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in public matters into harmony and uniformity. The DOCKET rejoices to see that the papers of the Grotius Society are written from the standpoint of the International Judge and not from that of the partisan advocate. Their writers are Englishmen, but as the papers and addresses of Dr. Goudy and Dr. Lawrence abundantly show, they criticize and condemn the illegal acts of the British Government and of its allies with the same freedom as they do those of Germany. As well stated by Dr. Goudy in his introductory address : It is the welfare of the commonwealth of nations, not of any one nation or group of nations that the Society will seek to secure. For International Law, if it is to have any enduring authority, must be based on the fundamental principles of human rights and must give effect to the common welfare of nations. All assertions of right arising from patriotism or “my country before everything,” “Germany above all,” must be swept aside as noxious hindrances to progress.
IN THE United States, too, these questions which the war have made so interesting and so important are being discussed, not only in the lay press, but in all the law journals published in this country. The AMERICAN LAW REVIEW for the last two years has given constant attention to them, in a series of articles of a similar character to those in this month's issue, by Professor Maxey of the University of Nebraska on the Case of the American Ship William P. Frye, and by Thomas M. Spaulding of Washington, D. C., on the Right to Bombard.
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND MAJORITY RULE: A Study in American Polit
ical Development. By EDWARD ELLIOTT, Ph. D. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1916.
This monograph states the general criticism of the organic forms through which American democracy has expressed itself in the past, and describes the newer tendencies of political evolution by which a more efficient democracy is coming into being. The purpose of the book is “to point out the fact that the people of the United States have been hindered in the attainment of democracy, or the rule of the majority, by the form of government through which they have been compelled to act.” In the era of the formation of the government the prevalent theories were that government is itself a necessary evil, that its functions ought therefore to be restricted to the narrowest possible limits, and that a system of separated powers, with elaborate checks and balances, was the indispensable means to prevent usurpations and infringement of the natural and inalienable rights of the individual. Though monarchy had given way to republicanism, the fear of strong government continued to affect men's minds. The tryanny of the multitude was feared as much as that of the monarch, and in consequence obstacles and impediments were placed in the way of the full and free realization of the people's will. These, wrought into the very fabric of our constitutional law, have resisted the influence of social and economic conditions and tendencies.
The complexity of our governmental institutions has, in fact, not prevented special and selfish interests from often controlling governmental action, while it has frequently blocked the attainment of the ends of general public welfare. The fundamental need in government is simplification and the relief of democracy from the numerous trammels under which it has hitherto been compelled to operate. The realization of this fact is only beginning to penetrate. Earlier efforts to secure effect to the will of the people by various negative reforms have failed to accomplish their purpose. The institution of ballot reforms; the passage of registration laws; the subjection of political parties to legal control; the limitation of the powers of legislative bodies, are all examples of efforts to realize majority rule and to secure the will of the people by indirection. These reforms were based upon the old doctrine that liberty lay in inaction, and was to be secured by checks and balances. They failed because they did not perceive where the real difficulty lay. At present a new doctrinal basis for political reform is coming to be accepted. “Beyond doubt the spirit of the American people has been steadily tending away from a theory of a government, limited that it may not do harm, toward that of a government endowed with
all powers necessary for the advancement of the social well-being of the state or nation.” The newer reforms seek to strike from the limbs of governmental authority the fetters imposed by an eighteenth century political philosophy. The popular initiative and referendum, the recall, the reorganization of municipal government on the commission plan, and particularly the short ballot movement are expressions of this new attitude. The doctrines of limited state functions, of the separation of powers, of checks and balances are giving way to the idea that govern. ment should be based on the principle of concentrated authority under strict responsibility. While it is too early to speak with certainty regarding the ultimate success of these particular reforms, there can be no doubt that, in seeking to attain the ideals of democracy by a more direct method, they mark an epoch in the political evolution of the country. Government by able and responsible men is being substituted for government by an intricate and complex system of restrictive laws. The evils of dispersion of authority and weakness and inefficiency of action are being overcome by concentrated power under adequate control.
While not containing much that is novel or unfamiliar to students of politics, Professor Elliott's little book embodies in very interesting and convincing form the facts and conclusions relating to recent general tendencies in the political life of America. As a study in political dynamics, it will doubtless be of very considerable value.
THE LAW AND PRACTICE OF MUNICIPAL HOME RULE. By HOWARD LEE MC
BAIN, Associate Professor of Municipal Science and Administration in Columbia University. New York: Columbia University Press. 1916.
The question of municipal home rule has in recent years become one of the most vital and important in the entire field of governmental organization. It constitutes one of the principal causes for demands for revision of state constitutions. In twelve states, through constitutional provisions some or all cities enjoy the power of framing their own charters. The subject, therefore, deserves the comprehensive and authoritative treatment which this volume presents.
By "Municipal Home Rule” the author means the vesting in cities, by constitutional provision, of powers of government, and particularly of the power to frame and adopt their own charters. “Powers thus conferred by the people of a state through the medium of their fundamental law create for the city constitutional rights which may, like the similar rights of private persons, be defended in the courts against invasion by the legislative arm of the government.” Wherever such constitutional rights exist, numerous difficult questions have arisen which have entailed litigation, and as a result there is a large number of cases which already constitute a distinct and important branch of state constitutional law. These cases and the law which they embody are reviewed and analyzed in Professor McBain's work. While thus of great value to the lawyer, this treatise will probably prove of even more importance to the student of politics, the municipal reformer, and the layman interested in public questions.
The book is divided into two parts, the first dealing with the “Origin and Development of the Home Rule Problem;" the second, and much larger, with "Home Rule in the States Which Have Granted Charter Making Powers to Cities.” In the first part, after an introductory chapter in which are discussed the general principles of local self government, legislative supremacy, and the rights of protection which cities enjoy under the Federal constitution, the author discusses the history of the gradual growth of limitations upon legislative bodies whereby the original principle of complete legislative supremacy has been modi. fied. These restrictions were in large measure the result of legislative abuses during the years between 1850, when cities were beginning to assume much importance, and 1875. Exploitation of municipalities for the benefit of special interests was no uncommon experience. Clauses guaranteeing the right of local selection of city officers; prohibiting the . appointment of special commissions in control of municipal affairs; relating to the financial powers of cities; prohibiting cities from aiding public improvement corporations; and prohibiting legislative interference with streets and street franchises were inserted in a number of constitutions. The cities also received protection from general constitutional limitations on the power of the legislatures to enact special laws, particularly special acts of incorporation.
In Part II, after discussing the principle of federalism as it exists in the relation of the states and the Union, and its applicability to the relationship of cities to the state, the author takes up in order the constitutional provisions, and the questions and cases arising thereunder, in the several states which have granted charter-making powers to cities. These are Missouri, whose constitution of 1875 originated the idea of the freeholders' charter, applied to cities over 100,000; California, which introduced the provision in 1879, and made it applicable to all cities over 3,500; Washington, which came into the Union (1889) with a constitution providing for freeholders' charters in cities over 20,000; Minnesota (1896), where any city or village may draft its own charter, the board of freeholders in this case being, however, appointed by the judge of the district court instead of being elected; Colorado (1902), where the usual principle applies to cities over 2,000; Oregon (1906), where for any town or city a new charter may be submitted by the council, or by petition of fifteen per cent of the voters; Oklahoma (1908), where for cities over 2,000 the usual provision for a board of freeholders exists; Michigan (1908), where in any city or village a charter commission may submit a new charter; Arizona (1912), where in cities over 3,500 the usual provision obtains; Ohio (1912), where for any city or village a board of electors is the agency used; Nebraska (1912), where for cities over 5,000 the usual board of freeholders is employed; and Texas (1912), where for cities over 5,000 a charter commission is the instrument for submitting a new charter. The numerous questions which have arisen in these states relate chiefly to the extent of the legislature's power to regulate home-rule cities by general laws, and the conflicts between state statutes and municipal charters. The decisions are
in many instances difficult or impossible to reconcile, but are discussed by the author with a remarkable wealth of knowledge and a lucidity which leaves nothing to be desired. In a concluding chapter a number of general conclusions upon the moot questions in this most interesting field of public law are stated.
Viewed as a whole, this work must be recognized as a most satisfactory, solid and authoritative treatment of the entire problem of municipal home rule. Toward the solution of this problem, whose great importance none can fail to perceive, it will doubtless constitute a very substantial contribution.
A TREATISE ON LIMITATION OF ACTIONS AT LAW AND IN EQUITY. By H. G. · WOOD. 4th Ed. Revised and enlarged by DE WITT C. MOORE of the New
York Bar. 2 Vols. Matthew Bender & Co. Albany, N. Y.
This is the fourth edition of a well known work which has won the favorable opinion of the profession ever since the appearance of the book, nearly twenty-four years ago. The present editor has much enlarged the original treatise and has given parallel citations to the official and unofficial reports, a very necessary addition to every textbook at this day when the unofficial reports are more used by the lawyer in his daily practice than the official ones. The subject is of course a most important one and the two bulky volumes before us contain everything which a law treatise can give on the topic.
THE ENFORCEMENT OF DECREES IN EQUITY. By CHARLES A. Huston, S. J.
D. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Mass. 1915.
The object of this monograph is to urge an enlargement of the equity powers of American Courts so that they can give real effect to their decrees; to transfer titles directly, for example, instead of ordering a litigant to make the transfer. Such powers exist today in some of the states, but in others and notably in the Federal Courts it is lacking. The author gives a very learned and interesting sketch of the development of remedial procedure in rem and pleads for the enlargement of the remedial power of our Courts “to make their administration of relief more accurate and more effective than is possible now, when specific relief either reparatory or preventive is regarded as on the whole merely auxiliary to the substantial relief of damages.” The Essay is dedicated to Dean Pound of the Harvard Law School.
FEDERAL EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT, Practitioners' Manual. By JOHN A. WALGREN, T. H. Flood & Co. Chicago. 1916.
In one hundred and thirty pages Mr. Walgren prints the different sections of the Federal Employers' Liability Act, a digest of the decisions covering it up to date and a number of forms of pleading in suits brought under its provisions-a convenient manual for the lawyer who has occasion to sustain or defend a claim of this character.