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January 14, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(2):123. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560020039017

The important decision of the Supreme Court of Minnesota which was cited in our last issue1 is another indication of the gathering force of public opinion in matters of public health. The causes that sway public opinion and determine national character from age to age are often obscure, but their effects are nevertheless striking. The contrast between the Elizabethan Englishman and the Englishman of the time of Pope and Swift or of Lloyd George and Rudyard Kipling is one of the really important facts of history. The transformation in the national character of the German people which has occurred in the last hundred years is another and most remarkable instance of the change that may take place in the character of a great nation. Our knowledge of the underlying factors concerned in such changes is still very imperfect, although Bagehot's characteristically shrewd speculations on the subject are well worth

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