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THEN
PUBLIC LIBRARY
487796 A

ASTOR, LENOX IND
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

R 1930

Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1825, by

Andrew W. YOUNG, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of New York.

PREFACE.

It is the peculiar fortune of the people of the United States, to live under a government that secures to them, in an extraordinary degree, the blessings of civil and religious liberty. It is believed that no other form of government is capable of conferring upon its citizens an equal amount of happiness.

Whatever, therefore, tends to give stability to our political institutions, deserves the regard of every citizen. With this view the attention of the people is wisely directed to the encouragement of education, as one of the principal means by which the blessings of freedom may be transmitted to their descendants.

Under our constitution, sovereignty resides with the people: in other words, they have the power of governing themselves. Consequently, it is of the first importance, that the depositories of political power should know how to apply this power intelligently and judiciously. The power to make and to administer the laws is delegated to their representatives; and they should be competent to judge when, and how far, this power is constitu. tionally and beneficially exercised.

Distinguished as the American people are for their comparative general intelligence, a large portion of them, it must be confessed, are greatly wanting in political knowledge. And while so many books have been prepar; ed to facilitate the means of instruction, and so much has been done in various ways to promote the interests of education

genezally, it is remarkable that the science of goverminent has received so little attention.

Multitudes in this republic are annually arriving at that age when they are to exercise, for the first time, their privileges as citizens. In the state of New York alone,

This number is com there are about fifteen thousand. posed, chiefly, of those whose education does not embrace

It is not to even the first principles of political science.

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