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pædias or dictionaries of dates. In the former regard, the older teachers were oftentimes remarkably successful; we of the present may congratulate ourselves if we succeed as well. Many of our modern methods employ too much machinery between the teacher and the pupil. In my opinion, the less machinery there is employed the better it is for both teacher and student. A good text-book properly used is a blessing; the best text-book abused is a great evil. Probably in no branch of teaching is the text-book so misused as it is in the teaching of history. Another topic of which we hear a great deal at the present time, especially in such gatherings as the present one, is the educative value of this or that study. I had intended to say something on this topic to-night, but I find that President Baker is to read a paper on the matter. I will content myself, therefore, with the remark, that, in my opinion, the educative value of any subject depends mainly on the way in which it is taught and studied. Any subject taught in the perfunctory way that history is often taught has no educative value whatever. On the other hand, history as it is taught in at least two secondary schools not far from Boston possesses the highest educative value.

History is the record of man's experience on this earth; geography is the description of the forces of nature which have atfected man's destiny. Without a knowledge of the latter it is impossible to understand the former. At the present day one must also understand the influence of the great inventions of the last hundred and fifty years as modifying the action of the forces of nature. The history of man is largely dependent on means of communication and transportation. The railroad of to-day is as important as the river of the seventeenth century. As an example to illustrate my meaning: It is impossible to judge fairly the Southern leaders in our Civil War unless we take into account the great change in conditions of transportation which bore its first military fruit in that stupendous conflict. The Southern leaders were justified in believing the conquest of the South to be practically impossible under the old conditions of warfare; but the Northern leaders, by a lavish use of the railway, solved a problem which would have been incapable of solution fifty years earlier. The same thing is true of the Franco-German war; the effective use made of the railways by the Germans contributed materially to the hastening of a conclusion which may have been otherwise inevitable. History for the most part, however, treats of man's activity before the age of steam.

To understand the conditions under which the nations of modern Europe were brought into existence or under which our own country was settled and developed in the earlier epoch, we must first discard our modern ideas of distances and our contempt for natural obstructions to communication-like rivers and mountains, for instance. We must endeavor to picture to ourselves the conditions which prevailed before the advent of the steam locomotive and the marine engine, and we must endeavor to estimate the triumphs and catastrophes of our ancestors from their point of view-geographically speaking. Even at the present day the physical conformation of a continent determines many things in a nation's life. The Pyrenees still separate Spain and France; the Alps still cut off Italy from the rest of Western Europe. In some respects, as, for example, in the transportation of goods and soldiers, the railroads have effected great changes; but these mountain blocks give different conditions of life to the peoples living south of them and to those living north of them. The German and the Italian must forever be unlike. Bodies of water still affect human progress as they did in the days of Genseric and his Vandal crews. The "silver streak” still separates "perfidious Albion” and the Continent as it separated them in the days of Napoleon and the younger Pitt. You remember Sir John Seeley's remark to the effect that England be. longed to Europe or America, as she might choose. Even at the present moment similar conditions seem to be bringing about a repetition of history in the Far East, where, in Japan, our children may see another Britain domineer the ocean.

Water separates nations in time of war; it brings them together in time of peace.

In this way the historian accounts for the early civilization of the Mediterranean lands and for the colonization of the Atlantic seaboard of the United States. It is difficult for us to realize the importance of interior waterways in the development of Europe and America, because the railroad has almost superseded the river steamboat in our country. It is interesting to go back to the early time and to compare the life of the citizens of London or Venice with that of the inhabitants of some small village only a few miles away; or to visit a town like Lubeck, once full of busy commercial life but now an interesting historical museum. But the greater part of the history of Europe was written before its fall, and in the natural causes contributing to its prosperity and decay we find that which explains to us many things in the history of Europe.

One of the best examples of the influence of physical conditions on a country's history is that great phenomenon of human industry known as Paris. Why is it that Paris is the most important place in France? Many factors have combined to produce this mar. velous city; but one of the principal causes of its greatness is to be found in its geographical position. Paris is on the Seine; but Houen and many other towns are on the Seine. Paris, unlike Rouen and these other towns, is on precisely the point of the Seine designed by nature for a great city. A glance at the map of France will show you that this is so. At almost the spot occupied by Paris the Seine valley widens out somewhat in the shape of a palmleaf fan, the branches of the river forming the ribs of the fan, with Paris at the point where the handle ceases and the leaves spread out. One branch points southeastwardly, toward the Rhone valley, Italy, and Switzerland; another points eastwardly, toward the Moselle, the Vosges, and the Rhine-toward Elsass-Lothringen and Central Germany; another points northeastwardly, toward the Maas and the Scheldt-toward Luxemburg and Belgium. The lines of commerce of the Middle Ages followed these subordinate valleys of the Seine system, as the canals and railroads of our time follow

Westward the Seine connects Paris with Rouen, Havre, and the ocean. Southward, at nearly the most northern point of the Loire, stands Orleans, guarding the route from Northern France to Southern France. Paris is thus at the center of a vast network of lines of communication. The traveler, the bale of goods, the invading army, all find themselves sooner or later at this spot. Paris, besides being a great commercial center, is the military key to Northern France; it is, to all intents and purposes, a frontier fortress. No conqueror can hope to long occupy Northern France unless he holds this fortified city.

Turning, now, to our own country, we have an admirable exam. ple of the relation of geography to history; not quite at our feet, to be sure, but only twenty-nine hours away—the Mississippi river. Two hundred years ago the French possessed the mouths of the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, which were then regarded as the keys to the continent. Were they the real keys of the continent? Was it due solely to the better colonizing qualities of the British race that this northern continent of ours became British and not French? It seems to me that this question must be answered in the negative. Of course, the more we exalt the facilities nature placed in the hands of the French, by just so much we exalt our ancestors who triumphed in spite of nature. Fresh from a ten days' trip on the Lower Mississippi, I feel impelled to assert, that, for effective colonizing value, the Chesapeake was worth more to the British than the Mississippi could possibly have been to anyone before the days of steam navigation. If anyone doubts this assertion, let him do as I have done, and picture to himself, not an Indian trader in his light canoe but a heavily laden Mayflower, with its lundred precious pilgrims and their household goods; or let him think of an Arbella, with John Winthrop and Isaac Johnson and a year's provisions for the thronging colonists on board. Think of these immigrant ships overcoming the four-mile current of that turbid stream, “poled” over this sandbar by hand, hauled along that bend by a tow-line from the shore. Let us suppose that the attempt to carry the ship herself up stream to Cairo, for instance, is abandoned and the ship's longboat and the canoes of the natives are used for transportation. Think of the father of one of those pilgrim households, aided by a servant, perhaps, rowing day after day against that ceaseless current, making good two miles an hour; often not so much. How long would it have taken him to reach Cairo, one thousand miles from the sea, or St. Louis, two hundred miles farther up stream? And what provisions of food and clothing would have remained at the end of his journey? It seems, therefore, that the colonization of the Mississippi Valley from the Gulf of Mexico was an impossibility before the days of steam. The case of the St. Lawrence is different. There the tide penetrates far inland, and the river can be navigated by sailing vessels from the sea to Montreal, where the Lachine rapids bar the way. But the navi. gation of the river is dangerous; that of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and its approaches is even more dangerous; and for many long months the river is closed by ice to navigation. For purposes of colonization the Delaware system was of more value than the St. Lawrence/although of far less value for purposes of exploration, missionary enterprises, or trading expeditions. The gateways of the continent were Chesapeake bay and Delaware bay, the Hudson river and the passes of the Appalachians, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They are to-day.

Another interesting topic is the influence of climatic conditions on our history. Prof. Josiah D. Whitney has published in his “United States") a most interesting table of comparative isothermal lines, showing the rapid change of climate on the western side of the Atlantic compared with the conditions which prevail on the eastern side of that ocean. This great diversity of climate on the Atlantic seaboard of our continent necessitated a corresponding diversity of agricultural products and means of earning one's living. Many of the divergences which marked off the New Englander from the Carolinian were due solely to his climatic environment. Different modes of life necessitated in time different social fabrics and varying governmental institutions, and in this way we can account for many of the most important facts in our historical development as a nation.

In these brief remarks I have endeavored to set before you a mode of historical thinking sometimes neglected in our text-books and in our schools. The study of history is valuable only as it is a living study; only as the subject conveys to the student something beside mere fact; only as it is interesting. It can be best made in. teresting by being understood, and it can never be understood without a knowledge of the geographical conditions under which man has been obliged to work out his destiny.




We estimate a man's worth by his intellectual grasp, his æsthetic and ethical insight, and his power for action toward right and useful ends. If these characteristics make the ideal man, they should be the ideal aim of education, and a study is to be valued as it best contributes toward developing them. The same test of efficiency is to be applied to the whole curriculum of a school period.

There is a correlation between the field of knowledge and the knowing being. The objective world, with its varied content, answers to the mind with its varied powers. It is through the objective world of nature and of man that the subject comes to a consciousness of himself. Each important phase of the objective world makes a distinct contribution in extent or kind of knowledge to that consciousness. We do not live in a world where cucumbers grow on trees, or where human beings fail in their ever-recurring characteristics; and we believe it possible to discover the kind of value which each source of knowledge may furnish toward the education of the child, with the expectation that we shall not find the choice of studies to be a matter of indifference.


Without laying claim to a best analysis, we may use a customary division of the field of knowledge: (1) Mathematical relations; (2) natural phenomena; (3) human action; (4) human thought; (5) æsthetic and ethical qualities. The studies corresponding are (1) mathematics; (2) natural science; (3) history; (4) language and literature; (5) art and ethics. Mathematics treats of quantitative knowledge, furnishes a peculiar intellectual training, and makes possible all commerce, all great structures, and the higher developments of phys. ical science. Natural science acquaints us with the field of physical phenomena and of plant and animal life, is the best training in induction, and is largely the basis of our material civilization. History reveals the individual; and our present civilization is the light of all human action, is a source of ethical training, and has high practical value for the problems of government and society. Literature reveals the ideal thought and the speculations of men, gives ästhetic and ethical culture, and in a practical way applies poetry to life. Art and ethics deal with distinct types of knowledge, cultivate the higher

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