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Title: Straight America, a call to national service
Author: Kellor, Frances A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Straight America, a call to national service" ***
NATIONAL SERVICE ***



                        _OUR NATIONAL PROBLEMS_


                           STRAIGHT AMERICA



                            [Illustration]


                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                 NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS
                        ATLANTA· SAN FRANCISCO

                       MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED
                      LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA
                               MELBOURNE

                   THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.
                                TORONTO



                           STRAIGHT AMERICA

                          A CALL TO NATIONAL
                                SERVICE

                                  BY

                           FRANCES A. KELLOR


                               New York
                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
                                 1916

                         _All rights reserved_



                           COPYRIGHT, 1916,
                       BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

            Set up and electrotyped. Published June, 1916.


                             Norwood Press
                J. S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
                        Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



                                  TO
                      THE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF 1916



                               CONTENTS


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

  I. WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH AMERICA?                                  1

  II. AMERICANISM                                                     21

  III. THE NATIVE AMERICAN                                            43

  IV. AMERICA-MADE CITIZENS                                           91

  V. THE POPULAR VOTE                                                127

  VI. NATIONAL UNITY                                                 153



                           STRAIGHT AMERICA



                               CHAPTER I

                   WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH AMERICA?


For the first time in its history, America, broadly speaking, is
consciously ashamed. However divided we may be upon preparedness,
neutrality in thought has not brought peace of mind. We find ourselves
making explanations and apologies. In the midst of unprecedented
prosperity, we are restless and dissatisfied. Smoldering in the hearts
of men is desire for change, fermenting in their minds is a demand
for national leadership. The situation defies accurate analysis. It
is not that we want war or that we favor militarism. Rather it is
that our powers are dormant, our aspirations unexpressed, our beliefs
unformulated, our attitude misrepresented, our motives misunderstood,
and our presence in the world’s conflict unnoted.

We sit supinely under insult, injury, and violation of rights and
laws, expressing such resentment and reaction as we have by sending
relief funds and relief ships abroad, by making loans and munitions,
by newspaper editorials, and by public speeches. We give vent to our
feelings in a campaign for preparedness that urges Congress to pass a
few feeble, disconnected defense bills, that organizes numerous defense
organizations that are frantically busy collecting members and fees and
holding meetings. We urge taking what we can get rather than insisting
upon what we need. The result is, a large part of our energy goes into
talk, which is not helping us greatly to really focus as a nation in
this great crisis in the world’s history.

What really hurts us most is the realization that we, who think of
America as the most prosperous, energetic, efficient, inventive,
and best organized nation in the world, have suddenly discovered
that we are nationally the most unprepared for united service in any
field--geographical, military, industrial, economic, social, or
educational. In vision, independent thinking, and citizenship we are
not more prepared. In fact we have hardly yet begun to think of these
in terms of national service.

We are still stunned by the realization that we are not in a position
to grapple intelligently, instantly, and decisively with situations in
our own country. Trinidad and Mexico have driven this lesson home. Our
national method of dealing with hyphenism and its activities indicates
little comprehension of its real roots. We now know also that we are
not in a position to participate disinterestedly and courageously in
the international adjustments that will take place at the close of the
war. We suspect that the “peace ship” illustrated American capacity.
Its founder’s victory in the presidential primary exposes our capacity
for caprice in a nation’s crisis. We talk about fighting humanity’s
battles when we have done none of the things that qualify us for such
championship. We but dimly realize that a united, not a divided,
nation must enter the lists. We talk about upholding the President’s
hands, but we now know that we did in truth elect a minority President
in 1912, and it is no great task to promise to uphold him. It is lip
service to which we have long been accustomed.

The war has revealed to us the biting truth that we have one body
of people on the coast line realizing the need of protection and
another in the interior feeling quite safe at this distance. We see
a conglomeration of colonies and ghettos and immigrant sections in
our large cities, and the country dotted with settlements quite as
un-American as anything to be found abroad. We face the fact that
America is not first in the hearts of every resident, that not every
man works for America, and that not every man trusts her present or
believes in her future. This is still the land of promise for the “bird
of passage” who exploits us, and whom we pluck in return.

Thanks to the war, we have been freed from the delusion that we are a
united nation marching steadily along an American highway of peace,
prosperity, common ideals, beliefs, language, and purpose. Security
and prosperity have blinded us to the fact that we do not all speak
the same language nor follow the same flag. We have marveled at the
revelation that our own native-born sons and daughters of foreign-born
parents could justify the _Lusitania_ and defend the invasion of
Belgium, and we have let it go at that, not realizing what the
acceptance of this portends for future America. America has neglected,
even forgotten, its task of making Americans of the people that have
come to its shores. Men may be workmen and voters and taxpayers and
bosses, but the final question for this nation to answer is--are they
loyal American citizens?

In our quest for nationalism, we stand aghast at the task before
us. About one seventh of our population is foreign born, and about
one third is of foreign-born or mixed parentage. It is no small
assimilative task to preserve the best in the traditions, beliefs,
standards, and points of view of these peoples for the strengthening
of America, and to give them enough of America’s ideals to make them
strong citizens of a democratic country. Mr. Carl Snyder is authority
for the statement that one half of all the aliens that have come to
America are still alive. Despite the volumes written on the subject,
we do not yet know whether this is a good or bad thing for America.
The test has not yet been applied. The war is giving us a breathing
spell to find out and to define a policy which will insure Americanism.
In the absence of any constructive policy or clear national purpose
we can predict little for the future. This we do know, that every
government but our own has a national purpose which it is carrying
out in America with its own subjects--naturalized or alien--through
its representatives and agents, its publications, institutions, and
business interests. America alone in its own territory has a negative
procedure and is without a policy. We are concerned chiefly with those
we can keep out or send back. Once an alien is admitted there is no
system of protection, distribution, and assimilation; no specific
inducements to citizenship; no encouragement to acquire a home stake
in America. Sectional and specific interests compete for what the
immigrant has to offer; the parent government keeps an eye on the new
arrival and helps him in distress. The Federal government alone remains
silent and indifferent.

It is true we have the beginning of such a system in several
departments. It is encouraging that the Bureau of Naturalization has
changed its attitude and is now being of some service to aliens who
have applied for citizenship. For the many years of its existence,
prior to 1915, this Bureau had not in any way encouraged or urged
educational assistance for the prospective citizen. There is in the
Bureau of Education a Division of Immigrant Education which for the
past two years has been carrying on important educational work among
immigrants. The educational work of these bureaus does not receive
adequate support or authority and has not so far been considered as an
essential part of real preparedness. The vision and faith and effort
of these officials is not part of any strong defined policy; it is not
coördinated with the government’s larger activities and could be wiped
out to-morrow by a single order. It is makeshift, not policy.

This country is alive to the inadequacy of its army and navy. It has
a glimmering that even the strengthening of these may not entirely
protect its interests. If we may judge from the record of Congress and
the press reports of the activities of our citizens to date, there
appears, however, to be but the smallest comprehension of the slack
that must be taken up throughout this nation; of the discipline,
self-sacrifice, and spirit of service that each one of us must acquire;
and of the need of organization along national lines that American
institutions will require to be prepared to even maintain peace.

After many months of the European war, official America still finds
its chief slogan to be “Safety first” and “Made in America.” Toward
nationalizing its transportation lines, toward bringing all ports
under Federal control, toward national citizenship training, toward
educational unification and industrial preparedness the nation has
made little progress. We are still dealing with ships and guns and
ammunition, taking little thought of the questions of unity which
will make a nation effective behind these defenses. We still quibble
over whether we are for universal training or uniform service. We
cannot federalize the militia or abandon useless army posts because it
will offend some sectional interest that controls votes in the next
election. This narrow conception of preparedness is the despair of
thinking America. It is the doom of national unity.

In considering the hyphenated American, it is not so much that we
question his ultimate loyalty. It is that we question his understanding
and ability to act in an intelligent, organized way on behalf of
America. It is that we do not know what influences may control his
action though his heart and interest may be with America. The question
for America to answer is whether we can create a united nation in both
spirit and efficiency in the short time remaining before we have to
deal with new questions arising after the war. We face the humiliating
truth that for any immediate conflict this cannot be done, that we
must take the risk and, if need be, weld our many peoples together on
the firing line. Will the American desert his forum for the training
camp; and the platform for inconspicuous field action? Will he erase
his name from committees and memorials and petitions and throw away
the press notices with his name in them for the toil and sweat of
industrial mobilizing? Will the American woman stop making bandages and
joining organizations and put the immigrant family on her calling list
and send the illiterate adult to school and help to make English the
common language of America? Can the Federal administration abandon its
involved correspondence and political fences long enough to consider
what the real preparedness of any nation comprises? A body of the best
railway men in the country was asked some months ago to assist the
government in railway preparedness and is still awaiting instructions.
The Naval Consulting Board, representing the best brains in the country
yet called together for industrial preparedness, pays its own bills,
largely because of our national lack of vision and the “Pork barrel”
methods of Congress.

In the growing demand for a more united America it is apparent that
America needs a national spirit which shall combine reverence and
service; a national consciousness which shall be willing to give as
well as to receive benefits and to put something into politics as well
as take something out; an ideal, which shall make every resident give
something of his interest, service, time, and money _voluntarily_ to
America without waiting for conscription and without quibbling over
“rights,” “emergencies,” “time of need,” or “obligations of business.”

The practical questions before America are how to become Americanized
and how to stay Americanized. The answer to the first question
comprehends all measures of preparedness adapted to our present needs.
The answer to the second question comprehends America’s policy after
the war.

In the measure in which we answer the first question so shall we answer
the second. Let no one suppose that anything short of a national
policy, purpose, and consciousness in which each one of us does his
full share, will meet the critical need of the hour. We are agreed in
the hope that America shall endure as a great nation; that we wish to
preserve our free institutions and constitutional guarantees. We are
also generally agreed that America shall rank in the world as a nation
of vision, courage, ideals, opportunity, and achievement; and that,
last of all, out of this democracy we hope to get the greatest amount
of aspiration, happiness, and achievement _per man_ that it is possible
for a strong nation to have.

These are not to be achieved by inaction or by misdirected action. We
are at the point where every act counts for or against the future of
America. I believe our capacity for nationalism is in exact proportion
to the measures we take for its achievement. The war has taught us that
it cannot be left to the complacency of the native American or to the
voluntary efforts of the immigrant. A general melting pot tended by
no one in particular does not necessarily brew a nation. This is even
more true when we find so many other self-interested nations and people
stirring this pot. The war has also taught us that the demand for
cheap labor cannot continue to be the chief determining factor in the
admission of immigrants--because of America’s new interest in aliens as
prospective citizens.

We not only have a present nation-size job of assimilation, but we need
to prepare ourselves for the problems that will accompany negotiations
for peace. We shall have at least three questions of great and
far-reaching importance--incoming immigration, outgoing emigration, and
citizenship status in America and abroad.

If the pending immigration bill represents the sum total of the
wisdom we can summon on the first subject, we shall fail miserably to
improve this opportunity by substituting a constructive policy for
our prevailing negative policy. Such arbitrary tests as the literacy
clause based on race and class theories and antagonisms bear no real
or lasting relation to the fundamental national needs of the country.
This country needs a statesmanlike policy in its international
relations based not upon theoretical makeshifts, but upon _a knowledge
of existing conditions_, upon capacity for assimilating the
immigrant, and upon our power to develop the machinery which will make
assimilation possible.

Admission of aliens to this country should be based upon their capacity
for Americanization. Any exclusion laws should look to the raising
of the physical standard, owing to the results of the privations and
hardships of war, with greater emphasis on deportation for crime. I
believe that every incoming immigrant should declare upon arrival his
or her intention to remain here and become a citizen. Every immigrant
should be required to become literate in the English language (the
minimum standard to be definitely set) within five years after arrival,
provided facilities are offered him. Deportation should be the penalty
for failure to do so. With the probable increase in the immigration
of women and children, every safeguard should be thrown about their
admission, arrival, and distribution.

A policy of distribution should be worked out. This again requires
three fundamental lines of activity--agricultural organization
which will enable the land to compete with industry for the laborer
and settler; the development of a rural credit system which will
enable people to go to the land; and a national system of government
employment agencies and the regulation of all private agencies doing
an interstate business. All of the civic and stimulated “back to the
land” schemes are doomed to failure until these three questions are
solved. Industry will get the great mass of the immigrants as long as
it offers higher wages, steadier employment, decent conditions and
opportunities for advancement; and so long as, unlike agriculture, it
has the organization to reach the aliens on or before arrival.

A policy of national education is required for a statesmanlike
consideration of nationalism. Local communities cannot carry the burden
of educating large numbers of incoming residents concerning whom they
have not been forewarned and who have not grown up in an American
community. The relation of education to seasonal labor is important.
The great forces in Americanization are the home, the school, and the
neighborhood. These cannot influence the itinerant resident, in one
town to-day and gone to-morrow; in a factory this month and in a wheat
field next month; in a city with its rule of civilization one year,
and in a labor camp with only the most primitive rule another year; in
a well-ordered home one week and in a derailed freight car the next.
We must contrive that educational and cultural forces shall follow
the man from place to place if we are to achieve nationalism through
assimilation.

America has never had any method of protecting newly arrived aliens.
This has been left to states, cities, philanthropies, racial societies,
or to foreign governments. The alien is not only an international
figure until he becomes a citizen, with all of the entanglements of
dual citizenship and obligations abroad, but he is an inter-state and
inter-city figure. Our industrial system and living conditions make
him so. The average immigrant travels more in the few months after
arrival in America than during his whole lifetime abroad. In the face
of this, two cities and three states have recognized his disability
and handicaps and have tried specifically to protect him. When the
Federal government substituted Ellis Island for Castle Garden, all the
safeguards that were thrown about the immigrant by law in the early
fifties were abolished because there was no longer anybody to enforce
them. We shall never attain a united America so long as we permit the
first educational and social contacts of the immigrant to be controlled
by his self-interested countrymen, and our equally self-interested
Americans, and the exploiter, acting independently, or as the tool of
both.

I am unable to find in government or in industrial organization, or
in a combination of the two, any such marshaling of facts, any such
attention to vital details, any such breadth of view as to make one
sanguine of results. The industrial inventory now being made by the
Committee on Industrial Preparedness of the Naval Consulting Board
is indeed an indication of the possibilities. It is too early to say
whether the government will use it or bury the results along with other
naval reports.

This is the kind of service in which all good Americans can join, for
the guns have been taken out of industrial preparedness. It is not the
kind of task prosperous Americans looking for appreciation will like.
It is singularly devoid of the pleasures of the footlight and applause;
it cannot be done by a committee meeting or sending a check; it is not
to be accomplished by “interest” or spasmodic work. It means a full
day’s work in the regular task at which each man earns a living, to
which is added the overhead charge of Americanism and nationalism. I
am convinced that no other service or method will make America again
unashamed.

We may fairly conclude that the real matter with America is that
as a nation it has not achieved within itself a permanent national
consciousness. It has no clear conception of its national power or
its responsibility, having conformed too largely to the wishes of
local governments and their representatives. The Congressman still
represents, not America, but his district. This is illustrated by the
retention of useless army posts and state militia doing police duty.
The prevailing conditions in our political world have failed to make
the Federal government master of its own resources and forces and the
director of its own destinies. We are still propagandists occupying
the field of debate on matters of preparedness. We are relying on the
presidential campaign--the heat of battle, as usual--to tell us where
“we are at,” after nearly two years of world conflict.

America’s selfish preoccupation, its own growth and prosperity, have
commercialized national sensibility. Our war-order prices show this.
Citizenship has come to be the cheapest of its privileges and the
football of politics. The country has been living unto itself while
taking into its heart the outpouring of other nations. The American
dollar has been the goal of success, and “Safety first” the national
motto.

Whether, in the absence of a great dramatic crisis, we shall attain
that heroic spirit by which a nation is finally welded together remains
to be seen. America needs nationalized vision and action. America
needs universal service from each and every citizen. America needs
to get together, to study itself, to have records of its needs and
action, to organize, to plan, to standardize its efforts. America needs
national incentives and national rewards outside of politics. America
needs leaders who see its future in terms of international duties,
Americanism, and efficiency--a synonym for preparedness.

Will America achieve these things? I believe the next few years will
indicate whether America shall endure as a great nation or become a
colony of states and sectional interests. The responsibility rests
squarely upon the shoulders of each and every one of us. We cannot
delegate it to Congress or legislatures, to benevolence or charity,
to managers or superintendents, to the “man who has time” or to the
agitator. The call is to national service for every one of us, and the
only answer should be, where can we serve best and how soon shall we
begin?



                              CHAPTER II

                              AMERICANISM


                         What is Americanism?

On the day this was written there appeared in the daily press a
“pledge” now being circulated among young men, especially in our
colleges and universities:

 “I being over 18 years of age hereby pledge myself against enlistment
 as a volunteer for any military or naval service in international
 warfare, _offensive or defensive_, and against giving my approval to
 such enlistment on the part of others.”

Compare with this pledge that solemn oath taken many years ago by the
wise elders of a new republic:

 “... in support of these truths we mutually pledge to each other our
 lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Which strikes the keynote to the future of America?

“We cannot in this country hope for the compelling devotion which has
animated Germany, still less for the supreme moral and intellectual
force which is the staying power of France,” says Miss Repplier in a
recent statement.

What then _can_ we hope for? Granted our geographical difficulties,
granted our youth, our size, and the consequent imperfect control of
our material resources, granted the complexity of our problem caused
by the rapid immigration of the past years, granted that we are still
a body of states--does this mean that we cannot acquire the spirit of
France and the efficiency of Germany?

I believe Miss Repplier’s attitude (a typical native American one)
shows an entirely mistaken conception of the situation. No nation
ever had a more vigorous birth than ours. This country was founded
upon a body of conviction, clarified by a white heat of passion, but
representing the judgment of deliberate men and great statesmen, men
who saw into the future, and built the ship of state by that vision.

I believe the foundation stones of Americanism are exactly what they
were 140 years ago,--liberty, opportunity, and obligation. We have
lost sight of the third. The conception of liberty upon which this
country was founded was a chastened and a disciplined conception. It
was chastened by a menace to rights as dear as life itself. It was
disciplined by the immediate duty of defending these _by life itself_,
if need be. That chastened and disciplined conception of liberty is
Americanism. We have now the sacred tradition. We have now the liberty.
We have now the opportunity. Our task is to restore to it the austerity
and the discipline of obligation.

A combination of rights and duties, of obligations and privileges,
is the determining idea in those first vehicles of Americanism, our
Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. But in interpreting
and reaffirming these in state constitutions, laws, and municipal
ordinances,--in which for very natural reasons sectional and provincial
points of view have often entered,--we have drifted away from the true
balance between these fundamental rights and duties, a balance which
is at once the delicate spring and the solid rock of our existence.
Prosperity, unusual freedom of choice in vocations, varying and broad
opportunities to control the vast material resources of the country,
have made us complacent about accepting the privileges of a democracy.
We have argued among ourselves endlessly as to just what these
privileges are and whether perhaps any of them are being infringed.
But we have rarely investigated whether we ourselves are giving to
the democracy the respect and service that alone can keep it secure.
Americanism has become for the great mass of Americans a point of view
accompanied by a lukewarm sentiment. The rigor of duty and the ardor of
a passionate belief have entered but little.

Through all our defense discussions and legislation, one amazing thing
has stood out very clearly--that the great majority of private citizens
in America recognize no compelling obligation to place themselves,
their time, or their resources at the disposal of the nation. They
regard this as a voluntary matter. They frequently question whether
the point of national service ought to be raised at all with respect
to the law-abiding citizen who earns his living, provides decently for
his family, and treats his neighbor with respect. The time and energy
outside the office or the job and the necessary duty to home belong to
the moving picture or to the pool room, or to any other pleasure to
which the freeman wishes to devote them. We have made a fetish of our
industrial freedom and we have tied our Americanism to it. The everyday
citizen has ceased to balance national opportunities with national
duties.

In all the long years of our progress and prosperity no clearer concept
or statement of Americanism than this has been made:

 “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
 equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
 Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of
 happiness, that to secure these Rights, governments are instituted
 among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
 governed.”

But to these words, clear and solemn, this pledge was added:

 “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
 protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
 Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”

Nothing was said about “the claims of business,” or being “willing to
do anything that may be necessary when the need actually arises.” When
the twentieth-century Americans “mutually pledge to each other” these
things, we shall cease talking about “reasonable preparedness.” We
will arm and train _all_ our manhood. We will restore democracy to the
twentieth century. And we will restore Americanism to America!

Restoring our real traditions of liberty is not a vague task. The
general principles of liberty as stated in the Declaration of
Independence are, in part, very practically interpreted in the
Constitution. As there enumerated they include: freedom of religion;
freedom of speech; freedom of the press; the right of petition; the
right to keep and bear arms; the right to protest against unreasonable
searches and seizures; the right of protection for persons and
property; the right of trial by jury; the right to vote without
abridgment of this right because of race, color, or previous conditions
of servitude.

These are only minimum guarantees. There are other rights of
far-reaching importance--as the right to profit by a free system of
education. And there are besides these rights countless privileges and
dignities which no specific enumeration will cover.

At some time and some where this nation began to think of these
privileges and opportunities rather in deed than in spirit, and to set
them aside as prerogatives for “first Americans.” We began to think of
ourselves as better than other men and to create barriers which could
not but result in injustice and intolerance. And just at that point we
laid the corner stone of our shame to-day.

“First Americans” have already pointed out to us that the framers of
the Constitution never foresaw the “Southern European hordes” that
now flock here. Perhaps not. But I question if the vision would have
disturbed them, or whether it could ever have put greater caution and
reserve into the instrument they were drawing up. The magnanimity of
spirit there expressed is based upon something greater than philosophy.
It is based upon a quality that has nothing to do with changes of times
or conditions, a quality of stern fearlessness, a national conviction
that the destiny of this nation was to be above all else the safeguard
and champion of liberty.

The extent to which we have departed from the ideals set forth in the
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is best measured by
the way we have come to regard and to treat the most helpless and
trusting of our people--the immigrants who come to our shores. Our
early policy at Castle Garden was to meet them, advise them, protect
them by laws, safeguard their journey, and to consider them as a
valuable asset to America and its future development. Compare with
this the route of the immigrant in America to-day, keeping in mind our
forefathers’ conception of American guarantees of life, liberty, and
happiness.

The immigrant arrives at the port of entry. After passing his
examination (during which time not a friendly word of greeting is given
him, or a personal interest taken in him) he is turned loose upon
the city to be met at the gate by cabmen, porters, runners, crooks,
thieves, and every conceivable kind of exploiter interested in getting
his cash money. This is America’s first reception line. He then meets
our second reception line--the employment agent, the private banker,
and “steering agent” who derive profit from his labor before it has
even become productive. When the immigrant actually goes to work, he
has generally lost his money and is in debt. He then meets our third
American reception line, the employer interested only in his labor
output, and he is treated accordingly. He is generally left alone, to
live as best he can, until he begins to save money. This immediately
calls forth our fourth reception line--the private banker who renews
his acquaintance and offers to help him send his money home; the
speculator in land who looks him up; the get-rich-quick concerns that
advertise in the papers he reads, and the medical quack who sells him
so-called “American” medicines. Some one tells him he may be better off
as a citizen, and then appears our fifth American reception line--the
politician willing to buy his vote because he needs it, the notary
public who is ready to settle his affairs at home so that he can “cut
loose,” and the labor leader who thinks now he ought to be organized.

By the time the immigrant has shaken hands along these various
reception lines he feels he knows everybody, and he has a very
definite idea of liberty, justice, freedom, law, order, and measures
of happiness which in no sense accords with our forefathers’ ideal of
America.

I sometimes wonder when I see men in the night schools studying our
Constitution to enable them to pass their citizenship examinations
how they square its teaching with their various experiences under the
peonage system of the South; with the robberies by the company store
in the coal mines; with the sentences they receive for minor offenses
in justice-of-peace courts which have no interpreters; with the
prohibition that they cannot work at certain trades, for example in
Michigan where they cannot be barbers; with restrictions upon personal
liberty, as in Pennsylvania where they cannot keep a dog; with the
repeated private bank failures in which all their savings were lost;
with the double standard of living under which they see their American
neighbors protected and themselves neglected and exploited.

I ask myself if the time will ever come when we shall restore
Americanism as the signers of the Declaration of Independence conceived
it. We cannot do this until we ourselves believe in practical
Americanism. We are coming to realize that the native American
who makes the lives of our foreign born wholly subservient to the
industrial grind and who neither provides for nor permits them to
become American citizens is himself a strong anti-American influence
in this country; that the native American who permits the foreign
born to enter and denies them the opportunities of America and the
right to work, is really anti-American; that the native American
who emphasizes the liberties and opportunities of America without
correspondingly emphasizing the duties of all American residents is
anti-American. We are beginning to see that the native American is
anti-American who perpetuates class consciousness and race hatred; who
favors or perpetuates the immigrant colony or camp or section with
different standards of living, different law enforcement and isolation
from American influences; who establishes his own home and his own
children in a well-policed, sanitary section of the town and leaves his
immigrant neighbor in another section unprotected and living in filth
and disorder. We are coming to regard that man as a selfish patriot who
consistently and complacently in his factory exacts a physical toll
from his workmen without regard to the cost in citizenship to America;
and that woman as anti-American who takes a girl into the kitchen
because of certain racial excellences, but refuses to consider that
these excellences have any social value to America outside the walls of
that kitchen and who therefore uses and monopolizes her labor capacity
but contributes nothing toward making that girl an American citizen
qualified to preside over an American home. We are coming to see that
a political leader is a menace to a united America who uses newly
naturalized immigrants to swing the American vote in this direction or
that, but who does nothing to make the immigrant a good citizen, or
even to see that he understands American political ideals.

It is impossible to have the spirit of Americanism prevail in this
land when at least a quarter of its people do not understand it, or
have been disillusioned in their dream of it, or have been despoiled
in their search for it. I do not minimize the value of hardship of
obstacles to be overcome. They make for the strength of a nation just
as they do for the strength of a human being. But I like to see the
obstacles set up in a fair field with no favor--where a man can see
them and meet them intelligently. This is what Americanism stands for,
but it is not what it means to the average immigrant. We point with
pride to the immigrant who succeeds in spite of it, but I suspect
that often we judge by his clothes and his house and his speech
rather than by his outlook upon life and his inlook upon himself. We
satisfy ourselves by comparing his lot here with what it was in his
home country--often without real knowledge of either. We fail to see
that we have lost the dream of what America may be and with the dream
the ability to achieve it, when we become content that America should
merely be better than Russia or freer than Austria instead of being the
very best of which America is capable.

This country is full of so-called un-American types. Some of them are
native born and some are foreign born. Immigrant men and women in this
rank of life or that, who have been in this country for years, have
found themselves isolated from and ignored by Americans. American
customs and standards have therefore failed to alter them. The result
is the perpetuation of foreign types or the creation of distinct types
which we refuse to accept as ours, but in the making of which we have
certainly had a controlling hand. Take the typical foreign-born
journalist and publicist. There are hundreds of them to-day fighting
the battle of Americanization for their fellow countrymen here
against fearful odds because they are so far from being Americanized
themselves. Many of them are philosophers, students, zealots; many of
them are all-American in aspiration. But they are not themselves in
possession of the very Americanism they seek to interpret. And their
efforts at Americanizing their fellow countrymen fall as far short as
would a piece of philosophy with a man in need of a pick to earn his
living, bread to eat, or a tongue with which to speak.

Medical quacks, shyster lawyers, saloon-politicians, chronically
bankrupt factory owners or lessees of foreign birth are continually
pointed out to us as the types that are being inflicted upon a
long-suffering America. They are in fact the types that a negligent
America is inflicting upon itself.

How can we expect people from all the nations of the earth, from all
kinds of governments and traditions, to understand the principles of
liberty, as they have been handed down to us? The one thing they do
understand is that the surveillance that prevails in the old country
does not prevail here. Take the small business man or small factory
operator of foreign birth in New York, the frequenter of the bankruptcy
court, the owner of flimsy factory lofts which, when they have been
burnt down, show the evasion of the most obvious laws. These men as
youths in new America see that every man is free to try his hand at
anything he wishes. Seeing _only_ this, they get the idea that the
great American game is the strife of one man against the other, that
this island of Manhattan and this country are a land of single combat
on a large scale, of which competition is the real secret, endurance
and cunning and aggression the winning qualities. When they once get
this idea, and they often get it very rapidly, they follow it as
the dominating principle of their practical existence in America. I
say their practical existence, because the methods pursued by many
immigrant traders, business and professional men in this country
do not represent at all _any moral point of view which they have
evolved themselves_. What they do represent is a practical routine, a
thoughtless application of the principles they see Americans practicing
all around them. And unlike the Americans, they have no background of
American tradition which will interpret differences and distinctions to
them and give them a _general_ criterion.

Certain things are essential to elucidating and preserving Americanism.
One of these is a common language. Not until the necessity for national
defense was thrust upon us have we considered seriously requiring that
all American residents learn English. It is true we said in 1906 that
all naturalized citizens must have a knowledge of the English language,
but we neglected to define what we meant, so the knowledge may consist
of as many words as each of several hundred judges may decide is a fair
test. Not until the business man found that a knowledge of English
reduced accidents did he indorse night schools. Only two states require
compulsory attendance of minors under eighteen years of age to learn
the English language.

This lack of a common language has prevented the American born and
foreign born from getting together in a common Americanism. It has been
a closed door to nationalism.

A second is a common citizenship. We have thought of this as the
most sacred of rights and have safeguarded it with every possible
technicality. Again our policy has been negative, discouraging, and
hampering. We have put up the bars with one hand while with the other
we have poked holes through the hedges for the political boss. We make
it impossible for an alien to acquire citizenship within five years,
but permit him to vote--with all that implies--in eight states after
he has been there a few months. What conception can he have of how
we regard this privilege and right and why has he no compunction in
selling it? He leaves his home country to escape military duty and
attends meetings in America where he is told he is not even expected to
defend this country in case of war. Not one public school in a hundred
makes any provisions for teaching him about American conditions, life,
and government. Again he finds a closed door to Americanism, and it is
small wonder when it is opened that he enters, a skeptic of democracy.

Men work for and defend what is dear to them. When a job is the only
stake, it is a rather narrow base for patriotism. The newly arrived
immigrant is not given much of an opportunity to have any sentiment or
inspiring associations about his job. The average employer feels that
when he raises wages he has discharged his full duty to his workman
and to his country. But America is concerned not only with what a man
earns, but with how he spends it. It is interested in his having a home
stake in America, and in his investing in America. Only a prodigal,
short-sighted, hand-to-mouth nation can look with indifference upon
workmen sending $400,000,000 abroad, and following their savings there
each year.

So it is with his living conditions. In the vermin-ridden bunk house
the Italian dreams of Italy. In the bungalow with a flower garden Italy
is far in the background. The “pursuit of happiness” was mentioned with
life and liberty, but as we have forgotten our duties in privileges,
so have we neglected happiness for life in terms of gain.

We need a new social impulse back of our patriotism. We have come to
the point where we even trifle with the idea that nationalism may be
an outworn thing, too parochial a survival to stand the white light of
the twentieth century. We have a great deal of social emotion of one
kind or another in this country. It has put many healthy ideas into
circulation, registered many needed protests. But it has been so remote
from the actual business of life, so far removed from the job and the
polling booth, that it has done little even for those that have served
it best. The prevailing idea of social freedom in this country within
the last few years has developed among the industrial groups of our
large cities especially a kind of intellectual proletariat, whose creed
is active social reform, but whose practice is intellectualism. This
constitutes a curious menace to Americanism. It seeks to substitute
the “brotherhood of man” for all the loyalties and obligations and
relationships of life. I saw a month or two ago in a widely circulated
magazine a symposium to which many writers and publicists contributed,
stating whether or not they “believed in patriotism” and saw any
validity in it. Some did and some did not. It was discussed as if it
were the protective tariff.

The I. W. W.’s urge their followers to ignore national lines and
unite only as “Workers of the World.” And a great many of those
followers, truly united in their passion for industrial freedom,
hoodwink themselves into believing that in this bond all the debts
and privileges of a national citizenship are more than included. They
come to speak slightingly of those that still hold to so practical a
loyalty. The immigrants, wavering between two loyalties and firmly
fixed in neither, and especially the immigrants who come from those
countries where the social sense is strongly developed, are especially
drawn or think they are by the appeal of a loyalty to “no God and no
master”--and respond readily to the flexible and not too confining
_idea_ of brotherhood. The _idea_ moves and sways the throng. But
when they go home to their crowded rooms in tenements, when they go
the next morning to the job, when they deal with property, those men
and women need a government, understanding and equable, to carry and
control the conditions of their lives, to safeguard their rights, to
aid them to right their wrongs. It alone can give them the guarantees
and the tradition of industrial freedom. They need a loyalty.

We must learn to care. Our hearts must be on fire with belief, or we
shall never have Americanism. We need to go back again to the sources
of our liberty and relight our torches there. It is because we have
not Americanism in our hearts and souls, because we have not been
through the process of Americanization, because we have become slaves
to prosperity and faithless to our ideals that we have failed Europe
at a critical time. Americanism has become a phrase, a trademark, a
passport. Unless somehow and somewhere we can restore belief and zeal
and faith in our destiny we face the disunion of this Republic into
races and creeds, into sectionalism and localism, into class warfare
between capital and labor, into selfish individualism rather than
nationalism.



                              CHAPTER III

                          THE NATIVE AMERICAN


I find the future of America a far more hopeful and beautiful thing
to contemplate from the trenches of a new subway than from a Fifth
Avenue bus. Perhaps it is because in one is seen the raw material of
hopes, ideals, and ambitions in the making,--a people eagerly looking
forward; while in the other these ideals are already fashioned, perhaps
discarded,--a people looking backward. I am not more afraid of the
ignorant vote than of the absent vote; of the discontented alien than
of the satisfied American; of the hungry laborer than of the surfeited
idler; of the casual laborer than of the overworked industrial captain;
of the patient, plodding hand toiler than of the dreamer of the
get-rich-quick concerns; of the alien with the family back home than of
the American with no family at all. They all go to make up one America.

When we think of a united America, our minds naturally turn to
Americanizing the immigrant. Big as that task is, I do not believe that
our greatest difficulty lies with him. Rather I fear that we shall have
to Americanize our native Americans first--in increased respect for the
flag, in conscious renewed allegiance to America, in the patriotic use
of the nation’s holidays, in measures of national service. We have, I
think, to return to the civilian training camp and universal service
as a melting pot for natives before we can make America a successful
melting pot for aliens.

The average native American is local, provincial, self-interested,
constitutionally opposed to any change that may threaten his particular
established local order. The average native employer looks askance
at anything that may upset his labor supply, be that a shop census
or workmen’s compensation. The average native employee does not take
to such new-fangled ideas as health insurance and promotion based
on record. It is the native-born American woman who crosses to the
American side of the street and who still meets and discusses the
immigrant as a problem. I suspect it was a native American who dubbed
the Italians “dagoes,” the Hungarians, “hunkies,” the Lithuanians
“round heads,” and so on. There is no better invention for prolonging
personal conflict than derisive nicknames, and America seems to have
done its share in this direction.

It is natural that those who carry responsibilities should be
conservative, but the native American seems to me to carry this
responsibility to the verge of reaction and antagonism. I am reminded
of a time when I had occasion to summon an employer and employee before
me for a hearing upon a wage dispute and was reminded that it was
presumption to set the employee opposite the employer to discuss such
a trivial matter on equal terms. I am constantly asked to entertain
women’s clubs who find immigration “interesting,” but whose members
shrink from the neighborly services which they might render in their
own communities.

There are always many exceptions to any general statement. But this
does not alter the fact that the native American has a point of view, a
state of mind, a prejudiced observance, a sense of superiority--which
makes him greatly in need of Americanization. This is acquired by the
native boy and girl early in life. What opportunity has the average
native-born boy and girl to learn about American citizenship and its
duties and rights? The public and parochial schools give little more
than history and an indifferent kind of civil government, which seems
to us as we learn it to have little to do with us or our future. Our
patriotic days are largely holidays from school, filled with fun and
pranks, but rarely with any sense of their real significance. They seem
to have nothing to do with the very freedom we enjoy on those days.
The boy becomes a voter by the mere act of registering his name. The
average girl is unconscious that she ever _becomes_ a citizen unless
she is interested in suffrage or anti-suffrage, or unless practical
property questions arise. We can hardly expect under these conditions
much realization of what nationalism means, or that a call to national
service will meet with much response. The surprising thing is that in
spite of our official neglect and indifference, youths are filled with
patriotism and desire to serve, if it can be utilized before the shop
and home absorb all their energies.

I believe that a really careful, impartial analysis of our situation
to-day would reveal two things: that there are two main systems of
thought and lines of activity upon which the hope and future of America
depend--one is government and the other is business. They alone have a
nation-wide organization, whose units reach every American community
and every American resident. To the government we look for law, order,
education, justice, and the essentials of community life; to the
industry for the job or the market which gives life to the community.
_Go where you will, in the last analysis a native American controls the
situation._ The man higher up, if you go high enough, is invariably a
native-born American. It is said that there are more native-born sons
of Connecticut in Oregon than in Connecticut, but the great industries
of Connecticut that set the pace for the state are in the hands of
native Americans. So it is with government. Minor offices, sometimes
even important offices, are in the hands of naturalized citizens, but
usually with the consent or approval of some native American--sometimes
far removed from the scene of action.

The radius of this native American influence bears no relation to
numbers. It encompasses the school, the home, the neighborhood, the
personal life of the resident. We fill our night schools by adjusting
them to the industrial organization and securing its coöperation.
We fill our civilian training camps by the coöperation of employers
in granting absences and paying wages. We obtain a common standard
of living by enforcement of laws that set the standard. Civic and
philanthropic agencies may be the pioneers, the educators, the balance
restorers; they can care for the waste and discover causes. But America
has too long regarded them as the unifiers of its many peoples, as the
makers of citizens. We now know that this task comes squarely back to
the political and industrial leader and to no other; to the native
born and to no other.

America is the proud possessor of some significant and far-reaching
illusions which make a poor foundation for the structures it is seeking
to build. Chief among these is the assertion that the immigrant lowers
the American standard of living. In the final analysis it is America
that lowers the immigrant’s own standard of living. A double standard
of living is imposed upon the immigrant by the responsible native
American.

Of the many hundreds of immigrant communities which I have studied, I
recall none in which American ideals were being aggressively menaced
by immigrants who were determined to have none of them. Isolation,
betrayal of our own minimum social and civic standards, these I have
seen over and over again. But always the immigrant population has been
the weaker force in any given community. There are in the country
to-day hundreds of towns, say of 1500 population, in which the foreign
born number one half. But in civic strength, social influence, and
political power, the immigrant 50 per cent measures less than 10
per cent. In the census they appear as towns of 1500. In reality the
native-born residents of these towns consider them as towns of about
500--with an unfortunate though necessarily large annex of immigrant
workmen and their families who live “on the other side of the railroad”
or in some other segregated spot--to which fire and water systems,
garbage collections and calling do not penetrate. Now there can be no
doubt that that large “annex” is a menace to the future of America.
But it is a menace produced by American neglect, not by immigrant
aggression and malevolence.

We shall never solve the immigration problem so long as we begin with
the immigrant’s shortcomings, nor shall we attain Americanism so long
as we define it as nativism. We need not fear that we are not as
much in control as we ever were. We set the standards. The question
is whether we have cause to be satisfied with the way in which we do
it. The ideals and standards of America are set by the American born
to-day just as they were in our early history. In all communities
which I have studied the American-born residents or employers are the
determining factors. The citizen may send you through many devious
channels, to see this boss and that boss, to win friends for your cause
from this foreign-born leader or that immigrant saloon-keeper, but
eventually you deal with a native American, not with an alien.

Mr. Ross, in the “Old World in the New,” points to a typical Western
town of 26,000 inhabitants, 10,000 of them immigrants, and gives a
picture of the vice, intemperance, bad housing, and wretched standards
of living resulting in this town from the immigrant population. We
in America believe in majority rule. There was a safe margin of 6000
Americans in that town, free to establish and insist upon any standard
they chose. Why were the Americans beaten in the struggle? Because here
as in many places they ignored or definitely isolated the immigrants,
permitting them to work all day with Americans at the mills or
factories where they were needed, and then encouraging or compelling
them to spend all the rest of their time in their own corner of the
town, and to encroach no more than necessary upon the respectable
streets and schools and churches and recreations of the American
section.

Persecuted America! Miss Repplier, lamenting the immigrant invasion
of Philadelphia, in the _Atlantic Monthly_ not long ago, presents
a truly colonial point of view concerning the suffering wrought by
the twentieth-century world of America in this colonial stronghold.
In the mind of Miss Repplier and many thousands of Americans the
long-suffering American, heir of all the ages, legatee of all the best
traditions of liberty and opportunity sealed in 1776, is now driven
like sheep before the advancing immigrant hordes:

 “Dirt is a valuable asset in the immigrant’s hands. With its help he
 drives away decent neighbors, and brings property down to his level
 and his purse. The ill-fated Philadelphian is literally pushed out
 of his home--the only place, sighs Mrs. Pennell, where he wants to
 live--by conditions that he is unable to avert, and unwilling, as well
 as unfitted, to endure.”

Old Philadelphians that would never have run from an Indian, that
would have conquered the forests and spanned the rivers, run from the
Italian and the Pole. Alas! We too have deteriorated. We see nothing
dramatic, we feel no challenge, in the fight to raise the standards of
our less fortunate neighborhoods. We cannot find any inspiration in
that ideal of justice which insists on law enforcement equally among
all residents of a neighborhood. Is there nothing to be said on behalf
of the neighborly, friendly visiting which would soon make dirt as
unfashionable in the immigrant’s as in the Philadelphian’s home? The
reason that the tenement fire escapes are cluttered in Rivington Street
and free on Fifth Avenue is not, as we fondly suppose, that immigrants
prefer fire escapes draped with bedding and pillows and children.
The answer is that they move to Fifth Avenue as soon as their income
permits and as fast as they learn how well it is possible to live in
America.

Let us take a town in the making and see if the standards do not come
back to some native American. Take, for instance, the towns that
have grown up during the war-order prosperity, which is typical of
our town building in the past in America. American capital, directed
by native-American enterprise and brains, selects a site and builds a
model factory, secures the necessary transportation facilities and puts
in its power and machines. Anything else? Yes, the skilled labor market
is scarce of men, so a few good houses are put up for skilled workmen,
upon whom the operation of the plant depends.

As for the mass of foreign-born unskilled workmen, relying upon a
well-stocked market, no provision is made for housing, sanitation, or
other care of them. This is left to the individual workman and to the
speculator. When a cluster of huts, tents, or bunk houses spring up, is
it because the immigrant prefers the huts or tents, or is it because
the only power to create standards--the native-American power--has
ignored its obligation?

It is the same with contract work. The contractor, in figuring the cost
of road building, includes not only materials, grades, etc., but the
cost of decent housing for his American workmen. The immigrant workman
he leaves to the padrone. The padrone is one of the most anti-American
forces in this country, and he exists only by the grace of the
native-born American employer. No immigrant body can impose him upon an
employer who does not find him useful.

I am invariably met with the fact that native Americans refuse to
rent to immigrants because of their alleged defacement of property.
The one remedy seems to be eviction and refusal to rent. I have not
yet found that a limitation on boarders in the rental clause has been
tried or that any effort has been made to teach these tenants the
meaning and methods of an American standard of living. I have not found
that such conveniences as an adequate and accessible water supply,
garbage collection, prompt repairs, and interest in the well-being of
the tenants bear in the mind of the landlord much relation to care of
person and property. The native American thinks of the immigrant tenant
as an inferior human being, used to something quite different, and
almost unconsciously brings the American standard down to his own idea
of the immigrant’s capacities.

There are, of course, many people--not confined to immigrants--who are
indifferent to or incapable of maintaining an American standard of
living. Eliminating these, I believe that the native American can and
must set the standard, pay decent enough wages to make it possible, and
then admit no excuses whatever for non-performance. In my judgment it
is a fallacy to suppose that increased wages and shorter hours alone
will Americanize America, unless there goes with these things some
education as to their use.

Paternalism? I have in mind a steel mill where the employer has
increased wages 50 per cent, and established eight-hour shifts; where
the most perfect conditions prevail in his plant, where his first-aid
and safety-first work are excellent. He believes that to build company
houses would be paternalism. Almost every one in the town works in
his mill. He has added 5000 workmen to the village within a year. No
private capital will take the risk of building houses for his war
industry. His men sleep 5 to 15 in a room, often on the floor and in
their clothing; they have no care and eat badly prepared food. They
crowd family houses, destroying privacy and morality. That plant
employed last year 34,000 men to keep an average of 15,000. This
registers the immigrant’s protest,--the only one possible,--moving on.
Yet one native-born American controls the health, decency, morality,
and efficiency of some 8000 immigrant workmen whose only protest is to
move on, and whose only future is high enough wages to return to his
home country.

And the worst of it is that men get used to these conditions,
believing them to be American, and with this belief go the dreams,
the visions, and ambitions which are the essence of good citizenship.
The prospective good citizen is sacrificed to the demand for cheap
labor which is a native-American demand. For the few hundreds of men
that are indifferent to or incapable of appreciating an American
standard of living thousands are sacrificed daily at the hearth of the
indifferent, complacent native American who thinks of them only as cogs
in his machine and rarely as future citizens of America.

There is no more representative class of native Americans in the
popular mind than those bearing old family names. The youth of America
read and store up all the available information about them and aim to
duplicate their achievements in dress, manner, entertainments, and
work. And yet I can take you to any one of the great estates that
they occupy, and if they employ immigrant labor, you will find it
housed in miserable shacks, lacking the decencies and comforts of an
American standard of living. You will find that the native Americans
had these shacks put up and receive rent for them. You will find also
that the immigrant has but one choice, to leave his job if he wants
something better. Ask yourself, as an American with a family dependent
upon you, whether you would have the courage to make this choice. I
have in mind as I write a most exclusive club which is the wonder of
the Hudson Valley for sheer beauty and order; and I see below the
railroad track its thousand employees who toil all day to produce that
beauty, housed in wretched frame buildings in bad repair and crowded
with boarders because there are not enough houses. I find there the
future citizens of America being brought up without regard to decency
and morality, living 5 to 10 in a room, while the little native-born
boy or girl in the clubhouses has a room and a bath to himself. Now
this difference is not alone the difference of wealth. It goes deeper
than that. The club owns the workmen’s houses; it gets an adequate
return on its investment. The trouble is the native American does not
regard the immigrant as anything but a workman--and so long as he
ignores America’s interest in that man as a citizen, as a defender
of America, as a voter, as a future taxpayer, he is anti-American.
To these men, preaching patriotism and freedom in America must seem
the height of insincerity when contemplated from overcrowded rooms
under a leaky roof. Last Fourth of July the National Americanization
Committee instituted “Americanization Day” when native-born citizens
tendered receptions to foreign-born citizens. When foreign-born men
wrote saying that although they had been here many years it was the
first time they had shaken hands with an American, it demonstrated how
wide is the gulf of our prejudice and its consequent neglect. The pay
envelope has made a poor melting pot, and America is to-day paying the
cost of an experiment that has failed. Whenever we have established
lines that make our native Americans inaccessible to our foreign-born
residents, there we have established the unknown quantity in fixing
the responsibility for the immigrant standard of living, without which
knowledge the truth can never be ascertained.

What I am urging is this: Before we assert so calmly that the immigrant
lowers the American standard of living let us rest our case with the
man higher up--if need be with the financier who supplies the capital
and requires that all material conditions must be right, but who
forgets that in the last analysis the success of any enterprise depends
upon loyal, efficient workmen with a home stake in America.

Another native-American illusion is that the immigrant will not
appreciate our efforts. Since when has America based its principles of
action upon the flimsy desire for appreciation? Furthermore we expect
the appreciation to be out of all proportion to what we do. We have
indeed deteriorated when we have come to regard simple acts of justice,
fair play, service, obligation, and duty as acts to be persisted in
only when the immigrant is duly appreciative! Such a stimulus would
have done little to develop the northwest and to conquer the resources
of the country. The man who hesitates to build houses for his homeless
or commuting workmen because it may be paternalism, closes the
club-house he has provided because it is not appreciated, or bewails
his empty playground as a species of rank ingratitude. A great weakness
of the American character to-day is its desire for appreciation and
credit, and it does not make for Americanism.

A third American illusion is that the native American always thinks
of the immigrants as getting something from America--wages or liberty
or opportunity or rights. We forget that the majority of them come to
us as laborers, representing a net contribution of at least $1000,
which is the cost of raising a native-born child to the productive age.
In these days of prosperity, of new vision in business, of expansion
marked by a remarkable greatness of spirit, it is no time to forget
that the very industries which are at present by way of putting America
in the front ranks of trade and commerce are dependent upon immigrant
labor.

We know in a general way that the immigrant is the possessor of
much brawn and muscle. But it is characteristic of us that we think
of him always as a _job hunter_, not as a producer. His may be the
opportunity; but we never reflect that ours may be the profit. The
big mine owner, the subway contractor, the chief engineer of the
railroads, the canal builder have a practical knowledge of just where,
and how largely, the immigrant comes into new America’s scheme. But
the average American has no grasp of the full significance of the
immigrant’s immediate and present service to him and to the nation, in
a purely present and industrial way.

He knows that a big army of immigrants armed with pick and shovel is
down there in the subway cavity; and he knows that they build the roads
over which he spins his motor. Still he does not really grasp the fact
that the railroad that carries him, the clothes he wears, the cigars
he smokes, the furniture he puts in his house are made by immigrant
hands. Take iron and steel, the strategic industry, so to speak, in
America to-day. The Federal Immigration Commission found that 57.7 per
cent of the workmen in this industry were foreign born; and if you add
the workmen of foreign-born parentage, the percentage mounts to 71.7.
And so it goes through a long list of essential industries--in sugar
refining, 85 per cent of the workmen are foreign born; in bituminous
coal mining, 61.9 per cent; and so on. And there is no one to take
his place. There are to-day three jobs for every two workmen, and we
are calling out our reserve of women who have never before worked for
wages. We often hear of the displaced American workmen, but when we
look for them, we generally find they have moved up in the economic
scale.

_What other value are immigrants in American life?_ What percentage do
they possess of the social opportunity and liberty of America? What
percentage do they contribute to it? What percentage are they permitted
to contribute to it?

Some immigrants come to us with racial powers, instincts, and
susceptibilities, which, however modified by years of peasant toil,
have great potential value for America. Some come to us with vision
trained for centuries in beauty of line and color, with the skilled
hands of races that have been shaping arch or temple or cathedral for
thousands of years. They feel beauty and mobility of outline as only
those feel them who have lived with them for generations. What becomes
of these capacities over here? Does America give immigrants the chance
to use them? Does America even know they exist?

Another illusion is that the present races coming to America are not
easily assimilated, and should they be, they would give America an
undesirable type.

What, after all, is Americanism? What is the destiny of America? What
do we want it to be? What, in the great evolution of nations, is
it bound to be? Until the average American meets and answers these
questions squarely, we cannot settle the question of what races are
best for the future of America. Miss Repplier quotes Dr. Horace
Kallen as saying, “Only men who are alike in origin and spirit and
not abstractly can be truly equal, and maintain that inward unanimity
of action and outlook which makes a national life.” And, says Miss
Repplier, rightly, “We have no mutual understanding, no common
denominator.”

We have not. The first Americans whose opportunity, yes, and whose
_responsibility_ it was to produce these, have failed ignominiously to
do so. “An Englishman,” says Miss Repplier, “knows that a Russian Jew
cannot in five years or in twenty-five years become English; that his
standards and ideals are not convertible into English standards and
ideals. A Frenchman does not see in a Bulgarian or a Czech the making
of another Frenchman.”

True, but what is an American? Is he an Anglo-Saxon racial type, and if
so, by what law? _Do we desire him to be this?_

I do not despise the conclusion of ethnologists, but they seem to
have so few conclusions and so many theories. And the root of them
seems to be, not experience, but apprehension. Meanwhile, I see all
around me valiant Americans, Southern European by birth and tradition,
Americans now in spirit and loyalty and _tendency_. These men and women
have mastered the opportunity--for they had to seek and improve it
themselves--to become assimilated. In spite of the thousands of their
countrymen among us, still un-American, I am convinced of two things:
That America _can control its own destiny_, that one of the greatest
obstacles has been slothful neglect, another obstacle, nativism; and
that the way to attain control of our destiny is by aggressive, not
passive, Americanism. When this is under way, it will be easy enough
to sort out and deal separately and finally with undesirable races and
types or those that have no desire to become Americans.

In the midst of all our discussion of to-day about a prepared America,
there is no national policy emerging. We see Congress half-heartedly
bolstering up the army and navy. We see the Federal Bureau of
Immigration without adequate authority at work upon a Federal system of
employment exchanges, a system which can be overturned by successors in
office. We see the Bureau of Naturalization at work on a citizenship
program into which it jumps without preparation, preëmpting a field
long occupied by its neighbor in the Interior Department, the Bureau of
Education, without a suggestion of real coöperation. We see the Bureau
of Education with an unlimited field before it, hampered by state
lines and no funds. We have laws demanding that an alien shall learn
English and have a knowledge of the Constitution in order to become a
citizen, yet leaving it to the ward boss to supply the information. We
see the various departments dealing with various phases of preparedness
pursuing a path of departmental routine, waste, and duplication. No
clear uniform note runs through it all. There is little apparent
indication that times have changed and new issues and opportunities
are presented to our American government. We see the field of
transportation and distribution cut into small sections by local
regulations and local competition. One state is pitted against another
to secure labor for the development of the individual state--with no
thought of national needs.

Surely we cannot, in all fairness, expect the immigrant to distribute
himself wisely, to protect himself adequately, to educate himself
intelligently, to become a willing citizen without the full coöperation
of the native American. Yet upon this whole matter we have no national
sense of responsibility, no national consciousness. If a practical bill
providing for a national Americanization policy, to be administered
by national authority but leaving to states and counties and cities
their due rights and obligations, were at this moment before Congress,
it would have small chance of being considered. The trouble is that we
have no convinced body of native Americans behind it to support it.

We have not had a vision of many peoples making one nation, but rather
of a few people being worked for by others. Even kindhearted employers
with “welfare departments” for their men have little realization of
their immigrant workmen as future American people. In many cases the
welfare provisions and company housing specifically _do not apply_ to
the immigrant force. The average American housewife does not think
of the immigrant and her future in America when she needs a servant,
but wonders what nationality will suit her best. I should like to ask
how many of our housewives, even our suffragist housewives, know the
attitude of their foreign-born servants towards America or how well
they are fitted for citizenship? Are they regarded as a civic factor of
any importance? The average American officer regards the immigrant as
a trouble-maker; but how many cities compile their laws intelligently
in a language the immigrant can read, so that he may not become one? It
is the native-born American who must separate the wheat from the chaff
before we can estimate the wheat and dispose of the chaff.

We cannot treat the immigrant as if he were something to be absorbed,
automatically, by inevitable chemical reaction, in the course of time.
He is a living, changing, creative organism, _needing attention at
every minute, and with something to contribute at every point_. From
the moment he arrives in America he needs the _creative_, aggressive
attention of American institutions if he is to become a good American.
What he gets, when he gets anything, is a chance to touch here and
there American institutions adapted to a native-born population and
_barely fulfilling the needs of the native born_. Take the case of the
immigrant who arrives at Ellis Island and goes, let us say, to a New
England mill town. Originally it was a conservative little colonial
town of 1000 population with no large industries, and with schools,
churches, and a library adapted to the population. The introduction of
several factories increases the population fourfold, and 75 per cent
of the newcomers are foreign born, needing especially to profit by the
organized institutions of America. But what really happens is that
the institutions adapted to the original 1000 native Americans remain
exactly the same--schools, churches, library, court, and houses, for
the host of new Americans to fit into them as best they can. In other
words, although immigrants may make up from one half to two thirds of
that town they do not figure 10 per cent in its activities or 10 per
cent in its government or its facilities.

The native-born American has set up some very important and flourishing
institutions to perpetuate the ideals of Americanism and to preserve
the things dear to him. These have come also to be regarded as the
institutions for Americanizing the immigrant. If they Americanize
our native-born youth, why not our foreign-born peoples? The native
American has adapted them to his own needs and assumes that they will
do for every one. Will they, without any further attention on his part?

The public school comes first. It is the first aid to the nation. It
also represents a fundamental principle and obligation in American
civilization. Of the 13,000,000 men and women born in other lands,
3,000,000 of them were unable to speak English, according to the 1910
census, and only 38,000 were enrolled in our public schools to learn
it. Many important communities, in such important industrial states as
Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, where the population is at
least one half immigrant, do not maintain _any_ classes whatever where
English can be learned.

Even where night schools exist, they are likely to be conducted in an
experimental or detached way--as a benevolent “extension” of the public
educational system rather than as a legitimate, highly important,
and necessary part of public policy. In a city in which 75 per cent
of the population is either foreign born or of foreign parentage,
the president of the board of education said this year: “More night
schools for foreigners--well, I don’t know. I am highly interested in
the technical night high schools. _If_ there is any money left after
these are fully organized, I will see that it goes into classes for
English to foreigners.”

But there never _is_ anything left. On that basis we shall get nowhere.
If the alien is to be taught English in this country only after every
form of education life is “fully organized”--he will by that time have
reached the point where he either cannot or will not be taught. When
will America learn that teaching immigrants English and requiring
them to learn it is a fundamental necessity, a condition of national
vitality?

The Bureau of Naturalization is publishing a statement that during the
past year 600 cities have conducted, initiated, or largely extended
night-school instruction for aliens. With the usual optimism we point
with pride to what America is doing with the native-American taxpayer’s
money. Do we not want to know how effective it is? In how many of these
600 cities has this night-school work been put on a basis adequate
to the numbers of the foreign-born population? In how many of the 600
has a really adequate system of instruction been worked out--adapted
to the needs, trades, shifts, hours of the men, providing for proper
classification, textbooks, teachers with vigor and understanding? How
long have the terms been and did the immigrants attend?

We should naturally expect New England to lead in this phase of an
Americanization policy. According to the data gathered by the Bureau
of Education in 1915, Maine had 15 towns with over 1000 foreign born
in the population, with no evening schools. Massachusetts had 28,
New Hampshire and Vermont each 6, and Rhode Island 4. In Connecticut
there are 15 towns with a foreign-born population of over 1000 that
have no evening school or other municipal provision for learning
citizenship and English. There is no town in the state that has
adequate or anything like adequate provisions for this. Yet New Haven
has approximately 50,000 foreign born, Bridgeport 40,000, Hartford
35,000, Meriden 10,000, Waterbury 25,000, Stamford 12,000. Concerning
Connecticut the lament of nativism that the “State is rapidly being
foreignized” is coming loud and strong. And it is true. How, with the
situation described above, could it be otherwise?

For the immigrant in the courts our cherished “equality before the
law” is not realized. There have been a great many studies and
investigations into the “immigrant’s influence on crime” and his
responsibility for this or that percentage of it. But there has never
been a constructive effort to make the machinery of the law adaptable
to the immigrant. With thoroughgoing nativism, the native-born
Americans have set up the kinds of courts they need for themselves, and
have installed forms of procedure that they know and understand. They
proceed on the assumption that every man knows the law, and that every
man can tell his tale in English. These assumptions were justified,
back in the days when our courts were founded. A man used to the
town-meeting scheme of government knew of what government consisted
and what it entailed. In answer to requests for interpreters, for
the distribution of information concerning laws, for modifications
of judgments where ignorance was the cause of the violation, we are
constantly met with the unsympathetic statement that if the system is
good enough for Americans and for America, it is good enough for the
Italians and the Germans and the Irish and the Jews and the Russians.
We so seldom think of laws and courts as educational, as incentives
to right doing, but always as punitive, even though this may be the
immigrant’s first contact with this leading American institution.

An immigrant lands in America and gets whatever work he can. He does
not know, and no governmental agency takes the trouble to tell him,
what particular restrictions there are on any given occupation. No
one explains to him for which job he has to have a license or which
occupations are open only to citizens. He does not know our ordinances
about the disposal of garbage or ashes. He may come from a region
where there are no free schools, and he does not know that the law in
this country obliges him to send his children to school. Unwittingly,
with the best intentions in the world, he may offend in almost every
relation of his life. Suppose that he does offend and is brought into
court. If he cannot speak English, he is supposed to rely on the court
interpreter. In many places there is no court interpreter. In Chicago,
a short time ago, an investigation of courts disclosed the fact that
the judge sometimes had to order volunteer interpreters to leave the
room because they were interpreting wrongly time after time. The judges
stated that there were a few men of that kind who made a practice of
hanging around the courts and interpreting wrongly whenever it was to
their advantage to do so.

Unable to make himself understood, and without competent and honest
assistance from an interpreter, the alien is placed at an additional
disadvantage in our courts. Ignorant of his rights, not understanding
what his offense is, he is tried and convicted, and leaves the court
wondering what he has done that justifies it in branding him as a
law breaker. His respect for American law and for American justice
does not outlive many experiences of this kind, and another door to
Americanism is closed.

Our journals are also nativistic. We are known as a country ruled and
governed by our newspapers, which are said to be able to make and
unmake political parties, and to raise a politician or statesman to a
dizzy pinnacle of fame or else to cast him headlong into oblivion. The
average paper has page after page--on Saturdays and Sundays, section
after section--full of articles that are suggestive and instructive to
those who have their bearings already, but a helpless, hopeless maze
to those who have come to America so recently that they still need an
occasional signpost to guide them through our political mazes. It seems
to be assumed that the readers know the form, the history, the value,
and the significance of American institutions, and need only to have
them attended to or referred to, the more casually the better. Some of
our most significant journals take apparent pride in being cryptic.
They ignore the presence in this country of millions who need to be
informed, who ardently desire information, about our history and our
institutions, and who do not know where they can obtain it from an
English-speaking source.

About 9,000,000 people in this country read foreign-language
newspapers. Some of them are persons who read these papers largely
from necessity while they are learning English, and some of them never
intend to learn, and never do learn, English at all. An immigrant who
arrives in this country without being able to speak English finds
that it takes a considerable time to learn it--the length of time
depending on the place he finds work in and the people he works with.
Now in this period, long or short, which must elapse before the alien
learns English, the foreign-language newspaper could be an invaluable
Americanizing agent. But it cannot be so without the coöperation of the
native press and native Americans. And that we have never given. Our
big manufacturers advertise in thousands of these papers to sell goods.
Otherwise we do not concern ourselves with them at all, except to
regard _all_ with suspicion when we learn of the disloyalty of _one_.
Many of the editors of these papers, themselves not Americanized in
any complete sense, are making inadequate but persistent efforts to
connect their people with American institutions to lead them to become
Americans, real citizens of this republic. They get little help from
us. The American press is increasingly proud of its position as one of
the very greatest of our social institutions. It is run for labor, for
capital, for society, for business, for the man in the street; but it
is run very little for the foreign-born citizen or alien who against
odds is trying to accomplish his own assimilation. Yet this is exactly
the task in which the newspaper that considered his interests and his
needs could help him most.

The public library, especially in cities where public school branches
are maintained, has a great opportunity to reach the adult immigrant
in his own neighborhood, in community reading rooms, by providing
newspapers, books in the native language, simple books about America,
either in English or translated into the native tongue. Whenever public
library facilities are extended to immigrants, there is ample testimony
to the enthusiasm with which they are received. A few years ago the
management of the New York City public library in a very interesting
report gave some startling figures covering the patronage of the
public libraries by the foreign born of New York City, showing that
they were exceptionally eager and persistent readers, and of the more
serious forms of literature--history, philosophy, science, and drama.
In hundreds of industrial towns of the country the public library is
a virtual mausoleum, a monument to culture, little used but “always
there.” Whole sections of the town that have never found the way to the
library, and who might not be made welcome if they did, are starving
for some recreative interest, some sources of information which they
could manage.

But here occurs a stumblingblock. The native American has a prejudice
against furnishing books in a foreign language and often proceeds on
the theory that although he does nothing to furnish facilities for
learning English, it is better that the immigrant should read nothing
while he waits.

It is idle to fear that the foreign-language book is an obstacle to
Americanization. Anything that increases the alien’s intelligence, and
especially his information about America, is an aid, not a hindrance.
Outside of the large cities few libraries have any collection of
foreign books. Those that do are likely to have an entirely academic
or classical assortment. A few weeks ago, in investigating the public
library facilities of one of our big steel towns, now given over to the
production of munitions, it was discovered that the foreign language
“collection” adapted to the races in the town consisted of one Polish
book. In one industrial town which is heavily immigrant a public
library a few weeks ago opened a branch in a foreign bank--and, as
might be expected, it is flourishing.

One of the chief American grievances against the immigrant is that he
does not spend or invest his money here. Until the establishment of the
postal savings banks he had little encouragement to do so. Here again
we cling stubbornly to our nativism, and maintain that arrangements
that are satisfactory to the native born are good enough for the
foreign born as well. Few banks have foreign departments, although of
late the number is increasing. The ordinary bank is not adapted to the
immigrant. He is intimidated by it and is not always welcome. That
59 per cent of the present investors in the Postal Savings Banks are
foreign born, and that this 59 per cent owns 72 per cent of all the
money now on deposit is significant proof that the immigrant _will_ use
our banks as an institution.

If I have given the impression that the entire responsibility for
Americanism is the native American’s, I have failed in my purpose. I
have but attempted to restore the balance and point out the really
controlling factor in Americanism.

If I have failed to note the many very important and excellent
movements now under way in the name of reform and paid by benevolence,
it is not that I underestimate their value. It is because I want the
native American to realize that reform and philanthropy are no more
now to be the custodians of Americanism than when the Declaration of
Independence was signed. It is the average business man in his plant
and the average official in his government office that must preserve it
in every thought, act, and ambition of the day’s routine work--carrying
always the overhead charge of patriotism and nationalism.

This fixing of initial responsibility does not mean that the immigrant
has no responsibility. Far from it. He must be ready to stay in
America, to become a citizen, to adopt American standards, to obey
our laws, to meet his obligations, to do his duty, to assume his
responsibilities for, as well as to exercise, his rights. But he must
know what these are. He must realize that the native American knows
what they are and will set him a good example. He must be told that
he is expected to meet the requirements or America does not want him
and will not keep him. Our admission and exclusion laws serve no such
notice on him. The literacy test is a plain evasion of the native
American’s responsibility and a lazy way of thinking out the problem.
We native Americans in business or in office have never addressed
ourselves seriously to the task of making Americans or nationalizing
America. When we do, we shall have as strong a nation as we have
bridges and railways and banks.

It is possible that we have been admitting too many people of too wide
a variety for the native American to Americanize. It is certainly true
that we should hesitate to admit many others until we have demonstrated
our ability to provide an assimilation policy for the nation. We cannot
forever depend upon the missionary for the Americanization of aliens.
Shall we close the doors as the only way to preserve Americanism? Will
this be a confession of our utter failure to deal in a statesmanlike
way with either the international or national situation which confronts
us?

It seems to me that our real enemy is not an aggressive foreignism,
but a passive, complacent Americanism or nativism. What we really need
to fear is, not that we shall be invaded by civilizations and ideals
we cannot assimilate, but that we shall fail to develop and perpetuate
and extend to all Americans the civilization and the ideals we firmly
believe to be American.

I consider that a most dangerous fallacy in this country to-day is the
belief that the evils that have overtaken us through the immigrant are
the result of an undue expansion of our hospitality, an undue breadth
of interpretation of America as the land of liberty, open to all.
What we are really suffering from is not undue expansion but undue
contraction, a determined withdrawal of native Americans from the real
situation in America, a positive refusal to face their destiny, a
stupid neglect to provide anything for the immigrant but a job.

It seems to me the height of complacent nativism to ascribe our social
and political evils to unrestricted immigration, when as a matter
of fact we have never developed facilities for assimilating them or
given the matter much constructive attention of any kind. We have no
information concerning the numbers and kinds of immigrants which our
country and our institutions can assimilate, and until we have these we
are not in a position for judgment.

I believe emphatically that unless America can show itself worthy
of its traditions and opportunities, we should not be honored nor
sought as “an asylum for the oppressed,” nor be regarded as “a refuge
from tyranny,” and that we should close our doors and put up a sign
that means what we say. I am equally positive that we should give
a constructive policy a fair trial--starting at Ellis Island and
following the alien to the last hamlet with information, advice, and
protection, with assurance of equality before the law in all respects,
and giving him the full guarantees of our Constitution. If under these
conditions he prefers his home language to ours, pays his allegiance
to a country other than America, sends his savings home to be invested,
persists in a second-rate standard of living, asserts his rights but
refuses to meet his duties, reads the foreign language press instead of
the American, joins the racial society instead of the city club,--then
we shall know the fault is not the native American’s, and we can put up
the bars with a clear conscience and with courage in our hearts.

Americanism faces the future and is courageous. Nativism faces the past
and is apprehensive. Never in the history of nations shall we have a
greater opportunity to attain stability and leadership than now. The
native American has in his own hands the power to build a great future
for his land. He has the needed qualities, too; he has an idealism
such as the world never witnessed before, in so high a degree as to
seem naïve or childish to citizens of older races dyed in intrigue and
used to always looking for the hidden motive under every apparently
open move. He has courage and a faith in liberty detached though it
sometimes is from his daily life. And I am one of those who hold that
he still believes in equality--in spite of the manifold contradictions
we see all about us.

But he is, as we have seen, blind beyond parallel to his
opportunities--to a degree that makes us question sometimes whether he
has not, after all, committed the unpardonable sin of sinning against
the light. He has been stupid, foolish, trivial. He has been content
to treat his belief in liberty and equality as many a man treats his
religion--as something precious, but not to be used in daily life.

It is not too late for the American to face about from his nativism,
from his contentment with considering only the needs and interests
of the native born, and to consider the needs of America as a whole,
America as he sees it and meets it every day, in his shop or mill,--the
America of the native born _and the foreign born as well_. Let him but
recognize once for all that the foreigner’s needs are the same as his
needs, that everyone wants a decent home and a place to sit in, and
book or paper to read, a safe place to keep his savings, a chance for
himself and his family to keep well,--all the varied needs of the body
and the soul,--let him but recognize that the alien and the native-born
both need and desire these things, and then make it his responsibility
to provide them and the battle will be won.

_We_ are the great adventure of the twentieth century. And the foes we
have to fear are not the hosts that come to us to profit by our liberty
and opportunity, but the lack of wisdom and of courage that makes us
unfit to administer our heritage and to meet our destiny. Nativism is
no substitute for Americanism.



                              CHAPTER IV

                         AMERICA-MADE CITIZENS


When is a citizen not a citizen? The great game of hide and seek in
America might well be called citizenship. Every naturalized male alien
is a citizen as long as he stays here; but if his home country was
Turkey, it is not safe for him to get back into its jurisdiction.
In New York state the alien waits five years to become a citizen
and vote; in Nebraska and half a dozen other states he has only to
declare his intention to become a citizen and then qualify under the
election law. We deny men the right to work in certain occupations
unless they are citizens, yet we make them wait five years to become
citizens, meanwhile failing to provide them with facilities for
meeting the educational requirements for citizenship. We tolerate a
system of seasonal labor and shifting of the working population which
makes it physically impossible for the migratory workman to meet the
legal requirements. We permit women to vote and still retain the law
that naturalization follows the husband or father--thereby making it
possible for the alien woman who marries a citizen or is the child
of a naturalized citizen to vote as soon as she complies with the
residence law, however ignorant she may be. At the same time we deny
the privilege of citizenship to native-born American women who marry
aliens. One of the great questions facing us to-day is the adaptation
of our citizenship requirements to the needs of the country. We cannot
have real Americanization until this is done. A man or woman unfit for
citizenship is not wanted in America. The fit man or woman should be in
every way encouraged to become the best kind of citizen and to remain
so.

We have no standard definitions of the citizenship requirement as to
what constitutes knowledge of English, of the constitution, of loyalty,
or the meaning of the oath of allegiance. Some judges with a high sense
of patriotic duty enforce one standard; others “pass them up”--and
again America pays the price in its quality of citizenship and in
the kind of service such men and women railroaded into citizenship
will render when called upon. We have never considered a knowledge of
the country, of its institutions and of Americanism as necessary for
citizenship, either of native or foreign born. We rest our case upon a
rather splendid series of assumptions. We assume that the school and
home and job and town will do this work with never an inquiry by the
Federal government as to how the task is being done. Were it not for
the campaign for preparedness and the dangers we face we would still
accept the public school Fourth of July oration as sufficient evidence
of the interest and proficiency of the native-born son; we would still
believe that the granting of papers to foreign-born men sealed their
loyalty to America. We hardly yet realize the significance of the fact
that no specific way of pledging allegiance is required from the men
or women who come of age; even the child born here of foreign parents
is not asked to make a choice between the two possible allegiances
that may be dear to him. Little citizenship training is given in our
schools, except in the form of diluted history or civil government,
and the thousands of girls and boys that leave school at 14 years of
age and go to work do not obtain even that. We assume that the child
has absorbed American ideas and traditions. The feeble response to
a preparedness call and our attempts at neutrality in thought have
shown us how little of the national and how much of the local and
selfishly “safe” attitude we as a nation have. What is our conception
of citizenship? Does it mean that we, the people, are the possessors
of life, liberty, happiness, and prosperity in America with no
corresponding obligations? Does it mean that our obligations consist in
paying taxes, being law abiding to the point of keeping out of court,
and voting at some elections? We owe these obligations to any country
in which we are guests. We still find ourselves, after generations of
American citizens, debating whether we shall train our young men to
defend America. We find the best life in the country not in government
service, building a strong nation, but in business, building an
individual fortune.

Are we as careless, go as you please, and perfunctory about making
aliens into citizens as we are about native sons and daughters growing
into citizens? It is not very flattering to America to find that up
to the beginning of the war in Europe the greatest incentives to the
acquirement of citizenship by aliens were political and commercial.
There are many thousands of aliens moved by a general aspiration toward
the idealistic privileges and traditions of American citizenship and
these make our true patriots. But by far too many of our citizens
have entered by way of the political club and at the behest of a
self-interested politician; and by way of the job, to earn a living.
How and when did citizenship become so cheap and begin to serve the
commercial and not the patriotic needs of America?

The chief difficulty arose with the willingness of government to
place the whole burden upon the alien. We wrote a law on the statute
books, setting forth certain technical requirements; then we taxed
the prospective citizen enough to pay for the enforcement of the law,
providing a number of fat offices and a neat balance in the treasury.
Then we sat back in our comfortable office chairs and said to the
alien: Now you comply with the law and we will grant you citizenship
papers.

But in drafting the law, we did another thing. We called it raising
the standard. What we really did was to increase the technicalities
which cost influence and money to satisfy, but which gave America no
better citizens. The naturalization law provides that an alien before
becoming a citizen shall have a continuous residence of five years in
America, shall comply with certain rules, shall have a knowledge of
the English language and of the constitution, and shall renounce all
allegiance to foreign governments. He may not do this all at once.
It is a long, complicated process, intended to safeguard American
citizenship, but failing in its purpose because we failed to establish
standards or facilities for compliance. For instance, the prospective
citizen must file a declaration of intention at least two years prior
to the granting of his final papers--an obsolete requirement, as his
five years of continuous residence is now established by the filing
of a certificate of arrival with his petition. A second document,
the petition for citizenship, must be filed not less than two nor
more than seven years after the declaration of intention, verified by
the affidavits of two credible citizen witnesses, certifying to the
petitioner’s five years’ residence in the United States _and one year’s
residence in the state or district in which the application is made_.
This latter requirement creates almost insuperable difficulties for
migratory laborers who go from state to state, following the call of
casual or seasonal labor. After the petition is filed, the applicant
must wait at least ninety days before his appearance in court.
_But should he move during this period from one judicial district
to another within the same state, he must file a new petition_ and
pay an additional _fee, as the court will not transfer its original
records_. As a result, an applicant who removes to New York City after
filing a petition and paying the fee in Buffalo must go through the
same process in New York City. And unless he can afford to bring his
witnesses twice from Buffalo to New York City he must wait another
year until two other citizens can verify his year’s residence in New
York City. The two witnesses must accompany the petitioner at least
twice--when the petition is filed and at the hearing in open court.
If his case is not reached and adjournments are made, the applicant
frequently appears not only the minimum four times, but may appear
as many as six or eight times, and his witnesses as many as four or
five times. Every day in court means the loss of wages and the cost of
transportation to and from the county seat for himself and witnesses
whom he must reimburse for their losses. The applicant and his
witnesses are in constant fear that their enforced presence in court
during ordinary working hours may result in the loss of their jobs.

Of what possible value can state and district lines be in a national
citizenship matter? Are we a nation or are we a conglomeration of
states and districts? If we need so cumbersome a machine to prevent
frauds, by which the alien pays the entire cost, then the reduction
in fraud is at the high cost of citizens. It is estimated that 10 per
cent of all aliens who try to become citizens fail in their final
examination because of technicalities, and most of them never come
back, though no fraud was alleged.

When we set this highly specialized Federal machinery in motion in
1906, it was on the theory that citizenship was a national, not a
state matter. In 1889 when the enforcement of the immigration laws
was transferred to the Federal government, it acquired all powers of
admission and exclusion, but all the protective features of the Board
of Emigration Commissioners of New York state were dropped and a series
of exploitations immediately arose. This is precisely what happened
when our naturalization laws were transferred. We took the authority,
but we neglected to establish standards, facilities, and protection for
the alien. We did not settle the states’-rights question and we did not
consider sufficiently our international relations.

In the matter of standards, the burden of determining the
qualifications of the prospective citizens rests upon the Bureau of
Naturalization, while the actual granting of final papers rests with
some 2380 judges, each applying his own idea of qualifications. The
Bureau of Naturalization up to 1915 has been primarily concerned with
technicalities of law and proof of residence, time elapsing between the
granting of papers, etc. It has been largely legal evidence which has
been placed before the judge, showing that the law had been complied
with.

For nine long years the Federal government enforced the letter of
this law--it had no American spirit in it. It did nothing to assist
the alien to qualify in the English language or in civics. It made no
attempt to stimulate the opening of night schools where these could be
taught; it favored no educational extension work; it saw no connection
between the courts, schools, and naturalization bureaus. Then
things began to happen. States like New York and California started
immigration bureaus which emphasized education. Other states like New
Jersey and Massachusetts had immigration commissions that studied
naturalization among other things. Two cities, at least, took up the
matter--Cleveland and Los Angeles--of connecting the public schools
with the courts and having the certificate of the school, giving credit
for work in the English language and civics, recognized by the judge
in granting final papers. In a few cities night sessions were also
urged, so the cost to workers in time and wages might be lessened.
In 1914 the Bureau of Education established a division of immigrant
education, which began a nation-wide campaign of education through the
public schools. In 1915, the preparedness movement, and the discussion
of hyphenated Americans and their activities, awakened the Bureau of
Naturalization to the fact that a new situation confronted America.

In the meantime politics and business had been as busy as ever “making
citizens” for their own purposes, putting them through the courts
without qualification in English or civics. Something had to be done
about this, so the Bureau of Naturalization reversed its policy and
is now conducting a campaign by which the name of every applicant for
first papers is now sent to the nearest school authority and the alien
is followed up and urged to become qualified for citizenship.

This is still largely an ideal and a dream--something to be worked
out with infinite care and patience to bring good results. We shall
never have prepared citizens until we have Federal aid to local
communities. Outside of the large cities the local school can barely
meet its local obligations to children, and it will be a long time
before there are adequate facilities for night schools. This is by no
means all of the problem of standards. I am convinced that we shall
have to have a Federal admission law compelling the acquirement of the
English language or similar compulsory state laws to get immigrants
into the school. Let us tell the truth. We have empty night schools
in America as well as aliens without school facilities. Why? The
foreign governments and the bulk of the foreign-language newspapers
are against the immigrant learning the English language. It opens
the door too rapidly to Americanization. The short-sighted business
man is against his workmen becoming literate, learning English and
too much about America. He thinks they will move up and want higher
wages. The trade union is against it, as it also thinks they will move
up and displace union men. No school can succeed where the employer
discourages attendance, works his men nights or overtime, interfering
with attendance, or in alternate weekly shifts, destroying continuity
of attendance. The coöperation of business and the adjustment of
the school system for adults to the industrial system are vital to
success. No school can fully succeed that does not have the support
and understanding of the local political and religious leaders, as
they may make for or against attendance. A national governmental plan
of preparation for citizenship depends in its last analysis upon local
activity, sympathy, and understanding, and upon adequate funds. Why did
Detroit double its appropriation for night schools in 1915 and increase
its attendance 156 per cent? Because organized business, wide awake
and far seeing, saw that the stable working population in the future
in America will be men with a citizenship and a home stake in America.
They set out to provide it, and the latest step taken is that of the
Packard Motor Car Company, basing advancement upon citizenship.

Citizenship preparation cannot be a paper propaganda--it must bear a
vital relation to the work, play, and living conditions of each citizen
and take him not only to the school but to the military training camp;
not only to the job but to the polls; not only to better conditions in
America but to unswerving loyalty to America.

So much for standards. What have we done about states’ rights? In the
chapter on the American Vote, I have dealt with the confusion between
our state and Federal voting laws. We have a more serious problem in
the economic imprint we have permitted states and cities to put upon
citizenship. As a result of these laws citizenship has become in many
states a kind of economic patchwork. In order to preserve certain
rights, advantages, and fields of effort to native-born and naturalized
citizens, we have made certain discriminations against aliens which
have resulted in a purely commercial incentive to citizenship or
evasions of law.

As illustrative of America’s attitude in these matters, let us take
public service. Aliens are shut out from public service by several
laws and many municipal ordinances. The state laws are sometimes very
sweeping, excluding the alien from employment in any capacity in any
department of the state. In California, for instance, only citizens
may be employed in any department of the state, county, city, or town.
This law was invoked last winter to prevent the payment of salaries
of several Canadians who had been employed as teachers in the public
schools. This law was later amended, allowing aliens who had made their
declaration of intention to be employed as teachers and exempting the
University of California from the operation of the act.

State civil service laws prescribe citizenship as a qualification
in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The Federal civil service law
has a similar requirement. In most states these laws apply to unskilled
labor on public improvements, road building and ditch digging, even
where sublet by the city to a contractor. The result is a wholesale
evasion of the law, made necessary in order for the city to get its
work done. The alien knows he is a law breaker and gets his first
lesson in American law enforcement. He works in peace and security
while some one else pays the necessary fines. If the worst happens, he
applies for his first papers and then works under an injunction until
the law can be interpreted or amended--which is done if labor is very
scarce.

It is a sound policy necessary for the protection of the country to
require that only citizens shall administer its government and hold
positions of trust and responsibility. As a measure of defense, which
is its main justification, it should be _national_. It is no defense
against a foreign foe to have it obtain in one state and not in
another; in one city and not in another. A state or city that needs
protection from a neighboring state or city has not yet attained
a national point of view and stands in the way of Americanism and
nationalism. It is sound to keep alien workmen off our waterways and
water-supply systems and other public works of importance in defense,
but we defeat our entire purpose of safety when any alien resident here
for a few months can go on those arteries of our defense system with a
declaration of intention in his pocket.

It is a sound policy that the instruction in our public schools should
be by American citizens with an American point of view and loyalty, but
compliance with that law, as in California, by granting first papers,
will not carry out that policy or give assurance of teaching from the
American point of view. Americans regard the possession of a paper
as evidence of intent and of qualifications, whereas it is generally
regarded by the alien as a technical requirement necessary to earn
money in America.

In some states there is a modified form of this law, requiring that
preference be given to citizens. At this stage it becomes clear that
these laws are not national defense laws, but labor preference laws.
If Americanism means anything in justice, law, order, or opportunity,
such laws should have their purpose expressed and their terms defined
in the Federal statutes and due notice should be given the alien before
he emigrates to America. Are we a nation dealing squarely with all
peoples and honorably with those we admit, or are we a federation of
states each dealing with the alien as it sees fit, after the nation
has admitted him? All right-thinking Americans must see that we must
deal as a nation and not locally with the subjects of alienism and
citizenship.

Local temporizing with national honor and fair play has led us into
even more unjust discriminations, indefensible in the light of our
treaty obligations. Aliens are in some states excluded from pursuing
certain private callings. In many states an alien may not be an
attorney; in other states that profession is open to declarants,
showing again our utter lack of comprehension of such laws as defense
measures. For example, in Louisiana, an alien cannot get a contract
for public printing; in Michigan he cannot get a barber’s license; in
many states, such as New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, etc.,
only a citizen can get a liquor license. In six states the alien is
excluded from gaining a livelihood by hunting and fishing; in Tennessee
he may not be a market hunter, and in Wyoming he may not be a guide.
In Virginia only a citizen may get a junk-dealer’s license, and in
Georgia only a citizen or a declarant can get a peddler’s license. In
New Jersey an alien cannot get a license to transmit money to foreign
countries, or receive money on deposit for transmission to foreign
countries, or buy and sell foreign money.

What is the situation in relation to property? The United States
consists of a federation of states, each sovereign in its own domain
except for the powers delegated to the Federal government. The tenure
of real property is not one of the powers so delegated. Each state
consequently has sovereign power over its own soil, and can determine
by whom it will permit its soil to be held and what conditions it will
attach to the tenure. For this reason the state enactments regarding
real property are of the utmost importance. In twenty-nine states
resident aliens are given the same property rights as citizens; in two
other states the same rights are given to white aliens.

In other states, however, aliens are practically prohibited from
holding land at all or may hold it only for a limited period. In still
others, no alien can acquire land, except by inheritance or in payment
of debt. The laws vary greatly in the various states. Non-resident
alien heirs are placed in a difficult position. In several states
they are allowed to take only with the limitation that they sell
within a certain time. If land in California falls to an alien not
capable of taking title to it, it is sold for his benefit; in Illinois
non-resident heirs are excluded altogether.

The restriction of landholding to citizens is a fundamentally sound
measure of national defense. It is not sound unless it is uniform in
all states, and in view of our growing international importance and
impossibility of isolation from the world, there should be a national
policy in this regard wholly governed by international agreement and
national law. The holding of land also bears a vital relation to our
various schemes for colonizing aliens, opening of reservations, and
issuing of rural credits, and should be considered in these connections.

Some of the recent so-called insurance laws show the same tendencies to
discriminations. The workmen’s compensation laws now in force in the
United States affect the alien in several ways. The most evident is
the discrimination against alien beneficiaries that limit the amount
that may be paid to non-resident dependents. Connecticut gives such
a dependent only half of what a resident would receive, and Kansas
names $750 as the maximum a non-resident may receive, although a
resident may receive a sum varying from $1200 to $3600. In some states
installments are commuted to a lump sum if paid to a non-resident, and
in Nebraska this may amount to only two thirds of the sum total of
the installments; in New York it may amount to only one half, while
lump-sum payments by the railroads engaged in interstate commerce may
amount only to one year’s wages.

Another form of discrimination is found in the determination of who are
“dependents.” Three states in the case of non-resident aliens limit
to the closest relationships those who may be considered dependents.
Three others present the extreme situation of refusing to recognize
non-resident alien dependents at all. If an immigrant workman is killed
in any one of these states, even his closest relatives in Austria or
Italy have no standing under this law.

Aliens are excluded in Illinois and New York from the benefits of the
mothers’ pension laws; and there is a tendency to make citizenship a
requirement in plans proposed or put into operation for the welfare
of the unemployed. In the law passed in Idaho last year, requiring
the county commissioners to provide work on the public highways or
elsewhere for unemployed men, only citizens of the United States
were entitled to apply for work. In other words if two men contribute
equally to producing wealth for the state, the citizen may work and
receive state funds to keep him from starving, while the alien must get
out or starve. The state is done with him, when it has no work for him
to do.

In other states an alien cannot be an executor, administrator, or
guardian, a provision which often hampers the settlement of the estate
of an alien whose close friends and relatives are often aliens. There
are other examples of discrimination in the enjoyment of personal
rights and privileges. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey an alien is
not allowed to have a rifle or shotgun in his possession--nominally
in order that game may be protected. A law that went into effect
this summer in Pennsylvania goes even further; it prohibits an
alien from owning or having in his possession any kind of dog. The
constitutionality of this law is soon to be tested.

One cannot read the hundreds of discriminating laws without a sense
of the utter prostitution of American citizenship to prejudice,
race hatred, greed, cupidity, and to the selfishness of groups and
individuals. Men in power set themselves above the nation and seek to
make that power secure by controlling at will the means of subsistence
of other men. By all means let us have a complete national defense
in which the lives, land, and jobs of citizens shall be secured, but
let us have it by statesmanship and national law and international
agreement, so we may fight in the open for what we believe in and
not support indefensible citizenship legislation lobbied through the
legislatures by class interests.

And now we face a new situation which bids fair to upset all our
citizenship plans. Some industries are taking the stand that they
will only promote men who are citizens or who have applied for
their first papers. In this attitude employers are moved by two
considerations--patriotism and the need for national preparedness and
a realization of their responsibility; and second, the need for an
improved and more stable labor supply and a reduction in accidents
among English-speaking men. The Packard Motor Car Company in making
its announcement said:

 “We have in our organization almost 100 different peoples. We have
 Germans, Italians, Austrians, French, Polish--whose sympathies are
 divided as regards the war at present raging in Europe. We have a
 babel of tongues and an endless variety of races and nationalities.

 “Our workmen are divided into cliques thereby. Their sympathies are
 with the lands that gave them birth. They forget our national ideals.
 To my mind this is a source of danger not only to the company, but
 to the whole country. The conditions of the average American factory
 are the conditions of this country. We have no unified people, as in
 France, in Germany, or in other countries.

 “In the American factory this sympathy and patriotism of each set of
 foreign-born workmen for their native land causes friction among the
 men. We find that in many instances men of one nationality object to
 working under a foreman or higher official of another nationality. We
 have had letters from the men along that line objecting to employment
 under a boss who is undesirable because of a different nationality.

 “So we are going to make the ‘bosses’ in this factory Americans. Be
 they of whatever nationality when they come in as laborers, they must
 be American citizens, loyal to America and American ideals and all
 they stand for, before they can hope for positions of responsibility
 and trust. We determined to make the prerequisite of success in this
 institution American patriotism and American nationalism.

 “We will employ foreign-born men, but it shall be understood that
 their only hope for advancement and preferment lies in their speedy
 adoption of American citizenship and the forswearing of allegiance to
 other lands. And we feel that if throughout this nation commercial
 and industrial success depended on a prerequisite of American loyalty
 and patriotism, the country would be better off, its factories would
 have far more efficiency and the workmen would be better satisfied
 and happier, with old-country feuds and bickerings forgotten and
 superseded by a thorough Americanism.”

As an educational measure supplying the stimulus to citizenship work
this is valuable. Should it be adopted, however, as a widespread
industrial policy it will lead to two complications--international,
as being unduly discriminating, and hardships to the alien, due to
lack of advance knowledge and opportunity to adjust himself. It may
further cheapen citizenship by putting it on a commercial basis. The
way out is to notify each alien before admission that every alien over
school age and under 45 will be required to learn English within five
years, subject to deportation for non-compliance, if facilities are
furnished him. We shall then see every industry interested in keeping a
good labor supply, making every effort to comply with the law, and we
will have a national policy based on law instead of isolated action by
miscellaneous industries, never uniform and varying widely in purpose
and methods.

We have heard much about “dual citizenship” since the European war
began. This is not a new question. Over and over again it has come
up for adjudication before the Department of State. There are two
important aspects of the subject. The first concerns the question of
the citizenship of children born in the United States of foreign-born
parents; the second concerns the status of naturalized American
citizens.

In the first case the difficulty arises from what appears to be an
inevitable conflict of laws. There are two theories for determining the
nationality, or rather the citizenship, of any given individual. The
first of these laws is what is called the _jus soli_, or the law of the
land. According to this a person takes the nationality of the land in
which he is born. This is the American conception running through our
general theory of citizenship.

The other is called _jus sanguinis_, or the law of blood. This is the
law that is followed in ordinary European civil law codes. According
to this law, a person’s nationality or citizenship depends on the
citizenship of his parents. The United States has adopted this rule in
the case of children born abroad of parents that are American citizens.
Each law has its advantages. It is certainly better to consider that
the child of an American business man residing in China at the time
the child is born is an American citizen than it would be to consider
that the child was a subject of the Chinese Empire. This law of
blood, like many other rules of the civil law, goes back to such a
fundamental human instinct that any other way of dealing with this
situation than the one it suggests would seem wrong to us. The law of
the land, on the other hand, has very distinct advantages as well,
which can also be illustrated from our American situation. A Russian
man and woman, let us say, succeed in escaping persecution at home and
come to this country to live. We prefer to think that their children,
born on American soil and brought up under American institutions, are
Americans, and we have made this the cardinal principle of American
citizenship. It would be too late now to attempt to alter this law,
even if we wished to do so, because it is firmly rooted both in statute
law and in our fundamental conception of the meaning of America.

And yet we find it convenient and right to use the opposed law of
nationality, the law of blood, in such a case as a child born in China
of American parents. If we find it necessary to adopt into our own
statutes a provision so contrary to our general citizenship law as
this law of blood, we cannot consistently object when another country
adopts it as its principle of citizenship. The difficulty has been met
hitherto by allowing the child to choose which nationality it wishes
to keep when it becomes twenty-one, or attains its majority, and by
holding it subject until that time to the law of whichever country it
happens to be in. This at least is the way the situation works out,
although there has never been any international ruling on the subject.
If the child were in France, the French authorities applied the French
law; if it were in America, the American authorities applied the
American law, and when the child became of age, it made its election,
and thereafter was held to be a citizen of whichever country it
elected. It was considered to be so clear a fact that this election was
something that the child alone could do, that the fact that the father
took the child from one country to another was held over and over again
not to affect the child’s right to chose for itself when it became of
age. Theoretically we hold that there can be no dual citizenship of
the naturalized citizen or of the child born in America if he elects
American citizenship. The records are not altogether clear if we stand
ready to enforce this. There are two recent cases on this point. In
June, 1915, a young man named Ugo da Prato, who was born in Boston in
1895 and had gone to Italy in 1912 to study architecture, was held by
the Italian government as liable to military duty because his father,
Antonio da Prato, had been a native of Italy. He had emigrated to
America and had been naturalized in Boston in 1892. Under our American
law, the son Ugo, born on American soil, was an American. The Italian
law, however, holds that Italian subjects who have acquired citizenship
in other countries are not exempted from the obligations of military
service, nor from the penalties imposed on those who bear arms against
their country. Italy subsequently released Ugo da Prato.

A similar situation arose in the case of one de Long, of Louisiana, who
was born in America of a French father who had never been naturalized.
Upon his inquiry to the State Department as to what his status would
be in France if he were to return there during the war, the State
Department advised him that while he was by the law of America an
American citizen, by the law of France he was a French citizen, and
they declined to encourage him to test the matter by returning to
France while the war was in progress.

The real question at issue, of course, is whether or not a nation has
the right to regard its control over its subject as a thing of which
it can refuse to divest itself. The Ottoman law is that no transfer of
allegiance to which the consent of the Ottoman government has not been
previously obtained is binding. The French law is similar; the French
government rarely consents to permit a Frenchman of military age to
throw off his allegiance. Under certain conditions, however, permission
may be obtained. The Greek government generally refuses to recognize a
change of nationality made without consent. Neither does the Persian
government, nor the Russian government. Under Russian law, a Russian
subject who becomes a citizen of another country without the consent
of the Russian government is deemed to have committed an offense for
which he is liable to arrest and punishment if he returns without
having previously obtained permission of the Russian government.

This second form of dual allegiance, which would more properly be
stated as the attempt to hold that the change of allegiance either did
not take place at all or else was not thoroughgoing, bears in itself
the possibility of very serious complications. Our naturalized citizens
and the native-born children of foreign-born parents have a right to
determine that the allegiance they have chosen to swear to the United
States be protected.

The situation at present amounts to this: The United States has
treaties of naturalization with Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark,
the German States, Great Britain, Haiti, Norway and Sweden, and
Portugal. These treaties provide under what conditions naturalization
does not free a former subject from obligation to the country of his
birth. Theoretically, whenever a question involving some aspect of
naturalization comes up with reference to a former subject of one
of these countries, his rights and obligations are determined by the
treaty. As a matter of fact, however, this is not always the case,
for while there is a treaty of naturalization with Germany, that did
not prevent the Germans from passing the law of nationality of June
1, 1914, which practically nullifies the treaty. Where there is no
treaty of naturalization all that the state authorities can do is to
call the attention of the foreign government to the American point of
view. It has never, apparently, been considered possible to enforce the
American conception of naturalization, or to make American citizenship
really respected in countries that are slow to do so. When the point
was brought to an issue with Russia, the only effect was to leave us
without any treaty with Russia at all.

As long as we are content to treat naturalization as an isolated matter
we will get no satisfaction. We shall never be in a better position
than at the close of the war to insist upon a thorough understanding
of matters and adoption of a uniform practice in international
citizenship. We now have citizenship matters to settle nationally and
internationally for which we are ill prepared.

Congress is charged by the Constitution with “establishing a uniform
rule of naturalization.” It has never been established. It is the
immediate duty of Congress to do so. We need a thorough overhauling
of our Federal naturalization laws, and of local laws in regard to
voting, holding land and property, earning a living, etc., from the
standpoint of national development and defense, and from the standpoint
of the future of our Americanism. We cannot do this without a thorough,
impartial scientific study of the effect of the enforcement of
these laws--not only as shown in official statistics and records in
Washington, but in the local districts and among those naturalized. We
need to know more of the cost and effectiveness of our naturalization
process and the kind of citizens it gives us. We need to know about the
granting of papers through the various courts and the influences at
work for making good or bad citizens throughout the country. We need to
know what our facilities are for educating aliens to become citizens,
and more of the attitude of our newly naturalized citizens toward
America. Having these matters in hand, we may then proceed to work out
a citizenship policy and practice which will accord with the times in
which we live and will be a national and international code which will
make all native-born citizens doubly proud of their heritage and all
foreign-born citizens proud to live or die for America, as the call may
come.



                               CHAPTER V

                           THE POPULAR VOTE


We are facing a national election in which the “vote of the people”
will decide the future of America more certainly than at any election
since the Civil War. One of the most vital questions before us this
year is: Will the foreign-born vote tend to solidarity and be cast in
racial interests, or will it be cast for America along broad lines of
national policy? Will the 1500 foreign-language newspapers influence
the foreign-born vote in favor of a national policy or will it attempt
to influence it along racial lines?

The returns of the next national election should have an important
bearing upon our future immigration policy of admission. Should
we find the vote tending to solidify along racial lines then we
have an additional reason for insisting upon the development of an
assimilation policy if we are to continue to admit aliens. The
racial vote may prove to be a far more anti-American influence than
the foreign colony. America cannot afford to have an Irish vote, a
German-American vote, a Jewish vote, cast _en bloc_ for any measures or
man, if Americanism as defined in the Declaration of Independence and
Federal Constitution is to prevail.

The issues promise to center more about candidates than platforms.
Parties will impress us more as election machinery than as vehicles
of any really fundamental ideals and program. We shall probably have
three measures of preparedness from which to choose. There will be a
sincere, genuine program of preparedness, including international duty,
Americanism, and preparation at home carried by the Republicans, to fit
its candidate, and probably indorsed by the Progressives. There will be
a milder course, a kind of middle-of-the-road preparedness carried by
the Democrats, in the hope of holding their own. The indications are
now that there will be a third party of pacifists, anti-preparedness at
most points, which will include the ultra-contented, the discontented,
and a considerable socialist and labor following. Each platform will
doubtless carry some planks dealing with “pressing national questions”
as ballast, but few voters will consider them seriously. The main issue
of preparedness will determine the lines of the vote, because America
now knows that all of its internal progress and “reform” depend upon an
America that can defend itself. Belgium drove that lesson home. Through
the intricate paths of American honor, international duty, adequate
preparedness, national service, universal training, Mexican strategy,
the American voter must wend his way. He will be beset at every turn by
the “record of the administration and of Congress,” interpreted first
one way and then another by the propaganda of defense organizations and
of their opponents. He will be deluged with accurate and inaccurate
information, from which he will find it difficult to select the best.
He will be bombarded with literature, and enticed to meetings and will
be given promises hard to keep in 1917. Within the next few months he
will receive more gratuitous condensed education on all these questions
than during the entire time since 1912.

In addition to all this confusion of mind and competitive struggle,
prevailing about the native-born voter, the foreign-born voter will
be torn by loyalties and sympathies which go back many generations to
the fatherland. Most of them have some one dear to them at the front
or lying dead on some battle field. Their mail is censored and they
often do not know who is dead and who is living or what has happened to
their little homestead in the old country. They see ammunition going
out of America, not to fight their battles, but to kill some of their
countrymen. They see America growing rich from this manufacture. They
are only waiting the first assurance of peace to go back and see what
has happened or to help their home country.

It is inevitable that some expression of this should find voice at the
polls, and the question is how to make the American issues so fine
and big and strong and world compelling that they will engulf this
great human sorrow and devotion and make it of service to America.
How can we in this next election make every voter feel that America
is for him--to serve, to guard, to use, so we may stem the great tide
of discontent, aversion, and desertion which has set in among our
foreign-born voters? How can we in this coming election remove the
indifference, irresponsibility, and profit seeking which characterizes
our native-born voter?

Now that we face the crisis and know the necessity, we look with
amazement and alarm at what our preparation has been. We turn to our
schools and ask them what they have been doing in the way of preparing
the voter--what has he been taught about America and its government,
institutions, and opportunities? How have these been related to his own
local civic life? What sense of national service has he acquired in
his town school? Alas--we find there is nothing held so cheap as the
American vote, and the last form of preparedness is that for voting. Of
the American boy we require that he shall be born here, and shall be
21 years of age. We assume that somehow the public school, which he
is required to attend in some states only, will teach him the value of
the vote and how to use it, and something of his duties and obligations
to his country. We also assume that the boy’s parents will educate him
along these lines. To the girl in most states we deny the vote for
apparently no reasons other than precedent, prejudice, conjecture, or
apprehension.

There is no ceremony, no pledge of allegiance, no occasion made
patriotically memorable in the mind of the boy when he casts his
first vote. No one makes him welcome as a citizen of the country. He
registers in his home town in an automatic way, and if he thinks of
voting in the future as an obnoxious duty that interferes with his
business or week ends, it is surely not entirely his own fault.

In some schools there is an increasing attempt to bring his rather
localized experience into relation to the broader questions of the day,
and into the national political life, but the mass of boys depend upon
the newspapers and such discussion as they stimulate or hear among
their fellows. This is good so far as it goes, but it is too critical,
too superficial, too opinionated, too provincial to serve the great
national need of America in the crucial test of elections. Despite
our many thousands of educational organizations it is very difficult
to obtain an impartial and scientific statement on any political
controversy. There are many briefs for one side or the other, but few
impartial statements that are not special pleading.

The indifference and ignorance of the native-born voter are real
impediments to Americanism. A vote is a practical thing requiring as
much knowledge and experience in its use as any other responsible act
of life. You cannot teach a man to handle a gun by a series of lectures
on the ethics of warfare. Neither can you teach a man to handle a vote
by the average treatise on civil government.

In our failure to find this training in the public school, we turn next
to the political school, the club, the district organization. Here we
find every mechanism possible for getting the vote and holding it, but
practically none for training or instructing that vote. It is easy to
find a dozen men to help a prospective voter to obtain his citizenship
papers, but very difficult to find one man or an institution to educate
him in Americanism and English, enabling him to qualify. It is easy
to find men who condemn the sinking of the _Lusitania_ and watchful
waiting in Mexico, but hard to find a man who has a clear, practical
idea of how he will register that protest in November. Thousands will
vote for Mr. Roosevelt as their protest in case he is nominated. But
suppose Mr. Roosevelt is not nominated. Have they thought of their next
effective protest at the polls? Justice Hughes perhaps. But who knows
where he stands on these questions? Those of us who have worked with
him as governor of New York, and knew him, take no risks, but how about
the average voter who has no such knowledge and must make up his own
mind?

As shown in the preceding chapter the acquiring of citizenship by
aliens does not have for its main object the vote. To him, it is
connected more closely with a job, with getting on in America, with
freedom from the tyranny of his own country and from military service,
and with gain. The power of the vote is, generally speaking, an
unknown quantity to him, until he has been here some time--often it
represents something which he can sell, or which he has to have to
keep his job--ideals set before him by some native American. It is a
rather curious thing that the padrone system had its real origin in
our political rather than in our industrial system. The padrone is
a labor boss who furnishes men to industrial organizations, and in
return for keeping up the supply of men, has the privilege of housing
and feeding them--making his profit from the employment fees, housing,
and supplies. The padrone, however, is usually a political leader, not
in the camp or quarry or mine where the industry is located, but in
the city, which is the source of the supply of men. It was generally
understood that the padrone, in return for the contract to furnish men,
would deliver the foreign-born vote in his district in favor of the
candidate acceptable to the company with whom he had contracted. He saw
to it that his countrymen were naturalized and how they voted. In this
way the position of the padrone became impregnable.

If a community as a whole fails to use the immigrant as a political
and citizenship asset, some other force in the community is fairly
sure to awaken to his political usefulness. The only way in which a
community can “control” its alien vote is by controlling preparation
for citizenship. Most communities, far from controlling it, have not
yet developed interest in it. The American community, without night
schools, without interest, without responsibility for the Americanism
of one third or one half of its residents, is the real parent of this
“alien” vote.

The ignorance of the newly naturalized voter is different from that
of the American. But like the indifference and ignorance of the
American voter, the ignorance of the foreign voter is largely a social
matter, and is subject to the same remedies. In other words, it is
not _merely_ instruction in English and Civics, the usual preparation
for citizenship, that makes an immigrant a good voter or a bad one.
A very _great deal depends upon his social background_, upon the
understanding and point of view he has been able to develop as a result
of his contacts with American institutions and American community life.
To develop a social understanding large enough and deep enough to make
a man grasp readily a national political issue in all its importance,
and the subtler aspects of community issues and legislation, when they
come up to the vote, is a tremendous task--not a task that even a very
intelligent and educated immigrant can compass for himself. This, in
a political sense, is the heart of our present difficulty with the
naturalized voter. His social assimilation has not been sufficiently
thorough to give him the background he needs at the polls or to enable
him to find himself among the various political parties and sub-parties.

Now, the average voter is too thoroughly localized. In other words,
his political status in America is very much like his social status.
He becomes fixed in a neighborhood, a colony, a ward, and he never
learns to think of himself _nationally_. Politically, the issues
are presented to him in the impersonation of local figures and
interests--Max Schroeder at the corner saloon, or Tim Connolly of the
Labor Council. National issues are invariably translated in ward terms
and the immigrant accepts them at this valuation. After this kind of
political tradition has persisted for a few generations the result is
a community or colony of hopelessly provincial voters, keenly alive to
the immediate practical profit or loss involved in any political issue,
almost oblivious of the fact that the greatest good to the greatest
number is the thing for which the citizen of a Republic is to vote if
he is to fulfill his republicanism.

The social education of Americans is difficult enough. We need to
Americanize the American voter quite as much as the foreign. But with
the immigrant the problem of social education as a prerequisite to
political freedom and competence is a far more difficult thing. The
truth is that nobody can coach him in American life. He needs to live
it and must be allowed to do so, if we are to have competent voters. In
proportion to the breadth of his human contacts, and to the number and
variety of American institutions which he touches he will be informed
upon those subjects and points of view that fit him for the actual
exercise of the vote.

This is a social responsibility on the part of America toward its
foreign-born citizens. It does not belong to the courts, or, to any
great degree, to the schools. These two agencies are to see to it
that the candidate for naturalization knows and can use the English
language, is of good moral character, and is “attached to the
principles of the Constitution.” But at the best, the preparation for
and the process of naturalization alone does not Americanize, does not
qualify a man for the American _vote_ in nation, state, or city.

With some sense of this, the schools that prepare for citizenship
have within the last year been revising their courses in “civics” for
aliens. They have put aside the paraphrases of the Constitution which
have been the traditional textbooks for these classes and they have
evolved a system of “community civics” designed to teach the alien his
privileges and responsibilities in their simplest form, with direct
reference to his everyday life and his own immediate points of contact
with the laws of public health, of property, of parents’ obligations,
etc.

This is a much-needed movement. But it should be accompanied by
some organized effort to make the immigrant voters of this country
an entirely intelligent political force. I am referring of course
to the great body of adult immigrants _who have attained most of
their education in this country, outside of work hours_. It would be
invidious to suggest that certain of our immigrant voters need any
assistance whatever for intelligent voting.

How can we best put the newly naturalized immigrant, alert,
well-intentioned, but usually socially and politically unassimilated,
in touch with the political issues of the day in their large national
bearings, and in their practical expression.

_I should like to see the political forum, in its best form, become a
recognized part of American life._ It is needed for the native born.
It is practically indispensable for the foreign born. It would not
be non-partisan, nor attempt to be. The forums would be conducted by
the parties separately, but always openly, regularly, as a routine
of community series of meetings for discussion and information. And
the party that did its educational work best, and placed its ideas
and objects most frankly in the light, would in the long run get the
votes. But it would have to be a sustained piece of work, carried on
from year to year, with quite as much zeal and quite as much _sustained
party support_ after elections as before. The most significant effort
made in this direction was tried by the Progressive Party through its
Progressive Service.[1] This educational division carried on political
educational work throughout the country and drafted legislation, though
it was not in office nor directly responsible to the people for its
enactment. It failed temporarily because the average voter does not
yet respond to national issues in the absence of danger and conflict;
of controversy and emergency. He has been too long taught that he can
learn all he needs to know at election time. This attempt to realize an
ideal ahead of its time has suffered defeat but temporarily. So long
as the party system prevails there will exist a need for political
education by parties. How long it will be before leaders are freed from
the spoils system and recognize this obligation cannot be foretold.

[1] “A New Spirit in Party Organization.” _The North American Review_,
June, 1914.

Athens feared that if the town hall grew too small to hold a
convocation of the people, Hellenic democracy would perish from the
earth. Here in America we cannot revert to the town meeting. But in
the interests of Americanism, I believe the political parties of this
country will be forced, by the developing intelligence of public
sentiment, to create systems of party education which will have to
bear the light of day--and the challenge of severe competition. Party
education now means campaign literature, speeches only by candidates
or for them, a virulent emotionalism which even the unsophisticated
voter no longer takes seriously. A party “stands firm” for “social and
industrial justice” for all men and women alike. But these same men
and women, who do _not_ attend conventions, who are sorely in need of
social and industrial justice or who would like to help in securing
it for others, never learn what its concrete definition is, or how to
secure it through the vote. Our political parties need, first of all,
_great leaders_. And after the great leaders we need an informed and
alert and sensitive citizen body, insistent for information, undismayed
by long ballot sheets, at home among political ideas. We need party
laboratories, publicists not advertisers, a thoroughgoing machinery for
getting studies and facts and opinions to people in a form in which
they can weigh and use them.

The very introduction of the word “political” revives the conventional
fear that the immigrant will be “used” in dark and dangerous ways. It
is certainly true that he has been. But what America really needs to
face with greater apprehension is the immigrant that is _not used_. The
time has passed for a negative position. How is the political force
of the foreign-born residents and citizens to be intelligently and
practically connected with the body politic? It is folly to let our
fear of the word “political” justify our gross neglect of the political
intelligence and potential power of from one third to one half the
population of many of our important cities and towns. The _use_ of the
immigrant politically is more likely than anything else to put an end
to the political _abuse of_ him.

Many Americans have taken some satisfaction during late years in
attributing radical votes and platforms to the foreign born. And yet in
the last presidential election Ohio, with a population of about half
that of New York, and with a native-born percentage of 87.4 as against
New York’s 69.8, cast 27,000 more votes for the Socialist candidate. In
that election, New York state, with a foreign-born population of 30 per
cent, gave the Socialist candidate a vote amounting to seven tenths of
one per cent of its total population. In the same year Kansas, with a
foreign-born population of 8 per cent, gave the Socialist candidate a
vote amounting to seven tenths of one per cent of its total population,
or twice the New York Socialist vote. Oklahoma, with a native-born
population of 97.6 per cent, cast a Socialist vote amounting to 2¹⁄₂
per cent of its population, or nearly four times the ratio for New
York, nearly twice the ratio for Illinois, where the foreign born are
one fifth of the population, and two and one half times the ratio for
Pennsylvania, where the foreign-born population is almost one fifth of
the total.

One of the most dangerous conditions--at least potentially--concerning
the alien vote we have deliberately brought upon ourselves. In ten
states of the Union we have been for years allowing immigrants to vote
upon their first papers. In the last presidential election declarants
voted in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South
Dakota, Texas, Oregon, and Wisconsin. The result has been shameless
grafting and fraud. In Nebraska the alien in order to vote need only
have been in the state six months, and have made his declaration thirty
days before election. In other words, an Italian or Russian or Pole or
Armenian or Turk who landed at Ellis Island about six months before
the last presidential election--say in April, 1912--and who went out
to Nebraska at once and lived there until fall, making his declaration
in October, could have voted at the last presidential election; _and
this absolutely without reference to whether he knew a word of English,
understood a single provision of the Constitution, or knew even the
name of the political party with which he was voting_.

The one great fact that stands out is this: That the voting quality of
a number of our states is not and never has been subject to review,
from the point of view of _national_ political ideals, of Americanism.
So long as we have citizens of states that vote who are not citizens
of the nation, we have a disrupting force in our national political
organization. Citizenship in the United States is constitutionally
defined in Amendment 14 thus: “All persons born or naturalized in the
United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of
the United States, and of the states in which they reside.” No other
kind of citizenship is provided for in the Constitution. A state may
need voters, and undoubtedly many of the first-paper men, pioneers
in our western states, have voted wisely and well, with a grasp of
local conditions. But because of the greater variety in our present
immigration as compared with that of former years, and because American
citizenship, including the power to vote, is a matter for national
valuation, a state should no more arrogate unto itself the power to
make its own citizens than to coin its own money or set up its own
postal system. The time has come for conscious statesmanship, for
international purposeful dealing with this fundamental element in our
political organization.

A situation quite as much in need of national review concerns the
relation of women to citizenship. An immigrant woman, no matter what
her educational qualifications or length of residence in this country,
becomes a citizen by the act of her husband or father’s naturalization.
This means in eleven states of the Union that she can vote at all
elections. But immigrant women are very generally years behind the
men in Americanization. They lack not only the social assimilation
which makes them fit to vote, but even the technical requirements for
citizenship, which their husbands or fathers have at least mastered.
And yet of 3,723,971 possible women voters in the suffrage states,
902,129 are foreign born--one quarter of the whole number. Of late
a number of our western suffragist leaders have assured us that the
immigrant woman makes a good voter--that she is conscientious about
going to the polls, and seems to take a direct and personal interest in
registering her opinion on matters that she knows to affect the welfare
of her home, her husband, her children. But there are many thousands
of immigrant women in this country who have not mastered the English
language in even a small degree, who have had no opportunity to learn
our civic ideals, whose homes are not American homes. The thing that
concerns us is not that this vote of immigrant women will corrupt our
political situation. It is rather to lament that so much civic force
and interest, of inestimable value in political rating, is lost to the
community and to the nation.

We must know and direct the political forces, or we shall direct the
social and civic forces in vain. “Civic consciousness” is coming to be
too diluted a quantity, too general, too philosophic, too “broad” and
non-partisan to act promptly or definitely. It stands for too much,
directs too little. The civic welfare of towns has become separate from
their political welfare. And the real danger of the salutary modern
social and civic movements that are spreading through our cities and
towns is that it tends to become so. Most American towns, as such,
never think of their immigrants, representing one third or one half
of the town in numbers, as voters or as potential voters--or make any
effort to bring their force into play in any national way, as a part of
public sentiment. They are left to the by-ways of politics. And it is
small wonder if they learn the habit and tricks of the by-ways.

Hundreds of immigrants in small towns to-day are getting their
political education from just two sources: the ward boss, who tells
them no more than he thinks they need to know; and the foreign language
newspaper, which is _published in the big city and circulated_ in
hundreds of small towns over a wide radius. There are at least 1500
such papers in the country, reaching more than 9,000,000 regular
readers daily. Many of them have an acknowledged political interest
and trend--witness the vigor of the campaign editorials now beginning
to appear with such calculated timeliness. Many of the editors of
these papers regard it as their first charge to instruct their fellow
countrymen in the political events and tendencies and issues of
America. But a very great many of these editors are themselves not
initiated in these things. The force that guides the immigrant to the
polls must come more directly and warmly from the American center of
American affairs.

The American attitude of indifference to the vote, of refusal to
consider it a national privilege and a national service, is at bottom
responsible for our difficulties with the immigrant vote. When that
changes, and the force of the change carries through the political
world, the American vote will be regenerated among native and foreign
born alike. I should make the occasion of giving an immigrant the
vote the occasion for insisting upon the duties that must go with the
exercise of it. At present the immigrant is too much in possession
of the idea that it is a right and a privilege--partly sold to him,
and which it is his privilege--or duty--to sell or contribute to his
benefactors or superiors in return.

The problem before the political parties has long been how to extend
the social ideal and how to make it count in the body politic. The
“politicians” of vigor and imagination cherish a practical hope of
organizing the idealism of men, restoring human belief and values to
party organization. In the peculiar opportunity now presented to the
country to take stock of its citizenship, to reënforce its unity, to
justify itself as a democracy, to make the most of its powers, to
use the intelligence and the ardor of its citizens of many races,
and to bring the newest of these into accord with its ideals and its
practices, lies a great opportunity for the political parties of this
country. By an organized effort to instruct newly naturalized citizens
in the use of the American vote, and to bring them into real accord
with the social forces behind the vote, we shall secure Americanism in
politics, without which we can have no genuine preparedness.



                              CHAPTER VI

                            NATIONAL UNITY

  Military Preparedness.
  Industrial Mobilization.
  Universal Service.
  Americanization.
  International Duty.


The decision America is called upon to make to-day is whether America
shall emerge from this world-wide struggle as a nation of many peoples
or whether it will imperil its very existence by remaining half native,
half alien; half free and half slave to foreign influences.

We are in the midst of a bitter contest in which the forces for
weakness are contending with those for strength in terms of
fortifications, battleships, and guns amidst the sordid influences
of appropriations, sectional selfishness, and party campaign
considerations.

_Preparedness means_ something more than a larger army and navy. It
means also having a united America back of that army and navy.

Shall we get nothing except the material standards of preparedness from
the mighty struggle in Europe, where nations are contending for the
preservation of the liberties and security we now enjoy?

What will it avail this nation to build battleships and a merchant
marine, if we do not at the same time create a nation-wide loyalty that
will prevent explosions wrecking their holds?

Shall we strengthen our coast defenses and leave our transportation
lines, upon which they depend, to be manned by unskilled workmen
whom Americans have not shown how to love America, and in whom dual
allegiance still persists? Shall we conserve our resources in mines,
quarries, and fields and build more factories and man them with
discontented workmen who will see American defenses only in terms of
profit and advantage?

Shall we have citizens’ training camps and train to higher efficiency
only those already filled with patriotism, or shall we in these same
camps bring new and old citizens together and bring up the ranks in
discipline and efficiency for a better America?

Can we become a really strong nation if Americanization is for
native-born men and women only, while we do nothing for the millions of
foreign-born men and women who constitute our reserve strength?

These and many other similar questions must be included in any adequate
program of defense, and yet in no council of government or of citizens
have they been given the consideration their importance demands. The
great immediate task before us is mobilization and Americanization,
the welding of the many races and classes in this country into one
enduring, steadfast, efficient nation.

The things that make for preparedness in peace or war, that make
France and Germany the two leading contestants in the present war, are
as much social and economic, as military preparedness. We shall not
attain this until we have Americanized our foreign-born residents and
many of our American-born as well. We cannot do this by legislation
or proclamation, but only by the patriotic action of each and every
resident in America disciplined for national service.

Some one has brought to America a remarkable series of moving pictures
called “Britain Prepared.” The conspicuous thing about them is that
the emphasis is put upon the training of men, the kind of training we
find in the gymnasium and in sports and among boy scouts. Guns and
battleships and horses are there, to be sure, but they are always being
_mastered by men_. Somehow in our defense propaganda during the past
year we have missed this dominant note. We talk about an increased army
and navy and aëroplanes and coast defenses, but we always get the sense
of guns and machines and mechanics and never the sense of their mastery.

The defense bills in Congress this winter are marked by the same fatal
presumption--that defense is entirely a matter of physical preparedness
and that it is to be brought about chiefly by legislation and
appropriations. We are apparently looking only to the immediate and
obvious and popular kind of preparedness and have not yet begun upon
the real problem of preparedness which involves long, slow, patient
consideration of many intricate matters vital to any adequate national
defense of America.

I believe that the work of the agitator and propagandist in arousing
America is about done. The hundreds of volunteer, happy-go-lucky,
hit-and-miss organizations throughout the country that have divided
public attention with Congress have accomplished their task. We are
entering upon the serious business of investigation, organization, and
administration. We are ready for a policy, a program, and a leader. We
are ready to act as a nation and not as the spokesman for any section
or race.

A thoroughgoing policy of national preparedness to insure national
unity and action cannot comprise less than five main divisions,
all proceeding together toward a common goal. They are military
preparedness, industrial mobilization, universal service,
Americanization, and international duty.

Military defense has centered chiefly upon the army and navy and has
dealt largely with numbers and appropriations. The pending measures
can hardly be said to represent a policy. The conflicting provisions
scarcely constitute a program.

Let us see how we have approached this subject: Under the guise of
a first and immediate defense step we are urged to provide for a
tunnel through the Rocky Mountains; for a road connecting two forts in
Georgia; for rifle clubs, the Federal government to supply the rifles;
for a national aviation corps school; for volunteer training camps for
high school students; for the purchase of the Chesapeake & Delaware
Canal; for a naval or a military academy in this or that particular
state; for a “multiroad highway”; for a marvelous continental army on
a voluntary plan, whereby 88,000 men are to enlist for six months, a
second 88,000 within sixty days, and so on “as long as in the opinion
of the President this procedure is necessary to public welfare.” This
last bill well illustrates the detached point of view we have adopted
toward the defense issue--an army of _volunteers_, _i.e._ whoever see
fit, is to be raised overnight, and another army two months later and
so on, so long as the President thinks there is any danger. Then this
volunteer force is to dissolve into civilian life, and we are all to
rest easy again until the next scare comes--when we shall again leave
it to the most adventurous or the most conscientious among us to make
up a hasty miscellaneous _volunteer_ force to defend our homes and our
liberty.

There is the usual supply of academic bills providing for commissions
to investigate this or that aspect of defense. No doubt accurate
information and therefore investigation on many points is necessary,
but--the commission is too often a death chamber. By one bill a joint
committee of the House and Senate is instructed as one of a series
of academic charges to “investigate the advisability of universal
service.” The problem has come upon the horizon, so to speak, and in a
leisurely and philosophical way we get out our field glasses to observe
it.

We have been doing too many sums in our defense propaganda. How many
men in the army, how many millions of dollars for the navy,--all of
these important,--but when an adequate plan is worked out for training
_every_ man and woman, according to his or her capacity, the numbers
will take care of themselves. Until we are all “volunteers” we can
dispense with mathematics.

The defense legislation of the year is evidence of heartbreaking
national failure. The collection of sectional, personal, sometimes
obviously dishonest, and, at best, ill-considered bills, evidences
a graver charge than the political “expediencies” to which we are
well enough accustomed. They are a testimony to the faithlessness of
legislators in the highest places of the land, a miserable failure in
patriotism, and that they have gone on so many months unchallenged is
another proof of the supine patience, flabbiness, and stupidity of the
average American citizen.

What should we have done? We had ample warning when Congress
adjourned in 1915 that we would face the issue of preparedness as a
vital compelling matter in 1916. Instead of depending upon separate
and often conflicting reports from various departments and staff
officers, the party in power should have had in hand in December--when
Congress reassembled--the outline of a national policy, substantiated
by certified facts, along which a series of bills could have been
drafted to meet the needs at all points, and to avoid duplications at
any point. Then the reserves of the majority party should have begun
their own nation-wide campaign to carry their program. Failing this,
the minority party in Congress had its opportunity. Such a plan would
have rallied all the citizenship force for defense in support of its
program and would have avoided the conflicts that now wage throughout
the land. This program broadly conceived would have commanded the
most comprehensive information in the country; not only from the
Interstate Commerce Commission on transportation; from the Federal
trade commission on industrial capacities and reserves; from the Public
Health Service on port conditions; from the Federal reserve board on
credit; from the Department of Labor on conserving men and stabilizing
labor and Americanizing aliens, but it would have had the coöperation
of such organizations as the American Federation of Labor and the
United States Chamber of Commerce. The best thought of the country
would have been crystallized, and instead of the prevailing chaos
we would have a program free from partisan or sectional influences.
Instead of haggling over the number of men, and where to get the money,
and resurrecting letters from files to prove responsibility, we would
be reapportioning our army posts on the basis of national defense,
instead of on the basis of a civil war; we would be locating our
munition plants in safe places; we would be building model ammunition
plants, we would have an aviation corps and training schools worthy of
the name--and Villa would not have raided Texas.

We are about where we started so far as actual accomplishment is
concerned. I think but little of writing a statute and appropriating
money until we see who is to spend the money and where. Nine tenths of
the achievement for success lies in the organization and administration
which follows the passing of laws. We are in the Congressional
eleventh hour still agitating for a council to gather the necessary
information, and propose a plan, which the Cabinet officers should
have had in hand and operation jointly months ago. The whole situation
has become so muddled that there is no one non-partisan, scientific,
accurate, efficient, dependable source to which one can go and obtain
the information necessary to formulate a policy or outline a program,
and we have not yet established our first line of defense in an
unassailable position.

The mobilization of industry is as important as the mobilization of
men. The enlisted men must be taken from offices and shops and we must
still maintain our output in products, get it to the places it is
needed, when it is needed, and in prime condition. Soldiers without
supplies and arms are useless; as are civilians behind the line.

The business of industry is to meet the demands and opportunities of
foreign markets and to supply the needs of America; to transport men
and supplies upon short notice on a large scale.

The work of industrial preparedness is not the primary task of
government--it is the obligation of every plant in America, every
leader at the head of it, every workman within it.

America has capital, resources, inventions, and leadership. It is short
of average men to meet its industrial as well as citizenship needs. The
country needs to keep every able-bodied man in America by making him an
efficient, loyal citizen and by giving him, not a job, but a stake in
the industry and a home stake in the country.

First of all in mobilizing industries we need an inventory so the
government may know the location and capacity of its plants and
who mans them; what the investment is and whether there are any
international strings tied to the business and of what kind. It
needs to know its present capacity, what it makes best, and how far
its capacity can be increased, if need be. It needs to know how its
products are transported and marketed; whether army supplies have ever
been made and what agreements might be entered into. After twenty
months of the war, the schedule for such an inventory has been
formulated by a volunteer committee and paid for with private funds!

This is the Industrial Preparedness Committee of the Naval Consulting
Board, of which Mr. Howard Coffin is chairman. It proposes first to
take an inventory of the resources of 30,000 industries, each to be
covered by an engineer. This in itself is a magnificent educational
measure. It will make these engineers and industries think about a
great many questions they have not faced before. This Committee has
secured the coöperation of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the
World, of which Mr. Herbert Houston is president. This insures the
most widespread and accurate publicity of work and results, free from
any political manipulation. It also insures a highly intelligent
and forceful education of the public, free from self-interest or
organization interest. The unfortunate thing is that this inventory
comes too late for Congress to make any real use of the results unless
it stays in session very late. It is also not yet clear just how these
results will be related to other important fields or whether the
Secretary of the Navy will bury them somewhere. The essential thing,
however, is that we have a wholly satisfactory industrial preparedness
program under way in the hands of men the country trusts for ability,
integrity, efficiency, and knows to be without self-interest.

So far as I am aware we are not dealing with the conservation
of resources in any such way, as this inventory applies only to
manufacturing. I believe the different Federal departments have been
called upon to make some such survey and report, but its results seem
not to have found their way into action nor to have the coöperation of
practical business men. Agricultural organization also we consider of
little interest in defense, even though the land feeds the nation.

Undoubtedly a most important factor in our national defense is
transportation. The President has recommended an inquiry into railroad
rates and regulation, but the resolution introduced does not seem to go
beyond the subject of rates. It does not seem to include a study of the
railroad situation by a competent staff that would be prepared to take
over and operate the railroads for military purposes if the necessity
arose; it does not imply that we might need a railway construction
corps for use in a military zone, taking the places of the aliens now
employed on this work. It does not indicate that there is need for our
army officers and leading railway officers to get together in times of
peace in order to prevent friction in time of war. It does not indicate
that there is need of approved regulations which should be formulated
now so they could be put into operation immediately should occasion
arise. There is no indication that it might be well to provide a way by
which operating men should become army officers in time of war and thus
have the handling of supplies under an efficient military direction.

The country is fortunate in having a competent committee appointed by
the American Railway Association, Mr. Fairfax Harrison, president of
the Southern Railway Co., Mr. W. G. Besler, president Central R. R. of
N. J., R. H. Aishton, vice president, Chicago & Northwestern R. R.,
Chicago, Ill., and A. W. Thompson, general manager of the Baltimore &
Ohio R. R.

The work of this Committee has not yet been definitely related to
the Federal departments which could make most use of its experience,
knowledge, and ability. It is ready to devote itself to this question
along such important lines as the following among many others:

 First, a distinct understanding between the War Department and the
 railroads should be arrived at concerning the tariffs for military
 traffic, freight, passenger, and baggage, in order that there may be
 no confusion whatever on these points when the time comes to move
 large bodies.

 Second, the simplification of the settlement of railway accounts in
 consequence of such agreements.

 Third, complete and competent agreement in regard to the
 classification and traffic on impedimenta accompanying troops so as
 to deliver the burden of the paper work that ordinarily nowadays is
 essential to the shipment of such bodies and impedimenta.

 Fourth, the physical operations of the railroads in carrying supplies
 to mobilization points, concentration points, and embarkation points,
 must be coördinated and regulated. The necessity of having a uniform
 method and a complete understanding between the Department and the
 railroads is of course obvious.

 Fifth, a clear arrangement should be had with the proper officials of
 the railways in regard to provisions for spurs, switches, side tracks,
 and all facilities for handling troops and supplies on reaching
 mobilization points and concentration points and embarkation points or
 the base of operations.

 “There should be some means of bringing together railroad men,
 including the freight and passenger traffic departments, the
 construction and operating branches of the railroads, in close
 consultation with the officers of the army whose function it is to
 provide for the transportation of troops and supplies. There should
 be provision made for a reserve corps, not only of railroad men,
 but of all that class of civilians whose services could be used
 advantageously in the army in a directing capacity--railroad men
 of every description, whether belonging to the operating branch
 or the accounting branch, the passenger or freight department, or
 the construction branch. Automobile experts of every class would
 be in very great demand. We have a paper organization which would
 exactly fit the accomplishments of men of that character. Men having
 exceptional knowledge of the handling and distribution of great
 quantities of supplies would be invaluable. Men recruited from all
 the industries of peace should form such a reserve corps as would be
 available for immediate service upon mobilization.”

The weakest point in industrial preparedness is the question of labor
supply. We deal with resources and transportation on the assumption
that our supply of men is adequate and all sufficient in training
and efficiency. This is by no means the case, and in order to cover
this defect, the Immigration Committee of the United States Chamber
of Commerce is making an inventory of the labor supply and its
conservation. It began its work with a questionnaire upon the probable
immigration after the war. With the coöperation of the railways it
received 934 replies, representing about 20,000 rail and steamship
agents, based upon their inquiries among some 2,000,000 foreign-born
peoples in this country. The questions covered were the following:

 _A._ Are those of foreign birth or parentage in this country saving
 money at the present time with a view to bringing their European
 relatives and friends to this country after the War?

 _B._ Does the personal correspondence which they are receiving from
 Europe indicate that there will be any considerable movement to this
 country after the War is over, and what, so far as you can get the
 information, do the estimates indicate as to the volume?

 _C._ Will such immigration as does come consist of people who have
 been working on farms, or of those from the factories?

 _D._ After the War is over, will there be any considerable emigration
 from this country to Europe of those going back to live permanently
 there?

 _E._ How great will be the movement of those going back to Europe
 temporarily after the War to look after their relatives, or through
 sentiment to view the destruction of their early homes, _et cetera_,
 and who will return to this country after a short visit?

The Committee is now following this with a schedule to industries
covering the source of the labor supply, labor turn-over, methods of
employment, promotions, transfers, and voluntary lay-offs, insurance,
and other methods in use to conserve the labor of the country.
It includes inquiries into the living conditions, as housing and
sanitation, and into citizenship and knowledge of English.

From the data already at hand, it has begun holding a series of
conferences with industrial leaders throughout the country, looking
toward the conserving of men, keeping immigrants in America, and
stabilizing the labor market. It is essential, however, that the fields
of production, transportation, conservation of resources and of the
labor supply be brought together and a national policy be worked out
as the result of the combined effort. It is important that this whole
field be related to universal service and military preparedness. Let us
illustrate the nature of the interdependence.

In any system of universal service there needs to be some plan of
industrial adjustment, as to time, payments, and releases from work,
so that the burden will not fall too heavily upon special industries
at critical times of output. The efficiency records of plants make
the selection of good officers easier. There needs to be a careful
handling of skilled labor in order that it may not be withdrawn too
heavily at vital points. Even our voluntary civilian training camps
are being filled with coöperation of industry, which is arranging
vacations, paying wages during the training period, and urging its
men, by competition and in other ways, to attend. No military system
can operate successfully without understanding effort on the part of
production and transportation men. The pursuit of Villa showed the
absence of this, and to date it seems to be largely a moral victory.

When we have this information along many lines, industry is not
mobilized. We have but secured the knowledge to begin the real task.

The mobilization of industry for America’s defense cannot stop with the
plant. Is the employer’s responsibility ended with the eight-hour day
and an increase in wages? The best-equipped plant in the world will
not give us strong, able, efficient men unless they live decently,
have the right kind of recreation, and get a home stake in the country
to defend. There are minimum standards in the matters of numbers,
separation of sexes, family privacy, sanitation, and cleanliness
which no American workman can fall below and be a loyal citizen fit
for defense. It is part of the mobilization of industry to see that
conditions do not prevail which give American defense men unable or
unwilling to defend it.

Industrial preparedness means a knowledge and system by which skilled
workmen at strategic points in industry, supplies, and traffic shall
not enlist, but will be released at the greatest point of efficiency.
Telegraph companies for instance do not encourage their men to enlist,
but are fitting them for signal men in time of need!

We have in all of our preparedness activity failed to grasp the
point that there can be no industrial preparedness without the
nationalization of business. An inventory of resources and the
utilization of the full power of each plant is only possible when
all men coöperate for a mutual end and not when they compete for
contracts. The employer who cares nothing about the labor market so
long as he has plenty of men does little to stabilize that market or
regularize employment or distribute men advantageously, and yet in the
final analysis defense comes back to efficient, loyal, individual men
doing their full duty at some inconspicuous post all over the country.

The nationalization of business is not a matter of legislation, or
of regulation, or of coercion. It is the duty and obligation of each
responsible person in industry--all working together on a national
coöperative basis instead of on a local, sectional, competitive basis.
It means a new spirit abroad in business--patriotic Nationalism.

We have come to regard universal service, with a period of compulsory
training in a military camp, as a measure of military defense only.
We seem to think it means only learning how to shoot and acquiring
a thirst for blood. I believe it has a great civic value hitherto
disregarded. We have two things to acquire from the training camp:
individual proficiency and team work, and a national spirit and point
of view.

The American factory and the American city have failed as a melting
pot.--The dog tent may succeed. It may become the best school of
practical civics there is--a place where all Americans can meet
together for the common good of America.

It may restore the balance to our triumvirate of the Declaration of
Independence--Liberty, opportunity, and obligation. We have demanded
and used the first two--we have neglected the third.

The civilian training-camp movement, which started at Plattsburg and
is now continued at Fort Oglethorpe, is the biggest civic movement in
America, and when crystallized along the lines of the Swiss system,
will become the dynamo for national progress in America. There can be
no question but that America is desperately in need of some national
civic movement which is in its interest alone and which represents
nothing but itself.

America is full of undisciplined, native-born young men and has
besides a large transfusion of still raw foreigners. It could not
bestow any greater favor upon its young men than to give all of them
the benefits of military methods of drilling and education. It would
“set them up” physically; they would acquire a knowledge of hygiene,
sanitation, prevention of disease, etc., and they would also learn, to
their great advantage, obedience, promptness, precision, regularity
of habits, abstinence, economy, avoidance of waste, and respect for
authority, all of which would make them more competent for their daily
tasks--whatever they may be. Germany perhaps furnishes the best example
of a well-governed people, but what the world needs is to govern
itself, just as the best men are the men who exercise self-control.

Many of our young men, in their desire to remain “independent,” are
inefficient, unreliable, and irresponsible; they are disobedient,
headstrong, or rebellious under authority; they are discourteous,
careless of obligations, and indifferent to broken promises. The
average boy is prompt with excuses and self-justification under
discipline--and this has been seen most conspicuously in our nation’s
attitude in the present war.

Inevitably all of this leads to slovenly work; to indifferent
citizenship; to play in which entertainment, not participation, is the
rule; and to a shifting of responsibility in all walks of life. In the
supplementing of individual by social ideals; in the transition from
individual to social conscience; in the great change from personal to
social control of many individual affairs, we have somehow lost the
finer traits of character and those ancient Christian virtues which
make for strong nations as well as for strong men.

I believe the training camp is unparalleled in its power to develop
social consciousness and social control, and to show men the means
by which they can work together for a common end. America needs
sportsmanship in the best sense of the word, and the training camp can
give it. America needs the abolition of its foolish class lines, now
drawn in industry and in society; emphasized among races and by creeds,
and nowhere worse than in the army itself. There is no place for it
in the training camp. American industry has failed to Americanize the
foreign-born citizens through its pay envelope; the training camp may
succeed through the dog tent.

In our idea of universal service we should not stop with the training
camp. There are hundreds of thousands of men and women, with a desire
to serve, that cannot go to the training camp. We have throughout the
country to-day a splendid expression of the desire to serve.

I believe that every citizen of this republic, male or female, and
of any age after childhood, should have a regular scheme of duties,
a regular enlistment for service of a definite nature suited to his
or her status of capacity, which he must be prepared to render upon
demand, _and which he or she must keep in training to deliver_. To work
out the plans for such service for men and women alike, whether in
motor corps, red cross camps, health service, or in many other ways,
may well be the charge of citizens’ defense organizations, but they
should be related to the civilian training camp to maintain standards
and methods and unity.

The defense organizations, some fifty of national name and scope,
are missing their great opportunity. They are getting people to
sign pledge cards focusing attention, as it should be focused, on
legislation and party programs. But they are not lining up the
citizenship of the country in definite citizenship service. And by
their lack of coöperation and lack of actual information about one
another’s activities, they are further splitting up and sectionalizing
sentiment where the real necessity is to collect and focus it. All
over the country, in this place or that, groups of citizens are trying
in a promising way to form definite, practical, little associations
for training and defense. Aside from the training-camp movement now
so hopefully developed, business men are joining together to try to
settle upon uniform ways of coöperating with training camps and the
national guard by making it possible for their employees to profit
by these and to render national service in this way. People that own
motors or own or control motor trucks are getting together to see
how they could work out the transportation service which experts
agree would be an absolute necessity in case of war in this country.
Rifle clubs are being formed, business men are training one night a
week in armories, women are forming red cross branches with definite
courses of instruction in many cities, schoolboys are being sent to
camps, suburbanites are organizing to breed police and army dogs, city
tradesmen are organizing parades.

But as a whole the civilian defense movement is confused and
incoherent, not nationally coördinated, having no national guidance
or even suggestion. If the various defense organizations were to get
together in a spirit of coöperation, they could gather up and unite
these sporadic citizens’ movements all over the country, give them
standards of organization and accomplishment, start movements in
different states which are as yet practically untouched by defense
sentiment. Just as the Industrial Preparedness Committee of the Naval
Consulting Board is working out the mobilization of industry throughout
the country down to the last practical detail, so the preparedness
organizations in combination could work out the mobilization of
civilian resources and activities throughout the country. In some way
all of these efforts should be brought into relation with each other
under control and direction and discipline. They should be associated
with the training camps and recognized as volunteer corps and be given
the standing necessary to perfect their organization and administer
their control. We have passed the stage of propaganda; we now need
organization and administration of volunteer efforts if we are not to
waste the precious patriotism and enthusiasm for Americanism throughout
the country.

Americanization is basic preparedness. It is fundamental and enduring.
The first question is how to nationalize our native-born American
into doing his duty in the military training camp, in his industry,
in his town, at the polls, with the welfare of the nation in his
mind, and national service as his purpose. No system of laws, no plan
of administration will do this--it is a problem for leaders, for
education, for the spirit of the youth of America to grapple with.
The reason so many public monuments, promisingly begun in America,
fall through or dwindle, is because it is so difficult, so well-nigh
impossible without constantly renewed stimulants, to keep individuals
firm and enthusiastic in a social and national point of view. The
defense movement has illustrated on a broader scale the same thing
that has been illustrated in this country many times before--the
American religion of individualism in arrogant array against a critical
national need. Only two things--a rediscovery of a stern sense of
duty among American youth; and a recovery of that stern idealism that
persistently exacts of men a social responsibility, a consideration
of a _first_ claim beyond the claim of family, personal success,
career--can establish American citizenship on a sound basis. With the
native American these things are, as I have said, a _rediscovery_. The
tradition exists and was incorporated in the very principles of our
foundation.

With the immigrants, it is different. They come to us, mostly adults,
with certain specific needs and tendencies, and here we need to
assume a constructive and painstaking task--that of interpreting the
principles of Americanism and the obligations as well as the privileges
of American citizenship to the men we invite to come here to do
American work, and permit to be a large percentage of the population of
many American industrial towns.

Immigration is a great force in American life. It is not, as has often
hitherto been regarded, a labor subject or a health subject. It is
primarily a citizenship subject, to be administered along the broad
lines of nationalism and the future best interests of all America. It
is properly an interior subject, and all of our dealings with it should
proceed from a consideration of conditions in America. We admit or
reject people because of the effect on America; we distribute them to
avoid congestion, misery, and bad conditions in cities and to develop
America; we educate them for citizenship in America; we protect them,
looking again toward a better citizenship. We can never have a real
policy of dealing with our immigrant people, from the time they arrive
until they become citizens, so long as officials remain as they are,
unless the administration of existing laws, the drafting of new laws,
gathering of necessary information, and formulation of broad policies,
rest with some one department. Somehow we must treat this matter as
a citizenship and not as a labor matter. It is useless to preach to
the employer that he cease to regard the immigrant as a cog in his
machinery when the government puts this stamp upon him when it admits
him. We now have a probationary period of five years for citizenship.
We can well use that as the period for applying our immigration policy
which shall begin with his admission, exclusion, and deportation within
that period--the deportation clause being extended to conform to the
citizenship standard.

What does Americanization mean in national defense?

_It means putting the American flag_ above all others, abolishing dual
citizenship, and pledging _open_ allegiance to America.

_It means American citizenship for every alien within our borders_,
or deportation and closing our doors to political scouts and birds
of passage. We can no longer endure as a “polyglot boarding house.”
Citizenship will give us an intelligent body of voters, for it
will mark the end of the “voting the hunkies” by ward bosses. This
desecration of American citizenship cannot exist side by side with an
aggressive effort on the part of the public schools of the country to
instruct the foreign born, adults as well as children, in the real
meaning of citizenship. It means, finally, economic stability. The
thousands of immigrants that become “birds of passage” and return
to their own country because they have never been able to make any
American contact except through their pay envelope will be enabled
really to settle their homes, their affections, and their earnings
in America, increasing the prosperity of the immigrant family here,
cementing its bonds with this country, and also contributing to the
prestige and prosperity of the American nation.

_It means one language for all America and the elimination of
illiteracy._ Confusion of tongues and ignorance of American
institutions and opportunities are foes of efficient preparedness.
This means the end of “Little Italys,” “Little Hungaries,” and the end
of filthy, remote foreign villages on the outskirts of our towns and
cities, inhabited by foreign-speaking men and women with no way of
learning American standards of living and American customs, and with
no way to protest against standards of living which in many cases they
do not “lower” at all, but which they accept only because they are too
ignorant to protest when the conditions are forced upon them. There
are to-day thousands of communities where decent living conditions do
not and cannot prevail. Our war contracts are starting boom towns that
are a menace to our very civilization and a source of danger in time
of war. It means a higher level of intelligence, the wiping out of
illiteracy, and the establishment of the rule of the English language
and of a common citizenship.

_It means the abolition of class prejudices and of racial hatreds and
of the_ intolerance of the old stock for new stock, which stand in the
way of United America.

_It means one American standard_ of living. As we cannot have a double
standard of morality, we cannot have a double standard of living. We
can no longer sacrifice the preservation of this country to industrial
necessities. So long as our industrial communities are made up of large
groups of un-Americanized immigrants, without the English language,
without an understanding of American conditions, too helpless to bring
their grievances to the attention of their employers, too ignorant
to understand or trust compromises, if compromises are offered, too
ignorant to force them in legitimate ways if they are not offered,
able to understand only the radical agitators addressing them in their
own language--just so long will the industrial history of America be
blotted by Ludlows, Lawrences, and Wheatlands. The road to American
citizenship, to the English language, and an understanding of American
social and political ideals is the road to industrial peace.

_It means the Americanization of women._ Now women automatically become
citizens with their fathers and husbands, although in some states they
vote. The best Americanization agency is the home. We can only reach
foreign-born women in their homes, and we must go to them. They are
now isolated, forgotten, ignored, and constitute the greatest single
backward factor in the progress of citizenship among women.

It means, lastly, not America first and safety first, which are
sectional and selfish banners under which no man can fight his best,
but liberty, justice, honor, and right first.

This is no small task. The figures for 1910 tell us that America
has about thirty-three million foreign-born people and persons of
foreign-born parentage. One third have, therefore, in our immediate
environment foreign traditions and standards. The problem is to keep
the best of these and make them serve America. No nation in the
civilized world would think itself “prepared” with such an internal
situation, and yet we officially ignore it.

These intricate, delicate, interlocking questions, mostly unsolved in
any national way, are found in education, savings and investments,
standards of living, and in all of the other fields before us. They
are as important and as difficult as those we are solving in military
defenses and industrial mobilization. They are the problems of
nationalism--the things that make the immigrant man a good citizen,
workman, or soldier. They must be considered in any movement for a
unified America. They have always been approached by our government
from some sectional, local, or isolated point of view. They have never
been approached from the national point of view. The 42 volumes of
the Federal Immigration Commission are silent on a national policy
other than the negative one of exclusion. They deal exhaustively with
conditions in industry, in philanthropy, but nowhere do they lead us to
a policy of a program for America that meets its present requirements.

We shall never attain this united America back of our firing line,
in our shops, in our cities, in our schools, on our great arteries
of communications and supply, by the most intelligent policy, by the
wisest of laws, by the fairest enforcement of law, unless each and
every American resident does his share--and realizes that a prepared
America at every point comes back to him and to him alone.

We shall not accomplish preparedness through Americanization without
organization. We have the beginnings of many excellent movements of
Americanization, in much the same state as our army and navy. Each
bureau interested in some phase of the subjects carries on its work,
drafts bills, and enforces laws. We are as wholly lacking in policy,
program, and leadership as in any other phase of preparedness. We do
not yet recognize as a nation that _Americanization_ is fundamental
_preparedness_ and should be vitally related to military and industrial
preparedness and to universal service.

No policy of preparedness can be complete without a strong sense
of international duty and a willingness to defend it as loyally as
American institutions. We are emerging from the haze of what we should
have done to preserve international law. We have before us some
pertinent problems which will test this new-found honor.

We owe it to ourselves, in our new treaties and new relations
arising after the war, to have a thorough understanding in regard to
citizenship so the protection of the American flag will follow every
citizen, native and foreign born, to every country in the world under
whatever conditions.

We owe it to the people who come to our shores asking admission _that
all of the regulations of aliens should be in our national admission
law and not hidden in state and local laws preventing their earning a
living and becoming good citizens. This whole law should be based upon
America’s welfare and capacity for making these men and women good
citizens_. We do not want them unless they are willing to join with us
for defense of American liberty.

When we have a common policy which all America understands and
believes; a program to which every American can give efficient and
loyal service; and leaders that Americans can and will follow, then we
shall be a prepared nation,--standing again as we stood one hundred
and forty years ago: for justice and right and liberty.

  “And in support of these truths
  we mutually pledge to each other
  our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”


               Printed in the United States of America.


 The following pages contain advertisements of a few of the Macmillan
                       books on kindred subjects



                         OUR NATIONAL PROBLEMS

                            Americanization

                            BY ROYAL DIXON

                                _$0.50_


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                         The Heritage of Tyre

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                    Their True Faith and Allegiance

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                  WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY OWEN WISTER

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                         The Forks of the Road

                         BY WASHINGTON GLADDEN

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                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
           Publishers      64-66 Fifth Avenue      New York



 “Not since Mercier, Archbishop of Malines, gave his now famous
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“One of the most striking and moving utterances.... Let all Americans
read it.”--_The Congregationalist._

“It is written with sustained charm and freshness of insight.”--_New
York Times._

“It is a flaming thing, itself a tongue of Pentecost.”--_Boston
Advertiser._

“Mr. Wister’s artistic power at its best.”--_Philadelphia Ledger._

“A strong book which sets out to be just a passionate plea to America
to find its own soul.”--_Rabbi Stephen S. Wise._

“In ‘The Pentecost of Calamity’ Owen Wister sees and speaks as a
prophet. With rare spiritual insight and sympathy he penetrates to the
real meaning of the world tragedy under whose shadow we are living. I
am glad we have an American writer able to speak the voiceless longing
of an awakened world.”--_Rev. Charles A. Eaton, Pastor of the Madison
Avenue Baptist Church._


                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
            Publisher      64-66 Fifth Avenue      New York



*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Straight America, a call to national service" ***




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