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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 27, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-07-27/ed-1/seq-14/

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, In Paris every able-bodied man is
under arms. The Belgians also. In
Italy the 'Same conditions are coming
about
We have sent forth the best of our
breed "and hosts- of that best have
been swept away-millions of men
in the prime of life and efficiency.
And the war has only begun. Now
that the Russians are in retreat we
know that the allies' aggressive cam
paign will not begin until next spring!
Such an epidemic of unnatural
deaths among the young manhood
of a dosen countries in Europe makes
a husband famine inevitable.
Today in England there are 12
marriageable, well born women to
one eligibjp man, and the ratio will
soon be much higher. The upper
class girl of 19 So 22 who is not al
ready engaged tliust give up the hope
of marriage.
What result y-ill a husband famine
produce A grat awakening, for one
thing. Certainly much of the work of
the English world must be done by
women for a generation.
I believe in marriage, but I do not
believe in the unwise war marriage,
romantic though it be. The vast ma
jority of those heroic weddings, cele
brated by thousands in the eight com
batant countries, must be childless.
Perhaps fortunately so.
The position of the war widow is
pathetic, but woe to the war wife. To
support a maimed husband, to rear
weaklinb children, that is a tragedy
more tragic than loneliness.
Our slums, almshouses and prisons
are peopled by descendants of the
unfit.
Neurasthentic wrecks, rheumatic
from the water-logged trenches or
the icy seas, chronic invalids suffer
ing from incurable ailments of the
intestinal tract are biologically dis
qualified for fatherhood.
It is not the dead who endanger
the race. Since the Germans began
to use gas insanity among British
soldiers has increased in appalling
ratio.
Nations have died of wars. The fall
of Rome was due to the decline in the"
quality of the population. Today's
wholesale destruction of the fittest
may sperl wholesale ruin in Europe.
For a long war under Krupp condi
tions spells suicide for a modern na
ion. For a century European countries
have been growing less prolific Ger
man fecundity Is a thing of the past
In 1876 the German birth rate was 40
per 1,000, in 1911 28 per 1,000 in
Greater Berlin 20 per 1000. The
French birth rate of 1872 was 945,
000, of 1907 below 800,000, of 1911
below 700,000; a loss of 200,000 ba
bies a year within a generation.
Had Germany waited, there would
have been no need to declare war on
France. The day when France could
fight was rapidly passing away.
In both Germany and-France emi
gration has fallen to almost nothing.
In order to carry on agriculture and
manufactures Poles, Italians and Bel
gians were imported into1 both coun
tries in ever increasing numbers.
War Increases the deaths and di-
minisnes tne mrtns. Moaern war
means the destruction of the fittest
and the survival of the unfittest In
France, for instance, men are two
inches shorter than a century ago be
cause the Napoleonic campaigns
killed off the tallest and strongest
In every country the man who is
not sound enough to be a soldier
stays at home to .become a father.
Ne'er-do-wells rejected by the re
cruiting sergeants mate with the
mothers of tomorrow. Broken, hol
row chested previously unmanage
able men are accepted by lonely,
anaemic women. As a result the per
centage of epilepsy, crime and disease
is enormously increased after each
war.
When the Five Nations fought the
French in Canada for nearly two cen
turies, the husband famine was so
great, the toll of unborn dead so
dangerous to the tribes that Iroquois
women claimed and obtained the

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