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his title of nobility if he have one, and swear allegiance to the United States. He must also prove his residence and his good character. The court are then authorized to grant him a certificate of his admission to the privileges of citizenship.
Remarks. Under the confederation, the right of passing naturalization laws was left with the states. The propriety of vesting it in the general government is evident. The citizens of each state, are according to the constitution, entitled to all the privileges of citi. zens in the several states. If aliens could be naturalized by the laws of one state aster a two years residence, and the laws of another state should require four years, the alien natu. ralized in the former state would be entitled to the privileges of a citizen in the latter, her naturalization laws notwithstanding.
What is the meaning of the term bankruptcy? Ans. In the common acceptation, it is an inability to pay one's debts. The word bank. rupt, is derived from two Latin words, bancus, a bench, and ruptus, broken. In Italy, mon. ey-lenders, like the exchangers of money spoken of in the New Testament, used to sit on benches ; when one of them failed, his bench
was broken. Hence the term bench-broken or bankrupt. Have congress passed any act on the subject of bankruptcy? Ans. They passed an act in 1800 which was to continue in force five years. At the expiration of the five years
it was not renewed and no other has been passed. What is the object of bankrupt laws ? Ans. To prevent the punishment of the honest debtor, to provide for the punishment of the dishonest, and to secure an equal distribution of the property among all the creditors.
Remark. “ The power of establishing uniform laws of bankruptcy, is so intimately connected with the regulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds where the parties or their property may be removed into different states, that the expediency of it seems not likely to be drawn into question.”
In whom was the right to coin money vested under the confederation ? Ans. Both in congress and in the state governments, congress having the right, however, to regulate the value of all coin struck either by their own authority, or by that of the states.
Remark. The propriety of vesting the sole power of coining, and also of regulating the
value, not only of domestic, but also of foreign coin, in the general government, is readily seen. Instead of twenty-four or more differ. ent currencies, liable to be changed by twentyfour or more different governments, and thus perplexing and embarrassing the people, we have one simple currency, liable to be changed by only one government. It is plainly proper that the same government which is authorized to borrow money by granting certificates of stock, or public securities as they are termed, and to coin money, should also be authorized to provide against these securities and coin being counterfeited.
What terms are used to designate the pecu. liar coin of the United States ? Ans. Federal money. Why was it called Federal money 3 Ans. Because it was the money of the Federal government or confederation. Whence is the term Federal derived ? Ans. From the Latin word fædus, signifying a league. Why was it applied to the government of the United States ? Ans. Because it was the government of states united by a fædus or league. What is meant by fixing the standard of weights and measures ? Ans. In order to ascertain the weight or measure of any thing,
there must be some fixed weight or measure generally understood, with which it can be compared. In measuring cloth, for instance, we compare it with a measure called a yard ; in measuring grain, we compare the quantity of grain with a measure called a bushel. Deter. mining what this weight or measure used in making the comparison shall be, is fixing the standard of weights and measures. gress ever exercised this power? Ans. No, as congress has not made any law on the sub. ject, the state governments now have the entire control of the matter.
Remark. The object of granting this pow. er to congress was similar to that of vesting in them the coining and regulation of the currency. The inconvenience, however, resulting from a want of uniformity in this respect, can never be so great as in the case of the coin.
What is the origin of the term post-office? Ans. It is derived from two Latin words, positi, placed, and officina, an office. Why was the term applied to the arrangements for the transportation of the mail ? Ans. In the Roman empire horses were positi, posted or placed at convenient distances on the public roads for the use of the couriers. From this
circumstance the word post, in the present application, was derived. What provision has been made by congress for the establishment of post-offices ? Ans.
Ans. They have by law established the office of post-master general who is appointed by the president and has the authority to appoint post-masters throughout the United States, and to make contracts for the transportation of the mail. What is the origin of the word mail? Ans. It is derived from the French word malle, a leathern bag or trunk. It was used in the present application because letters and papers were conveyed in such a bag. How many post offices are there at present in the United States ? Ans. About 8000.
Remark. In 1790, the year after the adoption of the constitution, the number of postoffices was only 75.
How is the post-master general paid ? Ans. He and his assistants in the general postoffice receive a salary from the treasury department, fixed by law of congress. How are the deputy post-masters paid? Ans. They receive a certain proportion of the whole amount which is paid for postages at their offi.