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IN NORTH AMERICA

A Comparative Study of Institutions in

The United States and

Canada

Ву

Herbert Arthur Smith, M. A.

Barrister-at-Law; Professor of Jurisprudence

and Common Law in McGill University

Boston

The Chipman Law Publishing Company

1923

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PREFACE The aim of the following essays is to interest the reader in the comparative study of the political principles which underlie the institutions of the United States and Canada. There is already an abundance of well-written books, some technical and others popular, describing in greater or less detail the constitution and government of both countries. The present

. volume does not seek to inform the reader of facts which he may easily find elsewhere, but rather to draw his attention, by a process of comparison, to the broad principles upon which the institutions of government in each country rest.

The comparative study of political science deserves far more attention than it has yet received. It is strangely neglected in our universities. All places of higher learning provide the student with the means of acquiring some knowledge of the political system under which he lives, but it is too often forgotten that such studies tend to encourage narrowness and provincialism of thought, unless the student is taught to balance his mind by the continual comparison of his own institutions with those of other countries. If we are to teach the science of government in a scientific and intelligent manner

cannot concentrate our whole attention upon a single example.

we

A few years spent in teaching law students at McGill have helped me to realize the extent to which even fairly well educated Canadian boys are ignorant of the institutions of the great country which they can actually see from the slopes of Mount Royal. I have reason to believe that the average American college student is equally ignorant of the principles of government prevailing in Canada. It is in such ignorance that much international misunderstanding is bred.

To bridge this gap between the students of the two countries is work which awaits a writer of more authority and learning than I can claim. In the meantime those of us who find an absorbing interest in the study of the two great experiments in democratic government which are being worked out on this continent will be well rewarded if we can induce others to explore more thoroughly the field of political science which is roughly surveyed in the chapters that follow.

The reader will observe that no references to authorities are given except in order to identify quotations or in cases where courtesy demands a special acknowledgment. The subjects lightly touched upon in this little book range over such a wide field that I was really faced with the alternatives of either giving a very elaborate apparatus of references or of omitting them altogether. Since my purpose has been rather to suggest ideas than to give information, I have thought it better to avoid disfiguring the

his own.

pages with a great mass of footnotes, but this does not mean that I expect the reader to take any statement upon trust, and I only hope that he may be sufficiently interested to follow up the ideas suggested here by further investigation of

For the convenience of such readers as are neither compelled nor inclined to make a more detailed study of the subject I have inserted the chief constitutional documents in the appendices. College students and those who are further interested will readily obtain the guidance necessary for more detailed study from their teachers or from library authorities. I sympathize greatly with the desire of the average college student to make use of any available short cut to knowledge, but if any student fails in an examination through believing anything that is written in this book I wish him to realize that he has only himself to blame.

HERBERT A. SMITH.

McGill University, Montreal.

26th December, 1922.

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