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The American
Political Science Review^


J. D. Barnett, University of Oregon VV. B. Mxjnro, Harvard University

F. W. CoKSB, Frederic A. Ogo,

Ohio State University University of Wisconsin

W. F. DoDD, C. C. Williamson,

Springfield, Illinois New York Public Library

Charles G. Fbnwick, W. W. Willoughbt,

Bryn Mawr College Johns Hopkins University


John A. Fairlie


^^1920 /





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Copyright, 1920, by


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Number 1— FEBBtJABY, 1920

Present tendencies in American politics, Henry Jones Ford 1

Revolutionary communism in the United States, Gordon S. Watkins 14

The new German constitution, Walter James Shepard : 34

Constitutional law in 1918-1919, II, Thomas Reed Powell 63

American government and politics, Lindsay Rogers 74

The special session of congress.
Legislative notes and reviews, Charles Keiileborough 93

The Richards primary; Post-war legislation; Americanization; War
history records.
Foreign governments and politics, Frederic A. Ogg 117

Electoral reform in France and the elections of 1919; Swedish parlia-
mentary elections, 1919.
Notes on international affairs, Charles O. Fenmck 126 A

The treaty of peace with Austria; Recent important articles from
scientific journals.
News and notes, personal and miscellaneous, Frederic A. Ogg 144

Annual meeting; Doctorial dissertations in political science.

Book reviews, W, B. Munro 159

Recent publications of political interest:

Books and periodicals, Beatrice 0. Ashton and Clarence A. Berdahl 187

Government publications, Rollin A. Sawyer ^ Jr 207

Number 2— May, 1920

The future Russian constitution as seen by Russian liberals, Baron S. A,

Korff 209

Some phases of the federal personnel problem, Levris Mayers 222

Political geography and state government. W, F. Dodd 242

Legislative notes and reviews, Charles Kettlehorough 277 ^

Legislative investigations; Special municipal corporations; Anti-
syndicalist legislation; Regulation of social diseases.

Judicial decisions on public law, Robert E, Ctishman 303

Foreign governments and politics, Frederic A, Ogg 317 ^

Soviet government in Russia; Proportional representation in Ireland.

News and notes, personal and miscellaneous, Frederic A. Ogg 325

Book reviews, W. B. Munro 331

Recent publications of political interest:

Books and periodicals, Beatrice 0. Ashton and Clarence A. Berdahl 366

Government publications, Itollin A. Sawyer , Jr 389


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Number 3— August, 1920

The pluralistic state, Ellen Deborah Ellis 393

Local government in Belgium, L^on Dupriez 408

Special municipal legislation in Iowa, Frank Edward Horack 423

Legislative notes and reviews, Charles Kettlehorough 446

^ Statutory revision and legislative aids; Statistical agencies; Marketing

bureaus; Uniform legislation.

Judicial decisions on public law, Robert E, Citshman '. 461

Foreign governments and politics, Frederic A. Ogg 471

Changes in British parliamentary procedure; Swiss referendum on the
League of Nations.

Notes on international affairs, Charles G. Fenwick 481

The outlook for international law.

News and notes, personal" and miscellaneous, Frederic A, Ogg 493

The International Union of Academies and the American Council of
Learned Societies devoted to Humanistic Studies.

Book reviews, W. B. Munro 504

Recent publications of political interest:

Books and periodicals, Beatrice 0, Ashion and Clarence A, Berdahl 537

Government publications, Rollin A. Sawyer, Jr 563

Number 4 — November, 1920

^^ Democracy and efficient government — lessons of the war, Charles G.

Fenwick 565

-.* Economic organization for war, Ernest L. Bogart 587

The Luxemburg chamber of deputies, Ruth Putnam 607

Constitutional law in 1919-1920, I, Edward S. Corwin 635

American government and politics, Lindsay Rogers 659

The second session of the 66th Congress.

Legislative notes and reviews, Charles Kettleborough 672

Legislative resolutions and memorials; Co5perative associations; State
legislation, 1920.

Notes on municipal affairs, F, W, Coker 683

Charter revisions and home rule; Street-railway problems; Housing
and rent problems; Organizations and publications; Miscellaneous

News and notes, personal and miscellaneous, Frederic A. Ogg 705

Book reviews, W. B, Munro 711

Recent publications of political interest:

Books and periodicals, Clarence A, Berdahl 740

Government publications, Rollin A. Sawyer, Jr 760

Index to Vol. XIV 763


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The American
Political Science Review

^ol. XIV FEBRUARY, 1920 ♦ No. 1

i>im:sent tendencies in American politics*


Princeton University

For the first time since its sessions began in 1904, the American
oli1;ical Science Association was last year unable to hold its
^g:ul£tr annual meeting. For fourteen years, in imbroken series,
lie association had brought its members together for conference
ad discussion; but last year, with more matter in its field en-
i^ins thought and . provoking study than ever before, the asso-
action had to suspend its activities. This was due to circimi-
ances so well known that the matter would be scarcely worth
entioning were it not that it exhibits a plight in which political
ience is apt to find itself whenever the ordinary course of
'^ents is interrupted by some great catastrophe.

Tn ^President Lowell's standard work on Governments and Par-

^s i/rt Continental Europe, he remarks that to him ^'the State

metimes presents itself under the figure of a stage-coach with

e horses running away. On the front a number of eager men

e xirging the most contrary advice on the driver, whose chief

rjoot is to keep his seat; while at the back a couple of old gen-

*in^n with spy-glasses are carefully surveying the road already

a-^v^ersed/' In this picture, drawn by one who is himself an

Presidential address at the annual meeting of the American Political Science
80oi&t>ion, Cleveland, Ohio, December 29, 1919.


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emineiit political scientist, no one can mistake the position
assigned to political science. Its occupation is that of the old
gentlemen with the spy-glasses. Carrjdng on the metaphor,
one might say that what happened last year to prevent the usual
exchange of notes and observations was an upset of the stage-
coach, scattering passengers, spilling goods, and making it the
first thought with everyone to jump in to save life and property.
In this emergency the members of this association were not
found wanting. Their ordinary pursuits as students of political
science might be Suspended, but not their activities as publicists,
and their special knowledge and experience were applied to pub-
lic service in many ways of marked usefulness. Indeed, it is the
most hopeful and encoiuraging incident of that great wreck of
civilization in which the world is now floimdering that it revealed
as never before the new and great resources which the state has
acquired through the progress of science and the amassing of
expert knowledge n our colleges and universities. Never before
has the practical value of educational foundations been so im-
pressively exhibited as by their manifold services during the
great war.

But now that the war is over, or at least has dwindled so that
it now continues only in particular spots; now that the main
task is to clear away the wreck and put things in running order
again, what help can political science give in this emergency?
To begin with, it has in stock much useful information about
forms of government, principles of organization, systems of
jurisprudence. The old gentlemen with the spy-glasses have
noted much on the road that civilization's stage-coach has
already traversed. Their notes and observations have been
digested in innumerable treatises. But it may be asked how
much of such matter is available for instruction and guidance
in the new era upon which the world has entered? For the most
part the literature of political science is historical and descrip-
tive. It gives accounts of what has been and what is; but does
such knowledge throw much light on what will be? To go at
once to the heart of the matter, is political science any better
able now than it was in 1787 to answer the important question

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which Alexander Hamilton put in the first number of The Fed-
eralist: "whether societies of men are really capable or not of
establishing good government from reflection and choice, or
whether they are forever destined to depend for their political
constitutions on accident and force?" Hamilton observed that
'4t seems to have been reserved to the people of this coimtry,
by their conduct and example/' to decide that question, so that
"a wrong election of the part we shall act may deserve to be con-
sidered as the general misfortune of mankind."

There was at one period an enthusiastic belief that in the Con-
stitution of the United States reflection and choice had at last
superseded accident and force, and that a model of free govern-
ment was now provided by which all countries and peoples might
benefit. The effect upon governmental arrangements was once
very marked, but complete examination of the documents shows
that this influence soon spent itself, and a decided change of
disposition took place. If, for instance, one shall attentively
consider^ the constitutional documents of all the Americas, one
will observe, that although in their early forms the Constitution
of the United States was the model, this is no longer the case.
The constitution of the French republic now excels it in influ-
ence. The United States has lost its lead, despite the fact that
never has our country bulked larger in the world than now.
The present situation is indeed a striking confirmation of Ham-
ilton's opinion that error in our republic becomes the general
misfortime of mankind, for it is a fact well known to every stu-
dent of politics that a belief that our system of government is a
failing on the essential point of justice is now a potent influence
on the side of social revolution throughout the world. Every-
where the leaders of revolt point to the United States as an
example of bourgeois rule and as an evidence of its congenital
inability to deal fairly with the masses. Goldsmith's definition
of a republic as a country in which the laws govern the poor and
the rich govern the laws expresses a view now widely prevalent.

It is not possible that any form of government can be so good
as to escape calumny or be able to rule at all times merely by
reason and by moral influence; but the case becomes very serious,

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the danger of revolution really formidable, when the activity of
revolutionists draws support from the calm investigations of
impartial students. It is unfortunately the case — ^and it is a
fact that it would be unwise to ignore — that the most important
and influential studies that have been made of the institutions
of the United States show an increasing spirit of depreciation.
Students of political science will generally agree that the three
greatest works of this class, all displaying wide knowledge and
deep thought, are De TocqueviUe's Democracy in America, first
published in 1835; Bryce's American Commonwealth, 1888; and
Ostrogorski's Democracy and the Organisation of Political Par-
ties, 1902. These works form a crescendo of censure upon Amer-
ican government, each reexamination of the subject confirming
previous disapproval and adding to it.

Profound disappointment over results in the United States is
undoubtedly a mighty factor in the strong reaction going on
against representative government. It is not merely a hole-
and-corner sentiment such as the police force can be trusted to
suppress; it is a large movement receiving active intellectual
support. Everyone who keeps in touch with current literature
knows and can mention periodicals of high critical pretensions
that have gone over to it. Serious and thoughtful books are
appearing with arguments in favor of substitutes for representa-
tive government, and advocating new methods of political or-
ganization, which, whether that term be employed or not, are
decidedly of the soviet pattern. Even such institutions as the
Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations, whose origin and man-
agement would naturally incline them to conservative views,
have been constrained by the results of dispassionate inquiry, to
put forth severe indictments of the present system of govern-
ment. The old veneration for the Constitution, that used to be
such a strong American characteristic, has been much impaired.

In my own experience as a teacher — which from what I hear
from colleagues is not singular in this respect — a marked change
has taken place in the attitude of Young America. Most of our
students seem to stick to the opinions they learned at home, in
politics as in religion; but there are some ardent, hopeful, active

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spirits who take an independent interest in political affairs, and
these used to attach themselves with enthusiasm to the cause
of civil service reform. Now, they are more likely to take up
socialism, and no feature of its propaganda seems to please them
more than the contempt and derision it pours upon legislative
procedure. Karl Marx's scathing denunciation of what he called
parliamentary cretinism is eliciting a response that can scarcely
fail to have practical consequences.

This brings us face to face with a very important considera-
tion. What is the matter with political science if it may serve
to imdermine institutions of government? Has it no settled
criteria of political value, no methods of analysis by which it
can accurately discern the causes of bad government and pre-
scribe the means of cure? Can it, in fine, be anything more than
a branch of history? Can it really maintain pretensions to rank
as a genuine science of political institutions, enlightening and
directing the arts of practical statesmanship?

After making all the deductions and aUbwances that candor
requires, I think that there is good ground for the assertion that
political science is not merely historical, but is a genuine sciei^ce
in that it can supply plain interpretation, clear foresight, and
practical guidance to those who consult it. The state of political
science may be fairly compared with that of medical science.
The one has much the same relation to the body-politic that the
other has to the physical body. The field of each science is a
hunting ground for quackery and charlatanry; in the»case of
each the application of well-estabUshed principles is obstructed
by ignorance and cupidity. But these defects in the situation
do not alter the fact that a genuine body of scientific knowledge
does exist; and that the real problem is not to supply knowledge
but to make available the existing supply. Political science,
like medicine, is a progressive science; but in each case actual
attainments are immensely in advance of their practical appli-
cation. The prevalence of typhoid fever and smallpox in Ameri-
can communities does not discredit medical science. It knows
just what to do to banish such ailments if allowed to act; the
difficulty is not to find out what to do, but it is to obtain means

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of doing what ought to be done. Much the same- may be said of
political science with regard to problems in its field.

It may be laid down as a general principle that when great
corrections and improvements are made in the organization of
public authority they are accomplished by extending oppor-
tunity to political science. The master achievements of states-
manship when closely examined will be found to consist not in
devising new principles but in providing means for making
known principles available. Napoleon Bonaparte did not him-
self draft the code that goes by his name, but he made arrange-
ments by which juristic reformers could apply their science to
institutions. The present constitution of English city govern-
ment sprang from the scientific labors of the municipal corpora-
tions commission of 1833. The present constitution of Canada
sprang from the Durham report of 1839, which was an embodi-
ment of ideas and principles of responsible government that pre-
viously had been unable to obtain authoritative expression.

To take a signal instance from our own history, exact inquiry
will show that the long, miserable delay in effecting currency
reform was not due to lack of scientific knowledge but to the
covert legislative influence of particular interests so circum-
stanced as to be as naturally opposed to reform as peddlers of
well water would be to the introduction of a public system of
water supply. The passage of the Federal Reserve Act was
notoriously the result of such a vigorous exertion of presidential
influence as to secure legislative attention to scientific advice.
It is, in fine, the law of political progress that sound develop-
ments are the result of administrative initiative guided by scien-
tific knowledge. When difficult situations arise in government
it generally appears that the main trouble is in the matter of
power to act and not through insufficiency of knowledge. If this
be true, it follows that political science ought to be able to tell
what is the matter with representative government that so
strong a popular reaction should be going on against it. I ven-
ture to say that political science can do that very thing.

Much obscurity still surrounds the origin and development of
representative government, but its nature and requirements

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are so accurately known that the cause and cure of the diseases
from which it is now suffering have long since been fully stated.
In proof of this I need cite only one work, John Stuart Mill's
treatise on Representative Government. Did time permit it would
be possible to show in detail how its analysis explains our present
troubles, although the work was published fifty-eight years ago.
But all the present occasion warrants is a brief statement of
general principles.

The existence of elective assemblies does not necessarily sup-
ply representative government or even tend in that direction.
It is a commonplace of history that the people of Europe were
rescued from the manifold oppressions of feudalism by the de-
velopment of absolute monarchy; but it is not sufficiently re-
marked that this was a popular process. The diets, parliaments
and assemblies that abounded in the Middle Ages were regarded
by the people as organs of class privilege and rapacity, and hence
the people energetically supported any movement to wipe them
out. Far from absolutism being the result of royal usurpation,
kings were simply dragged along by the force of the movement.
Powers were forced upon them that they were reluctant to ac- •
cept. Striking instances of this appear when details are examined.
The text has been preserved of an address made to the king of
France in 1412, by a national assembly, in which profiteers were
denounced, the king was blamed for inaction, and a blunt de-
mand was made that he should seize and use absolute power.
At the meeting of the States-General in 1614, the parlement of
Paris, with the support of the Third Estate, declared it to be a
fundamental law that the throne was absolutely independent,
though the king himself demurred to a principle that ignored
the privileges of the clergy and the nobles. When absolute
power was conferred upon the king of Denmark in 1660, he at
first refused to accept it, but the burghers closed the gates of
the city to keep the nobles from leaving the Diet to collect their
forces, and carried their point by sheer intiMdation. No fact
of European history is better established than that absolute
monarchy was erected by public opinion and its burden of re-
sponsibility was forced upon kings by the insistence of the

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people. If there is now an extensive revolt of popular sentiment
against legislative assemblies, it is no new thing, but is the re-
vival of a feeling that was for centuries the strongest political

At present representative government is the dominant type
of polity. It has spread not only through the western world
but also it has been extensively adopted in the East, whose peo-
ples are still taking it up with an enthusiasm that creates some
troublesome administrative problems for imperial authority.
Today, representative government is probably the most widely
diffused political form the world has ever known. If it can be
made effective in distributing justice and maintaining order
civilization will at last become general throughout the world,
instead of subsisting only in particular areas 'as heretofore. The
prospect is so attractive that one is apt to overlook the fact that

Online LibraryWestel Woodbury WilloughbyThe American political science review → online text (page 1 of 77)