Races and Immigration in America

Races and Immigration in America

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Races and Immigration in America by John R. Commons

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1907

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Races and Immigration in America

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Book Excerpt

e race is unable to command that share in conducting government to which the laws entitle it, we recognize at once that democracy as a practical institution has in so far broken down, and that, under the forms of democracy, there has developed a class oligarchy or a race oligarchy.

Two things, therefore, are necessary for a democratic government such as that which the American people have set before themselves: equal opportunities before the law, and equal ability of classes and races to use those opportunities. If the first is lacking, we have legal oligarchy; if the second is lacking, we have actual oligarchy disguised as democracy.

Now it must be observed that, compared with the first two centuries of our nation's history, the present generation is somewhat shifting its ground regarding democracy. While it can never rightly be charged that our fathers overlooked the inequalities of races and individuals, yet more than the present generation did they regard with hopefulness the educational val

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