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In this chapter we have studied the many government groups to which we all belong. Each of us is a member of a national group, of a State group, of a county group, and of either a city, town, or village group. The authority in each group belongs to its own members, but some of it is delegated to representatives to do parts of each group's work.

Study Figure 29 and you will see that our government groups within the United States consist of one Nation, 48 States, over 3,000 counties, thousands of cities, and about 175,000 smaller government units. In every one of these the people have the final authority, but in the smaller groups they must act within the limits of the power given to them by the largest group of all, the whole American people. And in each group they delegate some of this authority to the officials whom they have selected to represent them.


Can you select the word or phrase that will make each of the

following statements read correctly? 1. Only the National Government has the authority to

(1) make treaties with foreign countries.
(2) make laws.

(3) enforce laws.
2. The State governments have authority to

(1) admit new States into the Union.
(2) declare war.

(3) establish local government within the State. 3. The National Government has the authority to

(1) establish a State church.
(2) make uniform laws about naturalization.

(3) establish county governments. 4. The powers granted the National Government in the Constitution are called

(1) prohibited powers.

The Government Units Which

Represent The People

The Nation

The Forty-Eight States

More than 3000 Counties

Thousands of Cities

About 175,000 Smaller Units

"The authority exercised by each gavernment unit is granted by the people. The government unit exercises this authority for the benefit of the people. When it does not do so, the pepple may change it."

Figure 29

The Government Units Which Represent the People

(2) reserved powers.

(3) delegated powers. 5. When you are examined for United States citizenship, you will be examined by

(1) authorized examiners.
(2) unauthorized examiners.

(3) the sheriff of your county. 6. The Constitution of the United States places the final authority in our Nation in the hands of

(1) the President.
(2) the people.

(3) the Congress. 7. We call the body of men elected to make our National laws the

(1) Legislative Branch.
(2) Executive Branch.

(3) Judicial Branch. 8. Our courts of law and justice are sometimes called

(1) the executive.
(2) the committees.

(3) the judiciary. 9. Our form of government, in which we elect officials to act for us, is called

(1) a dictatorship.
(2) a representative government.
(3) an oligarchy.


Some more words the student should understand:

abolish-put an end to.
arrest-take or keep a person by authority of law.
authorized-given power or the right to act.
bankruptcyinability to pay one's debts.
civil-concerning the private legal rights of a citizen and the

protection of them.
copyrightslegal rights protecting the work of authors from

being used by other people.

credit-arrangement by which a person can get goods or money

from another person who trusts him to pay for them later. deriving-drawing or receiving. destructive having the power to destroy, ruin, or tear down. effect-bring to pass. houses-organized groups of lawmakers. instituted set up, established, or organized. judicial_having to do with a court of justice. located-placed. mass meeting-meeting open to everybody who comes. ordinances city laws. orphanschildren whose parents have died. passed adopted and made binding on the people. tenant—a person who is delegated or allowed to use the property

of another person, usually in return for the payment of rent. uniform of the same form with others. wholesalethe buying of large quantities of goods by merchants,

to be sold to the people in smaller quantities.

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CHAPTER 12 How the People Make Their Wishes Known by Voting

“This Government, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit the United States."

-Abraham Lincoln.

* In the last four chapters we have learned a great deal about the rights of the people of the United States and about the final authority which they always have and which they generally pass on to persons chosen to represent them in their government. Let us now consider “the People” themselves and learn how they make their wishes known at election time by voting.

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WHO ARE "THE PEOPLE”? We have called attention again and again to the fact that the final authority—the last word—in our Government belongs to the whole American people. This means that there is no one ruler to tell the people what to do. There are about 127 million citizens in the United States. The citizens are the rulers of this country. They have chosen a President to represent them as the head of their Government.

Only about one-half of the people of the United States can take part in the government by voting. However, after leaving out all those too young to vote, all those who have not lived long enough in one place, and all those who are otherwise disqualified, either by law or by their own failure to register for voting, there are only about 60 million of our population who are actually qualified voters.

The whole group of voters is called the electorate. When any large part of the electorate fails to vote, those persons who fail to do this duty are helping to weaken government “by the people”; for only through voting can the people keep up their final authority. Elected officers of the government, from the President of the United

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