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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 7, 1899)
10 Conservative *
HOW Till : COM ) STANI > AUI > WAS KS-
[ In this extract from his "Thirty Years'
View , " Senator Thomas II. Benton , of Missouri ,
tells how the gold standard was niado , in fact ,
thu Mingle , actual monetary standard of th
United Stales. Ho shows how the ratio of 10
to 1 came to bo established and how the bullion
value of the coins was regarded as the true
basis for their face value.l
A mensuro of relief was now (1884) ( ) at
hand before which the machinery of
distress was to bulk and cease its long
and cruel labors ; it was the passage of
the bill for equalizing the value of gold
and silver and legalizing the tender of
foreign coins of both metals. The bills
wore brought forward in the house by
Mr. Campbell P. White , of Now York ,
and passed after an animated contest in
which the chief question was as to the
true relative value of the two metals ,
varied by some into a preference for
national bank paper. Fifteen and fivo-
eighths to one was the ratio of nearly
all who seemed best calculated from
their pursuits to understand the subject.
The thick array of speakers was on that
side ; and the eighteen bnnks of the city
of New York , with Mr. Gallatiu at their
head , favored that proportion. The
difficulty of adjusting this value so that
neither metal should expel the other had
been the stumbling block for a great
many years ; and now this difficulty
seemed to be as formidable as ever.
* * * Mr. White gave up the bill
which ho had first introduced and
adopted the Spanish ratio. Mr. Glowney ,
of South Carolina , Mr. Gillet and Mr.
Cambreleng of New York , Mr. Ewing ,
of Indiana , Mr. McKim , of Maryland ,
and other speakers gave it a warm sup
port. Mr. John Quincy Adams would
vote for it , though he thought the gold
was over-valued , but if found to be so ,
the difference could bo corrected here
The principal speakers against it and
in favor of a lower rate were Messrs.
Gorham , of Massachusetts , Seldeu , of
New York , Binney , of Pennsylvania ,
and Wilde , of Georgia. And eventually
the bill was passed by a large majority
145 to 8(5. ( In the senate it had an
easy passage. Mr. Calhouu and Mr.
Webster supported it ; Mr. Clay opposed
it and on the final vote there were but
seven negatives Messrs. Chambers , of
Maryland ; Clay ; Knight , of Rhode
Island ; Alexander Porter , of Indiana ;
Silsbee , of Massachusetts ; Southard , of
New Jersey ; Sprague , of Maine.
The good effects of the bill were im
mediately seen. Gold began to flow
into the country through all the channels
of commerce ; old. chests gave up their
hordes ; the mint was busy ; and in a few
months , and as if by magic , a currency
banished from the country for thirty
years overspread the land , and gave joy
and confidence to all the pursuits of in
But this joy was not universal. A
large interest connected with the Bank
of the United States and its subsidiary
and subaltern institutions and the whole
paper system vehemently opposed it and
spared neither pains nor expense to
check circulation and bring odium upon
its supporters. People were alarmed
with counterfeits. Gilt counters wore
exhibited in the markets to alarm the
ignorant. The coin itself was bur
lesqued in mock imitations of brass or
copper with grotesque figures and ludi
crous inscriptions the "whole hog" and
the ' 'better currency" being the favorite
devices. Many newspapers expended
their daily wit in its stale depreca
tion. * * *
For a year there was a real war of the
paper against the gold. But there was
something that was an overmatch for
the arts or power of the paper system in
this particular and which needed no
persuasions to guide it when it had its
choice ; it was the instinctive feeling of
the masses , which told them that money
which would jingle in their pocket was
the right money for them that hard
money was the right money for hard
hands that gold was the true currency
for every man that had anything true to
give for it , either in labor or property ;
and upon these instinctive feelings gold
became the obvious demand of the vast
operative and producing classes.
At the opening of the "Summer
Schools" for the special education of
teachers at a leading university the fol
lowing erroneous precepts were taught
in the course of the addresses :
"Evolution is man's desire for unity. "
While evolution stands for the forma
tive tendencies in Nature , and nothing
more , "Man's desire for unity , " or any
thing else , is but a phase in the evolu
tion of social institutions ; therefore such
a definition does not rise to the dignity
of a half truth. "Man's desires" are
but an infinitesimal part of the manifold
formative conditions in Nature.
"The idea of the struggle for exis
tence is selfish. "
False again 1 The idea of a struggle
for existence is self-hood , or self-main
tenance. Selfishness invariably tends to
self-destruction , and , hence , is antago
nistic to self-survival , the cardinal con
dition in the struggle for existence.
"Nature secures that the best survive ,
and generally the majority. "
Wrong again ! Nature is purposeless !
The major part of natural products is
unfit for survival and perishes ere it at
tains maturity. The best is invariably
the fittest on the natural standard of
"Until wo have a general conception
of the human soul wo can have no logi
cal plan of education. "
A meaningless expression , for the
"human soul" is but one of innumer
able manifestations of the great force of
Nature , and as man can never know what
that force is , per se , so he can never
know what any of its diversifications are.
"By their fruits shall yo know them ;
by His works shall yo know God.
Can ye by searching find out God ? "
Never ! Force is 1 That wo feel , that
we know. But what force is wo shall
never know. Soul being but another
name for force if we wait until we have
a general conception of it there will
never be any education. The first step
in education is to know that no such
conception is possible.
"The is the true
optimist only philos
As optimism is identical with ideal
ism and the ideal is invariably unreal on
that basis there will never be any true
philosophy. True philosophy is the
study of the nature and relations of the
real. The ideal is an ignis fatuus hov
ering over the slough of despond and
leading the ignorant to engulftnent in
its treacherous morasses.
"Education is simply environment. "
That is a foundationless statement
and not a definition. There is no dif
ferentiation between cause and effect in
that definition. Education is self-
knowledge. Education is the knowl
edge of the reaction which environment
causes on and in our minds. He who
knows himself is educated in corresponding
pending degree. Correspondingly ig
norant is he who knows not himself.
"Life came into the world as a spark
and death was sent for altruistic pur
More ideal moonshine ! What was
said of the soul is equally applicable to
life. Soul , life and force are one. Life
is but one of the manifestations of force.
As force is eternal so is life. Life is
not individual. Living is. Life is in
destructible , eternal , limitless , and non-
definable. Living is transient , lim
ited and definable. Life neither came
into the world as a spark , or any
thing else , but the "spark" may be said
to manifest life ( metaphorically ) be
cause life is the eternal force. Living
is the ability to assimilate self-main
taining material from environment.
Death is the natural result of inability
to self-maintaining assimilation. There
is no purpose in death.
Sound thinking seems an unknown
art in higher education. The teachers
should first retire to their closets and
learn themselves ere they step into the
arena to teach others.
"We have hitherto emphasized the
struggle for existence more than it de
Off the track ! The trouble is its
real character has been almost entirely
ignored. Until man realizes that in the
might of survival in the struggle of ex
istence is to be sought the ethical key
to individual salvation and moral basis
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