Elements of Civil Government eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about Elements of Civil Government.

3.  What officer of a State makes requisition for the delivery of a criminal held by another State?

4.  When was slavery abolished in the United States?

5.  What is the purpose of a militia force?

6.  What is a capital crime?

7.  Why is the accused entitled to a speedy and public trial?

8.  Why is the Constitution called the fundamental law?

9.  Read in the history of the United States the account of the formation of the Constitution.

10.  How many States were needed to ratify the Constitution in order that it might go into effect?

11.  Read the amendments to the Constitution.

12.  Can you name any proposed amendments that have been recently advocated?


Resolved, That a written constitution is best for a free country.




CONGRESS.—­The legislative authority of the national government is vested in the Congress of the United States, consisting of a senate and a house of representatives.  The senators represent the States, and the representatives represent the people.  Congress holds annual sessions at the city of Washington, the seat of the national government.  A measure must pass both houses, and be approved by the President, in order to become a law; or if vetoed, it fails, unless it again passes both houses by a two thirds vote.

Senators and representatives receive an annual salary of seven thousand five hundred dollars each; and are allowed mileage, or traveling expenses, of twenty cents for each mile in going to and returning from the session of Congress.

PRIVILEGES OF THE HOUSES.—­There are certain constitutional privileges guaranteed to Congress in order that its action in legislation may be free from undue influence from other departments of the government.

“The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.

“Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members;” that is, each House declares who are entitled to membership therein.

“Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly conduct, and with the concurrence of two thirds expel a member.”

Each house keeps and publishes a journal of its proceedings, “excepting such parts as may, in their judgment, require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.”

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Elements of Civil Government from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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