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unmixed gain. It removes the restraint which the maintenance of a conventional standard imposes. There is almost too little of make-believe about Americans in public writing, as well as in private talk, and their dislike to humbug, hypocrisy, and what they call English pharisaism, not only tends to laxity, but has made them wrong in the eyes of the Old World their real moral sensitiveness. Accustomed to see constant lip-service rendered to a virtue not intended to be practised, Europeans naturally assume that things are in the United States several shades darker than they are painted, and interpret frankness as cynicism. Were American politics judged by the actual and not the conventional standard of England, the contrast between the demerits of the politicians and the merits of the people would be less striking.



Specimens of Provisions in State Constitutions limiting the taxing and

borrowing powers of State Legislatures and local authorities 1

ARKANSAS: CONSTITUTION OF 1874 ARTICLE XVI. Section 1. Veither the State nor any city, county, town, or other municipality in this State shall ever loan its credit for any purpose whatever. Xor shall any county, city, town, or other municipality ever issue any interest bearing evidences of indebtedness, except such bonds as may be authorized by law to provide for and secure the payment of the present existing indebtedness, and the State shall never issue any interest-bearing treasury warrants or scrip.

Section 7. No city, town, or other municipal corporation other than provided for in this article, shall levy or collect a larger rate of taxation in any one year on the property thereof than one half of one per centum of the value of such property as assessed for State taxation during the preceding year.

COLORADO: CONSTITUTION OF 1876 ARTICLE XI. Section 6. No county shall contract any debt by loan in any form, except for the purpose of erecting necessary public buildings, making or repairing public roads and bridges ; and such indebtedness contracted in any one year shall not exceed the rates upon the taxable property in such county following, to wit:

See also Constitution of Californja, post, Art. xi. § 18, and Art. xvi.

counties in which the assessed valuation of taxable property sha!! exceed five millions of dollars, one dollar and fifty cents on each thousand dollars thereof ; counties in which such valuation shall tre less than five millions of dollars, three dollars on each thousard dollars thereof; and the aggregate amount of indebtedness of any county, for all purposes, exclusive of debts contracted before the adoption of this Constitution, shall not at any time exceed twice the amount above herein limited, unless when, in manner provided by law, the question of incurring such debt shall, at a general election, be submitted to such of the qualified electors of such county as in the year last preceding such election shall have paid a tax upon property assessed to them in such county, and a majority of those voting thereon shall vote in favour of incurring the debt; but the bonds, if any be issued therefor, shall not run less than ten years; and the aggregate amount of debt so contracted shall not at any time exceed twice the rate upon the valuation last herein mentioned : Provided, that this section shall not apply to counties having a valuation of less than one million of dollars.

Section 7. No debt by loan in any form shall be contracted by any school district for the purpose of erecting and furnishing school buildinys or purchasing grounds, unless the proposition to create such debt shall first be submitted to such qualified electors of the districts as shall have paid a school tax therein in the year nert preceding such election, and a majority of those voting thereon shall vote in favour of incurring such debt.

Section 8. No city or town shall contract any debt by loan in any form, except by means of an ordinance, which shall be irrepealable until the indebtedness therein provided for shall have been fully paid or discharged, specifying the purposes to which the funds to be raised shall be applied, and providing for the levy of a tax. not exceeding twelve mills on each dollar of valuation of taxable property within such city or town, sufficient to pay the annual interest and extinguish the principal of such debt within fifteen, but not less than ten years from the creation thereof; and such tax, when collected, shall be applied only to the purposes in such ordinance specified until the indebtedness shall be paid or discharged ; but no such debt shall be created unless the question of incurring the same shall, at a regular election for councilmen, alder. men, or officers of such city or town, be submitted to a vote of such qualified electors thereof as shall, in the year next preceding, have

paid a property-tax therein, and a majority of those voting on the question, by ballot deposited in a separate ballot box, shall vote in favour of creating such debt; but the aggregate amount of debt so created, together with the debt existing at the time of such election, shall not at any time exceed three per cent of the valuation last aforesaid. Debts contracted for supplying water to such city or town are excepted from the operation of this section.


Article IX. Section 8. County authorities shall never assess taxes, the aggregates of which shall exceed seventy-five cents per one hundred dollars valuation, except for the payment of indebtedness existing at the adoption of this Constitution, unless authorized by a vote of the people of the county.

Section 12. No county, city, township, school district, or other municipal corporation shall be allowed to become indebted in any manner or for

any purpose to an amount, including existing indebtedness, in the aggregate exceeding five per centum on the value of the taxable property therein, to be ascertained by the last assessment for the State and county taxes previous to the incurring of such indebtedness.

Any county, city, school district, or other municipal corporation incurring any indebtedness as aforesaid, shall, before or at the time of doing so, provide for the collection of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the interest on such debt as it falls due, and also to pay and discharge the principal thereof within twenty years from the time of contracting the same.


Article IX. Section & The debt of any county, city, borough, township, school district, or other municipality or other incorporated district, except as herein provided, shall never exceed seven per centum upon the assessed value of the taxable property therein, nor shall any such municipality or district incur any new debt or increase its indebtedness to an amount exceeding two per centum upon such assessed valuation of property without the assent of the electors thereof at a public election.


(to Art. viii. $ 11 of Constitution of 1846) No county containing a city of over one hundred thousand inhabitants, or any such city, shall be allowed to become indebted for any purpose or in any manner to an amount which, including existing indebtedness, shall exceed ten per centum of the assessed valuation of the real estate of such county or city subject to taxation.

The amount hereafter to be raised by tax for county or city purposes in any county containing a city of over one hundred thousand inhabitants, or any such city of this State, in addition to providing for the principal and interest of existing debt, shall not in the aggregate exceed in any one year two per centum of the assessed valuation of the real personal estate of such county or city.




1. Ward and City Committees.—The city is divided into wards by act of the city council prescribed by the legislature (number of wards in the city of Boston, twenty-five). Each ward in its primary meetings appoints a ward committee of five for the party : that is, the Republican primary appoints a Republican, and the Democratic primary a Democratic committee with varying number of members. This committee attends to the details of elections, such as printing and distributing notices and posters, and also ballots, canvassing voters, collecting and disbursing money, etc. The ward primaries nominate candidates for the common council of the city (consisting of seventy-two members), who are elected in and must be residents of the ward. The several ward committees constitute the city committee, which is thus a large body (practically a convention), and represents all the wards. The city committee chooses from its members a president, secretary, and treasurer, and each ward committee chooses one of its members as a member of a general executive committee, one for a general finance committee, and one for a general printing committee. The city committee formerly, acting as

Copyright by Gamaliel Bradford, 1888.


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