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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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A recent correspondent to the Evening Post discusses the "Students House of Commons" at Johns Hopkins, and asks if it would not have been better if the students had established a "House of Representatives" instead of a "House of Commons." This question is certainly very properly asked. For why should students in an American university copy after an English institution? And why should they not copy after an American institution? Our lower house is, the Post's correspondent says, "in no wise inferior to the British House of Commons, in dignity, ability, or influence," and to copy after it, besides fostering an interest in home institutions, would also familiarize our future statesmen with the forms of procedure practised in the American Congress.

But aside from the particular purpose of this inquiry, there is suggested, as a more general theme, the anglomaniac tendencies in American Universities. What has shown itself else where in peculiar dress and in strangely distorted pronunciation, has moved the students at Johns Hopkins to change their debating society into a "Students' House of Commons." Surely this gives evidence that Anglomania has gone quite far enough. The "it's English, yer knaw" is a very bad principle to have established in any degree among American students, and the slightest tendencies towards this fearful Anglomania should be nipped at once. Such a mania, among college men in particular, is likely to do no end of evil, tending to destroy all national individuality. If our students cannot be Americans, the time may come when the students of to-day, having become leaders and statesmen, will desire America's return to the mother country.

If we can make nothing else of ourselves, let us at least be Americans. The ambition to be an Englishman is not a particularly high one, and it is better almost to be an American of any description than to be a poor imitation of what is too often not a remarkably good model.

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