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GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
HOWARD LEE McBAIN, Ph. D.
Regrettable as the fact is, a large majority of children in the United States go out into active life before they reach the high school. Since this is true, and since ours is a government which the people themselves must operate, it seems manifestly desirable that some time should be given in the elementary schools to a consideration of the activities of the government. This book has been written for the pupils of the elementary schools.
Government in the United States is exceedingly complicated in organization. It is not to be expected that children will find interest in, or be able to understand, all of its intricate details. The fundamental principles of its organization are not, however, beyond their understanding; and, if properly presented to them, there is no reason why the functional activities of the government should not enlist their keen interest. It is perhaps not of vital importance that the child in school should be able to memorize the titles, the powers, and the duties of the innumerable officers who carry on the work of the government. It seems axiomatic, however, that in the school itself—and especially in the school which the government provides-a very determined effort should be made to relate the child to the government, to make him see its necessity and its purpose, to make him understand that, far from being a thing apart from his own life, the government is actually a part of him and he a part