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of three books which are included in the Epochs of American History that Professor Hart has been editing, a volume a year, since 1891. The editor declares that the object of the series is to "show the main causes for the foundation of the colonies, for the formation of the Union, and for the triumph of that Union over disintegrating tendencies. To make clear the development of ideas and institutions from epoch to epoch,-this is the aim of the authors and the editor." In order to accomplish this, "detail . . . has been sacrificed to a more thorough treatment of the broad outlines," while "events are considered as evidences of tendencies and principles." The books are written for the perusal of the general reader and for use with classes. Each volume is divided into chapters of convenient length and contains valuable bibliographical references for the assistance of students in advanced study.
The three authors are men well-equipped for the work they have done. Mr. Thwaites, who has been for many years Secretary of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, has made good use of his ample opportunities to study the Indians and the colonial life of the Northwest, that region where French and English colonization came together and struggled for supremacy. Professor Hart, of Harvard, writes on the period to which he has given most study; while Professor Wilson treats the period with which his study in the preparation of his works, "Congressional Government" and "The State," and his lectures on administration have made him familiar. It is fitting that the author of The Colonies should be a man of the Northwest, the author of the Formation of the Union a New Englander, and the author of Division and Reunion a man of Southern birth and of both Northern and Southern education.
The authors of the Epochs of American History have accomplished the object they had in view. The details, particularly in the volumes by Professors Hart and Wilson, are few and the development of ideas and institutions is clearly outlined. In dealing with causes, economic forces are rightly given large emphasis. This constitutes one of the strongest features of the series, and to have given economic conditions still more central place in the treatment as a whole would have added to the merits of the work. From the contact of a modern people with its economic environment result those institutions with which the history of a modern nation is concerned. Modern peoples differ among each other, have developed under different economic conditions. If the inherited characteristics of a people be known, and the conditions of its environment be understood, then, and only then, can its history be intelligently written. Furthermore, the latter of these two forces determining the history of a nation is the stronger; differences in
the inherited institutions of two peoples or colonies can be more easily outgrown when the two have like environment than can a similarity of institutions be maintained under different economic conditions. Thus, Professor Hart, speaking of England and the Colonies, says: "Beginning at the time of colonization with substantially the same principles of liberty and government, the two regions developed under circumstances so different that, at the end of a century and a half, they were as different from each other as from their prototype." That the distance of the colonies from the governing country accounts for the retention of the executive veto power in America, that the frontier life of the colonies caused local government to develop, that abundance of land accessible to all prevented the growth of a strong aristocracy, these are but a few illustrations of the truth of the proposition. Both Professor Hart and Professor Wilson have, at least, clearly indicated the economic forces which gave direction to the development of the banking system of the United States, the tariff, internal improvements, and slavery.
Each of the three books is strong in different ways. Mr. Thwaites is at his best in his three chapters describing the social and industrial life of the Southern, the Middle and New England colonies. Professor Hart is skillful in the grouping of his material, and especially clear in his analysis of the evolution of the federal government. Professor Wilson's portrait of Andrew Jackson is drawn with masterly hand; but the strongest feature of his book is the treatment given slavery. Professor Wilson's juristic and economic studies here stand him in good stead. He has, however, it seems to me, over-emphasized the static character of Southern industrial life previous to the war. "The existence of slavery in the South," he says, "fixed classes there in a hard crystallization and rendered it impossible that the industrial revolution [1829-41], elsewhere working changes so profound, should materially affect the structure of her own society." This is too strong a statement; the South had changed. The Virginia of 1850 differed industrially from the Virginia of 1750.
Each author has written from his own point of view and the editor has made no attempt to reconcile differences of opinion. Thus we find Professor Wilson and Professor Hart differing upon so important a question as the essential nature of the government established at the adoption of the constitution. The work, however, possesses greater value, because of the fact that three men instead of one have passed independent judgment. The work is edited in the true spirit, and each author has succeeded in giving a better outline of our national development and of the motive forces of American civilization than had before been presented to readers and students of American history. E. R. J.
The French War and the Revolution. By WILLIAM MILLIGAN
Contemporaneously with the appearance of the last volume of the "Epochs of American History," Dr. Woodrow Wilson's "Division and Reunion," appears Dr. Sloane's work on the "French War and the Revolution," the second in a series of four volumes, entitled "The American History Series," now issuing from the press of Charles Scribner's Sons. The first, which covered the colonial era, was from the pen of the veteran historian, Dr. George P. Fisher, of Yale. The author of the volume under review is a well-known teacher at Princeton. The volume on the adoption of the constitution and the subsequent national consolidation is being written by General Francis A. Walker, whose study of our financial history gives him a clear title to the making of this book. The last period, from 1815 to the end of the reconstruction, will be treated by Professor John W. Burgess, of Columbia College.
Dr. Hart's recent work on the "Formation of the Union," in the Epoch Series, deals with the period from 1750 to 1815. Dr. Sloane concerns himself only with the two wars of which the years 1756 and 1783 form the extreme limits. Viewed from the political standpoint, Dr. Hart's period seems more sure to possess unity than Dr. Sloane's shorter epoch. The peace of 1783 nominally but not actually closed the struggle for freedom from European complications. It was not until 1815 that complete independence came and that to quote Mr. Henry Adams-" Americans ceased to doubt the path they were to follow."
Dr. Sloane's aim is "to present a reasoned account of all the facts." To this ideal we owe a pleasing and, not infrequently, eloquent summary of twice-told tales. The struggle on the Plains of Abraham and the hard-earned victories of the Revolution are narrated so vividly as to hold the attention even of students long familiar with this chapter of our history.
The author finds a unity in his period through the co-operation of the colonies in the struggle against parliamentary government. His reasoning in this regard is logical enough because he is wedded to the common conception of American nationality as born in the second Continental Congress. That Congress, he believes, held up the mirror of nationality for all, "though Dickinson and his friends
could not, or would not, see the brightening reflection of a new personality among nations." Zealous to establish the thesis that sovereignty was transferred in a moment from the English Parliament to the Continental Congress, Dr. Sloane appears to assume that nationality and congressional government were born in a day. He even lets us believe that the adjective federal is the synonym instead of the antonym of confederate. This is no heresy, however, for many distinguished predecessors, including Dr. Hart, are not far from the conception of an instantaneous generation of the nation; and it is only among some of the younger historical investigators that another and different view has found a hearty welcome.
The book is supplied with good maps and a helpful index. Dr. Sloane has prepared a genealogical table and in an appendix gives us a brief essay on the bibliography. His reading references would be more helpful, however, if, like Dr. Hart, he had indicated at the beginning of each chapter the general and special histories and the original sources-with the proper pages. Dr. Hart too, breaks up his chapters into sections and thus precipitates the social, economic, political and military histories, which in Dr. Sloane's volume are held in a solution more palatable perhaps than their elements to the general reader. These criticisms, if they be such, apply rather to the whole series than to the volume by Dr. Sloane, who doubtless had no option in respect of the general plan.
The reader of the "French War and the Revolution" will see more clearly the European background of American history, and the movements of contemporary speculation abroad; though it is doubtful whether he will have a clearer view of the effects of that speculation upon American thinkers and theories. The author excels in describing the religious causes of the American Revolution, and its effect upon Europe. The significance in European politics of the French alliance of 1778, is presented with great cleverness in a single chapter. No less interesting, probably more important for Americans, is the chapter on the "Peace of Versailles," in which Vergennes' desire to make America independent of England, but dependent for all time on France, is shown up in its true light. Jay, Adams and Franklin are not robbed of the glory of concluding this peace, nor is the contribution thereto of the battle of Yorktown overlooked. At the same time, Dr. Sloane points out that behind all those causes a mighty flood-tide "of the liberal and just views held by most Americans and many influential Englishmen," was already sweeping down upon "the wrecks and derelicts of both medieval aristocracy and modern absolutism."
The author has so sprinkled his pages with pronouns that it is sometimes necessary-as, for instance, on pages 355 and 360-to reread a
passage in order to catch its meaning. More than one economic student will not consent without a murmur, to the use of "incontrovertible" on page 208. Aside from these defects, the style of the book is clear and pleasing.
The purpose of Mr. Loring's little volume, as made evident in the title page and the preface, is to unmask a false idea which he believes is creeping into American history; an idea which he characterizes as “a recent fad of some northern writers and commentators." Had Dr. Wilson's latest book greeted the eyes of the author before he wrote this volume, he would doubtless have added to the preceding quotation "and some others; " for Dr. Wilson, of southern nativity and early associations and of northern as well as southern training, has pointed out to us in "Division and Reunion" the measure of truth in southern arguments, without asking us to go all the way with southern conclusions.
Mr. Loring will not tolerate the view that "the nationality of our government was a question from its inception, and that the United States judiciary and congress by assumptions have largely extended its power." Taking his cue from Gladstone's famous dictum, he calls a halt to all questioning of the instantaneous generation of our national government and insists that "the nation, as Pallas Athene full-grown and armed from the brain of Zeus, sprang to life from the constitution with the sovereign authority necessary for its existence and the power to enforce its rule." In spite of his strong argument, the author will scarcely convince all of his readers that "in the beginning there was no debate, no question of its nationality." Even those who agree with him that "the Virginia resolutions do not in the least countenance the doctrine of secession and nullification," will, if they have read the records of New England federalism, accept only after serious thought the author's judgment that the purport and existence of the Kentucky Resolutions "were forgotten from the time they were promulgated until South Carolina's threat, in 1830, of nullification."
Though all may not conclude with Mr. Loring that Webster's famous argument was as old as the Constitution, none will deny that he has made an opportune and useful contribution to speculation concerning our national origins. LYMAN P. POWELL.
The Industrial and Commercial History of England: Lectures delivered to the University of Oxford. By the late JAMES E. THOROLD ROGERS. Pp. XI., 473. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1892.
This volume consists of twenty lectures upon such subjects as "The