Page:American Journal of Sociology Volume 8.djvu/442
426 THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
changes in the criminal codes of the various countries. Article I provides that whoever, to satisfy the passions of another, shall allure, entice, or lead away, even with her consent, a girl who is a minor, with a view to effect her seduction, shall be subject to punishment, even though the different acts which constitute the infraction may have been accomplished in different countries. A second article provides for punishment of those who by fraud, menace, or the aid of violence, or by any other means of constraint, have enticed for immoral purposes a girl or woman who has reached or passed the age of majority, even, as in the first case, when the illegal acts may have been committed in different countries.
Students of international law will recognize the important elements involved in the provision that the different countries shall no longer be prohibited from prosecut- ing an offender because the different acts constituting the offense have been committed in different countries.
The congress has expressed the opinion that the age in which the law should consider a girl as major for the disposition of her physical person should be the same age as that fixed for civil majority.
The protocol has been signed by delegates of the governments of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Fance, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Portugal, and Brazil. Much disappointment was expressed that the United States, though formally invited, had not sent an official delegate to the congress. S. J. B., in Evening Post (New York). R. M.
The Condition of the Working Class in Russia. A lack of information and of statistics makes complete knowledge of the condition of the working class in Russia impossible. But some notion of this condition can be had from the meager statistics and a study of how the laborers are living. In speaking of the industrial class in general, there must be noted two chief classes: first, those industrials that carry on small trades in their own homes in the country districts ; and, second, those whose homes are in the country, but who go to the towns to work during the winter, return- ing to their farms at the beginning of agricultural work in the spring. The number of this second class is constantly decreasing, as the proportion of the population that owns its own home is decreasing. They remain in the towns working throughout the year. It is the primary purpose of this paper to study the condition of this second class of workingmen, as they have come to be employed in what Le Play has denomi- nated fabriques collectives.
I. As to the length of the -workday. The two factors upon which the length of the work day depends are the development of the technique and the standard of life among the laborers. One may expect, therefore, to find the length of the workday to be long in Russia, for the technique is not highly developed and the standard of living is low. A severe political system has greatly hindered the development of this class by punishing with banishment or long imprisonment those trying to form unions or lead movements for the bettering of the laborer's condition. Despite these unfa- vorable surroundings, the Russian industrials are making some gains, and there are better days before them.
The law of 1897, following the great strike of 1896 in St. Petersburg, was a material and moral victory for the workingmen. The material returns, however, have been slight, because the efficacy of the law has been practically defeated by its mal- interpretation and amendment. But the moral victory means much in that the working- men have become conscious of their possible power, and both the government and the employers have been made aware of their claim to consideration. The fact that the law made eleven and one-half hours the length of the workday can only mean that men had been required to work very long hours indeed. This inference is verified by some statistics at command. In 1 880 more than twelve hours were required in 20 per cent, of the factories; twelve hours or less were required in 80 per cent. In 1894 to 1895 twelve hours were demanded in 20 per cent, of the factories ; more than eleven but less than twelve hours were demanded in 46 per cent.; while eleven hours or less were demanded in 34 per cent. But if the hours were long in the great factories, they were much longer in the home industry, ranging from fourteen hours to eighteen or nineteen. These excessive hours show their effect in the physical weakness of the laborers and in the high rate of mortality among them.