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Peace has become so great a Shibboleth that the introduction of rifle practice into the public schools is now advocated as a peace measure.

The experience of our recent wars [it is held] has pointed out that, while there is no difficulty in case of war in getting all the volunteers that the country requires, and they can be given a reasonable amount of drill in a few weeks, it takes them a long time to learn to shoot, and that unless they can shoot accurately, they are of little value as soldiers. If, however, the young men who are graduating from our high schools in the different states should be skilled riflemen, the country can rest content with a small standing-army, knowing that in case of war it can put into the field at short notice a force of volunteers whose skill in rifle shooting will make them to be fully the equal of any army which may be brought against them. The system is, therefore, a great factor for national peace.

As a teacher from the state which William Penn founded, I must put a big interrogation point after this theory. Whenever anything goes wrong in the life of the nation, people look to the school for a remedy. If the reports in the daily papers are correct, there were 6,258 desertions from the army last year, and out of a total of 24,083 enlistments not more than 8,848 were re-enlistments. The invention of smokeless powder, machine guns, and modern explosives, and service in tropical countries have robbed the occupation of the soldier of its former attractiveness. The fact that boys at the age of thirteen can learn to shoot with marvelous accuracy should be correlated with the fact that at the same age, and even earlier, boys can be taught all sorts of breakneck acrobatics; no one would, on account of the skill which may thus be acquired, be justified in advocating the introduction of either acrobatics or rifle practice into the curriculum of our public schools. There is a limitation to the kinds of skill which a human being may acquire, and the development of skill in these directions interferes seriously with the development of skill in other and more useful lines. The development of skill in shooting is desirable on the part of those who join the army or the state constabulary; but if during a strike every striker were a skilled rifleman, the difficulties in maintaining order would be infinitely multiplied. It was, therefore, a source of gratification to learn from the secretary of war that no scheme for the inauguration of a policy to establish a system of rifle practice thruout the schools of the country is at present under consideration by the War Department.

At this time three great meetings are in progress. Delegates from every civilized nation are in session at The Hague for the purpose of lessening the evils and the frequency of war and of promoting the use of arbitration as a means for the settlement of international disputes. On the shores of the Atlantic the Jamestown Exposition advertises the greatest military and naval display the world has ever seen in time of peace. On the shores of the Pacific, in the city of "the angels," the association which represents the largest body of educators in the world has met to discuss the latest problems in education. Shall we plant ourselves on the side of peace or of war? Will the advocacy of peace raise a generation of weaklings? Has any one ever dared to call William Penn a weakling? He was as brave and courageous as his father,

the admiral. Self-restraint is often more difficult than combat. Perhaps for police purposes, if not for national protection, we shall need a small army and a navy during coming centuries, but as soon as the three and a half millions of teachers in the schools of the civilized world shall begin in earnest and with skill to inculcate sentiments of peace and the principles of justice and fair dealing in the treatment of weaker nations, we may hope for the limitation of armaments and the dawn of an era of peace that is worthy of the disciples of the Prince of Peace.


ALBERT BOYNTON STORMS, PRESIDENT OF IOWA STATE COLLEGE, AMES, IOWA Democracy is more than a political experiment. It is the latest spiritual enterprise of the ages. Tho not yet complete, nor yet permanent, democracy is the crowning achievement of history. Democracy is an ideal, a leaven. It is not to be identified absolutely with any particular political or social organization. It is a spirit. Democracy means "life and more abundant life." Destructively, it means the tearing down of artificial distinctions and class privileges. Democracy is the instinctive foe of hereditary and caste prerogatives. It recognizes no oligarchy but that of individual worth. The French Revolution has been styled the French Madness. But there was a philosophy in the custom of democrats in addressing one another as “citizens," discarding all other title. Democracy has the watchword of the age for its own-Freedom and Opportunity.

Constructively, democracy has meant carrying to the people as a whole the prerogatives of power and of privilege heretofore reserved for favored classes of individuals. It has meant extension of elective franchise, the protection of the natural rights of all men to liberty of person save under restraint by process of law, the right of trial by their peers, the freedom of religion, and security of property. Democracy has meant the right of any political society to depose its existing rulers and to raise others in their places, to freely elect their legislative and representative bodies and to hold the power of taxation in their own hands. It has meant freedom of industrial opportunity and the largest possible extension of educational privileges.

Democracy is pervasive. It illuminates. It challenges. The extension of power and privilege to the people is after all but the more superficial aspect of Democracy. Its great meaning is duty. But the great and deep and solemn meaning was not at first the most obvious. Democracy's first appeal has seemed to be to the selfishness of the people. To the American no less than to the French revolutionists democracy appeared to spell privilege, exemption from burdensome taxes and oppressive legislation by an authority outside of themselves or of their election. It meant the breaking of yokes, emancipation from real or imagined grievances. The first attempt at a nation in the confederation of states was a ludicrous failure-tho a necessary

step in the process of educating a people to self-government. The appreciation of the necessity of a central and efficient authority was slow. The sense of duty follows tardily upon the heels of privilege. But democracy's great and deep and solemn meaning is not privilege alone, but privilege thru duty and duty beyond privilege.

Prophets of evil have not been wanting. The irresistible political and social tendencies of the age, the underlying gulf streams, are towards democracy. But men whose political optimism is sound concerning the past political history of the race are pessimistic in the presence of the democratic tendency of this age and look upon democracy with undisguised apprehension and suspicion. Lecky, in his Democracy and Liberty, sees in democracy itself the doom of liberty, except democracy be curbed and limited. He looks upon democracy much as Alexander Hamilton did upon the type of democracy prevalent in America in the period immediately succeeding the Revolution— as a "disease." Lecky regards the democratic theory of government as reversing all the past experiences of mankind, that superiority and competence lie with the few, not the many; that the extension of the franchise is but to place government more and more under the control of the least enlightened classes; in short, that democracy means government by the mob, by the least fit, and that it seeks increased capacity for good government in the representative body by the foolish expedient of increasing the amount of ignorance in the elective body. Lecky points out the tendency of democracy to produce inequitable taxation by placing the power of voting taxes in the hands of one class which another class must almost exclusively pay; the chief taxpayers, "being completely swamped," are for "all practical purposes completely disfranchised." He also adverts to the instability of democratic governments. Frederick the Great of Prussia told the English embassador in 1872 that the United States could not endure, "since a republican government had never been known to exist for any length of time where the territory was not limited and concentered." It was one of Lincoln's grave and statesmanlike utterances, that "it has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence in great emergencies."3

These critics of democracy are not to be laughed out of court nor their warnings disregarded. It still remains to be demonstrated that governments "of the people, by the people, and for the people" can "long endure."


Critics like Lecky, however, overlook the fundamental ethical principles of democracy. Enlightened democracies are not governed by the least fit, the ignorant, the incompetent. They are governed by majorities, and majori

Democracy and Liberty, I, p. 32.

Hart, Formation of the Union, pp. 100, 101.

3 Morse, Life of Lincoln, II, pp. 293, 294.

ties are secured by ideas and by policies crystallized info political party platforms. There is no school of political science so important and so puissant as the actual discussion of living issues by the people under a sense of responsibility for political action. The ballot in the hands of the voter is sobering and educative. In the end, and with a serious and earnest people, governing majorities must meet the approval of the sound judgment and enlightened conscience of the people or lose supremacy. "All such questions," said Lincoln, referring to temperance, slavery, etc., "must find lodgment with the most enlightened souls who stamp them with their approval. In God's own time they will be organized into law and then woven into the fabric of our institutions.'

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There is a finality about the ultimate decree of a free people upon great moral and economic questions, like that of slavery, that is like unto the decrees of the Eternal. In democratic forms of government, while the demagogue may flourish for a season, the leadership of the fit, the commanding influence of men who are kings by divine right of character, the power of personality, are at least as marked and as enduring as in any other political organization. Let us call to witness Gladstone, Washington, Lincoln.

The boldest political experiment of history is now in progress in these United States. That it is of vast interest is evidenced by the fact that over a million immigrants are coming every twelve months to cast their fortunes with us. And there are not wanting prophets of evil in the face of this tremendous fact. Our great cities are half alien. We are drawing apparently the largest number of immigrants not from the most, but the least, desirable of European and Asiatic peoples.

But in the midst of evil prophecies let us recall another principle in the ethics of democracy, namely, that it is the more virile and aggressive of any people that are attracted by the freedom, the industrial and political and social opportunities of the democratic West. The Bethlehem star that guides. searchers for larger and better life is the star of liberty. It is freedom's challenge that appeals to the people that sit in darkness. They have seen a great light. We may not despise these seekers after a "better kingdom." They compare very favorably with our own forebears.


But the peril of republics is ever before us, the peril that springs from ignorance and from a lack of intelligent patriotism. Other forms of government may survive indefinitely over a stolid and non-progressive people. Republics cannot live without virtue. The instinct of self-preservation has inspired democratic governments to foster universal education. Enlightenment and virtue are the sine qua non of existence. Jefferson stated the problem of democracy when he said it was the province of the school

Herndon, Life of Lincoln, I, p. 158.

to form the statesmen, legislators, and judges, on whom public property and individual happiness are so much to depend; to expound the principles and structure of government, the laws which regulate the intercourse of nations, those formed principally for our own government in a sound spirit of legislation; . . . . to harmonize and promote the interests of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, and by well-informed views of political economy to give free scope to the public industry.1


There is no duty more imperative than the fostering of all educational facilities. The public school stands first and should so stand. It is the greatest unifying agency of the age. But the parochial and the private schools also have honorable place. There are not schools enough. Parts of our country are fairly destitute. The president of the school board of New Orleans, a public-spirited and very intelligent man, told me recently that he favored a compulsory school law for that city; not because it would be possible to school all the children of the city, or half of them, with present facilities, but because a compulsory school law would overwhelm the schools, compel attention to the need, and the sooner secure adequate provision.

There doubtless is much to criticise in present schools and school methods. Let wholesome criticism proceed. But let us not forget that our great duty is to encourage the extension and the influence of the schools existing. We may not quarrel overtime about doctors and pathies and poultices. The doctor at hand is quite efficient in emergencies. There is no need so great nor any duty so imperative as the strengthening of our primary and country schools to greater efficiency. It is still true and should be increasingly true that the little red schoolhouse on the hill is the temple of liberty. There is no severer test of the ability of democratic society to preserve itself from decay than this. Can and will democracy maintain at a high level of efficiency its common schools?

There is no civic duty of an educated and patriotic citizen that should stand superior to this of assisting to foster the common school. There needs to be a civic conscience about adequate taxation for this purpose and the encouragement of a high order of character and ability to enter the teaching profession, especially in the common schools.


Democracy has felt the inadequacy of the older educational methods and ideals. Education must not be for the few but the many. It is the duty of the state not only to provide educational facilities, but to require that they be generally utilized. The scope of educational interest must be broadened. Classical culture and the humanities alone are inadequate. The school must teach the real interests of life for a working people. A few may sit aloof still in haughty isolation and declare with Lowell that a university should be a place "where nothing useful is taught." But democracy has small patience with such educational fastidiousness. The sturdy youths in laboratories and shops, drafting rooms and field, with life's real business before them have Harper, The Trend of Higher Education, p. 33.

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