Community Civics and Rural Life
by Arthur W. Dunn
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This book, like the author's earlier one, The Community and the Citizen, is a "community civics" text. Two purposes led to the preparation of this second volume. The first was to produce a text that would meet the needs of pupils and teachers who live outside of the environment of the large city. Training for citizenship in a democracy is a fundamentally identical process in all communities, whether urban or rural. But, if it really functions in the life of the citizen, this process must consist largely in deriving educational values from the actual civic situations in which he normally finds himself. Moreover, instruction that relates to matters that lie beyond immediate experience must nevertheless be interpreted in terms of that experience if it is really to have meaning. At least half of the young citizens of America live in an environment that is essentially rural. Hence their need for civics instruction that takes its point of departure in, and refers back to, a body of experience that differs in many ways from that of the urban citizen.

This does not imply that urban conditions should be ignored in the civic education of the rural citizen. On the contrary, one of the things that every citizen should be led to appreciate is the interdependence of country and city in a unified national life. In the present volume emphasis is given to this interdependence. For this reason, and because of the fundamental principles which have controlled the development of the text, it is believed that the book may perform a distinct service even in city schools.

The second purpose in undertaking the present book has been to make as obvious as possible the elements which, in the author's judgment, characterize "community civics" and give it vitality. The Community and the Citizen was a pioneer among texts that have sought to vitalize the study of government and citizenship. The term "community civics" became current only at a later time to designate the "new civics" which that book represented. It seems to the author, however, that many teachers and others have seized upon some of the more incidental, even though important, features of the "new civics" without apparently recognizing its really vital characteristics.

For example, the "new civics" performed a real service in giving emphasis to the study of the "local community," which was being sadly neglected ten or fifteen years ago. It was this emphasis, doubtless, that gave rise to the name "community civics." But "local study," even though labelled "community civics," may be, and often is, entirely lacking in vitalizing features. On the other hand, the vitalizing methods that should characterize community civics may be applied to the study of our "national community," and even of the embryonic "world community,"—and should be so applied in any "community civics" that is worthy of a place in our schools in this critical period of national and world history. The real significance of the term "community civics" is to be found in its application to an interpretation of the COMMUNITY-CHARACTER of national and international life equally with that of town or neighborhood.

Another service that community civics performed was in introducing certain elements of social or "sociological" study into grades as low as the grammar school. This has sometimes led to the description of community civics as "elementary sociology." The Community and the Citizen was perhaps the first "civics" textbook to include such "sociological" material. So far as that book is concerned, at least, the "sociological" material was included PRIMARILY to afford a viewpoint from which the better to interpret GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENSHIP. This point seems often to be missed, with the result that in some schools we find a more or less vitalized "social study" labelled "community civics," FOLLOWED BY a formal study of government that shows no obvious, organic relation to the earlier study. Whatever else "community civics" may accomplish, one of its foremost aims should be TO MAKE GOVERNMENT, INCLUDING THAT OF THE NATION, MEAN SOMETHING TO THE YOUNG CITIZEN. In the present book the author has endeavored to keep this aim prominent in the mind of the teacher. It is hoped that the organic relation of the last few chapters, which deal explicitly with governmental mechanism and operation, to the earlier chapters will be obvious.

The underlying, vitalizing features of community civics may be summed up as:



The aim of the following text is to fix in the pupil's consciousness a few essential ideas, which will help to determine his ideals and attitudes, by a judicious USE of facts, which will thereby be more readily remembered and understood. "The most important element of success in community life ... is TEAM WORK; and team work depends, first of all, UPON A COMMON PURPOSE". The controlling ideas throughout the following chapters are:

1. The common purposes in our community life;

2. Our interdependence in attaining these common purposes;

3. The consequent necessity for cooperation (team work);

4. Government as a means of securing teamwork for the common good. These ideas are set up in the first few chapters and exemplified in the remaining chapters. They are easily grasped by young citizens when DEMONSTRATED by reference to their own observation and experience, which the text and the accompanying topics seek as far as possible to compel. The last few chapters contain an analysis of our governmental mechanism which seeks to answer the question, How far does our government provide the organization, the leadership, and the control over leadership necessary to secure the teamwork which the preceding chapters have shown to be essential?

The present volume is larger than The Community and the Citizen. The author believes that this is an advantage, especially for pupils in communities where supplementary materials are not so easily available. The increased length is due chiefly to the liberal incorporation of concrete illustrative and explanatory matter. Young students need larger textbooks, provided the additional matter clothes the skeleton with living flesh.

Whether based on this textbook or some other, however, community civics cannot be successfully taught if it is made primarily a textbook study. The word "demonstration" has been used advisedly in the paragraphs above as applied to the ideas to be taught. The text sets up ideas, interprets and exemplifies them; but "demonstration" can be made only as the pupils draw upon their own observation and experience. Hence, numerous SUGGESTIVE topics are interspersed throughout to divert attention from the text and to direct it to the actualities of the pupils' experience. Even the topics should not be followed literally in every case, but should be diversified to meet the needs and opportunities of the occasion. But to "omit" such studies as suggested by the topics is to negate the value of community civics.

The successful teacher will seek to extend the pupil's opportunity to participate in group activities both within the school and in the community outside, and will make the fullest possible use of such activities both as a means of demonstrating the operation of the fundamental principles of civic life, and as a means of cultivating "habits, ideals, and attitudes." "Training for citizenship through service" is an essential factor in community civics.

"Community civics" has now been quite definitely assigned to the junior high school grades (see Report of Committee on Social Studies, Bulletin, 1916, No. 28, U.S. Bureau of Education). While the tendency is toward continuous civics instruction in all of these grades, practice still varies greatly. The present text has been written in recognition of this variation and is, in the author's judgment, adapt able to any of the grades in question. If community civics is placed below the ninth grade, however, the author would suggest its distribution over both seventh and eighth grades. An outline suggesting a vital coordination between the civics and the history of these grades, and of particular service in the seventh grade, is given in United States Bureau of Education Bulletin, 1919, No. 50, Part 3 (a report on Civic Education for the Schools of Memphis, Tenn.).

It may be added that community civics in the junior high school grades will be vastly more effective if it is preceded in the six elementary grades by some such course as that outlined in Citizenship in School and Out (Dunn and Harris, published by D.C. Heath & Company). See also Lessons in Civics for the Six Elementary Grades of City Schools, by Hannah Margaret Harris (Bulletin, 1920, No. 18, U.S. Bureau of Education).

A list of "Readings" is appended to each of the following chapters. While it is not expected that pupils in the grades for which the book is intended will do a great deal of reading outside of the text, an abundance of illustrative material is desirable and much more easily available, even for rural schools, than is often appreciated. Let the pupils USE THEIR GOVERNMENT, in this connection, as freely as possible. A very large part of the references given are to government publications, many of which can be obtained free of cost directly from the departments issuing them, and all of which can be had for a nominal cost from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. Useful publications of the state government and of state institutions can usually be had for the asking. In ordering from the Superintendent of Documents the money must be sent in advance (stamps are not accepted). Lists of publications with the prices may be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, or from the several Departments of the Government.

Frequent reference is made to Lessons in Community and National Life. These are issued in three pamphlets (Series A, B, and C) by the United States Bureau of Education, at 15 cents per pamphlet. They contain a large amount of illustrative material. A very few books are referred to in certain chapters because of their especial value when obtainable. Among these are two collections of patriotic selections valuable because of their emphasis upon national ideals—Long's American Patriotic Prose (D.C. Heath & Company), and Foerster and Pierson's American Ideals (Houghton Mifflin Company). Other similar collections will be found useful.

The illustrations of the book, with comparatively few exceptions, are from photographs furnished by various departments of the United States Government.



Rural schools, and schools whose pupils have largely a background of rural experience, have not done as much as they should towards training for citizenship. This is largely because the text books have failed to interpret citizenship and government in terms of the actual experience of such pupils, or to stimulate teamwork and leadership in communities with a distinctly rural background. More over, in city and rural schools alike, there has been failure to emphasize the interdependence of rural and urban communities in a single national enterprise. Community Civics and Rural Life is planned to meet these deficiencies.

There has been too much TALKING ABOUT citizenship in school, and too little LIVING it from day to day. Training for citizenship necessitates its daily practice in school and out. In the hands of an able teacher, Community Civics and Rural Life should point the way to real community living, both now and in the future. It should teach the pupils what their real civic responsibilities are as well as their civic opportunities—and assist them to embrace them when they come. Children so trained will learn to respect, now and later, the rights of their neighbors, and will become as fair in their dealings with the government as with their fellowmen. They will furnish their communities with the right kind of leaders, unselfish and public spirited. When the time calls, they will be ready to accept and shed a new dignity upon the old positions of school trustee, highway engineer, sanitary inspector, township supervisor, county commissioner, or the more conspicuous offices of state and national government. Or as plain citizens they will lend these officials their active support for community and national betterment.



I. Our Common Purposes in Community Life II. How We Depend Upon One Another in Community Life III. The Need for Cooperation in Community Life IV. Why We Have Government V. What is Citizenship? VI. What is Our Community? VII. Our National Community VIII. A World Community IX. The Home X. Why Government Helps in Home Making XI. Earning a Living XII. Government as a Means of Cooperation in Agriculture XIII. Thrift XIV. The Relation Between the People and the Land XV. Conserving Our Natural Resources XVI. Protection of Property and Property Rights XVII. Roads and Transportation XVIII. Communication XIX. Education XX. The Community's Health XXI. Social, Aesthetic, and Spiritual Wants XXII. Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Members of the Community XXIII. Teamwork in Taxation XXIV. How We Govern Ourselves XXV. Our Local Governments XXVI. Our State Governments XXVII. Our National Government Appendix—The Constitution of the United States





The most important element of success in community life, as in a ball game, a family, or a school, is TEAM WORK; and team work depends, first of all, upon a COMMON PURPOSE. Our nation gave an example of team work during the recent war such as is seldom seen; and this was be cause every member of the nation was keenly intent on WINNING. We may see the same thing in our school when Christmas entertainment is being planned, when an athletic tournament is approaching, or when some other school activity is under way in which all are deeply interested. It is often illustrated in our town, or rural neighborhood when some important enterprise is on foot, such as the building of a new railroad into town, a Red Cross "drive" and a county fair, or the construction of a much needed new schoolhouse.


All communities have common purposes, although they are not always as clearly defined as when our nation was at war, or as in the other cases mentioned in the preceding paragraph. Sometimes the people of a community, or a large portion of them, seem to be wholly unconscious that a common purpose exists. This may be true even in a family or in a school. And when this happens, the effect is the same as if there WERE no common purpose. No club or athletic team can be successful unless its members have a common purpose AND UNDERSTAND IT. Insofar as our communities are imperfect—and none of them, is perfect—it is largely because their members fail to recognize or understand their common purposes.

People in communities have common purposes because they have the same wants. This may not at first seem to be true.


If we visit a large city, we see throngs of people hurrying hither and thither, jostling one another, apparently in the greatest confusion. We wonder where they are all going, what they are doing, what they are seeking. In rural communities or in small towns there is less apparent confusion than in the bustling life of the city. Yet even here it is not always easy to see common purposes and common interests. Whether in large or small communities, we are more likely to be impressed by the VARIETY of men's wants and even by the CONFLICT of their purposes.

But no matter how numerous and conflicting our wants may seem, they may all be grouped in a very few important kinds, which are common to all of us alike. It will be worthwhile to test the truth of this, because it will help us to see our community life in some kind of order, and will throw a flood of light upon the common purposes that control it.


For example, we all want food, drink, and sleep, clothing to protect our bodies, and houses to shelter us. But all these things supply our PHYSICAL wants; that is, they re late to LIFE AND HEALTH. Many of the things that we do every day are important because of their relation to our physical well-being. One reason why we enjoy out door sports is that they make our blood tingle and give a sense of physical pleasure. Unless our physical wants are provided for, the other wants of life cannot well be satisfied. Good health is a priceless possession.

Mention some things you have done today for your physical welfare.


Another reason why sports and games give pleasure is be cause of the association they afford with other people. ASSOCIATION WITH OTHERS is a second great want which explains many of the things we do. Whatever may be our other reasons for going to school, it affords us the opportunity to meet and work and play with other boys and girls to our pleasure and profit. One of the objections often raised against life in the country is the lack of opportunity for association with other people. But life in the country is not so isolated as it once was; and one may be very much alone in a city crowd, where nearly all are strangers to one another, and where there is very little real association among individuals. City families often live in the same apartment house without knowing one another.

What are some things you do especially for the sake of companionship?


While going to school enables us to associate with others, the principal reason for going is to gain KNOWLEDGE. Whether we always like our studies or not, we certainly want knowledge, and seek it in many ways. We read the newspaper or magazine that comes to the home. We ask questions of parents and others who have had more experience than we. We may travel to see new sights. We examine with curiosity a new machine for the farm. The discoveries and inventions that mark man's progress in civilization are the result of his unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

Mention some of the different ways in which you seek knowledge.

Mention some geographic and scientific discoveries that have been made through man's search for knowledge.

What is science? Name some sciences.


Besides health and knowledge and association with other people, we want surroundings that are pleasant and beautiful. The want for BEAUTY is sometimes more neglected than other wants, but it is important, and we all have it and seek to satisfy it in some way or other. It may be at one time by a walk in the woods or fields, or at other times by cultivating flowers, by keeping our room tidy, by looking at pictures, or by exercising good taste in clothing. We also enjoy beauty in sound, as the song of birds or music in the home or school.

In what ways do you provide for this want?


Very likely we go to church on Sunday. It affords opportunity to enjoy association with others, to add to our knowledge, and to hear beautiful music. But the church service is one of the chief means by which people satisfy another of the great wants of life —the RELIGIOUS want. Individuals differ in their religious ideas and in the depth of their religious feelings, but in every community there are certain things that men do because of it.

What are some of the great religions of the world?

Is religion a strong influence in your community?

Can you mention any great historical events that were due to religious causes?


Perhaps after school, or on Saturdays, or in vacation time, we work at tasks to earn money, or at least help in occupations that contribute to the "living" of the family. Doubtless we have thought more or less about what we are going to do for a living after we leave school. We all have a desire to own things, to have property, to accumulate WEALTH. This also is one of the great wants of life. We have perhaps already experienced the satisfaction of raising our own first crop of corn or potatoes, of acquiring our first livestock, of putting away or selling our first supply of canned fruits or vegetables, of buying a set of tools, a bicycle, or some books, of starting a bank account. But after all the chief reason why we want wealth, or to "make money," is because of what we can do with it. It enables us to satisfy our wants. Earning a living simply means earning the things that satisfy our wants in life.

Make a blackboard list of the occupations by which the parents and other members of the families of the pupils in the class make a living.

Make a blackboard list of things done by members of the class to earn money.

What is your choice of occupation by which to make a living in the future? Why? Make a blackboard list for the whole class.


The six kinds of wants that we have indicated clearly account for many of the things that we do. In fact, ALL of our wants are of one or another of these kinds and EVERYTHING we do is important because of its relation to them. We may not be ready, yet, to accept this statement. We may think of wants that seem at first not to fall under any of these six kinds. It will do no harm to add other kinds to the list if we think it necessary. But, at all events, the six kinds of wants mentioned are common to all of us. We live in communities in order to provide for them, and a community is good to live in proportion as it provides for all of them adequately. It is these wants that give COMMON PURPOSE to our community life.

Make as complete a list as possible of the things you did yesterday (outside of school as well as in school). Then extend the list to include the more important things done during the entire week.

Write the six wants across the top of a page of your notebook or a sheet of paper:

Health Knowledge Association Beauty Religion Wealth

Arrange the activities in your list in the six columns according to the wants which they satisfy. If any activity clearly satisfies more than one of the wants, write it down in EACH of the proper columns.

Which column is the longest? which comes next? which is the shortest?

Is your longest column also the longest in the lists made by other members of your class? Compare your other columns with those of your classmates. Which wants seem to keep you busiest?

Which do you think is most important? Why? Discuss this question in class. Do you all agree in regard to this point?

If any of the activities in your list are for the purpose of earning money, tell for what you expect to spend the money. Show how the things you expect to buy with your money will help to satisfy your other five wants.

For which of these six wants do you spend the most time in providing? your father? your mother? If there is a difference in the three answers, why is it?

Do you have difficulty in classifying any of the things you do, or that you see others do, under any of the six heads? Make note of these things and, as your study proceeds, see if the difficulty of classification is removed.

Suppose a boy is a BULLY: what wants does he satisfy by his bullying conduct? Suppose a boy or a girl is ambitious to become a LEADER, either among present companions or later in social life, business, or politics: under which head or heads would you place this ambition?

A boy wants to enlist in the army, or a girl as an army nurse: do these wants come under any of the six heads?

Would you, after your discussion of these topics, add any other group or kind of wants to the six mentioned? If so, what would you call it?

Every one wants HAPPINESS. Why is it not necessary to make a special group under this head?

Make a list of things done in your home to provide for each of the six wants.

What is done in your school to provide for the want for health? for beauty? for association with others? for the religious want? Has your school work any relation to your desire to make a living? Is it the business of the school to provide for all these things as well as for the want for knowledge?

Make a list of a few things done in your community outside of the home and school to provide for each of the six wants.

Think of something in which your entire community is deeply interested, such as the improvement of the roads, or the building of a new high school, or a county fair, and explain what wants it provides for.

What wants do the following things provide for: rural mail delivery; weather reports; a corn club (or a similar club); a school garden; a library; the telephone; a hospital; a parent- teacher association?


We may often hear our common purposes as communities or as a nation stated in different terms than those suggested in the paragraphs above. For example, Franklin K. Lane, the Secretary of the Interior during the war, said, "Our national purpose is to transmute days of dreary work into happier lives—for ourselves first and for all others in their time." Again, President Wilson said that our purpose in entering the world war was to help "make the world safe for democracy." Although these two statements read differently, they mean very much the same thing; and they both refer in general terms to the things this chapter discusses in more familiar and express terms. For "happier lives" can only result from a more complete satisfaction of our common wants. Our own happiness comes from the satisfaction of our own wants AND FROM HELPING TO SATISFY THE WANTS OF OTHERS. And "democracy" means, in part, that the COMMON WANTS OF ALL shall be properly provided for.

In the Declaration of Independence we read:



The statement that "all men are created equal" has troubled many people when they have thought of the obvious inequalities that exist in natural ability and opportunity. But whatever inequalities may exist, people are absolutely equal in their RIGHT to satisfy the wants described in this chapter. These are the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration of Independence sums up in the phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That community is best to live in that most nearly provides equal opportunity for all its citizens to enjoy these rights. From the Declaration of Independence to the present day, our great national purpose has been to increase this opportunity, even though at times we have apparently not been conscious of it, and even though we have fallen short of its fulfillment. One of the chief objects of our study is to find out how our communities are seeking to accomplish this purpose.

"The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us unless we can translate its general terms into examples of the present day and substitute them in some vital way for the examples it itself gives, so concrete, so intimately involved in the circumstances of the day in which it was conceived and written. It is an eminently practical document, meant for the use of practical men ... Unless we can translate it into the questions of our own day, we are not worthy of it, we are not sons of the sires who acted in response to its challenge."— Woodrow Wilson, in The New Freedom, pp. 48, 49.

A and B are two boys of the same age. One was born in a rich family, and one in a very poor family. So far as this accident of birth is concerned, have they equal OPPORTUNITY to satisfy the wants of life? Have they an equal RIGHT to health? to an education? to pleasant surroundings? to earn a good living?

Suppose A is a Native American boy, and B a foreign-born boy who speaks a foreign language: does this make any difference in their RIGHT to life and health, an education, etc.? Does it make any difference in their OPPORTUNITY to satisfy their wants in these directions?

Can you think of persons in your community who have less OPPORTUNITY to satisfy their wants than you have? Can you think of any persons who have less RIGHT to satisfy their wants than you have?

The first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States comprise what is known as a "bill of rights." Study together in class this bill of rights (see Appendix) to see how many of the wants described in this chapter are there, provided for directly and indirectly.

Has your state constitution a bill of rights? If so, read it together in class for the same purpose as suggested in the last question.


Preamble of the Constitution of the United States (see Appendix).

The Declaration of Independence.

Dunn, Arthur W., The Community and the Citizen, Chapters, i, iv. (Heath).

Tufts, James H., The Real Business of Living (Henry Holt & Co.), Chapter xxxix, ("Democracy as Equality").

Van Dyke, Henry, "Equality of Opportunity," in Long's American Patriotic Prose, pp. 311, 312 (Heath).

See the note on reference materials in the Introduction to this book.

It should become a HABIT of both teacher and pupils to be on the constant lookout for news items and discussions in available newspapers and periodicals illustrative of the points made in each chapter or lesson. Individual scrapbooks may be made, but more important than this is the assembling of such material as a class enterprise, its classification under proper heads, and its preservation in scrapbooks or in files as working material for succeeding classes. There will always be enough for each class to do, while each class at the same time contributes to the success of the work of later classes. The idea of SERVICE should dominate such work.




Nothing could be freer than air. But even as we sit in our schoolroom, whether or not we get all the pure air we need, depends upon how the schoolhouse was built for ventilation, the number of people who occupy the room, the care that is taken by others to keep the room free from dust, the health and cleanliness of those who sit in the room with us. If this dependence upon others is true in the case of the very air we breathe, how much more true it must be of other necessities of life that are not so abundant.

This dependence of people upon one another for the satisfaction of their wants is one of the most important facts about community life. It is not merely that A and B have the SAME wants, but that A is dependent upon B, and B upon A, for the satisfaction of their wants, that makes their wants COMMON.

Mention the people, both inside and outside of your home, who had a share in providing for you the food you had for breakfast or dinner.

Mention all the workers that occur to you who have been employed in producing the clothing you wear; the book you are reading; the materials of which your house is built.

Show how the people who produce these things are dependent upon your wants for their livelihood.

Show that you are dependent upon other people for your education; for recreation. Are other people dependent upon your education for their welfare? Are others dependent on you for their recreation?


The farmer's life is often spoken of as an independent life. His independence was certainly much more complete in pioneer days than it is now. In regard to the early days of Indiana, it has been said:

Give the pioneer farmer an axe and an auger, or in place of the last a burning iron, and he could make almost any machine that he was wont to work with. With his sharp axe he could not only cut the logs for his cabin and notch them down, but he could make a close-fitting door and supply it with wooden hinges and a neat latch. From the roots of an oak or ash he could fashion his hames and sled runners; he could make an axle-tree for his wagon, a rake, a flax brake, a barrow, a scythe-snath, a grain cradle a pitchfork, a loom, a reel, a washboard, a stool, a chair, a table, a bedstead, a dresser, and a cradle in which to rock the baby. If he was more than ordinarily clever, he repaired his own cooperage, and adding a drawing knife to his kit of tools, he even went so far as to make his own casks, tubs, and buckets. He made and mended his own shoes. [Footnote: Quoted in Pioneer Indianapolis, by Ida Stearns Stickney, p. 11 (Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis).]

We also read that in early New England:

Every farmhouse was a manufactory, not of one kind of goods, but of many. All day long in the chamber or attic the sound of the spinning-wheel and loom could be heard. Carpets, shawls, bedspreads, tablecovers, towels, and cloth for garments were made from materials made on the farm. The kitchen of the house was a baker's shop, a confectioner's establishment, and a chemist's laboratory. Every kind of food for immediate use was prepared there daily; and on special occasions sausages, head cheese, pickles, apple butter, and preserves were made. It was also the place where soap, candles, and vinegar were manufactured. Agricultural implements were then few and simple, and farmers made as many of them as they could. Every farmhouse was a creamery and cheese factory. As there were no sewing machines, the farmer's wife and daughters had to ply the hand needle most of the time when they were not engaged in more laborious pursuits. During the long evenings they generally knit socks and mittens or made rag carpets. [Footnote: Nourse, Agricultural Economics, p 64, from "The Farmer's Changed Conditions," by Rodney Welsh, in the Forum, x, 689-92 (Feb., 1891).]


But even under such conditions as those described, the farmer and his family were not wholly independent. Even Robinson Crusoe on his lonely island was dependent upon the tools and equipment that he saved from shipwrecks, and that were the product of other men's labor. So, also, the pioneer farmer had to maintain some kind of relation, however infrequent and slight, with the outside world. Moreover, he had to pay for his comparative independence by many privations. He had all the wants described in the preceding chapter, but he had to provide for them in the simplest way possible, and often they were hardly provided for at all.


As soon as a number of people come to live together, even in a pioneer community, it is likely that some members will have a knack for doing certain things of use to the community better than others can do them. Thus one man may be especially skillful in making axe handles. In time, the entire community comes to depend upon him for its axe handles. In addition, he probably makes other tools and does repair work of all kinds. This requires so much of his time that he does little or no farming, and depends upon others for his food supply. So in a course of time the community has its blacksmiths, carpenters, shoe-makers, teachers, storekeepers and doctors upon whom it depends for their special kinds of service, while each of them depends upon others to supply the wants that he has neither the time nor the skill to supply for himself. Thus interdependence develops in the simplest communities.


The farmer still does many things on the farm that in the city would be done by special workers, such as repairing houses, barns, and tools. But he has become vastly more dependent upon others than formerly. This is due partly to improved farming methods, requiring the use of complicated machines and greater technical knowledge; and partly to improved means of transportation and communication which bring him in close touch with trade centers. If a farmer needs a new axe handle, he can get a better one with less expenditure of time and effort by going to town in his automobile than if he made it himself. His farm machinery is too complicated for him to repair except in small matters, and even then he must go or send to town for the necessary parts, which may be sent to him by parcel post. Not only does he get better tools and services generally through this reliance upon others who are specialists in their lines, but also on account of it has more time to give to the actual business of farming, for which others depend upon him, and leisure for thoughtful study of his problems, for social life, and for recreation.


It must be acknowledged that reliance upon others may be carried so far as to result in loss or disadvantage. "Self-reliance" is one of the most admirable traits of character. The pioneer farmer possessed it from necessity to a remarkable extent. A habit of depending upon others may quickly cause a person to lose the "knack" of doing things for himself, to become less "handy about the place," and less "thrifty" about keeping things in repair or installing small improvements—the casting of a cement trough, mending the harness or the fence or painting the barn.


The interdependence of people in community life to-day may be illustrated by starting with some of our own needs, as was suggested in the topics on page 12. For example, if we need a pair of shoes, we must have money, which we will suppose that we earn by farming. In order to farm successfully we must have machinery. This we also buy in town; but it is manufactured for us in distant city factories from metals procured from mines and from wood from the forest. The shoes bought at the store were also made in a factory employing hundreds of men and women, perhaps in Massachusetts. They were made from leather from the hides of cattle raised in the far west, or perhaps even in the Argentine Republic. The leather is tanned by another industry, and tanning requires the use of an acid from the bark of certain trees from the forest. The making of the shoes also requires machinery which is made by still other machines, the necessary metals coming from mines. To smelt the metals and to run the factories there must be fuel from other mines. Meanwhile the workers in all these industries must be fed and clothed and housed. This means the work of farmers, food packers, millers and bakers, lumbermen, carpenters, cotton and woolen mills, clothing factories, and many others. At every stage transportation enters in,—by team and automobile truck, by railway, by water. These are only a part of the activities necessary in order that we may have a pair of shoes. It would seem that practically every kind of worker and industry in the world had something to do with it. People in communities today are indeed very interdependent.

The following item appeared in a newspaper:


Farmer Is Limited by Conditions in Community

The average farmer is limited in the changes he can make in his farm business by the farm practices of the community in which he is living.

There are farmers in every community who would like to change their systems of agriculture but are restrained from doing so by the fact that their neighbors will not change. Many farmers have tried to change from one type of farming to another better suited to the region, but failed because the cost of running such an entirely independent business was too great.

A man owning an orchard in a locality where there are no other orchards has trouble getting rid of his crop. Even when the farmer is so fortunate as to get buyers, he generally receives a lower price for the same grade of fruit than would be received in a general apple-growing region.

If a man wants to buy several purebred Holstein cows, he generally goes to a locality where a large number of farmers keep that kind of stock. Often there is a man in his own community who has for sale Holsteins that are just as highly bred as those in other districts, but he either has no market for them or must sell them at a greatly reduced price.

The farmer ought not to think on account of these facts that he should not change his system of farming just because his neighbors do not do likewise.

Probably the best way for a farmer to start such a movement is to arouse the interest of his neighbors in his farming operations. As soon as this has been accomplished he can gradually bring about the change that he advocates. Farmers in a community profit from the experiences of other individuals.


The value of a man's property is dependent not upon his efforts alone, but upon what his neighbors do. The land occupied by a pioneer increases in value as other people settle in the neighborhood, and BECAUSE they settle there. Men often buy land and then simply wait for it to increase in value because of improvements in the neighborhood. The property that we own may increase or decrease in value according to the care that neighbors take of their property. Even if we take good care of our property, it will be less valuable if the neighbors let their fences and buildings run down and the weeds grow than it will be if they keep their fences and buildings in good repair and their weeds cut.


Malaria is carried by mosquitoes, and we know that mosquitoes breed in standing water, as in swamps and in old barrels or tin cans that hold rainwater until it becomes stagnant. Now we may endeavor to get rid of mosquitoes, and thus of malaria, by removing all open receptacles of water about our premises and by draining the marshes on our land; but unless our neighbors do the same, we are not much better off than we were before.

Give other illustrations to show the dependence of people upon one another in your community.

Compare the farmer of to-day in your neighborhood with the pioneer of Indiana described on page 14 with respect to his equipment, skill in making things and kinds of implements used.

Compare the average farmer's home in your neighborhood to-day with that of the New England farmer described on page 14 with respect to household activities.

Are farmers in your neighborhood to-day more or less dependent upon others to supply their wants than they were when your parents were children? Why is it? Get all the information you can from your parents on this point.

Which is more dependent upon others for its daily wants: a family that lives on a farm in your neighborhood or one that lives in town? Give examples to prove your answer.

Do you know cases in your own community where land has increased in value while lying idle? What are the reasons?

Do you know of cases in your community where property has depreciated in value because of neighborhood influences such as suggested on page 18?

Do you know of cases in your community similar to the one described on page 17 under the heading "Held Back by Neighbors"? Explain. (Consult at home.)


We do not always realize how dependent we are upon one another until something happens to disturb our accustomed relations. We best realize our dependence upon the telephone when it is out of order. The recent great war produced conditions that made us conscious of our interdependence in unexpected ways.

For example, if we had gone into a store to buy underwear in the early part of the war, we would have found that the price had greatly increased, and we might have been told, if the salesman were well informed, that the high price was due to the manufacture of airplanes! The explanation is that the wire stays used in the manufacture of airplanes are made of steel wire from which machine knitting needles are also made. In the early part of the war all of the available wire of this kind was taken for airplanes, thus limiting the supply of knitting needles and consequently of knit goods.

The manufacture of airplanes is also said to have affected the price of fish! The nets used for catching certain deep-sea fish, such as cod, must be made of linen, which is invisible in water. The linen which had been used for this purpose suddenly came into great demand for the manufacture of airplane wings. Since airplanes were necessary, linen fishing nets were sacrificed and the price of deep-sea fish went up. This, of course, created a demand for other kinds of fish, and the price of the latter also went up.


When people are so closely dependent upon one another conflicts are likely to occur. Sometimes they are due to selfish disregard by some persons of the rights and interests of others; but more often they are due simply to failure to see what the real results of a particular act may be and how it may affect other people. It was not dreamed that the building of airplanes would affect the price of underwear and fish, and it was only after careful investigation that the relation between these things was discovered. A family that is careless in the disposal of refuse from the household and stables may unconsciously poison the wells of neighbors half a mile away. Sometimes men oppose public improvements, such as better roads, or a new schoolhouse, because they see only the direct costs of the improvements, and fail to see the more important losses to themselves and to the community if the improvements are not made.


One thing we may learn from such facts as these is the danger of forming hasty judgments about things that happen, or conditions that exist, or proposals that are made, in our community life. Even those conditions or events that are apparently most simple may be related to other conditions and events that are not at first apparent. Wise judgment and wise action are dependent upon the most complete knowledge obtainable.

We shall see, as we proceed with our study, how this fact of interdependence appears in every phase of our community life.

From observation in your own community, give illustrations to show how people, in attempting to satisfy their own wants, may interfere with the efforts of others to satisfy theirs. The following are given as suggestions:

An employer and those whom he employs.

A man who owns a house or farm and the tenant to whom he rents it.

A man who keeps a livery stable adjoining a schoolhouse.

A grocer who displays his goods on the sidewalk (especially food products).

Men who raise cattle and those who raise sheep on the western ranges.

A boy who raises chickens and one who has a garden adjoining.

Suppose a schoolmate comes to school with measles or some other contagious disease. How may this affect your schoolwork? your association with your friends? How may it even add to your father's expenses?

Show that your schoolmates are as dependent upon you as you are upon them.

Is the community in which you live dependent upon you in any way? Give illustrations.

Taxpayers like to keep the tax rate as low as possible. In their interest in doing this, is it possible that they might interfere with your getting a good education in favorable surroundings? Explain. Who are the taxpayers?

We often hear of "self-made men." What does it mean? Can a man be entirely "self-made"?

Does a child become more or less dependent upon others as he grows older? Explain your answer.

Show that as a person becomes more "self-dependent" other people become more dependent upon him; for example, in the home, and in school.

Watch the newspapers for items illustrating interdependence, or conflicts due to it.


Lessons in Community and National Life (see note on reference materials in Introduction)

Series A: Lesson 1, Some fundamental aspects of social organization. Lesson 2, The western pioneer.

Series B: Lesson 1, The effect of the war on commerce in nitrate. Lesson 2, The varied occupations of a colonial farm. Lesson 12, Impersonality of modern life.

Series C: Lesson 1, The war and aeroplanes. Lesson 2, Spinning and dyeing in colonial times. Lesson 9, Inventions. Lesson 11, The effects of machinery on rural life.

Dunn, Arthur W., The Community and the Citizen, Chapters i, v.

Tufts, James H., The Real Business of Living, Chapter xxxi (Problems of country life).

Earle, Alice Morse, Home Life in Colonial Days (Macmillan).

Finley, John H., "Paths of the Pioneers," in Long's American Patriotic Prose, pp. 1-4.

Pioneer stories from any available source, especially local history stories.




When people have common purposes and are dependent upon one another in accomplishing them, there must be COOPERATION, which is another name for "teamwork." A team of horses that does not pull together can not haul a heavy load. A baseball team, though composed of good players, will seldom win games unless its teamwork is good. A few soldiers may easily disperse a large mob because they have teamwork, while a mob usually does not. This principle of "pulling together," "teamwork," or "cooperation," is of the greatest importance in community life. There can be no real community life without it.


In the early days there were "barn raisings," when neighbors came together to help one of their number to "raise" his barn; and all the men of a pioneer community contributed their labor in building the community church or schoolhouse. This was a simple form of cooperation. It may be seen now at threshing time, when neighboring farmers combine to thresh the grain of each, the same group of men and the same threshing machine doing the work for all. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that:

In a group of 14 farmers situated in a community in one of the best farming regions in the corn belt, ... it was found that 5 men out of the 14 failed to get all their corn planted by the last week in May. They had worked as hard and as steadily at that operation as had their neighbors, but they were delayed by one cause or another, such as lack of labor or teams, or were handling a larger acreage than their equipment would allow them to handle satisfactorily. In this same community were 3 men who completed all their planting operations before the 20th of May, and 5 others who completed their work by the 25th of May. ... If all these men had considered that corn planting was a national necessity and had pooled their efforts, all of the corn on all the farms could have been planted within the most favorable time. [Footnote: The Farm Labor Problem, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary, Circular No. 112, p. 5.]

Give other illustrations of this sort of cooperation from the farm or community life of your neighborhood.

Give illustrations of such teamwork among boys and girls.

Give illustrations of the failure of enterprises in which you have been interested because of a lack of teamwork.

Why is it an advantage for the farmers to use one threshing machine for all the threshing of the neighborhood instead of each farmer having his own machine?


As communities grow and the people become more dependent upon one another, and especially when it becomes hard to see how one thing that happens may affect others, as shown in Chapter II, cooperation becomes more difficult, but it becomes even more necessary. It needs to be ORGANIZED, and it needs LEADERSHIP. The experience of fruit growers in California affords a good illustration of this. When they acted independently of one another, they often had difficulty in disposing of their product to advantage. Sometimes it rotted on the ground. As individuals they did not have the means of learning where the best markets were. They had to make their own terms separately with the railroads for transportation and since they shipped in small quantities, they paid high freight rates. They had no adequate means of storing fruit while it was awaiting shipment. They were dependent upon commission merchants in the cities for such prices as they could get, which were often practically nothing at all.

These and other difficulties that made fruit growing unprofitable were overcome by the organization of fruit growers' associations, in which each grower may become a member by purchasing shares of stock. The members elect from their number a BOARD OF DIRECTORS, who in turn appoint a BUSINESS MANAGER who gives his entire attention to the association's business. The association has central offices and storage and packing houses.

The manager keeps in close touch with market conditions,—where the demand for fruit is greatest, the kinds of fruit wanted, the best prices paid. He contracts for the sale of fruit at fair prices. Shipping in large quantities, he gets the advantage of low rates on fast freight trains with refrigerator cars. Uniform methods of packing fruit are adopted, sometimes the fruit being packed at the central packing house. Information is distributed as to the best methods of growing fruit, the best varieties to grow, and so on. On the other hand, supplies and provisions are bought in large quantities, securing the best quality at the lowest prices.


In cities there are almost innumerable organizations by which groups of people cooperate for one purpose or another. Men in the same line of business or in the same profession organize to promote their common interests. There are boards of trade, chambers of commerce, merchants' and manufacturers' associations. Lawyers have their bar associations, physicians their medical associations. There are associations of teachers, and work men in the various trades have their unions. Besides such business and professional organizations, there are clubs and associations of all sorts for men, for women, and even for children, some of them educational, some social or recreational, some philanthropic, some religious. Where there are so many people interested in the same thing, where it is easy for them to meet together, and where competent leadership is forthcoming, it is quite the usual thing to organize for united action.


In agricultural communities cooperation has developed more slowly. Farmers have been too isolated from one another to make organization easy, they have not fully realized its advantages, and they have lacked leadership. This has been an obstacle to the fullest development of community life. The most backward communities are those where there is the least cooperation. In such communities "the farmer works single-handed, getting no strength from joint action or combined effort."

But all this is changing. Organizations like the fruit growers' associations are becoming common and are proving their value. The map on page 36 shows the distribution of organizations among farmers in the United States for cooperation in business enterprises of various kinds, though it shows only about half as many as actually exist. They include cooperative grain elevators and warehouses, creameries and cheese factories, cooperative stores, fruit and grain growers' associations, livestock associations, cotton and tobacco associations, and many others.

Study the map on page 36 and indicate the region or regions where you think cooperative grain elevators and warehouses would be most numerous; livestock associations; dairies and creameries; fruit growers' associations; cotton growers' associations; tobacco growers' associations.

Are there any organizations of farmers in your community similar to those in the list in the last paragraph above? Make a list of them. What are their purposes? What are their advantages? What obstacles have they encountered? Are all the farmers in the community members? If not, why? Describe their plans of organization—membership, officers, management, etc. (Discuss these questions at home and report results.)

Is there any organization of businessmen, or of workmen, in your town or neighboring town? If so, ascertain what advantages it seeks.

Show how an ordinary store, or a bank, or a grain elevator, is a means by which people cooperate.

Are there any boys' or girls' clubs in your community? Show how such clubs require and secure cooperation. How is leadership provided?

If there is a parents' association connected with your school, show how it brings about cooperation among its members in the interest of the school.

Make a list of all the organizations you can think of in your community (such as clubs, societies, associations). Opposite the name of each write the chief purposes for which it exists.

Write the six great wants across the top of a page, as suggested in the fifth topic on page 6, and arrange the list of organizations suggested in the last question above in the proper columns according to the wants they provide for.

Discuss the importance of leadership in school activities. What are the qualities that make a good leader?

Who are some of the leaders in your community, both men and women?


At the close of 1916 there were nearly three hundred "farm bureaus" in the northern and western states with a membership of nearly 100,000. A farm bureau is an organization to secure cooperation throughout an entire county for the promotion of agricultural interests. The members elect an executive committee to manage the affairs of the bureau. In each of the small communities of which the county is made up, there is a "community committee." The chairmen of the several community committees constitute a county agricultural council. The chairmen and members of the various committees are chosen because of their interest in special lines of work and their fitness to direct such work. Various other organizations in the county, such as the fair association, breeders' associations, the Grange, the schools, and others, are represented in the committees of the bureau, the purpose being to secure teamwork among them, as well as among the different communities of the county and among the individual farmers. The bureau also cooperates with the state and national governments in employing a COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENT, who is the bureau's adviser, or leader. In short, the farm bureau represents the county working together in an organized way and under leadership for the improvement of community life.

In the Year Book of the Department of Agriculture for the year 1915, the story is told of Christian County, Kentucky. [Footnote: "How the Whole County Demonstrated," 1915 Year Book, U.S. Department of Agriculture, pp. 225-248.]


This county is almost wholly agricultural, but the county seat is a small city of 10,000. There had formerly been more or less jealousy between the city and county, as too frequently happens. But a businessmen's association was organized in the city, which interested itself in bettering the agricultural conditions of the county, because the business of the city was very dependent upon the neighboring agriculture. A "crop improvement association" was formed, including farmers in its membership. A county agricultural agent was employed, and local community clubs were organized in different parts of the county, which held meetings attended by the farmers and their families, and by businessmen from the city. A good roads association was organized, and a "good roads day" was held on which businessmen turned out with the farmers, stores of the city were closed, and on one of the principal roads at least 90 per cent of the workmen were city men. Stone was contributed by contractors, concrete firms furnished men gratis to repair bridges, one company supplied outfits for trimming trees, and a large amount of work was done by the county and town working side by side ... Such results could only be accomplished through unity of purpose and cooperation of all the people.

Among other things accomplished in this county, a fair association has been formed; medical instruction has been introduced into the schools; a public library and hospital have been built; the school system of the county has cooperated in all educational work; both town and county merchants have offered prizes to members of the boys' clubs; also for cooking in the schools, and have put women's restrooms in the stores for the use of the public.

There is now an active girls' canning club in every community in the county, attended by the girls and also by their mothers. There are 12 social clubs which meet regularly; 15 parent-teachers' and mothers' clubs; and there is not a school in the county which does not have some form of community meeting. The schoolhouses are generally used for the meetings of the community clubs. In some instances farmers have given sufficient ground for amusement purposes at the schoolhouses. Here may be found the ball diamond, tennis court, and basketball courts.

It is said of this county that it "stands as a demonstration of the effect of education and organization under the proper leadership. THE TOWN AND THE COUNTY ARE ONE. The result is better agriculture, better business, and better living." Write a brief theme on one of the following topics:

(a) The importance of the telephone as a means of cooperation in my community.

(b) Instances in my community where bad roads have caused a lack of cooperation.

(c) Instances in my community where improvement of roads has led to better cooperation.

In what ways do you think there is need for better cooperation in your community? Discuss this with your parents, and report in class the result of your talk with them.

Is there any organized cooperation in your community or county as a whole for the general improvement of the community or county?

Investigate the organization and work of a farm bureau. (If there is none in your county, write to your State Agricultural College or to the States Relations Service, Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., for information. See references at the end of this chapter.)


Cooperation is as necessary for the fullest satisfaction of our other wants as it is in the business of making a living. In one pioneer community there were few "books and papers and they were handed about from house to house." There may be comparatively few people in a community who can afford to buy a hundred books each year; but there may easily be a hundred persons who could buy one book each, and by some arrangement exchange with one another, so that each could in the course of a year have the use of a hundred books. Neighborhood clubs are often organized to subscribe for magazines on this plan. A public library provides an arrangement by which a great variety of good reading matter can be enjoyed by the entire community at trifling cost to each member. In fact, we may be able to draw books from such a library without any cost to ourselves; but the books which we thus enjoy do cost the community a large sum of money, and our free enjoyment of them is one of the advantages of community cooperation. Our part in the cooperation is in using the books carefully and in returning them promptly, so that as many people as possible may have the use of them.


The necessity for cooperation is by no means limited to our neighborhood or county or city. People with common purposes organize for cooperation on a state-wide or nation-wide scale. Following is a list of national organizations in the interest of agriculture. As our study proceeds, we shall have abundant illustration of the value of cooperation and of the disadvantages that follow from its absence.


American Cooperative Association (Cooperative League of America).

American Dairy Farmers' Association.

American Federation of Organized Farmers.

American National Live Stock Association.

American Pomological Society.

American Poultry Association.

American Society of Equity.

Corn Belt Meat Producers' Association,

Dairy Cattle Congress.

Farm Women's National Congress.

Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union of America (The Farmers' Union).

Farmers' Equity Union.

Farmers' National Congress.

Farmers' Society of Equity.

Federation of Jewish Farmers of America.

Gleaners, The Ancient Order of.

Grange, National (Patrons of Husbandry).

National Agricultural Organization Society.

National Board of Farm Organizations.

National Council of Farmers' Cooperative Associations.

National Dairy Council.

National Dairy Union.

National Farmers' Associations.

National Farmers' Cooperative Grain and Live Stock Associations.

National Nut Growers' Association.

National Society of Record Associations.

National Swine Growers' Association.

National Wool Growers' Association.

National Women's Farm and Garden Association.

Southern Rice Growers' Association.


Cooperation is largely a matter of habit. Habits can be formed only by practice; and opportunity to practice cooperation is abundant if we are only on the lookout for it. We shall find that it not only secures better results in whatever we are doing, but that it also adds greatly to the enjoyment of life. Let us not forget that cooperation merely means "team work," working together for the common good.

"They who cannot or will not work together are always in a weak position when brought into competition with those who can and do." [Footnote: Carver, The Organization of a Rural Community, p. 5.]

If there is a public library in your community, what benefits do you get from it? About how many books do you draw from it in the course of a year? What would these books cost you if you bought them? What do they cost you when you draw them from the library?

Usually a fine is imposed for keeping a book from the library beyond a specified time. Show why this is proper.

Do you have the use of a "traveling library" in your school or community? If so, where do the books come from? Show how it secures cooperation.

Give examples of cooperation in your home, and show what is gained by it.

In what ways do you think that cooperation could be improved in your home? Work out a plan for it.

Give examples of cooperation in your school.

Suggest plans for more and better cooperation in your school.

In what ways have you cooperated with others during the last month for the good of the community in which you live?

Make a list in your notebook of ways in which you think you could cooperate with others to promote the welfare of your community, and add to the list from time to time as new opportunities for such cooperation occur to you.

Are any of the national organizations in the list on page 35 represented in your community? What are their purposes? (Consult parents and friends.)


Lessons in Community and National Life

Series A: Lesson 1, Some fundamental aspects of social organization. Lesson 3, The cooperation of specialists in modern society. Lesson 7, Organization. Lesson 8, The rise of machine industry.

Series B: Lesson 4, Feeding a city. Lesson 25, Concentration of production in the meat packing industry. Lesson 26, Concentration in the marketing of citrus fruits

The publications of the United States Department of Agriculture have a wide range of material relating to practical cooperation. The following selected titles are illustrative.

The threshing ring in the corn belt, Year Book 1918, 247-268.

Boys' Pig Club Work, Year Book 1915, 173-188.

Poultry Club Work in the South, Year Book 1915, 193-200.

How the whole county demonstrated, Year Book 1915, 225-248.

Organization of rural interests, Year Book 1913, 239-258.

Organization of a rural community, Year Book 1914, 89-138.

Cooperative purchasing and marketing organizations, Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 547.

Cooperative grain companies, Department of Agriculture Bulletin No. 371.

Cooperative stores, Department of Agriculture Bulletin. No. 394.

County Organization, States Relations Service Document 65.

Farm Bureau Organization, States Relations Service Document 54.

See note on reference material in Introduction with regard to method of applying for this material. The assistance of the local county agent, the state agricultural college, or of the congressman, may be enlisted if necessary.

Cooperative enterprise in North Carolina, North Carolina Club Year Book, 1915-1916, pp. 47-49, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C.

Publications of the State Agricultural College and Experiment Station of your own state, relating to cooperation.

Tufts, James H, The Real Business of Living, chaps ii, iii, viii, xv, xvi.




We are now in a better position to understand why we have government. It is a means by which to secure cooperation, or team work.


When a schoolhouse is built to-day, it is not done by combined manual labor, as in the pioneer community. As in all building, there is cooperation of a highly organized kind in the production and assembling of the materials and in the construction of the building by workmen of different kinds. But more than this, since the schoolhouse is a PUBLIC BUILDING, the community cooperates in paying for it. This is done by means of TAXES. The people pay taxes not only for the building, but also to meet the cost of operating the school, paying the teachers, buying equipment, and heating the building.

The community must know how much money is needed for the school, the taxes must be fairly apportioned and collected, and the school must be properly managed to perform the community's work of education. In small communities the people may meet together to vote the taxes and to decide on other matters relating to education, as in New England towns. But there must be leadership, and there must be an organization to perform the work which the community wants done. Every community therefore has its board of education, or school committee, a superintendent, and other officials. Such organization corresponds to the board of directors and business manager of the fruit growers' association, only it represents the entire community and attends to the community's business of education. It is part of the community's governing machinery.

Ascertain from your father how much school tax he pays each year. Who determines the amount of this tax? To whom does he pay it?

Could you employ a teacher at home for the amount your father pays as school tax? If you had a teacher at home, could you get as good an education as you can now get at school? Explain your answer.

In what ways do you cooperate with the community to make the school a success?

If there is a public library in your community, is it supported by taxation? Who manages the public library for the community?


When a building takes fire in the country the neighbors gather as quickly as possible to fight the flames by such means as may be at hand, but seldom very effectively. In a small city or town, there may be a volunteer fire company composed of men who, when a fire breaks out, leave their usual occupations to save the property. In large cities, fully equipped and costly fire departments are maintained, with paid firemen who are always on duty. The police usually keep the crowd away from the burning building, not only for their own safety, but because they would hinder rather than help the trained and organized firemen. In each case there is cooperation for fire protection; the greater the common danger, the more perfect the organization and the more complete the control by government.


It was once the usual practice, as it still is in some localities, for each farmer to give a certain number of days each year to work on the roads. Now, in the most progressive communities, the roads are better and more uniformly built and kept in better repair because they are placed by the community in charge of skilled roadmakers paid for by taxation. But whether the farmer contributes money or labor, or both, cooperation is planned and directed by the government. (See Chapter XVII.)


In Benjamin Franklin's time, each householder in Philadelphia swept the pavement in front of his home if he wanted it kept clean. Franklin, who was a splendid example of good citizenship in that he was always looking for opportunities to improve his community, tells what happened:

One day I found a poor industrious man, who was willing to undertake keeping the pavement clean by sweeping it twice a week, carrying off the dirt from before all the neighbors' doors, for the sum of sixpence per month to be paid by each house. I then wrote and printed a paper setting forth the advantages to the neighborhood that might be obtained by this small expense. ... I sent one of these papers to each house, and in a day or two went around to see who would subscribe an agreement to pay these sixpences; it was unanimously signed, and for a time well executed. This raised a general desire to have all the streets paved, and made the people more willing to submit to a tax for that purpose.

This was community cooperation under simple conditions. A hundred years later, the one and a half million people living in Philadelphia were just as truly cooperating to keep their city clean by means of more than 1200 miles of sewers for which they had paid nearly 35 millions of dollars, and by means of a department of highways and street-cleaning which employed a contractor to clean the streets and to remove all ashes and garbage at an annual cost of more than a million and a half dollars. This is all under the direction of the city government.


What is true of our local boards of education, road supervisors, fire and street-cleaning departments, and other departments of our local governments, is also true of state and national governments. We shall not stop for illustrations of this now, because they will be numerous in later chapters. (See, for example, Chapter XII.)

Is there a government in your home? If so, prove whether or not it is a means by which the members of the family cooperate.

Describe the government of your school and show how it secures cooperation.

If you can get a copy of Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, find in it further instances in which he improved the cooperation of his community, as for fire protection and street lighting.

Show how street lights in town represent community cooperation. For what purpose is this form of cooperation?

Give additional illustrations to prove that government in your community is a means of cooperation.

In what ways can you cooperate with the school board or trustees of your community, and thus with the community itself, for better schools?


A number of boys whose lives were spent mostly in the city streets were once asked what the word "government" suggested to them. Some of them at once answered, "The policeman!" And when they were asked "Why?" they replied, "He arrests people," "He makes us keep off the grass in the parks," "He drives us off when we play ball in vacant lots." These answers represent a common idea about government, that it is something over us to restrict our freedom. Government does restrict the freedom of individuals at times; but one of the best illustrations of its real purpose is the traffic policeman in cities. He stands at the crossing of busy streets, regulating the movement of people and vehicles in such a way as to insure the safety of all and to keep the intersecting streams of traffic moving smoothly and with as little interruption as possible. Now and then he leaves his post to help a child or an aged person or a cripple across the street; or answers the inquiries of a stranger. If now and then he arrests a driver, it is because the latter disregards the rights or welfare of others.


In small or thinly settled communities there may be no traffic policeman; but there may be signs at the intersection of highways to guide travelers, or warnings such as "Dangerous Curve!" or "School: Drive Slowly!" Such signs are usually posted by state or local authorities in accordance with LAW. And even where there are no signs, the laws themselves are supposed to regulate traffic. Some one has compared the laws in our country to the signals given to a football team by the quarterback. These signals are agreed upon in advance by the team, and tell each player not only what he himself, but also what every other player, is to do, and thus team work is secured. And so our laws are said to be "signals of cooperation," just as much as the sign "Drive Slowly," or as when the traffic policeman holds up his hand or blows his whistle.


Laws, however, are more than "signals" of cooperation; they are also RULES by which cooperation is secured—"rules of the game." Wherever people are dependent upon one another and work together there must be rules of conduct. One kind of rules consists of what we call "etiquette" or "good manners." We have doubtless all observed how much better an athletic contest moves along, or even the ordinary sports of the playground, where good manners prevail. "Good manners" include more than the "party manners" that we put on and take off on special occasions, like "party clothes." They consist of the accepted rules of behavior toward those with whom we associate. In the home, in school, in business, in public places, there are "good manners" that are recognized by custom and that make the wheels move smoothly and without jar. We do not need a law or a policeman to require a man to give way to a woman, or even to another man, in passing through a doorway; good manners provide for this. Even on the public street much confusion is avoided by an observance of good manners, or CUSTOM. Thoughtful people instinctively turn to the right in passing others (in England and Canada the custom is to turn to the left) without thinking whether there is a law on the subject or not.


Now most of our laws that regulate the conduct of individuals are simply rules that experience has proved to be of the greatest advantage to the greatest number, and that are necessary because SOME people have not "good manners." Most people observe them, not because they are laws, but because they are reasonable and helpful in avoiding friction and in securing cooperation. If they are good laws, it is only the "ill-mannered" who are really conscious of their existence. Just laws restrict the freedom only of the "ill- mannered," while they GIVE freedom to those who have "good manners."

What street or highway signs are there in your community? Who placed them? Are they faithfully observed? If not, why?

What signals are there in your school? Discuss their usefulness.

What are some of the "rules" of your school? Are they good rules? Why? Are they an advantage or a disadvantage to yourself? If they did not exist, would your own conduct be different? Why?

What are some of the rules of good manners that are supposed to control conduct in your school? in your home? in the street? Discuss their reasonableness. Do they enlarge or restrict freedom?

Do the rules of football, or other games, increase or decrease the freedom of play?

What are some of the laws that control conduct in your community? Would most people observe the laws you mention even if they were not written laws, and if there were no penalty for failing to observe them? Why?


The following story illustrates the difference between law and custom, or "manners," and how the former may develop out of the latter. [Footnote: "Rudimentary Society among Boys," by John Johnson, in Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, vol. ii (1884). The story as here given is reproduced from Lessons in Community and National Life, Series C, p. 145, U. S. Bureau of Education (Lesson C-18, "Cooperation through Law," by Arthur W. Dunn). ] There was once a boys' school located in an 800-acre tract of land, in the fields and woods of which the boys, when free from their studies, gathered nuts, trapped small animals, and otherwise lived much like primitive hunters.

Just after midnight some morning early in October, when the first frosts of the season loosened the grasp of the nuts upon the limbs, parties of two or three boys might be seen rushing at full speed over the wet fields. When the swiftest party reached a walnut tree, one of the number climbed up rapidly, shook off half a bushel of nuts and scrambled down again. Then off the boys went to the next tree, where the process was repeated unless the tree was occupied by other boys doing likewise. Nut hunters coming to the tree after the first party had been there, and wishing to shake the tree some more, were required by custom to pile up all the nuts that lay under the tree. Until this was done, the unwritten law did not permit their shaking any more nuts on the ground.

So far this was a CUSTOM accepted by the boys because of its reasonableness. But after a while, some members of this boy community thought to get ahead of the other members. One night before frost came they secretly went to the woods and took possession of most of the nut trees by shaking them according to custom. When this was discovered, some of the leaders of the community CALLED A MEETING of all the boys. After discussing the matter thoroughly, they provided against a repetition of the trick by MAKING A RULE (passing a law) that thereafter the harvesting of nuts should not begin before A FIXED DATE in October.

These boys acted very much as men have often acted under simple conditions of community life. The New England "town meeting," for example, is precisely the same thing as the boys' meeting.


We shall study the organization and methods of lawmaking in later chapters. At present we are merely noting WHY we have laws, and the fact that they are supposed to be made, directly or indirectly, by the people themselves. And right here we see the second thing necessary to make a DEMOCRACY. On page 9 we saw that in a democracy all people have certain equal and "unalienable" rights, and that that community is most democratic that affords its members most nearly equal opportunity to enjoy these rights. Now we see further that in a democracy the people make their own laws. Moreover, the laws of a democracy control, not only the conduct of the people, but also the government itself. The government of a democracy may do only those things, and use only those methods, for which the people give the authority. It is only when government exercises power without control by the people that it becomes autocratic.


The purpose of our government is clearly stated in two historic documents. One of these is the Declaration of Independence, which has already been quoted in Chapter I. The same quotation is given here with an additional sentence in italics:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, GOVERNMENTS ARE INSTITUTED AMONG MEN, DERIVING THEIR JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED...

The second great document is the Constitution of the United States, the preamble to which reads:

We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


It is not to be supposed that our government and our laws are perfect. They cannot be perfect as long as they are made and operated by imperfect people. It is possible, for example, that the boys of the city had a just complaint against the government for not permitting them to play ball in vacant lots, UNLESS THE COMMUNITY AT THE SAME TIME PROVIDED THEM WITH ANOTHER SUITABLE PLACE FOR THE GAME—for every community should protect the right of its boys and girls to play. We are far from having attained complete democracy. It is a goal toward which men are struggling, and have been struggling for centuries—since long before our Revolutionary War, and in other countries as well as in our own. The great world war which began in 1914, and which the United States entered in 1917, was a war to establish more firmly in the world the principles of democratic government. Whether these principles shall be carried out in practice, and whether our governments—local, state, and national—shall fulfill the purposes so clearly stated in the preamble to the Constitution, depends upon the extent to which each citizen understands these purposes, and cooperates with his fellow-citizens and with his governments in support of them.


It is said that in one of the training camps during the war an officer addressed a squad of new recruits as follows:

Boys, I want you to get the right idea of the salute. I do not want you to think that you are being compelled to salute me as an individual. No! When you salute me, you are simply rendering respect to the power I represent; AND THE POWER I REPRESENT IS YOU. Now let me explain. You elect the President of the United States, and the President of the United States grants me a commission to represent his authority in this army. His only authority is the authority that you vest in him when you elect him President. Now, when you salute an officer, you salute not the man, but the representative of your own authority. The salute is going to be rigidly enforced in this army, and I want you boys to get the right idea of it. I want you to know what you salute and why.

It is very important that we should "get the right idea" of what our government is. It is very much the idea that the officer gave his soldiers about the salute. It is the idea contained in this chapter: that government is our own organization for team work in community life. All through this book we shall be engaged in discovering how far this is true.

Do you know of instances in which the national government has helped to secure cooperation among the farmers of your locality?

Discuss the parcel post as a means of cooperation.

During the war with Germany the United States government assumed control of all the railroads of the country. Show how this was to secure better cooperation.

Is the government of your school democratic? Explain your answer. Do you think it should be made more democratic? Why?

Compare the purposes stated in the preamble to the Constitution with the common purposes stated on page 6 of Chapter I.

Show how the pupil who does as he pleases in school may interfere with the rights and liberties of other pupils. Is it right that his liberty should then be restricted? Why? Is liberty the right to do as one pleases? If not, what is it?

Read together in class the preamble to the Constitution and carefully discuss the meaning of each phrase.


Lessons in Community and National Life:

Series B: Lesson 17, The development of a system of laws.

Series C: Lesson 17, Custom as a basis for law. Lesson 18, Cooperation through law.

In Long's American Patriotic Prose:

Lincoln, "Mob Law," pp. 173-177.

Lincoln, "Back to the Declaration," pp. 170-181.

McKinley, "Liberty is Responsibility, Not License," pp. 254-255.

The Declaration of Independence, pp. 67-71.

Beard, Chas. A., American Citizenship, chap, i ("The Nature of Modern Government").

Franklin, Benjamin, Autobiography.




Before we go further, let us get a definite idea of what it means to be a citizen.


We have frequently referred to the fact that we are "members" of various communities. Our bodies have members, such as arms and hands. The tongue has been called an unruly member. "It is a little member and boasteth great things." [Footnote: James iii: 5.]

There are two important facts about members of the body. One is THAT THEY GET THEIR LIFE FROM THE BODY. If the hand is cut off, it quickly ceases to be a hand because it is severed from the source of life. If the body is seriously ill, its members are unable to perform their proper work.

The second important fact is THAT THE BODY IS DEPENDENT UPON ITS MEMBERS FOR ITS LIFE. If the hand is cut off, or an eye put out, the body does not necessarily die, but it is seriously handicapped. If a member is paralyzed or diseased it may be a positive hindrance to the body, and the disease may spread to other members. The body may suffer merely because its members are poorly trained.


That is what it means to be a member of the body; and membership in a family, or a school, or a club, or a community, is just the same. We have already seen, and we shall see more fully as we go on with our study, how completely we are dependent upon our communities for food, for the protection of life, for education, and for all else that makes up our life. The community that does not provide for its members in these things is like a sick body. On the other hand, as members of a community we are always contributing something to its life—either to its advantage or disadvantage. Of course, each of us is only one of a great many members in a large community, and we may seem to be very unimportant. But each performs his part, whether it be great or small, and whether he does it well or poorly.


Now we often speak of members of a community as CITIZENS of that community. CITIZENSHIP means practically the same thing as membership in the community. As a good community is one that provides well for its members, so the good citizen is the member who does well his part in the life of the community. A bad citizen is the member who hinders the progress of the community when he might be helping. A citizen has certain RIGHTS and certain DUTIES. His rights are what the community owes him; his duties are what he owes the community.


There are many members of communities who are like the diseased or paralyzed hand, or like the hand that is untrained. A member of an athletic team who does not "train" will probably be dropped from the team—he fails to become an athlete. A member of a community, or a citizen, who does not "train" still remains a member, but an inefficient one. He is a handicap to his community and interferes with community team work. The part that a member plays in community life may be more important than he realizes. Even in small things, "the falling short of one may mean disaster to many." Each member of a community, like each member of a body, must be not only in a healthy condition but also well trained.


Let us not make the mistake of thinking that we are not yet citizens because we are young. The Constitution of the United States says that "ALL PERSONS born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" (that is, subject to its laws) "are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." Even persons born in foreign countries and who have not yet been naturalized [Footnote: "Naturalization" is the legal process by which persons of foreign birth renounce their allegiance to the land of their birth and pledge their allegiance to our government.] enjoy almost all the rights of native-born Americans, and therefore have much of the responsibility of citizenship. Until they are naturalized they are still considered members of the country from which they came, and therefore as owing certain duties to that country which would be inconsistent with their duties as members of our nation. Therefore they are denied certain POLITICAL rights, such as voting and holding office. [Footnote: In a few states even unnaturalized persons are allowed to vote after they have declared their intention of becoming citizens.] These same political rights are denied to native-born citizens until they have reached maturity. But we must not confuse this right to vote with citizenship.

Explain how the idea of membership as described in the text applies to your membership in the family; to membership in a club; in a church; in a farmers' cooperative organization.

Can you be a member of your class or school without doing it either good or harm? Explain your answer.

Read Romans xii: 4-8 and James iii: 5-8.

Show how an injury or a benefit to one pupil in the school may be an injury or a benefit to the entire school. Give illustrations to prove this.

Show how a failure to save food, to buy savings stamps, or to perform other services that one is able to perform, weakened our nation and other nations who were her allies during the war with Germany.

Make a list of things you have done during the week for the benefit of your school; for the welfare of your neighborhood, town, or school district. Do you do as much for your family, school, or community as they do for you?

Turn to Amendment XIV of the Constitution of the United States (see Appendix), and read the entire first section containing the definition of a citizen. Discuss the meaning of the section.

At what age does the native-born citizen acquire the right to vote? Why is he not allowed to vote before that time?

What native-born citizens of the United States do not have the right to vote even after they are of voting age?


In Long's American Patriotic Prose:

Doane, "The Men to Make a State," pp. 236-238.

Lane, "Makers of the Flag," pp. 314-316.

Steiner, "On Becoming an American Citizen," pp. 317-320.

Wilson, "To Newly-Made Citizens," pp. 322-326.




In the preceding chapters we have often spoken of "our community." As a matter of fact, each of us is a member of a number of communities. It is time to consider just what they are

Every community, of course, consists of a GROUP OF PEOPLE who occupy a more or less DEFINITE LOCALITY. Much depends, in community life, upon the character of both the people and the locality they occupy. But the essential thing about a community is that the people who comprise it are WORKING TOGETHER (cooperating) under an ORGANIZATION (government) for the COMMON GOOD (common purposes).


A neighborhood of farmers with their families may constitute a community. In this case the area occupied may be extensive while the people are few in number. Or the community may be a city with a population very large in proportion to area it occupies. There are villages, towns, and small cities of varying sizes both as to population and area. Each state in our Union is a community and so is the nation itself because each is composed of a group of people (very large in these cases), occupying a definite territory (also large), and having a government through which the people are working for common ends. There is a world community, but it is, as yet, very imperfect. The nations and peoples that comprise it have been slow to recognize their common purposes and have so far failed to develop adequate means of cooperation, (See Chapter VIII.)

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