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Review of Reviews.



No. 3.

A Languid Political



With Congressional elections pending, and State campaigns on foot in many of our commonwealths, the people of the United States, nevertheless, were evidently much more interested last month in other things than they were in party politics. As we have frequently remarked, this country is fortunate enough at present not to be greatly distracted by those bitter prejudices and fierce rivalries of party-amounting almost literally to warfare that are inevitable certainly at periods in a nation's career, but that ought not to be perpetual. Nothing could be more obvious than that the country is well satisfied with President Roosevelt's conduct during his first twelve months as Chief Magistrate. It will be one year, on the 14th of the present month, since President McKinley's tragic death at Buffalo, and the administering of the oath of office to his


Mr. Roosevelt has fulfilled all reasonable expectations. He has shown marvelous adaptability in every direction, has given untiring industry to the varied details of his great office, and has borne the strain with unfailing physical vigor and imperturbable good temper.

He has stood strongly for the poli A Year cies which he believed to be wise of Roosevelt. and right for the country, without any sacrifice of agreeable personal relations with all the leaders of his own party, and, in fact, with all public men of whatever affiliation. His appointments have been felicitous, and, in general, highly praised. He holds the good will of the Democratic South almost as completely as of the Republican Northwest. He is persona grata in New England, and is idolized west of the Missouri River. He maintains good relations with the party leaders of New York and Pennsylvania, and has the hearty approval of the plain people of those great States. That he will be renominated in 1904 is now considered to be even more probable than was Mr. McKinley's renomination in the middle of his first


Never, indeed, since the early days of the Republic has it appeared so likely that a President would be his own successor. This, of course, in a sense pertains to 1904 rather than to 1902. But it is well to appreciate the fact that this remarkable popularity of the President, and this quite general approval of the administration as a whole, form a very important element in the political atmosphere that surrounds the electoral situation this fall. The politicians have their own all-powerful reasons for partisan effort; but people at large, being pretty well satisfied with things as they are, and having no political objects of their own at stake, are rather indifferent than otherwise, through sheer contentment and preoccupation. The great Republican argument of the year will be the advisability of letting well enough alone. It would be strange if the Democratic party should not regain something of its normal strength in Congress; but it is scarcely to be believed that the pendulum will swing so far back as to put the opposition party in control of the House.



Next to the widespread feeling of conCrops and fidence in President Roosevelt and the Prosperity. administration, the best reliance of the Republicans for success this year will lie in the marvelously prosperous state of our agriculture and industry. It is now certain that the crops of 1902 are to exceed in quantity and value those of any previous year in our history. year the corn crop, which was a partial failure, amounted to 1,522,500,000 bushels, the average of the ten preceding years having been about 2,000,000,000 bushels. Last year, therefore, the corn crop was only three-quarters of the normal yield. This year it is admitted on all hands that the crop will be at least 1,000,000,000 bushels greater than last year, and Bradstreet's declared in the middle of August that "there is a prospect of 1,250,000,000 more bushels of corn being raised than a year ago." In our judgment, it is not at all unlikely that the corn crop may

exceed 2,800,000,000 bushels. Much the largest previous corn crop was that of 1896, which amounted to a little less than 2,284,000,000 bushels. Last year's corn brought a high price, so that those farmers who were fortunate enough to have a crop made a great deal of money. But it needs little demonstration to make it plain that a generally abundant yield at lower prices contributes more to the general prosperity than a scanty yield at proportionately high prices. One of the results of a billion bushels of extra corn must be to lower the price of meat. The defense of the great beef-supply companies against the charges of extortionate prices has been the shortage of the corn crop. This excuse now disappears, and the retail butchers ought before long to be obtaining their stock at the old prices.

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675,000,000. In 1899 it was 547,000,000, and in 1900 a little more than 522,000,000. The New York Times last month, rejecting the Government estimates of this summer's wheat yield, was of the opinion that it might be nearly or quite as great as that of last year. A contributor to this number of the REVIEW, Mr. William R. Draper, estimates it at fully 700,000,000 bushels, which we do not believe at all too high. Improved methods of farming in the United States have made wheat both a surer and a more prolific crop than it was some years ago. Like corn, it enters importantly into the agricultural production of nearly all the States. The crop is divided about evenly between winter and spring wheat. Northern Texas now grows wheat in abundance.

ton Crop.

The South was busily engaged last The New Cot- month in picking, baling, and marketing the new cotton crop. Early in the season the prospects had been favorable for the largest and finest crop ever grown. Considerable damage was done in some localities, as the crop was maturing, by unfavorable conditions of weather. But with reports and estimates somewhat conflicting as these comments were written, there was a chance that the output might reach almost 12,000,000 bales, as against an average for the previous four years of about 10,500,000. Our Southern cotton crop has doubled in twenty years, thus showing a very much larger relative gain than the wheat and corn of the West, each of which has, roughly speaking, increased by about 50 per cent. in two decades.



These three great crops by no means Sources of exhaust the list of those products Farm Wealth. which make up our current agricultural wealth. The oat crop of 1902 is the largest we have ever had, and may amount to from 850,000,000 to 900,000,000 bushels. And although this particular cereal is not enough in demand to justify a vast increase of acreage, we shall, doubtless, within two or three years, be producing an average of a thousand million bushels of oats per year. The barley crop is estimated at about 120,000,000 bushels, as against an average for some years past of perhaps 70,000,000. The volume and value of pasturage and hay are more difficult to estimate than some of the other crops, but undoubtedly these have been considerably greater this year than ever before. The grass crop for the most part finds its way to the market in the form of dairy products, wool, beef and mutton, hogs, horses, and mules. The num. ber of farm animals and the value of marketable animal products of the farm have increased by about 100 per cent. in twenty years.


We publish else. Intelligence and Prosperity. Where some interesting agricultural statistics compiled by Mr. William R. Draper, entitled "The Farmer's Balance Sheet for 1902," and a brief article on "The Diffusion of Agricultural Prosperity," from the pen of the distinguished political economist, Prof. Henry C. Adams, of the University of Michigan. Prof. Adams' analysis will bear very careful study, for it contains some profound underlying truths. Nothing

could be a greater mistake than to take a purely materialistic view of the prevalence of prosperity in the United States at the present time. Moral and intellectual conditions, forming the essence of our civilization, are at the basis of all this agricultural development and industrial


progress. The growth and diffusion of wealth in the United States would have been absolutely impossible but for the maintenance of our democratic ideals. The value is not, after all, in the crops, but in the man who produces them, who owns the land, who receives the income, and who expends it for the advancement of himself and his family in rational ways, that also benefit the neighborhood and the country. Intelligence is what makes American farming prosperous. We beg to call

attention to another article in this number of the REVIEW from a Western contributor, Mr. Matson, on Improved Conditions in the American Farmer's Life." With mortgages paid off, and a sense of freedom and prosperity, the typical farmer of the West is asserting his rightful place as the proprietor of an estate and as a well-established citizen of a great country. He is improv He is improv ing his farm buildings; grading up his live stock; learning from the authorities of his State agricultural college and from the Farmers' Institute of his county more and more about scientific agriculture; and providing for his family more and more of the luxuries of life that are enjoyed by the banker and the successful merchant or professional man in the county town.

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irksome for his children. While free rural delivery of the mails is by no means universal as yet, the telephone is found in almost every farming neighborhood of the country. What Mr. Matson says about the progress of the movement for consolidating country schools is worthy of attention; and this is a subject to which we shall in future numbers of the REVIEW recur with particular attention and emphasis, for it is a matter of profound significance. In the towns there have been vast strides during the last quarter of a century in public-school equipment and instruction, while until very lately the old-fashioned district schools of the rural neighborhoods had been either at a standstill or were positively retrograding. Under the new impulse there is to be not merely a radical, but a revolutionary change in country schools. change in country schools. The diminutive "red schoolhouse" of the North and the log-cabin school of the South have about served their day. Something vastly better and more modern is easily within reach of thousands of rural neighborhoods.

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suitable conveyances for protection from cold and wet and fatigue. Further, it is in the air that the new consolidated country school must adapt its methods of instruction to the real conditions of life. It must be a social and intellectual center for grown-up people as well as for the children of the region. It must have an ample piece of ground, and this must be kept in the most perfect order, as one of the primary interests and duties of the school. Nature-study must enter largely into school life and work, and a positive taste for rural pursuits and for the elements of the natural sciences must be inculcated. The school grounds must furnish object lessons in the planting and maintenance of trees and flowers, and, in so far as possible, may well be utilized to teach practical gardening. A certain amount of manual training for both girls and boys should enter into the work of the school, and every neighborhood should strive to surpass all others in its zeal to secure good teachers by offering proper inducements.


Instances of precisely this sort of Educational school development are fortunately Enthusiasm. no longer isolated. Great educational leaders and official heads of school systems, including some of the foremost State superintendents of education, are making themselves the zealous and eloquent apostles of this new movement for the regeneration of country schools. The Southern Education Board, under the presi dency of Mr. Robert C. Ogden, of New York, with its, membership largely made up of Southern professional educators,-backed financially in its work by the General Education Board of New York, is making this movement for the improvement of rural schools the object of its chief solicitude. It has been going about

its work in various ways. First, it has been leading a propaganda for local taxation for school purposes; second, it has stimulated in many ways the work of institutions which are training teachers; and, third, it has in various instances directly promoted district school consolidation. These objects were held constantly before the attention of the great summer school for teachers held in June and July at Knoxville, Tenn., where it enjoyed the hospitality of the State University. It was organized by President Charles W. Dabney of that institution, in association with Professor Claxton, recently

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thorough adaptation of school work to actual problems and conditions were constantly emphasized at Knoxville, and President Dabney is one of the foremost exponents of these modern views to be found in the entire country. While this summer school at Knoxville was undoubtedly the center for the country, this summer, of enthusiasm for rural civilization and progress in the half of the country that most needs school reform, it should not be forgotten that an admirable summer school for Virginia teachers was carried on at the University of Virginia, at Charlottesville, with nearly a thousand members enrolled; that South Carolina had an excellent summer school for teachers at Rock Hill, with leadership of great earnestness, and that several more strictly local assemblages of teachers were in session for a period of several weeks in North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and other Southern States. The great summer schools of the North, as, for example, those held by Columbia University, Harvard, and the University of Chicago, have had prosperous seasons, and these, together with the Chautauqua assemblies and other conferences and gatherings of an educational nature, have added something to the training and much to the ideals and inspiration of many thousands of Northern and Western teachers. But, generally speaking, it is the wellpaid teacher of the towns and more prosperous villages who can afford to attend these fine summer schools. For New York, Pennsylvania.

New England, and the North in general, the problem of the country school must be faced, as unquestionably it will be, with ever-increasing comprehension of its importance. Meanwhile,

in the Northern cities the vacation schools have made much progress in this past summer.

Platforms of

The great yearly convention of the the Teaching National Educational Association, Profession. which was held at Minneapolis in July, seemed to us to touch high-water mark in its appreciation of the vital needs of our schools, and in its consciousness of the duty and opportunity of the teaching profession. In its series of general resolutions it declared that the common schools of this country are the one great agency upon which the nation is to rely for a barrier against the setting up of class distinctions which have no place on American soil.'" Having expressed its ideal of the complete education of the child," it declared as follows concerning the country schools:



We believe that it is both just and possible to keep the country schools in the foregoing, and all respects, up to the highest standard of excellence and efficiency. The movement to consolidate the weaker districts in the country, and to provide public and free transportation for the pupils to and from the schools, tends to that end. It made other declarations in consonance with the new movement for vitalizing school life and work, and bringing it all into direct relation with

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