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JK 5525 .1846 Y68 8
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1845,
By M. C. YOUNGLOVE, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Ohio.
Stereotyped by RICHARD C. VALENTINE,
45 Gold-street, New York.
To the intelligent citizens of the state of Ohio, an apology for the appearance of this work will scarcely seem necessary. Notwithstanding the number and variety of class-books that have sought and gained admittance into our public schools, the study of our civil polity has not yet been encumbered with treatises on this most important science.
To secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity, was the leading object of the people of the United States in ordaining and establishing the constitution. That this constitution is fully adequate to the objects of its formation, has been satisfactorily proved by the experience of more than half a century.
Whether the blessings of civil and religious freedom, which our system of government is so happily adapted to secure, shall be enjoyed by our posterity, depends, in no small degree, upon what is done to qualify the rising generation of American youth for the duties and responsibilities which, as freemen, they are shortly to assume.
In a few years, the destinies of this great and growing republic will be committed to those who are now receiving instruction in our public schools. How important that the course of education pursued in these institutions should in. clude the study of the principles of republican government, and especially of that government in which our youth are soon to take a part.
A thorough knowledge of our constitutional and civil jurisprudence cannot well be too highly appreciated. Without it, we may hope in vain to perpetuate our free institutions. The very idea of free government presupposes a knowledge of such government. And how is it to be obtained without study? As well might we suppose that our youth could, without study, acquire a knowledge of any other scienoe now taught in our schools.
The study of political science should be commenced early. Children should grow up in the knowledge of our political institutions. The provisions of our constitution should be 10 them as familiar as the spelling-book; and yet thousands of our young men reach their majority, and presume to ex. ercise their political franchise, who have never so much as given the constitution a single reading !
Political equality is a fundamental principle of republican government. The rich and the poor possess an equal amount of political power. How important, then, that all should be equally capable of exercising this power with wisdom and effect!
It is by the exercise of political power, that the evils of bad administration are to be corrected ; but if the people do not exercise this power intelligently, they may oniy increase these evils in attempting to correct them.
If ever the great body of the people are to be qualified for the business of self-government, our common schools must be relied on as the principal means. In these institutions, probably nine-tenths of our citizens receive all their educa. tion. A science, therefore, the knowledge of which is so essential to our political prosperity, should be taught in every ocmmon school.
Influenced by these considerations, the compiler prepared, a few years since, his “ Introduction to the Science of Gov. ernment.” The circulation which that work has received, affords evidence that the importance of this science is beginning to be appreciated. The object of the work was declared to be, “to supply a deficiency in the course of education.” The belief was entertained and expressed, that it would be found well adapted to the condition of our common schools ; and that the several subjects of which it treated were made “ intelligible to those who were of suitable age and capacity to be benefited by the study of this science.”
The fact, however, has been ascertained by experience, that youth have the capacity to comprehend the principles of civil government at a much earlier “ age” than that to which the work is adapted: and hence it is used by a small portion only of those who may be benefited by the study.
The primary design of the present work is, therefore, to supply a deficiency still remaining; and it is confidently believed, that it may be profitably studied by children of ordinary intelligence at the age of ten years.
* In the author's endeavor so to simplify and illustrate certain subjects as to meet the capacities of children, some may discover what may be deemed a needless familiarity of expression. Those, however, who have been engaged in the instruction of youth, are aware that there is little danger of aiming too low. A very common defect of many valuable works is, that they do not descend to the comprehension of those for whose benefit they are designed.
It will be seen that this work differs from the former, ha respect to both the plan and the matter. The “ Science of Government” being adapted alike to all the states, a partioular description of the government of no state could be given in that work. It is designed to instruct our citizens in the principles of civil government in general, and particularly in the constitutional and civil jurisprudence of the United States."
The work now offered is intended only for this state, and may be called a book of the government of the state of Ohio. Besides a general view of the extensive machinery of our state government, it contains, as its title indicates, an abstract of the statutes of the state, from which the citizen may learn his rights, responsibilities, and duties, as a member of the civil community.
The work, however, is not confined to the government of the state : it contains an outline of the government of the United States, showing the nature and objects of the union, the relations which the national and state governments bear to each other, the powers of the general government, and the organization of its several departments.
But this work is not intended for schools alone. It will be found to be emphatically a family book, and will, it is believed, be read with profit by adults as well as children and prove highly useful and convenient as a manual for đaily reference, and as a guide to citizens generally, in the performance of their political duties, and in the ordinary concerns of life.
Nor is the work designed for males only. The author would earnestly recommend that it be studied by females also. Although they do not directly participate in the gov. ernment, a knowledge of the principles of civil government in general, and of our political institutions in particular, would essentially increase their usefulness. Their influ. ence upon the public interests, though indirect and silent, would be none the less powerful and salutary.
A prominent object of the author has been to inspire youth with a love of their country and its free institutions. Believing an intelligent patriotism to be indispensable to the health and vigor of the body politic, he has endeavored, by contrasting the several forms of government, to show the superior excellencies of our own.
It is believed the work will be found to contain no im. portant errors. If any shall be discovered, or if any alterations shall be rendered necessary by changes in the laws, the corrections or alterations will either be made in their proper places, or noted at the end of the work.
While the author does not flatter himself that his book is not susceptible of improvement, he confidently hopes that it will meet a favorable reception. Such as it is, it is offered to the public