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details, or groups of details, or systems of details, as means of interpreting the process? Thus, from the sociological point of view, either a group of economic facts, or the economic system of an age or a civilization, or the economic theory of a culture epoch, is each in its way merely a term in the whole proposition which sociology is trying to formulate. The human interest is in knowing the human whole. The sociologists have broken into the goodly fellowship of the social scientists, and have thus far found themselves frankly unwelcome guests. They have a mission, however, which will not always be unrecognized. Their part in the whole work of knowing the human reality is to counteract the tendency of specialists to follow centrifugal impulses so far that social science will split into fragments which cannot be reorganized into a unified body of knowledge. Sociology stands first for the co-ordinating stage in the knowing process. Recognition of its legitimacy and its necessity is merely a question of time.
To recapitulate: the sociologists are attempting to show that salvation of the social sciences from sterility must be worked out, not by microscopic description and analysis of details alone, but by such correlation and generalization of particulars that the whole social process will be intelligible. The limits of this paper restrict discussion to that phase of sociological theory in which intellectual apprehension is uppermost. From the human standpoint no science is an end in itself. The proximate end of all science is organization into action. The ultimate interest of the sociologists, therefore, is in turning knowledge of the social process into more intelligent promotion of the process.
ALBION W. SMALL. THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.
HAS ILLINOIS THE BEST LAWS IN THE COUNTRY
FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN? MR. W. L. BODINE, superintendent of compulsory education of Chicago, in an article published in the Juvenile Court Record for August, 1904, makes the statement that “Illinois now has the best laws in the country to protect its children.” Mr. Bodine's position and the importance of the subject together warrant a careful consideration of this statement.
The superintendent of compulsory education of the second city in the republic is in a position to know the strength and weakness of the laws affecting the children in his community. If his estimate of them is correct, the fact is of great importance, particularly during the present year when a large number of legislatures will be asked to consider and enact measures for the protection of children.
Because Illinois is the third great manufacturing state in the Union (coming next after New York and Pennsylvania), and because of the influence of Chicago, many states have in times past imitated the legislation of Illinois dealing with child-labor and compulsory education.
If the best laws in the country are those of Illinois, it is desirable that they should be largely used as models in framing measures for other states. If, however, they are not yet the best laws, it would be unfortunate to have them thus copied, and their avoidable defects or omissions embodied in the laws of states which might otherwise move forward more rapidly and directly toward the effective protection of all their children.
For the sake of the children of Illinois, also, the correctness of this statement should be carefully considered. If there are still aspects of the Illinois law which compare unfavorably with the statutes of other states, it is desirable in the interests of the children that the facts should be known and the defects remedied. For Illinois aspires to afford her children the best protection.
The progress achieved during the past twelve years in the enactment, and even more in the enforcement, of laws for the protection of children in Illinois amounts to a revolution, and has placed Illinois in 1904 where Massachusetts has stood since 1894. The present law of Illinois is copied, with some modifications, from that of Massachusetts, which it excels only in respect to the hours of labor of children and the inclusion of telegraph messenger and office boys, the latter excellence of the Illinois law being offiset, however, by the fact that in Boston the street occupations of children (peddling, selling newspapers, and blacking shoes) are regulated, as they have not yet been in the cities of Illinois. As to the hours of labor, the Illinois law excels that of Massachusetts in that it permits children to work only eight hours in a day, forty-eight hours in a week, and not after 7 P. M.; while Massachusetts permits children to work ten hours in a day, fifty-eight hours in a week, and until 9 o'clock at night. Massachusetts has, however, fallen out of the first rank of the states in her care of her children, being supplanted in that noble position by New York and Colorado.
Is it true that Illinois now has the best laws in the country for the protection of the children?
There are two objective tests which can be applied in seeking an answer to this question. One test is that which is afforded by the decennial census of the United States, which reveals the effectiveness (or the incompetence) with which the states are dealing with the education of their children, by revealing the numbers and the percentages of the children between the ages of ten and fourteen years, in each of the states, who can read and write.
The second test is an annual one and is applied locally by each community for itself. This is the departure of the pupils from the schools, their age, and their recorded acquirements at the moment of departure.
Where pupils virtually all complete the work of eight years of the curriculum of the public schools, the laws for the protection of the children are thereby shown to be working efficiently. It is claimed by citizens of Colorado that this is the case in the schools of Denver. Where, however, the pupils fall out of school after finishing the work of the first, second, third, and fourth years, as appears to be common in many large manufacturing centers, Chicago among the number (where only a minority of the pupils complete the work of the first five years of the public schools), there the laws for the protection of the children appear to need further amendment.
Let us apply these two objective tests to the laws of Illinois. It is by no means ancient history that between 1890 and 1900 Illinois fell from the sixth to the fifteenth position in the scale of the states, when they are graded according to the ability of their children between the ages of ten and fourteen years to read and write. This means that up to the year 1900 fourteen states had proceeded more effectively with the task of abolishing illiteracy than Illinois. These states are Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon, Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, Connecticut, Utah, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York. In 1910 this test will be applied again. It will be a matter of the highest interest to observe whether Illinois will then have regained the points in the scale of the states which were lost in 1890–1900. If the statement is correct that the laws for the protection of her children are the best in the country, it is reasonable to suppose that the fact will then manifest itself in the total abolition of illiteracy among children of sound mind who have been in the country as much as one school year.
The following tables show both the actual number of illiterate children in each state in 1900, and the percentage of illiterates compared with the whole number of children of the age mentioned, for both 1890 and 1900. In the first table the second column shows the number of illiterate children in each state in 1900, those states standing nearest the top which have the least number of illiterates, and those states nearest the bottom which have the largest number of illiterates.
(Population, Vol. II, Part II, Table 65, p. 422.) ILLITERATE CHILDREN BETWEEN THE AGES OF TEN AND FOURTEEN YEARS IN EACH
STATE. Alabama 66,072 1. Wyoming
72 Alaska 1,903 2. Oregon
175 Arizona 2,592 3. Idaho
209 26,972 1,279 742 436 845
398 8,389 63,329
878 21,247 55,691 1,255 5,859 1,547 1,744 1,365 44,334 11,660
374 412 275
557 2,069 4,354 4,740 51,190
836 2,048 1,295
472 36,375 35,491
340 5,819 1,688
220 275 287 340 374 394 398 412 436 472 557 691 742 836 845 878 883 1,255 1,279 1,295 1,365 1,453 1,547 1,688 1,744 1,903 2,048 2,069 2,592 4,044 4,354 4,740 5,819 5,859 6,326 8,389 11,660 12,172 21,247 26,072 34,612 35,491 36,375 44,334 51,190 51,536 55,691 63,329 66,072
The United States.. 579,947
The United States.......579,947 PER (ENT. ABLE TO READ AND WRITE AMONG PERSONS TEN TO FOURTEEN YEARS OF AGE. 1900.
...99.23. I Iowa
.99.17 2 3 Oregon
.98.92. 3 Ohio 99.51 Kansas
4 5 Kansas 99.48 Connecticut
.98.79. 6. Indiana