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Revised and Enlarged by


Printers and Publishers

Mitchell, South Dakota

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The 1910 edition of Ross' Civics met with a most hearty welcome and a phenominal sale. Those facts encouraged the publishers to still farther improve the present edition by a more thorough revision. In the 1910 edition the main body of the book was not changed. The first two chapters were entirely eliminated and new material substituted. In addition, corrections in the former edition were made and new principles of government and law which were demanded by the then recent legislation were incorporated.

The present edition is far more pretentious. The book has been rewritten in every part, so much so that it would be more in keeping with the facts to call it a new book rather than a revision of a former one. The language of the former edition has been used when that seemed satisfactory and when it would clearly convey to the pupils the ideas sought to be developed in the book, but the author has freely departed from the former text where he believed improvement might be made. Many new topics have been added. The text includes all changes of civics brought about by the work of Congress to date and of the South Dakota legislative session of 1913. Every detail has been carefully studied so that the statements made may be truths and not fiction.

The writer desires to acknowledge his indebtedness to Dr. H. K. Warren, President of Yankton College, to Professor J. W. McClinton, Superintendent of Schools of Mitchell, to Professor C. H. Lugg, Superintendent of Schools of Parkston, to Rev. W. M.

Mair, Pastor of the Congregational Church of Mitchell, formerly Superintendent of Schools of Minnehaha County, and to Senator Thomas Sterling, formerly Dean of the School of Law of our State University at Vermillion, each of whom read the manuscript and made valuable suggestions for bringing the work to its present state of completion.

Special thanks are due Senator Sterling who has known the author from boyhood and who has taken an unusual interest in the work. Many pages of carefully written criticisms were furnished, citing the author to errors of fact, ambiguities, repetitions, incompleteness of detail, and inaccurate use of technical terms. Except for these criticisms many serious errors would have been overlooked, for there is no other person within the acquaintance of the author who has had that wide experience as lawyer, legislator, practical politician, orator, teacher, member of two constitutional conventions, and literary critic which so completely equips Senator Sterling for the task.

The writer also takes this opportunity to express publicly his appreciation of the kindly and invaluable assistance of his wife, Ida Putney Ransom. Almost every page has been better by her careful reading and suggested improvements of literary style and technic, and her corrections of errors otherwise overlooked.

The author and the publishers place this book upon the market with the hope that it will fill a need which has existed for a carefully written text on civics, and that it will prove not too difficult for study in the common schools and not be too abridged for use in our high schools and academies. June 1, 1913

F. L. Ransom.



Introduction. 1. DEFINITION The study of government, that OF CIVICS is, the study of the methods used

to establish, promote and maintain orderly conduct in the management of public affairs, is called civil government or civics.

The subject includes a study of every form of government known to man. It will not be possible in this work to undertake so great a task as to learn about all governments which have existed since the world began. We shall take time to study carefully the government of the United States and of our own state which must include, of course, the government of the county, the city, the town, the township, and the school district,and, fully as important as all else, we must study carefully the relations which exist between the states and the nation.

We must also get just a glimpse of how some other nations are governed, for by so doing we will better understand our own state and national civics.

2. HISTORICAL There is no more interesting STATEMENT subject than that which takes up

the history of the many kinds of governments which have existed in the world and

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