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COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY GRACE A. TURKINGTON
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Athen æum Press
A textbook of civics, by whatever name, has only one reason for existing—to supply its readers with the ideas and information that will help them live the kind of life that will advance the welfare of the nation. Merely to supply facts about the machinery of government was long ago recognized as insufficient. For many years, therefore, textbooks of civics have related the facts of government to certain activities of American life, omitting all nonessentials. The author of this book has gone a step farther. She has led pupils first to analyze life in the United States into its fundamental activities; second, to discover for themselves that government is only an organization made and run by the people to fit these activities; third, to realize that in proportion as life is simple or complex, government must also be simple or complex; and fourth, that since changes in the manner of living are constantly taking place, changes in government must also be made constantly.
The author believes that unless the impulse to analyze American life is aroused in pupils, however high their ideals and firm their purpose, they cannot properly help adjust the machinery of government to meet their needs. Many an otherwise intelligent citizen frequently is persuaded into the belief that our government has failed, merely because he has not understood that machinery made to fit conditions that have disappeared or greatly changed has been retained unchanged, or that new machinery badly needed has not been provided. It is the author's hope that the pupils who use this book will have been helped to approach the responsibilities of citizenship keenly aware that the government under which they live will be what they make it and will do only what they equip it to do.
A nation is never finished. What is handed down to pupils is only partly made; it must be shaped and reshaped, a little change made here, another there.
The author wishes to acknowledge her indebtedness to James Morgan, a close student of modern political life, to Thomas Nixon Carver, professor of political economy in Harvard University, and to James Sullivan, state historian of New York State, for invaluable assistance in the preparation of the manuscript and in the critical reading of the proof.
APPENDIX. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES