Page images
PDF
EPUB

age teacher to a realization of the fact that history is not confined to the text-book, some means must be found to keep alive this interest when the summer session is concluded and the teacher is plodding through the routine of the daily grind. This inspiration is afforded by the teachers' magazine in a fashion that is meeting a constantly increasing and well merited recognition.

Even with the aid lent by the publishers, by colleagues in the faculty, and by THE HISTORY TEACHER'S MAGAZINE, the history exhibit at the Summer School of the South was far from complete. Like most undertakings the initial attempt revealed numerous defects in the original plan that should be remedied in the future. Yet sufficient experience was gained to show the really practical value of such an exhibit. Naturally it was impossible to assemble all the aids that might prove useful in teaching history in the secondary and the elementary schools, though an attempt was made to secure representative specimens of each class of material. With the efficient aid of several members of the Summer School faculty, a careful classification which proved of great aid to teachers, was made of the exhibit. A summary of the different divisions will afford an insight into the general scope of the Exhibit. It included the following general classes:

I. ILLUSTRATIVE MATERIAL.

1. Pictures of historical scenes and other illlustrations valuable in the teaching of history.

2. Outline maps; an attempt was made to secure as many specimens as possible in order to meet indi

vidual needs.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

was given with the reflectoscope. This work, too, it is hoped, will be greatly strengthened. The chief aims in undertaking the Exhibit were to make it comprehensive and at the same time practical. The former was achieved, so far as the limitations attending a venture into a practically untrodden path would allow; the latter was secured to a marked degree.

4. Books intended for the teacher's use. Upon this last division of the Exhibit much stress was laid. It included the several reports of the American Historical Association upon the teaching of history in the schools, together with other books intended primarily to widen the historical viewpoint of the teacher.

The response that greeted the Exhibit was a sufficient proof of the extent to which it met a real need. For two weeks it was open an hour daily on five days and three hours on Saturday. For the entire period of sixteen hours the attendance was over three hundred, or nearly 15 per cent. of the maximum registration at the Summer School. This attendance was all the more gratifying as it was necessary to open the Exhibit, except on Saturday, during the warmest and most disagreeable part of the day. Even more encouraging than mere numbers was the serious purpose shown by the teachers who came to the Exhibit. Most of them were present, not for a mere cursory glance, but to remain for a sufficient time to examine carefully the material that had been brought together. In this work, they were aided by members of the historical faculty who were constantly in attendance to answer questions and make suggestions. The numerous and pertinent questions asked, and the long pages of notes that were taken, formed a convincing tribute to the enthusiastic interest the work had aroused in the teachers attending the Summer School, the ones primarily in whose behalf the History Exhibit had been assembled. To strengthen the impression made by personal inspection, the practical use of the historical materials on exhibition was taken up in succeeding conferences. This was the final step in giving to the History Exhibit its true place as the intermediary between the theoretical lectures on methods, and the practical discussions of the conferences. The need some such link was proved by the far greater interest manifested in the conferences after the majority of the participants had leisurely examined the materials discussed.

In three notable features the History Exhibit was lacking: in clay models, in relief maps, and in historical material for use in the reflectoscope, the stereopticon, and the stereoscope. So far as decided limitations permit, an attempt will be made in future exhibits to include the first two classes of illustrative material. The third class was discussed in the conferences, and at least one practical demonstration

With the experience already gained, the History Exhibit should become a permanent and effective part of the courses at the Summer School of the South in practical methods of teaching history. With this end in view a list has been prepared of all the illustrative material and of the books that were brought together. This list will serve as a useful guide in the future. Also, a number of publishers have consented to permit the material they loaned to remain at Knoxville as the nucleus of a permanent collection. The actual work accomplished by such an exhibit is difficult to estimate. But, reaching as it does teachers from so many states, the exhibit, by presenting in concrete form the modern aids in the teaching of history, must prove of ever increasing value in developing historical teaching throughout the South. Perhaps, also, the means adopted in the Summer School of the South to meet the demands of courses in practical methods of teaching history, may be of aid in other summer sessions confronted with similar problems.

BOOK REVIEWS

EDITED BY PROFESSOR WAYLAND J. CHASE,

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.

THOMAS, ALLEN C. A History of England. New York: D. C. Heath & Co., 1913. Pp. 651. $1.50. Whatever other defects this text may have lack of interest is not one of them. The author's style is clear-cut, his vocabulary within the pupils' grasp, and he explains complex situations admirably.

The book is planned along conventional lines with the exception of the addition of an appendix of seventy-nine pages entitled "Brief History of Continental Europe to 1648". This arrangement has certain obvious advantages, but the termination of the account at 1648 is, in the opinion of the reviewer, to be regretted. And this suggests the chief defects in an otherwise excellent text,-proportion and emphasis. The author has given over fifty per cent. more space to the sixteenth century than to the last one hundred years; he has devoted as many pages to the seventeenth century as to the last two hundred years. Likewise a false valuation appears in the treatment of particular topics. Surely the Industrial Revolution is of more importance than the Hundred Years' War in explaining how the England of to-day came to be what it is, but the pages given to that weary struggle exceed those containing the record of the industrial reformation by over four to one. The mere number of pages is not always the sole index of the relative values an author would attach to particular events or periods, but there certainly should be no such disparity between values ascribed and space allotted as is indicated above. The reviewer, in fact, is compelled to dissent from a point of view which would give a page to Perkin Warbeck and dismiss James Watt with a single sentence; or which would discuss Cnut, Danby, and Dalhousie, but make no mention of Owen, Darwin, Lister, or Lyell.

The book is well supplied with genealogical tables, maps, and pictures, though some of the latter are of no historical value. The references are general in character and hence of little assistance to the teacher. Notwithstanding its defects, however, this text compares favorably with many English histories now on the text-book market. State Normal School of Milwaukee. HOWARD C. HILL.

BEER, GEORGE LOUIS. British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765. New York: The Macmillan Co. 1907. Pp. x+327. $2.00. Origins of the British Colonial System, 15781660. New York: The Macmillan Co. 1908. Pp. viii+438. $3.00. The Old Colonial System, 1660-1754. Part I, two volumes; Establishment of the System, 1660-1688. New York: The Macmillan Co. 1913. Pp. xiii+381; vii+382. $4.00.

Twenty years ago, Mr. Beer published a very able and scholarly monograph on the "Commercial Policy of England toward the American Colonies." This was a pioneer work. Before that the fundamental commercial principles and practices which for two centuries shaped and controlled England's career as a colonial power had been treated in a decidedly fragmentary and. partial manner. There was apparently no appreciation of the importance or the significance of the colonial-commercial system. Mr. Beer's study was the first comprehensive and impartial treatment of this fundamental subject. It was, however, not exhaustive and complete, and necessarily so, for it was based solely on printed sources available in America, which in turn were far from complete. His apprenticeship once

served, he set about to master the field and to make it peculiarly his own by an extensive study of all the sources, manuscript as well as printed. The first fruit of his labor was a volume of six years ago which treated of British policy in the momentous decade preceding the Stamp Act. The next year saw a volume on the origins of the colonial system in the days from Humphrey Gilbert to Oliver Cromwell. So, unhampered at one end by problems of controversy and at the other by questions of inchoate beginnings, he turned to analyze and describe the establishment, development and operation" of the colonial system during the middle period from 1660 to 1754. Of this period, two volumes have appeared this year covering the formal creation and establishment of a system during the age of the Restoration. Four volumes to come will complete the task.

[ocr errors]

A just and adequate survey of this important work is out of the question within the limits of space here granted; nor is this the aim. All that is desired or hoped to do is to consider the importance of these volumes as contributions to the knowledge of our early history and something of their value to the teacher in this field. The term "colonial system" is used to mean that complex system of regulations whose fundamental aim was to create a selfsufficient commercial empire of mutually complementary economic parts." It is obvious then that the point of view is that of the empire as a whole and only of the colonies as parts; and that the emphasis is centered on the economic and not the political aspects of the imperial relations. This outlook and focus of interest mark a radical departure from the old way of writing and teaching colonial history. For long years historians, text-book writers, and teachers viewed our early career with a peculiar narrowness of vision and with eyes blinded by temper. That the colonies were parts of a great empire was lost to view in a greater devotion to local history or in love of antiquarianism and genealogy. If the empire was brought into view it was only to point the finger of scorn and hatred at the mother country. Bancroft wrote a splendid sermon on the colonies whose destinies were guided by a supernatural genius. Palfrey wrote to justify the ways of the Puritans to man. These defects filtered down into our text-books. A casual survey of two or three texts of fair prominence and recent date reveal traditional prejudice, arbitrary omissions and false impressions. Randolph, an accredited agent of the English government sent on a perfectly justifiable mission to New England, is branded as a spy." The scoundrel Cornbury is taken as typical of royal governors and nothing is said of the splendid work of service of such men as Shirley, Dinwiddie, Pownall, Hutchinson and others. Patrick Henry is eulogized for calling George III a tyrant, when the king's only fault was the desire to check the vicious financial schemes of Virginia. It excites one to impatience to read in a text-book of the last year or two that English rule was a "wretched failure," and deserved to be freely characterized as tyrannical and oppressive. It seems that the chief end of American writers and teachers has been to arouse a spirit of patriotism and pride with no regard for historical accuracy and truth. This has been a serious blot on the fair name of American historical scholar. ship. One cannot blame an eminent English scholar for referring with scorn to the nauseous grandiloquence of American panegyrical historians."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Times change and with the change most fortunately has come a sounder and saner treatment of the colonial period. The advance of efficient training in the methods of scientific historical investigation has created a class of scholars whose aim is neither to defend nor to blame, who know neither Greek nor Trojan, but whose sole purpose is to seek

the truth by an extensive and exhaustive use of the sources. In the field of colonial history it has led to emancipation from the traditional hatred of England and the substitution of the historical spirit of fair-minded interpretation. It has resulted in the assumption of a broad point of view for the old vision hemmed in by the American sky line. It has sent scholars to exploit a vast and formidable mass of manuscript material in British repositories hitherto used for incidental purposes and never systematically studied. Our colonial history in consequence is not being rewritten, but written anew. In the history of the imperial relations light has been let into dark places, partial views and preconceived notions have given way to breadth of knowledge, unity of treatment and the truth. Here lies the importance of Mr. Beer's works. In this movement his part is that of the pioneer and leader.

In the volume on origins the essential point is that the economic principles urged on behalf of colonization were not the inventions of men's minds, the theories of closet philosophers, but were the normal and natural outcome of English conditions and circumstances. The fundamental consideration was the preservation of national independence. English dependence upon Europe for economic supplies threatened to hamper the growth and prosperity of the nation in conflict with other aggressive nations. Colonization was urged and supported in order to develop economic resources under complete national control. With careful analysis and a wealth of evidence, Mr. Beer traces the rise of these theories and their gradual development and sporadic application in the period of origins. The years following 1660 furnished the conditions within the mother country necessary to the successful creation and establishment of a comprehensive colonial system. The first volume on the establishment of the system deals with the rise of an imperial sentiment, the Acts of Trade and their parliamentary history, the closely related subjects of imperial defence and finance, the machinery of administration, and the development and position of the slave trade in the imperial scheme. The second volume shifts the attention to America where is described the interaction of British policy and colonial economy. Here then we find no desire or attempt to decide whether the British policy was right or wrong, or to interpret the facts in the light of the free trader or protectionist, but to show that the system was simply the outcome of material conditions and devised to meet those conditions without thought of tyranny and oppression. But Mr. Beer brings out also that the system was not one-sided, but that in return for restrictions upon colonial freedom of action the colonists enjoyed advantages which were full compensation and advantages which were necessary to the preservation and welfare of the colonies.

The remaining volume covering the serious ten years of the French and Indian War, shows the empire badly disorganized. Here again, the chief merit of the book lies in the fact that the modifications of British policy and the reorganization of the colonial system along both economic and administrative lines, as revealed in the Sugar Act, Currency Act, Stamp Act and other measures of 1763-1765, did not spring from motives of oppression, nor were the schemes of designing and stupid statesmen, but were the logical outcome of conditions which existed during and at the close of the war with France. Not the least of the factors which dictated reorganization was the provincial, refractory and offensive conduct of the colonists themselves. In conclusion, we must count sadly deficient in knowledge the teacher, the text-book writer, and the general historian who essays to deal with our colonial history without a careful reading of Mr. Beer's books.

WINFRED T. ROOT, The University of Wisconsin.

PERIODICAL LITERATURE

MARY W. WILLIAMS, PH.D., EDITOR. "Die Neue Zeit" (January 16 and 23) presents a paper by Franz Mehrung on "The Beginnings of the Prussian State."

66

"American and British Treatment of the Indians in the Pacific Northwest" is compared by W. J. Trimble in the 'Washington Historical Quarterly," for January. The first part of a long article by J. Flach on "The Relations between the Counts of Flanders and the French Crown from the Ninth Century to the Fifteenth" is to be found in "Revue Historique" for January-February. With the new year Scribner's Magazine" began a series of reminiscences by Mary King Waddington, under the general title "My First Years as a Frenchwoman." the Ministry of Public Instruction, 1876-77," appeared in the January number; and "At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Berlin Congress, 1877-78," in that for February.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"At

An article by Professor Edgar E. Robinson, of Stanford University in the 'American Journal of Sociology" for January calls attention to "Recent Manifestations of Sectionalism" on the part of insurgent members among Republican congressmen prior to the last primary campaign for presidential nominees.

[ocr errors]

'Louisburg To-morrow," by Beckles Willson (“Canadian Magazine," February) is a strong argument for the restoration of the famous old Canadian fortress, the past of which the writer outlines. The article is illustrated from old prints and recent photographs.

The "British Review" for February contains the copy of a warrant of James I to Elsemere, Chancellor of England, to issue a writ for the burning of one Bartholomew Legat, who had been convicted of divers horrible Heresies" before the Bishop of London. A list of thirteen of the "Blasphemous Positions" maintained by Legat is included in the writ.

"Un Alsacien" in "Revue de Paris" for February 15 discusses the Alsace-Lorraine question, made conspicuous by recent events. The writer calls attention to the repressive policy of Germany, which has caused the two border provinces, originally German, to remain intensely French in their feelings forty years after passing again under German control.

"The Prince of Wales and the English Alliance at the Time of Henry IV and of Louis XIII,” an article by Eugène Griselle, appears in "Revue d'Histoire Diplomatique" for January. It includes letters, hitherto unprinted, which passed between James I of England and Henry IV of France, and their sons Henry, eldest son of James I, and Louis XIII. The correspondence discloses the cordial relations existing between the two royal families at the time.

Charles Fitzhugh Talman considers "The Outlook in Polar Exploration" in "Review of Reviews," February. He outlines the first-hand study which has been made, during recent years, of circumpolar regions, and indicates undertakings mapped out for the near future. The best result of Peary's and Amundsen's discoveries, he believes, is that the really important problems of the circumpolar regions can henceforth be attacked with a single mind.

Under the title "Alaska, the World's Meat Shop ("Overland Monthly," February), Emil Edward Hurja describes how, through the introduction of reindeer into Alaska twenty-three years ago, the American government has uplifted the Eskimo and has added to the wealth of the territory. Enthusiastic Alaskans believe that reindeer will soon be raised in sufficient numbers to contribute largely to the meat demand of the States, and at cheaper prices than those now prevailing for beef.

The History Teacher's Magazine

Published monthly, except July and August, at 1619-1621 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia, Pa., by MCKINLEY PUBLISHING CO.

EDITED UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, composed of:

PROF. HENRY JOHNSON, Teachers College, Columbia University, Chairman.

PROF. FRED M. FLING, University of Nebraska.

Limiting the Field

Professor Sioussat's article in the March number of THE MAGAZINE, and Professor Foster's in the present number point the way toward greater definiteness in the teaching of history. It is to be hoped that the movement for coöperation of history teachers' associations will result in the production of an explicit guide for student and teacher, The views of THE MAGAZINE favoring such a course have been expressed frequently, but it seems proper here to reprint " An Open Letter to the Committee of Five" which ap

MISS BLANCHE HAZARD, High School of Practical Arts, peared in THE MAGAZINE for February, 1910:
Boston, Mass.

PROF. GEORGE C. SELLERY, University of Wisconsin.
PROF. ST. GEORGE L. SIOUSSAT, Vanderbilt University.
DR. JAMES SULLIVAN, Boys' High School, Brooklyn, N. Y.
ALBERT E. McKINLEY, Ph.D., Managing Editor.

[blocks in formation]

Upon several recent occasions members of the Committee of Five of the American Historical Association have hinted that it would be necessary for them to advise the study of certain topics in the period from about 400 to 800 A.D., and the ignoring of details not related to these topics. Such a suggestion made by Professor McLaughlin at New York was received with enthusiasm by the teachers present at the conference. But why should the committee confine the topical method to this limited period? The arguments given in favor of it for this field apply almost with equal strength in the whole range of European and English history, and even perhaps to American history as well.

"Arguments from analogy are particularly dangerous for the historian, yet the history teacher may learn much of method from the successes and failures of the teachers of other subjects. English literature, almost as indefinite a subject in its field as history, and fully as difficult to prepare for an examination, has gained wonderfully by the college practice of requiring the intensive study of several works, rather than a memorizing of the history of literature, or a scattering knowledge of many works. A similar elimination of unnecessary details and an emphasis of important facts has been brought about in the subjects of geometry, physics, and chemistry through the action of individual colleges or of the College Entrance Examination Board. Yet all of these are subjects in which the mass of facts is not great as compared with the facts in a history subject of the same grade; and, further, their facts are so related logically that no serious tax upon the memorizing powers of the student is made. If the topical method has been of value in such subjects, it should, a fortiori, be of service in the more detailed subject of history. Who is responsible for the fact that to history, the most indefinite of the subjects which confront the secondary school student, the process of selection and elimination has never been applied?

"A speaker at a recent historical conference referred to the drudgery felt by her and her students in the prescribed work for college entrance, and of the great satisfaction which they all found in a special course which she was permitted to give in American

history for the period 1765 to 1860, in which they Reports from the Historical Field

could do intensive work, read the standard histories, use sources, and even get acquainted with the collections of the great historical society of their city. What conference of secondary history teachers has not been haunted by this spectre of the college entrance requirements, requirements covering so broad a field, and demanding so much mere memorizing, that they constitute a deadening influence upon pupil and teacher; requirements which, instead of tending to raise the standard of instruction, often crush out the best in class and instructor; requirements which, by their breadth, but not depth, encourage, nay almost compel, superficial work? As a matter of fact, there is much good historical pedagogy lying dormant in our secondary schools. There are many teachers possessed of training and ideals who hope some day to be freed from the present indefinite condition of the subject; who will welcome the opportunity to do good work, work which they and their students will enjoy, just as soon as the field is narrowed and methods of intensive cultivation can be applied.

66

To-day many a history teacher is bewildered by the wealth of excellent aids to the study of history on the one hand, and by the failure of the colleges to require or permit the use of these aids on the other hand. Of what value is all the source material recently published for secondary schools, if it subserves no better end than to enable the teacher to tell a story not in his text-book? There are good series of pictures, and of maps, detailed and outlined; there are innumerable references to collateral reading; but many a teacher finds that these interesting and valuable aids to the study of history must be set aside for has not this college required all of Oman's History of Greece,' or that university all of Channing's Student's History of the United States'?

Surely there is a way by which at the same time the ideals of our secondary teachers and the rights of the colleges may both be preserved. Does not such a way lie in the enumeration by colleges and state examining boards of a set of topics in each period of history? Such topics need not be made so permanent that they would become stereotyped, but they might be changed every few years as are the entrance readings in English. But whether permanent or changing, what a relief and enjoyment to the teacher would such topics become. With them he could do his work well; he could use sources and illustrative material; he would know what his students would be examined upon, and he would know whether they were fit to come up for examination. History teaching would then become a respectable matter for the teacher; for the pupil it would bring the pleasure of intensive acquaintance with certain valuable epochs or movements, rather than a dry grind upon an interminable series of facts. Both in training and in information the student would be the gainer; the teacher would more nearly attain a deserved peace of mind.

[ocr errors]

In justice to the secondary school teacher, gentlemen of the committee, give him a chance to do his best; and give his students the satisfaction of knowing what is expected of them."

WALTER H. CUSHING, EDITOR.

Changes in the curriculum of Amherst College have been announced by President Meiklejohn. An elective course in Social and Economic Institutions has been established for the freshman year. Other changes have been made, the primary purpose of which is the greater opportunity offered the student for study in philosophy, history, economics and government.

The meeting of the New England History Teachers' Association, announced for April 25, has been postponed to Saturday, May 2.

James J. Sheppard, principal of the High School of Commerce, New York, died on Friday, March 13, after a short illness.

The New England Association's Committee on Economics, Mr. Winthrop Tirrell, chairman, has prepared a long series of questions on economics. These questions are designed to accompany any text and are now being given a thorough trial in various schools preparatory to a report to the Association at the fall meeting.

Silas Marcus MacVane, McLean professor of ancient and January 19, 1914. modern history, emeritus, Harvard, died at Rome, Italy,

Plans for the annual meeting of the Middle States Association at Trenton and Princeton, May 1 and 2, are almost completed. The program promises to be one of unusual in

terest.

"The Texas History Teachers' Bulletin" for February, 1914, contains the following articles: "What Historical Geography Should the Pupil Carry away With Him?" by Milton R. Gutsch; "Sources in High School History Teaching," by Mary Crutchfield; "How to Use the History Notebook in High School History Teaching," by L. F. McKay. This number also contains proceedings of the History Section of the State Teachers' Association, which met in November, 1913. There are the usual personal notes and lists of recent publications.

The collection of historical material of the New England Association has been installed in the library of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and members of the Association are

urged to inspect the same at the spring meeting. A ticket of admission to the Museum will be issued through the kindness of the directors of the Museum at the request of the Committee on Historical Material. This ticket admits to the collection at all times when the Museum is open: week-days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Dr. J. Salwyn Schapiro, of the College of the City of New York, is now preparing a text-book on "Modern Europe." It will cover European history since 1815, and will particularly emphasize the social and economic problems of the present day. The book is to be published by the Houghton, Mifflin Co.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »