Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA)

 - Class of 1914

Page 15 of 110

 

Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA) online yearbook collection, 1914 Edition, Page 15 of 110
Page 15 of 110



Arcata High School - Advance Yearbook (Arcata, CA) online yearbook collection, 1914 Edition, Page 14
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Page 15 text:

was negotiated without their know- ledge or consent, we could give our citizenship generally a twelfth grade education. In 1889, 65 million dollars was appropriated by Congress for the army and navy. In 1914, twenty-five years later, the appropriation is 235 million dollars. In 1889 we did not have a battleship, and now we have thirty-eight. For the Spanish-Ameri- can War we were fitted out with five battleships that cost 3 million dollars apiece, which are now obsolete. At present we are paying 7M million dol lars apiece. In fifteen years they will be 12 million dollars apiece, and the battleships of today will be obsolete as those of the Spanish-America War are now. Thomas Jefferson, one of the greatest statesmen this country has ever produced, favored the limi- tation of war expenditure to tangible needs, as he saw the evils contingent on a large national debt, and if he were living today he would surely view with horror our mad rush to pile up an obligation we can never repay. Every man, woman, and child in the United States must pay 34.70 this year to make up the appropria- tion for wars, past and future. David Starr Jordan of Stanford' University, a writer and thinker whose statements cannot be passed over lightly, said: "The waste of all governments on war and the system of national defense is worldwide. Through militarism the world is living beyond its means." "So long as we keep war imple- ments on hand," contends Mr. Ben- son, "the increasing temptation is to use them. When we were practically unarmed thirty-five years ago, we were in no danger. Nobody tried to T attack us. Nobody dared to attack us. Everybody knew that, if attacked, we could overwhelm any nation that should attempt to land an army upon our shores. We could do the same today. VVe need no navy. We need no more than the skeleton of an army. With such land fortifications as we have, or could easily provide, nobody could capture a city, and certainly no nation would be so foolish as to try to land an army among us." Even though we should not con- cede as much as as Mr. Benson, we would be forced to admit the utter folly of present war expenditure or that contemplated for the future. In- vention has brought forth a frailer looking, inexpensive but 'vastly more powerful instrument of destruction. The evolution of the airship would make modern warfare ineffective. A single one of these aerial sailing ships would destroy a whole fleet of bat- tleships or endanger an army. The money that we are wasting upon military expenditure let us de- vote to the ends of education. And finally, if from a reversion of policy from destruction to education, the expenditure should still prove insuffi- cient, I should be in favor of a direct tax upon those who acquire the great- est amount of wealth under our gov- ernment, merely one of whom, with his prodigious fortune, accumulated in this glorious land of opportunity, has scattered public libraries through- out the country, California alone pos- sessing over 95 of these costly insti- tutions. A single generation educated thus would be sufficient to refine and en- noble the world. Thirteen

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ever, in that year our present public school system was born in the city of New York. It was a healthy in- fant and grew amazingly and is now so firmly established that people gen- erally believe its birth co-incident with that of the republic. However belat- ed its arrival, the point is that it was undoubtedly wisdom on the part of its progenitors to give the American children the best education possible in the belief that we would have a safer government, a happier and more pros- perous people. The example of some of the European countries was ever before them, where the masses, reared in ignorance and superstition, lived in a state of poverty and serfdom. Our public schools, once started, mul- tiplied rapidly, until today we have high schools, universities, normals and other institutions of education. But have we fairly reached the goal? have we even fairly reached the goal? 1830 champions of learning, when they foresaw the education of every citizen of the nation? Our statistics force us to say no. What, then, is the reason of our fail- ure? The sincere inquirer will not be long in finding that it is mainly for economic reasons that the majority cannot continue their studies. Yet we have taken some primary steps to- ward their correction. For instance, our own state and several others have passed a law providing the grammar and primary grades with free text books. The method of providing meals for children is not unheard of in our country, and it is quite common in France. However, we still have a long way to go before the goal is reached, for we see that only one out of eleven gets the very necessary high school education. This is to be de- plored, for pure democracy can never Twelve exist so long as the education of a. majority of those who make the laws of the nation is not provided for. What does that person do, then, who is forced to leave school in his im- maturity? He does manual labor for a wage or else obtains a short prac- tical knowledge of bookkeeping or other business which will barely keep him in bread and butter. Which is most important-to rush through life confining one's self to the bread and butter phase of exis- tence or to be so provided with the necessities of life as to insure our be- coming competent citizens? Most certainly the latter, but how? The answer is apparent: The state should properly educate its future citizens at whatever cost. To graduate but one out of four from the eighth, and one in eleven from the twelfth grade, is intolerable. But this would over- burden the government with expense, you say. Alas, if that should be true, and we pride ourselves on the wealth of our country! . Before giving up the problem as impossible let us see if there is not some vast waste with which we might dispense. We cannot go far before we find a tremendous waste as a re- sult of the most hateful remnant of barbarism that still lingers in civiliza- tion. Our war expense this fiscal year amounts to 433 million dollars, or 64 per cent of our national expenditure, according to Allan L. Benson writing in Pearson's magazine for April. With the money we now annually waste in war equipment we could educate ev- ery child whom need oompels to leave school. Instead of piling up on our hapless descendents a debt they can never pay and for which they could not be seriously criticised if they did not try, considering the fact that it



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Fourteen

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