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"Government is instaluted for the common good : for the protection, safet
“ Ignorantia legum neminem excusat ; omnes enim præsumuntur eas nôese, quibus
COUNSELLOR AT LAW. ,
WITH AN APPENDIX
WITH NOTICES OF BOOKS SUITED TO THEIR USE.
Brattleboro' Power Press O
R 1928 L
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, to wit.
District Clerk's Office. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the seventh day of January, A. D. 1831, and in the fiftyfifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, WILLIAM SOLLIVAN and GEORGE B. EMERSON, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof they claim as authors and proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
“The Political Class Book ; intended to instruct the Higher Classes in Schools in the Origin, Nature, and Use of Political Power. Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people ;and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man.' Mass. Bill of Rights. • Ignorantia legum neminem excusat ; omnes enim præsumuntur eaş nôsse, quibus om pes consentiunt.' By William Sullivan, Counsellor at Law. With an Appendix upon Studies for practical Men ; with Notices of Books suited to their Use. By George B. Emerson. New Edition, with Amendments and Additions."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;” and also to an act, entitled, “ An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to tlo authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned ;' and extending the henefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching histori ca: and other prints."
JNO. W. DAVIS,
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The people of the United States have undertaken to preserve and transmit civil and religious liberty, and the blessings of life, by the administration of just and equal laws, made in conformity to written constitutions, voluntarily adopted.
There must be, somewhere, an authority competent to judge whether such laws are so administered. This authority resided in those who instituted our governments. It passed to their successors. It resides, always, in those who compose the political community. This community has not only the exclusive right to judge whether power, established for its benefit, is constitutionally exercised, but also the absolute right to amend, and even to abolish, an existing system, and substitute any other.
Such sovereign power implies knowledge of the subjects . to which it is to be applied; and, as there is no distinction in the political rights of the members of the community, every citizen, who has attained to the age of twenty-one years, is entitled to all the rights of citizenship, and is held
to the performance of all its duties. He must, therefore, be presumed to know what these rights and duties are.
Every citizen of a state is also a citizen of the United States. Being entitled to all the rights of national citizenship, and held to the performance of all its duties, he must be presumed to know what these are. Among these are : included the duty, and consequently the competency, of judging whether those who undertake to administer the National Government execute their trust with ability and faithfulness.
It is not perceived that provision has been made, in the usual course of education, to qualify those who are approaching manhood, to discharge, with advantage to themselves, and with justice to their fellow-citizens, the political duties which they must assume. If the young acquire any knowledge of this nature, it must be by inference and accident, and not because it is systematically imparted.
This small volume, of very humble pretensions, is designed to do something towards supplying what is supposed to be a want, in the present course of education. It treats, briefly, several subjects, which are commonly supposed to be above the intellectual capacity of the young. This difficulty has been met, it is hoped, by the elementary mode of treatment. The book is divided into chapters and short sections, as is usual in school books; and questions are appended, intended to intimate the subject comprised in each section.