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And the articles, "Allgemeine Theorie des Preises" and "Statistische Bestimmung des Preisniveaus” in Conrad's Handwürterbuch.


Göttingen. Dr. George Hanssen, emeritus professor at the University of Gottingen, died in the latter part of 1894.

He was born July 31, 1809, at Hamburg, where he received his early education. In 1827 he entered the University of Heidelberg as a student of law and political science, where he came under the influence of Rau. He studied later at Kiel where, in 1831, he secured his doctor's degree. In 1834 he went to Copenhagen where he was employed as secretary in the German division of the administration of taxes and commerce. In 1837 he became ordinary Professor of Political Economy and Statistics at Kiel, whence in October, 1842, he went in alike capacity to Göttingen. In 1848 he accepted a call to Leipzig and in 1860 to Berlin. In 1869 he returned to Göttingen to his former position. His publications were exceedingly numerous and we can mention only those which appeared in book form.*

"Agriculturae doctrina Cathedris Universitatum vindicata," Altona, 1832.

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Historisch-statistische Darstellung der Insel Fehmarn.” Altona,

"Statistische Forschungen über das Herzogtum Schleswig." Heft I. Heidelberg, 1832. Heft II. Altona, 1833.

"Ueber die Anlage von Korndampfmühlen in den Herzogtümern Schleswig und Holstein." Kiel, 1838.


Holsteinische Eisenbahn." Kiel, 1840.

"Das Amt Bordesholm im Herzogtum Holstein." Kiel, 1842. "Die Agitation wider den Septembervertrag von 1851." Oldenburg, 1851.

"Ein Beitrag zu den Debatten über die oldenburgische Zollanschlussfrage." Oldenburg, 1852.

"Die Aufhebung der Leibeigenschaft und die Umgestaltung der gutsherrlich-bäuerlichen Verhältnisse überhaupt in den Herzogtümern Schleswig und Holstein." St. Petersburg, 1861.

“Die Gehöferschaften im Regierungsbezirk Trier." 1863. "Hannovers finanzielle Zukunft unter preussischer Herrschaft." Hanover, 1867.

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Agrarhistorische Abhandlungen." Vol. I. Leipzig, 1880. Vol. II. Leipzig, 1884.

* An exhaustive bibliography including articles in periodicals can be found in Conrads Jahrbücher, Neue Folge, Vol. I. p. 362.


Lausanne.-Charles Secretan, the celebrated Swiss philosopher and sociologist, died January 22, 1895, at Lausanne. He was born at Lausanne, January 19, 1815, and after pursuing literary and philosophical studies at the academy of his native city went, in 1836, to Munich where he studied under the direction of Baader and Schelling. In 1838 he became Extraordinary and in 1841 Ordinary Professor of Philosophy at Lausanne. Dispossessed of his chair by the revolution of 1846 he occupied himself with journalism and private teaching. In 1850 he assumed the instruction of history in the gymnasium of Neufchatel. In 1866 the government of Vaud recalled him to his former chair at Lausanne. In 1887 he was elected an associate of the Institut de France. M. Secretan was a contributor to the Revue d'économie politique. Among his publications in book-form are:

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Philosophie de la Liberté." 2 vols. 1849.

"La raison et la Christianisme." 1863.

"Le principe et la morale." 1884. "La question sociale." 1886.

'Le droit et la femme." 1887.

"La civilization et la biogance." 1888.

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La Monnaie, le crédit et le change. Par AUG. ARNAUNÉ, Professeur à l'école des sciences politiques. Price, 7 francs. Pp. 402. Paris: Félix Alcan, 1894.

This book is a valuable compendium of data treating of various monetary systems. It gives a good idea of what money is and a brief historical survey of the money of different nations, but concentrates its efforts on the gold, silver and bank-note question, with a final chapter on checks and clearing-house certificates.

The author says in his preface, that he does not intend to be controversial, but he indicates strongly that he does not believe in the possibility of forcing people to accept the two metals on the same scale at a fixed ratio. He seems to believe, with many of the best economists who are theoretically monometallists, that silver has still its place in the world, and can and must be of use to mankind. But a time will come, says M. Arnauné, when silver will sustain a relation to gold similar to that which copper now bears to silver.

Japan may after the war be more inclined than before to consume gold. Her successful imitation of European civilization in other matters may also lead her to compete for gold. M. Arnauné's theory of the value of the precious metals is the well-known classical one. His tables of the variations of the value of gold and silver in past centuries and in modern times are useful to the student, who will find here an abstract of the statistics of Leech, Soetbeer and other standard authorities.

The author gives us a brief history of the mintage systems of different nations. He reminds us that in early times ideas of weight and value are combined. He discusses the successive disestablishment of various metals, for example copper, and now silver. He discusses the variation in the value of the precious metals, and shows the enormous difficulty in ascertaining it; he gives the systems adopted by Mr. R. H. Inglis Palgrave, M. de Foville, and M. Levasseur. In the middle of this century there was a rise in prices, which was generally considered as an effect of the depreciation of gold, as Stanley Jevons showed in his pamphlet: "A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold Ascertained and its Social Effects Set Forth."

Since 1873 the value of silver has fallen continually till now, when it is worth less than one-half of its former price, thus bringing about a new alteration in the monetary equilibrium of the world. This is the first reason given why gold has again appreciated and prices of the greatest number of goods have fallen. Another reason, upon which M. Arnauné insists strongly, is the development of modern industry, through which many products, like steel, iron, chemicals, are made at a much lessened cost and can be sold much cheaper than formerly. But there is one feature of the present situation in the economic world which the book does not mention, and which seems to us to be of considerable importance and to overthrow in a certain sense M. Arnauné's whole theory,—at least on its monetary side-so far as he tries to explain the fall in prices. Stocks, bonds and shares are dearer than at any previous period of the century, as are also salaries, wages and rents; for them, gold seems to have lost part of its value, while it has gained value when compared with other materials. What can be the explanation? A decrease in supply is not the answer, because everyone knows the quantity of bonds and shares of every kind, issued by governments or private corporations, has greatly increased in the second half of the present century. Is there a still greater increase in the demand for this kind of investment? That may be; but in all events the question is not settled, and the discrepancy in theories accounting for the general collapse of prices wants accurate study and an explanation which economists have not yet satisfactorily given.

We cannot entirely agree with M. Arnauné when he says that the classical theory explains fully the fluctuations in the precious metals. Admitting that the enormous increase of silver production has lowered the value of silver, the increase of gold production between 1850 and 1860 did not have the same effect on the value of gold when compared with silver at the same time. Again, the inclination of men to accept or refuse gold or silver at certain times, is a very important cause in considering the rise or fall in the value of the metals. The world produced in 1894 one-third more gold than in the past few years; nevertheless prices have fallen during the past year as they never did before. During the same time silver has remained steady, almost unchanged. Therefore we only need to compare gold with other commodities (for example wheat and wool). If the question of supply and demand is the only factor how can we explain the fall in price of wheat and wool, of which the supplies have not increased, in view of an increased amount of gold?

In the following chapters M. Arnauné gives us the theory of bills of exchange, checks and bank notes. He says the first idea of an

idealistic representation of values was embodied in the bill of exchange. Perhaps the promissory notes of the Assyrian, which have been recently found, engraved on earth clay cubes, are still more ancient. We think also that a simple receipt of gold or silver, or any other money, which is at the bottom of the idea of bank note, must have been used in very old times; however, history has given us no record of it. The absence of paper, which is such an inherent part of our modern life, prevented formerly a more rapid diffusion of this very elementary kind of credit, the highest incarnation of which is the bond and the share. In this form billions of billions are embodied in a few lines, and everything in the world, even the soil, the houses, not to speak of personal property, are exchangeable at all times between the remotest spots.

Having explained the mediums of circulation, the author analyzes their mechanism. For small payments, money is daily used; but as soon as payments grow larger, and specially for payments between trading people, instruments of credit are required; they are indispensable for payments from one city to another, from one country to a foreign country. Gold and silver quotations in London and Paris are given and explained. Then follows an explanation of the main exchange operations, remittance, drawing, buying of bills, direct and indirect remittances. The theory of foreign exchanges, which Goschen has so ably discussed, is condensed in one chapter: First, treating of countries where money is metallic and where balance of trade (in the most general sense) and rate of discount are the predominant factors and the gold point fixes the limit of rise or fall; secondly, countries where paper money is used and no limit can be previously foreseen for the oscillation of the exchange. We have tried in another place to indicate scientifically the scale of these latter movements.


The relation between exchange and gold movements, gold price and discount rate having been explained, the author proceeds in the second part of his work to study the different systems of metallic moneys.

The monetary system of France since the adoption of the law of Germinal An XI, this law itself, the mintage rules which fix the seigniorage at 7.44 frs. for one kilogram of gold and 1.50 frs. for one kilogram of silver, are clearly summed up. The author explains very clearly how gold moves and under what circumstances it will be brought to the mint or sold to the bank, or mortgaged for bank notes at a certain rate. Taking into account the mint expenses, the real relation in France between gold and silver is not 15.50, but 15.58; as soon as the relation showed a tendency to differ from this latter figure,

* See essay on Exchanges in "Melanges financiers," by Raphael Georges Lévy. Paris, 1894. Reviewed in ANNALS for September, 1894.

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