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HAND-BOOK OF POLITICS
BEING A RECORD OF
IMPORTANT POLITICAL ACTION
LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, AND JUDICIAL,
NATIONAL AND STATE,
From July 1, 1880, to July 31, 1882.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882,
BY EDWARD MCPHERSON,
INQUIRER P. & P. Co., STEREOTYPERS AND PRINTERS,
A REFERENCE to the Table of Contents will show the variety of information gathered within these pages. Among the most important are the legislation upon the extension of the charters of the National Banks, the proposed funding legislation, and the effort to modify the Coinage Act. These votes extended through the last Congress and the present, and serve to show the precise attitude of parties upon these grave questions.
Among the interesting questions, a settlement of which is recorded, is that of the apportionment of Representatives among the several States. This subject engaged the attention of the last Congress and of the present, and led naturally to a controversy which to some extent was marked by sectional lines. A study of the bills proposed, in the light of the accompanying tables upon apportionment, will explain how, by whom, and why, the number 325 was fixed upon in place of the 293 now existing and of every intervening number proposed.
The affirmative legislation of Congress covers the question of Polygamy, which has been more or less a subject in agitation for a quarter of a century, the restriction of the immigration of Chinese, the final adjustment of the Geneva award controversy, and the passage of the Tariff Commission Act; leaving of weighty matters still undisposed of the determination of the Electoral Count, the regulation of Inter-State Commerce, and the reduction of Taxation. In all of these some progress has been made, of which there is mention in appropriate places.
Among the Executive papers are the last Message of President HAYES, and his veto of the Refunding Bill at the close of the last session of the Forty-sixth Congress; the elaborate Inaugural Address, being the last State paper, of President GARFIELD, with that of President ARTHUR; the first Annual Message of the latter, with his veto Messages on the first Chinese Bill, on the bill relating to the carriage of Immigrants, and on the River and Harbor bill
, and his various special messages. The decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States for the period, whilst being less important, are hardly less interesting than those which have formerly been printed.
Students of Constitutional history will find suggestive chapters in those devoted to the amendments made and pending to the constitutions of the various states, and of proposed amendments to the constitution of the United States, the latter chapter being curiously attractive as showing the views of an observing official class touching the points of weakness in our system.
In the votes recorded, the names of the Republicans are inserted in Roman, of the Democrats in Italics, of the Greenbackers in SMALL CAPS, and of the Independents in SMALL CAPS. As this book is rather a record of the action of parties than of individual members, no notice is taken of pairs in either house. Generally those whose names are not recorded as voting are paired with each other, though there are some signal exceptions to this rule.
Necessity for an early publication of the book has compelled me to close some of the chapters prematurely. Hence in a few instances items appropriate to a subject will be found out of their proper places; but the Index, which it is hoped will be found complete, will make the entire contents subject to ready reference.
This volume, with the others of the series, makes the record of the class of facts within its scope continuous and complete from the Presidential election of 1860 to the present time. The same care has been taken with this volume as with all of those preceding; and it is submitted to the public in the hope that it may be found accurate and valuable to the intelligent class for whom it has been specially prepared, and whose labors it proposes to lighten. July 31, 1882.
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