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The tone of the Report of the Joint Committee of the Senate and Assembly is much less timid. While approving in the main of the administrative reforms suggested by the Counsel, they think that some more radical changes are demanded. They recommend that a tax be imposed upon all mortgages upon real and personal property and that a progressive succession tax be introduced to fall upon estates of over $50,000 passing in the direct line. The fact that only recommendations unanimously approved by the committee have found their way into this report, renders its discussions rather unsatisfactory.
Perhaps the most valuable portion of the report is the "testimony" which was heard by the committee while sitting in New York City in December, 1892, and January, 1893, and which forms the last five hundred and seventy-seven pages of the report. As witnesses there were summoned before the commission prominent government officials and business men and their statements throw a lurid light upon the actual methods of tax assessors and collectors in New York City.
We are promised by Mr. Fiero, one of the Counsel, a supplementary report in the nature of a bibliography on State and local taxation in the United States, to be ready in January, 1894.
H. R. SEAGER.
The United States, An Outline of Political History, 1492-1871. By GOLDWIN SMITH, D. C. L. Pp. 312. New York and London: Macmillan & Co. 1893.
By JAMes Schouler, LL. D. Pp. 252.
York: Dodd, Mead & Co. 1893.
The hearty reception accorded Dr. Goldwin Smith's "United States," written "for English rather than American readers," insures the appearance of a companion volume. This monograph is truly epochmarking. For the first time, the American reading public are listening to the other side of the unhappy quarrel with the mother country from the lips of an Englishman-an Englishman who regards the American Commonwealth as "the great achievement of his race." A genius for generalization and a fascinating style enable him to tell the whole story from 1492 to 1871 within the limits of a duodecimo of 312 pages. The mother country had her first historical advocates in Jared Sparks, and Lord Vernon, Earl Stanhope; but Dr. Smith alone has been granted leave to speak his mind freely in our court of public opinion. With all his skill and eloquence, he has not proved his case, but the effort will promote kindlier feelings between the parted branches
of the Anglo-Saxon race. Separation, the author tells us, was inevitable, but it would better have been amicable. The Revolution set up a fallacious ideal of political character. "Patriotism was identified with rebellion The sequel of the Boston Tea Party was the firing on Fort Sumter." His indictment of George III., Grenville, Townshend, North, Mansfield, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and others who fomented the quarrel, is one of the most eloquent passages in the volume. Washington, Franklin, John Adams, Jefferson, and colonial legislatures are quoted to prove that the desire for revolution was not general. The author even declares that there was no revolution at all, but a civil war," like to that of York and Lancaster, Cromwell and the royalists. We are told that no less than 25,000 American loyalists took up arms for the crown, to say nothing of hundreds who left the country.
His treatment of the War of 1812 is unique. America's claim to neutral trade is not allowed because the trade was really war in disguise. . . . It was carrying supplies to a place besieged," as France then was. But as to the impressment of our seamen, England was clearly in the wrong. American thinkers from Gallatin down, who see in the War of 1812 the consolidation of the American union and the happy completion of the movement away from Europe, are remote from Dr. Smith's point of view. Internal improvements and inventions, we are told, were the true instruments of consolidation; the migration westward, not the war, promoted mental independence of Europe.
The chapter entitled "Rupture and Reconstruction" is one of the best short accounts ever written of our late war, in which, as is well known, the author sympathized with the North. Dr. Smith is at his best in character sketching, and some of his epigrams about the fathers of the Republic will prove long-lived. Only Washington, Hamilton and Lincoln are spared the hard blows administered to Franklin, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Clay and Jackson. Without Washington, the cause of America would, he thinks, have been ten times lost. 'History has hardly a stronger case of an indispensable man." An "English gentleman sees in Washington his ideal as surely as he does not see it in Franklin, Samuel Adams, or Patrick Henry." Franklin is condemned for a share in the Hutchinson letters, as though the final word had already been said on that subject. Samuel Adams is roundly scored for incarnating the policy ascribed by John Stuart Mill to the typical Englishman of “living under the shadow of some conventional thing—some agreement to say one thing and mean another. Called to the consideration of Patrick Henry, the author dips his pen into gall, though strangely enough he fails to note the conditions under which Henry was converted to Federalism.
He strips Clay, the anti-British "war-hawk" of his finest feathers. Webster, "as an orator of reason," Dr. Smith believes, "has no superior, if he has an equal, in the English language. .. He swayed the opinions of all men; but he did not, like Clay, win their hearts... his moral strength was not equal to his power of mind." American personality reaches its high watermark in Lincoln.
Any one can write a book accurate as to facts and dates; but no one else, Professor Alexander Johnston perhaps excepted, has mar. shaled the acts, facts, dates of our history on a small plane with such striking success. Dr. Smith's recent letter stating the physical embarrassments under which he labored in the preparation of this compact, but not incoherent volume, obliges the reviewer to refrain from pointing out some typographical errors and erroneously quoted passages. The review would be incomplete, however, without noting a few errors that will probably be corrected in the next edition. The remains of the old church at Jamestown (page 3) do not date, says a recent writer in The Nation, from the first settlement. Roger Williams was an Englishman, not a Welshman (12). The Charter Oak was in Connecticut, not in Rhode Island (34). It was over "the whole barrel" of "salted provisions," not of “red herrings," (63) that Franklin is reputed to have advised his father to say grace. The author accepts as true (121) the speech attributed to Washington at the opening of the Convention of 1787; but recently discredited by the Hon. H. C. Lodge, in his " Washington" (Vol. II, p. 32, foot-note). The political significance of the Chase impeachment is not stated (161). Benton was a Senator for more than twenty years (185). There is some confusion on page 191 as to the competitors for the succession to Monroe, and John Adams is by a slip called "the first President." The index, though in the main satisfactory, gives no special reference to the purchase of Louisiana. The most serious omission seems to have escaped every reviewer; the more surprising this because more than one hails from the West. Public interest in the Western lands, so potent in holding the States together from 1781 to 1787, and the Ordinance of 1787 deserve consideration in every volume, however small, on our political history.
Dr. Schouler's biography of Jefferson is an opportune reply to Dr. Smith's flings at the sage of Monticello. For the "Anas," or for Jefferson's occasional lapses into dissimulation, the author attempts no apology; but he does emphasize the essential sincerity of Jefferson's character. He does show conclusively that the mitigation of the evils of slavery and its final abolition were among Jefferson's dearest ambitions. The humane stipulation that negroes should not be bled appears in the contract with an overseer. Years before Jefferson in 1776 ·
fulminated against George III., he tried in vain to persuade the Virginia House of Burgesses to legalize the manumission of slaves; and in 1778 actually carried through the Virginia Legislature a bill prohibiting slave importation, under penalty of slave manumission. Jefferson's plan of 1784 for the organization of the Western territory failed chiefly because it provided for free States south as well as north of the Ohio. Dr. Smith cannot have forgotten Jefferson's joyful message to the Congress of 1806-1807, that in another year the legal abolition of slave importation would be permitted by the Constitution, nor the pleasure with which the President signed the law effecting it. True, Jefferson was drawn by sectional sympathy toward the South in the great Missouri question, but he never renounced his conviction that slavery was an evil to master and subject alike. In his last years he tried to rally his State to purge her institutions of slavery, and capped a life-long protest against the evil by a will freeing his most faithful slaves.
The readers of Dr. Schouler's useful contributions to our historical literature may be pleased to hear that the style of this narrative is less florid, and the index somewhat fuller than is usual with the author. The volume is not flawless. An age made familiar by every "patent-inside" weekly with the Darwinian theories is scarcely likely to discriminate on page 29 between Charles and Erasmus Darwin. Hasty proof-reading probably explains the obviously erroneous date on page 227. But these are mere flecks in a work that deserves a place by the side of the early volumes of his well-known history.
The strange contradictions between Jefferson's political theories and between his theory and practice, the author, warned perhaps by the fate of all the other biographers of Jefferson, has forborne to treat in any fullness. He has contented himself with a clear analysis of the fundamental differences between the man Jefferson and the man Hamilton. He traces the immense popularity of the first Republican president to the well-known fact that Jefferson led the people in the direction of their best impulses. The unique merit of the book is in the prominence its author, a Boston lawyer and lecturer at the foremost Southern University, gives to Jefferson as lawyer, legislative reformer, and founder of a university. Dr. Schouler has done well in uncovering a fact, worthy to be more widely known, that Jefferson's plans, formulated as early as 1779, included, besides a university, a system of district, grammar and classical schools open to all.
LYMAN P. POWELL.
Cases and Opinions on International Law. By FREEMAN SNOW. Pp. xl and 586. Boston: The Boston Book Company. 1893.
Within the last twenty years a revolution has been effected in the methods of instruction in many of our best schools of law, through the introduction of the case system, displacing to a greater or less extent the old-fashioned method of textbook and lectures. It may, perhaps, well be doubted whether the science of International Law has as yet established itself with sufficient authority and precision to render it possible to make use of adjudicated cases to anything like the same degree as is both possible and advisable in the study of the common law. Before tribunals dealing with questions arising under International Law text-writers still command a respect and weight no longer accorded them in other courts to an equal degree, at least in Englishspeaking countries. And yet, in England and the United States at any rate, where precedent counts for so much in legal decisions, it seems as if the tendency might be toward rendering International Law more and more nearly, though perhaps never completely, a system of case law. But at all events decided cases already have a large influence in determining the decision on new cases, and the student and lawyer alike owe a large debt of gratitude to Dr. Snow for bringing together into one volume more than two hundred cases and opinions, many of which are otherwise scarcely accessible, except in reports, series and collections seldom found outside of the large libraries. It is a special merit of the book that the exact language of the judges is given, for the most careful summaries often fail to convey the precise shades of meaning contained in the original decision; the great value of this plan may be seen in such leading cases as Queen vs. Keyn (pp. 55-71), "Exchange vs. McFadden (pp. 103–113), and many others. An appendix contains the various authoritative declarations, instructions, etc., relating to the laws of war, as well as an account of the Behring Sea arbitration and decision of 1893. Moreover, teachers especially will appreciate the syllabus of references to authorities on nearly two hundred topics in International Law. We bespeak for Dr. Snow's volume a generous reception as a work of reference and, wherever practicable, as a book to be put into the hands of each member of a class for use in connection with text-writers.
C. F. A. CURRIER.
The Science of International Law. By THOMAS ALFRED WALKER, M. A. Pp. 544. London: C. J. Clay & Sons. 1893.
There is much in this work which will merit careful examination. Its main position, and one which lends a peculiar flavor to the whole work, is the assertion that international law is a science and not a