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National and State
Second Revised Edition
R. A. HINSDALE, Ph. D., LL. D.
PROFESSOR OF THE SCIENCE AND THE ART OF TEACHING IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHI-
OF THE "WORKS OF JAMES ABRAM GARFIELD"
COPYRIGHT, 1891, BY THE REGISTER PUBLISHING COMPANY.
The Lakeside Press
R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY
THE Study of Political Science has received a great impulse in the United States since the Civil War. In the schools, the change is particularly marked. This is owing to the direct influence of the War, to the increasing number and difficulty of political problems attending the development of society, and to the growth of interest in human questions all over the civilized world.
The change in the character of the work done in schools is almost as marked as the change in its quantity. A generation ago, such work was practically limited to the study of the Constitution of the United States, carried on in a very narrow way. The sole text-book was the traditionary "Civil Government " that still lingers in some schools. This the introduction of the historical and scientific methods of investigation and teaching has changed for the better. The field of study has continued to widen until, in the best schools, it can no longer be covered even by the ablest students, and it has become a serious matter to know what portion of it to cultivate.
As the result of much experience both as a student and a teacher of the subject, the author is of the opinion that, not only in the High School and the Academy, but also in the College, the American Government should still be the central subject of study in this field. This opinion he holds on both practical and pedagogical grounds. He is further of the opinion, that this study should embrace a comprehensive view of the origin and growth of the American Government, and an adequate historical and exegetical commentary upon our dual Constitution, National and State. He has accordingly attempted to furnish a text-book embodying these ideas.
The university student may profitably study books devoted to the principles of Constitutional Law; but such a treatise is not the text. book that the average college student, with his power of generalization and compass of facts, needs. He will find a careful study of the Constitution of the United States, accompanied by suitable historical discussion and illustration, far more profitable than constitutional
disquisitions. Hence, the central position in this book is assigned to the National Constitution. Still, it is not so much the Constitution as a document written in 1787, as the Constitution developed by the life of the people and construed by Congress, by the Executive, and by the Courts as shown in our Legislative, Administrative, and Juridical history. It is the living and working Constitution that concerns the American youth, and not simply a document; the Constitution in action, and not the Constitution in a book. Hence the author has striven, in accord with the later and better tendency in treating such subjects, to make his book strong in its historical elements. Constitutions are not made, they grow.
Hitherto the National Government has occupied disproportionate attention in teaching the American Government. The States have almost fallen out of sight. In this treatise, due prominence has been given to the fact that this Government is dual or federal, and that the citizen has two loyalties and two patriotisms. It is written in the spirit of the aphorism: An Indestructible Union composed of Indestructible States. The growth of this dual system has been traced from its roots in the first feeble English settlements planted in Virginia and Massachusetts. But it has not been thought necessary, or even desirable, to describe the State system at as much length as the National system.
It would have been easy greatly to extend the references to books. But an over-extended Literature commonly defeats its own ends. The common student especially is lost in the multitude of titles cited. The aim has therefore been to make a helpful bibliography rather than an extensive one.
Both in the original preparation of this work and in its subsequent thorough revision, the Author took due pains to secure accuracy of fact and statement. But errors will creep into a book that contains so much matter-of-fact material as this one contains. In the years that have elapsed, the Author has carried on a persistent warfare againts these original errors, correcting them when they were discovered, and, it is believed, that few of them now remain. In this work he has enjoyed the coöperation of a considerable number of correspondents, who were using the work as a text-book or had read it.
Once more, a good book on a living government is necessarily a live book. Government is all the time changing, and the book must change as well. To keep this work abreast of the latest knowledge has been the ambition of the Author and publishers alike from the day of the first revision. A close comparison of this last revision with the first revision, not to go back to the original, will show that many alterations have been made in the interest of perfect accuracy and up-to-date knowledge. This revision is brought down to the adjournment of the first session of the fifty-sixth Congress, and so includes the recent important legislation in regard to financial matters and the new Territorial governments.
The Author may perhaps be permitted to remark that this book has been received by students, teachers, and others with many marks of favor; and he wishes to express his thanks to such persons as have put it into practical use or have borne testimony to its merits. Still more, he is fully appreciative of the assistance of those friends, both known and unknown, who have helped him to make the book less unworthy of the public favor. So this third time he commits "The American Government" to the favorable consideration of students and teachers of this important branch of study.
The University of Michigan, June, 1900.
B. A. HINSDALE.