Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/877

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

nates directly and keenly against the farmer and farming class, by discriminating in favor of other classes. Nor can it be said that the tariff policy of the country has been managed as much to the farmer's interest as to that of other classes. The way to improvement lies, in the first place, in the direction of altering these adverse influences. This policy, however, is merely palliative, and does not go to the root of the matter. The forces which are crowding the American farmer to the wall are worldwide. He is at a disadvantage because he is trying to compete with farmers of a low grade of civilization and intelligence in the production of crops in which intelligence and civilization count for comparatively little; and this competition is destined to become more formidable. The American farmer must seek new crops where intelligence and skill count for more than mere fertility of soil or juxtaposition to market, and where, having once established himself, he may bid defiance to the ignorance and inefficiency of foreign peasant, ryot, or boor. This calls for a broad and liberal policy toward agriculture in all its relations.


The Natural History of Analogy.—The subject of Prof. Jastrow's address in the Anthropological Section of the American Association was The Natural History of Analogy. Although this form of argument is used with great caution to-day, it was a predominant form among primitive people. Abundant instances of it were found in almost all savage customs and beliefs. In magical rites, in interpretations of omens and dreams, in medicinal practices, and social and tribal customs, striking instances of this kind of argument abounded. The Zulu who chews a bit of wood to soften the heart of the man he wants to buy an ox from, the fetich determining by whether a stick stands or falls whether a war shall be kept up or allowed to stop, the medicine-man who performs incantations over some personal belonging of his victim, or by the use of out-of-the-way drugs—were all instanced as the results of a feeling of analogy. Similar traits exist in children. An abundant field of illustration may be found in the popular superstitions, folk lore, and customs that have survived from a lower to a higher culture. The modern dream-book, household medicinal practices, charms, astrology, the doctrine of sympathies, furnish illustrations in point.


Derivation of the American University.—In his address on the Evolution of the University Prof. George E. Howard, of the University of Nebraska, traces the derivation of the American university through Oxford and Cambridge from the studium generale of Paris. The English college is regarded as "the direct prototype of the first American schools. The three most important foundations of the colonial period, which eventually became the models, directly or indirectly, of nearly all our higher institutions of learning, were in aim and organization reproductions of Cambridge or Oxford Colleges, with such modifications as new environments, religious ideas, and isolated position rendered necessary. Unfortunately, the principal defects of the English system were perpetuated. Thus the English universities were state institutions placed in subordination to a church establishment. Harvard, Yale, and William and Mary were in character practically the same. Each was chartered by the state—by the Colonial Assembly or the British Government—for religious purposes." Harvard escaped ecclesiastical trammels most easily, because in 1638, the theocracy being at its meridian, it was inconceivable that the clergy should not control the college, and they were not imposed so strictly as on the other institutions. American institutions also inherited from the mother-country a narrow conception of the sphere to be assigned to higher education—that scholastic spirit which has prevented our schools from entering into their proper relation to society. "Hence it is that the college professor, even yet, is too often the last man whom the people think of consulting on practical questions." Higher education is, however, undergoing a revolution which is briefly described as a tendency toward bringing the schools into closer relation with the social organism. This appears in several ways. The student, while devoting himself mainly to the duties of his academic life, remains a member of the social body. In our best institutions the relations of the student to his teacher are becoming such as