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in his expressed judgment, they were right, not because they might be immediately successful; and opposed others because wrong, though by many deemed expedient.
So far as his appeal proceded upon the quite different ground of alleged class differences and distinctions, it is wholly to be condemned.
By the educational methods of his ably-conducted newspapers, he did his foreign-born supporters a service, marred, of course, by sensationalism and demagogy, but still a service of great value.
What we learn, certainly, concerning our most recent citizens from the Hearst vote are these things.
1. They are independent voters. What the New
2. They are not constrained to remain with York Election
the party in power, nationally. Proved
3. Nor do they remain with a party simply because it is usually dominant locally.
4. They are not afraid to sacrifice immediate possible benefit by attaching themselves to a lesser party and temporary movement.
5. They are moved by appeals addressed to good citizenship.
6. They are quite certain to range themselves on the right side on a question of morals.
7. A certain proportion of them are moved by direct appeals, based on alleged class distinctions.
8. The thinly-veiled policy of license advanced by the Tammany candidate did not draw them from Mr. Hearst though he vigorously condemned license and its advocacy.
These things have been proved concerning the immigrants.
Without going into specifications, which are, however, well understood locally, these things were not proved.
1. That he always votes for a countryman or a co-religionist.
2. That he can be invariably stampeded by a race or religious issue.
3. That he votes blindly.
As to all of us who live in large cities, it was incontestably proven that leading candidates should have other than party strength; that our city elections are becoming increasingly nonpartisan and therefore increasingly uncertain, and, above all, that
as we increase our election safeguards, we decrease the dangers from and increase a proper trend of the vote of our present and future foreign-born voter."
1 Dr. CHARLES W. Eliot: Before I enter on the subject assigned me, I should like to give you a bit of experience in the City of Boston which has bearing on the subject which Mr. Bennet discussed.
It is a very important question whether persons of foreign descent when casting their vote in an American community are going to follow blindly, either a religious or a racial preference in our elections. A few years ago, largely through the efforts of a single citizen, the Massachusetts legislature changed the number of the school committee of Boston from twenty-four to five-in itself a prodigious improvement. Now Boston is the home of three Roman Catholic races, the Irish, the French Canadians, and the Italians. The Italians have lately come in large numbers, and many of them are from southern Italy and not from northern Italy. What did the voters of Boston do in electing a school committee of five at large? The election was not by wards, but at large. They elected at the very first election, and have maintained the composition of the committee as then determined ever since, two Catholics, two Protestants, and one Jew, and the Jew has lately been the Chairman of the committee. Now is not that creditable to the Roman Catholic majority in the city of Boston? They have a clear majority. Moreover, does it not tell us something encouraging about the manner in which voters of foreign birth will use the power of the voter in our country?
The Immigrant and Municipal Politics.
GRACE ABBOTT, HULL HOUSE, CHICAGO,
In spite of the fact that we are a nation of immigrants, Americans are inclined to resent the claim on their thought and attention which the last arrivals make and in consequence until very recently have not studied the problems which grow out of a complex population, When we do consider the subject seriously a prejudice which has been created in our minds by certain superficial differences between us and them leads to a curiously unreasonable interpretation of all facts. Not long ago I listened to a paper by a sanitary engineer on the relation between the immigrant and the public health. It was based on a study of typhoid fever in a certain city in the United States. The man showed that most typhoid epidemics started among our foreign colonies and spread to other sections. This he explained is because the foreigner has been accustomed to a pure water supply and is therefore much more susceptible to typhoid than the American who has struggled since birth against the diseases which come from polluted water. Instead then of urging this as an additional reason for giving us all decent water he concluded that in the interests of the public health some new basis for exclusion must be adopted. In this way most discussions of the immigrant are diverted and leave the fundamental problem quite untouched. For whether we adopt a literacy and physique test, increase the head tax and do all the other things suggested by the restrictionists, thousands of immigrants will continue to come to us every year.
The legal control of immigration belongs to the national government but the great economic and social questions growing out of our foreign population are local ones in which the national government can be of little service. Our cities have become great labor markets, supplying for a
very wide area, quite unscientifically and therefore wastefully, the
additional men needed as one industry after anCities 88 Labor
other passes from a dull to a rush season. For Markets
this reason, in the future even more than in the past, economic necessity will add the immigrant to our urban rather than our rural population and the problem of how he can be adapted to his new environment with the least possible loss to himself and the community will continue to be primarily not a national but a municipal problem.
In the past with buoyant American optimism we have pursued the laissez faire policy and because so many have emerged from the struggle eminent in all walks of life we have thought the policy justified itself and have taken no account of the losses, personal and social, which it has inevitably entailed. There can be no doubt that the presence in our cities of large groups of people speaking twenty different languages, with different habits of thought and ideals make more complex every problem of municipal government. To ignore this very obvious diversity in our population and act on the assumption that we have an entirely homogeneous Anglo-Saxon population would seem to be not only stupid but dangerous. And yet that is exactly what many Americans pride themselves has been done.
The experience of the nineteenth century in constitution-making in Europe and South America showed very clearly that laws
and institutions can be accepted or condemned American
only when considered in connection with the Systems
people for whom they are intended. Although convinced of the truth of this we have not acted on it in this country. Sometimes as though jealous of our Americanism the prinicple itself has been repudiated and we have declared that what is good for an Anglo-Saxon American must be good for a Polish-American or so much the worse for the Pole.
Not long ago I heard an educator of some prominence, in reply to the criticism that our public schools are not adjusted to the needs of the immigrant, declare with some show of pride that we had an American system of education in this country and that if it is not fitted to the needs of the foreigner he should not have come or having come should go back. Unfortunately
for us all he could not see that this devotion to a fixed and rigid system is as dangerous to the American boy as the Lithuanian girl, and I suppose it is impossible to expect him to bring much intelligence to bear on the problem of making our schools serve in the fullest measure the needs of the entire community.
Of the various nationalities represented in our American cities the Germans, Swedes, Norwegians and others who come from northern and western Europe are generally regarded as presenting very few difficulties. They have been coming for the last sixty years or more and have had a chance to make good. Those who come now find prosperous friends and leaders in their own group whose ability have given them a place in American esteem and so do not meet the prejudice which the south European has still to overcome. This has, of course, not always been the case. You will remember that before the Civil War the Native American or Know-Nothing Party, regarding these north Europeans as a menace to the Republic, were able on the demand of “ America
for Americans" to build up something of a naAmerica for
tional party. To-day there is none of this feelAmericans
ing. We have learned that there are, for example, good Germans as well as bad Germans-Germans who are good business men and Germans who fail in everything they undertake, Germans who are unselfishly interested in the cause of good government and others who have time for nothing except personal gain. In other words, we have learned to accept or condemn the Germans as individuals and not en masse.
With the immigrants who come from Russia, Austria-Hungary, Greece and Italy, the situation is quite different. They are unlike the people we have known in certain superficial characteristics—in their dress, food, amusements, etc. We are shocked when we find that the polite and good-natured Greek who keeps a shoe-shine parlor or a fruit-stand has neither the beauty of an Apollo or the statesmanship of a Pericles, and we lament the degeneration of that race. And on such weak evidence as this many people conclude that the present immigrants are undesirable "--without moral, industrial or political possibilities. They offer, however, other reasons for their belief that the new immigration presents more serious political difficulties than these