Excerpt from The International Review, 1882, Vol. 13
The tendencies of this new form of government could be studied from as many points of View as there are members in the Cabinet. Judicious reform has been the endeavor of them all.
Perhaps in no department has there been such thorough renovation and such astounding development as in that of public education. It was evident to all that the ignorance under the Empire had caused the downfall of France. The geography of the country was better known at Berlin than in Paris; the German trooper was more con versant with the French roads than many an officer in the Imperial army! This was the culmination of the rule of the Nephew of his Uncle. It was an unanswerable argument in favor of public education, and touched the sensitive chord of patriotism, which responded by vot ing grant after grant for the furtherance of primary instruction. This was the dawn of the new era in which France severed her connection with the institutions of the past, and set forth on a new path. She has learned that the hope of any worthy government is in the young, and the strength thereof is derived from their education and their ability to grasp and cope with the difficulties which continually beset a people. And at this juncture we are met by the interesting question of universal suffrage.
The political interests of France and of the United States, in so many cases identical, seem here to be utterly at variance. That which, if wisely managed, may and will prove the boon of the one, threatens, unless promptly considered, to become the bane of the other. France has only Frenchmen to deal with - a fixed and invariable quantity. She has a certain amount of ignorance to educate, and a certain quan tum of superstition to extirpate. But here it is not so. The large yearly contribution of incapacity which is the unfortunate result of this country's well-founded boast that it is the haven of the suffering and oppressed is endangering the very institutions which have made the country what it is. Under existing circumstances universal suffrage in this country would seem to be a grievous mistake. It has ceased to be the corner-stone of its republicanism it has become its worst and direst foe.
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