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GOVERNMENT CLASS BOOK
A MANUAL OF INSTRUCTION IN THE PRINCIPLES
NEW YORK-ITS STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
THE study of the principles of political science is a necessary part of a liberal education. In a country where the people govern themselves the science of government is a nécessary part of a common-school education. In the United States the people elect their own law-makers and rulers, establish their own constitu tions, and determine even the fundamental principles upon which men shall be governed. The danger of entrusting such power to the ignorant has not failed of illustration in our States and cities. Having universal suffrage, the people must learn to govern themselves for the sake of their own preservation and welfare.
Nor is a knowledge of the principles of legal science less necessary to every citizen. The laws of man know as little of mercy as the laws of nature, in that law never admits ignorance as an excuse for wrong. It is a proof of the essential justice of our system of jurisprudence, that so many citizens pass safely through life, totally ignorant of the law, and relying merely upon their own sense of what should be. And yet every day gives proof that ignorance is always dangerous. The study of such a work as this will not make a youth a lawyer, but it will fix in his mind a system of broad principles, which cannot fail to be useful practically.
Though these facts are self-evident, the popular