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pathy on the part of capital and little on the part of the general public. Class distinctions are accented by national prejudices, and democracy is thereby invaded. But even in the dull brains of great masses of these unfortunates from southern and eastern Europe the idea of America as the land of freedom and of opportunity to rise, the land of pioneer democratic ideals, has found lodgment, and if it is given time and is not turned into revolutionary lines it will fructify.
As the American pioneer passed on in advance of this new tide of European immigration, he found lands increasingly limited. In place of the old lavish opportunity for the scttler to set his stakes where he would, there were frantic rushes of thousands of eager pioneers across the line of newly opened Indian reservations. Even in 1889, when Oklahoma was opened to settlement, twenty thousand settlers crowded at the boundaries, like straining athletes, waiting the bugle note that should start the race across the line. To-day great crowds gather at the land lotteries of the government as the remaining fragments of the public domain are flung to hungry settlers.
Hundreds of thousands of pioneers from the Middle West have crossed the national boundary into Canadian wheat fields eager to find farms for their children, although under an alien flag. And finally the government has taken to itself great areas of arid land for reclamation by costly irrigation projects whereby to furnish twenty-acre tracts in the desert to settlers under careful regulation of water rights. The gov ernment supplies the capital for huge irrigation dams and reservoirs and builds them itself. It owns and operates quarries, coal mines and timber to facilitate this work. It seeks the remotest regions of the earth for crops suitable for these areas. It analyzes the soils and tells the farmer what and when and how to plant. It has even considered the rental
to manufacturers of the surplus water, electrical and steam power generated in its irrigation works and the utilization of this power to extract nitrates from the air to replenish wornout soils. The pioneer of the arid regions must be both a capitalist and the protégé of the government.
Consider the contrast between the conditions of the pioneers at the beginning and at the end of this period of development. Three hundred years ago adventurous Englishmen on the coast of Virginia began the attack on the wilderness. Three years ago the President of the United States summoned the governors of forty-six states to deliberate upon the danger of the exhaustion of the natural resources of the nation.
The pressure of population upon the food supply is already felt and we are at the beginning only of this transformation. It is profoundly significant that at the very time when American democracy is becoming conscious that its pioneer basis of free land and sparse population is giving way, it is also brought face to face with the startling outcome of its old ideals of individualism and exploitation under competition uncontrolled by government. Pioneer society itself was not sufficiently sophisticated to work out to its logical result the conception of the self-made man. But the captains of industry by applying squatter doctrines to the evolution of American industrial society, have made the process so clear that he who runs may read. Contests imply alliances as well as rivalries. The increasing magnitude of the areas to be dealt with and the occurrences of times of industrial stress furnished occasion for such unions. The panic of 1873 was followed by an unprecedented combination of individual businesses and partnerships into corporations. The panic of 1893 marked the beginning of an extraordinary development of corporate combinations into pools and trusts, agreements and 3 Written in 1910.
absorptions, until, by the time of the panic of 1907, it seemed not impossible that the outcome of free competition under individualism was to be monopoly of the most important natural resources and processes by a limited group of men whose vast fortunes were so invested in allied and dependent industries that they constituted the dominating force in the industrial life of the nation. The development of large scale factory production, the benefit of combination in the competitive struggle, and the tremendous advantage of concentration in securing possession of the unoccupied opportunities, were so great that vast accumulations of capital became the normal agency of the industrial world. In almost exact ratio to the diminution of the supply of unpossessed resources, combinations of capital have increased in magnitude and in efficiency of conquest. The solitary backwoodsman wielding his ax at the edge of a measureless forest is replaced by companies capitalized at millions, operating railroads, sawmills, and all the enginery of modern machinery to harvest the remaining trees.*
A new national development is before us without the former safety valve of abundant resources open to him who would take. Classes are becoming alarmingly distinct: There is the demand on the one side voiced by Mr. Harriman so well and by others since, that nothing must be done to interfere with the early pioneer ideals of the exploitation and the development of the country's wealth; that restrictive and reforming legislation must on no account threaten prosperity even for a moment. In fact, we sometimes hear in these days, from men of influence, serious doubts of democracy, and intimations that the country would be better off if it freely resigned itself to guidance by the geniuses who are mastering the economic forces of the nation, and who, it is alleged, would work * Omissions from the original are incorporated in later chapters.
out the prosperity of the United States more effectively, if unvexed by politicians and people.
On the other hand, an inharmonious group of reformers are sounding the warning that American democratic ideals and society are menaced and already invaded by the very conditions that make this apparent prosperity; that the economic resources are no longer limitless and free; that the aggregate national wealth is increasing at the cost of present social justice and moral health, and the future well-being of the American people. The Granger and the Populist were prophets of this reform movement. Mr. Bryan's Democracy, Mr. Debs' Socialism, and Mr. Roosevelt's Republicanism all had in common the emphasis upon the need of governmental regulation of industrial tendencies in the interest of the common man; the checking of the power of those business Titans who emerged successful out of the competitive individualism of pioneer America. As land values rise, as meat and bread grow dearer, as the process of industrial consolidation goes on, and as Eastern industrial conditions spread across the West, the problems of traditional American democracy will become increasingly grave.
The time has come when University men may well consider pioneer ideals, for American society has reached the end of the first great period in its formation. It must survey itself, reflect upon its origins, consider what freightage of purposes it carried in its long march across the continent, what ambitions it had for the man, what rôle it would play in the world. How shall we conserve what was best in pioneer ideals? How adjust the old conceptions to the changed conditions of modern life?
Other nations have been rich and prosperous and powerful. But the United States has believed that it had an original contribution to make to the history of society by the production
of a self-determining, self-restrained, intelligent democracy. It is in the Middle West that society has formed on lines least like those of Europe. It is here, if anywhere, that American democracy will make its stand against the tendency to adjust to a European type.
This consideration gives importance to my final topic, the relation of the University to pioneer ideals and to the changing conditions of American democracy. President Pritchett of the Carnegie Foundation has recently declared that in no other form of popular activity does a nation or State so clearly reveal its ideals or the quality of its civilization as in its system of education; and he finds, especially in the State University, "a conception of education from the standpoint of the whole people." "If our American democracy were to-day called to give proof of its constructive ability," he says, "the State University and the public school system which it crowns would be the strongest evidence of its fitness which it could offer."
It may at least be conceded that an essential characteristic of the State University is its democracy in the largest sense. The provision in the Constitution of Indiana of 1816, so familiar to you all, for a "general system of education ascending in regular gradations from township schools to a State University, wherein tuition shall be gratis and equally open to all," expresses the Middle Western conception born in the days of pioneer society and doubtless deeply influenced by Jeffersonian democracy.
The most obvious fact about these universities, perhaps, lies in their integral relation with the public schools, whereby the pupil has pressed upon him the question whether he shall go to college, and whereby the road is made open and direct to the highest training. By this means the State offers to every class the means of education, and even engages in propaganda