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PROBLEMS AND EXERCISES
1. Before studying any one part of this chapter, read it through as a whole. Make an outline of it, then write a brief paragraph of summary.
2. When you see the words "United States," "England," "France,” what do you think of first? What does the sentence "The United States is a powerful nation” suggest to you? With what you learned in Chapter II in mind, explain what the people have done to make the United States powerful.
3. Can you explain how the fact that the United States is a very rich country might keep some unthinking people from working hard ? It is more difficult to keep prosperity than to gain it. Think of several reasons why this is so.
4. Make a list of the different kinds of workers summarized in this chapter. Tell exactly how each kind is changing the United States for better or for worse.
5. Tramps usually belong to one of these groups : (1) the feebleminded; (2) those who have served short jail terms and are unsuccessful in finding work when they are released; (3) those who have so little education that they are unfitted for work that will yield a sufficient wage ; (4) those who dislike hard work; (5) those who have been unjustly treated by an employer and decide that it is impossible to get a square deal. Discuss ways of helping each of these groups.
6. How does your community deal with tramps and the homeless people? Does your state have any laws dealing with such cases ?
7. Every person has to live on either the present work or the past work of himself or other persons. Show that the idle rich are as harmful to the nation as the idle poor.
8. Many persons who have large wealth must spend most of their time caring for it, else it will be wasted. Show that if well done this is the kind of work that is valuable to the community.
9. Every year more and more handicapped persons find opportunities for work. How do the blind, crippled, or otherwise disabled persons of your community help support themselves ? Why are they never to be pitied for working ? What does it tell you about our blinded soldiers that although each one gets $140 a month from the government, most of them have been eager to learn to do some useful work ?
10. What is the difference between idleness and leisure? between rest and idleness? In what ways will school and college years help prepare a person to use leisure profitably?
11. What do you think are the most profitable ways in which to spend the leisure that you now have? Find out how several of the successful people of your community spend their leisure. Remember that for many persons a change of work is all the leisure they want.
12. If all the money, houses, and other property of the rich were destroyed or seized by the poor, in a year's time most of the poor would again be poor. Can you tell why?
13. Compare the plan of work which the Pilgrims had with that of the Russians. Tell why such a plan as Bolshevism must always fail.
14. Are there any communities in your state conducted by private organizations which require each person to share what he makes or earns with the others. Are they successful. Why?
15. Make a list of six Americans of whom you are proud, and find out what kind of workers they were. What did they accomplish? Is there any person whom you admire greatly who was an idler ?
16. Physicians say that hard work is one of the best means of building up health. Can you give several reasons why this is so? What the difference between hard work and overwork?
17. What do you mean by character ? Explain how hard work makes sturdy character.
18. No good work is ever easy. A person by long practice may become so expert at painting pictures, playing the violin, using the typewriter, that the work may seem easy. Prove that this is not so by finding out how some successful singer, artist, or stenographer became proficient.
19. What are the most beautiful things in your community? in your home? Find out how much hard work went into the making of these.
20. For a week make a special study of the faces of the people you see on the street, in cars, and elsewhere. How many of the happy faces do you think belong to persons who do no work or easy work?
21. Study the faces of the men and women who are shown in your textbooks of history and in the magazines and newspapers. Find out about the work life of the person whose face most attracts you.
SOMETHING ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION CALLED GOVERN
MENT THAT HELPS THE WORK LIFE OF THE PEOPLE
1. Work-Life Side of Government. As we have already seen, our government is merely the united efforts of the people to accomplish together what it is difficult and wasteful and often impossible for them to do singly. Part of the things the people do by means of government are concerned with work life and a part with home life. In this chapter we shall discuss briefly some of the ways in which government aids work life.
2. Early Work Contracts. Because history lays so much stress on the Mayflower compact, we forget that in July, 1620, some months before a ship was chartered to bring the Pilgrims to the new world, a business contract between the men who were financing the undertaking and those who were actually coming to America had been drawn up and signed. This contract has nothing to say about religion, education, or the many other things that one might have expected. It deals only with the method by which work life was to be regulated, as the following quotations show:
Anno 1620, July 1. 1. The adventurers and planters do agree that every person that goeth being aged 16 years and upward be rated at 10 li, and 10 pounds to be accounted a single share.
3. The persons transported and the adventurers shall continue their joint stock and partnership together the space of 7 years (except some unexpected impediment do cause the whole company to agree otherwise) during which time all profits and benefits that are got by trade, traffic, trucking, working, fishing, or any other means, of any person or persons remain still in the common stock until the division.
4. That at their coming there they shall choose out such a number of fit persons as may furnish their ships and boats for fishing upon the sea; employing the rest in their several faculties upon the land; as building houses, tilling and planting the ground, and making such commodities as shall be most useful for the colony.
Men must attend to the getting of food, drink, and shelter before they can think of schoolhouses and the comforts of life. That is why early government so largely consisted of agreements like the above and of laws dealing with the simplest kind of work conditions.
3. How the Government of the Colonists centered in Work Life. In the preceding chapter we have seen how, before two years were over, the Pilgrim colony found it necessary to alter their agreement about sharing the products of their work, because there were so many slackers among them. The change they made was equivalent to an amendment in our state and national constitutions. Many other changes had to be made from time to time to deal with new conditions. As early as 1631 legal money was provided for by law in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, corn being constituted "a legal tender at the market price, except money or beaver be expressly named.” The next year to give further assistance to farmers and merchants the lawmakers "ordered that there should be a market kept at Boston upon every Thursday, the fifth day of the week."
The work life grew by leaps and bounds, and government changed to keep pace with the needs of the colonists. By 1677 the first regular post office was established by the legislature, and by 1715 the first lighthouse on the North American continent was built. In 1769 the legislature was making laws about such minor matters connected with work life as the following:
Each Town where Shingles are made and sold, shall choose, in March annually, a Surveyor of Shingles and Clapboards, to be under Oath; who shall be allowed by the Burger six pence per Thousand for surveying, etc.
No Dwelling House, Shope, Warehouse, Barn, Stable, or
9 Inches long
24 Inches thick In spite of the success of the colonists in America, they were not allowed to make all their laws for themselves. Those in power in England still believed in the divine right of kings and nobility to help themselves to the hard work of others, and of course the only way that the nobility of England could profit by the hard work of the colonists was to tax them and so to regulate their commerce that it would pass through English ports. It was not, however, until these laws became oppressive and interfered with the freedom of the people in America to develop their work life as their needs required that serious trouble resulted.
4. How the Colonists came to make a Constitution. The Revolutionary War was the climax which left the people free to plan their life without interference from England. Since the separate agreements or contracts which the different colonies had had with England were canceled by the war, they found it necessary to draw up an agreement among themselves which we call the Constitution. This one agreement took the place of the several agreements, issued in the form of charters, that the colonies had made with England. The Constitution was not a strange thing but a very brave one. The people were substituting for the powerful protection of England the united but uncertain protection of thirteen little colonies. Of course each colony felt able and expected to look after its own work life and home life in most respects, just as it had been doing for