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POLLS-POOR LAW GUARDIANS IN ENGLAND
inheritance taxes are not within the prohibi- | more than one legal wife, or of a woman with tion as to direct taxation. See TAXATION, more than one legal husband. Bigamy was PRINCIPLES OF; TAXES, DIRECT. References: first punishable by statute in England in 1604, C. E. Boyd, Cases on Am. Constitutional Law and is now everywhere illegal where mono(1898), 91; J. R. Tucker, Constitution of the gamous marriage is recognized by the law of U. S. (1899), I, 460–465.
E. McC. the state. By act of Congress, March 9, 1896,
rights of inheritance, however, were secured POLLS, In the United States, the term to the issue of bigamous and polygamous mar"polls" means the place where electors vote. riages, and by another act, a few days later, Where the Australian ballot has been adopted, the children of such unions "heretofore conthe law requires that the polling places be tracted between members of the Church of provided with ballot-booths, each of such di- Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, born on or mensions as to accommodate one voter, and so prior to the fourth of January, 1896, were legitconstructed as to screen him from observation imated.” See MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE. Referwhile he is preparing his ballot. The booths ence: G. E. Howard, History of Matrimonial are shut off by guard-rails, and no unauthor. Institutions (1904), II.
S. McC. L. ized person is allowed to be present within these barriers. Ordinarily, the voter's name POOLING IN RAILROADS. A pool may be is marked upon an official check-list as he en- defined as an agreement among railroads for ters the ballot-booth enclosure and again as the division of competitive traffic or earnings. he deposits his ballot. The election officers Its purpose was to prevent cut-throat competimust be drawn from different parties. In some tion and the consequent serious depletion of states each party is allowed challengers during earnings. Beginning about 1870, pools were the vote, and watchers during the count. formed in practically every section of the Growing stringency marks laws intended to United States where railroads were in competiprotect the voter from undue influence while tion. As there was no effective way in which at the polls. Oregon even requires that no adherence to the agreements could be enforced, "political badge, button, or other insignia shall but few of them had any permanence. They be worn at or about the polls on any election grew out of rate wars and their dissolution in day.” Severe restrictions condition the as- turn created rate wars. With the passage, in sistance which may be given to voters. Under 1887, of the Interstate Commerce Act these the New Jersey law, 1911, no official ballot agreements, which were never legal in the may be taken outside of the polling-place; if sense of being enforceable at law, were made a person declares under oath that because of illegal in interstate commerce as they had been ignorance of the English language, or because previously in many separate states. During of some physical disability, he is unable to recent years the recommendation has frequentmark his ballot without assistance, the board ly been made in presidential messages and in of registry and election may assign one of its the reports of the Interstate Commerce Commembers to assist him. All members of the mission that pooling be legalized under govboard (but no one else) have the right to ernmental authority and measures in conformwitness the preparation of such a voter's bal- | ity therewith have been introduced into Conlot, but they are forbidden to reveal the name gress. Doubtless the extensive consolidation of any person for whom the assisted elector of railroads has diminished the importance voted. See BALLOT; BALLOT, AUSTRALIAN; of the pooling agreement, yet its reëstablishELECTION SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES ; | ment would promote stability in rates and reSUFFRAGE. References: G. W. McCleary, Am. move some of the opportunities for discriminaLaw of Elections (4th ed., 1897), 515-522; tion. However, the popular fear of monopoly Article “Elections” in Cyclopedia of Law and has up to the present time (1913) prevented Procedure, XV (1905), 362–374.
any action. See INTERSTATE COMMERCE LEGGEORGE H. HAYNES. ISLATION; TRAFFIC AGREEMENTS. References:
A. T. Hadley, Railroad Transportation (1885), POLYGAMY. Polygamy is prohibited by 74–76, 91-96; T. M. Cooley, in McCain, Com. law in the United States and the Supreme pendium of Transportation Theories (1893), Court of the United States has decided that 229-250; Henry Hudson, in Quart. Jour. of should one enter into it in accordance with the Econ., V (1891), 70–94.
F. H. D. teachings of a system of religion, that fact cannot be plead as a defense; and that the POOR LAW GUARDIANS IN ENGLAND. constitutional guarantee of religious liberty By the Poor Law of 1834 (4-5 William IV, c. will not protect such a person from prosecu- 76) the administration of public poor relief tion for bigamy. In mediæval law a bigamist in England was transferred to boards of guardwas one who married again after his first ians elected in new districts known as poor wife's death, while in the modern sense it cor- law unions. There are about 650 such unions responds to either polygamy or polyandry, or in England and Wales, made up of groups of polygany, which includes both and covers all parishes. They are very unequal in area and plural marriages whether that of a man with 'population, often ignore the ordinary munic
ipal boundaries, and are frequently altered. not accompanied by any comprehensive studies Each union has an unpaid board of guardians, of the poor law system of those states. the members of which (since 1894) are elected For the most part the poor laws of the triennially by the voters of parishes within the United States have followed either Massachuunion, each parish having, as a rule, at least setts, where the town system of poor relief preone representative. Women are eligible as vails, or New York, where county care of the voters and as members of the board. When poor predominates. In some states both the the board of guardians has been elected it may county and town systems obtain. add to its membership one or two persons from In Massachusetts, elaborate "settlement the list of voters. The board also elects its laws" exist which complicate the question of own chairman either from among its own poor relief according to residence, voting and members or from outside.
payment of taxes, and have resulted in the The chief function of the board of guardians distinction between state and town paupers. is the maintenance and care of the union's Similar laws, less complicated, exist in other workhouse or poorhouse. It appoints the offi- New England states, but in most of the states cers of the work house, makes various regula a settlement is established by a year's resi: tions for its proper conduct and disburses the dence within the state and “state paupers” are funds derived from the annual levy of the not recognized. poor-rate. The assessment for this levy is, Massachusetts and New York have elaborate however, made not by the guardians but by laws and agencies for the deportation of nonofficials known as overseers who are appointed resident and alien paupers. Similar work, on by the parish meeting in each parish of the a smaller scale, is done by the state authori. union (see Parish Council). Boards of ties of Minnesota and Wisconsin. guardians may also raise money by loan for In nearly all of the states of the Union, any permanent object, such as the erection of almshouses are county institutions, though a new work house or pauper school; but for Massachusetts has a state almshouse, Vermont this they must have the consent of a national has town almshouses, and town almshouses and authority, the local government board (see city almshouses exist in a number of the large LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ENGLAND). In fact this cities of the United States. In some communicentral authority exercises the strictest sort of ties, as in St. Paul, Minnesota, almshouses and supervision over all the official doings of the public hospitals are maintained by the city and guardians. It lays down general rules for county jointly. their guidance, audits their accounts, passes In many states, state boards of charities of upon any regulations they may make, and acts state boards of control exercise supervision as arbitrator in any difficulties which they over public agencies for the care of the poor may encounter.
and pass upon plans for almshouses. In addition to providing a workhouse the In most states a portion of the insane, and guardians may afford "outdoor relief” to per- in all states, a large portion of the feeblesons incapacitated by age or otherwise. This minded, are classed as paupers and kept in outdoor relief takes the form of weekly allow- almshouses where the care is generally inades ances, but legislation relating to old age pen-quate. In New York, Minnesota and Califorsions has considerably reduced the strain upon nia, all indigent insane patients are a state the finances of the boards.
charge and are kept in state institutions See LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENGLAND; In Wisconsin and in part of Pennsylvania PARISI.
county asylums for insane are maintained References: P. F. Aschrott, The English under laws which ensure a high standard of Poor-Law System (1903); J. Redlich and F. administration and care. W. Hirst, Local Government in England Systems of "out-door relief" are found in (1903), II, 203-223; and P. W. L. Ashley, most of the states. Except in the larger cities, Local Government (1905), ch. v.
this duty is usually imposed upon county com: W. B. MUNRO. missioners, township overseers, village trustees
or other officers who have other important duPOOR LAWS. There has never been anyties. As a result, outdoor relief is usually comprehensive study of the poor laws of the inefficiently administered and in many comUnited States. Each state has its own poor munities it is used as an instrument of party laws, and no effort has been made to secure politics. uniform legislation.
In a considerable number of states it is for. The poor laws of Massachusetts and New bidden by law to keep children of sound mind York have been studied by Dr. John Cum and body, except infants, in poor houses. mings; the Connecticut poor laws by Dr. Ed- See CHARITIES, PUBLIC AGENCIES FOR; CHILward Warren Capen.
DREN, DEPENDENT, CARE OF; OUTDOOR RELIEF; The poor laws of Pennsylvania were com- POVERTY AND POOR RELIEF. piled by Calvin T. Beitel in 1899; the poor References: Indiana State Board of Charilaws of Michigan were compiled by Justice s. ties, Reports, 1904, 14-16; 1905, 67; 1998, Stearns in 1900. But these compilations were 75; E. J. Devine, Principles of Relief (1910);
POOR MAN'S DOLLAR-POPULAR GOVERNMENT
Ohio State Board of Charities, Report, 1901, | Charities, Proceedings (obtainable from state 231; A. G. Warner, American Charities secretaries). (1908); J. Cummings, Poor Laws of Massachusetts and New York (1895); C. T. Beitel, POOR MAN'S DOLLAR. A term applied to Poor Laws of Pennsylvania (1899); E. W. the silver dollar because of the belief that Capen, Historical Development of the Poor Law silver coinage was more favorable to the earnof Connecticut (1905); S. Stearns, Compilation¦ ing and laboring class than the gold standard. of Laws Relating to the Support of Poor Per- See SILVER COINAGE CONTROVERSY. sons in Michigan (1900); State Conferences of
Lincoln's Statement. The most striking | outside of a share in popular government even sentence penned by Abraham Lincoln was when normally voters, such as convicts, inden"Government of the people, for the people, by the people." No political idea has had more influence in the last century and a half than that of the inherent right of self-government. It is, however, a conception hedged in by limitations which are often ignored, and which make it in practice different from the conventional statements of its meaning.
Limited Number of People.-At the outset arises the question who are the people who are to enjoy popular government. At the time when the Declaration of Independence declared that "It is the right of the people . . to institute new government," and the preamble of the Federal Constitution asserted that "We the people of the United States ordain and establish this Constitution," those who framed and subscribed those documents had in mind only a small proportion of the actual individuals then within the limits of the United States.
(1) About one-sixth of the whole population, namely, the negro slaves, were legally not members of the body politic (see NEGRO PROBLEM) though many free negroes were citizens. (2) Aliens were not considered to be a part of the people, though by international comity or by treaty they had the right to go to and fro, to engage in their callings, to sue and be sued; and if they remained in the country they usually had the opportunity of becoming citizens. (3) Even citizens were not necessarily part of "the people" in the sense of the time. Half the population was female, and in the conditions of that time entirely ineligible for the suffrage; and the legal rights and status of women were so inferior that they were not even the same kind of citizens as non-voting men. (4) Children were no part of the legal people, though by birth or by the naturalization of their parents most of them were citizens. (5) Indians resident within the United States, unless they abandoned their tribal status, were not citizens, and still less a part of the people (see INDIANS, CONSTITUTIONAL AND Legal Status of). Some of them were subject to slavery. (6) Several classes of dependent citizens were also
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tured servants and apprentices, prisoners for debt, the insane, the imbecile and the paupers. (7) Among the full grown free white men above 21, only a limited number had the suffrage; in some colonies not above a third. Of the 4,000,000 people in the United States in 1790 probably not more than 250,000 were “people” in the constitutional sense. (8) In colonial and later times, at the highest, 85 to 90 per cent of the qualified voters have taken part in elections. Many elections are so close that a fraction over fifty per cent of the votes cast determines the result; under the usual plurality system, less than a third of the votes cast may bring in a winning candidate.
Most of these conditions of Revolutionary times still persist sufficiently to make it certain that popular government is really minority (see) government. In six of the southern states the number of actual negro voters in proportion to the negro population is not much greater than it was in 1790 (see SUFFRAGE, NEGRO). Tribal Indians are still excluded, as are children, the defective, the dependent, and convicts. Hundreds of thousands of unnaturalized aliens have no vote. Only in nine states (1914) in the Union have women now the complete suffrage (see SUFFRAGE; WOMAN SUFFRAGE). Government of the people, even in the favorable conditions of the United States, is no more than government of the whole population by the considerable part of the adult men who choose to take part in elections (see BALLOT; SUFFRAGE).
Types of Popular Government.-Can popular government still be a government substantially, representing the popular will, and responding to the people's own conception of their needs? It does persist in four distinct types.
(1) The simplest form of popular government is the mass meeting of all persons entitled to participate. Many primitive governments had such popular meetings which appear in such forms as the boule of the Greek cities, the comitiae of the Roman republic, the Saxon witenagemot. There are several survivals of this nearest approach to a real government by the people. Chinese, Indian and
Russian village communities practise it. The the elective executive. This type of complex Landesgemeinde of Appenzell is made up on popular representative government persists in the stated day of 14,000 men, every one girt the 48 states of the Union, and has had great with a sword, who proceed to transact the influence as a political system throughout the business of their canton viva voce. Some sim- world. ilar gatherings appeared in all the English Representation in Proportion to Numbers.colonies which later became a part of the The original basis of representation in all United States. In the South they were simply forms of popular government was territorial; electoral assemblies, in New England they were members of parliament stood for boroughs or little local governments, which within the field counties, members of the colonial assemblies assigned them by the colonial legislature made were chosen by towns or counties, usually as their decisions by majority vote. In the rural equal number from each town or county. Thus parts of New England such town meetings are five thousand people in a populous county had still going on, every voter having a right to no more influence in the assembly than a take part in discussion and vote (see Town thousand people in a sparsely settled county. MEETING).
Ever since the Revolution a struggle has been (2) The usual form for carrying on popular going on to break up this system of territorial government is a representative assembly, which representation, and substitute one of electoral is the great political invention of modern districts, nearly equal to each other in populatimes. In the middle ages and later, mem-tion. County representation still has some bership in diets and estates was personal; in influence in the South; and in New Hampshire, the case of cities, counties or provinces which Connecticut and Rhode Island, there is still could not be physically present, delegates were town representation. On the other hand, in sent who, however, were really diplomatic some states containing a large city, especially agents and never truly representatives, since New York, there is a provision that the city they acted solely under instruction from their shall not have more than a fixed proportion of home governments. In various European coun. the members of at least one house of the state tries, however, particularly in England, there legislature. grew up a system in which cities and other This principle of equal electoral districts, territorial units sent representatives to a each voter casting his ballot in the place of states general or parliament in which, having his domicile, though much disturbed by the once been chosen, the delegates voted according gerrymander (see), is an assertion of the to their free will, and their vote aided to fundamental right of every voter to an equal. constitute a law which was binding upon their ity of influence in choosing representatives. constituents. This system of representation It is not a universal principle; in Prussia the was transplanted to the North American col.voters are divided into classes so that the onies and there flourished, as nowhere else in small number of heavy taxpayers choose as the world, partly because of a very democratic many representatives as numerous small tarconstituency, partly because of mental alert-payers; in England a man may vote in the ness and interest in the public business. That same election in every district in which he system, continued in the new state govern- has the necessary qualifications; and in Belments, has flourished to the present day. gium, also, some persons have had more than
(3) The simplest form of representative pop- one vote up to 1913. ular government is a legislature chosen from Federal Popular Government.—To apply poptime to time by those who have the suffrage, ular government to a small country with simand creating for itself such executive and ple conditions is difficult, particularly if, as in judicial authorities as it may think necessary. most European countries, it has to adjust itSuch was the government of some of the Ger- self to a hereditary king, and house of nobles. man and Italian free cities, and of the earliest The difficulty enlarges when the effort is made governments of New England. In the proprio to keep up a popular and responsive governetary and royal colonies, the executive author- ment in a great country like France, with ity was largely determined by the proprietor many millions of population, and a variety of or the Crown.
commercial, economic and religious interests. (4) For a short time at the beginning of More difficult still is the application of popthe Revolution the congresses and conventions ular government to a federal country, in which of the revolting colonies were pure representa there are numerous commonwealths, each the tive governments—barring the fact that the focus of a separate popular government. The Tory voters, even if in a majority, were by problem here is to maintain two centers of force and threats prevented from voting for governmental authority, each of which shall representatives. Every one of those govern- truly represent the people. All federal gorments was altered within a few years so as to ernments have a non-popular element in the include separate executive and judicial de indirect and in some cases hereditary upper partments, some of which for the time being house of the legislature; and no federation sprang from the legislature, some of which has ever attempted to choose its executive were chosen in other ways, or appointed by I and judiciary officers by direct popular rote.
Hence, popular influence is more difficult to subject throughout to the danger of absten. exert in such governments. On the other hand tion. Americans are very slow to transfer the magnitude and interest of the affairs of themselves from one party to another, but will the nation attract the voters, as is shown in often stay away from the polls and let the the United States by the heavy vote in presi. candidates of the opposite party come in, or dential as compared with state and municipal will vote for a third candidate, knowing that elections. The experience of the six federal their regular party nominees will thereby be governments now flourishing shows that the defeated. popular will can be expressed and enforced This simple process of voting according to through the national government just as reason and personal interest is greatly aided promptly and effectively as through the com- by the appearance from time to time of strong, monwealth governments.
vigorous and independent men from outside the Government by the Minority.-If popular party machines, who through other ways than government is everywhere minority govern politics get the public confidence, and who ment, in practice it is carried on by a minor. smash party slates and "queer” elections by ity of this minority; so that even in very scoring unexpected majorities. Once elected, democratic states the actual decisions are prosecuting attorneys, mayors, governors, presusually made by not more than a tenth of idents and legislative leaders have unusual opthe population, who in their turn are frequent- portunities to secure and hold public confidence ly controlled by a tenth of their own number. as against the regulation party leaders. The The difficulty in applying the popular will is beaten boss is always cruising outside the that positive reform through the alteration of port, and will put in again if he can; but existing laws can be carried out only through experience shows that the right kind of a man the existing machinery of government, and combined with the right kind of issue can in that small numbers of people organized and many states head and direct a real popular acting together are potent against unorganized government. larger numbers acting as individuals or in One reason for the tendency to elect such small groups.
men is the growing popular confidence in exec. Nevertheless the rule of the majority is utive heads as centers of legislative influence. practically the only one possible in real popu. Mayors, governors and presidents frequently, lar government because if five men want one through the conviction that they have the votthing and four men want another the pre-ers behind them, compel members of the sumption is that if they break up their gov- legislature to pass bills for which they have ernment the five will still be stronger than very little stomach (see INFLUENCE IN Gov. four. In all legislative matters, however, the ERNMENT; PRESIDENT, AUTHORITY AND INFLUmajority means the majority of people chosen ENCE OF). -or in most cases simply the majority of those Popular Control of Party Machinery.-Rep. present-in the two houses of the legislature; | resentatives the world over probably average through irregular or artificial electoral dis- as high in character and public spirit as the tricts that majority may be chosen by a minor- majority of their constituents, but do not ity of the voters; within the legal majority, necessarily average higher, and are much more organized as a party, the caucus (see) is com- subject than the electorate to personal influmonly considered binding on the dissentients; ences good and bad. In the United States the the caucus majority may be under the influ- control of the nominating machinery by the ence of a small number of party leaders, who machine makes it impossible in ordinary elecagain in some great states in the Union not|tions to be elected at all without the imprimainfrequently accept the decisions of a single tur of the party leader, and that is the reason boss. What becomes of popular government why the monied interests are able by their under this system?
relations with party leaders to see that some Indirect Popular Control.- Popular govern. members, and often a majority of members, in ment survives because under the most elabo- a legislative body are friendly to them. The rate political machinery there is more popular direct primary (see) is a device for keeping control than appears on the surface. The government popular by enabling people to boss holds the leaders together because they get on the party ticket without the leader's think he can give them good things; those good endorsement; and though not free from manipthings he provides through his influence on ulation it considerably increases the chance administrators and legislators (see INFLUENCE of the majority in a district getting a repreIN GOVERNMENT); that influence depends upon sentative to their mind. The initiative (see) the belief that the majority of his party will and referendum (see) are similar devices to stand by him, which ultimately goes back to act when the majority in the legislature gets his ability through his friends to control the out of touch with the majority of electors. elections. Here comes in a very effective pop. While very different in principle and working ular check. Leaving out of account direct from the legislation of a town meeting or other frauds and the refusal to record the results mass of voters, the initiative and referendum of the popular election, the party system is I restore to the majority a power which has