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enlarging local government, disestablishing the church and abolishing favoritism in the aristocracy. Continuing, he said:
“We are vitally concerned with retrogressive tendencies or the decadence of Liberalism in our own country, using Liberalism in the words of Chamberlain before his defection, as the expression of the law of progress in politics, bringing changes into complete harmony with the needs and aspirations of the people. The most purblind partisan can hardly deny that power is passing rapidly from the states to the Central government, and that the national maelstrom, in its wide and resistless sweep, is absorbing powers which by our sagacious fathers were most carefully guarded against such extinction. For nothing did they make such vigorous efforts as in behalf of state governments as an essential part of our complex system. Centralization diminishes the importance of and love for the state. We forget that the states protect the most sacred and valued relations of life, and when we degrade them to provinces or assimilate them to counties, we are departing from home rule, local self-government, and the principles and practices of the purer days of the republic. It is sought to turn divorces over to Congress, thus transferring state jurisdiction over property questions to the federal government. Mobs are to be suppressed by the armies of the United States. Formerly states offices were magnified and federal offices sometimes declined. John Hancock, as governor of Massachusetts, disputed for precedence with George Washington, the President. John Jay resigned the chief justiceship of the Supreme Court to be governor of New York. Two Pinckneys of South Carolina, Tucker of Virginia, Livingston of New York, Walker and Smith of Alabama, declined positions on the Supreme Bench. Now position and preferment are sought on the claim of services to a national party. The strengthening of the national government is always to the benefit of organized interests, of concentrated wealth, at the expense of the states as civil organisms and of the people at large.
“Professor Reinsch, in his admirable book on the World's Politics,' says that the cause of good government suffers when public attention is centered on national glory abroad, and less thought and energy are kept for the regulation of home affairs. Colonial questions, foreign wars—despite arbitration conferences, militarism-absorbing every penny that taxation can be made to yield, territorial expansion, so absorb energies and engross the time of the executive and the legislature that social and internal legislation becomes less urgent and adequate measures are not devised for great evils. Exertions for social betterment and purer methods in politics have already sustained impairment from this excessive interest in foreign affairs.
“Strong as are these tendencies I am not a pessimist, not a prophet of evil, certainly have not despaired of free institutions. I fully believe in the success and welfare of our country and in its broad and beneficent influence upon the world in the twentieth century. Our patriotic and popular Chief Magistrate recently proclaimed in this city 'Liberty has not lost but gained in strength.' I have no doubt myself of his sincere and faithful purpose to make good that hopeful declaration. Our relations to Cuba and Porto Rico are not altogether of our choosing, but our responsibilities for good government, civil and religious liberty, wise and beneficent laws, must be met and can only be met by holding them as constituent parts of our country, under the same constitution and the same flag. The loss of popular liberty would be a catastrophe loo serious not to be averted at any cost. The agencies, preventive and curative, are too many and powerful to allow the threatened perils to befall us. We have as aids the irrepressible energy of civil and religious liberty, useful training in self-government, the omnipotence of the people when aroused from lethargy and impelled by a strong conviction, a lively sense of personal responsibility, a well-grounded hope of larger achievements for freedom and humanity, the inspiration which springs from free schools for all the people, electors beginning to think and act for themselves with more and more enlightenment against demagogism, and Christianized society, vitalizing motives and deciding questions not on Utopian altruism or Machiavellian selfishness, but according to the highest moral standards. Education is a debt due to posterity from the present generation. The most effective way to make popular government a beneficent fact and influence is to lift the masses, all the citizenship, to higher moral and intellectual altitudes. It is character, not institutions, which makes good citizenship. A government whose citizens are ignorant, base, venal or corrupt, is not far away from anarchy or despotism. With these and other helpful influences wrong tendencies may be counteracted, and what has been imperfectly done may be carried on to a better consummation. This government of ours, model of all republics, grandest achievement of all political wisdom, a constitution rightly interpreted in its unity capable of extension over the whole of North America, inspiration and hope for all peoples struggling for liberty, has in itself the seeds of fruitage for the healing of the nations."
Following Dr. Curry's address Dr. Albert Shaw, editor of the American Review of Reviews, spoke in most complimentary terms of Dr. Curry's generous and unstinted labor for the public good, saying that "it is the men who believe in things, and who take stock in the future, that really care enough to fight valiantly for the preservation
and transmission of whatever may be worthy in our own institutional heritage.” He, therefore, admitted the value of most of Dr. Curry's criticism but stated that he believed, nevertheless, in the value and in the reality of those social phenomena that men sum up under the general word "progress." He said: “I believe that we live in a world that has been appreciably growing better for a good while past, and that continues to improve; and I also think that there are far better days ahead for the average man.
I have never found it possible to believe very deeply in the superior few. Far from holding that the mass of men exists for the sake of the development of the exceptionally superior person, I take it that the superior person is merely a useless accident except as he devotes his more perfect intelligence-or the finer powers that go with his sound and symmetrical manhood—to the practical benefit of his fellow-citizens at large.
“ It is a mere quibble to say that there is no such thing as the 'average man,' and that average progress is a fallacy rather than a concrete fact. It is, however, to be noted that what we may call progress is by zigzag rather than by direct lines. Thus in a given period in a given community there may be great progress in ordinary social self-control, -the settling down of the community, the acquisition of the habit of order.” Mexico was cited as an illustration. Other illustrations showing the improvement in the economic condition of the average man were quoted. It was claimed that in spite of the disappointment at the result of constitutional liberalism in many countries that not enough attention has been paid to the influence which the spirit of popular institutions has exercised upon both the aims and the methods of institutional life and work in countries where the forms of popular self-government have not been fully adopted. The very considerable progress in Russia in wholesome local life, in improved agriculture, in education, and in the average effectiveness of the units of population, was cited to substantiate this point. In reference to Germany, Dr. Shaw said that the Germans are a great family, aristocratic institutions counting for less in reality than in form. He cited many illustrations of popular progress, and, continuing, said: “Thus, when I go into a German city and find a high development of sanitary administration in the interest of the whole community, an educational system marvelously adapted to the practical needs of the people, and a system of public charity more comprehensive and satisfactory than anywhere else in the world, I say to myself 'Surely, these things and many others like them are the tangible evidence of a great and real progress of the people;' and since the people are thus making progress, can they not be trusted to take care of themselves as against that possible day when imperial tendencies may seem to threaten the general good ?
“My point merely is that if those free and equal political institutions, which were the dream of the German patriots of '48, have indeed fallen far short of realization in Germany, there has been in another way a splendid and truly popular social development; and in keeping with this development of popular life there has come about a real transformation in the spirit of higher institutions of government even while they have retained mediæval forms of nomenclature.
“ Thus the institution of monarchy has been retained in England, as Dr. Curry has well shown, solely because it has changed its essential character and has recognized the necessity of its keeping a hold upon the public conscience by its constant regard for the public welfare. I should be in a false position if I became even for a moment an apologist for the English aristocratic system. I have not only no arguments to advance for the continued existence of the House of Lords, but I have never read or heard what seemed to me even a plausible excuse for the retention of that constitutional anomaly; nor do I regard its retention as chiefly due to British ingrained conservatism or reverence for things ancient. I make no reference to individuals in either case, but only to political institutions, when I say that I have no more respect for the British House of Lords as a fixed institution than for the American Tammany Hall as a fixed institution. The higher the personal intelligence and personal character of individuals making up a favored hereditary caste, the more glaring is the inconsistency of their firm retention of privilege. I agree, therefore, with all that Dr. Curry has said in his allusions to the higher structure of the British Government. There is no government in the world of which I have so poor an opinion, measuring it, of course-in the historical spirit-by what would seem to have been the possibilities of constitutional evolution in England -and I need not say again that I have no reference to the individuals who make up the government." Dr. Shaw, nevertheless, called attention to the fact that town government in England is representative and popular in its structure and method, and that here also there are signs of popular progress. In reference to imperialism, both in England and in America, Dr. Shaw spoke as follows: “ Certainly we do not live in a time especially favorable to the creation of small independent political sovereignties. On the other hand it seems to me that we do not live in a period that shows a dangerous tendency towards the extinction of real political liberties. There has been both excitement and anxiety, however well suppressed, in the recent discussions at Havana, for instance, having to do with all these matters. Yet it would be impossible for the
United States to exercise despotic government over Cuba; and plainly the practical danger that confronts the Cubans for the next twenty years is not too little freedom from the general oversight of the United States, but just the opposite. Hawaii as shown by the recent election, is already entering upon a far higher measure of actual freedom in the exercise of popular self-government than at any period or any moment heretofore in the history of that group of islands. As for the Philippines, the only possible opportunity that they have ever had, -in any epoch or period from which history even slightly withdraws the veil, for the establishment of free political institutions, has been the chance offered to them through the fact of the general sovereignty of the United States. Far from withholding from them any measure of political freedom that could have any bearing upon their actual well-being, the eagerness of our government to thrust free institutions upon these people who have never by experience known anything about them, has had a semi-humorous and a semi-pathetic aspect.” Concluding Dr. Shaw said: “The expansion of our own territorial jurisdiction in the past, far from causing a reversion to systems that disregard human rights and freedom, has had results visible in the creation of the great free commonwealths erected in our annexed territory from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. And I think that like results are now to be seen in the new government of Hawaii; in that of Porto Rico; in the code soon to become law for the self-government of Alaska; and in the tedious but creditable work of assimilating the Indian Territory. May we not hope that the determination of President McKinley to establish modern self-government in the Philippines may also show encouraging results in a not very distant future ?
“ After all, good men must in due time make good communities under appropriate modes of government; and in the wise education of children lies the great hope for future political freedom.”
Dr. James T. Young, of the University of Pennsylvania, was called upon to close the discussion. He pointed out the natural development of the United States through the concentration of industries to the centralization of power in fewer hands. He attributed this to purely natural causes due in part to the improved means of communication, both intellectual and material, between the people of the United States resident in different parts of the country. He pointed also to certain tendencies to a world-wide extension of this concentration of power, citing as an illustration the successes attending the organization of the National Postal Union.
He also distinguished between administrative centralization, in which the central government actually exercises all power directly,