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among such divisions varies. All of the States, however, are divided into civil divisions, called counties, except Louisiana, where the parish takes the place of the county. The county may be considered the primary division in California. The counties, again, are subdivided into townships and school districts. Within the county, too, may be established, formerly by special charter granted by the Legislature, now under a general law, incorporated cities and towns. The county always exists with its corps of officers. The township and school district sometimes become absorbed in the town or city; sometimes, however, they continue in existence as separate divisions, with their own officers, even when a town may have grown up within them. And, of course, the township may include several towns within its borders. Sometimes, as in the case of San Francisco, the limits of the county and city coincide, and there is a consolidated government of city and county officials.
169. Duties of Local Government.-Having obtained this general view of the local divisions in a State, we will now see what are in general the duties of local government. These functions of local government are the administration of justice in all cases except those that come before the Supreme Court, the establishment of police and sanitary regulations, the licensing of trades, the support and management of schools, the assessment and collection of taxes, the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public buildings, such as court-houses, city halls, school-houses, hospitals, jails; the care of the poor; in short, they embrace everything coming under the control of government that tends to the protection and improvement of the citizens of the community. The distribution of these functions among county, township, town, or city governments is purely a matter of convenience, and is regulated by general laws of the State Legislature.
170. Methods of Local Government.—The operation of local government is in accordance with the directions of the general laws of the State. Consequently, there is less call for a strict division of local officials into the three departments of legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislation needed for the county has already in large part been accomplished by the general laws of the State. The judicial officers administer these general laws, and are thus really a part of the judicial department of the State. The principle of local self-government, however, is carried out in their case by having the judges elected by the people of the local districts, and by having them administer justice between the residents of the local district. Most of the duties of local government are executive or administrative in their character, requiring the application of general laws to local circumstances. But there is also some field for local legislation. And the legislative bodies of the local divisions of the State, called boards of supervisors, councilmen or town trustees, boards of education or school trustees, have authority to pass any laws that may be necessary in the discharge of their duties, under the names of ordinances, by-laws, rules and regulations, which are not inconsistent with the general laws of the State.
THE NATURE OF STATE GOVERNMENT.
171. Position of the States in the Federal Union. The Federal Constitution recognized the existence of the thirteen original States. It was by the people of
these States that the Constitution of the United States was adopted. This Constitution provided, further, for the formation and admission of new States into the Union. As we know, the number of these States has been so increased that there are now forty-four States as constituent members of this Union. This Constitution, again, by its tenth amendment, declares that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” What the powers are that are “delegated to the United States” we saw in Part III. We may say here, however, that they are only such powers as are necessary for the existence, preservation, and well-being of the nation as such. And the powers which are "prohibited to the States” are only such as would, if exercised by a State government, tend to interfere with the successful working of the national government. All other powers are reserved to the
“ States or to the people.”
172. Powers Prohibited to the States.- The powers which the Constitution of the United States forbids the States to exercise are the following: No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or compact; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duties on imports or exports, or any duty of tonnage; keep troops or ships of war in time of peace; enter into any agreement with another State or with a foreign power; engage in war unless actually invaded or in such imminent danger as to admit of no delay.
173. Powers Reserved to the States.-"Compared with the vast prerogatives of the State Legislatures, these limitations seem small enough. All the civil and religious rights of our citizens depend upon State legislation; the education of the people is in the care of the States; with them rests the regulation of the suffrage; they prescribe the rules of marriage, the legal relations of husband and wife, of parent and child; they determine the powers of masters over servants, and the whole law of principal and agent, which is so vital a matter in all business transactions; they regulate partnership, debt and credit, and insurance; they constitute all corporations, both private and municipal, except such as specially fulfill the financial or other specific functions of the federal government; they control the possession, distribution, and use of property, the exercise of trades, and all contract relations; and they formulate and administer all criminal law, except only that which concerns crimes committed against the United States, on the high seas, or against the laws of nations. Space would fail in which to enumerate the particulars of this vast range of power; to detail its parts would be to catalogue all social and business relationships, to examine all the foundations of law and order."* The sovereign character maintained by a State is shown in the fact that a State, by its Constitution, refuses to permit itself to be sued by a private individual in the federal courts or except by special concession in the State courts.
174. State Constitutions.-Now, the exercise of the powers of the State is provided for in the State Constitution. The Constitution of a State is formed by delegates of the people of the State meeting in a convention. After the Constitution is thus framed, it is submitted to the vote of the qualified electors of the State and adopted by them. It thus rests for its authority on the voice of the people, and is a permanent expression of the will of the people. It establishes the framework of the government. It provides for a legislative department for the
* Wilson, The State, p. 437.
. making of laws on the whole vast range of powers left with the States. It provides for an executive department for enforcing the laws, and a judicial department for their interpretation and application. It enumerates the more important rights of the people. It prescribes the qualifications for suffrage. It organizes the State into local districts, such as counties, and provides for the incorporation of cities and towns.
THE FORM AND NATURE OF GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED
175. Meaning of Government.-What we mean by government is the ruling power in a state or nation. And by ruling power we mean the authorities in whom is intrusted by law the power to regulate the general affairs of the people, in order that the purposes of government may be carried out.
176. Different Forms of Government. -Government may have various forms. These forms, of which only the three principal ones need be mentioned, are distinguished from one another by the number and character of the persons constituting the ruling power. Thus (1), a monarchy is the form of government where one person holds the ruling power; (2) an aristocracy is a form of government where a particular class of the population, relatively small in number, conducts the ruling power; and (3) a democracy is a form of government where