Monday, September 12, 2016

Harvard. Debate Briefs on Immigration. 1898-1908

[This blog posting shows how little the immigration "debate" has changed in the last century.--TPOI]

By Irwin Collier, Economics in the Rearview Mirror
September 1, 2016

A few posts ago I provided a short selection from Harvard Professor Thomas Nixon Carver’s autobiography that reminded me of the current Republican U.S. Presidential candidate’s immigration policy. I must still have had Donald Trump on the mind when I stumbled upon a book of model debate briefs for issues of the late 19th/early 20th century. One might want to first watch the speech Donald Trump gave on immigration policy last night (August 31, 2016) in Phoenix, Arizona and then examine the debate briefs below for the following three resolutions:

Resolved, That immigration should be further restricted by law.

Resolved, That a high tax should be laid on all immigrants to the United States.

Resolved, That the policy excluding Chinese laborers from the United States should be maintained and rigorously enforced.

Zombie ideas are everywhere.

Briefs for Debate on Current Political, Economic, and Social Topics.

Edited by
W. Du Bois Brookings, A.B. of the Harvard Law School
Ralph Curtis Ringwalt, A.B.
Assistant in Rhetoric in Columbia University

With an introduction by Albert Bushnell Hart, Ph.D.
Professor of Harvard University.


[From the Preface:]

“The basis of the work has been a collection of some two hundred briefs prepared during the past ten years by students in Harvard University, under the direction of instructors. Of these briefs the most useful and interesting have been selected; the material has been carefully worked over, and the bibliographies enlarged and verified….

…” the brief is a steady training in the most difficult part of reasoning; in putting together things that belong together; in discovering connections and relations; in subordinating the less important matters. The making of a brief is an intellectual exercise like the study of a disease by a physician, of a case by a lawyer, of a sermon by a minister, of a financial report by a president of a corporation. It is a bit of the practical work of life.[...]

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