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community cannot meet in one assembly ; and hence the necessity of choosing a small number, called representatives, to make the laws and to transact the business of the government. So the freemen of this state, as they could not all meet to frame a constitution, acted by their delegates or representatives. Delegate and representative are words of similar meaning. Sometimes, however, persons who are chosen to act for the people in other business than that of making laws, are called delegates, and the meeting of such persons is called convention.
3. The convention that framed the constitution of this state, was authorized by an act of congress, passed in April, 1802. Though the territory did not yet contain 60,000 inhabitants, it was deemed expedient to admit it into the Union with a less number. The convention was composed of 35 delegates. These were to be apportioned among the several counties, according to the number of inhabitants in each, and in such manner as that for every 1200 inhabit. ants there should be one representative. 4. The county of Trumbull
, having more than double the number of inhabitants necessary to entitle it to one representative, elected two representatives. The county of Jefferson, having seven times such number of inhabitants, elected seven representatives. According to the same rule of apportionment, Washington elected four, Ross seven, Adams three, Hamilton eleven; in all thirty-five. These
; six were, it is believed, the only counties fully organized. From each of these one or more new counties have been set off from time to time, until the whole number of counties in the state has increased to nearly eighty.
5. These representatives were chosen in the same manner as representatives in the legislature and other officers are chosen. The election was to be held on the second Tuesday of October. The law of congress providing for the convention, required the delegates to meet at Chillicothe on the first Monday of November; and if they thought it ex
whom was the constitution of Ohio framed? 3. By what authority was the constitution of this state framed? Of how many delegates was the convention composed ? How were they apportioned among the counties? 4. How many from each of the several counties? 5. How
pedient to form a constitution, they might either proceed to form one themselves, or provide for the election of other persons to form a constitution.
6. The representatives elected to represent the several counties, met in convention at the place and time appointed, and continued in session until the 29th of November, when they agreed upon a plan or form of government; which, being signed by the delegates, became the constitution of the state.
7. The common practice is, after an intended constitution has been prepared by a convention, to submit it to the people for their approval and adoption at an election. If a majority of the people voting vote in favor of it, it becomes the constitution ; otherwise it does not.
8. Of all the state constitutions, no two of them are in every respect alike, though all are in many respects very similar. In all the states, the government is divided into three departments, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The legislature is composed of two assemblies, the members of which are chosen by the people to make the laws of the state.
9. The executive department consists of a governor, assisted by a great number of other officers, some of whom are elected by the people, and others are appointed in some manner prescribed by the constitution and laws. The gov. ernor, or chief magistrate, is elected by the people in all the states except three or four; in these he is chosen by the legislature. It is the business of this department to see that the laws are executed or carried into effect. The gov. ernor oversees the general business of the state, and recom. mends to the legislature such matters as he thinks ought to receive their attention.
10. The judicial department is composed of the different courts of justice. All judges and justices of the peace are
were they chosen ? What power did congress give the convention? 6. When did the convention moet, and how long sit? 7. How are constitutions usually adopted ? 8. Are the constitutions in all the states aliko? In what particulars are they similar? Of what is the logislature composed ? 9. The executive department? 10. Tho judicial department What is their business?
judicial officers. It is their business to judge of the laws, and to decide what is just and right between citizens. There are several kinds of courts in a state. Some are of a lower, and others of a higher order. The manner in which these courts are constituted is not precisely the same in all the states ; but their general powers, and their manner of conducting trials, are the same.
Of the Election of Officers; and by whom they are elected.
1. HAVING shown how the constitution was made and adopted, I proceed to show what the government under this constitution is, and how it is administered. The first act of political power performed by the people, is, as we have seen, the establishment of their constitution or form of
gov. ernment. To transact the great amount of business which is to be done in the various departments of the government, requires a great number of officers. Hence, the next act of political power is the election of the necessary officers to administer the government.
2. There is once a year, on the second Tuesday of October, a general election throughout the state, for the election of state and county officers, and members of congress. What officers are chosen at this and other elections, and what are the
powers and duties of these officers, will appear hereafter. 3. When we speak of officers seing elected by the people, we do not mean all the people of every class; but such only as are entitled by the constitution to vote at elections. It is not considered proper for females to take part in the govern. ment; and boys have not sufficient knowledge and judg. ment. The constitution therefore allows none to vote at elections but male citizens of the age of twenty-one years and upwards.
1. What is the first act of political power performed by the people ? *The noxt? 2. When is the general state election held ? What officers are then chosen ? 3 What persons only are allowed to vote ? At what
4. But not every male citizen of this age is qualified to
A person that has but just come into the state, is not supposed to be well enough acquainted with the government to take part in it; nor would he be likely, being a stranger, to know what persons to vote for. The constitution therefore requires that a man must have resided in the state a year, before he is entitled to vote at an election : and he must also actually reside in the county or district in which he offers to vote.
5. In most of the states, formerly, such only as owned property of a certain amount, or paid rent or taxes, were entitled to vote. In a few states this is still the case. In this state, every white male citizen of the age of twentyone years, who has paid, or is charged with, a state or county tax, may become a voter. A highway tax is a tax of this kind; and as nearly every man is liable to labor on the roails, very few are denied the right to vote. The right of voting is sometimes called the right of suffrage ; and where all the freemen enjoy this privilege, it is said suffrage is universal ; and where the privilege is restricted to those who have property, or who pay taxes, we say, there is a limited suffrage.
6. But when it is said that all male citizens over twentyone years of age may vote, not every man of that age is meant. Persons born in other countries, are called foreigners, or aliens.
They are not in law citizens, nor entitled to the rights of freemen. A way is provided, however, in which they may become citizens, after having been in this country a certain number of years. This is called becoming naturalized; that is, becoming entitled to all the rights and privileges of natural born citizens, or citizens born in this country. (See Naturalization.)
7. Persons also who have been convicted of infamous crimes, may not thereafter vote at elections, unless restored to their former rights in some way provided by law. An infanious crime is declared by the law of this state to be
age? 4. To make a man a voter, what is required respecting his residenc, ? 5. What is said about owning property, &c., as a qualification for voting? What is the right of suffrage? 6. Do aliens vote? Can they become voters? How? 7. Does crime ever disqualify persona ? one that is punishable with death or imprisonment in the penitentiary
8. Colored citizens, also, are denied the right of suffrage in this state. In some states they may vote under certain restrictions. Whether color should or should not disqualify a person for exercising this right, is a question upon which the people differ in their opinions.
9. Elections are conducted by the trustees in the several townships, who are called judges of election. It is their duty to see that all business at an election is properly and fairly done ; and the township clerk, and another person to be chosen by the judges, serve as clerks of the election. If any of the trustees or the clerk are not present, the electors may choose, viva voce, suitable persons in their places.
10. Each of the clerks has a poll-book, in which he keeps a list of the name and number of every elector voting at the election. Poll is a Saxon word, signifying head, and has come to mean person. Hence, so much“ a head" means, so much for every person. And by a still farther change, it is made to signify an election, because the par. sons there voting are numbered. Thus, “ going to the polls" has obtained the same meaning as going to an election, or to the place of voting; and the poll-list is the list of the names and number of voters.
11. The polls are usually opened between the hours of eight and nine in the morning, and closed at about four in the afternoon. Each elector hands to one of the judges a single ballot, containing the names of all the persons he votes for, and the name of the office for which each is intend. ed. The judge receiving the ballot pronounces the name of the elector; and if no objection is made to his voting, and the judges are satisfied that he is a lawful voter, he puts the ballot into the box ; and the clerks enter the name and number of the elector in the poll-books.
12. After the polls are closed, the box is opened, and the 8. May colored citizens vote in this state ? 9. By whom are elections conducted? What is their duty ? Who are clerks of election ? 10. What is the business of the clerks ? Define the word poll. 11. Desçribe the manner of voting. 12. How is it ascertained that the voting