Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

which by endeavouring to satisfy with Drink, increases the Distemper.” A noteworthy feature of the essay is its anticipation of recent doctrines as to the effect of depreciation on the rate of interest. "Large Emissions of Paper Money does naturally rise the Interest to make good the sinking Principal.”

The Zeitschrift für Socialwissenschaft. Germany has long been the promised land of magazines and reviews. The result has been a production of periodicals dealing with all branches of human knowledge, so luxuriant as to be the despair of the librarian as well as of the scholar, who wishes to keep posted on current literature. The supply, especially in the line of economics, has seemed

to many for several years to be fully up to the demand, but Dr. • Julius Wolf of Breslau has discovered not only, as our American

journalists say, “a long felt want,” but a gap which is fairly yawning, as he puts it in heavy-faced type, “Hier klafft eine Bildungslücke.” This gulf he proposes to fill by the new Zeitschrift für Socialwissenchaft, which is to appear monthly, beginning Jan. 15. The first number has not yet reached us, but the table of contents, which we have received, shows that at least four out of the six essays in the first number relate purely to economic questions, such as the Renunciation of Free Trade by England, The Adam Smith Problem, Illusionists and Realists in Political Economy, etc. One feature of the review will be a department known as the Review of Reviews, which will summarize the contents of about 120 periodicals. Such a feature is getting to be absolutely essential to the reader who aims to keep up with the current literature of any subject.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The Bulletins of the Department of Labor for November, 1897, and January, 1898, contain valuable studies of especial classes of the population. The former has articles on the Italians in Chicago, and on the Anthracite Mine Laborers, while the latter treats in a special paper of the Negroes of Farmville. These special studies are a valuable supplement to the general statistics published by the Department of Labor as well as by the Census Bureau for the entire country. Mass figures, if they are to be made of any use, must be interpreted in the light of detailed study of specific classes and localities, and Col. Wright is giving great value to the Bulletin of the Department of Labor by inspiring such investigations.

BOOK NOTICES.

Die Finanzverhältnisse der Einzelstaaten der Nordamerikanischen

Union. Von Dr. Ernest L. Bogart. (Sammlung nationalökonomischer und statistischer Abhandlungen des staatswissenschaftlichen Seminars zu Halle a.d.S., herausgegeben von Dr. Joh. Conrad.) Jena, G. Fischer, 1897—8vo, xiii, 157 ss.

In 1887 Professor H. C. Adams' Public Debts introduced the general reader to the interesting history of the financial operations of our State governments. Since then the Reports of the Eleventh Census bearing on this matter have appeared, and the accumulation of statutes and reports of numerous State officials and commissions has been thoroughly worked over, especially by Professor E. R. A. Seligman. The above monograph by Dr. Bogart is a contribution to the same subject. Though at the present time the fiscal operations of the States are of little importance, their financial history before the Civil War is highly instructive and important in connection with both the industrial and the political history of our country. In describing the movements by which internal improvements, from being a concern of the Federal, became a concern of the State governments, and in telling the story of the internal improvement craze and the subsequent limitation of the States borrowing powers, the author has not materially improved on Professor Adams' book. In his discussion of the current methods of appropriating and raising public moneys in the State legislatures, Dr. Bogart offers some comprehensive digests of the statute laws and State constitutions, and some tables largely based on the Census Reports. There is little evidence of originality of treatment in the monograph, and it is to be regretted that the author has neglected the opportunity of bringing his results, especially statistical, down later than 1890. This he could have done to advantage, by, for instance, discussing the recent constitutional changes in New York, together with the large expenditure for the improvement of the Erie Canal, and also the subject of the refunding of the Federal direct tax of 1861, under the Act of 1891, a repetition, on a small scale, of the distribution of the surplus revenue of 1837.

The German of the monograph suggests the editorial page of a German-American newspaper, and is very bad. The word "Promptheit" can hardly claim to be German; while the use of “Korporation" for "Aktiengesellschaft," and of "Resolution" for

1

“Beschluss" is not to be commended; “rapide Entwickelung," "partielle Erklärung," and "innere Verbesserung" are too literal a translation of “rapid development,” "partial explanation,” and "internal improvement.” On page 7 “Geldleiher" should read “Geldborger.” The typographical errors are too numerous to mention, especially in the foot-notes, in which no consistent method of quoting authorities is followed. The State Comptroller is generally called a “Controller,” for which misuse of the word there is, however, some excuse.

J. C. S.

English Local Government of To-day: A Study of the Relations of

Central and Local Government. By Milo Roy Maltbie, Ph.D. Studies in History, Economics and Public Law. Edited by the Faculty of Political Science of Columbia University. New York.

When the nineteenth century began, in all matters of local government, the counties, the towns, and the parishes of England were self-contained and responsible to no Department of State in London. Local government in the counties was exclusively in the hands of the landed classes. County affairs were administered in quarter sessions by magistrates appointed by the Crown on the nomination of the Lord Lieutenant. In the cities and boroughs, municipal government was administered under charters, most of which dated back two or three centuries. Each city and town was a law unto itself; and its usually autocratic administrators could be reached only through the law courts, and then with difficulty and at great cost. As for the rural communities outside the incorporated towns, they were governed by church-wardens and overseers chosen at the vestry meetings held at the parish churches. The poor law in its fundamental principles had long been uniform; but in practice scores of poor law districts were governed by their special Acts of Parliament, and in the closing days of the last century and in the early days of this, almost the only duty which the local administrators of the poor law owed to the central government was to make returns of poor law statistics to the Speaker of the House of Commons. There were no elementary schools, except as private ventures, and the State had taken upon itself no responsibilities or duties in connection with elementary education. The preservation of the peace was still a duty which in law devolved upon every householder, as in the middle ages when every enfranchised inhabitant was compelled to take his turn at watch and ward; and as late as the second decade of this century the ancient custom

of watch and ward was revived in the county and town of Nottingham by Parliamentary enactment.

The object of Mr. Maltbie's "English Local Government of To-day" is to trace the change from the England which existed until 1834 to the England of to-day, when every local governing body is elected directly by the people, and in particular to trace the origin and development of the several great Departments of State, which now exercise such close and constant supervision over every phase of local government activity. Whitehall is Mr. Maltbie's standpoint. The local poor law boards, the town councils, and the school boards are all dealt with, as it were, from inside the Local Government Board, the Home Office, the Board of Trade, and the Education Department. It is from the official literature of these State Departments, from the Hansards, and from the law reports that Mr. Maltbie has obtained his data. He gives a succinct and admirable account of the relationships between the local elected bodies and the State Departments in London and rightfully emphasizes the good which results from the oversight of the State Departments, and from the continuity of policy which this oversight brings about in all affairs of local government.

In describing the connection of Parliament with the several Departments of State concerned with local government, Mr. Maltbie rather overlooks the advantages which accrue from the presence of the political heads of these Departments in the House of Com

The Local Government Board at Whitehall is a long way off from a town council in Lancashire or Cumberland; but its political chief is always in the House of Commons, and can there be reached by question from the local member, and, if need be, by a motion for the adjournment of the House to call attention to any action of the Local Government Board to which there may be strong and well-founded local objection.

The least satisfactory chapter in Mr. Maltbie's book is that on elementary education. His sketch of the history of education in England prior to the Act of 1870 is scrappy and inexact. nearly sufficiently full to enable a reader, new to the subject, to form an adequate understanding of the elementary education system as it now exists, and is now worked by the voluntary school committees, the education committees of town councils, and the school boards. Centralization in connection with the poor law, the police, and municipal government has succeeded beyond all question. It has only partially succeeded in connection with

It is not

elementary education, and the failure of the Committee of Council for Education to give as full satisfaction as has been given by the Local Government Board in respect to municipal affairs, and the Home Office in respect to the police and the administration of the mining and factory laws, cannot be made clear unless the history of elementary education from 1808 to 1870 is adequately told. This is not done in Mr. Maltbie's book, and the chapter on elementary education loses much of its value from the lack of two or three niore pages at the outset. The presentation of the subject is especially misleading in giving the impression that the Church first moved to the establishment of the present education system; it did not move at all until the British and Foreign Schools Society, a non-sectarian organization, had entered on the work in 1808.

E. PORRITT. Farmington, Conn.

Municipal Problems. By Frank J. Goodnow, A.M., LL.D. New

York, The Macmillan Co., 1897—12mo, 333 PP. The Study of City Government: An Outline of the Problems of

Municipal Functions, Control and Organization. By Delos F. Wilcox, A.M., Ph.D. New York, The Macmillan Co., 1897— 12mo, 268 pp.

These two most recent books on the subject of municipal government, while valuable in themselves, are especially noteworthy by way of contrast. The former is by the Professor of Administrative Law in Columbia University, the highest authority on that subject in this country, whose work on Comparative Administrative Law is the standard and practically the only authority on administration in the English language. The second book, very modest and unambitious in its purpose, is written by a pupil of Prof. Goodnow, whose first publication was his doctor's thesis, “Municipal Government in Michigan and Ohio,” published not long ago in the Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public Law. It is natural, therefore, that the two books should reflect to some degree the same opinion on similar points, but it is only fair to Dr. Wilcox to say that in clearness and attractiveness of exposition and in the method of presentation, the work of the pupil is much more satisfactory than the work of the teacher.

Prof. Goodnow's book consists of a series of essays, which show large knowledge of the subject, and careful thought, but one in reading them gets the impression of haste in publishing these

« AnteriorContinuar »