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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/491

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THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

not impose any duties on exports or imports in excess of five per cent; and the receipts from customs being thus arbitrarily made insignificant, and those from such other sources as spirits, tobacco, licenses, and the like being normally inadequate, the Government of Japan has been compelled to resort to the old feudal system of taxation as the only practical way of obtaining revenue to defray its necessary expenditures.[1]

But, notwithstanding this, the results that have followed the fall of feudalism in Japan in 1868 are in the highest degree interesting, and constitute an important contribution to the history of civilization. Between 1871 and 1893 the population increased eight millions, railways and steamers have annihilated famine, old epidemics have become rare, the severity of old criminal law has been greatly mitigated, while liberty has encouraged the people to a wonderful activity and progress.

 

THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

PART II. ACTIVITIES OF THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION.

By Prof. HENRY CARRINGTON BOLTON, Ph. D.

IN our first article we attempted to show the circumstances which led to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution, to trace its growth, and to sketch the peculiar field which it occupies. The latter, however, can well be supplemented by a succinct statement of its condition at the present time, or rather in 1895, the date of the most recent Annual Report.

Members of the Institution.—Presiding officer (ex officio), the President of the United States; Chancellor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; the Vice-President of the United States; the Secretary of State; the Secretary of the Treasury; the Secretary of War; the Secretary of the Navy; the Postmaster General; the Attorney General; the Secretary of the Interior; the Secretary of Agriculture; the Secretary of the institution.

Administration.—The business of the institution is managed by a Board of Regents, composed of the Vice-President and the Chief Justice of the United States, three senators, three members of the House of Representatives, and six other eminent persons nominated by a joint resolution of Congress. The Secretary of


  1. Recent treaties (1894) have in a degree abrogated the disabilities which foreign nations imposed on Japan at the time of the abandonment of its policy of non-intercourse with the rest of the world, but a denial of the right of Japan exclusively to regulate its taxes (duties) on imports is still maintained.