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Outline Map: United States of America
In the United States of America the Government serves all the people, but only the citizens have the right to choose the men who will run the Government.
Most of our citizens were born in the United States. Others have come here by choice, and have become naturalized citizens. To aid those who wish to prepare for citizenship, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has published the Federal Textbook on Citizenship.
In 1940 this Service brought out a textbook entitled Our Constitution and Government by Dr. Catheryn Seckler-Hudson, Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Graduate School, The American University. It was soon felt that a similar book was needed to help individuals having a limited educational background. In 1941 Dr. John G. Hervey, then Dean and Professor of Constitutional Law of Temple University, was engaged to prepare the manuscript for this book, which was later published under the title, Our Constitution and Government-Simplified Edition. The Simplified Edition is based on Dr. Seckler-Hudson's book, covering essentially the same subject matter, but shorter, and using a simpler vocabulary. It has helped many persons of limited reading ability to an understanding and appreciation of our Constitution and form of Government.
This book is used, also, as the basic text for the Home Study Course on Our Constitution and Government, published by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to meet the needs of those foreign-born persons living in areas not served by public school citizenship classes.
Commissioner of Immigration
The Groups to Which We Belong
-Ralph Waldo Emerson.
THE EARLY GROUPS IN AMERICA
Many people have come to the United States during the past 300 years. They have come from many different countries. Some of the people came long ago, while others came in later years. But the people who came long ago always came in groups.
The first groups came to explore. They went home and told the people about the good earth, the new fruits, and the Indians in the new country. Other persons decided to explore it. Later this new country was named America.
Some of the people who heard about America had not been happy for a long time. They were not allowed to worship God as they pleased. Their government set up a church for them. They refused to join the church; but they had to pay taxes to help support it. Some of the people had even moved to other countries. But still they were not free enough to be happy.
In some countries, the people could not write or speak their thoughts openly. The government officers stopped them. In other countries, the people had to pay taxes but could not say how the taxes should be spent. Also, the officers often put the people in prison without telling what crimes they had done.
Some of the groups wanted to set up their own government. They were not happy in their homelands. They
1 Difficult words, which are printed in Italic type in this book, are explained at the end of the book simply and in the sense in which they have been used.