who may desire material from The American Common-
wealth that they may find it in the collection referred to.

I take this opportunity of recording in a general way grate-



x PREFACE

ful thanks to those writers who have generously permitted me
to use their work and to those publishers who have courteously
dismissed copyright restrictions in my favor. Specific acknowl-
edgements have been made at appropriate places throughout
the book.

M. G. F.



CONTENTS

American Traits

Page

AMERICAN QUALITY Nathaniel Southgate Shaler i

AMERICAN CHARACTER Brander Matthews 14

EFFECTS OF THE FRONTIER UPON AMERICAN CHARACTER . .

Frederick Jackson Turner 33

THE INFLUENCE OF THE IMMIGRANT ON AMERICA

Walter Edward Weyl 47

Patterns of Americanism

FRANKLIN: THE CITIZEN George William Alger 58

THE AMERICANISM OF WASHINGTON . . . Henry Van Dyke 67

LINCOLN AS AN AMERICAN Herbert Croly 74

EMERSON Matthew Arnold 85

Landmark Addresses and State Papers

DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE .... Thomas Jefferson 107

FAREWELL ADDRESS George Washington 112

THE MONROE DOCTRINE James Monroe 128

THE STATES AND THE UNION Daniel Webster 131

SECOND INAUGURAL ADDRESS Abraham Lincoln 139

WAR MESSAGE Woodrow Wilson 141

American Democracy

THE HERITAGE OF LIBERTY .... Charles Mills Gayley 152
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE IN THE LIGHT OF

MODERN CRITICISM Moses Coit Tyler 158

DEMOCRACY James Russell Lowell 166

THE WORKING OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

Charles William Eliot 178

THE SURVIVAL OF CIVIL LIBERTY . Franklin Henry Giddings 191



xii CONTENTS

Citizenship and Patriotism

Page

PATRIOTISM, INSTINCTIVE AND INTELLIGENT

Ira Woods Rawer th 210

MESSAGE OF THE FLAG franklin Knight Lane 221

GOOD CITIZENSHIP Henry Cabot Lodge 224

WHAT "AMERICANISM" MEANS .... Theodore Roosevelt 236

Educated Leadership

THE SOCIAL VALUE OF THE COLLEGE-BRED . William James 249
THE RELATION BETWEEN A LIBERAL EDUCATION AND

TRUE AMERICANISM Henry Cabot Lodge 257

LIBERTY AND DISCIPLINE Abbott Lawrence Lowell 269

NATIONALIZING EDUCATION John Dewey 282

Changes and Adjustments

EXPERIMENTS IN GOVERNMENT Elihu Root 291

THE LIBERATION OF A PEOPLE'S VITAL ENERGIES ....

Woodrow Wilson 301

A PLEA FOR THE AMERICAN TRADITION . Winston Churchill 310

CAN DEMOCRACY BE ORGANIZED? . Edwin Anderson Alderman 325

In Arms for Democracy

THE WORLD CONFLICT IN ITS RELATION TO AMERICAN

DEMOCRACY Walter Lippmann 340

AMERICAN AND ALLIED IDEALS . . . Stuart Pratt Sherman 351

ETHICAL PROBLEMS OF THE WAR Gilbert Murray 364

After the Conflict

A LEAGUE TO ENFORCE WORLD PEACE

William Howard Taft 376

GOOD TEMPER IN THE PRESENT CRISIS

Lawrence Pearsall Jacks 388
WHAT SHALL WE WIN WITH THE WAR?

Ernest Hunter Wright 401



NATIONAL IDEALS AND PROBLEMS



AMERICAN TRAITS

AMERICAN QUALITY 1

NATHANIEL SOUTHGATE SEALER

[Nathaniel Southgate Shaler (1841-1906) was a distinguished American
geologist, born in Newport, Kentucky. He graduated in 1862 at the Lawrence
Scientific School of Harvard University. A few years later he became con-
nected with the instructional staff in that institution, and held, from time to
time, different professorships in his field of work. In 1891 be became dean of
the Lawrence Scientific School. His interesting analysis of American char-
acter which is here reprinted shows the scientific attitude which is not con-
tent with the actual facts, but must seek probable explanations of its origin.
It also shows traces of a favorite thesis of the writer that human character-
istics are the result largely of environment. This view is developed at length
in respect to the United States in his book, Nature and Man in America]

The most important, because the most fundamental, of prob-
lems concerning the quality of the American man, concerns his
physical condition, as compared with that of his kindred beyond
the seas. As to this point the evidence is so clear that it needs
little discussion. It is evident that the American Indians, a race
evidently on the ground for many thousand years before the
coming of the Europeans, had found the land hospitable. For
savages they were remarkably well developed, and though un-
fitted for steady labor, their bodies were well made and enduring.
Taking their place, the North Europeans, representing a wide
range of local varieties, English, Irish, Highland Scotch, Ger-
mans, Scandinavians, Normans, French, and many other groups
of Old World peoples, have, since their implantation a hundred
years or more ago, shown that the area of the continent from the
Rio Grande to the far north is as suited to our kind as is any
part of the earth. This is sufficiently proved by the statistics of
American soldiers gathered during the Civil War; the American

^rom International Monthly, vol. iv, p. 48 (July, 1901). Reprinted by permission.



2 NATIONAL IDEALS AND PROBLEMS

white man of families longest in this country, is, on the average,
larger than his European kinsman; the increase being mainly hi
the size of head and chest. It is further indicated by the endur-
ance of these men in the trials of the soldier's life and by the
remarkable percentage of recoveries from wounds. This endur-
ance of wounds was regarded by the late Dr. Brown-Sequard as
a feature common to all the mammals of this continent, being, as
he claimed on the basis of an extensive experience, as character-
istic of American rabbits as of American men. Moreover, the
statistics of life insurance companies doing business in this
country appear to indicate that the expectation of life is greater
here than hi the Old World. . . .

Accepting the conclusion that the bodily condition of our race
is, in this country at least, as good as in the continent whence
they came, we will now turn to the questions as to their moral
and intellectual development in the new land. First of these to
be considered is that which relates to the attitude of the individ-
ual man toward his fellows of the commonwealth. However
we may state this question, it is likely to appear to be of a shad-
owy nature; seen clearly, however, it will be recognized as of
fundamental importance. It were best approached by a com-
parison of the usual state of mind of communities in Europe as
regards other groups of the same race and country, from which
they are separated, as are people dwelling in neighboring villages.
Having journeyed much afoot in England and continental
Europe, I have often had occasion to remark the very general
lack of confidence which the common men of any place have in
those who, though dwelling nearby, are personally unknown to
them. Traces of this humor may be found in England and
northern Germany, where it may commonly be noted in a good
natured contempt for the unknown compatriot. Further south-
ward this limitation of sympathy becomes more definite. An-
cient hatreds between the citizens of neighboring communes
find expression in legends and songs that continue the bitterness
to this day. In Italy this partition of the people in spirit goes so
far that the pedestrian who has become friendly with those who
dwell in any little rural society will often be warned that he will



AMERICAN TRAITS 3

be in danger as soon as he comes among the dreadful folk who
dwell on the other side of the divide.

To an observant American who journeys in Europe in a way
that brings him in contact with its people, this morcdlement
of states into little bits which are united not by any common
direct sympathy, but only by the bond of a common rule, is not
only very evident, but in singular contrast to what he has been
accustomed to in his own country. Though from its familiarity
it escapes the attention of most people, it is one of the most note-
worthy social phenomena of the New World, that the citizen of
Maine accepts, as by a kind of instinct, his fellowman of Texas
or California as a real compatriot, as a person who feels and acts
as he does himself. It is evident that this is no recently acquired
state of mind; its existence clearly antedates the formation of
our government; it, indeed, made the Federal union possible.
For a half century slavery limited the extension of the motive,
though it did not altogether part the people of the North and
South. This habit of confidence in the neighbor, however
remote, which is at the foundation of the quality of our people,
goes beyond the national limits. It has effectively made an end
of the rancors which once existed toward the mother country.
Watch as one may the talk of our people, we now hear nothing
indicating more than a good-humored quirk concerning John
Bull and his ways.

At first sight it may seem as if this confidence in the fellow-
man, which is the foundation of American quality, is but a mani-
festation of their prevailing good nature. That it is other and
more than this is fairly well shown by many incidents occurring
in and after the Civil War. Those who remember that mighty
clutch will recall how in its worst days the soldiers of the con-
tending armies trusted one another much as they would their
own comrades. It is said that in the Fredericksburg campaign
a number of Federal soldiers spent Christmas with a Confederate
regiment with whom they had made acquaintance in the cam-
paign. All the hard usage of war could not sweep away the
neighborly trust between men who were yet ready for the bitter-
est fighting to accomplish their objects.



4 NATIONAL IDEALS AND PROBLEMS

This feature of confidence in the essential likeness of the
fellowman which holds among our people is, perhaps, best
shown hi the closing incidents of the Civil War. There was at
the time much talk about guerrilla warfare, such as the Dutch
have waged in South Africa; but when it became evident that
effective national resistance was no longer possible, the sub-
jugated people turned to their conquerors as to their fellow-
citizens, with a measure of trust in their quality such as under
like conditions the world had not before known. Owing to an
unhappy series of political accidents and much actual knavery,
the trust of the southerners in the quality of their northern
brethren seemed for a lime ill-founded. During the so-called
reconstruction period, the states which had revolted were sub-
jected to a very oppressive rule. Yet, through it all, the people
trusted, happily not in vain, to the American quality of their
sometime enemies to set them right. So, too, in the last step in
the work of reconstruction, when the northern people found the
southern undoing, in an indirect way, that provision of the Con-
stitution which gives the negro the ballot on the same terms with
the white man; the acquiescence of the Republican party in this
course finds its explanation in the general conviction that the
southern people are doing about as well as can be expected with
a problem of exceeding difficulty. The history of secession and
reconstruction discloses a consensus among the citizens of this
country such as may be sought in vain in any other.

It is easy to see that the American's belief in the unseen
neighbor as like unto himself is not only the foundation of his
true democracy, but the basis on which rest certain other im-
portant elements of his quality. To it is due the exceptional
range and activity of the sympathetic motives, such as led to
the war with Spam, and to the almost preposterous welcome of
the captured officers of the Spanish fleet; and such now moves so
many of our folk to protest against the doings of this nation in
the Philippines. It is also marked in the constant sympathy
with suffering, whenceever comes the cry. Not that this accord
with the fellowman is peculiar to Americans; it is, indeed, a
part of modern life, but the effect of it is evidently felt by a



AMERICAN TRAITS 5

larger part of our people, is more national with us than else-
where. This quality of sympathy is, indeed, near to being, if
it be not in fact, a national weakness. Too little limited by
reason, it led to the war with Spain for the rescue of Cuba, with
the common consequence of war, a series of difficulties of which
no man can see the end.

A most important result of this belief in the essential likeness
of men is the eminently kindly quality of the American. The
proof of this on a large scale is again to be had in the history of
the Rebellion. Though this contest, like all war whatsoever,
was replete with brutality and horror, it was singularly distin-
guished from all like contentions by the mercy shown to non-
combatants, by the care for women and children, and by the
leniency with which the subjugated leaders were treated. The
evidence to support these statements cannot be here given in
any detail. To exhibit it fitly would require an extended study
of the matter; I cannot, however, forbear to set forth a few in-
cidents which came to my knowledge at the time, and which
served to illustrate the temper of our people in conditions which
bring out the worst qualities of men.

Shortly after the close of the Rebellion, I questioned many
persons who had been in the most sanguinary contests, to find
whether they had observed any instances where prisoners, taken
in the heat of battle, had been harmed. As the result of this
inquiry, which was made of over one hundred ex-soldiers, I
learned of one or two cases where prisoners had been shot by
members of a rabble home guard, men generally of a much lower
grade than the embodied troops and without adequate control
by officers. Among disciplined troops, there was but one ex-
ample of cruelty, if such it may be called, where a Federal soldier,
as he clutched the musket of a surrendering Confederate, slapped
him on the face; and he was at once put under arrest for his
brutal conduct.

In the campaign of 1862, between the armies of Buell and
Bragg for the possession of Kentucky, movements which led to
the fiercest action of the war, the conditions were such as have
elsewhere always brought vast suffering to non-combatants. It



6 NATIONAL IDEALS AND PROBLEMS

was a more truly internecine struggle than occurred in any
other part of the great field. The state was divided against itself,
communities and families were rent. In instances, probably
numbering thousands, brothers, or fathers and sons, were in
opposing armies. It is doubtful if in any other time have people
of our race been so moved by fury to the foundations of their
souls. Yet at the end of it, I recall that none of the many I
questioned knew of harm having come to woman or child; that
whenever a flag of truce gave the chance of meeting, there was
expression of a mutual anxiety to "keep the fighting clean,"
and a determination to insure this end by slaying all offenders
against decency.

The evidence of good nature afforded by the treatment of the
leaders of the Rebellion is so general and well known that it
needs no setting forth. One such came under my eyes when,
just after the war, Alexander Stephens, the ex-Vice-President of
the ex-Confederacy, because he was a cripple, was, by general
consent, allowed to select his seat in the hall of the House at
Washington, before the other members drew lots for their places.
There were some marring deeds, as, for instance, the execution
of Wertz, and the chaining of Jefferson Davis, an unoffending
prisoner; but the conduct of our people at the end of the Rebel-
lion, indeed we may say the whole conduct of that vast struggle,
displays their eminently merciful quality.

In the interchange of wit and humor, wherein men show their
quality in an unpremeditated way, we have a chance to discern
another evidence of the singular confidence of the American as
to the likeness of the fellowman to himself. Among other
peoples this instinctive criticism of life is commonly turned upon
the personal differences between men, those of individuals,
classes, or races. It usually exhibits an essentially narrow, hed-
onistic motive. In this country, on the other hand, the criticism
most often assumes the similarity of men, and finds the amuse-
ment in larger features of identity and contrast of situations.
Thus, the humor of the Mississippi Valley, especially that of the
frontiersman, has a sympathetic motive which is not found else-
where. It is apt to relate to the insufficiencies of mankind rather



AMERICAN TRAITS 7

than to the defects of particular men; not rarely it takes the
fine allegorical form, wherein much apparent profanity does not
hide the really high moral tone. Thus it comes about that the
American is by no means witty as compared with the French-
man; from that point of view, he may fairly be termed dull;
but in him there is characteristically an inextinguishable spirit
of humor. Like his prototype, Mercutio, even the wound that
ends him is a fair subject for a quirk. Like the other accidents
of life, "'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-
door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve." If this view be true, our
much-discussed American humor is a very natural product of
our assumption as to the intimate kinship of men.

Turning from the simpler emotions which lie at the founda-
tions of human nature, let us consider what evidence is to be
had that shows us something concerning the permanent ideals
that have been developed among our people. So far as ideals
relate to the home, they appear to be, with slight exceptions,
essentially those that were transmitted to us from the mother
country; the difference being that the head of the house is far
less its master than in the Old World. Here, again, we have the
primary concept of democracy, that of the essential likeness of
human beings, working to break down the ancient idea as to
the rightful power of the father over the family, with the result



Online LibraryMaurice G. (Maurice Garland) FultonNational ideals and problems; essays for college English → online text (page 1 of 39)