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Right of suffrage. This privilege extends to white male inhabitants, above 21, who have resided in the state one year immediately preceding the election, and who have paid a state or county tax.
INDIANA. The constitution of Indiana was adopted in 1816—may be amended by convention; but has not yet been altered.
Legislature. A General Assembly, consisting of a Senate elected for three years--one third renewable annually ; and a House of Representatives, elected annually. Qualifications of senators and dele. gates, viz. residence, and payment of taxes ; they are chosen in counties and districts, and apportioned to the numbers of white male inhabitants, above 21. Delegates can never be less than 36, nor more than 100–Senators not less than one third, nor more than one half the number of Representatives. Annual general election, first Monday in August. Annual meeting of the General Assembly, at Indianapolis, first Monday in December.
Executive. Governor, elected by the people, for three years—eligible six years in nine-must be 30 years of age, and have been a resident citizen five years.
He nas the power of pardon as in Ohio,and a qualified negative on the acts of the assembly, as in Massachusetts. It belongs to him to nominate most of the officers of the state to the Senate. A lieutenant Governor is chosen by the people, who presides in the senate, and succeeds to the powers and duties of governor, in case of the disability of the latter.
Judiciary. A supreme court, circuit courts, &c. The supreme court has three judges; and each of the circuit courts a president, and two associate judges. The judges hold their offices for seven yearsthose of the supreme court are appointed by the Governor and Senate ; the presidents of the circuit courts by the assembly in joint ballot ; and the associate judges are chosen by the people.
Right of suffrage. This is granted to all male citizens, of the age of 21, and upwards, who have resided in the state a year, immediately preceding an election.
LOUISIANA. The constitution of this state was formed in 1812 ; provision is made for its amendment by a convention, chosen by the people.
Legislaturę. House and Senate, styled General Assembly. Representatives are elected for two years—cannot be less than 25, nor more than 50, and are chosen on the basis of the qualified electors, as ascertained by enumeration every four years. They must be citizens, and residents two years, and freeholders. The Senators are 16 in number, chosen by districts, for four years-half to be renewed every two years. They must have been resident citizens four years—27 years of age, and possess a freehold worth $1000. Annual meeting of the As. sembly, first Monday in January.
Executive. A Governor, who is elected for four years, and is ineligible the next four years. He is chosen by the General Assembly in joint ballot, who elect one of the two candidates, who have had the greatest number of votes from the qualified electors. Qualifications -residence six years—30 years of age--and a freehold of $5000 val. ue. With the assent of the Senate, he has the power of pardoning ;
but not in cases of impeachment. The president of the senate is his successor, in case of vacancy.
Judiciary. Supreme court, and such inferior courts as the Legis. lature may establish. The judges are appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the senate--they hold their offices during good behavior.
Right of suffrage. This is practically universal.
Mississippi. Constitution adopted 1817, with provisions for its being amended by convention.
Legislature. House of Representatives and Senate, styled General Assembly. The number of Representatives can never be less than 36, nor more than 100. They must be resident citizens two years-22 years of age, and possess a freehold to the value of $500. Senators are elected for three years-one third renewable annually-are chosen in districts, being apportioned on the taxable inhabitants—can never be more than one third, nor less than one fourth, of the delegatesmust be resident citizens four years—26 years of age-freehold or other estate of 1000 dollars. Annual session, first Monday in November.
Executive. A Governor, elected by the people, for two years—must be 30 years of age-a citizen 20 years—a resident five years—and have a freehold of the value of $2000. He has no power of appointment, but can pardon, except in cases of treason, or impeachment. A lieutenant Governor is appointed, who acts in case of the death, resig. nation, or absence of the Governor. He is president of the Senate.
Judiciary. One supreme court, and such superior and inferior courts of law and equity, as the Legislature may from time to time establish. Number of the supreme and superior courts not less than four, nor more than eight. All judges are appointed by the General Assembly-hold their office during good behavior--are disqualified at the age of 65.
Right of suffrage. This extends to every free white male person, 21 years of age, or upwards—who is a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this state one year next preceding the election.and the last six months within the county, city, or town, in which he offers to vote, and shall be enrolled in the militia thereof, unless ex. empted by law from military service; or having the aforesaid qualifi. cations of citizenship, and residence, shall have paid a state or county
ILLINOIS. ALABAMA. Missouri. The constitutions of these states were established in the years 1818, 1819, and 1820. Their provisions are, in general, so strikingly similar to those of the constitution of Mississippi, that it is deemed unnecessary to enter into particulars. In Illinois, the number of representatives cannot be less than 27, nor more than 36, until the number of inhabitants within the state shall amount to 100,000 ; and the number of senators shall never be less than one third, nor more than one half the number of representatives. In this state, also, the Governor, with the judges of the supreme court, constitute a council to revise all legislative acts; upon which they have a
qualified negative. Session of the Assembly, first Monday of December, every second year. In Alabama, annual session, fourth Monday of October. In Missouri, meeting of the Assembly, first Monday in November, every second year.
CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED States. The United States were originally colonies of Great Britain. At several different times, a union between these colonies was contemplated, and attempted. In the year 1643, a union was formed between the New England colonies, for certain purposes. In 1754, a more general union was attempted, according to a plan, which, in several of its features, resembled the present constitution of the United States; and, although adopted by a convention of delegates for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, with the lieutenant governor and council of New York, it failed, receiving the approbation of neither of the provincial assemblies, nor of the King's Council.
In the summer of 1775, after the troubles with the mother country had commenced, Dr. Franklin submitted to Congress articles of confederation, and perpetual union between the colonies, but which were not then acted upon In June 1776, Congress being about to declare America independent, the subject of a compact was again brought forward. A committee was appointed to prepare, and digest the form of a confederation. This committee, on the 12th of July following, reported a plan, consisting of twenty articles. The gloomy aspect of American affairs at that period, however, prevented Congress from resuming the subject, until April, 1777; nor was it finally aodpted, until the 15th of November, the same year. The outlines of the system were, that the thirteen states formed a confederacy, under the style and name of “The United States of America ;” by which they entered “into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their defence, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovreignty, trade, or any other pretence whatever.”
This plan of union, after much difficulty and delay, was adopted by the then thirteen colonics ; and, although defective in many respects, the American people were held together, by means of it, through their long struggle for peace and independence.
At length, it was obvious, that a more effective plan of union must be adopted, or the glorious objects of the Revolutionary struggle would be entirely lost. To trace the progress of measures, which led to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, would greatly exceed our limits. It is sufficient for our purpose to say, that in the year 1787, a convention of delegates from all the states, except Rhode Island, met in the city of Philadelphia, and on the 17th of September, the present federal constitution was presented to congress, which body shortly after sent it to the several states, by which it was, at different periods, adopted, and with some subsequent amendments, has formed the basis of our government until the present time.
Legislative Power. The legislative power is vested by the constitution in a Congress, which consists of a House of Representatives, and a Senate, the concurrence of both of which is necessary to the making of
a law. A bill which has passed both branches, must be signed by the presiding officers, which being done, it is sent to the President for his signature. If he signs it, it is established as law—should he refuse, he returns it with objections. Should two thirds of both branches concur, it becomes a law notwithstanding the want of the President's signature.
The House of Representatives is composed of members from the several states, chosen by the people, for the term of two years, in such manner as each state, by law, determines. They are apportioned among the different states, according to the population--each state, at the present time, according to an act of Congress, of the 3d of March, 1823, sending one representative for every 40,000 persons computed according to the constitution. No person can be a representative who is not 25 years old, and who has not been a citizen seven years, and who does not reside in the state in which he is elected. The present number of representatives is 216, including three delegates.
The Senate is composed of two members from each State. The present number is forty-eight. They are chosen by the State Legisla. tures for six years, one third being elected biennially. . To be eligible to a seat in the Senate, a person must be thirty years of age, a resident citizen nine years, an inhabitant of the State in which he is chosen.
The House of Representatives has a presiding officer called a Speaker, who is elected from their own body. The President of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States.
Besides the legislative power, which the Senate has in common with the House of Representatives, it belongs to that body to approve or disapprove of appointments made by the President. Treaties, also, with foreign powers, are submitted to them by the President; thirds are essential to the ratification of a treaty. The Senate also acts as a judicial court for the trial of impeachments, the House of Represen. tatives being the prosecutor.
It belongs to Congress to make such laws, compatible with the con. stitution, as in their opinion will advance the general welfare of the country. " They are to lay and collect taxes, imposts and excises ; bor. row money, regulate commerce, establish uniform rules of naturalization, coin money, establish post roads and post offices, promote the arts and sciences, institute tribunals inferior to the supreme court, define and punish piracy, declare war, and make reprisals, raise and support armies, provide a navy, regulate the militia, and make all laws necessary to carry these powers into effect.”
Executive power. The executive power of the United States is vested in a President, who holds his office for four years. He is chosen by electors, who are themselves chosen in each State, in such manner as the legislature may direct, and are in number equal to the namber of Senators and Representatives in each State.
The importance of the mode in which the election of President is made, induces us to insert the provisions of the constitution, on this subject as amended : “ The electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves. They shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President:
and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as president, and of all persons voted for as vice president, and of the number of votes for each ; which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit, sealed, to the seat of government of the United States, directed to the president of the Senate. The president of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes for president, shall be the president, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed ; and if no person have such majority, then, from the persons having the highest numbers, not exceeding three, on the list of those voted for as president, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the president. But in choosing the president, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote. A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member, or members, from two thirds of the states; and a majority from all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a president, whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the vice president shall act as president, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the president.
“(2) The person having the greatest number of votes as vice president, shall be the vice president, if such number be a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the vice president. A quorum for the purpose shall consist of twothirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.
“(3) But no person constitutionally inelligible to the office of president shall be eligible to that of vice president of the United States." The qualifications and duties of the president will be noticed in another page.
JUDICIARY. The judicial power of the United States is at present vested in a Supreme Court, thirty-one District Courts, and seven Circuit Courts. The Supreme Court is composed of a chief justice and six associate justices who hold a court in the city of Washington annually. The Circuit Courts, comprising two or more Districts are attended by these justices, to each of whom one is appropriated. He is assisted by the judge of the district in which the court is held. The District Courts are held by the district judge. Appeals lie from the District to the Circuit Courts, and from the Circuit Courts to the Supreme Courts. Each court has a clerk, a public attorney, and a marshal, all of whom receive their appointment from the President of the United States with the exception of the clerks, who are appointed by the courts. The judges hold their offices during good behavior, and their salaries cannot be diminished during their continuance in office. The power of these courts extends to all cases in law and equity, arising under the constitution, or laws of the United States, and under treaties; to cases of public ministers and consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maratime jurisdiction ; to controversies between the states in which the United States are a party; between a state and a citizen of another state; and between citizens of different states; between citizens of the same state, claiming under grants of different states; to causes between one of the states or an American citizen and a foreign state or citizen.