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WILLIAM A. MOWRY, Ph. D.
EDITOR OF “EDUCATION," AND FOR TWENTY YEARS SENIOR PRINCIPAL OF THE “ ENG
“ELEMENTS OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.”
Comprising a brief course in Local, State, and National Government, for
cially adapted to interest and instruct young students.
INTRODUCTORY PRICE, $0.72.
COPYRIGHT, 1887, 1890,
BY WILLIAM A. MOWRY.
ELECTROTYPED BY J. S. CUSHING & Co., BOSTON.
PRESSWORK BY BERWICK & SMITH, BOSTON.
This book was not made to order, but has grown out of the personal experience of the author, who for twenty-five consecutive years sent out annually a class of boys from an English high-school course of study. Every member of each class completed a course in civil government, including the memorizing and careful discussion of the constitution of the United States. The study of our republican government and governmental history was always fascinating. It led to a somewhat wide range of reading. Intense interest in this study has resulted in the publication of this book, which endeavors to set forth with great plainness of words and becoming brevity the history, the principles, and the essential facts of our peculiar government, local, state, and national.
The work is designed for practical use in the schoolroom as a class text-book, adapted especially to the highest
class in the grammar schools, and to any class in the high schools of our country.
The author is well aware that the philosophical method of teaching is by analysis. Under certain favorable circumstances he would prefer to begin with the national government, leaving the treatment of the state and local governments to follow. He believes, however, that an elementary treatment of any branch of study for young pupils -a treatment which might with propriety be called the natural method — should precede a fuller and more scientific presentation of the same subject for mature minds.
It will readily appear that pupils of the highest grade in a grammar school are already familiar, in a general way, with town, county, state, and nation ; yet it is far easier, as, well as more philosophical, for the pupil, at this stage, to begin his study of government with home matters, pertaining to the town or the county. After this he will be able to grasp and comprehend affairs of the state and nation.
A text-book for general use in the schools of all parts of the land cannot be expected to give detailed instruction concerning the peculiarities of state constitutions, laws, and their modes of operation. Nor is this necessary,
inasmuch as the various state constitutions and governments are so nearly alike in essentials, and follow so closely the order of the national government, that a knowledge of the United States constitution and its workings is quite sufficient for all practical purposes.
It would also be difficult to adapt a text-book in other respects equally well to the minutiæ of civil affairs for the
older and the newer states. In some sections of our country the township is the important unit of government; in other parts the county forms such a unit, without sub-divisions. In this book much is made of the township, because it is believed that the township system presents certain advantages with which the pupil should become familiar. The operation of county affairs differs so much in different sections, that it is somewhat difficult to elaborate the county government as fully as might seem desirable in certain parts of our land.
The attention of the teacher is called to the necessity of dwelling particularly upon the subjects treated in Part I. It is hoped that the historical portion will receive careful attention, since a clear knowledge of the facts therein contained seems essential to the best understanding of the foundation of our government, national and state.
The author acknowledges his indebtedness to the various text-books upon this subject in wide use throughout the country. He has given close attention to the best of them ; and while appreciating their good qualities, has not hesitated to follow a different treatment of the subject wherever his experience in the school-room has shown it to be preferable.
Elliot's Debates, Towle's Analysis, Von Holst's Constitutional History, Brownson's American Republic, De Toqueville's Democracy, Curtis's History of the Constitution, Hildreth's History, Farrar's Manual of the Constitution, Pitkin's Political and Civil History of the United States, Mansfield's Political Manual, and various public documents, such as the Manual of the United States House of Repre