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I. Can America Endure? A Plea for National Centralization
WILMER T. STONE
II. Avaricious of Duty
MARGARET LYNN III. Machiavelli in Marlowe
J. WARSHAW IV. The Significance of Music .
Louis JAMES BLOCK V. The Appreciation of Literature WILLIAM GILMER PERRY VI. A Model American Library of 1793
EARL L. BRADSHER VII. English Hymnody and Romanticism BENJAMIN BRAWLEY VIII. "K"
WARWICK JAMES PRICE IX. Macaulay's 'History' Illustrated EDWARD RAYMOND TURNER X. Popular Control of Foreign Policy
LINDSAY ROGERS XI. Book Reviews.
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH
AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS OF SEWANEE TENNESSEE
LONGMANS, GREEN, & CO.
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Board of Managers: JOHN M. McBRYDE, JR., Chairman, WALTER HULLIHEN, THOMAS A. TIDBALL, CLEVELAND K. BENEDICT, SEDLEY L. WARE.
Contributors to the October Number
WILMER T. STONE is Instructor in English in the De Witt Clinton High School, New York City.
MARGARET Lynn is Associate Professor of English in the University of Kansas.
J. WARSHAW is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages in the University of Missouri.
Louis JAMES BLOCK is Principal of the John Marshall High School, Chicago.
EARL L. BRADSHER is an Instructor in English in the University of Texas.
William GilmER PERRY is Professor of English in the Georgia School of Technology.
BENJAMIN BRAWLEY is Dean and Professor of English in Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia.
WARWICK JAMES Price is a Philadelphia lawyer and journalist.
Edward RAYMOND TURNER is Professor of European History in the University of Michigan.
Lindsay Rogers is Adjunct Professor of Political Science in the University of Virginia.
Statement of the Ownership, Management, etc., of The Sewanee Review, published Quarterly at Sewanee, Tennessee, required by the Act of Congress of August 24, 1912: Editor, John M. McBryde, Jr., Sewanee, Tenn. ; Business Manager, James C. Preston, Sewanee, Tenn.; Publisher and Owner, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., an educational institution, incorporated under the laws of the State of Tennessee; no stock issued.
(Signed) JAS. C. PRESTON, Business Manager,
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 3rd day of Oct., 1916.
(Signed) D. L. VAUGHAN, Notary Public. (SEAL)
My commission expires Oct., 1916.
Can America endure? Does the question seem preposterous? Yet every human institution lives its appointed hour — or cycle
Some nations seem founded on the solid rock, and last centuries; others are quickly swept aside in the rushing torrent of time— to appear no more, in anything resembling their old form, on the surface of the stream. Races persist; institutions crumble. The centuries-old strife between Latin and Teuton continues to-day, as it did in Cæsar's time; yet where is Rome, or where the great Teuton empire of Charlemagne?
Can America endure? And by America is meant the United States of our idealist ancestors, who fondly believed in the permanence of a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” The two greatest governments outside of the United States approximating that ideal, France and Great Britain, are engaged in a death struggle with the strongest autocracy, because the most efficient, the world has ever seen. Despite their powerful allies in the combat, no man can say what their future is to be, for it is evident that no nation can long withstand the pressure of German efficiency and national spirit without resistance made strong by equally efficient national organization and supported by equally ardent patriotism. It may be that efficiency and intense national spirit can be developed only by a benevolent autocracy. In short, democracy is on trial, and we in the United States cannot be indifferent to the outcome of the present struggle.
Is it not wise to try to anticipate the result of the struggle in Europe, however, so that we may see clearly what lies before us,
and how best we may meet any future that presents itself? A comparison of our fundamental ideals, and of our measure of realization of these ideals, with those of Germany should be instructive. Such a comparison should show us to what extent we may learn from Germany before it is too late, without giving up those of our ideals which we had rather perish than lose.
GERMAN AND AMERICAN IDEALS COMPARED Germany's claim to greatness lies principally in her ideal of economic justice as between the various classes of her population; in the disinterested reverence of and service to the State on the part of all; above all, in the frank and far-seeing investigation into, and action upon, all questions that affect the national welfare. Americans, on the other hand, are notorious for their indifference to abstract claims of the public welfare, and for the universal sacrifice of such claims for the immediate gain of individuals. As a result of this attitude, all serious problems of our national future are covered up by specious platitudes; all disagreeable facts are hidden or brushed aside; a shockingly low standard of honesty, and gross inefficiency, on the part of public officials is tolerated; there is a woful disregard of labor struggles as affecting the ultimate social welfare of the entire nation.
Americans have been reproached times innumerable by foreign (and domestic) critics with an utter absorption in the “almighty dollar"; with a singularly rapacious and boundless commercial selfishness that subordinates all other aspects of human endeavor or aspiration. Unfortunately there is great truth in the arraignment. No one can consider our oft-discussed venal politics; the slum conditions in our cities; our hideous and blatant advertising; the relentless crushing of business competitors by fair means or foul; the plundering of stockholders by boards of directors; the crushing of strikes by hired thugs and "fixed” judges; these and many other phenomena of present-day American life, without admitting that material selfishness is more rampant in the “land of the free" than perhaps anywhere else on the whole globe. That this spirit constitutes a terrible menace to our national spirit is evident, and this relationship will be considered in detail below.
Yet it is preposterous to assume that Americans are by innate nature more selfish than other peoples. In the first place, they are derived from nearly all the races of Europe, and many are descended from ancestors who came here for sake of religious or political liberty, rather than commercial advantage. Moreover, the wonderful liberality of Americans with money, once acquired, is proverbial, and stamps them as one of the most generous, as well as in certain respects perhaps the most sordidly commercial, of nations.
A theory often advanced to explain this love of material success so highly developed among Americans, is the effect on the national character of the struggle to open up a rich continent. It was not merely a question of new land and fresh sources of mineral wealth in prodigious quantities, but coincidentally, the wonderful increase of commercial opportunity brought about by development of railroads, machinery, and technical processes of manufacture. Nothing remained static. Everywhere were new opportunities. The whole tendency was to exploit, to speculate, to substitute speed and quantity for the old craftsman's pride in quality, thoroughness, and permanence. Along with this material growth marched a spirit of iconoclasm in social life. The old classes tended to be obliterated; family pride, ancestral honors, or cultural superiority yielded more and more to material wealth and power as a source of prestige. Everything gave place to the great need of developing the material wealth of the new country.
While there is much truth in this theory, it must be remembered that in the countries of Europe, though there was no new land open to settlement, the economic development due to industrial transformation was enormous. England reveals many of the signs of a nation of money-worshippers that flourish with
They also have their fearful slums, their bloody strikes, their nasty advertising. And when the present world conflict broke out, their national battle cry was—business, as usual.
But in Germany, where great mineral deposits have furnished conditions of industrial congestion similar to those in England and America, one does not see such glaring extremes of wealth. Commercialism is strictly subordinated to its natural and whole