Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/486
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
which I was called in to settle with the calipers. The unsuspecting Irishmen usually entered keenly into the debate, and before the little drama had been finished, were eagerly betting on the sizes of their own heads, and begging to have their wagers determined in the same manner."
The figures gathered in this way from the schools and the armies have a peculiar value. They represent all classes of the population, but more especially the peasantry in all the nooks and corners of Europe wherever the long arm of the Polizei Staat reaches. The upper classes are less fully represented oftentimes, since they attend private schools or are better able to evade the military service by money payment or by educational test. This simplifies the matter, since it is the proletariat which alone clearly reflects the influence of race or of environment. They are the ones we wish to study. In this sense the observations upon these populations may aid the sociologist or the historian; for the greatest obstacle, heretofore, to the prosecution of the half-written history of the common people has been the lack of proper raw materials. There is a mine of information here which has barely been opened to view on the surface.
By DAVID A. WELLS, LL. D., D. C. L.,
CORRESPONDANT DE L'INSTITUT DE FRANCE, ETC,
VI. — THE SPHERE OF TAXATION PECULIAR TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
THE United States presents the curious anomaly of a great nation existing under two systems, or dual forms of government; each having a sphere of action peculiar to itself, and both exercising the general functions of government, namely: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. These two are the Federal or national Government, existing in virtue of an agreement of union entered into originally by thirteen separate and independent States, and known as the Federal Constitution; and next, a system of State or divisional governments, existing in virtue of certain original powers retained by the independent and sovereign parties to the above agreement, and not delegated by them, in entering the Federal Union, to any other or higher sovereignty. At the same time a concession of power to tax or compel contributions from persons, property, and business by each of these two forms of government, in order to defray their necessary expenditures, was obviously essential to their existence and continuance, and was so recognized from the first inception