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Volume VIII. Number 9.


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National Board for Historical Service

It is now possible to make a brief statement of the work of the National Board for Historical Service. Formed on April 29, 1917. The Board is composed of James T. Shotwell, Chairman, Charles H. Hull, Vice-Chairman, Waldo G. Leland, Secretary-Treasurer, Victor S. Clark, Robert D. W. Connor, Carl Russell Fish, Guy S. Ford, Evarts B. Greene, Charles D. Hazen, Gaillard Hunt, Henry Johnson, and Frederick J. Turner. In addition to the members of the Board, the following historical scholars have assisted the Board in Washington: Messrs. E. E. Brown, E. S. Corwin, C. E. Gould, D. C. Munro, W. Notestein, C. O. Paullin, F. L. Paxson, J. G. Randall, and L. F. Stock, and Misses Louise F. Brown, F. G. Davenport, Harriet Dilla and Elizabeth Donnan. Many persons in other parts of the country have cooperated with the Board.

The Board has carried on an extensive correspondence throughout the country, seeking by this means to direct historical activity into lines of national service. It has furnished advice concerning research work, university courses, public lectures, newspaper and magazine articles, the collection and filing of records of the present war, and other topics. It has had prepared bibliographies of the war such as those which were published in THE History TEACHER's MAGAzix E for June, 1917, and that which will shortly be issued by the Committee on Public Information.

Active co-operation has been maintained between the Board and the Committee on Public Information. The Board has aided the Committee by making historical researches and by gathering material suitable for publication by the Committee. Dr. W. G. Leland has prepared a pamphlet on the collecting of material respecting the war and its treatment by libraries and historical societies.

Early in its work the Board undertook joint work with the United States Bureau of Education, which resulted in the decision by the Bureau to publish a pamphlet of suggestions to history teachers. This plan was expanded further to include a series of papers to appear in THE History TEACHER's MAGAzise from September 1917 to June 1918. The educational work was placed in the hands of four committees, each of which has considered what reorganization of historical material should be made in the usual high school subjects of Ancient, European, English and American history. The general chairman of the educational workers is Professor E. B. Greene, of the University of Illinois. The committees are composed as follows: Ancient History: R. V. D.

Magoffin, chairman, J. H. Breasted, S. P. R. Chadwick, W. S. Davis, W. S. Ferguson, A. T. Olmstead, W. L. Westermann; Medieval and Modern European History: D. C. Munro, chairman, F. M. Anderson, A. I. Andrews, S. B. Harding, D. C. Knowlton, Maggaret McGill; English History: A. L. Cross, chairman, Wayland J. Chase, Edward P. Cheyney, Blanche E. Hazard, L. M. Larson, Wallace Notestein; American History: E. B. Greene, chairman, W. L. Fleming, R. A. Maurer, F. L. Paxson, T. S. Smith, James Sullivan, E. M. Violette.

The Board has encouraged the establishment of prizes for distribution among teachers in public high and elementary schools, and by the public spirit of donors it has announced competitions in fourteen states. The prizes are offered for the best essay, primarily historical in character on the subject, “Why the United States is at War.” In each state, provision has been made for a first prize for high school teachers of $75, and other prizes of $30, $20, $15 and $10; and for a first prize of $75 for elementary school teachers and additional prizes of $25 and $10 (five of the latter). Further information concerning the competitions can be obtained from the Secretary of the Board, Mr. W. G. Leland, 1133

Woodward Building, Washington, D. C.

Other activities of the Board have included the preparation by Prof. S. B. Harding, of a syllabus for lectures and reading courses on the causes of the war; the reprinting of articles bearing on the war; the supplying of historical material on the war to magazines; and arrangements for issuing sample copies of THE History TEACHER's MAGAZINE and for trial four-months’ subscriptions at reduced rates.

The work of the Board has been carried on solely by the voluntary co-operation of the historical scholars concerned. The Board has paid no salaries, and the members not habitually residing in Washington have paid their own expenses while staying there. The spirit of service among historians is well shown by their willingness to share in the work of the Board not only in Washington but throughout the country.

By encouraging a scientific attitude toward the questions involved in the war; by directing teachers to trustworthy sources of information; by pointing out how history courses should be reconstructed in the light of the war; by furnishing historical data to public officials, by furthering popular but accurate statements on the causes of the war—by these activities the creation of the Board has been fully justified. “Among all political sins, the sin of feebleness is the most contemptible; it is the political sin against the Holy Ghost.”—Treitschke, “Politik,” I, 3. The decisive factor in the development of the Hellenistic Age, indeed, the decisive factor in the development of antiquity generally, was the establishment of the Roman dominion in the world. It was because of the events that occurred before and after 200 B. C. —because of the failure of the states then menaced by the power and ambition of Rome to come together in an “encircling ” alliance—that the ancient world experienced what would have been the fate of the modern world had Germany won the present war— subjection to the irresistible will of a single people. The states that came in question were Carthage, Syracuse, the Achaean League, the Aetolian League, Rhodes, the kingdoms of Macedon, Pergamum, Syria, and Egypt, and a considerable number of leagues and cities that moved reluctantly in the orbits of one or other of the four kingdoms. They constituted at least “four-fifths of the world;” and, despite the superior military organization of Rome and the completeness with which she commanded the devotion of her people, it is unquestionable that had they concerted their efforts they could have thrust the Romans back into Latium or at least confined them to Italy. What it was that was needed, and how imperative the need was, Hannibal seems to have been the only

Timely Suggestions for Secondary School History


I. The Crisis of Hellenism


statesman of the age to see clearly, and this contri

butes to his uniqueness quite as much as does his unrivalled strategy. Why the Latin and Greek cities of Italy did not join the Italian allies of Rome in throwing off Rome's yoke and why Antiochus III and Ptolemy IV did not join Philip V of Macedon and Hieronymus of Syracuse in helping Hannibal; why the Aetolian League and Attalus of Pergamum took the field on Rome's side, are questions which may be illuminated by a knowledge of the antipathies that had to be overcome during the formation of the Triple Entente and of the considerations which led AustriaHungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey to mortgage their future to Germany; but they can be discussed intelligently only in the light of previous Carthaginian enterprises in Sicily and Italy and of previous Macedonian and Seleucid operations in Greece and Egypt. In historical study nothing can ever dispense with as dispassionate and searching inquiry as is possible into the circumstances of the individual case. Political and military activities are always determined in large measure by general conditions. In our time the world has become so small that it requires an imaginative tour de force for us to realize

the vast distances that separated the chief Mediterranean states from one another in the Hellenistic age. Yet the remoteness of one government from another at that time, when the Adriatic was broader that the Atlantic, impeded the growth of a common understanding of the general menace occasioned by Rome's advance; and, once the peril was appreciated, the central position of Italy made concerted measures of Rome's enemies difficult. There came to be added the crowning disaster to the liberties of the world that in that melancholy epoch the chief military power on land possessed also “the freedom of the sea in war time.” The liberties of the world? Had they not been destroyed prior to the Roman conquest, and did not the Romans enter the lists for their recovery? As to the liberty of the states against which Rome fought in her Eastern expansion there can be no doubt. Macedon, Syria, Aetolia, and Achaea were free to wage wars and to contract alliances when they successively encountered the forces of Rome. But how about the liberties of their peoples? How about the smaller states associated with these larger states? Let us consider these questions for a moment. Does it enlarge liberty to force upon a reluctant people a share in its own government? This applies to Macedon, whose citizens seem to have been eager to sacrifice their lives for a régime in which a national monarch had the sole determination of all important political questions. Here there could have been no voluntary enlargement of liberty. For the Greeks who were the actual or prospective subjects of the king of the Macedonians the case is different. These were, substantially, the Hellenic federations, of which the Achaean and Aetolian Leagues were the most important. As things stood on the eve of Roman intervention the Achaeans had submitted and the Aetolians were likely to succumb to the superior power, not, at least theoretically, of Macedon, but of a Hellenic League of Leagues of which the Macedonian king was the executive officer. Two processes of the utmost political importance had preceded this consummation:-the city-state, which from its very nature had been incapable of enlargement, had been supplanted by the federal league as the ultimate political unit; and the leagues had wrung such concessions from monarchic and autocratic Macedon that in the Hellenic League of Leagues which Antigonus Doson had created, each constituent league retained the essential requirement for healthy public life—final decisicm, reached in a general assembly and based upon popular assent, of the most important questions of foreign as well as domestic policy. The leagues had conciliated the just demands of the city-states of which they were formed and of central government each within a circumscribed area; the League of

Leagues had left to its constituent leagues adequate'

liberty of action and scope for its exercise while establishing a national unity that might, perhaps, have sufficed for self-defense. The Hellenes created government by public opinion. In the classical age a government responsive to a united and intelligent public opinion could exist only in a city-state. For such a public opinion, in the absence of the facilities for communication within a large area which the nineteenth century of our era has developed, a primary assembly of all citizens, as Aristotle and all Greeks knew, was an absolute necessity. In the Hellenistic Age, by making a well thought out division of functions between the urban primary assemblies and the federal primary assembly, the political questions of the day were divided into those on which local differences were desirable and those on which general agreement was essential. By reducing in this way the frequency of the meetings a federal primary assembly became practicable for a district of considerable magnitude. A federal primary assembly open to all citizens was, however, regarded as indispensable for the formation of a unified and intelligent public opinion on federal questions. That this was so—that it was found necessary to create a common forum for the adjustment of urban points of view, that the citizens were brought to a central point for discussion together and the

ideas and arguments were not disseminated to them in their own towns—shows the limits of the possible in the formation of efficient states in Hellenistic times on democratic principles. It may, therefore, be argued that states so large as to make a single primary assembly impossible were creatable in the Hellenistic Age only at the sacrifice of the popular participation in government which is indispensable for political freedom.

For the liberties of the world, and—though space forbids the discussion of this question—for the progress of culture also, the maintenance of the many states existent in Hannibal's time—of the small and sound as well as the large and diseased: of the rude monarchies like Macedon, where common loyalty to a hereditary king was the mainspring of co-operative action on the part of his subjects; of the highly cultivated federations like the Achaean League, where unity was based on agreement and agreement on general discussion; of administrative autocracies like Syria and Egypt, where participation in the work of governing and educating, or exploiting, a non-political subject population bound rulers and their Hellenic or Hellenized helpers to a common purpose; of commercial republics like Rhodes and Carthage, whose activities opened and patrolled the sea-ways which were the paths of civilization; yea, even of quiet old-fashioned places like Sparta and Athens—the maintenance, that is to say, of a complex of divergent and competitive nationalities was a prime requirement.

II. Suggested Points for Emphasis in the Tudor Period, 1485–1603


At first sight the period of Tudor absolutism would

seem to be a hopelessly empty place for the student of English origins of American free institutions to search. There present themselves a line of strongwilled and seemingly despotic sovereigns and a series of apparently subservient parliaments, representing, after a fashion, a body of landed gentry and merchants chiefly intent on money-getting, craving for security rather than for liberty. A well-known indication of the situation is the fact that Shakespeare in “King John ” does not even mention Magna Charta. However, the growth of free governments is a long process, compounded of many diverse, and, at least on the surface, incongruous elements. For one thing, the Tudor absolutism was peculiar—one might say almost unique—in that its strength was based on popularity, that it served the needs of the rising agricultural and commercial classes. It might be argued that this is also true of the Hohenzollern, but the result has been different. The latter régime has developed into an autocratic military and industrial machine, madly striving to dominate the world, the former, by virtue of two revolution.s and a gradual constitutional development, was turned into a limited

monarchy. The middle classes fostered by the Tudors acquired wealth, leisure, education and influence enabling them to become the backbone of the resistance to the ill-starred Stuarts, to establish, if only temporarily, the first national republic in the world's history, and to furnish precedents for our ancestors in their subsequent struggle which culminated in the American Revolution. Moreover, masterful as they were, Henry VIII and Elizabeth utilized parliament to give their measures a show of national sanction, whereby that body gained invaluable experience and accumulated precedents for an increasing share in public business. Furthermore, parliament, even in those days, dared to assert itself more than once; for example, in the stand against Wolsey in the matter of the subsidy of 1523 and when it forced Elizabeth to realize the wisdom of revoking a whole sheaf of monopolies in 1601. It is true that the Star Chamber was a creation of this period, but it was set up originally to meet a real need, to suppress disorders with which the existing administrative machinery was unable to cope: only later was it perverted into an engine of oppression, and was in consequence abolished. The Tudor monarchs separated from Rome from motives of selfinterest, no doubt, yet, in so doing, they broke down established traditions and started forces of opposition which came, in the course of a century, to assert successfully the principle that the Reformation should not be merely political—simply a substitution of royal for papal supremacy over the Church of England— but a great religious and social movement. The Puritan Revolution was the inevitable outcome of the English Reformation. It must be remembered, also, that the interval between the advent of Henry VII and the death of Elizabeth marks the emergence of England as a sea power. While Portuguese and Spaniards were the pioneers, Englishmen ultimately outstripped all their rivals in brilliant and enduring achievement in exploration, colonization and trade. They braved the perils of unknown seas and unknown lands, they broke through the colonial and commercial monopoly of Spain, and attempted settlements along the American shore, which, if they proved abortive in this period, prepared the way for those which secured a permanent foothold in the century that followed. In the domain of industry, too, the Tudor régime heralded a new

era for, with other strongholds of medieval conservatism, the guilds were broken up, and the ground laid for that marvelous industrial revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a revolution in which England led the way and one which has been regarded as more far-reaching in its consequences than even the French Revolution. In the field of local government, also, the student of our American institutions must turn to the Tudor times. The New England system of town government, that fruitful nursery of democracy, was derived from the parish system of Tudor England and brought by the Pilgrims and the Puritans to their homes in the new world. From the same source came the justices of the peace, then at the height of their activity and still an important factor in our local administration. Finally, it is needless to call attention to the priceless literary heritage which has come down to us from the Elizabethan age, from Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

So the Tudor period, in all aspects of life, is big with significance for those who live in the United States to-day and who should know the origin of our cherished institutions.

III. The American Revolution and the British Empire


It is natural to think of the American Revolution first of all as the birth time of the American nation; though nationality was a plant of slow growth, the elements of it at least were brought out by the struggle for independence. The Revolution was, however, much more than the formation of a new nation; it was also the starting point of our international politics. It was, in particular, the beginning of a new relation with the world power commonly known as the British Empire, but more and more coming to be thought of by liberals on both sides of the Atlantic as the British Commonwealth of Nations, an imperial federation whose increasingly democratic ideals have certainly gained much of their power from the successful revolt of the Thirteen Colonies in 1776.

The student who is interested in this international aspect of the Revolution realizes at once that he must take account not only of what actually happened before and during that upheaval, but also of men's ideas about those happenings; for these thoughts, feelings, and prejudices about the past have become themselves social forces affecting deeply the attitude of two great peoples toward each other. In short, the teacher of the revolutionary period may well give some attention to the history of historical writing on this subject.

The earliest histories of the Revolution were deeply tinged on both sides by partisan feeling. To the Scottish historian George Chalmers, once an official in the British colonial service, the revolt of the colonies seemed to be the working out to its logical result of an insubordinate and rebellious spirit which the home gov

ernment ought to have checked in its earlier stages. In America the view which naturally prevailed was that of the victorious Whig party. About fifty years after the war for independence, in the floodtide of Jacksonian Democracy and under a president who could still remember some unpleasant experience in the border warfare of the Revolution, George Bancroft, began publishing his famous history of the United States. Though Bancroft had many admirable qualities, his stand-point was not wholly scientific; what he undertook was a kind of epic of American democracy with the radical Whigs as his heroes and King George and his associates as the villains of the play. On the whole he saw in the revolution a clean cut issue between tyranny on the one side and liberty on the other. The leadership of Bancroft in the older school of American historians naturally perpetuated this way of thinking. It was reproduced in a great variety of popular histories, in the speeches of Fourth of July orators, and in most of the nineteenth-century text-books. Thus on both sides of the Atlantic, the animosities of the struggle itself and the legends which grew up about it tended to encourage the kind of patriot to whom love of country seems to mean chiefly hatred of some other nation. Gradually, however, the passage of time has made possible a more scientific interpretation. In England, this was made easier by the fact that all through the Revolution a brilliant, though not always very influential group of statesmen led by Charles James Fox sympathized with the American Whigs as against their own government. These men and their admirers in later times did not find it hard to think of Washington as one of the defenders of civil liberty against the reactionary policies of George III and the Court party. British Whigs have not been strictly objective any more than American Whigs or British Tories, but they have at least helped Englishmen to realize the many-sided character of the old controversy. The most attractive writer of this Whig School of historians is, of course, Sir George O. Trevelyan, whose recent volumes on the Revolution probably have more literary distinction than any others produced on this subject on either side of the Atlantic. A few recent English writers have revived something of the old Tory spirit, as, for instance, Belcher in his “First American Civil War;” but on the whole the attitude of intelligent Englishmen is probably best expressed by such a well-balanced, fair-minded narrative as that of Lecky in his “History of England in the Eighteenth Century.” Incidentally, it may be noted that English admiration for the chief hero of our Revolution has not been confined to Whigs. While Bancroft was writing the early volumes of his history of the United States, the English historian Adolphus found it possible to reconcile a high regard for King George III with a respectful treatment of George Washington. In America, the scientific treatment of the Revolution has been made easier by the steady decline among intelligent Americans of the old-fashioned type of Anglophobia. The “Hundred Years Peace" has helped to bring about this result, notwithstanding some unpleasantness during our Civil War. A scarcely less important factor has been the application of scientific methods in our university departments of teaching and research. Students so trained soon realized that a great event like the Revolution could hardly be explained by the old simple formulae. However mistaken and reprehensible the acts of British politicians might have been, the Revolution obviously could not be understood without at least some appreciation of the problems of the time as they appeared to the men who were officially responsible for the government of the British Empire. Thanks to the studies of British policy worked out by Osgood, Channing, Andrews, Beer, Alvord, and other American investigators, these things are now much better understood by scholars; but we must depend on the teachers to see that Americans generally get the benefit of this broader outlook. Similar service has been rendered by Tyler and Van Tyne, whose studies of the loyalists have enabled us to think more intelligently of that “ lost cause,” and by iconoclastic writers like Fisher who help us to see the mingling of coarser with finer elements in these as in all other human affairs. Our own national experience has also affected historical writing because it has made us realize better the difficulty of securing effective action for general purposes without sacrificing the spirit of local selfgovernment. Before the Revolution, most Americans thought it unnecessary to give any general authority

the right to levy taxes for the “common defence and general welfare.” Even in 1788, Patrick Henry clung to the old method of getting money by requisitions sent to thirteen different assemblies; but the experience of practical statesmen under the Articles of Confederation convinced them that the popular theory would not work. Before 1776, Americans were much annoyed by the royal veto on colonial laws, but by 1787 the framers of the Constitution saw the need of some central authority to protect the interests of the whole against those of a part; even a strong republican like Madison realized that this unpopular royal prerogative had some justification. Federal control of western territories, involving problems of Indian affairs, public lands, and conservation, our new responsibility for island colonies—all these things have suggested the real difficulties of imperial administration and hence made our study of the Revolution less partisan and one-sided. Though the purpose of this brief essay has been to illustrate our new mode of approach to these problems of revolutionary history rather than to indicate a definitive interpretation, it is perhaps worth while to suggest briefly a fairly general consensus of opinion toward which we seem to be tending. Is it not something like this? During the colonial era, and especially after the last French War, there had developed a natural conflict between two ideals and two groups of interests, both in themselves quite legitimate. British statesmen naturally desired for their growing empire a unified organization which should provide effectively for the defence and development of its various parts and especially of the mother country. It was equally natural that the expanding English commonwealths across the sea, trained in the theory and practice of self-government by the most liberal colonial administration then maintained by any European nation, should feel more keenly with every passing decade the desire to settle their own American, or local, problems in their own way. To reconcile these differences, in an age when it took three or four months at least to exchange letters between the imperial government and its overseas colonies, was not perhaps impossible; but it certainly required statesmanship of the highest kind. It is doubtful whether any statesman of the period, Whig or Tory, was equal to such a task. At any rate, British politics was then so chaotic that if a careful thinker on colonial problems, like Shelburne for example, got into a position of influence he could not keep it long enough to carry out a consistent policy. Those who did exert decisive influence were generally men of narrow vision like Grenville or George III himself, or ministers of unsteady purpose like Lord North, or corrupt politicians like the “Bloomsbury gang.” So the opportunity was lost and the old Empire broken in two. There are certainly few Americans who do not see in the freer, larger life thus opened up for a new nationality abundant compensation for the failures of eighteenth century statesmen. Democracy through

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