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make a desirable new State, it votes favorably on a statehood bill, and the new State is then admitted as a member of the national group of States.
OUR NATION TODAY
Today we have a Nation made up of a number of parts. There are 48 States, the District of Columbia, and our possessions beyond our borders. These possessions include Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Philippine Islands, the Panama Canal Zone, the Virgin Islands, and a few other small islands. The people of all the States, Territories, and possessions must recognize the National Constitution as the highest law of the land. The Constitution can always grow, in the ways we have described to you, to be big enough and broad enough to take care of them all.
THINGS TO DO
Answer each of the following questions:
1. How many times has the National Constitution been changed by amendment ?
2. Did the National Constitution originally contain a Bill of Rights ?
3. What are the four possible ways of adopting amendments to our National Constitution?
4. How has the meaning of the National Constitution been developed by general laws passed by the Congress?
5. Can the Supreme Court change the Constitution? 6. How many of our 48 States have State constitutions ? 7. Can the State constitutions be amended ? (Find out.)
Some more new words which the student should understand:
accusation—charge of wrongdoing against a person.
annexed—added or joined to something else. appointment—the choice of an officeholder not made by vote. areas definite spaces of territory. assemble-meet together. bail-money or some other valuable object given to any govern
ment agency to make sure that a prisoner, if let loose, will
appear again for trial. beverages—things to drink. bureaus-offices for public business, smaller than Executive De
partments, and the people who work in them. cession-giving up. commissions-government groups, usually headed by several of
ficers with equal powers. compel-force someone to do something unwillingly. concur-agree officially. condemnation—a finding that a person is guilty and must be
punished. confirms—makes something stronger by agreeing to it. consent-agreement. consequently—as a result of factors already mentioned. contrary to—against. crises-times when difficult decisions must be made. defines-explains just what a thing is, or how it is done, or can
be done. departments (also bureaus, boards, commissions)-Government
executive groups formed for some particular purpose, as the Navy Department, the Children's Bureau, the Federal Re
serve System, the Federal Trade Commission. details-particular parts of anything. development-an advance to meet new needs. developsmadvances to meet new needs. direct-guide, or cause to move in a chosen direction. disclaims-denies any connection with or claim to. disqualifications-qualities which prevent a person from doing
some task. effective successfully producing the end desired. endure-last. fines-punishment by requiring payment of money. formaldone according to set rules. grand jury—a special group of citizens chosen to decide whether
a person shall be brought to trial. inauguration—the act of taking the oath of office by the Presi
income tax—a payment to the Government, the amount of which
is determined by the taxpayer's earnings or profits. indictment—a legal accusation of wrongdoing, usually made by
a grand jury. informal—done in easy ways that are proper but not according
to set rules. interpreted explained in language which the listener under
stands. lawsuits—actions by which one person sues another in a law court. legislatures-lawmaking bodies. maintain-keep up. manufacture—the making of an object, usually by machinery. nominating-naming a candidate for office. perpetual lease—an arrangement by which an owner turns his
property over to some one else forever in return for a yearly
payment of money. possession—anything which a person or nation owns and holds. practices—things done many times. proposed-offered for action or argument. provides—makes ready for future use. punishments-pain, suffering, or loss because of crime. relations—well-understood connections between two or more
persons or things. repealed-canceled, given up. seizure-quickly taking and holding by force. take effect-operate. testify—swear to the truth of a statement. trial-hearing in a court of justice. violation-breaking of a rule or law. warrant-a legal order. witness—see or act as a witness.
CHAPTER 10 Some Rights and Opportunities of Group Life in the
“My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty.”
-Samuel Francis Smith.
In chapter 9 you learned that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights, and in chapter 8 (on pp. 83 and 84) you learned about 6 basic standards or principles in the Constitution itself which recognize the rights of the people to govern themselves and to have freedom and justice. All these recognized rights of the people are the most important features of our Government and must be explained here in a chapter of their
SOME REASONS WHY ALIENS LIVING IN OUR COUNTRY WISH TO
Our country is the home of more than 131 million people. About 5 million of them are today not citizens of the United States; in other words, about 97 in every 100 persons are citizens. Most of these nearly 5 million noncitizens who have come to this country as immigrants intend to make their homes here for the rest of their lives. By our generous system they are given many of the same advantages which our own citizens enjoy, and can live the good life of this country in safety and happiness. After 5 years of living here they are welcome to become citizens by naturalization if they can prove good character and attachment to the principles of our Constitution. Their children born in this country become American citizens by right of birth.
Today more and more of these people are seeing how much they lose by not being citizens of this country. As
noncitizens they cannot vote. They cannot take a full part in the life or government of their communities. They are learning that many jobs are open only to citizens. Often they do not get the advantage of our laws aimed to help citizens who are old or sick or unemployed. Some of them wish to be sure they will not be called back to the country from which they came, for service as soldiers. Some are afraid of being taxed by their old country. Others wish to be citizens of this country because their children are citizens.
There are also a number of unnaturalized persons living in this country who, for one reason or another, have lost the citizenship which they had when they came here. Such persons are no longer members of any country which will protect them. Many others are not sure about their citizenship. They cannot be sure that the government of their old country will agree that they are its citizens after they have lived in this country for many years. Naturally, most of these people are eager to become naturalized American citizens.
But above everything else, these noncitizens have for the most part come to love this great country with a strong and deep loyalty and are eager to have the privilege of citizenship and the right to serve this country in the same way that native-born citizens so often do.
OPPORTUNITIES SHARED BY EVERYBODY WHO LIVES IN OUR
Even as noncitizens, the aliens living in our country share many of the opportunities and rights of group membership
Every law-abiding person living in the United States is free to live the kind of life which he chooses and can afford to pay for, provided that he does not interfere with the rights of others. He is free to come and go anywhere in the country. He is free to choose between many kinds of jobs, to work at his job, or, if he does not like it, to look for another. No other person has a right to take away his