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SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
This book has been written with three classes of persons constantly in mind. These are students who are studying the American Government in Colleges, students who are studying it in High Schools, Academies, or Normal Schools of high grade, and teachers of History and Civics in Elementary and Secondary Schools. Its adaptation at once to college and secondary school students will be explained further on; but here it may be remarked that teachers in schools who are using a book of lower grade than this one, often want, and perhaps still oftener need, a book of high grade for their own study and improvement. Still further, the book is adapted, it is confidently believed, to the wants of several important classes of persons who are outside of schools altogether; young men and women carrying on private study, members of improvement societies and reading clubs and circles, editors and political writers and speakers desiring a manual of political information for handy reference, and intelligent citizens generally, who so often find it necessary to enlarge or to refresh their knowledge of the government under which they live.
It will be a service to all these classes of persons, and particularly to teachers, to state the cardinal features of the work.
I. The range and variety of topics introduced, the fullness of Knowledge furnished, and the discriminating judgment shown in the selection of both topics and material. A large circle of reading and study has been drawn upon; books of history, volumes of statutes and law reports, treatises on political science and on constitutional law, reports of the public departments and bureaus, monographs, publications of learned societies, lives and works of public men, etc. There is not now before the public a volume of equal size, if indeed of any size, that will favorably compare with THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT in these particulars.
II. The manner in which the matter has been distributed and organized. First, mention should be made of the grand divisions of the subject: The Making of the Government, its National side, and its State side. Particular pains have been taken to present these in proper proportion and equipose. Next is the careful distribution of the matter in chapters embracing distinct subjects. It will be observed that there are no "continued" chapters. And finally, the handling of the paragraph. The author has constantly made it a point to seize clearly some single topic, or phase of a topic, to make it the unit of treatment, and then to mark the paragraph off from all
other paragraphs by giving it a distinct title and number, thus arresting and fixing the attention of the reader upon the successive units of thought. When once the student has taken in the scope of the chapter, or large division of the chapter, if there be such divisions, the next thing for him to do is to grasp firmly the idea conveyed by the title of the paragraph before him, proceeding thus in order. At this point, as in the case of other books similarly constructed, the inexperienced student needs some assistance from his teacher. "Side heads," as these titles of paragraphs are called, serve as handles by which to seize the salient features of the subjects treated; and many an excellent treatise suffers from want of them, offering no projections upon which the student can easily lay hold, but only a smooth surface.
III. The adaptation of the book, as is believed, to the needs of students and other persons who, for various reasons, wish to give different amounts of time to the subject, pursuing it, some more and some less thoroughly, and so to different grades of schools, as the College and High School or Academy. Owing to the importance of this third topic, it will be well to go somewhat into detail.
1. The Introduction deals with the leading conceptions and terms of Political Science; it is not an integral part of the book, and teachers can make more or less use of it, or none at all, as they may elect.
2. Some teachers who have taught the making of the Government as a part of history, will wish practically to limit their instruction to the Government as it is under its National and State aspects. These should either omit the Introduction and Part I. altogether, or touch them but lightly.
3. Others will wish to teach the National Government, with merely incidental reference to the States. These should omit Part III.
4. Still others may wish only a Manual of the Constitution, with matter on the two other topics to which they can refer their students. These will find such a manual in Part II.
5. Two kinds of type have been used throughout. The main propositions, making up the skeleton of the discussion, are put in the larger type; the subordinate propositions, devoted to an enlarged view of the subject, or to the illustration of particular topics, in smaller type. The result is that nearly all the chapters contain a double view of their subject,—the one more compendious, the other more elaborate; or, in other words, two books have in reality been put inside the same covers. Take for example Chapter I., the subject of which is, "The Thirteen English Colonies Planted." The series of paragraphs, "The Right of Discovery," "First Divis