By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Sociology and Modern Social Problems
Author: Ellwood, Charles A. (Charles Abram)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sociology and Modern Social Problems" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.




Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri


This book is intended as an elementary text in sociology as applied to
modern social problems, for use in institutions where but a short time
can be given to the subject, in courses in sociology where it is desired
to combine it with a study of current social problems on the one hand,
and to correlate it with a course in economics on the other. The book is
also especially suited for use in University Extension Courses and in
Teachers' Reading Circles.

This book aims to teach the simpler principles of sociology concretely
and inductively. In Chapters I to VIII the elementary principles of
sociology are stated and illustrated, chiefly through the study of the
origin, development, structure, and functions of the family considered
as a typical human institution; while in Chapters IX to XV certain
special problems are considered in the light of these general

Inasmuch as the book aims to illustrate the working of certain factors
in social organization and evolution by the study of concrete problems,
interpretation has been emphasized rather than the social facts
themselves. However, the book is not intended to be a contribution to
sociological theory, and no attempt is made to give a systematic
presentation of theory. Rather, the student's attention is called to
certain obvious and elementary forces in the social life, and he is left
to work out his own system of social theory.

To guide the student in further reading, a brief list of select
references in English has been appended to each chapter. Methodological
discussions and much statistical and historical material have been
omitted in order to make the text as simple as possible. These can be
found in the references, or the teacher can supply them at his

The many authorities to whom I am indebted for both facts and
interpretations of facts cannot be mentioned individually, except that I
wish to express my special indebtedness to my former teachers, Professor
Willcox of Cornell and Professors Small and Henderson of the University
of Chicago, to whom I am under obligation either directly or indirectly
for much of the substance of this book. The list of references will also
indicate in the main the sources of whatever is not my own.























What is Society?--Perhaps the great question which sociology seeks to
answer is this question which we have put at the beginning. Just as
biology seeks to answer the question "What is life?"; zoölogy, "What is
an animal?"; botany, "What is a plant?"; so sociology seeks to answer
the question "What is society?" or perhaps better, "What is
association?" Just as biology, zoölogy, and botany cannot answer their
questions until those sciences have reached their full and complete
development, so also sociology cannot answer the question "What is
society?" until it reaches its final development. Nevertheless, some
conception or definition of society is necessary for the beginner, for
in the scientific discussion of social problems we must know first of
all what we are talking about. We must understand in a general way what
society is, what sociology is, what the relations are between sociology
and other sciences, before we can study the social problems of to-day
from a sociological point of view.

The word "society" is used scientifically to designate the reciprocal
relations between individuals. More exactly, and using the term in a
concrete sense, a society is any group of individuals who have more or
less conscious relations to each other. We say conscious relations
because it is not necessary that these relations be specialized into
industrial, political, or ecclesiastical relations. Society is
constituted by the mental interaction of individuals and exists wherever
two or three individuals have reciprocal conscious relations to each
other. Dependence upon a common economic environment, or the mere
contiguity in space is not sufficient to constitute a society. It is the
interdependence in function on the mental side, the contact and
overlapping of our inner selves, which makes possible that form of
collective life which we call society. Plants and lowly types of
organisms do not constitute true societies, unless it can be shown that
they have some degree of mentality. On the other hand, there is no
reason for withholding the term "society" from many animal groups. These
animal societies, however, are very different in many respects from
human society, and are of interest to us only as certain of their forms
throw light upon human society.

We may dismiss with a word certain faulty conceptions of society. In
some of the older sociological writings the word society is often used
as nearly synonymous with the word nation. Now, a nation is a body of
people politically organized into an independent government, and it is
manifest that it is only one of many forms of human society. Another
conception of society, which some have advocated, is that it is
synonymous with the cultural group. That is, a society is any group of
people that have a common civilization, or that are bearers of a certain
type of culture. In this case Christendom, for example, would constitute
a single society. Cultural groups no doubt are, again, one of the forms
of human society, but only one among many. Both the cultural group and
the nation are very imposing forms of society and hence have attracted
the attention of social thinkers very often in the past to the neglect
of the more humble forms. But it is evident that all forms of
association are of equal interest to the sociologist, though, of course,
this is not saying that all forms are of equal practical importance.

Any form of association, or social group, which may be studied, if
studied from the point of view of origin and development, whether it be
a family, a neighborhood group, a city, a state, a trade union, or a
party, will serve to reveal many of the problems of sociology. The
natural or genetic social groups, however, such as the family, the
community, and the nation, serve best to exhibit sociological problems.
In this text we shall make particular use of the family, as the simplest
and, in many ways, the most typical of all the forms of human
association, to illustrate concretely the laws and principles of social
development. Through the study of the simple and primary forms of
association the problems of sociology can be much better attacked than
through the study of society at large, or association in general.

From what has been said it may be inferred that _society_ as a
scientific term means scarcely more than the abstract term
_association_, and this is correct. Association, indeed, may be
regarded as the more scientific term of the two; at any rate it
indicates more exactly what the sociologist deals with. A word may be
said also as to the meaning of the word _social_. The sense in
which this word will generally be used in this text is that of a
collective adjective, referring to all that pertains to or relates to
society in any way. The word social, then, is much broader than the
words industrial, political, moral, religious, and embraces them all;
that is, social phenomena are all phenomena which involve the
interaction of two or more individuals. The word social, then, includes
the economic, political, moral, religious, etc., and must not be thought
of as something set in opposition to, for instance, the industrial or
the political.

Society and its Products.--Beneath all the forms and processes of human
society lies the fact of association itself. Industry, government, and
civilization itself must be regarded as expressions of collective human
life rather than _vice versa_. Industry, for example, is one side
or aspect of man's social life, and must not be mistaken for society
itself. Industry, government, religion, education, art, and the like,
are all products of the social life of man. Among these coördinate
expressions of collective human life, industry, being concerned with the
satisfying of the material needs of men, is perhaps fundamental to the
rest. But this must not lead to the mistaken view that the social life
of man can be interpreted completely through his industrial life; for,
as has just been said, beneath industry and all other aspects of man's
collective life lies the biological and psychological fact of
association. This is equivalent to saying that industry itself must be
interpreted in terms of the biology and psychology of human association.
In other words, industrial problems, political problems, educational
problems, and the like must be viewed from the collective or social
standpoint rather than simply as detached problems by themselves. We
must understand the biological and psychological aspects of man's social
life before we can understand its special phases.

The Origin of Society.--From the definition of society that we have
given it is evident that society is something which springs from the
very processes of life itself. It is not something which has been
invented or planned by individuals. Life, in its higher forms at least,
could not exist without association. From the very beginning the
association of the sexes has been necessary for reproduction and for the
care and rearing of offspring, and it has been not less necessary for
the procuring of an adequate food supply and for protection against
enemies. From the association necessary for reproduction has sprung
family life and all the altruistic institutions of human society, while
from the association for providing food supply have sprung society's
industrial institutions. Neither society nor industry, therefore, has
had a premeditated, reflective origin, but both have sprung up
spontaneously from the needs of life and both have developed down to the
present time at least with but little premeditated guidance. It is
necessary that the student should understand at the outset that social
organization is not a fabrication of the human intellect to any great
degree, and the old idea that individuals who existed independently of
society came together and deliberately planned a certain type of social
organization is utterly without scientific validity. The individual and
society are correlatives. We have no knowledge of individuals apart from
society or society apart from individuals. What we do know is that human
life everywhere is a collective or associated life, the individual being
on the one hand largely an expression of the social life surrounding him
and on the other hand society being largely an expression of individual
character. The reasons for these assertions will appear later as we
develop our subject.

What is Sociology?--The science which deals with human association, its
origin, development, forms, and functions, is sociology. Briefly,
sociology is a science which deals with society as a whole and not with
its separate aspects or phases. It attempts to formulate the laws or
principles which govern social organization and social evolution. This
means that the main problems of sociology are those of the organization
of society on the one hand and the evolution of society on the other.
These words, _organization_ and _evolution_, however, are used
in a broader sense in sociology than they are generally used. By
organization we mean any relation of the parts of society to each other.
By evolution we mean, not necessarily change for the better, but orderly
change of any sort. Sociology is, therefore, a science which deals with
the laws or principles of social organization and of social change. Put
in more exact terms this makes sociology, as we said at the beginning,
the science of the origin, development, structure, and function of the
forms of association. We may pass over very rapidly certain faulty
conceptions of sociology. The first of these is that it is the study of
social evils and their remedies. This conception is faulty because it
makes sociology deal primarily with the abnormal rather than the normal
conditions in society, and secondly, it is to be criticized because it
makes sociology synonymous with scientific philanthropy. It is rather
the science of philanthropy, which is an applied science resting upon
sociology, that studies social evils and their remedies. This is not
saying, of course, that sociology does not consider social evils, but
that it considers them as incidents in the normal processes of social
evolution rather than as its special matter. A second conception of
sociology which is to be dismissed as inadequate is the conception that
it is the science of social phenomena. This conception is not incorrect,
but is somewhat vague, as there are manifestly other sciences of social
phenomena, such as economics and political science. Such a conception of
sociology would make it include everything in human society. A third
faulty conception is that it is the science of human institutions. This
is faulty because it again is too narrow. An institution is a
_sanctioned_ form of human association, while sociology deals with
the ephemeral and unsanctioned forms, such as we see in the phenomena of
mobs, crazes, fads, fashions, and crimes, as well as with the sanctioned
forms. A fourth conception which might be criticized is that sociology
is the science of social organization. This makes sociology deal with
the laws or principles of the relations of individuals to one another,
and of institutions to one another. It is to be criticized as faulty
because it fails to emphasize the evolution of those relations. All
science is now evolutionary in spirit and in method and believes that
things cannot be understood except as they are understood in their
genesis and development. It would, therefore, perhaps be more correct to
define sociology as the science of the evolution of human interrelations
than to define it simply as the science of social organization.

The Problems of Sociology.--The problems of sociology fall into two
great classes; first, problems of the organization of society, and
second, problems of the evolution of society. The problems of the
organization of society are problems of the relations of individuals to
one another and to institutions. Such problems are, for example, the
influence of various elements in the physical environment upon the
social organization; or, again, the influence of various elements in
human nature upon the social order. These problems are, then, problems
of society in a hypothetically stationary condition or at rest. For this
reason Comte, the founder of modern sociology, called the division of
sociology which deals with such problems _Social Statics_. But the
problems which are of most interest and importance in sociology are
those of social evolution. Under this head we have the problem of the
origin of society in general and also of various forms of association.
More important still are the problems of social progress and social
retrogression; that is, the causes of the advancement of society to
higher and more complex types of social organization and the causes of
social decline. The former problem, social progress, is in a peculiar
sense the central problem of sociology. The effort of theoretical
sociology is to develop a scientific theory of social progress. The
study of social evolution, then, that is, social changes of all sorts,
as we have emphasized above, is the vital part of sociology; and it is
manifest that only a general science of society like sociology is
competent to deal with such a problem. Inasmuch as the problems of
social evolution are problems of change, development, or movement in
society, Comte proposed that this division of sociology be called
_Social Dynamics_.

The Relations of Sociology to Other Sciences. [Footnote: For a fuller
discussion of the relations of sociology to other sciences and to
philosophy see my article on "Sociology: Its Problems and Its Relations"
in the _American Journal of Sociology_ for November, 1907.]--(A)
_Relations to Biology and Psychology._ In attempting to give a
scientific view of social organization and social evolution, sociology
has to depend upon the other natural sciences, particularly upon biology
and psychology. It is manifest that sociology must depend upon biology,
since biology is the general science of life, and human society is but
part of the world of life in general. It is manifest also that sociology
must depend upon psychology to explain the interactions between
individuals because these interactions are for the most part
interactions between their minds. Thus on the one hand all social
phenomena are vital phenomena and on the other hand nearly all social
phenomena are mental phenomena. Every social problem has, in other
words, its psychological and its biological sides, and sociology is
distinguished from biology and psychology only as a matter of
convenience. The scientific division of labor necessitates that certain
scientific workers concern themselves with certain problems. Now, the
problems with which the biologist and the psychologist deal are not the
problems of the organization and evolution of society. Hence, while the
sociologist borrows his principles of interpretation from biology and
psychology, he has his own distinctive problems, and it is this fact
which makes sociology a distinct science.

Sociology is not so easily distinguished from the special social
sciences like politics, economics, and others, as it is from the other
general sciences. These sciences occupy the same field as sociology,
that is, they have to do with social phenomena. But in general, as has
already been pointed out, they are concerned chiefly with certain very
special aspects or phases of the social life and not with its most
general problems. If sociology, then, is dependent upon the other
general sciences, particularly upon biology and psychology, it is
obvious that its relation to the special sciences is the reverse,
namely, these sciences are dependent upon sociology. This is only saying
practically the same thing as was said above when we pointed out that
industry, government, and religion are but expressions of human social
life. In other words, sociology deals with the more general biological
and psychological aspects of human association, while the special
sciences of economics, politics, and the like, generally deal with
certain products or highly specialized phases of society.

(B) _Relations to History._ [Footnote: For a discussion of the
practical relations between the teaching of history and of sociology,
see my paper on "How History can be taught from a Sociological Point of
View," in Education for January, 1910.] A word may be said about the
relation of sociology to another science which also deals with human
society in a general way, and that is history. History is a concrete,
descriptive science of society which attempts to construct a picture of
the social past. Sociology, however, is an abstract, theoretical science
of society concerned with the laws and principles which govern social
organization and social change. In a sense, sociology is narrower than
history inasmuch as it is an abstract science, and in another sense it
is wider than history because it concerns itself not only with the
social past but also with the social present. The facts of contemporary
social life are indeed even more important to the sociologist than the
facts of history, although it is impossible to construct a theory of
social evolution without taking into full account all the facts
available in human history, and in this sense history becomes one of the
very important methods of sociology. Upon its evolutionary or dynamic
side sociology may be considered a sort of philosophy of history; at
least it attempts to give a scientific theory which will explain the
social changes which history describes concretely.

(C) Relations to Economics. Economics is that special social science
which deals with the wealth-getting and wealth-using activities of man.
In other words, it is concerned with the commercial and industrial
activities of man. As has already been implied, economics must be
considered one of the most important of the special social sciences, if
not the most important. Yet it is evident that the wealth-getting and
wealth-using activities of man are strictly an outgrowth of his social
life, and that economics as a science of human industry must rest upon
sociology. Sometimes in the past the mistake has been made of supposing
that economics dealt with the most fundamental social phenomena, and
even at times economists have spoken of their science as alone
sufficient to explain all social phenomena. It cannot be admitted,
however, that we can explain social organization in general or social
progress in terms of economic development. A theory of progress, for
example, in which the sole causes of human progress were found in
economic conditions would neglect political, religious, educational, and
many other conditions. Only a very one-sided theory of society can be
built upon such a basis. Economics should keep to its own sphere of
explaining the commercial and industrial activities of man and not
attempt to become a general science dealing with social evolution. This
is now recognized by practically all economists of standing, and the
only question which remains is whether economics is independent of
sociology or whether it rests upon sociology.

The view which has been presented thus far and which will be adhered to
is that economics should rest upon sociology. That economics does rest
upon sociology is shown by many considerations. The chief problem of
theoretical economics is the problem of economic value. But economic
value is but one sort of value which is recognized in society, moral and
aesthetic values being other examples of the valuing process, and all
values must express the collective judgment of some human group or
other. The problem of economic value, in other words, reduces itself to
a problem in social psychology, and when this is said it is equivalent
to making economics dependent upon sociology, for social psychology is
simply the psychological aspect of sociology. Again, industrial
organization and industrial evolution are but parts or phases of social
evolution in general, and it is safe to say that industry, both in its
organization and evolution, cannot be understood apart from the general
conditions, psychological and biological, which surround society. Again,
many non-economic forces continually obtrude themselves upon the student
of industrial conditions, such as custom, invention, imitation,
standards, ideals, and the like. These are general social forces which
play throughout all phases of human social life and so show the
dependence of industry upon society in general, and, therefore, of
economics upon sociology. Much more might be said in the way of
concretely illustrating these statements, but the purpose of this text
precludes anything but the briefest and most elementary statement of
these theoretical facts.

(D) _Relations to Politics._ We have already said that the state is
one of the chief forms of human association. The science which treats of
the state or of government is known as political science or politics. It
is one of the oldest of the social sciences, having been more or less
systematized by Aristotle. The problems of politics are those of the
origin, nature, function, and development of government. It is manifest
that politics, both on its practical and theoretical sides, has many
close relations to sociology. While the state or nation must not be
confused with society in general, yet because the state is the most
imposing, if not the most important, form of human association, the
relations of politics and sociology must be very intimate. On the one
hand, political scientists can scarcely understand the origin, nature,
and proper functions of government without understanding more or less
about the social life generally; and, on the other hand, the sociologist
finds that one of the most important facts of human society is that of
social control, or of authority. While political science deals only with
the organized authority manifested in the state, which we call
government, yet inasmuch as this is the most important form of social
control, and inasmuch as political organization is one of the chief
manifestations of social organization, the sociologist can scarcely deal
adequately with the great problems of social organization and evolution
without constant reference to political science.

An important branch of political science is jurisprudence, or the
science of law. This, again, is closely related with sociology, on both
its theoretical and practical sides. Law is, perhaps, the most important
means of social control made use of by society, and the sociologist
needs to understand something of the principles of law in order to
understand the nature of the existing social order. On the other hand,
the jurist needs to know the principles of social organization and
evolution in general before he can understand the nature and purpose of

(E) _Relations to Ethics._ [Footnote: For a full statement of my
views regarding the relations of sociology and ethics, see my article on
"The Sociological Basis of Ethics," in the _International Journal of
Ethics_ for April, 1910.] Ethics is the science which deals with the
right or wrong of human conduct. Its problems are the nature of morality
and of moral obligation, the validity of moral ideals, the norms by
which conduct is to be judged, and the like. While ethics was once
considered to be a science of individual conduct it is now generally
conceived as being essentially a social science. The moral and the
social are indeed not clearly separable, but we may consider the moral
to be the ideal aspect of the social.

This view of morality, which, for the most part, is indorsed by modern
thought, makes ethics dependent upon sociology for its criteria of
rightness or wrongness. Indeed, we cannot argue any moral question
nowadays unless we argue it in social terms. If we discuss the rightness
or wrongness of the drink habit we try to show its social consequences.
So, too, if we discuss the rightness or wrongness of such an institution
as polygamy we find ourselves forced to do so mainly in social terms.
This is not denying, of course, that there are religious and
metaphysical aspects to morality,--these are not necessarily in conflict
with the social aspects,--but it is saying that modern ethical theory is
coming more and more to base itself upon the study of the remote social
consequences of conduct, and that we cannot judge what is right or wrong
in our complex society unless we know something of the social

Ethics must be regarded, therefore, as a normative science to which
sociology and the other social sciences lead up. It is, indeed, very
difficult to separate ethics from sociology. It is the business of
sociology to furnish norms and standards to ethics, and it is the
business of ethics as a science to take the norms and standards
furnished by the social sciences, to develop them, and to criticize
them. This text therefore, will not attempt to exclude ethical
implications and judgments from sociological discussions, because that
would be futile and childish.

(F) _Relations to Education._ Among the applied sciences, sociology
is especially closely related to education, for education is not simply
the art of developing the powers and capacities of the individual; it is
rather the fitting of individuals for efficient membership, for proper
functioning, in social life. On its individual side, education should
initiate the individual into the social life and fit him for social
service. It should create the good citizen. On the social or public
side, education should be the chief means of social progress. It should
regenerate society, by fitting the individual for a higher type of
social life than at present achieved. We must have a socialized
education if our present complex civilization is to endure. Social
problems touch education on every side, and, on the other hand,
education must bear upon every social problem. It is evident, therefore,
that sociology has a very great bearing upon the problems of education;
and the teacher who comes to his task equipped with a knowledge of
social conditions and of the laws and principles of social organization
and evolution will find a significance and meaning in his work which he
could hardly otherwise find.

(G) _Relations to Philanthropy._[Footnote: This topic is more fully
discussed in my article on "Philanthropy and Sociology" in The Survey
for June 4, 1910.] The great science which deals directly with the
depressed classes in society and with their uplift may be called the
science of philanthropy. It may be regarded as an applied department of
sociology. The science of philanthropy is especially concerned with the
prevention, as well as with the curative treatment, of dependency,
defectiveness, and delinquency. That part which deals with the social
treatment of the criminal class is generally called penology, while the
subdivision which treats of dependents and defectives is generally known
as "charities" or "charitology."

It is evident that there are very close relations between the science of
philanthropy and sociology. The elimination of hereditary defects, the
overcoming of the social maladjustment of individuals, and the
correction of defective social conditions, the three great tasks of
scientific philanthropy, all require great knowledge of human society.
The social or philanthropic worker, therefore, requires thorough
equipment in sociology that he may approach his tasks aright.

The Relation of Sociology to Socialism.--Curiously enough sociology is
often confused with socialism by those who pay but little attention to
scientific matters. This comes from the fact that some of the adherents
of socialism claim that socialism is a science. As a matter of fact,
socialism is primarily a party program. It is the platform of a social
and political party that has as the main tenet of its creed the
abolition of private property in the means of production. Socialism, in
other words, is a scheme to revolutionize the present order of society.
It cannot claim to be a science in any sense, though it may rest upon
theories which its adherents believe to be scientific. Sociology, on the
other hand, is a science, and is concerned not with revolutionizing the
social order, but with studying and understanding social conditions,
especially the more fundamental conditions upon which social
organization and social changes depend. As a science it aims simply at
understanding society, at getting at the truth. It is no more related
logically to socialism than to the platform of the Republican or the
Democratic party.

The theories upon which revolutionary socialism rest may be proved or
disproved by scientific sociology. It is perhaps too early to say
finally whether sociology will pronounce the theoretical assumptions of
socialism correct or incorrect; but so far as we can see it seems
probable that the theories of social evolution advocated by the Marxian
socialists at least will be pronounced erroneous. In any case, there is
no logical connection between sociology as a science and socialism as a
program for social reconstruction.

Nevertheless, there has been a close connection between sociology and
socialism historically. It has been largely the agitations of the
socialists and other radical social reformers which have called
attention to the need of a scientific understanding of human society.
The socialists and other radical reformers, in other words, have very
largely set the problem which sociology attempts to solve. Practically,
moreover, the indictments and charges of the socialists and anarchists
against the present social order have made necessary some study of that
order to see whether these charges were well founded or not. In this
sense sociology may be said to be a scientific answer to socialism, not
in the sense that sociology is devoted to refuting socialism, but in the
sense that sociology has been devoted very largely to inquiring into
many of the theoretical assumptions which revolutionary socialism makes.

The further relations of sociology to socialism will be taken up later.
Here we are only concerned to have the reader see that there is a sharp
distinction between the sociological movement on the one hand, that is,
the movement to obtain fuller and more accurate knowledge concerning
human social life, and the socialist movement, the movement to
revolutionize the present social and economic order. Moreover, it may be
remarked that while socialism seems to be mainly an economic program, it
involves such total and radical reconstruction of social organization
that in the long run the claims of socialism to a scientific validity
must be passed upon by sociology rather than by economics.

The Relation of Sociology to Social Reform.--From what has been said it
is also evident that sociology must not be confused with any particular
social reform movement or with the movement for social reform in
general. Sociology, as a science, cannot afford to be developed in the
interest of any social reform. Certain social reforms, sociology may
give its approval to; others it may designate as unwise; but this
approval or disapproval will be simply incidental to its discovery of
the full truth about human social relations. This is not saying, of
course, that social theory should be divorced from social practice, or
that the knowledge which sociology and the other social sciences offer
concerning human society has no practical bearing upon present social
conditions. On the contrary, while all science aims abstractly at the
truth, all science is practical also in a deeper sense. No science would
ever have been developed if it were not conceived that the knowledge
which it discovers will ultimately be of benefit to man. All science
exists, therefore, to benefit man, to enable him to master his
environment, and the social sciences not less than the other sciences.
The physical sciences have already enabled man to attain to a
considerable mastery over his physical environment. When the social
sciences have been developed it is safe to say that they will enable man
not less to master his social environment. Therefore, while sociology
and the special social sciences present as yet no program for action,
aiming simply at the discovery of the abstract truth, they will
undoubtedly in time bring about vast changes for the betterment of
social conditions.


_For Brief Reading:_

WARD, _Outlines of Sociology,_ Chaps. I-VIII.
ROSS, _The foundations of Sociology,_ Chaps. I and II.
DEALEY, _Sociology, Its simpler Teachings and Applications,_ Chap. I.

_For More Extended Reading:_

GIDDINGS, _The Principles of Sociology,_ 3d edition.
SMALL, _General Sociology._
SPENCER, _The Study of Sociology._
STUCKENBERG, _Sociology: The Science of Human Society._
WARD, _Pure Sociology._
_American Journal of Sociology_, many articles.
For a fairly extensive bibliography on sociology, consult Howard's
     General Sociology: An Analytical Reference Syllabus.



Since Darwin wrote his _Origin of Species_ all the sciences in any
way connected with biology have been profoundly influenced by his theory
of evolution. It is important that the student of sociology, therefore,
should understand at the outset something of the bearing of Darwin's
theory upon social problems.

We may note at the beginning, however, that the word _evolution_
has two distinct, though related, meanings. First, it usually means
Darwin's doctrine of descent; secondly, it is used to designate
Spencer's theory of universal evolution. Let us note somewhat in detail
what evolution means in the first of these senses.

The Darwinian Theory of Descent.--Darwin's theory of descent is the
doctrine that all forms of life now existing or that have existed upon
the earth have sprung from a few simple primitive types. According to
this theory all forms of animals and plants have sprung from a few
primitive stocks, though not necessarily one, because even in the
beginning there may have existed a distinction at least between the
plant and the animal types. So far as the animal world is concerned,
then, this theory amounts to the assertion of the kinship of all life.
From one or more simple primitive unicellular forms have arisen the
great multitude of multicellular forms that now exist. Popularly,
Darwin's theory is supposed to be that man sprang from the apes, but
this, strictly speaking, is a misconception. Darwin's theory
necessitates the belief, not that man sprang from any existing species
of ape, but rather that the apes and man have sprung from some common
stock. It is equally true, however, that man and many other of the lower
animals, according to this theory, have come from a common stock. As was
said above, the theory is not a theory of the descent of man from any
particular animal type, but rather the theory of the kinship, the
genetic relationship, of all animal species.

It is evident that if we assume Darwin's theory of descent in sociology
we must look for the beginnings of many peculiarly human things in the
animal world below man. Human institutions, according to this theory,
could not be supposed to have an independent origin, or human society in
any of its forms to be a fact by itself, but rather all human things are
connected with the whole world of animal life below man. Thus if we are,
according to this theory, to look for the origin of the family, we
should have to turn first of all to the habits of animals nearest man.
This is only one of the many bearings which Darwin's theory has upon the
study of social problems; but it is evident even from this that it
revolutionizes sociology. So long as it was possible to look upon human
society as a distinct creation, as something isolated, by itself in
nature, it was possible to hold to intellectualistic views of the origin
of human institutions.

But some one may ask: Why should the sociologist accept Darwin's theory?
What proofs does it rest upon? What warrant has a student of sociology
for accepting a doctrine of such far-reaching consequences? The reply
is, that biologists, generally, during the last fifty years, after a
careful study of Darwin's arguments and after a careful examination of
all other evidence, have come substantially to agree with him. There is
no great biologist now living who does not accept the essentials of the
doctrine of descent. Five lines of proof may be offered in support of
Darwin's theories, and it may be well for us, as students of sociology,
briefly to review these.

(1) The homologies or similarities of structure of different animals.
There are very striking similarities of structure between all the higher
animals. Between the ape and man, for example, there are over one
hundred and fifty such anatomical homologies; that is, in the ape we
find bone for bone, and muscle for muscle, corresponding to the
structure of the human body. Even an animal so remotely related to man
as the cat has many more resemblances to man in anatomical structure
than dissimilarities. Now, the meaning of these anatomical homologies,
biologists say, is that these animals are genetically related, that is,
they had a common ancestry at some remote period in the past.

(2) The presence of vestigial organs in the higher animals supplies
another argument for the belief in common descent. In man, for example,
there exist over one hundred of these vestigial or rudimentary organs,
as the vermiform appendix, the pineal gland, and the like. Many of these
vestigal organs, which are now functionless in man, perform functions in
lower animals, and this is held to show that at some remote period in
the past they also functioned in man's ancestors.

(3) The facts of embryology seem to point to the descent of the higher
types of animals from the lower types. The embryo or fetus in its
development seems to recapitulate the various stages through which the
species has passed. Thus the human embryo at one stage of its
development resembles the fish; at another stage, the embryo of a dog;
and for a long time it is impossible to distinguish between the human
embryo and that of one of the larger apes. These embryological facts,
biologists say, indicate genetic relation between the various animal
forms which the embryo in its different stages simulates.

(4) The fossil remains of extinct species of animals are found in the
earth's crust which are evidently ancestors of existing species. Until
the doctrine of descent was accepted there was no way of explaining the
presence of these fossil remains of extinct animals in the earth's
crust. It was supposed by some that the earth had passed through a
series of cataclysms in which all forms of life upon the earth had been
many times destroyed and many times re-created. It is now demonstrated,
however, that these fossils are related to existing species, and
sometimes it is possible to trace back the evolution of existing forms
to very primitive forms in this way. For example, it is possible to
trace the horse, which is now an animal with a single hoof, walking on a
single toe, back to an animal that walked upon four toes and had four
hoofs and was not much larger than a fox. It is not so generally known
that it is also possible to trace man back through fossil human remains
that have been discovered in the earth's crust to the time when he is
apparently just emerging from some apelike form. The latest discovery of
the fossil remains of man made by Dr. Dubois in Java in 1894 shows a
creature with about half the brain capacity of the existing civilized
man and with many apelike characteristics. Thus we cannot except even
man from the theory of evolution and suppose that he was especially
created, as Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin's contemporary and colaborer,
and others, have supposed.

(5) The last line of argument in favor of the belief that all existing
species have descended from a few simple primitive forms is found in the
fact of the variation of animals through artificial selection under
domestication. For generations breeders have known that by carefully
selecting the type of animal or plant which they have desired, it is
possible to produce approximately that type. Thus have originated all
the breeds or varieties of domestic plants and animals. Now, Darwin
conceived that nature also exercises a selection by weeding out those
individuals that are not adapted to their environment. In other words,
nature, though unconscious, selects in a negative way the stronger and
the better adapted. Animals vary in nature as well as under
domestication from causes not yet well understood. The variations that
were favorable to survival, Darwin argued, would secure the survival,
through the passing on of these variations by heredity of the better
adapted types of plants and animals. The natural process of weeding out
the inferior or least adapted through early death, or through failure to
reproduce, Darwin called "natural selection", and likened it in its
effect upon organisms to the artificial selection which breeders
consciously use to secure types of plants or animals that they desire.
The only great addition to Darwin's theories which has been made since
he wrote is that of the Dutch botanist, Hugo de Vries, who has shown
that the variations which are fruitful for the production of new species
are probably great or discontinuous variations, which he terms
"mutations," instead of the small fluctuating variations which Darwin
thought were probably most important in the production of new species.
De Vries' theory in no way affects the doctrine of descent, nor does it
take away from the importance of natural selection in fixing the
variations. Darwin's theory, therefore, stands in all of its essentials
to-day unquestioned by men of science, and it must be assumed by the
student of sociology in any attempt to explain social evolution.

Spencer's Theory of Universal Evolution.--A second meaning given to the
word _evolution_ is that which Spencer popularized in his _First
Principles_. This is a philosophical theory of the universe which
asserts that not only have species of animals come to be what they are
through a process of development, but everything whatsoever that exists,
from molecules of matter to stars and planets. It is the view that the
universe is in a process of development. Evolution in this wider sense
includes all existing things whatsoever, while evolution in the sense of
Darwin's theory is confined to the organic world. While the theory that
all things existing have through a process of orderly change come to be
what they are, is a very old one, yet it was undoubtedly Spencer's
writings which popularized the theory, and to Spencer we also owe the
attempt in his Synthetic Philosophy to trace the working of evolution in
all the different realms of phenomena. The belief in universal evolution
which Spencer popularized has also come to be generally accepted by
scientific and philosophical thinkers. While Spencer's particular
theories of evolution may not be accepted, some form of universal
evolution is very generally believed in. The thought of evolution now
dominates all the sciences,--physical, biological, psychological, and
sociological. It is evident that the student of society, if he accepts
fully the modern scientific spirit, must also assume evolution in this
second or universal sense.

The Different Phases of Universal Evolution.--It may be well, in order
to correlate our knowledge of social evolution with knowledge in
general, to note the different well-marked phases of universal

(1) _Cosmic Evolution._ This is the phase the astronomer and the
geologist are particularly interested in. It deals with the evolution of
worlds. In this phase we are dealing merely with physical matter, and it
is supposed that the active principle which works in this phase of
evolution is the attraction of particles of matter for one another. This
leads to the condensation of matter into suns and their planets, and the
geological evolution of the earth, for example. Laplace's nebular
hypothesis is an attempt to give an adequate statement of the cosmic
phase of evolution. While this hypothesis has been much criticized of
late, in its essentials it seems to stand. We are not, however, as
students of society, concerned with this phase of evolution.

(2) _Organic Evolution._ This is the phase of evolution with which
Darwin dealt and which biology, as a science of evolution of living
forms, deals with. The great merit of Darwin's work was that he showed
that the active principle in this phase of evolution is natural
selection; that is, the extermination of the unadapted through death or
through failure to reproduce. Types unsuited to their environment thus
die before reproduction. The stronger and better fitted survive, and
thus the type is raised. Natural selection may be regarded, then, as
essentially the creative force in this phase of evolution.

(3) _The Evolution of Mind._ This might be included in organic
evolution, but all organisms do not apparently have minds. It is evident
that among animals those that would stand the best chance of surviving
would not be simply those that have the strongest brute strength, but
rather those that have the keenest intelligence and that could adapt
themselves quickly to their environment, that could see approaching
danger and escape it. Natural selection has, therefore, favored in the
animal world the survival of those animals with the highest type of
intelligence. It cannot be said, however, that natural selection is the
only force which has created the mind in all its various expressions.

(4) _Social Evolution._ By social evolution we mean the evolution
of groups, or, in strict accordance with our definition of society,
groups of psychically interconnected individuals. Groups are to be found
throughout the animal world, and it is in the human species, as we have
already seen, that the highest types of association are found. This is
not an accident. Association, or living together in groups, has been one
of the devices by which animal species have been enabled to survive. It
is evident that not only would intelligence help an animal to survive
more than brute strength, but that ability to cooperate with one's
fellows would also help in the same way. Consequently we find a degree
of combination or coöperation almost at the very beginning of life, and
it is without doubt through coöperation that man has become the dominant
and supreme species upon the planet. Man's social instincts, in other
words, have been perhaps even more important for his survival than his
intelligence. The man who lies, cheats, and steals, or who indulges in
other unsocial conduct sets himself against his group and places his
group at a disadvantage as compared with other groups. Now, natural
selection is continually operating upon groups as well as upon
individuals, and the group which can command the most loyal, most
efficient membership, and has the best organization, is, other things
being equal, the group which survives. Natural selection is, then,
active in social evolution as well as in general organic evolution. But
the distinctive principle of social evolution is coöperation. In other
words, it is sympathetic feeling, altruism, which has made the higher
types of social evolution possible.

While the same factors are at work in the higher phases of evolution
which are at work in the lower phases, yet it is evident that the higher
phases have new and distinct factors. Sociology, being especially
concerned with social evolution, has a new and distinct factor at work
which we may call association, coöperation, or combination, and this it
is which gives sociology its distinct place in the list of general

Factors In Organic Evolution.--As has already been said, the factors
which are at work in organic evolution generally are also at work in
social evolution. We need, therefore, to note these factors carefully
and to see how they are at work in human society as well as in the
animal world below man. While these factors are not all of the factors
which are at work in social evolution, still they are the primitive
factors, and are, therefore, of fundamental importance. Let us see what
these factors are.

(1) _The Multiplication of Organisms in Some Geometric Ratio through
Reproduction._ It is a law of life that every species must increase
so that the number of offspring exceeds the number of parents if the
species is to survive. If the offspring only equal in number the
parents, some of them will die before maturity is reached or will fail
to reproduce, and so the species will gradually become extinct. Every
species normally increases, therefore, in some geometric ratio. Now,
this tendency to reproduce in some geometric ratio, which characterizes
all living organisms, means that any species, if left to itself, would
soon reach such numbers as to occupy the whole earth. Darwin showed, for
example, that though the elephant is the slowest breeding of all
animals, if every elephant lived its normal length of life (one hundred
years) and to every pair were born six offspring, then, at the end of
seven hundred years there would be nineteen million living elephants
descended from a single pair. This illustration shows the enormous
possibilities of any species reproducing in geometric ratio, as all
species in order to survive must do.

That this tendency to increase in some geometric ratio applies also to
man is evident from all of the facts which we know concerning human
populations. It is not infrequent for a people to double its numbers
every twenty-five years. If this were continued for any length of time,
it is evident that a single nation could soon populate the whole earth.

(2) _Heredity._ Heredity in organic evolution secures a continuity
of the species or racial type. By heredity is meant the resemblance
between parent and offspring. It is the law that like begets like.
Offspring born of a species belong to that species, and usually resemble
their parents more closely even than other members of the species.

It is evident that heredity is at work also in human society as well as
in the animal world. We do not expect that the children born of parents
of one race, for example, will belong to another race. Racial heredity
is one of the most significant facts of human society, and even family
heredity counts in its influence far more than some have supposed.

(3) _Variation._ This factor in organic evolution means that no two
individuals, even though born of the same parents, are exactly like each
other. Neither are they of a type exactly between their two parents, as
theoretically they should be, since inheritance is equal from both
parents. Every new individual born in the organic world, while it
resembles its parents and belongs to its species or race, varies within
certain limits. This variation so runs through organic nature that we
are told that there are no two leaves on a single tree exactly alike.
The result of this variation, the causes of which are not yet well
understood, is that some individuals vary in favorable directions,
others in unfavorable directions. Some are born strong, some weak; some
inferior, some superior.

It is evident that variation characterizes the human species quite as
much as other species, and indeed the limits of variation are wider,
probably, in the human species than in any other species. Man is the
most variable of all animals, and human individuality and personality
owe not a little of their distinctiveness to this fact.

(4) _The Struggle for Existence._ Individuals in all species, as we
have seen, are born in larger numbers than is necessary. The result is
that a competition is entered into between species and individuals
within the species for place and for existence. This competition or
struggle results in the dying out of the inferior, that is, of those who
are not adapted to their environment. The gradual dying out of the
inferior or unadapted through competition results in the survival of the
superior or better adapted, and ultimately in the survival of the
fittest or those most adapted. Thus the type is raised, and we have
evolution through natural selection, that is, through the elimination of
the unfit.

Some have thought that this struggle for existence which is so evident
in the animal world does not take place in human society. This, however,
is a mistake. The struggle for existence in human society is not an
unmitigated one, as it seems to be very often in the animal world, but
it is nevertheless a struggle which has the same consequences. In the
human world the competition, except in the lower classes, is not so much
for food, as it is for position and for supremacy. But this struggle for
place and power results in human society in the weak and inferior going
to the wall, and therefore ultimately in their elimination. In all
essential respects, then, the struggle for existence goes on in human
society as it does in the animal world. This means that in society, as
in the animal world, progress comes primarily through the elimination of
unfit individuals. The unfit in human society, as we shall see, are
especially those who cannot adapt themselves to their social
environment. Progress in society, in a certain sense, waits upon death,
as it does in all the rest of the animal world. Death is the means by
which the stream of life is purged from its inferior and unfit elements.

(5) _Another Factor in Organic Evolution is Coöperation_, or
altruism, as we have already called it. As Henry Drummond has said, this
is the struggle not for one's own life but for the lives of others.
Really, however, it is a device which enables a group of individuals to
struggle more successfully with the adverse factors in their
environment. Something of coöperation,--that is, a group of individuals
carrying on a common life,--is found almost at the beginning of life,
and, as we rise in the scale of animal creation, the amount of
coöperation and of altruistic feelings which accompany it very greatly
increases. Perhaps the chief source of this coöperation is to be found
in the rearing of offspring. The family group, even in the lower
animals, seems to be the chief source of altruism. At any rate,
sympathetic or altruistic instincts grow up in all animals, probably
chiefly through the necessities of reproduction.

It is only in human social life that coöperation, or altruism, attains
its full development. Human society is characterized by the protection
it affords to its weaker members, and in human society the natural
process of eliminating the inferior often seems reversed. As Huxley has
pointed out, human society tries to fit as many as possible to survive,
and we may add, not only to survive, but to live well. Altruism and its
resulting coöperation have come especially to characterize human social
evolution. To some extent this is due, no doubt, to the necessities of
group survival; for only that nation, for example, can survive that can
maintain the most loyal citizenship, the best institutions, and the
largest spirit of self-sacrifice in its members. Human social groups,
therefore, try to fit as many individuals as possible for the most
efficient membership, and this necessitates caring for the temporarily
weak, and also for the permanently incapacitated, in order that the
sentiments of social solidarity may be strengthened to their utmost.

It is evident, then, that all the factors at work in organic evolution
are at work also in social evolution, though in some part modified and
varying in degree. The struggle for existence in human society, for
example, has been greatly modified from the condition in the early
animal world, while coöperation, or altruism, is much more highly
developed. Nevertheless, these factors of organic evolution are at work
in social evolution and must be taken into full account by the student
of social problems. Social evolution rests upon organic evolution.

Some Effects upon Industry.--These factors in organic evolution express
themselves more or less in the industrial phase of human society. Thus,
the first factor, the multiplication of organisms through reproduction
in some geometric ratio, was first studied by Malthus, an economist in
the beginning of the nineteenth century, and exclusively with reference
to its effect upon economic conditions. Malthus perceived the tendency
for human beings to multiply in some geometric ratio where food supply
was sufficiently abundant, and argued from this that if better wages,
and so a larger food supply, were given the lower classes, they would
multiply so much more rapidly that worse poverty would result than
before. There is no doubt that in certain classes of human society there
is a tendency for population to press against food supply, and it is in
these classes that the struggle for existence takes on its most
animal-like forms.

Again, the struggle for existence is continually illustrated in the
world of human industry. Not only do individuals lose place and power
because they are unadapted to their environment, but also economic
groups, such as corporations, show the natural competition or struggle
for existence sometimes in its most intense form. The result in all
cases is the dying out of the least adapted and the survival of the
better adapted. Thus, through competition and the survival of the better
adapted we secure in industry the evolution of higher types of
industrial organization, industrial methods, and the like, just as
higher types are secured in the same way in the animal world. Again, in
economic matters, as in other social affairs, coöperation continually
comes in to modify competition and to lift it to a higher plane. Just as
the higher type of societies has been characterized by higher types of
coöperation, so it is safe to say that the higher types of industry are
characterized by higher types of coöperation. And while, as we shall see
later, coöperation can never displace competition in industry any more
than elsewhere in life, yet increasing coöperation characterizes the
higher types of industry as well as the higher types of society.

A word of caution is perhaps necessary against confusing the economic
struggle as it exists in modern society with the natural struggle under
primitive conditions. It is evident that in present society the economic
struggle has been greatly changed in character from the primitive
struggle, and therefore can no longer have the same results. Laws of
inheritance, of taxation, and many other artificial economic conditions,
have greatly interfered with the natural struggle. The rich and
economically successful are therefore by no means to be confused with
the biologically fit. On the contrary, many of the economically
successful are such simply through artificial advantageous
circumstances, and from the standpoint of biology and sociology they are
often among the less fit, rather than the more fit, elements of society.

A Brief Survey of Social Evolution from the Biological Standpoint.--In
order to sum up and make clear some of the principal applications to
social evolution of the biological principles just stated we shall
endeavor to state in a brief way some of the salient features of social
evolution from the biological standpoint.

From the very beginning there has been no such thing as unmitigated
individual struggle among animals. Nowhere in nature does pure
individualism exist in the sense that the individual animal struggles
alone, except perhaps in a few solitary species which are apparently on
the way to extinction. The assumption of such a primitive individual
struggle has been at the bottom of many erroneous views of human
society. The primary conflict is between species. A secondary conflict,
however, is always found between the members of the same species.
Usually this conflict within the species is a competition between
groups. The human species exactly illustrates these statements.
Primitively its great conflict was with other species of animals. The
supremacy of man over the rest of the animal world was won only after an
age-long conflict between man and his animal rivals. While this conflict
went on there was apparently but little struggle within the species
itself. The lowest groups of which we have knowledge, while continually
struggling against nature, are rarely at war with one another. But after
man had won his supremacy and the population of groups came to increase
so as to encroach seriously upon food supply, and even on territorial
limits of space, then a conflict between human groups, which we call
war, broke out and became almost second nature to man. It needs to be
emphasized, however, that the most primitive groups are not warlike, but
only those that have achieved their supremacy over nature and attained
considerable size. In other words, the struggle between groups which we
call war was occasioned very largely by numbers and food supply. To this
extent at least war primitively arose from economic conditions, and it
is remarkable how economic conditions have been instrumental in bringing
about all the great wars of recorded human history.

The conflict among human groups, which we call war, has had an immense
effect upon human social evolution. Five chief effects must be noted.

(1) Intergroup struggle gave rise to higher forms of social
organization, because only those groups could succeed in competition
with other groups that were well organized, and especially only those
that had competent leadership.

(2) Government, as we understand the word, was very largely an outcome
of the necessities of this intergroup struggle, or war. As we have
already seen, the groups that were best organized, that had the most
competent leadership, would stand the best chance of surviving.
Consequently the war leader or chief soon came, through habit, to be
looked upon as the head of the group in all matters. Moreover, the
exigencies and stresses of war frequently necessitated giving the war
chief supreme authority in times of danger, and from this, without
doubt, arose despotism in all of its forms. The most primitive tribes
are republican or democratic in their form of government, but it has
been found that despotic forms of government rapidly take the place of
the primitive democratic type, where a people are continually at war
with other peoples.

(3) A third result of war in primitive times was the creation of social
classes. After a certain stage was reached groups tried not so much to
exterminate one another as to conquer and absorb one another. This was,
of course, after agriculture had been developed and slave labor had
reached a considerable value. Under such circumstances a conquered group
would be incorporated by the conquerors as a slave or subject class.
Later, this enslaved class may have become partially free as compared
with some more recently subjugated or enslaved classes, and several
classes in this way could emerge in a group through war or conquest.
Moreover, the presence of these alien and subject elements in a group
necessitated a stronger and more centralized government to keep them in
control, and this was again one way in which war favored a development
of despotic governments. Later, of course, economic conditions gave rise
to classes, and to certain struggles between the classes composing a

(4) Not only was social and political organization and the evolution of
classes favored by intergroup struggle, but also the evolution of
morality. The group that could be most efficiently organized would be,
other things being equal, the group which had the most loyal and most
self-sacrificing membership. The group that lacked a group spirit, that
is, strong sentiments of solidarity and harmonious relations between its
members, would be the group that would be apt to lose in conflict with
other groups, and so its type would tend to be eliminated. Consequently
in all human groups we find recognition of certain standards of conduct
which are binding as between members of the same group. For example,
while a savage might incur no odium through killing a member of another
group, he was almost always certain to incur either death or exile
through killing a member of his own group. Hence arose a group code of
ethics founded very largely upon the conceptions of kinship or blood
relationship, which bound all members of a primitive group to one

(5) A final consequence of war among human groups has been the
absorption of weaker groups and the growth of larger and larger
political groups, until in modern times a few great nations dominate the
population of the whole world. That this was not the primitive
condition, we know from human history and from other facts which
indicate the disappearance of a vast number of human groups in the past.
The earth is a burial ground of tribes and natrons as well as of
individuals. In the competition between human groups, only a few that
have had efficient organization and government, loyal membership and
high standards of conduct within the group, have survived. The number of
peoples that have perished in the past is impossible to estimate. But we
can get some inkling of the number by the fact that philologists
estimate that for every living language there are twenty dead languages.
When we remember that a language not infrequently stands for several
groups with related cultures, we can guess the immense number of human
societies that have perished in the past in this intergroup competition.

Even though war passes away entirely, nations can never escape this
competition with one another. While the competition may not be upon the
low and brutal plane of war, it will certainly go on upon the higher
plane of commerce and industry, and will probably be on this higher
plane quite as decisive in the life of peoples in future as war was in
the past.

While the primary struggle within the human species has been in the
historic period between nations and races, this is not saying, of
course, that struggle and competition have not gone on within these
larger groups. On the contrary, as has already been implied, a continual
struggle has gone on between classes, first perhaps of racial origin,
and later of economic origin. Also there is within the nation a struggle
between parties and sects, and sometimes between "sections" and
communities. Usually, however, the struggle within the nation is a
peaceful one and does not come to bloodshed.

Again, within each of these minor groups that we have mentioned struggle
and competition in some modified form goes on between its members. Thus
within a party or class there is apt to be a struggle or competition
between factions. There is, indeed, no human group that is free from
struggle or competition between its members, unless it be the family.
The family seems to be so constituted that normally there is no
competition between its members,--at least, there is good ground tor
believing that competition between the members of a family is to be
considered exceptional, or even abnormal.

From what has been said it is evident that competition and coöperation
are twin principles in the evolution of social groups. While competition
characterizes in the main the relation between groups, especially
independent political groups, and while coöperation characterizes in the
main the relation of the members of a given group to one another, still
competition and coöperation are correlatives in practically every phase
of the social life. Some degree of competition, for example, has to be
maintained by every group between its members if it is going to maintain
high standards of efficiency or of loyalty. If there were no competition
with respect to the matters that concern the inner life of groups, it is
evident that the groups would soon lose efficiency in leadership and in
membership and would sooner or later be eliminated. Consequently
society, from certain points of view, presents itself to the student at
the present time as a vast competition, while from other standpoints it
presents itself as a vast coöperation.

It follows from this that competition and coöperation are both equally
important in the life of society. It has been a favorite idea that
competition among human beings should be done away with, and that
coöperation should be substituted to take its place entirely. It is
evident, however, that this idea is impossible of realization. If a
social group were to check all competition between its members, it would
stop thereby the process of natural selection or of the elimination of
the unfit, and, as a consequence, would soon cease to progress. If some
scheme of artificial selection were substituted to take the place of
natural selection, it is evident that competition would still have to be
retained to determine who were the fittest. A society that would give
positions of trust and responsibility to individuals without imposing
some competitive test upon them would be like a ship built partially of
good and partially of rotten wood,--it would soon go to pieces.

This leads us to emphasize the continued necessity of selection in
society. No doubt natural selection is often a brutal and wasteful means
of eliminating the weak in human societies, and no doubt human reason
might devise superior means of bringing about the selection of
individuals which society must maintain. To some extent it has done this
through systems of education and the like, which are, in the main,
selective processes for picking out the most competent individuals to
perform certain social functions. But the natural competition, or
struggle between individuals, has not been done away with, especially in
economic matters, and it is evidently impossible to do away with it
until some vast scheme of artificial selection can take its place. Such
a scheme is so far in the future that it is hardly worth talking about.
The best that society can apparently do at the present time is to
regulate the natural competition between individuals, and this it is
doing increasingly.

What people rightfully object to is, not competition, but unregulated or
unfair competition. In the interest of solidarity, that is, in the
interest of the life of the group as a whole, all forms of competition
in human society should be so regulated that the rules governing the
competition may be known and the competition itself public. It is
evident that in politics and in business we are very far from this ideal
as yet, although society is unquestionably moving toward it.

A word in conclusion about the nature of moral codes and standards from
the social point of view. It is evident that moral codes from the social
point of view are simply formulations of standards of conduct which
groups find it convenient or necessary to impose upon their members.
Even morality, in an idealistic sense, seems from a sociological
standpoint to be those forms of conduct which conduce to social harmony,
to social efficiency, and so to the survival of the group. Groups,
however, as we have already pointed out, cannot do as they please. They
are always hard-pressed in competition by other groups and have to meet
the standards of efficiency which nature imposes. Morality, therefore,
is not anything arbitrarily designed by the group, but is a standard of
conduct which necessities of social survival require. In other words,
the right, from the point of view of natural science, is that which
ultimately conduces to survival, not of the individual, but of the group
or of the species. This is looking at morality, of course, from the
sociological point of view, and in no way denies the religious and
metaphysical view of morality, which may be equally valid from a
different standpoint.

Finally, we need to note that natural selection does not necessitate in
any mechanical sense certain conduct on the part of individuals or
groups. Rather, natural selection marks the limits of variation which
nature permits, and within those limits of variation there is a large
amount of freedom of choice, both to individuals and to groups. Human
societies, therefore, may be conceivably free to take one of several
paths of development at any particular point. But in the long run they
must conform to the ultimate conditions of survival; and this probably
means that the goal of their evolution is largely fixed for them. Human
groups are free only in the sense that they may go either backward or
forward on the path which the conditions of survival mark out for them.
They are free to progress or to perish. But social evolution in any
case, in the sense of social change either toward higher or toward lower
social adaptation, is a necessity that cannot be escaped. Sociology and
all social science is, therefore, a study not of what human groups would
like to do, but of what they must do in order to survive, that is, how
they can control their environment by utilizing the laws which govern
universal evolution.

From this brief and most elementary consideration of the bearings of
evolutionary theory upon social problems it is evident that evolution,
in the sense of what we know about the development of life and society
in the past, must be the guidepost of the sociologist. Human social
evolution, we repeat, rests upon and is conditioned by biological
evolution at every point. There is, therefore, scarcely any sanity in
sociology without the biological point of view.


_For brief reading:_

FAIRBANKS, _Introduction to Sociology,_ Chaps. XIV.-XV.
JORDAN, _Foot-Notes to Evolution,_ Chaps. I.-III.
ELY, _Evolution of Industrial Society._ Part II, Chaps. I.-III.

_For more extended reading:_

DARWIN, _Descent of Man._
FISKE, _Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy._
WALLACE, _Darwinism._

_On the religious aspects of evolution:_

DRUMMOND, _Ascent of Man._
FISKE, _The Destiny of Man._
FISKE, _Through Nature to God._



Instead of continuing the study of social evolution in general it will
be best now, before we take up some of the problems of modern society,
to study the evolution of some important social institution, because in
so doing we can see more clearly the working of the biological and
psychological forces which have brought about the evolution of human
institutions. An institution, as has already been said, is a sanctioned
grouping or relation in society. Now, there can be scarcely any doubt
that the two most important institutions of human society are the family
and property. In Western civilization these take the form of the
monogamic family and of private property. It is upon these two
institutions that our civilization rests. The state is a third very
important institution in society, but it exists largely for the sake of
protecting the family and property.

Of the two institutions, the family and property, the family is without
doubt prior in time and more fundamental,--more important in human
association. We shall, therefore, study very briefly the origin and
development of the family as a human institution in order to illustrate
some of the principles of social evolution in general. But before we can
take up the question of the origin of the family it will be well for us
to see just what the function of this institution is in the human
society of the present, in order to justify the assertion just made that
it is the most important and fundamental institution of humanity.

The Family the Primary Social Institution.--Let us note first of all
that in society, as it exists at present, the family is the simplest
group capable of maintaining itself. It is, therefore, we may say, the
primary social structure. Because it contains both sexes and all ages it
is capable of reproducing itself, and so of reproducing society. For the
same reason it contains practically all social relations in miniature.
It has therefore often been called, and rightly, "the social microcosm".
The relations of superiority, subordination, and equality, which enter
so largely into the structure of all social institutions, are especially
clearly illustrated in the family in the relations of parents to
children, of children to parents, of parents to each other, and of
children to one another. Comte, for this reason, claimed that the family
was the unit of social organization, not the individual. However this
may be, it is evident that families do enter, as units, very largely
into our social and industrial life. While the tendency may be to make
the individual the unit of modern society, it is nevertheless true that
the family remains the simplest social structure in society, and from
it, in some sense, all other social relations whatsoever are evolved.

_The Family Differs from All Other Social Institutions_, however,
in two respects: First, its members have their places fixed in the
family group by their organic natures, that is, the relations of husband
and wife, parent and child, rest upon biological differences and
relations, so that one may say that the family is almost as much a
biological structure as it is a social structure. This is not, to any
extent, true of other institutions. Secondly, the family is not a
product, so far as we can see, of other forms of association, but rather
it itself produces these other forms of association. The family, in
other words, is not a result of social organization in general, but
seems rather to antedate both historically and logically the forms of
social life. It is not a product of society, but it itself produces

THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF THE FAMILY is continuing the life of the
species; that is, the primary function of the family is reproduction in
the sense of the birth and rearing of children. While other functions of
the family have been delegated in a large measure to other social
institutions, it is manifest that this function cannot be so delegated.
At least we know of no human society in which the birth and rearing of
children has not been the essential function of the family. From a
sociological point of view the childless family is a failure. While the
childless family may be of social utility to the individuals that form
it, nevertheless from the point of view of society such a family has
failed to perform its most important function and must be considered,
therefore, socially a failure.

The Function of the Family in Conserving the Social Order.--The family
is still the chief institution in society for transmitting from one
generation to another social possessions of all sorts. Property in the
form of land or houses or personal property, society permits the family
to pass along from generation to generation. Thus, also, the material
equipment for industry, that is capital, is so transmitted. While it is
obvious that the material goods of society are thus transmitted by the
family from one generation to another, it is perhaps not quite so
obvious, but equally true, that the spiritual possessions of the race
are also thus transmitted. For example, language is very largely
transmitted in the family, and students tell us that each family has its
own peculiar dialect. Literature, ideas, beliefs on government, law,
religion, moral standards, artistic tastes and appreciation--all of
these are still largely transmitted in society from one generation to
another through the family. While public institutions, such as
libraries, art galleries, universities, scientific museums, and the
like, are often adopted to conserve and transmit these spiritual
possessions of the race, yet it is safe to say that if it were possible
for society to depend upon these institutions to transmit knowledge,
artistic standards, and moral ideals, there would be great discontinuity
in social life. The family has been in the past, and is still, the great
conserving agency in human society, preserving and transmitting from
generation to generation both the material and spiritual possessions of
the race.

The Function of the Family in Social Progress.--While the conservative
function of the family is very obvious, its function in furthering
social progress is perhaps not so obvious. Nevertheless, this is one of
the greatest functions of the family life, because the family is the
chief or almost sole generator of altruism in human society, and it is
upon altruism that society depends for every upward advance in
coöperation. It is in the family that children learn to love and obey,
to be of service, and to respect one another's rights. The amount of
altruism in a given group has a very close relation to the quality of
its family life. If the family fails to teach the spirit of service and
self-sacrifice to its members, it is hardly probable that they will get
very much of that spirit from society at large. The ideal of a human
brotherhood has no meaning unless family affection gives it meaning. If
the family is the chief generator of altruism in human society and if
society depends upon altruism for each forward step in moral progress,
then the family is the chief source of social progress.

What we have said is a brief presentation of the claims of the family in
modern society to count not only as the primary but also as the most
important human institution. The family, it is evident, is charged by
society with the most important task, not only of producing the new
individuals in society, but of training each individual as he comes on
the stage of life, adjusting him to society in all of its aspects, such
as industry, government, and religion. If the family fails to perform
these important functions the chances are that unsocialized individuals
will take important places in society, and this means ultimately social

_The Family Life may be regarded as a School for Socializing the
Individual._ We need not trace in detail how the family does this for
the child. It is evident that the rudiments of morality, of government,
of religion, and even of industry and knowledge, must be learned by the
child in the family group. If the child fails, for example, to learn
morality, to get moral standards and ideals from his family life, he
stands but poor chance of getting them later in society. Again, if the
child fails to learn what law is and to get proper ideals of the
relation of the citizen to the state in his family life, there are good
prospects of his being numbered among the lawless elements of society
later. In the family, we repeat, the child first experiences all the
essential relations of society, learns the meaning of authority,
obedience, loyalty, and all the human virtues. Moreover, the family life
furnishes the moral and religious concepts which human society has set
before it as its goal. The ideal of human brotherhood, for example, is
manifestly derived from the family life; so also the religious idea of
the Divine Fatherhood. If a nation's family life fails to illustrate
these concepts, it is safe to say that they will not have great
influence in society generally. The nation whose family life decays,
therefore, rots at the core, dries up the springs of all social and
civic virtues.

The Family and Industry.--From what has been said in general terms it is
evident that the family has a very important relation to the industrial
activities of society, and industry a very important bearing upon the
family. Primitively all industry centered in the family. Modern
industry, as has been well said, is but an enormous expansion of
primitive housekeeping; that is, the preparation of food and clothing
and shelter by the primitive family group for its own existence is the
germ out of which all modern industry has developed. The very word
_economics_ means the science or the art of the household.

In primitive communities and in newly settled districts the family often
carries on all essential industrial activities. It produces all the raw
material, manufactures the finished products, and consumes the same. But
with the growth of complex societies there has come a great industrial
division of labor, and the family has delegated industrial activity
after activity to some other institution until at the present time the
modern family performs scarcely any industrial activities, except the
preparation of food for immediate consumption. Even this, however, in
modern cities seems about to be delegated to some other institution.

All that need be said at present about the delegation of the industrial
activities of the family to other industrial institutions is that the
movement is not one which need cause any anxiety so long as it does not
interfere with the essential function of the family, namely, the birth
and rearing of children. Even though children can no longer learn the
rudiments of industry in their home life, still it is possible through
manual and industrial training in our public schools to teach all
children this. And the removal of industries from the home, even such
essential industries as the preparation of food, is to be regarded as a
boon if it gives more time to the parents, especially to the mother, for
the proper care and bringing up of their children.

But the removal of industries from the family group has not always had
the beneficent effect of simply giving more time to the parents for the
proper care of their children. On the contrary, the removal of these
industries has often been followed by the removal of the parents
themselves from the home and the practical disintegration of the family.
This has been particularly the case where married women have gone into
factories. Under such circumstances children have often been neglected,
allowed to grow up on the streets, and to grow up as unsocialized
individuals in general. It would seem that the labor of married women
outside of the home should be forbidden by the state, except in certain
instances, with a view to assuring to the state itself a better
citizenship. The labor of children in factories and other industrial
institutions has sprung very largely from the same general causes. While
child labor may have the merit of giving the child some industrial
training, still it has been shown that it dwarfs the child in body and
mind, produces a one-sided development, fails to prepare for citizenship
in the higher sense, and so must be regarded as altogether an evil. Even
the labor of the young unmarried women in factories and shops, when they
should be preparing for the duties of wifehood and motherhood, is to
some extent an evil in society, though not by any means of the same
proportions as the labor of married women.

_The Subordination of Industry to the Family Life_ is necessary,
therefore, from a social point of view. Industry, as we have seen, was
primitively an adjunct of the family life, and all modern industry, if
rightfully developed, should be but an adjunct to the family life.
Industrial considerations must be, therefore, subordinate to domestic
considerations, that is, to considerations of the welfare of parents and
their children in the family group. One trouble with modern society is
that industry has come to dominate as an independent interest that
oftentimes does not recognize its reasonable and socially necessary
subordination to the higher interests of society. There can be no sane
and stable family life until we are willing to subordinate the
requirements of industry, that is, of wealth-getting, to the
requirements of the family for the good birth and proper rearing of


_For brief reading:_

HENDERSON, _Social Elements_, Chap. IV.
DEWEY AND TUFTS, _Ethics_, Chap. XXVI.
ADLER, _Marriage and Divorce_, Lecture I.

_For more extended reading:_

BOSANQUET, _The Family_.
SALEEBY, _Parenthood and Race Culture_.



We must understand the biological roots of the family before we can
understand the family as an institution, and especially before we can
understand its origin. Let us note, then, briefly the chief biological
facts connected with the family life.

The Biological Foundations of the Family.--(1)_The Family rests upon
the Great Biological Fact of Sex._ While sex does not characterize
all animal forms, still it does characterize all except the simplest
forms of animal life. These simplest forms multiply or reproduce by
fission, but such asexual reproduction is almost entirely confined to
the unicellular forms of life. It may be inferred, therefore, that the
higher animal types could not have been evolved without sexual
reproduction, and something of the meaning or significance of sex in the
whole life process will, therefore, be helpful in understanding all of
the higher forms of evolution. Biologists tell us that the meaning or
purpose of sexual reproduction is to bring about greater organic
variation. Now variation, as we have seen, is the raw material upon
which natural selection acts to create the higher types. The immense
superiority of sexual reproduction over asexual reproduction is due to
the fact that it multiplies so greatly the elements of heredity in each
new organism, for under sexual reproduction every new organism has two
parents, four grandparents, and so on, each of which perhaps contributes
something to its heredity. The biological meaning of sex, then, is that
it is a device of nature to bring about organic variation. From the
point of view of the social life we may note also that sex adds greatly
to its variety, enriching it with numerous fruitful variations which
undoubtedly further social evolution. The bareness and monotony of a
social life without sex can readily be imagined.

While the differences between the sexes have been mainly elaborated
through the differences of reproductive function, yet these differences
have come to be fundamental to the whole nature of the organism. In the
higher animals, therefore, the sexes differ profoundly in many ways from
each other. Biologists tell us that the chief difference between the
male and female organism is a difference in metabolism, that is, in the
rapidity of organic change which goes on within the body. In the male
metabolism is much more rapid than in the female; hence the male
organism is said to be more katabolic. In the female the rapidity of
organic change is less; hence the female is said to be more anabolic.
Put in more familiar terms, the male tends to expend energy, is more
active, hence also stronger; the female tends more to store up energy,
is more passive, conservative, and weaker. These fundamental differences
between the sexes express themselves in many ways in the social life.
The differences between man and woman, therefore, are not to be thought
of as due simply to social customs and usages, the different social
environment of the two sexes, but are even more due to a radical and
fundamental difference in their whole nature. The belief that the two
sexes would become like each other in character if given the same
environment is, therefore, erroneous. That these differences are
original, or inborn, and not acquired, may be readily seen by observing
children of different sex. Even from their earliest years boys are more
active, restless, energetic, destructive, untidy, and disobedient, while
little girls are quieter, less restless, less destructive, neater, more
orderly, and more obedient. These different innate qualities fit the
sexes naturally for different functions in human society, and there is,
therefore, a natural division of labor between them from the first.
Indeed, the division of labor between the two sexes may be said to be
the fundamental division of labor in human society.

The causes which produce sex in the individual are not known to any
extent and are probably beyond the control of man. In each species the
relative number of the two sexes is fixed by nature, probably through
some obscure working of natural selection, and in practically all of the
higher species of animals, man included, the number of the two sexes is
relatively equal. In human society much depends upon this relative
numerical equality of the two sexes. Hence it can be readily seen that
it is fortunate that man does not know how to control the sex of
offspring, for if he did the numerical equality of the two sexes might
be disturbed and serious social results would follow.

(2) _The Influence of Parental Care._ Sex alone could never have
produced the family in the sense of a relatively permanent group of
parents and offspring. We do not begin to find the family until we get
to those higher types where we find some parental care. In the lowest
types the relation between the sexes is momentary and the survival of
offspring is secured simply through the production of enormous numbers.
Thus the sturgeon, a low type of fish, produces between one and two
million of eggs at a single spawning, from which it is estimated that
not more than a dozen individuals survive till maturity is reached. Thus
sexual reproduction of itself necessitates no parental care and in
itself could give rise in no way to the family; but quite low in the
scale of life we begin to find some parental care as a device to protect
immature offspring and secure their survival without the expenditure of
such an enormous amount of energy in mere physiological reproduction.
Even among the fishes we find some that watch over the eggs after they
are spawned and care for their young by leading them to suitable feeding
grounds. In such cases a much smaller number of young need to be
produced in order that a few may survive until maturity is reached. In
the mammals the mother, obviously, must care for the young for some
time, since mammals are animals that suckle their young. But this care
of the young by a single parent only foreshadows the family as we
understand it. Among the mammals it is not until we reach the higher
types that we find care of offspring by both parents,--a practice,
however, which is common among the birds. It is evident that as soon as
both parents are concerned in the care of the offspring they have a much
better chance of survival. Hence, natural selection favors the growth of
this type of group life and develops powerful instincts to keep male and
female together till after the birth and rearing of offspring. Such we
find to be the condition among many of the higher mammals, such as some
of the carnivora, and especially among the monkeys and apes and man.

If it is allowable at this point to generalize from the facts given, it
must be said that the family life is essentially a device of nature for
the preservation of offspring through a more or less prolonged infancy.
The family group and the instincts upon which it rests were undoubtedly,
therefore, instituted by natural selection. Summing up, we may say,
then, the animal family group owes its existence, first, to the
production of child or immature forms that need more or less prolonged
care; secondly, to the prolongation of this period of immaturity in the
higher animals, and especially in man; thirdly, to the development,
parallel with these two causes, of parental instincts which keep male
and female together for the care of the offspring. It is evident, then,
that the family life rests, not upon sex attraction, but upon the fact
of the child and the corresponding psychological fact of parental
instinct. The family, then, has been created by the very conditions of
life itself and is not a man-made institution.

The Origin of the Family in the Human Species.--Two great theories of
the origin of the family in the human species have in the past been more
or less accepted, and these we must now examine and criticize. First,
the traditional theory that the human family life was from the beginning
a pure monogamy. Secondly, the so-called evolutionary theory that the
human family life arose from confused if not promiscuous sex relations.
The first of these theories, favored both by the Bible and Aristotle,
held undisputed sway down to the middle of the nineteenth century. Then,
after the publication of Darwin's _Origin of Species_ in 1859,
certain social theorists began to put forward the second theory in the
name of evolution. In order that we may see precisely what the origin of
the human family life was, and its primitive form, we must now proceed
to criticize these two theories, especially the last, which is known as
the hypothesis of a primitive state of promiscuity.

_The Habits of the Higher Animals_. We have already spoken of the
origin of the family group in the animal world generally, but it must be
admitted that there are some difficulties in arguing directly from the
lower animals to man. Man is so separated from the lower animals through
having passed through many higher stages of an independent evolution
that in many respects his life is peculiar to itself. This is true
especially of his family life. If we survey the whole range of animal
life and then the whole range of human life, we find that there are but
two or three striking similarities between the family life of man and
that of the brutes, but a great many striking dissimilarities. The
similarities may be summed up by saying that man exhibits in common with
all the animals the phenomena of courtship, that is, of the male seeking
to win the female, also the phenomenon of male jealousy, and we may
perhaps add an instinctive aversion to crossing with the other species.
These characteristics of his family life man shares with the brutes
below him. There are, however, many things peculiar to the human family
life that are found in no animal species below man. The most striking of
these differences may be mentioned. (1) Man has no pairing season, as
practically all other animals have. (2) The number of young born in the
human species is on the whole much smaller than in any other animal
species. (3) The dependence of offspring upon parents is far longer in
the human species than in any other species. (4) Man has an antipathy to
incest or close inbreeding which seems to be instinctive. This is not
found clearly in any animal species below man. (5) There is a tendency
among human beings to artificial adornment during the period of
courtship, but not to natural ornament to any extent, as among many
animal species. (6) The indorsement of society is almost invariably
sought, both among uncivilized and civilized peoples, before the
establishment of a new family--usually through the forms of a religious
marriage ceremony. (7) Chastity in women, especially married women, is
universally insisted upon, both among uncivilized and civilized peoples,
as the basis of human family life. (8) There is a feeling of modesty or
of shame as regards matters of sex among the human beings. (9) In
humanity we find, besides animal lust, spiritual affection, or love, as
a bond of union between the two sexes.

None of these peculiarities of human family life are found in the family
life of any animal species below man. It might seem, therefore, that
man's family life must be regarded as a special creation unconnected
with the family life of the brutes below him. But this view is hardly
probable, rather is impossible from the standpoint of evolution. We must
say that these peculiarities of human family life are to be explained
through the fact that man has passed through many more stages of
evolution, particularly of intellectual evolution, than any of the
animals below him. If we examine these peculiarities of man's family
life carefully, we will see that they all can be explained through
natural selection and man's higher intellectual development. That man
has no pairing season, has fewer offspring born, and a longer period of
dependence of the offspring upon parents, and the like, is directly to
be explained through natural selection; while seeking the indorsement of
society before forming a new family, sexual modesty, tendencies to
artificial adornment, and the like, are to be explained through man's
self-consciousness and higher intellectual development, also through the
fuller development of his social instincts. The gap between the human
family life and brute family life is, therefore, not an unbridgeable

That this is so, we see most clearly when we consider the family life of
the anthropoid or manlike apes--man's nearest cousins in the animal
world. All of these apes, of which the chief representatives are the
gorilla, orangutan, and the chimpanzee, live in relatively permanent
family groups, usually monogamous. These family groups are quite human
in many of their characteristics, such as the care which the male parent
gives to the mother and her offspring, and the seeming affection which
exists between all members of the group. Such a group of parents and
offspring among the higher apes is, moreover, a relatively permanent
affair, children of different ages being frequently found along with
their parents in such groups. So far as the evidence of animals next to
man, therefore, goes, there is no reason for supposing that the human
family life sprang from confused or promiscuous sex relations in which
no permanent union between male and female parent existed. On the
contrary, there is every reason to believe, as Westermarck says, that
human family life is an inheritance from man's apelike progenitor.

The Evidence from the Lower Human Races.--The evidence afforded by the
lowest peoples in point of culture even more clearly, if anything,
refutes the hypothesis of a primitive state of promiscuity. The habits
or customs of the lowest peoples were not well known previous to the
nineteenth century. Therefore it was possible for such a theory as the
patriarchal theory of the primitive family to remain generally accepted,
as we have already said, down to the middle of the nineteenth century.
This was the theory that the oldest or most primitive type of human
family life is that depicted in the opening pages of the Book of
Genesis, namely, a family life in which the father or eldest male of the
family group is the absolute ruler of the group and practically owner of
all persons and property. The belief that this was the primitive type of
the human family life was first attacked by a German-Swiss philologist
by the name of Bachofen in a work entitled _Das Mutterrecht_ (The
Matriarchate), published in 1861, in which he argued that antecedent to
the patriarchal period was a matriarchal period, in which women were
dominant socially and politically, and in which relationships were
traced through mothers only. Bachofen got his evidence for this theory
from certain ancient legends, such as that of the Amazons, and other
remains in Greek and Roman literature, which seemed to point to a period
antecedent to the patriarchal.

In 1876 Mr. J.F. McLennan, a Scotch lawyer, put forth, independently,
practically the same theory, basing it upon certain legal survivals
which he found among many peoples. With Bachofen, he argued that this
matriarchal period must have been characterized by promiscuous relations
of the sexes. In 1877 Mr. Lewis H. Morgan, an American ethnologist and
sociologist, put forth again, independently, practically the same
theory, basing it upon an extensive study of the North American Indian
tribes. Morgan had lived among the Iroquois Indians for years and had
mastered their system of relationship, which previously had puzzled the
whites. He found that they traced relationship through mothers only, and
not at all along the male line. This method of reckoning relationship,
moreover, he found also characterized practically all of the North
American Indian tribes, and he argued that the only explanation of it
was that originally sexual relations were of such an unstable or
promiscuous character that they would not permit of tracing descent
through fathers.

From these theories sociological writers put forth the conclusion that
the primitive state was one of promiscuity, or, as Sir John Lubbock
called it in his _Origin of Civilization_, one of "communism in
women." Post, a German student of comparative jurisprudence, for
example, summed up the theory by saying that "monogamous marriage
originally emerged everywhere from pure communism in women, through the
intermediate stages of limited communism in women, polyandry, and
polygyny." Even Herbert Spencer in his _Principles of Sociology_,
while he avoided accepting such an extreme theory, asserted that in the
beginning sex relations were confused and unregulated, and that all
forms of marriage--polyandry, polygyny, monogamy, and promiscuity--
existed alongside of one another and that monogamy survived through
its being the superior form.

Before giving a criticism in detail of this theory let us note whether
the evidence from the lowest peoples confirms it. The lowest peoples in
point of culture are not the North American Indians nor the African
Negroes, but certain isolated groups that live almost in a state of
nature, without any attempt to cultivate the soil or to control nature
in other respects. Such are the Bushmen of South Africa, the Australian
Aborigines, the Negritos of the Philippine Islands and of the Andaman
Islands, the Veddahs of Ceylon, and the Fuegians of South America. Now
all of these peoples, with a possible exception, practice monogamy and
live in relatively stable family groups. Their monogamy, however, is not
of the type which we find in patriarchal times or among civilized
peoples, but is a simple pairing monogamy, husband and wife remaining
together indefinitely if children are born, but if no children are born,
separation may easily take place. Westermarck in his _History of Human
Marriage_ has reviewed at length all of the evidence from these lower
peoples and shows undoubtedly that nothing approaching promiscuity
existed among them. Promiscuity is apt to be found at a higher stage of
social development, and is especially apt to be found among the nature
peoples after the white man has visited them and demoralized their
family life. But in all these cases the existence of promiscuity is
manifestly something exceptional and abnormal. Perhaps civilized peoples
such as the Romans of the decadence have more nearly approximated the
condition of promiscuity than any savage people of which we have
knowledge. At any rate, one must conclude that the lowest existing
savages found in the nineteenth century had definite forms of family
life, and that the type usually found was the simple pairing monogamy
which we have just mentioned.

Objections to the Hypothesis of a Primitive State of Promiscuity.--We
may now briefly sum up the main criticisms of this theory of a primitive
state of promiscuity, not only as we may derive them from inductive
study of the higher animals and the lower peoples, but also as we may
deduce them from known psychological and biological facts or principles.

(1) In the first place, then, the animals next to man, namely, the
anthropoid apes, do not show a condition of promiscuity.

(2) The evidence from the lower peoples does not show that such a
condition exists or has ever existed among them.

(3) A third argument against this hypothesis may be gained from what we
know of primitive economic conditions. Under the most primitive
conditions, in which man had no mastery over nature, food supply was
relatively scarce, and as a rule only very small groups of people could
live together. The smallness of primitive groups, on account of the
scarcity of food supply, would prevent anything like promiscuity on a
large scale.

(4) A fourth argument of a deductive nature is that the jealousy of the
male, which characterizes all higher animals and especially man, would
prevent anything like the existence of sexual promiscuity. The tendency
of man would have been to appropriate one or more women for himself and
drive away all rivals. Long ago Darwin argued that this would prevent
anything like the existence of a general state of promiscuity.

(5) A fifth argument against this theory may be got from the general
biological fact that sexual promiscuity tends to pathological conditions
unfavorable to fecundity, that is, fertility, or the birth of offspring.
 Physicians have long ago ascertained this fact, and the modern
prostitute gives illustration of it by the fact that she has few or no
children. Among the lower animal species, in which some degree of
promiscuity obtains, moreover, powerful instincts keep the sexes apart
except at the pairing season. Now, no such instincts exist in man.
Promiscuity in man would, therefore, greatly lessen the birth rate, and
any group that practiced it to any extent would soon be eliminated in
competition with other groups that did not practice it.

(6) We have finally the general social fact that promiscuity would lead
to the neglect of children. Promiscuity means that the male parent does
not remain with the female parent to care for the offspring and,
therefore, in the human species it would mean that the care of children
would be thrown wholly upon the mother. This means that the children
would have less chance of surviving. Not only would promiscuity lead to
lessening the birth rate, but it would lead to a much higher mortality
in children born. This is found to be a striking fact wherever we find
any degree of promiscuity among any people. Hence, promiscuity would
soon exterminate any people that practiced it extensively in competition
with other peoples that did not practice it.

From all of these lines of argument, without going over the evidence in
greater detail, it seems reasonable to conclude with Westermarck "that
the hypothesis of a primitive state of promiscuity has no foundation in
fact and is essentially unscientific." The facts put forth in support of
the theory do not justify the conclusion, Westermarck says, that
promiscuity has ever been a general practice among a single people and
much less that it was the primitive state. Promiscuity is found,
however, more or less in the form of sexual irregularities or immorality
among all peoples; more often, however, among the civilized than among
the uncivilized, but among no people has it ever existed unqualified by
more enduring forms of sex relation. Moreover, because promiscuity
breaks up the social bonds, throws the burden of the care of children
wholly upon the mother, and lessens the birth rate, we are justified in
concluding that promiscuity is essentially an antisocial practice. This
agrees with the facts generally shown by criminology and sociology, that
the elements practicing promiscuity to any great extent in modern
societies are those most closely related with the degenerate and
criminal elements. Those elements, in other words, in modern society
that practice promiscuity are on the road to extinction, and if a people
generally were to practice it there is no reason to believe that such a
people would meet with any different fate.

_The Earliest Form of the Family Life in the Human Species_,
therefore, is probably that of the simple pairing monogamous family
found among many of the higher animals, especially the anthropoid apes,
and also found among the lower peoples. This primitive monogamy,
however, as we have already seen, was not accompanied by the social,
legal, and religious elements that the historic monogamic family has
largely rested upon. On the contrary, this primitive monogamy rested
solely upon an instinctive basis, and, as we have seen, unless children
were born it was apt to be relatively unstable. Permanency in family
relations among primitive peoples depended largely upon the birth of
children. Thus we find confirmed our conclusion drawn some time ago that
family life rests primarily upon the parental instinct. That it still so
rests is shown by the fact, as we shall see later, that divorce is many
times more common among couples that have no children than among those
that have children.

SOME GENERAL CONCLUSIONS, both of theoretical and practical bearing, may
here be pointed out. We have seen that the biological processes of life
have created the family, and that the family, as an institution, rests
upon these biological conditions. Hence it is not too much to say,
first, that the family is not a man-made institution; and, secondly,
that it rests upon certain fundamental instincts of human nature. Now,
both of these statements are also true to a certain extent as to human
society in general. There is a sense in which social organization is not
wholly man-made, and it is true that all human institutions rest to some
extent upon human instincts. This is not saying, of course, that man has
not modified and may not modify social organization and human
institutions through his reason, but it is saying that the essential
elements in human institutions and in the social order must correspond
to the conditions of life generally and to the instincts which natural
selection has implanted in the species. To attempt to reorganize human
society or to reconstruct institutions regardless of the biological
conditions of life, or regardless of human instincts, is to meet with
certain failure.

A practical conclusion which may be drawn also is that those people who
advocate sexual promiscuity in present society, or free love, as they
please to style it, are advocating a condition which would result in the
elimination of any group that practiced it. Promiscuity, or even great
instability in the family life, as we have already seen, would lead to
the undermining of everything upon which a higher civilization rests.
The people in modern society who advocate such theories as free love,
therefore, are more dangerous than the worst anarchist or the most
revolutionary socialist. In other words, the modern attack upon the
family is more of a menace to all that is worth while in human life than
all attacks upon government and property, although it is not usually
resented as such; and it is one of the most serious signs of the times
that many intellectual people have indorsed such views. We must
reemphasize, therefore, the fact that the family is the central
institution of human society, that industry and the state must
subordinate themselves to its interest. Neither the state nor industry
has had much to do with the origin of the family, and neither the state
nor industry may safely determine its forms independent of the
biological requirements for human survival. Moreover, it is evident that
human society from the beginning has in more or less instinctive, and
also in more or less conscious, ways attempted to regulate the relations
between the sexes with a view to controlling the reproductive process.
While material civilization is mainly a control over the food process,
moral civilization involves a control over the reproductive process,
that is, over the birth and rearing of children; and such control over
the reproductive process, which has certainly been one of the aims of
all social organization in the past, whether of savage peoples or of
civilized peoples, evidently precludes anything like the toleration of
promiscuity or even of free love.


_For brief reading:_

WESTERMARCK, _History of Human Marriage_, Chaps. I-VI.
HOWARD, _History of Matrimonial Institutions_, Vol. I, Chaps. I-III
HEINEMAN, _Physical Basis of Civilization_, Chaps. IV-VII.

_For more extended reading:_

CRAWLEY, _The Mystic Rose: A Study of Primitive Marriage_.
GEDDES AND THOMSON, _Evolution of Sex_.
LETOURNEAU, _The Evolution of Marriage_.
MORGAN, _Ancient Society_.
STARCKE, _The Primitive Family_.
SPENCER, _Principles of Sociology_, Vol. I.



The family as an institution has varied greatly in its forms from age to
age and from people to people. This is what we should expect, seeing
that all organic structures are variable. Such variations in human
institutions are due partially to the influences of the environment,
partially to the state of knowledge, and partially to many other causes
as yet not well understood. The family illustrates in greater or less
degree the working of these causes of variation and of change in human

The Maternal and Paternal Families.--As regards the general form of the
family we have to note first of all the two great forms which we may
characterize respectively as "the maternal family" and "the paternal
family." As we have already seen, Bachofen, Morgan, and others
discovered a condition of human society in which relationship was traced
through mothers only, and in which property or authority descended along
the female line rather than along the male line. Further investigation
and research have shown that up to recent times, say up to fifty years
ago, one half of all the peoples of the world, if we reckon them by
nations and tribes rather than by numbers, practiced this system of
reckoning kinship through mothers only, and passed property and
authority down along the female line. Ethnologists and sociologists have
practically concluded, from the amount of evidence now collected, that
this maternal or metronymic system was the primitive system of tracing
relationships, and that it was succeeded among the European peoples by
the paternal system so long ago that the transition from the one to the
other has been forgotten, except as some trace of it has been preserved
in customs, legends, and the like.

Among many tribes of the North American Indians this metronymic or
maternal system was peculiarly well-developed. Children took their
mother's name, not their father's name; belonged to their mother's clan,
not their father's clan; and the chief transmitted his authority, if
hereditary, not to his own son, but to his eldest sister's son. The
relatives on the father's side, indeed, were quite ignored. Frequently
the maternal uncle had more legal authority over the children than their
own father, seeing that the children belonged to his clan, that is, to
their mother's clan.

Now, Bachofen claimed not only that in this stage was kinship reckoned
through mothers only, but that women were dominant socially and
politically; that there existed a true matriarchy, or rule of the
mothers. Do the facts support Bachofen's theory? Let us see. The
Iroquois Indians, among whom Morgan lived, were a typical maternal or
metronymic people. Among them, without any doubt, the women had a
position of influence socially and even politically which often is not
found among peoples of higher culture. For example, among the Iroquois
the government of the clan was in the hands of four women councilors
(Matrons), who were elected by all the adults in the clan. These four
women councilors, however, elected a Peace Sachem, who carried out the
will of the clan in all matters pertaining to peace generally. Moreover,
the councilors of the several clans, four fifths of whom were women, met
together to form the Tribal Council; but in this Tribal Council the
women sat separate, not participating in the deliberations, but
exercising only a veto power on the decisions of the men. In matters of
war, however, government was intrusted to two war chiefs elected from
the tribe generally, the women here only having the right to veto the
decision of the tribe to enter upon the warpath. Thus we see that while
the women of the Iroquois Indians had a great deal of social and
political influence, the actual work of government was largely turned
over by them to the men, and especially was this true of directing the
affairs of the tribe in time of war. There is no doubt, however, that in
the maternal stage of social evolution women had an influence in
domestic, religious, and social matters much greater than they had at
many later stages of social development. Among the Zuni of New Mexico,
for example, another well-developed maternal people, marriage is always
arranged by the bride's parents. The husband goes to live with his wife,
and is practically a guest in his wife's house all his life long, she
alone having the right of divorce. Indeed, among all maternal peoples
the rule is that the husband goes to live with the wife, and not the
wife with the husband, the children, as we have already seen, keeping
the mother's name and belonging to her kindred or clan.

Nevertheless we cannot agree with Bachofen that a true matriarchy, or
government by women, ever existed. On the contrary, among all of these
maternal peoples, while the women may have much influence socially and
politically, the men, on account of their superior strength, are
intrusted with the work not only of protecting and providing for the
families and driving away enemies, but also largely with the work of
maintaining the internal government and order of the people. Strictly
speaking, therefore, there has never been a matriarchal stage of social
evolution, but rather a maternal or metronymic stage.

We have already said that this stage was probably the primitive one. How
are we to explain, then, that primitive man reckoned kinship through
mothers only? Was this due, as Morgan thought, to a primitive practice
of promiscuity which prevented tracing relationships through fathers?
The reply is, that among the many maternal peoples now well known, among
whom relationships are traced through mothers only, we find no evidence
of the practice of general promiscuity now or even in remote times. The
North American Indians, for example, had quite definite forms of the
family life and were very far removed from the practice of promiscuity,
though they traced relationship through mothers only. It is evident that
the causes of the maternal family and the maternal system of
relationship are not so simple as Morgan supposed. What, then, were the
causes of the maternal system? It is probable that man in the earliest
times did not know the physiological connection between father and
child. The physiological connection between mother and child, on the
other hand, was an obvious fact which required no knowledge of
physiology to establish; therefore, nothing was more natural than for
primitive man to recognize that the child was of the mother's blood, but
not of the father's blood. Therefore, the child belonged to the mother's
people and not to the father's people. If it be asked whether it is
possible that there could be any human beings so ignorant that they do
not know the physiological connection between father and child, the
reply is, that this is apparently the case among a number of very
primitive peoples, even down to recent times. It is not infrequent among
these peoples to find conception and childbirth attributed to the
influence of the spirits, rather than to relations between male and
female. While, therefore, a social connection between the father and the
children was recognized, leading the father to provide in all ways for
his children, as fathers do whether among civilized or uncivilized
peoples, yet the blood relationship between the father and the child
could not have been clear in the most primitive times.

Perhaps an even more efficient cause, however, of the maternal system
was the fact that the mother in primitive times was the stable element
in the family life, the constant center of the family. The husband was
frequently away from home, hunting or fighting, and oftentimes failed to
return. Nothing was more natural, therefore, than that the child should
be reckoned as belonging to the mother, take her name and belong to her
kindred or clan. Moreover, after the custom of naming children from
mothers and reckoning them as belonging to the mother's clan was
established, it could not be displaced by the mere discovery of the
physiological connection between the father and the child. On the
contrary social habits, like habits in the individual, tend to persist
until they work badly. We find, therefore, the maternal system
persisting among peoples who for many generations had come fully to
recognize the physiological connection of father and child. Indeed, the
maternal system could never have been done away with if social evolution
had not brought about new and complex conditions which caused the system
to break down and to be replaced by the paternal system.

_The Paternal or Patriarchal Family._ At a certain stage we find,
then, that a vast revolution took place in human society, especially in
the family life, and the family and society generally came to be
organized more definitely in regard to the male element. At a certain
period, indeed, we find that the authority of the husband and father in
the family has become supreme, and that he is practically owner of all
persons and property of the family group, the wife and children being
reduced, if not to the position of property, at least to the position of
subject persons. This is the patriarchal family, classical pictures of
which we find set forth in the pages of the Old Testament. How, then,
did the transition take place from the maternal system, in which the
mother was so important in the family, to the paternal system, in which
the father was so all-important? What were the causes which brought
about the breakdown of the maternal system and the gradual development
of the patriarchal family? Some of these causes we can clearly make out
from the study of social history.

(1) War was unquestionably a cause of the breakdown of the maternal
system through the fact that women were captured in war, held as slaves,
and made wives or concubines by their captors. These captured wives were
regarded as the property of the captor. Any children born to them were,
therefore, also regarded as the property of the captor. Furthermore,
these captured wives were separated from their kindred, and their
children could not possibly belong to any clan except their husband's.
Manifestly this cause could not have worked in the earliest times, when
slave captives were not valuable; but as soon as slavery became
instituted in any form, then women slaves were particularly valued, not
only for their labor, but because they might be either concubines or
wives. It is evident, then, that war and slavery would thus indirectly
tend to undermine the maternal system.

(2) Wife purchase would operate in the same way. Among peoples that had
developed a commercial life as well as slavery it early became the
practice to purchase wives. It is evident that these purchased wives
would be regarded as a sort of property, and the husband would naturally
claim the children as belonging to him. Among certain North American
Indians we find exactly this state of affairs. If a man married a wife
without paying the purchase price for her, then her children took her
name and belonged to her clan; but if he had purchased her, say with a
number of blankets, then the children took his name and belonged to his

(3) The decisive cause, however, of the breakdown of the maternal system
was the development of the pastoral stage of industry. Now, the grazing
of flocks and herds requires considerable territory and necessitates
small and compact groups widely separated from one another. Hence, in
the pastoral stage the wife must go with the husband and be far removed
from the influence and authority of her own kindred. This gave the
husband greater power over his wife. Moreover, the care of flocks and
herds accentuated the value of the male laborer, while primitively woman
had been the chief laborer. In the pastoral stage the man had the main
burden of caring for the flocks and herds. Under such circumstances
nothing was more natural than that the authority of the owner of the
family property should gradually become supreme in all matters, and we
find, therefore, among all pastoral peoples that the family is itself a
little political unit, the children taking the father's name, property
and authority passing down along the male line, while the eldest living
male is usually the ruler of the whole group.

(4) After all these causes came another factor--ancestor worship. While
ancestor worship exists to some extent among maternal peoples, it is
usually not well-developed for some reason or other until the paternal
stage is reached. Ancestor worship, being the worship of the departed
ancestors as heroes, seems to develop more readily where the line of
ancestors are males. It may be suggested that the male ancestor is apt
to be a more heroic figure than the female ancestor. At any rate, when
ancestor worship became fully developed it powerfully tended to
reenforce the authority of the patriarch, because he was, as the eldest
living ancestor, the representative of the gods upon earth, therefore
his power became almost divine. Religion thus finally came in to place
the patriarchal family upon a very firm basis.

Thus we see how each of these two great forms, the maternal family and
the paternal family, arose out of natural conditions, and therefore they
may be said to represent two great stages in the social evolution of
man. It is hardly necessary to point out that civilized societies are
now apparently entering upon a third stage, in which there will be
relative equality given to the male and the female elements that go to
make up the family.

Polyandry.--We must notice now the various forms of marriage by which
the family has been constituted among different peoples and in different
ages. Marriage, like the family itself, is variable, and an indefinite
number of forms may be found among various peoples. We shall notice,
however, only the three leading forms,--polyandry, polygyny, and
monogamy,--and attempt to show the natural conditions which favor each.
It is evident that if we assume that the primitive form of the family
was that of a simple pairing monogamy, the burden is laid upon us to
show how such different types as polyandry and polygyny arose.

Polyandry, or the union of one woman with several men, is a relatively
rare form of marriage and the family, found only in certain isolated
regions of the world. It is particularly found in Tibet, a barren and
inhospitable plateau north of India and forming a part of the Chinese
Empire. It is also found in certain other isolated mountainous regions
in India, and down to recent times also in Arabia. In none of these
places does it exist exclusively, but rather alongside of monogamy and
perhaps other forms of the family. Thus in Tibet the upper classes
practice polygyny and monogamy, while among the lower classes we find
polyandry and monogamy. In all these regions where polyandry occurs,
moreover, it is to be noted that the conditions of life are harsh and
severe. Tibet is an exceptionally inhospitable region, with a climate of
arctic rigor, the people living mainly by grazing. Under such
circumstances it is conceivably difficult for one man to support and
protect a family. At any rate, the form of polyandry which we find in
Tibet suggests that such economic conditions may have been the main
cause of its existence. Ordinarily in Tibet a polyandrous family is
formed by an older brother taking a wife, and then admitting his younger
brothers into partnership with him. The older brother is frequently
absent from home, looking after the flocks, and in his absence one of
the younger brothers assumes the headship of the family. Under such
circumstances we can see how the natural human instincts which would
oppose polyandry under ordinary circumstances, namely, the jealousy of
the male, might become greatly modified, or cease to act altogether.
Certain other conditions besides economic ones might also favor the
existence of polyandry, such as the scarcity of women. Summing up, we
can say, then, that this rare form of the family seems to have as its
causes: (1) In barren and inhospitable countries the labor of one man is
sometimes found not sufficient to support a family. (2) Also there
probably exists in such regions an excess of males. This might be due to
one of two causes: First, the practice of exposing female infants might
lead to a scarcity of women; secondly, in such regions it is found that
from causes not well understood a larger number of males are born. It
may be noted as a general fact that when the conditions of life are hard
in human society, owing to famine, war, or barrenness of the soil, a
larger number of male births take place. We may therefore infer that
this would disturb the numerical proportion of the sexes in such
regions. (3) A third cause may be suggested as having something to do
with the matter, namely, that habits of close inbreeding, or
intermarriage, might perhaps tend to overcome the natural repugnance to
such a relation. Moreover, close inbreeding also, as the experiments of
stock-breeders show, would tend to produce a surplus of male births, and
so would act finally in the same way as the second cause.

POLYGYNY, [Footnote: The word "polygamy" is too broad in its meaning to
use as a scientific term for this form of the family. "Polygamy" comes
from two Greek words meaning "much married;" hence it includes
"polyandry" (having several husbands) and "polygyny" (having several
wives).] or the union of one man with several women, is a much more
common form of marriage. It is, in fact, to be found sporadically among
all peoples and in all ages. It has perhaps existed at least
sporadically from the most primitive times, because we find that at
least one of the anthropoid apes, namely, the gorilla, practices it to
some extent. It is manifest, however, that it could not have existed to
any extent among primitive men, except where food supply was
exceptionally abundant. In the main, polygyny is a later development,
then, which comes in when some degree of wealth has been accumulated,
that is, sufficient food supply to make it possible for one man to
support several families. Polygyny came in especially after women came
to be captured in war and kept as slaves or wives. The practice of wife
capture, indeed, and the honor attached to the custom, had much to do in
making the practice of polygyny common among certain peoples. Wherever
slavery has existed, we may also note, polygyny, either in its legal
form or in its illegal form of concubinage, has flourished. Polygyny,
indeed, is closely related with the institution of slavery and is
practically coextensive with it. In the ancient world it existed among
the Hebrews and among practically all of the peoples of the Orient, and
also sporadically among our own Teutonic ancestors. In modern times
polygyny still exists among all the Mohammedan peoples and to a greater
or less degree among all semicivilized peoples. It exists in China in
the form of concubinage. It even exists in the United States, for all
the evidence seems to show that the Utah Mormons still practice polygyny
to some extent, although it may be doubted whether polygynous unions are
being formed among them at the present time.

Two facts always need to be borne in mind regarding polygyny: First,
that wherever it is practiced it is relatively confined to the upper and
wealthy classes, for the reason that the support of more than one family
is something which only the wealthy classes in a given society could
assume. Secondly, it follows that under ordinary circumstances only a
small minority of a given population practice polygyny, even in
countries in which it is sanctioned. In Mohammedan countries like Turkey
and Egypt, for example, it is estimated that not more than five per cent
of the families are polygynous, while in other regions the percentage
seems to be still smaller. The reason for this is not only the economic
one just mentioned, but that everywhere the sexes are relatively equal
in numbers, and therefore it is impossible for polygyny to become a
widespread general custom. If some men have more than one wife it is
evident that other men will probably have to forego marriage entirely.
This is not saying that under certain circumstances, namely, the
importation of large numbers of women, a higher per cent of polygynous
families may not exist. It is said that among the negroes on the west
coast of Africa the number of polygynous families reaches as high as
fifty per cent, owing to the fact that female slaves are largely
imported into that district, and that they serve not only as wives, but
do the bulk of the agricultural labor, the male negro preferring female
slaves, who can do his work and be wives at the same time, to male
slaves. But such cases as these are altogether exceptional and
manifestly could not become general.

Summing up, we may say that the causes of polygyny are, then:

(1) First of all, the brutal lust of man. No doubt man's animal
propensities have had much to do with the existence of this form of the
family. Nevertheless, while male sensuality is at the basis of polygyny,
it would be a mistake to think that sensuality is an adequate
explanation in all cases. On the contrary, we find many other causes,
chiefly, perhaps, economic, operating also to favor the development of

(2) One of these is wife capture, as we have already seen. The captured
women in war were held as trophies and slaves, and later became wives or
concubines. Among all peoples at a certain stage the honor of wife
capture has alone been a prolific cause of polygyny.

(3) Another cause, after slavery became developed, was the high value
set on women as laborers. Among many barbarous peoples the women do the
main part of the work. They are more tractable as slaves, and
consequently a high value is set upon their labor. As we have already
seen, these female slaves usually serve at the same time as concubines,
if not legal wives of their masters.

(4) Another cause which we can perhaps hardly appreciate at the present
time is the high valuation set on children. We see this cause operating
particularly in the case of the patriarchs of the Old Testament. Under
the patriarchal family great value was set upon children as necessary to
continue the family line. Where the device of adoption was not resorted
to, therefore, in case of barrenness or the birth exclusively of female
children, nothing was more natural than that polygyny should be resorted
to in order to insure the family succession. In the patriarchal family
also a high valuation was necessarily set upon children, because the
larger the family grew the stronger it was.

(5) Finally, religion came to sanction polygyny. The religious sanction
of polygyny cannot be looked upon as one of its original causes, but
when once established it reacted powerfully to reenforce and maintain
the institution. How the religious sanction came about we can readily
see when we remember that very commonly religions confuse the practice
of the nobility with what is noble or commendable morally. The
polygynous practices of the nobility, therefore, under certain
conditions came to receive the sanction of religion. When this took
place polygyny became firmly established as a social institution, very
difficult to uproot, as all the experience of Christian missionaries
among peoples practicing polygyny goes to show. We may note also the
general truth, that while religion does not originate human institutions
or the forms of human association, it is preeminently that which gives
fixity and stability to institutions through the supernatural sanction
that it accords them.

Some judgment of the social value of polygyny may not be out of place in
connection with this subject. Admitting, as all students of social
history must, that in certain times and places the polygynous form of
family has been advantageous, has served the interests of social
survival and even of civilization, yet viewed from the standpoint of
present society it seems that our judgment of polygyny must be wholly
unfavorable. In the first place, as we have already seen, polygyny is
essentially an institution of barbarism. It arose largely through the
practice of wife capture and the keeping of female slaves. While often
adjusted to the requirements of barbarous societies, it seems in no way
adjusted to a high civilization. Polygyny, indeed, must necessarily rest
upon the subjection and degradation of women. Necessarily the practice
of polygyny must disregard the feelings of women, for women are jealous
creatures as well as men. No high regard for the feelings of women,
therefore, would be consistent with the practice of polygyny. Finally,
all the evidence that we have goes to show that under polygyny children
are neglected, and, at least from the standpoint of a high civilization,
inadequately socialized. This must necessarily be so, because in the
polygynous family the care of the children rests almost entirely with
the mother. While we have no statistics of infant mortality from
polygynous countries, it seems probable that infant mortality is high,
and we know from experience with polygynous families in our own state of
Utah, according to the testimony of those who have worked among them,
that delinquent children are especially found in such households.
Fatherhood, in the full sense of the word, can hardly be said to exist
under polygyny.

Those philosophers, like Schopenhauer, who advocate the legalizing of
polygyny in civilized countries, are hardly worth replying to. It is
safe to say that any widespread practice of polygyny in civilized
communities would lead to a reversion to the moral standards of
barbarism in many if not in all matters. That polygyny is still a
burning question in the United States of the twentieth century is merely
good evidence that we are not very far removed yet from barbarism.

MONOGAMY, as we have already seen, has been the prevalent form of
marriage in all ages and in all countries. Wherever other forms have
existed monogamy has existed alongside of them as the dominant, even
though perhaps not the socially honored, form. All other forms of the
family must be regarded as sporadic variations, on the whole unsuited to
long survival, because essentially inconsistent with the nature of human
society. In civilized Europe monogamy has been the only form of the
family sanctioned for ages by law, custom, and religion. The leading
peoples of the world, therefore, practice monogamy, and it is safe to
say that the connection between monogamy and progressive forms of
civilization is not an accident.

What, then, are the social advantages of monogamy which favor the
development of a higher type of culture? These advantages are numerous,
but perhaps the most important of them can be grouped under six heads.

(1) The number of the two sexes, as we have already seen, is everywhere
approximately equal. This means that monogamy is in harmony with the
biological conditions that exist in the human species. The equal number
of the two sexes has probably been brought about through natural
selection. Why nature should favor this proportion of the sexes can
perhaps be in part understood when we reflect that with such proportion
there can be the largest number of family groups, and hence the best
possible conditions for the rearing of offspring.

(2) Monogamy secures the superior care of children in at least two
respects. First, it very greatly decreases mortality in children,
because under monogamy both husband and wife unite in their care. Again,
monogamy secures the superior upbringing and, therefore, the superior
socialization of the child. In the monogamous family much greater
attention can be given to the training of children by both parents. In
other forms of the family not only is the death rate higher among
children, but from the point of view of modern civilization, at least,
they are inferiorly socialized.

(3) The monogamic family alone produces affections and emotions of the
higher type. It is only in the monogamic family that the highest type of
altruistic affection can be cultivated. It is difficult to understand,
for example, how anything like unselfish affection between husband and
wife can exist under polygyny. Under monogamy, husband and wife are
called upon to sacrifice selfish desires in the mutual care of children.
Monogamy is, therefore, fitted as a form of the family to foster
altruism in the highest degree, and, as we have seen, the higher the
type of altruism produced by the family life, the higher the type of the
social life generally, other things being equal. It is especially to the
credit of monogamy that it has created fatherhood in the fullest sense
of the term, and therefore taught the male element in human society the
value of service and self-sacrifice. Under polygynous conditions the
father cannot devote himself to any extent to his children or to any one
wife, since he is really the head of several households, and therefore,
as we have already noted, fatherhood in the fullest sense scarcely
exists under polygyny.

(4) Under monogamy, moreover, all family relationships are more definite
and strong, and thus family bonds, and ultimately social bonds, are
stronger. In the polygynous household the children of the different
wives are half brothers and half sisters, hence family affection has
little chance to develop among them, and as a matter of fact between
children of different wives there is constant pulling and hauling.
Moreover, because the children in a polygynous family are only half
brothers this immensely complicates relationships, and even the line of
ancestors. Legal relations and all blood relationships are, therefore,
more entangled. It is no inconsiderable social merit of monogamy that it
makes blood relationships simple and usually perfectly definite. All of
this has an effect upon society at large, because the cohesive power of
blood relationship, even in modern societies, is something still worth
taking into account. But of course the main influence of all this is to
be found in the family group itself, because it is only under such
simple and definite relations as we find in the monogamous family that
there is ample stimulus to develop the higher family affections.

(5) From all this it follows that monogamy favors the development of
high types of religion and morals, family affection being an
indispensable root of any high type of ethical religion. That form of
the family which favors the development of the highest type of this
affection will, therefore, favor the development of the highest type of
religion. We see this even more plainly, perhaps, in ancient times than
in the present time, because it was monogamy that favored the
development of ancestor worship through making the line of ancestors
clear and definite, and thus monogamy helped to develop this type of
religion, which became the basis of still higher types.

(6) Monogamy not only favors the preservation of the lives of the
children, but also favors the preservation of the lives of the parents,
because it is only under monogamy that we find aged parents cared for by
their children to any extent. Under polygyny the wife who has grown old
is discarded for a young wife, and usually ends her days in bitterness.
The father, too, under polygyny is rarely cared for by the children,
because the polygynous household has never given the opportunity for
close affections between parents and children. That monogamy, therefore,
helps to lengthen life through favoring care of parents by children in
old age is an element in its favor, for it adds not a little to the
happiness of life, and so to the strength of social bonds, that people
do not have to look forward to a cheerless and friendless old age.

In brief, the monogamic family presents such superior unity and harmony
from every point of view that it is much more fitted to produce a higher
type of culture. From whatever point of view we may look at it,
therefore, there are many reasons why civilized societies cannot afford
to sanction any other form of the family than that of monogamy.

The Relation of the Form of the Family to the Form of Industry.--As we
have already seen, the form of the family is undoubtedly greatly
influenced by the form of industry. This is so markedly the case that
some sociologists and economists have claimed that the form of the
family life is but a reflection of the form of the industrial life; that
the family in its changes and variations slavishly follows the changes
in economic conditions. That such an extreme view as this is a mistake
can readily be seen from a brief review of the causes which have
produced certain types of family life in certain periods. Thus, the
maternal type of the family cannot be said by any means to have been
determined by economic conditions. On the contrary, primarily the
maternal family, as we have seen, was determined by certain intellectual
conceptions, namely, the absence of knowledge of the physiological
connection between father and child, though the economic conditions of
primitive life tended powerfully to continue the maternal family long
after intellectual conditions had changed. Again, it has been said that
the patriarchal family owed its existence entirely to a form of
industry, namely, pastoral industry, but, as we have seen, other factors
also operated to produce the patriarchal type of the family, such as
war, religion, and perhaps man's inherent desire to dominate. Moreover,
religion continued the patriarchal family in many cases long after
pastoral industry had ceased to be the chief economic form.

So too with the forms of marriage. While polygyny has been claimed to be
due entirely to economic causes, we have seen that these so-called
economic causes have only been the opportunities for the polygynous
instincts of man to assert themselves. These polygynous instincts of man
have asserted themselves more or less under all conditions of society,
but under certain conditions, when there was an accumulation of wealth,
and especially with the institution of slavery, they had greater
opportunity to assert themselves than elsewhere. Thus the basic cause of
polygyny is not economic, but psychological; and given certain moral and
economic conditions of society, these polygynous tendencies assert
themselves. Monogamy, on the other hand, has in no sense been determined
by economic conditions but is fundamentally determined by the biological
fact of the numerical equality of the sexes. This is doubtless the main
reason why monogamy has been the prevalent form of the family
everywhere. Certain moral and psychological factors which go along with
the development of higher types of culture have, however, powerfully
reenforced monogamy. It is doubtful if economic conditions can to any
extent be shown to have equally reenforced the monogamic life.

Our conclusion must be, then, that while the form of the family and the
form of industry are closely related, so closely that the form of
industry continually affects more or less the family life, yet there is
no reason for concluding that the form of the family is wholly or even
chiefly determined by the form of industry.


_For brief reading:_

WESTERMARCK, _History of Human Marriage_, Chaps. XX-XXII.

_For more extended reading:_

MCLENNAN, _The Patriarchal Theory._
MORGAN, _Ancient Society._
PARSONS, _The Family._
WAKE, _The Development of Marriage and Kinship._



While we cannot enter into the historical evolution of the family as an
institution among the different civilized peoples, still it will be
profitable for us to consider the history of the family among some
single representative people in order that we may see the forces which
have made and unmade the family life, and incidentally also to a great
degree, the general social life of that people. We shall select the
ancient Romans as the people among whom we can thus best study in
outline the development of the family. While the family life of the
ancient Hebrews is of particular interest to us because of the close
connection of our religion and ethics with that of the Hebrews, yet in
the family life of the ancient Romans constructive and destructive
factors are more clearly marked and, therefore, the study of ancient
Roman family life is best fitted to bring out those factors. The ancient
Romans were among the earliest civilized of the Aryan peoples, and their
institutions are, therefore, of peculiar interest to us as representing
approximately the early Aryan type. What we shall say concerning Roman
family life, moreover, will apply, with some modifications and
qualifications, to the family life of other Aryan peoples, especially
the Greeks. The Greeks and the Romans, indeed, were so closely related
in their early culture that for the purpose of institutional history
they may be considered practically one people. Without any attempt,
then, to sketch the history of the family as an institution in general,
let us note some of the salient features of the family life of the
ancient Romans.

The Early Roman Family.--(1) _Ancestor Worship as the Basis of the
Early Roman Family._ What we have said thus far indicates a close
connection between the family life and religion among all peoples. This
was especially true of the early Romans. It may be said, indeed, that
ancestor worship was the constitutive principle of their family life.
Among them the family seemed to have lost in part its character as a
purely social institution and to have become specialized into a
religious institution. At any rate, the early Roman family existed very
largely for the sake of perpetuating the worship of ancestors. Of
course, ancestor worship could have had nothing to do with the origin of
the family life among the Romans. The type of their family life was
patriarchal, and we have already noticed the causes which brought about
the existence of the patriarchal family. But while ancestor worship had
nothing to do with the origin of the family, once it was thoroughly
established it became the basis of the family life and transformed the
family as an institution.

The early Romans shared certain superstitions with many primitive
peoples, which, if not the basis of ancestor worship, powerfully
reinforced it. They believed, for example, that the soul continued in
existence after death, and that persons would be unhappy unless buried
in tombs with suitable offerings, and that if left unburied, or without
suitable offerings, the souls of these persons would return to torment
the living, Inasmuch as in the patriarchal family only sons could
perform religious rites, that is, could make offerings to the departed
spirits, these superstitions acted as a powerful stimulus to preserve
the family in order that offerings might continue to be made at the
graves of ancestors.

Thus, as we have already said, among the early Romans the family was
practically a religious institution with ancestor worship as its
constitutive principle. It is supposed by de Coulanges that in the
earliest times the dead ancestors were buried beneath the hearth. At any
rate, the hearth was the place where offerings were made to the departed
ancestors, and the flame on the hearth was believed to represent the
spirit of the departed. The house under such circumstances became a
temple and the whole atmosphere of the family life was necessarily a
religious one.

(2) _The Authority in the Early Roman Family_ was vested, as in all
patriarchal families, in the father or eldest living male of the family
group. Under ancestor worship he became the living representative of the
departed ancestors, the link between the living and the dead. Here we
may note that the family was not considered as constituted simply of its
living members, but that it included also all of its dead members.
Inasmuch as the dead were more numerous and were thought to be more
powerful than the living, they were by far the more important element in
the life of the family. The position of the house father, as
representative of the departed ancestors, and as the link between the
living and the dead, naturally made his authority almost divine. Hence,
the house father was himself, then, almost a deity, having absolute
power over all persons within the group, even to the extent of life and
death. This absolute power, which was known in the early Roman family as
the "patria potestas," could not, however, be exercised arbitrarily. The
house father, as representative of the departed ancestors, was
necessarily controlled by religious scruples and traditions. It was
impossible for him to act other than for what he believed to be the will
of the ancestors. Disobedience to him was, therefore, disobedience to
the divine ancestors, and hence was sacrilegious.

(3) _Relationship in the Early Roman Family_ was determined by
community of worship, inasmuch as only descendants upon the male side
could perform religious rites, and inasmuch as married women worshiped
the household gods of their husbands' ancestors; therefore, only
descendants on the male side could worship the same ancestors and were
relatives in the full religious and legal sense. These were known as
"agnates." Later, some relationship on the mother's side came to be
recognized, but relatives on the mother's side were known as a
"cognates," and for a long time property could not pass to them. Indeed,
in the earliest times the property of the family, as we have already
implied, was kept as a unit, held in trust by the eldest living member
of the family group for the good of all the family. In other words, the
house father in earliest times did not possess the right to make a will
but the property of the family passed intact from him to his eldest male

(4) _The Marriage Ceremony among the Early Romans_ was necessarily
of a religious character. It was constituted essentially of the
induction of the bride into the worship of her husband's ancestors. But
before this could be done the bride's father had first to free her from
the worship of her household gods, in later times a certificate of
manumission being given not unlike the manumission of the slave. After
the bride had been released from the worship of her father's ancestors,
the bridegroom and his friends brought her to his father's house, where
a ceremony of adoption was practically gone through with, adopting the
bride into the family of her husband. The essence of this ceremony, as
we have already said, was the induction of the bride into the worship of
her husband's ancestors through their both making an offering on the
family hearth and eating a sacrificial meal together. After that the
wife worshiped at her husband's altar and had no claim upon the
household gods of her father.

Under such circumstances it is not surprising that marriage was
practically indissoluble. A wife who was driven out of her husband's
household or deserted was without family gods of any sort, having no
claim upon those of her husband, and became, therefore, a social
outcast. Under such circumstances it is not surprising that divorce was
practically unknown. It is said, indeed, that for five hundred and
twenty years after Rome was founded there was not a single divorce in
Rome. While this may be an exaggeration, it is historically certain that
divorce was so rare in early Rome as to be practically unknown.

In case of a failure of sons to be born there was no taking of a second
wife, as among the Hebrews. Polygyny was unknown in early Rome. The
Roman device to prevent the failure of the family succession in such
cases was adoption. Younger sons of other families were adopted if no
sons were born, and these adopted sons, taking the family name, became
the same legally as sons by birth. Inasmuch as the position of younger
sons in the patriarchal household was not an enviable one there was
never lack of candidates for the position of eldest son in some family
group in which no sons had been born.

Not only was the early Roman family life the most stable that the world
has ever known, but it must also be considered to have been of a
relatively pure type. Chastity was rigidly enforced among the women, but
of course, as in all primitive peoples, was not enforced among the men.
Still it was expected that the married men at least should remain
relatively faithful to their wives. On the whole, therefore, the early
Roman family life must be judged to have been of a singularly high and
stable type. While the position of women and children in the early Roman
family was one of subjection, the family itself was nevertheless of a
high type. But it was inevitable that it should decay, and this decay
began comparatively early. Inasmuch as the early Roman family was based
upon ancestor worship, a religion which was fitted for relatively small
isolated groups, it was inevitable that the family life should decay
with this ancestor worship. How early the decay of ancestor worship
began it is impossible to say. Perhaps the nature gods, Jupiter, Venus,
and the rest, existed alongside of ancestor worship from the earliest
times. At any rate, we find their worship growing rapidly within the
period of authentic history and undermining the domestic worship, while
at a still later period skeptical philosophy undermined both religions.
Along with the decay of ancestor worship went many economic and
political changes which marked the dissolution of the patriarchal
family. Let us see what some of the steps in this decadence were.

(5) _The Decadence,_ (a) One of the earliest steps toward the
breaking down of the patriarchal family which we find is the limiting of
the power of the house father. This took place very early--as soon as
the Council of Elders, or Senate, was formed to look after matters of
collective interest. Gradually the paternal power diminished, until it
was confined to matters concerning the family group proper.

(b) A second step was when the right to make a will was conceded. This
right, as we have seen, did not exist in the earliest Roman times, but
with the development of property and of a more complex economic life the
house father was given the right to divide his property among his
children, at first only on the male side, but later among any of his
children, and still later to bequeath it to whom he pleased.

(c) Thus women came to be given the right to hold property, a thing
which was unknown in the earliest times; and becoming property holders,
their other rights in many respects began to increase. Originally the
wife had no right to divorce her husband, but in the second century B.C.
women also gained the right of divorcing their husbands.

(d) The rights of children were increased along with the rights of
women, particularly of younger children.

(e) The right of plebeians to intermarry with the noble families became
recognized. All of these changes we should perhaps regard as good in
themselves, but they nevertheless marked the disintegration of the
patriarchal family. The decay of the family life did not stop with these
changes, however, but went on to the decay of the family bonds

Later Roman Family Life.--By the beginning of the Christian era the
relations between the sexes had become very loose. Men not only
frequently divorced their wives, but women frequently divorced their
husbands. Indeed, a complete revolution passed over the Roman family.
Marriage became a private contract, whereas, as we have seen, in the
beginning it was a religious bond. Many loose forms of marriage were
developed, which amounted practically to temporary marriages. In all
cases it was easy for a husband or wife to divorce each other for very
trivial causes. Among certain classes of Roman society the instability
of the family became so great that we find Seneca saying that there were
women who reckoned their years by their husbands, and Juvenal recording
one woman as having eight husbands in five years.

Women and children achieved their practical emancipation, as we would
say. Women, especially, were free to do as they saw fit. Marriages were
formed and dissolved at pleasure among certain classes, and among all
classes the instability of the family life had become very great.

Along with all this, of course, went a growth of vice. It is not too
much to say that the Romans of the first and second centuries A.D.
approached as closely to a condition of promiscuity as any civilized
people of which we have knowledge.

_Causes of the Decadence_. When we examine the causes of this great
revolution in Roman family life from the austere morals and stable
family of the early Romans to the laxity and promiscuity of the later
Romans, we find that these causes can perhaps be grouped under four or
five principal heads, (1) First among all the causes we must put the
destruction of the domestic religion, namely, ancestor worship, through
the growth of nature worship and skeptical philosophy. The destruction
of the domestic religion necessarily shattered the foundations of the
Roman family, since, as we have already seen, there was the closest
connection between the family life of the early Romans and ancestor
worship. But it is not probable that ancestor worship was destroyed
merely through the growth of nature worship and of skeptical philosophy.
As we have already seen, it was a religion which was mainly adapted to
isolated groups. Changes in economic and political conditions,
therefore, were to some extent prior to the decay of the domestic

(2) Changes in economic conditions, that is, in the form of industry,
were, then, among the more important causes of the decay of the early
Roman family. The patriarchal family, as we have already seen, belonged
essentially to the pastoral stage of industry, and as soon as settled
agricultural life, commerce, and manufacturing industry developed, this
destroyed the isolated patriarchal groups, and so also in time affected
even the religion which was their basis. Again, the increase of
population going along with the changes in the methods in obtaining a
living destroyed the old conditions under which the family had been the
political unit.

(3) We have therefore as a third cause the breaking up of old political
conditions. Family groups were welded into small cities and the
authority of the patriarch was destroyed. Legislation designed to meet
the new social conditions often profoundly affected the whole family
group, and weakened family bonds.

(4) The growth of divorce and of vice may be put down as a fourth cause
of the decay of the Roman family. Some may say that this was an effect
of the decay of the Roman family rather than a cause, but it was also a
cause as well as an effect, for it is a peculiarity of social life that
what is at one stage an effect reacts to become a cause at a later
stage; and this was certainly the case with the growth of divorce and
vice in Rome, in its effect upon the Roman family. Moreover, much of
this came from Greece through imitation. The family life had decayed in
Greece much earlier than it had in Rome, and when Rome conquered Greece
it annexed its vices also. While the most radical social changes do not
usually come about merely through imitation, yet the imitation of a
foreign people is frequently, in the history of a particular nation, one
of the most potent causes in bringing about social changes. It was
certainly so in the case of the growth of divorce and vice in Rome.

To sum up and to generalize: we may say that the causes of the decay of
the Roman family life were very complex, and that this is true of nearly
all important social changes. It is impossible to reduce the causes of
these changes to any single principle or set of causes. While we have
seen that changes in economic conditions were undoubtedly very
influential in bringing about the profound changes in the Roman family,
still we have no ground for regarding the economic changes as
determinative of all the rest. We know as yet little of the development
of industry in antiquity. What little we do know, however, furnishes
good ground for claiming that changes in the methods of getting a living
are among the most influential causes of social change in general; but
there is nothing which warrants the sweeping generalization of Karl Marx
and his followers, "that the method of the production of the material
life determines the social, political, and spiritual life process in
general." On the contrary, the evolution of the Roman family clearly
shows moral and psychological factors at work quite independent of
economic causes. The decay of ancestor worship, for example, cannot be
wholly attributed to the change in the method of getting a living. The
very growth of population and accompanying changes in political
conditions probably had quite as much to do with the undermining of
ancestor worship. Moreover, while religion may not be an original
determining cause of social forms, it is, nevertheless, as we have
already seen, especially that which gives them stability and permanency,
so much so that the life history of a culture is frequently the life
history of a religion. The decay of religious ideas and beliefs,
therefore, from any cause, frequently proves the important element
working for social change in all societies. So, too, changes in
political conditions, especially changes in law through new legislation,
frequently prove a profound modifying influence in societies. Lastly,
there are certain moral causes inherent in the individual, oftentimes
involving perverted expressions of instinct, which lead to profound
social changes. Such was the vice which Rome copied very largely from
Greece, but which proved the final solvent in its family life.

In general we may say, then, that there is no single principle which
will explain the evolution of the family from the earliest times down to
the present. Any attempt to reduce the evolution of the family to a
single principle, or to show that it has been controlled by a single set
of causes, must inevitably end in failure. The economic determinism of
Marx and his followers, the ideological conceptions of Hegel, the
geographical influences of Buckle and his school, and like explanations,
are all found wanting when they are applied to the actual history of the
family. It is not different with the theories of recent sociologists,
who would strive to explain all social changes through a single
principle. Professor Giddings' principle of "Consciousness of Kind" and
Tarde's principle of "Imitation" will not go further in explaining the
changes in the family life than some of the older principles that we
have just mentioned. Human life is, indeed, too complex to be explained
in terms of any single principle or any single set of causes. The family
in particular is an organic structure which responds first to one set of
stimuli and then to another. Now it is modified by economic conditions,
now by religious ideas, now by legislation, now by imitation, and so on
through the whole set of possible stimuli which may impinge upon and
modify the activity of a living organism. So it is with all

The Influence of Christianity upon the Family.--While we cannot study
further the evolution of the family in any detail, still it is
necessary, in order to avoid too great discontinuity, to notice in a few
sentences the influence of Christianity upon the family in Western

Early Christianity, as we have already seen, found the family life of
the Greco-Roman world demoralized. The reconstruction of the family
became, therefore, one of the first tasks of the new religion, and while
other circumstances may have aided the church in this work, still on the
whole it was mainly the influence of the early church that reconstituted
the family life. From the first the church worked to abolish divorce,
and fought as evil such vices as concubinage and prostitution, that came
to flourish to such an extent in the Pagan world. Only very slowly did
the early leaders of the church win the mass of the people to accepting
their views as to the permanency of the marriage bond. In order to aid
in making this bond more stable the early church recognized marriage as
one of the sacraments, and, as implied, steadily opposed the idea of the
later Roman Law that marriage was simply a private contract. The result
was, eventually, that marriage came to be regarded again as a religious
bond, and the family life took on once more the aspect of great
stability. After the church had come fully into power in the Western
world, legal divorce ceased to be recognized and legal separation was
substituted in its stead. Thus the church succeeded in reconstituting
the family life upon a stable basis, but the family after being
reconstituted, was of a semipatriarchal type. Nothing was more natural
than this, for the church had no model to go by except the paternal
family of the Hebrew and Greek and Roman civilization. Nevertheless, the
place of women and children in this semipatriarchal religious family
established by the church was higher on the whole than in the ancient
patriarchal family. The church put an end to the exposure of children,
which had been common in Rome, and protected childhood in many ways. It
also exalted the place of woman in the family, though leaving her
subject to her husband. The veneration of the Virgin tended particularly
to give women an honored place socially and religiously. Only by the
advocacy and practice of ascetic doctrines may the early church be said
to have detracted from the social valuation of the family. On the whole
the reconstituting of the family by the church must be regarded as its
most striking social work. But the thing for us to note particularly is
that the type of the family life created by the church was what we might
call a semipatriarchal type, in which the importance of husband and
father was very much out of proportion to all the rest of the members of
the family group. It was this semipatriarchal family which persisted
down to the nineteenth century.


_For brief reading:_

DE COULANGES, _The Ancient City_, Chaps. I-X.
LECKY, _History of European Morals_, Chap. V.
SCHMIDT, _Social Results of Early Christianity_, Chap. II.

_For more extended reading:_

HEARN, _The Aryan Household._
HOWARD, _History of Matrimonial Institutions._
GROTE, _History of Greece._
MOMMSEN, _The History of Rome._

_On the early Hebrew family:_

MCCURDY, _History, Prophecy, and the Monuments_, Vol. II.
ROBERTSON SMITH, _Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia_.

_On the early German family:_

GUMMERE, _Germanic Origins._



Passing over the changes which affected the family during the Middle
Ages and the still more striking changes which came through the
Reformation, we must now devote ourselves to the study of the problems
of the family as it exists at present. The religious theory of the
family which prevailed during the Middle Ages, but which was more or
less undermined by the Reformation, gave away entirely in those great
social changes which ushered in the nineteenth century. Again, the view
that marriage was a private contract came to prevail among the mass of
the people, and even to be embodied in a great many of the constitutions
and laws of the nineteenth century. At the same time profound economic
changes tended largely to individualize society, and these were
reflected in the democratic movement toward forms of popular government,
which have tended on the whole to make the individual the political
unit. The nineteenth century was, then, in all respects a period of
great social change and unrest. Moreover, the growth of wealth has
favored, in certain classes at least, lower moral standards and
increasing laxity in family relationships. Thus it happens that we find
the family life at the beginning of the twentieth century in a more
unstable condition than it has been at any time since the beginning of
the Christian era. The instability of the modern family is, indeed, so
great that many have thought that the family, as an institution, in its
present form at least, of permanent monogamy, will pass away. There can
be no doubt, at any rate, that the whole problem of the modern family
centers in the matter of its instability, that is, in divorce. The study
of the divorce movement, then, will throw more light upon the condition
of the modern family than the study of anything else. The instability of
the modern family has been most evident in the United States. Hence, it
is particularly American conditions that will concern us, although
undoubtedly the disintegration of the family is not a peculiarly
American phenomenon; rather it has characterized more or less all modern
civilization, but is especially in evidence in America because American
society has exaggerated the industrialism and individualism which are
characteristic of Western civilization in general.

Without devoting too much time to the consideration of divorce
statistics in their technical aspects, let us note, then, some of the
main outlines of the modern divorce movement in this and other civilized

Statistics of Divorce in the United States and Other Civilized
Countries.--For a long time the United States has led the world in the
number of its divorces. Already in 1885 this country had more divorces
than all the rest of the Christian civilized world put together. These
statistics of the number of divorces granted in different civilized
countries in 1885 (taken from Professor W. F. Willcox's monograph on
_The Divorce Problem_) are of sufficient interest to cite at

United States...................... 23,472
France.............................  6,245
Germany............................  6,161
Russia.............................  1,789
Austria............................  1,718
Switzerland........................    920
Denmark............................    635
Italy..............................    556
Great Britain and Ireland..........    508
Roumania...........................    541
Holland............................    339
Belgium............................    290
Sweden.............................    229
Australia..........................    100
Norway.............................     68
Canada.............................     12

It will be noted that in this particular year (1885), when the United
States had 23,472 divorces, all the other countries mentioned together
had only 20,131. For 1905, twenty years later, the following statistics
are available:

United States...................... 67,976
Germany............................ 11,147
France............................. 10,860
Austria-Hungary....................  5,785
Switzerland........................  1,206
Belgium............................    901
Holland............................    900
Italy (1904).......................    859
Great Britain and Ireland..........    821
Denmark............................    549
Sweden.............................    448
Norway.............................    408
Australia..........................    339
New Zealand........................    126
Canada.............................     33

It is evident from the above figures that the United States has more
than kept its lead over the rest of the world in this matter of
dissolving family ties, for it would seem probable from these figures
that in 1905, when the United States had nearly 68,000 divorces, all the
rest of the Christian civilized world put together had less than 40,000.
Moreover, the divorce rates of the different countries tell the same
story. In 1905 in France, there was only one divorce to every thirty
marriages; in Germany, but one to every forty-four marriages; in
England, but one to every four hundred marriages. Even in Switzerland,
which has the highest divorce rate of any country of Europe, there was
only one divorce in 1905 to every twenty-two marriages. Let us compare
these rates with that of the United States, and particularly with the
rates of several of the states that lead in the matter of divorces. In
1905 there was in the United States about one divorce to every twelve
marriages, but the State of Washington had one divorce to every four
marriages; Montana, one divorce to every five marriages; Colorado,
Texas, Arkansas, and Indiana all had one divorce to every six marriages;
California and Maine had one divorce to every seven marriages; New
Hampshire, Missouri, and Kansas, one divorce to every eight marriages.
While these rates are those of the states in which divorces are most
numerous, yet, nevertheless, the number of states in which the divorce
rates range from one to every six marriages to one to ten marriages are
so numerous that they may be said to be fairly representative of
American conditions generally. Some cities and localities have, of
course, even higher divorce rates than any of the states that have been
named. According to the United States Census Bulletin No. 20, there was
in 1903 one divorce in Kansas City, Missouri, to every four marriages,
and one divorce in the city of San Francisco to every three marriages.

_Increase of Divorces in the United States._ Not only does the
United States lead the world in the number of its divorces, but
apparently divorces are increasing in this country much more rapidly
than the population. In 1867, the first year for which statistics for
the country as a whole were gathered, there were 9937 divorces in the
United States, but by 1906, the last year for which we have statistics,
the total number of divorces granted in this country, yearly, had
reached 72,062. Again, from 1867 to 1886 there were 328,716 divorces
granted in the United States, but during the next twenty years, from
1887 to 1906, the number reached 945,625, or almost a total of 1,000,000
divorces granted in twenty years. Again, from 1867 to 1886 the number of
divorces increased 157 per cent, while the population increased only
about 60 per cent; from 1887 to 1906 the number of divorces increased
over 160 per cent, while the population increased only slightly over 50
per cent. Thus it is evident that divorces are increasing in the United
States three times as fast as the increase of population. It becomes,
therefore, a matter of some curious interest to speculate upon what will
be the end of this movement. If divorces should continue to increase as
they have during the past forty years, it is evident that it would not
be long before all marriages would be terminated by divorce instead of
by death. In 1870, 3.5 per cent of all marriages were terminated by
divorce; in 1880, 4.8 per cent were terminated by divorce, and in 1900,
about 8 per cent. Professor Willcox has estimated that if this
increasing divorce rate continues, by 1950 one fourth of all marriages
in the United States will be terminated by divorce, and in 1990 one half
of all marriages. Thus we are apparently within measurable distance of a
time when, if present tendencies continue, the family, as a permanent
union between husband and wife, lasting until death, shall cease to be.
At least, it is safe to say that in a population where one half of all
marriages will be terminated by divorce the social conditions would be
no better than those in the Rome of the decadence. We cannot imagine
such a state of affairs without the existence alongside of it of
widespread promiscuity, neglect of childhood, and general social
demoralization. Without, however, stopping at this point to discuss the
results or the effects of the divorce movement upon society, let us now
consider for a moment how these divorces are distributed among the
various elements and classes of our population.

_Distribution of Divorces._ It is usually thought by those who have
observed the matter most carefully that divorce especially characterizes
the wealthy classes and the laboring classes, but is least common among
the middle classes. We have no statistics to bear out this belief, but
it seems probable that it is substantially correct. The divorce
statistics which we have, however, indicate certain striking differences
in the distribution of divorces by classes and communities.

(1) The divorce rate is higher in the cities than in their surrounding
country districts. We have just noted, for example, that the divorce
rate in Kansas City, Missouri, is one divorce to every four marriages,
while in the state as a whole it is one to every eight marriages. There
are, however, certain exceptions to this generalization.

(2) A curious fact that the census statistics show is that apparently
the divorce rate is about four times as high among childless couples as
among couples that have children. This doubtless does not mean that
domestic unhappiness is four times more common in families where there
are no children than in families that have children, but it does show,
nevertheless, that the parental instinct, is now, as in primitive times,
a powerful force to bind husband and wife together.

(3) While we have no statistics from this country telling us exactly
what the distribution of divorces is among the various religious
denominations, still we know that because the Roman Catholic Church is
strongly against divorce, divorces are very rare in that denomination.
In Switzerland, where the number of divorces among Protestants and
Catholics has been noted, it is found that divorces are four times as
common among Protestants as among Catholics. Some observers in this
country have claimed that divorces are most common among those of no
religious profession, next most common among Protestants, next among
Jews, and least common among Roman Catholics.

(4) From this we might expect, as our statistics indicate, that the
divorce rate is much higher among the native whites in this country than
it is among the foreign born, for many of the foreign born are Roman
Catholics, and, in any case, they come from countries where divorce is
less common than in the United States.

(5) For the last forty years two thirds of all divorces have been
granted on demand of the wife. This may indicate, on the one hand, that
the increase of divorces is a movement connected with the emancipation
of woman, and on the other hand it may indicate that it is the husband
who usually gives the ground for divorce.

(6) The census statistics show three great centers of divorce in the
United States. One is the New England States, one the states of the
Central West, and one the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states. These
three centers are also typical centers of American institutions and
ideas. The individualism of the New England, the Central West, and the
Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast regions has always been marked in
comparison with some other sections of the country. But during the last
twenty years divorce has also been increasing rapidly in the Southern
states, and we now find such states as Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma
well up toward the front among the states with a high divorce rate.

This distribution of divorces among the various elements and classes of
the country suggests something as to the causes of divorce, and this
will come out fully later in a discussion of the causes of the increase
of divorce.

The Grounds for Granting Divorce.--There are no less than thirty-six
distinct grounds for absolute divorce recognized by the laws of the
several states, ranging from only one ground recognized in New York to
fourteen grounds recognized in New Hampshire. For this reason some have
supposed that many of the divorces in this country are granted on
comparatively trivial grounds. Several states have, for example, what is
known as an "Omnibus Clause," granting divorce for mere incompatibility
and the like. But the examination of divorce statistics shows that very
few divorces are granted on trivial grounds. On the contrary, most
divorces seem to be granted for grave reasons, such as adultery,
desertion, cruelty, imprisonment for crime, habitual drunkenness, and
neglect on the part of the husband to provide for his family. These are
usually recognized as grave reasons for the dissolution of the marriage
tie. None of them at least could be said to be trivial. Professor
Willcox showed that for the twenty year period, 1867 to 1886, over
ninety-seven per cent of all divorces were granted for these six
principal causes. Moreover, he also showed that over sixty per cent were
granted for the two most serious causes of all,--adultery and desertion.
Again, of the one million divorces granted from 1887 to 1906 over
ninety-four per cent were granted for the six principal causes and over
fifty-five per cent for adultery and desertion, while in still other
cases adultery and desertion figured in combination with other causes (a
total of over sixty-two per cent in all). Therefore, it seems probable
that in nearly two thirds of the cases the marriage bond had already
practically been dissolved before the courts stepped in to make the
dissolution formal. We must conclude, therefore, that divorce is
prevalent not because of the laxity of our laws, but rather because of
the decay of our family life; that divorce is but a symptom of the
disintegration of the modern family, particularly the American family.

In other words, divorce is but a symptom of more serious evils, and
these evils have in certain classes of American society apparently
undermined the very virtues upon which the family life subsists. This is
not saying that vice is more prevalent to-day than it was fifty years
ago. We have no means of knowing whether it is or not, and there may
well be a difference of opinion upon such a subject. It is the opinion
of some eminent authorities that there has been no growth of vice in the
United States along with the growth of divorce, but this would seem to
be doubtful. The very causes for which divorce is granted suggest a
demoralization of certain classes. While there may not have been,
therefore, any general growth of vice in the United States along with
the growth of divorce, it is conceivable that it may have increased
greatly in certain classes of American society. Be this as it may, it is
not necessary to assume that there has been any growth of vice in the
American population, for if actual moral practices are no higher than
they were fifty years ago that alone would be a sufficient reason to
explain considerable disintegration of our family life. It is an
important truth in sociology that the morality which suffices for a
relatively simple social life, largely rural, such as existed in this
country fifty years ago, is not sufficient for a more complex society
which is largely urban, such as exists at the present time. Moreover,
recognized moral standards within the past fifty years have largely been
raised through the growth of general intelligence. It follows that
immoral acts, which were condoned fifty years ago and which produced but
slight social effect, to-day meet with great reprobation and have far
greater social consequences than a generation ago. This is particularly
true of the standards which the wife imposes upon the husband. For
centuries, as we have already seen, the husband has secured divorce for
adultery of the wife, but for centuries no divorce was given to the wife
for the adultery of the husband; and this is even true to-day in modern
England, unless the adultery of the husband be accompanied by other
flagrant violations of morality. Conduct on the part of the husband,
which the wife overlooked, therefore, a generation ago, is to-day
sufficient to disrupt the family bonds and become a ground for the
granting of a divorce. Even if vice, then, has not increased in our
population, if moral practices are no higher to-day than fifty years
ago, we should expect that this alone would have far different
consequences now than then. The growth of intelligence and of higher and
more complex forms of social organization necessitates realization of
higher standards of conduct if the institutions of society are to retain
their stability.

But there are grave reasons for believing that there has been in certain
classes of society a decay of the very virtues upon which the family
rests, for the family life requires not only chastity, but even more the
virtues of self-sacrifice, loyalty, obedience, and self-subordination.
Now there is abundant evidence to show that these particular virtues
which belong to a self-subordinating life are those which have suffered
most in the changes and new adjustments of modern society. We have
replaced these virtues largely by those of self-interest,
self-direction, and self-assertiveness.

Causes of the Increase of Divorce in the United States.--Let us note
somewhat more in detail the causes of the increased instability of the
American family during the past four or five decades. We have already in
a rough way indicated some of these causes in studying the distribution
of divorce and the grounds upon which it is granted. But the causes of
the instability of the family so affect our whole social life and all of
our institutions that they are well worth somewhat more detailed study.

(1) As the first of these causes of the increase of divorce in the
United States we should put the decay of religion, particularly of the
religious theory of marriage and the family. As we have already seen, no
stable family life has existed anywhere in history without a religious
basis, but within the last few decades religious sentiments, beliefs,
and ideals have become largely dissociated from marriage and the family,
and the result is that many people regard the institutions of marriage
and the family as a matter of personal convenience. This decay of the
religious view of the marriage bond has, however, had other antecedent
causes, partially in the moral and intellectual spirit of our
civilization, partially in our industrial conditions.

(2) We should put, therefore, as a second cause of the increase of
divorces in this country the growing spirit of individualism. By
individualism we mean here the spirit of self-assertion and
self-interest, the spirit which leads a man to find his law in his own
wishes, or even in his whims and caprices. Now, this growing spirit of
individualism is undoubtedly more destructive of the social life than
anything else. It makes unstable all institutions, and especially the
family, because the family must rest upon very opposite characteristics.
 Our democratic government, the development of our industry, and our
education have all been responsible to some extent for making the
individual take his own interests and wishes as his law.

(3) Moreover, this individualism has spread within the last fifty years
especially among the women of the population, and a great movement has
sprung up which is known as the "Woman's Rights Movement," or simply the
"Woman's Movement." Now this woman's movement has accompanied and in
part effected the emancipation of women legally, mentally, and
economically. The result is that women, as a class, have become as much
individualized as the men, and oftentimes are as great practical

No one would claim that the emancipation of woman, in the sense of
freeing her from those things which have prevented the highest and best
development of her personality, is not desirable. But this emancipation
of woman has brought with it certain opportunities for going down as
well as for going up. Woman's emancipation has not, in other words,
meant to all classes of women, woman's elevation. On the contrary, it
has been to some, if not an opportunity for license, at least an
opportunity for self-assertion and selfishness not consistent with the
welfare of society and particularly with the stability of the family. We
may remind ourselves once more that the Roman women achieved complete
emancipation, but they did not thereby better their social position. On
the contrary, the emancipation of woman in Rome meant woman's
degradation, and ultimately the demoralization of Roman family life.
While this is not necessarily an accompaniment of woman's emancipation,
still it is a real danger which threatens, and of which we can already
see many evidences in modern society. As in all other emancipatory
movements, the dangers of freedom are found for some individuals at
least to be quite as great as the dangers of subjection.

That the woman's movement has had much to do with the growth of divorce
in this country gains substantiation from the fact that many of the
leaders of that movement, like Miss Susan B. Anthony and Mrs. Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, advocated free divorce, and their inculcation of this
doctrine certainly could not have been without some effect.

But the woman's movement would have perhaps failed to develop, or at
least failed of widespread support, if it had not been for the economic
emancipation of woman through the opening to her of many new industrial
callings and the securing for her a certain measure of economic
independence. This, again, while perhaps a good thing in itself, has,
nevertheless, facilitated the growing tendency to form unstable family
relations. But this economic independence of woman, we need hardly
remark, is the necessary and, indeed, inevitable outcome of modern
industrial development.

(4) The growth of modern industrialism must, then, be regarded as one of
the fundamental factors which has brought about the increase of divorce
in the United States. By industrialism we mean manufacturing industry.
As we have already noticed, the growth of manufacturing industry has
opened a large number of new economic callings to woman and has rendered
her largely economically independent of family relations. Moreover, the
labor of women in factories has tended to disrupt the home, particularly
in the case of married women, as we have already seen. For the laboring
classes it has tended to make the home only a lodging place, with little
or no development of a true family life. Again, such labor has set the
sexes in competition with each other, has tended to reduce their sexual
differences and to stimulate immensely their individualism. Finally,
inasmuch as modern industrialism has tended to destroy the home, the
result has been the production of unsocialized children, and especially
of those that had no tradition of a family life. Girls, for example,
through industrialism, have failed to learn the domestic arts, failed to
have any training in homemaking, and therefore when they came to the
position of wife and mother, they were frequently not fitted for such a
life, and through their lack of adjustment rendered the homes which they
formed unstable.

(5) Closely connected with the growth of modern industrialism is the
growth of modern cities, and, as we have already seen, divorce is
usually much more common in the cities than in the rural districts. The
growth of the cities, in other words, has been a cause of the increase
of divorce. City populations, on account of the economic conditions
under which they live, are peculiarly homeless. A normal home can
scarcely exist in the slums and in some of the tenement districts of our
cities. Again, in the city there is perhaps more vice and other
immorality, less control of the individual by public opinion, and more
opportunity, on account of close living together and high standards of
living, for friction, both within and without the domestic circle.

(6) The higher standards of living and comfort which have come with the
growth of our industrial civilization, especially of our cities, must
also be set down as a cause of increasing instability of the family.
High standards of living are, of course, desirable if they can be
realized, that is, if they are reasonable. But many elements of our
population have standards of living and comfort which they find are
practically impossible to realize with the income which they have. Many
classes, in other words, are unable to meet the social demands which
they suppose they must meet in order to maintain a home. To found and
maintain a home, therefore, with these rising standards of living, and
also within the last decade or two with the rising cost of living,
requires such a large income that an increasingly smaller proportion of
the population are able to do this satisfactorily. From this cause,
undoubtedly, a great deal of domestic misery and unhappiness results,
which finally shows itself in desertion or in the divorce court.

It is evident that higher standards of taste and higher standards of
morality may also operate under certain circumstances to render the
family life unstable in a similar way.

(7) Directly connected with these last mentioned causes is another
cause,--the higher age of marriage. Some have thought that a low age of
marriage was more prolific in divorces than a relatively high age of
marriage. But a low age of marriage cannot be a cause of the increase of
divorce in the United States, because the proportion of immature
marriages in this country is steadily lessening, that is, the age of
marriage is steadily increasing, and all must admit that along with the
higher age of marriage has gone increasing divorce; and there may
possibly be some connection between the two facts. As we have already
seen, the higher standards of living make later marriage necessary. Men
in the professions do not think of marriage nowadays until thirty, or
until they have an independent income. Now, how may the higher age of
marriage possibly increase the instability of the family? It may do so
in this way. After thirty, psychologists tell us, one's habits are
relatively fixed and hard to change. People who marry after thirty,
therefore, usually find greater difficulty in adjusting themselves to
each other than people who marry somewhat younger; and every marriage
necessarily involves an adjustment of individuals to each other. This
being so, we can readily understand that late marriages are more apt to
result in faulty adjustments in the family relation than marriages that
take place in early maturity.

(8) Another cause of the increase of divorce in the United States that
has been given is the popularization of law which has accompanied the
growth of democratic institutions. Law was once the prerogative of
special classes, and courts were rarely appealed to except by the noble
or wealthy classes; but with the growth of democratic institutions there
has been a great spread of legal education, especially through the
modern newspaper, and consequently a greater participation in the
remedies offered by the courts for all sorts of wrongs, real or
imagined. Many people, for example, who would not have thought of
divorce a generation ago, now know how divorce may be secured and are
ready to secure it. However, it would seem as though this cause of the
increase of divorce might have operated to a greater extent twenty-five
or thirty years ago than it has during the last two decades, for it
cannot be said that since the nineties there has been much increase of
legal education among the masses, or much greater popularization of the

(9) Increasing laxity of the laws regarding divorce and increasing
laxity in the administration of the laws has certainly been a cause of
increasing divorce in the United States, though back of these causes
doubtless lie all the other causes just mentioned, and also increasing
laxity in public opinion regarding marriage and divorce. To assume that
laxity of the laws and of legal administration has no influence upon the
increase of divorce in a population is to go contrary to all human
experience. The people of Canada and of England, for example, are not
very different from ourselves in culture and in institutions, yet there
is almost no divorce in England and in Canada as compared with the
United States. Canada has a few dozen divorces annually, while we have
over seventy thousand. Unquestionably the main cause of this great
difference between Canada and the United States is to be found in the
difference of their laws. This is not saying, however, that instability
of the family does not characterize Canada and England as well as the
United States, even though such instability does not express itself in
the divorce courts.

Interesting statistics have been collected in numerous places in the
country to show the laxity of the administration of the divorce laws. In
many of the divorce courts of our large cities, for example, it has
repeatedly been shown that the average time occupied by the court in
granting a divorce is not more than fifteen minutes. In other words,
divorce cases are frequently rushed through our divorce courts without
solemnity, without adequate investigation, with every opportunity for
collusion between the parties, so as to favor a very free granting of
divorces. On the other hand, about one fourth of all the applications
for divorce which come to trial are refused by the courts, showing that
the courts are not so lax in all cases as they are sometimes pictured to

Moreover, the divorce courts have two excuses for their laxity. First,
the divorce courts are always greatly overburdened with the number of
cases before them; and, secondly, public opinion, which the courts as
well as other phases of our government largely reflect, favors this
laxity. This is shown by the fact that public opinion stands back of the
lax divorce statutes of many states, all efforts to radically change
these statutes having failed of recent years.

(10) Our study of the family has accustomed us to the thought that the
family is an institution which, like all other human institutions,
undergoes constant changes. Now at periods of change in any institution,
periods of transition from one type to another, there is apt to be a
period of confusion. The old type of institution is never replaced at
once by a new type of institution ready-made and adjusted to the social
life, but only gradually does the new institution emerge from the
elements of the old. In the meantime, however, there may be a
considerable period of confusion and anarchy. This social principle, we
may note, rests upon a deeper psychological principle, that old habits
are usually not replaced by new habits without an intervening period of
confusion and uncertainty. In other words, in the transition from the
old habit to the new habit there is much opportunity for disorganization
and disintegration. It is exactly so in human society, because social
institutions are but expressions of habit.

Now, the old semipatriarchal type of the family, which prevailed down to
the beginning of the nineteenth century, the type of the family which we
might perhaps properly call the monarchical type, has been disappearing
for the past one hundred years,--is in fact already practically extinct,
at least in America, but we have not yet built up a new type of the
family to take its place. The old semipatriarchal family of our
forefathers has gone, but no new type of the family has yet become
general. A democratic type of the family in harmony with our democratic
civilization must be evolved. But such a democratic type of the family
can be stable only upon the condition that its stability is within
itself and not without. Authority in various coercive forms made the old
type of the family stable, but a stable basis for a new type of the
family has not yet been found, or rather it has not been found by large
elements of our population. Unquestionably a democratic ethical type of
the family in which the rights of every one are respected and all
members are bound together, not through fear or through force of
authority, but through love and affection, is being evolved in certain
classes of our society. The problem before our civilization is whether
such a democratic ethical type of the family can become generalized and
offer a stable family life to our whole population. It is evident that
in order to do this there must be a considerable development, not only
of the spirit of equality, but even more, a considerable development of
social intelligence and ethical character in the minds of the people. To
construct a stable family life of this character, however, which is
apparently the only type which will meet the demands of modern
civilization,--is not an impossibility, but is a delicate and difficult
task which will require all the resources of the state, the school, and
the church. There is, however, no ground as yet for pessimism regarding
the future of our family life; rather all its instability and
demoralization of the present are simply incident, we must believe, to
the achievement of a higher type of the family than the world has yet
seen. Such a higher type, however, will not come about without effort
and forethought on the part of society's leaders.

Remedies for the Divorce Evil.--That the instability of the family and
divorce, so far as it is an expression of that instability, is an evil
in society is implied in all that has thus far been said concerning the
origin, development, and functions of the family as an institution. We
shall not stop, therefore, to argue this point since all preceding
chapters amount to an argument upon this question. It may be added,
however, that in so far as observations have been made of the results of
divorce upon children, that the argument has been substantiated, for
apparently the children of separated or divorced parents are much more
apt to drift into poverty, vice, or crime, that is, into the
unsocialized classes, than children who do not come from such disrupted
homes. Assuming, then, without further argument that divorce, or rather
the instability of the family, is an evil in modern society, the
question arises, how can it be remedied?

If, as has already been implied, the real evil is not so much divorce as
the decay of the family life, then it at once becomes evident that
legislation can do little to correct the real evil. That it can do
nothing, and that an attitude of _laissez-faire_ is justified upon
this question, is, of course, not implied. As we have already noted, the
difference between the few divorces of the Dominion of Canada and the
many divorces of the United States is largely due to a difference of
laws; nevertheless, we cannot assume from this that there is a like
difference in the state of the family life of the two countries.
Unquestionably, however, legislation can do something even in the way of
setting moral ideals before a people. Divorce laws should not be too lax
if we do not wish a state to set low moral standards for its citizens.
It is not too much to say, therefore, that the lax divorce laws of many
of our states are a crime against civilization, even though making these
laws much stricter might not of itself greatly check the decay of the
family. Again, reasonable restrictions upon the remarriage of divorced
parties might very well be insisted upon by law for the sake of public
decency if nothing more. Present laws in many states permit the
remarriage of divorced parties immediately upon granting of divorce. It
would seem that a law requiring the innocent party to wait at least six
months, and the guilty party to wait from two to five years and then
give evidence of good conduct before being permitted to remarry, would
work a hardship upon no one. Again, a uniform federal divorce and
marriage law might have some good effects upon the family life of the
nation. Divorce and marriage are of such general importance that they
should be controlled by federal statutes rather than by state laws. If
such an amendment to our present federal constitution were enacted, it
might not result in greatly decreasing the number of divorces in this
country, but it would result in bringing about uniformity in the
different states in the matter of marriage as well as in the matter of
divorce, which, from many points of view, is desirable. Moreover, if
divorce were under federal control this would throw all divorce cases
into the federal courts, and would, perhaps, secure a stricter
administration of divorce laws.

But it is evident that the main reliance in combating the evils which
have given rise to the present instability of our family life must be
placed upon education rather than upon legislation. Legislation, we may
here note, has many shortcomings as an instrument of social
reconstruction or reform. Legislation is necessarily external and
coercive. It fails oftentimes to change the habits of individuals, and
very generally fails to change their opinion. Education, on the other
hand, alters human nature directly, changing both the opinions and
habits of the individual. Neither education nor legislation can be
neglected in social reconstruction. Both are necessary, but supplement
each other. But from the time of Plato down all social thinkers have
perceived the fact that education is a surer and safer means of
reorganizing society than legislation. While, therefore, I would not
oppose education to legislation, I would say that emphasis in all social
reform should be laid upon education rather than coercive legislative
action, and especially in this case of relaying the foundations for a
stable family life in our country. The main reliance, then, in this
matter must be placed upon the education which the school, the church,
and the home can give to the rising generation. Until children are
taught to look upon the family as a socially necessary and therefore
sacred institution, until they are taught to look upon marriage as
something other than an act to suit their own convenience and pleasure,
we must expect that our family life will be unstable. The
reconstruction of our family life, indeed, practically involves the
reconstruction of our whole social life. Things in industry, in
business, in politics, in the conventions and ideals and general spirit
of our people, that are opposed to stability in family relations, must
be remedied before we can strike at the root of the evil. All of this
may be taken for granted; but it would seem that the moral education of
the young is the key to the situation in any event. The importance of a
pure and wholesome family life in society should, therefore, be
emphasized by our whole system of public education, while the
responsibility which rests upon the church in this connection is
especially obvious; but the home itself must, it may be admitted, be the
chief means of inculcating in the young the sacredness of the family.
Inasmuch as this cannot be done in homes that are already demoralized,
the main hope must be that such education will be given to children in
homes that are as yet relatively pure and stable. Movements toward such
education already exist in society, and, as we have already said, there
is no reason for pessimism, if we take a long view of the situation. But
it is nevertheless evident that the instability of the family must be
regarded as the greatest of our social problems to-day.

Summary Regarding the Influence of Industrial Conditions upon the
Present Instability of the Family.--As we have already seen, the
development of modern industry is one of the chief causes of the decay
of modern family life. Certain aspects of our industrialism, such as the
labor of women and children in factories, the growth of cities, and the
loss of the home through the slum and the tenement, the higher standards
of living and comfort, and the resulting higher age of marriage,--all of
these have had, to a certain extent at least, a disastrous effect upon
the family. Some of these things, like the growth of cities, seem
inseparable from modern industrial development. The problem must be,
therefore, how to overcome the evil effect of these tendencies in
industry upon the home. There is no reason for believing that such evil
effects cannot be overcome, although the problem is a difficult one. Our
aim should be, not to stop industrial development, but to guide it and
control it in the interest of the higher development of the family. That
this is entirely feasible may already be seen from what has been
accomplished in the way of regulating the labor of women and children
and in the way of providing better conditions in the homes of the
working population.

There is, however, nothing in evidence in the causes of increasing
divorce in the United States which warrants the belief that American
industrial development is alone responsible for the increasing
instability of our family life. The industrial development of America is
less peculiar in many ways than its political and social development.
Divorce and instability of the family, as we have seen, characterize the
American people more than any other civilized population. This fact,
then, cannot be explained entirely in terms of American industrial
development, but we must look also, as has already been emphasized, to
certain peculiarities in American character, American institutions, and
American ideas and ideals. The divorce movement in the United States
affords no proof of the theory of economic determinism.


_For brief reading:_

WILLCOX, _The Divorce Problem: A Study in Statistics._
ADLER, _Marriage and Divorce_, Lecture II.
Special Report on _Marriage and Divorce_, 1867-1906, Bureau of the Census.

_For more extended reading:_

HOWARD, _History of Matrimonial Institutions._
LICHTENBERGER, _Divorce: A Study in Social Causation._
WOLSEY, _Divorce and Divorce Legislation._
WRIGHT, _First Special Report of United States Commissioner of Labor:
     Marriage and Divorce_, 1891.



Mass is a factor in the survival of a social group. Other things being
equal, that society will stand the best chance of surviving which has
the largest population. Moreover, the larger the mass of a given group
the greater can be the industrial and cultural division of labor in that
group. Hence, other things being equal, a large population favors the
growth not only of a higher type of industry, but also of a higher type
of culture or civilization in a given society. The questions which
center around the growth of population, therefore, are among the most
important questions which sociology has to deal with.

The growth of population is, of course, more or less indirectly
connected with the family life, since the growth of population in the
world as a whole is dependent upon the surplus of births over deaths.
But population has so long been looked at as a national question that
perhaps it will be best to study it from the standpoint of the national
group. The population of modern national groups, the influences which
augment and deter the growth of the population of these groups, and the
laws of population in general, will be what will concern us in this

Population Statistics of Some Modern Nations.--The following table of
statistics will show the status of the populations of the largest
nations of Europe and America in the nineteenth century:

                       Population,    Population,     Increase per
                          1801.          1901.       Year, per cent.

Russia (in Europe) ... 40,000,000     106,159,000         1.36
Germany .............. 24,000,000      56,367,000         1.39
France ............... 26,800,000      38,961,000         0.12
Great Britain and
Ireland .............. 16,300,000      41,605,000         1.21
Austria .............. 25,000,000      45,310,000         0.91
Italy ................ 17,500,000      32,449,000         0.73
Spain ................ 10,500,000      18,000,000         0.32
United States ........  5,308,000      76,303,000         2.09

This table shows, that while the population of nearly all of these
nations has increased rapidly within the nineteenth century, that the
increase is relatively unequal in some cases. If we project Russia's
increase of population to the year 2000 A.D., we shall find that its
probable population will be in the neighborhood of 300,000,000;
Germany's probable population, say 167,000,000; Great Britain and
Ireland's probable population, 135,000,000; while France's probable
population in the year two thousand, if it continues to increase only at
its present slow rate, will be but 45,000,000. While these forecasts of
population cannot be considered certain in any sense, still they are
sufficient to show that the growth of modern nations in population is
relatively unequal. Inasmuch as the mere element of numbers is one of
the greatest factors for the future greatness of any nation, this is a
highly important matter. A nation of only 40,000,000 a century hence, it
is safe to say, will be no more important than Holland and Belgium are
now. On the other hand, it is very probable that a century hence the
civilized nations that lead in population will also lead in industrial
and cultural development. Many other factors, of course, enter into the
situation, but the factor of mere numbers should not be neglected, as
all practical statesmen recognize.

A century hence it is probable that the population of continental United
States will be about 300,000,000. It would be considerably more than
this if the present annual rate of increase were to continue, but
inasmuch as that is not likely, an estimate of 300,000,000 is
sufficiently high. [Footnote: The official estimate by the Census Bureau
is 200,000,000; but this for many reasons seems too low.] We have
already seen that it is probable that Russia's population may equal
300,000,000 by the year 2000. It seems probable, therefore, that the
United States and Russia may be the two great world powers a century
hence, particularly if Russia emerges from its present social and
political troubles and takes on fully Western civilization, while the
other nations may tend to ally themselves with the one or the other of
these great world powers. Of course, China is the _X_--the unknown
quantity--in the world's future. Should its immense population become
civilized and absorb Western ideas, this would certainly bring into the
theater of the world's political evolution a new and important factor.

The population and vital statistics of the various civilized countries

(1) The population of all civilized countries, with one or two
exceptions, has been increasing rapidly since the beginning of the
nineteenth century. Previous to that time we have no statistics that are
reliable, but it seems probable that the population of Europe stood
practically stationary during the Middle Ages and increased only slowly
down to the nineteenth century; but during the nineteenth century the
population of the leading industrial nations has increased very rapidly.
This is due primarily, without doubt, to improved economic conditions,
which has made it possible for a larger population to subsist within a
given area. Back of these improved economic conditions, however, has
been increased scientific knowledge in ways of mastering physical
nature, and accompanying them has been a very greatly decreased death
rate, due in part at least to the advance of medical science.

(2) This increase in population has been due, not to an increase in
birth rate, but to a decreased death rate. During the nineteenth century
the death rate decreased markedly in practically all civilized
countries. As we have already noted, this is due primarily to improved
living conditions, particularly in the food, clothing, and shelter for
the masses, but it has also been due in no small part to the advance in
medical science, and especially that branch of it which we know as
"public sanitation." Because the death rate decreases with improved
material, and probably also with improved moral conditions, it is a
relatively good measure, at least of the material civilization or
progress of a people. We may note that the death rate is measured by the
number of deaths that occur annually per thousand in a given population.
The death rate of the countries most advanced in sanitary science and in
industrial improvement apparently tends to go down to about fifteen or
sixteen per thousand annually.

(3) The birth rate of civilized countries has also fallen markedly
during the nineteenth century, especially during the latter half. On the
whole, this is a good thing. The birth rate should decrease with the
death rate. This leaves more energy to be used in other things; but when
the birth rate falls more rapidly than the death rate or falls beyond a
certain point, it is evident that the normal growth of a nation is
hindered, and even its extinction may be threatened. While an
excessively high birth rate is a sign of low culture on the whole, on
the other hand an excessively low birth rate is a sign of physical and
probably moral degeneracy in the population. When the birth rate is
lower than the death rate in a given population, it is evident that the
population is on the way to extinction. In order that a birth rate be
normal, therefore, it must be sufficiently above the death rate to
provide for the normal growth of the population. On the whole, it seems
safe to conclude that we have no better index of the vitality of a
people, that is, of their capacity to survive, than the surplus of
births over deaths. Such a surplus of births over deaths is also a
fairly trustworthy index of the living conditions of a population,
because if the living conditions are poor, no matter how high the birth
rate may be, the death rate will be correspondingly high, and the
surplus of births over deaths, therefore, relatively low.

Vital statistics are, therefore, an indication of more than the mere
health or even the material condition of a given population. Probably
there are no social facts from which we may gather a clearer insight
into the social conditions of a given population than vital statistics.

Without going into the vital statistics of modern nations in any detail,
the following table of birth rates and death rates will serve to
illustrate the decrease in the death rates and the birth rates of the
three leading European nations, the birth rate being computed the same
as the death rate, that is, the number of births per thousand annually
of the population:

                                        DEATH RATE

                             1871-1890   1893-1902   1904

England ...................     20.3       17.6      16.2
Germany ...................     26.0       21.5      19.6
France ....................     22.8       20.8      19.4

                                        BIRTH RATE

                             1871-1890   1893-1902   1904

England ...................     34.0       29.3      28.0
Germany ...................     38.1       35.9      35.2
France ....................     24.6       22.8      20.9

From the above table it is evident that while birth rates and death
rates have been declining in all civilized peoples, the decline has been
unequal in different peoples. Both England and Germany in the above
table show still a good surplus of births over deaths; in the case of
England in 1904 this surplus being 11.8 per thousand of the population
annually, while in the case of Germany it was 15.6. In the case of
France, however, the surplus of births over deaths for a number of years
has been very insignificant, and in the year 1907 there were actually
about 20,000 more deaths than births in all France (773,969 births
against 793,889 deaths). France's population has, therefore, been
practically stationary for a number of years, while within the last year
or two it seems to be actually declining.

The causes of the stationary population of France are probably mainly
economic, although all the factors which influence the family life in
any degree must also influence birth rate. For a number of years the
economic conditions of France have not been favorable to the growth of a
large population, and at the same time the law necessitating the equal
division of the family's property among children has tended to encourage
small families. Unquestionably, however, other factors of a more general
social or moral nature are also at work in France as well as in all
other populations that are decreasing in numbers.

_The Decrease in the Native White Stock in the United States._
Certain classes in the United States also show a very slight surplus of
births over deaths and in some cases absolutely declining numbers. In
general the United States Census statistics seem to indicate that the
native white stock in the Northern states is not keeping up its numbers.
This is suggested by the decreasing size of the average family in the
United States. The average size of the family in the United States in
1850 was 5.6 persons; in 1860, 5.3; in 1870, 5.1; in 1880, 5.0; in 1890,
4.9; and in 1900, 4.7. Moreover, if we include only private families in
1900, the average size of the family was only 4.6. Thus, between 1850
and 1900 the size of the average family in the United States decreased
by nearly one full person. This decrease is most evident in the North
Atlantic and North Central states. In Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire,
for example, the average size of the family in 1900 was 4.1 persons.

Moreover, the vital statistics kept by the state of Massachusetts for a
number of years show conclusively that the native white stock in that
state is tending to die out. In 1896, for example, in Massachusetts the
native born had a birth rate of only 16.58, while the foreign born had a
birth rate of 50.40. Again, the following table of birth rates and death
rates for 1890 in the city of Boston [Footnote: Taken from Bushee's
_Ethnic Factors in the Population of Boston_, Publications American
Economic Association, Vol. IV., No, 2, 1903.] for the native born and
sections of the foreign born shows conclusively that the native-born
element is not keeping up its numbers:

                                  Birth Rate     Death Rate

Native born .....................    16.40         17.20
Irish ...........................    45.60         25.20
Germans .........................    48.00         15.00
Russian Jews ....................    94.60         15.90
Italians ........................   104.60         25.30

It is evident from this table that the foreign born are increasing in
Boston very rapidly in numbers through birth, while the native born are
apparently not even holding their own. The high birth rate of the
foreign born is, of course, in part to be explained through the fact
that the foreign-born population is made up for the most part of
individuals in the prime of life, that is, in the reproductive age.
Nevertheless, while this explains the excessively high birth rate of
some of these foreign elements, it does not explain the great
discrepancy between their birth rate and that of the native born. If the
present tendencies continue, it is apparently not difficult to foresee a
time in the not very distant future when the old Puritan New England
families will be replaced in the population of Boston entirely by the
descendants of recent immigrants.

Moreover, so far as vital statistics concerning different classes can be
gathered in the northern tier of the states, practically everywhere the
same tendencies are manifest, that is, everywhere we find the
native-born white population failing to hold its own alongside of the
more recent immigrants. Apparently, therefore, we must conclude that the
birth rate in the native whites in the United States is declining to
such an extent that that element in our population threatens to become
extinct if present tendencies continue. Only the Southern whites present
an exception to this generalization. The Southern white people, from
various causes not well understood,--partially, perhaps, from family
pride, partially, perhaps, from racial instinct, but even more probably
on account of certain economic conditions,--keep up their numbers,
increasing more rapidly even than the negro population which exists
alongside of them.

_Causes of the Decrease in Birth Rate in the Native White Stock in the
United States._ What, then, are the causes of this decrease in the
birth rate of the native white stock in the United States? It is worth
our while to inquire briefly into these causes, for they illustrate the
factors which are at work in favoring or deterring the growth of

(1) Economic conditions are without doubt mainly at the bottom of the
decreasing birth rate in the native white American population. Certain
unfavorable economic conditions have developed in this country of recent
years for this particular element; especially have higher standards of
living increased among the native white population in the United States
more rapidly than their income. This has led to later marriages and
smaller families. Again, more intense competition along all lines has
forced certain elements of the native stock into occupations where wages
are low in comparison with the standard of living. This has, perhaps,
especially come about through the increased competition which the
foreign born have offered to the native white element. The foreign born
have taken rapidly all the places which might be filled by unskilled
labor and many of the places filled by skilled labor. The native born
have shrunk from this competition and have retired for the most part to
the more socially honorable occupations, such as clerkships in business,
the professions, and the like. In many of these occupations, however, as
we have already said, the wages are low as compared with the standards
of living maintained by that particular occupational class; hence, as we
have already said, later marriages and fewer children. Rising standards
of living and rising costs of living have, therefore, impinged more
heavily upon the native born than upon the foreign born. It is difficult
to suggest a remedy for this condition of affairs. No legislator can
devise means of encouraging a class to have large families when by so
doing that class would necessarily have to sacrifice some of its
standards of living. However, it may be that the native born can be
protected to some extent from the competition of the foreign born
through reasonable restrictions upon immigration, and it may also be
that unreasonable advances in standards of living may be checked, but
both of these propositions seem to be of somewhat doubtful nature.

(2) No doubt the pressure of economic conditions is not responsible for
small families in some elements of the native white population in the
United States, for oftentimes the smallest families are found among the
wealthy, among whom there could be no danger of a large family lowering
the standards of living or pressing upon other economic needs. We must
accept as a second factor in the situation, therefore, the inherent
selfishness in human nature which is not willing to be burdened with the
care of children. In other countries, and apparently in all ages, the
wealthy have been characterized by smaller families than the poor. The
following table from Bertillon, [Footnote: Quoted by Newsholme, Vital
Statistics, p. 75.] showing the number of births per thousand women
between fifteen and fifty years of age in Paris, Berlin, and London
among the various economic classes, shows conclusively that it is not
altogether the pressure of economic wants which leads to the limiting of
a population:


                   Paris    Berlin    London.

Very poor .......   108       157       147
Poor ............    95       129       140
Comfortable .....    72       114       107
Rich ............    53        63        87
Very rich .......    34        47        63

(3) Besides economic conditions and individual selfishness we must
unfortunately add another cause of decreasing birth rate in our
population which has been definitely ascertained, and that is vice. Vice
cuts the birth rate chiefly through the diseases which accompany it.
About 20 per cent of American marriages are childless, and medical
authorities state that in one half of these childless marriages the
barrenness is due to venereal diseases. According to Dr. Prince A.
Morrow, in his _Social Diseases and Marriage_, 75 per cent of the
young men in the United States become impure before marriage. This
serves to disseminate venereal diseases among the general population,
especially among innocent women and children. The consequence is, on the
one hand, a considerable number of sterile marriages and on the other
hand a high infant mortality. It need not be assumed, as we have already
said, that vice is more prevalent to-day than in previous generations,
but on account of the conditions of our social life diseases which
accompany vice are now more widely disseminated than they have been at
any time in our previous history; therefore, even the physical results
of vice are different to-day than they were a generation or more ago.

(4) Education has been alleged as a cause of decreasing birth rate in
the native white American stock. This, however, is true only in a very
qualified sense. While it is a fact, as collected statistics have shown,
that if Harvard and other universities depended on children of their
alumni for students their attendance would actually decrease in numbers,
it is not true that college graduates have had a lower birth rate than
the economic and social classes to which they belong. So far as
statistics have been collected, indeed, they seem to indicate that the
wealthy uneducated are producing fewer children than the educated
classes who associate with them. The influence decreasing the birth rate
among the educated is, therefore, not education itself, but the high
standards of living and the luxury of the classes with whom they

On the other hand, the higher education of women seems to be, down to
the present time, operating as a distinct influence to lessen the birth
rate among the educated classes for the reason that apparently a
majority of educated women do not marry. The higher education has not
yet gone far enough, however, to give us any definite facts with which
to judge what the ultimate effect of woman's higher education will be.
If the higher education of woman is going to lead to a large per cent of
the best and most intellectual women in society leading lives of
celibacy, then, of course, ultimately the higher education of woman will
be disastrous to the race. But probably the relative infrequency of
marriage among women who are college graduates is a transitory
phenomenon due to the fact that neither women nor men are as yet
adjusted to the higher education of women.

(5) Some phases of the "woman's movement" have without doubt tended to
lessen the birth rate in certain sections of American society. Some of
the leaders of the woman's movement have advocated, for example, that
women should choose a single life, while others have advocated that
families should not have more than two children. Mrs. Ida Husted Harper,
indeed, has gone so far as to claim that if families would have but two
children this would be a cure-all for many social troubles. Indeed, this
ideal of two children in the family has been so widely disseminated in
this country that it is often spoken of as the "American Idea." Of
course, such teachings could not be without some effect. Without
attempting to reply to the advocates of this theory of but two children
to a family, it will be sufficient to remark that for a population
simply to remain stationary three children at least must be born to each
family on the average; otherwise, if only two children are born, as one
of the children is apt to die or fail to marry, the population will
actually decrease in numbers. Under the best modern conditions one out
of three children now born either fails to live to maturity or fails to
reproduce. There must be, therefore, more than three children born to
the average family for a population to grow. From the sociological point
of view the ideal family would seem to be one in which from three to six
children are born.

(6) Finally, not all of the childless and small families in the native
American stock are due by any means to voluntary causes, or even
involuntary causes of the kind that we have mentioned. There are also
certain other obscure physiological causes at work producing sterility
in American women. The sterility of American women is greater than that
of any other civilized population, even apart from the causes which have
just been mentioned. Some say this is due to physical deterioration in
the native white American stock, and there are other things which seem
to point in that direction. It may be, however, that this deterioration
is in no sense racial, but only individual, affecting certain
individuals who lead a relatively unnatural life. Our American
civilization puts a great strain upon certain elements of our
population, and this strain in many cases falls even more upon the women
than upon the men. The social life of the American people, in other
words, is oftentimes such as to produce exhaustion and physical
degeneracy, and this shows itself in the women of a population first of
all in sterility. It is evident that the remedy for this cause is a more
natural and more simple life on the part of all, if it is possible to
bring this about.

Thus, the causes which influence birth rate are evidently very complex.
In the main they are doubtless economic causes among all peoples, but
there is no reason to believe that these economic causes act alone in
determining birth rate, nor is there any reason to believe that the
other psychological and biological causes may be in any way derived from
the economic. So far as we can see, then, industrial conditions are
mainly responsible for the lessened birth rate in the native white
American stock. But mingled with these industrial conditions, operating
as causes, are certain psychological (or moral) and biological factors
that have to be considered as in the main independent. It is furthermore
evident that the causes which lead to the decline and extinction of any
population, whether civilized or uncivilized, are complex. All efforts
to explain the extinction of peoples of antiquity, or modern nature
peoples, such as the North American Indians and the Polynesians, through
any single set of causes, must be looked at as unscientific. It can
readily be shown that in all these cases the causes of the decline of
the birth rate and the ultimate extinction of the stock are numerous and
are not reducible to any single set of causes.

_Causes which Influence the Death Rate._ Before we can fully
understand the causes of the growth of a population, that is, of the
surplus of births over deaths, we must understand something also about
the things which influence the death rate as well as the things which
influence the birth rate, because, let it be borne in mind, the growth
of a given population (excluding immigration always) is due to the
combined working of these two factors.

Within certain limits the death rate is more easily controlled than the
birth rate. It is very difficult for society deliberately to set about
to increase the birth rate, but it is comparatively easy for it to take
deliberate measures to decrease the death rate, because all individuals
have a selfish interest in decreasing the death rate; but the increase
of the birth rate does not appeal to the self-interest of individuals.
Modern medical science, as we have seen, has done much to decrease the
death rate in civilized countries, and it promises to do even more.
Fifty years ago a death rate of fifty or sixty per thousand population
in urban centers was not unusual, but now a death rate of thirty to
forty in a thousand in the same communities is considered an intolerable
disgrace, and the time will shortly come, no doubt, when even a death
rate of twenty per thousand of the population will be considered
disgraceful to any community. As we have already seen, the normal death
rate of the most enlightened European and American communities tends to
establish itself around fifteen or sixteen.

Of course the sanitary and hygienic conditions which influence the death
rate are so numerous that we cannot enter into and discuss them. We can
only mention some of the more general social influences which are often
overlooked and are of particular interest to the sociologist.

(1) The effect of war upon the death rate, particularly of the
victorious, is not so great as many people suppose. Considerable wars
are apparently often waged without very greatly increasing the number of
deaths in a given population. This is, however, only true, as has
already been said, of the victorious side. With the defeated it is far
different. The death rate among the defeated in a modern war is
oftentimes very greatly raised, but this is due not so much to the large
number killed in battle as to the fact that the defeated have their
territory invaded, their industries disturbed, and their general
industrial and living conditions depressed. The vital statistics of
France and Germany in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 illustrate
this point. In Germany the death rate in 1869, the year before the war,
was 28.5; in 1870, the first year of the war, 29; and in 1871, the
culminating year of the war, 31. These figures include the armies in the
field. For France, however, the defeated party, the figures were far
different. In 1869 the death rate in France was 23.4; in 1870, 28.3; in
1871, 34.8. Thus, while Germany had its death rate increased by the
Franco-Prussian War merely 2.5 per thousand of the population, France
had its death rate increased 11.4. From this it is plain that it is the
economic disturbances which accompany war, and particularly those which
are manifest among the defeated, which cause a very large part of the
higher death rate.

(2) As already implied, then, economic depression exercises a very
considerable influence upon death rate, particularly when economic
depression causes very high prices for the necessities of life and even
widespread scarcity of food. This cause produces far more deaths in
modern nations than war. The doubling of the price of bread in any
civilized country would be a far greater calamity than a great war.
While modern civilized peoples fear famine but little, there are many
classes in the great industrial nations that live upon such a narrow
margin of existence that the slightest increase in the cost of the
necessities of life means practically the same as a famine to these
classes. Statistics, therefore, of all modern countries, and
particularly of all great cities, show an enormous increase in sickness
and death among the poorer classes in times of economic depression.

(3) Climate and season are rather constant factors in the death rate of
all communities. The rule here is that in northern countries the death
rate is higher in winter, while in southern countries and in great
cities the death rate is higher in summer. Taking 100 as an arbitrary
standard, in Sweden in February deaths rise to 113, in August they go
down to 79; while in Italy in February deaths are at 106 as compared
with the standard, and in August at 111,--the period of minimum death
rate in Italy being in the spring and autumn. In a great city like
Berlin, if 100 be taken as the standard, deaths are 88 in February and
144 in August, owing very largely to the higher death rate of children
in the summer months in great cities.

(4) The biological fact of sex also influences death rate. Males in
general are shorter-lived than females. This is in part due to the fact
that in human populations men are more exposed to the dangers of
industry in earning a livelihood, while women are more secluded in the
home. But this does not explain entirely the discrepancy in the death
rate of the two sexes, for boy babies under the same conditions die more
frequently than girl babies. As we have already seen, the female
organism is the more stable, biologically, and hence females, while
having less physical strength, have more vitality than males. In Great
Britain the death rate (1872-1880) for the males was 22.7 per thousand
of the male population annually, while the death rate for the females
was 20.2 per thousand of their population annually.

(5) Conjugal condition is also a factor which affects death rate. The
differences between the death rates of the married and unmarried have
long been noted. The following table of the death rates of males and
females of different conjugal classes between the ages of forty and
fifty years (in Germany, 1876-1880), taken from Professor Mayo-Smith's
_Statistics and Sociology_, illustrates this:

Single males ....................... 26.5 per thousand
Married males ...................... 14.2  "     "
Widowed males ...................... 29.9  "     "

Single females ..................... 15.4  "     "
Married females .................... 11.4  "     "
Widows ............................. 13.4  "     "

It will be seen from these figures that the death rate among the single
is in all the more advanced years of life higher than among the married.
The probable explanation of this, however, is not that the married state
is better physiologically, as has been so often claimed, but that it is
better socially. These figures are a testimony, in other words, to the
social advantages of the home. Single persons, particularly in the more
advanced years of life, who are without homes, are more liable to fall
sick, and when sick are less liable to receive proper care. That these
figures show the great social advantage of the home in preserving life
is evident from the fact that among the widowed males, whose homes have
been broken up, the death rate is higher even than among the single
males. Moreover, in interpreting such statistics we must bear in mind
that the unmarried in the higher ages of life are made up very often of
those who are relatively abnormal, either physically or mentally, that
is, of the biologically unfit. Inasmuch as the single persons include
many of this class, and also lack the comforts of home, it is not
surprising that the death rate is much higher among them.

(6) Infantile mortality is one of the most interesting phases of vital
statistics. We have already said that the death rate is a good rough
measure of a people's civilization. Even more can we say that the death
rate among children, particularly those under one year of age, is an
index to a people's sanitary and moral condition. Taking the world as a
whole, it is still estimated that one half of all who are born die
before the age of five years. This represents an enormous waste of
energy. Even in many of the most civilized countries the death rate
among children, and especially among infants under one year of age, is
still comparatively high. Most of this death rate is unnecessary, could
be avoided, and, as we have already said, represents a waste of life.
Dr. Newman [Footnote: In his work on _Infant Mortality_.] gives the
following statistics for different civilized countries for the ten-year
period of 1894-1903. These statistics, we may note, are based on the
percentage of deaths among children under one year of age and not upon
the one thousand of their population. In Russia, 27 per cent of all
children born during the ten-year period of 1894-1903 died the first
year; in Germany, 19.5 per cent; in Italy, 17 per cent; in France, 15.5
per cent; in England, 15 per cent; in Ireland, 10 per cent; in Norway,
9.4 per cent; in New Zealand, 9.7 per cent; while in the United States
in 1900, according to the census, 16.2 per cent of all children born in
the registration area died the first year.

The Laws of the Growth of Population.--Can the growth of population be
reduced to any principle or law? This is a problem which has puzzled
social thinkers for a long time. Many have thought that the growth of
population can be reduced to one or more relatively simple laws, but we
have seen from analyzing the statistics of birth rate and death rate
that this is hardly probable. A formula that would cover the growth of
population would have to cover all of the variable causes influencing
birth rate and death rate and so entering into the surplus of births
over deaths. It is evident that these causes are too complex to be
reduced to any such formula among modern civilized peoples. In the
animal world and among uncivilized peoples, however, conditions are
quite different, and the growth of population is regulated by certain
very simple principles or laws. Thus it is probable that for centuries
before the whites came, the Indians of North America were stationary in
their population, for the reason that under their stationary condition
of culture a given area could support only so many people. In conditions
of savagery, and even of barbarism, therefore, we can lay down the
principle that population will increase up to the limit of food supply,
will stop there and remain stationary until food supply increases. This
is the condition which governs the growth of the population of all
animal species, and, as we have already said, of the savages and
barbarians among the human species. But among civilized men who have
attempted the control of physical nature, and to some extent even the
control of human nature, many other factors enter in to influence both
birth rate and death rate, and so the growth of the population.

Nevertheless, many social thinkers of the past have conceived, as has
already been said, that the growth of population might be reduced to
very simple and definite laws. Among the first who proposed laws
governing population was an English economist, Thomas Robert Malthus,
whose active career coincides with the first quarter of the nineteenth
century. In 1798 Malthus put forth a little book which he entitled _An
Essay on the Principle of Population as it affects the future
improvement of society_. This essay went through numerous editions
and revisions, and in it Malthus elaborated his famous economic theory
of the growth of population. Inasmuch as this theory of Malthus has been
the storm center of sociological and economic writers for the past one
hundred years, it is worth our while to note very briefly what Malthus's
theory was, and why it is inadequate as a scientific statement of the
laws governing the growth of population.

_Malthus's Theory of Population._ In the first edition of his essay
Malthus contended that population tends to increase in geometric ratio,
while food at best will increase only in arithmetical ratio; and that
this means that constant discrepancies between population and food
supply would appear, with the result that population would have to be
cut down to food supply. Later Malthus saw how crude this statement of
his theory was and abandoned any attempt at mathematical statement,
presenting substantially the following theory: (1) Population is
necessarily limited by food; (2) Population always increases where food
increases and tends to increase faster than food; (3) The checks that
keep population down to food supply may be classified as positive and
preventive. Positive checks are those which increase the death rate,
such as famine, poverty, vice, disease, and the like. Preventive checks
are those that decrease the birth rate, such as late marriage and
prudence in the birth of children. Inasmuch as Malthus believed that the
positive checks must always operate where the preventive checks did not,
he advocated the use of the preventive checks as the best means to
remedy human misery. The inherent tendency of population to outstrip
food supply, Malthus believed to be the main source of human misery in
all of its forms.

_Criticisms of Malthus's Theory._ (1) It is evident that Malthus's
theory applies only to a stationary society, that is, a non-progressive
society, because in a progressive society human invention and,
therefore, food supply, may far outstrip any increase of population.
This has been the case in practically all civilized countries during the
nineteenth century, where improvements in machinery and agriculture have
greatly increased the food supply. If it be replied that this increase
of food is but temporary, and that sooner or later Malthus's theory must
operate, then it may be said, on the other hand, that as yet we see no
limit of man's mastery over nature, and that apparently we are just
entering upon the stage of material progress. Moreover, so far as any
given country is concerned, wealth is potential food supply, and in the
United States during the last fifty years wealth has increased four
times as fast as the population. Malthus, of course, did not foresee the
inventions and agricultural progress of the nineteenth century. Still,
it is evident that his theory is a static one and cannot be made to
apply to any progressive society.

(2) Similarly, the theory makes no allowance for the increased
efficiency which may come with increased population, because increase of
population makes possible better coöperation. As we have already seen,
coöperation and division of labor in a society depend upon the size of
the group to a certain extent, that is, the larger the group there is
for organization the better can be the organization and division of
labor in that group. Every increase of population, therefore, opens up
new and superior ways of applying labor; and coöperation and the
division of labor make it possible for men to do more as a group than
they could possibly accomplish working as individuals. Improved means of
coöperation, therefore, operate very much the same way in human society
in controlling nature as new inventions.

(3) The theory of Malthus makes no allowance for the general law of
animal fertility, which is that as the rate of individual evolution
increases the rate of reproduction decreases. Of course, Malthus's
theory antedates this law of animal fertility, which was first stated by
Herbert Spencer. Some scientists declare that this law does not apply
within the human species, and it must be admitted that it is not yet
certain that it does. As we have already seen, however, the lower and
less individualized classes in human society reproduce much more rapidly
than the upper or more individualized classes. Increase of food supply,
of wealth, and so on, does not necessarily mean increase of population,
and the fatal error in Malthus's theory is that he assumes that wherever
food increases population always increases also.

(4) The overpopulation which Malthus feared, so far from being an evil,
has been shown by the labors of Darwin to be the condition essential to
the working of the process of natural selection in the human species.
Overpopulation, at least until artificial selection arrives, is not an
evil, but a good in human society. Without it there would not be
sufficient elimination of the unfit in human society to prevent
wholesale social degeneration. Even with artificial selection, however,
some overpopulation would be necessary for the working of any scheme of
selection. We must conclude, then, that Malthus's theory, either as an
explanation of the growth of modern populations or as an implied
practical ethical doctrine, is of no value whatever.

This is not saying, of course, that Malthus's theory may not have some
elements of truth in it. Undoubtedly Malthus's theory does apply to
stationary, non-progressive peoples, like savages and barbarians in
certain stages of culture, and also perhaps to certain classes in modern
society who fail to participate in modern social progress. But these
lower classes or elements in human society are constantly decreasing,
especially in America, where the tendency to individual improvement is
so marked. Again, Malthus's theory, so far as it depends upon the
economic law of diminishing returns in agriculture, has also certain
elements of truth in it, and in so far as it merely asserts that the
struggle for existence in human society is, in the last analysis, a
struggle for food. Finally, Malthus meant his theory chiefly as a
criticism of socialistic and communistic schemes, which would equalize
wealth and do away with competition in society. Unquestionably any such
scheme to equalize wealth and do away with competition in society would
result in the enormous increase of the lower and more brutal element of
society--those that have not yet participated in modern culture.
Malthus's theory as a criticism of socialistic schemes that would do
away with competition (this, however, does not apply to modern
scientific socialism) is unquestionably as good to-day as when it was

Most modern economists and sociologists recognize the failure of Malthus
to formulate a successful theory of population, and so many have
attempted to form theories independent of Malthus; but it must be said
regarding most of these attempts that they have succeeded no better than
Malthus. For example, a French economist and sociologist, Arsène Dumont,
has formulated the theory that society is like a sponge so far as
population is concerned,--that it will take up just as many new
individuals as it has industrial room for, and that population will in
all cases expand to meet these increased economic opportunities.
Dumont's theory is that population will increase so far as what he calls
the power of social capilarity extends. The law of population is, then,
the capilarity of society. Where there are new economic opportunities
population will increase; where there are no new economic opportunities
there will be no increase. France has no new economic opportunities, so
the population will not increase. The same is true of certain classes in
the United States. This theory tries to make population depend even more
entirely upon economic conditions than Malthus's theory. At first it
appears more plausible than Malthus's theory, but this is probably
because it is more vague. Economic influences are powerful influences,
as we have already seen, in determining the growth of a population, but
they are not the only ones. The factors which make up the surplus of
births over deaths are so complex that they cannot possibly be lumped
together and called collectively economic conditions. Dumont's theory of
the growth of population has no more scientific value than Malthus's

In conclusion, we may say that we are unable to formulate any laws of
population which are worthy of the name of laws as yet, and it seems
probable that, while we may understand clearly enough the factors which
enter into the growth of population, we shall never be able to reduce
these factors to a single formula or law. Social phenomena are too
complex, we may here note, to reduce to simple formulas or laws as
physical phenomena are reduced. Indeed, it is doubtful whether laws
exist among social phenomena in the same sense in which they exist among
physical phenomena, that is, as fixed relations among variable forces.
Human society has in it another element than mechanical causation or
physical necessity, namely, the psychic factor, and this so increases
the complexity of social phenomena that it is doubtful if we can
formulate any such hard and fixed laws of social phenomena as of
physical phenomena. This is not saying, however, that social phenomena
cannot be understood and that there are not principles which are at work
with relative uniformity among them. It is only saying that the social
sciences, even in their most biological or physical aspects, cannot be
reduced to the same exactness as the physical sciences, though the
knowledge which they offer may be in practice just as trustworthy.


_For brief reading:_

MAYO-SMITH, _Statistics and Sociology_, Chaps. IV-VIII.
BAILEY, _Modern Social Conditions_, Chaps. III-VI.

_For more extended reading:_

BONAR, _Malthus and his Work._
BOWLEY, _Elements of Statistics._
MALTHUS, _Essay on the Principle of Population._
NEWSHOLME, _Vital Statistics._



In new countries population may increase by immigration as well as by
the surplus of births over deaths. Immigration is, therefore, a
secondary means of increasing the population of a country, and in new
countries is often of great importance.

Immigration, or the migration of a people into a country, along with its
correlative emigration, or the migration of a people out of a country,
constitutes a most important social phenomenon. All peoples seem more or
less migratory in their habits. Man has been a wanderer upon the face of
the earth since the earliest times. According to modern anthropology the
human species probably evolved in a relatively narrow area and peopled
the earth by successive migrations to distant lands. In all ages,
therefore, we find more or less migratory movements of populations. But
the movements in modern times, particularly in the nineteenth century,
probably exceed, in the number of individuals concerned, any other
migratory movements of which we have knowledge in history. Ancient
migrations were, moreover, somewhat different from modern immigration
and emigration. Ancient migrations were largely those of peoples or
tribes, while in modern times migration is more of an individual matter.
The Huns, for example, came into Europe as a nation, but the immigration
into the United States at the present time is wholly an individual
movement. The causes of migration are more or less universal, but
corresponding to the difference in ancient and modern migrations we find
the causes varying somewhat in ancient and modern times. The causes of
ancient migrations and the primary causes of all migrations seem to be:
(1) lack of food; (2) lack of territory for an expanding population; (3)
war. In modern times we find other causes operating, like, (4) the labor
market; men now migrate chiefly to get better economic opportunities;
(5) government; in modern times the oppression of unjust governments has
often caused extensive migration; (6) religion; religious persecution
and intolerance have in modern times been important among the causes of

History of Immigration into the United States.--The great economic
opportunities offered by the settlement of the vast territory of the
United States, together with a combination of causes in Europe, partly
political, partly religious, and partly economic, have caused, during
the last century, a flood of immigrants from practically all European
countries, to invade the United States, greater in number of individuals
than any recorded migration in history. Between 1820, the first year for
which we have immigration statistics, and 1907, 25,318,000 immigrants
sought homes, temporarily or permanently, in this country,--more than
one half of them coming since 1880. Before 1820 it is improbable that
immigration into the United States assumed any large proportions. Even
up to 1840 the number of immigrants was comparatively insignificant.
Thus in 1839 the number was only 68,000, and not until 1842 did the
number of immigrants first cross the 100,000 mark. Owing to the potato
famine in Ireland in the forties, however, and to the unsuccessful
revolution in Germany in 1848, the number of immigrants from Europe
began greatly to increase. From 1851 to 1860 inclusive no less than
2,598,000 immigrants sought homes in this country. The number fell off
greatly during the Civil War, and did not reach the same proportions
again until the eighties, when from 1881 to 1890 the volume of
immigration rose to 5,246,000. The number of immigrants again declined
during the nineties, owing largely to the financial depression in the
United States, to 3,800,000; but during the decade, 1901-1910, it
surpassed all former records, and amounted to nearly 9,000,000.

It is curious to note how the maximum periods of immigration have
hitherto been about ten or twenty years apart. Thus the first noteworthy
maximum of 427,000, in 1854, was not surpassed again until 1873, when
another maximum of 459,000 was recorded; in 1882 another maximum was
reached of 788,000, and in 1903 another maximum of 857,000. After 1903,
however, immigration went on increasing until 1907. These fluctuations
in immigration correspond to the economic prosperity of the country,
and, as Professor Commons has shown, are almost identical with the
fluctuations in foreign imports. This shows very conclusively the
prevailing economic character of modern migration.

During 1905, 1906, and 1907, indeed, the United States received more
immigrants than its total population at the time of the Declaration of
Independence. In 1905 the number was 1,027,000; in 1906, 1,100,000; in
1907, 1,285,000. It seems probable, however, that about twenty-five per
cent will have to be deducted from these immigration statistics in
prosperous years to allow for emigrants returning to their home
countries. In a year of economic depression like 1908 when only 782,000
immigrants entered the country, the number of emigrants returning was
over one half of the total number who entered.

Previous to 1890, nearly all of the immigrants who came to us came from
the countries of Northern Europe. It has been claimed that as high as
ninety per cent came from Teutonic and Celtic countries, and were,
accordingly, almost of the same blood as the early settlers; but since
1890 the character of our immigration has changed so that since that
time nearly seventy per cent have come from non-Teutonic countries, such
as Russia, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Greece. The period of maximum
immigration for the Irish to this country was the forties and fifties;
the period of maximum immigration for the Germans was the fifties and
eighties; and for the English, the seventies and eighties. But the
period of maximum immigration for the Italians can scarcely as yet be
reckoned by decades at all. The Italians first began coming in numbers
exceeding 100,000 only in 1900, but in 1906, 273,000 of our immigrants
were Italians, and in 1907, 285,000. This latter number is larger than
any single European nationality ever sent to us in a single year, unless
we except the 338,000 people of various nationalities sent to us by
Austria-Hungary in the same year. The immigration from Austria-Hungary,
also, to the United States did not exceed 100,000 until the year 1900,
but by 1905 it had reached 275,000, and, as has been said, in 1907
reached 338,000. The immigration from Russia, consisting largely of
Russian Jews and Poles began to be considerable, if we include Poland in
Russia, by 1892, when it reached 122,000. In 1903, after falling off, it
reached 136,000; in 1906, 215,000; and in 1907, 258,000.

_Present Sources of our Immigration_. These statistics have been
cited to show the change in the sources from which we are receiving
immigrants. This can be brought out still more clearly by contrasting a
typical year previous to 1890 with one of the latest years. The year
1882 was the year, previous to 1890, of maximum immigration into this
country. During that year we received 788,000 immigrants. Nearly all, as
the table which we are about to give will show, came from countries of
Northern Europe. In order to contrast the sources of our immigration a
quarter of a century ago with the present sources, we will compare the
year 1882 with the year 1907, which thus far has been the year of
maximum immigration into the United States,--the total number of
immigrants for 1907 being 1,285,000:

                    IMMIGRATION, 1882.
                                                        Per cent.

Great Britain and Ireland .................   179,423     22.8
Germany ...................................   250,630     31.7
Scandinavia ...............................   105,326     13.3
Netherlands, France, Switzerland, etc. ....    27,795      3.5

Total Western Europe ......................               71.3

Italy .....................................    32,159      4.1
Austria-Hungary ...........................    29,150      3.7
Russia, etc. ..............................    22,010      2.7

Total Southern and Eastern Europe .........               10.5

All other countries .......................               18.2
[Footnote: 1. Of the immigration from
"other countries" 98,295 was from British
North America, or 12.4 per cent of the
total. This,added to the 71.3 per cent from
Western Europe, makes a total of 83.7 of
the immigrants in 1882 of West European


                    IMMIGRATION, 1907.
                                                        Per cent.

Great Britain and Ireland .................   113,567      8.8
Scandinavia ...............................    49,965      3.9
Germany ...................................    37,807      2.9
Netherlands, France, Switzerland, etc. ....    26,512      2.1

Total Western Europe ......................               17.7

Austria-Hungary ...........................   338,452     26.3
Italy .....................................   285,731     22.2
Russia ....................................   258,943     20.1
Greece, Servia, Roumania, etc. ............    88,482      6.9

Total Southern and Eastern Europe .........               75.5

All other countries .......................                6.8


It will be noted that while in 1882, 71.3 per cent of our immigrants
came from the countries of Western Europe, only 10.5 per cent came from
the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe. In 1907 the situation was
very nearly reversed. In 1907 Great Britain and Ireland, and
Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and
Switzerland--the countries which had furnished 71.3 per cent of our
immigrants in 1882--furnished only 17.7 per cent, while Austria-Hungary,
Italy, Russia, Greece, Servia, Roumania, and Turkey in Europe--the
countries which had furnished but 10.5 per cent in 1882--furnished 75.5
per cent. This matter of changed sources from which we receive our
immigrants evidently is one of first importance in any consideration of
the present immigration problem of the United States.

_The Distribution of Immigrants._ If immigrants would distribute
themselves evenly over the United States, the immigration problem would
be quite different from what it is. Instead of this, there is a massing
of immigrants in some states and communities, and very little evidence
to show that these immigrants ever distribute themselves normally over
the whole country. In 1906, for example, the Commissioner of Immigration
reported that 68.3 per cent of the 1,100,000 immigrants who came that
year went to the North Atlantic states; 22.1 per cent to the North
Central states; 4.4 per cent to the Western states; and 4.2 per cent to
the Southern states. If these figures are at all trustworthy, they
indicate a congestion of our recent immigrants in the North Atlantic
states and in certain states of the Central West. So far as the census
is concerned, it tends to confirm these statistics of the Commissioner
of Immigration. Our last census returns, being for 1900, can show
little, of course, of the distribution of the great number of recent
immigrants that have come from Southern and Eastern Europe. Still the
1900 census contains some interesting facts regarding the distribution
of foreign born, or immigrants, that have been received previous to
1900. According to the census of 1900 the number of foreign born in the
United States was 10,460,000, or 13.7 per cent of the total population.
But these foreign born were confined almost entirely to the Northern
states, that is, the North Atlantic states and North Central states. In
1900 the Southern states (South Atlantic and South Central) contained
but 4.6 per cent of the total foreign born of the country. The reason
why so few of our immigrants have thus far settled in the South is
perhaps chiefly because of the competition which the cheap negro labor
of the South would offer to them, and also because the South is still
largely agricultural, offering few opportunities for the industrial
employments, into which a majority of our immigrants go. In the North
Atlantic states in 1900 nearly one fourth of the population was foreign
born, and 20.7 per cent in the Western states. The following statistics
will show the percentage of foreign born in typical states: North
Dakota, 35.4 per cent; Rhode Island, 31.4 per cent; Massachusetts, 30
per cent; Minnesota, 28.9 per cent; New York, 26 per cent; Wisconsin,
24.9 per cent; California, 24.7 per cent; Montana, 27.6 per cent;
Indiana, 8.5 per cent; Maryland, 7.9 per cent; Missouri, 7 per cent;
North Carolina, 0.2 per cent; and Mississippi, 0.5 per cent. The
influence of the foreign born in a community, however, is better shown,
perhaps, if we consider the number of those of foreign parentage, that
is, the foreign born and their children, than if we consider the number
of foreign born alone. In a large number of states more than one half of
the population is of foreign parentage. Thus North Dakota had in 1900,
77.5 per cent of its population of foreign parentage; Minnesota, 74.9
per cent; Wisconsin, 71.2 per cent; Rhode Island, 64.2 per cent;
Massachusetts, 62.3 per cent; South Dakota, 61.1 per cent; Utah, 61.2
per cent; New York, 59.4 per cent. Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois,
Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and California all also had more than one
half of their population of foreign parentage in 1900. For the United
States as a whole the number of foreign parentage in 1900 amounted to
34.3 per cent, or 26,000,000 out of a total population of 76,000,000.
Many of our large cities also have a high percentage of foreign born and
of foreign parentage in their population. The percentage of foreign born
in some of our largest cities in 1900 was as follows:

                                                    Per cent.

New York...........................................   37
Chicago............................................   34.6
Philadelphia.......................................   22.8
Saint Louis........................................   19.4
Boston.............................................   35.1
Baltimore..........................................   13.5
San Francisco......................................   34.1
Cleveland..........................................   32.6

These same cities had the following percentage of foreign parentage in
their population:

                                                    Per cent.

New York...........................................   76.9
Chicago............................................   77.4
Philadelphia.......................................   54.9
St. Louis..........................................   61.0
Boston.............................................   72.2
Baltimore..........................................   38.2
San Francisco......................................   75.2
Cleveland..........................................   75.6

These figures show the tendency of our immigrants to mass together in
certain states and also in our great cities; so that it has come about
that it is said that New York is the largest German city in the world
except Berlin; the largest Italian city except Rome; the largest Polish
city except Warsaw, and by far the largest Jewish city in the world.

Only one nationality distributes itself relatively evenly over the
country, and that is the British. All other nationalities have certain
favorite sections in which they settle. Thus, the Irish settle mainly in
the North Atlantic states; the Germans have two favorite settlements in
the United States, one of them consisting of New York and Pennsylvania,
and the other of Wisconsin and Illinois, though Michigan, Iowa, and
Missouri also contain a large number of Germans. The Scandinavians
locate chiefly in the Northwest, especially in Minnesota, North and
South Dakota; and the large number of foreign parentage in those states
is due to Scandinavian immigration. All these nationalities, however,
readily assimilate with our population, as they have very largely the
same social and political standards and ideals. But this is not true
regarding some of the more recent immigrants from Southern and Eastern
Europe, whose massing in large communities of their own must be regarded
as a more serious matter. The census does not help us to find out how
far these recent immigrants have massed in certain localities, but the
Commissioner of Immigration has kept statistics of the destination of
these recent immigrants, and they show the following results: In 1907,
of the 294,000 Italian speaking immigrants who came to us in that year,
120,000 settled in the state of New York; 53,000 in Pennsylvania; 19,000
in Massachusetts; and 17,000 in New Jersey. Three fourths of the Italian
immigrants, in other words, apparently go to these four states. Of the
138,000 Poles who came in 1907, 33,000 were bound to Pennsylvania,
31,000 to New York, 12,000 to New Jersey, and 17,000 to Illinois. These
four states seem to constitute the favorite places of settlement for the
Slavs. Of the 149,000 Russian and Polish Hebrews who came in 1907,
93,000 settled in New York state, 15,000 in Pennsylvania, and 9000 in
Massachusetts, these three states being the favorite places of
settlement for recent Jewish immigrants.

It seems clear from these figures that the congestion of recent
immigrants is serious, and it is a question whether with such congestion
it will be possible to assimilate these recent comers, so unlike
ourselves in social traditions and ideals, to the American type. It is
claimed by some that there is no serious congestion of immigrants in
this country, and that the immigrants distribute themselves through the
operation of normal economic influences in the places where they are
most needed, and that we need not, therefore, be concerned about the
congestion of foreign born in certain communities. This view, however,
that economic laws or forces will sufficiently attend to this matter of
the distribution of our immigrants, is not borne out by the facts of
ordinary observation and experience.

_The Distribution of Immigrants in Industry_. It is probably safe
to say that four fifths of our recent immigrants belong to the unskilled
class of laborers, though the percentage of unskilled fluctuates greatly
from year to year and from nationality to nationality. Out of the total
of 1,285,000 immigrants in 1907 only 12,600 were recorded by the
Commissioner of Immigration as belonging to the professional classes;
190,000, or about 15 per cent, were skilled laborers, including all who
had any trade; while 760,000 were unskilled laborers, including farm and
day laborers, 304,000 being persons of no occupation, including women
and children. When we consider the matter by races, the contrast is even
more striking. Of the 242,000 South Italian immigrants in 1907 only 701
were professional men; 26,000, or 11 per cent, were skilled laborers;
while the number of unskilled amounted to 161,000, or 66 per cent. Of
the 138,000 Poles who came in 1907, only 273 were professional men;
8000, or 6 per cent, were skilled laborers; and 107,000, or 77 per cent,
were unskilled. In the case of the Hebrews, however, there is a much
higher percentage of skilled laborers and professional men. It is
claimed by those who favor the policy of unrestricted immigration that
what this country needs at present is a large supply of unskilled
laborers, and so the fact that the mass of immigrants belong to the
unskilled class of laborers, it is said, is no objection to them.

Again, the census of 1900 shows a very uneven distribution of the
foreign born among the different classes of occupations. Thus, while the
foreign born constituted about one seventh of the population, over one
third of those engaged in manufacturing were foreign born; one half of
those engaged in mining were foreign born; one fourth of those engaged
in transportation were foreign born; one fourth of those engaged in
domestic service were also foreign born, while only one eighth of those
engaged in agriculture were foreign born. This shows that the tendency
of the foreign born is to mass in such industries as mining,
manufacturing, and transportation. It is undoubtedly in these industries
that there is the greatest demand for cheap labor, and the presence of a
large number of unskilled foreign laborers has made it possible for the
American capitalists to develop these industries under such conditions
probably faster than they would otherwise have been developed. At the
same time, however, all of this has been a hardship to the native-born
American laborer, and the tendency has been to eliminate the native born
from these occupations to which the immigrants have flocked.

Some Other Social Effects of Immigration.--(1) The influence on the
proportion of the sexes of immigration into this country has without
doubt been considerable. In 1907, out of a total of 1,285,349
immigrants, 929,976 were males and 355,373 were females. For a long
period of years about two thirds of all the immigrants into the United
States have been males. This has considerably affected the proportion of
the sexes in the United States, making the males about 1,000,000 in
excess in our population. The influence of such a discrepancy in the
proportion of the sexes is difficult to state, but it is obvious, from
all that has previously been said about the importance of the numerical
equality of the sexes in society, that the influence must be a
considerable one, and that not for good.

(2) The following table shows how far the increase of population in the
United States in the decennial periods since 1800 has been due to
immigration and to reproduction. Until 1840 the increase by immigration
was so small as to be hardly noticeable, and therefore no account of it
is taken.

          Total Increase     By Immigration     By Birth
Year        Per cent.          Per cent.        Per cent.

1800         35.70
1810         36.38
1820         34.07
1830         33.55
1840         32.67                4.66           28.01
1850         35.87               10.04           25.83
1860         35.58               11.12           24.46
1870         22.63                7.25           15.38
1880         30.08                7.29           22.79
1890         24.86               10.40           15.40
1900         20.73                5.86           14.87

This table shows that it is not certain that immigration has increased
the total population of the United States, as a decrease of the natural
birth rate seems to have accompanied increasing immigration. For this
reason Professor Francis A. Walker held that it was doubtful that
immigration had added anything to the population of the United States.
At any rate, the population of the country was increasing just as
rapidly before the large volume of immigration was received as it
increased at any later time. Again, the Southern states, which have
received practically no immigrants since the Civil War, have increased
their population as rapidly as the Northern states, that is, the
increase of population among the Southern whites has been equal to that
of the Northern assisted by immigration. These two facts suggest that
the immigrants have simply displaced an equal number of native born who
would have been furnished by birth rate if the immigrants had never

(3) Immigration has very largely aided in maintaining a considerable
amount of illiteracy in the United States in spite of the effects of the
propaganda for popular education which has been carried on now for the
last fifty years or more. In 1900 there were still 6,246,000 illiterates
above the age of ten years in the United States, which was 10.7 per cent
of the population above that age. Of these, about 3,200,000 were whites,
and of this number, again, 1,293,000 were foreign born. Nearly all of
the native white illiterates in the United States are found in the
Southern states, the white illiteracy in the Northern states being
practically confined to the foreign born. Thus, in the state of New York
5.5 per cent are illiterate, but of the native whites only 1.2 per cent
are illiterate, while 14 per cent of the foreign population can neither
read nor write. Again, in Massachusetts 5 per cent of the population are
illiterate, but of the native whites only 0.8 per cent are illiterate,
while 14.6 per cent of the foreign born are illiterate. Statistics of
illiteracy for our cities show the same results. Thus, in the city of
New York 6.8 per cent of the population are illiterate, but only 0.4 per
cent of the native whites are illiterate, while 13.9 per cent of the
foreign born are illiterate. Boston has 5.1 per cent of its total
population illiterate, but only 0.2 per cent of its native white
population are illiterate, while 11.3 per cent of its foreign-born
population are illiterate. Of the total immigration in 1907, 30 per cent
were illiterate. The number of illiterates from different countries
varies greatly. In 1907, 53 per cent of the immigrants from Southern
Italy were illiterate. In the same year 40 per cent of the Poles were
illiterate, 25 per cent of the Slovaks from Austria, 56 per cent of the
Ruthenians from Austria, 29 per cent of the Russian Jews, and 54 per
cent of the Syrians. The bulk of our immigration is now made up of these
people from Southern and Eastern Europe, among whom the illiteracy is
high. It is interesting to contrast the condition of these people with
the immigrants from Northern and Western Europe, whence our immigration
was mainly received a few years ago. The percentage of illiteracy among
the immigrants from Western Europe is very low. Thus, in 1907 among the
French it was only 4 per cent; among the Germans, 4 per cent; Irish, 3
per cent; English, 2 per cent; and Scandinavians, less than 1 per cent.
Connected more or less with this fact of illiteracy is the number in our
population who cannot speak English. In 1900 the number of persons in
the United States above the age of ten years who could not speak English
was reported by the census to be 1,463,000, but it is probable, owing to
the recent large immigration, that the number is at least twice that at
the present time.

(4) Crime and Poverty. It is said that crime is apt to accompany
migration. However, down to 1904 our immigrants have not shown any
exaggerated tendency to crime. The special prison census of 1904 showed
that 23.7 per cent of the male white prisoners were foreign born, while
23 per cent of the general male white population above the age of
fifteen years were foreign born. This shows a tendency to crime among
the foreign born not greatly out of proportion to their numbers in the
population. The same census, however, showed that 29.8 per cent of all
white male prisoners committed during 1904 were born of foreign parents,
while this element constituted only 18.8 per cent of the general white
male population. Thus, among the children of the foreign born there
appears to be an exaggerated tendency to crime, while not among the
foreign born themselves. The probable explanation of this is that the
children of the foreign born are often reared in our large cities, and
particularly in the slum districts of those cities. Thus the high
criminality of the children of the foreign born is perhaps largely a
product of urban life, but it may be suggested also that the children of
the foreign born lack adequate parental control in their new American
environment. Certain elements among our immigrants, however, seem
strongly predisposed to crime. This is especially true of the Southern
Italian. For example, the census of 1904 showed that 6.1 per cent of the
foreign-born prisoners committed during 1904 were Italian, while
Italians constituted but 4.7 per cent of the total foreign-born
population. Moreover, if we consider simply serious offenses, the
evidence of the criminality of the Italian immigrant is even still more
striking, for 14.4 per cent of the foreign-born major offenders
committed during 1904 were Italians, while, as was just said, Italians
constituted only 4.7 per cent of the total foreign-born population.

In the matter of poverty and dependence the foreign born make a more
unfavorable showing. In the special census report on paupers for 1904
the proportion of foreign born among almshouse paupers was about twice
as great as among the native born. Again, in a special investigation
conducted by the Commissioner of Immigration in the year 1907-1908, out
of 288,395 inmates of charitable institutions there were 60,025 who were
foreign born, or about 21 per cent, and out of 172,185 inmates of insane
hospitals, 50,734, or about 29 per cent, were foreign born. Inasmuch as
the foreign born probably did not constitute in 1907-1908 more than 15
or 16 per cent of the total population of both sexes, it is seen that
the foreign born contribute out of their proportion both to inmates of
charitable institutions and to the number of the insane. The experience
of Charity Organization Societies in our large cities, especially New
York, confirms these findings. It is not surprising, indeed, that many
of our immigrants should soon need assistance after landing in this
country, inasmuch as a very large proportion of them come to the United
States bringing little or no money with them. Thus, for a number of
years the amount of money brought by immigrants from Russia has varied
from nine to fifteen dollars per head. On account of the difficulties of
economic adjustment in a new country it is not surprising, then, that
many of the immigrants become more or less dependent, some temporarily
and some permanently.

Immigration into Other Countries.--It has been suggested that with the
opening up of other new countries the immigration problem of the United
States would solve itself, and that so many emigrants from Europe will
soon be going to South America, South Africa, and Australia that this
country will be in no danger of receiving more than its share. Down to
recent years, however, there have been little or no signs of such a
diversion of the stream of immigration from Europe into those countries.
The principal countries which receive immigrants other than the United
States are Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and Australia. While Brazil has
received between 1855 and 1904 a total of 2,096,000 immigrants, the
present number of immigrants into Brazil seems to be comparatively
small, for in 1904 it was only 12,400. Argentina, next to the United
States, receives the most considerable immigration from Europe. From
1857 to 1906 Argentina received 3,639,000 immigrants. In 1906 the number
was 252,000, of whom 127,000 were Italian, 17,000 Russian Hebrews, and
the remainder from various European nationalities. The foreign
immigration into other South American countries is comparatively
insignificant. In 1906 Australia received 148,000 immigrants, most of
whom were British, but the emigration from Australia almost equaled the
immigration into Australia in that year. Again, in 1906 the Dominion of
Canada received 189,000 immigrants, chiefly from Great Britain and the
United States. An unknown number, however, of Canadians migrated across
the border into the United States,--no record being kept of Canadian
immigration into the United States since 1885, except of those who come
by way of seaports. Thus it is certain that the United States receives
more immigration at the present time than all the other countries of the
world combined, and, as we have said, there is as yet little or no
evidence that the stream of European emigration will be diverted for
some years to come to these other countries. The problem of immigration
in the United States is not, therefore, a problem of the past, but is
still a problem of the future. Therefore, the question of reasonable
restrictions upon immigration into this country and of the improvement
of the immigrants that we admit is still a pressing problem of the day.

Proposed Immigration Restrictions.--There are no good moral or political
grounds to exclude all immigrants from this country. The question is not
one of the prohibition of immigration, but one of reasonable
restrictions upon immigration, or, as Professor Commons has said, of the
_improvement_ of immigration.

There can be no question as to the moral right of the United States to
restrict immigration. If it is our duty to develop our institutions and
our national life in such a way that they will make the largest possible
contribution to the good of humanity, then it is manifestly our duty to
exclude from membership in American society elements which might prevent
our institutions from reaching their highest and best development. All
restrictions to immigration, it must be admitted, must be based, not
upon national selfishness, but upon the principle of the good of
humanity; and there can be no doubt that the good of humanity demands
that every nation protect its people and its institutions from elements
which may seriously threaten their stability and survival. The arguments
in favor of further restrictions upon the immigration into this country
may be summed up along four lines:

(1) _The Industrial Argument_. Many of the immigrants work for low
wages, and, as we have already seen, offer such competition that the
native born, in certain lines of industry, are almost entirely
eliminated. This has been, no doubt, a hardship to the native-born
American workingman. While we have been zealous to protect the American
workingman from the unfair competition of European labor by high
protective tariffs, yet inconsistently we have permitted great numbers
of European laborers to compete with the American workingman upon his
own soil. On the other hand, this large supply of cheap labor, as we
have already seen, has enabled American capitalists to develop American
industries very rapidly, to dominate in many cases the markets of the
world, and to add greatly to the wealth of the country. It has been
chiefly the large employers of labor in the United States, together with
the steamship companies, who have opposed any considerable restrictions
upon immigration, and thus far their power with Congress has
successfully prevented the passing of stringent immigration laws. On the
whole, it is probably true that if industrial arguments alone are to be
taken into consideration upon the immigration problem, the weight of the
argument would be on the side of unrestricted immigration. But
industrial arguments are not the only ones to be taken into
consideration in considering the immigration problem, and this has been
hitherto one of the great mistakes of many in discussing the problem.

(2) _The Social Argument._ Many of our recent immigrants are at
least very difficult of social assimilation. They are clannish, tend to
form colonies of their own race in which their language, customs, and
ideals are preserved. This is especially true of the illiterate
immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe. As we have already seen,
the rate of illiteracy among certain of our recent immigrants is so high
that they can scarcely be expected to participate in our social life.
Just the social effect of such colonies of different peoples and
nationalities upon our own social life and institutions cannot well be
foreseen, but it can scarcely be a good effect. The public school, it is
true, does much to assimilate to American ideals and standards the
children of even the most unassimilable immigrants. The public school is
not as yet, however, a perfect agency of socialization, and even when
attended by the children of these immigrants they fail to receive from
it, in many cases, the higher elements of our culture and still continue
to remain essentially foreign in their thought and actions.

(3) _The Political Argument._ Many of these immigrants are,
therefore, incapable of understanding and appreciating our free
institutions. They are not fit to vote intelligently, but are
nevertheless quickly naturalized and form a very large per cent of our
voting population, especially in our large cities. As a rule, they do
not sell their votes, but their votes are often under the control of a
few leaders, and thus they are able to hold, oftentimes, the balance of
power between parties and factions. It is questionable whether free
institutions can work successfully under such conditions.

(4) _The Racial or Biological Argument._ Undoubtedly the strongest
arguments in favor of further restriction upon immigration into the
United States are of a biological nature. The peoples that are coming to
us at present belong to a different race from ours. They belong to the
Slavic and Mediterranean subraces of the white race. Now, the Slavic and
Mediterranean races have never shown the capacity for self-government
and free institutions which the peoples of Northern and Western Europe
have shown. It is doubtful if they have the same capacity for
self-government. Moreover, the whole history of the social life and
social ideals of these people shows them to have been in their past
development very different from ourselves. Of course, if heredity counts
for nothing it will only be a few generations before the descendants of
these people will be as good Americans as any. But this is the question,
Does heredity count for nothing? or does blood tell? Are habits of
acting and, therefore, social and institutional life, dependent, more or
less, on the biological heredity of peoples, or are they entirely
independent of such biological influence? There is much diversity of
opinion upon this question, but perhaps the most trustworthy opinion
inclines to the view that racial heredity, even between subraces of the
white race, is a factor of great moment and must be taken into account.
It is scarcely probable that a people of so different racial heredity
from ourselves as the Southern Italians, for example, will develop our
institutions and social life exactly as those of the same blood as
ourselves. It is impossible to think that the Latin temperament would
express itself socially in the same ways as the Teutonic temperament.
Certainly the coming to us of the vast numbers of peoples from Southern
and Eastern Europe is destined to change our physical type, and it seems
also probable that if permitted to go on it will change our mental and
social type also. Whether this is desirable or not must be left for each
individual to decide for himself.

Another phase of this biological argument is the necessity of selection,
if we are to avoid introducing into our national blood the degenerate
strains of the oppressed peoples of Southern and Eastern Europe. If
selection counts in the life of a people, as practically all biologists
agree, then the American people certainly have a great opportunity to
exercise selection on a large scale to determine who shall be the
parents of the future Americans. While it is undesirable, perhaps, to
discriminate among immigrants on the ground of race, it would certainly
be desirable to select from all peoples those elements that we could
most advantageously incorporate into our own life. The biological
argument alone, therefore, seems to necessitate the admission of the
importance of rigid selection in the matter of whom we shall admit into
this country. At present, however, almost nothing is being accomplished
in the way of insuring such a selection of the most fit. All that is
attempted at the present time is to eliminate the very least fit, and
the elimination amounts to only about one per cent of all who come to

Our present immigration laws debar a number of classes, chiefly,
however, persons suffering from loathsome or dangerous diseases, persons
who are paupers or likely to become public charges, and contract
laborers, besides Chinese laborers. Practically all who are debarred at
the present time come under these heads. Other classes who are debarred,
however, are idiots, imbeciles, epileptics, insane, criminals, assisted
immigrants, polygamists, anarchists, prostitutes, and procurers. Only an
insignificant number, however, of immigrants are debarred upon these
latter grounds. In 1907, with a total immigration of 1,285,000, only
13,064 were debarred as coming under these excluded classes, or a trifle
over one per cent. For a number of years, indeed, since we have had any
restriction laws at all, the number debarred has been a trifle over one
per cent. Of course, this constitutes no adequate selection of
immigrants which would satisfy biological or even high social
requirements. It would seem, therefore, that our immigration laws, from
a biological and sociological standpoint, are extremely deficient and
that some means of more adequate selection among immigrants should
speedily be found.

It has been suggested that a better selection of immigrants may be
secured by imposing an illiteracy test upon all male immigrants between
the ages of sixteen and fifty years coming to us, excluding those male
immigrants between these ages who cannot read or write in some language.
It is not proposed that this test should take the place of the present
restrictions, but should be in addition to the present restrictions. It
is argued by those who favor this test: (1) that it would exclude those
elements that we desire to exclude, namely, the illiterates from
Southern and Eastern Europe; (2) that it is easy to apply this test; (3)
that immigrants would know before leaving European ports whether they
would be admitted or not; (4) that such a test would have a favorable
educational and, therefore, social effect upon the countries from which
we now draw our largest proportion of illiterate immigrants.

It would seem, however, that the more important tests should be certain
tests as to biological, social, and economic fitness. It would be no
hardship upon any one for this country to require that all immigrants
come up to a certain biological standard and that this standard should
be a very strict one, say, the same as that required for admission to
the United States army; and that furthermore they should possess enough
money to insure the probability of their economic adjustment in this
country. Such tests, moreover, might be enforced by our government
practically without cost, as the burden of making such tests could be
placed entirely upon the steamship companies that bring immigrants to
the United States. It has been shown that a heavy fine of from one
hundred to five hundred dollars for every person that is brought to the
United States that does not conform to the requirements of our
immigration laws is sufficient to make the steamship companies exercise
a very stringent selection upon all whom they bring to us as immigrants.

Finally, something may probably be done to secure a better distribution
of our immigrants through the coöperation of the federal government with
state immigration societies, and with various private employment and
philanthropic agencies. In any case the requirement that the immigrant
shall possess beyond his ticket a certain amount of money, say $25.00,
would help to secure a wider distribution of our immigrants.

Asiatic Immigration.--What has been said regarding there being no good
social or political argument for the prohibition of immigrants does not
apply to Asiatic immigration. Here the importance of the racial factor
becomes so pronounced that it may well be doubted if a policy of
exclusion toward Asiatic immigration would not be the wisest in the long
run for the people of this country.

It is true that but few Asiatic immigrants have as yet come to this
country, but there are grave reasons for believing that if the policy of
exclusion had not been adopted a quarter of a century ago, Asiatic
immigration would now constitute a very considerable proportion of our
total immigration. It is chiefly the Chinese who are the main element in
Asiatic immigration, and between 1851 and 1900 the Chinese sent us a
total of only 310,000 immigrants; but in 1882, the year before the first
Chinese Exclusion Law was put into effect, 39,000 Chinese immigrants
entered the United States, and if their rate of increase had been kept
up the Chinese would now be sending us from 100,000 to 300,000
immigrants annually. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, reenacted and
strengthened again in 1892 and in 1902, excluded all Chinese laborers
from the United States. Consequently in 1890 the census showed only a
total of 107,000 Chinese in this country, and in 1900 only 93,283,
exclusive of Hawaii. In Hawaii, however, there were 25,767 Chinese in
1900, most of whom were residents of the islands previous to the
annexation. The Chinese in continental United States were, moreover,
massed in 1900 chiefly in the Pacific Coast states, there being 67,729
Chinese in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast states, of which number
45,753 were in California alone.

In judging this question of Asiatic immigration we should accept to a
certain extent the opinion of the people of the Pacific Coast regarding
the problems which these Asiatic immigrants create. At any rate, the
opinion of any group of people who are closest to a social problem
should not be disregarded, as there are probabilities of error on the
part of the distant observer of conditions as well as on the part of
those who stand very close to a social problem. Just as we should accept
the opinion of the Southern people in regard to the negro problem as
worth something, so we should accept the judgment of the people of our
Western states in regard to the Chinese and Japanese also as worth
something. Now, as regards the Chinese, the people of the Pacific Coast
say they would rather have the negro among them than the Chinese. They
have numerous objections to the Chinese, similar to the various lines of
argument which have already been given in favor of the restriction of
immigration. They say, namely, (1) that the Chinese work for wages below
the minimum necessary to maintain life for the white man, and so reduce
the standard of living and crowd out the white working-man. There can
scarcely be any question that the white laboring man is not able to
compete economically with the Chinese laborer.

(2) Again, they claim that the Chinese make no contribution to the
welfare of the country; that they come here to remain several years, to
attain a competence, and then return to China.

(3) It is claimed that the Chinese are grossly immoral, that they are
addicted to the opium habit and other vices, and that so few women come
among the Chinese immigrants that Chinese men menace the virtue of white

(4) The Chinese do not readily assimilate. They keep their language,
religion, and customs. They live largely by themselves, and are even
more completely isolated from American social life than the negro. In
comparison with them, indeed, one is struck with the fact that the negro
has our customs, our religion, our language, and, in so far as he has
been able to attain them, our moral standards, but this is not the case
with the Chinese. It is, moreover, impossible for the Chinese to assume
the white man's standards without losing his own social position among
members of his own race.

(5) The last and strongest argument in favor of the general exclusion of
Chinese laborers from this country, however, is the racial argument. The
Chinese are just as different in race from us as the negro, and if
racial heredity counts for anything it is fatuous to hope to assimilate
them to the social type of the whites. Moreover, if we should open our
doors to the mass of Chinese laborers China would be able to swamp us
with Chinese immigrants. With its hundreds of millions of population
China could spare to us several hundred thousand immigrants each year
without feeling the loss. If we wish to keep the western third of our
country, therefore, a white man's country it would be well not to open
the doors to Chinese immigrants. It is certain that if we open our doors
to the mass of Chinese immigrants we shall have another racial problem
in the West such as we now have in the South with the negro. Those who
claim upon the basis of sentiment or humanity that we should open our
doors and attempt to civilize and christianize the flood of Chinese who
would come to us, probably do not appreciate fully the social status of
the Chinese or the social status of the American people. The truth is we
are not yet ourselves enough civilized to undertake the work of
civilizing and christianizing a very considerable number of people alien
to ourselves in race, religion and social ideals. Again, those who
advocate the free admission of the Chinese probably do not appreciate
the importance of the element of racial heredity in social problems. The
negro problem should have taught us by this time that this factor of
racial heredity is not to be discounted altogether.

All that has been said regarding Chinese immigration applies to Asiatic
immigration in general. It is not surprising, therefore, that since the
Japanese laborers have begun to come to us in large numbers the people
of the Pacific Coast should demand the exclusion of the Japanese
immigrants. While Japan has not the immense population of China and
while the Japanese are perhaps a more adaptable people than the Chinese,
still it would seem that in the main the people of the Pacific Coast are
justified in their fears of the results of a large Japanese immigration.
For the peace of both countries and of the world, therefore, it is to be
hoped that the flow of Japanese laborers into the Western states will be
checked without any disruption of the friendship of the United States
and Japan. The same thing can be said regarding the Hindoo immigrants
who are just beginning to come to us. It would appear that the wisest
policy, therefore, regarding, all Asiatic immigration is the exclusion
of Asiatic laborers, and as these would constitute over nine tenths of
all Asiatic immigrants who might come to us, this would assure a
practical solution of the problem.


_For brief reading:_

COMMONS, _Races and Immigrants in America_.
HALL, _Immigration and Its Effect upon the United States_.
MAYO-SMITH, _Emigration and Immigration_.

_For more extended reading:_

GROSE, _The Incoming Millions_.
STEINER, _On the Trail of the Immigrant_.
WHELPLEY, _The Problem of the Immigrant_.
Reports of the United States Commissioner-General of Immigration.

_On Chinese Immigration:_

COOLIDGE, _Chinese Immigration_.



Already we have been brought in our study of the immigration problem to
race problems--problems of the relations of races to one another and of
their mutual adjustment. The negro problem is one of many race problems
which the United States has, but because it is the most pressing of all
of our race problems it is frequently spoken of as _the race
problem_. An unsolved factor in all race problems is the biological
influence of racial heredity, and this factor we must seek to understand
and estimate at the very outset of any scientific study of the negro

Racial Heredity as a Factor in Social Evolution.--We have already seen
that racial heredity is the most important and at the same time the
least known factor in the problem of immigration. While there is still
much disagreement among scientific men as to the importance of racial
heredity in social problems, it can be said that the weight of opinion
inclines to the view that racial heredity is a very real factor, and one
which cannot be left altogether out of account in studying social
problems. The view of Buckle that racial heredity counted for nothing in
explaining the social life of various peoples is not upheld by modern
biologists. On the contrary the biological view would emphasize the
importance of species and racial heredity in all problems connected with
life; thus no one denies that between different species of animals
heredity counts for everything in explaining their life activities, and,
as between the different breeds or races of a single species, no other
position is possible from the biological point of view. Nevertheless it
may be admitted that man no longer lives a purely animal life and that
racial heredity as a factor in his social life may be easily
exaggerated. On the whole, it is a safe rule to follow that racial
heredity should not be invoked to explain the social condition of a
people until practically all other factors have been exhausted.
Nevertheless as between the different races or great varieties of
mankind there must be a great difference in racial heredity. It could
not, indeed, be otherwise, since these different races were developed in
different geographical environments or "areas of characterization."
Natural selection has developed in each race of mankind an innate
character fitted to cope with the environment in which it was evolved.
This is clearly perceptible in regard to their bodily traits, and all
modern research seems to show that their native reactions to different
stimuli also vary greatly, that is, heredity affects their thoughts,
feelings and mode of conduct as well as the color of skin, texture of
hair, and shape of head. In other words, the instincts or native
reactions of the different races of man vary considerably in degree if
not in quality, and from this it follows that their feelings, ideas, and
modes of conduct must also vary considerably.

It may be noted, however, that taking racial heredity into full account
by no means leads to an attitude of fatalism as regards racial problems.
On the contrary modern biology clearly teaches that racial heredity is
modifiable both in the individual and in the race. It is modifiable in
the individual through education or training; it is modifiable in the
race through selection. Therefore racial heredity does not foredoom any
people to remain in a low status of culture; only it must be taken into
account in explaining the cultural conditions of all peoples, and
especially in planning for a people's social amelioration.

The Racial Heredity of the Negro.--It is generally agreed by
anthropologists and biologists that mankind constitutes but a single
species, developed from a single pre-human anthropoid stock. The various
races of mankind have had, therefore, a common origin, but having
developed in different geographical areas they each present certain
peculiar racial traits adapting each to the environment in which it was
developed. Now, the negro race is that part of mankind which was
developed in the tropics. In all the negro's physical and mental make-up
he shows complete adaptation to a tropical environment. The dark color
of his skin, for example, was developed by natural selection to exclude
the injurious actinic rays of the sun. The various ways in which the
negro's tropical environment influenced the development of his mind,
particularly of his instincts, cannot be here entered into in detail.
Suffice to say that the African environment of the ancestors of the
present negroes in the United States deeply stamped itself upon the
mental traits and tendencies of the race. For example, the tropical
environment is generally unfavorable to severe bodily labor. Persons who
work hard in the tropics are, in other words, apt to be eliminated by
natural selection. On the other hand, nature furnishes a bountiful
supply of food without much labor. Hence, the tropical environment of
the negro failed to develop in him any instinct to work, but favored the
survival of those naturally shiftless and lazy. Again, the extremely
high death rate in Africa necessitated a correspondingly high birth rate
in order that any race living there might survive; hence, nature fixed
in the negro strong sexual propensities in order to secure such a high
birth rate.

It is not claimed that the shiftlessness and sensuality of the masses of
the American negroes to-day can be wholly attributed to hereditary
influences, but it would be a great mistake to suppose that the African
environment did not have something to do with these two dominant
characteristics of the present American negro. So we might go through
the whole list of the conspicuous traits and tendencies of the American
negro, and in practically every case we would find good reason for
believing that these racial traits and tendencies are at least in part
instinctive, that is, due to the influence of racial heredity.

The question is frequently raised whether the negro is inferior by
nature to the white man or not. It is obvious from what has been said
that the negro may, on the side of his instinctive or hereditary
equipment, be inferior to the white man in his natural adaptiveness to a
complex civilization existing under very different climatic conditions
from those in which he was evolved. This does not mean, however, that
the negro is in any sense a degenerate. On the contrary, from the point
of view of a tropical environment, as we have already made plain, the
negro may be regarded as the white man's superior. It is only in
countries out of his own natural environment, under strange conditions
of life to which he has not yet become biologically adapted, that the
negro is inferior to the white man. In Africa he is the white man's
superior if we adopt survival as the test of superiority.

Influence of Slavery on the Negro.--There is no longer any doubt that
the influence of slavery on the negro, as a form of industry, was both
beneficent and maleficent. The negroes brought to America by the slave
traders were subject to a very severe artificial selection, which,
perhaps, secured a better type of negro physically on the whole, and a
more docile type mentally; but the chief beneficent influence of slavery
on the negro was that it taught him to work, to some extent at least.
Moreover, it gave the negro the Anglo-Saxon tongue and the rudiments of
our morality, religion, and civilization.

On the other hand, slavery did not fit the individual or the race for a
life of freedom, and did not raise moral standards much above those of
Africa. The monogamic form of the family was, to be sure, enforced upon
the slaves, but the family life was often broken up; for even when the
owner of the slaves was kind-hearted and humane, on his death his
property would be sold and the families of his slaves scattered. Under
such conditions it is not surprising that the negro learned little of
family morality. Again, being property himself, the negro could not be
taught properly to appreciate the rights of property. Finally slavery
failed to develop in the slave that self-mastery and self-control which
are necessary for free social life. Admirable as slavery was in some
ways as a school for an uncultivated people, it failed utterly in other
ways; and it surely should not be difficult to devise methods of
training at the present time which are superior to anything that slavery
as a school for the industrial training of the negro could possibly have

Statistics of the Negro Problem in the United States. The following
table will show the percentage of negroes in the population of the
United States at different decades (Negro, in census terminology,
includes all persons of negro descent):

                                        Per cent.

1790 ................................... 19.37
1800 ................................... 18.88
1810 ................................... 19.03
1830 ................................... 18.10
1840 ................................... 16.84
1850 ................................... 15.69
1860 ................................... 14.13
1870 ................................... 12.60
1880 ................................... 13.12
1890 ................................... 11.93
1900 ................................... 11.63

In 1860 the total number of negroes in the population of the United
States was 4,441,000. Forty years later, in 1900, the number had just
doubled, having reached 8,840,000. Nevertheless, it will be seen from
the above table that the percentage of negroes in the total population
has steadily diminished, although the negro population doubled between
1860 and 1900. Between 1890 and 1900 the comparative rates of increase
for the whites and negroes were: whites, 21.49 Per cent; negroes, 18.10
per cent.

Geographical Distribution of the Negroes. The negro problem would not be
so acute in certain sections of the country if negroes were distributed
evenly over the country instead of being massed as they are in certain
sections. Ninety per cent of the total number of negroes in the country
live in the South Atlantic and South Central states. Moreover, over
eighty per cent live in the so-called "Black Belt" states,--the "Black
Belt" being a chain of counties stretching from Virginia to Texas in
which over half of the population are negroes. The following table shows
the percentage of negro population in these states of the "Black Belt":

                                                   Per cent.

Alabama............................................. 45.2
Arkansas............................................ 28.0
Florida............................................. 43.6
Georgia............................................. 46.7
Louisiana........................................... 47.1
Mississippi......................................... 58.5
North Carolina...................................... 33.0
South Carolina...................................... 58.4
Tennessee........................................... 23.8
Texas............................................... 20.4
Virginia............................................ 35.7

While in only two of these states there is an absolute preponderance of
negroes, yet these statistics give no idea of the massing of negroes in
certain localities. In Washington County, Mississippi, for example, the
negroes number 44,143, the whites 5002; in Beaufort County, South
Carolina, the negroes number 32,137, the whites 3349. In many counties
in the "Black Belt" more than three fourths of the population are
negroes. It is in these states that the negro population is rapidly

_Increase of Negro in States since 1860_. The following table will
show the percentage of negroes in the population in former slave-holding
states in 1860 and in 1900:

States                        1860           1900
                            Per cent       Per cent

Alabama ..................    45.4           45.2
Arkansas .................    25.6           28
Florida ..................    44.6           43.6
Georgia ..................    44             40.7
Kentucky .................    20.4           13.3
Louisiana ................    49.5           47.1
Maryland .................    24.9           19.8
Mississippi ..............    55.3           58.5
Missouri .................    10              5.2
North Carolina ...........    30.4           33
South Carolina ...........    58.6           58.4
Tennessee ................    25.5           23.8
Texas ....................    30.3           20.4
Virginia .................    42             35.7

It will be noted that the states whose relative negro population has
increased since the war are Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia, while in
South Carolina and Alabama, the relative proportion of negroes has stood

In the decade from 1890 to 1900, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and
Arkansas of the above states showed a more rapid increase of their negro
population than of their white population. In other Southern states,
however, the white population increased more rapidly than the negro
population, although in Georgia both races increased about equally.

In certain Northern states the census of 1900 shows the negro population
to be increasing much more rapidly than the white population. In New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, and Massachusetts, for example,
the negro population increased about twice as fast as the white
population, but the number of negroes in these states was still in 1900
comparatively small, New York having 99,000; Pennsylvania, 156,000,
Illinois, 85,000, Indiana, 57,000; and Massachusetts, 31,000. This
increase of negro population in certain Northern states is, of course,
due to the immigration of the negro into those states, and may be
regarded on the whole as a fortunate movement, serving to distribute the
negro population more evenly over the whole country, were it not that
the negro death rate in these Northern states is so very high that the
negroes who go to these states do not as a rule maintain their numbers.

_The Urban Negro Population._--Seventeen per cent of the total
negro population in 1900 lived in cities of over 8000 population while
the remainder lived in small towns and country districts. The following
great cities had a high percentage of negroes:

                                        Per cent.

Memphis ...............................   48.8
Washington ............................   31.1
New Orleans ...........................   27.1
Louisville ............................   19.1
St. Louis .............................    6.2
Philadelphia ..........................    4.8
Baltimore .............................   15.6

Some smaller Southern cities have, of course, a much higher percentage
of negroes in their population, such as Jacksonville, Florida, 57.1 per
cent; Charleston, South Carolina, 56.5 per cent; Savannah, Georgia, 51.8
per cent. On the whole, however, it will be seen that the mass of the
negroes in the United States still live in rural districts, although
directly after the Civil War and again within recent years there has
been a considerable movement of the negroes to the cities. This is
extremely significant for the social conditions of the race, because the
negro, while not adapted in general to the environment of civilization,
is still less adapted to the environment which the modern city affords

The Social Condition of the Negroes in the United States.--(1)
_Intermixture of Races._ Ever since the negro came to this country
he has been having his racial characteristics modified by the infusion
of white blood. The census of 1890 attempted to make an estimate of the
number of negroes of mixed blood in the United States. The number
returned as being of mixed blood was 1,132,000, but all authorities
agree that this number understates the actual number. The census
officials themselves repudiated these figures as being entirely
misleading. Experts in ethnology have estimated that from one third to
one half of the negroes in the United States show traces of white
intermixture. The lower estimate, that one third of the negroes of the
United States have more or less white blood, is quite generally accepted
by those who have carefully investigated the matter. Of course the
proportion of negroes of mixed blood varies greatly in different
localities. In communities in the border states frequently more than one
half of the negroes show marked traces of white intermixture. But in the
isolated rural regions of the South, where the negroes predominate, the
full-blood negro is by far the more common type.

This infusion of white blood into a portion of the negro population is
significant sociologically. It is the negroes of mixed blood who are
ambitious socially and who present some of the most acute phases of the
negro problem. It is from the mixed bloods that the leaders of the race
in this country have come. The pure negro without intermixture has
hitherto seemed incapable of leadership. Such men as Booker T.
Washington, Professor Du Bois, and most other negro leaders have a
considerable mixture of white blood. A list of 2200 negro authors was
once compiled by the Librarian of Congress, and investigation showed
that with very few exceptions these negro authors came from the mixed
stock. Indeed, practically all of the negroes who have been eminent in
literature, science, art, or statesmanship have come from this class of
mixed bloods.

But the infusion of white blood has also in some ways been a detriment
to the negro. The illegitimate offspring resulting from the unions of
white fathers and negro mothers are frequently the product of conditions
of vice. The consequence is that the child of mixed origin frequently
has a degenerate heredity and, coming into the world as a bastard, is
more or less in disfavor with both races; hence the social environment
of the mulatto as well as his heredity is oftentimes peculiarly
unfavorable. It is not surprising, therefore, to find among the
mulattoes a great amount of constitutional diseases and a great tendency
to crime and immorality. Again mulatto women are more frequently
debauched by white men than the pure blood negro women, and for this
reason negro women of mixed blood are more apt to be immoral. So we see
that while the mixed bloods have furnished the leaders of their race,
they have also furnished an undue proportion of its vice and crime. This
is exactly what we should expect when we understand the social
conditions existing between the races and the origin and social
environment of the mulatto.

The crime and vice and constitutional diseases of the mulatto do not
prove that degeneracy results from the intermixture of the two races, as
was once supposed. On the contrary, as we have already seen, all of
these things result from the fact that the crossing of the races takes
place under socially abnormal conditions, that is, under conditions of
vice. This is not, however, true in all cases and particularly it was
not true of all intermixture that took place under the regime of
slavery. Rather intermixture under such circumstances approached not
vice, as we understand the word, but polygyny. Consequently some of the
best blood of the South runs in the veins of some of the mulattoes.
Again, we have examples from other countries of the crossing of the two
races, negro and white, without physical degeneracy. In the West Indies
and in Brazil this crossing is frequently taking place, and many of the
best families of those countries have a slight amount of negro blood in
their veins. From instances like this, gathered from all over the world,
it has generally been concluded by anthropologists that no evil
physiological results necessarily follow the intermixture of races, even
the most diverse, but that all supposed physiological evils coming from
the intermixture of races really come from social rather than from
physiological causes.

From the point of view of the white race and from the point of view of
the negro race such racial intermixture, outside of the bounds of law,
may be for many reasons undesirable. But we are here concerned with
noting only the social effect of the intermixture that has gone on in
the past; and we see that on the one hand it has resulted in creating a
class of so-called negroes in whom white blood and the ambitions and
energy of the white race predominate, and on the other hand it has also
resulted in creating a degenerate mixed stock who furnish the majority
of criminals and vicious persons belonging to the so-called negro race.

(2) _Criminality of the Negro._ One of the most important features
of the negro problem in the United States is the strong tendency among
the negroes toward crime; and this, as we have just seen, is especially
manifest in those of mixed origin. Professor Willcox has shown that in
1890 there were in the South six white prisoners to every ten thousand
whites, but twenty-nine negro prisoners to every ten thousand negroes,
while in the North there were twelve white prisoners to every ten
thousand whites, but sixty-nine negro prisoners to every ten thousand
negroes. These statistics show that the negro is everywhere more
criminal than the white, and that his tendency toward crime increases as
we go North, doubtless largely because in the North he is in a strange
and more complex environment and finds greater difficulty in making
social adjustments. Moreover, negro crime is increasing. From 1880 to
1890 the negro prisoners of the United States increased 29 per cent,
while the white prisoners only increased 8 per cent. Later statistics
show the same result. As yet there has been no check to the steady
increase of negro crime in this country since the Civil War. In some
Northern cities, like Chicago, in some years the number of arrests of
negroes has equaled one third of the total negro population of those
cities. The criminality of the negro is doubtless in part a matter of
social environment, because we see that negro crime increases in cities
and in the more complex Northern communities; but it is also to some
extent a matter of the negro's heredity.

Of course vice accompanies crime among the American negroes. The
statistics of illegitimacy in Washington cited by Hoffman in his _Race
Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro_ show that in fifteen
years in Washington, from 1879 to 1894, the percentage of illegitimate
births among the whites was 2.9 per cent, while the percentage among the
negroes was 22.5. In other words, from one fifth to one fourth of all
the negro births in Washington during that fifteen-year period were
illegitimate. Statistics collected in other cities show approximately
the same result. Of course statistics of illegitimacy are not exactly
the same thing as statistics of vice, but they, at any rate, throw a
light upon the moral condition of the negro in this regard, and
particularly show the demoralization of his family life.

(3) _Negro Pauperism._ We have no good statistics on negro
pauperism, but such as we have seem to indicate that the state of
dependence of the negro is very great. In the city of Washington, where
30 per cent of the population is made up of negroes, 84 per cent of the
pauper burials are those of negroes; and in Charleston, where 57 per
cent of the population are negroes, 96.7 per cent of the pauper burials
are those of negroes. In nearly all communities where organized
charities exist the negroes contribute to the dependent population far
out of proportion to their numbers. It is safe to say that from 50 to 75
per cent of the total negro population of the United States live in
poverty as distinguished from pauperism, that is, live under such
conditions that physical and mental efficiency cannot be maintained.

(4) _Negro Vital Statistics_. The negro death and birth rates are
both very high. No definite statistics of negro death and birth rates
have been kept except in cities and in a few rural districts. In Alabama
in a few registered districts the negro birth rate has been found to be
equal to about twice the death rate. On the other hand it is a curious
fact that in the North the negro fails to reproduce sufficiently to keep
up his numbers, consequently the negro population in Northern states
would die out if it were not for immigration. In Massachusetts in 1888,
for example, there were 511 negro births and 579 negro deaths.
Statistics from other Northern communities tell the same story.

The vital statistics of Southern cities show that the negro death rate
is very much higher than the white death rate. In ten Southern cities,
for example, Hoffman gives the average death rate for the whites as 20
per thousand for the white population, and for the negroes as 32.6 per
thousand of the negro population. These same cities in 1901-1905 showed
an annual average death rate for the whites of 17.5 and for the negroes
of 28.4. In several cities the negro death rate is nearly twice that of
the whites. When these mortality statistics are analyzed, moreover,
while they show that negro mortality at all ages is greater than white
mortality, it is greatest among negro children under fifteen years of
age. This is of course largely because of the ignorant manner in which
negroes care for their children, but it also indicates that natural
selection is at work among the American negroes rapidly eliminating the
biologically unfit.

_Conclusions from Negro Vital Statistics._ Three important
conclusions may be drawn from the negro vital and population statistics
which are well worth emphasizing. (1) The negro population is not
increasing so fast as the white, owing largely to its high death rate,
yet it is increasing, and there is no indication as yet that the negro
population will decrease. It is probable, indeed, that at the end of the
twentieth century the negro population of the United States will be
between twenty and thirty millions. The view of some students of the
negro problem that the negro is destined to an early extinction in this
country is merely a speculative hypothesis, and as yet is not
substantiated by any statistical facts.

(2) While the negro is destined to be with us always, so far as we can
see, yet owing to the fact of intermixture of races he will be less and
less a pure negro, so that at the end of the twentieth century the
negroes in the United States will be much nearer the white type than at
the present time.

(3) The high death rate among the negroes indicates that a rapid process
of natural selection is going on among them. Now, natural selection
means the elimination of the unfit,--the dying out of those who cannot
adapt themselves to their environment. This selective process will tend
toward the survival of the more fit elements among the negroes, and,
therefore, towards bringing the negro up to the standard of the whites.
The misery and vice which we see among the present American negroes are
simply in a large degree the expression of the working of a process of
natural selection among them. It would be preferable, however, if the
white race could by education and other means substitute to some degree
at least artificial selection for the miseries and brutality of the
natural process of eliminating the unfit. This the superior race should
do to protect itself as well as to raise the negro.

Industrial Conditions Among the Negroes.--Recently a committee of the
American Economic Association estimated that all of the taxable property
in the United States owned by negroes amounted to $300,000,000, or about
$33.00 per head,--this estimate being based upon the 1900 census
returns. Thirty-three dollars per head of the negro population seems of
course very small when compared to the $1,000.00 per capita owned by the
whites; but we must remember that the negro at his emancipation was in
no way equipped to acquire property, and, with the exception of a few
freedmen, the negro at the close of the war had no property whatsoever.
In a few cases their old masters set up the emancipated negroes with
small farms. In 1900 there were 746,715 farms occupied by negroes either
as tenants or owners. Twenty-five per cent of these farms were owned by
negroes and about ten per cent were owned unencumbered.

There are, of course, two ways of looking at these statistics. They are
discouraging if we care to look at them in that way, but on the other
hand, if we consider the disadvantageous position in which the negro was
placed at the close of the Civil War, the statistics may be taken as
showing a marked advance.

It must be said here that, as Booker Washington has urged, the negro
problem is largely of an industrial nature. It is the unsatisfactoriness
of the negro as a worker, as a producing agent, that gives rise largely
to the friction between the two races. The negro has not yet become
adapted to a system of free contract and is frequently unreliable as a
laborer. This breeds continued antagonism between the races. It is only
necessary here to remark that when the negro becomes an efficient
producer and a property owner the negro problem will be practically

Educational Progress Among the Negroes.--The educational progress among
the negroes has been more satisfactory than their industrial progress.
At the time of the emancipation 95 per cent of all the negroes in the
United States were illiterate, since nearly all the slave states had
laws forbidding the education of negroes. Since the emancipation there
has been a rapid decrease of illiteracy. In 1880 seventy per cent of the
negroes above the age of ten years were still reported as illiterate. In
1890, 56.8 per cent; and in 1900, 44.6 per cent. The number of
illiterate negro voters in the United States in 1900 was 47.3 per cent
of the total number of negro males above the age of twenty-one. The per
cent of illiterate negro voters ranged all the way in former
slave-holding states from 61.3 per cent in Louisiana to 31.9 per cent in
Missouri, while in Massachusetts the percentage of negro illiteracy was
only 10 per cent.

In the school year 1907-08, in the sixteen Southern states there were
1,665,000 negro children enrolled in the public schools, this number
being 54.36 per cent of the negro population of the school age (five to
eighteen). The number of white children enrolled was 4,692,000, or 70.34
per cent of the white population of school age. But these statistics
fail to indicate the utter inadequacy of many provisions for the
education of the negro children. In many districts of the South the
negro schools are open only from three to five months in a year,--the
equipment of the school being very inadequate and the teacher poorly
trained. Nevertheless the sixteen Southern states have spent, since the
emancipation, over $175,000,000 to maintain separate schools for
negroes, a much larger sum than all that has been given by Northern
philanthropy. In addition to the common schools for negroes there were
in 1907-08 one hundred and thirty-five institutions for the higher
education of the negro with an annual income of over $2,800,000. In
these there were 4185 negro students receiving collegiate or
professional training, 17,279 were receiving a high school course, and
23,160 industrial training. The latter figure is important because it
indicates that in 1907-08 a little more than one per cent of the total
number of negro children in school were receiving industrial training.
The percentage is increasing, through the fact that industrial training
is being introduced into a number of the city schools for negroes, both
North and South; but at present not much over one per cent of the negro
children are receiving industrial training.

Political Conditions.--Not much need be said concerning the political
condition of the negro. The movement to disfranchise the negro by legal
means came in 1890 when the new Mississippi constitution adopted in that
year provided that every voter should be able to read or interpret a
clause in the constitution of the United States. Since then a majority
of the Southern states and practically all of the states of the "Black
Belt" have embodied either in their constitutions or laws provisions for
disfranchising the negro voter. Louisiana made the provision that a
person must be able to read and write or be a lineal descendant of some
person who voted prior to 1860. This is the famous "Grandfather Clause,"
which has since proved popular in a number of Southern states. While
these laws and constitutional provisions have evidently been designed to
disfranchise the negro voter, the Federal Supreme Court has upheld them
in spite of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.

Regarding all of this legislation it may be said that it has had perhaps
both good and bad effects. In so far as it has tended to eliminate the
negro from politics this has been a good effect, but it has oftentimes
rather succeeded in keeping the negro question in politics; and the
evident injustice and inequality of some of the laws must, it would
seem, react to lower the whole tone of political morality in the South.
Again, the very provision of these laws to insure the disfranchisement
of the illiterate negro has tended in some instances, at least, to
discourage negro education, because the promoters of these laws in most
cases did not aim to exclude simply the illiterate negro vote, but
practically the entire negro vote. It is evident that a party designing
to disfranchise the negro through this means would not be very zealous
for the negro's education.

Proposed Solutions of the Negro Problem.--Among the various solutions
proposed from time to time for the negro problem, more or less
seriously, are: (1) admission at once of the negroes to full social
equality with the whites; (2) deportation to Africa or South America;
(3) colonization in some state or in territory adjacent to the United
States; (4) extinction by natural selection; (5) popular education.
Regarding all these solutions it must be said at once that they are
either impossible or fatuous. They may be dismissed, then, without
further discussion. Mr. Booker T. Washington has said that the negro is
bound to become adjusted to our civilization because he is surrounded by
the white man's civilization on every hand. This optimistic view, which
seems to dismiss the negro problem as requiring no solution, is,
however, not well supported by many facts, as we have just seen.
Everywhere we have evidence that the negro when left to himself, reverts
to a condition approximating his African barbarism, and the statistics
of increasing vice and crime which we have just given show quite
conclusively that the negro is not becoming adjusted to the white man's
civilization in many cases in spite of considerable efforts which are
being put forth in his behalf. While we are very far from taking a
pessimistic view toward this or any other social problem, we believe
that most of the solutions that have thus far been tried or urged are
failures, and that more radical methods need to be adopted if the negro
becomes a useful social and industrial element in our society.

As we have already seen, the negro is still essentially unadjusted to
our civilization, and it would not be too much to say that the masses of
negroes in this country are still not far removed from barbarism, though
living in the midst of civilization. Slavery failed, as we have already
seen, to render the mass of negroes capable of participating in our
culture, and all that has been done for the negro since emancipation has
likewise failed to adjust the mass of the race to the social conditions
in which they find themselves. We may say, then, roughly, without any
injustice to the negro, that the negro masses of this country are still
essentially an uncultivated or a "nature" people living in the midst of
civilization. The negro problem, in other words, is not greatly
different from what it would be if the present negroes were descendants
of savage aborigines that had peopled this country before the white man
came. The problem of the negro and of the Indian, and of all the
uncivilized races, is essentially the same. The problem is, how a
relatively large mass of people, inferior in culture and perhaps also
inferior in nature, can be adjusted relatively to the civilization of a
people much their superior in culture; how the industrially inefficient
nature man can be made over into the industrially efficient civilized

Undoubtedly the primary adjustment to be made by the American negro is
the adjustment on the economic side. Only when the negro becomes
adjusted to the economic side of his life will there be a solid
foundation for the development of something higher. People must be
taught how to be efficient, self-sustaining, productive members of
society economically before they can be taught to be good citizens. The
American negro in other words must be taught to be "good for something"
as well as to be good. The failure of common-school education with the
negro has been largely for the reason that it has failed to help him in
any efficient way to adjust himself industrially. Oftentimes indeed it
has had the contrary effect and the slightly educated negro has been the
one who has been least valuable as a producer. The common-school
education has not been such a failure with the white child, for the
reason that the white child has been taught industry and morality at
home, but these the negro frequently fails to get in his home life.
Moreover, the common-school education of the white child has usually
been simply the foundation upon which after school days he, as a
citizen, has built up a wider culture. But the negro, on account of his
environment, if not naturally, has proved incapable of going on with his
education and building on it after getting out of school. Moreover, as
we have already noted, under the present complex conditions of our
social life the common school is no longer an efficient socializing
agent, even for the white children. The present school system is a
failure, not only for the negro race, but also, though not in the same
degree, for the white race. Popular education on the old lines can never
do very much to solve the negro problem.

This does not lead, however, to the conclusion that all training and
education for the negro race is foredoomed to failure. On the contrary
all the experiments of missionaries in dealing with uncivilized races
has led to the conclusion that an all-round education in which
industrial and moral training are made prominent can relatively adjust
to our civilization even the most backward of human races. Wherever the
missionaries have introduced industrial education and adjusted their
converts to what is perhaps the fundamental side of our civilization,
the economic, they have met with the largest degree of success. This
success of missionary endeavors along this line has led to the
establishment of similar industrial training schools for the negro in
this country, and it must be said regarding such schools for the negro
as Hampton and Tuskegee that they have proved an even more unqualified
success than their predecessors originated by the missionaries. But
these schools are as yet very far from solving the negro problem in this
country, for the reason, as we have already seen, that they affect such
a relatively small proportion of the negro population. Only about one
per cent of negro children at the present time are probably receiving
industrial training.

It should be remarked that this industrial training in no way precludes
an all-round education. It is not meant that industrial education shall
replace all other forms of education, but rather that it shall be added
to literary education in order to enrich the educational process; and it
may be remarked also that industrial training, while of itself having a
strong uplifting moral influence, is not sufficient to socialize without
explicit moral teaching being also added thereto. Schools that attempted
to give such an all-round education to negro children would, of course,
in no way cut off the possibility of higher and professional education
for the small number who are especially fitted, and who should be
encouraged to go on with such studies.

Accepting, then, without qualification the now widespread view that
industrial training coupled with an all-round education is the best
possible solution of the negro problem, let us look into the practical
difficulties which confront any attempt to apply such a solution at the
present time. These difficulties may be summed up under three heads: (1)
The difficulty of securing adequately equipped schools to give such
training; (2) the difficulty of obtaining teachers who are qualified to
give this training, and who have the right spirit; (3) the present lack
of intelligent coöperation by the members of both races.

As regards the first of these difficulties, it must be said that it is
under our present system of school administration practically
insuperable. Adequately equipped schools for industrial education will
cost a great deal of money,--money which the whites of the South will
probably not be willing to give for many years to come, and which we
think they should not be asked to give. As we have already seen, there
are more illiterate native whites in the South than in any other section
of the Union. This is due in part to the effects of the war which left a
majority of the Southern communities poverty-stricken, and in many
communities there is still not yet sufficient money to maintain proper
school facilities, even on the old lines; much less can it be expected
that such communities can start at once industrial schools for the
training of negro children.

As regards the difficulty of obtaining properly trained teachers with a
proper spirit to do this work, it must be said that as yet these
teachers could not be found, and certainly they could not within the
negro race. The mass of negro teachers are still so far below even the
low standards of the white schools that not one half of them would be
licensed to teach if the same standards were applied to them as to the
whites. Moreover, through the increase of race friction white teachers
have gradually, since the Civil War, been excluded from negro schools.
This has been brought about largely also by the negroes demanding these
positions for themselves. But it is an old adage that "if the blind lead
the blind both will fall into the ditch," and it would seem that a
majority of negro teachers are unqualified for their task of civilizing
and socializing their race; hence one reason for the failure of the
negro common school. It would seem also that, while competent negro
teachers should be encouraged in every way, white teachers should not be
absolutely excluded from negro schools; and particularly that white
teachers would be necessary if industrial and moral training were to be
emphasized in the education of the negro. This brings us to the third
difficulty,--the lack of intelligent coöperation by the members of both
races. Unfortunately the negroes do not care for the newer education,
the education which emphasizes industrial training. Most of them, misled
by unwise leaders, prefer the education of the older type and think that
industrial training will only fit them to be "hewers of wood and drawers
of water" to the whites. On the other hand, the masses of uneducated
Southern people also do not wish the new education for the negro,
because they believe that it will give him superior advantages over the
white children. They fail to see that anything that is done for a
depressed element in society, like the negro, will ultimately benefit
all society. They are, therefore, not willing to tax themselves to bring
about, even gradually, the new education for the negro. While educated
Southern people have supported Booker T. Washington in his propaganda
for the industrial training of the negro, it is notorious that
Washington's ideas have met with as much opposition from the uneducated
whites as from the negroes themselves.

On the whole, however, while the situation is a difficult one, it is
not, as we have already seen, one which justifies pessimism. Time is the
great element in the solution of all problems, and it must be especially
an element in the solution of this negro problem. A beginning has been
made toward the training and the education of the negro in the right
way, and it may be hoped that from centers like Hampton and Tuskegee the
influence will gradually radiate which will in time bring about the
popularization of industrial education. What is needed, perhaps, most of
all is sufficient funds to carry on wider and wider experiments along
these lines. The Southern states should not be expected to furnish these
funds. They have already done their full share in attempting to educate
the negro. The negro problem is a national problem, and as a national
problem it should be dealt with by the Federal Government. The burden of
educating the negro for citizenship should rest primarily upon the whole
nation and not upon any section or community, since the whole nation is
responsible for the negro's present condition. The trouble is, however,
again, that the mass of the Southern people would at the present time
undoubtedly resent any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to
aid in the education of the negro. The question, therefore, ultimately
becomes a question of educating the whites and forming a proper public
sentiment regarding the education of the negro. When the leaders of both
races once become united on a plan of training the negro for efficient
citizenship, undoubtedly the funds will be forthcoming. While the negro
question is, therefore, from one point of view primarily a question of
the industrial training and adjustment of the negro, from another point
of view it is a moral question which can never be solved until the
superior race comes to take a right attitude toward the inferior race,
namely, the attitude of service.


_For brief reading:_

HOFFMAN, _Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro,_ Vol.
     XI of Pub. of Am. Economic Ass'n.
STONE, _Studies in the American Race Problem._
BAKER, _Following the Color Line._

_For more extended reading:_

DOWD, _The Negro Races._
DU BOIS, _The Negroes of Philadelphia._
DU BOIS, editor, _The Atlanta University Publications._
KEANE, _Ethnology._
KEANE, _Man, Past and Present._
MERRIAM, _The Negro and the Nation._
PAGE, _The Negro: the Southerner's Problem._
SMITH, _The Color Line._
TILLINGHAST, _The Negro in Africa and America,_ Pub. Am. Economic
     Ass'n, 3d series, Vol. III.
WASHINGTON, _The Future of the American Negro._



Professor J.S. McKenzie says "The growth of large cities constitutes
perhaps the greatest of all the problems of modern civilization." While
the city is a problem in itself, creating certain biological and
psychological conditions which are new to the race, the city is perhaps
even more an intensification of all our other social problems, such as
crime, vice, poverty, and degeneracy.

The city is in a certain sense a relatively modern problem, due to
modern industrial development. While great cities were known in ancient
times, the number was so few that the total population affected by city
living conditions was comparatively small. Moreover, the populations of
ancient cities have often been exaggerated. Probably at the height of
its power, the population of Athens did not exceed 100,000; Carthage,
700,000; Rome, 500,000; Alexandria, 500,000; Nineveh and Babylon,
1,000,000. All the great cities of the ancient world practically
disappeared with the fall of Rome. After Rome's fall, Constantinople was
the only large city with over 100,000 population in all Europe for
centuries. Down to 1600 A.D., indeed, there were only fourteen cities in
all Europe with a population of over 100,000; and even in 1800, at the
beginning of the nineteenth century, there were only twenty-two such
cities. But at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1900, there were
one hundred and thirty-six such cities in Europe, representing twelve
per cent of the entire population. Moreover, while in 1800 less than
three per cent of the total population of Europe lived in cities, in
1900 the total urban population was twenty-five per cent. Again, all of
the great European capitals developed their present enormous population
almost wholly within the nineteenth century. Thus, the population of
London in 1800 was 864,000, while in 1901 it had reached 4,536,000, or
in the total area policed, 6,581,000; the population of Paris in 1800
was 547,000, in 1901 it was 2,714,000; the population of Berlin in 1800
was only 172,000, in 1901 it was 1,888,000; the population of Vienna in
1800 was 232,000, in 1901 it was 1,674,000. These figures are cited to
show that from four fifths to nine tenths of the growth of the greatest
cities of the world has taken place within the nineteenth century.

Dr. Weber in his _Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century_
illustrates the striking difference between the urban development of the
nineteenth century and that of the eighteenth century by comparing the
population of Australia in 1890 with the population of the United States
in 1790. Australia in 1890, out of a population of 3,809,000 had
1,264,000, or 33.2 per cent, living in cities of 10,000 or over; while
the United States in 1790, out of a population of 3,929,000 had only
123,000, or 3.14 per cent living in cities. Both countries, it will be
noticed, had about the same total population at the two periods and the
same area, but Australia in 1890 represented in its population the
industrial development of the nineteenth century with its tendency
toward urbanization, while the United States in 1790 represented the
civilization of the eighteenth century with its predominating rural

The Growth of Cities in the United States.--A word about census
terminology will be helpful before discussing the growth of cities in
the United States. According to the United States census, a city is a
place with a population of 8000 or over; a _small_ city is a place
with a population of 8000 to 25,000; a _large_ city is a place with
a population of from 25,000 to 100,000, and a _great_ city is a
place with a population above 100,000. These distinctions are necessary
in discussing the problems of the city, because the problems of cities
change rapidly when the population goes above 100,000. It is mainly the
problem of the great city which we shall discuss in this chapter.

In 1800 there were only six cities in the United States with over 8000
population. Philadelphia was the largest of these, with 69,000, and New
York second with 60,000. These cities contained a fraction less than
four per cent of the population of the United States. In 1900, on the
other hand, there were 546 cities in the United States with a population
of over 8000. Moreover, over thirty-three per cent of the total
population of the United States lived in cities of 8000 and over, while
nearly one fifth of the total population lived in the thirty-eight great
cities. Between 1890 and 1900 the gain in the urban population of the
country was sixty per cent, while the gain in the rural population was
only fifteen per cent. During that decade, in other words, the cities
grew four times as fast as the country districts in population.
Moreover, for that particular decade, the great cities grew faster than
the smaller ones, but since 1900 certain state census statistics seem to
show that the cities from 25,000 to 100,000 population are growing
faster than those above 100,000.

_Distribution of the Urban Population of the United States._ If the
urban population of the United States were distributed relatively
uniformly among the several States, perhaps the problem of the city
would not be so pressing as it is, but the urban population is largely
concentrated in a very few states. Over fifty per cent of the urban
population is found in the North Atlantic states alone. The five states
of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Ohio contain
also more than half of the urban population of the whole country. If we
add to these five states New Jersey and Missouri, then these seven
states contain nearly two thirds of the urban population of the United

It will be noticed that these states with a large urban population are
the great manufacturing states of the Union. The proportion of urban to
rural population indeed is a good index to industrial progress. The
states with over half their population urban in 1900 were, Rhode Island,
81 per cent; Massachusetts, 76 per cent; New York, 68.5 per cent; New
Jersey, 61.2 per cent; Connecticut, 53.2 per cent. States with more than
one fourth of their population urban were, Illinois, 47.1 per cent;
Maryland, 46.9 per cent; Pennsylvania, 45.5 per cent; California, 43.7
per cent; Delaware, 41.4 per cent; New Hampshire, 38.6 per cent; Ohio,
38.5 per cent; Colorado, 38.1 per cent; Washington, 31.9 per cent;
Michigan, 30.9 per cent; Missouri, 30.8 per cent; Wisconsin, 30.7 per
cent; Louisiana, 29.3 per cent; Montana, 27 per cent; Minnesota, 26.8
per cent; Utah, 25.2 per cent. It will be noticed that only one of these
states with the population more than one fourth urban is distinctively
southern, namely, Louisiana. This is due to the fact that heretofore the
South has been largely agricultural in its industries, consequently only
a few of the great cities of the country are found within its borders.

There are but few countries in Europe that come up with the most urban
of our American states. Certain countries of Western Europe, however,
equal the most urban of our states, and the following countries have at
least one quarter of their population urban: England and Wales,
Scotland, Belgium, Saxony, Holland, Prussia, and France. The most urban
of our states, however, such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New
York, surpass all European countries in the number of their population
living in cities, with the exception of England and Wales. This again is
due to the fact that certain of our states have specialized in
manufacturing industries more than any European country, with the
exception of England and Wales.

Before leaving the statistics of the growth of cities, it is worth our
while to note that certain great urban centers are developing in this
country which promise to show, even in the near future, the most
extensive urbanization of population known to the world; for example, a
line of cities and suburban communities is now developing which will in
the near future connect New York and Boston on the one hand and New
York, Philadelphia, and Washington on the other hand. Thus in a few
years, stretching from Washington to Boston, a distance of five hundred
miles, there promises to be a continuous chain of urban communities with
practically no rural districts between them. In a sense, this will
constitute one great city with a population of twenty millions or
upwards. Other urban centers, though not so extensive, are also
developing at other points in the United States. At the end of the
twentieth century it is safe to say that this country will have at least
a dozen cities with a population of over one million. Moreover, so far
as we can see at the present time, there is no end in the near future to
this growth of the urbanization of our population; for the causes of
this great growth of cities seem inherent in our civilization. Let us
see what these causes are.

Causes of the Growth of Great Cities.--There may be distinguished two
classes of causes of the growth of cities: (1) general or social causes,
and (2) minor or individual causes. It is the social causes, the causes
inherent in our civilization, which are of particular interest to us.
Among these social causes we shall place:

1. _The Diminishing Importance of Agriculture in the Life of Man._
Once agriculture was the all-embracing occupation. Practically all goods
were produced upon the farm. Now, however, man's wants have so greatly
increased that the primitive industries of the farm can no longer
satisfy these wants, and in order to satisfy them men have developed
large manufacturing industries. Moreover, fewer men are needed on the
farms to produce the same amount of raw material as was produced
formerly by the labor of many. This has come about mostly through
labor-saving machines. The invention and application of labor-saving
machines to the industries of the farm has made it possible to dispense
with a great number of men. It is estimated that fifty men with modern
farm machinery can do the work of five hundred European peasants without
such machinery. Consequently, the four hundred and fifty who have been
displaced by farm machinery must find other work, and they find it
mainly in manufacturing industries. Again, the scientific and
capitalistic agriculture of the present has much the same effect as
labor-saving machines. They have greatly increased agricultural
production and at the same time lessened the amount of labor. The
opening up also of new and fertile regions which were very productive in
the nineteenth century had a similar effect.

Every improvement in agricultural industry instead of keeping men on the
farm has tended to drive them from it. Scientific agriculture carried on
with modern machinery necessarily lessens the need of a great proportion
of the population being employed to produce the foodstuff and other raw
materials which the world needs. Hence it has tended to free men from
the soil and to make it possible for a larger and larger number to go to
the city. Therefore the relatively diminishing importance of agriculture
has been one of the prime causes of the growth of the cities in the
nineteenth century; and so far as we can see this cause will continue to
operate for some time to come.

2. _The Growth and Centralization of Manufacturing Industries._
This is perhaps the most vital cause of the growth of cities. The great
city, as we have already said, is very largely the product of modern
industrialism. Improved machinery, improved transportation, and enlarged
markets, together with the increased wants of men, not only have made
possible a great growth of manufacturing industries, but also these same
factors have tended to centralize manufacturing industries in the
cities. Let us note briefly why it is that manufacturing industries are
grouped together in great cities rather than scattered throughout the
rural communities. In centralizing manufacturing plants in cities,
certain industrial economies are secured, such as: (1) economy in motor
power, whether it be water or coal; (2) economy in machinery--it is not
necessary to duplicate machines; (3) economy in wages--one
superintendent, for example, can oversee a large plant; (4) utilization
of by-products--when many factories are grouped together by-products,
which are sometimes more valuable than the main products, can be better
utilized. (5) There is economy in buying raw material and in selling
finished products when many factories are grouped together. For all
these reasons, along with the further reason that those who labor in
factories must live close to them, manufacturing has been a prime cause
of the modern city, and, so far as we can see, will continue to further
urbanize our population in the future.

3. _The Increase of Trade and Commerce._ Between different
communities there developed during the nineteenth century, upon the
growth of better transportation, a great increase of trade and commerce,
for along with the better transportation went a specialization in
industry, on the part of both communities and classes. The modern city
is often largely a product of modern transportation. We find all the
great cities located at natural breaks in transportation. The cities of
the Middle Ages were largely centers of trade and commerce where goods
were distributed to various minor centers. The modern city has not lost
this characteristic through developing into an industrial center. On the
contrary, the status of the city in trade and commerce makes it at the
same time a valuable center for the development of manufacturing
industries. The break between land and water transportation is
particularly favorable to the development of large cities. Thus, we find
New York located where goods shipped to Europe must be transferred from
land to water transportation; Chicago, located at the head of the water
transportation of the Great Lakes; St. Louis, at the head of the
navigation of the Mississippi River. Only Denver and Indianapolis among
the great cities of the United States in 1910 are not located on a river
or some other navigable water.

_Minor Causes._ These are the chief social causes of the growth of
cities, and, as we have seen, they are wholly industrial in their
nature. Undoubtedly the modern city is a product of modern industry.
Certain non-economic factors may also enter into the growth of cities,
but these are of but slight importance; such are the greater
intellectual and educational advantages which the city offers, the great
opportunities for pleasure and amusement in the city and the like. Such
minor and individual causes have had but little part in the growth of
the great cities of the present.

Social And Moral Conditions Of City Life.--Certain social conditions in
our cities are worthy of attention in order that we may understand the
effect of the city upon social and racial evolution.

1. _City Populations have a Larger per Cent of Females than Rural
Populations._ All of our fifteen largest cities, except three,
contain a larger per cent of females than the states in which they are
located. Thus New York state has 50.37 per cent of its population
female; New York city, 50.56 per cent; Pennsylvania, 49.29 per cent of
its population female; Philadelphia, 51.18 per cent; Missouri, 48.38 per
cent of its population female; St. Louis, 49.51 per cent. In towns of
the United States of more than 2500 population the per cent of females
is 50.03, while the rural districts of the United States have only 48.08
per cent of their population female. The cause of this is perhaps to be
found in the fact that in cities there is always a larger infantile
mortality among males than among females, and that in towns there is a
larger proportion of female children born than in the rural districts.

2. _People in the Active Period of Life, from Fifteen to Sixty-five
Years of Age, predominate in the City_. According to Dr. Weber, out
of every 1000 individuals in the United States as a whole there are 355
under fifteen years of age, 603 between fifteen and sixty-five, and 29
above sixty-five years of age. But in the great cities there are only
299 under fifteen years of age, and only 29 above sixty-five years of
age, while 668 are of the age between fifteen and sixty-five years. (In
both cases the age of three in a thousand was unknown.) The cause of the
predominance of those in the active period of life is undoubtedly due to
the immigration into the cities from the country districts. This makes
the life of cities more energetic and active, more strenuous than it
would otherwise be.

3. _The Great Cities in the United States have over twice as many
Foreign-born in their Population as the United States as a whole_.
This has been sufficiently discussed under the head of immigration.

4. _The Birth Rate is higher in the Cities than in the Rural
Districts._ This is primarily due to there being more women of
child-bearing age in the cities. In the United States it is also due to
the presence of so many foreign-born in the cities. The marriage rate is
also higher in the cities than in the rural districts. The following
statistics based on a thousand population show the relative difference
between the cities and the rural districts of the New England States in
marriage rate, birth rate, and death rate for 1894-95:

                             Marriage Rate    Birth Rate   Death Rate

Boston........................   23.10          31.24        23.23
Cities over 50,000............   18.89          29.72        19.49
Rural Districts...............   13.77          21.76        17.38

5. _The Death Rate in Cities is also higher than in the Rural
Districts_, as the above table has just shown. This is undoubtedly
due to the poor sanitary and living conditions of large cities.

6. _The Physical Condition of City Populations_. Measurements by
Dr. Beddoe and others show that the stature and other measurements of
men of the great cities of Great Britain are far below those of the
rural population. The latest English commission to investigate the
conditions of city life also reports that the population of the British
cities at least shows marked signs of physical deterioration.

7. _Mental and Moral Degeneracy in our Cities_. (1) A larger number
of insane are found in our cities than in the rural districts. In the
United States as a whole there were in 1890 seventeen hundred insane per
million of population, while in the cities of over 50,000 there were
2429 insane per million.

(2) The suicide rate is much higher in the cities than in other
districts. In general the suicide rate in the United States seems to be
two or three times as high in our large cities as in the rest of the

(3) Poverty and pauperism are much more common in our cities than in
rural districts. About one third of the population of great cities may
safely be said to live below the poverty line, while in such cities as
New York and Boston from ten to twenty per cent of the population
require more or less charitable assistance during the year.

(4) The amount of crime in the cities is about twice as great as in the
rural districts.

(5) Illegitimacy in the cities is from two to three times as great as in
rural districts, and it is well known that vice centers very largely in
our cities.

All these facts show that mental and moral degeneracy is much more
common in our urban population than in our rural populations, and that
the biological and moral aspects of our city life present pressing

8. _Educational and Religious Conditions in Cities._ We have
already seen that illiteracy for the native white population is much
less in our cities than in the rural districts. This is undoubtedly due
in the main to the better facilities for education in our cities, and it
is here chiefly that we find the bright side of city life; for the
cities are not only centers of the evil tendencies of our civilization
but are also the centers of all that is best and uplifting. The urban
schools in general are open much longer than the rural school, the
attendance in them is better, and the teaching is much more efficient.
In 1890 the urban schools held 190 days in the year, while the rural
schools held only 115 days. The attendance in the urban schools was
seventy per cent of the enrollment, while in the rural schools it was
only sixty-two per cent. Besides the schools, of course, must be
mentioned many other educational facilities to be found in our cities,
such as in connection with social settlements, lecture and concert
halls, theaters, libraries, art galleries, and museums,--all of which
the city has practically exclusively.

The census of 1890 included a religious census, and it seemed to show
that on the whole religious conditions were better in our cities than in
the country districts. In cities above 25,000 the church membership was
37.9 per cent of the population, while it was only 32.85 per cent of the
total population. Again, in cities above 100,000 it was 39.1 per cent of
their total population, although in the four largest cities--New York,
Chicago, Philadelphia, and St. Louis--it was only 35.6 per cent of the
total population. [Footnote: The special religious census of 1906, the
results of which are not yet fully published, shows an even greater
preponderance of church membership in cities.] Some recent studies,
however, while not extensive enough to justify a conclusion, seem to
indicate that in some of the largest cities the church is losing its
hold, and that more and more the population of our largest urban centers
is becoming churchless, if not without religion. Even if this is so,
however, it also remains a fact that the various religious denominations
put forth their best efforts in these largest urban centers, and that
more is being done for the people religiously and morally in these
centers than perhaps for any other portion of the world's population.

Proposed Remedies for the Evils of City Life.--The proposed remedies for
the evils of city life are well worth attention, not only that we may
understand the problem of the city better, but also that we may
understand social conditions in general better. Of the remedies which we
shall discuss it may be said that four are foolish and two are wise. The
foolish ones are those that try to check the growth of the cities; the
wise ones are those that recognize that the cities are here to stay and
must be dealt with as permanent and even increasingly important factors
in our civilization.

(1) The first remedy is to make agriculture more attractive and
remunerative. This is a good thing in itself, but, as we have seen, it
will not check the growth of the cities; rather, every improvement in
the conditions of agriculture in the way of making it more productive
and remunerative will drive more to the cities.

(2) A second remedy, akin to the first, is to make village life more
attractive. Like the first remedy, this is good in itself, but it is
hardly probable that it will stop the growth of cities; rather, it might
be urged that village improvement will give people a taste of the higher
comforts and conveniences to be found in cities and will tend to send
them to the city.

(3) The third proposed remedy is to colonize the poor of the cities in
the country. This has been especially advocated by General Booth and
other leaders of the Salvation Army. This plan, however, cannot do much
toward helping solve the problem of the city. It is a difficult thing to
get the poor in the city adjusted again to rural life, and the
probability is that in many cases they would be worse off in the country
than in the city. Moreover, the vacant places they left would soon be
filled by others, and in general the whole plan seems to be against
man's instincts as well as against the social forces of the time.

(4) Administrative decentralization may be mentioned as a plan adopted
by some state legislatures to prevent the growth of cities, that is, to
scatter the state institutions through the rural sections of the state
instead of locating them in the cities. On the whole, this is a foolish
plan. The cities will not be checked in their growth by this, while on
the other hand it is the cities which most need the presence of the
state institutions.

(5) The most important remedy for the cure of the evils of the cities,
and one which meets these evils on their own ground, is what has been
called "improved municipal housekeeping"; that is, the supervision and
control by the city of all those things which are used in common by the
people. The idea is that the city is not in its social conditions
comparable to the rural community; rather it is more like one big
household, and it is necessary, therefore, that there be collective
housekeeping, so to speak, in order to keep those things which the
people use in common at least in good order. This has also been called
"municipal socialism." It is not socialism, however, in the strict
sense, for it does not advocate the ownership in common of all capital,
but rather municipal control of public utilities. We cannot enter into
this large subject, upon which many books have been written; to a few of
these the student will find references at the end of this chapter. Here
it is only necessary to say that all of this civic improvement implies
that the city must own or control adequately its sewer system, its water
supply, its streets; that it must control the housing of the people, the
disposal of garbage, the smoke nuisance, general sanitary and living
conditions; that it must provide adequate protection against fire, an
adequate park system, an adequate free school system, with public
playgrounds for children, free libraries, free art galleries and
museums, municipal theaters, public baths, and gymnasiums.

All of this is of course a species of socialism in the sense that it is
collective control of the conditions of living together. It advocates,
however, that the city should take over only those things that are used
in common. The trouble with this so-called municipal socialism is that
it presupposes a pretty high degree of intelligence on the part of
people. Whether or not a municipality shall own and operate its own
street railways, electric light and gas plants, is largely a question of
the development of the social consciousness and intelligence in that
particular community. In some communities such municipal undertakings
have been made a success; in others they have failed. But it is evident
that with a large mass of people living together the common conditions
of living must be subject to intelligent collective control if human
life and character are to have a proper environment in which to develop.

(6) The last remedy proposed for the evils of the city is the
development of the suburbs through rapid transit. This is already being
rapidly accomplished in many of our larger cities. The solution of the
mechanical problem of rapid transit will probably, in other words, tend
greatly to relieve automatically the present congestion which we find in
many of our large cities. Probably the best form of such rapid transit
is underground electric roads, or subways. Transportation upon these
roads must be made cheap enough to enable workingmen to live at a
distance from their labor. With the solution of the problem of rapid
transit it should be possible to scatter a city's population anywhere
within a radius of thirty miles. But it would be a mistake to think that
rapid transit alone will solve the problems of city communities.
Stringent regulation by law of sanitary and housing conditions and, as
has just been said, of all the things used in common, is necessary to
put order and healthfulness into that vast household which we call a
modern great city.

In conclusion we would emphasize again that the era of the city is just
beginning; that a larger and larger proportion of our population must
come to live in the cities, and that, therefore, the city will dominate
the society of the future. Hence, humanity must solve the problem of the
city if social progress is to continue. And the problem is by no means
insoluble. Man is not yet adjusted to city life. The city is so new even
to civilized man that he has carried into it the habits which he
practiced in isolated rural communities. These are the sources of
trouble in our cities, and, as we have already seen, new adjustments
have to be made by individuals in order to secure harmonious social
relationships under the crowded conditions of the city. The city
requires, therefore, a higher degree of intelligence on the part of the
individual than the rural social life, and a great part of the solution
of the problem of the city must come through the development of such
higher intelligence and morality by means of education. At any rate, it
is foolish to decry the city or to attempt to stop its growth. That is
impossible and, we think, undesirable. The ideal social life of man has
never been the isolated life of the rural community. The city has always
been in a sense man's ideal, as is shown by the fact that nearly all
attempts to depict a perfect human society have been pictures of cities.
Man's ideal, as Dr. Weber says, is not the city or the country, but the
city and the country blended, and this is what the city of the future
should become. No doubt the time will come when present cities will be
looked back upon with horror, as we look back on eighteenth-century
cities. The city of the future need not present any of the hideous,
disagreeable, and unwholesome aspects of our present cities. The city
can be made, through science and morality, a place in which human beings
may find their ideal society.


_For brief reading:_

WEBER, _Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century_.
WILCOX, _The American City_.
ZUEBLIN, _American Municipal Progress_.

_For more extended reading:_

FAIRLIE, _Municipal Administration_.
HOWE, _The City: the Hope of Democracy_.
PARSONS, _The City for the People_.
ROWE, _Problems of City Government_.
STRONG, _The Challenge of the City_.



While the many social problems arising from the presence in society of
abnormal or socially unadjusted classes, namely, the dependent,
defective, and delinquent classes, cannot be discussed in this book
adequately, yet they must be briefly noticed in order to correlate them
with other social problems, and even more in order to call the attention
of the student to the vast literature which exists concerning these

Definitions of Poverty and Pauperism.--Poverty is a relative term,
difficult to define, but as generally employed in sociological writings
at the present it means that economic and social state in which persons
have not sufficient income to maintain health and physical efficiency.
All who do not receive a sufficient income to maintain the minimum
standard of living necessary for efficiency are known as the "poor," or
are said to live below the poverty line.

Pauperism, on the other hand, is the state of legal dependence in which
a person who is unable or unwilling to support himself receives relief
from public sources. This is, however, legal pauperism. The word as
popularly used has come to mean a degraded state of willing dependence.
A pauper in this popular sense is a person unwilling to support himself
and who becomes a social parasite.

Poverty is closely related to dependence or pauperism, because it is
frequently the anteroom, so to speak, to pauperism, although only a
small proportion of those who live in poverty actually become dependent
in any one year.

The Extent of Poverty and Pauperism in the United States.--The census
reports showed that in the year 1904 there were about 500,000 dependents
in institutions in the United States. While the number who received
relief outside of institutions from public and private sources is not
known, it is certain that it is many times the total of those in
institutions. It is generally estimated that about five per cent of our
population are recipients of some sort of charitable relief in a single
year. In our large cities the number who receive relief from public and
private sources, even in average years, is very much higher. In New
York apparently the number who receive relief in an average year reaches
fourteen per cent, while in Boston the number who receive relief has
reached as high as twenty per cent in a single year. It seems probable,
therefore, that taking the country as a whole nearly five per cent of
our population have to have some sort of help every year. That would
make the number who received relief in 1904 about 4,000,000, and
probably this is not an excessive estimate. Upon the basis of these and
other known facts Mr. Robert Hunter has estimated that the number of
people in the United States living below the poverty line is about
10,000,000 in years of average prosperity. If negroes are included in
this estimate of those below the poverty line, it is certainly not
excessive. Probably 10,000,000, or fourteen per cent of our population,
understates rather than overstates the number of persons in the United
States who live upon such a low standard that they fail to maintain
physical and mental efficiency.

Moreover, investigations in the countries of Europe show that the
estimate of fourteen per cent of our population living in poverty is far
from excessive. Mr. Charles Booth, in his _Life and Labor of the
People of London_, says that about thirty per cent of the population
of London live below the poverty line, and Mr. B.S. Rowntree found in
the English City of York about the same proportion. While poverty is
more prevalent in the old world than in the United States, it would seem
that in view of our large negro population it is evidently not excessive
to estimate the proportion of our people living in poverty at about
fifteen per cent.

Moreover, when we extend our view in history we find that poverty has
been oftentimes in the past even much more prevalent than it is at
present. This question of poverty is, in other words, a world-old
question and is intimately bound up with the question of material
civilization--that is, man's conquest of nature--and with social
organization,--the relations of men to one another. At certain times in
history certain institutions like slavery have either obviated or
concealed poverty, and particularly its extreme expressions, in
dependence and legal pauperism. Nevertheless we can regard these
questions of poverty and pauperism as practically existing in all
civilizations and in all ages. This is not saying, however, that modern
poverty and pauperism may not have certain peculiar foundations in
modern social and industrial conditions. It is only saying that it is
useless to search wholly for the causes of poverty in conditions that
are peculiar to the modern world, because poverty and pauperism are not
peculiarly modern problems.

The Genesis of the Depressed Classes.--So complex a problem, it might be
said at once, cannot manifestly have a simple explanation, yet this has
been the mistake of many social thinkers of the past. They have sought
some single simple explanation of human misery, and particularly in its
form of economic distress or poverty. Malthus, as we have already seen,
attributed all human misery to the fact that population tends to
increase more rapidly than food supply, and that it is the pressure of
population upon food which sufficiently explains poverty in human
society. Karl Marx offered an equally sweeping explanation when he
attributed all poverty to the fact that labor is not paid a sufficient
wage; that the capitalist appropriates an unjust share of the product of
labor, leaving to the laborer just enough to maintain existence and
reproduce. Henry George in the same spirit, in his _Progress and
Poverty_, attributed all poverty to one cause,--the landlord's
appropriation of the unearned increment in land values. There is, of
course, some truth in all of these sweeping generalizations, but it must
be said that there is not sufficient in any of them to stand the test of
concrete investigation; rather these men have made the mistake of
attempting to explain a very complex social phenomenon in terms of a
single set of causes, which, as we have already seen, has been the bane
of social science in the past. Even the theory of evolution itself
fails to explain, as ordinarily stated, the genesis of the depressed
classes in human society. It may explain it in part, however. As we
have already seen, biological variations are always found in
individuals, making some naturally superior, some naturally inferior,
and in the struggle for existence we know that the inferior are more
liable to go down; they are less apt to maintain a place in society, and
hence more readily fall into the depressed classes. Many well-endowed
persons, however, also fall into the dependent classes through accidents
and causes inherent in our social organization but in no way natural.
Thus, owing to our industrial system and to our laws of property,
inheritance, and the like, it often happens that a superior person
through sickness or other accident gets caught in a mesh of causes which
bring him down to the dependent classes, and on the other hand inferior
individuals, through inheritance or "social pull," oftentimes enjoy a
very large economic surplus all their lives. It may be admitted,
however, that slight defects in personal character or ability enter into
practically all cases of dependence. This is more apt to be the case
also in a progressive society like our own, where rising standards of
efficiency make the economic struggle more severe all the time.
Formerly, for example, any employee could drink and retain his position,
but now the drinker quickly loses his position in many industries and
gives place to the sober man. Oftentimes, however, such defects that
give rise to dependence are not inherent but are produced by social
conditions themselves, like faulty education, bad surroundings, and the
like. Through the improvement of social conditions, therefore, there is
no doubt that much of the present poverty of the civilized world can be
wiped out. This is not saying, however, that poverty and dependence will
ever be wholly eliminated. Probably, no matter how ideal social
conditions might be, even under the most just social organization, there
would be some accidents and variations in individuals which would
produce a condition of dependence. Moreover, the elimination of poverty
and pauperism is not so simple as some suppose. It is not wholly a
question of the improvement of social conditions; it also involves the
control of physical heredity, because many of the principal defects that
give rise to dependence are inherent in heredity. But man can control to
some extent even the birth of the inferior or unfit classes. This may
seem, however, so far in the future that it is idle to discuss it,
although, as we shall see, society is undoubtedly taking steps to
prevent the propagation of the unfit. In the meantime, however, so long
as humanity progresses through natural selection we shall have poverty,
to some extent at least, no matter how much industrial and social
conditions may be improved. Yet without the control of physical heredity
or the substitution of artificial for natural selection, poverty can be
undoubtedly greatly lessened, and it is the rational aim of applied
social science to discover how this may be done. It would seem that the
existence of 10,000,000 persons in the United States living below the
poverty line cannot be justified upon either moral or economic grounds;
that it represents a great waste of human life and human resources, and
that much of the social maladjustment which this poverty is an
expression of might easily yield to wisely instituted remedial measures.
If the social maladjustment which is undoubtedly the cause of the bulk
of modern poverty were done away with, it is safe to say that it would
be reduced to less than one third of its present dimensions.

The Concrete Causes of Poverty.--It is necessary to inquire somewhat
more minutely into the concrete conditions, social and individual, which
give rise to poverty and dependence. Manifestly the poor do not
constitute any single class in society. All classes, in a sense, are
represented among the poor, and the causes of poverty which are manifest
will depend very greatly upon the class of the poor that is studied.
If, for example, we should study the causes of dependence among
defective classes, naturally personal defects of various sorts would be
emphasized. Again, if we should study almshouse paupers, we should
expect to find the causes of their dependence different from the causes
of the temporary dependence of those who are dealt with outside of
institutions and largely by private societies, especially the charity
organization societies of large cities. It is especially, however, this
latter class of temporary dependents that we are most interested in,
because they show most clearly the forces operating to produce the
various classes of permanent dependents.

There are two great classes of causes of poverty: objective causes, or
causes outside of the individual, that is, in the environment; and
subjective causes, or causes within the individual. We shall take up
first the objective causes.

_The Objective Causes of Poverty_. The objective causes of poverty
may be again divided into causes in the physical environment and causes
in the social environment. The causes in the physical environment
should not be overlooked, even though to a great extent they may not be
amenable to social control. Much poverty in certain regions is caused
simply by the unpropitious physical environment, such as unproductive
soil, bad climate, and the like. Added to these unpropitious factors in
the environment we have also great natural calamities, such as
tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Every one is
familiar with the great amount of misery which is caused, temporarily at
least, by such calamities. Again, certain things in the organic
environment, particularly in the way of disease-producing bacteria, are
also productive of much poverty. Certain bacteria exist, we now know,
plentifully in nature, such as the malaria germ, to which rightfully has
been ascribed the physical degeneracy of people living in certain
sections of the earth.

But the most important objective causes of poverty are undoubtedly those
found in the social environment,--those which spring from certain social
conditions or faults in social organization. Among these we may mention:

(1) _Economic Causes_. Defective industrial organization and
economic evils of various sorts are thought by many persons to be the
main productive causes of poverty and dependence in modern society, and
there can be no doubt that a very large per cent of poverty may be
traced directly to economic evils. This is shown by the fact that in the
schedules of all charity organization societies "lack of employment"
figures as the first or second most conspicuous cause of distress in the
cases with which such societies deal. It is usually estimated that from
twenty to forty per cent of all such cases of dependence may be
attributed to lack of employment, not due to the employee. It is well
known that in periods of industrial depression the number of applicants
for aid in our large cities increases enormously, and local strikes and
lockouts frequently have the same effect. Again, changes in methods of
production through the introduction of new machinery frequently displace
large numbers of workingmen, who, on account of age or other reasons,
fail to get employment along new lines. Changes in trade brought about
through changes in fashions have to some extent at least a similar
effect. Again, fluctuations in the value of money may undoubtedly
depress a debtor class to the point of dependence. Unwise methods of
taxation, such as levying heavy taxes on the necessaries of life,
produce a great deal of poverty and economic distress. Systems of land
tenure such as prevail in England and even to some extent in the United
States, may also be another economic cause of poverty. The free land
which has up to the present time existed in this country has been a
great aid against poverty. The employment of women and children in
factories is another cause of poverty which needs to be mentioned under
this head. As we have already seen, this breaks up the home, and in the
case of the employment of children stops the development of the child.
Still another economic cause of poverty is unhealthful and dangerous
occupations. The disease-begetting occupations in modern industry are
very numerous, such as hat making, glass blowing, the grinding of tools,
and the like--any work in which there is a great deal of dust. Among
dangerous occupations must also be included those in which there are
numerous accidents, such as mining and railway occupations. The
accidents in mines and on railways in the United States each year cause
as many deaths and serious injuries as have often resulted in many a
petty war. Thus, on the railways of the United States in 1904 there was
a total of 10,046 persons killed and 84,155 injured, about three fourths
of those injured being employees,--one employee being killed in every
three hundred and fifty-seven and one injured in every seventeen. While
it is improbable that our great industries can be carried on without
some sacrifice of health and life, it seems reasonable to believe that
the number of those who are sacrificed at present is far greater than is
necessary, and that reasonable precautions in industry might greatly
increase the healthfulness of the occupations and diminish the number of
accidents to employees.

On the whole, it is probable that these economic causes of poverty
figure in from 50 to 80 per cent of all cases, not operating alone, to
be sure, but often in connection with faults of character or physical or
mental defects in the individual; for it is always to be remembered in
discussing the causes of poverty that one never finds a case which can
be fairly attributed to a single cause. The complexity of causes
operating in the case of a single dependent family frequently makes it
impossible for any one to say with certainty what is the chief and what
are the contributing causes. Oftentimes what appears to be the chief
cause, such as lack of employment, has back of it defects in individual
character which are not apparent to the investigator. Researches along
this line have shown that the number of cases of distress which may be
attributed to lack of employment, for example, may be very greatly
reduced when all individual defects are taken into consideration. This,
however, is not an argument for regarding the economic causes of poverty
as any less important than has been indicated.

(2) Unsanitary conditions of living are frequent causes of poverty.
Among these unsanitary conditions may be mentioned especially the
housing of the poor. The housing of the poor in badly ventilated, poorly
lighted, and unsanitary dwellings greatly increases sickness and death
and undoubtedly contributes greatly to their economic depression. Thus
in New York city in the first ward, where there is only one house on
each lot, the death rate is 29 per 1000 of the population, but where
rear tenements have been erected it is 62 per 1000 of the population.
The importance of public sanitation, and especially of the prevention of
overcrowding and the securing of properly lighted and ventilated
dwellings for the people, is so great that we need not enlarge upon it.

(3) Defects in our educational system are certainly productive of
poverty. Ignorant and illiterate persons are much more liable to become
dependent. In particular the lack of industrial training in our public
schools is a prolific cause of dependence in our complex industrial

(4) Defects in government, permitting corruption on the one hand, or
failing to check economic or sanitary evils on the other hand, are
manifest causes of poverty. Indeed, inasmuch as government exists to
regulate the whole social order, wherever it fails to perform this work
properly some economic distress must ensue.

(5) Corruption in social institutions and customs is certainly a cause
of poverty: such, for example, is the custom of social drinking, and
such also the unwise and indiscriminate charity which has so often
existed in the past.

(6) Unrestricted immigration, especially in our Eastern states and
cities, is, as we have already seen, a prolific cause of dependence.

_The Subjective Causes of Poverty_ are the causes within the
individual. Among these must be enumerated: (1) Physical and mental
defects of all sorts, especially those arising from sickness and
accidents. Sickness causing temporary or permanent disability figures in
from 25 to 40 per cent of all cases applying for relief in our large
cities. Probably it is the most common and most important single cause
of poverty with which charity workers have to deal. Back of sickness,
however, are often remote causes in the environment or in personal
character. We have already spoken of accident as a cause of poverty in
connection with dangerous occupations. It is only necessary to add that
good authorities estimate that there are over 1,000,000 serious
accidents in the United States every year, in order to see that
disabilities resulting from accident are prolific as causes of poverty,
especially in our large industrial centers. The physical and mental
defects which manifest themselves in the defective classes proper, such
as the feeble-minded, the insane, the epileptics, the deaf-mutes, and
the blind, do not need to be dwelt upon as causes of dependence.

(2) Next after sickness in the list of subjective causes of poverty
comes intemperance. While the effect of intemperance in producing
poverty has often been exaggerated, there can be no doubt that
intemperance is one of the most important causes with which we have to
deal. Back of intemperance, of course, may often be again causes in the
social environment, or other remote causes, but these do not detract
from the fact that practically one fourth of all the cases of distress
with which charity organization societies have to deal are attributable,
more or less, to intemperance. The Committee of Fifty who investigated
this subject found that, in thirty-three cities, out of thirty thousand
cases dependence was due to personal intemperance in 18.46 per cent, and
due to the intemperance of others in 9.36 per cent, making a total of
27.82 per cent of cases in which intemperance can be traced as a cause
of poverty. Other investigations conducted in American cities give
substantially the same results, although certain other investigations in
English cities give higher percentages. It is noteworthy also that in
an investigation conducted by the Massachusetts Bureau of Labor 39 per
cent of the cases of poverty were attributed directly or indirectly to
drink. Again the Committee of Fifty found that in the case of
alms-house paupers a considerably higher per cent owed their condition
to the influence of drink either directly or indirectly, the percentage
being 41.55.

(3) Sexual vice is undoubtedly a prolific cause of poverty, although it
is very hard to trace concretely in the study of specific cases. Dr.
Dugdale, however, in his study of the Jukes family places sexual vice
even ahead of intemperance as a cause of their degradation, and other
similar studies of similar families have reached substantially the same

(4) Shiftlessness and laziness are frequently found in the lists of
causes of dependence used by charity organization societies, from 10 to
15 per cent of the cases of distress being attributed more or less to
these causes. It is now generally agreed, however, that in most cases
these causes may be resolved into more remote causes, laziness being
oftentimes attributable to a degenerate or at least undervitalized
physical condition.

(5) Old age, which has not been rendered destitute by vice, drink, or
other faults of character, is frequently in itself a cause of
dependence. Old age seems to figure more largely as a cause of
dependence in the European statistics than in American; nevertheless,
even in America we frequently find old persons who have worked hard all
their lives and yet come to poverty in their old age through no fault of
their own. It is for this reason that many are urging old-age pensions
as a means of preventing dependence among the aged.

(6) Neglect and desertion by relatives, or the disregard of family ties,
in America at least, may be put down as one of the important causes of
dependence. From five to ten per cent of all the cases of distress, for
example, which charity organization societies in our large cities deal
with are those of deserted wives. Again, it is particularly common in
America for children to fail to support aged parents and even the
desertion of children by parents is of frequent occurrence.

(7) Death of main support must also be mentioned as an important cause
of dependence. Widows and their children always figure largely among
those helped by charitable societies and institutions. Probably from 10
to 20 per cent of all cases dealt with by societies for relieving
temporary distress are cases in which the death of the breadwinner has
temporarily rendered the family dependent.

(8) Crime, dishonesty, ignorance, and the like are manifest frequent
causes of dependence, and as such need no discussion.

We have enumerated in detail some of the more important objective and
subjective causes of poverty and dependence in order that the student
may see that such causes are very complex, and, as we have already said,
there rarely exists a dependent family in which three or more of these
causes are not found to be active. Certain questions arise from such a
brief presentation as this which we may mention but cannot hope
adequately to deal with. Such, for example, is the question whether the
subjective causes of poverty can all be reduced to objective causes. In
our opinion this cannot be done, because the subjective causes have
their roots in biological and psychological conditions, which cannot be
attributed directly to causes in the environment. No doubt, however,
many of the subjective causes of poverty are characteristics which have
been acquired by individuals from the influence of their environment.
When we attribute a certain per cent of poverty to intemperance, for
example, it is probable that that particular personal defect may be
ascribed almost wholly to the environment. On the other hand, there are
other personal defects, such as sickness, vice, and mental deficiency,
that cannot always with certainty be traced to environmental factors. It
is safest to conclude that while personality is built up largely out of
social influences, society is, on the other hand, also rooted in human
nature, so that both objective and subjective causes combine to produce
practically all social phenomena, and especially the phenomena of
poverty and dependence. It is unscientific, therefore, to disregard
either the subjective or the objective causes of poverty.

Another question which is frequently raised in connection with poverty
or dependence is, whether it is due to misconduct or misfortune. This
question really has not much meaning in it when it is analyzed. As we
have already seen in practically every case of poverty, personal defects
and bad environment combine. Only a few of these personal defects,
however, can by any proper use of language be regarded as misconduct.
The great mass of poverty, therefore, seems attributable to misfortune
rather than to misconduct,--using these words in their popular sense.
But such a conclusion as this necessarily rests upon a somewhat
superficial examination of the causes of distress which does not enter
into the remote springs of personal character and development. On the
whole, it seems unwise to attempt to divide the poor into the "worthy"
and "unworthy" poor, as has often been done, for no one can say who is
the worthy and who is the unworthy in a moral sense. The only sense in
which these words may be used scientifically in charitable work is to
mean "needy" and "not needy."

_Pauperism and Degeneracy._ In order to see more clearly the
biological roots of dependence we must notice briefly the relation of
habitual pauperism to degeneracy. Studies like that made by Dr. Dugdale
of the Jukes family show that unquestionably there is in many instances
a close relation between habitual pauperism of various types and
degeneracy. Out of 709 in the Jukes family studied by Dugdale 500 had
been aided. Pauperism was 7 1_2 times as common among the Jukes as in
the ordinary population. Along with the pauperism of the Jukes went
prostitution, illegitimacy, crime, and physical disease and defects.
Many other studies have shown the same intimate relation between
physical degeneracy and habitual dependence or pauperism. There can be
no doubt, therefore, that general physical degeneracy, or biological
unfitness, is, as we have already asserted in the beginning, a
conspicuous factor in the worst cases of chronic pauperism.

_The Influence of Heredity upon Pauperism_. Similar studies to
those already mentioned have shown that dependence is often times
hereditary in families from generation to generation. This is doubtless
based upon the inheritance of physical and mental defects. Indirectly,
therefore, there is such a thing as hereditary pauperism. Now we know
from the labors of Weismann that acquired characteristics are not
inherited, but only congenital, or inborn characteristics. It is not
the characteristics, in other words, which are acquired from the
influence of environment that are transmitted to offspring, but the
characteristics that arise through variations in the germ, caused by
forces which are not yet well understood. Defects that are acquired by
the individual in his lifetime, in other words, will not be transmitted;
but the defects that arise through accident or other means in the germ
are transmitted. This being so, it follows that acquired pauperism or
dependence is not transmitted but only the pauperism which rests upon
congenital defects. This is illustrated by the case of the deaf.
Deaf-mutes are of two sorts: persons who are born deaf, or the
congenital deaf-mutes, and persons who become deaf-mutes through
diseases affecting the ear in early childhood. These latter are styled
adventitious deaf-mutes. Now when congenital deaf-mutes marry, they show
a strong tendency to transmit their defect to offspring, but the
children of adventitious deaf-mutes are always normal. Dr. Fay, in his
investigations into the marriages of the deaf in the United States shows
that only 0.3 per cent of the children born from the marriages of
persons adventitiously deaf and having no deaf relatives are born deaf;
while on the other hand, 30.3 per cent of the children born from the
marriages of persons congenitally deaf, both parents having deaf
relatives, are born deaf. In other words, the number of deaf-mutes born
where both parents are congenitally deaf and have deaf relatives is one
hundred times greater than where both parents are adventitiously deaf
and have no deaf relatives. This is pretty conclusive proof that it is
only the congenital defects which are transmissible, but these are so
highly transmissible that they may express themselves in pauperism from
generation to generation.

The marriage of all persons in whom there is an hereditary taint of
feeble-mindedness, insanity, epilepsy, and the like ought, therefore, to
be forbidden by law. But unless these defective classes were segregated
in institutions, the only result of this might be to increase
illegitimacy; therefore, any step in eradicating degeneracy and
pauperism must look to the isolation and custodial care through life of
the hopelessly defective classes. All this gives point to our conclusion
that poverty and pauperism have roots which are quite independent of
defects in economic conditions, and that, until heredity itself can be
controlled, we cannot expect to eliminate poverty entirely.

Proposed Remedies for Poverty and Pauperism.--The scientific remedies
for poverty and pauperism, that is, the scientific methods of dealing
with the various dependent classes and of preventing their existence,
now form the subject-matter of a great independent science, the science
of philanthropy, which, as we have already seen, may be considered a
branch of applied sociology. We have not room in this book to discuss
adequately these remedies, but we may call the attention of the student
again to the vast literature existing upon the subject, and may point
out the trend of modern scientific philanthropy in developing scientific
methods for removing the causes of dependence and of preventing the
existence of the various dependent classes.

As we have already seen, poverty is an economic expression of biological
or psychological defects of the individual on the one hand, and of a
faulty social and industrial organization on the other hand. This
implies that the remedies must be along the lines of the biological and
psychological adjustment of the individual and of the correction of the
faults in social organization.

Where biological defects of the individual are the cause of dependence,
we have just implied that, unless these defects are relatively
superficial, the scientific policy for treating these classes of
defective individuals would be that of segregation in institutions. The
feeble-minded, the chronic insane, the chronic epileptic, and other
hopelessly defective persons, in other words, should be permanently kept
in institutions where tender and humane care should be provided, but in
such a way that they will not reproduce their kind and burden future
generations. The policy of segregating the hopelessly defective is one
of the most scientifically approved policies of modern philanthropy. In
this way, to a certain extent, the reproduction of unfit elements in
society might be lessened, and the spread of degeneracy checked. In the
case of slightly defective adults, such as the congenitally deaf and the
congenitally blind, it is difficult to say exactly what the policy
should be. It would seem that many of these persons may be relatively
adjusted to free social life, although if they marry and have offspring
we know, if their defect is congenital, that a certain proportion of the
offspring, according to Mendel's law, will inherit the defect.

In the case of those individuals whose dependence is due to
psychological defects, or defective character, it is evident that we
have a different problem. Here, in general, the wise policy would seem
to be, not to segregate, but to overcome the defective character.
Psychological defects, we know, are much more frequently acquired than
biological defects and much more easily remedied. The work of scientific
philanthropy in dealing with this class of individuals must be,
therefore, a work of remedying defects in individual character. This is,
perhaps, best done through personal relations between the dependent
person and those who may help him. Defective character is, on the whole,
therefore, best remedied by such means as education, religious
influences, friendly visiting, and the like. The class of dependents
whose condition is due to defective character may be on the whole,
therefore, best treated outside of institutions, and probably better
through voluntary private charity than through public relief systems.

There remains another class of dependents whose condition is not due
either to biological nor to psychological defects in themselves, but to
faulty social and industrial conditions. For these, the best method of
treatment consists in remedying the faulty conditions or in removing
them, if possible, from them. This means that, in many cases, society
must provide pensions, insurance against accident and sickness,
legislation to check social abuses, and, above all, proper facilities
for education. Here comes in the need of child-labor legislation, of
better housing, of industrial insurance, of industrial education, and
the like.

In the light of these principles, let us review very briefly the
different methods of dealing with dependent classes at the present time.

_Public and Private Outdoor Relief_. By outdoor relief we mean
relief given to the poor outside of an institution. Usually, outdoor
relief refers simply to the public relief of dependents outside of
institutions, but we shall use the phrase to cover both public and
private relief. It is evident from what has already been said that the
class of persons to whom this form of relief is appropriate are those in
temporary distress, whose condition of dependence is not a permanent one
and, therefore, usually those whose condition is due either to defective
personal character or to faulty social organization. If the temporary
dependence is due to defective personal character, it is evident that
the aid may be so given, if given wisely, as to stimulate the overcoming
of the moral defect. Hence the need of carefully planned measures of
relief in all such cases. Hence, also, the need of the friendly
visitor, who by personal contact with such a family will help them to
become socially adjusted. If, on the other hand, the temporarily
dependent person is simply a victim of circumstances, there is, then,
also, the need of wise charity in order to overcome those adverse
circumstances without impairing the character of the individual who is
helped by destroying his self-respect and the like.

It is evident that the task of relieving temporarily dependent persons
outside of institutions is a delicate and difficult one, and requires
carefully trained workers to do it successfully. For this reason, many
have argued that outdoor relief should not be undertaken by the state in
any of its branches, such as the city or county. In general, it must be
admitted that the private society is, in many cases, naturally better
fitted to accomplish this delicate and difficult task of restoring the
temporarily dependent person. But, on the other hand, it must be said
that the whole matter is simply a question of administration. Private
societies may be quite as lax and unscientific in their charity as the
state, and it is conceivable that the state can develop a system of
outdoor relief which will be administered by experts quite as carefully
as any private organization could administer it. Indeed, this is what
has been practically done in Germany under the _Elberfeldt System_,
which is a state system for dispensing outdoor relief to the temporarily
indigent. In the United States, however, this work of relieving the
temporarily dependent in their own homes has been, in our large cities,
undertaken with great success by the charity organization societies,
which, in general, do the work with such thoroughness as to obviate the
necessity for public outdoor relief in our large cities.

_State Charitable Institutions._ Indoor relief, or relief within
institutions, for the permanently dependent classes is probably best
undertaken by the state. Originally, the only institution of this sort
was the almshouse or the poor house; but with the development of our
complex civilization many of the permanently dependent have been
provided for in other institutions than the almshouse, and it would seem
that ultimately all the permanently dependent would be cared for in
specialized state institutions. Thus, the permanently dependent,
through various sorts of defects, such as the feeble-minded, chronic
epileptic, chronic insane, and the like, are properly cared for in
institutions especially provided for the purpose by the state and manned
by experts. Into the details of public care of the unfit and defective
of various types it is not necessary to go further than to say that such
public care should be of the most scientific character, and with the
double aim of reclaiming all those that can be reclaimed, and of
providing permanently tender and humane care for those who cannot be
fitted for free social life. State institutions then, should be manned
by experts, and their activities should be coördinated by some central
board. In accordance with this principle, it would seem that the best
state policy would be to provide expert commissions for the care of
different classes, such as the insane, and the like, and a supervisory
board to watch over the work of these commissions and the institutions.

_Dependent Children_. The care of dependent children is manifestly
one of the most important forms of remedial philanthropic work, for it
is manifest that the dependent child will make a dependent adult unless
proper measures are taken to secure his adjustment to the social life.
The dependent child is rarely biologically defective. The problem is,
usually, in his case, the development of character under proper social
conditions. For this reason, both the state and private societies have
claimed the field of care of dependent children. While private
societies have accomplished in this respect some of the most notable
work, it would seem, however, that the work is one which properly
belongs to the state in its capacity of legal guardian of all dependent
children. The state, through a properly organized system of child
helping, could conceivably guarantee that every neglected and dependent
child should have normal opportunities to become adjusted to the social
life. The system in the state of Michigan, with its Public School for
Dependent Children at Coldwater, and its plan of placing these children,
after a few months, in good homes, is a system which cannot receive too
high commendation. In general, it is practically agreed by experts that
the dependent child cannot be well adjusted to the social life by being
reared in an institution, but that the better plan is to find suitable
homes in which these children can be placed and reared under state
supervision. In this way, practically every dependent child can be
guaranteed a good chance in life. In the United States, private
societies called "Childrens' Home Societies" are also doing this work
with great success.

_Public and Private Charity._ As has already been indicated, the
ordinary line to be observed between private charity and public relief
is that to private charity should be given the more delicate and
difficult tasks, such as readjusting the temporarily dependent persons,
the care of, in some cases, dependent children and the like, while to
public charity should be given the cases which need permanent relief in
institutions. This is only a conventional line, however, between private
charity and public relief. As has already been pointed out, the state
can conceivably, also, undertake the more delicate and difficult tasks
of charitable aid, and probably it should do so as rapidly as it
demonstrates its fitness to undertake this work, as the state, when once
it has achieved certain standards, is a more certain and reliable agency
than private institutions or societies. But there is in philanthropic
work, a large place for the private society or institution. There will
probably always be debatable cases which may better be looked after by
private agencies than by public. There is, therefore, in every
well-developed community, room for both public and private agencies,
although there should be close coöperation where both exist one with the
other. The church, through all its history, has undertaken philanthropic
work with notable success, and it would be regrettable if the
philanthropic activities of the church were to cease at this time, when
they are needed as never before, in spite of the large development of
public philanthropy. Church charity should, however, be made as
scientific as any other form of charity, and should be carefully
coördinated with the work of the state and other secular agencies. Among
the secular agencies we have already mentioned the charity organization
society as typifying in many ways the highest type of philanthropic
activity of the present. It would seem that this society, organizing as
it does all the philanthropic forces and agencies of the community,
could scarcely be displaced by state activity; and that there would
remain to this society, as well as many other private philanthropic
societies, a very large field of activity in the future. State activity
in the field of charity is, therefore, to be encouraged, but it must not
be supposed that such activity can take the place of private charity.

_Preventive Agencies_. A very large task for both private societies
and the state is to be found in the field of prevention. This field is
so broad, however, that we cannot attempt to even mention the many
different movements alone which characterize our present social
development. Such are the movements for better housing, for better
sanitation, for purer food, for juster economic conditions, for the
prevention of disease, and the like. The main thing to be said with
respect to these movements is that they need to be guided by the larger
social view, they need synthesis in order that they may work toward a
common goal, and in harmony, also, with the activities of the state. In
the field of prevention the state has much to do, especially in
forwarding education along lines of social need and in creating juster
economic conditions.

We may, perhaps, sum up this chapter by saying that it is evident that
the cure of poverty is not to be sought merely in certain economic
rearrangements, but in scientific control of the whole life process of
human society. This means that, in order to get rid of poverty, the
defects in education, in government, in religion and morality, in
philanthropy, and even in physical heredity, must be got rid of. Of
course, this can only be done when there is a scientific understanding
of the conditions necessary for normal human social life. What some of
these requirements for a normal life are will be seen in a subsequent
chapter, and it is only necessary to say in conclusion that the wisest
measures for removing pauperism will be directed toward the prevention
of its causes rather than toward the reclaiming of those who have
already been caught in its meshes.


_For brief reading:_

WARNER, _American Charities,_ Revised Edition.
DEVINE, _Misery and Its Causes._
HUNTER, _Poverty._

_For more extended reading:_

DUGDALE, _The Jukes._
DEVINE, _Principles of Relief._
HENDERSON, _Dependent, Defective and Delinquent Classes._
RUS, _How the Other Half Lives._
ROWNTREE, _Poverty: a Study of Town Life._
_Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Correction._
_The Survey_ (formerly _Charities and the Commons_).



The problem of crime is one of the great problems of social pathology.
There have been developed, in order to deal with this problem
scientifically, a number of subsidiary sciences, especially Criminology
and Penology, which are sciences dealing with the causes, nature, and
treatment of crime. We cannot therefore deal with this problem
adequately in this chapter, but again must refer the student to the
literature on the subject.

The Definition of Crime.--The best definition of crime and the simplest
is that it is a violation of law. It is evident from this definition
that crime is primarily a legal matter; and as laws vary from age to age
and from country to country, so too the definition of crime varies.
Nevertheless, because crime is a variable quantity that does not make it
impossible of scientific treatment; for law itself is only one aspect or
phase of the social life, namely, that which has to do with the control
of conduct through organized social authority. Therefore, while crime is
primarily a legal matter, it is also a social matter and has at the same
time psychological and biological implications. While crime is an
expression of social maladjustment defined by the law differently under
different circumstances, it nevertheless has psychological and
biological roots; and these we must take into account in a scientific
study of crime.

The simplest and best definition of the criminal accordingly is a
violator of the law. However, because the criminal lacks social
adjustment the causes of this lack of adjustment are very often in
certain psychological and biological conditions of the individual. While
the criminal is defined by the law differently from age to age, he is
nevertheless under all circumstances the socially peculiar and sometimes
the psychologically and biologically peculiar person. Under all
circumstances he is a variation from his group; and whether the causes
of his variation are psychological or biological is the problem that
concerns us.

But in the group of socially maladjusted persons whom we call criminals
are many classes and it is necessary to note the chief of these classes
before we can understand the many causes of crime.

_The classification of criminals_. The legal classification of
criminals according to the nature of their crime is manifestly of no use
for scientific purposes. What we need is a classification of criminals
according to their own peculiar nature. Inasmuch as the nature and
conduct of a criminal person is largely a matter of his psychology the
most scientific classification of criminals must be upon a psychological
basis; and a simple psychological classification can be made upon the
basis of habit, that is, as to whether the habit of crime is inborn,
acquired, or not yet formed. According to this classification then there
are three main classes of criminals: (i) The instinctive or born
criminal. This is a person in whom the tendency to crime is inborn, and
this inborn tendency is always due to some congenital defect. The most
common type of the instinctive or born criminal is the moral imbecile, a
person only slightly mentally defective who cannot distinguish right
from wrong. It is evident that in the instinctive or born criminal
biological causes of crime predominate. This class is however relatively
small among the general criminal class, and it is estimated by experts
that it constitutes not more than from 10 per cent to 15 per cent of our
prison population. (2) The habitual criminal. The habitual criminal is a
normal person who has acquired the tendency to crime from his
environment. The most marked type of the habitual criminal is the
professional criminal, who is frequently a person above the average in
ability and who deliberately chooses a career of crime, taking the risks
of his calling. It is evident that the professional criminal class is
the most dangerous class of criminals with whom society has to deal. A
more common type of habitual criminal, however, is the occasional
habitual criminal, a weak person who drifts into crime through
temptation and who has not strength of character enough to throw off the
habit. It is estimated that habitual criminals of both types mentioned
constitute from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of our prison population. (3)
The single offender. The single offender is a normal person who commits
only a single crime through some sudden stress or temptation, but lives
ever after a law-abiding life. The two types of the single offender are
the criminal by passion and the accidental criminal. The criminal by
passion is a moral, and oftentimes a conscientious, person who commits a
crime through some sudden stress of passion, under great provocation.
The accidental criminal, on the other hand, is the weak type of moral
person who yields once through some sudden temptation, but who regrets
it ever afterward. It is estimated that single offenders constitute from
40 per cent to 50 per cent of our prison population. Strictly speaking,
they are only legal criminals, and not criminals in the sociological
sense, being relatively moral and law-abiding citizens whose variation
from the normal is confined to some single offense. Nevertheless, single
offenders constitute, as we have already seen, a very considerable
proportion of our prison population.

If this classification of criminals is correct, it is evident that it is
very important both in studying the causes of crime and in devising
practical measures for dealing with the criminal class; for the
instinctive criminal, the habitual criminal, and the single offender
manifestly need very different methods of treatment. One of the gravest
faults of the criminal law and of penal institutions hitherto is that
they have not provided for the different treatment of different classes
of criminals.

The Extent of Crime in the United States.--According to the United
States census there were in prisons on June 30, 1904, a total of 81,772
prisoners above the age of five years serving sentences. Of this number
77,269 were males and 4503 were females; again, 55,111 were whites, and
26,661 were colored. Classified according to the prisons in which they
were found, 53,292 were in state penitentiaries, 7261 were in state
reformatories, 18,544 were in county jails, and 2675 were in city
prisons. These were only the persons serving prison sentences. An
unknown number were in county and city jails awaiting trial and serving
out fines. Again, it must be remembered that this was simply the prison
population on a single day, June 30, 1904. During 1904 there were,
according to the census, 149,691 persons committed to prisons to serve
sentences. To all of the above we must add also the 23,034 juvenile
delinquents who were found, on June 30, 1904, in the juvenile
reformatories of the United States.

Unfortunately we have no figures from previous censuses with which we
can compare the above, as the census of 1890 and previous censuses
included prisoners awaiting trial. In 1890, however, there were,
deducting the 15,526 awaiting trial and serving out fines, 66,803
persons above the age of five years serving sentences.

These prison statistics, however, give us little idea of the actual
amount of crime in the United States, because they include only the
persons committed to prison to serve sentences, and do not include the
vast number who escape the meshes of the law or who simply receive
fines, or whose sentences are suspended. It is estimated by competent
authorities, basing their estimate upon the number of known convictions
of crime in certain large cities, that there are not less than 1,000,000
convictions for crime, annually, in the United States--including, of
course, convictions for both felonies and misdemeanors. That this is not
an excessive estimate may be indicated by the fact that in the state of
New York alone in 1900, a year before the custom of suspending sentence
on probation came so largely into vogue, there were nearly 100,000
commitments to prison.

All these figures, however, fail to give us any very correct idea of the
amount of serious crime in the United States--the prison statistics,
because they understate the matter, the statistics of convictions,
because they overstate. A peculiarity about serious crime in the United
States, it must be remembered, is that so many persons escape through
the meshes of the law, and this is particularly true in the case of the
characteristic American crime of homicide. An enterprising newspaper,
_The Chicago Tribune_, has for years, with the help of the
Associated Press, collected statistics of homicide and suicide in the
United States. While these statistics seem relatively incomplete and
inaccurate for the earlier years, since 1892 they present every
appearance of great accuracy, and have not been seriously impugned.
According to these statistics the United States has had for the last
dozen years from six to ten thousand cases of homicide annually,
including all cases where one person has killed another. In 1896 the
number was 10,652, in 1899, 6225; in 1900, 8275; in 1904, 8482; in 1906,
9350; in 1908, 8592. The census of 1904 showed only 2444 persons
committed to prison for homicide in that year, but these figures are not
in conflict with those of _The Chicago Tribune_, because the census
statistics omit the vast number of persons who committed homicide but
who escaped, were not convicted, were killed, or for some other reason
failed to show up in the statistics of commitment. Accepting _The
Chicago Tribune's_ figures as relatively accurate, it may be remarked
at this point that the number of homicides is far greater in the United
States than in other civilized countries, with the exception of Italy,
Spain, and some other countries of the Mediterranean region. England,
for example, has only between three and four hundred cases of homicide
annually as compared with our six to ten thousand, although England's
population is about 30,000,000 as against over 80,000,000 for the United
States. The greatest number of these homicides take place in the
Southern and Western states, Texas leading, according to the statistics,
with about one thousand homicides annually. This suggests that to some
extent our high homicide rate is due to the survival of frontier
conditions in a large number of the states, although it is probably even
more due to American individualism and lawlessness, the tendency of
every man to take the law into his own hands.

There can be no doubt that the amount of serious crime in the United
States is relatively high, although there is no reason to believe that
the serious crimes against property are proportionate to the serious
crimes against persons.

_The Cost of Crime in the United States_. The Hon. Eugene Smith, a
lawyer of New York city, in a paper read before the National Prison
Association in 1900, estimated that the criminal population of the
United States costs not less than $600,000,000 annually. He based his
estimate upon the cost of crime in New York city and other large cities
of the country. He found that the probable expenses of government in the
United States attributable to crime, that is, the cost of police,
criminal courts, prisons, and other institutions connected with the
prevention and repression of crime, amounted to about $200,000,000 per
year. This is the amount paid by the taxpayers for the repression and
extirpation of crime annually. In addition there is the cost of the
criminal class through the destruction of property, their plunder, and
the like. Mr. Smith estimated that there were no less than 250,000
dangerous criminals in the United States and that each such criminal
cost the people of the United States, on the average $1600 annually.
Accordingly, the 250,000 criminals would cost a total of $400,000,000
annually, which, added to the $200,000,000 paid out in taxes for the
repression of the criminal class and protection against crime, makes a
total of $600,000,000 paid out every year by the people of the United
States as the cost of supporting the criminal class. While this figure
seems enormous, careful students of the matter consider that it is an
underestimate rather than an overestimate of the total cost of crime. We
may compare the amount with certain other figures. The cost of public
education in the United States is about $350,000,000 annually; the
annual value of our wheat crop is about $600,000,000, and of our cotton
crop about the same. It is evident that the problem of crime is worthy
of serious study even from a financial standpoint alone.

_Is Crime Increasing?_ How we answer this question will, of course,
depend upon the length of time considered. We have no statistics going
back further than fifty years in this country. Moreover, it is entirely
possible to hold that while crime has decreased during the historic era
among civilized peoples, it has increased during the last twenty-five or
fifty years. All statistics of crime in the United States seem to show
that it has increased. In 1850 for example, the number of prisoners was
6737 which was one prisoner to every 3442 of the population. But the
census of 1850 was seriously defective, and we would better take the
census of 1860 as the basis of our comparison. In 1860 the census showed
a total prison population of 19,086, which was one prisoner to every
1647 of the population. In 1890 the census showed 82,329 prisoners in
the total population, which was one in every 757. In other words,
between 1860 and 1890 the total population of the country just doubled,
while the number of prisoners quadrupled. Inasmuch as the census of 1904
was taken upon an entirely different basis, we cannot bring the
comparison down to that year.

The value of these statistics has often been questioned, but it has been
questioned chiefly by people who have not taken other corroborative
evidence into account. The chief corroborating evidence is to be found
in the statistics of prisoners in our state prisons from 1880 to 1904.
Now only those are sent to state prisons who are guilty of felonies, and
the length of term of sentence in our state prisons has steadily
shortened during the last twenty-five years, while within the last few
years the practice of suspending sentence on probation for first felons
has been largely introduced. We should expect, therefore, a decrease in
the state prison population in proportion to the general population. But
we find that the number in state prisons rose from 30,659 in 1880, to
45,233 in 1890, an increase of 47.5 per cent, while the general
population increased only 24.86 per cent. Again the number rose in 1904
to 60,553, an increase of 33 per cent, while the general population
increased about 30 per cent. Apparently, therefore, the amount of
serious crime in the United States is increasing more rapidly than the
population. Corroborating evidence is also found from Massachusetts
statistics, which indicate that between 1850 and 1880 the prison
population increased twice as rapidly as the general population. Other
evidence could be cited, but the statistics of our state penitentiaries
may be considered conclusive when all facts are taken into
consideration. There is apparently no escape from the conclusion that
serious crime between 1880 and 1904 increased more rapidly than the

The amount of minor offenses, every one admits, has increased. The
statistics of all European countries show this, and there is no reason
to suppose that the United States is an exception in this regard.
England is the only country of the civilized world in which there has
been apparently a decrease in proportion to population of both serious
crimes and minor offenses. This decrease of crime in England may be
attributed largely to England's excellent prison system, and also to the
swiftness and certainty of English courts of justice.

The Causes of Crime.--The causes of crime may be classified best, as we
classified the causes of poverty, into objective and subjective.
Objective causes are those outside of the individual, in the
environment; subjective causes are causes in the individual, whether in
his bodily make-up or his mental peculiarities.

_The Objective Causes of Crime_. The objective causes of crime may
be divided into causes in the physical environment and causes in the
social environment. The causes in the physical environment are
relatively unimportant, but are worthy of note as showing how many
various factors enter into this social phenomenon of crime. Climate and
season seem to be the two chief physical factors that influence crime;
and in connection with these we have two general rules, abundantly
verified by statistics; namely, crimes against the person are more
numerous in southern climates than crimes against property; and again
crimes against the person are more numerous in summer than in winter,
while crimes against property are more numerous in winter than in
summer. All this is of course simply an outcome of the effect of climate
and season upon general living conditions.

The causes of crime in the social environment are of course much the
most important objective causes of crime, and, many students think,
altogether the most important causes of crime in general. Let us briefly
note some of the more important social conditions that give rise to

(1) Conditions connected with the family life have a great influence on
crime; indeed, inasmuch as the family is the chief agency in society for
socializing the young, perhaps domestic conditions are more important in
the production of crime than any other set of causes. We cannot enter
into the discussion of the matter fully, but we have already seen in
former chapters that demoralized homes contribute an undue proportion of
criminals. It is estimated by those in charge of reform schools for
delinquent children that from 85 to 90 per cent of the children in those
institutions come from more or less demoralized or disrupted families.
Illegitimate children notoriously drift into the criminal classes, while
dependent children who grow up in charitable institutions are prone also
to take the same course. Domestic conditions have of course an influence
on the criminality or non-criminality of adults. This is best shown
perhaps by the fact that the great proportion of criminals in our
prisons are unmarried persons. Thus the United States prison census of
1904 showed that 64 per cent of all prisoners were single persons.
Statistics from other countries are practically the same. This means
that, on the one hand, the family life is a preventive of crime, and on
the other that the socially abnormal classes who drift into crime are
not apt to marry.

(2) Industrial conditions also have a profound influence upon criminal
statistics. Economic crises, hard times, strikes, lockouts, are all
productive of crime. Quetelet, the Belgian statistician, thought that
the general rule could be laid down that, as the price of food
increases, crimes against property increase, while crimes against
persons decrease. At any rate, increase in the cost of the necessities
of life is very apt to increase crimes of certain sorts.

The various industrial classes show a different ratio of criminality. In
general among industrial classes the least crime is committed by the
agricultural classes, while the most crime is committed by the
unemployed or those with no occupation. The census of 1904 showed that
50 per cent of all prisoners that year were non-agricultural laborers or

(3) The demographical conditions, conditions concerning the distribution
and density of the population, have an influence upon crime. In general
there is more crime in the cities than in the country districts. The
statistics of all civilized countries seem to show about twice as great
a percentage of crime in their large cities as in the rural districts.

(4) The influence of race and nationality seems to be marked in criminal
statistics. We have already noted that the ratio of criminality among
the negroes in the United States is from four to five times higher than
among the whites. We have also seen that among our recent immigrants the
Southern Italians have a pronounced tendency to crime, especially
serious crime. Among our older immigrants the Irish on the other hand,
owing largely to their love of liquor, have a pronounced tendency toward
minor offenses. Even in 1904, 36.2 per cent of the foreign-born
prisoners were Irish, while the Irish constituted but 15.6 per cent of
the total foreign-born population.

(5) Defects in government and law are among the most potent causes of
crime. These are so numerous that we cannot attempt even to mention all.
It is obvious that such things as too great leniency on the part of our
judges and shortness of sentence if convicted; difficulty or uncertainty
in securing justice in criminal courts; costliness of obtaining justice
in our civil courts; bad prison systems in which first offenders and
hardened criminals mingle; lack of police surveillance of habitual
criminals; corrupt methods of appointing the police; partisanship in the
administration of government, and the like, all conduce to crime. And
many of these things, we may add, have been especially in evidence in

(6) Educational conditions have undoubtedly a great influence upon
crime. While education in the sense of school education could never in
itself stamp out crime, still defective educational conditions greatly
increase crime. This is shown sufficiently by the fact that illiterates
are much more liable to commit crime than those who have a fair
education. The prison census of 1904 showed that 12.6 per cent of the
prisoners were illiterate, while only 10.7 per cent of the general
population were illiterate; and of the major offenders not less than 20
per cent were illiterate.

The defects in our educational conditions which especially favor the
development of crime in certain classes are chiefly: lack of facilities
for industrial education, lack of physical education, and lack of
specific moral instruction. The need of these three things in a
socialized school system need not here be more than emphasized.

The influence of the press as a popular educator must here be mentioned
as one of the important stimuli to crime under modern conditions. The
excessive exploitation of crimes in the modern sensational press no
doubt conduces to increase criminality in certain classes, for it has
been demonstrated that crime is often a matter of suggestion or
imitation. When 75 per cent of the space in our daily newspapers is
taken up with reports of crime and immorality, as it is in some cases,
it is not to be wondered at that the contagion of crime is sown
broadcast in society.

(7) The influence of certain social institutions in producing crime must
be mentioned. Here comes in especially the lack of opportunity for
wholesome social amusements among our poorer classes, particularly in
our large cities. Lacking these, the masses resort to the saloon,
gambling-houses, cheap music and dance halls, and vulgar theatrical
entertainments. The influence of all of these institutions is
undoubtedly to spread the contagion of vice and crime among their

(8) The influence of manners and customs upon crime cannot be
overlooked. The custom in certain communities, for example, of carrying
concealed weapons undoubtedly has much to do with the swollen homicide
statistics of the United States. Vicious and corrupting customs, such as
compulsory social drinking, and the like, undoubtedly greatly influence
crime. Even the luxury and extravagance of the rich might easily be
shown to have a demoralizing effect, both upon the upper and the lower
classes of society.

The list of causes of crime in the social environment might be
indefinitely extended until the student would perhaps think that
practically everything was a cause of crime in one way or another; and
it is true that everything that depresses men in society is a cause of
crime. However, if the student has gained an impression of the great
complexity of the causes of crime, that is the main thing.

A question may here be raised whether it is possible to reduce all the
causes of crime to causes in the social environment--that is, all
subjective causes to objective. Many writers have contended that this is
possible, but we shall see that there are causes in heredity and causes
in psychological conditions, to say nothing of some possible free will
in individuals, which cannot be derived from social conditions and which
would produce crime quite independent of objective social conditions,
unless these subjective factors were also controlled. There is no reason
to believe that a perfectly just social organization which did not
attempt to control heredity and the moral character of individuals would
succeed in eliminating crime. On the contrary, biological variation
alone arising from influences independent of the environment would
produce a certain amount of crime. Crime, in other words, is, to a
certain extent, like pauperism, an expression of the elimination of the
inferior variants in society, and will continue to exist as long as we
allow the process of evolution by natural selection to go on.

Nevertheless, it is true in a certain sense, as Lacassagne says, that
"every society has the criminals it deserves;" that is, every society
could, by taking proper means, practically eliminate crime and the
criminal class. This would have to be done, however, by something more
radical than a mere reorganization of human society in an industrial
way. Three things are necessary for society practically to eliminate
crime: first, the correction of defects in social conditions,
particularly of economic evils in society; second, the proper control of
physical heredity by a rational system of eugenics; third, the proper
education and training of every child for social life from infancy up.

_The Subjective Causes of Crime._ In order to see all that is
involved in the above program let us study somewhat the subjective
causes of crime. These may be divided into biological and psychological.
Among the biological causes of crime, and one which certainly cannot be
reduced to the environment, is sex. As we have already seen, crime is a
social phenomenon which is chiefly confined to the male sex. In 1904,
for example, 94.5 per cent of the prison population in the United States
were males, and in the statistics of convictions it is estimated that
ninety-one men are convicted for every nine women. The statistics for
all civilized countries show practically the same conditions, although
in most European countries the proportion of female prisoners is
somewhat higher, owing, undoubtedly, to certain influences in the social

Another subjective factor in crime, which again cannot be reduced to
environment, is age. Practically all crime falls in the active period of
life, and the bulk of it between the ages of twenty-one and forty years.
The average of men in our state penitentiaries is frequently not above
twenty-seven or twenty-eight years.

Other subjective biological conditions that cause crime may be summed up
under the word "degeneracy." These abnormal conditions, however, we
shall examine later.

Among the psychological conditions of the individual that give rise to
crime the most common are habits, aims, and ideals. Of peculiar interest
among personal habits that have an influence upon crime is intemperance,
and this is such an important cause of crime that we must stop to
examine it in some detail. It is often said that 95 per cent of the
crime of our country results from this cause alone. The Committee of
Fifty, however, investigated the cases of 13,402 convicts with reference
to this matter, and found that intemperance was a cause of crime in the
cases of 49.95 per cent. It was a chief cause of crime, however, only in
the cases of 31.18 per cent. In the remaining cases the intemperance was
that of ancestors or associates. Other investigators have found that
intemperance figures as a cause of crime in from 60 to 80 per cent of
the cases, but these investigations were not so full as that of the
Committee of Fifty, and it is safer to conclude, for the present at
least, that intemperance figures as a cause in about fifty per cent in
the cases of serious crime. The wonder is that any one cause could
figure in so many cases when there are so many varied influences in
society depressing men. Of course intemperance can, as has already been
said, in large part be ascribed to the influence of external stimuli in
the environment, but it has also causes in the biological and
psychological make-up of certain individuals that cannot be easily
reduced to environmental factors.

_Influence of Physical Degeneracy upon Crime_. By degeneracy we
mean, to use Morel's definition, "a morbid deviation from the normal
type." That is, degeneracy is such an alteration of organic structures
and functions that the organism becomes incapable of adapting itself to
more or less complex conditions. Ordinary forms of degeneracy that are
well recognized are feeble-mindedness, chronic insanity, chronic
epilepsy, congenital deaf-mutism, habitual pauperism, and the like. Now
there can be no doubt that criminality in some of its forms is related
to these functional forms of degeneracy. Even ordinary people have
noticed its similarity to insanity, while Lombroso has traced an
elaborate parallel between criminality and epilepsy. Without accepting
extreme views, it may be claimed that criminality is, in some cases, a
form of biological degeneracy for the following reasons:

(1) The investigations of criminal anthropologists have established the
fact that criminals as a class present a much larger number of
structural and functional abnormalities than does the average man. The
prisoners in our state prisons, for example, with few exceptions, could
not measure up to the requirements laid down by the United States Army
authorities for the enlistment of soldiers.

(2) Investigations, like that of the Jukes family by Dr. Dugdale, have
established the fact that criminals, paupers, imbeciles, drunkards,
prostitutes, and other degenerates frequently spring from the same
family stock. A very large percentage of the prisoners in our prisons
have come from more or less degenerate family stocks.

(3) Criminals more often show other forms of degeneracy than criminality
than does the average population; that is, criminals often belong to one
of the well-recognized degenerate classes, such as imbeciles,
epileptics, and insane.

These three arguments may be considered to be conclusive proof that
criminality is in some cases a manifestation of physiological
degeneracy; but they do not show that the bulk of criminals come from
physiologically degenerate stocks. On the contrary it is highly probable
that the marks of physiological degeneracy are not to be seen in from
more than 25 to 30 per cent of our criminal class. These marks of
degeneracy are of course especially common among the instinctive or born
criminals, and to some extent they are found among the habitual
criminals also.

_The Influence of Heredity on Crime_. A word must be said about the
influence of heredity on crime. The student will remember that,
according to the modern theory of heredity, acquired characters, or
characteristics, are not transmissible. Accordingly, when we find crime
running in a family for generations, as in the Jukes or Zero families,
we must assume either that the criminal tendency is transmitted by the
social environment or that it is due to some congenital variation in
some ancestor. In other words, if a person is a criminal by hereditary
defect, if the criminal tendency is born in him, as it is in the
instinctive criminal, he will transmit the tendency toward crime to his
offspring; but if a normal person becomes a criminal by acquired habit
he will transmit no tendency toward crime to his children, although his
children may of course acquire the tendency from their social

This is not saying, however, that in such cases as habitual drunkenness
and habitual vice an impaired constitution may not be transmitted to
offspring. But this, strictly speaking, is not the transmission of any
specific acquired characteristic, but only a general transmission of
impaired vitality which may show itself in crime and in various forms of
degeneracy. The germ cells are of course a part of the body, and
anything that profoundly impairs the nutrition of the body generally,
such as alcoholism and constitutional diseases, would also impair the
nutrition of the germ cells, and result in a weakened constitution in

_Lombroso's Theory of Crime_. Lombroso, and the Italian school of
criminologists generally, attribute crime chiefly to atavism, that is,
reversion to primitive types. They claim that the criminal in modern
society is merely a biological reversion to the savage type of man; that
the criminal constitutes therefore a distinct "anthropological variety";
and that there is a marked "criminal type" which can be made out even
before a person has committed a crime. They say further that the
criminal type is marked physically by having five or more of the
stigmata of degeneration, and that it is marked mentally by having the
characteristics of the savage or nature man. We cannot stop to criticize
in full this completely biological theory of crime which is offered by
Lombroso and his followers. Undoubtedly crime has biological roots, and
these we have attempted to point out in discussing the influence of
degeneracy upon crime. But to claim that the criminal constitutes a
well-marked "anthropological variety" of the human species, as Lombroso
argues, is to set up a claim for which there is no foundation. What
Lombroso thinks are the marks of the criminal are simply the marks
belonging to the degenerate classes in general. That is, they are found
among the insane and feeble-minded, for example, as well as in some
classes of criminals. There is then no criminal type which clearly
separates the criminal from other classes of degenerates, and which will
mark a man out as belonging to the criminal class even before he has
committed a crime. Lombroso and some of his school have altogether
overemphasized the physical and anatomical side of the study of the
criminal, and slighted the sociological side of such study. Moreover,
Lombroso's statements, which he makes in very general terms, apply, if
they apply at all, not to criminals as a class, but only to instinctive
criminals, as indeed he himself has acknowledged.

Remedies for Crime.--The remedies for crime are dealt with by the
subsidiary science of penology, which may be regarded as a branch of
scientific philanthropy. We can only direct the student's attention here
to the vast literature on the subject and remark that the cure for crime
consists not in some social panacea or in social revolution, but in
dealing with the causes of crime so as to prevent the existence of the
criminal class. In a general way, we have already indicated in
discussing the remedies for poverty and pauperism what the steps must be
to eradicate crime. In order practically to wipe out crime in society,
as we have already said, three things are necessary. First, every
individual must have a good birth; that is, heredity must be controlled
so that only those who are physically and mentally sound are allowed to
marry and reproduce. The difficulties of doing this we have already
noted. Second, every individual must have a good training, both at home
and at school, so as to adjust him properly to the social life. His
education must fit him to take his place among other men, make him able
to take care of himself, and to help others; and make him, in every
possible way, acquainted with the social inheritance of the race. Last
but not least, just social conditions must be provided. Everything in
the social environment must be carefully looked after in order to insure
the best development of the individual and to prevent his environment
from being in any way a drawback to him.

These things, if it were possible to bring them about, would wipe out
crime, or, at least, minimize it to the lowest terms. Of course, this
cannot be done in a generation, perhaps not in many generations, but it
is evident that the problem of crime is in no way an insoluble problem
in human society. With time and care and scientific knowledge, crime, as
well as poverty and pauperism, could be wiped out.

But curative measures are important, also, in dealing with the criminal,
and each distinct class must be dealt with differently. We noted in the
beginning of the chapter the three great character types in the criminal
class: the instinctive criminal, in whom the tendency toward a life of
crime is inborn; the habitual criminal, who acquires the habit of crime
from his surroundings; and the single offender, who, while committing a
single offense, never becomes a criminal in the strictest sense. These
three distinct classes of criminals, whom we might style the
degenerates, the derelicts, and the accidental offenders, need to be
recognized in our criminal law and to be dealt with differently by our
criminal courts and correctional institutions. The instinctive criminal
can scarcely be adjusted to normal social life. He is, as we have
already seen, essentially a defective, usually more or less
feeble-minded. Reformation in the fullest sense of the word is almost
out of the question in his case. The proper policy for society with
reference to the instinctive criminal class, which constitutes but a
small portion of our total criminal population, would be segregation for
life. Practically, of course, this may have its difficulties until we
perfect our means of discovering slight mental defects in individuals
which make them incapable of social adjustment, but practically, also,
we have found means of recognizing this type by such marks as
incorrigibility, recidivism, and the stigmata of degeneracy.

The habitual criminal, who originally was a normal person, can be, at
least in the early part of his career, fully reformed. Children and
adolescents, even though habitual offenders, are easily susceptible of
reformation, but this is difficult with the adult habitual offender past
thirty years of age who has a long criminal record behind him. Like the
instinctive criminal, he is scarcely capable of reformation. Hardened
habitual offenders, and especially professional criminals, should,
therefore, be sentenced upon indeterminate sentences, terminable only
when adequate evidence of their reformation has been secured. This can
best be accomplished by what is known as the "habitual criminal act,"
providing that persons guilty of three or four felonies shall be sent to
prison for life, to be released only upon satisfactory evidence of

The single offender, who is usually a reputable citizen who commits
crime through passion or through great temptation, can usually best be
dealt with outside of prison walls. The young single offender, if not
properly handled, may be easily transformed into an habitual criminal.
On the whole, a young single offender who has had no criminal record is,
perhaps, best dealt with by the system of probation which we will note
later. On the other hand, certain single offenders past thirty years of
age, such as bribe-givers and bribe-takers, society may have to punish
in order to make an example of. Exemplary punishment is, undoubtedly,
still necessary in some cases, and in the main it should be reserved for
this class of mature offenders in society who have otherwise lived
reputable lives. Just how far exemplary punishment should be used in
society as a deterrent to crime is a disputed question among
penologists. Whether, as in cases of homicide, it should ever go to the
extent of capital punishment or not depends very much upon the
civilization of the group. In a civilization like ours, where blood
vengeance is so often demanded by mobs, it is probably unwise, for the
present at least, to seek the abolition of capital punishment for murder
in the first degree.

_The Prison System._ Every state should have at least six distinct
sets of institutions to deal with the criminal class.

1. County and city jails for the detention of offenders awaiting trial.

2. Reform schools for delinquent children under sixteen years of age who
require institutional treatment.

3. Industrial reformatories for adult first offenders between sixteen
and thirty years of age who require institutional treatment.

4. Special reformatories for vagrants, inebriates, and prostitutes.

5. A hospital prison for the criminal insane.

6. County and state penitentiaries for incorrigible, hardened criminals.

If any one of these sets of institutions is lacking in a state, it is
impossible for the state to deal properly in a remedial way with the
problem of crime. All these institutions, of course, need to be manned
by experts and equipped in the best possible way. The present condition
of our jails, of our penitentiaries, and to some extent of our reform
schools, frequently makes them schools of crime. Nothing is more
demoralizing in any community than a bad jail where criminals of all
classes are herded together in idleness. Again, the administration of
some of our state penitentiaries with an eye to profit only, makes them
places for the deformation of character rather than for its reformation.
Again, the lack of special institutions to deal with habitual vagrants,
drunkards, and prostitutes, is one of the great reasons why we find it
so difficult to stamp out crime. Into the details of the organization,
construction, and management of these institutions we cannot go in this
book. It is sufficient to say that all these institutions should furnish
specialized scientific treatment for the various delinquent classes with
which they deal, and to do this they should aim to reproduce the
conditions and discipline of free life as far as possible. These
institutions, in other words, with the exception of the penitentiaries
and other institutions for segregation, should aim at overcoming
defective character in individuals. Their work is mainly, therefore, a
work of remedying psychical defects in the individual which prevent his
proper adjustment to society. In the case of penitentiaries, however,
the work is one mainly of segregation, of providing humane care under
such conditions as least to burden society, and at the same time give
such opportunity as there may be for reformation.

_Substitutes for Imprisonment._ We have already noted that some
classes of offenders may be reformed outside of prison walls. This is
especially true of children, of the younger misdemeanants, and of those
who have committed their first felony. It has been found that by
suspending sentences in such cases, giving the person liberty upon
certain conditions, and placing him under the surveillance of an officer
of the court who will stand in the relation of friend and quasi-guardian
to him, that reformation can, in many cases, be easily accomplished.
This is known as the probation system. It has been characterized as "a
reformatory without walls." Originating in Massachusetts, it has been
increasingly put into practice of recent years in many states with much
success. The system, however, will not work well without trained
probation officers to watch over those who are given conditional
liberty. The practice of placing upon probation without probation
officers is a questionable one and is liable to bring in disrepute the
whole system. Probation is not mere leniency, as some suppose, but is
rather a system of reformation in line with the most scientific approved

Coupled with probation should often go fines and restitution to injured
parties. In such cases, when the person is placed upon probation, the
fine or restitution may often be paid in installments, and it has been
found to have a decidedly reformatory effect upon the character of the
offender. Fines without probation are, however, but little more than
retribution, or exemplary punishment.

_Delinquent Children._ The treatment of delinquent children
constitutes a special problem in itself. It has recently come to be well
recognized that criminal tendencies nearly always appear in childhood,
and that if we can overcome these tendencies in the delinquent child, we
shall largely prevent the existence of an habitual criminal class.
Strictly speaking, of course, the child is a presumptive rather than a
real criminal. The delinquent child is socially maladjusted and is
scarcely ever to be considered an enemy of organized society. Delinquent
children should be dealt with, therefore, as presumptive rather than as
genuine criminals. In general, therefore, they should not be arrested,
should not be put in jail with older offenders, and should be tried by a
special court in which the judge representing the state plays the role
of a parent. For the most part, delinquent children may be dealt with,
as we have already seen by putting them upon probation under the care of
proper probation officers. When the home surroundings are not good, such
children may often be placed in families and their reformation more
easily secured than if placed in institutions. In any case, they should
never be sent to the reform school except as a last resort. The parent
or guardian, also, should be held responsible for the delinquency of the
child if he is contributory thereto by his negligence or otherwise.

We may sum up this chapter, then, by repeating that the problem of crime
is in no way an insoluble problem in human society, though, perhaps, a
certain amount of occasional and accidental crime will always exist.
The solution of the problem, as we have seen, only demands that man
should secure the same mastery over his social environment and over
human nature that he has already practically achieved over physical
nature; and the gradual development of the social sciences will
certainly make this possible some time in the future.


_For brief reading:_

ELLIS, _The Criminal._
WINES, _Punishment and Reformation._
BOIES, _The Science of Penology._

_For more extended reading:_

BARROWS, _The Reformatory System in the United States._
BARROWS, _Children's Courts in the United States._
DRAHMS, _The Criminal._
FERRI, _Criminal Sociology._
MORRISON, _Crime and Its Causes._
MORRISON, _Our Juvenile Offenders._
PARMELEE, _Anthropology and Sociology in Relation to Criminal Procedure._
TRAVIS, _The Young Malefactor._



There have been many "short-cuts" proposed to the solution of social
problems. Among these the various schemes for reorganizing human society
and industry, brought together under the general name of "socialism,"
have attracted most attention and deserve most serious consideration.
In criticizing the most conspicuous of these schemes of social
reconstruction, the so-called "scientific socialism," it should be
understood at the outset that there is no intention of questioning the
general aims of the socialists. Those aims, as voiced by their best
representatives, are in entire accord with sound science, religion, and
ethics. That humanity should gain collective control over the conditions
of its existence is the ultimate and highest aim of all science, all
education, and all government. No student of sociology doubts that
human society has steadily moved, though with interruptions, toward a
larger control over its own processes; and no sane man doubts that such
collective control over the conditions of existence is desirable. These
general aims, which the socialists share with all workers for humanity,
are not in question. What is in question are the specific means or
methods by which the socialists propose to reconstruct human society--to
gain collective control over the means of existence. In order to
criticize socialism we must see a little more narrowly what socialism is
and what it proposes to do.

Socialism Defined.--As a recent socialist writer has declared,
socialism, like Christianity, is a term which has come to have no
definite meaning. It is used by all sorts of people to cover all sorts
of vague and indefinite schemes to improve or revolutionize society.
[Footnote: It has been said that the word "socialism," as currently
used, has four distinct meanings: (1) Utopian socialism, i.e., schemes
like More's Utopia; (2) the socialist party and its program, i.e., "the
socialization of the instruments of production;" (3) The Marxist
doctrine of social evolution, i.e., "the materialistic conception of
history;" (4) a vague body of beliefs of the working classes, more or
less derived from (2) and (3). It is of course only socialism in the
second and third senses which is discussed in this chapter.] Such a
vague conception would, of course, be impossible of scientific
criticism. But fortunately the word historically has come to have a
fairly clear and definite meaning. It has come to stand for the social
and political program of a party, the Social-Democratic party of Germany
and other European states. Karl Marx and his associates were the
founders of this party, hence historical socialism is synonymous with
Marxian socialism, and we shall so use the word. The cardinal tenet or
principle of the socialist party is the public ownership of all capital,
that is, of the means of production. Certain other things are, however,
involved in this, and we may define the full program of Marxian
socialism by saying that it proposes: (1) the common ownership of the
means of production (abolition of private property in capital); (2)
common management of the means of production (industry) by
democratically selected authorities; (3) distribution of the product by
these common authorities in accordance with some democratically approved
principle; (4) private property in incomes (consumption goods) to be

It is evident from this outline of "orthodox" or Marxian socialism that
it is primarily and dominantly an economic program. It is true that it
emphasizes democratic forms of government, but this is only incidental
to its main purpose of securing a just distribution of economic goods.
Strictly speaking, in a correct use of scientific terms, Marxian
socialism should be called "economic socialism."

The Theoretical Basis of Marxian Socialism.--Marx's socialism is
frequently called scientific socialism, because its followers believe
that it rests upon a scientific theory of social evolution. This theory
is best stated in Marx's own words, as he gives it in his _Critique of
Political Economy_, namely, that "the method of the production of
material life determines the social, political, and spiritual life
process in general." We find it stated in other words, though in
substance the same, by Engels, Marx's friend and coworker. Engels says,
"In every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production
and exchange, and the social organization _necessarily_ following
from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can
be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch." In
other words, according to Marx and his followers, the economic element
in human society determines all other elements; if the other elements
cannot be fully derived from the economic, their form and expression is
at least determined by the economic. This is the so-called
"materialistic conception of history" upon which Marxian socialists
believe their program to have a firm scientific foundation. [Footnote:
In several utterances of his later years Marx qualified considerably his
"materialistic conception of history," but the more radical or
revolutionary wing of his followers have always adhered to the extreme
form of the theory.] The followers of Marx, indeed, declare that with
this principle Marx explains social evolution quite as fully as Darwin
explained organic evolution through natural selection; and they do not
hesitate to compare Marx's work in the social sciences with Darwin's
work in the biological sciences.

It may certainly be agreed that this social philosophy which we have
already said is best characterized as "economic determinism," is the
logically necessary foundation of economic socialism. If the change of
the economic or industrial order of human society is going to work such
wonders as the socialists claim, then it must follow that the economic
element is the fundamental and determining element in the social life.
If what is wrong with human society is chiefly wrong economic
conditions, then the changing of those conditions should, of course,
change the whole social superstructure. It would seem, therefore, that
the dominantly economic program of Marxian socialists must stand or fall
with the economic interpretation of social organization and evolution
which Marx proposed. If it can be shown that Marx's philosophy of human
society is essentially unsound, then the proposition to regenerate human
society simply by economic reorganization is also unsound. Let us see
whether the positions of the economic socialists are tenable in the
light of the sociological principles which have been emphasized in the
previous chapters of this book.

Criticism of Marxian Socialism.--The student has already been told that
human society is a complex of living organisms, responding now this way,
now that, to external stimuli in the environment. These stimuli in the
environment we have roughly, but inaccurately, spoken of as causes,
though they are not causes in a mechanical sense. The responses which
are given to these stimuli by individuals and groups vary greatly
according to heredity, instincts, and habits,--the inner nature, in
other words, of the organisms composing society. Now, the stimuli in
the environment which give rise to the activities of individuals and
societies, though not in any mechanical way, may be classified into
several great groups, such as the economic, the reproductive, the
political, the religious, and so on. The economic stimuli would be
those that have to do with the processes of production, distribution,
and consumption of wealth; that is, the economic stimuli are those which
are concerned with economic values. Now, while the student has not been
even introduced to the psychological theory of human society, he perhaps
knows enough of individual human nature to see that there is no reason
in the nature of things why one's responses to economic stimuli, those
connected with economic values, should determine his response to all
other stimuli; and this is what scientific sociology and scientific
psychology exactly find; namely, that there is no reason for believing
that economic stimuli determine in any exact way or to any such extent,
as Marx thought, responses to other stimuli. It is true that our habits
of response to a certain class of stimuli affect to a certain extent our
habits of response to all other classes. Thus it follows that the
economic phase of human society affects to a very great degree all other
phases of human society. But this is simply the doctrine of the unity of
personality and the interdependence of all phases of the social life,
and it is very different from Marx's theory that the economic determines
all the other phases; for under the doctrine of social interdependence
we can see it is quite as reasonable to state that the religious and
political phases of the social life determine the economic as it is to
state that the economic determines the political and religious.

Let us bring the discussion down to more concrete terms. The student has
seen that in every social problem there are a multitude of factors or
stimuli (causes) at work, and that in no problem is the economic factor
so all important that it may be said that the other factors are simply
subsidiary. On the contrary, in such a problem as crime the methods of
production and distribution of material goods, while important factors
in the problem of crime, in no way determine that problem; and ideal
conditions of the production and distribution of wealth would in no way
solve the problem of crime. So, too, the negro problem is hardly touched
by the question of the forms of industry or the economic organization of
society. We might go on with a whole list of social problems and show
that in every case the economic factor is no more important than many
other factors, and that the economic reorganization of society would in
some cases scarcely affect these problems at all. _The social problem,
therefore,--the problem of the relations of men to one another,--is not
simply nor fundamentally an economic problem; rather it is fundamentally
a biological and psychological problem,_--if you please, a moral

This brings us to a second criticism of socialism, namely, that it
proposes to reorganize human society upon an economic basis, not upon a
biological basis. The program of the socialist looks forward to the
satisfaction of economic needs, but it has failed to take into account
the biological requirements for existence. It would be far more
scientific to reorganize society upon the basis of the needs of the
family than to reorganize it simply upon the basis of industry. The
reproductive process which the economic socialists ignore, or leave
unregulated almost entirely, is far more important for the continued
existence of human society than all its economic processes,--if by the
reproductive process we mean the rearing as well as the birth of
offspring; and if by the economic process we mean merely the forms and
methods of the production and distribution of material goods.

In other words, the socialistic program leaves the future out of
account, and aims simply to satisfy the present generation with a just
distribution of material goods. If it could be shown that a just
distribution of material goods would insure the future of the race and
of civilization, then, of course, the socialist plea would be made good.
 But this is just what is doubtful. On the whole, it must be said that
the socialist program is based upon the wishes and desires of the adult,
not upon the needs of the child or of the race.

The extreme emphasis which Marxian socialism throws upon economic and
industrial conditions in human society is, therefore, not justified by
the scientific facts which we know about collective human life. Rather
it must be said that this is the vital weakness of Marxian
socialism,--that it over-emphasizes the economic element. Of course, we
are not saying that control over economic conditions is not necessary to
collective control over the general conditions of existence, which
society is undoubtedly aiming at, but it is saying that conceivably
collective control over the social life process might be upon some other
basis than the economic. It might emphasize, for example, the health
and continuity of the race, or individual moral character, far more than
the distribution of economic values. Modern economic socialism proposes
simply to carry a step further our already predominatingly economic
social organization by frankly recognizing the economic as the basis of
all things in the social life. Modern economic socialism is, therefore,
rightfully judged as materialistic. It is really an expression of the
industrial and commercial spirit of the present age. When the
perspective of life becomes shifted again to the more important
biological and spiritual elements in life, socialism will lose its
prevailingly economic character, or it will cease to exist.

It must be emphasized here that all the material and economic progress
of the modern world has not added greatly to the happiness or betterment
of man. It is true that material progress is important, yes, necessary
for spiritual progress. But material progress alone does not lead to
spiritual progress, and therefore mere material progress can never add
anything to the real happiness and social betterment of the race. On
the contrary, it is possible to conceive of a society in which every one
has an economic surplus,--a society rolling in wealth, approximately
equally divided, and yet one in which human misery in its worst forms of
vice and crime, pessimism and self-destruction, prevail. It is an old
truth that making men "better-off" does not necessarily make them
"better," and one which cannot be too often emphasized, but one which
the modern socialist gets angry at when it is mentioned to him. It is
therefore a matter of comparative indifference, from the standpoint of
the happiness and ultimate survival of the race, whether economic goods
are distributed relatively evenly in human society or not. We say
comparative indifference, because, of course, no one can be indifferent
to the material needs of life, inasmuch as they are the basis of its
higher development. But after a certain minimum is assured it is
extremely doubtful whether a surplus will be of benefit or not, and this
minimum necessary for the higher spiritual development of the social
life can be secured through the reform of present society without trying
the doubtful social revolution which the socialists advocate.

This brings us to a third criticism of Marxian socialism. Traditionally
Marxian socialism has been revolutionary socialism. The vast mass of the
socialist party to-day look forward to some revolution which will, as
they say, "socialize the instruments of production," that is, transfer
capital from private ownership and management to public ownership and
management. Probably rightly, many socialists hold that such a wholesale
transfer from private to public ownership would be the only way in which
a socialistic regime could be successfully inaugurated. But if this
revolution were accomplished it is evident that it is highly uncertain
whether its results would be permanent. For all that we have learned
concerning human society leads us to say that social organization at any
particular time is very largely a matter of habit. Now collective
habits are less easily changed than individual habits, because any
change in collective habits practically necessitates the consent of all
the individuals who make up the social group. We know also that even in
individual life old habits are not easily supplanted by new ones and
that there is always a tendency to revert to the old. All historical
evidence shows that revolutions are always followed by periods of
reaction, and that this reaction is usually proportionate to the extent
and suddenness of change in social organization.

Some modern socialists have argued from de Vries's mutation theory in
biology that in social evolution we must expect mutations also, and
that, therefore, the great changes in human society are normally
accomplished by means of revolution. But this argument rests wholly on
analogy, and arguments from analogy in science are practically
worthless. It may be asserted, on the other hand, that all the great
changes in human society which have been desirable have come about only
after prolonged preparation and after a series of gradual steps which
led up to the final change. The Greco-Roman world, for example, was
becoming ripe for Christianity before Christianity finally appeared and
became triumphant. The centuries from the fourteenth to the sixteenth
had prepared for the protestant reformation in the countries of modern
Europe before the reformation became an established fact.

Thus, radical reconstruction of the social life by means of revolution
is scarcely possible. The instincts and habits of individual human
nature upon which the social order rests cannot be easily changed by
revolutionary programs in legislation or in institutions. The only
probable result of such an attempt would be the collapse of the new
social order, because it would have insufficient foundations in
individual character upon which to rest. The idea of ushering in the
social millennium through some vast social revolution is therefore

It is not the place in this book to take up the practical objections to
economic socialism. These practical objections are for the most part of
a political and economic nature, and they accordingly can be better
dealt with in treatises on politics and economics than in one on
sociology. It is perhaps sufficient to say that the political and
economic objections to socialism are not less weighty than the
sociological objections. Government, for example, exists in human
society to regulate, and not to carry on directly, all social
activities. If the state were in its various forms called upon to own
and manage all productive wealth in society, it is extremely probable
that such an experiment would break down of its own weight, since the
state would be attempting that which, in the nature of things, as the
chief regulative institution of society, it is not fitted to do. But it
is not our purpose, as has just been said, to go into the political and
economic objections to economic or Marxian socialism. To understand
these the student must consult the leading works on economic and
political science.

Substitutes for Economic Socialism.--Certain steps sociology and all
social sciences already indicate as necessary for larger collective
control over the conditions of social existence. These steps, however,
aim not at instituting a new social order, but at removing certain
demonstrated causes of social maladjustment which exist in present
society; and as in the solution of special social problems we have seen
reason to reject "short-cuts" and "cure-alls," so in a scientific
reconstruction of human society we have good reason to reject the social
revolution which the followers of Marx advocate, and to offer as a
substitute in its stead some social reforms which will make more nearly
possible a normal social life.

Perhaps the necessary steps for bringing about such a normal social life
have never been better summed up than by Professor Devine in his book on
_Misery and its Causes_. Rather than offer a program of our own we
shall, therefore, give a brief resume of the conditions which Professor
Devine names as essential to normal social life, believing that these
offer a program upon which all sane social workers and reformers can
unite. Professor Devine names ten conditions essential to a normal
social life: (1) the securing of a sound physical heredity, that is, a
good birth for every child, by a rational system of eugenics; (2) the
securing of a protected childhood, which will assure the normal
development of the child, and of a protected motherhood, which will
assure the proper care of the child; (3) a system of education which
shall be adapted to social needs, inspired by the ideals of rational
living and social service; (4) the securing of freedom from preventable
disease; (5) the elimination of professional vice and crime; (6) the
securing of a prolonged working period for both men and women; (7) a
general system of insurance against the ordinary contingencies of life
which now cause poverty or dependence; (8) a liberal relief system which
will meet the material needs of those who become accidentally dependent;
(9) a standard of living sufficiently high to insure full nourishment,
reasonable recreation, proper housing, and the other elementary
necessities of life; (10) a social religion which shall make the service
of humanity the highest aim of all individuals.

It is sufficient to say, in closing this chapter, that if these ten
essentials of a normal social life could be realized--and there is no
reason why they cannot be--there would be no need to try the social
revolution which Marxian socialism advocates.

There can be no question that the ultimate aim of the social sciences is
to provide society with the knowledge necessary for collective control
over its own life processes. Sociology and the special social sciences
are aiming, therefore, in an indirect way to accomplish the same thing
which political socialism aims at accomplishing through economic
revolution. There would seem to be no danger in trusting science to
work out this problem of collective control over the conditions of
existence. There are no risks to run by the scientific method, for it
proceeds step by step, adequately testing theories by facts as it goes
along. The thing to do, therefore, for those who wish to see "a
humanity adjusted to the requirements of its existence" is to encourage
scientific social research along all lines. With a fuller knowledge of
human nature and human society it will be possible to indicate sane and
safe reconstructions in the social order, so that ultimately humanity
will control its social environment and its own human nature even more
completely than it now controls the forces of physical nature. But the
ultimate reliance in all such reconstruction, as we will try to show in
the next chapter, must be, not revolution, nor even legislation, but


_For brief reading:_

ELY, _Socialism and Social Reform._
SPARGO, _Socialism._ Revised edition.
GILMAN, _Socialism and the American Spirit._

_For more extended reading_:

HUNTER, _Socialists at Work._
KIRKUP, _History of Socialism._
SCHAEFFLE, _Quintessence of Socialism._
WELLS, _New Worlds for Old._



As has just been said, the ultimate reliance in all social reform or
social reconstruction must be upon the education of the individual.
Social organization can never be more complex or of a higher type than
the individual character and intelligence of the members of the group
warrants. At any given stage of society, therefore, the intelligence and
moral character of its individual members limits social organization.
Only by raising the intelligence and character of the individual members
of society can a higher type of social life permanently result.

Another fact to which the student needs his attention called is that all
progress in human society, it follows, from what has just been said,
depends upon the relation between one generation and its successor. Only
as new life comes into society is there opportunity to improve the
character of that life. If at any given time intelligence and character
limit the possibilities of social organization, then it is equally
manifest that only in the new individuals of society can that
intelligence and character be greatly improved.

There are, of course, two possible ways of bringing about such
improvement:--first, through the selection of the hereditary elements in
society, eliminating the unfit and preserving the more fit; but, as we
have repeatedly pointed out, such a scheme of artificial selection is
far in the future, and in any case its inauguration would have to depend
upon the _second_ method of improving individual character, which
is through education and training. As we have insisted, not only may the
natural instincts and tendencies of individuals be greatly modified by
training but through education the habits and hence the character of
individuals can be controlled. Therefore the main reliance of society in
all forward movements must be upon education, that is, upon artificial
means of controlling the formation of character and habit in

The finality of education in social betterment can be, perhaps, further
illustrated by reconsidering for a moment some of the social problems
which we have just studied. Take for example the problem of crime. There
are only three possible means, as we have already seen, of eliminating
crime from human society:--first, through changes in individual human
nature, brought about by biological selection, that is, through a system
of selective breeding, eliminating all who show any criminal tendencies.
This method would, perhaps, eliminate certain types of criminals as we
have already seen, namely, those in whom the hereditary tendency to
crime is dominant. A second means of attacking the problem of crime
would be by improving social and economic conditions by means of the
interference of the organized authority of society in the form of the
state. Legislation and administration directed to social ends might
accomplish much in reducing the temptations and opportunities for crime
in any group. The correction of evils in social and industrial
organization would, no doubt, again greatly lessen crime but it is
entirely conceivable, from all that we know of human nature and human
society, that crime might still persist under a just social and
industrial organization. Crime could be completely eliminated only
through a third means, namely, the careful training of each new
individual in society as he came on the stage of life, so that he would
be moral and law-abiding, respecting the rights of others and the
institutions of society. Moreover, neither selective breeding nor
governmental interference in social conditions could accomplish very
much in eliminating crime unless these were backed by a wise system of
social education.

Now what is true of crime is equally true of all social problems. They
may be approached from either of three sides:--first, from the
biological side, or the side of physical heredity; second, from the side
of social organization, or the improvement of the social environment;
third, from the side of individual character, or the psychical
adjustment of the individual to society. As Professor Ward and many
other sociologists have emphasized, it is this latter side which is the
most available point of attack on all social problems; for when we have
secured a right attitude of the individual toward society all social
problems will be more than half solved. Thus, as we said at the
beginning of this book, education has a bearing upon every social
problem, and every social problem also has a bearing upon education.
Just how important this reciprocal relationship between education and
social life is, we can appreciate only when we have considered somewhat
more fully the nature of social progress.

The Nature of Social Progress.--Social progress has been defined in many
ways by the social thinkers of the past. Without entering into any
formal definition of social progress, we believe that it will be evident
to the reader of this book that social progress consists, for one thing,
in the more complete adaptation of society to the conditions of life. We
regard those changes as progressive whether they be moral, intellectual,
or material, which bring about a better adaptation of individuals to one
another in society, and of social groups to the requirements of their
existence. Social progress means, in other words, the adaptation of
society to a wider and more universal environment. The ideal of human
progress is apparently adaptation to a perfectly universal environment,
such an adaptation as shall harmonize all factors whether internal or
external, present or remote, in the life of humanity. Social progress
means, therefore, greater harmony among the members of a group. It means
also greater efficiency of those members in performing their work.
Finally, it means greater ability on the part of the group to survive.
Social progress includes, therefore, the ideals of social harmony,
social efficiency, and social survival. Things which do not ultimately
conduce to these ends can scarcely be called progressive.

Now it is evident that adaptation on the part of individuals and groups
to the requirements of life may be in part accomplished by biological
selection, that is, by eliminating the least adapted. But selection is,
after all, a very clumsy and imperfect instrument for securing the
highest type of adaptation. Again, it is evident that a certain degree
of adaptation can be secured through the constraint of government and
law; but only a relatively low type of adaptation can be secured in such
an external way. It is finally evident, therefore, that the highest
type of adaptation in either individual or social life can be secured
only by training the intelligence and moral character of individuals so
that they will be sufficient to meet the requirements of existence.

Another feature of social progress which we have not yet mentioned in
this chapter, though we have noted it repeatedly in earlier chapters, is
the increased complexity of social organization. This increased
complexity is in part due to the mere increase in numbers. It is also
due to the various processes themselves by which wider and more
universal adaptation is brought about in society. Thus, while every
useful mechanical invention aids man to conquer nature, it at the same
time increases the complexity of social life. Now in a more complex
society there is more opportunity for conflicts of habit between
individuals, more opportunity for social maladjustment, and therefore
more opportunity for the failure of some part or all of the group in
achieving a social life characterized by harmony, efficiency, and
capacity for survival. Hence, the adaptation of individuals in the
large and complex groups of modern civilized societies becomes a greater
and greater problem. The regulative institutions of society, such as
government, law, religion, and education, have to grapple with this
problem of adjusting individuals to the requirements of an increasingly
complex social life. No doubt religion, government, and law have a great
function to perform in increasing social regulation, but they can only
perform it effectively after they enlist education on their side.

The Social Function of Education.--We are now prepared to understand the
meaning of educational systems in civilized society and to see what the
true function of education is. Education exists to adapt individuals to
their social life. It is for the purpose of fitting the individual to
take his place in the social group and to add something to the life of
the group. Educational systems exist not to train the individual to
develop his powers and capacity simply as an individual unit, but rather
to fit him effectively to carry on the social life before he actively
participates in it. In other words, the social function of education is
to guide and control the formation of habit and character on the part of
the individual, as well as to develop his capacity and powers, so that
he shall become an efficient member of society. This work is not, at
least in complex civilizations like our own, one which we carry on
simply in order to achieve social perfection, but it is rather something
which is necessary for the survival of large and complex groups.
Otherwise, as we have pointed out, the conflicts in the acquirement of
habit and character on the part of individuals would be so great that
there would be no possibility of their working together harmoniously in
a common social life. Just so far as the system of education is
defective, is insufficient to meet social needs, in so far may we expect
the production of individuals who are socially maladjusted, as shown in
pauperism, defectiveness, and crime.

Education is, then, the great means of controlling habit and character
in complex social groups, and as such it is the chief means to which
society must look for all substantial social progress. It is the
instrument by which human nature may be apparently indefinitely
modified, and hence, also, the instrument by which society may be
perfected. The task of social regeneration is essentially a task of

Education as a Factor in Past Social Evolution.--Does past social
history justify these large claims for education as a factor in social
development? It must be replied that the history of human society
undoubtedly substantiates this position, but even if it did not, we
should still have good ground for claiming that education can be such an
all-powerful factor in the social future. The sociological study of past
civilizations, however, shows quite conclusively that all of them have
depended in one way or another upon educational processes, not only for
continuity, but largely, also, for their development. As we have already
seen, the life history of a culture or a civilization is frequently the
life history of a religion. But religious beliefs, together with the
moral and social beliefs, which become attached to them, were
effectively transmitted only through the instruction of the young. The
religious element did scarcely more than afford a powerful sanction for
the moral and social beliefs upon which the social organization of the
past rested; hence, when we ascribe great importance to the religious
factor in social evolution, we also ascribe, at the same time, great
importance to education, because it was essentially the educational
process, together with religious sanction, which made possible most of
the civilizations and social progress of the past.

Indeed, we have no record of any people of any very considerable culture
that did not employ educational processes to the largest degree to
preserve and transmit that culture from generation to generation.
Culture has been passed down in human history, therefore, essentially by
educational processes. These educational processes have controlled the
formation of habits and character, of ways of thinking and ways of
acting, in successive generations of individuals. The educational
processes have had much more to do, therefore, with the civilizations
and social organization of the past than industrial conditions.
Industrial conditions have been rather relatively external factors in
the social environment to which society has had to adapt itself more or
less. In the same way, political authority has rested on, and been
derived from, the social traditions rather than the reverse. It is
therefore not too much for the sociologist to say, agreeing with Thomas
Davidson, that education is the last and highest method of social
evolution. The lowest method of evolution was by selection, and
_that_, as we have already emphasized, cannot be neglected. The
next method of social evolution apparently to develop was the method of
adaptation by organized authority, and, as we have already seen,
organized authority in society, or social regulation by means of
authority, must indefinitely persist and perhaps increase, rather than
diminish; but the latest and highest method of social evolution is not
through biological selection nor through the exercise of despotic
authority, but through the education of the individual, so that he shall
become adjusted to the social life in habits and character before he
participates in it. Human society may be modified, we now see, best
through modifying the nature of the individual, and the most direct
method to do this is through education.

The Socialized Education of the Future.--If what has been said is
substantially correct, then education should become conscious of its
social mission and purpose. The educator should conserve education as
the chief means of social progress, and education should be directed to
producing efficient members of society. The education of the future must
aim, in other words, not at producing lawyers, physicians, engineers,
but at producing citizens. Education for citizenship means that there
must be radical reconstruction in the educational processes of the
present. The education of the nineteenth century aimed at developing
largely power and capacity in the individual as such. Its implicit, and
oftentimes its avowed, aim was individual success. The popularity of
higher education in the nineteenth century especially rested upon the
cult of individual success. It became, therefore, largely
commercialized, and emphasized chiefly the professions and occupations
which best assured the individual a successful career among a commercial
and industrial people.

It is needless to say that the individualistic, commercialized education
of the latter years of the nineteenth century very often failed to
produce the good citizen. On the contrary, with its ideal of individual
power and success, it frequently produced the cultured freebooter, which
our modern industry has so often afforded examples of. Education,
instead of being a socializing agency and the chief instrument of social
regeneration, became an individualizing agency dissolving the social
order itself.

Very slowly our educators are becoming conscious of the fact that this
type of education is a social menace, and that our educational system
needs reformation from bottom to top in order to become again equal to
the social task imposed upon it by the more complex social conditions of
the twentieth century. Hence the demand for a socialized education,
which is proceeding, not only from sociologists and social workers, but
from the progressive leaders of education itself. What this socialized
education of the future shall be is not the province of this book to
discuss, but a few of its essential characteristics may be noted. As
has already been said, such education will aim, first of all, at
producing the citizen before it aims at producing the lawyer, the
engineer, the physician, or any other professional or occupational type.
 No doubt, this means, for one thing, that all individuals shall be
taught to be good fathers and mothers, good neighbors and members of
communities, even more than they are taught the accomplishments of life.
 No doubt, also, the socialized education of the future will emphasize
the adjustment of the individual to the industrial order of society,
because it is necessary that individuals shall be producers if they are
to be efficient citizens. The necessity and value of industrial
training in our system of education has already been emphasized in
discussing other social problems. Such training has its place and that
place, as we have already seen, is a very important and fundamental one;
but it must not be forgotten that the relations of men to one another
are more important than the relations of men to nature. In industrial
training, the element which is apt to be emphasized is the relations of
the individual to the physical facts and forces of nature; but this is
only a beginning of the training for citizenship, because good
citizenship consists essentially in harmonious and efficient functioning
in the social group. Therefore, the study of the relationships of men to
one another must be the final and crowning element in a system of social
education. Such studies as history, government, economics, ethics, and
sociology must occupy a larger and larger place in the education of the
future if we are to secure a humanity adjusted to the requirements of
its existence. Historical and sociological instruction should lead up,
moreover, to direct ethical instruction. If the industrial element in
the social life is important, the moral element is even more so, since
it is, as we have already said, the ideal aspect of the social. In some
way or another, our public schools, from the kindergarten up, must make
a place for social and ethical instruction of a direct and explicit

In the higher education, the social sciences must be especially
emphasized, because it is those who receive higher education who become
the leaders of society, and it is important, no matter what occupation
or profession they may serve society in, that they understand the
bearings of their work upon social welfare. They must know their duties
as citizens and understand how society may best be served. In other
words, our higher education should put to the front the ideal, not of
individual power and success, but of social service; and this means
that, in addition to the technical or professional education which the
more highly educated are giving, there must be a sufficient knowledge of
social conditions and of the laws and principles of social progress
given them to enable them to serve society rightly. Intelligent social
service cannot exist without social knowledge.

All this implies that the older idea that education can be given
regardless of content is, from the social point of view, a great
mistake. Social knowledge is necessary, as we have just said, for
efficient social service, and a socialized education can have no other
end than social service. Therefore, sociological knowledge in the
broadest sense should be required in the education of every citizen, and
particularly those who are to become social leaders. Professor Ward has
ably argued that if sufficient information of the facts, conditions, and
laws of human society could be given to all, that alone would bring
about in the highest degree social progress. Whether we agree or not
that the mere giving of information will of itself lead to progressive
or dynamic action in society, it must be admitted that right social
information is indispensable for right social action. As Professor
Cooley has said, "We live in a system, and to achieve right ends, or any
rational ends whatever, we must learn to understand that system."
Hence, the commanding place which sociology and the social sciences
should occupy in the education of all classes, and especially in the
training of the teacher himself.

It is not unreasonable to believe that the development of the social
sciences will show us the way to remove many, if not all, social evils;
and it is also not unreasonable to believe that the knowledge which
these sciences will furnish will stimulate in the vast mass of
individuals an impetus to remove these evils. Moreover, training in the
social sciences will check many of the most menacing tendencies of our
present civilization. For one thing, training in the social sciences
will lessen the practical materialism of modern civilization, for it
will throw the emphasis on the relations of men to one another rather
than on the relations of man to nature. The social sciences, aiming at
the control of the social conditions and of social progress, necessarily
emphasize the higher life of man, and they therefore set before the
student as the goal, not material achievement or individual success, but
the service of man. Again, training in the social sciences will check
the exaggerated individualism, which, as we have already seen, is one of
the most menacing tendencies of our time; for the social sciences show
the solidarity of the society and the interdependence of its parts. They
show that no individual lives to himself, and that his acts evidently
affect the whole of society. Finally, training in the social sciences
will insure the development of true moral freedom in our social life,
for these sciences involve a searching but impersonal criticism of
social institutions and public policies. Now the very breath of life of
a free society is intelligent public criticism of its institutions and
policies. Without this, there can be no change, no progress. But
intelligent criticism implies scientific criticism, that is, criticism
based upon adequate scientific knowledge and without personal bias. This
means the scientific study of institutions and social organization. If
the American people are to perfect their institutions, they must
maintain and develop their moral freedom; and to maintain true moral
freedom, they must encourage the scientific study of social conditions
and institutions. To secure an unbiased attitude toward social and
political problems, to train every citizen for social service, to
reconstruct social organization along scientific lines, it is necessary,
therefore, to give the social sciences an honored place in the education
of all classes and professions.


_For brief reading_:

WARD, _Applied Sociology_, Chaps. VIII-XII.
WARD, _Dynamic Sociology_, Vol. II, Chap. XIV.
HORNE, _The Philosophy of Education_, Chaps. IV and V.
DEWEY, _The School and Society_.

_For more extended reading_:

DAVIDSON, _History of Education_.
GRAVES, _History of Education_.
MONROE, _History of Education_.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Sociology and Modern Social Problems" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.