abllL tration in power and have the support of the
party leaders before they are introduced. A bill may be
introduced by any member of the legislature, after which
it is numbered, duly recorded, and ordered to be printed.
After its introduction, a bill is referred to the proper com-
mittee which later reports back upon it to the house.
There are three successive readings of a bill, during one of
which it is discussed section by section. The debate is
often long and tedious. Many amendments may be added,
so that the original character of the bill may be greatly
changed. If the bill is finally passed it is then sent to the
other house where a similar course is followed. Here it may
be rejected or sent back to the first house with a new set
of amendments. For this reason a joint conference com-
mittee for the two houses is sometimes necessary to secure
the final passage of the bill by the legislature. The final
step is the securing of the signature of the executive. To-
ward the end of a legislative session there is considerable
pressure to get bills through, and the result of this hasty
legislation is frequently reflected in the inferior character
of the laws. "Riders" may be added or "joker" clauses
inserted, which vitiate the original purpose of the bill.
Some states have instituted bureaus, whose personnel is
composed of legal experts, in order to insure a more careful
phrasing of the laws.
Appropriation bills are of a special character. For their
discussion the house generally resolves itself into a com-
The Political Machinery in Motion 93
mittee of the whole. Here the fight is often strenuous,
because individual members seek to prevent particular
appropriations from being cut. In addition, the Appropria-
evils of "log rolling" are here apparent. On tionbuls -
the eve of adjournment compromises are effected, and a
flood of appropriation bills is passed, which involves
enormous expenditures of money. Too often appropriation
bills are considered separately and no attempt is made to
balance income and expenditure. To remedy this situation
the national government has recently introduced the budget
system under which the various departments of government
make out estimates of their expenses for the coming year.
A proper balance can then be struck according to relative
needs and importance. Against the sum total of expenses
can be placed the probable income for the next year from
all sources of revenue. By such a scheme wasteful and ex-
travagant appropriations can be cut down so that the work
of the essential branches of the government need not suffer
from lack of funds. An effective budget system is neces-
sary to financial efficiency in nation, state, and city.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Show how there has been an evolution of governmental func-
tions from the simple to the complex.
2. Contrast the anarchist with the socialist.
3. What are the essential functions of the State?
4. What views did the laissez-faire theorists hold? Who were
some of these writers?
5. Why was this theory abandoned?
6. What do you understand by paternalism?
7. Upon what basis would you compromise between the two
8. Why is extreme individualism impossible to-day?
9. Explain the new social ideal.
94 Problems of American Democracy
10. What obligations does the State owe the individual?
ir. What obligations does the individual owe the State?
12. What is public opinion? Contrast with mob spirit.
13. How can an intelligent public opinion be fostered?
14. What social institutions and instruments are important in
15. What are political parties and their functions?
16. What are some dangers and evils of their organization?
17. In what respect does party organization in America resemble
that of England rather than that of the continent of Europe?
18. Discuss the campaign platform of some political party.
19. What social maladjustments has legislation attempted to
20. Sketch the organization of the legislature.
21. Show the successive steps by which a bill becomes a law.
22. Compare the "appropriations" system with the "budget"
TOPICS FOR SPECIAL REPORT
1 . New functions of government and the increasing cost.
2. The separation of Church and State.
3. The laissez-faire theory.
4. The paternalism of the German government.
5. A sound budget system.
6. The party platforms in the last presidential election.
7. Public opinion as a means of social control.
Beard, C. A. American Government and Politics.
Bryce, J. The American Commonwealth.
Goodnow, F. J. Politics and Administration.
Magruder, F. A. American Government in IQ2I.
Ogg, F. A. Governments of Europe.
Wilson, W. The State.
Young, J. T. The New American Government and Its Work.
A Century of Political Evolution
I. An expanding nation
i . Westward Ho !
2. The frontier and democracy
3. The triumph of nationalism
4. From an agrarian to an industrial democracy
II. New forces at work
1 . Woman suffrage
2. Direct election of senators
3. Extension of Civil Service Reform
4. The short ballot
5. The initiative and referendum
6. Recall of judicial decisions
7. Direct primaries
III. The problem of empire
1 . Earlier isolation
2. The Spanish-American War
3. The World War
An Expanding Nation. â€” The western boundary of
the newly emancipated nation was the Mississippi River,
but at first population clung to the Atlantic sea- westward
board. In early days the Appalachian moun- Â°"
tains had been an effective barrier, but the close of the
eighteenth century saw hardy pioneers crossing them and
braving the unknown wilderness to the Wept. Here great
rolling prairies, covered only with grass, made it unnec-
essary to clear the forest in order to plant crops. Conse-
96 Problems of American Democracy
quently the western migration attained rapid results. The
movement was aided by immigration from Europe attracted
by the abundance of free land. The national and state
governments vied with each other in the building of roads
and canals. The Louisiana Purchase extended our boun-
daries from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains^
Later Texas came into the Union, and the war with Mexico
added the great southwestern section. The Oregon Treaty
with Great Britain and the earlier purchase of Florida from
Spain rounded out our present continental territory. The
Lewis and Clark Expedition told of an unexplored empire,
rich in all sorts of natural resources. Again, the discovery
of gold in California gave a still greater impetus to the
western migration. "The forty-niners" were the van-
guard of the long continuous trail of "prairie schooners"
which slowly made their way across what was then called
"the Great American Desert." The character and place
of these pioneers in American history has been well pic-
tured in the poem of Walt Whitman.
The frontier has had an important influence in shaping
the character and evolution of American democracy. Im-
migration has been called a selective process which picks
â€ž., , out the stronger and more restless elements in a
The fron- . b
tier and population. In the melting pot of the New World,
European races, creeds, and classes mingled
together to form a new national character. European
traditions and castes were more easily sloughed off in the
freer air of the new society. We have seen how the new
England was able to perceive earlier than the old England
that taxation without representation was tyranny. After
our own independence had been achieved, the new nation
watched with mingled emotions the progress of the French
A Century of Political Evolution 97
Revolution. The Jeffersonian democracy was swept into
power upon such transplanted phrases as " liberty, equality,
and fraternity." It was a repudiation of the aristocratic as
well as of the centralizing tendencies of the Federalists.
The knee trousers, silk stockings, and powdered wigs of
the early fathers disappeared from American political and
social life. The Jacksonian democracy was more extreme
than that of Jefferson's day. It was a native frontier
product and represented the political triumph of the back-
woodsman. This element continued through later Amer-
ican history and the rail splitter, Abraham Lincoln, went
to the White House.
A continental nation stretching from the Atlantic to the
Pacific Ocean was but a dream in the earlier part of
the nineteenth century. The wisdom, as well
as the constitutionality, of the Louisiana Pur- triumph of
chase was debated by Jefferson when he consid-
ered how long it would take a representative from the extreme
West to go to Washington and return. The inventions of
the locomotive and the steamboat have changed the entire
situation and made the dreams of a century ago come
true. Railroads have bound the states together with
bands of steel. Mountains have been tunneled and great
rivers crossed by the new engineering science. The tele-
graph and the telephone flash news immediately across the
continent. There is another side to the story, however, for,
during our earlier history, the dark shadow of slavery had
thrown itself across the union. The geographical character
of the country made slavery unprofitable in the North but
tended to fasten it upon the South. The invention of the
cotton gin increased the demand for raw cotton which was
picked by slave labor. The Missouri Compromise in 1820
98 Problems of American Democracy
sounded the first ominous note, when the advocates of
slavery demanded its territorial extension. The Mexican
War brought into the Union more slave territory and
helped preserve temporarily the balance between the free
and slave states. Meanwhile the institution of slavery was
intrenching itself behind the doctrine of states rights. Was
the union a federation with sovereignty residing in the
nation, or was it merely a confederation with sovereignty
residing in the individual states? Calhoun defended the
theory of states rights and Webster the cause of national-
ism. As sectionalism increased it became more apparent
that a " house divided against itself " could not stand. The
secession of South Carolina and the attack upon Fort
Sumter marked the opening of hostilities. When Lincoln
issued his Emancipation Proclamation he made the cause
of "liberty and union one and inseparable," which the
victory of the federal troops guaranteed. The surrender
at Appomattox Court House ended one period in American
history and ushered in a new era of national development.
The great political questions following the Civil War and
Reconstruction period were largely economic in their
character. Different interests and varied classes
agrarian to began to clash in later legislative battles. The
democracy. new figures of capital and labor appeared in the
political arena. The old agricultural society had
developed new commercial and industrial interests. A
small, simple, agrarian democracy had developed into a
huge, industrial democracy. This evolution from the sim-
ple to the complex made necessary political, as well as
social and economic, adjustments. What does democracy
mean in the new era of the railroad, the corporation, and
"big business"? After the freedom of the black slaves was
A Century of Political Evolution 99
secured, there was yet a problem of liberty and equality
in a society which permitted child labor and sweat shops.
A growth and concentration of wealth had taken place
which threatened the very foundations of democracy.
There was also a geographical concentration of population in
great cities, whose political corruption made them sore spots
upon the body politic. The political center of gravity had
shifted from the farming groups to the business interests.
New Forces at Work. â€” A number of new political in-
fluences and tendencies appeared within the nation in the
period following the Civil War. A few typical woman
illustrations follow. In the first place, the suffrage,
electorate was expanded by the introduction of new groups
of voters. The fifteenth amendment to the constitution
made the negro a voter, but the later introduction of edu-
cational tests throughout the South often deprived him
of his new privilege. In colonial days the franchise was
much restricted by property qualifications, which, however,
disappeared in the early days of the new republic. After
the Civil War several western states withdrew the sex bar-
rier and permitted women to vote. As early as 1869 women
were given the ballot in Wyoming, but the movement
spread slowly until the Progressive campaign of 191 2.
Great economic changes had brought women into the com-
mercial and industrial world and had made more glaring
the injustice of their political disfranchisement. The op-
ponents of the new movement gradually shifted their
ground from that of justice to that of political expediency.
Under the leadership of a number of determined women,
however, the nineteenth amendment was passed which
marks the successful culmination of their valiant fight for
e nf r anchisement .
Problems of American Democracy
Women Victorious â€” at the Polls
The seventeenth amendment had already provided for
the direct election by the people of United States senators.
Previously they had been elected by the legis-
latures of the various states. Several political
scandals had served to uproot the faith once
held in elected legislatures. The Senate was denounced
by some of its bold critics as an "American oligarchy."
There grew up a demand that the senators should be elected
by, and hence directly responsible to, the people. Thus,
the method of electing senators changed from the former
indirect method to the present direct method of election by
The assassination of President Garfield by a disappointed
office seeker hastened the national adoption of Civil Ser-
A Century of Political Evolution 101
vice Reform. Again, the cry for efficiency in govern-
mental departments demanded that applicants be appoint-
ed according to some recognized test of fitness,
rather than according to allegiance to the Service
. . Reform.
political machine. This movement was not
confined to the national government, but spread to
the state and especially to the city governments. The
Spoils System had given an immense amount of patron-
age to the party in power, who filled the public . offices
with its own followers. These latter were, in turn,
expected to get votes for the political organization. Out
of such a system was evolved the political boss. The early
introduction of civil service tests was made more difficult
by the tradition that rotation in office was more democratic.
This belief had come down from the days of Jackson,
when it was felt that one citizen was nearly as well fitted as
any other for a public trust. The increase of governmental
functions and the technical nature of much recent work of
the State render such a view no longer tenable. The ad-
ministrative work of government has been separated into
specialized bureaus, under the direction of experts. Here
efficiency is needed, not politics. Hence the need for civil
The introduction of the Australian or secret ballot was
a great step forward in our political evolution. At present,
in addition to this, the so-called short ballot is The short
being strongly advocated. This is made neces- baUot
sary because the earlier democratic tendencies increased the
number of elective offices. Longer and longer ballots are
placed before the voter, who is asked to make a selection of
men whom he does not know for offices concerning which
he is unfamiliar. This has hindered rather than helped
102 Problems of American Democracy
the cause of democracy, because it has made for what is
known as "hide and seek" politics. It is evidently better
to vote for but a few important officers with whose record
the voter can be familiar. They should be given the power
to appoint their subordinates, for whose character and work
they can be held strictly accountable at the next election.
This is known as the principle of fixing responsibility.
The long ballot has been called the politician's ballot and
the short ballot, the people's ballot.
The functions of the electorate have also been enlarged
by such devices as the initiative, referendum, and recall.
These take various forms in different states and
Initiative ... .
and cities. The referendum is a device which
renders necessary the consent of the people for
a particular piece of legislation. It was first used for
constitutional changes, but later for such important
public matters as the floating of bonded indebtedness.
For these and other purposes ratification at the polls by
the general electorate is sought. The initiative permits
the originating of a piece of legislation by the people directly.
A bill may be drawn up by a number of private citizens.
If the signatures of a sufficient number of voters are secured,
the bill must be voted upon by the legislature, or submitted
to the people at large by the use of the referendum. Both
the initiative and referendum are illustrations of direct
legislation, that is, legislation by the citizens themselves
rather than by their elected representatives. It is a
modern attempt to return to pure, rather than represent-
The conservatism of the courts, as reflected in many
judicial decisions, is responsible for the movement known
as the recall or, more properly, the review of judicial
A Century of Political Evolution 103
decisions. This is a device which permits the people to
vote upon the social desirability of certain judicial decis-
ions. If the vote is unfavorable, the judicial de-
cision is recalled. Such an extreme step is advo- of judicial
cated upon the ground that court interpreta-
tions really make law, whereas the people themselves
should be able to decide the constitutionality of their acts.
Hence the need for some popular check upon the courts.
To many thinkers such a step is too drastic, because it
takes from the courts their particular function of interpre-
tation and no longer renders them capable of making
independent decisions according to their own view of the
law. They believe the wiser plan, although the slower
course, would be for public opinion to express itself,
through the legislature, by making changes in the laws.
If necessary, even the process of constitutional amend-
ment may be resorted to. The recall, however, has been
applied with more approval to the acts of officials in the
local government units.
Political parties were extra-constitutional developments
and at first were ignored by the law. Finally, it was found
necessary to recognize them legally in order to Direct
cope with gross evils which had developed. P nmanes -
The nomination of political party candidates by a few of
the "bosses," sitting in some back room, could no longer
be tolerated by a quickened public conscience. Hence the
development of the primary movement. A primary, or
rather a primary election, is one in which the various
political parties nominate their candidates. The states
pass laws concerning the primary and the method of
nominating party candidates. Primary elections are now
frequently conducted in the regular polling places by the
104 Problems of American Democracy
regular election officers. In order to vote in the primary
an individual must state his previous party affiliations.
This merely means that at the last election he voted for
at least a majority of the candidates of the party to which
he belongs. The voter is then given the ballot of the
party in which he registers. This contains a number of
nominations for each office and the successful candidate
for a particular office is then the party nominee. A citizen
can have his name put on the ballot of his party by securing
a sufficient number of signatures.
The Problem of Empire.â€” The keynote of early
American foreign policy was struck in the farewell address
Earlier of our first president, who was familiar with
isoation. European national jealousies and warned the
new nation to keep free from entangling alliances. Such a
policy was attempted during the titanic struggle between
England and Napoleonic France. Neutral America, how-
ever, was caught between these two warring giants and
suffered indignities which finally led to the War of 1812.
Meanwhile, Latin America, under such national leaders
as Bolivar, had succeeded in throwing off the Spanish
yoke and founding a number of independent republics.
The Spanish attempt at reconquest failed, although it
seemed likely for a time that the Holy Alliance might
intervene in America as it had done in Europe. The Holy
Alliance was an understanding between Russia, Prussia
and Austria under the leadership of Metternich. It had
the purpose of maintaining the "status quo" and possibly
of returning to conditions existing prior to the French
Revolution. England regarded with suspicion the work
of the Holy Alliance and suggested joint action with
America. The United States, however, preferred inde-
A Century of Political Evolution 105
pendent action and President Monroe issued the famous
doctrine which bears his name. The new world was no
longer to be regarded as a fit place for European coloniza-
tion. Any attempt to extend her political system here
would be regarded as an unfriendly act. The Monroe
Doctrine was put to a real test when Louis Napoleon
sought to realize his dream of a Mexican empire. Upon
the conclusion of the Civil War, however, the French troops
were withdrawn from America at the request of the United
States. The Monroe Doctrine has been variously inter-
preted at various times. While we have warned Europeans
from interference in the New World, we have striven to be
consistent by not participating in European affairs.
Although a cherished American tradition, European powers
have refused to recognize the Monroe Doctrine as any
part of international law. Then, too, powerful nations
have developed in South America who resent what they
regard as a patronizing attitude on the part of the
"Colossus of the North."
The Spanish-American War marked a new epoch in our
history, because the United States became a world power
for the first time. In the Far East the New
World came face to face with the Old World, spanish-
The Philippine Islands and Porto Rico were w^. rican
taken over from Spain, while the annexation of
Hawaii had taken place earlier. Cuba was the ward of
the United States, but she later became an independent
republic. New political problems arose with the growth
of empire. What was the legal status of these island
peoples? Did not citizenship follow the flag? Again,
there was the cry for independence from the Philippines.
But it is difficult to decide when a people is ready for self-
106 Problems of American Democracy
government, and dangerous to set them adrift before that
time. Meanwhile, schools, hospitals, and roads have been
built, and America has sought to carry civilization into a
far corner of the earth.
Great colonial expansion by all the world powers had
taken place during the last century. Thus, the entire
continent of Africa had been partitioned among
World the various nations of Europe. Great Britain
War. r .
was the first important colonial power and at
present owns an enormous portion of the earth's surface.
Starting with earlier and more brilliant prospects, Spain,
as we have seen, finally lost all her colonial possessions in
America. France, however, after her loss in America suc-
ceeded in building up a new empire in Africa. Germany
entered the race for colonies late and, as the result of the
World War, lost the few which she did possess. A new fac-
tor has entered world politics in the shape of Japan, who has
sought to extend her dominion through Korea and China.
Although this colonial expansion has often carried civiliza-
tion to the backward peoples of the earth, it has had some
unfortunate results. Often the contact with European
life and the vices of civilization have been fatal to the
natives. Neither the people nor their primitive, simple
folkways could make the necessary adjustments. Fre-
quently colonization has meant exploitation for both the
natives and their natural resources. The conclusion of the
World War has given rise to the problem of mandatories
for backward peoples. The ideal is that of a public trust