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limit) actually employed. Night work for children is also forbidden in the most progressive industrial commonwealths.
Within the last decade we have made decided advances in our child-labor legislation. In the year 1907, for example, measures restricting the employment of children were passed in no less than twenty-eight states. In that year a number of southern states, including Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, which had been backward hitherto, passed new laws affecting the employment of children in manufacturing establishments.
The law of New York now in force provides that no child may be permitted to work in a factory without a certificate showing that he is fourteen years old or upwards and is a public school graduate or has pursued an equivalent course of study. No child1 may be employed in New York factories before eight o'clock in the morning or after five o'clock in the afternoon or for more than eight hours in any one day or more than six days in any one week, with some exceptions. No child under sixteen years of age may work in any mine or quarry in the state, and no female may be employed in any such industries. No child under the age of sixteen may work in any mercantile establishment, business office, telegraph office, restaurant, hotel, apartment house, or in the distribution or transmission of merchandise or messages for more than fifty-four hours in any one week or more than nine hours in any one day, or before seven o'clock in the morning or after ten o'clock in the evening of any day."
Generally speaking, the child-labor laws tend to fix the minimum age limit at fourteen and require for each child a certain minimum of education. It has been pointed out, however, by a careful observer that the arbitrary limit of fourteen or fifteen years does not necessarily indicate the ability of a child to engage in regular employment and that a physical test in place of an age limit would be better calculated to safeguard the rights of children.
(3) While fixing certain standards of hours and wages in specific cases, the states now attempt to improve, by legislation, the conditions under which work is carried on. Factories and
1 Under sixteen.
'Discrimination is made in the regulation of child-labor between the larger cities and the smaller cities and villages.
have been substituted wholly or in part for the article; or if any valuable constituent of the article has been wholly or partly abstracted; or if the article be an imitation or sold under the name of some other substances; or if it contains wholly or in part diseased or decomposed animal or vegetable substances, whether manufactured or not, or, in the case of milk foods, is a product of diseased animals. Most health laws further provide for maintaining certain standards in drugs and for a certain degree of purity in liquors and confectionery.
The department of health frequently takes cognizance of the interests of public health as affected by the sale or use of food and drugs and adulterations thereof and makes all necessary inquiries and investigations relating thereto.
The health law of New Yo k also regulates and provides for the inspection of all the potable waters in the state so as to prevent contamination from sewage and other sources; it creates a quarantine and a health officer at the port of New York; it regulates the practice of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and surgery; it provides for the registration and regulation of pharmacies and drug stores; the supervision of the practice of chiropody, undertaking and embalming, and optometry; the vaccination of school children; and the visitation of institutions for orphans, destitute, or vagrant children or juvenile delinquents.
Closely connected with the health law of the state are the provisions controlling the construction and maintenance of tenements. A well-developed tenement-house law will require certain precautions against fire through regulations relative to the construction of halls, stairways, and fire-escapes; it will define the percentage of a lot which may be occupied by buildings and define the minimum of light and ventilation. The law of New York, for example, prescribes the minimum of window area for each room in new tenement-houses and also the minimum size of rooms; regulates minutely the sanitary accommodations to be provided for tenements; endeavors to maintain certain standards of cleanliness by penalizing landlords who neglect their property. The right to commence new buildings and to alter the structure of old buildings in the large cities is always subjected to some control by the tenement-house or health department.
All the states in the Union make more or less provision for central and local institutions for the public care of the insane, deaf and dumb, blind, and other defectives who are without private means. The constitution of Oklahoma provides that educational, reformatory, and penal institutions and those for the benefit of the insane, blind, deaf and mute, and such other institutions as the public good may require, shall be established and supported by the state in such manner as the legislature may prescribe; and it furthermore requires the several counties of the state to make provisions under general state laws, "for those inhabitants who by reason of age, infirmity, or misfortune may have claims upon the sympathies and aid of the county." The state of New York also maintains special institutions for feebleminded children, feeble-minded women, idiots, epileptics, inebriate women, crippled and deformed children, persons afflicted with incipient pulmonary tuberculosis, decrepit and mentally enfeebled persons, juvenile delinquents, unfortunate women, unprotected girls, and Indians.1
Within recent years there has been a tendency toward the reorganization and consolidation of state charitable institutions and the introduction of more scientific and humane treatment of the unfortunate. Every advanced commonwealth now has a state board of charities. In New York this board consists of twelve members appointed by the governor and the senate- one from each judicial district and three from the city of New York. This board of charities is required to visit, inspect, and maintain a general supervision over all institutions, state and municipal, which are of a charitable, correctional, or reformatory character; it is furthermore required to aid in securing a just, humane, and economic administration of the institutions subject to its control, to advise the officers, to aid in securing the provision of suitable accommodations for inmates, to control the organization and incorporation of new charitable and reformatory institutions in short, to assist in maintaining high standards of efficient and humane service in the charities of the state.
1 The care of the poor, that is, persons unable to maintain themselves, is generally vested under state laws in county or town authorities. The local body usually provides poorhouses and institutions of various kinds under the care of the superintendent or overseer of the poor.
Education in the United States is regarded as a purely state purely and local function. Although Congress has aided the development of education, especially in the western states, by the reservation of school lands and by grants from the sale of public lands, every attempt to set up anything like a national control over education has been steadily resisted. Even the project of establishing a national university, which has been before Congress since the early years of the republic, is probably no nearer realization than it was fifty years ago. It is true there is a bureau of education in the Department of the Interior, but the commissioner in charge of that bureau has no administrative control over the educational systems of the several states. His functions are limited principally to a study of educational problems and the publication of useful educational data. In this respect, therefore, the United States differs from most countries of Europe where the educational systems are largely dominated by the central governments. It is largely due to this state autonomy that the educational systems of the several commonwealths, while founded upon certain American ideals, possess a high degree of effective adaptability to local needs.
The principle that "knowledge and learning generally diffused throughout the community are essential to the preservation of a free government and of the rights and liberties of the people," is embodied in many of our state constitutions; but several of them go farther and provide in more or less detail for the establishment of state educational systems. The constitution of New York, for instance, requires the legislature to provide "for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all children of this state may be educated," a provision to be found in some form in the constitutions drafted since the middle of the nineteenth century. Some other states go even farther. For example, the fundamental law of Oklahoma orders the legislature to provide for the compulsory attendance at some public or other school, unless other means of education is afforded, of all the children in the state between eight and sixteen years of age, who are sound in mind and body; and fixes the minimum education for such children at three months in each year. Under the
constitution of Nebraska, the legislature must arrange for free instruction, in the common schools, of all persons between the ages of five and twenty-one years. The constitutions of several western states also provide for a state university, and in a number of cases, institutions of higher learning have been established by the legislatures under general constitutional provisions - such as that found in Indiana, making it the duty of the legislature "to encourage by all suitable means, moral, intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement."
Some constitutions, however, go into more detail with regard to education. Wyoming, for example, makes provision for a complete and uniform system of public instruction, "embracing free elementary schools of every needed kind and grade, a university with such technical and professional departments as the public good may require and the means of the state allow, and such other institutions as may be necessary."
A number of state constitutions set aside special funds for educational purposes. For instance, Nebraska declares to be perpetual funds for common school purposes the amount granted by Congress on the sales of lands in the state, all moneys arising from the sale or lease of sections sixteen and thirty-six in each township of the state (or lands selected in lieu thereof), the proceeds of lands and property accruing to the state through escheat and forfeiture, fines, penalties, and license moneys arising under the general laws of the states and certain other specified revenues. Generally speaking, the constitution of a commonwealth will also stipulate that neither the state nor any subdivision thereof may allow the use of its property, credit, or public money, directly or indirectly, in aiding and maintaining, other than for examination and inspection, any school or institution of learning wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught.
The supervision of the educational interests of each state is usually invested in a commissioner or superintendent of education, sometimes acting in conjunction with a board and sometimes alone. Generally speaking, the state superintendent or commissioner of education is rather narrowly controlled by state laws and has very little power to prescribe the subjects taught in the schools or methods of teaching. It is usually the duty of the