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When was the first State Constitution framed ?

It was framed at Kingston, New York, in April, 1777, by delegates, representing the several counties of the State (only twelve counties then), in a convention called for that purpose.

NOTE.-The constitution was revised in 1801, 1821, 1846, 1866, and some sections proposed by the Legislature have been added at other times.

GEORGE CLINTON, of Orange Co., distinguished for his patriotism, public and private worth, was elected Governor, and held the office for six consecutive terms (18 years). Prior to 1823, the term of Governor was 3 years.

NOTE.—New York adopted a gradual emancipation act in 1799, and in 1817 another act was passed, declaring all her slaves free on and after July 4, 1827.

Where was the First Seat of Government in this State ?

It was originally fixed at New York city. The Legislative department was then called the “General Assembly."

NOTE 1.-After the Revolution commenced, Gov. Tryon, Dec., 1775, or. dered such records as related to the immediate interests of the Crown, to be removed to the armed ship, Duchess of Gordon, lying in New York Bay; and they remained there till Nov., 1781, when most of them were returned to the city of New York.

They were nearly ruined by being kept on shipboard for six years: the most valuable of them were re-written at a later date.

NOTE 2.-In June, 1776, the other records were removed to Kingston New York. The first State Legislature was in session in Kingston Oct., 1777. It hastily adjourned on the approach of the British who burned every house in the village but one; the records were taken to Rochester, Ulster Co., N. Y.

NOTE 3.-The Legislature held a session in Poughkeepsie, Jan., 1778. Sessions were afterward held in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Albany as suited convenience, until 1784, when it met in New York. Two sessions were afterward held in Poughkeepsie, and three in Albany.

In 1797. Albany became the permanent capital.

UNITED STATES. What are the powers of the United States ? See Chart.

NOTE.--For the further study of the United States Congress see pages

99 onward.

For the further study of the Executive, see pages 87-95. For the Cabinet see pages 95-98.

For the Judiciary see pages 75–86.


What are the powers of Territories ?
See chart and pages 72, 73.
Horo many members in the Legislature of a Territory?

Each Territory has thirteen members in its Council, and twenty-six members in its House of Representatives.

NOTE.—The Council is equivalent to our State Senate, the House of Representatives to our Assembly.

What Officers of a Territory are elected by the people ?
See page 72.

What Officers of a Territory are elected by the Territorial Legislature?

See page 72.

What Officers of a Territory are appointed by the President and Senate ? See page



What are the powers of the District of Columbia ?

It has two powers, namely: Executive and Judicial. See Chart.

What Officers are Elected by the people in the District of Columbia? See pages 73 and 74.

What Officers are Appointed by the President and Senate in the District of Columbia ?

See page 73.


NOTE.—England is placed in the Chart to show the similarity between its government and ours, and is intended more particularly for advanced students.

What is the Constitution of England ?

It is unwritten, and is composed of all the great Charters and Statutes that have been enacted since the reign of King John, who left the throne of England, 1216, after reigning 17 years.

NOTE.-In the Valley of Runnymede, in the year 1215, King John was compelled to assent to the terms of the barons, and to sign the Magna Charta, the most remarkable instrument known in English history, of which the following are the most important sections: Section 45. “No freeman shall be taken, or disseized, or outlawed, or

banished, or anywise injured, nor will we pass upon him, nor send upon him, unless by the legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the

land." Section 46. “We will sell to no man, we will not deny or delay to any man,

right or justice."

In other sections “the royal prerogative was limited and defined; the rights of the Church guaranteed; the Feudal system relieved of some of its grievances; unlawful fines and punishments forbidden; the free disposal of personal property by will allowed; the means of obtaining a livelihood, such as the tools of the inechanic and the goods of the merchant were exempt from fine or forfeiture for crime; fines were to be proportionate to the offence; the Circuit Courts brought into the neighborhood of all; and the liberties and customs of free towns confirmed."

These provisions are to-day the basis and the bulwark of those rights and immunities that make England and America the freest countries on earth.

Horo many powers in the Government of England ?
See Chart.

Of what is the House of Lords composed ?

The House of Lords is composed of Lords spiritual and Lords temporal.

NOTE 1.-There are 80 Lords spirituel, namely, 26 of the Church of England, and 4 of the Irish Church. Of these, 4 are Archbishops, and 26 are Bishops.

NOTE 2.—The Lords temporal, in England, are hereditary, and their number varies. Their are 26 Irish nobles, and 16 Scottish nobles, who are elected by the nobility,—those from Ireland for life, and those from Scotland for a year.

Who is the Speaker of the House of Lords?

The Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, is Speaker of the House of Lords.

What is the House of Commons ?

The House of Commons consists of 658 representatives of counties, cities, boroughs, and some of the Universities as follows: England and Wales, 500; Ireland, 135 ; Scotland, 53.

Where can Bills originate ?

All bills appropriating money must originate in the House of Commons (corresponding with our House of Representatives). Others may originate in either house.

NOTE.-Every bill must be read, and passed by a majority vote, three times in each house, and receive the royal signature before it can become a law.

Who is the Speaker of the House of Commons ?
The House of Commons elects its own Speaker.
Who can vote in England ?

Those citizens who occupy, as owner or tenant, any house or other building of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds sterling, provided they have paid the poor rates and assessed taxes, may vote for the members of the House of Commons.

JUDICIARY. By how many kinds of Law is justice administered in England ?

There are three kinds of law,-Common law, Statute law, and the law of Equity.

What is Common law?

Common law is based on custom, or precedents established by former decisions of the courts of justice.

What is Statute lau ?
Statute law consists of the acts of Parliament.
What is the law of Equity?

The law of Equity is administered by the Lord Chancellor, in cases not covered by Statute law, and where justice cannot be secured by Common law.

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