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Civilization During the Middle Ages, Especially in Relation to Modern Civilization. By GEORGE BURTON ADAMS. Pp. 463. Price $2.50. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1894.
"The object of this book is to show how the foundations of our civilization were laid in the past and how its chief elements were introduced, and to depict its progressive development until it had assumed its most characteristic modern features." (Preface.) With this purpose in view, Professor Adams discusses "What the Middle Ages Started With," "The Addition of Christianity," and "What the Germans Added." He then follows the course of events in each of the principal countries, and intermingles essays on "The Formation of the Papacy," "The Feudal System," etc. The limits he chooses are the years 476 and 1520.
This book shows the results of wide reading and broad learning. The style is generally clear and interesting. The chapter on feudalism is the best popular account in English. The chapter on the growth of commerce is valuable. Many subjects are treated in a suggestive manner, and the facts are so grouped as to show their significance. The volume is a valuable addition to our stock of books in English and will be useful.
But it is very disappointing. From the title we expect more than we find. In a book on "Civilization During the Middle Ages" we naturally look for some account of mediæval literature, religion, science, art. No one of these is adequately treated. Professor Adams has not included the discussion of these subjects in his plan. The titles-art, architecture, religion, heresies, etc., are not found in the index.
In the second place, we expect books of this class to be useful as guides. In this respect it is a failure, because there is no bibliography, and but few references to other sources of information are furnished. An occasional suggestion emphasizes the need of more frequent citations. Certainly a reference ought to be given for the "few brief sentences" mentioned on p. 16, for the "manuals or summaries of the Roman law," p. 146, and for similar subjects elsewhere.
The workmanship is careless. In places the style is negligent, e. g., sentences on pp. 186, 187, 236, 289, 311, 353, etc. There are
loose general statements. We wonder just what the author had in mind when he wrote (p. 188): "But with the accession of William, in 1066, the state took on its final form, as had the German and the French states in the preceding century." The statements about the knowledge of Latin (pp. 8 and 24), and the contradictory utterances relative to Luther and freedom of thought (pp. 430, 431, 432, 440, 441), seem to indicate some mental confusion. Possibly the carelessness is most evident in the index. Titles are admitted or excluded in an entirely arbitrary manner. On p. 322 the duties of the three officers, baillis, sénéchals and enquêteurs are discussed; only the first is in the index. The Synod at Bourges (p. 409) is admitted; the Diet at Mainz (p. 410) is omitted. Three men are mentioned (p. 428) as having influenced Luther; Gerson is in the index, Staupitz and St. Bernard are not. A large number of similar cases will be noted by anyone who uses the book.
There are occasional mistakes. Professor Adams is evidently not familiar with Mr. H. C. Lea's discussion of the Donation of Constantine and of the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. He falls into error (pp. 233-34) about the dates of both and the purpose of the latter. Simony did not include lay investitures as stated at p. 243. The two subjects, although intimately connected, were treated separately. It is depressing to find that Professor Adams gravely repeats (p. 269) the stereotyped statement that the crusades ended in 1270.
University of Pennsylvania.
DANA C. MUNRO.
Public Assistance of the Poor in France. By EMILY GREENE BALCH. Pp. 179. Publications of the American Economic Association, Vol. VIII. Nos. 4 and 5. Price, $1.00. Baltimore: 1893.
Miss Balch has done a good service for students of social institutions in the preparation of this short but comprehensive account of the public charities of France. The merit of the book lies not merely in its clearness, accuracy and brevity, but especially in the perfect fairness preserved in a field where party spirit and sectarian prejudices have made impartiality difficult. In this respect the present essay is in marked contrast with the report upon French Charities, by Hubert Valleroux, just published in the "Proceedings of the International Congress of Charities, Correction and Philanthropy."
As the author states, the present constitution of public assistance in France can hardly be well understood without some study of its development. The first seventy-five pages of the essay present a brief history of French charity from the ecclesiastical decrees in the time
of Clovis to the reorganization of social institutions by the first Napoleon. In the many interesting glimpses of social history perhaps the most striking features are the remarkable development of the mediæval wayside hospitals, the great institutions and centralized system of Louis XIV., the sweeping innovations of the revolution and the unsuccessful efforts of one monarch after another to repress the army of beggars.
The legal claim of a pauper to relief, which has led to so many abuses in England and in some American cities, is not recognized in France except in the case of the dangerously insane and certain classes of children. "The tendency to take a somewhat socialistic view of public charity, and to seek to make it almost a government monopoly by putting hindrances in the way of private initiative . . . is generally more than counteracted by the traditional horror of anything approaching the English system, by the dread of all State interference felt by the economists,' and by the jealousy of the Catholics who would like to keep charity as far as possible in the hands of the church." P. 79. Yet charity in France seems to be more subject to public control and the control is more centralized than in England or America. The official bureaux de bienfaisance, assuming control of charitable bequests, and even of church collections, present a contrast to the prevalent American system of granting public appropriations to private charities.
The care of destitute children is especially noteworthy for its thorough organization under the placing-out system. The description of provident schemes, and of the government monopoly of pawn-shops may prove suggestive to American reformers.
In undertaking to pass a final judgment upon the French system of public assistance as a whole, the author recognizes the difficulty of tracing social results and their causes and of making international comparisons. In many parts of France the provision of relief is inadequate, but, whatever may be the cause, the French poor are more thrifty than the English. In both England and France the proportion of paupers to the population seems to be decreasing.
DAVID I. GREEN.
The Resources and Development of Mexico.
By HUBERT HOWE
croft Company, 1893.
This book cannot be classed as historical or economic, but it contains much information which is useful to both the historian and the economist. While a more scientific investigation from a sociological point
of view would have greatly enhanced the value of the work to students, yet it presents many points in a semi-popular style that are too frequently overlooked by those especially interested in modern economic and political history. While the book has some color of commercial investment, it is after all a fair representation of Mexico and its people, and while it lacks the keen analysis and pungent expression of David A. Wells' "Study of Mexico," it covers a much wider field and gives a more comprehensive idea of the entire country.
The recital of the recent intellectual achievements and the evolution of the races is too brief and too superficial to satisfy one who desires a thoroughly scholarly exposition of past and present means of education and culture. Emphasis of this would have added greatly to the value of the book, especially to those who are familiar with the history of the long period of intellectual stagnation preceding the present progressive era. The libraries of Mexico are worthy of far greater attention than Mr. Bancroft has given them in his too brief notice of these excellent features of interest. But the chapters on the material progress of the country, including agriculture, mining, stock-raising, manufactures and transportation are well written and of special interest to those who are seeking information respecting the resources and the industrial condition of Mexico, and they add something of economic and historical value inasmuch as they show the struggle to overcome the rank mediævalism in trade and industry which has been prevalent since its introduction under the old Spanish régime. The laws of mining and colonization and the regulations of trade and taxation that now obtain, recall many phases of the old Spanish paternal spirit from which the country has recently been breaking rapidly away. In 1846 Mexico established a liberal colonization law, but it had very little effect until recently when it has been put to excellent use in the encouragement of immigration. There are now eighteen well-organized colonies which have taken advantage of the liberal inducements offered by the law to secure cheap lands and homes within the national territory. A good deal of the rapid development of the country is due to wise legislation in the removal of burdens and the encouragement of certain lines of industry. Thus the removal of the heavy taxes from the mines and the rewards offered to work them have developed mining at a rapid rate. The improvement in the quality and efficiency of labor and the introduction of modern machinery are among the more remarkable features of the new era, although there is great room for improvement in these respects, especially in the rural districts. Evidently the author has written with a desire to find out what is good in Mexico and to present it in a very favorable light. The book is important in giving the
best general view yet published of the conditions of a country which seems destined to bear important economic and political relations to the United States. F. W. BLACKMAR.
Les Destinées de l'Arbitrage International depuis la sentence rendue par le tribunal de Genève. By Professor E. ROUARD DE Card. Pp. 264. Price 5 fr. Paris: 1892.
This book is an encouraging one to those who favor an extension of the principles of peace. In all times philosophers have dreamed of perpetual peace and have formed specific plans for bringing it about; but this book seems to show that it is reasonable to hope that the times of peace are at least to be much extended.
The author gives a full account of the steps that have been taken since the decision of the Alabama question in 1872 to bring about the settlement of international disputes by arbitration. He first gives a brief account of the different peace societies that have been formed; then follows this by an account of certain societies whose purpose is the settlement of international disputes by arbitration. Most encouraging is the report regarding the work of the international leagues. The Institute of International Law, for example, that from the reputation of its members and from the excellent work that it has done in all fields of international law has had so much influence, is shown to have formulated regulations for international arbitration that have been accepted by different states. This Institute has also suggested forms of treaties that shall provide for the settlement by arbitration of all disputes that may arise in the future.
A brief statement is made of the work of the Universal Congresses of Peace that were held in Paris in 1878 and 1889 at the International Expositions there, and afterward in London, 1890, and Rome, 1891. The book was published too early to contain an account of the work done at the Congresses in Berne, 1892, and Chicago, 1893. Of more immediate practical utility, perhaps, has been the work of the Interparliamentary Conferences whose sessions were held at the same places and times with those of the Universal Congresses of Peace from 1889 to 1892. These conferences are composed of members of different legislative bodies in Europe, and the decisions taken by them are in such form that they can be presented to the different legislatures for immediate action.
Of less importance, perhaps, than the action of these last two associations, but yet of some influence in the direction of perpetual peace, is the Congress of the Three Americas held in Washington in 1889-90, of which, so far as it concerns this subject, a full account is given.