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acknowledged the independence of the states. This change in our relations with that country, and the establishment of an independent government in the states, is called the Amer. ican Revolution.
15. Since the states declared themselves independent, one after another has changed its government, until all of the original thirteen have adopted new constitutions. Since the revolution, fourteen new states have been admitted into the Union, to the present time, (1845;) and others will soon be added to the number.
Of the Government of Ohio.--Its early History, and Admis
sion into the Union.
1. The state of Ohio is not one of the original thirteen states which declared themselves free and independent of Great Britain. The territory of which this state was formed, was at the time of the declaration a wide wilderness; being a part of a vast region of country, including nearly all the territory now comprising the western and south-western states, and extending west to the Rocky Mountains. In 1673, a small party of men, headed by M. de la Salle, undertook an exploring expedition ; and, having passed through Lake Michigan and the rivers Chicago and Illinois, and descended the Mississippi to its mouth, they took possession of the country in the name of Louis XIV., then king of France. Hence this vast region was known by the general name of Louisiana.
2. According to the general custom of nations, newly. discovered territory is considered to belong to the nation whose citizens first discover it. Hence that portion of the West Indies, South America, and Mexico, which was first 15. How many states were there at that time? How many at present ?
1. To what great tract of country did the territory now within the limits of this state belong? By whom was the Mississippi country discovered and settled? 2. To whom does newly-discovered territory be
discovered by Christopher Columbus and other citizens of Spain, was taken possession of in the name of their sovereign, the king of Spain. Canada, in like manner, was claimed and occupied by the French; and most of the territory comprising the old thirteen states, having been discovered by British subjects, belonged to Great Britain.
3. The French continued to occupy this western country for many years; during which time settlements were made, and forts were erected on the Mississippi and its northern branches, and on the northern lakes. The English govern. ment, to which the colonies were then subject, became alarmed at the increasing numbers and strength of the French, and a dispute arose between the two governments about the boundary line between their respective territories, which resulted in war. By the treaty of peace made between the two governments, (1763) France ceded to Great Britain all her possessions in North America east of the Mississippi river.
4. During the war of the revolution, a controversy arose about this new territory. A portion of it was claimed by the state of Virginia ; other portions were claimed by the states of New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; while other states contended that these unoccupied lands ought to be held as a common fund for the future payment of the expenses of the war in which the United States were engaged with Great Britain. As these western lands had been the property of the British crown, and as all the states assisted in the war, all the states ought to have a common in. terest in the lands.
5. After this controversy had been going on for some time, and means being wanted to carry on the war, congress made strong appeals to the states claiming these lands, recommending that they be given up for the common benefit of the United States, and pledging that they should be disposed of for that purpose, be settled, and formed into distinct states with suitable territory, and become members of the long ? 3. What is said of the difficulty between the English_and French, respecting this territory? What portion was ceded to Eng. land? 4. What is said of the dispute between the states respecting tho territory east of the Mississippi? 5. How was the matter of these vari
federal union, with the same rights as the other states. Of these claiming states, one after another acceded to this
proposition of congress, until all had ceded their lands to the United States. Connecticut, the last of them, gave up
her claims in September, 1786, reserving to herself a portion in the north-eastern part of the state, since known as the “Connecticut Reserve,” or “ Western Reserve." Her claim to this tract was not relinquished until the year 1800.
6. The several states had now ceded all their claims, and other nations had acknowledged the right of the people of the United States to all the territory east of the Mississippi and north of Florida and Louisiana. It yet remained for the United States to get a title from the Indian tribes, who, it must be remembered, were the original and rightful own.
A treaty was made with a number of these tribes, by which they agreed to cede to the United States certain ter. ritory which included the greater portion of the present state of Ohio.
7. Congress next proceeded (1785) to make provisions for surveying and selling the public lands, and in 1787, for establishing suitable forms of government for the people of the territory. Provision was also made for dividing this territory, and for forming the several portions into new states, which were to be admitted into the Union when they should have acquired a sufficient number of inhabitants. New states were to have the right of admission whenever they should contain a population of 60,000; or they might be admitted at an earlier period, if congress should deem it consistent with the general good of the confederacy.
8. The form of government which congress established in this new territory was a singular one. The powers government were vested in a governor, three judges, and a secretary of state, who were appointed at first by congress, and after the adoption of the federal constitution by the president. The governor was to hold his office for three
ous claims finally settled ? 6. What were now the boundaries of the United States' territory? How was a title acquired to the territory of this state? 7. What provisions did congress proceed to make respecting this great western territory? 8 Describe the government established in
years: the judges were to continue in office during good behavior.
9. The people of the territory did not then choose representatives to make laws for them. The laws were such as the governor and the judges thought fit to give them ; provided, however, they were such-as congress approved. The judges were a high court of justice, and any two of them might hold a court. The magistrates of the lower courts, and most of the other subordinate officers of the government, were appointed by the governor. It was the duty of the secretary of state to keep a record of all the acts and laws, and certain other proceedings of the government, and every six months to send copies of them to the secretary of congress.
10. The people, it appears, had no voice in the govern. ment : whether they were well or badly governed, depended chiefly upon the character of the governors and judges. But it is said these officers seldom, if ever, abused their power; indeed, we are informed that afterwards, when the people came to be allowed to choose a legislature for themselves, this legislature adopted and confirmed almost every law that had been enacted by the governors and judges.
11. It was provided by the ordinance of congress of 1787, that whenever there should be in the territory 5,000 free male inbabitants, of full age and qualified to vote, the people should be entitled to a change in the form of government. In 1798 the territory contained the requisite number, and the people were authorized to elect representatives to a legislature. They were now to have a legislature with two branches, similar to the legislatures of the states; but the house of representatives only were to be chosen by the people. The other body, called a legislative council, was to consist of five men, to be appointed thus: The house of representatives were to name ten freeholders, (that is, owners of estate in lands) of whom the president was to
this territory. 9. Who made the laws ? By whom were the lower officers appointed? What was the duty of the secretary of state ? 10. Were the people well governed, or badly? 11. On what condition were the people to have a new government ? In what year were they entitled to elect representatives? How was the council constituted?
select and appoint five to constitute the council. The representatives were to serve two years, the members of the council five years.
12. One thing in the manner of enacting the laws under this new government is worthy of note: No act of the legislature could become a law without the approval of the governor.
This gave to the governor the power to prevent the passage of any law, how much soever the people might d'sire it.
13. The territory having continued to increase rapidly in population, it was divided into two governments. The government then existing was continued in the eastern di. vision, and a new one was established in the western. In 1802, the inhabitants in the eastern territory had become sufficiently numerous to be formed into a state government, and to be admitted into the Union. The boundaries of the contemplated new state having been determined, a constitution was framed, and Ohio became one of the states of the Union.
How the Constitution of Ohio was formed. 1. It has already been observed, that the peopie of the United States live under constitutions and forms of govern. ment which they have established themselves. But how inis work of the people is done, may not be known by all who are iust beginning to study the science of civil govern. ment. I will therefore give an example of the manner of forming and establishing a constitution, by describing the manner in which the present constitution of the state of Ohio was made and adopted.
2. It has been remarked that all the citizens of a large How long did members of the respective bodies serve ? 12. What power had the governor in making laws ? 13. What is said of a division of the territory? In what year was Ohio admitted into the Union?
1. By whom are constitutions established in the United States ??