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PROSE AND VERSE
SELECTED AND EDITED
J. MADISON GATHANY, A.M.
HISTORY DEPARTMENT, HOPE STREET HIGH SCHOOL
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved
The specific object of this volume is to help to Americanize the youth of this country, whether of native or of foreign birth. One of the best uses of our schools is to bring about an unshakable mental and moral attachment of the American people to the aspirations and ideals of America. The child is the future adult citizen. Education is the living spring of his character. The ideals of the nation are to be developed in the child, because only thus do they become of any real value to him, and through him to the nation. One main purpose of our schools is to sow the seeds of national inspiration and aspiration. If democracy is to endure, democratic ideals must be woven into the very texture of the thoughts, the feelings, and the life of the individual: for "character is destiny.
The universal study and teaching of American ideals could in no wise produce the character-type that the study and teaching of Race ideals produce in certain foreign countries. For the ideals themselves are as far apart as the poles. American ideals teach no special race prerogatives, disclose no national militarism, insist not at all upon blind slavish obedience to the State as mere Power. An understanding and practice of American ideals will lead to directly opposite results. The teaching of narrow race beliefs uncivilizes and dehumanizes the individual, and makes of the nation an aggregation of human beings without respect for the laws of civilized mankind. In other words, the teaching of such ideals defeats the true object of education and of the individual.
The object of this volume is really set forth in these comments upon the study and teaching of the objects and ideals of the nations referred to. Ideals to be studied must be put into definite concrete form. Herewith is presented a volume which contains a large number of important State papers, documents, speeches, addresses, epigrammatic statements, songs, hymns, and known to be of abiding value, derived from those who not only have studied about our democratic ideals, but have valiantly preached and practiced them.
It is possible that we have proceeded too long on the basis that American patriotism will take care of itself because American democracy is divine, and therefore imperishable. This is not an entirely safe conception. We should have made a studied attempt to teach American patriotism and American ideals. Patriotism can be taught; democratic ideals can be developed. The significance of American history and American institutions can be emphasized in our schools and in our homes. It cannot be overemphasized.
Even our history classes, our classes in English, our classes in declamation, may be made also classes in American patriotism, centers of inspiration for American ideals. Out of such instruction may come a devoted citizenship, an intelligent basis of belief in democracy, and an aid to the forwarding of the ideals of democracy itself. For such work in classes it is hoped that this volume has been conveniently arranged - in chronological order - a plan particularly helpful to classes in history.
The editor hopes that the adult citizens of America both native-born and foreign-born - may find in this handy little volume a veritable political handbook. He even hopes that they may often pick it up and familiarize themselves with the purposes and ideals of this the most successful great democracy in the world. Parents he hopes may read now and then to the younger members of the