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Theodore E[manuel] Schmauk.

The year of our Lord, 1904; a survey of the world online

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THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 1904.



A Survey of the Larger World Movements.

THE Year 1904 has been marked, throughout the world,
by a disappearance of worm-eaten and traditional esti-
mate, dealing and diplomacy, and by a fresh and earn-
est return face to face with first principles. The Occident,
represented, it is true, in its most highly orientalized member,
has come into clash with the Orient, represented, it is also true,
in its most highly westernized member. Pure secular democ-
racy has dared pure sacred despotism to come forth from its
lair. Great political and great money powers have been
brought to the test at the bar of character. Subtle and
mighty movements have felt it necessary to justify them-
selves, for the first time in many years, on their moral
grounds. A great revolution of internal political policy has
taken place in Russia. The military hero of the rough riders
and the war-master of America has put himself forward as
the champion of the world's peace. A large portion of the
American people has broken from party restraint, and placed
in power a president in whom their hearts evidently trusted.

Clear, large, simple outlines — developments unsmother-
ed and rushing to the. clash— a dealing with great issues not
by feint, but in the open, this is the ear mark of the year
through which we have passed.

Take one simple but comprehensive illustration :

THE President's message is a refreshing thing. In it he
evidently speaks out his whole heart and mind, un-
trammeled by any fears of political policy. His recent .
election revealed to him that a large, majority of the people |
of this country believed in him as a man, and were satisfied I



}}y transfer



with the integrity of his purposes. Mr. Roosevelt is at heart
a social reformer, and in the days of his youth belonged to a
coterie of social dreamers that might almost be regarded as
Utopian in their schemes. He has succeeded in making the
most remarkable personal, ethical, and social impression upon
the people that ever was achieved by any President. And it
was time. The love of wealth, the corrupt forms and prin-
ciples of a decaying English aristocracy, the increasing love
of pleasure as a chief end of life among our American youth,
and certain conspicuous American immoralities, were rushing
our country on toward social ruin.

The President had prepared the people for this remark-
able expression of his views by already declaring that he was
for peace, and not for war ; but in his message, war has com-
paratively the most inconspicuous place of all. The navy and
army are relegated to the end of the document and together
constitute but one-eighteenth of the message, and the. Philip-
pines with their issues are as comparatively small.

The meeting of the International Peace Conference in
Boston early in October, the President's promise to try to call an-
other Peace Conference at The Hague, his announcement
that the administration is negotiating arbitration treaties with
all the Powers that will enter into such negotiations, and Sec-
retary Play's address at the opening of the Boston Confer-
ence, claiming that when The Hague Conference lay ap-
parently wrecked, at the beginning of its career, it was the
American government which gave it the breath of life; and
that we have set an example to the world during the past two
years in the matter of disarmament, bringing away from the
Far East 55,000 soldiers and reducing our Army to its mini-
mum of 60,000 men, seem to give, countenance to the earnest-
ness of the President's intentions. When we recall the fact
that Frederic W. Holls, the secretary of The Hague Confer-
ence and a most indefatigable laborer for the world's peace,
was a warm personal friend and co-worker of Roosevelt's, the
actions of the President seem natural. On the other hand,
as a contrast to this beautiful picture of American peace, Sec-
retary Hay was promptly told that the Mexican war was a



national crime, as it was ; that the Spanish war was unneces-
sary, that the war in the Philippines was a war to establish by
subjugation a dominion to which we had taken title as a prize
of victory in another war, entered upon with a profession of
purely philanthropic intentions, and that Spain had not pro-
posed to relinquish the Philippines, but we insisted that they
should be ceded to us as a possession. Critics of the Presi-
dent's peace, policy sarcastically pictured Secretary Hay as
"the meek aureoled apostle of conciliation and arbitration in-
voked to beam serenely" on the foreign representatives of
peace who appeared in Boston.

The Dutch government has taken no action as yet in
erecting the Palace of Peace. A year and a half ago, in May,
1903, Mr. Carnegie paid over his gift of a million and a half of
dollars for this purpose, but Holland has been holding it, and
the money lies idle in the state treasury. The government
has not secured a site, nor shown any interest in the edifice.
The city authorities at The Hague have vetoed a proposition
for sanctioning the erection of the building in the capital's
beautiful pleasure grounds, which is chiefly a forest. The
master of the Queen Mother's household has suggested that
it would be better to give the money back to the American
millionaire, than to sacrifice the trees in the park, and a mem-
ber in the city council has characterized the Carnegie money
grant as a "white elephant." The Queen is reported to have
declared recently that the indifference of the Dutch public
was a scandal and that something must be done. Meantime
the international court of arbitration has settled three im-
portant cases.

BUT let us pass from the topic of the world's peace to an-
other matter in the President's message : What the
President really emphasizes is our social life. Several j
years ago we pointed out the fact that Roosevelt was essen- |
dally a preacher, and his present message is an illustration ol |
this fact. Duty is the keynote in every topic treated; He I
first of all gives attention to the relation of man to man in his
daily activities as they come under the seventh, eighth, ninth



and tenth Commandments ; and he then proceeds to an appli-
cation of the fourth and sixth Commandments to our Ameri-
can people under an ingenious discussion of a proper national
ideal for the city of Washington, which is under federal con-
trol, and which he believes should be set up as a model for
the best American metropolitan life.

He tells labor that it has the right, and even the duty, to
organize. It has the right also to endeavor to persuade its
own to join organizations. It has a legal right, "which, ac-
cording to circumstances, may or may not be a moral right,
to refuse, to work in company with those who refuse to join
their organizations. It has no right to seek proper ends by
improper means,* and such instances should not for one mo-
ment be tolerated. Mob law is intolerable in any form."

He lays down law for the railroads. Not only should the
commerce of our country be forwarded, but the. lives of the
traveling public should be guarded. Hours for railroad em-
ployees should be limited and only trained and experienced
persons be employed. Drastic punishment should be visited
on any railroad employee, officer or man, who by issuance of
wrong orders or by disobedience of orders causes disaster. **

Great corporations are necessary and serviceable, and
should not be dealt with intemperately. The American people
should show good sense, moderation, the earnest desire to
avoid doing any damage, and yet the quiet determination to

*An extreme illustration of the President's doctrine here was found at
the opening of the year in the hearse and carriage drivers strike in Chicago.
1600 drivers striking for better pay and shorter hours interfered with fun-
erals to such an extent as was said to create a situation dangerous to the
city'e health. One man drove the hack containing the body of his wife and
ke.pt the strikers back with a revolver. A private ambulance bearing a dy-
ing man was attacked by union pickets. One undertaker held a "Union-
label funeral." A cartoon represented a dead man as leaping from his
coffin and refusing to be buried in a non-union cemetery. The, profanation
of human sorrow, and failure to observe the respect due the presence of
death, seem to have called forth stronger protests in the name of common
humanity, than the violence of mobs in other times and ways.

**In the management of American railroads much is to be admired.
Though the highest wages in the world are paid to railroad men in America,
the charge for carrying freights is lowest, and yet the stocks and bonds or
American railroads are regarded as a good investment by foreigners. Amer-
ican through trains, while not as safe as those on the continent of Europe,
have the advantages of comfort and, as a rule, much greater speed. The
coupe or email coach system of traveling so common on the continent, is
far outstripped by American methods, which are now being adopted in
Europe.



5

proceed step by step, without halting and without hurry, in
eliminating or at least in minimizing whatever of mischief or
of evil there is to interstate commerce in the conduct of great
corporations. Publicity, and not secrecy, will win hereafter.
A complete stop must be put to rebates. And while the Pres-
ident does not mention particular corporations in this connec-
tion, his description of his intentions may lead us to expect
a great battle in the future between the government and
standard violators of sound business justice.

Within the last two years much has been done by the
country in this line. Congress passed an act to expedite anti-
trust hearings (Feb., 1903), created the new department of
commerce and labor with a bureau of corporations (Feb. 14,
1903), gave the interstate commission power to deal with
secret rebates in transportation charges (Feb. 19, 1903). The
attorney general has restrained by injunction fourteen of the
great railroad systems from giving illegal rebates to favored
shippers, officers of railroads in the cotton carrying pool were
indicted, the beef trust was put under injunction, the North-
ern Securities Company has been destroyed, the Supreme
Court has decided, in the coal carrying suit, that books and
papers must be produced.

BUT the President's strongest words are for fashionable
American society, and particularly for the semi-Euro-
pean circles that attempt to set false American stand-
ards in the nation's capital: "In the first place, the people of
this country should clearly understand that no amount of in-
dustrial prosperity and, above all, no leadership^ in interna-
tional industrial competition can in any way atone for the sap-
ping of the vitality of those who are usually spoken of as the
working classes. The farmers, the mechanics, the skilled ana
unskilled laborers, the small shop keepers, make up the bulk
of the population of any country, and upon their well being,
generation after generation, the well being of the country and
the race depends. No Christian and civilized community can
afford to show a happy-go-lucky lack of concern for the
youth of to-day. For if so the youth will have to pay a heavy



penalty of financial burden and social degradation in the to-
morrow."

The President points, above all, above politics, competi-
tive business, capital and sport, to the value of the race itself,

and the home :

"It is very desirable that married women should not work in factories.
The prime duty of the man is to work, to be the breadwinner. The prime
duty of the woman is to be the mother, the housewife. All questions of
tariff and finance sink into utter insignificance when compared with the
tremendous, the vital importance of trying to shape conditions so that these
two duties of the man and of the woman can be fulfilled under reasonably
favorable circumstances. If a race does not have plenty of children, or if
the children do not grow up, or if when they grow up they are unhealthy in
body and stunted or vicious in mind, then that race is decadent, and no
heaping up of wealth, no splendor of momentary material prosperity, can
avail in any degree as offsets."

This plain and serious view of marriage is the. one for
which the Lutheran Church has always stood, and the Presi-
dent is a preacher of Lutheran doctrine at least on this point.
The Lutheran marriage service, in recognition of this teach-
ing, contains several paragraphs from which refined people,
at first sight at least, often shrink. Thus it quotes the Scrip-
ture:

"God created man in His own image; male and female created He them.
And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and
replenish the earth."

Thus also the marriage collect says:

"Almighty God, who didst create man and woman, and didst join them
together in marriage, making them fruitful by Thy blessing, thereby signi-
fying the mystery of the union betwixt Thy Son Jesus Christ and His Bride
the Church: We beseech Thine infinite goodness, let not this Thy blessed
work an 1 ordinance be set aside, or brought to naught," etc.

That the primal duty of man is to plant a home, in the
fullest sense of the word ; and the first consideration in a home
is not congenial recreation and rest, but that children are as es-
sential to sound home life as arrows are to the quiver, or fruit
to the vine and olive tree, is brought out even more remark-
ably by the President in an earlier letter on "race suicide."

"If a man or woman," writes Mr. Roosevelt, "through no fault of hla
or hers, goes throughout life deprived of those highest of all joys which
spring only from home, life, from the having and bringing up of many
healthy children, I feel for them deep and respectful sympathy. . . .
But the man or woman who deliberately avoids marriage, and has a heart
so cold as to know no passion and a brain so shallow and selfish as to dis-



like children, is, in effect, a criminal against the race and should be an ob-
ject of contemptuous abhorrence by all healthy people."

Such is not at all the view of polite society, and of our
cultured young people of to-day. So far astray does the deli-
cate and luxurious intellectual life of the age, in which the in-
dividual himself becomes the chief concern, and sacrifice of
one's own selfish ends and comfort is not a dominating consid-
eration, that carnal motives are often imputed, with a sneer, to
men who have the courage to take the old view and stand up
for God and the race. We will not say that the advice of the
Apostle Paul, on his grounds, is not to be held in consideration
as sound throughout on this point, nor that conditions of physi-
cal decline should be overlooked, nor that the coarse and sen-
sual motive does not prevail in the average man of society and
of the world ; but we do affirm that the integrity of purpose,
purity of motive, and joy and culture of heart in the bosom
of a large and self-sacrificing family-life, are immeasurably
loftier than, for instance, the evidently self-centred, comfort-
accepting, pleasure-loving, and consequence-avoiding life of
the cultured young woman professor in one of our universities
who has created a sensation by making the following state-
ment, in which, mark you, there is no revolt against evil desire,
and sinful indulgence, but only against physical consequence.
Yea! here the rebellion, and it is typical, is not against the
wrongs of human social life , but against that which is highest,
holiest and most glorious in it, namely, motherhood!

The young woman professor writes :
"I am not prepared to say that I absolutely refuse to accept the charge
of motherhood, but I do refuse — and I have no words to express the loathing
with which I regard the idea — to be looked upon as a mere means of swell-
ing the census report. Stripped of its fine language, this is what all this
prating of the beauty of large families amounts to. I do not believe that
there is, or ever has been, a large family which resulted from anything so
high-minded as the deliberate, desire of both parents to rear good citizens
for the State."

The words of the President have moved The Lutheran
Standard, one of the most serious and earnest of our church
papers, to speak as follows :

"Large families have come to be regarded as a great burden, an intoler-
able responsibility. The, woman who gives birth to many children is looked
down upon with pity and contempt, rather than looked up to with honor and



8

respect. The pain and the suffering connected with maternity, notwith-
standing what the Scriptures say on the matter, are declared to be the, im-
position on womankind of a burden which no man should ask his wife to
carry. Many married people, who consider themselves respectable, and are
considered respectable by their neighbors, are before God known to be re-
sorting to wicked, ofttimes criminal, practices, in order to avoid having
children. This is a grievous thing, and calls for earnest protest on the part
of right-thinking people.

"The woman whose purpose in being married is to lead a fashionable
life, preside over a fashionable home, and spend her husband's money, miss-
ed her calling when she entered the marriage estate. Human butterflies
make poor mothers. According to Scripture it is not a disgrace, but an
honor, to be a parent. Are, our Lutheran married people imitating the wick-
ed example which the fashionable worldling is setting? Are our Lutheran
women, through wicked habits, becoming like their pale, nervous, broken-
down, foolish sisters? God forbid! 'Be not deceived: God is not mocked.'
Such violations of divine and natural law will have their reward, here and
hereafter. May the love of God and of Christ so fill the hearts of our peo-
ple, that they will obey cheerfully the laws of God, and follow in His ways."

From the home, the President turns to speak for a mo-
ment on child training, as it should be practiced by the state :

"Tn the vital matter of taking care of children much advantage could be
gained by a careful study of what has been accomplished in such states as
Illinois and Colorado by the juvenile courts. The work of the juvenile
court is really a work of character building. It is now generally recognized
that young boys and young girls who go wrong should not be treated as
criminals, not even necessarily as needing reformation, but rather as needing
to have their characters formed, and for this end to have them tested and
developed by a system of probation."

THE President recognizes and very clearly delineates the
limits between the rights of the nation and the rights of
the various states. He devotes attention to the work
that his government is accomplishing in forwarding the
art of agriculture, in preserving the forests, and he points out
the difficulties in securing first-class Indian agents. His dis-
cussion of the postal service has no reference to the frauds
which he has unearthed.*

The President lays down a point of interest for the na-
tional agitators that are so prolific in America:

"Ordinarily it is very much wiser and more useful for us to concern
ourselves wiih striving for our own moral and material betterment here at
home than to concern ourselves with trying to better the condition of things

*It is an interesting fact that the revenues of the United States post office have
increased from $76,000,000 in 1895 to $144,000,000 in 1904.



in other nations. We have plenty of sins of our own to war against, and
under ordinary circumstances we can do more for the general uplifting of
humanity by striving with heart and soul to put a stop to civic corruption,
to brutal lawlessness and violent race prejudices here at home than by pass-
ing resolutions about wrongdoing elsewhere. Nevertheless there, are occa-
sional crimes committed on so vast a scale and of such peculiar horror as to
make us doubt whether it is not our manifest duty to endeavor at least to
show our disapproval of the. deed and our sympathy with those who have
suffered by it. The cases must be extreme in which such a course is justi-
fiable. There must be no effort made to remove the mote from our broth-
er's eye if we refuse to remove the beam from our own."

He, however, defends the right of the American people,
which in spite of its own short comings, yet as a whole shows
by its consistent practice of its belief in the principle of civil
and religious liberty and of orderly freedom, "among whom
even the worst crime, like the crime of lynching, is never
more than sporadic," to give expression to its horror against
the massacre of the Jews in Kishieneff or against the cruelties
practiced upon the Armenians.

The President deals with the principle of immigration on
very broad lines. "First and foremost let us remember that
the question of being a good American has nothing whatever
to do with a man's birthplace any more than it has to do with
his creed. In every generation from the time this government
was founded, men of foreign birth have stood in the very fore-
most ranks of good citizenship. To try to draw a distinction
between the man whose parents came to this country and the
man whose ancestors came over a few centuries back is a mat-
ter of absurdity. Good Americanism is a matter of heart, good
conscience, lofty aspiration and sound common sense, but not
of birthplace or of creed. Among the men of whom we are
most proud as Americans no distinction whatever can be drawn
between those whose parents came over in a sailing ship or
steamer, and those whose ancestors stepped ashore into the
wooded wilderness at Plymouth nearly three centuries ago."
Thus is nativism dealt a sturdy and stunning blow.

The President proceeds, "There is no danger of having
too many immigrants of the right kind, if they are sound in
body and in mind and above all if they are of good character.
But we should not admit masses of men whose standards and



IO

personal habits are such that they tend to lower the level of the
American wage earner."

During the last six months, since July i, 1904, the arrivals
of immigrants have been more than 375,000, and they are still
coming in at the rate of 2500 a day. In the last two years more
than two millions have been added to our population by the
increase of emigration. Italy contributes more to the growth
of our population than any other country, Austria coming sec-
ond, Russia third, and Sweden fourth. Sweden has sent us
about 30,000 of her sons and daughters during this past year.
There is a large falling off in the emigration of all these coun-
tries, and an increase of immigrants from England. We should
very much like to go into the details of this subject of immigra-
tion, and trust that we may be able to do so at some time
in a special article.

The President makes a strong protest against clogging
the wheels of justice, especially when the criminals are such as
are against the general government itself, instancing the cases
of Reavers. Green, Gaynor and Renson.

Here is the highest executive of the American people
turned preacher, and preaching nothing less than a social and
political revolution. There are no platitudes and no platform
planks in these words. We are face to face with first prin-
ciples.

DURING the year 1904 Congress settled many important
matters, for good or for ill. It passed the Cuban Reci-
procity bill. It ratified a treaty with Cuba, which car-


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Online LibraryTheodore E[manuel] SchmaukThe year of our Lord, 1904; a survey of the world → online text (page 1 of 11)