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Copyright, 1893, by Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer,

Philadelphia :
Printed by Burk & McFetridge Co.

306 and 308 Chestnut St.


The present work is the outgrowth of studies begun and pursued in the Political Science Seminary of the University of Pennsylvania. The interest aroused in the study of government and society by the course in the Wharton School of Finance and Economy culminated, naturally, in the desire to investigate more thoroughly some of the leading political and economic tendencies in our American communities. The substance of a portion of this essay has already been published in the form of two papers entitled “Law-Making by Popular Vote; or, The American Referendum,” and “Home Rule for our American Cities,” which were submitted to the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and published in the proceedings of that body. [Annals of the American Academy, Volume II, page 324, and Volume III, page 736, respectively.) They are also reprinted as Nos. 40 and go, in the separate editions of the important papers published by the Academy.

The Appendix will be found useful chiefly for reference. The author does not claim for it absolute completeness or accuracy in that feature of it relating to State statutes. These embrace so many volumes, and are changed so frequently by the Legislatures that it would be a far too laborious undertaking to get a full record of such legislation. The examples given in each State, however, will show sufficiently well the tendency that exists in different parts of the Union to submit certain classes of laws to vote of the people.

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