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of his influence with the leaders of his party out a compliant Congress, he may easily in and out of Congress.
and legally be prevented from taking meaAt exceptional times the President may sures adequate to the national defense. be the leader of his party; Jackson was, It is true, also, that under the law and and Roosevelt may be: but, as a rule, the in ordinary times—that is, most of the President is not really a party leader, and time—the President cannot exercise his the moment he is elected, that moment he appropriate executive functions as he will, is more than likely to find the party leaders nor can he meet the expectations of the in Congress censorious, critical, obstruc- country. Congress usurps his powers, or tive, and occasionally hostile. The effort limits them, and will not listen to him. to make the departments independent of Most of the time our government is almost one another has resulted in promoting mu- wholly that of Congress. Reforms in detual jealousies. Whatever may be the atti- tails of administration or in matters of seemtude of Congress toward him, however, the ing importance that ought to be possible President feels compelled to urge legisla- in a day are made the subjects of annual tion in furtherance of his policy. When he discussions during the lives of several Conthinks that policy momentous, he trades gresses. Comparatively powerless as the and lectures. He distributes favors; he fathers intended the President to be, he is calls leaders to the White House; he pleads less than the intention. Speaking in the for himself, for his party, and for the coun- Constitutional Convention on the subject try: and he is more likely to fail than to of the proposal to make Congress and the succeed unless the country is clearly with President independent of each other, Madihim; in that event Congress yields to the son expressed the opinion that "experience voters, not to the Chief Magistrate. But has proved a tendency in our governments whether he succeeds or fails, the country to throw all power into the legislative vorholds him responsible. Notwithstanding The executives of the States," he the fact that he has no power whatever to continued, “are little more than ciphers, compel Congress to take affirmative action, the legislatures omnipotent.” Hamilton, he is charged with its unpopular failures; writing in the "Federalist" on the same notwithstanding his impotence to prevent subject and somewhat betraying his fears the passage of a bill in favor of which are for the future, said: “To what purpose two thirds of each house, he is charged separate the executive or the judiciary from with its unpopular performance.
the legislative, if both the executive and The President is denied the right to the the judiciary are so constituted as to be at free exercise of the powers which are essen- the absolute devotion of the legislative ? tially executive, and the power necessary ... It is one thing to be subor ate to to meet the unjust responsibility which the the laws, and another to be dependent on country places upon him has not been be- the legislative body.” The tendency destowed upon him. His influence in some scribed by the one remained, and the evil directions is enormous; he commands the foreseen by the other has grown. respect of the people; his office is one of There was a time for the making of laws great dignity. If he himself is dignified, for the defense of human liberty against he shares in the feeling which is manifested tyranny; there has come a time for the for his office; if he has courage and is right, administration of law that the democracy he can command the support of the coun- may be as efficient for good government try against Congress, especially against the as it has been beneficent for the protection Senate, to such an extent that his policy and advancement of the individual. There will triumph. Of such courage and its is little need for new laws; there is much consequences there is no better illustration need for the repeal of hampering and bad than that afforded by Mr. Cleveland's de- laws. The executive should be freed from termined effort to save the country from the irons with which he was bound by the the consequences of the latest silver-pur- eighteenth century in behalf of rising manchase act. In times of national peril the hood, and he should be also relieved from President becomes a dictator, and may act the impositions and usurpations which have contrary to the law without serious ques- developed from ancient principles diverted tion; but if a time shall ever come when, into modern prejudices. We are no longer in a crisis, the President finds himself with- dependent for our liberties upon the lawmakers, but upon the courts. We no longer as time goes on. This being true, it will dread the tyranny of the executive, for eventually be essential to give to the Presi
, the courts are above him also, to restrain dent the power which ought to accompany and to punish. In the increasing com- responsibility. The people of this country plexities of our civilization, government are too intensely practical to consent for has become, mainly by reason of our inat- all time to an ineffective executive, and tention to it, the least responsible of our some day they will realize that what the institutions. It is necessary to concentrate President may now do despite the law, he popular attention, and to this end respon- should be able to do, when the occasion sibility must be established. The sentiment arises, under the law, for the ultimate truth which loads the President with responsi- is that the law must reign or democracy is bility is instinctive, and it will strengthen a failure.
THE CAREERS OF SCHOLARLY
MEN IN AMERICA
BY PROFESSOR EDWARD L. THORNDIKE
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York
F we take year by year a body a student who gave years to the task and
of young men who represent the had access to exact information concernbest scholarship of the college ing the lives of the college graduates of
graduates of that year, we shall the last fifty years, could hope to present have a body of men who represent with absolutely accurate statements reasonable accuracy the most scholarly subject. My data, taken from the catayoung men of that year in college and logue of 1900, are subject to the factors out. If we find what changes have taken of error and ignorance influencing it. For place in the careers they choose, as we the most part these are such as to counpass down from 1850 to the present day, teract one another, and the figures I shall we shall know whether any given profes- present may be taken as reliable within, sion is gaining or losing in attractiveness say, ten per cent. of their amount. The to that type of men. The amount of its general tendencies shown are reliable begain or loss we may measure by the in- yond question. crease or decrease in the number of such We may best begin by studying the men choosing it. For this class of schol- changes in the attitude of Phi Beta Kappa arly young men I have taken those gradu- men toward various careers from 1850 to ates of representative colleges who have 1895, and then attempt to determine what been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. I have the careers of Phi Beta Kappa men are traced the later careers of 5283 such men to-day, and what they are likely to be in from the class of 1840 to the class of 1900. the near future.
By a scholarly man is meant a man who There is a remarkable uniformity in the has the ability to acquire and think about percentage of Phi Beta Kappa men enterknowledge, and who puts that ability in ing the four leading professions. The peraction. It is a narrower term than " centages by five-year periods, from 1840 intellectual man," and much narrower than to 1900, vary only from 64 to 68. What“a man of mental ability.” Of scholarship ever growth has taken place in the peras just defined, the college graduates who centage of college graduates, in general, each year are elected into Phi Beta Kappa who enter business and industrial careers are, with few exceptions, the possessors. has influenced the interests and motives of The Phi Beta Kappa badge is a recognized the most scholarly section only to the very mark of scholarship; it is an emblem that slight extent that in the twenty-five years a majority of college professors, for in- from 1870 through 1894 1.5 per cent. stance, are glad to wear. If any one fewer enter the professions than did from doubts the appropriateness of Phi Beta 1840 to 1865. This difference is so slight Kappa membership as a test of scholarship, as to be as likely to be due to chance let him compare the scholarly attainments variation as to any real tendency. There in after life of the Phi Beta Kappa men seem to be certain innate propensities in in any ten college classes with those of the the scholarly make-up which direct its other members, and he will soon be con- activities in spite of notable changes in verted.
outside circumstances. No one, save an omniscient observer or If the attitude of Phi Beta Kappa men
toward professional life in general has for since 1885 the percentage has been
As has been said, these percentages rep1855–59, 10.5 per cent. ; in 1860–64, 15.2 resent the men who have made the minisper cent. ; in 1865–69, 19.7 per cent. ; in try their life-work. The decrease would 1870–74, 19.8 per cent. ; in 1875–79, 22.5 be even more marked if we took all those per cent. ; in 1880–84, 16.4 per cent.; in who entered the ministry, for, as is well 1885–89, 14.4 per cent. ; in 1890–94, 19 known, there were, fifty years ago, many per cent.
men who entered the ministry, but engaged Medicine has not been a popular pro- eventually in the more profitable, congefession with scholarly graduates. The per- nial, or more needed work of education. centages range from 6 to 4 from 1840 to One out of every seven Phi Beta Kappa 1885, and are 7.5 and 7 for 1885–89 and men graduating from 1840 to 1850 who 1890–94.
entered the ministry became, in the end, The cause of the gain made by medi- a teacher, while up to the present time cine from 1885 to 1895 is, one is tempted only one out of seventeen of those graduto think, the advance of medicine to the ating from 1880 to 1890 has done so. dignity of a science and the introduction The steadiness of the ministry's loss in into college courses of electives in science. attractiveness shows that its cause has not The former makes the career more attrac- been due to any great and sudden crisis tive to the thinker, and the latter gives of crises, but to some factor which has scientific capacities and interests a chance worked throughout the period. This factor, to become aware of themselves.
whatever it is, has extended its influence Teaching has been changing from the widely. For in every one of the colleges casual work of young men forced some- taken, sectarian and non-sectarian, Eastern how to earn money for professional studies, and Western, large and small, the same or the destiny of clergymen who found general change has occurred. If we pick that their learning was worth more to the out from the colleges those which have world than their piety or sermons, to a dis- been most prominent in sending out future tinct profession with secure remuneration, clergymen, we find that they apparently great social advantages, and a chance to did not feel the influence which began cultivate one's intellectual interests. This elsewhere about 1850 until ten or fifteen familiar change appears emphatically in years later. But from then on the influmy records. During 1885–95 25.5 per ence worked even more powerfully on cent. of Phi Beta Kappa men became them than on the rest. I also find that the teachers, as against 9.4 per cent. from change in the attitude of scholarly men is 1840 to 1844. The figures by five-year not simply a part of an identical change periods show a rapid increase in the popu- in college graduates in general. College larity of the teaching profession with our graduates have entered the ministry less class of men from 1840 to 1865, a decline and less in the last fifty years, but the during the next five years, and an increase change has not been so marked or folfrom 1870 on. There is some evidence lowed the same course as it has with the that the tendency has spent itself by now, scholarly section.