Practical Aids to the Teaching of Civics

Cover of book Practical Aids to the Teaching of Civics
Categories: Nonfiction

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OWN MEETING The Pilgrims were the most democratic people in the world. All their Church officers and other rulers were elected by themselves. The choice of these rulers, and the discussion of all questions of taxation and law-making came before all the men of proper age in a town meeting where every one had the right to speak and to vote. This custom established at so early a date (1621) has been continued with slight variation throughout the entire New England section. The town meeting is a Direct Primary and an election combined. "All public matters were discussed and decided in the town meeting. There every man met his neighbor on equal terms. There the laws were made. It was a pure government by the people, such a government as was known nowhere else in either this country or in Europe, except, perhaps, in a few districts of Switzerland. The nearest approach to it in America was the Virginia House of Burgesses, but that was made up of representatives of plantations and later of counties, and was not a meeting of the whole people. The laws the Pilgrims made, they enforced.''?Montgomery. "The inhabitants of the town and the members of the congregation were the same persons. Where they met forchurch business, as to choose a minister or to admit new members, it was a parish meeting; when they met for civil business, as for instance to appropriate money for making a road or building a school-house, it was a town meeting. In either case it was a meeting of free people who governed themselves.''?Fiske. '' The town meeting was a training in public affairs. At one of these meetings the people, in addition to many other powers, could levy taxes and direct the purposes for which the money thus raised could be expended; could elect delegates to the legislat...

Practical Aids to the Teaching of Civics
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