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ratio. He even maintains the virtual impossibility of any considerable extension of the subsidiary use of silver with the present single gold standard-at least, if the solvency of our banking systems is to be maintained. He admits also the expense which would be entailed under his scheme upon different nations by making their existing overvalued coins, such as French silver, convertible into currency of the proposed description. He admits the divergence of interests as to the ratio of gold and silver in the basis of the proposed system. And still he maintains the advisability and the practicability of his scheme. Free as he is from the chimerical delusions of both inflationists and many bimetallists, and admitting as he does, the certainty of an ultimate single gold standard, he assumes that the disturbances of international trade caused by different monetary standards, the falling of prices, and the increase of debtors' burdens, all of which are threatened by the appreciation of gold, are so all-important that this doublemetallic basis ought to be introduced, cost what it may. This is certainly the weak point of the entire agitation for a compromise standard. Taussig shows that the fall in prices is due largely to the improvement in productive methods, that in general the increase of the weight of the debtor's obligations is nominal and not real. And that international trade with the East is of such transcendant importance that a metal of ever decreasing value and ever increasing clumsiness must be made a larger factor in performing the exchanges of the entire civilized world may, in the absence of any clearer demonstration to the contrary than we yet possess, be regarded as an unproven assumption.
W. M. D.
State Papers and Speeches on the Tariff. With an introduction by F. W. TAUSSIG, LL.B., Ph.D., Professor of Political Economy in Harvard University. Pp. 385. Published by Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1892.
The Tariff Controversy in the United States, 1789-1833, with a Summary of the Period before the Adoption of the Constitution. By ORRIN LESLIE ELLIOTT, Ph. D. Leland Stanford Junior University Monographs. History and Economics, No. 1. Pp. 272. Published by the University, Palo Alto, Cal. 1892.
It was a happy thought of Professor Taussig's, to render more accessible to the public some of the tariff arguments that lay buried in the musty publications of the government, or were beyond easy reach of the majority, from being published only in expensive editions of their author's works. There is so much trash spoken and written on
the tariff question, that it is a relief to be able to turn to discussions which are really worth reading. There are, too, some special advantages in fixing public attention on some of the most important of the arguments discussed in the earlier days of our national life. In the first place, a perusal of these papers will remind those who seem to regard protectionism and patriotism as synonymous, that there have been some whom even they acknowledge to be patriots, whose views could hardly be reconciled with protectionism as protectionism is embodied in our law and practice to-day. In the second place, since these arguments were written before the Civil War they are free from the prejudice which that struggle has injected into the tariff controversy, and should, therefore, appeal all the more strongly to those who, under the influence of the war period, have become accustomed, naturally enough, to regard the present system as the only properly permanent one.
The task of selecting representative papers from the mass of literature and speeches on the tariff is, with the exception of the papers of Hamilton and Gallatin, by no means so easy as it might appear to some, and the judiciousness of Professor Taussig's choice deserves great praise. It is in keeping with the high position he holds as an authority on the tariff question.
Of the papers themselves it is not necessary to say much. Those of Hamilton, Gallatin and Walker are known, by name at least, to all who have given any attention to the subject of which they treat. As Professor Taussig says in his introduction, all the papers discuss some conditions that no longer exist, but it is desirable to consider them in their complete form so as to get the true perspective of the views of the past generation. They are monuments of financial and administrative skill and literary ability, of which no American need feel ashamed.
It is worthy of notice that tariff discussion has recently partaken more of the character of appeals to the history and experience of the country, than of consideration of the general economic principles which bear on the subject. In response to this tendency most of the recent tariff literature is historical. The explanation of the tendency is doubtless found in the fact that logical discussions of general principles cannot be easily followed by the mass of the people, and are, moreover, even when understood, looked on with more or less suspicion as being unpractical and not in touch with real life. Under existing circumstances in this country this state of the public mind has two advantages. First, the study of history will help to do away with the feeling, too commonly held even to-day, that our national life is so peculiar as not to be subject to the ordinary maxims of
economic law; for there are still too many of our people who believe that Providence exercises a special care over "fools, women and the United States." And, in the second place, the study of our history, by showing how the country has prospered under various degrees of protectionism, should convince extremists that the protective system cannot fairly be charged with either all the good or all the harm the nation has experienced in its industrial life. Under these circumstances Dr. Elliott's history of the earlier phases of the tariff controversy may do much good. The narrative is well-written, and is to be commended for its impartiality. The author's good historical sense is shown by his appreciation of the fact that the struggle for the protective system was but a phase of the larger contest between the adherents and opponents of centralization. It would be better if Dr. Elliott had made this more emphatic. From the philosophical standpoint certainly, his history would have been improved if he had traced more clearly the continuity of the evolution of tariff opinion from colonial days down. Still, he describes the various phases of this evolution excellently. Content, in colonial times, to play an industrial rôle subsidiary to that of Great Britain, the people, after the Revolution, sought for industrial independence with free commercial intercourse. Blocked in their effort, mainly by the insolent treatment of England and the obstacles caused by the European wars, they turned to a policy of restriction. The feeling at the bottom of both efforts was the spirit of nationalism. The apparent success of the policy of restriction, reacting on this spirit, led to the perpetuation of the restrictive system and its adoption as the “ American system."
Dr. Elliott's account of the industrial disasters that followed the war of 1812, and their causes, is excellent, and is an emphatic judgment of the merits of the protective system. His book is a valuable contribution to our tariff literature, and it is to be hoped that he will bring the history down to date.
University of Wisconsin.
The Dawn of Italian Independence: Italy from the Congress of Vienna, 1814, to the Fall of Venice, 1849. By WILLIAM Roscoe THAYER. 2 vols., pp. 453-446, with two maps. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1893.
Every generation, and perhaps every country, must rewrite its account of the past, for the great body of readers demand an account from their own point of view, and will not willingly trouble themselves with the allowances necessary in case the standpoint is that of another nation or age. The increasing number of histories by Americans meets
this legitimate demand. There is no reason why these should not be distinctly superior for general use to those by Europeans themselves; more accurate in their perspective, and less distorted by natural bias. Nor is there any excuse for want of scholarliness with the present tendency to frequent foreign universities, and the comparative ease with which European collections of sources can be utilized. Mr. Thayer's account of Italy during the first half of this century will appeal to the great body of American readers and will undoubtedly excite an interest in a subject which has received no such adequate treatment in English before.
The author's style, unfortunately, obtrudes itself as one opens his volumes. The first impression is not precisely an agreeable one and may serve to deter some from advancing far in a really meritorious work. There is a strong infusion of Michelet and Carlyle with a suggestion of the boyish superlative of Garibaldi's memoirs. While this style is by no means wanting in clearness, force, and even eloquence, it leads the author astray, carrying him at times beyond the limits of legitimate metaphor, as when he tells of a "spiritual æther * * which has its trade-winds and tornadoes, its lightnings and its auroral calms; * deeds good and evil are sown in it and borne like pollen up and down the fallow field of years, till at last they fructify and bring forth harvest of wheat or tares, each after its kind" (I. 215).
Good and forcible as many of the elaborate figurative passages are with which the book abounds, there is a tendency to overdo the matter. In his vocabulary Mr. Thayer shows a predilection for unusual words. "While Gregory XII. pontificates" is the not especially humorous title of his third book. "Charlemain" is perhaps a worthy
The Introduction, of nearly one hundred pages, is not only weak, but what is harder to forgive, there is a suspicion of flippancy about it. It cannot edify one who has studied the preceding centuries, and may mislead those who have not. The author might well have made a passing reference to Mr. W. H. Howells' excellent, but somewhat neglected, account of Italian Literature since the French Revolution. Italy.
Little is said of the effects of the Napoleonic period on
With the second book and the Congress of Vienna the author enters upon his real task, and the character of the work improves very perceptibly. The narrative is vivacious and clear; the phases of the subjects treated are selected with discrimination and the matter is well arranged in spite of the confused conditions in Italy. The Revolution of 1848-49 occupies the whole of the second volume, and its pages
form, to say the least, an agreeable alternative to other of the familiar accounts of this period in English.
The author has read largely, but almost exclusively the secondary Italian sources. These, of course, often contain documentary material in a convenient form, and Mr. Thayer seems to have made no effort to go beyond this. He even neglects Reuchlin's work entirely, in spite of its recognized position as the most careful treatment of Italian affairs since 1815. This is much as if one were to write a history of France since the Restoration, basing his work exclusively upon the historical writings of Louis Blanc, Garnier-Pagès, and the memoirs of Guizot. The Italian publicists of the same period were certainly no more judicial, nor can we expect them to review the past in an unpartisan spirit. Few among us read Italian, however, and it is worth while to know how it all seemed to the participants themselves. The author often obtrudes his own opinions, and these sometimes upon topics and in places where they are in no way called for. Protection, evangelicism, and everything monarchical, each receives a frequent dig. How far the historian should be explicitly and avowedly didactic is a question which each must settle for himself. There is certainly a danger in attempting always to take sides, and the experienced historian becomes more and more tolerant. Without an instinctive desire to see the other side and a proneness to suspend judgment in the presence of motives but half understood, no really worthy history can be written.
J. H. R.
Dell' Abbreviature nella Paleografia Latina, studio di ZANINO Volta. Con 36 Tavole litografiche e figure in zincotypia intercalate nel testo. Pp. 328. Milano: Max Kantorowicz, 1892.
The conscientious use of sources in the study of history necessitates an accurate knowledge of paleography and diplomatics. In the former the most difficult and important branch is the interpretation of abbreviations. They are common in all documents of the later middle ages, and in some hardly a word is written in full. The difficulties of the subject can be appreciated from a few facts. In this book fifty-nine separate words are enumerated, which are represented by the letter S, without any distinctive marks. D. D. may be read in twenty-six ways. Some general rules are followed, but, as our author is fond of insisting, in any case the usage of the time and the idiosyncrasies or carelessness of the copyist may have introduced what seems at first hopeless confusion. In fact, the learned Mabillon confessed his inability to understand some signs.
Professor Volta has chosen for his field the Italian codices and charters of the X-XV centuries. In his preface he promises the signs