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hearsay information on the great events of which Brittany was the
Valueless and inaccurate as they often are, in dealing with historical
La Politique de l'Equilibre, 1907-1911. Par Gabriel Hanotaux. [Études Diplomatiques.] (Paris, Plon-Nourrit et Cie., 1912, pp. v, 449.) This is a collection of studies in grand politics, by M. Hanotaux, once Minister of Foreign Affairs under the tricolor. All the articles are reprinted without change from the Revue Hebdomadaire, where they appeared between 1907 and 1912. They cover a wide range of topics, from the Hague Conference to France in America, with an occasional chapter upon British politics and policy thrown in for good measure. But the main interest of the book centres in the working of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, in their Turkish and Persian relations on the one hand, in Morocco and the Congo, on the other. Thus the Agadir incident, the negotiation between France and Germany resulting, and the territorial barter of November 4, 1911, which settled the matter, are in the nature of a climax. Against this settlement (a free hand in Morocco so far as Germany could give it as against a considerable extension of the German Cameroon colony at French cost) M. Hanotaux enters an almost impassioned protest. Moreover, he ascribes it to the ineptitude of the Triple Entente and in fact to British indifference to French interests and inclination to make her own bargain. This is the most interesting part of the book, though not the most convincing. It is natural for an ancien ministre to criticize the altered policy of his successors. It is easy to preach the value to France of holding the balance of power between the allied central European states and a make
weight. The weakness of the argument lies-in the writer's opinion—in M. Hanotaux's failure to realize how completely the military breakdown of Russia in the Japanese War, her added debt, and the wiping out of her navy, have changed the old balance. Is it not a reasonable conclusion that France without an English backing would be far from holding a balance of power? And should not M. Hanotaux criticize not the Triple Entente but the French ministry for not relying sufficiently upon it, and for yielding so much when Germany rattled her sword?
However this may be, M. Hanotaux, with much charm of style and felicity of illustration, stimulates the student. Some of his ideas are most suggestive; as where he says that special privilege disappeared in England during the Victorian era, as it had done in France during the Revolution. He asks how it will affect the racial balance under the Austrian crown, to add two to three millions to the Slav element, apropos of Bosnia. He sees in Austrian aggressiveness in the matter of Bosnia, a revival of the Triple Alliance in a changed, more active form. Then Austria having had her mouthful, Germany comes again to the trencher.
M. Hanotaux's appreciation of King Edward VII. should be set alongside of Sidney Lee's biography. It has a curious and fanciful comparison between Edward and Louis XIV., and much more to attract the reader. The disadvantage of reprinted political essays is that, being originally opportunist, they lack a sense of proportion, and that, involving a certain amount of prophecy, they inevitably involve also a certain amount of prophetic discredit. For politics is not an exact science. T. S. WOOLSEY.
Special Report of the By H. J. Eckenrode,
List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia. Department of Archives and History for 1911. Archivist. (Richmond, Virginia State Library, 1912, pp. 488.) This is the fullest list yet compiled of the Revolutionary soldiers of Virginia, but it does not profess to be complete. The archives of the War Department in Washington, completely closed, until a few months ago, to historical investigators, yet remain to be examined, and it is likely that other material will turn up from time to time in unusual and out-of-theway places. This list is therefore "the first stage of a work to be continued for many years and brought to a conclusion only when the sources of Virginia Revolutionary history shall have been completely explored ". That the "first stage" of this work is well advanced is evidenced by the fact that the present list contains somewhat over 35,000 names. The introduction by Mr. Eckenrode is a valuable contribution to the discussion as to the number of soldiers furnished by Virginia. While "unwilling to risk a guess", at the present time as to the number of soldiers, Mr. Eckenrode points out that the number was very large in proportion to the white male population, and he believes that it will eventually be shown to have been larger than the estimates hitherto made. Such a work as the Department of Archives and History has here produced is.
of far more than mere genealogical interest and both the library and the State of Virginia are to be congratulated upon it.
From Freedom to Despotism: a Rational Prediction and Forewarning. By Charles M. Hollingsworth. (Washington, the author, 1910, pp. vii, 238.) The author of this book concurs in the belief which is said to have been expressed by the late Professor William Graham Sumner, that the American republic will not last longer than 1950. For this gloomy prophecy he advances not primarily the moral failings which are almost universally assigned as the causes of the downfall of republics in the past, but rather "the transformation of the national character and the demands for arbitrary methods of government that are resulting from changes that are already under way and will soon become much more pronounced, in the national economic conditions of life".
The gist of his argument is as follows. Forms of government are determined ultimately by economic causes. Free, or constitutional, systems of government have had as their basis of origin and maintenance a state of active economic development, and have only endured so long as such development continued; under economic fixity, which follows the completion of such development, government has always assumed an autocratic or despotic form. Economic concentration develops on the one hand an economically dominant class, and on the other hand an economically subordinate class: each of these classes is inimical to democratic government. American economic development is now approaching completion. Hence American democracy tends to give place to a modernized Caesarism. The same tendency toward despotism as the consequence of growing economic fixity is to be observed in other free governments, and presages an era "in which despotic government will be practically universal". In illustrating this tendency toward Caesarism, stress is laid upon the augmentation-on popular demand and through popular support-of the powers of executives at the expense of those of law-making bodies, for example, in Ex-Governor Hughes's achievement in forcing the enactment of law creating the Public Utilities Commission. The thesis that popular government finds its economic basis in "the prevalence of economic conditions which are favorable to independent or independently-associative modes of livelihood" is ably set forth. In the face of the revolutionary industrial changes of even the past score of years the evidence that "American economic development is now approaching completion" is thoroughly inconclusive, and prophecy based on that assumption is peculiarly hazardous. In contrast with the development of "free governments" of earlier centuries, the destiny of twentieth-century republics is being conditioned by a higher standard of living, a broader suffrage, vastly enlarged educational opportunities, and new processes by which the voter takes part directly both in electing (and "recalling") officers and in enacting laws. To these influences. the author has given too scant consideration.
George Wallace Jones. By John Carl Parish. [Iowa Biographical Series, edited by Benjamin F. Shambaugh.] (Iowa City, State Historical Society of Iowa, 1912, pp. xii, 354.) This is the seventh number in the Iowa Biographical series, and the third one of which Mr. Parish is the author. It very appropriately presents a character representing the minority pro-southern element and sentiment of the period of early Iowa history (1838-1860). This particular volume departs from the general run of the series in devoting only about one-fifth of its three hundred and fifty pages to a biography by Mr. Parish, and nearly threefifths to the autobiography and personal recollections of Senator Jones himself. The autobiography will be found of considerable value to the student of detailed Iowa history, and to the historian of the national "spoils system" and its practical workings. But the general student. of history will be disappointed in finding in the entire two hundred and more pages of autobiography and recollections only one half-line mention of the great slavery controversy of the years 1844 to 1860, and still less consideration of the other great public questions of this "middle period" of our history. In fact, the autobiography amounts to little more than a very naïve and at times fairly fascinating exposé of the inner operations of the pre-war system of federal patronage, with occasional illuminating glimpses of the less-known personal characteristics. of leading public men from Clay to Lincoln. One regrets to find the introductory biographical sketch adding little beyond a few connecting details, and rather detracting from the reader's impression of the strength and influence of Senator Jones as gained from the autobiography itself. On the other hand, the original materials have been most carefully edited, and the numerous errors of memory on the part of the autobiographer have been most satisfactorily checked up from other and more reliable contemporary sources. In typography, absence of textual error, and excellence of indexing, the volume fully measures up to the high standard already set by the earlier numbers of the series.
CLARK E. PERSINGER.
Edward Fitzgerald Beale: a Pioneer in the Path of Empire, 18221903. By Stephen Bonsal. (New York and London, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912, pp. xii, 312.) The name of Edward Fitzgerald Beale will suggest little to most of the readers of this book. His public career was ended forty-odd years ago, and was run generally among that crowd of subordinates who work under direction, and write the reports which others sign. It was, however, a life full of interest in its associations with the forces of the far west from the Mexican War to the completion of the Pacific railways. As surveyor, Indian official, and traveller, Beale acquired an intimate knowledge of the west, particularly that part of it south of the Platte trail. He crossed it repeatedly, on business, or in charge of parties of survey and exploration.
Among the episodes which this biography chronicles are the Mexican War, the discovery of gold in California, and the organization of the California Indians. Beale saw fighting in the first of these as a part of Kearny's Army of the West. In 1848 he brought an early sample of California gold to Washington. He became Indian superintendent for California and Nevada in the administration of Fillmore, with the patronage of Benton. As pathfinder, he made surveys along the thirtyfifth and thirty-eighth parallels, and reached conclusions respecting railway routes. It was he who suggested to Jefferson Davis the possibility of acclimating the camel in the southwest, that it might become the beast of burden of the American Desert, and he directed the resulting experiments with the herd that David Porter brought from the Levant in the Supply in 1856. During the French intervention in Mexico he interested himself in the acquisition of Lower California by the United States, and aided in sending arms to the Juarez government. In his later life he worked his extensive ranches in California, spent a year in the diplomatic service, and lived an affluent and honorable old age.
This biography, compiled by Stephen Bonsal, and copyrighted by Truxton Beale, appears to be the work of filial piety. It runs along in a tone of unwavering laudation. It collects from the government documents, the letters and reports that Beale wrote in the course of business, and prints from them excerpts that stretch to more than half its length. There is no evidence that Mr. Bonsal has any more knowledge of the subject, or of the stage upon which his hero moved, than his immediate documents forced upon him. He does not mention any considerable collection of manuscripts as having been made available for his use. He does not know that the Beale journals, interesting though they are, are matched by numerous others of the same period that may be read beside them in the great "sheep set". He might have assembled around his subject the picturesque life of the southwestern plains and made of Beale a truly national type. But he has been content to reprint, with tolerable accuracy, documents that are easily accessible in print, and to piece them together with a commonplace text.
FREDERIC L. PAXSON.