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From Hunt's Merchant's Magazine, December, 1842. 
The Young American : or Book of Government and Law ; showing 

their History, Nature and Necessity. By S. G. Goodrich, author 

of" Peter Parley's Tales." 18mo. pp. 282. New York : William 

Robinson. 1842. 

The design of this little treatise is excellent ; and, like everj'thing 
from Peter Parley, admirably well calculated to secure the attention 
of children. It begins with the first ideas of government and law, 
and successively treats of governments and legislation in all their 
successive stages, and diversified forms. The nature, origin, and 
principles of government, and especially our own, are here made ac- 
cessible to all, and at the same time familiar to the youthful student. 
From the New York Evangelist, Nov. 12. 

The object of this little work is described by the title page. In 
what manner it has been accomplished, the well-known talent, skill, 
and success of Peter Parley sufficiently indicate. The great elemen- 
tary principles of Law, Rights, Justice, and Government, are stated 
and explained by such variety and simplicity of illustration, and such 
clearness of reasoning, as to be brought Avithin the comprehension of 
a child. It is soundly republican, Puritan, and scriptural in its doc- 
trine, and is admirably fitted for general reading and for schools. 
From the New York Observer, Nov. 12. 

This is just the book which has long been wanted for the use of 
schools and families ; drawn up as it is by Peter Parley, it is happily 
adapted for the purpose, and, we doubt not, will be widely sought af- 
ter and greatly useful. It is on a subject that ought to be studied and 
well understood, especially in this country where the people are the 
sovereigns and come early into power. 

Frojn the Journal of Commerce, Nov. 15. 

The writings of S. G. Goodrich, Esq., have done much to cultivate 
in the minds of the young people of our country a taste for suitable books, 
and of learning more extensively with regard to the manners and in- 
stitutions of those countries of which they here receive a faint idea. 
Mr. Goodrich is a popular writer, and deservedly such. We have no 
doubt that this book will be received with as much approbation as 
any of his preceding works. For sale by William Robinson. 
Sunday Morning Neios, Dec. 12, 1842. 

The author commences and admirably illustrates his remarks on 


the nature and application of law and government by domestic scene* 
familiar to the mind of all. He then shows the character of govern- 
ment among the people of various nations and the universal admission 
of its necessity in some form by them all, and also the differences of 
that government among barbarous and civilized people. 

The history and nature of legislation, judicial and executive power 
are considered and clearly recited and explained. The character of 
the present forms of government among prominent nations, with a 
view of their condition, resources and power, is also an interesting 
portion of the volume ; and the contrast drawn between them and the 
government of the United States is admirably calculated to inspire the 
mind of youth with a spirit of patriotism, independence and honor. 

The exposition of the various departments and tendency of our own 
peculiar srovernment — the sketch of our rise and progress as a nation 
— the spirit and letter of our constitution, with its amendments — the 
functions of our governmental officers — the qualification of voters — 
the character of political parties — the duties of citizens, with much 
other pertinent matter, under specific heads, make up the balance of 
this excellent work. 

When we consider the importance of intelligence to preserve and 
perpetuate our institutions and the advantages of early education to 
qualify our countrymen to become useful citizens, we must perceive 
the benefits which this clear and familiar treatise is calculated to con- 
fer upon the rising generation. 

The work is forcibly illustrated by characteristic engravings, print- 
ed in a clear and neat style and strongly bound. With these particu- 
lars we are free to say that the publisher must soon exhaust large 
editions of this admirable work. 

Bay State Democrat ^ Nov. 22, 1842. 

The author instead of wasting the time and wear^'ing the attention 
of the reader with recondite speculations upon abstract ideas, arrays 
his subject in the plainest garb of facts, and thus renders it acceptable 
to the young mind. The political institutions of the Hebrews, Chinese, 
Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, French, English and Irish, are described 
in appropriate and intelligible language, and such facts and circum- 
stances are interwoven with the narrative as cannot fail to render it 
interesting to the young reader. A sketch of the nature and origin 
of our National Government is also given, and a full and comprehen- 
sive account of its various institutions. The Constitution of the 
United Stales is presented section by section, accompanied by such 
explanatory remarks as serve to illustrate the purpose of its prov* 
sions. The subject of popular suffrage and the nature of political pai- 
ties are set forth with the truth and plainness that their importance 
requires, and in a manner to render them topics of interest to the 
young student. So far as we can observe, the work is free through- 
out from any party bias that would call down the censure of whig or 
democrat. It is accompanied by a series of questions upon the most 
important topics treated of, to facilitate the labors of the teacher. 
The work is deserving of the attention of school teachers, committee 
caen, parents, and others entrusted with the education of the young. 





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In a country where government derives its very exist- 
ence from the people, and where its entire administration 
is dependent on them, it is clear that it will be good or 
bad, as the people are intelligent or ignorant, virtuous or 
vicious. We cannot gather grapes of thorns, or figs of 
thistles; we cannot expect a wise government from, 
ignorance, or a pure one from corruption. Hence, the 
familiar remark, that the safety of our liberty — of our 
republican institu ions, lies in the intelligence and virtue 
of the people. "Si*^ 

The diffusion of moral and intellectual light is there- 
fore the great work of the patriot in these United States. 
And while this is true, as a general remark, it should 
not be forgotten that there is special reason for the 
diffusion of political truth. Government is an artificial 
structure, vast in its dimensions, curious and compli- 
cated in its parts. A man can no more be born a gov- 
ernment-maker, than he can be born a house-maker, or 
a watch-maker ; he needs to learn his trade as much in 
the one case as the other. And yet, every citizen, when- 
ever he goes to the polls, goes as a political architect, 


and the single vote he casts may give character to the 
whole edifice of government. Should not every man to 
whom such a mighty trust is confided, know what he is 
about ? 

These are obvious truths, yet they appear not to be 
duly borne in mind. There are some politicians who 
seem averse to popular education, as if the policy of de- 
spotic priests and princes, which would keep the mass 
ignorant, so that they may easily be kept in subjection, 
still lingered in their minds. There are others who 
have a disgust of politics, as if there were something 
revolting in the duties and offices which result in giving 
security to life and property and home ! Surely, we 
should not be governed by such mischievous prejudice 
— such pernicious error ! All our boys are destined to 
be citizens — government-builders ; and ought we not, in 
duty to them, in duty to the country, to see that they 
learn their trade ? Shall we send them forth, ignorant 
in that art, which is the greatest and most important of 
all — an art which they are bound to exercise, and which 
they will exercise for good or ill to themselves and 
their country ? " 

It is from reflections like these that I have been 
induced to undertake this little book, the purpose of 
which is to make the nature, origin, and principles of 
government, and especially of our own, accessible to all, 
and if possible, familiar to our youth. I have written it 
for a home book, and a school book, hoping that, until a 
better is furnished, it may be deemed worthy of intro- 
duction into our seminaries, where the mass of our 
people begin and finish their education. Why should 


not every boy and girl in our country be instructed in 
the nature and history of that government which our 
fathers founded, and which gives protection to the 
people, and looks to the people for support. What 
right have we — parents, guardians, teachers, citizens — to 
set the seal of darkness, of ignorance, upon the minds 
of children, in respect to this great subject, either by 
withholding or interdicting the means of light, in those 
institutions, where alone most of them can obtain it ? 

There is another point of great importance to be con- 
sidered. The conviction is very general, that, by some 
means or other, morality and politics are in a state of 
divorce among a large portion of our political leaders. 
The monstrous doctrine that " all is fair in politics " is 
supposed extensively to prevail ; and most of the profli- 
gacy we observe, most of the corruption, intrigue, self- 
ishness, and destitution of patriotism, so notorious in 
high places, are imputed to the currency of this false and 
wicked philosophy. Ought not something to be done 
especially, to stay these mighty evils ; something to teach 
the truth, that honesty is the best policy in govern- 
ment, as well as everything else — a concern in which we 
are all partners ? Shall a few of the partners be per- 
mitted to swindle all the rest out of their share of the 
profits, and nothing be done, but to fold the hands in 
imbecile submission ? 

If something need be done, to remedy this great 
evil, how can it be better done than by beginning in that 
universal seminary — the common school ; that seminary, 
which imparts to far the largest part of the community, 
all that can be technically called education? Why 


shall we not begin in the way by which we may reach 
all, and with the most lasting effect ? 

Under the idea that this book may be introduced into 
our common schools, I have therefore sought to set 
forth the necessity of honesty in politics; hoping to do 
something to restore to favor that good old word, 
" so weary stale and unprofitable " to hack politicians — 

With these brief suggestions, I commit this humble 
work to the charity of the public, remarking, that in its 
preparation — being aware of the delicate task I have un- 
dertaken — I have earnestly sought not to write a line or 
sentence, with a view to party effect. I have endeav- 
ored not to cast a favoring hue or a disparaging shade 
upon either side of controverted questions. That I have 
wholly escaped error, real or apparent, is not to be hoped. 
If anything wrong be discovered, I shall esteem it a 
favor on the part of any one who will point it out to me, 
and I pledge myself to give it due consideration, if this 
work shall ever come to a second edition. 

































The First Ideas of Government and Law, . . 7 
The second stage of knowledge of Law and Grov- 

ernment, 11 

The different Conditions of Mankind. The Savage 

State, 13 

The Barbarous State, 16 

The Civilized State, 17 

Society — Civil Society, 19 

Individual Property, 21 

Justice— Civil Justice, 23 

Human Rights 24 

Liberty— Absolute Liberty ; Natural Liberty, . . 26 

Civil Liberty, 30 

Illustrations, showing that Government promotes 

Practical Liberty, 34 

Recapitulation, 36 

Ec[uality, 39 

Civil Government, 42 

Government — continued, 45 

The Legislative power — the Legislature, . . 46 
The Judicial Power — the Judiciary, . . . .48 

The Executive Power, 49 

Forms of Government, 62 

Origin and History of Government, ... 68 
Political System of the Hebrews, . . . .61 
Political Institutions af China, .... 65 
Political Institutions of Egypt, . . . .69 

Sketch of Ancient Greece. Character of the People, 73 

Greece continued, 77 

Athens. Political divisions of the People, . . 80 
Of the Government of Athens, . . . . 84 

The Court of Areopagus, 91 

Other Courts of Athens. Sparta, ... 93 
Sparta — continued, ....... 98 

Other States of Greece, 103 

The City of Rome, 105 

Rome— Divisions of the People, . ... 108 




XXXV. Rome— Form of Government, 110 

XXXVI. Review, 114 

The Feudal System, 117 

XXXVII. France, 121 

XXXVIII. France— continued. The Revolution, . . .128 
XXXIX. Kinc^dom of Great Britain and Ireland, . . 136 

XL. England — continued, 138 

XLI. Present state of the British Empire, . . . 141 

XLII. Government of Great Britain, 144 

XLIII. Legislature and Judiciary of Great Britain, . . 149 

XLrV. Other Governments of Europe, . . . .152 

XLV. Discoveries in America. &c., .... 158 

XL VI. The establishment of the English Colonies, . .161 

XL VII. Greneral remarks on Colonies, &c., . . .164 

XLVIII. Revolutionary Government of the United States, .168 

XLIX. The Co»federation, 170 

L. Origin of the Constitution, 171 

LI. Preliminary Remarks on the Constitution, . .172 
The Constitution, with Explanatory Remarks, . 173 
Articles in addition to and amendment of the Consti- 
tution 204 

LII. Review of the Constitution, .... 212 

LIII. Congress 214 

LIV. The Administration, 215 

LV. The President, &c., 216 

LVI. Secretary of State, 218 

LVII. Secretary of the Treasury, 220 

LVIII. Secretary of War, 226 

LIX. Secretary of the Navy, 227 

LX. Postmaster-General, 228 

LXI. Attorney-General, 228 

LXII. Patent Office, 229 

LXHI, Judiciary, 230 

LXIV. State Governments, 232 

LXV. Punishments, 234 

LXVI. Qualifications of Voters, 236 

LXVII. The Majority, 238 

LXVIII. Political Parties, 239 

LXIX. Duties of Citizens, 843 


Declaration of Rights 249 

Declaration of Independence, 262 

Articles of Confederation, ....... 266 

Questions, 864 


The First Ideas of Government and Law. 

A father governing a family. 

As soon as a child is of sufficient age to make 
observations, he perceives that he is guided and 
controlled by persons around him. He is required 
by his parents to perform certain actions, and is 
forbidden to perform certain others. Thus, the 
first idea of government is obtained; it is that of 
a power which influences, guides, and controls 
actions j a power that prohibits and prevents cer- 


tain things, and that commands and requires 
certain other things. 

After a time, the child makes further observa- 
tions ; he perceives that certain rules of action are 
laid down which he is required to follow, habit- 
ually. He is required, for instance, to come to 
his meal when the bell is rung; he is required 
every morning to go to school at a stated hour ; 
he is commanded always to speak the truth ; he is 
forbidden to take that which is not his own ; he is 
forbidden to speak falsehood, or to injure the body 
or feelings of his companions. 

Thus, the child acquires his first ideas of law, 
which he perceives to be geneml and fixed rules, 
by which action is to be regulated. Accordingly, 
the fireside rules are the first laws to which we 
are subjected ; they proceed from the family gov- 
ernment, which is vested in the hands of the 

The ideas of government and law are there- 
fore very early ones, and, for obvious reasons, they 
make a deep and abiding impression. In the first 
place, these laws come from parents, whom chil- 
dren usually regard with afiection and veneration. 
The parents are the protectors of children; the 
source from which their comforts and pleasures 
flow, and from whom their first knowledge is 

Obedience to law, therefore, coming from such 
a source, would seem to be easy and natural ; and 
it doubtless is so, provided the family govern- 
ment be well and wisely administered. And 
even though the passions of children lead them 
to frequent rebellion, the notion of obedience 
to laws, of obligation to regulate conduct by 


certain rules, becomes a strong one at an early 

This notion is deepened by the innate perception 
of right, implanted in every human bosom. As 
the eye perceives light, and pronounces it to be 
good, the soul perceives right, and pronounces it 
to be good also, if s the mind is irresistibly influ- 
enced by the objects which light discloses, the soul 
is irresistibly influenced by the sense of right 
which the bosom finds and feels within. 

Now, the child very soon perceives the utility 
of family government ; the necessity of obedience, 
even for his own advantage; the obligation to obey 
from love, gratitude, and respect to parents, and 
from a regard to the good of the little empire of 
home. He sees that to obey is right, and feels 
constrained by that perception of fitness within, 
to yield obedience. 

To these several strands, which are braided 
together, and constitute the motives to obedience, 
we may add that of habit — the habit of yielding to 
authority, to magistracy, to law; and the habit 
is created and established under the family gov- 
ernment. Thus the fireside is a little kingdom, 
of which the parents are the sovereigns and the 
children the subjects. Here, children get their 
first ideas of government, of laws, of right and 
wrong, of justice and injustice, of obedience and 
disobedience. Here the first ideas of obligation to 
regulate our conduct by certain fixed rules are 
presented ; here the habit of acting in obedience to 
such rules is first established. 

It is no doubt a part of the plan of divine Provi- 
dence, that habits of obedience to law, of surren- 
dering our own will and wishes to a general rule, 


should thus be laid deep and strong at the fireside ; 
for this is the sheet anchor of society. A child 
that has not learned obedience to parents is not 
likely to be a good member of society, and to obey 
the laws of civil government. A child in whose 
heart the perception of right has not been cher- 
ished and cultivated at home,*is hardly likely to 
grow up a just and honest citizen. 

It is therefore a matter for parents to consider, 
that the highest possible obligation rests upon 
them to teach their children obedience to law — to 
the law of right, of justice; the law of "do to an- 
other as you would have another do to you." It 
is the duty of parents to render this obedience a 
matter of principle and habit. All this is a duty 
required by God, as well to children as to society. 

And it is a thing for children to consider also, 
that they are bound to learn obedience to parents. 
They arc bound to learn to bow to the obligations 
of justice; they are bound to obey parents; to 
obey God ; to obey the laws of the land. Obedi- 
ence is the great lesson, and it is equally required 
by our duty to our parents, ourselves, our Ore 
ator, and our country. 


The second stage of knowledge of Law and 

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Taking a thief to prison. 

When children are sufficiently advanced, they 
go forth from the parental roof, and whether in 
the field, the forest, or the street, they find that 
everywhere there is government and law. 

If a child sees ripe fruit in a neighbor's garden, 
he sets out to get it, but is immediately told that 
he must not. He asks why he must not get it, 
and is answered that it is against the law. A boy 
is about to throw down a stone wall around a field, 
and is told he must not, because it is against the 
law. A young fellow wishes to ride into a neigh- 
bor's field of grain, but he must not, for it is 
against the law. 


A young person in reading a newspaper sees 
an account of a man who is seized and hur- 
ried away to prison for theft, and learns that 
thieving is forbidden by the law. In another 
paper the reader finds an account of some pirates 
being hung, because they robbed a vessel upon the 
high seas, and this, too, because such robbery is 
against the law. 

Thus the law is seen to be everywhere, upon the 
land and the sea, in town and country ; and the 
question soon arises, who makes the law? The 
answer to this is readily given ; it is the govern- 
ment. But what is the government ? Who is it, 
what is it, that has spread this net- work of prohi- 
bition and requisition over the land, involving 
every member of society in its meshes? "Who 
administers the government? Who makes the 
government? By what means or instruments does 
the government operate? Why do people obey 
the government? How does it acquire such uni- 
versal and decisive power? 

To some, or perhaps all of these questions, 
which, one after another, arise in the mind, 
young persons gradually obtain answers; but 
these are usually imperfect and confused. I pro- 
pose, therefore, to proceed to describe government, 
its origin, nature, and necessity ; its various forms 
in different parts of the world, and especially that 
form adopted in our own country. 

In the course of this delineation of government, 
I shall have occasion to exhibit the origin and 
sources of laws ; the manner of their enactment ; 
and the means by which they are made to regu- 
late the conduct of mankind. 


The different Conditions of Mankind. The 
Savage State. 

The savage state. 

A PERSON who travels over the world will soon 
perceive that the people of different countries are 
in very different situations. The native Indians 
of America for the most part live by hunting ; they 
do not build permanent houses, but dwell in tents 
or wigwams, and they pay little attention to the 
cultivation of the earth. These people we call 
savages, because they are wild, rude, and cruel 
in their customs, manners, and feelings. 

If we go among these tribes, we shall see certain 
things which always belong to a savage commu- 
nity. They have no books, and of course they 
cannot read ; they have no ships, and carry on no 
commerce by sea ; they do not build cities ; they 
have no great roads, canals, or other public works ; 
they are coarse and sensual in their tastes and 
feelings ; they have little sympathy for the sick, 


the wounded, or the miserable; in religion they 
are superstitious, and inclined to idolatry. 

In the savage state, the women are generally 
slaves, and are compelled to do the common labor 
of the household, to carry burthens, to toil in the 
field, and to do all the ordinary drudgery of life. 
The men are usually addicted to war, hunting, and 
rude amusements. 

The lands are generally held in common. 
\ Among us, all property belongs to some individual, 
who alone has a right to it ; but among savages, 
each person may cultivate any unoccupied spot he 
pleases ; he may hunt where he pleases, and he 
may build a wigwam where he pleases. 

Among us, all property belongs to some indi- 
vidual, who alone has a right to it. Thus, each 
man's house is his own, and no one can lawfully 
disturb him in the possession of it. It is the same 
with his land, furniture, money, and merchandise. 
With our western Indians, the property of each 
individual of the tribe is partially secured, but 
with many savages it is otherwise. In New 
Guinea, an individual may perhaps claim the bow 
and arrow he has made, or the wigwam he has 
built ; but these are by no means secure from a 
stronger man, who may be disposed to take them 
away ; and indeed it is usual among these tribes 
for any one to take whatever he desires for his 
use, provided another is not actually in the pos- 
session of it. 

Among savages, there are no written oi 
printed laws. The people have certain customs 
and if disputes arise, they are settled according t< 
these. All communities have some government 
Our American Indians are usually governed by 




a chief, whose will is law. He is sometimes as- 
sisted by a council of aged men, who assemble on 
important occasions, and give their opinions. But 
these may be overruled by the chief. 


The Barbarous State. 

The barbarous state. 

The traveller, in pursuing his inquiries, will 
find various nations so far advanced beyond the 
savage state as to have permanent dwellings, and 
considerable cities ; as to carry on commerce by 
sea; to have the art of working metals; to use 
the labor of the horse, or camel, or ox ; to have a 
distribution of lands, and a division of property ; 
but which are still without books in general use, 
without education among the people at large, 
without printed laws, and without any settled 
administration of justice. 

Among such nations the governments are des- 
potic, the people neither knowing nor asserting 


their rights, but blindly submitting to power. 
Examples of such nations may be found in Mo- 
rocco, Tunis and Tripoli, in Africa ; in Tartary, 
Beloochistan, Thibet, Burmah, and other countries 
of Asia. 

In such countries as these the will of the chief 
is law — no man there is secure of his life, his 
property, or his character. The chief may cause 
any man's head to be taken off, or his money 
and estates to be taken away, without trial, and 
without remedy to the injured, or retribution to 
the injurer. 

Among such a people, there is no enlightened 
public opinion ; no pervading sense of justice ; no 
security for the weak against the strong, for the 
poor against the rich, for the citizen against the 
office-holder. Might makes right, and selfisliness 
is the usual guide of human actions. In such 
countries, there are no established courts of justice ; 
or if there are, they are corrupt, and overruled by 
the prince, or the men of wealth and power. 

This state of society is called barbaroiis ; for, 
though it is an advance from the savage state, still 
the ruling spirit of the nation is severe, unjust, 
unenlightened, and cruel. The minds of the peo- 

gle are not elevated by knowledge, Aor are their 
earts guided by a sense of justice. 
This condition does not preclude the existence 
of pomp, luxury and refinement among the higher 
ranks. The chiefs and their favorites, are usually 
addicted to expensive and ostentatious modes 
of living. Their palaces are often magnificent, 
being fitted up with gorgeous tapestries, and re- 
splendent with every species of dazzling orna- 
ment. But the proprietors of these palaces are 



usually devoted to animal pleasures, and their 
refinement is generally displayed rather in sensu- 
ality than in intellectual pursuits. 


The Civilized State, 

When a nation has so far advanced in refine- 
ment as to have a well settled government, which 
ensures order ; which has regular tribunals of jus- 
tice, a general knowledge of the arts, a security 
for life and property, and, above all, books, which 
are difiused and read among the mass of the 
inhabitants — we say it is in a civilized state ; for 
civilization implies refinement of manners, a know- 
ledge of the useful arts, and a general diffusion of 

Among the civilized nations, we may place the 

United States, most of the nations of Europe, 

China, and some others of the Eastern continent. 

There are some nations that can hardly be classed 

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as either barbarous or civilized, but are rather 

Such a nation are the Turks of Europe, who 
have many marks of civilization ; as, for instance, 
they have a general sense of justice, much intelli- 
gence, some books, many ingenious manufactures, 
considerable commerce, and a settled government. 
But they are still destitute of courts of justice, 
which, in general, protect life and property. 
Might is too often the rule of right ; woman is the 
slave of man ; the office-holder is above the citi- 
zen ; the sultan and his favorites may trample on 
justice with impunity. 

Nearly the same may be said of Egypt, Persia, 
and most of the nations of India. In all these, 
there is a defective morality, a loose state of pub- 
lic opinion, a want of justice in private dealings, 
and an insecurity of life, liberty and property. 

The civilized state does not necessarily exclude 
tyranny and oppression, for among some of the 
civilized nations of Europe, as Russia, Spain, and 
Austria, there is much of both. Nor does the 
civilized state necessarily include a system of gov- 
ernment which distributes equal justice to all; 
which places the poor on a level with the rich, and 
the holder of office on the same footing as the citi- 
zen. Most, or all the governments of Europe, 
exhibit some defects in these respects. 

Civihzation implies a state of advancement 
towards perfection in human society. All that 
tends to make a people wise, happy, free and pros- 
perous, tends to raise them in the scale of civiliza- 
tion. All that tends to make a people less wise, 
less happy, less free, or less prosperous, tends to 
sink them in the scale of civilization. 



In fixing the comparative degree of civilization 
to which any country is entitled, we have to con- 
sider the situation of the whole people in respect to 
wisdom, happiness, freedom and prosperity. Judg- 
ing by this rule, we may claim the first rank for our 
own country, and after this, England, France, Hol- 
land, Belgium, and Prussia. The other nations of 
Europe may be ranked as follows : the German 
nations generally ; the Swedes, the Swiss, Danes, 
Spaniards, Italians, Greeks, Russians, and Turks. 


Society— Civil Society. 










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Society is a collection of individuals, united by 
certain ties or obligations. A family is a society, 
united by the ties or obligations of parents to the 


children, and children to the parent. These ties 
and obligations are founded in the best good of the 
whole family : that is, the parents are bound to 
fulfil certain duties, and the children to fulfil 
certain duties, because the best good of all is con- 

Thus any number of individuals, united by cer- 
tain ties, constitute society ; but a society may 
be instituted for particular purposes and of a lim- 
ited nature. An insurance company is a society, 
for special objects, and its obligations are restricted 
to these. 

Civil society is that of the state, in which all 
the people are united under a government for the 
best good of all. This civil society, constituting 
the state, is society of the highest and most impor- 
tant kind, because it involves the happiness of all, 
and reaches every interest and transaction of 

The obligations of civil society, or obligations to 
the state, are therefore deserving of great attention, 
because they relate to the happiness of the whole 
nation, and to all the interests of every indi- 

Thus, in all the several conditions in which 
mankind are to be found, whether in a savage, 
barbarous, or civilized state, we observe three 
things — where several people live together, there 
is society; and where there is society there is 
government, and where there is government there 
is a multiplied system of obligations imposed upon 
all the members and subjects of it. 

If a man lives alone upon an island, or in any 
other situation where his actions have no influ- 
ence on others, then he is a solitary, not a social 


being; but the moment he lives with another, 
society begins, and mutual obligations follow. 
He is no longer independent and at liberty to act 
for himself alone, but he is bound by the great 
rule, " Do to another as you would have another 
do to you." When a government is established, 
civil society begins, and the duties and obligations 
are extended to the whole community. 


Individual Property. 

I HAVE already said that in some countries 
property is held in common; there is no distri- 
bution of it to individuals : the idea of mine and 
thine does not exist. In this state of society 
there is never any advance in civilization; the 
people are always in a savage state. 

As society advances, the custom prevails for an 
individual to claim as his own, what he acquires 
by his toil, his enterprise, or his ingenuity. The 
advantages of this are soon seen ; for, stimulated 
to exertion by knowing that what he acquires he 
can have to his own use and benefit, each indi- 
vidual is induced to be industrious, and to put 
forth his best efforts. 

The consequence of this is, that property is 
increased, the various arts are promoted, the com- 
forts and necessaries of life are multiplied. Thus 
the state is enriched, and the whole community is 
benefited. In order to obtain the full advantages 


of this system, laws are enacted to secure to 
each individual the acquisition of his labor, skill, 
and exertion ; and a community is usually happy, 
prosperous and civilized, in proportion as his acqui- 
sitions are thus secure. 

On the contrary, a community is usually poor, 
rude and uncivilized, in proportion as the acquisi- 
tions of the people are insecure; for if a person 
knows that the fruits of his exertions may be taken 
away by the government, or the privileged classes, 
or the powerful, he is discouraged, and will usually 
make little effort to secure property beyond the 
mere wants and necessities of li^. 

Such is the importance, therefore, of security of 
property to individuals, that, in civilized countries, 
by far the largest portion of the laws, and the 
most important functions of government, have this 
for their object and end. 

A right of a man to the property he acquires, 
involves other rights, such as liberty to employ 
his time, thoughts, and faculties as he pleases: 
where property is secure, therefore, freedom is 
secure. But of this topic I shall have occasion to 
speak hereafter. 


Justice— Civil Justice. 

Justice is the measuring out to each individual 
what is his due, according to the inflexible rule of 
right. Justice is frequently personified, and repre- 
sented as holding a pair of balanced scales, thus 
indicating its disposition to estimate things by the 
true and even standard of right. 

Political or civil justice^ is the measuring out 
what a man may claim according to the laws of 
the land. If the laws are founded in absolute 
justice, then political or legal justice coincides 
with absolute justice. 

The perception and feeling of justice, is as much 
a part of man's nature, as his perception of color 
or feeling of beauty. As there are persons who 
are idiots, and others who are insane, there may 


be individuals so stupid, ignorant, or debased 
as not to perceive, or but faintly, what justice 
is, and not to appreciate the obligation of obeying 
its dictates. But there is no nation at large among 
whom a sense of justice — a perception of right, and 
an obligation to follow it — does not exist, and 
where it does not tend to guide or govern the 
actions of men. 

This intuitive perception of justice, with an at- 
tendant conscience, demanding its observance, 
though innate and natural, may be greatly weak- 
ened or dulled by the usages, customs, and habits 
of society. In proportion as the mind is enlight- 
ened, this perception becomes clear and strong; 
but the fullest exercise of justice, is ensured by 
adopting the belief and practice of Christianity. 

It seems to be a fact that no people have ever 
practically adopted justice as the basis of govern- 
ment, and the guide of society, except in christian 
countries. However man may be endowed with 
the natural perception of justice, he seems to need 
the ever-illuminating and purifying spirit of Chris- 
tianity, to keep his mind clear and his heart right. 


Human Rights. 

If justice is giving to every man his rights, 
in order to deal justly, we must inquire what the 
rights of man are. The scripture rule, indeed, is 
an admirable guide in the practice of life — it tells 



us to do to another as we would have another do 
to us. It is rare indeed that, if an individual will 
follow this rule, he will do injustice to any one. 

But it is still necessary, in the formation of 
government and the enacting of laws, to ascer- 
tain what human rights are, lest they should be 
infringed or violated ; and it is the duty of those 
who frame laws, to see that these rights are, as far 
as possible, secured. 

The general rights of man are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness ; that is, a man has 
a right to his life, and the free exercise of his mind; 
he has a right to his personal liberty, which is 
freedom to go where he pleases, and act as he 
pleases ; he has a right to pursue happiness in his 
own way — to eat, to drink, to sleep, to speak, read, 
write, how and when he pleases — provided that, in 
in all this, he interferes with the rights of no other 
person. These are the abstract or natural rights of 
man ; and may be limited, or abridged, or taken 
away, only for the public good. 

The basis of human rights is liberty; and 
this consists in a man's right to himself-— to his 
body, to his mind, and all his faculties, with the 
power of exercising them in his own way, so far 
as he does not injure others. The value of liber- 
ty, therefore, as a means of obtaining happiness, is 
beyond price ; and accordingly we find that our 
wise forefathers fought, and bled, and died to 
obtain it for themselves and their descendants. 
Still, it will be seen hereafter, that our natural 
rights or our natural liberty, are abridged by the 
laws of society, and that a person is bound to give 
them up, as far as the greatest good of the greatest 
number, requires. 


Liberty— Absolute Liberty; Natural Liberty. 

NcUurul liOcriy. 

Liberty is freedom from restraint. In its wid- 
est sense, it is the free permission to exercise our 
powers of body and mind as we please, without 
hindrance or restraint. This is absohite liberty. 
According to this, a man might take away anoth- 
er's property or hfe; or enslave another man; or 
make him the tool of his pleasures or caprices. 
According to this, a strong man might use a weak 
one as he pleased, or the cunning man might cheat 
or circumvent another, and thus take away his 
life or property, or make him the slave of his 

This is liberty without law. Such liberty as 
this could exist only in theory, for where society 
has enacted no law, the obligation of justice exists. 


A savage is as truly bound by the golden rule, 
"do to another as you would have another do to 
you," as a member of civilized society; for even the 
savage has a sense of right and wrong. Truth and 
justice are intuitive perceptions and feelings, in 
every human soul, and conscience enforces their 
observance. Every human being, therefore, has 
his absolute liberty abridged, by notions of right 
and wrong, anterior to the formation of civil gov- 

Practically, absolute Jiberty would be the 
harshest kind of tyranny, for it would immediately 
result in making the weak, the slaves of the strong. 
Not only would the weak, therefore, be deprived 
of liberty, but of justice. In this state of things, 
no man is free, except the strongest man ; he alone 
has power to act as he pleases ; all the rest are his 
slaves : so that a community endeavoring to estab- 
lish absolute liberty, immediately make all the 
members but one, the slaves of a master whose 
might is the rule of right. 

Absolute liberty, therefore, as said before, 
immediately runs into despotism. It is a thing 
that can only exist where one man, like Alexander 
Selkirk, or Robinson Crusoe, is alone upon an 
island, and "monarch of all he surveys." Absolute 
liberty, in society, is a practical absurdity — an 

Natural liberty is freedom from restraint ex- 
cept so far as is imposed by the laws of nature. 
According to this, a man may speak, act, and 
think as he pleases, without control ; in this sense, 
it is synonymous with absolute liberty. But it 
is often applied to a state of society, where re- 
straints do actually exist ; as, for instance, among 


savages, even where property is held in common, 
and where of course there is no theft, there are 
still obligations, rules, and restrictions, of some 

The coward is punished with death; the par- 
ricide is banished; the traitor is shot. Every 
member of such a society is under certain re- 
straints, and certain abridgments of absolute 
liberty. If one is guilty of cowardice, he consents 
to lose his life ; if he kills his parent, he consents 
to be forever cast out of his tribe ; if he betrays 
his nation, he agrees that he shall be slain by an 
arrow. Thus he is restrained from cowardice, 
killing a father or mother, or betraying his coun- 
try; all of which are abridgments of absolute 

Thus, in the simplest and rudest stages of 
natural liberty, as put in practice among mankind, 
we see certain restraints upon absolute liberty, 
established by the laws or customs of the nation. 
But, in point of fact, other restraints are put upon 
the lareest part of the community ; for in such a 
state of society the weak are obliged, for the most 
part, to bow to the strong. If, indeed, the weak 
are protected from the strong, then the strong are 
restrained, and so far natural or absolute liberty, is 
abridged. If it is not thus abridged, if the weak 
are not protected from the strong, then they are 
the slaves of the strong. In this state of society, 
where natural liberty is said to prevail, the mass 
are subject to the despotism of a few ; the weak 
are the slaves of the strong. A state of natural 
liberty, is, therefore, practically, a state of tyranny 
on the one hand and slavery on the other. 

An illustration of this is found among the 



animal tribes. Among the fowls of the barnyard, 
there is no law : the males meet in conflict, and 
the strongest or most active becomes the master. 
Among a pack of wolves, or among dogs, the 
question who shall have the bone, is settled by- 
fighting it out, and the strongest has it. The law 
of nature, then, is a law of force : where there is 
no other than natural law, might is the only rule 
of right. 

Even if all men were virtuous, a state of natu- 
ral and universal liberty could not exist — for virtue 
itself implies an observance of rules, obligations, 
laws. A virtuous man will not steal; therefore, his 
liberty in this respect, is restrained. It is restrained 
by law ; and the only difference between this re- 
straint and that of civil government, is, that God 
enacts, and his own heart enforces, the law. 

Civil government is founded in the idea that 
men are not all virtuous ; that men will not enact 
and observe just laws individually and of them- 
selves; and therefore, to secure order, peace and 
justice, government must enact and enforce laws, 
and thus abridge natural or absolute liberty. 

Experience, in all ages, has taught the lesson, 
that among men, as well as among animals, there 
being some strong and some weak, the former will 
ever seek to get the advantage of the latter. 
Thus government steps in to protect the weak 
against the strong ; to substitute justice for force, 
right for might. 


Civil Liberty. 

Civil liberty is freedom to think and act as we 
see fit, except so far as the good of society may 
require abridgment and restraint. A man has a 
natural right to all he gains by his honest labor, 
but in civilized society he consents to be taxed, 
and thus part with a portion of his earnings, to 
sustain the government, on the ground that it is 
best for the whole, and for himself among the 
number, to have a government. A man has a 
natural right to walk or ride where he pleases ; but 
in civilized society, he consents to have his abso- 
lute liberty so far abridged, as not to have a right 
to ride or walk in his neighbor's garden or parlor, 
or on the sidewalks of a city. 

Thus, in a great variety of ways, a member 
of civilized society consents to liave his absolute 
liberty abridged ; he consents to be obliged to serve 
on juries ; to be compelled to do miUtary duty ; to 
forego the privilege of selling noxious drugs; of 
dealing in gunpowder, except under license; he 
consents to be obliged to buy his wood, fish, flour, 
and various other articles, only when inspected. 

He consents to all these restraints and priva- 
tions, not because they are good in themselves, 
but because society is benefited, and he is himseli 
better ofi" than he would be, if such restraints did 
not exist. He gives up some of his natural rights, 
some of his absolute liberty, for a greater good, 
which is, security to the remainder of his rights. 

This is the great principle on which civilized 


society rests : it is the basis of all good and well 
ordered government. All government is restraint 
and abridgment of our natural and absolute liberty. 
But government is necessary for the security of 
our lives, our property, our houses, our families, 
our characters. Without a good, stable, and well 
ordered government, nine out of ten, being the 
weaker, must be the slaves of the stronger. A 
good government places the weak and strong on 
the same level ; it sets up a standard of right, and 
restrains that of might ; it weighs everything in 
the balance of justice, and does not decide ques- 
tions by force or violence. 

It is in order to secure justice, that men in 
civilized society, give up certain portions of their 
absolute liberty, or absolute rights. They give up 
a part to secure the remainder. Thus, if a man 
has a property of 10,000 dollars, he consents to be 
taxed fifty dollars a year; and what he gets in 
return for this, is the obligation of the government 
that he shall securely enjoy the remainder. With- 
out this security, the strong man, or several men 
combined, might come upon him, and by violence 
take all his money away, and he could have no 
remedy. But by paying fifty dollars a year he 
secures the enjoyment of the remaining 9,950 dol- 
lars. Thus he yields a part of his liberty or his 
right, to secure a greater and more important 

In a civilized society, the laws are numer- 
ous, and as each law is an abridgment of some 
portion of absolute liberty, it might seem that all 
liberty, would be taken away. But still, it appears 
that all liberty, essential to happiness, is compatible 
with a complete system of laws ; and in fact where 


the laws are just, and most completely carried mto 
effect, there is the greatest amount of practical 
liberty. When a just law is transgressed, an 
injury is done to the rights and liberties of at least 
some member of society; where just laws are 
most strictly observed, there is the greatest equal- 
ity of rights, and the greatest amount of practical 

If you were to go among the savage tribes 
of New Holland, you would see that the lands, 
dwellings, and most of the property are held in 
common. You would see that each person seems 
to go where he pleases, to take what he pleases, 
and to think and act as he pleases. You would 
find among these people no book of statutes or 
laws; you would find no court-houses, no jails, 
none of that mighty machinery, which belongs to 
the making and enforcing of laws among us. You 
would perhaps be ready to say that here is a peo- 
ple in the enjoyment of absohite liberty, or if 
indeed it be abridged, it is in a very slight de- 

But examine a little closer. You see a sav- 
age making a bow. He toils at it, day by day, 
for a month. Nothing can exceed the patience 
and care with which he selects a stick, shapes it 
with a sharp stone, bends it so as to retain the 
proper shape, and finally finishes it by covering 
the ends with a coating of sinews. It has cost 
him a month's labor. And now for a quiver of 
arrows ! Here is another long and tedious job. It 
takes two or three days to inake a good arrow, 
with a savage's tools. After another month's toil, 
the quiver is finished. 

Now, would you not say that this bow and this 


quiver of arrows, were of right the property of this 
savage who has made them 7 They are the pro- 
duct of his toil, his ingenuity, his sacrifices. Com- 
mon sense tells us that they are his. That a man 
is entitled to the productions of his own industry 
^nd skill, is a point as clear and as natural, as that 
two and two make four. But, among savages, if 
absolute liberty prevails, the first Indian who sees 
the bow and arrows made by another, may take 
them away and appropriate them to his own use. 
If he may not, then absolute liberty does not pre- 
vail. If he is restrained by any rule, or custom, or 
sense of justice, then there is a restraint upon his 
natural or absolute liberty. 

But let us look a little further into society. 
One of the savages builds a hut, or wigwam. Is 
it his, or not ? If absolute liberty prevails, it is 
his, for surely freedom implies a right to the free 
enjoyment of what a man produces by his toil. 
But we see that all things are held in common 
with these savages. Of course, then a man has 
not a legal right to the possession and enjoyment 
of what his labor creates. Here, then, at the out- 
set, is a blow at the very foundation of liberty, for 
what a man himself produces is taken away, and 
made the property of society. The first principle 
of such a society seems to be wholesale robbery. 

Let us examine further. We shall see that, 
in point of fact, even in this rude state of society, 
there are various rules, customs and opinions, 
which have the force of law, and which do impose 
restraints upon the actions of men. But we shall 
notice one thing, that, as the laws are few, imper- 
fect, or ill administered ; just in that proportion our 
life, property, house, home, and character are inse- 


cure ; and if these things are insecure — if life, the 
property acquired by industry, the house, the 
home, the fireside, the wife and children, domestic 
comfort, character — all that we love and cherish 
and toil for — if these are liable to be taken away 
by the strong or the violent, of what value is lib- 
erty 7 Is there such a thing as liberty, where these 
rights are insecure ? 

Is not society thus situated, subject to the 
despotism of force? and do we not see that in rude 
and savage tribes, where at first view we might 
say there was most liberty, in point of fact, there 
is the least liberty 7 And does not this prove that 
the members of civilized society, in giving up some 
rights to secure the rest, do, in fact, enjoy more 
liberty than the tribes where the laws are few, and 
where liberty might seem least abridged? In 
short, does it not appear that a member of civilized 
society makes a good bargain in giving up a few 
rights, by which he obtains security to life, prop- 
erty, and character ? And does it not appear that 
it is wise and right to submit to the laws of civil- 
ized society 7 


Illastrations, showing that Government pro* 
motes Practical Liberty. 

In order to show that the amount of liberty actu- 
ally realized and enjoyed by society, is greater 
where there is a complete system of laws, than 



where there is no law, or but little law, let us 
suppose a few cases. 

In our own country, we have numerous laws. 
Whenever any evil arises, or any great good is 
desired, the law-makers seek to avert the one and 
secure the other by legislation, if it is within their 
proper reach. The consequence is that almost 
every transaction of life, is regulated by laws. 
Now let us see if these, which are restraints or 
abridgments of theoretical liberty, do not actually 
increase the amount of practical liberty. 

We have defined civil liberty to be freedom to 
think and act as we see fit, having due regard to 
the good of society. Now where would you 
think or act most freely, in Massachusetts, or 
among a savage tribe ? Here in Massachusetts, you 
travel about in safety, for robbers are punished ; 
you sleep in security at night, for the thief and 
house-breaker are punished. You think as you 
please, for no man dares to tyrannize over another's 
thoughts. You can do what you please with 
your time and your property, for he who would 
interfere with these, is deemed a trespasser, and 
punished by the law. 

Now suppose you were among the western In- 
dians, where natural liberty prevails ; where there 
are no written laws, and few laws of any kind 
which impose restraints upon society — should you 
there enjoy more actual freedom than in Massa- 
chusetts ? On the contrary, would not your life be 
in constant danger — would not you be a slave to 
fear? Could you travel about in safety ? Would 
not your property be exposed to robbers, your 
person to captivity 1 

Does not this comparison show that where 



there are numerous laws, the people enjoy most 
liberty ? But let us look at particular statutes, 
and see how these promote practical liberty. 
There is a law that no man shall keep and sell 
gunpowder, unless he is licensed. The object of 
this is, to prevent quantities of gunpowder from 
being in the hands of careless people, where it 
might explode, and destroy lives and property. 
Now as this law protects life and property, it pro- 
motes liberty, which consists, to a great extent, in 
the possession and security of these. 

So the law which requires dealers in wood, fish, 
flour, (fee., to have these articles inspected before 
they sell them, as it is designed to prevent people 
from being cheated, and unjustly deprived of their 
property, tends to secure to a man his rights, and 
therefore promotes civil and rational liberty. 

Thus it appears that every law tending to make 
life, property, character, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness secure to man, though it restrains absolute 
liberty, actually increases the amount of practical 
liberty enjoyed by society. Does not this show 
that it is the interest as well as the duty of every 
man to support good laws 7 



From the preceding observations we deduce 
the following propositions. 1. Liberty is freedom 
from restraint. 2. Absolute liberty is freedom to 
think, act and speak as we please, without hin- 


drance or control. 3. Natural liberty is substan- 
tially the same thing as absolute liberty : but such 
kinds of liberty can only exist in theory, or where 
one man lives alone, entirely cut off from all con- 
nection with his fellow-men ; for, in the first 
place, moral obligation to be just, to do to another 
as we would have another do to us, rests upon all, 
and is enforced by conscience, prior to the passage 
of laws by society. 

And in the second place, in rude or savage 
society, where there seem to be the fewest laws, 
and the nearest approach to natural or absolute 
liberty, there is, in fact, the least practical liberty, 
and the most thorough despotism. The very first 
principle of liberty is grossly violated by the ele- 
mentary law of savage society — a community of 
property — which confiscates to the use of the whole, 
what a man obtains or produces by his own 
industry and skill. 

In civilized society a man gives up some ot 
his rights, or a portion of his liberty, to ensure the 
free enjoyment of the rest : he pays a tax, for in- 
stance, to support the government; in considera- 
tion of which, the government is bound to secure 
to him the enjoyment of his life, his thoughts, his 
property, his home, and his character. 

Every law is a restraint and an abridgment 
of absolute or natural liberty. A law against mur- 
der, imposes the restraint of not killing a fellow- 
man. Thus laws against stealing, wounding, 
maiming, cheating, swindling, setting houses on 
fire, defaming a man's character, breaking into a 
house with intent to steal, robbing on the highway, 
or the high seas — all these impose certain re- 
straints on natural liberty. In these cases, the laws 


of society are founded on obvious principles of mo- 
rality, and do but enjoin and enforce the obliga- 
tions of justice, founded in every man's con- 
science. These laws are abstractly right, and it 
is no evil or injustice to be compelled to observe 

But the laws which compel a man to pay 
taxes, to do military duty, to serve on juries, are, 
abstractly considered, evils. A man has a natural 
right to his money and his time, and the law 
which takes a part of these away, takes away a 
part of that which the moral law allows, and the 
natural law of liberty, gives. But in society, a 
man surrenders a portion of these, or, in other 
words, submits to one evil, in order to prevent a 
greater evil, and at the same time to secure a good. 

In a community where the laws are fewest, and 
most imperfectly enforced, there is the most injus- 
tice, and the greatest abridgment of natural liberty, 
in practice. There, life, property, and character 
are the least secure, and there, human rights are 
most violated. 

Where the system of laws is most complete and 
best enforced, there is the greatest practical liberty. 
In other words, in society, where the laws greatly 
abridge the natural liberty of the citizen, by clip- 
ping off many of his lesser privileges, still, by ren- 
dering him free to travel about in safety, to enjoy 
his home and fireside, and to keep secure posses- 
sion of his property, to enjoy his fair character, to 
enjoy freedom of conscience, and the free exercise 
of his faculties, the law makes full compensation 
for the sacrifices it requires. 

4. Civil liberty, is freedom to act, think, and 
speak as a man pleases, without restraint, except 



so far as the good of society requires. A member 
of society can reasonably ask no other than civil 
liberty ; for, in the first place, the laws impose no 
greater restraint upon him than upon others, and 
in the second place, this kind of liberty is the only 
kind that can be enjoyed by a whole community. 



As some persons have fancied that society could 
realize a state of absolute liberty, so some have 
fancied that a state of absolute equality could be 
attained. It is said in our Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, that " all mankind are created equal:" and 
this has often been taken as literally true. 

But absolute equality is as impossible as abso- 


lute liberty. In the first place, mankind are not bom 
equal in respect to civil condition. Some, as the 
serfs of Russia, are born slaves ; in this country 
too, in some of the states, certain individuals are 
born to servitude, while others are born to enjoy 

There are other grounds of inherent and neces- 
sary inequality. One person is born with a good 
constitution ; another is sickly from the cradle. 
One person is endowed with a strong mind, an- 
other with a weak one. One person is gifted with 
beauty, another with deformity. One has natural 
grace, another awkwardness. 

The surface of the earth, thrown into hills and 
valleys, with mountains whose tops mingle with the 
clouds, and ravines that never see the sunlight — 
meadows that bloom with flowers, and deserts 
that know no living thing — plains and sloping 
hills, covered with forests — and rocky regions 
where no tree can root itself — all this diversity of 
nature presents not more inequality than the 
conditions in which mankind are born. The 
whole system of nature and providence, shows 
it to be the design of the Creator and moral gov- 
ernor, that there shall be diversity in human society, 
as well as in nature. 

Beside, even in those countries where there is 
the greatest freedom, and the nearest approach 
to equality in society, even there, mankind are nei- 
ther born free nor equal, in the view of the law. 
If we take no account of slaves, still the children 
of white persons are not born free ; they are under 
the control of their parents till they are twenty-one 
years old. 

Females, who constitute a part of mankind, 


and whose natural rights are the same as those of 
men, are never placed on an equality with men 
before the law. They are never permitted, even 
in forming the constitution of a country, nor in 
enacting the laws, nor in choosing rulers, to use the 
right of voting. They are excluded from all share 
in the government, by the stronger sex, who pro- 
ceed to make such laws as they please ; and in all 
countries these laws exclude women from political 

It appears, therefore, that mankind are not born 
free and equal, in a literal sense. In what sense, 
then, can it be truly said that men are created 
equal 1 Only as meaning that all the members of 
society are born with a just claim to civil liberty — 
to that freedom which is compatible with the gen- 
eral good, and to an equality of rights. It means 
to say that those laws which make one man a lord 
and another a serf — which make one a citizen and 
debar another in the same condition, from the right 
of voting — are violations of the principles of jus- 
tice and the rights of man. 

While, therefore, equality of condition is out of 
the question, one thing is plain, — that equal rights, 
equal laws, and an equal administration of these 
laws — so that the rich and the poor, the high and 
the lowly, the citizen and the office-holder, shall 
all stand on the same footing — are the ends and 
designs of a good government; and every per- 
son should so use his power as to establish such 
ends and designs. Equality does not mean that a 
woman shall be equal to a man, or a child the same 
as a man ; but that all women, all children, all 
citizens, shall enjoy the same relative rights, priv- 
ileges, and immunities. 


Civil Government. 

Fl'nWtli ' ' m^ 



^-x. II 



'■M^^^imm^M W 







Govtmmmt of a school. 

Civil government is that system of laws, wheth- 
er written or printed, or transmitted by custom, 
which is established to secure and promote justice 
and order. Without government, society would 
be in a state of anarchy. In a family, govern- 
ment is necessary ; it is also necessary even in a 
school-room. Without civil government, the rights 
of man would not be respected ; life and property 
would not be safe. In such a state of things, rob- 
bery, plunder, and murder would be the common 
occurrences of life. No attempt to obtain peace 
and order without government, has ever succeeded. 
Men are not virtuous, as a mass, and therefore the 
power of government and the force of law are 


Thus, as before remarked, in all societies, gov- 
ernment of some kind, becomes a matter of neces- 
sity ; and all government may be considered as 
giving up some portion of our liberty and our 
rights, to secure the remainder. 

In a society where the people possess absolute 
liberty, the many are rendered immediately the 
slaves of the few ; the Aveak are subjected to the 
strong ; despotism is ever ready to take possession 
of a community, contending for absolute liberty. 
It is indispensable for the security of order, justice, 
peace and happiness, that society should form a 
government, and submit to the restraints it im- 
poses. No other mode has yet been found, by 
which the whole community can enjoy even a mod- 
erate degree of liberty and happiness. 

A man who expects to enjoy liberty without 
paying for it, without surrendering a portion to 
secure the rest, judges and acts as foolishly, as one 
who wishes to rear a crop of Indian corn, but yet 
is too stingy to furnish the seed to plant. 

A member of society, in giving up a part of his 
liberty to secure the rest, acts on the principle of 
insurance, in which a man gives five or ten dollars 
to have his house or property insured against fire, 
for one year. Government is a kind of mutual 
insurance against robbery, plunder, murder, and 
injustice. Government has been compared to a 
partnership, in which all have shares, each one 
participating in the profit and loss of the concern. 

The great problem of government is to find out 
the utmost enjoyment of liberty, compatible with 
the good of society. Every law should be consid- 
ered in two points of view : first, how far it 
abridges natural liberty, and how far, therefore, it 


is an evil ; and secondly, the good it will do by 
prevention of evil, or by the direct procurement of 
benefit to society. Every act of legislation should 
be tested in this way ; and no act should be 
passed, which, after such an examination, does not 
promise a balance of good. 

Government is sometimes spoken of as a social 
compact — an agreement between all the members 
of community. This is rather a definition of 
what government should be, than what it is. In 
the United States, where the people make the 
government, it may be called a social compact or 
agreement between the members of the commu- 
nity ; but in Russia, where the people at large 
have nothing to do with making the government, 
it can hardly bear this designation. The govern- 
ment is there forced upon the people, and estab- 
lished without their co-operation. 

It may be indeed said that submission implies 
assent, and that this submission makes the people 
parties to the social compact or agreement ; but wc 
know that in many cases, this assent is extorted 
by military power, or other circumstances which 
control the freedom of the citizens. There can be, 
strictly speaking, no compact which is not freely 
entered into by all parties ; any government, 
therefore, which is founded in force, which has 
not the free sanction of the people at large, is not 
a social compact. The origin and binding force of 
government will be hereafter discussed. 


Government continued. 

' Government, it will be understood, embraces 
three distinct things : 1st. The system ox form of 
government^ usually founded upon some constitu- 
tion, either written or sanctioned by the people, or 
established by usage ; 2d. The statutes and laws / 
3d. The administration, consisting of the officers, 
appointed to see that the laws are obeyed, and the 
action of the government sustained. 

The system or form of government of the Uni- 
ted States, is prescribed in a written constitution, 
sanctioned by the people. The statutes are the laws 
enacted by congress, agreeably to this constitution. 
The administration consists of the president of 
the United States, his secretaries, &c. 

The system or form of government of Massa- 
chusetts, or New York, or Ohio, or any other of 
the separate United States, is also prescribed by a 
written constitution, sanctioned by the people of 
the state. The statutes consist of the laws passed 
by the state legislatures ; and the administration 
consists of the governor and his immediate officers. 
No law is binding that violates a constitution, 
for the makers of the laws have authority to act 
only by that instrument. 

In Great Britain, the form of government is 
prescribed and sanctioned by usage, and not by any 
particular written document. The laws are the 
statutes enacted by parliament and signed by the 
king ; the administration consists of the king and 
his ministers. In France, there is a written con- 




stitution ; the laws are enacted by a parliament, 
and the king with his ministers are the adminis- 
tration. Many of the systems of Europe are sim- 
ilar to that of France, while others are despotic. 

There is another division, belonging to the 
governments of most civilized comitries, which 
distributes the powers of the rulers into three 
branches : 1st, the legislative, or law-making 
power : 2d, the judicial, or judging power ; and 
3d, the executive power. 


The Legislative Power— the Legislature. 



The House of Representatives at Washington. 

The legislative power is usually vested in a 
certain number of persons chosen by the people, 
or a portion of the people, for that purpose. These 


are commonly divided into two branches, called 
the upper and lower house. 

These two bodies of men usually assemble in 
two different rooms in the same building, and 
discuss various acts, resolutions, and laws. When 
a law is introduced into either house, it is called a 
bill. It is read by the speaker or president of the 
house, and after being sufficiently discussed, the 
speaker or president puts it to vote ; that is, he 
calls upon the members in favor of it to say ay, 
and those opposed, to say no. 

If there are more ayes than noes, the bill passes ; 
if not, it is lost. The bill being passed, is sent 
to the other house. It is there discussed, and voted 
upon. If it passes, it goes to the governor or pres- 
ident, or king, and if he signs it, it becomes a 

This is the usual mode of making laws, or of 
legislation, in civilized countries. In savage or 
barbarous countries, where there are no written 
laws, of course there is no legislature ; all power, 
legislative, judicial or executive, being absorbed 
by the king, or chief, and his immediate officers 
and dependents. Where such a state of things 
exists, the people have nothing to do in making 
the government. All they are required to do is to 


The Judicial Power— the Judiciary. 

A court of justice. 

The judicial or judging power, is exercised by 
courts. A court of justice usually consists of one 
or more judges, with a sheriff and a jury. This 
being a most important branch of government, we 
should be careful to understand its nature, duties, 
and functions. 

If a man is charged with any breach of law, 
he is brought by the sheriff or constable before 
the court — the charge having been made known 
to him. He may either defend himself, or he may 
eniploy a lawyer to defend him. 

The case is stated to the court, and then wit- 
nesses are brought forward to prove the facts. No 
witness can testify, unless he takes an oath, which 
is a solemn declaration that he will tell the truth, 
the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

The witnesses against the man are examined, 


and then the witnesses in his favor. Then the 
jury, which consists of twelve men chosen from 
the people, take into consideration whether the 
man has actually broken the law, as charged. 
Their decision is called a verdict, and is either 

, guilty or not guilty. 

If it is not guilty, the man is acquitted and 
released. If it is guilty, then the judge proceeds 
to pronounce the penalty of the law, and this is 
called the sentence. If the sentence is death, the 
man is executed by the sheriff; if the sentence is 

* imprisonment, he is shut up in the jail; if the 
sentence is a fine, he is required to pay the 


The Executive Power. 

The executive power is placed in the head ol 
the government, whose duty it is to see to the exe- 
cution of the laws. In Massachusetts, New York, 
Ohio, and each of the United States, the executive 
power of each state is chiefly vested in a governor. 

The executive power of the United States is 
vested in a president, who appoints various secre- 
taries to assist him, and these are called the cab- 
inet. In England, the executive power is in the 
king, who appoints various agents called ministers, 
and these exercise the executive power in the 
name of the king. 

In this country, a president's duty is to ad- 
minister the government, that is, to carry it on : 
.6 4 




to appoint various officers necessary for this pur- 
pose ; to see that the acts of Congress are observed 
and fulfilled ; and if necessary to enforce the laws 
passed by Congress ; to see that the navy is taken 
care of; to see that the army is provided for and 
properly employed ; to see that the public property 
is secure ; to see to the general interests of the coun- 
try, so far as the laws place them under his care. 

The president and his cabinet. 

Thus the president carries on, or administers, the 
government ; and therefoie we call him, with his 
advisers and assistants — the cabinet — the adminis- 
tration. We also sometimes call the acts of a 
president, his administration. Accordingly, we 
speak of Washington's administration, Jefferson's 
administration, 6cq.. 

The duty of a governor of a state, is to see that 
the state laws are executed, and that the acts of the 
state legislature are fulfilled. He appoints various 
officers to assist in administering or carrying on 
the government, and he has a general charge 
over the public interests of the people. He is the 
commander-in-chief of the state militia, a^ may 


call upon them to aid in executing the laws, in 
suppressing insurrection, or repelling invasion. 

Let it be remembered, then, that the legislature 
makes the laws ; the judiciary, consisting of the 
courts, interprets and applies them ; and the ea:ec- 
utive executes or fulfils them. These are the 
three great powers of government ; and wherever 
government exists, these must exist. 

These powers ought always to be placed in dif- 
ferent hands, and to be independent of each other ; 
for if the same person may make the laws, inter- 
pret and apply them, and at last execute them ; 
then it will be seen that the powers of government 
are so vested, that they may be used according to 
the interest, passions, or caprices of the ruler. 
Such is a government of man, and not a govern- 
ment of laws. 

To illustrate this, suppose the president of the 
United States may pass a law ; suppose he may 
also interpret that law, and at last suppose he 
may put it in force — it is obvious that if he can 
do all this, he is a despot, for his power is unlim- 
ited ; and there is no difference, in spirit, between 
our government, in this case, and that of Russia, 
Spain, or Turkey. If "bne man does, either directly 
or indirectly, engross the three powers of govern- 
ment, he is a despot ; and exactly in proportion 
as a ruler acquires and exercises either legislative 
or judicial powers, he is despotic. 

In despotic countries, the three powers of gov- 
ernment are usually placed in the hands of the 
emperor, king, or chief The sultan of Turkey, 
for instance, makes the laws, has them interpreted 
as he chooses, and has tjiem executed as he 
qhooses. Such is a government of man, and not a 


•a government of laws. The lives and property 
of the people in Turkey, are therefore subject to 
the whim or caprice of the sultan. 

In some barbarous countries, as Tripoli, Mo- 
rocco, Tunis, &c., there are no published laws, or 
if there are, they can be set aside by the chief, and 
new ones be made at his pleasure. All the powers 
of government are vested in the chief, and he 
governs the people as he chooses. Such a govern- 
ment is always found to be cruel, unjust and op- 


Forms of Government. 


As we find no countries without government, so 
we find no two governments precisely the same. 
In Tartary and other parts of Asia, and in Africa, 




there are wandering tribes who have numerous 
horses, camels, and horned cattle, with which they 
move from place to place, in search of pasturage ; 
their chief subsistence being derived from their 

Among these people, some aged man, of great 
experience and Avorth, is usually the chief He 
is called the patriarch, which means the father of 
his people ; and this idea furnishes the basis of his 
government ; for he is expected to rule over the 
tribe, as a father would govern his family. This 
patriarchal form of government is of great antiquity, 
for Abraham was the chief of a pastoral tribe, and 
was its patriarch. 

Another form of government exists in warlike 
tribes, where one warrior, more daring, strong, or 
sagacious than the rest, acquires an ascendancy, 

Military chieftain. 

and at last becomes the chief. If he be ambitious 
he usually goes on to engross all power in his own 




'person, and becomes a dictator. This is the gov- 
ernment of a military chieftain. 

When society becomes more advanced, and men 
live in cities, the miUtary chieftain usually builds 
himself a palace, and becomes a king. He wishes 
to strengthen and establish the throne ; so he 
claims to reign by the appointment of God ; and, 
in order to make a strong impression upon the 
people, he lives in great state, aflfects to be the 
favorite of heaven, and maintains that his per- 
son should be held sacred. He causes loyalty, 
which is love of the person and government of the 
king, to be taught as a noble sentiment, and a 
duty, not inferior to that of the love of God. 


A king. 

Such a king, in order to strengthen his govern- 
ment, and perpetuate his dynasty, usually takes 
care to provide that his oldest son, or his hoir, 
shall be his successor; and thus makes the crown 

^ 6 



hereditary — that is, descending from father to 
son, (fee. 

Another cunning artifice of kings, is to get the 
priests and ministers of reUgion, as far as he can, 
to teach, advise, and command the people to obey 
the king, and hold his person, government, and 
laws, sacred and inviolable. To attach the people 
to his interests, he usually establishes a state re- 
ligion, and requires the people to conform to it. 
This is supported by the government, and provi- 
sion is made, by the state, for the priests, so as to 
ensure their fidelity to the king. 

This connection of the government with religion, 
for the sake of establishing despotic power over the 
people, is called the union of church and state. It is 
carefully provided against in our political systems. 

When a king is active and ambitious, he usually 
carries on wars with other countries, thereby seek- 
ing to extend his power, to increase his wealth, 
and glorify his name. If he is successful, he 
comes at length to unite several countries under 
one monarch, which, thus united, are called an 
empire. The king, under such circumstances, 
reigning over an empire, is usually called an em- 
peror. Thus the monarchs of Russia and of 
China are called emperors, for their dominions 
include various countries. 

These are some of the simplest forms of gov- 
ernment, and in former times, unlimited power 
was piaced in the hands of the patriarch, military 
chief, king, or emperor. They were therefore, 
and some still are, mere despotisms. 

A democracy is a government of the people. 
In a strict sense, it is a government in which the 
people all assemble to make laws, to judge crim- 


inals, to settle disputes, and to perfonn all the 
offices and functions of government. 

There never has been, in point of fact, a pure 
democracy; for, even in ancient Attica, where there 
was the nearest approach to it, among a popula- 
tion of 400,000 souls, there were but about 20,000 
citizens who had a right to take part in govern- 
ment ; and but few of these actually concerned 
themselves with it. In our country, though in 
form the government is not a democracy, the peo- 
ple at large have more influence; for here, one 
sixth of the whole population are voters. 

A republic is a government in which the people 
have established a constitution, and in which they 
choose some of their fellow-citizens to make and 
administer laws. Each of the United States is 
therefore a republic. The government of the 
United States is formed upon an union or confed- 
eration of the several states, and is therefore called 
a federal repyblic. Texas, Mexico, Gautimala, 
and several South American countries, have adopt- 
ed republican governments. 

The distinction between a democracy and a 
republic is, that in the former, the people act 
themselves, directly, in the business of govern- 
ment; in a republic, the people choose men to 
represent them and act for them. In a democracy, 
there is no binding and controlling constitution, 
for the people are supreme ; in a republic, the peo- 
ple prescribe a constitution, and elect mei| to act 
under it. A republic is therefore sometimes called 
a constitutional, and also a representative govern- 

An aristocracy is a government in which the 
nobles, and those claiming certain privileges from 



their wealth or rank, exercise authority, create 
and carry on the government. An oligarchy is a 
government in which a few persons, distinguished 
for their rank, have the supreme control. A mon- 


archy is the government of an hereditary king or 
emperor. Most of the governments of Europe are 
mixed, and partake of several of these forms. I 
shall have occasion hereafter, in the history of 
governments, to notice some of these. 

There are several terms used in characterizing 
government, which it is important to understand. 
A despotic government is one in which power has 
no check ; a tyrannical government is one in 
which government is exercised arbitrarily, and 
againa^ law and justice; a/ree government is one 
in wnich the liberty of the citizen is protected, 
and the rights of man secured. 

An aristocratic government is one in which a 
few distinguished persons have a leading or con- 
trolling influence ; in this sense, the government 


of Great Britain is an aristocratic government, 
though the form is monarchical. A democratic 
government is one in which the people have a con- 
trolling influence. In this sense, ours is a demo- 
cratic government, though the form is republican. 
The greatest distinctions in government arise 
from the difierent parties in whose hands power is 
placed. In a democracy, it is directly in the hands 
of the people ; in a republic, it is indirectly in their 
hands, though they depute it to others. Those gov- 
ernments in which the influence of the people pre- 
ponderates, are called popular ; those in which the 
people have little or no influence are despotic. 


Origin and History of Government 

The necessity of Government must have been 
discovered in the first human family. If a child 
is not restrained, he will run into the fire, leap out 
of the window, break the furniture, injure his com- 
panions, or set the house on fire; he must 
therefore be governed. The larger children must 
be prevented from striking and wounding the 
younger ones ; from taking away their food, &c. 
These too must be governed. ^ 

Without government, a family would be in a 
state of confusion and anarchy ; its necessity there- 
fore must have been discovered by Adam and Eve. 
The first government must consequently have been 
family government, and this doubtless suggested 


the patriarchal form, which must have soon fol- 
lowed. When Adam became a great grandfather, 
with numerous descendants around him, he was 
likely to have an authority founded in reverence 
and affection, and this would lead him to he re- 
garded, and applied to by the people, as a judge, a 
counsellor, and, in short, a ruler. Probably Adam 
was the first patriarch, and the first pohtical 

In the first ages of the world, the people were 
chiefly husbandmen, as they had flocks, with which 
they wandered from place to place. As each party 
separated from the rest, they were likely to take 
some experienced man with them, who would be 
their patriarch. 

When the tribes increased and extended their 
limits, and the ties of blood were forgotten, they 
were likely to meet and contend for the mastery. 
In these struggles, the strong, the daring, or the 
skilful warrior was likely to become the leader, 
and at length to receive or usurp authority. It is 
probable that Nimrod, the mighty hunter, was one 
of those who became the head of his tribe, and, at 
length, laid the foundations of Babylon. 

He was, doubtless, a very ambitious man, and 
extended his domain over various countries on and 
around the plain of Shinar. He thus established 
an empire and became a despotic sovereign. In 
order to increase his authority, and to place his 
throne on a strong basis, he taught the people to 
consider him as ruling by divine right, and at last 
claimed their worship of himself as a divinity. 
He also, no doubt, made the monarchy heredi- 
tary in his family. 

The example of Nimrod seems to have been 


followed by all the sovereigns of Assyria, during 
its continuance of 1700 years. The power of the 
emperor or king was always absolute, and his 
claim to divine authority was ever maintained. 
No instance is recorded in which the right of the 
sovereign to reign was questioned, nor are we told 
of a single individual in these ancient days, who 
ever conceived the idea that the people had any 
right to govern themselves. Even when the gov- 
ernment was just, and consulted the happiness 
of the people, it flowed only from the mercy of 
the sovereign. 

The despotic system of this first empire appears to 
have been followed throughout the rest of Asia, and 
to some extent in Egypt ; and we observe no traces 
of any other ideas of government than that of un- 
limited power in the hands of a king or chief or 
the priests, except among the Hebrews. Persia, 
a vast empire, that rose upon the ruins of the 
Assyrian empire, adopted the same despotic form 
of government, and the emperor ruled in the same 
arbitrary manner. He had unlimited power over 
the people. If the king was supposed to be bound 
to govern wisely and righteously, his people were 
equally bound to serve him as subjects and slaves. 



Political System of the Hebrews. 






i^fel^K $;:0i 

^4,| . ^. 


The government of the Hebrews has been 
called a theocracy^ which means a form of govern- 
ment which assigns all the power to God; he 
being, in fact, the proper king. In the first place, 
this government was under Moses, the legislator; 
then under Joshua, his successor; then under 
judges, and then under kings and high-priests. In 
all these cases, God was acknowledged to be the 
true king of the nation — but it was only under 
Moses that he was regarded as dwelling, nerson- 



ally, among the people. Afterwards he was con- 
sidered as ruling through the judges or kings, who 
were to look to him for advice or counsel, and who 
were to be appointed by him. 

When David became king, God ordained that 
the monarchy should be hereditary in his family. 
His successors practically altered the government, 
and, instead of acknowledging God as king, they 
seemed to throw off his authority, and to rule 
according to their own will. 

They would not submit to the restraints which 
had been observed by former rulers, and which 
operated like a constitution to limit the power of 
the kings, and to protect the people. They there- 
fore not only fell into idolatry, but they were 
guilty of cruelty and oppression. The country 
was accordingly subject to great miseries, and at 
last the nation was scattered. 

In whatever point of view we regard the He- 
brew system of laws, as established by Moses, 
they are most remarkable. This people had lived 
for several centuries in Egypt, where there was an 
universal belief in many gods, and where idolatry 
was the universal practice of the people. The 
government, too, was despotic, placing absolute 
power in the hands of the kings and priests. 

Yet, immediately on leaving Egypt, we find the 
people receiving from Moses a creed, both civil and 
religious, entirely distinct from that of the Egyp- 
tians, and unlike any other which had ever existed. 
It must be recollected that Moses lived about 1500 
years before Christ, which was a thousand years 
before Confucius, the lawgiver of China, and 800 
before Solon, the Grecian lawgiver. 

The great idea of the Mosaic institutions was 


the existence of one God — as distinguished from 
the creed of many gods, which prevailed at that 
time in all other nations — with the doctrine that 
the people were responsible to him for every 
action. In order to inculcate these principles and 
eradicate all the idolatrous notions which the He- 
brews had imbibed in Egypt, Moses instituted a 
great variety of rites and ceremonies, all calcu- 
lated to produce these effects, and, at the same time, 
to keep the descendants of Jacob as a distinct and 
peculiar people. 

Such being his leading design, nothing could be 
better conceived than the means he adopted for 
his purpose. To superintend the religious rites 
and ceremonies, priests, being the descendants of 
Aaron, were appointed, and numerous assistants, 
called Levites, from Levi, their progenitor, were 
also appointed. These latter obeyed the priests 
in the services of the temple, and sang and played 
on instruments in the daily services. They also 
studied the law, and were the common judges, 
being however inferior to the priests, who were 
not only judges of religious questions, but of civil 
and criminal cases. 

There is no part of government more important 
than that of the administration of justice, by 
which is meant the settlement of questions arising 
under the laws. Under the patriarchs, the 
judicial power was invested in the heads of tribes 
or families, who could banish, disinherit, or inflict 
sentence of death, according to their own will. 
In the time of Moses, a change was made in this 
respect; he was made supreme judge, and subse- 
quently the priests had jurisdiction. There were 
also courts established, to which authority was 


given over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. 
These courts were again changed at several suW 
sequent periods. 

Before the courts, a man could plead his own 
cause, though men of wisdom and influence seem 
to have appeared in behalf of those incapable 
of speaking for themselves. In criminal cases the 
person charged was exhorted first to tell the truth, 
and then the witnesses were put under oath. 
Witnesses were examined separately, but in pres- 
ence of the accused. When a man was found 
guilty of a crime, he was immediately hurried 
away to execution. 

Though the institutions of the Hebrews were 
essentially different from those which prevail in 
this more enlightened day, still it must be admitted 
that they were far more favorable to individual 
liberty than the institutions of other countries of 
that age, and more so indeed than those of the 
principal monarchies of Asia now existing. The 
administration of justice, in the time of David, 
among the Hebrews, was more consonant to 
human rights, than it is now in China, the most 
civilized country of Asia. 


Political Institutions of China. 




U Ml 


EmiUTor of China. 

The early history of China is involved in the 
mists of obscurity. The historians of the country 
claim an incredible antiquity, and pretend to 
tell us of dynasties that reigned over the nation 
for ages before the period assigned to the creation 
of the world. 

It is now, and has been for ages, the policy of 
the government to exclude strangers from the 
country, so that little is known of it. The steps 
by which the government has arrived at its pres- 
ent state cannot be traced, and we can therefore 
do little more than give an outline of it, as it now 
exists. It has probably undergone little alteration 
for centuries. 

The government of China is professedly patri- 
archal ; the emperor having the title of holy son 
6* 5 


of heaven^ sole guardian of the earthy great father 
of his people. But it is patriarchal on the largest 
scale of which there is any account, for his family- 
consists of about 360 millions of members. Be- 
side, the nature of the government is rather too 
severe for a parent to administer to his children. 

The emperor is absolute in his authority, and 
such is the extent of his dominions that he is 
obliged to devote his whole time to business. Of- 
ferings are made to his image and his throne ; his 
person is worshipped, his subjects prostrating them- 
selves before him. He never appears in public 
without two thousand lictors, bearing chains, 
axes, and other instruments indicative of eastern 

There are two kinds of nobility; those who 
have titles and privileges by birth, and those who 
hold offices ; these are called mandarins. In every 
province there is a mandarin, or magistrate, who 
is aided by a council. There are courts of justice 
in the different towns, but these are too often 
capricious and corrupt. In order to ascertain 
whether a witness tells the truth, his spittle is 
examined. If he ^^ spits cotton,'^ that is, if the 
mucus is frothy, it is esteemed a proof of agitation 
of mind incompatible with honesty, and he is dis- 

On the whole, the government of China is the 
best in Asia, but it is the most despotic in the 
world. All power being with the emperor, the 
people are not considered as having any political 
rights. The great instrument of government is 
punishmei^ and this is inflicted without mercy, 
and in a variety of barbarous modes. China may 
be regarded as one vast school-house, in which 


the master has the hirch continually in his hand. 
It has heen humorously said that the emperor 
canes his ministers ; the ministers cane the man- 
darins : and the mandarins cane the people ; the 
men cane their Avives ; and the wives cane their 
children. The Chinese may therefore he consid- 
ered a well-flogged nation. 

The art of printing was known in China, even 
before its discovery in Europe, and now nearly all 
persons can read. The laws are published, and it 
is made the imperious duty of all magistrates 
thoroughly to understand them. The penal code, 
called " Ta Tsing Leu Zee," has been published 
in the English language. 

From this code, which has been gradually 
forming under a succession of emperors for ages, 
it appears that the laws of China are a series of 
police regulations, many of them such as could 
not be established or enforced either in Europe or 
this country. 

The punishments inflicted by this code, are 
chiefly whipping with a bamboo cane; wearing 
around the body a heavy frame of wood called the 
cangue^ and which is a moving pillory ; banish- 
ment, imprisonment, strangulation, and decapita- 
tion. The following extracts from this code, will 
give some idea of it : 

"Rebellion is an attempt to violate the divine 
order of things on earth : for as the fruits of the 
earth are produced in regular succession, under the 
influence of the presiding spirit, so is their distri- 
bution among the people regulated by the sover- 
eign, who is the sacred successor to the seat of his 
ancestors ; resisting and conspiring against him is, 
therefore, an unspeakable outrage, and a disturbr 
ance of the peace of the universe. 


•* Whoever degrades his first or principal wife to 
the condition of an inferior wife shall be punished 
with one hundred blows. Whoever, during the 
life- time of his first wife, raises an inferior wife to 
the rank and condition of a first wife, shall be 
punished with ninety blows, and in both the cases 
each of the several wives shall be replaced in the 
rank to which she was originally entitled upon 
her marriage. 

''Whenever any persons, having the same family'- 
name, intermarry, the parties and the contractor of 
the marriage shall each receive sixty blows, and, 
the marriage being null and void, the man and 
woman shall be separated, and the marriage pres- 
ents forfeited to government. 

''All persons unauthorizedly passing through 
any of the gates of the imperial citadel at Pekin, 
and entering therein, or into any of the imperial 
gardens, shall receive one hundred blows. 

"No person shall presume to travel on the 
roads, or to cross the bridges, which are expressly 
provided and reserved for the use of the emperor, 
except only such civil and military officers and 
other attendants as immediately belong to his 
majesty's retinue, and who are, in consequence, 
necessarily permitted to proceed upon the side 
paths thereof. i? 

" Any person who is guilty of striking his elder 
brother or sister, shall be punished at the least 
with ninety blows, and banishment for two years 
and a half; but if guilty cf striking so as to 
wound, with one hundred blows and three years' 
banishment to the distance of 3000 lee. 

" Any person who is guilty of striking his fa- 
ther, mother, paternal grandfather or grandmother; 


and any wife who is guilty of striking her hus- 
band's father, mother, paternal grandfather, or 
grandmother, shall suffer death by being beheaded. 
Any person who is guilty of killing such a near 
relation, shall suffer death by a slow and painful 


Political Institutions of Egypt 

Ruins of Luxor. 

Egypt rose at a very early period to a high 
pitch of civilization and refinement. In the time 
of Moses, 1600 years before the Christian era, it 
had a vast population, and many mighty cities. 
The ruins of these attest their magnificence and 
power. The vast pyramids that still exist, and 


which were constructed so long ago that history 
has not told us what king caused them to be cre- 
ated, are among the mightiest works of human 

Among the ruins of Thebes, and other cities 
along the banks of the Nile, there are the most 
wonderful architectural remains. Cut in the 
rocks, there are chambers or rooms still existing, 
the walls of which are ornamented with curious 

Some of these represent the manners and cus- 
toms of the ancient inhabitants of these cities, and 
show that a great variety of utensils now in use, 
and supposed to be of modern origin, were well 
known to the Egyptians, thousands of years ago. 

It is evident that Egypt, at a date going back 
nearly 2000 years before Christ, was a thickly 
peopled country, and that a vast variety of curious 
and useful arts were in use among the inhabitants. 
There is no doubt that it was, at this and later 
dates, the most civilized portion of the globe, and 
that it was the school at which other nations for 
many ages learnt philosophy. From this country 
it was that the Greeks, who became so celebrated 
for their arts and their advances in every species 
of human learning, derived their first light in all 
branches of human knowledge. 

But however much Egypt may have done for 
the rest of the world in those remote and mystic 
ages, we have not a very minute record of her 
internal history. Of her political system, we know 
that it was an hereditary and despotic monarchy, 
modelled upon the Asiatic plan, but greatly modi- 
fied, at least in early times, by the influence of 


There is no nation of antiquity in which religion 
seems to have had greater influence, than in Egypt. 
Though they had advanced far in many arts and 
sciences — though they knew the globular form of 
the earth, calculated eclipses, regarded the moon 
as another globe, were acquainted with arithmetic, 
geometry, and various curious arts, now lost- 
still they were in the highest degree supersti- 

Their superstitions were of the most gloomy 
kind. Music was only used at funerals and the 
worship of the gods. Pleasure was a stranger to 
the Egyptians ; songs, dances, and sports, they dis- 
liked; they never used wine; their drink was 
beer, made of barley. Funerals and times of sad- 
ness were the only occasions of parade and 

Justice was administered in a strict and speedy 
manner. Written laws existed, and were handed 
down from age to age. Perjury and murder were 
punished with death. Calumniators and false 
accusers, were punished as if they had committed 
the crimes they charged on others. Falsehood 
was punished by a loss of the tongue ; forgery, by 
loss of the hand; desertion of the army, by in- 

The king could remit the penalty of the law, 
and indeed his authority was regarded as supreme 
— but in point of fact, he was himself, in many 
things, overruled by the priests. These even made 
rules to regulate his private afiairs ; they educated 
his children ; pointed out the daily duties of his 
slaves ; fixed the bill of fare at his table ; and in 
various ways abridged and controlled his power. 

Kings were judged after their death, and if con- 



demned, their bodies were cast away. Soldiers 
and priests were exempt from all taxes, and every 
son was obliged to follow the profession of his 
father. The people were divided into seven casts — 
priests, soldiers, shepherds, swineherds, mechan- 
ics, interpreters, and fishermen. The priests were 
at the head; they were the teachers of the people 
and the patrons of science. From them the chief 
offices of state were filled ; they were the physi- 
cians, judges, architects, astronomers and astrolo- 
gers. They kept science and knowledge to them- 
selves, for by these they held their sway over the 

Thus It appears that the government of ancient 
Egypt was despotic, checked only by the power 
of the priests, and laws estabhshed by usage. It 
appears, also, that this power varied at different 
periods, being more despotic at one time than an- 
other. It does not seem, however, that any other 
idea of government was ever started, than that of 
a divine right to rule on the part of the prince, 
or the priest, and the same obligation to obey or. 
the side of the people. 



Sketch of Ancient Greece. Character of the 

Ruins of an ancient Grecian edijice. 

It is at a period of very distant antiquity, and 
in an age involved in doubt and fable, that the 
history of Greece begins. It was about five hun- 
dred years after the flood, when Abraham was 
Uving, that is, about 3700 years ago, that the first 
kingdom of Greece was founded ; the country, pre- 
vious to that time, being inhabited by wild and 
wandering tribes of savages. 

The history of ancient Greece commences in the 

year 1856, B. C, and ends in 146, B. C, making 

a space of 1700 years, being nearly one third of 

the time that has elapsed since tba. world was 



created, and almost one half of the time since 
the deluge. 

The country of ancient Greece was a large 
peninsula in Europe, on the north side of the Med- 
iterranean sea; lying between Italy and Asia 
Minor, and embraced many islands situated near 
its shores. Its length, when most extensive, was 
about 400 miles, and its breadth about an average 
of 150 miles. 

Yet this small spot, less in extent than the 
State of New York, produced a people, who left 
more to instruct and admonish the nations that 
followed them than any other; and who, after 
the lapse of 2500 years, are still the subjects of the 
most lively interest. 

The country inhabited by this extraordinary 
people was highly beautiful. Its surface was 
variegated by picturesque mountains; between 
them were valleys of the brightest verdure, 
through which a thousand small, but clear rivers 
dashed rapidly to the sea. 

The climate was among the finest in Europe. 
It was exempt from the extremes of summer and 
winter; the sky was seldom obscured; and the air, 
being peculiarly clear, presented objects to the eye 
with the most striking distinctness. The sea was 
said to be more beautiful, the islands that clustered 
around the peninsula more charming, the roman- 
tic landscapes, embracing mountains, and vales, 
and rivers, more delightful here than in other 

It was the lot of a people of strong and peculiar 
genius to inhabit this favored region. Here they 
flourished for 1700 years. This ancient nation 
has slept in the tomb for centuries, but their 


deeds and their institutions have survived the 
lapse of ages; and like mountains seen through 
the mist of distance, they strike through the shad- 
ows of antiquity, and still excite our wonder and 

It is to this people that we are indebted for the 
first example of a federal government — a union of 
several states under one superintending power. 
Of course, we find in its history the first outline 
of the constitution of our own government, so 
much the object of admiration in other nations, 
and so worthy of our own respect and veneration. 

Greece also exhibited the earliest dawnings of 
political liberty. While the nations around her 
were living in barbarism, or submitting to tyranny, 
she was emerging from darkness into the light of 
freedom. About the time when Saul was made 
king over Israel, Athens abolished royalty. The 
ancient Grecians were the first people to under- 
stand their rights, and to assert them ; the first to 
discover that the people are the only legitimate 
source of political power — that the true end of 
government is to ensure the happiness of the peo- 
ple at large — by establishing equal laws — promot- 
ing justice, and punishing crimes; the first to 
establish constitutions on a basis to secure these 

There was in the Grecian character a nobleness 
and ingenuousness of sentiment which makes it 
seem almost desirable to have lived among them. 
There is a curious anecdote of an old man, a stran- 
ger at Athens, who went one evening into the 
theatre. As he approached the seats of the Athe- 
nian youth, they pressed together in such a man- 
ner as to leave him no place to be seated ; he was 


therefore compelled to stand in a situation very 
conspicuous and embarrassing, and exposed to ridi- 
cule. The Lacedemonians, Avho held age in great 
veneration, perceiving his confusion, and touched 
with pity, by a general sympathy all rose at once 
to offer him a seat. The volatile Athenians, 
struck with such urbanity, suddenly gave a thun- 
der of applause. The old man replied, "The 
Athenians know what is good — the Lacedemoni- 
ans practise it." 

Their patriotism was of the loftiest kind. Where 
is the man in our day who would voluntarily sac- 
rifice his life for his country ? Yet many instan- 
ces are furnished by the history of Greece, in 
which men laid down their lives to benefit their 
country ; and they did this in a manner more 
unequivocal and more frequently than any other 
nation. The Athenians were once engaged in a 
dangerous war. An oracle, supposed to declare 
the will of heaven, when consulted in respect to 
the war, said that the nation whose king was first 
slain should be victorious. The king of Athens, 
perceiving that it would be difficult for him to be 
slain in the common course of events, dressed 
himself in disguise, went into the enemy's army, 
and allowed himself to be killed. 

With the Greeks, personal attachment had more 
influence, and private interest less, than with 
almost any other people. Xerxes the Great was 
much surprised when a Greek, who was admitted 
to his confidence, told him that the Greeks did not 
fight for money. "And pray," said he, " what do 
they fight for?" "They fight," said the other, 
**for glory." The brave men who fought and fell 
with Leonidas at the straits of Thermopylae, 


were inspired by the love of country, by devotion 
to their leader, to one another, to glory. 

Many of them seemed to live for the interest and 
ha ppiness of their friends. Solon' s rule for measur- 
ing happiness, proposed to Croesus, king of Lydia, 
was to " live in love, and die in peace." And he 
told the haughty monarch that Cleobis and Biton, 
two obscure young men, who spent their time in 
performing their duty to their country and the gods, 
in acts of kindness to thejr friends, and of filial 
piety to their mother, were happy men. 


Greece continued. 

In the history of Syracuse, settled by a Grecian 
colony, there is an account of two young Grecian 
noblemen, Damon and Pythias, who lived in the 
reign of Dionysius the tyrant. They had, for a 
long time, cultivated the strictest intimacy and 
friendship, and pursued an unimpeachable course 
of life. But the spirit of liberty, prevalent among 
the Greeks, had, on various occasions, appeared; 
and many had fallen victims to the suspicions of 
the tyrant. 

At length, one of the two friends, Damon, was 
seized by Dionysius, and condemned to die. But 
as he had business abroad of consequence to his 
family, which he wished to settle before his death, 
he applied to the king for permission to go ; and 
his friend Pythias oifered himself as a hostage to 


remain in prison till his return, or die in his stead 
if he did not return. The king accepted the sub- 
stitute, and Damon went on his journey. 

When the time appointed for the execution 
of the sentence drew near, the criminal had not 
returned, and everybody now began to believe that 
he had made his escape, and left Pythias involved 
in ruin. Pythias maintained, however, with un- 
shaken confidence, that his friend would return, 
unless prevented by death or unavoidable neces- 
sity, in which case he should submit to his fate 
without repining. 

The day and the hour arrived ; no criminal ap- 
peared. An immense crowd of people assembled 
to see the result of so strange an event. Dionysius 
himself expressed great uneasiness, but as he 
expected it had been a plan contrived to screen 
the offender, he was determined to inflict the sen- 
tence on the hostage. Pythias was led to the 
scaffold. He ascended with an undaunted air 
and firm step, but, lest the honor of his friend 
should be tarnished, he requested as much delay 
as the forms of proceeding in such cases would 

What was the astonishment of the whole con- 
course, when, at this critical moment, the cry of 
^^ Damon! Damofi!^^ was heard from an extreme 
part of the assembly. He approached with haste 
and terror lest he had come too late, and impeded 
by the greatness of the crowd, he drew his sword, 
and forced his way through the throng, till he 
rushed into the arms of his friend. 

But here a scene ensued which is not easily 
described. Nor is it possible to say whether 
Ihe sincerity of their friendship, or their superi- 


onty to death, excited the most admiration. If the 
king was amazed at the return of Damon, he 
was more amazed to see Pythias still resohitely 
determined to die in his stead. In short, the con- 
test now was which should die. Each one saw 
stronger reasons for wishing his friend to live, than 
to live himself; each one claimed the right of 
being the sacrifice. 

While the two friends were engaged in this un- 
paralleled dispute, the tone of public sympathy 
rose to frenzy, and the haughty monarch feared 
that compassion for his victim might suddenly 
change into fury, and hurl him from his throne. 
He felt that a tyrant's power is not equal to the 
power of virtue, and that a man imbued with 
noble sentiments is greater than a monarch with- 
out them. He rose from his seat, and embracing 
the two friends, with tears in his eyes, pronounced 
a free pardon, bade them both live for each other's 
sake, and desired they would admit him as a third, 
in a bond of union, so sacred, and so noble. 

It is in respect to a people thus characterized 
by greatness, that we have occasion to observe and 
regret, that if in genius, taste, learning, patriotism, 
love of liberty, and heroism, they stand unri- 
valled among the nations of antiquity, yet they 
had many traits in their character to be con- 
demned. They were volatile and fickle, ungrate- 
ful to their benefactors, fierce in their resentments, 
and bloody in their revenge. 

The injustice that they manifested towards 
fiome of their most illustrious patriots and philos- 
ophers was remarkable. It must be admitted, too, 
that their standard of morality, formed without 
the light of Christianity, was very low. The 


boundaries of right and wrong were in many 
things, undefined, and the strongest had generally 
the advantage. 

On the whole, we are forced to confess that one 
great lesson taught us by the history of this inter- 
esting people is, that the human mind, under 
favorable circumstances, by its own unassisted 
efforts may develop powers, achieve deeds, and 
display traits of great beauty and sublimity — but 
that it still wanders in sad uncertainty as to the 
great end of existence, and that if capable of dis- 
covering the rules of justice and virtue, it is still 
unable to devise sufficient motives to enforce and 
establish them. 


Athens. Political Divisions of the People. 

The city of Athens was the capital of Attica, a 
small territory situated to the north of the Gulf of 
Saron. It was founded by Cecrops, an Egyptian, 
who led thither a colony and introduced a knowl- 
edge of the arts and sciences, 1556, B. C. It occu- 
pied the summit of a rocky mount, in the midst of 
a large plain, about five miles from the sea ; and as 
the city increased, it filled a large space of the 
neighboring plain. The Acropolis, or upper city, 
was fortified as a citadel. This part of Athens 
was greatly embellished, in the glorious days of 
the republic, with temples, statues, and monu- 
ments. Here ^re still magnificent remains of that 



master-piece of architecture, the Parthenon, and 
also of the beautiful temple of Neptune. 

The seaports of Athens were the Portus Phale- 
rius, the Piraeus, and the Munychia, which last 
was encompassed with a strong wall, that joined 
it to the Piraeus. Two walls, of about five miles 
in length, enclosing a considerable space between 
them, united the Piraeus and Athens. The whole 


View in Athens. 

extent of the walls — comprehending every part of 
Athens and its suburbs— was about twenty-two 

One of the most superb buildings in Athens was 
the temple of Theseus, in the middle of the city. 
It became a sanctuary for slaves. It still exists as 
a matchless model, commanding the admiration of 
all who feel deUght in the grandeur and beauty of 




Temple of Tfieseus. 

The inhabitants of Athens were divided into 
three classes; the freemen, strangers residing in 
the country, and the slaves. When Athens was 
in its highest prosperity, the number of free citi- 
zens was about 20,000 ; of foreigners and stran- 
gers, 10,000 ; and of slaves, 400,000. 

The freemen were persons whose fathers were 
citizens in their own right. If, however, an 
Athenian married a foreign woman, his child could 
not be enrolled among the citizens, unless by con- 
ferring some signal benefit on the state. This 
admission could only take place in an assembly of 
the people, and was required to be ratified in a 
second assembly. From time to time, an inquest 
was held to clear Athens of pretended citizens. 
Fathers were careful to register the names of their 
sons in the ward to which they belonged ; young 
persons, at the age of eighteen, were enrolled a 
second time. 

The citizens were divided into tribes, at first 
four in number, but afterwards increased to ten. 
The freemen alone had a voice in the election of 
magistrates, and in popular assemblies. 


Strangers residing at Athens were protected by 
the law, and allowed to follow trades, or spend 
their fortunes ; but were incapable of voting, or of 
being elected to any office. They were subject to 
an extra tribute, in addition to the taxes paid by 
the free citizens. On certain public processions, 
they carried a badge of distinction, by which they 
were known from the Athenians. Such strangers 
as had rendered eminent service to the republic, 
were exempted from this requisition. 

After a plague, or destructive war, it was usual 
to replenish the city by admitting strangers to the 
rank of freemen. To cement the freemen and 
strangers in closer union, each stranger was re- 
quired to select some principal citizen to be his 
patron, to protect him from oppression. 

It is painful to reflect that, in a country where 
the inhabitants prided themselves upon their lib- 
erty, and were ready to make such sacrifices to 
defend it, there should have been slaves, greatly 
surpassing the free citizens in number. In Athens 
they were about twenty times as numerous as 
the citizens. Slaves were of two sorts ; natural 
born Greeks, who themselves, or whose parents, by 
poverty, captivity, or other misfortune, had been 
reduced to that condition ; or foreigners, imported 
from abroad. The former were favored, both by 
law and custom, much more than the latter. 

At Athens, slaves were in general more mildly 
treated, than in other parts of Greece. In times 
of danger, some obtained their freedom by fighting 
in defence of the state. They might also, if provi- 
dent, amass a little property to redeem themselves. 
In general, masters were careful not to allow slaves 



the use of arms ; neither might they imitate the 
dress and manners of freemen. 

The Athenian slaves were employed in cultiva- 
ting the lands ; they also wrought in the mines 
and quarries, and performed all the domestic ser- 
vices in private families. Slaves from other coun- 
tries were exposed in the public markets for sale. 
At Athens, when a slave was first carried home, 
an entertainment was provided as a welcome to 
his new service. It was the interest of the master 
to treat his slaves with mildness, and attach them 
to his service, but he had full power over those 
which were bought, and might even put them to 


Of the Government of Athens. 

The government of Athens was at first mon- 
archical ; but after the death of Codrus, annual 
magistrates, called archons, were elected and pla- 
ced at the head of the government. Occasionally, 
however, individuals obtained an extraordinary 
ascendancy in the state. This was the case with 
the tyrant Pisi stratus and his sons ; and after them, 
Pericles ruled Athens, by the consent of the people, 
nearly forty years. The usual government was 
carried on by the nine archons, by a senate of 
500, and by assemblies of the people. 

The persons appointed to the ofiice of archon, 


were elected from the principal citizens by lot. 
After their nomination, they were subjected to two 
rigorous examinations; the first was before the 
senate, and the other in the forum, before the 
magistrates, called heliastce. They were required 
to show that they were descended of ancestors, 
who for three generations had been Athenian 
citizens ; to specify the tribe and district to which 
they belonged; to adduce proofs of their filial 
piety, and of having served their country faith- 
fully, and borne arms in its defence. 

If competent, the archons took an oath faithfully 
to administer justice, and to receive no presents, 
or, in case of so doing, that they would dedicate 
to Apollo, at Delphos, a statue of gold, equal in 
weight to themselves. When their functions 
expired, an inquisition of their conduct took place, 
and if they had conducted themselves with pro- 
priety, a prospect was held out of their being 
admitted into the Areopagus. 

In the discharge of their duties, the archons 
wore branches of myrtle, and in case any one 
offered them insult or obstruction, the offender 
was amerced in a heavy fine, and deprived of most 
of the privileges of citizens. The archons were 
remunerated, by exemption from certain taxes. 

The chief of the nine archons was denominated 
The Archon, in distinction, because the year was 
called by his name. He decided on causes be- 
tween married persons; also concerning wills, 
divorces, and legacies ; he was the general guar- 
dian of orphans. The theatres and public diver- 
sions were under his control, and his office requir- 
ed him to regulate festivals in honor of the gods ; 
to watch over the public morals, and restrain fla- 


grant offences. He was empowered to inspect the 
public markets, and punish the venders of un- 
wholesome provisions. 

The second archon was called king, and wore a 
crown. He decided upon disputes in certain fami- 
lies of priests, regulated many sacrifices to the gods, 
and generally punished offences against religion. 
Accusations of murder were made before him ; and 
if he saw cause, he sent the accused to be tried 
by the areopagites, among whom he had a seat 
and right of suffrage, but simply as a member of 
the court, and when he attended, he laid aside his 

Another archon exercised over strangers the 
same authority which the preceding archon had 
over citizens. He superintended certain festivals 
and sacrifices to Mars and Diana. He also ad- 
judged the honors to be paid to citizens who fell 
in the wars, and to provide for their orphans from 
the public treasury. 

The other six archons presided in courts for the 
trial of civil affairs respecting property, as belong- 
ing either to citizens or strangers. They were 
also to assist in watching over the rights of the 
people and preserve tranquillity, especially during 
the night. 

The archons had officers, well acquainted 
with the laws and accounts, to assist them. 
There were subordinate magistrates, scattered 
through the different tribes, to manage their pe- 
culiar interests, and regulate minor details in the 

The supreme power of enacting laws and deci- 
ding in matters of government was, by Solon, vested 
in the assemblies of the citizens ; but to prevent 


the ill consequences that might arise from hasty 
and ignorant advisers, he constituted a council of 
four hundred, in which all proposals should be 
be agitated, before they were submitted to the 

. About eighty-six years after Solon, when the 
numbers of tribes had increased from four to ten, 
one hundred members were added to the council 
or senate, which made their number five hundred, 
or fifty for each tribe. The senators were chosen 
by lot from the diflerent tribes. The names of all 
the citizens in the tribe qualified for ofiice were 
engraved on tablets of brass, and cast into a vessel; 
into another was put an equal number of beans, 
all of which were black, except fifty, which were 
white. The name of a citizen and a bean were 
drawn out together, and if the bean was white, he 
was proclaimed senator. In this manner they 
proceeded till the whole fifty were chosen. They 
were elected for one year. 

The power of this senate was considerable. 
They debated all measures of public interest and 
welfare, and examined the accounts of all the 
magistrates at the expiration of their office. They 
had care of all such as received public alms ; they 
appointed goalers for the prisons, and could punish 
for offences not prohibited by any law. They also 
had the charge of building ships of war. Each 
senator was allowed a drachm a day, as a com- 
pensation for the loss of time. 

All freemen of Athens had the right of attending 
the public assemblies; but strangers, slaves, wo- 
men and children were excluded. They were 
held four times every thirty-five days, and also 
in cases of extraordinary emergency. When the 



citizens were remiss in attendance, the magistrates 
shut up all the gates, except such as led to the 
place of assembly, and removed all goods from the 
market-place. As a farther inducement, an al- 
lowance in money of three oboli was given to all 
who were present at an early hour. 

After certain religious ceremonies, the decree of 
the senate was read, and then a herald pro- 
claimed: "Who above fifty years will speak?" 
After the old men had given their opinion, pro- 
clamation was made that every citizen was at 
liberty to speak. The people gave their suffrages 
by holding up their hands ; but on certain occa- 
sions by ballot. 

Orator addressing the people of Athens. 

The popular assemblies decided respecting peace 
or war ; they received ambassadors, confirmed or 
abrogated laws; nominated to almost every office: 
granted the freedom of the state to foreigners ; and 
decreed bono s to such as held deserved well of 
the republic. 


The chief inconvenience attending the popular 
assembhes was the power which the orators exer- 
cised over the popular will by their eloquence ; 
for factious and personal motives, they often 
recommended measures inimical to the honor and 
interests of their country. The orators were also 
accessible to bribes from foreign princes ; and the 
eloquence and patriotism of Demosthenes were too 
successfully opposed by the gold of Philip of 
Macedon, received by other speakers. 

In Athens the constitution was entirely demo- 
cratical, but there was always a powerful body of 
rich individuals, who thought it advisable to curb 
the power of the people ; and they often succeeded 
in their object. Hence, there was a constant jeal- 
ousy of their power in the minds of the people, 
and, unfortunately, it was chiefly levelled at their 
ablest men, who had signalized themselves the 
most by their service to the state. 

From this fear of the loss of power, the people 
were led to commit acts of flagrant ingratitude and 
injustice towards their greatest benefactors. Mil- 
tiades, who had sacrificed his own interest to the 
general welfare and common cause of G reece ; who 
had in fact saved Athens, by his heroism and 
military talents, was unjustly condemned to pay an 
excessive fine, and, being unable to pay it, he lan- 
guished the remainder of his days in prison. His 
son Cimon, after his father's death, was put in 
prison till this debt should be discharged. To free 
themselves also from any apprehension of charac- 
ters deservedly popular, they had recourse to an 
arbitrary mode of punishment, called ostracism — 
a state of exile that lasted for ten years. 

The process of condemnation was curious. Of 


the assembled citizens, each took an oyster-shell, 
or tile, and having written upon it the name of the 
person intended to be expelled, carried it to the 
market-place, where a piece of ground was enclos- 
ed with wooden rails for that purpose, having ten 
gates for the ten tribes to enter separately. The 
tiles or shells were there deposited ; and if, when 
numbered by the archon, they amounted to ten 
thousand, the person so prescribed was adjudged 
to the ostracism. A similar usage prevailed at 
Argos, Miletus and Megara. 

Aristides was banished in this way, from envy 
of his character, so gloriously acquired in the sur- 
name of "the Just." A similar jealousy forced 
Themistocles into banishment, after he had saved 
Athens and all Greece, by his admirable conduct 
in the Persian war. Cimon, Timotheus and other 
great commanders, who had distinguished them- 
selves, preferred living as much as possible in other 
countries. Alcibiades was alternately caressed 
and persecuted by the people ; till, by their indis- 
creet conduct towards him, other generals in the 
Peloponesian war, brought calamity and ruin on 
their state. 

To distinguished individuals, of whom they en- 
tertained no fear, the Athenians gave, as a reward, 
crowns in their public assemblies. These were 
conferred by general suffrage, and were afterwards 
preserved in the families of those who had ob- 
tained them, as marks of honor. Foreign cities, 
by their ambassadors, might also present crowns 
to their meritorious citizens, after having received 
permission of the people. 


The Court of Areopagus. 

The court of Areopagus was in the greatest re- 
pute throughout Greece, for the wisdom and jus- 
tice of its decisions. It was sometimes convened 
in the royal portico, but more frequently in a kind 
of hall, defended from the weather by a sort of 
rustic roof This court received its name from 
being held sometimes on an eminence, near the 
citadel, called the hill of Mars. 

The origin of this court has been referred to 
Cecrops, but its jurisdiction was then confined to 
criminal cases of life and death. This continued 
to form their chief business in all subsequent 
periods ; but they also, at one time, assumed the in- 
spection and custody of the laws, the guardianship 
of young men, whom they provided with tutors, 
to be brought up suitably to their rank. They 
also punished transgressors of decorum and mor- 
als, idleness, rapine, and theft, as well as impiety 
towards the gods. 

The members of this court held their office^for 
life. Such archons as had acquitted themselves 
with honor at the expiration of their magistracy, 
were admitted into the Areopagus. Other citizens 
of irreproachable morals received this honor. The 
strictest propriety of conduct and behavior, was 
required of the members. To have been seen sit- 
ting in a tavern, was regarded as a sufficient rea- 
son for exclusion. Any one found guilty of gross 
immorality was expelled. The members were 


forbidden to write comedies. To laugh during 
the sitting of the court, would have been thought 
a blameable levity. 

It is related that a member of the Areopagus 
stifled a bird, that, for fear, had taken refuge in 
his breast. For this act he was expelled, it being 
considered that the man whose breast was inac- 
cessible to pity, was disqualified to sit in judgment 
on the lives of his fellow-creatures. Foreign 
states frequently referred their disputes to the ar- 
bitration of the Areopagus. 

This court usually met on the 27th, 28th and 
29th day of every month, or more frequently, if 
urgent business required it. They sat and deter- 
mined all causes by night and in darkness, that 
they might not be influenced in favor either of the 
criminal or the accuser, and that no one might 
know the number or discern the countenances of 
the judges. They sat on seats of stone, and held 
in their hands a sort of baton as a badge of oflice. 

When a multiplicity of business required it, 
they divided themselves into committees, to de- 
cide on separate causes. These appointments 
were made by lot, that it might not be known 
who was to try any cause, and that thereby no 
one might be corrupted or bribed to prejudge any 
cause. The members received three oboli, that 
is, about sixty cents, for every cause they tried, 
and they sometimes received gifts from the people. 


Other Courts ©f Athens. Sparta. 

Acropolis in Athens. 

Besides the Areopagus, there were ten other 
courts of justice among the Athenians ; four of 
which took cognizance of homicides, assaults, and 
other matters of blood ; the other six were for civil 

The judges were chosen from all the citizens 
indiscriminately ; the very lowest being eligible. 
The only pre-requisites were, that they should be 
thirty years of age, and innocent of any criminal- 
ity. The number of these judges was about six 
thousand ; but, strictly speaking, they were mere- 
ly jurymen to assist the presiding magistrate. 
One inducement to become a judge was, that they 
received for every trial an obolus, about twenty- 
cents, each, and sometimes three oboli. 

This recompense occasioned an annual expen- 


diture to the state of about one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars a year. That the profits might 
be more equally divided, no person was allowed 
to sit in two courts the same day. Such as were 

?[ualified to sit on trials, and had leisure any day 
or that purpose, attended and gave in their 
names ; a sufficient number was then elected by 
lot for the different courts for that day. 

They received tablets to indicate this, and on 
presenting them to the officers of the court, were 
admitted, and received each a sceptre, as an en- 
sign of authority. On leaving the court, and 
giving back their sceptres, they received their re- 
compense for attendance. 

The Athenians were so litigious, that persons 
went about to seek occasions for commencing a 
suit, or bringing an accusation against persons of 
respectability. Many of them indulged in a pre- 
dominant inclination to chicanery, and all the ar- 
tifices of pettifogging. 

The most distinguishing trait in the character 
of the Athenians, was their attachment to the 
arts, to literature and philosophy. Hence arose 
innumerable distinguished architects,- sculptors, 
poets, historians, and philosophers, who rendered 
Athens the most splendid and illustrious city on 
the earth. Their literary character secured to the 
inhabitants the respect of their conquerors, long 
after their political power was extinct. From 
none did they experience this more than from 
Alexander the Great. 

In the difierent fate which befel Athens and 
Lacedaemon, or Sparta, we have an example of 
the superiority which letters give to one nation 
over another, when that nation has, besides, dis- 


played military virtues. Lacedgemon was differ- 
ent from Athens in all respects. It was an inland, 
not a maritime city ; its power depended chiefly 
on its land forces, and not on its fleets; its wealth 
arose from agriculture, and not from commerce. 

Whilst the Athenians indulged in every kind 
of elegant luxury, the Lacedaemonians gloried in 
their plain, simple, hardy manner of living, no 
less exempt from pomp and splendor, than from 
effeminacy and sensuality. The Athenians were 
desirous of enjoying the mental and physical 
pleasures of life ; whilst the Lacedaemonians were 
anxious to form laborious and virtuous citizens, 
and by the terror of their arms to rule in every 
state in Greece. 

Lycurgus was the great legislator of Sparta, and 
on his institutions the power of their state was 
founded. They became the laws of Lacedaemon 
several hundred years prior to the Christian era, 
and they were observed, in some particulars, long 
after the state had submitted to the supremacy of 
Rome. Apolonius of Tyanaea found them still 
in force at Lacedaemon, during the reign of Do- 
mitian about the year 100 A. D. 

Lacedaemon, or Sparta, was the chief city of 
the adjoining territory, called Laconia. There 
were many other towns in the district, confederated 
with the capital, but much inferior in importance 
and character. Their deputies however, insisted 
on deliberations respecting peace or war, or other 
matters connected with the general welfare of the 
whole state. 

The city of Sparta was built at the foot of 
Mount Taygetus, on the west side of the river 
Eurotas ; it was of a circular form, and about six 


miles in circumference. The ruins still remain, at 
a little distance from the modem town of Misitra. 
Sparta anciently had no walls, as it depended for 
its defence on the characteristic energy of its in- 
habitants. The houses were little graced with 
architectural ornaments, but were lofty, and built 
with great solidity. 

The citizens of Sparta consisted of two classes, 
— such as were born citizens, and such as had 
been presented with the freedom. On the birth 
of a child, he was carried to a public place, where 
the aged persons of his tribe were to judge wheth- 
er he appeared healthy and well-formed, so as to 
be likely to prove one of the future defenders of 
his country. If of a weakly constitution, he was 
cast into a gulf, for it was not deemed expedient 
that a deformed or sickly child should live. 

When the parents were both Spartans, and the 
children brought up according to the prescribed 
institutions, in their thirtieth year they became 
legitimate citizens, and eligible to bear ojSice in 
the magistracy, or in the army. Unless the pa- 
rents were both Spartans the children were not 
legitimate. Freedom was sometimes bestowed in 
reward of extraordinary services, but that was of 
rare occurrence. 

In addition to those enjoying the full privileges 
of citizens, there was a class of freedmen who had 
not complied with all the regulations required in 
their education ; these were disqualified for hold- 
ing offices in the state, but were competent to 
give their votes. 

In Sparta there were more slaves than in any 
other city of Greece. They were employed in 
domestic drudgery and laborious occupations. 


In a medium condition, between the slaves and 
the freedmen, were the Helots. The city of Helos 
had been taken by the Spartans, and all the in- 
habitants were reduced to subjection, and others 
afterwards were associated with them. 

These acted as farmers on the lands, for which 
they paid a fixed rent, which it would have been 
disgraceful in any proprietor to increase. They 
were also employed in various mechanical arts. 
In time of war they assisted on board the fleets, 
and in the land armies ; every heavy armed sol- 
dier was accompanied by one or more of them. 

As the Helots exceeded the freedmen in num- 
ber, they became a source of terror, and various 
means were resorted to, to keep them in subjection. 
As a trait of the Spartan character, history has 
noticed the Helots, as being compelled at times to 
drink to excess, and in that condition led into the 
public halls, that the youth might be impressed 
with a sense of the disgrace of drunkenness. In 
any other city, it would have been easy, without 
compulsion, to find persons who would indulge in 
drinking to intoxication. 

It is certain that the Helots were thought dif- 
ficult to govern, from their numbers, courage and 
wealth. In times of imminent danger, they were 
encouraged to exert themselves by the hope of 
being admitted to the rights of citizens, which 
they sometimes obtained. This liberality was not 
always shown, and they were, in consequence, 
often induced to join with an invading enemy. 
9 7 


Sparta— Continued. 

In the political constitution of Sparta, there 
were two kings; a senate of twenty-eight old 
men; five magistrates called ephori, resembling 
the tribunes of the people at Rome, but with more 
extensive powers ; assemblies of the free citizens 
for discussing their own peculiar interests ; and 
assemblies of all the citizens of the other free 
towns in Laconia. 

There were two kings at Sparta, of two different 
families, in each of which the crown descended to 
the eldest son, or to the nearest male heir. The 
heir to the crown was not brought up with the 
other children of the state, that he might not be 
in danger of losing the respect necessary for his 

The power of the kings was very limited. 
Their chief power in peace was to regulate mat- 
ters connected with religion, and to appoint va- 
rious inferior officers of the magistracy and priest- 
hood. They presided in the senate, and proposed 
matters for deliberation ; and each had two suf- 
frages. They were considered as merely the first 
citizens of a free state, and went about without a 
retinue and without ostentation. In time of war, 
the kings commanded the armies, with full pow- 
ers of a general, and had liberty to conclude a 
truce with the enemy. 

The senate consisted of twenty-eight members, 
above sixty years of age, elected to the office for 
life by the voice of the citizens. Their office was 


to deliberate on all questions respecting peace and 
war, foreign alliances, &c. They were judges in 
matters of importance, and both the lives and for- 
tunes of the people depended on their decisions. 

The ephori were five in number, elected annu- 
ally by the citizens. They held courts in the fo- 
rum, where they decided in matters of dispute 
between individuals, and also, along with the sen- 
ate, they had the power of life and death. They 
had, likewise, authority over other magistrates, 
so as to depose or imprison, and bring them to 
trial for their lives. They could assume this right 
over the kings, but they were very delicate in ex- 
ercising it. Two of them generally accompanied 
the king in his military expeditions, as a watch 
over his conduct. 

To these magistrates was entrusted the care of 
education, — to see that the children were brought 
up according to the institutions of Lycurgus. 
They had the executive power, received foreign 
ambassadors, convened general assemblies, and 
presided in them; they levied troops, and sent 
them to their destination ; and sent to the general 
of the army, orders which he was bound to obey. 

The assemblies of the people were to decide on 
matters laid before them by the senate. They 
were composed of all the citizens of thirty years 
of age. The citizens of liaconia were 30,000 in 
number. Lycurgus caused the whole country to 
be divided into that number of equal shares, of 
which the district of Sparta contained, according 
to some accounts, 9,000 ; but according to others 
only 6,000 or 4,500. 

Celibacy was considered disgraceful, and bach- 
elors were subjected to various penalties. The 


citizens were required to marry women of their 
own rank and without portions, that they might 
form a union from motives of pure affection. 

Lycurgus ordained that children of all ranks 
should be brought up in the same manner ; that 
they should be inured to bridle their appetites, 
and be accustomed to spare meals and fasting. 
At twelve years of age, they were examined to 
see how far they were competent to endure dark- 
ness and solitude, and also as to their temperance 
in the choice of articles of food. 

The Spartans were ordered to eat together in 
public, and non-attendance at these meals was 
(subject to a fine. The intention of the law was 
to repress luxury ; and that the young might de- 
rive instruction from the aged, who were wont to 
relate, during the repast, all such achievements as 
had been marked with celebrity during their 
lives. It was forbidden to eat at home, previous 
to going to these meals. The kings, magistrates, 
and citizens, seated themselves at tables contain- 
ing fifteen covers, each. The guests at one table 
did not interfere with those of another, but formed 
a fraternity into which no person could be received 
but by the consent of all who composed it. 

Their food and drink were of the plainest sort, 
and one dish in particular, the black broth, has 
been spoken of in all ages. The expense of these 
public meals was defrayed by individuals who 
were obliged to furnish every month a certain 
quantity of barley-meal, wine, cheese, figs and 

The rich and poor were clothed alike. They 
were not to change either the fashion or the ma- 
terials of their garments, which were calculated 

SPARTA. '-1^1 

to produce warmth, and but little adapted for or- 
nament. Even the kings conformed to this cus- 
tom. Boys were not permitted to wear shoes, 
that their feet might become indurated, and that 
they might early climb steep and rough declivities. 
The Spartans were not to use baths or ointments, 
except at stated times, but were expected to bathe 
in the river. 

So long as the Spartans remained independent 
of other states, they were, at home, bound as 
strictly by the laws and customs, as soldiers are 
by the rules of war in a camp. 

Obedience to superiors was strictly required, as 
a matter which constituted the essence of all gov- 
ernment. To honor the aged was also especially 
enjoined. The youths rose up whenever the old 
men entered; they gave way to them in the 
streets, and were silent when they spoke. As all 
children were deemed the property of the state, 
the old assumed the authority of parents, and 
might reprove not only their own sons, but those 
of others, if concerned in any impropriety. 

The Spartans made no great proficiency in 
science, literature, or the arts. Even their laws, 
for a long period, were not committed to writing. 
They were forbidden to exercise any mean or me- 
chanical occupation. 

The profession of a soldier was the most honor- 
able. Curious and refined arts, or such as tended 
to luxury, were forbidden. Theatrical entertain- 
ments were not allowed. 

It is stated by credible authors, that the Spartan 
youth were allowed to steal, but if detected they 
were liable to be punished for their want of dex- 

102 SPARTA. 

terity. To be distinguished by such regulations 
as these, seems a matter of unskilful policy. 

Boys were daily exercised in hunting, to render 
them robust and active. Young men and women 
were to practise dancing. They were also to be 
exercised in running, wrestling and throwing the 
quoit or javelin. It was the intention of the legis- 
lator that the women, as well as men, should be 
strong and alert. The youths were to be con- 
stantly employed. At a certain time, boys were 
to be whipped in the temple, and around the altar 
of Diana. This took place once every year ; and 
such as endured this flagellation without groaning 
or shedding a tear, were held in high esteem. 

Gold and silver were prohibited under severe 
penalties, and no money except that made of iron 
was allowed. Contracts were made by barter. 
The laws respecting money were ill observed, and, 
after the conquest of Athens, were abrogated 

Till a man arrived at the age of thirty, he was 
not to be sent abroad to serve in the army, but 
was to remain at home to defend the country. 
They were not to undertake sieges of towns, or 
engage at sea ; but this law grew in time to be 
disregarded. A soldier who lost his shield in 
battle, was deemed infamous. 

In time of war, the severity of their regulations 
was relaxed, and the soldiers were permitted to 
indulge in such enjoyments as they could procure. 
They were not to commence a military expedi- 
tion before the full moon. Bravery in war was 
one great object which their education was calcu- 
lated to promote. Whoever left the ranks and 
fled was inevitably disgraced. 


If the Spartans fell in battle on the frontiers, it 
was the law and custom that their bodies should 
be carried back and interred in their family sepul- 
chres, unless it should appear that they had re- 
ceived their death in flight; in that case they 
were left imburied. 


Other States of Greece. 

The other states of Greece, like Athens and 
Sparta, had a republican form of government. In 
some of them the chief power was in the rich, 
and the constitution was oligarchical or aristo- 
cratical. In others, the people had the supreme 
power, and the constitution was democratical. 
In almost all the states, the two parties were 
ever struggling for the ascendency. A similar 
jealousy was entertained in Sparta and Athens; 
the former favoring the aristocracy, and the latter 
supporting the cause of the people. 

In none of them were the same rigorous institu- 
tions as at Sparta, and nowhere were the arts 
and sciences, learning and philosophy, so much 
cultivated as at Athens. 

The council of the Amphictyons resembled the 
diet of the Germanic empire in modern times, or 
the general diet of the deputies of the cantons of 
Switzerland. In this confederation, twelve na- 
tions of the Greeks associated together, each of 
which might give two votes or suffrages, and send 
what number of deputies they thought fit. 


The object was to settle matters connected with 
the general interest; but chiefly to decide questions 
between any two states, so as to obviate the ne- 
cessity of an appeal to arms. 

This council was held in the spring at the city 
of Delphi, and in winter at Anthela, near the 
Straits of Thermopylas. At their meetings, a nu- 
merous concourse of spectators attended, and they 
opened their proceedings by sacrifices and reli- 
gious observances. 

This league was ratified by the following oath : 
" We swear never to destroy any Amphictyonic 
town, nor divert, either in peace or war, the springs 
or streams necessary to supply its wants. If any 
power shall attempt it, we will march against that 
power, and destroy its cities. Should impious 
men seize upon the ofierings in the temple of Apol- 
lo, at Delphi, we swear to employ our feet, our 
voices, our arms, and all our powers, against 
them and their accomplices." 

The Amphictyonic council could levy fines on 
offending cities; and, if not promptly paid, the 
fines were doubled. If the party against which 
the fine was awarded, still continued refractory, 
the league called upon all the confederate states 
to arm and support its decrees. They also ex- 
pelled from their council the deputies of the of- 
fending state. 

The feebler states were obliged to submit, but 
the more powerful, when they had a considerable 
interest at stake, were not so complying. Thus, 
the Lacedaemonians, after they had been fined 
600 talents for seizing on the citadel of Thebes in 
time of peace, refused to pay ; and when the fine 
was doubled, they still held out, alleging that the 

ROME. 105 

ctecree was unjust ; and by force of arms persisted 
ill disobedience. 

For robbing the temple of Delphi, the most se- 
vere vengeance was denounced ; and in case of 
resistance, death and deprivation of sepulture was 

The vast treasures accumulated in this temple, 
tempted the Phoceans to violate the precincts, and 
they took from it immense sums. They success- 
fully resisted for some time the Boeotians and 
other states ; but at last they were miserably de- 
stroyed by Philip, king of Macedon. That subtle 
politician availed himself of the popularity of the 
act to appear as an avenger of the gods. Philip 
was, after this, admitted into the council, which 
extended his influence over Greece till he had 
reduced it to a state bordering on subjection. 


The City of Rome. 

The city of Rome derived its name from Rom- 
ulus, who, with a colony from Alba Longa, found- 
ed it 753 years before Christ. It was built on the 
banks of the river Tiber, and stood on the seven 
hills, Palatinus, Capitolinus, Aventinus, Q,uirina- 
lis, Coelius, Viminalis, and Esquilinus, and in its 
most flourishing state, its walls surrounded a 
space of fifty miles. This territory was divided 
into three unequal parts, one of which was allot- 
ted for the service of religion, and for building 
temples ; another for the king's revenue and the 

106 ROME. 

uses of the slate ; and the third and most consid- 
erable part was divided into thirty portions, to an- 
swer to the thirty curiae, or divisions of the people. 

Rome, in its day of glory, abounded in magnifi- 
cent temples, amphitheatres, and places for ex- 
ercise and amusement ; buildings for the assem- 
blies of the people, public places, piazzas or porti- 
coes, columns, triumphal arches, and trophies, 
aqueducts, public sewers, and highroads. 

The forum was the most ancient public build- 
ing in Rome ; it was composed of a vast assem- 
blage of sumptuous but irregular edifices, forming 
a spacious oblong square, entirely surrounded by 
a piazza terminated at each end by a triumphal 
arch. It was here that the assemblies of the peo- 
ple were held, and harangues delivered to the ple- 
beians, or common people. 

Here also justice was administered jn vast halls 
appropriated to the different tribunals; it was, 
moreover, the residence of the chief bankers, and 
contained a variety of shops stored with a profu- 
sion of the most costly merchandise, and, conse- 
quently, was the mart for all important and com- 
mercial transactions. This being the emporium 
of law, politics, and trade, it became equally the 
resort of the man of business and the lawyer, and 
was the scene of the chief bustle of the city. 

Of its present state we have the following au- 
thentic description: "Its temples are fallen; its 
sanctuaries have crumbled into dust; its colon- 
nades encumber the pavements, now buried under 
their remains. The walls of the rostra, stripped 
of their ornaments and doomed to eternal silence ; 
a few shattered portipoes, and here and there an 
insulated column standing in the midst of broken 
shafts; vast fragments of marble capitals, and 

ROME. 107 

cornices heaped together in masses ; remind the 
traveller that the fields which he now traverses 
were once the Roman forum. So far have the 
modern Romans forgotten the theatre of their 
glory, and the imperial power of their ancestors, 
as to degrade it into a common market for cattle." 

Ruins of a Roman aqueduct. ^ 

The aqueducts were by far the noblest proof of 
the grandeur of Rome. Some of these wonderful 
channels brought water from upwards of sixty 
miles, through rocks and mountains and over val- 
leys, supported on arches in some places more 
than one hundred feet high, one row being placed 
above another. 

The city was cleansed by means of sewers of 
stupendous magnitude, and of such solid work- 
manship that, after a lapse of more than two thou- 
sand years, though earthquakes have shaken the 
very foundations of the city, the principal drain 
is still entire. 

108 ROME. 

The Romans paid extraordinary attention to the 
construction of roads. They were carried in va- 
rious directions throughout the whole extent of the 
vast empire, and were formed with such soUdity as 
still to remain in many places in perfect repair. 


Rome— Divisions of the People. 

In the early ages of its history, when Rome 
was but thinly inhabited, whoever fixed their 
abode within its limits, obtained the right of citi- 
zens ; but as the power and extent of the empire 
increased, and the dignity of a Roman citizen 
began to be more regarded, this privilege was more 
sparingly conferred. 

The citizens were divided into three tribes, and 
each tribe into ten curiae; but the number of 
tribes was afterwards augmented to thirty -five, 
and they were separately classed, in order to dis- 
tinguish between the actual residents of the city 
and those subjects of the commonwealth who 
lived wholly without its limits. 

The people were, at first, only separated into 
two ranks, the patrician and plebeian; but the 
order of equites, or knights, was afterwards ad- 
ded, and at a still later period, slaves were intro- 
duced. The population was, therefore, composed 
of four classes, — patricians, knights, plebeians, 
and slaves. 

The patrician order consisted of those families 
whose ancestors had been members of the senate 

ROME. 109 

in the earliest periods of the regal or consular 

The equestrian order arose out of an institution 
ascribed to Romulus, who is said to have selected 
one hundred young men from each of the tribes, 
to serve on horseback as his personal guard. 
' The plebeian order was composed of the lowest 
class of freemen. They were divided into country 
plebeians and city plebeians. The latter consist- 
ed not only of the poorer mechanics and laborers, 
but of a multitude of idlers, whose turbulence was 
a constant source of disquietude to the govern- 

Among this degraded class arose seditions and 
conspiracies; and the final overthrow of the re- 
public and the extinction of liberty, may be, to a 
considerable extent, attributed to the increasing 
strength, and number, and turpitude,, of this de- 
scription of the plebeians. This, however, can 
be applied only to the lowest class of them. Many 
of the most estimable citizens were to be found in 
that order, and not a few rose from it to high offi- 
ces, and some to the first dignities of the state. 

Men became slaves by being taken in war, by 
being born in a state of servitude, or by being re- 
duced to that condition as a punishment ; and they 
were not entitled to any privileges of freemen, nor 
considered as citizens. 

They realty possessed no political rights, and 
were by law rendered incapable of acquiring prop- 
erty, or of giving evidence in a court of justice ; 
and were viewed in no other light than the chattels 
or property of their masters. 

There was a constant market for slaves at 
Rome, and regular dealers in the trade of selling 


them. They were, usually, exposed in a state of 
nudity, and wore a label on the neck descriptive 
of their qualities, and seem to have been transfer- 
red in much the same manner as cattle. 

Masters possessed absolute power over them, 
and were authorized to put them to death at 
pleasure, — a right often most inhumanly exer- 
cised. The laws in regard to them were extreme- 
ly harsh and rigorous, and one of them provided, 
that, if a master of a family were slain in his own 
house, and the murderers were not discovered, all 
his domestic slaves were liable to be put to death. 
Tacitus records an instance of four hundred hav- 
ing thus suffered in one family. 

Slaves were frequently liberated by their mas- 
ters, and at that time their heads were shaved and 
they received a cap as a badge of their liberty, of 
which it has become the emblem. They then as- 
sumed the name of their master, which they pre- 
ferred to their own, and were ever after called his 


Rome — Form of Government 

Tradition describes the original constitution of 
Rome, as having been purely monarchical ; but it 
was essentially a military democracy, founded on 
the rude basis of a barbarous horde, submitting, 
for their common interest, to the dominion of one 
chieftain ; and, by encroaching on the neighboring 
states, enlarging their territory and their power, 


until they acquired the consistence of a nation, 
and assumed a regular form of government. 

Romulus was first elected king and supreme 
magistrate by the inhabitants. The regal power 
subsisted for two hundred and forty-three years, 
under seven kings. The last of these was Tar- 
qiiin, who, with his family, was expelled on ac- 
count of his tyranny and cruelty. 

The kings were elective, and limited in their 
power ; they could neither enact laws, nor make 
war or peace, without the concurrence of the sen- 
ate and people. Their badges were a white robe 
with stripes of purple, and fringed with the same 
color, a golden cross, an ivory sceptre, and a cu- 
rule, or state chair. 

The power of the people in Rome was elicited 
in their public assemblies. It was theirs to enact 
laws, elect magistrates, to decide concerning war 
and peace, and to try persons guilty of certain 
heinous offences. An assembly of the whole Ro- 
man people was called Comitia. 

The senate was the grand council of the empire ; 
they were also a body of magistrates entrusted 
with the power of putting the laws into execution. 

The senators were originally chosen from the 
most distinguished citizens, and their number was 
then confined to one hundred ; but it afterwards 
gradually extended to a thousand, and the knights 
and plebeians were indiscriminately admitted. 

The senate was consulted on everything per- 
taining to the administration of the state, except 
the creation of the magistrates, the passing of 
laws, and the determination of war and peace. 
In many respects the mode of debating, voting, 
and passing decrees in the senate, appears to have 


borne a strong similitude to the proceedings in the 
British House of Commons. Each individual 
gave his opinion in a speech of any length which 
he chose, and the indulgence in this privilege fre- 
quently caused a decision to be deferred from day 
to day. Sometimes long speeches were interrupt- 
ed, as in modern times, by the bustle and clamor 
— by the "coughing down" — of other senators. 

When all had offered their opinions, either by 
tacit assent or by speech, the presiding officer re- 
ported the arguments, and divided the house to 
tell the number on each side of the question, and 
ascertain the majority. A decree was then made 
out, called '■^ senatus consultum^^^ and referred to 
the tribunes of the people for their concurrence or 

A magistrate in the Roman republic, was one 
possessed of public authority, either civil, reli- 
gious, or military ; so that the same person might 
act as a priest and a judge, regulate the police of 
the city, direct in the affairs of the empire, and 
command an army. 

Previous to the election they were called candi- 
daii, (clothed in white,) from the white robe which 
they wore while soliciting the votes of the peo- 
ple. Hence the origin of the word " candidate.'^ 

The magistrates called ordinary, were the con- 
suls, praetors, censors, tribunes, aediles, and quaes- 
tors, who were created at stated times, and were 
constantly in the republic. 

The extraordinary magistrates were the dictator 
and master of horse, the decemviri, military trib- 
unes, and interrex, who were not constantly and 
statedly elected, but arose out of public disorder 
or emergency. 

All magistrates were obliged, within five days 


after entering on their office, to swear that they 
would observe the laws of the empire ; and after 
the expiration of their office they might be brought 
to trial if they had done anything amiss. No one 
was allowed to enter upon an office unless the 
omens were favorable. 

The laws of Rome were ordained by the people 
upon the application of a magistrate. The great 
foundation of Roman law or jurisprudence, was 
that collection of laws called the "laws of the 
twelve tables," compiled by the decemviri and 
ratified by the people, — a work, in the opinion of 
Cicero, superior to all the libraries of philosophers. 

Yet the unsettled state of the Roman govern- 
ment, the extension of the empire, the increase of 
riches, and, consequently, the number of crimes, 
with various other circumstances, gave occasion 
to a great variety of new laws ; and those ordi- 
nances originally were distinguished by the name 
of the persons who proposed them, and the sub- 
jects to which they refer. 

The Roman punishments authorized by law, 
were fine, imprisonment, and fetters ; stripes, gene- 
rally inflicted with rods, or the infliction of the 
same injury that had been done to the accuser; 
public shame or penance, selling into slavery, and 

There were several ways of inflicting the last 
upon criminals : they were either beheaded, stran- 
gled in prison, or thrown from the Tarpeian rock. 
Slaves and the lowest order of criminals were 
usually crucified. Those guilty of parricide were 
first scourged, then sewed into a leathern sack, 
together with an ape, a cock, a serpent, and a 
dog, and thrown into the sea or a deep river. ,^ 
10* 8 



We have now noticed the great states and 
empires of antiquity, and given some idea of their 
poUtical institutions. We have seen that the first 
great empire of the world was that of Assyria, 
which began with Nimrod, about 2200 years be- 
fore Christ, and which continued till about the 
year 638, when it was swallowed up by Persia. 

Persia greatly extended its dominion, and under 
Cyrus and Cambyses, about 530 years B. C, it 
embraced Mesopotamia, Palestine, Syria, and 
Egypt. In the year 330, Persia was invaded 
by Alexander of Macedon ; its capital was taken 
and its king put to flight. The Greek dominion 
was of short duration, for the Parthian s soon con- 
quered Persia, since which period it has ever 
continued to be an inferior power. 

Throughout the whole history of the great an- 
cient empires, the government was despotic, the 
kings claiming absolute authority, even to the 
taking of life and property, and the people blindly 
and slavishly submitting. 

The political institutions of other countries in 
Asia have also been similar to those of Persia 
and Assyria, excepting among the wandering 
tribes, who have ever maintained a patriarchal 
form of government. China and Japan, two pop- 
ulous empires, have despotic governments, and 
both exclude foreigners from their dominions, al- 
lowing them to trade only at a single port in each 
country. These two last, though of great an- 

REVIEW. 115 

tiquity, still continue to maintain their ancient 
systems with Uttle change. 

The institutions of the Hebrews, though in 
some respects similar to those of most eastern na- 
tions, were in others altogether peculiar, and have 
never been adopted by any other nation of an- 
cient or modern times. 

With the exception of the last, we see little in the 
governments of these countries that is worthy of 
our imitation. We learn from them, indeed, only 
lessons of warning. They all show us that coun- 
tries submitting to despotic institutions, continue 
in a state of ignorance, weakness and degradation. 

About 1500 years before Christ, the seeds of 
learning and arts are wafted from Egypt to Greece, 
and here, after five hundred years, they spring up 
and flourish. It is in Greece that the first clear 
ideas of human rights, and of human government 
to secure them, are disclosed and attempted to be 
realized. Here we see a people rising to a high 
degree of civilization and power through the in- 
fiaence of freedom, yet, for the want of a solid 
basis of religion and morality in society, finally 
crumbling to pieces ; leaving, Avhere a blaze of 
light once sent forth its illumination far and wide, 
but a ghastly heap of ruins. 

Rome, borrowing something from Egypt and 
Greece, becomes a mighty empire, swallowing up 
all the great kingdoms around her, whether in 
Europe, Asia, or Africa. She grows rich on the 
spoils of other nations. For a time she feels the 
fire of liberty, but this vanishes amid the corrup- 
tions and looseness that pervade society; and, 
finally, gorged with conquest and bloated with 
wealth, she becomes the prey of the Goths and 

116 REVIEW. 

Vandals, that come upon her, like locusts, from 
the north of Europe. 

Though Greece and Rome have long since de- 
clined, yet many of their political institutions have 
come down to our times : of these we have given 
a brief sketch. There is much in them to admire, 
but they show that Christianity was still wanting 
to lay a sure foundation for liberty, in the respon- 
sibility of man to clear and inflexible rules of jus- 

The great lights of Greece and Rome having 
become extinct, the Arabs, or Saracens, from the 
seventh to^the twelfth century, cultivated litera- 
ture with success in Asia and Africa; but Eu- 
rope continued, for this whole period, in a state of 
ignorance and barbarism. This is called the dark 
age, during which the institutions of Greece and 
Rome were forgotten, and those of the northern 
nations of Europe became partially established 
over this entire quarter of the globe. 

The Feudal System. 

The feudal system* so often noticed in history, 
appears to have existed in Europe at an early 
date, among the tribes that inhabited Germany. 
These, Hke the Cehs who first settled France, 
Spain, Britain, and Ireland, doubtless came from 
Asia. The period of their first emigration may 
have been, and doubtless was, 1500 or 2000 years 
before Christ ; but tribe after tribe continued to 
flow into Europe, down to the time of Rome's 
final overthrow by the Goths. 

It is probable that the German tribes brought 
their feudal system of government with them ; but 
it doubtless became much modified after its es- 
tablishment in Europe. It existed among the 
Franks, one of those tribes; and these, making 


some conquests in Gaul, under their king, Phara- 
mond, about A. D. 420, and finally settling in 
that country, established it there. 

From this period, the feudal system is seen ex- 
tending over all parts of Europe, until, in the 
course of a few centuries, all the great kingdoms 
of Europe are founded upon it as the basis of their 
political institutions. 

It must be remembered that these German 
tribes, as well as the other inhabitants of Europe, 
were, at the period of which we treat, chiefly ad- 
dicted to war. They had flocks, and sometimes 
settled down, for half a century or more, in one 
spot, pursuing agriculture in intervals of peace. 
But they were, still, always looking out for some 
rich tribe or country which they might plunder. 

In this state of things the people required bold 
and active leaders ; those who were fond of strife, 
and capable of ensuring victory in their bloody 
enterprises. Accordingly, we find them generally 
under the sway of kings ^hose character was 
marked with strength and courage, mingled with 
skill and sagacity. The sovereigns were always 
assisted by chiefs, who partook of the character- 
istics of their leaders. 

When one of these tribes conquered a country, 
they divided the spoils among themselves. The 
king took by far the largest portion ; his chiefs 
took less, and the common soldiers a still smaller 
share. The lands were wholly taken by the king 
and his chiefs, who were called barons. 

There was one condition on which these lands 
were held, which constituted the chief feature of 
the feudal system. A baron held his land upon 
condition that, when required by his king, he 


should bring all his men, capable of bearing arms, 
into his service. The people were permitted to 
cultivate the lands of the barons on the condition 
that they, too, should do military as well as other 
service in behalf of their liege lords, in case of 

The common people were called serfs, and were 
little more than slaves, being completely subject 
to the power of their masters. They were, how- 
ever, permitted to live upon the lands of the chiefs, 
and though often treated with cruelty, and some- 
times suffering the most degrading outrages, they 
were generally supplied liberally with the neces- 
saries of life. 

It was about the year 480, that Clovis became 
king of France, the government being based upon 
the feudal system. This monarchy continued to 
increase in power, until it became established, and 
has ever since been one of the leading powers of 

In Germany and the north of Europe, kingdoms 
continued to be established on a feudal basis, from 
the fifth to the twelfth century, until at last all 
parts of this quarter of the globe were subject to 
feudal monarchies, except Ireland, Italy, Greece 
and Turkey. In all these latter countries, abso- 
lute despotism, on the Asiatic plan prevailed, ex- 
cept in Ireland, where the people appear to have 
had something like representation in the govern- 

About the fourteenth century, arts revived and 
commerce began to flourish in Europe. These in- 
troduced a new era of light, and the vassals of 
the feudal lords at last discovered that while they 
were men, the lord was himself nothing more than 


a man. From that period there was a gradual, 
but slow advancement, toward political truth 
and the breaking down of feudal bondage. This 
progress was more rapid in England than in any 
other country, but even there, it crept with reluc- 
tant steps ; for it was the interest, and the endea- 
vor, of her kings and priests, desirous of still 
holding their sway over the people, to prevent 
them from discovering their rights and their real 

The first settlers of America came here, bring- 
ing with them the political discoveries which had 
been made in England ; having nothing to cloud 
their minds, they soon enjoyed the broad sunshine 
of political liberty, which belongs to man as his 
birthright. This glorious illumination resulted, 
finally, in the separation of the colonies from 
England and the independence of America. The 
success of our government in making a people 
prosperous and happy, has shaken down the 
French monarchy, to be rebuilt, indeed, but with 
no feudal attributes. It has done much to modify 
the institutions of England, and to infuse prin- 
ciples of liberty into every other monarchy of 





View in Paris. 

Before I proceed to give an account of our 
American government, it may be well to look a 
little more particularly into some of the leading 
governments of Europe. We will begin with that 
of France. 

This monarchy began with Pharamond, who 
led into France, as has been stated, a tribe of 
Franks, about 420, who there established them- 
selves. Clovis, one of his successors, who began 
his reign in 480, having established his govern- 
ment and adopted Christianity, is sometimes re- 
garded as the founder of the kingdom. 

122 FRANCE. 

The system of government was entirely feudal ; 
the barons being held dependant upon the crown, 
and the whole people remaining in a state of vas- 
salage to the barons. Pepin the Short reduced 
the petty kings, occupying the country beyond the 
limits of the dominion of his predecessors ; and his 
son, Charlemagne, who flourished about the year 
800, conquered nearly the whole of Germany. 

The successors of Charlemagne did not exercise 
dominion beyond the present limits of the king- 
dom, but France was now one of the leading 
powers of Europe, and it rapidly advanced in 
population, refinement, and wealth. In the pro- 
gress of time, the power of the king greatly in- 
creased, while that of the barons was gradually 
reduced. There was, however, in this process, 
little or no advancement toward the enjoyment of 
liberty on the part of the people. 

liouis XIV., called the great, was one of the 
most powerful and accomplished sovereigns of 
France, and the period of his reign is esteemed 
the highest point of glory in the history of the 
monarchy. He came to the throne in 1642, at 
the age of four years, and reigned 73 years. 
His life was divided between efforts for the en- 
largement of his dominions by conquest, and de- 
votion to every species of pomp and luxury. 

It was this king who built the palace of Ver- 
sailles, which was, and still is, one of the won- 
ders of human art. The sums of money squan- 
dered upon this edifice, and the gardens and fur- 
niture attached to it, amounted to hundreds of 
millions of dollars ; yet this palace is now either 
a burthen, or a useless appendage to the throne of 

FRANCE. 123 

The kings of this country had been, hitherto, 
little less than absolute, and the nobility possessed 
almost the wealth and power of princes. These 
had engrossed nearly all the lands, except the 
royal domains ; and the tenants of these were still 
but vassals, subject to their despotic lords, and 
treated by them almost with as little feeling of 
justice as if they had been beasts of burthen. 

The king exercised the most arbitrary sway 
over all classes of the nation. He could take the 
lives of even the greatest nobles, if not without 
the form of trial, at least without the shadow of 
justice. He had but to command his ministers to 
make out a warrant, and, signing his own name, 
it was sufficient to send the proudest peer in the 
realm to the Bastile or the block. 

The Bastile was a gloomy castle in Paris, built 
in 1383; and perhaps a better idea of the tyranny 
of the government cannot be given, than by a 
sketch of the history of this famous prison. Per- 
sons were shut up in this horrid dungeon by the 
authority of lettres de cachet; that is, letters of ar- 
rest, written in the king's name, with blanks for 
the name of individuals ; these were filled up by 
the ministers who possessed these letters. 

Heads of families among the nobility, who 
wished to confine any member of the family, 
claimed the privilege of confinement by a lettre de 
cachet^ and this privilege was next claimed by the 
ministers of government, to be used for the pun- 
ishment of refractory servants and others. 

It will be easily conjectured that it was not 
long before unprincipled ministers abused this 
right, by imprisoning worthy persons, who, in the 
actual discharge of their duties, had incurred the 

124 PRANCE. 

displeasure of men of power by thwarting their 
Interests. . 

In fact, the lettres de cachet were long the main 
stay of despotism, and they were used, not merely 
by the crown, but by many of its satellites. Men 
were imprisoned for offences too trifling to be 
registered, and remained thirty or forty years in 
the Bastile, or even till death, without any ex- 
amination being instituted into the charges on 
which they were imprisoned. 

A remarkable instance of this is furnished in 
the history of the celebrated "Iron mask," the 
most singular prisoner ever confined within the 
walls of the Bastile ; in respect to whom, notwith- 
standing all the curiosity and conjecture that have 
been employed to ascertain his quality and pedi- 
gree, nothing authentic has transpired to the pres- 
ent time. In 1698 he was brought from the island 
of St. Marguerite, by Monsieur de St. Mars, the 
newly-appointed governor of the Bastile. He was 
attended with the greatest respect, maintained a 
sumptuous table, and had every possible indul- 
gence shown him until the time of his death, Nov. 
19, 1703. 

This mysterious prisoner, on his removal to the 
Bastile, was carried in a litter, accompanied by 
several men on horseback, who had orders to put 
him to death if he made the slightest attempt to 
show his face, or otherwise discover himself His 
face was concealed with a mask of black velvet, 
with springs of steel, which were so constructed 
that he could eat without taking it off". 

A physician of the Bastile, who had often at- 
tended him, said he had never seen his face, 
though he had frequently exammed his tongue, 

FRANCE. 126 

and other parts of his body ; but added, that he 
was admirably well made; that his skin was 
brown, his voice interesting ; that he was very 
accomplished, read much, played on the guitar, 
and had an exquisite taste for lace and fine linen. 
The pains taken in his concealment show that 
he was a person of considerable quality and im- 
portance; and from the following circumstances it 
appears singular that he was never discovered. 
Whilst at St. Marguerite, he one day wrote some- 
thing with his knife on a silver plate, which he 
threw from the window toward a boat lying near 
the tower. A fisherman took up the plate and 
brought it to the governor, who, with great aston- 
ishment, asked the man if he had read the wri- 
ting, or showed it to any one ; and, although the 
fisherman answered in the negative, he was kept 
in confinement until the governor was perfectly 
satisfied, after which he dismissed him, saying, 
''It is lucky for you that you cannot read ! " 
.. The Abbe Papon says, " In the year 1778 I had 
the curiosity to visit the apartment of this unfor- 
tunate prisoner. It looks towards the sea. I 
found in the citadel, an officer in the independent 
company there, seventy-nine years of age. He 
told me that his father had often related to him, 
that a young lad, a barber, having seen one day 
something white floating on the water, took it up. 
It was a very fine shirt, written almost all over ; 
he carried it to Mons. de St. Mars, who, having 
looked at some parts of the writing, asked the 
lad, with an appearance of anxiety, if he had not 
had the curiosity to read it. He answered him 
he had not; but, two days afterwards, the boy 
was found dead in his bed. 

126 FRANCE. 

Immediately after the prisoner's death, his ap- 
parel, linen, clothes, mattresses, and everything 
that had been used by him, were burnt ; the walls 
of his room were scraped, the floor was taken up, 
and every precaution used, that no trace of him 
might be left behind. 

When he was on the road from St. Marguerite 
to his last residence, Mons. de St. Mars was over- 
heard to reply to a question of the prisoner rela- 
tive to any design against his life, " No, prince, 
your life is in safety ; you must only allow your- 
self to be conducted." 

A prisoner told M. La Grange Chancel, that he 
was lodged, with other prisoners, in the room im- 
mediately over this celebrated captive, and found 
means of speaking to him by the vents of the 
chimney ; but he refused to inform them who he 
was, alleging, that it would cost him his own life, 
as well as the lives of those to whom the secret 
might be revealed. 

Various are the conjectures that have been made 
as to who the masked prisoner was. Some have 
said he was the Duke de Beaufort; others, the 
Count de Vermandois, a foreign minister; and 
others, the Duke of Monmouth. Collateral facts, 
nevertheless, demonstrate that neither of these 
could have been the person. Voltaire, who has 
expressly written on this mysterious aff'air, says 
that the secret was known to Monsieur de Cha- 
millard ; and that the son-in-law of that minister 
conjured him, on his death-bed, to tell him the 
name of the man with the mask ; but he replied 
that it was a state secret, which he had sworn 
never to divulge. 

From the account given in a work published in 

FRANCE. 127 

Paris, in 1790, it appears that this, unfortunate 
person was, probably, the twin brother of Louis 
XIV., born eight hours after this monarch, and 
who was the unhappy victim of superstition and 
cruelty. His father, Louis XIIL, being weak 
enough to give credit to the prediction of some 
impostors, that if the queen should have twin 
children, the kingdom would be invol\red in civil 
war, ordered the birth of this prince to be kept a 
profound secret, and had him privately educated 
in the country, as the illegitimate son of a noble- 
man; but on the accession of Louis XIY., the 
young man gave indications of having discovered 
his parentage, of which his brother being inform- 
ed, ordered him to be imprisoned for life, and to 
wear a mask in order to prevent his being recog- 

At the commencement of the French Revolu- 
tion, the attention of the public was drawn to the 
Bastile, and in Jvily, 1789, the people assembled in 
force, and compelled it to surrender. The gov- 
ernor was murdered ; the prisoners were feasted in 
Paris, and the whole edifice was finally demol- 

M. Mercier has given an interesting account of 
a prisoner who was confined for some expressions 
of disrespect towards Louis XV. He was set at 
liberty by the ministers of Louis XVL He had 
been in confinement for 47 years, and had borne 
up against the horrors of his prison-house with a 
manly spirit. His thin, white, and scattered 
hairs had acquired an almost iron rigidity, and 
his body was firm and compact as the stone which 
environed him. 

On the day of his liberation, his door was flung 


wide open, and a strange voice announced to him 
his freedom. Hardly comprehending the mean- 
ing of the words, he rose and tottered through the 
courts and halls of the prison, which appeared to 
him interminable. His eyes by degrees became 
accustomed to the light of day, but the motion of 
the carriage which was to convey him to his for- 
mer abode, appeared unendurable. 

At length, supported by a friendly arm, he 
reached the street in which he had once resided ; 
but on the spot formerly occupied by his house 
stood a public building, and nothing remained in 
that quarter that he recognised. None of the liv- 
ing beings of the vast city knew him ; his liberty 
was a worthless gift, and he wept for the solitude 
of the dungeon ! 


France— continued. The Revolution. 

The history of government in France, since the 
reign of Louis XIV., is a tale of blood, but it is 
full of instruction. The wars and schemes of ag- 
grandizement of this selfish king, had involved the 
nation in a weight of debt which could only issue 
in destruction. 

Louis the XVI. assumed the crown of France, 
in 1774, under the most unfortunate auspices. 
He found a court abandoned to the utmost extrav- 
agance, and the country loaded with an enormous 
debt. The king convoked an assembly of the 
Notables, consisting of princes, deputies chosen 


from among the nobility, dignified clergy, the 
parliaments, and the pays d! etat^ or country land- 

It was proposed to establish a land tax, without 
any exception in favor of the nobility or clergy. 
This proposal being followed by a general refusal, 
the assembly of the notables was dissolved, and 
Necker, the minister, thought he could make a 
more advantageous bargain with the parliaments. 
But as the latter remonstrated, and advanced the 
opinion that the right of imposing new taxes be- 
longed only to the States General^ the king con- 
voked them in 1789. 

Necker' s indiscreet measure, by which it was 
stipulated that the members of the tiers etat (the 
third order) should be, at least, equal to the other 
two orders conjointly, threw the preponderance 
into the scale of the former, who did not fail to 
find many adherents in the superior classes. As 
soon as the deputies of the third order had formed 
themselves into a National Assembly, the other 
orders were overruled, and the balance of the 
legislative branches of the government was thus 
^itirely destroyed. 

The storm of popular fury gathered and broke 
rapidly. The Bastile was taken and destroyed in 
July, as stated. On the 4th of August the privi- 
leges of the nobility were suppressed. On the 5tli 
of October, 1789, the king, queen, and royal family 
were forced from Versailles by the mob, and 
brought captive to the capital. However, the 
monarch disconcerted the schemes of his adversa- 
ries by a free acceptance of the new constitution, 
which abolished the feudal system and the titles 
of nobility. 



The situation of Louis and his family became 
so insupportable under the harsh restraints which 
were imposed, that they contrived to escape from 
their implacable enemies; but the unfortunate 
monarch, being recognised at St. Menehould, by 
Drouet, the postmaster, was stopped at Varennes, 
constrained to return to Paris with his family, 
and to become a mere prisoner. 

While the king was preparing to surrender his 
throne and life, the jacobins caused a decree to 
be enacted, suppressing the chasseurs and gren- 
adiers, of whom they were afraid, as well as the 
staflf of the national guard. All the measures 
which they pursued, till the 10th of August 1792, 
had, for their sole aim, the overthrow of the mon- 

On that day, the Marseillese, who had been in- 
vited to Paris to form the advanced guard in the 
attack on the palace of the Tuilleries, in conjunc- 
tion with the national guards, fired on the devoted 
Swiss who composed the royal body-guard, and 
almost annihilated them. The king and his fam- 
ily sought refuge in the assembly ; it was decreed 
that they should be imprisoned in the Temple, 
and they were conducted thither. 

The national convention was opened on the 21st 
of September, and, in the first sitting, abolished 
royalty, and proclaimed the Republic. The king 
was tried and condemned, and on the 21st of Jan- 
uary, 1793, he perished on the scaffold. The 
last words which his confessor, the Abbe Edge- 
worth, addressed to him were, " Son of St. Louis, 
ascend to heaven ! " 

Against the French republic, the emperor of 
Austria and the king of Prussia had already de- 


clared war ; and, on the death of Louis, their ex- 
ample was followed by Great Britain and Holland, 
and speedily after by Spain and Russia. While 
France was pressed on all sides by the different 
powers of Europe, this unfortunate country was a 
prey to all kinds of internal disorders, and to the 
most unbounded licentiousness. 

Robespierre and Danton obtained a decree by 
which all the sayis-culottes — the common people- 
were to be armed with pikes and muskets at the 
expense of the rich, who were themselves to be 
disarmed, as suspected persons. Towards the 
close of June, 1793, the new constitution was 
adopted, and great disturbances broke out at 
Lyons, Marseilles, and in La Vendee. 

About this period the Committee of Public Safe- 
ty was established, which proceeded to desolate 
France by the most horrid butcheries and perse- 
cutions. They apprehended all suspected persons, 
and tried them by revolutionary committees, the 
powers of which were so unlimited, that they 
could readily seize on four fifths of the population 
of France. 

One of their early victims was the unhappy 
Marie Antoinette, the widow of the murdered 
Louis. Her death was followed by the destruc- 
tion of those who belonged to a party called Gi- 
rondists. The infamous duke of Orleans, a relative 
of the king, was brought up to Paris from Mar- 
seilles, and, being tried and condemned, braved 
the insults of the multitude on the way to execu- 

Brittany and a great part of Normandy being 
filled with the royalists, who had acquired the 
denomination of choiians, Carrier, one of the most 


atrocious monsters of the revolution, was sent to 
Nantes, where he spared neither age nor sex, but 
put to death the aged, the infirm, and even in- 
fants. The atrocities committed by the satellites 
of the convention in the city of Lyons, exceeded 
all that can be conceived; at the end of five 
months, nearly 6,000 persons had perished. 

In Paris the executions were now multiplied to 
such a degree that eighty persons were frequently 
conveyed in the same vehicle to the place where 
they suffered. To cite the names of all the illus- 
trious victims who fell, would far exceed our lim- 
its, and, at the same time, present too horrid a 
picture of human depravity. At length Robes- 
pierre, Couthon, and St. Just, the leaders in these 
murders, were themselves brought to condign 

A form of government was afterwards settled 
by the convention ; and a council of ancients, a 
council of five hundred, and five rulers, called a 
directory, were appointed; but the other powers 
of Europe being still in league against France, 
and the new government being unfortunate in the 
field, the executive power was, in 1799, vested in 
three consuls, of whom the first was the victorious 
Napoleon Buonaparte. 

It is not necessary to trace the history of this 
remarkable individual. It is suflicient to say that 
he soon overturned the government that had risen 
upon the wreck of the monarchy, and established 
a military despotism, of which he became the 
head. He was crowned emperor in 1808, and, 
from this period, devoted himself with amazing 
energy to the formation of a system of laws, the 
improvement of roads, and other internal improve- 


ments ; the extension of commerce and manufac- 
tures, and to foreign conquest. In all these he 
was generally successful, till, having been defeat- 
ed in an invasion of Russia, he was driven back 
to France, and after various events was finally 
defeated at Waterloo, in 1815. 

Louis XVIII., brother of Louis XVI., was re- 
stored to the throne of his family ; but in 1825 he 
died, and was succeeded by his brother, Charles X. 
The misfortunes of the Bourbons had not taught 
them wisdom; and Charles, fancying that he could 
exercise tyranny as his father had done, caused 
an edict to be issued restraining the liberty of the 

An insurrection immediately broke out, and in 
three glorious days a revolution was achieved. 
Charles fled to England, and Louis Philippe, duke 
of Orleans, was chosen king. A charter, or con- 
stitution, was formed, and is now the basis of the 
government. The crown is hereditary, but its 
power is limited by a parliament consisting of a 
house of commons, chosen by the people, and a 
house of lords, consisting of peers, whose titles 
continue only during their lives. 

This recent history of France is full of instruc- 
tion. It shows that tyranny, carried to a certain 
point, is sure to bring those who exercise it to 
destruction, while it involves whole nations in 
unutterable miseries. 

The French revolution was the necessary result 
of the accumulated wrongs which the nation had 
suffered for ages from their rulers. The people 
by one act hurled the monarchy to the earth ; but, 
unaccustomed to self-government, themselves vi- 
cious and corrupt, they became the dupes of other 


despots, even more monstrous than those who 
claimed to rule by divine right. 

In the midst of anarchy and confusion, one 
mighty hand seizes upon the reins of government, 
and calUng to his aid the force of the bayonet, 
subjects the whole country to his sway. His 
grasping ambition arouses the nations, and he, 
too, is prostrated, like a pyramid hurled into 
atoms, and levelled with the dust. 

The ancient monarchy is now restored. Again 
the king resorts to an act of tyranny, and again 
the tempest of revolution bursts upon the people. 
But, amid all this confusion, something has been 
learned. Some progress has been made in the ed- 
ucation of the people in the art of self-government, 
and now they are able to secure the advantages 
of their triumph over a despotic ruler. The result 
of this second revolution in France, was the se- 
curing of a charter, or a constitution, which is a 
barrier to the power of the crown, and a protec- 
tion to the liberties of the people. Thus the gov- 
ernment of France has become a limited, or con- 
stitutional, monarchy, instead of a despotic one, 
as it was, in effect, down to the time of Louis 

The lower house, in the legislative branch, is 
called the Chamber of Deputies ; the upper house, 
the Chamber of Peers. The peers are nominated 
by the king. The whole number of persons who 
vote for deputies, is but about 130,000. The forms 
and modes of proceeding in the French parliament, 
are similar to those in the British parliament. 


Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Tower of London. 

The political history of Great Britain is worthy 
of the most attentive perusal ; for here we shall 
see the best delineations of the struggles of man- 
kind for liberty, to be found in the records of the 
human family. Here we shall also find the germs 
of our own political institutions ; and seeing how 
mighty has been the cost at which freedom has 
been discovered and vindicated, we shall learn to 
appreciate the blessings we enjoy. 

The first knowledge of Britain appears to have 
been acquired in the time of Caesar, who partially 
conquered the country about fifty years before 
Christ. Succeeding generals completed this con- 
quest, and it became a Roman province. 


Rome held possession of the country till about 
A. D. 450, when she was herself prostrated by 
the Goths and Vandals. During this period she 
had partially civilized the Britons, who, like the 
Gauls, were Celts, living in a nearly savage state. 
No longer protected by the Romans, Britain fell a 
prey to the Danes, and afterwards to the Saxons, 
who established their dominion in the country. 

During these events, the population of England 
became a mixture of the original Britons, Romans, 
Danes and Saxons, though the last constitute by 
far the largest ingredient. Alfred the great, of 
the Saxon line, may be regarded as the founder of 
the English monarchy, and as the author of many 
of its best institutions. 

He was the youngest son of Ethelwolf, king of 
the west Saxons, and was born at Wantage, in 
Berkshire. He went to Rome at the age of five 
years, and was anointed by the pope, although he 
then had an elder brother. However, in 872 he 
ascended the throne. 

This was an unpropitious time, for the power 
of the Danes was then great and employed in har- 
assing the Saxons, whose country they ravaged 
in various directions. Alfred concluded some 
treaties with them, but they were not kept ; and, 
unable to make head against the invaders, he was 
compelled to fly, and in concealment to await a 
moment when his re-appearance would be advan- 
tageous for his country. 

In the disguise of a harper he penetrated the 
Danish camp, to gain information of the strength 
of his foes, and, having satisfied himself, directed 
his nobles and their vassals to assemble at Sel- 
wood. Here he headed the troops, and attacking, 


the Danes at Eddington, gained a signal victory. 
He permitted those Danes who were wiUing to 
embrace the Christian reUgion, to remain in the 
kingdom of East Angha, which he surrendered to 

He built forts to secure his subjects, augmented 
and strengthened his navy, and established the 
prosperity of London on a firm basis. He met 
and defeated the Danes, who still persisted in at- 
tempting to obtain footing in England, and made 
his name a terror to the pirates ; he fought fifty- 
six battles by sea and land, in every one of which 
he was personally engaged. 

His zeal for the reformation of laws and man- 
ners, is as honorable to him as his military prow- 
ess. He composed a code of laws, instituted the 
trial by jury, and divided England into shires and 
ti things. So successful were his regulations that 
it is said the crime of robbery was unknown, and 
the most valuable goods might be exposed upon 
the highway, without any dread of thieves. Al- 
fred formed a parliament, which met at London 

He was an ardent lover of learning, and was 
himself a distinguished scholar. To promote it, 
he invited learned men from all parts, and estab- 
lished schools throughout his kingdom. He is 
said to have been the founder of the University of 
Oxford, or, at least, to have exalted it to a height 
which it had never before attained. He composed 
several works, and translated others for the benefit 
of his subjects. 

He was industrious and fond of order, dividing 
the twenty-four hours into three portions ; one de- 
voted to religious duties, another to public affairs, 



and the third, to rest. Alfred laid the foundation 
of the navy of England, by building galleys of a 
size superior to any others of the age. In private 
life he was distinguished by piety, affability, and 
cheerfulness. His person was commanding and 

William, duke of Normandy, laid claim to the 
crown of England in 1066. Landing with an 
army he triumphed in the famous battle of Hast- 
ings, and was seated upon the throne, thus estab- 
lishing a dynasty of French kings. He brought 
with him many French nobles, and encouraged 
others to settle in the country. He also adopted 
the French language as that of the court, the gov- 
ernment, and the bar. Thus French manners 
became grafted upon those of the English ; and the 
English tongue received that infusion of French 
words and idioms which appear to the present 


England— Continued. 

John came to the throne 1199. He was a de- 
testable tyrant, and even the barons, usually the 
supporters of the crown, right or wrong, united 
against him. Tired out with his exactions and 
his weaknesses, they called on him to sign a paper, 
securing certain rights and privileges to them- 
selves and the people. 

This John refused to do, but at last, finding 
himself abandoned by everybody, and in a most 


desolate condition, he sent the earl of Pembroke, 
a nobleman distinguished for virtue and ability, 
to propose a conference with the barons. A meet- 
ing accordingly took place on Friday, the 15th of 
June, 1215, in a large meadow between Windsor 
and Staines, called Runnymede, which means the 
meadoiD of council. This was so called because 
it had been used by the Saxons as a place for 
public meetings. At this meeting was signed the 
famous Magna Charta. 

The charter itself is in Latin. The reader 
would hardly care to see the whole, but I will 
give some brief particulars respecting it. It must 
be borne in mind that, under the feudal system, 
the power of the kings was very oppressive, and 
had become more and more so, till no subject 
could act in the commonest affairs of life without 
the king's consent, and this could be obtained only 
for money. 

We may suppose the sort of interference the 
king had in every person's concerns, when we are 
told that nobody could marry without his consent ; 
and that he could oblige heiresses to marry whom 
he liked ; and even widows, who often paid fines 
to save themselves from being compelled to marry 

We read of a countess of Chester who paid king 
Stephen five hundred marks, that she might not 
be obliged to marry again for five years ; and of a 
countess of Warwick who paid king John five 
hundred marks, that she might not be obliged to 
marry till she pleased. Justice of every kind was 
bought and sold, like any other commodity. 

The object of the magna charta was to put a 
stop to these fines and oppressions. It contained 


sixty-three different clauses; and when I have 
told what a few of them were, the reader will 
easily comprehend the degree of vexatious tyranny 
the kings had heen accustomed to exercise over the 
people, and which alone could make such clauses 

The following are examples : That the goods of 
every free man shall be disposed of, after his death, 
according to his will ; that, if he die without mak- 
ing a will, his children shall succeed to his prop- 
erty : that no officer of the crown shall take horses, 
carts, or wood, without the consent of the owner : 
that no free man shall be imprisoned, outlawed, or 
banished, unless by the judgment of his peers, or 
the law of the land : that even a rustic shall not, 
by any fine, be bereaved of his carts, ploughs, and 
implements of husbandry. This last was the only 
article in that great charter for the protection of 
the laboring people ! The invidious word ''even," 
shows, plainly, how little they were considered or 
thought of at that period. 

From the time of John, England continued to 
make slow, but certain advances in civilization, 
and in the art of government. But still the feu- 
dal system continued to exist, modified and soft- 
ened, though in a high degree oppressive. The 
power of the king and the privileges of the nobles, 
swallowed up the rights of the nation. 

But there was a point beyond which the people 
of England would not now endure oppression; 
and in 1649, Charles I. was brought to the block. 
The government was seized upon by the strong 
hand of Oliver Cromwell, who, by a singular 
mixture of hypocrisy and wisdom, had acquired 
great influence over the nation. For several years 


he ruled the country with the title of Protector, hut 
with the despotism of a king. It is to be remark- 
ed, however, that his public policy had for its end 
the prosperity of the nation ; and England cannot 
boast a sovereign whose rule has redounded 
more to the benefit of the country, than that of the 
usurper, Cromwell. 

Charles II. was restored in 1660; and since 
that time, under various sovereigns, Great Britain 
has continued to advance in power, and may now 
be considered the most formidable kingdom upon 
the globe. If, indeed, we look to the high pitch 
of civilization to which she has attained, the ex- 
tent of her navy and her armies, her means of 
carrying on war, her influence in the councils of 
nations, her commerce and her vast possessions, 
we must admit that the world has never before pre- 
sented such a spectacle of political greatness, in 
a single nation, of either ancient or modern times. 


Present State of the British Empire. 

The British empire embraces not only England, 
Ireland, and Scotland, which constitute what is 
called the home country, but a range of colonies 
and dependencies in all quarters of the globe. 

England may be considered the central and 
principal portion of the empire. United to Wales 
it contains fifty-two counties, and a population of 
about fourteen millions. Scotland, which was 
incorporated with England in 1707, contains thirty- 


three counties, and a population of about two and 
a half millions. Ireland, which was conquered by 
the English at an early period, but not united 
under the same legislative system till 1800, con- 
tains thirty-two counties, and a population of nine 

The oldest existing colonies of Britain are those 
of the West Indies, chiefly consisting of a series 
of islands stretching across the Great Bay which 
nearly divides North from South America. Ja- 
maica, the largest and most important of these 
islands, contains about four hundred thousand in- 
habitants, of which only about thirty-seven thou- 
sand are white people ; the rest being negroes, the 
most of whom were originally slave laborers. 
Barbadoes, Trinidad, and the other West India 
colonies, are less populous ; the full amount being, 
in each case, divided in about the same propor- 
tions between blacks and whites. 

Half a million of square miles of the peninsula 
of Hindostan, containing a population of a hun- 
dred millions, have, in the course of the last cen- 
tury and the present, fallen under the power of 
the association of English merchants, called the 
East India Company, who, by virtue of a charter 
from the government, administer the affairs of the 
natives, in whose revenue they enjoy a source of 
vast wealth. A still larger portion of Hindostan 
is under the protection, but not the direct govern- 
ment, of the company. 

Goods to the value of four millions of pounds 
are annually exported from Britain to the East 
Indies; while goods to the value of above six 
millions of pounds are imported from the East 
Indies to Britain. A revenue of above twenty- 


two millions of pounds is annually drawn from 
that country. A dependency of so much territorial 
value, so numerous a population, and so large a 
revenue, was never before possessed by any coun- 
try. It is, perhaps, a question, whether the pros- 
perity and happiness of the people have been 
greatly advanced by their British rulers. 

Next in importance and antiquity among the 
British dependencies, are the two provinces of 
Upper and Lower Canada, and the colonies of 
Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, Prince Edward's Isl- 
and, Newfoundland and New Brunswick ; all of 
which form portions of North America. These 
colonies are chiefly occupied by British emigrants 
and their descendants ; the total population being 
somewhat more than a million, and rapidly in- 

In New South Wales, Van Dieman's Land, and 
other Australian colonies, Britain possesses a mil- 
lion and a half of square miles, occupied by a white 
population of about fifty thousand. At the Cape 
of Good Hope and other possessions in Africa, she 
has ninety thousand square miles, and a hundred 
and fifty thousand inhabitants. In the Mauritius, 
an island in the Indian Ocean, formerly a slave 
colony, there is a population of a hundred thou- 
sand, mostly negroes. The Ionian Islands, Malta, 
and Gibraltar, in the Mediterranean, and the small 
islands of Ascension and St. Helena, in the Atlan- 
tic Ocean, complete the sum of the British foreign 

The importance attained by the British in the 
scale of nations, appears to depend mainly upon 
two features of the national character — their intel- 
lectual and moral advancement, and their extraor- 



dinary industry and skill in producing articles of 
necessity and luxury, as well as their dexterity in 
the commerce by which these are diffused over 
the world. The genuine British character, taken 
all in all, is one of probity, intelligence and ac- 
tivity, and is adapted to the attainment of suprem- 
acy and the establishment of good institutions. 


Government of Great Britain. 

The government of this large, and industriouB, 
and wealthy kingdom, is conducted according to 
the forms and principles which have come into 
operation in the course of the events already 
alluded to. 


The Executive — that is, the powers by which 
the laws are enforced — is entrusted by the nation 
to an hereditary monarch. 

The Legislature — that is, the power by which 
the laws are created — consists of three distinct but 
combined powers: 1, a House of Commons^ com- 
posed of six hundred and fifty-eight gentlemen, 
elected by certain portions of the people; 2, a 
House of Peers^ composed of the hereditary nobles 
of England, the English archbishops and bishops, 
a certain number of lords representing the Scottish 
and Irish peerage, and a certain number of spirit- 
ual lords representing the Irish hierarchy; and 
finally, 3, the King. 

The House of Commons and Peers, otherwise 
styled the lower and upper houses, form a com- 
pound deliberative body, called Parliament^ which 
is liable to be called together, and prorogued or 
dissolved at the king's pleasure. 

These law-making and law-executing powers 
combine, in one system, called the British Con- 
stitution^ a variety of political principles, which are 
usually found acting singly. The House of Com- 
mons, as a partial representation of the people, may 
be said to be founded on the principles of democracy ; 
or people sovereignty. The House of Peers, which 
is independent of direct popular control, presents 
the principle of aristocracy, or noble sovereignty, 
while the king contributes the monarchical princi- 
ple, or sovereignty of one. 

It must be allowed, in explanation of a system 
so extraordinary, that the particular portions of the 
constitution have not always borne the same rela- 
tive power, and that principles naturally so incon- 
sistent, could never perhaps have been combined 
13 10 


at all, except by a process extending over many 
ages, and which has, on the whole, secured the 
sanction of the people. 

In early times, the king possessed the chief influ- 
ence, while the parliament, in general, was rather 
an obsequious council of the sovereign, than an 
independent body. At the revolution of 1688, the 
strength of the monarchy was diminished by a 
breach of the hereditary line, and the Parliament 
became the predominant power. As the nobility 
and superior gentry had then the chief influence 
in both houses of Parliament, it might be said that 
the aristocratic principle had become ascendent. 

It continued to be so, till the passing of the reform 
bill, in 1832, when, the power of electing the ma- 
jority of the House of Commons being extended to 
the middle classes of the people, the democratic 
principle was, for the first time, brought into a 
considerable degree of force. 

The House of Commons is composed of four 
hundred and seventy-one members for England, 
of whom three hundred and twenty-four are for 
boroughs, one hundred and forty-three for counties, 
and four for universities; twenty-nine members 
for Wales, of whom fourteen are for boroughs, and 
fifteen for counties; one hundred and five for 
Ireland, of whom thirty-nine are for boroughs, 
sixty-four for counties, and two for the Dublin 
imiversity; and fifty-three for Scotland, of whom 
twenty-three are for cities and boroughs, and thirty 
for counties : six hundred and fifty-eight in all. 

The constituency, that is the body of voters by 
which the members are elected, is about twelve 
hundred thousand in number, or one twentieth of 
the whole population. The qualifications of an 


elector in counties, are the having been entitled to 
vote on a freehold qualification before the passing 
of the reform act ; the holding land in copyhold of 
the clear annual value of ten pounds ; the possess- 
ing land or houses of ten pounds annual value in 
property ; or on a lease of not less than sixty years 
in England, and fifty-seven in Scotland ; and the 
occupation of lands or tenements in England for 
any period, and in Scotland for nineteen years, at 
an annual rent of not less than fifty pounds. 

The qualification of an elector in boroughs, is the 
occupation of a house of ten pounds annual rent ; 
the resident freemen in English and Irish boroughs 
being also allowed to vote. The utmost duration 
to which a Parliament can extend is seven years ; 
and a new House of Commons must be elected 
within six months after the commencement of every 
new reign. The king, however, frequently exerci- 
ses his prerogative in dissolving Parliament a con- 
siderable time before the expiration of the full period 
allowed to it by law. 

The House of Lords consisted, in 1833, of four 
hundred and twenty-six lords, of whom four were 
dukes of the blood-royal, three archbishops, twenty- 
one dukes of English title, nineteen marquises, 
one hundred and nine earls, eighteen viscounts, 
twenty-seven bishops, one hundred and eighty-one 
barons, sixteen Scottish peers, and twenty-eight 
Irish peers. The king possesses the power of 
creating peers, and of nominating the bishops. 
The Scottish representative peers are elected by 
the whole body of the peerage of that country, at 
the commencement of every new Parliament, or on 
the occurrence of a vacancy; the Irish representa- 
tive peers are elected also by the whole body of the 


peerage of their country, but for life. The Irish 
spiritual peers sit in rotation. 

The king is not only at the head of the executive; 
he is also the head of the church, the commander 
of the army, the dispenser of all titles of honor, and 
even, by a fiction of the law, the person of whom 
all the landed property in his dominions is held. 
The queen has the same power as a king. 

In the right of appointing the bishops, the judges, 
the lords lieutenant, and justices of peace of counties, 
the oificers of the army and navy, and many officers 
and public servants, the king possesses a large 
amount of patronage, which conduces, in no small 
degree, to the maintenance of his authority. He 
has also the sole right of declaring peace or war, 
though, in the latter instance, he is effectually 
controlled by the House of Commons, which may 
give or withhold the requisite fimds, as it sees 

Out of respect for the hereditary principle and 
the royal character, it is held that the king cannot 
of himself do any wrong, or be personally called to 
account for his actions. The responsibility for the 
performance of his functions rests with a body of 
servants chosen by himself, and designated his 
ministers^ who cannot continue in that character 
without the approbation of parliament, and are 
liable to be impeached by that body if they commit 
any grievous error. 

Twelve of these officers, named the First Lord 
of the Treasury, the Lord Chancellor, the Lord 
Privy Seal, the President of the Council, the Sec- 
retary of State for the Home Department, the 
Secretary of State for the Foreign Department, 
the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the Chan- 


cellor of the Exchequer, the First Lord of the 
Admiralty, the Master-General of the Ordnance, 
the President of the Board of Control, and the 
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, usually 
constitute what is called the Cabinet Council^ or 
Council of the King's Cabinet, to deliberate upon 
all matters of importance. 

Besides this body, the king has a Privy Council^ 
consisting of persons eminent from rank, office, or 
personal character, who may be at variance with 
the Cabinet Council, but take no share in the 
government, except when summoned by the royal 
authority. They are then in the same situation 
with the Cabinet Ministers, and responsible for the 
advice they give. 


Legislature and Judiciary of Great Britain. 

The two houses of Parliament usually sit, during 
a considerable portion of every year, in deliberation 
upon the affairs of the country, and for the enact- 
ment of new, or the repeal of old laws. Any 
member of either house may propose a new law ; 
but this duty is chiefly undertaken by the king's 
ministers, and it is in the lower house, that new 
laws are usually proposed. 

When a proposed law has been introduced in 
the shape of a bill, and sanctioned in one house, 
it passes on to the other, which may receive, reject, 
or modify it. If it passes both, it is submitted to 
the king, who may give or withhold his approba- 


tion. When it has received the sanction of all 
the three branches of the legislature, it is called an 
Act of Parliament, and becomes part of the laws 
of the country. 

The bills for the pecuniary supplies necessary 
for the pubUc service, are introduced exclusively 
by the House of Commons : they may be rejected 
by the House of Lords : but for that house to alter 
them, or to introduce any bill which involves pecu- 
niary supply to the government, is considered a 
breach of the privileges of the House of Commons. 

The money annually raised by Parliament for 
the public service and the payment of the interest 
of the national debt, was, in 1760, about nine mil- 
Uons, and in 1793, seventeen and a half The sum 
now generally raised, is nearly fifty million of 

Justice, civil and criminal, is administered in 
England and Ireland according to laws and forms 
which took their rise in the former country, and 
were in time extended to the latter. The English 
law, as it is comprehensively termed, is of two 
kinds — written or statute law, consisting of the 
laws established by act of Parliament, and consue- 
tudinary law, consisting of customs which have 
existed from time immemorial, and have received 
the sanction of the judges. 

Consuetudinary law is again divided into com^ 
mon law and equity; the former is administered 
by courts which profess to adhere strictly to the 
old laws of England, exXept in as far as they are 
altered by statute; the latter was founded upon 
the principle that the king, in cases of hardship, 
was entitled to give relief from the strictness of the 
common law. Equity, though thus originated, has 


now become also a fixed kind of law, and is ad- 
ministered in courts which decide according to 
established rules. 

In Scotland, laws peculiar to itself, founded upon 
the principles of the Roman and the Feudal law, 
are administered by a supreme civil tribunal, de- 
nominated the Court of Session, which remains 
fixed at Edinburgh ; and by a criminal tribunal, 
named the Cou?'t of Justiciary, which not only sits 
in the same city, but makes circuits through the 
provinces. Minor civil and criminal cases are also 
judged in Scotland by the sheriffs of the various 
counties, and the magistrates of the burghs. 


Other Governments of Europe. 

Scene in Venice. 

Spain was long an absolute monarchy; the power 
of the king having no limits, except such as public 
opinion interposed ; and these were very slieht among 
a people without education. The evils of this kind 


of government were greatly aggravated by the 
tyrannical character of many of their sovereigns. 
The heir apparent to the throne is called the Prince 
of Asturias; the other royal children are called 

. In 1837, a new constitution was formed, intended 
to be adapted to the more liberal spirit of the age. 
By this charter, a legislature is established, con- 
sisting of a senate, called the Cortes, and a congress 
of deputies. These bodies united, have the power 
of enacting laws with the royal sanction. 

The senators are chosen by the king from a list 
of persons nominated by the electors. The deputies 
are chosen by the electors. 

The history of Venice, in Italy, is full of interest. 
About the year 421, the people appear to have es- 
tablished themselves in numbers, where the city 
now stands. The settlement increased, and became 
in time, the seat of a powerful state. In the early 
period of its history, the government was ducalj 
but in after times, the chief magistrate was a doge^ 
who was elected for life, from the nobles. 

Though Venice was called a republic, yet it 
possessed none of the attributes of freedom which 
the name implies. The nobility, in fact, ruled the 
state, constituting a tyrannical aristocracy. The 
history of no despotism affords instances of more 
fearful cruelty and oppression, than that of Yenice, 
while bearing the title of a republic. 

The government was, however, conducted with 
energy, and, as far as it tended to promote the 
power of the state, with sagacity and wisdom. It 
encouraged commerce, and thus acquired vast 
wealth. The Venetian navy was the most con- 


siderable in the world, for several centuries, and it 
long gave Venice an ascendency in the Mediter- 
ranean. In 1797, it was taken by the French, 
under Bonaparte, and afterwards was ceded to 
Austria, which still holds it, with the adjacent 
territory, under the title of the Lombard Venetian 

Genoa^ was for several centuries, an independent 
state, and like Venice had a doge for its chief 
magistrate. He was elected for two years, from 
among the nobles. This state attained considerable 
eminence, and possessed an extensive navy; its 
commerce was carried on with success, and at 
some periods, Genoa almost rivalled Venice. 

At the present time, there are several distinct 
governments in Italy. Sardinia is an absolute, 
hereditary monarchy. Austrian Italy ^ including 
Venice, is governed by an Austrian viceroy, who 
exercises arbitrary power in a tyrannical manner. 
The duchies of Modena and Parma are mild des- 
potisms. Lticca is governed by a duke, aided by 
a chamber of deputies. Tuscany is an absolute 
monarchy, but under the present duke, the despotic 
power is mildly exercised. 

The States of the Churchy including the city of 
Rome, are governed by the pope, who is elected 
by the cardinals from among themselves. His 
power is absolute. The kingdom of Naples is also 
an absolute monarchy. 

Greece had been for nearly four centuries under 
the grinding oppression of the Turks. In 1821, 
they declared their independence, and after a long 
and bloody conflict, it was established, and Otho, a 
Bavarian prince, became their sovereign in 1830. 



His power is limited by a legislature, consisting 
of a senate and house of representatives, chosen by 
the electors. 

The government of Turkey is a pure despotism, 
there being nothing to check the will of the Sultan. 
He is considered the successor of Mahomet, and 
thus increases his authority by laying claim to a 
sacred character. Nothing can exceed the fear and 
awe inspired by the Sultan. Even his wives call 
him the "lion." The court is called the Sublime 
Port, and treaties are dated ' ' from our stirrup. ' ' The 
divan, or council of state is composed of the minis- 
ters of the interior, exterior and finance. There 
is no security for property; public officers thrive 
by extortion. The idea of patriotism is not known 
in the country. 

Switzerland consists of twenty-two cantons, each 
of which is a sovereign state, but they are united 
into a confederacy for the preservation of order and 


the security of independence. The diet, or federal 
congress, is composed of deputies from the cantons ; 
each canton having one vote. The president is 
styled the landammann. This diet has nearly the 
same power as our congress ; but each state or 
canton is governed by its own laws. Justice is 
generally well administered ; but this is more from 
the good spirit of the people than from the excellence 
of their laws. 

Austria is an absolute despotism ; the sovereign 
is styled emperor. In some of the provinces, as in 
Hungary and Transylvania, his power is checked 
by a diet. Justice is well administered, and the 
government generally exercises its authority with 

Pmssia is an absolute monarchy ; yet the sover- 
eign wields his power with a regard to the interests 
of the people. All the men are drilled in military 
exercises, and all are compelled to go through a 
course of education, provided by the government. 
There are twenty-two thousand common or primary 
schools in the kingdom. 

The principal German States are united in a 
federacy, called the German diet; the object of 
which is to secure general tranquillity. It em- 
braces thirty-six monarchical states and four re- 
publics, called free cities. 

Hollarid and Belgium are monarchies with legis- 
latures. Denmark is an unlimited monarchy, with 
much practical freedom; the laws are just, and well 
administered. Sxoeden is a limited monarchy. The 
diet has some resemblance to the British Parlia- 
ment, but is composed of four bodies, meeting in 
different houses. These are the nobles, clergy, 
peasants, and inhabitants of towns. Norway is 



united to the Swedish crown, and is governed by a 
viceroy, whose powers are Hmited by the represen- 
tative assembly, called horthing. 

Viem of a 'Russian palace. 

Russia is an absolute despotism. The emperor 
is called czar. He exercises his authority with 
rigor, and sometimes with capricious injustice. 
The nobles are numerous, and large portions of the 
people are no better than slaves. The courts are 
by no means free from corruption, and the rich 
have always an advantage over the poor. The 
punishments, though greatly mitigated, are many 
of them barbarous and severe. Banishment to 
Siberia is common for political offences. 

The revenues and resources of the government 

are extensive, though it is much embarrassed by 

debt. The navy is considerable, and increasing. 

The army is extensive, well trained, and more 




forrmdable than that of any other European power. 
The position of Russia is commanding, and under 
the auspices of its present emperor, Nicholas, is 
making rapid progress in civiUzation, wealth, and 


Discoveries in America, &c. 

Indians of America bringing fruits to Columbus. 

Having now taken a brief view of foreign govern- 
ments, let us turn our attention to our own country. 
In order to understand the political institutions of 
the United States, we must take a glance at our 
early history. 


In 1492, Columbus discovered the islands of the 
West Indies, before which time the existence of 
America was wholly unknown to the people of 
Europe, Asia, and Africa. These countries being 
called the Old world, the American continent was 
called the New world. 

The inhabitants of this entire hemisphere were 
of the copper colored race, to whom the name of 
Indians was applied. Most of them were in a 
savage state, though two extensive empires existed, 
Mexico and Peru, both of which had made con- 
siderable progress in the arts of civilization. These 
had cities, the art of writing by hieroglyphics, a 
knowledge of working certain metals, and estab- 
lished monarchical governments. 

The origin of the American Indians is hidden in 
mystery. They had themselves no certain records 
and no traditions which satisfactorily solved this 
interesting question. It is only by considering that 
Asia and America are so near together at Bhering's 
straits, that a rude people might cross in boats ; and 
by remarking the resemblance between the customs 
of Mexico and Peru, to those of the ancient Persians 
and Egyptians ; that we infer, with a good degree 
of probability, that the first settlers of America, 
and the progenitors of the Mexican and Peruvian 
Indians, came from Asia. The time of their emi- 
gration cannot be determined; but as no monument 
of the event is distinctly traceable in any country, 
it must have been ages ago. The other tribes of 
Indians, scattered over the continent, probably 
emigated also from Asia, at later periods, but still, 
long since. 

The discovery of Columbus having been made 
under the flag arid by the aid of the king of Spain, 


that monarch seized upon as much of th* new 
world as he could grasp. The finest of the West 
India islands, the great and rich empires of Mexico 
and Peru, and nearly all the rest of South America, 
with other territories, were taken by Spain. 

Other portions of the country were seized by 
other powers of Europe. France got possession 
of the country along the St. Lawrence and the 
Mississippi, and England picked here and there 
upon the Atlantic border of North America, as 
she could find a prize worthy of her notice. 

In this greedy scramble, the first object was gold 
and silver, which had been found in abundance in 
Mexico and Peru. But, after these became scarce, 
other objects were sought by the emigrants : some 
came for trade, some to cultivate the lands, and 
some to escape from religious persecution, which 
was then the great business of kings and priests, 
both in England and France. 

The rights of the European natives to territory 
in America were founded in discovery. Thus, a 
ship having been fitted out in England, by com- 
mand of the king, proceeded to this continent, and 
discovered the country from Labrador to Virginia. 
England, therefore, claimed all this territory, be- 
cause one of her captains thus saw it before any 
other European. 

By this right of discovery, various European 
powers got possession of the different parts of 
America; and although we cannot see any very 
good reason why discovery should confer sucn 
rights, still, when followed by occupancy, it has 
ever been regarded as a valid ground of claim, by 
civilized countries. 

It appears that these European powers did not 


consider the Indians as having any other right to 
the land which they had inherited and possessed 
for ages, but that of occupation. These people 
being savages and heathen, were looked upon as 
children or incompetent persons, over whom civil- 
ized and Christian governments had a right to 
assume guardianship and control. 

Perhaps this, in theory, might be vindicated, but 
the practice of the European nations toward the 
natives was little less than a system of plunder. 
The Spaniards generally proceeded at once to con- 
quer the natives of the countries of which they took 
poss€jssion, and thus reduced them to subjection. 

The English adopted a system somewhat more 
just in appearance, though as destructive in its 
results. They purchased the lands of the natives, 
but usually made such sharp bargains that the 
whole inheritance of the tribes was soon bartered 
away, and they either perished, or sought other 
lands by emigration to the west. 


The establishment of the English Colonies. 

The first settlement within the boundaries of the 
present United States was made in Virginia, in 1607, 
by a company of English emigrants. They settled 
on James' river and built Jamestown. 

These persons took possession of the territory 

by virtue of a charter granted to Sir Thomas Gates 

and his associates, by James I., king of England, 

in 1606 ; for it will be remembered that the king 

14* ■« I 


of England claimed the country by virtue of the 
discovery of Cabot, more than a century before. 

This charter of king James granted to the Vir- 
ginia company the territory between the thirty- 
fourth and forty-fifth parallel of latitude, and of 
course included the whole Atlantic country, from 
the southern point of North Carolina to New 
Brunswick. This company was afterwards di- 
vided, one taking the southern, and the other the 
northern portion of this land. Several distinct 
colonies became established withm the limits of 
this grant to Sir Thomas Gates and his associates. 

New York was settled by emigrants from Hol- 
land, in 1613. Their chief object was to trade 
with the natives for furs, and the first settlement 
was made at Albany. The next year, a small 
company established themselves on Manhattan 
island, and founded the now populous city of New 
York. This settlement of the Dutch was upon 
territory claimed by the king of England by the 
prior right of discovery, and of course it was es- 
teemed an aggression. The settlement came into 
the hands of the English, by cession, in 1644, and 
after that, they held it as an English colony. 

The first settlement in New England was made 
at Plymouth, in Massachusetts, in 1620, by certain 
persons called Puritans, who had fled to Holland 
on account of religious persecution, and having re- 
mained there several years, came to America. They 
were soon followed by others from England, and in 
the space of a few years, the colonies of Massachu- 
setts Bay, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New 
Hampshire were established. 

Maryland was settled by about two hundred 
Catholics, in 1634, who also came to escape from 


religious persecution. New Jersey was settled 
about 1664; Pennsylvania in 1684. The latter 
colony consisted of Quakers, who made their settle- 
ment under the direction of the celebrated and 
kind-hearted William Penn. Delaware was first 
settled by a company of Swedes and Finns, in 

North Carolina was settled by persons who fled 
from religious intolerance in Virginia, between 1640 
and 1650. In South Carolina, the first permanent 
settlement was made at Port Royal, under governor 
Teagle, in 1670. Georgia was settled in 1732 by 
poor emigrants sent thither by an association of 
benevolent persons in England. 

Thirteen colonies were thus established in North 
America. These consisted of 1, Massachusetts, 
which now included the Plymouth colony; 2. 
Connecticut; 3. New Hampshire: 4. Rhode Island; 
5. New York ; 6. New Jersey ; 7. Pennsylvania ; 
8. Delaware; 9. Maryland; 10. Virginia; 11. North 
Carolina ; 12. South Carolina ; 13. Georgia. 

These were the thirteen colonies that declared 
war against England, in 1776. It will be recollected 
that Maine was attached to Massachusetts. Ver- 
mont was never a colony ; the territory was claimed 
both by New Hampshire and New York ; the peo- 
ple fought against the British in the war, but did 
not join the confederation. 


General Remarks on Colonies, &c. ' 

It appears to have been the practice of com- 
mercial nations, in very early times, to send out 
companies of their people to settle in distant coun- 
tries. As these settlements require protection, they 
receive it of the mother country, and, in return, 
allow that country to exercise government over 
them. These settlements, often remote and always 
dependent, are denominated colonies. 

The great inducement to found and encourage 
colonies, has been, that they promoted trade and 
commerce, and thereby increased the wealth of the 
nation to whom they belonged. Carthage, estab- 
lished a century before Rome, was at first but a 
colony of Phoenicia. It afterwards became in- 
dependent, and was long the most powerful state 
in Africa. It established numerous colonies, par- 
ticularly along the coast of Spain, and from these 
derived a large share of its prosperity. 

Greece, also, had a number of colonies, but her ^ 
commerce, as well as her settlements, were chiefly 
confined within the shores of the Mediterranean 
Sea. Rome was never a commercial power, for 
she chose rather to thrive by conquest than trade. 
She had, therefore, no commercial settlements 
which could properly be called colonies. 

After the Roman Empire fell into the hands of 
the Northmen — about the year 450 — for many 
centuries commerce did not flourish, and the whole 
world long remained in the darkness of ignorance 
and poverty. During the middle ages, the Euro- 


pean States had little trade by sea, and, indeed, 
the commerce of the world was chiefly carried on 
by land. Genoa and Venice are among the most 
thriving commercial States of this period, and these 
had some colonial settlements. 

But it was not till the fifteenth century, that 
colonies were established on an extensive scale. 
The Portuguese were the first to extend their dis- 
ct)veries, and at that period they founded colonies 
along the Atlantic borders of Africa, and even in 
India. The discovery of America soon followed, 
and then a system of colonizing those portions of 
the new world which belonged to each European 
power, by virtue of discovery, was adopted. 

Thus, the whole continent of America, North 
and South, became parcelled out among the difier- 
ent European nations, the settlements all being 
colonies : that is to say, they were all considered 
as belonging to European countries; and while 
each claimed protection from its particular govern- 
ment, it submitted also to the laws prescribed by 
that government. 

This was the situation of the thirteen English 
colonies, described in chap. XLVI. These had all 
been settled within the territory claimed by Great 
Britain, as being discovered under her flag. They 
had all claimed the protection of Great Britain, 
which was called the mother country ; and they 
had all submitted to the government of Great 
Britain. These colonies were considered of so 
much importance to that kingdom, that they were 
spoken of as " the brightest jewel in her crown." 

It must be remarked, however, that the colonists 
generally settled in America, under charters granted 
by the king, or obtained some charter at a sub- 


sequent period. These charters prescribed the 
mutual rights of the colonists and the crown: 
usually extending to the former the English laws, 
and empowering the crown to rule over the people 
and exercise its authority through a governor and 
council of his own appointment. 

It is true, indeed, that different colonies were differ- 
ently situated in respect to the government of Great 
Britain ; some having more privileges than others. 
Some of them were indeed mere provinces, and 
having no charter, or their charters being taken 
away, were completely subject to the government 
of England; while others had a right by their 
charters to elect representatives among themselves, 
who should constitute an assembly, which, in con- 
junction with the governor and coundl appoint- 
ed by the king, could make laws for the colony, 
not incompatible with those of England. We 
here see the beginning of that form of government 
established by the colonies when they became in- 
dependent states. 

Hitherto, we must remark that the thirteen col- 
onies were dependents of Great Britain ; and most 
of them were deprived of some privileges which 
belonged to Englishmen, by the very terms and 
conditions of their charters. The colonists were, 
from the beginning, and of necessity, but little more 
than slaves, so far as their political condition was 

But even the hard conditions of these charters 
were often violated by the home government, and 
tyranny was added to injustice. This, doubtless, 
arose more from the position of the colonies than 
from any intrinsic tyranny in the government. In 
the first place, colonies are always regarded as in- 



stituted for the benefit of the mother country, 
rather than for the colonists themselves : and it is 
apt to be an habitual train of thought, that they, 
are to be managed with an exclusive or primary 
reference to the good of the mother country. 

Beside, colonies demand large expenditures for 
their government and protection, and it is deemed 
right that they should be made to pay liberally for 
these : they are also distant, and if they suffer 
grievances it is difficult for those who are entrench- 
ed in power, to be reached by remonstrance or 
petition. Add to this, that it is usually for the in- 
terest of the agents of the government to misrepre- 
sent the people they govern, so that they may 
extort power from their employers and plunder 
the people by authority. 

Under these circumstances, it is not strange 
that the people of the colonies suffered greatly from 
the oppressions of the home government. They 
however flourished. Their numbers increased, as 
well by natural progress as by emigration. A 
large portion of those who first emigrated were 
well educated, and these laid the foundation for 
general education. The lands became the property 
of those, who cultivated them; and thus a deep 
interest in promoting the real prosperity of the 
country was established in the numerous owners 
of the soil. 

The oppressions of the British government had 
been submitted to by feeble colonists, when they 
could not help themselves ; but they had at length 
become strong, and began to feel that by union they 
could resist with effect. At last, roused by new 
encroachments on their rights, they threw off their 
allegiance, and on the 4th of July, 1776, declared 
themselves free, sovereign, and independent. 


Revolutionary Government of the" United States. 

In the war of the Revolution, thirteen colonies 
united. Let us look at the means by which that 
union was sustained during a period of eight years, 
and in a severe and trying conflict : or, in othei 
words, let us see what was that government under 
which the colonies carried on the revolutionary 
struggle to a successful issue. 

In 1774, Massachusetts recommended the assem- 
bling of a continental Congress at Philadelphia, to 
consist of delegates from all the colonies, to delib- 
erate upon the common good, and to devise suitable 
plans of operation for the exigency of the times. 

Delegates were accordingly chosen in the va- 
rious colonies, some by the legislatures and some 
by conventions of the people. These delegates met 
at Philadelphia on the 20th September, 1774, and, 
constituting the first great national Congress, fur- 
nished an example which afterwards resulted in our 
federal government. 

This body proceeded to adopt certain rules, one 
of the most important of which was, that each 
colony should have but one vote, and this rule was 
observed throughout the revolution. The delegates 
adopted such measures as they deemed necessary, 
and recommended another Congress. This assem- 
bled in May, 1775, and resolving upon war, 
adopted the famous Declaration of Independence* 
on the 4th of July, 1776. This declaration was 
unanimously accepted by the American people, 

 See this admirable document, in the Appendix of this work. 


and thenceforward, separation from the government 
of Great Britain, Iftid national independence, were 
the open and avowed objeote of the revolutionary 
struggle. To carry out this plan, Congress recom- 
mended it to the several colonies to organize state 
governments, which was accordingly done, and 
from this time the delegates to Congress were ap- 
pointed by the state legislatures. 

The continental Congress, thus organized by a 
voluntary union of the states, and delegates being 
successively appointed from time to time, continued 
to be the government of the nation until .near the 
close of the war, when certain articles of confedera- 
tion were adopted. During this period, they as- 
sumed and exercised all necessary powers, acting 
indeed without limit or restraint. There was then 
no constitution to define their powers. They made 
war and peace ; raised armies and equipped navies ; 
formed treaties and alliances ; contracted debts, and 
exercised all the high functions of government. 

It must be admitted that this Congress therefore 
possessed and exercised an arbitrary and despotic 
power ; but it must be considered, that it was a 
revolutionary government, entrusted with the man- 
agement of affairs during an emergency; and 
farther, that the acts of this government were sus- 
tained by the people. 

It was obvious, however, - that this arrangement 
was only temporary, for as soon as one of the 
states should withdraw, the union would be dis- 
solved. After providing for the exigencies of the 
war, Congress, therefore, directed their attention to 
the formation of a system, which should give per- 
manency to a union of the states. 


The Confederation. 

After various discussions, Congress finally 
agreed, in Nov. 1777, upon certain Articles of Con- 
federation^ which were sent to the states for their 
consideration. Various delays and objections 
arose, and it was not till March, 1781, that Mary- 
land, the last state, gave her assent. 

Scarcely had these articles of confederation been 
adopted, before the defects of the system were dis- 
covered. Among the most formidable was this, 
that while Congress had power to adopt various 
measures, it had no effectual means ojf carrying 
them into effect. 

An eminent statesman thus expressed himself 
on this subject : "Congress may make and con- 
clude treaties, but can only recommend the observ- 
ance of them ; they may appoint ambassadors, but 
they cannot defray their expenses. They may bor- 
row money, but they cannot pay a dollar. They 
may coin money, but they cannot import an ounce 
of bullion. They may make war, and determine 
what number of troops are necessary, but they can- 
not raise a single soldier. In short, they may de- 
clare everything, but can do nothing ^ 

Thus it seems that Congress had no power to 
compel the states to an observance of their acts. 
The states might obey or disobey, as they pleased ; 
and, in point of fact, many of the acts of Congress 
under the confederation, were totally unobserved. 

Nor had Congress any power to punish individ- 
uals for any breach of their laws j nor could they 


lay taxesj nor collect revenue ; nor could they reg- 
ulate commerce • and, consequently, the most op- 
posite systems of trade with foreign coimtries 
existed in the different states. 

These and other evils became so apparent, that 
the necessity of change was obvious to all : yet it 
was with great difficulty that the states could be 
induced to adopt the necessary means for an ade- 
quate remedy. [See Appendix. '^ 


Origin of the Constitution. 

In 1786, the legislature of Virginia recommend- 
ed a convention of commissioners from all the 
states, to take into consideration the state of trade. 
In compliance with this suggestion, commissioners 
from five states met at Annapolis, in Maryland, 
in September, 1784. These adopted a report, re- 
commending it to Congress to call a convention 
of delegates from all the states, at Philadelphia, 
in May, 1787. 

Congress adopted this recommendation, and a con- 
vention was held accordingly, all the states, except 
Rhode Island, sending delegates to this body. On 
the 17th September, 1787, the present Constitution 
of the United States was adopted and sent forth to 
the people for their consideration. It was ratified 
by all the states except North Carolina and Rhode 
Island, and went into operation in 1789. 

North Carolina adopted the Constitution in 1789, 
and Rhode Island in 1790. Thus all the thirteen 


States became parties to the Union : and the other 
thirteen have since voluntarily come into the com- 
pact. It now becomes a matter of interest and 
duty, with every American citizen, to study this 
instrument carefully, that he may fully and clearly 
understand that national government, to which he 
looks for the security of many of his dearest rights. 


Preliminary Remarks on tlie Constitntion. 

Before we proceed further, it may be well to 
apprize the young reader of the complicated nature 
of our government. In Great Britain, France, &c., 
the system is simple, and easily understood. The 
laws of the British Parliament operate over the 
whole of England, Ireland and Scotland, and there 
is no interfering power to check or limit their 
force. The laws of the French legislature, in like 
manner, operate over the whole of France. 

But here we have twenty-six states, each being 
a separate and complete republic, with all the 
machinery of government within itself. The Con- 
stitution of the United States is therefore only a 
contract or agreement between these states, in which 
it is stipulated that they all give up to the national 
government certain rights and powers, as set forth 
in that instrument. All rights and powers not 
expressly granted to the national government, are 
reserved to the states. 

The chief powers granted to the national gov- 
ernment, are the making of war and peace ; regu- 
lating commerce; coining moneys; establishing 
post-offices; imposing taxes, and laying duties 


upon foreign merchandise; borrowing money on 
the credit of the United States, &c. These powers 
being granted to Congress, the states cannot exer- 
cise them. 

The Constitution * with Explanatory Remarks. 

317* In this Chapter, the Constitution is printed in Italic. 

We, the people of the United States, in order to form 
a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic 
tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the 
general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to our- 
selves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this 
Constitution of the United States of America. 

The first object of the Constitution, as set forth 
in the preamble, is " to form a more perfect union.''^ 
The necessity of a union of the states, more perfect 
than had before existed, had been taught by expe- 
rience. How could separate states protect them- 
selves from the aggressions of foreign foes 7 How 
could small states sustain themselves against large 
ones — as Rhode Island against New York 7 For 
these and many other considerations, a more per- 
fect union was necessary ; and as this is obtained 
by the Constitution, we ought to cherish it as one of 
the most essential blessings of our social condition. 

* It has been objected to the Constitution that it was not pre- 
ceded by a "Bill of Rights," as is the fact with most of the state 
constitutions. The Declaration of Independence, and the Decla- 
ration of Rights by Congress in 1794, may be regarded as setting 
forth the great principles of liberty, sustained in the Constitution. 
(See Appendix.) 



The second object is to ^^ establish justice.''^ To 
establish justice, is indeed the great object of all 
good government. Without justice there can be 
no true freedom, no secure enjoyment of our rights. 
But how can the Constitution of the United States 
aid in the establishment of justice 7 Do not the 
state courts secure this 7 Not in all cases. Foreign- 
ers could not be secure of justice in the individual 
states ; nor could the citizens of one state be secure 
in another. Experience had taught this, and there- 
fore it became a leading object, in the formation 
of the Constitution, to establish justice on a broad 
and liberal basis, so that all who came within the 
scope of our government might find shelter and 

The next object is "to enstire domestic tran- 
quillity f^ that is, to ensure the states against the 
intrigues of foreign nations; against domestic 
jealousy and commercial rivalry ; against disputes 
and dissensions of all kinds ; against factions and 
insurrections. These are objects of the highest 
consideration, and the necessity of providing some 
means of averting such evils, had been shown by 
the bitter lessons of history. 

The next object is ^Uo provide for the common 
defence^ It has been often remarked, that to 
ensure peace we must be prepared for war. It 
was therefore indispensable that the general gov- 
ernment should have power to levy armies, sus- 
tain a navy, erect fortifications, &c. How could 
these things be done, except by placing them in the 
charge of the national government 7 The separate 
states could not carry on war against foreign 
nations, for any one would be borne down in 
the contest. The only effectual mode of pro- 



viding for the convmon defence^ Was to give up the 
whole matter to the management of the national 

The next object is ^^ to promote the general wel- 
fare.''^ It might be thought that the separate 
state governments could do this ; but they have in 
fact neither the means nor the power. They 
have not the resources; for they cannot conve- 
niently raise the money to carry on war, to sup- 
port navies, to sustain fortifications and garrisons. 
Nor have the separate states the means of en^ 
forcing upon each other that harmony of action, 
which is indispensable, in order to promote the 
general welfare. A particular state must look 
after the particular interests of its people : it is only 
by a general government that the general welfare 
can be secured. 

The last object of the Constitution, as set forth 
in the preamble is, " to secure the blessings of lib- 
erty to us and our posterity.''^ In another part of 
this work I have endeavored to set forth the nature 
of liberty, and the necessity of it to the enjoy- 
ment of life. To obtain its blessings, was the 
great object of the war of the revolution ; to per- 
petuate its blessings, is the great design of the Con- 
stitution; to diffuse its blessings, should be the 
desire of every American citizen. 

We should, however, always bear in mind what 
IS meant by liberty — civil liberty — that liberty 
which is compatible with law. True liberty does 
not give us perfect freedom; it only allows us 
to do, to think, to feel, as we please, so far, and 
so far only, as we do not injure others. We can 
best show our love of liberty, by observing the 
laws, sustaining good government, and doing jus-^ 


tice to our fellow-men. Justice is liberty; injus- 
tice is tyranny. 

The Constitution consists of seven articles, and 
thirteen amendments. The first article relates to 
Congress, to which it assigns all Legislative power : 
the second relates to the President, and vests in 
him the Executive pmaer : the third relates to 
the Judiciary^ and vests in this the Jvdidal power. 
It will therefore be perceived, that here is a distri- 
bution of the several powers of government, as I 
have before stated. 


Sec. I. — All legislative powers herein granted^ shall 
be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall 
consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. 

Here it will be seen that the legislative power is 
wholly vested in Congress, which is to consist of a 
Senate and House of Representatives. 

Sec. II. — 1. The House of Representatives shall be COM' 
posed of members chosen every second year, by the people 
of the several states ; and the electors in each state shall 
have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most 
numerous branch of the state legislature. 

We here notice that the representatives are to 
be chosen by the people, the object being to obtain 
such persons as will represent, or express, the 
views and wishes of the people. Here lies the 
great principle of our liberty. In voting for our 
representatives, we express our wishes as to the 
measures we desire to see adopted by the national 

2. No person shall be a representative who shall not 
have attained the age of twenty-Jive years, and been seven 



years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, 
when elected, be an inhabitant of the state in which he 
shall be chosen. 

This refers to the quaUfications of a representa- 
tive. He must be twenty-five years old, so as to 
ensure maturity of mind and a degree of expe- 
rience ; he must be a citizen of the United States, 
for we could not trust foreigners to make our laws; 
and he must live in the state he is to represent, 
else how can he know the interests, wants, and 
wishes of the people 7 

3. Representatives and direct taxes shall be appor- 
tioned among the several states which may be included 
within this Union, according to their respective numbers, 
which shall be determined by adding to the whole num- 
ber of free persons, including those bound to service for a 
term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three- 
fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration 
shall be made within three years after the first meeting 
of the Congress of the United States, and within every 
subsequent term often years, in such manner as they 
shall by laio direct. The number of representatives shall 
not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each state 
shall have at least one representative : and until such 
enumeration shall be made, the state of New Hampshire 
shall be entitled to choose three ; Massachusetts, eight; 
Rhode Island and Providence PlantatioTis, one ; Con- 
necticut, five; New York, six; New Jersey, four ; 
Pennsylvania, eight; Delaware, one; Maryland, six; 
Virginia, ten; North Carolina, five; South Carolina, 
five ; and Georgia, three. 

This lays down a principle, by which we may 
decide how many representatives a state shall 
have ; and when direct taxes are laid, how much 
each state shall pay. It provides for taking a 




census every two years, and when the population 
of each state is thus ascertained, Congress is to say 
how the representatives shall be apportioned. 

In 1842 J a distribution act was passed, declaring 
that every state should have one representative for 
every seventy thousand six hundred and eighty in- 
habitants; and that in each case, where, after 
dividing the inhabitants by this number, a fraction 
of over one half of the seventy thousand six hun- 
dred and eighty remained, one representative should 
be allowed for that fraction. Accordingly, the fol- 
lowing is the number of representatives to which 
the several states are entitled : 



South Carolina 


New Hampshire 








Rhode Island 












New York 




New Jersey 




















North Carolina 




It will be observed that, in the preceding section, 
persons "bound to service for a term of years," 
are spoken of : by which is meant apprentices, and 
other persons, chiefly foreigners, who had bound 
themselves to service for a series of years, generally 
with a -view to pay their passage. 

We observe, also, in this section, the phrase " all 
other per sons. ^^ By these are meant slaves; and 


it will be perceived, therefore, that three fifths of 
the slaves of the southern states, although they 
do not vote, and are held as property, are still 
counted as forming a basis of representation in 

Thus, by the late census, South Carolina, has 
two hundred and sixty-seven thousand three hun- 
dred and sixty free inhabitants, and three hundred 
and twenty-seven thousand and thirty-eight slaves. 
In fixing the apportionment of representatives, 
three fifths of these slaves, one hundred and ninty- 
six thousand two hundred and twenty-three, are 
added to the whole population, making four hun- 
dred and sixty-three thousand five hundred and 
eighty-three : — this is divided by seventy thousand 
six hundred and eighty, and accordingly South 
Carolina would be entitled to six representatives ; 
but as there is a fraction of thirty-nine thousand 
five hundred and three, she is entitled to another, 
making seven representatives. 

4. When vacancies happen in the representation from 
any state, the executive authority thereof shall issue writs 
of election to fill such vacancies. 

5. The House of Representatives shall choose their 
speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power 
of impeachment. 

By the power of impeachment here is meant 
the right to make a written accusation against the 
president, or any other high officer of government, 
for the purpose of bringing him to trial. This 
trial must take place before the Senate of the 
United States. 

An instance of impeachment took place in 1805, 
against Samuel Chase, one of the judges of the 


Supreme Court of the United States, for misde- 
meanor, in the trial of John Fries for treason. 
He was, however, acquitted. 

Sec. III. — 1. The Seriate 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. 

Here we observe, that senators are chosen, not 
by the people, but by the legislatures of the states ; 
they are not chosen for two years, but for six ; 
they are not apportioned according to population; 
but each state has two. 

It may be asked why two houses are needed in 
the legislature, and the answer is this : that one 
house might be careless or hasty; they might 
combine together for some bad object, and pass 
bad laws. By dividing the legislature into two 
bodies, and making it necessary that every law shall 
be adopted by a majority of each, one becomes a 
check upon the other. In this way, we are more 
secure of obtaining cool, careful and patriotic legis- 

It will be seen that the members of the Senate 
Ijeing elected for six years, and the representatives 
for but two, the former is the more stable and per- 
manent body, while the latter is the more perfect 
expression of the will of the people. 

2. Immediately after they shall be assembled, in cotise- 
quence of the first election, they shall be divided, as 
equally as may be, into three classes. The seats of the 
senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration 
of the second year ; of the second class, at the expiration 
of the fourth year ; and of the third class, at the expird' 
tion of the sixth year ; so that one-third may be chosen 


every secotid year ; and if vacancies happen^ by resig- 
nation or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature 
of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary 
appointments until the next meeting of the legislature^ 
which shall then fill such vacancies. 

It will be remarked that provision is here made 
for gradually changing the whole body of the 
Senate. Thus, while a large portion are retained, 
for several years, so as to have many experienced 
persons among them, they may be entirely changed 
every six years, so as to prevent their combining 
together for any sinister purposes. 

3. No person shall be a senator who shall not have 
attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years 
a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when 
elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall 
be chosen. 

4. The vice-president of the United States shall be 
president of the senate, but shall have no vote, unless they 
be equally divided. 

5. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also 
a president pro tempore, in the absence of the vice-presi- 
dent, or when he shall exercise the office of president of 
the United States. 

6. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all im- 
peachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall 
be on oath or affirmation. When the president of the 
United States is tried the chief justice shall preside ; and 
no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of 
two-thirds of the members present. 

7. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend 
farther than to removal from office, and disqualification 
to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit^ 
under the United States ; but the party convicted shall^ 
nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment^ trials 
judgment, and punishment according to law. 



Sect. IV. — 1. The times, places, and manner of hold- 
ing 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 

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every 
year ; and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in 
December, unless they shall by law appoint a different 

Sect. V. — 1. Each house shall be judge of the elec' 
tions, returns, and qualifications of its own members ; 
and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do 
business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day 
to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance 
of absent members, in such manner, and under su^h 
penalties, as each house may provide. 

2. Each house may determine the rules of its proceed- 
ings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, 
with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. 

3. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, 
and from time to time publish the same, excepting such 
parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy ; and 
the yeas and Tiays of the members of either house, on any 
question, shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, 
he entered on the jourtwl. 

4. Neither house, during the session of Congress, shall, 
without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than 
three days, nor to any other place than that in which the 
two houses shall be sitting. 

Sect. VI. — 1. The senators and representatives shall 
receive a compensation for their services, to be ascer- 
tained by laio, and paid out of the treasury of the United 
States. They shall, in all cases, except treason, felony, 
and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during 
their attendance at the session of their respective houses, 
and in going to and returning from the same; and for 


any speech or debate in either house, they shall not be 
questioned in any other place. 

The importance of having a member of Congress 
free from arrest, during the session, is obvious ; for 
if he could be arrested, he might be kept away, 
when his single vote would decide the most moment- 
ous questions. It is important, too, that members 
should be permitted to speak freely, without fear 
of consequences, else they might be overawed, 
and truths, essential to the public welfare, might 
be suppressed. 

2. No senator or representative shall, during the time 
for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office 
under the authority of the United States, which shall 
have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have 
been increased, during such time ; and no person hold- 
ing any office under the United States, shall be a inember 
of either house during his continuance in office. 

The- propriety of these restrictions is obvious; 
for if a senator or representative could hold an 
office under the general government, they might 
thus be effectually bribed by the Executive : and 
if they could be appointed to offices created, or the 
emoluments of which were increased during their 
term, they might legislate with a corrupt view to 
the obtaining of such places for themselves. 

Sec. VII. — 1. All bills for raising revenue shall orig- 
inate in the House of Representatives ; but the Senate 
may propose or concur with ame^idments, as on other 

As the people pay the taxes, it is a wise and just 
provision that all bills which are designed to raise 
money from the people, for the support of govern- 
ment, should originate with the popular branch of 


the legislative body, and which is understood, 
more particularly, to represent the people. 

2. Every bill, lohich shall have passed the House of 
Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a 
law, be presented to the president of the United States : if 
he approves, he shall sign it ; but if not, he shall return 
it with his objections to that house in luhich it shall have 
originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their 
journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such re- 
consideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to 
pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections^ 
to the other house, by which it shall likewise be recorisid- 
ered; and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall 
become a law. But in all such cases, the votes of both 
houses shall be determined by yeas and nays ; and the 
naTnes of the persons voting for and against the bill shall 
be entered on the journal of each hou^e respectively. If 
any bill shall not be returned by the president within ten 
days ( Sundays excepted) after it shall have been present- 
ed to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if 
Ac had signed it, unless the Congress, by their adjourn' 
ment, prevent its return ; in which case, it shall not be a 

This passage gives the president the power to 
stop the passage of any bill passed by both houses, 
by sending it back to the house in which it origin- 
ated, with his objections. This is called a vetOj 
which is a Latin word signifying I prohibit. The 
king of England has a veto power, but it has not 
been resorted to in modem times. The king of 
France had also a veto power, but when he used 
it, during the revolution, it created a resentment 
which hurled him from the throne. The veto be- 
longs to several European governments 


This power has been frequently used of late, by 
the presidents of the United States. If a president 
vetoes a bill, it still becomes a law, if two thirds 
of both houses of Congress vote for it, after its 
return. A bill becomes a law without the signa- 
ture of the president, if he does not return it in 
' ten days, Sundays excepted. 

3. Every order, resolution, or vote, to which the con- 
currence of the Senate and House of Representatives 
may be necessary, {except on a question of adjournment,) 
shall be presented to the president of the United States ; 
and, before the same shall take effect, shall be approved 
by him, or, being disapproved by him, shall be repassed 
by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representa- 
tives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed 
in the case of a bill. 

Sect. VIII. — The Congress shall have power — 

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and eX' 
cises ; to pay the debts, and provide for the common 
defence and general welfare of the United States ; but all 
duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout 
the United States : 

2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States: 

3. To regulate commerce loith foreign nutions, and 
among the several states, and ivith the Indian tribes : 

4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and 
uniform laws 07i the subject of banhruptcies, throughout 
the United States : 

5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of 
foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and meas- 
ures : 

6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting 
the securities and current coin of the United States : 

7. To establish post-offices and post-roads : 

8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts 
hy securing, for limited times, to authors and inventors, 



the excltisive right to their respective writings and dis- 
coveries : 

9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme 
Court : to define and punish piracies and felonies com- 
mitted on the high seas, and offences against the law of 
nations : 

10. To declare war, grant letters of marque and re- 
prisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and 

11. To raise and support armies; but no appropria- 
tion of money to that -use shall be for a longer term than 
two years : 

12. To provide and maintain a navy : 

13. To make rules for the government and regulation 
of the land and naval forces : 

14. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute 
the laws of the Union, to suppress insurrections, and repel 
invasions : 

15. To provide for organizing, arming, and disci- 
plining the militia, and for governing such parts of them 
as may be employed in the service of the United States ; 
reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the 
officers, and the authority of training the militia, accord- 
ing to the discipline prescribed by Congress. 

16. To exercise exclu^ve legislation, in all cases what- 
soever, over siLch district {not exceeding te7i miles square) 
as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance 
of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United 
States, and to exercise like authority over all places pur- 
chased by the consent of the legislature of the state in 
which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, maga- 
zines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings : 
— And, 

17. To make all laws which shall be necessary and 
proper, for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, 
and all other potoers vested by this Constitution in the 
government of the United States, or in any department 
or ojicer thereof. 


This important paragraph prescribes the powers 
of Congress. In the jfirst place it authorizes them 
to " lay and collect taxes ^ duties, imposts, and exd' 
ses.^' Taxes are laid upon property, as houses, 
lands, income, &c. Duties or imposts are levied 
upon foreign goods, imported into the country. To 
i^ecure and collect these, custom houses are estab- 
lished, where vessels are obliged to be entered, and 
where a careful examination of the goods takes 
place, so as to see that the duties are properly laid 
and levied. 

The chief revenue of the government of the 
United States is derived from duties laid on foreign 
goods : there has been a resort to direct taxation, 
only during war, or in anticipation of it. The 
separate states generally derive their revenues from 
direct taxes on houses, lands, money, stocks, and 
sometimes upon a man's income. 

As the government needs money for its support, 
it is the duty of every one cheerfully to pay his 
taxes, provided they are properly assessed ; but as 
taxes are a burthen upon the labor of a country, 
a wise people will endeavor always to see that 
they are as light as possible, whether levied in 
the shape of direct taxes or duties upon imported 

Congress may ^'- regidate commerce with foreign 
nations, and among the several states, and with the 
Indian tribes.''^ These few words convey a vast 
trust. It takes from the several states, the power of 
regulating trade and commercial intercourse, and 
gives it up wholly to Congress. 

It gives to Congress the control of trade and 
navigation with the states — such as the coasting 
trade and fisheries; the government of seamen 



on board American ships; the enacting of pilot 
laws, quarantine laws, and laws respecting wrecks 
at sea, <fcc. It gives the power of laying embar- 
goes, building light-houses, placing of buoys and 
beacons; removal of obstructions in rivers and 
bays, 6oc. 

The other powers conferred on Congress are 
so clearly stated as hardly to need exposition. It 
may be well, however, to say that the power " to 
exercise exclusive legislation over such district {not 
exceeding ten miles square) as may become the seat 
of government of the United States, ^^ has relation to 
the District of Columbia. When the Constitution 
first went into operation, New York, and after- 
wards Philadelphia, was the seat of the general 

But it appears that when the Constitution was 
adopted, it was had in contemplation to remove to 
some other district ; and therefore this provisional 
article was introduced. The District of Columbia, 
which is now under the government of Congress, 
(Washington having become the seat of government 
in 1800,) is ten miles square, and was ceded to the 
United States by Virginia and Maryland, to which 
it belonged. 

Sect. IX. — 1. The migration or importation of such 
persons as any of the states now existing shall think 
proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress 
prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight ; 
hut a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not 
exceeding ten dollars for each person. 

As the '^^ power of regulating corrvm&rce^'* given 
to Congress, was understood to enable that body to 
prohibit the foreign slave trade, this article Was in- 


troduced to prevent such an act, before the year 
1808. As soon as this restriction was at an end, 
Congress proceeded to abolish the foreign slave 
trade, thus affording the first example of its inter- 
diction in modern times. 

2. The privilege of the writ of habeas corjms shall not 
be suspended, unless tohen, in cases of rebellion or inva- 
sion, the public safety may require it. 

^^ Habeas corpus^ ^ is a kind of writ, known to 
the common law, and is used when a person is im- 
prisoned, to ascertain whether the imprisonment is 
lawful or not. In despotic and ill-governed coun- 
tries, it often happens that a person is taken up and 
put in prison, where he may lie for months or years 
without a trial, and as the case may be, without 
any sufficient cause. This writ of ' ' habeas corpus''^ 
enables the person imprisoned to have the body {ha- 
beas corpus, meaning, have the body) brought before 
the judge, and if the cause is insufficient, he is set 
at liberty. This writ of habeas corpus is therefore 
a great safeguard to personal liberty, and its preser- 
vation is a matter of the greatest importance. 

3. No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be 

A ^^bill of attainder ^^ is an act passed by the 
legislature, convicting a person of some crime, and 
inflicting the punishment of death, without trial. 
It is a power in which the greatest tyranny has been 
exercised in foreign countries, and its prohibition 
is, therefore, in the highest degree, proper. 

An "eo: post facto^^ law is one which is passed 
after the act is done ; it is a law which operates 
upon the past, and generally applies to public 
offences. If Congress could pass an ex post facto 


law, they could make any acts criminal which 
have heretofore been lawful, and thus inflict the 
greatest cruelty and injustice. 

4. No capitation, or other direct tax shall be laid, 
unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein 
before directed to be taken. 

5. No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported 
from any state. No preference shall be given by any 
regulation of commerce or revenue, to the ports of one 
state over those of another ; nor shall vessels bound to or 
from one state be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties 
in another. 

6. No money shall be dravmfrom the treasury, but in 
consequence of appropriations made by law ; and a regu- 
lar statement and account of the receipts and expendi- 
tures of all public money shall be published from time to 

These restrictions upon the disbursement of pub- 
lic moneys, and regulations respecting the public 
accounts, are indispensable, in order to prevent the 
misapplication of funds, and to make all public of- 
ficers feel that their conduct, in these matters, must 
undergo a careful scrutiny. If it were not for this 
first provision, the president of the United States 
would have no check upon the expenditures of 
public money. This stipulation renders him, in 
respect to money, dependent upon the people's 

7. No title of nobility shall be granted by the United 
States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust 
under them, shall, without the consent of Congress, ac- 
cept of any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind 
whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state. 

This passage prohibits titles of nobility, which 
lay a foundation for unequal ranks and privi- 


leges ; and prohibits public officers from receiving 
presents from foreign powers, by which means, as 
history teaches us, so many persons have been 
bribed to betray their country. 

Sect. X. — 1. No state shall enter into any treaty, alli- 
ance, or confederation ; grant letters of marque and re- 
prisal ; coin money, emit bills of credit ; make anything 
but gold and silver coin a tender iii payment of debts ; 
pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or laio im- 
pairing the obligation of contracts; or grant any title 
of 7iobility. , 

2. No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay 
any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what 
may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection 
laws ; and the net produce of all duties and imposts laid 
by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of 
the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall 
be subject to the revision and control of the Congress. 
No state shall, loithout the consent of Congress, lay any 
dzity on tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of 
peace, enter into any agreement or compact ivith another 
~ state, or with a foreign power, or engage in loar, unless 
actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not 
admit of delay. 

This important section lays various restrictions 
upon the states. The " bills of crediV referred to 
were a well known denomination of paper money, 
issued by the colonies before the revolution, and at 
a later period by the states. As there were no suf- 
ficient funds to meet them, they depreciated, so that 
sometimes a thousand dollars in paper passed lor 
one of silver. The evils that flowed from this 
source were of the most aggravated kind; and 
therefore we see the wisdom of providing against 
this fruitful cause of mischief. 



We shall see that this article relates to the 
Executive branch of the government. 

Sect. I. — 1. The executive power shall be vested in a 
President of the United States of America. He shall 
hold his office during the term of four years, and, togeth- 
er with the Vice-President, chosen for the same term, be 
elected as follows : 

2. Each state shall appoint, in such a manner as the 
legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal 
to the tohole number of senators and representatives to 
which the state may be entitled in the Congress ; but no 
senator or representative, or person holding an office of 
trust or profit under the United States, shall be ap- 
pointed an elector. 

[A paragraph is here cancelled, Article XII. of 
the Amendments being substituted for it, which 

4. The Congress may determine the time of choosing 
the electors, and the day on which they shall give their 
votes ; which day shall be the same throughout the United 

5. No person except a natural born citizen, or a citi- 
zen of the United States at the time of the adoption of 
this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of presi- 
dent ; neither shall any person be eligible to that office 
who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, 
and been fourteen years a resident within the United 

• 6. 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 shall devolve 
on the Vice-President ; and the Congress may by law 
protidefor the case of removal, death, resignation, or in- 
ability, both of the President and Vice-President, declar- 


tng what officer shall then act as President ; and such 
officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be remov- 
ed, or a President shall be elected. 

No President has died while in office, except 
Harrison. He took the oath of office March 4, 
1841, and died in a month after. John Tyler, 
then Vice-President, succeeded to the office of Pre- 
sident, assuming all the powers and functions of the 
station, as if he had been directly elected President. 

7. The President shall, at stated times, receive for his 
services a compensation which shall neither be increased 
nor diminished during the period for which he shall have 
been elected ; and he shall not receive, within that period^ 
any other emolument from the United States, or any of 

8. Before he enter on the execution of his ofjice, he shall 
take the following oath or affirmation : 

9. " 7 f^o solemnly swear \or affirm'] that I will faith- 
fully execute the office of President of the United States, 
and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and 
defend the Constitution of the United States." 

The salary of the president is fixed at twenty- 
five thousand dollars a year, as before stated. 

Sect. II. — 1. The President shall be commander-in- 
chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of 
the militia of the several states, when called into the ac- 
tual service oftheUnited States ; he may require the opin- 
ion in loriting of the principal officer in each of the 
executive departments, upon any subject relating to the 
duties of their respective offices ; and he shall have power 
to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the 
United States, except in cases of impeachment. 

2. He shall have power, by and with the advice and 
consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two 
thirds of the senators present concur ; and he shall nom- 
17 13 


inate^ and by and with the advice and consent of the Sen- 
ate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers, and 
consuls, judges of the supreme court, arid all other officers 
of the United States, whose appointments are not hereiji 
otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by 
law. But the Congress may by law vest the appointment 
of such inferior officers as they think proper in the presi- 
dent alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of de- 

3. The President shall have power to fill up all vacan- 
cies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by 
granting commissions which shall expire at the end of 
their next session. 

The power of appointing or nominating to office, 
is one of the greatest means of influence possess- 
ed by the executive. The number of persons in 
the employ of the general government is many 
thousands : it is said there are nearly ten thousand 
postmasters, alone. It is obvious that the individ- 
ual who has in his control so many places of trust 
and emolument, has a patronage which he may 
exert to his own political advantage, if he so chooses. 

It must be considered, however, that there is 
always a tide of opposition, created by those ovt of 
office, £igainst those who are in ; so that it seems 
necessary that an administration should possess 
some means of resisting this outward force. The 
patronage of the government is therefore perhaps 
no more than a necessary and proper power, by 
which the government resists the shock of opposi- 
tion. It is only when corruptly used that it is to 
be feared. 

Sect. III. — 1. He shall from time to time give Congress 
information of the state of the Union, and recommend to 
their consideration such measures as he shall judge ne- 


cessary and expedient ; he may, on extraordiyiary occa- 
sions, convene both houses, or either of them ; and in case 
of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of 
adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he 
shall think proper ; he shall receive ambassadors and 
other public ministers ; he shall take care that the laws 
be faithfully executed ; and shall commission all the offi- 
cers of the United States. 

When Congress come together, the president 
sends them a message, in comphance with this 
section, setting forth his views of pubhc affairs: 
and from time to time, he sends them special mes- 
sages, relating to such topics as he deems worthy 
of special attention. 

Sect. IV. — 1. The President, Vice-President, and all 
civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from 
office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treasont 
bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. 


This article relates to the Courts^ or Judiciary^ 
of the United States. 

Sect. I. — The judicial power of the United States 
shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such infe- 
rior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain 
and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and in- 
ferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behav' 
ior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services 
a compensation which shall not be diminished during 
their continuance in office. 

Sect. II. — 1. The judicial power shall extend to all 
cases in law and equity, arising under this Constitution^ 
the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which 
shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting 
ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls ; to aU 


oases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to con- 
troversies to which the United States shall be a party ; to 
controversies between two or more states; between a state 
and citizens of another state; between citizens of different 
states; between citizens of the same state claiming lands 
under grants of different states; and between a state or the 
citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects. 

2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other pttblic min' 
isters, and consuls, and those in ivhich a state shall be a 
party, the supreme court shall have original jurisdiction. 
In all the other cases before mentioned, the supreme court 
shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law a7idfactf 
with such exceptions, and under tuck regulations^ as the 
Congress shall make. 

By ^'^ original jurisdiction,''^ it is meant that the 
suit may be brought at oncfe before the United 
States court; by '•^appellate jurisdiction,^^ it is 
meant that cases begun in the state courts may be 
brought, by appeal, before the United States court. 

3. The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeach' 
ment, shall be by jury ; and such trial shaU be held v/v- the 
state where the said crimes shall have been committed ; but 
when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at 
such place or places as the Congress may by law have 

Two important points are herer secured; the 
^^ trial by jury^^ in criminal cases; and a trial in 
the state where the crime is said to be committed. 

We have already spoken of the trial by jury, as 
originating in England, and being one of the rights 
secured by Magna Charta. Its design is to 
obtain a trial by one's ^^peers^^ or equals; and not 
to be tried by a class of persons who are likely to 
feel no sympathy with the accused. It is esteemed 
OBje of thfr great bulwarks of human liberty. 


Sect. III. — 1. Treason against the United States shall 
consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering 
to their enemies., giving them aid and comfort. No per- 
son shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony 
of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in 
open court. 

' 2. The Co7igress shall have power to declare the pun- 
ishment of treason ; but no attainder of treason shall 
work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the 
life of the person attainted. 

In England, treason is defined to be any overt 
act which has for its tendency or object the death 
of the king. Levying war against the king ; wri- 
tings which import his death; rebelhon; inciting 
foreigners to invade the kingdom ; openly adhering 
to the king's enemies, are all acts of treason. 

The Constitution defines acts of treason against 
the United States, "to consist in levying war 
against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giv- 
ing them aid and comfort." Treason is gener- 
ally deemed the highest crime against civil society, 
and its aim being to overthrow the government, it 
is apt to excite the fiercest resentment of the com- 
munity. History furnishes abundant evidence of 
this, especially in England, where the existing law 
in respect to this crime, still punishes the offender 
by drawing him on a hurdle to the place of execu- 
tion : he is then hanged, his head cut ofi", and his 
body divided into four quarters. The king, how- 
ever, may dispense with these savage accessories 
to the execution. 

So many persons have, in former times, been ar- 
rested and executed on vague charges of treason, 
that it became important to define it very carefully, 
and to require adequate evidence of the fact. If it 


were not clearly defined, or if precise testimony 
were not required, it would be easy for judges, 
under the influence of the government, or incited 
by corrupt and selfish motives, to make treason of 
inferior crimes, and the natural jealousy of the 
community might bear them out. Congress, hav- 
ing the power to fix the punishment of treason. 
Have enacted that it shall be by hanging, without 
the horrid accompaniments adopted in other coun- 

The clause may need explanation, which says 
*• hut no attainder of treason^ shall work corruption 
of bloody or forfeiture, except during the life of the 
person attainted.^'' Attainder, in its original feudal 
sense, was a fiction of the law, tainting and cor- 
rupting the blood, and descending to several gen- 
erations, so as to disqualify them from holding 
property. A person attainted of treason, that is, 
accused and convicted of treason, in England, not 
only forfeited his estate, but he was held inca- 
pable of having legal heirs, and his property re- 
verted to the king. 

As great tyranny and injustice had often been 
inflicted by attainders, in England, our wise 
fathers here provided that no attainder or convic- 
tion of treason, should work corruption of blood : 
that is aflfect the right of holding property, beyond 
the criminal himself 

There have been several trials in the United 
States for treason : but one of the most celebrated 
cases was that of Aaron Buir, a lawyer of New 
York, of great ability, and elected Vice-President 
of the United States in 1801. Having fought a 
duel and killed his antagonist, the famous Alexan- 
der Hamilton, he became a desperate man, and en- 


gaged in certain schemes for seizing upon New Or- 
leans and portions of the adjacent country then 
belonging to Spain, and founding an empire there. 

He proceeded in the prosecution of his plans, 
and had already involved various individuals in 
them, when he was arrested and brought to trial 
before the Supreme Court of the United States, at 
Washington. This took place in 1806. The trial 
was one of the most interesting that has ever oc- 
curred in the country. 

It was on this occasion that William Wirt, the 
attorney for the United States, made the famous 
plea, in which he describes so beautifully the ar- 
rival of Burr in the enchanting island of Blanner- 
hasset — where he converts an earthly paradise into 
a scene of misery, as the serpent of Eden made 
that blissful garden the scene of our first parents' 

Though there could be no doubt of the criminal 
intentions of Burr, the proof of any overt act of 
treason was wanting, and he was acquitted. He 
soon after left this country, a disgraced and 
despised man. In his old age he returned, and 
living obscurely in New York for a few years, he 
died in 1837, a melancholy witness to the fact, that 
great talents only injure the possessor and man- 
kind, if not regulated by moral principle. ;,,^ 

Sect. I. — Full faith and credit shall be given, in each 
state, to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings 
of every other state : and the Congress may, by general 
laws, prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, 
and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof. 

Sect. II. — ^1. The citizens of each state shall be enti- 
tled to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the 
several states. 


2. A person charged in any state with treason, felony, 
or other crime, who shall Jlee from justice, and be found 
in another state, shall, on demand of the executive author- 
ity of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be 
removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. 

3. No person held to service or labor in one state, under 
the laios thereof, escaping into another, shall, in conse- 
quence of any law or regulatio?i therein, be discharged 
from such service or labor ; but shall be delivered up, on 
claim of the party to ivhom such service or labor may be 

By ^^ person held to service,^ ^ is here meant a 
slave ; and the provision is intended to enable the 
masters of slaves to recover them, if they escape 
into other states. 

Sect, III. — 1. New states may be admitted by the 
Congress into this Union ; but no new state shall be form- 
ed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state, 
nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more 
states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legis- 
latures of the states concerned, as well as of the Congress. 

2. The Congress shall have power to dispose of and 
make all needful rules and regulations respecting the ter- 
ritory or other property belonging to the United States; 
and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as 
to prejudice any claivu of the United States, or of any 
particular state. 

By virtue of this last passage, our territorial 
governments have been established. Those exist- 
ing at present, are Florida, lov/a, and Wisconsin. 
The basis of these territorial governments was laid 
in an admirable ordinance, framed by Nathan 
Dane, of Beverly, Massachusetts, and adopted by 
the Continental Congress in 1787. 

tH* Cbl^STiTUTION. 201 

This ordinance has been modified by Congress 
ftotti time to time, to suit the varying condition of 
the territories. Each of them has now a governor, 
appointed by the president, and a legislature, con- 
sisting of representatives chosen by the people, 
who make laws, appoint magistrates, &c. 

This legislature appoints one delegate to the 
House of Representatives at Washington, who may 
debate questions, but cannot vote. When a terri- 
tory has a population equal to the number requir- 
ed by the apportionment of representatives among 
the states for one representative, it may, on adopt- 
ing a republican form of government, be admitted 
into the Union, by act of Congress. 

It is thus that several of the states, once having 
been under territorial government, have become 
members of the Union. Ohio was admitted in 
1802; Indiana in 1816; Illinois in 1818; Missis- 
sippi in 1817; Alabama in 1819; Missouri in 1820; 
Michigan in 1836 ; Louisiana in 1812 ; Arkansas 
in 1836. All these were once subject to territo- 
rial government. 

Sect. IV. — The United States shall guaranty to every 
state in this Union a republican form of government, and 
shall protect each of them against invasion; and on ap' 
plication of the legislature, or of the executive^ {when the 
legislature cannot be convemd,) against domestic vio- 

It was by virtue of this section that Rhode 
Island, in 1842, called upon the President for aid 
in suppressing the "Dorr Insurrection," which then 
took place. 


The Coftgreis, whenever two thirds of both houses 
shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this 


Constitution; or, on the application of the legislatures of 
tiuo thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for 
proposing amendments ; which, in either case, shall be 
valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of this Consti' 
tution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths 
of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths 
thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may 
be proposed by the Congress: provided, that no amendment 
which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight 
hundred and eight, shall, in any manner, affect the first 
and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first arti- 
cle ; and that rw state, without its consent, shall be de- 
prived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. 

It is by virtue of this provision, that several 
amendments to the Constitution were adopted soon 
after its acceptance by the people. No amend- 
ments have been adopted for many years. 

1. All debts contracted, and engagements entered into, 
before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid 
against the United States, under this Constitution, as 
under the confederation. 

2. This Constitution, and the laws of the United States 
which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties 
made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the 
United States, shall be the supreme law of the land ; and. 
the judges in every state shall be bound thereby ; any' 
thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the con^ 
trary notwithstanding. 

3. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, 
and the members of the several state legislatures, and all 
executive and judicial offijcers, both of the United States 
and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affir- 
mation to support this Constitution: but no religious test 
shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or 
public trust under the United States. 

"the constitution. 203 

The provision here that "wo religious test shall 
ever be required as a qualification, to any office^'' is 
designed to prevent the ascendancy of any religious 
sect, in the government, and the persecution of an 
individual for his religious opinions. In other 
countries, as England, France, &c., it has fre- 
quently happened that persons entertaining certain 
religious notions, have been entirely excluded from 
all offices of trust and profit. Until a very recent 
period. Catholics have been held ineligible to 
office in England; but this restriction is now 


The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall 
be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution be- 
tween the states so ratifying the same. 

It has been already stated that when the Consti- 
tution was presented to the people for their accept- 
ance, it was immediately ratified by all the thirteen 
states, except North Carolina and Rhode Island. 
This made eleven states, two more than required 
by this provision. 

Measures were taken in 1788 by Congress, as 
soon as it was ascertained that the requisite num- 
ber of states had accepted the Constitution, to carry 
it into effect. An election was ordered, and Wed- 
nesday, the 18th of March, 1789, was the time 
appointed for commencing proceedings under the 

The members of Congress assembled accord- 
ingly at New York, then the seat of government, 
but a quorum for transacting business did not 
arrive till the 6th of April. On counting the votes 
for President, it was found that George Washing- 


ton was unanimously elected President, and John 
Adams was elected Vice President. 

Since that period, the following persons have 
held the office of President : 

John Adams of Massachusetts, 1797 to 1801. 

Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, 1801 to 1809. 

James Madison of do. 1809 to 1817. 

James Monroe of do. 1817 to 1825. 

John Quincy Adams of Mass. 1825 to 1829. 

Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, 1829 to 1837. 

Martin Van Buren of New York, 1837 to 1841. 

William Henry Harrison of Ohio, 1841 

John Tyler of Virginia, (Vice 
President, succeeded to the 
presidency, on the death of 


Articles in addition to and amendment of the 

Art. I. — Congress shall make no laio respecting an 
establishment of religion, or prohibitiyig the free exercise 
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech^ or of the 
press; or the right of the people peaceably to asf^mble and 
to petition the government for a redress of grievaTices. 

This is a most important provision : it secures 
us against a ^^uiiion of church and state ^^^ which 
has been one of the great evils of foreign govern- 
ments. When government has undertaken to es- 
tablish a particular religion, it has patronised only 
those who adopted its creed, and it has always per- 
secuted those who differed from it. Thus freedom 


of religious opinion, or religious toleration, is in- 
compatible with the union of church and state. 

Even in England, where a church is established 
and supported by the government, those who do 
not belong to this church, are, however, taxed to 
support it. They are therefore compelled to aid 
in propagating and promoting a religious faith, 
which they believe to be erroneous. It is to pre- 
vent such tyranny, that the clause we are noticing, 
is introduced. 

^^ Freedom of speech''^ and ^^ freedom of the press j'^ 
are also among the most essential safeguards of 
liberty. If men may speak freely, and if they 
may freely publish their opinions, it is likely that 
the abuses of government will be exposed, and the 
people put on their guard against those who might 
plot their ruin. 

Most governments of Europe, have, at various 
periods, put restraints upon the freedom of speech, 
and the freedom of the press ; and even now, there 
are few foreign countries in which entire liberty is 
enjoyed in these respects. Despotism fears the 
truth; it shrinks from discussion; it therefore 
dreads freedom of speech and the press. But a 
free government, like ours, instituted by the people, 
and designed for the benefit of the people, can have 
no inducement, so long as it is administered ac- 
cording to its true intent, to hide the truth or inter- 
rupt discussion. 

The right of the people, peaceably to assemble^ in 
order to discuss public topics, and express their 
v/ishes upon public affairs, is a great right, and one 
that ought never to be impaired. It is by assem- 
blies of the people, in masses, that rulers are made 


to feel the people's power, and are taught the 
necessity of regarding their wishes. 

The ^^ right of petition^ ^ is essential to liberty. 
What more decided mark of humiliating slavery 
could be furnished, than a condition which deprives 
men of the right of laying their wants and wishes, 
their prayers and petitions, before their rulers? 
Seldom has any king, or despot, denied this right 
to his subjects. It is one of the most universal of 
human rights, and would exist, even if not secured 
by this provision of the Constitution. 

The right to petition, carries with it an obligation 
on the part of the petitioned, to hear and consider the 
prayer. The mere right to pray, without being lis- 
tened to, is mockery. As well might a petition be 
addressed to the stones or the trees, as to human 
beings, if there were no obligation to hear and con- 
sider the prayer. Congress are therefore bound to 
hear and consider every reasonable and respectful 
petition which is presented to them. 

Art. II. — A well regulated militia being necessary to 
the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep 
and bear arms shall not be infringed. 

In some despotic countries, the people have been 
denied the privilege of having guns and other 
weapons in their possession, because the govern- 
ment feared the people, and therefore deemed it 
necessary to keep these means of warfare out of 
their hands. Our popular government can have 
no such fear. 

Art. III. — No soldier shall, in time of peace, be guar- 
tered in any house, without the consent of the owner ; nor 
in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. 


The quartering of troops on the people, has been 
one of the common acts of tyranny inflicted by 
monarchical governments. 

Art. IV. — The right of the people to be secure in their 
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable 
searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no war- 
rants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by 
oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place 
to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. 

This provision is important, for it has frequently 
happened, in former times, that a despotic ruler has 
sent his officers into a man's house, and seized his 
papers ; and these have been used to convict him 
of treason or other crimes. In order to the enjoy- 
ment of liberty ; in order that every man may feel 
safe, it is indispensable that barriers against such 
acts of tyranny should be established. 

Art. — V. — No person shall be held to answer for a 
capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a present- 
ment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases aris- 
ing in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when in 
actual service, in time of war or public danger ; nor shall 
any person be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put 
in jeopardy of life or limb ; nor be deprived of life, lib- 
erty, or property, without due process of law ; nor shall 
be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against 
himself; nor shall private property be taken for public 
tise, without just compensatio7i. 

These provisions are essential, and we cannot 
too much commend the wisdom that established 
them; nor ought we to fail to rejoice that such 
safeguards to our liberty are provided. In reading 
the history of other countries, we shall see how 
much humanity has suffered for the want of such 


f)rovisions ; and we shall have renewed occasion to 
ove and cherish that Constitution which affords 
the weak, as well as the strong, such protection 
against the encroachments of power. 

Art. VI. — In all criminal prosecutions, the accused 
shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an 
impartial jury of the state and district loherein the crime 
shall have been committed, which district shall have been 
previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the 
nature and cau^e of the accusation ; to be confronted with 
the witnesses against him ; to have compulsory process for 
obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assist- 
ance of counsel for his defence. 

In Article III., Section 2, the right of trial by 
jury, in criminal cases, is secured in the courts of 
the (Jnited States : here this privilege is more care- 
fully guarded. The trial is to be speedy, so that 
the accused need not remain in prison, as has often 
been the case. The trial is also to take place in 
the district where the alleged crime was committed 
— for it would be unjust to take the criminal to a 
distant place for trial, where the means of evidence 
were not likely to be at hand. 

He is also to be fully informed of the nature of 
the charge against him, so that he may have the 
opportunity of refuting it : he is to be confronted 
with the witnesses against him, so that he may 
question them ; he is to have the power of compel- 
ling witnesses in his favor to appear ; and is to have 
the assistance of counsel for his defence. 

All these provisions show how careful is our 
admirable Constitution to guard the rights of the 
people: even a man charged with crimes of the 
deepest dye, is still to enjoy all the means that 
human wisdom can devise, to obtain his discharge 
if he be innocent. 


Art. VII. — In suits at common law, ivhere the value 
in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of 
trial by jury shall be preserved ; and no fact tried by a 
jury shall be otheriuise "re-examined in any court of the 
United States, than according to the rules of the com- 
mon law. 

' Here the trial by jury is secured, even in cases 
not criminal, and where property only is concern- 
ed : this extends merely to courts of the United 

In England, ^^ common law^^ means that law 
which is recognised by the courts, and founded in 
custom, and not upon any positive enactments of 
parliament. We have also our ''common law," 
founded in custom and common sense, and the set- 
tled practice of the English courts : yet not to be 
found in any acts of legislatures. 

Art. Vin. — Excessive bail shall not be required, nor 
excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punish- 
ments inflicted. 

Bail is setting a person, arrested or imprisoned, at 
liberty, on his giving security for his re-appear- 
ance. This security consists in a bond signed by 
responsible persons, in which they engage to pay 
a stipulated sum, if the person is not forthcoming 
at the specified time. In this amendment it is pro- 
vided that the amount in the bail-bond shall be 
reasonable ; for if excessive bail could be required, 
a person arrested, might, through the malice of 
parties, or the malevolence of officers, be wrong- 
fully kept in prison. 

Art. IX. — The enumeration in the Constitution of 
certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage 
others retained by the people. 

Art. X. — The powers not delegated to the United 
IS* 14 


States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the 
states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the 

This is a very significant provision ; it declares 
that all powers not given up to Congress, belong to 
the people of the several states. 

Art. XI. — The judicial power of the United States 
shall not be constrzied 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 sub- 
jects of any foreign state. 

Art. XII. — 1. The electors shall meet in their respec- 
tive states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice- 
President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabi- 
tant of the same state with themselves ; they shall name, 
in their ballots, the person voted for as President, and in 
distinct ballots the person voted for asVice-President ; and 
they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as 
President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President ^ 
and of the number of votes for each, which list they shall 
sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of gov- 
ernment of the United States, directed to the president of 
the Senate ; the president of the Senate shall, in the pres- 
ence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all 
the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted : the 
person having the greatest number of votes for President 
shall be the President, if such number be a majority of 
the whole number of electors appointed; and if no person 
have such majority, then from the persons having the 
highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those 
voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall 
choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in 
choosing the President, the vote shall be taken by states, 
the representation from each state having one vote : a 
quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or mem- 
bers from two thirds of the states, and a majority of all 
the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House 


of Representativss shall not choose a Fresident, whenever 
the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the 
fourth day of March next folloioingy then theVice-Presi' 
dent shall act as Presid^ent, as in the case of the death, or 
other constitutional disability, of the President. 

2. The person having the greatest number of votes as 
Vice-President shall be the Vice-President, if such num- 
ber be a majority of the whole number of electors appoint- 
ed ; and if no person have a majority, then from the two 
highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the 
Vice-President : a quorum for the purpose shall consist 
of two thirds of the whole number of senators, and a ma- 
jority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. 

3. But no person constitiitionally ineligible to the office 
of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of 
the TJjiited States. 

In the Constitution as originally adopted, Sec. ^ 
of Article II. pointed out the mode of electing the 
President and Vice-President of the United States. 

This passage was subsequently struck out, and 
the preceding amendment took its place. It is by 
the rule here laid down that these high officers of 
the government are now chosen. 

In most cases, the presidents have been chosen 
by the electors selected by the people : but in some 
cases it has been otherwise. In 1825, there being 
no choice by the electors, John Quincy Adams, 
of Massachusetts, was chosen by the House of 

Art. XIII. — If any citizen of the United States shall 
accept, claim, receive, or retain any title of nobility or 
honor, or shall, without the consent of Congress, accept 
and retain any present, pension, office, or emolument of 
any kind whatever, from any emperor, king, prince^ or 
foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen of 
the United States, and shall be incapable of holding (my 
office of trust or profit under them, or either of them* 


Review of the Constitution. 

As the Constitution is the very foundation of 
our national government, we Americans cannot 
study it too much, or understand it too well. All 
citizens, especially, who have a right to vote, and 
who therefore use an influence for good or ill in 
giving character to the actual, practical govern- 
ment, or administration, that springs out of the 
Constitution, should know what it means ; what it 
requires, and what it prohibits. 

In the first place, we remark that this Constitu- 
tion establishes a confederation or federation of 
states ; hence it is called q. federal government: that 
is, a league or union of several parties. It is a 
partnership, in which the several states, with the 
people thereof, are the parties, each having an in- 
terest, and taking a share, in the good or ill that 
may flow from the union. 

It establishes a distribution of powers, as we 
have before stated, into three branches : Legislative^ 
conferred on Congress ; Executive^ confided to the 
President; and Judicial^ entrusted to the federal 
courts. It keeps these powers distinct, the design 
being to make one branch a check on the other, so 
as to prevent a dangerous degree of power from 
sliding into the hands of one man, or one set of 

It makes Congress the source whence the laws 
proceed : it makes it the duty of the president to 
see that the laws are executed ; it makes it the 
province of the judges to interpret and apply the 
laws; that is, to decide cases of dispute which arise 
>indei them. 


The Constitution takes away from the indi- 
vidual states, and gives to the federal government, 
all power to make treaties ; to carry on war against 
foreign nations ; to have a standing army and a 
navy ; to establish post-offices and post-roads ; to 
establish navigation laws, custom-houses, light- 
houses, and generally to regulate and control the 
great interests of commerce; to coin money; in 
short, to preside over those interests which affect 
the whole country, as a nation. 

While the Constitution thus takes from the states 
and gives to the federal government, certain powers, 
it leaves the states in possession of all that is not 
thus expressly given away; it leaves the states, 
still, as independent republics, to carry on their 
several governments, and to manage all their 
affairs, as the people thereof may please, subject to 
no restraint, except what the Constitution imposes. 

The Constitution, applying to the whole country, 
binds us together as a nation^ of which a state is 
only a member. It is the Constitution, therefore, 
which is likely to form and fashion our national 
character : it is the national government, founded 
on this, which is chiefly regarded by foreign coun- 
tries ; for it is the federal government, only, which 
makes treaties and holds official intercourse with 
other nations. 

The Constitution is the great bulwark of our 
liberties. Were it not for this, what would prevent 
two states from being involved in constant war? 
What would prevent a small state, like Rhode 
Island or Connecticut, from being oppressed by a 
powerful state, like New York? What would 
protect a citizen of one state, passing into another, 
from unjust taxation, imprisonment, or oppres- 
sion, were it not for the Constitution? 


From these considerations, it is clear, that every 
person in the United States has a deep interest in 
the Constitution, which establishes a union of the 
states^ for the good of all. Every citizen, there- 
fore, is bound by a regard to his own interest, and 
duty to his countrymen, to seek to perpetuate it ; to 
obey its laws, to maintain its institutions, and to 
carry it into effect, according to the wise and pa- 
triotic intention of its framers. 



This body, as before stated, is divided into two 
houses, the Senate and House of Representatives. 
They hold their sessions, separately, in two splen- 
did rooms in the Capitol at Washington. 

Senators are chosen for six years ; there are two 
from each state ; of course there are fifty-two mem- 
bers. A person cannot hold a seat in the Senate, 
who is under thirty years of age. Beside its legis- 
lative powers, the Senate have the privilege of rati- 
fying or rejecting treaties made by the President, 
or persons nominated by him to office. 

The members of the House of Representatives 
must be twenty-five years old : they are chosen, 
by the people of the states they represent, for two 
years. According to the present apportionment, 
which is seventy thousand six hundred and eighty 
inhabitants to one representative, the number of 
representatives is two hundred and twenty-seven. 


The House of Representatives have the sole 
power of impeachment ; but the person impeached 
must be. tried by the Senate. The pay of the 
members of both branches of Congress is eight dol- 
lars a day, while at Washington, and twenty dol- 
lars, fees of travel, for every hundred miles. 


The Administration. 

The Constitution is but a series of rules or 
principles. To carry these into effect, officers must 
be appointed. Upon the character of these per- 
sons, the character of the government greatly de- 
pends : for as these are good or bad, the public 
affairs will be wisely or unwisely managed. A 
foolish man can hardly act otherwise than fool- 
ishly, however excellent may be the laws which 
he is called upon to administer. 

However good our Constitution may be, there- 
fore, we cannot expect good practical government, 
unless we put good men into office. Even a good 
tool will not cut well of itself : in the hands of a 
bungler, it will often do mischief. Our fathers, 
then, in giving us an admirable Constitution, left 
us only a good tool to work with, and we must take 
the responsibility of seeing that it passes into the 
hands only of those who are skilful and honest ; 
those who know what is right, and those who love 
what is right. 

The President of the United States is the chief 
officer of the government; we look upon him, 
accordingly, as especially called to administer th« 


Constitution. We, therefore, call the President, 
with his advisers, the Administration. Thus, as 
before remarked, we denominate Washington's 
period of government, Washington's adminis- 
tration^ &c. 


The President, &c. 

The President holds his office for four years, and 
has a salary of $25,000 a year. He is command- 
er-in-chief of the army, the navy, and the militia 
of the United States, when in actual service ; he 
signs or vetoes bills passed by Congress; and 
receives ambassadors and other public ministers. 
He also, by and with the consent of the Senate, 
appoints the chief naval, military, and civil officers 
of the government, and signs their commissions. 

In addition to all this, the President is charged 
with the general welfare of the country, and the 
execution of the laws; and he is required, from 
time to time, to lay before Congress his views of 
public affairs. 

The Vice President is president of the Senate, 
with a salary of $6,000 a year. In case of the 
death of the President, he succeeds to his office. 

The President is assisted by several persons, who 
are his advisers. These consist of the Secretary of 
State, Secretaries of the Treasury, of the Navy, and 
of War ; the Attorney-General, and the Postmas- 

All these persons live in Washington, near the 


President, and are frequently called upon by him 
to furnish him information, and to offer him their 
counsel and assistance. They are generally selected 
from among the ablest men in the nation, and each 
one is supposed to be especially fitted, by his char- 
acter and former pursuits, for the particular place 
assigned to him. 

The President not only calls upon these persons 
separately for assistance, as occasion may require, 
but once or twice a week they all meet together 
at his house. When' assembled, they form the 
Cabinet, and when met for consultation, they are 
called the Cabinet Council. 

The cabinet being regarded as personal and con- 
fidential advisers of the President, are expected to 
entertain the same political opinions as the Presi- 
dent himself, and are usually selected from the 
President's political party. In this case, as in the 
other, the President nominates the members of the 
cabinet, and the Senate of the United States, in 
secret session, confirm or reject them, as they 
please. If rejected, the President makes other 

A large and responsible part of the duty of the 
President consists in his nomination of persons to 
office, including the secretaries, judges, ambassa- 
dors, charges, consuls, custom-house officers, naval 
and military officers, postmasters, land agents, and 
various other persons in the employ of the govern- 
ment. The number of officers he is called upon 
to nominate, amounts, as before stated, to many 

In all cases, it is necessary that the Senate should 
confirm the nomination, or the person does not holf 
his place. 1 



The secret sessions of the Senate, in which they 
discuss the nominations of the President, are called 
Executive Sessions, because they then attend to 
executive business. The characters of persons 
nominated, are freely discussed. Sometimes what 
takes place during the discussions, transpires, and 
sometimes it remains under the seal of secrecy. 

The secretaries are in England called ministers. 
In that country, tliey have usually a seat in par- 
liament, and take a leading part in the legislation 
of the country; but in the United States, the execu- 
tive department is more completely separated from 
the legislative, and the secretaries, or ministers, or 
members of the cabinet, have no seat in either 
branch of Congress. The annual salaries of the 
secretaries are $6,000 each. 


Secretary of State. 

'The Secretary of State has an office near the 
President's house. This consists of a large edifice, 
containing many rooms, in which there are numer- 
ous clerks, all engaged in the business of the de- 
partment. In these rooms, also, are deposited a 
library for the use of the department, and a multi- 
tude of papers and documents, which have accu- 
mulated for the last fifty years, belonging to the 
business of the office. 

The main duty of the Secretary of State is to 
manage the negociations of foreign countries; to 
give instructions to our foreign ambassadors, to 


charges and consuls, and to answer their letters ; to 
receive the communications of the various foreign 
ambassadors who reside at Washington, and to 
answer them as directed by the President. 

Beside this, the Secretary of State is charged 
with the preparation of the census of the United 
States, a general supervision of the Patent Office, 
and keeping the evidence of copyrights. He also 
has charge of the federal seal, and preserves the 
originals of the laws and of treaties. 

The Secretary of State in this country is gene- 
rally considered as the highest officer in the cabi- 
net ; he takes the rank of what is called Premier 
in England and France. His duties are of the 
most important kind, requiring an intimate know- 
ledge not only of our own, but of foreign countries. 
He not only is required to know the geographical 
position, the commerce, the resources, the charac- 
ter of foreign countries, but he must know the 
nature of their governments, the character and 
disposition of the king and ministers and leading 
men in each. 

To this vast amount of knowledge, the secretary 
should add the greatest coolness and calmness of 
temper, and sagacity of mind. In managing 
affairs with the agents of foreign countries, called 
diplomacy^ he must watch over every word and 
action, for peace and war depend upon his conduct. 
It has frequently happened, in the history of man- 
kind, that an unlucky expression, or careless 
phrase, used by a Secretary of State, has involved 
powerful nations in all the horrors of war. 

Several eminent statesmen have held this high 
office; as Thomas Jefferson, John Randolph, 
John Marshall and James Monroe, of Virginia; 


John Pickering, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel 
Webster, of Massachusetts ; Henry Clay of Ken- 
tucky; Edward Livingston, of Louisiana; and 
Martin Van Buren, of New York. 


Secretary of the Treasury. 

The T?'easu?y Department is held in a large and 
handsome edifice, contiguous to the office of the 
Secretary of State. Here is a library, and a variety 
of subordinate offices, filled with books and papers. 
Here also is the office of the Treasurer, who has 
immediate charge of the public money ; the Comp- 
troller, who has the supervision of the public ac- 
counts ; and several Auditors^ whose duty it is to 
examine accounts. Beside these, there are in the 
department a multitude of clerks. 

The Secretary of the Treasury presides over this 
whole department ; the special duty assigned him 
is to watch over the money affairs of the govern- 
ment ; to see to the collection of the revenue at the 
various custom houses and land offices ; to see that 
the business is properly conducted at those places ; 
to see to the disbursement of the public moneys, the 
payment of salaries, liquidation of contracts, &c. 

His duty is also, to advise the President and Con- 
gress, as occasion may require, of the condition of 
the public finances : to look forward, and devise 
and recommend such plans, as may enable the gov- 
ernment to raise the requisite amount of money, in 
the manner least burthensome to the people. 


A Secretary of the Treasury should be a man of 
great arithmetical precision ; famihar with the agri- 
culture, trade, commerce, and manufactures of the 
country, and with their products ; he should under- 
stand foreign commerce; whence various articles 
come; where they are produced, and whether 
they can advantageously be produced here or not. 

It has been already stated that the money wanted 
by the government, is chiefly derived from duties 
laid on foreign goods and merchandises. These 
duties are in two forms — specific and ad valorem. 

A specific duty is that which imposes a specific 
tax on a specific article ; as three cents on a pound 
of cotton ; one cent on a pound of iron; four cents 
on a pound of coffee. 

An ad valorem duty is a tax according to value, 
as twenty per cent, on the cost of valuation of ar- 
ticles. When the duty is so much on the cost, then 
it is rated on the invoice; when it is according 
to valuation, appraisers belonging to the custom- 
house, appraise the goods, and the twenty per cent, 
is received on the amount of the appraisal. 

All this business of collecting the duties is man- 
aged at the custom-houses. At the head of each 
custom-house is a collector, and under him, a sur- 
veyor of the port, naval ofiicer, inspectors, Tueasurers, 
appraisers, and a multitude of clerks. About five 
hujidred persons are attached to the custom house 
at New York; and near a hundred to that at 

When a vessel arrives at a port of the United 
States, she is entered by the captain on the books 
of the custom-house, and taken in charge, with her 
whole cargo, by the officers thereof — appointed 
to their several specific duties. An account is 


taken of her cargo, and the duties fixed by law 
must be paid to the collector or his deputy. It 
is the money thus collected which forms the chief 
support of the government of the United States. 

The watching over the several custom-houses 
of the country is a vast concern, and requires not 
only great capacity, and familiarity with financial 
aflairs, but it also requires untiring industry, vigi- 
lance and care. Where there is money, there is 
danger of corruption. It is therefore indispensable 
that not only an honest but a sagacious man be at 
the head of the great money department of the gov- 
ernment, so as to detect errors and punish fraud, 
and thus save the people from plunder. 

There is another important thing to be consid- 
ered, here. In laying duties upon foreign goods, we 
not only wish to collect revenues, but it is also 
thought by some politicians, to be the duty of the 
government to lay them in such a manner as to 
protect and encourage the industry of our own 
country. Thie can be done by laying duties on 
articles which we produce, such as butter, cheese, 
wool, beef, cotton cloths, woollen cloths, iron 
manufactures, &c. 

If duties are laid on these articles as they come 
from foreign countries, they will either not be sent 
here at all, or the price of them will be raised, so 
as to give encouragement and protection to Qjir 
own producers ; it will drive away the foreign pro- 
ductions, or raise the price ; thus giving the entire 
market, or a better market, to the productions of 
our home industry. 

The rate of duties is called a tariff; and a pro- 
Uctive tariff is such a rate of duties as is designed 
t<^ protect and encourage our own producers; to 


enable them to get higher prices than they would 
get otherwise. Labor is cheaper in England and 
France and Germany than in the United States ; 
and if we do not tax the productions of that labor, 
as they come here, it is said that the wages of labor 
jnust here sink to nearly the European level. 

Beside all this, it is thought- desirable that we 
should have a variety of arts and trades among us, 
so that every person may find that employment 
which suits his taste and genius ; so that all the 
various resources of the country, animal, vegetable, 
mineral, physical, social, and moral, may find de- 
velopment ; and that we may produce within our- 
selves, all we want to eat, drink, wear, and use: 
thus to secure our independence in time of war, 
and when our ports may be blockaded. 

For these various reasons, and others, it is 
claimed by some politicians, that we should adopt 
a 'protective 'policy^ in laying duties ; a policy, the 
purpose of which is to tax foreign articles which 
come in competition with our own products, and 
thus enable our producers to get higher prices than 
they would otherwise obtain. This policy was 
adopted in the outset of the government, under the 
Constitution, and has prevailed during the greater 
part of the time, since. It may be added, that a 
similar policy is adopted in all other civilized 

But there are statesmen among us who hold 
that this protection is partial ; that it takes money 
out of the pockets of one class, and puts it into those 
of another. They maintain that if you put a tax 
on foreign cloths, you raise the price of the article 
here, and enable the manufacturer to get larger 
profits : and as the people at large must buy their 


clothes, this higher price comes out of their purses 
and goes into those of the manufacturers. This 
they consider a tax upon the consumer for the 
henefit of the producer. 

Those who hold these opinions, generally repu- 
diate the protective system, and insist that free 
trade is the true policy of nations. They would 
raise no revenue from duties ; they would have no 
custom-houses; they would let the ships of the 
world come, and buy and sell without restraint. 
To supply the expenses of government they would 
resort to direct taxation. 

Some of these politicians insist, if we are not 
yet prepared for free trade^ that still, the Consti- 
tution does not authorize taxation, or the laying 
of duties for any other purpose than revenue : that 
the rate should be, therefore, uniform ; and conse- 
quently they advocate what is called a horizontal 
rate of duties, as twenty per cent, for instance, on 
the value of all imported articles ; or at least that 
nothing shall range higher than this general scale. 

These persons say that if manufacturers, or 
agriculturists derive accidental or incidental protec- 
tion from this horizontal range of duties, it is all 
very well : but you must not lay a lighter or hea- 
vier duty, with a view to protection. They oppose, 
therefore, as unconstitutional, discriminating du- 
ties^ or protective duties; that is, duties varied with 
a view to protection : the only protection they ap- 
prove, is that which is accidental and imdesigned, 
or, to use the common phrase, incidental. Every 
revenue act which is framed with a view to 
encourage the producers of the country, is deemed 
a trespass upon the Constitution. 


We shall not undertake to decide between these 
two opposite schools — the friends of a protective 
policy^ and the friends of free trade — further than 
to state a fact that ought not to be lost sight of, 
viz., that the former has generally prevailed from 
the foundation of the government, and, right or 
wrong, the state of things is adjusted to it. 

Leaving this dispute to the politicians, we remark 
that the Secretary of the Treasury is called upon 
for a multiplicity of facts and views, which relate 
to the various questions that occur in Congress, 
touching finance, revenue, (fcc. It is indispensable, 
therefore, that he be a man of accuracy, and 
of minute as well as extensive information, upo^ 
financial matters. c^^ 

The annual expenses of the government may be 
stated at about twenty-five millions of dollars. 
About twenty millions are obtained by customs. 
The other great source of revenue is the public 

These consist of vast tracts in the western coun- 
try, amounting to a thousand millions of acres. 
The price at which they are sold, is one dollar and 
twenty-five cents the acre. The annual proceeds 
of the sales have varied from two to twenty mil- 
lions. In 1841, a law was passed, giving the pro- 
ceeds of these lands to the several states ; but this 
policy is yet unsettled. The land office is attached 
to the treasury department. 

In the treasury building is also an office devoted 
to the affairs of the Mint. This latter was estab- 
hshed at Philadelphia, in 1792, and in 1835 a 
branch was established at New Orleans, for the 
coinage of gold and silver. There are branches 
also for the coining of gold at Charlotte, North 



Carolina, and Dahlonega, in Georgia. These 
several branches are under the control of the di- 
rector of the mint at Philadelphia. The records 
of these several establishments are kept in the 
appropriate office, in the Treasury Department. 


Secretary of War. 

The War Department is an extensive building 
near the President's house, which contains various 
rooms, to accommodate the several officers attach- 
ed to the establishment. 

The Secretary of War has charge of the army, 
and of the forts and garrisons of the United States. 
He is also charged with Indian affairs ; that is, the 
execution of treaties with the tribes of Indians 
along our western frontier. 

He is charged with the providing of muskets, 
cannon, and other munitions of war, and their pre- 
servation in the different arsenals throughout the 
country. He is charged with the marching of 
troops to their destination; the providing and 
transporting of military stores, &c. 

In time of peace the duties of this officer are 
extensive, but in time of war, they are in the 
highest degree arduous and responsible. 

The army is under the command of a Major- 
General, who is styled the commander-in-chief, 
and who has his head-quarters at Washington. 
There are two divisions of the army, at the head 
of each of which is a Brigadier-General. The 


aggregate of the army is about eight thousand 
men, and the annual expense is about four mil- 
lions of dollars. 


Secretary of the Navy. 

The Navy Department is near the President's 
house. The duties of the Secretary, are to take 
charge of the Navy ; to see to the building of ships, 
their equipment, and their fitting out with men 
^and stores ; to see to the care of them while in or- 
dinary^ that is, laid up in port; to plan voyages and 
cruises ; in short, to superintend the whole business 
of the Navy. 

There are several Navy Yards in the United 
States, where vessels are built, refitted, and taken 
care of while in ordinary. These are vast estab- 
lishments, and attended by great numbers of 
persons. The principal are at Washington, Phila- 
delphia, Norfolk, and Charlestown, near Boston. 

At Washington there is a board of Naval Com- 
missioners, consisting of three officers of the navy, 
whose duty it is to see to the detail of constructing 
and employing the public vessels, under the super- 
intendence of the Secretary. 

The Navy, though on a small scale, acquired 
great reputation in the war with England of 1812, 
and it is now a favorite with the nation. The 
whole number of ships, sloops, and steam vessels, 
belonging to the United States, is about ninety. 
The whole number of persons employed in and 
about them is nearly ten thousand. The annual 
expense is about seven millions of dollars. 



The General Post Office is a new marble edifice 
at Washington, about half-way between the Cap- 
itol and the President's house. Here the Post- 
master-General has his office. He is assisted by 
a deputy postmaster, and various other officers. 

The number of post-offices in the United States 
is about fourteen thousand : the whole extent of al' 
the post routes is about one hundred and fifty 
thousand miles ; the annual transportation of the 
mails is near thirty-five milUons of miles. The an- 
nual income is about four millions of dollars ; and 
the expenditure nearly the same. 

The President has the nomination of all post- 
masters whose income of office is over one thou- 
sand dollars a year : all others are appointed by 
the Postmaster-General. His salary is six thousand 



The province of the Attorney-General is to 
advise the President in matters of law ; to manage 
cases in which the United States are interested 
before the United States court, &c. He resides at 
Washington, and has a salary of four thousand 

Several eminent lawyers have held this high 
station ; among them William Pinckney and Wil- 
liam Wirt, both of Maryland. 


Patent Office. 

The Patent Office is one of the finest edifices in 
the United States, and is situated near the General 
Post Office. Here models of new inventions are de- 
posited, and the Superintendent issues letters 'patent^ 
or patent rights^ for new and useful inventions. 

By virtue of these grants, the patentees are ena- 
bled to have the exclusive making and vending of 
their inventions for fourteen years. The object of 
this is to encourage useful improvements, by giv- 
ing the profits thereof to the inventors for the stip- 
ulated period. 

The models now lodged in the Patent Ofiice 
are numerous, ingenious, and interesting, though 
many were destroyed in the Patent Office, burnt 
down a few years since. Those which exist, afford 
a pleasing evidence of the ingenuity of our coun- 
trymen. The whole number of patents issued since 
1790, is over twelve thousand. 

Beside these models, there are various articles 
of curiosity, belonging to the government of the 
United States; such as the uniform worn by Wash- 
ington when he took leave of the army ; various 
rich gifts presented by foreign princes ; and a great 
collection of specimens in natural history, particu- 
larly ornithology, conchology, botany, &c. 

The Patent Office is under the charge of a Svr- 
perintendent^ who is assisted by various draftsmen, 
clerks, and others. The whole establishment is 
subject to the supervision of the Secretary of State. 
It is one of the most interesting objects at the seat 
of government. 



The Judiciary of the United States consists of a 
Supreme Court^ nine Circuit Courts^ and thirty 
District Courts. The judges are nominated by 
the President, and submitted for approval or rejec- 
tion, to the Senate. They hold office during good 

The Supreme Court is composed of a chief jus- 
tice and eight associate judges^ who hold a court 
every winter at Washington. Each of the judges 
also attends a certain circuit, comprising several 
districts. In each district he holds a Circuit Court 
at stated times, being assisted by a local judge, 
called a district judge. The District Courts are 
held by the district judges, alone. 

All these circuit and district courts are inferior 
to the Supreme Court, and their decisions are liable 
to be overruled by it. The Supreme Court is the 
highest judicial tribunal in the country, and its de- 
cisions are final. It can even decide upon the acts 
of Congress, and declare them to be unconstitu- 
tional, and therefore void. 

It will be remarked, however, that cases which 
arise under state laws, between citizens of the 
same state, cannot be brought before the United 
States Court. This coMxi hdiS jurisdictix)n (that is, 
the power of acting and judging) only in cases 
which arise under the laws of Congress, or between 
citizens of different states, and a few other cases. 
The state courts adjudge all cases between their 
own citizens. 


In each district there is a District Attorney^ whose 
duty it is to prosecute all offences against the laws 
of the United States ; such, for instance, as piracy ^ 
which is robbery upon the high seas ; or smuggling 
goods; that is, bringing them into the country with 
a view to avoid paying duties. The District Attor- 
ney also manages all cases in which the United 
States are a party. 

In each district is a Marshal^ who performs the 
duties of a sheriff; that is, he attends the court of 
the district, and executes the precepts directed to 
him. He keeps persons accused of crimes in cus- 
tody, and when required, brings them before the 
court; he also executes sentence upon criminals, 
and in general, is the executive officer of the 

Each district has a place where the court sits 
and where its records are kept ; and here a clerk 
attends to the business of the office. It is in these 
offices that the titles of books are deposited, upon 
which authors desire to obtain copyright. The 
clerk issues certificates that such titles are depos- 
ited ; and when his book is published, the author 
leaves a copy at the clerk's office ; his copyright 
is then complete ; and he only, and those whom he 
may authorize, have a right to print or publish it. 

The salary of the chief justice is five thousand 
dollars a year: each of the associate judges has 
four thousand five hundred dollars; the district 
judges receive from one thousand to three thousand 
dollars a year. 

Among the eminent men who have held the 
office of chief justice of the United States Court, 
are Oliver Ellsworth, of Connecticut, who died in 
1807, and John Marshall, who died in 1838. 


State Governments. 

We have now taken a brief view of the national 
government: that government which binds twenty- 
six separate states or repubUcs, into one great fed- 
eral republic. Let us now take a survey of the 
several states, which are at present twenty-six in 

Each of the states has a written constitution ; 
some of these were adopted during the revolution- 
ary struggle, and have since been revised, remod- 
dled or amended. Others have been made anew, 
at later periods. Rhode Island is the only state 
which retains its colonial charter. Efforts are now 
making in this state for the adoption of a new 
constitution, which are likely to prove successful. 

Several of the state constitutions consist of two 
parts, first a bill of rights j setting forth certain 
abstract principles of government and law; and 
second, a series of rules for the organization and 
administration of the government. 

All these constitutions prescribe a republican 
form of government; that is, a government in 
which the people choose certain officers to repre- 
sent them, and act for them in public affairs. 

In all the state constitutions, provision is made 
for keeping the three powers — legislative, execu- 
tive, and judicial — distinct and separate. 

In every state there is a Governor, and in most 
a Lieutenant Governor. The Governor constitutes 
the executive branch, being assisted in some cases 
by an executive council. He is generally the 


commander-in-chief of the state miUtia ; appoints 
and commissions various officers, and has a gene- 
ral superintendence of pubUc affairs. 

In most of the states the Governor is elected for 
a single year. In some instances, he is elected for 
a longer time, as in New York, North Carolina, 
Georgia, and some others, for two years ; Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia, Indiana, for three years; Dela- 
ware, Louisiana, Arkansas, for four years. None 
are elected for a longer term than the last period. 
In some states the Governor is elected by the leg- 
islature, but in most instances by the people. 

In all cases the legislature consists of two 
branches, a House of Representatives and a Senate. 
No bill can become a law unless sanctioned by 
both houses. The Governor has also a veto in 
most cases. 

The legislatures of the several states usually 
meet once a year. In some cases, however, their 
sessions are held but once in two years. The 
qualifications required for members of the legisla- 
ture, are various. In a majority of states, citizen- 
ship, possession of a certain amount of real estate, 
and being over twenty-five years of age, are requi- 

The Judiciary of the several states consists of a 
superior court, and several inferior courts, arranged 
somewhat after the model of the United States' 
courts. The judges are generally appointed by the 
legislature, in some instances annually, in others 
for a term of years, and in others during good be- 

All the states are divided into counties. In each 
county there is a court-house where courts are 
held, and where various records are kept. Each 


court has a clerk to record its proceedings, and a 
sheriff or other officer to execute its precepts. 
There are also county and state prisons for the 
confinement of those who are under arrest, or who 
are convicted of crimes and misdemeanors. 



In barharous ages, especially in despotic coun- 
tries, the punishments for offences against the state 
have always been numerous and cruel. Torture 
and death have been inflicted in thousands of 
cases, not only for such high offences as treason, 
robbery and murder, but for more trivial misde- 
meanors, and even for holding particular religious 
opinions, and those which are now regarded as 
right by a large part of the Christian world. 

Even in England, where the criminal code has 
been softened with the progress of civilization, 
down to a recent period the laws made about two 
hundred offences capital crimes ; that is, punisha- 
ble with death. A change has very lately taken 
place, and the number of capital offences now 
known to the English law, are only thirteen, 
among which are the following : — 

Treason; murder ; attempt to m,urder^ by ad- 
ministering poison; attempt to murder^ by stab- 
bing ; piracy, attended by an attempt to murder ; 
robbery, with an attempt to nmrder; burglary^ 
(that is, breaking into a house between nine 
o'clock at night and six o'clock in the morning,) 


with an attempt to murder ; arson, that is, setting 
fire to a dwelling-house with any person therein ; 
exhibiting any false light, with an intent to hring 
a vessel into danger; and every accessary before 
the fact, to any one of the above offences. 
, Most of these offences have been punished with 
death in this country ; but there has been and still 
is a growing aversion to capital punishment. The 
belief extensively prevails, that a mild code is 
more effectual in checking crime, than a san- 
guinary one ; and under the influence of these 
views, only a few of the more atrocious crimes are 
now punished, in this country, with death. 

Imprisonment, with confinement to hard labor, 
and in some instances solitary confinement, are now 
the chief inflictions of the law for crimes against 
the public. Piracy, cognisable by the United 
States' courts, and murder by the state courts, are 
universally pimished with death. 

Imprisonment for debt, a common practice in 
most other countries, is nearly abolished in the 
states. If a person has no property, and will take 
oath to that effect, he can obtain his release from 
imprisonment for debt. This is a great mitigation 
of former laws ; for once a creditor could keep his 
debtor in prison as long as he pleased, even if he 
had not a farthing of property. The law gave 
the creditor entire power over the body of the 
debtor, and this is still the fact in some European 


Qualifications of Voters. f 

The chief distinction between our political sys- 
tem and the systems of other countries, is in the 
freedom of our elections. In England, France, 
Spain and some other countries, the right of suf- 
frage^ the elective franchise^ or in other words, the 
privilege of voting for public officers, exists, but it 
is enjoyed only by a few persons, and those having 
considerable property. In this country the inval- 
uable right of suffrage is much more extended. In 
most of the states, every citizen who has resided in 
a place for a few months, and paid a tax, is enti- 
tled to vote there in the elections for all public 

In the earlier periods of our state governments, 
the right of suffrage was not enjoyed except by 
persons holding landed estate : this right has been 
gradually extended, so as to be nearly universal, 
in almost all the states. 

In Rhode Island, as the original colonial charter, 
granted in 1663, is in force, and forms the basis of 
the government to the present day, the ancient 
qualifications of voters are still required, among 
which is the holding of real estate to the value oi 
one hundred and thirty-four dollars. This restraint 
upon the elective franchise, or right of voting, has 
been a just cause of complaint, among a part of 
the citizens of Rhode Island, for many years : and 
as their wishes have been steadily resisted, the 
feeling of resentment broke out into open insurrec- 
tion in 1842. 


An informal convention had been called the year 
previous, which formed a constitution : this being 
submitted to the people, was said to be accepted by 
a majority. Under this, an election was held ; a 
governor by the name of Dorr was elected, with 
,a senate and representatives. Dorr resorted to 
arms to establish this government, but was driven 
oult of the state by the regular government. 

It is to be hoped that the portion of the people 
of Rhode Island opposed to the extension of suf- 
frage, called the charter party ^ and who have pre- 
vented the formation of a liberal constitution, will 
see the policy and justice of adopting a written 
constitution, as liberal, in respect to suffrage and 
other matters, as the constitutions of the adjacent 
states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

There is no one point upon which the American 
people are more justly jealous than upon this of 
suffrage. They not only claim that it shall be 
extensively enjoyed, but they insist upon voting 
by ballot. This is done by putting a piece of paper, 
with the name of the person voted for, into a box, 
called the ballot-hox. This is done so that no one 
need see or know who a person votes for. The 
advantage of this mode of voting, is that every man 
may vote independently ; that even the poor and 
dependent may vote as they like, without being 
overawed by the rich, or those who have some 
power over them. 

It will be perceived that in political affairs, 
women and children do not vote. It may be asked, 
what right has society to exclude these persons 
from so dear a privilege as that of the elective 
franchise? The answer is, that the good of so- 
ciety, and the good of those thus restrained, is best 


consulted by such a course. If women were to 
engage in party strife, they would lose the respect 
they now' receive from men, and by which they ex- 
ercise a powerful influence over them. If children 
were to vote, they would do it ignorantly and 
capriciously, and thus injure themselves and 
others, by imparting their ignorance and caprice to 
the affairs of government. It may be remarked 
that these views are so clear and conclusive, that 
in no poUtical system has the right of suftage ever 
been granted to women or children. 


The Majority. 

The great principle that lies at the foundation 
of our government is, that the people are to rule ; 
and the way to ascertain what the people wish, is, 
in a formal and careful manner, to ascertain the 
decision of the majority. The majority having 
expressed their views, the rest of the people 

Thus, in forming a constitution, if the larger 
number of persons qualified to vote, declare in 
favor of it ; that is, if a majority vote for it, it is 
considered as adopted by the people ; the smaller 
number, the minority, being bound to submit and 
support the constitution thus established. 

It is the same in the choice of members of Con- 
press, governors of states, &c. The candidate (that 
18, the person who is held up before the people for 


a particular office) must have a majority of votes, 
or more votes than all other persons, in order to be 
declared elected. 

This is the case in almost all the states. In some 
instances, in the choice of officers, the person who 
has a plurality of votes, (that is, the highest num- 
ber of votes, or more votes than any other,) is 
declared elected. 

It may be asked why the minority should submit 
to the majority?— m other words, what right has the 
majority to rule? We answer, that in this way 
alone can popular government be carried on. A 
majority and a minority being always opposed to 
each other, one must yield : of course, the few must 
give way to the many. The voice of the majority 
is therefore taken as the voice of the whole. The 
obligation of the minority to submit, lies in this — 
that in no other way can government be sustained. 
To resist the decision of a majority is to declare 
for anarchy, or revolution. 


Political Parties. 

Political parties have existed in all free govern- 
ments. They spring from the different views which 
different persons take of great questions affecting 
the public interest. Persons entertaining the same 
views will associate together, and act together, to 
carry the measures they approve, and to defeat those 
they condemn. Other persons, entertaining oppo- 
site views, will also associate together to counter- 
act the operations of the first party, thus formed. 


Thus one party always begets another; and 
as ambitious individuals are apt to put themselves 
at the head of these several parties, and excite 
them against each other, there is usually a good 
deal of bitterness between them. It has often hap- 
pened that persons have become so devoted to 
party, as to forget their country ; and in some 
instances patriotism has been swallowed up in 
party spirit. 

In Greece and Rome, the people were divided 
into parties, and in England we have witnessed 
the same state of things. The terms Whig and 
Tory, have long been used to denote the two 
leading parties : the first professing to be the peo- 
ple's party, and to aim at taking power from the 
crown and giving it to the people; the latter 
being the king's party, and aiming to take power 
from the people and give it to the crown. 

These terms were adopted in this country during 
the revolution ; the friends of Hberty and indepen- 
dence taking the name of whigs ; those who ad- 
hered to the king and opposed the revolution, 
being called tories. Still more recently, one of the 
political parties here has assumed the title of whig^ 
meaning thereby to declare their opposition to 
executive encroachments ; and these have applied, 
as a term of reproach, the name of tories to their 

Soon after the adoption of the constitution, it 
was seen that different views were entertained as to 
its construction and administration. Some persons 
feared that the national government would be too 
weak, and therefore leaned towards giving the con- 
stitution a liberal construction^ so as to extend the 
powers of the federal government; and hence they 


were called federalists. Among them was Wash- 
ington and Alexander Hamilton; and the party 
they led was called the federal party. 

On the other hand, there were persons, who, 
instead of fearing that the federal government 
would not be strong enough, apprehended that it 
would be too strong; that it would swallow up 
the state governments, and become a sort of des- 
potism. Among these were Thomas Jefferson and 
James Madison. These latter called themselves 
at first, republicans, and afterwards they and their 
followers were styled democrats. 

The politicians of the country, and indeed 
nearly all the citizens, continued divided between 
these two great parties — federalists and demo- 
crats — from 1800 to the close of the war in 
1815, when they seemed to cease. Both these 
terms have, however, been revived within the last 
few years. The party which supported General 
Jackson, assumed the title of democrats; and as 
whigs called them, in reproach, tories, they in 
return denominated the whigs, federalists. 

Among the various means resorted to by 
political parties to carry on their measures, are 
conventions, called for the purpose of nominating, 
that is, recommending candidates for office. The 
conventions consist of delegates, sent by the people 
of the party calling the convention, and when they 
have agreed upon a candidate, they recommend 
him to the voters, and he usually receives the 
support of his party. 

It might appear at first view that there were 
serious objections to this course of proceeding, 
inasmuch as it seems to interfere with a free ex- 
pression of the public will. But it is to be con- 
21 16 


sidered that no person can be elected unless he 
has a majority of all the votes : if, therefore, no 
means were taken to concentrate public opinion, 
the votes would be scattered upon a multitude of 
candidates, and no one would be chosen. 

In the southern and western states, persons 
oiFer themselves as candidates, particularly for 
Congress, and thus the people's attention is directed 
to a few leading candidates. These go from place 
to place, addressing collections of people in the 
district, and setting forth their opinions, views, and 

A common method of conferring upon public 
affairs, among political parties, is to hold a kind of 
preliminary meeting, called a caucus, at which 
leading individuals compare opinions, and devise 
their plans of proceeding. 


Duties of Citizens. 

We have endeavored to show, in the early pages 
of this work, that civil government is necessary in 
order to insure the happiness of society ; that with- 
out government — anarchy, violence, and injustice 
would prevail ; that peace, order, and justice can 
only exist where government is established, and 
where the people submit to the laws. 

Government is designed, or ought to be designed, 
for the good of the people ; and when it is wisely 
framed and well administered, it is one of the 
greatest of earthly blessings. Such a government 


may be compared to a good house, comfortable and 
convenient, and protecting every member of the 
family alike from the storms and tempests of the 

Now we suppose our American system of govern- 
ment to be thus wisely contrived and happily ad- 
ministered, and like the good, comfortable house, to 
afford shelter and protection to all. Shall we not, 
then, give it our cheerful support ? Would we not 
watch over our dwelling, repair defects, remedy 
decay, defend it from the attacks of enemies, and 
quench the fire that threatens its destruction ? And 
shall we not do as much for that government which 
is the shelter of the whole nation, and as necessary 
to our peace and protection as the very roofs over 
our heads? 

And now in what way can we aid and support 
the government? 

1. When at a proper age, we must 'pay taxes; for 
it is impossible that government should be carried 
on without money. Public officers, who spend 
their time for the benefit of the people, must have 
support : they must have food and clothing and 
shelter ; and if constantly employed in the business 
of the public, how can they provide these things ? 
The only way is for the public to pay them for 
their services. 

The president and vice-president, the governors 
and lieutenant-governors; the members of the 
several legislatures ; the judges, soldiers and sailors, 
must receive their pay. The public buildings, the 
ships, the forts, the light-houses, all require money, 
as well in their construction as for their current 

Although these things demand vast sums of 


money, when taken together, the cost to each indi-^ 
vidual is very little. There are seventeen millions 
of people in the United States, and the whole ex- 
penses of the national government are not more 
than twenty-five millions of dollars a year : this is 
only about a dollar and a half for each man, woman 
and child. And surely a dollar and a half a year is 
a small sum to pay for such blessings as our na- 
tional government bestows. The expenses of our 
state governments are somewhat less than those 
of the national government. 

2. Beside paying our money for the support of 
government, at a proper age we are called upon to 
do military duty, and if need be, to fight the ene- 
mies of our country. From this duty we surely 
ought not to shrink, unless from religious scruples.* 

3. There other duties which devolve upon us, 
when we become citizens, such as serving upon 
juries, when required by law ; testifying in court, as 
cases of necessity arise, &c. But the most impor- 
tant of all the duties of a citizen, lies in the exer- 
cise of the elective franchise, or the choice of public 

4. I have had occasion several times to remark, 
that the manner in which government is adminis- 
tered is as important as the form, of government. 
A good house may be very uncomfortable, if you 
have a bad housekeeper. Now we have an admi- 
rable system of government, but we must have 
good rulers, good men to carry it on, or it will be like 
the good house, with a bad housekeeper; and every- 

* The Quakers, and some others, entertain the belief, that all 
war and fighting is wrong ; that even if attacked, we should offer 
no resistance. In general, such persons are not required by law 
td do military duty. 


body under its influence, all the members of society, 
will suflfer. 

The people — the voters— choose the rulers, and 
are therefore responsible for the manner in which 
the government is carried on. From this fact sev- 
eral important consequences flow. 

If a man votes for a bad ruler, he does what he 
can to injure himself, his family, his neighbors and 
his country ; because, in voting for a bad ruler, a 
freeman votes for bad government. 

If a freeman stays away from the polls, and re- 
fuses or neglects to vote, he neglects one of the 
greatest and highest duties. He belongs to a coun- 
try with a representative government : a govern- 
ment in which all ought to be represented — the high 
and low, the rich and poor, the learned and un- 
learned, the wise and simple. If the people refuse 
to vote, the great design of our government fails : 
the people are not represented, and therefore we 
have a government of a part, and not a govern- 
ment of the whole. 

And beside this, if a man refuse to vote, how 
can he be sure that bad men will not assemble at 
the polls, and put in bad rulers ? He who stays 
away from the polls is answerable for all the evil 
consequences which may follow from his neglect. 

A man is bound to use the same good judgment 
— the same common sense, in acting for the people, 
as in acting for himself A man is bound to use 
the same vigilance, in acting for his country, as in 
acting for himself A man is bound to be as hon- 
est, in acting for his country, as in acting for 
himself And, now, as votes are put into the hands 
of the people of this country, thus giving them 
power of good and ill, of life and death, over lib- 


erty and good government, shall they ever neglect 
or refuse to use this power? Shall the American 
freeman abuse this power ? Shall he be dishonest 
in the use of this power? Shall he ever act, in a 
matter of vital importance to his country, without 
the good sense, or the honest purpose, that he ad- 
mits should guide him in the affairs of common life? 

This is a matter which I press upon my young 
friends with earnestness, for there is a sad loose- 
ness in society, both of thought and action, respect- 
ing politics. Some persons have held the creed 
that *'a// is fair in politics ;^^aind it is to be feared 
that this wicked and vicious maxim is partially 
adopted in action by many persons who are hardly 
aware of it. 

Among the evidences of this corruption of the 
public mind, we may remark that many persons feel 
that they may vote to gratify their own personal 
feelings; many carry to the polls their personal 
prejudices, leaving their patriotism at home ; 
they vote to satisfy some grudge or some whim ; 
some friendship or some hate ; they vote to effect a 
personal, not a patriotic object. All these are 
abuses of the high trust and noble privilege 
placed in the hands of voters. 

It is the bounden duty of every freeman at the 
polls to discard such unworthy motives ; to look, 
with singleness of heart and honesty of purpose, 
to consequences ; and to cast his ballot for his 
country, and not for himself. Such, indeed, will be 
the case with every noble and upright mind — every 
mind worthy of a freeman's privilege; every 
mind that is not bowed down to the idol of party, 
and not the ignominious slave of selfish ana 
narrow personal feeling. 


In order to contend successfully with the sinister 
influences which attend us all in the field of poli- 
tics, I know of no better lesson than this — let us 
study the character of Washington^ and seek to 
make him our model. Let us study the fathers of 
the revolution.! ^^^ emulate their 'patriotic exam^ple 
— thei7' sacrifice of self to their country. 

5. Among the duties of citizens, the last I shall 
notice, is the obligation to observe and support the 
laws. As I have shown, in the early part of this 
work, every law is designed to protect us in some 
of our rights and enjoyments : and though each law 
be a restraint upon absolute liberty, yet it is for the 
interest of each and all to support the laws. Every 
man who violates a law, not only does injustice or 
inflicts injury, either public or private, but he sets 
an evil example, and thus does a mischief to the 
whole community. He not only^does a particular 
wrong, but his conduct tends to break down the 
fabric of government, and to render all our rights 
and privileges insecure. 

A violation of law is therefore a great wrong, 
and every good citizen should beware of it. It 
may be said, indeed, that a law may be unjust and 
oppressive — and the question will be asked, shall 
such a law be observed ? To this we reply, that 
an unjust and oppressive law is not morally 
binding upon us. Still, in a free country like ours, 
when we find a law upon the statute book, we 
have reason to believe that it is both just and sal- 
utary ; and we ought not to resist it, until after 
very mature deliberation, ample public discussion, 
and the trial and failure of all the ordinary modes 
of effecting changes in legislation. 


I have but one thing more to add — and that re- 
spects the manner in which all political discus- 
sions should be conducted. In the first place, 
there should be a strict observance of good breed- 
ing ; there should be no ungentlemanly contradic- 
tions; no imputation of bad motives. There 
should be no heat of words or manner ; no display 
of anger. All should be done in coolness and 

In the second place, there should be perfect fair- 
ness. In making statements, the one who offers 
them should take the utmost care to see and know 
that they are true : and, in the next place, only 
such inferences or arguments should be deduced 
from facts as are perfectly legitimate. By fair dis- 
cussions, conducted in a gentlemanly way, the 
truth may be advanced ; but no good can flow from 
angry disputes, or from disingenuous controversy. 

Let it be ever borne in mind by my readers that 
it never can be the interest of an inquirer to be 
cheated or duped : therefore timth is the first object 
to him. Let it be also remembered, that, with an 
honorable mind, the first question in respect to any 
statement, always is this — is it true? — and no man, 
who is worthy of being called a man, will conde- 
scend to use a statement, either in making up his 
own mind, or in attempting to exercise an influence 
upon others, till he knows that it i^ true. 

Those who will use falsehood for party or polit- 
ical purposes — or who will use that which they do 
not know to be true, are alike base and contempt- 
ible in the light of religion and honor. A polit- 
ical falsehood or trick is as bad as any other, and 
even worse, for it imports mischief to the whole 



Of the Continental Congress, October 14, 1774. 

Whereas, since the close of the last war, the British Parlia- 
ment, claiming a power of right to bind the people of America 
by statutes in all cases whatsoever, hath in some acts expressly- 
imposed taxes on them, and in others, under various pretences, 
but in fact for the purpose of raising a revenue, hath imposed 
rates and duties payable in these colonies, established a Board of 
Commissioners, with unconstitutional powers, and extended the 
jurisdiction of Courts of Admiralty, not only for collecting the said 
duties, but for the trial of causes merely arising within the body 
of a county : 

And whereas, in consequence of other statutes, judges, who 
before held only estates at will in their offices, have been made 
dependent on the crown alone, for their salaries, and standing 
armies kept in times of peace ; and whereas, it has lately been 
resolved in Parliament, that by force of a statute, made in the 
thirty-fifth year of the reign of King Henry the VIII., colonists 
may be transported to England, and tried there, upon accusations 
for treasons and misprisions, or concealments, of treasons commit- 
ted in the colonies, and by a late statute, such trials have been 
directed in cases therein mentioned : 

And whereas, in the last session of Parliament, three statutes 
were made ; one entitled, ' An act to discontinue, in such manner, 
and for such time, as are therein mentioned, the landing and dis- 
charging, lading, or shipping of goods, wares, and merchandise, 
at the town, and within the harbor, of Boston, in the province of 
Massachusetts Bay in North America ;' another entitled, ' An act 
for the better regulating the government of the province of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay in New England ;' and another entitled, 'An act 
for the impartial administration of justice, in the cases of persons 
questioned for any act done by them in the execution of the law, 
or for the suppression of riots and tumults, in the province of the 
Massachusetts Bay in New England :' and another statute was 
then made, ' for makmg more effectual provision for the govern- 


ment of the province of Quebec,' &c. All which statutes aw 
impolitic, unjust, and cruel, as well as unconstitutional, and most 
dangerous and destructive of American rights : 

And whereas, assemblies have been frequently dissolved, con- 
trary to the rights of the people, when they attempted to delibe- 
rate on grievances : and their dutiful, humble, loyal, and reason- 
able petitions to the crown for redress, have been repeatedly 
treated with contempt, by his majesty's ministers of state : 

The good people of the several colonies of New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Newcastle, 
Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, and South Carolina, justly alarmed at these arbitrary pro 
ceedings of parliament and administration, have severally elected, 
constituted, and appointed deputies to meet and sit in general 
congress, in the city of Philadelphia, in order to obtain such es- 
tablishment, as that their religion, laws, and liberties may not 
be subverted; whereupon the deputies so appointed being now 
assembled, in a full and free representation of these colonies, 
taking into their most serious consideration the best means of 
attaining the ends aforesaid, do, in the first place, as Englishmen 
their ancestors in like cases have usually done, for asserting and 
vindicating their rights and liberties, DECLARE, 

That the inhabitants of the English oolonies in North America; 
by the immutable laws of nature, the principles of the English 
constitution, and the several charters or compacts, have the fol- 
lowing RIGHTS. 

Resolved, N. C. D.* 1. That they are entitled to life, liberty, 
and property ; and they have never ceded to any sovereign power 
whatever, a right to dispose of either, without their consent. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 2. That our ancestors, who first settled 
these colonies, were, at the time of their emigration from the 
mother country, entitled to all the rights, liberties, and immuni- 
ties of free and natural-born subjects, within the realm of England. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 3. That, by such emigration, they by no 
means forfeited, surrendered, or lost, any of those rights, but that 
thev were, and their descendants now are, entitled to the exercise 
and enjoyment of all such of them, as their local and other cir- 
cumstances enable them to exercise and enjoy. 

Resolved, 4. That the foundation of English liberty, and of all 
free government, is, a right in the people to participate in their 
legislative council ; and as the English colonists are not repre- 
sented, and, from their local and other circumstances, cannot 
properly be represented, in the British parliament, they are en- 

*Ntmine eontradic$nte, no person opposing, or disa(TMlnf. 



titled to a free and exclusive power of legislation in their several 
provincial legislatures, where their right of representation can 
alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation and internal polity, 
subject only to the negative of their sovereign, in such manner as 
has been heretofore used and accustomed ; but, from the necessity 
of the case, and a regard to the mutual interests of both countries, 
we cheerfully consent to the operation of such acts of the British 
.parliament, as are, bona fide, restrained to the regulation of our 
external commerce, for the purpose of securing the commercial 
advantages of the whole empire to the mother country, and the 
commercial benefits of its respective members ; excluding every 
idea of taxation, internal or external, for raising a revenue on the 
subjects in America, without their consent. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 5. That the respective colonies are entitled 
to the common law of England, and more especially to the great 
and inestimable privilege of being tried by their peers of the 
vicinage, according to the course of that law. 

Resolved, 6. That they are entitled to the benefit of such of the 
English statutes, as existed at the time of their colonization ; and 
which they have, by experience, respectively found to be appA- 
cable to their several local and other circumstances. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 7. That these, his majesty's colonies, are 
likewise entitled to all the immunities and privileges, granted 
and confirmed to them by royal charters, or secured by their 
several codes of provincial laws. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 8. That they have a right peaceably to 
assemble, consider of their grievances, and petition the king ; and 
that all prosecutions, prohibitory proclamations, and commit- 
ments for the same, are illegal. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 9. That the keeping a standing army m 
these colonies, in times of peace, without the consent of the legis- 
lature of that colony in which such army is kept, is against law. 

Resolved, N. C. D. 10. It is indispensably necessary to good 
government, and rendered essential by the English constitution, 
that the constituent branches of the legislature be independent of 
each other ; that, therefore, the exercise of legislative power, in 
several colonies, by a council appointed, during pleasure, by the 
crown, is unconstitutional, dangerous, and destructive to the 
freedom of American legislation. 

All and each of which, the aforesaid deputies, in behalf of 
themselves, and their constituents, do claim, demand, and insist 
on, as their indubitable rights and liberties; which cannot be 
legally taken from them, altered, or abridged, by any power 
whatever, without their own consent, by their representatives in 
their several provincial legislatures. 

|# ,.t;}i5^^*?*4^^ 


A Declaration by the representatives of the United States of 
America, in congress assembled. 

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for 
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected 
them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the 
earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature, 
and of nature's God, entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions 
of mankind requires, that they should declare the causes which 
impel them to the separation. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident : that all men are crea- 
ted equal ; that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain 
unalienable rights ; that among these, are life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments 
are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the 
consent of the governed ; that, whenever any form of government 
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to 
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its 
foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such 
form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and 
happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments, 
long established, should not be changed for light and transient 
causes ; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind 
are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to 
right themselves, by abolishing the forms to which they are ac- 
customed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, 
pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce 
them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, 
to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for 
their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of 
these colonies ; and such is now the necessity which constrains 
them to alter their former systems of government. The history 
of the present king of Great Britain is a history of repeated inju- 
ries and usurpations, all having, in direct object, the establishment 
of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts 
be submitted to a candid world. 

He has refused his assent to laws the most wholesome and 
necessary for the public good. 

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and 
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his 
assent should be obtained ; and, when so suspended, he has ut- 
terly neglected to attend to them. 

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of 



large districts of peophe, unless those people would relinquish the 
right of representation in the legislature : a right inestimable to 
them, and formidable to tyrants only. 

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, 
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public 
records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance 
with his measures. 

He has dissolved representative houses, repeatedly, for opposing, 
with manly firmness, his invasions on the rights of the people. 

He has refused, for a long time, after such dissolutions, to 
cause others to be elected ; whereby the legislative powers, inca- 
pable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for 
their exercise; the state remaining, in the mean time, exposed to 
all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. 

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states ; 
for that purpose, obstructing the laws for naturalization of for- 
eigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations 
hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands. 

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing 
his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers. 

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure 
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. 

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither 
swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their sub- 

He has kept among us, in time of peace, standing armies, 
without the consent of our legislatures. 

He has affected to render the military independent of, and su- 
perior to, the civil power. 

He has combined, with others, to subject us to a jurisdiction 
foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our lawsj 
giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation : 

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us : 

For protecting them, by a mock-trial, from punishment for 
any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of 
these states : 

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world : 

For imposing taxes on us, without our consent : 

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury : 

For transporting us beyond seas, to be tried for pretended of- 
fences : 

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring 
province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and en- 
larging its boundaries, so as to render it, at once, an example and 
fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these 
colonies : 



For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable 
laws, and altering, fundamentally, the forms of our governments : 

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves 
invested with power to legislate for us, in all cases whatsoever. 

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his 
protection, and waging war against us. 

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, 
and destroyed the lives of our people. 

He is, at this time, transporting large armies of foreign mer- 
cenaries, to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, 
already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy, scarcely 
paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the 
head of a civilized nation. 

He has constrained our fellow-citizens, taken captive on the 
high seas, to bear arms against their country, to become the exe- 
cutioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by 
their hands. 

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has en- 
deavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merci- 
less Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undis- 
tinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions. 

In every stage of these oppressions, we have petitioned for re- 
dress, in the most humble terms : Our repeated petitions have 
been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose char- 
acter is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is 
unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 

Nor have we been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. 
"We have warned them, from time to time, of attempts, by their 
legislature, to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We 
have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and 
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and 
magnanimity, and we have conjured them, by the ties of our 
common kindred, to disavow these usurpations, which would 
inevitably interrupt our connexions and correspondence. They 
too, have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. 
We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which denounces 
our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, 
enemies in war, in peace, friends. 

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States or 
America, in Gsnekal Conor ess assembled, appealing to the Su- 
preme Judge of the world, for the rectitude of our intentions, do, 
in the name, and by authority, of the good people of these colonies, 
solemnly publish and declare, That these united colonies are, 
and of right ought to be, Free and Independent States j that 
they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and 
that all political connexion between them and the state of Great 



Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved ; and that, as Free 
AND Independent States, they have full power to levy war, con- 
clude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all 
other acts and things, which Independent States may of right 
do. And, for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance 
on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to 
each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. 


And perpetual union, between the states of New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, 
Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. 


The style of this confederacy shall be, " The United States of 


Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, 
and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this 
confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in con- 
gress assembled. 


The said states hereby severally enter into a firm league of 
friendship with each other, for their common defence, the 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 pretence whatever. 


The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and 
intercourse among the people of the different states in this Union, 
the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds, 
and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privi- 
leges and immunities of free citizens, in the several states ; and 
the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and 


from any other state ; and shall enjoy therein all the privileges 
of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions, 
and restrictions, as the inhabitants thereof respectively ; pro- 
vided, that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent 
the removal of property imported into any state, to any other 
state of which the owner is an inhabitant ; provided also, that no 
imposition, duties, or restriction, shall be laid by any state, on 
the properly of the United States, or either of them. 

If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or 
other high misdemeanor, in any state, shall flee from justice, and 
be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of 
the governor or executive power of the state from which he fled, 
be delivered up, and removed to the state having jurisdiction or 
his offence. 

Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these states to 
the records, acts, and judicial proceedings, of the courts and mag- 
istrates of every other stale. 


For the more convenient management of the general interests 
of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in 
such manner as the legislature of each state shall" direct, to meet 
in congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with 
a power reserved to each stale lo recall its delegates, or any of 
them, at any time within the year, and send others in their stead, 
for the remainder of the year. 

No state shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor 
by more than seven, members ; and no person shall be capable 
of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six 
years : nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of hold- 
ing any office under the United States, for which he, or another 
for his benefit, receives any salary, fees, or emolument of any 

Each state shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the 
states, and while they act as members of the committee of the 

In determining questions in the United States in congress as- 
sembled, each state shall have one vote. 

Freedom of speech and debate in congress shall not be ira- 
»eached or questioned, in any court or place out of congress ; and 
he members of congress shall be protected in their persons from 
arrests and imprisonment, during the time of their going to, and 
from, and attendance on, congress, except for treason, felony, or 
breach of the peace. 



No state, without the consent of the United States in congress 
assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy 
from, or enter into any conference, agreement, alliance, or treaty, 
with any king, prince, or state ; nor shall any person, holding 
any office of profit, or trust, under the United States, or any of 
them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any 
kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state ; nor shall 
the United States in congress assembled, or any of them, grant 
any title of nobility. 

No two or more states shall enter into any treaty, confederation, 
or alliance whatever, between them, without the consent of the 
United States in congress assembled, specifying accurately the 
purposes for which the same is to be entered into, and how long 
it shall continue. 

No state shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere 
with any stipulations in treaties entered into, by the United States 
in congress assembled, with any king, prince, or state, in pursu- 
ance of any treaties, already proposed by congress to the courts 
of France and Spain. 

No vessels of war shall be kept up, in time of peace, by any 
state, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary, by 
the United States in congress assembled, for the defence of such 
state, or its trade ; nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any 
state, in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judg- 
ment of the United States in congress assembled, shall be deemed 
requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defence of such 
state : but every state shall always keep up a well-regulated and 
disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutred ; and shall 
provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due 
number of field-pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, 
ammunition, and camp equipage. 

No state shall engage in any war, without the consent of the 
United States in congress assembled, unless such state be actually 
invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a 
resolution being formed by some nation of Indians to invade such 
state, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay 
till the United States in congress assembled can be consulted ; 
nor shall any state grant commissions to any ship or vessels of 
war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a decla- 
ration of war by the United States in congress assembled ; and 
tlien only against the kingdom or state, and the subjects thereof, 
against which war has been so declared, and under such regula- 
tions as shall be established by the United States in congress as- 
sembled ; unless such state be infested by pirates, in which ves- 
22=^ 17 


sels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long 
as the danger shall continue, or until the United Stales in con- 
gress assembled shall determine otherwise. 


When land forces are raised by any state for the common de- 
fence, all officers of, or under, the rank of colonel, shall be ap- 
pointed by the legislature of each state respectively, by whom 
such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such state shall 
direct ; and all vacancies shall be filled up by the state which 
first made the appointment. 


All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be in- 
curred for the common defence, or general welfare, and allowed 
by the United States in congress assembled, shall be defrayed out 
of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several 
states in proportion to the value of all land within each state, 
granted to, or surveyed for, any person, as such land and the 
buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated, according 
to such mode as the United States in congress assembled shall, 
from time to time, direct and appoint. The taxes for paying 
that proportion, shall be laid and levied by the authority and 
direction of the legislatures of the several states, within the time 
agreed upon by the United States in congress assembled. 


The United States in congress assembled, shall have the sole 
and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, 
except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article : of sending 
and receiving ambassadors : entering into treaties and alliances ; 

{)rovided that no treaty of commerce shall be made, whereby the 
egislative power of the respective states shall be restrained from 
imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners as their own peo- 
ple are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or impor- 
tation of any species of goods or commodities whatever : of es- 
tablishing rules for deciding, in all cases, what captures on land 
or water shall be legal ; and in what manner prizes, taken by 
land or naval forces, in the service of the Unitea States, shall be 
divided or appropriated : of granting letters of marque and re- 
prisal, in times of peace : appointing courts for the trial of pira- 
cies and felonies committed on the high seas ; and establishing 
courts for receiving and determining, finally, appeals in all cases 
of captures ; provided, that no member of congress shall be ap- 
pointed a judge of any of the said courts. 


The United States in congress assembled shall also be the last 
resort, on appeal, in all disputes and differences now subsisting, 
or that hereafter may arise, between two or more states, concern- 
ing boundary, jurisdiction, or any other cause whatever ; which 
authority shall always be exercised in the manner following: 
whenever the legislative or executive authority, or lawful agent, 
of any state, in controversy with another, shall present a petition 
to congress, stating the matter in question, and praying for a 
hearing, notice thereof shall be given, by order of congress, to 
the legislative or executive authority of the other state in contro- 
versy ; and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by 
their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint, by joint 
consent, commissioners or judges, to constitute a court for hear- 
ing and determining the matter in question : but if they cannot 
agree, congress shall name three persons, out of each of the Uni- 
ted Slates ; and from the list of such persons, each party shall 
alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the 
number shall be reduced to thirteen ; and from that number, not 
less than seven, nor more than nine, names, as congress shall 
direct, shall, in the presence of congress, be drawn out, by lot ; 
and the persons whose names shall be so drawn, or any five of 
them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally de- 
termine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges, 
who shall hear the cause, shall agree in the determination. And 
if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed, with- 
out showing reasons which congress shall judge sufficient, or 
being present shall refuse to strike, the congress shall proceed to 
nominate three persons out of each state ; and the secretary of 
congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent or refusing j 
and the judgment and sentence of the court, to be appointed in 
the manner before prescribed, shall be final and conclusive. And 
if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of 
such court, or to appear, or defend their claim or cause, the court 
shall, nevertheless, proceed to pronounce sentence or judgment, 
which shall in like manner be final and decisive ; the judgment, 
or sentence, and other proceedings, being, in either case, trans- 
mitted to congress, and lodged among the acts of congress, for 
the security of the parties concerned : provided, that every com- 
missioner, before he sits in judgment, shall take an oath, to be 
administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court 
of the state, where the cause shall be tried, ' w^ell and truly to 
hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best 
of his judgment, without favor, affection, or hope of reward :' 
provided, also, that no state shall be deprived of territory for the 
benefit of the United States. 

All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed 


under different grants of two or more states, whose jurisdictRma 
as they may respect such lands and the states which passed such 
grants, are adjusted, the said grants, or either of them, being at 
the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such 
settlement of jurisdiction, shall, on the petition of either party to 
the congress of the United States, be finally determined, as near 
as may be, in the same manner as is before prescribed for de- 
ciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different 

The United States in congress assembled shall also have the 
sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and 
value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the 
respective states : fixing the standard of weights and measures 
throughout the United States : regulating the trade and managing 
all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the states ; 
provided that the legislative right of any state within its own 
limits be not infringed or violated : establishing and regulating 
post-offices from one state to another, throughout all the United 
States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through 
the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said 
office : appointing all officers of the land forces in the service of 
the United States, excepting regimental officers : appointing all 
the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers 
whatever in the service of the United States : making rules for 
the government and regulation of the land and naval forces, and 
directing their operations. 

The United States in congress assembled shall have authority 
to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of congress, to be 
denominated a committee of the states, and to consist of one 
delegate from each state ; and to appoint such other committees 
and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general 
affairs of the United States under their direction : to appoint one 
of their number to preside ; provided, that no person be allowed 
to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term 
of three years. To ascertain the necessary sums of money to be 
raised for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and 
apply the same for defraying the public expenses : to borrow 
money, or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmit- 
ting every half year to the respective states an account of the 
sums of money so borrowed or emitted : to build and equip a 
navy : to agree upon the number of land forces, and to make 
requisitions from each state for its quota, in proportion to the 
number of white inhabitants in such state, which requisition shall 
be binding ; and thereupon the legislature of each state shall ap- 
point the regimental oflacers, raise the men, and clothe, arm, and 
equip them, in a soldierlike manner, at the expense of the United 


States ; and the oflScers and men so clothed, armed, and equipped, 
shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on, 
by the United States in congress assembled ; but if the United 
States in congress assembled shall, on consideration of circum- 
stances, judge proper that any state should not raise men, or 
should raise a smaller number than its quota, and that any other 
state should raise a greater number of men than its quota thereof, 
such extra number shall be raised, officered, clothed, armed, and 
equipped, in the same manner as the quota of such state ; unless 
the legislature of such state shall judge that such extra number 
cannot be safely spared out of the same ; in which case they shall 
raise, officer, clothe, arm, and equip, as many of such extra num- 
ber as they judge can be safely spared : and the officers and men 
so clothed, armed, and equipped, shall march to the place ap- 
pointed, and within the time agreed on, by the United States in 
congress assembled. 

The United States in congress assembled shall never engage in 
a war ; nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace ; 
nor enter into any treaties or alliances ; nor coin money ; nor 
regulate the value thereof j nor ascertain the sums and expenses 
necessary for the defence and welfare of the United States, or 
any of them ; nor emit bills ; nor borrow money on the credit of 
the United States ; nor appropriate money ; nor agree upon the 
number of vessels of war to be built or purchased, or the number 
of land or sea forces to be raised ; nor appoint a commander-ia- 
chief of the army or navy ; unless nine states assent to the same ; 
nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning 
from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a majority 
of the United States in congress assembled. 

The congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn 
to any time within the year, and to any place within the United 
States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration 
than the space of six months ; and shall publish the journal of 
their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to 
treaties, alliances, or military operations, as in their judgment 
require secrecy ; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each 
state, on any question, shall be entered on the journal, when it 
is desired by any delegate ; and the delegates of a state, or any 
of them, at his or their request, shall be furnished with a tran- 
script of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, 
to lay before the legislatures of the several states. 


The committee of the states, or any nine of them, shall be au- 
thorized to execute, in the recess of congress, such of the powers 


of congress as the United States in congress assembled, by the 
consent of nine states, shall, from time to time, think expedient 
to vest them with ; provided, that no power be delegated to the 
said committee, for the exercise of which, by the articles of con- 
federation, the voice of nine states in the congress of the United 
States assembled is requisite. 


Canada, acceding to this confederation, and joining in the 
measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled 
to all the advantages of this Union. But no other colony shall be 
admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by 
nine states. 


All bills of credit emitted, moneys borrowed, and debts con- 
tracted, by or under the authority of congress, before the assem- 
bling of the United States, in pursuance of the present confedera- 
tion, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the 
United States, for payment and satisfaction whereof, the said 
United States, and the public faith, are hereby solemnly pledged. 


Every state shall abide by the determinations of the United 
States in congress assembled, on all questions which, by this 
confederation, are submitted to them. And the articles of this 
confederation shall be inviolably observed by every state ; and 
the Union shall be perpetual. Nor shall any alteration at any 
time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be 
agreed to, in a congress of the United States, and be afterwards 
confirmed by the legislatures of every state. 

And whereas, it hath pleased the great Governor of the world 
to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent 
in congress to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify, the said 
articles of confederation and perpetual union : 

Know Ye, That we, the undersigned delegates, by virtue of 
the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do, by these 
presents, in tbe name, and in behalf, of our respective constituents, 
fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said 
articles of confederation and perpetual union, and all and singular 
the matters and things therein contained. And we do further 
solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constitu- 
ents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the United 
States in congress assembled, on all questions, which, by the said 


confederation, are submitted to them ; and that the articles there- 
of shall be inviolably observed by the states we respectively 
represent ; and that the union shall be perpetual. 
In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands in con- 
Done at Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, the ninth day 
of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventy eight, and in the third year of the Independence 
of America. 


CHAP. I. — Describe the picture. Verse 1. How does a child 
acquire his first idea of government ? What is this idea ? 2. How 
does a child obtain his first ideas of law ? 3. What are these ideas ? 
4. What of ideas of government and law? 5. What of obedience 
to law and government? 6. What is it that deepens our sense 
of obligation to obey laws? 8. What of habits? What of the 
fireside? 9. What of the plan of divine providence ? 10. What 
ought parents to consider ? What ought children to consider ? 

CHAP. H— Describe the picture. 1. What of children? 2. 
What is it that forbids a child to get fruit from a neighbor's gar- 
den ? 3. Why is a thief taken to prison ? Why are pirates hung? 

4. What of the law ? Who made the law ? 

CHAP, in.— Describe the picture. 1. What will a traveller 
over the world remark? What of the Indians? Why are they 
called savages? 2. What always belongs to the condition of sav- 
ages? 3. What of woman in the savage state? What of the 
men? 4. Lands among savages ? Property among us ? Prop- 
erty among savages? 5. What of a man's house, furniture, mo- 
ney, Ace, among us? What of our Indians? What of the sav- 
ages of New Guinea? 6. What of laws among savages ? Gov- 
ernment of our American Indians ? 

CHAP. IV. — 1. What will the traveller find in pursuing his 
inquiries? 2. What of government among such nations? What 
examples of such government can you mention ? 3. What of the 
chief? 4. What of justice and public opinion in such countries? 

5. Why is this state of society called barbarous? 6. What is 
consistent with the barbarous state ? What of the chief in barba- 
rous countries? 

CHAP. V. — 1. What is that condition which we call civilized? 
What does civilization imply? 2. What are civilized nations ? 
When are nations serai-barbarous ? 3 What of the Turks? 4. 
Of Egypt, Persia, Ace? What of all these semi-barbarous coun- 
tries? 5. What is not excluded by the idea of civilization! 
What is not always secured by civilization? What of most of 
the governments of Europe ? What tends to raise nations in the 
•cale of civilization ? 6. What tends to sink a nation in the scale 


of civilization? 7. In fixing the scale of civilization, what are we 
to consider ? How do you rank nations in civilization ? 

CHAP. VI.— 1. What is society? What of the family? 2. 
What is an insurance company ? 3. What is civil society ? What 
is the state ? 4. What of the obligations of civil society? What 
three things are everywhere observed among mankind? 5. What 
is the distinction between a solitary and a social being ? 

- CHAP. VIL— 1. What of some countries ? 2. What of society 
as it advances? 3. What are the consequences of a division of 
property? In what proportion is a community usually happy? 

4. In what proportion is a country usually poor? Why is this? 

5. What is the object of the greater part of the laws in civilized 
governments ? 6. What other rights does the right of property 
involve ? 

CHAP. VIII.— 1. What is justice ? How is justice often per- 
sonified ? 2. What is political or civil justice ? 3. What is a 
part of man's nature ? May individuals be destitute of the per- 
ception of justice ? Is there any nation destitute of a perception 
of justice ? 4. May the sentiment of justice be weakened? May 
it be strengthened? 5. In what countries only is justice a basis 
of action? 

CHAP. IX. — 1. Why should we inquire what the rights of men 
are ? What of the Scripture rule ? 2. What is the duty of law- 
makers? 3. What are the general rights of man? For what 
only may the natural rights of man be abridged or taken away? 
4. What of liberty ? Value of liberty ? What of the abridgment 
of our natural liberty ? 

CHAP. X.— What is liberty? In its widest sense ? What is 
absolute liberty? What does this allow? 2. What of liberty 
without law ? Of a savage ? Of truth and justice ? Of every 
human being? 3. What of absolute liberty practically? 4. Into 
what, therefore, does absolute liberty run ? When can it only ex- 
ist? 5. Natural liberty? To what is it often applied ? 6. What 
restraints upon natural liberty exist among savages ? 7. What 
of the law of custom ? What other restraints than those of custom 
exist upon savage communities ? If the weak are not protected 
from the strong, what follows ? What of the mass of society, 
where natural liberty is said to prevail ? What is a state of nat- 
ural liberty ? 8. What of the animal tribes ? 9. What of virtue ? 
How is the virtuous man restrained? 10. Why is civil govern- 
ment founded? 11. What has experience taught ? 

CHAP. XI. — 1. What is civil liberty? Why does a man con- 
sent to be taxed ? What of a man's right to walk or ride when he 
pleases? 2. In what does a man consent to have his liberty 
abridged in civilized countries ? 3. Why does a man give up some 
of his natural rights ? 4. What is the great principle on which 

23 . 


civilized society rests? What is all government? "Wny is gov 
ernment necessary ? What does government do ? 5. Why does 
a man with 10,000 dollars, consent to be taxed, and pay away 50 
dollars ? 6. What are numerous in civilized society ? Where is 
the greatest amount of practical liberty enjoyed? 7. What of New 
Holland? 8. What of the savage and his bow? 10. What of 
the savage and the wigwam? What injustice is done where 
property is held in common? 11. What shall we notice to follow 
m proportion as the laws are few and imperfect ? 12. Where is 
there the least liberty? Where is there the most liberty? 

CHAP. XII.— 2. What do the law-makers seek ? What is the 
consequence ? 3. What is civil liberty ? What can you do in 
Massachusetts? 4. What if you were among the western In- 
dians ? Where would you enjoy most freedom, in Massachusetts, 
or among the Indians? 5. Why would you enjoy most liberty in 
Massachusetts ? How does the law requiring license to sell gun- 
powder, promote liberty ? 6. What of dealers in wood, fish, flour, 
&c.? 7. What of every law tending to make life, property, and 
character more secure ? What does this show ? 

CHAP. Xm.—l. What is liberty? Absolute liberty ? Natu- 
ral liberty ? Why can natural and absolute liberty only exist in 
theory? 2. What is meant by a community of property ? 3. What 
does a man do for civilized society ? Why does he pay a tax ? 
What is government bound to do? 4. What is every law ? What 
of the law against murder ? Laws against stealing, wounding, 
&c.? On what are these laws founded? 5. What of the laws 
which compel a man to pay taxes, &c.? Why does a man submit 
to these evils ? 6. What of a community where the laws are 
fewest, and most imperfectly enforced ? What of life, property, 
&c., in such a community ? 7. What of society where the laws 
are most complete, and best enforced ? 8. What is civil liberty? 
Why can a person reasonably ask no other than civil liberty ? 

CHAP. XIV. — 1. What have some persons fancied? What of 
the declaration of independence ? 2. What is impossible ? Why 
is absolute equality impossible ? 3. Mention other grounds of ine- 
quality. 4. What inequalities in nature can you mention? What 
does the whole system of nature and providence show ? 5. What 
of countries where the greatest freedom prevails ? 6. What of 
females ? 7. What of mankind ? In what sense can it be said 
that men are created equal? 8. What thing is plain? What 
does political equality not mean ? What does it mean ? 

CHAP. XV.— 1. What is civil government ? What of society 
without government ? What of a family ? What would be the 
state of things without a government? What has never suc- 
ceeded? Why are government and law required? 2. What is 
matter of necessity? What may all government be considered? 


3. What is society where there is absolute liberty ? What is in- 
dispensable to secure order, justice, &c.? 4. What of a man who 
expects to enjoy liberty without paying for it ? 5. On what prin- 
ciple does a member of society act, in giving up a part of his lib- 
erty to secure the rest? What is government? To what has 
government been compared? 6. What is the great problem of 
government ? What of every act of legislation ? 7. What of the 
-social compact? What of Russia? 8. What maybe said of 
submission ? What of government founded in force? 

CHAP. XVI. — 1. What three things does government embrace ? 
2. What of the form of government of the United States ? Stat- 
utes? Administration? 3. The separate states? Their statutes ? 
Their administration ? Laws that violate a constitution ? 4. 
Government in Great Britain ? The laws ? The administration ? 
What of France ? Many of the systems of Europe ? 5. What other 
division belongs to the government of most civilized countries ? 

CHAP. XVII. — 1. How is legislative power usually vested? 
What is a legislature? 2. What of the two branches of legisla- 
ture? What of a law introduced into either house? 3. What is 
necessary in order that a bill should pass ? When it has passed 
one house, what is done with it ? What happens when it has 
passed both houses? 4. What is legislation? What is the usual 
mode of legislation in civilized countries ? Where are there no 
legislature, and no written laws ? What of power in such coun- 
tries ? 

CHAP. XVIIL— 1. What is the judicial power? The judi- 
ciary ? Of what does a court usually consist ? 2. What if a man 
is charged with a breach of the law ? 3. What of witnesses ? 4. 
Witnesses against the accused ? In his favor ? How many per- 
sons in a jury ? Of whom do they consist ? What do they do? 
What is their decision called? 5. If the verdict is "not guilty?" 
If "guilty?" If the sentence is "death?" If "imprisonment?" 
If a "Jine ? " 

CHAP. XIX. — 1. What of the executive power of the states? 
2. Of the United States? Of England? 3. What is the presi- 
dent's duty ? Who are the cabinet ? What do we call the presi- 
dent and the cabinet ? What are the acts of a president some- 
times called? 4. What is the duty of a governor of a state? 5. 
What of the legislature ? The judiciary ? The executive ? What 
of these three powers? 6. Why ought these three powers to be 
placed in different hands ? 7. Illustrate this. 8, What of de- 
spotic countries ? The sultan of Turkey ? What may be said of 
a government hke that of Turkey ? People of Turkey ? 9. What 
of Tripoli, Morocco, &c.? 

CHAP. XX.— 1. What of parts of Asia and Africa? 2. Who 
rules ovey these wandering tribes ? What does patriarch mean ? 


What of the patriarchal form of government? 3. What can you 
say of the government of a military chieftain? 4. What of the 
mihtary chieftain when he becomes king? 5. What does such a 
kmgdo? 6. What other cunning artifice is adopted by kings ? 
7. What of the union of church and stale ? 8. What of an active 
and ambitious king ? What is an emperor? 9. What were mere 
despotisms? 10. What is a democracy? 11. What of Attica? 
12. What is a republic? What is each of the United States? 
What of the government of the United States? What of Texas, 
&c ? 13. What is the distinction between a democracy and a re- 
public? What is a republic sometimes called? 14. What is an 
aristocracy ? An oligarchy ? A monarchy ? What of most of the 
governments of Europe? 15. What is a despotic government? 
A tyrannical government? A free government? 16. An aristo- 
cratic government ? What of Great Britain ? What is a demo- 
cratic government ? In what sense is ours a democratic govern- 
ment? 17. What constitute the greatest differences in govern- 
ments ? Where is political power placed in a democracy ? In a 
republic? In a despotism? What are popular governments? 
Despotic governments ? 

CHAP. XXI.— 1. What must have been discovered in the first 
human family? What of children? 2. What of a family with- 
out government ? Adam and Eve ? The first government ? Ad- 
am ? 3. What of the first ages of the world? 4. Describe the 
progress of mankind. What of Nimrod ? 5. What more of Nim- 
rod ? 6. What of the sovereigns of Assyria ? Of what is there 
no recorded instance? 7. What of the rest of Asia? Persia? 
The king and the people ? 

CHAP. XXII.— 1. What has the government of the Hebrews 
been called? What is a theocracy? What of this government? 
2. What of David? His successors? 3. What more of the suc- 
cessors of David? 4. What of the laws established by Moses? 
5. What more of the Hebrews ? When did Moses live ? What 
of Confucius ? Solon ? 6. What is the leading idea of the Mo- 
saic institutions ? What was the object of Moses, and what did 
he do? 7. What of the descendants of Aaron? Levites? 8. 
What of the administration of justice ? What was done in the 
time of Moses ? 9. What of pleading before the Hebrew courts ? 
Witnesses ? When a man was found guilty ? 10. What of the 
institutions of the Hebrews ? Administration of justice ? 

CHAP. XXni.— 1. What of the early history of China? 2. 
What of the policy of China? 3. Government of China? Title 
of the emperor? Population of China? 4. Emperor of China? 
5. What of nobility ? Courts ? 6. What of the government of 
China? Punishment? How may China be regarded? 7. Art 
of printing ? Name of the penal code of China ? 8. What of this 


code? 9. Punishments? 10. What is said of rebellion in the 
Chinese law? ^ 

CHAP. XXIV.— 1. What of Egypt? 2, 3. Ruins of Thebes? 
4. What of Egypt 2000 years before Christ ? Where did the Greeks 
obtain their arts ? 5. Political system of Egypt? 6. Religion in 
ancient Egypt? 7. Superstition? 8. Justice? Written laws? 
Perjury? False accusers ? Falsehood? Forgery? 9. The king? 
The priests? 10. Kings after death ? Soldiers and priests ? Di- 
visions of the people? The priests? 11. What kind of govern- 
ment was that of ancient Egypt? 

CHAP. XXV.— 1. What of the origin of Grecian history? 
How long since the first kingdom of Greece was founded ? Who 
was living then? What of Greece before this time? 2. When 
does Grecian history begin ? When does it end ? How long a 
space does the history of ancient Greece occupy ? 3. Describe the 
country occupied by ancient Greece. 4. Ancient Greeks? 5. 
Beauty of the country of Greece ? 6. Climate ? 7. What of the 
nation ? 8. For what are we indebted to the Greeks ? 9. Liberty 
among the Greeks ? Law ? What did the Greeks first discover ? 
10. What of Grecian character ? Anecdote of an old man? 11. 
Patriotism of the Greeks? Anecdote of a king? 12. What of 
personal attachments? Xerxes and the Greek? 13. Solon and 
Croesus ? 

CHAP. XXVL— 1. How was Syracuse settled ? Tell the story 
of Damon and Pythias ? 8. What bad traits of character had the 
Greeks? 9. What of their injustice? Morality? 10. What are 
we forced to confess ? 

CHAP. XXVII.— 1. Of what was Athens the capital ? When, 
and by whom was it founded? Describe its situation. The 
Acropolis ? 2. Seaports of Athens ? Extent of the walls around 
Athens? 3. Temple of Theseus ? 4. Inhabitants of Athens ? 5. 
Who were freemen ? 6. Divisions of citizens ? 7. Strangers re- 
siding in Athens? 8. What was done after a war or the plague? 
9. What is painful to reflect upon? What two kinds of slaves in 
Athens ? 10. What of treatment of slaves ? 11. How were Athe- 
nian slaves employed ? 

CHAP. XXVIII.— 1. Government of Athens? What of archons? 
Pisistratus? Pericles? 2. How were archons elected? What 
was required of them? 3. Oath of the archons? 4. What did 
the archons wear ? How were they paid ? 5. What of the chief 
archon? 6. The second archon ? 7. The third archon? 8. The 
other archons? 9. How were the archons assisted? 10. How 
was the power of making laws vested by Solon ? What of the 
senate council of 400 ? 11. When was the council of 400 in- 
creased ? How were senators chosen ? How did the people vote ? 
12. Power of the senate? 13. Right of freemen? Who were 


excluded from the assemblies ? How often were these assemblies 
held ? If the people did not attend, what was done ? 14. How did 
they proceed at the assemblies of the people ? 15. Upon what 
did the assemblies of the people decide ? 16. What was the chief 
inconvenience resulting from these assemblies ? What of Demos- 
thenes? 17. What of the constitution of Athens? What evils 
existed ? 18. What followed from the fear of loss of power on the 
part of the people ? What of Miltiades? Cimon? 19. Describe 
the process of condemning a public man. 20. What of Aris- 
tides ? Themistocles ? Cimon and Themistocles ? Alcibiades ? 
21. Rewards of the Athenians? 

CHAP. XXIX.— 1. What of the Court of Areopagus ? Where 
did it meet? Whence did it receive its name? 2. What of the 
origin of this court ? What of its business ? 3. How long was the 
tenure of office in this court? Who were admitted to it ? What 
was required of the members ? What caused exclusion ? What 
was forbidden? 4. Tell the anecdote of a bird ? What of for- 
eign states? 5. When did the court meet? Under what circum- 
stances did they sit, and determine causes ? How were they 
divided ? What was their pay ? 

CHAP. XXX.— 1. What other courts in Athens? What did 
these do? 2. How were the judges chosen? Qualifications of 
the judges ? Number of the judges ? What was an inducement 
to become a judge ? 3. Annual expense of these courts ? 5. 
Character of the Athenians? 6. Their most distinguished trait ? 
What of Athens ? Literary character of the Athenians ? 7. 
What of Athens and Sparta ? 8. Compare the .Athenians and 
Lacedemonians? 9. Lycurgus? 10. What was the capital of 
Laconia? What other towns in Laconia ? What of their depu 
lies? 11. Describe Ancient Sparta? 12. What two classes of 
citizens in Sparta ? What occurred on the birth of a child ? 13. 
What of children whose parents were both Spartans ? 14. Who 
were disqualified from holding office? 15. What of slaves? 
Who were the Helots? 16. What did the Helots do? 17, 18. 
What more of the Helots. 

CHAP. XXXI.— 1. What did the political constitution of Sparta 
embrace? 2. What of the two kings of Sparta? 3. Power 
and duties of the kings ? 4. Number of the Senate ? Qualifica- 
tion of the members ? How elected ? Their duties ? 5. What 
was the number of the Ephori ? Hew elected ? Their duties 
and power? 6. What other duties and powers had the Ephori? 
7. What was the business of the assemblies of the people ? Who 
composed them? Number of citizens in Laconia? 8. Bachelors 
in Sparta? 9. What did Lycurgus ordain in respect to children? 
10. What of the Spartans in respect to eating ? 11. Food and 


drink of the Spartans? 12. Clothing? 13. What of the Spar- 
tans in respect to laws and customs ? 14. Treatment of supe- 
riors ? 15. Science, literature and arts ? 16. Profession of a 
soldier? 17. What of stealing? 18. Training of boys? Of 
young men and women ? What of whipping at the temple of 
Diana? 19. Money? Contracts? 20. What of a man before 
thirty ? 21. What took place in time of war ? What of bravery 
in wkr ? 22. When a Spartan fell in battle on the frontiers, what 
was done ? 

CHAP. XXX II.— 1. What kind of government had other states 
of Greece ? How was the chief power vested ? What two par- 
ties existed in almost all the states ? 2. What of the institutions, 
science and arts in these states? 3. What did the council of 
the Amphictyons resemble ? How many states were united in 
this confederation ? How many votes had each ? What number 
of deputies could each send ? 4. What were the chief objects of 
this council? 5. When and where did this council meet? Who 
attended their meetings ? 6. How did they open their proceed- 
ings ? What oath was taken by the states that united in this 
league ? 7. What could the council do ? 8. What of the feebler 
and stronger states? The Lacedemonians? 9. What of rob- 
bing the temple of Delphi ? 10. What of the Phocians and 
Boeotians ? What of Philip of Macedon ? 

CHAP. XXXni.— 1. How did the city of Rome get its name ? 
When was it founded ? How was it built ? Into what three 
parts was the territory divided ? How was the third portion di- 
vided ? 2. What of Rome in its day of glory ? 3. What of the 
Forum? 4. What more of the Forum? 5. What of its present 
state ? 6. The aqueducts of Rome ? 7. How was the city 
cleaned? 8. Roads? 

CHAP. XXXIV.— 1. What of citizenship in Rome? 2. How 
were the citizens divided ? 3. Divisions of the people? 4. What 
of the patrician order? 5. The equestrian order? 6,7. The 
plebeian order ? 8, 9. What of slaves? 10. Market for slaves ? 
11. Power of masters? Laws respecting slavery? Anecdote 
of slavery ? 12. Liberation of slaves ? 

CHAP. XXXV.— 1. Constitution of Rome? 2. Romulus? 
How long did the regal power exist ? Who was the last of the 
kings? 3. Election and power of kings? Badges? 4. Power 
of the people of Rome? 5. What of the Senate? 6. How were 
Senators chosen ? Their number? 7. Upon what subjects was 
the Senate consulted ? What of their mode of voting, debating, 
&c. ? What of speeches ? 8. What occurred when all had offer- 
ed their opinions ? What was a decree of the Senate called ? 
What was done with this decree? 9. What was a magistrate in 


the Roman Kepublic? 10. Origin of the word candidate? 11. 
The ordinary magistrates ? 12. Extraordinary magistrates ? 13. 
What was required of all magistrates ? 14. How were the laws 
of Rome established? Foundation of Roman laws? 15. What 
of new laws? 16. Roman punishments? 17. Modes of capital 
punishment ? 

CHAP. XXXVl.— 1. What was the first great empire of the 
world ? What of this empire ? 2. What of Persia ? 3. What 
of government in all the ancient empires? 4. What of other 
Asiatic countries ? China and Japan ? 5. Institutions of the 
Hebrews? 6. What do we learn from these ancient govern- 
ments? 7. What of Greece? 8. Rome? 9. Institutions of 
Greece and Rome? 10. What of the Saracens? Europe? 

1, 2. What of the early history of the Feudal System ? What 
of Pharamond ? 3. What of the feudal system, from the time 
of Pharamond? 4. Describe the German and other tribes? 5. 
What of leaders of these tribes ? 6. Division of spoils among 
these tribes ? 7. What constituted the chief feature of the feudal 
system ? 8. What of the common people under the feudal sys- 
tem ? 9. What of Clovis ? 10. When did the feudal system 
prevail? 11. What happened about the fourteenth century? 
What gradual change took place from the fourteenth century ? 
12. What of the first settlers of America? 

CHAP. XXXVII.— 2. What of Pharamond? Clovis? 3. What 
of the early government ? What of Pepin the short ? Charle- 
magne? 4. Successors of Charlemagne ? Power of the king? 
The people? 5. Louis XIV.? 6. What of the palace of Ver- 
sailles ? 7. Kings of France, up to the time of Louis XIV. ? 8. 
What could the king do ? 9. What of the Bastile ? Lettres de 
cachet f 10. How were these used? 11. What abuses grew up? 
12. How did the lettres de cachet sustain despotism ? 13—22. 
What of the iron mask ? 23. What occurred in 1789 ? 24—26. 
What of a certain prisoner ? 

CHAP. XXXVIII.— 1. What of the history of France since 
Louis XIV. ? 2. Louis XVI. ? What assembly did he convoke ? 
3. What of this assembly ? What of the States General ? 4. 
What of Necker's plan ? Into what assembly did the tiers etat 
form themselves ? 5. What occurred in the assembly Aug. 4, 
1789 ? On the 5th Oct ? 6. What of Louis and his family ? 7. 
What of the Jacobins? 8. What occurred on the 10th August, 
1792 ? 9. When was the National Convention opened ? What 
was done at their first sitting ? What occurred on the 21st of 
January, 1793? 10. Who declared war against the French Re- 

Jublic? 11. What of the common people? What occurred in 
one, 1793? 12. What of the committee of public safety? 13. 


What of the Queen ? The Duke of Orleans? 14. What of Car- 
rier? City of Lyons? 15. Executions in Paris? Robespierre, 
Couthon, and St. Juste? 16. What form of government was 
established? What occurred in 1799? 17. What of Bonaparte? 
18. What of Louis XVIII. ? Charles X.? 19. Louis Philippe? 
What constitution was formed ? 20. What of the recent history 
of France ? 21. What of the French Revolution ? The people? 
-22. What occurred in this state of anarchy ? 23. What follows 
the career of Bonaparte ? What is the present form of govern- 
ment in France? 24. What is the lower house called? The 
upper house ? What of the Peers ? Whole number of electors ? 
What of proceedings in the French Parliament? 

CHAP. XXXIX.— 1. What of the political history of Great 
Britain? 2. What of Caesar? 3. Rome? What of Britain 
after the fall of Rome? 4. Population of England? Who was 
the founder of the English monarchy ? 5. Whose son was Alfred ? 
When did he ascend the throne? 6 — 11. Give an account of 
Alfred's reign and character. 12. William, duke of Normandy? 

CHAP. XL.— 1. What of John? 2. What occurred at Run- 
nymede, June, 1215 ? 3. In what language is Magna Charta ? 4. 
What was the king of England accustomed to do before this pe- 
riod? 5. What of the countess of Chester? Countess of War- 
wick ? 6. Object of Magna Charta? 7. What extracts can you 
give from Magna Charta ? 8. Of England from the time of 
John? 9. What occurred in 1649? What of Cromwell? 10. 
What occurred in 1660 ? What of Great Britain since that pe- 

CHAP. XLI. — 1. What does the British empire embrace? 
2. What of England? Scotland? Ireland? 3. What of the 
West Indies? 4. Hindostan? 5. East Indies? 6. British de- 
pendencies in North America ? 7. What of the Australian colo- 
nies? African colonies'? What other dependencies has Great 
Britain? 8. Upon what does the ascendency of Great Britain 
chiefly depend ? British character ? 

CHAP. XLII.— 1. Government of Great Britain? 2. What 
of the Executive ? 3. The Legislature? 4. What of Parlia- 
ment ? 5. What of the British constitution ? 6. What explana- 
tion can be offered of the British system? 7. What of the 
British monarchy ? 8. What of the Reform Bill ? 9. What of 
the House of Commons ? 10. The constituency of Great Britain? 
Qualifications? 11. Duration of Parliament? 12. House of 
Lords? 13. The king? 14. Patronage of the king? What ex- 
clusive right has he? How is he held in check? 15. Howls 
the king said to be incapable of doing wrong ? 16. Who con- 
stitutes the king's cabinet? 17. What is the privy council? 

CHAP. XLIII— 1. When does Parliament sit? 2. Who may 



propose a new law ? What is the process of making a law ? 3. 
What of bills for raising money ? 4. What of money annually 
raised by Parliament ? How is justice administered ? What two 
kinds of English law? What is common law? Equity law? 
What of laws in Scotland ? How is justice administered there ? 

CHAP. XLIV.— 1. What of the government of Spain ? What 
is the heir-apparent called? Other royal children? 2,3. De- 
scribe the constitution of 1837. 4. What of the early history 
of Venice? What of the Doge? 5. Government of Venice? 6. 
Venetian navy? What occurred in 1797? 7. What of Genoa? 
8. What of Sardinia? Austria? Italy? Modena? Parma? 
Lucca? Tuscany? 9. States of the church? Naples? 10. 
Greece? Present government of Greece? 11. Government of 
Turkey? 12. Switzerland? 13. Austria? 14. Russia? 15. 
Principal German states ? 16. Holland and Belgium ? Denmark ? 
Sweden? Norway? 17. Government of Russia? What of the 
Emperor ? The nobles ? The courts ? Punishments ? 18. Rev- 
enues ? The navy ? Army ? Present position of Russia? 

CHAP. XLV.— 2. What of Columbus? 3. Aborigines of 
America? 4. Origin and early history of the American Indians? 
5. What of the king of Spain? 6. Other European powers? 
7. First object of Europeans in America ? What other objects 
were afterwards sought? 8. On what were European rights to 
territory in America founded ? 9. What of the right of discove- 
ry? 10. How did the Europeans consider the Indians? H. 
What was the practice of Europeans toward the natives? 12. 
What system did the English adopt ? 

CHAP. XLVL— 1. What of the settlement of Jamestown? 2. 
Under what charter did these persons settle in Virginia? 3. 
What of the charter of king James? What division took 
place ? 4. What of New York ? When did New York come 
mto the hands of the English? What of the first Settlement in 
New England? 6. What of Maryland ? New Jersey ? Penn- 
sylvania? Delaware? 7. North Carolina? South Carolina? 
Georgia? 8, What colonies were established in North America? 
What of the thirteen colonies ? 9. Of Maine? Vermont? 

CHAP. XLVII. — 1. What has been the practice of commer- 
cial nations ? What of these settlements ? What are they call- 
ed? 2. What is the inducement to found colonies? What of 
Carthage? 3. Greece? 4. Rome? What happened after the 
hll of the Roman Empire? Genoa? Venice? 5. What of the 
Portuguese? 6. What of the continent of America? 7. What 
of the thirteen colonies ? 8. What of the charters of the colo- 
nies? 9. What were the different situations of the colonies? 
10. What of the English colonies as to Great Britain? 11. 
What of the home government? 12. What more of colonies? 


13. What of tiie people of the colonies? How did the colonies 
flourish ? 14. What were the oppressions of the British govern- 

CHAP. XLVIIL— 1. What of the colonies? 2. What occur- 
red in 1774 ? 3. What of the first Congress ? 4. What did the 
first Congress do? When was the Declaration of Independence 
adopted ? How was it received by the people ? What did Con- 
gress recommend in order to carry out the plan of national inde- 
pendence ? 5. What was the government until near the close of 
the war ? What of the articles of confederation ? What of Con- 
gress during the war? 6. What of the power of Congress? 
What must be considered in respect to the government of Con- 
gress during the war? 7. What was obvious? 

CHAP. XLIX.— 1. What occurred in 1777? What in 1781? 
2. What of the articles of confederation ? 3. What did an emi- 
nent statesman say? 4. What of Congress? The states? 5. 
What could Congress not do? 6. What of these evils ? 

CHAP. L.— 1. What occurred in 1786? What in September, 
1786. 2. What did Congress do? What occurred in September, 
1787 ? What occurred in 1789 ? 3. What of North Carolina 
and Rhode Island? What of the first thirteen states? What 
of the other thirteen ? What is the duty of every American citi - 

CHAP. LI.— 1. What of the government of Great Britain, 
France, &c.? The laws of the British Parliament? The laws 
of the French Legislature? 2. What of the twenty-six states? 
The constitution? 3. What are the chief powers granted to the 
national' government? What powers are withheld from the 
states ? 

CHAP. LIL— Repeat the preamble of the constitution.* What 
was the first object of the constitution ? Why was a more per- 
fect union necessary ? What was the second object of the con- 
stitution ? Why was this necessary ? What was the next object 
of the constitution ? What is the meaning of this ? What was 
the next object of the constitution? Why was this necessary? 
What was the next object of the constitution ? Why should the 
general government have this power? What is the last object 
of the constitution, as set forth by the preamble ? What is civil 
liberty? Of what does the constitution consist? What of the 
first article of the constitution ? 

Article I. Repeat the first section of Article I. What is 

* It may be well, in examining the pupil upon the Constitution, to let hJm 
hare a book in his hand, to see what sections and verses are referred to ; but ths 
answers should be given with the book closed. 


the meaning of this? Repeat sec. 2, ver. 1. What docs this 
mean ? Repeat ver. 2. What does this mean ? Repeat ver. 3. 
What principle does this verse lay down ? What occurred in 
1842? How many representatives in Congress has Maine? 
New Hampshire? Massachusetts, Ace? What is naeant by the 
phrase, bound to service for a term of years? What is meant by 
the phrase " all other persons ? " Repeat ver. 4 ; ver. 5. What is 
the power of impeachment ? What occurred in 1805 ? 

Repeat sec. 3, ver. 1. What does this mean? Why are two 
houses needed in a legislature ? What of the Senate as com- 
pared with the House of Representatives ? Repeat ver. 2, sec. 3. 
What provision is here made ? Repeat ver. 3. What does it 
mean ? Repeat ver. 4. What does it mean ? Repeat ver. 5. 
What does it mean ? Repeat ver, 6. What does it mean ? Re- 
peat ver. 7. What does it mean ? 

Repeat sec. 4, ver. 1. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. 
What does it mean ? Repeat sec. 5, ver. 1. What does it mean? 
Ver. 2 ? Ver. 3 ? Ver. 4 ? Sec. 6, ver. 1 ? Why should a mem- 
ber of Congress be free from arrest ? Why should he be able to 
speak freely? Repeat ver. 2, sec. 6. Why are these restric- 
tions proper ? 

Repeat sec. 7, ver. 1. What does this mean? Why is this 
provision wise and just ? Repeat ver. 2, sec. 7. What powers 
does this give the President ? What does veto mean ? What of 
the veto power in England ? What if a President vetoes a bill ? 
Repeat ver. 3. What does this mean ? What power has Con- 
gress according to sec. 8, ver. 1 ? What power has Congress ac- 
cording to ver. 2? According to ver. 3 ? Ver. 4 ? Ver. 5. ? Ver. 
6? Ver. 7? Ver. 8? Ver. 9? Ver. 10? Ver. 11? Ver. 12? 
Ver. 13? Ver. 14? Ver. 15? Ver. 16? Ver. 17? Upon what 
are taxes laid ? 

Upon what are duties or imposts levied ? How are duties on 
foreign goods collected ? How is the chief revenue of the Uni- 
ted States obtained ? What of direct taxation ? From what do 
,the States derive their revenue ? What of the power to regulate 
commerce ? What of the District of Columbia ? Where were the 
first and second seats of the general government ? What of 
Washington ? What is the meaning of sec. 9, ver. 1 ? Repeat 
ver. 2. What of the habeas corpus? Repeat ver. 3. What is a 
bill of attainder ? An ex post facto law ? 

Repeat ver. 4. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 5. "What 
does It mean ? Ver. 6. What does it mean ? Why are the re- 
strictions of this last verse indispensable? What does ver. 7 
prohibit? What does sec. 9, ver. 1, prohibit? What does ver. 2 
prohibit ? What of bill of credit ? 

Artiou n. To what does Article II. relate ? Repeat sec. 1, 


ver. 1. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. What does it 
mean? Repeat ver. 4. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 5? 
Ver. 6 ? What does it mean ? What of Harrison ? Tyler ? Re- 
peat ver. 7. What does it mean ? Repeat ver. 8. What does 
it mean ? What of the salary of the President ? Repeat sec 2, 
ver. 1. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. What does it mean? 
Repeat ver. 3. What of the appointing power? How many 
persons are employed by the general government ? How many 
postmasters ? What of the opposition to the government ? Re- 
peat sec. 3, ver. 1. What occurs when Congress comes together? 
Repeat sec. 4, ver. 1. 

Article III. To what does this article relate ? Repeat section 
1 of Article III. What does it mean? Repeat sec. 2, ver. 1. 
To what cases does the judicial power of the United States Courts 
extend? Repeat ver. 2. What is meant by original jurisdiction? 
By appellate jurisdiction ? Repeat ver. 3. What is here secured ? 
Where did the trial by jury originate? What is the design of a 
trial by jury? What is meant by peers? How is the trial by 
jury esteemed? Repeat sec. 3, ver. 1. Repeat ver. 2. What is 
treason in England ? In the United States? What is generally 
thought of treason? How is treason punished in England? Why 
was it important clearly to define treason ? What is the punish- 
ment of treason fixed by Congress ? What is the meaning of 
attainder ? What was the consequence of being attainted of 
treason in England? What is the meaning of the phrase, "work 
corruption of blood?" What of Aaron Burr? Why was he 
acquitted of the charge of treason ? 

Article IV. Repeat section 1. What does it mean? Re- 
peat sec. 2, ver. 1. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. What 
does it mean? Repeat ver. 3. What does it mean? What is 
the meaning of the phrase "held to service?" Repeat sec. 3, 
ver. 1. What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. What does it 
mean? What are the territories now belonging to the United 
States ? What is the basis of the governments of these territo- 
ries? What of the present form of government in the territo- 
ries ? How is a territory represented in Congress ? How may a 
territory become a state? What states were once territories? 
Repeat sec. 4. What occurred in Rhode Island in 1842? 

Article V. Repeat this article. Article VI. Repeat ver. 1. 
What does it mean? Repeat ver. 2. What does this mean? 
Repeat ver. 3. What does this mean? What has frequently 
happened in England, France and other countries? What of 
Catholics in England? Repeat Art. VII. Where was the first 
election under the constitution? Who was the first President 
under the constitution ? The first Vice-President ? Repeat the 
names of the other Presidents, with the periods they held the office. 



Amendments to the Constitution. Repeat Art. I. What is 
meant by the union of church and state ? "What of England ? 
What is the meaning of freedom of speech and of the press ? 
Why are these rights important ? Why is the right of the people 
peaceably to assemble, important ? What of the right of petition ? 

Repeat Art. II. What is the case in some despotic countries? 
Repeat Art. III. What has been a common act of tyranny ? Re- 
peat Art. IV. Why is this provision important ? Repeat Art. V. 
Repeat Art. VI. What provisions are here made in behalf of a 
man accused of crime ? Repeat Art. VII. What is the meaning 
of common law in England ? In the United States ? 

Repeat Art. VIII. What is the meaning of bail ? When should 
excessive bail not be required? Repeat Art. IX. Art. X. Art. 
XI. Art. XII. Ver. 1. Ver. 2. Ver. 3. How have most Presi- 
dents been elected ? What occurred in 1825 ? Repeat Art. XIII. 

CHAP. Lll. — Ver. 1. Why should Americans study and under- 
stand the constitution? Why should citizens know what it 
means ? Ver. 2. What does the constitution establish ? What 
is our government called? Why is our government a partner- 
ship ? Ver. 3. What distribution of powers does the constitu- 
tion establish ? Why are these powers kept distinct ? 4. Of what 
is Congress the source. What is the duty of the President ? 
Province of the judges ? Ver. 5. What does the constitution 
take away from the slates and give to the federal government ? 
6. What does the constitution leave to the states ? Ver. 7. What 
binds us together as a nation ? What is likely to form our na- 
tional character ? Why do foreigners chiefly regard our national 
government ? Ver. 8. How is the constitution the bulwark of 
our liberties ? Ver. 9. What is every citizen bound to do ? 

CHAP. LIII.— Ver. 1. How is Congress divided? What of 
their sessions ? Ver. 2. For how long a term are senators chosen ? 
How many are there from each state? How many from all? 
How old must a person be to hold a seat in the Senate ? What 
powers have the Senate beside those of legislation? Ver. 3. 
What of the representatives? How many representatives are 
there in Congress ? Ver. 4. Who has the power of impeach- 
ment? Who tries persons impeached? What is the pay of 
members of Congress ? 

CHAP. LIV.— Ver. 1. What is the constitution? Upon whom 
does the character of the governmeni greatly depend? Ver. 2. 
Why should we put good men into office? Ver. 3. What are the 
President and his advisers called ? Why ? 

CHAP. LV.— Ver. 1, 2. What is the salary of the President? 
What more of the President ? Ver. 3. What of the Vice-Presi- 
dent? Ver. 4. What advisers has the President ? Ver. 5. What 
of these advisers of the President ? Ver. 6. What is the Cabi- 


net? The Cabinet Council ? Ver. 7. What of the Cabinet? Ver. 
8. What is a large and responsible part of the duty of the Presi- 
dent? Ver. 9. What is necessary in all cases? Ver. 10. What 
of executive sessions? Ver. 11. What are Secretaries called in 
England? What difference between them and our Secretaries? 
Salary of the Secretaries ? 

CHAP. LVL— Ver. 1. Describe the office of Secretary of State. 
Ver. 2. His principal duty. Ver. 3. What other duty has he ? 
Ver. 4. What do the duties of the Secretary of State require? 
5. What must be his character in other respects ? Ver. 6. What 
eminent statesmen have held this office ? 

CHAP. LVIL— Ver. 1. Describe the Treasury Department. 
Ver. 2. Special duty of the Secretary of the Treasury. Ver. 3. 
What other duty has he ? Ver. 4. What should be his charac- 
ter. Ver. 5. From what does the government chiefly derive its 
revenue ? Ver. 5. What two forms of duty ? Ver. 6. What is 
a specific duty ? Ver. 7. An ad valorem duty ? Ver. 8, What 
of custom-houses? Ver. 9. What is done when a vessel ar- 
rives ? Ver. 10. Why should an honest man be at the head of 
the Treasury Department ? Ver. 11. How can the duties be so 
laid as to encourage the industry of our country? Ver. 12. 
What effect has the laying of duties on foreign articles ? Ver. 
13. What is a tariff? A protective tariff? If we do not tax 
foreign productions, what will be the effect? Ver. 14. What 
other reasons are urged in favor of a protective tariff? 15. What 
of the protective policy ? When was it adopted in this country ? 
What is adopted in other civilized countries ? Ver. 16. Why do 
some statesmen object to the protective system? Ver. 17. What 
is free trade ? Who are in favor of it ? How would they pay 
the expenses of government ? Ver. 18. What other views have 
the friends of free trade ? What is a horizontal tariff? Ver. 19. 
What do these persons approve? What do they condemn as 
unconstitutional ? What are discriminating duties ? What is in- 
cidental to protection ? What is deemed a trespass upon the 
constitution? Ver. 20. What policy has prevailed since the 
adoption of the constitution? Ver. 21. For what is the Secretary 
of the Treasury called upon ? Ver. 22. Annual expenses of the 
government ? How is this money obtained ? Ver. 23. What of 
the public lands ? Ver. 24. What of the mint ? 

CHAP. LVni.— Ver. 1. What of the War Department? Ver. 
2, 3. Duties of the Secretary of War? Ver. 4. What of peace 
and war? Ver. 5. What of the army? Number of men? 
Annual expense ? 

CHAP. LIX.— Ver. 1. Duties of the Secretary of the Navy? 
Ver. 2. What of navy yards ? Ver. 3. Naval Commissioners ? 


Ver. 4. The navy? Number of vessels? Persons emplojredf 
Annual expense ? 

CHAP. LX.— Ver. 1. Describe the General Post-office. What 
assistance has the Postmaster-General? Ver. 2. How many 
post-otfices in the United States? Income and expense of the 
General Post-office? Ver. 3. How are Postmasters appointed? 
Salary of the Postmaster-General ? 

CHAP. LXL— Ver. 1. What of the Attorney-General ? 

CHAP. LXn.— Ver. 1. What of the Patent Office? Ver. 2. 
What are patent rights ? Why are they granted ? Ver. 3. What 
of models in the patent office ? Ver. 4. What beside models are 
in the patent office? Ver. 5. Who has charge of the patent 

CHAP. LXin.— Ver. I. Of what consists the Judiciary of the 
United States? How are the judges appointed? Their tenure 
of office? Ver. 2. Who compose the supreme court? When 
does it sit? What of each of the judges? What of district 
courts? Ver. 3. What of circuit and district courts ? Supreme 
court? Ver. 4. What cannot be brought before the U. S. court? 
What is jurisdiction ? To what is the jurisdiction of the United 
States court confined? Ver. 5. What of a District Attorney? 
Ver. 6. What of a Marshal ? Ver. 7. What is said of each dis- 
trict? Ver. 7. What is copy -right? AVhat privileges does this 
confer? Ver. 8. Salaries of the judges? Ver. 9. What emi- 
nent men have held the office of Chief Justice of the United 

CHAP. LXIV.— Ver. 2. What of each of the states ? Rhode 
Island ? Ver. 3. Of what two parts do some of the state consti- 
tutions consist ? Ver. 4. What do all the state constitutions pre- 
scribe ? Ver. 5. What provision is made in them all? Ver. 6. 
What officers are there in every state ? What of the Governor ? 
Ver. 7. How is the Governor" elected ? Ver. 8. What of State 
Legislatures ? Ver. 9. Meeting of State Legislatures ? Ver. 10. 
Judiciary of the several states? 11. Divisions of the states? 

CHAP. LXV— Ver. 1. What of punishments in barbarous 
ages? Ver. 2. In England? What is a capital offi»nce ? Yet. 
3. Capital offences in England now? Ver. 4. Capital punish- 
ment in the United States? Ver. 5. Chief punishments now in- 
flicted in the United States? Ver. 6.' Imprisonment for debt? 

CHAP. LXVI.— Ver. 1. What is the right of suffrage? The 
elective franchise? Of England, France, dec. ? This country? 
Ver. 2. What are the qualitications of a voter in most of the 
states? What of the right of suffrage in former times and now? 
Ver. 3, 4, 5. What of Rhode Island? Ver. 6. What form of 
voting is preferred by the American people? Describe voting by 


ballot. Why is voting by ballot preferred? Ver. 7. Why do 
not women vote ? Why do not children vote ? 

CHAP. LXVII.— Ver. 1. What great principle lies at the 
foundation of our government? How is the decision of the 
people ascertained? Ver. 2. What of forming the constitution? 
Ver. 3. Choosing members of Congress, &c. ? What is a candi- 
date ? Ver. 4. What is a plurality of votes? Is a person hav- 
ing a plurality ever declared elected ? Why should the majority 
rule ? 

CHAP. LXVni. — Ver. 1. How do political parties arise? Ver. 
2. Why is there usually a good deal of bitterness between par- 
ties ? What has often happened in respect to parties ? Ver. 3. 
What of Greece, Rome, &:c. ? The terms whig and tory ? Ver. 
4. Who were called whigs during the revolution ? Who tories ? 
Ver. 5. How did the name of federalist arise ? Who were lead- 
er^ of the federal party ? Ver. 6. What class of persons were 
republicans ? Who were of this party ? What were the repub- 
licans afterwards called? Ver. 7. How long did these parties 
continue ? How are the terms democrat and federalist lately ap- 
plied ? Ver. 8. Describe political conventions. Ver. 9. Benefit 
of these conventions. Ver. 10. What of candidates in the South- 
ern and Western states ? Ver. 11. What of a caucus ? 

CHAP. LXIX. — Ver. 1. What have we shown in respect to 
civil government? Ver. 2. Design of government? To what 
may good government be compared ? Ver. 3. What should we 
do for our g9vernment? Sec. 1, Why should we pay taxes? 
How much is paid by each man, woman and child for the sup- 
port of the national government ? Expenses of state govern- 
ments? Sec. 2. What of military duty? Of Quakers and oth- 
ers? Sec. 3. What other duties devolve upon citizens? Sec. 4. 
Why is the administration of government as important as its 
form ? Why are the voters responsible for the manner in which 
government is carried on? What if a man vote for a bad ruler? 
Why should a man not stay away from the polls ? For what is 
one who stays away from the polls answerable? How should a 
man govern his conduct in acting for his country? Should a 
freeman ever neglect to vote ? Should he ever use his vote dis- 
honestly? Should he ever use it merely for party purposes? 
Should he use it selfishly ? For whom should a man cast his 
ballot — for his country's good, or his own benefit or caprice? 

Sec. 5. Why should the people support the laws? How should 
political discussions be conducted? What should be the first ob- 
ject of an inquirer ? What should be the first question in re- 
spect to any statement ? Is it ever right to deceive in politics ? 
Should we be as honest in politics as in anything else ? 



Declaration of Rights, 6cc. — When and by whom was this 
made ? ITT^ The teacher can here put such other questions as he 
may deem proper. It may be well to require him to tell the sub- 
stance of each of the resolves contained in this Declaration of 
Rights ; for these collectively contain the views and opinions of 
the people of this country, at the opening of the revolutionary 
war. It was for a violation of these rights, they threw off the 
British yoke. 

Declaration of Independence. — When was this Declaration 
adopted ? By whom ? Why was this Declaration made ? What 
truths are said to be self-evident? For what is government in- 
stituted? When have the people a right to abolish a govern- 
ment ? What is the dictate of prudence ? What has experience 
shown ? When is it the right and duty of a people to throw off 
a government ? What is said to be the present necessity ? What 
is it said the history of the king of Great Britain presents ? What 
facts are stated ? UZ^ Here let the pupil be questioned separately 
upon the statement of facts. 

What is said of petitions to the king ? Of appeals to the 
people of England ? To whom do the authors of the Declaration 
appeal ? What declaration do they make ? Upon whom do they 
say they place reliance ? 

Articles of Confederation. DIT* The teacher will put such 
questions upon these as he deems proper. The pupil ought, at 
least, to read them carefully — and to bear in mind that they were 
one of the steps which led to the formation of our present con- 
stitution ; and that in many respects, they resemble that admira- 
ble document. 

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