The literature of American history : a bibliographical guide, in which the scope, character, and comparative worth of books in selected lists are set forth in brief notes by critics of authority online

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On the other hand, he scouts the theory that the rebels
committed treason, in any moral sense, and proclaims
that we are all ' willing and proud to be their country-
men, fellow-citizens, and friends.' ... Of a standing
army Mr. Brownson thinks well, and wishes it to num-
ber a hundred thousand ; but his reason for the faith
that is in him is a little unexpected. He thinks it use-
ful because ' it creates honorable places for gentlemen
or the sons of gentlemen without wealth.' ... He sees
danger in the horizon, and frankly avows it. ... It is,
that, if matters go on as now, foreign observers will
never clearly understand whether it was the terri-
torial democracy' or the 'humanitarian democracy'
which really triumphed in the late contest ! ... It is
needless to say that its author is the same Mr. Brown-
son whom the American people long since tried and
found wanting as a safe or wise counsellor ; the same
of whom the Roman Catholic Church one day assumed
the responsibility, and found the task more onerous
than had been expected." Atlantic, 17 : 523.

Bryce, James. The American common-
wealth. London and N. Y. : Macmillan. 1888.
2v. 3d ed., rev., with additional chapters.
1893-5. 2v. $4.

Same ; abridged for colleges and high

schools. N. Y. : Macmillan. 1896. $1.75.


A work of rare philosophical power and insight,
easily first among descriptions and criticisms of
American political and social institutions. It is based
upon extensive personal knowledge of the United
States as well as thorough study of its history. The
work falls into six parts. Part I treats of the organi-
zation and work of the national government, and Part
II of state and local government. Part III is a de-
tailed study of the party system. Part IV discusses
the nature, action, and influence of public opinion,
while Part V, " illustrations and reflections," groups
a few topics, such as the Tammany ring, Kearneyism,
woman suffrage, etc., not falling properly within other
divisions, together with observations on the strength
and weakness of American democracy. Part VI treats
of social institutions, including under this head the
bar, the universities, the church, etc. Constitutional
history, as such, is outside the author's sphere, and is
touched upon only in so far as is necessary to elucidate
the governmental system. The exposition of the rela-
tions between the federal government and the states,
political methods, and the working of public opinion;
is especially notable. Incidentally the book serves as
a corrective of the theories of De Tocqueville and
other European observers*.

The abridgment contains the greater part of vol. 1
of the original work, and a few chapters from vol.
2, but abridged mainly by omitting most of the ref-
erences to English institutions, and cutting down
the longer passages of comment. The resulting con-
densation is dry, and devoid of both the literary and
philosophic charm and the expository power of the
original. w - MacD -

Predictions of Hamilton and De Tocque-
ville (Johns Hopkins Univ. studies, ser. 5,
no. 9.) Bait. 1887. Pap. 25c. [2703




In the pages of this little pamphlet, the author of
the American commonwealth discusses the predic-
tions of Hamilton in the Federalist and of De Tocque-
ville in his Democracy in America. No one is better
qualified than Mr. Bryce to test such prophecies by
the actualities of the present. The volume is written
in the interesting and suggestive way characteristic
of all the author's work. A. C. McL.

Burgess, John William. Political science
and comparative constitutional law. Boston :
Ginn. 1890. 2v. $5. [2704

An elaborate and learned comparison of the consti-
tutional systems of the United States, Great Britain,
France, and Germany, from the point of view of an
abstruse theoretical discussion of the nature of gov-
ernment, state, and nation. German authorities seem
mainly to have been relied upon. The literary inter-
est is small, and the personal views of the author
are strongly emphasized ; the descriptive portions,
however, have marked value and usefulness. An ap-
pendix to vol. 1 gives the texts, in the original, of
the constitutions of Prussia and the German Empire,
and of the " constitutional laws " of France.

W. MacD.

Caldwell, Joshua W. Studies in the con-
stitutional history of Tennessee. Cin. : Clarke.
1895. $2. [2705

Based upon a series of newspaper articles written
in 1895 in aid of an effort for a constitutional conven-
tion. The work makes no pretension to being a his-
tory of the state, but treats historically six important
periods or phases, viz., the Watauga association, 1772-
1777, the State of Cumberland, 1780-1783, the State of
Franklin, 1784-1788, and the constitutions of 1796, 1834,
and 1870. The book shows first-hand research, and has
historical value. W. MacD.

Chambrun, Adolphe de. Le pouvoir exe-
cutif aux Etats-Unis. Paris. 1876.

The executive power in the United

States; tr. by Madeleine Vinta Dahlgren.
Lancaster, Pa. 1874. [2706

This foreign commentator on one phase of the gov-
ernment of the United States comes chronologically
between De Tocqueville and Bryce, but possesses the
peculiar perceptive and analytic power of neither of
these writers.. His work consists chiefly in tracing the
various functions of the executive as conceived in the
Constitutional Convention, and showing how custom
has made them otherwise. There are practical chap-
ters on the administrations of Lincoln and of John-
son. E. E. S.

Charming, Edward. Town and county
government in the English colonies of North
America. (Johns Hopkins Univ. studies, ser.
2, no. 10.) Baltimore. 1884. Pap. 50c. [2707

This study, which received the Tappan prize at Har-
vard University, was one of the first fruits of the in-
terest aroused by Professor H. B. Adams in the local
institutions of the colonies. But, as Professor Chan-
ning was strictly limited to such printed material as
the Harvard University Library contained, his study

is inevitably imperfect. Notwithstanding the fact
that some of his conclusions must be revised in view
of the new material that has been utilized for both
regions since 1884, he still gives perhaps the best com-
parative study of the local institutions of New Eng-
land and Virginia. The history of the origin of the
New England town has yet to be written, while such
works as Bruce's Economic history of Virginia throw
great light upon the conditions in that colony. But
considering the time and the material, the essay is one
of unusual excellence. C. M. A.

Clark, Charles C. P. The "machine"
abolished and the people restored to power, by
the organization of all the people on the lines
of party organization. N. Y. : Putnam. 1900.
$1. [2708

This is a new and considerably re-written edition of
a remarkably suggestive book, first published in 1878,
under the title of The commonwealth reconstructed.
It is a penetrating study of the conditions under which
parties and party nominations have fallen under the
control of the " bosses " of political " machines." In
the writer's view, which many are coming to share,
this deadly paralyzing of the popular will is an inevit-
able consequence of the arrangement of constituen-
cies, for the representation of the people, on geogra-
phical lines. He proposes to substitute a formation
of constituencies by lot, with periodical drawings, to
make a frequent change. The book is fascinating in
thought and admirably clear in style. It deserves
more attention than it has received.

Cooley, Thomas Mclntyre. General prin-
ciples of constitutional law in the United States
of America. Boston : Little. 1880.

Same, 3d ed. ; [revised] by Andrew C.

McLaughlin. Little. 1898. $2.50. [2709

One of the well-known Students'" series of elementary
law text-books, and the work of an authority of the
first rank. It is by far the best brief manual of con-
stitutional law. The arrangement is systematic, the
style simple and clear, and the exposition admirable.
The edition of 1898, besides revision of the text, adds
a chapter on the formation and construction of state
constitutions, mainly extracted from the same author's
Constitutional limitations. W. MacD.

Treatise on the constitutional limitations

which rest upon the legislative power of the
states of the American union. Boston : Little.

Same : 6th ed. ; with additions by A. C.

Angell. Little. 1890. $6. [2710

An elaborate legal treatise, and one of the best
known, of its author's works. The several chapters
discuss, with the usual extensive citation and com-
parison of cases, such topics as the formation, amend-
ment, and construction of state constitutions, legisla-
tive powers and the enactment of laws, constitutional
protection of persons and property, liberty of speech
and of the press, religious liberty, taxation, the police
power, and the expression of the popular will through
elections. W. MacD.



Cooley, Thomas Mclntyre, et al. Consti-
tutional history of the United States as seen
in the development of American law. N. Y. :
Putnam. 1889. $2. [2711

This book, made up of five lectures by as many emi-
nent jurists, seeks to mark out the course of the con-
stitutional development of the United States, as that
development appears in the decisions of the courts.
Important cases are discussed ; decisions are chrono-
logically arranged, and it is shown how one important
principle followed upon another. In this way the
main steps in constitutional development, as far as
that depends on judicial action and construction,
are declared. All of the lectures are able ; but the
most valuable are " The Supreme Court, its place in
the American constitutional system," and " Constitu-
tional development in the United States as influenced
by Chief Justice Marshall." A. C. McL.

Cooper, Thomas V., and Hector T. Fen-
ton, eds. American politics. Phil.: Fireside
Pub. Co. 1882. [2712

Contents: History of the political parties. Politi-
cal platforms. Great speeches on great issues.
Parliamentary practice. -~ Existing political laws.
Federal blue book. Tabulated history of politics.

Curry, Jabez Lamar Monroe. Southern
states of the American Union considered in
their relations to the Constitution of the United
States. N. Y. : Putnam. 1894. Richmond:
Johnson. $1. [2713

A historical argument for the southern view of the
Constitution written by one prominently identified
with the southern Confederacy and aimed " to recon-
struct ideas and opinions adverse to the South, in so
far as they are founded on ignorance and prejudice."
While mainly ex parte, and not always dispassionate,
the presentation is manly and, on the whole, fair and
strong. Its explanation of the attitude of the South
will be found well worth reading by those who have
studied only the other side of the question.

G. P. G.

Curtis, George Ticknor. Constitutional
history of the United States. N. Y. : Harper.
1889-96. 2v. $6. [2714

Vol. 1 is a revised edition of the same author's His-
tory of the constitution of the United States, 2 vols.,
1854. The high legal standing of Curtis, his judicial
temper, and the clearness of his style, gave his original
work great favor, especially with lawyers, and caused
it to be often quoted by the courts as an authority.
Of the two volumes, the first, covering the period of
the Revolution and the Confederation, is the better.
The vol. 2 of the revised edition (1896) contains thir-
teen chapters left unfinished at the author's death,
and published under the supervision of J. C. Clayton.
The special merits of vol. 2 are not considerable, and
the account of the period covered by it (1789-1876) is
slight. Curtis's fundamental political views were
those of Webster, whose friend and biographer he was ;
but his opinions on the constitutional aspects of the
slavery controversy, shown in his Life of Buchanan,

are not altered here. The latter half of vol. 2 com-
prises documents and miscellaneous papers.


Gushing, H. A. History of the transition
from provincial to commonwealth government
in Massachusetts. See Columbia University,
sect. 259. [2715

Dallinger, Frederick William. Nomina-
tions for elective office in the United States.
(Harvard historical studies, 4.) N. Y. : Long-
mans. 1897. $1.50. [2716
An interesting discussion, given additional weight
by the practical experience of the author as a mem-
ber of the Massachusetts Legislature. A brief history
of the caucus and nominating convention in the
United States is followed by a description of the pre-
sent nominating system ; the remainder of the book
treats of remedies for existing evils. The remedies
relied upon by the author are : (1) a reduction of the
number of elective offices ; (2) separation of local elec-
tions from state and national ; (3) abolition of the
spoils system. W. MacD.

Dawes, Anna Laurens. How we are gov-
erned ; an explanation of the Constitution and
government of the United States. Boston:
Lothrop. [c. 1885.] Boston : Ginn. $1.


Varies little from the old line of text-books on
" civil government," but expressed in simple lan-
guage. Not likely to fulfill the promise in the title,
but of some service to the searcher for general in-
formation. Comments are arranged under the gen-
eral divisions of the Constitution. Gives minute de-
scriptions of the practical working of the Federal
government, but is meagre on state governments, and
lacking on local self-government. Purely theoretical
in treatment of questions of reform. Optimistic.

E. E. S.

Douglas, Stephen Arnold. CUTTS, JAMES
MADISON. Brief treatise upon constitutional
and party questions and the history of political
parties, as I received it orally from the late
Stephen A. Douglas. N. Y. : Appleton. 1866.


In the summer of 1859, the author had a series of
" interviews " with Mr. Douglas on the questions
named in the title of this book. The replies of Mr.
Douglas "were taken down in writing, verbally, at
the time," says Mr. Cutts, " Mr. Douglas always paus-
ing long enough to enable me to obtain his exact lan-
guage." The result is a valuable, though fragmentary
and meagre " confession of political faith "from the
lips of the man who during the eventful six years
between 1854 and 1860 was the leader of the northern
section of the Democratic party. The book is one
which every student of that period should read.

A. D. M.

Dunxiing, William Archibald. Essays on
the Civil War and reconstruction, and related
topics. N. Y. : Macmillan. 1898. $2. [2719




Seven essays, on The Constitution in Civil War, The
Constitution in reconstruction, Military government
during reconstruction, Process of reconstruction, Im-
peachment and trial of President Johnson, Are the
states equal under the Constitution?, and American
political philosophy. All except the fourth first ap-
peared in periodicals. The last is unimportant : the
others are constitutional and legal studies of high
value, written with judicial temper and in an interest-
ing style. W. MacD.

Federalist, The : a commentary on the Con-
stitution of the United States ; reprinted from
the original text [1788] of Alexander Hamil-
ton, John Jay, and James Madison; ed. by
H. C. Lodge. N. Y.: Putnam. 1888. $1.50.

Same ; ed. by Paul Leicester Ford.
N. Y.: Holt. 1898. $1.75. [2720

A collection of essays designed to convince the peo-
ple of New York that the Articles of Confederation
were hopelessly defective as a national constitution,
that a more effective system was indispensable for the
prosperity of the country, and that the Constitution
framed by the Philadelphia convention promised a
remedy for the existing evils, and an energetic ad-
ministration without imperilling liberty. The second
part of the Federalist is a detailed explanation of the
provisions of the Constitution and of the general plan
of government proposed. Of the many editions,
those by Lodge and Ford are to be preferred. H. B.
Dawson's edition of 1863, which is now out of print,
has a very learned introduction on the bibliography
and authorship of the essays. Both Mr. Lodge and
Mr. Ford are somewhat biassed in favor of Hamilton
in their discussion of the authorship, and their treat-
ment of the question cannot be considered as final or
satisfactory. The distinctive features of Ford's edi-
tion are the indication of place and date of the first
publication of each essay, the suggestive running
commentary on portions of the text and the ample
index, far more complete than is possessed by any
other edition. E. G-. B.

See next title.

Federalist, The, and other constitutional
papers, by Hamilton, Jay, Madison, and other
statesmen ; ed. by E. H. Scott. Chicago :
Scott. 1895. 2v. $5. [2721

A cheap but well-printed text of The Federalist
based upon the edition of 1818 and the index of 1831.
It lacks the valuable suggestions made in Dawson's
revision and the annotation of Lodge's edition. To
the text are added twenty-two of the best essays and
pamphlets on the Constitution taken from Ford's col-
lections. E. E. S.

Fisher, Sydney George. Evolution of the
Constitution of the United States. Phil. : Lip-
pincott. 1897. $1.50. [2722

An attempt to show how the Constitution developed
from the colonial charters and plans of union, as well
as from English practice. In addition to a general
sketch of the development of the charters, and an
account of the first state constitutions, the various
provisions of the Constitution in detail are compared

with corresponding provisions in the earlier docu-
ments, the texts of the passages in question being
printed in full. A final chapter criticises adversely
the theory of Dutch influence upon American history
and institutions, set forth in Douglas Campbell's The
Puritan in Holland, England, and America (sect.
2649). W. MacD.

Fiske, John. American political ideas
viewed from the standpoint of universal his-
tory. N. Y.: Harper. 1885. $1. [2723

This book comprises a course of three lectures, the
Town meeting, Federal union, and Manifest destiny,
originally delivered at the Ryal Institution of Great
Britain in 1880. Mr. Fiske confutes the notion that
centralization is needed for very large nations ; con-
tends that the stability of a great political aggre-
gate, like the United States, can be maintained only
through the combination of local self-government
and federal union ; and sees a great future for federa-
tion in the history of mankind. The lectures are
popular in character, but very suggestive, and are
marked by a strong American spirit. B. A. H.

Civil government in the United States,

considered with some reference to its origins.
Boston: Houghton. 1890. Net $1. [2724

An attractively written elementary account, de-
scriptive and historical, of American political institu-
tions, with special reference to the origin and histor-
ical development of existing forms. More than usual
attention is paid to local and state government. The
book is intended for use as a text-book, but purposely
avoids arbitrary arrangement and didactic presenta-
tion. An apparatus of questions and topics has been
provided by F. A. Hill. W. MacD.

Follett, Mary Parker. The Speaker of the
House of Representatives. N. Y. : Longmans.
1896. $1.75. [2725

An admirable historical examination of the speaker-
ship, and the duties and responsibilities of the office.
English and colonial precedents are only briefly
touched upon, but the whole course of development
under the Constitution is minutely traced. The re-
sults of the inquiry go to show that "the whole
history of the House of Representatives, from an in-
stitutional point of view, has been the history of the
concentration of legislative power in the hands of the
Speaker of the House; " but the author writes as an
historian, and without a theory to prove.

W. MacD.

Ford, Henry Jones. Rise and growth of
American politics: a sketch of constitutional
development. N. Y. : Macmillan. 1898. $1.50.


" Mr. Ford . . . starts out with the proposition that
American political conditions can be understood only
in the light of English political conditions in the
eighteenth century, of which American political con-
ditions are the natural outgrowth." He " shows, in a
most interesting and instructive manner, that in both
countries the necessary harmony between the execu-
tive and the legislature was attained in the same way
through the establishment of strong national par-



ties. In both countries these parties secured their
existence and perpetuated their power by the employ-
ment of means which we can hardly fail to regard as
corrupt. . . . The great difference between the two
countries lies in the fact that England has progressed
further than the United States. England has practi-
cally solved the problem, through the establishment
of the cabinet system with the prime minister at its
head. . . . The only questionable part of this inval-
uable book is the suggestion made at the close a
suggestion upon which considerable emphasis is laid
that we can solve the problem in the same way in
which England has already solved it : namely, by the
admission of the members of the President's cabinet
to the floor of Congress. . . . Mr. Ford has written
the best book that has appeared for a long time on
American politics. ... It treats of the details of our
political development and present conditions with
a thoroughness which has nowhere been excelled."
Frank J. Goodnow, in Political science quarterly. 14 :

Ford, Paul Leicester. Bibliography of the
adoption of the Constitution of the United
States. See Historical Printing Club, sect.
272. [2727

ed. Essays on the Constitution of the

United States, published during its discussion
by the people, 1787-88. Brooklyn : Historical
Printing Club. 1892. [2728

An invaluable collection for the special student who
would know the arguments used for and against the
adoption of the Constitution. The essays originally
appeared in the newspapers, as did the similar articles
that make up The Federalist. Among the writers
represented are Oliver Ellsworth, Alexander Hamil-
ton, Robert Yates, Charles Pinckney and others who
were well-known and influential persons of the time.

A. C. McL.

ed. Pamphlets on the Constitution of

the United States, published during its discus-
sion by the people, 1787-88 ; with notes and a
bibliography. Brooklyn: Ford. 1888. [2729

What is said of the Essays mentioned above is ap-
plicable in large measure to these pamphlets, which
disclose very clearly the main outline of the great
controversy over the Constitution. The editor has
rendered the student of American history good ser-
vice by gathering these pamphlets from many sources,
determining their authorship and publishing them in
convenient form. Written by men like Gerry, Jay,
Wilson, Dickinson and others hardly less famous,
they are essential and valuable portions of our histor-
ical literature. A. C. McL.

Ford, Worthington Chauncey, ed. Amer-
ican citizen's manual. (Questions of the day.)
N. Y.: Putnam. 1882-3. 2v. [2730

Part I is a brief description of the organization and
work of government, national, state, and local, in the
United States, with chapters on the electoral system
and the civil service. Part II discusses elementary
principles of constitutional law, particularly such as
relate to taxation and expenditure, the regulation of

commerce and industry (the author is opposed to
protection) and the care of the poor and defective
classes. The work as a whole has been superseded,
but its tone of critical reflection still gives it worth.

W. MacD.

Foster, Roger. Commentaries on the Con-
stitution of the United States. Boston : Boston
Book Co. 1895-. V. 1+. V. 1, $4.50. [2731

The most pretentious recent treatise, aiming, ap-
parently, to rival Story's famous Commentaries. The
plan contemplates extended comment on the clauses
of the Constitution in their order, and not under a topi-
cal classification. Vol. l(all published), with the sub-
title, Preamble to impeachment,' deals with the pre-
amble, and so much of Art. I as relates to the organi-
zation of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Incidentally, the author goes, sometimes at great
length, into the discussion of historical and political
questions more or less related to the topic in hand.
Chap. XIII, on impeachment, and the appendix on

Online LibraryUnknownThe literature of American history : a bibliographical guide, in which the scope, character, and comparative worth of books in selected lists are set forth in brief notes by critics of authority → online text (page 72 of 145)