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were respectively accredited. The answers received * naturally vary much in merit. Some of the consuls reveal rather crude ideas in regard to charitable work, and many of them report the prevalence of exceedingly crude and wasteful methods of coping with the problems of pauperism; but the reports as a whole, contain a rich fund of information. A supplement contains a translation of the Poor Laws of Germany and a full report upon Charities in the Netherlands," and "The Public Loan Office of Florence."


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NOT EVERY STUDENT of the Convention of 1787 who wishes to place Madison's "Journal on the shelves of his library can afford to purchase "Elliott's Debates," in five volumes. To him a Chicago publishing house has rendered a good service by reprinting the "Journal." in a single volume from the edition of 1840, which was published under the direction of the United States Government from the original manuscripts. The volume is almost unwieldy, but the paper is good and the type clear. Above all, the index, general and analytical, is excellent. The volume is, indeed, an important contribution to that increasing stock of historical literature which serves the worthy purpose of popularizing original contemporary documents.

TWO RECENT works ‡ edited by Thomas H. McKee furnish in small compass and handy shape material which one often needs close at hand. The "Inaugurations" includes not only inaugural addresses, but also a certain amount of historical matter; while the volume of party platforms gives, in addition, tables of electoral and popular votes, the political complexion of Congresses, and useful appendices, but it can hardly take the place of Stanwood's "History of Presiden. tial Elections."

A NEW TRANSLATION of Rousseau's "Social Contract"? has long been a desideratum in the study of the revolutionary period in France. The English versions had practically disappeared from the book market, consequently, no one unacquainted with French could avail himself of this, historically, most important work of the eighteenth century. The

* Vagrancy and Public Charities in Foreign Countries. Special Consular Reports, issued from the Bureau of Statistics, Department of State. Pp. 369. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1893.

Journal of the Federal Convention; kept by JAMES MADISON. Edited by E. H. SCOTT, PP. 805. Chicago: Albert Scott & Co. 1893.

Presidential Inaugurations, 1789–1893, Pp. 166; National Platforms, 1789-1892, Pp. 206. Washington, D. C.: Statistical Publishing Company.

The Social Contract, or the Principles of Political Rights. BY JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU. Translated by RoSE M. HARRINGTON, with introduction and notes by EDWARD L. WALTER. Pp. lii, 227. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1893.

present translation is correct and clear, reproducing something of the style of the original. The introduction by Professor Walter is helpful, especially if supplemented by John Morley's criticisms or those of Taine. He has judiciously added a few explanatory notes, but leaves out several of those by Rousseau himself which are not wholly devoid of interest and the omission of which ought to have been indicated. The work while brief is of the utmost importance to the student of history, especially in understanding the Reign of Terror. It is a great pity, however, that the "Discourses" were not included, as Rousseau and his influence can not be fathomed without them.

MR. HERBERT M. THOMPSON has made an endeavor to clear up some of the difficult problems surrounding the subject of the theory of wages. The book is marked by an earnestness which makes one regret its failure to attain much of its purpose. The opening chapter is devoted mainly to a proof of the propositions that the whole product of industrial society is a varying one, and that the share which goes to each factor of production is a varying part of the total product. The author devotes his last chapter to working out various labor problems, such as the effects of the introduction of an eight-hour day, tradesunions, increase or decrease of population, education, etc., in a way which, although very interesting, does not lead to any very definite results. Concerning the introduction of an eight-hour day, for example, the author thinks that labor would become scarce, capital and land would be withdrawn, and entrepreneurs would be discouraged. The total product must become less, though not in proportion, and it is likely that in the division of the total product of industry, rent, interest and profits would sink proportionately to wages. The per capita wage would probably be less, but the laborer would receive more per hour than he did before. Mr. Thompson concludes that in order to estimate the effect on wages of a reduction of the hours of labor, we must know the amounts of variation of all the other elements of production. The discussion, though interesting, does not throw any new light on the difficult subject of a law of wages.

THE HISTORIAN is frequently indebted to a specialist in some other branch of learning for the preparation of historical materials. But the work is seldom so well done as in Dr. Turk's monograph.† The bibliography, description of the manuscripts, and literary observations, form an excellent introduction to a carefully collected text. *The Theory of Wages and its Application to the Eight-Hours Question and other Labor Problems. By HERBERT M. THOMPSON, M. A. Pp. xxiv, 140. London: Macmillan & Co. 1892.

The Legal Code of Alfred the Great, edited with an introduction by MILTON HAIGHT TURK, Ph. D. Boston: Ginn & Co. 1893.

The parallel Latin extracts for the passages from the Vulgate used by Aelfred enable us to criticise his workmanship. The date assigned by conjecture for the publication of the Code is 890.

The work would be above criticism but for its too close adherence to German methods. There is no index. The use of abbreviations in the introduction is not uniform and is, in many cases, unwise. Some of the sentences (e. g., pp. 47, 48) are distinctly German in their construction.

MR. HORACE WHITE has published a recent address on “An Elastic Currency,' ‚"* that supplements well the paper which he presented to the American Academy of Political and Social Science a year ago on "National and State Banks." Mr. White would secure an elastic currency by substituting a safety fund in place of present deposits of bonds as security for the circulating notes of banks. The successful career of the banking experience of the Wisconsin Marine and Fire Insurance Company between 1839 and 1852 is made use of to show the efficacy of good bank money in providing an elastic medium for effecting exchanges; while the sufficiency of a safety fund for securing the circulation of banks is declared to be shown by the fact that without the security of deposited bonds, the United States would have lost only $953,667, from the time of the establishment of the National bank system up to June 30, 1892, by relying on a first lien upon the assets of defaulting banks from which to cover the expense involved in redeeming the notes of failed banks. At the end of the address is the text of a bill to amend the present National Bank law so as to sub, stitute a safety fund for bonds as security. Mr. White drew up the bill at the request of Congressman J. H. Walker, who introduced it into the House of Representatives.

IN THE October Quarterly Journal of Economics is a lengthy and able article by Professor Taussig on "The Duties on Wool and Woolens." This supplements well the discussion of the question in Professor Taussig's "History of the Tariff of the United States," and is especially opportune, because of the present discussions in and out of Congress concerning free wool. Attention ought also to be called to an article by Edward D. Page on "The Woolen Tariff," reprinted in pamphlet form from the American Wool and Cotton Reporter. The most valuable parts of the article are the discussion of the effect which the duty on raw wool has had on our manufactures of woolens, and the argument in favor of ad valorem as opposed to specific duties on woolens.


An Elastic Currency; "George Smith's Money" in the Early Northwest. address to the American Bankers' Association at Chicago, October 19, 1893, by HORACE WHITE. Pp. 10. New York: The Evening Post Job Printing House. 1893.

MR. WILLIAM W. BATES, the author of the recent work on "The American Marine,”* submits to the Academy the following suggestive information regarding America's place in ocean carrying trade. “The proportionate participation of ten different flags in the carriage of foreign commerce at Antwerp, Bremen, Hamburg, Havre, Liverpool, London, Rotterdam and New York, the principal ports of ocean traffic, is as follows for 1891-92:


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"We have only to look at this table," says Mr. Bates, in advocacy of protecting American ships, "to see the result of unprotecting our marine in the foreign trade. Our policy for sixty-five years had been to unprotect it. It is no answer to say that, because it was more profitable to employ capital ashore, economy of investment of capital prescribed our surrender of navigation; for this reason, that our footing being unequal and disadvantageous, compared with Great Britain and other countries, the theory of economy has not had a fair field of operation. The advocates of free trade always beg the question by assuming that conditions for navigation, manufacturing, mining, agriculture, etc., are the same in all countries. Great Britain has had great advantages, particularly in steam navigation, which she has protected from the first at the expense of her treasury. Germany, now next to her in sea-power, has one-third of her steamers subsidized to-day, heavily. Our people have been beaten for want of fair play."

Mr. Bates is so bold as to deny that economic laws obtain in the carrying business on the ocean. "In regard to the carrying trade in foreign commerce, economic theories will not apply. Great Britain and the British people have waged a warfare upon the shipping of the United States ever since we developed any strength on the sea. British ambition and monopolizing disposition—the determination to be supreme upon the ocean-must be reckoned with as a factor in our misfortune. Foul play of every sort has prevented the play of economic forces between England and the United States. We have been driven out of the carrying trade, very largely by the British through their unjust underwriting discriminations.

*For a review of the book, consult the ANNALS for November, 1893. Vol. iv, p. 132.

"Americans have not 'chosen ' to hire their commerce carried, but they have lost control of their commerce; it has passed into foreign hands, and they have no choice about it. American merchants own no property, or almost none, upon the ocean. It is in fact foreign property that passes back and forth in foreign ships. We have lost our commerce by losing our ships. Foreigners have gained our commerce by being permitted to carry it as freely as our own vessel owners. When we installed the foreign ship as the equal of our own, to fetch and carry, then we inaugurated the force which has brought our ruin. The fight has not been merely ship against ship, but merchant against merchant, underwriter against underwriter, and the hand of every nation against us. Our government and politicians are very much to blame. The national interest has been sacrificed. We have

no strength for our maritime defence. We have no rank among maritime nations beyond that of little States and dependencies. Our weakness subjects us to great losses in commerce, the carrying trade, in finance, and in production.”

However Mr. Bates' economic theories may be challenged, and whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the proper means to be employed in raising the rank of the United States on the high seas, all must agree as touching the importance of securing the result which Mr. Bates, as a private citizen, and as Commissioner of Navigation, has long labored to help secure.


DR. VICTOR ROSEWATER has published a very able discussion of the practice and theory of special assessments on real property to cover the expense of municipal improvements directly beneficial to that property. The results of Dr. Rosewater's investigations will be a surprise to any one who thinks, as is natural, that the old American principle of universal proportional taxation for every public purpose is still prevalent in local as in State and National taxation. For he finds "that out of the forty-four commonwealths which now comprise the Union forty, besides two territories, have given legislative or judicial approval to the doctrine of special assessments." Although the eminent fairness and justice of such special assessments has now obtained such general recognition, yet a great many of the States have only adopted the systems now in vogue since the war. The most perfect system seems to be that of New York City. Although the system had its origin here in colonial times, and was first definitely formulated in the charter of 1813, it has undergone many changes since then. There

*Special Assessments, A Study in Municipal Finance. By VICTOR ROSEWATER, PH.D. Columbia College Studies in History, Economics and Public Law. Vol. II, No. 3. Pp. 152. New York. 1893.

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