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and that, as as a consequence, at least the blunders of history may show less tendency to repeat themselves, we offer our little book not only to the teachers of Iowa, but to all who are interested in the past and present of our beloved State.
H. H. SEERLEY,
STATE NORMAL SCHOOL,
Cedar Falls, Iowa, June 21, 1897.
VI. THE TRANSITION PERIOD IN OR-
AMENDMENTS MADE TO THE CON-
The character of the volumes that will comprise The State Government Series is indicated by the name of the series itself. More definitely, they will combine two important subjects of education, History and Government. It is proposed in this Introduction briefly to set forth the educational character and value of these subjects, and to offer some hints as to the way in which they should be studied and taught, particularly as limited by the character of the Series.
1. THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF THE STUDY OF
HISTORY AND GOVERNMENT.
Not much reflection is required to show that both of these subjects have large practical or guidance value, and that they also rank high as disciplinary studies.
1. History.-—When it is said that men need the experience of past ages to widen the field of their personal observation, to correct their narrow views and mistaken opinions, to furnish them high ideals, and to give them inspiration or motive force; and that history is the main channel through which this valuable experience is transmitted to them—this should be sufficient to show that history is a very important subject of education. On this point the most competent men of both ancient and modern times have delivered the most convincing testimony. Cicero called history "the witness of times, the light of truth, and the mistress of life." Dionysius of Halicarnassus said “history is philosophy teaching by
examples," and Lord Bolingbroke lent his sanction to the saying. Milton thought children should be taught “the beginning, the end, and the reasons of political societies.” Another writer affirms that “history furnishes the best training in patriotism, and enlarges the sympathies and interests.' Macaulay said: “The real use of traveling to distant countries, and of studying the annals of past times, is to preserve them from the contraction of mind which those can hardly escape whose whole commerce is with one generation and one neighborhood.”
In every great field of human activity the lessons of history are invaluable-in politics, religion, education, moral reform, war, scientific investigation, invention, and practical business affairs. The relations of history and politics are peculiarly close. There could be no science of politics without history, and practical politics could hardly be carried on. But, more than this, there can be no better safeguard than the lessons of history against the specious but dangerous ideas and schemes in relation to social subjects that float in the atmosphere of all progressive countries. In fact, there is no other safeguard that is so good as these lessons; they are experience teaching by examples. The man who has studied the history of the Mississippi Scheme, the South Sea Bubble, or some of the less celebrated industrial or economical manias that have afflicted our own country, is little likely to embark in similar schemes himself, or to promote them. The man who has studied the evils that irredeemable paper money caused in France in the days of the Revolution, or the evils that the Continental money caused in our own country, will be more apt to form sound views on the subjects of currency and banking than the man who has had no such training. The