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Government of New York
Its History and Administration
WILLIAM C. MOREY, PH.D.
PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE IN THE
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped November, 1902.
J. S. Cushing & Co. - Berwick & Smith
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.
THE interest shown in recent years in the study of civil government indicates a growing appreciation of that kind of knowledge which is essential to citizenship. It is also a healthy feature of our present educational system that the study of political science is becoming more and more practical, that it is directed to those subjects which are connected with the political life of the citizen himself, and not to the mere discussion of theoretical questions. It is evident that this kind of practical knowledge can be obtained only by the study of our Federal and State governments in their history, organization, and methods of administration. The political interests and activity of every American citizen are most closely related to the government of his own State and of the locality in which he lives; and hence it seems proper that his political education should begin with these primary elements of our federal system.
With such an educational purpose in view this volume has been prepared. It attempts to give a brief and comprehensive survey of the government of the State of New York, in respect to its historical growth, its structural features, and the administrative work which it performs for the benefit of the people.
The growth of the government is traced from its earliest form to the present time, through the Dutch, the English,
and the constitutional period. This historical survey is restricted to the development of the political institutions, and is intended to point out the most important steps in the growth of popular government in the State.
The structure of the government includes a general discussion of the State constitution as the fundamental law, defining the constitutional rights of the people and the frame of the government; citizenship and suffrage, considered with reference to the part taken by the people in the exercise of political authority; the central government and its various branches; and the local governments in their organization and functions.
The work of the government is especially emphasized to show the purpose for which the government exists, and the benefits which it is intended to confer upon the people. The undue attention often given to mere political forms is likely to create in the pupil's mind the idea that the government is an end in itself, and not simply a means to a higher end. Special attention is therefore directed to the work which the government actually performs, — in the administration of justice by defining and protecting individual rights; in the protection of the community through the exercise of the police power; in the support given to public education; in the supervision of public charities and corrections; in the control of economic interests; and in the management of the public finances.
Each chapter is prefaced by a list of references, pointing out some of the more important works and illustrative materials which bear upon the subject of the chapter. In using this volume as a text-book the student should have