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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/554

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

immigrant, in a letter recently published,[1] clearly states the proposition. "In this country there is a great movement against the foreigners and especially those of Latin, Slavic and Jewish origin. The Latin and Jew (altruist and sentimentalist) will give in this country some of their qualities that the northern people don't have. The Americans (egoists and individualists) need some of our blood to change their character in the next generation." There is, however, another side to this question which will be touched upon later.

The rapid growth of cities has been a marked feature of recent growth and development. The city of to-day is the result of a rapid and unhealthy growth. People have been rudely drawn from a rural environment and quickly sucked into these great uneasy vortices of industry and trade. The ideals, customs and habits of the rural community have gone with them to this new environment, and still cling with great tenacity. Only in recent years have the city dwellers awakened to the fact that they are really dwelling in an environment which calls for new, non-rural rules of action and of association. The nature of the city itself has been modified. It is larger, more crowded, more dependent upon arteries, of trade and transportation, and upon the supplies furnished from the outside. The race must adapt itself to urban conditions as they exist to-day; we must learn to live and to thrive in densely populated centers. If the United States is to continue on its present course of advancement and progress, the city must be made clean, healthy, moral, and it must be well governed. The majority of the successful business and professional men of to-day were born in rural districts. In the past the country has furnished the bone and sinew of the city, and, as a necessary consequence, it has been drained of many of its best and most progressive citizens. The city can not indefinitely continue its parasitic existence. Already one third of our population are urban dwellers. A much larger percentage of our successful and progressive men and women must in the future be drawn from the city-born and city-bred population; hence, the urgent need of improved conditions in our cities.

The modern city is a mere industrial establishment; but it must be made a cluster of homes. Healthy and wholesome home surroundings can only be obtained through education as to the sanitary and esthetic requirements of urban communities; and these efforts must begin with the child. The cities have been "great sores upon the body politic," because they have experienced such a rapid development that society has been unable to modify itself rapidly and sufficiently to meet the requirements of the situation. A two-fold weakness of our educational system is revealed at this point. The curriculum and the methods of the city school have not been sufficiently modified to meet the require-

  1. Arena, March, 1905.