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the same person ; thus the debt would disappear. But this would only happen with justice, it all individuals had in equal proportion of their income contributed to the debt, and since this is not the case, the project appears idle. The problem how those, who have suffered more than others, may be indemnified, remains unsolved. All that the government can do is to stop the evil consequences, and to eradicate the evil seed of the past mischief. Very little is to be repaired.'
As there is no such thing as restoring the losses already incurred by paper currency, the author declines adventuring in defence of any plan for this purpose. To remove present evils, and prevent future ill consequences, is all that can rationally be attempted. Several methods, which have been proposed and tried, are exainined by him, and their comparative imperfections and advantages clearly set forth. Among other methods he thus speaks of the following.
A quite false method of removing the evils of paper money is that latterly adopted in some countries with great expense. It consists in the efforts of government to enhance the course of exchange, by drawing certain quantities of paper money out of circulation, with a view that from a diminution of its mass, an increase of its value must be the consequence. The following considerations will show that this is a mistaken, useless, and wasteful operation. I say a mistaken operation, because it is founded on the erroneous idea, that the state is able to repair the damages created by the falling of paper money, and to indemnify those who have suffered losses. Not only society does not get an indemnification by the rising of the course of exchange, but on the contrary it experiences once more the whole train of evils, which it formerly suffered by its fall, only on an inverted scale. For those, who happen to have much paper money on hand, will profit by this measure without knowing how or why, and those who have none, but are to procure it for payment of debts contracted when the money was at a lower rate, must lose. Thus the rise of the value creates just as blindly a great revolution in fortunes, as formerly its fall. Again, I call the attempt useless, because, for reasons explained in different parts of this work, it does not, nor can it enhance the value of paper money. Should this follow from its diminution, provision ouglit at the same time to be made, that it remain the only circulating medium. That is, no coined money besides the paper ought to be introduced into circulation. But this introduction is thought by those at the head of finances, and by many others, to be an advantage to the country, and of a beneficial influence on the value of paper money. Just the contrary, however, happens from the nature of circumstances. The influx of silver prevents the enhancement of paper money, notwithstanding its diminution. For suppose eight hundred millions of paper dollars to be worth two hundred in silver, and suppose the government to withdraw two hundred millions of paper from circulation; then but fifty millions of silver will take their place. In this case no change occurs in the sum of the circulating medium, because fisty millions of silver are equal to two hundred in paper. Here is the true cause, why the great sacrifices of the Austrian, Russian, and other governments have nowhere had the anticipated eflect. Lastly, the operation is wasteful, because the money expended for raising the value of paper is totally and uselessly lost, and the nation gains only a new burthen of interest. That it fails in effecting a rise is even fortunate, for otherwise a new revolution in private fortunes would accompany the millions of a thus created useless public debt.'
In addition to the topics above discussed, Mr Von Jakob dwells at large on all the important sources from which public revenue is usually derived. On the subject of inanaging the mint, he recommends that government should totally abstain not only from all profits, but even from deducting the expenses of coining, as in England; and he also advances good reasons for entrusting the coinage of money under proper restrictions to individuals. He speaks of the organisation of post office establishments, public loans from banks and otherwise, providing for public defence by conscription and militia, and such other objects as immediately affect the revenue and disbursements of a nation. All his discussions are marked by liberal and extended views of political science, not less than by compass of learning, strength of argument, and depth of thought.
JECrnor. Art. X.-Letters to the Hon. William Prescott, LL.D, cu
the Free Schools of New England, with Remarks upon the Principles of Instruction. By James G. CARTER. 8vo. pp. 123. Boston. Cummings, Hilliard, and Co.
1824. pp. 123. "Bonstruction. land, with Ren
The principal subject of this pamphlet, the free schools of Massachusetts, is of great and growing importance. It is, at this moment, exciting much inquiry, and will, we think, be yet more carefully discussed hereafter, than it can be at present. We are much gratified, therefore, to receive at this
moment, Mr Carter's letters, because they are evidently written by a person, who possesses a practical and familiar acquaintance with the management of the free schools of New England, and has besides taken more than common pains to collect such notices of their history, and such general information concerning them, as may best serve to illustrate their past condition as well as the circumstances in which they now stand. We are besides much gratified with Mr Carter's discussion, because we consider the free schools of New England as the basis of what is most valuable in New England's character ; because, we think, they have been so from the very planting of these colonies; and because we fully believe that, if there be anything on which, under the favor of Heaven, New England may safely rely to preserve and raise its moral and intellectual condition for the future, it is on these same free schools, encouraged, enlarged, and strengthened to meet the growing and increasing wants of its population.
Mr Carter begins with a notice of what was done for free schools in the earliest period of our history, first by the laws of the Colony, and afterwards by the laws of the Province of Massachusetts Bay; and then comes to the practical condition of the schools as they now exist under the provisions of our own constitution. We do not know anywhere else so simple and exact a statement of the modes, in which the common reading and writing schools of the interior, not only of Massachusetts, but of all New England, are managed, as in the following passage.
New England possesses some peculiar advantages for carrying into effect its system of education. It is divided into small townships or separate corporations of from five to seven miles square. The responsibility of these small corporations is more likely to ensure a more vigilant discharge of their duty, than if they were larger, and the subject of their responsibility less immediately under their inspection. As the population is scattered over almost the whole territory, and the children are often young, who attend the primary schools, it has been found convenient to divide each town into smaller districts for this object. Thus a school is carried to the door, or at least into the neighborhood of every family. Each township constitutes from four to twelve districts; and none are so far removed from all the schools, that an attendance on some of them is not easy. The appropriations for schooling in each town are adequate to support a school in each district, from three to six months in the year, and often longer. The money is raised by a tax on the property of the town, principally, a very small proportion arising from the polis. It is distributed among the districts, sometimes, in proportion to what each pays of the tax; but oftener, a more republican principle prevails, and it is divided according to the number of scholars. There is one other principle of distribution, which is sometimes adopted, in those towns not satisfied with either of the above methods. That is, they divide the money raised as above among the districts, in the compound ratio of the number of scholars and the tax paid in such district. But this requires so much mathematics, that even those who acknowledge the justness of the principle, commonly content themselves to do less justice, and spare their heads the trouble of calculation.
• These appropriations are expended, a part in the summer months for the advantage of the younger children, and a part in the winter months for the accommodation of those, who are more advanced in age, and whose labor cannot be spared by their poor and industrious parents. The summer schools are taught by females; and children of both sexes, of from four to ten years attend, females often much older. In these schools from twenty to forty, and sometimes twice that number of children, are taught reading, spelling, and English grammar, by a single instructress. In the more improved of this class of schools, writing, arithmetic, and geography are added to their usual studies. In the leisure time between lessons, the female part of the school are devoted to the various branches of needlework. These primary schools, however humble the branches taught, and young the children, to whom they are taught, have a strong influence in forming the characters of the young. Although the progress in studies may be inconsiderable, yet they are important for the notions of order, decency, and good manners, which they inculcate ; and for the habits of attention and industry, which are there formed. The whole expense of a school of this kind, taught by a female, exclusive of the house, which in the country costs but a trifle, does not exceed from two to three dollars per week. For this very inconsiderable sum, thirty, forty, or fifty children, are not only kept from idleness and consequent depravity, but are taught much, which will be useful to them in life. In the winter months an instructor is employed, and arithmetic, geography, and history, are added to the studies of the summer schools. These schools bring together for instruction those children and youth, whose labor is too valuable to be dispensed with, in the season which gives the agriculturist most employment. The total expense of a school of this kind amounts to from six to ten dollars per week; and it contains from thirty to eighty, or a hundred scholars. pp. 29-32.
After this Mr Carter speaks of the law passed by the legislature of Massachusetts, in January of the present year, empowering any town containing less than five thousand inhabitants to refuse to keep a grammar school, which, in the language of our laws means a school, where the Latin and Greek can be taught, and boys prepared for admission to our
colleges. This law Mr Carter shows to be singularly unhappy in its operation, as its tendency is to reduce the general tone of intellectual improvement throughout the commonwealth, and particularly to place an early and insurmountable obstacle in the way of those gifted children of the poor, who among us have so often risen to the highest places of the state, through the means offered them by our public schools. On this very interesting part of his subject we cannot refuse ourselves the pleasure of citing Mr Webster's admirable remarks in the Convention of 1821, as given by Mr Carter himself.
If there is any one cause,' says Mr Carter, · which has contributed more than others, to produce that remarkable degree of happiness and contentment, which pervade all classes of the people in New England, that cause is the successful operation of the system of Free Schools. The basis of the system is, that the property of all, without distinction, shall be applied to the education of all. The principle and its operation were thus eloquently described by Mr Webster, in the late convention for revising the constitution of Massachusetts. “ For the purpose of public instruction, we hold every man subject to taxation, in proportion to his property, and we look not to the question, whether he himself have, or have not, children to be benefitted by the education for which he pays. We regard it as a wise and liberal system of police, by which property, and life, and the peace of society are secured. We seek to prevent, in some measure, the extension of the penal code, by inspiring a salutary and conservative principle of virtue and of knowledge in an early age. We hope to excite a feeling of respectability, and a sense of character, by enlarging the capacity, and increasing the sphere of intellectual enjoyment. By general instruction we seek, as far as possible, to purify the whole moral atmosphere ; to keep good sentiments uppermost, and to turn the strong current of leeling and opinion, as well as the censures of the law, and the denunciations of religion, against immorality and crime. We hope for a security, beyond the law, and above the law, in the prevalence of enlightened and well principled moral sentiment. We hope to continue, and to prolong the time, when, in the villages and farina VOL. XIX.-N0. 45