Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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ACADEMIES. "To give unity to truths scattered over the earth:" nothing proves more clearly the need of academic bodies than these simple words dropped, as if by chance, from the pen of a celebrated French writer, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, at the beginning of his Chaumière Indienne. Unity and multiplicity: such is the law of nature, as well in the intellectual and moral as in the material order. Hence the need of bringing thinking men together, so as to unite at a common focus their scattered and unconnected ideas.


—Academic bodies continue the work of the great teaching bodies: in the latter, masters and scholars come together; in the former, masters only. The word academy often means a school, as for instance, the philosophical school of Plato, in the garden of Academus at Athens. This meaning of the word was preserved through the middle ages, as it has been down to our own time, in the universities of Germany, whose graduates continue to bear the title of civis academicus, although academies are devoted to the advancement of science, while universities, taking the branches of knowledge at their present state of advancement, confine themselves to giving an exposition of such branches of knowledge to those who attend them. This distinction made, we shall consider academies in the generally accepted sense of the term, as societies of men distinguished for their knowledge and their talents, who confer together on certain questions of literature, science and art.


—It is the duty of every government to know and to follow the intellectual movement of the nation. Learned societies afford it the means of doing this. Their origin is frequently a modest one. Sometimes patrons of literature lay their foundation. Liberty and independence are of their essence. An academy which would consent to endure any pressure, especially that of authority, would soon be stricken with impotence. Thought, in order to labor fruitfully in the search after truth, should be free from all embarrassing prepossession and preoccupation. The interference of power, when limited to moral protection and material assistance, in no way affects the liberty of academic action. Learned societies when deprived of governmental aid are able, only in exceptional cases, to rise to the height of really national institutions and exercise on men's minds all the influence of which they are capable. It follows that there are two kinds of academies: state academies and free academies, just as there are in high education, free universities (few in number, it is true) and state universities. What the state can and should do, if only in its own interest, is to surround its academies and learned men with the consideration due them. Great monarchs, powerful ministers, such as Peter the Great in Russia and Richelieu in France, understood perfectly well the power which the cultivation of letters, science and art gives the state. The efforts of vulgar levelers will always fail when opposed by classes of men distinguished for their intelligence. Intelligence is a privilege which can not be abolished since it is not conventional, but inherent in the very nature of man.


—Independent of the functions peculiar to an academy and dependent on its internal organization, there are functions common to all academies because they belong to them from the very principle of their existence. Academies, therefore, as central organs of the intellectual life of the nation, acquainted with the progress of the human mind at home and abroad, cause the public to share that progress by means of oral discussion, by their periodical transactions, and by all the means which the greatest publicity can suggest. In this regard, academies partake of the nature of legislative bodies in democratic states, with this difference, however, that scientific questions can not be decided by majorities. As a scientific jury, however, an academy decides by a plurality of votes for or against the merits of papers written in answer to questions which it has proposed for discussion.


—It would be difficult to give an idea of the number of academies and learned societies in the civilized world. A learned German, Dr. Ami Boué, member of the imperial academy of sciences of Vienna, in a work which forms a part of The Report of the Third Session of the International Statistical Congress, gives the number at 19,000, of which 18,436 are still in existence. Chronologically, the 19,000 associations (or, more correctly, 18,955) are divided into 2 classes, the first containing 1,021, founded during the 589 years which elapsed between the thirteenth century and 1790, and the second, 17,934, in the short subsequent period. After having thus shown the progress made by learned societies, "it is not possible to go backwards," says the author; "it is a mathematical, material and political impossibility."


—Ethnographically considered, the Anglo-Saxon races have twice as many learned societies as the Latin races, to which the Germanic races are a little inferior in this respect. From the point of view of religion, the Protestants have, in proportion to their population, four times as many learned societies as the Catholics, and a hundred and forty times as many as the Greeks.


—These statistics, as we have just seen, carry us back to the thirteenth century—the epoch from which the revival of letters dates. It was the age of Brunetto Latini, Dante's teacher. The first quarter of the succeeding century in France witnessed the establishment of the academy of floral games, at Toulouse, the work of the troubadours of Languedoc and Provence. From Italy came the literary impetus, afterwards felt by all Christian nations; during the fifteenth century by the Platonic academy established under Lorenzo di Medici, which professed Neoplatonism (Pico dela Mirandola was a member of it); in the sixteenth century by the academy della Crusca; in the seventeenth century by the del Cimento, all in Florence, which is justly considered the cradle of existing learned bodies. We shall now consider the most celebrated societies, classifying them by countries.


—FRANCE. The Institut National, established at Paris, is the realization of a thought expressed in the following terms in the constitution of the 5th Fructidor, year III.: "There shall be for the entire republic a national institute, charged with collecting and preserving the results of scientific and other discoveries and perfecting the arts and sciences." Consisting at first of 3 classes: physical and mathematical sciences, moral and political sciences, literature and the fine arts, the institute was reorganized in 1803 into 4 classes: physical and mathematical sciences, the French language and literature, history and ancient literature, and the fine arts. The salary of members was 1,500 francs. In 1816 the institute was reorganized as the French academy, the academy of inscriptions and belles-lettres, the academy of sciences, and the academy of fine arts. In 1832, on the motion of M. Guizot, the academy of moral and political sciences was re-established. The institute held its first session at the Louvre in the Salle des Antiques. In 1806 it was located opposite the Louvre, at the hotel Mazarin, which was afterwards called the Palais de l' Institut. The academy holds sessions every Monday; the French academy, on Thursdays; the academy of inscriptions, on Fridays; the academy of moral and political sciences and fine arts, on Saturdays. By a decree of April 14, 1855, it was provided that the public sessions of the five academies should take place on the 15th of August of each year. At these sessions lectures are given, and the Volney prize for linguistics awarded; but since 1871 this session takes place on October 25th, the anniversary of the founding of the institute. The institute is under the supervision of the minister of public instruction. It appoints a central administrative commission from among its own members, to oversee the expenses of the five academies, as well as a special commission to award the prize in linguistics established by Volney.


—Cardinal Richelieu gave legal authorization to a private society, founded by young men about the year 1629. This was the origin of the French academy. Its letters, patent, signed by Louis XIII., date as far back as the year 1635. Established for the study and advancement of the French language, of grammar, poetry and eloquence, it was charged especially with the composition of the dictionary of the French language, Dictionnaire de l' Académie, the first edition of which appeared in 1694, and the sixth in 1835. The French academy, composed of 40 members, admitted neither corresponding nor associate members. It granted prizes for eloquence and poetry, prizes from the bequest of Montyon for virtuous acts and for books most useful to morals, as well as prizes from the bequests of Gobert, Bordin, Lambert, Count de Maillé Latour-Landry, Edmond Halphen, Thérouanne, and Langlois. The academy has published 6 volumes of memoirs since 1816.


—The academy of inscriptions and belles-lettres, originally called the little academy, its members being recruited from among those of the French academy, was founded in 1663 by Colbert, to examine and pass upon the embellishments of Versailles, as well as the designs for the tapestry of the king; the devices for the fêtes, tokens for the treasury, and the inscriptions on monuments and medals. In the month of February, 1712, its establishment was confirmed by letters patent of Louis XIV. It was only under the regency that it joined to its title of belles-letters that of inscriptions. It numbers 40 members, 8 foreign associates, and 50 corresponding members. Besides prizes for the best works on the antiquities of France, and the prize of numismatics, it awards those of the Allier, Hauteroche, Gobert, Bordin, Fould, La Fons-Mélicocq and Brunet foundations. The memoirs of the members have been published since 1701. The current series commencing with 1816, comprises 24 volumes, besides 9 volumes of the memoirs of foreign scholars.


—The academy of sciences is also a creation of Colbert, who established it in 1666, without any official act of royal authority. It was approved and confirmed in 1699 by letters patent of the king. Its constitution has always been considered one of the most liberal in existence. The academy is to-day divided into 11 sections; 5 for the mathematical sciences, including geometry, mechanics, astronomy, geography and navigation, and general physics; and 6 for the physical sciences, including chemistry, mineralogy, botany, agriculture, anatomy and zoölogy, medicine and surgery. It has 66 titular members, 10 free academicians, 8 foreign associates, and 100 corresponding members. It gives prizes on its own account; also prizes for medicine and surgery, experimental physiology, mechanics and statistics, all founded by Montyon; as well as the prizes founded by Lalande, Baron de Morogues, Laplace, Cuvier, Bordin, Alhumbert, Trémont, Bréant, Damoiseau, Poncelet, Jecker, Barbier, Godard, Savigny, Desmazières, Thore, Fourneyron, Dalmot, Chaussier, de la Fons-Mélicocq, Gegner, Serres, Lacaze. The collection of the memoirs of the academy of sciences since 1816, comprises 37 volumes, and 19 from foreign scholars, besides the series of reports of its sessions which numbers 70 volumes.


—In France, as well as in Italy, there have been free associations of painters since the fourteenth century. In 1648 Cardinal Mazarin founded an academy of painting and sculpture, to which Colbert, in 1671, added an academy of architecture. The academy had been regularly established by letters patent of King Louis XIV. in 1655. Its province embraces the arts of design, the competitions for the great prizes for painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving and musical composition, and the presentation to the minister of candidates for professorships in the schools of the fine arts. It has 40 members, divided into 5 sections: painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving and musical composition; 10 foreign associate members, and an indefinite number of corresponding members. The prizes founded by Madame Leprince, by Deschaumes, by Count de Maillé Latour Landry, by Bordin, Lambert, Trémont, Achille Leclère, Troyon, and by Due, are bestowed by this academy.


—The academy of moral and political sciences is comparatively modern. It dates only from the organization of the institute, 3d Brumaire, year IV. But, suppressed 3rd Pluviôse, year X., it was re-established by royal ordinance Oct. 26, 1832. Its aim is the cultivation and encouragement of philosophical science, and the science of government, as is evident from the 5 sections into which it is divided: philosophy; morals; legislation, public law and jurisprudence; political economy, finance and statistics; general and philosophical history; (decrees of April 14, 1855, and May 9, 1866). It has 40 titular members, 6 free academicians, with 6 foreign associate and 45 corresponding members. In addition to the prizes which they decree, are those from the bequests of the following persons: Baron Félix de Beaujour, Baron de Morogues, Bordin, Léon Faucher, Edmond Halphen, Cousin, and Stassart. It has published 12 volumes of memoirs since 1816, and 2 volumes from foreign scholars. Besides this, since 1842, a report of the sessions is published regularly. These reports make in all 60 volumes in 4 series: the first 4 are by MM. Loiseau and Vergé, and the succeeding by the latter alone.


—The Paris academy of medicine was created by Louis XVIII., Dec. 28, 1820, for the purpose of keeping the government informed of everything affecting public health, especially epidemics, epizoötics, the different kinds of medicine, new remedies and secret remedies, mineral waters, natural or artificial. It replaced the academy of surgery in Paris, founded by Louis XV. in 1731. Its sessions are on Tuesdays. The academy is composed of 97 titular members, 8 free associate members, 12 national associate members, 12 foreign associate members, 100 national and 50 corresponding members. It is divided into 11 sections: 1, anatomy and physiology; 2, medical pathology; 3, surgical pathology; 4, therapeutics, and medical natural history; 5, operative medicine; 6, pathological anatomy; 7, midwifery; 8, public hygiene, medical jurisprudence and medical police; 9, veterinary medicine; 10, medical chemistry and physics; 11, pharmacy. Its publications are its annual memoirs, commenced in 1828; a semi-monthly bulletin, from the year 1836 to the year 1847; and a weekly bulletin since the latter year. In the annual of 1848 the titles of all its memoirs published up to that time were given.


—The society of surgery, at Paris, acknowledged to be an establishment of public utility by an imperial decree of Aug. 29, 1859, was founded July 1, 1843, by 17 surgeons of the hospitals of Paris. The surgical society is very well known. Besides the regular publication of its memoirs and bulletins, the Gazette des hópitaux, Moniteur des Sciences and the Union Medicale have special editors charged with attending the sessions and giving an account of them every week The sessions take place every Wednesday. The society is composed of 35 regular members, 70 national corresponding members, 70 foreign corresponding and 20 foreign associate members. On the second Wednesday of January an official session is held, at which the Duval prize of books is awarded. An annual contribution by the members, together with the profits from the sale of books and the charge for diplomas, make up the income of the society—On May 19 of the same year (1859) the Paris society of anthropology was founded for the purpose of centralizing and directing research relating to the study of the races of mankind. Its programme does not comprise simply the description of these races; it includes also the investigation of their origin, their relations, their migrations, their civilization present and past, their languages and their monuments. The society is comprised of 115 French members, 26 foreign members, and 21 corresponding members. Its sessions are held on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Its resources are the same as those of the surgical society, and, like the latter, it publishes memoirs and bulletins. Mention should also be made of the central agricultural society of France, the society of acclimation, the central horticultural society, and the society for the encouragement of national industry, as among those which enjoy most consideration. Before leaving France we may refer to its numerous provincial societies. Each department has at least one, and the taste for historical studies predominates among their members. A special publication is devoted to them under the title: Annuaire de l' institut des provinces, des sociétés savantes et des congrès scientifiques, Paris, 1846, and the following years.


—ENGLAND. The royal society of London was established in 1660, for the advancement of experimental science. A royal charter of July 15, 1662, and a second, more complete, of April 22 of the following year, constituted it a corporation; a charter of 1663 is still the fundamental law of the royal society, which had in 1859, 691 members. The society is divided into 8 scientific committees: on mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, botany, zoölogy, and animal physiology. It holds its sessions every Thursday, in the great hall of Burlington House, and has an annual session on St. Andrew's day for the award and distribution of medals. Its publications are the Philosophical Transactions, a yearly volume; and the Proceedings, a monthly bulletin. The most recent history of the royal society of London is that of Mr. Charles Weld.


—The London astronomical society is composed of 431 members, and 49 associate members. The astronomical society holds its sessions on the second Friday of every month, at Somerset House on the Strand. The regular annual meeting takes place on the second Friday in February. The yearly dues from members are 2 guineas, besides an admission fee of 2 guineas. The society publishes memoirs and a monthly bulletin, which mutually supplement each other.


—The geological society of London, which has its headquarters in Somerset House, had 1,245 members in 1870, of whom 39 were foreigners, 40 foreign corresponding members, and 3 honorary members. It was founded Nov. 13, 1807, and received a royal charter in 1826. The dues are 2 guineas a year or 20 guineas for life membership, and 6 guineas admission fee. The receipts of the society amounted to 2,560 pounds sterling in 1870. A quarterly review, containing many maps and pictures, has been published since 1845. The publication of the Transactions and the Proceedings has ceased, since the establishment of the Quarterly Journal, edited by the adjunct secretaries of the society.


—The British association for the advancement of science was founded by Sir David Brewster, at York, Sept. 27, 1831. It meets annually, but not always at the same place. The first meeting, composed of 300 members, was held at York on the 27th of September, 1831; the succeeding ones in other towns. The association is divided into 7 or 8 sections: the sections of the mathematical and physical sciences; chemistry and mineralogy; geology; zoölogy; botany; animal and vegetable physiology; geography and ethonology; statistics and political economy. A central committee, with a fixed place of abode, does the society's business and publishes an annual volume of reports.


—The Irish academy for the study and advancement of science, politics, literature and antiquities, at Dublin, recognized by royal patent of Jan. 28, 1786, but which existed as far back as 1782, was formed by the union of the physico-historical society of Dublin and the archæological association, societies founded respectively in 1740 and in 1772. The academy consists of 245 paying members, 62 honorary members, and 21 corresponding members. It is divided into 3 classes: sciences: history and belles-lettres; and archæology. It receives 300 pounds sterling from the government, and publishes memoirs under the usual title of Transactions, as well as Proceedings.


—In 1731 a society was founded at Edinburgh, which in 1739 became the society of literature and science. After absorbing the society of medicine and surgery, it received the title of philosophical society, and published 3 volumes of essays in succession. It was recognized by the government March 29, 1783. It has 279 members, 136 paying members. The fee is 3 guineas annually, or 50 guineas for life membership, besides 5 pounds for a diploma. The Philosophical Transactions have been published regularly since 1788, and the Proceedings since 1836.


—England has a number of historical societies, among which are the royal society of literature of the United Kingdom, at London, founded in 1823, which, besides books, has published a great work on hieroglyphics, with 60 plates; the historical society of London, founded in 1837 or 1838, and which has 100 members, who pay a yearly fee of 5 guineas, to which is due the publication of a history of the Anglican church; the historical society of sciences, at London, founded in 1840, for the publication of documents on the history of the sciences and their condition at different periods, the members paying an annual fee of one pound sterling. Another society founded also in London, in 1842, is devoted to the ancient history of England.


—GERMANY. The academy of sciences at Berlin, founded in 1707, by Frederick I., at the suggestion of the illustrious Leibnitz, its first president, is governed by the royal statutes of March 31, 1838, which replaced those of Jan. 24, 1812. On Jan. 1, 1871, it had 46 regular members, 22 of the class of the physical and mathematical sciences, and 24 of the philosophical and historical class. It has 13 foreign members of the former, and 2 of the latter class, besides 11 honorary members, 83 corresponding members of the class of sciences, and 100 of the class of philosophy. All regular members receive an annual salary of 200 thalers. There are weekly sessions, and three solemn public sessions each year: on January 24th, the anniversary of the birth of King Frederick II.; July 3rd, in memory of Leibnitz; and on the anniversary of the birth of the reigning sovereign. The publications of this society consist in memoirs and monthly reports.


—The royal society of sciences at Göttingen, the foundation of which dates from 1751, has always been among the most celebrated in Germany. At present, the number of its regular members is 8 in the class of physical sciences, 6 in the mathematical sciences, and 10 in that of history and philology; it has honorary members, foreign associate members, and corresponding members. The maximum number of associate members is fixed at 25, and of corresponding members at 50, for each class. Besides a weekly critical journal, which appears under its auspices, the society publishes a monthly bulletin of its sessions, and yearly memoirs, of which the last series, dating from 1811, makes 20 volumes, the first 8 volumes being in Latin. The title of the critical journal is: Goettingische gelehrte Anzeigen; that of the bulletin: Nachrichten von der koeniglichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften und der G. A. Universität.


—The royal academy of sciences at Munich, organized according to law on the 28th of March, 1759, is divided into 3 classes: philosophy and philology; physical and mathematical sciences; and history. The first class numbers 13 ordinary members and 1 member extraordinary, 62 foreign and 8 corresponding members. There are respectively 17, 8, 85, 81 members of the second class, and 16, 6, 37, 35 for the third class above referred to, besides 15 honorary members of the 3 classes together. The class of mathematical and physical sciences is subdivided into 8 sections: natural history; astronomy; mathematics and mechanics; physics, chemistry; zoölogy, anatomy and physiology; botany; mineralogy and geognosy.


—We may mention further in Germany, the Leopold academy, a society of naturalists, established at present in Jena. Its members, native and foreign, take or receive each as a surname, that of some scientific celebrity.*2 It is a great institution whose history has been published by one of its own members, Mr. Neigebaur. It takes its name from the Emperor Leopold I., who took it under his protection in 1677.


—AUSTRIA. The imperial academy of sciences of Vienna was founded in 1652, and reorganized under letters patent of the Emperor Ferdinand I., dated May 14, 1847. It is divided into 2 classes, the class of mathematical and natural sciences, and the class of philosophy and history. Its personnel consists of 60 active members, 30 of each class, 120 corresponding members, 60 of each class, (30 from the empire and 30 from foreign countries), and 24 honorary members, (8 from the empire and 16 from foreign countries).


—The other great academies of Austria are: the imperial and royal academy of fine arts at Vienna, founded in 1704; the imperial and royal academy of medicine and surgery, named after Joseph II., and founded at Vienna in 1786; the imperial geographical society of Vienna, a free association founded January, 1856; the royal society of sciences, at Prague, founded as a free society in 1769, and divided into 2 classes like the academy of Vienna, having 21 regular members, 46 members extraordinary, 7 honorary, 75 foreign and corresponding members; the Hungarian academy of sciences, at Pesth, founded by the Hungarian estates in the diet 1825-1827, for the cultivation and propagation mainly of science in the Hungarian language, and divided into 3 sections: languages and belles-lettres; philosophical, social and historical sciences; and the mathematical and natural sciences.


—ITALY. Twelve principal academies fix the attention of the learned world in the Italian peninsula: the royal academy of Turin, divided into 2 classes, the class of physical and mathematical sciences, and that of the moral, historical and philological sciences; the academy of painting and fine arts, in the same city, founded during the last century; the royal academy della Crusca, at Florence, which has edited the fifth edition of its dictionary of the Italian language; the academy of science and art of the Fisiocritici, founded in 1691, at Sienna, where the purest Italian is spoken; the royal academy of sciences and belles-lettres of Naples, founded in 1780, and reorganized in the month of September, 1860; the academy of fine arts of the same city; the royal academy of science, letters and art, of Milan, founded in 1812 and reorganized in 1860; the academy of sciences, letters and arts, of Milan, founded in 1812 and reorganized in 1860; the academy of sciences, letters and arts, of Padua, founded by a decree of the Venetian senate, March 18, 1779; the institute of science, letters and arts, of Venice, which was established in 1802 by the Cisalpine republic: the academy of sciences of the institute of Bologna, which dates back to the year 1690, and in which Pope Benedict XIV. established a class of bursers in 1745; the academy of sciences and belles-lettres of Palermo, certainly the oldest in existence, since its origin goes back to 1231; the academy of sciences of Catana, founded in 1744.


—SPAIN AND PORTUGAL. Besides the literary and scientific, known as the academy of jurisprudence and legislation, the academy of medicine, the academy of archæology, the atheneum, etc., there are in Madrid 5 royal academies subsidized by the government, viz.: the Spanish academy or academy of the national language; the academy of history; the academy of higher arts, painting, sculpture and architecture, called also the academy of San Fernando, founded under Philip V., but which began its labors only in 1752, under Ferdinand VI.; the academy of exact sciences, physical and natural, which dates only from 1847; and the academy of moral and political sciences, more recent still, since it was created by article 160 of the law of Sept. 9, 1857, and by royal decree of the 30th of the same month.


—After the academy of sciences of Thomar, in Estramadura, in 1752, and after the royal Portuguese academy of Mafra, founded by the Marquis of Pombal, the royal academy of sciences at Lisbon was founded Dec. 24, 1779. It is divided into 2 departments: the first of natural, and the second of political and moral sciences. The president of it is always a prince of the reigning dynasty. The royal academy of fine arts at Lisbon, the academy of fine arts and the polytechnic academy, both at Oporto, are institutions in which special branches of knowledge are taught.


—RUSSIA. The imperial academy of sciences of St. Petersburg is a creation of Peter the Great, who after conferring with Leibnitz and other illustrious personages of the time, founded it Jan. 28, 1724. The empress Catharine II. founded the Russian academy in 1783, to encourage the development of literature, and in 1841 the Russian academy was incorporated with the academy of sciences by the emperor Nicholas. As at present organized, the imperial academy is divided into 3 classes or sections: 1, that of the physico-mathematical sciences; 2, the class of literature and the Russian language, with a separate management; 3, the historico-philological class. The researches of the academy are contained in 8 different collections of commentaries, acts, memoirs, and in a scientific bulletin intended for short notices, the publication of which should not be delayed.


—The imperial academy of medicine and surgery, at St. Petersburg, founded Feb. 12, 1799, and reorganized in 1802, is a school of medicine, attended both by a great number of medical students and students of the veterinary art and pharmacy. It publishes three different collections of reports, in Russian, German and French.


—The imperial academy of fine arts at St. Petersburg is an educational institution, with 300 students of painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving, etc. There are also museums of painting, sculpture and architecture, with models of different edifices, ancient and modern, of Christian archæological objects, and a library; likewise an institution and studio of mosaic painting, where the mosaic art is taught and orders executed under the direction of a professor of the academy, and belonging to the academy. In one of the halls meetings of architects and other artists are held.


—The imperial Russian geographical society of St. Petersburg dates only from 1845. It was founded August 6th of that year, and has 4 sections: mathematical geography, physical geography, ethnography, and statistics. Separate sections were established in 1851 at Irkutsk, in Siberia, and in 1850 in the Caucasus. In 1867 2 new sections were founded: the section of the western provinces and that of Orenburg. The publications of the society comprise, in addition to several special collections, 18 volumes of memoirs, a monthly bulletin, monographs, maps and atlases.


—SWEDEN. The Swedish academy at Stockholm was founded by Gustavus III., March 20, 1786. In the discourse with which this sovereign inaugurated the sessions, he announced that his object was to fix the rules and extend the knowledge of the Swedish language, to celebrate and revive national memories, as well as to pronounce the eulogy of great men who had served or saved the country, and thus contribute not only to ennobling the language, but to increasing the glory of the most illustrious sons of Sweden. The memoirs of the academy are published annually, and contain biographies of distinguished Swedes, the compositions which have taken the prize for eloquence and poetry as well as literary, historical, philosophical and philological dissertations by members of the academy. These memoirs, published from 1786 to 1871, contain 51 volumes 8vo. In 1857 the prize for poetry was awarded to Prince Oscar, for his songs in honor of the Swedish fleet. In 1870 the academy published the first number of its great dictionary of the Swedish language.


—DENMARK. In 1742 was founded the Societas Hafniensis bonis artibus promovendis. Christian VI. recognized it the following year, and four years later it became the present royal society of science of Copenhagen. Its publications, illustrated by a great number of plates, are numerous and important, especially in the domain of the mathematical sciences, physics and natural history. At present the fifth series of the memoirs of the two classes of sciences and letters has been reached. For six years past the memoirs as well as the bulletins are accompanied by French summaries. Its first centennial history, from 1742 to 1842, has been published by Molbeck.


—BELGIUM. The imperial and royal academy of sciences and belles-letters at Brussels, created by letters patent of the empress Maria Theresa, (Dec. 16, 1772), ceased to exist under the French régime. Re-established May 7, 1816, it was reorganized by a royal decision of Dec. 1, 1845, as the royal academy of sciences, literature and fine arts of Belgium. Each of these 3 branches constitutes a class composed of 30 members, 10 corresponding members, and 50 associates, besides 7 academicans, forming a royal commission on history, to publish inedited Belgian chronicles. In the class of literature two commissions have been appointed, one charged with the publication of the ancient monuments of Flemish literature, the other with collecting the works of the great writers of the country. The members of the 3 classes have undertaken the editing of a national biography. It is very difficult to get a complete collection of the publications of the academy since its foundation, monographs, memoirs, notices, reports of meetings, and annuals. In the first volume of the Annuaire de la bibliothèque royale de Belgique, by Baron de Reiffenberg, the extent of this collection may be seen, with additions in the volumes of the following years.


—A royal Belgian academy of medicine exists also at Brussels. Created by a royal decision of Sept. 19, 1841, it is composed of regular members, associate members, corresponding members, and honorary members. Its publications consist of memoirs and monthly bulletins.


—HOLLAND. The royal academy of sciences at Amsterdam, instituted by royal ordinance of Oct. 26, 1851, has taken the place of the royal institute of Holland, established in May, 1808, by the king of Holland, Louis Napoleon. The academy, divided into 2 sections, has published a great number of works, the titles of which may be found in a pamphlet: Revue des sociétés savantes de la Néerlande, published in 1857, by W. Vrolik.


—ASIA. The society of arts and sciences at Batavia is the oldest of all the learned bodies of Asia. Founded April 24, 1778, it felt the influence of the East India company, with its alternations of prosperity and decline. There are two other learned societies in Batavia: the royal academy of natural sciences, founded in 1850, and the industrial and agricultural society of the Dutch East Indies.


—BIBLIOGRAPHY: Haymann, Kurzgefasste Geschichte der vornehmsten Gesellschaften der Gelehrten, Leipzig, 1743; Verzeichniss der Universitäten, Akademien, gelehrten Gesellschaften, Leipsig, 1795; A. d'Héricourt, Annuaire des Sociétés savantes de la France et de l'étranger, Paris, 1866; Manual of Public Libraries, Institutions and Societies in the United States and British provinces of North America, Philadelphia, 1859.


Notes for this chapter

In the Palatine school founded by Charlemagne and improperly called the academy, the members were also obliged to assume a literary name for equality's sake.

Footnotes for AGENT

End of Notes

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