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covering the period from 1897 to 1902 are of extraordinary value to the student of city problems. Another exceptionally valuable collection of reports and discussions of municipal questions is found in “ Proceedings of the National Municipal League,” 1894 to 1903. For those interested in municipal problems from the standpoint of practical administration, the Municipal Journal and Engineer will be found a useful magazine.
I am particularly indebted to Dr. Milo Roy Maltbie, of New York, for generous aid in the collection of materials used in this book, and for the careful perusal and criticism of the manuscript.
D. F. W. GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN,
April 21, 1904.
THE AMERICAN CITY: A PROBLEM
DEMOCRACY AND CITY LIFE IN AMERICA
THREE hundred years ago the United States was a wilderness of forest, mountain, and untilled prairie. The first European settlers who came to the New World were actuated by various motives; but those who settled on the eastern coast of what is now the United States were not, for the most part, adventurers. Three or four noble motives stand out as characteristic of that early immigration. These motives were:
First, the desire for religious liberty;
Third, the desire for opportunity to make an honest living, that is to say, for a share in nature's bounty; and,
Fourth, the desire to conquer a new continent for Christianity and civilization.
Along with such motives as these went the courage to face the wilderness and endure the dangers and privations attendant upon pioneer life in a
remote quarter of the world. The settlement of America was indeed a war in the wilds, a series of bloody and hard-fought battles with want, with disease, with cunning and fierce savages. the desire for freedom that gave our fathers the courage to conquer. Freedom is the normal aspiration of man, and the record of human progress is the record of the achievements of those who are striving to be free.
After a century and a half of struggle and growth, the settlements of Englishmen along our Atlantic coast united to form the American nation. In the Declaration of Independence, the federal and state constitutions, and the ordinance governing the Northwest Territory, the fundamental principles of American democracy were established. These are, in brief, four :
First, that every man should stand on his own merits, and not be dependent for political rights or privileges on the rank or merit of his father or any one else;
Second, that every normal man should have the right to participate in government;
Third, that all men should have equal opportunities to attain to positions of power and influence in political society; and,
Fourth, that every child should have a chance to get an education.
To be sure, these principles were not perfectly worked out or universally applied at first, but, in a broad sense, they form the foundation of Ameri