Part 3 out of 4
[Footnote 41: What constitutes disability has not been settled.
President Garfield performed only the single executive act of signing an
extradition paper from July 2 to September 19, 1881. The fact of his
inability to discharge the duties of President was not formally
established. Nor was there declared disability in the case of President
McKinley, between September 6 and the day of his death, September 14,
Salary of the President.--Section I, Clause 6. _The President shall, at
stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall
neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he may
have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other
emolument from the United States or any of them._
In 1909 the salary of the President was changed from $50,000 to $75,000
a year. The custom has been established that no President shall receive
a gift from any civil body, such as a city council, a State legislature,
or a foreign state. In addition to his salary, the President is provided
with an "executive mansion," the "White House," which is furnished at
the expense of the government. The Vice-President receives $12,000
Salaries of Foreign Rulers.--The salary paid our President is
small when we compare it with the grants made to European rulers.
In 1901 the English government voted some $4,000,000 for the annual
use of the royal household. The Czar of Russia receives $6,500,000
annually, in addition to revenues derived from 1,000,000 square
miles of crown domains. The President of France receives $231,600
Inauguration Day.--One of the most notable of our civic festivals occurs
on the fourth of March after the Presidential election. Then
thousands of people go to Washington to witness the inaugural exercises,
by which the President and Vice-President are formally invested with
their offices. The Constitution provides that the President shall take
the following oath of office before entering on his duties:--
Section I, Clause 7. _I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and
will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the
Constitution of the United States._
[Footnote 42: It is frequently urged, with good reason, that this date
should be changed to a time of year when the weather in Washington would
be more favorable. An amendment, recently sanctioned by the Senate,
provides that the date for the inauguration shall be the last Thursday
of April. The chief objection to this change seems to be the further
extension of time between the election and the assuming of duties.]
It has been established, by custom, that the oath shall be administered
by the Chief Justice of the United States, at the east front of the
Capitol. After taking the oath the President gives his inaugural
address, which outlines the policy he purposes to carry out.
Immediately after his inauguration, unless it be his second term, he
calls the Senate together, and places before it his nominations for
members of the cabinet, and for such other important offices as he may
desire to make.
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. Which of the Presidents have served two terms? How was their election
for a second term to be accounted for?
2. The method of calling National political conventions. When held?
Questions considered. Make a study of the last convention. Cosmop., 29:
194-200; Scribner's Mag., 27: 643-656.
3. Under what conditions was the first platform of a National convention
agreed upon? Wilson, Division and Reunion, 63.
4. For the work of the National committee, see Rev. of R's, 22: 549-556;
5. The power of the chairman of the National committee is discussed in
Atl. Mo., 89: 76-81.
6. What was the probable origin of the system of electing the President
by electors? Harrison, This Country of Ours, 78; Fiske, Critical Period
of American History, 66, 280-289.
7. For the methods which have been used in electing a President, see N.
Am. Rev., 171: 273-280.
8. Should the President be elected by direct popular vote? N. Am. Rev.,
171: 273-280; 281-288; Scribner's Mag., 27: 643-656.
9. For some of the problems connected with the electoral colleges in the
history of elections, see Rev. of R's, 23: 66-69.
10. What is the method used in counting the electoral votes? Edmund
Alton, Among the Lawmakers, 88-89.
11. Do you agree with Mr. Bryce that the tendency is to select for
President men who have not been prominent? Bryce, American Commonwealth,
I, chap. 8.
12. Was the present President notable before his election? In what ways?
13. What were the chief causes for the success of his party?
14. How many electoral votes were required for election? He received
how many? Did he receive a majority of the popular votes? Election of
1900, Rev. of R's, 22: 673-674; 655-658.
15. How many electors were there from your State? For whom did they
vote? How is this majority in your State to be accounted for? Rev. of
R's, 22: 673-674, 655-658, 664.
16. Would successful governors make good candidates for President? In
what particulars do the offices resemble each other? Would you favor
making the governor of your State President? Wilson, Congressional
Government, 253, 254.
17. Why was the election of John Quincy Adams of especial interest? What
results followed? Burgess, The Middle Period, 140, 141; Wilson, Division
and Reunion, 18.
18. State the chief points connected with the "disputed election" of
1876. Wilson, Division and Reunion, 283-286; Johnston, American
Politics, 233-237; Cent. Mag., 62: 923-934.
19. Give the names of the Presidents who have died in office. By whom
were they succeeded?
20. For a good discussion of the _unit rule_ and _two-thirds_ rule of
the Democratic conventions, see Rev. of R's, 45: 705-710.
21. What is a "minority" President? Government in State and Nation, 264.
22. An interesting account of the White House. Outlook, 70: 287-299.
23. Inauguration events of 1901. Rev. of R's, 23: 405,406; Outlook, 67:
24. Incidents of Presidential inaugurations. World's Work, 1: 477-479.
25. For other questions and references on the chapter, see Government in
State and Nation, 231, 232.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT
Military Powers of the President.--An eminent American
historian, writing of the power exercised by President Lincoln in
time of war, said, "It is an interesting fact, that the ruler of a
republic which sprang from a resistance to the English king and
Parliament should exercise more arbitrary power than any Englishman
since Oliver Cromwell, and that many of his acts should be worthy of a
[Footnote 43: James Ford Rhodes, _Scribner's Magazine,_ February, 1903.]
President Lincoln, it is true, exercised powers which, if attempted by a
weaker man, or at another time, might have proved dangerous to the
liberties of the people.
[Footnote 44: For the suspension of the privilege of the writ of _habeas
corpus_, see p. 109.]
This he did through his interpretation of Clause 1, Section 2.
_The President shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the
United States, and of the militia of the several States when called into
the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in
writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments,
upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and
he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against
the United States, except in cases of impeachment._
Reprieves and Pardons.--The ordinary powers of the President are
also important. One of the greatest is the power to grant reprieves
and pardons. A reprieve is the temporary suspension of the execution of
a sentence. By means of a reprieve the President may gain time to look
into the evidence more carefully. Complete release from a sentence is
secured by a pardon.
[Footnote 45: For the power of the President over legislation by means
of the veto, see pp. 78, 79.]
[Footnote 46: President Harrison was called upon to consider 779
requests for pardon. Of these 527 were granted, wholly or partially.
President Cleveland acted on 907 such cases, and granted 506, in whole
or in part.]
Treaty-Making Power.--Section 2, Clause 2. _He shall have power, by
and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties,
provided two-thirds of the senators present concur_.
While the power to conclude treaties seems to be without restriction, it
is implied that no treaty shall in any way interfere with the authority
of the Constitution. The usual steps in the negotiation of treaties are
as follows: (1) In time of peace they are conducted at the capital of
the nation that begins the negotiation. If this is in Washington, the
terms are considered by the Secretary of State and the minister of the
other nation; if in a foreign capital, our minister acts under
instructions sent him by the Secretary of State. At times, one or more
special ministers are sent abroad for the purpose of negotiating a
treaty. (2) In time of war, the minister of the nation with which we are
at war leaves the United States. The interests of his nation are then
intrusted to the minister of some neutral power, and through this
minister negotiations for peace are usually begun. (3) The treaty of
peace at the close of a war is generally negotiated in some neutral
country by special commissioners appointed by the nations at war.
In all cases, the President exercises general control over the
negotiation and framing of treaties. After an agreement has been
reached, the treaty is sent to the Senate. It is discussed in executive
or secret session. This means that the treaty and all matters pertaining
to it are kept secret until, by a resolution, the Senate allows the
discussion to be made public. The Senate may approve, reject, or modify
the terms. If amendments are made, they must be agreed to by the
President and by the other nation interested. When a treaty has been
finally approved by the officials of both countries, duplicate copies of
it are made on parchment. Both of these copies are signed by the chief
officers of each country, and the copies are then exchanged. This is
called the "exchange of ratification." An official copy of the treaty is
thus secured by each nation. The President then publishes the treaty
accompanied by a proclamation, in which it is declared to be a part of
the law of the land.
If the terms of a treaty call for the payment of money by the
United States, the necessary amount can be appropriated only by an
Act of Congress. The House of Representatives may refuse to give
its sanction to such an appropriation, and may thus prevent the
treaty going into effect.
Power of Appointment.--When it is considered that the President has
the _nominal_ power of appointing over 150,000 persons to office, we
can readily see that this comprises one of his chief powers. His right
to select office-holders is granted in Section 2, Clause 2. _He shall
nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall
appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the
Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose
appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be
established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of
such inferior officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in
the courts of law, or in the heads of departments._
Vacancies.--Section 2, Clause 3. _The President shall have power to fill
up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by
granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next
Presidential Appointments.--It would be quite impossible for the
President, personally, to oversee all of these appointments, and so a
large percentage of them is made by officials in the different
departments. There are, besides the ambassadors, consuls, and judges of
the Supreme Court, some 7000 so-called Presidential officers, whose
appointments must receive the sanction of the Senate. More than one-half
of these are postmasters of the first class. Among the most
important of these officers are the Cabinet, interstate commerce
commissioners, district attorneys, and all military and naval officers
whose appointment is not otherwise ordered by law.
[Footnote 47: Those who receive an annual salary of $1000 and above.]
Official Patronage.--In making his appointments the President
is largely dependent upon the advice of the head of that department
under whose direction the officer will come, or upon the
recommendation of the representatives and senators of his party
from the State in which the office is located. This official
patronage, through which political assistants in a State may be
rewarded with a Federal office, has become so burdensome that many
Congressmen complain of it and desire to be freed from its
Senatorial Courtesy.--There has grown up an almost invariable
custom, known as senatorial courtesy. This demands that if the
office to be filled is located in a State, the appointment be not
confirmed unless it receives the sanction of one or both of the
senators of the State concerned, provided they are members of the
same political party as the President.
Action of the Senate on Nominations.--All of the nominations
sent by the President to the Senate are submitted to appropriate
committees, as, postmasters to the Post Office Committee,
ambassadors to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The report of the
committee is considered in secret session, and the nomination is
then voted on. If the vote is adverse, the President must make
The Spoils System.--During the first forty years of our government
there were only seventy-four removals from office. The opinion was
general that there were a large number of strictly non-political offices
in the departments and elsewhere, the holders of which should be
regarded as agents or clerks whose duty it was to assist in carrying on
the business of government. Therefore the best results could be secured,
it was believed, only as these positions should be filled by persons the
most competent, who might hope to retain the office so long as they gave
efficient service. But with the coming in of President Jackson the
"spoils system" was introduced. This system, in practice, provides that
political workers belonging to a victorious party may, as far as
possible, receive reward for their services in the shape of some office.
"To the victors belong the spoils of the enemy" is the familiar motto of
those who have advocated this system. During the first year of President
Jackson's administration 2000 officials were deprived of their offices,
and friends of the administration were put in their positions. From that
time there has been great pressure on every new President similarly to
reward his followers.
Civil Service Reform.--While the evils had been pointed out at
various times, little was done to remedy the spoils system until
Congress, in 1883, passed the Civil Service Law, known as the Pendleton
Bill. It provides for a Civil Service Commission of three members, not
more than two of whom may belong to the same political party. This
commission gives competitive examinations, which are required for
testing the fitness of applicants for certain positions in the public
service. The number of offices originally included under the act was
about 14,000. The President is given the power to direct the further
extension of the "classified service," that is, those positions that are
to be filled by persons who have passed the best examinations. In 1913
there were some 284,000 classified offices. While much has been
accomplished, during the past twenty years, toward reforming civil
service appointments, it is to be hoped that a large number of the
unclassified offices will, at an early date, be placed on the list to be
filled only after examination. The National government may thus
further assist in the movement for like reforms already so well begun in
some of our States and cities.
[Footnote 48: In 1913 there were 100,000 unclassified or excepted
offices. During the year 1901-1902, the civil service rules providing
for competitive examinations were extended by order of the President or
by act of Congress so as to include the rural free delivery service,
employees of the permanent census bureau, and additional employees made
necessary because of the war with Spain. Five thousand eight hundred
offices were placed on the competition basis in 1911, and 50,000 in
Duties of the President.--Section 3. _He shall, from time to time,
give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and
recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge
necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene
both houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between
them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to
such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and
other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully
executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States._
Presidential Messages.--By means of the annual message sent to
Congress at the opening of the session, and special messages on
particular occasions, the President is enabled to call attention to the
legislative needs of the country. The plan of having a message read in
each house by the clerk or secretary was introduced by President
Jefferson. Presidents Washington and Adams addressed, in person,
Congress assembled in joint session. Various reasons have been alleged
for this change. President Jefferson was a poor speaker, and it is said
that he regarded the formal address as monarchical. President Wilson
read his message before Congress in the special session of April, 1913.
Enforcement of the Laws.--The most important duty of the President
is to see that all laws passed by Congress are faithfully executed. Laws
are useless unless they are enforced, and it is chiefly for the
performance of this task that the Executive was originally created. It
is not contemplated that this duty shall be performed by him in person,
but through officials who are directly responsible to him. The United
States marshals and their deputies exercise a wide influence in seeing
that the laws are enforced. They usually act under an order from a
United States court, but may, at times, act without such a writ. If
necessary, the President may send the army and navy of the United States
or call out the militia of the States to overcome any resistance to
Each State possesses the power of enforcing its own laws and is of
right protected in the exercise of this prerogative. In case of an
insurrection, however, the State militia is sent by order of the
governor to suppress it. Should they fail to restore order, the
legislature, or the executive (when the legislature cannot be
convened), applies to the President for military aid. If the
uprising has interfered in any way with the carrying out of the
laws of the nation, the President may, at his discretion, send
troops to suppress it without having been asked to do so by the
legislature or the governor. There was a notable illustration of
this point during the time of the Chicago riots, in July, 1894.
[Footnote 49: Article IV, Section 4. _The United States shall
guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of
government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on
application of the legislature, or the executive (when the
legislature cannot be convened), against domestic violence._]
President Cleveland _vs_. The Governor of Illinois.--In
addition to destroying property belonging to the railways centering
in Chicago, the striking employees prevented the free movement of
the trains. Mr. Altgeld, then governor of Illinois, did not provide
against these abuses, and President Cleveland ordered the United
States troops under General Miles to suppress the rioting. The
President, who was severely criticized by Mr. Altgeld, justified
his sending the troops on the following grounds: (1) that the
processes of the Federal courts could not be executed; (2) that the
transportation of the United States mails was obstructed; and (3)
that the laws on interstate commerce were not enforced.
The United States Supreme Court took the same position as President
Cleveland in a case which grew out of these riots. Mr. Justice
Brewer, in delivering the opinion of the court, said: "We hold that
the government of the United States is one having jurisdiction over
every foot of soil within its territory and acting directly upon
each citizen; that, while it is a government of enumerated powers,
it has within the limits of those powers all the attributes of
sovereignty; that to it is committed power over interstate commerce
and the transmission of the mails, and that these powers have been
assumed and put into practical exercise by the legislation of
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. What have been some of the most important treaties entered into on
the part of the United States?
2. For the treaty made at the close of the Spanish-American War, see
Rev. of R's, 18: 258, 371, 515, 631; 19: 11, 261, 262, 266, 267.
3. In what ways may a treaty be abrogated? Harrison, This Country of
Ours, 140, 141.
4. May a President have many of the privileges of private life?
Harrison, This Country of Ours, 177-180.
5. What are some of the official cares of the President? Harrison, This
Country of Ours, 162-177.
6. The overworked President. McClure's Mag., 28: 483-492; Rev. of R's,
7. Secure a copy of the last report of the Civil Service Commission, and
also Manual of Examinations for the Classified Service of the United
States, and look up the following:--
_a_. How many persons are included in the civil service of the United
_b_. What proportion of them is included in the classified service?
_c_. Does the law of 1883 seem to have brought about satisfactory
_d_. What offices have been included in the extension of the Civil
_e_. What is the nature of the questions asked in the examinations? i
8. The Fifteenth Annual Report of the commission (pp. 443-485) contains
an account of the appointments and removals by the various Presidents
from 1789 to 1883. Also an account of the growth of civil service reform
in the States and cities of the United States, pp. 489-502.
9. May a man be fitted for political preferment and not be competent to
pass an adequate examination?
10. For other articles on civil service reform, see _(a)_ The Civil
Service and the Merit System, Forum, 27: 705-712. _(b)_ Some
Popular Objections to Civil Service Reform, Atl. Mo., 65: 433-444;
671-678. _(c)_ Roosevelt, An Object Lesson in Civil Service Reform,
Atl. Mo., 67: 252-257. _(d) _George William Curtis and Civil Service
Reform, Atl. Mo., 75: 15-24. _(e)_ Rice, Improvement of the Civil
Service, N. Am. Rev., 161: 601-611. _(f)_ Roosevelt, Present Status
of Civil Service Reform, Atl. Mo., 75: 239-246. _(g)_ Roosevelt, Six
Years of Civil Service Reform, Scribner's Mag., 18: 238-247. _(h)_
The Purpose of Civil Service Reform, Forum, 30: 608-619.
11. What was the Tenure of Office Act of 1867? Why did it become of
great importance? Is it still in force? Wilson, Division and Reunion,
267, 270-271, 297; Harrison, This Country of Ours, 101-103.
12. What were the chief points discussed in the President's last annual
Formation of Departments.--The Constitution nowhere mentions the
President's Cabinet. It was taken for granted, however, that departments
similar to those found in the Cabinet would be formed. The Constitution
declares that the President "may require the opinions in writing of the
heads of the executive departments," and again, that "Congress may vest
the appointment of certain inferior officers in the heads of these
In 1789 the first Congress created the Departments of State, War, and
Treasury, also the office of Attorney-General. President Washington's
Cabinet consisted of the officials whom he appointed to fill these four
positions. The Navy Department was added in 1798. While a Post-Office
Department was established in 1794, the Postmaster-General was not made
a member of the Cabinet until 1829. In 1849, the Interior Department was
created by grouping under it certain duties which had belonged to other
departments. The Department of Agriculture was made a Cabinet position
in 1889. In 1903 the Department of Commerce and Labor was authorized by
an Act of Congress, and in 1913 the Department of Labor was created.
Members of the Cabinet receive an annual salary of $12,000.
The President and His Cabinet.--One of the first official acts of
a President is to send to the Senate, for its approval, the names of the
men whom he desires shall constitute his Cabinet. This is now a mere
formality. The President is himself the one most interested in the
success of his administration and is of right given complete freedom in
selecting his immediate advisers. While the views of the members of the
Cabinet usually have weight with the President, he is not obliged to
take their advice. Indeed, in some instances the President has carried
out a line of action which was against the wishes of the secretary of
the department affected.
THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.
The Secretary of State.--The Secretary of State is commonly called
the head of the Cabinet. He is first in rank at the Cabinet table, and
occupies the seat of dignity at the right of the President. Under the
direction of the President he conducts all negotiations relating to the
foreign affairs of the nation; carries on the correspondence with our
representatives in other countries; receives the representatives of
foreign powers accredited to the United States, and presents them to the
President. Through him the President communicates with the executives of
the different States. He has charge of the treaties made with foreign
powers, and negotiates new ones. He has also in his keeping the laws of
the United States and the great seal which he affixes to all executive
proclamations, commissions, and other official papers. During the year
1909 the department was reorganized in such a manner as to create a
division of Latin-American affairs and divisions for Far Eastern, Near
Eastern, and Western European affairs.
The Diplomatic Bureau.--The United States, in common with other
nations, sends representatives to the foreign capitals. They are the
agents through whom the Secretary of State communicates and negotiates
with other powers. Such affairs are conducted through the Diplomatic
Bureau. The United States has now about thirty-five ambassadors and
ministers. Our representatives at the courts of England, France,
Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, and Turkey are
known as ambassadors. The ambassadors to these countries receive a
salary of $17,500 each.
The social demands made upon our ambassadors are great, and they
are also obliged to provide for their places of residence. The
salaries paid are not sufficient to meet these necessary expenses,
and are small in comparison with those paid by the European nations
to officers of the same rank. Thus, the English ambassador at
Washington receives a salary of $32,500. Besides the English, the
German, the Japanese, and some other nations have provided houses
for their legations.
The Consular Bureau.--A consul is sent by the United States to each
of the chief cities in the consular districts into which foreign
countries are divided by our State Department. These consuls, of whom
there are three grades, consuls-generals, consuls, and consular agents,
look after the commercial interests of the United States in those
districts. They make monthly reports on improvements in agricultural
and manufacturing processes. These reports also give information
regarding good markets for our products and of the best markets in which
to purchase foreign products.
[Footnote 50: Among scores of similar subjects, our consuls reported,
within recent years, on the following: American goods in Syria; American
commerce with Asia Minor and Eastern Europe; German opinion of American
locomotives; American coal in Germany; European and American
Consuls care for destitute American sailors and protect the interests of
our citizens in foreign countries. In some of the non-Christian nations,
such as China and Turkey, they also have jurisdiction over all criminal
cases in which any American citizen may be a party. The importance of
such services to our country is self-evident. The appointment of these
officials was formerly secured under party pressure. According to the
rule adopted in 1906, all vacancies in the consular service are
hereafter to be filled by promotion for ability and efficiency in the
service or by appointment of those who have passed the civil service
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY.
The Secretary of the Treasury.--The Department of the Treasury is
the most extensive and complex of the executive departments. In general,
the Secretary of the Treasury has charge of the finances of the nation.
He is required to prepare plans for the creation and improvement of the
revenues and the public credit and to superintend the collection of the
revenue. He gives orders for all moneys drawn from the Treasury in
accordance with appropriations made by Congress, and submits an annual
report to Congress which contains an estimate of the probable receipts
and expenditures of the government.
The Auditors.--It is very important that the accounts of the
government should be carefully scrutinized, and one of the six
auditors connected with the Treasury Department must pass upon the
accounts of every public officer who pays out money. Thus, the
Auditor for the Treasury Department examines all accounts of
salaries and incidental expenses of the office of the Secretary of
the Treasury and all other offices under his immediate direction,
such as the Treasurer and Directors of the Mints.
The Treasurer.--All the money of the United States is under
the care of the Treasurer. He receives and pays it out upon the
warrant of the Secretary of the Treasury or a designated assistant,
redeems the notes of the National banks, and manages the
Independent Treasury System. This system renders the Treasury
Department practically independent of the banks of the country. It
includes the Treasury at Washington and sub-treasuries, each in
charge of an assistant treasurer at Boston, New York, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, and San
Francisco. While the greater part of the money belonging to the
government is found in these places, about two hundred National
banks have also been designated as public depositories.
The Chief of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.--The
Bureau of Engraving and Printing is one of the largest in the
department and employs about 1600 people. It has been said that the
products of this bureau, in the course of a single year, represent
a sum equal in value to all the money in circulation in the United
States; for here the engraving of the plates and the printing of
all the United States circulating notes, bonds, revenue stamps, and
postage stamps are done.
[Footnote 51: The work of each department is usually distributed among
the bureaus. Bureaus are again divided into divisions. At the head of
each bureau is a commissioner, and of each division a chief.]
Other Officers of the Treasury Department.--Among the other
leading officials of the Treasury Department are: Comptroller of the
Currency, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, General Superintendent of
the Life-saving Service, Solicitor of the Treasury, Supervising
Surgeon-General, and Supervising Architect.
The Life-Saving Service.--This is one of the most important
offices in the Treasury Department. More than 2000 men are employed
in the 273 stations, located generally at danger points on the
oceans and the Great Lakes. Out of the 6000 lives imperiled in the
year 1910 in the disasters on water, only 53 were lost. Of the 1463
vessels of all kinds in distress, 1407 were rendered assistance by
life-savers. It has been estimated that over 230,000 lives have
been saved through this service since it was founded in 1848.
The Solicitor of the Treasury.--The Solicitor of the Treasury
is the law officer of the department, and has charge of all
prosecutions by the government arising out of the counterfeiting of
the government securities, or of the infringement of customs
revenue, and of all suits for the collection of moneys due the
United States, except those due under the internal revenue laws.
The Supervising Surgeon-General.--The Supervising
Surgeon-General superintends the twenty-two marine hospitals where
our sick sailors are cared for; conducts the quarantine service of
the United States, and directs the laboratories for the
investigation of the causes of contagious diseases.
THE WAR DEPARTMENT.
The Secretary of War.--The Secretary of War, under the direction of
the President, has charge of the military affairs of the government. He
supervises all estimates of appropriations for the expenses of the
department. He has under his supervision also the military academy
at West Point, all National cemeteries, and river and harbor
improvement. The chiefs of the eleven bureaus are regular army officers.
[Footnote 52: The annual appropriation by Congress for the army alone in
1912 amounted to $90,483,403.]
The Adjutant-General.--The Adjutant-General issues orders for
the muster of troops and for their movement, conducts the
correspondence of the department, and keeps the records.
The Inspector-General.--The Inspector-General examines and
reports on all places where United States troops are stationed; on
public works carried on by army officers; and on the military
academy and prisons.
The Quartermaster-General.--Under direction of the
Quartermaster-General the army is transported, clothed, and
The Chief of Ordnance.--Arms are supplied by the Chief of
Ordnance. The arms used are manufactured chiefly in the United
States arsenals. The arsenals at Springfield, Mass., and Rock
Island, Ill., manufacture rifles and carbines; and that at West
Troy, N.Y., cannon and mortars.
The United States Military Academy.--The United States
Military Academy at West Point was founded in 1802. The corps of
cadets is made up of one cadet from each of the Congressional
districts, one from each of the Territories and the District of
Columbia, and one hundred from the United States at large. Prior to
the year 1900 there were only ten cadets at large. The act of that
year also provided that thirty cadets were to be named by the
President directly and the remainder apportioned among the States.
They all receive their appointments from the President, but it has
become the custom for the representatives and delegates to select
(usually after a competitive examination) those from the
Congressional districts and the Territories. The cadet must be
between seventeen and twenty-two years of age. Each receives $540 a
year during the four years of his course. Upon graduation, the
cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the united States
army. In case there are more graduates than vacancies, those in
excess are honorably discharged with the payment of one year's
THE NAVY DEPARTMENT.
The Secretary of the Navy--The duties of the Secretary of the Navy
pertain to the construction, manning, arming, quipping, and employment
[Footnote 53: The appropriation for this department in 1913 was
The United States Naval Academy.--The naval academy at Annapolis
was established in 1846. One cadet is allowed in the naval academy for
each member or delegate of the House of Representatives, one for the
District of Columbia, and ten at large. Candidates for admission, at the
time of their examination, must be between the ages of fifteen and
twenty years. The nomination of a candidate to fill a vacancy is made
upon recommendation of a representative or delegate if made before July
1; but if no recommendation be made by that time, the Secretary of the
Navy fills the vacancy by appointing an actual resident of the district
in which the vacancy exists. The President selects the candidates at
large and the cadet for the District of Columbia. At the conclusion of
the six years' course, two of which are spent at sea, the graduates are
assigned in order of merit to the vacancies that may have occurred in
the lower grades of the line of the navy and of the marine corps. Cadets
who are not assigned to service after graduation are honorably
discharged and are given $500, the amount they have received each year
of their course at the academy.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.
The Attorney-General.--The Attorney-General is the legal adviser of
the President and of the heads of the departments. He supervises the
work of all the United States district attorneys and marshals, and is
assisted by the Solicitor-General. Unless otherwise directed, all cases
before the Supreme Court and the Court of Claims in which the United
States is a party are argued by the Attorney-General and the
THE POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
The Postmaster-General.--The Postmaster-General is at the head of
this department. He appoints all of the officers of the department with
the exception of the four assistant postmasters-general and postmasters
of the first class, whose appointments are made by the President with
the consent of the Senate. The Postmaster-General may, with the consent
of the President, let contracts and make postal treaties with foreign
The Postal Union.--Since 1891 the United States has been a
member of the Universal Postal Union. By this union over fifty
distinct powers became parties to an agreement by which uniform
rates of postage were agreed upon and every facility for carrying
mails in each country was extended to all the others.
THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR.
The Secretary of the Interior.--The Interior Department, under the
supervision of the Secretary of the Interior, is one of the most
complex and important of the departments. There are two assistant
secretaries in the department, while at the head of the other offices
are six commissioners and two directors.
The Commissioner of the General Land Office.--The Commissioner
of the General Land Office has charge of all the public lands of
the government, and supervises the surveys, sales, and issuing of
titles to this property.
The Commissioner of Education.--The Commissioner of Education
is the chief of the Bureau of Education. This bureau has charge of
the collection of facts and statistics relating to the educational
systems and to progress along educational lines in the several
States and Territories, and also in foreign countries. The reports
issued by the bureau are of great value to those interested in
education. The commissioner has advisory power only, except in
Alaska. Here he directs the management of the schools.
The Commissioner of Pensions.--The Commissioner of Pensions
supervises the examination and adjustment of all claims arising
under the laws of Congress granting bounty land or pensions on
account of services in the army or navy during the time of war.
That our government has not been ungrateful may be gathered from
the report of the commissioner for 1913. There were in that year
921,000 pensioners, to whom were paid approximately $180,000,000,
or an amount equal to about one-fifth of the total revenues of the
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs.--Prior to 1871 the Indian
tribes were treated as independent nations by the United States,
but by a law of that year the general government was made the
guardian of their interests. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs
exercises a protecting care over these "wards" by directing the
work of the Indian agents and of the superintendents of Indian
There are some 300,000 Indians on the 150 reservations which are in
the various States and Territories. The lands of these
reservations are held in common; that is, the ownership is tribal
rather than individual. It is the policy of the government,
however, to bring about the allotment of lands "in severally," and
thus to encourage the Indians to adopt an agricultural life. The
Indians are only partially self-supporting. Some tribes derive an
income from funds which are the proceeds derived from the sales and
cessions of their lands. The National government holds this money
in trust for them, and, by direct appropriation, supplies the
money, food, and clothing necessary to complete their support. The
appropriation for the Indians in 1912 was $9,854,000. Over
one-fourth of this sum was spent for their education in Indian
schools, numbering about 300, which are under the direct control of
[Footnote 54: Report of the Secretary of the Interior, 1910. Within
twelve years 89,000 Indians were granted full rights as citizens.]
The Director of the Geological Survey.--The Director of the
Geological Survey collects much valuable information through the
examination of the geological structure, mineral resources, and
mineral products of the United States. He has charge, also, of the
survey of the forest reserves.
THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
The Secretary of Agriculture.--The duties of the Secretary of
Agriculture are, "To acquire and diffuse among the people of the United
States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture in the
most comprehensive sense of that word." The activities of the department
are along many lines, as indicated by the names of the bureaus and
Bureau of Animal Industry.--Continuous advancement is being
made by the government toward placing the agricultural pursuits
upon a more scientific basis. One of its most important services is
performed in the Bureau of Animal Industry, which inspects the
greater part of the meat products exported to European countries.
The law providing for this inspection was necessary because of the
claim in European markets that diseased meats were shipped from the
United States. An inspection is also provided for live animals
intended for exportation and for animals imported. Much scientific
work is also devoted to a study of the various diseases of animals.
The Division of Seeds.--Over $100,000 are expended each year
by the Division of Seeds in the purchase of "rare and valuable"
seeds, bulbs, and plants. These are distributed free throughout the
country for the purpose of fostering the introduction of new and
more valuable crops.
Public Road Inquiries.--Another important interest is carried
on by the Office of Public Road Inquiries. Here experiments are
made with regard to the best system of road-making and the best
materials to be used for that purpose.
Weather Bureau.--Through the Weather Bureau daily forecasts
and warning of storms are sent to over 50,000 different points,
and storm signals are displayed at 300 places on our coasts. By its
operation, millions of dollars are saved each year to the
agricultural and maritime interests of the country. A recent decree
of the Post-office Department renders the reports of the bureau of
still greater service. Slips of paper having the storm, frost, or
other warnings printed on them are distributed by the rural mail
carriers at the various houses in the districts affected.
THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.
Nature of the Department.--Because of the nature of the subjects
assigned to this new department, it has rapidly become one of the most
important of the departments. Among the duties of the Secretary of
Commerce are these: to promote the commerce and the mining,
manufacturing, shipping, fishery, and transportation interests of the
United States. The President is given the power to transfer to the
department those bureaus in other departments which are engaged in
scientific or statistical work, the Interstate Commerce Commission and
the scientific divisions of the Agricultural Department being excepted.
The offices which have been transferred are as follows: the Bureau of
Statistics; Census Bureau; Bureau of Standards of Weights and Measures;
Bureau of Navigation; the Steamboat Inspection Service; Bureau of
Fisheries; Coast and Geodetic Survey and Light-house Board. The Bureau
of Corporations was created for the department. The Commissioner of
Corporations is expected to investigate the organization, conduct, and
management of the business of corporations and other combinations
engaged in interstate or foreign commerce, except such carriers as may
be subject to the interstate commerce act.
The Chief of the Bureau of Statistics.--The Chief of the
Bureau of Statistics collects and publishes the annual statistics
on commerce. These reports are of such a character that they are
invaluable to the President in the preparation of his messages; and
they are used extensively by the heads of departments, members of
Congress, and the public. Tariff laws, special legislation for
particular industries, and all international trade treaties are
also based on these compilations. The greatest demand is for the
Annual Statistical Abstract, which presents in a condensed form the
history of the commerce of the United States for a number of
The Superintendent of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.--This
officer superintends the survey of the coasts and rivers of the
United States. He has charge of the publication of charts and
sailing directions which are of inestimable value to mariners.
The Light-House Board.--The Light-house Board has charge of
the light-houses, of which 1199 had been established previous to
the year 1899, besides the light vessels and beacons used for the
protection of navigation.
THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.
On March 4, 1913, the bill was signed by the President which created the
Department of Labor. It is evidence of the spirit manifested by the
Americans to make their government serve the cause of human
conservation. Besides the Bureau of Information, which was created for
the department, there were transferred from other departments the Bureau
of Immigration and the Children's Bureau. The Division of
Naturalization was made a bureau, and the Bureau of Labor was
constituted the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
[Footnote 55: In 1912 there were 838,172 immigrants to the United
States, and 2853 were refused admission. Of these there were 767
paupers, 31 contract laborers, 749 diseased persons.]
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. Does the President select the members of his Cabinet from among
former members of Congress? Would this be desirable?
2. Have the members of the Cabinet ever been allowed to appear before
Congress in the interests of their own departments? Would this be
desirable? Walker, The Making of the Nation, 92; Bryce, American
Commonwealth, I, Chapter 9; Atl. Mo., 65:771-772.
3. Who are now the heads of the executive departments? Were they
prominent in National affairs before they were selected for these
4. In 1901 a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives which
provided for an increase of the annual salary of the Vice-President to
$25,000, and that of each member of the Cabinet to $15,000. What reasons
can you give for or against such a change?
5. What was the history of the State Department prior to 1789? Harrison,
This Country of Ours, 182-187.
6. Give a list of the Presidents who have been Secretaries of State. How
do you account for this policy in the first years of our government, and
not at a later time? Name some of the other prominent Secretaries of
7. Who are our ambassadors? Can you give the name of any foreign
ambassadors in Washington? See Congressional Directory.
8. The methods by which our ministers are selected, take possession of
their offices, and are presented at foreign courts, are described in
Curtis, The United States and Foreign Powers, 15-21.
9. The duties of ministers. Curtis, The United States and Foreign
10. Are our ambassadors given adequate salaries? Curtis, The United
States and Foreign Powers, 13, 14.
11. From a consular report learn what the duties of a consul are?
Curtis, The United States and Foreign Powers, 30-33.
12. For an account of our consular service, a comparison with that of
other nations, and a consideration of some of the weaknesses in our
system, see Curtis, The United States and Foreign Powers, 28-30.
13. A business man and the consular service. Century Mag., 60: 268-271.
14. Abuses in our consular system arising through appointment. Atl Mo.,
85:455-466, and 669-683.
15. A plea for consular inspection. Forum, 30:28-34.
16. What is the great seal of the United States, and what is its use?
Harrison, This Country of Ours, 199-200.
17. What is the particular work of the Marine Department? of the
Steamboat Inspection Service? of the Marine Hospital? Lyman J. Gage,
Organization of the Treasury Department, Cosmopolitan, 25:355-365.
18. What is the work of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing? Spofford,
The Government as a Great Publisher, Forum, 19:338-349.
19. What is the extent of our merchant marine? Should it be increased?
Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1900, 437-450.
20. From the appendix to the last Finance Report get the chief points
connected with the work of the following officials: Treasurer, Chief of
the Secret Service Division. A good description of the Treasury
Department is given in Scribner's Mag., 33:400-411.
21. From the last report of the Bureau of Statistics find answers for
the following: The expenditures of the government in the different
departments; value of merchandise imported and exported; amounts of
corn, wheat, cotton, wool, and iron produced, imported, and exported;
the chief nationalities of immigrants, and comparison of the total
number with previous years.
22. Are our coasts well defended? Harrison, This Country of Ours, 225.
23. Describe the work of the President, Secretary of War, Secretary of
the Navy, and of the other Cabinet officers at the outbreak of war.
24. For illustrated articles on education at West Point and Annapolis,
see Outlook, 59:825-837, 839-849.
25. Comparison of our pension system with that of other nations. Forum,
26. Defects in our pension system. Forum, 31:670-680.
27. Changing character of the immigration to the United States. Rev. of
R's, 24:723, 724.
28. Why the Chinese should be excluded. Forum, 33:53-59.
29. Why the Chinese should be admitted. Forum, 33:50-68.
30. Influence of the allotment of land on the Indian. Forum, 34:466-480.
31. Results of the work of experiment stations. Scribner's Mag.,
32. For accounts of the new Congressional Library, see Century Mag.,
53:682-694; 694-711; Atl. Mo., 85:145-158; Cosmop., 23:10-20.
33. What is the special value of the work of the Bureau of American
Republics? Forum, 30:21-27.
For other questions and references on the topics in this chapter,
consult Government in State and Nation, 259, 260.
THE NATIONAL JUDICIARY.
Establishment of an Independent Tribunal.--Alexander Hamilton
characterized the lack of a judiciary as the crowning defect of
government under the Confederation. If we consider the nature of our
present government, it is easily seen that some form of independent
tribunal is necessary. We have a central government exercising complete
control over National affairs and foreign relations and, at the same
time, the State governments with equally complete control over questions
arising within their limits. If differences arise, then, as to the
authority of National or State government over a given question, how are
these disputes to be settled peaceably? After a brief discussion, the
problem was answered in the Constitutional Convention by the formation
of a Federal judiciary.
Organization of the Judiciary.--The organization of the judiciary
is provided for as follows: Section 1. _The judicial power of the United
States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts
as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges,
both of the Supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices
during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their
services a compensation which shall not be diminished during their
continuance in office._
In 1789 Congress provided that the Supreme Court should consist of a
chief justice and five associates. Circuit and district courts were also
established. The Supreme Court at present consists of the chief justice
and eight associate justices. It holds one session annually, at
Washington, beginning on the second Monday in October and continuing
until about May 1.
District Courts.--The territory of the United States has been
divided into judicial districts, none of them crossing State lines
and each having a district court. New York and Texas have each four
districts; Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee three each;
Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia two
each; and the remaining States have each a single district. Alaska
and Hawaii constitute a district. Generally there is a judge for
each district, but a single judge is at times assigned to two
United States District Attorneys and Marshals.--A district attorney
and marshal are appointed by the President for each district court. The
United States district attorney is required to prosecute all persons
accused of the violation of Federal law and to appear as defendant in
cases brought against the government of the United States in his
district. The United States marshal executes the warrants or other
orders of the United States district court, and, in general, performs
duties connected with the enforcement of the Federal laws which
resemble the duties of sheriffs under State laws.
Circuit Courts and Courts of Appeals.--Established by the act of
1789, each circuit court was at first presided over by a justice of the
Supreme Court and a district judge. The policy was to have as many
circuit courts as there were justices of the Supreme Court. It was not
until 1869 that a circuit judge was provided for each of the nine
circuits. By an Act of Congress during the year 1911, in response to the
agitation for a simplified Federal judicial system and greater
expedition in the hearing of cases, the circuit courts were abandoned.
Judges of these courts were transferred to the circuit courts of
appeals. The circuit courts of appeals consist of three judges each, any
two constituting a quorum. Supreme Court judges and district judges may
sit in these courts. The Court of Claims was established in 1855 and
consists of a chief justice and four associates. It holds an annual
session in Washington.
Terms and Salaries of the Judges.--That the judiciary should be
independent of parties and of other influences cannot be questioned.
Hence the wisdom of the provision that United States judges shall hold
their offices during good behavior and shall receive a compensation for
their services which shall not be diminished during their continuance in
office. Judges of the United States courts are appointed by the
President with the consent of the Senate.
By an Act of Congress of 1911 the salary of the Chief Justice was fixed
at $15,000 per annum; that of associate justices, $14,500; and district
Jurisdiction of the National Courts.--We are next to consider the
jurisdiction of the several courts that have been described.
Section 2, Clause 1. _The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in
law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United
States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their
authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers
and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to
controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to
controversies between two or more States;--between a State and citizens
of another State;--between citizens of different States;--between
citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different
States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign
states, citizens or subjects_. A careful consideration of this clause
shows the wide extent of the powers of the United States courts. It
shows also the desirability of having all such cases under their
jurisdiction rather than under the authority of the State courts.
Associate Justice Brewer wrote, with reference to the influence of the
decisions of the Supreme Court on the history of the country: "Its
decisions have always been in harmony with and sustaining the
proposition that this republic is a nation acting directly upon all its
citizens, with the attributes and authority of a nation, and not a mere
league or confederacy of States. The importance of this cannot be
overestimated, and will be appreciated by all who compare the weakness
of the old confederacy with the strength and vigor of the republic under
the present Constitution."
[Footnote 56: "The Supreme Court of the United States," _Scribner's
Suit against a State by a Citizen of Another State.--In the
notable case of Chisholm vs. Georgia in 1793, Chisholm, a citizen
of North Carolina, began action against the State of Georgia in the
Supreme Court of the United States. That court interpreted the
clause as applying to cases in which a State is defendant, as well
as to those in which it is plaintiff. The decision was received
with disfavor by the States, and Congress proposed the Eleventh
Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1798 and is as
_The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to
extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted
against one of the United States, by citizens of another State, or
by citizens or subjects of any foreign state_.
Original and Appellate Jurisdiction.--Clause 2. _In all cases
affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in
which a State shall be a party, the Supreme Court shall have original
jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court
shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such
exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make_.
The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction in "all cases affecting
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a
State shall be a party." Original jurisdiction means that these cases
may be begun in the Supreme Court. Other cases are brought to the
Supreme Court from the inferior United States courts or from the
supreme courts of the States and Territories by appeal. In such cases
the Supreme Court is said to have appellate jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction of the Inferior Courts.--It is difficult in brief
space to define minutely the province of each court The following
accounts, therefore, give only a general description:--
The circuit courts of appeals are given final jurisdiction in
certain cases appealed to them from the district courts, such as
those arising under the patent, revenue, and criminal laws, as well
as admiralty and other cases in which the opposing parties to a
suit are an alien and a citizen, or are citizens of different
States. There is reserved to the Supreme Court the decision of
cases involving constitutionality.
The circuit courts of appeals have the final decision in nearly all
other cases involving merely the application of ordinary law.
The jurisdiction of the district courts embraces criminal cases,
admiralty cases, bankruptcy proceedings, suits for penalties, and
the like. In general, the jurisdiction of cases formerly in the
circuit courts was transferred to the district courts when the
circuit courts were discontinued.
The Court of Claims "shall hear and determine all claims founded
upon any law of Congress, or upon any regulation of an executive
department, or upon any contract, express or implied, with the
government of the United States, which may be suggested to it by a
petition filed therein; and also all claims which may be referred
to said court by either house of Congress."
[Footnote 57: Statutes at Large, 612.]
Trial by Jury.--The right of trial by jury in all criminal cases
had been insisted upon by Englishmen for centuries prior to the
formation of our Constitution. There were two branches to the system,
the grand and the petit juries. Each performed the same duties as they
do now. The Constitution provides in Section 2, Clause 1, that
_The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by
jury, and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crime
shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the
trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have
This clause was attacked by the opponents of the Constitution in the
State conventions. It was believed that the Constitution did not furnish
adequate safeguards against unjust prosecutions. Because of this
agitation, Congress, in its first session, proposed Amendments V, VI,
VII, and VIII, which were duly ratified by the several States.
Amendment V. _No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or
otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a
grand jury, etc._
[Footnote 58: See Appendix A.]
Authorities have had difficulty in giving an exact definition of an
infamous crime. That given by Judge Cooley is the most satisfactory. He
says: "But the punishment of the penitentiary must always be deemed
infamous, and so must any punishment that involves the loss of civil or
The Grand Jury.--A grand jury consists of from twelve to
twenty-three men. They sit in secret, and no accusation can be made by
them without the concurrence of at least twelve. An indictment is a
written accusation of an offense drawn up by a prosecuting officer on
behalf of the government and laid before the grand jury. "A presentment
is an accusation by a grand jury of an offense upon their own
observation and knowledge, or upon evidence before them, and without any
bill of indictment laid before them at the suit of government." In
the case of a presentment, the party accused cannot be held to trial
until he has been indicted. After hearing the evidence, if the grand
jury concludes that the accusation is not true, they write on the back
of the bill, "Not a true bill" or "Not found." The accused, if held in
custody, is then given his freedom, but he may be again indicted by
another grand jury. If the grand jury decides that the accusation is
true, they then write on the back of the bill, "A true bill" or "Found."
The indicted person must be held to answer the charges made against him.
[Footnote 59: Story, "Commentaries on the Constitution," Sec. 1784.]
Rights of the Accused.--Amendment VI. _In all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime
shall have been committed, etc. _(See Appendix A).
Amendment VII. _In suits at common law, where the value in controversy
shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in
any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the
The accused must be given a public and speedy trial before an impartial
jury, known as the petit jury, consisting of twelve men from the
district wherein the crime was committed. The decision must be unanimous
before a verdict can be rendered. The accused is given a copy of the
indictment in which the nature of the accusation is clearly set forth
and is granted time in which to prepare for his defense. Equally just
and significant are the provisions that he shall be confronted by the
witnesses against him, may compel the attendance of witnesses in his
favor, and may employ counsel for his defense. In case he is not able to
pay for his own counsel, the judge appoints one whose services are paid
for out of the public treasury. If the verdict has been rendered by a
jury and the judgment pronounced, the accused cannot be again brought to
trial on the same charge.
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. What are the names of the members of the Supreme Court at present?
2. How large is the district in which your home is located? Who are the
judges? Congressional Directory.
3. Under what conditions may a case be appealed from the supreme court
of the State to the United States Supreme Court? Bryce, American
Commonwealth, I, 228-230 (232-234).
4. How is the fact that conflicts between the authority of the Federal
and the State courts do not arise, accounted for? Bryce, I, 234-235
5. Are the United States Courts influenced in their decisions by
politics? Bryce, I, 259-261 (265-267).
6. Define treason and the punishment therefore. Constitution, Art. III,
Sec. 3, Clauses 1 and 2. See Government in State and Nation, 268, 269.
7. Describe the influence of John Marshall as Chief Justice.
(_a_.) John Marshall, American Statesmen Series, Chapters X and XI.
(_b_.) Bryce, I, 261 (267).
(_c_.) Lodge, "John Marshall, Statesman," N. Am. Rev., 172:191-204.
(_d_.) John Marshall, Atl. Mo., 87:328-341.
8. Show how the development of our Constitution by interpretation has
been brought about. Bryce, I, 366-375 (376-385).
9. What has been the influence of the Supreme Court in the history of
our nation? Scribner's Mag., 33:273-284.
TERRITORIES AND PUBLIC LANDS.
The History of Territories.--The first Territories of the United
States were formed in the region lying north of the Ohio River and east
of the Mississippi River. Here several of the original States (viz.,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia) had had claims,
which they ceded to the general government during the period of the
Confederation. This region was given the name Northwest Territory. It
was governed under the Ordinance of 1787 enacted by Congress for this
purpose. As settlers came into this region, Congress passed special acts
for the government of the different Territories that were erected where
now we find the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and
In like manner, the region lying south of Kentucky was ceded to the
United States by the Carolinas and Georgia, and was then formed into
Territories and governed by Congress. Next, the Louisiana Purchase,
Florida, the Mexican Cession, and the Oregon Territory came under the
control of Congress; a succession of Territories was thus created, all
of which have now been admitted into the Union as States. In the
government of these Territories, Congress has acted in accordance with
an important power granted to it by the Constitution.
Article IV, Section 3, Clause 3. _The Congress shall have power to
dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the
territory or other property belonging to the United States._
The Government of Territories.--Our Territories at present are
Alaska, Porto Rico, and Hawaii.
The governing authorities in each are: (1) a governor, appointed by the
President, with the consent of the Senate; (2) administrative
officers--secretary, treasurer, auditor, attorney-general,
adjutant-general, and superintendent of education, all appointed in the
same way; (3) a legislature consisting of two houses, the members of the
lower house, at least, being elected by popular vote; (4) a system of
courts in which the judges are appointed by the President and Senate.
Relations between Territories and Congress.--A Territory is
organized by an Act of Congress which provides for these officers and
prescribes their powers. The Territorial legislature controls the
internal affairs of the Territory; but its acts may be changed or vetoed
by Congress. The people of a Territory have no voice in National
affairs, but they elect a delegate to Congress, who may debate but not
Porto Rico.--The government of Porto Rico is different at some
points from that of the other organized Territories. The upper
house of its legislature is the Executive Council and consists of
the administrative officers of the Territory (secretary, treasurer,
auditor, commissioner of the interior, attorney-general, and
commissioner of education) and five other persons appointed by the
President. Five of the eleven members of this council must be
natives of Porto Rico. The House of Delegates has thirty-five
members, elected triennially by the voters. There is elected by the
people a "resident commissioner" to the United States, who, unlike
the delegates from other Territories, has no seat in Congress, but
rather has official relations with the President.
The Territory of Hawaii.--Hawaii was annexed to the United
States in 1898, and its government was established by Congress in
1900. The administrative officers in this Territory are appointed
by the governor, instead of by the President. Voters in Hawaii must
be able to read and write either the English or Hawaiian language.
Alaska.--By a law of 1912, Alaska was given for the first time
a Territorial legislature, consisting of two houses, elected by the
Our Government in the Philippine Islands.--The Philippines
constitute the largest part of "our insular possessions," and are
not classed as Territories. The word "colonies" better expresses
their relations to the United States. They are governed by a
commission of nine members: the governor, four heads of departments
(Americans), and four Filipinos. All are appointed by the President
with the consent of the Senate. This commission constitutes the
upper house of the legislative body; the lower house or assembly is
elected from certain districts of the islands where the people are
considered civilized and are at peace. Voters must be
property-owners and be able to read and write English or Spanish.
The entire group of islands is divided into provinces. In some of
these the people have local self-government; in others there is
military government under the United States army. In many cities
the government is similar to that of American cities.
Besides numerous other small islands the United States possesses
Tutuila in the Samoan group, Guam, and Wake Island. These are
governed directly by the naval authorities of the government.
The Panama Canal Zone is governed by the Isthmian Canal Commission,
consisting of seven men appointed by the President. The commission
is subordinate to the War Department at Washington.
Political Relations with Cuba.--Cuba was under the control of
our military authority between the time when our troops occupied
the island, during the Spanish-American War, and the announcement
of its independence in May, 1902. Although Cuba is now an
independent republic, it is considered as a "protectorate" of the
United States, and is subject to the influence of this nation in
its dealings with other nations.
The Admission of Territories to Statehood.--While Territories
depend to a greater or less extent upon the nation for their government,
it has always been the policy of the United States to admit them into
the Union as States when conditions became right for this action. That
the power to admit States into the Union belongs exclusively to Congress
is evident from the language of the Constitution:
Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1. _New States may be admitted by the
Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected
within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by
the junction of two or more States or parts of States, without the
consent of the legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the
Territories first apply for admission to the Union, and then either of
two processes may follow: (1) Congress passes an enabling act
authorizing the Territory to frame a constitution, which is submitted to
Congress for approval. (2) Or, the Territory frames its constitution
without waiting for the enabling act; with this in its hand the
Territory then applies to Congress for admission. In either case,
before giving its approval to the admission of a State, Congress must
see that the constitution submitted contains nothing that is
inconsistent with a republican form of government.
Our Public Land Policy.--In the Territories which lay between the
Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River, and in all the
acquisitions that have since been made, the unoccupied lands became
the property of the United States. So the National government became the
possessor of many millions of acres of land, and it still holds immense
tracts in the Western States and in its distant possessions. Upon the
admission of a Territory as a State, the ownership of its public lands
does not pass to the new State, but remains with the National
government. The latter has followed a most liberal policy in dealing
with its lands, (1) It has granted great amounts to the States. The
school lands which are the basis of the common school funds in the
Western States were acquired in this way. (2) Many thousands of square
miles have been granted to railroad companies as aid in the construction
of their lines. These lands are still being purchased at low rates by
settlers in the West. (3) The "homestead law" provides that citizens may
acquire 160 acres of land, or less, free of cost, on condition of living
upon it for five years and improving it. (4) Millions of acres are still
held by the government, subject to sale at low prices.
[Footnote 60: Exceptions to this statement must be made to cover certain
lands reserved by some of the original States that ceded their claims to
the United States; as, for instance, the Western Reserve in Ohio
retained by Connecticut, and other lands in the same State retained by
At present the larger part of the public lands of the United States are
arid; that is, they cannot be cultivated without irrigation. By a law of
1902, the proceeds received from the sale of public lands in certain
Western States and Territories will be expended by the National
government in the construction of irrigation works. This law is destined
to have a great influence upon the future of our Western States.
The National System of Survey.--In the thirteen original States
there was no uniform system of land survey, but each tract of land was
surveyed as necessity required, generally after settlement had been
made upon it. The tracts were of very irregular shapes. The boundary
lines, usually starting from some natural object, were measured by rods
or chains, running in certain directions as ascertained by the use of
the compass. This method of survey is still in use in the Eastern
States. According to a law of 1785, a uniform system of "rectangular
survey" was applied to all lands belonging to the United States. This
survey has preceded settlers, and has to some extent influenced the
method of settlement and the nature of local government throughout the
West. The lands surveyed have been divided into townships six miles
square. For the boundaries of townships the law requires the use of
north-and-south and east-and-west lines. To secure starting points from
which to run these lines, it was necessary to designate certain
meridians as Principal Meridians and certain parallels as Base Lines.
Method of Land Description.--The map indicates the location of
Principal Meridians and Base Lines in the States north of the Ohio
River. Starting, then, from any Principal Meridian, the tier of
townships directly east is called Range I; the other ranges are numbered
east and west of that meridian. Counting also from the Base Line, the
townships are numbered 1, 2, 3, etc., both north and south. It thus
becomes possible to locate precisely any particular township by a simple
description: e.g., township 5 north, Range VIII east of the first
Since the eastern and western boundaries of townships are meridians,
they approach nearer to each other as they go farther north. Hence the
townships become less than six miles from east to west as the survey
proceeds northward from any base line. This necessitates the running of
standard parallel lines, or correction lines, at frequent intervals, to
be used as new base lines (Figure 1).
[Illustration: Figure 1]
To still further facilitate the sale and description of lands, the law
provides for exact methods of subdividing the township into sections,
one mile square, numbered as in Figure 2.
Each section is subdivided into rectangular tracts known as halves,
quarters, half-quarters, and quarter-quarters. The designations of these
divisions are by abbreviations and fractions. (See Figure 3.) The number
of acres in each tract is easily computed.
The rectangular system of survey has been a great aid in the subdivision
and location of farm lands; it greatly reduces the number of boundary
disputes, it determines very largely the location of country roads.
Moreover, the Congressional township has become, in a great many
instances, the area within which the political township or town has been
organized. This town, however, need not coincide with the Congressional
township; it may be greater or smaller in area.
[Illustration: Figure 2.--Six MILES SQUARE.
| 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 |
| 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |
|18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 |
|19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 |
|30 | 29 | 28 | 27 | 26 | 25 |
|31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 |
[Illustration: Figure 3.--One mile square
| | N 1/2 NE 1/4 |
| NW 1/4 |----------------|
| | | SE 1/4 |
| | | NE 1/4 |
| S 1/2 |
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. For the history of land cessions, references are given in Government
in State and Nation, p. 334, question 1.
2. The topics treated in this chapter are discussed in Harrison, This
Country of Ours, pp. 270-279.
3. On public lands, see Reinsch, Young Citizen's Reader, 90-101.
Marriott, Uncle Sam's Business, 175-184; 254-269.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.
Methods of Amending the Constitution.--We have already considered
the effect of amendments on some of the original clauses. It now
remains to consider, briefly, the methods of amending the Constitution
and a few other provisions found in the amendments. Article V provides
for amendments as follows:--
_The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the
application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States,
shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case,
shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this
Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the
several States, or by conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one
or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress;
provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one
thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first
and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that
no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage
in the Senate_.
[Footnote 61: For Amendment XI, see p. 160; for Amendment XII, see p.
Thus, amendments may be proposed in either of two ways: by a vote of
two-thirds of both houses of Congress; or by a National convention
called by Congress for that purpose on the application of two-thirds of
the State legislatures. The convention method has never been used in
proposing amendments to this Constitution.
Amendments may also be ratified in two ways: by the legislatures in
three-fourths of the several States; or by conventions in three-fourths
thereof. Congress has always selected the first of these methods.
Amending the Constitution Difficult.--That it is difficult to amend
the Constitution may be seen when we consider that some two thousand
amendments have been proposed in an official way. During a single
session of the Fifty-seventh Congress, fifty amendments, on twenty
different phases of government, were proposed in one or other of the
houses of Congress.
Amendment XIII.--The purpose of the first ten amendments has
already been noted on p. 112.
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments were the results of
negro slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to all of
the slaves in the States then in rebellion. There were some States,
however, as Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri, where slavery might still
exist legally. In order to be rid of this institution altogether,
Congress proposed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which is
_Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for
crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist
within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction._
_Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
It was declared a part of the Constitution, December 18, 1865.
Amendment XIV.--This amendment was proposed by Congress, June 16,
1866, as a part of the general plan for reconstruction. The Southern
States were not to be regarded as a part of the Union until they should
ratify it. The entire amendment, given in Appendix A, should be read.
Sections 1 and 2, however, contain the most important provisions.
Section 1 has already been partially discussed on p. 95, under the
question, "Who are citizens?" Section 2 has also been considered on p.
54, in connection with the apportionment of representatives.
Congress has at different times removed the disabilities from certain of
the classes mentioned in Section 3. Finally, an act of June 6, 1898,
removed the last disability imposed by this section.
Amendment XV.--In order to secure full political rights for the
negroes, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, as indicated on p. 51.
_The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied
or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race,
color, or previous condition of servitude._
_The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate
Amendment XVI.--_The Congress shall have power to lay or collect
taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment
among the several States, and without regard to any census or
This amendment, which provides for the laying of an income tax, was
adopted by the thirty-sixth legislature, the requisite three-fourths, on
February 3, 1913. It was hoped that the money supplied from this tax
would make up for any loss of revenue due to the reduction of tariff
duties. The new tax will affect those whose yearly incomes are in excess
of a certain line of exemption.
Amendment XVII.--_The Senate of the United States shall be composed
of two senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six
years; and each senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State
shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most
numerous branch of the State legislature_.
_When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate
the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to
fill such vacancies. Provided, that the legislature of any State may
empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the
people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct_.
_This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or
term of any senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. What facts can be given showing the difficulty of amending the
Articles of Confederation? Fiske, Critical Period, 218-220.
2. Is it now considered difficult to amend the Constitution? Bryce,
American Commonwealth, I, 359-362 (368-371).
3. What were the conditions under which the Emancipation Proclamation
was issued? Wilson, Division and Reunion, 226-228.
4. Was the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment a wise policy?
5. Give the arguments in favor of the Sixteenth Amendment.
6. What reasons can you give in favor of the Seventeenth Amendment?
THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD.
Kinds of Governments.--It is customary to classify the governments
of the world under two heads: (1) republics, (2) monarchies. The real
nature of our republic may be made more apparent by a comparison of our
system with that of other republics, and with the governments of certain
Our Federal Republic.--It has been emphasized in the course of our
study that the States are important parts in the political system which
we call the Republic of the United States. The States are not mere
administrative divisions of the nation; they do not stand in the same
relation to the National government that counties bear to the State.
They do not derive their powers from the National government; nor, on
the other hand, does the latter derive its powers from the States. The
source of power for both is the same--"the people themselves, as an
organized body politic." The United States is, then, a _Federal
Republic_. It is essential to understand that, in the division of powers
between States and nation, the latter is sovereign over the matters that
are placed within its jurisdiction; but it is a feature of our system
no less essential (though less clearly understood by the people) that
the States are as completely sovereign over matters that lie within
France a Centralized Republic.--In France we find an entirely
different type of republic--not federal, but centralized. France is
divided into eighty-six departments, which correspond in some respects
to our States. But in their relation to the central government the
difference is very striking; for the departments are merely
administrative divisions of the central government. They are completely
subject to the national government. The chief authority in each
department is a prefect, who is appointed by the ministry of France (the
central executive body) and is responsible to it. There is a legislative
body in each department, called the general council, but the powers of
this body are very much restricted.
The national government of France exercises legislative authority upon
many subjects in the departments, and it administers the laws directly.
Consequently, the people's powers of local self-government are very much
less extensive than those enjoyed by the people in the United States.
There result in France much greater uniformity of legislation and more
effective administration; while in many parts of the United States local
self-government results in corrupt laws and wasteful administration. But
we believe that the people will become educated in the use of political
power if the responsibility for its use rests upon them, rather than
upon some central authority.
The Swiss Republic.--An example of a federal republic is the
government of Switzerland. Here the cantons correspond to our States,
and each canton has control over its own local affairs, without
interference from the federal government. The chief features of the
French and the Swiss governments are indicated in the accompanying
[Footnote 62: Among the South American republics, Brazil, Mexico, and
Argentine Republic are federal in nature, like the United States and
UNITED STATES SWITZERLAND FRANCE
_Congress Federal Assembly The Chambers_
_ Senate State Council Senate_
Two members from Two members from 300 members elected
each state each canton by an electoral college
Six years in each department
_House of National Council Chamber of Deputies_
433 members elected 147 members elected 591 deputies elected
by people by people by people
Two years Three years Four years
_President President President_
Elected by electors, Elected by Federal Elected by National
i.e., by the Assembly Assembly; i.e.
people of the States One year Senate and Chamber
Four years of Deputies in joint
_Cabinet Federal Council Ministry_
Nine members appointed Seven members Twelve members appointed
by President elected by Federal by President
and Senate Assembly
Constitutional Monarchies--Monarchies are classified as (1)
constitutional and (2) absolute. In constitutional monarchies the ruler
holds his position by heredity, but there exists also a constitution,
which defines the distribution of powers among the branches that compose
the government and fixes the limits of authority vested in each. The
British constitution is partly written, as found in the great historical
documents of English history, such as Magna Charta (1215), the Petition
of Right (1628), and the Bill of Rights (1689); and partly
unwritten, consisting of precedents and customs which are recognized as
authoritative. The constitutions of the other monarchies of Europe were
made during the nineteenth century, and consequently they are younger
than that of the United States.
[Footnote 63: Compare the "Bill of Rights" in our Constitution; see pp.
In all the constitutional monarchies we find legislative bodies similar
to our Congress. In every case the lower house is elected by the
voters; in England, the Austrian Empire, Italy, and Spain a number
of the members of the upper house hold their position by hereditary
right. In respect to legislation, therefore, the constitutional
monarchies are all more or less republican in principle; that is, they
all recognize the supreme authority of the people acting through their
[Footnote 64: Property qualifications for suffrage are common in
An absolute monarchy is one in which the authority of the ruler is not
held in check by a constitution or by a body of men elected by the
people. No civilized country now has this form of government. Until
recently there existed in Europe two absolute monarchies--Russia and
The Cabinet System of Government.--In the relations existing
between their legislative and executive departments, the European
governments differ considerably from that of the United States. In our
government we find, in theory at least, that these departments are
separated; in the European governments there is a close relation of the
legislative and executive branches, through some form of "cabinet
responsibility." This "cabinet system" of government is found in the
republics as well as in the constitutional monarchies of Europe, and in
the self-governing British possessions, such as Canada and the
Australian colonies. The difference between the congressional and
the cabinet systems is greater in appearance than in reality; for in the
United States the President and his Cabinet exert considerable influence
Monarch--hereditary in the Emperor--hereditary
line fixed by Parliament King of Prussia
Nineteen members chosen by Eight ministers, Chancellor at
the Prime minister the head, appointed by the
Limit of term, seven years Term, five years
_House of Lords_ _Bundesrath or General Council_
586 members, holding seats 58 members appointed by the
(1) by heredity, (2) by German States
appointment by crown,
(3) by election
_House of Commons_ _Reichstag or Diet of the Realm_
670 members elected by the 397 members elected by the
people of England, Scotland, people
[Footnote 65: The number of members in the ministries of England and
[Footnote 66: Irish peers are elected for life, and Scottish peers are
elected for the duration of a Parliament.]
[Footnote 67: This system finds its best illustration in the English
government, of which a brief description will be found in "Government in
State and Nation," pp. 157-160. For references, see questions 14 and 15,
The Form and the Spirit of Government.--The study of other
governments and the comparison of them with our own will teach us that
the virtue of a government resides, not in its framework, but in its
spirit. A government may be monarchical in form and republican in its
practical workings. In England, and in others of the European
monarchies, the will of the people is the law of the land. On the other
hand, a government may be republican in form, and very unrepublican in
its methods of operation. There are cities and States in our country
where one man, the political boss, or a group of men, the political
machine, dictates the course of legislation and controls the
administration of the law. Here we find, in reality, not republican
governments, but despotisms or oligarchies.
The final test of a government is found in the responsiveness of the
governing authorities to the will of the majority of the people.
Wherever republican institutions are found, whether in republics or in
monarchies, the people may rule if they will. Monarchical and
aristocratic institutions do not in our time stand long in opposition to
a determined public opinion; and, on the other hand, a framework of
republican institutions will not insure the execution of the popular
will. This can only be secured where high-minded citizens are vigilant
in the performance of their political duties.
SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS AND REFERENCES.
1. The relations of nations are governed by the rules of international
law. Government in State and Nation, 301-303.
2. What progress has been made in the direction of settling disputes
between nations by arbitration instead of by war? Government in State
and Nation, 304-306.
* * * * *
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect
union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the
common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this
CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.
SECTION I. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a
Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a
House of Representatives.