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most part, regarded as a local matter and is vested in county, city, township, and other local authorities. Outside of New England we usually find a county superintendent or a county board of education, or both, standing in somewhat the same relation to the county schools in which the state superintendent or board does to the whole system of the commonwealth.
Provision is generally made by law for the division of the county into school districts, but usually township lines are not crossed in the formation of these districts. In fact, the township is often the lowest administrative division of the state educational system and the administration of educational matters in the township or town is left to the t ustee or to some special authorities locally elected. Sometimes, however, there is a board of trustees, and sometimes a single officer, in every school district. The administration of education in cities is, as we have seen, vested in a board, sometimes appointed, but quite generally elected by the voters.3
Large experiments have also been made in extending the advantages of education beyond the schools and universities to the broad masses of the people by the establishment of public libraries, travelling libraries, and extension systems. More than two-thirds of the states, including New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota, have endeavored to carry education beyond the limits of the schoolroom through travelling libraries. Indiana, for example, has provided for the establishment of such libraries, and the authorities in charge have prepared small boxes containing books on special subjects and also books of a general character. These libraries are circulated throughout the state through local associations at a nominal cost, and in 1907 the public library commission of that state reported that there were then in circulation nearly two hundred travelling libraries containing about six thousand books and that there were some three hundred local library associations scattered throughout the state.
1 In New England the local school system is generally in the hands of school committees or supervisors elected in the several towns.
2 Townships are frequently divided into school districts with a special authority in each.
3 Above, p. 624.
Legislation Relative to Morals
In the United States, notwithstanding our strong individualism, the state interferes with what is commonly regarded as individual liberty perhaps as much as any country in the world. It is a common practice to prohibit all labor on Sunday except works of necessity and charity and also to forbid all public sports, exercises, and shows, and all noises disturbing the public peace on Sunday. Gambling, pool selling, lotteries, and betting on races are generally forbidden. A number of states have attempted to limit the manufacture and sale of cigarettes – for example, Indiana has made it unlawful.
The manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors are placed under strict supervision and in a number of cases entirely prohibited. About half a century ago, a wave of temperance swept over the northern states, and Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, and Rhode Island adopted prohibition by legislative act.' When the wave subsided, prohibition was given up in a majority of these states in favor of the system of high license.
The opening of the twentieth century, however, saw a great revival of temperance enthusiasm, especially in the West and South; and during the last decade Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and North Dakota have adopted state-wide prohibition. During the same period a large number of states, including Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington, have passed strict local option laws allowing certain local divisions to abolish the sale of liquor by popular vote or by a petition.
Similar laws have long been in force pretty generally throughout the Union, and through the persistent efforts of the temperance forces, state after state has been going “dry” by the gradual process afforded by local option. In 1909 it was estimated that two-thirds of the territory and almost one-half of the people of the United States were under prohibition laws. About two-thirds of the people of Indiana in 1909 resided in
1 In a few instances the prohibition law was wholly invalidated by the court.
2 Maine (1854) and Kansas (1880) were already “dry.'
prohibition territory; and in Vermont at least 216 towns out of 240 were “dry.” We are in fact in the midst of a nation-wide temperance movement, the outcome of which it is difficult to predict; but impartial investigators believe that it has more vitality than the movement of fifty years ago because it is being adopted in small communities by popular vote whereas earlier the attempt was made to impose state-wide prohibition by legislative enactment.
GENERAL WORKS ON AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
S. E. BALDWIN, The American Judiciary. A general survey of the subject
intended for the beginning student and layman in law. JAMES BRYCE, The American Commonwealth. 2 vols. 1908. Covers the
entire field of American government, including party operations. J. W. BURGESS, Political Science and Comparative Constitutional Law.
vols. 1890. Deals with American constitutional law by the comparative
method. J. R. COMMONS, Proportional Representation. 1907. A study of the evils of
gerrymandering and district tickets; proposals for reform. T. M. COOLEY, A Treatise on Constitutional Limitations. 1890. Discusses
the various limitations imposed upon legislative power. A. C. Coolidge, The United States as a World Power. 1908. The relations
of the United States to the important nations of the world. J. P. Cotton, The Constitutional Decisions of John Marshall.
2 vols. 1905. Contains the decisions of Marshall dealing with constitutional questions,
with a brief introductory note to each case. The Federalist. To be secured in many editions. A collection of papers on the
federal Constitution, by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, which should
be in every student's library. FINLEY AND SANDERSON, The American Executive and Executive Methods.
A study of the offices of President and Governor. F. J. GOODNow, The Principles of the Administrative Law of the United States,
1905. The organization of the executive in national, state, and local
government, and judicial control over it. BENJAMIN HARRISON, This Country of Ours. 1901. Gives a very intimate
and interesting description of the life and work of the President. A. B. Hart, Practical Essays on American Government. 1894. The prin
cipal topics dealt with are: the Speaker, the election of a President,
civil service reform, river and harbor bills, and the public land policy. F. C. Howe, Privilege and Democracy in America. Devotes special attention
to the land question and the single tax. J. A. JAMESON, A Treatise on Constitutional Conventions. 1887. A full
treatment of state and federal constitutional conventions, from a legal
standpoint. J. W. JENKS, Principles of Politics. A study of some fundamental matters of
government, such as the suffrage, from the viewpoint of the citizen. J. H. LATANÉ, America as a World Power. Recent history of the United
States. (In Hart's American Nation Series.)
Deals with the powers of the different branches of government and individual rights. L. P. MCGEHEE, Due Process of Law. 1906. The term “due process” ex
plained in the light of judicial decisions. P. S. REINSCH, Readings on American Federal Government.
A collection of source extracts illustrating the workings of the federal government.