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Title: Practical Argumentation
Author: Pattee, George K.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Assistant Professor of English and Rhetoric
in The Pennsylvania State College



The author's aim has been to produce a book that is practical,--
practical from the student's standpoint, and practical from the
teacher's standpoint. The study of Argumentation has often been
criticized for being purely academic, or for being a mere stepping-
stone to the study of law. It has even been said that courses in
Argumentation and Debate have been introduced into American colleges
and universities for no other purpose than to give the intellectual
student the opportunity, so long monopolized by his athletic
classmate, to take part in intercollegiate contests. The purpose of
this book is to teach Argumentation, which is not a science by itself
but one of the four branches of Rhetoric, in such a way as to remove
these criticisms.

Largely by his choice of illustrative material the author has
endeavored to show that this subject is confined neither to the class
room nor to any one profession. He has drawn his illustrations, for
the most part, from contemporary and popular sources; he has had
recourse to many current magazines, newspapers, books, and recent
speeches, hoping to show thereby that Argumentation is a practical
subject. On the other hand, he has carefully avoided taking a majority
of his illustrations either from students' work or from legal
practice, criminal cases especially being seldom used on the ground
that although they afford the easiest examples a writer can give, they
furnish the least help to the average student, who, unless he studies
law, will rarely, perhaps never, have occasion to argue upon such

This book cannot justly be called the effort of a single author. It is
rather an outgrowth of the work that for many years has been carried
on by the English department at The Pennsylvania State College. The
book has, in fact, gradually developed in the class room. Every rule
that is given has been tested time and again; every step has been
carefully thought out and taught for several years.

The author wishes to acknowledge especial indebtedness to Professor
Fred Lewis Pattee, who both inspired the writing of the book and
assisted in the work. To Professor A. Howry Espenshade are due many
thanks for invaluable suggestions and advice, and for a careful
reading of the greater part of the manuscript. Mr. William S. Dye is
also to be thanked for valuable assistance. As a student the author
studied Baker's _Principles of Argumentation_; as a teacher he
has taught Laycock and Scales' _Argumentation and Debate_,
Alden's _The Art of Debate_, and Foster's _Argumentation and
Debating_. The debt he owes to these is beyond estimate.

STATE COLLEGE, PA. March 17, 1909


   I. Preliminaries

  II. The Subject

 III. The Introduction--Persuasion

  IV. The Introduction--Conviction

   V. The Introduction--Brief-Drawing

  VI. The Discussion--Conviction and Persuasion

 VII. The Discussion--Brief-Drawing

VIII. Methods of Refutation

  IX. Debate--Some Practical Suggestions

   X. The Conclusion


A. A Written Argument and its Brief
B. A List of Propositions





Argumentation is the art of presenting truth so that others will
accept it and act in accordance with it. Debate is a special form of
argumentation: it is oral argumentation carried on by opposing sides.

A consideration of the service which argumentation performs shows that
it is one of the noblest and most useful of arts. By argumentation men
overthrow error and discover truth. Courts of law, deliberative
assemblies, and all bodies of people that engage in discussion
recognize this fact. Argumentation threshes out a problem until the
chaff has blown away, when it is easy to see just what kernels of
truth remain and what action ought to be taken. Men of affairs, before
entering upon any great enterprise, call in advocates of different
systems, and by becoming familiar with arguments from every point of
view try to discover what is best. This method of procedure
presupposes a difference of opinion and belief among men, and holds
that when each one tries to establish his ideas, the truth will
remain, and that which is false will be swept away.

The field of argumentation includes every kind of discourse that
attempts to change man's actions or opinions. Exposition is
explanation when only one theory or one interpretation of the facts is
possible; when views of truth or of policy conflict, and one course is
expounded in opposition to another, the process becomes argumentation.
This art is used not only by professional speakers, but by men of
every occupation. The schoolboy pleading for a holiday, the workman
seeking employment, the statesman advocating a principle of government
are all engaged in some form of argumentation. Everywhere that men
meet together, on the street or in the assembly hall, debate is
certain to arise. Written argument is no less common. Hardly a
periodical is published but contains argumentative writing. The fiery
editorial that urges voters to the polls, the calm and polished essay
that points out the dangers of organized labor, the scientific
treatise that demonstrates the practicability of a sea-level canal on
the Isthmus are attempts to change existing conditions and ideas, and
thus come within the field of argumentation.

The practical benefit to be derived from the study and application of
the principles of argumentation can hardly be overestimated. The man
who wishes to influence the opinions and actions of others, who wishes
to become a leader of men in however great or however humble a sphere,
must be familiar with this art. The editor, the lawyer, the merchant,
the contractor, the laborer--men in every walk of life--depend for
their success upon bringing others to believe, in certain instances,
as they believe. Everywhere men who can point out what is right and
best, and can bring others to see it and act upon it, win the day.
Another benefit to be obtained from the study of argumentation is the
ability to be convinced intelligently. The good arguer is not likely
to be carried away by specious arguments or fallacious reasoning. He
can weigh every bit of evidence; he can test the strength and weakness
of every statement; he can separate the essential from the
unessential; and he can distinguish between prejudice and reason. A
master of the art of argumentation can both present his case
convincingly to others, and discover the truth in a matter that is
presented to him.

Argumentation can hardly be considered as a distinct art standing by
itself; it is rather a composite of several arts, deriving its
fundamentals from them, and depending upon them for its existence. In
the first place, since argumentation is spoken or written discourse,
it belongs to rhetoric, and the rules which govern composition apply
to it as strongly as to any other kind of expression. In fact, perhaps
rhetorical principles should be observed in argumentation more rigidly
than elsewhere, for in the case of narration, description, or
exposition, the reader or hearer, in an endeavor to derive pleasure or
profit, is seeking the author, while in argumentation it is the author
who is trying to force his ideas upon the audience. Hence an argument
must contain nothing crude or repulsive, but must be attractive in
every detail. In the second place, any composition that attempts to
alter beliefs must deal with reasons, and the science of reasoning is
logic. There is no need for the student of argumentation to make an
exhaustive study of this science, for the good arguer is not obliged
to know all the different ways the mind may work; he must, however,
know how it should work in order to produce trustworthy results, and
to the extent of teaching correct reasoning, argumentation includes
logic. In the third place, a study of the emotions belongs to
argumentation. According to the definition, argumentation aims both at
presenting truth and compelling action. As action depends to a great
extent upon man's emotions, the way to arouse his feelings and
passions is a fundamental principle of this art. Argumentation, then,
which is commonly classified as the fourth division of rhetoric,
consists of two fundamental elements. The part that is based upon
logic and depends for its effectiveness upon pure reasoning is called
_conviction_; the part that consists of an emotional appeal to
the people addressed is called _persuasion_. If the only purpose
of argumentation were to demonstrate the truth or falsity of a
hypothesis, conviction alone would be sufficient. But its purpose is
greater than this: it aims both (1) to convince men that certain ideas
are true, and also (2) to persuade them to act in accordance with the
truth presented. Neither conviction nor persuasion can with safety be
omitted. An appeal to the intellect alone may demonstrate principles
that cannot be refuted; it may prove beyond a doubt that certain
theories are logical and right, and ought to be accepted. But this
sort of argument is likely to leave the person addressed cold and
unmoved and unwilling to give up his former ideas and practices. A
purely intellectual discourse upon the evils resulting from a high
tariff would scarcely cause a life-long protectionist to change his
politics. If, however, some emotion such as duty, public spirit, or
patriotism were aroused, the desired action might result. Again it
frequently happens that before the arguer can make any appeal to the
logical faculties of those he wishes to influence, he will first have
to use persuasion in order to gain their attention and to arouse their
interest either in himself or in his subject. On the other hand,
persuasion alone is undoubtedly of even less value than conviction
alone. A purely persuasive argument can never be trusted to produce
lasting effects. As soon as the emotions have cooled, if no reasonable
conviction remains to guide future thought and action, the plea that
at first seemed so powerful is likely to be forgotten. The preacher
whose sermons are all persuasion may, for a time, have many converts,
but it will take something besides emotional ecstasy to keep them "in
good and regular standing."

The proportion of conviction and persuasion to be used in any
argumentative effort depends entirely upon the attending
circumstances. If the readers or hearers possess a high degree of
intelligence and education, conviction should predominate; for it is a
generally accepted fact that the higher man rises in the scale of
civilization, the less he is moved by emotion. A lawyer's argument
before a judge contains little except reasoning; before a jury
persuasion plays an important part. In the next place, the arguer must
consider the attitude of those whom he would move. If they are
favorably disposed, he may devote most of his time to reasoning; if
they are hostile, he must use more persuasion. Also the correct
proportion varies to some extent according to the amount of action
desired. In an intercollegiate debate where little or no action is
expected to result, persuasion may almost be neglected; but the
political speech or editorial that urges men to follow its
instructions usually contains at least as much persuasion as

The aspirant for distinction in argumentation should study and acquire
certain characteristics common to all good arguers. First of all, he
should strive to gain the ability to analyze. No satisfactory
discussion can ever take place until the contestants have picked the
question to pieces and discovered just exactly what it means. The man
who does not analyze his subject is likely to seize upon ideas that
are merely connected with it, and fail to find just what is involved
by the question as a whole. The man skillful in argumentation,
however, considers each word of the proposition in the light of its
definition, and only after much thought and study decides that he has
found the real meaning of the question. But the work of analysis does
not end here; every bit of proof connected with the case must be
analyzed that its value and its relation to the matter in hand may be
determined. Many an argument is filled with what its author thought
was proof, but what, upon close inspection, turns out to be mere
assertion or fallacious reasoning. This error is surpassed only by the
fault of bringing in as proof that which has no direct bearing at all
upon the question at issue. Furthermore, the arguer must analyze not
only his own side of the discussion but also the work of his opponent,
so that with a full knowledge of what is strong and what is weak he
may make his attack to the best advantage. Next to the ability to
analyze, the most important qualification for an arguer to possess is
the faculty of clearly presenting his case. New ideas, new truths are
seldom readily accepted, and it is never safe to assume that the
hearer or the reader of an argument will laboriously work his way
through a mass of obscure reasoning. Absolute clearness of expression
is essential. The method of arriving at a conclusion should be so
plain that no one can avoid seeing what is proved and how it is
proved. Lincoln's great success as a debater was due largely to his
clearness of presentation. In the third place, the person who would
control his fellow men must assume qualities of leadership.
Remembering that men can be led, but seldom be driven, he must show
his audience how he himself has reached certain conclusions, and then
by leading them along the same paths of reasoning, bring them to the
desired destination. If exhortation, counsel, and encouragement are
required, they must be at his command. Moreover, a leader who wishes
to attract followers must be earnest and enthusiastic. The least touch
of insincerity or indifference will ruin all. To analyze ideas, to
present them clearly, and as a leader to enforce them enthusiastically
and sincerely are necessary qualities for every arguer.

A debater should possess additional attainments. He ought to be a
ready thinker. The disputant who depends entirely upon a set speech is
greatly handicapped. Since it is impossible to tell beforehand just
what arguments an opponent will use and what line of attack he will
pursue, the man who cannot mass his forces to meet the requirements of
the minute is at great disadvantage. Of course all facts and ideas
must be mastered beforehand, but unless one is to be the first
speaker, he can most effectually determine during the progress of the
debate just what arguments are preferable and what their arrangement
should be. A debater must also have some ability as a speaker. He need
not be graceful or especially fluent, though these accomplishments are
of service, but he must be forceful. Not only his words, but also his
manner must reveal the earnestness and enthusiasm he feels. His
argument, clear, irrefutable, and to the point, should go forth in
simple, burning words that enter into the hearts and understanding of
his hearers.



The subject of an argument must always be a complete statement. The
reason for this requirement lies in the fact that an argument can
occur only when men have conflicting opinions about a certain thought,
and try to prove the truth or falsity of this definite idea. Since a
_term_--a word, phrase, or other combination of words not a
complete sentence--suggests many ideas, but never stands for one
particular idea, it is absurd as a subject to be argued. A debatable
subject is always a _proposition_, a statement in which something
is affirmed or denied. It would be impossible to uphold or attack the
mere term, "government railroad supervision," for this expression
carries with it no specific thought. It may suggest that government
railroad supervision has been inadequate in the past; or that
government supervision is at present unnecessary; or that the
government is about to assume stricter supervision. The term affords
no common ground on which the contestants would have to meet. If,
however, some exact idea were expressed in such a statement as,
"Further government railroad supervision is necessary for the best
interests of the United States," an argument might well follow.

Although the subject of an argument must be a complete thought, it
does not follow that this proposition is always explicitly stated or
formulated in words. The same distinction between subject and title
that exists in other kinds of writing is found also in argumentation;
the subject is a statement of the matter about which the controversy
centers; the title is the name by which the composition is known.
Sometimes the subject serves as the title, and sometimes the subject
is left to be discovered in the body of the work. The title of the
speech delivered by Webster in the Senate, January 26, 1830, is
"Webster's Reply to Hayne"; the subject, in the form of a resolution,
is found close to the opening sentences:--

_Resolved_, That the Committee on Public Lands be instructed to
inquire and report the quantity of public lands remaining unsold
within each State and Territory, and whether it be expedient to limit
for a certain period the sales of the public lands to such lands only
as have heretofore been offered for sale, and are now subject to entry
at the minimum price. And, also, whether the office of Surveyor-
General, and some of the land offices, may not be abolished without
detriment to the public interest; or whether it be expedient to adopt
measures to hasten the sales and extend more rapidly the surveys of
the public lands.

The thirteen resolutions offered by Burke form the subject of the
argument known by the title, "Burke's Speech on Conciliation with
America." A recent issue of _The Outlook_ contained an article
entitled "Russian Despotism"; careful reading disclosed that the
subject was this, "The Present Government of Russia has no Right to
Exist." In legislative proceedings the subject of argument is found in
the form of a bill, or a motion, or a resolution; in law courts it is
embodied in statements called "pleadings," which "set forth with
certainty and with truth the matters of fact or of law, the truth or
falsity of which must be decided to decide the case." [Footnote:
Laycock and Scales' Argumentation and Debate, page 14.] In college
debate it is customary to frame the subject in the form of a
resolution, and to use this resolution as the title. The generally
accepted form is as follows:

_Resolved,_ That the United States army should be permanently

Notice the use of italics, of punctuation marks, and of capital

In all kinds of argumentation, whether the proposition to be discussed
is clearly expressed or not, the arguer must keep his subject
constantly in mind, that his efforts may all be directed toward a
definite end in view--to convince and persuade his audience. In debate
the speaker should plainly state the subject, and constantly hold it
up to the attention of the audience. This procedure renders it
impossible for an opponent to ignore the question and evade the real

Only those who are debating for practice experience any difficulty in
obtaining a subject. In the business world men argue because they are
confronted with some perplexing problem, because some issue arises
that demands discussion; but the student, generally speaking, chooses
his own topic. Therefore a few suggestions in regard to the choice of
a subject and the wording of a proposition are likely to be of
considerable service to him.

The student should first select some general, popular topic of the day
in which he is interested. He should, for several reasons, not the
least of which is that he will thus gain considerable information that
may be of value to him outside the class room, select a popular topic
rather than one that has been worn out or that is comparatively
unknown. He should, moreover, choose an interesting topic, for then
his work will be more agreeable and consequently of a higher order. Of
this general idea he must decide upon some specific phase which
readily lends itself to discussion. Then he has to express this
specific idea in the form of a proposition. As it is not always an
easy matter to state a proposition with precision and fairness, he
must take this last step very cautiously. One must always exercise
great care in choosing words that denote the exact meaning he wishes
to convey. Many writers and speakers have found themselves in false
positions just because, upon examination, it was found that their
subjects did not express the precise meaning that was intended.

Moreover, in phrasing the proposition, the debater should so state the
subject that the affirmative side, the side that opens the discussion,
is the one to advocate a change in existing conditions or belief. This
method obviously corresponds to the way in which business is conducted
in practical affairs. No one has reason to defend an established
condition until it is first attacked. The law presumes a man to be
innocent until he is proved guilty, and therefore it is the
prosecution, the side to affirm guilt, that opens the case. The
question about government ownership of railroads should be so worded
that the affirmative side will advocate the new system, and the
negative will uphold the old. It should be stated thus:
"_Resolved_, That all railroads in the United States should be
owned and operated by the Federal government." This obligation of
adducing evidence and reasoning to support one side of a proposition
before an answer from the other side can be demanded, is called
_burden of proof_. The "burden" always rests upon the side that
advocates a change, and the proposition should be so worded that the
affirmative will have to undertake this duty.

One more principle must be observed: nothing in the wording of the
subject should give one side any advantage over the other. Argument
can exist only when reasonable men have a difference of opinion. If
the wording of the proposition removes this difference, no discussion
can ensue. For instance, the word "undesirable," if allowed to stand
in the following proposition, precludes any debate: "_Resolved,_
That all colleges should abolish the undesirable game of football."

From the preceding suggestions it is seen that the subject of an
argument is a definite, restricted thought derived from some general
idea. Whether expressed or not, the subject must be a proposition, not
a term. In debate the proposition is usually framed in the form of a
resolution. This resolution must always be so worded that the burden
of proof will rest upon the affirmative side. Nothing in the wording
of the proposition should give either side any advantage over the
other. These principles have to do with the manner of expression;
subjects will next be considered with respect to the ideas they

A common and convenient method of classification divides propositions
into two groups: propositions of policy, and propositions of fact. The
first class consists of those propositions that aim to prove the truth
of a theory, that indicate a preference for a certain policy, for a
certain method of action. The second class comprises those
propositions that affirm or deny the occurrence of an event, or the
existence of a fact. Propositions of policy usually, though not
always, contain the word _should_ or _ought_; propositions
of fact usually contain some form of the word _to be_. The
following illustrations will make the distinction plainer:--


The United States should adopt a system of bounties and subsidies for
the protection of the American merchant marine.

State laws prohibiting secular employment on Sunday should be

A city furnishes a more desirable location for a college than the

The aggressions of England in Africa are justifiable.


Homer wrote the Iliad.

Nero was guilty of burning Rome.

Mary, Queen of Scots, murdered her husband.

The most convenient method of studying propositions to see what
subjects are desirable for student debates is to consider first those
propositions that should be avoided.

1. PROPOSITIONS WITH ONLY ONE SIDE. As argumentation presupposes a
difference of opinion about a certain subject, evidently it is
impossible to argue upon a subject on which all are agreed. Sometimes
such propositions as, "_Resolved_, That Napoleon was a great
soldier," and "_Resolved_, That railroads should take every
precaution to protect the lives of their passengers," are found on the
programs of literary societies and debating clubs. In such cases mere
comment, not debate, can follow. Only subjects on which reasonable men
actually disagree are suitable for argument.

2. AMBIGUOUS PROPOSITIONS. If a proposition is capable of several
interpretations, those who choose it as a subject for an argument are
liable not to agree on what it means, and one side will debate in
accordance with one interpretation, and the other side in accordance
with a totally different interpretation. Thus the opponents will never
meet in conflict except when they explain their subject. For example,
in a certain debate on the question, "_Resolved_, That colleges
should abolish all athletic sports," the affirmative held that only
interclass and intercollegiate games were involved; while the negative
maintained that the term "athletic sports" included all forms of
athletic games participated in by college men. Manifestly the debate
hinged largely on the definition of this term; but as there was no
authority to settle just what was meant, the debate was a failure. It
is usually desirable, and frequently necessary, to explain what the
subject means, for unless it has some meaning which both sides are
bound to accept, the argument becomes a mere controversy over the
definition of words. Another ambiguous proposition would be,
"Republican government in the United States is preferable to any
other." The word "republican" is open to two legitimate definitions,
and since the context does not explain which meaning is intended, a
debater is at liberty to accept either definition that he wishes. A
few alterations easily turn this proposition into a debatable subject,
"Government by the Republican party in the United States is preferable
to any other."

3. TOO GENERAL PROPOSITIONS. It is never wise for a writer or a
speaker to choose a subject which is so general or so abstract that he
cannot handle it with some degree of completeness and facility. Not
only will such work be difficult and distasteful to him, but it will
be equally distasteful and uninteresting to his audience. No student
can write good themes on such subjects as, "War," "The Power of the
Press," "Race Prejudice"; nor can he argue well on propositions like,
"_Resolved_, That wars are justifiable"; "_Resolved_, That
the pen is mightier than the sword"; or "_Resolved_, That race
prejudice is justifiable." These are entirely beyond his scope. But he
can handle restricted propositions that have to do with one phase of
some concrete, tangible event or idea. "_Resolved_, That Japan
was justified in waging war against Russia"; "_Resolved_, That
Bacon wrote the plays commonly attributed to Shakespeare";
"_Resolved_, That the segregation of Japanese school children in
San Francisco is for the best interests of all concerned," are
subjects that can be argued with success.

4. COMBINED PROPOSITIONS. It sometimes happens that several
heterogeneous ideas, each of which by itself would form an excellent
subject for argument, are embodied in a single proposition. The
difficulty of arguing on this kind of subject is apparent. It is none
too easy to establish one idea satisfactorily; but when several ideas
must be upheld and defended, the work is enormous and sometimes open
to the charge of inconsistency. Moreover, the principle of Unity
demands that a composition be about a single topic. The proposition,
"_Resolved_, That Aaron Burr was guilty of murder and should have
been put to death," involves two debatable subjects, each of which is
of sufficient importance to stand in a proposition by itself: "Was
Burr guilty of murder?" and "Should a murderer be punished by death?"
The error of combining in a compound sentence several distinct
subjects for debate is generally detected with ease; but when the
error of combination exists in a simple sentence, it is not always so
obvious. In the case of the subject, "_Resolved_, That foreign
immigrants have been unjustly treated by the United States," there
are, as the same privileges have not been granted all immigrants,
several debatable questions. One who attempts to argue on this subject
must take into consideration the treatment that has been accorded the
Chinese, the English, the Germans, the Italians, the paupers, the
well-to-do, and others. In one case the laws may be palpably unfair,
and in another case, all that can be desired.

When two ideas, however, are very closely related and are dependent
upon each other for interpretation and support, they may and sometimes
should be combined in the same proposition. For example, "Education
should be compulsory to the age of sixteen," involves two main issues:
"Education should be compulsory," and "The age of sixteen is the
proper limit." But in this case the one who advocates compulsory
education is under obligation to explain some definite system, and
this explanation must include the establishing of some limit. To name
this limit in the proposition renders the argument clearer to an
audience and fairer to an opponent. For similar reasons, the
proposition, "The Federal government should own and operate the
railroads in the United States," cannot be condemned on the ground
that it is a proposition with more than one main issue.

Propositions, then, adapted to class room argument, are those which
give rise to a conflict of opinion; which contain a definite and
unmistakable thought; which are specific and sufficiently restricted
to admit of thorough treatment; and which contain a single idea.

Furthermore, the student will do well to select subjects that are as
nearly as possible like the problems which statesmen, educators,
professional and business men meet in practical life. He should try to
remove his argument as far as he can from the realm of pure academic
exercise, and endeavor to gain some insight into the issues that are
now confronting the makers of modern civilization. The student who
takes this work seriously is sure to gain information, form opinions,
and acquire habits of thought that will be of great practical value to
him when he takes his place as a man among men.


A. Narrow each of the following terms into good, debatable

Election of Senators; Chinese exclusion; woman suffrage; temperance;
compulsory manual training; the honor system; compulsory education;
vivisection; reciprocity; an enlarged army; the educational voting
test; strikes; bounties and subsidies; capital punishment; Hamlet's
insanity; municipal government; permanent copyright; athletics; civil
service; military training; Panama canal; jury system; foreign
acquisitions; Monroe Doctrine; forest reserves; protective tariff.

B. Criticise the following propositions:--

1. The existence and attributes of the Supreme Being can be proved
without the aid of divine revelation.

2. More money is spent for luxuries than for necessities.

3. The growth of large fortunes should be checked by a graduated
income tax and an inheritance tax.

4. The Monroe Doctrine should receive the support of every American.

5. Hard work is the secret of success.

6. Law is a better profession than medicine.

7. College football should be abolished and lacrosse adopted in its

8. Newspapers exert a powerful influence on modern politics.

9. The United States postal system should be under the control of the
Federal government.

10. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

11. Immigration is detrimental to the United States.

12. President ----'s foreign policy should be upheld.

13. Canada should not be annexed to the United States.

14. The cruel banishment of the Acadians was unjust.

15. Beauty has practical uses.

16. The democratic policy of government would be for the best
interests of the Philippines.

17. Dickens' novels, which are superior to Scott's, effected reforms.

18. An unconstitutional income tax should not be levied.

19. A majority vote of a jury should not convict or acquit.

20. Edison is a great inventor.



Every complete argument consists of three parts: introduction,
discussion, and conclusion. Each of these divisions has definite and
specific duties to perform. The work of the introduction is threefold:
(1) to conciliate the audience; (2) to explain the subject; and (3) to
outline the discussion. As the conciliation of the audience is
accomplished by an appeal to the emotions rather than to the reason,
it is properly classified under persuasion. Explaining the proposition
and outlining the discussion are of an expository nature and will be
discussed under the head of conviction.

As has been stated in a previous chapter, the amount of persuasion to
be used in any piece of argumentative work depends entirely upon the
attending circumstances. The subject, audience, author, occasion, and
purpose of the effort must be taken into consideration. But whether
the amount used be great or small, practically every argument should
begin with conciliation. The conciliation of the _audience_--the
word audience is used throughout this book to designate both hearers
and readers--consists of gaining the good will of those to be
convinced, of arousing their interest, and of rendering them open to
conviction. No argument can be expected to attain any considerable
degree of success so long as anything about its author, or anything in
the subject itself, is peculiarly disagreeable to the people it is
designed to affect. If the ill will remains too great, it is not
likely that the argument will ever reach those for whom it is
intended, much less produce the desired result. In addressing Southern
sympathizers at Liverpool, during the Civil War, Beecher had to fight
even for a hearing. The speech of an unpopular Senator frequently
empties the Senate chamber. Men of one political belief often refuse
to read the publications of the opposite party. Obviously, the first
duty of the introduction is to gain the approval of the audience. In
the next place, interest must be aroused. Active dislike is less
frequently encountered than indifference. How many times sermons,
lectures, books have failed in their object just because no one took
any interest in them! There was no opposition, no hostility; every one
wished the cause well; and yet the effort failed to meet with any
attention or response. The argument did not arouse interest--and
interest is a prime cause of attention and of action. In the third
place, the conciliatory part of the introduction should induce the
audience to assume an unbiased, judicial attitude, ready to decide the
question according to the strength of the proof. This result is not
always easy of attainment. Longstanding beliefs, prejudice,
stubbornness must be overcome, and a desire for the truth substituted
for everything else. All this is frequently difficult, but unless an
arguer can gain the good will of the people addressed, arouse their
interest, and render them willing to be convinced, no amount of
reasoning is likely to produce much effect.

Now the question arises, How is it possible to conciliate the
audience? To this query there is no answer that will positively
guarantee success. The arguer must always study his audience and suit
his discourse to the occasion. What means success in one instance may
bring failure in another. The secret of the whole matter is
adaptability. Humor, gravity, pathos, even defiance may at times be
used to advantage. It is not always possible, however, for the orator
or writer to know beforehand just the kind of people he is to address.
In this case it is usually best for him to follow out a few well
established principles that most arguers have found to be of benefit.

MODESTY. Modesty in word and action is indispensable to one who would
gain the friendship of his audience. Anything that savors of egotism
at once creates a feeling of enmity. No one can endure another's
consciousness of superiority even though the superiority be real. An
appearance of haughtiness, self-esteem, condescension, intolerance of
inferiors, or a desire for personal glory will at once raise barriers
of dislike. On the other hand, modesty should never be carried so far
as to become affectation; that attitude is equally despicable.
Personal unobtrusiveness should exist without being conspicuous.
_The arguer should always take the attitude that the cause he is
upholding is greater than its advocate_.

In the following quotations, compare the overbearing arrogance of
Burke's introduction with the simple modesty of Proctor's:--

Mr. Speaker, I rise under some embarrassment occasioned by a feeling
of delicacy toward one-half of the house, and of sovereign contempt
for the other half. [Footnote: Edmund Burke, House of Commons, March
22, 1775.]

Mr. President, more importance seems to be attached by others to my
recent visit to Cuba than I had given it, and it has been suggested
that I make a public statement of what I saw and how the situation
impressed me. This I do on account of the public interest in all that
concerns Cuba, and to correct some inaccuracies that have, not
unnaturally, appeared in reported interviews with me. [Footnote:
Redfield Proctor, United States Senate, March 17, 1898.]

FAIRNESS. Few things will assist an arguer more in securing a
respectful hearing from those who do not agree with him, but whom he
would convince, than the quality of fairness. The arguer should take
the position of one seeking the truth regardless of what it may be. If
he wishes others to look at the question from his standpoint, he will
have to show that he is willing to consider the question from their
point of view. Everything' in the shape of prejudice, everything which
would tend to indicate that he had formed conclusions prior to his
investigation, he must carefully avoid.

In this connection consider the following:--

I very much regret that it should have been thought necessary to
suggest to you that I am brought here to "hurry you against the law
and beyond the evidence." I hope I have too much regard for justice,
and too much respect for my own character, to attempt either; and were
I to make such attempt, I am sure that in this court nothing can be
carried against the law, and that gentlemen, intelligent and just as
you are, are not, by any power, to be hurried beyond the evidence.
Though I could well have wished to shun this occasion, I have not felt
at liberty to withhold my professional assistance, when it is supposed
that I may be in some degree useful in investigating and discovering
the truth respecting this most extraordinary murder. It has seemed to
be a duty incumbent on me, as on every other citizen, to do my best
and my utmost to bring to light the perpetrators of this crime.
Against the prisoner at the bar, as an individual, I cannot have the
slightest prejudice. I would not do him the smallest injury or
injustice. But I do not affect to be indifferent to the discovery and
the punishment of this deep guilt. I cheerfully share in the
opprobrium, how great so ever it may be, which is cast on those who
feel and manifest an anxious concern that all who had a part in
planning, or a hand in executing, this deed of midnight assassination,
may be brought to answer for their enormous crime at the bar of public
justice. [Footnote: Works of Daniel Webster, Vol. VI, p. 51. Little,
Brown & Co., Boston, 1857.]

SINCERITY. Another quality of paramount importance to the arguer is
sincerity. This he must really possess if he is to be eminently
successful. To feign it is almost impossible; some word or expression,
some gesture or inflection of the voice, the very attitude of the
insincere arguer will betray his real feelings. If he tries to arouse
an emotion that he himself does not feel, his affectation will be
apparent and his effort a failure. There are few things that an
audience resents more than being tricked into an expression of
feeling. If they even mistrust that a speaker is trying to deceive
them, that he is arguing merely for personal gain or reputation and
has no other interest in the case, no desire to establish the truth,
they will not only withhold their confidence, but will also become
prejudiced against him. It is usually inviting disaster to champion a
cause in which one is not interested heart and soul. Of course in
class room work the student cannot always avoid taking a false
position, and the training he receives thereby is excellent, but he
cannot make his persuasion of the highest type of effectiveness unless
he honestly and sincerely believes what he says, and feels the
emotions he would arouse.

AN APPEAL TO SOME EMOTION. One of the strongest forms of conciliation
is the direct appeal to a dominant emotion. If an arguer can find some
common ground on which to meet his audience, some emotion by which
they may be moved, he can usually obtain a personal hold that will
overcome hostility and lack of interest. In deciding what emotion to
arouse, he must make as careful and thorough a study of his audience
as he can. In general, the use of conviction need vary but little to
produce the same results on different men; processes of pure reasoning
are essentially the same the world around. But with persuasion the
case is different; emotions are varied, and in each separate instance
the arguer must carefully consider the ruling passions and ideals of
his audience. The hopes and aspirations of a gang of ignorant miners
would differ widely from the desires of an assembly of college
students, or of a coterie of metropolitan capitalists. Education,
wealth, social standing, politics, religion, race, nationality, every
motive that is likely to have weight with the audience should be taken
into consideration. Remembering that he has to choose between such
diverse emotions as ambition, fear, hatred, love, patriotism, sense of
duty, honor, justice, self-interest, pleasure, and revenge, the
arguer must make his selection with the greatest care, and then drive
home the appeal with all the force and eloquence at his command. The
higher and nobler the emotion he can arouse, the greater and more
permanent will be the result. If the audience is such that he can
successfully arouse no higher feeling than that of self-interest or
revenge, he will, of necessity, have to appeal to these motives; but
whenever he can, he should appeal to the noblest sentiments of

A famous illustration of the effectiveness of this sort of
conciliation is found in Wendell Phillips' oration entitled _The
Murder of Lovejoy_. By appealing to their reverence for the past,
he silenced the mob that had come to break up the meeting, and in the
end he won over the house that had been packed against him.

We have met for the freest discussion of these resolutions, and the
events which gave rise to them. I hope I shall be permitted to express
my surprise at the sentiments of the last speaker, surprise not only
at such sentiments from such a man, but at the applause they have
received within these walls. A comparison has been drawn between the
events of the Revolution and the tragedy at Alton. We have heard it
asserted here, in Faneuil Hall, that Great Britain had a right to tax
the colonies, and we have heard the mob at Alton, the drunken
murderers of Lovejoy, compared to those patriot fathers who threw the
tea overboard! Fellow citizens, is this Faneuil Hall doctrine?....
Sir, when I heard the gentleman lay down principles which place the
murderers of Alton side by side with Otis and Hancock, with Quincy and
Adams, I thought those pictured lips (pointing to the portraits in the
Hall) would have broken into voice to rebuke the recreant American--
the slanderer of the dead. The gentleman said that he should sink into
insignificance if he dared to gainsay the principles of these
resolutions. Sir, for the sentiments he has uttered, on soil
consecrated by the prayers of Puritans and the blood of patriots, the
earth should have yawned and swallowed him up. [Footnote: American
Orations, Vol. II, page 102. G. P. Putnam's Sons.]

Specific directions for arousing the emotions are hard to give. The
appeal must suit both the audience and the occasion, and until these
are known, suggestions are not particularly helpful. When no better
plan for conciliating an audience seems practicable, speakers and
writers try to arouse _interest_ in the discussion. There are
several convenient methods for accomplishing this result.

1. IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT. One of the commonest methods of arousing
interest in an audience apathetic and indifferent is to impress upon
them the importance and gravity of the question at issue. Matters
thought to be trivial are apt to receive scant attention. This fact is
so universally recognized that many writers and speakers attempt at
the very outset to show that upon the correct solution of the problem
at hand depend serious and far-reaching results. It is seldom enough
merely to state that a subject is important; its seriousness should be
made apparent. This method is very popular. Whenever one feels it
necessary to open an argument with persuasion, but is at loss to know
how to do so, he may well resort to this device. While it does not,
perhaps, constitute the strongest possible appeal, yet it is eminently
serviceable, since, if handled properly, it does arouse interest, and,
moreover, it applies to many cases.

Several examples will show how this method is commonly used:--

Mr. President, the question now about to be discussed by this body is
in my judgment the most important that has attracted the attention of
Congress or the country since the formation of the Constitution. It
affects every interest, great and small, from the slightest concern of
the individual to the largest and most comprehensive interest of the
nation. [Footnote: J. P. Jones, United States Senate, May 12, 1890.]

No city ever had such a problem in passenger transportation to solve,
and no city of any pretensions has solved it much worse. London is not
in the strict sense a town, but rather a "province of houses." The
county of London, as everybody knows, is only a part of the
Metropolis. The four millions and a half of residents enclosed by the
legal ring-fence of the County are supplemented by two millions more
who live in groups of suburbs included within the wide limits of
"Greater London"; while even beyond that large tract of southeastern
England, with its six millions and a half of inhabitants, are many
towns and villages, populous and increasing, which are concerned with
the question of Metropolitan locomotion. [Footnote: The Fortnightly
Review, Jan. 1, 1902.]

2. TIMELINESS OF THE SUBJECT. To show that a subject is timely is
another effective device for arousing interest. As most people wish to
keep pace with the times and face the issues of the day, it is natural
and forceful to introduce an argument by showing that the subject is
being discussed elsewhere, or by showing how an event or sequence of
events places the problem before the public. The arguer calls
attention to the fact that the question does not belong to the past or
to the distant future, but is of immediate interest and must be
settled at once.

As the day of the Cuban Convention for the framing and adoption of a
constitution approaches, the question of Cuban independence assumes
greater, and still greater, proportions, and the eyes of the American
people are beginning to turn anxiously toward the Pearl of the
Antilles. By the time this article appears in print, delegates to the
convention will have been elected, and interest in the convention
itself will have become widespread. The task I have set before me is
briefly to review the situation, and to discuss the probable results
to be expected from a number of causes, remote as well as
proximate.[Footnote: Charles Warren Currier. The Forum, October,

The recent objection made in Germany that American prestige might
suffer should there be diminution in our Berlin Embassy's social
brilliancy has stirred Congress from apathy regarding American
representatives abroad. Congressmen are coming to realize that brains,
not money, ought to form the first passport to a candidate's favor,
agreeable adjunct as the money may be. [Footnote: The Outlook, April
18, 1908, p. 844.]

3. APPEAL FOR ONE'S SELF. The safest method of stirring the emotions
is to make an appeal in behalf of the subject, but occasionally a
writer or speaker who is truly sincere, who is contending against
unfortunate circumstances, and is not seeking personal aggrandizement,
may arouse interest by making an appeal on his own behalf. He may
present some personal reason why the audience should be interested and
give him a respectful hearing; he calls attention not primarily to his
subject, but to his connection with it, or to some circumstance in his
own life. This method is hedged about with several pitfalls: it may
expose one to the charge of egotism, of insincerity, or of false
modesty; and it may draw the attention of the audience away from the
matter in hand. To use this method successfully one should possess
consummate tact and thorough knowledge of human nature.

The following opening of a speech by Abraham Lincoln at Columbus,
Ohio, shows how he used this device to gain the sympathy of the

Fellow-citizens of the State of Ohio: I cannot fail to remember that I
appear for the first time before an audience in this now great State,--
an audience that is accustomed to hear such speakers as Corwin, and
Chase, and Wade, and many other renowned men; and remembering this, I
feel that it will be well for you, as for me, that you should not
raise your expectations to that standard to which you would have been
justified in raising them had one of these distinguished men appeared
before you. You would perhaps be only preparing a disappointment for
yourselves, and, as a consequence of your disappointment,
mortification for me. I hope, therefore, that you will commence with
very moderate expectations; and perhaps, if you will give me your
attention, I shall be able to interest you in a moderate degree.
[Footnote: Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. I, p. 538. Nicolay
& Hay. Century Company.]

These, then, are the suggestions offered for conciliating an audience:
Be modest; be fair; be sincere; and appeal to some strong emotion. To
make this appeal successfully, study your audience. In case of
inability to arouse any stronger feeling, appeal to the interest of
the people by showing that the subject is important, or timely, or
both; or show that you have some personal claim upon the audience.

These directions are far from complete. Anything like an exhaustive
treatment of this subject would in itself constitute a book. The
advice offered here, however, should be of considerable value to one
who has difficulty in getting a written argument or a debate
successfully launched. The student should supplement this chapter with
careful study of the work of proficient writers. If he will notice how
they have gained success in this particular, and if he will imitate
them, he is bound to improve his own compositions. The principal
dangers to be avoided consist of going to extremes. The conciliatory
part of the introduction should not be so meager that it will fail to
accomplish its purpose, nor should it be so elaborate and artificial
as to hamper the onward movement of the argument. The important thing
is to gain the good will and the attention of the audience, and, other
things being equal, the shorter the introduction the better. Further
directions for the spoken argument may be found in the chapter
entitled _Debate_.


A. Criticise the following introductory passages for persuasiveness,
pointing out specifically the methods of conciliation used, and any
defects that may be found:--

1. The building of the Panama Canal is a topic of interest and
importance to every American. Not only do we wish to see our country
build the canal successfully, but we also desire to see built the best
canal that the world has ever known. There is no doubt that the canal
is necessary; the great loss of time and money, the annual sacrifice
of ships and lives involved in the passage around the "Horn," not to
mention the expense and congestion of the railroad freight systems
across the continent, plainly show the need of quicker ship
communication between the two oceans.

2. I stand here to raise the last voice that ever can be heard this
side the judgment seat of God in behalf of the personal honor and
judicial integrity of this respondent. I fully realize the
responsibilities of my position, and I shall endeavor to meet them as
best I can. I also realize as deeply as any other man can how
important it is not only to my client but to every American man,
woman, and child that justice shall be done and true deliverance made.

3. The opening of the racing season in New York, at the Aqueduct track
on Long Island, gives a fresh opportunity for observation of the
conditions under which horse-racing, and more especially gambling on
horse races, is carried on. The announcement of the racing managers
that certain "reforms" had been inaugurated in the control of the
gambling makes the opportunity of especial interest.

4. I approach the discussion of this bill and the kindred bills and
amendments pending in the two Houses with unaffected diffidence. No
problem is submitted to us of equal importance and difficulty. Our
action will affect the value of all the property of all the people of
the United States, and the wages of labor of every kind, and our trade
and commerce with all the world. In the consideration of such a
question we should not be controlled by previous opinions or bound by
local interests, but with the light of experience and full knowledge
of all the complicated facts involved, give to the subject the best
judgment which imperfect human nature allows.

5. Each generation has the power to shape its own destinies; and had
Washington and his fellow patriots been governed by warnings against a
departure from traditions, our present form of government would never
have been established, the Constitution would have been rejected by
the States, and untold evils would have resulted. Madison, when
arguing for the adoption of the Constitution, met arguments very like
to those now being made in favor of political isolation.

6. As a race they have withered from the land. Their arrows are broken
and their springs are dried up; their cabins are in the dust. Their
council fire has long since gone out on the shore, and their war cry
is fast dying out to the untrodden West. Slowly and sadly they climb
the mountains and read their doom in the setting sun. They are
shrinking before the mighty tide which is pressing them away; they
must soon hear the roar of the last wave, which will settle over them
forever. Ages hence the inquisitive white man, as he stands by some
growing city, will ponder on the structure of their disturbed remains
and wonder to what manner of person they belonged. They will live only
in the songs and chronicles of their exterminators. Let these be
faithful to their rude virtues as men, and pay due tribute to their
unhappy fate as a people.

7. (During the Civil War England largely favored the South. To
counteract this feeling Henry Ward Beecher spoke in many of the
principal cities in behalf of Northern interests. In Liverpool he met
an audience that was extremely hostile. The following is the
introduction to his speech.) For more than twenty-five years I have
been made perfectly familiar with popular assemblies in all parts of
my country except the extreme South. There has not been for the whole
of that time a single day of my life when it would have been safe for
me to go south of Mason and Dixon's line in my own country, and all
for one reason: my solemn, earnest, persistent testimony against that
which I consider to be the most atrocious thing under the sun--the
system of American slavery in a great free republic. (Cheers.) I have
passed through that early period when right of free speech was denied
me. Again and again I have attempted to address audiences that, for no
other crime than that of free speech, visited me with all manner of
contumelious epithets; and now since I have been in England, although
I have met with greater kindness and courtesy on the part of most than
I deserved, yet, on the other hand, I perceive that the Southern
influence prevails to some extent in England. (Applause and uproar.)
It is my old acquaintance; I understand it perfectly-(laughter)-and I
have always held it to be an unfailing truth that where a man had a
cause that would bear examination he was perfectly willing to have it
spoken about. (Applause.) And when in Manchester I saw those huge
placards, "Who is Henry Ward Beecher?" (laughter, cries of "Quite
right," and applause), and when in Liverpool I was told that there
were those blood-red placards, purporting to say what Henry Ward Beecher
has said, and calling upon Englishmen to suppress free speech, I tell
you what I thought. I thought simply this, "I am glad of it."
(Laughter.) Why? Because if they had felt perfectly secure, that you
are the minions of the South and the slaves of slavery, they would
have been perfectly still. (Applause and uproar.) And, therefore, when
I saw so much nervous apprehension that, if I were permitted to speak
--(hisses and applause)--when I found they were afraid to have me
speak--(hisses, laughter, and "No, no!")--when I found that they
considered my speaking damaging to their cause--(applause)--when I
found that they appealed from facts and reasonings to mob law--
(applause and uproar)--I said, no man need tell me what the heart and
secret counsel of these men are. They tremble and are afraid.
(Applause, laughter, hisses, "No, no!" and a voice, "New York mob.")
Now, personally, it is of very little consequence to me whether I
speak here to-night or not. (Laughter and cheers.) But one thing is
very certain, if you do permit me to speak here tonight, you will hear
very plain talking. (Applause and hisses.) You will not find a man--
(interruption)--you will not find me to be a man that dared to speak
about Great Britain three thousand miles off, and then is afraid to
speak to Great Britain when he stands on her shores. (Immense applause
and hisses.) And if I do not mistake the tone and temper of
Englishmen, they had rather have a man who opposes them in a manly
way--(applause from all parts of the hall)--than a sneak that agrees
with them in an unmanly way. (Applause and "Bravo!") Now, if I can
carry you with me by sound convictions, I shall be immensely glad
(applause); but if I cannot carry you with me by facts and sound
arguments, I do not wish you to go with me at all; and all that I ask
is simply FAIR PLAY. (Applause, and a voice, "You shall have it,

Those of you who are kind enough to wish to favor my speaking,--and
you will observe that my voice is slightly husky from having spoken
almost every night in succession for some time past,--those who wish
to hear me will do me the kindness simply to sit still; and I and my
friends the Secessionists will make all the noise. (Laughter.)

B. On the affirmative side of the following propositions, write
conciliatory introductions, of about two hundred words each, suited to
the audiences indicated:--


1. All colleges should abolish hazing.
2. Fraternities tend to destroy college spirit.
3. A classical education is not worth while.
4. All colleges should abolish secret class societies.
5. Intercollegiate athletic contests are harmful to a college.


6. Strikes are barren of profitable results.
7. Unions are detrimental to the laboring man.
8. The concentration of great wealth in the hands of a few men
benefits industrial conditions.



As soon as the persuasive portion of an introduction has rendered the
audience friendly, attentive, and open to conviction, the process of
reasoning should begin. First of all, it is the duty of the arguer to
see that the meaning of the proposition is perfectly clear both to
himself and to all the people whom he wishes to reach. If the arguer
does not thoroughly comprehend his subject, he is likely to produce
only a jumble of facts and reasoning, or at best he may establish a
totally different proposition from the one that confronts him; if the
audience fails to understand just what is being proved, they remain
uninfluenced. The amount of explanation required to show what the
proposition means varies according to the intelligence of the people
addressed and their familiarity with the subject.


To begin with, if there are any unfamiliar words in the proposition,
any terms or expressions that are liable to be misunderstood or not
comprehended instantly, they must be defined. At this point the arguer
has to exercise considerable judgment both in determining what words
to define and in choosing a definition that is accurate and clear.
Synonyms are almost always untrustworthy or as incomprehensible as the
original word, and other dictionary definitions are usually framed
either in too technical language to be easily grasped or in too
general language to apply inevitably to the case at hand.

DEFINITION BY AUTHORITY. As a rule, the very best definitions that can
be used are _quotations_ from the works of men distinguished for
their knowledge in the special subject to which the word to be defined
belongs. The eminent economist defines economic terms; the statesman,
political terms; the jurist, legal terms; the scientist, scientific
terms; the theologian, the meaning of religious phraseology. To
present these definitions accurately, and to be sure of the author's
meaning, one should take the quotations directly from the author's
work itself. If, however, this source is not at hand, or if time for
research is lacking, one may often find in legal and economic
dictionaries and in encyclopaedias the very quotations that he wishes
to use in defining a term. It is always well, in quoting a definition,
to tell who the authority is, and in what book, in what volume, and on
what page the passage occurs.

Another convenient way of using definition by authority is not to
quote the entire definition but to _summarize_ it. Frequently an
authoritative definition is so exhaustive that it covers several pages
or even chapters of a book. In such a case the arguer may well
condense the definition into his own words, not omitting, however, to
name the sources used. The following example is an excellent
illustration of this method:--

The bearing of the Monroe Doctrine on all these contentions and
counter contentions is not at once evident to the casual observer....
Of course with changing times its meaning has changed also, for no one
attempts to declare it to be as immutable as the law of the Medes and
Persians. It is applied in various ways to meet varying conditions.
Nevertheless, I may say I believe, after a perusal of the more
important works on the subject, that during the forescore years of its
existence two principles have steadily underlain it: (1) that Europe
shall acquire no more territory for permanent occupation upon this
continent; (2) that Europe shall affect the destinies of, that is
exert influence over, no American state.[Footnote: A. B. Hart,
_Foundations of American Foreign Policy_, chap. VII; J. W.
Foster, _A Century of American Diplomacy_, chap. XII; J. A.
Kasson, _The Evolution of the Constitution of the United States of
America_, pages 221 ff. [Footnote: Nutter, Hersey & Greenough,
Specimens of Prose Composition, p. 218. ] ]

DEFINITION BY ILLUSTRATION. Since the purpose of each step in the
reasoning portion of the introduction is to convey information
accurately, quickly, and, above all else, clearly, a particularly good
method for defining terms is by illustration. In using this method,
one holds up to view a concrete example of the special significance of
the word that is being explained. He shows how the law, or custom, or
principle, or whatever is being expounded works in actual practice.
For example, if he is advocating the superiority of the large college
over the small college, he should define each term by giving specific
examples of large colleges and of small colleges. The advantage of
this method lies in its simplicity and clearness, qualities which
enable the audience to understand the discussion without much
conscious effort on their part. Investigation reveals that the
definitions of great writers and speakers are replete with
illustration. Whenever the student of argumentation has something to
define that is particularly intricate or hard to understand, he should
illustrate it. If he fails to find already prepared an illustrative
definition that exactly fits his needs, he will often do well to learn
just what the term means, and then make his own illustration.

Consider how this method has been used. The Hon. Charles Emory Smith
defines reciprocity as follows:--

Its principle, rightly understood, is axiomatic. Brazil grows coffee
and makes no machinery. We make machinery and grow no coffee. She
needs the fabrics of our forges and factories, and we need the fruit
of her tropical soil. We agree to concessions for her coffee and she
agrees to concessions for our machinery. That is reciprocity.

The following is a definition of free silver by The Hon. Edward O.
Leech, former Director of the Mint:--

It is important to understand clearly and exactly what the free
coinage of silver under present conditions means. It may be defined as
the right of anyone to deposit silver of any kind at a mint of the
United States, and have every 371.25 grains of pure silver (now worth
in its uncoined state about 52 cents) stamped, free of charge, "One
Dollar," which dollar shall be a full legal tender at its face value
in the payment of debts and obligations of all kinds, public and
private, in the United States.

In upholding his opinion that a majority of the members of the House
of Representatives have the right to make the rules governing
parliamentary procedure in the House, The Hon. Thomas B. Reed
carefully defines the term "rights":--

It is the fault of most discussions which are decided incorrectly that
they are decided by the misuse of terms. Unfortunately, words have
very little precision, and mean one thing to one man and a different
thing to another. Words are also used with one meaning and quoted with
another. When men speak of the rights of minorities and claim for them
the sacredness of established law, they are correct or incorrect
according as they interpret the word "rights."

A man has a right to an estate in fee simple, a right to land, and
there is no right more indisputable under our system. Nothing but the
supreme law can take the estate away, and then only after
compensation. The same man has a right of passage over land used as a
highway, but his town or county can take that privilege away from him
without his consent and without compensation. In both cases the man
has rights, but the rights are entirely different, and the difference
arises from the nature of things. It is good for the community, or at
least it has been so thought, that a man should have unrestricted
right over his land. On it he can build as high as heaven or dig as
deep as a probable hereafter. This is not because it is pleasant for
the man, but because it is best for the community. Therefore his right
to build or dig is limited by the right of eminent domain--the right
of the whole people to take his property at any time for the common
benefit on paying its value.

For the same reason the right of a man to walk over the land of a
roadway is an inferior right which may more easily be taken from him;
for if it be more convenient for the whole community that nobody
should walk over that land, each man's right, which is a perfect right
while it exists, is taken away from him, and he alone bears the loss.

It is hardly necessary to multiply examples in order to lay a
foundation for the assertion that the rights, so called, of any man or
set of men, have their foundation only in the common good.


Not only must the arguer define the unfamiliar words that occur in the
proposition, but he must also explain the meaning of the proposition
_taken as a whole_. Since an audience often has neither the
inclination nor the opportunity to give a proposition careful thought
and study, the disputant himself must make clear the matter in
dispute, and show exactly where the difference in opinion between the
affirmative and the negative lies. This process is of great
importance; it removes the subject of dispute from the realm of mere
words--words which arranged in a formal statement are to many often
incomprehensible--and brings out clearly the _idea_ that is to be
supported or condemned.

To discover just what the proposition means, the arguer must weigh
each word, carefully noting its meaning and its significance in the
proposition. To neglect a single word is disastrous. An
intercollegiate debate was once lost because the affirmative side did
not take into consideration the words "present tendency" in the
proposition, "_Resolved_, That the present tendency of labor
unions is detrimental to the prosperity of the United States." The
negative side admitted everything that the affirmative established,
namely, that unions are detrimental; and won by showing that their
_tendency_ is beneficial. In another college debate on the
subject, "_Resolved_, That the United States should immediately
dispose of the Philippines," one side failed to meet the real point at
issue because it ignored the word "immediately." A thorough
explanation of the proposition would have shown the limitations that
this word imposed upon the discussion.

In the next place, the arguer should usually present to the audience a
brief history of the matter in dispute. Many debatable subjects are of
such a nature that the arguer himself cannot, until he Has studied the
history of the proposition, fully understand what constitutes the
clash in opinion between the affirmative and the negative sides. To
understand the debate, the audience must possess this same
information. A history of the idea contained in the proposition would
be absolutely necessary to render intelligible such subjects as: "The
aggressions of England in the Transvaal are justifiable"; "The United
States should re-establish reciprocity with Canada"; "Football reform
is advisable."

In the last place, the arguer must give his audience all essential
information concerning the matter in dispute. For example, if the
proposition is, "Naturalization laws in the United States should be
more stringent," a mere definition of "naturalization laws" is not
enough; the disputant must tell just what naturalization laws exist at
the present time, and just how stringent they are to-day. Again, if
the subject is, "The United States army should be enlarged," the
arguer must tell exactly how large the army is now. If the proposition
is, "The right of suffrage should be further limited by an educational
test," the arguer must state what limits now exist, and he must also
tell what is meant by "an educational test." In a debate the work of
the affirmative and of the negative differ slightly at this point.
Since the proposition reads _an educational test_, the advocate
for the affirmative has the privilege of upholding any sort of
educational test that he wishes to defend, provided only that it comes
within the limits of "an educational test." He may say that the test
should consist of a knowledge of the alphabet, or he may advocate an
examination in higher mathematics; _but he is under obligation to
outline carefully and thoroughly some specific system_. The
negative, on the other hand, must be prepared to overthrow whatever
system is brought forward. If the affirmative fails to outline any
system, the negative has only to call attention to this fact to put
the affirmative in a very embarrassing position.

The following quotations are good illustrations of how a proposition
may be explained:--

The supremely significant and instructive fact, in the dealings of
society with crime in our day, and one which has not been fully
grasped as yet by the legal profession, not even by those who practice
in criminal courts, and who should be familiar with it, is this: We
have now two classes of institutions fundamentally distinct in
character and purpose, both of which are designed by society, erected
and conducted at public expense, for the purpose of dealing with
criminals. The most numerous class of these institutions consists of
prisons, in which to confine men for terms specified by the trial
courts as penalties for their offenses. The laws, under which
offenders are sentenced to these prisons, aim at classifying crimes
according to the degree of guilt they imply, and assigning to each of
them the penalty which it deserves. Thus, to these prisons are sent
men sentenced to confinement for two, five, ten, fourteen, or thirty
years, or for life, according to the name which the law attaches to
the crime proved upon them; and each man, when he has served the
prescribed term, is turned loose upon society. The other class of
institutions includes what are known as "reformatories." The
fundamental principle here is that an offender is sent to them not for
a term, but for a specified work. It is assumed that his character and
habits unfit him for social life. For reasons to be found in his own
nature, he cannot yet be trusted with freedom and the responsibilities
of citizenship. But he may possess the capacity to become an honest,
industrious, and useful citizen. To the reformatory, then, he is sent
to be educated; to be trained to habits of industry; above all, to be
disciplined in the habit of looking forward to the future with the
consciousness that his welfare and happiness to-morrow depend on his
conduct to-day, and that he is constantly shaping his own destiny. He
is expected to remain until it satisfactorily appears that this
training is effective, and he may then go forth with a prospect of
leading an honest and respectable life. This, in brief, is the
distinction between these two classes of institutions.

For a generation past, these two kinds of prisons have been standing
side by side in New York, Massachusetts, and other States. Each of
them has received many thousands of criminals under sentence for grave
offenses. Each of them has sent out thousands of inmates into the
world of human society, with whatever impress the life, teachings, and
associations of the institutions could make upon their natures, as a
preparation for their after career. What is the result?
[Footnote: Charlton T. Lewis, in North American Review, August, 1904.]

Congress has at last decided that the long-talked-of canal shall be
built, and shall be built at Panama. Those issues no longer confront
us. The question now to be decided concerns the kind of canal that
shall be constructed. Two plans have been suggested: the lock-canal
plan and the sea-level plan. The advocates of the lock-canal plan aim
to build a gigantic dam in the valley of the Chagres River; the
enormous artificial lake thus formed being used as part of the
passageway for the vessels. They say that this lake will be at an
elevation of about eighty-five feet above mean sea-level; the passage
to and from it will be made by means of canals at both ends, each
canal containing three locks. Thus there will be, if this plan is
adopted, six locks in the entire system. The canal will be of
sufficient width and depth to accommodate vessels of such size as may
be expected to be built when the canal is completed.

If the canal is built at sea-level, it will be of the same depth and
width as the lock-canal, but it will be at the level of the sea
throughout its entire length. Owing to the fact that the Atlantic and
the Pacific have a difference in extreme level of twenty feet, an
automatic tide-lock will have to be installed. A small lake will also
be built, merely to divert the Chagres and to furnish light and power.

The question that now confronts us is, "Which plan should be adopted?"


Following the discovery of the real meaning of the proposition, comes
the finding of the issues. Whenever a man in business, professional,
or political life, or in any circumstances whatsoever, must determine
upon some policy or come to some decision regarding theoretical or
practical matters, he formulates his belief and chooses his line of
action in accordance with the answers that he makes to certain
questions either consciously or unconsciously present in his mind. For
instance, if he considers the purchase of a certain piece of real
estate, he says to himself: "Is the price fair?" "Have I the money to
invest?" "Can I sell or use the property to good advantage?" "How much
pleasure shall I derive from it?" If he answers these questions in one
way, the purchase is likely to be made; if in another, it is not.
Again, a board of college trustees may be considering the abolishment
of football. In arriving at a decision, they are confronted with these
questions: "Is the game beneficial or detrimental to the player?" "How
does it affect the college as a whole?" Those who favor the game will,
of course, say that it is a benefit to the player and the whole
college; while those who oppose it will maintain that it is a
detriment to all concerned. But evidently the same questions must be
met and answered by both sides. These questions are called

Issues are subdivisions of the subject under discussion, and are
always essentially the same for any given idea. The first requirement
for the issues of any proposition is that they be comprehensive; that
is, the sum of their ideas must equal the main idea expressed in the
proposition. To those who are carrying on the discussion and to the
audience, if there be one, it must be perfectly evident that these
questions cover the entire field of controversy; that if these
questions are satisfactorily answered in one way or the other, the
discussion is settled and nothing remains to be said. The second
requirement is that the issues consider only disputed matter. A
question that gives rise to no disagreement, that admittedly has but
one answer, is never an issue. _Issues, therefore, may be defined as
the questions that must be answered by both the affirmative and the
negative sides of the proposition under discussion and that, if
answered in one way, establish the proposition, and if answered in
another way, overthrow it_.

The issues of a proposition exist independently of the side that is
being upheld. The affirmative will find the same issues as the
negative, but it rarely happens that two men will divide a proposition
in exactly the same manner and thus state the issues in precisely the
same language. If, however, the work of both has been fair and
complete, their issues will not vary in any important particular. For
example, under the subject, "The Federal government should own and
operate the railroads of the United States," one person might give as

1. Has the government the right to take the roads without the consent
of the present owners?

2. Is the government financially able to buy the roads?

3. Does the present system contain serious defects?

4. Will the proposed system remove these defects without bringing in
new evils equally serious?

Another might state as issues:--

1. Is the proposed plan practicable?

2. Will it benefit the people?

The issues in both instances, however, are essentially the same, as
questions one and two of the first list are equivalent to one of the
second; and three and four of the first, to two of the second.

At this point it may be well to mention a common error that must be
guarded against. It often happens that a question is stated as an
issue which is not a subdivision of the proposition at all, but is the
entire proposition itself, framed in slightly different language. Such
would be the error if the question, "Would the change be desirable?"
were used as an issue for the proposition, "All state colleges should
abolish military drill"

It sometimes happens that one is forced to defend or attack what has
been called a "combined proposition," a proposition that contains two
distinct subjects for argument. Such subjects are to be avoided as
much as possible, but when they must be met, it is usually necessary
to have two separate sets of issues. An example of such a proposition
would be, "All American colleges and universities should adopt the
honor system."

The only practicable method of finding the issues of a proposition is
to question it from all pertinent points of view, and then to
eliminate all questions that have no vital bearing on the subject, or
that are acknowledged to have but one answer. The questions that
remain are the issues. In using this method of analysis, one must be
careful to consider the proposition in all its phases and details, and
from both the affirmative and the negative sides. Neglect to give the
subject thorough consideration often results in one's being suddenly
confronted with an issue that he has not previously discovered and
consequently cannot meet. Failure to cast aside all questions that are
not real issues may cause equal embarrassment: an arguer never wishes
to waste time and effort in establishing proof that is not essential
to the argument, or that is admitted by the other side.

It is hardly possible even to suggest all the various kinds of
questions that may be asked about debatable subjects. An arguer must
depend largely upon his own judgment and common sense in analyzing
each proposition that he meets. He may, however, find the issues of
many propositions by carefully questioning them from certain important
and comprehensive points of view. The list of standpoints indicated
here is not exhaustive; only the more important and general
standpoints are considered. The student should bear in mind that the
following instructions are designed to teach him a practical method of
analysis; they do not constitute a formula that can be applied in all

First, the analysis of propositions of policy will be taken up;
secondly, the analysis of propositions of fact.


1. IS THE PLAN PRACTICABLE? Whenever a plan is proposed, first ask
whether or not it is practicable. If those who oppose the idea can
maintain that great obstacles exist which will prevent the undertaking
of the project or hinder its execution, then the question of
practicability constitutes an important issue. For instance, one who
contemplates a thorough argument on the proposition, "The United
States navy should be greatly enlarged," must prove that the plan is,
or is not, practicable. Plainly, such hindrances as enormous expense,
inadequate facilities for building and repairing battleships, and the
increased demand for officers and sailors render questionable the
expediency of such a measure. This issue, however, is not found in
connection with all propositions; it does not concern propositions
that merely approve or condemn existing conditions or assert the
occurrence of an event. For example, practicability does not enter
into such subjects as these: "Strikes are justifiable"; "The present
powers of the Speaker of the House of Representatives are dangerously
great"; "Athletics have been excessively developed in American
colleges and universities." But all propositions that advocate a
change, that propose some new system of operation, usually have this
issue involved. Such subjects are: "American cities should own and
operate public plants for the furnishing of light, heat, and power";
"Military drill should be taught in the public schools"; "Porto Rico
should be given a territorial form of government."

CONCERNED? Not all propositions, by any means, but many, are of such a
character that they must be considered from the standpoint of
morality. The arguer must ask whether the idea involved in the subject
is morally right or wrong; whether it is morally beneficial or
harmful. This point of view includes more than at first appears. It
takes into consideration justice, duty, honesty, faithfulness,
religion, everything that pertains to what is right or wrong. Under
the proposition, "The treatment of the American Indians by the United
States should be condemned," appears the moral issue, "What is our
_duty_ toward the people of this race?" The proposition, "Public
libraries, museums, and art galleries should be open on Sunday,"
presents this issue, "Is the method of recreation afforded by the
opening of these buildings in accordance with the teachings of the
Christian religion?" The proposition, "Football is an undesirable
college game," must be settled in part by the answer to the question,
"Is the game beneficial or harmful to the player's character?"

third place the proposition should be questioned from a material point
of view, to determine whether the plan is, or is likely to be, a
benefit or a detriment. In some form this issue will doubtless be
found in connection with almost every proposition of policy. In all
systems of government, of business, and even of education, material
betterment is invariably one of the ultimate objects sought. The
question of national expansion presents the issue, "Will such a course
add to the glory, the prestige, or the wealth of the nation?" When a
boy considers going to college, he desires to know whether a college
education is a valuable asset in business, social, or professional
life. An issue which puts to the touch the matter of personal gain is
sure to involve a substantial portion of the controversy. The arguer
who can decisively settle the question of dollars and cents always has
a strong argument. Usually the issue involving the question of
material benefit or detriment is plain and direct; sometimes, however,
it is partially concealed. A man debating on the affirmative side of
the proposition, "_Resolved_, That United States Senators should
be elected by a direct popular vote of the people," may urge as a
reason that such a method will result in purer politics. This
particular line of argument he may carry no farther, taking it for
granted that everyone will recognize the connection between honest
office holders and material gain.

propositions that deal with education or with other matters that
pertain to man's progress and advancement should be viewed from an
intellectual standpoint. No person in discussing a measure bearing
upon the welfare of an individual, of a community, or of a nation, can
afford to neglect questioning its influence for mental advancement or
retrogression. Propositions relating to schools, colleges, and similar
institutions, and propositions dealing with social and industrial
conditions present this issue. Modern theories of government, both
municipal and national, are frequently based to some extent upon the
idea of teaching the people how to live and how to govern themselves.
The policy of the United States in the Philippines and in the West
Indies has been greatly influenced by the query, "How will it affect
the intellectual welfare of the people concerned?"

subjects that concern the life, health, strength, or in any way bear
upon the physical well-being of man present this issue. An argument on
government ownership of railroads would have to answer the question,
"Under which system will fewer accidents occur?" All such propositions
as, "Eight hours ought legally to constitute a working day"; "State
boards of health should compel all persons afflicted with contagious
diseases to be quarantined"; "Football is an undesirable college
game," give rise to the issue of physical welfare.

plan is of such far-reaching significance that its adoption or
rejection would affect a whole town, state, or nation, then its merits
usually depend to some extent upon its political significance. The
issue may take some such form as, "How will the system affect the
country politically?" "Will the system encourage bribery and graft, or
will it tend to do away with these evils?" "What will be its effect
upon bossism?"

frequently occurs as an issue in connection with all sorts of
propositions. Its importance and significance are so evident that no
explanation is needed. The value of precedent is known to every one.

question is frequently one of the very best ways to get at the heart
of a proposition of policy. To be sure, this question overlaps and
embraces several other questions that have been suggested, but a
comprehensive issue like this is sometimes preferable from the
standpoint both of the arguer and of the audience. It removes from the
arguer the necessity of classifying each evil under the head of
_moral_, _financial_, _intellectual_, etc.; and in many
cases it results in an argument more easily understood by the
audience. In some form this issue applies to nearly all political,
economic, and financial propositions.

SYSTEM REMOVE THEM? Equal in importance with the question as to
whether the existing system is defective, is the question as to
whether the proposed system will remove these defects, without, of
course, introducing equally great disadvantages. These two issues
almost invariably go together; they set the system advocated by the
affirmative and the system advocated by the negative side by side, and
compare and contrast each with the other.

SYSTEM THE ONLY REMEDY? This last question is very closely connected
with the two preceding questions. The whole discussion may hinge not
on whether evils exist, but on how they shall be remedied. If the
argument takes this turn, the advocates of a certain system must show
that their plan is the only one suitable for adoption, or, at least,
is the best plan, while the negative must introduce and uphold a
totally different scheme. For instance, under the proposition, "The
United States army should be greatly enlarged," the first two issues
would probably be these: "Is the present army adequate to protect the
nation?" and "Is the enlargement of the army the _only_ means of
rendering the nation safe from invasion?"


a proposition of fact, first ask whether the occurrence in question
could have happened or the condition alleged in the proposition could
possibly have existed. This question is so important that if it can
conclusively be answered in the negative the discussion is ended.
Legal proceedings invariably center around some form of a proposition
of fact. In the criminal court a man to prove his innocence has only
to establish an alibi or prove physical inability to commit the crime
with which he is charged. Not always, of course, does the question of
possibility constitute an issue, since frequently the possibility is
admitted. Such would be the case if the following propositions came up
for discussion: "Joan of Arc was burned at the stake"; "Nero was
guilty of burning Rome." In these instances possibility gives way to

possibility has been answered affirmatively or inconclusively, the
issue of probability next arises. In connection with many propositions
of fact this is the most important issue to be encountered. Unless a
condition or an event--its possibility being admitted--can be affirmed
or denied by reliable witnesses who testify from their own personal
knowledge of the matter, the most that any arguer can do is to
establish a balance of probability. Those who believe that Bacon wrote
the plays attributed to Shakespeare try to show how improbable it is
that a man like Shakespeare could have produced such works, and how
very likely it is that Bacon was the real author. Many criminals are
convicted or acquitted on evidence that establishes merely a strong
probability of guilt or of innocence.

third place, a person who is trying to prove or disprove a proposition
of fact must consider the direct evidence involved. Indirect evidence
tends to establish the possibility or probability that a statement is
true or false, while direct evidence asserts that it is true or false.
Direct evidence on the question, "Country roads in New England are
inferior to those of the Middle West," would not be a description of
the topographical and geographical features of both regions, for this
information could at its best establish only a strong probability;
direct evidence on this subject would be the testimony of people who
have investigated the roads, and could thus speak from direct personal

This issue of direct evidence has two phases. The arguer must ask, "Is
any direct evidence available?" and "If there is any, what is its
value?" It is easily seen that not all evidence is equally reliable.
Both the man and what he says must be tested: the man for such
qualities as truthfulness, intelligence, and experience; the
statements for consistency and general credibility. The tests of
evidence are given in detail in another chapter.


After an arguer has secured his list of issues, he should test his
work by asking the four following questions:--

1. Does each issue really bear upon the proposition?

2. Is each issue a subdivision of the proposition, or is it the
proposition itself formulated in different language?

3. Does each issue comprise only disputed matter?

4. Do the issues, taken collectively, consider all phases of the

Several illustrations will show more plainly just what issues are and
how they are used in connection with other parts of an introduction.


In taking up the discussion of Greek in the high schools, I shall
consider these three questions: First, is Greek more valuable than
other studies in training the mind? Second, does the study of Greek
acquaint us with the best that has been known and said in the world,
and, therefore, with the history of the human spirit? And third, where
shall Greek be taught? [Footnote: W.F. Webster, The Forum, December,
1899, page 459.]


The points to be considered in determining the somewhat mercenary
question, "Does Colonization Pay?" as viewed with regard to the
interests of the colonizing country, are: (1) the market that the
colonies afford for the goods which the colonizing country has to
sell; and whether control gives to the mother-country a larger share
of their market than she would have without that control; (2) the
supplies the colonies are able to furnish for use in the mother-
country; and whether the purchase of these supplies from the colonies
proves more advantageous to the mother-country than if they should be
purchased from other parts of the world; (3) the advantages, if any,
which accrue to the native population of the country controlled.
[Footnote: O. P. Austin, The Forum, January, 1900, p. 623.]

The following passage, taken from Daniel Webster's speech in which, as
counsel for the city of Boston, he argues that a certain piece of land
has not become a public highway, is a good illustration of an
introduction on what was virtually a proposition of fact. Notice with
what skill he cast aside all irrelevant matter and reduced the
proposition to clearly stated and indisputable issues:--

If this street, or land, or whatever it may be, has become and now
is a public highway, it must have become so in one of three ways, and
to these points I particularly call your honors' attention.

1st. It must have either become a highway by having been regularly
laid out according to usage and law; or

2nd. By _dedication_ as such by those having the power to
dedicate it, and acceptance and adoption so far as they are required;

3d. As a highway by long user, without the existence of proof of any
original laying out, or dedication.

It is not pretended by any one that the land in question is a highway,
upon the last of these grounds. I shall therefore confine myself to
the consideration of the other two questions: namely. Was there ever a
formal and regular laying out of a street here? or was there ever a
regular and sufficient dedication and acceptance? [Footnote: The Works
of Daniel Webster, Vol. VI, p. 186. Little, Brown & Co., Boston,


In college debate, though not frequently elsewhere, the issues as a
rule are immediately followed by a series of statements that show how
each issue is to be answered. These statements constitute what is
known as the _partition_. When a partition is made, each
statement becomes a main point to be established by proof in the
discussion. The following portion of a student's argument contains
both the issues and the partition:--

In considering, then, whether colleges should adopt the system of
exempting from final examinations all students who have attained an
average daily grade of eighty-five per cent. or over, we have only to
consider the effect such a rule would have upon the students,
individually and collectively. Would the system raise or lower the
standard of scholarship? Would it assist or retard the growth of other
qualities which a college course should develop? The negative will
oppose the adoption of this rule by establishing the three following

1. Such a system will lower the scholarship both of those who are
exempted from examinations and of those who are not.

2. Such a system will foster dishonesty, jealousy, and conceit.

3. Such a system will deprive those who are exempted from examinations
of valuable discipline in preparing for examinations and in taking the

There are several forms in which the partition may be expressed: it
may consist of a single sentence that indicates how the issues are to
be answered; it may consist of the issues themselves turned into
declarative sentences so that they read in favor of the side being
upheld; or it may answer each issue by means of several statements.
The following will illustrate the several methods:--

Proposition: _Resolved_, That football is an undesirable college


1. Does football benefit or injure the player?

2. Does football benefit or injure the college as a whole?

Partition (negative):

_First method._

1. We will establish our side of the argument by proving that in each
case football is a benefit.

_Second method._

1. Football benefits the player.

2. Football benefits the college as a whole.

_Third method._

1. Football benefits the player physically.

2. Football benefits the player mentally.

3. Football benefits the player morally.

4. Football benefits the students who do not participate in the game.

5. Intercollegiate football games advertise the college.

The partition is usually found in college debate because in a contest
of this sort absolute clearness is a prerequisite for success. As but
little interest customarily centers around the subject itself, each
debater knows that if he is to make any impression on the audience he
must so arrange his argument that it will, with a minimum amount of
effort on the part of the listener, be clear to every one. To one
reading an argument, a partition, unless of the simplest kind, will
probably seem superfluous; to one listening to a speech in which he is
truly interested, the partition may seem labored. But when the whole
interest centers in the method of presentation, and in the processes
of reasoning rather than in the subject matter, the partition does
increase the clearness of the argument, and should, therefore, be

By way of summary, then, it may be said that the work of conviction in
the introduction is to show the relation between the proposition and
the proof. The arguer accomplishes this task, first, by defining all
words the meaning of which is not generally comprehended; secondly, by
explaining, in the light of these definitions, the meaning of the
proposition taken as a whole; thirdly, by discovering the issues
through a careful process of analysis; and fourthly, by making a
partition when he is engaged in debate and has reason to think that
the audience will not see the connection between the issues and the


A student will hardly have reached this point in the study of
Argumentation before finding it necessary to search for information
that will assist him in the construction of his argument. To one
unfamiliar with a library, a search after facts bearing upon a given
subject is likely to prove tedious. For this reason a few words of
advice concerning the proper way in which to use a library may be of
great help to a beginner. Nothing, however, can be given here that
will even approximate the value of a few hours' instruction by the
librarian of the college in which the student is enrolled. In the
absence of such instruction, one can seldom do better at the outset
than to become familiar with indexes to periodical and contemporary
literature, encyclopaedias, government reports, and the library

The best indexes are the _Reader's Guide, Poole's Index, The Annual
Library Index,_ and the _Current Events Index_. These give
references to all articles published in the principal magazines and
newspapers for many years. In these articles one will find almost
limitless material on nearly every popular topic of the day--
political, economic, scientific, social, educational. The writers,
too, are often of national and even of international reputation, and
the opinions and ideas given here are frequently as weighty and
progressive as can be found. In searching through an index for
articles upon a certain subject, one should invariably look under
several headings. For example, if one is seeking material in regard to
the abolishment of baseball from the list of college sports, he ought
not to consult just the one heading _baseball_; he should in
addition look under _athletics_, _college sports_, and
similar topics.

Other valuable sources of information are encyclopaedias. They often
give broad surveys and comprehensive digests that cannot readily be
found elsewhere. Although they do not, as a rule, discuss subjects
that are of mere local or present-day interest, yet the thorough
searcher after evidence will usually do well to consult at least
several. A fact worth bearing in mind is that in connection with these
articles in encyclopaedias, references are often given to books and
articles that treat the subject very thoroughly.

In the next place, official publications frequently furnish invaluable
help in regard to public problems. Both state governments and the
national government constantly publish reports containing statistics,
the opinions of experts, and suggestions for economic and political
changes. Some of the most valuable of these documents for the purposes
of the arguer are Census, Immigration, Education, and Interstate
Commerce Commission reports, the messages of the Presidents, and the
_Congressional Record_. There are indexes to all these, and one
can easily find out how to use them.

Furthermore, one should not fail to consult the library catalogue. To
be sure, if the books are catalogued only according to titles and
authors, one will probably get little assistance from this source
unless he knows beforehand what particular books or authors to search
for. If, on the other hand, the books are also catalogued according to
the subjects of which they treat, one can see almost at a glance what
books the library has that bear upon the matter under investigation.


A. Define the following terms:--monopoly, free trade, railway pooling,
income tax, honorary degree, tutorial system of instruction,
industrial education, classical education, German university method of
study, vivisection, temperance, Indian agency system, yellow peril,
graft, sensational, mass play, monarch, civilization, autonomy.

B. Criticise the issues that are given for the following

1. _Resolved,_ That in the United States naturalization laws
should be more stringent.

    a. Are the present laws satisfactory?
    b. Have the results of the laws been satisfactory?
    c. Would a change be wise?

2. _Resolved,_ That in the United States the reformatory system
of imprisonment should be substituted for the punitive.

    a. Is the reformatory system practicable?
    b. Does it reform the criminal?
    c. What has been its success thus far?
    d. Is it in accordance with modern civilization?

3. _Resolved_, That education in the United States should be
compulsory to the age of sixteen.

    a. Is compulsory education practicable?
    b. Will compulsory education benefit the child?
    c. Will compulsory education benefit the public?

4. _Resolved_, That American universities should admit women on
equal terms with men.

    a. Is woman's education as important as man's?
    b. Is coeducation a benefit to both sexes?
    c. Is coeducation a benefit to the college?
    d. Is the desirable system of separate education worth the extra
         money it costs?

5. _Resolved_, That in the United States there should be an
educational test for voting.

    a. Is voting a privilege or a natural right?
    b. Ought illiterates to be excluded from the polls?
    c. Would the test be unfair to any class of citizens?
    d. Could such a test be easily incorporated into our laws?

6. _Resolved_, That vivisection should be prohibited.

    a. Is vivisection of great assistance to medicine?
    b. Is vivisection humane?
    c. Is it right for us as human beings to sanction the many
         forms of needless and excessive cruelty practised by

C. Make a brief introduction to each of the following propositions,
defining all words that require definition, explaining the meaning of
the proposition, stating the issues, and making the partition:--

1. All colleges should debar freshmen from participation in
intercollegiate athletic contests.

2. Playing baseball with organizations not under the national
agreement should not render athletes ineligible for college teams.

3. ---- College should adopt the honor system of holding examinations.

4. All colleges should abolish hazing.

5. The climate of our country is changing.

6. Macbeth's wife was the cause of his ruin.

7. The Rhodes scholarships for the United States will accomplish the
objects of its founder.

8. National expositions are a benefit to the country.



Preceding chapters have dwelt on the essential characteristics of the
introduction and have shown what it should be like when completed. No
one but an expert writer, however, can hope that his argument, in
either introduction, discussion, or conclusion, will attain any
considerable completeness and excellence without first passing through
a preliminary form known as the _brief_.

A brief is a special kind of outline: _it is an outline that sets
forth in specific language all the ideas to be used in that portion of
the argument known as conviction, and that shows the exact relation
these ideas bear to each other and to the proposition_. An outline
in narrative, descriptive, or expository composition is invariably
made up of general suggestions, which seldom indicate the same ideas
to different persons; it is inexact and incomplete. A brief, on the
contrary, fails in its purpose unless it conveys accurate information.
The material composing it is always in the form of complete sentences;
the ideas are expressed in as exact and specific language as the
writer is capable of using. A good brief means as much to the one who
reads it as to the one who draws it. It is, too, a complete work in
itself. It does not deal with persuasion; with this exception,
however, it contains in condensed form all the material to be used in
the finished argument.

There are many reasons why an arguer should first cast his material in
the form of a brief. To begin with, this device enables him to grasp,
almost at a glance, all the material used for the purpose of
conviction; it keeps constantly before him the points that he must
explain, and shows him instantly just how far he has progressed with
the proof of each statement. Furthermore, a brief renders the arguer
invaluable assistance in preserving the fundamental principles of
composition, especially those of Unity, Coherence, Proportion, and
Emphasis. It greatly simplifies his task of assorting material and
assigning each part its proper place and function. It exhibits so
clearly every particle of evidence and every process of reasoning
employed that it affords great convenience for testing both the
quality and the quantity of the proof. In fact, a good brief is so
essential a part of a good argument that a student who neglects to
draw the first is bound to meet failure in the second.

The rules governing brief-drawing logically divide themselves into
four classes: those which apply to the brief as a whole constitute the
first class and are called General Rules; those rules which apply to
each of the main divisions of a brief constitute the three remaining
classes and are called Rules for the Introduction, Rules for the
Discussion, and Rules for the Conclusion.


In drawing a brief, the student should first divide his material into
three groups, corresponding to the three divisions of the complete
argument: the Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion. Moreover,
since absolute clearness in every particular is the prime requisite
for a good brief, he should label each of these parts with its proper
name, so that there may never be the slightest doubt or confusion as
to where one part ends and another begins. Hence the first rule for
brief-drawing is:--

Rule I. _Divide the brief into three parts, and mark them
respectively, Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion_.

A brief, as has been explained, is an outline that contains all the
reasoning to be found in the finished argument. Reasoning processes
are carried on, not with vague ideas and general suggestions, but with
specific facts and exact thoughts. For this reason, only complete
statements are of value in a brief. Mere terms must be avoided. A
statement, it should be remembered, is a declarative sentence; a term
is a word or any combination of words other than a sentence.

The following examples of terms plainly show that no reasoning process
can exist without the use of complete statements:--

Strikes during the past twenty-five years.

Percentage of strikes conducted by labor organizations.

Building trades and strikes.

Since such expressions as these give no information, they are
manifestly out of place in a brief. Each term may call to mind any one
of several ideas. No one but the author knows whether the first term
is intended to indicate that strikes have been of frequent or of
infrequent occurrence, beneficial or detrimental. The second term does
not indicate whether the percentage of strikes conducted by labor
organizations has been great or small, increasing or decreasing. The
third term is equally indefinite. Notice, however, that as soon as
these terms are turned into complete sentences, they may well serve as
explanation or as proof:--

During the twenty-five year period ending in 1905 there occurred in
the United States 36,757 strikes.

Labor organizations directed about two-thirds of these strikes.

The building trades have had more strikes than has any other industry.
This explanation gives rise to the following rule:--

Rule II. _Express each idea in the brief in the form of a complete

Moreover, each sentence should contain only one idea. Every thought
expressed has some specific work to do, and it can do it far more
effectively if it stands by itself as a unit. The awkwardness and
impracticability of proving the truth or falsity of a statement that
makes several assertions has been treated under the head of Combined
Propositions. Obviously, there are unwarrantable difficulties in
grouping explanation or proof about such a statement as, "Municipal
ownership has failed in Philadelphia, has succeeded in Edinburgh, and
is likely to meet with indifferent success in New Orleans."
Furthermore, a sentence that contains several distinct thoughts is
very ineffective as proof for some other statement. Since one part of
the sentence may be accepted as true and another part rejected, the
resulting confusion is very great. To avoid all errors of this kind,
the student should use, as far as possible, only _simple_

Rule III. _Make in each statement only a single assertion_.

In the next place, one who draws a brief should take pains to frame
all his statements in as concise a form as he can. If he is able to
state an idea in six words, he should not use seven. This principle
does not mean that small words like _a, an_, and _the_
should be left out, or that an obvious subject may be omitted; it does
not mean that the "diary" style of writing is permissible. It means
simply that one should always state his ideas as briefly as possible
without violating any of the rules of Composition. Quotations should
rarely appear in a brief, never unless they are very short. When an
arguer wishes to make use of another writer's material, he should
condense it into his own language, and state from what source he
derived his information. In an expanded argument the full quotation
may appear. The ability to express ideas both concisely and, at the
same time, clearly, is attained only by considerable labor, yet a
departure from the principle of brevity is a serious violation of good
brief-drawing. Hence the rule:--

Rule IV. _Make each statement as concise as is consistent with

Every brief is primarily a process of explanation. From this fact it
is evident that clearness must be sought above all other qualities.
Not only must the idea expressed be understood, but the _relation
between_ ideas, must be perfectly plain and evident. The reader
should be able to see at a glance what material is of co-ordinate rank
and what is of subordinate rank. This perspicuity is especially
necessary in the discussion, where each statement is either being
proved by subordinate statements or is serving as proof for some other
statement. The device ordinarily adopted for exhibiting at a glance
the relation between the ideas in a brief consists of two parts:
first, all subordinate statements are indented farther than more
important statements; and second, numbers and letters are used to
indicate what statements are of co-ordinate importance and what are of
secondary rank. The system of marking most generally adopted is as


   A. etc.

Thus the fifth rule is:--

Rule V. _Indicate the relation between statements by indentation and
by the use of symbols_.

In indicating the relation between ideas, a writer should never put
more than one symbol before a statement. It seems almost superfluous
to mention an error so apparent as the double use of symbols, but the
mistake is frequently made and much confusion results. The numeral I
before a heading indicates that the statement is of primary
importance; the letter A indicates that it is of secondary importance.
If a statement is marked IA, apparently it is both primary and
secondary, clearly an impossibility.

Rule VI. _Mark each statement with only one symbol_.


It has been seen that a brief is a complete composition in itself,
embodying all the material for conviction that will later be found in
the expanded argument. The introduction, therefore, must contain
sufficient information to make the proof of the proposition perfectly
clear. This portion of the brief serves as a connecting link between
the proposition and the discussion; it must explain the nature of the
proposition and then show how the proof which is to follow applies to
it. The exact work that the introduction to a brief must perform is
stated in the following rule:--

Rule VII. _Put into the introduction sufficient explanation for a
complete understanding of the discussion. This explanation usually
     (a) a definition of terms,
     (b) an explanation of the meaning of the proposition,
     (c) a statement of the issues, and
     (d) the partition._

Neither an introduction to a brief nor an introduction to a complete
argument should contain any statements not admitted by both sides. All
ideas that savor of controversy or prejudice have no place in an
introduction. The sole purpose of the introduction is to prepare the
way for the discussion; if it contains anything in the nature of
proof, anything which is not admittedly true, it is no longer pure
introduction, but becomes in part discussion. If explanation and proof
are thus thrown together indiscriminately, confusion will result.
Accordingly the following rule is of great importance:--

Rule VIII. _Put into the introduction only statements admitted by
both sides_.

The following introductions to briefs may well serve as models for
student's work:--


_Resolved_, That England should permanently retain control of



  I. Because of the recent rapid development of Egypt, the question of
       the retention of this country is becoming important.

 II. The following explanations will aid in the discussion of the

     A. Egypt is that strip of country in the northeastern part of
          Africa, drained by the Nile and its tributaries.

     B. England has an army of occupation in Egypt, and governs it
          nominally through the Khedive.

     C. England has never suggested annexation.

     D. England has shut out the interference of France and other
          European nations.

     E. England has practically ruled Egypt as a dependency.

III. The following facts are agreed upon:--

     A. Some nation had to take charge of Egypt, for

        1. The country was heavily in debt.

        2. The people were starving.

     B. It is for the advantage of England to retain control of the

 IV. The conflicting arguments on the question are as follows:--

     A. Those who favor the control of Egypt by England have certain

        1. They believe that the control of Egypt by England is the
             only practical solution of the problem.

        2. They believe that the present status of affairs is
             beneficial to Egypt and to the whole world.

     B. Those opposed to the control of Egypt by England maintain the

        1. They maintain that England rules in a selfish manner.

        2. They maintain that Turkey and not England should have
             control of Egypt.

  V. From this conflict of opinion it appears that the points to be
       determined are:--

     A. Is Egypt benefited by the control of England?

     B. Is the suzerainty of England over Egypt the only practical
          solution of the problem?

     C. Is the control of Egypt by England a benefit to the whole

 VI. The negative will attempt to prove that England should not
       permanently retain Egypt for the following reasons:

     A. English control is harmful to Egypt.

     B. English control is not the only solution to the Egyptian

     C. English control is harmful to other nations.


_Resolved_, That the President of the United States should be
elected by direct popular vote.



  I. The present method of electing the President of the United States
       has been both praised and condemned ever since the adoption of
       the Constitution.

     A. Two methods of electing the President are under consideration:
          the present system whereby the President is elected by the
          electoral college, and the proposed system whereby the
          President would be elected by a direct popular vote.

 II. These two systems may be described as follows:--

     A. The present system has the following characteristics:--

        1. Each state elects a number of electors equal to the whole
             number of Senators and Representatives to which the state
             is entitled in Congress.

        2. These electors are chosen as the Legislature of each state
             may direct.

        3. The electors meet in their respective states and vote by
             ballot for the President.

        4. Since the year 1800 the electors have always voted for the
             candidate nominated by the national party which elected
             them, though the Constitution does not make this

        5. The ballots are sent in sealed packages to the President of
             the Senate, who counts them and declares the candidate
             receiving a majority vote elected.

        6. If the electors fail to elect, the House of Representatives
             chooses a President from the three candidates that
             receive the greatest number of electoral votes.

     B. The proposed system has the following characteristics:--

        1. The people vote directly for the President, the candidate
             receiving a majority of the votes being elected.

        2. If there be no majority, the President is elected as under
             the present system when the electors fail to elect.

III. The real question to be answered is, Should the direct method be
       substituted for the present method?

     A. The comparative value of each method must be judged by the
          following standards:--

        1. Which would be the more practicable?

        2. Which would give the voter fuller enjoyment of his right of

        3. Which method would have the better effect upon the general
             welfare of the nation?

 IV. The affirmative will uphold its side of the proposition by
       establishing the three following facts:--

     A. The direct popular vote system would be more practicable.

     B. The direct popular vote system would be more democratic.

     C. The direct popular vote system would be better for the general
          welfare of the nation.


A. (1) Criticise the following Introduction to a brief, and
   (2) Write a suitable Introduction to a brief on this subject.

 City Location for College.


 A. This question is important.

    I. The following explanation will aid--

   (a) In the understanding, and

   (b) In the discussion of the question.

       1. Primarily men come to college to study.

       2. Men can study better in the country.

       3. But is this really the case?

 B. A college is an institution of learning higher in rank than a high
     school or an academy.

 C. The issues of the question are the following:

    I. Which college location is more favorable to health and
         intellectual development?

   II. Is the student able to enter athletics?

  III. Does the student in the lonely country college form more
         lasting friendships?

   IV. Which is the cheaper? Which is the better location?

B. Put into brief form the Introduction found above, Chapter 3,
     Exercise #7, dealing with Henry Ward Beecher.

C. Put the following Introductions into brief form:--


Perhaps no subject in connection with the Industrial Combinations of
the last few years has been more discussed than that of their
influence upon prices. Opinions have differed widely, the opponents of
the Combinations usually believing that they have increased prices
materially, their defenders claiming with equal positiveness that they
have reduced prices. Differences of opinion have probably originated
largely from the fact that the subject has been approached from
different points of view; and mistakes have also, in many cases, been
made through lack of a careful interpretation of available facts. It
by no means follows that the Trusts have lowered prices because prices
have fallen within a few years after their formation; nor, on the
other hand, that Trusts have raised prices because prices have been
increased. Neither does it follow that, because the Industrial
Combinations might through their economies lower prices, they have, as
a matter of fact, actually done so; nor again that, with the possible
ability to increase prices through the exercise of monopolistic power,
they have not found it advisable under certain circumstances really to
lower them. Any careful discussion of the subject will involve, first,
what the influence of combination would enable the Trusts to do
regarding prices; second, what the Combinations actually have done;
and, third, what effects upon society may be anticipated from any
changes in prices made by Industrial Combinations. [Footnote: Jeremiah
W. Jenks, North American Review for June, 1901, p. 906.]

(2) Mr. Chairman: This bill (H. R. 17019) which I shall ask this House
to pass to-day is one of that general class usually called "private
bills"; and while the usage of this House might catalogue it under
that head, it is in reality a "public bill," because it has to do with
the interests of many people--indeed, an entire city of 75,000

This bill provides that the legal title to a certain tract of land
situated near the city of Tacoma, the title to which is now in the
United States Government, shall be transferred to the city of Tacoma.

However, I wish to assure this House that as a matter of fact the
Government practically loses nothing by the passage of this bill. I
realize that these two statements placed side by side seem to involve
a contradiction. Therefore I will make a brief explanation of this

Since the year of 1866 the Government has owned a tract of land
adjoining what is now the city of Tacoma; this tract of land contains
637.9 acres. In the year of 1888 the Government gave the city of
Tacoma a right or license to use and occupy this land as a city park,
but retained the legal title in the Government, because it was thought
that at some future time the Government might need to use and occupy
this land for military purposes. Therefore you will observe that the
present condition of the title to this land is that the legal title is
in the Government, with the right in the city to use and occupy the
same. This bill, if it shall pass, will simply reverse and place the
legal title to this land in the city of Tacoma, with the right
remaining in the Government for all time to come to take possession or
use and occupy any or all of this land that it might need for
military, naval, or lighthouse purposes.

I wish to explain briefly to this House why the passage of this bill
and this change in the title is not only fair and just, but the
failure to pass this bill would, in my judgment, be very unfair to the
75,000 people in the city of Tacoma. [Footnote: Speech of Hon. Francis
W. Cushman of Washington, in the House of Representatives, Feb. 28,

Hadley, _Economics_, pp. 390-393.]

By far the most important part of consumers' co-operation is
exemplified in government management of industrial enterprises. This
differs in two important particulars from the co-operative agencies
already described. In the first place the choice of managers of a
government business enterprise is connected with the general political
machinery of the country, and regulated by constitutional law instead
of by statutes of incorporation. In the second place, these managers
are likely to fall back on the taxing powers of the Government to make
up any deficit which may arise in the operations of a public business
enterprise; or in the converse case to devote any surplus above
expenses to the relief of tax burdens elsewhere. A government
enterprise is managed by the people who represent, or are supposed to
represent, the consumers; but the good or bad economy of its
management does not necessarily redound to the profit or loss of those
who most use it.

In the beginning of history, the government is the power that controls
the army. When tribes were in a state of warfare with one another
defense against foreign enemies was a matter of primary importance. No
man could let his private convenience stand in the way of effective
military operations. The discipline and subordination necessary to
wage successful war were all-important; and all the powers necessary
to maintain such discipline were entrusted to the leaders of the army.

Somewhat later the military authorities undertook the work of
maintaining discipline in time of peace as well as war, and of
defining and enforcing the rights of members of the tribe against one
another, no less than against foreign enemies. This function was not
accorded to them without a struggle. The priests, under whose tutelage
the religious sanction for tribal customs had grown up, tried to keep
in their own hands the responsibility of upholding these customs and
the physical power connected with it. In some races they succeeded,
but among European peoples the military authorities took the work of
enforcing and defining laws out of the hands of the priests, and made
it a function of the state as distinct from the Church. As security
from foreign enemies increased, this law-making power became more and
more important. The Government was less exclusively identified with
the army, and more occupied with the courts, the legislatures, and the
internal police. Its judicial and legislative functions assumed a
prominence at least as great as its military function.

The growth of private property was also coincident with the
development of these domestic functions of government. In fact, the
two things reinforced one another. The production and accumulation of
capital, to which private property gave so vigorous an impulse, placed
the strong men of the community in a position where they had less to
gain by war and more by peace. It put them on the side of internal
tranquility. It thus made the government more powerful, and this in
turn still further increased the accumulations of capital. But along
with this mutual help, which strong domestic government and strong
property right rendered one another, there was an element of mutual
antagonism. The very fulfillment of those functions which made the
accumulation of capital possible, rendered it impossible for the
government to do its work except at the expense of the capitalists. It
was no longer possible to support armies by booty, or courts by fines
and forfeitures. The expense of maintaining order had to be paid by
its friends instead of by its enemies. The growth of private property
was followed by the development of a system of taxation, which, in
theory at any rate, involved the power to destroy such property.

The existence of such a system of taxation, with the machinery for
collecting money in this way, allows the government more freedom of
industrial action than any private individual can command. It can make
up a deficit by compulsory payments; and this gives it a wider range
of power in deciding what services it will undertake and what prices
it will charge--a power which affords almost unlimited opportunity for
good or bad use, according to the degree of skill and integrity with
which it is exercised.

Every extension of government activity into new fields restricts
private enterprise in two ways: first by limiting the field for
investment of private capital, and second, by possibly, if not
probably, appropriating through taxation a part of the returns from
private enterprise in all other fields. The question whether a
government should manage an industry reduces itself to this: Are the
deficiencies or evils connected with private management such that it
is wise to give government officials the taxing power which
constitutes the distinctive feature of public industrial management?

D. Draw an Introduction to a brief on each of the propositions given
     on page 82.



It has been seen that one who wishes to establish the truth or the
falsity of a proposition must answer certain vital questions that are
bound to arise in connection with it. Then, as different persons may
answer these questions in different ways, it becomes necessary for him
to convince his audience that his answers are correct. He must always
beware of assertiveness. This defect occurs whenever a speaker or
writer makes a statement but does not establish its truth. As simple
denial is always sufficient answer to mere assertion, an unsupported
statement is worthless. No one can hope to win in debate or change
another's belief unless he can prove that what he says is true; he
must substantiate with proof every statement that he makes, and show
that no possibility for error or deceit can exist. _In argumentation
every statement not commonly accented as true must be proved_.

The following passage is a highly assertive bit of argument; its
worthlessness is apparent.

The decision of Congress to increase still further our already
enormous navy is an injustice to every individual who contributes to
the support of the national government. It is a crime to squander
millions of money on a fleet that we do not need. Our navy to-day is
more than the equal of any foreign armament that floats. Though
second in number of ships, it ranks first in efficiency among all
the navies of the world. No other country can boast of such
marksmanship as our gunners display; no other country can boast of
such armor plate as is to be found on our first-class battleships;
not even England can successfully compete with us in seamanship and
in general efficiency.

Proof is "anything which serves either immediately or mediately to
convince the mind of the truth or the falsehood of a fact or
proposition." [Footnote: On Evidence, Best, p. 45.] Belief in a
specific statement is induced by a presentation of pertinent facts,
and usually by a process of reasoning whereby from the existence of
these known facts, the conclusion, hitherto unaccepted, is reached.
Those facts that have to do with the proposition under discussion are
known as _evidence_. The process of combining facts and deriving
an inference from them is known as _reasoning_. Evidence may be
made up of the testimony of witnesses, the opinion of experts,
knowledge derived from experience, the testimony of documents, or
circumstances that are generally known to have existed. Reasoning is
the process by which men form opinions, render judgments, explain
events, or in any way seek new truths from established facts.

In the following bit of proof, notice the facts that are stated, and
see how, by a process of reasoning, they go to substantiate the idea
that they are intended to prove:--

New York hires two policemen where Nashville hires one, and pays
them double the salary; yet Nashville is as peaceable and orderly as
New York. In Nashville any child of school age can have a seat in the
public schools all through the year; in New York there has been a
shortage of seats for many years. Nashville has a filtered water
supply; New York is going to have one as soon as the $12,000,000
filtration plant can be built at Jerome Park. Street car fares are
five cents in both cities; in Nashville one can always get a seat; in
New York one has to scramble for standing room. The southern city
maintains hospitals, parks, food inspectors, and all other things
common to New York and other large cities. Apparently, Nashville is
giving as much to its inhabitants for six dollars per capita as New
York for thirty-one. These facts can point to but one conclusion--that
Nashville has a superior system of government.

Since the first step in the generation of proof is the discovery of
facts, the arguer should at the very outset become sufficiently
familiar with the various kinds of evidence to estimate the value and
strength of each idea that has a bearing upon the subject.


There are two kinds of evidence: (a) direct, and (b) indirect or
circumstantial. If a man sees a gang of strikers set fire to the
buildings of their former employer, his evidence is direct. If,
however, he only sees them stealthily leaving the buildings just
before the fire breaks out, his evidence is indirect. In the latter
case the man's testimony is direct evidence that the men were in the
vicinity of the fire when it started, but it is indirect evidence that
they perpetrated the crime. If a student who has failed to do good
work throughout the term, and who has had little or no opportunity for
special preparation, passes in a perfect paper at the close of an
examination, the presumption is that he has received aid. The evidence
on which this supposition rests is entirely circumstantial. But if
some one saw the student obtaining aid, that fact would be direct
evidence against him.

Direct evidence, as a rule, is considered more valuable than indirect,
but each kind is frequently sufficient to induce belief. The best
possible kind of evidence, the kind that is least liable to contain
error or falsehood, is a combination of both direct and indirect.
Either one by itself may be untrustworthy. The unreliability of
evidence given by eyewitnesses is shown by the conflicting stories
they frequently tell concerning the same incident even when they are
honestly attempting to relate the facts as they occurred. Also, it is
always possible that the inferences drawn from a combination of
circumstances may be entirely wrong. When, however, both kinds of
evidence are available, each confirming the other and leading up to
the same conclusion, then the possibility of error is reduced to a

The opportunity of the college student for obtaining evidence in his
argumentative work is limited. A lawyer before entering upon an
important case often spends weeks and months in investigation;
scientists sometimes devote a whole lifetime in trying to establish a
single hypothesis. But the college student in preparing an argument
must obtain his evidence in a few days. There are several sources at
his disposal. The first available source is his fund of general
knowledge and experience. If a man can establish a statement by saying
that he personally knows it to be true, he has valuable proof. Then
the people with whom the student comes in contact constitute another
source of evidence. Anyone who can give information on a subject that
is being investigated is a valuable witness. Especially in discussions
on questions which pertain to college life, the opinions and
experiences of college men and of prominent educators are unsurpassed
as evidence. But the greatest source of evidence for the student of
argumentation is the library. Here he may consult the best thought of
all time in every branch of activity. He may review the opinions of
statesmen, economists, educators, and scientists, and introduce as
evidence their experiences and the results of their investigations.
Here he may familiarize himself with the current events of the world,
and draw his own conclusions as to their significance. In fact, a well
equipped library treats of all subjects, however broad or narrow they
may be, and furnishes evidence for all sorts of debatable questions.

As not all evidence is equally valuable, a large part of the work of
argumentation consists in applying tests to the evidence at hand for
the sake of determining what facts are irrefutable, what are doubtful,
and what are worthless. Moreover, one engaged in argumentation must
test not only his own evidence but also that of the other side. No
better method of refuting an opponent's argument exists than to show
that the facts on which it rests are untrustworthy. Tests of evidence
may be divided into two classes: tests of the source from which it
comes, and tests of the quality of the evidence itself.


Since in courts of law, in college debate, and in all kinds of
argumentation, facts are established by the testimony of witnesses,
the sources of evidence are the witnesses who give it. The debater and
the argumentative writer have not the opportunity, as has the lawyer,
of producing the witnesses and permitting them to tell their own
stories to the audience. He must himself relate the evidence; and, in
order that it may be believed, he must tell whence it comes. The
sources of evidence may be common rumor, newspapers, magazines,
official documents, private citizens, or public officials. The extent
to which these witnesses are accepted as trustworthy by the people
before whom they are quoted determines in a large measure whether or
not the evidence will be believed. Tests for determining the
trustworthiness of witnesses will next be given.

The first test of the source of evidence should be:--

(1) _Is the witness competent to give a trustworthy account of the
matter under consideration?_

To answer this question, first determine whether the facts to be
established are such that any ordinary person can speak concerning
them with reasonable accuracy, or whether they can be understood only
by persons who have received special training. A landsman could well
testify that a naval battle had occurred, but only a man with nautical
training could accurately describe the maneuvers of the ships and tell
just how the engagement progressed. A coal heaver's description of a
surgical operation would establish nothing, except perhaps the
identity of the people and a few other general matters; only a person
with a medical education could accurately describe the procedure. The
testimony of any one but a naturalist would not even tend to prove the
existence of an hitherto unknown species of animal life. A witness
without technical knowledge cannot give reliable evidence on matters
of a technical nature.

Then, if it is found that the witness does possess the necessary
technical training, or that no previous training is necessary, still
further test his ability to give reliable evidence by asking whether
he has had ample opportunity for investigating the facts to the
existence of which he testifies. For even a skilled player sitting in
the first base bleachers at a baseball game to criticise an umpire's
decisions on balls and strikes is absurd; the opinion of a transient
visitor to Panama on the methods used in digging the canal is not
valuable; a traveler who has spent a single month in Japan cannot draw
reliable conclusions on the merits and defects of its political
structure. In not one of these cases has the opportunity for
investigation been sufficient to render the witness able to give
reliable evidence.

A current magazine in discussing the weakness of testimony that comes
from incompetent witnesses says:--

Generalizations about the tastes and interests of the age are so
easy that all except the most wary fall into them, and the world is
full of off-hand opinions touching the condition of society and the
state of the world, which are far more conspicuous for courage than
for discretion. There are very few men or women in any particular
period who know it intimately enough, and with sufficient insight and
sympathy, to pass judgment upon it. One hears almost every day
sweeping judgments about Americans, English, French, Germans, Chinese,
and Japanese which are entirely valueless, unless they are based on a
very broad and intimate knowledge of these various peoples, a
knowledge which, in the nature of things, few people possess. The
charming American girl who declared that, since gloves are cheaper in
Paris, American civilization is a failure, may stand for a type of
interesting and piquant oracles, to be heard with attention, but under
no circumstances to be followed. Americans are so familiar with the
European traveler who arrives and makes up his opinion over night in
regard to men, morals, and manners in the Western world and have so
often been the victim of this self-confident critic, that they ought
not to repeat the same blunder in dealing with other peoples.
[Footnote: The Outlook, July 20, 1907.]

In the court room, where witnesses are present and can be carefully
examined by the lawyers on both sides, it is customary to apply both
mental and physical tests. The witness who testifies to knowledge of
some event that occurred a long time before is given a memory test;
the senses, also, through which occurrences are perceived are
frequently examined. But as writers and debaters in general seldom
have the opportunity to apply tests of this sort to their sources of
information, and as these tests are seldom important outside of the
law courts, they are not taken up in detail in this book.

The second test of the source of evidence should be:--

(2) _Is the witness willing to give an accurate account of the

One important influence that may cause a witness to give false
evidence is _self-interest_. Not only individuals, but social and
industrial organizations, political parties, communities, and states
are frequently swayed by this emotion to the extent of deliberately
perverting the truth. The evidence found in newspapers and other
publications is often false, or at least misleading, because it has
been tampered with by those who put their selfish interests before all
else. The owner of an industry protected by a high tariff would
scarcely be considered a reliable witness in matters affecting tariff
reform. The opinion of a railroad magnate on the subject of a
compulsory two-cent rate law would not be considered as unbiased. No
disinterested seeker after truth would accept the political
conclusions of a newspaper owned by a politician or recognized as the
organ of a certain party. In all such cases, self-interest may prompt
the witness to make statements not in strict accordance with the
truth. Perjury in the court room is not uncommon; falsehood elsewhere
must be guarded against. The arguer should always carefully scrutinize
the testimony of a witness that has any special interest in the matter
for which evidence is being sought. Though the self-interest is
strong, the witness may be willing to state the matter accurately;
but, as long as human nature remains as it is, this willingness
should not be taken for granted.

The third test of the source of evidence should be:--

(3) _Is the witness prejudiced?_

Another emotion that frequently keeps a witness from telling the exact
truth is _prejudice_. Every one is familiar with instances of how
this passion warps men's morals and corrupts their judgment. If a man
is prejudiced for or against a person or a system, he cannot be
accepted as a trustworthy witness in matters where his prejudice comes
into play. Should an economist known to favor socialism write a
treatise advocating municipal ownership of public utilities, his
evidence and his reasoning would not be convincing; it would be taken
for granted that he looked at the subject through socialistic
spectacles. A person who sets out with the expectation and intention
of finding flaws in anything usually succeeds. Though he is willing to
tell the exact truth, yet because of his prejudice he is sure to see
only that which will coincide with his preconceived opinions. For this
reason, political speeches and intensely partisan books and papers are
invariably unreliable sources of evidence even though they are not
intentionally dishonest.

The fourth test of the source of evidence is:--

(4) _Does the witness have a good reputation for honesty and

The human conscience is so constituted that many people deviate from
the truth for no apparent reason whatever. Some are given to
exaggeration; some habitually pretend to know that of which they are
entirely ignorant; others are so inaccurate that everything they say
is open to grave suspicion. If a witness is known to have been
repeatedly dishonest or inaccurate in the past, little reliance should
be placed in his testimony. "Yellow journalism," which is largely the
reflection of common rumor, affords constant examples of witnesses
that give questionable evidence.

Ability and willingness to give exact evidence, an unprejudiced
attitude, and a good reputation for honesty and accuracy are the
qualities that should characterize the sources of evidence. If a
writer or speaker is securing testimony from friends or acquaintances,
the application of these tests is not difficult. If, however, the
sources are books and periodicals, his work is harder; but to be
successful, he must not shirk it. When one procures evidence from
books, he should investigate the character and standing of the author.
When one obtains it from signed articles in papers and magazines, he
must consider both the author and the character of the publication. In
the case of newspaper "stories" and editorials, one should find out on
what general policy and principles the paper is conducted. A cautious
arguer will always avoid, as far as he can, the use of evidence that
comes from a doubtful source. If one finds that an opponent has used
the testimony of questionable witnesses, he can, by exposing the fact,
easily refute the argument.

NECESSITY OF STATING SOURCES. It sometimes happens that an arguer
fails to state the source of his evidence. This omission is usually
fatal to success. No one is likely to put much confidence in
statements that are introduced by such flimsy preambles as, "A certain
statesman has declared"; "I have read somewhere"; "An acquaintance
told me." Not only must evidence come from sources that seem good to
the writer, but those sources must be satisfactory to the audience. In
the last analysis the audience is the judge of what is credible and
what is not. Moreover, if the evidence is of great importance, or is
liable to be disputed, the arguer should show in a few words why the
witness is especially reliable.


(1) _Is the evidence consistent with (a) other evidence in the same
argument; (b) known facts; (c) human experience?_

The requirement that every separate bit of evidence in an argument
shall be consistent with every other bit of evidence in the same
argument is too well understood to need explanation. One familiar with
courts of law knows that a witness who contradicts himself is not
believed. Furthermore, if the testimony of several witnesses for the
same side is inconsistent, the case for that side is materially
weakened. So it is in general debate: the arguer who wishes to succeed
must not use evidence that is self-contradictory. His proof must "hang
together"; his facts must all go to establish the same conclusion.

A flagrant violation of this principle once occurred in a class-room
debate. The speaker for the negative on the proposition,
"_Resolved_, That freshmen should be ineligible for college
teams," said that such a rule would deprive the freshmen of much-
needed physical exercise. Later on, he said that just as many freshmen
would receive injuries under this rule as without it, since they would
take part in equally dangerous contests as members of freshmen teams.
This contradiction ruined his argument.

In the next place, evidence to be of any value whatever, must be
consistent with what is known about the case. If an arguer is so
careless as to make statements contradictory either to well-
established facts or to facts easily proved, he cannot hope to attain
the slightest measure of success. Only one guilty of gross neglect or
absolute falsehood is likely to fall into such an error. At one time
the story was circulated that, during his early life, Lincoln had been
insane. In the following passage Ida M. Tarbell shows that the
testimony on which this belief was founded is inconsistent with the
known facts of the case, and is, therefore, palpably untrue:--

"Mr. Thornton went on to say that he knew beyond a doubt that the
sensational account of Lincoln's insanity was untrue, and he quoted
from the House journal to show how it was impossible that, as Lamon
says, using Herndon's notes, 'Lincoln went crazy as a loon, and did
not attend the legislature in 1841-1842, for this reason'; or, as
Herndon says, that he had to be watched constantly. According to the
record taken from the journals of the House by Mr. Thornton, which
have been verified in Springfield, Mr. Lincoln was in his seat in the
House on that 'fatal first of January' when he is asserted to have
been groping in the shadow of madness, and he was also there on the
following day."

Lincoln himself was an expert at detecting inconsistency wherever it
existed. He won many of his lawsuits by the straightforward method of
showing that the one or two vital statements on which the whole case
of the opposition rested were false, inasmuch as they were
inconsistent with well-established and incontrovertible facts. An
instance of this sort is here described:--

The most damaging evidence was that of one Allen, who swore that he
had seen Armstrong strike Metzker about ten or eleven o'clock in the
evening. When asked how he could see, he answered that the moon shone
brightly. Under Lincoln's questioning he repeated the statement until
it was impossible that the jury should forget it. With Allen's
testimony unimpeached, conviction seemed certain.

Lincoln's address to the jury was full of pathos. It was not as a
hired attorney that he was there, he said, but to discharge a debt of
friendship.... But Lincoln was not relying on sympathy alone to win
his case. In closing he reviewed the evidence, showing that all
depended on Allen's testimony, and this he said he could prove to be
false. Allen never saw Armstrong strike Metzker by the light of the
moon, for at the hour when he said he saw the fight, between ten and
eleven o'clock, the moon was not in the heavens. Then procuring an
almanac, he passed it to the judge and jury. The moon, which was on
that night only in its first quarter, had set before midnight.
[Footnote: The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. I, p. 272. Ida M.
Tarbell. The Doubleday & McClure Co.]

An arguer should also be extremely careful to use evidence that on its
face appears reasonable. Only an extremely credulous audience will
accept ideas that run counter to human belief and experience. To
attribute the occurrence of an event to supernatural causes would
bring a smile of derision to any but a most ignorant and superstitious
person. To attribute to men qualities and characteristics that human
experience has shown they do not possess will bring equal discredit.
No one is likely to accept evidence that contradicts his habits of
thinking, that is contrary to what his life and experience have taught
him is true. For this reason savage people are slow to believe the
teachings of the Christian religion. For this reason it is difficult
to make an audience believe that any one will deliberately and
consistently work against his own interests, or follow any other
unusual line of action. Evidence contrary to human experience may be
true, but unless the exigencies of the argument demand its use, the
arguer will do well to omit it entirely. If he is obliged to use it,
he should make it appear as reasonable as he can, and also
substantiate it with careful proof.

Huxley appreciated the fact that evidence, to be believed, must be in
accordance with man's experience when he wrote the following:--

If any one were to try to persuade you that an oyster shell (which
is also chiefly composed of carbonate of lime) had crystallized out of
sea-water, I suppose you would laugh at the absurdity. Your laughter
would be justified by the fact that all experience tends to show that
oyster-shells are formed by the agency of oysters, and in no other

The ease with which an argument that does not satisfy this requirement
may be overthrown is clearly shown in the following extract from a
student's forensic:--

To say that the Cuban reconcentrados sunk the _Maine_ in an
effort to embroil the United States in a conflict with Spain is the
veriest foolishness. There is not one scrap of documentary evidence to
show that such was the case. Moreover, such an act would be
unparalleled in the annals of history. It is unreasonable, contrary to
all experience, that those oppressed people should have brought
disaster, involving the destruction of property and the loss of many
lives, upon the very nation that they were looking to for assistance.

(2) _Is the evidence first-hand or hearsay evidence?_

It is universally recognized that hearsay evidence is unreliable. A
narrative is sure to become so garbled by passing from mouth to mouth
that unless a witness can testify to a fact from his own personal
knowledge the evidence he gives is worthy of little credence. There is
sufficient chance for error when the person who witnessed the event
relates the account himself; if the story is told by a second, and
perhaps by a third person, it is likely to reflect but little of what
really happened. Every one is familiar with the exaggerations of
common rumor; it distorts facts so that they are unrecognizable. The
works of Herodotus are untrustworthy because he frequently believed
hearsay evidence. Since second-hand evidence both fails to establish
anything worth while, if allowed to stand, and is easily overthrown
even by a very little first-hand evidence, an arguer will do well to
follow the custom of the law courts, and, as a rule, exclude it

(3) _Can the evidence be considered as especially valuable?_

(a) _Hurtful admissions_ constitute an especially valuable kind
of evidence. Since men are not wont to give evidence detrimental to
their personal interest unless impelled to do so by conscientious
scruples, any testimony damaging to the one who gives it is in all
probability not only truthful, but also the result of careful
investigation. When a practising physician admits that half the
ailments of mankind are imaginary or so trivial as to need no medical
attention, he is making a statement that is likely to injure his
business; for this reason he is probably stating the result of his
experience truthfully. If a railroad president says that in his
opinion government supervision of railroads will benefit the public in
the matter of rates and service, it may be taken for granted that he
has given his honest belief, and that his natural reluctance to
surrender any authority of his own has kept him from speaking
carelessly. If a member of the United States Senate admits that that
body is corrupt, and selfish, and untrustworthy, he is lowering his
own rank; therefore it is reasonable to believe that he is speaking
the truth according to his honest belief.

The following is an example of this kind of evidence:--

It was stated during the Manchurian campaign that the Jewish
soldiers, of whom Kuropatkin had about 35,000, not only failed to hold
their ground under fire, but by their timidity threw their comrades
into panic. But good evidence can be cited from the correspondents of
the _Novoye Vremya_, an Anti-Semitic organ, to the effect that
among the Jews were found many "intrepid and intelligent soldiers,"
and that a number of them were awarded the St. George's cross for
gallantry. [Footnote: The Nation, June 11, 1908.]

It is hardly necessary to add that one who places especial reliance on
this kind of evidence must be sure that the admission is _really_
and not merely _apparently_ contrary to the interest of the one
who gives it.

(b) Another particularly valuable kind of evidence is _negative
evidence_, or the _evidence of silence_. Whenever a witness
fails to mention an event which, if it had occurred, would have been
of such interest to him that he might reasonably have been expected to
have mentioned it, his silence upon the matter becomes negative
evidence that the event did not occur. For many years no one suggested
that Bacon wrote the Shakespearean plays; this absence of testimony to
the belief that Bacon wrote them is strong evidence that such belief
did not exist until recently, a fact that tends to discredit the
Baconian theory of authorship. The fact that in the writings of
Dickens and Thackeray no mention is made of the bicycle is negative
evidence that the bicycle had not then come into use. That Moses
nowhere in his writings speaks of life after death is negative
evidence that the Hebrews did not believe in the immortality of the
soul. If admittedly capable and impartial officials do not inflict
penalties for foul playing during a football game, there is strong
presumption that little or no foul playing occurred.

The following paragraph, taken from a current magazine, shows how this
kind of evidence may be handled very effectively:--

A sharp controversy has been raging in the European press over the
question whether Gambetta secretly visited Bismarck in 1878. Francis
Laur, Gambetta's literary executor, has published an article asserting
that he did, and giving details (rather vague, it must be admitted) of
the conversation between the two statesmen. But he offers not a scrap
of documentary proof. He is not even sure whether the interview took
place at Friedrichsruh or at Varzin. This is rather disconcerting,
especially in view of the fact that Bismarck never made the slightest
reference in his reminiscences or letters to the visit of Gambetta, if
it occurred, and that the minute Busch never mentioned it. [Footnote:
The Nation, September 5, 1907]


There is a particular kind of evidence frequently available for
debaters and argumentative writers known as _argument from
authority._ This evidence consists of the opinions and decisions of
men who are recognized, to some extent at least, as authorities on the
subjects of which they speak. An eminent scientist might explain with
unquestioned certainty the operation of certain natural phenomena. A
business man of wide experience and with well recognized insight into
national conditions might speak authoritatively on the causes of
business depressions. In religious matters the Bible is the highest
authority for orthodox Christians; the Koran, for Mohammedans. In
legal affairs the highest authorities are court decisions, opinions of
eminent jurists, and the Constitution. If a certain college president
is considered an authority in the matter of college discipline, then a
quotation from him on the evils of hazing becomes valuable evidence
for the affirmative of the proposition, "Hazing should be abolished in
all colleges." If the arguer wishes to strengthen his evidence, he may
do so by giving the president's reasons for condemning hazing; but he
then departs from pure argument from authority. Pure argument from
authority does not consist of a statement of the reasons involved; it
asserts that something is true because some one who is acknowledged to
be an authority on that subject says it is true.

Argument from authority differs from other evidence in that it
involves not merely investigation but also the exercise of a high
degree of judgment. The statement that in 1902, in the United Kingdom,
two hundred and ninety-five communities of from 8,000 to 25,000
inhabitants were without street-car lines is not argument from
authority; the discovery of this truth involved merely investigation.
On the other hand, if some reputable statesman or business man should
say that street-car facilities in the United States excelled those of
England, this evidence would be argument from authority; only through
both investigation and judgment could such a statement be evolved.

This kind of evidence is very strong when those addressed have
confidence in the integrity, ability, and judgment of the person
quoted. If, however, they do not know him, or if they do not consider
him reliable, the evidence is of little value. Therefore, the test
that an arguer should apply before using this kind of evidence is as

_Is the witness an acknowledged authority on the subject about which
he speaks?_

Sometimes a short statement showing why the witness quoted is able to
speak wisely and conclusively will render the evidence more valuable
in the eyes of the audience. In the following example, notice how
Judge James H. Blount used "authority" in proving that the Filipinos
desired self-government:--

Senator Dubois, of Idaho, who was a member of the Congressional
party that visited the Philippines, has since said in the New York
"Independent": All the Filipinos, with the exception of those who were
holding positions under and drawing salaries from our Government,
favor a government of their own. There is scarcely an exception among
them.... There is nobody in the islands, no organization of any
kind or description, which favors the policy of our Government toward

Senator Newlands, of Nevada, also a member of the Congressional party
aforesaid, has declared, in the number of this Review for December,
1905, that practically the whole people desire independence.
Congressman Parsons, also a member of the same party, has since said:
"There is no question that all the Filipino parties are now in favor
of independence."

Captain J. A. Moss, of the Twenty-fourth Infantry, a member of General
Corbin's staff, is quoted by Mr. Bryan, in the "Commoner" of April
27th, 1906, as saying in an article published in a Manila paper while
Mr. Bryan was in the islands, with reference to the wishes of "the
great majority" of Filipinos, that "to please them, we cannot get out
of the islands too soon." [Footnote: North American Review, Vol.
CLXXXIV, p. 136.]


As has been said, proof consists of evidence and reasoning. Evidence
has been considered first because this order corresponds to the way in
which proof is usually generated; obviously, the discovery of facts
precedes the process of reasoning which shows their significance. In
some instances, however, this order is reversed: a man may form a
theory and then hunt for the facts on which to base it; but in
general, facts precede inferences.

Since all people when they reason do not reach the same conclusion, it
is very essential for a student to investigate the various processes
of reasoning. Given exactly the same evidence, some men will draw one
conclusion, some another. A current periodical recognizes this fact
when it says:--

How widely divergent may be conclusions drawn from the same source
can be judged by contrasting these two statements: Messrs. Clark and
Edgar declare that "where municipal ownership has been removed from
the realm of philosophic discussion and put to the test of actual
experience it has failed ingloriously"; Professor Parsons and Mr.
Bemis on the contrary assert, to use Professor Parsons' words, "it is
not public ownership, but private ownership, that is responsible for
our periodic crisis and the ruin of our industries," and "it is not
impossible that the elimination of the public service corporations
through public ownership is one of the things that would do more to
help along the process of making our cities fit." [Footnote:
Outlook, July 27, 1907.]

Because of the divergencies in the results produced by reasoning, a
student should study with considerable care the various processes of
arriving at a conclusion, so that he may be able to tell what methods
are strong, what are weak, and what are fallacious.

According to a common classification, there are two methods of
reasoning: the inductive process, and the deductive process.

1. INDUCTIVE REASONING. When one carefully investigates his reasons
for believing as he does, he often finds that he accepts a certain
statement as true because he is familiar with many specific instances
that tend to establish its truth. The belief that prussic acid is
poisonous is based upon the large number of instances in which its
deadly effect has been apparent. The fact that railroad men are
exposed to injury is unquestioned because every one is familiar with
the many accidents that occur each year. The statement that water
freezes at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit has been proved true by
innumerable tests. This process of reasoning by which, from many
specific instances, the truth of a general statement is established,
is called _induction._

An example of inductive reasoning is found in the following passage:--

Does the closing of the saloons affect appreciably the amount of
drunkenness in the community? A comparison of the same town or city in
successive years--one year under one system, and the next year under
the other--furnishes a basis for accurate judgment. Evidence of this
sort is all one way, and it seems to be conclusive.

The tables prepared by the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of
Labor, in 1905, under special instructions from the legislature, show
that in Haverhill the average number of arrests per month under
license was 81.63, under no-license, 26.50; in Lynn, under license,
315, under no-license, 117.63; in Medford, under license, 20.12,
under no-license, 13.25; in Pittsfield, under license, 93.25, under
no-license, 36.75; and in Salem, under license, 140.50, under
no-license, 29.63. Such comparisons might be multiplied, but it is
unnecessary. There is no escaping the conclusion that the closing of
the saloons, under the Local Option system, does sensibly diminish the
volume of drunkenness. [Footnote: Atlantic Monthly, Vol. XC, p. 437.]

In using inductive reasoning, one must always be on his guard against
drawing conclusions too hastily. It is never correct to conclude from
a consideration of only a few instances that a general truth has been
discovered. Further examination may show that the opinion first formed
will not hold. Some people call all men dishonest because several
acquaintances have not kept faith with them. Others are ready to
believe that because they have made money in the stock market all can
do likewise. Most superstitions arise through generalization from too
few instances: those who have several times met misfortune on the
thirteenth day of the month are apt to say that the thirteenth is
always an unlucky day. Such reasoning as this shows the weakness of
inductive argument: a conclusion is worthless if it is drawn from too
few examples.

Professor Fred Lewis Pattee, in writing on _Errors in Reasoning_,

Children and even adults often generalize from a single experience.
A little boy cautioned me at one time to keep away from a certain
horse, for "white horses always kick." An old Pennsylvania farmer laid
down the law that shingles laid during the increase of the moon always
curl up. He had tried it once and found out. A friend will advise you
to take Blank's Bitters: "I took a bottle one spring and felt much
better; they always cure." Physicians base their knowledge of
medicines upon the observations of thousands of trained observers
through many years, and not upon a single experience. Most people are
prone to judge their neighbors from too slight acquaintance. If a man
is late at an appointment twice in succession, someone is sure to say:
"Oh, he's always late." This is poor thinking because it is bad
judgment. Judgments should be made with care and from fullness of
experience. [Footnote: The Adult Bible Class and Teacher Training
Monthly, May, 1908, page 295.]

The following quotation illustrates how often hasty generalizations
create prejudice and sway public judgment:--

There is an impression shared by many that the relation between the
white and black races in this country is becoming less amicable and
more and more surcharged with injustice. The basis for this impression
is to be found in certain dramatic and sensational events, in
particular the riots in Springfield, Illinois, and in Atlanta,
Georgia. The memory of those events is becoming faint in many minds;
but the impression they created remains. A dramatic event will have an
effect upon public opinion which statistics, more significant but less
picturesque, will altogether fail to produce. In the horror at the
brief work of a mob the diminution in the annual number of lynchings
is forgotten.

The fundamental mistake in this is in the picking out of a startling
episode or a reckless utterance and regarding it as typical. We do not
arrive at the truth in that way. The Black Hand assassin does not
furnish a true index to the Italian character. Aaron Burr is not an
exhibit of the product of American Puritanism. So, if we wish to find
out what American democracy has done with the negro, we do not search,
if we are wise, into the chain-gang of Georgia or into the slums of
New York. [Footnote: The Outlook, April 4, 1908.]

The value of inductive reasoning depends upon the number of instances
observed. Very seldom is it possible to investigate every case of the
class under discussion. Of course this can sometimes be done. For
instance, one may be able to state that all his brothers are college
graduates, since he can speak authoritatively concerning each one of
them. But usually an examination of every instance is out of the
question, and whenever induction is based on less than all existing
cases, it establishes only _probable_ truth.

From the foregoing it is seen that the tests for induction are two:--

(1) _Have enough instances of the class under consideration been
investigated to establish the existence of a general law?_

(2) _Have enough instances been investigated to establish the
probable existence of a general law?_

2. DEDUCTIVE REASONING. Deductive reasoning is the method of
demonstrating the truth of a particular statement by showing that some
general principle, which has previously been established or which is
admitted to be true, applies to it. A stranger on coming to the United
States might ask whether our postal system is a success. The answer
would perhaps be, "Yes, certainly it is, for it is maintained by the
government, and all our government enterprises are successful." When
the metal thurium was discovered, a query doubtless arose as to
whether it was fusible. It was then reasoned that since all metals
hitherto known were fusible, and since thurium was a metal,
undoubtedly it was fusible. Stated in clearer form, the reasoning in
each case would be:--

A. All our government enterprises are successful.

B. The United States postal system is a government enterprise.

C. Therefore the United States postal system is successful.

A. All metals are fusible.

B. Thurium is a metal.

C. Therefore thurium is fusible.

Such a series of statements is called a syllogism. A syllogism always
consists of a major premise (A), a minor premise (B), and a conclusion
(C). The major premise always states a general law; the minor premise
shows that the general law applies to the particular case under
consideration; and the conclusion is, in the light of the two
premises, an established truth.

The strength of deductive argument depends on two things: the truth of
the premises and the framing of the syllogism. The syllogism must
always be so stated that a conclusion is derived from the application
of a general law to some specific instance to which the law obviously
applies. In the next place, the premises must be true. If they are
only probably correct, the conclusion is a mere presumption; if either
one is false, the conclusion is probably false. But if the syllogism
is correctly framed, and if both premises are true, the conclusion is
irrefutable. As premises are facts that have first been established by
induction, the relation between inductive and deductive reasoning is
very close. In fact, deduction depends on induction for its very
existence. To overthrow a deductive argument all that is necessary is
to show the error in the inductive process that built up either one or
both of the premises.

The tests for deduction are:--

(1) _Are both premises true?_

(2) _Is the fact stated in the minor premise an instance of the
general law expressed in the major premise?_

In practical argumentation it is not always necessary or desirable to
express a deductive argument in full syllogistic form. One premise is
frequently omitted; the syllogism thus shortened is called an
_enthymeme_. The reasoning then takes some such form as, "This
man will fail in business because he is incompetent." The major
premise, "All incompetent men fail in business," is understood, but is
not expressed. The enthymeme constitutes as strong and forceful an
argument as the syllogism, provided the suppressed premise is a well-
established fact; but whenever this premise is not accepted as true,
it must be stated and proved. The argument will then consist of the
full syllogistic process.

The following outline illustrates the chief difference between
induction and deduction:--

The game of football benefits the players physically, because


1. Football is known to have benefited Henry Harvey.
2. Football is known to have benefited Frank Barrs.
3. Football is known to have benefited Penn Armstrong.


1. The game affords the players regular exercise.
2. The game takes them out in the open air.
3. The game develops the lungs.

The deductive reasoning expressed in full would be:--

(1) A. All games that afford the players regular exercise benefit them
    B. Football affords the players regular exercise.
    C. Therefore football benefits the players physically.

The reasoning given in (2) and (3) may be expressed in similar

To test the inductive part of this argument, one should determine how
well the three examples show the existence of a general law. To test
the deductive part, he should ask whether the premises, both those
stated and those suppressed, are admitted facts, or whether they need
to be proved.

If all reasoning were purely inductive or purely deductive, and if it
always appeared in as simple a form as in the preceding illustration,
one would have little difficulty in classifying and testing it. But
frequently the two kinds appear in such obscure form and in such
varied combinations that only an expert logician can separate and
classify them. Because of this difficulty, it is worth while to know a
second method of classification, one which is often of greater
practical service than the method already discussed in assisting the
arguer to determine what methods of reasoning are strong and what are
weak. A knowledge of this classification is also very helpful to one
who is searching for ways in which to generate proof. This method
considers proof from the standpoint of its use in practical argument;
it teaches not so much the different ways in which the mind may work,
as the ways in which it must work to arrive at a sound conclusion.


_The process of reasoning from cause to effect is known as the
argument from antecedent probability._ Whenever a thinking man is
asked to believe a statement, he is much readier to accept it as true
if some reasonable _cause_ is assigned for the existence of the
fact that is being established. The argument from antecedent
probability supplies this cause. The reasoning may be from the past
toward the present, or from the present toward the future. If an
inspector condemns a bridge as unsafe, the question arises, "What has
made it so?" If some one prophesies a rise in the price of railroad
bonds, he is not likely to be believed unless he can show an adequate
cause for the increase. In itself, the establishment of a cause proves
nothing. A bridge may have been subjected to great strain and still be
unimpaired. Though at present there may be ample cause for a future
rise in the securities market, some other condition may intervene and
prevent its operation. The assignment of a cause can at best establish
merely a _probability_, and yet the laws of cause and effect are
so fundamental that man is usually loath to believe that a condition
exists or will exist, until he knows what has brought it about or what
will bring it about. A course of reasoning which argues that a
proposition is true because the fact affirmed is the logical result of
some adequate cause is called _argument from antecedent

Simple examples of this kind of reasoning are found in the following
sentences: "It will rain because an east wind is blowing"; "As most of
our officers in the standing army have been West Point graduates, the
United States military system has reached a high standard of
efficiency." The following are more extended illustrations:--

It appears to have been fully established that, in certain
industries, various economies in production--such as eliminating cross
freights, concentrating the superintending force, running best plants
to full capacity, etc.--can be made from production on a large scale,
or, in other instances, through the combination of different
establishments favorably located in different sections of the country.
It is, of course, not to be expected that any one source of saving
will be found applicable in all industries, nor that the importance of
any will be the same in different industries; but in many industries
enough sources of saving will be found to make combination profitable.
This statement does not ignore the fact that there may be, in many
instances, disadvantages enough to offset the benefits; but experience
does seem to show that, in many cases, at least, the cost of
manufacture, and distribution is materially lessened.

Granting that these savings can be made, it is evident that the
influence of Industrial Combinations might readily be to lower prices
to consumers. [Footnote: Jeremiah W. Jenks, North American Review,
June, 1901, page 907.]

In attempting to prove that operas can be successfully produced in
English, Francis Rogers says:--

We have a poetic literature of marvelous richness. Only the Germans
can lay claim to a lyric wealth as great as ours. The language we
inherit is an extraordinarily rich one. A German authority credits it
with a vocabulary three times as large as that of France, the poorest,
in number of words, of all the great languages. With such an enormous
fund of words to choose from it seems as if we should be able to
express our thoughts not only with unparalleled exactness and
subtlety, but also with unequalled variety of sound. Further it is
probable that English surpasses the other three great languages of
song, German, Italian, and French, in number of distinguishable vowel
sounds, but in questions of ear authorities usually differ, and it is
hazardous to claim in this an indubitable supremacy. It seems certain,
however, that English has rather more than twice as many vowel sounds
as Italian (the poorest language in this respect), which has only
seven or eight. [Footnote: Scribner's, January, 1909, p. 42.]

Since reasoning from antecedent probability can at best establish only
a strong presumption, and since it is often not of sufficient weight
to accomplish even this, an arguer, to be successful, must know the
tests that determine how strong and how weak an argument of this sort
is. He may apply these tests both to his own reasoning and to the
reasoning of others. The first test is:--

(1) _Is the assigned cause of sufficient strength to produce the
alleged effect?_

The significance of this question is at once apparent. In the case of
a criminal prosecution, it asks whether the accused had sufficient
motive for performing the deed. In connection with political and
economic propositions that advocate a change in existing conditions,
this test asks whether the new method proposed is sufficiently virile
and far-reaching actually to produce the excellent results
anticipated. A few years ago the advocates of free silver were
maintaining that "sixteen to one" would be a sure cure for all poverty
and financial distress. A careful application of this test would have
materially weakened such an argument. Believers in reformatory rather
than punitive methods of imprisonment say it is antecedently probable
that kind treatment, healthful surroundings, and instruction in
various directions will reclaim most criminals to an honest life.
Before accepting or rejecting this argument, one should decide in his
own mind whether or not such treatment is adequate to make a released
convict give up his former criminal practices.

If the argument stands the first test, the next question to ask is:--

(2) _May some other cause intervene and prevent the action of the
assigned cause?_

During the spring of 1908 it was generally known that the Erie
Railroad had no money with which to pay the interest that was about
due on its outstanding bonds. Wall Street prophesied that the road
would go into a receiver's hands. This result was extremely probable.
Mr. Harriman, however, president of the Union Pacific, stepped in and
by arranging for the payment of the interest saved the road from
bankruptcy. This was an example of how an intervening cause prevented
the action of the assigned cause. When Congress passed the Fifteenth
Amendment to the Constitution, many people said that this legislation
would inevitably cause the social, political, and financial ruin of
the whole South. Since they did not take into consideration the
intervening action of another cause, namely, drastic measures for
negro disfranchisement by the white inhabitants of the South, their
reasoning from antecedent probability was entirely erroneous.


ARGUMENT FROM EFFECT TO CAUSE. The process of reasoning from effect to
cause is called argument from sign. Since every circumstance must be
the result of some preceding circumstance, the arguer tries to find
the cause of some fact that is known to exist, and thereby to
establish the existence of a hitherto unknown fact. For instance, when
one sees a pond frozen over, he is likely to reason back to the cause
of this condition and decide that there has been a fall in
temperature, a fact that he may not have known before. The sight of
smoke indicates the presence of fire. Human footprints in the snow are
undoubted proof that someone has been present.

In the following quotation, the recent prohibition movement in the
South is said to be a sign that the voters wish to keep liquor away
from the negro:--

What is the cause of this drift toward prohibition in the South? The
obvious cause, and the one most often given in explanation, is the
presence of the negro. It is said that the vote for prohibition in the
South represents exactly the same reasoning which excludes liquor from
Indian reservations, shuts it out by international agreement from the
islands of the Pacific, and excludes it from great areas in Africa
under the British flag; and that, wherever there is an undeveloped
race, the reasons for restrictions upon the liquor traffic become
convincing. [Footnote: Atlantic Monthly, May, 1908, p. 632.]

The strength of this kind of reasoning depends upon the closeness of
the connection between the effect and the assigned cause. In testing
argument from sign, one should ask:--

(1) _Is the cause assigned adequate to produce the observed

This test is precisely the same as the test of adequacy for antecedent
probability. One could not maintain that the productiveness of a
certain piece of ground was due entirely to the kind of fertilizer
used on it, nor that a national financial upheaval was caused by the
failure of a single unimportant bank. In each of these cases the cause
suggested may have assisted in producing the result, but obviously it
was not of itself adequate to be the sole cause.

(2) _Could the observed effect have resulted from any other cause
than the one assigned?_

If several possible causes exist, then it is necessary to consider
them all, and show that all the causes except the assigned cause did
not produce the observed effect. If an employer who has been robbed
discovers that one of his clerks has suddenly come into possession of
a large sum of money, he may surmise that his clerk is a thief. This
argument is valueless, however, unless he can show that his employee
did not receive his newly acquired wealth through inheritance,
fortunate investment, or some other reasonable method. But if no other
reason than burglary or embezzlement can explain the presence of this
money, the argument is very strong.

One might greatly weaken the argument (quoted earlier) which assigned
the cause of the recent prohibition movement in the South to the
presence of the negro by showing that this action was not the result
of the assigned cause, but largely of another cause. He might prove
that during the debate in the Georgia Legislature upon the pending
prohibitory bill, the negro was not once mentioned as a reason for the
enactment of prohibition; and that the chief arguments in favor of
prohibition were based upon the fact that the saloon element had
formed a political ring in the South and were controlling the election
of sheriffs, mayors, aldermen, and legislators.

ARGUMENT FROM EFFECT TO EFFECT. Argument from sign also includes the
process of reasoning from effect to effect through a common cause.
This method consists of combining the process just described with the
argument from antecedent probability. A reduction of wages in one
cotton mill is a sign that there may be a reduction in other cotton
mills. Here the reasoning goes from effect to effect, passing,
however, though perhaps the reasoner is not aware that the process is
so complex, through a cause common to both effects. In full, the
reasoning would be: a reduction in the first mill is the result of the
cause "hard times"; it is then antecedently probable that this cause
will produce a similar reduction of wages in other mills.

This method may be represented by the following figure:--

         / \
        /   \
       /     \
      /       \
   Effect    Effect

Only one effect is known; the other effect is inferred, first, by a
process of reasoning from a known effect to an unknown cause, and
secondly, by the process of reasoning from this assumed cause to an
unknown effect.

This method of reasoning is sound and legitimate when both effects
have the same cause. Its weakness lies in the fact that it may be
attacked on two sides: on the reasoning from effect to cause, and on
the reasoning from cause to effect. If the connection can be broken in
either process, the argument is overthrown. The tests to be used have
already been given.


Argument from example is the name given to the process by which one
reasons that what has been true under certain circumstances will again
be true under the same or similar circumstances. In using this method
of reasoning one argues that whenever several persons or things or
conditions are alike in some respects, any given cause operating upon
them will in each case produce the same effect; any line of action
adopted by them will in each case have the same result.

There are two divisions of argument from example. When the resemblance
between the things compared is close, the process is called argument
by generalization; when the resemblance is so slight that there can be
no direct comparison, but only a comparison of functions, the process
is called argument from analogy.

ARGUMENT BY GENERALIZATION. If one finds that a certain mastiff
becomes with training an excellent watch dog, he may reasonably take
it for granted that training will produce the same result in another
dog of the same breed. If a college student with certain pronounced
physical and mental characteristics is known to be an exceptionally
good football player, the athletic trainer is sure to reason by
generalization that another student with these same characteristics
would be a valuable addition to the team. Burke in his _Speech on
Conciliation_ uses this kind of reasoning when he says that just as
Turkey and Spain have found it necessary to govern their distant
possessions with a loose rein, so, too, England will be obliged to
govern the American Colonies leniently.

Benjamin Harrison used this method of argument in the following

That we give back to Porto Rico all the revenue derived from the
customs we levy, does not seem to me to soften our dealings with her
people. Our fathers were not mollified by the suggestion that the tea
and stamp taxes would be expended wholly for the benefit of the
colonies. It is to say: We do not need this money; it is only levied
to show that your country is no part of the United States, and that
you are not citizens of the United States, save at our pleasure.
[Footnote: North American Review, January, 1901, p. 17.]

Argument by generalization very rarely constitutes absolute proof. In
dealing with things, it may do so in rare cases; in dealing with human
actions, almost never. The reason why it can establish only a strong
probability lies in a weakness in the process of reasoning.

Notice that while this kind of argument apparently reasons directly
from the example cited to the case in hand, there is in reality an
intermediate step. This step is a general truth of which both the
known fact and the fact to be proved must be instances. When it is
argued that since one mastiff makes a good watch dog another mastiff
will also make a good watch dog, the reasoning passes through the
general statement, "All mastiffs make good watch dogs."

Graphically the process might be represented thus:--

          General Law
             /  \
            /    \
           /      \
   Known Fact    Fact to be Proved

This method is very much like the method of reasoning from effect to
effect, except that here the intermediate step does not _cause_,
but merely accounts for the facts. In the illustration taken from
Burke, the known fact is that neither Turkey nor Spain can govern
their distant provinces despotically. The general law is that no
country can govern a distant dependency harshly. The fact proved is
that England cannot play the despot with the American Colonies.

The weakness of this sort of reasoning is now easily seen. In the
first place, there are few general laws governing human action that
always hold true. In the second place, unless there is a very strong
resemblance between the cases compared, unless they are alike in all
essential particulars, they will not both be examples of the working
of one general law.

The following quotation points out an error that might be made from
too hasty reasoning by example:--

On August 23d the Southern Railway, which since 1902 had been paying
5 per cent. annual dividends on its preferred stock, voted to reduce
those dividends from a 5 per cent. annual rate to one of 3. Five days
later, on August 28th, the Erie Railroad, which had been paying 4 per
cent ... announced that it would pay no cash dividend this time, but
would issue to the amount of the usual 4 per cent. dividend, what it
called dividend warrants, which were practically notes at 4 per cent.
redeemable in cash in 1907.

It was natural that this action regarding dividends should have
awakened much uneasiness.... To predict a similar cutting of dividends
by other railway companies would, however, be unwarranted. The case of
the Southern Railway and the Erie was peculiar. Each had been classed
among the financially weak railways of the country. Both were
reorganized from absolute railway wrecks, and in each the new scheme
of capitalization was proposed to the markets at a time when recovery
from the depression of 1893 had not made such progress as it had
achieved when the greater companies, like the Union Pacific, were
reorganized. The result was that, with both these railways, provisions
of working capital and adjustment of liabilities to the possible needs
of an active industrial future were inadequately made. [Footnote:
Alexander D. Noyes, The Forum, October-December, 1907, p.198.]

An excellent illustration of how to refute argument by generalization
is found in the following quotation. It has been said that since
England finds free trade beneficial, the United States should adopt
the same policy. Mr. Reed, a leading advocate of protection, points
out the weakness of this argument.

According to the usual story that is told, England had been engaged
with a long and vain struggle with the demon of protection, and had
been year after year sinking farther into the depths, until at a
moment when she was in her distress and saddest plight, her
manufacturing system broke down, "protection, having destroyed home
trade by reducing," as Mr. Atkinson says, "the entire population to
beggary, destitution, and want." Mr. Cobden and his friends
providentially appeared, and after a hard struggle established a
principle for all time and for all the world, and straightway England
enjoyed the sum of human happiness. Hence all good nations should do
as England has done and be happy ever after.

Suppose England, instead of being a little island in the sea, had been
the half of a great continent full of raw material, capable of an
internal commerce which would rival the commerce of all the rest of
the world.

Suppose every year new millions were flocking to her shores, and every
one of those new millions in a few years, as soon as they tasted the
delights of a broader life, would become as great a consumer as any
one of her own people.

Suppose that these millions, and the 70,000,000 already gathered under
the folds of her flag, were every year demanding and receiving a
higher wage and therefore broadening her market as fast as her
machinery could furnish production. Suppose she had produced cheap
food beyond all her wants, and that her laborers spent so much money
that whether wheat was sixty cents a bushel or twice that sum hardly
entered the thoughts of one of them except when some democratic tariff
bill was paralyzing his business.

Suppose that she was not only but a cannon shot from France, but that
every country in Europe had been brought as near to her as Baltimore
is to Washington--for that is what cheap ocean freights mean between
us and European producers. Suppose all those countries had her
machinery, her skilled workmen, her industrial system, and labor forty
per cent. cheaper. Suppose under that state of facts, with all her
manufactures proclaiming against it, frantic in their disapproval,
England had been called upon by Cobden to make the plunge into free
trade, would she have done it? Not if Cobden had been backed by the
angelic host. History gives England credit for great sense. [Footnote:
Thomas B. Reed, Speech in House of Representatives, Feb. 1, 1904.]

ARGUMENT FROM ANALOGY. When two instances of objects which are
_unlike in themselves_, but which _perform similar functions or
have similar relations_, are compared for the sake of showing that
what is true in one case is true in the other, the process is called
_argument from analogy_. The following quotation is a good
illustration of this kind of argument:--

"Mr. Pinchot compared our present consumption of wood to the case of
a man in an open boat at sea, cut adrift from some shipwreck and with
but a few days' supply of water on board. He drinks all the water the
first day, simply because he is thirsty, though he knows that the
water will not last long. The American people know that their wood
supply will last but a few decades. Yet they shut their eyes to the

Water and wood are not alike in themselves; they cannot be directly
compared, but they are alike in the relations they bear to other

When President Lincoln refused to change generals at a certain time
during the Civil War, saying that it was not wise to "swap horses
while crossing a stream," he reasoned from analogy. Since the horse in
taking its master across the stream and the general in conducting a
campaign are totally unlike in themselves but have similar relations,
the argument is from analogy and not from generalization.

It is easy to see that such reasoning never constitutes indubitable
proof. If argument from generalization, where the objects compared
differ from each other in only a few respects, is weak, plainly,
argument from analogy is much weaker, since the objects are alike
merely in the relations they bear.

Though argument from analogy does not constitute proof, yet it is
often valuable as a means of illustration. Truths frequently need
illumination more than verification, and in such cases this sort of
comparison may be very useful. Many proverbs are condensed arguments
from analogy, their strength depending upon the similarity between the
known case and the case in hand. It is not hard to find the analogy in
these expressions: "Lightning never strikes twice in the same place";
"Don't count your chickens before they are hatched"; "A fool and his
money are soon parted."

The student who has carefully read this chapter up to this point
should have a fairly clear idea of the nature of proof; he should know
that proof consists of evidence and reasoning; he should know the
tests for each of these; and he should be able to distinguish between
strong and weak arguments. The next step for him to take will be to
apply these instructions in generating proof for any statement that he
wishes to establish.

A common fault in argumentation is the failure to support important
points with sufficient proof. One or two points well established will
go farther toward inducing belief in a proposition than a dozen points
that are but weakly substantiated. A statement should be proved not
only by inductive reasoning, but, if possible, by deductive. If one
uses argument from antecedent probability in establishing a statement,
he should not rest content with this one method of proof, but he
should try also to use argument from sign, and argument from example,
and, whenever he can, he should quote authority.

Notice that in the following outline three kinds of proof are used.
The amount of proof here given is by no means sufficient to establish
the truth of the proposition being upheld; the outline, however, does
illustrate the proper method of building up the proof of a

The present condition of the United States Senate is deplorable.


  I. The present method of electing Senators is ample cause for such a
       condition, since

     A. Senators are not responsible to any one, as

        1. They are not responsible to the people, for

           a. The people do not elect them.

        2. They are not responsible to the legislature, for

           a. The legislature changes inside of six years.


 II. There is ample evidence to prove that the condition is

     A. States are often unrepresented in the Senate. (Haynes'
       _Election of Senators_, page 158.)

     B. Many Senators have fallen into disrepute, for

        1. One out of every ten members of the Fifty-eighth
             Congress had been before the courts on criminal charges.
             (Harper's Weekly, Vol. XLIV, page 113.)

     C. Many Senators have engaged in fist fights on the floor of the
          Senate Chamber.


III. Prominent men testify to its deplorable condition. (A. M. Low,
       North American Review, Vol. CLXXIV, page 231; D. G. Phillips,
       Cosmopolitan, Vol. XL, page 487.)


Though it has been stated in a previous chapter that the persuasive
portions of an argument should be found for the most part in the
introduction and the conclusion, still persuasion in the discussion is
extremely important. It is true that the real work of the discussion
is to prove the proposition; but if conviction alone be used, there is
great danger, in most cases, that the arguer will weary his audience,
lose their attention, and thus fail to drive home the ideas that he
wishes them to adopt. Since everything depends upon how the arguer has
already treated his subject, and how it has been received by the
audience, specific directions for persuasion in the discussion cannot
possibly be given. Suggestions in regard to this matter must be even
more abstract and general than were the directions for persuasion in
the introduction.

To begin with, persuasion in the discussion should usually be of a
supplementary nature. Unless the arguer has won the attention and, to
some extent at least, the good will of his audience before he
commences upon his proof, he may as well confess failure and proceed
no farther. If, however, the persuasiveness of his introduction has
accomplished the purpose for which it exists, he may introduce his
proof without hesitation, taking care all the time to interweave
enough persuasion to maintain the favorable impression that he has
already made.

In general, the directions for doing this are the same as those for
securing persuasion in the introduction. In both divisions
_modesty_, _fairness_, and _sincerity_, are the characteristics that make
for success. The same conditions that demand these qualities in one place
require their use throughout the whole argument. Then, too, it is often
effective to make occasionally an appeal to some strong emotion. As a
rule, the attitude of the modern audience is essentially one of
indifference, of so great indifference that special effort must be made
first to gain, then to hold, their attention. The direct emotional appeal,
when the subject, the occasion, and the audience are such that
there is no danger of its being ludicrous, will usually accomplish this
result. If such a method, however, is manifestly out of place, other means
must be sought for producing a similar effect.

One of the very commonest devices for gaining attention is to relate a
short anecdote. Everybody enjoys a good story, and if it is chosen
with proper regard for its illustrative value, the argument is sure to
be strengthened. On the whole, humorous stories are best. They often
relieve the tedium of an otherwise dry speech, and not only serve as
persuasion, but drive home a point with greater emphasis than could
the most elaborate course of reasoning. This method is so familiar to
every one that detailed explanation is unnecessary. Owing to the
limited amount of time at their command, student debaters can, as a
rule, use only the very shortest stories, and these should be chosen
for their illustrative rather than for their persuasive value; in
written arguments greater latitude is possible.

Another method that often finds favor in both written and spoken
arguments is the introduction of a paragraph showing the importance of
the topic under consideration. Oftentimes the arguer can show that
this particular phase of the subject is of wider significance than at
first appears. Perhaps he can draw a picture that will turn a
seemingly uninteresting and commonplace subject into one that is
teeming with romance and wonderment. For example, consider the
following extract from Burke's speech on _Conciliation with the
American Colonies_:--

This is the relative proportion of the importance of the colonies at
these two periods: and all reasoning concerning our mode of treating
them must have this proportion as its basis; or it is a reasoning
weak, rotten and sophistical.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot prevail on myself to hurry over this great
consideration. It is good for us to be here. We stand where we have an
immense view of what is, and what is passed. Clouds, indeed, and
darkness rest upon the future. Let us, however, before we descend from
this noble eminence, reflect that this growth of our national
prosperity has happened within the short period of the life of man. It
has happened within sixty-eight years. There are those alive whose
memory might touch the two extremities. For instance, my Lord Bathurst
might remember all the stages of the progress. He was in 1704 of an
age at least to be made to comprehend such things. He was then old
enough _acta parentum jam legere, et quae sit poterit cognoscere
virtus_. Suppose, sir, that the angel of this auspicious youth, foreseeing
the many virtues which made him one of the most amiable, as he is one
of the most fortunate, men of his age, had opened to him in vision, that
when in the fourth generation the third prince of the House of
Brunswick had sat twelve years on the throne of that nation which (by
the happy issue of moderate and healing counsels) was to be made
Great Britain, he should see his son, Lord Chancellor of England, turn
back the current of hereditary dignity to its fountain and raise him to an
higher rank of peerage, whilst he enriched the family with a new one;
--if, amidst these bright and happy scenes of domestic honor and
prosperity, that angel should have drawn up the curtain and unfolded
the rising glories of his country, and, whilst he was gazing with
admiration on the then commercial grandeur of England, the genius
should point out to him a little speck, scarcely visible in the mass of
the national interests, a small seminal principle rather than a formed
body, and should tell him,--"Young man, there is America, which at this
day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men
and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself
equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of
the world. Whatever England has been growing to by a progressive
increase of improvement, brought in by varieties of people, by
succession of civilizing conquests and civilizing settlements in a series
of seventeen hundred years, you shall see as much added to her by
America in the course of a single life!" If this state of his country had
been foretold to him, would it not require all the sanguine credulity of
youth and all the fervid glow of enthusiasm to make him believe it?
Fortunate man, he has lived to see it! Fortunate indeed, if he lives to
see nothing that shall vary the prospect and cloud the setting of his day!

Excuse me, sir, if, turning from such thoughts, I resume this
comparative view once more. [Footnote: Speech in House of Commons,
March 22, 1775.]

These devices an arguer will often find helpful for bringing an
element of persuasion into his proof, but he should aim at a type of
persuasion much more effective, yet much harder to attain, than is the
result of any mere device. Proof is the strongest when each separate
bit of it appeals both to the reason and the emotions. If an arguer
can connect his subject with the feelings of his audience and then
introduce reasoning processes that will at the same time both convince
them and play upon their feelings, he is certain to attain a large
measure of success. Although not all subjects readily lend themselves
to this method of treatment, yet if the debater will go to the very
bottom of his subject and consider the real significance of the
question he is arguing upon, he can usually succeed in making his
conviction persuasive and his persuasion convincing. Undoubtedly the
best way for a student to train himself in this respect is to study
great arguments. The following quotation from Beecher's speech in
Liverpool, delivered before an audience composed mostly of men
engaged in manufacturing, is an excellent example of persuasive

The things required for prosperous labor, prosperous manufactures,
and prosperous commerce are three: first, liberty; secondly, liberty;
thirdly, liberty--but these are not merely the same liberty, as I
shall show you.

First, there must be liberty to follow those laws of business which
experience has developed, without imposts or restrictions, or
governmental intrusions. Business simply wants to be let alone.

Then, secondly, there must be liberty to distribute and exchange
products of industry in any market without burdensome tariffs, without
imposts, and without vexatious regulations. There must be these two
liberties--liberty to create wealth, as the makers of it think best
according to the light and experience which business has given them;
and then liberty to distribute what they have created without
unnecessary vexatious burdens. The comprehensive law of the ideal
industrial condition of the world is free manufacture and free trade.

I have said there were three elements of liberty. The third is the
necessity of an intelligent and free race of customers. There must be
freedom among producers; there must be freedom among the distributors;
there must be freedom among the customers. It may not have occurred to
you that it makes any difference what one's customers are; but it
does, in all regular and prolonged business. The condition of the
customer determines how much he will buy, determines of what sort he
will buy. Poor and ignorant people buy little and that of the poorest
kind. The richest and the intelligent, having the more means to buy,
buy the most, and always buy the best.

Here, then, are the three liberties: liberty of the producer,
liberty of the distributor, and liberty of the consumer. The first two
need no discussion--they have been long, thoroughly, and brilliantly
illustrated by the political economists of Great Britain, and by her
eminent statesmen; but it seems to me that enough attention has not
been directed to the third, and, with your patience, I will dwell on
that for a moment, before proceeding to other topics.

It is a necessity of every manufacturing and commercial people that
their customers should be very wealthy and intelligent. Let us put the
subject before you in the familiar light of your own local experience.
To whom do the tradesmen of Liverpool sell the most goods at the
highest profit? To the ignorant and poor, or to the educated and
prosperous? The poor man buys simply for his body; he buys food, he
buys clothing, he buys fuel, he buys lodging. His rule is to buy the
least and the cheapest that he can. He goes to the store as seldom as
he can,--he brings away as little as he can--and he buys for the least
he can. Poverty is not a misfortune to the poor only who suffer it,
but it is more or less a misfortune to all with whom they deal.

On the other hand, a man well off--how is it with him? He buys in far
greater quantity. He can afford to do it; he has the money to pay for
it. He buys in far greater variety, because he seeks to gratify not
merely physical wants, but also mental wants. He buys for the
satisfaction of sentiment and taste, as well as of sense. He buys
silk, wool, flax, cotton; he buys all metals--iron, silver, gold,
platinum; in short, he buys for all necessities and of all substances.
But that is not all. He buys a better quality of goods. He buys richer
silks, finer cottons, higher grained wools. Now, a rich silk means so
much skill and care of somebody's that has been expended upon it to
make it finer and richer; and so of cotton, and so of wool. That is,
the price of the finer goods runs back to the very beginning, and
remunerates the workman as well as the merchant. Indeed, the whole
laboring community is as much interested and profited as the mere
merchant, in this buying and selling of the higher grades in the
greater varieties and quantities.

The law of price is the skill; and the amount of skill expended in the
work is as much for the market as are the goods. A man comes to the
market and says, "I have a pair of hands"; and he obtains the lowest
wages. Another man comes and says, "I have something more than a pair
of hands--I have truth and fidelity"; he gets a higher price. Another
man comes and says, "I have something more; I have hands and strength,
and fidelity, and skill." He gets more than either of the others. The
next man comes and says, "I have got hands and strength, and skill,
and fidelity; but my hands work more than that. They know how to
create things for the fancy, for the affections, for the moral
sentiments"; and he gets more than any of the others. The last man
comes and says, "I have all these qualities, and have them so highly
that it is a peculiar genius"; and genius carries the whole market and
gets the highest price. So that both the workman and the merchant are
profited by having purchasers that demand quality, variety, and

Now, if this be so in the town or the city, it can only be so because
it is a law. This is the specific development of a general or
universal law, and therefore we should expect to find it as true of a
nation as of a city like Liverpool. I know it is so, and you know that
it is true of all the world; and it is just as important to have
customers educated, intelligent, moral, and rich, out of Liverpool as
it is in Liverpool. They are able to buy; they want variety; they want
the very best; and those are the customers you want. That nation is
the best customer that is freest, because freedom works prosperity,
industry, and wealth. Great Britain, then, aside from moral
considerations, has a direct commercial and pecuniary interest in the
liberty, civilization, and wealth of every people and every nation on
the globe.

You have also an interest in this, because you are a moral and a
religious people. You desire it from the highest motives, and
godliness is profitable in all things, having the promise of the life
that is, as well as of that which is to come; but if there were no
hereafter, and if man had no progress in this life, and if there were
no question of moral growth at all, it would be worth your while to
protect civilization and liberty, merely as a commercial speculation.
To evangelize has more than a moral and religious import--it comes
back to temporal relations. Wherever a nation that is crushed,
cramped, degraded under despotism, is struggling to be free, you,
Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Paisley, all have an interest that that
nation should be free. When depressed and backward people demand that
they may have a chance to rise--Hungary, Italy, Poland--it is a duty
for humanity's sake, it is a duty for the highest moral motives, to
sympathize with them; but beside all these there is a material and an
interested reason why you should sympathize with them. Pounds and
pence join with conscience and with honor in this design. [Footnote:
The World's Famous Orations, Vol. X, p. 12. Funk and Wagnalls


A. In the following passage point out all assertions that are made,
note whether the source of the evidence is definitely stated, and test
the witnesses that give the evidence.

Reciprocity is the only remedy for the commercial antagonism which
is fast separating Canada and the United States. Canada has long
waited in vain for the culmination of treaties whereby she can trade
with us on equal terms. Now, angered by our long evasion of the
question, she is, according to prominent Canadian statesmen,
contemplating the passage of high protective tariff laws, which will
effectually close the doors of Canadian trade to us. Canada is young,
but she is growing fast. The value of her imports is steadily growing
larger, and if we do not make some concession to her we shall lose
this vast trade. She makes and sells many things of which we do not
have a home supply. Why not then open our doors to her and admit her
products? Would it not be of distinct advantage to us?

The American Press is almost unanimous in declaring that the sum of
the advantages attending this step would far offset any disadvantages.
For instance, the supply of lumber in the United States is fast
becoming exhausted; experts say that in fifteen years we shall have a
lumber famine. If we turn to Canada, however, we see her mountain
slopes green with trees and her wooded valleys covered with millions
of feet of lumber. Why, then, not get our lumber from Canada and
preserve what few forests we do have? Because of the exorbitant tariff
on imported lumber. Lumber at its present high prices is even cheap
compared with the price of imported lumber. Moreover, lumber is not
the only article that is expensive here, though it is cheap just
across the line in Canada. The World's Work, Vol. V, page 2979, says
that reciprocity with Canada would cheapen many articles that are now

B. Point out the kind of reasoning found in each of the following

1. The wholesale destruction of the forests in many States portends
the loss of our whole timber supply.

2. His faithful performance of every duty assures him an early

3. Since he succeeded well in his college work, it is an assured fact
that he will make a brilliant reputation for himself in business.

4. Caesar had his Brutus, Charles I his Cromwell, and George III--may
profit by their example.

5. The well-tilled fields, the carefully-trimmed hedges, and the sleek
appearance of the stock bespoke a thrifty and industrious farmer.

6. You tried in Wales to raise a revenue which the people thought
excessive and unjust: the attempt ended in oppression, resistance,
rebellion, and loss to yourselves. You tried in the Duchy of Lancaster
to raise a revenue which the people believed unjust: this effort ended
in oppression, rebellion, vexation, and loss to yourselves. You are
now trying to raise in America a revenue which the Colonists
disapprove. What must be the result?

7. Then, sir, from these six capital sources: of descent; of form of
government; of religion in the northern provinces; of manners in the
southern; of education; of the remoteness of situation from the first
mover of government--from all these causes a fierce spirit of liberty
has grown up.

8. Collective bargaining is an advantage to working men; it tends to
give them some share in the control of the industry to which they

9. That a free labor union is not the impractical dream of an idealist
is to be found in the fact that some of the greatest and most
successful of the labor organizations have always adhered to the
principle of the open shop. In the Pennsylvania coal-mines union and
non-union miners labored together in the same mine and reaped the same
benefits from the collective bargaining carried on for them by John
Mitchell. In the recent anarchy in Colorado, the one mine which went
on with its work peacefully, prosperously, and without disturbance,
until it was closed by military orders, was a mine which maintained
the principle of the open shop, and in which union and non-union men
worked peacefully together.

10. Suppose that all the property you were worth was in gold, and you
had put it in the hands of Blondin, the famous rope-walker, to carry
across the Niagara Falls on a tight rope. Would you shake the rope
while he was passing over it, or keep shouting to him, "Blondin, stoop
a little more! Go a little faster!" No, I am sure you would not. You
would hold your breath as well as your tongue, and keep your hand off
until he was safely over. Now the government is in the same situation.
It is carrying an immense weight across a stormy ocean. Untold
treasures are in its hands. It is doing the best it can. Don't badger
it! Just keep still and it will get you safely over.

C. Prove or disprove the following statements, using, wherever it is
possible, argument from antecedent probability, sign, example, and
authority. Give references for all evidence except generally admitted

1. The negro is not prepared to receive the same kind of education
that the white man receives.

2. Railway pooling lowers freight rates.

3. The election of Senators by State Legislatures is undemocratic.

4. The present commercial relations between Canada and the United
States are detrimental to the industries of the United States.

5. The influence of labor unions has greatly diminished child labor in
the United States.

6. Woman suffrage would purify politics.

7. Egypt is benefited by the control of England.

8. Strikes benefit the working man.

9. The municipal ownership of street railways is a financial failure.

10. Lumber companies threaten the extermination of the forests in the
United States.



The second division of a brief, corresponding to the second division
of a complete argument, is called the _discussion_. In this part
of his brief the arguer logically arranges all the evidence and
reasoning that he wishes to use in establishing or overthrowing his
proposition. Illustrative material, rhetorical embellishment, and
other forms of persuasion that may enter into the finished argument
are omitted, but the real proof is complete in the brief.

There are two possible systems of arranging proof. For the sake of
convenience they may be called the "because" method and the
"therefore" method. These methods derive their names from the
connectives that are used. When the "because" method is used, the
proof follows the statement being established, and is connected to
this statement with some such word as: _as_, _because_,
_for_, or _since_. To illustrate:--

  I. Expenses at a country college are less than at a city college,

     A. At the country college room rent is cheaper.

     B. Table board costs less.

     C. Amusement places are less numerous.

Under the "therefore" method, the proof precedes the statement being
established; the connectives are _hence_ and _therefore_.
The previous argument arranged in this form would read as follows:--

  A. Since room rent is cheaper at the country college than at the
       city college, and

  B. Since table board costs less, and

  C. Since amusement places are less numerous, _therefore_.

     I. Expenses at a country college are less than at a city college.

The student should always use the "because" method of arrangement. It
is preferable to the "therefore" method since it affords a much easier
apprehension of the argument advanced. If the reader of the brief has
the conclusion in his mind at the very start, he can test the strength
and adequacy of the proof very quickly, and can, perhaps, the first
time he reads the argument form an opinion as to its worth. But he
will almost always have difficulty in grasping the significance of
evidence and reasoning before he knows what the proof is expected to
prove. The "therefore" method usually obliges a careful reasoner,
after finally reaching the conclusion, to go over the whole proof a
second time.

To assist the student in carrying out the proper arrangement of his
proof, two rules have been formulated. One rule deals with main
headings, the headings marked with the Roman numerals; the other deals
with subordinate headings.

Rule IX. _Phrase each principal statement in the discussion so that
it will read as a reason for the truth or the falsity of the

Rule X. _Phrase each subordinate statement in the discussion so that
it will read as a reason for the truth of the statement to which it is
subordinate. The connectives to be used are: as, because, for, and

In connection with the first of these rules, notice that principal
headings read as reasons for the truth or the falsity of the
proposition. Obviously they read as reasons for the truth if the brief
is on the affirmative side, and for the falsity if the brief is on the
negative side. Headings and subheadings should always be supported,
not demolished.

The error of making unsupported statements in a complete argument has
already been discussed. Assertion in a brief is equally faulty. To
insure belief, all statements must rest ultimately either upon the
testimony of witnesses or upon statements admitted to be true.

Notice how unconvincing is the following portion of a brief:--

Proposition--American cities should own and operate all street-car
lines within their limits.

  I. The present system of operating street-car lines is efficient,

     A. The street-car service in the United States is the best in
          the world.

     B. Street-car fare in the United States is remarkably low.

The insertion of testimony, however, to substantiate A and B turns
this bit of brief into excellent proof.

  I. The present system of operating street-car lines is efficient,

     A. The street-car service in the United States is the best in
          the world, because

        1. It is best in respect to extent, since

           a. James W. Garner says that England has less than a
                quarter of the street-car facilities found in the
                United States. (Dial, Feb. 1908, p. 20.)

           b. In 1902, two hundred and ninety-five communities in the
                United Kingdom of from 8,000 to 25,000 inhabitants
                were without street cars; while in the United States
                there were only twenty-one such communities.
                (Municipal and Private Operation of Public Utilities,
                W. J. Clark, Vol. I, p. 445.)

        2. It is best in regard to equipment and accommodation, since

           a. The cars are the best equipped in the world. (Ibid.)

           b. The cars are run with shorter intervals between them
              than anywhere else in the world. (Ibid.)

     B. The fare in the United States is remarkably low, because

        1. Although the fare in Glasgow, a leading exponent of
             municipal ownership, is but twopence, yet it will carry
             one only eight miles; but five cents in New York will
             carry one fifty miles.

Rule XI. _Make no unsupported statements unless they are generally
admitted to be true_.

It has already been shown that the arguer must reveal to his audience
the sources from which he gathered his evidence. If he gained certain
information from magazines, he should state definitely the name, the
volume, and the page; if he gained his information elsewhere, he
should be equally explicit. Since this knowledge of the source of the
evidence is essential to the success of the proof, a statement of the
sources is a part of the work of conviction. Accordingly, these
sources must be stated in the brief as well as in the expanded
argument. Thus the rule:--

Rule XII. _After all evidence state in parentheses the source from
which it came_.

In addition to establishing the side of the proposition which it
advocates, a good brief almost invariably refutes the main arguments
of the opposite side. The way in which this refutation is expressed is
very important. A brief on the affirmative side of the proposition,
"_Resolved_, That the Panama canal should be built at sea-level,"
would be weak and ludicrous, if, when answering the argument for the
negative that the cost of a sea-level canal would be enormous, it
should contain the following reasoning:--

The Panama Canal should be built at sea-level,
  I. The cost would not be much greater than for a lock canal.

One might think from this statement that the drawer of the brief
considered the contention that the sea-level type would cost a little
though not much more than the other type, a positive argument in favor
of the sea-level canal. In reality it is nothing of the sort. The
arguer is merely trying to destroy his opponent's argument to the
effect that expense is an obstacle in the way of the sea-level type.
This refutation should be expressed in such a manner as to show that
it is refutation and not positive proof. It might well read something
like this:--

The Panama Canal should be built at sea-level,
  I. The contention of the negative that a sea-level canal would cost
       enormously more than a lock-canal is unsound, since,

     A. Etc.

Notice that this form of refutation states clearly the argument to be
answered. No doubt can arise from such a statement as to the direction
the argument is taking; no confusion can occur between refutation and
positive proof. Hence the rule:--

Rule XIII. _Phrase refutation so that the argument to be answered is
clearly stated_.


As there is but one rule for brief-drawing that applies to the
conclusion, it may well be given at this point. The purpose and the
value of this rule are so apparent that no explanation is necessary.

Rule XIV. _Put into the conclusion a summary of the essential points
established in the discussion_.



I. _Divide the brief into three parts, and mark them respectively,
Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion_.

II. _Express each idea in the brief in the form of a complete

III. _Make in each statement only a single assertion_.

IV. _Make each statement as concise as is consistent with

V. _Indicate the relation between statements by indentation and by
the use of symbols_.

VI. _Mark each statement with only one symbol_.


VII. _Put into the introduction sufficient explanation for a
complete understanding of the discussion. This explanation usually
involves (a) a definition of terms, (b) an explanation of the meaning
of the proposition, (c) a statement of the issues, and (d) the

VIII. _Put into the introduction only statements admitted by both


IX. _Phrase each principal statement in the discussion so that it
will read as a reason for the truth or the falsity of the

X. _Phrase each subordinate statement in the discussion so that it
will read as a reason for the truth of the statement to which it is
subordinate. The connectives to be used are: as, because, for, and

XI. _Make no unsupported statements unless they are generally
admitted to be true_.

XII. _After all evidence state in parentheses the source from which
it came_.

XIII. _Phrase refutation so that the argument to be answered is
clearly stated_.


XIV. _Put into the conclusion a summary of the essential points
established in the discussion_.


_Resolved_, That immigration to the United States should be
further restricted by an educational test.



  I. The question of further restricting immigration to the United
       States by an educational test gains in importance from the
       alleged impairment of American institutions and standards by

 II. The following explanations will aid in the discussion of the

     A. Immigration to the United States means the migrating of people
          into the United States for the purpose of permanent
          residence. (Century Dictionary.)

     B. The restrictive measures now in force are as follows:--

        1. Idiots, insane persons, paupers, convicts, diseased
             persons, anarchists, polygamists, women for immoral
             purposes, assisted aliens, contract laborers, and the
             Chinese are excluded. (Statutes of the United States.)

        2. A head tax of four dollars is imposed. (Ibid.)

     C. The proposed restrictive measure is as follows:--

        1. Every immigrant to the United States between the ages of
             fifteen and fifty must be able to read and write a few
             sentences of some language. (Congressional Record, Vol.
             XXVIII, page 5421.).

III. The points to be determined seem to be:--

     A. Is there a need for further restriction of immigration?

     B. If there is such a need, would the educational test accomplish
        this further restriction in a proper manner?


  I. There is great need for further restriction of immigration,

     A. The character of the immigrants since 1880 has greatly changed
          for the worse, for

        1. Before 1880 most of the immigrants were earnest, energetic
             people from northern and western Europe. (International
             Encyclopaedia, under Immigration.)

        2. At the present time seventy and one-half per cent. of the
             total number of immigrants are from the unenergetic
             people of southern and eastern Europe. (Ibid.)

        3. More immigrants have become paupers than was formerly the
             case, for

           a. Prior to 1880 there were comparatively few paupers among
                the immigrants. (Ibid.)

           b. At present the percentage of pauperism among the
                foreigners here is four times as great as among the
                natives. (Ibid.)

        4. While the Germans, English, and other immigrants from
             northern Europe who came here before 1880 were moral and
             upright, the present immigrants from southern Europe have
             a low code of morals, for

           a. The moral degeneracy of the races of southern Europe is
                well known. (Henry Rood, Forum, Vol. XIV, page 116.)

        5. Crime among foreigners in this country has increased
             immensely, for

           a. In 1905 twenty-eight per cent, of our criminals were of
                foreign birth. (Report of the Commissioner-General of
                Immigration for 1905.)

        6. Illiteracy among immigrants has greatly increased, for

           a. In 1905 the percentage of illiterates of foreign birth
                was twenty-six. (Ibid.)

           b. Many of the present immigrants are illiterates from
                southern Italy. (S. E. Moffett, Review of Reviews,
                Vol. 28, page 55.)

     B. The condition of the cities and especially of their slum
          districts is alarming, for

        1. The number of immigrants is increasing astonishingly,
             inasmuch as,

           a. 8,385 immigrants arrived in 1820.

           b. 788,992 immigrants arrived in 1882.

           c. 1,026,499 immigrants arrived in 1905. (Report of
                Commissioner-General of Immigration, 1905. page 42.)

        2. Two-thirds of the total number of immigrants in 1902
             settled in the cities. (Editorial in Outlook, Vol. LXXI,
             page 154.)

        3. These congested districts foster unsanitary conditions,
             physical degeneration, and crime. (Deputy Clerk of
             Children's Court, New York City, North American Review,
             Vol. CLXXIX, page 731.)

        4. Charitable organizations are unable to cope with the
             problems in congested districts, for

           a. The number of immigrants is increasing too rapidly.
                (Report of Commissioner-General of Immigration, 1905.)

     C. The present immigration is politically harmful, for

        1. Immigrants of the kind that are now coming in do not make
             good citizens, because

           a. They are indifferent to civic manners, for

              1'. They cannot appreciate the spirit of American
                    government, as has previously been shown.

           b. They are easily influenced in all political affairs by
                pecuniary persuasion, for

              1'. Their sole object in this country is to acquire
                    wealth. (Prescott F. Hall, Secretary of the
                    Immigration Restriction League, Annals of American
                    Academy, Vol. XXIV, page 172.)

     D. The number of immigrants is too great to be assimilated
          properly, since

        1. Most of the immigrants are extremely clannish, for

           a. "Little Italies," "Little Hungaries," and "Ghettos,"
                exist in great numbers and size throughout the United
                States. (Henry Rood, Forum, Vol. XIV, page 114.)

        2. Most of the immigrants never try to learn the English
             language, for

           a. They have no need for it, since

              1'. They seldom come in contact with English-speaking
                    people. (Ibid.)

        3. Their tendency is not to become citizens, for

           a. Thirty-one per cent. of the immigrants return home after
                having been here a few years. (Report of the
                Commissioner-General of Immigration, 1905.)

           b. Those who remain cannot for the most part appreciate our
                government, for

              1'. They have been continually trodden upon in their
                    home countries.

              2'. They have had no opportunity to interest themselves
                    in government. (N. S. Shaler, Atlantic Monthly,
                    Vol. LXXI, page 646.)

        4. The argument that because we were able to assimilate the
             immigrants in the past we shall be able to do so in the
             future, is unsound, for

           a. The character of the present immigrants has changed, as
                shown previously.

           b. In the future we may expect a much larger immigration.
                (Prescott F. Hall, Annals of American Academy, Vol.
                XXIV, page 172.)

     E. Immigrants lower the standards of American labor, because

        1. They create harmful competition, since

           a. More immigrants are coming now than we really need, for

              I'. In 1906 at least 200,000 aliens came here who were
                    of no use whatever. (Commissioner of Immigration
                    for New York, Popular Science Monthly, Vol. LXVI,
                    page 175.)

           b. They work for lower wages than do Americans, for

              1'. They are able to live more cheaply. (Henry Rood,

              2'. They place a lower value on their labor. (T. V.
                    Powderly, North American Review, Vol. CXLVII, page

        2. They tend to destroy the independence of the American
             laborer, for

           a. They work under conditions that no American laborer will
                tolerate, for

              1'. They create degrading forms of employment. (W. H.
                    Wilkins, Nineteenth Century, Vol. XXX, page 588.)

           b. Their selfish desires keep them from organizing with
                American laborers for protection.

 II. The educational test would accomplish the further restriction of
       immigration in a proper manner, for

     A. It would change the character of the immigrants for the
          better, since

        1. It would keep out the unenergetic races of southern and
             eastern Europe, because

           a. Ninety-three per cent, of illiterates come from southern
                and eastern Europe. (International Encyclopaedia,
                under Immigration.)

        2. It would decrease the amount of pauperism, for

           a. The southern Italians, who are the most illiterate,
                produce the most pauperism. (Ibid.)

        3. It would raise the standard of morality, since

           a. Ignorance is closely coupled with immorality, for

              1'. The southern Italians have a very low standard of
                    living in the United States. (Henry Rood, Forum,
                    Vol. XIV, page 116.)

           b. The educational test would exclude such people.

        4. It would decrease the amount of crime, for

           a. It would keep out most of the immigrants from southern
                Europe, for

              1'. Ninety-three per cent, of the illiterates come from
                    this source.

           b. The criminal tendencies of people from southern Europe
                are well known. (Henry Rood, Ibid.)

     B. The educational test would improve the condition of the
          cities, for

        1. They would be more sanitary and less criminal, since

           a. These evils are due largely to congestion.

           b. Under this test the cities would be less congested, for

              1'. Immigration would be reduced twenty-two and six
                    tenths per cent.

              2'. Educated immigrants are not likely to settle in the

           c. If the cities were less congested, charitable societies
                could remove more evils from the slums, and in time
                even eliminate the slums.

     C. The educational test would aid the country politically, for

        1. We should receive only those immigrants who are
             intellectually capable of becoming good citizens, for

           a. Education enables a man to become interested in the
                government in which he lives.

        2. Bribery would cease, for

           a. Greed for small amounts of money is not so strong among
                the intelligent. (Prescott F. Hall, Ibid.)

     D. The educational test would aid the work of assimilation, for

        1. It would bar to a great extent the clannish immigrants, as

           a. Clannishness is largely a result of superstition and
                ignorance. (Henry Rood, Ibid.)

        2. It would practically force the immigrants to learn the
             English language, for

           a. Their clans broken up, they would naturally come in
                contact more and more with English-speaking people.

        3. It would produce among the foreign-born element of the
             United States a wider interest in civic affairs, for

           a. Those who have some education can better appreciate our
                government than those who are illiterate.

           b. It would admit only those who, by reason of their
                education, small though it may be, have had the
                chance to study somewhat their home governments. (N.
                S. Shaler, Ibid.)

     E. The educational test would tend to raise the standards of
          American labor, for

        1. It would cut down competition, since

           a. It would shut out many laborers, for

              1'. Most of those affected by this test would be
                    common laborers.

           b. It would tend to equalize the rate of wages, because

              1'. Immigrants would not be willing to work for lower
                    wages, for

                  a'. The slums being gone, they would need more
                        money for existence.

        2. It would aid the independence of  American labor, for

           a. Immigrants would no longer be so reluctant to cooperate
                with American laborers for protection, for

              1'. It is well known that, as a rule, only the most
                    ignorant classes refuse to join unions.

           b. The low industrial competition would be removed, as
                previously shown.

     F. The educational test would be practical, for

        1. It is not a test depending upon the representations of
             immigrants or the decisions of inspectors. (Prescott F.
             Hall, Forum, Vol. XXX, page 564.)

        2. The educational test has worked well in Australia.
             (Professor Frank Parsons, Annals of American Academy,
             Vol. XXIV, page 215.)

     G. It would lessen the burden of education for the government,

        1. It would force prospective immigrants to get their
             elementary education in Europe.

        2. The immigrants would have some education as a foundation
             for more.


The affirmative has proved the following:--

I. There is great need for further restriction of immigration.

II. The educational test would accomplish the further restriction of
immigration in a proper manner.

Therefore, immigration to the United States should be further
restricted by an educational test.


State the propositions upheld in the following arguments, and put the
material into brief form:--

1. At all events, this is clear: that throughout those six months the
government knew perfectly well the danger in which General Gordon was
placed. It has been said that General Gordon did not ask for troops.
Well, I am surprised at that defense. One of the characteristics of
General Gordon was the extreme abnegation of his nature. It was not to
be expected that he should send home a telegram to say, "I am in great
danger, therefore send me troops." He would probably have cut off his
right hand before he would have sent such a telegram. But he did send
a telegram that the people of Khartum were in danger, and that the
Mahdi must win unless military succor was sent forward, and distinctly
telling the government--and this is the main point--that unless they
would consent to his views the supremacy of the Mahdi was assured.

My lords, is it conceivable that after that--two months after that--in
May, the prime minister should have said that the government was
waiting to have reasonable proof that Gordon was in danger? By that
time Khartum was surrounded, and the governor of Berber had announced
that his case was desperate, which was too surely proved by the
massacre which took place in June.

And yet in May Mr. Gladstone was waiting for reasonable proof that
they were in danger. Apparently he did not get that proof till August.

A general sent forward on a dangerous expedition does not like to go
whining for assistance, unless he is pressed by absolute peril. All
those great qualities which go to make men heroes are such as are
absolutely incompatible with such a course, and lead them to shrink as
from a great disgrace from any unnecessary appeal for exertion for
their protection. It was the business of the government not to
interpret General Gordon's telegrams as if they had been statutory
declarations, but to judge for themselves of the circumstances of the
case, and to see that those who were surrounded, who were the only
three Englishmen among this vast body of Mohammedans, who were already
cut off from all communication with the civilized world by the
occupation of every important town upon the river, were in real

I do not know any other instance in which a man has been sent to
maintain such a position without a certain number of British troops.
If the British troops had been there treachery would have been
impossible; but sending Gordon by himself to rely on the fidelity of
Africans and Egyptians was an act of extreme rashness, and if the
government succeed in proving, which I do not think they can, that
treachery was inevitable, they only pile up an additional reason for
their condemnation. I confess it is very difficult to separate this
question from the personal matters involved. It is very difficult to
argue it on purely abstract grounds without turning for a moment to
the character of the man who was engaged and the terrible position in
which he was placed.

When we consider all that he underwent, all that he sacrificed in
order to save the government in a moment of extreme exigency, there is
something infinitely pathetic in reflecting on his feelings, as day
after day, week after week, month after month passed by--as he spared
no exertions, no personal sacrifice, to perform the duties that were
placed upon him--as he lengthened out the siege by inconceivable
prodigies of ingenuity, of activity, of resource--and as, in spite of
it all, in spite of the deep devotion to his country, which had
prompted him to this great risk and undertaking, the conviction
gradually grew upon him that his country had abandoned him.

It is terrible to think what he must have suffered when at last, as a
desperate measure to save those he loved, he parted with the only two
Englishmen with whom during those long months he had any converse, and
sent Stewart and Power down the river to escape from the fate which
had become inevitable to himself. It is very painful to think of the
reproaches to his country and to his country's government that must
have passed through the mind of that devoted man during those months
of unmerited desertion. In Gordon's letter of the fourteenth of
December he said: "All is up. I expect the catastrophe in ten days'
time; it would not have been so if our people had kept me better
informed as to their intentions."

They had no intentions to inform him of. They were merely acting from
hand to mouth to avert the parliamentary censure with which they were
threatened. They had no plan, they had no intentions to carry out. If
they could have known their intentions, a great hero would have been
saved to the British army, a great disgrace would not have fallen on
the English government. [Footnote: On the Desertion of Gordon in
Egypt, Lord Salisbury, The World's Famous Orations. Funk & Wagnalls,
Vol. V, p. 111.]

2. For any State to make sex a qualification that must ever result in
the disfranchisement of one entire half of the people is to pass a
bill of attainder, or an _ex post facto_ law, and is therefore a
violation of the supreme law of the land. By it the blessings of
liberty are forever withheld from women and their female posterity. To
them this government has no just powers derived from the consent of
the governed. To them this government is not a democracy. It is not a
republic. It is an odious aristocracy; a hateful oligarchy of sex; the
most hateful aristocracy ever established on the face of the globe; an
oligarchy of wealth, where the rich govern the poor. An oligarchy of
learning, where the educated govern the ignorant, or even an oligarchy
of race where the Saxon rules the African, might be endured; but this
oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the
oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters of every
household--which ordains all men sovereigns, all women subjects,
carries dissension, discord and rebellion into every home of the

Webster, Worcester and Bouvier all define a citizen to be a person in
the United States, entitled to vote and hold office.

The only question left to be settled now is: Are women persons? And I
hardly believe any of our opponents will have the hardihood to say
they are not. Being persons, then, women are citizens; and no State
has a right to make any law, or to enforce any old law, that shall
abridge their privileges or immunities. Hence, every discrimination
against women in the constitutions and laws of the several States is
to-day null and void. [Footnote: On Woman's Right to the Suffrage,
Susan B. Anthony. The World's Famous Orations. Funk & Wagnalls, Vol.
X, p. 59.]

3. The "Legal Intelligencer" prints the full text of the recent
decision of Judge Sulzberger in the case of Claus & Basher _vs_.
the Rapid Transit Company, which deals with a phase of the question
concerning the use of the streets in obstructing public travel. The
Judge, in denying the plaintiffs a rule for a new trial, put the
matter under review into his customary concise logic, as follows:

The plaintiff contends that the direction for defendant was erroneous,
because the jury should have been given the opportunity to pass upon
the question whether he was or was not negligent in placing his wagon
in such a position that it encroached three or four feet upon the
transit company's track, without which encroachment the accident could
not have happened.

His reasons are as follows:

1. That a driver, for the purpose of watering his horses, has the
right to encroach on the trolley track.

2. That even if he has not, it is negligence for a motor-man not to
stop his car in time to prevent a collision in broad daylight with a
conspicuous obstacle like a wagon in front of him.

As to the first point:

An obstruction of the highway which is temporary and partial may be
justified in cases of plain, evident necessity, but not where that
necessity is argumentative and supposititious: Com. _vs_.
Passmore, 1 S. & R. 217; Rex v. Russell, 6 East. 427. There was no
necessity on the plaintiff to water his horses in the way he did. Two
other ways, both perfectly safe, were open to him. He chose the
easiest and the riskiest.

But if there had not been two safe ways open for him, he would still
have been guilty of negligence in drawing his wagon across a trolley
track, on a busy city street, on which cars were running every minute
or two. The primary use of the car track is for public travel, not for
watering horses. A permanent watering-trough on a sidewalk, so
constructed as not to be usable without stopping the running of the
cars, would be a nuisance. The supposed analogy to the right of an
abutter to load and unload a necessary article fails entirely. A
passing driver is not in the position of an abutter, the
reasonableness of whose action is determined by the degree of
momentary necessity, and the limit of whose right is that his
obstruction must be temporary. Here, however, the watering-trough and
not the driver is in the abutter's position. The watering-trough is a
public utility, which every one may use. On a warm day, in a busy city
street, hundreds of vehicles may stop there, and the quantity of
obstruction is not the time occupied by each, but the sum of the times
occupied by all. The effect must necessarily be a serious hindrance to
public travel, which might sometimes result in complete stoppage.

To use the thought of Mr. Justice Dean, in Com. _vs._ Forrest,
170 Pa. 47, the law would soon be invoked to decide whether the car
track was for the cars or for vehicles stopped thereon for the purpose
of watering horses; whether the driver of such vehicles was in the
exercise of a lawful right or was a usurper of the rights of others.

In the case of Attorney-General _vs._ the Sheffield Gas
Consumers' Company, 19 Eng. Law & Eq. 639, Lord Chancellor Cranworth,
considering a similar question, used this illustration: "No doubt that
it would be a nuisance, and a very serious nuisance, if a person with
a barrel organ, or the bagpipes, were to come and station himself
under a person's window all day. But when he is going through a city,
you know that he will stop ten minutes at one place and ten minutes at
another, and you know he will so go on during the day." The watering-
trough, however, is stationary.

As to the second point:

The general rule in Pennsylvania is that contributory negligence
prevents recovery. This rule, it is true, does not apply where the
defendant is guilty of "negligence so wanton and gross as to be
evidence of voluntary injury"; Wynn _vs_. Allord, 5 W. & S. 525;
McKnight _vs_. Ratcliff, 44 Pa. 156. There is, however, nothing
in the testimony to indicate that the defendant's motorman did
anything wanton. Coming down a steep hill, he failed for a moment to
see an obstacle which he had a right to expect would not be on the
track. No one says that he did not do his best to prevent the
collision after he had seen the wagon.

The question at bottom is one of public policy. Should the motorman
anticipate that persons of mature age will station their wagons across
the tracks? If the rights of the traveling public are to be preserved,
the answer must be in the negative.

4. Aside from the money question, the most serious problem that
confronts the people of America to-day is that of rescuing their
cities, their States and the federal government, including the federal
judiciary, from absolute control of corporate monopoly. How to restore
the voice of the citizen in the government of his country; and how to
put an end to those proceedings in some of the higher courts which are
farce and mockery on one side, and a criminal usurpation and
oppression on the other....

In as much as no government can endure in which corrupt greed not only
makes the laws, but decides who shall construe them, many of our best
citizens are beginning to despair of the republic. Others urge that we
should remove the bribe-givers--that is, destroy this overwhelming
temptation by having the government take all these monopolies itself
and furnish the service which they now furnish, and thus not only save
our institutions, but have the great profits which now go into the
pockets of private corporations turned into the public treasury....

Let us see what civilized man is doing elsewhere. Take the cities of
Great Britain first, for they have the same power of self-government
that American cities have. In all that pertains to the comfort and
enterprise of the individual we are far in the lead; but in the
government of cities we are far behind. Glasgow has to-day nearly one
million inhabitants and is one of the great manufacturing and
commercial cities of the world. Thirty years ago there was scarcely a
city that was in a worse condition. Private corporations furnished it
a poor quality of water, taken from the Clyde River, and they charged
high rates for it. The city drained into the Clyde, and it became
horribly filthy. Private corporations furnished a poor quality of gas,
at a high price; and private companies operated the street railroads.
Private companies had the same grip on the people there that they have
in most American cities. Owing to the development of great
shipbuilding and other industries in the valley of the Clyde, the
laboring population of Glasgow became very dense and the means of
housing the people were miserable. Poorly lighted, poorly ventilated,
filthy houses brought high rents. In many cases two families lived in
one room. Cleanliness was impossible, the sanitary conditions were
frightful and the death rate was high. As for educational facilities,
there were none worth mentioning for these people. The condition of
the laboring classes was one of degradation and misery; children were
growing up mentally, morally and physically diseased; a generation was
coming which threatened to be an expense and a menace to the country.
It was a great slum city.

But patriotic and public-spirited men came to the front and gave the
city the benefit of their services free. In fact, none of the high
city officials in Great Britain received any pay other than the well
being of humanity and the good opinions of their country. The city rid
itself of the private companies by buying them and then brought fresh
water from the highlands, a distance of sixty miles. It doubled the
quantity of water furnished the inhabitants, and reduced the cost to
consumers by one-half. And yet the department now yields over two
hundred thousand dollars a year net income over all fixed charges.

The municipality, after much difficulty, bought the gas plants and
gradually reduced the price of gas from $1.14 to 58 cents, and it now
illuminates not only the streets and public places, but all
passageways and stairways in flat buildings, experience having shown
that a good lamp is almost as useful as a policeman. The total debt of
the city for plants, extensions, etc., to illumine perfectly all the
city had reached nearly five and a half millions of dollars.
Notwithstanding the low price at which gas is sold, this sum has
gradually been reduced to less than two and a half millions of dollars
out of the earnings of the system, and it will soon be wiped out and
the entire revenue go into the city treasury.

The street railways were owned by the city, but, until 1894, they were
leased out under an arrangement which paid the city full cost of
construction, with interest, besides a yearly income of $750 per
street mile. In 1894 the city began to operate the lines itself. The
fares were reduced 33 per cent., besides special tickets to laborers,
so that the average is under two cents, and over one-third of all
fares are one cent each.

The private company had worked its men twelve and fourteen hours a day
and paid irregular and unsatisfactory wages. The city at once reduced
the number of hours to ten, and fixed a satisfactory scale of wages.
And, compared with what it formerly was, the service has been greatly
improved. In spite of all these acts for the benefit of the public,
the roads which had cost the city nothing, now net over all charges
for improvements, etc., one-fourth of a million annually. In 1892 the
city bought out a private electric light company, and now has the
monopoly of furnishing electric light and power. This promises to be a
source of enormous revenue for the city....

Manchester has within its narrow limits only a little over half a
million people, but within a radius of twenty miles from her city hall
there are over three million inhabitants. These have to be considered
in discussing Manchester, which is essentially a manufacturing and
commercial city. Its history is in many respects a parallel of that of
Glasgow. It seemed to be a great city of slums, degradation and
misery, and was in the grip of private monopolies.

To-day the city furnishes all the service that is furnished here by
private corporations, and does it at about one-half cost. It furnishes
gas at fifty-six cents a thousand, and after deducting all that is
used to illuminate perfectly the streets and after applying $200,000 a
year on the original cost of plants, etc., it still turns $300,000 a
year into the public treasury, altho the aim in nearly all English
cities is not to make money, but to serve the public. The city
constructed an aqueduct ninety miles to secure pure water and
furnishes this for a little more than half what the private company
had charged for a poor quality of water. It owns street railways, and
besides giving greatly reduced rates and giving half-fare tickets to
workingmen, the city derives a large revenue from this source. Like
Glasgow and Birmingham, the city owns large cemeteries in which there
are separate sections for the different religious denominations, and
prices are so arranged that while those who desire to do so can get
lots costing from ten to thirty dollars, yet "a decent burial with
inscription on stone over a grave can be had at about four dollars for
adults and three dollars for children. This charge includes all
cemetery fees and expenses."

The city owns the markets and slaughter houses. It has provided parks
and swimming baths and, like Birmingham and Glasgow, it maintains
large technical schools in which thousands of young men are instructed
in the industrial arts and sciences, so as to be able to maintain
Manchester's greatness.

Birmingham has over half a million of people, and its experience
resembles that of Glasgow and Manchester. Formerly private
corporations controlled almost everything and charged very high rates
for very poor service, and the sanitary conditions were frightful. But
here again municipal statesmen came to the front, the most prominent
among whom was The Honorable Joseph Chamberlain, who has since been in
the British government.

Not going further into detail, let me say there are at present in the
United Kingdom 185 municipalities that supply their inhabitants with
water, with gas and electric light, and one-third of the street
railway mileage of Great Britain is owned by the municipalities.
Leaving out London it amounts to two-thirds. And in most instances in
which they do not own the street railways, they have compelled the
companies to grant low fares and divide profits.

Every business reason applicable to the municipalities and governments
of Europe is applicable here. We want as pure water, as good drainage,
as cheap service as they have, and we want the same privilege of
supplying ourselves as they exercise; and when it is apparent that, by
acting collectively, we can do business more successfully, can serve
ourselves better in every way, and can secure for the public treasury
these millions which now go into the pockets of grasping individuals,
have we not a right to do it? If we find that, in this manner, we can
give steadiness to labor, and can elevate its standards and improve
the conditions of our people, dare we not do it? Every one of the
reforms carried out in England and on the continent met with fierce
opposition from the same classes that oppose them here, but the
business sense and patriotic impulse of the people prevailed, and I
believe, will prevail here. [Footnote: On Municipal and Government
Ownership, Altgeld The World's Famous Orations. Funk & Wagnalls Co.,
Vol. X, p. 208.]

5. Draw a brief of Beecher's speech found on page 166.



A complete argument consists of two kinds of proof: constructive proof
and refutation. Constructive proof is that part of an argument which
sets forth direct reasons for belief in a certain proposition;
refutation is that part which destroys the reasons for belief in the
opposite side.

In general, each of these divisions is of about equal importance, at
times the value of one predominating and at times the value of the
other. If one is addressing an audience unacquainted with his views or
hostile towards them, he is not likely to make much progress in
getting his own beliefs accepted until he has, at least in part,
shattered the opinion already existing. If, however, the audience is
predisposed or even willing to accept the doctrine advocated, very
little but constructive proof may be necessary.

In debate, the side that has the burden of proof will usually have
more use for constructive argument, and the opposite side will have
more use for refutation. This statement will not always hold true,
however, for the rule will vary under different circumstances; a
debater must, therefore, hold himself in readiness to meet whatever
contingencies arise. Debate may be likened to the play of two boys
building houses with blocks; each boy builds the best house he can,
and at times attempts to overthrow the work of his playmate. The one
that has the better structure when the game ends comes off victorious.
Thus it is in debate; each debater must do his best both to build up
his own argument and to destroy his opponent's.

To handle refutation successfully, either in written argument or in
debate, one must know what to refute and what to leave alone. The
general rule governing this matter is: _Refute only those arguments
which are essential to the proof of the other side_. All trivial
ideas, even all misstatements which if refuted would not destroy any
fundamental process of an opponent's proof, should pass unnoticed. To
mention them means waste of time and effort. It is not uncommon for a
debater to make trivial errors intentionally, in the hope that his
opponent will consume valuable time in refuting them and thus allow
his main argument to go unscathed. When this stratagem succeeds, the
one who made the mistakes can acknowledge that he was wrong in those
unimportant details, and yet show that his fundamental arguments have
not been overthrown. While arguing on a political question, an
intercollegiate debater once laid considerable stress on an opinion
expressed by Woodrow Wilson, "President," as he stated, "of Harvard
University." His opponent, of course, might have held this statement
up to ridicule, but such an exposure would have been impolitic, in
that it would have in no wise impaired the value of Mr. Wilson's
opinion as evidence. Another debater, not so wise, once spent
considerable time in correcting an opponent who had said that the
Steel Trust was formed in 1891 instead of in 1901, as was the case. As
these dates had no vital bearing on the question at issue, the error
should have been allowed to pass. The temptation to point out the
flaws that are most obvious is always great, but unless by so doing
one can knock out the props on which an opponent's proof rests, such
an attack accomplishes nothing.

Another common error in refutation consists in "answering one's self."
A person is guilty of this fault whenever he misstates an opponent's
argument, either because he does not understand it or through design,
and then refutes this misstatement. The folly of such procedure is
made apparent by merely calling attention to the fact that the
original argument has been garbled but in no wise refuted, An opponent
can convict the one who has "answered himself" either of unpardonable
ignorance about the subject or of downright dishonesty.

To guard against these errors of refuting unimportant details and of
"answering one's self," it is always well to reduce an opponent's
argument to the form of a brief. If the argument is in print, this
task is comparatively simple; if the argument is oral, the task will
be harder but will still present no serious difficulties to one who is
used to drawing briefs. When all the ideas have been arranged in the
form of headings and subheadings, and the relation between the ideas
has been indicated by means of numbers and letters, then the arguer
can quickly decide what points he ought to refute and what ones he can

It goes without saying that the headings marked with the Roman
numerals contain the most important ideas, and should, therefore, be
overthrown as far as possible. There are three ways of disposing of
them: one way is to state that the headings are false and then bring
on new proof to show their falsity; the second way is to call
attention to the subheadings with which the opponent has bolstered up
the main headings, and then, by proving these subheads false, allow
the main heads to fall to the ground; the third way is to admit that
the subheads are true and then show that the inferences drawn from
them are unwarranted.

To illustrate: A part of an argument on the affirmative side of the
proposition, "_Resolved_, That students in American colleges
should be excused from final examinations in all subjects in which
they have attained a daily grade of at least eighty-five per cent.,"
might be reduced to the following brief form:--

I. This rule would be of great intellectual benefit to college
     students, for

   A. They would master their work more thoroughly, because

      1. They would study harder during the term.

The first method of overthrowing the heading indicated by (I) would be
to attack it directly. This attack might consist of opinions of
prominent educators who, on theoretical grounds, do not believe an
intellectual benefit would result from the adoption of such a rule; of
the opinions of educators who have tried the rule and declare that it
is an intellectual detriment; and of a course of reasoning which would
show that this system would rob the students exempted of the great
intellectual benefit that is derived from the preparation for an
examination and from the taking of an examination.

The second method would be to show that (1) is not true; therefore (A)
would be false, and (I) would be left entirely unsupported.

Under the third method the arguer would admit the truth of (1), but
would deny that the truth of (A) is established by it; therefore (I)
would be unsupported.

Whenever a subheading is attacked, it is always very essential to show
that the attack is made simply because this subheading serves as a
foundation for the main heading. In this particular argument,
refutation according to the second and third methods might read about
as follows: "The contention of the affirmative that the eighty-five
per cent. rule should be adopted because it would result in an
intellectual improvement among college students, rests on the
supposition that students would study harder during the term, and for
that reason would more thoroughly master their subjects. This
reasoning is erroneous because, in the first place, as I will show,
but very few students, if any, would study harder during the term;
and, in the second place, even if they did, those exempted would not
have mastered their work so completely at the end of the year as they
would have if they had taken an examination."

From the preceding, it is apparent that refutation consists of
discrediting evidence and attacking reasoning. The ways to overthrow
evidence will be considered first.


It is taken for granted that the evidence mustered by the opponent is
sufficient, if not overthrown, to establish his side of the
discussion. Of course, if enough evidence for this purpose is lacking,
one has only to call attention to this fundamental weakness in order
to overthrow the argument then and there. The rules, therefore, for
testing evidence assume that the opponent has cited facts that, if not
combated, will establish his case.

These tests are the same as those given in Chapter VI; a hasty review
of them, however, may be serviceable at this point.

  I. Tests of the sources of evidence.

     A. Is the witness competent to give a trustworthy account of
          the matter?

     B. Is the witness willing to give an accurate account?

        1. Does he have any personal interest in the case?

     C. Is the witness prejudiced?

     D. Does the witness have a good reputation for honesty and

 II. Internal tests of evidence.

     A. Is the evidence consistent (a) with itself, (b) with known
          facts, (c) with human experience?

     B. Is it first-hand evidence?

     C. Can the evidence be classed as especially valuable?

        1. Does it consist of hurtful admissions?

        2. Is it undesigned evidence?

        3. Is it negative evidence?

III. Test of argument from authority.

     A. Is the witness an acknowledged authority on the subject about
          which he testifies?

To overthrow or weaken argument from authority, one may either
discredit its source or bring to light some inconsistency in the
statement itself. Usually the former method alone is possible. To
accomplish this result, one may show that the witness spoke from
insufficient knowledge of the matter, or was prejudiced, or had some
personal interest in the case. Counter authority will also be of
assistance. The following quotation taken from a college debate
furnishes the student a good example of how to handle this sort of

"The argument has been advanced that the South does not need the
foreign laborer, and this argument has been supported by the words of
Mr. Prescott F. Hall. We would call the attention of the audience and
the judges to the fact that since Prescott F. Hall is Secretary of the
Immigration Restriction League, it would be to his interest to make
this assertion. Why do not our opponents refer to impartial and
unprejudiced men, men like Dr. Allen McLaughlin, a United States
immigration official, who makes just the opposite statement?"


  I. Induction.

     A. Have enough instances of the class under consideration been
          investigated to establish the existence of a general law?

     B. Have enough instances been investigated to establish the
          probable existence of a general law?

 II. Deduction.

     A. Are both premises true?

     B. Is the fact stated in the minor premise an instance of the
          general law expressed in the major premise?

III. Antecedent probability.

     A. Is the assigned cause of sufficient strength to produce the
          alleged effect?

     B. May some other cause intervene and prevent the action of the
          assigned cause?

 IV. Sign.

     A. Argument from effect to cause.

        1. Is the assigned cause adequate to produce the observed

        2. Could the observed effect have resulted from any other
             cause than the one assigned?

     B. Argument from effect to effect.

        1. Do the combined tests of argument from effect to cause and
             from cause to effect hold?

  V. Example.

     A. Is there any fundamental difference between the case in hand
          and the case cited as an example?


A fallacy is an error in reasoning. The preceding part of this chapter
has already suggested tests that will expose many such faults, but
there are a few errors which, because of their frequency or their
inadaptability to other classification, demand separate treatment.
This book follows the plan of most other texts on argumentation, and
treats these errors under a separate head marked fallacies. To detect
a fallacy in another's argument is to weaken, if not to destroy, his
case; to avoid making a fallacy in one's own argument means escape
from humiliation and defeat. Hence, a knowledge of fallacies is one of
the most essential parts of a debater's equipment.

The classification given here does not pretend to be exhaustive; it
does, however, consider the most common and insidious breaches of
reasoning that are likely to occur, and the following pages should be
studied with great care.


1. MERE ASSUMPTION. Begging the question means assuming the truth of
that which needs proof. This fallacy is found in its simplest form in
epithets and appellations. The lawyer who speaks of "the criminal on
trial for his life," begs the question in that he assumes the prisoner
to be a criminal before the court has rendered a verdict. Those
writers who have recently discussed "the brutal game of football"
without having first adduced a particle of proof to show that the game
is brutal, fall into the same error. An unpardonable instance of
question-begging lies in the following introduction, once given by a
debater who was attacking the proposition, "_Resolved_, That the
federal government should own and operate the railroads in the United

"We of the negative will show that the efficient and highly beneficial
system of private ownership should be maintained, and that the
impracticable system of government ownership can never succeed in the
United States or in any similarly governed country."

Private ownership and government ownership may possess these qualities
attributed to them, but the debater has no right to make such an
assumption; he must _prove_ that they have these qualities.

2. ASSUMPTION USED AS PROOF. Such barefaced assumptions as the
preceding usually do little damage except to the one who makes them.
They are not likely to lead astray an audience of average
intelligence; on the other hand, they do stamp the arguer as
prejudiced and illogical. But when assumptions are used as proof,
hidden in the midst of quantities of other material, they may produce
an unwarranted effect upon one who is not a clear thinker, or who is
off his guard. If, without showing that football is brutal, one calls
it an extremely brutal game, and then urges its abolishment on the
ground of its brutality, he has used an assumption as proof, and has,
therefore, begged the question. The debater who stated, without
proving, that vast numbers of unskilled laborers were needed in the
United States, and then urged this as a reason why no educational test
should be applied to immigrants coming to this country, furnished an
example of the same fallacy.

student is already familiar with the enthymeme. The enthymeme
constitutes a valid form of reasoning only when the suppressed premise
is recognized as true. Therefore, whenever an arguer makes use of the
enthymeme without attempting to establish a suppressed premise whose
truth is not admitted, he has argued fallaciously. This is a third
method of begging the question. To illustrate: In advocating the
abolishment of football from the list of college athletic sports, one
might reason, "Football should be abolished because it obviously
exposes a player to possible injury." The suppressed premise in this
case would be: All sports which expose a player to possible injury
should be abolished. Failure to prove the truth of this unadmitted
statement constitutes the fallacy.

surprising that a man carried away with excitement or prejudice should
make assumptions that he does not even try to substantiate, but that
anyone should assume the truth of the very conclusion that he has set
out to establish seems incredible. Such a form of begging the
question, however, does frequently occur. Sometimes the fallacy is so
hidden in a mass of illustration and rhetorical embellishment that at
first it is not apparent; but stripped of its verbal finery, it stands
out very plainly. The following passage written on the affirmative
side of the proposition, "_Resolved_, That the college course
should be shortened to three years," will serve as a particularly
flagrant illustration:--

It is a well-known fact that in the world of to-day time is an
essential factor in the race for success. No young man can afford to
dawdle for four long years in acquiring a so-called "higher"
education. Three-fourths of that time is, if anything, more than
sufficient in which to attain all the graces and culture that the
progressive man needs.

It is evident that the "argument" in this case consists of nothing
more than a repetition of the proposition.

5. ARGUING IN A CIRCLE. Another phase of begging the question consists
of using an assumption as proof of a proposition and of then quoting
the proposition as proof of the assumption. Two assertions are made,
neither of which is substantiated by any real proof, but each of which
is used to prove the other. This fallacy probably occurs most
frequently in conversation. Consider the following :--

A. "The proposed system of taxation is an excellent one."

B. "What makes you think so?"

A. "Because it will be adopted by the legislature."

B. "How do you know it will?"

A. "Because it is a good system and our legislators are men of sense."

This fallacy occurs when one proves the authority of the church from
the testimony of the scriptures, and then establishes the authenticity
of the scriptures by the testimony of the church. A similar fallacy
has been pointed out in the works of Plato. In _Phaedo_, he
demonstrates the immortality of the soul from its simplicity, and in
the _Republic_, he demonstrates the simplicity of the soul from
its immortality. The following fragment of a brief argues in a

  I. This principle is in accordance with the principles of the
       Democratic party, since

     A. The leader of the Democratic party believes in it, for

        1. As the leader of the party, he naturally believes in
             Democratic principles.


The fallacy of ambiguous terms consists of using the same term in two
distinct senses in the same argument. Thus if one were to argue that
"no designing person ought to be trusted; engravers are by profession
designers; therefore they ought not to be trusted," it is quite
apparent that the term "design" means totally different things in the
two premises. The same fallacy occurs in the argument, "Since the
American people believe in a republican form of government, they
should vote the Republican ticket." Again:--

"Interference with another man's business is illegal;

"Underselling interferes with another man's business;

"Therefore underselling is illegal."

J. S. Mill in his _System of Logic_ discusses the fallacy of
ambiguous terms with great care. In part he says:--

The mercantile public are frequently led into this fallacy by the
phrase "scarcity of money." In the language of commerce, "money" has
two meanings: _currency,_ or the circulating medium; and
_capital seeking investment,_ especially investment on loan. In
this last sense, the word is used when the "money market" is spoken
of, and when the "value of money" is said to be high or low, the rate
of interest being meant. The consequence of this ambiguity is, that as
soon as scarcity of money in the latter of these senses begins to be
felt,--as soon as there is difficulty of obtaining loans, and the rate
of interest is high,--it is concluded that this must arise from causes
acting upon the quantity of money in the other and more popular sense;
that the circulating medium must have diminished in quantity, or ought
to be increased. I am aware that, independently of the double meaning
of the term, there are in the facts themselves some peculiarities,
giving an apparent support to this error; but the ambiguity of the
language stands on the very threshold of the subject, and intercepts
all attempts to throw light upon it.

As countless words and expressions have several meanings, there is
almost no limit to the confusion which this fallacy can cause. Some of
the most common terms that are used ambiguously are _right_,
_liberty_, _law_, _representative_, _theory_, _church_, _state_,

By carefully defining all terms that have more than one meaning and by
insisting on a rigid adherence to the one meaning wherever the term is
used, a debater can easily avoid fallacies of this sort in his own
argument and expose those of his opponent.


The fallacy of false cause occurs whenever that which could in no way
bring about the effect that is being established is urged as its
cause. This fallacy in its most obvious form is found only in the
arguments of careless and illogical thinkers. Some college students
occasionally draw briefs that contain such reasoning as the

  I. The Panama canal should be of the sea-level rather than of the
       lock type, because

     A. The Panama canal will do away with the long voyage around the

  I. Southerners are justified in keeping the franchise away from the
       negro, for

     A. Negroes should never have been brought to America.

     B. The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution ought not to have
          been passed.

The error of such plainly absurd reasoning as occurs in the preceding
illustrations needs no explanation. There is one form of the fallacy
of false cause, however, that is much more common and insidious and
therefore deserves special treatment.

POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC. (After this, therefore, on account of
this.) This phase of the fallacy consists of the assumption that since
cause precedes effect what has preceded an event has caused it. The
most frequent occurrence of the error is to be found in superstitions.
If some one meets with an accident while taking a journey that began
on Friday, many people will argue that the accident is the effect of
the unlucky day. Some farmers believe their crops will not prosper
unless the planting is done when the moon is in a certain quarter;
sailors often refuse to embark in a renamed vessel. Because in the
past, one event has been known to follow another, it is argued that
the first event was the cause of the second, and that the second event
will invariably follow the first.

But this fallacy does not find its only expression in superstitions.
To _post hoc_ reasoning is due much of the popularity of patent
medicines. Political beliefs, even, are often generated in the same
way; prosperity follows the passing of a certain law, and people jump
to the conclusion that this one law has caused the "good times." Some
demagogues go so far as to say that education among the Indians is
responsible for the increased death rate of many of the tribes.

A slightly different phase of the _post hoc_ fallacy consists in
attributing the existence of a certain condition to a single preceding
event, when at the most this event could have been only a partial
cause of what followed, and may not have been a cause at all. A
medicine that could not have effected a cure may have been of some
slight benefit. A law that could not possibly have been the sole cause
of "good times" may have had a beneficial effect. To avoid this
fallacy, one must be sure not only that the assigned cause is
operative, but that it is also adequate.

In the following passage, _Harpers Weekly_, for March 5, 1894,
points out the error in the reasoning made by several college
presidents who, after compiling statistics, stated that a college
education increased a man's chance of success from one in ten thousand
to one in forty:--

Not many persons doubt any longer that an American college education
is an advantage to most youths who can get it, but in these attempts
to estimate statistically what college education does for men there is
a good deal of confusing of _post hoc_ and _propter hoc_.
Define success as you will, a much larger proportion of American
college men win it than of men who don't go to college, but how much
college training does for those successful men is still debatable.
Remember that they are a picked lot, the likeliest children of parents
whose ability or desire to send their children to college is evidence
of better fortune, or at least of higher aspirations than the average.
And because their parents are, as a rule, more or less prosperous and
well educated, they get and would get, whether they went to college or
not, a better than average start in life....

If one boy out of a family of four goes to college, it is the clever
one. The boys who might go to college and don't are commonly the lazy
ones who won't study. The colleges get nowadays a large proportion of
the best boys of the strongest families. The best boys of the
strongest families would win far more than their proportionate share
of success even if there were no colleges.

An exposure of similarly fallacious reasoning is made by Edward M.
Shepard in _The Atlantic Monthly_ for October, 1904.

The Republican argument is that the whole edifice of our prosperity
depends upon high protective or prohibitive duties, and that to them
is due our industrial progress. Is it not, indeed, a disparagement of
the self-depending faculties of the American people thus to affirm
that, in spite of their marvelous advantages, they would have failed
in industrial life unless by force of law they could have prevented
the competition with them of other peoples? It is only by the
sophistry to which I have referred that this disparagement is
justified. It is that old argument of veritable folly that, because
event Z follows event W, as it follows events A and B and many besides
A, therefore W is the sole cause of Z. Theory or no theory, the
Republican says that we have in fact grown rich by protection, because
in our country prosperity and protective duties have existed together.
They ignore every inconvenient fact. They would have us forget that
each of the industrial depressions of 1873-78 and 1893-96 followed
long operation of a high protective tariff. They ignore the
contribution of soil and climate to our prosperity, the vast increase
which modern inventions and improved carrying facilities have, the
world over, brought to the productivity of labor, and here in the
United States have brought more than anywhere else. They ignore the
superior skill and alertness of the American workman and the wonderful
extent to which he has been stimulated by the conditions and ideals of
our democracy. They ignore the freedom of trade, which, since 1789,
the Federal Constitution has made operative over our entire country,--
by far the most important area of free trade ever known,--and which
everyone to-day knows to be a prime condition of the prosperity of our
forty-five commonwealths.

From what has been said it is obvious that it is never safe to account
for an occurrence or a condition by merely referring to something that
accompanies it or precedes it. There must be a connection between the
alleged cause and the effect, and this connection must be causal;
otherwise, both may be the result of the same cause. The cause must
also be adequate; and it must, moreover, be evident that the result
has not been produced, wholly or partially, by some other cause or


COMPOSITION. The fallacy of composition consists of attributing to a
whole that which has been proved only of a part. To condemn or to
approve of a fraternity because of the conduct of only a few of its
members, to say that what is advantageous for certain states in the
Union would therefore be beneficial for the United States as a whole,
to reason from the existence of a few millionaires that the English
nation is wealthy, would be to fall into this fallacy. Furthermore, it
is fallacious to think that because something is true of each member
of a class taken _distributively_, the same thing holds true of
the class taken _collectively_. It is not logical to argue that
because each member of a jury is very likely to judge erroneously, the
jury as a whole is also very likely to judge erroneously. Because each
witness to an event is liable to give false or incorrect evidence, it
is unreasonable to think that no confidence can be placed in the
concurrent testimony of a number of witnesses.

DIVISION. The fallacy of division is the converse of the fallacy of
composition. It consists of attributing to a part that which has been
proved of the whole. For instance, Lancaster county is the most
fertile county in Pennsylvania, but that fact by itself does not
warrant the statement that any one particular farm is exceptionally
fertile. Because the people of a country are suffering from famine, it
does not follow that one particular person is thus afflicted. Again,
it would be fallacious to say: It is admitted that the judges of the
court of appeal cannot misinterpret the law; Richard Rowe is a judge
of the court of appeal; therefore he cannot misinterpret the law.


An arguer is said to ignore the question, or to argue beside the
point, whenever he attempts to prove or disprove anything except the
proposition under discussion. This fallacy may arise through
carelessness or trickery. An unskilled debater will often
unconsciously wander away from his subject; and an unscrupulous
debater, when unable to defend his position, will sometimes cunningly
shift his ground and argue upon a totally new proposition, which is,
however, so similar to the original one that in the heat of
controversy the change is hardly noticeable. A discussion on the
subject, "The boycott is a legitimate means of securing concessions
from employers," which attempted to show the effectiveness of the
boycott, would ignore the question. Likewise, in a discussion on the
proposition, "The average college student could do in three years the
work now done in four," any proof showing the desirability of such a
crowding together of college work would be _beside the point_.

In the following passage Macaulay holds up to scorn certain arguments
which contain this fallacy:--

The advocates of Charles, like the advocates of other malefactors
against whom overwhelming evidence is produced, generally decline all
controversy about facts, and content themselves with calling testimony
to character.

We charge him with having broken his coronation oath; and we are told
that he kept his marriage vow! We accuse him of having given up his
people to the merciless inflictions of the most hot-headed and hard-
hearted of prelates; and the defence is, that he took his little son
on his knees and kissed him! We censure him for having violated the
articles of the Petition of Rights, after having, for good and
valuable consideration, promised to obey them; and we are informed
that he was accustomed to hear prayers at six o'clock in the morning!

Whenever an arguer avoids the question at issue and makes an attack
upon the character, principles, or former beliefs or personal
peculiarities of his opponent, he commits the special form of this
fallacy known as _argumentum ad hominem_. It is obviously
fallacious to reason that a principle is unsound because it is upheld
by an untrustworthy advocate, or because it is inconsistent with the
advocate's former beliefs and practices. Honesty is a worthy
principle, even though advocated by a thief. The duty of industry is
no less binding because it is advocated by an idler. Lawyers often
commit this error by seeking to discredit the opposing attorney.
Campaign speakers frequently attempt to overthrow the opposing party's
platform by showing that it is inconsistent with the party's previous
measures and declarations. To bring in such irrelevant matter is to
ignore the question.

Closely allied to _argumentum ad hominem_ is another phase of
ignoring the question called _argumentum ad populum_. This
fallacy consists of using before a certain audience statements which
will strongly appeal to their prejudices and partisan views, but which
are not generally accepted facts and which would undoubtedly meet with
strong opposition elsewhere. A speaker who brings in this kind of
argument makes use neither of reasoning nor of legitimate persuasion.
He neglects his proposition and attempts to excite the feelings of his
audience to such an extent as to render them incapable of forming a
dispassionate judgment upon the matter in hand.

In general, it is necessary only to point out a fallacy to weaken an
argument. Sometimes, however, the error is so involved and so hidden
that, though it is apparent to one who is arguing, yet it is not
easily made apparent to the audience. In overcoming this difficulty,
arguers often resort to certain peculiar devices of arranging and
presenting the material for refutation. Long experience has shown that
the two methods given here are of inestimable value.


The method of refuting an argument by _reductio ad absurdum_
consists of showing that the argument to be refuted, if true, proves
not only the conclusion given, but also other conclusions which are
manifestly absurd. For example, a debater once contended that colleges
should not seek to root out professionalism in athletic sports,
because, by coming in contact with college life, professional players
receive considerable benefit. His opponent answered him by showing
that the same argument carried out to its logical conclusion would
prove that a college should encourage the attendance of criminals and
degenerates on the ground that they will be benefited thereby. Thus he
reduced the argument to a manifest absurdity.

At one time the officers of a national bank permitted their
institution to be wrecked by certifying, and thereby practically
guaranteeing, the checks of a firm of stock-holders when the brokers
did not have the money represented by the checks deposited in the
bank. This was distinctly a criminal offense. The brokers failed, and,
the bank having closed its doors in consequence, the president of the
bank was brought to trial. _The Atlantic Monthly_ reduces to an
absurdity the chief argument used for the defense.

A jury having been empaneled to try him, he pleaded guilty, his
counsel urging, as a reason for clemency, that the violation of this
statute was a habit of the New York banks in the Wall Street district,
and that if the wrecked bank had not followed this law-breaking custom
of its competitors the stock brokers would have withdrawn their
account. The plea was successful, and the officer escaped with a small
fine. Imagine a burglar or a pickpocket urging a plea for clemency
based on the general business habits and customs of his criminal
confrères! [Footnote: The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 94, p. 173.]

Mr. E. A. Freeman, the historian, once made the statement that English
literature cannot be taught. His course of reasoning was to the effect
that it is impossible to teach a subject in which one cannot be
examined; and he maintained that it is impossible to hold satisfactory
examinations in English literature, since this is a subject which is
studied for the purpose of cultivating the taste, educating the
sympathies, and enlarging the mind. If this reasoning proves anything,
it has been pointed out, it proves too much. What Mr. Freeman says of
English literature may equally well be said of Latin, Greek, and every
other kind of literature. But as Latin and Greek literature have been
successfully taught for hundreds of years, Mr. Freeman's argument is

College students are continually urging as a defense of
professionalism in their own athletic teams the argument that since
other colleges employ professional players it is necessary for them to
do likewise. By carrying this argument a step farther, one could show,
with equal reason, that since drinking, stealing and cheating are
prevalent in other colleges, these same practices should also be
indulged in at the college in question. In the same way one may refute
by _reductio ad absurdum_ all such arguments as, "Custom has
rendered the spoils system desirable"; "The prevalency of the high
license law shows its superiority to prohibition"; and "Since in the
past all college students were required to study Latin and Greek,
these subjects should be required at the present time."


Another device an arguer will often find useful in refuting an
opponent's statement is the _dilemma_. In the dilemma the arguer
shows that the statement he wishes to disprove can be true only
through the truth of at least one of several possibilities. He then
proves that these possibilities are untenable, and therefore the
original statement is false. To represent the dilemma with letters:
The truth of A rests upon the truth of either x or y; but as x and y
are both false, A is false. Once when it was believed in certain
quarters that Japan was about to undertake a war against the United
States, many people maintained that if Japan desired to go to war she
was amply able to finance such an undertaking. In reply to this
contention, a certain newspaper, making use of the dilemma, said that
since Japan had no money in the treasury she could meet the expenses
of war in only three ways: either by contracting a large debt, or by
increasing taxation, or by indemnifying herself at the expense of the
enemy. The paper then went on to prove that Japan was not in a
position to float a large loan, that taxes in Japan were already as
heavy as the people could bear, and that she could not hope, at least
for a long time, to secure any indemnity from the enemy. Therefore
Japan was not in a financial position to enter upon a war with the
United States.

In attempting to show that municipalities do not have the moral right
to own and operate public utilities, T. Carpenter Smith uses the
dilemma. He says:--

"Any commercial business is carried on either at a profit, or at a
loss, or in such a way that the expenses equal the income. If the city
business of gas or electric lighting is to be carried on at a profit,
then those citizens who use gas or electric light will be charged a
high price for that light, in order to pay the profit, not only to
themselves, but also to those who do not use it. If the works are to
be carried on at a loss, then the citizens who do not use the gas or
electric light will pay taxes to furnish a convenience or economy to
those citizens who do use it. If the works are to be operated exactly
at cost, then the city will carry on a business from which it will get
nothing, but in which it will have to take the labor and risk incident
to such a business in order to benefit only some of its citizens,
furnishing a commodity not desired by all."

In conversation and debate, the dilemma is frequently introduced by
means of a question. The debater, wishing to trap his opponent, asks
him a pertinent question which previous investigation has shown can
possibly be answered in only two or three ways, and which the opponent
cannot afford to answer at all. A good illustration of this device
occurs in the New Testament.

And it came to pass, on one of the days, as he was teaching the people
in the temple, and preaching the gospel, there came upon him the chief
priests and the scribes with the elders; and they spake, saying unto
him, Tell us: By what authority doest thou these things? or who is he
that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I
also will ask you a question; and tell me: The baptism of John, was it
from heaven, or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying,
If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why did ye not believe him?
But if we shall say, From men; all the people will stone us: for they
be persuaded that John was a prophet. And they answered, that they
knew not whence _it was_. And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell
I you by what authority I do these things. [Footnote: Luke xx, 1-8.]

During the Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, when both men were seeking
the United States senatorship from Illinois, Lincoln, wishing either
to kill Douglas's senatorial prospects or to head him off from the
presidency two years later, asked him a question which put him in a
dilemma. Ida M. Tarbell describes the question as follows:--

"Can the people of a United States territory in any lawful way,
against the wish of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery
from its limits prior to the formation of a State Constitution?"
Lincoln had seen the irreconcilableness of Douglas's own measure of
popular sovereignty, which declared that the people of a territory
should be left to regulate their domestic concerns in their own way
subject only to the Constitution, and the decision of the Supreme
Court in the Dred Scott case that slaves, being property, could not
under the Constitution be excluded from a territory. He knew that if
Douglas said _no_ to this question, his Illinois constituents
would never return him to the Senate. He believed that if he said
_yes,_ the people of the South would never vote for him for
President of the United States.

In the last example, Lincoln, by forcing Douglas to answer this
question, sought to destroy, and, as history shows, did destroy, the
popular conception of Douglas's fitness for public office.

Before one can safely use the dilemma he must carefully investigate
every phase of the statement that he wishes to refute. If he is to use
the dilemma directly, he must consider every possibility--commonly
called the horns of the dilemma--upon which the truth of the statement
may rest. If there is a single possibility which he is not ready to
meet and overthrow, his whole effort is fruitless. For instance, a
debater, in attempting to rebut the statement that college
fraternities are harmful, said that his opponent must show that
fraternities are either morally, socially, financially or
intellectually detrimental to their members; he then proved as best he
could that in these respects fraternities are beneficial rather than
harmful, and sat down thinking that he had gone a long way toward
winning the debate. His opponent then arose and admitting nearly
everything that had been said, based his argument on the idea that
fraternities were harmful _to the college as a whole_. The first
speaker had not considered every alternative. If an arguer is to
approach a dilemma through the medium of a question, he must be sure
that he knows every reasonable answer that his opponent can make. When
one has satisfied these conditions, he can use the dilemma with great

By way of summary it may be said that the successful arguer must both
build up his own proof and destroy his opponent's. To accomplish the
latter one has to know what to refute and what to leave alone; he must
distinguish between the important and the unessential, and he must
take care not to "refute himself." Since proof consists of evidence
and reasoning, the first step for him to take in refuting an argument
is to apply the tests for each, and if possible show where his
opponent has erred. In the next place, he should see whether he can
discover and point out any of the more important fallacies; the ones
mentioned here are _begging the question_, _ambiguous terms_,
_false cause_, _composition and division_, and _ignoring the question_.
Should the arguer find any of these fundamental weaknesses, it is
ordinarily sufficient merely to call attention to them; for the sake
of emphasis, however, one may make use of two especially effective
methods of refutation, _reductio ad absurdum_ and the _dilemma_.


A. Criticize the following arguments and point out the fallacies they

1. Four thousand men have taken examinations at Princeton under the
honor system, and only six of these were found guilty of "cribbing."
This record shows conclusively that the honor system restrains
dishonest work in examinations.

2. Athletics do not injure a man's scholarship; one of the best
players on last year's football team attained such a high grade that
he was awarded a fellowship.

3. During the decade from 1870 to 1880, illiteracy among the negroes
decreased ten per cent., but the race grew more criminal by twenty-
five per cent.; from 1880 to 1890, illiteracy decreased eighteen per
cent., but criminality increased thirty-three and one-third per cent.
Who can now say that education does not injure the negro?

4. Since the honor system failed at Franklin and Marshall, it will
fail at ---- College.

5. Frequent athletic games benefit a college because they tend to take
the students' attention away from their studies.

6. The fixed curriculum of studies is effective in making a
specialist, because the specialist takes up only one kind of work.

7. Southerners are justified in keeping the franchise from the negro,
because the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution ought never to
have been passed.

8. Since the negro's devotion to the church is as great as that of
most white people, he is of as high moral standing as the average
unintelligent white.

9. Ireland is idle and therefore she starves; she starves and
therefore she rebels.

10. Every one desires virtue, because every one desires happiness.

11. The present term of four years is so short a time that the
President does not have opportunity to become acquainted with his
duties, for just as he is becoming acquainted with them he has to step
out of office.

12. This doctrine cannot be proved from the Gospels, nor from the Acts
of the Apostles, nor from the Epistles, nor from the Revelation of St.
John; therefore it cannot be proved from the New Testament.

13. Crime is a violation of the laws of our country; piracy is a
crime; this man belongs to a band of lawless men, and this band has
been taken in the very deed of piracy. Therefore he has violated the
laws of our country.

14. Since all presuming men are contemptible, and since this man
presumes to believe his opinions are correct, he is not worthy of our

15. To prove to you that our standing army should be permanently
enlarged, I will show that every nation of any prominence whatsoever
keeps a standing army.

16. The elective system of studies is preferable to the prescribed
system, because

    A. The student can elect those studies which will do him the most
         good, for

       1. He can elect what he pleases.

17. Strikes benefit the working man, because

    A. They benefit him financially, for

       1. If they did not, he would not strike.

18. When thirteen sit at table together, one of them always dies
within the year.

19. To decide whether or not strikes are justifiable it is necessary
to see if they have for the most part been successful in the past.

20. All the trees in the park make a thick shade; this is one of them,
therefore this tree makes a thick shade.

21. Italy is a Catholic country and abounds in beggars; France is also
a Catholic country, and therefore abounds in beggars.

22. Pitt was not a great and useful minister; for though he would have
been so had he carried out Adam Smith's doctrines of free trade, he
did not carry out those doctrines.

23. All criminal actions ought to be punished by law. Prosecutions for
theft are criminal actions, and therefore ought to be punished by law.

24. Books are a source both of instruction and of amusement; a table
of logarithms is a book; therefore it is a source both of instruction
and of amusement.

B. On each of the following arguments from authority write a paragraph
that will weaken its effect:--

1. "The Senate for more than a century has demonstrated the wisdom of
the mode of its constitution." Senator G. F. Hoar.

2. "Mine disasters are largely due to the intoxication of miners, or
to carelessness caused by the after effects of a 'spree,'" says Dr.
Jesse K. Johnson, superintendent of one of the largest mines in the
Pittsburg district.

3. Both Mark Hanna and Grover Cleveland have stated that a six year
Presidential term would be of great benefit to the United States.

4. Senator La Follet, who has made a thorough study of many of the
principal monopolies in the country, states that the Standard Oil
trust charges exorbitant rates.

5. Mr. Francis Walker, in the Political Science Quarterly, Volume
twenty, page fourteen, says that legislation against trusts has
improved conditions, and would therefore improve conditions in the
United States.

6. President Hadley, of Yale University, has said that the subsidizing
of ships on a large scale has been detrimental to France.

7. "The Indian who is not obliged to labor for his maintenance becomes
a lazy vagabond." Lyman Abbott.

C. Put the following article into the form of a brief and show exactly
what methods of refutation are used:--


The pretexts for removal of "Old Ironsides" from the waters in which
that historic ship had her birth are now reduced to two.

One of these is that the old boat takes up room at the Navy Yard which
is needed for the work of that establishment.

The other is that since the money expended in the restoration of the
frigate--less than $200,000--came out of the Federal Treasury, the
people of distant States ought to have the pleasure of seeing what
their money paid for without coming to Boston in order to enjoy it.

As for crowding the Navy Yard, that is an absurdity. His Excellency
Curtis Guild, Jr., in his letter to the Navy Department protesting
against the removal, quoted the officers in command at the Navy Yard
as declaring that "the ship in no way interferes with the work of the
yard, taking up no space that is needed for other purposes." The
Governor would not make such a statement in an official communication
without the clearest authority. "Indeed," he adds as his own opinion,
"the strip of wharf occupied is but a trivial portion of the long
water front controlled by the government."

There is the other pretext, namely, that because the "Constitution"
has been repaired at national cost, therefore any special claim that
Massachusetts may have upon this relic of Massachusetts patriotism is
removed. This idea has found crude and unmannerly expression in the
words of one of the committee of Congress looking over our navy yards.
"The agitation to keep the ship in Boston seems selfish," he is quoted
as saying. "It was the money of the whole people of the United States
that paid for its repair, and the people in other sections are as
justly entitled to see the ship as in Boston."

Coming from a representative of the State of Kansas, this is almost
amusing. His proposition to tow the ship around from place to place,
as it may be wanted for a show, suggests the practicability of a
canal, say, to Topeka, or to Fort Hayes.

The alternative proposition, namely, that Massachusetts shall repay to
the general government the cost of the repairs of the "Constitution,"
would have some standing were it a commercial affair. Massachusetts
has expended many times the cost of the repairs of "Old Ironsides" in
preserving for the nation the revolutionary sites and monuments upon
our soil. Payment for the repair and restoration of "Old Ironsides"
would be a bagatelle if the people of the United States were to demand
that this monument also shall be purchased by the people of
Massachusetts under threat of its removal.

But it is not a question of money; that is a contemptible suggestion.
Nor is it a question of bureaucracy. It is a simple, reasonable,
entirely practical demand of the historic sentiment of patriotism
which still warms the hearts and inspires the souls of Massachusetts



Debate has been defined as the oral presentation of argument under
conditions that allow both sides to be heard. In both class room and
intercollegiate debating each side usually makes two speeches, a main
speech and a rebuttal speech. The main speech ordinarily extends over
a period of from seven to twelve minutes, according to the rules
governing the contest, and is largely constructive in nature. The
rebuttal speech, commonly called _the rebuttal_, is usually a
little less than half the length of the main speech, and is for the
most part destructive. It is almost superfluous to add that both sides
are allowed exactly the same amount of time in which to present their
arguments; that the affirmative side speaks first, the order being,
when there are several debaters, affirmative, negative, affirmative,
negative, and so on; and that all the main speeches are given before
either side makes a rebuttal speech. If there be only one debater on
each side, it is undoubtedly best for the affirmative to offer the
first rebuttal; if there be several debaters, the order is usually
reversed. The debaters on either side may or may not speak in rebuttal
in the same order as in the main argument.


In several ways the work of the debater differs from the work of one
who is preparing a written argument or who is to speak without being
confronted by an opponent. As far as the completion of the brief, the
work in all cases is the same, but at this point the debater has to
decide what special preparation he shall make for handling and
presenting to the audience the material that he has collected. He is
puzzled to know whether it will be worth while to expand his brief;
and if he does expand it, he is in doubt as to just what he should do
with the expanded argument.

A debater has his choice of several possible methods of procedure. The
simplest, though not the most effective method, is to write out the
argument in full, and to memorize it word for word. The weakness of
such a course lies in the immobility of its attack and defense. The
first speaker for the affirmative may decide beforehand exactly what
he will say and the order in which he will say it, but all those who
are to follow should adapt their arguments, to some extent at least,
to the exigencies of the debate. They will find it desirable to make a
change in one place in order to join their arguments harmoniously to
those of their colleagues; they will wish to make changes in another
place for the sake of assailing an obviously weak spot or in order to
ward off an unexpected attack. This versatility is practically
impossible if one is delivering an argument that he has memorized word
for word. Again, a memorized argument cannot carry with it the force
and the conviction that may be found in an effort of a more
spontaneous character. Furthermore, if a debater should be so
unfortunate as to forget even a few words of a memorized selection, he
would probably be forced to sit down with his speech only partially

Another method that some debaters follow is to memorize portions of
their argument and to extemporize the rest. This is open to two great
objections: first, it is difficult to join together gracefully the
memorized passages and the extemporized; and the second, the very
smoothness with which the memorized passages are delivered betrays the
crudeness and awkwardness of the extemporized parts.

A third method, and undoubtedly the best one for the student to adopt,
is not to expand the brief before he debates, but to memorize the
greater part of it _as a brief_. In this way a debater has his
ideas well in hand, and, without being tied down to any particular
manner of expression or obliged to follow any set order of procedure,
he can use his material as opportunity requires. His language should
be at least partially extemporaneous; he may have a fairly clear
conception of how he is to frame his sentences, but he should have
nothing learned word for word. Thus his speech may have an element of
spontaneity that will give it a tone of sincerity and earnestness
unattainable when one is repeating a memorized passage. Too much,
however, must not be left to the inspiration of the moment; no student
should ever try to debate without first attempting in his room to
expand his brief orally. He is sure to meet with considerable
difficulty the first time he tries to formulate his ideas in clear,
forceful, and elegant language; but several attempts will produce a
remarkable change. After a few endeavors he will discover ways of
expressing himself that he will remember, even though the words vary
greatly each time.

The superiority of this method is marked. It enables the debater to
become perfectly familiar with all his material, and it gives him a
fairly good idea of what language he shall use. He is not, however,
bound down to any set speech; he can alter his argument to suit the
occasion. Should he unexpectedly find that his opponent has admitted a
certain idea, he can merely call attention to this fact and not waste
valuable time in giving superfluous proof. If he sees that his
opponent has made such a strong argument that some refutation is
necessary at the outset in order to gain the confidence of his
audience, he can instantly change the order of his proof and begin
with a point that he had, perhaps, intended to use in another part of
his speech. In fact, this method enables one to _debate_ rather
than to _declaim_.

In most debating contests it is permissible for the contestants to
make use of a few notes written on small cards that can be carried in
a pocket or held unobtrusively in the hand. Such a practice, if not
abused, is commended by some teachers of argumentation. On these cards
the debater can put down the main headings of his brief, all
statistics that are difficult to remember, and all quotations. _He
had better not refer to these cards for the headings of his brief if
he can possibly avoid doing so_. It will be a great stimulus,
however, for him to know that he has this help to rely on in case of
necessity. Statistics and quotations he may read without hesitation.

One should speak his debate many times by himself, not only for the
purpose of gaining facility in expression, but also for the sake of
condensing his material to an argument that will approximately occupy
the exact time allowed him for debating. It is a deplorable fact that
many debaters try to say so much that when their allotment of time has
expired they find themselves in the very midst of their argument. Such
an ending leaves the audience confused and unimpressed. No debater
should ever omit his conclusion. If there is only one contestant on
each side, a conclusion is certainly necessary both for the sake of
clearness and emphasis, and because an unfinished argument is not a
unit. If there are several contestants on each side, the fact that the
opposing speakers intervene and distract the attention of the audience
makes it even more necessary that each debater end his argument with a
formal conclusion, and by means of it bind his work to that of his


As much time, if not more, should be spent in preparing the
destructive as in preparing the constructive portion of an argument.
One can determine beforehand almost exactly how he will establish his
side of the proposition, but just what material he will need to
overthrow his opponent's proof will depend upon how that proof is
constructed. Ordinarily one can predict what lines of reasoning an
opponent will take; in fact, no one should ever attempt to debate
until he has studied the proposition so thoroughly that he can
anticipate practically all the arguments that will be advanced. Yet
until he sees on what points the emphasis is placed, what arguments
are ignored, and what evidence is used, he cannot tell for sure what
facts and what inferences will be most valuable as refutation.
Therefore, a debater who wishes to offer good refutation must have a
wealth of material at his command and be able to select instantly the
ideas that will be of the greatest value.

This necessity for an abundance of information precludes the idea,
held by some, that good debaters depend for their refutation on the
inspiration of the moment. Great speakers often spend incalculable
time in preparing to answer the arguments of the opposition. Webster's
_Reply to Hayne_, which is a recognized masterpiece of oratory,
and which is almost entirely refutation, was at first thought to have
been composed over night, but Webster declared that all the material
he had used had lain in his desk for months.

Refutation should come for the most part, though not entirely, in the
rebuttal. Unless one has made a thorough study of both sides of the
question, and is thus sure of his ground, anticipatory refutation is
dangerous. It is sometimes an excellent plan to take the wind out of
an opponent's sails by overthrowing an argument of his before he has a
chance to present it, but in doing this the debater must use the
greatest caution. To begin with, he must be sure that the argument he
refutes is of such a fundamental nature that it is essential to the
case of the other side, for if his opponent fails to use this point,
the debater not only has exposed himself to ridicule, but has wasted
valuable time. When one does refute in advance a point that must be
upheld by the opposition, a skillful opponent often can, by
calling attention to the fact that even those on the other side
recognize the importance and strength of this argument, destroy much
of the advantage that has been gained. To refute an argument before it
is advanced, sometimes brings failure and sometimes brings success. A
debater must exercise judgment.

One must also exercise a high degree of judgment in deciding where he
can most advantageously answer the arguments that have actually been
given. Whenever a debater presents so thorough and so strong proof
that the audience is likely to think that he has settled the question
and won the debate, the succeeding speaker on the opposite side will
have great difficulty in making any impression unless he can at the
start at least partially discredit the preceding argument. The
attitude of the audience will compel him to use refutation before
beginning his constructive work. On the other hand, if the preceding
argument has apparently produced but little effect, he may at once
begin to build his own proof. He should, however, show good reason for
postponing his refutation. To ignore the previous arguments entirely,
or arbitrarily to postpone answering them, is likely to give the
audience an unfavorable impression.

COMMON ERRORS IN REFUTATION. A common error in refutation is the
failure to attack an opponent's main arguments. Students especially
are wont to neglect fundamental principles, and instead of
overthrowing the points that count, occupy invaluable time with
trivial matters. To rebut unimportant details, admitted matter, mere
illustrations, and errors obviously due to haste in speaking, is a
fault that every debater should carefully avoid. Such trivialities the
audience immediately forgets, and to bring them up again and refute
them serves no worthy purpose whatever.

Another serious fault common to refutation in student debates is lack
of coherence. The student falls into this error when he rebuts a
miscellaneous lot of points without having first ascertained the
function of each and differentiated the main ideas from the
subordinate ones. Instead of looking at the argument as a whole and
attacking it with the concerted strength of all his forces, he fires
scattering shots, and does but little damage. In refutation a debater
must first see clearly the relation between each point that he rebuts
and the proposition, otherwise his work is wasted. Secondly, he must
make this relation perfectly plain to the audience. Instead of
overthrowing isolated statements, a debater should take up his
opponent's case as _a whole_ and weaken it as much as he can. He
should attack each main point. Coherent refutation adds much to the
effectiveness of a debate.

inexperienced debater has difficulty in laying his hands on just the
material that he desires to use. Possibly he remembers that he has
seen somewhere an article that proves the insincerity of a man who has
just been quoted as an authority; but if he can neither produce this
article nor state its substance, he might as well not know about it.
Perhaps he remembers having seen a table of statistics showing that
his opponent has erred in regard to the death rate in the Spanish-
American War; but unless he can produce the table, his knowledge is of
no avail. There is scarcely any time for searching through books or
unorganized notes; material to be of use must be instantly available.
Some definite system of arranging rebuttal material is absolutely

One method that has been tried with great success consists of putting
down on cards of a uniform size all the material that can possibly be
of use in refutation. These cards the debater then groups, in
alphabetical order, under headings that correspond to the main
divisions of the subject under discussion, and if it seems advisable
in any particular instance, he may group them under subdivisions of
the proposition. To be more explicit, if a debater thinks that the
opposition may question the financial success of a plan that he is
advocating, he should write out on as many cards as are necessary,
usually putting only one idea on each card, all the material that goes
to show why the plan should succeed and where it has succeeded.
Furthermore, if the plan has failed anywhere, he should put down,
providing he is able, explanations that will account for the failure
without condemning the system. These cards, then, would naturally be
arranged under some such heading as "Finance" or "Success." If the
debater wishes, he may also arrange his cards under subheadings. For
instance, those cards that go to show why the plan ought to succeed
could be put under the subheading, "Antecedent Probability"; those
that show where the plan has succeeded, under "Sign," and those that
account for failure of the plan in certain places, under the heading
"Failures." Any one at all familiar with a library card catalogue
will at once see the various possibilities for arranging these cards.

Cards for rebuttal should be made out about as follows:--

Proposition:--_Resolved,_ That profit-sharing and co-operative
methods generally afford the most promising solution of the labor
problem. (Affirmative.)


The Union Polishing Metal Plating Company has been successfully
operated under this method since 1902. (C. H. Quinn, Outlook, Vol.
LXXIII, page 452.)


The great iron works of Evansville, Wis., are operated under
this method. (G. L. McNutt, Ind., Vol. LV, page 619.)

The advantages of such a system are obvious. This method gives not
only one debater, but the whole team, almost instant command of all
the material that has been collected. One can find what he wants, and
find it hastily; he is not obliged to spend much valuable time in
hunting after needed evidence and thus neglect large portions of the
speech that is being delivered. A debater should begin on the
classification of rebuttal material almost as soon as he begins to
read on his subject. In this way he will save all the material that he
gathers, and his catalogued information will be of assistance to him
in drawing his brief and in constructing his main argument as well as
in making refutation at the time of the debate.


THE FIRST SPEAKER FOR THE AFFIRMATIVE. Upon the first speaker for the
affirmative falls the duty of interpreting the proposition. Since the
subject of analysis has already been fully discussed, but few
directions need be given here. It may be well, however, to emphasize
the qualities of clearness and fairness. A debate, unlike a written
argument, cannot be studied and re-read time and again. For this
reason, unless the proposition is explained in the very simplest
language and by means of the very clearest definitions and
illustrations, many people in the audience will not understand what
the debate is about. Long words and high-sounding phrases have no
place here. The debater must aim to reach not merely those who are
familiar with the subject, but also those to whom the question is
absolutely new. If, when the first speaker has finished, any attentive
listener of average intelligence fails to understand both the subject
of the debate and the attitude of the affirmative side, the speech has
been a failure.

Then, too, the analysis of the proposition must be fair and just to
both sides. A debater has no right to strain or twist the meaning of
the proposition so as to gain any advantage for himself. In the first
place, this practice is dishonest, and an honorable debater does not
wish to win by trickery or fraud. Secondly, such an act almost always
brings defeat. The fact that a debate is being held, presupposes a
subject about which reasonable men may differ. If a debater interprets
the proposition so that only one reasonable side exists, manifestly he
must be in error, and upon the exposure of this error he is sure to
lose the decision.

In debate, therefore, clearness and fairness should especially
characterize the four steps that are taken in analyzing the
proposition: to define terms, to explain the proposition as a whole,
to discover the issues, and to make the partition.

Upon the completion of the introduction, the first debater for the
affirmative proceeds to the discussion, and later, should he be the
only contestant on the affirmative side, to the conclusion. But if, as
is usually the case, there be several debaters on each side, he takes
up only one or two main points of the proof. In handling this proof he
must be sure so to correlate his work with the work of his colleagues
that, in the minds of the audience, it will all hang together as a
united whole. To accomplish this object, he may, as he finishes with
his partition, state what points he will discuss himself, and what
points will be handled by the affirmative speakers that are to succeed
him; and he must, without fail, when he nears the end of his allotted
time, hastily summarize the proof that he has given, and outline the
proof that is to follow. In this way he may keep the intervening
speeches of his opponents from entirely destroying the continuity that
should exist between his speech and the speeches of his colleagues.

THE FIRST SPEAKER FOR THE NEGATIVE. It rests with the first speaker
for the negative to determine whether the introduction as presented by
the affirmative is satisfactory, whether the analysis of the
proposition is clear, adequate, and fair. If the affirmative has erred
in any respect, it is the duty of the first negative debater to supply
the deficiency or make the correction; otherwise he errs equally with
the affirmative. If the affirmative has failed to explain the
proposition so that it is generally understood, the negative is sure
to win favor with the audience by spending a few moments in
elucidating the subject of controversy. If the affirmative debater has
analyzed the question inadequately or unfairly, the negative debater
should not begin to establish proof until he has set these
preliminaries straight. In correcting an unfair analysis, it is never
enough that one merely make objections or even give an introduction of
his own; he must, in brief form--and often a single sentence is
sufficient--show to the satisfaction of the audience that his opponent
has not interpreted the proposition correctly. On the other hand, if
the first speaker for the negative considers the introduction given by
the affirmative perfectly fair and satisfactory, he can pass by it
without comment, and begin his own argument either with refutation or
with a statement of the points that the negative side will establish
in attacking the proposition.

It is thus apparent that a debater who opens a negative argument must
depend for the beginning of his speech rather on a thorough
understanding of the subject in all its details and fundamental
principles than on a speech that he has to deliver word for word. To
repeat an introduction that has already been given is absurd; to fail
to correct an introduction that, as a whole, is obscure or is unfair,
is to merit defeat. It may be added, by way of caution, that when a
debater supplies any deficiencies in the speech of his predecessor, he
should do this without any appearance of "smartness" or personal
antagonism. Even if the affirmative debater has been manifestly
unfair, the negative speaker will do well to correct this unfairness
in a friendly, though in a forceful manner.

As soon as the introduction is out of the way, the negative speaker
proceeds to the discussion. Two courses are open to him: he may at
once refute his predecessor's arguments, or he may proceed to take up
his constructive proof, giving reason for postponing the refutation.
As this matter has already been discussed, it is only necessary to say
that the course he should choose depends largely upon the strength of
the preceding argument. The same directions that have been given to
the affirmative debater for connecting his work to his colleagues'
apply equally to the negative. Summaries and outlines aid greatly in
binding the arguments of a debating team into one compact mass.

THE OTHER SPEAKERS. About the only practical suggestion which can be
made to the other speakers is that they adapt their constructive work
to that of their colleagues, and deploy their refutation so as to
hammer the principal positions of their opponents. Each debater may or
may not begin his speech with refutation, but he should always begin
his main argument with a terse, clear summary of what has been said on
his side, and in closing he should not only summarize his own
arguments, but he should also give again, in very brief form, the gist
of what has been proved by his colleagues. In addition, any speaker
except the last one on each side, may, if he thinks best, give an
outline of the argument to follow. In making these summaries, a
debater must always avoid stating them in so bald and crude a form as
to make them monotonous and offensive. He ought rather to use all the
ingenuity at his command in an attempt to make this repetition
exceedingly forceful.

It often happens that an inexperienced debater never reaches his
conclusion. While he is still in the midst of his proof, his allotment
of time expires, and he is forced to sit down, leaving his speech
hanging in the air. Such an experience is both awkward and disastrous;
a skillful debater never allows it to happen. The peroration is the
most important part of an argument, and on it the debater should
lavish his greatest care. To omit it is almost the same as to have
made no speech at all. As soon as the debater perceives that he has
but a short time left, he should at once bring this main speech to a
close, and even though he may have to omit important ideas, begin at
once on his conclusion. As is pointed out in Chapter X, the conclusion
consists both of a summary and an emotional appeal. What emotion shall
be aroused and how it shall apply to the summarized headings can
largely be determined beforehand. Some debaters go so far as to commit
this conclusion to memory. This practice is not recommended except in
special cases, and yet a debater should be so familiar with his
peroration that he will have no difficulty in putting it into vigorous
and pleasing language.

REBUTTAL SPEECHES. A rebuttal speech usually furnishes an excellent
test of a debater's mastery of his subject. It shows whether or not he
comprehends the fundamental principles that underly the argument. If
he does not understand fundamentals, he cannot distinguish between
what is worth answering and what is trivial. If he is not perfectly
familiar with the arguments on both sides of the question, his
refutation will be scattering; that is, he will rebut only a few of
his opponent's headings, those for which, in his scanty preparation,
he has discovered some answer. On the other hand, if he really
understands the subject, he will deal largely with main ideas; and if
his knowledge of the subject is as extensive as it should be, he will
almost invariably be able to offer some opposition to every main
heading used by the opposition.

When a debate is held between only two contestants, each one has to
refute the whole argument of his opponent. In this case there are no
complications; but when two teams are debating, the members of each
must decide among themselves as to how the rebuttal shall be handled.
One way is for each member to refute all he can, working independently
of his colleagues. Much better results are secured, however, when a
team works systematically. In the first place, a team should always
resolve the opposing arguments into a hasty brief. The main points of
the opposition can then be assigned for rebuttal to the various
members of the team, and each debater can give thorough treatment to
his assignment. In this way every point is sure to be covered, and
there will be little, if any, duplication of work.

Such a course presupposes very careful preparation on the part of the
debaters. It means that each member of the team must have sufficient
knowledge and material at his command to oppose with credit any
argument that may be advanced. In general, the assignment of headings
for rebuttal may be such that each debater will refute those points of
which he took an opposite view in his main speech, but as it is
usually desirable to rebut arguments in the same order in which they
were originally given, no member of the team can afford to shirk
mastering each detail that in any way has a vital bearing upon the

THE LAST REBUTTAL SPEAKER. The work of the last speaker on each side
differs somewhat from the work of his colleagues. All the speakers try
to overthrow the opposing arguments, and by means of summaries keep
their case as a whole before the audience. The last speaker devotes
far less time to pure refutation, gives a more detailed summary, and,
in addition, compares and contrasts the arguments of his side with the
arguments of the opposition. This last process is called "amplifying
and diminishing."

It is not always necessary to prove a main heading false in order to
destroy its effectiveness. A debater may of necessity have to admit
that the opposition has successfully established the points it set out
to prove. In such a case, he cannot do better than to acknowledge the
correctness of his opponent's proof, and then remembering that an
audience awards a decision by a comparison of the relative weight of
the proof of each side, amplify the importance of his own arguments,
point by point, and diminish the importance of the arguments advanced
by the other side.

For instance, in a debate on the question as to whether immigration
should be restricted, the affirmative might maintain that unrestricted
immigration brings serious political evils, and the negative might
show that the policy of nonrestriction greatly increases the wealth of
the country. If neither of these contentions be successfully refuted,
the favor of the audience will incline towards the affirmative or the
negative, as far as those two points are concerned, according as they
think that political purity or economic prosperity is the more
important. Plainly, it would be for the interest of the affirmative to
convince the audience that the preservation of political integrity is
of greater moment than any mere material gain.

In many respects the last rebuttal speeches on each side are the most
conspicuous and decisive parts of a debate. If the last speech is
hesitating and weak, it is liable to ruin all preceding efforts, even
though they were of the highest order; if it is enthusiastic and
strong, it will often cover up preceding defects, and turn defeat into
victory. Because of its importance this portion of the work usually
falls to the best debater on the team, and if he is wise he will give
it his greatest thought and care. In this speech he should strive in
every possible way to attain perfection. His delivery should be
emphatic and pleasing; his ideas should be logically arranged; and his
knowledge of what he has to say should be so complete that there will
be no hesitation, no groping for words. Furthermore, he should
introduce an element of persuasion; to reach both the minds and the
hearts of his hearers is essential for the greatest success. All this
has to be done in a short time, yet to be of a high rank even the
shortest closing speeches must contain these characteristics.


An argument, like other kinds of composition, should possess the
qualities of style known as Clearness, Force, and Elegance, and should
in all respects observe the principles of Unity, Selection, Coherence,
Proportion, Emphasis, and Variety. Since the student from his study of
Rhetoric is already familiar with these matters, it would be
superfluous to dwell upon them in this book. A good written argument,
however, does not always make a good debate; limited time for
speaking, lack of opportunity for the audience to grasp ideas and to
reflect upon them, the presence of strong opposing arguments that must
be met and overthrown with still stronger arguments,--these conditions
render the heightening of certain characteristics indispensable in a

Above all else the successful debater is forceful. He uses every
possible device for driving home his arguments. He bends every effort
toward making his ideas so plain and so emphatic that the audience
will understand them and _remember_ them. Realizing that the
audience cannot, like the reader of a written article, peruse the
argument a second time, he uses words and expressions that cause his
thoughts to stick fast wherever they fall.

STATISTICS. Statistics improperly used are dry and uninteresting; they
often spoil an otherwise forceful and persuasive debate. The trouble
often lies, strange to say, in the accuracy with which the figures are
given. A brain that is already doing its utmost to accept almost
instantaneously a multitude of facts and comprehend their
significance, or a brain that is somewhat sluggish and lazy, refuses
to be burdened with uninteresting and unimportant details. For this
reason, when a debater speaks of 10,564,792 people, the brain becomes
wearied with the numbers and in disgust is apt to turn away from the
whole matter. On the other hand, the round sum 10,000,000 not only
does not burden the brain, but also, under ordinary conditions, gives
in a rather forceful manner the information it was intended to convey.
"About five hundred" presents a much more vivid picture than "four
hundred and eighty-six" or "five hundred and eighteen"; "fifteen per
cent." is stronger than "fifteen and one-tenth per cent."; the
expression "eighty years" seems to indicate a longer period of time
than "eighty-two years, seven months, and twenty-nine days."

If one is to quote statistics, he should always, unless the
circumstances be very unusual, use round numbers. Figures themselves,
however, are often less emphatic than other methods of expression. The
ordinary mind can not grasp the significance of large numbers. That
the state of Texas contains over a quarter of a million of square
miles means little to the average person; he neither remembers the
exact area of other states nor can he realize what an immense
territory these figures stand for. The following quotation gives the
area of Texas in much more vivid and forceful language:--

If you take Texas by the upper corner and swing it on that as a pivot,
you will lop off the lower end of California, cut through Idaho,
overlap South Dakota, touch Michigan, bisect Ohio, reach West
Virginia, cut through North Carolina and South Carolina, lop off all
the western side of Florida, and blanket the greater part of the Gulf
of Mexico.

To say that the American farmer produced in 1907 a crop worth, at the
farm, seven and one-half billions of dollars, conveys little idea of
the magnitude of the harvest. A current magazine has couched the same
estimate in less exact but in far more emphatic language:--

Suppose that all of last year's corn had been shipped to Europe; it
would have required over four thousand express steamers of 18,000 tons
register to deliver it. Suppose that the year's wheat had all been
sent to save the Far East from a great famine: the largest fleet in
the world, with its four hundred vessels of all sizes, would have
required fifteen round trips to move it. Take tobacco,--such a minor
crop that most people never think of it in connection with farming:--
if last year's tobacco crop had been made into cigars, the supply
would have lasted 153,000 men for fifty years, each man smoking ten
cigars a day.

The officials of the forestry service, in speaking of the great
devastation caused by forest fires, make the startling assertion that
a new navy of first-class battle-ships could be built for the sum lost
during a few weeks in the fires that raged from the pines of Maine to
the redwoods of California.

Figures used in this way are most effective, and yet probably nothing
in argumentation is more tedious than too many of these descriptions
of statistics coming close together. If numbers absolutely have to
be indicated a great many times, even figures are likely to be less

CONCRETENESS. General statements and abstract principles invariably
weary an audience. Theories and generalities are usually too
intangible to make much impression. Specific instances and concrete
cases, however, are usually interesting. A vivid picture of real
persons, things, and events is necessary to arouse the attention of an
audience and cause them both to understand the argument and to give it
their consideration. The slogan of a recent political campaign was
not, "Improved economic conditions for the laboring man"; it was, "The
full dinner pail." The political orator who is urging the necessity
for a larger navy on the ground that war is imminent does not speak of
possible antagonists in such general terms as _foreign powers_;
he specifies Germany, Japan, and the other nations that he fears. The
preacher who would really awaken the conscience of his church does not
confine himself to such terms as _original sin_ and _weaknesses
of the flesh_; he talks of _lying_, _stealing_, and _swearing_.

Compare the effectiveness of the following examples:--

People of the same race are more loyal to each other than to

Blood is thicker than water.

Western farmers are demanding political recognition.

"No, I am not going to vote a straight ticket this year. If I do, my
candidate must be in favor of some things I want." That was the dictum
of Franklin Taylor, Farmer, on Rural Route No. 12, ten miles from a
western town. He is a type of thousands of other farmers in the West.

Business streets that were once commodious and impressive are now
smoky and filthy.

Business streets that ten years after the great fire promised to be
almost grant in the width and perspective are now mere smoky tunnels
under the filth-dripping gridirons of the elevated railways.

The West is becoming more densely populated.

The center of population, now in Indiana, is traveling straight toward
the middle point of Illinois. The center of manufacturing has reached
only eastern Ohio, but is marching in a bee-line for Chicago.

In the following quotation Mr. Crisp, laying aside for the moment
abstractions and generalities, and bringing his case down to a
specific instance, gives a concrete illustration of how the protective
tariff affects a single individual:

Will you tell how this protective tariff benefits our agricultural
producers? I can show you--I think I can demonstrate clearly--how the
tariff hurts them; and I defy any of you to show wherein they are
benefited by a protective tariff.

Suppose a farmer in Minnesota has 5,000 bushels of wheat and a farmer
in Georgia has 100 bales of cotton. That wheat at eighty cents a
bushel is worth $4,000, and that cotton at eight cents a pound is
worth $4,000. Let those producers ship their staples abroad. The
Minnesota wheat-grower ships his wheat to Liverpool; whether he ships
it there or not, that is where the price of his wheat is fixed. The
Georgia cotton-raiser ships his cotton to Liverpool; whether he ships
it there or not, that is where the price of his cotton is fixed. The
wheat and the cotton are sold in that free trade market. The wheat is
sold for $4,000; the cotton brings the same amount. The Minnesota
farmer invests the $4,000 he has received for his wheat in clothing,
crockery, iron, steel, dress goods, clothing,--whatever he may need
for his family in Minnesota. The Georgia cotton-raiser invests the
proceeds of his cotton in like kind of goods.

Each of those men ships his goods to this country and they reach the
port of New York. When either undertakes to unload them he is met by
the collector of customs, who says, "Let me see your invoice." The
invoice is exhibited, and it shows $4,000 worth of goods. Those goods
represent in the one case 5,000 bushels of wheat, in the other case
100 bales of cotton. The collector at the port says to either of these
gentlemen--the man who raises the wheat in Minnesota or him who raises
the cotton in Georgia, "You cannot bring into this market those goods
for which you have exchanged your products unless you pay to the
United States a tariff by the McKinley law--a tax of $2,000."

FIGURES OF SPEECH. The use of figurative language is also an aid to
clearness and to force. Simile, metaphor, personification, antithesis,
balance, climax, rhetorical question, and repetition are all effective
aids in the presentation of argument. The speeches of great orators
are replete with expressions of this sort. Burke, in his _Speech on
Conciliation_, says, "Despotism itself is obliged to truck and
huckster"; "The public," he said, "would not have patience to see us
play the game out with our adversaries; we must produce our hand";
"Men may lose little in property by the act which takes away all their
freedom. When a man is robbed of a trifle on the highway, it is not
the twopence lost that constitutes the capital outrage." In speaking
of certain provisions of the Constitution, Webster says that they are
the "keystone of the arch." The following paragraph is taken from his
_Reply to Hayne_:--

And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its
youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives in the strength
of its manhood and full of its original spirit. If discord and
disunion shall wound it; if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk
at and tear it; if folly and madness, if uneasiness under salutary and
necessary restraint, shall succeed to separate it from that Union by
which alone its existence is made sure; it will stand, in the end, by
the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will
stretch forth its arm with whatever of vigor it may still retain, over
the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at last, if fall it
must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory, and on the very
spot of its origin.

_The Outlook_, in a recent issue, first states a vital question
in literal and then, to drive home the meaning of the problem, in
figurative language:--

Is the Constitution of the United States a series of inflexible rules
which can be changed only by the methods which those rules themselves
prescribe, or is it the expression of certain political principles by
which a living and growing Nation has resolved to guide itself in its
life and growth? Is it an anchor which fastens the ship of state in
one place, or a rudder to guide it on its voyage?

Sometimes figures of speech are used to such excess or in such
incongruous combinations that they detract from the effectiveness of
the debate in which they occur rather than add to it. The distance
from a forceful figure to an absurd figure is so short that a debater
has to be on his guard against using expressions that will impress his
audience as ridiculous or even funny. A mixture of highly figurative
language with literal language and commonplace ideas, and a mixture of
several figures are especially to be guarded against. As an example of
the extent to which figures may be mixed the following will serve:--

"I'm up a tree," admitted the bolting Senator, "but my back is to the
wall and I'll die in the last ditch, going down with flags flying,
and from the mountain top of Democracy, hurling defiance at the foe,
soar on the wings of triumph, regardless of the party lash that barks
at my heels."


To be a successful debater one must understand how to talk and how to
act in the presence of an audience. Uncouthness in appearance and
awkwardness in speech have often brought defeat. Moreover, it is not
enough that a debater refrain from offending his audience; his bearing
and his voice should be of positive assistance to him both in pleasing
them and in interpreting to them the ideas that he wishes to convey.
First of all, a good delivery is one that assists in making the
argument clear. Its next most important function is to make the
argument forceful. A speaker should never rest content with being able
to present his argument merely with clearness; he should strive to be
interesting and impressive also. These qualities depend in no small
measure upon the way a speech is delivered. The best story or the best
argument will fall flat unless it is full of the fire of enthusiasm,
unless the personality of the speaker vivifies it and makes it a
living reality. Unfortunately, this intangible quality in a speaker,
often called "personality" or "magnetism," cannot, to any great
extent, be taught. In the main, one must seek this and develop it for
himself. A text-book can point out what constitutes good form, what is
pleasing and impressive to the eye and to the ear, and, in a word,
what make up the externals of a good delivery; but beyond these
mechanical directions it cannot go. A student should observe the
following fundamental directions as his first step toward becoming a
successful speaker. Afterwards, he should cultivate earnestness,
enthusiasm, perception, a sense of humor, and all other such qualities
as go to make up a really great speaker.

POSITION. The best position for a debater to take on the stage is in
the centre well toward the front. He should take the centre because in
that position he can best see the entire audience, and the entire
audience can best see him. He should stand near the front edge of the
platform for several reasons: first, he can make himself more easily
understood; his voice need not be so loud in order to be heard
distinctly in every part of the hall. This is no small advantage for
one who is not gifted with unusual powers of speech. In the next
place, if a debater stands close to his audience, he can adopt a more
conversational style of delivery. He can establish a direct personal
connection between himself and his hearers and talk to them as man to
man. If the hall is not too large, he need scarcely raise his voice
from its accustomed tone; he can look his audience in the eye,
receiving the stimulus of whatever interest they express; and at the
same time he can let them see in his features the earnestness and
sincerity that he feels. To stand near the back of the stage is
undoubtedly easier for one who is diffident or inexperienced; perhaps
he will then be able partially to forget where he is and to imagine
that he is alone; but such an attitude both severs all personal
connection between speaker and hearer, and shows that the debater does
not trust himself, that he has no great belief in his subject, and
that he fears his audience. An impression of this sort is a great
handicap even to the strongest case. If one would inspire confidence,
he must appear confident; if one would make friends, he must be
friendly, avoiding even a suggestion of aloofness. To accomplish these
purposes as far as is possible by _action,_ a debater should come
close to his audience, having every appearance of being glad that he
is to speak and confident in the strength of the side that he is to

The next thing for a speaker to learn is how to stand. He should not
take a natural posture, as some writers say, unless that posture is
one of strength and, to some degree, of grace. A student without
training will usually stand with his head protruding forward, his
shoulders drooping, his body twisted, and his feet far apart, with all
his weight on one leg. Such an attitude is enough to condemn one even
before he begins to speak. A slipshod appearance suggests slipshod
thinking and reasoning. A speaker should always stand erect, with his
head back, chin in, shoulders rolled back and down; either the feet
should be near together with the weight of the body on both, or one
foot should be slightly in advance of the other with the weight of the
body entirely on the rear foot. In the latter case, the leg on which
the body rests must form a straight line with the body, there being no
unsightly bulging at the hip; and the leg on which the body does not
rest must be slightly bent at the knee. This posture is not difficult
to attain if one will practise it frequently, endeavoring in his
everyday life to walk and stand in a soldierly manner. On the other
hand, erectness should not be carried to such an extreme as to become
stiffness. A debater's object is to be forceful and pleasing. In
striving for this end, he should always remember that he can very
easily err in either of two directions.

A debater should allow his hands, for the most part, to hang naturally
at his sides. There may be a great temptation for him to put them in
his pockets, but he should resist this for two reasons: such a
procedure is not considered good form, and his hands are less
available for instant use in the making of gestures. If one is
delivering a lengthy argument, there is no particular harm in putting
one hand behind the back for a short time, or even in front of the
body along the waist line, provided this can be done in an easy,
natural manner; but in the case of a short speech, one will do well to
keep his hands at his sides. They must hang naturally in order not to
attract attention, being neither closed tightly nor held rigidly open.
If one will follow these directions, his hands and arms may feel
awkward, but they will not appear so.

Another important principle in the matter of position requires that a
debater shall keep his eyes fixed on his audience. He must not look at
the floor, at the ceiling, or at the walls. He must look at the people
he would convince. Only in this way can he hope to hold their
attention. Only in this way can he win their confidence and reach
their feelings. To look into space means to debate into space.

In the next place, a speaker must beware of falling into ludicrous and
disgusting habits of deportment. Nervousness will often cause one in
the presence of an audience to keep making an unsightly gesture, a
peculiar twitch or step that will absolutely ruin his whole speech.
Some speakers have been known to change their weight from one foot to
the other as often as twenty or thirty times a minute. Other speakers
have adopted a peculiar jerk of the head or a constant shrugging of
the shoulders that is most disagreeable to see. Still others keep
constantly opening and shutting their hands. For years one speaker of
some small prominence spent the greater part of his time while on the
platform in tugging at his coat, apparently in an effort to make it
fit better around the collar. All such actions as these are to be
carefully guarded against.

A debater, however, is not expected to stand perfectly still: he
should use considerable interpretative and emphatic action. To begin
with, he ought not to stand all the time in exactly the same spot.
Monotony of position is to be avoided as well as monotony of action or
of voice. He will rest himself and his audience if he will
occasionally move about, taking two or three steps at a time. In doing
this he must never go backward; he must never retreat. If, for any
reason, he began his speech while standing near the rear or the centre
of the stage, he should move forward; if he cannot go forward, he may
move back and forth near the edge of the platform. The best time for
one to change his position is at the conclusion of a paragraph. A
paragraph division, it will be remembered, indicates a change in
thought. If a debater, therefore, makes a longer pause than usual at
this point, and in addition alters his position slightly, he helps
interpret his argument. He does for the hearer exactly what
indentation does for the reader.

GESTURES. So much has been said and written about gestures that a
student is often puzzled to know whose advice to follow and what to
do. Some writers say that no gestures at all are desirable; others
deem them necessary, but declare that they should never be made unless
they are spontaneous and natural. In the light of such conflicting
advice, what will determine the proper course for a student to follow?
The answer to this question lies in a consideration of the ultimate
object of a course in debating. If it is to give students some
facility in expressing their thoughts before an audience, if it is to
train students for practical work in business and professional life,
then those men who are recognized as the polished and powerful
speakers of the day should be taken as models. Most of these, it will
be found, use gestures. There is but one reasonable course, then, for
the student to follow: he should make gestures. They may be crude and
awkward at first, but only by practice can he ever hope to improve

The best method of procedure, undoubtedly, is for the beginner to
become familiar with two or three of the most common gestures,
learning how to make them and just what they signify. He should then
use them. They may seem mechanical and ungainly at first, but constant
practice both in private and before a class will soon enable him to
make them with considerable emphasis and ease. From this point on, the
road is clear. The knowledge that he can use his hands to good
advantage, even in a limited way, will soon cause him to make gestures
spontaneously. Nor will he be limited to the few with which he
started. In the midst of an explanation and in the heat of an
impassioned plea, he will find himself using gestures that he had not
thought of before. The awkward and premeditated gesture with which he
began will have become forceful and spontaneous.

The gestures that a student should first learn to use must be
illustrated to him by his instructor. To see a gesture made several
times gives one a better idea of how to make it and of what it means
than could a dozen pages in a text-book. The choice of gestures, too,
may rest with the instructor. It makes no particular difference with
what ones a debater begins, provided that they are simple in execution
and are such as he will wish to use in practically every debate into
which he enters. Ordinarily, the best ones for a beginner to practice
on are those indicating emphasis. If he wishes for a wider field, he
might also try to use gestures indicating magnitude and contrast. When
he has finished with these, he should hesitate before deliberately
introducing many others. A debate is not a dramatic production, and it
should in no wise savor of melodrama.

VOICE. Correct position and forceful gestures are very important, but
upon no one thing does the success of a debater, aside from his
argument, depend so much as upon his voice. One may move his audience
in spite of an awkward posture and in the absence of all intelligent
gestures, but unless his voice meets certain requirements, his case is
almost hopeless. Above all else a speaker's voice must be distinct.

Distinctness depends upon several things. First, the voice must be
loud enough to be heard without difficulty in every part of the room.
To produce this result, one should speak especially to those in the
rear, carefully watching to see whether he holds their attention; at
the same time he must be careful not to shout in a manner unpleasant
to those sitting nearer him. The stress laid by public speakers upon
the matter of loudness is well illustrated by a story told of one of
the foremost orators of the day. It is said that he invariably
stations some one in the back of the audience to signal to him when
his voice is either too low or unnecessarily loud.

In the next place, distinctness depends upon enunciation. The debater
who drops off final syllables, slurs consonants, runs words together,
or talks without using his lips and without opening his mouth is hard
to understand. It often requires considerable conscious effort to
pronounce each syllable in a word distinctly, but the resulting
clearness is worth a strenuous attempt. One great cause of poor
enunciation is too rapid talking. A fairly slow delivery is preferable
not only because the words can be more easily understood, but also
because it gives a debater the appearance of being more careful and
accurate in his reasoning. Great rapidity in speech may be due to
nervousness or inexperience; whatever its cause, it is usually fatal
to distinctness.

A pleasing tone of voice is not of so great moment as distinctness of
utterance, yet its cultivation is by no means to be neglected. Harsh,
rasping sounds and nasal twangs are disagreeable to hear, and no
speaker can afford to offend his audience in this way. An unpleasant
voice may be the result of some physical defect; more often it is
caused by sheer carelessness. In most cases a little practice will
produce a wonderful change. A very common breach of elegance in
speaking is the habit of drawling out an _er_ sound between
words. The constant repetition of this is exceedingly annoying. It is
usually caused by an attempt to fill in a gap while the speaker is
groping about for the next word. The best way to correct this blunder
is to be so familiar with what one is going to say that there will be
no gap to fill in; but in case one does have to hunt for words, it is
a thousand times preferable to leave the gap unfilled. Each word
should stand out by itself, even though there is a pause of many
seconds. To offend the ears of an audience with a crude tone of voice
or with meaningless sounds is a bad violation of propriety.

The first step to be taken in the cultivation of a distinct and
pleasing voice is to acquire the habit of standing correctly. Under
the subject of position it was stated that the body should be kept
erect, the head thrown back, and the shoulders rolled back and down.
This posture is the best not only because it is the most graceful but
because it gives the speaker the greatest command of his vocal organs.
Stooping shoulders and a bowed trunk contract the lungs and diminish
the supply of breath, and a bent neck renders the cords of the neck
less controllable. After taking the proper position, one should next
endeavor to breathe as deeply as he can. The louder he has to speak,
the deeper should be his breathing. Remembering that he does not wish
to talk fast, he will do well to fill his lungs at the close of each
sentence, always inhaling, in order not to make an unpleasant gasping
noise, through the nose. While speaking, he should control his supply
of breath not by contracting the chest but by elevating the diaphragm.
This procedure will give his voice a richness and a resonance that it
otherwise could not have. Breathing merely from the top of the lungs
means squeakiness of tone and poor control. One who breathes
incorrectly will find it necessary to shout to make himself heard at a
distance; one who breathes correctly can usually be heard under the
same conditions by merely talking. The superiority of the round, deep
tone over the shout is too obvious to need comment. In the next place,
a speaker must think about this voice. Thought and study are as
essential in the training of a voice as in the mastery of any art. A
natural voice is not usually pleasing; it becomes so only through
cultivation. Much of this training can be done by the speaker unaided.
Few people are so insensible to qualities of sound that they cannot
detect harshness and impurities even in their own utterance, provided
that they will give the matter their attention. It is not enough,
however, for one to watch his voice only while he is debating or while
he is repeating his arguments in preparation for a debate; he must
carry constant watchfulness even into his daily conversation. The
services of a good instructor are invaluable, but at best they can be
only auxiliary. All improvement must come through the efforts of the
speaker himself.

ATTITUDE TOWARD OPPONENTS. If one will bear in mind that the
fundamental purpose of argument--whether written or spoken--is to
present truth in such a way as to influence belief, he will at once
understand that a debater should always maintain toward his opponents
the attitude of one who is trying to change another's belief, the
attitude of friendship, fairness, and respect. Such a point of view
precludes the use of satire, invective, or harsh epithets. These
never carry conviction; in fact, they invariably destroy the effect
that an otherwise good argument might produce. Ridicule and bluster
may please those who already agree with the speaker, but with these
people he should be little concerned; a debater worthy of the name
seeks to change the opinions of those who disagree with him. For this
reason he is diplomatic, courteous, and urbane.

A debater should, moreover, keep to this same attitude even though his
opponent introduce objectionable personalities. One will find it for
his own best interest to do so. Good humor makes a far better
impression than anger; it suggests strength and superiority, while
anger, as everyone knows, is often the result of chagrin, and is used
to cover up weaknesses. Besides, an audience always sympathizes with
the man who is first attacked. All this does not mean that a debater
should calmly submit to unfairness and vilification. On the contrary,
he should defend himself spiritedly; but he should not meet abuse with
abuse. To do so would be to throw away an invaluable opportunity. He
should remain dignified, self-controlled, and good-humored; then by
treating his opponent as one who has inadvertently fallen into error,
and by pointing out the mistakes, the unfairness, and the way in which
the real question has been ignored, he can gain an inestimable

The following quotations show what attitude a debater should maintain
toward his opponents:--

As I do not precisely agree in opinion with any gentleman who has
spoken, I shall take the liberty of detaining the committee for a few
moments while I offer to their attention some observations. I am
highly gratified with the temper and ability with which the discussion
has hitherto been conducted. It is honorable to the House, and, I
trust, will continue to be manifested on many future occasions. (Henry

Mr. President, I had occasion a few days ago to expose the utter
groundlessness of the personal charges made by the Senator from
Illinois against myself and the other signers of the Independent
Democratic Appeal. I now move to strike from this bill a statement
which I will to-day demonstrate to be without any foundation in fact
or history. I intend afterwards to move to strike out the whole clause
annulling the Missouri prohibition.

I enter into this debate, Mr. President, in no spirit of personal
unkindness. The issue is too grave and too momentous for the
indulgence of such feelings. I see the great question before me, and
that question only. (Salmon P. Chase.)

Compare the attitude of Mr. Naylor in the following quotation with the
attitude of Mr. Lincoln in his debates with Senator Douglas. It is
needless to point out which must have had the better effect upon the

The gentleman has misconceived the spirit and tendency of Northern
institutions. He is ignorant of Northern character. He has forgotten
the history of his country. Preach insurrection to the Northern
laborers! Preach insurrection to _me_! Who are the Northern
laborers? The history of your country is their history. (Charles

My Fellow-Citizens: When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented,
it provokes him--at least, I find it so with myself; but when
misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to
amuse him. The first thing I see fit to notice is the fact that Judge
Douglas alleges, after running through the history of the old
Democratic and the old Whig parties, that Judge Trumbull and myself
made an arrangement in 1854 by which I was to have the place of
General Shields in the United States Senate, and Judge Trumbull was to
have the place of Judge Douglas. Now all I have to say upon that
subject is that I think no man--not even Judge Douglas--can prove it,
because it is not true. I have no doubt he is "conscientious" in
saying it. As to those resolutions that he took such a length of time
to read, as being the platform of the Republican party in 1854, I say
I never had anything to do with them, and I think Trumbull never had.
(Abraham Lincoln in the Ottawa Joint Debate.)

Judge Douglas has told me that he heard my speeches north and my
speeches south--that he heard me at Ottawa and at Freeport in the
north, and recently at Jonesboro in the south, and that there was a
very different cast of sentiment in the speeches made at the different
points. I will not charge upon Judge Douglas that he willfully
misrepresents me, but I call upon every fair-minded man to take those
speeches and read them, and I dare him to point out any difference
between my speeches north and south. (Lincoln in the Charleston Joint


Three judges usually award the decision in a debating contest. Their
sole duty is to determine which side had the better of the argument.
Sometimes the method that they shall follow in arriving at a decision
is marked out for them; they are given printed slips indicating the
relative importance of evidence, reasoning, delivery, and the other
points that must be considered. Most commonly, however, each judge is
instructed to decide for himself what constitutes excellence in
debate. According to the rules governing any particular debate, the
judges may cast their ballots with or without previous consultation
with each other.

The following outline gives in condensed form the main points that a
judge should consider. It will be of service not only to the judges of
a debate but to the contestants, as it gives a comprehensive view of
just what is expected of a debater.

  I. Which side has the better analysis?

 II. Which side has the stronger proof?

     A. Consider the preponderance of the evidence.

     B. Consider the quality of the evidence.

     C. Consider the skill used in reasoning.

III. Which side offers the better refutation?

     A. See which side has the more main points left standing after
          the refutation has been given.

 IV. Which side has the better delivery?

     A. Consider general bearing, voice, and language.



Most arguments have a more or less formal ending. Both writers and
speakers, when seeking to influence the beliefs and acts of others,
have usually deemed it advisable, upon completing their proof, to add
a few summarizing words and to make a final appeal to the emotions.
This part of the argument that comes at the close and that contains no
new proof is called the _conclusion_, or the _peroration_.
In spoken argument, occasionally, the conclusion is wholly ignored. If
at any time, regardless of the point he may have reached, an arguer
clearly perceives that he has won his case, he is wise to stop
immediately and avoid the danger of adding anything that might
possibly detract from his success. Such an experience may frequently
happen to a salesman, a preacher, a lawyer. Arguments, however, that
are written or that are delivered before large audiences cannot be
curtailed in this way. Under such conditions the arguer is unable to
tell when he has won his case: he must use all his proof and make it
emphatic in every way possible. Therefore the student who is arguing
for the sake of practice will do well to disregard exceptions and to
close all his arguments, both written and spoken, with a peroration.

The same two elements--conviction and persuasion--that make up the
introduction and the discussion are ordinarily found also in the
conclusion. The general principles that govern the proportionate
amount of each to be used in the first two divisions of an argument
apply equally to the third division. In every case the relative amount
of space to be devoted to conviction and to persuasion depends upon
the nature of the subject and the attitude of the audience. In some
instances a conclusion should consist wholly of conviction; in other
instances persuasion should predominate; most commonly there should be
a judicious combination of both.

In concluding an argument before the United States Supreme Court on
the question of whether or not a certain law passed in New York was
repugnant to the Constitution or consistent with it, Webster spoke as

To recapitulate what has been said, we maintain, first, that the
Constitution, by its grants to Congress and its prohibitions on the
States, has sought to establish one uniform standard of value, or
medium of payment. Second, that, by like means, it has endeavored to
provide for one uniform mode of discharging debts when they are to be
discharged without payment. Third, that these objects are connected,
and that the first loses much of its importance, if the last, also, be
not accomplished. Fourth, that, reading the grant to Congress, and the
prohibition on the States together, the inference is strong that the
Constitution intended to confer exclusive power to pass bankrupt laws
on Congress. Fifth, that the prohibition in the tenth section reaches
to all contracts, existing or future, in the same way that the other
prohibition in the same section extends to all debts existing or
future. Sixth, that, upon any other construction, one great political
object of the Constitution will fail of its accomplishment. [Footnote:
The Case of Ogden and Saunders. Webster's Great Speeches, page 188.
Little, Brown & Co.]

In this conclusion, it will be noticed, there is no persuasion.
Apparently the subject was of such a nature that only clear and
logical reasoning was required. An appeal to the emotions would
undoubtedly have been out of place. In direct contrast to the
preceding method of summarizing a speech a good example of a
persuasive conclusion may be found in _The Dartmouth College
Case_, which Webster argued before this same tribunal, and which
also involved the constitutionality of a State law. In this peroration
Webster's emotional appeal was so strong that, it is said, there was
not a dry eye in the court room.

In writing as well as in speaking one must allow common sense to
decide what shall be the nature of his peroration. The following is a
typical example of a conclusion into which persuasion cannot well
enter. It is taken from the close of a chapter, selected at random, in
Darwin's _Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs_.

It has, I think, been shown in this chapter, that subsidence explains
both the normal structure and the less regular forms of those two
great classes of reefs which have justly excited the astonishment of
all the naturalists who have sailed through the Pacific and Indian
oceans. The necessity, also, that a foundation should have existed at
the proper depth for the growth of the corals over certain large
areas, almost compels us to accept this theory. But further to test
its truth a crowd of questions may be asked.... These several
questions will be considered in the following chapter.

A type of conclusion far more common and usually far more effective is
one that not only refers to the preceding arguments but also contains
considerable persuasion. The peroration marks the final opportunity
for the arguer to move his audience. Here he should make his greatest
effort. Since belief and action ordinarily depend upon both the
intellect and the will, the arguer who would attain success must
appeal to both. Merely to call to mind the proof that he has advanced
is seldom enough: he must arouse the emotions. The peroration of an
argument is like the finish of a race or the last charge in a battle.
In the conclusion the arguer should use his greatest skill, his
strongest eloquence. Here are found the most inspiring passages in the
masterpieces of oratory.

Some of the various ways for reaching the emotions have been pointed
out in the chapter dealing with persuasion in the introduction. These
same suggestions apply equally well to persuasion in the conclusion.
The best advice that can be given, however, is for one to use his
common sense. He must consider his subject, his audience, his ability,
and his own interest in the case--all the circumstances in connection
with his argument--and then depend, not upon some set formula, but
upon his judgment to tell him in what way he can best be persuasive.
The following illustrations will give some idea of how successful
writers and speakers have concluded their arguments with persuasion.
Notice the patriotic appeal in the first quotation:--

Whether we have or have not degenerated compared with (say) fifty or a
hundred years ago may be a question difficult to settle, but it is
quite clear that we are pitifully, disastrously below the normal
standard of manhood and womanhood which a great nation should set

Adequate nourishment for our children, immunity from exhausting and
mechanical employments at the most critical period of adolescence, an
extension of educational influences--can there be any objects of
expenditures more likely than these to repay themselves a thousandfold
in the improved vigor and intelligence which form the only sure basis
of a nation's greatness? [Footnote: Frances E. Warwick, Fortnightly
Review, Vol. LXXIX, p. 515.]

In the following the speaker points out the awful responsibility
resting upon the jury and exhorts them to render justice:--

Let me, therefore, remind you, that though the day may soon come when
our ashes shall be scattered before the winds of heaven, the memory of
what you do cannot die. It will carry down to your posterity your
honor or your shame. In the presence, and in the name of that
everliving God, I do therefore conjure you to reflect that you have
your characters, your consciences, that you have also the character,
perhaps the ultimate destiny, of your country in your hands. In that
awful name I do conjure you to have mercy upon your country and upon
yourselves, and so to judge now as you will hereafter be judged; and I
do now submit the fate of my client, and of that country which we have
yet in common to your disposal. [Footnote: John Philpot Curran, On the
Liberty of the Press.]

In the following extract from the conclusion of Webster's plea in
_The Dartmouth College Case_ consider how he showed the magnitude
of the question that was at issue:--

The case before the court is not of ordinary importance, nor of
everyday occurrence. It affects not this college only, but every
college, and all the literary institutions of the country. They have
flourished hitherto, and have become in a high degree respectable and
useful to the community. They have all a common principle of
existence, the inviolability of their charters. It will be a
dangerous, a most dangerous experiment, to hold these institutions
subject to the rise and fall of popular parties, and the fluctuation
of political opinions. If the franchise may at any time be taken away,
or impaired, the property also may be taken away, or impaired, or its
use perverted. Benefactors will have no certainty of effecting the
object of their bounty; and learned men will be deterred from devoting
themselves to the service of such institutions, from the precarious
title of their offices. Colleges and halls will be deserted by all
better spirits, and become a theatre for the contentions of politics.
Party and faction will be cherished in the places consecrated to piety
and learning. These consequences are neither remote nor possible only.
They are certain and immediate. [Footnote: Webster's Great Speeches,
p. 23.]

As a rule, most of the criticisms that can be made of any conclusion
pertain to matters of taste and judgment. A writer or speaker may have
made too detailed or too brief a summary; he may have erred in
choosing the best method of persuasion; he may have injured his
argument in almost countless other ways. In these matters a text-book
can give only general and rather vague instruction. Each argument must
be suited to the particular case in hand. There are several common
errors in students' work, however, that should always be avoided and
that can definitely be pointed out.

1. _An argument should not have an abrupt and jerky ending_. It
is not uncommon especially in class room debate, to hear a student at
the close of his discussion say, "This is my proof; I leave the
decision to the judges"; or "Thus you see I have established my
proposition." Such an ending can in no way be called a conclusion or a

2. _A conclusion should contain no new proof_. Violations of this
principle brand an arguer as careless, and greatly weaken his
argument. Proof is most convincing when arranged in its proper place
and in its logical order. Furthermore, the purpose of the conclusion
is to review the points that have already been established. If the
arguer forgets this fact and mixes proof with summary, the audience is
liable to become badly confused and not know what has been established
and what has not.

3. _A conclusion should not refer to a point that has not already
been established_. A careless writer or debater will sometimes
state that he has proved an argument which he has not previously
touched upon. Such a procedure smacks of trickery or ignorance, and is
sure to be disastrous. Not only will the audience throw out that
particular point, but they will be highly prejudiced against both the
arguer and his argument. It is permissible for one to maintain that he
has proved a point even though the proof be somewhat inadequate, but
for one to refer in his conclusion to a point that he then mentions
for the first time is unpardonable.

4. _A conclusion must reaffirm the proposition exactly as stated at
the beginning_. Sometimes a writer, discovering at the close of his
argument that he has not stuck to his subject but has proved something
different, or at best has proved only a part of his subject, states as
his decision a totally different proposition from that with which he
started. To illustrate, a student once attempted to argue on the
affirmative side of the proposition, "The United States should
discontinue its protective tariff policy"; but he gave as his
concluding sentence, "These facts, then, prove to you that our present
tariff duties are too high." This last sentence embodied the real
proposition which he had discussed, and if he had taken as his
subject, "Our present tariff duties are too high," his argument would
have been successful. As it was, his failure to support the
proposition with which he started rendered his whole effort worthless.

A conclusion that is weaker than the proposition is commonly called a
"qualifying conclusion." When one has fallen into this error there are
two possible ways of removing it: one is to change the whole argument
so that the conclusion will affirm the truth or falsity of the
proposition; the other is to change the proposition. In a debate, of
course, or whenever a subject is assigned, the latter method cannot be

As a final example of what a good peroration should be, consider the
following conclusion of Webster's speech, delivered in the United
States Senate, on _The Presidential Veto of the United States Bank
Bill_. Notice the skillful interweaving of conviction and
persuasion, and remember in connection with the principle of
proportion that this is the conclusion of a speech containing about
14,000 words.

"Mr. President, we have arrived at a new epoch. We are entering on
experiments, with the government and the Constitution of the country,
hitherto untried, and of fearful and appalling aspect. This message
calls us to the contemplation of a future which little resembles the
past. Its principles are at war with all that public opinion has
sustained, and all which the experience of the government has
sanctioned. It denies first principles; it contradicts truths,
hitherto received as indisputable. It denies to the judiciary the
interpretation of law, and claims to divide with Congress the power of
originating statutes. It extends the grasp of executive pretension
over every power of the government. But this is not all. It presents
the chief magistrate of the Union in the attitude of arguing away the
powers of that government over which he has been chosen to preside;
and adopting for this purpose modes of reasoning which, even under the
influence of all proper feeling towards high official station, it is
difficult to regard as respectable. It appeals to every prejudice
which may betray men into a mistaken view of their own interests, and
to every passion which may lead them to disobey the impulses of their
understanding. It urges all the specious topics of State rights and
national encroachment against that which a great majority of the
States have affirmed to be rightful, and in which all of them have
acquiesced. It sows, in an unsparing manner, the seeds of jealousy and
ill-will against that government of which its author is the official
head. It raises a cry, that liberty is in danger, at the very moment
when it puts forth claims to powers heretofore unknown and unheard of.
It affects alarm for the public freedom, when nothing endangers that
freedom so much as its own unparalleled pretences. This, even, is not
all. It manifestly seeks to inflame the poor against the rich; it
wantonly attacks whole classes of the people, for the purpose of
turning against them the prejudices and the resentment of other
classes. It is a state paper which finds no topic too exciting for its
use, no passion to inflammable for its address and its solicitation.

"Such is this message. It remains now for the people of the United
States to choose between the principles here avowed and their
government. These cannot subsist together. The one or the other must
be rejected. If the sentiments of the message shall receive general
approbation, the Constitution will have perished even earlier than the
moment which its enemies originally allowed for the termination of its
existence. It will not have survived to its fiftieth year." [Footnote:
Webster's Great Speeches, page 338.]




Review, May, 1897, page 526.]


During recent years there has been a growing interest in plans for
further checking or limiting the tide of immigration whose waves sweep
in upon the United States almost daily in constantly increasing
volume. Several restrictive measures are already in force: paupers,
idiots, contract laborers, the Chinese, and several other classes of
people are prohibited from entering our ports. The subject has been
discussed in legislatures, in political meetings, from pulpits, in
reform clubs, and among individuals on every hand. The reason for the
interest which the subject now excites is easily found in the recent
enormous increase of immigration.

The problem divides itself at the outset into two distinct questions:
First, is it for the advantage of the United States that immigration
be further checked or limited? Second, if so, in what way should the
check or limit be applied?

It is evident that these questions cover two distinct fields of
inquiry, the industrial and the political. Nor can the two fields be
examined simultaneously, for the reasons, if there are any, from a
political point of view, why immigration should be limited, would not
apply to the questions viewed on its industrial side, and _vice

Taking up first the industrial question, we may assume that the
entrance of the swarms of immigrants into our country represents the
introduction of just so much laboring power into the country, and we
may also assume as a self-evident proposition that the introduction of
laboring power into an undeveloped or partially developed country is
advantageous until the point is reached at which all the laborers whom
the country can support have been introduced. Adam Smith says that
labor is the wealth of nations. If this is true, the laborer is the
direct and only primary means of acquiring wealth. The facts of the
history of our country bear out this view. Beginning with the clearing
of the forests, the settlements of the villages, the cultivation of
farms, proceeding to the establishment of the lumber industries, the
cultivation of vast wheat and corn fields, the production of cotton,
the working of the coal and oil fields of Pennsylvania, the
development of the mining districts of the West, culminating in the
varied and extensive manufactures of the Eastern and Central States,
the laborer has been the Midas whose touch has turned all things to

There is, however, a limitation to the principle that the introduction
of laborers into a partially developed country is advantageous. A
point is finally reached which may be called the saturation point of
the country; that is, it has as many inhabitants as it can supply with
reasonably good food and clothing. This saturation point may be
reached many times in the history of a country, for the ratio between
the food and clothing products and the population is constantly
varying. New modes of cultivation, and the use of machinery, as well
as natural causes affecting the fertility of land, which are as yet
obscure, render a country at one time capable of supporting a much
larger number of inhabitants than at another time. Still, there is a
broad and general truth that, time and place and kind of people being
considered, some countries are over-populated, and some are under-

We are accustomed to say that some of the countries of Europe are
over-populated, and there are among us some who are beginning to say
that the United States has reached the same point. This is far from
being the case, and a single glance at the comparative average density
of population of the principal European nations and of the United
States will be sufficient to drive this idea out of any fair-minded
person's head.

The most thickly settled country of modern Europe is the Netherlands,
which had, in the year 1890, the very large average of three hundred
and fifty-nine inhabitants per square mile of territory. Great Britain
came next, with the almost equally large average of three hundred and
eleven inhabitants per square mile of territory. Germany had two
hundred and thirty-four and France one hundred and eighty-seven.
Taking in for purposes of comparison, though not of much force in the
argument, China, we find there an average population of two hundred
and ninety-five inhabitants per square mile of territory. It is a
question of some difficulty to decide in any specific case whether a
country has reached the point of over-population. We may admit that
Great Britain, with its average of three hundred and eleven
inhabitants per mile, is over-populated, though the conditions of life
do not seem to be wholly intolerable, even to the lowest classes
there. If Great Britain is over-populated, _a fortiori_ are the
Netherlands, and we may even go so far as to admit that Germany, with
its average of two hundred and thirty-four inhabitants per square
mile, is over-populated. But when we come to France, with its one
hundred and eighty-seven inhabitants per square mile, we may pause and
see what are the conditions of the French people. So far as it is
possible to judge of a people in the lump, it would seem that the
population of France is not excessive for the area. The land holdings
are divided up into very small lots, but are held by a great number of
people. Mackenzie, in his history of the nineteenth century, says that
nearly two-thirds of the French householders are landowners, while
only one British householder in every four is an owner of land. This
condition results partly from the difference in the system of
inheritance of land in the two countries, but would be impossible if
the country were over-populated. Moreover, there are five millions of
people in France whose possessions in land are under six acres each.

Taking, then, the population of France, averaging 187 per square
mile, as being at least not above the normal rate of population, what
do we find in comparing it with the population of the United States?
We find over here vast tracts of country, amounting to nearly one-
third by actual measurement, of the whole area of the United States,
and including all the States west of the Missouri and Mississippi
valleys (except a portion of California), having a population of less
than six individuals per square mile. It would seem as if the mere
statement of this fact were alone sufficient to disprove any
proposition which asserts that the saturation point of population has
been reached in the United States. While that immense expanse of
country averages only six individuals to the square mile, there can be
no reason for saying that this country is over-populated. Coming now
to the more thickly settled portions of the United States, we find a
large area spread out over various parts of the States having a
population between seven and forty-five individuals per square mile.
In a very few States, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and
Indiana, the population of the whole State averages over forty-five
and under ninety individuals per square mile, and the same average
holds in parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and
isolated spots in the South. In a small territory, made up of parts of
Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the population averages
over ninety per square mile.

The contrast between these averages of population in various portions
of the United States, the highest of which is about ninety individuals
per mile (and that over very small portions of the area of the United
States) and the average densities of the European countries,
previously examined, shows how very far the United States is from
complete population. This appears still more clearly when the average
population of the United States taken as a whole, is considered, which
is the extraordinary low figure of twenty individuals per square mile
of territory What a striking contrast! Can the most ardent advocate of
the Malthusian doctrine claim that the United States already has too
many inhabitants, or is in danger of having too many in the immediate
future? Do we not rather need to encourage immigration, to fling wide
open the gates of our country and secure as large an addition to our
working force as possible?

When we come to the political aspect of the problem, however, a wholly
different series of considerations present themselves. The question
now is not how many citizens, but what sort of citizens. The theory of
our government is not limited to any number of people. It provides for
expansion in the number of representatives in Congress in proportion
to the increase in population, and increases the number of Senators as
new States are formed and added to the Union. Similarly each State
government has elastic provisions which enable it to cover a
population of 400,000 as well as a population of 40,000. But the one
critical test in determining whether or not our immigration should be
limited for political reasons is the character of the people whom we
are admitting to the privilege of citizenship in the United States.

In order to investigate successfully the political effect of the
immigration, it is necessary, at the outset, to divide it into its
constituent nationalities, so that taking up each nationality in turn,
we may see what fitness it has from its previous political training in
its native country for undertaking the duties of American citizenship.
The disintegration of the tide of immigration into these constituent
parts affords some interesting information which will be seen to have
a bearing, in several directions, on the questions under consideration
in this article. Taking the statistics of the year 1891 as a typical
year of recent immigration, the tide of immigration amounted in round
numbers to 500,000 individuals.

The largest feeder of this enormous stream came from Germany, which
sent, roughly speaking, 100,000. But a noticeable point about this
nationality is the great decrease in the number of immigrants it has
sent us in the last fifteen years. In the year 1882 the total German
immigration into the United States amounted to no less than 250,000,
but in 1883 and 1884 there was a great decrease, and since then the
average has remained in the neighborhood of 100,000. We shall see
later that on the other hand, the immigration from the Latin and Slav
nations of Europe, particularly Italy, Poland, and Austria, shows an
enormous rate of increase in the same period, although, of course, the
absolute amounts are much less than those of the German immigration.

The next largest feeder to our stream of immigration in the year 1891,
the typical year of our examination, was Italy, which contributed
76,000 immigrants to our population. It is noteworthy to remark, in
this connection, that Italy has more than doubled her annual rate of
contributions to our people in the ten years under consideration, the
immigration from her shores in 1882 being only 32,000.

The next largest contributor is Austria, which in 1891 furnished
71,000 new members of our community. Austria, too, has doubled her
rate of contribution, sending us in 1882 only 32,000. Next come, side
by side, in their offerings to our population, England and Ireland,
each of which countries sends us about 50,000 new inhabitants each
year, and has continued to do so for the last fifteen years. Russia,
exclusive of Poland, sent 47,000 in 1891, this being three times the
number which she sent in 1882, a large increase. Sweden came next with
36,000 immigrants and that country shows a woeful falling-off of
nearly one-half in the ten years under consideration, for in the year
1882 it sent 64,000. Poland in 1891 sent us 27,000 immigrants, showing
an enormous increase of nearly sevenfold over its contribution of
4,000 in 1882. Scotland and Norway and Denmark all send about the same
number, that is, about 12,000 each; Norway showing a diminution in the
decade ending 1891, from 29,000 in 1882, but the other two remaining
about stationary. Switzerland in 1891 sent 6,000, a diminution from
10,000 in 1882. The Netherlands sent 5,000 in 1891, a decrease from
9,000 in 1882. France sent 6,000 and Belgium 3,000, these figures
being about the same during all the years covered by our
investigation. I have left out of account the only other important
factor in our immigration in the ten years considered, namely, China,
because the door was shut in its face with considerable emphasis in
1883, and the immigration from China to the Western States, which in
1882 amounted to 40,000 fell in 1883 to 8,000, and in 1884 to 279
individuals, and may, therefore, be neglected at the present time.

Now, an examination of the political institutions in the countries
from which these immigrants come would show that in almost no case,
that of Russia and Poland alone excepted, are the elements of
representative government wholly unknown to the common people. In most
of these countries, some form of popular government has, either wholly
or partially, gained a footing, with the inevitable result of
accustoming people more or less to representative institutions. Yet
the short time that this has been the case in many of the countries
which pour half or over of the total flood of immigration into the
United States, and the long centuries of despotism which preceded this
partial and recent enlightenment, make it painfully evident that there
can be, in the large part of our immigrants, little knowledge of the
republican form of government, and little inherited aptitude for such
government. It would at first seem as if the results of such
immigration must be disastrous to our country.

And yet the situation is not so hopeless. There is nothing mysterious,
or even very complicated, about republican institutions. A little
time, a little study, a little experience with the practical workings
of elections, is sufficient to convey to any person of ordinary
intelligence as much familiarity with these matters as is necessary
for the intelligent appreciation of their objects and purposes. Nor is
the material out of which the prospective citizen is to be made wholly
unfitted for its purpose. To be sure, the Latin races, the Slavs,
Hungarians, Poles, and others have no inherited aptitude, nor if we
may judge from the history of the races, any inherent capacity for
self-government and free institutions, but, as I have before said, in
almost every case they have had in their own country a partial
training in the forms of representative government. All that is needed
is to amalgamate this heterogeneous mass, to fuse its elements in the
heat and glow of our national life, until, formed in the mould of
everyday experience, each one shall possess the characteristic
features of what we believe to be the highest type of human
development which the world has seen, the American citizen.

The process of acquiring American citizenship is regulated by acts of
Congress. It is a simple process. Practically all that is required is
a continuous residence of five years in the States, and one year in
the special State in which citizenship is applied for, and the
declaration of intention to become a citizen may be made immediately
upon landing. This last point will be seen later to be very important.

Citizenship in the United States, however, under the act of Congress,
does not carry with it the right to vote. This right is entirely a
matter of State regulation, and the Constitution or statutes of each
State settle who shall have the right to vote in its elections. The
underlying idea of the whole system is universal male suffrage, and
the franchise is granted (after a certain residence, which will be
discussed later) with only certain general limitations of obvious
utility, such as that the voter must be twenty-one years of age, that
he must not be an idiot or insane, and generally, that he must not
have been convicted of any felony or infamous crime, although in many
States a pardon, or the serving of a sentence, will restore a felon to
his civil rights. In a few of the States paupers are also excluded
from voting. With the question of woman suffrage we have nothing to
do, as its settlement, one way or the other, does not affect the
subject we are discussing.

The important qualification, however, in relation to the subjects
which we are discussing, is that which requires residence in the State
previous to the exercise of the franchise. And on this point the
States may be divided into two great classes. One class allows no one
to vote who is not, under the laws of Congress, a citizen of the
United States, either native or naturalized. As we have seen that five
years' residence is a requisite to United States citizenship, these
States, therefore, require five years' residence as a prerequisite to
acquiring the right to vote. These States are California, Connecticut,
Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and
Washington. This requirement is admirably calculated to secure that
preliminary training in the practical working of our institutions
which must be necessary to most of the immigrants before they can
intelligently exercise the rights which are conferred upon them by
American citizenship and we cannot but admire the sagacity and
judiciousness of those who framed our naturalization laws in selecting
this period of time for the pupilage of the intending citizen. The
period is long enough even for one who is engrossed in the cares of
earning a support for himself and his family, amid all the excitement
and novelty of a changed residence, to acquire in the five succeeding
annual elections a sufficient knowledge of republican government for
all practical purpose. To delay him longer in the exercise of his
political rights would be an injustice; to admit him to them sooner
would be an imprudence.

There are in a few States other qualifications required of a voter.
The most important of these is the educational qualification, which
exists only in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In neither of these is
it very severe. In Connecticut the voter must be able to read any
article in the State Constitution, and any section of the statutes. In
Massachusetts he must be able to read the Constitution and to write
his name. Too much praise can hardly be given to these requirements.
The whole edifice of our national life is founded upon education, and
to this potent factor must we look for many of the improvements
necessary to the proper development of our national life.

In quite a number of States a pecuniary qualification exists in the
shape of the payment of some tax, generally a poll tax, within two
years previous to the date of the election. This requirement does not
seem to be so germane to the spirit of our institutions as the other.
The great present danger of our country is the danger of becoming a
plutocracy, and while there is no doubt that a widespread interest in
property develops stability of institutions, yet there is also great
danger of capital obtaining so firm and strong a hold upon political
institutions as to crush out the life of free government and to
convert the national government into a species of close corporation,
in which the relative wealth of the parties alone controls. This
qualification is found in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi,
Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

We have now examined with some thoroughness the component parts of the
tide of immigration as it arrives at our shores; we have seen what
nationalities go to make up the grand total and what previous training
they have had in the political institutions of their native countries
to fit them for American citizenship, and what additional requirements
are imposed upon them by our statutes before they can participate in
voting and government in this country. What are the conclusions to
which the view of these facts brings us? They seem to me to be these:
first, that the growth of immigration is a desirable thing for this
country from an industrial point of view; second, that the immigrants
who arrive at our shores are for the most part good material out of
which to make American citizens. Applying these conclusions to the
questions which were stated at the outset of this article; first, is
it for the advantage of the United States that immigration should be
checked or limited? second, if so, in what way should the check or
limit be applied? the answer would be that no further check or limit
should be applied, but that a check should be placed upon the exercise
of the franchise by immigrants in all States by requiring a residence
of five years in this country before they can vote, and by also
requiring some moderate educational test.

With these safeguards established we might look without any serious
apprehension upon the increase of our population. The founders of our
state moulded the outlines of its form in large and noble lines. The
skeleton has grown and clothed itself with flesh with almost
incredible rapidity in the hundred years of its existence. But it is
still young. We should avoid any measures which would stunt or deform
its growth and should allow it to develop freely and generously till
the full-grown American nation stands forth pre-eminent among the
nations of the earth, in size, as well as in character and
organization, and man's last experiment in government is clearly seen
to be an unequivocal success.





  I. The enormous increase in immigration gives rise to a growing
       interest in some plan for further limiting the number of
       immigrants coming to the United States.

     A. Paupers, idiots, contract laborers, the Chinese, and several
          other classes of people are already excluded.

     B. The subject has been discussed in legislatures, in political
          meetings, from pulpits, in reform clubs, and among

 II. The problem divides itself into two distinct questions:--

     A. Is it for the advantage of the United States that immigration
          be further checked or limited?

     B. If so, in what way should the check or limit be applied?

III. These questions must be considered, first, from the industrial
       point of view; and, secondly, from the political point of view.


Immigration should not be further restricted, for

  I. From an industrial point of view, the United States needs
       immigrants, for

     A. Without question, immigrants represent laboring power.

     B. The United States needs more laboring power, for

        1. Admittedly, the introduction of laboring power into an
             undeveloped or partially developed country is
             advantageous up to the saturation point.

           a. Adam Smith says that labor is the wealth of nations.

           b. The history of America has borne out this statement, for

              1'. The laborer has turned the forests, fields, and
                    mines into wealth.

        2. The United States is still under-populated, for

           a. There is a smaller population to the square mile
                than in many European countries, for

              1'. In 1890 the Netherlands had the average of three
                    hundred and fifty-nine inhabitants to the square

              2'. Great Britain had the average of three hundred and

              3'. Germany had two hundred and thirty-four.

              4'. France had one hundred and eighty-seven.

              5'. In about one-third of the whole area of the United
                    States, the average is less than six.

              6'. In certain more thickly settled portions the average
                    is from seven to forty-five.

              7'. In New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and
                    Indiana, the average is from forty-five to ninety.

              8'. In a small territory made up of parts of
                    Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, the
                    average is over ninety.

              9'. In the United States as a whole, the average is

 II. From a political point of view, the immigrants who are arriving
       at our shores make good citizens, for

     A. Their previous political training has been such as to render
          them capable of learning how to perform the duties of
          American citizenship, for

        1. Of the 500,000 immigrants that arrived in 1891, Germany
             sent approximately 100,000.

        2. Italy sent 76,000.

        3. Austria sent 78,000.

        4. England and Ireland sent 50,000 each.

        5. Russia, exclusive of Poland, sent 47,000.

        6. Sweden sent 36,000.

        7. Poland sent 27,000.

        8. Scotland, Norway, and Denmark sent 12,000 each.

        9. Switzerland sent 6,000.

       10. The Netherlands sent 5,000.

       11. France sent 6,000.

       12. Belgium sent 3,000.

       13. Except in Russia and Poland, the elements of representative
             government are not wholly unknown to these people, for

           a. In most of these countries some form of popular
                government has either wholly or partially gained a

     B. The duties of the American citizen are not hard to learn, for

        1. Republican institutions are not very complicated.

     C. The political ignorance of the immigrant can be remedied, for

        1. Before extending immigrants the franchise, States can
             insist on requirements that will secure some preliminary
             training in free political institutions, since

           a. The right to vote is entirely a matter of State
                regulation, for

              1'. Citizenship, which is regulated by Congress, does
                    not carry with it the franchise.

           b. Already twenty-two States allow no one to vote who has
                not been in the United States at least five years.

           c. Massachusetts and Connecticut have an educational test.

           d. Eight States insist on a pecuniary qualification.


The following points have been proved:--

  I. The growth of immigration is a desirable thing for this country
       from an industrial point of view.

 II. The immigrants who arrive at our shores are for the most part
       good material out of which to make American citizens.

Therefore, no further check or limit should be applied to immigration.



1. The United States army should be greatly enlarged.

2. Japan was justified in waging war against Russia.

3. A formal alliance between the United States and Great Britain for
the protection and advancement of their common interests would be

4. Military tactics should be taught in the public schools.

5. The United States navy should be greatly enlarged.

6. The aggressions of England in South Africa are justifiable.

7. The nations of Europe should combine to bring about drastic reforms
in the Congo Free State.

8. Ireland should be granted home rule.

9. Japanese control will promote the political and economic interests
of Corea more than would Russian control.

10. Armed intervention on the part of any nation to collect private
claims against any other nation is not justifiable.

11. The annexation of Canada by treaty with Great Britain would be
economically advantageous to the United States.

12. The United States should establish commercial reciprocity with

13. The United States should maintain a system of subsidies for the
protection of American merchant marine.

14. Congress should have decided in favor of a sea-level canal at

15. Woman suffrage should be adopted by an amendment to the

16. The practice of relieving financial stringency by temporary
deposits of United States Treasury funds in selected banks should be

17. Labor unions are detrimental to the best interests of the

18. Free trade should be established between the United States and the
Philippine Islands.

19. State boards of arbitration, with compulsory powers, should be
appointed to settle disputes between employers and employees.

20. The United States should discontinue the protective tariff policy.

21. The Federal government should own and operate the interstate
railroads within its borders.

22. Railroad pooling should be legalized.

23. The tax on the issues of state banks should be repealed.

24. The United States should adopt one-cent postage.

25. American municipalities should own and operate their street-car

26. The President of the United States should be elected for a term of
six years and be ineligible for re-election.

27. The President of the United States should be elected by popular

28. Ex-Presidents of the United States should be Senators-at-large for

29. United States Senators should be elected by popular vote.

30. The powers of the Speaker of the House of Representatives should
be restricted.

31. The United States should institute a system of responsible cabinet

32. Judges should be elected by direct vote of the people.

33. All cities in the State of ----, having at least ten thousand
inhabitants should adopt the Des Moines plan of government.

34. The right of suffrage should be limited by an educational test.

35. The State of ---- should adopt the initiative and referendum
system of government.

36. Congress should repeal the Fifteenth Amendment.

37. Members of State legislatures should be forbidden by law to accept
free passes on any railroads.

38. Corporations engaged in interstate commerce should be required to
take out a Federal license.

39. Women who pay taxes should be permitted to vote at municipal

40. The annexation of Cuba to the United States would be for the best
interests of Cuba.

41. The United States should grant full citizenship to the people of
Porto Rico.

42. The United States should establish an old age-pension system
similar to the one in operation in Germany.

43. Political union with Cuba would be for the advantage of the United

44. The United States should permanently retain the Philippines.

45. The House of Representatives should elect its standing committees.

46. The white citizens of the Southern States are justified in
maintaining their political supremacy.

47. Congress should prohibit corporate contributions to political
campaign funds.

48. The present powers of courts to grant injunctions should be

49. In all criminal cases three-fourths of a jury should be competent
to render a verdict.

50. The United States government is treating the Indians unjustly.

51. Capital punishment should be abolished.

52. Education should be compulsory to the age of sixteen.

53. The fully elective system of studies should be introduced into all

54. College students receiving an average daily grade of eighty-five
per cent, in a subject should be excused from final examination in
that subject.

55. Class rushes should be abolished at ---- College.

56. Hazing should be abolished at all colleges.

57. Freshmen should be debarred from intercollegiate athletic

58. Athletics, as conducted at present, are detrimental to ---- College.

59. The Federal government should maintain a college for the education
of men for the diplomatic and consular service.

60. A large city affords a better location for a college than does the

61. The "honor system" should prevail at ---- College.

62. American universities should admit women on equal terms with men.

63. American colleges should admit students only on examination.

64. American colleges should confer the degree of Bachelor of Arts in
three years.

65. Public schools should not furnish free textbooks.

66. Secret societies should not exist in public high schools.

67. The education of the American negro should be industrial rather
than liberal.

68. For the average student, the small college is preferable to the
large college.

69. American colleges should adopt the recommendations of the
Simplified Spelling Board.

70. For the United States, the type of the German university is
preferable to the type of the American university.

71. Fraternities are undesirable in colleges.

72. The United States Army canteen should be restored.

73. There should be national laws governing marriage and divorce.

74. High License is preferable to Prohibition.

75. The Federal government should take action to prevent children
under the age of fourteen from working in mines and factories.

76. The elimination of private profits offers the best solution of the
liquor problem.

77. Employers are justified in refusing recognition to labor unions.

78. The United States should grant permanent copyright.

79. The Chinese should be excluded from the Philippines.

80. States should prohibit vivisection involving great pain.

81. The United States should establish a parcels post.

82. The United States should establish a postal savings bank.

83. The veto power of the House of Lords should be annulled.

84. Abdul Hamid was unjustly deposed.

85. The present laws relating to Chinese immigration should be amended
to include the Japanese.

86. The United States should admit the Chinese on equal terms with
other immigrants.

87. Further centralization in the power of the Federal government is
contrary to the best interests of the United States.

88. The present tendency of government conservation of natural
resources is contrary to the best interests of the United States.

89. Commercial reciprocity between the United States and Brazil would
benefit the United States.

90. At present the United States should maintain no navy yard on the
Gulf Coast.

91. The United States should admit all raw materials free of duty.

92. The United States should admit sugar free of duty.

93. The date of the Presidential inauguration should be changed.

94. Postmasters should be elected by popular vote.

95. All cities in the United States should establish and enforce a
curfew law.

96. The three term system is preferable to the semester
system at ---- College.

97. The products of prison labor should not be allowed to compete in
the open market.

98. New York City should establish a dramatic censorship.

99. Convicts should not be farmed out to private contractors.

100. The State of ---- should establish a property qualification for

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