« AnteriorContinuar »
Strength of the Confederate Army at Chickamauga. total Confederate force available for battle at Chick
amauga was as follows: On this moot subject an examination of the original General Bragg's army, 31st of August, 1863, for duty... 48,998 returns in the War Department, which I have person- Longstreet's command
(Hood's and McLaws's divisions), ally made, shows the following result:
by return of Army of Northern Virginia, 31st of August, 1863, for duty.
..11,716 General Bragg's return, 31st of August, 1863, shows Breckinridge's division, by his official report in “Confederunder the heading “present for duty," officers and men,
ate Reports of Battles,' for duty.
Preston's division, by his official report in “Confederate 48,998.
Reports of Battles," for duty. This return does not include the divisions of General Brigades of Gregg and McNair, by General Bushrod John
son's official report (So. Hist. Soc. Papers, Vol. XIII.), Breckinridge or General Preston, the brigades of Gen- for duty... erals Gregg and McNair, or the reënforcement brought
Total by General Longstreet. The strength of each is ac
71,551 curately given in Confederate official returns. The CINCINNATI, O.
E. C. Dawes.
TOPICS OF THE TIME.
Shall Fortunes be Limited by Law ?
the estates has already given us some of the phases of
a system of primogeniture, from which it had been perΤΗ
HE leveling instincts of a democracy are apt to an- sistently assumed that we had escaped at the Revo
swerthequestion with an emphatic Yes. The equali- lution. An entire escape from all its phases can now zation of men in their standing before the law, in their be found only in a failure of direct heirs or in the sucpolitical privileges, in their opportunities in the admin. cession of an incorrigible spendthrift. And it is a fact istrative service of the country, in their educational too, to be carefully kept in mind, that the succession advantages, and in the position of their sects before of incorrigible spendthrifts is no longer so common as the State is apt to find in the eyes of many only it once was. The larger the estate, the more apt is the its next step in the equalization of wealth, or at least heir to be a plain, hard-working young man, who in the prevention of the development of extremes. On shows more signs of uneasiness at assuming the rethe other hand, he who pins his faith to the political sponsibility of managing the property than of elation power of the State, who believes that the State has the over his opportunities of squandering it. Every indicaright to regulate property because it makes property tion goes to show that our very large fortunes, instead possible, has only to be convinced that great fortunes of being dispersed, are to hold their own and even to are dangerous to the State to echo the democratic an- grow from generation to generation until they reach swer with another and as hearty an affirmative. The that natural limit placed by the ability of one person to proposal finds even a more favorable soil in our own manage an estate. country for the reason that our whole political system It is very natural, then, that those who feel that law has been consciously set from the beginning against and social conditions together have failed in the work the development of permanent great fortunes, and that which they were considered competent to do should with a success in which we have taken considerable every year have a stronger desire to put new legal limipride. Our legislation has aimed at removing every tations on the growth of American fortunes. The danartificial obstacle to the dispersion of great fortunes: gers of enormous accumulations of wealth in the hands primogeniture has been forbidden; entails have been of single persons in a republic, the contrast between limited; equal division of the property of intestates · the daily income of the “ plutocrat” and the amount has become the legal rule; and the result has been, un- which the long struggle of a workingman's whole life til comparatively recent years, that “from shirt-sleeves will bring, the passions aroused by the vulgar display to shirt-sleeves were three generations."
affected by so many of the smaller “large fortunes,” The old rule, however, no longer holds good. Rep- are all forces bearing in the same direction. The proresentative fortunes have come to be enormouslyposals of prohibitory succession duties on inheritances larger-larger, indeed, than were really conceivable fifty above a limited amount, of prohibitions of gifts above years ago; and this one fact has quite altered most the same amount, unless to public or charitable uses, of the conditions of the case. Almost any division of or of an income tax rising in percentage with the the “large fortune" of a half-century ago gave as a re- amount of the income to a prohibitory tax on all insult several small fortunes, usually so small as to have comes above a legal limit, are various forms of a sin. in them no power of recuperation and self-increase. gle purpose - that the very rich shall become no richer, But a reasonably equitable division of a fortune of and that they shall not be permitted to transmit their two hundred millions gives at least one fortune whose present wealth undiminished to an indefinite line of annual income is so much beyond anything that the successors. heir is at all likely to spend, that its own natural in- It is well, however, to weigh carefully the fact that, crease will carry the principal up again to its original in the mass of cases, wealth means the sum of some limit within an ordinary life-time, without any special service done to the public, which would not have been ability in the owner beyond that of care-taking. The done but for the reward found in the legal permission general principle that all the children ought to have a to accumulate and transmit wealth. He who has reshare will no longer suffice to break up and disperse tired with a snug fortune has been engaged in a life. all the fortunes of the republic; the very magnitude of long struggle to provide dry-goods for the public a cent a yard cheaper than they were before, or to lower
President or King ? freights a tenth of a cent per ton-mile, or to see that the money of bank stock-holders or depositors is loaned DURING the long period through which republican. to just the persons in the community who will make ism stood on the threshold of Europe, knocking for the best and safest use of it, or to accomplish some one the admission which was peremptorily denied until it of the public services in which human activity is con- was forced through the terrors of the French Revolu. tinually finding its field of operations. We darken many tion, the applicant came in an ill fashion ; her name questions hopelessly when we speak, as we always do, had become synonymous with riot and disorder as an of the individual's success in making money, as if he internal condition, and with reckless aggression as an had been engaged in abstracting something from the international policy. However urgently the man of general pile; there are ugly cases of this kind, but republican leanings might deny the accusation, his they are the exception, not the rule. He who has “made consciousness that the universal belief of Europe was money” legitimately has done it by leaving the gen- against him always forced him into an apologetic attieral mass of wealth just so much larger than he found tude on this point. And when the issue was at last it, by furnishing long years of useful and profitable work brought to the arbitrament of force, it was not so much to others less well equipped than he for the race of life, the execution of the king, the massacres of the aristoand by performing for years some specific service, in crats, the overthrow of the Church, on which the Antiaddition, to the public at large.
Jacobin relied to make out his case against the French If we acquire the habit of now and then looking at Republic, but rather the irascibility, the unreasonable. the case from this side, from which we unhappily so ness, the proneness to make war on few or no grounds, seldom look at it, the proposal to put legal limits to which must, he declared, always characterize a governthe amount of fortunes will take an entirely new as- ment controlled by the mob. A republican government pect. We shall see that we are, in reality, making the in the heart of Europe would be a fire-brand, constantly definite proposal that our law shall henceforth forbid scattering or threatening destruction; and the natural any citizen to make the world more than so much desire for security from such an infliction was the ofricher in his life-time, to provide employment for more ficial reason for the renewed and re-renewed confederthan a legally limited number of those who need and ation of the kings. desire employment, or to be more zealous than the law There would seem to be considerable reason, a priori, allows in seeking out commodities or doing any similar for doubting this belligerent disposition of republics; service for the general public. Franklin once attempted it surely cannot require a profound experience in the art to reach the common sense of the British public in a of self-government to teach “the mob” that the sol. pamphlet entitled “Rules for reducing a Great Empire diers and taxes to support war must be its contribution, to a Small One." If a second Franklin should address and to give it a hearty distaste for military glory. If, us, must he meet as little success in combating the however, in spite of theory, there is in republicanism proposal to put legal limits to the wealth of the coun. anything of this overbearing tendency to aggression
upon neighboring nations, who should personify it if If the proposal needed any further illumination, it not the President of the United States? He is a poliwould be found in the impossibility of limiting the in. tician, chosen for but four years to the highest office jurious results of its adoption. Human ability is in open by election to man, and conventionally estopped, the habit of taking very fair average care of itself: it at least in modern times, from essaying any other line persecuted in one city, it will not be slow to seek a of public preferment after leaving the presidential of. refuge and a welcome in another. If New York could fice. The popularity to be won by successful warfare place a progressive income tax on her statute-book pro- would go far to give him at least one reëlection; and hibiting incomes above a fixed limit, one result would the obstacles to indefinite reëlection, however strong certainly be a diminution of New York incomes; but they have proved in fact, have never been in themselves that would be far from all. The incomes thus limited more than negative. To the observer of 1787, with his would rapidly disappear from New York, while Con- preconceived notions of the bellicose temper of a re. necticut and New Jersey would show a sudden, sur- public, it must have seemed a most probable result prising, and coincident increase of large incomes. So, that some military adventurer, enticing the country into if the scheme should be adopted by the whole United war, and thus securing for himself one reëlection after States, that country would meet an indefinite dead loss, another to the presidency, should gradually change to the gain of Canada or Europe. Human ability would the essence of the government until, as in so many find its natural refuge and enjoy its natural income other so-called republics, the President should assume somewhere unless the whole world could be united the dignity and title of royalty. against it as implacably as the Roman Empire used to No such result has taken place. On the contrary, be against the victim of the Emperor. Until the pro. the history of the United States has shown that the posal to limit fortunes by law can be supplemented by American chief magistrate, however efficient he may a recipe for securing the acquiescence or neutrality be as a leader and manager after war has once begun, of those who are to be most directly affected by it, it is up to that time not only the most pacific of rulers, must be considered as really outside of the province but the most pacific organ of his own government. of discussion. If the great fortune is the result of de- Other departments of his government have shown fiance or prostitution of law, let the law be made to an occasional disposition to fall under the malignant fit the case; but if it is the natural result of human influence of the war-spirit; but the American president ability, why should it not go on benefiting the com- (with perhaps the exception of a single case), whether munity up to the natural limit of human powers of he has been soldier or civilian by profession, has almanagement ?
ways seemed to feel himself personally and peculiarly
charged with the duty of maintaining peace. In the William, but his judgment is free from at least one midst of perfervid orators, legislative statements of cloud which must always obscure that of the emperor : grievances, and even intense popular passion, the in the emperor's eyes, every question of peace and President has always thrown the whole weight of his war properly affecting Germany alone must be looked party, personal, and official influence into the scale of at through the mirage raised by the conventional honor peace, and, in the last resort, has usually shown no of the house of Hohenzollern; in the eyes of the hesitation in arraying his constitutional prerogatives President, the question is one solely of his country's across the path to war, even though he has thus welfare. seemed to peril his own political future.
It is but a few months since France passed through Time would fail for enumerating all the cases in our the crisis which was to decide whether her coming history where the office of President has been the di- ruler was to be president, emperor, or king. Was rect barrier between the United States and war. The there no significance in the rise of stocks, in the “betfirst attack upon Washington's popularity came in ter feeling” in neighboring capitals, and in the reviv1793, when he interfered publicly and successfully to ing confidence in peace, which followed the election prevent the country from drifting into war as an ally of a president? Sadi-Carnot may cease to be presiof France against England. Six years afterward, when dent; the French Republic itself may cease to be for the country was ready for war against France, when the time; but the “European situation ” can never the President's own party was clamorous for it, and escape from the damning stigma of last December – when the first tidings of successful sea-fights were the consensus of the international armament of crowned already coming in, John Adams flung himself into the heads that a president in France was in so far a pledge breach and secured peace, though he lost the presi- of peace. Perhaps, if there were more presidents in dency. Bitterly as he disliked the English Government Europe, there would be fewer wars and a brighter of that day, Jefferson had but one thought when he hope of disarmament. As republicanism spreads more heard of the Leopard's attack upon the Chesapeake in widely over the continent, even while a simulacrum 1807 — to check the popular disposition to answer the of royalty is still retained, it cannot but become more outrage by war, and to first exhaust every possible evident from results that the wars of the past were means of peaceable redress. His successor, Madison, due to other influences than popular passion. Perhaps, struggled more hopelessly for peace, until it became before the process is completed, the people of Europe evident that his political fate was to be that of John may for once enjoy the spectacle of a war in which the Adams, when he at last gave way. So one might go monopoly of actual fighting is reserved for two of the on to find in every administration, even in that which remaining royal families and their respective officers has been held responsible for the Mexican War, new of hereditary influence. One may be pardoned for beinstances of the normal bent of the presidential office lieving that these two elements are responsible for towards peace. Some of them may not have been suc- more wars in the past than all coming presidents will cessful in securing peace; in others there may never ever have to apologize for. have been imminent peril of war; each of them has at least served to emphasize anew the intense anxiety
Postal Savings Banks. of all American presidents for peace.
But, it may very well be said, it is the people, nct Those who are not brought directly into contact with the political system, that has made the American office the savings bank do not always appreciate fully the what it has been. The objection has truth, but it is popular work which is done by the system. In these easy to permit it to disguise as important truths on banks we can see practically that which is not always the other side. If the South American president has easy to understand in theory – the close relationship not always been so peaceful a figure, is even he, after of wages to capital, and the possibility of the converall, any worse than his dynastic rival who, represent- sion of the former into the latter. The savings banks ing Germans, Austrians, or Russians, is concentrating of the United States had, in 1887, some $1,200,000,000 his thoughts on the power of explosives, the bore of of deposits. Almost all this was the savings of labor, rifles, and the number of cartridges which the soldier the natural result of high wages and growing ambitions. can carry? There is strong reason to think that even Saved in dribblets, it would have been spent in drib. here the elective ruler would show a tendency to peace blets and would have passed out of reckoning without such as has not been a marked characteristic of hered- doing the world any service, but for the savings banks' itary rulers. Even if the present system of European unification of countless little savings into this imposing armament were a really popular movement, a king mass of wealth, this $1,200,000,000. To enable themmust find provocations to the use of the national ar- selves to pay interest on these deposits, the savings mament in circumstances which would seem of com- banks must in their turn loan them, immediately or paratively little significance to a president by election. mediately, to men who wish to borrow the money for The hereditary ruler, ex vi termini, is limited in the use as business capital. That is, the country's gener. work of ruling by considerations bearing on the family ous treatment of labor, its high wages, the hopes of which he represents; his regret at the outbreak of social advancement which it holds forth, and the dewar must be tempered, if the young princes of his house sire of saving which springs therefrom, have been should find in popular applause a substitute for popu- profitable, even in the lowest sense of the word; they lar election; he breathes a family atmosphere of mili- have added to the active capital of the country some tarism. He may try to think only of national interests, $1,200,000,000 which otherwise would never have exbut his influence will be swayed by other considera- isted. But it would be telling far less than half the story tions. President Cleveland may be no better, wiser, to leave it on this low level. This mass of wealth has not calmer, or more pacific person than the Emperor only served the country as capital; in a higher politi
Vol. XXXV.– 132.
cal sense, it has been a pledge of social peace, security, bound to care for, let Congress proceed, by establishand hope. Those who have saved it are not growing ing postal savings banks throughout the South, to poorer, but richer; they have founded an Anti-Poverty show the negroes that there is a more excellent way Society of their own. With it, they have put so much than the Freedman's Savings Bank. the greater interest at stake in the country; while those Such Government savings banks have their points of who have borrowed and are using it have so much the inferiority to corporate banks. In order to establish greater respect for those who have saved it. Every the system, the Government bonds would still be availsavings bank is in its way worth a thousand policemen able as an absolutely secure investment for the postal and several regiments of regular troops, for it builds bank deposits; and those who should deposit their halforder on a foundation stronger than force.
dollars or multiples thereof at the money-order offices This showing of the savings-bank system, however, or postal savings banks would really be buying shares becomes meager when we begin to realize how small of these Government bonds. Corporate banks loan a part of its possible field has been filled. Of the twelve their deposits directly to be used as capital by the borhundred millions of savings just mentioned, nearly rowers, while the postal savings bank would act only eleven hundred millions are the property of New Eng- indirectly, releasing for use as business capital the same land and the Middle States alone. Indeed, if we amount of money which would otherwise have been except these two sections and California, with her invested in Government bonds. In other words, the $60,000,000 of savings, the system is practically non- corporate banks not only inculcate the habit of saving, existent in the remainder of the United States. The but add to the business capital of the country more rest of our people are still practically ignorant of the directly than the postal banks. If, then, the proposal powers of the system in transforming wages into capi- were to give the Government the same monopoly of tal. And it is for this reason,- for its educational ad- the savings-bank business which it has in the post-office, vantages rather than for its superiority to individual the proposal would be open to serious objections. No banks,- it is for the controlling purpose of introducing such proposal is meant. On the contrary, it is easy to the system into those sections of the country where it show that the postal bank can do no more than open is still practically unknown, that Congress may fairly the way for the more effective corporate bank. The be called upon to imitate Great Britain's Act of 1861, purchase of Government bonds for postal bank investestablishing a system of postal savings banks. Where- ment, at the current market rates, will net only an inever the system is introduced it must commend itself; terest of less than 3 per cent. on the amount invested and then the superiority of banks formed by individual in all probability, not more than 22 per cent. Even corporators may safely be trusted to hold the Govern- if there were no expenses of management, then the ment institutions down to their comparatively narrow postal bank could not offer more than 2% per cent. in. field.
terest on deposits, unless the Government should inThere is one section, however, in which the call for crease the rate as a gratuity, which would hardly be such a step seems almost a national duty, instead of a proposed. There would, however, be expenses of manmere question of expediency. If there is any class of agement to be provided for; and in practice the posour people who should be encouraged to save,- for the tal bank could hardly offer much more than 2 per sake of their own welfare, for the sake of the higher cent interest on deposits. The usual rate of the correspect which the known habit of saving will bring põrate savings bank is 4 per cent.; so that the corthem, for the sake of the social security which will find porate bank, when established in a place, would at once guarantees therein,- it is the Southern negroes. No drive the postal bank out of competition. It seems other class have a more immediate and urgent need evident, therefore, that the postal bank would be no of the savings-bank system than they; no other class real rival to the private or corporate bank- that it see so little of it. Indeed, what they have known of it would, in effect, be nothing more than introductory to has rather been calculated to make them distrust it; the present corporate system. It would be a conven. and for this our national legislation is largely respon- ience, in a town which had no corporate bank: it sible. They have not forgotten, if we have, the Freed- would teach the people the virtue of saving, and thus man’s Savings and Trust Company, chartered by Act stimulate the desire for a corporate bank; but it would of Congress of March 3, 1865, which failed in the au- not rival or oust the corporate bank. tumn of 1873 with liabilities of more than $3,000,000. The proposal that Congress should establish a sysDealing, as the Act did, with an ignorant and helpless tem of postal savings banks is not dictated, therefore, people, the wards of the nation, whose economic future by any desire to widen Government functions, or to was so largely dependent upon the success of this proj. take out of private hands a work which they can do ect, the Act should have been regarded as an act of better than the Government agents can. The present state rather than a mere charter; and every effort savings banks would continue their work without beshould have been made to give the deposits a character coming conscious of any change: it is not likely that a for security as absolute as the pledge of the whole single half-dollar would ever be deposited in the New wealth of the country could supply. That was the York City post-office if it were made a postal bank. time for the introduction of the principle of the postal The advantages would come in carrying the old system savings-bank system, for reasons of state if for no into new places, in teaching a whole people a system others; instead, Congress chose to hazard the eco- under which one-fourth of their number already have nomic development of the freedmen on the wisdom of $1,100,000,000 on deposit. random trustees, and the ups and downs of the invest- In a former article we discussed the plan for postal ments on which that wisdom should decide. In partial savings banks without any interest at all.* The whole compensation for its error of 1865, and for the economic question of postal savings banks may have to be deinjury thereby done to those whom the nation was
* See this magazine for February, 1886.
ferred, we are well aware, till the merit system in the account of Mr. Kennan's desire to group in preliminary civil service has been much further extended ; and in papers the last of which is printed in the present the present condition of the Treasury there are grave number an account of the conditions and events in doubts as to what wise disposition could be made of Russia directly related to the exile system. This systhe deposited savings.
tem is now to be minutely described and elaborately
pictured; and by way of preface to the first illustrated George Kennan's Siberian Papers.
paper Mr. Kennan will, in a brief statement, answer The illustrated papers descriptive of the Siberian ex- the question as to how he came to enter upon his ardu. periences of Mr. George Kennan, the author, and Mr. ous and somewhat perilous investigations, and why he G. A. Frost, the artist, will begin in the May number of and his companion were accorded such extraordinary The Century. Their appearance has been deferred on facilities by the Russian Government itself.
Such a staff of officers would have — partly, at any The Department of State and the Diplomatic Service.
rate— under their control many important subjects. In NE of the suggestions which President Arthur made the matter of promotions they would give the Secretary
in his last message to Congress was that the Presi- the advantage of their knowledge of the men and of the dent should be authorized by law to fix the grade of the requirements of the posts. It may be asked whether diplomatic agents sent by our Government to other pow- under such an administration of the service there would ers. The change thus proposed would undoubtedly not be room for favoritism. The answer to this is that have been in the right direction. If we are ever to have favoritism in the administration of human affairs is an organized diplomatic service, it will be necessary one of the things inevitable. It is possible to devise that the control of the service, or at any rate of most no system of administering a service in which favoritof its details, shall be left to the Executive and the De- ism will not play a part. Has there been no favoritism partment of State to a far greater degree than is now under the old system? But the chance that merit will done.
be considered in making promotions is certainly greater The fact, but little commented on, that the present if the service is under the control of responsible indiAdministration has made but few changes among the viduals, open to public criticism, than if the appointsecretaries may perhaps be taken to indicate a dispo- ment is the work of a vague syndicate of President, sition on its part to prepare the way for an organized Secretary of State, confirming senators, and appropridiplomatic service. It is time, therefore, that it should ation committees. be made clear that the management of such a service by It is easy to perceive that there are many things the Department of State will be necessary to its suc- which could be left to the discretion of a well-organcessful operation.
ized department which are not fit to be made matters The incessant and capricious meddling of Congress of public discussion. Take such a question, for inin the affairs of the service has been productive of much stance, as the comparative social fitness of men for harm. The abolition, so common in our legislation, of some post the demands of which are peculiar. This is a mission or a secretaryship one year, to be restored often a proper subject for consideration. The discrimi. the next, has had no effect but to make the holders of nation in favor of a person with a peculiar gift for disthese positions unhappy, to disgust and demoralize tinguished society need not be of an aristocratic nature. other members of the service, and to lower our Govern. It is not necessary that the man promoted upon this ment in our own eyes and in those of the world. The ground should be of distinguished connections. The matters of which the Department has cognizance are reverse would be the usual case. A talent of this sort of such a delicate nature that it should not be necessary is apt to be inborn. It is particularly so in this coun. to submit them to the public criticism of several hun- try, where the man who suits European standards of dred persons, some of whom will not scruple to make manners is as likely to come from one set of people, or the Government ridiculous if by such action they may from one part of the country, as from another. The gain any advantage for themselves or a little amuse- quality is apt to exist in men of bright intellects. Fine ment.
manners and a fine accent are likely to go with fine But it will not be enough that the control of the dip- perceptions. Then the clever fellows learn rapidly. lomats be left to the Executive and the Department. A little experience does wonders if the material is of The President and the Secretary of State, however able the right sort. and patriotic they may be, are not likely to be versed in The Department, of course, would have ample opporforeign habits and traditions. The administration of tunities for knowing the men whose merits it would the diplomatic and consular routine should be mainly have to pass upon. Besides having their work before in the hands of the permanent officers of the Depart- it, it would know them in person. We should, of course, ment. These should themselves have had considerable adopt the excellent custom of other countries. In most experience of diplomatic and consular life. They should services a diplomat begins the career by a period of be paid salaries proportionate to the dignity and impor. employment in the Foreign Office, and often returns tance of their duties; and their places should undoubt. there, either by an exchange with one of the clerks edly be permanent.