Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/574

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The Land-Laws. ("The English Citizen" Series.) By Frederick Pollock, Barrister-at-Law, M. A., etc. London: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 215. Price, $1.

The land-laws of England, which form the subject of this book, must not be mistaken for the land-laws of the United Kingdom. Scotland has a distinct legal system of her own, with a distinct history; Irish land-law, on the other hand, is nothing but imported English law, with certain modifications, the most important of which have been made too recently, and are too much involved with political questions, to be profitably treated in connection with English institutions. The aim of the author is to make the principles and the leading features of the English law of real property intelligible to a reader who is without legal training, but is willing to take some little pains to understand. "Almost every possible kind of ownership and almost every possible relation of owners and occupiers of land to the state and to one another have at one time or another existed in England, and left a more or less conspicuous mark in the composite structure of the English law of real property." The customary Germanic law, which the Angles and Saxons brought to England, is first taken up; the changes resulting from the Norman conquest are next described; and then follows an account of the legislation through which the modern law has developed. A chapter is devoted to the relation between landlord and tenant, and the book concludes with an examination of some modern reforms and prospects. Several special points are discussed in an appendix.

The Destructive Influence of the Tariff upon Manufactures and Commerce, and the Figures and Facts relating thereto. By J. Schoenhof. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

The contents of this little volume first appeared in communications to the New York "Evening Post," and they are now collected and published by the Putnams for the New York Free-Trade Club. The author of this book seems to believe that the way to develop trade is not to fetter it, and he proves abundantly by copious and varied statistics that the effect of legislative restrictions and congressional control of manufactures and commerce is injurious in proportion to the interference—is destructive rather than properly protective! There is a good deal of excellent sense in this book, and, although it deals chiefly in facts of the statistical kind, it contains many reflections and suggestions that are well worth attention, as, for example, the following:

The curse of American politics, log-rolling', is also the cause of the absurdities of our "well-balanced tariff." It gave us a system of taxation that grinds everyone, does cruel injury to a whole nation of working-people, and good to no one except a few monopolists and tax-gatherers; and It may safely be asserted that the corruption of our politics is largely due to protection, and to the mania for government aid and subsidies engendered thereby. Self reliance and independence are lost where large profits are more the results of legislative grants extended to industrial enterprises than of unassisted work. The lobbyist seeks, and frequently finds, an open door to executive departments, and it is doubtful whether a civil service can be thoroughly reformed that is constantly exposed to the persistent efforts of the briber. Worse, however, than this corrupting influence upon the civil service is the effect upon legislation and the legislator. The lobbyist, the advocate of special laws, is the greatest enemy of free institutions. "When a people loses confidence in its representatives, when, rightly or wrongly, the latter are held in suspicion of being the tools of private interests, then the calamity is irreparable. The briber of an officer of the Government does momentary harm, while unjust laws tax generations with unjust burdens, that are the more galling the more people become conscious of the methods by which were obtained the industrial preferences and the privilege of taxing the masses for the benefit of the few.

Politics: An Introduction to the Study of Comparative Constitutional Law. By William W. Crane, and Bernard Moses, Ph. D., Professor of History and Political Economy in the University of California. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 305. Price, $1.50.

This book opens with a description of the structure of a nation and of the nature of sovereignty. The basis of every political community is affirmed to be physical force, and the importance of political instinct is insisted upon. Political heritage is illustrated by the history of the English colonies in America. The means by which the will of a sovereign is expressed are next taken up, the tendency of power in the United States and in some European federations is noted, and a chapter is devoted to political parties.