Слике страница
PDF
ePub

moral qualities as patriotism, courage, self-sacrifice, efficiency, devotion to a lofty ideal, consideration for the welfare of others, willingness and ability to dispense with luxury. War makes for physical strength, the elimination of the unfit. It prevents moral degeneracy and national dependence on other nations. So humane a writer as Ruskin praises war as follows: “All the pure and noble arts of peace are founded on war. . . . There is no great art possible to a nation but that which is based on battle. . . . All great nations learned their truth of word and strength of thought in war; they were nourished in war and wasted in peace; taught by war and deceived by peace; trained by war and betrayed by peace.” (“Crown of Wild Olive.”) Some writers in Germany, England, the United States, and elsewhere have regarded war as a divine institution. Moltke, in Germany; the Englishman, Colonel Maude; our own American admirals, Fiske and Luce, say that war is an ordinance of God. Theodore Roosevelt says, “We must play a great part in the world, and especially perform those deeds of blood and valor, which above everything else bring national renown.” (“Strenuous Life.”) Such, in brief, has been the place of war in history. It has been regarded as inevitable, inherently necessary, because of the pugnacious characteristics of men and society, a divine arrangement, which in spite of its horrors and destructiveness has produced such splendid moral and artistic results that it must be maintained. But society has not been unanimous in regarding war as inevitable and beneficent. Ever since the remotest ages of recorded history there have been literary men, poets, philosophers, statesmen that have lauded peace and opposed war. There have been innumerable projects to make war impossible. Within the last twenty-five years peace societies have been organized in every country of the world, richly endowed organizations are conducting a propaganda against war and in favor of various methods to secure peace and make it enduring. However ineffective this propaganda has been in securing its ultimate object, it can point with satisfaction to one glowing success, and that is that war is now no longer regarded by very many people as desirable. War is a thing to be avoided; the divineness of war is no longer asserted. Few people emphasize war's development of manly qualities and other alleged benefits. No one justifies war because of the things accompanying it. The nation that brings on a war loses the moral respect of other nations, and one great party in this country is appealing to the nation for re-election because it kept the country out of war. Society is definitely facing the problem of war and its elimination. Never has so much attention been paid to this subject any time in history as now. Never before has there been such a sentiment in favor of peace, not merely temporary peace, but lasting peace, and enduring peace. Each of the belligerent nations of Europe openly proclaims that all it is fighting for is a permanent peace. Fach has declared its willing

ness to fight on for years longer if only thereby permanent and general peace can be secured. In all neutral countries the press is filled with attacks on the system that has produced this great war, it is demanding that something be done to prevent another world calamity. Preachers, teachers, public speakers are all directing attention to this great problem. Never before has there been such a propaganda for peace and against war. Let us consider the main remedies that are being proposed to abolish war and to establish permanent peace. First and foremost of the plans being advocated in the press and on the platforms of this nation is military preparedness. The essence of this remedy as expounded in this country is, that in order to prevent being attacked by a hostile power the United States must make its army and navy so strong that all other nations will fear to attack it. If we wish to insure ourselves against war we must be so fully prepared for war that no nation will think of affronting us or attacking us. This is apparently a splendid peace method. It is embodied in the platforms of both political parties; it has been advocated from pulpits, by woman's clubs, by the National Educational Association, by almost every congressman that wishes to be returned to office, by every business man that wants to retain the patronage of his customers. We have had a national hysteria of preparedness. We have been told that if only the European powers had prepared for war there would have been no war. If England, Germany, France and Russia, instead of penuriously expending only one-third of their annual national income for their armies and navies, had spent two-thirds for military purposes, there would have been no war. If only their armies and navies had been prepared for war this great human calamity could not have occurred. And so the United States, in order to avoid such a calamity as has befallen Europe, appropriates the largest sum of money ever appropriated at any one time by any nation for military purposes. School boards are seriously considering the introduction of the cadet system into the high schools, and even into the grade schools, in order to prepare this nation for war as a peace-preserving measure—in which we are outdoing the Furopean powers, for none of them have introduced military drill into their public schools. With all due deference to the words of wisdom that have been uttered by our editors, preachers, National Education Association officers and others, I venture to say that our military preparedness program will be inadequate as a peace-preserving method. The unfortunate thing is that the munitions manufacturers, who have in this country had so much to do with frightening the American Congress and the American public into their preparedness hysteria, are doing the same thing in other countries. In every country there is a preparedness propaganda, and in every one of the great nations there has been an increased expenditure for armaments during the last fifteen years. The great trouble with the military preparedness argument is that it is such a good argument for any one country that all other countries are quite ready to see its value for themselves. Instead of having only our nation making itself so strong in a military way that it cannot be attacked successfully by any power or group of powers, each of the other nations is trying to do the same thing; that is, each nation is trying to be stronger than every other nation, which is a mathematical impossibility. Each mation cannot be the strongest, but all the great nations are competing for this position; each is spending all the money it possibly can, and relatively the strength of the individual nations will be determined as before, by the amount of wealth each nation controls.

However, it is not my purpose especially to attack the idea of the ultimate efficacy of preparedness. But I do wish to show that the military preparedness propaganda indicates that there is a strong sentiment against war. Preparedness has been urged as a necessary preventive of war. Even this militaristic measure is regarded as a peaceful measure; its strongest advocates state that its purpose is to prevent war.

But, along with preparedness, there is another kind of peace propaganda that has been carried on for many decades, namely, the peace movement, which advocates joint international disarmament, international organization, a world legislature to codify international law and to formulate new laws as needed, a system of international courts to settle disputes that might lead to international friction and war, a world executive, with a world police force to enforce the observance of peace. Contrary to the ideas of the preparedness advocates this group of propagandists do not believe in the maxim, “If you wish peace, prepare for war; ” they hold that “if you wish peace, prepare for peace.” In every one of the great belligerent countries there are at least several organizations that are working not merely for the cessation of the present war, but are planning a campaign after the war to secure joint international action for the creation of institutions and sentiment that will prevent wars in the future. Some of these organizations were in existence before the outbreak of the war, some have been founded since the war broke out. "In our own country there are several organizations with these ends in view.

The schemes advocated by these organizations are no longer merely in the realm of the visionary. One of the organizations that the war has produced in this country is the League to Enforce Peace. This has already had two sessions, which were attended by governors, mayors, educators, diplomats, congressmen, and capitalists. These meetings were presided over by ex-President Taft; at the second meeting President Wilson made a memorable address in support of the plan. Mr. Hughes has at various times spoken in favor of the League's program, and within the last two months Lord Bryce and Viscount Grey have given public utterance in England in support of the plan. A scheme that is fostered by such men, experienced in practical affairs, cannot be regarded as the chimera of visionaries.

Perhaps most significant is the fact that in the bill making the enormous appropriations for the increase of our navy in the next five years, is a clause authorizing the President of the United States to summon a conference of nations at a suitable time after the close of the war. If this conference unites in international disarmament, the President is authorized to stop the execution of those parts of the armament plan that have not yet been carried out. So we may rightly say that the main public sentiment as regards war and peace in the world to-day is opposed to war and in favor of some method that will bring an enduring peace. War is more unpopular to-day than ever before; there never was such a desire for durable peace. Society has clearly stated the problem; two chief ways of achieving peace have been proposed: (1) preparedness, and (2) international organization. I do not mean to maintain that we are ready as yet for the full acceptance of a program of internationalism. It may take a hundred years or more before the world sees the wisdom of applying the plan. But it should be stated that in this country the chief public men that are advocating preparedness, such as Wilson, Hughes, Taft, regard this as a temporary measure, and they are also advocating world organization. Prominent public men in the belligerent countries have the same attitude. But we can never have an internationalism that will permanently bring peace until the following things have been achieved: 1. There must be created an international sentiment in all the nations in the world. Our present narrow patriotism, bigoted nationalism, must be greatly modified. The nations must learn to feel that national ambitions, national ideals are not the highest good, that there is a still higher good, the rights of humanity. 2. There must be created a world machinery, supported by the states of the world. There must be created an international personnel, a body of officers that can be trusted, whose sense of fairness and justice is well recognized, so that nations will be willing to entrust their interests to world courts and world administrative officers. Whatever else may be necessary for a world state, these two things cannot be wanting, an international sentiment and an effective, trustworthy administrative personnel. This is largely a task of education, of creating public sentiment. Never was a greater educational task offered to the teachers of the world. The students of to-day will be the public of the future. Are they going to be bigoted nationalists? Are they going to be actuated by a narrow patriotism that will sanction the humiliation of Mexico or any other weaker country merely because the United States has a more powerful military equipment? Will they be willing to rush into war every time there is international friction? Will they fight first and reason afterwards? The problem is one not only for the teachers of Colorado and America, but for the educators of every advanced nation of the world. It will take decades to prepare the minds of the coming generations. This movement of progress will meet with much inertia, much skepticism and ridicule. There will be many hard-headed practical men who will continue to say: “War is as old as history, there will always be war. You cannot change human nature.” But the same arguments have been used time and again concerning other things. Slavery, too, was as old as history. It was a legalized institution; it was divinely ordained. Great writers defended it. In the South, before the Civil War, there was not a college president or professor or minister or public man that did not defend it. It was maintained that slavery was fundamental to the best interests of society. But slavery disappeared. It used to be felt that religious uniformity was necessary; religious toleration would disrupt society, and many a religious civil war was fought against religious toleration. But now we have religious toleration in all advanced countries. It used to be argued, with the Scriptures as authority, that woman must be kept in a position inferior to man; that woman is the inferior of man mentally, physically, spiritually. For a long time this was firmly believed. But now in many countries woman has been given rights that make her the equal of man, and neither man nor woman has suffered in consequence. It used to be maintained that the use of alcoholic liquor could never be abolished. Man has always used intoxicants; you cannot change human nature. But half the United States is dry today, and the European governments are working toward the abolition of strong drink.

In all of these cases, the conservative, anti-reform forces were as firmly entrenched in precedent, legality, scriptural authority, as the anti-peace crowd is to-day. But the reforms came anyway.

This does not necessarily prove that war is going to be abolished. But it does make clear that the forces of conservatism have been beaten time and again when they had the same attitude that they now take toward war. In the light of history it is not certain that war will always prevail. In the light of history, when human society gets ready to abolish an age-long evil, it does it. It is merely getting ready for it that is important. Society is more ready to abolish war than it ever has been before. Greater effort is being expended on this problem than in any previous age. The terribleness of war has never been more fully known and recognized than at the present time.

No one can tell what the outcome will be. But for optimists, and especially for us history teachers, who know how the alleged impossible things of the past have become achievements, the only thing to do is confidently to teach that in the light of history war is not necessarily here to stay, and that the world will get permanent peace when it is sufficiently educated morally to see that other nations have rights, and that world peace cannot exist until there is a world state. To secure this desideratum much education is necessary, and all history teachers ought to be glad for an opportunity to do their part in this important educational work.”

Values of History Instruction

REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF THE NORTHWESTERN ASSOCIATION.

To the Members of the Northwestern Association of History, Government and Economics Teachers:

Your committee appointed at the meeting of the association last April to draw up a statement of what history instruction aims to do for general education reports as follows:

History, like every other study, has certain essential values, and certain educational by-products. The word by-products is used to include those values that accrue to the student from the study of history, but which are only incidental. The same returns may be obtained in an equal or greater degree from other studies, or from training outside of school. These byproducts, however, must be taken into consideration by the educational administrator in estimating the full value of history for the school curriculum, and to a lesser degree by the teacher in presenting the subject in the classroom. Your committee feels that it is important that both administrator and teacher recognize these minor returns as merely by-products, not to be confused with the essential values of history instruction.

THE Most IMPoRTANT BY-PRoducts of History INSTRUCTION.

1. Owing to the fact that history deals with complex phenomena, it affords a good opportunity for the weighing and balancing of arguments and the forming of judgments on the strength of the evidence.

2. Dealing with strange lands and old customs full of vital human interest, it gives a splendid stimulus to the imagination.

3. Politics forming a considerable part of the story of the past historical study stimulates an interest in one's country, and lays a basis for intelligent patriot2&770.

Essen TIAL VALUEs of History INSTRUCTion.

We speak of essential values of historical study, meaning thereby those returns that are peculiar to the subject, and so important as to compel their presentation—those values that put history into the curriculum and keep it there. These appear to the committee to be: (1) a familiarity with social phenomena, or what might be called social experience, and (2) the development of an historical point of view. Historical instruction sets out consciously to give the student that contact with human society that comes otherwise merely as an incident of every-day life. The reading and study of history is social experience concentrated and administered according to rule and measure. It crowds into a few hours time the greatest and finest experiences of the ages. The boy who at sixteen years of age has no acquaintances but his neighbors, and no experiences but the prosy happenings of the immediate community, may in a year of historical study rise above both time and space and revel in a host of new emotions and desires— spread his tent with Abraham, help Alexander to found a world empire, stroll with Socrates beneath the walls of Athens, march to world conquest with the Roman legions, listen to wandering minstrels within the massive walls of a baron's castle, or march in all the trappings of chivalry to redeem the Holy City. With Petrarch or Michelangelo he may give the world a new art, and with Luther or Loyala fire mankind with religious enthusiasm. This same inconspicuous youth may live, in part at least, the life of king, philosopher, peasant, zealot, barbarian, baron, priest and acolite. In the world of his reading he wears a thousand kinds of dress, lives in strange habitations, and eats strange foods. He is present when empires fall, when creeds crumble, when all the world goes wild over some new thing. He sees barbarous hordes grow into great nations, slaves and serfs rise to economic and political independence, well-established institutions and beliefs decay and disappear. If he possesses spirit and a heart he thrills with enthusiasm for some struggling cause, and catches from a great leader the splendid animus that makes the world move. Through his historical study he is gaining a great social experience, and is fitting himself for a broader and saner social life. The same results, it is true, may be obtained through a more personal contact with society, through social and business activity, by association with great leaders and taking an active part in large social, economic, and political enterprises, by travel, by reading newspapers and magazines and imaginative literature, especially the novel and the drama. But for most persons all this is impossible, or comes only as the result of a life's activity. Few of us are privileged to be associated personally with big movements, or to be on intimate terms with great leaders. Our activities are in limited fields. Yet as citizens of a democracy, and as members of a rapidly developing world-society, we are all called upon to think and act upon national and world questions—matters that call for big vision and wide social experience. History, a study of the development of human society, is a short-cut to this necessary urbanity. It is here that the student gathers the facts, observes the tendencies, forms the judgments that help him to make enlightened decisions when called upon to act in present-day society. Not that the so-called “lessons of history" can be concretely applied to

1 A paper read before the History Section of the Colorado State Teachers' Association, Denver, Col., November 2, 1916.

contemporary problems, for this is rarely the case. There are few rule-of-thumb principles that can be used in determining social action. The phenomena are so complex that they defy generalization. There are few rules such as are laid down in the more exact sciences that the man of limited experience may depend upon in forming his conclusions and basing his action. Social decisions must be based, for the most part, on opinions, the result of a wide social experience. They can rarely be proved to be right or wrong. The sanity of public action in a democratic society must, therefore, depend largely upon the breadth of social experience, the acquaintance with varied social phenomena that the individual members possess. It is the object of instruction in history and the other social sciences to supply the material for this cosmopolitan outlook. In the school courses a beginning is made in presenting material and developing a point of view, and an impetus is given toward independent reading throughout life. With the increasing complexity of our society, and the growing movement towards democracy, it seems clear that the work of instruction in the social sciences must become more and more important. The second, and really unique, function of history teaching is to develop what may be called a historical point of view. It is a common criticism of history that it deals with the dead past, while the really live man should have his attention focused assiduously upon the present. No one, assuredly, will attempt to argue against a man's attentive study of his own age, its capabilities, its wants, its temper. But a man must have a wholly distorted and confused conception of his own times unless he sees them as a part of a much larger thing—the life of the human race. A glimpse of the present is meaningless without a picture of the past and vision of the future. To live intelligently in the present it is necessary for one to perceive our age as the latest phase of a great social development. Human society is a living, growing thing, having its beginning somewhere in the darkness of antiquity, passing through the present, and pushing on into the mists of the future. It is a complex thing made up of millions of little ideas, interests, hopes, fancies, prejudices, superstitions, running along from year to year, side by side like strands in a rope. Any age, that of Caesar, of Luther, of Rousseau, of Gladstone, should be looked upon as a cross-section of this continuous growth. Our presentday political, social and religious institutions, our material resources, our tastes, ideals, strivings may all be regarded as various elements in the newest layer of social growth. Nothing is more important, probably nothing else is so important to intelligent living, as this perspective of the conditions under which we live. It cannot fail to affect our every act and interest. The things about us are no longer static, but alive and growing: some are in the freshness of youth, some in the firmness of middle-age, some are tottering in their senility. All are part of an orderly progress that has been going on for all time. Such a viewpoint saves us from both a vaunting radicalism and a stifling conservatism. With the picture of the whole development of society spread out before us we are not inclined to believe in an immediate approach of the millennium nor in the absolute permanancy of the existing order. It is the province of history alone to develop this perspective. No other study deals directly with the time relation. Geography, physics, biology, economics are all primarily concerned in discovering the relations existing between objects and forces at play in the existing order of things. History gives matters a place in time. This is its unique function. Since we have become aware that we are part of an everdeveloping universe, it appears as important to know when an event happens as how it happens—the time relation is just as important as the space relation. History teachers should bear this fact in mind that the primary concern of their subject is time. It devolves upon them to develop in the students the historical attitude of mind which sees everything in the social world as elements in the age-long progress of humanity. It is the opinion of the committee that the teachers of history in the secondary schools should center their

attention and effort upon the accomplishment of two things:

1. The presentation in clear outline and in rich color of the significant things of the past—leaders, crises, social states, movements—to serve the student as a store-house of experience to be drawn upon as an aid in forming social judgments in his every-day life.

2. The development of an historical point of view so that the student will not exaggerate the importance of his own age, but will appreciate the fact that his activity and the causes that he serves are but tiny transient incidents in the one great life going on through the ages.

LERoy F. JAckson, (Chairman), Professor of American History, State College of Washington.

Edward McMAHoN, Associate Professor of American History, University of Washington.

C. S. KINGstóN, Professor of History, State Normal School, Cheney, Washington.

RANsoM A. MAckie, Queen Anne High School, Seattle, Washington.

MARGARET Boy LE, Butte (Montana) High School.

Pictorial Documents as Illustrating Americalm History

BY FRANK WEITENKAMPF, NEW YORK CITY.

In these days of the ever-present photograph and “ movies " it seems hardly necessary to insist on the documentary value of pictures. Education by pictorial means is in the air. But this very easy acceptance on the part of the public, of the printed picture is a somewhat disquieting matter. If the pictorial print is a document, it should be critically examined as is the manuscript and printed document. Is it always, even by historians?

The speed of production of the newspaper may permit pictures to slip through without clear determination of origin. For instance, one well-known paper in 1913 pictured O. H. Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie “after Stuart's painting,” but the painting was by W. H. Powell and was executed many years after the battle. And at the time of the Benjamin Franklin bicentenary there appeared in one or more papers a reproduction of “Franklin chez lui, a Philadelphie" illustrating Dr. Manasseh Cutler's letter describing Franklin with others, seated in his garden. A little investigation proved that the picture had been painted about 1876 by Henry Bacon and was therefore a purely imaginary depiction of something that might indeed have taken place. It was not the publication of the print that was wrong, of course, but the implied age of the picture. Perhaps such things might be passed over, if it were not for the fact that so large a portion of the public practically depends on the daily press for printed information, and has a re

spectful attention for any printed statement in word or picture, made with sufficient emphasis. But publishers of historical books seem also at times to accept for reproduction, with implicit faith, any pictorial material that has once before received the stamp of approval in the shape of publication. And . that delightfully vague term “old print" is set under the illustration, whether the original is fifty years old or two hundred. It might as well refer to one of Alonzo Chappel's reconstructions of the late sixties as to a Peter Pelham mezzotint of the early eighteenth century. Parenthetically, let me say that Chappel really seems to have reconstructed with some conscientiousness. At all events, my lurking doubts as to the correctness of uniform detail in his drawing of the death of Col. Ellsworth were dispelled when I came across a photograph of the Zouave who shot Ellsworth's slayer, which quite agreed with Chappel's rendering. One has but to look over even a partial list of the queries that come to a prints division, such as that of the New York public library, to realize that the demand for pictorial illustration is a widespread one. Here are a few of the things asked for in the field of American history: Saddles of Washington's day, Kit Carson's saddle, head-dress of an old lady in 1810, country girl of 1812, British caricatures on American subjects, log cabins, Conestoga wagon, country school house of 1840, advent of the American flag, inaugurations before Lincoln, clipper ships, early railway

« ПретходнаНастави »