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ments; that is, the laws are based on written constitutions, which were formed when these governments were established. The constitution of a state is the law which defines the organization and powers of the government and the civil and political liberties of the people. It is possible, but not wise, to have a representative democracy without a written constitution. If there is no written constitution the laws may be hastily changed; new and rash laws may be made to the damage of the state, and the entire policy of the government may be altered, contrary to the will of the majority of the people. A written constitution thus protects the people against their own lawmakers by preventing the latter from abusing their power. It also protects the people against themselves; for were it not for the written constitution the people themselves, in times of national excitement, might favor unwise laws.

One feature of a written constitution is that it cannot easily be changed. The federal constitution cannot be changed except by the agreement of threefourths of the states. It takes a great deal of time to secure such an agreement, and only the most clearly necessary changes can be made. Only fifteen changes, or "amendments," have been made in the Constitution of the United States since it was adopted.

The Congress.-The legislative power of the federal government belongs to the Congress. This consists of two houses, the Senate, or upper house, and the House of Representatives, or lower house.

It is considered better to have two legislative houses. than one, because each house acts as a check on the other. Two horses tied together are less likely to

run away than one alone, and two legislative houses are not likely to agree at the same time upon unwise laws.

There are two senators from each state of the Union. The number of representatives from each state is determined by its population. At the present time there is one representative for every 193,167 of the population. Thus while each of the forty-five states has two senators, whether the state be large or small, the number of representatives from the different states varies greatly. At present there are 90 senators and 386 representatives.

The senators are elected by vote of the state legislatures, but the representatives are chosen by the direct vote of the people. The representatives hold office for two years, while the term of office of the senators is six years, tho one-third of them are elected every two years.

It is impossible to relate in this book the methods. of congressional legislation. The important facts to remember here are that the acts of Congress must agree with the Constitution, that Congress has practically no executive or judicial power, and that its authority extends to every part of the United States and the insular possessions of the United States.

Congress Controls the Philippines.-It is particularly important for Filipinos to understand that the power to govern the Philippines lies wholly in Congress. The Constitution says that the Congress shall make all laws relating to the possessions of the United States.

"The Congress shall have power to dispose of and to make all needful rules and regulations respecting

the territory or other property belonging to the United States." Art. IV, Sec. III, 2.

For this reason the government of the Philippines may be conducted according to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, or otherwise, as Congress may see fit. As we shall see later, Congress has organized the government of the Philippines in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution.

The Judiciary.-The federal judiciary consists of a Supreme Court and a system of lesser United States. courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the most powerful and dignified judicial tribunal in the world; for it has the power, in test cases, to decide. whether the laws of the state legislatures agree with the federal Constitution. Its members are appointed by the President of the United States, and may be removed only with the greatest difficulty and for the most serious reasons. Thus they are independent of outside influences, and are able to judge with fairness and firmness.

The Executive.-The executive power of the United States belongs to the President and his secretaries. The President is chosen by an electoral college of presidential electors, who are elected in the several states by the direct vote of the people. These electors choose the President. They are instructed by the people who elect them for what candidates they shall vote. With one exception only, the electors have always followed these instructions, so it is really the people themselves who elect the President.

The President holds office for four years and exercises great power, but he may do nothing contrary to the Constitution, or to the laws made by Congress.

The President is commander-in-chief of the army and navy; he may pardon offenses against the government of the United States, and he has the power of vetoing (forbidding) acts of Congress. Congress may, however, pass a law over his veto by a two-thirds vote.

The President governs thru nine executive departments. At the head of each is a secretary, and the nine secretaries form the Cabinet, or council, of the President. The Secretary of War conducts the affairs of the Philippines thru his department, under the direction of the President and of Congress. There is in the War Department the Bureau of Insular Affairs, which is the medium thru which the business of the Islands with the United States is conducted.

While each

The State Governments.-The state governments are like the United States government in that each state has a legislative, an executive, and a judicial department. The chief executive officer of the state is the governor, who is elected by the people. Each state has a legislature composed of two houses. state is independent of each of the other states in local affairs, yet no state is permitted to withdraw from the Union, or to make laws contrary to those of the federal government. Thus a balance is preserved between the power of the federal government over all the states and the independence of the state governments. The one cannot become despotic, and the other cannot withdraw from the responsibilities of the Union.

Local Government in the United States.-There are several systems of local government in the United States, but they are all alike in principle; that is, they derive their powers from the people, and they have liberty to govern as they please in local matters. In

New England the unit of government is the town. The New England towns are pure democracies. In the annual "town meeting" the local officials are elected and the town ordinances are made. The people as a whole, not thru representatives, make their local laws. It is only in small towns that such governments are possible, so we find that towns of large size in New England have city, or municipal, government. In the cities the government is administered by a mayor and a city council, both elected by the people. This, therefore, is representative government, like that of the municipalities of the Philippines.

In the southern part of the United States the county is the unit of government. All the states of the Union are divided into counties, but county government in New England is separate from the government of the town, and is unimportant. In the southern states, however, there is no town government, as a rule, but the people are directly controlled by the county government.

In the middle and the western states the town system of New England and the county system of the south are combined in various ways.

Political Parties. In a great democracy it is impossible to vote with intelligence for candidates for office, unless the candidates are known before election day. In the United States there are several great political parties which name candidates for election to public office and try to secure the election of these candidates. A political party is a group of electors who have the same opinions. about the proper methods of government, and are

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