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Title: The Elements of Child-protection
Author: Engel, Sigmund
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  At the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh


During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the importance of
child-protection gained a far wider recognition.

The nineteenth century has been well named “The Century of the
Child.” But there are reasons no less cogent for describing this
century as “The Century of Socialism,” or “The Century of Darwinism.”

The intimate interdependence of child-protection with Socialism
and with Darwinism must on no account be overlooked. It was my own
assurance of this twofold interdependence which led me to undertake
the study of the whole system of child-protection from the joint
outlook of Socialism and of Darwinism. This book is an investigation
of all the problems involved by child-protection from the standpoints
of the modern socialist movement and of modern social science.

My work makes no attempt to be either a “Philosophy of
Child-Protection” or a “Handbook of Child-Protection.” For
this reason it contains no definitions, it gives no history of
child-protection, and attempts no detailed description of the
institutions which exist for the purpose of child-protection in the
various countries of the civilised world.

In view of the almost incalculable bulk of the materials available
in this field of study, I have been forced to content myself with a
brief indication of my opinions in the various departments, without
endeavouring to go into details. Obviously, therefore, those in need
of detailed information will not find it in this book. My aim has
rather been to effect a lucid presentation of all the problems of
child-protection, than to attempt myself to supply the solution of
all these problems.

If I have been successful in formulating the main problems of my
subject, and if at the same time my discussions and the data I have
supplied, enable the reader to draw his own conclusions in each case,
my aim has been adequately fulfilled.


  PREFACE                                                            v




  Child-Protection and the Population Question--Fertility of the
  Lower Classes--The Tendency of Evolution                           1



  Miscarriages, Premature Births, and Still-Births--Mortality--The
  Productive Age and the Unproductive Age--Classification of the
  Population according to Age--The Excess of Women--Marriage--
  Illegitimate Sexual Relations                                     11



  Statistical Data--Certain Contributory Causes--The Chief Causes
  of Infant Mortality--The Great Number of Children--Child
  Mortality in the Towns--The Effect of Housing Conditions--The
  Effect of Age--Time of Birth, Seasons, and Meteorological
  Conditions                                                        17



  Natural Selection and Artificial Selection--The Interests of
  the Future Generation--Inheritance and Education--Nature of
  Education--Character of the Child--Limits of Educability--The
  Aim of Education--Good Example--Confidence and Love--Reward
  and Punishment--Education by the Parents--Education
  in different Social Classes--Parents, School, Environment--The
  Tendency of Evolution                                             25



  Introductory--Objections to Child-Protection--Objections to the
  Care of Foundlings--Darwinism _versus_ Poor-Relief--Darwinism
  _versus_ Child-Protection--The Right View--Socialism _versus_
  Poor-Relief--Socialism _versus_ Child-Protection--The Right View  42



  Introductory--Local Governing Bodies--The Community at large--
  The Central Government--A Unified System of Laws for
  Child-Protection--A Centralised Authority for Child-Protection--
  Private and Official Activities--The Medical Profession--Women    58


  _A._--Department of Civil Law and Individual Rights



  Introductory--Parental Authority and Marriage--History of
  Marriage--Child-Protection and the Family--Maternal Authority--
  Fiduciary Character of Parental Authority--The Elementary
  Principles of State Interference with Parental Authority (the
  State as “Over-Parent”)                                           71



  Heredity in General--Inheritance of Diseases--Individual
  Diseases--The Age of the Parents--The Marriage of Near Kin--
  Disease in the Parents from the Legal Standpoint--Divorce--
  Marriage-Prohibitions in Past Times--Proposed Reforms--
  Objections--The Right View--How to Effect Reforms--The Tendency
  of Evolution                                                      77



  The Legal Position of the Illegitimate Child--Reasons for these
  Legal Disabilities--Advantages and Disadvantages of Illegitimate
  Birth--Abortion, Premature Birth, Still-Birth--Childbirth in
  Unmarried Mothers--Causes of the Great Mortality of Illegitimate
  Children--Criminality in the Illegitimate--Illegitimacy and
  Prostitution--Occupation in Relation to Illegitimacy--The
  Different Classes of the Illegitimate--Illegitimacy and
  Child-Protection--The Tendency of Evolution--A Radical Reform     90



  Limited Powers of Minors--The Tendency of Evolution--Nature of
  Guardianship--Guardianship of Poor Children--Guardianship of
  Illegitimate Children--The Defects of Individual Guardianship--
  Nature of Official and Institutional Guardianship--Advantages
  of Official and Institutional Guardianship--Objections to
  Collective and Institutional Guardianship--These Objections
  Answered--The Tendency of Evolution--Certain Civil Laws which
  are of Importance in Relation to Child-Protection                106

  _B._--Department of Local Administrative Activity



  Introductory--Before Birth--During Birth--After Birth--The
  Insurance of Motherhood--The Tendency of Evolution               118



  Introductory--Advantages of the Natural Feeding of Infants--
  History of Artificial Feeding--Causes of the Failure to
  Suckle--Wet-Nurses--Cow’s Milk--Other Methods of Artificial
  Feeding--Institutional Care of Infants--The Crèche--Proposed
  Reforms--Radical Solution of the Problem                         125



  Terminology--History of the Care of Foundlings--The Latin System
  and the Germanic System--Some Modern Methods for the Care of
  Foundlings--Foundling Hospitals, Wet-Nursing, and Baby Farms--
  Institutional Care versus Family Care--Supervision of Family
  Care--Subsidiary Aims of the Care of Foundlings--The Tendency
  of Evolution                                                     141



  History of Child Labour--Diffusion of Child Labour--The Causes
  of Child Labour--Women’s Labour--The Consequences of Child
  Labour--The Consequences of Women’s Labour--Regulation of Child
  Labour--Regulation of Women’s Labour--Reform of Apprenticeship--
  Enforcement of such Regulations--Objections to the Protective
  Regulation of the Labour of Women and Children--These Objections
  Answered--Radical Solution of the Problem--The Tendency of
  Evolution                                                        155



  Introductory--The Health of Proletarian Children--Causes of
  the Movement for the Protection of Proletarian Children--
  Institutions--Country Holiday Funds and Open-air Schools--
  Proposed Reforms--Need for Enlightenment--The Tendency of
  Evolution                                                        178



  Importance of the Public Elementary School--Methods of
  Instruction--The General Obligation of School Attendance--The
  Purpose of the Elementary School--Instruction versus
  Education--Moral Instruction--General Culture--Individuality--
  Beauty--Knowledge--Science--Home-Work--The Exclusion of certain
  Children--Rewards and Punishments--The Constitutional Element--
  Parents and the School--Sexual Education--Religious and Moral
  Instruction--Physical Education--Manual Training--Preparatory
  Schools--Supervised Playgrounds for Children (_Kinderhorte_)--
  Increasing Importance of the Public Elementary School--Feeding
  of School Children--Care of Young Persons after they Leave
  School--The Tendency of Evolution                                185

  _C._--Department of Criminal Law



  Introductory--The Causes of Criminality in Youth--The Classical
  Criminal Law--Gradual Transformation of the Classical Criminal
  Law--Special Legislation dealing with Youthful Criminals--
  Proposals bearing on the Question of Criminal Responsibility at
  Different Ages--The Defects of our Present Penal Methods--The
  Question of the Capacity for Understanding the Punishable
  Character of Criminal Offences--The School--The Reprimand--
  Flogging--The Conditional Sentence--The Indeterminate Sentence--
  Should Punishment be rendered more Severe?--The Coercive
  Reformatory Education of Youthful Criminals--Institutional
  Education _versus_ Family Education--Testing Reform--The
  Radical Solution of the Problem                                  217



  Conditions of To-day--Proposed Reforms--Penal Methods in the
  United States of America                                         243



  The Causes of Prostitution--Prostitution and Child-Protection    249



  The Two Groups--Infanticide--Abortion--The Protection of
  Feminine Chastity--Maltreatment of Children--Suggested Reforms   254

  INDEX                                                            271


Page 65, line 6, _for_ “wet-nurses” _read_ “midwives.”




_Child-Protection and the Population Question._--In the struggle for
existence among the nations, that nation is the victor which consists
of the greatest number of individuals best endowed with bodily,
mental, and moral health.

No national entity can resist the attacks of others if its numerical
strength is comparatively small. If a contest takes place between
two nations whose numerical strength is approximately equal, the
healthier of the two will gain the victory.

Even in prehistoric times a minimal degree of Child-Protection was
indispensable to tribal existence. To rear children diminished,
indeed, the quantity of wealth available to maintain the life of the
parents, and consequently rendered even more difficult than before
the struggle with the hostile forces of nature. None the less, it
was absolutely essential to rear a minimal number of children. A
sufficient number of boys must be reared to maintain the ranks of the
warriors needed for the protection of the tribe against the attacks
of its neighbours; and since tribal wars were unceasing, the number
requisite to replace those who fell in battle was considerable; girls
also must be reared in numbers sufficient to be the mothers of the
required number of warriors. But it was against the tribal interest
that more children than these should come into the world; and it was
desirable that superfluous infants should perish.

The most important factors in human evolution are the quantity and
the quality of individual human beings. Until quite recently it is
only upon quantity of population that any stress has been laid:
the quality of the population has been ignored; being either taken
for granted, or regarded as dependent upon chance conditions. The
problems of population were not recognised as quantitative and
qualitative, but were believed to be quantitative merely. Both
Socialism and Child-Protection have intimate associations alike with
the quantitative and with the qualitative problems of population.
Both Socialism and Child-Protection exert a powerful influence upon
the quantity and the quality of human beings; and conversely these
latter react no less powerfully upon Socialism and Child-Protection.

The leading aim of Child-Protection is to prevent the death of
children before they attain an age at which they become competent
to contribute directly to the welfare of society. The next most
important aim of Child-Protection is to ensure that the individual
whose life has been preserved shall not become useless or dangerous
to society. These leading aims may be pithily summarised in the
following terms: “the prevention of a high mortality-rate,” and
“the prevention of a high criminality-rate.” The main factor of a
high mortality-rate is excessive mortality in childhood; and the
main factor of a high criminality-rate is excessive criminality in
childhood. (The rate of mortality affects the quantitative element,
and the rate of criminality affects the qualitative element, of the

In the course of human racial history certain sentiments make
their appearance (parental love, altruism, and humanism), in
consequence of which, even among nations to which the fear of a
declining population is no longer known, actions endangering the
health or the life of children come to be regarded as immoral and
punishable; these sentiments subsequently constitute the main
foundations of Child-Protection. But a recognition of the expediency
of Child-Protection, and a desire to increase the population, have
also at all times exercised a very great influence upon the degree
to which methods of Child-Protection have been adopted and enforced.
In any community in which an increase in numbers would involve
over-population, an individual has, _ceteris paribus_, less value
than in a community in which no such risk has to be considered; for
this reason, in the latter community, more stress will be laid upon
Child-Protection than in the former community.

The following examples will show that this reasoning is sound. As a
result of the wide acceptance of the “mercantile theory” of political
economy, inasmuch as this theory laid much stress upon the importance
of an increase in population, the care of foundlings came to receive
much more attention, even in Protestant countries. Moreover, though
it is an indisputable fact that the fierce attack made by Malthus,
in his widely celebrated work on _The Principles of Population_,
upon the Foundling Hospitals of his day, was directed especially
against the fact that these institutions received children quite
unconditionally, yet it is also perfectly true that Malthus’s views
regarding Foundling Hospitals harmonise perfectly with his ideas as
to the possibilities and dangers of over-population. Although some
authors maintain that the connection we have pointed out obtains only
among comparatively uncivilised peoples, and that as civilisation
progresses, sentiment alone is decisive in forming our views in the
matter of Child-Protection, those who advance such a contention may
be referred to the example of modern France.

The following conception is dominant in France. It is sad but true
that the number of births hardly shows any excess over the number
of deaths--nay, that in certain years the births are fewer than the
deaths; hence it happens that the population of the other states of
Europe increases much more rapidly than the population of France.
It is essential that something should be done to counteract this
difference, by which the position of France as one of the great
Powers of Europe may ultimately be endangered. Since all the laws and
regulations which have been instituted with a view to increasing the
birth-rate have remained fruitless, some new method must be found
of bringing about a more marked excess of births over deaths. Since
excessive mortality among children is the principal cause of a high
death-rate, the State and the community must take all the steps in
their power to reduce child mortality to a minimum.

_Fertility of the Lower Classes._--In the civilised countries of
twentieth-century Europe, the mean birth-rate is about thirty; that
is, for every thousand inhabitants, there are thirty births each
year; France is far below this mean, with a birth-rate of twenty-one,
and Russia far above, with a birth-rate of about forty-nine. In the
country districts, fertility and the birth-rate are greater than in
the towns. Transient variations in the birth-rate depend upon various
disturbing factors, such as war, civil disorders, and rise in the
prices of the necessaries of life.

The lower the type of life, the greater is the insecurity of
existence; and it is necessary that this should be counterbalanced
by greater vigour of the forces of reproduction, and a consequent
increase in the number of the offspring. Thus differences between the
different species have a great influence upon the procreativeness of
these species, so that there is a direct causal connection between
the quality of a species and the number of the individuals of which
it is made up. But it remains in dispute whether the rise (or fall)
in the quantity, directly gives rise to a decline (or increase) in
the quality; whether, within the limits of an individual species,
the quantitative differences between the individuals making up that
species are of importance; whether, within the limits of a single
species, the individual members are more fertile in proportion as
they stand at a lower level in development; and, finally, whether the
fertility of the individuals of any species diminishes as the species
advances in its evolution.

As regards the fertility of the human species, the decisive
influences are not physiological, but social. The view that higher
brain development or prolonged intellectual activity restricts
fertility has been rightly contested. Undoubtedly, powerful
intellectual activity tends to inhibit the sexual impulse, but this
is no less true of great physical exertions. The causes of the
high birth-rate among the lower classes of the population are the

(_a_) Members of the proletariat have to marry earlier in life than
those belonging to the middle and the upper classes.

(_b_) A smaller proportion of the proletariat suffers from venereal

(_c_) Owing to the overcrowded condition of their dwellings, those
belonging to the poorer classes find it far more difficult to observe
“prudential restraint.”

(_d_) The poor make less use than the well-to-do of positive methods
for the prevention of conception.

(_e_) To those belonging to the poorer classes, to have children is
often economically advantageous. A child can help in the work of the
household, and can early engage in some occupation enabling it to
contribute towards the expenses. On the other hand, in the case of
the comparatively well-to-do, a large family involves the risk of a
depression in the standard of life.

(_f_) Women of the middle and upper classes are far more afraid
than working-class women of pregnancy and childbirth. They actually
suffer more from these eventualities, because their sheltered life
makes them weaker and more susceptible; in many cases also they shirk
motherhood because they think that pregnancy will interfere with
their “social duties.”

An excessive number of conceptions, pregnancies, and deliveries is
harmful, not merely from the outlook of the domestic economist, but
also from that of the political economist. If the aim of the State
is to secure a population which is not merely numerous, but also of
good quality, care must be taken that the number of conceptions,
pregnancies, and deliveries shall not be unduly great; for when the
number of births is exceedingly large, it is very likely that the
number of those to attain maturity will actually be less than if the
birth-rate had been lower.

We have to take into consideration, not only the difference between
the birth-rate and the death-rate, but also the important matter of
the actual number of births and deaths. Although in any two cases the
terminal results may be identical, it is a matter of grave economic
moment how the figures are comprised by which these identical results
are attained. If, to effect a certain increase in population, a
comparatively large number of births and deaths has been requisite,
there has been an enormous waste of time, energy, and wealth.

The large families of the proletariat provide a greater supply
of labour, and this leads to a fall in wages. Because wages are
lower, there results, in turn, an increase in the birth-rate. The
great number of conceptions among the proletariat interferes with
the effective working of selective forces--an evil which every
unprejudiced thinker must deplore, and must endeavour to remedy
to the utmost of his ability. The most important means available
for this purpose are: first, a rise in wages, and, secondly, the
use by the proletariat of positive methods to restrict or prevent

Parents should procreate so many children only as they are in a
position to maintain and educate in a suitable manner; it is obvious,
therefore, that working-class families should be comparatively small.
Yet to-day we see the exact opposite. Only among the well-to-do and
the more intelligent sections of the population do we find that these
principles are carried into effect. The tragic consequence is that
the more prosperous and the comparatively intelligent procreate very
few children, the very reverse of what is desirable. Rich people are
in a position to have many children, and have but few; working-class
parents, on the other hand, ought to have but few children, and they
have a great many. If the weekly wage-earners were more prosperous
and more intelligent, they would be in a position to have more
children, but they would, in fact, have fewer in that case.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--During the last quarter of the
nineteenth century, a decline in the birth-rate set in in every
civilised country in Europe, notwithstanding the fact that in all
these countries the proletariat constitutes an ever-increasing
proportion of the total population. The probable causes of this
decline are: first, women’s dread of pregnancy, of childbirth, and of
rearing children, and, secondly, pelvic contraction(?).

The death-rate is harder to control than the birth-rate. For the
birth-rate is influenced to a far greater extent by factors which are
under individual control; whereas, in the case of the death-rate,
great natural forces are the chief determinants. Death comes to every
one, whether his parents and other relatives desire it or not, but
those only are born whose parents desire it. In this matter of the
population problem, well-considered action will be directed where
a result may be obtained with comparative ease. By this it is not
meant to imply that the campaign against excessive mortality is
to be altogether neglected; but rather that the campaign against
an excessively high birth-rate demands more attention than it has
hitherto received.

The tendency of evolution to-day is to effect a decline in the
birth-rate. In the future far more attention will be paid, than has
been paid in the past, to the demand of social hygiene that potential
parents shall be careful to procreate healthy children only. On
the other hand, the knowledge that will enable parents to prevent
undesired conceptions will become more and more widely diffused. In
times to come, an ever-increasing proportion of pregnancies will be
deliberately willed.

The decline in the birth-rate will necessarily result in a decline in
the death-rate, and more especially in a decline in the death-rate of
infants and children. Ultimately, we shall see a decline, not merely
in the birth-rate and the death-rate, but also in the difference
between the total number of the births and of the deaths. It is
beyond dispute that these figures are tending to become less variable
and more constant than they were in former times.



_Miscarriages, Premature Births, and Still-Births._--The statistical
data regarding miscarriages, premature births, and still-births
are somewhat untrustworthy. There is no general agreement as
to the precise signification of these terms among the medical
practitioners, coroners, and registrars of any one country--not to
speak of differences in these matters in different countries; and
this difficulty applies above all to the matter of still-births. In
some countries, children dying during the act of birth or within a
few hours after birth are regarded as born alive, but in others as
still-born. When we are comparing the birth-rate and the death-rate
in different countries, these causes of error must not be forgotten.

In the twentieth century, in the civilised countries of Europe, the
premature births vary between 5 and 9 per cent., and the still-births
between 3 and 4 per cent., of all births. For every 100 still-born
girls there are approximately 130 still-born boys. Among the lower
classes of the population, still-births are more frequent than among
the upper classes. Within the same class, such births are more
frequent among those living in unfavourable conditions than among
those more favourably situated; and in manufacturing towns they are
more frequent than in agricultural districts. The proportion is
affected by the age of the mother, and still-births are at a minimum
among mothers at ages from 20 to 25 years. In the course of time,
notwithstanding the gigantic development of manufacturing industry,
and in spite of the more accurate registration of still-births, the
proportion of such births has diminished; the principal reason for
this is the advance in medical science.

_Mortality._--In the civilised countries of Europe the death-rate
in the twentieth century varies between 15 and 32 per mille. Among
the chief causes of transient variations in the death-rate are:
war, civil disorders, and rise in prices. A rise in the price of
the necessaries of life affects the lower classes of the population
more especially, but its influence upon the general death-rate
is trifling. Death-rate varies in accordance with occupation.
The lower classes have a higher death-rate than the upper; the
weekly wage-earners have a higher death-rate than the rest of the
population; and mortality is greater in the towns than it is in the
country. Of late years, there has been a gradual decline in the
death-rate, the decline in the towns being proportionately greater
than the decline in the country districts; in this case also the
decline must be attributed mainly to the advance in medical science.

_The Productive Age and the Unproductive Age._--The distinction of
the productive age from the unproductive age is a matter of great
importance. The former extends from the age of 15 to the age of 65;
the latter, the unproductive age, comprises the years before the age
of 15 and those after the age of 65. Certain other classifications
of the population, such as the distinction of those of an age for
school-attendance from those at other ages (those of the former age
comprising about one-sixth of the population), and the distinction
between youthful and adult criminals, are of no interest in relation
to our special inquiry.

_Classification of the Population according to Age._--In the
civilised countries of modern Europe, persons at ages of 0 to 10
comprise about 24 per cent. of the population; those at ages 10 to
20 comprise about 20 per cent.; and those at ages 20 to 30 comprise
about 16 per cent. of the population. Those under the age of 15 years
comprise about 30 per cent. of the population, each year of life
corresponding to from 2 to 3 per cent.; infants (those under 1 year)
making up 3 per cent., and each year of life after that only a little
more than 2 per cent. At all ages under 15 the boys are more numerous
than the girls.

The age-pyramid of the population has a form which depends upon the
birth-rate. When the birth-rate is higher, or the excess of births
over deaths greater, the base of the pyramid is comparatively wide.
Thus, in the majority of the civilised states of Europe, about 30 per
cent. of the population consists of those under 15 years of age; but
in France, where the birth-rate is exceptionally low, those under
15 years of age comprise a much smaller proportion of the total

In the country districts, the age-class of the children and the
age-class of the old both contain proportionately larger numbers
than the same age-classes in the towns. In the large towns and the
manufacturing districts, there is an especially large proportion of
persons of about 20 years of age. There are three reasons for this:
first, the birth-rate is higher in the country districts; secondly,
there is a drift from the country to the towns of persons of an age
to earn a living; and, thirdly, a proportion of those who have grown
old in the towns find their way back to the country.

_The Excess of Women._--All the civilised countries of
twentieth-century Europe contain more women than men. For every
1000 males there are invariably more than 1000 females. The excess
of females is not usually greater than 5 per cent. Only in certain
uncivilised countries of Europe do we find no excess of females.
Whether we compare the total female population with the total male
population, or compare only males and females of a marriageable age,
the result is the same; the females are always in excess. Even in
those countries in which women are comparatively less numerous, we
still find an excess of women of a marriageable age.

This excess of women depends upon the following causes:--In civilised
countries more boys are born than girls. The average excess of
male births over females is 106:100. (In the case of illegitimate
children, the excess of male births is not so great as in the case
of legitimate children.) But in males the death-rate is much higher
than it is in females. Especially high is the death-rate among male
infants (in the first year of life), and among males during the
ages at which they are competent to earn a livelihood. The reason
given for the higher mortality of male infants is that their powers
of resistance are inferior to those of female infants; during the
productive years of life the death-rate of males is higher because,
on the one hand, they have a far greater mortality than women from
diseases of occupation, and, on the other hand, during this period
of life males suffer far more than females from the effects of
alcoholism, of criminality, and of various other factors exercising
an unfavourable influence upon their death-rate.

Thus the excess of women is closely associated with that peculiarity
of the modern system of production in virtue of which far more men
than women are engaged in the work of production. This is obvious
from the consideration that the death-rate of wage-earning women is
higher than that of other women, and from the consideration that
in great towns the ratio between the death-rates of the respective
sexes is very different from what it is in the country districts. The
excess of women is one of the causes of the failure of so many women
to marry, of the birth of so many illegitimate children, of the wide
diffusion of prostitution, &c. But it would be quite erroneous to
attribute these various phenomena of our sexual life exclusively to
the prevalent excess of women.

If in any country we desire to diminish the excess of women, it is
necessary not merely to lessen the emigration of males, but also
to diminish the death-rate of male children. This may be effected
by reducing infant and child mortality in general, for measures
that accomplish this reduction will lower the death-rate of boys
to a greater extent than the death-rate of girls; for the higher
the death-rate the greater the effect we can produce by measures
effecting its diminution. Hence child-protection, the principal
means for the diminution of infant and child mortality, is not only
an important part of our campaign against the excessive mortality
of male children, but will tend to redress the existing numerical
inequality between the sexes, and thus to ameliorate the conditions
of our social life.

The regulation of the birth of boys and girls (the determination of
sex) would be an important means for the restoration of a proper
numerical balance between the sexes, and would therefore be of value,
not merely to interested individuals, but also to society at large.
Unfortunately, contemporary science is not even in a position to
ascertain the sex of the infant before birth; and still less are we
in possession of such a knowledge of the determinants of sex as might
enable us to procreate boys or girls at will. Should the astounding
advance in medical science eventuate in the solution of this problem,
it will then be in our power to restore the proper numerical balance
of the sexes.

_Marriage._--In the civilised countries of modern Europe the number
of marriages per 1000 inhabitants of all ages is from 6 to 8; whilst
for every 1000 inhabitants of a marriageable age the annual marriage
rate is 50. Of 1000 men over 15 years of age from 400 to 700 are
married, whilst of 1000 women over 15 years of age from 440 to 640
are married. A high marriage-rate is not _per se_ either a favourable
or an unfavourable manifestation; it is dependent upon economic
conditions, and transient variations in the marriage-rate arise from
the favourable or unfavourable economic conditions of the year in
which these variations occur.

In consequence of the enormous development of the manufacturing
industries, there has been a great increase in the numbers of those
engaged in these industries; a large proportion of farm servants has
been transformed into wage-earners of the towns. Since men of this
latter class commonly marry young, whereas a comparatively small
proportion of farm-servants marries, an increase in the marriage-rate
has been noticeable during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
But since the beginning of the present century a decline in the
marriage-rate has become perceptible, and the causes of this decline
are more difficult to ascertain. During the nineteenth century the
divorce-rate underwent a continuous increase. The divorce-rate is
higher in towns than in the country, and higher in thickly populated
than in thinly populated countries.

_Illegitimate Sexual Relations._--Except as regards the birth of
illegitimate children, the only statistical data available regarding
illegitimate sexual relations are those which have been obtained by
private inquiries. The following are the most important statistics
bearing on this question. The annual number of illegitimate births in
Europe exceeds 600,000. In most European countries the illegitimate
births constitute from 8 to 9 per cent. of the total births, and
in every large country in Europe the illegitimate number several
millions. From privately collected statistics we learn that in all
civilised countries the great majority of unmarried mothers belong to
the working classes and to the class of domestic servants; in many
countries more than 80 per cent. of unmarried mothers may be thus
classified. If from the number of illegitimate children we wish to
deduce the probable number of unmarried mothers, we have always to
bear in mind the fact that an unmarried mother commonly has one child
only, whilst married women have on the average from three to four
children. We learn from private statistics that of the fathers of
illegitimate children not more than about 45 per cent. belong to the

The relationship between the number of illegitimate births, on
the one hand, and the number of legitimate births and the number
of marriages, on the other, is, on one view, the following. The
greater the number of marriages, the smaller will be the number
of illegitimate births; the greater the average age at marriage,
the greater also will be the number of illegitimate births. It is,
indeed, extremely probable that a high marriage-rate leads to a low
illegitimate birth-rate, and conversely; but we are not justified in
regarding such a causal sequence as unquestionable. Variations in the
marriage-rate and in the illegitimate birth-rate may be the joint
consequences of other common factors.



_Statistical Data._--The statistics relating to child mortality are
in an exceptionally well-developed state, and no unprejudiced student
of sociology can afford to ignore them. The literature of child
mortality contains a number of extremely important and thoroughly
trustworthy works; the reason for this may be that, in comparison
with other difficult problems of population, the study of questions
of child mortality is easier, because various disturbing influences
which complicate adult death-rates have no bearing upon child

Even simpler is the question of infant mortality.[1] In computations
dealing with this matter it is not necessary to make use of the
figures of the general census, for the calculations are based simply
upon the recorded births and deaths. The calendar year in which the
birth took place does not come directly into the question at all.
What we record is the rate per thousand at which, in or during a
particular year, say 1909, infants have died before attaining the end
of the first year of their life; some of these will have been born in
the year 1909, others, of course, in the year 1908.

Nearly 30 per cent. of all deaths are infant deaths; about 10 per
cent. of all deaths are those of children of ages one to five years;
about 50 per cent. of all deaths are those of children from birth to
fifteen years. The least dangerous section of human life is between
the ages of ten and fifteen years. Child mortality, extremely heavy
during the year of infancy, diminishes greatly after the completion
of the first year, and diminishes enormously after the completion
of the fifth year. In the civilised countries of Europe, at the
end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century,
of every 1000 infants, from 100 to 300 die, on the average, every
year. The attainable minimum of infant mortality, under conditions
practically realisable to-day, may be regarded as about 70 per 1000.
In families in which exceptionally favourable conditions prevail,
the infant mortality rate is even lower than the figure just stated;
in the families of the higher aristocracy and among the royal houses
it is as low as one-half, and even as low as one-third, of this
“practicable minimum” of 70 per 1000.

Since the middle of the eighteenth century there has, in nearly
all the countries of Europe, been a decline in infant mortality,
in the case alike of boys and of girls; this fall in the infantile
death-rate is greater than the fall in the general death-rate.
Although the data available justify this general statement, it is
necessary to point out that authentic statistical data bearing on the
question exist only in the case of small and isolated areas, such as
individual towns; national registration of such particulars is of
much more recent date than the middle of the eighteenth century.

_Certain Contributory Causes._--The influence upon infant mortality
of certain causes commonly regarded as important is in fact small.
Statistical data prove beyond dispute that local and climatic factors
exercise no direct influence at all upon the infantile death-rate;
such influence as these factors do exercise is an indirect one,
operating through the effect which climate and locality may have upon
social conditions. The same qualification applies to the influence
of race and of religion upon infant mortality. There are differences
in the infantile death-rates as between Teutons and Slavs, and as
between Christians and Jews; but these differences are in no way
directly dependent upon the differences in race or in religion,
and they must be ascribed to the differences in social conditions.
Fertility is well known to exert a decisive influence upon infant
mortality; but variations in fertility are not the direct effect
of any differences in race or creed; they are a consequence of the
varying social conditions in which those of the respective races or
creeds actually live. Thus it is only in certain social conditions
that Slavs are more fertile than Teutons, and Jews more fertile than
Christians. The constitution of the parents exercises a considerable
influence upon infant mortality; but the parental constitution must
be regarded as largely dependent upon the social environment in which
the parents themselves have grown to maturity.

_The Chief Causes of Infant Mortality._--Among the commonly
enumerated conditions affecting infant mortality the following are
conspicuous: the proportion of infants reared by artificial feeding
instead of being suckled; work for wages by the mothers of infants;
the general intelligence of the lower classes of the population, and
their knowledge of the care and management of infants; the general
state of the public health, including such conditions as the degree
to which the general population is enabled to avail itself of the
medical knowledge of our time (in all the countries claiming to be
“civilised,” bald official statistics prove beyond dispute that a
large proportion of the children dying before attaining the age of
one year die without having ever received any medical treatment
whatever); the number of illegitimate births, &c. But all these
conditions are in essence nothing more than social conditions. Thus
we are practically justified in saying that the determining factors
of infant mortality are social conditions and nothing else. With
striking unanimity, those who have made a special study of this
question formulate the conclusions summarised in the following

The infantile death-rate is higher among the lower classes than it is
among the upper. Within the limits of those making up what are termed
“the lower classes,” the infantile death-rate is higher in proportion
as the social conditions are unfavourable. The figure attained by the
infantile death-rate depends above all upon the social circumstances
and the earning capacity of the parents. Inasmuch as an infant does
not possess the faculty of spontaneous change of place or of other
spontaneous activity, since it is unable even to express its needs
in an intelligible manner, its fate depends upon the soil in which
it grows--its very life depends upon its environment. Such, from the
social standpoint, is the essential characteristic of the age of
infancy. The infant born of well-to-do parents has better chances of
life than the infant born of poor parents, for the former lives in
more favourable circumstances, and receives in every respect a better
upbringing. It is a demonstrable fact that most children that die
succumb, not from inherited weakness, but owing to the errors and
defects of their upbringing.

The materials available in proof of this proposition are ample
and incontrovertible. Whatever the place, the time, and the other
conditions submitted to investigation, and whether the investigated
materials be large or small, we are led invariably to the same
conclusions. In the bourgeois (middle and upper) classes, only 8 per
cent. of the children die during the first year of life, but among
the proletariat the infantile death-rate is 30 per cent. Even more
significant, if possible, are the following facts. The infantile
death-rate is higher among illiterate wage-earners than it is among
literate wage-earners; it is higher among casual labourers than it
is amongst wage-earners permanently occupied. In the strata of the
population above the manual workers, we find that the infantile
death-rate is lower as we pass from strata in which social conditions
are comparatively bad to strata in which they are comparatively
good. The infantile death-rate and the income of the parents vary in
inverse ratio. The differences in the infantile death-rate as we pass
from the poorer quarters of our towns to the richer quarters tell
always the same tale.

_The Great Number of Children._--The chief cause of high infant
mortality and of high child mortality among the lower strata of
the population is the great size of their families. The number of
conceptions, pregnancies, and births varies directly as the infantile
death-rate. If out of a certain limited income more children have
to be maintained, the share of each in the commodities purchasable
out of that income necessarily diminishes. The income of the manual
worker is so small that, even if his family is quite a small one, it
is exceedingly difficult for him to provide out of that income what
he and his wife and children need for the satisfaction of elementary
vital needs. With every additional child comes a further limitation
of supplies for each individual member of the family. Not only does
this have a directly unfavourable influence upon health, inasmuch
as each child receives a smaller share of dwelling-room, food, &c.
In addition, as more and more children are born, the worth of the
individual child in the eyes of the parents diminishes.

The mother’s health is apt to suffer from the rapid succession of
conceptions, pregnancies, and deliveries. For various reasons this
is disadvantageous to the children. A woman thus affected will
subsequently bring more weakly children into the world; the mother
whose health is poor is unable to give as much time and pains to
the rearing of her children as she would if she were well and
strong; many women whose health has been broken by unduly frequent
pregnancies die during a subsequent pregnancy or delivery.

But may it not be that the relationship between a large number of
births and a high infantile death-rate is the reverse of that which
we have suggested? Is it not possible that the great mortality
among children may be the cause of an increase in the number of
conceptions, pregnancies, and births? It is true that certain purely
psychological factors may contribute to such a causal sequence. To a
certain degree a high infantile death-rate has such an effect. For if
a woman gives birth to a diseased or a still-born child, or if one of
her children dies, the parents are more likely than would otherwise
be the case to desire to have another child, and the wife will be
more ready to undertake the troubles of another pregnancy and the
risks of another delivery.

The most important means for the diminution of child mortality is
to improve the conditions of working-class life. It is indisputable
that the more prosperous members of the working class have fewer
children on the average than those who are not so well off; that in
any region in which an improvement has taken place in the conditions
of working-class life a fall in the birth-rate has ensued; that the
poorer the condition of any stratum of the proletariat, the larger is
the average family. An increase in the average working-class income
will lead to a proportionately greater decline in the death-rate of
infants and young children. For this increase in income will operate
in two ways: in the first place, if the number of children remain the
same, the rise in income will ensure for each child a larger share of
the necessaries of life; and, in the second place, with the rise in
income the size of the average family will diminish, and this will
reduce the child mortality. Inasmuch as the height of the infantile
death-rate depends mainly upon the great infant mortality among
the lower strata of the population, every effort at reform in this
direction must begin at the lower end of the social scale.

_Child Mortality in the Towns._--A connection appears to exist
between density of population and the death-rate: if the other
conditions remain unchanged, the death-rate increases _pari passu_
with increasing density of population. The question whether in the
towns child mortality is higher than in the country districts has not
yet been decisively answered; and it is equally uncertain whether
from the hygienic standpoint the existing rural conditions are better
than the urban. It appears probable that child mortality is higher
in the towns than in the country districts; it is more doubtful,
however, if the same can be said of infant mortality. The statistical
data available on this question must be subjected to a stringent
critical examination. The infant mortality which truly belongs to
the towns appears smaller than it really is, for the reason that a
proportion of the infants born in the towns are placed in the care of
foster-parents living in the country, and some of these die in the
country. It is equally true that many people from the country die in
hospitals and other institutions in the towns; but this applies much
more to adults than to children.

The proletariat constitutes a large majority of the inhabitants of
the urban districts; the proportion of artificially reared children
is greater than in the country, the housing conditions are less
favourable, there is less opportunity for open-air life, venereal
diseases are more prevalent, and fertility is lower. But against
these considerations we must set the fact that the urban population
is more intelligent, and for this reason better understands the
various methods of artificial feeding of infants; the fact that
charitable institutions are more effective in the towns, and the
fact that in the towns better hygienic conditions prevail. The
sanitary improvement of the towns by better cleansing of the streets,
an improved water supply, better methods of disposing of sewage and
refuse, &c., has led to a reduction not merely of the general urban
death-rate, but also of the infantile urban death-rate; whereas in
the country districts these rates have remained stationary, or have
even undergone an increase. In wealthy towns the death-rate is lower
than in poor towns; like differences are observed as between the rich
and the poor quarters of one and the same town. Wealth has so marked
an influence in lowering infant mortality that in the wealthy villa
quarters of large towns the infantile death-rate may be as low as
from 10 to 20 per mille.

_The Effect of Housing Conditions._--The infantile death-rate is very
closely connected with the character of the housing conditions. The
rate of infant mortality in any particular dwelling varies directly
with the number of inhabitants, and varies inversely with the number
of rooms available per family. Those living in the upper stories of
tenement houses have a higher death-rate than infants living in lower
stories and basements. This influence of bad housing conditions in
producing a rise in the infantile death-rate is only to be expected.
The habitation exercises its influence upon the infant by day and by
night, and through every detail of the infant’s life. To give one
instance, there is an intimate connection between the quality of the
dwelling and the quality of the infant’s food; in a suitable dwelling
milk may be more readily kept cool, preserved from contamination,
sterilised, &c.

_The Effect of Age._--The degree to which bad conditions of life
endanger health varies inversely with the age. The maximum danger to
health from such conditions is incurred by infants. The younger the
infant the greater the danger that bad conditions will prove fatal;
and most of the environmental factors unfavourable to the maintenance
of infant life come into operation immediately after birth. The
younger the infant, the less resistant it is to external influences.
Therefore the younger the infant, the more carefully does it need to
be watched and safeguarded. Physicians and statisticians lay great
stress upon the degree to which the infant’s chances of life depend
upon its age in days and months.

_Time of Birth, Seasons, and Meteorological Conditions._--Is it
possible to demonstrate the existence of any connection between
the time of birth and the temporal variations in the infantile
death-rate? In the months in which the number of births is high, the
infantile death-rate is probably also higher than at other times.
This is true more especially of the very cold months, when infants
cannot be taken freely into the open air; it is true also of the very
hot months. It is well known that the annual curve of births exhibits
two notable elevations--one in February and March, and the other in
September; this depends on the fact that most conceptions take place,
on the one hand, in the spring-time--that is, at the time of the
general awakening of nature; and, on the other hand, in December,
when nature reposes, and agricultural labours are at a standstill.
But owing to the fact that the factors influencing infant mortality
are so numerous and variable, it is not possible to demonstrate any
definite relationship between the times of maximum births and the
times of maximal infantile death-rate.

The seasons and the meteorological conditions exert an influence upon
infant mortality through the intermediation of their effect upon
various social conditions. The infantile death-rate is highest during
the summer, the rate in the months of July, August, and September
greatly exceeding that in the other months of the year. During the
hot season, contaminated and decomposing milk gives rise to fatal
illness on all sides. When we compare different years, we find that
the height of the infantile death-rate varies directly with the heat
of the summer. This influence of the hot season is exerted almost
exclusively upon artificially reared infants, and especially on those
in whom the technique of artificial feeding is improper. It is an
established fact that the children of the well-to-do largely escape
a similar fate, simply because that in their case it is possible to
keep the milk artificially cool, and to prepare it more carefully in
other ways.



_Natural Selection and Artificial Selection._--The selective method
practised by Nature works by means of the procreation of millions of
individuals, and by the subsequent elimination of those individuals
which are imperfectly or not at all adapted to their environing
conditions; that is to say, natural selection operates repressively
or destructively. Artificial selection, on the other hand, aims at
preventing the procreation of individuals inadequately adapted to
their environment; it deliberately eliminates those elements which
are useless to society, or which can be utilised by society only at
excessive cost: thus artificial selection is a preventive method.

Natural selection is cruel and uneconomic. As far as the human
species is concerned, natural selection is not essential to our
advance towards perfection; it is even to a considerable extent
superfluous. In the case of humanity, racial improvement remains
possible even in the absence of a relationship between the numbers of
the species and the available means of subsistence so unfavourable
as to necessitate a fierce struggle for existence. In the earlier
stages of human evolution, such an unfavourable relationship between
the numerical strength of the species and the supply of the means of
subsistence was perhaps a cause of racial advance; but to-day such
a relationship would be nothing but a hindrance to progress. For
the human species to-day, the significance of natural selection is
historical merely; the future belongs to artificial selection. The
device for humanity must be, “Not Natural Selection, but Artificial

_The Interests of the Future Generation._--The attitude of our
present legal system towards actions likely to be injurious to the
interests of future generations is a quite erroneous one. We concern
ourselves solely with the interests of the contemporary generation;
the interests of future generations are left entirely to chance; it
is perfectly obvious that whenever a conflict of interests arises,
the well-being of our descendants is unhesitatingly sacrificed. In
our present laws it is difficult to point to a single provision
for the protection of subsequent generations against the result of
the sexual irrationality and the excessive sexual egoism of our

Bodily injury of one human being by another is a punishable offence.
But the man affected with alcoholism or syphilis who procreates a
child incurs no punishment whatever, although the consequences of the
latter’s action are far more serious. To-day hardly any attention is
paid to the question of what qualities are desirable in the parents
in order to ensure the procreation of offspring well equipped for
a happy and useful life. In the breeding of plants and animals,
definite rules are followed, in order to secure the progressive
improvement of the species concerned. But who trouble themselves
about conscious selection for the improvement of the human species?

The view will ultimately prevail that the strong only are of value
to society, and that every weak member of the community involves a
definite social loss. It will be generally understood that large
families are not advantageous, inasmuch as it is not quantity but
quality that really matters. The day will come in which fatherhood
and motherhood will be permitted only to the strong, and in which
every endeavour will be made to prevent the birth of diseased and
weakly individuals. As far as the “protection” of a great many
children is concerned, the method that will be adopted will be to
prevent their ever coming into the world. In the future, we shall
know better than we know to-day which children are competent to grow
up into useful members of society; and those buds which fail to
attain this standard will be pruned away.

Beyond question, it will not be long before it will be generally
understood that the proper application of eugenist principles to
the human species will be secured, not so much by coercion, as by
enlightenment. But for this very reason it will become of enormous
importance to popularise the elements of educational science and
of the hygiene of childhood, to effect the sexual enlightenment of
children and of adults, and to secure the diffusion of sound ethical
ideas. It will be taught that actions injurious to the interests of
future generations are immoral, and some of them will even be made
punishable offences. Steps will also be taken to ensure as far as
possible that only those individuals shall marry whose offspring may
be expected to be healthy.

In regard to all these problems, the acquirements of medical science
are of enormous importance; for it is upon the acquirements of
positive science that legislation dealing with such matters must
be based. Unfortunately, however, the medical science of our own
day is not always in a position to give a decisive and satisfactory
answer in respect of the various problems just stated; and suitable
legislation on these matters must be deferred to the future, when
guidance may be anticipated from the inevitable progress of medical

_Inheritance and Education._--In human beings, as in other animals,
an improvement in the inborn capacities is possible. At the present
time we are content to take children as we find them, and we simply
endeavour by education to make every child into a useful member of
society. But only through influences affecting hereditary qualities
can the material of future generations be improved, and a humanity
be brought into being better equipped than we are for the tasks of
civilisation. Enduring human progress can be effected only by the
simultaneous study and application of the laws both of education and
of heredity. As by selection the hereditary equipment is improved,
the limits of what is attainable by means of education will also be

Even to-day, heredity and education commonly co-operate in the same
direction, for in most cases the two influences are exercised by
the same personalities. Parents of fine quality tend to procreate
children of like quality, and also to give these same children an
exceptionally good upbringing; contrariwise, degenerate parents tend
to procreate degenerate children, and to bring them up badly.

_Nature of Education._--The inherited character of human beings
is not a unitary whole, but consists of different parts. Unless
this were so, man would speedily succumb in the struggle for
existence; for it depends upon the circumstances in which he finds
himself, which parts of his inherited character undergo a necessary
development. Just as nature brings into existence an enormous number
of living beings, and then, by the mechanism of the struggle for
existence, selects for survival those individuals which are best
adapted to the environmental conditions, so in the inherited human
character there exist available for the influences of education
thousands of rudimentary capacities, and it is the particular
environmental conditions which determine which of these capacities
are cultivated and developed, and which are allowed to undergo

Among these environmental conditions are the deliberate processes
of education, which also select certain capacities for special
cultivation, and allow others to atrophy or disappear. The latter
part of this process takes place in accordance with the natural law,
that every organ which is left unused undergoes atrophy, and may even
altogether disappear. The task of education does not presuppose any
alteration in the inherited character. On the contrary, the educator
utilises the existence of the various inherited characteristics in
such a way that he makes those qualities he wishes to develop take
the field against those he wishes to suppress.

The inherited character contains certain possibilities of
development. If it were fixed and unalterable, education would be
entirely unthinkable. In the practical work of education we have
to reckon with the fact that there are present in every child
certain developmental factors, constituting the pre-conditions of
the development which that child will subsequently undergo; that in
the course of growth the character undergoes extensive alterations;
finally, also, that the child’s character is something very different
from that of the adult. Education is thus seen to consist of the
influences exerted upon the character by the application of certain
external factors; it is a selection from the entire complex of inborn
capacities and inborn tendencies.

_Character of the Child._--The view that the child possesses all
the vices and all the peculiarities of the criminal is as erroneous
as the opinion that the criminal, owing to the arrest of mental
development, remains for ever a child, and that he is one in nature
with the savage who, unaffected by conditions of time or place,
preserves unchanged the type of humanity in the childhood of our
race. As yet no proof has ever been supplied of the hypothesis, that
concealed within the child’s nature lies the tendency to do evil.
But it is an incontestible fact that the child entirely lacks power
to withdraw itself from harmful influences, and that if criminal
inclinations are artificially implanted in the child, they will
infallibly develop if no counteracting influences come into play.
The child is a virgin soil, which will in due course bring forth
good fruit or bad fruit according to the nature of the tillage; at
birth the child is qualitatively and quantitatively incomplete; but
all the faculties are there in embryo, and ready for their further
development. The smaller the circle of ideas, the stronger will be
the influence, the greater will be the effect, of any new idea that
enters this circle. In the child, above all, the circle of ideas is
so small, that every new idea will constitute a quite appreciable
fraction of all the ideas that already exist.

_Limits of Educability._--Education is able to develop the useful
capacities and qualities of human beings, and to repress those
capacities and qualities that are useless and harmful; but it is
beyond the power of education to develop qualities and capacities of
which the germs do not previously exist in the child. Even the best
education is incompetent to improve a character which is congenitally
altogether bad, or to do anything for a child whose character, though
congenitally good, has been completely corrupted by evil influences.

Unfortunately, science is not yet sufficiently advanced to enable us
to determine with absolute certainty which children are educable. As
long as our knowledge of this matter remains defective, society must
undertake the fruitless education of such children.

Educability depends, first of all, upon the inherited dispositions of
the brain; when the deviations from the average in this respect are
considerable, we have to do with a diseased brain. According to the
kind and the degree of the deviation, we distinguish several groups
of mental abnormality occurring in childhood, namely:

(_a_) Morbid psychical (psychopathic) constitutions.

(_b_) Congenital feeble-mindedness (debility).

(_c_) Fully developed and well-marked mental disorders.

In the first group we find a number of morbid changes far less severe
in character than those comprising groups (_b_) and (_c_); these
are commonly curable, provided only treatment is begun in early
childhood. It is absolutely essential that such cases should be
cured if possible: for unless this is effected, in most cases (and
especially when they belong to the poorer classes of society) the
males become habitual vagrants, whilst the females adopt a life of
prostitution. Numerous inquiries have established the fact that a
strikingly large proportion of tramps and other vagabonds were from
childhood upwards of a psychopathic constitution.

The number of those exhibiting mental abnormality has notably
increased in recent times, but this increase does not affect those
suffering from true insanity. Many of those who in adult life exhibit
symptoms of mental abnormality do so as a result of the psychopathic
constitution, and in many such cases the troubles of adult life
might have been prevented by judicious measures during childhood. In
cases belonging to group (_b_), comprising persons suffering from
congenital feeble-mindedness, the possibility of education depends
entirely upon the degree of mental debility. In cases belonging to
group (_c_) education is impossible. The question of ineducability
is of importance, above all, in relation to the possibilities of a
coercive reformatory education. The possibility that attempts at
education may prove altogether fruitless must never be lost sight
of; for although it is an established fact that mentally abnormal
children usually need a coercive reformatory education, in the case
of children whose mental abnormality exceeds certain limits, even
such an education is impracticable. In these cases also the rule
applies, that the prospects of success are greater the earlier the
matter is taken in hand.

_The Aim of Education._--What is the aim of education? Should we
seek to educate the child for society; or should it be our primary
aim to cultivate the inborn capacities of the child? The value of
the individual depends upon two factors, upon the capacities and
qualities he has inherited, and upon the capacities and qualities he
has acquired. Education must not attend exclusively to one group or
to the other, but must deal with both groups harmoniously. The child
must be taught to adapt itself to all possible circumstances and
conditions; at the same time it must receive an education suited to
its own capacities and endowments. In the character of every child
there exist the germs of individuality. Whether it is normal or
abnormal, whether it is a foundling or not, whether it is educated by
its parents or at school, in the family or at an institution, it must
be educated in accordance with the needs of its own individuality.
The educationalist’s device should be--individualisation.

The greatest delight of every individual, whether child or adult, is
to be occupied in accordance with its own inclinations, and to be
treated by others in a manner suited to its own peculiar tendencies.
This perhaps depends upon one of the primary laws of physics,
that motion takes place in the direction of least resistance.
Individualisation in education is an exceedingly difficult matter;
and yet it is less difficult than appears at first sight. Differences
in individual character are far less extensive than is generally
believed, and it is an error to suppose that the character of every
child differs in important respects from that of every other. It is
an impossible aim of education to make every child a being with a
well-marked individuality. If the differences were too great between
those whose education is completed--that is, between those grown
persons who play their parts in ordinary human intercourse, such
intercourse would be less extensive and more difficult than it now is.

The child must be educated in such a way that its actions are
not instinctive and uncontrolled, but consciously purposive and
self-controlled; but at the same time the educationalist must guard
against the danger of making the child into a will-less puppet. It
has frequently been observed that obedient children are unlikely to
grow up into men of any particular note, the reason being that they
are accustomed to do only what they are told, and have never learned
to act on their own initiative.

Knowledge is a mighty weapon, but it is one which can be used either
to good purpose or to ill, and it is _per se_ neither moral nor
immoral. Knowledge is Power, but it is not Virtue. It is not the
ability to read and to write which matters; the important question
is, what one reads and what one writes. Among those who can neither
read nor write, we find many who are extraordinarily rich in
practical experience. This is to be explained by the fact that those
who can read and write are able to gain impressions indirectly as
well as directly, whilst illiterate persons are entirely dependent
upon their own direct experience of life.

Among the causes of crime, illiteracy by no means plays so important
a part as is generally believed. For this reason, when we are
studying the condition of any particular country, we must avoid
laying too great a stress upon the percentage of illiterates among
its population. The number of illiterates depends in part also upon
the proportions of persons at various ages, inasmuch as, in reckoning
the percentage of illiterates to the general population, those under
school age are left out of the account.

By no means is it the aim of education to provide general culture.
The State cannot possibly insist that every individual should devote
himself to the acquirement of general culture, for the most talented
person is at times unable to earn his own living. In the struggle for
existence, general culture, taken by itself, is utterly useless.

_Good Example._--The phenomena which the child has opportunities
for observing exercise a great influence upon its development.
Although the view that the child imitates everything instinctively is
erroneous, it is unquestionable that education will prove successful
only in cases in which the personality of the child’s teacher is
one which puts a good example before the child’s eyes. It is not
enough merely to instruct a child verbally. It is essential that
the child should see that the teacher himself practises all which is
theoretically asserted to be right and admirable.

_Confidence and Love._--Authority and compulsion are important
factors of education; but those take the wrong path who attempt to
influence the child by means of authority and compulsion alone. For
individualisation in education the device should be, Confidence and
Love. These mean to the child what sunshine means to the plant:
without sunshine, the plant lags behind in its growth, and ultimately
perishes; but in the sunshine it flourishes abundantly.

_Reward and Punishment._--The view that neither reward nor punishment
should be employed as instruments of education is erroneous, for
unquestionably both have considerable influence upon human activities
and intercourse. The only matter really open for consideration is,
what should be the nature of the rewards and the punishments to be
employed, and what should be the method of their application? It
is wrong to punish or reward a child so often that either becomes
habitual. The teacher, who is in most cases the accuser and the
injured person (since a child’s wrong actions are apt to take the
form of offences against an instructor), should not also assume the
office of a judge against whose decision there is no appeal, and the
office of executioner. Above all, the time-honoured system whereby
every childish offence is expiated by deliberately inflicted physical
pain must be abandoned.

The corporal punishment of children is certainly harmful. (_a_)
Corporal punishment is injurious to the child’s health. In former
times this objection had perhaps less weight, for the child’s
constitution, and especially the child’s nervous system, were then
less sensitive than they are to-day. (_b_) Corporal punishment
gradually makes the child quite indifferent to the handling and
making-use of its body. In many instances, either in the chastiser or
in the chastised, or in both, it gives rise to sexual excitement. It
is especially dangerous for girls, whom it is apt to prepare for a
life of prostitution. (_c_) Corporal punishment has a coarsening and
hardening influence both on teacher and on child. The teacher tends
ever more and more to give way to his impulses, and thereby becomes
a disastrous example for the child. (_d_) Corporal punishment breaks
the child’s will, and induces a sense of degradation which is greater
in proportion to the intensity of the child’s own self-respect. (_e_)
Corporal punishment makes a child hypocritical and deceitful, and
gives it a hint to be wilier the next time. For ultimately the idea
is formed in the child’s mind that it has been punished, not for
committing a fault, but because it has been found out.

Punishment should always be of such a nature as to strengthen as
much as possible those inner forces and impulses through whose
weakness the liability to the punishment has been incurred. On no
account whatever should the punishment be such as will encourage in
the child’s mind the belief that the act for which it is punished
was, after all, one it had a right to do. If, for example, a child
has injured a servant, it should be punished by making it relieve
the servant of some portion of the latter’s work. If the child has
injured any one, it is not a suitable punishment for the teacher to
inflict direct injury on the child, for this would merely encourage
the latter to believe that the strong are justified in inflicting
injury on the weak.

_Education by the Parents._--Throughout nature, wherever the young
of any animal have to live through a prolonged period of imperfectly
protected immaturity, it is the duty of the parent-animals to bring
up their offspring. Above a certain level in the animal scale, this
duty is universal. The lower in the scale any species of animal,
the more rapidly do the young of that species attain maturity;
conversely, the higher the stage of development of any species, the
longer is the period of immaturity, and the longer are the children
dependent upon their parents. This rule applies to human beings also,
and the relationships above described obtain among the different
varieties and races of mankind. Of all new-born animals, none is so
helpless as man; and of all animals, his period of immaturity is the
longest. The period of upbringing lasts longer in man than in other
animals, the human young are longer dependent on their parents, and
the parents themselves in the human species are more long-lived than
the parents of most other species of animals.

The younger the individual human being, the more dependent is it upon
others. An infant cannot continue to exist at all without external
help. Its only needs at first, indeed, are for food, drink, sleep,
and cleansing; but the older it is, the more complex is the care
it demands. As the age of the human individual increases, the more
do its needs continue to enlarge. The younger the human being, the
more dependent is it upon parental care, and more particularly upon
maternal care; and the more helpless the offspring, the more does the
educational influence of the mother exceed in importance that of the

The view that the natural province of work of the father is to
provide the means of subsistence for himself and his family, while
the mother’s work, on the other hand, is to care for the children,
is erroneous. It is not merely unnecessary for the mother to spend
all her time with her child, but such a course of action imposes
an excessive strain upon her, and has a dulling effect. It is also
a false view that only those women properly fulfil their duties as
wives and mothers who devote their whole time to the upbringing of
their children and to the cares of their household.

The influence of the parents upon the child is a very powerful
one, because child and parents are, as it were, syntonised through
hereditary dispositions and tendencies. Oscillations of character
in the parents spontaneously initiate oscillations of character in
the child, but in this syntonic influence there may subsist a very
great danger. The healthier the parents, and the better suited they
are to one another, the better are the dispositions the children
inherit from them, and thereby the children are fitted to receive
a better education. Among the lower animals, parents educate their
offspring solely in accordance with the dictates of instinct. For
the upbringing of the human young, the guidance of human instinct is
inadequate; educational aptitudes and special educational knowledge
are also indispensable. Normal human parents may desire to give their
children the best possible education; but in many instances they do
not know themselves what the best education is; and even if they
do know this, they will be unable to provide such an education by
their own unaided efforts, and will be dependent upon others for the
upbringing of their own children. It is quite impossible for anyone
to follow a trade or profession, to supervise the management of a
household, and at the same time to be the instructor of his or her
own child. For this, parents lack the requisite time and energy. As
time goes on, the principle of the division of labour comes more
and more into application; it is in accordance with this principle
that the education of children should be entrusted to professional

_Education in Different Social Classes._--The education received
by an individual is determined mainly by the class to which that
individual belongs. In every industrial state, the degradation of
the working-class families becomes apparent. The wages of the manual
workers are very small; and owing to illness, strikes, lock-outs,
and commercial crises, even this small income diminishes from time
to time, or may entirely cease. Insecurity is the keynote of the
working man’s economic existence. The consequences of this insecurity
are ill-humour and embitterment, which find expression for the most
part in domestic life. The place of work is often far removed from
the dwelling-place. Husband, wife, and the elder children go to work;
they have to get up very early in the morning, when the children are
still asleep. Since the spells of rest for meals are very short, they
have no time to go home; or if they do hurry home, they have to gulp
down their food with lightning speed. Not until late in the evening,
when the children have gone to sleep again, do the parents return
home. Thousands of working men, owing to the distance of their homes
from their work-places, remain a whole week away, and return home to
their families only on Saturday. Even if the parents get home from
work in the evenings before their children are asleep, the former are
so worn out by long hours of exhausting toil that they can do nothing
for their children.

The housing conditions of the working classes are rarely
satisfactory. In consequence of this, the children are often driven
to live in the streets; and this, in turn, leads to immorality and
to crime. Often the children of working-class families do not remain
at home at all, but find their way to crèches, foundling hospitals,
poorhouses, and other institutions. Proletarian parents have less
knowledge and less capacity for the education of their children than
parents belonging to other classes of the population. These latter,
also, can more readily afford to entrust the education of their
children to other persons.

Nevertheless, the education of the children of the well-to-do
cannot be unconditionally regarded as better than the education
of the children of the poor. The chief defects as regards the
children of the well-to-do are, that they are apt to receive too
much attention; they are often spoiled, and their initiative is
continually suppressed. Rich parents keep servants, and entrust to
these in large part the upbringing of their children. In our day
it has come to be regarded as necessary and natural that children
should be cared for by servants; thus the influence exercised by
servants upon the children of the well-to-do is a very extensive and
by no means a happy one. For these servants commonly lack refinement
and intelligence, and the abilities of the trained educationalist
are altogether lacking to them. The domestic servant may bring up
suitably his or her own children, but not the children of another;
and the failure will be especially marked when the child’s social
position is much higher than the servant’s.

_Parents, School, Environment._--The three primary factors in
education are: parents, school, and environment. Strictly speaking,
indeed, parents and school are only parts of the environment. In
a sense, however, the whole of education is nothing more than
the influencing of the capacities and dispositions of the child
by external factors--that is, by the environment. The influence
exercised by the environment is very great. As social life develops
in complexity, the child is exposed ever more and more to the
influences of environment, and the educative influence exercised by
this latter becomes ever more extensive. But in our time the child is
less exposed than the adult to the influences of the environment.

In the first years of life the work of education is in the hands
of the parents, and above all in those of the mother. Subsequently
the schoolmaster and schoolmistress share with the parents in the
work of education, and the part played by the parents becomes ever
less important. In addition, however, to the influence exerted at
first by the parents, and subsequently by the teachers, the general
environment does its work from the very earliest days of life. It
is a natural postulate of a sound education, that all these three
factors, parents, school, and environment, should co-operate,
and that each should exercise its appropriate influence. If they
counteract instead of assisting one another, the general result will
be unsatisfactory and inadequate. In vain does the school attempt
to exercise a favourable influence if the work of the school is
undone by the influence of the parents. Again, the joint influence of
parents and of school is fruitless if the child, when away from home
and out of school hours, is under the influence of bad associates.
Unfortunately, with the development of capitalism such cases have
become ever more common.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--With the passage of the years, the
importance of education continually increases. The seductions and
the temptations encountered by young people to-day are at once far
more frequent and far more subtle than was the case in former times.
To enable them to withstand these allurements, the young require
a better and a more careful education. In the early stages of
evolution, alike in the struggle for existence between individuals
and in the struggle for existence between competing tribes, physical
strength was the decisive factor of success; but in the later stages
of human evolution it is upon intellectual and moral well-being
that victory in the struggle depends. Hence intellectual and moral
education become of ever greater importance. To-day, one whose
intellectual and moral education has been neglected is far less able
to meet with success the demands made by modern life than one living
some hundreds of years ago, whose education had been neglected,
would have been able to meet the demands made by the life of his own
time. In such a case, in our own day, the likelihood that one whose
education has been neglected will be useless and even dangerous to
society, is far greater than it would have been in former times;
and as time goes on the differences between those who have had an
appropriate education and those whose education has been neglected
will become more and more extensive.

It is well known that the majority of habitual criminals are persons
who began to commit punishable offences in the earlier years of their
life. It is only in the rarest instances that by legal punitive
methods we prevent a juvenile offender from developing into a
habitual criminal; the object of the punishment is seldom attained.
The question therefore presses itself upon our attention, whether the
prevention of crime cannot best be attained in another way than by
the use of penal methods, namely, by the proper education of children.

Education has no bearing upon the life of persons living in complete
isolation; it is a postulate of social life alone, and becomes
impregnated to a continually greater extent with social elements. The
modern tendency of social evolution is to relieve the family of the
cares of education, which becomes to an increasing extent a communal
duty; whilst the share of the parents in the education of their
children is limited, social institutions providing more generally
and more thoroughly for that education. England offers us a typical
example of the working of this modern tendency; for England is
commonly regarded as pre-eminently individualistic, and yet there is
no country in which more limitations have been imposed upon parental
authority, or in which compulsory and universal education is more
thoroughly enforced by the State.

The elements of educational science depend mainly upon the social
conditions that obtain in the country with which we have to do;
as time passes, the science undergoes a progressive alteration,
and leads us from individual education to social education. The
elements of the education of the future will depend upon the general
configuration of social life, upon the characteristics of domestic
life, and upon the regulation of parental authority. The individual
household of our own time has no regard at all for the special
needs of the child, and the various occupations carried on in such
a household constitute a hindrance to the proper upbringing of
children. The labours of the kitchen expose children to constant
accidents--from fire, boiling water, sharp instruments, &c. The
parents, and more especially the mother, will in times to come be
much less occupied than at present in domestic drudgery, and will
consequently have more time to devote to the upbringing of their
children. The parents will also themselves stand at a much higher
level of culture, and this cannot fail to lead to an effective demand
for the more suitable upbringing of children. The modern dwelling and
its furniture take no account at all of the needs of children; at
every turn there are sharp corners and hard objects, by contact with
which children may be, and often are, seriously injured. In former
times various occupations were carried on in the individual household
which hardly any one now dreams of doing at home: among these may
be mentioned, spinning, weaving, laundry-work, soap-boiling, the
slaughtering of animals and the preparation of their flesh, the
grinding of meal, &c. &c. In the United States of America even to-day
many families take all their principal meals at public restaurants;
in America also, to an increasing degree, heating, ventilation, and
lighting of the houses is provided from central establishments.
The household of to-day is inconvenient and uneconomical. Much
work is still done at home which could be done more cheaply, more
effectively, and more conveniently elsewhere. As time goes on, one
labour after another which is now done at home will be removed
altogether from the sphere of the domestic economy, and this will
necessarily lead ultimately to the disappearance of the individual
household. In the future, human beings will occupy separate
dwellings, but not separate households; or, to put the matter more
intelligibly, most of the work now carried on in the individual
household will be arranged for from centralised organisations. It is
obvious that these changes will lead to extensive modifications of
our present individual methods of domestic architecture.

The educational developments of the future will depend, not only
on the changes that have been foreshadowed in domestic life, but
also on the future development of the institution of the family.
Naturally, the characteristics of the family and the characteristics
of the household are intimately associated. But, whatever changes
may ensue in these respects, the fundamental principle that the
parents are responsible for the upbringing of their children is not
likely to be abandoned, for it is based upon an instinct deeply
rooted in the very nature of human beings. But the actual work of
education will probably be in the hands of educational specialists
almost exclusively, as soon as the days of infancy and very early
childhood are outgrown. When physically able to do so, mothers will,
of course, suckle their own children. The transformation of our
domestic economy and our domestic architecture will result in giving
enormously increased importance to institutions for the upbringing of
children; crèches, kindergartens, and elementary schools will play a
far greater part than at present in social life; such institutions
will probably care for children in every possible way, and will aim
at the satisfaction of all their elementary needs.



_Introductory._--The _lex minimi_ (“law of parsimony”) is not merely
a natural law, but is also the guiding principle both of legislative
and of executive activity. From this law we learn, among other
things: “When we wish to attain any end, we must arrange to do this
with the smallest possible expenditure of means; with the means
available we must secure the greatest possible result; the cost of
production must not exceed the value of the finished product. No
institution should be maintained if its utility is less than the
equivalent of the cost of its maintenance. However fine an aim may
be, it must never be forgotten that society and the State have other
aims in addition to this one, and that if for the attainment of this
particular aim an excessive expenditure of wealth is requisite, some
wealth will be used up which is needed for the attainment of other

Prevention is better than cure. One whose actions are guided by
foresight will use preventive methods all the more readily because
prevention is a part of the natural order of things. It is applicable
not only in domestic life, but also in the general life of society;
and as evolution proceeds, the importance of repression continually
diminishes, whilst the importance of prevention continually increases.

Every social institution serves for the attainment of some particular
end--is, that is to say, a means to that end. If an end can be
obtained without consuming wealth--that is, without employing the
means involving such an expenditure of wealth, then the sacrifice of
this wealth and the employment of these means are superfluous, and
even harmful. The tendency of every social institution is, in fact,
to become superfluous, and to be superseded with the passage of the

The wise physician who has to deal with the diseases affecting the
human body does not confine his efforts to the treatment and relief
of symptoms, but endeavours to ascertain and to remove the causes of
those symptoms. He is well aware that a method of treatment which is
confined to the relief of mere symptoms will effect no more than a
temporary improvement, and that as long as the cause of the symptoms
remains in active operation, the morbid phenomena will continue to
recur. Now these considerations apply with just as much force to the
social organism as they do to the individual human organism. When we
pass judgment upon a social institution, we must always endeavour to
ascertain whether any defect we may notice connected with its working
belongs to the social institution as such, and whether the fault is
inseparable from the institution, or whether we may reasonably expect
that in the further course of development, or as a result of better
organisation, this particular defect will disappear. In the work of
child-protection, these fundamental principles must always be kept in

_Objections to Child-Protection._--A number of objections have been
formulated against child-protection, of which the following may be
mentioned. In crèches and other institutions for the care of young
children, the spread of infectious diseases very readily occurs.
Most of the institutions aiming at child-protection are really
rewards of immorality, and thus tend to encourage immorality. It is
a natural law that a child should be cared for by its own parents,
and child-protection, in so far as it separates the child from its
parents, is unnatural.

Most of these objections are invalid. Many authors maintain that the
protection of juvenile criminals does more harm than good; but even
if this is true to-day, it does not follow that juvenile criminals
should not be protected, but simply that our methods of protection
should be better adapted to their purpose. The objections urged
against crèches and other institutions for the care of young children
should not lead to the inference that no such institutions ought to
exist, but should rather draw our attention to the necessity for
taking better measures to prevent the introduction and spread of
infectious diseases. No one can doubt to-day that the suppression of
these diseases is within our power.

_Objections to the Care of Foundlings._--In the literature of our
subject we find great diversity of opinion regarding the care of
foundlings, and it is therefore necessary that we should examine the
objections that have been made to institutions for this purpose. A
careful study of the matter will show that the criticisms apply not
to the general principle on which foundling hospitals are instituted,
but to a particular form of this institution. It is well known that
the foundling hospitals of former days received children by means of
a turn-table, through an aperture in the wall (so that the person
who brought the child might remain entirely unknown), that the
children grew to maturity in such institutions, that the infants
were artificially fed, that the most elementary hygienic precautions
were neglected in these buildings, &c. &c. It is natural that such
foundling hospitals as these should be attacked by many writers as
harmful in the highest degree. But these writers completely ignore
the fact that the defects were not characteristic of all foundling
hospitals, and that therefore they did not attach to the institutions
as such, but were the outcome simply of defective organisation; they
also fail to observe that the care of foundlings may be undertaken
without instituting foundling hospitals. The weightiest of all the
objections to foundling hospitals is that the cost of maintenance of
these institutions is disproportionate to any good they may effect,
inasmuch as the value to society of those foundlings who attain
maturity is no proper equivalent for the pains expended in attaining
this result. In view of the _lex minimi_, to which reference was made
at the beginning of this chapter, has such an institution any right
to exist?

The turn-table for the reception of children was instituted for two
reasons. In the first place, the whole act of “exposing” a child
was to be discreetly veiled from the public eye; and, in the second
place, no excuse was to be left open for the crime of infanticide.
It is true that in our own day there are many reasons to be alleged
against retaining the turn-table; it provides a means whereby the
parents of children born in lawful wedlock can evade their natural
obligations, and impose these upon society at large; it involves
a legal contradiction, inasmuch as it tacitly permits, and even
formally invites, parents to expose their children, although this
is a criminal offence; finally, it leads to the overcrowding of the
foundling hospitals. In short, all the objections to the institution
of the turn-table are perfectly sound; but it would be altogether
unwarrantable to infer from this that foundling hospitals themselves
are unnecessary and even harmful. Foundling hospitals can exist
without a turn-table (not a single modern foundling hospital contains
any such thing); the defects of foundling hospitals with turn-tables
are not defects of foundling hospitals as such, but defects attaching
to the institution of the turn-table.

If we are told that foundling hospitals fail to attain their ends
(the prevention of infanticide and the increase of the population),
if we are told that the foundling hospitals were themselves
murder-traps, and that all they could do was to preserve for society
a few individuals competent for harm rather than for good, we may
rejoin that in modern foundling hospitals the death-rate is much
lower than it was in those of former times, that children now receive
in these institutions a much better upbringing than was formerly
the case, and that the defects alleged do not attach to foundling
hospitals as such, but merely to this or that way of managing such
institutions. Finally, it is necessary to point out, that whereas
the foundling hospitals of former times, owing to their defective
administration, probably did not “pay,” the progress of medical
science has greatly reduced the death-rate in foundling hospitals,
the children in these institutions are now much better brought
up, and for these reasons the effective return made by foundling
hospitals to society is far greater than it used to be.

_Darwinism_ versus _Poor-Relief_.--Many Darwinians oppose
Poor-Relief. The interest of the community demands that its members
should be physically, intellectually, and morally sound. Social
evolution and social well-being depend upon the survival of the
fittest. It follows from this that the interest of the community
demands that we should prevent the birth of diseased and weakly
individuals; and that if such individuals should nevertheless
be born, the sooner they perish the better. If this were
unconditionally true, we should have to admit that the relief of
destitution is not merely useless to society, but is positively

In many instances, by the application of medical skill and knowledge,
it is possible, at considerable expenditure of effort, to keep alive
sickly persons, those predisposed to crime, and those predisposed
to particular diseases--persons who, in default of such special
care, would inevitably have succumbed. Such defectives, attaining
maturity, procreate their kind, producing a new generation of sickly
individuals, with deficient powers of resistance. Such applications
of medical science are doubtless valuable from the point of view of
the individuals thus benefited, but they promote the deterioration
of the race. This anti-eugenist influence is exerted in a twofold
manner: not only are the defectives kept alive and enabled to
procreate their kind, but these defectives utilise goods and services
which would otherwise have been allotted to healthy persons, whereby
these latter become less well able to found and rear families.

The relief of destitution provides support for the weaker members
of the community. Whereas, in default of public assistance, such
persons would hesitate to marry, a generous public provision for the
destitute facilitates the light-hearted increase of the lower classes
of the population, since these latter feel justified in believing
that, should the worst come to the worst, their children will be
provided for by the community. In the relief of the destitute, the
commodities devoted to the maintenance of the weak are taken away
from the strong. In consequence of this deprivation, the strong find
it necessary to limit their families--an example which the weak
will not follow. Thus the relief of destitution favours a reversed
selection. The relief of destitution also impairs the efficiency
of the processes whereby the diseased and useless constituents are
eliminated from the social organism, and this interference with
eliminative processes is no less dangerous to the social than it is
to the individual organism.

_Darwinism_ versus _Child-Protection_.--The Darwinians maintain that
all these considerations apply with equal force to child-protection.
We must, they tell us, protect strong children only, and do nothing
for the weakly. Child-protection to-day, they insist, effects the
reverse of this. It counteracts excessive child mortality, which is
an effective factor in selection, through its destruction of weakly
children. For example, the existence of foundling hospitals induces
many parents to abandon the care of their own children, and to commit
these to the foundling hospitals. Many parents, being aware that the
State undertakes the coercive reformatory education of neglected
children, deliberately neglect the education of their own children,
in order to force the community to undertake it.

During the first years of life, continue these ultra-Darwinians,
more children die than in the later years of childhood, because,
owing to natural selection in the first years of life, a larger
proportion of the weak succumb, so that the level of health of those
in the later years of childhood is considerably higher. High infant
mortality is at once a symptom and a means of natural-selection.
Years characterised by high infant mortality necessarily follow
years in which the infantile death-rate has been low. In countries
with high infant mortality the population is stronger, because the
badly-equipped new-born infants die in greater proportion than the
well-equipped; in subsequent years the mortality is consequently
lower, the fitness for military service is greater, and tuberculosis
is less common. To diminish infant mortality would lead to a more
rapid increase of population; it would, in fact, give rise to
over-population to such an extent that the struggle for existence
would become even more cruel and abhorrent than it is to-day. Certain
departments of child-protection lead to the preservation of children
whose survival is altogether undesirable--children which would
otherwise have perished during the first years of life.

(If it is true that illegitimate children are of very little use to
the community, and if it is impossible to prevent the birth of such
children, it is at any rate desirable, continue the writers of this
school, that those which actually do come into the world should die
as soon as possible. Consider also born criminals. These inflict
grave injury on the community. If it is impossible to prevent their
birth, should not society at least take steps to secure that their
life should be as short as possible?)

_The Right View._--These views are only partially correct. It may be
true that a great proportion of illegitimate children are weakly, and
perhaps for this reason their mortality-rate and criminality-rate
are excessive; it is also probable that in the absence of
child-protection their death-rate would be considerably higher than
it is. Elsewhere in this work we shall consider whether, and to
what extent, it is possible to prevent the birth of illegitimate
children. It may also be true that the born criminal is physically,
intellectually, and morally degenerate, and that for these reasons in
the absence of child-protection he would probably succumb in early

The race is not always damaged by the survival of those who have
suffered from disease. The disease may be of such a kind that the
patient who survives may recover completely, and may procreate
perfectly healthy children. It is a very thorny question whether
it can ever be right to refrain from the cure of certain patients,
because to cure them would be injurious to the race. Here humanity
and race-interest seem to conflict. If, in the future, by the proper
application of preventive methods, we are able to ensure that very
few such sick persons shall exist, it will no longer be necessary to
attempt to cure such as do exist, for in that day the application of
the euthanasia in such cases will no longer be regarded as inhuman,
but rather as perfectly natural and right.

To the assertion that only the healthy and strong should be
protected, we may answer that the sickly and the weakly are far more
in need of such protection. It is perfectly true that those who are
not adapted to the conditions of their environment perish. But one of
the chief aims of child protection is to enable children to become
capable of adaptation to their environment; and in the majority of
children we are able to effect this. Even those in whom this is
unattainable ought not to be neglected, because, while they are
slowly succumbing, society suffers much injury from them. One who is
ill or weak from one point of view only may nevertheless be a useful
member of society, since perhaps in some other relationship he may
be strong or healthy. In the present state of our knowledge, we are
unable during a child’s early years, and still less immediately after
birth, to determine positively whether the child is intellectually
or morally defective, whether it is a born criminal, or whether it is
one capable of developing into a useful member of society. We must
certainly dispute the assertion that a child which is bodily weak
is of necessity also intellectually and morally defective, since
thousands of instances establish the fact that a child which is
bodily weak often proves to be a useful member of society. If there
were no child-protection, children would perish whose survival is
unquestionably desirable.

We consider, therefore, that child-protection is necessary, although,
notwithstanding great pains and great sacrifices, it often results
in the survival of individuals who are useless to society. The
view that only the children of the inferior and poorer classes of
the population are suitable for the application of the methods of
child-protection, is erroneous, if only for the reason that the
well-to-do to-day bring forth offspring utterly regardless whether
these are strong or weak; and also because capitalism interferes
in other ways with the effective operation of natural selection.
These various evils can be obviated to-day only by means of

In the case of infants, there is no question of the struggle for
existence. For their death-rate depends upon two factors--first, upon
their inborn capacity; secondly, upon the conditions in which they
are reared. The former factor is of far less importance in relation
to infant mortality than it is in relation to child mortality. Only
in an extremely limited sense is it possible, with regard to infants,
to speak of a struggle for existence, in virtue of which the fittest
survive. The infant is exposed to numerous dangers, in coping with
which its inborn capacity hardly counts at all. When certain external
influences come into play, the infant is quite incapable of making
an advantageous use of its inborn physiological capacities. Such
external influences destroy quite indifferently infants well-equipped
and ill-equipped at birth. There is no doubt of the fact that a
strong infant could better resist most of the diseases of infancy
than a weakly infant; but the differences in power of resistance
in infants are far less extensive than is generally believed.
It is certainly wrong to maintain that a strong infant is able
successfully to resist all diseases.

For the very reason that certain diseases--for example, certain
affections of the stomach and intestines--will destroy even the
strongest infant, the prevention of these diseases becomes a matter
of the first importance. It is unquestionable that such diseases can
be more effectively prevented in proportion as the circumstances are
favourable in which the infant is reared.

It is certainly through an error of observation that some writers
maintain that in the age-class of children who have survived their
first year we find no weaklings. Even the strongest infant will
not survive to enter this age-class if its environing conditions
are too unfavourable. It often happens that an infant survives an
illness, and yet survives in a damaged condition. A high death-rate
is a consequence of a high disease-rate; but of the infants affected
with disease, only a certain proportion succumbs, whilst the others
survive with damaged constitutions, and constitute a favourable
soil for fresh inroads of disease. In the twentieth century, in the
civilised countries of Europe, of one hundred children dying during
the first year of life, barely twenty die in consequence of inborn
defects or congenital diseases (such as congenital debility, atrophy,
congenital scrofula, tuberculosis, &c.).

If it were true that infant mortality exercised a selective function,
we should find a high infantile death-rate associated with a low
death-rate in the case of children past infancy, and conversely.
But everywhere we find that the infantile death-rate and the
death-rate amongst children at ages one to five vary directly,
and not inversely. Moreover, the variations in the death-rates in
children during different years of life are determined by the fact
that the younger the child, the less are its powers of resistance;
thus the danger to health resulting from unfavourable conditions
of life varies inversely as the child’s age; and even within the
limits of the first year of life, the infantile death-rate is higher
in proportion as the time which has elapsed since birth is less.
Among the lower classes of the population, the infantile death-rate
is higher than it is among the upper classes. If a high infantile
death-rate exercised a selective influence, we should find that
among the lower classes the death-rate among children more than one
year old would be less than the death-rate of upper-class children of
corresponding ages. But this is nowhere the case.

The mortality of children between the ages of one and five years
depends chiefly upon the incidence of the infectious diseases. It
is well known that these diseases are much milder in civilised than
in uncivilised countries. From this it follows that the death-rate
among children between the ages of one and five years depends chiefly
upon the level of civilisation; the death-rate being higher where
the level of civilisation is low, and conversely; but the infantile
death-rate is much less influenced by the standard of civilisation.
Moreover, recent investigations have shown that (especially in large
towns and in industrial regions) high infant mortality is closely
associated with a low level of fitness for military service, and
with a high death-rate from tuberculosis. It is true that the number
of those who succumb to tuberculosis and the number of those who
prove fit for military service are influenced by other causes in
addition to the infantile death-rate--causes which have nothing to
do with that death-rate. But the fact remains indisputable that the
causes leading to a great mortality among infants tend to injure the
constitution of those infants who succeed in surviving, and thus
weaken the general health of the population.

_Socialism_ versus _Poor-Relief_.--Many Socialists are opposed to
the relief of destitution. Poverty existed prior to the rise of
capitalism, and is found where the capitalist system has not as yet
struck root. But the chief cause of poverty to-day is unquestionably
capitalism. Capitalism is the creator of the proletariat, the type of
the poor class; poverty and proletariat, poor man and proletarian,
are almost equivalent terms. Capitalism is also the creator of
pauperism (_e.g._ of the industrial reserve army), which must be
regarded as an essential pre-condition of capitalist production. In
the manufacturing districts, poverty is more extensive than it is in
the agricultural districts. In the towns it is more extensive than in
the country. Capitalism cannot exist without poor-relief. Unless the
destitute are relieved out of the superfluity of capitalism, certain
very undesirable consequences will ensue. For poverty is a chief
cause at once of punishable offences and of all kinds of disease. The
two main purposes of the relief of the destitute are, in fact, the
protection of the rich against criminal outbreaks on the part of the
poor, and the prevention of the epidemic diseases which would breed
in the surroundings of neglected poverty, and spread thence to the
homes of the rich.

The chief aim of poor-relief is to give help in cases of poverty
arising from individual causes, to deal with poverty regarded as
an individual concern. Poor-relief makes no attempt whatever to
do away with the social causes of poverty--nor, indeed, could
the methods of poor-relief effect this, even if the attempt were
made. In a certain sense, socialism and poor-relief have a common
character, inasmuch as both are opposed to free competition. It is
the aim of poor-relief to relieve the disastrous consequences of
free competition; the aim of socialism is to do away with class
distinctions and existing contrasts between wealth and poverty--that
is, to equalise and to democratise. But socialism does not favour the
relief of destitution, and rather regards the need for such relief as
a proof of the unrighteousness of the capitalist system. Socialism
regards poor-relief as nothing more than a way of treating symptoms
of social disorder, and as a method necessary only during the age
of capitalism. Socialism is hostile to any social institution which
serves to safeguard capitalism.

_Socialism_ versus _Child-Protection_.--The considerations
put forward regarding poor-relief bear to some extent on the
relationships of child-protection to capitalism. Many departments
of child-protection--foundling hospitals, for instance--are merely
departments of poor-relief. Child-protection is chiefly concerned
with the children of the poor, since these are far more in need of
protection than the children of the rich.

Child-protection and socialism both existed, in a sense, prior to
the development of capitalism. But in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries, child-protection has received much more attention than
in former times. This extensive development of child-protection
is one phase of that general development whose other phase is the
development of capitalism. Modern child-protection and modern
socialism are necessary consequences of capitalism, and the existence
of the last in the absence of child-protection and of socialism
is altogether unthinkable. Capitalism gives rise to numerous
diseases in the social organism, and then endeavours to cure them,
for the most part, by the methods of child-protection. The causal
relationship between capitalism and child-protection is not direct
or primary. Certain applications of child-protection are not the
direct consequences of capitalism itself, but only consequences of
the causes by which capitalism has been created and evolved. When we
come to examine concrete conditions, such as those of some particular
country, we invariably find that child-protection and capitalism are
intimately connected with the general development of the country with
which we are concerned. This fact may interpose modifying conditions
in the causal chain connecting capitalism and child-protection.

(The origin of the Children’s Courts in the United States of
America offers an instructive example of this. In this country,
as in England, special causes led early in the last century to
the establishment of reformatory schools. But whereas in England,
until quite recently, boarding institutions were preferred for this
purpose, from the first, in the United States the attempt was made
to arrange for the upbringing of neglected and criminal youths under
family auspices. The reasons for the adoption of this latter plan in
America were the enormous possibilities of territorial expansion and
the lively demand for new population. When juvenile offenders came
before the courts, responsible individuals would offer to undertake
the upbringing of these children, binding themselves over to report
at regular intervals upon the behaviour of the children, and
generally accepting all necessary responsibility. The judges ventured
upon such experiments, and as the successful results multiplied, this
method of procedure attained the force of a customary institution,
and subsequently was formally embodied in legislation.)

Certain departments of child-protection were in existence before the
days of capitalism, but these departments were greatly influenced
by the changes introduced by capitalism. For this reason the direct
causal relationship between capitalism and child-protection cannot
always be demonstrated. It may of course happen, in any particular
country, that child-protection stands at a higher or a lower level of
development than appears to correspond to the general state of social
evolution or to the development of capitalism in that particular
country. As an example of this, we may mention Hungary, which, in
the matter of child-protection, is in advance of countries where
the development of capitalism and of civilisation are in a far more
forward state; and in Hungary the development of child-protection
has proceeded in complete independence of the shackles of historical

It is not an advantage, but a disadvantage, that child-protection is
necessary to-day. The country which has need of numerous institutions
for purposes of social betterment is in a bad way; and, indeed, the
more of such institutions it needs, the worse must its condition
be. These considerations apply to other institutions as well as to
child-protection. Just as it is desirable that no institutions for
social betterment should be necessary, so also we might wish that
child-protection were superfluous. To put the matter in other words,
it is desirable that in any country those conditions should not exist
which have made it necessary to establish institutions for social
betterment. The country which has no need for such institutions
stands at a higher level than the country to which they are still
indispensable. But of two countries which have equal need for such
institutions, the one which possesses them stands at a higher
level than the one in which they have not yet come into existence.
This last consideration must not be forgotten when we are making a
comparative study of child-protection in various countries.

Child-protection to-day is solely concerned with attempts to
palliate the evils which necessarily result from the essential
nature of the social organism of to-day, and is not concerned with
efforts to transform the nature of that organism. Child-protection
alleviates some of the symptoms of capitalism, but does nothing to
prevent the ever-renewed production of such symptoms. Thus we see
that child-protection is not a scientific therapeutic method, for
such a method tends, as time passes, to render itself superfluous.
Child-protection is an important department of social activity. But
there are other much more important departments. If the amount of
wealth expended for the purposes of child-protection is excessive,
means requisite to the attainment of other ends will be sacrificed,
and the pursuit of much more important aims may be rendered
impossible. The expenditure upon child-protection is useful to this
extent, that it prevents the occurrence of much harm, and yet to-day
a large proportion of such expenditure is quite useless, because
the evils which child-protection attempts to relieve are not, as
a matter of fact, all relieved. Capitalism is the source of the
factors which make child-protection necessary. Hence all our efforts
for child-protection are useless so long as we continue to create
institutions by which capitalism is protected and strengthened.
Child-protection to-day is in essence nothing more than a number of
repressive measures, which are necessary only because capitalism
will not permit the desired ends to be obtained by the use of
preventive methods, owing to the fact that prevention would involve
the destruction of capitalism. Thus the destruction of capitalism is
a postulate, not of socialism merely, but also of child-protection.
Unfortunately, few people as yet recognise that prevention is the
true duty of the collective intelligence; instead of searching out
the causes which have made the use of repressive measures necessary,
they expect a cure to result from the use of repressive measures

Let our device be, Prevention. The existing social order must be
completely revolutionised. Let us have done with palliatives. It
is time for a new creation. Repression is good, but prevention is
a great deal better! The use of palliatives is a necessary evil
attaching to the existing social order; but it is a crying instance
of the contradictory character of existing social conditions. It is
not right that child-protection should be the leading social and
political activity of the State, although at present such activity
is supposed to be the climax of political science. The course of
action of a community which, while protecting children, oppresses
adults, is unjust; for it would be better that children should
perish, than that they should grow up to lives of misery, crime, or
prostitution. It is impossible to sympathise with a country which
sends the children of the working class to foundling hospitals, and
the adult workers themselves to prison; which protects children
simply in order to increase the population, and yet forcibly, as it
were, drives the adults from the country as emigrants; which offers
adult workers a starvation wage, and yet benevolently keeps paupers
alive; which brings up pauper children to become proletarians, which
breeds working men to depress by competition the wages of their
fellows, and to play the part of miserable strike-breakers.

(Hungary affords an interesting example of this, for the social and
political development of this country is by no means of the most
modern type, and yet, in the matter of child-protection, Hungarian
institutions are perhaps the finest in the whole world. It is true
that child-protection in Hungary is to a large extent no more than
child-protection on paper, if for no other reason, for this, that the
proper administration of the Hungarian methods of child-protection
cannot be carried out efficiently by the executive personnel
available in that country.)

The true child-protection, the child-protection of the future, will
take the form of the destruction of capitalism. It is true that in a
certain way, and within certain limits, child-protection alleviates
many of the evil effects of capitalism. But there is no doubt
whatever that the aims of child-protection could be attained far more
efficiently and far more rapidly by the destruction of capitalism. If
we were to remove the causes which make child-protection necessary,
as they would be removed by the destruction of capitalism, the need
for child-protection would disappear. But the causes which make
child-protection necessary to-day will not disappear until the State
of the future comes into being. The question presses, should we
postpone our attempts to deal with the symptoms of the disease, to
palliate the defects of the existing social order, until the day
arrives when we shall be in a position to deal with these evils once
and for all by radical measures?

No! Even to-day we have to concern ourselves with child-protection.
The physician must not refuse to treat his patient because the
means available for treatment will not suffice to cure. The wise
physician does indeed endeavour to discover and to remove the causes
of disease, but he does not neglect the symptoms. He is well aware
that the disappearance of the symptoms does not indicate the cure of
the disease. Nevertheless, he holds it to be his duty to prescribe
certain remedies which do no more than relieve symptoms. For in many
cases symptoms are disagreeable and even dangerous, and may actually
lead to the death of the patient, before there is time to bring into
play methods of treatment which might deal effectively with the
causes of the disease. Often, too, a remedial measure which does no
more than relieve symptoms may have an excellent effect upon the
general bodily well-being of the patient. There are even cases in
which a remedial measure exercises an unfavourable influence upon the
disease and upon the patient’s general condition, and none the less
it has to be administered, in order to ward off some greater evil.
To-day, child-protection is useful and even indispensable. It is true
that a well-planned social order affords the best child-protection,
and such an order is of far greater value than child-protection in
the narrower sense of the term; but this does not make the latter
form of child-protection superfluous.

_The Right View._--The answers to the questions asked in this
chapter, and more especially the detailed answer to the question,
what subdivisions of child-protection are the most important to-day,
and what is the relative importance of these various subdivisions,
will be found in the Special Part of this book. There I discuss the
individual subdivisions of child-protection, and discuss in each case
the tendency of evolution. Unquestionably, the tendency of evolution
is in the direction of the better regulation of the activities
applicable to the various subdivisions of child-protection.



_Introductory._--In individual countries there are three distinct
factors engaged in the relief of destitution: local governing bodies,
the central government, and the community at large. In different
countries the various departments and activities of poor-relief
are differently distributed among these several factors. Which of
the three plays the leading part in this work depends upon the
peculiar circumstances of the individual country. In any country that
factor which predominates in the general and in the special work
of administrative and executive activity is likely also to play a
predominant part in the relief of destitution. The same three factors
co-operate in the work of child-protection; and in any country
their relative shares in this work commonly (but not necessarily)
correspond to their relative shares in the work of poor-relief.

In Italy, even to-day, all three of these factors--the local
authorities, the central government and the community at large--are
engaged in providing for the care of foundlings and illegitimate
children; but the distribution of this work among the three factors
varies in different parts of the country, these differences being
referable to historical causes, and more especially to the former
territorial subdivisions of the country. In many countries in which
national responsibility for the relief of destitution is unknown,
many of the subdivisions of child-protection are nevertheless
administered by the State. As an example may be mentioned the care of
foundlings in France. There is a special reason for this in France,
inasmuch as, owing to the fact that in this country inquiries as
to the fatherhood of illegitimate children (_la recherche de la
paternité_) are forbidden, the care of foundlings constitutes a
great, general, and very pressing need, which can best be met by
State action. In many countries in which the central government is
responsible for poor-relief, some of the most important subdivisions
of child-protection are administered by voluntary associations;
England, the classical land of governmental poor-relief, affords
a good example of this. Here the fact that in England voluntary
associations, as the outcome of the collective activity of the
community at large, have long exercised a decisive influence in all
directions, accounts for the special conditions to which attention
has been drawn.

_Local Governing Bodies._--When we are concerned mainly with local
conditions, the local governing bodies become of primary importance.
They are best acquainted with the people and their needs, and
their acquaintance with these is the more intimate the smaller the
community. Hence the necessary duties can often be carried out most
effectively and most economically by the local authorities. Many
retrograde local authorities, especially the smaller ones and those
in the country districts, are hostile to many of the applications
of child-protection, regarding them as immoral, and they may even
be quite unable to grasp the mental attitude of those who advocate
child-protection. Many local authorities are very slow to undertake
any extensions of communal activity; either on account of this
reluctance, or else because in small communities the cost per
ratepayer of the work of child-protection is easily calculated, they
are apt to be too much influenced by narrow financial considerations.
This is, in fact, the gravest defect of child-protection as carried
out by local authorities; and this explains also why it is that
many local authorities either entirely neglect the most necessary
work of child-protection, or fail to perform it adequately; and
it explains why the institutions founded by such authorities for
the work of child-protection do not always fulfil the aims with
which they were originated. It is well known that in many local
government areas the homes for destitute orphans are at the same
time workhouses, poorhouses, foci of all kinds of evil elements. It
is well known that even to-day certain local authorities hand over
the children for whose care they are legally responsible, under
indentures, to those who will take them for the smallest premium,
the children receiving a wage of from 20 to 30 marks yearly. For
the reasons explained, we find in many countries that the relief of
destitution and child-protection are associated throughout extensive
areas, and even that special _ad hoc_ local authorities exist to
deal with these matters. Just what institutions we find in any
particular country will naturally depend upon how in that country the
individual executive and administrative functions are allotted to the
various municipal authorities, district councils, and such _ad hoc_
authorities as may exist.

_The Community at Large._--Where the sphere of functional activity
of the local authority and of the central government ends, there the
sphere of the community at large begins. The limit is that at which
the local authority and the central government regard their duties
as fulfilled; beyond this limit they are unwilling to interfere, and
the assistance they are able to give is no longer adapted to the
individual special cases, because their work is not individual but
bureaucratic. Beyond this limit, then, the community at large must
take up the burden. The benevolent activities of the community at
large are better able than those of the central or local authority
to deal with individual cases. The work of the State is done with
head and intellect, that of the community at large is done with
heart and feeling. But great as these advantages are, they are
counterbalanced by very grave defects. Child-protection undertaken by
the community at large is often nothing more than a multiplication
of fainéant societies, and an arena for self-important busybodies
who wish to thrust themselves well forward in the public eye, but
are completely ignorant of the subject of child-protection. (In
Germany, for instance, no subdivision, however minute, of the work of
child-protection can be mentioned, which does not possess a special
“Society” to deal with the matter.) Child-protection as undertaken
by the community at large lacks co-ordination with reference to any
well-defined plan of activity, it effects much that is unnecessary
and even harmful, whilst very necessary work is often done badly
or not at all. The expenditure of time and money are enormous; the
results attained are exceedingly small.

Of late years, especially in England and in the United States
of America, societies for the organisation of the voluntary
charitable activities undertaken by the community at large (the
Charity Organisation Society, &c.) have come into existence;
these are central organs to effect the harmonious co-ordination
of philanthropic efforts, but do not usually themselves directly
undertake charitable work. Such societies may play a very useful
part, but they do not render the organisation and administration of
poor-relief and child-protection by the central government and the
local authority altogether superfluous. A very instructive example
of the centralisation of voluntary activities for child-protection
is that furnished by the Ungarische Kinderschutzliga (Hungarian
Child-Protection League), founded in the year 1906. It is gradually
absorbing all the really valuable child-protection societies, founds
and administers all kinds of institutions for child-protection,
is directly associated with all the executive instruments of the
official work of child-protection, and sustains and amplifies the
work of government in this direction. Its work is supervised from a
central office in Buda-Pesth.

_The Central Government._--The central government must, first of all,
undertake those duties which, for financial reasons, the municipal
authorities, district councils, _ad hoc_ authorities, &c. cannot
attempt. It must also satisfy certain general needs--that is, those
needs whose mode of satisfaction is unaffected by varying local
conditions. As in other departments of administrative activity, so
also in the sphere of child-protection, a certain uniformity is
requisite; and this uniformity can be attained in no other way than
by the intervention of the central government. The satisfaction of
very pressing needs, the overcoming of extraordinary difficulties,
is possible only to the central government. Even in those countries
in which local self-government is in a very advanced state of
development, it is better that such legislative activity as is
requisite in the domain of child-protection should be left to the
central government.

The central government more readily takes over the duties of
child-protection from the hands of the community at large than from
the local authorities. As time goes on, ecclesiastical and voluntary
benevolent activities become ever less important and less extensive
as compared with those of the State. Whereas in ancient times private
benevolence, and in the Middle Ages ecclesiastical benevolence,
played the principal parts, in our own times these are more and more
superseded by organised communal effort operating through the central
government. At first the State takes over only the negative side of
destitution--police regulation of mendicancy and the like. To-day
there does not remain a single civilised State without at least the
first beginnings of a national relief of destitution. The tendency
to extend ever more widely the province of national responsibility
for the relief of destitution is quite unmistakable. Those who
oppose this tendency are already in a minority, and their number
continues to diminish. State systems of poor-relief are by no means
faultless, but the errors are not ineradicable; many of the defects
are remediable, and are, in fact, being remedied as time goes on. In
this respect the tendency of evolution in England, the classical land
of national poor-relief, is extremely satisfactory.

The central government is harder to move, has more inertia, than
the community at large. It is for this reason that new departments
of activity are always first undertaken by the latter, and for
this reason also that most of the subdivisions and institutions of
child-protection owe their inception and the first phases of their
development mainly to the community at large. But after this stage,
when the new institution has been put upon its trial, when it has
become generally diffused, and when its permanence is assured, it
is taken over by the State. But, even then, there still remains one
field of activity for the community at large, namely, to discover
and draw attention to the errors in the State administration of
child-protection. The development in Hungary of institutions for
the care of foundlings and other illegitimate children since the
beginning of the last quarter of the nineteenth century may serve as
an example of this.

Every social institution which originates on a broad basis and meets
a wide general need exhibits a natural tendency towards a unified
organisation and towards centralisation. We see this tendency at work
in the history of child-protection. Another tendency of evolution
is an enlargement in the sphere of activity of the State, in the
direction of the satisfaction of all the important vital needs of
the community by organised communal effort, operating through the
machinery of the central government.

The national acceptance of responsibility for poor-relief may take
the form of the State being satisfied with the centralised and
thorough governmental regulation of the relief of destitution,
the administrative details being left in the hands of the local
authorities and of the community at large. Of course this is no
more than a half-measure, and yet in certain circumstances it may
be an advantageous division of labour. For, when we consider the
respective rôles of the local authority and of the community at
large in the work of child-protection, we must not forget that
both are engaged in work delegated to them by the State, and for
which the State is really responsible. Moreover, the relief of
destitution, and that part of the work of child-protection analogous
to the relief of destitution, are intimately associated with the
problems of household-right and of domicile; because many central
governments admit responsibility for the destitute only in the case
of their own citizens, whilst in many countries a right to relief
in case of destitution at the hands of the local authority is
acquired by residence merely. Thus the problems of child-protection
are interconnected with the legal problems of local administrative
activity; and it may happen that the local authorities undertake
certain departments of child-protection merely because these
questions of domicile form part of their circle of interests.

_A Unified System of Laws for Child-Protection._--Can the State
institute a unified system of laws for child-protection, one
comprising the entire legal material of child-protection? In former
times such provision as there was for child-protection existed only
in a dispersed form, as part of laws with other primary objects;
not until later, when the question of child-protection had become
one of considerable importance, did laws come into being dealing
specifically with this subject. Provision for the enforcement in
certain cases of a coercive reformatory education was originally
a mere supplementary provision of the criminal law or of certain
borough by-laws; but to-day, in many countries, special laws
dealing with coercive reformatory education have been passed by the
central government. The earliest special laws on the subject of
child-protection dealt with the care of foundlings and illegitimate
children, this being the first subdivision of our subject to attain
specific importance.

The tendency of evolution is to codify, in a unified system of laws,
all the legal material bearing upon any particular question. But a
unified system of laws dealing with the subject of child-protection
is not at present attainable. For child-protection is subject
to change, almost from day to day and from hour to hour. If the
legislator wished to keep pace with its development, he would have
to alter and patch his system of laws year by year; but if this
were done, the unified character of the legal system would soon
become illusory, and numerous legal technical difficulties would
inevitably arise. The question of child-protection finds a place in
every department of law. There are many legal regulations regarding
children which, owing in part to the technique of legislation, and
in part to other causes, are, for practical reasons, best embodied
in other laws. For example, laws relating to guardianship and to the
care of illegitimate children cannot well be dealt with apart from
the general laws bearing on family relationships.

_A Centralised Authority for Child-Protection._--Is a centralised
authority for child-protection possible? That is, is it possible
to group under a unitary control all the agencies dealing with the
protection of children? This idea certainly represents the tendency
of evolution. As regards the care of foundlings and of illegitimate
children, the tendency of evolution is in the direction of family
care, all the families with which such children are placed being
under the supervision of a single central authority, which deals
with them all in accordance with identical principles. Still more
clearly does this tendency manifest itself in the foundation of
children’s courts, and in the endeavour to extend the powers of
these to embrace all the legal relationships of children. In further
exemplification of this tendency may be mentioned the development
of infants’ milk depôts and of schools for mothers--a development
which has by no means reached its climax. Unquestionably, in the
domain of child-protection, institutions which originally appeared
very different in character become unified. Thus, infants’ milk
depôts, schools for mothers, schools for midwives, legal advice in
children’s cases, &c., are now all being administered in connection
with foundling hospitals.

The claims of the other departments of national and social life must
not, however, be left out of account. Thus, whether certain questions
should be referred to the law-courts, or to the local administrative
authorities, to lawyers or doctors, to architects or schoolmasters;
whether a local administrative authority should have the right to
deal with one or two technical questions only, such as arise in a
particular administrative area as to legal and executive powers,
or with a number of such questions; whether certain duties should
be undertaken only by specialised institutions, or by institutions
which also subserve other functions--such questions as these involve
a reference to other considerations in addition to those directly
connected with child-protection.

_Private and Official Activities._--To-day much of the work of
the relief of destitution and of child-protection is undertaken
by voluntary organisations, founded and administered by private
individuals who are engaged also in other activities. These private
persons work gratuitously, but often discharge their duties better
than professional salaried and permanently appointed officials.
Their work is better individualised, it is less bureaucratic, and
has more heart in it. These advantages are the fruit of good-will
and altruistic feeling. Nevertheless the rôle of voluntary societies
becomes continually less extensive. The tendency of evolution is to
bring into operation more and more the principle of the division of
labour, so that questions needing expert knowledge are dealt with by
professional experts, persons permanently appointed for such work,
paid accordingly, and really in possession of the specialised skill
which is needed. The relief of destitution, and child-protection
are, as is well known, both questions for experts; and it becomes
more and more necessary that their administration should be in
the hands of well-paid professional workers. Lawyers, although
in the domain of child-protection they are laymen merely, play a
decisive part to-day in this domain, as they do in most branches
of administrative activity. They are placed at the head of the
expert administrators, and have, if not the first word, what is
perhaps even worse, the last word, in the majority of technical
questions. It is necessary to enter an energetic protest against this
predominance of lawyers. It is absolutely essential that not only
the salaried professional workers, but also all those who take part
in the work of child-protection in honorary offices or as occasional
voluntary helpers, should receive an appropriate training for their
work. Quite recently has originated the idea of Schools of Public
Welfare--Schools and a Curriculum for Child-Protection. We must
carefully distinguish from such schools for professional workers,
courses of lectures whose purpose merely is to acquaint wider circles
with the aims and methods of child-protection, or to initiate novices
into such work.

_The Medical Profession._--The most important task of
child-protection is the protection of children’s health. The persons
who should undertake the management of this department are those who
possess the requisite expert knowledge in matters of health--that
is to say, medical practitioners and specialists in the diseases of
children. In most branches of child-protection, medical practitioners
now play an important part. It rests with them to determine whether
there does or does not exist a contra-indication to marriage.
They have to render assistance before and during childbirth, they
are the most important instruments for the protection of infants
and for the care of foundlings and illegitimate children, and as
consultants and administrators they exercise important activities
in the domain of child-labour. Their part in other subdivisions of
child-protection will be discussed in detail in a later chapter
of this work. The importance of the work of medical practitioners
continually increases. The tendency in almost all departments of
child-protection is to arrange for a preliminary examination of
the children by the doctor. Among the various reasons for such an
examination, we may mention that in the case of uncontrollable
children and juvenile criminals the doctor can make a thorough
examination of the child’s physical and mental condition, and upon
this examination he will base a decision, whether the child should
be placed in family or institutional care, in a reformatory school,
or in some other specialised institution--as, for example, a home
for mentally abnormal children; further, it is the doctor’s duty to
examine all children, before they begin to work for a living, as to
their physical fitness, and upon the results of this examination to
base an opinion whether the child is fit to earn its living at all,
and if so, whether the trade selected by the relatives is a suitable
one. The tendency is, further, that the doctor should give an opinion
regarding the method of protection suited for the particular child.
Quite recently, indeed, the desire has been widely and strongly
expressed that all children should be subjected to continuous and
appropriate medical control. The institution of school physicians,
supplemented in recent days by medical control of the domestic
environment of the school children, shows clearly that such medical
supervision of all children is likely in time to become universal.
In addition, we owe a great deal to the doctors in connection with
the literature of child-protection. The ablest and most important
works in this specialty are by physicians. In several handbooks of
hygiene, most of the problems of child-protection receive attention,
although the matter is not always treated very systematically. The
enormous influence which medical science has exercised and continues
to exercise upon the development of the individual branches of
child-protection will become apparent in the Special Part of this

_Women._--To what extent can women play a part as executive
instruments of child-protection? Women are better fitted than men to
supervise the bodily care of children. Women can more readily gain
the confidence of those who need support and protection--above all,
the confidence of other women (especially of lonely and forsaken
women) and of children. They are better judges than men of defects
in housekeeping and how to remedy them. Many things are confided
to women which are kept hidden from men; and women can remedy many
concealed defects where men could do no good. Such duties as these
are commonly performed by women more conscientiously than by men, &c.

The following arguments have been put forward against the employment
of women: (_a_) Women ought not to be exposed to the dangers and
inconveniences inseparable from visiting the houses of the poor
and other places subject to inspection; (_b_) Women are gossiping,
soft-hearted, and credulous, so that they are unable to exercise
authority, and are inclined to pay undue attention to exaggerated and
quite irrelevant statements; (_c_) They interfere too much in the
management of the households of the foster-parents, &c.

These arguments are worthless. Besides, the question of the
employment of women in such capacities can only be decided fairly
with reference to the individual subdivisions of the work of
child-protection. Unquestionably, women are suitably employed as
children’s nurses, matrons of children’s homes, governesses and
school-mistresses, wet-nurses, medical practitioners, factory
inspectors, sick-nurses, confidential agents of the official
guardians of children, visitors of foster-parents. Where the common
people have no confidence in women employees, for example, in rough,
uncultivated districts, where, in the interests of child-protection,
police intervention is necessary, as, for example, in the case of
morally depraved and uncontrollable children, and where trusteeship
has to be undertaken as in the case of orphan children who are
heirs to considerable property, women cannot be employed. The
tendency of evolution is to employ women as executive instruments
of child-protection, and, indeed, to employ them as salaried public

Numerous and serious objections must, however, be raised against the
idea that ladies belonging to the upper classes should find amusement
and relief from the tedium of their ordinary life by engaging in some
branch of the work of child-protection (such as supervising the work
of midwives, or visiting the foster-parents of boarded-out children).
The work of such women is of little value in itself, and it takes
bread out of the mouths of women who could do the same work very much
better professionally and as a means of livelihood.





_Introductory._--The two chief purposes of human life are, first, the
maintenance of the individuals of the species, and, secondly, the
reproduction of the species. The laws relating to property subserve
the former aim; those relating to the family subserve the latter.
Property itself is the central feature of the former, and the family
is the central feature of the latter.

_Parental Authority and Marriage._--The laws of family life are based
upon a physiological or psychological foundation, the love of parents
for their children. In cases in which the legal regulation of family
life is unduly harsh--as in the case of the maintenance in former
times of parental authority in the interest of the parents--parental
love exercises a mitigating and counteracting influence.

To-day, the duty of parents to devote themselves to the careful
upbringing of their children is universally accepted on principle.
(There is but one exception to this generalisation: the duty of the
father to provide for the upbringing of an illegitimate child is
not as yet generally accepted on principle.) The duty of parents
to provide for the upbringing of their children is one prescribed,
not only by nature and morality, but also by the laws of human
society. And yet this duty is not directly established by law;
although it seems possible that children might be able to enforce by
legal process the duty of their parents to exercise their parental
authority in accordance with accepted rules. The obligation to
provide for the upbringing of their children is legally imposed
on parents, if only for the reason that the liabilities thus
incurred through the sexual act withhold many persons from needless
and excessive sexual indulgence--and such conditional abstinence
is advantageous, not merely to the individual, but also to the
community. The upbringing of children rests upon the legal basis of
parental authority. The suitable upbringing of the offspring is best
ensured when the legal relationships between the sexes are properly
regulated. In all times, the essence of such regulation has consisted
in the fact that a particular form of sexual union offers certain
advantages, but that the acceptance of these advantages involves the
performance of certain duties. This particular form of sexual union
is known as marriage.

_History of Marriage._--It is a debatable question whether matriarchy
ever really existed. The question interests us here only for the
reason that many modern scholars, including many Socialists, contend
that matriarchy did at one time really exist; and they infer from
this that a time will come in which the sexes will have equal rights.
In actual fact, in recent times, the importance of patriarchy--the
father right--has continually diminished.

_Child-Protection and the Family._--An overwhelmingly large
proportion of child-protection to-day is mainly concerned with
cases in which children have (in one sense or another, materially
or morally, permanently or temporarily, wholly or partially) been
abandoned by their parents. Such cases are those in which: (_a_)
the parents are unable to fulfil their duties, on account of lack
of means, illness, or absence; (_b_) the parents are unwilling to
fulfil their duties; (_c_) the parents make an improper use of their
parental authority. But certain children also need protection from
the community who cannot in any sense whatever be said to have been
abandoned by their parents; and it is altogether erroneous to suppose
that the idea of “child-protection” has reference solely to abandoned
children. The child is born in a state of complete helplessness, and
is unable to protect itself, not only immediately after birth, but
for a considerable time afterwards. It lacks the requisite organs for
self-protection, it lacks power, and it lacks instinctive knowledge.
For these reasons, if our legal system makes provision for the
protection of adults, _a fortiori_ must it do so, and to a greater
extent, in the case of children. From all these considerations it
follows that the most important relationships of child-protection
are not, as is commonly assumed, with criminal law and with local
administrative activity, but with civil law and individual rights.
The kind and degree of child-protection, depend chiefly upon the
mutual relationships existing between the State and the family. The
institutions of child-protection, in so far as they are associated
with civil law and individual rights, will, as a rule, be found to
be preventive in character; institutions based upon criminal law, on
the other hand, commonly exhibit punitive and repressive tendencies,
as will become apparent when a number of concrete instances are
studied. If the legal relationships of family life undergo changes,
the methods of child-protection will also be transformed.

_Maternal Authority._--In the matter of love for the offspring the
mother, for physiological reasons (pregnancy, parturition, and
lactation), stands on a higher plane than the father. The intensity
of her love for her children explains the fact that the mother
neither needs nor exercises much parental authority. Moreover,
inasmuch as hitherto the mother has always been in a state of greater
or less subjection to the father, parental authority has at all
times chiefly taken the form of paternal authority. But as time goes
on, this paternal authority is, in fact, tending to be transformed
very gradually into a true parental authority; that is to say, the
mother begins to exercise the rights and to perform the duties of
parental authority in a manner parallel with or subsidiary to that
of the father. To-day we stand at the beginning of this development.
Its chief cause is the profound transformation of economic life,
as a result of which women are to an ever greater extent entering
the arena as wage-earners, whilst the differences between the legal
position of men and women continually diminish.

_Fiduciary Character of Parental Authority._--Formerly, parental
authority took the form mainly of a right of dominion over
the child, subserving chiefly the interests of the head of the
family--the patriarch. The more complete the social integration
of any particular country, the more in that country does paternal
authority assume a fiduciary character, the character of a protective
authority, arising out of the child’s natural need for protection,
and subserving its need for guardianship. Owing to their possession
of parental authority, it is the duty and the right of the parents
to exercise the guardianship over their children in every capacity;
as the legal representatives of those of their children who are
still under age, the parents are competent to act on behalf of and
in the name of their children. Thus the second characteristic of the
developmental tendency of parental authority is, that that authority
involves the acceptance of an ever-increasing number of duties,
and also that the State, through the intermediation of Boards of
Guardianship[2] exercises a control over the parents which was almost
unknown in former times.

In the modern State, the following ideas as to parental authority
are generally prevalent. Parental authority involves duties as well
as rights. Our laws give rights to parents only in order to enable
them to fulfil their duties. They are, in a sense, plenipotentiaries
of the State, entrusted with the duty of bringing up their children
in a state of bodily, mental, and moral health, and of ensuring that
these children shall develop in such a way that they will be useful
to society. To enable them to attain these ends, parents are endowed
with certain rights. Just as, in the matter of public education, the
State enforces upon the child a minimum of school attendance, even
against the wishes of the parents, so also, in the general upbringing
of children, the State enforces a certain standard, with which all
parents have to comply.

_The Elementary Principles of State Interference with Parental
Authority._ (_The State as “Over-Parent.”_)--The modern State
interferes with parental authority in accordance with the following
principles. It is impossible for the State to supervise in detail the
domestic life of millions of families, or to examine the soundness of
the upbringing which millions of parents provide for their children.
For these reasons, the State can intervene only in cases in which
the conviction arises that by the conduct of the parents the mental
or physical well-being of the child has been endangered, and thereby
the interest of the State seriously threatened. If one endowed with
parental authority has disturbed the natural foundations of that
authority by criminal offences or immoral conduct, and has thus shown
himself unworthy of the confidence exhibited in him by the State
which has hitherto permitted him to exercise parental authority, the
State is fully justified in depriving him of his delegated powers. In
its own interest, in such cases, the State is compelled to withdraw
the parental authority wholly or partially, and even to order that
the child shall be removed from its parents’ house, to be brought
up in a suitable family, in a reformatory school, or in some other
institution (_Zwangserzichung_, _Fürsorgeerzichung_).

The legislator is not in a position to define in precise terms
the cases in which parental authority should be withdrawn, or the
child transferred to other guardianship than that of the parents;
it must suffice to explain the general principles which the Boards
of Guardianship (see note on last page) have to apply at their own

There can be no question of the need for State interference when
the parents are leading a disorderly or immoral life; when they
are ill-using or exploiting their child; when they are quite
ignorant of the proper way of bringing up children; or when, owing
to severe illness, alcoholism, morphinism, or utter destitution,
they are obviously unfitted to bring up their own children. Since
long drawn-out proceedings in the law courts are desirable in
the interests neither of the parents nor of the children, it is
better that the procedure in these cases should not in the first
instance necessarily involve an application to the law courts. But
the parents must have the right of appeal to the courts, if they
consider they have been unjustly treated by depriving them of the
custody of their child. Although the institution of such education
under guardianship must not be made dependent upon the financial
position of the parents, these latter should be made responsible for
the greater part of the cost. Unless this were done, for parents
to neglect their children would be a step towards shaking off a
financial burden--those parents would be rewarded who failed to bring
up their children properly; this would naturally still further weaken
the parents’ sense of responsibility; and this again, by a vicious
circle, would still further encourage them to neglect their children.
Indeed, we have to ask whether, in the case of parents able to pay,
an effective system of forced labour might not be introduced.

The withdrawal of parental authority must on no account be regarded
as a punishment. There may be cases in which the parents are quite
blameless, and yet in the interests of the child it may be absolutely
necessary to abrogate the parental authority; or, in similar cases,
it may be necessary, for educational purposes, to remove the child
from its home. Again, it often happens, for example, that only
the father is to blame, and yet the mother cannot be permitted to
exercise her parental authority, but the child must be removed from
its home, because in no other way can the harmful influence of the
father be overcome. There are worthy parents who, simply from an
excessive blind affection for their children, fail to bring them up
properly; there are worthy working-class parents who have positively
no time to attend satisfactorily to the upbringing of their children.



_Heredity in General._--Heredity is a general phenomenon of natural
life. The offspring resembles the parent to a greater or less degree.
In the human species, also, children on the average resemble their
own parents more closely than they resemble other persons, but the
degree to which this resemblance is manifested is a variable one,
and it remains an open question whether the concrete qualities
and capabilities whereby the parents are distinguished from other
persons are transmitted to their offspring by inheritance. It is
possible that the qualities of the parents may not appear at all
in the children; that they may appear somewhat modified, or in a
very different form; that they may remain latent in one or more
generations, to reappear in the grandchildren or great-grandchildren;
or that the qualities of the parents may not appear to be present
in the children at birth, but that as the latter grow up, these
qualities may make their appearance at the same age at which they
appeared in the parents. It is still in dispute whether qualities
acquired by the parents are inherited by the offspring; nor is there
general agreement as to what are the precise limits between inherited
and acquired characters, respectively. This question as to the
inheritance of acquired characters is one of profound importance;
for if acquired characters are not inherited, racial improvement can
be effected solely by means of the struggle for existence, and the
continued elimination of the weaker elements of the species.[3]

_Inheritance of Diseases._--The word “disease” is used here in the
widest possible signification. Diseased parents as a rule procreate
diseased children, or bring up diseased individuals. But the
physical, mental, and moral defects of the parents may make their
appearance in the children in a transmuted form. A disease in the
parent, when transmitted by inheritance, may appear in the offspring
as general weakness, either bodily, mental, or moral; or it may
appear in the form of a predisposition to the particular disease; and
conversely, that which in the parent is no more than predisposition
to a disease, may appear in the offspring in the form of the actual
disease. In concrete instances, it may be very difficult to determine
whether persons are or are not diseased. Again, with respect to
atavism and to the hereditary transmission of latent qualities, it is
questionable whether, in cases in which the subject of investigation
is not himself affected with disease, but his near relatives are
so affected, we have reason to fear the hereditary transmission of
harmful consequences to the offspring. It is especially with regard
to the male sex that the question of the hereditary transmission of
morbid qualities is so important, for, in marriage, it is the male
partner who contributes the greater proportion of the diseases.

It is not through inheritance only that diseases may be transmitted
from parents to children; the same result may follow from the fact
that parents and children live in such close association, or because
children are brought up by their parents. The existence of morbid
qualities or conditions in the parents may lead in the offspring, not
only to the inheritance of disease, but to other disastrous results.
Morbid conditions in either parent, besides being transmitted to
the offspring by inheritance, may be communicated by the husband
to the wife, or by the wife to the husband, either in the act of
sexual intercourse, or through the close association of married
life. Parents suffering from disease cannot bring up their children
properly. The treatment of their own illness may be very costly, and
may involve the expenditure of much time and pains, and these things
work adversely to the interest of the children. Sickly parents whose
children are likewise sickly are apt to endeavour to make up for the
deficient quality of their offspring by an increase in their number,
whereby matters are made considerably worse. Those who enter into
marriage when already ill are apt subsequently to reproach themselves
upon their conduct towards their sexual partners; this is likely to
react unfavourably upon the illness, and to disturb the married life,
to the disadvantage of the children. Sickly parents die sooner than
healthy ones, whereby the children are prematurely orphaned, and are
exposed to the dangers of poverty. The state of engagement to marry
(with consequent ungratified sexual excitement up to the time of
marriage), sexual intercourse, pregnancy, and childbirth, may all
exercise an unfavourable influence upon the diseased organism, may
favour or accelerate the course of the disease, and may even lead
to its fatal issue. From the children’s point of view, all these
things are extremely undesirable. Thus, there are certain persons to
whom marriage is permissible, but who should on no account procreate
children--that is to say, such a married pair may enjoy sexual
congress, but must not fail to use efficient means for the prevention
of conception.

_Individual Diseases._--(_a_) Of all diseases transmissible by
inheritance, mental disorders pass most readily from parents to
offspring, and undergo the least alteration as they pass. In the
etiology of mental disorders, hereditary transmission plays an
important part.

(_b_) It is still undecided whether alcohol is a specific
protoplasmic poison; but it is an indisputable fact that, among
the offspring of those addicted to alcohol, the ill effects of the
parental alcoholism may be displayed in other ways besides by the
appearance of alcoholic tendencies in the next generation. The
children of drunkards tend to be cruel, dissolute, dirty in their
habits, hypersensitive, or themselves inclined to drink; and in any
or all of these ways they may be a danger to society. For example,
it has been found in wine-growing districts that the children born
in any one year are stupider in proportion as the vintage of their
birth-year was a good one. Often the effects of alcohol are better
marked in the children of alcoholics than in the parents themselves.
When both parents are drunkards, the children are apt to suffer
from moral insanity; and the offspring of drunkards tend to become
criminals. Children whose parents were in a state of actual inebriety
at the time of procreation will most probably be feeble-minded.
Since alcohol increases sexual desire, even though it diminishes
sexual potency, alcoholics tend to procreate more children than
non-alcoholics; but any advantage that might ensue from the greater
quantity of the offspring is more than outbalanced by their inferior
quality. And because alcohol strengthens sexual desire, the number of
alcoholics who were procreated by parents in a state of inebriety is
considerable. Some experts contend that if the father is a drinker,
the daughter is unable to suckle her own children.

(_c_) What has been said regarding alcoholism applies also to some
extent to morphinism.

(_d_) Tuberculosis is not directly transmitted by inheritance. But
the predisposition to tuberculosis is so transmitted; that is to say,
it is regarded as unquestionable that an inferior power of resistance
to the virus of tubercle passes by inheritance from parent to
offspring. Those predisposed to tuberculosis tend to have a vigorous
sexual impulse, and exhibit a high degree of fertility.

(_e_) Gonorrhœa lessens or destroys fertility to such an extent that,
in from 40 to 50 per cent. of childless marriages, the sterility
is referable to gonorrhœal infection. Gonorrhœa, _i.e._ specific
gonorrhœal urethritis or vaginitis, is not itself transmissible by
inheritance; but gonorrhœa in the parent may lead to certain diseases
in the offspring, and the most important of these is ophthalmia of
the new-born--the commonest cause of blindness.

(_f_) Syphilis is in most cases transmissible by inheritance. The
children of syphilitic parents are commonly feeble-minded or idiotic;
or bodily, mentally, or morally degenerate; and they possess an
inferior power of resistance to diseases.

_The Age of the Parents._--The age of the parents at the time of
procreation has a marked influence upon the health of the offspring.
The parents should not be too young. It is not well that the mother
should be less than twenty, or the father less than twenty-four
years of age. Many of the children of such extremely youthful parents
are weakly, and have poor health. On the other hand, the parents
should not be very old. When the mother is over forty and the father
over fifty years of age, the children are apt to be weakly; also they
are apt to be left orphaned at a comparatively early age. It is also
undesirable that there should be a great difference between the ages
of the parents. Thus the parents should be young, but not too young.
The younger they are, the more children can they procreate--first
of all, because their fertility is greater in youth, and, secondly,
because their married life lasts longer. Qualitatively, also, the
children of such marriages are usually healthier. As a matter of
fact, the age indicated is the normal age for marriage--the age at
which the great majority enter upon marriage.

_The Marriage of Near Kin._--We still lack precise information to
enable us to decide whether the marriage of near kin is injurious to
the offspring of such marriages. According to certain (unofficial)
statistics, of 1000 marriages, from 7 to 11 are those of persons near
akin. Naturally, in certain remote and inaccessible districts, the
proportion of such marriages is greater than this. Two very different
views have been put forward by scientific authorities. According
to one school, the marriages of persons near akin either prove
completely sterile, or else produce offspring defective in body or
in mind. According to the other school, blood relationship has _per
se_ no influence upon the offspring of the unions of nearly-related
persons; where the parents (in such marriages) are themselves free
from defects transmissible by inheritance, there is no reason to
anticipate that the offspring will be in any way defective, unless
other noxious influences (in addition to the kinship of the parents),
such as disease, debility, exhaustion from previous excesses, &c.,
have been at work. But if such noxious influences have affected
both parents, the danger of some congenital defect appearing in
the children is very great. We certainly see many cases in which
the marriage of near kin results in the procreation of large and
thoroughly healthy families; but, in contrast with these, we also
see many cases in which the offspring of such marriages have proved
non-viable or degenerate (especially, blind, deaf-mute, idiotic,
insane, polydactylous, or affected with congenital developmental

Marriages between persons whose qualities are extremely divergent,
and marriages between persons whose qualities are too closely
similar, are alike undesirable. Neither the offspring of marriages
between those belonging to different races nor the offspring of
marriages between those too closely related appear to be a gain for
the race. It is the degree of divergence or of resemblance which here
plays the decisive part.

It remains a subject of controversy whether the institution of
exogamy originated from the fact that it was regarded as desirable to
refresh the blood of the tribe by cross-fertilisation with the blood
of another tribe. But it is incontestably established that since
historic times began there has existed in the human race a natural
antipathy to incestuous sexual relations, and more especially to
incestuous marriages. The mental abnormalities seen in the offspring
of incestuous marriages are to a large extent explicable from the
fact that the incestuous relationship was itself the outcome of
mental abnormality in those who entered upon that relationship.

The possibility of the hereditary transmission of disease is greater
in the case of the marriage of near kin than it is in ordinary
marriages. When both parents suffer from the same transmissible
defect, the likelihood that that defect will manifest itself in the
offspring in a graver form is greatly increased. Thus, in the case
of the offspring of nearly related persons, the probability of the
appearance of certain transmissible defects is considerable. For
perfectly healthy parents are rarities, and when husband and wife are
closely related the probability that both will suffer from the same
transmissible defect or disorder is relatively high.

_Disease in the Parents from the Legal Standpoint._--In relation to
marriage, disease has a twofold significance: on the one hand, it
may be a factor leading to the dissolution of the marriage (owing
to divorce, nullity of marriage, venereal infection); on the other
hand, the existence of disease may prevent marriage. Very naturally,
the latter factor is of preponderant importance, because we lay the
chief stress upon prevention. It is for this reason that so little
attention is paid to the legal significance of the former factor.

_Divorce._--In cases in which one partner to a marriage suffers
from disease, divorce should be rendered as easy as possible. The
interests of the children are often put forward as reasons against
this course. There is no doubt that many married couples to-day
refrain from separation or divorce solely because they regard it
as to their children’s interest that they should continue to live
together. But it is precisely on the ground of the children’s
interest that such marriages ought to be dissolved, and that the
child or children should remain with the healthy parent. The opposite
course would only destroy the happiness of the healthy parent,
without doing the other parent any good.

_Marriage-Prohibitions in Past Times._--The marriage-prohibitions
of former times may be classified under two heads, ecclesiastical
and civil. The leading principle of the canon law of marriage is
the limitation to monogamy of the permissible forms of the sexual
relationship. More strictly, indeed, we may say, the limitation to
ecclesiastical marriage. Marriage is a sacrament, and therefore
indissoluble; it conforms to ecclesiastical law only when certain
formalities have been observed, and when no ecclesiastical
prohibition has been infringed (differences in religious belief,
broken vows, &c.).

Civil marriage prohibitions date chiefly from the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries. They owe their origin to the fear lest
parents should allow their offspring to become chargeable to
the community, and especially to the poor-law authorities. Such
marriage-prohibitions, of course, concerned chiefly the lower classes
of the population, and especially mendicants, prostitutes, persons
in receipt of poor relief, persons of disorderly life, offenders
against the criminal law. A marriage concluded in defiance of such
prohibitions involved the deprivation of certain legal rights, and
also rendered the offenders liable to punishment.

To-day, in the sphere of marriage-law, ecclesiastical law has largely
lost significance, and continues to lose what little it still
possesses, so that its marriage-prohibitions are coming to possess
little more than historical interest. The civil marriage prohibitions
were repealed in the nineteenth century, because they were found to
have no other effect than to increase the number of illegal unions
and the births of illegitimate children, and because they merely
increased the burdens upon the poor-law. Even in the nineteenth
century, however, certain political parties--the Conservatives, for
example--desire that these civil prohibitions should be reintroduced,
but in this form, that the marriage of persons actually in receipt
of poor relief should be forbidden, or that persons belonging to
the lower classes should be allowed to marry only when able to
demonstrate the possession of a small capital.

Marriage-prohibitions still exist to-day. The difference is merely
this, that in place of the ecclesiastical prohibitions and the civil
prohibitions affecting members of the lower classes, moral, hygienic,
and economic prohibitions and hindrances have come into being,
affecting the middle classes. The State, as a rule, insists upon
absolute celibacy in the case of its female employees. Soldiers and
officers are hemmed in by rigid regulations, by which marriage is to
a large extent rendered impossible; in the case of the proletariat,
the liability to compulsory military service offers the greatest
obstacle to early marriage. From Catholic priests, ecclesiastical
prohibitions demand absolute celibacy. As the result of these
various marriage-prohibitions, many persons who would probably have
been able to procreate healthy children are prevented marrying. But
there is to-day hardly any difficulty in the way of the marriage of
persons whose union is likely to lead to the procreation of defective
children. At most, minors, certified lunatics, confirmed drunkards,
wards in chancery, and near relatives are forbidden to marry.

_Proposed Reforms._--Increasing attention is, however, being paid
to the possible legal applications of the doctrine of evolution.
Even those who are opposed to any radical reforms see that persons
suffering from communicable venereal disease must be unconditionally
forbidden, on pain of very severe punishment, not merely to contract
marriage, not merely to practise sexual intercourse, but to perform
any act, of whatever kind, by which they could communicate infection.
The existing state of the law, by which, notwithstanding the great
frequency of such occurrences, isolated instances only of the
transmission of venereal diseases are punished (for example, the
case of the nurse who infects the child entrusted to her care), is
altogether unsatisfactory; the communication of any kind of venereal
infection, in any possible way, should be severely punished.

Those who recognise the need for improving the human species by
purposive selection go much further than this. They desire that every
person with regard to whom there is strong reason to believe that
his or her offspring would be diseased, and every man or woman in
a state in which he or she would transmit infection to the sexual
partner, should be stringently forbidden to marry. Such persons are:
those with disease of the central nervous system, mental disorder,
mental weakness, epilepsy, hysteria, idiocy; those with diminished
moral responsibility; those suffering from syphilis, gonorrhœa,
tuberculosis, rachitis; cripples, &c.

_Objections._--The following objections are raised by those who are
adverse to the institution of such marriage prohibitions as these:
(_a_) They limit personal freedom, and even in some cases actually
abolish it. (_b_) By means of marriage-prohibitions, it is possible
to limit the number of legitimate children born, but not the number
of children as a whole, since persons to whom legal marriage is
forbidden will in that case procreate illegitimate children. But
it is far from being desirable that this should happen. All the
defects previously enumerated would be present in such children,
and their birth would be unconditionally harmful to society. It is
statistically proved that marriage-prohibitions lead to an increase
in the number of illegitimate births. In Bavaria, for example, down
to the year 1868, the local authorities imposed an unconditional
veto upon the marriage of persons supported solely by wage-earning;
against this prohibition there was no appeal whatever. In the year
1868 was passed the law relating to marriage and domicile, by which
most of the former marriage-prohibitions were repealed. The sequel
of this was that, whereas from 1854 to 1868 illegitimate births
constituted 22 per cent. of all births, in the seven years following
1868 the percentage of illegitimate births fell to 12·6 per cent.
(_c_) It is better, say the objectors, that a man suffering from
venereal disease should marry, for in that case he makes only
one woman unhappy and procreates a few children only. But if he
is forbidden to marry, he has intercourse with numerous women,
especially with prostitutes, he infects many women, and procreates
more children. (_d_) Marriage-prohibitions do not prevent unhappy
marriages only, but also those which would be likely to prove happy.
Many couples enter into marriage for other reasons than desire
for sexual intercourse. There are also many sick persons upon
whom marriage exercises a curative influence--curing, or at least
alleviating, the disease from which they suffer. For example, many
alcoholics become abstemious or temperate as a result of marriage;
many weakly and delicate girls become strong and healthy women when
they marry. Many marriages are happy although husband and wife do not
practise sexual intercourse; and it is by no means uncommon for a
woman to marry a sick man simply because she pities him, and wishes
to act as his sick-nurse. (_e_) Marriage-prohibitions accentuate
class contrasts. (_f_) Diseased persons commonly have no offspring.
(_g_) Diseased persons to whom, after consideration of their case,
marriage is permitted, have the responsibility taken out of their
hands, and consequently tend to lose all sense of responsibility.
(_h_) Marriage-prohibitions interfere with natural selection,
inasmuch as they render impossible the acquirement of immunity to
disease and the process of regeneration. (_i_) It would be a logical
counterpart to marriage-prohibitions to compel healthy persons to
enter upon marriage--a course that is obviously impracticable.

_The Right View._--The prohibitions suggested in the section on
“Proposed Reforms” are sound in principle. The prevention of the
birth of such children as are born in the absence of effective
prohibitions of this kind, effects an enormous social economy. The
children of thoroughly healthy parents, who have married from love,
are the healthiest; such marriages are, therefore, to be promoted.
But it does not follow that all other marriages than these should be
prevented. This would go too far, and would, moreover, be utterly
impracticable. Marriage-prohibitions must not err by excess, and
too energetic intervention in these matters is undesirable. For
such a course of action would render it impossible for very many
persons to marry; and, in fact, no one with any disease, mild or
severe, and no one with any kind of defect of body or mind, could
enter upon marriage. All that is practicable is, in the first place,
to prevent the marriage of those who are obviously suffering from
serious disease; and, in the second place, to prevent the marriage
of persons exhibiting defects of bodily development, or in whom
the sexual characters are inadequately developed, even though such
persons cannot be said to be suffering from disease (_e.g._ women
with weakly-formed breasts, with poor hips, with a badly-formed
pelvis, &c.)

Passing now to consider the objections in detail, (_a_) is
true. But the mode of action of a State which introduces
such marriage-prohibitions differs quantitatively only, not
qualitatively, from the mode of action of other States to-day. The
marriage-prohibitions now in existence certainly limit personal
freedom; but in other departments of the activity of the modern
State we encounter numerous institutions by which individual liberty
is far more seriously impaired. Consider, for instance, compulsory
military service: the modern State insists that all young men shall
undergo a medical examination, and that those found to be physically
fit shall devote the best years of their life to the service of the
State. Besides, when we are considering the common weal, the question
of individual liberty is no longer decisive. The notion that it is
an inalienable right of every human being to found a family may be
quietly dismissed as a piece of egregious sentimentality. (_b_)
By punitive measures, and by the diffusion of enlightenment, it
is possible to prevent the classes of persons here mentioned from
entering into illegitimate sexual relationships. Women will not allow
themselves to become entangled with men to whom, for the reasons
here considered, marriage is forbidden; first of all, because such
men are considered to be of inferior worth; in the second place,
because, in view of the fact that an intimacy (_liaison_) cannot
lead to marriage, the intimacy is regarded as fruitless, (_c_) The
probability of transmitting venereal infection and the probability
of procreating children are both considerably greater in cases
of long-enduring intimacy than where there are numerous, brief,
frequently-changed sexual relationships. (_d_) It is altogether
exceptional for marriage to exercise a curative influence upon the
progress of a disease, and this probability is one which can never
be counted upon. Once the marriage is contracted, sexual intercourse
and the procreation of children cannot be prevented. (_f_) As regards
persons suffering from tuberculosis and alcoholism, the reverse of
what was stated in objection (_f_) is definitely established. (_h_)
The data available as to the immunising influence of inherited
diseases against the same diseases accidentally acquired (_e.g._
of congenital syphilis against acquired syphilis) are extremely
debatable. They seem, indeed, to show provisionally that such an
immunising effect is non-existent. The question of regeneration is
still obscure, and requires thorough investigation. It is certainly
possible that in some cases intermarriage between the diseased
and the healthy may lead, not to the deterioration, but to the
improvement of the race, owing to the fact that thereby favourable
elements are introduced into the family. The principal argument
against this idea of regeneration is that, from marriages in which
both parties are healthy, healthier offspring unquestionably result,
than from marriages in which one or both parties are diseased. The
resulting postulate is, that the healthy should marry the healthy.

_How to Effect Reforms._--No general rules can be formulated
regarding the marriage of persons suffering from disease. The
majority of diseases are of such a nature that their existence
can be established only by means of direct medical examination.
In most cases, medical examination will not justify the assertion
that the particular person must be altogether forbidden to marry,
but only that this particular person ought not to marry some other
specifically indicated individual; should the question arise
regarding another proposed marriage (that is to say, with a different
individual), then a fresh medical examination will be desirable. For
example, we cannot lay it down as a general rule that the marriage
of persons suffering from tuberculosis must be unconditionally
forbidden; all we are able to say is, that when anyone suffering from
tuberculosis desires to marry, that person ought first to submit to
a thorough medical examination. It is therefore necessary that prior
to marriage there should be a medical examination made by one of a
number of doctors officially appointed for this purpose. As a result
of their examination, these officials will give an opinion, whether
the marriage of the person they have examined with some other person
specifically named is or is not desirable in the interest of the
common weal.

There is yet another way in which this idea might be carried out.
(_a_) Everyone wishing to marry should provide, in addition to
the various documents which are now requisite to the official
sanction of marriage, a medical certificate to the effect that he
is free from any disease which should prevent his marriage with the
other party named in the certificate. Many, indeed, wish that, in
addition to this certificate, another should be provided, to the
effect that of the two parties about to enter into marriage, the
woman will be presumably competent to suckle her child, to bring
it up, and to educate it; the man, that he will presumably be
competent to undertake the two duties last named. (_b_) Before the
marriage is solemnised, the physicians of both parties should hold a
consultation, and decide jointly whether the marriage is permissible.
(_c_) Everyone who enters into marriage should be under statutory
obligation to insure his life, and this also involves a complete
medical examination. (_d_) Many consider that the following method
of procedure would suffice. Before the marriage is solemnised, both
parties should be medically examined, and the result of the medical
examination of each should be communicated to the other. If they then
wish to proceed with the marriage, no further obstacles should be

_The Tendency of Evolution._--The importance of marriage-prohibitions
on hygienic grounds is continually increasing. Recent legislation
in many States of the American Union furnish us with the best
examples of this evolutionary tendency. In the social life of the
future, marriage-prohibitions on hygienic grounds will play a very
important part. The detailed treatment of this question at any
particular time and in any particular country will of course depend
upon the acquirements of medical science. It is probable that the
general principles will be statutorily determined, and that medical
examination will ultimately be made compulsory in the case of
everyone contemplating marriage.



_The Legal Position of the Illegitimate Child._--The legal position
of the illegitimate child is regulated by civil law only in respect
of certain relationships; and the brief and restricted enactments
on this subject are in sharp contrast with the great importance
of the matter. Even in those countries in which the position of
illegitimate children is relatively favourable, it is only in
relation to the mother and to the blood-relatives of the mother that
the legal position of the illegitimate child corresponds with that
of the legitimate child; no further duty is imposed upon the father
of any illegitimate child than to provide for the child until it is
sixteen years of age an allowance for maintenance corresponding to
the social position of the mother. Even in these countries the proof
of paternity is apt to be a matter of considerable difficulty. The
father of a natural child can raise various objections; for instance,
he may allege loose conduct on the part of the mother (_exceptio
plurium concumbentium_), and the proof of this will discharge him of
his duty of maintenance.

In civil law there are various institutions by which the position of
the illegitimate child may be improved; for example, recognition,
adoption of the child, and, above all, legitimisation. But of
course these will redound to the advantage of those children only
towards whom the natural father has no feeling of hostility. By
legitimisation, the illegitimate child acquires the position of the
legitimate child. There are two chief methods of legitimisation,
viz., _legitimatio per subsequens matrimonium_, and _legitimatio per
rescriptum principis_. About 25 to 30 per cent. of all illegitimate
children are legitimised. Of children legitimised during the first
year of life, the process is effected in the great majority during
the second and third months after birth. The older the child, the
less likelihood is there of its legitimisation; and legitimisation is
less probable in towns than in the country.

_Reasons for these Legal Disabilities._--The defenders of the
existing legal order, when asked why it is that the civil law deals
so harshly with the illegitimate child, are accustomed to answer
as follows. Marriage is the foundation of society; if the legal
position of the illegitimate child were as good as that of the
legitimate child, this foundation would be shattered. Those who enter
into illegitimate sexual relationships, and even the issue of such
relationships, must incur serious legal disabilities; for otherwise
the principal motive to marriage would be removed, and people would
light-heartedly enter into illegitimate sexual unions. Ordinarily,
it is only upon the basis of permanent marriage that a groundwork
can be erected providing for those moral principles which are the
indispensable preconditions of the legal rights and duties of family
life; only in permanent marriage, and the family life which is the
outcome of permanent marriage, do we obtain adequate guarantees
for the fulfilment of these duties and for the proper exercise of
these rights. It is only in an insignificant minority of instances
that the natural association between an illegitimate child and its
father leads to the formation of a more intimate bond between the
two. In most cases, the father is indifferent and even hostile
to his illegitimate child. He regards it as a burden, and has no
interest in its well-being, or in its bodily and mental development.
Only in the rarest cases does an illegitimate child share directly
in the family life and in the property of the father; and if the
father does take over the care for and upbringing of the child,
he often does this solely in his own financial interest, in order
subsequently to hand over the care of the child to the person who
will undertake this at the cheapest rate. In such cases the moral
and circumstantial prerequisites to the foundation of true family
relationships are utterly lacking; and this is true above all of
those cases in which the fatherhood of the child is not voluntarily
acknowledged, but is admitted as the sequel of a successful bastardy
suit. It has also to be remembered that the proof of the fatherhood
of an illegitimate child, though it cannot be regarded as impossible,
is nevertheless beset by numerous and considerable practical
difficulties; and, in addition, that the adoption of legal measures
to enable the paternity of an illegitimate child to be established
with comparative ease would involve very grave social dangers, if
the acceptance of extensive family responsibilities were to be made
consequent upon such proof of paternity. The laws of inheritance
protect the institution of private property and the institution of
legal marriage; for the integrity of both of these institutions would
be threatened if the illegitimate child were endowed with the right
to inherit its father’s property.

_Advantages and Disadvantages of Illegitimate Birth._--Three
different views prevail regarding the relative advantages and
disadvantages of illegitimate births. (1) Illegitimate children
come into the world favourably equipped, for their parents are
young, and their union depends not upon interest, but upon love.
(2) Illegitimate children are hereditarily defective, as is clearly
manifest in all relationships. Private statistical data show that in
respect of body-weight and body-length the illegitimate new-born,
boys as well as girls, compare unfavourably with the legitimate.
Many illegitimate children exhibit a disposition to various mental
disorders (degenerative neuroses and psychoses). Since in most cases
the father is unknown, and his qualities therefore elude observation,
there would appear to be some ground for the assumption that the
hereditary tainting of illegitimate children is even greater than it
is actually proved to be. (3) Illegitimate children come into the
world with the same equipment as legitimate children.

The first of these views is erroneous, if only for the reason that in
men often nothing more than sensuality, and in women often nothing
more than self-interest, leads to the formation of an irregular
sexual intimacy. But neither the second view nor the third can be
accepted without reserve. In interpreting the statistical data
relating to illegitimacy, many circumstances have to be considered.
Attention must always be paid to the question, which were the
intimacies in which the conditions were similar to those of married
life, and to the question as to the extent to which the peculiarities
apparent in the illegitimate are dependent solely upon the legal
disabilities of their status. The material conditions in which
illegitimate children are placed must be compared with those of
legitimate children belonging to similar social classes. It would
be altogether fallacious to compare the condition of illegitimate
children with the average condition of legitimate children, instead
of with the average condition of children of the proletariat. If
these considerations receive due attention, it will become apparent
that illegitimacy _per se_ is not a decisive factor, but merely
renders more apparent the disadvantages attendant on being brought up
under the conditions inevitable for the children of the proletariat.

_Abortion, Premature Birth, Still-Birth._--The general causes
of abortion, premature birth, and still-birth operate even more
frequently in cases of illegitimate than in cases of legitimate
birth. The chief causes are the following: (_a_) Keeping at work up
to the time of childbirth. (_b_) Criminal abortion. (_c_) Syphilitic
infection, which, as is well known, is intimately associated
with extra-conjugal sexual intercourse. With regard to (_a_),
unmarried mothers, who are for the most part working-class women,
servant-maids, laundresses, sempstresses, &c., are commonly compelled
to remain at work until pregnancy is far advanced. With regard
to (_b_), the fear of disgrace and the prospect of poverty impel
many unmarried women about to become mothers to attempt to procure
abortion. These factors naturally affect town-dwellers to a greater
extent than they affect persons living in the country.

In Europe, miscarriages and still-births occur in cases of
illegitimate births about 25 per cent. more frequently than in
cases of legitimate births. These statistical data must, however,
be corrected by the consideration of the following facts: (_a_)
Many live-born illegitimate children are returned as still-born,
in order to conceal the manipulations which were effected during
or immediately after birth. On the other hand, many still-born
children are returned as live-born, for the reason that many material
interests may render such a misreport desirable. (_b_) The larger
moiety of illegitimate births are children born to primiparae. For
this reason, the percentage of still-births is greater than in the
case of all legitimate births taken together--although the effect of
the primiparous state of the mother is to some extent counteracted by
the fact that the mother of an illegitimate child is commonly quite

_Childbirth in Unmarried Mothers._--When a married woman is about
to become a mother, she makes early preparation of all that will
be required during childbirth and the lying-in period. A large
proportion of unmarried mothers, on the other hand, spend their
last penny before the termination of pregnancy, and are altogether
destitute when the time of their delivery arrives. A sense of shame
prevents many pregnant women from entering a lying-in hospital,
although to do this would provide them with free medical aid. Most
women also have a dread of the gynecological clinique, because they
think they will be made use of there for the instruction of students.
To unmarried mothers, many charitable institutions close their doors.
(_a_) But notwithstanding this, the majority of unmarried mothers are
delivered at public lying-in hospitals, gynecological cliniques, and
obstetric wards of general hospitals. (_b_) A small proportion are
delivered in private lying-in institutions (and these naturally of a
bad class, since such women lack money to pay the fees demanded by
the better-class institutions). (_c_) A third moiety are delivered
amid conditions the most unfavourable that can possibly be imagined.
All these circumstances combine to exercise a most unfavourable
influence upon the morbidity and the mortality of illegitimate
new-born infants.

_Causes of the Great Mortality of Illegitimate Children._--Owing
to causes which come into operation immediately or shortly after
birth (syphilis, marasmus, congenital debility, &c.), a much larger
percentage of illegitimate children succumb than of legitimate
children. The mother returns to work almost immediately after the
birth of her child; usually her work takes her away from home, but
if otherwise, it is almost certain to be work which will prevent
her giving proper care to her child. Hence the great majority of
unmarried mothers are forced to separate from their children almost
immediately after the birth of the latter. In many cases, the mother
does not even commit her child to a foundling hospital, or entrust
it to a foster mother, but she kills it or exposes it immediately
after birth. It is well known that infanticide and the exposing of
infants are almost exclusively the work of unmarried mothers; and in
a considerable proportion of cases, criminal abortion is the outcome
of an attempt on the part of an unmarried woman to conceal the fact
that she has been impregnated.

Baby-farming is in actual practice nothing but a cruel method
of infanticide--a method whose causation is apparent on brief
consideration. It has been pointed out that the great majority of
unmarried mothers belong to a social stratum in which the average
income is extremely low. A maid-servant receives at best [in Germany
and Austria] an annual wage of from £10 to £15, a female factory-hand
from £25 to £30. The maintenance of an infant, if the elementary
principles of the hygiene of childhood are to be observed, and if
the foster-parents are to make any profit at all, costs at the very
least £15 a year. The mere nutriment of a child during the first
year of life costs 4d. per day, or a little more than £6 per annum.
When allowance is made for house-room, clothing, and necessary
incidental expenses, we reach a minimal total of £10 to £11. How is
it possible for the average unmarried mother to find the sum asked by
the foster-parents? Those who, as foster-parents, assume the charge
of an illegitimate child, cannot reckon on the child’s remaining
permanently in their care, and ultimately becoming a useful member
of the family. The mother’s payments are scanty and irregular. Her
intentions may be good at the outset, and perhaps she has not yet
completely exhausted her savings. At first too, perhaps, the father
gives, or at least promises, a little pecuniary aid. But when the
child is out of sight, his willingness to make sacrifices on its
behalf soon wanes. Nothing more is heard of the father. The mother
is perhaps out of work for a time, and a fresh pregnancy may ensue.
The foster-parents know very well that if this particular child
dies, they will readily find another to be entrusted to their care.
Sometimes the mother’s own interest in the life of her child fades.
How, indeed, can she continue to love it, when it is kept at a
distance from her, and when to provide the money needed for its
maintenance demands the greatest possible sacrifices? Why should she
not desire the child’s death, when this would not merely remove a
difficulty from her own path, but might well be regarded as the best
possible thing for the child itself, ailing and in lack of proper
and loving care? Thus there is often a tacit understanding between
the mother and the foster-mother, that the child’s life shall be as
short as possible. Unfortunately in such cases it is rarely possible
to punish the foster-parents, since in the case of infants it is so
difficult to determine precisely where ignorance, stupidity, and
poverty end and infanticide by deliberate neglect begins. The law
rightly prescribes severe penalties for infanticide; but we may
well ask whether it is worse for a mother to suffocate her child
immediately after its birth, or, by the lack of proper care, to
inflict upon the infant a more tedious but no less certain doom.
We often hear it asserted that such murderous baby-farming is in
Europe a thing of the past. My own opinion is that France is the only
European country of which this assertion may possibly be true.

The food and other necessaries supplied to illegitimate children
are commonly inadequate. The more important contributory causes of
the enormous mortality of illegitimate children (the primiparous
condition of the mother, syphilis, and intra-uterine influences) have
previously been mentioned. It is owing to the co-operation of these
various unfavourable factors that the death-rate of illegitimate
is so much higher than that of legitimate children--the ratio
between the two death-rates in the civilised countries of Europe
during the twentieth century being, according to my calculations,
as 1·4:1. Only in those countries in which the mortality among
legitimate infants or the general infant mortality is higher, does
a comparison between the infantile death-rates of the legitimate
and the illegitimate, respectively, furnish a result which appears
less unfavourable to the latter. What this high death-rate of
illegitimate children really means becomes apparent when we recall
the fact that every year in Europe no fewer than 600,000 illegitimate
children are born. In reality the infantile death-rate among the
illegitimate is even greater than these figures would appear to show;
for a proportion of those born as illegitimate are subsequently
legitimised, and, in consequence of this, many infants which at birth
were included among the illegitimate, appear in the mortality lists
among the legitimate. In the country, the infantile death-rate is
greater than in the towns. The differences in the death-rates of
illegitimate and of legitimate children, respectively, are greatest
in the first month of life, and diminish month by month as age
advances. In other words, the expectation of life of an illegitimate
infant increases month by month after birth. After the first year
of life, the ratio between the death-rates of illegitimate and
legitimate children is less unfavourable to the former than in
infants under one year of age.

_Criminality in the Illegitimate._--Private and official statistical
data combine to prove that in illegitimate children criminality is
considerably more common than it is in the legitimate. In individual
countries, and in respect of different criminal offences, the
relationships are very variable; but there is not a single civilised
country in which we fail to find that the average criminality-rate
of illegitimate children is considerably higher than the average
criminality-rate of the legitimate. We see this difference
maintained, alike in respect of the number of punishable offences
committed on the average by each convicted person, in respect of
particular offences in the case of those who experience only one
conviction, and finally in respect of the percentage of convicted
offenders among the two respective classes. Not a single punishable
offence can be mentioned, in respect of which we fail to find that
the percentage of illegitimates convicted of that offence is larger
than the percentage of legitimates so convicted. Moreover, if we
compare recidivists and major offenders with other criminals, we find
that the unfavourable influence of illegitimacy is especially marked
in the case of the former. The conclusions drawn from the criminal
statistics are confirmed by those obtained from reformatories and
similar institutions; everywhere we find a higher criminality-rate
among the illegitimate.

One circumstance, however, which is commonly overlooked, has to
be taken into account. Among those convicted of criminal offences,
a certain percentage are persons of illegitimate birth (_a_); a
certain percentage of all births are those of illegitimates (_b_); a
certain percentage of persons who have attained the age at which they
become legally liable to punishment for their actions are persons of
illegitimate birth (_c_). It is not the ratio between the numbers in
class (_a_) and the numbers in class (_b_) that we have to consider,
but the ratio between the numbers in class (_a_) and the numbers
in class (_c_). For the death-rate among illegitimate children is
much higher than the death-rate of the legitimate; and the number
of the illegitimate diminishes through legitimisation. Thus a much
smaller proportion of young persons and of adults consists of persons
of illegitimate birth than in the case of the new-born. The proper
method of comparison would be to ascertain whether the percentage
of illegitimate children at a certain age convicted of criminal
offences or undergoing education in a reformatory is greater than the
percentage of legitimate children of like age found to be undergoing
the same punishment or the same education.

All the causes of crime--imperfect education, poverty, hereditary
taint--are present to a greater extent in the illegitimate than
in the legitimate. How can we expect that an illegitimate child
will be properly brought up when the father commonly accepts no
responsibility for the matter, and the mother is usually forced
to commit her child to the care of a baby-farmer or to send it to
a foundling hospital? By the contemptuous attitude of the general
public towards him, and by his inferior legal, social, and economic
position, the person of illegitimate birth is, as it were, forced
to seek revenge from society for the wrongs which, in his opinion,
society has inflicted upon him. Medical statistics establish beyond
dispute the fact that among illegitimate children the proportion of
feeble-minded is larger than among the legitimate.

_Illegitimacy and Prostitution._--I have not been able to obtain
trustworthy statistical data as to what percentage of prostitutes are
persons of illegitimate birth, but it is generally supposed that the
proportion is as high as 30 per cent. A very brief examination of
the matter shows that among prostitutes there is a higher percentage
of illegitimates than among the general population. The reason for
this state of affairs is doubtless the inferior legal position of
illegitimate children under the conditions of our time. Illegitimate
girls are not properly brought up; they are despised by the world
even if their conduct is irreproachable, and thus one of the most
potent reasons for remaining respectable--the fear of the loss of
good repute--is lacking in their case. A woman who receives no help,
or inadequate help, from the father of her illegitimate child, is
very apt to become a prostitute.

_Occupation in Relationship to Illegitimacy._--The illegitimate
originate in the ranks of the proletariat, and remain in those ranks.
The statistics of the subject show that about 90 per cent. of adult
persons of illegitimate birth are manual workers, and that not more
than a fourth of these are skilled artisans. Statistics prove also
that about 10 per cent. more of legitimate males are able to qualify
by examination for a reduction of the term of military service to one
year, than in the case of illegitimate males.

_The Different Classes of the Illegitimate._--Those who wish to
understand the position of illegitimate children must consider
the different classes of the illegitimate. (_a_) There are many
differences in these respects in various countries. For example, in
certain countries the children born to a betrothed pair have a better
legal position than other illegitimate children. In some countries,
again, the legal position of children born of an adulterous or of an
incestuous union is worse than that of other illegitimate children.

The social position of the parents, and the existence or
non-existence of differences in social rank between father and
mother, are circumstances which may exercise a decisive influence
upon the position of an illegitimate child. It might almost be
maintained that the higher the social position of the unmarried
mother, the worse will be the position of her child. For the higher
the social position, the more sinful is sexual indulgence considered
on the part of a woman except under the forms of marriage; the
unmarried mother, when her social position has been a good one, is
apt to be driven from her family, boycotted by society, and abandoned
by her seducer. The greater the difference in social rank between
the two parents, the worse will be the position of the child; when
the father’s position is much better than the mother’s, he usually
refuses to acknowledge the child at all. (_c_) The assumption that
those women who marry after bearing an illegitimate child, marry
in most cases the father of their child, is erroneous. Erroneous
also is the assumption that the position of an illegitimate child
with a step-father is less favourable than the position of the
illegitimate child which has been legitimised through the subsequent
marriage of its true parents. As regards Germany, we learn from
private statistical data, on the one hand, that nearly 50 per cent.
of the women who marry after giving birth to an illegitimate child,
marry another man than the father of that child; and, on the other
hand, that the position of illegitimate children who thus acquire
a step-father is about as good as that of legitimate children in
similar classes of society; and their position is certainly much
better than that of those illegitimate children whose mothers remain
unmarried. We should be led to expect this from the fact that the
step-father in such cases marries the woman because he loves her,
and does not regard the child as a serious objection; moreover,
the records show that such marriages are commonly effected when
illegitimate children are still quite young, so that from its early
youth upwards the child is a member of the family circle. It seems
almost incredible that it should be better for an illegitimate child
for its mother to die than for her to remain alive, but unmarried;
and yet this may very well be the case, for the upbringing the
illegitimate child receives from its own mother is apt to be most
unsatisfactory; but should the mother die, the child will usually be
cared for by the poor-law authorities.

_Illegitimacy and Child-Protection._--The mortality and the
criminality of illegitimate children are important elements in
general mortality and general criminality; they are closely dependent
upon the legal position of illegitimate children, and one of the
principal aims of child-protection is to diminish criminality and
mortality. For these reasons, the legal position of illegitimate
children exercises a decisive influence in determining the methods
and the intensity of child-protection. The history of illegitimate
children would, as a rule, be even more tragic than it is, if
the community at large and the State intervened only in order to
counteract the disadvantages resulting from the inferior legal
position of illegitimate children, and if no attempt were made to
undertake the work of child-protection from the point of view of
criminal law or from that of local administrative activity. But when
we study the position of child-protection in the individual countries
of Europe, we see at once that that position is influenced mainly
by one consideration, namely, the legal status of the illegitimate
child. Numerous and important branches of child-protection--the
care of foundlings, for instance--are concerned chiefly with
illegitimate children; and in other departments of child-protection
the protection of the illegitimate must be more vigorous than that
of the legitimate. But the more unfavourable the legal status of the
illegitimate child, the more energetic must intervention be from the
side of criminal law and from that of local administration, not only
for the protection of the illegitimate themselves, but also for the
protection of society against the illegitimate. Where the status
of the illegitimate child is a favourable one, the importance of
child-protection by means of criminal law and local administrative
activity is much less than elsewhere.

The Teutonic and the Latin methods of dealing with illegitimate
children are distinguished by the fact that in the Teutonic States
inquiry into paternity is permitted, whilst in the Latin States
it is forbidden. Where the Latin system prevails--that is, where
inquiry into paternity is forbidden--as in France and Italy, the
local authorities find it necessary to board out more children than
in those countries in which the inquiry into paternity is allowed;
for in the latter a larger proportion of unmarried mothers secure an
allowance for maintenance from the fathers of their children, and
for this reason more illegitimate children are boarded out directly
by the mothers. An assimilation of the legal status of legitimate
and illegitimate children would obviate numerous evils, so that a
few paragraphs in the code of civil law would render superfluous a
considerable proportion of the child-protection now dependent upon
criminal law and local administrative activity.

Until the Italian legal code provides for the proper recognition of
_figli di genitori ignoti_, any attempt at administrative reform
of the Italian methods of dealing with foundlings would be futile.
[In Italy, not even the mother is compelled to recognise her child;
recognition must not be confused with legitimisation. A child which
is recognised neither by the father nor by the mother is termed
_figlio di genitori ignoti_ (the child of unknown parents), and it
is only a child recognised by at least one parent which is termed
_figlio illegitimo_ (illegitimate child).] As long as Section 340
of the French Civil Code continues to state categorically, “La
recherche de la paternité est interdite,” not even the risk of
capital punishment will restrain from infanticide the mother of an
illegitimate child, more especially in view of the fact that in such
cases humanely disposed jurymen now so frequently bring in a verdict
of Not Guilty.

It may be hoped that before long it will be generally recognised that
any attempt to reform child-protection, and especially our dealings
with foundlings, must begin with a reform in the legal status of
the illegitimate child. Nevertheless, child-protection by the local
authorities and through the instrumentality of the criminal law,
and, above all, our ways of dealing with foundlings, exert a great
influence upon the position of illegitimate children. It is still
in dispute whether these things affect the numbers of illegitimate
children. It is widely assumed that the existence of foundling
hospitals leads to an increase in the number of illegitimate
children. But in reality foundling hospitals are not a cause, but a
consequence, of the large numbers of illegitimate children.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--As time goes on, the position of
illegitimate children steadily improves. Formerly, illegitimacy
entailed grave civil and ecclesiastical disabilities; to-day, the
only differences between illegitimate and legitimate children
concern their respective legal status, and even these differences
are gradually disappearing. The circumstance that public opinion is
taking an ever milder view regarding illegitimate sexual intimacy,
exercises a great influence upon the position of the illegitimate
child, and a much more extensive mitigation of public opinion in
this direction may be confidently anticipated. The fate of the
illegitimate child is greatly influenced by the judgment passed
upon illegitimate sexual intercourse by the associates, parents,
and relatives of the mother. Among the Jews, owing to the sacred
character of their family life, the birth of illegitimate children
was altogether exceptional. But such a high estimation of marriage is
apt to result in complete rupture of relations between the fallen one
and her family. Although among the Jews infant mortality in general
is lower than among the Gentiles, the mortality of illegitimate
children among the Jews is even higher than among the Gentile

In most countries to-day we may observe an unmistakable tendency
towards the improvement of the legal position of the illegitimate
child. This tendency is perceptible in those countries in which
inquiry into paternity is permitted. In the Latin countries the
necessity of permitting inquiry into paternity is becoming more
and more widely recognised. In many countries we find, often in
association with foundling hospitals, institutions for the provision
of maintenance for illegitimate children.

The reforms of the immediate future, some of which, in certain
countries, have actually been effected, are the following: (_a_) In
every country the inquiry into paternity must be permitted. (_b_) The
legal proceedings for the discovery of paternity must be initiated
and pursued by the local authorities or some other official body.
(_c_) Where the father fails to pay the necessary maintenance for his
illegitimate child, vigorous measures of compulsion must be available
(imprisonment, forced labour, &c.). Such measures of compulsion
already exist in many countries. (_d_) The child’s maintenance
should not be merely such as will provide what are called “bare
necessaries,” but should suffice for its proper upbringing. (_e_)
The natural father should be forced to pay, not for the child’s
maintenance only, but also the mother’s expenses in childbed; he
should be forced to contribute the last-named expenses, and what is
necessary for the child’s maintenance shortly after birth, before the
child is actually born--that is, at a time when the needs of mother
and child are greatest. (_f_) The objections which the father is
to-day able to raise in bastardy actions should be abolished.

_A Radical Reform._--Marriage will best be protected by preventing
the birth of illegitimate children. This can only be effected
by imposing upon the father of an illegitimate child the same
responsibilities that are now imposed upon the father of a legitimate
child. Men would be much more careful to avoid the procreation of
illegitimate children if they were unable to get off so cheaply as
they can to-day. The objection that in the moment of passion no
one thinks of consequences is unsound. In most cases, before the
sexual act there is a period in which the man has leisure to think
of the consequences of what he is going to do. The fact that in
countries in which inquiry into paternity is permitted the number
of illegitimate children is no smaller than in countries in which
such inquiry is forbidden, proves nothing. For other circumstances
besides this influence the number of illegitimate children, and in
the Teutonic countries it is probable that inquiry into paternity
is permitted only in order to counteract these other factors. The
objection that such regulations as have been proposed would promote
immorality, that they would make women far more ready than they are
at present to enter into an illicit sexual relationship, and would
thus lead to an increase in the number of illegitimate children, is
unsound. The present system tends to render inoperative factors which
might exercise a great influence on the conduct of the stronger sex.
Moreover, all these objections are rendered nugatory by the fact
that hitherto the most severe punishments and the most extreme moral
condemnation of illegitimate sexual relationships have not sufficed
to hinder these.

It is objected that the proposed reforms could only be introduced
in association with the abolition of monogamy and the introduction
of free love. If the legal consequences of marriage and of
illegitimate sexual union were made identical, there would be no
reason for entering the marriage state, for monogamy would be a
legal institution without any peculiar legal consequences. But in
marriage three distinct legal relationships have to be considered:
the mutual relationship of husband and wife, their relationship to
persons outside the family, and the relationship of the parents to
their children. The fact that the children resulting from a sexual
relationship are legitimised does not constitute that relationship a

In the interest of the illegitimate child the argument is often
put forward that it is not right for the illegitimate child to be
punished for the errors of its parents. This argument is totally
false. If the interest of marriage and that of society really
demanded that the legal position of the illegitimate child should be
an unfavourable one, the circumstance that the child is blameless
is altogether irrelevant. The interest of society is paramount, and
in case of need even innocent children must be sacrificed to this



_Limited Powers of Minors._--The legal protection of the child
against the consequences of its own acts is closely associated with
the questions of parental authority and of guardianship. In fact the
regulation of this matter really forms part of the regulation of
parental authority and of guardianship. The minor lacks the requisite
degree of intellectual maturity and of business experience to enable
it to act independently in legal matters without injury to its own
interests; hence, in the matter of legacies, it often happens that a
child is willing to enter into bargains which its maturer judgment
would rightly repudiate. The law, indeed, protects everyone against
usury and extortion, and gives to everyone the legal right to dispute
the validity of an undertaking extracted from him by knavery or
under stress of threats. But these institutions would not suffice to
protect children, inasmuch as the right to repudiate an undertaking
when that undertaking has already been acted upon would be of
extremely questionable value. Moreover, the law of parcimony forbids
that persons should enter into legal undertakings, and subsequently
attempt to repudiate them.

The special legal protection conferred upon minors consists of a
limitation of their powers to enter into valid business engagements,
the extent and consequences of the limitation being such as to
render any engagements made by minors as harmless as possible. In
the majority of legal systems, this leading idea is carried into
effect as follows. Two classes of undertaking are distinguished:
first, those by which the minor acquires certain rights or is freed
from certain obligations; and, secondly, those which effect neither
the one nor the other. Inasmuch as undertakings of the first-named
order are only such as are to the minor’s advantage, no guardianship
is necessary in the case of these, and the minor’s powers to act
are here unrestricted. But undertakings of the last-named order
can be entered into by a minor only with the consent of his legal
representative; thus, a disadvantageous undertaking given by a minor
without the consent of his legal representative is invalid, and the
validity of the undertaking is conditional upon the consent of the

_The Tendency of Evolution._--Two points have especially to be
considered in respect of the future regulation of this problem:
the abolition of free competition, and the abolition of the right
of individual inheritance. Many persons consider that it would
be a logical outcome of the abolition of the right of individual
inheritance for the State to undertake the maintenance of all widows
and orphans, either through the instrumentality of a system of
compulsory insurance analogous to Workmen’s Insurance, or else by a
method of provision analogous to that now made for the widows and
orphans of those in the employ of the State.

_The Nature of Guardianship._--The purpose of guardianship is
to provide minors with the equivalent of parents. A guardian is
appointed for a minor when the latter is not subjected to any
parental authority; or when, although the minor has parents, these
are unfitted, through lack of means or through defect of personal
character, to make a proper use of their parental authority. The
analogy between parental authority and guardianship should result in
the guardian, in his care for the person and property of the ward,
being invested with almost the same duties and rights as belong to
the possessor of parental authority. But since the relationship
between ward and guardian is less intimate than the relationship
between a child and its parents, the guardian’s sphere of activity is
naturally a more restricted one. For example, in respect of certain
very important undertakings, outside the limits of the guardian’s
usual sphere of administrative activity, the latter’s powers are
restricted by the qualification that in such cases the undertaking
is rendered valid only with the prior assent of the Board of
Guardianship (see footnote to p. 74).

_Guardianship of Poor Children._--The principal aim of guardianship
to-day is to provide for the careful administration of the property
of the ward, and it thus has no bearing upon the fate of orphans of
the proletarian class, although these are really more in need of
guardianship than orphan children belonging to the upper classes.
The only “property” of the proletarian child, whether orphaned or
not, is its power of working for wages. The adequate cultivation
and utilisation of this power is more important to the proletarian
child than the right administration of its property is to the child
of the well-to-do. Although, as a rule, the proletarian child begins
to work for wages while still under age, our existing legal systems
make no provision for guardians and the Board of Guardianship to
exercise much influence upon the working conditions of such children.
It is owing to this defect in our laws that the exploitation of the
labour-power of minors is so widely prevalent.

To obviate these disadvantages, the following institutions are
necessary, although they would temporarily interfere with social
intercourse. Contracts of service in the case of minors should not
be valid without the assent of the latter’s legal representatives
and that of the Board of Guardianship, and such contracts should be
terminable at any time by the legal representative with the approval
of the Board of Guardianship. Should the parents of a child secretly
arrange for it a contract of service, or should they compel the child
to work for wages, they should have no legal claim to any portion
of these wages. Where such measures are in operation, as in some of
the States of the American Union, children are much less frequently
compelled by their parents to work for wages.

_Guardianship of Illegitimate Children._--The guardianship of
illegitimate children is a matter of great importance: first, because
a very large number of influences affect illegitimate children
unfavourably, and the children have to be protected against these
influences; secondly, because the guardian has to safeguard the
interests of his ward against the natural father and also against the
Destitution Authority; thirdly, because in many countries the laws
provide that every illegitimate child should have a guardian. Who
should be the guardian of an illegitimate child? The guardian may
be, (_a_) the mother, (_b_) the father, (_c_) some other relative,
(_d_) a stranger.

(_a_) According to the laws of most countries, the mother has no
parental authority over her illegitimate child; indeed, in some
cases, the mother is not even granted legal powers of guardianship
over her illegitimate child (or is granted such powers only if
she herself is of full age). The reasons for this are as follows:
The considerations on account of which the granting of parental
authority to the married mother is regarded as permissible, have
no bearing upon the case of the unmarried mother. The interest of
the illegitimate child, and, indirectly, the interest of society at
large, urgently demand the securest possible guarantees that the
child will be properly brought up. Even if the unmarried mother is
capable of undertaking and exercising the duties and rights involved
in parental authority, she still too often lacks the necessary
good-will and the requisite earnestness. In many cases the unmarried
mother does not feel for her illegitimate child the interest and the
love which are felt by the married mother for the legitimate child;
she is rather inclined to be indifferent towards her illegitimate
child, and to regard it merely as a serious burden, from which
she hopes to be free, and the sooner the better. In addition, the
unmarried mother seldom has a settled home of her own, and in order
to gain her livelihood she commonly has to separate herself from her
child. Moreover, the position of the unmarried mother differs from
that of the married mother in this respect, that the latter, as a
rule, does not acquire the parental authority until after the death
of her child’s father--that is to say, when she is herself of mature
age. The care of the property and the exercise of the powers of a
legal representative are associated with the exercise of parental
authority, and there is an obvious danger, in many instances, that
a thoughtless mother might utilise the child’s property--more
especially an allowance for maintenance made by the father, or a
capital sum paid by the latter to provide for the child--in her own
interest, instead of in that of the child, and that in this way the
provision made by the child’s natural father would be unprofitably
employed. If the mother of an illegitimate child be disallowed the
right of acting as the child’s legal representative, we obviate the
danger that that right may be misused by a dissolute or thoughtless
mother by making fraudulent claims for a bastardy allowance in the
name of the child upon various men who may have had intercourse with
her during the period of pregnancy. In many cases, unmarried mothers
are dissolute, extravagant, and therefore untrustworthy persons, and
for this reason it is in the interest of morality that the unmarried
mother should not be able to derive any direct pecuniary advantage
as a result of her position. Often she cannot or will not make the
necessary claim upon the father of the child, either from shame or
from undue sentimentality, or, again, because she still secretly
hopes that he will marry her, and fears to offend him, or, finally,
because in many cases she is not herself certain who is the father
of her child. The various reasons we have been considering are not
altogether free from objection. The advocates of the emancipation
of women, and also the socialists, contest these reasons with
considerable force on the ground that other persons than the mother
of an illegitimate child, who are suggested as guardians, are even
less fitted for the position than she may be herself.

(_b_) It is impossible, in any case, that the natural father should
be the child’s guardian. How, for example, can he be expected to
sue himself for the child’s maintenance? It often happens that the
mother refuses to name the father of her child, but recommends him
as guardian, and he actually is in some cases appointed guardian. To
avoid this, many wish to make it the mother’s legal duty to disclose
the name of the child’s father to the Board of Guardianship.

(_c_) One of the child’s relatives is no suitable person for
guardian. The mother’s relatives have in most cases broken with the
mother owing to the birth of the illegitimate child. The relatives of
the father of an illegitimate child are as little suited to act as
guardians as the father himself.

(_d_) A stranger is utterly unsuitable for the guardianship of an
illegitimate child. In most cases he has no interest whatever in the
child, and very frequently, from sheer laziness, he fails to make
good the claim for maintenance against the father. Indeed, he is
not in a position to make such a claim good. He is ill-informed,
inexperienced, ignorant of the law, does not understand the procedure
of the Boards of Guardianship, and is incompetent to overcome the
mother’s opposition. His appointment is often long delayed, although
it is a fact of general experience that a claim for maintenance can
more readily be established the earlier proceedings are taken against
the father. The father often changes his residence, and the guardian
has no facilities for obtaining information about his dwelling-place
or his means.

_The Defects of Individual Guardianship._--As time goes on it becomes
increasingly difficult to obtain suitable guardians for children of
the lower classes. Owing to the increasing frequency of migration,
owing to the search for work and means of livelihood, and owing to
the development of the means of communication, the wider family
ties have been loosened and in part entirely destroyed. Since it is
only in the case of propertied wards that the guardian receives any
remuneration, the guardianship of a ward without means is a purely
honorary office. But we cannot rely upon finding a self-sacrificing
disposition in the relatives of a proletarian child. If a man of a
higher class than that to which the child belongs be appointed, he
will be afraid lest he should have to put his hand in his own pocket.
If a man of a lower class be appointed, the child will not regard him
with the necessary respect.

In small communities, where the circumstances are simple, where the
number of births and deaths is small, where everyone knows everyone
else, and where the guardian is under the control of everybody, the
difficulties are not so great. But in large towns the population is
in a state of continual flux, a large proportion has immigrated from
the country districts, and has neither relatives nor acquaintances
in the towns, and the Boards of Guardianship are unlikely to know
anyone suitable for the position of guardian. In large towns, persons
living under the same roof may be utter strangers, not knowing one
another’s name nor even one another’s general appearance. Since the
appointment as guardian is one which as a rule cannot be refused, it
is easy to understand the manner in which one who has been appointed
guardian against his will is likely to neglect his duties. As the
legal representative of the child, the guardian has frequent dealing
with the local authorities. Since the ward can make claims upon
the Destitution Authority, his domicile must be established, for
which purpose it may be necessary to pay a visit to the locality in
question, &c.

The guardian, especially one who belongs to the lower classes, is
without experience, is ignorant of the law, is ignorant of the
methods of procedure of the local authorities, and fails to inspire
respect in the strangers with whom he has to deal. Often the
guardian, far from assisting the poor-law authorities in their work,
puts needless obstacles in the way of these latter, and renders it
difficult for them to carry out their aims. This last remark applies
even more forcibly to the other legal representatives of minors, viz.
to their parents. It often happens that the legal representative
endeavours to exercise an evil influence upon a child under the care
of the poor-law authorities; while the child is still quite young,
he ignores its existence, but as soon as it attains an age at which
it becomes competent to earn any money, he demands that it should
be handed over to his care. If the Board surrenders the care of the
child, all the trouble previously taken to bring it up properly will
usually be found to have been wasted, for the child now returns to
the evil environment from which it had formerly been removed. In
England, a law passed in the year 1899 gives the Poor Law Guardians
the right to refuse to accede to the request of parents that a child
should be restored to their care in cases in which the parents’ life
is such as to make it impossible for them to provide for the child’s
regular education, or when the parents are persons with vicious
habits. Attempts are being made to improve the system of individual
guardianship, by a thorough reconstruction, by the organisation of
the guardians, &c. It is mainly owing to the defects that have been
pointed out in the system of individual guardianship that official
(general or collective) guardianship, and institutional guardianship,
have come into existence.

_Nature of Official and Institutional Guardianship._--The legal basis
of official guardianship is the right and the duty of the State to
act as the supreme guardian of all minors. Its characteristics are
as follows: Over a specified group of children--children put out
to nurse, foundlings, or illegitimate children, a particular person
(he may be a private individual or one in an official position),
in virtue of the authority of the law (that is, without specific
appointment in each case, and without the option of refusing in
particular cases to exercise his powers), exercises the powers of a
guardian. In certain cases, official guardianship involves powers
superseding those of ordinary parental authority (this applies to
the case of illegitimate children, destitute children, and children
put out to nurse). There can be no reasonable objection to this,
for in such cases the parents’ own authority exists _de jure_ only,
and not _de facto_. But the parental authority is not irrevocably
invested in the official guardian, and the latter exercises only such
rights and duties as properly belong to a guardian. For example,
the right of usufruct in a child’s property cannot be assigned to
the official guardian. Institutional guardianship consists in the
exercise of guardianship by a State educational institution, or other
State institution for the care of children, over children in that
institution, the actual powers of guardianship being invested in the
director or some other official of the institution.

_Advantages of Official and Institutional Guardianship._--(_a_) The
local authorities entrusted with the general care of a particular
group of children--destitute children, for instance--can readily, and
with little additional trouble, assume the duties of guardianship.
Experience shows that this combination of duties gives extremely
satisfactory results, without imposing on the Boards in question
any serious increase in their duties. The administrative Boards
controlling reformatory schools must, if their duties are to be
properly performed, possess unlimited authority in respect of all
matters bearing on the upbringing of those under their care. In
Europe, the official guardianship of morally uncontrollable children
is likely to bring into being a system of children’s courts, with
probation officers, or to develop that system further where it
already exists.

(_b_) The official guardian is much better able than the individual
guardian to make good the claim for a maintenance allowance for an
illegitimate child. The official guardian, who is in most cases an
official working on behalf of the poor-law authorities, will push
such a claim with the greatest possible vigour, in order to prevent
the cost of the child’s maintenance from coming upon the poor law.
The official guardian will be actively at work on the child’s behalf
within a very few days of its birth, and will probably have been
able to secure that a proper provision for maintenance shall have
been made at the very time when it is most urgently needed. The
father will show much more respect to the official guardian--a man
in an official position--than he will to the individual guardian.
In Germany it has been the general experience, that in most cases
the father of an illegitimate child, when summoned by the official
guardian, puts in an appearance, admits his paternity, recognises
the child, and undertakes to make an allowance for maintenance. Nor
does it so rarely happen that, under the persuasion of the official
guardian, the child’s father and mother agree to marry, and to
legitimise their child. The official guardian owes his influence to
his official position.

(_c_) The official guardian possesses special legal and educational
experience, and in the management of the large number of cases with
which he has to deal acquires yet more experience. For these reasons
he is often consulted in difficult cases by individual guardians, and
even by many parents.

(_d_) It is easier for the official guardian than it is for the
private guardian to find suitable employment for his wards. He is
better acquainted with employers and with working conditions. It
is not to his interest that his wards should begin wage-earning at
the earliest possible age; thus, under his guardianship, many who
would otherwise have become unskilled labourers, are trained to be
skilled artisans. (But to make it possible to attain this end, and
because the years immediately after leaving school are the years most
dangerous to the child, the official guardianship must be continued
until the child attains its majority.)

(_e_) Since the existence of the official guardian makes the
appointment of private guardians superfluous, the persons who would
have otherwise been engaged as private guardians are set free for
other spheres of activity.

(_f_) Institutional guardianship renders it possible for the
influence of the guardians to be maintained very effectively even
after the minor has left the institution.

_Objections to Collective and Institutional Guardianship._--The
following objections to collective and to institutional guardianship
have been put forward. (_a_) A conflict of interests and duties may
arise. The business of the poor-law authorities is to keep down
expenses, but the guardian has to think first of all of the interests
of his ward, who may need the financial assistance of the poor-law
authorities. (_b_) The local authorities are not in a position to
carry out properly the duties of official guardianship. In a large
local governmental area the circumstances of individual residents
are not adequately known; whilst in a small area, suitable official
guardians are not likely to be forthcoming. (_c_) The authority
administering the work of official guardianship has to accept a
position of subordination in relation to the (central) Board of
Guardianship. Thus there arises friction, and the autonomy of the
local authorities may even be endangered. (_d_) Owing to the fact
that the wards under the charge of an official guardian are very
numerous, the duties are necessarily discharged in a bureaucratic and
stereotyped manner, and the requisite individualisation is lacking.

_These Objections Answered._--There is no doubt whatever that
official guardianship gives better results than an otherwise equally
efficient system of private guardianship. But the very statement
of the antithesis involves a fallacy, for the kernel of the matter
is, that in cases in which no competent and willing individual
guardian is available, the official guardian is there to take over
the necessary duties. The fact that an official guardian exists need
not prevent the placing of the child under the guardianship of a
suitable private person, should such a one be forthcoming. Objection
(_b_) is valid to this extent, that in small local governmental
areas, in which the cost of official guardianship falls upon the
poor rate, and the burden of this rate is grievously felt, official
guardianship cannot be properly carried out. Objection (_d_) has
but little validity. Of course, the official guardian cannot do
everything himself. He must have confidential assistants, who will
visit the foster-parents of the ward, and report to him everything
of importance concerning the child. The official guardian has not
only to supervise the work of these confidential assistants, to
support them with his advice in difficult cases, and to control the
necessary expenditure; he has also to attend to all the legal aspects
of his charge, and to perform the duties entailed upon him as legal
representative of his ward. Thus the official guardian’s duties
may be classified as follows: (_a_) the upbringing of his ward;
(_b_) legal duties; (_c_) the choice of confidential assistants.
In the first department, the most important matter is the careful
choice of the foster-parents. The official guardian’s experience and
business connections undoubtedly make him far more likely than the
individual guardian to secure good foster-parents. The legal duties
of the official guardian, such as the provision of maintenance for
the child, are merely routine official duties. It is much easier to
secure the requisite ten confidential assistants than to secure a
hundred private guardians.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--(_a_) The property of a ward is usually
inherited, and as time goes on such property becomes of less and less
importance. The guardianship we are considering here has very little
to do with such questions of property, and the guardian’s activities
are practically limited to securing the personal well-being of the
child. (_b_) Official guardianship is a typical example, on the one
hand, of the manner in which a matter appertaining to civil law
tends to become an affair of local administrative activity, and in
which duties originally honorary and benevolent tend to pass into
the hands of a salaried public official; and, on the other hand, of
the fact that in this sphere also the principle of the division of
labour comes to be ever more strictly applied, so that functions
formerly exercised non-professionally by private individuals are now
discharged professionally by public servants.

The importance of official guardianship has steadily increased. The
idea that the guardianship of children supported by the community
might be exercised by the poor-law authorities was first put into
practice in France towards the end of the eighteenth century.
In other countries the same idea has been applied with greater
or less modification. In Germany, official and institutional
guardianship were permitted by the Civil Code of 1900. Official
guardianship exists at present only in the larger towns; but the
institution continues to spread. In France, a law enacted in the
year 1889 permits the voluntary transference of parental authority
to the _Assistance Publique_, in which case the Prefect or his
representative, the Departmental Inspector _des enfants assistés_,
acts as guardian. By the law passed in the year 1904, the same
inspector acts as guardian of the _enfants assistés_. But the
inspector has no concern with the enforcement of the rights of
illegitimate children as against their father, since any inquiry
into paternity is forbidden by the French Civil Code. Official
guardianship exists in many of the cantons of Switzerland.

_Certain Civil Laws which are of Importance in Relation to
Child-Protection._--(_a_) Legitimisation has been considered above.
(_b_) Adoption would be a very important and valuable institution
from the point of view of child-protection, if adopted children
were more numerous. The fact that this institution exists is often
disadvantageous from the point of view of child-protection. In many
cases it operates as an obstacle to the legitimisation of the child
by the father, although legitimisation would be more advantageous
to the child than adoption. For in many cases the father, if he
could not adopt the child, would legitimise it. A certain though
small proportion of foster-parents adopt their foster children. This
tendency is certainly one worthy of encouragement.

(_c_) We have also to refer to the legal relationships which arise
when a contract has been made for the temporary or permanent, partial
or complete, upbringing of a child. As an example of permanent and
complete upbringing, may be adduced the upbringing of a child by
foster-parents. In this case, the duties of the foster-parent are
controlled by special legal stipulations. As an example of temporary
or partial upbringing, may be mentioned the case of a child sent
to a boarding school at a distance from its home, a child boarding
with a family, and various similar arrangements. All these legal
relationships are covered by the laws relating to contract, and by
the laws relating to family life. This is a matter of considerable
importance, because, in a legal relationship taking the forms of
family life, the presumption is that a child’s upbringing is effected
without any expectation of a return, _i.e._ gratuitously.




_Introductory._--The physical, mental, and moral health of human
beings depends very largely upon the conditions in which they are
brought up, upon the conditions which operate upon them while still
within the mother’s womb, and upon the circumstances in which they
were born. Was the child the offspring of a legitimate or of an
illegitimate sexual relationship? At the time of procreation, were
its parents mentally and physically healthy, or were they diseased?
During pregnancy, was the mother obliged to work for her living,
or could she take proper care of herself; did she or did she not
deliberately attempt to injure or destroy the fruit of her womb?
During parturition, did she or did she not receive proper medical
aid? These are the stars with a knowledge of which we can accurately
forecast the individual human horoscope.

_Before Birth._--It is a matter of great importance that pregnant
women should regulate their lives in accordance with certain
elementary rules of hygiene, and for this reason it is urgently
necessary that women should be properly instructed in this respect.
Syphilis is one of the most potent causes of intra-uterine death
and of abortion and premature labour. Everything possible should be
done to prevent persons suffering from syphilis practising sexual
intercourse, and to protect the fruit of conception from subsequent
syphilitic infection. One of the most effective means of prevention
would be the abolition of prostitution. Abortion is possible
from the very outset of pregnancy, and attempts at its prevention
must therefore be taken in hand thus early. In the later stages
of pregnancy care should be taken to prevent pregnant women doing
any arduous work. The data obtainable from lying-in hospitals show
that the vitality of the new-born infant is greater in proportion
as a longer time is spent by the mother in the institution prior
to delivery. The best course, but one which is at present almost
impracticable, from considerations of cost, would be for pregnant
women to enter a public lying-in hospital during the sixth month
of pregnancy, and to remain there till the time of delivery, doing
nothing more than the lighter household duties of the institution.
A less radical procedure would be to prohibit pregnant women from
working for wages for a certain time--such as eight weeks--before
the expected termination of pregnancy. (At the present day, the only
restrictions imposed are upon wage-earning by women for a certain
period after childbirth, and this prohibition relates only to
employment in factories and workshops.)

The following are the objections to the enforcement of such a
prohibition as has been suggested. (_a_) Administrative difficulties
would make it impossible of application except in the case of women
employed in factories and workshops. (_b_) The prohibition would
force pregnant women, if they received no material compensation, to
earn a living, either by prostitution or else by some work--perhaps
even more arduous than that which has been forbidden to them--outside
the purview of the Factory Acts; in domestic service, as
sempstresses, washerwomen, ironers, &c. To-day, in large factories
and workshops, the employer pays no attention to the question whether
his female employees are or are not pregnant; and other employers
than those are disinclined to employ pregnant women at all. Consider,
for instance, the case of women servants. To-day, many pregnant
women go to work in a factory or a workshop, simply because there
is no other employment open to them. (_c_) The prohibition would
necessitate the compulsory notification of pregnancy.

_During Birth._--The health both of the mother and of the child
suffers in many cases, unless during and after delivery the mother
is attended by a qualified midwife or by a medical practitioner. The
reasons for the frequent lack of skilled help in such cases are as
follows: (_a_) Poverty; (_b_) desire for secrecy--this particularly
in unmarried mothers; (_c_) in thinly-populated districts the help of
a qualified midwife or that of a medical practitioner is not always
easy to obtain; and even should such help be forthcoming, in the
event of serious difficulty in delivery, the assistance of a skilled
specialist will be unattainable.

With regard to (_a_), it is necessary for poor pregnant women
that the services of midwife and physician should be available
gratuitously. This may be arranged, either through the woman being
attended gratuitously in her own home by a monthly nurse or midwife
and a doctor, the fees of these latter being paid out of charitable
or public funds for poor relief; or else by her free admission to a
public lying-in hospital. In many countries, the _Krankenkassen_[4]
support women (in most cases only women employed in factories and
workshops) for some weeks after delivery, and provide for the free
attendance of doctor and monthly nurse or midwife.

(_b_) It is necessary that unmarried mothers should be legally
compelled to arrange for the attendance of a midwife or medical
practitioner, and, on the other hand, that the services of these
should be provided for unmarried mothers in childbirth. Of course,
it would be going too far to insist that unmarried mothers, or
other persons who are aware of their condition, should, under heavy
penalties, notify the local authorities of the state of affairs.
Although such a provision does exist in the legal system of several
countries, it is unworkable in practice.

(_c_) With regard to provision for proper midwifery attendance in
thinly-populated districts, what is needed is a proper organisation
of the services of medical practitioners or midwives in such a
way that these are equitably distributed throughout the country in
proportion to population, and so that in every local governmental
area there shall be at least one midwife and one doctor. The proper
training of midwives is a matter of great importance, but, above
all, a midwife should understand that at the least sign of danger
it is her duty to send for a doctor. It is also a matter of great
importance that all medical practitioners should have an adequate
training in midwifery.

_After Birth._--In public lying-in hospitals, women usually remain
no more than one to two weeks after delivery; they are then
discharged, regardless of their condition (physical and mental
helplessness, &c.). Those institutions which are connected with a
foundling hospital are exceptions in this respect, for some of the
women enter the foundling hospital as wet nurses. In the interest
of the child it is, above all, necessary that the mother should be
well cared for after delivery, for it is during the first three or
four weeks after birth that the child is most of all dependent upon
the maternal breast. The resumption of work by the mother very soon
after delivery, before the resolution of the uterus is completed, and
before the abdominal walls have recovered their tone, plays a great
part in the causation of the numerous acute and chronic diseases of
women. If the woman is sent back into the street almost immediately
after delivery, she has no option but to return to work. She must
do this, first, because pregnancy and childbirth have exhausted her
savings, and, secondly, because she is afraid, if she delays to
return, that she will find her place filled. To-day this is becoming
generally understood, and institutions are arising in which women
can be properly cared for during and after childbirth. Homes for
lying-in women and convalescent homes, in which mothers with their
children can remain for a considerable time after delivery, subserve
this purpose. Quite recently, organisations have been founded for the
domestic care of women in childbed--the so-called _Hauspflegevereine_
(Domestic Care Clubs). They send out _Hauspflegerinnen_ (Domestic
Assistants), who do the housework of the woman during her
confinement, and thus secure for her the necessary rest and quiet.
But, unfortunately, in most cases, these associations help married
women only. Very little has as yet been done by the State to help
women in childbirth. All that communal activity has effected in this
direction has been the work of the community at large. Institutions
are now being founded, equipped with proper apparatus (incubators,
warm chambers, &c.), in which prematurely-born children can be
cared for until they acquire the normal powers of resistance of the
full-time infant.

_The Insurance of Motherhood._--Recently, the insurance of
motherhood has been recommended, especially by the advocates of the
emancipation of women, on the following grounds. Neglect of women
during pregnancy, childbirth, and the lying-in period, and neglect
of new-born infants, are responsible for numerous and serious
disadvantages. Childbirth is very painful and extremely arduous,
and the woman who gives birth to a child performs a supremely
valuable social service. The suggestion is, that the insurance
of motherhood should provide for every aspect of women’s task of
reproduction. It should support women during pregnancy; during
parturition, and during the lying-in period; a full allowance should
be provided for eight weeks before and eight weeks after delivery;
free attendance of a midwife, with free medical help if requisite,
and such other care as may be needed, should be provided for the
delivery. In connection with the insurance of motherhood, suitable
homes should be erected for pregnant women, lying-in women, and
new-born infants, and the women and children admitted to these
institutions should be gratuitously supported. The insurance of
motherhood, it is suggested, should be compulsory, on the one hand,
for all wage-earning women, and, on the other, for all married women
whose husbands earn less than a certain minimum wage. All these
women should pay contributions. In other respects, the cost of the
insurance of motherhood should be met on the same lines as the
cost of the _Krankenkassen_ (see note on page 120). Thus it is not
proposed that the insurance of motherhood should take the form of an
entirely independent branch of national insurance. Many contend that
child-bearing is just as necessary a branch of national economy as
the wage-paid labour of men, and that for this reason women should
be directly remunerated for this social service; they wish that the
insurance of motherhood on these lines should provide for the child’s
upbringing until it becomes old enough to earn its own living. But
even the most radical advocates of the insurance of motherhood
regard this idea of the endowment of motherhood as extreme, and as
impracticable at present.

The following objections have been raised against the insurance of
motherhood. (_a_) No sound actuarial foundation can be provided for
such insurance. The birth-rate cannot be predicted with certainty,
so that the amount of contributions and the benefits cannot be
calculated with the requisite precision. (_b_) Motherhood depends
upon physiological processes, and has nothing whatever to do with

The objection (_a_) is based upon ignorance or upon misunderstanding
of the facts. The expected number of births can be calculated with
the same precision as the expected number of deaths. The objection
(_b_) is also erroneous. Women need medical aid during pregnancy,
childbirth, and the lying-in period. Moreover, the aim of sickness
insurance is not merely the care and the cure of sick persons, but
also the prevention of the diseases, which in many cases can be
prevented by the proper treatment of women in pregnancy, childbirth,
and the lying-in period. Since, in the case of pregnancy and
parturition, malingering (for fear of which liberal payment during
sickness is considered undesirable) may be almost entirely excluded,
the insurance of motherhood can be effected on very liberal terms,
and there is all the more reason for this, because pregnancy and
childbirth entail upon the mother greatly increased expenditure.
It is hardly conceivable that women would incur pregnancy and
parturition solely on account of the proposed pecuniary advantages.

Insurance of motherhood is to-day of considerable importance in
Germany, France, and Italy. In Italy it was introduced some years
ago on national lines. In France and Germany, mutual co-operative
associations for this purpose have been founded by the women
concerned. The principal contributors to the expenses are the
insured themselves, all contributing alike, irrespective of the fact
whether they are poor or well-to-do--that is to say, motherhood
insurance is entirely free from the characteristics of poor relief.
The co-operative organisations for motherhood insurance are run
upon similar lines to the _Krankenkassen_, with which, indeed, they
are sometimes closely associated (_Mutterschaftskassenverbände_).
The local authorities have nothing more to do with the matter than
to co-operate in the foundation, organisation, and management of
these _Kassen_. The results of this development have been extremely
satisfactory; for example, experience shows that a much larger
percentage of insured mothers than of non-insured suckle their own

_The Tendency of Evolution._--It is as yet impossible to predict
the future course of development in this matter, and to foresee
whether it will take the form of a further elaboration of motherhood
insurance. This much only is certain, that all women will receive
proper care in pregnancy, and during and after childbirth. From a
certain stage in her pregnancy until a certain period after delivery,
no woman will be allowed to work for wages. Women far advanced in
pregnancy, during delivery, and throughout the lying-in period, will
be cared for almost exclusively in institutions. Such institutions
will be very numerous, if only for the reason that the domestic care
of childbirth will become rarer and rarer, that the institutional
care of such women is far better and cheaper than any other, and that
the extension of institutional care is a tendency of evolution.



_Introductory._--The protection of infant life is all the more
necessary in view of the fact that it is during infancy that human
beings are least able to withstand injurious external influences.
The success of the campaign against excessive child mortality
depends above all upon the success of our measures for infant-life
protection. During intra-uterine life the relationship between
the child and the mother is of such a kind that the legislator
must protect the mother if he wishes to protect the child. The
institutions described in the last chapter relate chiefly to the
mother, and it is indirectly only that they redound to the advantage
of the child. After birth the relationship between the child and
its mother is a different one. The child is no longer a part of the
mother’s body, but is obviously and unmistakably a separate human
being, although for nine or ten months after birth (that is to say,
for a period about equal in duration to the period of intra-uterine
life) the child remains absolutely dependent on the mother. It is
characteristic of all the mammalia that the individual young should
be suckled by an animal of its own species; for the milk of every
species contains certain substances peculiarly adapted for the needs
of that species, so that suckling by a mammal of another species
is likely to exercise an injurious influence. Man is also one of
the mammalia, and in the case of human beings suckling by any other
mammal is almost excluded from possibility. There are important
differences between human milk and the milk of all other mammals.
For example, human milk contains certain substances which exercise a
preventive influence against certain human diseases, but cow’s milk
contains these substances in much smaller proportion, or not at all.
It follows from this, that in the nourishment of a human infant we
cannot without danger replace human milk by the milk of any other
mammal--and cow’s milk is an especially dangerous substitute for
human milk. For this reason, numerous methods of treating cow’s milk
are employed to make it resemble human milk, such as dilution, the
addition of sugar, &c.

_Advantages of the Natural Feeding of Infants._--The natural method
of nourishment--that is to say, suckling at the maternal breast,
is the only method of infant-feeding which properly complies with
natural requirements. The adoption or non-adoption of this method
is a matter of decisive influence upon the subsequent health of the
child. The ideal is that the child should be suckled until it is nine
months old. But, at least, we should insist upon the mother giving
suck for the first weeks of the infant’s life, two months being
regarded as an irreducible minimum. After two months, the dangers
of artificial feeding are considerably less. Within certain limits,
the longer infants are suckled, the lower are their disease-rate and
death-rate, the greater is their power of resistance to disease, and
the higher is their mental capacity. When we compare the results
of natural feeding with those of artificial feeding of infants,
we cannot fail to recognise that the former method gives children
greater powers of resistance to and recovery from those diseases
which are inseparable from the nutritive processes. Artificial
feeding frequently leads to illness, life-long debility, premature
death, &c. In children suckled by their own mothers, digestive
disorders are usually trifling; in children suckled by a wet-nurse,
such disorders are more frequent and more obstinate, but are seldom
really dangerous; in artificially-fed infants, such disorders are
extraordinarily common, their course is extremely serious, and a
fatal issue is far from rare.

Statistical data prove beyond question that methods of feeding have
a great influence upon infant mortality. The death-rate is higher
in proportion to the degree to which the mode of nutrition diverges
from the natural method of suckling by the child’s own mother; the
death-rate is higher in children suckled by wet-nurses than in those
suckled by their own mothers; it is much higher in children fed on
cow’s milk than in breast-fed children. Among 1000 children dying
during the first year of life, medical returns show that 450 succumb
to digestive disorders and marasmus. Many physicians go so far as
to ascribe 70 per cent. to 80 per cent. of all infantile deaths to
artificial feeding. A statistical error arises in this way, that
children dying immediately after birth, before they could have been
put to the breast at all, are apt to be included among the deaths due
to artificial feeding, whereby, of course, the evil effects of this
practice are overestimated. Where artificial feeding is badly carried
out, the infantile mortality is enormous. The children that escape
death tend to become rachitic, anæmic, or weakly, and later in life
readily succumb to tuberculosis.

The enormous importance of natural feeding, and the extent of the
difference between artificial and natural feeding, are manifested by
the following examples: The statistics of child mortality invariably
show that in those European countries in which most children are
suckled by their mothers, child mortality is lowest. In Sweden and
Norway, where even the wealthiest mothers suckle their own children,
mortality during the first year of life hardly amounts to 10 per
cent., whereas in other European countries the infantile death-rate
is 12 per cent. to 15 per cent., or even more. It is erroneously
believed that there is a law in Sweden making it obligatory upon
mothers to suckle their children. No such law exists. During the
siege of Paris, in the years 1870-71, the infant mortality in that
city fell from 30 per cent. to 17 per cent. The reason for this fall
was that the Parisian women were forced to suckle their own children,
for, owing to the siege, cow’s milk was unattainable, and the usual
supply of wet-nurses from the country was cut off.

Natural feeding is not only better than artificial, but also cheaper.
Of course, in considering the question of the cost of artificial
feeding, the method employed has to be taken into account. For
example, artificially-fed infants are often given much more milk than
they really need. But artificial feeding is artificial, and whereas
instinct prescribes the methods of natural feeding, it gives no
guidance in the matter of artificial feeding. The changes occurring
in the female breast in consequence of pregnancy and childbirth
draw a woman’s attention to the fact that she has certain maternal
duties to fulfil. The neglect of nature’s commands commonly entails
disorders to health. It remains uncertain whether disease germs can
be transmitted to the infant through its mother’s milk. It is still
more questionable whether, in the act of suckling, vitally important
maternal qualities can be transmitted from mother to child. There
is some doubt whether the continuance of lactation is a fairly sure
preventive of the occurrence of a fresh pregnancy. If this question
can definitely be answered in the affirmative, there can be no doubt
that for a mother to suckle her infant gives an increased chance
of life not to that infant only, but to the other children in the
family, because thereby these children are relieved of the dangers
entailed by too large a family.

_History of Artificial Feeding._--It is uncertain during what
respective periods of human history the practice of rearing infants
by means of wet-nurses, and the practice of rearing them by
artificial feeding, first made their appearance. To-day, certainly,
both these methods of rearing infants prevail very widely--far more
widely than at any former time. No official statistics exist showing
the proportion of all infants born alive that are suckled by the
mother, suckled by wet-nurses, and artificially fed, respectively.
According to some private investigators, in large towns less than
half of all infants are suckled by their own mothers, and in France
the proportion of those which are otherwise nourished is said to
range from 60 per cent. to 70 per cent. Certainly, the conditions
with regard to this matter are worse in France than they are

Many physicians believe that the constitutional incapacity of women
to suckle their children is increasing. They point out that an unused
organ tends to atrophy; and they consider, not merely that the
incapacity to suckle is transmitted by inheritance, but that when
so transmitted, the incapacity persists throughout all subsequent
generations. But this view, whose soundness would deprive us of
our most effective weapon in our campaign against excessive infant
mortality, is erroneous. The recent investigations of various medical
practitioners especially interested in the diseases of children
have shown that (even in districts in which for generations mothers
have almost completely abandoned the practice of suckling their
children), when properly advised, 90 per cent. of all women proved
capable of suckling, if not for the full nine months, at any rate
for a considerable period, before it was necessary to have recourse
to cow’s milk. There are doubtless women who are really unable to
suckle their children; and there are others who could do so, but in
whom suckling is contra-indicated, either in their own interest or in
that of the child. For example, a woman who is pregnant cannot give
suck, for the human organism is not adapted to bear the common strain
of pregnancy and of lactation. In the interest of the child that
is being suckled, it is necessary that weaning should be effected
directly a new pregnancy begins. Women suffering from chronic
alcoholism and those addicted to morphine should not suckle their
children, for the reason that a comparatively large quantity of the
alcohol ingested, or of the morphine, as the case may be, is excreted
in the milk. A child suffering from an infective disease, such as
syphilis or tuberculosis, should be artificially fed, owing to the
danger of infection.

_Causes of the Failure to Suckle._--The reasons for a mother’s
failure to suckle her infant may be classified under two main heads:
she will not, or she cannot. Unwillingness plays a great part among
the upper classes of society. Dread of inconvenience, laziness, fear
of the loss of physical charms, social duties and pleasures to which
such women devote a great deal of time, and which they are unwilling
to renounce--such are the considerations operative in these cases.
Inability to suckle is a more frequent cause among women of the
proletariat. In consequence of their poverty, such women are often
forced to work away from home the whole day long. It is not yet
definitely ascertained whether constitutional inability to suckle is
commoner among proletarian women than among women of other classes.
It is a greater evil for a proletarian mother to fail to suckle her
infant than it is for a mother of the upper classes similarly to
fail. The proletarian mother cannot afford to pay a wet-nurse, and
the child must therefore be artificially fed. In this event, the
proletarian mother is likely to feed her child less well than an
upper-class mother who also adopts artificial methods of feeding, for
the former is too poor to obtain the best milk, and she lacks time to
prepare the milk properly, and to give it to her child in suitably
small quantities and at suitably short intervals.

The idea that a smaller proportion of mothers of the poorer classes
suckle their children than among the well-to-do is erroneous. But
it is a fact that of those children who are not suckled by their
own mothers, among the upper classes a much larger proportion are
suckled by wet-nurses than among the lower classes; it is also the
case that when children of the upper classes are not suckled by their
own mothers, they commonly have wet-nurses in their own homes, and
are not entrusted to the care of foster-parents; and finally, when
we come to hand-fed children, among the upper classes a greater
proportion of these are comparatively well fed than among the lower.
A smaller percentage of illegitimate than of legitimate children are
suckled by their own mothers; a larger percentage of the illegitimate
than of the legitimate are artificially fed. The unmarried mother is
in most cases poor, the birth of the child makes her poverty extreme,
and by no means always does she receive a maintenance allowance
from her child’s father. To be able to live, she must either act as
wet-nurse to another woman’s child, or must go out to work.

_Wet-Nurses._--Poverty not only makes it impossible for many women
to suckle their own infants, but forces them to suckle the child of
another. The great majority of wet-nurses are recruited from the
ranks of the proletariat, and, indeed, for the most part, belong
to the class of unmarried mothers. Married women are less inclined
to sacrifice their own child for the good of the child of another
woman. The readiness of many mothers to renounce the duty of suckling
their children is perhaps referable to the fact that wet-nurses may
be procured so easily and at such small cost. Thus poverty is also
an indirect cause of the fact that many upper-class mothers fail to
suckle their children. The children of wet-nurses are either fed
artificially, or suckled by another woman. The sad position of such
children, and their enormous death-rate during the first years of
life, are only too well known. When a woman takes employment as a
wet-nurse, two children suffer--(_a_) the child she suckles, and
(_b_) her own child, which would otherwise, in all probability, be
suckled by its own mother. In favour of the traffic in wet-nurses, it
is frequently maintained that the children of wet-nurses, owing to
the good wages earned by their mothers, are well cared for, whereas
otherwise they would be badly cared for. The sophistical character of
this argument is sufficiently obvious.

If a child is not suckled by its own mother, it is either suckled
by another woman, or else artificially fed; and the child may
either remain in its maternal home, or it may be sent to be reared
elsewhere. If the infant is sent elsewhere, either its relatives or
some benevolent society may arrange for its care. Wet-nurses are thus
resident or non-resident. In foundling hospitals, those wet-nurses
who give suck to children in the institution are known as resident
wet-nurses. From the standpoint of civil law, resident wet-nurses
have entered into a contract of service with their employer, and
the latter undertakes to provide in return for their services a
stipulated remuneration. A non-resident wet-nurse, on the other
hand, undertakes to provide in a certain manner for the infant
boarded with her. It is obviously preferable that an individual child
should be suckled by a resident wet-nurse, since in such conditions
the wet-nurse can be supervised much more strictly than when she
receives the infant in her own home. But in the case of children in a
foundling hospital, it is preferable that they should be boarded out
with non-resident wet-nurses, for in the present condition of medical
science, the institutional care of infants is a very difficult matter
to carry out with success.

But the choice of a wet-nurse involves other considerations in
addition to those just stated. A woman can safely be employed in
this capacity only if her own confinement has taken place some
little time before. By suckling the child of another the wet-nurse
deprives her own child of its natural nourishment. The wet-nurse may
be suffering from some infective disorder, and may transmit this
disorder to her nursling. Conversely, the nursling may be suffering
from congenital syphilis, or from tuberculosis, and may infect the
nurse. It is very difficult in infants-in-arms to recognise syphilis
with certainty. For these reasons it is only to healthy wet-nurses,
for whose own children a proper provision can be made (for instance,
when the wet-nurse’s child has already been suckled for six months,
or when it has died), that the local authorities give permission
to suckle the child of a stranger. This applies both to resident
and to non-resident nurses. In the case of the latter, in view of
the fact already mentioned, that they cannot be properly supervised
by the child’s relatives, supervision by the local authority is
indispensable. There are no physiological difficulties in the way
of suckling two infants, either simultaneously or successively. The
latter procedure is, however, to be preferred. In all civilised
countries baby-farming has been subjected to legal regulations.
Although these regulations vary greatly in different countries, they
relate not only to infants, but also to older children. The age at
which supervision of such children ceases is a very variable one. As
an example may be mentioned the French law of the year 1874. This
law deals with children boarded out by foundling hospitals, but only
to those under two years of age received for a money payment. It is
becoming obvious to-day to most persons that children boarded out by
their relatives require official supervision, even if the children
are received gratuitously.

_Cow’s Milk._--Pure cow’s milk is the best substitute for the
maternal milk. Where milk is to be used for infant-feeding, it
should be drawn in a properly-kept cowshed, it should be cooled,
placed for delivery in vessels of a suitable size for an individual
infant’s meal, diluted or otherwise prepared as demanded by the age
and special necessities of the case, and used as soon as possible.
To-day the price of cow’s milk suitable for infant-feeding is so
high that the lower classes find it almost impossible to obtain it.
It is a matter of very great importance that good milk should be
rendered available for the lower classes at a low price. Recently
much attention has been paid to the improvement of the technique
of milking, of the transport of milk, and of the care of milk
when delivered. The local authorities supervise the production and
transport of milk as a part of their public-health administration.
Improvements in cattle-breeding, a thorough organisation of
the cowsheds and dairies and of the methods of milking, and an
organisation of the entire dairy business have effected much
improvement. Both private associations and the local authorities
begin to lay stress on the supply of milk for infants, especially in
towns, in which the provision of good milk is even more important
than it is in country districts. We must leave the question open
whether infants can be infected by the milk of cows suffering from
_Perlsucht_ or bovine tuberculosis; it certainly cannot be a matter
of indifference whether the milk contains tubercle bacilli. At the
present time, unfortunately, in the anything but hygienic dairies
of our country districts, many of the cows are suffering from

In many countries, especially France, Germany, and England, Infant’s
Milk Depots (_Gouttes de Lait_) have been founded, at which the poor
can obtain infant’s milk gratuitously or very cheaply. The deficit
is made up by individual contributions, by public grants-in-aid, or
by the profit on milk sold to the well-to-do. Of late years a few
English municipalities have begun to administer such Infant’s Milk
Depots themselves. Such Infant’s Milk Depots appear to do more harm
than good. By providing milk gratuitously or very cheaply they give
a premium to those mothers who feed their children artificially, and
this leads many who would otherwise suckle their children to bring
them up by hand. Vainly in France are prizes offered to mothers, and
especially to unmarried mothers, to induce them to suckle their own
children, when simultaneously institutions are founded to reward
mothers who bring up their children by hand. Infant’s Milk Depots
must be under continuous medical supervision, such supervision to
include the mothers and children attending the depot, since in
default of this there is no guarantee that the mothers would use the
milk properly in the nourishment of their infants. Of late it has
been found necessary, especially in France, to associate with the
administration of the Infant’s Milk Depots the continuous medical
supervision of the infants, medical advice to the mothers, control of
the use of the milk, and advice to the mothers to suckle their own
children. The French Infant’s Milk Depots are now associated with the
giving of advice to mothers (_consultation de nourrissons_), so that
the mothers can be properly instructed regarding all matters bearing
on infant-feeding. Several times a week mothers’ classes are held,
at which all possible stress is laid on the need for women to suckle
their own children, this theoretical advice being re-enforced by the
giving of prizes. If natural feeding is rejected or is impossible,
advice is given as to suitable artificial feeding. Domiciliary
visits are made to see that this advice is properly followed. Thus
the Infant’s Milk Depots tend more and more to develop into centres
for the general care of infancy; their original aim will pass more
and more into the background as advice to mothers becomes associated
with children’s clinics (such as we find already in many university
towns), or with hospitals for infants, schools for midwives, and
lying-in hospitals. Such a development may be expected in the near

Infant’s Milk Depots, advice to mothers, and all the institutions
and measures forming part of the campaign to lower infant mortality,
must invariably have the general aim of promoting the public welfare,
and must never assume the form of Poor-Relief, otherwise many who
need their services will fail to avail themselves of these, for,
as is well known, a great many people are frightened away from
any institution connected with the system of Poor-Relief. It is
sufficiently proved that those Infant’s Milk Depots in which the
milk is given in accordance with individual medical prescriptions,
which are subjected to medical supervision, which are associated
with the giving of advice to mothers, which give milk free or at
a low price only to those whose infants are kept under regular
observation, promote breast-feeding by the mothers, and effect a
notable diminution in infant mortality.

_Other Methods of Artificial Feeding._--Nothing more need be said
here of the other methods of artificial feeding--that is, of those in
which no cow’s milk is used--beyond this, that they are in opposition
to the essential principles of hygiene, and that they are of less
than no value. Everyone who has the interest of society at heart
should do all in his power to secure the complete discontinuance of
such methods.

_Institutional Care of Infants._--The institutional care of infants,
if it is to be carried out in accordance with hygienic principles,
is too costly. Hence it is applicable only in the case of weakly
and sickly infants, and is out of the question for the permanent
care of healthy infants. With regard to the institutional care of
healthy infants, it is asserted that, even in the most modern and
best-managed foundling hospitals and hospitals for infants, epidemic
diseases--such as pneumonia, contagious ophthalmia, and intestinal
catarrh--inevitably appear, and in such circumstances are extremely
difficult to treat with success. It is, however, necessary to
consider the following facts. Unquestionably, the institutional care
of infants was formerly far from satisfactory. Certain diseases,
the seeds of which have been sown in the institution, only develop
in full severity after the child has been boarded out. This depends
upon: (_a_) the primary lack of resisting power of the infants, which
is the disastrous sequel of the unfavourable conditions of life
to which they were exposed before entering the institution; (_b_)
the lack of proper individualisation (for example, the continuous
lying in bed, bad air, lack of sufficient cleanliness)--the
so-called “hospitalism” or “hospital-marasmus” is referable to these
influences; (_c_) a failure to meet the demands of hospital hygiene,
so that the origination and the development of the infectious
diseases are facilitated; (_d_) artificial feeding, by which the
working of these evil influences is powerfully reinforced. But all
these errors are avoidable. Nothing more is requisite for their
avoidance than strict observance of the rules of modern hospital
hygiene, with individualisation in all departments, and especially
in the matter of diet, which should whenever possible be carried
out through the instrumentality of wet-nurses. Since wet-nurses of
the best quality are difficult to obtain in sufficient numbers, it
is best that the hospital for infants should be associated with a
lying-in hospital.

_The Crèche._--In the families of the poor, the elder children have
in most cases to work for their living, so that even these are not
continuously available for the care of the younger children. This
applies especially to those families whose members work away from
home, and in places to which the younger children cannot be taken.
When a peasant with his wife and his elder children works in the
fields, it is possible to take even quite little children to the
place of work and to keep an eye on them there; but when a workman
with his wife and his elder children works in a shop, a factory,
or a workshop, to take the younger children there is impossible.
But young children must on no account be left without supervision,
for this exposes them to all kinds of dangers--to burns and scalds,
falling out of window, &c. Moreover, an infant-in-arms cannot be
entrusted to the care of the older children, if only for the reason
that this is injurious to the latter alike in body and in mind. They
have, for example, to drag the baby about with them wherever they
go, are kept away from school, &c. To board out an infant is, in the
first place, costly, and, in the second place, separates the infant
completely from its parents. In many cases it is only by the fact
that she keeps her child with her, and becomes attached to it, that
an unmarried mother is restrained from adopting an immoral life.
Thus there is need of a place to which the children may be sent,
either permanently or only during the hours in which the family are
at work. Institutions for this purpose actually came into existence
only as a sequel of the development of the factory system. They are
known as crèches, and provide for the care, not of infants merely,
but of children up to the age of three. The need for and value of
such institutions is obvious. It is a real service to parents of the
poorer classes, if not far from their dwelling or from their place of
work there exists an institution at which, either gratuitously or for
a nominal payment, their little children can be properly cared for.
Early in the day the mother takes her infant to the crèche, during
the midday pause goes there if necessary to suckle the child, and
fetches it home in the evening.

Illegitimate children are in many places refused admission to the
crèches. This refusal merits our strongest disapproval. The reasons
alleged for this course are of two different kinds. First, we are
told that we must not encourage girls to be immoral; secondly, it is
said that married mothers will hesitate to entrust their children to
a crèche which also receives illegitimate children. The injustice of
this practice is more and more generally understood, and the better
course more commonly prevails. Of course, only such illegitimate
children should be received at a crèche as are cared for by their
own mothers during the hours of the day when they are not at the
institution. Illegitimate children boarded out with foster-parents
should not be admitted to a crèche, because foster-parents who send
to a crèche the child entrusted to their care are not properly
fulfilling the duty they have undertaken, and those who cannot look
after the foster-child themselves should not receive one at all.

In most countries crèches are founded and maintained by private
benevolence, and are merely supervised by the State. Only in a
few countries--Hungary, for instance--has the State imposed upon
the local authorities the duty of founding and maintaining such
institutions; and the central authority has itself founded and
maintained such institutions, and in these the matrons of the Public
Homes for Children (_Kinderbewahranstalten_) receive their training.

To-day various defects exist in these crèches. Not infrequently the
attendants lack the necessary experience in the care of children,
medical supervision is often inadequate, the building is unsuitable,
the infants are artificially fed, the crèche is often too far from
factory, workshop, or home, so that artificial feeding or feeding by
a wet-nurse is encouraged. Before long crèches will become national
institutions. They will become more numerous; they will be used more
readily; their faults will be corrected.

Particular mention must be made of factory crèches and family
crèches. (_a_) Many factory owners construct crèches and
feeding-rooms for the infants of women working in their factories,
and arrange for such women to leave work at intervals to suckle their
children. The employers do this, not so much from the goodness of
their hearts, as with an eye to their own well-considered interest.
The working time they lose amounts to very little, and they
hope that their benevolent actions will secure the goodwill, and
consequently the hearty co-operation, of their workpeople. (_b_)
A recent development is the family crèche. Adequate maintenance
and free house-room are guaranteed to a widow, in return for her
undertaking to care during the day for a restricted number of
infants (and in some cases, also, children of school age). Family
crèches share to some extent the advantages of the family care of
infants. Their great and obvious advantage lies in the fact that
they facilitate decentralisation--that is, the crèche can be nearer
to the homes of the infants’ parents. Their main defect lies in
their failure, as a rule, to satisfy the demands of modern hygiene;
a second disadvantage is that systematic occupation for the older
children is usually difficult to arrange in the family crèche. For
these reasons it is unlikely that they will ever become very general.

_Proposed Reforms._--Proper training and discipline are requisite,
not only for midwives, but also for medical practitioners. Proper
training of mothers is also necessary. Most young mothers seek advice
above all from midwives, and these latter often advise very badly.
In the first place, there are many matters connected with the care
of infancy about which midwives have no expert knowledge. Secondly,
midwives often advise mothers not to suckle their children, but to
bring them up by hand, because the case is sooner done with and the
midwife has less to do when the mother does not suckle.

In many German towns, a number of the institutions for the care
of infants, and also the offices for the registration of births,
distribute printed instructions regarding the care of infants, with
especial reference to the matter of infant-feeding. The principle of
these attempts is sound, but unfortunately many such leaflets are
rather long-winded, and consequently remain unread.

It has been suggested that every woman entering upon marriage should
have to display a knowledge of the elements of the hygiene of infant
life, and more especially of the principles of infant-feeding; or
else that the duty should be imposed upon women of acquiring the
requisite knowledge within six months after marriage--by attendance
at one of a number of schools to be founded with this end in view.
The idea of this proposal is sound, but it is one which it is hardly
possible to put into practice precisely in the form here stated.

_Radical Solution of the Problem._--It is one of the most important
aims of child-protection that during the first year of life the
infant should be nourished at the maternal breast. Every possible
effort must be made to secure that the infant should not be separated
from its mother; and if separation from the mother is unavoidable,
that the child should not be hand-fed, but suckled by a wet-nurse.
Finally, when artificial feeding of the infant is inevitable, it is
the aim of child-protection to secure that the technique of this
feeding should be the best possible.

Two of the institutions of modern civil law are of such a nature as
to favour wet-nursing and hand-feeding, and to hinder the attainment
of the primary aims of child-protection. The first of these is that,
within limits, the parents are free to determine how their child
shall be brought up; so that, for instance, the mother is free to
entrust her child to a wet-nurse, or even to have it brought up by
hand. Hence the reform of these matters must begin with legislation
securing that the legal position of legitimate and of illegitimate
children shall be identical; and, secondly, imposing it upon all
mothers as a legal obligation to suckle their own children when they
are physically competent to do so.

The last-named measure is by some considered too radical, on the
ground that its enforcement would infringe the sacred principle of
the freedom of contract, and would violate the sanctity of family
life. But these are merely empty phrases; and such considerations
cannot for a moment counterbalance the urgent need for the proper
protection of infant life. Even to-day, it is an accepted legal
principle that in the case of contracts involving the personal
service of the contracting parties within the limits of family life,
the contract cannot be fulfilled by proxy. Thus, in the matter of
the nourishment of an infant during the first months of life--that
is to say, in respect of the performance of an act which is merely
the continuation and the sequel of the physiological state brought
into being by sexual intercourse and by pregnancy, the demand that
no substitution be allowed, that lactation by proxy be prohibited, is
a logical application of existing and accepted legal principles. In
the sphere of family life, the principle of the freedom of contract
finds even to-day no more than a restricted application; and with
the disappearance of the economic order based upon free competition,
the principle of the freedom of contract is destined altogether
to disappear. Beyond question, the suggested reform would involve
a very serious limitation of personal liberty. But the limitation
would be no greater than those that are imposed in most modern
States by various ordinances affecting the right of the individual
to the free disposal of his own body--for instance, compulsory
military service, compulsory vaccination, and compulsory removal to
a hospital for infectious diseases. The proposed reform would knit
closer the bonds between mother and child, and it would curtail the
love of personal luxury and the pleasure-seeking of the women of the
well-to-do classes. The legal measure here suggested was known to
the old Prussian law, and to this law alone. It does not appear in
any legal code of to-day. The two reasons that prevent its immediate
adoption by any modern State are these: in the first place, it would
affect the women of the upper classes much more than those of the
lower, and would expose the former in especial to punishment; in the
second place, a necessary corollary of any such law would be the
provision for women of the lower classes of a suitable allowance for
maintenance during the period of lactation.



_Terminology._--In this work, when we speak of “the care of
foundlings,” the term is used throughout in the widest signification,
to denote the general care of the children boarded out, or
otherwise placed in external care by the Poor Law Boards or other
administrative instruments of poor-relief. Thus we do not refer to
the care of all abandoned children, nor even to the care of all
foundlings, but merely to the care of children permanently and
completely abandoned by their relatives. It is necessary to lay
this great stress upon the accurate definition of the term, for
the reason that in Germany and in England the systems by which the
community undertakes the care of foundlings is fiercely attacked;
but the opponents of the institution are attacking something very
different from what many of them imagine. To-day the care of
abandoned children, and institutions for the care of these children,
are altogether different from the foundling hospitals of former
times; abandoned children are cared for by the community, not only
in countries in which foundling hospitals exist, but also in Germany
and England, for in these latter countries, the so-called Germanic
system for the care of abandoned children, though there not spoken of
as “care for foundlings,” amounts to the same thing.

_History of the Care of Foundlings._--For two reasons it is necessary
that we should deal with the history of the care of foundlings.
In the first place, it is a branch of child-protection which is
rightly considered to be of great importance, and yet in regard to
this branch the most erroneous views prevail alike among laymen and
non-laymen. In the second place, the care of foundlings to-day cannot
possibly be understood by those who know nothing of the history of
the institution. Even during the time at which infanticide and the
exposing of children were still legally permissible among the Romans,
these practices were condemned by public opinion, especially when
the excuse of great poverty was lacking, and they were regarded as a
misuse of parental authority. This applies even more to infanticide
than to the exposing of children; for in the case of the latter, it
was always possible that the child would be rescued and brought up by
a third person. The Church naturally regarded both infanticide and
the exposing of children as immoral and sinful. But what could the
Church do to prevent infanticide? Infanticide was largely a result
of the fact that the Church and public opinion strongly condemned
illegitimate sexual relationships; in actual fact, infanticide was
usually the act of an unmarried mother. The only course open to the
Church, if it wished to prevent infanticide, was to tolerate the
exposure of children, and to take steps to ensure that the children
thus exposed should not perish. The Church permitted the lesser evil
in order to prevent the greater. According to some authorities, the
priests even publicly exhorted fallen women to expose their children
at the church doors. In many churches, marble basins were placed, in
which children could be left. In many communities, it was the duty
of the verger to take first charge of exposed children. Thus, the
exposing of children on these lines became transformed into a kind
of legitimate transference to another of the duty of maintaining a
child. To expose a child in any other way was a punishable offence.
Since those children that survived had to be brought up, the Church
made provision for this also. Gradually institutions were founded,
to which children were brought secretly, where they were received
without restriction as to number, and where they were brought up. The
institution of the turn-table dates from about the year 1200, and
for many centuries thereafter was the general method for the secret
reception of the children. The turn-table is a box, one side of which
is left open, fixed in the outer wall of the foundling hospital, and
rotating upon a vertical axis. Anyone wishing to leave a child at the
institution has merely to pass the child through the opening on to
the turn-table, and then to ring the bell adjacent to the turn-table.
Someone within the institution thereupon rotates the table to receive
the child, while the person who brought it can go away unseen.

The foundling hospitals of former times were mere death-traps,
with an infant mortality of 60 to 95 per cent. With the advance of
medical and educational science, and with the growth of milder views
regarding illegitimate sexual relationships, foundling hospitals
have been greatly transformed. Turn-tables have for the most part
been abolished, so that they remain to-day in a few countries only,
and in a few foundling hospitals. Unrestricted and secret reception
of infants has been replaced by restricted and public reception;
institutional care has given place to external care; natural feeding,
wherever possible, is preferred to artificial feeding. By these
means, the infant mortality has been greatly diminished, and those
children that survive receive a much better upbringing. With the
passage of time, the foundling hospitals have come to receive not
foundlings (abandoned and exposed children) only, but also other
children inadequately cared for by the persons legally responsible
(parents, guardians, &c.). The foundling hospitals thus take over the
work formerly done by orphan asylums and similar institutions.

The children received by a modern institution remain under its roof
for a short time only, until foster-parents have been found for them,
and return to the institution only in the event of illness. Children
that are ill when first received, are boarded out only after they
have recovered. The foster-parents are remunerated and subject to
inspection. Thus the modern foundling hospital is: 1. A depot for
the reception of children; 2. A children’s hospital; 3. The centre
for the supervision of the children that are boarded out. The latest
phases in the development of the care of foundlings can best be
studied in Hungary. In this country the matter has been the subject
of recent legislation and regulation, and every child declared by
the local authorities to be abandoned or neglected is received into
a foundling hospital. There have, of course, been countries and
districts in Europe in which such institutions as foundling hospitals
never developed, or in which those that did develop soon passed
into disuse (for instance, in consequence of the Reformation); here
foundlings were cared for in another way. The feudal chiefs, who, as
is well known, cared for the poor within the limits of their fief,
took over also in such cases the care of foundlings. Owing to the
desire for the rapid increase in population characteristic of the
dominance of the mercantile system of political economy, foundling
hospitals existed transitorily in Protestant countries.

_The Latin System and the Germanic System._--Two circumstances mainly
determine the manner in which in a particular country the care of
foundlings is regulated. The first of these is the condition of
poor relief in the country we are considering, inasmuch as the care
of foundlings is merely one section of poor relief. The second is
the legal position of illegitimate children, for the majority of
the children to be dealt with in this connection are illegitimate.
The essential peculiarity of the Latin system lies in this, that
abandoned and neglected children are dealt with through the mediation
of foundling hospitals. This system obtains especially in those
countries in which no inquiry into paternity is permitted. In the
Germanic system, on the other hand, foundling hospitals are unknown,
and abandoned and neglected children are dealt with on the same lines
as other destitute persons. The children are cared for directly by
the local authorities responsible for poor relief, being in some
cases boarded out, in others cared for in orphan asylums or other
institutions. The foster-parents of boarded-out children are directly
supervised by the Poor Law authorities. If the parents or other near
relatives of the children are living, it is only when the relatives
are unable to provide properly for the children, or are themselves
in need of poor relief, that the children are regarded as requiring
public assistance. The public assistance, in such cases, is not
given to the child, but to the person or persons regarded as legally
responsible for the child’s support. Thus, the child remains with
its family as an individual relieved in common with its relatives.
The Latin system employs a similar method to the one just explained
for the relief of unmarried mothers (_secours temporaire--secours
aux filles-mères_). To render it unnecessary for the mother to send
her child to a foundling hospital, and to relieve her of the cost of
maintaining it outside, she is provided with a monthly allowance.
This method, which, notwithstanding obvious defects, is ever more
widely applied, is of course associated with a supervision of the
mother--a supervision that is too often defective.

Institutional care is altogether unsuitable for infants. For the
child which cannot be cared for in its own family, the only efficient
and natural substitute is that it should be cared for in another
family; in comparison with this the best institutional care is purely
mechanical. Depots are, however, indispensable for the temporary care
of children until a suitable family can be found for their reception.
It often happens, for example, that a child needs public assistance
immediately after birth, and for such a child the depot is the only
place available. Of late years, even in the Germanic countries, this
has been more and more clearly recognised, and the Germanic system
has in consequence undergone substantial alterations. Depots are
being instituted, and much greater stress is being laid on family
care. In England again, the significance of institutional care (the
workhouse system) becomes continually less, and that of family care
(the boarding-out system and its modifications, scattered homes,
&c.) becomes ever greater. For the same reasons, orphan asylums are
undergoing, though very slowly, a transformation similar to that
which most foundling hospitals have already experienced. The orphan
asylum of the future will merely be: 1, A children’s depot; 2, a
children’s hospital; 3, a central station for the supervision of
children placed in external care.

Thus, in course of time, alike the Latin system and the Germanic
system have been extensively transformed, and as a result of these
transformations the two systems have been assimilated to such an
extent as to have become almost identical. It is, in fact, almost
impossible to point out any notable difference between the modern
Germanic and the modern Latin system; and the few differences that
still exist are gradually disappearing. The unmistakable tendency of
evolution is that these two systems, so divergent in origin, will
ultimately be completely assimilated.

_Some Modern Methods for the Care of Foundlings._--It is necessary to
allude, further, to many modern methods for the care of foundlings,
some of which are applicable also in the case of neglected children.
These modern forms are--(_a_) upbringing in agricultural colonies
and training ships, (_b_) rescue homes for children, (_c_) scattered
homes (_Kindergruppen-Familiensystem_), (_d_) placing of the child
together with its mother in family care.

A rescue home for children is properly an asylum whose aim is to
undertake the upbringing of neglected children. These homes are
really a by-product of reformatory schools. In fact, the only
difference between a rescue home for children and a reformatory
school is that children are sent to the latter by a magistrate’s
order, but this is not so in the case of a rescue home.

The scattered home system originated in the endeavour to replace
the family by the formation of groups. It occupies an intermediate
position between institutional care and family care; and it is
claimed that it combines some of the advantages of institutional care
with the good effects of family life upon the character. The essence
of the system is that somewhere in the country, houses are built, or
suitable houses rented, in which the children are cared for in small
groups. There are from eight to twelve children in one house--that
is, such a number as are found in an ordinary large family. Each
house is managed by a childless couple of the superior working class,
the man being free to go to his work, while the woman devotes her
whole time to the children. The children attend the public elementary
school, associating freely with the other children; the boys in the
home are taught a trade by the man, whilst the girls are taught
housework by the woman.

The boarding out of an illegitimate child and its mother is a system
also practised in Hungary.

_The Care of Foundlings, Wet-Nursing, and Baby-Farming._--The care
of foundlings is closely connected with baby-farming and putting
children out to nurse. Children completely and permanently abandoned
by their relatives are in fact boarded out with nurses or brought up
with foster-parents. The principal difference between the Germanic
system for the care of foundlings and what is known as baby-farming
consists in this, that in the former the children are boarded out
by the administrators of the Poor Law, whilst in the latter case
it is the relatives of the children who make this arrangement for
them. The principal difference between the Latin system for the care
of foundlings and baby-farming consists in the fact that in the
former case the foundlings are in the first instance received into
a foundling hospital, whereas children sent by their relatives to a
baby-farm go there direct from their homes.

Speaking generally, children at a baby-farm are younger than those
under the care of the Poor Law authorities, for the need of putting
the former out to nurse commences with their birth. The mortality
of children at a baby-farm is usually greater than that of Poor Law
children, supervision in the case of the latter being commonly much
more effective. In most countries, State regulation of children
under the Poor Law extends only for the first few years of life,
and applies only to those boarded out for money; but supervision
may extend through the later years of childhood, and even to the
attainment of full legal age, and may apply to all the children for
whose care the local authority is responsible.

In the countries in which the Latin system for the care of
foundlings prevails--in those, that is to say, in which no
inquiry into paternity is permitted (for example, in France and
Italy)--baby-farming is less prevalent than it is in countries in
which inquiry into paternity is permitted. The reason for this
is that in these latter countries a much larger proportion of
unmarried mothers receive from the natural fathers an allowance
for the maintenance of their children, and therefore a much larger
proportion of illegitimate children in these countries are farmed
out for pay. At the present day, the requirements with which the
nurses and foster-parents have to comply in the case of all children
(alike those farmed out by their relatives and those boarded out by
the local authorities) are much the same in all countries; and there
is the same general similarity in the matter of the principles of
supervision and in that of the supervising authority. The tendency of
evolution is that all the nurses and all the foster-parents should be
supervised by the same authority, and in accordance with identical

_Institutional Care_ versus _Family Care_.--If the child is not cared
for in its own home, the question arises, is recourse to be had
to institutional care or to family care (close or open care). The
following are the objections to institutional care.

(_a_) It does not readily allow proper attention to be paid to the
individuality of each child. The care of the emotional life is a
matter of especial difficulty. It is utterly impossible that all the
children in an institution should be truly and individually loved.
To pay a preference to individual children arouses jealousy. In an
institution the children learn nothing about the daily experiences
of family life (for example, the difficulties of earning a living,
troubles small and great); on the other hand, occurrences which
profoundly disturb the life of the family (illness and death, for
example) are matters of daily experience in the life of institutions.

(_b_) In the institution the child never experiences absolute
freedom. On the contrary, it feels itself subject to unceasing

(_c_) Epidemic diseases spread very readily.

(_d_) A few bad children may readily communicate unwholesome ideas
and practices to the others.

(_e_) In institutional life, the children learn nothing of the vital
needs of daily life, or of the difficulties of the struggle for
existence; and yet it is all the more necessary that they should
learn something about these matters, inasmuch as in their subsequent
life they will presumably have a hard struggle for their daily bread.
Whatever the child really needs, it receives in the institution;
thus an idea arises in its mind that there is some higher power
which cares for all these things. The child has to make no effort,
no sacrifices are exacted from it; in the institution, tests of the
child’s power of resistance, such as might strengthen it to meet the
temptations of the outer world, are few and far between, for from the
temptations of the outer world it is sheltered by the walls of the

(_f_) The institution is not adapted to provide for the complete
education of a child--for the learning of a trade. It is absolutely
necessary that institutional care should be supplemented by work
under a master, in a technical school or teaching workshop.

(_g_) Institutional care is costlier than family care.

(_h_) Only family care can replace for a child the loss of its own
family. Family care is the only natural method of upbringing, whereas
the best possible institutional care is purely mechanical, full of
defects, and cannot possibly replace a free life. In a sense, the
institution is indeed a large family. But in the free life, outside
the particular family to which the child belongs, there are thousands
of others, communicating and competing with one another. No such
competition exists in the institution; the child’s work there is
purely mechanical, but as soon as it enters the open world, the child
has to seek work, and often fails to find it.

(_i_) The State lays down the principles in accordance with which
the foster-parents must bring up the child, and sees that the
foster-parents have access to expert advice concerning every
department of the hygiene of childhood. The State insists that
whenever necessary the foster-children shall have medical aid,
that the children shall attend the elementary school, &c. If the
foster-parents apply these principles properly in their care of
the foster-children, they are likely to take care that their own
children are treated at least equally well. And if, in any community,
these principles are applied cordially and intelligently by the
foster-parents, it is probable that the other parents of the same
community will follow this good example.

(_k_) Statistical data show, moreover, that family care gives better
results than institutional care, alike physically, mentally, and

(_l_) With regard to the alleged defects of family care (such as
that foster-children are less well treated than the foster-parents’
own children, that they are exploited by the foster-parents, that
suitable foster-parents are hard to find), these can readily be

From these considerations it would appear that only in special
circumstances is institutional care necessary or desirable. In the
case, for instance, of children physically or mentally ill, we
cannot dispense with institutional care. Moreover, institutions are
necessary as a supplement to the system of family care--institutions
having the characteristics of a depot and an asylum. Such depots are
indispensable, if only for the reason that orphans immediately after
the loss of their parents are in a condition of mingled depression
and excitement, and must, therefore, before being boarded with a
family, be calmed and strengthened for a time by a sojourn in an

As a result of all these considerations, the tendency of evolution is
to replace institutional care by a form of family care in which the
foster-parents are supervised from a central depot, which serves also
for the temporary institutional care of children needing such care.
Whereas formerly institutional upbringing was the dominant method,
to-day family upbringing has become of much greater importance.

_Supervision of Family Care._--The modern State no longer regards
the family care of children by others than their own parents as a
purely private matter. A few decades ago, to receive children in
this way for pay was an open profession, but it is so no longer.
The local authorities regulate the matter in detail, defining very
precisely the standard of life of the boarded-out child and the
methods of supervision; and, as a result of this intervention, the
scandalous mortality attendant upon the old-time baby-farming is now
largely a thing of the past. Where children are received in family
care for pay, the intention is that these children should have all
the advantages of the natural care they would have obtained in their
own families. Thus, as far as possible, the child should remain
permanently with the same family. In actual fact, a proportion of
the children committed to family care do permanently remain with
their foster-parents--a proportion are indeed adopted. Since the
children are as a rule the offspring of poor parents, and inasmuch
as well-to-do people rarely trouble themselves to undertake the
upbringing of other people’s children, the foster-parents will
themselves usually be poor. But they must not be extremely poor,
for if this were so, even though the remuneration were ample,
the greater part of the money would be used by them for their
own purposes, to the consequent detriment of the child. But the
foster-parents usually want to make some profit. In many countries
they have to demonstrate that there is no absolute financial
necessity for them to receive a boarded-out child. It is as well,
in any case, that the social position of the foster-parents should
be at least a trifle higher than that of the real parents of the
child. Persons in receipt of public assistance are not suitable as

The foster-mother must not have too much to do, apart from her work
for the child; and, above all, she should not be employed away from
the house. It is necessary that the foster-parents should lead an
orderly, decent life, that they should be really fond of children,
that they should have a proper knowledge of how to bring up children,
and that they should live in a suitable house. The remuneration
must be reasonably high. If it is too low, the child will not be
properly cared for, will not get enough to eat, will very probably
be ill-treated and exploited. It has been statistically demonstrated
that the death-rate of boarded-out children is inversely proportional
to the amount paid for their care. The foster-parents are supervised
by the local authority. Medical practitioners are the chief executive
instruments of this supervision. Supervision by members of the laity
is inadequate, for these do not pay sufficient attention to hygienic
considerations. Voluntary honorary workers are also unsuitable,
for the reason that years of experience are requisite to a proper
knowledge of the conditions we are considering, and voluntary
officers will not face the unpleasantnesses incident to efficient

It is a very important question whether the family care of children
can better be carried out in country districts or in towns. Children
who are no longer quite young cannot in any case be sent to the
country, for they will already have acquired the usual preference
of their class for town life. The following reasons are adduced
for preferring family care in the country:--(_a_) In large towns,
or in the neighbourhood of such towns, owing to the high rents,
the foster-parents will not have a suitable dwelling. (_b_) The
children must be kept at a distance from the dangerous influences of
town life, and, it may be, also from the influence of undesirable
relatives living in the town. (_c_) We ought to counteract the
drift of population into the town, and we can do this by sending
these children back to the country. (_d_) In the interest of the
agricultural districts, which suffer from insufficient labour, it is
desirable that these children should become agricultural labourers.

In answer to these arguments, the following points have to be
considered:--(_a_) When the children grow up, they will be influenced
by the general drift from the country towards the towns, and whereas
they will probably have learned no skilled trade in the country, the
great majority of them will fall into the ranks of the unskilled
labourers. (_b_) From the hygienic standpoint, it is important to
remember that the town population is more intelligent, and that in
towns medical aid is more readily available. Unquestionably, in the
country, the only foster-parents available would be agricultural
labourers and other manual labourers. In any case, this question
cannot be decided on general principles, but only on a consideration
of the needs of the individual case, with especial reference to the
question whether the child shows an inclination towards agricultural
work or manufacturing industry.

_Subsidiary Aims of the Care of Foundlings._--The care of foundlings
is utilised by the civil order for the attainment of its ends. This
system renders possible the upbringing of submissive proletarians,
immunised against socialist ideas, who can be enlisted in the
reserve army of labour. From the very earliest times the existence
of foundling hospitals has been justified on the ground that through
their instrumentality persons were brought up who could devote their
time, their working powers, and their life wholly to the State.
In the beginning of the nineteenth century, children under the
care of the English Poor Law were hired out to the factory owners.
In Germany, among the arguments for the introduction of coercive
reformatory education, it was pointed out that by this means cheaper
labour could be provided for those agricultural districts in which
labour was scarce. In Hungary, where a few years ago modern laws
for child-protection were passed, it is constantly pointed out
as the task of child-protection to bring up the children as “good
patriots.” For this reason children are boarded out with “patriotic”
foster-parents only, and in districts where a strong Hungarian
nationalist feeling prevails, boarded-out children are hardly ever
to be found. In the history of this institution, we encounter again
and again the idea that foundlings should be brought up as soldiers,
sailors, or colonial pioneers. Napoleon the First wished to make
use of foundlings for recruiting the army, and especially for the
marines. He did much to secure that in every arrondissement in
France, foundling hospitals with turn-tables should be instituted;
and he even arranged for the foundation of such institutions in the
various countries he conquered. Quite recently the idea has once
more recurred to utilise foundling hospitals and orphan asylums as
recruiting grounds for the army and the navy, and with this end in
view to combine these institutions with military and naval training

For the attainment of these ends, the civil order has laid down the
principle that from the first the children shall be brought up with
an eye to the conditions awaiting them in the future--hard work,
deprivation, and poverty. But this principle is only partially
sound. Undoubtedly the child must be habituated to regular work,
for only in this way will work be other than distasteful. But the
child should be taught in such a way as to safeguard it from the lot
of the great mass of unskilled labourers. The standard of life of
boarded-out children should be a good one; for only if the child has
been accustomed to such a standard, will it be spurred, after it had
become independent, to secure the same standard by its own exertions.
In the case of boarded-out children who have already begun to work
for wages, the attempt on the part of employers to pay them at a
specially low rate must be strenuously resisted. The reason given
in such cases by the employers, that these children need much more
attention than other young workpeople, is invalid. The wage in such
cases should be the standard wage of the district for other workers
doing the same class of work, as otherwise the young people feel
exploited and oppressed. The rightful aim is thus to lift foundlings
out of the lower strata into the higher strata of wage-labour.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--(_a_) Baby-farming is distinguished
from the care of foundlings only by the fact that in the former the
children are entrusted to foster-parents by their relatives instead
of by the local authorities. (_b_) The various systems for the care
of foundlings tend to become continually more similar. The general
tendency in every case is to have recourse to a system of family care
supervised by the same administrative authority. (_c_) There is a
tendency to assimilate the upbringing of neglected and of criminal
children, and to adopt for both the same methods of family care
and the same kind of supervision. (_d_) The same remarks apply in
the case of children who have become legally liable to a coercive
reformatory education. (_e_) In course of time the supervision of the
foster-parents--indifferently whether the children committed to their
care are materially or morally neglected or criminal children, and
whether they are boarded out by the children’s relatives or by the
local authorities--comes to be exercised by the same administrative
authority and in accordance with the same principles.

To-day, baby-farming represents the first stage of evolution, the
Latin system for the care of foundlings the second, the Germanic
system the third, coercive reformatory education the fourth, the
education of criminal children the fifth. In a comparatively short
time all the different branches of child-protection will come to
stand at the same level, and in so far as they relate to children
neglected by their relatives, in whatever manner, they will all take
the same form of family care, under a unified centralised control,
and supervised locally by the same administrative authority.



_History of Child-Labour._--During the Middle Ages child-labour seems
not to have been very general. At the time of the guilds, improper
utilisation of the working powers of children and young persons was
hardly possible. Night work was unknown, and the working conditions
were strictly regulated by the guilds. In the statutes of the guilds,
there is no reference to child-labour; whereas, had such labour been
at all common, its regulation would have been inevitable. We find,
for example, in the statutes precise rules as to production, as to
the sale of the finished products, as to the hours of work, as to the
number of craftsmen to be employed by the individual masters, &c. As
the guilds became mean-spirited, the condition of the apprentices
became worse.

With the development of manufacturing industry and the growth of
machine production, handicraftmanship lost its dominant position. In
consequence of the industrial revolution, the guilds perished, the
principle of freedom of contract was established, and in accordance
with this principle the working powers of the cheapest of all objects
of exploitation, children, were utilised. But the first phase of the
development of capitalism was the most dangerous one, not only for
youthful, but also for adult workers. In England, for example, it
was towards the end of the eighteenth century that the conditions
as regards child-labour were at their worst. The factory owners
hired children from the workhouses and orphan asylums. These latter
institutions were far from the factories, and for this reason no
official supervision of the children was possible, and their care
was left entirely in the hands of the factory owners. The condition
of these orphan children, similarly with that of the other youthful
workers, mocks every attempt at description. The most heartrending
tortures were customary. They were tormented with the utmost
refinement of cruelty; chained, flogged, starved to emaciation, and
driven to suicide. All this is easily comprehensible. The aim of the
factory owner was to utilise as rapidly as possible the opportunity
resulting from the replacement of hand-labour by machine-labour,
to utilise it to gain wealth for himself before machine-labour
became general; he therefore procured his labour at the cheapest
possible price, and exploited the working powers of his employees
to the utmost limits. Before the days of capitalism, night work was
unknown, and, moreover, was quite unnecessary. But with the growth
of capitalist production, there came into existence a number of
industries which were carried on continuously night and day, if only
for the reason that any interruption of the process of production
would cause a great curtailment of profit. Night work is extremely
injurious in its effects, it undermines the health (sleep during
the day does not adequately compensate for loss of sleep during the
night), morality, and the family life of the worker (who has no time
to occupy himself with his family). All these dangers are even more
serious in the case of women and children.

As regards the diffusion of child-labour, those branches of
manufacture which take the form of home-industry are by far the
worst. The manual workers fight the machine-workers with the same
weapons that these latter themselves employ. These weapons flay the
hand-workers even more than the machine-workers, because the attempt
is made to compete with the machine-labour by human over-exertion.
This phenomenon becomes apparent in every branch of industry directly
the use of machines begins. In agriculture, child-labour becomes a
serious matter only when manufacturing industry comes to draw labour
more and more from the country into the towns, so that a scarcity
of labour begins to prevail in the country districts. Child-labour
in agriculture is a necessary accompaniment of the small-holding
system, because the small-holder is able transitorily to maintain his
independence only through the use of cheap labour in the form of the
utilisation of the working powers of all the members of his family.
The widely celebrated patriarchal conditions which were reputed to
exist in agriculture have completely passed away. When the condition
of the labour market renders it possible, certain factory owners,
even to-day, discharge men to replace them by the cheaper labour of
women and children.

_Diffusion of Child-Labour._--In most countries the children, alike
in the villages and in the towns, are employed in agricultural
production, in trade, and in manufacturing industry. They herd geese,
cows, sheep, and swine; work in the fields and in the mines; beg,
sell matches, flowers, laces, newspapers; perform in the street,
at the theatre, the circus, and the music-hall; work at home with
their parents in inns and drinking saloons, and work in factories
and workshops. In Germany, about two and a half million children
are engaged in wage-labour, and of these more than 600,000 are of
school age. Of these latter children of school age, nearly 60 per
cent. are engaged in manufacturing industry. The number of children
employed on Sunday is certainly not less than 100,000. In the years
1890-1894, the number of children returned as working in factories
underwent a decline, for the law of 1891 and the need for notifying
the employment of children drove a portion of the children previously
employed in factories into unregulated domestic industry. In
Switzerland, 50 per cent. of the children of school age are engaged
in wage-labour; in Austria, only about 30 per cent.

The child at work in the open air enjoys a healthy freedom of
movement. For this reason, under certain conditions (which, however,
to-day can hardly be said to obtain) agricultural labour is healthier
than any other. It is seasonal work--that is, it is in abeyance in
certain seasons of the year, but in other seasons is pursued with the
greatest diligence and the greatest possible intensity, so that the
children engaged in it must work very hard from early in the morning
till late in the evening. No one who knows the wretched condition
of the country schools will speak favourably of the school training
of those children engaged in agricultural work. Child-labour in
agriculture does not replace the labour of adults. Notwithstanding
the increase in agricultural child-labour, the complaints of lack of
labour-power in the country districts are unceasing. The increased
working contributions of the children are more than counterbalanced
by the withdrawal of adult labour. This is all the more important,
because, owing to the multiple character of agricultural activities
and the lesser extent of the division of labour, agriculture demands
more independence and ability from the worker than manufacturing

Domestic work is an interesting field of child-labour. Working-class
parents are out at work all day, and have but little time to give to
housework. It is the children who attend to this. They clean out the
house, and wash and dress and take care of the little ones; that is
to say, such children do nearly as much work as those employed in
factories or workshops. In addition, the girls have to knit, sew,
mend, and cook.

Wage-earning work for children of school age is another interesting
question. The number of children of school age engaged in such work
is very great, and most of them are engaged in domestic industry. For
a proportion of school children, the holidays mean simply harder work
than ever, because, when school attendance ceases for a time, there
is no hindrance to their exploitation.

_The Causes of Child-Labour._--Capitalism, notwithstanding the
ever-increasing utilisation of machines, still needs a larger and
larger supply of human labour-power. Competition becomes increasingly
fierce, and therefore the capitalists are driven to seek cheaper
and ever cheaper human labour-power. The material needs of children
are much smaller than those of adults. In Austria, the earnings of
children engaged in domestic industry for eight hours a day, in
addition to their school work, amount to from 6 to 20 keller (6d.
to 2d.) daily. In Germany, the wages of children per hour seldom
exceed 7 or 8 pfennig (about one penny). The development of technical
science leads to a simplification of the process of manufacture by
means of a continually-increasing division of labour. This renders
it possible to employ in the work of production persons who have no
technical training whatever, and whose bodily powers are very small.
In the case of children, technical training and bodily strength are
less than in the case of adults. The employers gladly make use
of the working powers of children for the following reasons: the
children are inexperienced, they are less inclined to combine with
their fellow-workers, they can more readily be forced to accept
unfavourable conditions of work, and in the struggle with his adult
employees the possibility of replacing their labour by that of
children can be used by the employer as a trump card. Through the
employment of the labour of children, the total quantity of labour
available for employment is increased. It is owing to this fact,
and to the greater cheapness of their labour, that the employment
of children in wage-labour helps to force down the wages of adults.
It is through poverty as a rule that children are forced to adopt
wage-labour. The earnings of the parents and of other adult members
of the family are so small that the earnings of the children are
absolutely indispensable, and constitute no inconsiderable addition
to the family income. The parents, who, according to the existing
laws, for the most part have full control over the earnings of
children under age, have a direct interest in sending the child to
work. Many parents even believe that they have unrestricted rights
over their children, and that there is no reason why they should
not send the latter to the hardest possible work in the earliest
years of childhood. Many parents think that it is good alike for
them and for their children that the latter should work for wages.
They are too ignorant to understand that this expectation will prove
illusive, and that the actual result will be the precise opposite of
what they suppose. Many children are themselves pleased to go out to
work, which saves them from having to spend every day and all day in
their dull and gloomy parental home, saves them from spending all
their time under the eyes of their parents, and secures for them
freedom and independence, and opportunity for all kinds of lawful and
unlawful pleasures.

_Women’s Labour._--The parts played by the two sexes in production
and consumption differ in consequence of sexual differences. It is
for this reason that in earlier times women’s labour was concerned to
a small extent only with production, and was mainly employed in the
regulation of consumption within the household. With the development
of commerce, manufacturing industry, and town life, as a sequel of
the modern economico-technical changes resulting from the evolution
of capitalism, which rendered home industry more difficult, women’s
work entered upon a new phase. Women gradually adopted work for
wages, completely divorced from the home and its labours. Whereas
formerly women’s work was performed on behalf of certain specific
persons, under conditions largely of the women’s own choice, women’s
work had now to be conducted in accordance with a prescribed code
of rules, and the products were for consumption by unknown persons.
It is widely maintained that this change was referable to the
development of the movement for women’s emancipation, to the desire
of women for independence, but this view is erroneous. The change
just mentioned, far from contributing to the emancipation of women,
has tended rather to fix the yoke more firmly on their shoulders.
The character of women’s work naturally experienced these changes in
the towns earlier than in the country, in manufacturing districts
earlier than in agricultural. Such wage-labour as women to-day carry
on in their own homes is urban, not rural, in character. Of late,
therefore, ever more and more women leave the domestic hearth to
sell their labour in the industrial market. Wage-labour employs an
ever-increasing number of women. The census returns of all civilised
countries show that in the last decade, notwithstanding special
legislation for the regulation of the work of female wage-earners,
there has been a marked increase in women’s work, and that this
increase is proportionally greater than that of the wage-labour
of men. In countries in which capitalist production is fully
established, wage-earning men constitute about 60 per cent. of the
total adult male population, whereas 25 to 30 per cent. of the
adult female population are wage-earning women. In the factories of
Germany, more than 1,000,000 women are employed, of whom more than
30,000 are married.

The labour-force of women is utilised by capitalism on much the same
grounds as that of children. Female labour is cheap, the customary
wage for women being one-half to one-third of that for men. The
reasons for this are as follows. On the average women are more
subject than men to bodily disorders whereby their ability to work
is interrupted. In many women, wage-labour is merely a subsidiary
occupation. Such women are willing to accept lower pay, and thus
depress the wages of other women doing the same classes of work.
Moreover, they are unorganised, for the obvious reason that in
the case of women much less often than in the case of men does
wage-labour constitute their permanent life-work, and the centre of
their life’s interest is to be found in their actual or expected
family life. Women are dexterous and quiet workers, conscientious,
punctual, change their dwelling-place less readily than men, and are
willing to undertake the most disagreeable and difficult kinds of
work (married women do this for the sake of their families). Many
girls are compelled to work for absolute vital necessities. In the
case of a married couple, the husband’s earnings may be so small
that vital necessities can be supplied only when the wife also goes
out to work. The most tragic feature of such cases is that the woman
is usually forced to go out to work precisely at the time when, in
consequence of illness, the large size of the family, &c., she is
especially needed at home.

_The Consequences of Child-Labour._--A moderate amount of occupation
for children accustoms them to bodily and mental activity,
cultivates in them a sense of diligence and economy, and safeguards
them against idleness and other evil courses. Work affords an
important educational influence, and one whose value must not be
underestimated. A moderate amount of bodily work in addition to the
mental work of school is not merely harmless, but is in most cases
desirable. It is not wage-labour in and by itself which is harmful,
but the conditions under which that labour is usually carried out.
(This applies equally to the labour of women and of children.) The
greed of employers, the deficient resisting powers of children, and
the poverty of the children’s relatives, make child-labour dangerous
in manifold ways for the bodily, mental, and moral health of the
child. (_a_) Character: the work is monotonous, difficult, carried
on in dusty, evil-smelling, damp places, very early in the morning
or late at night. (_b_) Duration: many children work five to six or
even eight to ten hours, in addition to their school work. (_c_)
Age: even to-day, hundreds of children of six, seven, or eight go
out to work for wages; in home-industries, children even of four or
five are employed. (_d_) Other conditions: the tragical revelations
of official inquiries display very clearly certain other disastrous
results of child-labour.

Let us consider, for example, the case of the apprentices. Although
children of fourteen to sixteen years of age are not so strong as
the adult workers, they have to rise at an earlier hour to put the
workshop in order; for the same reason they leave later than the
adult workers. They have to serve the master, his family, and his
assistants, and, in addition, to attend school. Thus most apprentices
have to work very hard from early in the morning till late at night,
and this not only in the workshops, but also at domestic work. At the
same time they are often very badly treated. Many employers engage
many more apprentices than are really needed, simply in order to
be able to dispense with the services of assistants and servants,
whose duties are performed by the apprentices. In course of time
this ill-treatment of apprentices becomes more widely diffused. The
misery of the apprentices is greater in proportion to the poverty
of the factory or workshop in which they are employed. No one need
be surprised that there is universal complaint of the lack of
apprentices. They are so badly treated that no parents want their
own child to become an apprentice. Moreover, many families are so
poor that their children must earn money as soon as possible, and
therefore cannot be apprenticed. The relationship between apprentice
and master involves a contract on the one side to give care,
protection, and instruction, and on the other to do work. Thus the
relationship of the apprentice to the master is a twofold one, the
apprentice being a pupil, but also a workman. It is the duty of the
master to instruct the apprentice. For this purpose the apprentice is
wholly entrusted to the master’s care, and must carry out the duties
ordered by the master. The master is the stronger party economically,
and possesses a kind of parental authority over the apprentice, so
that the former’s rights and duties in respect of the contract of
service cannot be very precisely defined. Such protective rules as
exist for apprentices practically ignore the smaller industries and
home-work, for in these the difficulties of proper supervision appear
almost insuperable. What has been said will have shown that there are
sufficient causes for the miseries of apprentices.

Thus it appears that factory work is not the worst of all for
children. The influence of factory work appears in such a bad light
simply because, owing to its being more readily supervised, and owing
to the facility for statistical statement of its results, the data
are in this case more readily obtainable.

The lives of children employed in circuses and similar spectacular
public entertainments are always in danger. Any work which is
disproportionate to the powers of the weak and undeveloped body
of the child is injurious to the latter’s health. Arduous work
interferes with proper growth, and the effects of such work may
be especially disastrous in the female sex, giving rise to pelvic
contraction, &c. By interfering with the proper development of
individual organs, different forms of child-labour give rise to
characteristic deformities. It is a well-known fact that the
disease-rate and the death-rate are higher in youthful wage-workers
and in apprentices than in other children. In this connection it
suffices to refer to the so-called “diseases of occupation.” It is a
matter of general knowledge that in those districts in which children
engage in very arduous wage-labour, the percentage of adults found to
be fit for military service is exceptionally small. The best example
of this is found in those districts of Sicily in which children
work in the sulphur mines. In the year 1827, King William III of
Prussia ordered measures to be taken against excessive child-labour,
in consequence of reports made to him to the effect that a large
proportion of child-workers subsequently proved unfit for military

When a child begins in early youth to work for wages, his school
attendance is interfered with. If the child-worker does attend
school, it is so tired that it cannot follow the teacher with
sufficient attention. In districts in which a large percentage of
the children are at work, the educational development of the whole
population suffers, and not merely that of those who work for a
living. Children whose occupation involves a very restricted use of
their faculties become unfitted for other occupations, and, indeed,
lose almost entirely the faculty of adaptation. In the streets of
great manufacturing towns, large seaports, and like places, we
find numbers of children engaged in the sale of matches, flowers,
newspapers, &c., and they hawk such wares also in public-houses,
coffee taverns, and the like. Most of them use this traffic merely
as an excuse for vagabondage, begging, criminal practices, or the
offer of their persons for use by sexual perverts. They frequent the
streets by night as well as by day, and make no secret of the fact
that their aim is to beg rather than to sell their wares. It will
readily be understood that in the streets and other places in which
they hawk their wares, such children get into very bad company, and
are likely to become completely depraved. Those children who work in
factories or workshops, and those who are employed in agriculture,
are in continuous contact with adult workers, by night as well as by
day, listen to their obscene conversation, and watch their improper
acts. Some youthful workers are quite independent and free from
all supervision. Such workers often earn comparatively good wages,
and this early command of money is in such circumstances apt to be
fruitful of evil in various ways.

Excessive work awakens in the child an aversion, and even a hatred,
to work. Such a child works only from compulsion and under the
influence of fear. The hatred of work thus engendered becomes a cause
of truancy and idleness. Vagabondage and begging are easier and
more lucrative than incessant toil. When the child perceives that
its lot is one of arduous toil, whilst others live, not comfortably
merely, but in luxury, anti-social sentiments are aroused. When such
a child grows up, we have an adult disinclined for exertion and
taking pleasure in nothing. Owing to the monotony of his occupation
and the neglect of his education, his intelligence is dull and
stupid. He sees that his parents force him to work and otherwise
neglect him, and this destroys his affection for his relatives. The
foundation of the authority of family life, namely, the economic
dependence of the other members of the family upon its head, is
undermined by child-labour. Some wage-earning children are entirely
dependent upon their work, and, if unemployed, as often happens,
they lose their only legitimate means of support, and are forced into
vicious modes of livelihood. It is proved by statistical data that
a larger percentage of youthful wage-earners than of other children
become criminals; and, further, that in those districts in which
child-labour especially prevails, criminality is more extensive than
in others.

_The Consequences of Women’s Labour._--Many girls begin to work
for wages before their physical development is completed, and
when their sexual life is just beginning to awaken. The injurious
effects of work upon the health are much greater in women not yet
fully developed than in older women. By hard work the subsequent
development of the blossoming girl is disturbed. By wage-labour
girls are deprived of the opportunity of becoming acquainted with
the details of household management; their mode of life is free and
unsupervised, so that they are apt at an early age to enter into
illegitimate sexual relationships. It will be readily understood
that, in different classes of workwomen, the unfavourable influence
of these factors will exert itself in different ways. It will suffice
to refer to the different working conditions of female factory hands
and of female domestic servants.

There are many branches of manufacturing industry in which women
ought not to be employed at all, because the work these branches
involve is injurious to women’s health, and, in especial, to the
functions of their sexual life; there are many other branches of
industry in which women should only be employed if certain specific
precautions have been taken, and if certain regulations are rigidly
enforced. But at present economic pressure forces women into these
occupations also, and the necessary precautions and regulations are
too often ignored. Many women are engaged in the most exhausting
and offensive occupations, and have to continue at work even in the
later stages of pregnancy. It may even happen that the capitalist
pays a pregnant woman a smaller wage than his other women workers,
notwithstanding the fact that her needs are greater. It will readily
be understood how disastrous may be the influence of this upon the
unborn child. The children of women who continue at work during
pregnancy are born earlier and are weaker than the children of other
women. Occupations especially dangerous for the unborn child are
those in which the mother has to sit for long hours at a time in a
bent posture; those in which she has to stand continuously; those in
which she works in contact with mercury, phosphorus, aniline, iodine,
lead, or nicotine. In women who continue to work during pregnancy,
miscarriage, premature labour, and still-births are commoner than
in other women. With regard to the question of the prohibition of
women’s work during pregnancy and lactation, another point has to
be considered. If the woman remains away from work throughout the
whole period of pregnancy and lactation, not only does she lose her
place with her employer, but also she loses to a large extent her
previously acquired skill and aptitude for work. It results from this
that the woman is no longer able to work when work again becomes
possible to her. If the mother of a young infant is forced to engage
in wage-labour, the consequences are extremely disastrous to the
child, for its care is inevitably neglected. The proletarian mother
neglects her child in many instances not, as is so often believed,
because of the lack of maternal affection, but simply because she is
forced to go out to work.

Obviously it makes a great difference whether the mother’s
wage-earning work is carried on at home or elsewhere. In the latter
case the mother can do less for her child, but home-work has the
great and obvious disadvantage, that it transforms the dwelling into
a workshop, and thereby accentuates the already-existing hygienic
defects of the proletarian home. Moreover, in domestic industry the
protective regulation of women’s labour is far less complete, and
the wages are also lower. If the wife goes to work instead of the
husband, matters are not quite so bad as they otherwise might be,
for the husband in such cases to some extent takes his wife’s place
in the household. The conditions are far worse when both husband and
wife go out to work. If both the parents go to work in a factory,
the interests of the entire family suffer; the children receive no
proper upbringing, and the whole family life is ruined. In districts
in which the married women go out to work in factories, the
percentage of miscarriages and of still-births, and the death-rate
and the criminality-rate among the children, are all greater than in
regions in which factory work for married women does not prevail. In
manufacturing regions, in times during which female unemployment is
widely prevalent, there is a decline in infant mortality, in spite
of the increasing poverty resulting from the lack of employment.
The death-rate of the children, and more especially the death-rate
of the infants, in any area, is found to increase in a direct ratio
with an increase in the number of hours that the mothers work away
from their homes, and to vary inversely with the amount of the daily
earnings. The chief cause of high infant mortality is artificial
feeding, or rather the diseases engendered by artificial feeding.
Among the Jews, the infantile death-rate is lower than among those
of other creeds. The chief cause of this difference is that so small
a percentage of the Jewish married women work for wages. But in the
Jewish proletariat the conditions as regards infantile mortality are
identical with those that obtain among the Christian proletariat.

The result of the wife’s absence from home in order to work for
wages is that she is unable to attend to the work of the household;
for this reason, the housekeeping of her home is at once costly
and bad; commodities and services which in working-class homes are
usually provided by the labour of the housewife have to be obtained
or provided elsewhere for money--washing and mending, for instance.
Owing to the prevailing disorder of the household, many articles
have to be bought anew, when the old ones would have done very well
for a long time if carefully mended or patched. Various housekeeping
accessories are required; a servant may have to be employed. The dirt
and disorder of the dwelling, the bad feeding, and the irregular
family life, often drive the husband to drink; and this further
increases the family expenses.

_Regulation of Child-Labour._--Of all working conditions, those
affecting child-labour are perhaps most unrighteously regulated.
The relationship between the protection of child-labour and the
protection of other kinds of labour is analogous to the relationship
between the sections of criminal law dealing with youthful offenders
and those dealing with adult criminals. It is an actual fact that
legislation for the protection of adult workmen originated in the
protection of child-labour. It was in England, the true fatherland of
the factory system, that the regulation of child-labour first made
its appearance. The first English law for this purpose was passed in
the year 1802. Even as early as this it was necessary to intervene
for the protection of child-labour, for at that time the conditions
were perhaps the worst in the whole history of child-labour. The
individualist state, being already to some degree permeated by
socialist ideas, protects women’s labour and child-labour. But
this protection, like that of labour in general, was not in any
way based upon ethical considerations; it arose simply from the
need to protect the working capacity of the labourers considered as
profit-making tools. Moreover, in many countries, the regulations for
the protection of labour are for the most part evaded or ignored by
the employers.

In the more advanced countries, but only in these, we find the
following legislative provisions for the regulation of child-labour.
Child-labour and compulsory school attendance are contradictories. If
merely in the interest of the protection of child-labour, the State
must ordain that every child shall attend school from the age of six
to the age of twelve, and must employ every means in its power to see
that the duty of school attendance is never evaded. Regulations are
made for the prevention of mendicancy by children. In addition, the
State prescribes the conditions under which children may perform in
public (in the theatre, the concert-room, the music-hall, the circus,
&c.). The general groundwork of these regulations is that children
under fifteen shall not appear in public for money at all, and those
over fifteen only by special permission of the local authorities.
Apprenticeship is also subject to State regulation. Before the
indentures are signed, it is necessary to obtain the consent of the
local authority, and there must be a written contract between the
child’s legal representative and the master. The master must employ
the child only upon suitable work, and must provide proper housing,
food, and education for the apprentice; the apprentice must live
in a place altogether apart from the workshop, and must attend an
apprentices’ or continuation school; the master has no right to
inflict corporal punishment. What has been said about apprentices
applies in some degree also to juvenile domestic servants. The State
regulates child-labour in the larger workshops and in factories. The
employment for wages of children below a certain age is completely
forbidden. When this age is surpassed, a child may be employed
only when permission has been obtained from the local authority.
Night work by children is absolutely prohibited; a maximum number
of hours is prescribed for daily work (five to eight), and for
weekly work (thirty to forty-eight), adapted to the child’s age and
physical constitution; the intervals (daily and weekly) for rest and
the intervals for meals, and also the minimum wage, are likewise
prescribed. The State, of course, arranges that breach of these
regulations should be visited with punishment, with withdrawal of
the authority of the parent or guardian, and with prohibition of the
employment of children by the employer concerned.

_Regulation of Women’s Labour._--Night labour for women is in some
cases forbidden, in others allowed under certain restrictions. The
employment of women in mines and in certain other extremely dangerous
occupations is forbidden. The employment of women for a certain
number of weeks after childbirth is also forbidden. From various
sides we hear a proposal that women should be permitted to work as
half-timers--that is, for half the working day. It is suggested, to
secure continuity of work, that the women should work (during the
daytime only) in two shifts, half the women employees during the
morning, the other half during the afternoon. The advocates of this
proposal suggest that the women on the morning shift could attend
to their domestic duties in the afternoon, and, conversely, that
those on the afternoon shift could attend to their domestic duties
in the morning, and that the supervision and care of the children
could be mutually arranged by the members of the two shifts. Most of
the advocates of this system propose merely its introduction as an
optional measure--that is to say, that women who wish to work the
whole day should not be forbidden to do so; and they also propose
that it should be applicable in the case of married women only. In
any case, we cannot expect great things from any such system.

_Reform of Apprenticeship._--To-day much thought is given to the
question of the reform of apprenticeship, which indeed stands greatly
in need of reform. The technical education of the present day is
extremely defective. The smaller employers are unable to give proper
instruction, because they lack both time and capacity. The training
of the apprentices in the larger factories is also scrappy, because
the division of labour is of such a kind that none of the employees
have time to give to the instruction of apprentices, and these
latter therefore receive no more than a partial technical education.
Moreover, the owners of the larger factories are unwilling to receive
apprentices, because, if they do this, their factories are subjected
to a number of additional inconvenient regulations. The apprentice no
longer belongs, as in former times, to the master’s family, and no
longer receives his education there; indeed, many masters do not even
provide board and lodging for their apprentices, and in that case
the latter are apt to be greatly neglected. It is obvious that great
stress must be laid upon the technical education of apprentices. But
no importance can be attached to the argument that through a proper
education of the apprentices an improvement would be effected in
the conditions of the lesser industries. What is necessary is that
the State should provide technical schools, and itself undertake in
these the education of apprentices. In some countries quite a number
of such technical schools have been founded, but, owing to the great
cost of these schools, the complete abolition of the system of the
nominal instruction of apprentices at the hands of their masters is
not at present to be expected. Homes of technical instruction for
girls are also greatly needed, and do already exist in many places.
But such homes must on no account be under the management of the
Church, nor must they be dominated in any degree by the so-called
religious spirit. Their sole object is to provide for these learners
board and lodging on the same scale as they would have if they
were in service, and to provide them with opportunities of seeking
employment during their free time. A further crying need is the
organisation, not of apprentices only, but of the younger workmen
and workwomen generally. The organisation of the workers is the most
effective means for the prevention of their ill-treatment at the
hands of their employers.

The general attitude of socialists and trade-unionists towards
apprenticeship is the following: Many trade-unions insist that in
collective bargains between workpeople and their employers there
should be stipulations as to the maximum number of apprentices to
be employed by each individual master; before the contracts of
apprenticeship are signed, the unions call the attention of the
relatives of the proposed apprentice to the unfavourable position
occupied by the apprentices in certain branches of industry, and
warn the relatives against certain employers who are well known to
treat their apprentices badly; some unions found their own technical
schools. No attention whatever need be paid to the objection that
such activities on the part of trade-unions tend towards the revival
of the old guild system.

_Enforcement of such Regulations._--To secure a really effective
protection for women’s labour and child-labour, it is necessary that
women and children should be protected in all branches of labour,
including agriculture and domestic service. If the protection and
regulation are limited to certain branches of labour, the inevitable
result is that women and children are driven out of the protected
and regulated, into the unprotected and unregulated trades. (This
was the experience in Germany, for example, as a sequel of the law
passed in the year 1891.) It is, above all, necessary that home
industry should be regulated, as, in default of this, no satisfactory
results can be expected. It is further essential that all children
should be protected, regardless of the relationship they may bear to
the employer. Employers related to the children they employ must be
subject to regulation just as much as others, for it is well known
that relatives who have once begun to exploit their own children tend
to become the most inconsiderate of all those who overdrive youthful

In the larger workshops, and in factories, the requisite strict and
continuous regulation of all the circumstances which might affect
children unfavourably is rendered fairly easy, owing to the fact
that the number of such large establishments is comparatively small.
But the stringency and reality of the supervision still leave much
to be desired, owing to the great influence possessed by wealthy
property owners. In almost every country, year after year, the
factory inspectors report that the regulations for the protection
of children working in factories are evaded, and yet the local
authorities are powerless to remedy these abuses. Where children work
in their own families, or in small workshops, the conditions are
always less favourable, owing to the close and intimate relationship
that obtains in these cases between child and employer. Inasmuch as
the number of families engaged in home industries and employed at
small workshops runs into millions, and in view of the circumstance
previously mentioned, that the protection of child home-workers
involves an interference with parental authority, regulation is here
a much more difficult matter.

The executive authorities to which is entrusted the enforcement of
these protective regulations are: medical practitioners, factory
inspectors, local governing bodies, police, and school teachers. It
is essential that the part played by the medical practitioner should
be largely extended. Permission for a child to undertake wage-labour
should depend absolutely upon the permission of a certifying
physician; the doctors should examine all the workplaces with an eye
to their hygienic requirements; and from time to time they should
examine the female and youthful employees, to make sure that their
work is not injurious to their health. But we are still far from the
adoption of these simple and yet essential measures. The rôle of the
factory inspectors is especially important, because the enforcement
of regulations for the protection of labour is one of their principal
and specific duties. In many of the States of the American Union, in
France, in England, and in many of the federated States of the German
Empire, there already exist female factory inspectors. The school
teachers play an important part in regulation. They are constantly
in contact with the children, know their special circumstances, are
in a position to note abnormalities as they appear, and readily
ascertain the causes of such abnormalities. Above all, is their rôle
an important one in relation to the control of domestic industry.

_Objections to the Protective Regulation of the Labour of Women
and Children._--Many objections have been advanced, chiefly by the
employers of labour, against the protective regulations we have been
considering. Most of these objections were first heard in England
more than a century ago, at the time of the first legislation for
the protection of child-workers; but they are continually and loudly
reiterated to-day. They are the following: (_a_) Arduous physical
toil, the work of the proletarians, women’s labour, are merely parts
of the struggle for existence with which we have no business to
interfere. (_b_) The work of women and children is indispensable to
modern industry, for certain of its processes can be carried out
only by women, or by children, as the case may be. (_c_) The work
is not injurious to the health either of women or of children; on
the contrary, it does them good. (_d_) The children ought to be at
work, otherwise they are either loafing about the streets or making
themselves a nuisance to their parents at home. (_e_) To abolish
women’s labour and child-labour would simply be to deprive them of
their means of livelihood. (_f_) The suppression of women’s labour
and child-labour renders it more difficult for national industry
to compete with foreign industry; indeed, it threatens the very
existence of the national industry. (_g_) Many advocates of the
emancipation of women oppose the protection of women’s labour on
the ground that such protection limits women’s right to sell their
labour. (_h_) In regions inhabited by two or more nationalities
regarded as being of unequal value, it is thought to be permissible
to exploit the labour of the women and children of the reputedly
inferior race. (In the United States of America, for example, we are
told that the question is not one concerning American children, but
one concerning Slavonic and Italian children, which, however hard
they may have to work, are yet better off than they would have been
in their own fatherland. It is worthy of remark that in the United
States of America, especially in the Southern and the Western States,
the conditions in the matter of child-labour are much the same as
those that obtained in England at the beginning of the nineteenth

_These Objections Answered._--(_a_) The answer to this and to similar
arguments was given in our discussion of Darwinism in relation to
child-protection. (_b_) There are no processes for whose performance
women and children are indispensable. When, for certain stages of
manufacture, women and children are unobtainable, these stages are
very well performed by men or by machinery. (_c_) This is true
only when the conditions of work are properly regulated. (_d_) It
is true that certain work may exercise an educative influence;
but wage-labour is entirely devoid of moralising and educative
influences. When we are told that by putting the child to work it
learns to love work, that it becomes thrifty and diligent, that it
is restrained from vagabondage, we may answer, that under present
conditions wage-labour for children has the very opposite effects.
If child-labour in factories and workshops really exerted such an
educative influence as the employers pretend, why do they not send
their own children to work in the factories, and why do they reserve
these advantages for the children of the proletariat? (_f_) Wherever,
in certain branches of industry, woman’s labour and child-labour have
been forbidden, as, for example, in England, the following results
have been noted. An improvement in working conditions is invariably
followed by an increase in the intensity of the work performed, and
also by an improvement in its quality. Manufacturing industry does
not come to a standstill because, in consequence of regulation,
certain processes previously performed by women and children have
now to be carried out by machines or by men; on the contrary, as
a result of this, the industry becomes more vigorous and more
efficient. It does so, first of all, because the latest improvements
in technique are perforce adopted when cheap labour can no longer be
exploited; in the second place, because the health of the workers,
upon which above all the efficiency of the industry depends, is
increased. Regulation therefore actually increases the power of
a national industry to make headway against foreign competition.
We have also to remember that the same objections that we are now
considering have been advanced against the protection of adult male
labour, and have been shown by experience to be invalid in this case
also. This objection commonly makes its appearance in the following
form: in many branches of industry the protection of the workers
increases the cost of production and lowers the quality of the
goods produced; this resulted, for example, when the use in certain
processes of lead, mercury, phosphorus, and arsenic was forbidden,
and the sequel was that the commodities in question were imported
from countries in which such protection of labour did not exist. But
this argument is in fact an argument for the internationalisation of
the legislative protection of labour. For it involves an admission
that the disadvantages of such regulation cease to exist when in a
number of competing countries like measures of protection prevail, so
that no one of the countries enjoys in this respect any commercial
advantage over the others. It is an actual fact that in very recent
years the international regulation of women’s labour and child-labour
on uniform lines has made enormous advances. The very fact that
the protection of women’s labour and child-labour tends to lead
ultimately to the adoption of a uniform international code, is an
extremely favourable phenomenon, in harmony with the general tendency
of evolution. (_g_) The argument from the side of the advocates for
the emancipation of women is fundamentally false. It does not tend
towards women’s emancipation to leave women free to seek their own
destruction. If the protection of women’s labour leads to injurious
results, the only conclusion we can properly draw from this fact is
that our regulation must be effected in some other manner, so that
these injurious results may no longer occur. (_h_) The argument about
the inferior races is a very dangerous one. The rights of women and
children are identical, to whatever nationality they may happen to
belong. We might just as well maintain that the exploitation of the
labour power of the proletariat is quite justifiable on the ground
that the proletariat is of inferior quality to the other classes of
society. And if we are told that women and children are better off
in the factories and workshops than they are in their own homes,
the obvious answer to this is that, in that case, it is absolutely
essential that the conditions of their domestic life should be

_Radical Solution of the Problem._--A radical solution of this
problem is to be expected only from an increase in the wages of
the adult male workers. Not until the earnings of the father of
the family suffice to provide adequately for all the needs of the
family, will it become unnecessary for mother and children to work
for wages. It is a fact of general experience that those workmen
who earn adequate wages do not let their wives and children go out
to work; and also that in the case of men occupied in the so-called
seasonal trades, it is only during the husbands’ slack season that
the wives and children contribute by their earnings to the family
income (for instance, the wives and children of bricklayers go out to
work during the winter only). If women and children did not undertake
wage-labour, the supply of labour in general would be much smaller,
and as a result of this the wages of the adult male workers would
necessarily rise. It is most probable that in course of time the
adult male workers will succeed in obtaining considerably higher
wages than they receive on the average to-day. Wage-labour on the
part of women and children will then for the most part cease, and
this will result in yet further increase in the wages of the men. The
adult male workers should not lose sight of the fact that by allowing
their wives and children to work for wages they merely succeed in
making their own condition worse. For a short time after the wives
and children first begin to work there may, indeed, be an increase in
the family income; but the ultimate result is to make life harder,
not merely for themselves, but for other workmen in general. If,
on the other hand, they do not allow their wives and children to
engage in wage-labour, they may sometimes suffer for the moment, by
a temporary diminution in income; but they enter upon a path which
cannot fail ultimately to lead to benefit both for their own family
and for the other workers.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--The tendency of evolution is towards
the disappearance of child-labour. It is statistically proved that
the larger any industrial undertaking, the smaller proportionately
is the number of children employed in that undertaking. But the
tendency of evolution is unquestionably in the direction of the
development of gigantic commercial enterprises through the absorption
or competitive destruction of a much larger number of comparatively
small enterprises. In the future we shall attain a condition in
which no one will be allowed to undertake work of any kind which is
injurious either to himself or to his offspring in any way whatever.
Much of the work of women and children for wages such as goes on
to-day will unquestionably be prohibited. No doubt, wage work for
women will exist in the future, and some of it perhaps will be more
intensive even than to-day; but, unquestionably, whatever wage work
women do will be in a form which can do no harm to the present or
to future generations. Children will be properly educated, and
until the years of their education are finished will engage in such
work only as is educative in its influence and character. Technical
manual instruction will be one of the principal methods of education.
As co-operative housekeeping spreads, women will have much less
domestic work to do than at present. In this department of work
also, the principle of the division of labour will be applied, and
the individual details of the domestic economy of to-day will then
be entrusted to the hands of professional specialists. Adult women
will engage in much the same sort of work as men, with the exception
of those occupations which experience shows to be injurious, for
sexual reasons, either to themselves or to their offspring. In the
regulation of women’s work, consideration will of course have to be
paid to the physiological disturbances which periodically recur in



_Introductory._--The objects of this department of child-protection
are, first, to prevent the child becoming ill; secondly, if it has
become ill, to cure it. The hygiene of childhood deals with the
former question, and pediatrics with the latter. In this chapter
we shall consider those problems only which concern the health of
children of the poorer classes.

_The Health of Proletarian Children._--Owing to the lesser resisting
power of children, the factors of ill-health operate much more
powerfully in the case of youthful than in the case of adult
proletarians. But other factors are in operation in addition to
this inferior power of resistance. Unfavourable conditions act upon
proletarian women during pregnancy, and affect proletarian children
at the time of birth. The circumstance which more than all others
is injurious to the health of these children, and which contributes
to produce the result that a larger percentage of working-class
than of upper-class children are feeble-minded, is quantitative and
qualitative insufficiency of nutriment. Studies of the relationship
between the prices of food-stuffs and the average working-class
income have shown that the majority of working men have an income
too small to provide for themselves and their children the minimum
quantity of nutritive materials (of the proper quality) which
physiological science has proved to be indispensable to the daily
renewal of the bodily forces. Statistical data prove beyond question
that the height and the body-weight of proletarian children are less
than those of children of the well-to-do. Rickets is principally a
disease of children of the poorer classes. Among upper-class children
the severer forms of this disease is hardly ever seen. Rickets
arises chiefly as a sequel of digestive disturbances; and these, in
their turn, are referable to the deficiencies of artificial feeding.
Among the poor we find many more blind children and many more deaf
mutes than among the rich, the reason being that among the poor, in
so many instances, when the defect is first noticed, no attempt is
made to seek medical advice. According to trustworthy statistical
data, 95 per cent. of the occupants of blind asylums belong to the
poorer classes.

_Causes of the Movement for the Protection of Proletarian
Children._--To-day great stress is laid upon attention to the
health not only of the general population, but in especial to the
health of children. During the nineteenth century the view became
general that in the interests of the health of the children,
society ought to be prepared to make any sacrifices. In the domain
of social hygiene--that is, of the science which occupies the
borderland between the science of public health and the science of
sociology--neither the men of theory nor the men of practice can
venture to adopt a one-sided class outlook. During recent years,
upon the groundwork of these sound conceptions, a number of new
institutions have been founded, by means of which the general
condition of public health and the hygiene of childhood (including
that of proletarian childhood) have been considerably improved. In
many directions the advances in medical science tend to counteract
with success the disorders consequent upon the development of
capitalism. The technique of artificial feeding has been greatly
improved, and this has led to a reduction in infantile mortality;
ophthalmia of the new-born can now be efficiently prevented, and this
has led to a decrease in the number of blind persons.

To the upper classes of society the health of the lower classes is
of importance for two reasons--(_a_) the former have need of the
working powers of the latter, and in bad hygienic conditions these
working powers are impaired; (_b_) if the health of the lower classes
is neglected, it is not these classes alone which suffer, but the
rich suffer as well. For example, the well-to-do are endangered
when nothing is done to check the spread of infectious diseases
among the poor, and when poor persons attacked by these diseases are
left without proper treatment. If the health of poor children be
neglected, the results are extremely serious, not for these children
alone, but for the children of the well-to-do and for adults.

_Institutions._--Institutions are of great importance. A larger
proportion of the children of the poor than of the children of the
well-to-do are dealt with in institutions, for well-to-do parents
live in commodious houses, in which their children can be properly
cared for, they are able to summon the doctor whenever necessary,
and so on. The most important institutions in this connection are
hospitals for infants and young children. Children’s hospitals are
not as yet very numerous; hospitals for infants are still fewer. The
majority of these institutions are maintained, not by the State or by
the local authority, but by the community at large. It is owing to
the fact that children’s and infants’ hospitals are so few in number
that medical practitioners are so inadequately trained in respect
of the hygiene of childhood and pediatrics, and in especial in the
hygiene and therapy of infant life. The need for such hospitals is
not satisfied by the foundation of children’s clinics. A combination
of hospitals for infants with lying-in hospitals or foundling
hospitals is unquestionably along the proper course of development.

If we wish to ascertain the value of institutions for children
who are blind, deaf-mute, crippled, or feeble-minded--if we wish
to learn whether it is socially worth while to take special pains
for the care of such children, or whether they can be adequately
cared for in general institutions, and what would be the cost of
these respective methods--we must study statistics bearing on these
questions. But, unfortunately, these statistics are defective and
extremely untrustworthy. They are defective, because they fail to
give us precise information concerning personal data and concerning
the percentage of such children who are or may become fit to earn
their own living. They do not classify properly according to age, and
they do not state accurately how many of the children have inherited
and how many have acquired the defect from which they suffer. (The
youngest children will usually be found to suffer from an inherited
defect, since they will hardly have had time to acquire it. Among
those suffering from such defects, the young present a larger
proportion of sufferers than we find among the general population,
because the mortality of the children thus affected is higher than
the mortality of healthy children.) The statistics are untrustworthy,
because the existence of deaf-mutism is often overlooked until
childhood is comparatively advanced, and feeble-mindedness may not
be recognised at all. In the twentieth century, in the civilised
countries of Europe, we find, per 100,000 of the population, from
50 to 130 blind persons, from 60 to 250 deaf persons, 70 to 450
feeble-minded and insane (minimal and maximal figures), and about 120
cripples. According to certain statistical data, one-fourth of the
blind and two-thirds of the deaf-mutes are competent to earn their
living, and 90 per cent. of the cripples are endowed with perfectly
normal mental powers. It is even maintained that from such children,
if they are otherwise healthy, we can, with comparatively trifling
effort, obtain useful members of society.

There is no doubt that when once such children have been born, we
must do the best we can for them and with them. They must either be
destroyed, or, in default of this, must be developed and educated
to the fullest extent of their powers; unless this is done, great
evil ensues, for the children become permanently dependent upon
public assistance; or else (and this applies especially to the
feeble-minded) become confirmed criminals. When the defect is a
serious one, such children should on no account be brought up in the
family circle, or educated in ordinary schools; it is absolutely
necessary to provide special schools and institutions for each
class of such defectives--blind schools, deaf-mute schools, cripple
schools, &c. Feeble-minded children, however, whose mental level is
only a very little below the average, or who are merely backward
from a temporary retardation of development, may be educated in the
ordinary schools, or in special classes of these schools. Children
with defective hearing should not attend the public elementary
school. Even if such a child is exceptionally talented, and if
it receives the greatest possible amount of help at home, these
circumstances will not make up for the educational defects inevitably
attendant upon its deafness. As soon as examination by the school
doctor shows that serious defect of hearing exists, or if such
defect is obvious even before medical examination has been made, the
child should be transferred to a special class or to a special school
for the deaf. As far as I am aware, such institutions exist as yet
only in Berlin.

In the treatment of defective children, the school teachers as
well as the doctors have a very important part to play. It is best
that those who teach such children should themselves have received
specialised medical and educational training. It was not until the
beginning of the latter half of the eighteenth century that any
serious effort was made to grapple with the problem of the education
of the blind and the deaf-mutes; it was more than a hundred years
later before the problems of the education of feeble-minded and of
crippled children respectively began to receive serious attention.

_Country Holiday Funds and Open-air Schools._--The health of
town children sometimes needs a thorough restoration, in default
of which the child would become seriously ill in the dusty and
contaminated air of our large towns. But in children of school age
such restoration is possible only during the summer holidays. This
is where the country holiday funds can play a very useful part.
These began to come into existence in Switzerland about thirty
years ago, and have now obtained a wide diffusion in all civilised
countries, and especially in manufacturing countries. As with every
new branch of public care for the needs of the poor, and especially
with the institutions considered in this chapter, the first steps in
this matter were taken by the community at large--that is to say,
by private associations. It will be a task of the near future to
organise and unify these associations. Such country holidays are an
important feature of the campaign against tuberculosis. They have
the further advantage, that they provide the child with manifold new
experiences. The societies take poor and weakly, but not actually
diseased children, and send them to the country for the summer
holidays, in some cases boarding them with families, in other cases
sending them to special institutions. The advantages of the family
system are those of family life in general, and in addition that in
such a family the town child will learn much more about the details
of country life. Of late some of these societies have gone on to the
foundation of permanent holiday homes for the relays of children they
send to the country. Inasmuch as the good effect of the summer visit
to the country tends soon to pass off, the after-care of the children
during the winter is very useful. In the case of children who for one
reason or another (for example, because they lack suitable clothing,
or because the society does not possess adequate funds) cannot be
sent to the country for a sufficiently long time, semi-urban colonies
and milk-stations are not without their value. The children during
the holiday season are taken by the teacher in large groups (forty
to sixty) into the open, are well fed, and, if opportunity offers,
given baths, and in the evening taken home to their parents. Of
late years has originated the idea of the open-air school, which
occupies an intermediate place between the school and the sanatorium
for children. During the holiday season the children stay in the
forest, and receive every day a few hours’ instruction in the open
air. Holiday playgrounds provide opportunities for town children to
play, under the guidance of suitable persons, in school-yards and
in parks. In this connection may also be mentioned arrangements for
the exchange of children during the holiday season between town and
country families. Certain weakly and sickly children should during
the summer be sent to a spa or a sanatorium. There already exist
special spas, Kurorts, and sanatoria for children. There are, for
example, special seaside resorts for rickety and tubercular children.
[_e.g._ in England, for tubercular children, Margate.]

_Proposed Reforms._--It is the duty of the poor-law boards to devote
great attention to the health, not merely of those children for
whose care they are directly responsible, but also for poor children
in general. The law should provide a right of interference on the
part of the local authority in the case of children whose health is
endangered by prolonged confinement to the house--for example, where
there is grave danger from exposure to infection--and this in cases
in which it is not possible to speak of “neglect” in the narrower
sense of the term. But if powers are given, in such cases, to remove
a child for institutional care, it should only be till such a time as
is requisite for the domestic conditions to be transformed, so that
the child may return home without danger to its health. In respect
of the hospitals under the direct control of the local authorities,
it is necessary that the latter should have the right of removal of
children needing hospital treatment whose parents do not send them to
hospital on their own initiative. This last idea is already partially
realised, inasmuch as certain modern foundling hospitals receive
for treatment sick children who have not entered the hospital as

_Need for Enlightenment._--It is really astounding how little
the laity know about the elementary principles of the hygiene of
child life, and more especially of infant life. In respect of the
management of infants, the most absurd practices prevail, some of
which are largely responsible for the extent of infant mortality. It
is therefore of enormous importance that the population in general,
and especially the lower classes, should be properly instructed
in these matters. But even medical practitioners lack sufficient
instruction in respect of the hygiene and therapy of childhood, and
even more in respect of the hygiene and therapy of infancy. This is
due to the fact that there is no proper teaching of these specialties
at most universities. Quite recently, however, there has been some
improvement in these respects.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--The importance of such institutions as
those we have been discussing will become ever greater. Indeed, the
great majority of sick persons will ultimately receive institutional
care. The functions we have been considering, at present administered
by the community at large and by the local authority, will eventually
be taken over by the State.



_Importance of the Public Elementary School._--Of the various
schools, it is only the public elementary school with which we need
concern ourselves in this book. The State compels no one to attend
the higher school or the university. The children of the lower
classes of the population, whose relatives are not in a position to
provide instruction for them in their own homes, are all sent to the
public elementary school. Now, since in a manufacturing town nearly
three-fourths of all the children belong to the lower classes, since
for this reason, of the children attending the public elementary
schools, the enormous majority belong to the proletariat, since,
finally, only a minimal proportion of proletarian children attend
any other kind of school, it follows that the public elementary
school is primarily intended for the children of the proletariat,
and that practically the only school available for these children
is the public elementary school. To-day, the children of the lower
classes are educated almost exclusively in the public elementary
school, those of the middle classes chiefly in the public elementary
school, while those of the upper classes are educated almost without
exception in their own homes by tutors and governesses. [Obviously
the writer refers here to the conditions obtaining in his own

_Methods of Instruction._--Children at the present day can be
educated by any of the following methods: (_a_) The parents
themselves instruct their children; (_b_) they have their children
taught by a tutor or a governess in their own homes; (_c_) they
combine to carry on special schools for their own children (family
schools); (_d_) they send their children either to a governmental
or to a private school. In former days there existed no public
schools. Parents either educated their own children, or had them
educated by a tutor or governess. As time goes on the number of
parents increases who are competent to teach their children all
that they learn at the public elementary school; but most parents
have neither leisure nor desire to undertake this. Consider, for
example, the case of the father of a family whose whole day is spent
at work. Most fathers of families make a better use of their time by
devoting all their energies to their trade or profession, instead of
themselves attempting the education of their children. Thus here also
the principle of the division of labour comes more and more fully
into application. The parent gives his whole time to his work for
a livelihood, and the profession of teacher becomes more and more
exclusively that of a specialist. The children of the proletariat
are in need of education, and in their case, apart from the question
of leisure or desire, the parents lack the necessary aptitude to
instruct their own children. The public elementary schools of to-day
have come into existence for the children of these lower strata
of the population, and the curriculum of such schools has been
determined mainly by the decision of the upper classes as to what it
is expedient that the lower classes should be taught.

Education at home by a tutor or governess is in certain respects
superior, and in other respects inferior, to that obtainable at the
public elementary school. The advantages of home instruction are,
first, that it has a more individual character, since the tutor
or governess is more intimately acquainted with the child, and
each individual child receives a comparatively larger share of the
teacher’s attention; secondly, in the case of a large family, we
have the best possible type of co-education; thirdly, the unhygienic
influences of the public elementary school can be avoided. The
disadvantages are: a really good tutor or governess is by no means
easy to find, and in the absence of such a one, the education is most
inefficient; the domestic instructor is but a single person, whereas
in the public elementary school there are a number of teachers, and
the defects of one will be compensated by the good qualities of
another; we may even say that the defects of the teachers are more
than compensated by the other influences of the public elementary
school. Education by a domestic instructor can never make good for
the child the lack of the multiform life of the school, which affords
so admirable a preparation for later life. In the school there are
many children who compete with one another, but also form friendships
with one another. However questionable it may be, on grounds of
principle, whether for the purposes of instruction and education it
is proper to appeal to the ambition, competitive zeal, and envy of
children, yet we have to admit that so long as the present order of
society continues, based upon individualism and free competition,
it is absolutely essential that children should be prepared for
individualism and free competition. If the domestic instructor gets
on friendly terms with the child, his authority is apt thereby to be
undermined; but if he remains on purely formal terms, he risks the
repression of the child’s individuality. Friction between parents and
domestic instructors is almost inevitable. Education in the public
elementary school costs far less per child than domestic instruction,
and this saving is advantageous, not to the individual only, but from
the standpoint of public economy. It is altogether opposed to the
interest of public economy that each child should have a separate
teacher; that certain work, which can be properly performed by a
certain number of teachers, should be done in such a way as to need
ten times that number of teachers. To do this is to waste time and
energy which in the interest of public economy might be much better
employed. When some children are educated at home and others in the
public elementary school, the two classes of children have entirely
a different education, and this can only tend to accentuate class
contrasts, which are already excessive.

_The General Obligation of School Attendance._--The economic order
of to-day, based as it is upon free competition, should impose like
conditions upon all the competitors in the economic struggle. We
cannot speak of free competition unless all the competitors start
from scratch; in a system of free competition all should start with
the same educational opportunities. As time goes on the desire
becomes ever more general that every member of the community should
secure a certain minimum of education; and it is felt that the State
is not merely justified but obliged to secure this minimum for all.
Thus it becomes continually more important that every adult should
have this elementary minimum of education. The existing economic
order is based upon a general knowledge of writing and reading. One
unable to read or write is hardly in a position to safeguard his
most elementary interests. He should also know the first principles
of arithmetic, inasmuch as to-day the value of all commodities is
expressed in multiples of the monetary unit. The State is well aware
that compulsory education involves a limitation of personal freedom
and an interference with family life; but none the less the modern
State finds it necessary to insist that every child shall receive a
minimum of education.

The State imposes the duty upon those responsible for the care of the
child, of sending this child to the public elementary school from the
age of six to the age of fifteen, or, in default of this, of giving
the child an equivalent education at home. On the one hand, the State
itself institutes public elementary schools; and, on the other hand,
the State gives to the various religious organisations, to the local
authorities, and to private individuals, the right to found and
carry on elementary schools, with the proviso that in these schools
children shall receive the same education (neither more nor less)
as in the State schools. Thus, the State has no concern as to what
education the child’s relatives may think desirable, but exercises
compulsion to secure the adoption of its own educational standard,
either by inflicting penalties if the child does not attend school,
or even by removal of the child for compulsory education away from

But the so-called general obligation of school attendance is not
really general, and applies exclusively, or almost exclusively, to
the lower classes of the population. The other classes can evade the
obligation of school attendance by having their children educated
at home. The proletarian parents are well aware that the elementary
school teaches neither in matter nor in manner in accordance with
proletarian conceptions; but at present they have to submit. The
duty of universal school attendance is not very strictly enforced.
Even in the most highly civilised countries, a certain proportion
of children of school age receive no elementary education. In many
countries the universal obligation of school attendance exists only
on paper. The conditions in this respect are especially bad, on the
one hand, in the country districts (where, therefore, the proportion
of illiterates is much greater than in the towns), and, secondly, in
districts where there is a great demand for labour. The principle
of universal compulsory school attendance is not accepted without
opposition. It is resisted by many proletarian parents who wish their
children to engage in wage-labour at an early age, and it is resisted
also by many capitalists who think they could make larger profits
with cheaper labour.

_The Purpose of the Elementary School._--To enable us to answer the
question, what is the purpose of the public elementary school, it is
necessary that we should first be able to decide what is the purpose
of education. This question is not educational merely, but also
social and political. The purpose of the public elementary school is
dependent at any particular period upon the general characteristics
of that period; for, first, one learns, not at school, but in life;
secondly, the dominant authority in the State in any epoch wishes to
instil in the minds of the young whatever “virtues” are considered
essential to the maintenance of the power of the dominant caste.
All political parties consider the public elementary school to
be extremely important, and each one of them wishes to use this
institution for its own purposes. They all recognise that the future
belongs to the young, that the public elementary school plays the
leading part in the education of the young; and each party sees that
its special aims can be attained only by the education of individuals
to consider that these aims are sacred and desirable. The adherents
of a particular political tendency therefore oppose the inculcation
in the public elementary schools of any tendency adverse to their
own, but they regard it as self-evident that their own views ought to
be inculcated in the elementary school.

_Instruction_ versus _Education_.--Many persons contend that the aim
of the school is not so much education as instruction. They consider
that the main factor in education is not the school, but the family.
But this is certain, that even in the school which thinks only of
instructing its pupils, education in the wider sense is effected.
In school life, in school friendships, in the sense of solidarity,
in the friendly competition between schoolfellows, in the necessity
to learn, are embodied powerful educative influences. It is, in
fact, essential that the school should educate as well as instruct.
The public elementary school of to-day makes therefore a very great
mistake if it insists on intellectual rather than on moral education,
and upon instruction rather than upon education.

_Moral Instruction._--According to the views of educationalists, it
is the aim of the public elementary school to educate children to be,
(_a_) religious, (_b_) patriotic, (_c_) obedient, (_d_) humble, (_e_)
subordinate citizens. The elementary school of to-day does in fact
mainly subserve these ends.

(_a_) Religious instruction and the inculcation of the fear of God
are no proper part of the work of the public elementary school.
Among all the factors of education, it is certainly not the public
elementary school which should undertake this branch of instruction.

(_b_) The public elementary school has to teach children to love
their country; but this should on no account be done in such a way as
to inspire hatred for other countries.

(_c_) The old elementary schools taught obedience and subordination.
But to-day, when the conditions are quite different from those of
the Middle Ages, the public elementary school should do nothing of
the kind, but should rather teach independent judgment, promptness
of action, and soundness of decision. The public elementary school
is a public institution like the (State) railway and the post
office, and compulsory school attendance is a civic duty analogous
to the duty of military service. But it is necessary to protest most
energetically against the inference sometimes drawn from the analogy
between the two last-named duties, that the elementary school should
be the preparatory school to the barrack, and the barrack a sort of
continuation school to the elementary school--against the doctrine
that children should be disciplined to a blind obedience. We must
carefully avoid overestimating the importance of discipline. The
school must and does use compulsion. Discipline is an important means
of elementary school education, and such education is unthinkable
without discipline. But children are sufficiently disciplined by mere
attendance at school for a certain time.

(_d_) The following idea is very generally diffused, that it is the
aim of the school to prepare children for the life they will have
to lead when they are grown up. Most of the children attending the
public elementary schools will become proletarians, wage-workers.
Since the proletarian must be diligent, thrifty, humble, disciplined,
it is regarded as the duty of the elementary school to inculcate
these virtues. But these so-called virtues are not virtues at all.
The greatest obstacle to any improvement in the lot of the average
wage-earner is that he should be content with things as they are. The
labourers’ wage represents the minimum that he finds requisite to the
satisfaction of his needs; when his needs increase, his wages rise.
Every friend of social progress should endeavour to secure that the
elementary school should arouse in the children certain needs and

(_e_) Many persons wish to utilise the public elementary school to
turn children away from socialist ideas. This is to be done by making
the children acquainted with the dangers which the realisation of
socialist theories would involve, and in addition by inculcating in
the children the afore-mentioned virtues. But the attainment of this
end is less easy than such persons imagine. The public elementary
school exercises a certain influence. The workman who has received at
school education and instruction of the suggested type will doubtless
less readily become an enthusiastic adherent of the socialist party
than the workman who has never attended an elementary school, and
who was an illiterate until he first came under the influence of his
trade union. But the notions inculcated in the public elementary
school in respect of obedience, humility, and the like are readily
eradicated by a short experience of socialist comradeship, and
replaced by social-democratic ideas.

_General Culture._--It is by no means one of the aims of the public
elementary school to provide general culture. Even less is this
the aim of education than it is the aim of the public elementary
school--and the provision of general culture by the latter would
appear to be entirely out of the question. During the few years a
child spends at the public elementary school, it is impossible to
attempt to impart all that is included in the wide field of general

_Individuality._--A large proportion of those pupils with a
well-marked individuality can develop their personality even in the
school. The tendency of the school is in many cases to rub off the
edges and corners of individuality. But it is impossible to approve
of the extent to which, in the public elementary school of to-day,
the children’s individuality is repressed. Our present elementary
schools do not individualise enough. Their principal aim is, not so
much to provide a sound education, as to force all the pupils through
the same rigid curriculum, without making any allowance for their
various special aptitudes. (For what good end is it that the modern
educational authority should regulate every detail of school-life,
down to the quality and price of the articles used in class, and
even to the colour of the manuscript books and the precise number of
pages they are to contain?) In the elementary school of to-day, owing
to the large size of the classes and the small number and defective
training of the teachers, individualisation is impossible.

_Beauty._--The school must not indeed attempt to make all the
children into artists; but the children must most certainly be taught
to understand and appreciate beauty--that is, the arts. Our present
public elementary schools are extremely defective from this point of

_Knowledge._--Knowledge gives the individual power, and provides him
with a powerful weapon in the struggle for existence. The dominant
classes, for the protection of their own egoistic interests, keep
knowledge for themselves, and refuse to provide the lower classes
with the means and weapons for their liberation. The State insists
upon a minimal quantity of knowledge for every one of its members,
because this is to the interest of the community and of the upper
classes. But since to impart to the common people anything beyond
this minimum of knowledge would threaten the dominance of the upper
classes, or would at any rate involve pecuniary sacrifices on the
part of the latter, and since it might even lead to the liberation of
the lower classes, the functional activity of the public elementary
schools is kept at as low a level as possible, and is limited as much
as possible both intrinsically and extrinsically. The State and the
upper classes devote to popular education only such an amount as is
found to be absolutely essential. They are well aware that much more
could be done than is done in the way of popular education; but since
they know also that this would redound chiefly to the advantage of
the lower classes, they propose no advance upon the present system.
This affords a satisfactory explanation of the fact that the modern
State spends so much less upon elementary schools than upon middle
or high schools--that is, upon institutions for the upper classes,
and why the State spends so much less upon education in general than
upon other things. The budget of any modern State would exemplify the
fact that the individualist State spends at least five times as much
for military purposes as upon elementary education. The more complete
the division of labour, the more do employers tend to utilise the
services of unskilled labourers--that is, the services of those whose
work is of such a character that all they need know to enable them
to perform it is at most a little reading, writing, and arithmetic.
The capitalists have no use for workmen with more knowledge than
this, for the unskilled workers are cheaper. The owning class are not
inclined to make sacrifices to enable the children of workpeople to
learn more in the elementary school. They know very well that to do
this would merely be to do themselves harm, for the more the workman
knows the more readily does he think independently, the more critical
is he, and the more readily does he recognise the defects of the
existing social order.

_Science._--The modern public elementary school professes to teach
children science. But they must first of all give their pupils desire
and capacity for the acquirement of science. It should not be their
aim to impart to the child the elements of any particular science,
but rather to develop a capacity for a speedy acquisition of the
knowledge it will find necessary in the course of its life. The
procedure of the older elementary school which laid stress only upon
memory is almost completely a thing of the past. But even to-day the
elementary schools of Europe lay most emphasis upon the exhibition by
their pupils of extensive knowledge, and this involves an overtaxing
of the memory at the expense of the powers of thought. The elementary
schools of the United States of America, on the other hand, do not so
much endeavour to secure that a certain quantity of knowledge should
be imparted, they do not so much insist upon thorough instruction,
and strict concentration in the narrower sense of the term, as
endeavour to effect a stimulated interest and a certain degree of
orientation in all departments of knowledge. The latter system is the
sounder. But a certain foundation of positive knowledge is absolutely
essential, for upon this foundation is based the acquirement of all
the knowledge subsequently gained, and necessary for the purposes
of life. The modern elementary school teaches much and many things,
including much that is altogether superfluous, but what the children
will really need in life is either not taught at all, or taught
defectively and inefficiently. Great emphasis is laid upon religion,
grammar, and history; modern science is comparatively ignored;
technical instruction, drawing, natural history, the principles of
morals, political economy, and legislation, are neglected. (It is
through the neglect of the last-mentioned that it results that man is
perhaps able to understand his responsibilities towards his Heavenly
Judge, but certainly not towards any earthly one.) When we examine
the teaching of history in the modern elementary school, we find that
the pupils, instead of acquiring some general ideas upon universal
history, and the history of civilisation, have their minds crammed
with a jingo record of wars and dynasties, a mass of dates of battles
and other trivial incidents, patriotic anniversaries, and a biassed
selection of anecdotes--all this having no other object than to bring
the children up as jingoes and anti-socialists.

_Home Work._--The idea that children must have no home work to do,
and that they should do all their work at school, is an exaggerated
one. But the fact remains that the tendency of the modern elementary
school is to overburden children with home work. This is all the
worse because the work at school is often too much for the pupils,
and to add home work is then sheer cruelty. The domestic arrangements
in the majority of proletarian homes are so exiguous, that it is
impossible for children to find the necessary conveniences and the
necessary order and quiet for any considerable amount of home work.

_The Exclusion of Certain Children._--In the public elementary
schools we find many children who ought not to be there--children,
for example, with arrested development, abnormal, neglected, &c.
If in any class there are many children suffering from arrest of
mental development, one of two things may happen--the teacher may
devote special attention to them, or he may not. In the former case,
the progress of the whole class is hindered; in the latter case,
the unfortunate backward children fall yet farther behind. Morally
neglected children, and children with criminal tendencies, should be
removed from the school, or they will corrupt the other children.
But if they are excluded, we have to fear that we are depriving them
of their last chance of improvement, and that they will become more
neglected than ever. To-day we find that there is a most deplorable
increase, above all in the large towns and manufacturing centres,
in the number of children who habitually evade school attendance
or play truant from school, idle about through the days, and then,
after school hours, and in fear of punishment, keep also away from
home. It has been proved that the great majority of these habitual
truants are feeble-minded to a degree, and for this reason tend to
adopt a vagabond life. If such a child is excluded from school, it
legally attains the condition of liberation from the obligation
of school attendance which it had previously attained illegally
though in actual fact. Chiefly in consequence of the inadequate
psychological training of the teachers, feeble-mindedness and other
mental and moral abnormalities in children are apt to be overlooked.
It is desirable that all teachers should receive a far more thorough
training in the psychology of education than has hitherto been
customary. It is necessary that for weak-minded children, or for
those who are in other respects backward or abnormal, special
schools, or in great educational institutions, special classes
(disciplinary classes), should be founded. Of late years a start has
been made in this direction.

_Rewards and Punishments._--In the public elementary school of
to-day, sound methods and principles in the matter of rewards and
punishments find but little application. Corporal punishment is
freely used, and in many cases the children are grossly ill-treated.
In the United States of America, the general experience has been that
in schools in which corporal punishment is unknown, better results
are obtained and a higher general level is reached than in schools
in which corporal punishment is customary. The mere knowledge that
they are liable to such degrading punishment suffices to lower the
children’s morale, whereas, when they feel themselves absolutely
secure from the risk of such punishment, they feel themselves from
the first to be honoured and respected. In the better elementary
schools of the United States corporal punishment is in fact unknown.

_The Constitutional Element._--In the order of the modern school no
constitutional element is recognised; the teacher is an absolute
ruler, and the pupils are subjects without rights. But this
system is not one fitted to prepare the children for democratic
social and political life. In the United States of America some
of the elementary schools have a method of government which is
quasi-parliamentary in character. It is desirable to introduce
this system into Europe, although certain modifications may be
necessary. The relationship between teacher and pupil should be as
follows. The teacher does not work solely by authority. He explains
in all cases the reasons for his commands and prohibitions; he
recognises and admits his own mistakes, treats his pupils as equals,
and makes common cause with the well-behaved children to keep the
ill-behaved in order; just as in the education of the individual we
counteract the morbid elements in the disposition by cultivating
the healthy elements, so in his school the teacher uses the good
elements to counteract the bad ones. By making common cause with
the well-behaved children against the ill-behaved, he induces the
former to become unconsciously the instructors and educators of the
latter. He endeavours to effect the growth among the children of a
public opinion, which shall warn transgressors and prescribe their
punishment. He must also utilise free discussion among his pupils as
a means of stimulation and instruction. (Parents should employ much
the same methods in the upbringing of their own children.)

_Parents and the School._--The view that the teacher need concern
himself about the child only so long as the latter is within the
four walls of the school, and that he is justified in completely
ignoring all that happens to the child outside the school, is utterly
false, and must be abandoned. To-day a question which attracts much
attention is how parents may be induced to support the teacher.
In this respect the conditions in Europe are worse than those in
the United States of America. In Europe parents commonly rejoice
when the school takes the burden of children off their hands. Many
teachers, on the other hand, are instinctive bureaucrats, who regard
it as wrong for the parents to exert any influence whatever upon the
teacher’s relationship to his pupils. Quite recently the following
view has begun to prevail--that it is the duty of the parents to send
their children to the lowest class of the elementary school with such
a grounding that the teacher may readily proceed to build thereon;
the parents should remain throughout in contact with the teachers.
This contact may be of a manifold kind: the teachers keep the
parents acquainted with all the important details of the course of
instruction, and at voluntary evening reunions explain to the parents
the concrete problems of education. We can approve the conduct
neither of those parents who always uphold the teacher against their
children, nor of those, on the other hand, who always abuse the
teacher to the child. The former procedure brings the children up as
slaves, the latter undermines the foundations of the respect which
every teacher should inspire in his pupils.

_Sexual Education._--A thorough reform of sexual education is
absolutely essential. 1. The question of co-education does not
properly belong to this work, and can be touched on merely in
passing. In the public elementary schools almost all over the world
co-education is the rule; elementary schools for one sex only are
exceptional.[5] 2. The Church regards the sexual life as something
essentially immoral, of which the child is to know nothing whatever.
Its motto is: Silence. The earlier elementary schools, owing to their
intimate dependence on the Church, shared this view. The sexual
enlightenment of children is recommended especially by the advocates
of the emancipation of women. The question is even more important
to women than it is to men, since the right solution of the sexual
problem will entail for women greater advantages than for men.

The sexual enlightenment of children is absolutely necessary for the
following reasons. (_a_) The sexual life conceals many dangers for
the child, and the latter will better be able to guard against those
dangers if he is aware of their existence. No one has the right to
put a sharp knife in a child’s hand without pointing out the dangers
of the weapon. But the forces of the sexual life, when ill-understood
and ill-controlled, are far more powerful and far more dangerous
than the sharpest knife. He who will learn to walk and to run must
risk stumbling and falling, and no one can learn to swim without
swallowing a little water. (_b_) That which is half-concealed is
far more stimulating than that which is revealed. If children are
not properly enlightened concerning the sexual life, they become
accustomed to regard matters of sex solely from the standpoint of
personal desire and personal enjoyment, and to regard the sexual
life and the other sex as something hateful and despicable. (_c_)
If the child receives no enlightenment concerning the sexual life,
its confidence in its teacher and its relatives is necessarily
undermined. How shall a child retain confidence in those who give
it no advice in a matter in which the need of advice is so urgently
felt? Can the child be expected to follow their advice in other
departments of life, when in this department it receives bad advice
or none at all? Can a child give confidence to its elders in other
matters, when in this matter it is fobbed off with lies and fables?

The following arguments are adduced against the sexual enlightenment
of children. (_a_) It is better, supposing that the sexual impulse
has not yet awakened in a child, that nothing should be done to
direct its attention to the sexual life. (_b_) The enlightenment
of children is a very difficult matter, and is, in fact, hardly

The former of these arguments is not altogether groundless. But in
present conditions silence is impossible, and it is better that the
child should obtain its information from a pure and trustworthy
source. With regard to the alleged difficulty of effecting the
sexual enlightenment, recent experience shows that the requisite
instruction can be suitably and inconspicuously introduced into the
natural history lessons, and adapted to the age and intelligence of
the child, without any excessive detail being attempted. The stress
has to be laid, not upon enlightenment as to the processes of sexual
conjugation, nor upon detailed instruction as to the development of
the human embryo, but rather upon a mainly hygienic enlightenment
concerning the dangers attendant upon sexual intercourse.

Should the sexual enlightenment of children be the work of the
school, or should it be, as many insist, the duty either of the
parents or the medical adviser? The co-operation of parents and
medical adviser is certainly indispensable, but the principal part
in the work of enlightenment belongs to the school. One of the main
difficulties in sexual enlightenment by the parents depends upon the
fact that the majority of parents lack the requisite ability and the
requisite biological knowledge. Of late the schools have actually
begun to undertake this work of the sexual enlightenment of children.
It is unquestionably the tendency of evolution that the sexual
enlightenment of children up to a certain point should be effected in
the school.

_Religious and Moral Instruction._--It remains undecided whether the
public elementary school of to-day was of ecclesiastical origin.
But it is an unquestionable fact that from the first the Church
exercised a great influence upon the public elementary school, and
that the Church continues to struggle for the spread of its own
ideas through the intermediation of the schools. The influence of
the Church secures, not merely that religion shall be taught in the
schools, but, in addition, that in the teaching of other matters,
the ecclesiastical spirit shall have free play. This explains the
fact that the teaching of natural science has been neglected in the
schools, on the ground that it is antagonistic to religion. The
alleged necessity of religious teaching is based upon the assertion
that by such teaching children are guided in the paths of morality.
But as religious instruction as at present administered, it is by no
means adapted to produce this effect. To teach children difficult
ethical concepts in an abstract form, and to make them commit these
abstract formulations to memory, is a mode of ill-usage. We cannot
teach a child to be moral by preaching to it a great deal, and by
telling it many moral and religious stories and drawing for it many
moral and religious conclusions, unless we take pains at the same
time to find associations within the child’s own circle of interests
for the ideas we are endeavouring to impart. It is impossible to
induce in a child the habit of moral conduct by purely intellectual
demonstrations, in connection with which the child’s interest in
the processes and situations of the relation is perhaps wilfully
mistaken for a desire to imitate the actions that are described.
Moreover, in the religions that are taught in the modern public
elementary schools, we find reflected the moral conceptions of days
long past--conceptions whose interest is now historical merely. These
religions deal only with the morals of adult persons--their examples
relate only to adults; whereas the sound moral instruction of young
people must pay attention above all to the numerous little needs
and passions of the child. Religion and morality are two altogether
different things. A knowledge of Bible history and of religious
dogmas cannot make anyone more moral. There are many countries in
which we find that the extent of immorality is directly proportional
to the extent to which, in the various areas, a religious spirit
prevails. Our general conclusion, therefore, is that the public
elementary school should not be founded upon a religious basis, and
that it should not undertake to give religious instruction. The
standpoint of France, formerly so religious a country, is thoroughly
sound. The principle of religious liberty allows everyone to profess
whatever religion he pleases. It is a logical corollary of this
principle that the public elementary school, which is open to all,
should be neither religious nor anti-religious; that is to say, that
it should be a secular, lay, neutral school, and that religious
instruction should be left to the parents.

But, in view of these considerations, it is all the more necessary
to provide for special moral instruction in the public elementary
school. It is not a valid objection to say that ethics are too
difficult for children; in this matter everything depends upon how
they are taught. Evidently moral teaching will be effective only if
the right educational methods are employed, and it cannot be said
that this has hitherto been the case to any considerable extent.
Moral instruction must not consist in mere repetition of ethical
principles, but must be a lesson of a very practical order; it must
not be a dry enumeration of duties, but an introduction to the
realities of social life, the aim of moral instruction being to
teach the pupil sound views of life, and to lead him to regulate
all his thoughts and all his activities with reference to their
“social reaction.” The introduction of ethical problems and moral
outlooks into the instruction given in other branches of study
is also necessary, and may indeed begin at once, for this offers
no difficulties. But it is also absolutely essential that moral
questions should receive a comprehensive and connected consideration
in a special course of lessons. For more than a quarter of a century
moral instruction has been given in the elementary schools of the
United States and of France. In France this course of lessons is
used, not merely as an instrument in the campaign against clericalism
and monarchism, but also, quite wrongly, as a means for the
cultivation of jingoism.

_Physical Education._--The modern public elementary school, in
pursuit of mental education, neglects not moral education only,
but physical education also, by condemning the child to prolonged
physical inactivity. As soon as a child is barely six years of age,
it is forced to sit, day by day for many hours, stiff and quiet, on
the narrow benches in the class-rooms, although such repression of
the childish instinct towards incessant activity is injurious to the
health. The child is overburdened mentally, the school curriculum
being overloaded with subjects, and a bad system of instruction
being employed. The gymnastic lesson of to-day consists mainly of
the comparatively useless exercises of the parade-ground type, and
in the country schools even these are neglected. Well-grounded
complaints about all these defects are incessantly heard. The results
are disastrous. Imbecility and mental hebetude may ensue; there even
exist special diseases of school life, such as nervous debility,
headache, lateral curvature of the spine, short-sightedness,
jaundice, &c. Bad air, dust in the class-rooms, interference
with free breathing consequent upon long-continued sitting, and
catching cold on the way home from school, favour the acquisition of

Of late satisfactory efforts for the reform of school hygiene have
been initiated. On the one hand, the attempt is made to secure that
school life should not entail any dangers to the child’s health; on
the other hand, efforts are made to provide proper treatment for the
various disorders that prevail among the children, and especially
among the younger ones; the physical energies and adroitness of the
children are stimulated by technical instruction, gymnastics, and
free movement in the open air. It is recognised that the education
of children should take place mainly in the open; that not natural
history only, but most other subjects, should be taught in connection
with open-air walks and excursions. More and more stress is laid upon
the provision of playgrounds, school gardens, and the like. School
gardens are already to be found in many towns, where the children can
do bodily work in the fresh air--dig, for instance, tend flowers,
&c., occupations which have an excellent influence upon their
health. Quite recently baths have been provided in many schools,
and sometimes even the use of these baths is compulsory. This is
especially valuable where the school children are very poor, for in
the case of the very poor, as is well known, not much attention is
paid to cleanliness in the children’s homes.

In every progressive State, school doctors have now been appointed.
It is a sound principle that the school doctor should not be engaged
in private practice, but that he should also be physician to the
poor-law authority. The institution of the school physician is,
however, of value only if a skilled and detailed examination of the
individual children is undertaken, and if steps are taken to secure
that the medical advice given in individual cases is actually carried
out. In many German schools provision is made that sick children
without means shall be sent by the school authorities directly to
the town physicians for treatment. In some of these schools, school
nurses have been appointed, who supervise the carrying out of medical
instructions, and, when necessary, accompany the children in their
visits to the doctor. The tendency of evolution is that necessary
treatment should be carried out by the school doctor. For some years
past, in many towns in Germany, dental clinics have been instituted
in connection with the schools. They are necessary in view of the
fact that a very large proportion of children attending the public
elementary schools have diseased teeth; those whose parents are poor
would otherwise receive no dental treatment, and the proper treatment
of these disorders of the teeth constitutes an important adjuvant in
the campaign against the infectious diseases and in the prevention of
tuberculosis. Very recently the question has been discussed whether
tubercular children ought not to be excluded from the schools.

Among more recent movements tending towards the destruction of the
hegemony of the towns, we find an attempt to remove the schools from
the towns, and to give them the form of boarding-schools, with an
attempt to provide a sort of family life, much stress being laid upon
the physical education of the children. Such schools are to be found
in England and in the United States of America and here and there
in Germany. They are more costly than the others, and the attempt
to reproduce in them a kind of family life is apt to be a failure.
For children suffering from physical debility they are extremely
useful, and they offer a valuable field of experiment for teachers
who wish to apply exceptional educational ideas. Of late, also, the
attempt has been made to utilise the school in the campaign against
tuberculosis, alcoholism, and the venereal diseases. It is declared
to be absolutely necessary that the children should receive far more
hygienic instruction than has hitherto been customary--of course,
merely as an adjunct to the other branches of education.

_Manual Training._--Loud complaints are heard to the effect that
the elementary school fails to secure a general and harmonious
development of the bodily and mental capacities of the child--that
it merely crams the child with certain information, without
endeavouring to secure that it shall acquire knowledge by its own
experience. It is recognised that that knowledge only is permanent
and possesses serious moral influence which constitutes an
indispensable constituent of general culture; and it is understood
that the recognised defects of our school children cannot be avoided
unless we include as a part of the school curriculum a sufficiency
of manual training. At first sight it may seem quite impossible for
the educationalist, by training the child to perform certain suitable
bodily movements, constituting the elements of some particular
handicraft, to influence that child’s mental or moral development;
it seems impossible, that is to say, that to teach the child a
handicraft can subserve a profoundly important educational end.

The impulse to physical activity is deep-seated in human nature,
and is irresistible. It is present in every healthy child. It is
an aim of education to cultivate the proper manifestations of this
impulse; otherwise it is very apt to take the form of some bad
habit, of passionate outbursts, or of destructiveness. In earliest
childhood the impulse to activity finds complete satisfaction in the
games of which young children are so fond. The irregular and mutable
activity of games must gradually, and without obvious compulsion, be
transformed into a regular and orderly activity. (Many physicians
insist that children should not begin to learn to read and write
until they are nine or ten years old, and that below this age their
only instruction should be manual. The reason they give for this
demand is that it is during the first seven years of life that the
human brain grows most rapidly, that this organ should receive very
gentle treatment during this period of life, and that all risk of
its overstrain by one-sided stimulation of the intelligence must be
carefully avoided.)

Manual work invariably represents an attempt to gain some particular
end. Every such end is made up of various components; we see this
composite character most clearly when the aim of the work is to
achieve some definite physical result, such as the putting together
of some complex body made up of numerous parts. Such work as this,
children usually undertake with pleasure. Since the final aim and
the constituent aims are all obvious, the child sees at once that
it is continually approaching more nearly to the attainment of the
ultimate aim, and notes with delight the progressive steps achieved
towards this end. (Self-esteem is essentially nothing more than the
consciousness on the part of the individual of his capacity for
producing some tangible result.) Manual work is interesting even
to the naughtiest and most impatient of children. It arouses and
increases will power and desire for work; satisfies the impulse
to activity; forces the child to think independently, to use its
perceptive faculties, to be practical. It is for this reason that
manual work plays so great a part in the education of intellectually
backward and neglected children. Manual training gives the child
opportunity for productive work, and thus prepares it for its
subsequent life. Manual training develops in the child precisely
those faculties which it will most need in later life, namely,
conscientiousness, precision, pleasure in its work, enterprise. It
develops the hand and the eye, the two most important organs of the
human body, to a fuller degree than can be effected by writing,
drawing, or gymnastics; and in this way it provides the child with
something which will be found valuable whatever trade or profession
may ultimately be adopted. It thus gives the child the necessary
preparatory training for every subsequent occupation. The idea
that the growth of machine industry has rendered manual training
superfluous is utterly erroneous. Manual training is good for the
health and the physical strength of the child. At the period of the
puberal development, manual training is of especial importance to
children. It has a quieting influence upon the brain and the senses,
and distracts the child from morbid and sensual impulses. Through
bringing into play the physiological influence of fatigue, it hinders
and delays the awakening of the sexual impulse, and does nothing to
direct the child’s attention towards the sexual life.

To-day much stress is laid upon training the perceptive faculties by
means of object-lessons. Manual training affords the best training of
the perceptive faculties, being even more valuable in this respect
than the actual object-lesson. We learn to know an object fully not
merely by looking at it, not even, in addition, by handling it,
smelling it, tasting it, and listening to it. If we wish to know an
object through and through, we must work upon it.

The child is always glad to engage in physical work. Both child and
teacher soon learn to recognise for what the child has inclination
and talent. The child will then choose for its life’s occupation
that which it has already learned to understand, and which best
corresponds to its own inclinations. In this way the mistakes,
which are so common to-day, in the choice of an occupation will be
avoided, and the almost morbid desire of children for a clerical or
professional career will be mitigated. Opportunity is given for the
recognition and cultivation of any special artistic faculty the child
may possess. The aim of education, namely, to awaken and cultivate
the child’s natural capacities and inclinations, can only be attained
when the teacher recognises their existence, and is able to form a
correct picture of the child’s mental life. But the teacher will
not be able to do this unless he sees his pupil engaged in physical
work as well as in mental. If at school young people are exclusively
occupied in mental work, they acquire an antipathy to physical work.
Manual training, on the other hand, teaches children to esteem
physical labour and the proletariat. Anyone who has received a
thorough manual training necessarily possesses mechanical knowledge
and skill. Since such knowledge and skill are the first requisites of
so many skilled handicrafts, one who possesses them is unlikely to
become an unskilled labourer.

Whereas in former times various kinds of productive work formed part
of the economy of domestic life, so that the child had opportunities
for seeing and learning such occupations in its own home, to-day we
find that not even children’s toys are made at home, but are bought
ready-made. Manual training is also advocated, on the ground that
it is necessary to ensure that there shall be an adequate supply of
skilled manual workers. This, we are told, may contribute to keep
alive the lesser industries which tend to disappear before the great
manufacturing industry. But the replacement of handwork by the work
of machines is a tendency of evolution which no one has the power
to arrest. It is not truly the aim of manual instruction to produce
skilled adult manual workers; we advocate it simply as a means of
education which has nothing whatever to do with technical education.

Manual training must be carefully adapted to the child’s age, and
in the case of very little children must take the form rather of a
game. Its character may be very various: the preparation of drawings
and models, experimentation with tools, the construction of tools
or other useful objects out of wood, clay, dough, iron, &c., garden
work, and the like.

Although the results of manual training are so remarkably good,
it is only quite recently that it has been utilised as a means of
education. The explanation perhaps is that manual work being all done
by slaves, serfs, body-servants, and wage-labourers, was despised
by the upper classes, and for this reason its great educational
value was so long overlooked. Ethical and educative influences are
so completely lacking to wage-labour, that the child should not be
occupied in wage-labour, but only in manual work of an educative
influence and tendency. Instruction in productive work, involving
an explanation of the fundamental methods of the production of
commodities and habituation to the use of the simpler tools must
form a part of education. The attempt to extend manual training
expresses the general tendency of evolution. The elementary schools
of most civilised countries show that manual training can be readily
introduced into the elementary school curriculum. Indeed, in the
public elementary schools of many countries, manual training is now
compulsory, especially as regards instruction in feminine manual
occupations. But manual training cannot be developed to the fullest
extent, nor can this method be expected to furnish the best possible
results, until capitalist production for profit has been replaced by
social production for use.

_Preparatory Schools._--What we said about crèches applies, though
with some differences, to preparatory schools. Children go to the
modern elementary school at a comparatively early age, and are
subjected to the discipline of school without any preparatory
initiation. Institutions whose aim it is to prepare children for
the life of the public elementary schools are known as preparatory
schools. The idea that before the age of school-attendance the
child should be methodically employed for some hours daily, that
the occupation should be physical, and that the work should be so
arranged as to appear to the child as a kind of play, is not a new
one. Alike on educational and on social grounds it is certainly
desirable that the period of public education should begin earlier
than the present age of compulsory school-attendance. Such is indeed
the tendency of evolution, and in Hungary we have already advanced
far in this direction.

_Supervised Playgrounds for Children (Kinderhorte)._--With the
growth of capitalism there have come into existence (though somewhat
later than the preparatory schools) supervised playgrounds for
children (_Kinderhorte_) to provide care and training out of school
hours for the school children whose parents work away from home.
These institutions may be associated with the schools, or may exist
independently; there may be separate playgrounds for boys and for
girls, or the two sexes may play together. In the United States of
America there exist “Children’s Clubs” for school-children, which
differ from preparatory schools, inasmuch as their main purpose is to
provide entertainment.

_Increasing Importance of the Public Elementary School._--The family
circle in which the proletarian child lives tends, as a rule, to
counteract the beneficial effects of school life. Nor are the other
elements in the environment of the proletarian child such as tend to
exercise a good educational influence. For this reason quite recently
the question has been mooted how the school may best counteract the
evil influences of the family and the environment. As time goes on
the public elementary school becomes ever more important, its circle
of duties becomes more comprehensive, and it undertakes many elements
of education which formerly appertained to the parental home and
the environment. The public elementary school and the associated
institutions begin to exercise functions outside the domain of
education in the narrower sense, and to absorb some of those formerly
exercised by the poor-law authorities, inasmuch as the schools are
coming to satisfy other needs of the proletarian child in addition
to the need for education. Consider, for example, the association
with the public elementary school of preparatory schools, supervised
playgrounds, baths, gardens, workshops, savings-banks, &c.

_Feeding of School Children._--The children of the lower classes are
to-day quite unable to pay for their schooling. If every pupil had to
pay school fees, a strict enforcement of compulsory school attendance
would involve gross injustice to the poorer classes. If the State
makes school attendance compulsory, the State must make it possible
for every child to attend school. Many children fail to attend school
because they lack proper clothing, and especially boots and shoes.
Is it not the duty of the education authorities to provide for poor
children of school age the clothing they need to make it possible
for them to attend school? This is not as yet recognised as a public
duty, but we see an unmistakable movement in its direction. In most
countries public elementary education is already free, in some
cases for all the children, in others only for the poorest; school
materials and books are as yet supplied gratuitously only in France,
Switzerland, and the United States of America.

Is it a part of the work of the public elementary school to provide
food for the pupils? (Should it provide a dwelling? Even those whose
demands are most extensive ask merely that the elementary schools
should provide a home for the child during the day time, on the one
hand during school hours, on the other during the intervals.) The
question of the feeding of school children was first mooted by the
teachers about thirty years ago. It was evident that a smaller
or larger proportion of the children attending urban schools (in
wealthier towns from 3 to 10 per cent., in the suburbs of large towns
even as many as 90 per cent.) were unable to derive adequate benefit
from their teaching because they were underfed. The proletarian
mother lacks sufficient time to prepare food for her children,
especially the midday meal. Few workmen earn enough to provide a
dietary in conformity with hygienic demands. The school is often
far from the home, and the children have neither time nor desire to
return home to dinner. The need is especially striking during the
winter months, inasmuch as at this time there is more unemployment,
whilst it is precisely at this season of the year that hot meals
are most necessary. Moreover, whilst it is simply cruel to force
half-fed children to learn, they hinder the progress of the others.
It is objected that the feeding of school children conflicts with
the principle of parental responsibility, and that it impairs the
intimacy of family life, which demands, as all will admit, that the
members of the family shall meet one another at least at meals. Our
aim, we are told, should therefore be to do away with the poverty
which is the cause of so many children coming to school underfed. But
school feeding may be so arranged that the parents are charged for
the meals at cost. Moreover, it is proposed to supply only breakfast
and dinner--meals which many proletarian parents are in any case
unable to take at home.

School feeding can be combined with instruction for the girls in
cooking and domestic economy. The meals may be given in the school,
which is the best plan, or in special institutions. The feeding of
school children must be kept entirely in the hands of the education
authorities; it has nothing to do with the poor-law, and it is
absolutely necessary that it should be kept completely distinct
from poor-law administration. (Who is to determine the children’s
need--the poor-law authorities or the school? The latter, in my
opinion; but this cannot always be done off-hand--in doubtful cases
a house-to-house visitation will be necessary.)

Quite recently it has been claimed that the feeding of children in
the public elementary schools should be entirely gratuitous--that
is to say, that food should be provided for well-to-do as well as
for necessitous children. This claim is supported by the following
arguments: (_a_) It is a logical consequence of universal free
education; (_b_) if school meals are provided for necessitous
children only, as if in relief of destitution, then, however
tactfully this may be done, parents and children alike feel ashamed
and suffer from a loss of self-respect. The following objections
are made to these views: (_a_) Feeding satisfies a natural need,
education a need peculiar to civilised man; (_b_) it is possible to
provide a suitable diet in the family circle, but not to provide
there a satisfactory education; (_c_) provided the feeding of the
children is general, no one need be ashamed, if those parents able to
pay have to pay, whilst the others are fed gratuitously. But these
objections are not worth further consideration.

There is not as yet any uniform and generally accepted system for the
feeding of school children; we find such feeding only in isolated
schools, and meals are provided for necessitous children only. The
actual results of the institution have been admirable. In England,
a law providing for the feeding of school children was passed in
the year 1906. But this did not introduce a general national system
of school feeding; the law was permissive merely, empowering the
poor-law authorities and education authorities to organise private
benevolence for this purpose, and, in the event of this latter
proving insufficient, allowing a limited expenditure of public funds.
The tendency of evolution is unquestionably in the direction of the
introduction of gratuitous and general school feeding. But in the
future, when the upbringing of children will be altogether better
than it is to-day, this institution will be unknown.

_Care of Young Persons after they leave School._--The necessity and
importance of supervising young persons after they leave school are
obvious from the fact that the period of the puberal development,
the period immediately after leaving the public elementary school,
and after passing from the family life to a life of freedom, is
the most dangerous of all periods in the life of children of the
poorer classes. The means to be employed for this purpose are the

(_a_) The institution of special homes for young persons, where
those with no regular homes of their own can board and lodge.
Connected with these it is well that there should be employment
bureaux and lists of recommended dwellings.

(_b_) The institution of places for the occupation and amusement of
apprentices and young workpeople of both sexes during their hours of

(_c_) The arrangement of occupation for Sundays, amusing as well as

(_d_) The organisation of the young. There are associations for young
people connected with the various religious bodies, also political
associations, and others without either religious or political
tendency; in addition, there are apprentices’ clubs. Within the
ranks of the socialists we find two opposing tendencies. Some wish
to found special socialist organisations for young people; others
contend that better work can be done within the limits of existing
organisations. The attempt is made to associate these movements with
the continuation schools; that is, an attempt is made to secure that
every large continuation school should have attached to it a young
persons’ home or institute.

(_e_) Advice as to the choice of a profession, in newspapers,
pamphlets, and books.

(_f_) The conduct of a campaign against harmful books and pictures.
This campaign has of late years aroused interest and obtained
support in wide circles. Of especial importance is the campaign
against filthy and obscene literature, for such literature has of
late years gained an extraordinarily wide diffusion, and effects the
deliberate corruption of children. It stimulates their imagination
unnaturally and leads it into false paths; it destroys their sense
of truth and reality. The children’s taste is perverted; they no
longer find pleasure in good literature, become inattentive in class,
and out of school hours rough and brutal. In so far as children
buy obscene books and pictures they waste their money. The most
important measures in the conduct of this campaign are: 1. Criminal
prosecutions; 2. The diffusion of really good books for young people;
3. The enlightenment of children and their parents concerning the
worthless and injurious character of the bad literature; 4. The
reasonable regulation of the pupils’ activity out of schools hours,
whereby the youthful impulse to adventure may be directed in the
right channels.

(_g_) The most important of all means of caring for young persons
after they leave school, and one which supports and reinforces all
the others we have enumerated, is the continuation school. 1. Owing
to the defective character of public elementary education, it is
necessary that it should be supplemented by continuing the child’s
education when it has passed the age of obligatory school attendance.
2. Before the child enters a free life, what it has learned at
school, much of which will already have been forgotten, requires
to be retaught; and this is all the more necessary in view of the
fact that at the elementary school, where the child was still very
young and lacked the faculty of full comprehension of many ideas,
it could not receive true instruction and enlightenment. 3. The
period of the passage from the family life and from the elementary
school into a life of freedom must not come too early, and requires
to be a period of transition, or the child is very apt to fall
into poverty or crime. 4. Since apprenticeship is tending to pass
away, it is necessary that children should be taught the elements
of a handicraft at school. Wage-earning women have, as a rule, had
neither apprenticeship nor technical training, so that they become
unskilled workers, and receive even smaller wages than unskilled
male labourers. 5. The training of working-class girls in domestic
economy is extremely defective. Since these girls have to work for
wages while still very young, they have neither time nor desire,
nor even opportunity, to study cooking and housekeeping; in a
working-class family possibilities for the study of domestic economy
are of necessity extremely limited, because so much of what is bought
is already prepared, and what is done at home is of an extremely
simple character. The working-class mother, engaged throughout the
day in arduous wage-labour, has neither time nor capacity for the
instruction of her daughter, so that the girl becomes habituated to
idleness. A special training both for wage-labour and for domestic
economy is requisite for girls, and especially for those of the

All these arguments combine to reinforce the need for the institution
of continuation schools. It is not the aim of these schools to
prepare their pupils for work in special branches of industry, but
their spirit is a much more practical one than that of the elementary
schools. Almost without exception, they are purely secular, and
give no religious instruction. They must lay great emphasis upon
the need that the children should be habituated to care regularly
for their bodies and their health. In addition to the general
continuation schools, there exist industrial continuation schools
or schools of apprenticeship. The former are mostly in the hands of
the education authorities, whilst the latter are controlled by the
boards supervising commerce and industry (_Gewerbebehörden_). In
agricultural districts, schools of this latter order take the form of
schools of agriculture.

The advocates of the emancipation of women demand the institution
of continuation schools for girls in especial. Such schools must
naturally give the first place to the teaching of domestic economy;
but many consider that they should also give instruction in the
main principles of education, and especially regarding the care of
infants. (Special schools of domestic economy and of cooking already,
of course, exist.) Many demand that these subjects should receive
special attention in the public elementary schools; but it should
suffice here if in the teaching of other subjects the bearing of
these upon domestic economy and the conduct of life is explained,
in so far as this comports with the main object of the course of
instruction. Objections have been raised by many to the effect that
the girls are too young to be taught domestic economy to any good
purpose. But experience teaches the contrary. The results of teaching
domestic economy have been so satisfactory that it is proposed to
make it an essential part of the curriculum.

Continuation schools are not regarded with universal favour. In
fact, their existence offers a certain hindrance to the exploitation
of the working powers of the young, and this is disagreeable, not
only to factory owners and manual workers, but for the time being
is distasteful to many proletarian parents. These schools turn out
workers who can compete successfully with the older generation of
unskilled labourers. In spite of these objections, continuation
schools become ever more important and more widely diffused, tending
more and more to become an invariable supplement to the public
elementary school. Of late years, in many countries, attendance at
continuation schools has been made compulsory, especially attendance
at schools of apprenticeship in the case of children who fail to
attend the middle schools. To make attendance at a continuation
school obligatory is an unmistakable tendency of evolution.

_The Tendency of Evolution._--The public elementary school becomes
continually more uniform in character; it tends, that is to say,
to become the common school for all children of a certain age,
irrespective of the wealth or position of their parents, and to
lay the foundation upon which will build all middle and higher
educational institutions. Schools of this character are already to
be found in Denmark and in the United States of America. The public
elementary school need not necessarily give religious instruction.
Since the schools administered by the religious organisations are
of comparatively little value, it is necessary that the public
elementary school should be open to all children, irrespective
of their creed. A further step in development is for the public
elementary school to abandon its inappropriate efforts to give
religious instruction.

Private schools are only for the children of the well-to-do. In the
majority of _Gemeindeschulen_ a conservative and narrowly orthodox
religious spirit prevails. A proportion of the local authorities
are unwilling or unable to make the material sacrifices requisite
for the proper carrying on of the elementary schools, and for this
reason these schools vary greatly in efficiency. To prove this, it
suffices, in various countries, to compare the State schools with the
_Gemeindeschulen_, and the town schools with the village schools.

It is absolutely essential that it should be established on principle
that every child, not excepting the children of the well-to-do, must
attend a public elementary school, and that neither attendance at a
private school nor private domestic instruction can be accepted in
lieu of such attendance--if only for the reason that not until this
obligation is universally enforced will the richer classes acquire
a genuine interest in the public elementary schools. To this it is
objected that the elementary schools are already overcrowded, that
their hygienic conditions are unsatisfactory, and that the society
of the poorer children would not be good for the richer ones. But
if all this is true, the only reasonable conclusion we can draw is,
that it is time that these defects in the public elementary school
were abolished. If, for the reasons given, the elementary school
is unsuitable for the children of the well-to-do, it is no less
unsuitable for the children of the poor. For the rest, each child
is influenced by all the others. The rich child may learn much that
is beautiful and good from the poor one, the latter often learns
much that is evil and hateful from the former. The children of the
well-to-do must learn in their earliest youth to know the people,
for it is their mission to lead and they must accustom themselves to
intercourse with the people.

The national system for elementary education must be extended so as
to become as comprehensive and as actual as possible. The tendency of
evolution is towards the institution of a public elementary school
truly general, truly national, secular, and uniform in character.
Such a school is the school of the future.




_Introductory._--The foundations of the classical criminal law have
been shattered. New ideas begin to prevail, new institutions appear
and develop. The old criminal law will soon altogether disappear. In
harmony with the general tendency of evolution, whereby our whole
legal system tends to become an affair of local administration,
criminal law tends to be transformed even more rapidly than
other branches of law into a department of local administrative
activity. We are to-day in the period of transition, in which this
transformation is being effected. The aim of medical science is
not merely to cure individual cases of disease, but to prevent the
origination, recurrence, and diffusion of disease. Criminal law has
similar aims, its highest aim of all being, not to punish, but to
prevent crime. It regards as of primary importance, not individual
liberty, but the interest of society, and it considers, not the
crime, but the criminal. The transformation that is going on is
further advanced in some portions of criminal law than it is in
others. The most advanced portion of all is the one which concerns
youthful criminals.

_The Causes of Criminality in Youth._--The three causes of criminal
offences are: (_a_) inherited predisposition; (_b_) bad educational
influences; (_c_) poverty. (The climatic and physiological causes of
criminality are of little importance, and are, essentially, social

(_a_) According to the theory of the “born criminal,”[6] most
youthful criminals are born criminals. The view is correct to this
extent only, in so far as a certain proportion--by no means a large
one--of youthful criminals are born criminals; but many youthful
criminals, although they have come into the world physically,
mentally and morally degenerate, are not for this reason necessarily
to be regarded as born criminals. To-day more degenerate individuals
are born than formerly. It is more probable that the children of
persons suffering from syphilis, tuberculosis, and alcoholism, and
the children of prostitutes and criminals, will become criminals,
than the children of sound individuals. We find, in fact, that a
notably large proportion of all criminals are the offspring of
persons of the former classes.

(_b and c_) The children of the proletariat tend to be much rougher,
and are much more inclined to become criminals than the children of
the well-to-do. Among young proletarians, we find more criminals than
among adults. The towns are the true breeding-grounds of youthful
criminals. To-day vagrant children in the streets are as constant
a feature of town life as the street-lamps. The conditions of
proletarian life make the proper upbringing of children impossible at
the best of times. All the more is it impossible when the conditions
are bad, as when crime, prostitution, and alcoholism prevail in the
family circle. The principal cause of youthful criminality is to be
found in the very character of proletarian family life, which makes
education impossible, and often forces the child into a career of
crime. It is well known that a considerable proportion of proletarian
children receive no schooling at all--that is, they grow up unable
to read and write, and a large number of criminals and prostitutes
are made up of such illiterates. A notable proportion of youthful
criminals are recruited from the class of wage-earning children,
and these latter are almost all proletarians, and most of them
have been forced to adopt wage-labour in very early youth. A foul
dwelling-place contaminates the mind as well as the body; an enormous
preponderance of proletarian children live in such contaminating
surroundings. A principal cause of youthful criminality is to be
found in the direct influence of poverty, _i.e._ poverty operating
otherwise than through the education and environment. However well
educated a child may have been, it must steal when starving and
freezing. Poverty forces children to adopt a course of action which
may enable them to satisfy their immediate and most pressing needs.
About half of the girls who go wrong become prostitutes; about half
of the boys in similar case become thieves.

The study of the child-psyche throws light upon the age at which
children are especially liable to commit punishable offences, and
upon the character of these. The character of the punishable offences
committed by children is a natural consequence of the child-nature,
whose especial characteristics are impulsiveness and acquisitiveness.
It is chiefly on this account that among the punishable offences
committed by children, theft is the most frequent, and next to
this comes bodily injury. Punishable offences requiring strength,
adroitness, or deliberation can hardly be undertaken by children.
Sexual offences are committed by those children only in whom the
sexual life is already awakening. Grievous bodily harm is effected
only by those whose bodily strength is fully developed. Complicated
criminal offences can be undertaken by children only when they
possess special experience and training. Younger children commit
fewer punishable offences than older ones, and different offences,
their capacity being less, and their opportunities more limited. The
suggestive influence of the adult criminal is very great; he exploits
the youthful criminal, and by threats and chastisement forces him
into criminal courses. During the nineteenth century, the number of
criminals, of recidivists, of punishable offences, and the gravity of
these latter, has increased to a greater extent than the population.
The number of offences against public order, and of crimes against
the person, has indeed diminished, but the number of crimes against
property, and of offences against morality, has disproportionately
increased. The number of the most serious crimes is smaller, but the
number of relapses into crime has greatly increased.

During the nineteenth century, the number of juvenile criminals has
also increased. The glitter of the industrial development of the
nineteenth century has to be paid for in large part by the gigantic
increase in juvenile criminality. In all the civilised countries
of Europe, with the exception of England, there has been an
extraordinary increase in the number of youthful criminals, and in
the number of punishable offences committed by them, this increase
being greater than the increase in the number of criminals and of
criminal offences in general. In the case of juvenile criminals,
there has also been an increase in the number of habitual offenders,
as well as in the gravity of the punishable offences. Perhaps the
most important difference between the older criminality and the
newer, is that to-day the juvenile criminal and the habitual offender
are more in evidence. Unquestionably these two phenomena are closely
associated, for the great majority of professional criminals are
persons whose first criminal offence was committed during childhood
or youth. At the present day, in all the civilised countries of
Europe, about 25 per cent. of all punishable offences are committed
by young persons.

The following are some of the causes of the increase in juvenile
criminality. The character of many of the offences customary in
former days--for instance, robbery in the streets and highways by
footpads and highwaymen--was such as to render it impossible for
children to undertake them. Great towns, in whose streets and suburbs
children could wander about, and in which it is comparatively easy
for them to commit punishable offences, did not exist. Moreover,
children begin to work for a living at an earlier age than in
former times. The application of draconian laws, under which even
little children suffered corporal and capital punishment, exercised
a deterrent influence. Since the end of the eighteenth century
punishments have become much milder. A large proportion of criminal
offences are to-day more lucrative, easier to carry out, and less
risky than in former times. Youthful criminality is probably far
more extensive than the official records show, for these latter take
no account of petty offences. Many punishable offences never become
known outside the limits of the family. In view of the offenders’
youth, reports are often suppressed.

_The Classical Criminal Law._--It is characteristic of the classical
criminal law that criminal offences committed by children were either
left unpunished, or, if punished, were punished less severely
than the offences of adults. In the classical criminal law several
age-classes were distinguished among juvenile criminals. (_a_)
Children too young to understand that an offence is punishable, and
for this reason liable neither to prosecution nor to punishment.
In existing legislative systems, the age at which criminal
responsibility is supposed to begin varies greatly; it may be as
low as seven, and as high as fifteen years. (_b_) The second class
consists of those children of an age at which criminal responsibility
is supposed to have begun. If such a child commits a punishable
offence, it is examined as to whether it possesses the necessary
understanding of the punishable nature of the offence. If it is
considered not to possess this understanding, no punishment is
inflicted. The punishment is, in any case, less severe than that
which would be inflicted upon an adult. To this class belong children
at ages from seven to eighteen years. (_c_) The third age-class
consists of offenders over eighteen years of age, who are regarded as
necessarily possessed of an understanding of the punishable character
of their offence, but in whom also the punishment is less severe than
it would be if they were of full age.

_Gradual Transformation of the Classical Criminal Law._--In the
nineteenth century the provisions of the classical criminal law no
longer meet the case of juvenile criminality. Their inefficiency is
demonstrated by the enormous proportion of recidivists among juvenile
offenders. The number of recidivists continually increases, and
criminality tends more and more to be the work of habitual offenders.
Indeed, the criminal, in most cases, continues to repeat the very
offence for which he was first punished. This is especially true of
offences against property. The oftener anyone has been punished, the
greater is the probability that he will commit another offence, and
the sooner is this likely to take place. In reality the frequency of
recidivism is even greater than appears from the official statistics.
These relate to those persons only who are regarded as recidivists by
the existing laws. They take no account of how many individuals leave
the country after their first conviction for a criminal offence.

An examination of these facts, and the study of the child-mind,
have led to the conclusion that criminality in youth is the main
source of the general stream of criminality, and that we cannot
depend upon our present methods of dealing with crime and criminals
to dry up this source. Hence even the dogmatists are coming more
and more to admit the failures of the classical criminal law, and
to recommend that mere punitive methods should give place to the
educative treatment of criminal offenders, punishment being used,
if at all, only as an educative influence. Even in those countries
which lag behind the rest in development, this conception begins
to influence legislation. This conviction that youthful offenders
require not punishment, but education, was acquired by mankind many
decades before it was generally realised that it is equally true of
adult criminals--that they should not be punished, but improved,
or, if unimprovable, rendered harmless. It is understood that those
punishments only can be justified which exercise a lasting educative
influence, by removing the child from its former environment into
a better and healthier one. It is recognised that the difference
between punishment and education is not absolute, but relative
merely, inasmuch as education cannot dispense entirely with punitive
methods, and punishment, properly utilised, exercises an educative
influence. It is also now understood that by the proper legal
treatment of youthful criminal offenders, many thousands of children
can be saved every year from the permanent adoption of a career of
crime, and their working powers thus preserved for the community.
This was seen first of all, where it more especially applies, in
the case of manufacturing towns. For the reformation of criminal
and neglected youth by educational methods, the first steps were
taken, and taken most effectively, by the country in which the modern
manufacturing system first made its appearance--England, to wit. At
the present day it is the great manufacturing countries, England,
Belgium, France, and the United States of America, in which most is
done in this regard.

_Special Legislation Dealing with Youthful Criminals._--It is to that
portion of the newer criminal law which concerns youthful criminals
that the dogmatists object most strongly. They complain that it
endangers very seriously personal liberty and parental authority.
There are many who argue to-day against coercive reformatory
education, on the ground that personal freedom and parental authority
should be inviolable. We even find some who attack modern ideas
from the standpoint of various legal theories. Such persons tell us
that coercive reformatory education interferes more than punishment
with the child’s individual liberty, and that it absolutely ignores
parental authority. The criminal authorities have absolutely no
right, in their view, to supervise a child’s education, but merely
to punish it or to set it at liberty. But this portion of modern
criminal jurisprudence does not aim merely at the suppression of
juvenile criminality. It is likewise an experimental laboratory, as
it were, for the testing of new institutions, the success or failure
of which is eagerly awaited by criminal jurists. If any institution
thus tested proves successful, its application is immediately
extended to other portions of the criminal law. In the United States
of America, for example, the method which has been found successful
in the case of juvenile offenders is now being applied in the case
also of young adult criminals.

_Proposals Bearing on the Question of Criminal Responsibility at
Different Ages._--(_a_) A radical proposal for reform is that the
distinction between juvenile and adult criminals should be abolished,
and that, instead, criminals should be classified simply as educable
or non-educable. This proposal is impracticable. In consequence
of the application of the principles of individualisation and
classification, the distinctions between the various age-classes of
criminals become, indeed, of less and less importance. There may even
be a little truth in the assertion that in a large country, owing
to racial and climatic differences, no uniform classification of
offenders according to ages can be adopted. And yet the definition
of age-limits in the case of criminal offenders is indispensable. In
a few cases such distinction may render the appropriate treatment of
offenders more difficult, but in the great majority of instances they
facilitate the work of judges and magistrates, and afford a means of

(_b_) Liability to punishment is almost universally regarded as
beginning, at the earliest, at the age of fourteen. This is the
period of the commencement of the puberal development, of the
cessation of school attendance, when the child passes from the life
of the family and the school to a life in the open, and becomes
competent to work for a living.

(_c_) Many writers demand that the period of nonage, as far as
criminal responsibility is concerned, should be extended. They do
so on these grounds. The physical development of the individual is
not completed till the age of twenty-three or thereabouts. It is
inconsistent that one who is still a minor from the point of view
of civil law should be regarded as of full age from the point of
view of criminal law. Civil law is an affair merely for the owning
and well-to-do classes; criminal law arises mainly in consequence
of poverty. Hence we may say that in general civil law is created
for the former class, and criminal law for the latter. There is
certainly at any rate an appearance of class-justice in the assertion
that those belonging to the poorer classes at eighteen are mature
enough to be sent to jail, whilst those belonging to the well-to-do
classes are incompetent to make a binding legal engagement to pay
half-a-sovereign until they are twenty-one or twenty-four years
of age. But the proposal is impracticable. Its adoption would
undoubtedly involve grave dangers to public order, since the
age-class of persons from eighteen to twenty-one is characterised
by a high and a serious criminality-rate. The result of educative
measures in the case of young criminals of such an age is not a very
great one, for the formation of the character is by this time far
advanced. To extend the age for a coercive reformatory education
to include the last years of civil minority would be devoid of any
justification upon accepted legal principles. There is no reason why
the period of criminal nonage should coincide with the civil. In
the first place, a much higher degree of intellectual capacity is
requisite to the understanding of a transaction in civil law than to
the understanding of the punishable character of an offence. In the
second place, a punishable offence is also an offence against public
order, but matters of civil law usually concern individuals only. In
the third place, as regards the capacity also for infringements of
the civil law, narrower limits are imposed than in the case of the
capacity to enter into a bargain.

_The Defects of our Present Penal Methods._--The punishments imposed
by our present penal system are quite unmeaning. Not only do they
exercise no educative influence, but they even hinder education.
In the case of children they are not deterrent, first, because
children act on impulse, and, secondly, because they have no accurate
conception of the nature of these punishments. To many children
imprisonment seems the same sort of thing as being “kept in” at
school, and they quite fail to recognise its seriousness. Punishment
by fine is supposed to make the offender suffer in proportion to the
suffering he has inflicted by his offence. But how can the judge
or magistrate, above all where children are concerned, accurately
estimate the fine necessary to achieve this result? The difficulties
of rightly apportioning the punishment are equally formidable in the
matter of imprisonment as in the matter of fine.

(_a_) In the punishment of juvenile offenders, in modern times, the
fine is really altogether inapplicable. Ninety per cent. of juvenile
offenders are altogether without means. What does a fine matter to
one for whom it is paid by another? Young people, as a rule, do not
yet understand the value of money. If the offender is a person of
property, then he has no occasion to dread a fine; or even if the
fine were proportionate to his means, the juvenile offender would not
understand its significance until after he had attained his majority.
But we cannot depend upon the efficacy of a punishment which does not
become effective as punishment until after the lapse of years. If the
juvenile offender has to pay the fine out of his wages, he loses all
desire for work. The majority of youthful offenders belong to the
poorer classes, and are not in a position to pay the fine themselves.
The parents will give their child a lecture if they have to pay the
fine, but this will by no means attain the object of the punishment.
Moreover, if the relatives pay the fine, they are unjustly punished,
and may revenge themselves on the child.

(_b_) Punishment by imprisonment costs the State millions of money
every year, and yet does no good. It is not possible, everywhere
and always, to separate the young prisoners from the adults,
although it is absolutely essential that this should be done. A
society, such as that of the prison, in which the worst are the most
respected, and in which the innocent are despised and corrupted,
is not suitable for young persons. If the juvenile offender is
kept in isolation, his mental health will suffer; moreover, his
loneliness impels him to seek the society of the other prisoners,
and the greatest possible care will not succeed in preventing such
association. It is maintained by some that imprisonment exercises a
deterrent influence upon children, and that a coercive reformatory
education does not. But the reverse of this is true. Not even the
longest term of imprisonment which can be inflicted for juvenile
crime will be found to exercise a deterrent influence; and it is
the custom of the courts, in the case of juvenile offenders, to
inflict, not the maximum, but the minimum sentence permissible
by the law. The child is not afraid of the prison, because it is
better treated there than outside; in prison it receives shelter,
food, clothing, and warmth without having to pay anything, without
having to work hard, and without being ill-treated. But the child
is afraid of a coercive reformatory education: in prison the child
is apathetic, its life being meaningless and without aim; but the
working discipline associated with a coercive reformatory education
is regarded by the child as a much more serious matter, being new
and strange, needing continuous attention, constant diligence, and
hard work. For many proletarian parents, to commit their child to
prison is an alleviation; the parents then have one trouble the less,
and the family income goes a little farther. Imprisonment brands a
child. When it has served its time, employment is often extremely
hard to obtain, for most employers very naturally dread that such a
child will commit another criminal offence while in their employ.
The child, finding it impossible to earn an honest living, is forced
into the paths of habitual crime. Young people, much more readily
than adults, accustom themselves to new conditions of life. In view
of this fact, there is great danger that the youthful offender will
become altogether indifferent to imprisonment; that the punishment
will induce a condition of immunity to its effects. A child which
has been once in prison is likely to become a recidivist, if only
for the reason that it will now have lost the dread of prison which
it had in the days before its first offence was committed. We learn
from statistics that the majority of youthful offenders are sentenced
to short terms of imprisonment. They regard these with the greatest
indifference, and are not in the least afraid of them. Such short
terms of imprisonment do not protect society; and the possibility
of their exercising any educative influence is excluded by the
fact that since the term of imprisonment is short, and the cost of
transport considerable, the child will be confined in the nearest
prison, instead of being sent to some special and suitable place of
confinement. Many children are even pleased at being sent to prison,
regarding their sentence as a desirable interlude in school work.
This difficulty is not met by postponing the term of imprisonment to
the holiday season. The child leaves prison to return to school. If
it is despised by its schoolmates, it sinks lower; if it is regarded
as a hero, the effect is no less corrupting.

Imprisonment for a child must take no other form than that of
education under strict discipline. If a short term of imprisonment
is ordered, solitary confinement is essential. If a child must be
sent to prison, the use of the common prison is inadmissible, and
a children’s wing in a general prison is hardly better; a special
prison for children is essential, if only for the reason that, unless
we have a comparatively large number of young persons assembled
together, it is more difficult to arrange for the proper distribution
of occupations (manual work of various kinds).

From these considerations we may draw the following conclusions:
Society stands quietly by, waiting until juvenile criminals grow
up and begin to commit serious offences. Our prisons are the true
high schools of criminality. The present prison system is the most
effective factor in the production of crime; to such an extent is
this true, that if we discharge a juvenile offender with a caution,
there is less likelihood that he will commit another criminal offence
than if we had sent him to prison. The accuracy of these views is
now more and more widely recognised; and in the case of juvenile
offenders, imprisonment, formerly the rule, is now quite exceptional.

_The Question of the Capacity for Understanding the Punishable
Character of Criminal Offences._--The notion of the capacity for
understanding the punishable character of criminal offences is
unworkable in practice. It considers the intellectual element only,
whereas in children we have to distinguish between intellectual
maturity and moral. Intellectual maturity is commonly attained
earlier than moral, and intellectual maturity alone should not render
the child liable to punishment. Often a child is mature enough to
distinguish what is allowed from what is forbidden, but is not yet
strong enough to refrain from the latter course. The most striking
example of this is to be found in the case of young proletarians, in
whom, in consequence of their premature contact with the manifold
factors of life, the mental development is often premature to an
astonishing degree, but this intellectual precocity stands contrasted
with conspicuous moral immaturity. It is hard to determine what
factors have to be taken into consideration in deciding whether a
child has attained intellectual and moral maturity. It is essential
to examine--(_a_) whether the child has an accurate conception of
the nature of punishment; (_b_) whether it understands what legal
principle is infringed or threatened by its act; (_c_) whether it
possesses such a degree of moral maturity that, through possession of
the conception alluded to in section (_a_), and of the understanding
alluded to in section (_b_), it was competent to refrain from the
criminal offence.

In the case of almost all punishable offences another solution of
this problem is possible. The more serious the punishable offence,
the earlier the age at which a child is competent to understand its
character. But, in many cases, it is an obvious inference that a
child which from absurd motives has committed so serious an offence
cannot possibly possess the requisite moral maturity. Moreover, the
three factors we have mentioned cannot be accurately defined. In
maturity there are many degrees and stages, passing imperceptibly
one into another, and exceedingly difficult to differentiate. The
decision of this question will therefore be the work of experts,
who will have to keep the child under observation for months. It
follows that a decision as to criminal responsibility based upon
an understanding of the punishable nature of an offence is, of
necessity, and in every case, uncertain and unequal.

To-day, in legal proceedings where juvenile offenders are concerned,
remarkable incidents occur. For example, the judge or magistrate
asks the child to repeat the ten commandments and the catechism.
If the child can do this, it is supposed to possess the requisite
understanding. It is left quite out of consideration that the child
has probably learned the commandments by rote, without understanding
them in the least. Or, again, the judge makes the child describe
the act it has committed, and then asks, “Do you know that such
acts are punishable?” But in the proceedings in court the child has
been made well aware of the fact that it has committed a punishable
offence, and yet it may not have known this at the time the offence
was committed. In the case of the offences with which the enormous
majority of juvenile offenders are charged, namely, theft, fraud,
and bodily injury, a knowledge of the punishable character of
these offences is apt habitually to be assumed by the courts. This
assumption is justified, but it suffices to show the impracticability
of the conception.

_The School._--The proposal has been made that when petty offences
are committed by children of school age, the school should deal
with the matter; and that only when a more serious offence has been
committed should the case go before the law-courts. In proportion to
the seriousness of the case, the punishment should be apportioned
by the class-master, by the head-master and class-master together,
or by the united teaching faculty. The suggested punishments are--a
reprimand, task-work, sitting on the punishment form, being kept in
after school hours, corporal punishment, &c. Investigation by other
authorities is not to be regarded as superfluous, but in minor cases
it will suffice to leave the whole matter in the hands of the school
authorities. The following reasons are given for this proposal. In
the case of petty offences, the tedious and laborious intervention
of the criminal authority is quite uncalled for. It may even be said
that we misuse and make light of the criminal authority, when we
invoke the aid of this gigantic apparatus, and as a result of this
the child is discharged with a hardly perceptible punishment. If the
State undertakes to deal with all petty offences, it is left no time
for the proper consideration of the graver and more important ones.
The aim in view can be attained by less expensive and less elaborate

These considerations notwithstanding, this proposal can be approved
only to this extent, that in the case of juvenile offences which
do not render necessary a coercive reformatory education, it will
suffice that the child should be punished by its parents or by the
school authorities.

_The Reprimand._--Some contend that it is in many cases sufficient
for the court to administer a suitable reprimand. But, owing to the
peculiarities of the child-psyche, the influence of the reprimand is
extremely fugitive. A child so readily forgets. It has not as yet any
accurate conception of honour, and completely fails to understand
that it is dishonoured by the reprimand. As in the case of any other
punishment, the reprimand can as a rule only be administered after
the offence has been proved, and the offender sentenced; hence, there
is so long an interval between the act and its punishment, that the
reprimand becomes quite ineffective, and is in fact no more than an
empty formality. Moreover, there are objections on principle against
utilising the reprimand as a method of punishment, so that its use is
possible only in exceptional cases.

_Flogging._--Many persons consider that in the case of certain
offences, especially such as betray the existence of a rough
disposition, a flogging is the best punishment. But the fact
that England, which holds the leadership in the movement for
child-protection, continues to employ flogging as a punishment, and
the fact that Denmark introduced flogging as a punishment only a few
years ago (since then, however, abolished), prove nothing. For the
reasons given in an earlier chapter, flogging must be regarded as
an excessively noxious method of punishment, and must not even be
employed as a disciplinary measure in reformatory schools and prisons.

_The Conditional Sentence._--The nature of the conditional sentence
is that, conviction having been effected, the sentence is passed, but
does not take effect, unless the offender commits another punishable
offence; should he fail to do this, he is, by many legal codes,
still classed as a non-punished person. The conditional sentence is
distinguished from a conditional pardon by the fact that in the case
of the latter the punishment is disallowed, not by the court, but in
virtue of the right of pardon vested in the higher authority of the
government. The conditional sentence is of dubious value in the case
of juvenile offenders, because young persons very readily forget; and
in the event of their committing a second offence, they now incur
a double punishment. Considerations of jurisprudence compel us to
regard the conditional pardon also as a measure of dubious value.

In the United States of America probation is employed. This is a
postponement of the sentence--that is to say, not a conditional
sentence, nor a conditional release from punishment, nor even a
postponement of punishment. In this way it is hoped that condemnation
and punishment of the child will be altogether avoided. The court,
at its free discretion, can commit the child to a reformatory
without having first passed sentence. If the child does not mend
its ways, it is brought up for judgment, and sentence is passed.
The system is an unmistakable improvement upon the unconditional
sentence. But the conditional sentence can be imposed upon such terms
that it is associated with a protective supervision, and that the
conditionally-remitted punishment will be reimposed, not only in the
event of the commission of a fresh criminal offence, but also in the
event of general misconduct.

The European system of conditional remission of punishment consists
in a conditional release of the prisoner after he has served a
portion of his sentence. If he makes a good use of his freedom,
the remainder of his punishment is entirely remitted, but if he
misconducts himself he must return to prison and serve out his term.
Release on parole in the United States of America is distinguished
from this system by the fact that in the former case, after its
release, the child remains subject to educative supervision; and
it is distinguished from probation by the fact that in the case
of probation a portion of the punishment, or of the reformatory
education, as the case may be, has already been undergone.

Probation and release on parole are preferable to the European
system; for from this last, since it is not associated with any
serious attempt at educative supervision, no particular good can be
expected. It is eminently desirable that the criminal legislation
of every civilised State should adopt these systems of probation
and parole, with whatever modifications may be found necessary in
individual countries; and the tendency of evolution is unmistakably
in this direction. In the majority of the States of the American
Union, the probationary system is in force, and in many of these
States it is applicable even in the case of adults. In most of those
States in which it is in force, it is associated with the system of
Children’s Courts; but in a few these Courts are as yet unknown.

_The Indeterminate Sentence._--In Europe, in view of the sacred
character of individual liberty, it is the general opinion that
the law courts should have no power to sentence an offender to
imprisonment for anything but a definitely fixed term. But this
system is in direct contradiction with the object of the punishment.
The criminal is to be regarded as an abnormal, diseased individual,
whose punishment must last until he is cured. He must for the most
part be treated as we treat one suffering from mental disorder, who
is committed to an asylum for an indeterminate period. The work
undertaken by the State in respect of the majority of criminals is
to effect their physical and moral cure. It is therefore absurd on
the face of the matter to specify beforehand a precise period within
which the cure must be completed. It is quite impossible for the
judge, when passing sentence, to determine how long it will take
to attain the desired end. When and if that end is attained can be
determined only by those to whom is entrusted the administration
of the punishment--persons continuously, and for a long period,
associated with the prisoner. The duration of the punishment must
depend, not upon the offender’s conduct at the time the offence
was committed, but upon his conduct after he has been sentenced.
When an offender is serving out a fixed sentence, the only thing
that interests him is how much of the period he has got through,
and how much still remains before him. But when the sentence is
indeterminate, it will be his whole-hearted endeavour to conduct
himself in such a way, to effect such an improvement, as to obtain
his release.

At the present day, there is no country in which sentences are
altogether indeterminate. Even in the United States of America, where
the indeterminate sentence prevails, a maximum term is specified
for the prisoner’s detention. The greater this maximum, the more
powerful will be the effect of the indeterminate sentence. The
younger the prisoner, the more powerful also will be the effect of
the indeterminate sentence, for the younger the prisoner, the more
has he to expect from life. In America the experience of the working
of the indeterminate sentence has been so satisfactory, that there
is a general desire that the specified maximum sentence should be
completely abolished. But as yet the efforts in this direction have
been unsuccessful.

In the case of juvenile offenders, the arguments in favour of the
indeterminate sentence are even more powerful than in the case of
adults. The aim of imprisonment is to exercise an educative influence
upon the child, and it is impossible to determine beforehand how long
a time will be required to complete the necessary education. The
indispensable foundation of every sound penal system for juvenile
criminals is the institution of the indeterminate sentence. We find,
in fact, that in the United States of America the reformatory system
is inseparably associated with the indeterminate sentence; and in
many European countries, when a child is sent to a reformatory, no
definite term is specified beforehand.

_Should Punishment be Rendered more Severe._--The classical legal
system is defective. But to many it appears that its present failures
depend upon the excessive mitigation of punishment; such persons
contend that we can expect a diminution of crime only if we render
punishments more severe. Many even demand the reintroduction of
corporal punishment. More severe sentences are indispensable in
the case of the habitual criminal; but in the case of occasional
criminals and juvenile criminals, no good results are to be expected
from any such measure.

_The Coercive Reformatory Education of Youthful Criminals._--The
coercive reformatory education of youthful criminals has in
essentials the same character as the compulsory education enforced
by the ordinary processes of the civil law. Its central idea is the
following. The child which for one reason or another stands in need
of a coercive reformatory education, whether that need is manifested
by the commission of some punishable offence or in any other way,
and whether the need arises in consequence of neglect on the part of
the child’s parents or in consequence of that of some other person
or persons, must receive the education it needs. The child that
requires a coercive reformatory education because it has committed
a punishable offence does not differ in any important respects from
a child which has not committed any such offence, but is in a state
of neglect. The latter child also should be subjected to a coercive
reformatory education; on no account should we wait until it has
committed a punishable offence, and has in this way manifested its
neglected state in a manner that cannot be overlooked. Besides,
neglected children and juvenile criminals belong to the same class of
society, and in the case of both the need for a coercive reformatory
education arises out of like conditions. Thus, the question of
the coercive reformatory education of juvenile criminals is not
one appertaining merely to the province of criminal law, but, in
conjunction with the question of the coercive reformatory education
of neglected children, it is also a matter of civil law and local
administrative activity. The care of youthful criminals is, in the
first place, a matter for the local authorities that are responsible
for the care of neglected children--that is to say, for the Boards
of Guardianship [see note to page 74], and for the Poor Law Boards.
The education of juvenile criminals differs but little from the
education of the children cared for by the Poor Law authorities;
and thus the question arises whether the care of juvenile criminals
necessitates the existence of _ad hoc_ boards to administer this
special department of the criminal law.

Since the middle of the seventeenth century, it has been the
tendency to send troublesome juveniles to institutions; and at
the outset they were sent to poorhouses and workhouses to mingle
with adult vagabonds and prostitutes. Not until towards the end of
the eighteenth century did people begin to recognise that it was
essential to separate heterogeneous elements. But even at the present
day, in many countries, reformatories are so far from being worthy of
their name that, like prisons, they are schools of corruption. Many
reformatories have still the aspect and the organisation of barracks.
In such places the children are subjected to a rigid discipline. They
are managed very strictly, and yet the children are in some respects
better off than free workers of the same age; they are compelled to
be diligent, clean, and healthy. But their life is not truly living.
The children receive instruction, but no real education. They work,
but acquire no love for work. When they are discharged from the
reformatory they are even less inclined to work than they were when
they entered the institution; they are further corrupted, they renew
outside the unwholesome friendships they have contracted within the
walls, and commonly carry out, after they leave, the crimes they have
learned and planned during their stay at the “reformatory.”

In real advances in reformatory methods, England and the United
States of America have led the way. But in the case of the former
country, true progress in this respect dates only from the latter
half of the nineteenth century; and in the case of the latter
country, only from the year 1870. In other countries, even to-day,
sound ideas have found in this matter but little application. This
slow progress probably depends upon the difficulty of getting rid of
the influence of the older legal theories, and upon the difficulty of
assimilating the idea that a reformatory must be something totally
different from a prison.

_Institutional Education_ versus _Family Education_.--Which is
preferable, institutional education or family education? There is
much to be said on both sides of this question. Unquestionably,
in the case of juvenile criminals and neglected children the
advantages of family care are less conspicuous than they are in the
case of abandoned children. The accumulation, under one roof, of
children of the former categories involves the close approximation
of numerous injurious germs, which would less readily develop if
they were dispersed. Moreover, for such children it is even harder
to find suitable foster-parents than it is for those who are simply
abandoned. Few are willing to undertake the difficult task of
bringing up such children, and fewer foster-parents still are in a
position to give them a suitable upbringing. The strict handling they
require is much easier to enforce in an institution or a colony than
in an ordinary family. There is often good reason to be afraid that
the juvenile criminal or neglected child, if boarded with a family,
will corrupt the younger members of that family.

The problem must therefore be solved on the following lines: In
every case there should be a thorough medical examination of the
child, and a careful study of its educational acquirements and
capacities, and upon the results of this examination should be
based the decision whether this particular child can best be dealt
with in an institution or in a family. In making our decision we
should never lose sight of the principle that, except in the case
of the really bad children, the advantages of a family education
should as far as possible be given. Only in the case of children
with obstinate and unconquerable criminal tendencies is continuous
institutional care essential; for abnormal children, prolonged
curative educational treatment is requisite, as far as possible,
in institutions or colonies founded especially for this purpose.
The educational institution should be a place in which the pupils
undergo a thorough bodily and mental cleansing process. When this
has been effected, as soon as we have a right to assume that the
child could be received as an inmate by an ordinary family without
endangering the other children, then the sooner the child is removed
from the unnatural life of the institution to the natural life of the
family, the better will be its chances for the future. A reformatory
institution which is to attain its ends must have characteristics
resembling those of a modern foundling hospital. It must be a place
at which those children who, for one reason or another, have to leave
their foster-parents, can be received and cared for while another
suitable home is being found for them; it must be the centre of
supervision of the children placed in family care. It is true that
at a reformatory a child is deprived of personal liberty and remains
in the institution under compulsion, but the aim of the reformatory
is very different from that of the prison. The reformatory should
resemble, not a barrack, but a family--that is to say, the barrack
system (collective system) must find no place in the reformatory. The
institutional life must be as free as possible, and the child must be
treated as a member of a family.

Individual treatment and classification of the children are of great
importance. Special institutions are requisite for older children
and younger children, for those who are more and those who are less
corrupt, for those who need mild and for those who need strict
treatment. In accordance with this classification, the children must
be distributed in the various separate institutions. Unimprovable
children should not be received at all, for not only can we do them
no good, but their presence is harmful to the other children. It
is also necessary that there should be special institutions for
observation purposes, to enable us to decide which of the other
institutions is best adapted for the treatment of individual cases.
When they first enter the observational institution, children should
be isolated for a while, until they can be sent to an appropriate
section. In former times, grave mistakes were made in this matter of
individualisation. Routine treatment and equality of punishment for
all similar offences were justified with reference to the principle
of equality before the law. Even to-day, children still at times are
thrust into contact with the most dangerous elements, and even with
the refuse of human society, although this happens much less often
in reformatory institutions than in police cells, local prisons, or
workhouses. But in general, and especially in England, France, and
the United States of America, great stress is now laid upon proper
individualisation. In England, above all, do we find the attempt made
to secure that all the younger children should be sent to industrial
schools, and all the older children to reformatory institutions.

The aim of the reformatory is to improve the child. This is
equivalent to an endeavour to produce in the child an independent
spirit, and a capacity to provide for itself in a free life. This
can be done only by leaving the child a certain amount of freedom,
by cultivating its self-respect, and by doing all in our power to
put it upon its mettle. He only will be able to make his living who
possesses some definite capacity and is willing to work. For this
reason, the institution must take every care, not merely to accustom
the child to work in general, but also to render it competent in
some particular handicraft. Hence the child’s occupation in the
institution must not be either useless or depressing in character,
nor must it be of such a kind as only an adult can do properly; it
must be one suited to the powers and capacities of the child. In
the older institutions, which were badly conducted, the pupils were
engaged in useless and mind-destroying occupations. Owing to the fact
that these institutions were inadequately supplied with funds, the
work done was chosen, not because it was of any value to the inmates,
but simply because it could provide a contribution to the expenses
of maintenance. Unfortunately, even at the present day, on the
ground that it is within the rights of the State that a part of the
expenditure upon the inmates should be provided by the utilisation of
their labour-power, far too much stress is laid upon attempts to make
such institutions “self-supporting.”

The school instruction in reformatories should, in general, resemble
that which is given by the State to normal children outside. The main
points are, to provide a suitable elementary education, and to devote
a great deal of attention to the care of the body. The most difficult
class to deal with in reformatories is that of the habitual vagrants.

_Testing Reform._--How can the improvement we hope to effect in the
reformatory best be tested, and how can we best prepare for the
transition into a free life? In view of the fact that these problems
have been most completely solved in the United States of America,
it will suffice here to describe the systems in vogue in that
country. The indispensable preliminary to a successful reformatory
education is the indeterminate sentence. The child will not leave the
reformatory (presuming that the stipulated maximum term has not been
attained) to assume the full responsibilities of freedom, until it
has satisfactorily responded to the test of a probationary freedom.
When it first enters the reformatory the child is apathetic. But
before long it becomes aware of the significance of the indeterminate
sentence; it perceives that it will not obtain its discharge until it
has improved; and this induces a condition of nervous, yet salutary,
tension and disquiet. The indeterminate sentence thus exercises upon
the child a powerful influence, laying its fate to some extent in its
own hands, making hope in place of fear the most effective element of
its thought, and awakening the desire to effect improvement by means
of its own efforts.

We must not overlook the possibility that those who may secure
their discharge before they have served the maximum term of their
sentence may not necessarily be those who have truly and completely
reformed, but those who possess the greatest power of adaptation to
the conditions necessary to secure their release.

A system which in various forms constitutes an almost universal
feature in the conduct of American reformatories is known as the
“mark system,” or “merit system.” The nature of this system is that
every inmate is able, by earning a certain number of good marks,
allotted on account of general good behaviour, and of progress in
the school and the workshop respectively, to earn his release upon
probation. The numerical formalism of this system is counteracted by
an individual consideration and treatment of the pupils.

In the reformatory, we may endeavour to effect an improvement, and
may hope that we have done so; but it is impossible to be certain
that this end has been attained. While the child remains in the
institution, no one can tell if it has acquired the power of
overcoming the difficulties of the life of freedom. It is the period
immediately following the discharge from the reformatory which is the
most dangerous to the child. It is upon this period, above all, that
it depends whether the child will be successful in gaining a proper
place in society. For this reason, it is of fundamental importance
to find work for all those who are discharged from a reformatory;
indeed, they should only leave the reformatory to enter an assured
position. Every care must be taken, in seeking employment for those
about to be discharged, that we are not increasing the general
difficulty in obtaining work by overstocking the labour market. In
the reformatories of the United States, the difficulties of the
transition period are met by releasing the inmates on probation only,
for a time during which they are not only supported, but carefully
supervised. In the criminal law of European countries, the period
of punishment is at an end when the specified term of sentence has
expired. No such determinate sentence exists in the case of American
reformatories, for the maximum term of sentence usually extends
far beyond the end of the period of probationary release. What is
requisite is, that the definitive discharge from supervision and
control should only take place when the conduct during the term of
probationary release has been satisfactory, and when the duties
imposed have been faithfully performed. The child released on
probation must behave well, work diligently, and punctually and at
regular intervals report itself at the reformatory. Until the end of
the probationary period, it remains under the supervision and care of
the institution; the conditional release may at any time be revoked;
and the final discharge is not effected until the child has given
satisfactory proof of its fitness for a free life. The child released
on probation generally behaves very well, for it fully understands
that any misconduct would entail serious consequences, that it would
lose in a moment all that it has hitherto gained, that it would have
to return to the institution, and begin once more at the beginning
the struggle to secure its freedom.

Some of the reformatory schools of America are governed as child
republics, known as “Junior Republics.” In these the children
exercise self-government after the example of the Great Republic
itself, and the executive of the institution merely exercises a kind
of supervision. The greatest possible weight is thus given to the
educative influence of personal responsibility. Above all, the trial
and punishment of offences against the discipline of the reformatory,
by courts constituted by the inmates, works exceedingly well, because
the comrades know one another better than anyone else can. The
reformatory system of the United States of America meets with very
general approval. In Europe, indeed, it is said that the system is
too expensive, and that the inmates are treated too well. The view
we shall take upon this matter will depend upon our general opinion
as to how a reformatory should be organised and carried on. In the
United States of America, intercourse between man and man is free and
unrestrained, and the standard of life is higher than in Europe. Only
the improvable children are so well treated; the habitual offenders,
on the contrary, are subjected to a draconian régime. It is true
that in Europe the cost per child is less, but in view of the meagre
results obtained on this side of the Atlantic, the saving is apparent

The defects of the American system are the following. As soon as a
new political party gains a majority, and a new government therefore
comes into power, much of the official staff, including that of the
reformatories, is changed. Hence, the greater part of the staff
does not consist of persons who have devoted their life to the
improvement of children, but is composed mainly of persons without
proper professional training. But it is well known that the staff of
our European reformatories also lacks proper professional training in
respect of the hygiene and psychology of child life.

_The Radical Solution of the Problem._--We cannot protest with too
much energy against the idea that we can deal effectively with
juvenile criminality by means of a few new paragraphs in our criminal
codes, and of a few new societies with patronage to distribute. We
must not regard neglected childhood and juvenile criminality as
isolated phenomena, but must consider them in association with the
economic, moral, and intellectual neglect of the proletariat, from
which juvenile criminality springs. These proletarian conditions form
the starting-point for our knowledge of neglect in childhood and of
juvenile crime, and hence for our knowledge of the means we should
adopt in dealing with these. The evils have to be averted, not from
youth only, but also from the proletariat. Political care, which is
directed towards the saving, in the narrower sense, of neglected and
criminal youth, is inadequate; what is required is a general scheme
of social and political reconstruction whereby the true sources of
juvenile criminality will be dried up.

The best policy of criminal reform is the social policy which
will provide a sufficiency of the necessaries of life for every
one willing to work for them, and which will put an end to the
flagrant class contrasts of our time. Such a policy would involve
the destruction of capitalism. I repeat that this does not involve
any changes in our policy of child-protection in the narrower sense,
but simply indicates the general lines on which alone advance can
be obtained. The best means for the prevention of crime is not
punishment, but removal of the causes of crime. Juvenile criminality
will not completely disappear until its causes have been completely
removed--that is to say, it will not disappear until capitalism no
longer exists, and until there is no longer a proletariat.



_Conditions of To-day._--In all departments of modern legal systems
the principle gains general acceptance that persons under age require
to be treated differently from adults. The actual legal regulations
respecting young people are different from those which apply to
adults. In civil law, the minor cannot appear independently either
as plaintiff or as defendant. But criminal law, on the other hand,
notwithstanding the fact that it is far more complex than civil law,
and notwithstanding the fact that the interests of minors affected
by criminal law are far more important than those affected by civil
law, places minors on the same footing, or on a similar footing, with
adults. This is extremely disadvantageous to those under age.

In the case of juvenile offenders, imprisonment while awaiting trial
involves the greatest dangers, for its effects may be as disastrous
as those of imprisonment after sentence. The trial also involves
very serious dangers. In the corridors and waiting-rooms of the
law-court, the juvenile offender is kept awaiting the hearing of his
case. He sees there many things new to him. He hears the conversation
of the witnesses and of the other accused. He receives advice as
to his bearing in the dock. A public trial is not in the least
adapted to induce in the juvenile offender a sense of shame, or to
awaken in him the consciousness that he has taken a wrong path. As
far as he understands the matter, an imposing apparatus is at work
in a fine big room; the officials of the court do their work in a
cool and businesslike manner, and with an air of importance. In the
court there are a number of persons drawn to the place by curiosity
simply, and among these are the old associates of the accused, who
watch his behaviour with an eager interest, and regard his youthful
misdemeanours with indifference, or even with admiration. He feels
himself to be the hero and the central figure of a drama, and this
makes it even more impossible for him to follow the legal proceedings
attentively, and to defend himself in a proper manner. When the trial
is over, the newspapers are full of his case. If he is set at liberty
he immediately becomes the centre of an admiring circle of his
former associates, who listen to his words with eager attention, and
encourage him to relate again and again, and with many exaggerations,
the incidents of his case.

_Proposed Reforms._--Gradually the idea gains ground that in the case
of juvenile offenders the procedure should be totally different from
what it is in the case of adults. The principal reforms that are
proposed are the following.

(_a_) In the case of juvenile criminals it is indispensable to do
away with personal freedom. The leading principle of our penal
procedure, namely, to safeguard individual liberty, is out of place
in the case of juvenile offenders.

(_b_) To-day, owing to defective understanding of the psychology
of children, the authorities regard juvenile offences as extremely
serious. It is held that every child that is brought before the
courts is of necessity corrupt. But it is not by any rigid legal
code, but rather by the principles of expediency, that we should be
guided in the case of juvenile offenders; that is to say, in the case
of petty offences, committed by young persons, the latter should
never be brought before the law courts at all. The objection that
on general legal principles an even-handed justice is absolutely
essential, is so far sound, that there is undoubtedly a danger lest
the authorities should refrain from initiating proceedings against
the children of persons of influence, whilst letting the law take
its course when the offenders’ parents are people of no importance.
But this objection can also be overcome. The principle of expediency
can, in addition, be applied in the following manner: the prosecuting
authority allows a period of probation to elapse before proceedings
are initiated, and if the youthful offender continues to behave
well, the prosecution is altogether dropped. In the case of juvenile
offenders, legal prosecution is not of much importance. The judge or
magistrate would need the powers and capabilities of an inquisitor,
for if he is to decide rightly, he must be acquainted with every
detail regarding the life and the environment of the juvenile

(_c_) In the preliminary proceedings it is necessary to study very
thoroughly the family life and social conditions in which the child
has grown up. The most satisfactory way is to seek the necessary
information from the parents or other persons in authority, or from
other adult associates of the child, as from the guardian, the
teacher, the clergyman, or from servants.

(_d_) A child awaiting trial should on no account be sent to prison.
If safe custody of the person is essential, some grown person in whom
the court has confidence must be made responsible for the care of the

(_e_) The prosecuting authority should have the right to make any
proposal which may further the child’s interests, including a
proposal to send the accused to a reformatory.

(_f_) The trial should on no account be a public one. (It is
essential, when criminal proceedings are taken against a minor, that
no other minors should be admitted to court as idle spectators.) We
are concerned, not with the punishment, but with the education of a
child, and the matter is not one suitable for the fullest publicity.
But for the protection of the child’s interests, it is, of course,
necessary that the legal representatives of the accused, and the
officials of organisations for child-protection, should attend the

(_g_) Juveniles should never be tried by a jury. This proceeding
is too solemn and too elaborate. Moreover, it is not within the
competence of a jury to determine whether the child possesses the
understanding so frequently mentioned as to the punishable character
of the offence. The only reason for which trial by jury might be
advantageous, is that a jury is more apt than a judge to take a mild

(_h_) In the first instance, even in the case of graver offences, the
matter should come before an individual judge. Whenever possible, he
should be one experienced in matters of education and psychology,
and one whose specialty it is to deal with juvenile offenders. The
majority of criminal judges do not possess to-day the experience
and training requisite to the competent handling of juvenile
offenders, inasmuch as the majority of criminals brought before
them are adults. In every law court there should be one judge whose
specialty it is to deal with juvenile offenders; in countries in
which the law court is also the Board of Guardianship (see note on
p. 74), juvenile offenders should be brought before the Children’s
Judge (_Pupilarrichter_), who knows the children better than his
professional colleagues. Criminal proceedings against children
tend more and more to assume the form simply of the choice of the
necessary educational measures. Inasmuch as a coercive reformatory
education, when not the outcome of a criminal prosecution, has, in
most cases, been prescribed by the Board of Guardianship, it would
seem as well that the power to order a coercive reformatory education
in the case also of juvenile criminal offenders should be transferred
to the law court which works under the authority of the Board of

(_i_) The prosecuting authority and the law court must keep in
close touch with all the associations devoted to the work of
child-protection, and with the institutions subserving this purpose,
and must avail themselves of the counsel and support of these
associations and institutions.

(_k_) In criminal proceedings against juvenile offenders, defence
plays a different part from that which it plays in the criminal
prosecution of adults. It should not be the principal aim of
the defending counsel to secure an acquittal or a diminution of
punishment, but rather to make sure that the juvenile offender shall
receive the treatment best adapted to effect his reform.

_Penal Methods in the United States of America._--It is in the
United States of America that penal methods applicable in the case
of juvenile offenders have obtained their highest development.
Children’s Courts now exist in about thirty of the States; the first
of these Courts came into existence in the year 1899. The Children’s
Court is either a special department of an ordinary law court, or
else a Children’s Court _ad hoc_; in either case it deals with all
the punishable offences committed by children, with the exception of
very serious crime. In many of the States of the American Union the
Children’s Courts deal not only with neglected children and truants
from school, but also, and very logically, with certain offences
committed by adults; for example, the infliction of excessive
punishment upon children, the ill-treatment of children, breaches
of the laws regulating child-labour, and the like. In this we see
a clear manifestation of the tendency to make the Children’s Court
responsible for all legal matters wherein juveniles are concerned.
The Children’s Court lays the greatest possible stress upon giving
the accused an opportunity, after he has received appropriate
instruction, to effect his own amendment without the further
intervention of the Court. But should the offence be repeated, a
sentence will have to be passed, and the matter of recidivity will
have to be taken into consideration. The powers of the Court are the
widest possible. It can reprimand the child, punish it, postpone
sentence, send it to a reformatory, determining where and how the
coercive reformatory education shall be effected, can summon the
child before the Court at any time, &c. In many of the States,
individualisation and classification have been carried so far that
the Courts hold special sittings to deal with truancy from school,
the case of neglected children, criminal offences, &c.

The judge of the Children’s Court cannot expect to attain any very
valuable results in the absence of a staff of assistants possessing
the necessary training. But these assistants are not educationalists,
nor doctors, nor child-protectors. The right hand of the Children’s
Court is the “Probation Officer,” who is appointed by the Court--a
thoroughly cultivated person, generally one trained originally as a
teacher, who has received theoretical and practical training in a
“philanthropical school.” They have no connection with the police,
and yet have some of the powers of police officials. It is their duty
to make all the investigations needed by the Court; they compile a
record of the personal data of all the children who pass through
their hands; they furnish reports to the Courts; help the children
and their parents by word and deed, both during and after the legal
proceedings, in the manner prescribed by the Courts; if necessary,
they find suitable foster-parents, and keep under supervision all the
children who are placed on probation.

The introduction into Europe of this American system is, in the first
place, a problem of the organisation of the law courts, inasmuch as
the Children’s Court combines the functions of an ordinary law court
with those of a Board of Guardianship. In the second place, the
problem is one of the reform of criminal law, since the Children’s
Courts would be of no value without the power to place children on
probation. In such countries as Hungary, in which the authority
exercising guardianship is not a law court, but a specialised
administrative body, the judge who has to try a child charged with a
criminal offence is not empowered to exercise any of the functions of
a Board of Guardianship. In those countries in Europe in which it is
possible to effect the necessary changes in the organisation of the
law courts, and to secure the necessary reforms in criminal law, and
where suitable judges for the Children’s Courts are available (the
personality of these judges is, of course, a matter of fundamental
importance), the introduction of Children’s Courts is possible.
In Europe the American example is more and more appreciated and
imitated; of recent years advances in this direction have been made
in almost every civilised country, not even excepting England, whose
legal development is essentially conservative. In the application of
these ideas we find numerous differences; in Germany, for instance,
several systems are in vogue. The general introduction of the
Children’s Courts into Europe is certain to ensue, inasmuch as the
conditions which have led to their introduction in America obtain
equally in Europe.



_The Causes of Prostitution._--As in every commercial transaction,
so also in the women-market, two factors are decisive--supply and
demand. The demand arises from the fact that to men of the upper
classes marriage has become difficult or impossible. Whereas in the
case of the lower classes of the population, concubinage offers a
substitute for marriage, so that for the men of the lower classes
prostitution may be regarded as superfluous, in the case of men of
the upper classes prostitution is practically the only available
substitute for marriage, so that these men are led to purchase
casual and temporary wives from among the women of the lower
classes. The supply depends upon poverty, which is the principal
cause of prostitution. By this it is not meant to imply that actual
destitution is usually the direct and immediate cause of the adoption
of a life of prostitution. It is rather that a number of factors,
the outcome or the accompaniments of poverty, combine to place girls
in a position very favourable to their becoming prostitutes. The
environment in which proletarian children live is an unfavourable one
in the matter of sexual relationships. It is one which prepares girls
for prostitution, and makes them very liable to adopt this mode of
life. They are forced to live in a single room with the other members
of a large family, with strangers, and even casual night-lodgers--a
room in which they all cook, eat, sleep, and practise sexual
intercourse. The girls even have to share a common bed. Thus there
is no place in their experience for the sentiment of shame. In
addition, proletarian children often form evil associations at a very
early age, and become acquainted in very early childhood and in the
dirtiest possible manner with all the circumstances of the sexual
life--with the most offensive and unclean, the most abnormal and
morbid excrescences of the disordered sexual life. Many women would
never have sunk into the slough of prostitution had their upbringing
been a different one. Often enough the pressure of poverty even leads
parents to make money out of the procurement of their own children.

The great majority of prostitutes are recruited from the class of
young maid-servants. Maid-servants pass their childhood in country
villages. Even to-day, in some countries, most of them can neither
read nor write. They are not only unintelligent, but thoroughly
simple; naturally they are easily seduced. In the country circles
from which the great majority of them come, premarital sexual
intercourse is hardly regarded as immoral, and is an almost universal
custom. The girls bring these ideas with them to the town, with
results that are necessarily disastrous. In most cases they are
completely cut off from their parental homes, and lack the firm
support given by a well-ordered family life, are sent from the
country into a strange and incomprehensible world, and live under one
roof with persons belonging to a social class by whose members they
are regarded as being of inferior birth. They pass their new lives
in a circle in which the demands are far higher than they have been
accustomed to; imitatively, they soon come to share these demands,
but can satisfy them only by the supplementary earnings of shame. By
the men of the household, most often by their employer or his sons,
they are seduced, and then left to fend for themselves. They seldom
stay long in one situation; and when out of employment, especially if
they have formed bad associations, they are exposed to the gravest
moral dangers. Their hours of work are unlimited, and for this reason
they wish to live as intensely as possible during the few and scanty
hours of liberty. Their legal position is a very unfavourable one,
and it is practically impossible for them to organise themselves in
a trade union. They form a servile class. Their personal desires are
continually repressed, and even this is but a preparation for their
subsequent profession, in which servility and repression will be
their fate.

_Prostitution and Child-Protection_.--Prostitution explains and
favours the development of numerous factors which make the work of
child-protection an ever-existing need. These factors are: (_a_)
criminal offences against persons under age; (_b_) venereal diseases;
(_c_) a fall in women’s wages, and a consequent fall in men’s wages
also; (_d_) corruption of the sexual morals of juveniles; (_e_) the
fact that prostitutes, though somewhat exceptionally, bear children.

(_a_) The definite purpose of certain criminal offences committed
against women under age is simply to supply fresh and new wares for
the market of prostitution. For it is not only or mainly women who,
in respect of physical beauty, age, or of some other circumstance,
are of comparatively little value, that become prostitutes. Among
the men who have recourse to prostitutes are some who can pay high
fees, and therefore demand an article of high quality. Among these
latter, there are, of course, some who actually prefer experienced
prostitutes. But most of them demand especially physical beauty, and
this is more likely to be possessed by younger women than by older
ones. A considerable proportion of prostitutes are under legal age;
a large majority of them have entered the career of professional
prostitution before coming of age. An adult woman is much less likely
than one under age to become a prostitute. Statistical data bearing
on this question are, however, lacking. The white-slave traffic has
to-day attained gigantic proportions; the sources of this traffic are
supplied by professional procurement, a branch of industry in which
many thousands are engaged. It is obvious that the young girls who
will attract the attention of the professional procurer or procuress
will, for the most part, belong to the proletariat.

(_b_) Prostitution is an unceasing source of the venereal diseases,
the character of these in any district being intimately associated
with the characteristics of prostitution in that district. The
principal seats of prostitution are the true foci of the venereal

(_c_) The matter of women’s wages has already been discussed.[7]

(_d_) Prostitution leads to the corruption of children’s morals and
drags them into vicious courses. Prostitutes usually live in those
quarters of the town, in those streets, in those houses, in which the
population belongs mainly to the proletariat. It is utterly improper
that prostitutes should live in the same house with persons who have
young children. Indeed, the question arises whether prostitutes
should not be absolutely forbidden to live in any house in which
there are persons under age.

(_e_) No official statistics exist to show how many children are
born to prostitutes. According to certain private statistical
data, collected in large towns, two children are born each year
to every hundred prostitutes. Many regard it as inexplicable that
prostitutes, who have sexual intercourse so often, should so
rarely become pregnant. But it is precisely on account of over-use
that the female reproductive organs, in these cases, lose their
functional reproductive power. Where everyone walks, the grass
never grows. Moreover, there is no necessary association between
coitus and conception. In most cases, alike in the prostitute and
in the man who has intercourse with her, the idea and the desire of
procreation are non-existent. Many make excuses for prostitution on
the ground that, since prostitutes seldom have children, we have
here a counterpoise to illegitimate births. But it is statistically
proved that where prostitution is general--as, for example, in great
towns--illegitimate births are commoner than in the country, where
prostitution is practically unknown. We need not stop to consider
here whether the wider diffusion of prostitution would be more
desirable than the occurrence of a greater number of illegitimate
births. It is obviously necessary that the children of prostitutes
should be removed from the care of their mother and brought up

Those who regard every prostitute as a degenerate being will reject
_a priori_ any attempt to rescue them. It is a fact of experience
that attempts to reform prostitutes are rarely very successful.
Experience shows also that the reformatory education of boys is more
effectual than the reformatory education of girls, and that such an
education gives better results in the case of girls who are merely
neglected than of those who are morally fallen. But this difference
is not due to the fact that prostitutes are congenitally degenerate,
but simply to the fact that they have become degenerate owing to
the conditions of their life. For in women a life of prostitution
develops all those qualities--laziness, love of adornment,
hypertension of the sexual impulse, &c.--which make it impossible
for people to earn their bread by regular work. As soon as the girl
is subjected to the supervision of the _police des mœurs_, she is
for ever lost. The supervision breaks down completely her power of
resistance, exposes her to contempt, and permanently excludes her
from what is called respectable society. For these reasons, girls
under age should on no account be subjected to the supervision of
the _police des mœurs_. Precisely because it is almost impossible to
induce a prostitute to adopt any other mode of life, we must, in our
campaign against prostitution, devote ourselves above all to those
prophylactic measures by which girls may be withheld from the first
steps which will lead ultimately to the marketing of their bodies.



_The Two Groups._--Previously we have spoken of punishable offences
committed by children; we pass now to consider those committed
against children. These latter may be classified in two sub-groups.
To the former group belong the punishable offences in which the
primary aim is to injure or destroy a child. To the latter group
belong offences against children in which the injury to the child
is incidental. The precise line of demarcation between these two
groups differs in the legal systems of different countries. The most
important offences in the former group are: infanticide, the exposing
of children, abortion (these three crimes occur chiefly in connection
with the birth of illegitimate children), criminal offences against
the chastity of women (for example, rape, seduction, procurement).
It is only with regard to offences in this first group that
statistical data are available. In association with the development
of capitalism, there has been a great increase in their number. But,
according to official statistics, there is not one of the offences
above specified which occurs to the extent of 1 per cent. of all
criminal offences; most of those named are considerably less than 1
per cent. In the case of the other criminal offences, only private
statistical data are available.

In respect of the offences comprising the second group, the
important questions arise, whether there exist any mitigating or
aggravating circumstances, such as that the offence was committed
against a child, and not against an adult, or that it was committed,
not against a stranger, but against one for whose instruction or
upbringing the offender was responsible. Is it not desirable that
the circumstance that the criminal offence was committed against
a child should be stated in the law expressly as a reason for an
increase in the severity of the punishment, or else that the law
should give children, precisely because they are children, a higher
degree of protection against certain offences? Owing to the fact that
young people, in consequence of their physical weakness, are much
less able than adults to resist aggression, there is every reason
for the preferential legal protection of children. The protection
should, indeed, be more effective the younger the child. For example,
a child of ten can call for help, and can run away, but an infant is
utterly defenceless. Punishable offences against children need to
be severely punished, because they betray the existence of a coarse
and rough disposition in the offender. It must be regarded as an
aggravating circumstance when the offender is the person responsible
for the child’s upbringing. And yet the criminal offences of parents,
guardians, foster-parents, and teachers, against the children under
their care, are often nothing more than a misuse in all good faith
of the authority entrusted to them. Simply in the interests of
the child, severe punishment is often undesirable, because of the
rancour against the child it would tend to arouse. (These questions
are of importance only so long as the practice continues of passing
determinate sentences. The introduction of the indeterminate
sentence, which is in line with the tendency of evolution, would
render these questions unimportant.)

If any offender whose conduct against a child has proved him to
be incapable of exercising with propriety parental authority, the
powers of a guardian, the powers of a foster-parent, the duties of
a teacher, it is essential to deprive him of these powers without
delay; and this should be done, not only in the interests of the
particular child, but in the interests of all children. Anyone who
has committed a serious punishable offence against a child is, as
a rule, altogether unfitted to exercise authority of any kind over
any children. If the offender is punished, and thereafter the child
is left in his power, the child will usually become the object upon
which he will work off the rancour inspired by the punishment. It is
essential that this change in the guardianship of the child should
not be postponed until the case is decided and judgment is passed,
but that it should be effected immediately it is thought necessary
to institute proceedings. The objection that the right to remove
a child from the care of an offender properly belongs, not to the
criminal court, but to the Board of Guardianship, is invalid. The
procedures rendered necessary in consequence of the initiation of the
criminal proceedings cannot, in these cases, be distributed among
various different authorities. In most instances it is essential
to act at once. Authority over a child, in a modern State, is not
essentially different from an official position. Since our criminal
courts are empowered to decree any one’s unfitness to hold an
official position, and to deprive any citizen of his civil rights,
why should they not also be empowered to decide that certain persons
are unfitted to exercise authority over children? The courts have
the power to declare that through the loss of civil rights a man has
become unfitted for the position of an official guardian; a teacher
in a State school loses his position _ipso facto_ if convicted of a
criminal offence; why should not the criminal courts have the power
to deprive parents, foster-parents, and private teachers of their
“office,” and to declare them to be unfitted to hold it?

The great majority of punishable offences against children are
committed against children of the lower classes.

_Infanticide._--By infanticide we understand the deliberate killing
of an illegitimate child by its mother during or immediately
after birth. For the following reasons, it is necessary that this
offence should not be punished with extreme severity: (_a_) in the
act of parturition the mother’s physical and mental equilibrium
is disturbed, so that her condition must be regarded as one of
diminished responsibility; (_b_) in the act of parturition the
unmarried mother is influenced by the dread of disgrace, and by fears
as to the child’s future, in ways from which the married mother
is free; (_c_) neither the secret and indiscriminate reception of
illegitimate children into foundling hospitals, nor the most severe
punishments, suffice to prevent the commission of this crime. (In
France, for example, infanticide is punished with the greatest
possible severity, but this does not prevent the commission of the
offence. For, in the first place, since in France inquiry into
paternity is forbidden, during parturition the fears of the unmarried
mother as to the future of the child are exceptionally distressing.
In the second place, since the jury know that the offence will be
punished with draconian severity, they prefer to return a verdict of
Not Guilty.) We do not find, in every modern State, such an attitude
towards infanticide. There are certain countries in which infanticide
is even more severely punished than the murder of an adult. In
the country, infanticide is comparatively commoner than in towns,
this difference being connected with the fact that in the country
districts there are no foundling hospitals, and with the fact that in
the country criminal abortion is less frequently practised than in
the towns.

There are certain children with respect to whom medical science
indicates, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that it is impossible
for them ever to become useful members of society; indeed, in the
case of many of them, it is obvious that their existence is directly
harmful to the species--for example, cripples, high-grade cretins,
idiots, and children with gross deformities. But at the present
day such children are preserved to lead a life of martyrdom. The
greatest possible pains and the highest refinements of medical skill
are employed to keep them alive. Huge institutions are erected for
their care, and there is great rejoicing if, after years of laborious
efforts, some of these small unfortunates have been taught to speak
or write a few words. This procedure is a grave infringement of
the law of parsimony (see the first paragraph of Chapter V. in the
General Part), if only for the reason that in other departments of
social life, with the same expenditure of effort, far greater and
more valuable results could be obtained. When such children, for
one reason or another, find their way into the world, they should
be quickly and painlessly destroyed. What method should be adopted
to attain this end is a minor consideration. The most suitable plan
would appear to be that, after a thorough expert medical examination,
such children should be killed by a swift and painless narcotic.
For the present, we may leave the question open whether the consent
of the parents should first be obtained. According to the moral
conceptions of to-day, not only do people shrink back when such
energetic measures are proposed, but every act by which individuals,
however worthless, are sacrificed in the interests of the species,
is regarded as immoral, and even as a punishable offence. But just
as to-day we treat certain individuals whose conduct endangers the
present generation in such a way as to deprive them of opportunities
for doing further harm, so also should we deal as seems best from
the social point of view with those individuals who are useless to
society, or may be harmful to future generations. As soon as it
is generally understood that the interest of future generations
is at least as important as that of the present generation, that
the interest of the species is more important than that of a few
individuals useless to society, and as soon as the number of cases
in which such destruction of children is desirable has been greatly
diminished owing to the adoption of appropriate preventive measures,
it will be regarded as a necessary and moral act to put an end to
these defectives.

_Abortion._--Abortion is common in every age. In ancient times,
amongst the majority of peoples, it was not considered a punishable
offence. Even in Christian Europe, down to the eighteenth century, it
was not punished when the act was performed within ten weeks of the
occurrence of conception. The explanation of this is that during the
earlier stages of development the embryo was not supposed to possess
a soul. To-day, abortion is a punishable offence, but is none the
less extraordinarily common. Official statistics make no approach to
completeness, for the great majority of abortions remain secret. An
expert to-day, owing to the gigantic advances in surgical technique,
can procure abortion without either difficulty or danger. In every
large town there are numerous doctors who specialise as abortionists.
Even the midwives do not hesitate to undertake such manipulations. In
every populous resort will be found large institutions where women
are given an opportunity for concealing the consequences of illicit
intercourse by the practice of abortion.

Where conception has occurred in a married woman, it may be fear for
the future of the child, of a lowering of the standard of life of the
family, or of the act of parturition, which leads to the practice
of abortion; where the pregnant woman is unmarried, fears as to the
future of mother and child may also be operative, but the principal
motives are the dread of disgrace and the desire to conceal the fact
that pregnancy has occurred. Among women of the proletariat it will
readily be understood that abortion is carried out less skilfully
than in the case of women belonging to the well-to-do class,
for proletarian women are unable to pay for such highly-skilled
assistance. It is for this reason that a much larger proportion
of criminal abortions are discovered in the case of proletarian
women than in the case of the well-to-do. The number of abortions
is comparatively greater in the towns than in the country, and the
technique of abortion is a more skilful one in the former districts
than in the latter.

It has recently been advocated that abortion should no longer be
regarded as a punishable offence. Others are satisfied with the
proposal that the mother should be left unpunished. These proposals
are supported by the following arguments. The existing law is
altogether inefficient, for it attacks not the act in itself, but
merely the poverty of the doer and the clumsiness of the act. The
punishment of abortion is especially unjust: (_a_) when the act of
intercourse has been effected against the will of the woman who has
been impregnated--for example, in case of rape; (_b_) when abortion
is indicated on special grounds of health--for example, when the
health or life of the mother is seriously threatened by pregnancy or
parturition, and there is no doubt that the life of the mother is
more valuable than that of the child; (_c_) when there is no doubt
that the child, if born at full term, would be weakly, diseased,
useless, or even injurious to society--for example, when a person
suffering from severe insanity or chronic alcoholism impregnates
a woman, or when an insane, epileptic, or imbecile woman becomes
pregnant. (As to certain other arguments which are put forward, such
as that everyone has a perfect right to the disposal of his own
body, and that for this reason the prospective mother can deal with
the fruit of her womb precisely as she pleases; or that, according
to the biogenetic law, the embryo is not a human being, but a lower
animal--no importance need be attached to them. They are altogether

As yet there is no country in which these views have been
incorporated in legislation, but the time cannot be far distant in
which this will take place. Of course, when this happens, abortion,
if effected by a married woman, without sufficient cause, and without
the consent of her husband, would have to be regarded as an adequate
ground for divorce.

_The Protection of Feminine Chastity._--The criminal laws of to-day
recognise only the more serious offences against the chastity of
women, such as rape, seduction, gross instances of procurement,
and so on. The aims at reform in this connection are as follows.
Feminine chastity, above all as far as young girls are concerned,
demands much more effective protection than it receives to-day.
The age of consent--that is, the age below which intercourse with
a woman is in any case a punishable offence--should be raised at
least to eighteen, since protection is needed, not merely for the
age of bodily immaturity, but also for the period of the puberal
development, the dangerous time during which the sexual impulse
is awakening. Not only those should be punished who have effected
intercourse with a woman by force or under stress of threats, but
also those who have effected intercourse by fraudulent means, by
promise of marriage, or by taking advantage of the woman’s dependent
position (as in the case of employer and female employee or master
and maid-servant). Procurement, in the legislation of most countries,
receives a ridiculously mild punishment; and in order to restrict
the growth of the white-slave traffic, which, as previously pointed
out, has now attained colossal dimensions, it is essential that any
one who procures a child for sexual purposes should be punished very
severely. Those also should be punished who perform improper acts in
the presence of an immature person, or who show such a person obscene
pictures, or tell obscene stories, or the like. Boys, on account of
their sexual inexperience, need the protection of the criminal law no
less than girls.

_Maltreatment of Children._--Maltreatment of children belongs to the
second group of punishable offences against children. It is rare
for the offender to maltreat the child of a stranger; the offence
is usually committed against a child for whose care the offender
is responsible. The principal kinds of maltreatment of children
are--(_a_) corporal chastisement; (_b_) improper behaviour towards
children (in this connection the question arises whether parents can
commit an offence against the honour of their own children); (_c_)
working children to excess, either in the form of overwork at school,
excessive domestic work, overwork at wage-earning, forcing children
to beg, and the like.

Begging is more lucrative in proportion to the degree to which the
child’s appearance is calculated to arouse compassion--the poorer,
the more miserable, the more delicate it looks. In actual fact, a
child is often ill-used simply in order to give it an aspect which
will arouse more sympathy. Frequently a minimum amount of money
is fixed, which, under fear of punishment--usually gross physical
ill-treatment--the child has to bring home as a result of its day’s
begging. In large towns children are hired out to professional
beggars; in such towns as Paris and London there is actually a
regular market for such children. The child employed for purposes
of begging suffers many moral disadvantages; it becomes crafty and
obstinate, acquires a dislike for work and a love of enjoyment,
&c. The general public, which squanders money freely in almsgiving
to child beggars, gives without thought of the consequences. It is
less trouble to drop a few coppers into the outstretched hand of a
mendicant than to undertake a thorough investigation of the case,
and, if necessary, to remove the child from the corrupting influences
of its present environment, and to see that it will be properly cared
for in future. Mendicancy frequently leads to criminal courses, more
especially to offences against property, and in the case of girls to
offences against sexual morality.

The immediate causes of the maltreatment of children are the
following: (_a_) Illness or delicacy of the child; (_b_) illness or
nervousness in the parents; (_c_) interested motives; (_d_) a rough
disposition and incapacity for education on the part of the child;
(_e_) improper views concerning education; (_f_) alcoholism; (_g_)
exaggerated religious ideas; (_h_) sexual causes; (_i_) unhappy
conditions of conjugal life.

(_a_) Parents are much more likely to ill-treat sickly or weakly
children than healthy ones, for the former much more readily prove
a burden than the latter. Feeble-mindedness, moreover, is difficult
to recognise, and is often regarded by the parents as obstinacy or
naughtiness. It is a painful fact that in many cases the parents are
themselves responsible for the defective intellectual equipment of
their child, and yet it is on account of this very defect that they
ill-use the child.

(_b_) Delicate and nervous parents are much more likely than healthy
ones to ill-treat their children. In the case of parents who are
mentally unsound, the lust of cruelty may be a direct outcome of
their mental state.

(_c_) In many cases children’s lives are insured for a considerable
sum, and in this case the death of the child may be desired by the
parents for the sake of the insurance money. This happened very often
in the manufacturing towns of England, until the matter became the
subject of special legislation. Sometimes parents ill-treat children
in the hope of inheriting money belonging to these latter.

(_e_) The view is very general that the corporal punishment of
children plays an essential part in the process of education. The
child becomes to some extent accustomed to such punishment, whereby
the punishment ceases to be effective; as a result of this, yet more
severe punishment is inflicted.

(_f_) Alcoholism is a cause, both direct and indirect, of the
maltreatment of children. The father of a family who, in a state of
intoxication, will maltreat his family, and who, when sober again, is
bitterly ashamed of himself, is a familiar figure.

(_g_) Maltreatment of children (especially by clergymen, monks, and
nuns) often depends on the belief that it is necessary to mortify
the flesh in order to save the soul. There is also some connection
between exaggerated piety and sexual perversion.

(_h_) A quite considerable proportion of cases in which children are
maltreated are dependent upon sexual motives. But the maltreatment of
a child may give rise to sexual excitement, not only in the active
agent, but also in the passive. Cases of this nature occur chiefly in
the upper classes.

(_i_) In an unhappy marriage, one of the parents will often maltreat
the child simply because the latter loves the other parent.

Ill-usage of children may be the act either of relatives or of
strangers. Among the relatives, we have first of all the unmarried
mother; secondly, the natural father; thirdly, the stepmother;
fourthly, the lawful parents. Among strangers, we have chiefly to
consider teachers and foster-parents.

(_a_) Among children suffering from gross ill-treatment, we find a
preponderance, in view of their respective numbers, of illegitimate
as compared with legitimate children.

(_b_) We are always told that an illegitimate child will be horribly
ill-treated if its mother marries, not the child’s father, but
another man. It will be ill-treated by the man because it is a
stepchild, and by the woman because it interferes with her relations
to her husband, and awakens unpleasant memories. But these views are

(_c_) The rôle of the stepmother is also commonly exaggerated. It
is easier to excuse a stepmother for ill-treating a child than it
is to excuse the child’s own parents. When all is said and done, it
is impossible to expect a stepmother to have the same love for the
stepchild as for the children of her own body, and it is only natural
that the stepchild which stands between her and her husband should be
differently treated from her own children. A stepchild is certainly
more likely to be ill-used when the stepmother has children of her

(_d_) A mother is more likely to ill-treat children than a father.
The father cannot love children so well as a mother, nor can he hate
them to the same extent.

(_e_) Many teachers maltreat their pupils. They are seldom prosecuted
on this account, for many children are unfortunately accustomed to
the same sort of ill-treatment at home; moreover, the parents may
regard the teacher’s treatment as perfectly natural, or may be afraid
to institute proceedings against him.

(_f_) Ill-treatment of children by foster-parents is comparatively
common, owing to the fact that in this case the inhibiting influence
of the natural love for the offspring is lacking.

The consequences of maltreatment are extremely serious to the health
of the child, alike physically, mentally, and morally. The child
becomes naughty, lazy, and untruthful, and this results in yet more
maltreatment. The child’s affection and confidence are destroyed,
not only towards the person who ill-treats it, but towards others
as well; feelings of hatred towards the whole of society and desire
for revenge may even be aroused. Such a child will in turn maltreat
other children; its will-power is defective and its ambition is
destroyed. Actual disease, physical or mental, often ensues. Many
children run away from home as a result of ill-treatment, become
vagabonds, and even commit suicide. The increase recently noted in
the number of suicides is probably, in part, dependent upon the more
frequent ill-treatment of children during the same period. The usual
motive for suicide where children are concerned is seldom anything
else than the fear of ill-treatment. (Dread of parents, of school, of
punishment at school, of examination, &c.)

Most of the cases of the maltreatment of children take place among
the lower classes of the population. This is clearly proved by
statistical data, which show that more than 90 per cent. of those
convicted of maltreating children belong to the lowest strata of the

(_a_) Among the lower classes, the rôle of the child is a very
different one from what it is among the upper classes. It often
makes its appearance, not as the greatly-desired heir, the inheritor
of an honoured name, or of considerable property, but merely as an
additional mouth, whose presence forces the parents to lower yet
further their already low standard of life, and entails upon them
numerous other inconveniences.

(_b_) The lower classes are less cultivated, rougher, more
passionate, less gentle, than the upper. They work all day, and we
need not be surprised if they become rough and disagreeable. The
proletarian parent has not received a proper education.

(_c_) Far more commonly they are slaves to alcohol.

(_d_) They are subordinated to everyone. The only persons to whom
they can display power and superiority are their own immediate

(_e_) They come into far more intimate contact with their children,
and are not in a position to hand over the upbringing of their
children to salaried persons. In this connection we have to remember
that the presence of strangers in the house tends to put a check upon

(_f_) They find it essential that their children should begin to earn
money very early in life.

The circumstances in consequence of which the part played in the
maltreatment of children by the lower classes appears to be even
greater than it is in actual fact, are as follows. (_a_) In the
case of the lower classes, maltreatment of children takes the form
exclusively or almost exclusively of gross physical misusage. In
this form the maltreatment of children is more obviously apparent,
and is legally punishable; whereas more subtle but in fact worse
modes of ill-usage are less easy to discover, and many of them are
not legally punishable. (_b_) Owing to the housing conditions of the
lower classes, the maltreatment of children is in their case far
less likely to remain secret. (_c_) People are readier to lodge an
information and to institute criminal proceedings when the offender
is poor than when he or she is well-to-do.

Where the effects of capitalism have been most marked--that is to
say, in the large towns--the maltreatment of children is commoner,
and takes worse forms. The maltreatment of children occurred in
very early times, but no particular importance was then attached
to the matter, owing to the sacred character in those times of the
institution of the family.

Far from being an indispensable part of the education of children,
their maltreatment is a direct hindrance to a good education. In
the discovery and the prevention of the maltreatment of children,
teachers, medical practitioners, and private associations play a
very important part. A teacher is able to observe whether a child
is ill-used, and is also in a position to obtain information from
the brothers and sisters of the child. The useful work the teacher
can do in this regard can be powerfully supported by the school
physician. Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children are
both influential and important, especially in England and the United
States of America. To the latter country we owe the institution of
Children’s Courts. In England, it may be, that so great importance
is attached to efforts for preventing the maltreatment of children,
owing to the fact that in that country the position of the
illegitimate child is an exceptionally bad one.

The following measures are recommended for the prevention of the
maltreatment of children. (_a_) Cruelty to children on the part of
those legally responsible for the care of such children must be the
subject of official prosecution. (_b_) Parents who maltreat their
own children must at once be deprived of their parental authority,
for unless this is done, after they have been punished, the parents
will be likely to maltreat the child more than ever, merely taking
more care to avoid discovery. (_c_) It should be made the legal duty
of anyone who becomes aware of a case of cruelty to a child to lodge
official information without delay.

Children are not in a position to protect themselves against adults,
nor are they able on their own account to initiate proceedings
against anyone who has misused them. This difficulty is especially
great when the offender is one upon whom the child is legally

_Suggested Reforms._--Recently the necessity has been recognised that
many offences against children should be punished much more severely
than they now are, and that many acts not otherwise punishable should
be made punishable if committed against a child.

(_a_) It is suggested that a new criminal offence should be defined
in the following terms:--“A parent, 1, who, although possessed of
the requisite means, fails, wilfully or neglectfully, to provide
for the child’s proper maintenance; 2, who, in consequence of a
disorderly life, is rendered unable to provide for the proper support
of his child; 3, who neglects his child--shall be punished in the
following manner.... A guardian or a foster-parent shall have the
same liabilities to punishment under this clause as the real parents
of a child.”

(_b_) It is suggested that, in the case of offences against the laws
regulating child-labour, the criminal legal authorities, and not the
local authorities, should have the right of intervention, that in
the case of the graver breaches of these laws, the offence should
be regarded, not as a petty offence, but as a misdemeanour, or as a
crime, and that, for this reason, the description of these offences
should be incorporated in the criminal code.

(_c_) It is suggested that the employment of children in mendicancy,
vagabondage, &c., which is at present treated as a petty offence
merely, should be constituted a misdemeanour.

(_d_) It is proposed to make it a punishable offence to supply, or
cause to be supplied, in a public place, to any juvenile, alcoholic
drinks whereby that juvenile becomes intoxicated.

(_e_) As regards the sale of tobacco, similar legal provisions are
considered desirable.

(_f_) It is suggested that parents should be severely punished, when
in the case of one of their children being ill they fail to summon
medical advice, or when they send the child to school suffering from
one of the acute infectious disorders, or from a house in which any
such disorder prevails.

With regard to the first recommendation (_a_), people begin to
recognise that a misuse of the rights and powers involved in parental
authority must be visited, not by private condemnation only, but
by that of the criminal law. It is seen that the standpoint of
the existing law, by which only the gravest offences, such as the
abduction of a child, or the infliction upon a child of grievous
bodily harm, are specified as punishable, is inadequate. Ever more
general becomes the demand that parental neglect of the proper
maintenance or education of a child should be constituted an offence
_per se_, and dealt with as such. It is only in the case specified in
(_a_) 1 that deliberate or gross neglect constitutes the essential
quality of the offence. (If all cases of neglect were punishable,
the provision (_a_) 1 would operate chiefly against offenders of
the lower classes, since it is in their case that such neglect most
commonly occurs.) In (_a_) 2 deliberate or gross neglect is no
essential part of the offence, because the idler, the man led astray
by his passions, &c., should not escape punishment. In (_a_) 3 simple
neglect is made punishable, because in such cases the community
becomes responsible for the maintenance of the child. Nothing must be
done to encourage what is really quite common--that parents should
neglect their child, simply in order that it should be taken away
from their care, and that in this way they may be freed from the
burden of its maintenance. It is essential that no complaint by
the injured party or his representatives should be requisite to the
initiation of a prosecution, for in most cases the child is itself
unable to complain, and the legal representative is often the prime
offender. Moreover, it is not the child alone that is injured, but
also the State, which has entrusted the offender with the care of the

The objection has been raised that such legal provisions as have been
suggested would be directed principally against the lower classes,
that they would often lead to the unjust infliction of punishment,
that no one can be compelled to love another, and that it would be
difficult to determine the precise point at which the proper limits
of parental authority had been exceeded. But all these objections are
invalid, if only the gross cases that have been mentioned are made
punishable, and provided that wherever necessary the child is removed
from the care of the offender.

With regard to (_b_), it is altogether disproportionate that the
most trifling bodily injury to a child should be legally punishable
through the instrumentality of the criminal courts, whilst one who
inflicts a far more severe injury upon a child by forcing it to
perform excessive and unsuitable work is liable to nothing more
effectual than a reprimand on the part of the local authority. The
local authority is seldom in an independent position, but is commonly
subject to the influence of large employers of labour. The maximum
punishment which can be inflicted for a breach of the laws regulating
child-labour is so trifling, that the risk of this punishment is far
more than counterbalanced by the profits the employer can make by
the illegal exploitation of child-labour--especially when the fact
is borne in mind that not one instance in ten of a breach of these
laws is ever the subject of a prosecution. The gross injustices
and miseries which occur daily and everywhere from the improper
exploitation of child-labour will not disappear until the punishments
inflicted are such as the employers will seriously fear to incur, and
which they will be unable to avoid. The employer laughs at a fine,
for he pays it out of his surplus profits; but he will think twice
before incurring the risk of imprisonment.

With regard to (_d_), since alcohol affects children more powerfully
than it affects adults, it is necessary that it should be a legally
punishable offence to expose children to the dangerous influences of
this intoxicant.

With regard to (_e_), for the young, the use of tobacco is hardly
less harmful than the use of alcohol.

With regard to (_f_), it sometimes happens that the parents fail
to take the steps absolutely essential to the preservation of the
child’s health, and in this way the public health may be seriously

The proposals mentioned under these last three headings, (_d_),
(_e_), and (_f_), are as yet hardly realised anywhere; but there
are good grounds for hoping that they will soon be adopted in more
countries than one.


  Abortion, 93, 118

  Accidents to children, 136

  Acquired immunity, 86. _See also_ Regeneration

  Adoption, 90, 117

  Advice to mothers, 65, 134

  Age of parents, 80, 81

   -- productive and unproductive, 12

   -- pyramid, 12, 13

  Agricultural colonies, 146

   -- schools, 214

  Agriculture, 156, 157, 158

  Aims of child-protection, 4

  Alcoholism, 79, 80, 129, 262, 267, 269

  Apprenticeship, 162, 168, 169, 170, 171

  Artificial feeding, 19, 24, 126, 127, 128, 134, 135, 137, 143, 167, 179

  Artificial selection, 25-41. _See also_ Eugenics, Euthanasia, and
        Marriage and Heredity

  Atavism, 78

  Atrophy, infantile, 50, 127

  Austria, 157, 158

  Authority for child-protection, centralised, 64, 65

  Authority, parental, 71-76

  Baby-farming, 132, 146-152

   -- murderous, 95, 96, 150

  Bastardy actions, loose conduct as defence in, 90

  Baths for school children, 202

  Beauty, 192

  Begging, 164, 168, 261

  Belgium, 222

  Betrothed, children of, 99

  Blindness, 179, 180, 181

  Blind schools, 181

  Boarding-out, 132, 141, 144, 145, 147

  Breast feeding, 126-128

  Capacity for understanding the punishable character of an offence, 221,

   -- inborn, 28

  Capitalism (private), its destruction essential to true
        child-protection, 56, 57

  Care after leaving school, 211-215

   -- of foundlings, 44, 45, 46, 49, 52, 53, 58, 59, 61-64, 66, 67, 101,
        102, 121, 122, 131, 132, 135, 184

  Care of foundlings, Latin system and Germanic system, 144-146

   -- institutional. _See_ Institutional Celibacy, 84

  Centralised authority for child-protection, 64, 65

  Certificates, medical. _See_ Doctors Character, inborn, 29

   -- of the child, 29

  Charity Organisation Society, 61

  Childbirth, 94, 120, 121

  Child-labour, 155-179

   -- mortality, 17-24

   -- protection after birth, 121, 122

   -- -- before birth, 118, 119

   -- -- during birth, 120, 121

   -- -- for the illegitimate, 90-105

   -- -- of the future, 56, 57

   -- -- and the population question, 3-5

  Children, wet-nursing of. _See_ Wet-nursing

  Children’s clinics, 180

   -- clubs, 208

   -- hospitals, 180

  Civil law and individual rights, department of, 71-117

  Class differences in upbringing, 36, 37

  Classical criminal law, 220-222

  Clinics, children’s, 180

  Co-education, 197, 198

  Coercive reformatory education, 75, 152, 154, 223, 236-241

  Colonies, agricultural. _See_ Agricultural Colonies

   -- semi-urban, 183

  Community at large, 60, 61

  Compulsory military service, 84

   -- school attendance, 168, 188, 189

  Conception, prevention of, 8

  Conditional release, 231, 232

   -- remission of punishment, 231, 232

   -- sentence, 231, 232

  Confidential assistants to the official guardian, 115, 116

  Congenital syphilis, 132

  _Consultations de nourrissons_, 134

  Continuation schools, 213

  Contracts of service for minors, 108

  Convalescent homes, 121

  Cooking, instruction in, 210, 213, 214

  Corporal punishment, 33, 34

  Country holiday funds and open-air schools, 182, 183

  Cow’s milk, 125, 126, 132-134. _See also_ Artificial Feeding

  Crèche, 43, 135-138

  Criminal law, 217-269

   -- -- classical, 220-222

   -- responsibility, 221-225, 228 _et seq._

  Criminality, juvenile, 97, 98, 217-242

   -- in the illegitimate, 97, 98

  Cripples, 180

  Cripples’ schools, 181

  Culture, general. _See_ General Culture

  Curriculum for child-protection, 66

  Darwinism, 45, 46, 47

  Deaf-mute schools, 181

  Deaf-mutism, 180, 181, 182

  Debility, congenital, 50, 94

  Defectives, euthanasia of, 257, 258

  Denmark, 215, 230

  Diarrhœa. _See_ Intestinal

  Digestive disorders, 127

  Disabilities of the illegitimate, 90-93

  Disciplinary classes, 196

  Diseases, infective. _See_ Diseases

   -- of occupation, 163

   -- of school life, 202

  Divorce, 83

  Doctors, 46, 66, 88, 89, 120, 121, 138, 151, 172, 184

  Domestic assistants, 121

   -- care clubs, 121

   -- economy, instruction in, 210, 213, 214

   -- instructors, 186, 187

   -- servants, 37, 169, 250

   -- work, 155

  Domicile, 63, 112

  Ecclesiastical benevolence, 61, 62

   -- marriage prohibitions, 83, 84

  Education, 76, 185-216

   -- and heredity, 25-41

   -- by parents, 34-36

   -- coercive reformatory, 75, 152, 154, 223, 236-241

   -- factors of, 37, 38

   -- institutional. _See_ Institutional

   -- physical, 201-204

   -- sexual, 197-199

   -- under care, 75. _See also_ Coercive Reformatory Education

  Educational science, 39

  Elementary school, public, 185-216

   -- -- unified, 216

  _Enfants assistés_, 117

  England, 53, 59, 61, 62, 112, 133, 141, 145, 152, 155, 168, 172, 174,
        183, 198, 203, 211, 220, 222, 230, 235, 237, 248, 262, 265

  Enlightenment of children, sexual, 197-199

  Environment, 37, 38

  Epidemic diseases, 135

  Ethical instruction, 199-201

  Eugenics, 25-41, 257, 258

  Euthanasia, 257, 258

  Example, good, 32, 33

  _Exceptio plurium concumbentium_, 90

  Excess of women, 13-15

  Exclusion of certain school children, 195, 196

  Executive instruments of child-protection, 58-68

  Exposure of infants, 95, 142

  Factors of child-protection, 58-68

   -- of education, 37, 38

   -- of poor relief, 58-59

  Factory crèche, 137-138

   -- inspection, 172, 173

  Family crèche, 137-138

   -- education, 53, 148-152, 235, 236

   -- schools, 185

  Feeble-mindedness, congenital, 30

  Feeding of school children, 209-211

   -- rooms for the infants of women working in factories, 137, 138

  Feminine chastity, protection of, 260

  Fertility of the lower classes, 5-9

  Fines, 225

  Flogging, 230. _See also_ Corporal Punishment

  Foundlings, care of, 44, 45, 46, 47, 52, 53, 58, 59, 61-64, 66, 67, 101,
        102, 121, 122, 130-132, 135, 141-154, 184

  France, 5, 58, 101, 102, 116, 117, 123, 128, 132, 133, 147, 153, 172,
        200, 201, 209, 222, 237, 256

  Free-love, 105

  Future, child-protection of, 56, 57

  General culture, 32, 191, 192

  Germany, 60, 100, 114, 116, 123, 133, 138, 141, 152, 157, 158, 160, 172,
        203, 248

  Gonorrhœa, 80

  Gonorrhœal ophthalmia. _See_ Ophthalmia of the New-born

  Good example, 32, 33

  _Gouttes de Lait_, 133

  Governesses and tutors, 186, 187

  Government, central, 61-63

   -- local, 59, 60

  Great number of children, 20-22, 26

  Guardianship, 107-117

  Guardianship, official and institutional, 112-116

  Guilds, 155

  Gymnastic lessons, 202

  Gynecology, 94, 120, 121

  Half-timers, 169

  Health of proletarian children, 178

   -- resorts for children, 183

  Heredity, 77-89

   -- and education, 25-41

   -- and marriage, 77-89

  Holiday playgrounds, 183

  Home education, difficulties of, 39, 40

   -- industry, 160, 162

   -- work for school children, 194, 195

  Homes of technical instruction for girls, 170

  Hospitalism, 135

  “Hospital-marasmus,” 135

  Hospitals, lying-in, 121, 134

  Household right, 63

  Housekeeping, instruction in, 213, 214

  Housing conditions and child mortality, 23

  Human milk, 125, 126. _See also_ Breast Feeding

  Hungarian Child-Protection League, 61

  Hungary, 54, 56, 61, 62, 137, 143, 146, 152, 153, 208, 248

  Illegitimacy and occupation, 99

   -- and prostitution, 98, 99

  Illegitimate children, 47, 64, 71, 90-105

   -- sexual relations, 15, 16

  Illiteracy, 32

  Ill-treatment of children, 196, 260-269

  Imbecility. _See_ Feeble-mindedness

  Immunity, acquired, 86. _See also_ Regeneration

  Imprisonment, 225-228

  Incubators, 122

  Indeterminate sentence, 232, 233, 239-241

  Individual guardianship, 108-117

  Individualisation, 31, 192, 237

  Individuality, 31, 192

  Industrial reserve army, 31

   -- schools, 238

  Ineducability, 30

  Infant-feeding, natural, artificial, and by wet-nurses, 125-140

  Infanticide, 95, 96, 142, 256, 257

  Infantile atrophy. _See_ Atrophy

  Infant life protection, 125-140

   -- mortality, 17-24, 96

   -- -- attainable minimum of, 18

  Infants’ hospitals, 134, 180

   -- milk depots, 65, 133

  Infective diseases, 51, 129. _See also_ under Special Diseases, as
        Syphilis, Tuberculosis, &c.

  Inheritance, 28, 77-89

   -- of disease, 78-80

  Inquiry into paternity, 58

  Institutional and official guardianship, 112-117

   -- care, 148-150

   -- -- of infants, 135-138

   -- education, 235-238

  Instruction, religious and moral, 199-201

  Instructions for pregnant women, 118

  Instruments of child-protection, executive, 58-68

  Insurance of children, 262

   -- of motherhood, 122-124

  Intra-uterine influences, 96

  Intestinal catarrh, 135

   -- disorders, 50

  Italy, 58, 101, 102, 123, 147

  Juvenile criminality, 97, 98, 217-242

  _Kinderhorte_, 208

  _Kinderschutzliga_, 61

  Kin, marriage of near, 81, 82

  Knowledge, 192, 193

  _Krankenkassen_, 120

  Labour, premature, 11, 93, 94, 166

  Lactation, constitutional incapacity for, 128, 129

  _La Recherche de la Paternité_, 58

  Law, classical criminal, 220, 222

   -- of parsimony, 42

  Laws for child-protection, unified system, 63, 64

  Leaflets on infant care, 138

  Legal protection of children against consequences of their own actions,
        106, 107

  _Legitimatio per rescriptum principis_, 90

   -- -- _subsequens matrimonium_, 90

  Legitimisation, 90, 117

  _Lex minimi_, 42

  Limited powers of minors, 106-107

  Local governing bodies, 59, 60

  Loose conduct as a defence in bastardy actions, 90

  Lying-in hospitals, 121, 134

  Maintenance allowances, 104

  Malthus, 5

  Maltreatment of children, 196, 260-269

  Manual training, 204-208

  Marasmus. _See_ Atrophy

  Margate, 183

  Mark system, 239

  Marriage, 15, 71-89

   -- and disease. _See_ Marriage and Heredity

   -- early, 15

   -- and heredity, 77-89

   -- and parental authority, 71-76

   -- history, 72

   -- of near kin, 81, 82

   -- prohibitions, 83-89

  Maternal authority, 73

  Matriarchy, 72

  Medical profession, medical science, &c. _See_ Doctors

  Mendicancy, 164, 168, 261

  Mental disorders, 30, 79-80, 163-164

  Mercantile system, 5

   -- theory of political economy, 5

  Merit system, 239

  Meteorological conditions, 24

  Midwives and monthly nurses, 120, 121, 138

   -- schools for, 65, 134

  Military service, compulsory, 84

  Milk. _See_ Cow’s Milk and Human Milk

   -- depots, 133

   -- stations, 183

  Minors, limited powers of, 106-107

  Miscarriage, 11

  Monogamy, 105

  Monthly nurses and midwives, 120, 121, 138

  Moral instruction, 199-201

  Morphinism, 80, 129

  Mortality, 11-12

   -- of illegitimate, 94-97

  Mother as guardian, 94

  Motherhood, insurance of, 122-124

   -- protection, 118-124

  Mothers, advice to, 134

   -- schools for. _See_ Schools

  _Mutterschaftskassen_, 124

  Napoleon I, 153

  Natural selection, 25-41, 45-47

  New-born, ophthalmia of. _See_ Ophthalmia

  Night work, 156

  Norway, 127

  Notification of pregnancy. _See_ Pregnancy

  Number of children, great, 20-22, 26

  Object lessons, 206

  Objections to child-protection, 43-45

  Obstetrics. See Gynecology

  Occupation, diseases of, 163

  Offences against children, punishable, 238-269

  Official and institutional guardianship, 112-117

   -- and private activities, 65-66

  Open-air schools, 182, 183

   -- -- and country holiday funds, 182, 183

  Ophthalmia, contagious, 135

   -- of the new-born, 80, 179

  Organisation of juvenile labour, 170, 171

  Orphan asylum, 145

  “Over-parent,” State as, 74-76

  Parental authority, 71-76

  Parents, age of. _See_ Age of Parents

  Parents’ evenings at school, 197

  Parents, school, environment, 37, 38

  Parole, release on, 231, 232

  Paternal authority, 73

  Paternity, inquiry into, 58

  Patriarchy, 72

  Physical education, 201-204

  Physicians. _See_ Doctors

  Playgrounds for children, supervised, 208

  Pneumonia, 135

  Poor-relief, factors of, 58, 59

  Population question, quantity, 3-16

   -- -- quality, 25-41

   -- classified according to age, 12, 13

  Poverty, 51, 52

  Powers of minors, limited, 106-107

  Pregnancy, notification of, 119

  Pregnant women, instructions for, 118

  Premature labour, 11, 93, 94, 166

  Preparatory schools, 208

  Prevention, 42

  Preventive methods. _See_ Conception, prevention of

  Primiparae, 96

  Private and official activities, 65-66

  Probation, 231, 232

   -- officer, 247

  Procurement, 251, 260

  Proletarian children, health of, 178

  Property of wards, 108, 116

  Pros and cons of child-protection, 42-58

  Prostitution, 98, 99, 118, 249-253

  Protection of feminine chastity, 260

  Prussia, 140

  Public advocacy of breast-feeding, 133, 144

   -- elementary school, 185-216

   -- performances by children, 168

  Punishable character of an offence, capacity for understanding the, 221,

   -- offences against children, 254-269

  Punishment, conditional remission of, 231-232

   -- corporal, 33, 34. _See also_ Flogging

  Punishments and rewards, 196

  Quality of population, 20-41

  Quantity of population, 3-10

  Rachitis, 127, 162

  Rape, 259, 260

  Recognition, 90

  Reformatory education, coercive, 75, 152, 154, 223, 236-241

   -- schools, 236-241

   -- system, 236-241

  Regeneration, 86, 88

  Relative as guardian, 110

  Release, conditional, 231-232

   -- on parole, 231, 232

  Religious and moral instruction, 199-201

  Religious motives for ill-treating children, 262

  Repressive measures, 42, 55

  Reprimand, 230

  Rescue homes, 146

  Reserve army of labour, 51

  Resident wet-nurses, 131

  Responsibility, criminal, 221-225, 228 _et seq._

  Rewards and punishments, 196

  Rickets, 127, 162

  Sanatoria, 183

  Scattered homes, 146

  School and juvenile criminality, 229, 230

   -- attendance, compulsory, 168, 188, 189

   -- baths, 202

   -- care after leaving, 211-215

   -- diseases, 202

   -- feeding, 209-211

   -- gardens, 202

   -- hygiene, 202

   -- kitchens, 210

   -- nurses, 203

   -- physicians, 67, 202, 203

   -- public elementary, 185-216

   -- savings banks, 209

   -- teachers, 172, 265

   -- unified elementary, 216

  Schools, agricultural, 214

   -- for mothers, 138, 139

   -- for the blind, 181

   -- industrial, 238

   -- of child-protection, 66

   -- of public welfare, 66

   -- preparatory, 208

   -- reformatory, 236-241

  Science, 193, 194

  Scrofula, 50

  Seasonal variations in birth-rate, 24

  Seduction, 260

  Selection, artificial, 25-41

   -- natural, 25-41, 45-47

  Semi-urban colonies, 183

  Sentence, conditional, 231-232

  Servants, domestic, 37, 169, 250

  Sexual education, 197-199

   -- enlightenment of children, 197-199

   -- motives for ill-treating children, 262

   -- relations, illegitimate, 15, 16

  Sicily, 163

  Siege of Paris, infant mortality during, 127

  Social developments of the near future, 39-41, 56, 57

   -- hygiene, 179, 180

  Socialism, 51-57

   -- and palliatives, 56, 57

  Societies for prevention of cruelty to children, 265

  Special schools for defective children, 181, 182

  State as “over-parent,” 74-76

  Still-birth, 11, 93, 166, 167

  Stomach disorders, 50

  Summer and child mortality, 24

  Supervised playgrounds for children, 208

  Supervision of family care, 150-152

  Sweden, 127

  Switzerland, 117, 157, 182, 209

  Syphilis, 80, 93, 94, 96, 118, 129

   -- congenital, 132

  Tobacco, 267, 269

  Towns, child mortality in, 22, 23

  Training ships, 146

  Transmission of venereal diseases, 84, 85

  Truants, 195

  Tuberculosis, 42, 80, 127, 129, 182, 202

  Turn-table, 44, 45, 142, 143

  Tutors and governesses, 186, 187

  Underfeeding of proletarian children, 178, 179

  Understanding the punishable character of an offence, the capacity for,
        221, 228

  Unified school for all classes, 216

  Unified system of laws for child-protection, 63, 64

  United States of America, 53, 61, 89, 108, 172, 173, 196, 197, 201, 203,
        208, 209, 215, 222, 223, 231, 232, 233, 235, 237, 238, 240, 246,
        247, 265

  Venereal diseases, 85, 251

  Voluntary benevolent activities, 60, 61

   -- workers, 65, 66

  Wages, 158, 159, 160, 161, 166, 176, 213

  Wards, property of, 108, 116

  Warm chambers, 122

  Welfare, schools of public, 66

  Wet-nurses, resident and non-resident, 131

  Wet-nursing of children, 126, 127, 130-132, 146-148

  White slave traffic, 251, 260

  Withdrawal of parental authority, 75, 76

  Women, excess of, 13-15

  Women’s labour and child-labour, 155-177

  Workers, voluntary, 65, 66

  Workhouse system, 145

  Youth, criminality in, 217-242



Edinburgh & London


[1] In this work the term _infant_ is used to denote all children
under one year of age; where reference has to be made to infancy in
the _legal_ sense of a person under twenty-one years of age, the term
_infant-at-law_ or _minor_ will be employed.--TRANSLATOR.

[2] _Boards of Guardianship_.--This term is not used in the sense
in which in England we speak of _Boards of Guardians_, to denote
the _ad hoc_ local authorities which administer the English Poor
Law, but to denote local committees which, in the continental system
of child-protection, administer the functions for which the State
is responsible in its capacity of “Over-Parent” (an expressive and
convenient term we owe to Mr. H. G. Wells). Dr. Engel suggests
_Court of Orphans_ or _Court of Wards_ as alternate English

[3] Unless and until humanity is able and willing to apply its
intelligence to purposive racial improvement, by discouragement
of the procreation of the less fit, and by encouragement of the
procreation of the more fit--by an application, that is to say, of
the principle of negative or restrictive eugenics, on the one hand,
and the principle of positive or constructive eugenics, on the

[4] _Krankenkassen._--These are the executive institutions for the
administration of the medical benefits of the workmen’s insurance
laws of Germany, and of other countries with laws based on the German

[5] England lags behind the rest of the world in this

[6] This theory of the “born criminal” is associated chiefly with the
name of Lombroso. See my translation of Kurella’s memoir, “Lombroso,
his Life and Work,” London, 1911. Rebman.--TRANSLATOR’S NOTE.

[7] Consult the chapter on “Women’s Labour and Child Labour.”


  Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been
  corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within
  the text and consultation of external sources.

  Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text,
  and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained: for example,
  goodwill, good-will; syntonised; moiety; hebetude; sempstress.

  Pg 96: ‘to the lattter’ replaced by ‘to the latter’.
  Pg 157: ‘country districs’ replaced by ‘country districts’.
  Pg 176: ‘proved that that the’ replaced by ‘proved that the’.
  Pg 192: ‘quantity of knowlege’ replaced by ‘quantity of knowledge’.
  Pg 199: ‘enlightenmeut of children’ replaced by ‘enlightenment
           of children’.
  Pg 221: ‘first convicion for’ replaced by ‘first conviction for’.
  Pg 228: ‘stands constrasted’ replaced by ‘stands contrasted’.
  Pg 265: ‘In this conn e ton’ replaced by ‘In this connection’.
  Pg 271: new Index entry for ‘Artificial feeding’ inserted.

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