« AnteriorContinuar »
In order to realize this political reforma- Such a step could be taken, says the Count, tion, Count Okuma believes it imperative to without causing discontent among the vicetake back to the central government all the roys and other local functionaries of imporauthority which has hitherto been vested with tance, if the Peking court organizes an advisthe viceregal governments. In his opinion, ory board akin to the Japanese Privy Counadministrative centralization is a preliminary cil, to be composed of former local officials of step toward the adoption of a constitution. high rank.
THE HISTORY AND RELIGION OF THE SAMARITANS.
HE news that Jacob, son of Aaron, high priest of the Samaritans,.had arrived in London, bearing with him some rare ancient scrolls which he purposes offering for sale to the British Museum, has recalled the attention of scholars and religious historians to the very interesting, but little known, story of this ancient people, the Samaritans. In a recent number of the Bibliotheca Sacra is
given the history and religion of the Samaritans, edited from High Priest Jacob's own story, with an introduction by Dr. William Eleazar Barton. In the introductory note Dr. Barton says that this holy man, whose seat of office is at Nâblus, in Palestine, the ancient biblical Shechem, is now 73 years of age and has been high priest for 58 years. Dr. Barton learned of the book written by the high priest from that functionary himself, who said in a letter that he had prepared it at the request of an eminent Oxford scholar. In the introduction to the book he declares he counts it as his misfortune that the Samaritans are known to the Christians only through their mutual enemies, the Jews. Therefore, since his own feeling toward the Christian world is a kindly one, he has determined to make known the true story of the separation of the Samaritans from the Jews. The manuscript is in Arabic, with Scripture passages quoted in Samaritan text and in the Hebrew language. Says Dr. Barton:
The Jews date the origin of the Samaritans as a people from the importation of foreigners into Northern Syria after the conquest by Sargon in 722 B. C., and the rise of their religion from the time when Manasseh, a young priest who had married a daughter of Sanballat, the Samaritan governor, refused to leave his wife at the command of Nehemiah in 432 B. C. It cannot fail to be noted with interest that the high priest rests his case on no defense of Manasseh, however oppressive the decree of Nehemiah might have been made to appear. According to his argument, which is the historic argument of his sect, the Samaritans are the original Hebrews, descendants of Joseph, except their
priests, who are of the tribe of Levi. According
The Bibliotheca Sacra gives a translation of the first chapter of the book, by Prof. Ab
Jews, the later chapters dealing almost exclusively with rites and ceremonies.
Some useful information regarding the Samaritans, from the standpoint of purely secular history, is furnished by the Jerusalem correspondent of the London Graphic:
This once powerful Samaritan people had, about a century ago, dwindled away until they numbered but a few thousand, living in scattered communities in Syria and Egypt. Now their sole representatives are the hundred souls which compose the Nâblus community. Their numbers still are decreasing, and they are likely to become extinct at no distant day, as they do not marry outside their own circle, and the number of possible wives and mothers is exceedingly small. It is peculiar to that region of Palestine that, in every nationality, the males outnumber the females. The Samaritans are very poor, their most valuable possessions being some ancient scrolls, one of which is the celebrated Samaritan Pentateuch, which, they claim, was written by the grandson of Aaron, and bears his name. They guard it with jealous care, and seldom permit it to be seen. If travelers are persistent in their requests to look upon this monument of antiquity, they are generally shown another scroll.
In the closing paragraphs of the chapter of the book, as translated in the Bibliotheca Sacra article already referred to, the story
of the gradual diminishing in numbers of the Samaritans is told, with especially attention to detail, during the years of Mohammedan supremacy. There were many Samaritans, says the record, scattered throughout Palestine, many in Damascus, Egypt, and in Syria. Later, however, "through the aggressive power of Islam, and because there was none to direct them, the things which God threatened in his holy law took place."
As it was prophesied, they became very few, and the famous cities shall none of them stand, according to his holy Torah in the book of Deuteronomy, twenty-eighth chapter, sixty-second verse; that is, "Ye shall be few in number," and "All shall perish from the land which you shall long to possess." There are many threatenings similar to this which indicate this present condition which came upon this nation, and that is only in order that they may suffer for their guilt and for the guilt of their forefathers, according to His saying (may He be extolled) in the book of Leviticus, twenty-sixth chapter, forty-first verse; that is, And they shall be made to atone for their guilt." Unto all time, however, this nation will carry out the ancient customs according to the Mosaic law as well as they can, and have always offered the proper prayers to the God of all creation, that he might keep them from all harm, misfortune, and all violence.
INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION INDIA'S ONLY HOPE.
FOR a thousand years India has been the land of colossal real and legendary wealth, it has been the prize for which the world's greatest powers have successively struggled. But within the last century a radical change has occurred. Western nations to-day rate India with Persia, Turkey, even China, and this in spite of the fact that a progressive western people is administering the country's destinies. The situation may well puzzle the economist and sociologist, especially as modern India is immensely wealthy and no doubt represents the heart of the British Empire. Why then should India vegetate?" asks Herr Woldemar Schutze, writing in the Gegenwart (Berlin). The answer of this German writer is novel from more than one point of view.
Unlike the mass of foreign critics and unlike also the spokesman of the British political parties, Herr Schutze does not find that the answer to the problem lies either in the department of taxation or in that of an alien government, with the burdens entailed by such a government. Indeed the essential question is not whether the slice of Indian
The German critic considers that this question is necessarily related to more than one side of Indian economic life, but he thinks that the main point is "the Indian commercial and industrial organization." And the view defended by Herr Schutze is worthy of note, because it runs counter to the convictions of many persons who are persuaded that the factory and the machine have made for a cheapening and deterioration of the product and the worker, and who believe that the era of the hand worker was the time of true individual wealth as well as of perfect methods and results. It is doubtless true that the factory and the modern commercial régime have their dark side, but it would seem that there is also a bright side, and so bright indeed does the German writer find this other side that he considers Indian pov
erty and Indian economic starvation to be directly due to the exclusively individual labor organization of the country and to the complete lack of co-ordination which is the direct consequence of this organization.
In the words of Herr Schutze, "the European workman is usually a wage earner who labors under the guidance of an employer; in India the workman generally engages for his own account; he assumes the risk of production, and receives in addition to his wage the gain, or perhaps the loss, which results from the undertaking. It is true that this scheme of organization is in no sense exclusively Indian,among others it is the characteristic of agricultural conditions in all countries where the land is worked in small parcels. The Irish tenant, the small farmer of Germany and France, the farmer in west Canada are merely workmen who take the risk of production on their own shoulders in exactly the same way as the Indian ryot. But in the Western Hemisphere this form of industrial organization is limited to agricultural pursuits, while in India it is the characteristic of all labor. The blacksmith, the carpenter, the potter, the cotton carder, the hand worker are all individuals who work for their own account, although it cannot be
said that they resemble either the skilled workman of Europe or the employer who never does any actual manual labor himself. They really belong to a category of people who are rapidly disappearing from western Europe, and of whom the cobbler and the kettle mender of small provinces are practically the only living European representatives."
The problem of whether the individual worker or the factory hand is more fortunate does not enter into the German writer's calculations.
For whether the independent kettle-mender is happier than the man who receives his wage from an employer is an entirely different ques
FOOR INDIA AND HER BURDENS. From Hindi Punch (Calcutta).
tion. The sole point under consideration is whether the Indian or the European scheme makes for the greatest national wealth. And in developing this discussion it is clear that the production of wealth will probably be greater where, as in Europe, the control of an industry is in the hands of a man who is particularly fitted for his post both by education and natural ability. In Europe and America the ideal business man is an individual who is intimately acquainted with all branches of his profession and who is constantly in touch with the developments of his particular line, one who selects his men so that each workman will be given work he is best qualified to do, who studies the market demand for his goods, and so forth. And it is clear that when business is conducted in this way it will probably produce a more perfectly developed organization than when it is controlled by an uneducated workman who has
mere dexterity of hand at his command. In India the control of trade is in the hands of people who have no opportunity to study new methods of production, no way of seeing new mechanical tools, no possibility of studying market fluctuations, and who, because of their very independence, cannot be given the work for which they are best qualified.
Herr Schutze, however, finds nothing abnormal in the industrial organization of India, it is simply a social body which has not yet passed through the era of capitalization. India in fact has still before it the
period of industrial revolution, but there are many indications that the old order is rapidly passing away.
The cotton mills of Bombay, the jute mills of Bengal, the factories of Cawnpore are the forerunners of a new industrial organization, and the success of the British pioneers has moved a number of Indian capitalists to follow the example of their alien governors. Now we find flour mills, cotton mills, soap factories, and even steel works under Indian administration the new undertakings is proof of the beneficial and fed with Indian capital, and the success of effect of capitalistic organization on trade.
THE INTERURBAN ELECTRIC RAILROAD.
WHAT the Appian Way and similar rates of speed and more level track are thus roads were to Roman strength and secured. The problem of entrance into a pre-eminence the steam and electric highways city is generally solved by securing the use are to modern life and industry. Though of the tracks of the city roads where the the electric car is yet in its infancy, not "old interurban does not have tracks of its own. enough to vote," its economic and social ef- Between Cleveland and Toledo the limited fect has been enormous. How the interurban trains have a running time of four and a half electric railroad traffic has developed in the hours; the local cars make the trip in six single State of Ohio has been made the theme hours. of an interesting and valuable article in the Journal of Political Economy (University of Chicago), for December, by Dr. Ernest L. Bogart, of Princeton University.
When the year 1889 came to a close there were only three electric roads in the country opened for traffic. To-day it is possible to go almost the entire distance from Boston to Detroit by trolley. Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus are centers of numerous interurban electric lines; and St. Louis, Omaha, and the Twin Cities are close rivals. In Ohio the system is particularly well developed. As early as 1896 there were 69 chartered companies, and in 1902 the electric railroad mileage was 2470, or one-fifth the mileage of the steam roads; and of all the electric roads in the State 54 per cent. were extraurban. Within the last three years 200 companies have been incorporated, involving capital in the hundreds of millions.
In many of the cities union interurban stations are conveniently located near the shopping district. The station building at Cincinnati is six stories high, and has every convenience a traveling public could ask for. Similar stations are found at Toledo, Columbus, and elsewhere, and all passenger cars stand inside until the time of departure. The service generally throughout the State is being improved. More and more are the roads buying their own right-of-way, and higher
Important among the effects of the introduction of the electric interurban lines has been the cheapening of travel. The average passenger fare per mile on the electric interurban is less than 12 cents. It is true that State law has now fixed the maximum legal rate for all steam railroads at 2 cents a mile, yet the round-trip fares remain much the same, as the roads have very generally refused to issue return tickets at a reduced rate.' Commutation and mileage books are issued which are good over as many as a dozen lines, and on the Western Ohio line is issued what is known as the "Lima Trading Ticket." Persons wishing to go to Lima to shop purchase the usual ticket for that purpose. When a purchase is made in any Lima store whose name appears on the ticket the amount of the purchase is stamped on the ticket. And if all the purchases amount to from $5 to $25 (according to the distance from Lima), upon presentation of this ticket to the station agent the full amount of the fare paid for the ticket is refunded. In the last seven years the number of steam-railroad passengers has fallen off by twelve millions, not because there is less traveling, but because the competing trolley has stolen the traffic.
between points where the electric lines pass. There is little traveling now in Ohio by steam This preference for the trolley for short-distance travel is due to several causes: (1) Most of the
railroad stations are not in the center but on the edge of the towns, and are thus less conveniently situated than the electric lines, especially in stormy weather. (2) It costs less to go by the electric line. (3) It is very much more convenient, owing to the greater frequency of the service. Trolleys usually run every hour, while steam trains run only three or four times a day. (4) The frequency of stops makes it possible for many to use the electric who could not use the steam lines.
According to "Poor's Manual" for 1902, the average length of trip per passenger on the steam railroads for the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin was, in 1900, 33.80 miles; in 1901, it was 39.73 miles. Much, if not all, of this was due to the short-haul traffic of the electric lines. The number of local passengers carried between Cleveland and Oberlin and intermediate points on one line of steam railroad fell in seven years from 203,014 to 91,761. On another road, between Cleveland and Lorain, during the same length of time, it fell from 42,526 to 9795. In many instances the steam roads have discontinued largely, if not entirely, their local passenger service. Yet not all of the electric interurban business has been stolen from the steam roads, for it has been shown that much new traffic has been called into existence by the building of the electric line. Between two towns where the steam road did a business of $2000 a month, the electric railroad is now doing three times that amount, yet the railroad seems to be handling the same volume of business as before.
The attitude of the steam roads toward this new competitor has been variable. Many of the steam-railroad men think the loss of business cannot be overcome by lowering their fares. A car can be run as cheaply every half-hour as a train of six cars every three hours. Around Cleveland and Columbus especially have the steam roads attempted to compete with the electric interurbans by reducing fares, and the war is still on.
The freight and express business done by the interurban lines has been of more recent and gradual development. Receipts from this class of business in 1902 amounted to $269,521. Only about one-tenth of the companies, so far as could be ascertained, have cars for exclusive freight or express use. Some of the roads, however, have done extensive business in handling car-lots of stone, sugar beets, live-stock, coal, coke, and grain; and the future may show enormous increase in this regard. Among electric roads in the
northern part of the State, we find duplicates of the arrangements which the Adams and other express companies have with the steam roads, except that the electric company furnishes the car free and receives from the express company a portion of the total gross receipts. But where the freight and express system has been introduced, it has proved a great boon to the farmer. Milk, butter, provisions, vegetables, and fruits, can be shipped to the heart of the big cities with the minimum of expense. The value of farms along the line of the electric has greatly increased, and, strange to say, this freight traffic has developed the out-bound volume of trade many fold above the in-bound trade.
What the ultimate effect will be upon the merchants in the smaller towns is still problematical. Bitter opposition to the introduction of the electric lines has been made in many small towns, yet, in some instances at least, it has stimulated and improved trade so that those who opposed the road are now its firmest advocates. The dry goods merchants have been most affected, but even here the gain from the surrounding rural districts has often compensated; and many of the country grocers have found it a distinct advantage because of the ease and quickness with which they could get fresh vegetables and supplies.
Another effect of the interurban electric line has been to give the country folk some of the advantages of the city. Theatres; concerts, lectures, and other forms of entertainment and instruction are within the farmer's reach. Social life generally has been stimulated because of the increased facilities for travel. County fairs, always well patronized, have taken on new life. Many of the lines own or manage pleasure resorts, and these are patronized by the weary toiler of the field as well as by the store clerk. The children, too, are enabled to avail themselves of the superior school facilities of the town; and many of the roads provide special cars and special rates for this class of patrons.
Dr. Bogart says that the financial showing of the roads is not what one would suspect from so great a volume of traffic. The average rate of interest on trolley stock is 4.7 per cent., which is less than that of the railroads. But because of their very popularity and because of their ability to compete so favorably with the steam roads, for these and similar reasons, the promoters of the lines have been able to deceive the public, and the roads are heavily burdened with watered stock.