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517
INFANTRY

of unusually difficult proof. In the law of England infanticide is murder or manslaughter according to the presence or absence of deliberation. The infant must be a human being in the legal sense; and “ a child becomes a human being when it has completely proceeded in a living state from the body of its mother, whether it has breathed or not, and whether it has an independent circulation or not, and whether the navel-string is severed or not; and the killing of such a child is homicide when it dies after birth in consequence of injuries received before, during or after birth.” A child in the womb or in the act of birth, though it may have breathed, is therefore not a human being, the killing of which amounts to homicide. The older law of child murder under a statute of James I. consisted of cruel presumptions against the mother, and it was not till 1803 that trials for that offence were placed under the ordinary rules of evidence. The crown now takes upon itself the onus of proving in every case that the child has been alive. This is often a matter of difficulty, and hence a frequent alternative charge is that of concealment of birth (see BIRTH), or concealment of pregnancy in Scotland. It is the opinion of the most eminent of British medical jurists that this presumption has tended to increase infanticide. Apart from this, the technical definition of human life has excited a good deal of comment and some indignation. The definition allows many wicked acts to go unpunished. The experience of assizes in England shows that many children are killed when it is impossible to prove that they were wholly born. The distinction taken by the law was probably comprehended by the minds of the class to which most of the unhappy mothers belong. Partly to meet this complaint it was suggested to the Royal Commission of 1866 that killing during birth, or within seven days thereafter, should be an offence punishable with penal servitude. The second complaint is of an opposite character-partly that infanticide by mothers is not a fit subject for capital punishment, and partly that, whatever be the intrinsic character of the act, juries will not convict or the executive will not carry out the sentence. Earl Russell gave expression to this feeling when he proposed that no capital sentence should be pronounced upon mothers for the killing of children within six months after birth. When there has been a verdict of murder, sentence of death must be passed, but the practice of the Home Office, as laid down in 1908, is invariably to commute the death sentence to penal servitude for life. The circumstances of the case and the disposition and general progress of the prisoners under discipline in a convict prison are then determining factors in the length of subsequent detention, which rarely exceeds three years. After release, the prisoner's further progress is carefully watched, and if it is seen to be to her advantage the conditions of her release are cancelled and she is restored to complete freedom. In India measures against the practice were begun towards the end of the 18th century by Jonathan Duncan and Major Walker. They were continued by a series of able and earnest officers during the 19th century. One of its chief events, representing many minor occurrences, was the Amritsar durbar of 1853, which was arranged by Lord Lawrence. At that meeting the chiefs residing in the Punjab and the trans-Sutlej states signed an agreement engaging to expel from caste every one who committed infanticide, to adopt fixed and moderate rates of marriage expenses, and to exclude from these ceremonies the minstrels and beggars who had so greatly swollen the expense. According to the present law, if the female children fall below a certain percentage in any tract or among any tribe in northern India where infanticide formerly prevailed, the suspected village is placed under police supervision, the cost being charged to the locality. By these measures, together with a strictly enforced system of reporting births and deaths, infanticide has been almost trampled out; although some of the Rajput clans keep their female offspring suspiciously close to the lowest average which secures them from surveillance. It is difficult to say to what extent infanticide prevails in the United Kingdom. At one time a large number of children were murdered in England for the purpose of obtaining the burial money from a benefit club,1 but protection against this risk has been provided for by the Friendly Societies Act 1896, and the Collecting Societies Act 1896. The neglect or killing of nurse-children is treated under BABY-FARMING, and CHILDREN, LAW RELATING To.

In the United States, the elements of this offence are practically the same as in England. The wilful killing of an unborn child is not manslaughter unless made so by statute. To constitute manslaughter under Laws N.Y. 1869, ch. 631, by attempts to produce miscarriage, the “ quickening ” of the child must be averred and proved (Evans v. People, 49 New York Rep. 86; see also Wallace v. Slate, 7 Texas app. 570).


INFANTRY, the collective name of soldiers who march and fight on foot and are armed with hand-weapons. The word is derived ultimately from Lat. infans, infant, but it is not clear how the word came to be used to mean soldiers. The suggestion that it comes from a guard or regiment of a Spanish infanta about the end of the I5l.l'1 century cannot be maintained in view of the fact that Spanish foot-soldiers of the time were called soldazlos and contrasted with French fan lass ins and Italian fanleria. The New English Diclionary suggests that a foot-soldier, being in feudal and early modern times the varlet or follower of a mounted noble, was called a boy (cf. Knabe, gar§ on, footman, &c., and see VALET).

HISTORICAL SKETCH

The importance of the infantry arm, both in history and at the present time, cannot be summed up better and more concisely than in the phrase used by a brilliant general of the Napoleonic era, General Morand-“ L'infanlerie, c'esl l'armée.” It may be confidently asserted that the original fighting man was a foot-soldier. But infantry was differentiated as an “ arm ” considerably later than cavalry; for when a new means of fighti ng (a chariot or a horse) presented itself, it was assimilated by relatively picked men, chiefs and noted warriors, who ipso facto separated themselves from the mass or reservoir of men. How this mass itself ceased to be a mere residue and developed special characteristics; how, instead of the cavalry being recruited from the best infantry, cavalry and infantry came to form two distinct services; and how the arm thus constituted organized itself, technically and tactically, for its own work these are the main questions that constitute the historical side of the subject. It is obvious that as the “ residue ” was far the greatest part of the army, the history of the foot-soldier is practically identical with the history of soldiering. It was only when a group of human beings became too large to be surprised and assassinated by a few lurking enemies, that proper fighting became the normal method of settling a quarrel or a rivalry. Two groups, neither of which had been able to surprise the other, had to meet face to face, and the instinct of self-preservation had to be reconciled with the necessity of victory. From this it was an easy step to the differentiation of the champion, the proved excellent fighting man, and to providing this man, on whom everything depended, with all assistance that better arms, armour, horse or chariot could give him. But suppose our champion slain, how are we to make head against the opposing champion? For long ages, we may suppose, the latter, as in the Iliad, slaughtered the sheep who had lost their shepherd, but in the end the “ residue ” began to organize itself, and to oppose a united front to the enemy's champions-in which term we include all selected men, whether horsemen, charioteers or merely specially powerful axemen and swordsmen. But once'tl;e individual had lost his commanding position, the problem presented itself in a new form-how to ensure that every member of the group did his duty by the others-and the solution of this problem for the conditions of the ancient hand-to-hand struggle marks the historical beginning of infantry tactics. Gallic warriors bound themselves together with chains. The Greeks organized the city state, which gave each small army See Report on the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Classes, “Supplementary Report on Interment in Towns, ” by Edwin Chadwick (Parl. Papers, 1843, xii. 395); and The Social Condition and Education of the People, by Joseph Kay (1850).