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Title: Government and Administration of the United States
Author: Willoughby, Westel W., Willoughby, William F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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History is past Politics and Politics present History--_Freeman_




_Fellow in History_


_U.S. Department of Labor_




I.     Preface

II.    Government
         Popular Government

III.    Functions of Government

IV.    Colonial Governments: Their Relation to Each
            Other, and to England

V.     Steps Toward Union--Articles of Confederation
         New England Confederation
         Albany Convention
         Stamp Act Congress
         First Continental Congress
         Second Continental Congress
         Articles of Confederation
         Elements Tending to Separation and to Union
         Purposes of the Confederation
         Scheme of Government under the Articles
         Defects of the Articles

VI.    Adoption of the Constitution
         The Constitutional Convention
         Arguments For and Against Adoption

VII.   Presidential Succession

VIII.  Election of Senators

IX.    Congressional Government

X.     Cabinet and Executive Departments
         State Department
         Treasury Department
         War Department
         Navy Department
         Interior Department
           Commissioner of Land Office
           Commissioner of Pensions
           Commissioner of Patents
           Commissioner of Indian Affairs
           Bureau of Education
           Commissioner of Railroads
           Geological Survey
           Superintendent of the Census
         Post Office Department
         Department of Justice
         Department of Agriculture
         Department of Labor
         Interstate Commerce Commission
         Fish Commission
         Civil Service Commission
         Government Printing Office
         National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and Bureau
             of Ethnology
         Librarian of Congress

XI.    The Federal Judiciary
         Federal Judicial System
         District Courts
         Circuit Courts

XII.   Ordinance for Government of the Northwest Territory

XIII.  Government of Territories
         Admission of a Territory as a State

XIV.   State Governments
         State Constitutions
         State Legislatures
         State Executives
         State Judiciary

XV.    Local Government
         In New England
         In the South
         In the West

XVI.   City Government

XVII.  Government Revenue and Expenditure
         Federal Government
         State and Local Taxes

XVIII. Money
        Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates
        Silver Dollars and Silver Certificates
        Subsidiary and Minor Coins
        Treasury Notes
        Notes of National Banks

XIX.   Public Lands of the United States
         Educational Grants
         Land Bounties for Military and Naval Service
         Land Grants to States for Internal Improvement
         Sale of Public Land
         Under Pre-emption Acts
         Under Homestead Acts
         Under Timber Culture Act
         Certain Lands to States
         Grants to Pacific and other Railroads

XX.    Reconstruction

XXI.   Party Machinery

XXII.  National Conventions and Presidential Campaigns
         History and Development of the National Convention
         Method of Procedure

XXIII. Introduction to the Study of the History of
            Political Parties in the United States

Bibliographical Note




These chapters were originally prepared for and used as a manual in the
public schools of the District of Columbia. In a revised and amplified
form they are now published as one of Johns Hopkins University Studies
in History and Politics.

The aim of this revision is to furnish assistance to students beginning
the study of the history and practical workings of our political
institutions. It is not the purpose to furnish a complete text-book upon
the government of the United States and its administration, but, by a
clear, concise statement of the salient points of our federal system,
and a description of the actual workings of the characteristic features
of our institutions, to give to the student a better understanding of
the manner in which the same are administered, than is to be obtained
from the ordinary text-books on Civil Government.

These Outlines are intended as an aid to both teacher and pupil, and for
use in a class whose members are already familiar with the leading
events and names in United States history. The work is intended to
furnish such supplementary information as can be obtained only with
great difficulty by most teachers, and which for the most part cannot be
obtained at all by the pupils.

The authors have endeavored to make prominent the fact that our present
form of government is far from being contained in the written
constitution of 1787, and consequently, that a study of that instrument
alone will give a very inadequate idea of our government as it is. The
constitution was but a foundation upon which to build a government.

Nothing like an analysis or commentary upon the constitution of the
United States is here attempted. The public is already well supplied
with books covering that ground. History proper, except as showing the
basis and reason for the establishment of our institutions, has likewise
found no place here.

The book is to be used chiefly as a manual, to supply information that
would otherwise need to be dictated by the instructor. The Outlines are
in many particulars merely suggestive. Many topics are simply mentioned,
which the teacher must elaborate and explain at greater length.

Lastly, though this book does not pretend to give a connected account of
our administration or politics, yet the subjects have been carefully
arranged in such an order as would most naturally be followed in a
course to which the work is intended to be an aid.



From the earliest times of which history furnishes authentic record, and
in all countries inhabited by man, people have found it necessary to
bind themselves together by civic regulations so that certain things may
be done by all in common--in short, to establish some form of

Now, as has always been the case, there are certain things which, from
their very nature, cannot be left to each individual to do, or not to
do, as he may choose, or to do in his own way. First of all, there is
the necessity of some means by which the weak may be protected from the
strong. The individual must be protected in his life and liberty, and
there must be some guarantee to him, that if he is industrious the
enjoyment of the product of his labor will be secured to him. Human
nature being imperfect, disputes and injustice are sure to arise. Hence
comes the necessity of some power above the citizens and able to command
their obedience, some power that can administer justice according to the
rights and not according to the strength of individuals.

To thus control the actions of individuals, this power above the
citizens, this government, must possess functions of three kinds. First,
legislative power, or power to declare the rules of conduct to which the
citizen must conform; second, judicial power, or power to interpret and
declare the true meaning of these rules, and to apply them to the
particular cases that may arise; and third, the executive power, or
power to carry into execution these laws, and to enforce the obedience
of the citizens.

To the student nothing could be more interesting and instructive, than
to trace how, as tribes and nations have progressed in civilization,
government has advanced in its development. How, as men have progressed,
first from the condition of savage hunters to the roving feeders of
flocks, then to tillers of the soil with fixed places of abode, and
finally to builders of cities teeming with trade, commerce and
manufactures; how as men have thus improved in civilization and material
well-being, their mutual duties and common interests have become more
and more important and numerous, and government as controlling these
interests and duties, has developed in form and improved in structure
until it has become an all-powerful, complex machine, controlling in
many ways the actions, and even the lives of its citizens.

For thousands of years, governments have been developing and changing in
form and functions, and a very large part of the history of the nations
of the globe is identified with the history of the development and
changes of their governments. As new conditions and needs have arisen,
governments have adapted themselves to them. In some cases this has been
done peacefully, as in England, and in others violently, by
revolutionary means, as in France. In some cases functions previously
exercised have been relinquished, in others, new powers have been
assumed; but in the majority of cases, the change has been merely in the
manner of exercising this or that power.

All peoples have not the same characteristics, nor have they developed
under the same conditions of climate, soil or situation. Different
nations have, therefore, developed for themselves different forms of
government. Yet these governments, however different in their structures
and administration, are in all cases distinctly referable to four well
defined types: Monarchy, Aristocracy, Democracy, and the Republic.
_#Monarchy.#_--A monarchy is a nation at whose head is a personal ruler,
called King, Emperor, or Czar, who has control of the government,
appoints the principal officers of state, and to whom in theory at
least, these appointees are responsible for their actions. Thus England,
Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and others are monarchies. The sovereign
holds his position for life, and usually acquires his throne by
inheritance. Where the crown is nominally elective, as in England,
kingship is practically hereditary, the regular line of descent being
departed from only upon rare occasions.

The amount of power actually exercised, the responsibility borne by the
sovereign varies widely in different countries, and upon the basis of
these differences monarchial forms of government are classified under
the two heads, Absolute and Limited Monarchies.

_#An Absolute Monarchy.#_--An absolute monarchy is one in which the
sovereign or ruler is possessed of supreme power and authority, and
controls absolutely, without limitation or interference, all the powers
of government. His word is law and requires not the sanction of the
people. His commands are absolute and require not the formality of
judicial procedure, and are not necessarily in conformity with existing
laws. Implicit obedience to his commands, however arbitrary, may be
demanded, and there is no appeal. These are, theoretically, the powers
of the absolute monarch. Practically, however, he is constrained to keep
within fair bounds of justice and good policy, lest his subjects be
goaded to rebellion and revolution. The absolute form of monarchy exists
to-day in the empires of Russia and Turkey.

_#A Limited Monarchy.#_--A limited monarchy is one in which the
ruler, though at the head of the government, is not absolute, but is
limited in his powers by the action of a body of men, selected by the
people, who make the laws by which the nation is to be governed. The
respective rights and powers of the sovereign and of the law-making
body, are determined by a collection of rules, written or unwritten,
collectively known as the constitution. The constitution contains the
fundamental law of the land. All acts of the government to be valid,
must be constitutional, that is to say, in conformity with the rules
laid down in the constitution. For this reason limited monarchies are
also known by the name of Constitutional Monarchies.

England is the most conspicuous example of a limited or constitutional
monarchy. In consideration of our former connection with her, and the
extent to which we have derived our ideas of government from her
political institutions, it will be of great assistance to us if we stop
for a moment to consider her government, before proceeding to a study of
our own.

The sovereign of England is termed King or Queen. Originally possessed
of almost absolute power, the English ruler, at the present day
possesses very little actual power and influence, much less in fact than
the people of the United States have entrusted to their President. The
constitutional history of England is largely the narrative of the
successive steps by which the people have wrested from royal hands and
taken under their own control, the powers of government.

The rights of the English people in the participation of their own
government are not contained in the written document, such as we possess
in our constitution, but rest upon established custom and precedent, and
various charters wrested from their kings.

The English Parliament, or, to speak more exactly, the lower branch of
the Parliament, called the House of Commons, rules the English people.
The Parliament or law-making branch of the English government, is
divided into two houses, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.
The House of Lords is, as its name denotes, composed mainly of members
of the noble families of England, who owe their seat in that body to the
chance of birth. Theoretically possessed of powers of legislation equal
to those exercised by the lower and more numerous branch (the Commons),
the Lords have in reality but a small voice in the control of public
affairs. The House of Commons is composed of members elected by the
people. In this body reside almost all the powers of government. Its
acts require the assent of the House of Lords and of the King, but this
assent is almost wholly formal. The sphere of legislation allowed the
English Parliament is unlimited, differing in this respect fundamentally
from our Congress, which is limited in its legislative field by the
Constitution. From the English Parliament is selected the "Cabinet"
consisting of the principal executive officials, who guide the House in
its legislation, and at the same time conduct the executive affairs of
the nation. These ministers, as they are called, are appointed by the
king from the party in the majority in the House of Commons. They are
responsible to that body for all their actions, and retain their offices
only so long as they retain the confidence and good will of the Commons.

_#An Aristocracy.#_--An aristocracy is a government in the hands of a
select few, called the aristocracy, who transmit this authority to their
children. There are to-day no aristocratic governments proper, though
many nations exhibit aristocratic tendencies. In nearly all of the
European countries, one branch, at least, of their legislatures is
composed of members holding their seats on account of noble birth, thus
admitting the aristocratic element into their governments.

_#Democracy.#_--A pure democracy is a government in which all the people
rule directly, meeting in popular assemblies in which is determined by
the votes of the majority how the government is to be administered. This
form of government is obviously possible only in very small communities.
Several of the Grecian states governed themselves after this manner. No
perfect example of a nation with this form of government can be said to
exist at this time. The nearest approach to pure democracy is found in
certain cantons of Switzerland. The Roman historian Tacitus tells us
that the early Germans governed themselves in a purely democratic
manner, and the first governments of several of our American colonies
were of the democratic type. When we come to the study of local
government in the United States we shall see the democratic form
followed in the New England Town Meetings.

_#Republic.#_--A republic is a democracy adapted by means of the
introduction of the representative principle, to the government of a
large and widely separated people. Under this form of government the
people rule themselves, not directly, as in a democracy, but through
agents or representatives of their own selection. The participation of
the people in their own government consists therefore merely in the
choice of officers to represent them and carry out their wishes. There
exist at present several republics, the tendency seeming to be for
nations to approach more nearly this form of government. France has
been, since 1870, the best European example of a republic. Our own
government--the United States of America--is to us the most interesting
and important example of a republic.

_#Popular Government.#_--By the word 'popular' is meant, of or by the
people, and by popular government is to be understood a government in
the administration of which the people as a whole participate. Every
change by which new and greater political powers are given into the
hands of the common people is considered a step towards the full
realization of popular government. During the last one hundred years
great strides have been made in this direction by all European nations
except Turkey and Russia. The extent to which this movement towards
popular control of government can be safely and successfully carried is
a question of very great importance. To a very large extent it depends
upon the intelligence, previous training, and natural political ability
of the people who are to be entrusted with their own government.


The Functions of Government.

Broadly speaking, the functions performed by government are of a
threefold order: the establishment, interpretation, and enforcement of
laws. A division of government into three branches is thus called for:
the legislative, the judicial and the executive. The manner in which
these departments are related to each other, the extent to which they
are vested in the same hands, and the degree in which they are separate
from each other and independent in their workings, differ in different
countries. In England, as we have seen, the executive and legislative
functions are closely united. In our government, as we shall see when we
come to consider its structure, complete independence of the three
departments has been aimed at.

All statesmen agree that a good government should possess ample power to
interpret its own laws, and sufficient strength to fully enforce them.
When we come, however, to the question of what are the proper subjects
for control by government, and what for free management by individuals,
we reach a subject upon which writers and thinkers have been unable to

Under the great question, over how broad a field it is expedient and
right to extend the activities of government, are embraced many of the
great topics at present agitating the public mind. Difference upon this
point has been one of the underlying causes of the existence of
political parties in the United States, and has furnished one of the
real springs of our history. Communism, socialism, and anarchy, may be
embraced under this question. This it is that makes the study of the
principles of government, especially in the United States, so important
to every one who would understand the political life around him, and be
able to form an intelligent decision upon the questions of the day.
Shall the nation or the state own and manage the railroads, the
telegraph lines, and the canals? Shall education receive the support of
the state? Shall the employment of women and children in mines and
factories be regulated by law? Shall the city own its own street
railways, its markets, its water and gas supply, its telephones, and its
water fronts? Shall this or that duty be delegated to the city or to the
state, or shall it be left to the chance performance of individuals or
corporations? These are some of the many questions of supreme importance
that meet us at every point, and the better we understand the true
nature and structure of our government, the better shall we be able to
give intelligent answers.

Among the many functions of government, there are many so obviously
necessary to the existence of a nation, however organized, that there is
no discussion concerning the expediency of their exercise by the state.
We may, therefore, group governmental duties under two heads: the
necessary, and the optionable; or, as Professor Wilson has named them,
the _Constituent_ and the _Ministrant_.[1] Under the first head is
embraced all those functions which _must_ exist under every form of
government; and under the second title those "undertaken, not by way of
governing, but by way of advancing the general interests of society."
The following is Professor Wilson's classification:

     _#I. The Necessary or Constituent Functions.#_--

     (1). The keeping of order and providing for the protection of
     persons and property from violence and robbery. (2). The fixing of
     the legal relations between man and wife, and between parents and

     (3). The regulation of the holding, transmission, and interchange
     of property, and determination of its liabilities for debt or for

     (4). The determination of contract rights between individuals.

     (5). The definition and punishment of crime.

     (6). The administration of justice in civil causes.

     (7). The determination of the political duties, privileges, and
     relations of citizens.

     (8). Dealings of the state with foreign powers; the preservation of
     the state from external danger or encroachment, and the advancement
     of its intellectual interests.

     _#II. Optional or Ministrant Functions.#_

     (1). The regulation of trade and industry. Under this head we must
     include the coinage of money, and the establishment of standard
     weights and measures, laws against forestalling, engrossing, the
     licensing of trades, etc., as well as the great matters of tariffs,
     navigation laws, and the like.

     (2). The regulation of labor.

     (3). The maintenance of thoroughfares, including state management
     of railways, and that great group of undertakings which we embrace
     within the comprehensive terms 'Internal Improvements,' or 'The
     Development of the Country.'

     (4). The maintenance of postal and telegraph systems, which is very
     similar in principle to (3).

     (5). The manufacture and distribution of gas, the maintenance of
     water-works, &c.

     (6). Sanitation, including the regulation of trades for sanitary

     (7). Education.

     (8). Care of the poor and incapable. (9). Care and cultivation of
     forests and like matters, such as stocking of rivers with fish.

     (10). Sumptuary laws, such as 'prohibition' laws.

Under this second head have been included by no means all of the
functions whose exercise by the government has been attempted or
proposed, but they show the principal ones, and serve to indicate the
nature of the optional field of governmental activity.

[Footnote 1: Wilson, _The State_, Section 1232.]


Colonial Governments; Their Relation to Each Other, and to England.

To understand clearly the early history of our country; to appreciate
the reasons for the grievances of the colonists against their mother
country; and to gain an intelligent idea of the events of that most
critical period of our history, when the colonies, then free, were in
doubt as to the nature of the federal government they should adopt;
properly to understand all these facts, it is of essential importance
that we should gain a correct knowledge of the condition of the colonies
during those times, their relations to one another, their governmental
connection with and attitude towards England.

The thirteen American colonies, which in 1775 dared defy the might of
Great Britain, and which in a stubborn struggle were able to win their
independence, were settled at various times, and by colonists actuated
by widely different motives. At the time of the beginning of their
resistance to the oppressive acts of their mother country, they were, in
their governments, entirely separate from and independent of each other.
"Though the colonies had a common origin, and owed a common allegiance
to England, and the inhabitants of each were British subjects, they had
no direct political connection with each other. Each in a limited sense,
was sovereign within its own territory.... The assembly of one province
could not make laws for another.... As colonists they were also excluded
from all connection with foreign states. They were known only as
dependencies. They followed the fate of their mother country both in
peace and war.... They could not form any treaty, even among themselves,
without the consent of England."[1]

[Footnote 1: Story's _Commentaries on the Constitution_, Vol. I, p.

All the colonies did not bear the same relation to the English
government. Owing to the different manner in which the right of
settlement, and occupancy of the soil had been obtained from the king,
the colonies had obtained different rights of government, and were
placed under different obligations to the crown. There came thus to be
three types of colonial governments; the provincial or royal, the
proprietary, and charter governments.

_#I. Provincial Colonies.#_--Those colonies which possessed a provincial
form of government were royal colonies, being governed almost entirely
by England, as she governs many of her colonies to-day. At the head of
each was a Governor appointed by the King of England. He was assisted by
a council, also appointed by the king. The constitution and laws for
this form of government were contained in the commission and instruction
given to the Governor by the English government. By them the Governor
was empowered to summon a representative assembly. The legislative body
consisted, then, of the Governor, his council, appointed by the king,
and a lower house elected by the people. The Governor had the right of
veto, and the power to dissolve the assembly. The legislature could make
laws, provided they were not repugnant to the laws of England. These
laws were subject to the approval of the Crown. The governor, with the
advice of his council, could erect courts, appoint judges, levy forces,
etc. From the highest courts in all the colonies an appeal lay to the
English King in Council.

_#II. Proprietary Colonies.#_--The English King often gave to
individuals large tracts of land in the New World. In addition to
ownership of the soil, was given in many cases the right to establish
civil government. These proprietors had all the inferior royalties and
subordinate powers of legislation. The proprietor could appoint or
dismiss the governor, he could invest him with the power to convene a
legislature, with power to veto its acts according to his wishes, and to
perform all other powers of a governor. All laws made, those of Maryland
excepted, were subject to the approval of the English Crown.

_#III. Charter Colonies.#_--Colonies under this form of government were
so called from their possessing constitutions for their general
political government. These written constitutions were charters obtained
from the King, in which were granted to the people of the colony certain
privileges and rights of self-government which the English government
could not justly take away from them. One of the unjust acts that did
much to arouse the colonists to resistance, was the attempt of the
English government in 1774, to annul the charter of Massachusetts by the
Regulation Act. In this act was contained a precedent that (as Curtis
says) "justly alarmed the entire continent, and in its principle
affected all the colonies, since it assumed that none of them possessed
constitutional rights which could not be altered or taken away by an act
of Parliament." The charters were very liberal, granting almost entire
self-government. As in the royal colonies, the executive was a governor,
and the law-making branch a legislature of two houses.

In Massachusetts the governor was appointed by the Crown, and had a veto
power. The Council or upper branch of the legislature was chosen
annually by the lower house, but the governor had a right of veto on
their choice. The lower house was elected by the people. In Connecticut
and Rhode Island the governor, council, together with the assembly were
chosen annually by popular vote, and all officers were appointed by
them. In these two the governor had no right of veto, and the laws
before going into execution did not require the royal approval.

Seven of the original colonies began under proprietary governments--New
York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North and South Carolina, Maryland and
New Jersey. Of these, four--New York, New Jersey, North and South
Carolina--became eventually provincial colonies, and Maryland was at one
time a proprietary.

Three of the colonies, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, were
settled under charters that were never surrendered. Three others,
Virginia, Georgia and New Hampshire possessed charters for a while, but
eventually became royal colonies.

Notwithstanding these diversities of government that have been pointed
out, there were many features common to all the colonies. All considered
themselves dependencies of the British Crown. All the colonists claimed
the enjoyment of the privileges and rights of British-born subjects, and
the benefit of the common law of England. The laws of all were required
to be not repugnant to, but, as nearly as possible, in conformity with
the laws of England. In all the colonies local legislatures existed, at
least one branch of which consisted of representatives chosen by the

The general condition of the colonies at the time of the outbreak of the
Revolutionary War, so far at least as concerns their governments, has
now been given. What were the grounds upon which the colonists justified
their resistance to the acts of English government?

In the first place, they claimed that their rights were received from,
and their allegiance was due to the King, not to the Parliament. The
colonists said the King was the only tie that bound them to England;
that Parliament was composed of representatives from England alone, and
therefore had powers of legislation only for England. Later, however, it
was conceded that in matters of general interest to the whole United
Kingdom, Parliament might exercise control, but that concerning all
matters of domestic and internal interest, and of concern only to
themselves, it was the right of their own legislatures to legislate, and
that under this head came taxation.

Says Story:[1] "Perhaps the best summary of the rights and liberties
asserted by all the colonies is contained in the celebrated declaration
drawn up by the Congress of nine colonies assembled at New York in
October, 1765 (Stamp Act Congress). That declaration asserted that the
colonists 'owe the same allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain that is
owing from his subjects born within the realm, and all due subordination
to that august body, the parliament of Great Britain,' That the
colonists 'are entitled to all the inherent rights and liberties of his
(the King's) natural born subjects within the kingdom of Great Britain.
That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the
undoubted rights of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them but
with their own consent given personally or by their representatives.'
That the 'people of the colonies are not, and from their local
circumstances cannot be represented in the House of Commons of Great
Britain. That the only representatives of these colonies are persons
chosen by themselves therein; and that no taxes ever have been or can be
constitutionally imposed upon them but by their respective legislatures,
and that trial by jury is the inherent and invaluable right of every
British subject in these colonies.'"

[Footnote 1: _Commentaries_, Vol. I, p. 175.]

In opposition to these views, the English government held that
Parliament had the authority to bind the colonies in all matters
whatsoever, and that there were no vested rights possessed by the
colonies, that could not be altered or annulled if Parliament so

At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, complete independence was not
claimed by the colonies. It was not until July 4, 1776, that they were
driven to a declaration of full and entire independence and
self-government. By this declaration the colonies threw off their
colonial character, and assumed the position of states. This they did by
simply taking into their own hands the powers previously exercised by
the English King and Parliament. In the state constitutions which many
colonies formed during the year, their old colonial forms of government
were closely followed. Connecticut and Rhode Island, in fact, merely
declared their allegiance to England absolved, and retained unchanged
their old charters as their fundamental law. In Connecticut no other
state constitution was adopted until 1818, nor in Rhode Island until


Steps Toward Union.--Articles of Confederation.

Previous to 1774 the thirteen English colonies in America had had no
political or governmental connection with each other. Any attempt on
their part to unite without the consent of the English King or
Parliament would have been considered an act beyond their powers and as
insubordination towards the English government.

_#New England Confederation.#_--In 1643 there was formed a union of the
four colonies of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Plymouth, and Massachusetts
Bay, termed the "New England Confederation," which lasted forty years;
but this was merely a union for mutual protection against their common
foes, the French, the Dutch, and the Indians, and not for joint
legislation or government. It was a defensive alliance.

_#The Albany Convention._#--(Franklin's Plan.) In 1754, however, there
was held a meeting of the colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, called
the "Albany Convention," in which was proposed a union of all the
colonies under one government. Benjamin Franklin, the chief promoter of
this scheme, drew up an elaborate constitution which was to be adopted.
According to this plan there was to be a chief executive, elected by the
king, and a council of 48 members, to be chosen by the legislatures of
the several colonies. This scheme failed to obtain either the consent of
the king or of the colonies themselves. It was too much of a union to
suit the king, and not enough for the colonies. _#The Stamp Act
Congress.#_--The indignation aroused by the attempt of England to tax
her colonies without allowing them a voice in the Parliament which
imposed such taxes, gave rise in 1765 to a meeting of delegates from
eight of the colonies. This assembly was called the "Stamp Act
Congress." The obnoxious Stamp Act was repealed, but England continued
to impose other taxes.

_#First Continental Congress.#_--An invitation was sent out by Virginia
to all the colonies, calling a meeting of delegates to consider what
could be done by their united action to resist their common grievance.
Thus met the "First Continental Congress" in 1774, in which all the
colonies but Georgia were represented. This Congress adopted a
declaration of rights and grievances. The colonies maintained that as
long as they were unrepresented in the English legislature (Parliament),
taxes should be imposed only by their own legislatures; also, that they
were entitled to the rights, liberties, and immunities of free,
natural-born subjects within the realm of England.

_#The Second Continental Congress.#_--On May 10, 1775, assembled the
Second Continental Congress, in which all the thirteen colonies were
represented. The battle of Lexington had then been fought, and blood had
been shed. Though the colonies had as yet no intention of throwing off
all connection with England, they were now prepared to resist with arms
any invasion of their rights. The work performed by this body has been
concisely and forcibly stated by Schouler.[1] He says: "Thus originated
that remarkable body known as the Continental Congress, which, with its
periodical sessions and frequent changes of membership, bore for fifteen
years the symbols of Federal power in America; which, as a single house
of deputies acting by Colonies or States, and blending with legislative
authority, imperfect executive and judicial functions, raised armies,
laid taxes, contracted a common debt, negotiated foreign treaties, made
war and peace; which, in the name and with the assumed warrant of the
thirteen colonies, declared their independence of Great Britain, and by
God's blessing accomplished it; which, having framed and promulgated a
plan of general confederation, persuaded these same thirteen republics
to adopt it, each making a sacrifice of its sovereignty for the sake of
establishing a perpetual league, to be known as the United States of
America, a league preserved until in the fullness of time came a more
perfect Union."

[Footnote 1: _Hist. U.S._, Vol. I, p. 13.]

The acts of this Congress were the _first legislative acts by the joint
action of the colonies_.

The Second Continental Congress was essentially a revolutionary body.
That is to say, the authority for its acts rested upon no definite grant
of powers by the colonies, but was assumed by it to meet the crisis of
war. Properly speaking, it could hardly be called a government. It was
more in the nature of a directing advisory committee. Its commands
possessed a recommendatory character only, and it was entirely without
executive officers, or legal control over either individuals or the

_#The Articles of Confederation.#_--A stronger central power than that
afforded by the Continental Congress was seen to be a necessity.
Accordingly, in 1777, there was drawn up a scheme of union embraced in a
paper termed "The Articles of Confederation." These articles, though
adopted as early as 1777, did not go into effect until 1781, the
provision being that they should not be considered as in force until
ratified by _all_ the colonies, and several refused to ratify until all
state claims to western territory were relinquished in favor of the
National Government.

_#Elements Tending to Separation and Those Tending to Union.#_--We must
remember that this was a union of thirteen previously separate colonies.
The facts which had tended to keep them apart had been the difficulty of
travel and communication between the colonies, the lack of commercial
intercourse, but more than all, their local jealousies. The small States
feared the larger; commercial jealousies were very keen. In 1756 Georgia
and South Carolina actually came to blows over a dispute as to the
navigation of the Savannah river. Other disputes about boundaries were
frequent. Colonies with good harbors and seaports desired to keep the
benefits of them exclusively to themselves. At that time, too, the
people of the thirteen colonies were far more widely separated in their
forms of government, their industrial habits and social customs than
they now are. On the other hand, the old facts which tended to urge on a
common union between them were common race, language, and nationality,
many similar political institutions, and, most of all, common interests
and a common peril.

_#The Purposes of the Confederation.#_--The purposes of this
Confederation are best stated by giving Article III of the Articles:

"The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship
with each other for their common defense and security of their liberties
and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each
other against all force offered to or attacks made upon them, or any of
them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretext

_#Scheme of Government under the Articles of Confederation.#_--The
Articles of Confederation established a framework of government for the
confederated colonies, which government was to control those matters
that experience had shown could be executed only by united action. As a
scheme of government it was no better than a makeshift. It was an effort
to form a federal power without diminishing the powers of the States--an
effort "to pare off slices of state government without diminishing the
loaf." That such a union could be perpetual, as the scheme professed,
was impossible.

Under these Articles of Confederation the sole functions of the federal
authority, legislative, executive, and judicial, were vested in a
Continental Congress, consisting of a single house of delegates, who
voted by States, and were appointed annually in such a manner as the
respective States directed. Each State was entitled to not less than two
nor more than seven delegates, a majority of whom decided the vote of
the State in question. The executive functions were largely performed by
a Committee of States, which was empowered to sit during recesses. For
all important measures the vote of every State was required. The vote of
all thirteen was required for an amendment.

_#Defects of the Articles of Confederation.#_--In this scheme of union
there were many fatal defects. The principal of these defects were--

1. The want of some compulsory means of enforcing obedience to the acts
of Congress. The articles provided neither an executive power nor a
national judiciary worth mentioning. As one writer has said: "Congress
could declare everything, but do nothing." A single colony could with
impunity disregard any decree of the Congress.

2. The large vote required to pass all important measures.

3. The absence of the right to regulate foreign commerce, and make
duties uniform, and to collect those duties. This defect, as we shall
find, was one of the most vital, and more than any thing else decreed
the failure of the practical working of the Confederation, and showed
the necessity of a better and stronger National government.

4. The virtual impossibility of amendment. Since a unanimous vote was
required, the selfish interest of one State could, and did, stand in the
way of an amendment beneficial and necessary to the other twelve.

5. There was no power to enforce treaties. Foreign countries recognized
this, and therefore refused to enter into any treaties with us.
Washington said: "We are one nation to-day, and thirteen to-morrow. Who
will treat with us on such terms."

England refused to carry out the conditions of the treaty of 1783, and
continued to keep troops on our Western borders.

6. The central authority had insufficient power to control disputes
arising between the States.

7. The lack of a Federal judiciary.

8. Lack of power to collect taxes, or to raise revenue to defray even
the ordinary expenses of government. This was the most striking and
important defect of them all. The whole power given to Congress under
this head was the power "to ascertain the sum necessary to be raised for
the service of the United States, and apportion the rate or proportion
on each State." The collection of such taxes was left to the States
themselves, and if they refused (as they frequently did) the Federal
Government had no power to compel them.

Our present better government was "wrung from the grinding necessities
of a reluctant people."

_#Adoption of the Constitution.#_--Actual hostilities ceased in 1781. In
1783 peace with England was declared, and the independence of the
colonies was achieved. The war left the American people with an empty
treasury, and a country drained of its wealth and impoverished by the
exhaustive struggle. It left us with a large national debt, both to our
own citizens and friends abroad, and most of all, left us with an army
of unpaid patriotic soldiers. And no sooner had foreign danger been
removed than domestic troubles arose which filled all with gloomy
forebodings for the future. With the loss of that cohesive principle
which common danger supplied them, the colonies now began to fall apart.
Even during the progress of the war the weakness of the Union had shown
itself. Washington unhesitatingly declared that it was the lack of
sufficient central authority that caused the prolongation of the war.
One instance will show how weak was the Federal authority. During the
summer of 1783, when Congress was at Philadelphia, some eighty deserters
from the army so threatened Congress as to force a removal of our
Federal capital from that place to Princeton. The Continental finances
were in a deplorable condition. Congress could not even collect
sufficient taxes for the payment of the interest on the public debt. The
States could, and often did, refuse to pay their proportion of taxes
imposed upon them by Congress. Congress made a last attempt, in 1785, to
raise a revenue by a tax on imported goods, but this measure failed, New
York refusing to ratify. Congress, indeed, did not collect one-fourth of
her demands. Commerce was going to ruin. England refused to allow our
country the rich trade with the West Indies. To these troubles were
added the mutual jealousies and selfishness of the States. Each of them
tried to attract commerce to itself, and passed laws hurtful to the
other States.

The people in Massachusetts were in insurrection. The French minister
wrote to his country: "There is now no general government in America--no
head, no Congress, no administrative departments."

For all these evils the limited and imperfect powers conferred upon the
Federal Government by the articles of Confederation afforded no adequate
remedy. Even the Constitutional Congress was now in danger of breaking
up. States, to save expense, neglected to send delegates, and repeated
appeals had to be made to get representation from nine States so as to
pass important measures. A better union was seen by all thoughtful
citizens to be necessary, but very difficult to obtain, owing to
inter-state differences. The idea of having a convention separate from
the Congress, whose work should be the framing of a stronger government,
gradually gained ground.

The Constitutional Convention was obtained in a roundabout way, and only
after repeated failures. The first attempt to obtain an assembly of
representatives was made at Annapolis, Maryland. Only five States sent
representatives, and the convention accordingly adjourned to
Philadelphia, where in May, 1778, delegates from all the States, except
Rhode Island, finally assembled.


Adoption of the Constitution.

_#The Constitutional Convention.#_--Fifty-five delegates were present.
With scarcely an exception they were all clearheaded, able, and moderate
men. Virginia sent Washington, Madison, Edmund Randolph; Pennsylvania
sent Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, and James Wilson; New York sent
Alexander Hamilton; New Jersey, Patterson; and South Carolina, the two
Pinckneys. Washington was chosen President of the Convention. Two rules
were adopted: 1st, proceedings were to be secret, and 2d, one vote was
to be given to each State, thus making it of no importance whether a
State had a large or small delegation.

Though the delegates had thus assembled to form a better and new union,
they differed widely in their views as to what changes were necessary,
and as to what powers should be given to the Federal Government, and
what retained by the States. Some desired merely a change of the
existing Articles of Confederation, more power being granted, however,
to the Federal Government; while others wished for an entirely new

The convention at once divided into two parties. The one representing
the small States, such as New Jersey and Delaware; and the other, the
larger States, such as Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. The plan
brought forward by the party of the large States was that presented to
the convention by Edmund Randolph, of Virginia, and generally known as
the National or Large State Plan. This plan proposed a congress of two
houses, having power to legislate on all National matters, and to compel
obedience on the part of the States. Representation in both houses was
to be based on population, thus giving to the larger, and more populous,
States the control of both branches of the legislature; and, also, since
by this scheme the president, executive officers, and judges were to be
appointed by Congress, control of the whole administration of the new

On behalf of the small States, Patterson, of New Jersey, introduced what
is called the New Jersey plan. By this plan the old Federal Congress was
to be continued with its single house of legislature, and equal State

The great point upon which the two plans differed, was as to how
representation in the legislature should be apportioned among the
States; whether it should be according to population, and with two
houses, or whether there should be but one house, in which each State
should have an equal vote. The question was settled by a compromise. It
was agreed that there should be a legislature of two houses, a Senate or
upper and less numerous branch; and the House of Representatives, the
popular and more numerous lower branch. In the Senate each State was to
have an equal representation, thus putting the large and small States on
an equal footing. On the other hand, in the House of Representatives
representation was to be according to population, thus favoring the
larger States.

Another point upon which the convention differed was concerning the
slave trade; whether it should, or should not, be allowed to continue.
This question was also compromised, it being agreed to permit its
continuance for twenty years (until 1808), after which all importation
of slaves might be prohibited.

Yet another point in dispute was whether the slaves should, or should
not, be counted in estimating the population of the States, in order to
determine the number of representatives to which each State should be
entitled. This likewise was compromised. It was agreed that five slaves
should be counted equivalent to three white men.

These three main points being settled by compromises, other parts of the
government, such as a single chief executive, a Federal judiciary, and
the decision as to what powers should be given to the President, what to
the Senate, and what to the House, were more easily arranged, and the
convention adjourned September 17, 1787, having been in session a little
over four months. Thus was prepared the Constitution under which we are
now living--an achievement declared by Guizot to be the greatest work of
its kind, and by Gladstone to be the greatest work ever struck out at
one time by the hand of man.

The Constitution having been agreed to in convention, it was now
submitted to the vote of each of the colonies for acceptance. It was
decided in this convention that it should be considered as ratified, and
should go into effect as soon as accepted by nine of the thirteen

The adoption or rejection of the Constitution now became a question
which claimed the entire attention of the States, and it is during this
contest that we find the origin of the first political parties in the
United States. Those favoring the adoption of the Constitution were
called "Federalists" and those opposing it "Anti-Federalists."

_#Arguments For and Against Adoption.#_--The Federalist party was
composed of those men who were desirous of a strong central government,
and for this reason favored the Constitution. This party was especially
strong in New England, largely because New England, being the commercial
part of the colonies, had had the lamentable weakness of the old
confederation brought home to them the more forcibly by the
disorganization and loss of commerce which the Continental Congress had
been unable to regulate.

The Anti-Federalists were those who wished the State governments to be
kept strong, and that there should be a comparatively weak central

The argument used by the Federalists for the adoption of the
Constitution was, that only by correcting all those defects of the
Confederation which have been pointed out, could order and prosperity be
restored to the country. They said that the Constitution, being a series
of compromises, could not please everyone in all respects, but that it
was the best that could be obtained under the circumstances. Their
arguments appeared in a remarkable collection of eighty-five essays,
called the "Federalist," written by Alexander Hamilton in company with
John Jay and James Madison. In these were explained all the points of
the Constitution, and to this day they remain the best exposition of the
Constitution ever written.

The objections raised by the Anti-Federalists were many. In the first
place, it was of course objected that it gave to the central government
too much power; that state government and State liberty would be crushed
out. The State was then as dear to the citizen as is the National
Government to us to-day. Patriotism was then devotion to the State. The
colonists had suffered so much from control over their state governments
by an outside strong government, that they were fearful of again putting
themselves under a strong national government though of their own
making. In warning terms it was declared it would be a government
founded upon the destruction of the governments of the several States.
They said, "Congress may monopolize every source of revenue, and thus
indirectly demolish the State governments, for without funds they cannot
exist." These elements of State love and jealousy of the Federal power
are of the utmost importance in studying our history. We see them
running through all our life as the main causes of division between
political parties. (See later chapter on "Introduction to History of
Political Parties.")

Another objection was, that the Constitution contained no definite "bill
of rights" recognizing and guaranteeing fundamental personal liberties,
such as freedom of speech, liberty of the press, assurance against
unjust arrest, the right to bear arms, and trial by jury in civil cases,
etc. This class of objections was satisfied by the adoption of the first
ten constitutional amendments. It was also claimed by those opposed to
the ratification, that inasmuch as the Constitution placed no limit to
the number of terms which a President might serve, one man might become
so powerful as to obtain a life-tenure of office, and thus the
government would degenerate into a monarchy. To show how exaggerated
were the fears during this critical period of our history, we have the
report that it was actually claimed and believed by many at that time
that the Federalists had the secret intention of inviting over to our
country some European prince who should rule as king. Patrick Henry
cried, "We shall have a king; the army will salute him monarch." Though
not fixed by the Constitution, it has been since the time of Washington
the invariable rule that no man shall be elected for more than two
terms. The friends of President Grant attempted to have him nominated
for a third time, but so strong was this prejudice that, popular as he
was at that time, the plan failed.

For nine months the struggle was wagered fiercely in the States, but the
Federalists prevailed. In June, 1788, the ninth State ratified, and
adoption was assured. Congress fixed the first Wednesday in January for
the election of presidential electors, the first Wednesday in February
for the meeting of the electors and election of the President, and the
first Wednesday in March, 1789, for the inauguration of the President
and the beginning of the new government. This last date fell upon the
4th of March, which date has from that time served as the day for the
inauguration of our presidents. Owing to a delay in the assembling of
the new Congress, Washington was not inaugurated, nor our present
government instituted, until April 30, 1789.

Thus was founded our present government, which has stood the test of a
century. When adopted there were thirteen States; now there are
forty-four. The inhabited area was then the narrow strip between the
Atlantic Ocean and the Allegheny Mountains, with a population of
scarcely 3,000,000. Now the United States stretches 3,000 miles from
ocean to ocean, and contains a population of over sixty millions.


Presidential Succession.

The provisions of the Constitution regarding the Presidential
succession, in case of the death or resignation of both President and
Vice-President, are: "In case of the removal of the President from
office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the
powers and duties of the said office, the same devolve on the
Vice-President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of
removal, death, resignation, or inability both of the President and
Vice-President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and
such officer shall act accordingly until the disability be removed or a
President shall be elected." (Article II, section 6.)

In pursuance of the power thus granted to it in the last half of this
section, Congress in 1792 passed an act declaring that in case of the
death, resignation, etc., of both the President and Vice-President, the
succession should be first to the President of the Senate and then to
the Speaker of the House.

This order was changed by the act of 1886, which provided that the
succession to the presidency should be as follows:

     1. President.
     2. Vice-President.
     3. Secretary of State.
     4. Secretary of the Treasury.
     5. Secretary of War.
     6. Attorney-General.
     7. Postmaster-General.
     8. Secretary of the Navy.
     9. Secretary of the Interior.

In all cases the remainder of the four-years' term shall be served out.
This act also regulated the counting of the votes of the electors by
Congress, and the determination of who were legally chosen electors.

Note.--The Constitution made no provision in case of a contested
election, or when no one should be elected. Such a contingency seemed to
have been overlooked in the framing of the Constitution.


Election of Senators.

The provisions of the Constitution regarding the election of senators
were as follows: "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of
two senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six
years; and each senator shall have one vote." (Article I, section 3,
paragraph 1.) "The times, places, and manner of holding elections for
senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the
Legislature thereof, but the Congress may at any time by law make or
alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators."
(Article I, section 4, paragraph 1.)

Until 1866 this matter was left entirely to the States, as permitted by
the section of the Constitution just given. In that year an act was
passed by the Federal Congress regulating the election of senators by
the State Legislatures. By it was provided that the Legislature of each
State, which is chosen next preceding the expiration of the term of
either of their senators, shall on the second Tuesday after assembling
elect a senator in the following manner: Each House shall by open ballot
(_viva voce_) choose some man for senator, and he who receives a
majority of the total number of votes cast in such House is entered on
the journal of that House. At noon on the following day the members of
the two Houses convene in joint assembly, and the journal of each House
is then read, and if the same person has received a majority of the
votes of each House he is declared duly elected senator. But if not, the
joint assembly then proceeds to choose by a _viva voce_ vote of each
member present, a person for senator, and the person who receives a
majority of all the votes of the joint assembly--a majority of all the
members elected to both Houses being present and voting--is declared
duly elected. If no person receives such a majority on the first day,
the joint assembly meets at noon on each succeeding day during the
session of the Legislature, and takes at least one vote until a senator
is elected. In case of a vacancy occurring in the Senate during the
recess of the State Legislature, the governor appoints a man to fill the
place, his appointee holding until a successor shall be chosen in the
above method by the State Legislature.

In the House, when vacancies happen in the representation from any
State, the Governor issues an order for a new election in the
congressional districts in which such vacancies occur. The
representatives thus elected hold office for the unexpired terms of
their predecessors.


Congressional Government.

The Constitution created Congress and conferred upon it powers of
legislation for national purposes, but made no provision as to the
method by which these powers should be exercised. In consequence
Congress has itself developed a method of transacting its business by
means of committees.

The Federal Legislature consists of two Houses--the Senate, or Upper and
less numerous branch, and the House of Representatives, or the Lower and
more numerous popular branch.

The Senate is composed of two members from each State elected by the
state legislatures for a term of six years, one-third of whom retire
every two years. The presiding officer is the Vice-President. Early in
each session, the Senate chooses a President _pro tempore_, so as to
provide for any absence of the Vice-President, whether caused by death,
sickness, or for other reasons.

The House of Representatives is at present composed of 332 members and
four delegates from the Territories. These delegates, however, have no
vote, though they may speak. The House is presided over by a speaker,
elected at the beginning of each session. A quorum for business is, in
either House, a majority.

Congress meets every year in the beginning of December. Each Congress
lasts two years and holds two sessions--a long and a short session. The
long session lasts from December to midsummer. The short session lasts
from December, when Congress meets again, until the 4th of March. The
term of office then expires for all the members of the House, and for
one-third of the Senators. The long session ends in even years (1880 and
1882, etc.), and the short session in odd years (1881 and 1883). Extra
sessions may be called by the President for urgent business.

In the early part of the November preceding the end of the short session
of Congress, occurs the election of Representatives. Congressmen then
elected do not take their seats until thirteen months later, that is, at
the reassembling of Congress in December of the year following, unless
an extra session is called. The Senate frequently holds secret, or, as
they are called, executive sessions, for the consideration of treaties
and nominations of the President, in which the House of Representatives
has no voice. It is then said to sit with closed doors.

An immense amount of business must necessarily be transacted by a
Congress that legislates for nearly sixty-three millions of people,
inhabiting a territory of over three and a half millions of square

Lack of time, of course, prevents a consideration of each bill
separately by the whole legislature. To provide a means by which each
subject may receive investigation and consideration, a plan is used by
which the members of both branches of Congress are divided into
committees. Each committee busies itself with a certain class of
business, and bills when introduced are referred to this or that
committee for consideration, according to the subjects to which the
bills relate. Thus, for example, affairs relating to Washington are
handed over to what is known as the District Committee, a regular
appropriation bill to the Committee on Appropriations, etc. These
committees consider these bills carefully, frequently taking the
testimony of outside persons to discover the advisability of each bill.
The regular course through which a bill has to go before becoming an
act--_i.e._, to pass both houses and receive the signature of the
President--is as follows: On Mondays there is a roll-call of the States,
and members may then introduce in the House or Senate any bill they may
desire. These bills are then referred by the presiding officer to
appropriate committees. These committees, meeting in their own separate
rooms, debate, investigate, and, if necessary, as has been said, ask the
opinion of outside persons. After such consideration bills are reported
back to the House or Senate. But very few bills reach this stage, for
the committee does not get time to report any save the more important
ones, and thus the majority of them disappear, or, as the saying is,
"are killed in committee." If a bill receives the approval of the
committee it is favorably reported to the Senate or House, as the case
may be--_i.e._, the bill is returned, accompanied by a report advising
the passage of the accompanying bill. If the bill is not approved by the
committee, an unfavorable report is made; bills are seldom passed after
such an adverse report. These reports which accompany the bills, are
printed, often at great length, giving reasons for the proposed action
in regard to the bills. When reported by the committee back to the house
in which it was introduced, a bill is voted upon, and, if passed, is
sent to the other branch. If passed there, it is ready for the
President's signature; if vetoed, the bill is lost, unless passed over
the veto by a two-thirds vote of both houses. But frequently one house,
while not wishing to defeat a measure sent to it from the other house,
may desire to change it by some amendment. If this is done, the bill, as
amended, is sent back to the house from which it came, and if then
agreed to as amended by it, it is sent to the President for his
approval. Thus by repeated amendments it may pass to and fro between the
House and Senate several, times. In the House of Representatives, many
bills are passed through all their various stages by a single vote, by
what is known as a "suspension of the rules," which may be ordered by a
two-thirds vote.

The Senate is now divided into between fifty and sixty committees, but
the number varies from session to session. The principal committees are
those on (1) Foreign Relations, (2) Privileges and Elections, (3)
Judiciary, (4) Commerce, (5) Finance, and (6) Appropriations. The Senate
selects the members for the different committees by ballot, though it is
pretty well determined beforehand how each committee shall be
constituted by means of party caucuses (informal meetings of members of
the same party to determine upon lines of action that will be supported
by all). A committee is always composed of an odd number of members, and
both political parties are always represented on every committee, though
the majority is, in almost all cases, from that party which has the
majority of the members of the Senate.

The House of Representatives is organized into sixty committees,
ranging, in their number of members, from thirteen down. As regards
party representation, their constitution is similar to that of the
Senate Committees. The Committee of "Ways and Means," which regulates
customs duties and excise taxes, is by far the most important.

Other important committees are those on (1) Elections, (2)
Appropriations, (3) Judiciary, (4) Foreign Affairs, (5) Manufactures,
(6) Commerce, (7) Labor. Every Representative is on one committee, and
most of them on several. Unlike the custom in the Senate, in the House
the presiding officer has the sole power of appointment, which makes
him, next to the President, the most important and powerful government
official. The chairman of each committee has, of course, a large power
over affairs with which his committee is concerned, and for this reason
it is often said that it is the chairmen of these committees who rule
the land.

The precise amount of effective work done by Congress during the two
sessions of the Fiftieth Congress was as follows: There were 4,000 bills
introduced in the Senate and 145 Senate joint resolutions: of this
number 1,127 bills and joint resolutions passed the Senate, and 554 were
either postponed indefinitely or referred to the Court of Claims, so
that the total number on which final action was taken by the Senate was
1,681. The committee on enrolled bills examined 667 Senate bills and
joint resolutions and sent them to the President and 591 became laws,
the number of vetoes, including "pocket vetoes," being 76.

The House of Representatives passed 1,561 House bills and sent them to
the Senate, and the Senate passed 1,347 of them, leaving 214 to perish.
The House passed 56 House joint resolutions and the Senate passed all of
them but eight. The House passed, therefore, 2,284 House and Senate
bills, and the Senate passed 2,522.

The first session of the Fifty-first Congress (1889-90) was, with one
exception, the longest ever held.[1] During the session there were
introduced in the House 12,402 bills and joint resolutions, and in the
Senate 4,570, making a total of 16,972. The total number of acts passed
was 1,335 as against 1,790 for _both_ sessions of the Fiftieth Congress.
Of these 881 were pension bills.

[Footnote 1: The longest session was the long session of the Fiftieth

Congress ordinarily assembles at noon, and remains in session until 4 or
5 p.m., though towards the end of the term it frequently remains in
session until late in the night. The first thing upon assembling in the
morning is prayer. On Mondays, as stated, there is next a roll-call of
States for the introduction of bills. Sometimes a committee is
instructed to prepare and bring in a bill of its own, without waiting to
have one introduced and referred to it. Reports from committees are
heard during morning hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and on
Mondays after the introduction of bills. Friday is a day usually set
apart for the consideration of private measures. On Saturdays Congress
seldom sits.

There is still one feature of Congressional government which needs
explanation, and that is the caucus. A caucus is the meeting of the
members of one party in private, for the discussion of the attitude and
line of policy which members of that party are to take on questions
which are expected to arise in the legislative halls.

Thus, in Senate caucus, is decided who shall be members of the various
committees. In these meetings is frequently discussed whether or not the
whole party shall vote for or against this or that important bill, and
thus its fate is decided before it has even come up for debate in


The Cabinet and Executive Departments.

We have seen that the functions of government are divided into three
distinct classes, the legislative, the judicial, and the executive. The
Constitution provides as to the methods for the exercise of the first
two, but none for the third. The only reference in the constitution to
executive departments is in Art. II, Sec. 2, where the President is
given the power to require the opinion in writing of the principal
officer in each executive department upon any subject relating to the
duties of his office. The departments have in each case been created by
an act of Congress and from time to time as convenience has demanded.

The duties of the executive are to enforce and apply the laws of the
nation after they are made by the legislature and interpreted by the
courts. This is the real business of government, by which the laws are
put into effect, and the work of government is actually carried on. In
the United States Government this power is placed in the hands of a body
of men distinct from the legislative and judicial officers. At the head
is the President, and hence his title of "Chief Executive." It is
evident that he must divide up the vast amount of work to be done, and
delegate it to others. Congress directs how this shall be done. For this
purpose Congress has created nine executive departments (1)State,
(2)Treasury, (3)War, (4)Navy, (5)Interior, (6)Post Office, (7)Justice,
(8)Agriculture, (9)Labor.

These departments have been created as required by the growth of
government duties. Three departments, the State, Treasury and War, were
created by the first Congress, in 1789. By the same Congress was created
the office of Attorney-General of the United States, who, together with
the Secretaries of the three departments, constituted President
Washington's first cabinet. The Navy Department was added in 1798. Prior
to that date, naval affairs had been managed by the War Department. A
Post Office for the colonies was established by the Postal Act of Queen
Anne's reign. The Post Office Department under the present government
was established in 1789, but the Postmaster-General did not become a
Cabinet officer until 1829. The Interior Department was created in 1849
by grouping together in one department several branches of the
government service, which had formerly been distributed among the other
departments. As early as 1839 the Patent Office, under the Interior
Department, was intrusted with various duties concerning the
agricultural interests of the country, among the chief of which was the
distribution of seeds. In 1862 a separate Department of Agriculture was
established, and these duties transferred to it. In 1889 the head of the
Department became Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and a
Cabinet officer. A Bureau of Labor under the Interior Department was
created in 1884. In 1888 Congress constituted it a separate department,
but did not make its head a Secretary, and therefore not a Cabinet

The heads of the first eight of these departments together form a
council of eight, called the "Cabinet," whose duty it is, in addition to
the management of the departments, to advise the President on matters of
importance. For this purpose regular meetings are held, at which the
affairs of government are discussed, and lines of action decided upon.
The cabinet is neither the creation of the constitution, nor strictly of
law. The existence of a cabinet, however, was always taken for granted
in the discussion and formation of the constitution. It is a creation of
custom and has no powers other than of advice and counsel to the
President. The growth of executive and administrative business is not
fully indicated by the increase in the number of departments. The growth
within each department has been much greater. Separate bureaus and
divisions have been created, which in some cases are, for all practical
purposes, as independent and important as the departments themselves.

The organization of all the different departments is much the same. At
the head of each is an officer appointed by the President, the President
thus having control generally over the whole executive business of the
government. These officers are called Secretaries, except in the cases
of the Post Office Department, whose head is the Postmaster-General, and
of the Department of Justice, whose head is the Attorney-General. In a
number of the Departments there are also one, two, three or four
assistant secretaries, according as the business of the departments
requires. For convenience in the despatch of business, the departments
are divided into bureaus, the bureaus into divisions, and the divisions
into rooms, until, finally, the individual workers--the clerks--are
readied. Each bureau and division has at its head an officer called
Commissioner and Chief of Division, respectively. Each department and
bureau, and, in some cases, the division also, has a Chief Clerk who has
charge of the details of the administration, and immediate oversight
over the clerks.[1] All work in one finely organized system. The clerk
is responsible to his chief of division, the chief of division to his
commissioner, the commissioner to the Secretary and he, finally, to
Congress. Each man has his particular place in the system, and no one
works at random.[2]

[Footnote 1: There are a number of officials and clerks who properly
belong to no division or bureau, as, for instance, the librarian's
private secretary and other clerical assistance in the Secretary's
office, who are under his immediate supervision.]

[Footnote 2: This system is not always carried out perfectly in
practice. In some cases an officer is termed commissioner who is more
properly a chief of division, and _vice versa_. In other cases the title
of commissioner or chief of division is represented by a more technical
designation as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Comptroller of
the Currency, etc.] The President and heads of departments appoint all
officers in the executive departments. It is manifestly impossible for
them to base their appointments upon personal knowledge. Hence has
arisen the custom of filling almost all offices not controlled by the
Civil Service Commission upon the recommendation of congressmen, each of
whom controls for the most part the patronage of his own district. Only
the Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Commissioners, and other chief
officials are really appointees of the President on his own

Prior to the first administration of Jackson the positions of government
clerks in the departments were permanent. In 1828 Jackson inaugurated
the so-called spoils system, which means that to the victor belongs the
spoils. Only 74 removals had been made from 1789 to 1828. Jackson
removed during the first year of his administration 2,000 clerks. Since
then, until 1883, each party, on gaining control of the government, has
removed almost all the clerks in office who were of the opposite
political faith, replacing them with members of its own party. In 1883
was passed the Civil Service Act, by which it is provided that all
future appointments of subordinate clerks in the executive departments
are to be made only from those who have passed successfully an
examination set by the Civil Service Commission created by the act.

_#The State Department.#_--The Department of State was the first
department established. (Act of July 27, 1789.) There are three
Assistant Secretaries. Their salaries are, Secretary $8,000, First
Assistant $4,000, and the other two $3,500. The department is divided
into seven bureaus, (1) Diplomatic, (2) Consular, (3) Archives and
Indexes, (4) Accounts, (5) Statistics, (6) Rolls and Library, and (7)

The Secretary of State is charged, under the direction of the President,
with the duties appertaining to correspondence with the public ministers
and consuls of the United States, and with the representatives of
foreign powers accredited to the United States; and to negotiations of
whatever character relating to the foreign affairs of the United
States. He is also the medium of correspondence between the President
and the chief executive of the several States of the United States; he
has the custody of the great seal of the United States, and countersigns
and affixes such seal to all executive proclamations, to various
commissions, and to warrants for pardon, and the extradition of
fugitives from justice. He is regarded as the first in rank among the
members of the Cabinet. He is also the custodian of the treaties made
with foreign states, and of the laws of the United States. He grants and
issues passports. Exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States are
issued through his office. He publishes the laws and resolutions of
Congress, amendments to the Constitution, and proclamations declaring
the admission of new States into the Union. He is also charged with
certain annual reports to Congress relating to commercial information
received from diplomatic and consular officers of the United States.

The patronage of the Secretary at Washington is small, about sixty
clerks, but that which concerns the diplomatic and consular service is
important. To facilitate communications and negotiations with foreign
nations, and to protect the interests of American citizens in foreign
countries, the United States, in common with all civilized nations, has
an elaborate system of representatives residing at the capitals of all
the principal nations. This system is called the diplomatic service, and
is under the charge of a separate bureau of the State Department.
Communications and negotiations with foreign powers are generally
carried on through them or through ministers of other nations stationed
at Washington. These agents are called ministers and are of three grades
(1) envoys extraordinary and ministers plenipotentiary, (2) ministers
resident, (3) _chargés d'affaires_. These grades correspond to the lower
grades of similar services in European countries. We have no grade
corresponding to that of ambassador. The United States has ministers in
about thirty-three countries. The chief legations are those of Great
Britain, France, Germany and Russia. The salary attached to each of
these legations is $17,500. The social demands upon ministers are great,
and, as a rule, the expenses of ministers have been more than their
salaries. Ministers of foreign powers receive a much larger compensation
than do ours.

To protect our commercial interests abroad, and our seamen and vessels
in foreign ports, the United States has agents resident in all foreign
sea-ports of any prominence. Their duties are numerous. They ship
seamen, certify invoices, take testimony, examine emigrants, etc. They
transmit to the State Department monthly reports concerning any matter
of commercial or social interest occurring at their stations. These
reports are published monthly by the department and have a wide
gratuitous circulation. This system is called the consular service; and
is also under the charge of a separate bureau. These agents, called
consuls, are of three ranks and titles; (1) consul-generals, (2)
consuls, (3) consular agents, of whom 180 are salaried, the rest being
paid by fees. The names of the other bureaus indicate the nature of the
duties performed by each.

The Department of State has been prominently before the people during
the last two years in consequence of the Pan-American Congress,[1]
composed of representatives from all American nations. This congress met
in 1889, under the auspices of the State Department at Washington, to
consider subjects of common interest, such as international arbitration,
railroad and steamship communication, uniform money and commercial
regulations. Various standing committees and commissions were provided
for; and it is believed that through their efforts better commercial and
social relations with the South American Republics will be established.
The International Marine Conference, composed of representatives from
all marine powers, likewise met at Washington under the auspices of the
same department, and adopted a code of marine regulations for the
guidance of all nations.

[Footnote 1: The Proceedings of the Pan American Congress were published
by the Department of State, and also in the _Tribune Monthly_ for
September, 1890. Articles upon the subject _lay_ Mr. Romero, the Mexican
Minister, appeared in the _North American Review_, September and
October, 1890.]

In foreign relations the department has been chiefly
occupied of late in the attempted settlement of the right of the English
and Canadians to capture seals in Bering's Sea and Straits, and of the
rights of American and English fishermen[1] in the fishing grounds off
the coast of New Foundland; in the conclusion of a new extradition[2]
treaty with England, and of various treaties concerning trade with other

[Footnote 1: See _Tribune Monthly_ entitled "Our Continent, or America
for the Americans."]

[Footnote 2: An excellent monograph upon the subject of Extradition, by
Hon. J.B. Moore, has been published by the State Department.]

_#The Treasury Department.#_--This department was created by act of
September 2, 1789. There are two assistant secretaries. The department
is divided into a large number of divisions, with the following chief
officers: (1) The Comptrollers, (2) the Auditors, (3) Treasurer, (4)
Register, (5) Commissioner of Customs, (6) Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, (7) Comptroller of the Currency, (8) Chief of the Bureau of
Statistics, (9) Superintendent of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing,
(10) Director of the Mint, (11) Superintendent of the Life Saving
Service, (12) Supervising-Surgeon-General of the Marine Hospital
Service, (13) Supervising-Inspector-General of Steam Vessels. Other
officers are, the Supervising Architect, Commissioner of Navigation,
Solicitor of the Treasury, and Chairman of the Light House Board.

The mention of the various divisions indicates the importance and
variety of the duties coming under this department. The Secretary is
charged with the entire management of the national finances. He submits
annually to Congress estimates of the probable revenues and
disbursements of the Government, prepares plans for the improvement of
the revenue and for the support of the public credit, and superintends
the collection of the revenue. Two comptrollers pass upon all claims
against the government and accounts received from the auditors. Six
auditors examine and adjust accounts relating to the expenditures of the
various branches of the government.

The Treasurer of the United States receives and keeps its moneys,
disburses them on the Secretary's warrants, and manages the Independent
Treasury System. The Independent or Sub-Treasury System was adopted by
Congress in 1846. By this means the Treasury Department is independent
of the banking system of the country; but has established sub-treasuries
in the principal cities of the Union for the receipt and disbursement of
public moneys. There are sub-treasuries in New York, San Francisco,
Saint Louis, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and
Cincinnati. For greater convenience moneys are also deposited at certain
designated banks. Secretary Windom, however, began rapidly removing such
deposits from the banks and announced his intention to cease the placing
of deposits with any bank.

The Register of the Treasury is the official book-keeper of the United
States. The Commissioners of Customs and of Internal Revenue have charge
respectively of the collection of customs duties and internal revenue
taxes. The Comptroller of the Currency has control of the national
banks. The Chief of the Bureau of Statistics collects and publishes the
statistics of our foreign commerce. In the Bureau of Engraving and
Printing are designed, engraved and printed all government bonds,
national bank notes, drafts, United States notes, etc., for which work
about 1200 persons are employed. The director of the Mint has general
supervision over all mints and assay offices. In addition to his annual
report he publishes yearly a report on the statistics of the production
of precious metals.

The titles of the other officers indicate the general duties of each.
The whole department employs about 3,400 persons at Washington.

Some of the more important public questions coming within the province
of the Treasury Department at the present time are (1) the Tariff, which
has been settled for some years by the high tariff act of this Congress;
(2) the silver question involving the gravest questions of finance,
likewise settled for a time by the silver act of this Congress; (3) the
purchase of bonds on the market as a device to reduce the surplus and
prevent the accumulation of money in the Treasury; (4) the national
banking system, whose basis is being removed by the rapid payment of the
public debt; (5) the merits of the Independent Treasury System by which
it is claimed that money is kept out of circulation and a stringency
caused in the money market; and (6) the advisability of transferring the
revenue marine service to the Navy Department.

_#The War Department.#_--The War Department was established August 7,
1789. There is one assistant secretary. The chiefs of the bureaus into
which the department is divided, are officers of the United States Army,
and a part of the military establishment. Their titles and duties are as
follows. The Adjutant General of the Army, who has under him a large
force of clerks, has the duty of issuing orders, conducting the
correspondence of the department, and keeping the record. The
Inspector-General inspects and reports upon the condition of the army at
all points, and the accounts of the disbursing officers. The
Quartermaster-General has charge of the clothing, quarters, and
supplies, except food supplies, which form the province of the
Commissary-General. The Surgeon-General has charge of the medical
department, of the Army Medical Museum, and a special library. The Chief
of Engineers has charge of the construction of fortifications, etc. The
Judge-Advocate-General reviews the proceedings of courts-martial, and
advises the Secretary on points of law. There are also a
Paymaster-General, a Chief of Ordnance, and a Chief Signal Officer. The
Chief Signal Officer has charge of the system of communicating with
distant points by means of various systems of signals, the most
noteworthy of which is that of the heliograph, by which information is
conveyed by the use of sun-reflecting mirrors. Communication has been
established between points 125 miles distant by means of a heliograph
with a reflecting surface of but twenty square inches.

The War Department answers more nearly than any other to the Department
of Public Works found in other governments. All public improvements, the
construction of docks, bridges, and the improvement of rivers and
harbors, are under the supervision of army engineers. All arctic
explorations and the explorations of our western territory, have been
conducted by army officers under the direction of the Secretary of War.

The publication of war records is being made by a special board in the
War Department. Thirty-five volumes have been published. It is estimated
that there will be one hundred and nineteen volumes when the work is
completed. The Secretary of War also has charge of the Military Academy
at West Point, of certain national parks, and homes for disabled

The army is commanded by a lieutenant-general under whom are three
major-generals and six brigadier-generals. It consists of about 26,000
men distributed in the three divisions of the Missouri, the Atlantic,
and the Pacific, of which the first contains four departments, the
second, one, and the third, three. Congress appropriates and expends
through the War Department $400,000 yearly on the National Guard for its
armament and equipment. The aggregate of this reserve army regularly
organized and uniformed is 106,500 men. The Secretary also details army
officers to furnish military instruction at various colleges.

The principal questions to-day concerning the War Department are the
advisability of strengthening our coast defences, and the lessening of
the desertions in the army, which amount yearly to from ten to fifteen
per cent, of the total strength of the army.

_#The Navy Department.#_--The Navy Department was established April 30,
1798. There is one assistant secretary. The routine work of the
department is distributed among eight bureaus: (1) of Yards and Docks,
(2) of Equipment and Recruiting, (3) of Navigation, (4) of Ordinance,
(5) of Construction and Repair, (6) of Steam Engineering, (7) of
Provisions and Clothing, (8) of Medicine and Surgery. The chiefs of the
bureaus are officers of the United States Navy. There is a hydrographic
office attached to the bureau of navigation, which prepares maps, charts
and nautical books relating to navigation, and makes investigations
concerning marine meteorology. This Department has charge of the Naval
Observatory for which a new set of buildings is now being built at
Washington. The Department publishes yearly, for the guidance of seamen,
the nautical almanac, the preparation of which is intrusted to a
separate bureau. The department also compiles and publishes naval
records of the recent war, and has charge of the Naval Academy at
Annapolis, Maryland. The Officers of the Navy upon the active list
include one admiral, one vice-admiral, six rear-admirals, and ten
commodores. The naval force includes 10,000 officers and men, together
with 2,000 marines. The number of vessels of the United States Navy when
all the ships now authorized are completed, excluding those which by the
process of decay and the operation of law will by that date have been
condemned, will comprise 11 armored and 31 unarmored vessels. The five
stations maintained are the Asiatic, European, North Atlantic, South
Atlantic, and Pacific. The chief matter of present public interest
concerning this department is the creation of a new navy by the
construction of modern steel vessels. This new policy was begun in 1882.

_#The Interior Department.#_--The Interior Department was created in
1849, to take charge of various duties not properly belonging to any of
the existing departments. There are two assistant secretaries. The
chiefs of the bureaus into which this department is divided, and their
respective duties are as follows: _The Commissioner of the General Land
Office_ has charge of all the public land of the government, its care,
supervision, and sale or distribution. In another chapter we give
further details concerning the operations of this important bureau.

_The Commissioner of Pensions_ has charge of the granting of pensions to
old soldiers and sailors. He has a large force at Washington. There are
eighteen pension agencies in different parts of the country. In 1808 the
United States assumed all the state pension obligations. The act of 1818
gave pensions to all who had served nine months in the Revolutionary
War; other wars were afterwards included. The acts of the period
beginning 1862 have enormously increased the amount paid. The report of
the Commissioner for 1890 shows that at the close of the fiscal year of
1889 the number of pensioners was 537,944, and the annual expenditures
for pensions $105,528,180.38.

The disability pension law passed June 27,1890, will greatly lengthen
the pension list and increase the annual expenditures. The present
Commissioner says in his last report that "it is believed that there are
probably over one hundred thousand claims in this office which can be
properly allowed under the provisions of these regulations. The act of
June 27, 1890, is the first disability pension law in the history of the
world which grants to soldiers and sailors pensions for disabilities
which are not proven to have been incurred in the service and in line of
duty." Speaker Reed of the House characterized it as "the most generous
piece of pension legislation ever passed by any nation on earth."

_The Commissioner of Patents_ has charge of the granting of patents. Up
to 1793 the granting of letters-patent was given to a board consisting
of the Secretary of State, Secretary of War and the Attorney General,
the records and models being kept in the Department of State. In 1793
the granting of patents was given exclusively to the Secretary of State.
In 1821 the clerk of the State Department who examined applications for
patents received the title of Superintendent of the Patent Office, and
on July 4, 1836, the Patent Office was created as a separate bureau and
a Commissioner of Patents created.

About 24,000 patents are issued annually. There is an Assistant
Commissioner-in-chief, an Examiner of Interferences, three
Examiners-in-chief, thirty-eight Principal Examiners, and a large force
of assistant examiners for different branches. Patents run for seventeen
years. The annual receipts of the bureau from fees more than equal the
expenditures, and the office now has a surplus of several millions to
its credit in the Treasury.

_The Commissioner of Indian Affairs_ has charge of all matters
concerning the Indians, their education, government and support. There
are 239 Indian schools supported by appropriations made by Congress, 147
of which are controlled directly by the Indian Bureau. The average
attendance of pupils at these schools is between eleven and twelve
thousand. The number of Indians in our country (not counting those of
Alaska) is about 250,000. They occupy or have control of about
116,630,106 acres.

_The Bureau of Education_ was originally established as an independent
Department by act of Congress, approved by the President March 2, 1867.
By an act of Congress which took effect July 1, 1869, this Department
was changed to an Office or Bureau in the Interior Department. The
duties of this Bureau are to collect and diffuse information regarding
schools, methods of instruction and school discipline, etc., and
otherwise to promote the cause of education. The results of the
investigations here carried on, though with a small clerical force, are
of the utmost value to all educators, and such is the extent to which
the merit of the work and publications of this office are recognized by
the leading educators of the country, that, in their opinion, the Bureau
should be re-established as a department, and its chief be made a member
of the President's cabinet. The publications of the Bureau consist of
(1) _Annual Reports_, which set forth statistics and general information
concerning the educational systems of the States, Territories, larger
cities, universities, and colleges; professional, special, and
scientific schools, academies, preparatory schools and kindergartens,
with a summary of the progress of education in foreign countries; (2)
_Special Reports_, on subjects pertinent to the times; (3) _Occasional
Bulletins_, on matters of current educational interest; (4) _Circulars
of Information_, on important questions of educational work or history,
which are issued in yearly series. Under this last title there is now in
course of publication a very valuable series of monographs upon the
History of Higher Education in the various States. These monographs are
being prepared by competent scholars under the editorial supervision of
Dr. H.B. Adams of the Johns Hopkins University. Numerous Annual Reports
have been issued, and one is now in press, for the year 1889-90. The
working force of the Bureau is divided into three divisions: (1)
Records; (2) Statistics; (3) Library and Museum. The library of this
Office contains one of the most valuable pedagogical collections in the

_The Commissioner of Railroads_ has charge of the government's interests
in certain railroads to which the United States has granted loans of
credit or subsidies in lands or bonds. By the acts of July 1, 1862, and
July 1, 1864, Congress, in order to encourage the building of a
trans-continental railroad, granted to several Pacific railroad
companies subsidies in land adjacent to the roads, and issued certain
amounts of bonds on which was guaranteed interest at the rate of six per
cent. The amount of lands given and bonds issued were in proportion to
the number of miles of road constructed. The lands were a gift. The
bonds were to be repaid by the companies with all interest which might
have been advanced by the government. From 1850 to 1872 the various
railroads received a total of 155,504,994 acres of lands, and
$147,110,069 proceeds of bonds and interest paid by the United States.
The roads have repaid of this amount $36,723,477, leaving at the present
time due from the roads to the United States the sum of $110,386,592.
This they will be unable to pay upon the maturity of the bonds, and a
bill has been before Congress for several sessions looking towards a
better adjustment of this debt. The Commissioner of Railroads was
originally styled the "Auditor of Railroad Accounts." The office was
created June 19, 1878.

_Geological Survey_.--This branch of the Interior Department was
established in 1879. Its work is the investigation and determination of
the geological structure of the various sections of the country, the
composition of soils, the reclamation of waste lands, etc. In this
bureau are made topographical surveys and irrigation surveys of arid
regions of the United States. The publications connected with this work,
number ten Annual Reports, thirteen Monographs, fifty-eight Bulletins
and five Statistical Papers. In these there is a discussion of the
geological structure of every state and territory, and information
concerning the occurrence and production of each great metallic and
mineral staple of the country. The bureau comprises one geographical,
twelve geological, six paleontological and four accessory divisions. A
division of mines and mining publishes an annual report on the mineral
resources and production of the United States.

_The Superintendent of the Census._--The Superintendent of the Census is
appointed each decade for the purpose of taking the regular decennial
census. The Eleventh Census has just been taken. The first was taken in
1790. Each census has shown a tendency to be more elaborate and to
embrace a greater number of subjects than any preceding. There were
employed in the taking of the Eleventh Census 42,000 enumerators, 2,000
clerks, from 800 to 900 special agents, 175 supervisors and 25 experts.

In addition to these eight bureaus, the department has charge of various
other branches of government. All of the territories come under the
Secretary's supervision, and look to him in case of any difficulty. The
Secretary also has charge of the Yellowstone National Park, the Hot
Springs Reservation in Arkansas, and of certain hospitals and
eleemosynary institutions in the District of Columbia. A Superintendent
of Public Documents looks after the receipt, distribution, and sale of
government publications.

The most important subjects of recent legislation concerning this
department have been the dependent pension act, the act providing for
the survey of Western lands suitable for irrigation, and the land
forfeiture act. By this act over 8,000,000 acres of lands were forfeited
by the railroads for failure to fulfill the conditions under which the
land was originally granted to them.

_#The Post Office Department.#_--The Post Office Department was
established in 1789, but the Postmaster-General did not become a cabinet
officer until 1829. The Postmaster-General has charge and management of
the department, and of the domestic and foreign mail service. He can
establish post offices and appoint postmasters of the fourth and fifth
classes, i.e. those whose salaries are less than $1,000. These number
over 50,000. The total number of postoffices is about 56,000. The
President appoints to those of the first three classes. Other officers
besides the Assistant Postmasters-General are, the Superintendents of
the Money Order Division, of Foreign Mails, and of the Railway Service,
and an Assistant Attorney-General for the department.

The United States is a member of the Universal Postal Union, of which
most, if not all, of the civilized countries are members. The central
office is known as the International Bureau of the Universal Postal
Union, and is conducted under the superintendence of the Swiss Postal
Administration, and its expenses are borne by all the nations composing
the Union. The revenues of the Post Office Department nearly equal the
expenditures, and would have exceeded them before this but for the fact
that as soon as the amount of receipts has warranted, improvements have
been made in the service, through the reduction of postage rates and
the extension of the free delivery system. It has never been the policy
of the government to make this department a source of revenue.

The patronage of the postoffice department is the most important of any
of the departments, and it is very largely for this reason that the
Postmaster-General is a member of the Cabinet. Crawford of South
Carolina secured in 1820 the passage of an act limiting the term of
office of postmasters to four years. The appointment of postmasters does
not come under the Civil Service Act. It is the principal aim of civil
service reformers, that postmasters should be appointed under its
provisions. The most important questions of public policy concerning
this department, are the reduction of postage rates on letters to one
cent; the advisability of the establishment of a postal telegraph
service; the extension of the free delivery system, and the relation of
the department to the civil service regulations.

_#The Department of Justice.#_--The office of the Attorney-General of
the United States was established in 1789; the Department of Justice not
until 1870. The Attorney-General gives advice upon legal points to the
President and also, when requested to do so, to the heads of
departments. He directs the cases of the United States and sometimes
appears in them, especially in the Supreme Court. He supervises the
United States Marshals and District Attorneys. His substitute and
principal assistant is the Solicitor-General. There are two
Assistant-Attorneys-General, the business of the one being connected
with the Supreme Court, and of the other with the Court of Claims. There
are also, as mentioned before, certain legal officers attached to the
other departments. Additional counsel is frequently employed to assist
in the argument of important cases. To the Attorney-General belongs the
duty of recommending persons to the office of judges, etc., in the
United States Circuit and District Courts.

_#The Department of Agriculture.#_--The Department of Agriculture was
organized as a separate department in the year 1862. In 1889 its head
became a cabinet officer. There is one Assistant Secretary. The duties
of the Secretary are to promote in every way the agricultural interests
of the country. For this purpose the department is separated into
thirteen bureaus, under the following officers (1) the Entomologist, (2)
Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry, (3) Chemist, (4) Botanist, (5)
Chief of the Section of Vegetable Pathology, (6) Statistician, (7)
Ornithologist, (8) Director of the Office of Experiment Stations, (9)
Microscopist, (10) Pomologist, (11) Chief of the Forestry Division, (12)
Chief of the Seed Division, and (13) Weather Bureau. The enumeration of
these titles indicates the general nature of the work of the department.
Here are investigated the habits of injurious insects and birds and the
best means for their destruction; the causes of and remedies for
vegetable and fruit diseases. The Chief of the Bureau of Animal Industry
inspects herds of cattle and causes to be slaughtered those suffering
from a contagious disease. Under a law passed in 1890, he also inspects
all cattle and meat intended for export to foreign countries. He
investigates causes of and remedies for cattle diseases, the best method
of breeding, etc. The Statistician publishes monthly and annual reports
concerning statistics of the condition, prospects and harvests of the
principal crops, the wages of farm labor, etc. The Chemist analyzes
fertilizers, soils, etc. By the act of March 2, 1887, $15,000 per annum
was appropriated by Congress to each of the States and Territories which
have established an agricultural college or an agricultural college
department, for the establishment of experiment stations. The Department
of Agriculture has general oversight over these stations.

The Department carries on experiments regarding the feasibility of
profitable silk reeling in this country, for which purpose there is a
separate division; it also makes experiments in the manufacture of sugar
from sorghum and from beets grown in this country. The best qualities of
seeds are tested and distributed gratuitously among the farmers. Efforts
are made to introduce and foster the cultivation of new kinds of
agricultural products, and in various ways to advance agricultural

Congress, by an act passed during its last session, 1890, created a
weather bureau under the Agricultural Department and transferred to it
the business of weather prognostication which had been tinder the Chief
Signal officer in the War Department. The service remains unchanged. It
has stations at the military stations in the interior of the continent,
at life-saving stations, and at other points in the States and
Territories. Meteorological observations are taken at each station, and
the information forwarded to the central office at Washington, where
weather predictions for the succeeding day or days are made. The
predictions are given gratuitously to the public through a system of
flag signals, by the distribution of weather maps, and by publication in
the daily papers. The percentage of successful forecasts of the weather
during 1890 was 84.4.

The Department publishes the result of the scientific investigations
carried on by its officers in "Annual Reports" of the Secretary and
Chiefs of Divisions; in a series of "Circulars" on special subjects, in
regular "Bulletins;" and in a series of studies on "Insect Life." These
documents are distributed gratuitously.

_#The Department of Labor.#_--The Department of Labor was created in
1884, as a bureau under the Interior Department. In 1888, it became a
separate department. It is a purely statistical bureau. It collects and
publishes statistics on the cost of production, on wages, labor
statistics, etc. Its six published reports are on (1) Industrial
Depressions, (2) Convict Labor, (3) Strikes and Lockouts, (4) Working
Women in Large Cities, (5) Marriage and Divorce, and (6) Railroad

Had all the executive departments been created at one time by a
constitutional convention, we should be justified in expecting a greater
symmetry and uniformity in the naming and grouping of chief officials.
An inspection of the various executive officers shows that not a few are
under departments other than would be expected; and the naming of
officials is often misleading as to their importance. Within recent
years there has appeared a strong tendency to depart yet more from a
systematic grouping of executive duties under departments. Executive
functions have been given to bodies entirely independent of the
departments. To complete our survey of the federal executive we must
consider the following: (1) the Interstate Commerce Commission, (2) the
Fish Commission, (3) the Civil Service Commission, (4) the Government
Printing Office, (5) the National Museum, Smithsonian Institution, the
Bureau of Ethnology, (6) the Congressional Library.

_#The Interstate Commerce Commission.#_--With the growth of our railroad
system have come various abuses. Roads have discriminated in favor of
one shipper over others, and of one locality over others. Combinations
have been formed to keep up railroad passenger and freight charges.
Their influence has been used in political offices through the issuing
of free passenger tickets, etc. Various other minor abuses have centered
around these corporations. The States have been powerless to provide a
remedy for the roads have been mostly engaged in interstate commerce
with which the States are forbidden by the constitution to interfere. To
provide a remedy for the principal of these abuses Congress passed the
act of February 4, 1887, regulating the practice of railroads and
creating the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce the provisions.
The Commission is composed of five commissioners appointed by the
President. The Commission sits as a court and adjudicates complaints
arising between railroads or between citizens and railroads, involving
principles covered by the act. It has rapidly attained its present
position as one of the most important courts in the United States. A
statistician, attached to the Commission, publishes annual statistics of
railroads, covering the extent, the amount, and value of their stock and
bonds, expenses of management, receipts, &c. The act, of course,
applies only to those railroads lying in more than one State.

_#The Fish Commission.#_--The Fish Commission was created by act of
Congress in 1870. Its chief is the Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries.
There is also an Assistant Commissioner. This Commission stands in the
same relation to the fishery interests of the country as does the
Department of Agriculture to agricultural interests. Both are scientific
and practical departments. The former investigates the food, habits and
enemies of fishes; experiments concerning the best methods of their
capture, the best kind of baits, apparatus, etc. It collects statistics
of fish and fisheries of the whole country. Probably its most important
service is the propagation and distribution of food fishes. Under its
direction are hatched and liberated millions of the young of the best
food fishes in the various inland waters of the United States. Rivers
suitable for black bass, shad, carp, or other food fishes, but not
having them in their waters, are supplied. For these purposes the
Commission owns and manages various fish hatcheries, fish distributing
vessels and cars, propagating ponds, etc.

The yearly appropriation for carrying on this work amounts to nearly a
quarter of a million of dollars.

_#The Civil Service Commission.#_--To correct the wasteful and
demoralizing spoils system, in vogue ever since the first administration
of Jackson, Congress passed, January 16, 1883, "an act to regulate and
improve the Civil Service of the United States." Under the provisions of
this act, the President appoints three commissioners, only two of whom
may be of the same political party, to administer the act. It is one of
the duties of this Commission to provide examinations for testing the
fitness of applicants for public service. Appointments in those branches
of the government coming under this act can only be made from persons
who have passed the civil service examination successfully. Adherence to
one or the other political parties has little weight in the selection
of employés. Under the regulation of this act are: the nine executive
departments at Washington, the Civil Service Commission itself, the
customs districts, eleven in number, in each of which there are fifty or
more employés, all postoffices in which there are fifty or more
employés, and the Railway Mail Service; including altogether about
28,500 clerks.

_#The Government Printing Office.#_--In order that there may be
intelligent legislation and administration, an extensive system of
reports is required. The publications of the federal government are of
course very numerous. Each department, bureau, and division makes an
annual report. The proceedings of Congress are reported verbatim and
published. This printing and binding are done by the government through
the government printing office, established for that purpose. The Bureau
of Printing and Engraving, which is under the Treasury Department, does
no part of this. Its duties are limited to those of engraving and
printing banknotes, etc. The chief of the Government Printing Office is
styled the Government Printer, and is appointed by the President.

_#The National Museum, Smithsonian Institution and Bureau of
Ethnology.#_--In 1829 James Smithson, bequeathed by his will the whole
of his property, something over half a million dollars, "to the United
States of America to found at Washington, under the name of the
Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion
of knowledge among men." This fund held by the United States now amounts
to $702,000 yielding six per cent, per annum. In 1846 Congress
determined to devote this gift of Smithson to the founding and support
of a museum. The National Museum was established in 1846, and is
supported by annual appropriations by Congress.

In 1879 Congress created a special bureau under the Secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution, to be called the Bureau of Ethnology, to make
researches in North American anthropology. This work is supported by
annual appropriations. The National Museum, Smithsonian Institution and
Bureau of Ethnology, though distinct institutions[1] are under
substantially the same management. Their reports are of great scientific

_#The Librarian of Congress.#_--The Librarian of Congress is an
independent officer and reports directly to Congress. He has complete
control of the Congressional Library, now situated in the Capitol
building. The books now collected in this library have been purchased
from time to time by Congress. There is a law requiring that two copies
of every book, pamphlet, newspaper, photograph, etc., copyrighted in the
United States, shall be sent to the Congressional Library. It thus
receives large and valuable additions yearly. The Library now numbers
over half a million volumes. A new building for the library is in
process of construction, and it will have cost when completed between
seven and eight million dollars.

[Footnote 1: A valuable and suggestive paper on The Origin of the
National Scientific and Educational Institutions of the United States,
by Dr. G. Brown Goode, Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution, was published by the American Historical Association. Vol.
IV, Part 2. G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1890.]


The Federal Judiciary.

In forming the Constitution the framers of our government were
controlled by the principle that the powers which belong to all
governments can be most safely and satisfactorily exercised by dividing
them according to their nature among three separate branches, the
executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Under the Articles of
Confederation this maxim of government had been disregarded. The old
Continental Congress had been given under that plan, not only
legislative powers, but also those executive and judicial powers which
the States had yielded to the central government.

The lack of a Federal judiciary was, as Justice Story says, "one of the
vital defects of the old confederation." Hamilton, the expounder of the
Constitution, said: "Laws are a dead letter without courts to enforce
and apply them."

The reasons why a national system of courts was necessary were in order
that there might be some power:--

1. To give to laws an interpretation that would be uniform throughout
the land. If there were thirteen independent courts, each giving Federal
decisions on the same causes arising under the same national laws, what
but confusion and contradiction could arise?

2. To settle disputes between the States and citizens of different

3. To construe and interpret the Constitution itself, and decide all
disputes arising under it act of either Congress or of a State
legislature contrary to the Constitution can therefore be valid. Hence,
the necessity of some power which should have authority to determine the
constitutionality of an act when brought into question, and--

5. There should be the power of determining the constitutionality of any
act of a State legislature, and thus enforce upon State legislatures the
restrictions laid upon them, such as, for example, the inability to lay
impost duties, to pass laws violating the obligation of contracts, etc.,
or to regulate objects given exclusively to Congress. The manifest
necessity of such a power may be best stated by using Hamilton's own
words (Federalist, 30):

"What would avail restrictions on the authority of the State
legislatures without some constitutional mode of enforcing the
observance of them? The States, by the plan of the Constitution, are
prohibited from doing a variety of things, some of which are
incompatible with the interests of the Union; others with the principles
of good government. The imposition of duties on imported articles, and
the emission of paper money are specimens of this kind. No man of sense
will believe that such prohibition would be scrupulously regarded,
without some effectual power in the government to restrain or correct
infractions of them. This power must be either a direct negative on the
State laws, or an authority in the Federal courts to annul such as might
be in manifest contravention of the articles of Union." * * * "These
courts are to be the bulwarks of a limited constitution against
legislative encroachments."

These reasons were so strong that there was little or no objection in
the constitutional convention to the creation of a national judiciary,
but difficulty arose in determining its precise nature and powers. As we
have learned, the difficulty to be overcome in drafting our new scheme
of government was to satisfy State jealousies and interests, and
preserve State rights of government, and yet to obtain a strong central
government; and to harmonize State rights with Federal strength.

In forming the national judiciary, the objects to be obtained, difficult
of achievement, were, to use the words of Judge Curtis (Federal Courts
of United States): "To construct a judicial power within the Federal
Government, and to clothe it with attributes which would enable it to
secure the supremacy of the general constitution and all of its
provisions; to give to it exact authority that would maintain the
dividing line between the powers of the Nation and the States, and to
give to it no more: and to add to these a faculty of dispensing justice
to foreigners, to citizens of different States and among the sovereign
States themselves, with a more even hand and with a more assured
certainty of the great ends of justice than any State power could
furnish--these were objects not readily or easily to be obtained, and
yet they were obtained with wonderful success."

The establishment of the federal judiciary is given in a few words in
the Constitution: "The judicial powers of the United States shall be
vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as Congress may
from time to time ordain and establish."

In pursuance of this clause, Congress passed in 1789, what is known as
the "Judiciary Act," the first section of which reads: "The Supreme
Court of the United States shall consist of one chief justice and five
associate justices." This act also established the inferior federal
courts, the circuit and district courts, and also defined and fixed
their fields of jurisdiction, i.e., the class of cases which these
courts could have power to try.

The Supreme Court stands at the head of our national judiciary. Its
field of jurisdiction is the construction and exposition of the
Constitution of the United States. Hon. S.F. Miller, senior justice of
this court, speaking of the high character of the duties performed by
this court, said: "This court, whether we take the character of the
suitors that are brought before it, or the importance of the subjects
of litigation over which it has final jurisdiction, may be considered
the highest the world has ever seen. It has power to bring States before
it, States which some of our politicians have been in the habit of
considering sovereign, not only when they come voluntarily, but by
Federal process they are subjected, in certain cases, to the judgment of
the court. Whatever these States may have been at the time of the
formation of the Constitution, they now number their inhabitants by the
millions, and in wealth and civilization are equal to many of the
independent sovereignties of Europe."

There have been considerable changes in the structure and duties of the
Supreme Court since its formation. At present there are nine justices,
instead of six. There is now one annual term of the court held,
beginning on the 2d Monday of October and continuing until about May 1.
Of the nine justices six constitute a quorum.

The Supreme Court first met in February, 1790. Since its organization it
has had eight chief justices, in the following order.

     John Jay, 1789-1795.
     Oliver Ellsworth, 1795-1801.
     John Marshall, 1801-1835.
     R.B. Taney, 1836-1864.
     S.P. Chase, 1864-1873.
     M.R. Waite, 1873-1888.
     M. Fuller, 1888.

In 1795 John Rutledge was appointed to succeed Jay, received his
commission, and held one term of the court, but was not confirmed by the

During the early years of the existence of the Supreme Court few cases
arose requiring its jurisdiction. During the first term there was no
business to be transacted. In 1801 there were only ten cases on the
docket, and for some years the average annual number of cases was
twenty-four; but in later years the number rapidly increased. From 1850
the average number of cases decided was seventy-one, while from 1875 to
1880 the average was three hundred and ninety-one per annum, and now
there are more than a thousand cases awaiting a hearing, and the court
is so far behindhand in its work that it takes from three to four years
for a case to come up for trial after having been entered upon the
docket. At present there are about four hundred cases granted a hearing

Almost immediately after the adoption of the Constitution began
struggles and disputes between the States and the Federal Government. In
this contest the Supreme Court steadily upheld the central power, and
did much by its decisions to enforce and establish the power of the
Constitution. Especially was the court powerful during the years 1801 to
1835, when Marshall was chief justice, to whose wisdom and prudence it
is difficult to ascribe too much influence in fixing the present
stability of our government.

The Supreme Court has been an invariable supporter of the Federal
Constitution. During the early years of our government it was our
firmest barrier against the efforts of the States to lessen the federal
power. It has always maintained the balance of power between the States
and the Union.

The annual term of the Supreme Court begins the second Monday of October
and lasts until about May. Daily sessions, with the exceptions of
Saturdays and Sundays, are held, beginning at 12 o'clock, in the Capitol
building at Washington. The present justices are Fuller, chief justice,
and Lamar, Bradley, Field, Harlan, Gray, Blatchford and Brewer,
associate justices. Every Saturday morning the justices meet in
consultation and decide cases argued during the week. The decisions are
announced on Monday mornings. The justices are appointed by the
President, hold office for life, and are removable only by impeachment.

The following are a few cases decided by the Supreme Court with which it
is important that we should be acquainted owing to the influence which
their decision has had upon our history:

1. In 1793 the case of _Chisolm_ vs. _Georgia_ came before this court.
Chisolm, a citizen of North Carolina, sued the State of Georgia for a
sum of money, and under the second section of Article III of the
Constitution, which says that the judicial power of the United States
shall extend to disputes between a State and citizens of another State,
the court gave judgment in his favor. This decision that a State
government could be sued against its will created so much
dissatisfaction that the Eleventh Amendment was adopted, which says,
"the judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to
extend to any suit in law or equity commenced or prosecuted against one
of the United States by citizens of another State, or by citizens or
subjects of any foreign State." The effect of this amendment has been to
enable a State to repudiate its just debts.

2. In 1819 was decided the very important case of _McCulloch_ vs.
_Maryland_. The United States had established a national bank, which was
objectionable to many of the States. Maryland attempted to destroy the
bank by levying a very high tax upon a branch bank within the State. The
question as to her right to do this was brought before the Supreme
Court. To have allowed Maryland this right would have been to give to a
State Government the power to oppose and render useless an institution
created by the Federal Government. The court sustained the Federal
power, and it was declared unconstitutional for any State to pass laws
opposing the operation of any Federal statute.

3. In the case of _Dartmouth College_ vs. _New Hampshire_ was declared
the unconstitutionally of a state law which impaired the obligation of

4. A very important case decided by Chief Justice Taney was that of
_Dred Scott_ vs. _Sandford_ in 1857. Dred Scott, a negro slave in
Missouri, had been carried into the Territory of Minnesota, where, by
the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slavery did not exist. Upon being
carried back into Missouri by his master, Scott claimed his freedom upon
the ground that he had been voluntarily carried into a Territory where
slavery was not allowed. The Supreme Court in its decision declared that
Congress had never had the power to pass any law which would forbid
slave-owners settling in Territories and still retaining control of
their slaves. The whole country was at this time in great excitement in
regard to the question whether or not, in the organization of the
Territories of Kansas and Nebraska into States, slavery should be
prohibited, and this decision, whereby the Missouri Compromise Act was
practically annulled, and which pointed directly forward to an
establishment of slavery in the new Territories, raised public
excitement to a fever heat. It was in this decision that the statement
was made that at the time of the formation of the Constitution the
general opinion had been that the colored man had no rights which the
white man was bound to respect. As a direct result of this case a more
determined stand was taken at the North against slavery; the
Anti-Slavery Republican party was strengthened, and their candidate for
President, Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1861, and the catastrophe of
civil war precipitated.

5. The Legal-Tender decisions, given in several cases soon after the
civil war, are important. During the progress of the war the Government,
in order to raise funds to meet its extraordinary expenses, had been
forced to issue slips of paper which represented no deposits of coin in
the Treasury, but only promises to pay certain sums by the Government.
These were declared legal tender, that is, made by law as good as gold
and silver, and the people were forced to receive them in payment of
debts and for commodities. It was questioned whether the Government had
by the Constitution power to do this. The legal-tender decisions
declared that it had. Judicial System and Jurisdiction of the United
States Courts.

_#District Courts.#_--The United States is divided into judicial
districts. Many single States form a judicial district, while others are
divided into two and others into three districts. The number of
districts has varied. At present there are about sixty. To each of these
districts is given a court and a district judge. These form the lowest
grade of Federal courts.

_#Circuit Courts.#_--These judicial districts are grouped into nine
circuits. For example, the Fourth circuit includes the districts of
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
For each circuit is appointed one circuit judge. One of the justices of
the Supreme Court is also allotted to each of the circuits, who, after
the expiration of the Supreme Court term, visits his circuit, and tries
the more important cases which may arise in that circuit. The Circuit
Court may be held by the circuit judge, the Supreme Court justice, or
the district judge of that district in which the court is sitting, or by
any two of them, or all of them, sitting together. The Circuit Courts
form the next series of the Federal courts higher than the District

_#Jurisdiction.#_--The relation between the Supreme, Circuit and
District courts is easy to explain. Their jurisdiction is upon federal
questions; that is, over those cases mentioned in the Constitution over
which judicial power has been granted to the United States, viz.,
questions arising under the Constitution, federal laws, or treaties,
between citizens of different States, between citizens and foreigners,
between States themselves, etc., and all crimes punishable under the
United States laws.

The Circuit Court is higher than the District Court, and to it cases
involving $500 and over may be appealed from the District courts. The
Supreme Court is the court of last resort, and to it all appeals from
the Circuit Courts come, with the limitation that $5,000 be involved.
The cases decided by the Supreme Court are then of two classes: (1)
those over which it has original jurisdiction, (see Constitution); i.e.,
those cases which originate or begin in that court; and (2) those cases
over which it has appellate jurisdiction, i.e., those cases which come
thither by appeal from the lower Circuit Courts, and which form the
larger part of its work, and also by appeal from the highest State
courts in cases involving certain Federal questions. The District of
Columbia being directly governed by the United States, its courts are
Federal courts, and hence, cases may be appealed from such courts to the
Supreme Court; likewise for the same reason appeals may be had to the
Supreme Court from the territorial courts.

We must remember that these courts deal only with Federal questions
arising under United States laws, and, that besides these courts, all of
the States have their own judicial systems of courts to interpret state
laws and to try the great majority of cases. These courts are entirely
separate from the United States courts, and with different judges,
though cases may begin in them and be transferred to the United States
Courts, if the interpretation of a Federal law is brought into question.

There are four grades of law in the United States. First and highest is
the United States Constitution; second, United States laws, or statutes
as they are called, passed by Congress; third, State constitutions; and
fourth, State laws, passed by the State legislatures. In case of
conflict of laws the lower must yield to the higher.

For the purpose of settling claims of private persons against the United
States, there has been established at Washington a Court of Claims, held
by five judges. From it appeals lie, in some cases, to the Supreme
Court, and, in others, they are referred to Congress for action.


The Ordinance for the Government of the Northwest Territory.

When the colonies joined in union under the Articles of Confederation,
in 1781, they ceded to the General government their claims to unoccupied
western territory. The largest land grant was that by the State of
Virginia, which occupied that part of the United States lying north of
the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.

The problem of management of public lands was thus early presented to
our Federal Government for solution. The manner in which Congress dealt
with this question has proven eminently wise and successful, and has
been largely influential in making the United States the nation that it
is to-day. The feature that has characterized the plan followed from the
beginning, and which still obtains, is the formation of States from such
territory as soon as there is sufficient population. Such States have
similar forms and powers of government as the original States, are on an
equal footing with them, and are bound by the Constitution of the United
States. Congress has absolute control of the Territories. (For
Territorial government see Article on Territories.)

The ordinance which the Continental Congress adopted in 1787 for the
government of the Northwest Territory is of great importance: it
provides for the establishment of our territorial system; it contains
many of those features of management which have been used from that date
until now; and it is also of interest because of the influence it has
had upon the history of slavery in our country.

This ordinance provided that the whole of this territory should form one
district. At first Congress appointed the governor, secretary, judges,
and military generals. The governor was to make the laws, subject to the
approval of Congress. When the population reached five thousand the
inhabitants were to have a legislature of their own, and to have a
delegate who should sit in Congress, but have no vote. There was a bill
of rights. Public education was encouraged. Not less than three nor more
than five States were to be formed from it. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, and Wisconsin have been the five States formed from this
territory. The transformation of the territory into States was promised
as soon as the population should reach sixty thousand.

Slavery was forever prohibited in all this territory. We shall see the
tremendous importance of this clause, which guaranteed to this large
tract freedom from the curse of slavery, when we come to consider the
struggles which were made for many years to keep slavery from the


Government of the Territories.

There are at present four areas, situated outside of the States, and
organized under territorial governments. These are Utah, Arizona, New
Mexico and Oklahoma. Besides these there are the two unorganized
territories, Indian Territory, and Alaska, and the District of Columbia,
which last tract contains sixty-four square miles.

_#Government of Territories.#_--The fundamental law of a Territory is
the Federal Constitution, just as in a State. Unlike the State, however,
it has no constitution of its own, but is regulated entirely by
Congress. In Section 3, Article IV, of the Constitution, it is declared
that "Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful
regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the
United States." In pursuance of this clause Congress has in the four
organized Territories instituted governments as follows: The executive
of the Territory is a Governor appointed by the President for a four
years' term. There is also a secretary and treasurer. The legislature
consists of two houses, a council of 12, and a House of Representatives
of 24. These are elected by the people of the Territories, and have a
term of two years. The Legislature meets every other year. All its acts
require approval by Congress before becoming law.

The judiciary consists of three or more judges appointed by the
President, together with a district attorney and United States marshal.

Territories send neither Senators nor Representatives to Congress, but
have one delegate apiece in the United States House of Representatives,
who may speak, but not vote.

_#Admission of a Territory as a State.#_--A Territory is an embryo
State. As soon as a Territory becomes sufficiently populated it applies
for admission into the Union as a State, and such admission is
accomplished in the following manner. When an application by a Territory
for Statehood is made, it is considered by Congress, and, if approved,
the inhabitants of the Territory are authorized to form for themselves
out of such Territory a State government, and thus prepare themselves
for admission into the Union.

A State government is formed as follows: The Governor of the Territory
issues a proclamation declaring that on a certain date there shall be an
election of delegates to a convention; such convention is to be held on
a certain date. These delegates are elected by a popular vote. The
members of the convention thus formed declare that they, on behalf of
the people of the Territory, adopt the Constitution of the United
States, and then proceed to draft a State constitution and government.
It is provided that this constitution shall be Republican in form, and
make no distinction in civil and political rights on account of race or
color, except for Indians not taxed: that it shall not be repugnant to
the Constitution of the United States and the principles of the
Declaration of Independence. Perfect religious toleration must be
guaranteed, all right or title to the unappropriated public lands lying
within the Territory must be disclaimed and given over to the United
States. Provision must be made by the constitution for the establishment
and maintenance of the system of public schools.

After adoption by the convention the constitution is offered to the
people for ratification. If it is ratified, the Governor certifies the
fact to the President of the United States. Provided the constitution is
found to comply with all the conditions just mentioned, the President
issues his proclamation declaring the ratification of the constitution,
and upon the same day that the proclamation is issued the territory is
deemed admitted by Congress into the Union as a State, on an equal
footing with the original States, and entitled to representation in both
houses of the Federal Congress. The representatives and the Governor and
other State officers are elected on the same day as that upon which the
constitution is ratified by the people.


State Governments.

The United States is a nation of forty-four federated States. Each State
has its own separate government, which is sovereign, except as to a few
powers which have been granted to the United States government for
general purposes. Citizens of States are also citizens of the United
States, and thus owe a double allegiance, namely, to the State in which
they reside and to the United States.

These States vary in size from that of Texas, the largest, with an area
of 265,780 square miles, to that of Rhode Island, the smallest, with
1,250; and in population from that of New York, with nearly six
millions, to that of Nevada, with about forty-five thousand. The largest
State is greater than either France or the German Empire.

State governments are older than the Federal government, for it was by a
grant by the States of certain of their powers that the United States
government was created. Each State is represented in Congress by two
members in the Senate. Members of the lower branch of the Federal
legislature are apportioned among the States according to population. As
in the case of the United States, the powers of government are divided
among three departments--the executive, legislative, and judicial.

In the United States Constitution it is expressly declared that "the
powers not granted to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively,
or to the people." It would require considerable space to enumerate the
duties of State governments. With the exception of the few acts which
the constitution forbids them to perform, most of which they would not
care to perform if allowed, and the few general powers coming within the
province of the Federal Government, the States can do whatever their
legislatures sanction. They can go to the extremes of State socialism.
All States have a complete judicial system. They regulate all legal
relations of their citizens, the laws of husband and wife, principal and
agent, and of contract. They provide for the detection and punishment of
crime. They control and mainly support the militia of the county.
Railroad, banking, insurance, and other corporations, are chartered and
controlled by them. The construction and maintenance of roads, the care
of the public health, the inspection of factories, the determination of
the right of suffrage, and the control of its own elections are among
the exclusive powers of State governments. Our extensive system of
public schools are under the dual management of the State and local
governments, and under the superintendence of State officers. The State
takes care of the defective classes, of the insane, paupers, etc.; and,
in general, performs all those ordinary duties concerning internal
affairs which are exercised by central governments.

    Each State government has--

    1. A Constitution.

    2. A Legislature of two Houses.

    3. An executive, composed of a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor (in
    almost all cases), Secretary of State, Auditor, and a few other

    4. A system of local government in counties, towns, cities, etc.

    5. A body of State laws.

    6. A judicial system of courts, from which no appeal can be had to
    United States courts, except upon Federal questions.

    7. A system of local taxation.

    Each State government has all the rights usually pertaining to a
    sovereign State, except--Those powers which the Federal
    Constitution expressly forbids to the States.

    3. Those powers which have in the Constitution been exclusively
    given to the United States.

All States have public debts, which they may, and sometimes do,
repudiate. They can be sued only by other States. The Eleventh Amendment
declared that a citizen could not maintain a suit against a State. State
laws are binding only within the boundaries of the State enacting them.

_#State Constitutions.#_--As the Federal Constitution is the supreme law
of the United States, so the State constitution is the highest law of
the States. The Constitutions of the original thirteen States were
naturally formed after the model of the charters enjoyed by the New
England colonies. In the colonies of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and
Massachusetts their charters were adopted as constitutions without any
change, except, of course, the annulment of obedience to the English
king. All subsequent constitutions have been closely modeled after these
first thirteen. The Federal Constitution provides that all State
constitutions must be Republican in form. (For other conditions of
admission of territories as States, see subject "Territories.") The
modes of amendment of constitutions differ in different States, but in
all, amendment is much easier of accomplishment than in the case of the
Federal Constitution. This is shown by the fact that since 1776 there
have been adopted by the States one hundred and five complete
constitutions, and two hundred and fourteen partial amendments; while,
since the passage of the first ten Federal amendments in 1789, there
have been but five additional amendments. Some States provide that the
constitution shall be submitted to the people for amendment at the end
of certain intervals of time. In the larger number of cases a majority
of the popular vote is required for ratification of a constitutional
amendment. State constitutions show a tendency to become longer, and to
regulate a constantly increasing number of subjects.

    A normal State constitution has the following provisions:

    1. A definition of the State boundaries.

    2. A bill of rights (guaranteeing private rights, such as freedom of
    the press and speech, trial by jury in criminal cases, right to
    assemble and petition, etc.).

    3. A frame of government, an enumeration of officers and powers of
    legislature, executive, courts of justice, etc.

    4. Miscellaneous provisions, relating to administration of schools,
    militia, taxation, debts, local government, corporations,
    amendments, etc.

_#State Legislatures.#_--The legislature in all States consists of two
Houses, of which the upper and smaller branch is called the Senate, and
the lower and more numerous branch usually the House of Representatives,
though in six States it is termed the Assembly, and in three the House
of Delegates. The members of both houses are elected by popular vote,
but Senators usually for a longer time, and frequently higher
qualifications for them are required. States are divided into districts
for election purposes, and, though members of the legislature may offer
themselves for election from any district, it has become the invariable
custom for them to be elected only from the districts in which they
reside. Universal manhood suffrage, that is, the right of all male
citizens over 21 years of age to vote, is the rule, though in eight
States paupers have no vote, and in a few, a certain amount of education
is required (generally enough to read the State constitution). The
number of members in the State legislatures varies greatly. In the
Senate, Delaware has the smallest number (9), and Illinois the largest
(51). In the lower House, Delaware has likewise the smallest number
(21), while New Hampshire has the greatest (321).

The Lieutenant-Governor of the State is _ex officio_ President of the
Senate. In all States, except six, sessions of the legislature are held
only once every other year, and even then the length of the session is
limited to a fixed number of days. As in Congress, business is conducted
by means of committees, but are in both Houses elected by ballot. The
State legislatures have full charge and control of all local
governments within their individual States. The Senate has the power of
trying impeachments of State officials. It also ratifies appointments of
the Governor. In all States, except four, acts of the legislature
require the signature of the Governor before they become laws. To pass a
bill over a veto requires in twenty-three States a two-thirds vote in
both Houses; in two, a three-fifths vote, and in nine, a majority vote
of the total number of members. A State legislature can enact no law
which will be effective beyond its own boundaries.

_#State Executive.#_--The chief executive of the State is the Governor.
Other chief officials are the Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Attorney
General, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Superintendent of Public
Instruction. The term of office of the Governor varies in different
States from one to four years. He has but small powers of appointment,
most of the State officials being elected by the people. In all but four
States he has a veto on legislation. He has the power of pardoning. The
Lieutenant-Governor is President of the Senate.

_#State Judiciary.#_--The State judiciary includes three sets of courts:

    1. A Supreme Court of Appeals, the highest court, from which cases
    involving Federal questions may be appealed to the Supreme Court of
    the United States.

    2. Superior courts of record.

    3. Various local courts, such as county courts, corporation courts,

Each State recognizes the judgments of other States, and gives credit to
their public acts and records, and delivers up to justice, on demand of
the executive, any criminal fleeing from other States into her borders.
In most of the States the judges are elected by the people, though in
eight they are appointed by the Governor, and in five by the
legislature. The Attorney-General conducts cases in which the State is a
party, and manages other legal business in which the State is


Local Government.

In the chapter on Government we learned that the people of the United
States owe allegiance to two systems of government; the one a central
national government, the other the state governments. We have now to
mention a third system of governments, namely, local governments; for
citizens of the United States live, in reality, under three distinct
governments: first and highest, the National United States Government;
second, State governments, and third, local governments. It is
concerning local governments in the United States that we shall learn in
this chapter.

Just as the whole United States is divided into forty-eight sections,
each section being a State or Territory, so each State is in turn, for
convenience in the administration of its government, divided into small
local areas, each division managing those affairs which appertain to its
own area. Many of these divisions were not formed by dividing up the
States. The divisions came first, or sprang up naturally within the
States as soon as the colonies were settled. Social governments were the
first governments formed in the settlement of our Western territory. Dr.
Edward Bemis has described the beginnings of government in a new State
in the following interesting manner:

"The genesis of local government in Western hamlets is very simple.
First comes the settler who, ax in hand, clears the ground for his
humble dwelling, and plants whatever seed he has brought with him. Then
comes another settler and another until perhaps a dozen families are
established near. Two wants are now felt: roads, or at least paths from
house to house, from hamlet to market town, and a school-house for the
multiplying children. There is no strong central authority to provide
these things, but the settlers meet and vote to tax themselves. The
services of a supervisor, collector, clerk, constable and justice of the
peace are required."[1] This is the beginning of the township and
county. As population increases, other wants arise which only a stronger
government can supply. A territorial, and then a State government are
consequently formed.

[Footnote 1: Local Government in Michigan and the Northwest. _J.H.U.
Studies in History and Political Science._ Vol. I, No. 5, p. 11.]

The principal duties of local governments are those of education,
police, sanitation, charity, the construction and maintenance of public
roads, the administration of justice, the assessment and collection of
taxes, etc.

There are three types of local government in the United States: First,
the New England type, in which the unit of government is the town or
township; second, the Southern type, in which the unit is the county;
and third, the Western system, in which the New England and Southern
systems are combined.

_#1st. Local Government New England.#_--Here the unit of government is
the township, or town, as it is usually called. There are few towns
exceeding five square miles in area, and the population is generally
less than 3,000. The New England township is therefore not a thickly
settled area. When a town becomes closely settled it is incorporated as
a city.

In the New England towns the people govern themselves directly. In the
State and Federal governments the people are governed not by themselves,
but through representatives chosen by themselves. The town or township
form of government is that of a pure democracy; the States and Federal
governments are representative governments or republics.

The supreme governing power of a town is in the town meeting, composed
of all qualified voters of the town. The town meeting is held in the
Spring of each year. After the choice of a Moderator, officers are
elected for the ensuing year, reports of officers for the past year
read, and the amount of taxes to be raised and expenditures to be made
during the year, determined upon. The officers are the Selectmen, three,
five, seven or nine in number, who constitute the executive officers of
the town, and administer the ordinances passed by the town meeting; a
town clerk, who keeps a record of the proceedings of the town meeting,
and a record of births, deaths, marriages, etc.; a treasurer, assessors
and collectors of taxes, constables, and various other petty officers.
Several offices are frequently given to the same individual.

The county also exists in New England, and is formed by the union of
several towns, but it is of very little importance, and has but few
duties. The township system is found in the Middle States, but in a
modified form. It is less democratic as a rule--officers being elected
by ballot, the town meeting generally absent, and county government more

_#2d. Local Government in the South.#_--Here the town (township) does
not exist, except in a few instances. The unit of government for
performing local duties is the county, which is much larger than the New
England townships. The county government is managed by a Board of County
Commissioners. These are elected not in open meeting as are the town
officers, but by ballot. County government is therefore a representative
or republican government. The county, wherever found, is primarily a
judicial district. The chief officer for executing the decrees of the
county judiciary is the sheriff. Other county officers are the
treasurer, assessor, etc.

_#Local Government in the West.#_--Here, as before stated, we find the New
England and the Southern systems combined, but combined in different
States in such various degrees as to make impracticable any attempt to
describe them more particularly.[1] In consequence of the grants of land
by the Federal Government to Western States for education, local areas
for the administration of these funds have been formed. These are called
school districts. Local government has tended to center around these
districts, and they have in many cases become important administrative
districts. Their boundaries coincide with the boundaries of the
townships and counties, though a number of school districts may be in
one county or township.

[Footnote 1: More detailed accounts of the various systems of Local
Government in the United States may be found in the early numbers of the
_Johns Hopkins University Studies_, and also in Professor George E.
Howard's _Local Constitutional History_, an extra volume in the same


City Government.

The proportion of people in the United States who reside in cities is
increasing. In 1790 there were only thirteen cities of 5,000 inhabitants
and none with 40,000. Now there are over 500 that have a population
exceeding 5,000 and 28 with a population of 100,000. In 1790 33 per
cent. of the total population lived in cities of over 8,000 inhabitants,
while to-day over 25 per cent live in cities of this size or over.

When any small area becomes thickly and permanently settled, and a
certain population is reached (which varies in different States), the
state legislature is appealed to, and a charter of incorporation as a
city is granted. This enables the incorporated district to act
independently of the county or township, to levy municipal taxes and
carry out public improvements. Rapid as has been the growth of cities,
the duties required of city governments have increased still faster.

The government of our large cities has become a question of vital
importance. It would be difficult to give a complete list of the duties
devolving upon them. The principal duties are (1) the collection of
municipal and state taxes, (2) the establishment and care of public
schools, (3) the administration of justice, (4) police supervision, (5)
the support of a fire department, (6) the care of the streets, (7) of
street gas and electric lighting, (8) of sewerage, (9) of the water
supply, (10) of public parks, (11) of sanitation and public health, (12)
of prisons, (13) the supervision of the liquor traffic, (14) the
regulation of street railways, (15) the enforcement of building
regulations, (16) the supervision of charities, hospitals, asylums,

The form of government of all our large cities is much the same. It is
substantially a reproduction, in form, of the state governments. First,
there is a mayor, who is the chief executive, and is elected directly by
the people of the city. His term of office is sometimes only one year,
though more often two, three, or four years. In almost all cases he has
a veto on acts of the city legislature, which veto may, however, be
overridden by a two-thirds vote.

Other subordinate officials are, the treasurer, collector of taxes,
chief of police, health officer, etc. They are in part elected by the
people, in part appointed by the mayor, or appointed by the city
legislature. Practice varies in different cities.

City legislatures are of one or two houses. The larger cities usually
have two houses, and the smaller cities one house.

The legislature is usually called the City Council, the upper branch the
Board of Aldermen, and the lower and more numerous branch, the Common
Council. The members of the city council are elected by the people. The
acts of the council are called ordinances. They are not sufficiently
general to merit the designation of laws.

City judges are usually elected by the people. The administration of the
various duties of municipal government are generally given to special
boards of officers, as the police department, fire department, etc. For
election purposes, cities are divided into wards, and the wards into
voting precincts.

Our methods of municipal government have proved the least successful of
any of our institutions. Corruption and grave abuses exist in almost
every one of the larger cities. Problems connected with city government
are among the most important questions of our time.


Government Revenue and Expenditure.

Government is an enormous business enterprise, maintained and operated
by its citizens, that certain duties of a general interest and benefit
may be performed. The magnitude of the work performed necessarily
requires the expenditure of vast sums of money. The chief source from
which these sums are derived is taxation. Taxes have been defined to be
"the legally determined and legally collected contributions of
individuals for meeting the necessary and general expenses of the
State."[1] In the large majority of cases this is a good definition, but
in a few instances it is too narrow. There are some taxes that are
levied not primarily for the purpose of raising an income to meet the
expenses of the government, but to subserve some other purpose. For
instance, the maintenance of our high duties on articles imported into
the United States from foreign countries has for its main purpose the
protection of our industries from European competition. The large
revenues that are derived therefrom are incidental. High liquor
licenses, also, are maintained for the express purpose of lessening the
consumption of intoxicating beverages.

[Footnote 1: Carl Knies.]

The aim of every good government is to distribute its burdens of
taxation, as well as its benefits, fairly and equitably among its
citizens. It is the duty of every citizen to assist in the realization
of this aim, by an intelligent, honest and disinterested vote. Equality
of taxation means equality of sacrifice. Each person should contribute
towards the support of the government in proportion to his means and the
benefits enjoyed. It is the duty of every citizen, first to see that
just and expedient tax laws are passed, then to pay his proper
proportion, and lastly, to see that his neighbors likewise contribute
their share. To obtain an equitable system of government revenue and
expenditure has been the great motive force which, in the past, has
urged the people forward in their efforts to secure popular forms of

The power to tax is legislative, and, according to our theory, can be
exercised only by representatives directly elected by the people. The
refusal of England in the last century to extend this principle of "no
taxation without representation" to her colonies in America, lost her
these possessions. A government to be stable and efficient must possess
adequate powers for the collection of its revenue. The miserable
condition to which the old Confederation was reduced by reason of the
inadequacy of its powers in this respect, has already been discussed.
Says Fiske: "Between the old Continental Congress and the government
under which we have lived since 1789, the differences were many; but by
far the most essential difference was that the new government could
raise money by taxation, and was thus enabled properly to carry on the
work of governing."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Civil Government_, p. 77.]

The sources of government revenue other than taxes, are various, and
differ in different countries. In our consideration of the revenues and
expenditures of our national, state, and local governments we shall have
occasion to notice the various means by which their treasuries are

_#The Federal Government#_ raises its revenues independently of the
other governing bodies, from different sources, and by a different set
of officials. Besides taxation, the principal source of revenue is from
the sale of public lands. Federal taxes are of two kinds:

     1. Customs duties.

     2. Excise or internal revenue duties.

Of these, much the greater sum is raised from customs duties. For the
year 1889,[1] the total net receipts were $387,050,058. Of this
$223,832,741 was derived from customs, and $130,894,434 from the
internal revenue duties. The sale of public lands yielded in that year
$8,038,651. The miscellaneous revenues amounted to $24,297,151.

[Footnote 1: For fiscal purposes the year begins July 1st.]

Customs or tariff duties are taxes which have to be paid on a large
class of goods imported into this country from foreign countries. These
charges are collected by Government collectors, stationed in all our
principal seaport cities, who inspect all incoming vessels and determine
the amount to be paid, according to the rate determined by Congress.
This system constitutes the so-called protective tariff policy of our
country. Those commodities not so taxed are said to be on the "free
list." How much, and on what articles these duties shall be levied, is
the question upon which the Republican and Democratic parties differ;
the former favoring high, and the latter low rates, that is to say
merely enough to support the Government, or, as it is termed, "a tariff
for revenue only."

Internal revenue duties are those taxes collected by the government from
its own citizens upon a small class of articles produced in this
country. The chief items of this class are distilled liquors, tobacco,
and oleomargarine. In 1889, out of the $130,894,434 received from
internal revenue, there was derived from spirits and fermented liquor
$98,036,041; tobacco, $31,866,861; oleomargarine and miscellaneous,
$991,532. These duties are collected by Government collectors stationed
in every United States district, who visit the distilleries, collect the
taxes, and see that the law is enforced. In several Southern States
attempts to evade the law are very frequent and difficult of detection.
The expenses of the vast postal system conducted by the Federal
Government are very nearly defrayed by the charges made for postage, and
the amount received by fees more than equals the expense of the Patent

_#The State and Local Taxes#_ are generally, for convenience, collected
at the same time, and by the same officials, but independently of the
Federal government. The Constitution of the United States forbids the
States to derive a revenue from duty upon goods imported or exported.
The States are, therefore, for the most part, restricted to a direct tax
on property for the support of their governments.

The general method for raising this tax is as follows: The legislature
of the State, having determined what income is needed, apportion this
sum among the counties, or, in New England, directly among the
townships, in proportion to the value of the property situated within
them, or establish a certain percentage tax on all property, to be
collected in the same manner. So, similarly, the counties apportion
among the cities and townships within their areas, in proportion to the
value of their taxable property, not only what they have to pay to the
State, but also the sums they have to raise for county purposes. Thus
when the township or city authorities assess and collect taxes from the
individual citizens, they collect at one and the same time three
distinct taxes--the State tax, the county tax, and the city or township
tax. Retaining the last for local purposes, they hand on the two former
to the county authorities, who, in turn, retain the county tax, handing
on to the State what it requires. Thus trouble and expense are saved in
the process of collection, and the citizen sees on one tax paper all
that he has to pay. The chief tax is the property tax, based on a
valuation of property, and generally of all property, real and personal.
Of this, by far the greater sum is realized from the tax on real
property, (land and buildings on it). Cities and other local
subdivisions, as has been stated, are raising their revenues more and
more from the sale, taxation, or operation of such public franchises and
rights as street-car lines, gas and waterworks. Those who fix the value
of taxable property and thus determine the amount the owners are to pay,
are called assessors. Those collecting taxes are called collectors. The
revenue of the States is seldom large in proportion to the wealth and
number of the inhabitants, because the chief burden of administration is
borne not by the States, but by the Federal government, on the one hand,
and the local subdivisions of the States on the other. The total revenue
of all the States is barely one-third that of the Federal government.

_#The Expenditures#_ of all the governing bodies, Federal, State, and
local, are kept entirely independent of each other. Those of the Federal
government are for the benefit of all the States, while those of the
other bodies are only for their own individual benefit. The Federal
government receives much more than it expends, and has yearly a surplus
on hand in the Treasury. The States and local bodies have in the past
expended more than their revenues, making up their deficiency by loans
on their credit.

The chief objects of Federal expenditure (in addition to the postal
system already considered and for the most part supported by its own
revenue) are: 1st, interest on the public debt; 2d, pensions to disabled
soldiers; 3d, for the support of the civil branch of the government;
4th, war and naval expenditures.

Total expenditures for the year 1889 were $299,288,988. The chief items

     1. Interest on the public debt,     $41,000,484
     2. Pensions,                         87,624,779
     3. Civil service,                    80,664,064
     4. War and Navy,                     65,815,079
     5. Indians,                           6,892,207

Money can be expended by the government only after it has been
appropriated by Congress in its annual appropriation bills. The
appropriation of supplies by Congress is the most important business
that it transacts. Every year the heads of all the different departments
frame estimates of the amounts of money needed to support their
departments during the following year, which estimates they send to the
Secretary of the Treasury, who, after considering and revising them,
transmits them to Congress in his "Annual Letter." This letter is
considered by the Appropriation Committee, whose duty it is to consider
and frame bills for the appropriation of moneys. Though guided by these
estimates, supplies frequently depart widely from them. After being
reported to the House and passed, money bills are sent to the Senate,
where they are invariably amended by increasing the appropriations and
are returned to the House. A conference committee is then appointed from
the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, who, after mutual
concessions, agree upon such appropriations as will be passed by both
houses. The House then amends the bill as agreed upon, passes it, and
sends it to the Senate again, which in turn passes it, and sends it to
the President for his signature. All bills for raising money must, by
the Constitution, originate in the House. Besides the appropriations for
the expenses of government there is annually authorized a large
expenditure for improvement of rivers and harbors. Many of the
expenditures authorized by these bills are undoubtedly unnecessary, but
they are passed by general consent of the members, each of whom desires
to increase his popularity at home by getting public money spent in his

The expenses of the State governments are not heavy, and are devoted to
but few objects. The chief expenditures are for:--(1) the salaries of
officials; (2) judicial expenditures; (3) the State volunteer militia;
(4) grants to public schools; (5) public charities and institutions, as
prisons, insane asylums, etc., (6) interest on State debts; (7) internal
improvements and public buildings.

The methods of appropriations are similar to those employed by the
Federal government.

The expenditures of the local bodies, and particularly cities, are much
larger, in proportion to their population, than those of the States, and
are increasing at a greater rate than the increase of population. The
objects of expenditure are numerous and very important. The chief ones
are: (1) Interest on local debts; (2) maintenance and care of the
streets and roads; (3) lighting of streets; (4) police; (5) salaries of

The following are outlines of the receipts and expenditures of the State
of Maryland for 1888, and for the City of Baltimore for 1887. These
figures are given not because they of themselves possess any especial
importance, but because from them can be obtained an idea of the
activity of a typical State and city.

_#Maryland.#_[1]--The total receipts from all sources were $2,542,130;
and there was paid out $2,016,060. The chief receipts were from:

     General Taxes,                      $793,301
     Licenses,                            487,969
     Corporation Tax,                      73,553
     Railroad Tax,                         58,455
     Inheritance Tax,                      57,767
     Income from Stocks and Bonds owned,  206,175
     Fees,                                 17,585

_#Baltimore.#_[2]--The gross receipts into the treasury for the year
ending December 31, 1887, were $8,446,439, and were chiefly from the
following sources:

     Taxes,                                $4,210,112
     Public schools, tuition fees, etc.,        6,766
     Market houses, rent of stalls,            58,287
     Wharfage and rent of wharves,             33,561
     General licenses,                       44,609
     Auction duties,                          7,431
     Dividends on stock in B. & O. R.R.,    130,000
     Water rents,                           745,446
     Passenger railway companies,           132,167
     From the State for public schools,     147,403
     Temporary loan,                      1,510,000
     Receipts to pay interest on loans,     896,704
     Sale of stock,                         243,285

The total disbursements were $8,403,930. Of this $4,541,357 was spent on
account of expenses of city government, the following being the
principal items of expense:

     Interest on the public debt,               $915,987
     Expenses of law courts,                     118,906
     Expenses of jail, magistrates, &c., . .     103,587
     Public schools (less amount paid by State),  594,089
     Expenses of poor,                            210,739
     Police department,                           702,882
     Street-cleaning department,                  263,934
     Fire department,                             214,226
     Street lighting,                             221,203
     Parks, &c.,                                   52,080
     Salaries,                                     72,624
     City council,                                 52,925

[Footnote 1: Finance Statistics of the American Commonwealths: E.E.
Seligman. Publications of Am. Statistical Asso., Dec., 1889.]

[Footnote 2: R.T. Ely, _Taxation in Am. States and Cities_.]

Nearly all of our State and local governments, as well as the national
government, have contracted large public debts, the interest payments
upon which constitute one of the chief items in their lists of
expenditures. The present debt of the Federal Government is largely the
result of the enormous expenditures occasioned by the Civil War. In
1865, August 31, it reached its highest point $2,381,530,294, with an
annual interest charge of $150,977,697. Since then it has been steadily
reduced until in 1889 the total interest-bearing debt was but
$829,853,990, with an annual interest charge of $33,752,354. The
principal of the national debt is mainly in the form of interest-bearing
bonds held by the National banks and private individuals. These bonds
are of various denominations and are promises of the government to pay
the sums named on their face, at the expiration of a certain period. The
bonds at present unpaid, and as such constituting the major portion of
our national debt, are principally of two kinds; those bearing four and
one-half per cent, annual interest and falling due in 1891, and those
bearing four per cent, interest and falling due in 1907.

The debts of most of the States were contracted by ill-advised and
untimely systems of internal improvements. The total state indebtedness
June I, 1890, as shown by the Eleventh Census, was $238,396,590, a
decrease of slightly over $58,000,000 in ten years. The tendency now
seems to be for States to withdraw from the money market as borrowers,
and for the county and city governments to take their place.

The local debts are very large, and have shown a marked increase during
the last twenty years. They have been for the most part incurred in
improvements and construction of public works, which have in most
instances well repaid the debts incurred.



No man by himself produces everything he wants to use, but devotes his
time to the production of some few things, and the surplus that he does
not use, he exchanges for other things made by other men. In rude stages
of society this is done by a direct exchange of one commodity for
another, _e.g._ so much wheat or corn for a gun or plow. This is a very
imperfect and cumbersome method, which cannot be employed in our present
complicated transactions of buying and selling. There thus early
developed the use of money, or the practice of referring the value of
all things to one standard, usually the precious metals: so that,
instead of trading 20 bushels of corn for a plow, where it would be
necessary to go to the great trouble of finding a man who had a plow,
and also wanted your corn, you sell it for so much money, and with this
money you buy a plow. Money is thus but a medium of exchange and a
standard of value.

In the United States, as in most nations, money has always been made by
the Government, and the Government alone, so that one certain fixed
system may prevail. For the sake of convenience, money is made of
various kinds and denominations, and United States money may
conveniently be regarded under the five following divisions: 1. _#Gold
Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates.#_--There are six gold coins:
(1) the eagle, $10 piece; (2) the double eagle, $20 piece; (3) the half
eagle, $5; (4) the quarter eagle, $2.50; (5) the $3 piece, and (6) the
$1 piece. The three last are but little used. The gold bullion, or gold
in bars and blocks uncoined, is for all practical purposes as good as
the coin, and in foreign trade is much used, it being more convenient to
handle. Besides the gold coin and bullion there are in circulation gold
certificates. These are paper, the same in general appearance as the
ordinary bank-note, and certify that an equivalent amount of gold has
been deposited with the Treasurer of the United States, and that the
holder of the certificate has the right to obtain the gold for it at any
time. This does not increase the amount of money in circulation, as for
every one issued just so much coin is withdrawn and stowed away in the
Treasury. The certificates are used simply for convenience, and in order
to avoid the necessary wear of the coin if in constant use. These
certificates are of the denomination of $20.

2. #_Silver Dollars and Silver Certificates_#.--There is no silver
bullion circulating as money, for a silver dollar does not contain a
dollar's worth of silver, as the gold dollar does of gold, and the
silver bullion is thus of different value (less value), according to
weight, than the silver dollar. The silver certificates are similar to
the gold certificates, already described, and certify that an equivalent
amount of silver has been deposited in the Treasury.

3. _#Subsidiary and Minor Coins.#_--All coins of a lower denomination
than $1 belong to one or the other of these two classes. There are three
subsidiary coins, the fifty cent, the twenty-five cent, and the ten cent
pieces. The three cent piece is no longer coined. All other coins are
minor coins. The peculiarity of the subsidiary and minor coins is that
they are, as compared with the standard coins (gold and silver dollars),
of a greater value than the value of the metal they contain. The
subsidiary coins are legal-tender to the amount of $10, the minor to
the extent of twenty-five cents. By legal-tender is meant that the
government has ordered that it must be received in payment of all debts
and articles bought. Gold coin and the silver dollars and certificates
are legal-tender to any amount.

4. _#Treasury Notes.#_--Under this head are included that form of money
ordinarily known as "greenbacks," from the color of their backs. They
were originally issued during the civil war, and are promissory notes on
the part of the government, and as such constitute a portion of the debt
of the government. They are paper, which of itself is of no value, and
no coin is deposited in the Treasury which they represent, as in the
case of the gold and silver certificates. They thus cost the government
nothing, and, as they are made legal-tender, and paid out by the
government, they were just so much clear gain to it. At first they were
not redeemable, i.e., exchangeable for coin at the Treasury, but since
1879 they are, and are therefore just as valuable now as any other form
of money, though formerly worth much less than their face value. One
hundred million dollars in gold is kept on deposit in the Treasury for
their redemption.

5. _#Notes of National Banks.#_--This is the one form of money that is
not issued directly by the Federal government, but through the agency of
what is called our "National Banking System," which may be thus
described: A national bank can be organized by any number of men,
provided the capital stock of the bank is at least $100,000. One-third
of the capital must then be invested in government bonds and deposited
in the United States Treasury. The bank may then issue notes to the
extent of 90 per cent, of such deposit. Such notes are thus amply
secured by the deposits with the government. The government guarantees
their payment, and so they circulate as well as the certificates issued
directly by the government. Thus a great deal of the paper money in
circulation is issued by the national banks, which must, on demand, be
redeemed with coin, and, in case of failure of the banks, are paid by
the government, which reimburses itself from the deposits. A bank-note
differs from a Treasury note in two particulars. The Treasury note or
"greenback" is a promise of the government, and is legal-tender in
payment of all private debts; the bank-note is the promise of a private
company, and is not legal-tender. A bank-note is said to be paid when
the bank gives a greenback or coin for it. A greenback is said to be
paid or redeemed when the government gives gold for it.

The following figures, taken from the report of the Secretary of the
Treasury for 1889, give the amounts of the various sorts of money
described in the foregoing, which were then in the Treasury, in the
banks, and in the hands of the people:

     Gold coin and gold bullion,        $680,063,505
     Silver coin and silver bullion,     343,947,093
     U.S. Treasury notes,                346,681,000
     National Bank-notes,                211,378,963
     Subsidiary coins,                    76,601,836

It will be noticed that gold and silver certificates are not included,
for, as explained, they merely represent an equal amount of coin or
bullion on deposit.

The total amount of money is thus approximately $1,660,000,000, which,
divided by the total population, gives about $27 per capita. It should
be borne in mind in connection with these figures that other devices,
such as checks, drafts, bills of exchange, and other forms of credit,
are used side by side with money in carrying on trade and serving the
same purposes.

By the Compromise Silver Bill of July 14, 1890, provision was made for a
new kind of paper money. By this act the Secretary of the Treasury was
directed to purchase, from time to time, silver bullion to the amount of
4,500,000 ounces each month, and to issue in payment for such purchases
Treasury notes; these notes so issued to be redeemable on demand in
coin, and to be a legal tender in payment of all debts, public and
private, except where otherwise expressly stipulated.

[Footnote 1: In the preparation of this article, much assistance has
been derived from an article by H.C. Adams contributed to the


Public Lands of the United States.

Prior to 1781 but six of the original thirteen States--New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware--had
exactly defined boundaries. The others claimed lands of various extents,
stretching to the Mississippi River, or even to the Pacific Ocean. The
title to all this land was then in the individual States, and the
National Government, as such, had no land of its own. This question of
the ownership of the western land was one of the subjects of controversy
and discontent between the States. It delayed the adoption of the
Articles of Confederation for some time. Those States with little or no
land regarded with jealousy their more fortunate neighbors, and would
not consent to a union until a settlement or understanding was reached.

The Articles of Confederation were adopted only after assurance was made
that all the public lands would be ceded to the Federal Government. This
was finally done by the States.

The Government formed under the Constitution succeeded to all this land,
and in addition, to further cessions made by the States, the last being
that of Georgia in 1802. The subsequent additions of territory were made
directly to the United States, and not to the States, and all land thus
gained was held as public land to be disposed of by Congress.

While the area of the United States is 3,603,884 square miles, the
public domain which has been acquired by cession, purchase, or conquest,
to be disposed of by the Government as it desires, has amounted to
2,708,388 square miles, or about two-thirds of the total area of the

The absolute title to this land, as before stated, became vested in the
United States Government. The disposal of these lands has always been
under the sole power and control of Congress.

This land was all thinly populated by Indian tribes, who merely hunted
over it, leaving unimproved its natural fertility and vast mineral
resources. These tribes, being actual occupants, were recognized to have
a sort of half interest in the land. This half ownership was always
first extinguished by the United States by purchase for small sums, or
by the granting of certain privileges, etc., before it was opened up for
settlement and occupation by the white man. Land is still held, to a
considerable extent, in this way by the Indians. This right of the
Indians can be extinguished only by the United States, as they are not
allowed to sell or treat at all with individuals or States or foreign

Until 1812 the affairs of the public domain were managed by the
Secretary of the Treasury. In that year the office of Commissioner of
the General Land Office was created, which remained a bureau under the
Treasury Department until 1846. On the creation of the Interior
Department in that year, Indian affairs were transferred to it, and have
remained under the same management until the present time. This bureau
has complete charge of all matters relating to the management and
disposal of the public lands, subject to the direction of Congress.

Almost every conceivable method of disposing of this land has been
followed. The Government has, however, never assumed the position of
landlord and rented the land, except in one case of some mineral land,
and this experiment resulted disastrously. Before the land could be
disposed of, it was necessary that it should be surveyed by the
Government. To do this there was adopted as early as 1776, the so-called
rectangular system, which, with slight changes, has been continued
until the present time. By this system there are first surveyed a base
and a meridian line, crossing each other at right angles, running north
and south and east and west. From these fixed lines the land is surveyed
and marked off into rectangles of six miles square, each thus containing
thirty-six square miles. This is called a township. This is again
divided up into sections of one square mile each or 640 acres, and this
again into quarter sections of 160 acres each. In some cases these are
still further subdivided.

The regulation and disposition of the public lands has been one of the
chief duties imposed upon Congress.

The chief methods by which the public lands have been disposed of are as

1. _#Educational Grants.#_--Congress from the very first provided
liberally for the establishment of common schools through grants of
public lands for this purpose. As each township is surveyed one quarter
section of 640 acres is set apart for common schools. This has continued
from the beginning down to the present time. In addition, large grants
have been made specially for the endowment of universities. Within later
years land has been given to every State to found State military and
agricultural colleges. Up to the year 1888, there had thus been granted
for educational purposes 77,448,192 acres.

2. _#Land Bounties for Military and Naval Service.#_--There have been
granted by different acts bounties of public land, in the nature of
pensions, to the soldiers and sailors of the United States Army, on
their honorable discharge, for their service to the Government. The
amount of land thus granted (1880) has been 61,028,430 acres.

3. _#To the States for Internal Improvement.#_--There was granted to the
States during the years from 1828 to 1846, for the improvement of
rivers, building of canals, wagon roads, railroads, etc., 162,230,099

4. _#Sale of Public Land.#_--Under this head there are two classes of
public land--first, that which may be bought for the minimum rate of
$1.25; and, secondly, the alternate sections along the railroads (the
other alternate sections being granted to the railroads), the minimum
price of which is $2.50. There have been sold in all 192,584,116 acres,
realizing $233,000,000.

5. #_Under the Pre-emption Acts._#--These acts, passed at various times,
provide that where a man, a citizen of the United States, settles upon
and cultivates for a certain length of time, a tract of land not greater
than 160 acres, the United States will give him such tract.

6. #_Under the Homestead Acts._#--The homestead laws have created a
better and more certain manner for settlers to acquire land than under
the pre-emption acts. By these acts it is provided that any citizen who
will select either 160 acres of the $1.25 land, or 80 of the $2.50 land,
can then get a permit from the land office, settle on his land, and
acquire a title to it.

7. _#Under the Timber Culture Act.#_--This act gives to any one the
right to 160 acres of the $1.25 land if he will plant 10 acres in
timber, or 80 acres of the $2.50 land if he will plant 5 acres in

8. _#Certain Lands to States.#_--Quite a large quantity of the public
land has been given to the States on account of its quality, as swamp or
overflowed land, and for various reasons, to the extent of 158,417,514

9. _#Grants to Pacific and other Railroad Companies.#_--The nature of
these grants have already been spoken of in another chapter. From 1850
to 1872 a total of 150,504,994 acres was given for railroad



The conclusion of the civil war in 1865 did not relieve the United
States Government of its extraordinary difficulties. There was the whole
South, a conquered territory, occupying the anomalous position of a
district, still within the Union, yet possessing no legal state
governments. The Confederate government had now been destroyed by the
North, and the South was thus without a government. Four million slaves
had been liberated, who were uneducated, without money, and living among
people hostile to them. Congress had to provide for and protect these
freedmen in their rights. The work to be done by Congress, was then:--1.
To decide upon what terms and upon what conditions the seceded States
should be re-admitted into the Union, and to provide for them a
government until such re-admission. 2. To protect the negro.

The South, though in the Union, had at this time, of course, no
representation in Congress, and consequently, the Republicans were in
great majority. Unfortunately, Johnson, who succeeded to the Presidency
at the death of Lincoln, though a Republican, disagreed with his party,
and legislation upon this subject was only secured by passing all acts
over his veto by a two-thirds vote.

After much discussion, the first Reconstruction Bill, "to provide for
the more efficient government of the rebel States," was passed in 1867,
vetoed by the President, and passed over his veto. Its principal
provisions were--1. The insurrectionary States were to be put under
United States control, and for this purpose divided into five military
districts, over each of which the President was to appoint a commanding
officer. 2. The people of the various States might hold a delegate
convention, elected by the citizens who had not been deprived of the
right to vote for participation in the rebellion. The convention was to
prepare a new constitution, which constitution was to be then submitted
to the vote of the people, and when ratified by them and approved by
Congress, should go into force, and the State be entitled to
representation in Congress. Before approval by Congress the
constitutions adopted by the rebel States had to agree in all the
following particulars: (1) abolishing slavery; (2) declaring null and
void all debts created by States in aid of the rebellion; (3) renouncing
all right of secession; (4) declaring the ordinance of secession which
they had passed null and void; (5) giving the right to vote to all male
citizens, without regard to color; (6) prohibiting the passing of any
law to limit or abridge the rights of any class of citizens.

In 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted by a sufficient number of
States, and was declared a part of the Constitution.

In 1871 all the States were, for the first time since 1861, represented
in both houses of Congress. Reconstruction by Congress was then


Party Machinery.

In all the States, counties, cities, and even in the smaller
subdivisions of wards, political parties are thoroughly organized, with
acknowledged leaders, and under systems of rules or party government.
This party government, or "machine," as it is called, has been created
by no law or constitution, but is one which has been gradually formed by
the voters themselves, and under which they have voluntarily placed
themselves, in order better to succeed in their elections, well
realizing that the best chance of success is by having all the voters of
their party united on certain principles embodied in a party platform,
and having candidates so nominated that the whole party will recognize
them as their choice.

The aims of party organization are: First, union, that is, having all
voters united as to candidates and platform; and second, recruiting or
the gaining of new adherents.

There are at present two opposing political parties, both striving for
the control of the Government. Both have very nearly the same system of
party government, but their organizations are totally distinct and
separate one from the other.

There are two distinct parts of party government. They are; first, sets
of committees, whose business it is to do all the work of managing
elections, such as raising and applying funds for election purposes,
organizing meetings, providing speakers, publishing and distributing
political tracts and other information, and stirring up enthusiasm by
parades and fireworks, etc. They have also the important duty of
calling together nominating conventions.

The second part of the "machine" embraces the nominating conventions,
which propose the names of the candidates whom their party are to
support for election. These assemblies are called together by the
committees periodically, for the purpose of specific nominations, and
cease to exist as soon as their work is done. Besides nominating
candidates, the conventions draw up the platform, which is a statement
of party principles, beliefs, and pledges. To provide for their
reassembling next time, they also elect a new committee, for the next
term; and also send delegates to the next higher convention. Thus are
found committees and a nominating convention, managing not only national
and state elections, but even arranging and managing elections in the
smaller electoral subdivisions.

There is a committee and a nominating convention for every city, for
every county, for every district, and for every State. There are, then,
throughout the whole United States, such committees, each controlling
its own local affairs, but yet all related to each other, thus forming
one vast organized system.

Beginning with the smallest and lowest, let us show their mutual
connections and workings. Starting, then, with the township convention,
or convention of a city ward, we find that all the voters of the party
are called together on a certain day by a committee (which was chosen at
the preceding meeting) for the purpose of nominating candidates for
local affairs, and naming delegates to represent them at the city or
county convention. The city or county convention, composed of these men,
is called together by the city or county committee. It first nominates
candidates for the city or county offices, and selects delegates to the
state convention, and also provides for the next meeting by the election
of a new committee for the ensuing year. In similar manner, just before
every state election, the state convention, composed of city and county
delegates, is called together by the state central committee. Here are
nominated men for state officers; a new committee is appointed to manage
state elections; and also, once every four years, the important duty of
selecting Presidential electors is performed. The Democrats also select,
in this state convention, their delegates to the National Presidential
Nominating Convention. The Republicans select but four delegates from
each State in state conventions, the remainder being appointed in
district conventions. Following the same method the National Central
Committee calls together a National Convention of all the delegates
which have been appointed by the State, for the purpose of (1)
nominating candidates for their party for President and Vice President;
(2) drawing up and accepting a party platform; (3) selecting a new
National Central Committee for the next four years, which committee is
to manage the election campaign and call the next National Convention.


National Conventions and Presidential Campaigns.

_#History and Development of the National Convention.#_--In the
Presidential elections of 1789 and 1792 there was no necessity for
regular party nominations, as the whole people were practically
unanimous in favor of Washington. Likewise in 1796 it was so well
understood that Adams was the man desired by the Federalists, and
Jefferson by the Democrats, that formal nominations were not required.
But, commencing with 1800, political parties were more divided in their
choice, and some method was demanded by which it might be decided on
whom the party should unite. From 1800 to 1820 this demand was met by
nominations made by Congressmen, in caucuses, or private meetings, of
the members of each party. This method finally proved unsatisfactory to
the country, but from 1824-1835 no new and better method was invented,
and nominations were made rather irregularly, each State legislature
proposing the name of its favorite. This method of nomination naturally
failed to unite the voters of the party, in all the different States, on
one man, and had to be abandoned. After a failure to revive nomination
for President by Congressional caucuses, a new method was developed and
adopted, which was by National Nominating Conventions, such as we have
to-day. The introduction of this last plan may fairly be dated at 1840.
National Conventions were first held at Eastern cities, but are now held
further West, to accommodate the shifting center of population, Chicago
being the favorite city. The National Convention is composed of
delegates from all the States. Each State sends twice as many delegates
as it has representatives in the National Senate and House of
Representatives, thus making a total now of 802. In addition to these,
the Republicans allow two delegates from each of the Territories.

_#Method of Procedure.#_--As soon as the State and Territorial
delegations arrive in the city they each elect a member for the new
National Central Committee for the next term. Inside of this committee
is chosen an executive committee, which, in reality, does all the work
of conducting the campaign. The members of this committee are almost
always men of wealth, and are expected to contribute liberally to the
campaign fund.

The business of the National Convention is commenced by the chairman of
the National Central Committee calling the convention to order. A
temporary chairman is then chosen, who appoints a "committee on
credentials," whose duty it is to decide which delegation shall be
admitted in case two delegations are sent from the same State, both
claiming admittance as representing the party in that State. A
"committee on resolutions" is also appointed to prepare the party
platform. The next day the permanent chairman is appointed. The platform
is then read and adopted, or amended and adopted. There is next an
alphabetical roll-call of the States, when names are proposed and
seconded for nomination as candidates for President. The average number
of names proposed is seven or eight, though sometimes as many as twelve
are offered. As each man is proposed the delegate presenting his name
extols him in a laudatory speech, and gives reasons why his man will
make a strong candidate and an able President. Voting then commences.
Each delegate has one vote. In the Republican convention a majority of
the whole number of the delegates voting for one man is required before
a nomination is reached, while the Democrats require a two-thirds vote.
Sometimes a nomination is made on the first ballot, while at other
times the convention has been so divided that as many as 53 ballots have
been required, as was the case when the Whigs nominated Scott.
Forty-nine ballots were needed when Pierce was nominated by the
Democrats. In 1888 Cleveland was nominated by the Democrats by
acclamation, no vote being necessary to show the wishes of the
delegates. Harrison was nominated by the Republicans on the eighth

A candidate for President having been selected, a Vice President is
nominated in a similar manner, though generally with much less trouble,
and the work of the convention is ended.

The candidates are now put before the people by their respective
parties. The people, of course, do not vote directly for them, but what
amounts to the same thing, vote for electors, who are pledged to vote
for them. A vigorous campaign of four months then follows, until
election day, in the first week in November.

Each candidate, a short time after his nomination, is expected to
publish a letter of acceptance, in which he expresses his full
confidence and belief in the platform which his party has adopted,
discloses his views, and outlines what his future policy will be if he
is elected.

To recapitulate, then, in a few words, let us see how a President is
nominated and elected.

In nominating the President each voter in caucus or primary meeting
shares in choosing delegates to the ward convention, which chooses
delegates to the city or county convention, which in turn sends
delegates to the district conventions. In these, delegates are chosen
for the State conventions, where Presidential electors are appointed,
and also the delegates sent to the National Convention.

In the National Convention, composed of delegates sent from the State
conventions and Territories, the Presidential candidate is nominated.
The electors are elected by the people, who in turn elect the nominees
of their National Convention. If State officers, as Governor,
Attorney-General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, etc., are to be
elected, they are nominated in the State conventions and elected by the

Besides counties, townships, and cities, States have other subdivisions
for political purposes. Thus the whole State is divided into senatorial
districts, each one of which sends one Senator to the State legislature,
and also into smaller districts, each one of which sends one member to
the lower house of the State legislature. Usually a senatorial district
is one or more counties, except in the case of large cities, which may
in itself contain two or more senatorial districts.


Introduction to the Study of the History of Political Parties in the
United States.

A knowledge of the nature of our federal government, and its relations
to the State Governments, of which it is composed, is a prerequisite to
an understanding of the history of our political parties.

The government of the United States is a federal republic, first formed
by the voluntary union of thirteen commonwealths. At present it is
composed of forty-four united States. It is a government of enumerated
powers, and in this respect differs radically from the governments of
the individual States. As all agree, the Federal Government possesses
only those powers specifically granted to it by the constitution. The
States possess all powers except those granted to the National
Government, and those not prohibited to them by the terms of the
constitution. When the government of the United States desires to
exercise a power, it must be proven that it was the intention of the
framers of the constitution, and so expressed in that instrument, that
it should possess such a power. The States in the exercise of their
powers need only show that they have not resigned that power. If there
be any dispute as to the constitutionality of an act of either Congress
or a State legislature, the point is decided in the final instance by
the Supreme Court of the United States.

In the political history of our country since the adoption of the
constitution, there have been ever present two great constitutional
questions, in the conflicting answers to which we must seek the origin
and creeds of our great political parties. If we can gain a proper
conception of the character of these two questions, we shall have taken
a long step towards the understanding of the reasons for the conduct of
the various opposing parties, and the basis of the disputes arising
between them. These have been the two questions. First, What is the
extent of the powers granted by the constitution to the National
Government? Second, What is the real nature of our Union; and, arising
under this problem, What is the extent to which the States are justified
in opposing what they believe to be unconstitutional acts on the part of
the National Government; and, Can a State or States, as a last resort,
withdraw from the Union? The remainder of this chapter will be mainly
devoted to a more particular examination of these questions.

What are the legitimate powers of the United States Government?

The United States government was the result of the union of thirteen
independent colonies--a union voluntary on the part of the colonies, yet
forced upon them by the evident need of some central power strong enough
to enforce obedience at home and demand respect abroad. The
determination of what and how many the national powers should be, was
the work of the Constitutional Convention. Of the difficulties of this
task we have already spoken.

In forming a scheme for a central government, there was the double
necessity of creating a government strong enough to perform the duties
for which it was established, and yet not so strong as to endanger the
free self-government of the States. The delicate point to be adjusted
was to give to the Federal Government only such powers as were necessary
for the establishment of an effective National Government, and, as far
as possible, to retain in the States their full governmental powers; in
other words, to harmonize federal strength with State sovereignty.

The fear exhibited by the States in the debates preceding the adoption
and ratification of the constitution of 1787, that the National
Government might become too strong at the expense of their own powers of
government, was not set at rest by the compromises obtained in the
convention, nor by the eleven amendments adopted soon after the
inauguration of the new government. The reason for the continuance of
this fear is that the constitution is so worded that the powers of the
general government are not precisely fixed.

The statement sometimes loosely made that a description of our
government is contained in the constitution, is apt to be misleading.
The constitution has served rather as a foundation upon which to build
the government, than as an entire framework. As a distinguished writer
has termed it, "The constitution was meant only as a scheme in outline,
to be filled up afterwards, and from time to time, by legislation."

A description of our present form of government is far from being
contained in the instrument adopted in 1788. For example, the
constitution makes no mention of how business shall be transacted by the
legislature. Committee Government in Congress owes its existence to no
provision of the constitution. The only mention made in the constitution
of the Speaker of the House, to-day the most powerful officer in the
legislature, is where it is provided that "The House of Representatives
shall choose their speaker and other officers." All executive
departments--the State, War, Navy, Treasury, Post Office, Interior,
Justice, Agriculture, and Labor--have been created from time to time by
act of Congress. Regarding the structure and number of federal courts,
the constitution merely provides that "The judicial power of the United
States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts
as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Our elaborate
system of district, circuit, and territorial courts, rests solely upon
congressional enactments. So, too, the constitution gives to Congress
the control of territories, but does not provide how that control shall
be exercised.

The framers of our constitution were wise in not attempting to specify
more particularly than they did, the manner in which the several powers
granted to the Federal Government should be exercised. They realized
that they were forming a scheme that was to endure for many years, and
that if it was to be capable of meeting the needs of a changing and
rapidly growing country, it would have to be elastic, and contain within
itself the power of adapting itself to new needs and conditions. To
secure the beneficial execution of the powers granted, Congress was
given the power of selecting appropriate means. To have refused the
grant of this power, would have been to attempt to provide by
unchangeable rule for emergencies that could by no possibilities be
foreseen. Or, as Chief Justice Marshall has put it, "It would have been
to deprive the legislature of the capacity to avail itself of
experience, to exercise its reason, and to accommodate its legislation
to circumstances."

After enumerating the various particular powers given to the Federal
Legislature, the constitution further says (Art. I, Sec. 8) "and [shall
have power] to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for
carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers
vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or
in any department or officer thereof." This is the clause under whose
authorization all those powers have been assumed, and functions
exercised, that have made the United States government of to-day so
different from that of 1789.

The general rule is, as has been said, that the United States government
possesses only those powers granted to it by the constitution. But here,
in this clause just quoted, is a general grant of all powers necessary
or proper for carrying into effect any of the powers particularly
granted. Who or what is to decide just what powers are necessary and
proper for the accomplishment of this object? Naturally people have not
been able to agree upon the question of just what powers are
constitutional or expedient as "implied" under this title of "necessary
and proper" and this question has been largely instrumental in dividing
the people in opposing political parties. There has always been a party,
the members of which, favoring great powers for the States rather than
for the Federal Government, have been "strict constructionists," and
have advocated a close and narrow interpretation of this clause of
"implied powers." From their desire to retain in the State governments
as many powers as possible, they have been known as the "States' Rights
Party." Opposing them has been the party of "loose constructionists,"
the members of which have held to a free, liberal interpretation of the
constitution, and have endeavored to increase the power of the Federal
Government. There have never been political parties styling themselves
"Strict Constructionists" and "Loose Constructionists," for these are
terms that have been used not as titles, but as definitions of different
principles of constitutional interpretation. But by whatever name they
may have been known, there have been, during the greater part of our
history, these two political parties, the one holding to the principle
of strict construction and States' Rights, and the other to that of
loose construction and federal power.

The second fundamental question spoken of in the beginning of this
chapter as underlying national politics, is concerning the nature of our
union and the rights of state nullification and secession.

A final answer to these questions cannot of course be here attempted,
but that which can be done, is to state in a few words just what their
meaning is, and the points upon which they have turned. When we come to
the consideration of the course of politics in the United States we
shall see the answers that history has given to them.

The government of the United States is the judge of its own powers, for
it is in its own supreme judicial tribunal that the constitutionality of
both State and Federal laws is finally determined. More than once has a
practical answer been demanded to the question What is to be done by a
State or States when, in their estimation, the National Government has
transcended its powers and legislated in an unconstitutional manner?
Obedience, nullification, or, in the last resort, secession from the
Union, have been the various alternatives that have offered themselves
to the States. Different views of the nature of our Union have sustained
the propriety of the selection of different ones of these alternatives.

According to the nullification theory, the constitution is held to be of
the nature of a compact between the States as one party and the Federal
Government as the other; and that, as in all contracts, if the
agreements contained therein are broken by the one party, the other
party has the right to refuse its assent thereto. Therefore, if the
United States government attempts the exercise of powers not granted in
the compact, the States have the right to interpose the "rightful
remedy" of "nullification." That is to say, that each State has the
right to determine for itself when an unwarranted power has been assumed
by the general government, and in such a case to declare the obnoxious
law null and of no force within her own boundaries.

In considering the question of nullification, it is necessary to
distinguish between the theory or rather method of nullification
propounded by Madison and Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky
Resolutions, from that of Calhoun brought forward at the time of South
Carolina's resistance to, and attempted nullification of, the Tariff
laws of 1828, and 1832. In the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions the
Alien and Sedition Acts were solemnly declared to be unconstitutional,
that the Union was a compact, and the States had the right to interpose
the remedy of nullification; but open resistance was not proposed. By
the Jeffersonian theory, it was proposed to obtain the opinion of
three-fourths of the States that the acts were unconstitutional, and
thus to "nullify" them after the manner of a constitutional amendment.
Until such nullification, the laws were to be obeyed.

The Calhoun doctrine was something entirely different from this.
According to his doctrine, any single State might order at once a
suspension of the law within her borders, and not until three-fourths of
the States in national convention had overruled the nullification could
the State be forced to obey the obnoxious law. To use Calhoun's own
words, his theory was, that "it belongs to the State, as a member of the
Union, in her sovereign capacity in convention, to determine definitely,
as far as her citizens are concerned, the extent of the obligation which
she has _contracted_; and if, in her opinion, the act exercising the
power in dispute be unconstitutional, to declare it null and void, which
declaration would be obligatory on her citizens." The sum and substance
of this was, as Von Holst has pointed out,[1] to give to one-fourth of
the States the power if they saw fit to deprive the Federal Government
of every power entrusted to it, that is, to alter the constitution at

[Footnote 1: _Constitutional History of the United States_, Vol. I, p.
474, note.]

The right of secession follows as a logical outcome of the theory of
nullification rigidly carried out. Federal laws are general in their
nature, and if binding anywhere, must be binding everywhere. If then, a
minority of States insist on their right of nullification, the federal
government will be obliged either to admit that every act of Congress is
without any force in a State until it has obtained the tacit approval of
the people of that State, or else it will be driven to the necessity of
obtaining the enforcement of the law by arms. Such employment of force
would of course be but the prelude to secession. Indeed, South Carolina,
in her Ordinance of Nullification, declared that she would secede, if
the United States did not repeal the obnoxious laws, or if she should
attempt to enforce the collections of the tariff duties provided for by
the acts in dispute. According to the Unionist view, it is held that in
no case has the individual State the right to resist the operation of a
federal law, much less does it possess the actual power to pass a law
affecting its relation to, or continuance in, the Union. This view is
supported by an interpretation of the constitution that denies to that
instrument the character of a compact between the States and the
National Government. The constitutional theory of this school is that
the National Government was formed _by the people_ as a whole, and not
by the States. That the States accepted this government, but were in no
sense parties to an agreement between them and the Nation. According to
this view, the Union began with the first acts of resistance taken in
common by the colonies, and is thus, in a sense, older than the state
governments, which were not formed until after the Declaration of
Independence. Also, that when the States gave in 1788 their consent to
the constitution, their consent was irrevocable. Two quotations from
decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States will make
clear the arguments and theory of the Unionists.

Said Chief Justice Marshall:[1] "The convention which promulgated the
constitution was indeed elected by the state legislatures, but the
instrument when it came from their hands, was a mere proposal, without
obligations or pretentious to it. It was reported to the then existing
Congress of the United States, with a request that it might 'be
submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each State by the
people thereof, under recommendation of its legislature for their assent
and ratification.' This mode of proceeding was adopted, and by the
conventions, by Congress, and by the state legislatures, the instrument
was submitted to the people. They acted upon it in the only way in which
they can act safely, effectually, and wisely on such a subject, by
assenting in convention. It is true they assembled in their several
States, an where could they have assembled? From these conventions the
constitution derives its whole authority. The government proceeds
directly from the people. The assent of the States in their sovereign
capacity is implied in calling the convention, and thus submitting that
instrument to the people. But the people were at perfect liberty to
accept or reject it, and their decision was final. It required not the
affirmance of, and could not be negatived by, the state governments. The
constitution when adopted was of complete obligation, and bound the
state sovereignties. The government of the Union then, is emphatically
and truly a government of the people. In form and in substance it
emanates from them. Its powers are granted by them, and are to be
exercised directly on them, and for their benefit."

[Footnote 1: _McCulloch_ v. _Md._, 4 Dall., 316.]

Said Chief Justice Chase:[1] "The union of the States never was a purely
artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the colonies, and grew
out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, and
geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the
necessities of war, and received definite form and character and
sanction from the articles of Confederation. By these the union was
solemnly declared to 'be perpetual.' And when the articles were found to
be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the constitution was
ordained 'to form a more perfect union.' It is difficult to convey the
idea of indissoluble unity more clearly than by these words. What can be
more indissoluble if a perpetual union made more perfect, is not? But
the perpetuity and indissolubility of the union, by no means implies the
loss of distinct and individual existence, or of the right of
self-government by the States.... Without the States in Union, there
could be no such political body as the United States. Not only,
therefore, can there be no loss of separate and independent autonomy to
the States, through their union under the constitution, but it may be
not unreasonably said that the preservation of the States, and the
maintenance of their governments are as much within the design and care
of the constitution, as the preservation of the Union and the
maintenance of the National Government. The constitution in all its
provisions looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible

[Footnote 1: _Texas_ v. _White_, 7 Wall., 750.]

A civil war of four years' duration has decided the Unionist theory of
our government to be the one under which the Nation is to be governed.
Whether or not, in point of fact, the Nation was older than the States,
and the constitution not a compact, but an indissoluble Union, will
always remain a question to be discussed. The dispute turns upon a point
that does not admit of final determination. We can only theorize. To
maintain the view that the Union is older than the States it is
necessary to show that the Continental Congress was of such a character,
and its powers of such a nature, that a true national government may be
said to have existed before July 4, 1776, and therefore, that the
Declaration of Independence and the consequent transformation of the
colonies into States were not the result of the individual action of
separate colonies, but of the whole people united in a nation. And,
following from this, that the States were never out of the union, but
that the individual colonies became States, only as belonging to the
United States. Consequently that the theory of a 'compact' between the
States and the United States is untenable, for at the time the United
States was born, the States did not exist.[1]

[Footnote 1: As Lincoln expressed it in his message of July 4, 1861:
"The States have their _status_ in the Union, and they have no other
legal status.... The Union is older than any of the States, and in fact,
it created them as States."]

To maintain the "Compact Theory" it is necessary to show that the
"Continental Congress" had no properly delegated national powers, and
to it the character of a national government could not fitly be applied,
and that the colonies when they separated from England remained
independent of each other, because as colonies they had been
independent. Therefore, that the initial clause of the Preamble to the
Constitution "We the people of the United States" referred not to all
the people of the United States in their collective capacity, but to the
people of the several States.

In fine, admitting, as all do, the Continental Congress to have been a
revolutionary body, exercising undelegated powers, the question is, Was
it, or was it not, a _de jure_, as well as _de facto_ national
government, and this is a question that cannot be answered absolutely.

These opposing views of the character of our constitution have been
stated not with the idea of proving either of them to be the correct
one, but solely to indicate the lines along which political parties have
fought their battles. Thus, it is hoped, the student will be prepared
for an intelligent consideration of the various political parties that
have existed in the course of his country's history.

To complete the statement of the underlying causes and fundamental
principles that have directed the course of our national politics, it is
necessary to give at least some short account of the natural causes that
have operated irresistibly to divide the North and the South in their
political thoughts and actions.

Why is it that slavery flourished in the South, but languished and was
gradually abolished in the North? Why is it that the stronghold of the
States' Rights doctrine of nullification and of secession was in the
South, and the citadel of the Unionists in the North? Why is it that
to-day the debate between high and low customs duties, is, to a very
considerable extent, a discussion between the New England and Middle
States and the Southern States?

To all these questions a very satisfactory answer can be found in the
different physical characteristics of the North and South. The nature
of the soil and climate, as well as the character of the settlers,
predetermined for the Southern colonies an agricultural character, and
for the colonies of the North a commercial and industrial character;
and, already by the end of the eighteenth century we find in them a
marked difference of political and social life.

From the very start, the South, favored by a mild climate, rich soil,
and broad, low-lying valleys, developed an agricultural life. Slavery
was introduced at an early date, and flourished, the warm climate being
congenial to the negro, and the rude manual labor of the field suited to
his meagre capabilities. The result of these influences was to develop
in the South a system of large ill-worked manors or estates. The
predominance of slave labor, discouraged the immigration of free labor,
and the South remained comparatively thinly settled. The moral effect of
slavery upon the white population was bad. Habits of thriftlessness and
laziness were engendered among the free population, and their social
relations corrupted.

In the North, an indented coast with many good harbors, a rugged soil,
and a wintry climate, encouraged the development of a commercial and
manufacturing life. Slave labor here proved itself scarcely profitable,
neither the climate nor the nature of the work required, being suited to
the frames and abilities of the African. As compared with the South, the
North soon became thickly settled, and largely as a result of this,
adopted the small area of the town or township as its most important
unit of local government, instead of the larger area, the county, used
in the South. This essential difference in the system of local
government in the North, from that of the South, has remained unchanged
to this day, and has exercised great influence upon the political habits
of the peoples of these two sections.

At the time of the adoption of the constitution, these differences
between the northern and southern colonies were not so great as they
were soon to become. As contrasted with the North, the agricultural
character of the South was already marked, but the designation of these
two sections as "free" and "slave" states had not yet come into use. It
was the remarkable development of the cultivation of cotton consequent
upon the invention of Whitney's cotton gin in 1793, that gave the
tremendous impetus to the increase of slavery in the South. While prior
to the introduction of this machine, scarcely a single pound of cotton
could be separated from the seed by a man in a day, Whitney's gin made
it possible to prepare for market three hundred and fifty pounds per
day. The nature of the cotton plant rendered it peculiarly fitted to the
climate and soil of the South, and the ease with which it could be
cultivated and prepared for market, made the application of slave labor
extremely profitable. In 1789 many of the southern states exhibited
evidences of a desire and intention to ultimately abolish slavery, but
from this time we hear nothing more of this. After 1800 the number of
slaves increased rapidly. The census of 1790 showed in the southern
colonies 650,000, while that of 1820 showed the number to be over
1,580,000. From 1800 to 1865 the political life of the South is largely
explainable by the interest of its people in, and devotion to, the
institution of slavery.

The promptness with which, irrespective of party affiliations, the
people of the North assumed the anti-slavery attitude and those of the
South placed themselves under the pro-slavery banner, at the time of the
Missouri contest in 1820, shows the extent to which these two sections
of the United States were already divided upon this great question. The
South, retarded in its growth by the employment of slave labor, as
compared with the North already exhibited an example of arrested
development, and her politicians saw that if the balance of power
between the slave-holding and the non-slave-holding States was to be
maintained, a wider field for the extension of their favorite
institution would have to be provided. It is in the light of this motive
that the desire of the South for the annexation of Cuba and of Texas,
even at the expense of a war with Mexico, is to be interpreted. The
compromise of 1820 satisfied the demands of the slavocracy for a time,
but only for a time. In 1850 the South again demanded, and obtained
concessions. It required a civil war to demonstrate to us the futility
of endeavoring to avert by compromise the conflict that was
irrepressible between the North and South so long as slavery existed in
the one, and was reprobated in the other.

The different attitudes assumed at the present day by the North and
South in regard to the Tariff question, is explainable by the difference
in the industrial life of these two sections. The North is essentially a
manufacturing centre, and, as such, demands high import duties as a
protection to her manufacturers and merchants. The South is, as a whole,
agricultural, and favors low duties with the idea of thus extending
foreign trade, and affording a larger market for the sale of her raw
products. A striking proof of the influence of the industrial life of a
section in determining its attitude towards the tariff, is seen in the
change of front of Massachusetts after 1824 from free-trade to
protection, this change being wholly due to the predominating influence
acquired by her manufactures over her commerce and agriculture.



For the assistance of those who may desire a fuller acquaintance with
the administrative methods of our Federal and State Governments than is
to be obtained from this book, these bibliographical notes are appended.
Not only the authorities actually consulted in the preparation of this
monograph are given, but mention is also made of the most reliable and
accessible sources of information upon the more important topics germane
to the study of Government and Administration. In arrangement, the notes
follow the order of topics used in the text.

General Works upon United States Government.

Worthy of first mention is the admirable work of James Bryce, _The
American Commonwealth_, 2 vols., 1888. To the student of American
institutions and administration these two volumes are indispensable. In
them is contained the best and latest scientific exposition of our
political institutions as they exist to-day. The only criticism that can
be made regarding the work is that the executive departments have not
received sufficient attention as regards the details of their
administration, nor the practical and scientific value of the work
performed by their numerous bureaus. Interesting from an historical
point of view is De Tocqueville's _Democracy in America_, now fifty
years old. Lalor's _Encyclopaedia of Political Science, Political
Economy and American History_ is by far the best work for reference. The
principal articles in the field of political science are contributed by
Dr. J.C. Bluntschli, those upon United States History by the late Prof.
Alexander Johnston, and those upon Federal Administration by A.R.
Spofford, Librarian of Congress.

Bannatyne's _Hand-book of Republican Institutions in the United States_
is an authoritative work based upon federal and state laws, and other
authoritative sources of information. It is entirely descriptive and
very complete. Other general works are Mulford's _The Nation: the
Foundation of Civil Order and Political Life in the United States_;
Laboulaye's _Histoire Politique des Etats-Unis,_ 3 vols.; and Lamphere's
_The United States Government: Its Organization and Practical Workings_,
this last being chiefly valuable for its statistical and tabulated

Among foreign works that consider the theory and practice of the United
States Government, are Bagehot's _English Constitution_; Sir Henry
Maine's chapter on the _Constitution of the United States_ in his
_Popular Government_; E.A. Freeman's article _Presidential Government_
contained in his _Historical Essays_ (1871); Lord Brougham's chapter on
the _Government of the United States_ in his _Political Philosophy_,
Vol. 3; and E. Boutmy's _Etudes de droit Constitutionel._ For current
political information McPherson's _Hand-book of Politics_, issued every
two years since 1870, is valuable. Besides statistical information
regarding government revenues and expenditures, public debts, votes,
population, names of congressmen, &c.; these hand-books contain
Presidential and Gubernatorial messages, transcripts from the
_Congressional Record_ relating to leading matters discussed in
Congress; and decisions of the Supreme Court that are of general
importance. _The Statesman's Year-Book_, published annually by Macmillan
& Co., is valuable for reference in matters concerning both foreign and
American governments. Bibliographical references are also given to each
existing government.

John Fiske's recent volume on _Civil Government in the United States_,
stands in merit far above other manuals bearing this name, most of which
are simply running commentaries on the constitution. An excellent
feature of Mr. Fiske's book is the addition of bibliographical notes at
the ends of the chapters.

The following are manuals that may be recommended as of comparative
merit: Macy, _Our Government: How it Grew, What it Does, and How it Does
it_; Cocker's _Civil Government_; Thorpe's _Government of the People of
the United States_; Martin's _Civil Government_, and Ford's _American
Citizens' Manual_.

The most complete collection of bibliographical references to the
Constitution of the United States is that prepared by W.E. Foster, and
published as _Economic Tract_ No. xxix, by the "Society for Political
Education," New York.


Dr. J.C. Bluntschli's _Lehre vom Modernen Stat_, in three volumes, gives
the finest treatment of the various forms and general principles of
governments. A portion of Dr. Bluntschli's work has been translated into
English and published under the title _The Theory of the State_. There
is also a French translation of this work. Other authorities under this
head are: Bluntschli's _Staatswörterbuch_; Woolsey's _Political Science,
or the State Theoretically and Practically Considered_; and
Montesquieu's _De l'Esprit des Lois_. Interesting from an historical
point of view, are the theories contained in the works of political
philosophers in the past. See Plato's _Republic_; Aristotle's
_Politics_, Cicero's _De Republica_; Thomas Aquinas' _Of the Government
of Principles;_ Dante's _De Monarchia_; Machiavelli's _Prince_; Jean
Bodin's _Of the Commonwealth_; Hobbes' _Leviathan_; Filmer's
_Patriarcha_; Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_; Locke's _Civil
Government_; J.J. Rousseau's _Social Contract_; Bentham's _Fragment on
Government_; J.S. Mills' _Representative Government_.

Pollock's _History of the Science of Politics_, published in the
"Humboldt Library," contains an admirable summary of the views of these
political philosophers.

The works of several of these authors (Hobbes, Hooker, Locke, Filmer,
Machiavelli) are contained in "Morley's Universal Library," published by
Routledge at one shilling per volume.

For theories regarding the origin and development of government, see
Maine's _Ancient Law, Early History of Institutions_, and _Early Law and
Custom_; Spencer's _Principles of Sociology_, Vol. I; Morgan's _Ancient
Society_; McLennan's _Studies in Ancient History_, and _The Patriarchal
Theory_; and Bagehot's _Physics and Politics_, published in the Humbolt
Library. The contract theory of government is presented in various forms
in the works of Hobbes, Hooker, Locke and Rousseau.

Functions of Government.

The proper limits of state action are discussed in Mill's _Essay on
Liberty_; Huxley's _Administrative Nihilism_ (Humboldt Lib.); Spencer's
_Social Statics, Man versus the State, The Coming Slavery_, and _The
Sins of Legislators_ (Humboldt Lib.); Stephen's _Liberty, Equality,
Fraternity_; Humboldt's _Sphere and Duties of Government_; and H.C.
Adams' _State in Relation to Industrial Action_, published by the
American Economic Association. Wilson's _The State_ contains a valuable
chapter upon the functions of government. For a description of existing
forms of government, Prof. Woodrow Wilson's _The State_ is very
valuable. See also _Statesmen's Year Books_.

Colonial Governments.

Volumes III, IV, and V of Winsor's _Narrative and Critical History of
America_, 8 vols., contain excellent monographs upon the founding,
history and nature of government of the various colonies. Doyle's two
volumes, entitled _The English Colonies in America_, present an
exhaustive study of the American colonies from an European point of
view. A handy digest of this work is contained in his small _History of
the United States_, published as one of the volumes in "Freeman's
Historical Course for Schools." Lodge's _Short History of the English
Colonies in America_ is chiefly devoted to colonial social life. In the
preparation of the chapter upon Colonial Governments, we have obtained
the most assistance from the first volume of Story's _Commentaries upon
the Constitution_. Pages 15 to 50 of Hannis Taylor's _Origin and Growth
of the English Constitution_ are important. Fiske's _Beginnings of New
England_ is an extremely interesting description of the early history of
a single section. Steps Toward Union and Independence.

See especially Story's _Commentaries_; Frothingham's _Rise of the
Republic of the United States_; Scott's _Development of Constitutional
Liberty in the English Colonies in America_; Fiske's _Critical Period of
American History_; and A.B. Hart's _Formation of the Union_, 1763-1829,
to appear in the series, "Epochs of American History." For the Albany
plan of union see Franklin's _Life and Letters_, Vol. 4. For an account
of the causes leading to revolution written from an essentially English
standpoint, see Lecky's _History of England in the Eighteenth Century_,
Vol. IV.

Articles of Confederation.

Best upon this subject are: Curtis' _History of the Constitution_;
Marshall's _Life of Washington_; Bancroft's _History of the United
States_; and Winsor's _Narrative and Critical History of America_, Vol.
VII, article _The Confederation_ by the Editor. See also _Secret
Journals of Congress_, and authorities cited above.

Constitutional Convention and the Adoption of the Constitution.

See authorities cited above, and J.A. Jameson's _Treatise on
Constitutional Conventions_. The official sources of information are:
the meagre _Journal, Acts, and Proceedings of the Convention_; and
Elliot's _Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of
the Federal Constitution_, * * * * _together with the Journal of the
Federal Convention_, the last volume of which contains Madison's notes
of _Debates in the Federal Convention_, frequently called _The Madison

The Constitution.

The number of valuable works concerned more or less directly with a
study of the Constitution is very great. Only a very few can be
mentioned. A very complete list of references to the Constitution, is
that by W.E. Foster, already referred to. The leading works upon
Constitutional Law are Cooley's _General Principles of Constitutional
Law_, and _Constitutional Limitations_; Von Holst's, Hare's and
Pomeroy's treatises on Constitutional Law. Story's _Commentaries on the
Constitution_ are invaluable. The character and value of _The
Federalist_ have been noticed in the text (p. 25). On Constitutional
Amendments, see Johnston's article on _Amendments_ in Lalor's
_Encyclopaedia_. Concerning Constitutional developments, due to judicial
construction, see Willoughby's _Supreme Court of the United States: its
History and Influence in our Constitutional System_, published in the
Johns Hopkins Studies, Extra Vol. VII; and _The Constitutional History
of the United States as Seen in the Development of American Law_, by
Judge Cooley and others, edited by H.W. Rogers. _The Unwritten
Constitution of the United States,_ is the title of a very recent book
by C.G. Tiedeman.

For constitutional development due to war experiences, see Dunning's
_United States in Civil War and in Reconstruction_. W.E. Foster has in
press a pamphlet of references on _The United States Constitution in
Civil War_.

On Federal Government, see Jellinek's _Die Lehre von den
Staatenverbindungen_; and Hart's _Introduction to the Study of Federal
Government_, Harvard Historical Monographs, No. 2. Besides giving an
outline of the political history of the successive federations in the
world's history, with an account of the literature upon each, Mr. Hart's
monograph contains a very excellent bibliographical note on Federal
Government in general, and the United States Constitution in particular.

The laws of the United States are known as _United States Statutes at
Large_. In 1878 was published a large volume containing all Federal laws
in force in 1874. In 1881 was published a Supplement (known as
_Richardson's Supplement_) containing congressional legislation during
the years 1874--1881.

Congressional Government.

The official reports of the debates of Congress have been published
under the following titles: _Annals of Congress_ (1789--1823),
_Congressional Debates_ (1824-1837), _Congressional Globe_ (1833-1873),
_Congressional Record_ (1873 to the present time). Benton's _Abridgment
of Debates_ in 16 volumes covers the period 1789 to 1850.

McPherson's _Handbook of Politics_, already cited, contains accounts of
the more important debates in Congress. Printed copies of bills and
reports of committees can be obtained upon application. For the best
descriptions of the practical working of Congress, see Bryce's _American
Commonwealth_, and Woodrow Wilson's _Congressional Government_. In both
of these works our committee method of congressional legislation is
compared with the English method of Parliamentary legislation under the
leadership of a responsible ministry. The conclusions obtained from this
comparison by the latter author, are especially unfavorable to the
United States. Other references to works comparing English and American
methods of legislation, are Snow's _Defence of Congressional
Government_, published in the papers of the American Historical
Association, Vol. IV; A.L. Lowell's _Essays on Government_; Bagehot's
_English Constitution_; Bourinot's article, _Canada and the United
States, Scottish Review_, July, 1890, and Annals of the American Academy
of Social Science, No. I; and an article by Hon. Joseph Chamberlain,
_Shall We Americanize Our Institutions?_ Nineteenth Century, December,
1890. _The Congressional Directory_, published annually, contains much
handy information regarding the constitution and officers of Congress,
and of the various federal departments at Washington. For an account of
the work done during the last session (1889-90), see _North American
Review_, November, 1890. Regarding the recent controversy on the power
of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to count as present
members in the hall, but not answering to the roll-call, see the _North
American Review_ for October, 1889; the Nos. for March, May, July,
August and October, 1890, also contain interesting articles on the same

Executive Departments.

Of especial and authoritative value is the report of a select committee
of the Senate to _Enquire into and Examine the Methods of Business and
Work in the Executive Departments_, in 3 vols., known as Cockrell's
Report, or Senate Report 507, 50th Cong., 1st Sess., and also a
supplementary report in one volume, dated March 28, 1889. For other
official sources of information, see the annual reports of the various
departments, and of the individual bureaus. See also special reports
mentioned in the text. On diplomatic relations, see the annual report of
the Secretary of State _On Foreign Relations_, and _Treaties and
Conventions between the United States and Other Powers_ (1776-1887),
published by the same department. The _Consular Reports_, issued from
time to time by the State Department, are of value as furnishing
economic information regarding foreign countries. The reports of the
Secretary of the Treasury are of extreme statistical and financial
value. For handy use the _Statistical Abstract_ is issued annually by
the Treasury Department. The reports published by the Department of
State, of the _International Conferences of 1878_, and of _1881_, and
that of Edward Atkinson on _The Present Status of Bimetalism in Europe_
(1887), are of especial value upon monetary topics. In 1886 the Treasury
Department issued a volume of _Laws Relating to Loans, and the Currency,
Coinage and Banking_. Besides his annual report the Director of the Mint
publishes annually a report on the _Production of Gold and Silver in the
United States_. For an account of the Sub-Treasury system, see Bolle's
_Financial History of the United States_. Concerning the evils of this
system, see an article by Prof. J.L. Laughlin in the _North American
Review_, Vol. 137, p. 552.

Regarding the Silver Question and other important public questions
coming within the province of the Treasury Department, information can
be derived from recent periodicals. Poole's _Index to Periodical
Literature_ should also be consulted. An interesting account of the
Pension Office is contained in the _Atlantic Monthly_, January, 1890.
Regarding the Interstate Commerce Commission, see the book by Don Passes
in Putnam's "Questions of the Day" series. See also Political Science
Quarterly, Vol. II, pp. 223 and 369.

The Eleventh Census is now being compiled, and Bulletins are issued from
time to time by the superintendent. Postmaster-General Wanamaker has
recently issued a pamphlet in support of a _Limited Post and Telegraph_.

Concerning the constitutional powers possessed by executive officers,
see A. Conkling's _Powers of the Executive Departments_; de Chambrun's
_The Executive Power,_ and chapter VII of Willoughby's _Supreme Court of
the United States_. The _Official Register of the United States_, issued
annually in two large volumes, contains the names and positions of all
persons in federal employment. The second volume is devoted exclusively
to the Postal Service. Very many of the government reports mentioned in
this note will be sent to any address upon application.

_A descriptive catalogue of all government publications_ arranged in
chronological order, from 1774 to 1881, was prepared by B.P. Poore and
published by the government.

Federal Judiciary.

Among the treatises upon the practical working of the Federal Judiciary
are: B.R. Curtis' _Federal Courts_; Bryce's _American Commonwealth_; and
Willoughby's _Supreme Court of the United States_, already referred to.
For an excellent description of the relations between the Federal and
State courts, see Chamberlain's lecture published in _The Constitutional
History of the United States as seen in the Development of its Law_. The
reports of decisions of cases tried in the Supreme Court are contained
in one hundred and thirty-three volumes. Until 1875, these volumes were
known by the names of the reporters, viz.: Dallas, Cranch, Wheaton,
Peters, Howard, Black, and Wallace. Since 1875 they have been designated
simply as _United States Reports_.

Ordinance of 1787.

For text and comments see _Old South Leaflet_ No 13 (Heath & Co., price
five cents). For _The United States Constitution and the Ordinance of_
1787 _in Relation to Education_, see Magazine of American History,
September, 1888. See also Papers of the American Historical Association,
Vol. III; pamphlets by Dr. Poole and F.D. Stone, and Sato's _History of
the Land Question in the United States_, Johns Hopkins University
Studies, Series IV.


The reports of the Governors of the various territories to the Secretary
of the Interior furnish an official source of information. Regarding the
government of, and conditions of admission of territories as States, see
especially Bannatyne's _Republican Institutions in the United States_.

State Governments.

For the text of State constitutions see B.P. Poore's _Federal and State
Constitutions, Colonial Charters, and Other Organic Lows of the United
States_, in two vols. (1877), published by the government. For further
information regarding State constitutions consult Davis' _American
Constitutions_, in the Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series III;
Jameson's _Introduction to the Constitutional and Political History of
the States_, Johns Hopkins University Studies, Series IV; and
Hitchcock's _American State Constitutions_ (Putnam's "Questions of the
Day" series). See also of course Bryce's _American Commonwealth_. For
_Recent Tendencies in State Activities_, see paper by W.F. Willoughby,
to be published in the "Papers of the American Historical Association,"
Vol. V., and articles by Dr. Albert Shaw, entitled _American State
Legislatures_, in Contemporary Review, October, 1889, and _The American
State and the American Man_, in the same review for May, 1887. The
_Forum_ for November, 1890, contains an interesting description of the
_Six New States_, by Senator Cullom. For histories of the individual
States, see the series of "American Commonwealths," edited by H.E.
Scudder, and published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Those for Connecticut,
Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Kansas, California, Maryland, Kentucky, New
York, Ohio, Colorado, Oregon, and Virginia, have already appeared.

Local Government.

Among authorities on Local Government are various monographs upon this
subject in the several States, contributed to the _Johns Hopkins
University Studies in Historical and Political Science_. See also Bryce
and Bannatyne.

City Government.

See J.H.U. _Studies_, Vol. IV, Nos. 4, 10; Vol. V, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4; Vol.
VII, Nos. 1, 3, 4. Also supplementary volume, _Philadelphia, 1681-1887:
a History of Municipal Development_, by Allinson and Penrose. Simon
Sterne has an able article on "Cities" in Lalor's _Encyclopaedia_. See
also chapters in Bryce's great work, and articles in the Political
Science Quarterly for June, 1887, and June, 1889; Forum, Vol. II, pp.
260, 539; and Quarterly Journal of Economics, January, 1890.

The report of the New York Commission on "_A Plan for a New Government
of New York_," 1876, is valuable, as are also several of ex-Mayor
Hewitt's messages. Prof. Gniest has a suggestive article on Berlin, the
best governed city in the world, in the _Contemporary Review_, Vol. 46.
Shaw's article on Glasgow in the Century, March, 1890, is likewise
instructive. Spofford's _City of Washington and Growth of United States
Cities_ is interesting. Ely's _Taxation in American States and Cities_
contains many excellent suggestions for improvements in our methods of
municipal administration. See also Ely's _Problems of To-day_. Putnam is
publishing a series entitled _Great Cities of the Republic_. The Stories
of New York, Boston and Washington have thus far appeared.

Government Revenue and Expenditure.

Federal and State finance reports furnish official information.
Seligman's _Finances of American States and Cities_, published by the
American Statistical Association, 1890, is valuable, and furnishes
excellent statistical and tabulated information. Ely's _Taxation in
American States and Cities_ contains much information. Spofford's
article on _The Budget_ in Lalor's _Encyclopaedia_ is extremely
instructive. H.C. Adams' _Public Debts_ is one of the ablest financial
works in the English language. The proper administration of Federal and
State finances is discussed, and the subject of national and local debts
considered. Bolle's _Financial History of the United States_, in three
large volumes, is an able work, and can be consulted with profit.

Census Bulletins, Nos. 6 and 7, describe respectively _The Indebtedness
of States in 1880 and 1890_, and _The Financial Condition of Counties_.


See reports of the Director of the Mint, and of the Comptroller of the
Currency. See also Knox's _United States Notes_; Simmer's _History of
American Currency_, and text-books on _Political Economy_.

Public Lands of the United States.

Sato's _History of the Land Question in the United States_, Johns
Hopkins University Studies, Series IV, is the best book for reference.
The official source of information regarding the public lands is
Donaldson's enormous report of 1341 pages on _The Public Domain: its
History with Statistics_ (1884), published by the government (House
Executive Documents 47, Part 4, 46th Congress, 3d Session.) For a short
account of _The Disposition of Our Public Lands_, see an article by A.B.
Hart, in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, January, 1887. Statistical
tables are appended to this article.


See Johnston's article in Lalor's _Encyclopaedia_, and authorities there
cited. Also McPherson's _History of Reconstruction_, Dunning's _United
Stales Constitution in Civil War and in Reconstruction_, and W.E.
Foster's _References on the United States Constitution in Civil War_,
about to be published (1891).

Party Machinery and National Conventions.

See especially Bryce's _American Commonwealth_, and Ostrogorski's
_Organisation des parties politiques aux Etats-Unis_. On the Caucus see
Whitridge's _The Caucus System_, published as "Economic Tract" No. 8, by
the Society for Political Education, New York.

Political Parties.

Winsor's _Narrative and Critical History of America_ contains a short
history of political parties by Professor Alexander Johnston. See also
Johnston's admirable manual, _History of American Politics_, a book
especially adapted for school use. Von Holst's _Constitutional and
Political History of the United States_, six volumes, contains the most
comprehensive treatment of the history of political parties. Schouler's
_History of the United States under the Constitution_, is an exceedingly
able and interesting work. Four volumes bring this history down to 1847.
The fifth volume soon to appear, will bring the narrative down to the
Civil War.

The first volume of Von Holst is especially interesting, as giving
statements of the various theories held regarding the origin and nature
of our constitution. Upon Nullification and Secession, see Von Holst's
_Life of Calhoun_; Stephens' _War between the States_; Greeley's
_American Conflict_; McPherson's _Political History of the Rebellion_;
and articles in Lalor's _Encyclopaedia_. The _American Statesman
Series_, now being published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., contains
valuable biographies of leading American statesmen. See especially in
this series Schurz's _Henry Clay_; Morse's _Jefferson_; Lodge's
_Webster_; and Von Holst's _Calhoun_. Upon the Economic contrasts
between the North and South, see Von Holst's Constitutional History,
Vol. I, Chapters IX and X. Taussig's _History of the Tariff_, gives the
best history of this much debated subject.

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