Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]

One of the most remarkable figures of that half-century of our national history which had the Civil War as its center and focus, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, celebrates on the 27th of the present month her eighty-eighth birthday. Mrs. Howe attained eminence in the widely different fields of authorship, philanthropy, and politics. She was born in New York City on May 27, 1819. From her mother, Julia Rush Ward, she inherited an unusual literary talent, and upon her marriage, in 1843, to Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, the eminent philanthropist, she began conducting with him the Boston Commonwealth, an anti-slavery journal, continuing up to the time of the Civil War. After the slavery question had been settled she became active in woman's suffrage, prison reform, the cause of universal peace, and other philanthropic causes. For almost half a century she has been known as a writer and lecturer on social sub.jects, and for several years during the late '90's of the past century she frequently preached from Unitarian pulpits. Her best-known literary work is undoubtedly her fine poem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which was written while visiting the camps near Washington in 1861 and published first in the Atlantic Monthly. Other well-known poems of hers are Passion Flowers," Words for the Hour," and "From Sunset Ridge." Well known, also, are her essays and prose writings, "A Trip to Cuba," "Sex and Education," "A Life of

66

66

BY WILLET M. HAYS.

(Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.)

WITHOUT any noise or campaign the recent Congress made large contributions to education and research in agriculture, mechanic arts, and home economics. During its first session a law was passed increasing the annual appropriation for State experiment stations from $15,000 to $30,000 annually, a total annual increase of $720,000. During the second session a law was enacted which will raise the federal appropriation to each of the State colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts from $25,000 to $50,000, a total increase for industrial education in the forty-eight States of $1,200,000 annually.

In 1862, to induce the States to establish these institutions and colleges related to the industries, Congress gave lands to be sold and the proceeds used as endowment funds. From these the colleges, secure an annual income of about $15,000 as an average for all States. Subsequent appropriations make available to these State colleges and stations an average of $95,000, or a total of over $4,500,000, each year. The States have more than duplicated this amount for current expenses, giving $3,846,000, besides spending $6,765,000 annually in adding to the equipment of these institutions.

There was introduced at the last session of Congress a bill to appropriate $8,000,000 annually for industrial education in high schools of secondary grade. It is proposed in that bill to devote about half of this sum to instruction in mechanic arts and home economics in city high schools and half to instruction in agriculture and home economics in agricultural high schools. There have been established in various States between thirty and forty agricultural high schools articulating with the rural schools below and with the agricultural colleges above. As these schools return most of their graduates to country life, they are properly said to articulate with the farm also. This bill would cause the States to establish two or three hundred more of these agricultural high schools, one for each ten agricultural counties. Numerous cities have established mechanic arts high schools, and others have introduced mechanic arts and home econom

ics as elective studies into their general highschool courses.

There have been organized in two or three hundred townships, or preferably in districts containing only twenty-five square miles, two or three hundred consolidated rural schools, six to ten isolated rural schools being consolidated into one, and the pupils are carried to and from school at public expense. In some of these schools the attempt to introduce instruction in agriculture and home economics is being successfully made. It is. found that while the little rural schools cannot afford teachers trained to instruct in agriculture and home economics, the consolidated school can afford to pay a principal and an assistant principal who are trained to teach these subjects and to give inspiration in country life generally to the rural pupils. It has been demonstrated also that the consolidated rural school can afford to build up a simple laboratory, support a small farm, develop a library, and secure other necessary equipment to use in successfully teaching agriculture and home economics. Further, it is found that teachers with specific training for country-life educational work can cooperate with the parents so that much of the home duties of the rural youth may be made far more educational as well as more interesting than heretofore. There is evident ground for the claim that consolidated rural schools and the work of the home life on the farm can be so developed under co-operation between teacher and parent as to provide far better education for our rural youth than can possibly be devised for youth while living in city homes. In the city primary schools also there is being introduced much instruction in manual training.

All of this technical and practical work is found to have an educational value comparable with the value of the studies commonly taught. It helps each pupil to find out the line of effort in which he should and can best succeed and which each will most enjoy. The body of knowledge being developed under the expenditure of tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to research in rural affairs and to the other in

dustries is bound to successfully knock at the door of all public and non-public schools, including our rural schools and our city primary schools. Those boys and girls who are to be the practical workers and home-makers can afford to and will remain longer in the school if the schools give them more of technical preparation for the practical work they are to do for a living. The general public

has come to see that its money used in industrial studies in high schools will prepare many leaders in farm and city industries and in home-making, and, most important of all, that these high schools which emphasize agriculture, mechanic arts and home economics will prepare many who can successfully introduce industrial subjects in the primary rural and city schools.

THE NATIONAL ARBITRATION AND
CONGRESS IN NEW YORK.
BY W. T. STEAD.

THE National Arbitration and Peace Con-
gress, which met in New York early
in April, was in many respects the most
notable congress of its kind that has ever been
held in the Old World or the new. The
exceptional importance of this gathering de-
pends upon the circumstances of the time and
upon the personality of those who took part
in it; and, like most peace conferences which
are summoned for the purpose of "blowing
off steam" and affording a more or less satis-
factory mode of using its surcharged senti-
ments of good folks scandalized, and rightly
scandalized, by the wasteful preparations for
war and the horrors of actual combat, the
conference that met at Carnegie Hall under
the presidency of Andrew Carnegie had a
distinct political objective. It was the pio-
neer or John the Baptist of the second inter-
national conference which will meet at The
Hague on the 15th of June. It represented
the first rudimentary, crude, but nevertheless
definite, effort on the part of the New World
to impress its will on the Old World.

PEACE

[ocr errors]

15th of June the representatives of all the South and Central American republics will assemble in the old Dutch capital. The conference, indeed, may be said to mark the début of the South-American republics upon the stage of the great world's theater. Hitherto, even the greatest of them have been regarded as geographical names for vast sections of American wildernesses, inhabited chiefly by half-breeds speaking Spanish or Portuguese. The arrival of the learned, polished, and statesmanlike delegates whom the great South-American republics will send to the Hague Conference will be an eyeopener to the rest of the world. If Japan made her début at the conference of 1899, that distinguished rôle is reserved for South America next June. It is but natural that the people of the United States of America should regard such an event as the meeting of the Hague Conference under such auspices and composed of such constituents with interest and enthusiasm. It was a happy idea to afford this interest and enthusiasm an opportunity of organized and articulate expression at the great series of meetings which were held in New York from April 14 to April 17.

The usual fault of peace conferences is that they devote themselves too much to the utterance of oratorical "flapdoodle," and this element was not altogether absent from the meeting in New York. It was, however, subordinated to the utterances of statesmen who have the practical appreciation of the real difficulties to be dealt with.

This task was undertaken in no spirit of arrogance. The right of America to leadership in this matter is nowhere more cordially recognized than in the nations of the Old World. This is due to several causes. In the first place, the initiative of calling the conference was taken by President Roosevelt at the suggestion of the Interparliamentary Union when it first met on American soil. This is the first conference in the world in which all the American states will be represented, with the solitary exception of the re- The conference opened with a moderate. public of Panama. At the Hague Confer- and cautious letter from President Roosevelt, ence of 1899 Mexico and the United States which made at least one Englishman who

it could be the strenuous and militant person- presence of distinguished guests whom Mr. ality who is so often caricatured as playing Carnegie had invited to attend the opening of the part of Orlando Furioso in American the Carnegie Institute and who also were inpolitics. The Presidential message was ear- vited to the meeting of the peace conference. nest, lucid, and practical, but it erred, if at Baron d'Estournelles de Constant was the all, on the side of caution, and carefully ab- most conspicuous of the foreign guests. He stained from revealing any of the character- co-operated loyally with Lord Pauncefote istic fire-flashes which often illuminate the and Mr. Holls at the Hague Conference in utterances of the American President. The 1899 in elaborating the high international event of the conference, however, regarded court of arbitration. It was he who declared as a field for the serious discussion of inter- that it was the duty of mutual powers to use national policy by international statesmen, their best efforts to fight the outbreak of war, was the address by Secretary Root upon the and it was he, more than any other man, with American sentiment of humanity. the doubtful exception of King Edward VII., who deserves the credit of having brought about the Anglo-French entente cordiale. He is a member of the Hague high court and one of the French delegates at the approaching Hague Conference. He was, therefore, obliged to speak with considerable reserve, but his geniality, his humor, and his mastery of the English language made him a very welcome speaker at all the meetings. Count Apponyi, of Hungary, was detained at Budapest by his ministerial duties. Otherwise Americans would have had an opportunity of hearing once more the most finished of European orators addressing them in their own tongue with an ease and mastery little short of marvelous. Of Mr. Carnegie's German guests, few put in appearance at the conference.

Mr. Root was followed by Mr. Hughes, the Governor of New York State, who received as warm a welcome as any other person on the platform, Mr. Carnegie and Mr. Root not excepted. The opening meeting was closed by an address by Mr. Carnegie, who was the central and most picturesque figure of the conference. Mr. Carnegie arrived at New York fresh from his glorification or apotheosis at the dedication of the Carnegie Institute at Pittsburg, and he was received with the enthusiasm and respect properly due to one who has displayed so keen an interest in the promotion of international peace. Mr. Carnegie has a humorous gift of speech. His sympathetic spirit overflows with compassion for those martyred mortals who have been doomed by fate to own millions. This is no doubt a serious matter for him. As in the days of the ancient myth, when the vulture which fed upon the vitals of Prometheus found it impossible to consume the ever-renewed substance of the Titan's body, so Mr. Carnegie, after making the most desperate efforts to disembarrass himself of his millions, has only been able to succeed in distributing the interest upon his fortune. We are therefore periodically asked to pity the sorrows of a poor millionaire who has made the one failure of his life in his attempt to disembarrass himself of his millions, but who, with that solitary exception, is ever pleased with the world and all the things that are therein. The indomitable and insatiable activity of the boy born seventy years ago in Dunfermline cannot rest content with merely American financial strifes. Andrew, like Alexander, pines for fresh worlds to conquer, and he finds a wide and spacious field of battle lying before him in the campaign for international peace.

The conference was remarkable not only on account of the presence of delegates from all parts of the United States, but also for the

Of the other distinguished foreigners, Mr. Maarten Maartens, the well-known Dutch novelist, astonished every one, himself most of all, by the fluency and force with which he spoke in public. Sir Robert Cranston, ex-Provost of Edinburgh, a bellicose Scot, whose breast was starred with many medals won in African wars, was a picturesque addition to the group of peace men and a reminder, when one was needed, that the conference was by no means composed of old pacifists who are out of touch with the patriotic sympathies and sentiments of the majority of the population. Sir Robert Ball, the astronomer, always a welcome speaker, based his advocacy of peace upon the scientific doctrine of evolution. Mr. W. J. Bryan made the witty retort that he had always believed that peace rested upon the principle that all men were made in the image of God and that he was glad to know that it was equally soundly based upon the doctrine that war had originally descended from the ape.

The proceedings of the conference were brought to a close by the adoption of a series of resolutions which Mr. Carnegie was asked

to present in person to the President of the the omission of the word " all" before interUnited States and Secretary Root. The fact national differences. that a peace conference of the United States The conference recommended that the could exercise any influence upon the peace- Hague Tribunal should be converted into a loving citizens of other countries was ig- permanent court, always in session, whether nored. Yet so tremblingly responsive are or not there is anything for it to do. It recthe nations to each other, it might have oc- ommended the periodical assembling of the curred to some of those who drafted the reso- Hague Conference, and condemned the right lutions that they would miss a great oppor- of the capture of private property at sea. It tunity and ignore a great responsibility if shrank from urging that Mr. Holls' clause on they did not endeavor to make the influence special mediation should be made obligatory of the American people felt throughout the by refusing war loans to nations that drew Old World in support of the initiative of the the sword without first appealing to special American President. That they did nothing mediation. The resolutions as a whole were whatever to rally international support for hardly worthy of the importance of the ocproposals which can only be carried out by casion or the representative character of the international co-operation was only one conference. Possibly it was from a consciousamong many illustrations of the distinctively ness that they had added nothing to the national, not to say provincial or parochial, weight or the value of the recommendations attitude which characterized the proceedings of the Interparliamentary Union that the of the conference. There was no desire to committee took no steps for pressing their hear reports as to the state of opinion in other adoption upon other governments than their countries, and when one speaker voiced with own. perfect accuracy the prevailing opinion of None of the many meetings held during the German official classes he was promptly the conference was more interesting and posjumped upon as if he were a public malefac- sibly more pregnant with future usefulness tor. Nevertheless, the conference was an. than the great gathering of school children. immense improvement upon all previous conferences of the kind. Its meetings were crowded. Even the professional pacifist was placed under severe restraint, and we heard little or nothing of the impracticable theories of the heroic non-resisters.

which assembled in Carnegie Hall under the presidency of Superintendent Maxwell, of New York. It is to the youth of America, rather than to the old and middle-aged men who dominated this conference that we must look for any generous or original initiative in the task of bringing the more advanced ideas of practical progress toward international brotherhood before the attention of the The youth

The resolutions drawn up by the conference committee differed from those of the Interparliamentary Union in two important particulars: The first was the deliberate other nations of the world. omission, apparently out of pure parochial ignorance, of the recommendation that the Hague Conference should request all governments to undertake active work for the propaganda of peace and the promotion of international brotherhood and provide for this purpose a regular appropriation as for any other department of state. The second was the extraordinary and reckless extension of the demand for universal arbitration for all questions not involving national honor or vital national interests into a demand for the arbitration of all questions, no matter how vital they might be to the very existence of the nation. Fortunately, the mistake was discovered and rectified at the last moment by

of the universities of the world form a constituency which has not yet been internationalized. No field offers a more promising harvest. Peace has hitherto been regarded as little more than the mere regulation of war. Negatives are never popular, especially with youth. When peace is prosecuted with the skill of a campaign and the enthusiasm of a crusade, the young men and women of the world will throw themselves into the movement with the energy and the élan of youth. There is much to be done in this direction, and the task from which this peace conference has shrunk may yet be carried to victory by younger and more vigorous hands.

« AnteriorContinuar »