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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/406

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tant in young countries where property is widely held—was perseveringly proposed, and at length carried, by the aristocratic leader of the democratic party in New Zealand, whence it is spreading to the adjacent colonies; it has been for some years adopted by the British Liberals as an article in their programme, and it is also a plank in the European socialist platform. The general adhesion to an eight hours' day in the Australasian colonies is having an effect in England and is probably the measure to which Mr. Morley refers as likely to be dangerous; his opposition to it cost him his seat at Newcastle. The adoption of female suffrage in two of these colonies and the certainty of its adoption in others are habitually cited by the advocates of the cause in England as an argument for its adoption in England. The nationalization of the land has been a popular notion in these same colonies ever since Henry George's famous book was published, and the large extent of private lands bought back by the governments of New Zealand and Queensland has strengthened the hands of the land-nationalizers in Europe. The advanced government socialism of most of these colonies, made inevitable by the lack of private capital, and its apparent success, furnish socialists of the German type with weapons and encourage them to prophesy 'the dawn of a revolutionary epoch.'

The spiritual reaction of the colonies on the mother-land is much less considerable, yet is not nil. One or two instances stand out prominently. Jonathan Edwards is one of the giants of British as well as of American theology, and his treatise on the freedom of the will has counted for as much as Butler's Analogy in the development of English theological thought. Sam Slick has been the father or foster-father of the portentous overgrowth of humor by which the United States balances the devouring activity of its public and the overstrain of its private life, but he has been practically inoperative on the very different quality of English humor. From South Africa have come influences of a sterner sort. "Who could have foreseen," asks Mr. Stead, "that the new, and in many respects the most distinctive, note of the literature of the last decade of the nineteenth century would be sounded by a little chit of a girl reared in the solemn stillness of the Karoo, in the solitude of the African bush? The Cape has indeed done yeoman's service to the English-speaking world. To that pivot of the empire we owe our most pronounced types of the imperial man and the emancipated woman"—Cecil Rhodes and Olive Schreiner.