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as their great importance and interest deserved. Messrs. Lippincott were therefore well advised in undertaking to condense the six bulky quartos in which Schoolcraft's rich materials were buried into the two portable and well-printed volumes that are now before us.* The task has been committed to Mr. Francis Drake, son of one of the pioneers of Indian investigation, and he has done his work with excellent judgment and conscientious care. His duty was not confined to condensation, for omissions have been supplied, and the fruits of investigations made since the time of Schoolcraft into the origin, language, and antiquities of the Indian tribes, have been incorporated. With this view, some sections of Schoolcraft's book have been rewritten rather than condensed, and some entirely new chapters have been contributed by the editor, describing the present condition of the tribes, their history during the last thirty years, and their present status as compared with their past. We have here, therefore, a most important and valuable work, giving us as complete and exact an account of the American Indians as it is possible to furnish in the existing state of our knowledge. It may be added, that it is embellished with excellent steel engravings.
“ The Indian Tribes of the United States." Edited by Francis S. Drake. London: J. B. Lippincott & Co.
THE GOVERNMENT OF BERLIN.
HE proposed reform of the administration of the great metropolis
of the British Empire has elicited counsels and criticisms from various quarters.
The Bill now before the country gives prima facie the impression of being a well-considered and carefully prepared measure. But it is not easy to pass judgment on laws of administrative organization. The critic has generally only one principal side of the comprehensive work before his eyes, and his practical experience is restricted to but a few sides of it altogether, though he may believe himself able to survey the whole. The position of a foreigner is in this respect even less favourable than that of a native. In fact, all practical experience becomes an unsafe guide where existing abuses force the legislator to devise quite new combinations in a living organism.
Safer and more successful appears the method of comparison, when it is possible to give a complete idea of the working of a new system. The municipal reform in the direction of unity, which is at the present moment under consideration for the English metropolis, has been long since carried out in the towns of Germany. The difficulties which modern cities of monstrous proportions have to encounter, have made themselves severely felt in the German metropolis, as well as the English, but they have been overcome.
It will therefore be interesting, at the present juncture, to give a comprehensive idea of the administration of the city of Berlin. The author of this essay will be able to do so, because he has been since the year 1848 an active member of that administration, and has taken part in its most important transactions and in its attempts at reform. To make the comparison useful to the English reader, it is necessary, of course, to have an acquaintance with the constitution of the City of London, with the Municipal Corporation Acts, and with the working VOL. XLVI.
of the various newly appointed Boards in England. The author hopes, however, that the English reader of the following sketch will have no difficulty in understanding the manner in which in Germany the functions of the borough Justices of the Peace and of the various Boards are united in one homogeneous corporation. There is no part of the municipal institutions of English boroughs which will be altogether left out of sight in the following sketch.
For a mutual understanding there is, however, still need of a historical sketch, be it ever so slight.
After the days of the Crusades we find the burghs of Germany entering into a successful competition with the nobility. The landowners and residents around the episcopal palaces, the citizens of the ancient Roman colonies, the settlers of the newly founded burgs, are rich enough to bear the public burdens like the nobles, and they increase their wealth by privileges of market, of trade, and commerce, and similar profitable rights, which they generally buy by large donations from the Emperor or a territorial lord. By these means they lay the foundation of their municipal or financial self-government, as I may be allowed to call it.
These wealthy townships were gradually endowed with the administration of justice, of police, and other royal rights, on the same principle as the landed nobility-viz., they undertake the burdens of royalty in return for the privilege of exercising so much of royal authority through persons of their own number. They form an essential part of the army, they have their own courts of judicature, their own police, their own Stadtrecht ; and thus obtain their magistratical self-government. On the other hand, the later statutes of the German Empire imposed upon them the financial burdens of maintaining the poor, the highways, and the bridges.
There is a considerable difference in the way in which these two elements have developed themselves in German and English municipalities; the latter taking their origin in the grant of a court-leet and of a firma burgi. But in progress of time both these ele. ments take a parallel course of development. The German burghs were conspicuous for their high degree of military efficiency and of independence, and flourished by commerce and trade; a happy condition, which continued to the time of the Reformation.
The decay of the magistratical side of municipal self-government was brought about by a complete change in the functions of the State. The town and country militia was supplanted by standing armies of professional soldiers; the judicium parium of the municipal Schöffengerichte was supplanted by learned judges. Soldiers were quartered by-and-by on the towns, and the citizens had to bear heavy burdens to maintain them by local taxes. The municipal court of law was changed into a right of appointing local judges.
The duties of the police were exercised through officers according to the laws of the empire and to the edicts of the territorial sovereign. State commissaries and State boards undertake the supreme control over these functions.
The financial side of municipal self-government decayed through the change that took place in the great routes of commerce and of international traffic, in consequence partly of the incredible devastations of the Thirty Years' War (which had carried off more than onehalf of the population), and partly, and in quite as great measure, in consequence of the narrow-minded jealousy of the trades guilds and the abuse of profitable privileges. The towns well as the landed gentry devoted their whole thought and energy to the maintenance of their privileges and immunities. The territorial princes looked on the towns as only convenient bodies of taxpayers who enabled them to keep up their standing armies, consequently their chief endeavour was constantly to raise the local excise ; whilst at the same time the village communes had become for them the chief recruiting depôts, and the bearers of the land tax and of countless contributions in kind for the army. In the year 1806, when the kingdom of Prussia broke down under the blows of the French Emperor, the entire landed gentry in the Mark Brandenburg, paid to the State the scanty sum of 20,700 thaler (the thaler at 38.) a year, the peasantry had to raise 630,000 thaler, whilst the boroughs (most of them small and poor) had to raise 2,500,000 thaler by means of a local excise ; a state of things which reveals the glaring misplacement of all State burdens, and which provoked the great reforms of the famous Freiherr von Stein, now known also in England through the excellent work of Mr. Seeley.
In the meantime a degeneration of the municipal corporations had set in, analogous to that of English boroughs. Mayor and aldermen generally filled up their places by co-optation from a small number of hereditary freemen, or they were appointed by the State authorities. These patricians of the German townships monopolized influence, patronage, and sometimes even the contraction of debts in the name of the town. The taxes for the expenses of the borough appeared so insignificant in comparison with those paid to the State, that instead of regular representation of the tax-payers, only a few privileged guilds or select burgesses took part in the administration, or the citizens were not represented at all. The mass of the urban population was absolutely passive in the same manner as the rural peasantry had degenerated into serfs. Poverty, sloth, and want of public spirit had quickly undermined the vitality of the State of Frederic the Great.
After great disasters the State revived through the laws of Stein and Hardenberg, one of the most important of which is the organiza
tion of the Prussian municipalities (Städteordnung) of November 19, 1808.
The magistratical self-government was revived in the Court of Mayor and Aldermen (Magistrat). The ancient city court of jurisdiction was transferred to judges appointed by the king. The police functions were administered by the mayor or a competent alderman in the name of, and under responsibility to, the State authorities. To these State functions were added some supplementary duties of the military administration and of the assessment of taxes.
The financial self-government was now placed under the control of a Town Council, elected by the citizens, which managed the administration of the town property and revenues, of the relief of the poor, the maintenance of streets, highways, schools, and of town improvements, in great independence, through the Court of Mayor and Aldermen—their executive—subject to the superior control of the State authorities.
Before 1808 the community of burgesses consisted of the houseowners and the tradesmen of the town; henceforth every honest inhabitant was entitled to obtain the rights of burgess-ship (Bürgerbrief) for a moderate fee. Houseowners and tradesmen were obliged to obtain this right. The franchise in the municipal elections was restricted to a personal income of 200 thaler (£30); in lesser towns to an income of 150 thaler. This municipal reform of 1808 was also introduced into Berlin, which had in former centuries coalesced from the townships of Berlin, Köln, and Friedrichswerder,
The subsequent alterations in the body of citizens (Bürgerschaft) were the
necessary consequences of the introduction of freedom of trade, and of freedom of change of residence (Freizügigkeit). Nowadays the right of burgess-ship is no longer acquired through a “ Bürgerbrief,” but the resident inhabitant becomes a burgess by virtue of the law, bearing the burdens and exercising the rights of such, and he obtains the electoral franchise after a year's residence. In the meantime the increase of the poor-rate, of the school-rate, and of the expenditure on municipal improvements, has raised the urban taxation so high that the" three-class system” of the franchise which has obtained in the Prussian Constitution since 1849, has been adopted also for municipal elections. According to this system the tax-payers of the city are grouped into three classes in proportion to the amount of the direct urban taxes they pay : the most highly rated citizens, who pay among themselves one-third of the entire sum levied, form the first class of electors; a larger body of middle-class ratepayers, contributing by themselves another third of the municipal taxes, form the second class; the small taxpayers, paying among themselves the last third, form the third class. Each class elects one-third of the town councillors by an open vote.