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PROBLEMS AND EXERCISES
1. Re-read Chapter VI and then read this chapter as a whole before giving special attention to any one section. Make an outline of the two chapters as if they were one.
2. Explain when a community is a legal community (that is, a unit of government). Perhaps your community is only half or a third or even a fourth of the legal community. If so, find out as much as possible about the other communities which help to make up your town or city.
3. What is the name of your railroad station, your post office, the place in which your family pays taxes ? If these differ, explain the reason.
4. If you live in an incorporated village, town, or city, explain when and why the community became incorporated. Secure a copy of the charter, or act of incorporation, to find out just what powers your community has (a copy of the charter or act of incorporation is probably included in one of your town reports or in the municipal register, copies of which can be obtained through the town or city clerk's office).
5. What is the name of the body which makes laws (usually called ordinances) for your community? How are its members chosen; when and how often do they meet ?
6. Find out from the official report, or by inquiring of intelligent voters, what are some of the ordinances enacted during the past year. One town has an ordinance forbidding buildings or halls to be rented to motion-picture companies. A large city has an ordinance forbidding more than one milkman to stop at the same apartment house (thus requiring all families to buy of the same dealer in order to avoid noise and confusion). Many towns and villages have ordinances requiring owners of trees to take measures to eradicate the gypsy moth.
7. (a) Refer to the list of government officials given on page 215 and prepare a similar list of officials of your community. Insert these in your loose-leaf notebook, and against each official, board, or commission insert the information suggested by the headings near the top of the next page. (b) Counties have some or all of the following officials : board of supervisors (or county commissioners), sheriff, deputy sheriff, clerk, court clerks, registrar of deeds, assessors, auditor, treasurer, prosecuting attorney, coroner, circuit (or district) judges, superintendent of schools, superintendent of highways, superintendent of the poor. Those of your county may differ from this list. Secure a copy of the official report which contains all these officials, place them in your loose-leaf notebook,
and against each write in full the information suggested by the following headings. (c) From time to time clip from the paper items about these officials.
How AND WHEN
ASSISTANTS OR PRESENT HOLDER CHOSEN (ELECTED
SUBDIVISIONS OF OFFICE OR APPOINTED)
8. Before making the survey called for on page 213 bring together the information that you assembled for exercises on pagos 20, 21, 154156, 157. When you have woven this together, you may find that there is very little information that you still lack in order to determine what government does for your community. In any case, make your information as complete as possible and arrange it in outline form in your notebook.
9. One of the surprises of this survey and classification may be that so many things are accomplished by individuals and private organizations. Be sure to show whether these private organizations are controlled or affected in any way by government.
10. Churches, banks, insurance companies, electric-power companies, business firms—all are legal companies which have probably received from the state a charter showing for what purpose they exist, how they are run, and who is responsible for their management. Hospitals may be private institutions, but probably both the state and the community have passed laws and ordinances affecting them. Find out the principal ways in which government affects these and similar private institutions in your community.
11. It is not necessary to understand the county system of any state but your own, but of this you must have a thorough knowledge, for it may affect your daily life more than your community does. Learn these facts about the county in which you live: (1) Does it have a lawmaking body? If so, what is it? (2) What are its chief executive powers ? (3) Is the county the school district ? (4) Has the state assigned a forest-fire warden or a county agricultural agent to your county? If s so, where are his headquarters ?
A COUNTRY IN WHICH THE HUMBLEST MAN IS "MR" AND
THE HIGHEST TITLE GENTLEMAN"
1. The Reverence People once had for Royalty. In Paris in the year 1811, one spring morning, although the nation was not at war, the booming of cannon was heard. People rushed to windows, balconies, and doors to listen. At regular intervals of seconds the guns shook the city with their roar, and were not silent until the salute of a hundred and one had been completed. The city seemed to have gone mad for joy, the cheers of the people mingling with the sound of the guns. A son had been born to the great Emperor Napoleon, and in the Tuileries palace the tiny royal child lay in a cradle designed by one of Paris's great artists. "It was inlaid with mother of pearl and golden bees and at its head a winged figure of Glory held a crown high above the pillow, while a young eagle perched at the foot, with wings outspread ready for flight.” Sixty thousand dollars' worth of exquisitely dainty garments had been made for the child. Everything from the royal salute to the wonder cradle was worthy of the great emperor's son. The cheers that started in Paris at nine o'clock in the morning by noon were spreading over the whole vast empire of France, for signals had been flashed from fort to fort and from village to village.
Twenty years later, in a big, dingy chamber of a palace in Vienna, a young man lay dying, alone except for a faithful valet. A physician was hastily summoned, but the boy's spirit was leaving the body. Hardly had death claimed him when a crowd of curious palace attendants pushed into the great chamber to seize whatever could be carried away as souvenirs of the death chamber of the exile who had once been an emperor's son. So heartless were these throngs of people—who were not, after all,
different from the thousands who twenty years before had shouted themselves hoarse at the news of his birth-that they cut off his yellow curls "until his head was shorn of most of its hair."
The newborn infant over whom Paris went mad with joy, and the slender, sickly youth who was an exile from his native land, deserved neither the honor of the salute of guns nor the lonely deathbed with its long train of curiosity seekers. The crowds of people who make up the nations today are often as unreasoning as the people of the France of a hundred years ago, but they do not salute the children of presidents and rulers with guns. They wait until the children become men and women and then judge them by their accomplishments. If Vienna had realized that although Napoleon had indeed died in exile and his son no longer had a claim to the throne of the great French empire, nevertheless the boy was a brave, high-spirited youth who deserved their admiration, there would have been no desecration of the death chamber.
2. One cannot be born into the World either Noble or Great. It has taken a long, tortuous series of centuries for people to learn that one cannot be born into the world either noble or great. Every child is a possible king today, but he does not become a king until he has earned his position in the world. In America, perhaps more than in any other country, it is demanded of every person that he prove himself before he receive honor or distinction of any kind. About fifty years ago an American wrote to a young man in whom he was greatly interested a series of letters which he called "Letters to a King." In these he tried to make the boy understand that if he turned to his studies and his life work in the right spirit he could indeed become a "king." In one letter he repeated the story of Nicholas, Czar of Russia, and the young American engineer who had planned and supervised the building of the first section of railroad laid in Russia. Upon the railroad's completion the Czar, accompanied by cabinet ministers, generals, and officers of his bodyguard, made a tour of inspection over the new road. The American engineer was also in the party and became so interested in pointing out to the emperor the possibilities of development in the territory through which the railroad ran that he spread his map before the monarch and sat down beside him.
© Peter A. Juley Lincoln was one of the world's great men, yet he was plain "Mr.” (From the
painting by Douglas Volk)
The nobles, generals, and officers of the bodyguard, standing stiffly as royal etiquette required, were furious that anyone should dare sit in the presence of an emperor. After a while the emperor overheard their angry mutterings, and said: "You are wrong, gentlemen. This man is a king. .. He may be the ruler of his people tomorrow.”