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PRACTICAL AND FAMILIAR EXPOSITION
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES,
OF PORTIONS OF THE PUBLIC AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW OF THE
DESIGNED CHIEFLY FOR THE
USE OF SCHOOLS, ACADEMIES, AND COLLEGES.
“It is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your
WASHINGTON's Furewell Address to the People of the United States
J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855, by
FURMAN SIIEPPARD, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.
It is almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of a thorough study of the Constitution of the United States by the pupils in our schools. It is, nevertheless, a study which has hitherto been sadly neglected, chiefly, as teachers are aware, for want of a plain, practical, and thorough work upon the subject. It is true there are several text-books which have been used to a greater or less extent; but however meritorious they are in
many respects, in others they seem objectionable. Some of them, in aiming at simplicity and brevity, have become trivial and meagre; others are composed chiefly of disquisitions and generalities, which cannot be made the proper subject matter of recitation in the school-room; there are still others containing partisan or sectional views, or assuming a controversial air in the discussion of unsettled constitutional questions. It will be for the public to say whether the attempt to divest the present undertaking of these features has been successful.
The author has aimed solely to adapt the book, both in matter and style, to the purposes of elementary instruction, so that it may be easily used by the teacher, and systematically studied by the pupil. Long trains of reasoning have been avoided, and the results have been stated at once, even at the risk of appearing dogmatic. The Federal Government is now an historical fact, and it was not considered necessary for our purpose to elaborate the arguments formerly employed to prove its antecedent fitness. We attempt only an exposition of it as it is, or as it has been decided to be by judicial tribunals. An endeavour has been made to pass beyond a comment on the mere text of the Constitution, and enter into the practical administrative details, and the public law, of the Government, so as to exhibit to some extent its actual workings.
It is scarcely necessary to observe that originality of matter cannot be properly claimed for a book such as the present. Hence, in many places, there has been no hesitation in freely stating doctrines or facts, in the language of public documents,