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The Government Class Book, By Andrew W_ Young

The Government Class Book, By Andrew W_ Young

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The Government Class Book, by Andrew W. Young
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Government Class Book, by Andrew W. YoungThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Government Class BookDesigned for the Instruction of Youth in the Principlesof Constitutional Government and the Rights and Duties ofCitizens. Author: Andrew W. YoungRelease Date: March 10, 2005 [EBook #15319]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE GOVERNMENT CLASS BOOK ***Produced by Distributed Proofreaders
[Transcriber's Note: In the original book, questions appeared at the bottom of each page.These questions have been compiled at theend of the text.]
The Government Class Book;
Designed for the Instruction of Youth in the Principles ofConstitutional Government and the Rights and Duties of Citizens.
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The Government Class Book, by Andrew W. Young
By Andrew W. Young,
Author of "Science of Government,""First Lessons in Civil Government,""American Statesman," "Citizen's Manual of Government and Law."
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1859, byAndrew W. Young,in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of New York.
The utility of the diffusion of political knowledge among a people exercising the right of self-government, is universally admitted. The form of government established by thepeople of the United States, though well adapted to promote the general welfare, is highlycomplicated; and the knowledge requisite to administer it successfully can not be acquiredwithout much study. From the fact that a large portion of the American people are greatlydeficient in this knowledge, we may justly conclude that it will never become general, untilit shall have been made an object of school instruction.The administration of the government of this great and rapidly increasing republic, will, ina few years, devolve upon those who are now receiving instruction in the public schools.Yet thousands annually complete their school education, who have never devoted any timeto the study of the principles of the government in which they are soon to take a part--who become invested with political power without the preparation necessary to exercise itwith discretion. The schools are regarded as the nurseries of our future statesmen. Theyshare largely in the bounty of the state; yet few of them render in return even therudiments of political science to those who are to become her legislators, and governors,and judges. Not only in the common schools generally, but in a large portion of the highschools and seminaries, this science is not included in the course of instruction.To many of the most enlightened friends of education and of our free institutions, it has
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The Government Class Book, by Andrew W. Young
long been a matter of surprise as well as regret, that those to whom the educationalinterests of the states are more immediately intrusted, should so long have treated thestudy in question as of minor importance, or have suffered it to be excluded by studies of far less practical utility. The Regents of the University of the State of New York haverepeatedly noticed the neglect of this study in the academies and seminaries subject totheir visitation; and they mention it as a remarkable fact, that in many of them preferenceis given to the study of the Grecian and Roman antiquities. They say: "The constitutions,laws, manners, and customs of ancient Greece and Rome are made subjects of regularstudy, quarter after quarter, while our own constitutional jurisprudence, and the every dayoccurring principles of our civil jurisprudence, are not admitted as a part of the academiccourse!"To persons who are to engage in any of the industrial or professional pursuits, apreparatory course of training or discipline is deemed indispensable to success. Yet manyassume the weighty responsibilities of freemen, and allow their sons to do the same, withscarcely any knowledge of a freeman's duties. On the intelligent exercise of political power,the public prosperity and the security of our liberties mainly depend. Every person,therefore, who is entitled to the rights of a citizen, is justly held responsible for the properperformance of his political duties. And any course of popular instruction which fails toimpart a knowledge of our system of government, must be materially defective.With a view to supply this deficiency, the author, many years since, prepared his"Introduction to the Science of Government." This work soon attained considerablepopularity, both as a class book in schools, and as a book for private reading and referencefor adults. Not being deemed, however, sufficiently
for the children and youthin most of our common schools, another work, entitled, "
First Lessons in CivilGovernment
," was written to meet the capacities of younger or less advanced scholarsthan those for whom the previous work was designed.The favorable reception of these works by the public, and the assurances of theirusefulness to thousands who have studied them, are to the author a source of highgratification, and an ample reward for many years of arduous labor. The value of theseworks has, however, been in a measure impaired by changes in the government and lawssince the time of their first publication. The latter, especially, descending so minutely intothe details of the government of the state for which alone it is intended, requires frequentrevisions.It has occurred to the author that a new work, more permanent in the character of itsmatter, and adapted for use in all the states, is demanded to supply the deficiency in thepresent course of education. Stimulated by a desire to bear some part in laying a solidfoundation for our republican institutions, and encouraged by the success of his formerlabors in this department of education, he has, after a suspension of several years,resumed his efforts in this enterprise, in the hope that, with the coöperation of teachers,and those having official supervision of the schools, it may be carried forward to an earlyconsummation; when the principles of government shall be made a subject of regularstudy in the schools, and the elements of a sound political education shall be accessible tothe mass of American youth. And he flatters himself, that the attention he has given to
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