Slike strani

fully the great work of Adam Smith, it is probable that many American statesmen had adopted these terms from the Wealth of Nations. But the writings of the physiocrats were also well known in this country, and it is probable that these may have furnished another source of information. Yet no American writer, with the possible exception of Williamson, had endeavored to define exactly these words that have proved so convenient, and so troublesome, in economic terminology. This was not strange, since Adam Smith had not undertaken to define his terms, or to classify taxes as direct and indirect. The only available definition and classification was to be found in the works of Turgot and other writers of the French School. Under such circumstances it will not be strange that subsequent American discussions showed considerable doubt and difference of opinion concerning the exact meaning of the words direct taxes.

See his article in the number of the American Museum for August, 1787.


The Minnesota Primary Election Law. The people of Minneapolis have nominated for the first time under a primary election law their candidates for city and county offices. The results of this election, together with the possible modification of political conditions produced by it, make the law of great interest to the people of the State and the citizens of municipalities in all parts of the country.

In 1899 the legislature passed an act granting to counties of two hundred thousand inhabitants, or over, the right to nominate by ballot the candidates for political offices. The law required the circulation of a petition by each candidate which must be signed by five hundred or more persons and accompanied, when filed in the office of the city clerk, by ten dollars to meet the expense of publishing the ballots. From these petitions the lists of candidates were made for each party ticket. No restrictions were placed upon the voter other than those necessary for the working of the law. Inclination determined party affiliation.

The only county in the State coming under the scope of the new primary act was Hennepin County, in which Minneapolis is situated. For the sake of convenience the primary election was held on the first day of registration for the November elections. The canvass for office prior to the election was energetic and sharp. On the Republican ticket the names of seventy-eight candidates appeared for the twenty offices; the Democratic ticket was not quite so well represented. In a number of cases, particularly those of Mayor and Alderman, candidates appeared who were not regarded as safe men by the best people of the city. In fact, about the mayoralty centered a contest that was very important to the city. A former Mayor who favored a wide-open policy in relation to the saloons and gambling houses, a business man, and a member of the Board of Education were the three contestants for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic ticket the present Mayor of the city and a former State Senator were the candidates. The Republican voters nominated the gentleman favoring the wide-open policy, while the Democrats named the present holder of the office as their candidate. It may safely be said that no convention would have named the Republican candidate. This situation may be explained by the fact that many Democrats voted for the Republican candidate. The test of this statement is found in the large preponderance of the Republican vote for Mayor over that of any other office, while the Democratic vote was correspondingly small. The law did not provide for any party test, and as a consequence it is suspected that many Democrats voted for Republican candidates in order to nominate a man who was sure to lose votes and in that way help their own candidate. Here is the weakness of the law.

On the other hand, the failure of the Republicans to select the best man for Mayor was more than offset by the defeat of three Aldermen who belonged to the old council combine. The result of the primary election was a surprise to the politicians. In nearly every case the man who held the office was renominated regardless of prophecies to the contrary. This is explained by the fact that the man in the office has a hold on the people increased by the prestige of the office. The uninformed voter goes on the supposition that he must be a good man and therefore ought to be retained in his position. The vote for the uncontested offices was less than 5 per cent of the vote for Mayor in some of the precincts. Many tickets were also cast on which only the names of candidates for principal offices were marked. This was due partly to indifference and partly to a lack of knowledge concerning the candidates, but the majority of the voters marked their ballots with discrimination.

Before the law went into operation many statements were made concerning what seemed to be a ponderous machine. The election went off smoothly and without friction. The vote cast was larger than that of the last general election, indicating that the people were pleased to have the opportunity to select their own candidates. It remains to be seen, however, whether the best men will declare thiemselves candidates for the different offices. It is certain that the politicians will have to coöperate in presenting men widely known and capable, otherwise the people will choose the man who holds the office. This may remedy the danger just referred to.

The other cities in the State have watched with great interest the outcome of the law. Already the people of St. Paul are urging their representatives to vote for an amendment providing for the extension of the law to counties of 150,000 inhabitants. It is not likely the law will be repealed at the next legislature, but some amendments will undoubtedly be offered to test party affiliation and prevent the abuse of the law which occurred in the Minneapolis mayoralty contest.

Taken all in all, the law is an advance over the convention system, not necessarily in the mere selection of candidates, but in political training and individual responsibility of citizenship.

FRANK L, MC VEY. University of Minnesota.

The Census of Cuba. We have received from the Government Printing Office the “Report on the Census of Cuba, 1899." This is a census of Cubans by Cubans, all the supervisors and enumerators being residents of the island. It was, however, planned and managed by Victor H. Olmsted, under the direction of Inspector-General Sanger of the War Department. Aside from its statistical tables, the report contains a good deal of matter of general interest, such as a sketch of the geography, mineral resources, climate, flora, fauna, history, government and population of Cuba; an account of the various sources of water supply and methods of disposal of garbage and excreta in the island; a bibliography; and above eighty pictorial illustrations. Some of the more important facts brought out are the following: The population, October 16, 1899, was 1,572,797, of which 57.8 per cent. was native white, 9 per cent. native foreign, 32 per cent. negro and mixed, and less than i per cent. Chinese. A probable loss of population since the beginning of the recent war is reported, of 200,000 persons. The province of Habana is about as densely populated as is Connecticut, and that of Puerto Principe as the State of Texas: 47.1 per cent. of the population live in towns of 1,000 inhabitants and upwards. The average age of the people is a year less than in the United States, and two and a half years more than in Porto Rico. There is an extraordinary deficiency of children under five years of age, presumably a result of the war and of the Spanish policy of reconcentration. As in the United States, the proportion of negroes to whites has steadily, though slowly, diminished since importation from Africa ceased. Unfortunately, no comparative showing of the birth-rate and death-rate of the two races is given, nor of the several diseases to which each is more exposed. Statistics relating to marriage and the family in Cuba are specially difficult to gather and interpret, because Spanish law neither recognized common-law marriage nor granted divorce. The facts are, however, that in Cuba 24.7 per cent. of the population over fifteen years of age are “married,” as compared with 55.3 per cent in the United States, legal marriage being more than three times as common among

whites as among blacks. There are one-half as many persons cohabiting "by mutual consent" as there are living in lawful wedlock -the number of such "consentual unions" actually exceeding the number of marriages in a fifth part of the municipal districts. Of the population above ten years of age, 57 per cent. are unable to read, while of those between five and seventeen years of age, only 15.7 per cent. attend school. It is obvious that these facts have some bearing on the fitness of the Cubans for self-government on the one hand, and for American citizenship on the other.

Industrial Centralization in Sweden. The history of the Swedish dairy industries affords another illustration of the inevitable modern tendency toward centralization of production. This industry was of some importance in the earlier centuries, but first emerged into an independent status after the Napoleonic wars. Its earlier stages of advance were at the expense of the formerly allimportant agriculture; American grain, using cheapened means of transportation, was making short work of European competition, and in Sweden the population fell back upon cattle-raising, in connection with which they carried on a domestic dairy industry. For a considerable period, however, Sweden was unable to produce for export.

In the sixties efforts were made to disseminate scientific knowledge and to introduce better processes, and were crowned with considerable success. At the same time methods of refrigeration came into use and prospects were opened to the industry as never before. During this period it took on still more of the character of a separate

a and independent business and many establishments were founded which depended upon a transported supply of milk. Butter, the chief product, for the first time appeared as an important article of export. In 1860 a few thousand pounds were exported; but by 1864 the figure had risen to 579,900 pounds, after satisfaction of the domestic demand.

During the next decade the process went on still more rapidly; the total export for 1879 was about 10,219,000 pounds. This period was marked by the establishment of numerous “skimmingstations”; the product was enlarged by avoidance of waste and the sphere of action of the industry widened. The eighties brought

Svenska mejerihandteringens utveckling och smörtillverkningens centralisering, af mejerikonsulenten K. F. Lunden. Notice by Nils Engström, in “ Ekonomisk Tidskrift," Häft. 10, 1900.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »